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01 Jan - 31 Jan 2003
01 Feb - 28 Feb 2003
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The Internet License Plate Database
Tossable Digits - Cheap, Anonymous, Disposable Phone Numbers
Love & Onions (Jen, my wife)
Roadie Speaks Blog
I Love Ben Brown


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Krispy's Revenge

Wednesday 19 March 2003 at 12:57 am This is dedicated to my brother-in-law Will, who really has strange, yet appealing, taste in music, among other things.

Krispy's Revenge: The utterly disgusting feeling you feel after rapidly consuming 2 or more hot, Original Glazed Krispy Kreme doughnuts. It is usually a horrible sense of guilt, eventually followed by your stomach becoming upset and your arteries clogging. Not normally followed by death, but I think after rapidly consuming 6 or more, you're just asking for it. The phrase was first uttered by Will Gray on the Ides of March, 2003 after his first glorious consumption of 2 hot Original Glazed Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. He liked them so much, he giggled with joy. That is, until Krispy's Revenge set in. They're just soooo good going down... the Krispy's Revenge is worth it.

More Geeky Ideas: Bluetooth Car Stereo

Tuesday 18 March 2003 at 12:43 am Ok, super geek entry again. Sorry to disappoint, but hey, I gotta post my ideas for inventions somewhere.

Wifi and Bluetooth are starting to become common terms you hear in daily (ok, maybe it's just geeks) conversation. I've got an old car and a new MP3 player. Sure, I have that little FM transmitter device, but it doesn't work so well.

So it got me thinking that it would be sweet if someone, like Pioneer or Sony, came out with a Bluetooth, or even Wifi, enabled car stereo. But mostly this idea is for Bluetooth.

Why? So I can get in my car, turn on my MP3 player, and get perfect streaming quality from my player to my car stereo, no problems. Bluetooth can do around 720kbps, or about 5 times faster data transfer than your average MP3 or even OGG file. So now I've got a car stereo that can play music from any Bluetooth enabled device. Hell, get a Bluetooth-enabled CD or Tape player for all your old stuff -- maybe even a vinyl player!!!

It doesn't stop there. Put your Bluetooth-enabled cell phone in your car, and the built-in microphone allows your phone to turn your car into a speakerphone. Have one of those TV screens built in, and now you can display your laptop in your car, or watch a video you downloaded from the 'net. Put on Bluetooth headphones and listen to your music in perfect quality -- no wires, and your significant other can still read their magazine or book in perfect silence. Maybe have a built in hard drive in the deck, and download music to it. Upgrade the software in your deck by moving your Bluetooth-enabled laptop to your car with a Wifi link (or the downloaded software).

Obviously the great thing about this device is it could be as little as an amp, AM/FM tuner and a microphone, all the way up to the Video Screen, A/F/X-M tuner, CD/DVD drive, built-in (or compact flash or USB or hard drive or non-volitile RAM) storage, GPS and Wifi. Get the right hook-up via Bluetooth, and the addition of your laptop makes a mean war driving machine! Put that in a nice black Lexus IS300, and man will you be the envy of geeks around the world.

OK, I'm dreaming, but I hope my dream will get someone to build it. I hope it is at least in the works.

That concludes this geeky outburst of geekdom. Now on to bigger things.

War. I guess we'll be at it by the end of the week. I truly hope and pray that if we do go to war against Iraq that there is a damn good reason. I have to believe that in the absence of information that I have, that our government is much more up-to-speed on the threat Iraq is against the US. Right now, I don't see it, but I also don't have a security clearance. Maybe it's better not to know. Regardless, I hope that this ends quickly. I hate that I live in a country where I disagree with my leaders decisions, think Congress is corrupt, and believe we're being assholes about this whole thing, even if it is for our own (and hopefully others and our allies) good.

Guijillo makes great authentic mexican food. Go get some in Arlington, VA. Peace. Literally.

Angry People

Thursday 13 March 2003 at 01:21 am So while I'm a talented, experienced web developer and such, I also have married a woman who has a passion for food which has rubbed off on me. So in my spare time when I'm not busy writing code or consulting, I work at a really nice restaurant. Maybe I've said which one before, but for the sake of this entry, I'll leave it out.

The chef at the restaurant, who we'll call Bruno for entertainment value, is a really nice guy, at least as far as I can tell. He's personable, funny, and really loves food. But sometimes things go wrong in the kitchen. Something gets mixed up, or someone didn't give him an important piece of information. It happens, right?

So I'm making tart shell dough on the far end of the kitchen, when I start to hear excited bursts of swearing, almost to the point of a constant scream. It was Bruno. Now, while I understand that when people screw up it is frustrating, and this specific issue had to do with the owner of the restaurant dining (he does so often), the string of yelled colorful adjectives was quite, well, disturbing. He wasn't mad at me, and honestly, I'm not sure he was mad at anyone specifically, but someone did do something wrong after he began the rant and BOOM! Fired. Sure, it was a dishwasher, and maybe he/she was doing something they surely shouldn't have been, but maybe that job was their only income. I guess it's not Bruno's problem, but if they got fired for anything more than making Bruno more angry, that could be bad for the restaurant.

