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May 01, 2007

Small world

The interweb can be a small world. For instance, I am now MySpace friends with a cat who lives in my old apartment, along with his "mommy and daddy." They found me since they came across my name in MySpace which happens to be on some of the unforwarded (hopefully junk) mail they've received.

Yes, a lot of my MySpace friends are bands and cats. Why not? I don't have to take everything so damn seriously. :)

Yours, &c., LC at 12:47 PM | Internet & Tech | TrackBack (0)

February 14, 2007

today's links

Tivo Shortcut Tips [GeekSugar]

Top Web 2.0 Search Engines [OEDb]

Great Poems About Sex [Slate]

The Genius of Dick Cavett [Slate]

February 05, 2007

today's links

Online Photo Editing Overview - A survey of several web-based photo editors.

The Top 100 Alternative Search Engines - Alternatives to Google. Something I need to check out...

Yours, &c., LC at 05:33 PM | Internet & Tech | TrackBack (0)

April 13, 2006

Google Calendar is up

Google Calendar is now ready for tinkering. My first event? Tonight's blogger gathering at 97 Estoria.

Yours, &c., LC at 12:22 PM | Internet & Tech | TrackBack (0)

March 08, 2006

Recipe via flickr!

Paul F. shows us how he makes chili, using flickr. Start here, until you end up here.

Yum...

Yours, &c., LC at 05:30 PM | Food , Internet & Tech | TrackBack (0)

August 25, 2005

Run Firefox from a USB drive

Portable Firefox 1.0.6 (USB Drive-Friendly)

Why would anyone do that, you may ask. Let's say you're not allowed to install Firefox at your work computer. That perhaps you'd installed it and were told to remove it. An alternative browser available from a thumb drive now becomes pretty darn useful.

It's about 7MB, so it doesn't take too much space on the flash drive. In fact, I'm posting this via Firefox via USB. Thanks to Titus "Cheese Tots" Barik for the heads up (in a conversation which occurred, btw, via Google Talk).

Yours, &c., LC at 05:16 PM | Internet & Tech | TrackBack (0)

August 24, 2005

Create an audiobook from a dvd

Turn a DVD into an Audiobook [via Lifehacker] This is awesome. Now I can pull the audio from the Pride & Prejudice miniseries and listen to Colin Firth on my iPod, telling me how ardently he admires and loves me...er, Lizzy Bennet.

Why do I suspect that Mr. Arkadin is going to want to do this with Big Trouble in Little China? It's not like he doesn't know the lines by heart anyway.

Yours, &c., LC at 02:38 PM | Internet & Tech | TrackBack (0)

Google Talk is Here

http://www.google.com/talk/

It's still in beta and requires that you have a Gmail account. It also works as a mail notifier so you won't need the Gmail notify anymore if you've got this.

I'm listed as ladycrumpet, fyi.

Yours, &c., LC at 09:43 AM | Internet & Tech | TrackBack (0)

August 10, 2005

Future Mac User

My internet access at home has been nonexistent of late. My computer up and decided not to dial up anymore. I bought an XP-based HP desktop from a girl who'd just graduated from GaTech and was leaving the country. She used a cable modem, so she never had to use the regular modem.

I've attempted to install Earthlink but I get connection errors when the software attempts to dial up to Earthlink's servers.

It's been incredibly frustrating. You don't have to be a mechanic to drive a car. Why must you become an engineer just to use your computer?

I'm fed up. I've wasted enough fruitless evenings trying to fix this myself. It's time to seek professional help instead of steaming in aggravation.

Addendum: I do plan to go hi-speed - eventually. Right now I just want to be able to @#$%&! dial up.

August 09, 2005

Infinite Internet Cats

Stuff on My Cat [via zeebah] Bizarre, funny, totally awesome in its own twisted way.

Internet's Best Friend (Let Me Count the Ways) [NYT, 7/30] A piece on why so many internet projects seem to involve cats.

May 05, 2005

CSS Cheat Sheet

CSS Cheat Sheet - A quick reference tool. I'm probably familiar with only a fraction of the coding, but this could be handy.

