Entire story below the cut because the link in the story's title leads to the registration-required article on the Post's web site.
Entire story below the cut because the link in the story's title leads to the registration-required article on the Post's web site.
I use TypePad to host this site and I love it. Been using it for two years now, first as a beta tester—I was lucky enough to be picked for the final round of testing—and since October 2003 as a paying member of the service.
I've been fortunate as well in that my TypePad sites haven't been buried in comment and TrackBack spam. I've had a few spurts here and there but nothing like the thousands (or even millions) of spam comments or TrackBacks some other Movable Type and TypePad users have seen. And what small volume of spam I have received easily would be handled by comment-moderation abilities or by services such as TypeKey.
So I'm enormously pleased to see today's posting to Everything TypePad:
Upcoming Enhancements: Comment and TrackBack Management
[...] We're currently developing three major enhancements to TypePad that will give you more power and control over comments and TrackBacks.
- First, we'll provide support for TypeKey-based comment authentication. TypeKey is a service that lets you confidently identify a particular commenter, and it is a free service. We've supported TypeKey comment authentication in Movable Type for more than a year now, and customers who have implemented TypeKey on their weblogs have virtually eliminated comment spam from their weblogs.
- Second, we'll add the ability for you to moderate comments and TrackBacks. You'll be able to pre-screen comments and TrackBacks and approve them before they appear on your published weblog.
- Finally, on top of the authentication and moderation functionality, we're working on a greatly enhanced set of screens in TypePad for managing comments and TrackBacks. The goal of the improvements is to make it easier to scan and quickly take action on new comment activity, including deleting comments, approving or deleting moderated commenters, or banning unwanted commenters from your site.
Exactly what we all need.
Let the geekoid administrative ease-of-use anticipation begin.... :-)
I was really looking forward to the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
"Three-day weekend? SCORE!" I'd said to myself many times in the weeks leading to Friday.
Today, I'm thinking, "Long weekends just go by faster than the normal two-day weekends. How much does that suck?"
So anyway. One of the emails I received this morning invites me to yet another baby shower for a coworker, though this time the coworker is a man. Tyler, one of our IT guys, welcomed a baby girl recently, so the baby-shower hormones are flowing freely.
I'm so glad this is a short work week.
And I just realized: Only 32 days to the next three-day weekend, woo!
Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Microsoft Notebook: The end of 'my' is nigh
By TODD BISHOP
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER REPORTER
Those folders on your Windows desktop will still be yours—but in the future you'll need to figure that out on your own.
Ending a longstanding tradition, Microsoft Corp. plans to stop using the word "my" as the default prefix for such folders as "My Documents," "My Music," "My Pictures" and others along those lines. Starting in the next Windows version, due out next year, folders will be known simply as "Documents," "Music," and so on.
With any other product, such a minor change probably wouldn't even be noticed. But the Microsoft operating system runs on more than 90 percent of the world's personal computers, and its persistent use of the word has been one of its most conspicuous characteristics—helping to fuel widespread use of the "my" prefix in the technology industry.
Read the entire article on the P-I's site for the source of this post's title.
Director Oliver Stone arrested
Faces DUI, drug charges
LOS ANGELES, California (CNN)—Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone was released from jail Saturday after his arrest on alcohol and drug charges the night before in Beverly Hills, police said.
Police at a checkpoint, set up for the Memorial Day weekend, pulled over Stone when he showed signs of intoxication, said Beverly Hills Police Sgt. John Edmundson.
When police searched Stone’s Mercedes, they said they found an illegal drug.
They declined to identify it.
Stone, 58, was arrested about 11:45 p.m. Friday on a misdemeanor charge of driving while intoxicated and on a drug possession charge, Edmundson said.
The director posted a $15,000 bond and was released around 6:30 a.m. Saturday.
Stone said nothing to reporters who were waiting outside the police department.
In 1999 the filmmaker was arrested on alcohol and drug charges and, as part of a plea bargain, agreed to enter a rehabilitation program.
A Vietnam veteran, Stone received Best Directing Oscars for “Platoon” (1986), which also won an Oscar for Best Picture, and for “Born on the Fourth of July” (1989), according to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Web site.
He also won an Academy Award for his screenplay adaptation of “Midnight Express” (1978).
Apparently I've summer on my mind.
Photo shamelessly snaked from L.L.Bean's product info page, which I'm not linking directly because I hate the way their links are constructed and I really am that petty sometimes
Wednesday's mini-rant about weather-forecasting idiocy rings even more true today, as the weekend forecast has returned to sunny or partly cloudy with temperatures in the upper low 80s on the weekend and the upper 70s through Tuesday.
