Archive for May, 2007
Dell is going to fire one in ten employees over the next year. Ouch.
From CNET here:
Dell released preliminary earnings Thursday showing positive signs in its servers unit, but announced it would lay off 10 percent of its workforce over the coming year.
With a current worldwide workforce of 88,000, approximately 8,800 employees will be let go over the next year as Dell tries to trim costs. The staff reductions will “vary across regions, segments and functions,” according to Dell spokesman David Frank.
I really like Dell so much better than HP. I hope they get things turned around soon.
It appears that OLM, my hosting provider had a bit of a disaster today. Something about a giant surge that overwhelmed the UPS’es and the backup generators.
Sounds to me like they need to work on their disaster recovery plan.
The current head of NASA, Michael Griffin understands NASA’s role in the Climate Change Debate: Its not NASA’s job to change the climate. In fact, he wonders if mankind should even try to stop climate change at all.
From NPR here:
“I have no doubt that … a trend of global warming exists. I am not sure that it is fair to say that it is a problem we must wrestle with. To assume that it is a problem is to assume that the state of Earth’s climate today is the optimal climate, the best climate that we could have or ever have had and that we need to take steps to make sure that it doesn’t change. First of all, I don’t think it’s within the power of human beings to assure that the climate does not change, as millions of years of history have shown. And second of all, I guess I would ask which human beings — where and when — are to be accorded the privilege of deciding that this particular climate that we have right here today, right now is the best climate for all other human beings. I think that’s a rather arrogant position for people to take.”
Al Gore has already decided that he is the person of privilege to determine how much ice kills people every year. If the planet warms up a little, maybe people like James Kim won’t have to die on vacation.
Robert Soloway sent so much spam that prosecutors think that worldwide spam will be noticeably reduced during his lockup. We’ll see. Paint me skeptical. I don’t really get too miffed about the spam- but botting a lot of unsuspecting people’s computers is wrong. And the DOJ is taking him down for that.
From the AP here:
A 27-year-old man described as one of the world’s most prolific spammers was arrested Wednesday, and federal authorities said computer users across the Web could notice a decrease in the amount of junk e-mail.
Robert Alan Soloway was using networks of compromised “zombie” computers to send out millions upon millions of spam e-mails.
A federal grand jury last week returned a 35-count indictment against Soloway charging him with mail fraud, wire fraud, e-mail fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering.
Soloway pleaded not guilty Wednesday afternoon to all charges after a judge determined that — even with four bank accounts seized by the government — he was sufficiently well off to pay for his own lawyer.
He has been living in a ritzy apartment and drives an expensive Mercedes convertible, said prosecutor Kathryn Warma. Prosecutors are seeking to have him forfeit $773,000 they say he made from his business, Newport Internet Marketing Corp.
U.S. Attorney Jeff Sullivan said Wednesday that the case is the first in the country in which federal prosecutors have used identity theft statutes to prosecute a spammer for taking over someone else’s Internet domain name. Soloway could face decades in prison, though prosecutors said they have not calculated what guideline sentencing range he might face.
The part about identity theft for hijacking a domain name seems a bit farfetched- and unnecessary. If Soloway was guilty of botting a host, he should be tried for computer intrusion. If he used another computer without permission, he should be charged for illegal access to a computer system.
I checked this morning and I’m receiving just as much spam as ever. If he was the Spam King, he’s still just a drop in the bucket. The indictment is here.
If the United States government took a picture of your home, your car, and your neighborhood and put it up on the internet for anyone to locate and exploit, you would be pissed. Well, Google is providing this service for free.
Drudge said that Google was putting peoples’ faces on the streets of Google Maps, and while they are, what I think is worse is that Google is putting license plates online too. This is Filbert St. in San Francisco. Nice neighborhood.
So how can an attacker use this info for malice and fun? Look up the name of someone you really don’t like in a city where the streets have been photo’d. Look around the the cars out in front of their house.
All your Civics belong to Google!
