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23 February, 2004

FBI Shuts Down Hosting Service

This is absolutely incredible. The FBI confiscated all of the servers at a hosting service called CIT Hosting.

The FBI executed a search warrant issued by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio regarding the IRC network that we host. According to the warrant, it appears that the Bureau is investigating whether someone hosted on our network hacked and attacked someone else.

After several hours of attempting to track down, inspect and audit the terabytes of data that we host, the FBI determined that it was more efficient (from their point of view) to remove all of our servers and transport them to the FBI local laboratories for inspection. This was completed at 7:00 pm EST same day.

But what about all of the other customers?

We have been told by the Special Agent in charge of the investigation that If you need access to your data you are asked to please contact the Bureau via email to rwhite3@leo.gov.

This happened on 14 February. As of today...

The FBI has begun retuning equipment to CIT which is being shipped to our new facilities in Chicago.

(via Boing Boing)

Posted on 23 February, 2004

Microsoft's First Web Site?

Bejamin J.J. Voigt posted a screen capture that appears to be a very old Microsoft Web site. But the URL doesn't appear in the address bar and the title bar is blank -- which seems a bit suspicious. The page shows that it's running Windows NT 3.5 Server, which was released in September, 1994.

The earliest Microsoft Web site at the Internet Archive is from October, 1996. And it looks much different than the screen capture. So, if the screen capture is not a fake, it was done in late 1994 or 1995. The browser is Internet Explorer (probably version 1.0).

Note: The formatting at Voigt's site does not work well with Mozilla Firebird. You'll need to scroll way down to see the content.

Posted on 23 February, 2004

McDonald's For Asians And Pacific Islanders

Welcome to McDonald's Asian Pacific Islander Americans.

We're Asian and Pacific Islander Americans "living on the rim," where our diverse cultures and the everyday American lifestyle become one. We're hanging on to our great traditions while we move to the beat of the times. We honor our heritage - but we love being Americans. From high fashion to high tech, from Asian Pacific American hip hop to haute cuisine, we're weaving the threads of our culture into the fabric of everyday American life.

Whether we're sipping green tea or enjoying a Big Mac sandwich, we're helping make the magic mix called America become even richer. And McDonald's is right there with us, everyday!

I'm not sure why, but reading this copy makes me feel ill. And I didn't even have lunch at McDonald's.

Posted on 23 February, 2004

Excel Keyboard?

The Zboard has a key set designed for Excel.

Easy to Learn - No Memorization Required! 104 labeled Excel commands help you to see, use and remember important and frequently used commands without memorizing. Eventually using the shortcuts will become second nature, making this a great educational tool.

How can that possibly be a great educational tool? What happens when the user has to use a standard keyboard? All of a sudden they become novice users again.

Forget the gimmicks. It's a much better idea to take some time and memorize the keystrokes for the operations that you use frequently. Then you can perform them using any system -- regardless of which keyboard is installed.

Right now I'm using a Microsoft multimedia keyboard which has lots of special-purpose buttons. When I first got the keyboard, I tried using some of them. But then I forgot all about them, and I haven't touched them since. I think the same thing would happen if I were given an "Excel" keyboard.

Posted on 23 February, 2004

Painting With ArtRage

ArtRage is a painting program for Tablet PCs. It's...

...designed to take advantage of the unique interaction of pen and screen on the Tablet PC to provide a realistic and fun simulation of using paint on a canvas, along with pens, pencils, crayons, and other tools. It works particularly well on the Tablet PC, but will also function using a normal graphics tablet, or even a mouse.

Check out some incredible examples (no permalink, see "Tablet Painting"):

(via Scobleizer)

Posted on 23 February, 2004

Don't Forget Your Gloves

From the Guardian: Now the Pentagon tells Bush: climate change will destroy us.

A secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a 'Siberian' climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world.

The document predicts that abrupt climate change could bring the planet to the edge of anarchy as countries develop a nuclear threat to defend and secure dwindling food, water and energy supplies. The threat to global stability vastly eclipses that of terrorism, say the few experts privy to its contents.

Posted on 23 February, 2004

Office 2003 Uninstalls Software

If (for some odd reason) you actually use Microsoft Photo Editor, read Herb Tyson's article before you (for some odd reason) install Office 2003: MS Photo Editor, Wherefore Art Thou?

