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Hoax emails and the auto-forward culture
12/15/2005 03:53 a.m.
Lately friends, family, and friends of family have decided that I need to be included in their flurry of forward emails. You know the kind, emails that are cute, funny, or scary. Perhaps they're a call to action or friendly warning. Generally these emails fall into two categories: happy emails and sad emails. Happy emails have funny or patriotic pictures. Cute and fuzzy bunnies and American flags with a crying bald eagle with "9-11 Never Forget" stamped over them. Funny emails of hot girls and ugly girls side by side. You know what I mean. These emails are a waste of bandwidth. Yes jokes are funny. But when I have to weed through every one of your friends email addresses, and their friends email address, and their friends email address to get to the joke, well I'm just tired and ready to move on. If you're going to forward cute and fuzzy emails, at least clean out the email headers from when you click forward. Better yet, don't forward it. Or if you want to be really cool, ask your friends if they want to be on your SPAM list of noxious cuteness prior to sending them said spam. Why is it spam? Spam's generally considered "Unsolicited Email." If I didn't solicit you to send me monkeys flinging poop at people watching at the zoo, then I'm not terribly concerned if my email program carefully files your email in the Spam folder.

Scary emails are where the hoaxes come in. It's unlikely the FCC is about to rule that Christianity can't be talked about on the radio or TV if you've not heard about it on the radio or TV, even if that email said Dr. James Dobson said it was so. It's very likely he didn't. And why not go to Dr. Dobsons website and see what he has to say about it? If he feels so strongly that he wants an email forwarded to all of your friends, he would probably ask for it on his website. In this case, his website dispells the myth. How did I find that magic article? Google. Simply typing "Dobson FCC petition" yielded several pages in the top spots pointing out it was a hoax. Amazing thing, it took less time to do that then it would take to include every friend, relative, and co-worker from my address book on my soon to be forwarded email.

Ok that's one scary type, the call to action... The other is the doomsday, sky-is-falling, internet is going to explode and President Bush has personally tapped your computer riding a patriot act cruise missle in a blaze of Dr. Strangelove glory. The worst virus ever is out! There is some benfit to computer related emails like this, it will possibly scare the person who is inclined to read it and forward it to me and all the world, out of opening attachments that say "Brittany Spears Nude Screen Saver" or "I make greeting card for happy you.zip." YES email viruses are real. They're real because people open attachements and run the viruses. But if you get an email that says "OMG CNN SAYS WORSE VIRUS EVER" why not check CNN and see if it's true? If not you're just wasting time and scaring people. If it is true, it's likely that when people check the news, watch tv, etc, they will find out about it. Unless they live on a small island in the south pacific and only enter the numbers 4 8 15 16 23 42 into their computer.

One more thought on these emails. Usually people send these emails to all of their friends displaying all of their friends email addresses for all to see. This is like sending phone numbers out all over the internet. When I see a list of emails like that, it makes me want to email photos of you out to every email address I can find. You know the ones, you were at my party, drunk, dancing naked on the table. I don't think your Aunt Jean would want to have to endure THOSE photos. Think of Aunt Jean.
I am currently Zealous
I am listening to Ministry - Test

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Things to come...
01/27/2005 07:27 p.m.
Collabrative writing. One of the things I've wanted to do for a long time is make the circles more than a social club, but actual give them tools to make them more of a working group. I've been actively developing a module for the new site that will allow for poetry to be edited by all members of a circle, saving revisions, and allowing for notes. For those of you who are more technical minded, the base is a Wiki object, and it is inheirited by an object I'm calling CircleWiki on eMuse. This is one of the many new things that is coming in eMuse :)
I am currently Cheerful
I am listening to Radiohead - The National Anthem

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Hubble Deep Field
03/09/2004 06:53 p.m.
NASA published the most amazing photo taken with the Hubble. It's the deepest photograph of our universe to date. I've made it into a bunch of different sized desktop wallpapers. Can you believe that NASA is planning on shutting down it's Hubble program and scrapping this awesome satellite based observatory? I can't think of proof needed beyond this photo for evidence of God's divine creation. In my opinion such beauty and order can't be the child of random chance.
I am currently Amazed
I am listening to Crass - Best Before... 1984

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SCO extortion, how low can they go?
01/21/2004 11:22 p.m.
Being the frivolous lawsuit magnet that I am, it seems that the company that I work for, through me, has become the target of SCO extortion attempts. I was one of the lucky 1000 to receive SCO’s December 19th 2003 letter. When I decided the best tact was to ignore it and wait for their next move, I received this (bigger) letter threatening legal action if I did not meet with them or address their concerns. I addressed their threats as you can read here. Lets hope that this is the last of it, but I doubt it will be.
I am currently Bemused
I am listening to Pink Floyd - More

