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17 August, 2004

Dean Markley, String Guy

From the Mercury News, an article about guitar string maker Dean Markley: Lord of the Strings.

By developing new products and marketing heavily to young musicians, Dean Markley Strings has grown into one of the top guitar string makers in the world. Starting out of an El Camino Real music store in 1972, the firm is now wedged in an office park surrounded by high tech firms such as Applied Materials and NVidia.

Posted on 17 August, 2004

Computer Security News

This article, from CNET, is hard to believe: Study: Unpatched PCs compromised in 20 minutes.

Don't connect that new PC to the Internet before taking security precautions, researchers at the Internet Storm Center warned Tuesday.

According to the researchers, an unpatched Windows PC connected to the Internet will last for only about 20 minutes before it's compromised by malware, on average. That figure is down from around 40 minutes, the group's estimate in 2003.

The drop from 40 minutes to 20 minutes is worrisome because it means the average "survival time" is not long enough for a user to download the very patches that would protect a PC from Internet threats.

Posted on 17 August, 2004

Starbucks Blog

Jim Romenesko, the guy behind the Obscure Store and Reading Room site, has a blog all about Starbucks: It's called Starbucks Gossip.

I'm not sure how much of the material is actually true, but Starbucks doesn't really come off as being a good place to work.

Posted on 17 August, 2004

'Good Eats' House For Sale

At eBay: Awesome Atlanta / Buckhead home "Good Eats" Alton Brown.

Own the home and kitchen where many tasty episodes for the hit Food Network series "Good Eats" were created.

RESERVE IS WELL BELOW SOUTHTRUST BANK'S APPRAISAL OF $1.5 million.

And there's a bonus:

This Ebay offer also includes a unique opportunity for the buyer to experience a dinner for 8 people personally prepared in this kitchen by host, author and James Beard award winner Alton Brown of "Good Eats" fame (based on host availability.

Posted on 17 August, 2004

Queasy Pops

Feeling sick to your stomach? Try a Queasy Pop.

Queasy Pops are effective due to our special formulation of essential oils from natural herbs and aromatherapy, in combination with our unique delivery method. Our ongoing empirical and anecdotal research to improve and develop our unique flavors has proved satisfying for our many customers.

Queasy Pops also alleviate dry mouth, provide quick calories for a nice energy boost and are overall very soothing and comforting.

Posted on 17 August, 2004

RealNetwork's Petition

I don't really follow iPod stuff, but this caught my eye -- because it makes RealNetworks look foolish. From MacMinute: Real's petition backfires thanks to Apple fans.

In addition to its new anti-Apple Web site, RealNetworks has created an online petition aimed at Apple...

Following an overwhelming amount of negative comments about Real, the company has removed the link to the petition from its "Freedom of Music Choice" Web site. Update: The company has created a new petition with slightly different wording that does not allow comments -- only names and email addresses. RealNetworks is now linking to this document from its anti-Apple site, with no mention of the previous petition.

Here's a link to the original petition created by RealNetworks. About 95% of the posts are anti-RealNetwork posts. Here's a typical example:

Hey REAL market analysts, CEOs, consultants, strategists, etc., LISTEN UP --- your products have always sucked, but this move will bring your END.

We can only hope.

Posted on 17 August, 2004

The Spec Spot

This is very entertaining: The Spec Spot. Watch videos of "speculative" TV commercials created by people in the advertising industry.

(via Sarcasmo's Corner)

Posted on 17 August, 2004

The Banjo Project

Here's a documentary (currently in production) that looks promising: The Banjo Project.

The Banjo Project is a documentary film and web site that chronicles the musical odyssey of America 's instrument -- the banjo -- from its African roots to Bela Fleck. It's a collaboration between Emmy-winning writer-producer Marc Fields and banjo virtuoso Tony Trischka (the Project's Music Director), whose World Turning CD on Rounder was the inspiration.

The Banjo Project brings together contemporary players in all styles -- in performances and interviews -- with folklorists, historians, instrument makers and passionate amateurs to tell the story of America 's instrument in all its richness and diversity.

(via Cybergrass)

Posted on 17 August, 2004

A Bad Haircut

From the Rip-Off Report: Main Street Hair.

I am the other half of the Main Street Hair highlighting fiasco. My hair is a disaster and it is going to cost a fortune to make it presentable to be out in public again. I have never been so rudely treated and insulted in my life by a company that is providing a service to the public. They have absolutely no remorse, apology or ethics over what they have done to my and my sister's hair.