Yours, &c., LC at 03:58 PM | Internet & Tech | TrackBack (0)

April 29, 2005

Friendster

For better or worse, I've rejoined Friendster. Apparently they now offer TypePad blogs (free and paid) and such things as joint horoscopes, which are supposed to tell you how things are astrologically between you and your friend. I'll stick to the basics for now, such as trying to prepare a profile that isn't overblown and yet not completely boring. If you have a profile and care to let me know, send me an email, as I'm not using the nom de plume.

March 29, 2005

Interesting

Between Lawyers - "a new blog on the issues raised when technology, culture and the law intersect." Sounds right up my alley.

Yours, &c., LC at 12:54 PM | Blogos , Internet & Tech , Legal | TrackBack (0)

February 14, 2005

Backup Plan

I know, it's been all-death, all-the-time around here.

When I was in the middle of my last host-change, shifting files over for the Armoire (and bitching up a storm), Mike told me that backing up my site was no big ordeal - and then did it for me to show me how easy it was. But then he said that I shouldn't get so worked up anyway, it's "just" my blog.

I thought that remark was odd coming from him, a fellow blogger. Part of the panic about losing my site had to do with the blog being a part of my identity, that this was something I was personally invested in. Losing the site, I explained, would be like losing a part of myself.

He still wasn't convinced. I think he even told me, teasingly, that if that's what I really believed, it was kind of sad.

Do you still think that's true, Wheelz? Am I really so wrong?

Considering the sadness we're going through right now, with people posting comments to Mike's last post, checking the site in the hopes that we'll somehow see something new from him, I think it's safe to say that blogs really do give us the sense - and the presence - of someone's identity. And even if one were to say that Mike's site doesn't fully capture his life and experience, it still contains some of his essence, which explains why we want so much to make sure his site doesn't simply vanish.

So it occurred to me - right now no one else has admin rights to my site. What would happen if something suddenly happened to me, or to one of my other friends, or someone that I only know virtually? That certainly has been the experience for not a few of Mike's readers.

In an episode of Coupling, a British sitcom, some of the guy characters explain that they are "porn buddies" - meaning that if one of them were to die, the other would make sure to rescue his buddy's porn stash, thus preventing embarrassing post-mortem revelations to his buddy's family, as well as having the added bonus of inheriting his buddy's porn collection.

Do guys really do this? I don't know. But the idea is there, regardless of the specific content. It's an archival question, on a personal level. Considering how fully I've embraced blogging, I'm certain that I plan to continue the Armoire for the long term. I don't pretend to think that my site is a record worthy for future generations, but it seems to me that it would be a good idea to have designated blog buddies - people you trust who would be willing to preserve your site in some fashion, for the sake of the rest of us who will miss you, desperately, once you're gone.

Addendum: Hmmm. I never thought I would write something connecting death, blogging, librariana and porn but I guess there's a first time for everything. Or maybe, probably, this isn't even the first time someone has had this thought.

February 01, 2005

Google Suggest

No hits for Lady Crumpet

So I tried out Google Suggest, just to see what would come up. Since I've configured my page to avoid notice by the Google bot, there aren't any results. So no "Lady Crumpet" but typing in the initial letters generates "lady crusaders," "lady cruel" and "lady cruella." Fitting enough, I guess.

Yours, &c., LC at 02:59 PM | Internet & Tech | TrackBack (0)

January 30, 2005

Dialing into Regret

The New Social Etiquette: Friends Don't Let Friends Dial Drunk [NYT] [Bugmenot]

[D]runk dialing usually limits itself to times long after the close of business and beyond the daily commute. It is in those dark hours of late night and wee hours of early morn, when most people have retired their cellphones for overnight charging, that intoxicated revelers flip open their cellphones and dial into regret.
I'm not sure this is the kind of thing that belongs on the NYT Op-Ed page, but interesting nonetheless. I'd heard a while back about Virgin Mobile offering a service in Australia so people can prevent themselves from drunk dialing. Have never committed it myself, but then there's been very few times in my life when I've gotten horribly drunk. Dialing sober while depressed, however, is another story. In either case, intervention is definitely in order.

August 27, 2004

Oooh, Pretty.