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Lackluster
12/17/2003 04:20 a.m.
I don’t know if it’s a slow steady decline from a moderately fast rise to fame for Dave Matthews or what, but as a long time fan, I have to tell you that his new album is anything but stellar in my opinion. The highlight of the album “Gravedigger,” which is obviously his pick as well as it appears twice on the main cd, is reminiscent of Bartender and has a touching theme. The rest of the cd is filler music, hardly varying from the common uninspiring theme. Some songs touch on 80’s-esq influences, while the attempt to throw an orchestra behind others doesn’t make the album sound any less flat and hollow.

If you’re a fan, skip this one, download Gravedigger, and listen to Under the Table.

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Edwin Starr had it all wrong...
12/08/2003 09:29 p.m.
"Oh no-there's got to be a better way
Say it again
There's got to be a better way-yeah
What is it good for?
*War has caused unrest
Among the younger generation
Induction then destruction
Who wants to die?
War-huh
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing"

I'm sure the relatives of over 500,000 dead iraqi's probably disagree...

Since it's now being reported that Saddam Killed 61,000 in Baghdad

And while we're at it, how about the fact that "In 2001, the U.N. Special Rapporteur for Violence against Women reported that since the passage of the reforms in 1991, an estimated 4,000 women and girls had been victims of "honor killings."" - Human Rights Watch report on Women's Status in Iraq.

and "Around June Muhammad Haj Rashid Hussain al-Tamimi was executed and his body handed over to his family. He had been arrested at his home in Baghdad in December 1997 on suspicion of organizing opposition groups. His brother, Colonel Tariq Haj Rashid Hussain al-Tamimi, had been executed in 1988 for his involvement in a plot to overthrow the government. "- Amnesty Internation's Human Rights Watch 1999 report on Iraq

But on a more positive side of things, Mercy Corps reports a bright future for Iraqis: Schools and hospitals are being refurbished from the wear of neglect and the violence of war. Livestock that died for lack of fodder or was looted is being restocked. Roads are being repaired and wells dug. War widows from a women’s cooperative garment factory are replacing sewing machines that were destroyed at the end of the war, and are finding markets for their products. Sewer systems that have been backed up for years or never existed are being repaired or installed. We are supporting decisions and priorities that Iraqis are arriving at themselves.

And let's not forget the positive news that comes from the Associated Press: "the biggest achievement for 14-year-old Farah Musawi, who has two siblings, is that Saddam's face is no longer on television. She enjoys the freedom to criticize Saddam in front of people who still love him." Not to say that this article is entirely positive, but there is hope to be gleamed from it.

Not everything is as bad as reported, and in my opinion from talking to our brave troops over in Iraq, and by looking at the big picture, and not a political one, my take is the world is a better place because of the Iraqi war. If you hate Bush, you like Bush, or are just indifferent, you have to concede that Iraq was a pretty bad place, and while it's still dangerous, it is improving, and that for the first time in a long time, Iraqis have input over their own destiny. If any politician wants to politicize the war in Iraq, or the situation in Iraq, let them answer the question "if we were not to save these people from the horrific human rights under Saddam, who would?" Sometimes a little less evil in the world is a good thing.


I am currently Good
I am listening to Edwin Starr - War

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Blogophile
12/02/2003 01:53 a.m.
I was checking out some blog sites the otherday and people post the most useless stuff. But they update their blogs/journals/sites frequently which tricks people into reading them. Maybe I should do that. I'm near completion on what will probably be the last minor revision of the pathetic.org v7.x series. Quite a few new features and such. There have been some lineup changes on the admin staff on pathetic, and there will a few more as people rotate in and out. I can't express how appriciative I am of the admins on pathetic, old and new. I like the new theme on the site too, it brings in a fresh feeling on the site.

My switch is behaving badly right now. I need to do a firmware upgrade and the tftp server didn't respond on the last reboot. Talk about chaos, breaking up servers on a major irc network is no fun.

My new system at work went through the holidays without any major issues.

I am currently Cheerful
I am listening to The Frog Brigade Set 2 of Course

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From of Brigadier General Michael Ferguson on location in Iraq
11/25/2003 10:21 p.m.
"Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1..."

