Yay for Alta Vista, boo for Google!

Apparently my WebCollage screensaver has gotten popular enough that the search engines are actually feeling its impact: the fact that they see a lot of searches like these:

    susceptible curiouser western drank spectacles
    sextillion gubernatorial stagger folder assaulted
    appeals boatsman pharmaceutic groveled submodules
    formalization incommensurate ancestral sloan indictment

had finally irritated them enough to figure out where they were coming from, and send me mail whining about it.

Google nicely asked me to stop. They asked nicely enough that I felt bad saying no. But I asked them to add a URL on their site that would just redirect to a random URL from their database: WebCollage could use that, instead of hitting their search page, and it would all still work, without throwing off their hit statistics. They responded, "Oh, that would be easy. We'll see what we can do." And then ignored my mail for (at current count) nine months.

Recently, I got a similar complaint from Alta Vista. I asked them for the same kind of URL I'd asked Google for. They said, "sure", and it went live on their site two weeks later!

Yay Alta Vista! Boo Google!

Tags: , , ,

manipulate your way to higher tips!

How Tipping Works

"Guilt issues aside, research has shown that the quality of the service we receive isn't always reflected in the tip we leave. Many who have studied the practice have discovered that excellent service only draws a marginally higher tip than average service. Other things the server might do, however, do make more of a difference -- probably without our even realizing it! For example, Cornell University's Center for Hospitality Research has conducted several studies revealing some interesting facts about server habits that can boost tip percentages. Here are a few of them."

Tags: ,

geek factor: off the scale

Help brad flesh out his Buffy sex chart.
Tags: , ,
Current Music: Underworld -- M.E. ♬

finger the Eli Lilly Bandit

I'm reminded of an episode of The Tick:

Lawyer: Why, that's the worst kind of vigilanteism!
Tick: No Sir, that's the best kind of vigilanteism!

Reward! For Information Leading To The Identification Of The Eli Lilly Bandit

In November, as Congress finalized the legislation authorizing a new Department of Homeland Security, two paragraphs suddenly appeared in the bill giving drug maker Eli Lilly & Company something it desired: a shield from lawsuits by parents who claim the company's vaccines caused their children's autism.

[...] Who inserted the provision? Reporters tried and failed to find out. Lilly's lobbyists (laughably) claim ignorance. No one on Capitol Hill is proud enough of his handiwork to claim it.

Democracy requires accountability, so TomPaine.com is offering a $10,000 reward to the first person who proves the identity of the Eli Lilly Bandit - the member of Congress responsible for inserting the company's special provision. Mail submissions to PO Box 53303, Washington, D.C. 20009. The complete terms and conditions of this offer are posted at www.TomPaine.com.

Public officials who work secret deals like this are cowards. They subvert and dishonor a fundamental American principle - open government accountable to the people. Help us finger the Eli Lilly Bandit.

Tags: , , , ,

Flaming Carrot teams up with Reid Flemming, World's Toughest Milkman

( Interview here... )

The premise is that Flaming Carrot and Reid Fleming are on a game show in Burbank called CELEBRITY STANDOFF. This week's theme is comic book tough guys versus the tough guys of stage and screen. Reid and FC are up against Christopher Walken, Luciano Pavoratti and Fabio. Also there's a vampire Lassie on a skateboard terrorizing the freeways of Los Angeles. People have an accident, they see Lassie coming, and they think she's coming to save them - but instead she drinks their blood. Between shows, Reid and Flaming Carrot are trolling the streets of LA, looking for the deadly dog.

( Cover art here )


Farmer swamped with offers for pig born with two penises

This is just completely irresponsible journalism, publishing something like this without pictures. How can these people sleep at night?

Lame-assed article with no photos:

A Bosnian farmer says he's being inundated with offers from people wanting to buy a pig born with two penises.

Mica Ciric, from the North Bosnian village of Blazevac, has called the pig, which also has six legs, Lucky.

He told local media: "There has been a lot of interest in him either from people who want to raise him so they can study his development, or others who want to put him on display.

"I'm seventy years old, but I've never heard of anything like it."

Local vets have said the case is very rare but not unheard of. This March in neighbouring Croatia a goat, named Bimbo was born with eight legs, two tails and two penises.

The goat, named Bimbo, became a local celebrity and was often photographed by local media.

Tags: , ,

I want a palindrome debugger

What I really need is a debugger that can run backward: one that keeps an undo list for every write and every jump. It would be slow -- the equivalent of single-stepping the whole program, or having a hardware watchpoint on the entire address space, plus potentially vast memory consumption -- but it would make fixing my current nightmare a no brainer.

Of course, gdb can barely find its ass with both hands, so I'll be over here not holding my breath on that one.

Tags: ,