Thursday, March 30, 2006

E-Mail Tag

Always get a chuckle out of e-mails that end with one of these bittys (from a real e-mail I got this morning):
Confidentiality Note: This message is intended for use only by the individual or entity to which it is addressed and may contain information that is priviledged, confidential, and exempt from disclosure under applicable law. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient or the employee or agent responsible for delivering the message to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please contact the sender immediately and destroy the material in its entirety, whether electronic or hard copy.
'Applicable Law'? Do tell. Which federal or state laws have been enacted to protect unencrypted communications that have been broadcast over an unsecured medium to god knows whoever? These tags are always written by
  • People who think they know information security, but don't have a clue (sending an e-mail and saying that only certain can read it is like broadcasting a radio show and saying only certain people are allowed to listen to it)
  • People who think they are lawyers, but are idiots (I'm leaning towards this on the above messages since 'priviledged' is misspelled)
  • People who, ironically enough, copied the tag line from someone else's e-mail (which was crafted using one of the two above procedures)

Why do businesses do this to themselves? Not only do they come off looking like idiots because they don't know they're doing, but they also come across as incredibly arrogant for thinking that their e-mail, which no doubt consists of nothing but patriotic pictures of cats or some bootlegged urban legend, is so important that it transcends the very laws and logic of man.

(I have received e-mails from places that have a clue and their tag line is usually something along the lines of "If this e-mail wasn't meant for you, sorry to have bothered you. Could you delete it purty please?")

Monday, March 27, 2006

March of the Illegals

Nice, nothing like a little Bushitler propaganda to draw warmth to your cause...

Line of the day from the news (and I paraphrase lightly): "the house bill will criminalize being in the country illegally".

I've grown warm to the idea that the mass migration going on now is an importation of poverty that's a sap to the rich at the expense of the working stiff. I'm open to dissuasion though...

Friday, March 24, 2006

Spent Casing

Well, another M$ test down. Another nail biter as well, unfortunately. It’s rather aggravating to pass a test by such small margins after weeks of study. Although, the test is pass/fail, so there’s no benefit to answering one more question right than you need to. I’m sure this contributed to the score since I ran the numbers and determined that I more than likely passed and that further (torturous) review of the questions wasn’t necessary.

No rest for the wicked I’m afraid though. I scheduled my next test for a little more than a month; gotta pass these things before my place of work goes out of business!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Phallus Phun

Geez, from HERE (link basically NSFW) (begrudging thnx to Sushicam):
The Hounen festival at Tagata shrine is one of the most famous (or infamous?) festivals in Japan. Amongst foreigners visiting Aichi Prefecture it is frequently referred to as the "penis shrine", or "Japanese penis festival", primarily due to the ancient Hounen Matsuri (a festival celebrating fertility and renewal), which is held here every March 15th.

Every year on March 15 a huge two and a half meter wooden phallus is carried the short distance between two shrines attracting visitors from all over Japan and international media attention.
Mildly amusing (and disturbing) to be sure (check out Justin's site for more Phallus Phun, NSFW of course). However, by the look at the fertility rates over there, I'd say these type of things either aren't working, or they don't hold them enough, one or the other (or it's just another instance in a long line of examples of an excuse to be perverted).

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Corned Beef Deluxe

Great news for us Irish(ish) Roman Catholics, from The Columbus Dispatch:
Though bishops in Cincinnati and Cleveland are handing their congregants a pass to enjoy a traditional corned-beef feast in exchange for another act of penance, the bishop of Columbus is holding the line.
Sorry about you poor saps in Columbus, and I 'd imagine that my ever deteriorating house will think of more than enough penance to make up for the two pounds of corned beef and cabbage I plan to consume.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Victim Complex

(Just dropping this post off to note that I'm still alive. I'm cramming for another inane M$ exam and will be tied down for the next two weeks, unless I don't pass the first time in which case it will be four. My study material has grown exponentially from test to test, so I'm sure by the final test that I'll look like one of those aliens on Star Trek that have ass cheeks on the back of their heads. Also as an fyi, a buddy noted something to do with my comments and I then noticed that I had several comments stuck in Blogger going back a couple months. Apologies on that, a belated thnx for the comments!)

I noticed during the recent Olympics how...sensitive the South Koreans are. Civic pride and all are nice (if not enviable), but jeez. Even NBC couldn't play down the country's fervent attitude towards their speed skating team and I recalled the fact that about once a year someone dies over there from going on an all night-day-night bender of Starcraft. The only thing that I could come up with to explain the attitude was a sense of superiority derived from a bottomless well of victim hood.

Anyway, despite the racist reputation the Japanese have, I've never seen a picture equivalent to the one below from Japan:


And as well, how about another one of those anti-Japan art projects from the South Korean kids (judging by the quantity, I'd say they account for at least 80% of the output):

The Americans and the French(?) abandoning Japan in favor of South Korea? I've no idea what the Korean in the picture means, though I'd doubt that America would like to join the South Koreans in licking North Korean boot. (The French on the other hand are a different story...)

Monday, March 06, 2006

Virtual Cash

I've never been a fan of RPG/MMOs. They're too time consuming and seem like a glorified treadmill for your typing fingers. However, I guess some people make money by turning their virtual cash into real cash, from here:
You're reading the Business section, so that may not sound unusual. However, the purchase wasn't for my investment portfolio. And I'm not talking about real gold, either. But I did plunk down $60 of cold, hard cash in return for 500 virtual gold pieces for World of Warcraft, Blizzard's best-selling massively multiplayer online (MMO) adventure game.
Unfortunately the tax man doesn't care whether your asset is real or virtual if it holds some real world value. From what I've read (too lazy to find link) these assets represent a
real tax liability (be it virtual money, land , or anything else. Heck I read something about some guy leasing virtual mining rights on his virtual piece of land. Only a matter of time before he has to deal with the virtual EPA).

Thursday, March 02, 2006

J-vator

Greggman comments on Japanese elevators:
  • Most Japanese elevators come fast
  • I've never seen a Japanese elevator with light censors that stop the door from closing if there is something in the doorway. Most American elevators have those. The Japanese ones still have the floor to ceiling rubber pressure switch to prevent the door from closing on someone though.
  • The "close door" buttons in all Japanese elevators work and work IMMEDIATELY. American "close door" buttons seem to be placebos and have no effect

This was one issue I neglected to bring up in my many posts, probably out of embarrassment. When I was in Japan and saw the elevator in my hotel starting to close it's doors, I did the natural thing and tried to squeeze through the gap and CRUNCH!

We're not talking about the leading plastic pieces closing in, this was the whole door making an effort to close, and if it could have closed sufficiently, I'm sure it would have taken off. I guess some sort of sensor is the norm, but I had pretty much the same experience at a different hotel as well. I don't remember a big difference in the 'G's though, but I wouldn't have been surprised if it was greater; I just didn't care too much about that after getting squished by a door in front of a lobby full of people.