I’ve remained silent on the whole Terri Schiavo thing until now, when I just had to say:
Along with a big heaping cup of “it’s not your damn life so butt the fuck out already you damn worthless vote grubbing politicians.”
Keep your laws off my body. And my wife’s. And my children’s. And my parents’.
Are we clear?
I was updating my spam filters tonight and took a quick look through my accumulated spam through 30 March 2005.
Eudora says I’ve received about 6000 messages so far this year.
By my calculation, just under 4200 of them have been spam, malware, or blog spam notifications.
That means spam and malware is directly responsible for SEVENTY PERCENT of my e-mail traffic, and probably a comparable percentage of my time spent in Eudora. Right now Eudora says I’ve used it for 44 hours this year. That means I’ve wasted just over 30 full hours dealing with spam and malware. At this rate, I will have wasted THREE FULL WORK WEEKS by the end of the year. That’s more time than the average American gets in annual vacation!
Scott Richter, be glad bankruptcy is the worst you’ve seen so far. I want to put you on personal notice: if I ever meet you or your ilk in person, I will kill you.
That’s not a threat. That’s a fact. I’ll kill you.
I know Rush Limbaugh came up with the term, and he generally applies it to anyone who has a hint of respect for females, but it wouldn’t be out of line in this case.
The conservative Internet forum Town Hall is running a piece by columnist Mike Adams discussing feminists at the University of New Hampshire:
One FAL memberé─˘s monologue follows: é─˙Hello, my name is Mary Man-Hating-Is-Fun. I am 23 years old, and I am what a feminist looks like. Ever since I learned to embrace my feminist nature, I found great joy in threatening men’s lives, flicking off frat brothers and plotting the patriarchyé─˘s death. I hate men because they are men, because I see them for what they are: misogynistic, sexist, oppressive and absurdly pathetic beings who only serve to pollute and contaminate this world with war, abuse, oppression and rape.é─¨
Further along in the article, a UNH journalist is quoted as asking:
How is this any different than hating African-Americans or Jews?
I have to agree with Adams here. It’s no different. Hatred is not a viable platform. There is absolutely nothing to be gained from displays of militant hatred toward men, most of whom not only have nothing against women, but believe gender makes very little difference in the grand scheme of things. Yes, there are a few bad apples in the bunch. Yes, there are sexual predators among the male gender. But there are sexual predators among the female gender, too. Witness the several recent local stories about schoolteachers (in recent cases locally, all women) being sexually involved with underage students. Crime has no gender, it has no race, it has no sexual orientation, and it has no political affiliation. To generalise all men as “misogynistic, sexist, oppressive and absurdly pathetic beings who only serve to pollute and contaminate this world with war, abuse, oppression and rape” is to lower yourselves to the level where you perceive men to be.
I’m all for empowering women, but when they start talking about cutting off my fun bits, they’ve crossed the line.
Sheila Black, age 41, brought her teenaged son heroin when he, presumably, decided he needed his lunchtime fix and called mommy.
In other news, sales of Trainspotting on DVD have gone up tenfold in Lapeer County, where thousands of spoiled rich high school kids want to know what it’s like to go swimming in a toilet for an opium suppository.
Red Forman Dumbass Rating:
Once again, from the BBC:
Guess it’s not so secret any more, is it?
Someone please please please please puh-lea-he-he-heeeeze tell me those “designers” — and I use the term as loosely as possible — at BMW haven’t hired the guy responsible for the 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix. I ask because the new M3 coupe looks an awful lot like a Grand Prix rear-ended a Ford Five Hundred.
This is even worse than the Bangle-isation of the 7-series derriére from a few years ago. Mark my words: this will be the final straw that gets Bangle fired if this design sees the light of day.
Traffic cameras aren’t doing motorists any favours. In fact, a Canadian study has found they actually increase the fatal accident rate at intersections where they’re installed.
This should come as no surprise to subscribers to Car and Driver, whose editors were among the first in the industry to decry the use of red-light cameras as a “safety device” and expose them for what they really are: a gigantic cash cow for camera companies. Surprisingly, most police departments don’t make much — if any — money from them because the companies selling them are taking such a high percentage of the ticket revenue.
