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April 29, 2005

JobJob JoeJob, part 2

Yeacks. I thought the first one was bad.... this one started a little after 3pm PDT, and, after less than an hour and a half, has generated around 1500 bounce messages. Bleah.

Guess I'm going to have to program up some more e-mail defenses over the weekend...

Update: It was over fast. Ugh. Spammers make me unhappy.

April 28, 2005

Other sip urls spotted in the wild....

It appears I was wrong when I said that no one published sip urls for themselves. At least one company in the business actually does. Good job, Junction Networks! Hopefully, they won't be the only ones to do so. I'll update this post with others as I find them.

Also, I've had a single response in the form of someone taking advantage of the sip url I posted before. I'll write up the experience at a later time.


April 27, 2005

I'm such a classy guy!

Well, at least, now I'm a Class M1 licensed driver in the state of California. :)

It took almost an hour and a half. Here's how it went: * 9:25 leave for DMV. * 9:40 arrive at DMV, for 10am appointment. * 10:15 get into discussion with examiner, who wanted to claim that my Piaggio Typhoon was not of sufficient size to warrant an M1 license * 10:20-10:40 Wait for examiner to return with some sort of decision. * 10:40 Get to take the test. * 10:45 pass, head home.

Alright, so, here's the beef. I'd totally agree - it'd be nice of the Typhoon was a “moped”, or M2-class vehicle, under CA law. It's not, and there are several reasons why. To be a moped, or “motorized bicycle” in CA, a vehicle has to produce less than 2 bhp (~horsepower, measured directly from the drive-train without emissions systems), top speed of 30, and either pedals, or electric.

The Typhoon has no pedals, tops out over 40mph, and generates more than 2 horsepower. There's no way it falls into the moped class. And there's one really good reason beyond the specifics of the law, much to my annoyance - mopeds are allowed to use the bike lane. Scooters that can hit 40mph or more should really not be allowed in the bike lane. What's more, the current CA law is clearly trying to create some advantages for low-emissions (at this point, == electric) vehicles, ie, giving them access to the bike lane, and removing the yearly registration fee (another moped perk).

I certainly want all of those perks. The bike lane would be lovely. Not having to pay more for insurance, and not having to renew my registration would both be lovely. But there are only two motorcycle classes in CA, one is M2, the other is M1. If my bike's not M2, then I need to pass the M1 test.... which the examiner really didn't want to let me do. I already had an M2 license, who would want to go through the hassle of the DMV just to re-get the same license, and still be road illegal?

sigh It's done. It was a stupid, slow, bureaucratically complicated ride, but it's done.

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April 26, 2005

A better fuel usage chart for the Piaggio Typhoon...

Ok, so, that last one was pretty poor. This one's a little bit of an improvement, and there's more data.

Note that the average is still the most important number for fuel usage. The individual points are calculated assuming that (miles per gallon) = (miles travelled since last fillup)/(amount dispensed to “fill” the tank). Unfortunately, for such a small tank, the accuracy of the “complete fillup” action is pretty suspect. Heck, at the amount of gas I'm putting in, I wouldn't be surprised if there's actually a lot of error in the amount reported from the pump.

Anyway, here's the graph: Piaggio Typhoon Mileage Apr 25 2005

Take note of the units. The build of this chart will have to be adjusted as the “Cumulative Saved” eventually goes above $100.

And, no, this is not a totally fair chart. I'm not counting any of the macro maintenance of the vehicles. Costs might come out somewhat closer then, as the Typhoon uses oil, and, at least locally, such oil is exorbitantly expensive.

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April 25, 2005

Gmail spam joke?

So, not sure if this has caught up to everyone yet, but Gmail now supports mini-RSS headlines at the top of message lists. I got this sometime late last week.

But, it wasn't until this morning that I noticed that the Spam and Trash category both seem to have their own, highly entertaining specialized feeds. In particular, Spam seems to be a search of some kind, perhaps against Spam recipes. Here's an example:

Trash does something similar, and keeps coming up with tidbits about recycling.

April 19, 2005

Profiles, attack!

Ok, just the second one, though I rarely even post to my blog twice in one day. I had to do this one, because of the intriguing possibility of it recognizing my midwestern origins, as all of my friends constantly claim they can.

However, it failed, and horribly. Maybe Ohio isn't in the midwest, as people from elsewhere in the midwest are always telling me.

Your Linguistic Profile:

70% General American English
15% Yankee
10% Dixie
5% Upper Midwestern
0% Midwestern

A little too.... accurate.

Wow, I had to try this one too. Who'd've thunk it'd have me down so well? sigh

You Are 27 Years Old
Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.
13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.
20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.
30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!
40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

April 15, 2005

Many scooters out at lunch today...

I actually saw about 2.5x as many scooters today as I took pictures of. The others were a variety. One was a Aprilia, I think. There was also an old beat-up Yamaha I regularly see on California Ave.

Anyway, here're a few pics, because, well, I have them. The first one is of my bike and a friend's, parked at PARC. The second is an all-electric bike that Joy has been considering, although it has pretty crappy range characteristics (“45 miles”, but those numbers are always exaggerated). No scale shots, but it's a little bit smaller than the Piaggio, probably about the size of the Metropolitan (which is too small for me to sit in comfortably).

Spotted at PARC's motorcycle parking Spotted along California Ave in Palo Alto

I know my scooter photography leaves something to be desired. I'll try to get better at it...

