September 2006 Archives

WTF is on my TV screen

John Stamos is kicking ass all over the place. Right now. On my TV. Kicking. Ass. Beating the hell out of them.

Damn this Meigs Gold, it's making me see things...

Yahoo! Mail is the new Hotmail

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It amazes me when I read articles like this that show a significant number of people are still using Microsoft's Hotmail. I realize that in the late 90's everyone and their mom had a Hotmail account, but we all abandoned them around 2001 or so when the laughably bad spam filter meant using Hotmail was a time-consuming enterprise as you fought through the spam that had made its way through the sieve-like filter.

It's around that time we all switched to Yahoo! Mail, and a few years later, to the even better Gmail. Yet a lot of us still have Yahoo! Mail accounts, and a lot of our Internet faculties are still attached to them; message board registrations, PayPal accounts, et cetera. Yet Yahoo! Mail is slowly turning into Hotmail. In fact, I take that back. Yahoo! is ALREADY HOTMAIL. Check out my current Yahoo! inbox:

Not a lot of real mail in there. In fact, THERE IS NO REAL MAIL IN THERE. That's my Inbox, folks -- not my Bulk mail. That's all spam that made it around Yahoo!'s filter. Mind you, I can't really recall having spam leak through the Gmail filter on more than one or two occasions. Now, Yahoo! is ALL SPAM. I think I've just given up on trying to deal with it, and I guess I'll have to start the slow process of changing my email accounts -- though that's not always possible for things like PayPal, or at least it's a pain in the ass.

Yahoo! can fancy up their interface, but if the emails themselves are useless, what's the point?

I'm practically erect

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Yeah, grabbed the season premiere of Veronica Mars tonight. Watching it now. Only five minutes in... already disappointed by the new "We Used To Be Friends" remix. My favorite part of the show was the slide into the intro. Oh well. Back to watching... so excited... so very excited.

Edit: The girl only cracked a murder case and was nearly killed by a movie star. And yet nobody at the college in that town knows who she is? Has Neptune been victimized by a case of mass amnesia?

Oh, and great job showing the campus feminist group. Nothing like stereotyping feminists to their most extreme archetype. I heard all blacks are criminals, hispanics are lazy, and Asians are good at math, too. Shame, Rob Thomas, Shame! And eeew, sweaty Scientologist Jason Dohring. I wish Veronica was still a virgin. Well, except for that, you know, first part, since that was pretty important to this being a show in the first place.

I won't give away plot details. I know most of you will be watching this on TV :-)

Tabbed browsing, Wikipedia, and ADHD

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I wonder sometimes how people can use Internet Explorer. Even putting its bugs, security issues, and lack of, well, usefulness (when one considers the functions provided by Mozilla Firefox and its extensions) aside, the lack of a tabbed browsing feature is easily my biggest frustration when forced to use an IE-only computer. (This doesn't happen often; all the computers I've ever used at USF have Firefox as an option.)

I hear from some users who prefer IE that they don't "get" tabbed browsing. "I have no use for it," they say, "and it just confuses me."

Personally, I'm a Mozilla Camino user, because I prefer the natural OS X Cocoa interface to the Firefox XUL one -- if I'm using a Mac, I want my software to look and behave like one, too. Camino is, for most intents and purposes, exactly like Firefox, so I'm not committing a heinous act of skullduggery by pimping Firefox while using Camino.

I concluded long ago that the preference for tabbed browsing (which was, to set the record straight, introduced in 2001, first with the original [and quietly departed] Mozilla browser that was the outgrowth of Netscape Navigator, and more publicly with version 6 of Opera) is inversely correlated to the user's ability to maintain attention on any given subject. I was a big Opera user in the early part of this decade, before I picked up Phoenix (which became Firebird, which became Firefox). The need to open dozens of article pages for printing at one time made Opera's tabbed browsing a godsend.

Since then, I've never found myself without at least a few tabs open in whichever browser I'm using at the moment. Today, I'm typing this article on my Macbook: Camino's tabs, from right to left, show abandoned or still-active pages of my Yahoo! Fantasy team, a deleted thread from ONTD, a half-read Fark thread about the Bible's evolution, the features page to Justin Frankel's REAPER audio production software, a page about the Antares Microphone Modeling software, the Wikipedia page of Chief Justice Earl Warren, this Movable Type page, a Fark thread on that old Honda Rube Goldberg ad, a page on the history of tabbed browsing, and the Opera homepage.

