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The Daily Whim

The Daily Whim

“I’m starting to feel like an unwitting test subject in a global experiment conducted by Google, in which it attempts to discover how much raw information it can inject directly into my hippocampus before I crumple to the floor and start fitting uncontrollably.” Charlie Brooker

Mon. Feb 22, 2010

Goodbye Yahoo

Over three years ago, I wrote a little open letter to Yahoo, “Lost In The Yahoo Desert”:

I know I don’t visit you very much. Not like some others. But you have this one page I like to visit, the “Most Viewed” News page. No, I’m not going to link it. Because it is virtually guaranteed that you’ll just change the link.

... » Full Article, 391 words »

Thu. Aug 06, 2009

The One Where I Get Some Cheap Glasses

Getting old sucks. You hit your 40’s, and the single-vision glasses you’ve worn since youth no longer cut it, now you need bifocals.

Then you hit fifty, and your bifocals still work well at distance, and up close (about 12 inches or less), but your eyes have developed a new range (18”-36”) that simply isn’t covered well at all by your bifocals. Except this very narrow portion of the bifocal’s progressive transition, if you tip your head back just right.

That 18 to 36 inch range is where my monitors sit. Yeah, it became a real pain in the neck. So off I went to the eye doctor, to get a new prescription, and some new glasses. But the last time I did this, the wife and I went together and $1,000 later we both had new glasses. This time, I wanted to get more for my money.

And I did. For roughly the same amount of money ($561.65), I got four very nice pairs of glasses; one set by visiting a local optometrist, and three sets ordered online.

» Read the Full Article (938 words) »

Sun. Dec 21, 2008

Grandpa is Once Again Astounded By The Interwebs

I’ve been on the internet a long time, and thought I had become somewhat immune to amazement at what I find. I no longer marvel that I can hear about a court ruling on CNN, and within five minutes find the PDF of the full ruling online for me to read in detail. I guess you could say that instant access to “current data” no longer phases me.

But the other night, I did a search on a whim about one night in 1981 from which I have some vivid memories, even though it’s been 27 years. Not only did I find an article written about that night by an expert on the subject, I found a recording of the entire event.

» Read the Full Article (1262 words) »

Sun. Mar 16, 2008

Curate Yourself Before The Media Does

The recent scandal involving Eliot “Ho No” Spitzer and a prostitute has brought a rather interesting aspect of copyright and our web personas to the legal forefront:

Since her identity was disclosed, newspapers and Web sites have splashed photos of Ashley Alexandra Dupre in suggestive poses on front and inside pages. Dupre was known as “Kristen” in court documents accusing Spitzer of paying thousands for prostitutes’ services.

... » Full Article, 922 words »

Tue. Feb 19, 2008

Don't Believe Every Email You Read, Especially Election Year

This feels a little like making a post to be certain that “you do know the sky is blue, don’t you?” But it has come to my attention that not everyone pays attention to the things that seem obvious to me.

For example, if you get a poorly formatted mass email sent to you and dozens of others, that claims things like “Obama takes great care to conceal the fact that he is a Muslim” ... ALSO, keep in mind that when he was sworn into Office he DID NOT use the Holy Bible, but instead the Koran” and other seemingly scandalous claims, consider this: Hillary Clinton is seeking any half-assed angle she can scrounge to get back in the race, and if those things were true, don’t you think she’d be hammering on that daily? Yes, you know she would. The fact she isn’t ought to be one clue.

... » Full Article, 323 words »

Tue. Nov 13, 2007

An Open Email to Gmail

Dear Gmail,

I’m sorry to have to write you publicly like this, but you have left me little choice, and I have a couple of bones to pick with you.

1. Look in the bottom right corner of your logo. It says “BETA.” We won’t get into the argument that being in “BETA” since April of 2004 represents an underlying fear of commitment. We’ll just say that an app that presents itself as in “BETA,” even for 3.5 years, ought to have clear and simple ways for their “BETA” users to provide feedback about problems with the “BETA” application. You do not. I looked and looked, clicked and clicked. The closest thing I could find was a form for “Got a feature suggestion for Gmail?” So I suggested several things, including get out of “BETA” in less than one presidential term, or have an “easy to find” form for submitting problems.