Engadget has pictures of the forthcoming Treo Ace/Treo 650.

August 17, 2004

Wired takes a stand on capitalization

According to Tony Long, Wired News' copy chief:

Effective with this sentence, Wired News will no longer capitalize the "I" in internet.

At the same time, Web becomes web and Net becomes net.

True believers are fond of capitalizing words, whether they be marketers or political junkies or, in this case, techies. If It's Capitalized, It Must Be Important....

It's Just the 'internet' Now [Wired]

July 21, 2004

On the Fritz

My Palm IIIx (yeah it's a dinosaur) has been willful and dodgy in the last few months, despite being lovingly housed in its Kate Spade case. It's backed up, but the screen resolution has gone to purgatory. The most immediate problem is that I need to write down my passwords before the Palm completely fries.

I'm a month away from being free of my cellphone contract. What I would love is to go from having - and carrying - both a handheld and a mobile and go straight to a combo device. The object of my technolust? The Treo 600.

Bah! Guess I'll be scoping eBay for a cheap used Palm.

Addendum: As much as I would love to, I can't justify shelling out $500 for the latest, shiniest thing. (Though I do love the shiny things.) I'm getting a refurbished Handspring Visor Edge (in blue!) that will tide me over until I'm ready to commit to a smartphone. So next month, the issue will be just whether or not to stay with AT&T or move on to another carrier.

July 13, 2004

Terror Spam, a Redundancy?

Update: title corrected, as I couldn't think of the right word at the time.

There's the usual vile porn or erectile dysfunction or Nigerian scam subject headers. Some surreal stream-of-conscious ones too. Now we have terror spam. Currently being cleaned out of my junk mail folder: multiple copies of OSAMA STRIKES AGAIN.

I'm not equating spammers with terrorists, but I think it's safe to say we hate both groups with equal vehemence. If spammers can find our in-boxes, why can't we find this madman? Yeah, I know, that's not a valid statement, but both situations are maddening and frustrating because it seems there isn't enough will to get things done. In my more tin foil hat moments, I wonder if we'll get an October surprise: "look, look, we found him" blah blah blah.

Hmmm. Maybe this is Republican spam.

Yours, &c., LC at 01:39 PM | Internet & Tech | TrackBack (0)

July 01, 2004

Disable Autorun on your computer

Have a CD that won't seem to play on your computer? Disable the autorun feature.

Yours, &c., LC at 11:43 AM | Internet & Tech

June 25, 2004

Here & There

Tatertot Blue Cheese Casserole [via da*xiang] OMG. I need to attend a party so I can share this, instead of eating the whole dish by myself.

FCKeditor [via rawbrick] An online text editor. Am I the only one with a dirty mind when I see the name?

The Scribbler [via Dru Blood] Another cool online illustration toy.

Readability.info Upload a document or input a URL to generate an analysis of the text according to different scales of measurement. No surprise - this site is fairly easy to read.

June 24, 2004

Would you like an invitation?

I have a second batch of Gmail invites. I've had the account for less than a week and can already invite people. We must be approaching the saturation point for all the people who want accounts versus those who actually have gotten them.

I know about sites like gmailswap and gmail4troops but I would like to send one to someone I'm acquainted with, even if we've only met through our blogs. I'm also not going to exact a price - although hey, if you want to send a postcard or some other trinket, that would be okay with me.

Addendum: Due to some prior requests, I am now out at present. But feel free to add your name - and your URL, should you have one.

Yours, &c., LC at 04:16 PM | Internet & Tech | Comments (6)

June 21, 2004

Mille Grazie, Paulo

The inestimable Paul Frankenstein has been kind enough to bestow a much-prized Gmail invitation upon me. And I didn't have to beg (much) or flash any skin (bet you're disappointed now, eh, Frankenstino? Don't worry, you'd have only gotten some bare ankle anyway. But I would still totally take you out to dinner.). I did hammer what seemed like a thousand nails at the Habitat house this past Saturday, so even though I didn't do it specifically to please Paul, I feel like I have done something to earn my invitation. Don't know if Paul's contest is still ongoing, but if you can impress him with a rhyming couplet of your own making, you just might score an invite.

