Monthly Archive for March, 2006 releases allTunes, the thorn on RIAA’s side for years now, has released their version of iTunes, essentially.

The interface looks simple and easy to use. I’m sure RIAA is not happy. Good.


Stanislaw Lem is dead

I still remember laughing out loud reading his The Cyberiad some 20 years ago.

There’s an excellent website about him to learn more about his life and books.


Rot in jail, forever, spammer scum

Christopher “Rizzler” Smith is not the smartest cookie around, that’s for sure.

Rizler set up a fake pharmacy online, spammed like crazy to drum up business, got shut down by the FBI, ran to Dominican Republic after being released on bail, then came back to the United States, got arrested at the airport and has been in the slammer ever since.

While in jail this genius decides to use the jail phone to call an associate to arrange stalking and possibly harming witnesses in his coming trial. Who would’ve thunk the jail phones might be tapped. Apparently not him.

For this amazing achievement in spammer stupidity he’s likely to serve a very, very long prison sentence. The maximum sentence for jury tampering is life in prison.

Lube up, spammer scum.

More links to the story:
Spam Daily News


IRS to allow selling your data

And just the other day I wrote about credit bureaus selling your data to everyone and their dogs.

Here we have the IRS suggesting relaxing the rules that tax preparers live by when they’re preparing your federal tax returns. The suggested change in rules would allow the tax preparers to sell data to data brokers, but also protect your data by allowing consumers to opt-out from sending your tax documents to be prepared offshore.

Wonderful rule change. Protectionism – yes, that very same thing George Bush said never works in his last State of the Union address, I guess the memo didn’t quite make it to IRS – and relaxed data privacy regulations in the same package.

I wish I could say I’m making this shit up.


14 razor blades by 2100

The real question is will the blades per razor follow Moore’s Law.

Will razor companies start hiring veteran VLSI designers in a few years?


Privacy? There is no such thing.

The Realty Times article reveals how credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, Transunion) are selling your fresh mortgage application data within 24 hours of your you filing a mortgage application with a bank.

They’re selling the information to mortage lenders with your phone number, credit score, what kind of a mortgage you applied for and everything else they know about you. Equifax will probably also sell your email address with the data, too, considering they do e-pending for other clients as well.

There is no way for consumers to opt out and there is no way to know where your data ends up. Why would phishers and other criminals even bother with cracking when they could just pretend to be a mortgage lender and legally (!!!!!) buy your information for peanuts. The information would be much more uptodate, i.e. valuable as well. You bet the information is resold to anyone who pays for it. The possibilities for misuse are huge.

Some mortgage brokers are very upset about this practise, because the credit bureaus are basically selling their mortgage leads to their competitors. Some suggest the practise is a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Personally I say the data brokers should be shut down by law, but we know that’s never going to happen considering the way the US legislators work. At the very least the data brokers should be tightly regulated and completely permission based, meaning not one bit of your data transfers hands unless you specifically allowed it. This wild west mentality towards your financial and other information is exactly why we have the widespread phishing problem.

I’m in the process of applying for a mortgage at the moment. If I get unsolicited calls from mortgage brokers, after applying for one, that’ll be one interesting phonecall. Anyone with ideas how to most effectively f*** with anyone that calls me, leave a comment or send me an email.


Sore losers

Sore losers are usually, well, losers in all senses of the word. Here’s a notable exception.

Annie Proulx, the author of the short story that inspired Brokeback Mountain, has written a pretty fantastic rant on how she thinks she wus robbed, ROBBED I TELL YA, at the Oscars.

Apparently she doesn’t think too highly of Crash winning the best picture award, and is calling it Trash in her rant.

Annie, my dear, you got pwned. I’m sure in your mind a love story about two cowboys is just wonderfully awesome and deserving of all possible awards, but, you know, some people disagree. Wonderful thing, opinions.

Get over it Annie.


A performance of Popozao that puts the original in shame

As if that was really so hard.

Move over Mr. Britney Spears, James Lipton is on your case!


PS. The drink Conan O’Brien raises to James Lipton at the end of the show is a can (?) of Lapin Kulta, which he undoubtedly imported from his recent trip to Finland.

Don’t get raped in South Dakota

The Governor of South Dakota just made it illegal to abort a pregnancy in the state even if the pregnancy was a result of a rape or incest.

It is so very humane to consider the “health” of 4 cells more important than someone who’s just been raped.



George Bush caught lying or being a dumbass, or both

The Associated Press today released a video taped Katrina hurricane readiness planning meeting before the hurricane hit New Orleans. In attendance were among others President George Bush and FEMA Director Michael Brown.

During the meeting several experts gave clear warnings what was about to happen. FEMA Director Michael Brown is seen and heard expressing many concerns that would ultimately get realized. He was clearly stating that New Orleans was not appropriately prepared.

George Bush, on the other hand, reassures the audience that the Federal Government is “fully prepared” to help the local governments during the storm and with the aftermath. Actual events indicate he was either lying through his teeth or didn’t know any better, in which case he was just pulling things out of his ass.

Four days later he’s interviewed by ABC News and tells the interviewer could anticipate the scope of the storm. THAT is an outright lie. Or he’s suffering from a very bad case of short term memory loss.

And yet we have people who still trust this baboon. Incredible.