Note the license plate numbers of all of the cars. Then type in “towing” into the google search bar to locate the nearest towing company. Call them up and complain about a car parked in front of the house and have it towed away. Or if you are really bold, report it stolen.
Have the cars towed to a nearby grocery store. Have all the cars on the street towed there. Make it look like a sudden town meeting at a local church. Or have all the cars towed to Google’s nearest office.
Update! NOT! Turns out that the British media reported this originally, and it was picked up by TMZ.com, who I quote below in the original story. According to her lawyers and publicists, Yoko wasn’t even in England at the time. Now why would someone want to spread such vicious lies about her? Hmmm, I wonder…
Originial story I wrote:
Yoko Ono ate pieces of a dog on a radio show. She may have just set back asian stereotypes by fifty years while also disgusting all non-vegans the world over. Beatles fans can also have one more reason to despise her.
From TMZ.com here:
Ono was part of a canine-chewing stunt at a London radio station yesterday, reports Reuters, in which gonzo artist Mark McGowan ate cooked pieces of a Corgi, Queen Elizabeth II’s dog of choice. McGowan staged the Fido-feeding to protest the Queen’s husband’s treatment of a fox on a hunt last year. While the artist did his best to swallow a few chunks of Corgi, Yoko could only manage a small taste before looking “a bit strange,” according to McGowan.
Performance artist McGowan is a rabid vegetarian and animal-rights activist who once notoriously ate a swan to protest the monarchy. He says that the Corgi had died at a breeding farm.
Corgis are cute dogs.
But only twisted vegans are so addled as to want to eat one. And an old one at that!
If a Hamster can kick your ass? This sounds like a bad Monty Python skit, but a British man was almost undone by his own hamster.
Fear the Cuteness!
From the Reg here:
A Worcestershire man may well have saved his own life after suffering a “severe allergic reaction” to a hamster bite – by self-administering anti-allergy drugs before paramedics arrived.
The unnamed 50-year-old was “trying to retrieve his pet from under the floorboards of his home near Evesham” after his daughter accidentally let the beast escape its cage on Monday night, the BBC reports. The little blighter duly bit him, and by the time medics reached the scene the man was suffering “severe breathing difficulties and was in a semi-conscious state”.
The crew quickly administered more drugs and whisked the patient to Alexandra Hospital in Redditch.
The victim in this case really did have a narrow escape. Back in 2004, a Japanese man died “after a bite from his pet hamster caused anaphylactic shock”. An autopsy later showed he’d succumbed to an acute reaction to protein contained in the animal’s saliva.
Warning! Severe Geekiness Alert! Dungeons and Dragons References to follow!
Okay, from a D&D point of view, a hamster has maybe one hit point. At best, it might inflict one hp of damage every four rounds. As a human, to die from a one hp attack, you have to have zero dexterity, zero strength and maybe one constitution.
That means that this hamster was fighting a reanimated zombie or something. Or maybe it was a mystical hamster and the human failed his saving throw versus spell.
Regardless, the only more embarrassing way to die is to be killed by a tribble. There, I even got a geeky Star Trek reference in there.
A man got pissed at a manager of a Wendy’s because he wouldn’t give the man enough chili sauce packets. So he shot him.
From the AP here:
A manager at a fast-food restaurant was shot several times in the arm early Tuesday trying to protect the chili sauce, authorities said.
A man in the Wendy’s drive-through argued with an employee because he wanted more of the condiment, police said. The worker told the customer that restaurant policy prohibited a customer from getting more than three packets.
The man insisted on 10, reports said. The employee complied, but police said the customer wanted even more.
The manager came out to speak to the man, said Miami-Dade police spokesman Mary Walter. The customer then shot the manager, who was taken to a hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.
Its never okay to shoot a fast food manager. Especially over a niggardly stance with the chili sauce. But I understand the man’s frustration.
I like lots of salt on my French Fries. So when I go to the drive thru and get fries, I always ask for salt. Sometimes they tell me its in the bag, but I ask for more anyways.