Used to be I'd watch with amusement as the last day of the 5-day forecasts changed at every newscast. Now it seems like the forecast changes with every hour.
No wonder the weekend-closure work on the WSDOT I-5 James to Olive Pavement Rehab project has been postponed so many times. It must be frustrating as hell for the crews and the project's managers to see a forecast of possible rain cancel the work when 20 minutes later the forecast does a 180.
FDA probes blindness among Viagra users
WASHINGTON (AP)—Federal health officials are examining rare reports of blindness among some men using the impotence drugs Viagra and Cialis, a disclosure that comes at a time when the drug industry can ill afford negative publicity about another class of blockbuster medicines.
The Food and Drug Administration still is investigating, but has no evidence yet that the drug is to blame, said spokeswoman Susan Cruzan.
This type of blindness is called NAION, or non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy. It can occur in men who are diabetic or have heart disease, the same conditions that can cause impotence and thus lead to Viagra use.
The FDA has 42 reports of the blindness, 38 among users of Viagra and four among users of Cialis. There were no cases reported among users of Levitra, the third impotence drug.
"We take this seriously," said FDA's Cruzan.
No further comment required....
I was riding my tricycle in the neighbours' back yard and tried to do a Tron-style right-angle turn to follow the sidewalk. The trike tipped over immediately and I ended up bashing my head against the straight-edge metal handle of the welded-shut hopper that had been the coal door when the house had a coal-fired furnace (long before we lived in the neighbourhood).
The handle sliced the skin at the front of my head, just behind the hairline. Blood EVERYWHERE, I was immediately blinded by it. Instant screaming and wailing in pain and I got up and walked with my sister back to our house, where my mom took one look at my blood-covered face and chest and immediately bundled us into the car for the short trip to Primary Children's Hospital, which was then less than a mile from our house.
Here's where the facts are in dispute.
I recall being held down in writhing agony as the ER doctor stitched up my forehead. I clearly remember the horror of watching the local-anaesthetic needle approach my head, the sting of it, the weird pressure and tugging sensations as he sewed me up.
My mom insists, however, that the ER folk handed me a small mirror and I watched in utterly absorbed fascination as the needle and sutures flickered in and out of my scalp.
Either way, I still have a scar, and still get questions about it now and then.
And I don't care much for tricycles. <grin>
79° right now, which is pretty toasty for the Seattle area—I expect any minute to see people burst into flame spontaneously as they walk around outside—and the air conditioning's fritzed out in the lab.
So it's warm in the administrative area, which is having the main effect of drying out my eyes and making me want to keep them closed and in turn making me think that a siesta is definitely in order. But it's also wreaking havoc on the instruments the analysts use to test for certain volatile organic compounds, rendering their work schedules insane.
It's too bad temps in the 80s seem warm to us rather than just "normal."
Maybe if we used Celsius instead: 26.1° doesn't seem so warm after all, eh?
Last night my computer ate my 2,000-plus-item iPhoto library.
I’d recently added about 500 images to the library and was in the process of standardizing titles, descriptions, keywords, and so on when iPhoto crashed out of the blue. I got the new “This application quit unexpectedly, relaunch?” message from Tiger and chose the “relaunch” option, only to be greeted by two hours of endless-beachball-spinning nonreseponsiveness.
Lesson learned: No deleting backups for at least two months! past upgrade datesBut I was paranoid about data loss so I let the computer chug away until iPhoto crashed again, and this time I chose the “relaunch with default settings” option.
Voilà, my library was back. Sans, however, titles and keywords and album/film roll designations I’d added over the last couple of years.
I had used Ken Ferry’s Keyword Assistant iPhoto add-in under OS X 10.3.x Panther to get around the rather clunky keyword-adding/changing interface built into iPhoto. Turns out KA versions prior to 1.8.6 weren’t compatible under Tiger, and my iPhoto library’s death was a direct result of that.
It didn’t even occur to me to yank Keyword Assistant and see if that would make the library livable again. Fortunately I have separate backups of the full-size image files so I can reconstruct things myself, but it’ll be a huge pain in the ass. I’d done a full backup of my iPhoto library before I upgraded to Tiger a couple weeks ago but deleted the backup last week when I hadn’t noticed any problems with the OS upgrade.
Lesson learned: No deleting backups for at least two months! past upgrade dates.
I forgot my cell phone today.
I put the phone on the counter while I poured my last cup of coffee into my travel mug. Snapped the lid onto the mug, turned to grab the phone's holster and clip it to my belt, picked up my keys and wallet and headed down to the car.