Of course now that LadyCrumpet has an account, it won't be long before the beta testing is over. I haven't had much of a chance to explore the options, but it's interesting so far. You don't create folders; you assign labels, if you wish, to messages - definitely appealing to me because it's essentially cataloging. Deleting a label will not delete the email. There are filters you can apply, which I haven't tried yet, and of course you can search your messages. Email messages are threaded; it's even possible to print the full "conversation," as Google calls the threads.

I know, I was wringing my hands earlier about their privacy policy. But the ads are unobtrusive, and really, how secure is email anyway? I have to constantly remember this before writing something I would regret, which is really my responsibility rather than Google's. At any rate, Google is too professional and concerned for their reputation to screw over its users. At least that's my hope.

Addendum: NYT article on the mechanics of Google's Gmail ads [The Internet Ad You Are About to See Has Already Read Your E-Mail, 6/21/04, Saul Hansell, NYT]

Yours, &c., LC at 05:16 PM | Internet & Tech | Comments (1)

April 08, 2004

Storage, Storage Everywhere

I had heard that Google was going to offer email with 1 gig (1000 MB) of storage, and I was pretty excited. Would this finally allow me to consolidate most of my sundry accounts with 2 megs here, 6 megs there, 8 megs over there and there?

People are going ballistic with privacy concerns about Gmail's ads, which would be subjectively related to the text in each email - similar to the way text ads appear when you run a search in Google.

The real problem for me, which the above link also addresses, is the matter of data retention. From Gmail's current privacy policy:

Email contents and usage. The contents of your Gmail account also are stored and maintained on Google servers in order to provide the service. Google's computers process the information in your email for various purposes, including formatting and displaying the information to you, delivering targeted related information (such as advertisements and related links), preventing unsolicited bulk email (spam), backing up your email, and other purposes relating to offering you Gmail. Residual copies of email may remain on our systems, even after you have deleted them from your mailbox or after the termination of your account. Google employees do not access the content of any mailboxes unless you specifically request them to do so (for example, if you are having technical difficulties accessing your account) or if required by law, to maintain our system, or to protect Google or the public. (My emphasis)
Damn. I know there are trade-offs one makes, especially for something that's free, but this is a deal-breaker for me. The scary thought is whether my other accounts also have language like this buried somewhere in their policies. And scarier: what ghosts of emails past lurk in the deep and not so deep seas of unknown servers?

March 24, 2004

Passing the Hat

If you love Jane Austen, it's quite possible that you also enjoy the society of other Janeites. Pemberley is a labor of love, managed by volunteers who do everything from the design to the maintenance to the monitoring of the discussion boards. The site gets between 7-10 million hits a month and over 140,000 unique visitors representing traffic from 132 countries.

This source of so much happiness is available for free, but the cost of maintaining such a quality website on a reliable server is not. No one's asked me to say anything, but I'm mentioning this here because I'm a big fan of Pemberley and an even bigger fan of the folks who devote their time and energy to such a wonderful endeavor. So please, please donate!

Yours, &c., LC at 04:39 PM | Internet & Tech , Jane | TrackBack (0)

March 22, 2004

CPA sues Search Engines for Libel

Accountant 'Googles' Himself, Sues for Libel [AP, 3/19/04] Mark Maughan, a CPA with the firm Brown & Maughan, has sued Google, AOL, Time Warner and Yahoo! for libel. Google's Page Rank system is apparently at fault for generating "alarming" information about Maughan. According to the article:

"Specifically, the search results falsely represent that plaintiffs Maughan and/or Brown & Maughan have been disciplined for gross negligence, for failing to timely submit a client's claim for refund of overpayment of taxes, and for practicing as a CPA without a permit," according to the proposed class action filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Google's search results already show top ranking links from people and sites ridiculing this news story.

The lawsuit itself is disturbing in several ways. First, why is the tool (the search engine) the culprit? It's the information itself, not the means for finding it, that should be problematic. More worrisome is the not-unwarranted concern that average users of Google or other search engines will look at the first page of results and take the information at face value - which is what the guy is concerned about, because the perception hurts him and his firm. As librarians we continue to stress that material from the Internet is not always the best, most accurate information out there. But this is also a basic premise of surfing the Web - and yet how many people don't get that?