Sitting next to the Macbook is my PC monitor and keyboard. The Firefox screen has even more open tabs, most of them hosting pages I've still not yet read, and calculating how I got to all of them is an amazing study in my absolute lack of anything resembling an attention span.

Realize that I have been doing all this while watching the Browns game on my television and listening to the radio feed of the Browns broadcasters, via their Rochester, NY AM affiliate.

It started about four hours ago. Seeking an explanation of the Harlan Ellison controversy mentioned at John Scalzi's excellent blog. Apparently Ellison grabbed someone's boob at this year's World Science Fiction Convention.

So I went to the Ellison Wikipedia entry, which explains the situation -- but not before I was caught up in Ellison's pen name, "Cordwainer Bird." The editor helpfully explains a cordwainer is someone who makes shoes from Cordovan leather. But what is that, exactly?

I click through to Cordwainer. From there I click to a discussion of Leather and from the discussion of "Leather in popular culture" there, to Judas Priest singer Rob Halford who first popularized the use of leather clothing in rock music.

The Halford article explains he once filled in for Ronnie James Dio who made a guest appearance on the Queensryche album Operation: Mindcrime II. (Middle-clicks opened new Wikipedia windows to articles like "Latigo" and "Neatsfoot oil" in the meantime.)

Ed. note: at this point I save the text file and start typing this article on the PC, where it's much easier to copy and paste these URLs.

Operation Mindcrime: II takes me to Operation: Mindcrime and then to the main Queensryche page. From there I split out tabs for Progressive Rock and the Queesryche album Empire which are flipped back and forth.

A half-dozen tabs from the Progressive Rock album get popped out, including one on the Genesis album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, prog rock supergroup Asia, and Finnish metal band Nightwish (none of which have been read yet).

Prog rock features odd instruments including the Mellotron, so I opened that page which had as an external link an ingenius project where a dude built his own Mellotron using fourteen Sony Walkmans (Walkmen?). The Wikipedia entry for Antoine de Saint Exupery is on a tab, too, though I can't even at this point remember why. I think it's related to the article about Genesis somehow -- that tab is open as well.

One of the Mellotron pages led me to open up the entry for the Beatles' White Album. That's when we really get off-track. The next hour or so, I'm reading Alan Pollack's articles about individual Beatles songs -- particularly the Side One, Track One songs. This, of course, all resulted from me clicking through to the entry, and Pollack's article, on Back In The U.S.S.R. (my favorite Beatles song).

So I open up all the individual pages to songs on the White Album, and then to the article on Danger Mouse's Grey Album, and then to Danger Mouse himself, then to Danger Mouse - Cee-Lo collaboration Gnarls Barkley, and so on.

The article on Balilikas (sp? don't feel like checking anymore) is open. The article on Beatles vocal technique Double Tracking is open. And a bunch of unread articles on individual Beatles songs are still open.

And that's how one goes from Harlan Ellison to an entire afternoon wasted reading fascinating things about the Beatles. And yeah, I'm going to the doctor soon about this attention deficit thing. For now, I'm going to try and work my way through the already-open tabs, and the Browns game has 30 seconds left.

Totally missing the point of college | Aping Slashdot

I graduated from the fine institute of The Ohio University in a meager three years. (Technically, two, since I transferred there after one year at Heidelberg College.)

I knew at the time, and even moreso seven years out, that I shouldn't have done that. I missed out on a great year of college -- especially since when I graduated, I was only 20 years old, meaning my social life revolved around parties and bars where I knew the bouncer.

Then again, if I'd stayed at Ohio another year, I wouldn't have gone to EMU for grad school, finished in one year, taken the job at Muskingum, and made my way here to Florida. Then again, considering my current social life, maybe that would be a good alternate reality.

In any case, any regrets over missed college experiences are totally quashed by what I learned about David Banh today.

He finished his degree at Virginia in ONE YEAR.