Invariably, and no matter what establishment you go to, the drive-thru clerk daintily tries to hand you exactly two salt packets, pinching them lightly with their index finger and thumb, with their pinky finger pointing somewhere south. This always drives me insane.
Two packets might not be enough. Besides, I know how much salt costs. You can get a quart of it at the store for 65 cents! Why would the minimum wage-earning drive-thru clerk be trying to ration my salt intake? So I stare at them for a moment and then ask for “More please.”
So they hand you exactly two more packets.
One of them even had the nerve to tell me recently, and in broken Spanglish “You shouldn’t eat so much salt, that stuff will kill you.” And this after I ordered a Whopper with cheese and mayo! I wanted to get out of my car and teach that drive-thru clerk the meaning of proper nutrition, emphasizing the difference between sodium and fat intake. But my wife stopped me. And now she packs my lunch.
Aww, look at the cuteness and send me all your money. Gullible women are falling for the Nigerian advance fee scam because they think they are helping to get a cute fluffy puppy. Okay, maybe some men are falling for it too, but I seriously question their masculinity.
Cute Puppies Being Used to Scam People Out of Money
The Council of Better Business Bureaus and American Kennel Club are warning that cute puppies are being used to scam people out of money.
Fraudulent Web sites, MySpace postings and print ads are asking people to help save puppies in desperate straits by sending money overseas.
“It’s like the Nigerian advance-fee scams we’ve been seeing for years, except with the face of a puppy,” Steve Cox, a council vice president, told the newspaper.
The sites and ads usually show bulldog puppies that are said to have become stuck in Nigeria, Cameroon or other countries and are offered free to new owners. A variation offers the expensive purebred English bulldogs at vastly discounted prices.
Victims eventually were asked to send hundreds of dollars to cover expenses such as shipping, customs, taxes and inoculations. Some reported paying more than $1,500. But no matter how much was paid, no puppies arrived.
Apple is too cool for self-obsessed bad HTML coders. Too many idiots were coming into the Apple Stores and monopolizing the Macs on display to update and browse MySpace.
From the Crave CNET blog here:
In New York City, you can go to the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue in midtown 24 hours a day, seven days a week and browse the Web from the Macs on display. But due to a new Apple regulation, you can no longer access MySpace.com.
A statement from Apple Friday confirmed this. “Nearly 2 million people visit Apple stores every week,” the statement read. “We want to provide everyone a chance to test-drive a Mac, so we are no longer offering access to MySpace in our stores.” MySpace is the only site that has been blocked.
An Apple Store employee confirmed to CNET News.com that this has been an ongoing problem. “MySpace is a big issue for the Apple stores because people come in, Photobooth themselves (using Macs’ built-in webcams), then stick their picture up on their MySpace account and loiter at machines for hours,” the source said in an e-mail. “It is especially troublesome at the flagships and high-volume stores, and for a while there was no official word on how to deal with it.”
Another way to solve the problem is to make the machines coin operated. Or better yet, have a script that pops up insulting the user every 60 seconds if they linger on MySpace.
The popups would say:
- I really don’t think you are cool enough to have a Mac.
- You know, Tom is not really your friend. He is sleeping with your girlfriend.
- Red text on blue backgrounds really makes your MySpace page stand out the best.
- Why don’t you set all of your videos to auto-play?
- That hot chick trying to be your friend won’t spam your comment list. Promise.
What is up with Malaysia and the MPAA? I could maybe understand using dogs to crack DVD piracy rings, but now Malay movie ushers are spying on their moviegoers using night vision goggles. But will they flog the violators?
From VNUnet here:
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is equipping cinema ushers with night vision goggles and training them to spot people illegally taping films.
The scheme is being trialled in Malaysia as part of an attempt to stop new releases being filmed and sold on DVD or put on peer-to-peer networks.
