Tag Archives: rants

this is why i don’t subscribe to things like this…

despite my interest in geneaology, i usually don’t just arbitrarily subscribe to things like ancestry dot com and genealogy dot com. however, i have recently subscribed to both of them, because i finally got around to uploading a GEDCOM file of my research (8 generations). almost immediately they send me this message that says i have “hints” about some of the people in my family tree…

my sister, my father, and my grandfather.

i know about these people… i know more than i would like to know, and probably more than they would be comfortable knowing that i know… i know what the “hints” are, and i don’t care

what they didn’t tell me in the “potted meat product that isn’t quite SPAM” was that they also have “hints” for 65 other relatives who are far more removed than my grandfather… such as Otto Tobe Biver, my first cousin twice removed, and Sarah Davisson, my grand aunt of wife of great-great-great grand uncle, and Charles W. Hammond, my great-great-great-great-grandfather…

also…

i found out what is wanted with BSSB web site… it turns out that she likes the “fold-up navigation menus” and wants them on the BSSB site… and, when the BSSB site has enough content to permit “fold-up navigation menus”, that’s what she’ll get. of course, i’m in charge of web design… the actual content has to be someone else’s responsibility…

otherwise the site may well end up looking like The Church of Tina Chopp… 8)

oh well…

i suppose it had to happen some time…

i guess i am destined to be one of those stubborn old codgers who won’t give up their physical hard disks and wired connections when everyone else has gone to the cloud, but you’ve got to draw the line somewhere, and turning my perfectly good, perfectly functional laptop into a “fondle-slab” — which may or may not work, even if the hardware will support it, and is guaranteed not to work if the hardware won’t support it — is where i draw the line. ‘Lion’ Apple Mac OS X 10.7: Sneak Preview – OS X 10.6.8 is as high as i’m willing to go with this crap.

now, i’m going to play with my OS9 macintosh, which actually is a macintosh, thank you… 😐

xtranormal

so a while ago i got the idea to make animations that were reciting the books of tina chopp…

i actually went so far as to create the first 6 cantos of the book of children… before xtranormal changed how things are done… i had to buy “xtranormal points” in december, so that i could finish an unfinished animation. but now it turns out that i will make no more animations at xtranormal after i run out of “points”, because they have now made it so that you have to pay to make animations.

previously, they had a few scenarios that were free, and you had to pay to make more elaborate movies – which was just fine with me – but now you have to “pay” what they’re calling “xtranormal points” in order to make any animations. it would be fine if you were able to accumulate these “xtranormal points” in less offensive ways than “convincing your friends to sign up” and that sort of thing, but they’ve actually got a way to “buy xtranormal points” with actual money, and that goes against my grain…

especially when they originally offered the service for free… 😐

not only that, but i guess they assume that people don’t really care what their animated characters look like, because they now have a bunch of “new” characters, like “chuchus” and “luchadors” and “dummies” and “presidents” and “historical figures” and “fútbol” that are very definitely not appropriate vehicles for the dissemination of profound spiritual knowledge… or something like that…

in any event, i will not be using xtranormal in the future, unless they change things again. i’m not ruling anything out, but i don’t want to have to pay for things like this.

i suppose that if i had thought about it a little bit, i could have anticipated this, but it’s still anoying. 😐

the rapture!!

so far, the rapture hasn’t happened… i’m preparing to have a big ol’ laugh at harold camping’s expense when the day is over… 8)

unauthorised authorisation dialoguein other news, i got a new unauthorised authorisation dialogue, like the one i got back in august of last year, but it’s for a different site… the site, LEAP.cc, is the site for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, which i have visited a while back, but there currently is no site there, and, instead, it asks for an authorisation (which i have NEVER provided), so i’m thinking that either they’re not in business any longer (not very likely) or someone has hacked their site. needless to say, i didn’t enter anything into the fields, and it’s acting pretty much the same way as the twitter dialogue that was coming up last year, so i’m going to guess that it’ll go away eventually.

the rapture still hasn’t happened… i’ll let you know something else comes up… 8)

Scientists confirm Extraterrestrial genes in Human DNA – for some reason i thought this was appropriate, despite the fact that it was originally posted in 2007…

Family Radio, which is harold camping’s “ministry” is offline… it’s the end of the world as they know it…

i don’t know whether this is funny or not…

in 2007, i did the programs for the moisture festival. since then, they consistently have not found a printer that does as good a job for as little money as i did.

now they’re almost to the point of admitting it. the reason?

apparently i don’t play for the fremont philharmonic!