October 22, 2003

MTA Service Advisories via RSS

How cool is this? Disorient Express provides both RSS feeds and HTML pages for each line of the NYC subway, based on the weekly advisories listed by the MTA.

No longer useful for me, but perhaps my big city friends can take advantage.

October 07, 2003

Quelle Cool

There are 404 pages, telling you that the site you are looking for cannot be found, and then there's Ministère de la culture et de la communication- Page inexistante. Americans rename their fries, the French have made a functional web notice into a thing of beauty. Who is more enlightened?

Yours, &c., LC at 04:03 PM | Internet & Tech | TrackBack (0)

September 05, 2003

The Remote Fix is In

Will Bush Backers Manipulate Votes to Deliver GW Another Election? A blunt question asked by Democracy Now! The article interviews Julie Carr Smyth, a reporter with The Cleveland Plain Dealer, and Bev Harris, author of Black Box Voting: Ballot-Tampering in the 21st Century.

Smyth has reported that the head of Diebold, one of the companies that manufacture electronic voting systems, is a top Republican fundraiser. Hmm, the CEO of a maker of voting machines promises to deliver votes for Dubya. Harris' research has uncovered a file off of Diebold's own website that is a time and date-stamped file of election data from San Luis Obispo County, California, data that seems to have been retrieved during actual voting hours. What this suggests is that Diebold, or some other interested party, could not only retrieve election data during a live election, but potentially send data as well, and thereby fix the results.

The news about Diebold just keeps getting worse. And while alarming in its own right, this is the very electronic voting system that's now being used in my state. *shudder*

September 03, 2003

Best Trend Yet

Have been sucked in, finally, by the allure of Friendster. In marketing theory, I am probably one of those "late adopters" who either only just hear of something cool through their much cooler friends, or are waiting to see if it's worth their time to get in on the act. Just watch, I'll have joined only for the site to go subscription on me and ask me to pay to sustain my personal network of 18,093.

Wanna be my friend? You may search for me by ladycrumpet {at} myrealbox {dot} com.

Yours, &c., LC at 04:04 PM | Internet & Tech | TrackBack (0)

July 29, 2003

I Dvrc U 3x

Divorce by text message in Malaysia has been deemed permissible under Islamic law. [The expression by which men may divorce their wives is "talaq" - "I divorce you" - stated three times.]

Yours, &c., LC at 11:56 AM | Internet & Tech , Sundries | Comments (2)

July 15, 2003

Publish and Perish

Dissertation Could Be Security Threat (Laura Blumenfeld, Washington Post, 6/17/03) - Talk about a grad student's worst nightmare. Your prof thinks your dissertation is "tedious and unimportant." Dates don't want to hear about it. But because Sean Gorman mapped out publicly available information about the nation's fiber optic network and connected this data to key sectors of business and industry, government officials and CEO's want his dissertation, the basis for one's academic career, classified. "He should turn it in to his professor, get his grade -- and then they both should burn it," said Richard Clarke, who until recently was the White House cyberterrorism chief." Yikes.

Yours, &c., LC at 05:09 PM | Internet & Tech

July 07, 2003

Online Immunity

John Dean (yes, that John Dean) offers up commentary and analysis on the Ninth Circuit's Batzel decision.

Yours, &c., LC at 05:42 PM | Blogos , Internet & Tech , Legal

July 03, 2003

"Bloggers Gain Libel Protection"

According to Xeni Jardin's report in Wired (7/30): "The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last Tuesday [6/24] that Web loggers, website operators and e-mail list editors can't be held responsible for libel for information they republish, extending crucial First Amendment protections to do-it-yourself online publishers."

On the one hand, great news for bloggers and other republishers. On the other, I feel badly for Ms. Batzel. Her reputation was damaged because of what someone falsely said about her in e-mail, even though the jerk supposedly didn't expect the e-mail to be published. (Yeah, right buddy.) And she's had to up and leave the North Carolina town she lived in, because people think she's the granddaughter of a Nazi, even though it's not true.