Got to work and realized the phone holster was empty—I'd planned to clip on the holster and put the phone in it immediately before I grabbed keys and wallet. I must have been distracted by the pretty glint of the keys or something.
I feel... naked.
There was the Trane Heating and Air Conditioning First Pitch, and the Cingular Wireless pre-game show and score updates, and what seemed like hundreds of others.
And I thought, I wonder when we'll start hearing about sponsored sponsorships?
This has been the Cingular Wireless score report.
Brought to you by Trane Heating and Air Conditioning....
The coffee I'm drinking today was actually intended for consumption yesterday morning. However, I had yet another misfire with my coffee maker's timed-brew cycle.
Turns out there are two functions that have to be set for the auto brew to work. You first must set the time for the cycle to start, and separately you must turn on the auto-brew cycle.
Just setting the time doesn't turn on the cycle, as I found out to my dismay when I wandered downstairs at 07:05, clad in t-shirt and boxers, wondering where the hell was the stimulating aroma of freshly brewed java.
There was nothing. The coffee pot sat there empty, glistening in the morning sun reflected off my incredulous forehead. Grounds were still in the filter basket, untouched by the water which sat unheated in the reservoir.
The coffee maker just sat there, almost grinning evilly at my silly stupidity.
I thought the banks had switched in, oh, October or so to some system of processing checks whereby the checks would clear practically the moment you ripped them from the checkbook, but in the six months since they announced this change I've seen the checks I write take much longer to clear than they ever did before.
Two most recent examples (and about the only two checks I still write regularly; everything else I do through my bank's electronic bill-payment system):
They went to all this trouble to warn us about not relying on "floating" checks anymore (well, my bank did anyway; I got notices about it in several monthly statements leading up to Oct 2004), that checks would very likely clear the next day after deposit—even the same day in some cases—so be sure not to write a check unless you know the funds are there, blah blah blah.
My experience has been exactly the opposite.
Note to clients who want custom-designed chain-of-custody documents to include their own company logo:
Don't provide a BMP graphic file. BMP graphics suck for detailed reproduction. That's why your logo looks fuzzy on the COC, just like I told you it would when you said that was the only logo file you had.
But the rest of the form sure looks purty. Kinko's does a decent job on such items.
In the last three days, the weather forecast for the Memorial Day weekend in the Seattle area has changed from Really Nice! (sunny, clear, 70s or even 80s each day) to Mildly Sucky! (partly cloudy, low to mid-60s, chance of rain each day).
Oh well. Come hell or high water, we're barbecuin' this weekend. :-)
I remember the Villa Theatre from my childhood. I saw several movies there over the years I was in Salt Lake City and even though I never really liked its enormous curved screen, the theatre itself was pretty neat. It was huge and high-ceilinged and the annoying curved screen seemed to span the horizon.
Now it'll be a rug shop, as this article from today's Deseret Morning News attests:
Had a late lunch (or very early dinner, I suppose) yesterday at the Pike Street Cheesecake Factory. I met up with Katharine, Michelle, and Sasha after the Seattle Storm loss to the Los Angeles Sparks.
I arrived at the restaurant at 15:20 and had about half an hour to kill before the women arrived, so I put us in for a booth for four and wandered into the bar, where I got myself a 22-ounce Pyramid Hefeweizen and watched the Preakness, about which I cared not but it made for interesting diversion, mainly because apparently a lot of horse-racing bettors were in that bar and they were all quite vocal and animated about it.
Anyway, I also looked out the windows a lot. Both while I waited for the girls and when we were seated at our table, which was along the bank of windows facing directly onto Pike Street. We had a fishbowl view of the fascinating people who sometimes wander along Seattle's streets.
Nothing noteworthy happened until we were near the end our meal, which coincidentally happened to be 17:30, right around the time ::koff::normal::koff:: people start their dinner hour.
Must have been prom night or something, because that's when the formal dresses and tuxedos began appearing in droves. And the men (boys?) were universally idiotic about such common courtesies (to say nothing of gallant or chivalric actions) as holding their dates' umbrellas (it was raining lightly), or offering the off-the-shoulder wearers their tuxedo jackets to ward off the chill, or stepping aside so the women could stand as far as possible under the doorway overhang to get out of the sprinkles and breeze entirely.
And when did it become acceptable for a tuxedo to be worn sans jacket?
When did formal come to mean half-assed attempt at dressing nicely?
Fired up the old-times playlist this morning, 111 songs that remind me of the people and places I was lucky enough to experience from 1988 to the mid-1990s.
In this iteration’s play order (it shuffles every time):
Listening to music and decided I wanted to edit a grouping entry for one of my songs. I use iTunes' Grouping field for keywords of sorts to assist in making smart playlists and the like and I wanted to remove a couple songs from my old-times grouping keyword.
