log (2005/09/30 to 2005/10/06)

A reader writes, "RIAA sued under gang laws, again". From the pdf file (also apparently here):

11. Settlement Support Center also falsely claimed that Ms. Andersen had "been viewed" by MediaSentry downloading "gangster rap" music at 4:24 a.m. Settlement Support Center also falsely claimed that Ms. Andersen had used the login name "gotenkito@kazaa.com." Ms. Andersen does not like "gangster rap," does not recognize the name "gotenkito," is not awake at 4:24 a.m. and has never downloaded music.

(Dear RIAA: evolve, or die.)

I was gathering for the log a bunch of really fine spam subject lines in the style of yesterday's poem, but Windows crashed and I had been blithely not saving and so I lost them. Since then the subject-line generator seems to have moved on to a new algorithm:

Re: The numeral
Re: The Siamese
Re: Pandora childish
Re: Eliina revulsion
Re: Sakari prognathous
Re: Aileen overbalance
Re: Therapon laminae
Re: Sunder immurement
Re: Sabella Negrillo

Not bad, but not up to the standards of "the cynical, the slothful, the bimetallic." The ones I lost were much better (natch).

Although I haven't actually quite finished listening to Osho "Meditations on Sufism", I posted a listener review on Audible anyway:

(one star) About Osho more than Sufism
Reviewer: David, from Mohegan Lake, NY, USA Date: Oct 5, 2005

I wish I had Googled on this title before buying it. "Osho" is the syncretist mystic Rajneesh, of the 95 Rolls-Royces and the interesting developments in Antelope, Oregon in the 1980's. He was not in any strong sense a practitioner or teacher of Sufism; if you search on his name in Audible you'll find similar "Meditations" on Buddhism, Zen, Taoism, etc.

On this particular program, he spends lots of time saying how all religions are stupid, how Sufism is what all religions would like to be, how only by turning off one's critical faculties and jumping into the unknown by surrendering to one's teacher (i.e. by becoming one of Rajneesh's "sunnyas") can one become truly free, and other stuff that did not particularly appeal to me. There's also some more appealing but not all that deep stuff about looking for solutions by accepting and being open to the nature of the problem and so on; pretty much standard New Age fare.

If you're looking for an introduction to, or a program about, Sufism as it is usually conceived, you definitely don't want to start here! If you're curious about Osho, do Google around a bit first.

(One more note: I don't know if it's just bad mic placement or if he really talks like this, but for the entire program there's a loud shrill hissssss at the end of nearly every sentenceSSSZZSSSZHSHSHSH. It's pretty annoying.)

(Hope no Osho followers read it and start slipping bacteria into Mohegan Lake salad bars in retaliation, yuck yuck.)

Oh, okay, this is ripe now:

Legislative Decree no. 196 of 30 June 2003
5. Where provided for by the relevant authentication system, a password shall consist of at least eight characters; if this is not allowed by the electronic equipment, a password shall consist of the maximum permitted number of characters. It shall not contain any item that can be easily related to the person in charge of the processing and shall be modified by the latter when it is first used as well as at least every six months thereafter. If sensitive or judicial data are processed, the password shall be modified at least every three months.

So there you go! If you've suddenly been told that all the passwords in some system you use must now be eight characters long, perhaps that system has a branch in Italy...

Sims pictures right here in the weblog again today! Aren't you lucky?

Joan Danvers, having left Rooms to Let the other day, has now arrived at college, eager to start the next phase of her Life of Learning:

Joan at college

(Compare and contrast with Gina Raptor's more sedate entrance through those same doors. Nice that both of them got acceptable outfits from the random outfit assigner.)

She chose the nicest room in the dorm: Gina's old room.

Joan in Gina's old room

And in touring the dorm she came across the picture that Gina painted of Taylor all those long semesters ago.

Whoa, it's Taylor!

Somewhat to my surprise she quickly spun up a "Have Very First Kiss" want (she's never shown any romantic inclinations before). So I had her meet folks, and she took to this rather nice-looking fellow:

First college pillowfight

(Attentive fans of my Sims Stories will note that she has the same undies as Gina; small world.)

And before very long at all...

Joan's Very First Kiss

Isn't that sweet? (To remind her of home she went out and bought her family's usual white top and khakis; she also has been spinning up wants to call up her Dad and chat, which of course I find very appealing.)

