Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Onion...calls it?

Sometimes life imitates art, sometimes art imitates life:

Exhibit A: "Drugs Win Drug War" [The Onion]
Exhibit B: "Global war on drugs has 'failed' say former leaders" [BBC]

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Head in the Clouds... (or not)

This was intentional, right?  This doesn't happen by accident, and yet...

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:
(note definition 3 from Merriam-Webster)

It doesn't really give the impression that their Cloud Computing has much substance (whether it does or not is an entirely different question, this is just another post about strange branding).

Friday, April 15, 2011

Favorite Chrome extensions

For Chrome/Chromium users, here are my favorite extensions.  What are yours?

Privacy/security related
  • AdBlock -- probably the most important one here.  I can't stand browsing without it.
  • Disconnect -- blocks tracking web page elements from major providers (Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc.)
  • Explode -- expands most URLs created by URL rewriters (e.g. TinyURL)
  • KB SSL Enforcer -- This one actually causes a bit of trouble, so you may not actually want to use it. It tries to ensure that you're talking to websites over encrypted channels by detecting whether there's an SSL version of each site.  Even though it has systems to override its decisions, it still ends up screwing up a fair amount of the time (especially with online banking) since many sites don't actually mirror their SSL sites correctly.
  • Keep My Opt-Outs -- opts out of personalized Google ads
Web site integration
Browser functionality

Monday, February 28, 2011

Public service announcement: Space is big.

Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.

    -- Douglas AdamsThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Just peanuts, visualized:

via APOD

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Reduce, reuse, research...then recyle

Just a quick plug for an awesome recycling search engine: Earth911

You say what you want to recycle and a zipcode and it tells you places that will recycle it. Very well-done website. At least where I am, there are many local places that will recycle all sorts of non-trival objects (rechargeable batteries, Plastic #5, CFLs, etc.).

Monday, December 6, 2010

Unsubscribing from Your Essential Shopper

Take it back, take it back, take that thing right outta here.
Right away, far away, take that thing right outta here.
-- Take It Back (Cream)

I've been trying to permanently remove all junk mail coming to my apartment (as well as previous residences). CatalogChoice, as I've previously posted, has been great for this. However, I still get weekly junk mail from "yes! Your Essential Shopper," part of the Bay Area News Group. I couldn't find anything in my web searches for 'unsubscribe "your essential shopper"' so I'm writing this post.

Inside the all-ad newspaper, I managed to find a phone number (1-800-598-4637) and called it asking to unsubscribe [1]. They were helpful and took me off the list. Now (presumably) they will stop sending me this direct-to-recycling-bin publication every Sunday.

[1] It's possible that the number might be different for you if you're in a different area. In this case, the best I can say is that the newspaper should include a phone number at the bottom of the second page.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Three things for improving Facebook privacy

We're not gonna take it
Never did and never will
We're not gonna take it
Gonna break it, gonna shake it,
Let's forget it better still
-- We're Not Gonna Take It (The Who)
  1. ReclaimPrivacy: everyone should be using this and scan periodically. This is an extremely easy way of detecting which privacy leaks you haven't plugged.
  2. Remove Facebook Like buttons: a Greasemonkey script to rid you of these from non-Facebook pages. These buttons are nasty and let Facebook track you as you surf around the web.
  3. Facebook Link Rewriter: another Greasemonkey script to stop Facebook from tracking which links you click on.
Sure would be great if I could stop doing these types of posts, eh?