Sunday, December 10, 2006

New Shows

Pants-Off Dance-Off is a little strange. But deserves to be seen at least once. Set your TiVos.

Also, TiVo should make a link format so that when I recommend a show, people can click the link and be taken to the TiVo site and they just have to log in and then the show is auto-scheduled for their boxes to record.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hosted Email

Meanwhile, on advice from Harry,'s email is now managed by Google's GMail for Businesses. This means that I told the hoster that hosts exonome's pages that they need to change their records so that computers wanting to deliver email to send it to Google's computers instead (also known as 'changing the MX record to point to Google's mailservers). Google sorts it all out and allows me to create mailboxes for on their GMail servers.

Like for Nelson, email had become useless to me, as I expect it has for almost everyone who has a vanity domain. Individual spam filters are just unable to keep up, especially if your domain is used as a fake return address. Google's spam filters are doing an excellent job filtering out the spam, as I can see by checking the spam folder. I suspect it is because they can compare a lot of mail going to a lot users to see what is nearly identical.

I create a new email address for almost everything I do on the net, and that lets me track spam. Turns out the old addresses I posted on Usenet with still get spam, even though they have been closed for years. So does the email address I made for a account, I guess Dice was careless and sold their list to the wrong person. But one of the biggest recepticles these days? fj at . No wonder LJ has set up all these new messaging systems that do not use email to let you know if you got comments. Pretty soon these accounst will be unusable.

And Then I'd Rule The World!

The success of Flickr and YouTube make me think that the next time I think "Wouldn't it be nice to have..." something for my electronic life, I should just go out and build it, especially now so many building blocks like storage and processing are available on-demand. I've been thinking for years now anyway that I want to stop working for large companies and chart my own course for something. I was all set to take a break and start considering what my venture would be at the end of April when my time with Nokia would end, and then this gig came along.

I have no experience being an enterepeneur, though, and no idea how. I'd just build something with as a little customization as my UI persona can get away with and stick AdWords on it.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Paint Memory

Over the phone:
"Hi, you don't sell Frazee paints, do you?"
-- "No, but we can match the colors."
"Can I bring in the color name and number."
--"Yeah, which one?"
"748 Swiss Coffee"
--"Yeah we can match that."

In the store:
"I need a match to Frazee 748 Swiss Coffee"
--"Did you bring in a sample?"
"No, I was told over the phone you could match it by number."
--"Oh ok, let me look for it ... maybe the chart is here ... hold on a sec..."

Three people are consulted

--"We can't seem to find the chart for thet color anywhere, let me check with him..."

Goes to other guy, other guy says four words.

--"So how do you want it."
"Uh, flat finish, one gallon?"
--"Ok, let me write that down..."
"So you found the formula?"
--"No, he knew it"
scribble scribble scribble
"Wait, that man knows Frazee color formulas by heart?"
--"Not all, but Swiss Coffee is very common."

Five minutes, hands me the can

--"So you guys still working on that loft?"
(Wait, he recognizes me?) "Well, we can only do work on weekends."
--"Ah yeah, I get that, tomorrow is my day off and I have to do everything in one day."
"Uh, good luck with that."
Standard goobye formula.

Back home:
Apply. It doesn't match. Maybe I didn't stirr enough wwhich I skimped on since it was blended yesterday. Or the builder wrote down another color than was actually used on these walls. Or someone got the formula wrong.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Technology Bullshit

I have my own domain, It is hosted by nshosts through a reseller, I have been chugging along with this set up for quite some time.

One of the things it gave me was a catch-all mailbox. It was a mail account with a special name, 'catchall', and all the mail to that could not be delivered to another address on exonome would be put there. Which basically means I had an unlimited amount of email addresses, which I used with abandon according to this plan I had., fj.livejournal, fj.adobe, all, every time some websites asked for a new website address I would make one on the spot. All mail would go to the catch-all address anyway.