Not only did he only get one year of the college experience, he was taking so many courses (37 hours his spring semester!) that he didn't even have time for socializing AT ALL. Well, he did join the bridge club. I suppose that's something.

Mark my words, kiddo. David Banh will be on a final table at a future WSOP main event. The dude double majored in math and physics IN ONE YEAR. Plus, he likes bridge, a game that has skills easily moved to tournament poker.

I respect the hell out of the guy, except the dude wants to be a patent attorney. What a waste... since we all know patent attorneys never get anywhere in life.

Unless you're 2004 WSOP Main Event champion Greg Raymer.

What is real?

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In light of the whole Lonelygirl15 hoax, we've been asking ourselves what, exactly, is real? Our screens glow with images, and images are arguments -- claims and warrants to their own reality.

I'd been waiting all summer for NBC to premiere Aaron Sorkin's new Studio 60 on Sunset Strip. The program was, of course, the best thing on television since Sorkin left The West Wing. The program, if you're not familiar with it, portrays a "Saturday Night Life" copycat program. The show, like SNL, has a musical guest -- and the one shown on Monday night's premiere was a hip-hop act called "Three 6 Mafia."

Longtime readers know I am not entirely in touch with the hip-hop community, but I was sure this had to be a fabricated act. After all, they were TERRIBLE. The lyrics made me laugh out loud, they were such parody.

I'm in the club posted up (up) got my arms folded
Blunt in my mouth and these haters I'm scopin I'm just
Twistin my body from side 2 side (I'm just)
Twistin my body from side 2 side

Perhaps the fact Felicity Huffman was portraying herself should have alerted me to the chance "Three 6 Mafia" could have been a real act. But their appearance, looking like a bunch of janitors, led me to conclude they were an exaggeration of the current state of hip-hop.

Wrong.

So, yeah, that's Three 6 Mafia. They're a real band. With a really, really hilariously bad song. Yet it's the second verse -- the one they never get to on the Studio 60 premiere -- that's even more frightening.

See ho I don't dance (dance)
In the city where I'm from I wear the pants (wear the pants)
These bitches think they cool (cool)
I got the dick so I make the rules (make the rules)
I got a big ol cock (big ol cock)
I love a bitch with a big ol glock (big ol glock)
She love suckin up cum (cum)
I think I'mma give her some (some)
These niggaz in here think I'm a ho (I'm a ho)
Cuz I'm quiet and ain't on the dance flo (dance flo)
But if one of 'em try me (try me)
I'mma be the new ink in his diary (diary)
I bet my click thicker than his (his)
We gon leave him on the floor in tears (tears)
Plus I got a big tone (tone)
Y'all suckaz betta leave me alone (leave me alone)

But rap isn't all about sexism and objectification. Not at all.

Rap sucks.

Willie Nelson arrested on Dale Mabry?

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Willie Nelson has been arrested on charges of drug possession.

Trooper Willie Williams says troopers smelled a strong odor of marijuana when the driver opened the bus door.

During a search of the bus, Williams say approximately 1 1/2 pounds of marijuana and approximately 2/10 of a pound of mushrooms were located on the bus.

2/10?

Something tells me Trooper Willie Williams was also responsible for my favorite local traffic sign.

WOXY is dead | I just got older | Here's proof

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WOXY is dead and gone. The last time I was with a girl, we listened to it. It was a great station; perhaps the greatest. It will be missed.

This weekend is my birthday, so I'll be busy. Here's an old song I once wrote about a girl who liked girls better than boys.

The Next Best Thing

Or use the handy player

A flurry of activity

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I meet with my attorney tomorrow. I'll have a better explanation of things afterward.

Meanwhile, NBC Nightly News covered Lonelygirl15 last night. No, they didn't mention this blog. Brian Williams ain't no Virginia Heffernan.

Lonelygirl15: busted

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Hello, Jessica Rose. Congratulations on pulling off one of the greatest hoaxes in Internet history.

Things that should not happen in Florida

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I was woken up this morning by an earthquake.

Yes, an earthquake. In Clearwater.

Lonelygirl15: cracked

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The L.A. Times has the story

Virginia is all over it

No good news on the legal front, yet. Shopping for attorneys.