So, when I installed Office 2003, imagine my surprise the first time I double-clicked a picture. Instead of seeing my trusty MS Photo Editor spring to life, the garish Microsoft Office Picture Manager (MOPM) took control, instead. The focus had changed from editing to management. The idea no longer was to edit a given picture. The idea was to manage a collection of them.

It seems that Office 2003 takes the liberty of uninstalling your Photo Editor software without even telling you.

So, I went searching for Photo Editor. Surely, I thought, Office 2003 wouldn't have removed that useful tool. Surely, it's simply added this additional tool. Microsoft can't possibly believe that MOPM is a full replacement for Photo Editor.

Apparently, they can. Not only wasn't Photo Editor my default anymore, it had left the building entirely.

Herb goes on to explain how to get it back.

Posted on 23 February, 2004

Food Safety Music

Carl Winter's songs about food safety.

As a serious food toxicologist with 15 years of experience as a University of California faculty member, I enjoy conducting research and developing food safety educational programs.

For the past five years, I have combined my previous background as a musician with my scientific and communication training to develop an innovative, humorous, and effective musical approach for food safety education.

For example, "Stomachache Tonight" -- based on The Eagles "Heartache Tonight."

Some chef is gonna hurt someone
Before the night is through
Serving up some chicken that's undone
There's nothin' we can do

On the road I found a nice cafe'
With some Georgia friends
Didn't know I'd soon be entertained
By Sal Monella and the Pathogens

Posted on 23 February, 2004

Animated Backgrounds

James Koehnline presents Nine Animated GIF Backgrounds. It's similar to the Annoying Backgrounds page that I did.

Posted on 23 February, 2004

Fooling The Chicago Times

A few weeks ago, I posted a link to a fake Amazon service called Pricekut. Although I've been fooled in the past, it took me about 30 seconds to realize that Pricekut was a spoof.

But the Chicago Tribune fell for it: Businesses turn to Net for making new contacts (try logging in with anonymous / anonymous).

Amazon.com will join the fray when it rolls out PriceKut, a social network where customers can meet each other to discuss bargains, but only after first purchasing something at the site.

Tom Anderson, president of MySpace, thinks this branching out will only confuse consumers. "People are always going to associate certain names with certain ideas and utilities," he said. "Their branding is too strong; they've done their job too well."

(via Doc Searls Weblog)

Posted on 23 February, 2004

The Microsoft Pillow

From IT World: Microsoft reconsidering bikini-girl pillow giveaway.

Microsoft Corp.'s Japan unit is reconsidering a plan to give away a long pillow printed with an almost-full size image of a popular game character, 17-year-old Kasumi from the Dead or Alive series, wearing a pink bikini.

Asked if the reason for the reconsideration was that an image of a 17-year old girl in a bikini might be inappropriate for the company's customers to be sleeping with, the spokeswoman said, "That's why we are still deciding what will be the best option for us."

You can click the image above for a larger view.

Posted on 23 February, 2004

Tech Support Secrets

From Salon: "We don't support that".

We're not here to help fix your computer. We just want to get you off the phone. A tech-support slave tells his hellish tale.

Note: To read the article, you must watch a brief ad, or have a Salon subscription.

Posted on 23 February, 2004

Spot Portraits

Spot Portraits by Timothy Cummings.

More about the artist:

Timothy Cummings was born in Albuquerque New Mexico in 1968. A self taught artist, he started painting in grade school. He became fascinated with dolls and began creating them as objects of art influenced by catholic iconography and "Day of the Dead" imagery.

(via Burp)

Posted on 23 February, 2004

George Carlin Interview

An interview with one of my favorite comedians: 'Liberal' is a dirty word for George Carlin. But he's serious.

Excerpt:

Q: Do you feel like this country has progressed any way, shape or form in the past 20 years?

A: Everybody's got more jet skis and Dustbusters now and sneakers with lights in them. They've got more cheese on their thing that they buy. They get double helpings. See, Americans measure all their progress in the wrong way. They measure by quantity and by gizmos and toys. And not by quality and by things that are important.

The most interesting thing to me is that the things that people would seem to have the most right to have - that is to say health, food, shelter and a job are the things that are last on the list. To me, that is fundamental. Those are the things humans most need to function, and we have placed them at the bottom of the list. So I think that says a lot about national character and priorities.

Posted on 23 February, 2004

Home Ec Archive

Research, tradition, and history. It's The Home Economics Archive.

For example, you'll find the complete text of this 1870 book: The freaks of fashion: with illustrations of the changes in the corset and crinoline, from remote periods to the present time.