... » Full Article, 303 words »

Sun. Jul 15, 2007

The Illusion of Security

The other day I set up a “need it now” domain for a client, and they also wanted the email to be separate from their current workload. So I forwarded the domain mail to a Gmail account I created for them.

The question comes, “is this secure?” While the tempered response is along the lines of “it’s as secure and your current email,” it’s not really the correct answer.

... » Full Article, 658 words »

Mon. Jun 18, 2007

Digital Ageism Part Two: No New Paradigms for Old Fogies

Fred Wilson apparently decided to spend part of his weekend making old people sputter.

I’ve been reluctant because I don’t want to pick at this scab of a meme. I really don’t want to be the guy who made it harder for anyone older than 30 to get funded in the web services market.

Who is developing this “clearer idea”? Who is developing the set of “design patterns”? It’s the younger generation. And its important to understand why.

... » Full Article, 737 words »

Thu. May 17, 2007

OMG 1'M ON TW1TTER!

I don’t exactly know why (yet), but I finally succumbed to the Twittering masses. Because I simply don’t have enough time-sucking vortexes, I suppose, as you can tell by the vast number of posts on this site recently.

... » Full Article, 183 words »

Sat. Mar 17, 2007

Spymac Spam, One Bad Netizen

You may have gotten an email stating “photodude” wanted you to signup at spymac.com. My apologies. Don’t sign up. Here’s what happened. I got an invitation from a friend that I had not heard from in a while. So I checked it out.

As part of the sign up, “Step One” asks you if you’d like to check and see if any of your Gmail contacts are already members. In my case, it found none. So I click on “Step Two” (note, I did not click “Invite” or “Spam Everyone,” I clicked “Step Two”).

... » Full Article, 393 words »

Wed. Dec 20, 2006

Lost In The Yahoo Desert

Dear Yahoo,

I know I don’t visit you very much. Not like some others. But you have this one page I like to visit, the “Most Viewed” News page. No, I’m not going to link it. Because it is virtually guaranteed that you’ll just change the link.

You see, today is the third time I’ve woken up to do a little morning news surfing and found that page gone. Poof. No redirect or forward to the page’s new location. No 404. Just an ugly dead end, redirected to a broken page.

... » Full Article, 199 words »

Thu. Nov 30, 2006

Regards, Later, Or Nothing At All

There’s an article in the NY Times that I found interesting, “‘Yours Truly, the E-Variations.” It’s about the various ways that people “sign off” in their emails, and how those variations are sometimes perceived by others.

... » Full Article, 234 words »

Thu. Sep 28, 2006

Taxing Questions

Late Monday night, I published an article reiterating my disdain for Donald Rumsfeld (among others), and re-using the phrase “unconscionable malpractice.”

About 12 hours later, at roughly 1pm EDT Tuesday, someone came to visit from IP 152.216.3.5:

... » Full Article, 84 words »

Sun. Sep 17, 2006

Earthlink, Come In From The Rain

You might recall me whining about Earthlink overcharging me by a factor of 100 for something called “USF Fee Recovery.” Thus, I read the following with interest last month:

Under pressure from the Federal Communications Commission, BellSouth said Friday that it will stop collecting a $2.97 per month regulatory fee from its high-speed Internet customers.

... » Full Article, 292 words »

Mon. Feb 20, 2006

I Finally Bought My Name

12:40am Sunday night, er, Monday morning. I decided to check off something that’s been on my “to do” list for a while: buy reidstott.com. In case I run for office some day. I’d hate for a partisan squatter to grab it up.

Yeah, right. Anyway. Email shows the purchase transaction between PayPal and Godaddy was completed at 12:53am. Afterwards I log in at TextDrive and add a new virtual server to my account, as well as a new email user, via ugly geek magic called Webmin.

... » Full Article, 218 words »

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