Are You Being Served? | Heffernan rocks

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My Internet crush, Virginia Heffernan, mentioned this very blog in her post today. Thanks, Ginny! Call me sometime.

We're on.. temporary hiatus. I believe I am being sued.

More to come. (But so much to say!)

Oh, and I know "temporary hiatus" is redundant. Bite me.

Virginia Heffernan has a hot voice | Football, Baby

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Dual CRTs are sexy.
Virginia Heffernan's interview with NPR's On The Media is live. Listen to it here.

She has a hot voice. She's 37. Think she's single? She's not bad looking. She has a Harvard Ph.D. (!!!)

Anyway, you know what she's talking about if you know why I'm taking time out of our holiest of holy days to post about it. She and her New York Times blog have been up, down, over, and under the Lonelygirl15 hoax | conspiracy | drama | fake drama | debate for a while, though we're still waiting for more of those vaunted emails she claims to have.

Oh, and the daughter of the dude who registered that trademark we talked about yesterday? She just happens to run the Young Writers' Workshop in L.A. (and volunteers for SUMMER CAMPS IN L.A. at the Painted Turtle Camp, affiliated with Paul Newman's Hole In The Wall Gang foundation).

So, here's my current stance on the story.

Bree goes to USC, meets Daniel, decides to put on the world with her elaborate hoax.

Hoax starts to get out of hand, and after receiving email from viewer about the selling of Lonelygirl15 merchandise (four days to be exact), the trademark application is filed. Read about that here, though it's the lg15.com forum so... don't waste your time.) Bree knows her friend Lisa (whom she works with either at the Young Storytellers Foundation or at Painted Turtle Camp) has a father who's an attorney, and asks her to ask him to protect her service mark.

So the application is filed, though since it has nothing to do with his work, he uses his home address on the application.

I think it all makes perfect sense.

Football picks for the day:

Ohio 35 Tennessee-Martian 7
Ohio State 42 NIU 24
Notre Dame 35 Ga Tech 14
Cal 10 Tennessee 7
Penn State 21 Akron 17

Today we launch Blogtracks, a musical accompaniment to your reading pleasure. Hopefully it catches on and more bloggers offer a streaming, relevant soundtrack to their posts. Stream today's by clicking here.

In today's episode of Journeys, we'll cover some major Lonelygirl15 hoax - scam - conspiracy - fakery news, talk with lonely Northwestern alums, and rock out with our collective jocks out to celebrate Football Christmas.

Big news in the Lonelygirl15 world, and hopefully the elaborate ruse all comes crashing down upon someone very soon -- as we here at Journeys have way better things to be doing than talk to attractive law school students over IM and fire emails across continents. Here's what's gone down in the last 24 hours.

Lonelygirl15 (I'm pretty much resigned to not calling her "Bree" anymore) posted a new video -- and it's time for making cookies! Though, conveniently, they make the cookies... in her bedroom. So we don't get to see the rest of the "house," or as I refer to them, "sound stages." The video, to its credit, is on face quite dull, but contains all number of clues to those of us on the investigation trail. "Bree" drops a few Myspace names, and "Daniel" is seen, almost ludicrously so (in the manner that they REALLY WANT TO MAKE SURE WE SEE), reading this week's Rolling Stone. Okay, so the videos really are recorded with a decent amount of recency. Or not? One poster matched a screenshot side-by-side with the actual cover and declared it a Photoshop job. You be the judge.

That's the least interesting discovery made in the last day, though.

Let's start at Tech forum site Anandtech. Anandtech is one of those sites you had bookmarked back in the late 90's owing to the forums constantly buzzing with news of free coupons, free shirts, and free DVDs. The late 90's were a jackpot for freebies, and those of us with the right connections ended up with piles of swag from websites that don't exist anymore. Except for this one called Google, who sent me a T-Shirt back in 1999 which reads, "I Google" (using the trademark as a verb, which they would really like you to stop doing).

ANYWAY, longtime Anandtech poster "edprush" lets this bomb fly:

Later posts explain she's been asked to attend a private school in Oregon or receive private tutoring. Apparently other cousins inform him an appearance on Leno or Letterman is in the works.