What sort of hold does the MPAA have on Malaysians that they would allow this type of intrusion to their privacy? I can understand checks at the ticket counter- I mean, most theaters ban outside food and drinks, so a cursory inspection to make sure no one is carrying a video recorder or their own box of Goobers seems reasonable. But to be spied on while in the theater? Outrageous.
How can an underaged woman drink so much? Lindsay wrecked her $175,000 Mercedes because she was drunk and stupid. That car has over 600 horse power, and unless you know how to control it, that much power can put you in a ditch, a tailspin, or in Lindsay’s case, nose first into a tree and fence.
Now she has been charged with a DUI and surprise, surprise, there was a little nose candy on the scene too. So what does Lindsay do the following night? Get blind drunk of course!
From Fox News here:
Less than 48 hours after she was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and investigators found what they believed to be cocaine at the scene, Lindsay Lohan was at it again Monday, partying with friends until she collapsed.
The starlet wound up passing out in her SUV as gal pal Samantha Ronson, a celebrity DJ, drove them from an early-morning Memorial Day bash at a Hollywood hot spot.
Photos show Lohan stumbling out of the trendy club Teddy’s at the Roosevelt Hotel, then sprawled in the front passenger seat of her black GMC, her head lolling back, her mouth agape and her heavy-lidded eyes firmly shut.
Lohan was so out of it, a witness said, that she wasn’t even aware of the flashes from paparazzi snapping the photos.
The debacle seems to have prompted the 20-year-old to make another run at rehab. Lohan is expected Tuesday to check herself into the Malibu rehab facility Promises — of Britney Spears fame.
Lohan’s latest troubles began when she and Ronson sneaked in the back door of Teddy’s at about 2 a.m. and partied for more than two hours, a witness said.
When Lohan left, she stumbled through the back door and dropped her red sunglasses and cigarettes. She bent to pick them up and collapsed. A bouncer scooped her off the floor by her waist, and a freaked-out Ronson ran to get the car.
The bouncer placed Lohan, who had a cut on her left hand, into the passenger seat of the GMC — which had three plastic medallions from rehab treatment, each indicating 30 days of sobriety, hanging from the rearview mirror.
“She couldn’t stand up anymore,” said one witness. “She couldn’t even move when she got in the car. Samantha was poking her. She didn’t respond. She was totally passed out.”
Lindsay needs to be stopped before she kills someone.
I just got back from an emotional ceremony in the parking lot of Patriot Harley Davidson in Fairfax Virginia. Every year motorcyclists gather at Patriot for the annual Ride of the Patriots from Fairfax to the Pentagon where the Fairfax Harley Davidson chapter meets up with the rest of the riders for Rolling Thunder.
The stage had dignitaries and veterans to remind the crowd about the significance of Memorial Day, and to remember those that have given their lives for our freedom.
Long line of Fairfax County Police Motorcycles that would lead the ride to block traffic.
The Color Guard.
After the Mayor and State Delegate and State Senator spoke, Congressman Tom Davis gave some remarks about the patriotism of veterans.
Congressman Tom Davis
Next up was Vice Admiral Robert Papp Jr., the chief of Staff of the US Coast Guard, and described by the Grand Marshall as the “Saltiest S.O.B. in all of the Coast Guard. Admiral Papp spoke about how honored he was to attend, and spoke about his feelings when he meets wounded veterans. And on seeing a crowd of over 3000 motorcyclists and their families out to remember the fallen and to support the troops, he said it was “priceless.”
Vice Admiral and Coast Guard Chief of Staff Robert Papp Jr.
The keynote speaker was a swarthy Marine Sargeant Ryan Sean Kennedy. He had just returned from Iraq, proud to serve with his platoon that lost 8 KIA and 100 wounded. He spoke about the clear progress we were making over in Iraq and was happy to serve, and proud to ride with the Patriots.
Sgt. Kennedy gives his remarks.
The Bagpipe band played Amazing Grace and there wasn’t a dry eye around. Click the video below to hear them play God Bless America.