Of course being Joan she's also an A student (helped along by the fact that she seems to do assignments in about 75% of the time that it takes my other college Sims; not sure what's going on there.)

So there you are: the latest updates from the real and the virtual worlds. You are now fully informed, and may go about your business with increased confidence.

So I said something about something not having even a hint of irony in it, and the little boy asked what "irony" means, and I said "hm, irony, that's a tough one; I guess it's like, well...".

And he said "Why do you use words when you don't know what they mean?"

Which is a good point, really.

...a set of four fun songs about Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition..

Wow! Fun!! Microsoft is truly hep to the jibe! Phat!

A number of links from the mysterious HTML o' the Day mailing today:

Day No. 4:

"One word," said the Lord God. "Landscaping. But I want it to look natural, as if it all somehow just happened."


17. In lieu of flowers or donations, I would prefer rioting.

Also an extended version of something I think we've logged before, which H o' the D accurately captions "It turns out that people don't actually look like that in real life."

Subject: pathfind Indeed healing upshots! righteous

Righteous! We've had quite a rush of good spam lately, in fact. Here's a set of subject lines:

Subject: Re: The metronymic
Subject: Re: The guiltiness
Subject: Re: Hi sentiment
Subject: Re: Hi verbena
Subject: Re: Hi praise
Subject: Re: The chanticleer
Subject: Re: The cynical
Subject: Re: The slothful
Subject: Re: The bimetallic
Subject: Re: The movement
Subject: Re: Hi battlement
Subject: Re: Hi smother
Subject: Re: Hi ungrateful
Subject: Re: The external
Subject: Re: Hi magpie

Hi, magpie! (Hi praise indeed.) "The cynical, the slothful, the bimetallic."

And also very good are the names that the spams are sent from and to. Here are most of the names associated with the subjects above:

"Selby Tienda"
"Filomena Babcock"
"Wickaninnish Braley"
"Eugenio Maranto"
"Ennis Guinyard"
"Vlad Burkhart"
"Patricia Crook"
"Aloisio Kiddy"
"Eiluned Sakai"
"Magda Perfetti"
"Marcos Cain"
"Odysseus Marsala"
"Aucaman Onken"
"Mechtilde Lundholm"
"Austin Vanepps"
"Melyssa Ankney"
"Bethel Dusek"
"Mayra Saville"
"Stathis Wyland"
"Clarinda Miranda"
"Zahrah Schultze"
"Yehowah Kornreich"
"Kiyoshi Dolson"
"Frona Gano"
"Zeki Gaither"
"Elspeth Mayes"
"Zahia Wolter"
"Juvela Tito"
"Arkell Cypert"

Isn't that great? Who could fail to love Mechtilde Lundholm, or Wickaninnish Braley? Or Yehowah Kornreich! (And they seem to be dynamically generated, too; or at least none of those three appears anywhere in Google (until tomorrow or so anyway).)

This whole idea of personal autonomy -- I don't think that most conservatives hold that point of view. Some do. And they have this idea that people should be left alone to do what they want to do, that government should keep taxes down, keep regulation down, that we shouldn't get involved in the bedroom, that we shouldn't be involved in cultural issues, people should do whatever they want. Well, that is not how traditional conservatives view the world.
- Senator Rick "traditional" Santorum

To which someone (whose other political opinions I know nothing about, mind) wrote:

So according to Santorum, traditional conservatives want the government to do the following: stop people from doing what they want to do, raise taxes, raise regulation, be involved in the bedroom, and be involved in cultural issues. I wish I lived in Pennsylvania so I could vote against this dude.


From the reflog, here's a page which is especially notable for using the word "sødmilks". (Do not laugh!)

More Synthetic Zero events! (I guess if there were teleporters between the suburbs and the City it would sort of change the character of things; it'd sure be convenient, though.)

The Unofficial List of IBM Bloggers. (Includes us!)

From scotusblog, the University of Chicago Law School Faculty Blog.

(We were on scotusblog looking, successfully, for the fascinating case of Anna Nicole Smith in Marshall v. Marshall. Fun to imagine the conference of justices on this one: "Are you sure there's a Constitutional issue here?" "Constitution Schmonstitution! We're talking ratings!!".)


The more official media pick up that story from the other day: Deadly plague hits Warcraft world. (Article mentions the sick guinea pigs in the original Sims.)

Obey your noodly master!

(See also Wikipedia entry (from which we wandered to the interesting Wikimedia Commons; soon WikiXxx will rule the world, which will be a relief).)

