Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Testing Flickr mail

A Picture Share!, originally uploaded by jeff_robertson.

Emailed directly from phone to flickr.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Places that viruses and trojans hide on start up

(Via BoingBoing) Damn, there are a lot of these!

Ted's Caving Page, with the story of his discovery in a local cave.

Via Slashdot. Haven't read the whole thing yet. Haven't read enough to be able to tell if this is a work of fiction or not. Great reading so far, though.

Update: I've read a little further... now I know the answer to my earlier speculations but I'm not going to let any spoilers out.

See also the Slashdot thread. And also an "updated" version of the story.

Rainbow - Twangers Clip

Is this real?

Monday, September 27, 2004

Netscape favicons

The "Netscape (Communications|Commerce|Enterprise) Server" is a product that as far as I know, no longer exists under that name. Long since rolled up into iPlanet and now SunOne. But I still run into sites that inexplicably have the Netscape logo as their favicon, in spite of having no connection to Netscape/AOL/Whatever. This apparently because they are still using Netscape Server, and it comes with the Netscape favicon by default.

Prime example: The Toronto Star, which also happened to be linked from Slashdot today.

For a long time, the U.S. House was sporting the "N" , but recently (as in just this past month) they seem to have finally come up with a favicon of their own.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate appears to have the Sun logo.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Oslo plans sewer safari park

"We will supply people with suits and let them paddle a rubber raft through the sewer system. Also we have now bought an amphibious vehicle that can drive in the tunnels. Making the sewer available for all is after all a way of giving us exposure
While the idea of officially sanctioned sewer exploration is interesting, I also like the ads on this site. Railroad tours of Norway? Hell yeah! And cheese!

Ace of Spades HQ: FAQ: What is the Deal With the Cowbell?

Even if you've got dial-up, trust me, fellas-- you're gonna want that cowbell.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Tutti i modelli del Commodore 64 / All C64 models

More variations on the C64 than I ever imagined.. check out the portable/luggable SX64.

Retro hair products, pt.2: Vaseline Hair Tonic

image courtesy of Note that in spite of the "Vaseline" name this product does not contain petroleum jelly. It is instead plain old mineral oil (henceforth abbreviated POMO) with some "fragrance" added. The fragrance can only be described as smelling like the 1940's. If you thought Old Spice smelled dated, you ain't smelled nothing yet.

Vaseline Hair Tonic goes way back. Google for it, and most of the hits are for people buying/selling/discussing collectible advertising. I'm not sure when it was introduced, but it was definately pre-WWII.

The effect of putting mineral oil in your hair is pretty much what you'd expect. You know how if you go a long time without washing your hair, your natural body oil (sebum, I think its called) eventually builds up and makes the hair greasy to the touch (well, that happens to some people anyway)? A moderate amount of Vaseline Hair Tonic is basically a way to achieve that oiliness instantly, allowing you to wash your hair everyday and still look like you didn't. In larger amounts it is really shiny, too. It basically never dries out, either. All day long your hair will be slick and slimy. And so will your scalp, which is exactly what I wanted from this product. Another advantage is, if for any reason you ever want to get some mineral oil on your hands, you can just run them through your hair.

There are two main disadvantages. One is that if you have a bald spot like me, be extra careful about going out into the sun. POMO is (in)famous for its ability to act like a magnifying glass for the UV rays and really fry your skin. (cf. the way a lot of women use baby oil, or at least used to before people found out about skin cancer).

The other drawback to this product is that it provides almost no 'hold'. It's pure slickness without the control that one normally associates with products such as creams and pomades. If you want the shine and the smell of Vaseline Hair Tonic but also want to be able to keep your hair in place like a 50's TV dad, you need to use it in conjunction with something else. (I think this is what Elvis did, btw)

Petroleum Jelly was apparently the adjunct of choice in the 50's and still works pretty good for this now. See also the comments about getting it on your hands, too. A lot of the more complicated hair products actually are based on a mixture of POMO and PJ, so this is really like rolling your own custom hair gel and letting you control the relative amounts yourself.

(Side note: petroleum jelly is apparently the real "greasy kid stuff" of the 50's. It's what young guys would put in their hair when they needed lots of cheap goop and couldn't afford pomade. Plain PJ offers plenty of hold (not as much as wax) but very little shine and it of course smells like... well, PJ. There is also a product called Tres Flores, apparently aimed at hispanic men, which consists of PJ and very strong cologne. My wife would probably kick me out of the house for using it).

Retro hair products, pt.1: background

This post begins an ongoing series on seriously old-sk00l mens' hair care products. The background is that I have suffered from either dry scalp or outright dandruff for a very long time. Dandruff shampoo didn't help. Prescription-strength dandruff shampoo didn't help. Bizarre, scary, steroid-containing substances only helped temporarily - when the prescription ran out, the dandruff came back.