Furthermore, studies have shown that increasing the delay between crossing red and green lights (i.e., all directions are red for a short time) is a no-cost way to increase safety. Unfortunately, this method doesn’t result in money in the pockets of local police, and it certainly doesn’t buy a new Porsche for the CEO of a red-light camera vendor. As an average citizen, I must say the lack of a new Porsche in some jerk’s garage doesn’t bother me in the least.
Isn’t it about time we realised that this attempted tax-grab is endangering our citizenry and just gave up on the failed experiment?
This is funny, but it’s also horribly, horribly sick.
An 87-year-old, wheelchair-bound California man has been convicted and sentenced for trying to fly to the Philippines to have sex with nine-year-olds.
See, if the Filipinos had American lawyers, what they’d do is sue the bejeezus out of Pfizer for allowing an 87-year-old wheelchair-bound dude to sustain an erection for more than 30 seconds.
If only there was a Red Forman Pervert Rating. John Seljin would definitely get a five. Heck, maybe a six.
Red Forman Dumbass Rating:
After the subscription runs out, the OnStar system in current GM vehicles is essentially dead weight to carry around unless you want to pay the monthly subscription fees. Verizon (bleh) recently announced an add-on deal whereby you can keep the cell fone functionality and couple it with your Verizon service for about $10/month or so, which is nice for those suckers stuck with Verizon’s cell fone service.
But now someone has figured out how to tap into the GPS unit and use it with PC-based mapping software. Not too useful for Geocaching, but very useful for anyone who doesn’t want to spend another $250 to duplicate equipment they already have! This almost makes me want a GM product for my next vehicle. Too bad there aren’t any GM products, aside from the Corvette, that don’t suck. :-\
Further proving that some people just shouldn’t ever be left alone with children, an Ionia woman will be arraigned tomorrow on charges that she let her 14-year-old drunk nephew drive her car.
Memo to inattentive parents and other adult relatives: if you’re going to let your charges drive drunk to the gas station, perhaps you should ensure that your vehicle has enough gas to get there. If you somehow find this too difficult and do run out of gas, you probably shouldn’t park the car on the shoulder and pass out where a deputy can find you and your underage drunken relatives.
Red Forman Dumbass Rating:
Good to know those snatches aren’t being stolen quite so often, but it really makes me wonder what a thief does with a stolen snatch.
(via Dave Barry)
Benjamin Cohen, owner of the disputed domain name iTunes.co.uk, is appealing the recent decision by the British registrar Nominet to hand the domain over to Apple.
Nominet seems to have made the right decision, though:
The domain name, in the hands of the respondent [Cohen], is an abusive registration on the grounds of its use in a manner taking unfair advantage of, and being unfairly detrimental to, the rights of the complainant.
Here’s hoping the High Court upholds the decision. I don’t care if you registered the domain name in 1992 — if you’re cyber-squatting on it, don’t go whining to mommy when someone calls you on it and it gets taken away.
O’Reilly, that is. He’d be incensed that there exists a product to filter the FOX News Channel out of cable TV. After all, that’s censorship!
Things may be spotty this week as I have a lot on my plate. I have a telephone interview for a flight instructor position in Dallas tomorrow, and I expect to hear about the Ann Arbor position within the next day or two. There are four reviews in the queue right now (three for ATPM and one for TAB), with at least one more on its way, and this month’s ATPM needs to be copy-edited by tomorrow or Tuesday. Dad’s heading to DC for a conference, and Mom’s out of town soon too, and I may be going with her. Finally, I need to finish cleaning up my room, as it’s getting to the point where I anticipate a move pretty soon.
So yeah. Lots to do.
ScienceDaily is reporting that Duke University researchers have postulated a computer that pairs answers with questions put to it, delivering solutions to problems nearly instantaneously.
Why wait? Through the modern miracles of the Internet, PHP, and, to quote the About page of this site, “the inimitable mind currently resident in a human container known as Chris Lawson,” such a computer is already available.