I happened to click my mouse directly over the Grouping field of an already-highlighted song in my library listing and immediately I saw an editable text-box highlight appear over the Grouping area, comme ça:
Slick. Now I won't have to go into iTunes' Get Info box to edit many of the basic bits of info about individual songs.
From my quick glance, it looks like you can't edit such things as dates or play counts; those are handled by iTunes as changes warrant. But the fields I regularly use, Song / Artist / Album / Grouping / Genre, all are editable this way.
A day trip up the road from Seattle. My first time in Canada and first time driving in a country with metric speed-limit and other road signs, which was a trip and a half. Ask me sometime about how stupid I was at the border checkpoint....
More shots to come later.
Last night, however, I decided to use my coffee maker's timed-brewing feature to have a couple of cups ready for me when I got out of the shower this morning.
Before I went to bed, I ground some beans and placed them with a filter in the brewing basket. Filled the carafe to the right level, poured the water into the maker's reservoir. Set the clock to start the brewing cycle at 07:00, which is the same time my alarm goes off on days when I don't wake up before it.
Went to bed secure in the knowledge that I'd get a nice whiff of freshly brewed java as I stepped out of the shower. I was looking forward to it; I'd be able to sip at a cup while I shaved and dressed.
This morning I woke before the alarm but didn't get up until 07:30 or so. I didn't smell coffee at that moment but I also didn't remember I'd set the timer. Only when I was in the shower did I remember the scheduled brewing cycle, and when I shut off the water and toweled off I opened the bathroom door and inhaled deeply, expecting a Bold Coffee Aroma to fill my senses.
All I smelled was the soap and shampoo I'd just finished rinsing off, however. So I wandered downstairs to see what was up and spotted the problem immediately.
The carafe was full but the liquid was a pale weak brown, not the robust dark color I expected. It also was cold.
The coffee maker's heating element hadn't operated at all, so the water had trickled through the grounds cold and now sat there taunting me with its weakness.
A sixteenth of a pound of $10/lb beans wasted, dammit. I guess I could've used the damp filter like a tea bag, steeped it in a cup of hot water and let the water leach out the caffeinated goodness, but I didn't think of that until after I'd tossed the weak "coffee" down the sink and the spent grounds and filter into the trash.
I had to fall back on a Diet Coke, which used to be my regular first-thing-in-the-morning caffeine source but which now seems almost blasphemous for that early hour unless I'm on a road trip.
And my 20-minute commute doesn't qualify on that front.
Loud, spectacular imagery, amazing effects, some good chuckles here and there. Definitely darker than the previous films.
The best of the prequel trilogy. I don't know about these people who claim Revenge of the Sith is better even than Episode V—The Empire Strikes Back, mainly because I didn't think that was the best of the first trilogy. I liked Episode VI—Return of the Jedi the best of the first three, all those big battle sequences and pre-digital-effects space-opera cheesiness.
Katharine and I talked briefly a couple days ago about seeing Revenge of the Sith sometime this weekend, and when we got to work today we both happened to mention it again. Cut to 11:03 when Katharine was standing at my desk and I fired up the Fandango site to see what theaters around here offered advance sales for the weekend.
Instead I ended up clicking for the 11:30 show today at the Loews cineplex in Woodinville, just over the hill from the lab, and off we went to take a 3-hour lunch break. :-)
Geeks we are.
Checking email and getting a quick news fix as I get ready for work and spotted this story. I was pleased to see that at least one business model seems (so far, anyway) immune to Wal-Mart's tactics of cutting prices until competitors are driven out.
My iChat status message now:
the bats are busy tonight
For two reasons.
I hate it when I have so many things floating about my cranium but they all stay just far enough out of reach that none is worth developing further.
And how was your Monday?
Eh. A completely forgettable movie. A few chuckles here and there, but no laugh-out-loud moments. And I found the actors annoying in these parts.
I don’t like Ray Romano and I can’t abide Piper Laurie. I do like Hank Azaria; the rest of the actors, I’m indifferent. The trailer looked funny, so I added it to my rental queue. Too bad that as with most comedies they put all the remotely amusing bits in the trailer, leaving the rest of the movie to plod along between funny bits.
This was another “background noise” movie for me; never fully engaged my attention so it just... played... while I did other things.
Quiet and somewhat industrious morning. I'd planned to sleep in a bit, say until 09:00ish, and then enjoy a cup or two of coffee from the coffee press while I relaxed over the news online. Then I was going to start a load or two of laundry to pass the time while it rained.