Well, I got joe-jobbed, but not maliciously, I think, but like on the Wiki page is described under 'automated spam'. Some spammer sent a huge spam run to thousands of addresses with fake return addresses, all from Well, all the spam mail that was undeliverable, and it was a lot, got 'undeliverable mail' messages sent to They all ended up in the catchall mailbox.

I couldn't delete this by hand. It would take forever. So I went to the nshosts panel and blew away the catchall account. I thought I'd remove it, all the messages would be dropped, and then I'd make the catchall account again, and everything would be back to normal.

It didn't go that way. When I tried to make the catchall mailbox again for exonome, I got the message that nshosts no longer supports those. They were to prone to dictionary attacks -- where a spammer goes down the list of dictionary words to try to guess email addresses at a domain, and those would all end up in catchall -- or the joe job I just got subjected to.

Adobe just called, they tried to send me email to the name I registered with them, fj.adobe @ That email mailbox does not exist, that mail is supposed to go to catchall. I don't have one. I have tons of emails coming in like that. And now they will all bounce, unless I switch mail providers, and probably therefore hosters, soon. Wonderful.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


First of all, a shout-out to all my ex-Nokia friends now(?) at SavaJe. All of you, I hope things end up going well for you.

On another note, I love LinkedIn, it is the only social network besides LJ that I am still part of. But I am not liking the habit of recruiters sending me mail wanting to link with me using verbiage or intonation to make it look like we are good acquaintances, or even friends. It is spammy, and creepy. I rack my brains when I get them, wondering just how bad my memory is, until I decide that, hey, we actually have not met. You just want me in your Rolodex. And that stinks.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Bizet Mayhem Ensues

So Peter Gabriel decides that to get more attention for his record label, he will release the individual intrument tracks of "Shock The Monkey" for download to remix and then...

Friday, September 29, 2006

Indirection For Indecency

Nokia gave me a phone, and a phone number. I had it for 7 years, handing it out left and right as I travelled throuh the various NC-17 parts of life I have. When I left Nokia, I strongly suggested they retire it -- whomever would get it after me might get some strange calls. I doubt they did.

GrandCentral is a service where you get a phone number from them that you can give to people, and then can make rules on their website where the calls to this number should be routed to. You can choose to have all calls to your GrandCentral number ring your cell and home phone, or you can put callers in groups and make different rules for them, like your Family goes to all phones, but calls to your GrandCentral number from work contacts only rings the phone at work. When you pick up a GrandCentral call, you are actually not directly connected to the calling party, but the GrandCentral computer will tell you who is calling, and you can elect to send them to voice mail that you can listen in to as the caller is recording it. And I do miss listening to messages from my answering machine as they are being recorded. If you take a call from someone who dialled your GrandCentral number, the GrandCentral computer keeps listening in, and by pressing '4' the computer will start recording the call and send the result to email when the call is over. Stuff like that. (Hi Wildfire!)

Anyway, people with work cellphones but 'interesting' personal lives could get a GrandCentral number and write it on bathroom stallsdistribute it within their 'interesting' personal life a) without fear of ever having to switch numbers if they change their personal phone infrastructure, and b) being able to decide how their 'interesting' calls should be routed and handled.

Limited sign-up is free. GrandCentral wants to be a central number for all the different phones in your life, but I see GrandCentral being used differently: GrandCentral will be an extra number people will use for specific aspects of their life. I foresee people having multiple GrandCentral numbers instead of one, and GrandCentral taking off within all kinds of communities in no time.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


So ever since went off the air for four months and then came back more acrimonious than ever, I have been looking for other websites for my link fix to keep me Ahead of The Pack. Currently, I am checking out Digg, which seems to be Slashdot for people who also switch on CNN and FNN besides the Sci-Fi channel.

Digg is in love with Web 2.0 -- a very tortured love -- and links often to pundits and blog entries about this new way of working the web with websites built around audience participation, blogs, collectives, social entries and networking, and very dynamic technologies. Currently I keep running into posts about How To Succeed In Web 2.0 Ventures that all reference this idea by some guy named Seth Godin that your new web site product should be new and interesting and edgy and unsafe and stand out from the crowd and appeal to a definite niche, and then the thing will presumably market itself. Being a safe product requires a marketing budget, being a targetted product will make your audience do your marketing through word-of-mouth, or something.

