Blogging the backlog

I tell myself that if I do this I can dig up more Laugh In videos.

“Designated H.R. 512 (and introduced by Congressmember Xavier Becerra (my congressperson! GM), who serves as Assistant to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and is the highest-ranking Latino member of Congress) and S.500, the bill sets in motion a number of processes necessary to establish the museum: fundraising, siting, and engaging the American Latino community in the development of the design of the museum. I hope that the efforts of Congressmember Becerra will soon mark the Washington, D.C. skyline with a new monument to the richness of Latino culture and history.”
National Museum of the American Latino

“Why are people so narrowly focused? The goal isn’t to protect against another 9/11. The goal is to protect against another horrific terrorist incident. Stop focusing on the tactics, people. Look at the broad threats.”
Making Another 9/11 Impossible

Real vs. Perceived Risk

U.S. Patent Office Spreads FUD About Music Downloads

“The Personal Car Communicator (PCC) is your car key’s smart connection with your Volvo S80 applying the latest in two-way radio technology. When in range, you’ll always know the status of your car. Locked or unlocked. Alarm activated or not. If the alarm has been activated, the heartbeat sensor will also tell you if there is someone inside the car. The PCC also includes keyless entry and keyless drive.”
Volvo’s “Heartbeat Sensor”

“Those figures come from analyzing the data while eliminating a single event, the compromise of 1.6 billion records at Axciom (here’s my Axciom story). The Axciom data loss is informative, as it reveals how what could be categorized as a hack involves institutional negligence. The records stolen from the company were taken by an employee that had access to Axciom servers in order to upload data. That employee gained download access because Axciom set the same passwords for both types of access.”
Misplacing the Blame in Personal Identity Thefts

How to Recover from Identity Theft

“So what was possible to do is to put totally Russian address in the order delivery form, like: Moscow, Lenin St. 20, Russia in the address fields, usually there is a plenty of space to enter long things like this, and in the field country they put Canada in the field ZIP code Canadian zip code. What happens next? The parcel travels to Canada, to the area to which the specified ZIP code belongs and there postal workers just see it’s not a Canadian address but Russian. They consider it to be some sort of mistake and forward it further, to Russia.”
Hacking the Post Office

“Meanwhile, the Dow Jones index went up over a hundred points the same day that 32 people were massacred on a university campus. And bear in mind that the massacre did not occur late in the day but literally around the same time that the New York Stock Exchange rang its opening bell — so that as the body counts mounted through mid-day, the stock markets only went higher! They must have liked what they saw. Then, the rest of the week, while the cable news Mommy-Daddies went through the familiar rituals of bewildered hand-wringing, and NBC released the trove of farewell videos sent in by shooter Seung-Hui Cho between killings, the Dow piled on another 250 points to close at an all-time record high just under 13,000.”

Where Your Income Tax Money Really Goes (Fiscal Yr 2008)

“As with cone cups and wire-mesh bins, the success of the design in reducing the ‘undesirable’ behaviour must be down to people’s (conscious or otherwise) antipathy to an immediate ‘messy’ consequence of their actions. If you throw a cigarette butt on the ground straight-off, you can immediately forget about it. If you put it on top of a flat-topped bin, you can also immediately forget about it. But putting it on a sloping bin top and seeing it (or imagining it) falling off onto the ground somehow draws attention to your actions, just as leaving a paper cone cup with some liquid spilling out onto the table is rarely done, but leaving a conventional flat-bottomed paper cup is very common.”
Tidying up the /cig-bin

“The decline was hardly noticeable: only 0.007 cents a gallon from the previous week to $2.869 a gallon for self-service regular, according to the department’s weekly price survey. But it was the first time the U.S. average gas price fell after rising for 11 consecutive weeks. The nationwide average price was also 4.5 cents lower than it was a year ago. California motorists, however, did not see any relief at the pump, with the average price rising 1.1 cents to $3.316 a gallon. The statewide average is 24.8 cents higher than it was a year ago.”
Gas Prices: California is special (Yeah, I nearly fainted when I filled up the car last night and I hardly drive at all [because I hate driving, rilly I do]).

“Hey, go buy some books from Women and Children First and help one of the last women’s bookstores in the country to stay open. Here’s Linda and Ann, the owners. How can you resist? Here’s an article about how the store’s struggling and needs more support. They have a good website, I just ordered a couple books I’ve been wanting.”
Women and Children First

“‘Above all, worldbuilding is not technically necessary. It is the great clomping foot of nerdism. It is the attempt to exhaustively survey a place that isn’t there. A good writer would never try to do that, even with a place that is there. It isn’t possible, & if it was the results wouldn’t be readable: they would constitute not a book but the biggest library ever built, a hallowed place of dedication & lifelong study. This gives us a clue to the psychological type of the worldbuilder & the worldbuilder’s victim, & makes us very afraid.'”
The Great Clomping Food of Nerdism (Huh?)

180 irregular verbs in English (I’m always so glad I’m a native speaker [most of the time].)

RIAA Backs Down After Receiving Letter from Defendant’s Lawyer Threatening Malicious Prosecution; Voluntarily Dismisses Case (Feh.)

MPress Letterpress store (very cool, takes special orders)

The Bullet Train: Where the hell is it? (If there was a bullet train from LA to Las Vegas, I’d go to Las Vegas more. The Bay Area goes without saying. Amtrak to San Diego is okay [2.5 hours], but a bullet train would be cooler. Why don’t we have bullet trains? Are we so uncivilized? Geeze.)

“‘Blue Cross’ pre-authorization for healthcare services is an advance determination of the medical necessity of a proposed procedure only; it is not a guarantee of payment,’ she said, adding that the caveat is ‘stated expressly’ when the pre-authorization request is made. ‘Our authorizations for care, based on medical necessity, include express statements that they are not guarantees of payment,’ she said.”
Blue Cross: The big bad (God, Blue Cross sucks, I never hear anything good about them) Update 042507: Some progress.

Islands Fold (Because there is no such thing as too many cool little art books [and this shop supports an artist colony, so there])

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