Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Football only?

For no good reason, I was looking at the stadiums for next year's soccer World Cup. The first photo of Frankfurt's new stadium has the caption "FIFA World Cup Stadium Frankfurt: football-only temple." But doesn't it seem a little ironic that on the Official Site of the World Cup, a few of the photos demonstrate that the American interpretation of "football" has made it to Germany?
photo showing stadium with goal posts and lines for American football

Monday, November 28, 2005

Ronaldinho's latest nike ad - real or fake?

Irakli posted a link to an incredible video showing Brazilian soccer star Ronaldinho demonstrating some amazing skills with the ball (and some new Nike shoes). The most amazing thing is that he kicks the ball into the crossbar from 18 yards out and it bounces right back to him -- four times.


The soccer site has a long discussion as to the validity of this video. Some people have Ronaldinho quotes saying it's real, but then there's also a post allegedly quoting Nike's communications director for North Europe saying "It's a shame to reveal it, but where he hits the bar four times we played with some digital solutions."

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Friday, November 25, 2005

How to bypass phone menus

Bookmark this (or send to A frustrated and enterprising geek named Paul English has published a cheat sheet on how to bypass phone menus and talk with an actual human. As of today, there are 108 companies listed.
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Friday, November 18, 2005

Free e-book of Scott Adams book

Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, is offering a free PDF download of his book God's Debris. The blog entry says a little about why he's doing this, but he put it a little better in the most recent edition of his newletter, "I’m giving it away because I found out that most people who read it end up either recommending it or buying the paper version as gifts for other people." This is not a collection of Dilbert cartoons or even one of his books on business. As he says in the blog:
The hard cover version of God's Debris was a solid financial success. But it's such a strange little piece of work that it was hard to market it. People don't even agree about whether it's fiction or non-fiction, religion or science fiction or philosophy or just a good old fashioned mind-%*$#.
I happen to think that PDF is a workable format, but it's not ideal. It's probably the best choice, today, for mass distribution of a cost-free publication, but there are formats which offer smaller file sizes and perhaps more features.
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Monday, November 14, 2005

Minor blog changes

I've enabled a couple features introduced by Blogger over the past 6-12 months -- comments and backlinks. Comments are configured to allow anybody to post, but I've turned on word verification (aka captcha). I've heard read too many stories about comment spam hitting blogs -- even blogs with low traffic like this one. If you don't like it, don't comment.

You're always free to send email to me, though. (image created at

How Tom manages his email

Tom Kyte, of the extremely useful Ask Tom Oracle help site (and column), has been travelling a lot lately and writes in his blog that he's now All caught up...:
Most importantly – the scroll bar is gone from my inbox! I have 14 emails in my inbox. 12 of them are to-do items – so maybe I’m not all caught up, but I’m not that far behind anymore.
The post discusses in more details how he manages his email. I currently have 2188 messages in my Inbox -- that's only going back to the beginning of August, I have many more archived. I think if/when I decide to try something along the lines of what Tom does, I'll probably archive more regularly rather than delete or file by subject or recipient. With a good desktop search tool, searching the archive is quick and easy.

On a related note, I tried Google Desktop and found it weak when compared to X1.

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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Custom Yahoo Maps

Justin Everett-Church demonstrates how the new Flash-based Yahoo maps can be customized with images, colors, and borders. He gives as examples pirate and radar themed maps.
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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Sniffing Passwords is Easy

The most mind-blowing article I've read all week... Bruce Schneier quotes from an InfoWorld article in which a woman describes using a network sniffer at security-professional conferences and discovering that computer security professionals don't practice good security practices.
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