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Conflicted

November 30, 2004

Spam seems to come in trends.  Much like rural living brings different noxious odors for each season, one day the majority of my spam seems to be peddling one thing, and another day another.  It seems to me that they’ve started hitting mixed messages, however.

I mean, if I had a newly enlarged manhood, drugs to keep it hard enough to cut glass 24/7, a free iPod, a brand new Rolex and a mortgage renegotiated down to a mere whisper of interest, would I REALLY be wanting to buy penny stocks and microcap securities? 

No way—it’d be blue chips all the way for me and all of my new nekkid farmgirl slut nurse girlfriends…

Yeah baby!

100 Things Every Guy Must Know

November 28, 2004

100 Things Every Guy Must Know

Firefox 1.0 CPU Usage

November 28, 2004

Just a quick tip—if you’re having problems with FireFox using an excessive amount of CPU time, be sure to check your extensions…

On my G4/1.5GHz PowerBook, I’d noticed FireFox 1.0 was starting to take 35% – 45% of the CPU, even when it was running in the background.  I went in and removed a few non-critical extensions (GCache, FoxyTunes) and disabled a couple of others (Search Status (shows pagerank)) and Tweak Network Settings), and CPU usage fell back to a reasonable 2% – 8%.  I don’t have the time right now to narrow down which particular extension or combination of extensions might be causing the problem, but if you’re seeing problems, you might want to go in and carefully start disabling a few extensions…

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Free Electronica & Ambient MP3s

November 26, 2004

Still more great content to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving (if you’re in the US) or at least this Thursday (if you’re anywhere else.)

Thinner/Autoplate is a net label offering some excellent Electronica and Ambient content from a large handful of artists. Great content, high quality encoding, and even a Creative Commons license.

What they say about themselves:

Thinner’s sound varies between Ambient and Minimal House, mostly wrapped within dubby elements. To get an idea about the ambient side of Thinner, please download the Ambient Dub Standard Mix (MP3, 125MB) by DJ krill.minima here.

For a more beaty and fluffy side of Thinner’s approach to Minimal House, check out the House Standard Mix (MP3, 95MB), assembled by deluge – download here.

Go check it out. If you like it, buy a T-Shirt or something and show you appreciate ’em.

(Via MeFi)

Shirt of Many Pockets

November 26, 2004

Wired’s “Cult of Mac” blog reports that more people are discovering the 5.11 Tactical shirt.

I bought some of these things a couple of months back, and I really like them. Outside of having enough concealed pockets to make even the most gadget-laden geek grin, they are crisp looking, have vents and fabrics that make them cool on hot days / warm on cool days, and have heavy stiching and reinforced elbows so they wear like iron.  Of course, they should be tough—they were designed by Royal Robbins for the FBI Hostage Rescue team at Quantico, and are sold as military and law enforcement gear.

In fact, the only downside is that they have to be dry cleaned, but around here that costs less than $2, and prevents you from having to iron it yourself.

Best of all, they’re reasonably priced—you can buy them all over online for $39 – $45 apiece, which isn’t bad for a good shirt, let alone one that will pack all of your gear and last a bazillion years.  They come in white, black, and various military-ish colors.

Hmmm… I need to get some more of these…

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Hollywood Running Scared

November 26, 2004

More on just how “happy” TV execs are with television torrents….

“There is also a more brutal strategy in the works. In his forum speech, [News Corp COO] Chernin said: “Consumers need to understand that stealing is wrong, and there are consequences.” Those consequences are lawsuits. Last week, the Motion Picture Association of America sued an unspecified number of U.S. citizens who allegedly scoop movies online, asking for damages of up to US$150,000 per film traded. Hollywood hopes that a round of legal salvoes will pre-empt TV piracy before it goes mainstream.”

“After all, when the Recording Industry Association of America launched cases against more than 6,000 music downloaders last year, the pace of file sharing seemed to slow. That impression may have been an illusion, however, even though record companies saw an uptick in CD sales after three years of losses. Industry watchers say file sharing is as strong as ever, and getting easier and more efficient. “Regardless of what people found in the early days of lawsuits,” says Eric Garland, head of research firm BigChampagne LLC, which tracks Internet activity, “the consensus now is that file sharing is hitting all-time highs.””