In utter desperation I decided to deal with it the same way I deal with dry skin elsewhere - keep it good and greased up! I have some patches of skin that are so dry and flaky the only thing I can do with them is to keep lotion (especially Eucerin) on them 24/7. So I decided to try the same thing with my hair.

And let me tell you, for a nice, oily scalp there is nothing like the mid-20th-century hair products. Before the "dry look" came along and ruined everything. Most of these are still available. Look in the "mens hair" section of any drugstore right next to the Grecian Formula and such you will find things you probably didn't know they still sold. Creams, tonics, pomades of every persuasion. (Not to mention the shaving brushes and soap cakes... hmm, cake) Every Walgreens and CVS is slightly different, too, so there are plenty of opportunities to explore.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

CSS for ill-behaved handheld devices

My PCS phone's browser is either over-confident or just plain ignorant. Either thinks that it is a "screen" browser rather than a handheld device, or it is totally unaware of media types at all. In any case, it tries to interpret all CSS rules, even those explicitly set off inside "@media screen" blocks. It foolishly obeys CSS positioning, even when this results in things being positioned off of the right edge of the screen in no-man's land. And it really is no-man's land, because there is no horizontal scrolling.

Today the way to deal with devices like this finally hit me like a ton of bricks: import a "@media handheld" stylesheet after the "screen" stylesheet. Correctly behaving graphical browsers will ignore this stylesheet. Correctly behaving handhelds will see it and use. The beauty is, ill-behaved handhelds like mine will use it to! Just use this stylesheet to explicitly override all those positioning rules that the phone shouldn't have seen anyway.

@media handheld {
#container { position: static; }
#sidebar { position: static; }
#main { position: static; }
Viola! No more positioning!

Blocks In Java

Really good stuff.

Monday, September 20, 2004

FRB: Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act Home

The Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act (Check 21) was signed into law on October 28, 2003, and will become effective on October 28, 2004. Check 21 is designed to foster innovation in the payments system and to enhance its efficiency by reducing some of the legal impediments to check truncation.

Friday, September 17, 2004

What I Dreamed Last Night

A robot, looking very much like Bender from Futurama, fell into a ditch and died. (Stopped working, or whatever it is that robots do)

The robot's body split right down the middle, and opened like a clamshell. Smoke came out. The smoke separated into two "ghosts", both of which initially just looked like smoky sillouettes of the original robot.

The ghosts started wrestling. Slowly but surely one of them gained an advantage, but the fight never ended.

Over the course of what I somehow perceived to be an extremely long period of time, the one who was constantly losing the fight looked less and less like a smoky ghost robot and more and more like Gollum.

The other one, the winner, looked more and more like... the devil. Not with horns and a tail and a pitchfork and all that, just a guy with a goatee and a little pointy mustache and a really evil grin on his face.

I am blogging this in the hopes that someone reading this will do it up in Flash.

My Crappy Ivan Pictures

Lindbergh Drive, east of Piedmont avenue. Traffic is basically sitting still. At this point I was sitting in the middle of water that was probably up to the bottom on the car. The vehicles seen in the picture are clear of the water, not only because they are SUVs but also because they are past the deep part.

More Lindbergh
Taken from the same location. A vehicle is totally hidden from view by the wall of water that splashes up all around it. Traffic going the opposite direction from me is moving quickly, compared to my direction. Several times I was splashed with muddy water that went all over the top of the car and the windshield.

Spaghetti Junction
Spaghetti Junction. The picture doesn't show this, but there was quite a lot of water pooling up on some of the lower levels.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

World Trade Center Remembrance Day

It's a little bit late for my only 9-11 post this year, but I just now noticed that the calendar I have on my wall indicates that September 11 is "World Trade Center Remembrance Day (US)".

As in_parentheses says:
If your loved one died in the Pentagon or the plane over PA, though, I guess you're just screwed. No remembrance for you.

Also, is "remembrance" even a word?

A visual history of spam (and virus) email

This is pretty cool.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

LincMad's Area Codes of the 1970s

The period from 1/1/66 to 11/4/82 - almost 17 years - with only one area code split, was by far the longest period of stability in the history of the North American Numbering Plan. Over 40 new area codes were added during 1997 alone.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Zild Application Server

Zild is an application server written in C. Not Java, not .NET. Plain old C. Apparently targeted at the embedded systems market.

I might have seen this on Slashdot, but I'm not sure.

Looking at the examples, it looks like a pretty nice use of Abstract Data Types. Everything that would be a class in Java is an ADT here. They even call them "classes" some of the time. Check out their list of header files, it is almost 1-to-1 equivalent ot the Servlet library. From this, it's obvious that this is all aimed at developers with Java experience, to try to make them feel at home.