First, speak a question out loud.
Louder. I didn’t hear you.
OK, thanks. I’ve determined the answer to your question. Click here for the answer.
Give it to me so I can have six hunnert bux to buy me a P910i, which I so desperately need.
Sitting in Pittsburgh with some time to kill.
The bumper sticker in question reads:
To serve and protect, not to serve and collect
The guy’s got a point. Issuing tickets for revenue is taxation without representation, which is exactly what we Americans (yes, I know Geoff is Canadian) fought a war to prevent. It’s terrible that public safety can’t make budget with tax revenue, but perhaps that’s because public funds are being poorly managed. There’s no reason spending on other programs couldn’t be cut in favour of public safety. Ticketing people for doing something decidedly unsafe is a good policy, but ticketing people for going 5-10 MPH over the limit only serves to pad department coffers, especially when you have police chiefs setting ticket quotas.
Driving 41 in a 40 isn’t endangering anyone. Forgetting your new licence plate registration sticker isn’t endangering anyone. Having a failed turn signal (or forgetting to use it) isn’t endangering anyone, especially since half the drivers out there don’t use them anyway. Don’t make up excuses to ticket people.
Ticket the people who are truly a danger on the road. Ticket the d-bag in the Explorer who thought running the light on the cross-street three seconds after my light turned green was safe. Ticket the two or three people who, every single cycle of the light between about 1600 and 1800 daily, run the red light turning left from eastbound Stadium Drive to northbound Drake Road in Kalamazoo. Ticket the guy who just passed me on a motorcycle on the shoulder on I-94 going about 95 and weaving in and out of traffic all over the place. Those folks are a menace to society, and deserve to be assessed huge financial penalties.
Don’t even get me started on red-light cameras and the concomitant shortening of yellow lights at intersections where the cameras are installed.
I really ought to start a “crack” category. Until then, I’ll keep putting these in “humour.”
Man Jailed After Using Banana as Weapon (in an attempt to get money to buy crack, of course).
Virtual Crack, man. Virtual Crack.
Learn it and love it.
(via — who else — Dave Barry)
Blogging the trip to Maryland…
Mile 122, I-94, Michigan: Three bales of hay in the fast lane eastbound. Called State Police. Surprisingly, no one had reported it yet. Score one for the good guys.
Mile 145, I-94, Michigan: Zig’s, formerly Jackson Brewing Co., is now no longer Zig’s. It’s out of business and for sale.
Mile 148, I-94, Michigan: Large billboard on side of road, reading “Christ died for our sins. 1 Cor [something something].” Funny because “Bible” is in huge letters in front of “1 Cor.” You’d think that would be obvious.
Mile 91, I-80/90, Ohio Turnpike: The world-famous Fangboner Road. Also, one of the Cedar Point exits. Three hours since leaving home, including a detour to dop off an iPod mini case. Why did it always take five hours to get to Cedar Point whenever we went on school field trips?
Congratulations to my friend Ricky Shilts and the Calvin College basketball team. Ricky led all scorers with 27 as Calvin defeated York for third place in NCAA D-III men’s basketball. Good job, buddy, even if you did go to one of our conference rivals instead!
Excuse the temporary hiatus. CLN staff are investigating job opportunities in various locations that are not, well, here. Things will probably be back to normal (or, at least, a status update will be posted) by the middle to end of next week.
Attention, criminals: when the police come to execute a search warrant at your suspected place of crack-dealing, perhaps it would be a good idea to relocate your activities to another location. Resuming your crack-dealing an hour later isn’t the best idea.
Go directly to Jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. Oh, and no bail, either, you morons.
Red Forman Dumbass Rating:
And the award goes to…
“Dog Poo Blamed for Yarra E. Coli” (soul-sucking registration required, but just trust us on this one)
(via Dave Barry, of course)
We’re celebrating with this wonderful one-day colour scheme. Nobody’s gonna pinch this this blog for not wearing green today!
I’ll take a T1.04.02.S02, please. (Memo to Torgoen: make your model names easier to pronounce.)
