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But they still aren’t getting it.

The addle-brained spammers from yesterday corrected the spelling of Netflix.  They dumped the wrong person from the emails.

But they still don’t have it worked out that maybe a multi-billion dollar company would have their own domain name.


Dudes!  Wisconsin Worms?  Seriously??!!  Interrobang

I don’t want to admire brilliant bank robbers.  Regardless of how smart and clever they are, they are still doing wrong, and should not be put up on a pedestal.

It’s a very fine line.  Is it acceptable to appreciate the effort that went into a nifty crack without giving approval to the act itself?

On the other hand, it is not difficult at all to mock people who don’t put in that effort.  These are the spammers who count on picking up those customers who ignore all the warning signs and indicators that something is wrong, that .0000001 percent of the billions of pieces of junk email they send out.

Like the one I got today:

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Today was the first day at my new job.

Same office building, same desk and chair, same phone number, but today my division was taken over by a US subsidiary of a large Japanese conglomerate.  No changes yet, although those will be along.  Right now, they are reassuring people, giving some insight to our new corporate overlords (whom I welcome), and ensuring stability for our customers.  Pretty much what I’d do.  And not hard – I work with a bunch of high-class professionals.

As opposed to some spam I got recently.

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My Palm Tungsten E decided to format the SD card again, the one where I keep my backups and extra Bible versions and free books I’m reading.  That bothers me, significantly.

So I decided to look around to see what was available for a replacement PDA.

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How much is a life worth?

About a hundred and fifty bucks.

No, I’m not starting up a side business to remove annoying people for a fee.  I’m actually trying to save lives.  With this:

Here’s how.

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I’m on loan to a big project at work, one that requires lots of time with lots of demands.  During the minor breaks (a few seconds here and there while I’m waiting on a screen to refresh, or the down-time while waiting on a meeting to start, or my smallish amount of personal time in the day) I tend to go elsewhere in my head.  Not a wrong place, and not the gardening that Bettie enjoys.  Not a tropical island somewhere.

No, I have it bad.  In my head, I go to GadgetLand.

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I use Gmail as my primary email access.  It does a good job at separating out spam from wanted stuff – not perfect, but probably better than 98%.

I think I’m glad the spammers aren’t that good.

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Ecclesiastes 1:9 ends

there is nothing new under the sun

But we’re all sophisticated, and besides, this is the computer age – there is something new every day!  Like cloud computing.  Sure, it looks a lot like the old client-server computing, where the processing took place out there somewhere, and it looks like the web (where does Google keep its data, anyway?), and it looks like old time-sharing computers.

But we are facing some old challenges with this “new” technology – bad guys. Read the rest of this entry »

I think I must be walking around with some sign on me.  “Bad stuff happens here”.  Is there such a thing as a bad magnet?  Not a malfunctioning one, but a magnet that attracts badness.

I griped about my arm a couple days ago.  I’m sticking with the doctor’s orders, pretty much.  Taking the Aleve, not icing it down like I should, but definitely keeping the elbow splint on.  Those instructions were “take it off to shower”.  I shower at night, and wash my hair again in the morning.  Both of those I do with an unencumbered arm.  As I was working today, I noticed that my hand was swelling.  The splint was too tight and fluid was building up.  Then I noticed my fingers were cold on that hand – bad news indeed.  I loosened the splint, and it’s improved in the last fifteen minutes – swelling down and fingers about the same temp as my other hand.  Lesson learned.

I’m not sure what lesson to learn from my other badness.  I have a Palm Tungsten E that’s about five years old.  Works Worked well until last Sunday.  I could pull up scriptures just fine during church, but trying to power it on after lunch gave me nothing – complete zilch.  It wasn’t the battery – that was fine.  Somehow it had completely reset itself to an out-of-the-box condition.  My calendars, notes, addresses, everything was gone.  I was so happy to have my information backed up – BackupMan is the best $15 I ever spent.  I was right in my very first Cool Tool Tuesday – backups are important.  I had backed up Saturday night, so wasn’t missing a thing.

The other important thing is to be sure your backups are good.  I had not done a test to be certain that the backups worked.  There are problems with my launcher software – I can live without that.  What hurts worse is that I can’t change the screen brightness – PowerBright doesn’t work.  So whenever I’m seeing what meetings are coming up, or playing Pyramid, or reading the Bible, I’m burning through the battery.  I don’t like that, and it’s awful bright at night.  I want something more conducive to quietness and sleep, something that doesn’t imprint itself physically on my eyeballs.

So the plan is to re-crash the Palm down to the metal (after another backup).  Then I’ll start reloading all the applications I want from scratch, not from the backup.  Next is data from backup – all those contacts, and calendars, etc.  Finally I’ll drop in the databases from the backup, the stuff that remembers the Bible notes I have made, and my high scores in Pyramid.

This is not fun, nor quick.  But I need to do it.   I had considered walking away from five years of Palm goodness and switching to an iPod Touch (an iPhone with no phone).  Plenty of applications, and wifi connectivity.  But at $229 for the low end?  I think not.  I’ll put in the hours on the Palm.

Oh, man, an email from Uncle Rik.  You remember Uncle Rik – he was always going off somewhere for some reason or other.  One time he tried to visit every country – in alphabetic order – in a year.  Even when we tried to talk to him about the problems he would face with Latvia, Liberia, and Lithuania, he wouldn’t hear anything of it.

And now there’s this email from him.  But it’s not in English.  Bummer.  You don’t really recognize the language, either, which is bad.  He has a big number stuck in the middle of the email.  It could be dollars.  It could be Zimbabwe dollars.  It could be the distance to the moon.  With Uncle Rik, you never know.

So do you print out the email and take it around to all your friends, hoping that (A) they will recognize the language, and (B) old Uncle Rik isn’t saying anything too personal?  Do you just ignore the email, and hope it was nothing important?

Or you could take Door Number 3, and use Google Translate.

Bummer.  Now I gotta click through all those different languages and see what looks like English on the other end?  Well, nosir, you don’t.  Because Google Translate includes language detection.  If you want to translate Greek to Yiddish, or Welsh to Azerbaijani, you have that choice.  But if you just want to read whatever was written, you have the choice of Detect Language.  And it works.

Google Translate.  It’s not just for Uncle Rik anymore.