Joho the Blog » 2003 » August

August 31, 2003

Spam words

The Bayesian spam filter Popfile lets you query any word to see the probability that it’s a spam indicator. Some semi-random scores based on the 500+ spams I receive a day:

           SPAM        INBOX
Sex: 0.53 0.71
Viagra: 0.91 0.0
Behind: -0.10 0.91
Remove: 0.90 0.03
Home: 0.53 0.73
Becoming: 0.0 0.962
Bush: -0.61 0.75
AOL: 0.58 0.68
Nigeria: 0.98 0.0


August 30, 2003

Blogging Collective Nouns

Stephen Downes in a comment on my Bloggercon plug, refers to a “bevy of bloggers” at the MERLOT conference (aggregated here).

Surely we can do better than “bevy”! How about:

A roll of bloggers
A we of bloggers
A permalink of bloggers
An href of bloggers
An entry of bloggers
A self-reference of bloggers
A pronouncement of bloggers
An unread of bloggers
A glob of bloggers
A winer of bloggers

Surely you can do better!


Bridging the Wifi Gap

Glenn Fleishman has a clear explanation of a way to bridge wireless networks, Wireless Distribution System.

What will they think of next!

And who are “they” anyway?


August 29, 2003

Republican for Dean

Michael Cudahy has written a terrific explanation of why he, who has supported many a Republican all the way back to Goldwater, is supporting Gov. Dean. Among other things, he writes:

Governor Dean projects a complete unwillingness to be afraid … From what I am hearing from friends inside the Republican Party, they are deeply concerned by the Dean campaign because they do not know how to deal with it.


Wifing the Playing Fields

Jonathon Peterson thinks it’d be cool to provide wifi at local sports events:

How much would you pay to be able to attend junior’s little league game but still be able to get a little work done from the stands?

Not to mention the silencing of the crowds as the cheering gets sublimated into cross-team IRC.

Well, count me out. I consider it a solemn obligation of parenting to fake, um, take an interest in our child’s baseball games.


Linux Travails

The Globe and Mail has a follow up column about the travails of installing Linux and making it useful in an officey way. This is very much in line with my own continuing attempt to get Linux to work for me.


Fighting the RIAA

The EFF has posted the legal filing of a Jane Doe who is fighting an RIAA subpoena that claims she has unlawfully shared copyrighted materials. Jane maintains that she told Kazaa not to share any of her files. The legal brief (or whatever it’s called) is quite interesting, but only starting on page 9 once you get past the legal language. (And, yes, I am aware that I’ve likely misused every legal term in this paragraph.)


August 28, 2003

Self-Referential Blogging

My friend Jimmy Guterman writes in Business 2.0 — subscription required — that this whole bloggin’ thang is overblown. Among his complaints is that

top-tier bloggers like Dan Gillmor, Dave Winer, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger are endlessly self-referential.

Self-referential? Moi?

I think it’d be more accurate to say that blogs are conversational.


Order of Magnitude Quiz: WW II

I’ve been reading Anthony Beevor’s Berlin: The Downfall 1945, a book that makes world war sound like something to be avoided. The carnage and outrages it relates are all the more horrifying since everyone but the Nazi leadership knew that Germany had lost. (Beevor is also good, however, at laying out how the struggle for post-war power drove military operations.)

So, I mean no disrespect when I pose the following question: How many artillery shells did Russia fire into Berlin in the last ten days of the war, according to page 262 of the book? Coming within a factor of ten in either direction counts as correctly answering the question.

Reveal the answer by drag-selecting the seemingly blank space between the X’s:

X ————1,800,000———— X


Selling Your Data Blood

The AP reports:

The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights say personal information is so vulnerable now that it was able to go on the Internet and purchase the Social Security numbers and home addresses of U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, CIA Director George Tenet and Attorney General John Ashcroft, and Karl Rove, the president’s chief political adviser.

The info cost $26 each.

Inspired by the Net’s trend toward disintermediation, I’ve decided to cut out the middleman. What am I bid for my Social Security number? Act now and I’ll throw in a Mastercard with $1,700 of credit still available…


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