While bloggers and other republishers seem to have more protection now, what proper remedy can someone pursue when they've been falsely, purposely, maliciously maligned? Does traditional libel or slander law still offer a person a way to protect themselves in the digital age?

UPDATE: Interesting - a Wyoming man has been fired by Home Depot, apparently in connection with columns and stories he's posted on his website which are critical of the CEO. ("Web Poster Fired by Home Depot" - Tony Wilbert, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 7/3/03) Wyoming's in the Tenth Circuit, however, so the Ninth Circuit ruling would merely be persuasive authority. [Link via ObscureStore]

Yours, &c., LC at 10:14 AM | Blogos , Internet & Tech , Legal | Comments (1)

June 20, 2003

"Science got me laid!"

I've posted before about Google trying to protect its trademark and prevent the dilution of its name from falling into everyday usage as a verb. The BBC reports on this as well: "Google calls in the 'language police.'" Interestingly, Google's trademark is still pending in Europe, so it's not really a violation for the moment "to google" over there.

The choice remark comes courtesy of Robbie Williams, pop star. (Disclosure: Ok, ok, I have his first two albums. He's got smart, slick pop and he's luscious! Sorry.) The full quotation:

...singer Robbie Williams says US women who initially reject his amorous advances often have a change of heart when they run his name through a search engine.

"I've since been told: 'That girl googled you because she knows who you are now.' So hurrah for googling!" says Williams. "Science got me laid."

I find it hard to believe Robbie has trouble with the ladies. Even I know he's originally from Take That, the superstar British boy band. Oh well. Glad that technology can help out the poor guy.

Yours, &c., LC at 10:27 AM | Internet & Tech , Music

June 15, 2003

He Said, She Said

...Which brings to mind the legal fisticuffs between the beauty queen and the cad, involving the issues of free speech and privacy ("Internet Battle Raises Questions About Privacy and the First Amendment" - Adam Liptak, NYT, National, 6/2/03). According to the article, which has comments from several lawyers and legal scholars, "such orders prohibiting future publication or prior restraints are essentially unknown in American law." The judge's ruling seems problematic - the cad, Tucker Max, who at one point dated Katy Johnson (Miss Vermont, 1999, 2001), is forbidden to write about Johnson on his site. He can't use any part of her name, her full name, or the word "Vermont." He is prohibited from "disclosing any stories, facts or information, notwithstanding its truth, about any intimate or sexual acts engaged in by" Johnson, online or offline.

Also, he cannot link to her site - quite possibly one of the stupidest portions of the order. Again from the article:

"The prohibition on linking to Johnson's site is "kooky," said Susan Crawford, who teaches Internet law at Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University.

"To block the ability to link," Crawford said, "is in effect to say her site is her own private property."

Clinton Fein has a lengthy, fairly evenhanded article about the case, including a copy of the order and other links at the bottom of the page. Neither party comes off winningly. What a mess.

Yours, &c., LC at 01:18 PM | Blogos , Internet & Tech , Legal

August 07, 2002

Swarming, cell dancing, time-softening, drunk

Swarming, cell dancing, time-softening, drunk dialing and smart mobs. Apparently this is some of the new slang that's arisen to describe pop culture particulars of cell phone usage.

I'm guilty of cell dancing - which occurs when people have arranged to meet at a certain place but can't seem to find each other. The same for time-softening - instead of always making fixed plans, I'll call when I've made it into the city and then work out when and where I'm supposed to be. Or I'm running late because of work, the train, etc. and I call while en route to let someone know that I'm running late, which softens the blow of being late, because you gave notice. (Of course, I need to be better about punctuality so that I don't need to make such calls in the first place.)

Oftentimes I leave the phone off, only turning it on because I'm going to meet with my friends later and they may need to let me know what's going on. I have a good cell plan now, so I can afford to make long distance calls to friends and family. Yet I haven't fully embraced the possibilities of talking with people all the time - I don't want to become someone who answers the phone no matter what. What's the point of voicemail then? I have text messaging too, but haven't become hooked on that either - not a big deal occasionally but costly if you become hooked on it.

Yours, &c., LC at 05:16 PM | Internet & Tech