June 01, 2005

Woz, and is, a Good Guy

I'm always inspired by Steve Wozniak. Like that other Steve connected with that "fruit company", he changed the world with his inventiveness. But he seems to be truly a good guy--still humble and down-to-earth despite his fame and fortune.

In the new article from San Jose Magazine, Woz talks about how he gave most of his wealth away; how he really wanted to just teach and be an engineer, and he seems truly happy about how things worked out. He isn't the Silicon Valley robber baron that the other Steve is, and he wouldn't want to be.

During the boom you'd meet all these paper millionaires who were, for lack of a better term, just real assholes. But only occasionally did you ever meet such people who had character and integrity.

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May 26, 2004

Googlephrasing in Spam

I got a spam email this morning that made it past Yahoo Mail's pretty-good filtering. The email took the "insert random words to fool the filter" idea one step further and inserted seemingly random phrases:

>Decide that you really want to achieve the goal...
>INNOVATION is the process of turning ideas into manufacturable and
marketable form.
>Perfect behavior is born of complete indifference.
>No answer is also an answer.
>We enact many laws that manufacture criminals, and then a few that
punish them
>An honest man can never surrender an honest doubt.
>Weave in faith and God will find the thread.
>Sooner or later everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences.
>Government can be bigger than any of the players on the field as a
referee, but it has no right to become one of the players.
>We know nothing of what will happen in future, but by the analogy of
>Harsh counsels have no effect they are like hammers which are always
repulsed by the anvil.
>It isn't so much what's on the table that matters, as what's on the
>All achievements, all earned riches, have their beginning in an idea.
>It isn't enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it
isn't enough to believe in it. One must work at it.
>The essence of knowledge is, having it, to apply it not having it, to
confess your ignorance.
>You know more of a road by having traveled it than by all the
conjectures and descriptions in the world.
>I don't care how much you know until I know how much you care.
>Mere flimflam stories, and nothing but shams and lies.
>The original ''crime'' of ''niggers'' and lesbians is that they prefer

Turns out these are all famous quotes. Do we have to stop parroting the work of great writers in our emails now, or risk getting flagged by an updated spam filter?

That last one caught my eye -- Google told me it's from the pen of Alice Walker.

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February 03, 2004

SEO by Hijacking

I got this funky comment yesterday. It didn't seem like the usual "Buy the combo Viagra and penis enlarger patch now!" spam, so I was inclined to leave it be.

[Now that product would sell like hotcakes, wouldn't it?]

But then I noticed the references to a discount software sales site sprinkled throughout the futurist copy. Putting my SEO hat on, I'd say these guys are angling for more Googlejuice. Rather innovative, I'd say. You learn something new everyday, even from the spammers.

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January 21, 2004

How to Eat Crow

So I've been having this running feud with the folks who host our department's external Web presence--I and a lot of folks haven't been able to view our PDFs when served up from that domain. We can access PDFs on any other Web site, just not the one that serves up our PDFs. Gotta be a server problem, right?

No, says that dept. It's your client config. You're an idiot.

No, says I. Why is it just shitty on your server? Every other site works for me. You suck.

So I uninstall and reinstall Adobe Reader (er, Acrobat Reader 6). And sure enough, I can view inline PDFs on that site now. Sheepishly, I tell those folks to close my ticket--but you know, if you could figure out what it is that makes your server lame, that would be a more optimum solution... Bite me, they reply, in slightly more polite language.


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December 10, 2003

What to do with a geeky photo...

Remember those awkward school photos, where the cheap setups the visiting photographers used always made you look really geeky?

Well, if you ever get invited to co-author a Wrox book, you can finally put that photo to good use. Example:


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