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Thursday, May 26, 2005
3:04 PM      

Who's Sorry 4 Ken?
He came in second in the Ultimate Jeopardy Championship, and he picked up an extra $half-mil in the process. Even though Alex said the other guy (Brad Rutter – I had to look him up) has won the most money in Jeopardy, I couldn't see how, until I read the release on the Jeopardy website. It says Brad's total earnings are $3,255,102 (though it seems the numbers given in the release add up to $100,000 short of that total).

Had I realized that Brad had been the winner of the Million Dollar Masters in 2002 and an annual Tournament of Champions winner, I would have taken him more seriously from the start.

Either way, Ken's 3,020,700 total is hardly a distant second place. I doubt he's losing any sleep over it, and he may never write another line of code.


Junk in the Trunk
It's time for another review of the luncheon meat that lands in my junk folder. There are interesting and fun things to see, looking through this garbage – much the same as finding surprising bits in the dumpsters that show up around the city. Amazing to think about how much brainpower gets poured into making spam. At least we recipients can transform it into entertainment. Submitted for your approval: morsels of missives from the spam zone...

I've been receiving lots of spam from “Alice Crump. “Her” latest message has the subject line “Yeah it's a sp@m :)”

Other pseudo personas:

  • Jan Coulter – named in honor of Ann “rabid bitch” Coulter? A lot of spammers seem to mine the political landscape for what the Direct Marketing Association refers to as “involvement devices.”
  • Then, there's Oran Pandora, who offers “ePills.” I suppose they're only effective on eDiseases.
  • Becky Txt – How clever - just use a file extension as a last name. I suppose there's a Jim Jpg, a Sally Mpg, and a Sam Xls out there somewhere.
  • Eula Saunders – Microsoft packages an End User License Agreement with all of their software.
  • Emmitt Bible – and his cousin Tony Commandments?
  • Glenn Beaujolais – There's truth in a good wine. Glenn must be very truthful, though wine enthusiasts are known to describe Beaujolais as light and fruity.
  • Linen Pierre – This one's A kind of visual metaphor. Pierre is French for “Rock,” but Peter is the usual English equivalent. Why would you wrap a rock in linen, anyway?
  • “Mollie Peacock” sent a message Re: “Yrelaxing KBiaxin XL.” Uh, OK. Well, Molly Peacock sounds like it could be a real name, albeit exotic. It would certainly make a good stage name.

From: Logan Shirley
Subject: Macromedia Flash MX 2oo4

—This one was a little freaky, since my late mother-in-law was named Shirley Logan. I doubt she'd visit from the other side to hawk software online, though.

Subject: Hi cuteypie,,
Hi cuteypie, Its July from the dating service. I've been checking you out all over the place and I just had to say hi. I have a website I want you to see where you can see all about me and see what I look like too. I can't wait to talk to you baby. Take care,

Hottie Julie

I love it when they go phishing... Poor “Julie” must be so drunk, she can't remember how to spell her own name. I suppose I'll let them ride on that alternate spelling for “cutie-pie”... Just what does “she” mean by “I've been checking you out all over the place,” though? I suppose there are people who register on a number of online dating systems at once. There's a predator for every kind of weakness. Consider the subject line “Your dating profile has a mistake.”

“I see you like watching tv.” Ha! It's like the old palm-reader trick. Most people in America like watching TV. On the other hand, TiVo does report a certain amount of viewer information back to the mothership...

“This is what you been waiting for.” Really?! How would you know?

There's a hook for everyone, for example: “We support you no matter what you choose.” it's a bit vague, but imagine being young, single, and pregnant.

Subject: Automatical data verification customer tech trouble.

The phishers here were able to register to spoof Earthlink's customer service. Automatical is not a word. These guys could be a real problem.

From: Algernon Fnc
Subject: Not give money at commercials - hold on yours money with our help

No much excogitate about stimulating hours in marching on.

Once you purchase generic pills later you receive the equal characteristic and kernel as if you have not generic product. You merely receive additional name and some other monetary value.

The branded variation of the production are much expensive because different manufactures spend many on marketing.

Audit my web-site

OK – Rule one: If you're going to try to solicit me, at least learn to speak my language effectively. On the other hand, this message has a certain odd poetic quality. Extra points for using excogitate in a sentence, malformed as it is. But, “Audit my web-site?” Whose foreign language-to-English dictionary are you chumps using?

Algernon, by the way, was the name of the white mouse in the book Flowers for Algernon, which was made into the movie Charlie.

