December 2006 Archives

Life Imitates A Dozen Comedians On Bob & Tom

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There was a time about a month and a half ago where it seemed like every third comedian to appear on Bob & Tom would make a joke about hiring illegal immigrants to help build the border fence. It appears that somebody actually has that in their business plan:

A fence-building company in Southern California agrees to pay nearly $5 million in fines for hiring illegal immigrants. Two executives from the company may also serve jail time. The Golden State Fence Company's work includes some of the border fence between San Diego and Mexico.

. . .

Golden State Fence built millions of dollars' worth of fencing around homes, offices, and military bases. Its president and one of its Southern California managers will pay fines totaling $300,000. The government is also recommending jail time for Melvin Kay and Michael McLaughlin, probably about six months.

The irony here would be if they were jailed inside a fence their own company built.

Pred(Schneider) = Kipling?

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Rob Slade is a computer security specialist who regularly reviews security-related books on comp.risks and elsewhere. He recently reviewed Kim, by Rudyard Kipling, and had this to say:

Within the first twenty pages we have authentication by something you have, denial of service, impersonation, stealth, masquerade, role-based authorization (with ad hoc authentication by something you know), eavesdropping, and trust based on data integrity. Later on we get contingency planning against theft and cryptography with key changes.
I read his reviews all the time, and they generally seem reasonable, but this one tripped my BS-ometer. So I found Kim at online-literature.com, and lo and behold:
And there was that on Mahbub Ali which he did not wish to keep an hour longer than was necessary - a wad of closely folded tissue- paper, wrapped in oilskin - an impersonal, unaddressed statement, with five microscopic pin-holes in one corner, that most scandalously betrayed the five confederated Kings, the sympathetic Northern Power, a Hindu banker in Peshawur, a firm of gun-makers in Belgium, and an important, semi-independent Mohammedan ruler to the south. This last was R17's work, which Mahbub had picked up beyond the Dora Pass and was carrying in for R17, who, owing to circumstances over which he had no control, could not leave his post of observation. Dynamite was milky and innocuous beside that report Of C25; and even an Oriental, with an Oriental's views of the value of time, could see that the sooner it was in the proper hands the better.

There's a lot more, but you get the idea. So I guess I need to get my BS-ometer recalibrated.

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And You... Get To Watch

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[In-joke warning - you'll have to be a regular Bob & Tom listener to get the full impact of this one]

A couple of days ago, Bob & Tom took a call from a guy with a 3-year-old daughter. The guy said that his newborn daughter made the three-year-old jealous, and he requested Orange Barrels because the song made her feel all happy and dance-y.

In their shoes, I would have probably played Paul & Storm's 'Better Version of You' (if you're a B&T VIP member, you can stream it here).

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It. Is. Finished.

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Five and a half years.

Eleven semesters.

$2000 of my own money (and about $6000 of my company's money).

Thousands of hours of homework.

All done.

Can I get a 'Hallelujah!' from the congregation?

And Make Sure Madonna Stays There, Too

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If Gwyneth Paltrow associates with British folks as smart as the ones I worked with, and compared them to the average Hollyweirdo she hung out with, then her conclusion is perfectly reasonable, if somewhat narrow-minded.

She's welcome to do her part to raise the collective American IQ by staying in London.

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The Law Of Unintended Consequences Strikes Again

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Dude is engaged. Dude doesn't want Chick to know he's traipsing around on Swinging websites, so he specifies 'Never save passwords on this site' when Firefox asks him at login.

Chick uses same computer later. Chick originally specifies 'Don't save this password' when logging in to a (presumably non-sleazy) website, but changes her mind and goes into Password Manager to fix it.

Chick sees Dude's 'Never Save Password' site list.

Chick and Dude are no longer engaged.

The best part of this story? How I heard about it: from a Mozilla bug report!

This privacy flaw has caused my fiancé and I to break-up after having dated for 5 years.

Basically, we share one computer but under separate Windows XP user accounts. We both use Mozilla Firefox -- well, he used to use it more than I do but now we don't really use it. The privacy flaw is this: when he went to log-in under his dating sites (jdate.com, swinglifestyle.com, adultfriendfinder.com, etc.), Mozilla promptly asks whether or not he'd like Firefox to save the passwords for him. He chose never, obviously. However, when he logged off his user account, and I logged onto my Windows XP account X amount of days later . . . Firefox prompted whether or not I'd like it to save my password for logging into my website. I chose never and changed my mind. I went into the Password Manager to change the saved password option from Never to Always and that's when I saw all these other sites that had been selected as "Never Save Password." Of course, those were sites I had never visited or could ever dream of visiting.

Then I realized who, how and what... and sh*t hit the fan. Your browser does not efficiently respect the privacy of different users for one system.

Here's the head-scratcher from my perspective: the woman wrote a bug report on the 'feature' that allowed her to determine her betrothed was a sleazebag BEFORE marrying him (as an aside, the comment thread on the bug report is pretty damn funny too), on the grounds that it failed to maintain his privacy.

I wonder if Dude has any idea what he just lost.

[H/T comp.risks]

Potential Career-Limiting Move Narrowly Averted

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A friend of mine subscribes to email updates on news stories/sports/weather/et cetera from a local TV station. At the end of one of those emails a couple of weeks ago was what I can only call the most charming cut-n-paste-o I've seen in a long time. I've changed identifying details but the rest is verbatim:

Nice article [deleted]! I will say that I have been in the business since Lastname was [a young age], and I have never met a person that has as much class and honesty as Firstname. In this day and age it's difficult to find many people who are as dedicated to honing their craft and getting each story correct like Firstname does. He is also one of the most humble and down to earth people you will ever meet. In other words a gentleman in the true sense of the word!

Life Imitates Donny

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In three episodes of Just Shoot Me, David Cross played Donnie, a guy who pretended to be mentally disabled after falling out of a tree. Ten years previously. I would say he's the inspiration for today's hero, but it appears this dude has been faking retardation for so long that it may be the other way around. From local6.com via Drudge:

TACOMA, Wash. -- For nearly 20 years -- ever since Pete Costello was 8 -- his mother has collected disability benefits on his behalf.

In meetings with Social Security officials and psychologists, he appeared mentally retarded and unable to communicate. His mother insisted he couldn't read or write, shower, take care of himself or drive a car.

But now prosecutors said it was all a huge fraud, and they have video of Costello contesting a traffic ticket to prove it.

"He's like any other person trying to get out of a traffic ticket," Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman Barbosa said Tuesday.

Pete and Rosie Marie Costello were indicted in September on charges of conspiracy to defraud the government and Social Security fraud, and the case was unsealed Tuesday. The Vancouver pair were scheduled to appear in federal court in Tacoma on Tuesday.

. . .

The indictment accuses Costello of faking -- or at least exaggerating -- retardation since August 1997, because that is what prosecutors are confident they can prove, Barbosa said. But the pair first received benefits 10 years before that.

And I'd like to note here that one of the depressing things about being a blogger with an audience approaching zero is that you can stop posting for two weeks without explanation - and nobody notices.

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This page is an archive of entries from December 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

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