My halo is in the wrong place. This is a picture about halfway down the back of my head. Notice how consistent Donna at Main Street Hair in Lake Elsinore, Ca is with her sloppy work. This is enough to make a person ill. What the hell was she THINKING! This is the sign of a mind that is askew to produce such results as this on a person's hair.

Do you mean you can actually go to a hair cutting place and get a halo?

Posted on 17 August, 2004

The End Of The World

A Google search for "world will end on" yields mixed results -- although 21 December, 2012 seems to be a popular choice.

Posted on 17 August, 2004

Blogs He Has Known

Somebody called Elephant's Child writes: Blogs I have known.

A good blog is as good as the blogger's ability to select interesting links to other sites. Given that there are are a lot of blogs connected by links to a lot more blogs, it's not surprising I've found a few that consistently come up with links that delight me. Laws of probability apply, and the mathematics of monkeys and typewriters can be applied to bloggers and keyboards quite directly.

Read the entry and it's clear that the guy has good taste.

John Walkenbach, whose site J-Walk is, writes books about computers, so he probably tells himself he's working when he goes to sites like these. He must work an awful lot.

Yep. I'm working right now.

Posted on 17 August, 2004

Rock 'N' Roll Beer Cans

From CNN: Critics brewing over Rock 'n' Roll cans.

Miller Brewing is celebrating the "50th Anniversary of Rock 'n' Roll" with eight commemorative beer cans that feature Rolling Stone cover shots of Elvis Presley, Blondie and others.

What's missing, some say, is a black artist.

Robert Thompson, a professor of pop culture at Syracuse University, called the absence "beyond conspicuous," because black artists often are credited with inventing rock 'n' roll.

The others are: Alice Cooper, Bon Jovi, Def Leopard, Eric Clapton, Joe Walsh, and Willie Nelson.

What a terrible list. Willie Nelson? A rock star?

I went to Miller's web site to try to find more information, but that site is so bad I gave up after a few minutes.

Posted on 17 August, 2004

A City Model

This is very interesting: A step-by-step summary of how to make a scale model of a city. Here's the end product:

Posted on 17 August, 2004

Celebrity Hate List

The Celebrity Hate List: An annotated list of 110 celebrities.

Well, well, well. You have made it to the premiere celebrity-hater site on the web. These pretentious, depraved, immeasurably pompous, annoying creatures are the depths of celebritydom scum. Their decadent lifestyle is only exceeded by their belief in their own self-importance.

Posted on 17 August, 2004

Photo Of An Alien?

It happened in Chile: An Alleged Non-Human Caught on Film.

I attest to the fact that it is not a fraud nor anything similar. For this reason I have made it public and I contacted the staff of CIFAE Chile. I would like to know the true nature of the image that appears in it and if anyone has ever caught anything similar in a photo. Nothing more.

(via Cliff Pickover's Reality Carnival)

Posted on 17 August, 2004

Caskets At Costco

From CNN: Caskets, for less, at Costco.

Warehouse retailer Costco Wholesale, bulk seller of products to help save you money in life, is offering a way to save money in death, too.

The Issaquah, Wash.-based No. 1 wholesale club operator is testing six models of steel caskets at two of its locations in the Chicago area, according to casket supplier Universal Casket Co.

The only problem: you have to buy six at a time.

Posted on 17 August, 2004

Jury Duty For Oprah

This is odd: Oprah chosen for murder jury.

Since the Sun-Times first reported last week that Oprah was to report for jury duty Monday, many veteran court observers said there was zero chance she would get picked -- she'd be too much of a distraction in court, they said confidently.

"Oh, happy day," Oprah muttered sarcastically after she was picked to hear a murder case that's scheduled to last three days at the Criminal Courthouse.

Posted on 17 August, 2004

Stevee Postman Imagery

An artist named Stevee Postman.

His images are created by taking initial photos with a 35mm camera; scanning the negatives to produce high-resolution digital source material; and mixing, layering, and transmogrifying with Photoshop wizardry. He works on a Mac, and each image takes 10 to 40 hours to complete.

These images aren't really my style, but I can appreciate the work that went into them.

Posted on 17 August, 2004

The Gmail Account Winners Are...

These three people are the winners of yesterday's Gmail contest. They each get a shiny new Gmail account, without a trace of spam. So many good entries. I wish I had a dozen accounts to give away.

  • Righteously Indignant - For making a clever joke that only a few people will understand.
  • Champthom - For making an effort above and beyond the call of duty. I was not able to find that story anywhere else, so I'll assume that it was written for the contest.
  • JariT - Because this made me laugh: "I believe it was in 1978."

You three will have to send me an email so I can give you the Gmail account. Send it to john (at) j-walk.com.

Posted on 17 August, 2004