The image he uses to vsiualize this is about making a Purple Cow.

Oh dear. Yeah, I am sure my European friends are having the same reaction I had. A Purple Cow as the height of quirky and innovative? Um, yeah, well, it would be, if a purple cow -- ok, well lavender, or lilac, but still purple -- hadn't been one of the most constant commercial images on TV and Print in large parts of Europe for at least the last twenty years.

Now, I have to say, the latest versions of the Milka cow are blue-er than I remember her, but she's still a damn purple cow. But edgy? Differentiated? Niche? Stands out from the crowd? Word Of Mouth? Only about how well Milka softly melts therein. It is a fine chocolate, but not a stellar or particularly remarkable one. Well, not in its home country; here in the US, where the standard for a chocolate bar, Hersheys, resembles mostly a flattened dark brown candle of which the wick has been surgically removed, Milka is a triumph of chocolaterie.

So yeah, Purple Cow. I am having issues with the Web 2.0 hype anyway, although I do recognize valuable Web 2.0 moments, community or otherwise, but the pundits latching on to an image to convey something it definately does not the moment you step into Western Europe doesn't do much to make me take dear Seth more seriously. Then again, the German site of Milka lets us join the Kuh-munity. Maybe Milka is really Web 2.0 after all.

Friday, September 15, 2006

A Letter

Dear Nintendo

A few years ago, during a pre-Christmas trip to all my siblings and then my father's home, I had a chance to leave your Gamecube under the tree. I had left Boston thinking that is what I wanted to do, but by first visiting all my nieces and nephews in Paris, Tongeren, and Amsterdam, I was able to see what they played with, and guage that indeed, while the older boys had PS2 and played Xbox with friends, and the girls played the simple games on my dad's pre-PowerPC Macintosh, by their direct long answer to 'So what about the Gamecube?', they knew you. Oh yes, the boys had GBAs and had played your franchises, and though their loyalty to those I saw that, as rowdy and soccer-playing and action-toy-shredding boys the oldest ones were, they knew you, and loved your cheerful outlook and innocence.

I knew they'd all be at my Dad's for Christmas (all ten loinfruit, and their parents, in that one house), so on the 20th or 21st of December I trekked to the local toy shop in that small village in the Netherlands my Dad lives in, and came home with your product and Mario Kart Double Something and extra controllers. I proceeded to unpack your product next to the second TV In The Corner Far Away From The Main Living Room, and showed my Dad exactly how to hook up the unit, after which I hid it in the cupboard above the TV. Then I wrapped the empty packaging and the accessories and left that under the tree. I think the toy shop was out of memory cards, so I had my sister buy one and bring it last minute.

For my siblings it would have been a serious expense, but really, for DINKy me it was, although not cheap, something I could easily do. I told my father to tell the 10 that no, it wasn't from Santa. It wasn't from Sinterklaas. It was from me. I wouldn't be there for their birthdays and Christmasses -- because I live sofar, and because I wouldn't be able to handle it, as I am not good around a gaggle of young children, I have a hard enough time relating to them when I just visit them in small groups of three or four at their families -- but this I could leave.

It's been however many years now, and my father still thanks me when my regular call happens to fall shortly after a visit from a sibling. Sure, every non-Nintendo fanboy out there thinks you are a Kid's Toys Company, that there is nothing edgy and hot about you. 3 years or however long it has been, and my father still thanks me. Whenever one of my siblings visits, the kids all go to the corner far away, and play party games for hours on end. Suddenly my Dad can talk to his children during a visit, and everyone gets to relax. At mealtime or for some outing they peel the children out of the corner and they all get ot interact, and when it gets much they go to the corner again. The kids love going to Grandpa and will sit in the car for hours for it. The older boys -- my siblings who started breeding first got more boys than the one who started later -- started teaching the girls how to play together and are all protective and sharing.