kiki, the band leader (this year) is listed twice, but i’m not listed at all, in the program.

i pointed this out to tim and macque – “members of the board” – and they assured me that they would bring it up with RB, who is in charge (more or less) of the schedule and programs… but RB is the same person who, last year, gave me his “personal assurance” that the fremont philharmonic would be scheduled for “at least one burlesque show” this year – and despite what my brother-in-law thinks, burlesque is THE reason why i have been involved with this production for as long as i have – only to find out that the burlesque shows have already all been taken by the zebra kings, that RB “doesn’t remember” talking to me last year, and that’s very likely the way it’s going to stay for the indeterminate, forseeable future. RB is also the person who drove me to the brink of violence, back in 2007, when he missed an important deadline BY TWO AND A HALF WEEKS and i had to get the interior pages photocopied, rather than printed (which would have made my programs even prettier, and cost even less), and drove me to say that i would, NEVER AGAIN do the moisture festival program…

so i don’t know if my complaining about it will make the slightest bit of difference…

and my impression is that the only way to “fix” it, in the long run, is to do what i said i would NEVER AGAIN do…

in the mean time, i have been asked to sit in with the SANCApators next wednesday… another share in the event that made me the most money of any event last year – although it’s probably going to be difficult to beat this year, when i got paid over $1,000 for the panto…

ETA: it is more-or-less as i suspected: i got a personal and “sincere” (whatever that means, coming from RB) apology from RB for not being in the program: he said that it is entirely his fault, that kiki sent him the list of names with me on it, and he sent the list, minus me, to the printer… he said that “if they get it reprinted” he’ll personally make sure that the correction is made… but, honestly, as far as i know, they have never had enough money to do a second printing, especially with two weeks of performances left, and the turn-around time for getting a 50-page program printed makes reprinting the program for the last week highly unlikely… i must have been crazy (it was the brain injury… that was it), but i offered my services as a typesetter/printer. RB said that they may take me up on the offer, because the person who has been printing the programs (a friend of sandy, who took over from me in 2007, when i said i wouldn’t do it again) may be leaving next year…

THIS is the way it SHOULD work!

i am now running amarok 2.4.0!

and the fact that it still has the same bug that 2.3.2 had, and appears to have introduced a new bug where the track-bar in the transport controls apparently doesn’t work, is irrelevant to the point that i then had to rescan my entire (200gb) music collection, and all was right with the world again!

i complained about a bug and as a result of my complaining, there is now a fix for anyone who has the same problems!

a few weeks ago, someone (and i don’t remember who, but it was someone i didn’t know anyway) made some comment to me about how bugs never get fixed in open-source software because nobody knows who to complain to – and proceded to rave about how wonderful micro$not software was, and how it hasn’t had any major bugs since 1998, and that sort of bullshit… and this is exactly why i can categorically say that the guy didn’t know what he was talking about.

ETA: i also got a personal message from one of the people who helped me out with this:

valoriez wrote:If you were serious in that offer, I might have some business to bring your way. A young friend is going to be cataloging the instruments available to students at Kent-Meridian High School, of which some will surely need repair. I would value your opinion as an expert about the best way to proceed, once they are sorted and catalogued. Are you interested?

am i interested?!? πŸ˜€

groan?

so “lucid lynx” appears to work well… which is to say, once i had got it installed, it hasn’t crashed or done anything non-computer-like…

dolphin (one of the file managers that i’ve been able to find) doesn’t work any longer… i invoke it in various different ways, but it doesn’t show any files (fortunately, i know that they’re there, otherwise i’d really be freaking out). instead it says: “Could not start process Unable to create io-slave: klauncher said: Error loading ‘kio_file’. this is probably a “non-computer-like” behaviour, but i’m fairly confident that i can, actually get it straightened out within the next few days…

however, amarok, the music player, has some difficulties… so much so that i actually logged a bug on the “new” version (2.3.0) yesterday. it plays music files of all kinds quite the same as it did in its previous version (2.2.4, or something like that), but instead of track lengths, it says that all the tracks are 0:00 minutes long. also, when i view the tags for an individual track, sometimes i can change them, and sometimes i can’t, even though all the files are set to permissions 644…

of course, the immediate response to my bug (as was the case pretty much all the time when i was testing software for a living) was that i am “doing it wrong”, and that i have to upgrade to a version (2.4.0) which, from what i understand after having read a bunch about the process, actually won’t run on lucid… apparently lucid doesn’t have some important piece of the puzzle necessary to run the version of amarok that doesn’t have problems with track lengths and tags… or not, nobody’s exactly sure what’s going on at all. 😐

not only that, but, following the instructions that i, finally, was able to find for upgrading to 2.4.0 on lucid, only upgraded me to 2.3.2 – which isn’t really that surprising, because, from what i have been able to find out, 2.4.0 really won’t run on lucid – which has exactly the same bug as 2.3.0 did.