Roger Ashley, Chief of Police in Middletown, Virginia, is today’s winner. On Saturday, Ashley was driving his unmarked police car when he was involved in an accident. Responding officers found him to be intoxicated.
Someone apparently let him post bail, because five hours later, this time in his personal vehicle, Ashley was arrested for DUI again!
He is now being held without bail in the county lockup while town leaders “review his status” as chief of police.
Red Forman Dumbass Rating:
What WOOD-TV actually wrote:
What I’m sure they meant to say:
Senate panel approves bill to let bikers enter Darwin Awards.
Oops. Silly WOOD.
But hopefully not to soup kitchens for recovering alcoholics:
(via Dave Barry)
As one respondent in the Fark thread said:
You’re not a martyr. You’re not a patriot or the last defender of American freedom because you have the courage and manly fortitude to slowly kill yourself in the stupidest method possible. You are most likely a self-serving, weak-willed, egomaniacal, out of shape asshole who, statistically speaking, probably has trouble climbing more than three stairs without hacking up brown lung butter. Sadly, smoking will not kill you quickly enough to prevent you from reproducing, thereby frustrating both Darwin and the rest of us.
How’s that brown lung butter taste, guys?
And people wonder why foreigners make fun of us. This is from a friend of mine.
yahoo chat sucks. i put a “***” in front of and some space around the lines you should pay attention to.
***epilectrik: hey room. anyone here into computers, electronics, chemistry, physics, math or science in general?
texasaustin27 joined the room
Bird (dirdbird19) joined the room
nsty_elana66 joined the room
isis_morena joined the room
size13shoe (dick_sub2000) joined the room
***epilectrik: anyone in this room ever heard of any of these things?
LatinaNTX76 (tx_latina_2002) joined the room
***epilectrik: maybe im asking the wrong questions.
damitazveronikaz left the room
***epilectrik: anyone in this room ever heard of drugs?
Hoya (chartterbox2004) joined the room
***tipit76550: i have
contrerasjerry left the room
I saw a news story posted somewhere in the last month (let’s just say sometime in 2005 to be safe) about a guy who discovered a security vulnerability in a Web site somewhere that basically worked like this:
Anyone remember what I’m talking about or have a link to a news item? I’ve spent the last four hours trying everything I can on Slashdot, Google, Google News, The Register, the NYT (which is where I think I read it), etc., and I’ve had no luck so far.
It’s not the Harvard MBA story. That only involved people seeing their own data. And I’m pretty sure it’s not the Johns Hopkins J-CARD story I linked to back in early February.
Thanks a bunch if anyone finds it and posts it here.
I just got a spam titled “Your internet connection isn’t safe.” It snuck past my filters, which is fairly rare, so I thought I’d read it for kicks. The first line:
Warning… There’s a 95% chance your
computer is infected with Spyware.
Is it any coincidence that the market share of Windows is estimated at about 95 per cent?
In a move that is sure to inspire late-night comedy jokes for at least the next week, China’s first private airline took to the skies today. Its name?
(Someone please tell me this got screwed up in the translation.)
Yeah, I’m just gonna leave it at that.
Yahoo’s Bizwire has a great story covering the top ten worst automotive recalls. My favourite is missing, though: in the mid-1990s, a bunch of Audi models were recalled because static electricity could result in an airbag discharge when touching the steering wheel upon entering the vehicle.
DaimlerChrysler’s SMART division has introduced a FourTwo clad in translucent coloured plastics. This introduction comes approximately four years after Apple discontinued translucent coloured plastics as a design theme. Guess Ive’s German, or Schrempp’s English, wasn’t up to snuff when that memo went out. Here, let’s try this.
2001 benannten. Sie wünschen ihre Plastikrückseite.
Dan Rather signed off for the last time as anchor of the CBS Evening News tonight.
For the CBS Evening News, Dan Rather reporting. Good night.
I grew up with that signoff. Twenty-four years of hearing that every weeknight at 1859. I like Bob Schieffer, but it’s just going to be weird watching anyone else trying to fill that chair.