My two felines, however, had other ideas. They decided it was time for me to be up and about at 07:17, so the relaxing morning got a much earlier start than I'd anticipated. But that means the laundry will be finished in an hour or so and the rain's passed by for the time being.
A few spectacular plays, some good hits here and there, and a fun crowd for tonight's game. It was a warm night—it's still 64° as I type this—and there never was any rain at the ballpark. We saw a few drops on eastbound I-90 over the Lake Washington floating bridge, but that was about it.
First time I've been to a Mariners game and not had to pay a dime. I like it when things work out that way and I still manage to get a bit tipsy by the 4th inning. :-)
Rambly thoughts at the end of the day.
I stopped at Fred Meyer on my way home yesterday because my fridge was empty, save the wine and beer (and a stick of butter and some mouldy cheese). I bought some bananas and apples and other stuff and used the U-Scan self-checkout system, which insisted I swipe the bananas and apples over the "I didn't steal this" pad several times before it would let me put the fruit in the grocery bags.
It didn't even twitch at the anti-theft device on the loratadine tablets I bought to the tune of $15, but $2 of bananas and apples? Secure 'em, baby!
I spent much of today assisting in the generation of 4,000 pages of raw data and accompanying documentation to support the results reported for 35 or so soil samples from Alaska. When the two stacks of pages were fully assembled, the first thought that ran through my mind was: Damn, those rubber bands sure are stretchy.
My cats are over the repellent spray I've been using for a couple of months to keep them away from carpet they've scratched or whatever. Now when I spray the repellent, they run over to lick at it or at least sniff it a lot.
I may just be marking the areas I want them to destroy next, who knows.
The apartment managers once again placed a lease renewal for apartment U3 on my door, V3. Whichever "leasing consultant" keeps doing this really needs to learn how to write legibly.
I left my cell phone at work yesterday and my first thought when I noticed it was how I'd wake up this morning, since I've been using the cell as an alarm clock for about a year now. Then I thought, no worries, I'll just email my mom at work and ask her to call me at 07:00 to wake me up.
It took about 10 minutes for the stupidity of that thought to click in my brain.
Was washing my hands in the bathroom a while ago. Rinsed off the soap and immediately turned off the bathroom light, which by itself isn't all that unusual except
I think I'm not yet fully recovered from the road trip....
Got home about an hour ago and immediately shucked off my shoes and socks and then just... walked around my townhouse for a while, working out the kinks of 26 hours on the road over the last four days.
The drive back was uneventful, which is exactly how I like 'em. We did run into rain in ID and again from Yakima, WA all the way into the Seattle area, but no problems there; just switched the wipers to Nervous Speed and plugged away. It took us 13 hours each way, including stops for fuel, restrooms and leg stretches, and lunch.
I only go about 5mph above the posted limits. Really.
Anyway, I have to finish this utterly fascinating story so I complete a load of laundry and then collapse into bed and deal with work tomorrow.
Happy Monday night. :-)
I just had a front-row seat to a Nine to Five moment.
We use a high-speed document scanner to archive the raw-data files from the laboratory. The scanner handles 3 or 4 pages per second at 400 dpi, so when feed problems happen, they happen fast.
So in Nine to Five, Jane Fonda’s character, a newly divorced woman just entering the job market, has trouble operating a high-speed photocopier. Ends up standing in frustrated confusion amidst paper spraying this way and that, reams of pages flying everywhere.
Our receptionist does double duty as the scanner operator and she just had a similar moment when a misfeed resulted in pages ejecting from the scanner at high speed and flying all around the scanner area.
I wish my camera phone could capture video clips.
Everything works just fine.
My upgrade experience was absolutely painless.
Well, sort of. I spent more time backing up my data to guard against possible problems than I spent time installing the upgrade. I haven't even played with Tiger as many hours as I spent backing up my data.
I both adore and abhor an upgrade experience of this type.
But Tiger is just slicker than hell. I'm quite pleased—Spotlight indexed my drive in about 30 minutes flat and the results I see based on various searches are just astounding. I absolutely love Quicksilver but I can see how Spotlight may circumvent my need for Quicksilver in a short time, because so far I haven't used the more in-depth features of Quicksilver (text appending to files and so on), and I can do launches and such with Spotlight just fine.
Dashboard, so far I've mainly just been wowed by the various visual effects and such. Haven't used it a lot yet.
Also haven't done much with Automator yet, but it looks powerful as hell. I'm looking forward to running my photos through it to rename them and do some initial batch processing.
Otherwise, everything's worked perfectly. All my applications are operating normally and the third-party add-ons like iChatStatus and Key Xing and LiteSwitch X and MenuMeters loaded like always.
So simple. I love this OS.