Do I like it when I find out they play PS2 for hours at home? Not really. Do I mind when I hear visits to Grandpa are dearly loved and go smoother because they get to binge on a weekend? Totally not. Grandpas are for Fun. Your simple fun, kid friendly, party box changed a family dynamic to make it even better. Grandpa's is going to be remembered as a place where they went to party and play with each-other and share and fight and rivalrize and grow up together, even if it was only once or twice a year -- a relationship I did not have with my cousins. Even if I only count the oldest 6 or so as players, over three years, it all adds up to one of the most long-term, cost-effective, and fun things I have ever done for someone else.

But just as I was getting afraid they were getting bored with this box, there you go and save Christmas again. Please make sure your supply chain works and you make your European launch date with ample inventory. For you have compelled me to make my pre-Christmas visit again, even if I already spent five weeks in the Netherlands this February, and thus saw 6 of the 10 this year (my brother and his family are in Milan right now, and I simply didn't make it that far south). This experience has to be under Opa Rocus' Christmas tree this year, and I must install it myself to make sure it will work right the moment they unpack the oblong boxes of spare controllers and realize that if this is a Wii controller in their hand that they just unpacked then that must mean.... and run to the TV In The Corner screaming the name of your product.

Thanks again,
Love, FJ!!

PS: December 8th? You're missing Sinterklaas seazon in NL! A little shabby there.

(Geez, I'd better friendslock this in a while. I am sure the oldest ones read English by now, and I keep expecting one of them to find my journal some day.

And tell my siblings not to buy a Wii for them this Christmas.)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A Letter

Dear TiVo

I know I used to buy a new box when it came out just as a show of support. You know I love you, even if I haven't switched you on yet since the move. You know I consider everyone else pale imitations, and can barely handle watching TV without you.

But 800 bucks for your latest Series 3 HD version? No. I have no HD equipment nor content, and it is just too much money to just buy to make sure you stay in business. You'll have to find someone else.

Love, FJ!!

PS, not to you but to Susan D.: sell those shares.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Chemical Film

I wanted to document the state of The Loft before I did anything infrastructural to it. My good digital camera is in Boston. So I went down to the Rite Aid to buy a disposable chemical camera. And found out that 80% of the disposable cameras had been switched to APS film -- which is inferior to 35 mm -- and that all but one brand was using ISO 800 film, which is usually pretty dismal film.

I found one cam using Fuji ISO 400 film, and did my stuff, before and after the Flor project. Then I went down to the Rite Aid to have it developed, and, knowing that I would mostly want to use the results digitally anyway, asked to have it put on Picture CD. Then I found out why you always got a set of prints with that: the way Rite Aid fills that request is by making a set of prints and passing the prints through a scanner. I almost went for it, but their machine was on the fritz, so I passed.

A week later I am at the Target on La Brea, and I go to their photo-center. They do not seem to make you always buy a set of prints with a Picture CD, and their Machine looks Bigger, so I am hoping that the result I walked away with an hour later, just a CD and index print and the negs, was made by directly auto-scanning the negs onto the CD.

Today I put the CD in the machine at work, and instantly remembered why I found my transition in the early nineties from chemical to digital so painful: the scans are totally grainy. Just pushing brightness and contrast do nothing helpful, I have to despeckle and de-noise and what not. I used to do this forever and over and over when I got my first film scanner off eBay -- all researched and compared and made sure it was SCSI bus scanner for the extra special SCSI-based PC we had custom built in '96 -- when you could still get bargains on eBay. I got some good results our of that, but boy was it tedious, and I have completely forgotten how to do that.

I need a digital print manager professional or something. Or maybe I just shot crappy under-exposed pics.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

What Happens When You Switch Me To A Mac That Is On The Office Network

"I want you to know that I have lost all respect for you now that I have browsed your iTunes collection."

He took it in stride. He knows he is way hipper than me anyway.

Of course I haven't brough my music in. Like I am going to allow my cow-orkers to see my wasteland of one-hit-wonders...

