links for 2007-02-14

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Birthday [again]

Filed under: Personal | 2 Comments

Another day, another birthday. This is the fourth that I have recorded on this website. See 19, 20 and 21 for more info. Despite the 3GSM madness I got sufficiently drunk at the neighborhood bar tonight, which is always a good time. Especially when you don’t have to pay because it’s your birthday… Thanks Scott! I’m really not into celebration for silly things like birthdays (e.g. parties and gifts), but I’m not above free tequila shots. Nobody should be.

Here’s to another year! Bigger and better things ahead.

Inequality in appliance lighting

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Why do dryers and refrigerators have handy lights for night time operation but washers and freezers [generally] do not? I always use my washer directly before my dryer, so if I need light to see the dryer then that means I also needed light to see the washer. The freezer doesn’t bother me as much since I don’t use it often, but the same principle applies.

Shun knives are sharp

Filed under: Praise | 1 Comment

Shun 8″ Chef’s KnifeI’ve gotten a lot of enjoyment out of cooking lately and have officially upgraded it to hobby status. For me that means looking for better equipment online and getting excited when it comes. Today I received a Shun 8″ Chef’s knife and I am impressed. Shun is from Japan and with this blade I feel like a Samurai.

The Shun is wow sharp. I almost don’t trust myself with something this deadly. They say a sharper knife is safer because there are fewer slips, but I’m afraid if there is a slip there won’t be anything stopping the knife before it hits the board. I did some dicing as soon as UPS dropped it off (figured I can use the carrots and onions for something this weekend) and it didn’t feel like I was cutting. The weight of the blade dropped my new steel right through the veggies. My old chef’s knife feels like a saw now. Not even a very sharp saw.

While I haven’t put the new tool through all of its paces yet, my first impression is nothing but positive. Great construction, a solid weight but not too heavy (like German knives often are) and a wickedly sharp edge. I might have to go ahead and get the paring knife now too. If you’re unhappy with your current knives, definitely check out Shun. Or really just consider high-end cutlery if you haven’t before–there is a huge difference.

Now I just have to plan a meal where I get to dice everything.

Best case scenario

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My TV and internet service went dark tonight. I was watching TV at the time so I knew right when it went out, luckily this did not happen during the Superbowl. At least I got through fairly quickly on the phone (which is luckily not VoIP or I would have had to send a letter). I was either the first customer to call or the lucky benefactor of a localized complete outage. BrightHouse can’t see either my cable box or modem. The customer service rep said that if more customers called it will be categorized as an outage and techs will be scrambled no matter what time. If it’s just me I’ll have to wait until the morning.

She then noted that, “So the best case scenario is that someone hit a utility pole or something…” Awkward pause. “Well I mean that wouldn’t be good if someone died, but that would mean it’s an outage and that we’ll fix it tonight.” If I want my internet fixed tonight does that mean I want someone to die?

FYI: This was posted over EV-DO which serves as a great backup for these things. Especially when you’re like me and have thrown out your phone books and need to find the number to report an outage.

Unusually high call volume

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Are call volumes at big call centers ever normal? It seems every time I call, no matter the time, certain companies talk about an unusually high call volume. One day I’d love to hear a recording of the truth about how they are understaffed because of budgeting and poor management.

Tom from MySpace got phished

Filed under: Web/Tech | 3 Comments

Phishing is a major problem on MySpace because of the ability to style pages with CSS. Spammers set up account pages disguised to look like the standard MySpace login page and then capture login info for users. Shortly after they capture your info, a bunch of spam bulletins get posted under your name and all your friends realize you’re not very smart. It doesn’t seem to be happening as much now, probably because users are looking out for it, but it still happens. Sometimes to people that should reallllly know better.

Yesterday Tom Anderson got phished. Tom’s the co-founder of MySpace and is the default friend for new sign ups. With 148 million friends, posting a bulletin on Tom’s account can generate a LOT of traffic. While the bulletin was still live (it was deleted pretty quickly) I couldn’t get to the attacker’s website. I got to it later on and it’s disguised to look like a MySpace sign-in page. I’m guessing they got info on a lot of user accounts. The page has now been deleted and I can’t find much anywhere on the site. It’s hosted out of Singapore and registered to Marc Olano. For his sake I hope his site was hacked. Most likely that’s the case, that is how these people operate. If you want to check out the empty apache listing, be my guest:


Tom Anderson was hacked

Note: Though the link in the screenshot appears to be a link to a MySpace profile (which doesn’t actually exist), it’s HTML and actually links to the aforementioned website. The funny part was whoever was smart enough to be able to post a bulletin on the most popular MySpace profile was not smart enough to actually make it look legit, KTHX!

links for 2007-01-12

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Package tracking by address

Filed under: Rant,Web/Tech | 1 Comment

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of package tracking. Even Google knows. My post about USPS and their terrible “tracking” service hit a chord and attracted a bunch of other haters.

What I’ve wanted lately is a reverse tracking service of sort. View all of the incoming packages from a given carrier coming to me (based on the address the carrier has on record for me). This is more complicated than the simple tracking options today because there would need to be address authentication, but it would be such a time saver. You could subscribe to one feed and see everything that’s coming. Right now I have like 4-5 different packages somewhere in the queue and it’s a pain to find the number and track any of them individually.

Albuquerque is hard to spell

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I’m going to Albuquerque next week and no matter how many times I have looked it up I have never spelled it right. Only thanks to Google can I actually find the real place. It’s bringing back flashbacks of being a terrible speller growing up.