this is one of the reasons i’m REALLY glad i don’t test software for a living any longer… i don’t have the patience to reply to the “developer” and explain to them that i’m not “doing it wrong”, what i’m doing is EXACTLY the same thing that any other bozo would be doing on their computer, and if they perceive something as a bug, they’re not going to be as satisfied a “customer” as i would be… only i’m NOT a software tester any longer… and i only posess the patience to fume and rant on my blog about how amarok 2.4.0 WON’T WORK on lucid, without some forcing and installing some non-standard bullshit that nobody except the developers truly understand! πŸ˜›

urg…

i’ve been on a crash course about video conversion and coding for web presentation of video format files over the past three days. i’ve learned a lot, but i still have a lot more to learn, and i’m sort of wondering why i need to know this crap stuff…

i’ve currently got a video on the Sedentary Sousa web site, that works… if you give it a minute… i think… 😐

my guess is that the main problem is file size. the video i’ve currently got loading is the smallest i could make with this particular software (Toast) and for some reason i can’t even get it to import into something that is supposed to be for twiddling with video (iMovie), and, at 16MB, that’s not anywhere near small enough.

i know that YouTube uses flash (.flv) files, which cuts down on file size a lot, but i also know that flash is deprecated in HTML5, and, as far as i have been able to tell, .MOV, .M4V, .MP4 and such like are not deprecated, but the file size is ridiculous… nobody is going to wait around for a 16MB movie to load, unless they are there specifically to see that movie, and in that case a 16MB movie is not going to be satisfactory…

grumble, mutter… 😑

daily bleh

i made my monthly backup, which is now in the process of downloading. i’ve discovered that, pretty commonly, and regardless of platform, if i download using http, i get about ¾ of the way through the download, and it just ends, for no obvious reason, but if i download using ftp, everything appears on the local end without a problem… thus proving, once again, that a simple, text-based application that is designed to do one thing perfectly will always beat out a big, bulky application, most of which is code for the GUI, which does a whole bunch of things, but there’s no guarantee that it does any of those things perfectly, when it comes to getting things done the right way, the first time…

listen to me… you’d hardly guess that, buried deep in the inner core, was a dyed-in-the-wool mac-head… πŸ™‚

rob sagan has been placed… yay!

i have had two “incomplete” orders for incense since the 1st of january, one from the netherlands and one from taiwan. they’ve ordered $4 and $12 worth of incense, respectively, got up to the point where paypal figures out shipping and realised that it would be 5 to 10 times as much just for shipping as they would be spending on actualy product. i’ve been wondering about why people do that for a while:to me it seems fairly obvious that, to someone outside the united states, a shop that is in the united states and sells things that are imported from india is going to charge a lot more to ship things outside the united states than some local shop that sells the same items imported from india. a friend of mine says that it’s because, overall, over the past 20 to 50 years, people, in general, have gotten stupider. i was talking with him about college experience these days (since moe is currently in college as well) and what it comes down to is that, even 20 years ago, expectations were a lot higher than they currently are, and i think that there’s a direct correlation to the general consumer on internet… no wonder there are so many people who think that the email message they got telling them that they had won $500 million dollars in the nigerian lottery is anything other than a scam… it definitely doesn’t say much for the education system, or internet – the “information superhighway”…

more turmoil in egypt, which includes the last of the internet connections finally going down… there’s a “million man march” scheduled, and the word is that the military has said that they won’t fire on civilians… but i’ve heard it all before, and until mubarak is under lock and key, either in egypt or elsewhere, i’m going to remain skeptical of anything i hear about the stability of the egyptian government…

ETA: apparently Egypt President Mubarak announces plan to retire in Sept. but i don’t think that’s going to be soon enough for most people… we’ll see how it all works out… fairly soon…

regarding the shutdown of internet in egypt

In the spirit going back to Magna Carta, we require a principle that: No person or organization shall be deprived of their ability to connect to others at will without due process of law, with the presumption of innocence until found guilty. Neither governments nor corporations should be allowed to use disconnection from the Internet as a way of arbitrarily furthering their own aims.
     — Tim Berners-Lee