Then it was time to ride. How long does it take for 3000 motorcycles to pass? About 45 minutes! This line of bikes stretched to the horizon.
The Ride of the Patriots
Happy Memorial Day!
We are making a Belly Cast. Ingredients is one very pregnant belly, lots of plaster casting strips and whatever paint you want. And yes, its a bit messy, but it is lots of fun.
A great bellycasting site is here.
Meat-fisted bully Rosie O’Donnell is leaving The View early. She had one last fight with Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and then Rosie’s head writer was escorted out of the View’s studios for childishly drawing mustaches on Elisabeth’s posters.
And you just know I have Rosie’s celebrity belch. Click her picture above to hear it.
I was going through my weblogs last night and stumbled on a strange referral to the site. It was from Live.Com’s photo search results from the keyword of “retarded chicken.” Seems that if you search Live.com for that phrase, my site is listed as numero uno. But it was the picture NEXT to my number one result that intrigued me.
I remember my father telling me a story when I was younger about when he was a little boy and his Mom and Dad were having company over to the house for Sunday Dinner. Dinner was going to be fried chicken and mashed potatoes with gravy, and his Mom warned him not to be a pig at the dinner table. She told him to ask for a piece of chicken that no one else would want.
When dinner was served and they were passing the bowl of fried chicken around, he was asked which piece he wanted. Remembering his Mom’s warning, he replied, “The Face.”
This is an old picture of a chicken face that got mixed into the rest of a batch of deep fried chicken parts, and supposedly, it came from a McDonalds. You can even see deep-fried feathers still attached! I bet it tastes like skull.
Yeah, I’m a heartless bastard sometimes. And I admit, I laughed out loud at the notion that this lady was crying on national TV because the state came and took her monkey. But she lives in Maryland and she votes Democrat, so she gets the nanny state she voted for. No use crying about it. But seriously, lady- get a boyfriend, get married and have a real baby.
From MSNBC here:
For Elyse Gazewitz, Armani was like any other baby, right down to his daily bottle, red stroller, Huggies diapers — except for a hole cut out for his tail — and Desitin for the occasional diaper rash.
The four-pound, 18-inch capuchin monkey, who Gazewitz said is 1 year old, loved the tire swings, toys and small hammock in his $4,000 room, which she had built onto her Rockville home. They enjoyed their morning routine: filing their nails, dressing — the monkey wore OshKosh B’Gosh and other infant brands — and watching the “Today” show. When she left the room, Gazewitz said, Armani would scream, curl into a ball and clutch his favorite stuffed dog until she returned.
“He loved me,” says Elyse Gazewitz of her monkey, Armani. He often played in this $4,000 addition she built onto her home in Rockville.
“He just couldn’t stand being away from me,” Gazewitz, 42, said yesterday, breaking into tears. “He loved me.”
Now, Armani is in the custody of the Montgomery County Division of Animal Control and Humane Treatment, suspected of being an illegal resident under Maryland’s wild animal law. Animal control officers seized him last week and cited Gazewitz with six civil violations.
She said the trouble started early last week, when she called a Cecil County animal sanctuary to chat about foods monkeys like to eat. She said that she had never spoken before to the woman who answered the phone and that they discussed carrots, nuts and Armani’s newfound taste for coconut. She said officers told her that the woman reported her, alleging that Armani was “frail and in need of a vet.”
Since Armani was seized, Gazewitz said, she has not been allowed to see him, and she has had trouble eating. She worries about the toll the separation will take on her monkey. He had grown so comfortable in her home, she said, even helping himself to the TV remote control.
“He watched everything I did,” she said. “Monkeys learn from their mothers.”
She treated this critter like a human baby, but it was neither a real child, nor was she its mother. If Gazewitz wants a monkey, she should move to a state where such exotic pet ownership is allowed.
Environmentalism is so kooky in Italy that they refuse to allow anyone to build new landfills to dispose of garbage. This is stupid and dangerous, and will likely cause outbreaks of diseases in Naples, where they have stopped collecting garbage.