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Random Observations

Like whatever happened to collect-calling and 10-10 calling services? Has the market for alternative long distance services imploded in the US? Does Carrot Top have any work? Turns out the Wikipedia knows all.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Today's Call To Helpdesk

Me, giggly: "You know, when I consented to being put on hold, I was not informed that the hold music would be It's A Small World."
Him, so apologetic: "Yeah, really sorry about that. If I could change it I would. Was it the hip hop version?"

Monday, June 26, 2006


-- "Hi FJ!!"
"Today, I needed my fix so bad, I did something not good. I came home and realized I had left my mobile phone charger at work, so I knew I couldn't use the Internet because I couldn't charge the phone. And I thought, well, I'll just do some stuff off-line: answer some very old mail, play a game, relax."
-- "So what happened?"
"I looked at the wall-phone, and fired up the cell-phone modem for a quick google look-up. 'dial-up 213' 10 minutes later I entered my credit card"

Yes, sigh uncomfortably. I know it was stupid, and I promise that when I try to cancel I will make a recording of the call. But PeoplePC swears that I can cancel at any time during my 30 day trial, and it is a local call...

Dial up. I had almost forgotten how that negotiation sounds. What is that strange boing in the middle these days anyway?

Sunday, June 25, 2006

You Can't Take Pictures Here

You Can't Take Pictures Here
"You Can't Take Pictures Here", Nokia 6600, Los Angeles County, 2006

Hope Street in downtown LA is bissected, in part, by this developemnt: it is a bank tower of US Bank and a plaza with stair cases and fountains. It is right accross from the public library. As I was descending the stairs you see here, I pulled out the phonecam to make some pictures. A man in a business suit and a red tie approached me to tell me that I couldn't take pictures here. "Is this not public property?" I asked. He respeated that I could not take pictures here, and again I asked if this was public property. He answered that this was private property which allowed public use, and no picture taking was just policy. I smiled and put my cam away. Downstairs I saw two more of these men, and realized the suits and ties were actually uniforms of the security company.

I crossed the street to the LA Public Library, and took this picture there.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Fun With Utilities

On a good day, only so many of my social transactions work. One always fails. So today, while I did get my car washed -- you're supposed to do that in LA or the grime gets baked in, no waiting for some rain like in Boston -- and I did get all my laundry dropped off -- but I only get it back Monday after 4, so Tuesday morning, and lord knows what I will wear to work -- I did not get cable. Sure, he was in my appartment, and with his Pust-To-Talk phone and supervisor on the other end found everything, but there was this one electrical closet down the hall that he didn't know the combination to the lockbox to. The supervisor could tell him where junction was in the unit -- above the false ceiling of my bathroom -- but not what the code was.

The emergency building number person didn't even know there was a lockbox for the key, but was able to tell me I should have scheduled all maintenace people with them first. When I did get a callback from a supervisor, he as well told me what I should have done, which was involve them first. It seems I need to coordinate 3 people -- me, the building people, and whomever comes to do work -- before I can get anything done here. I let everyone know I was not amused.

It is because one of these interactions always fails that I do not like to ask anyone anything in a commercial transaction. I do not like to ask shopkeepers or retail workers where things are or how they work or what I have to do to get it; it is never there, they always act as if you should have known already and you need to be talked down to, and it always takes jumping through hoops like coming back on a Wednesday afternoon between 1 and 3. I don't like calling maintenance or service people; I do not know the words for physical issues, they always end up using terms like lay-away and 'drainage lock remover' or crap like that like everyone knows what it means, and it takes me forever to basically find out what I want can't actually be done or is something they have never heard of and can't imagine why someone would want that. You read for a week and then you never want to talk to anyone in any commercial capacity again because you realize that unless you are handing over hundreds of dollars and make yourself their bitch, you are basically imposing by having a need to be commercially filled. It has made me phobic by now.