Egypt: Tor Use Skyrocketing as Users Route-Around Internet Blocks

they’ve got to realise that as soon as they shut down regular internet access, that would immediately drive initiative to gain alternative access…

i already use Tor and a couple of other anonymizing software packages, but i’m seriously thinking about things like freenet or openmesh

Communicate if Your Government Shuts Off Your Internet
3 Projects to Create a Government-less Internet
Get Internet Access When Your Government Shuts It Down

this would normally go in the massive link dump on monday…

but by monday there’s a possibility that nobody would be able to read about it… 😐

Internet Shut Down in Egypt – “But Biden Says Mubarak is No Dictator” what would you call someone who deliberately shuts off the only means of communicating with the outside that most of his – dissatisfied – constituents have? is this a prelude to a massacre? or worse? will it happen in the US next?

social notworking

listen to this while reading the following post: Have Sex and Die! from Mothra! an opera about insects by Pliny Keep

i got a “connect” message from LinkedIn today, for someone i know only vaguely. i thought about it for a long time before i acceded to their request, and almost immediately i discovered that one of my customers, a guy who, previously, i had only known because he was a repeat customer of my business, was now a “2nd degree” connection. it’s this kind of connection that makes me really wonder about the whole concept of “social networking” and whether, ultimately, it will be good for us, both as individuals and as a society…

not that i can do anything about it, of course… 😐

but i still dislike the idea of facebook, principally because most of the users are unaware of how they are being blatantly, obviously, manipulated, mislead and spied on at the same time. i was talking to a stranger this afternoon, and the subject strayed to the ubiquity of smart-phones. she commented that she doesn’t know most of what the smart-phone can do, and, although she has a facebook account and a twitter account, she doesn’t know “how they work”… and yet she has a smart-phone, and isn’t worried about how much information is out there about her, specifically, because she “has a boring life: nobody would want to know about it”.

if that were only the case, these days… 😐

and yet i can’t help imagining that i’ll eventually sign up for a facebook account, or something like that. so far, i haven’t drunk any of the new water, and i still have a plentiful supply of untainted water, but the desire to connect with other humans tempts me at times. one of those times was last night, when i went to a fez-up with hobbit and fezmonger and his wife, and i was left out of the conversation when i was the only person without a facebook account.

tempted, but, as i said, i still have a plentiful supply of untainted water…

the book of children


since geico made their xtranormal commercial, things have changed: apparently the characters and sets that used to be free are no longer free, which includes the character and the set in chapter 6. i don’t know if this is because they have introduced new free characters, or if it is because they changed their business model (which they didn’t tell me about). one way or the other, i had to spend actual money to get this published, and if i’m going to have to spend more money to get future books published, i’m probably not going to do so… fortunately i made hi-res downloads of all the books…

spam, AGAIN…

so i just thought i’d put it out there… since, apparently, some people just won’t take a hint

every spam comment that is submitted to my blog is marked as spam (which is why it doesn’t immediately appear as a comment: for that, i have to approve your comment, which won’t happen if it’s spam) and shuttled off to a “spam” folder, where i get to take it apart, dissect it, and add any domain names, IP addresses and specific key words to my blacklist and my anti-spam plugin, so that any further spam which contains ANY of the previously mentioned items will also be marked as spam.

in other words, any message that I DON’T LIKE will be dissected and any domain names, IP addresses and any key words that i find therein, will be added to my blacklist,
GUARANTEED!

i currently have almost 300 IP addresses (blocked at the /16 or /24 level), and almost 600 domain names blacklisted, and EVERY SINGLE SPAM COMMENT that gets submitted to my blog just makes the possibility that you will be able to post a comment on my blog that much less likely

just give it up, already… go and bother someone else, why don’t you? 😐

another week closer to the eschaton…

Think US politics are absurd? Brazilians elect actual clown to Congress – brazil has its collective shit together in more than two ways that i’ve noticed recently… maybe american politicians should be paying more attention to the brazilians…

60% of countries will be bankrupt within 50 years – the only hopeful thing about the future is that i will very likely die before that happens.

Drug cops smash into wrong house, terrorize elderly couple and Pot raid at school turns up tomatoes – if it were legal, they could be spending their time going after real criminals instead of hassling immigrant grandparents, and kids about their tomatoes… 😐

Why Comcast can (but probably won’t) read your e-mails, IMs – every now and then i need to remind myself why i am NOT a comcast customer. this will do for a couple of years, until something else awful and terrifying is revealed about their policies…

GPS directs driver to death in Spain’s largest reservoir or Un hombre fallece tras hundirse su coche en la presa de La Serena – i, for one, welcome our new, robot overlords… or not…

Caught Spying on Student, FBI Demands GPS Tracker Back and Student finds tracking device on his car; FBI demands it back – what…?