Apparently "servlets" are compiled to shared libraries that use the extension ".clazz" instead of ".so", just so everybody knows that they are the equivalent of Java classes.

It doesn't look like they have an equivalent for EJB, though.

Monday, September 13, 2004

92.9 Dave FM (see here) finally has a morning show. There goes the only commercial radio station that played actual music in the morning. This morning whrn I turned on the radio, I was subjected to the comedic banter of Barnes and Firfer. Which is Barnes from "Barnes, Leslie and Jimmy" on 99X, and Holly Firfer.

The Atlanta Radio Board is all lit up about it.

Friday, September 10, 2004


The "character maps" on the official Cliff's Notes website looks suspiciously like a variation of UML.

Two questions:
1. Which came first?
2. What does this add to the debate about UmlAsSketch vs UmlAsBlueprint ?

(Thanks to Scott)

Mead Data UBIQ Terminal

Lexis-Nexis originally wanted these terminals look as different from typewriters as possible, since many lawyers (even today) think that typing is beneath them. Here's a picture of the result, which looks something like a cross between a microwave oven and an overgrown remote control.

(Thanks to Jim Martin)

Ooqa Ooqa

Ooqa Ooqa is an incredibly annoying new advertizing product by Unitied Virtualities that replaces (not adds to... replaces) all the browser's chrome with a "branded" Flash version.

For instance, try this in a Flash-enabled browser:

Actually it seems to only work in IE, even though I do in fact have the Flash plugin installed in Mozilla. One more reason to not use IE!

(Thanks, Scott)

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Documentary hypothesis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The documentary hypothesis is a theory held by many historians that the five books of Moses (the Torah) are a combination of documents from different sources.

Documentary Hypothesis

This is just the first thing that a search for "documentary hypothesis" turns up. Probably more to come. This page includes the two different versions of the flood story in Genesis untangled from each other and presented side by side.

The Age of the Essay

You know I'm hard up for content when I have to parrot things from Slashdot two days in a row.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

The Underground History of American Education - John Taylor Gatto

(via Slashdot. See review) Save to read later.

You thought the backwards masking on "Stairway" was something!

Am I the only person who ever stared at the clouds (smoke, flames, whatever) on the cover of the first Led Zeppelin album:
Zep I Cover
Until I saw this:
(Yes, I also see the same thing on other versions of the Hindeburg picture.. it's not limited to the LZ version. But I never noticed it anywhere else until after seeing it here.)

Friday, September 03, 2004

Remember when I expressed annoyance about co-workers who prefer meetings to email?

Well, the only thing more annoying is people who apparently don't trust the email system at all. If they need to tell you or ask you anything, they can't stand to just send an email and wait the 5 or 10 minutes it might take to get a reply. No, their impatience is such that they have to phone you.

When I was a desktop technician, I was used to getting paged all the time because I was usually away from my computer and it might be hours between email readings. Now that I'm a developer I sit at my desk all day long with Outlook running, and if anything I'm guilty of responding to e-mails too quickly. When the phone rings, I mentally equate that with really bad news, news so bad it can't wait for email.

But apparently everything is an emergency to some folks.

Google is dying

(via Cryptome)
Google is dying. It broke sixteen months ago and hasn't been fixed. It looks to me as if pages that have been noted by the crawler cannot be indexed until some other indexed page gives up its docID number. Now that Google is a public company, stockholders and analysts should require that Google give a full accounting of their indexing problems, and what they are doing to fix the situation.

See also: Is Google broken?

Wednesday, September 01, 2004


The ads seen at the top of this page (if you're actually reading this with a web browser, that is) now pay me money when people click on them. We'll see how this goes. Back when was still an advertise-your-indie-band service, I used to have some files on that were supposed to earn money when people listened to them. I think I made like 1 cent in three years.

I Saw Her In The Anti War Demonstration

by Jens Lekman
you're looking for me in the demonstration
well I have already lost patience
and you might find me sitting by the pavement
or maybe not, 'cause I have shrunk
I fell in love with a punk and she took my breath
now there's nothing left
of blood enough to feed a family
well I just wanna feed Emily
with lukewarm English beer and vegan pancakes
I saw her in the anti war demonstration
it was a sweet sensation of love
when I was sixteen I hung out with the kids who lacked it
the kind of punks that were born in leather jackets
the kind of punks who placed themselves in brackets
and she was one of them, back then she was somebody's girlfriend
and I was no one, I had nothing
and the skies, were clear blue skies
and her eyes, were clear blue eyes
and her thighs, were about the same size as mine
and we were walking in the anti war demonstration
it was a sweet sensation of love, of love
it was a sweet sensation of love

If you can track down some MP3s of this Lekman guy, he sounds exactly like what would've happened if Morrissey had been born about 15 years earlier and been part of the summer of love.