More Diversity in Spam

It's amazing how this diverse group of people has such a narrow range of things to talk about…

Luvinia Ridley
Darklier G. Pestered
Raul Tatum
Josefina T. Boucher
Esteban Russell
Troy Ziegler
Hyram Brigham
Benita Madden
Ladonna E. Meza
Mohammad Drake

You just can't make these names up!  Oh wait, apparently, you can…


p.s. Darklier G. Pestered is my favorite :-)  Ladonna's not far behind.

Video Games – Good or Evil? has two fascinating articles about video games, both written by insiders. They can be Good or Evil. I found the Evil argument a bit more convincing. Actually the Evil one is more about the stagnation of creativity in the game industry, and is very cynical, but he also indicts games as a whole along the way. Must-read if you're into games. The Good one is, uh, good, but it's a bit nostalgic, and his argument is a bit harder to swallow. They complement each other nicely though. The Evil one is also much more recent (4/10/2005 vs 6/22/2004). Hey, I can't stay on top of the news all the time!


Spam Names, Volume I

So I have a little time to blog today after all, so I'm going to start something I've been thinking about for a little while now – a list of my favorite Spam Names. Spam is certainly annoying, but I try to see the silver lining by reading the absurd names that they are coming from. I have no idea what's behind a name like, say, Azalea Kendrick, but it's a lot more fun than Rick Jones.

Some others I got today:

Wen Roselee
Luz Winkler
Sandie Skylar
Wilson Harrell


Three Days Without a Post!

I know, I know.  You miss me, right?  Well, here's some more bad news – it will be another four days before I can post again, possibly even more than a week.  It's the wonderful holiday of Passover (it was hard to pick only one link for that!).  Why is it so wonderful, you ask?  RenReb answers!

Anyway, everyone be well, and have a great three days to one week without me.  You'll manage…


You Have Been Acquired

Two major acquisitions in the news recently. Both are mergers between longtime competitors. The first is between Adobe and Macromedia. This scores pretty highly on my “Holy #$@*!” Meter. Personally I think it's a BAD thing. Adobe and Macromedia had a healthy competition going, and this is going to kill it.

In a move that will make some tremors (albeit on on a much lower scale) GameStop and EB Games, the two biggest video game retailers are entering into a merger. I'm not sure how that's going to affect the market, although game prices seem to be pretty fixed anyway. Should be interesting.

Anyway, there seems to be major horizontal consolidation going on right now. Stay tuned…


p.s. I'm too lazy to link Adobe, Macromedia, GameStop, and EB Games. I'll give you a hint, though. Take the names, remove any spaces, and add a “.com” to the end. Easy as pie!

Admen Whine About AdBlock

Slashdot put up a story on Friday about AdBlock.  They posed a question – does blocking an advertisement violate a Social Contract between the visitor and the site.

My first reaction when seeing this question was “rubbish” (I think in British sometimes).  Advertising is based entirely on the market.  If advertisers see a good ROI on a website (or any other medium), they will continue advertising, and rates will reflect that.  If they don't, they'll simply stop advertising there, and the website will lose revenue, at which point they will have to change business models in order to survive.  If the website is truly providing value to its visitors, I believe it will survive.

Let's look at television as an analogy (which Slashdot does as well).  If someone gets up to go to the bathroom during a commercial, is that violating some sort of social contract?  Of course not.  The advertiser and television station assume that a certain percentage of viewers will miss the ad altogether, which is how they negotiate rates.  In the case of television, there are alternative models such as subscription television (HBO) and public television (PBS), which is probably how the Internet will play out if advertising stops being effective.

The point is, it's pure market.  No contracts.  If something makes money, people will do it, and if not, not.  Period.  If it stops working, people will find something else to do.  Whining about it won't make a difference, and neither will throwing around fancy terms to try to go back to the “good old days”.


DIY May Not Always Be a Good Idea

Like, say, oh, a Baby Incubator?


The Wrath of Nerds

I've been awful busy these past few days and haven't had time to blog, but RegretTheError had this gem (another one!):

Attention, Star Trek fans: No more calls or e-mails, please! Captain Kirk did not often “cloak” the Starship Enterprise to make it invisible, as was erroneously reported in the “Biz Buzz” feature in yesterday's Business section. In fact, the first known use of cloaking technology was by the Romulans in 2266, according to “The Star Trek Encyclopedia: A Reference Guide to the Future.” Kirk and Commander Spock were sent on a mission to steal a cloaking device from the Romulans in 2268 during the first Star Trek series. And Klingons used cloaking in the movie “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.” This prompted theories of a Romulan-Klingon alliance, in which the Romulans may have traded their cloaking secrets for warp drive, reports The [Newark] Star-Ledger really, really regrets the error.

Star Trek fans: don't let this half-assed apology stop your perfectly justified boycott!  These devils must pay for their ignorance!  Saddle up – lock and load!  Resistance is Futile!  And so forth.


Everyone's Talking Star Wars

I doubt this is a coincidence, but here are some of the headlines from TF.N today:

Jimmy Smits Talks Star Wars
Turk from Scrubs Talks Star Wars
Francis Ford Coppola Talks Episode III
Anthony Daniels Talks Episode III
Episode III Tickets in Finland

Oh wait, ignore that last one…


p.s. “Turk from Scrubs”? Doesn't the guy (or girl) have a name?

Debit Card Update

Well, I was finally able to cancel the damn thing this morning. Several intelligent people have told me not to get another Debit card (just an ATM card), which makes sense, seeing as how my bank account could have been wiped out pretty easily in the past two days… Still, it's quite annoying, since I liked using my debit card when i was low on cash and didn't feel like putting it on my interest-charging credit card. So I have a decision to make. I'm probably going to lean towards security over convenience – the eternal tradeoff (locking your door increases security but is inconvenient, which is why people don't bother locking their doors in safe neighborhoods). Ok, maybe not “eternal”…