Hello, this is your ISP. You have been disconnected from internet. Have a nice day. – if micro$awft gets its way, this could happen to you if you get any kind of malware or virus. more reason to use linux, of course, but why would anyone think this is a good idea to begin with is a little mystifying.

Android phone auto reverts jailbreaks – i agree, that people who are required to pay for a piece of hardware to make their lives easier, should be able to use that piece of hardware for whatever they choose. the company from which you buy a cell phone does not retain an “interest” in the hardware, once you buy it… much as i like the approach taken by the makers of the android cell phone, i don’t think they should be able to arbitarily “take back” a phone that has been modified.

Woman screamed about God while destroying art and California Stem Cell Agency Rewards Blasphemy While Admitting the Humanity of Embryos Slated for Destruction – yep, people are still concerned about what other people do being “blasphemy”. in one case, a woman broke into a protective plexiglass housing and destroyed a piece of art, and in the other, people, for whom it did not make any difference, were “forced” to comply with the wishes of the people who were crying “blasphemy” and take down an otherwise inoffensive piece of art. i wrote to the contact person for CIRM (i encourage you to write to him as well) and sent him this:

i am not offended by any language, but because of the fact that you have seen fit to remove the poems in honour of stem cell awareness day, i can no longer see them, and that offends me.

No-one has the right not to be offended.
     — John Cleese

A truly great library contains something within it to offend everyone.
     — Jo Godwin

What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.
     — Salman Rushdie

Being offended is a natural consequence of leaving the house.
     — Fran Lebowitz

The most efficacious method of dealing with deviancy is to ignore, to the furthest point of our tolerance, those items which we find offensive.
     — Ilbert Geis

Christianity is the most ridiculous, the most absurd and bloody religion that has ever infected the world.
     — Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet), 1694-1778

by the way, if you’re interested, the poems that were too “blasphemous” to post on CIRMs web site, can be seen here. USAToday is good for something after all.

Insane Clown Posse is actually a Christian band, and nobody knew – i knew there was a fundamental reason why i didn’t like them apart from their encouragement of drunken violence…

spam, again…

i don’t often admit to hating pretty much anything, but i will admit, whole-heartedly, to hating spam with a white-hot passion… πŸ˜›

i’m going to use this as an example of how i determine something which is not labled spam, is actually spam.

the following is a text-dump of the entire message, with the headers intact. the only thing i have done is to obscure my host server.

Return-path: <x>
Envelope-to: [email protected]
Delivery-date: Fri, 01 Oct 2010 03:40:48 -0700
Received: from hybridel by x with local (Exim 4.69)
     (envelope-from )
     id 1P1d2m-0005OP-Im
     for [email protected]; Fri, 01 Oct 2010 03:40:48 -0700
To: "salamandir" <[email protected]>
Subject: Enquiry from Hybrid Elephant
X-PHP-Script: www.hybridelephant.com/contact_us.php for 122.163.114.169
From: "Randall Tuttle" <[email protected]>
MIME-Version: 1.0
X-Mailer: osCommerce Mailer
Content-Type: text/plain;
  charset="UTF-8"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Message-Id: <[email protected]>
Sender:  <[email protected]>
Date: Fri, 01 Oct 2010 03:40:48 -0700
X-Bogosity: Unsure, tests=bogofilter, spamicity=0.583091, version=1.2.0
X-UID: 
Status: RO
X-Status: R
X-KMail-EncryptionState: N
X-KMail-SignatureState: N
X-KMail-MDN-Sent:  

We noticed that you are not at the top of the search engines for a number of your key terms.
We have helped companies similar to yours to achieve top organic rankings. Please reply to this
message and we will prepare a special proposal for you, to show you how we can achieve similar
results for you.

first, i look at the subject line: “Subject: Enquiry from Hybrid Elephant

this is not labled “spam” because it’s an enquiry from my web site, which means that if it turns out to be spam, i can’t report it, because it doesn’t have a message path that can be traced. i get a lot of spammers trying to abuse my response form (hint, it only sends to me, so it’s not much use for spamming), so that increases the probability that it is, actually, spam.

next, i look at the sender name and email address. usually people who submit legitimate enquiries to my business have an email address that doesn’t stand out. this one – From: "Randall Tuttle" <[email protected]> – stands out: “Randall Tuttle” has an email address that includes the name “rachelle”? the probability that it actually is spam just went up to 99.98%. i have never seen an example of a message that comes from someone who is apparently male, which has an email address that includes a female name, unless they were trying to mislead people in some way.