On your watch, we've lost almost all of our allies, the surplus, four airliners, two Trade Centers, a piece of the Pentagon and the City of New Orleans... Maybe you're just not lucky! I'm not saying you don't love this country. I'm just wondering how much worse it could be if you were on the other side. So, yes, God does speak to you, and what he's saying is, "Take a hint."

(I know, everyone else logged that the other day or week or something. We were busy.)

Again from HTML o' the Day:

... its implications are frightening: the Law implies that whether you move in distinguished circles or you take refuge among the head-hunters of Polynesia, whether you lock yourself into a monastery or decide to spend the rest of your life in the company of beautiful and lascivious women, you always have to face the same percentage of stupid people - which percentage (in accordance with the First Law) will always surpass your expectations.

(The author apparently died in 2000.)

In Sims news, we got an amusing story about a naked visitor, and the more significant story of The Great Experiment, in which we finally use one of the game's very powerful "testing cheats" to allow Jane and Georgia Danvers to have a child that's genetically theirs.

We got a bit more than we bargained for, in fact; here's a picture that rather spoils the surprise, but that I can't resist posting inline here:

Jane and Georgia come to show off the twins

Aren't they cuuuuuuute?

Well, let's see, what else? We got a passage from the Italian Personal Data Protection Code here, but maybe we'll let that ripen a bit. We got lotsa valuable reader input that we're enjoying, and that we'll share again soon when we're feeling generous. And we got some thoughts on these lectures by some cat named "Osho" about Sufism (is this the famous Bhagwan Rajneesh "Osho" of salad-bar fame? I dunno), and a lecture on Zen by John Daido Loori, but I haven't quite finished listening to either one so I probably shouldn't complain about them yet.

Just remember: if there's nothing to attain, there no reason you have to send in the $29.99, much less send it in before midnight tonight.

But you knew that... *8)

Methods of analysis that reveal design flaws in consumer goods, number 427: interior automobile environment controls.

What the user knows: whether e is too hot, too cold, or just right.

What the user must enter into the system: the temperature, in integer degrees Fahrenheit as reported by the temperature sensor, that the system should try to maintain.

Note: neither the position of the temperature sensor, nor the temperature that the sensor is currently reporting, are exposed to the user.

Fortunately for me, this is in M's car. My car has buttons for (roughly) "make it colder" and "make it hotter". Sometimes simplicity is just what's called for.

Here's an economic argument that I'm not sure about. It says, basically, that providing government aid to low-income workers is a transfer of money from taxpayers to the lowest-paying employers.

The argument as I understand it goes like this: the lowest-paying employers will pay the lowest wage that they can that will keep people working for them. At some level of low wages, people won't take the jobs because the pay is too little to live on; so the lowest-paying employers have to pay more than that.

But if the lowest income workers are given food stamps or reverse income taxes or whatever, then those people need less other income in order to live. So they'll be able to take jobs for less pay, and so the lowest-paying employers will be able to lower their wages accordingly. The lowest-paid workers end up making the same amount of money (just enough to live on), but the taxpayers pay more taxes, and the lowest-paying employers make higher profits.

True? False? Ignores important things? True if not for minimum wage laws? Dunno.

What's next?

yet another obsolete os

page 23

Protests against Barclays in South Africa

Papaya juice?

Well, I don't know what's next, but this is from a conference call I'm on right now: "We speak ex cathedra from our belly buttons."

Fascinating! What did they mean by it? ("My belly button is a temple.")

What's next?

FW:$firstname, Bed Bath and Beyond Order Confirmation

tenth wax

Woof! Woof!


I had my own blog for a while, but I decided to go back to just pointless, incessant barking.

What's next?

Level-3 biolabs in New Orleans? We predict zombies!

Not next so much as right now, namely, that already-clicked-on links on your page not only have disappeared text (as they did before) but now also have dotted boxes around the disappeared. In IE. If that matters. If any of it matters.

I dunno if it matters, but it's kinda fun. *8)

What's next?

Sims 3

Sims 3 is a frightening concept. The beginning of the whole "everyone vanishes into virtual worlds and never comes out" thing.

What's next?

A woman on a New York street wears a t-shirt that says:
  Simon Says
   Fuck Off
Just fabulous.


princess leia

princess leia naked



(Now I've made a silly collage background for the Sims Stories page. And I added another little bit of detail at Rooms to Let. Simple pleasures...)