From the AP here:
Residents of Naples have begun burning heaps of garbage that have piled up for more than a week, adding potentially toxic smoke to the foul smell permeating the city, officials said Monday.
Mounds of trash have piled as high as 10 feet in some places and blocked entire streets. Collectors had stopped hauling it away because they have nowhere to take it.
The southern Campania region – home to the luxurious Amalfi Coast but also the slums of Naples – has been plagued by garbage crises in recent years. Dumps fill up, and local communities block efforts to build new ones or create temporary storage sites. In 2004, the garbage crisis prompted weeks of protests.
Fire brigades said they have extinguished more than 150 fires in and around Naples since Sunday, believed set by residents trying to dispose of the trash. The burning of chemicals has added to the already putrid smell of garbage.
The government recently approved construction of more dumps in the area, but there have been delays in getting them operational.
In 2004, the problem began when the city did not build two large incinerators after locals and environmentalists protested, fearing increased pollution. Meanwhile, the city’s landfills reached their limits, and neighboring communities refused to take the Neapolitans’ garbage. Short of options, city trash began piling up.
So environmentalists don’t like pollution eh? How does a city full of decaying filfth sit with the self-righteous eco-religionists? An outbreak of a nice plague should take some environmentalists to the grave.
Here in the United States waste management is efficient, clean, and a good source of power. That there are modern cities around the world that refuse to properly dispose of trash because of environmental fears is ridiculous and absurd. Such residents deserve what they get.
The Goracle is going to make a sequel to An Inconvenient Truth.
From Cinematical here:
If this summer movie season shows us anything, it’s that Hollywood has gone sequel-crazy. These greedy studio executives keep demanding more explosions, more superheroes, more Power Point presentations about global warming! Wait…what was that last one? Yes folks, An Inconvenient Truth Part 2 is on the way. Considering the extremely low-key nature of the original, it was churned out in a mere five months, and that quick turnaround could mean we’ll see the sequel in time for the 2008 presidential election.
I have a few ideas for a marketing line.
- Twice the Truth! Twice the Inconvenience!
- The Truth is Back. And Boy is it Pissed!
- Twice the PowerPoint Slides!
- Polar Bear Zombies on the Loose!
- Twice the Hyped EcoFear!
His first movie made only one-third the money as “Madea’s Family Reunion.” Maybe if AlGore does the movie in drag and blackface he can put more butts in the seats.
There seems to be evidence that dinosaurs could swim. It seems rather logical to me that this would be the case- most lizards can swim. Some iguanas spend lots of time underwater down in the Galapagos. Just about all animals can swim, including elephants. But for some reason, seeing a sketch of a swimming bipedal dinosaur predator strikes me as a frightening notion.
From the AFP here:
Twelve footprints found in the bed of an ancient lake in northern Spain have thrown up the first compelling evidence that some land dinosaurs could swim, researchers reported Thursday.
The swimmer is believed to have been a therapod — the vast family of carnivorous dinos that included the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex — which lived in the Early Cretaceous, some 125 million years ago.
The prints paint a beguiling picture of a large, buoyant dinosaur whose clawed feet raked the sediment as it swam in a depth of some 3.2 metres (10.4 feet) of water.”The dinosaur swam with alternating movements of the two hind limbs, a pelvic paddle swimming motion,” said co-author Loic Costeur. “It is a swimming style of amplified walking, with movements similar to those used by modern bipeds, including aquatic birds.”
The question as to whether dinosaurs could swim has been debated for years.
Asked by AFP to speculate as to which dinosaur may have made the tracks, Costeur cautiously pointed to the allosaurus — a bipedal carnivorous dinosaur with a large skull balanced by a long, heavy tail. Some allosauruses could reach more than 10 metres (32 feet) in length.
I think that all men daydream about what it would be like to live in a world with dinosaurs- its one of the things that made Jurassic Park such a popular movie series. Now that daydream just got much more frightening if you imagine that killer dinos could swim across lakes to get you.