(Via Slashdot)

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Your Spyware Money at Work…

November 25, 2004

Something to not be so thankful for is the current and ongoing spate of people who want to make your life miserable with spyware, worms, trojans, and other malware.  E-mail viruses may be down this week, but there’s plenty of other crap going on.

The SANS Handler’s Diary has some excellent writeups on the Bofra/iFrame exploit that turned up last week, which attacked people visiting mainstream websites (such as “The Register”) via a compromised server delivering banner ads.  Anyone who wandered past an infected site using Internet Explorer and any version of Windows other than XP with Service Pack 2 installed apparently got toasted.  No clicking on bad things, no downloading, not even dinner and drinks.  It’s getting dangerous out there.

Also afoot is a nasty Java/Javascript exploit which affects all users of Sun Java (that’s probably most Windows users at this point) in versions less than 1.4.2_06, regardless of browser.  If you’re running Windows , stop what you’re doing right now (we’ll wait) and go to your control panel.  If you find an entry for Java Plug In, open it, and check the version.  If it’s lower than 1.4.2_06, update it, right now.  Yes, now.

Last but not least, some folks have been digging around the musical question of “who actually profits from this stuff”—Ben Edelman has this answer, while our good friends at SANS have tracked some of this down to none other than the old 90’s Spam King himself, Sanford Wallace.

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More free MP3’s — Electronica, Ambient

November 25, 2004

Still more great content to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving (if you’re in the US) or at least this Thursday (if you’re anywhere else.)

Thinner/Autoplate is a net label offering some excellent Electronica and Ambient content from a large handful of artists.  Great content, high quality encoding, and even a Creative Commons license.

What they say about themselves:

Thinner’s sound varies between Ambient and Minimal House, mostly wrapped within dubby elements. To get an idea about the ambient side of Thinner, please download the Ambient Dub Standard Mix (MP3, 125MB) by DJ krill.minima here.

For a more beaty and fluffy side of Thinner’s approach to Minimal House, check out the House Standard Mix (MP3, 95MB), assembled by deluge – download here.

Go check it out.  If you like it, buy a T-Shirt or something and show you appreciate ‘em.

(Via MeFi)

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The BBC is Podcasting “In Our Time”

November 25, 2004

Of course, not all is dross and disappointment in the world of content—the BBC is testing a “podcast” feature for their awesome “In Our Time” radio program on the history of ideas.  The program has a pretty broad sweep—for example, last week was on the history of Zoroastrianism, and this week they’re doing the hunt for the Higgs Bosun.

They’ve had MP3s available for awhile (a nice change of pace from their usual Real Awful Real Audio fare), but only for the current week, and I keep forgetting to go back and get each week’s broadcast.

So, I finally have a reason to play with iPodderX.  It’s pretty slick, actually—it installs preloaded with links for 700 – 800 or so podcasts.  I simply looked up “In Our Time”, told it to download whenever a new broadcast was available, and add it to the appropriate playlist in iTunes.  It got this week’s fine, and hopefully it’ll do the remembering for me, from here out.

Sweet!

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Simple Recipe for Automating TV Torrent Downloads

November 25, 2004

In a rational world, this would probably be embraced by the content publishers—Engadget’s How-To: Broadcatching using RSS.  In the present day US, it’s more likely to get you a lawsuit from the MPAA.

It would make entirely too much sense to tell people that they could do this all they want if they left the commercials in—let the networks monitor the trackers, (for that matter, let them host them—and even produce the video file), add them to their ratings numbers, and sell advertising based on it.  It’s the gift that keeps on giving; ads keep producing, shows are distributed using bandwidth other people pay for, there’s even room to keep niche genre shows and repurpose old content. (I’d love to get copies of some of Fox’s older comedies, particularly some that were too edgy to last—Howie Mandell’s “Good Grief” for instance, which will probably never make it to a DVD set)

Of course, this isn’t likely to happen for a large variety of reasons…

Oh well.

In the meantime, read the Engadget article and enjoy it while you can…

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