After about 10 minutes, he was his good 'ole charming self again, calmly explaining to the rather attractive but unfriendly hostess that she did a good job of dealing with the situation while he was screaming his balls off.

It kind of bugged me for the rest of the day, and I know it really bothered at least one other person at work too. What is it about people in managment who feel that the best way to get people to stop screwing up is to scream at them publically? Does it really help? I don't think so. Pull 'em aside and give them a stern talking to in private. While the end result might be the same, I think the individual who messed up might feel better about the mistake and want to fix it next time to please the manager, not to avoid his directed raving lunacy.

Also, thanks to Chris, a "Police Officer Applicant" in Fairfax County, who explained eloquently about why there might be 4 cop cars on a scene. While I still think there is a greater tendancy for cops to stop at scenes that could be deemed "exciting" when there isn't really anything going on, he makes a good point that even lanky teenagers can get beligerant beyond the control of the initial cop and his/her backup. Eh, I can't complain -- I'd rather them swarming on the lanky drunken driving teen than pulling me over for doing 47 in a 25. Not like I do that or anything...

The Fuzz Congregation Effect

Sunday 09 March 2003 at 01:20 am I noticed something about police today. I'm not trying to pick on them, just pointing out something I've noticed.

Tonight I was driving home from several games of pool, and just as I approached the intersection, a cop coming from the opposite direction flicked his lights on and tore down a side street. Being super curious, I followed.

The cop pulls up behind a car. A tall, lanky kid sticks his head out of the window, waves or gestures, and I lose sight. I do a U-turn, pass again, and now the kid is out of the car doing what looks like sobriety tests. I decide nothing exciting was going on, and head home again. Then I pass another cop who doesn't have his/her lights on, but is in some kind of hurry. So I say what the heck and go back for another pass.

By the time I get back to passing the "crime scene," four, count 'em, four cop cars are there, about 7 cops, all with their lights blazing. It's a friggin' lanky teenager. It's not Rocky, it's not Arnold. He doesn't have a gun (that I can see).

This is what I like to call "The Fuzz Congregation Effect." I understand that some traffic or other stops require backup, and true, I am not a cop myself, nor do I understand their job. But 4 cop cars for a kid and a car? Just because it is a late night doesn't mean that ALL of the cops on duty for Falls Church need to be at the only happening crime scene in town! What if there was a life-or-death situation on the other side of the city? If the two extra cop cars would have been covering their area or just driving around, there is statistically a much better chance at a better response time than if they are all congregated somewhere else.

Sure, it probably doesn't happen much, but I've seen "the Fuzz Congregation Effect" happen other places too. It's like a slow night with a single crime scene turns into the equivalent of the water cooler for cops. Interesting.

Sendmail Vulnerabilities and Spam and Jen's "Booshday"

Tuesday 04 March 2003 at 12:47 am Warning: Geeky Entry.

So I've been reading tons and tons of information about today's sendmail vulnerability and about how spam is trying to be thwarted. Some people think that if spam is being delivered, just make the connection super slow and it will kill the remote server if enough people use the software. I like the idea, but I wonder if it will work. Others have said "whitelist everything" but then you'll just find someone who can write a "whitelist buster" and you have your problem still.

There needs to be some accountability. So what about this: if I want to have a sendmail server, I need to accept mail from other sendmail servers. The only way that I will accept mail is if the remote server can provide me a "key" that I can validate as an "approved" mail server. All I need to do is go to a website, register my contact info, have it verified, find a few nearby (network-wise) mail servers, and request to be a part of their network. Once they approve me, I get a key to put on my server so they can connect. If I have a spam problem, I talk to the 5 or 10 systems admins that I have as "approved" on my list. They in return talk to their connected servers, so on and so forth. Hell, it doesn't even have to be an approved key -- just block everything unless it is from a known/approved IP.

The problem is that you have mail taking 10-30 hops across the Internet, rather than at the least, 1 or 2 hops. Is all that processing power worth the pain? Maybe each hop will hand the sending server a key and another mail server; that mail server will get the last key and check it; if it is approved, it hands over another key and another mail server; the sending mail server will go to THAT mail server to get another key and another mail server until you reach the destination.

It's a lot of work, reducing/stopping spam worth it? Sure, a piece of mail might take 5 times as long to deliver, but with only the key being passed between the 10-30 intermediaries, it would reduce bandwidth, especially since the mail is only transmitted once the sending server finds and is approved by the receiving server.

It's a thought, one that is still in progress. I just figured I write it down so I wouldn't forget.

It's Jen's 29th Birthday today. Happy Birthday, Baby. I love you forever.