I did find the combination, this afternoon, and actually had someone else open it for me, because somehow I can't work this particular combination knob. I had a copy made of the key to that closet, to remain in my control. I obviously cannot rely on anyone being anywhere or doing anything to solve my problems, I need to have full control myself. Comcast offered to come by at all kinds of times when I should be at work, the dears, but certainly not back today, no matter how I pleaded to just do this 5 minute job. The people in the sales office who show these units called to see if everything was ok, and when I said what had happened, they could of course tell me that Comcast had been shown ten times where the box was, how it worked, and who had the combination. Point, point, point, everyone so pleasant but stuck in their systems, but the end result is that obviously I will remain connected only through my cell phone until next Saturday.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Upload Secretly

The NYT has an article about the guy who went on a quest about his friend's lost Sidekick. 'Sidekick' is the name for a mobile device that has a small keyboard and a camera and a phone, and everything you shoot with it, or all the websites you visit, automatically get logged onto T-Mobile's web servers which you can check from your desk.

The friend left it in a cab, did not get it returned, logs into the T-Mobile web servers to check what the Sidekick was doing, and, lo and behold, she finds someone has used her device. The whole saga of what happened next is on the page, and it is a fairly riveting read on a number of levels besides just the story itself, like
  • Learning the hard way how to handle a high-traffic website,
  • Learning the hard way how forums end up working on a personal level
  • Learing the hard way to handle reputation-management on the Internet (tip: don't get sucked in)
  • How the cops try to game their own system to create the least amount of work for themselves, and can absolutely not stand challenges to their procedures.

It makes me wonder about how and I handled our own version of this; when our apartment was broken into and the perp used the phone 30 minutes after the break in. Now the BPD was not as unhelpful as the NYPD -- and a case could be made that no crime happened in the Sidekick case because it was not stolen -- but in our case the BPD wasn't really helpful about a breaking-and-entering where we could give them full stats on the likely perp -- the person who used the phone 30 minutes after the break-in. You think my phone got fenced in 30 minutes or less, hmm?

I should have made a web-page, instead of scattering our finds amongst entries. Collected the info about his hunnies that called me, and become a media sensation. Harnessed the Internet. Instead, we let it go after getting nowhere ourselves; burglaries are really not a prosecuted crime.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Cyc Now

If Cyc could actually read and understand an encyclopedia, I'd hook it up to the Wikipedia, cuz then it would know just as much as if it did Brittanica, yet seem way more with it.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Glamour Shot of Sonu UX ultra-portlable

About time we got a new entry in the U line. Hopefully this will also make OQO try harder. And yes, I have seen the US product page on SonyStyle, but it hardly has any info yet.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

So Is Having A Survey And I Find...

  1. With regard to off-line venues, I have met new men to date sexually: check all boxes that apply

    1. Through friends
    2. At clubs/bars

    1. Whenever I am incarcerated
    2. Other
      Please specify

I am not making this up. I think someone got bored.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Internets Give To Me

Am I the only one who caught the Golden Girls reference in Desperate Housewives this week?

I finally saw it. I tried to download it from the TiVo at home over the public internet, but the connection is so bad the sustained FTP does not work. In frustration I downloaded a BitTorrent client and hit (thanks, Mike). This torrent thing is god slow, but it survives running on terrible flaky bursty connections for large files. Technically I only have the right to watch an NTSC copy with commercials, but I ended up selecting a version that had commercials edited out from a High Definition broadcast.

My god. The stereo sound. The picture clarity. Clearer, sharper, widescreen, fullscreen.

I am sold on downloading again. Not since the original Audiogalaxy have I felt like this. But I'll only download stuff that my TiVo recorded off TV. I think that is kind of fair.

60% Of the NSFW Problem Could Be Taken Care of Right Here

I would like LJ a lot better if it allowed to read my page over https. Sure the URL would show up in the corporate logs, but they couldn't see what I am reading on it.

Then again, all the external links people embed would show up to. And my desk is positioned such that I'd still have the 40% problem, which is why I haven't brough in my personal laptop to work yet. And I am not sure how I am going to do that now that I am supposed to split my time over two locations, Glendale and North Hollywood: lug around two laptops, work + personal? Nuh-uh.