as i said, because of the fact that it is an enquiry from my web site, i can’t report it, but i can delete it without even reading further.

but i am going to force myself to read further, because deep down, i am a masochist… or something like that…

We noticed that you are not at the top of the search engines for a number of your key terms.

now i’m starting to get perturbed… i knew i shouldn’t have read any further… patience, patience… 😐

yes, i know that. it is because i haven’t gotten to the top yet. if you google “html escape sequences” you’ll probably notice my site within the top 5 on the list. that is because i have offered the only complete list of html escape seqences on the net, for the longest time, without changing its URI. i haven’t been offering incense for anywhere near as long as i have had that list of escape sequences on the net. not only that, but i just upgraded from a flat html structure to a php/database structure within the past couple of years. one of the advantages is that if you search for specific products, like “aparajita special durbar incense” you will find my web site on the first page, despite the fact that i have upgraded my web site recently.

yeah, i’m not at the top of the list for all of my keywords, but i’m getting there, and if i leave my web site alone for long enough, i’ll probably get there without using possibly illegal and most likely nefarious ways to get there sooner, which is what you’re probably suggesting…

We have helped companies similar to yours to achieve top organic rankings.

organic ratings? organic ratings!? nothing about the web is “organic” in any sense of the term. and if they were, in some miraculous way, “organic” ratings, then why would a person named “Randall” be trying to sell them to me, writing to me from “rachelle”‘s email address, at gmail.com?

Please reply to this message and we will prepare a special proposal for you, to show you how we can achieve similar results for you.

reveal more about how my mailserver works to you, and give you new and innovative ways to break into my web site and email server, so that you can “prepare a special proposal” for me? i don’t think so, especially since you haven’t actually proven to me that you have actually done that for anyone.
 

PLONK!!!
 
for those of you unfamiliar with the term, “plonk” is the sound a spam message makes when it is deleted,
or the sound of a person’s email address being added to a “do not send” or “banned” list.

 
oh, by the way, the form gives me a little bit more information about the sender than he probably realises:

X-PHP-Script: www.hybridelephant.com/contact_us.php for 122.163.114.169

aha, his IP address. a quick “host 122.163.114.169” tells me that his computer is named “abts-north-dynamic-169.114.163.122.airtelbroadband.in” which is a dynamic range coming from AirTel Broadband, in india.

yeah, i’m really going to respond to a person who didn’t give me his real name, offering sketchy SEO services from a wireless connection in india… 😐

by the way…

LinkedIn Zeus spam run targets prospective business marks – i’ve been getting this spam for three weeks and i haven’t picked up the ZeuS trojan yet…

of course, i haven’t been clicking on any links in mail that crosses my desk labled as “spam”, and i have been reporting messages that claim to be from LinkedIn that are labled “spam” for three weeks… i have opened (as text-only, not as html) precisely one message that claimed to be from LinkedIn that was labled “spam”, about three weeks ago, to determine that it was, in fact, spam, and that has been it.

once again, the principal reason that email should not be sent as “formatted” or containing html code, is because, if it is, you can’t tell immediately that things are not as they should be. most people don’t think to look at the bottom of their screen, at the status bar of their email client or browser, to make sure that the link that they think they’re clicking is actually the link they’re clicking. most people assume that when they see a link, if they click on it they will be taken to the site indicated in the link, but that is NOT TRUE and especially so when the link is in an email message.

if i type in a link – http://www.hybridelephant.com/ – if that link is “active” (which this one is not), most people would assume that clicking it will take you to the site indicated, which is Hybrid Elephant. however, if you see the words Hybrid Elephant with no link, unless you look down, at the status bar of your browser (because you are viewing it in a web page, which is formatted using HTML), you won’t know that the link takes you to somewhere you may not have been expecting.

email was originally intended for communication on a very basic level. the web was intended for delivering “richer”, more “complete” content. you can say “check this out” without saying it in letters that are “formatted”. it may be “cooler” to say it in bold, purple, 72-point letters, but if you send such a message, the only thing you’re doing is forcing people who may not want it, to get a large quantity of essentially meaningless code along with a relatively short message, and sending people the possibility of getting their machines infected with a virus without you or them knowing about it, until it’s too late.

it not only saves space, but doesn’t have the potential for screwing up someone’s entire machine, as this LinkedIn/ZeuS spam tries to do.

HTML in Email is EVIL!
TEXT-ONLY EMAIL!
THE WEB IS THE PLACE FOR HTML-FORMATTING!