Then, there were two different messages with the subject “I can see that your on dialup.” I hate it when they confuse you're and your. Yet, they each contained strange poetic payloads:

  • black pair blue plum
    8. Doesn't Sarah remember shouting slowly?.
    green mango brown strawberry
    Don't those teachers very often love jogging?. Joseph has just remembered walking
  • orange watermellon yellow watermellon
    i am terribly hungry, do you want to get some food later on?. 3.
    black strawberry pink strawberry
    Did Alfred's niece like playing well?. I don't hate studying in London..

Still more poe-spam:

Subject: Feel the excitement for this latest weekly special.
...¡¡¡¡'How much?' asked Miss Betsey.
d a contention about their plumage. The Crow put jackets, I 2 e fallen, yellow leaves, lay t don't 9 know;

One poe-spam subject combines the whimsical with the mundane: “traffic cameras are watching you - creamery cornmeal inert.” Then, there's “spacesuit blindfold awkward hinduism” – I suppose a true Hindu wouldn't be awkward, even if blindfolded in a spacesuit. Then, there's “May I let you talk.” Is that a question, or an inverted statement? It reads like jazz.

“Re: thirtieth Plan B” is just a mystery to me, but considering how many times I've heard people say “OK, what's Plan B?,” I imagine it has resonance with someone.

There are hucksters who simply make the more-or-less straight pitch:

  • “Pope John Paul II 24KT Memorial Medal” – The Pope is dead; let's make one last-ditch effort to cash in on him.
  • “Windows, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, We got them all. -perspire” – This one's just funny. What's sweat got to do with it?

Tapping into current affairs:

  • The economy is a lot better now -rc
  • From: Subliminal Vision
    Subject: Have you been Brainwashed? ei
  • From: You Can Be A Cop
    Subject: Help Protect Our Country

Finally, there's the Sex and Drugs chorus:

  • “Phillipsburg Courier - note on sex after death” – I suppose there are people who worry about those sorts of things.
  • “touch his Sexuaiiy dysfunctionai receptors” – God-awful spelling, and maybe too many sci-fi books.
  • “Penis broken? This will fix it. -j 169 ke” – Silly. That last part reads like an encryption key.
  • “How Come you Never Cum” – A bit pedestrian, but poe-spam nonetheless.
  • “Ameliorate your spermatozoan measure and select” – Select what? I think you mean “increase,” not “ameliorate.” You're wasting all your $10 words... Are you talking about sperm count?
  • “Temgesic, is an analgesic used to treat or prevent peine metamorphosis” – Is that supposed to be pain metamorphosis? Analgesics are pain killers... awww... never mind...
  • “katie safer alternative to an Opium is aIndocin” – Don't you mean “an opiate?”
  • “Re: Zspa VBen-Aqua 10” – This one just sounds like a drug reference. Or, maybe it's just an encrypted spy message.

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Monday, May 23, 2005
11:14 PM      

Don't anthropomorphize computers. They hate that.” – Good advice from a friend.


Ken Jennings x 2 in 3?
OK, it's down to the final three of the super Jeopardy championship. At the end of round one, the scores are searingly close. Ken's in NYC doing promotional stuff. Denise's hunch is that he won (the show was taped – maybe weeks ago), and he's here early for appearances on the big talk shows starting Thursday.


Epson 7800!!!
I've been thinking large-format printing, and I had started salivating over the idea of the 7600. Meanwhile, I was hearing things about bronzing and metamerism with Epson prints. A few weeks ago, someone told me that Epson was working on a new printer design with three or 4 blacks, that was supposed to resolve problems with black and white printing. Well, it's been announced, and it's more than I'd heard.

The new printers use three blacks (Black, light black, and light-light black), but the inks have been reformulated. The new ink resists scuffing, and addresses the bronzing issue, among other things.

To boot, the new print head design can print twice as fast.

It's announced, but won't really be available until the fall. Meanwhile, I'll rent time on somebody else's 7600... Hmmm... who knows, maybe I'll even end up springing for a 9800...


I took the cautioning of a friend, and didn't install Mac OS X “Tiger” right away. I've been waiting for some of the inevitable version “oh-oh!” bugs to get shaken out. Today, I looked for Tiger updates, and found that the 10.4.1 release came out about 5 days ago. A further check of compatibility issues turned up some potential install hassles for moi: new driver for the Wacom tablet, and a couple of others.

So, there's still no Tiger in my tank, but maybe soon.


Quiet, honey... never turn down money.” – parting comment from a customer to a clerk at the Garden of Eden food market in Brooklyn Heights.


I admit it; I was hooked. I was all set to see the finale of "24," and didn't bother to check the start time. Aargh! it was a 2-hour deal. I hated missing out on the next to last hour. Jack is dead. Long live Jack.

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