It seems obvious to me now that I need to miniaturize my portable personal electronic communication needs even further -- personal email, web browsing, IM, music. OQO? Harddisk is too small for my music collection. Nokia E61 loaded with a multi-IM client + an iPod? Geez, I'd essentially be carrying two phones.

Yes, I do insist on a keyboard, so the 770 Tablet is out.

Sunday, April 09, 2006


So, I have this smartphone, and it has all these contacts on it. Switching smartphones every year, or having more than one at the same time, while not having a Macintosh with iSync, means I had a synchronization problem. Fortunately, a free service called allowed me to keep one central list of my contacts, and synchronize my phones with it over the air, wherever I was.

I like the service. It makes a back-up before every sync, so if the sync goes wrong you can go back to where you were. If your data-plan does not cost you an arm and a leg, and you do not back up your contacts anywhere, I really do recommend a service like this. It supports Motorola phones (including the V3 RAZR) and LG phones and many other phones too, even ones not listed there, if they support SyncML.

Now the contacts editor allows for uploading small pictures for every contact, so I have been adding LJ userpics for some of you I have in my list and whose picture is your face, which means that, should you ever call me, your face will flash on my screen.

I just now saw that mobical allows me to send a request email to a contact with an embedded URL so the email recipient can update hir contact info on the website directly -- if the spamtrap doesn't trhwo away email coming from already. That would be dangerous. Who knows what pictures you guys would upload for yourselves.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

A Slight Obsession Buds

I am wondering if offering the kid fifty bucks might get me fj on MySpace. I can't see how active the profile is.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Tech Fails

Oh poop. My uploads to Flickr from my phone are just failing. Don't think I am at any limit, but I already just lost one pic -- I used to delete from my phone right after I sent -- and other sends seem to require multiple tries.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Totally Morbid, Totally Fascinating

Thanks to BoyElectric .

If you are into trashy reality shows like COPS, this is gold. Trainwreck gold. When Euros ask me what life in America really is like for kids, this should be part of the picture.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Free Public WiFi!

Now that I work near MIT, I can see all kinds of WiFi nets. Only one is open, labelled MIT. I bet you need some extra token or so for it, or everything on it is logged and sent to a billboard. Should ask and about this.

However, both here and at LAX, a network called "Free Public WiFi" popped up. Having been in post dot-com computing and the US long enough to be suspicious of free lunches, in both cases before connecting I noticed XP had identified is as a computer-to-computer network. I suspect there's some software out there that lets your WiFi laptop advertise itself with that string, and will download every cookie, every password, every command that computers duped into connecting to that network send on.

I told Puppy IV to avoid it.

Monday, March 06, 2006

So Really, That's How I Can Help You?

I professionally re-cast myself and updated my resume to reflect what I think are the problems I solve well and want to continue to solve. I still need to update my page of case studies to include the latest work on the websites. I updated my resume as well yesterday at half past midnight, and went to bed.

These days, is a strange place anyway. First of all, on the US site, almost every click to change your profile leads to an ad for some service that you have to accept or reject in order to be able to go do the next thing on monster -- and one of them was whether I would allow to send my data to the Army for recruitment. Will dared me to click yes; he wanted to see what they would do with a 35 year-old high-tech homo goshdarn furriner. I told him that I would for a branch more befitting my level of snobbery, Air Force or Marines maybe, but the Army?

Second, I recently read some numbers that, at its most generous, finds jobs for, oh, 3% of the people looking there. Which led according to the writer to the conclusion that is only viable if you think your skill set and electronic presentation thereof puts you in the top 3% of your field. I can find fault with the math and assumptions all over the place of that statement, but there is a point there: you really have to stand out in that noise, I bet. Same goes of the jobs, though -- the best job ad for me I have seen in NYC in the last year was not on Monster, but on Craigslist.