April 13, 2005

Bubbler.net - rapid blogging, early, many bugs.

So, Bubbler seems to be a client-only blog system. All in all, it's not a horrible thing, though it's very obvious that it's very young. Seem my test page for a self-documenting idea of how many bugs there are in my first 10-minute session.

Those out there who use Ecto will find it to be similar, but more all-encompasing, and very very fast. The latest Ecto takes way too long to update its list of existing blog entries, for instance. Bubbler has no such problem, although, at the cost of being, so far, entirely proprietary. I can only hope they'll support a few of the normal posting interfaces at some point, so that they can get access to other existing clients (some of which, like mobile phone post agents, they're not likely to want to have to reinvent, and probably wouldn't do well at, anyway).

Where did Bubbler come from? I found it from an Google Ad running on this very site... however, when I Google around for bubbler.com or bubbler.net I find virtually nothing. Anyone got a story on this thing? It's just a bit too slick to be someone's side project... heck, the client even auto-searches your local network when you first launch, trying to find a local bubbler server, if you let it. Whoever's building it is thinking pretty big. And maybe not doing such a bad job. As Peter Norvig said at the BayCHI last night: it's better not to make it too easy for people to post to blogs. But this could settle in nicely in the blog/wiki/collaboration space, especially for organizations that are somewhat geographically distributed, but not so stuffy to make it hard for people to communicate using new publishing tools.

Advertising is inescapable these days....

I'm sitting on hold waiting to make an appointment for a drive test at the DMV. I'm now up to almost 25 minutes of waiting, which is bad enough (for everything but drive tests, you can use either the telephone automated system, or the website), but they're playing an actual local radio station on the hold. What does this mean? Well, 25 minutes is enough time to get stuck in at least one many-minute-long commercial spree.

Since when should calling the DMV require me to listen to advertising? What, they're too good for muzak?

Ah, but there's a happy end to the story. After 25 minutes on hold, wasting my time in the morning, the DMV unceremoniously hung up on me, without so much as ever letting me hear a live human's voice. sigh At least I didn't have to listen to any more advertising...

April 12, 2005

BayCHI: Search Engine Technologists Panel

My notes from tonight's BayCHI are here. I can't say it wasn't a little interesting, but, on the other hand, it really wasn't really enlightening. Nonetheless, here are my notes.

April 10, 2005

Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie
Lemon Meringue Pie,
originally uploaded by bpendleton.

Joy and I-Chant and I made lemon meringue pie. From scratch. It rocks! Now, if only we'd had an electric beater, instead of just a hand one.... making meringue by hand is, literally, a pain.

April 09, 2005

Joe Job in progress.....

Nothing like waking up to a JoeJob in progress.

Actually, since I've had Gmail, my inbox has never said “1 - 25 of thousands” in the corner before. Lucky me.

Judging by the amount of mail in my Gmail today vs. yesterday, I've received 10 megs of bounce/undeliverable messages. Looks like the JoeJob started at ~6:35am PST. It's still ongoing. There are probably a lot of error messages that haven't been generated yet, because they're still sitting in someone's spam box. Anyway, yikes.

And, though I've since started to have qualms about this, I've had SPF entries published since the early days of SPF. This might've been hard on my users, but I don't have many of those, and this is a great example of why SPF was good - too bad thousands of mail servers are ignoring it, and, instead, accepting messages for delivery, tagging them as spam, and sending me bounce messages. Thank you, oh thank you.

If you've received a spam from these jokers, I'm sorry, but it has nothing to do with me. Check the mail headers, then see if it aligns with the SPF entries I publish (“v=spf1 a:mailers.geekdom.net mx ptr include:gmail.com ?all”). Ok, yeah, there's the ?all in there, mostly as a transitional thing. Suffice to say, that none of these messages come from any of the hosts in mailers.geekdom.net, that are have domain mx entries, or that there are ptrs to. I'm sorry you've been getting spam, but there's nothing I can do. I also hope it will stop soon.

Update: After more 2000 bounced "conversations" (Gmail's count, so, probably a few percent more total bounces, since bounces from the same mailer daemon tend to get grouped), the Joe Job seems to be tapering off. I can only hope that my domain isn't in a ton of spam filters now, and, rather, is still usable for those of us with mail here.

April 07, 2005

Open government? Not really...

To follow up on a previous gripe, here's an article (via Bruce Schneier's Blog) which discusses how much less open our governments have become following the horrible 9/11 tragedy.

The article does a good job of covering the basics. In essence, our current administration is pushing to make everything it can secret. Want to know about some scary government project going on in your town? Worried they might not be taking appropriate care to safeguard, say, your water supply? You're probably out of luck. And that's not to mention that managing so many “secrets” is expensive, in a time when our government needs to make every dollar count.

I mean, sure, if you don't let the citizenry know anything, it's a lot easier to sell out their interests, health, and safety to the highest bidder. That's what's happening in Pennsylvania, where the state is refusing to release information on how Homeland Security funds are being distributed. Here's a hint, folks - there's a lot of money in that budget. Isn't it convenient not to have to explain where it goes? The Freedom of Information Act was supposed to deliver accountability of the government to the populace. How can we hold the government accountable if it refuses to disclose what it's doing most of the time? How are we to prevent another failure of intelligence like 9/11 was, if we can't even find out what is going on?

This has got to stop. Hopefully the Senate hearing the article mentions will bring this discussion up to the public's consciousness.