Couldn’t the BBC have found a better picture, though?
Onward Christian Ex-Gays: Man infiltrates born-again anti-gay support group in San Fran (where else?), hilarity ensues. Best quote:
The large woman’s crying intensifies.
“My son designs Web sites. He said to me, ‘Mom, look at this Web site I designed.’ He brought it up on the computer, and these male figures came up. And it was a gay porn site!” the large woman says. “My mouth had dropped, and I said, ‘Oh my God! What are you doing?’”
“You had to look at them, too,” Debbie sympathizes.
“Was there any tea-bagging going on?” I ask, gravely concerned.
Yooper shot by cat: A Bates Township (Iron County) man was shot by his cat last night whilst cooking in the kitchen. “I said TUNA, bitch!”
Australian Government considers fines for suicide info: Yeah, right. I guess we can expect some “Steve Irwin Official Business: Penalty for Private Use $300” hate mail showing up in Robert Hamburger’s inbox.
File this one under “People who just don’t get it.”
I sat down tonight after enduring Suze Orman (damn you, NBC, for not having a new Scrubs!) and enjoying a new Committed (thank you, NBC…oh, how I love and hate you!) to find a trackback notification from Movable Type.
No big deal, right? Yeah, well…
You wouldn’t think so, anyway. I took a look — hey, it’s not spam, whaddaya know? — and decided, as per my usual practise, to see who had thought my ramblings worthy of a link. Turns out it’s a guy named Geoff in the Great White North, also known as “Canadia,” who has a fairly un-boring* blog of his own.
Due to its generally un-boring nature, I clicked over to the front page and read his recent entries, where I stumbled upon “William Cut,” in which Geoff is verbally assaulted by a blogger — William Cut — who really doesn’t get what the whole “blog” thing is all about. One of Geoff’s friends also has an entry on the topic at his own blog. Both of these guys were respectful and polite, and removed links to Mr. Cut’s blog when asked.
As is our longstanding tradition here at CLN, we take no prisoners, pull no punches, and spare no expense to ensure that all are equally offended. Here, then, is William Cut’s blog, which he thinks should be exclusively for the private use of his circle of friends:
Among the more choice quotes:
My problem wasné─˘t strangers reading, or even posting, but rather repeat posters that I simply didné─˘t want posting on my blog …
The current technology (again, Ié─˘m not tech savvy) allows a blogger to kill the comments, but then of course people who the blogger wants to communicate with can’t post. My individual style and approach was to be rude about asking people not to post …
Yeah, I’d say that’s about the understatement of the century, young though it may be. If you claim to be “not tech savvy” then a) what the hell are you doing blogging in the first place? and b) if you’re so adamantly opposed to people who aren’t your friends commenting, why don’t you get a friend who is tech-savvy to help you set up a solution that allows only certain people to comment?
Oh, never mind. With the way you treated Geoff et al, you probably don’t have any friends who are tech-savvy enough to set that up.
For completely misunderstanding the whole purpose of blogs, and for attacking people who pointed this out to you:
Red Forman Dumbass Rating:
* Let’s be honest. Most people’s blogs aren’t exactly gripping. Rather, they’re interesting to a small subset of people, usually the blogger’s friends. That doesn’t mean nobody has anything worthwhile to say, but the vast majority of what’s out there is drivel. Geoff’s blog is decidedly better than this, lest anyone get the wrong idea.
Autoblog has an interesting — OK, I’m lying about the “interesting” part — entry about the relatively high profile of Chinese automakers at the Geneva show. Here’s the part I don’t get:
With help from an Italian design house, Chinese automaker’s [sic] presence couldn’t be ignored at this year’s Geneva Motor Show.
By “help from an Italian design house,” Autoblog means “Pininfarina took a 1997 Honda Civic and ran a 1998 Nissan Altima up its ass to create the eminently forgettable Saibao.”
Lucas Rolin, 26, of Ardmore, TN, was killed around 2100 last Saturday when his truck ran off Interstate 65 near Athens, TN.