This morning I have already received 4 emails and one phone-call from recruiters for jobs here in New England, which I want to leave. I just now amended my profile to reflect that by putting 'Seeking in Europe, Canada, NYC, LA" in my address line. All of them are hardcore development, which I am moving away from, most likely triggered by a keyword search.

I am not writing this as some 'Recruiters suck!' entry, because I have dealt with some nice ones when I have interviewed for companies, people who actually read what I wrote. I am writing this to mention that upon receiving my response that I was not available for the New England position s/he wanted to bring to my attention, I received a response to that asking
Thanks for the reply. I am trying to get in touch with someone that works with Nokia outside of the US. Can you tell me how Nokia's email is configured? Also since you are planning to leave Nokia would you be willing to give the the names of some referrals? I would really appreciate this.
Yeah, I am sure you would, hun.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Bug Report

When adding a Yahoo! account to the Yahoo software on the TiVo Series 2 bozes, note that TiVo will reject passwords with symbols like % & ! # @ in them. This while Yahoo! does allow passwords with these symbols. Consequently, a number of users will not be able to add their accounts until they dumb down their passwords, increasing the chance the passwords are cracked.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Your Security Measures Annoy Me

It seems that today, LJ is putting Cascading Style Sheets [CSS] files through a proxy. And filtering out CSS files that have instructions to include other CSS files.

I have a number of blogs and pages. They all share the same look, something I call Brand FJ!!, because they all pull their style sheets from the same directory on . It is a carefully managed structure of styles being broken down into small files, some referencing each-other, so that on every website I can import the pieces I need to make it all look similar. When I decide to make a change, this way the change propagates to all sites, and the brand is updated here, on my own pages, and on my various other inter-and intranet blogs.

LJ will no longer allow users to use CSS files that reference other CSS files. The CSS files are no longer loaded directly, when LJ serves a page it rewrites the import header
<link rel="stylesheet" href="" type="text/css" />
<link rel="stylesheet" href=" u=" type="text/css" />
making the stylesheet be examined through this new proxy. If I enter in my url bar, I get the CSS code. If I enter u= I get
/* suspect CSS: import rule */

I've got some work to do to fix this. If I can. Having to unravel all my imports may hurt.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Electronic Life

I am in a train in the Netherlands to see my father, watching last night's Best Week Ever I downloaded over the Internet from my TiVo in Boston on my mini-tablet PC, while posting this during a commercial break using my BT phone.

It all just needs a little more affordable miniaturization to be more comfortable. And better MPEG2 drivers. Gawd these NVidia things suck. Sound doesn't sync until I move the slider just once, which can lead to random Windows Media Player lock-ups. Sure as hell not springing for those once the trial period is over.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Mijn Emoties Moeten Tegenwoordig Illustraties Hebben

Supposedly every language is best at communicating some emotion. French is supposed to be for love, and Spanish for passion, German for description, or whatever. Dutch, in this pantheon, is best for sarcasm and cynicism. Really. If I am supposed to be this master of dry verbal humor in English, it is because I had a lifetime of practice in the language of a culture so ready to bite that saying "Thank you" in a perfectly neutral tone is dangerously close in normal conversation to come across as a veiled "Yeah whatever." I am utterly serious here. Smile when you say "Bedankt." Nod. Give an up-lilt. Something.

The whole language is emotionally rooted in this irony, and I deeply love it for its amazing possibilities in that area. But I just noticed it has had one repercussion on my expressions, now that I have returned. I have been communicating in writing over the Internet since 1988, but most of it has been English, and consequently my intuition of how words are received were shaped in that language. I have certain expectations of how words and phrases will land. One of my checks before sending is reading what I wrote mechanically, absolutely flat, to get a sense of what could be projected into the words and what seems to be there intrinsically. Well, check that first paragraph: every time I do that I feel I sound like an ironic cynical bastard, and I know of only one way to correct that: after years of seeing them as the easy way out, I am practically ending every sentence on messaging systems with a smiley. Especially when saying no, thank you.

I really need to read more how people write online in this language.