“I think of it as competing for beer money; this keeps me steady on course. My purpose is to make what I write entertaining enough to compete with beer. Not to be as great as Shakespeare or as immortal as Homer but simply to write well enough to persuade the cash customer to spend money on one of my paperback reprints when he could spend it on beer.”— Robert Heinlein
A short history of drug prohibition in America, with choice quotes from the legislative literature. Fun reading, and it should ring a few bells for people familiar with the criminalization of alcohol use and firearm ownership.
This is my latest toy, a GPS-based pedometer with calorie counting, lap timers, pace and distance alerts, interval training support, basic waypoint navigation, and even an animated “virtual partner” to compete against in a session. It tracks up to two years of workout data, with daily and weekly breakdowns, runs for up to 15 hours on a charge, and can be connected to a PC through the supplied cable.
Hmmm, looks like updating OpenBSD may have broken MT posting through Ecto.
Ah, I think it’s just a version mismatch in the chroot environment.
Sigh, that solved most of it, but not all. It looks like I’m going to have to reinstall a bunch of Perl modules, and then rsync them into the chroot.
No, wait, it seems Ecto allowed me to insert an invisible character into a blog entry, that it subsequently refused to translate into something that could be uploaded via XML-RPC. Blech.
[clarification: thanks to its NeXT roots, the standard OS X text widget supports a limited subset of Emacs editing keys. Unfortunately, while it lets you use Control-Q to insert literal ASCII characters, it doesn’t know how to display all of them. While typing my mini-review of the Forerunner 201, I somehow managed to type Control-Q Control-N, and Movable Type’s XML-RPC interface coughed up a giant furball when Ecto sent it this unescaped control character.]
Update: The response from Ecto support is “Should be fixed in next version.” Cool.
Update: And, indeed, it’s now fixed.
Short poll at Harvard to chart your politics in comparison to current college students. Based on the short list of questions (at least two of which merited a “yes, but not the way you mean it”), I’m a Secular Centrist.
Basically this is a less-reliable version of the “What ‘Buffy’ character are you?” quiz.
Last July, I knocked together a small perl script to monitor my Apache logs for virus probes, rude robots, and other annoyances, and automatically add their IP addresses to my firewall’s block list.
Today I spotted a very unusual entry at the bottom of my referrer report. I was morbidly curious what someone at a commercial web site devoted to she-males would be linking to, but it turns out the answer is “nothing”. Someone in China was running a robot that pretended to be a Windows 98 box while recursively downloading my site, no doubt to encourage My Loyal Readers (all six of them) to visit this fascinating site.
Unfortunately for my hopeful new friend, his robot tripped my log monitor and triggered a block, preventing him from getting more than a few hits. Even more unfortunately, I don’t display recent referrers anywhere on this site, so I’m the only person who knows what site he’s being paid to direct traffic to.
And I’m not going to tell. But it’s registered to someone named Dmitri Kukushkin in Delaware, who owns at least one other fetish domain.
Found this one in my Quarantine folder (“things that make it past my spam filters but come from people I’ve never corresponded with”). It claims to be a survey conducted for Yahoo! over a recent Customer Care case, and even includes a case number.
The tip-off? It was sent to the phony email address I publish on the home page of this site, which changes every month. So, not only have I never used this address to send email to anyone, but it’s addressed to last month’s address. Satmetrix appears to be legit, but a quick Google turned up several examples of them sending this exact same message to mailing lists (over at least a year and a half).
It looks like Yahoo! is forwarding viruses, spam, and other forged email to them as legitimate customer care cases, and they’re not detecting it, which significantly reduces the value of their service and likely puts them both in violation of various spam laws.
Apparently these came out a few years ago, but I just saw them for the first time in a local Safeway:
I guess the instructions on all of those other cookie mixes were too complicated for some people…
Implanted RFID tags to make sure that nobody can use a handgun, including the owner.