Tennessee Highway Patrol officers have determined a preliminary cause of the crash: loss of control due to driver distraction. Rolin was apparently trying to send a text message on his cell fone while driving.
Red Forman Dumbass Rating:
Time to dispose of a few things on eBay. The link should be a bookmarkable URL for whatever I’m currently auctioning off, if you’re the type to be interested in that sort of thing. CLN appreciates your support.
Those silly Brits are at it again. Today’s BBC:
[Michael] Jackson was ‘like father’ to boy
So would that be the Catholic definition of “father?”
A bill has been sent to the governor of Utah that would require ISPs and content providers to block “objectionable” material, mainly targeted at pr0n. As Techdirt points out, Pennsylvania had a similar law in place for a few years that was thrown out for all the obvious reasons.
What the Utah state legislature, Cnet, and Techdirt all fail to notice is that we already have a system in place to deal with this. It’s called the Platform for Internet Content Selection, or PICS for short. While participation is voluntary, the standard is well-established and Internet pr0nographers seem to have accepted it as a fair and reasonable means of keeping their material out of the hands of minors. There are a fairly well-known handful of developers that publish software for Internet filtering based on PICS (and other) ratings. This software is widely available and fairly inexpensive. So why must we rely on government to censor the Internet?
The government isn’t responsible for raising your children. You, the parents, are. So stop shirking the responsibility and buy some filtering software. Let your state lawmakers deal with more important things, like declaring Ken Jennings the patron saint of Utah.
Battle Creek’s police chief has set a new traffic ticket policy:
The police department will require its patrol officers to write a certain number of tickets every day. But, the police chief says it’s not a quota.
Not a quota, eh? Let’s see about that:
1. A proportional share, as of goods, assigned to a group or to each member of a group; an allotment.
2. A production assignment.
So how is this not a quota, exactly? Oh, right, because the chief said it wasn’t. Let’s try that, shall we? “Battle Creek’s police chief is President of the United States.” Hmmm…
In case anyone had forgotten, Steve Jobs is vehemently against Apple’s competing in the cell fone/PDA market. And for good reason, it would seem. MobileTracker has a very in-depth review of the PalmOne Treo 650 today, in which reviewer Larry Becker says:
One last observation in the negative column is that the device needs to be reset often. To be fair, as handhelds have become more powerful and PC-like over the years, their capabilities have increased and the need for a reset has also increased. Every new handheld I’ve used over the years has required more resetting than its predecessor and as a power user who accesses e-mail and web daily and uses the Treo 650 with a Bluetooth headset numerous times every day, I find that resetting the device daily makes things run quite smoothly. I don’t even use the reset button, I just remove and replace the battery and it resets. And because of the Flash memory, all my data magically comes back too. The whole process take about a minute.
Is it any wonder Steve Jobs has no desire to deal with the usability nightmare that is having to entirely reboot a fugging cell fone once a day? What is this, Windows 98?
Having to reboot a computer once a day is absolutely unacceptable. Having to reboot a cell fone once a day because it contains a piss-poor operating system designed by the same people who think rebooting a computer once a day is acceptable is also absolutely unacceptable. Added complexity and capability should not mean added instability. Unfortunately, the “Microsoft Mentality” has infected PalmOne as well. Is it any surprise PalmOne is struggling mightily except with the Treo smartfones, where users are forced into a choice of three or four devices (if they’re lucky!) that utterly reek of mediocrity or cost as much as black-market kidneys? No wonder no one wants standalone PDAs any more — they’ve become as useless as Windows 95 machines!
Even Microsoft’s latest OS offerings are more stable than this. Get your act together, PalmOne.
(via Dave Barry)
We figure we’re looking at an imminent industry-mandated price hike to, say, $34.99 per song download and $499.99 per album in order to slam the brakes on this runaway profit train and get consumers downloading music illegally again, the way God intended. That way the labels can get back to complaining about how piracy is killing CD sales, and then make its money by suing twelve-year-old KaZaA users instead.
It’s really rather unfortunate that no record executives will ever read AtAT or this blog. They might learn a thing or two about their customers.