Monthly Archives: October 2006

You can always tell a gentleman…

California Man Charged With Raping Women Met on Millionaires Site

Summary: Guy goes to millionaire dating site, meets women… and rapes them.

This is wrong on so many levels….

  • You don’t have to be a millionaire to use the site… so what kind of men would frequent it, and what would they be looking for?
  • What kind of women would frequent such a site? What kind of men would they be looking for?
  • The mere existence of a “millionaire dating site” seems… mercenary.

This brings back to mind the Mike Tyson rape case. While he (Tyson) probably did rape the girl, which was clearly wrong, I found myself wondering at the time what a Beauty contestant was was thinking getting out of bed in the wee small hours of the morning to go to the hotel room of one of the judges – a man who could kill people with his bare hands.

What was she thinking? What were the victims thinking?

But rape is a crime… and stupidity is not.

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Ten Reasons Target is Better than Wal-Mart

Within five minutes of my house there is a Target, a Meijer’s, a Kroger’s and… a Wal-Mart.

The latter is the one that I like shopping in least. I can’t remember the last time I went to this particular Wal-Mart, though others in town are better. I try to keep my visits down to twice a months or less, going when it is less busy; get in and out as quickly as possible. The simple fact of the matter is that, for me at least, Wal-Mart is an unpleasant place to shop.

In 1979, the biggest retailer in America was a company called F. W. Woolworth. They no longer exist. Wal-Mart ignores this fact at their peril.

I could go on, but this blogger says it better than I ever could.

A most enjoyable read.

It’s official!

computer-savvy.jpg

Now I have a news feed…

http://feeds.feedburner.com/WizardPrang

Add it to your newreader.

Now reading…

From time to time, I come across a blog entry or a discussion thread that ends with a one-line statement or tagline informing the reader about what the writer is currently listening to. Nothing wrong with this, to be sure, but I think that what a person is reading will tell you far more about them than what music they are listening to or what movies they most recently watched.

This year alone I have read many interesting thought-provoking and sometimes disturbing books, including…

You’re probably thinking that I only read books that have a colon in the title, so I will add Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson to the list.

Often I will read several books at once… typically there is a book on the treadmill that I read while working out; sometimes there is another book on my bedside table, with several older books on my PDA in e-book format.

That said, this is not about blowing my own trumpet or going on an ego rampage. While the links are to Amazon, most are available at your local library.

Any road up, from here on out, I will be ending my scribblings with a “Now reading…” message.

That is all.

Now reading…

Lawyers gone wild

According to some, photographing a product that you are selling on eBay is copyright infringement.

Er… no it isn’t.

I don’t know who their lawyers are, but they don’t seem to understand the difference between copyright and trademark… and photographing a product that you own for the purpose of selling it is an infringement of neither, unless you are trying to misrepresent either yourself or the product.

Sigh… how many times do I need to say it

  • Copyrights protect works of art (creative works)
  • Patents protect inventions (NOT ideas!)
  • Trademarks protect reputations (i.e., “brands”)

None of them apply to the secondary market, and none of them apply here.

Windows’ Disingenuous Disadvantage II

When Windows XP came out, I refused to buy it. There were several reasons for this; one of them was that I was philosophically opposed to Windows Product Activation (WPA). When you first run Windows, it wants to talk to Microsoft to “activate” your copy of Windows.

Apparently is no longer enough. Some years later, Microsoft introduced Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) – a mechanism that ensures that your copy of Windows is, in fact genuine.

Funny, I thought that WPA already did that…

I took a stroll around Microsoft’s official pages, and all I could find was lots of blather about how Microsoft wants to protect us from piracy and counterfeiting. There was very little explanation of how or why, just lots of pictures of smiling people and PR-blather about how much you need to be sure that your copy of windows is “genuine”.

Err… that’s not really true, is it?

Think about it. Every version of Windows until now has gotten along fine without Microsoft continually poking its nose in to ensure that your copy is “legit”. Over that time Microsoft’s growth has been exponential. Who is really inconvenienced by Piracy and counterfeiting? Microsoft, that’s who.

So when they say “Protect Your Business with Genuine Microsoft Software“, what they really mean is “Protect OUR business with Genuine Microsoft Software”

Nothing wrong with that; I just wish that they would be a little more honest about it and call it what it is.If that were all there was to it, this would hardly be a blogworthy subject; but it doesn’t end there.

There are two specific problems with WGA.

First of is the way that MS has introduced it to the world. Although it has been around a while, they have recently shoehorned it into Windows Critical Updates. For the past few years, Microsoft’s have advised us to set our systems to automatically update, downloading and installing new patches as they become available, whispering “Trust us to keep your computer safe”. For years they cultivated this trust… and now anyone who trusted them has had this totally unnecessary piece of software automagically installed on their system.

The second is the fact WGA has been known to get it wrong and issue false-positives; situations where WGA has instructed some users told that their totally-legit license was “not genuine”… and then offered to sell them a “Genuine” version. This is completely unacceptable, and yet another reason to say the hell away from Windows XP.

I have no reason to doubt that Vista will be any better.