This is actually a very impressive site. You can read the books in their original form (as GIF images), as text, or in PDF format.

Posted on 23 February, 2004

Powdered Alcohol

Yes folks, powdered alcohol.

I am sure when people hear the term "powdered alcohol" they are both bewildered and dumfounded. It is true. Senba Alcohol Powder contains 30% (�2%) alcohol by dry weight. This has been confirmed by The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

And the Bureau don't lie.

Posted on 23 February, 2004

Frontline Online

Watch entire episodes of PBS's Frontline.

Posted on 23 February, 2004

Sand Sculpture Links

The folks at Grow A Brain have compiled an extensive list of links to sites that feature sand sculpture.

The work shown here is easily the best sand sculpture I've ever seen.

By the way, if you haven't checked out Grow A Brain recently, you should do so. It used to be terribly ugly. Now it's very nice.

Posted on 23 February, 2004

Typo On The Diploma

New item: Kent State asking for recall of diplomas with typo.

Embarrassed Kent State officials are issuing a recall for some diplomas because of a possible typo. They're asking more than 1,000 graduates to return their diplomas if the word "privileges" is misspelled.

Posted on 23 February, 2004

Mentioned In The Wall Street Journal

This blog was mentioned in a Wall Street Journal article: Blogs have become part of media machine that shapes politics.

Well, it wasn't mentioned directly, but it is alluded to in this quote.

It would be wrong to pigeonhole all blogs as tasteless rumor mills. Many more are simply pointless: containing links to other blogs, along with brief comments displaying no original insight.

Yep, that's the J-Walk Blog -- pointless. But then again, being pointless is actually the point of this blog..

Posted on 23 February, 2004

Moulded Food

Here's a recipe that will impress just about anyone: Meal-In-A-Mould.

Only six minutes of your time... and no cooking over a hot stove is needed to prepare this cool, appetizing summer meal. The secret? Everything in it, vegetables, chicken, meat, even the consomme, comes from cans!

Posted on 23 February, 2004

Breakfast

The Mr. Breakfast site is all about breakfast. Nothing but breakfast.

I learned that tomorrow is pancake day.

Pancake Day is real and there's a chance you already celebrate it. It's known by many names: Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, Carnival and Fetter Dienstag. But for those who routinely celebrate breakfast, it is better know as Pancake Day or Pancake Tuesday.

I just realized that there's also a Mrs. Breakfast site. And I found the Breakfast Report. Wait a minute! These sites are all run by Mr. Breakfast Enterprises!

Mr Breakfast Enterprises is an intellectual concern. Its holdings include MrBreakfast.com, MisterBreakfast.com, MrsBreakfast.com, BreakfastReport.com and NPOcean.com. Its literary holdings include several written works related to breakfast and an extensive music library.

Wow! Intellectual concerns. And literary holdings. And even a music library. Who would have thought that breakfast could be so fascinating? I'm impressed.

Posted on 23 February, 2004

Cancel The Election

Well, I guess there's no point in even holding the presidential election. From FOX News: Pat Robertson: God Says Bush Will Win in 2004.

Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson(said Friday he believes God has told him President Bush will be re-elected in a "blowout" in November.

Posted on 23 February, 2004

Window Dummies

A gallery of window dummies.

(via Life In The Present)

Posted on 23 February, 2004

The Irish Virus

Symantec Security Response: Irish Virus Hoax:

Greetings, You have just received the "IRISH VIRUS". As we don't have any programming experience, this Virus works on the honour system. Please delete all the files on your hard drive manually and forward this Virus to everyone on your mailing list. Thank you for your cooperation.

Yes, you can just ignore this one.

Posted on 23 February, 2004

IRS Code

For those who need something to read, here's the complete IRS Tax Code.

Posted on 23 February, 2004

Checking Political Facts

What's FactCheck.org?

We are a nonpartisan, nonprofit, "consumer advocate" for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. We monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews, and news releases. Our goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding.

A lofty goal. I didn't spend much time at this site. Too boring.

Posted on 23 February, 2004

Yankee Or Dixie?

Are you a Yankee or a Dixie? Take this quiz and find out. For non-US residents, this terminology goes back a long way -- maybe back to the Civil War. A Yankee is a northerner and a Dixie is a southerner.

My result:

46% (Yankee). Barely into the Yankee category.

That makes sense. I was born and raised in St. Louis. Missouri is barely into the Yankee category.

(via Reenhead)

Posted on 23 February, 2004