The ever-vigilent Declan McCullagh broke another worrisome spam-related story today. He shows that the US Federal Trade Commission is blocking legitimate email to them by using known-broken spam filters. A large number of people who should be able to communicate with the FTC using normal mechanisms can't. The FTC knows about it, but it appears to not care.
It sounds like they are begging for a lawsuit from people who can't contact them. Instead of using krufty, known-bad blacklists, they should be using better tools, such as Brightmail or SpamAssasin.
I noted earlier that my first paid writing gig was for SATN, 21 years ago. Soon after that, I started writing columns and reviews for a bunch of magazines. Turns out, one of them is online, and I found two reviews that I wrote 20 years ago. The Classic Computer Magazine Archive has old copies of Antic magazine, for whom I wrote a bit in 1982.
I would have blogged yesterday during my 2.5 hour visit to the American Airlines wing of the Chicago airport, but there was no wireless, and most (but not all) of the payphones with data ports require you to have an SBC calling card. Oh, and there were almost no live electrical outlets anywhere.
As I whined about this to the pilot for my connecting flight, who happened to see me searching for power outlets, he said that American Airlines knew that this was a hassle for business travelers, but that they were about one year from going bankrupt and that they needed to spend their cash on other things. "No one really gets how close we are to all US airlines going out of business." We agreed that this was probably due to folks like Enron and WorldCom going bankrupt without it affecting regular folks. "If we spent the money to make y'all comfortable, we would be out of business in about three months: that's how bad it is."
"Absolutely no one should be surprised that Michael Capellas left Hewlett-Packard on Monday." Why? Because, as part of the merger, HP agreed to give him over $20 million if he left within a year. No one would say no to that, particularly since the synergistic effect of the merger have, to date, been negative. HP used to be a well-run, reputable company; now their heading towards becoming the most public failure in the computer manufacturing industry.
Just made a very distressing discovery. I thought that the 300W halogen torchiere lamp in my office might be getting a little dim, so I opened it up and popped out the bulb. It was almost completely silvered on the inside. Putting in a new bulb at least doubled the light output. I suspect that I was turning a lot of those watts into heat, and have been doing so for many, many months.
Many bands have covered "I Am A Patriot" by Steve Van Zandt, and some versions are pretty moving. This soaring rendition (5 Mb) from Close To Home by the Burns Sisters made the politics of the past two months all that much more sensitive for me. Bless them.
Here's what I'm writing to my (Democratic) congressperson today about the choosing either Nancy Pelosi or Martin Frost as the new congressional minority leader:
The choice between Nancy Pelosi and Martin Frost is an easy one. Which person will help the 50% of the US that didn't vote think that the Democrats represent them? Do you think that the 50% who were so disaffected that they didn't bother to vote are middle-of-the-road or liberal? It's pretty clear to me that they are liberal. The middle-of-the-roaders are comfortable going Republican, particularly if they think there is a war going on. Instead of trying to look more like Republicans, the Democrats should try to look more like the people who don't vote but might if they felt represented.
Pelosi represents many, many more people who are not active Democrats than Frost does.