No surprise that he also has a YouTube account.

IT. GETS. BETTER.

Intrepid Lonelygirl15.com users tracked down a development at, of all things, the United States Patent & Trademark Office.

Yes, kiddos, Lonelygirl15 is now a trademark. Its owner? *drumroll*

Goodfried, Kenneth INDIVIDUAL UNITED STATES 17341 Cumpston St Encino CALIFORNIA 91316

Um. Okay? And the text of the application?

IC 038. US 100 101 104. G & S: Broadcasting programs via a global computer network. FIRST USE: 20060524. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20060524

First use in commerce? You mean this is commercial in nature? It's not just some girl and her friend making videos from her bedroom?

I feel so disillusioned.

So now it's time to track down Mr. Goodfried and find out the truth. Is the end in sight? And why is a labor attorney filing trademark applications? Using his home address (a modest-looking place right off the 101)?

Meanwhile, the mysterious informant Mr. T is speaking more Jibba-Jabba in the LG15.com forums:

she graduated from McAuley High School in 2003

That doesn't jive at all with what edprush was saying, but, then, what's McAuley High School? There's McAuley High Schools everywhere -- including Cincinnati. I'd do some Myspace school searching, but Myspace sucks. Seriously, I'm not sure how Myspace is so popular, as it's a standing example of how not to engage in web design. Not only is the site horribly ugly (which could be fixed by, oh, three minutes of CSS adjustment), but IT DOESN'T WORK. Seriously, try doing a search based on networking or high schools, or browsing schools by city -- it just doesn't work. "An unexpected error occurred." No, I've long come to expect them, thank you.

So Myspace sucks.

Mr. T would also like us to know "she spent 2004-apr2006 in miami florida" which ... means nothing. He won't tell us much more, because he "doesn't want to face litigation." Seriously, check it out here. I think the dude's nuts.

For what it's worth, there are people getting paid to do what I'm doing here, and so they're doing a better job of it. The L.A. Times (thanks milo) has latched onto the story, and yesterday published a long expose on the subject. Here's the highlights:

If you freeze the frame at one minute and 36 seconds, you will see (according to some) a shadow sweep over the lower left-hand corner of the video; a shadow which, it is alleged, was likely cast by a boom mike — proving the use of professional equipment on the set.

(In regards to a YouTube message poster:

However, when contacted by ToLD, Johnny replied by saying: "i am sorry i am not at liberty to share any information with you. i apparently signed a Non Disclosure aggreement in feb 06. which legally keeps me from responding. again I apologize." (sic)

The fact that a major international newspaper has something called "The Trail of Lonelygirl15 Daily" on the front page of their Entertainment section is phenomenally surreal. It's the big time, kiddos, and those of us scooping up the dirt on the sidelines are headed for the bench, unless we keep up the due diligence. Now I know what it was like for Pauly when the big-timers showed up just in time for the Main Event and muscled the bloggers out of the way.

Finally, one of the forum kids made this parody. It's smart, but if you're going to make something smart, get somebody not tone-deaf to sing it. Gilbert and Sullivan weep in their graves.

Some of us are just gearing up for the backlash.

--

Yesterday was Football Christmas. To celebrate, I attended my local BW3's to watch the Northwestern-Miami game and whatever else they'd put up ... which wasn't much. Sat next to an excited Northwestern alum who had nice things to say about Athens. He was okay, but the $3.00 22oz Coors Lights were better. So was the Chase Club bartender next to me from Bay City, who wouldn't leave me alone, not that I wanted to be left alone.

The most miserable part of Football Christmas -- and there's always a miserable part -- is the fact that more than half the televisions at BW3 were set to the Buccaneers' preseason game. And the ones that weren't were being roundly ignored. These ignorant 'necks care more about meaningless NFL preseason games than FOOTBALL CHRISTMAS. Oh, and Delmon Young has a higher batting average than he does on-base percentage. God, I love baseball stats. Psyched to see Delmon in person tonight.

Behave, kiddos.

Today's Blogtrack featured 7L & Esoteric - "Play Dumb" and Goldfrapp - "Fly Me Away (Ladytron Remix)".

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    This page is an archive of entries from September 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

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