πŸ˜›

another week closer to the eschaton…

The City That Ended HungerBuckminster Fuller said that we, as a people, have posessed the technology for 50 years (and he said this almost 50 years ago) to create a world where nobody has to work to survive. Why Bother Working At A Job You Hate? and The RICH Economy are my attempts at changing the world’s consciousness, but it may be that Belo Horizonte, brazil’s fourth largest city, has taken it one step further. brazil has a number of other interesting features upon which i have commented previously.

meanwhile, back in hell america, Building sand castles on Florida’s beaches is illegal – this is how BP is hoping to make you think that the oil spill is gone.

What the TSA isn’t saying about Full Body Scanners and Your Right to Opt Out – Say “I Opt Out.” Every Time. – has an interesting URI – Don’tScan.Us – and is there to remind everyone that, when travelling by air, you have the right to say “I OPT OUT” when confronted with a TSA request to what amounts to a strip search. also Portable, rapid DNA analysis tech developed – Big Brother doesn’t care whether or not you have fingerprints, and is interested in your DNA instead… more orwellian doublethink: Welfare is Employment Rights are Privileges War is Peace Illness is Health Collapse Is Recovery

Judge orders lesbian reinstated to Air Force and yet the congress in it’s infinite wisdom has decided that, even though a judge also ruled that DADT is unconstitutional, they’re not going to do anything to change it at this time. correct me if i’m wrong, but the judge that said that DADT is unconstitutional basically said that it’s against the law for the military to enforce the law as it currently stands, and still, congress feels that it’s okay to leave the law as it stands, right? that settles it, our government, and likely the governments of the countries in the rest of the world as well (since they all cooperate with each other, more or less) is irreparably broken. it’s time for that major shift in the way people think that i’ve mentioned before to actually start happening now…

and, by the way, now there’s Irrefutable Proof the Bush Tax Cuts Were a Miserable Failure – and we’re still losing to these morons…

despite the fact that Yes on Prop 19 Holds Steady Lead, 47%-42%, in Latest SurveyUSA Poll, this is what supporters of prop 19 are up against: Ex-Drug Czar Bill Bennett: Showtime’s β€œWeeds” is β€œDamaging,” Jonas Brothers Should Fight Prop 19 – regardless of whether prop 19 passes or not, however, Federal judge rules Colorado’s medical marijuana law is no defense for US drug charges. california can legalise all it wants, but until the federal government changes its mind, people will still end up going to jail for smoking a joint. and, while we’re at it, T-Mobile Claims Right to Censor Text Messages – big brother just got a little bigger and a little less like your brother.

along the same lines, according to Chapter 69.51A RCW on Medical "marijuana" (which is actually called “cannabis”, but i’m not arguing at this point), apparently i wouldn’t qualify anyway… oh well… 8/

Twitter blames website upgrade for re-introducing XSS holehopefully, the last word on my battle with twitter and their most recent cross-site scripting bug… which is still gone on my machine, but presumably that’s because i deleted my account before this latest round happened, and when they re-introduced it, i didn’t have an account to infect any longer…

twitter… 😐 feh.

Trojan poses as skeleton key jailbreak utility – but it only works on iPhones… wait, what? 8) heh heh heh… i am so glad i’m not a mac-head any longer…

GoDaddy.com Goes on the Auction Block – recently i read a couple of articles detailing how a whole bunch (<200) of wordpress blogs hosted by godaddy got hacked. i don’t know whether selling godaddy will make things better or worse, but it’s one of the reasons why i don’t use godaddy to begin with.

IE captain flees Microsoft for Google – when i was first getting into testing software, back in 1996, i attended a planning meeting in advance of the release of IE3 (which was still crawling with bugs, in spite of bill gates’ claim that micro$not released “bug free” software), and chris wilson was there, although he wasn’t as “important” then as he later became. however giving up micro$hit for google is sort of a lateral move for someone who is allegedly as “important” as he is… and, given that he is ultimately responsible for such travesties as IE4 and IE6, i would think that google would have second thoughts about hiring him…

How do you copy 60 million files? – yet another reason why linux rocks, and you should use it and not that crap operating system from redmond.

Nuclear Winter And Peace – look… another article by Fidel Castro… you might get the impression that he’s actually changed the way he thinks recently, and that i agree with him now…

pubic schools billboardOops! Billboard spelling error creates embarrassment

The true history of the Koran in America – reports of qur’ans in american libraries go back at least to 1683, and the first qur’an to be published in america was in 1806, over 100 years later. both thomas jefferson and john adams owned one and read it frequently… just sayin’…

Pope’s astronomer says he would baptise an alien if it asked him – unfortunately, is not a joke… nor is this: Christian group declares jct 9 on M25 cursed, although it took me several readings to confirm that it was, in fact, totally serious… what?!?

