Validas to Help You Understand Your Cell Phone Bill

Posted on July 29th, 2007 in Geeky by Chooch

From TechCrunch by Michael Arrington

It’s sad to say it, but it’s true: most cell phone bill are so complicated that it is nearly impossible to understand exactly what you are being charged (and perhaps over charged) for. A new site called Validas promises to make sense of the chaos, help you understand where you are spending money, and what you can do to lower your bill. It hasn’t launched yet, but there is an overview video on the site.

Reading and Writing

Posted on July 28th, 2007 in Personal,Writing by Chooch

Today I get to start reading the new Harry Potter book, yay! Di already finished it and I’m sure she’s dying to talk about it. MAINPA said that her next Better Late Than Never episode will have a spoilerific discussion about it, so perhaps DI will enjoying listening to that. MA also plays a voicemail of mine questioning her dislike of the movie AI. She said that the spoiler discussion is at the end, so I suppose I can listen up to that point, and come back to it after I’ve finished the book. I read pretty slowly, and infrequently, so it will be awhile before I finish it.

In other news, I’ve been writing more fiction than I have in a long time. Not that I’ve ever written all that much, but I’m more dedicated to it than I ever have been. I’m trying to force myself to get more involved in social circles, which has been a challenge. It feels good though, and it amazes me how making yourself do one thing that you enjoy, effects all other aspects of your life.

I’ve been working on waking up earlier (ugh!), writing, eating better, and exercising. Each is inching along and helping each other. I backslide a little here and there, but overall its all moving forward. Hopefully I’ll have some updates coming on those fronts.

Finally, the boys come home in 10 days!! Woot!!

The Great Internet Crash of 2007

Posted on July 23rd, 2007 in Entertainment,Funny,Geeky by Chooch

The Onion is always good for a laugh.. This “news” report is particularly good!

Is Vista Allowing The Government To Spy On Our Computers?

Posted on July 22nd, 2007 in Security & Privacy by Chooch

Paris The Pirate writes “This article at Whitedust displays some very interesting logs from Vista showing connections to the DoD Information Networking Center, United Nations Development program and the Halliburton Company; for no reason other than the machine was running Vista. From the article ‘After running Vista for only a few days — with a complete love for the new platform the first sign of trouble erupted. I began noticing latency on my home network connection — so I booted my port sniffing software and networking tools to see what was happening. What I found was foundation shaking. The two images below show graphical depictions of what has and IS trying to connect to my computer even in an idle state’.”

Seen on Dvorak and Slashdot

Charlie Brown- Manga Style

Posted on July 22nd, 2007 in Entertainment,Funny by Chooch

I’m not into anime/manga, but these modern Charlie Brown interpretations are really cool!

By popular demand, I found a rough sketch of Snoopy from the artist.. still no Woodstock though.

Celebs photoshopped to dumpy normalcy

Posted on July 21st, 2007 in Entertainment,Funny by Chooch

Cory Doctorow: Planet Hiltron takes photos of celebs and photoshops them so that they look like normal people — poorly dressed, flabby, nourished by fast food and a little bit wrinkly. The Johnny Depp is amazing but Madonna (shown here) is by far the creepiest. Link (Thanks, Bill!)

OLPC Brings Porn To The Third World

Posted on July 21st, 2007 in Funny,Geeky by Chooch

olpc.pngThe One Laptop Per Child initiative has reached new heights by delivering internet porn to third world children.

According to a report Thursday from the official News Agency of Nigeria, laptops in a primary school in Abuja “have gone awry as the pupils freely browse adult sites with explicit sexual materials.”

It’s heart warming to know that the efforts of the well meaning folks behind the OLPC project are delivering real results on the ground; providing the same opportunities for teenage boys to access internet porn no matter how impoverished they are or where they live.

The party however will be short lived; a representative of the One Laptop Per Child group was reported saying that the OLPC computers would now be fitted with porn filters.

(via Teleread)

Executive Order Overturns US Fifth Amendment

Posted on July 20th, 2007 in Politics,Security & Privacy by Chooch

Part of the Fifth Amendment is “private property be[ing] taken for public use, without just compensation”, for those of you playing at home. And yeah, I had to look it up :o)

RalphTWaP writes:
Tuesday, there wasn’t even a fuss. Wednesday, the world was a little different. By executive order, the Secretary of the Treasury may now seize the property of any person who undermines efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq. The Secretary may make his determination in secret and after the fact.”

There hasn’t been much media notice of this; the UK’s Guardian has an article explaining how the new authority will only be used to go after terrorists.

I am absolutely speechless on this one.. I think its truly time to purchase one of the Disappearing Bill of Rights coffee mugs. Unless that’s deemed unpatriotic and they take it away from me. I’m not a Bush-basher, but seeing how many of our hard-earned freedoms have gone down the toilet and how we really aren’t any safer than we were on 9/11; I gotta wonder just what the hell is going on and where we’re going to end up.

Found on Slashdot

Hotmail Fails To Deliver Up To 81% Of All Attachment Emails

Posted on July 20th, 2007 in Geeky by Chooch

If you use Hotmail, and you suspect that you haven’t been receiving e-mails (or, that people haven’t been receiving e-mails you sent) then maybe you aren’t just crazy.. Maybe Microsoft is actually deleting your e-mails (that contain attachments) to save disk space and bandwidth!Hotmail Flushes Email
Hal Licino on Hubpages put this theory to the test, carrying out a number of tests both between separate Hotmail accounts, as well as messages into and out of Hotmail with another ISP. The results were that, on average, 74% of all e-mail with attachments were unceremoniously (and without any indication) deleted! no error messages, no notice… they just disappear.

The lowest rate of deletion was 59% (an ISP sending to Hotmail) and the highest rate of deletion was 81% (Hotmail sending to an ISP) — both of which are 100% unacceptable!

Read the full article at Hubpages.

Generation Chickenhawk: the unauthorized College Republican National Convention Tour

Posted on July 20th, 2007 in Politics by Chooch

Max Blumethal went to the College Republican National Convention Tour and discovered that these well-groomed young men and women strongly support the war in Iraq. But when Blumenthal asked them why they weren’t fighting in Iraq, the students offered creative and entertaining excuses. Link

posted by Mark Frauenfelder at 08:51:3 on BoingBoing