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... the first battalion of the new Iraqi Army has graduated and is on active duty.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... over 60,000 Iraqis now provide security to their fellow citizens.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... nearly all of Iraq's 400 courts are functioning.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... the Iraqi judiciary is fully independent.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... on Monday, October 6 power generation hit 4,518 megawatts exceeding the pre-war average

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... all 22 universities and 43 technical institutes and colleges are open, as are nearly all primary and secondary schools.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1… by October 1, Coalition forces had rehabbed over 1,500 schools - 500 more than their target.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... teachers earn from 12 to 25 times their former salaries.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... all 240 hospitals and more than 1200 clinics are open.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... doctors' salaries are at least eight times, what they were under Saddam.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... pharmaceutical distribution has gone from essentially nothing to 700 tons in May to a current total of 12,000 tons.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... the Coalition has helped administer over 22 million vaccination doses to Iraq's children.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... a Coalition program has cleared over 14,000 kilometers of Iraq's 27,000 kilometers of weed-choked canals. They now irrigate tens of thousands of farms. This project has created jobs for more than 100,000 Iraqi men and women.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... we have restored over three-quarters of pre-war telephone services and over two-thirds of the potable water production.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... there are 4 900 full-service connections. We expect 50,000 by January first.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... the wheels of commerce are turning. From bicycles to satellite dishes to cars and trucks, businesses are coming to life in all major cities and towns.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... 95 percent of all pre-war bank customers have service and first-time customers are opening accounts daily.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... Iraqi banks are making loans to finance businesses.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1...the central bank is fully independent.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... Iraq has one of the world's most growth-oriented investment and banking laws.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... Iraq (has) a single, unified currency for the first time in 15 years.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... satellite dishes are legal.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... foreign journalists aren't on 10-day visas paying mandatory and extortionate fees to the Ministry of Information for "minders" and other government spies.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... there is no Ministry of Information.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... there are more than 170 newspapers.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... you can buy satellite dishes on what seems like every street corner.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... foreign journalists and everyone else are free to come and go.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1...a nation that had not one single element-legislative, judicial or executive-- of a representative government, does.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1...in Baghdad alone residents have selected 88 advisory councils. Baghdad's first democratic transfer of power in 35 years happened when the city council elected its new chairman.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1...today in Iraq chambers of commerce, business, school, and professional organizations are electing their leaders all over the country.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... 25 ministers, selected by the most representative governing body in Iraq's history, run the day-to-day business of government.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... the Iraqi government regularly participates in international events. Since July the Iraqi government has been represented in over two dozen international meetings, including those of the UN General Assembly, the Arab League, the World Bank and IMF and, today, the Islamic Conference Summit. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs today announced that it is reopening over 30 Iraqi embassies around the world.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... Shia religious festivals, that were all but banned, are not.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... for the first time in 35 years, in Karbala thousands of Shiites celebrate the pilgrimage of the 12th Imam.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1...the Coalition has completed over 13,000 reconstruction projects, large and small as part of (a) strategic plan for the reconstruction of Iraq.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... Uday and Queasy are dead - and no longer feeding innocent Iraqis to his zoo lions, raping the young daughters of local leaders to force cooperation, torturing Iraq's soccer players for losing games...murdering critics.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... children are not imprisoned or murdered when their parents disagree with the government.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... political opponents aren't imprisoned, tortured, executed, maimed, or are forced to watch their families die for disagreeing with Saddam.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... millions of longsuffering Iraqis no longer live in perpetual terror.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... Saudis will hold municipal elections.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... Qatar is reforming education to give more choices to parents.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... Jordan is accelerating market economic reforms.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded for the first time to an Iranian -- a Muslim woman who speaks out with courage for human rights, for democracy and for peace.

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Comment:
I would also like to add that in addition to his other duties, George Bush also happens to be Commander in Chief of the US Military that has made the above possible either by direct participation or influence. People tend to forget this at times...some conveniently. These brave young men and women of our Armed Forces, doing a great job, are making it possible to accomplish these happenings in the name of freedom and human decency.


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Colonel Les Claypool's Fearless Flying Frog Brigade
11/23/2003 10:32 p.m.
So in my search for good programming music on iTunes Music store I stumbled upon Set 2 from Col Claypool and the Brigade and I love it. It's a cover from start to finish of Pink Floyd's Animals, and it's just as good, and dare I say? It's possibly better. It makes me want to take Set 1 for a test spin again.
I am currently Geeky
I am listening to Col Les Claypool and the Frog Brigade - Set 2

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If you...
11/04/2003 05:11 a.m.
were one of the ones who thought that my last journal entry was about you, and you commented on it, I can promise you it wasn't inspired by you nor was it about you. Egos, I swear :p

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