Church of Body Modification – this has been the subject of a bunch of spam messages i have been receiving recently, but it’s a real thing, and it looks fairly interesting…

Fabrican – it gives the reference to “jeans so tight you must have sprayed them on” a whole new meaning…

what would you do?

so i’ve been doing some maintenance on sedentarysousa dot com. i uploaded the last of the changes, and refreshed the browser, only to get one of those “Firefox can’t find the server at www.sedentarysousa.com” messages.

i restarted firefox. i flushed my DNS cache, and the DNS cache of my router. i rebooted the machine, and the router. i switched browsers five times, i switched machines three times, and i switched platforms twice, but i basically got “there is no server” messages from every browser and machine combination i tried.

i then went to browsershots dot org, which uses a whole bunch of different network nodes, a whole bunch of different browsers and three different platforms, and confirmed that sedentarysousa.com was up and working the way it’s supposed to, and that made me suspicious.

because of the fact that one of my machines is wireless, and my neighbour uses a different ISP and runs an unsecured wireless network, i can switch networks fairly easily, so i did, and sedentarysousa.com showed up without a problem.

aha, i thought. the problem is with drizzle (big surprise). so i called drizzle. sure enough, the drizzle tech support people – two of them! – confirmed that sedentarysousa – and only sedentarysousa – was “offline”.

they recommended that i “contact the host provider” and have them do a traceroute to my IP address, to figure out where the problem lies.

WHAT⁈⁉

let me get this straight… they would rather that the host provider – who is conveniently located in London, doesn’t have a problem with anybody else, and only has a problem with one route connecting – should contact the person responsible for that route to fix the problem, instead of the person responsible for the route that’s having a problem being contacted by ME to fix the problem.

it sounds very much to me as though they are saying “we don’t care, we don’t have to” – which is not the way to keep me as a customer.

very likely, what they are saying, as well, is “we don’t actually know what the problem is, or how to fix it”, which is a valid point, but it makes me feel like they are deliberately misleading me, rather than being honest and admitting that they don’t know – which is also not the way to keep me as a customer.

what really irritates me is that, what with the network being the fluid place that it is, by the time i actually discover what the problem really is, it will have fixed itself and there won’t be any evidence that whatever was causing the problem really was causing the problem. it irritates me that random things like this happen on what should be a very predictable medium. 8P

ETA: so i had the host provider do a traceroute to my IP address:

traceroute to 216.162.193.190 (216.162.193.190), 30 hops max, 40 byte packets
1 216-18-215-65.hosted.static.webnx.com (216.18.215.65) 0.316 ms 0.371 ms 0.436 ms
2 cr3-lax01.webnx.com (67.220.192.102) 0.294 ms 0.357 ms 0.410 ms
3 cust-webnx.ar10.owlax.us.easynet.net (207.162.207.13) 0.576 ms 0.723 ms 0.807 ms
4 ge-7-48.car1.SanJose2.Level3.net (4.59.0.69) 9.538 ms 9.535 ms 9.528 ms
5 * * *
6 ae-93-93.ebr3.SanJose1.Level3.net (4.69.134.237) 21.896 ms 19.398 ms 17.990 ms
7 ae-2-2.ebr3.LosAngeles1.Level3.net (4.69.132.10) 12.894 ms 9.468 ms 9.456 ms
8 ae-71-78.ebr1.LosAngeles1.Level3.net (4.69.146.10) 16.406 ms ae-91-98.ebr1.LosAngeles1.Level3.net (4.69.146.26) 16.362 ms 16.354 ms
9 ae-7-7.car1.SaltLakeCity1.Level3.net (4.69.148.5) 22.380 ms 22.130 ms 22.771 ms
10 ae-11-11.car2.SaltLakeCity1.Level3.net (4.69.133.122) 22.099 ms 22.531 ms 22.291 ms
11 4.53.42.10 (4.53.42.10) 22.579 ms 22.703 ms 22.765 ms
12 208.110.128.254 (208.110.128.254) 38.893 ms 38.961 ms 38.866 ms
13 216.162.207.60 (216.162.207.60) 43.406 ms 42.878 ms 43.912 ms
14 * * *
15 * * *
16 * * *
17 * * *
18 * * *

the place where the timeout occurred was 216.162.207.60, which is Internet Professionals & Network Solutions.

it IS drizzle’s problem! 8|