Job application asks you to provide your Facebook password.

You stay klassy, Bozeman, Montana.
Applying for a job with the City of Bozeman? You may be asked to provide more personal information than you expected.

That was the case for one person who applied for employment with the City. The anonymous viewer emailed the news station recently to express concern with a component of the city's background check policy, which states that to be considered for a job applicants must provide log-in information and passwords for social network sites in which they participate.

The requirement is included on a waiver statement applicants must sign, giving the City permission to conduct an investigation into the person's "background, references, character, past employment, education, credit history, criminal or police records."

"Please list any and all, current personal or business websites, web pages or memberships on any Internet-based chat rooms, social clubs or forums, to include, but not limited to: Facebook, Google, Yahoo,, MySpace, etc.," the City form states. There are then three lines where applicants can list the Web sites, their user names and log-in information and their passwords.

[...] "We do those types of investigations to make sure the people that we hire have the highest moral character and are a good fit for the City," Sullivan said.

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Palm Pre SMTP

I figured out why my Pre couldn't send mail. The phone is sending this:


And Postfix 2.4.5 is replying: Error: send HELO/EHLO first

The problem there is that EHLO should have been upper case it's not sending another EHLO after STARTTLS. Turning off smtpd_helo_required is a workaround.

My question, dear Lazyweb:

    Where's the Palm Pre WebOS Bugzilla? How do I report this bug in such a way that it will actually reach a developer who can say, "Oh, duh" and actually check in a fix?

    If there is not a public bug reporting mechanism, then next best would be for someone to point me at your friend who works there who is willing to take mailed reports from me directly...

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he says, "I'll let you know when I get dialer.el working."

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Palm Pre

I finally got a Pre. It seems pretty sweet so far. (And the keyboard is great. Anyone you've heard complaining about it is crazy.) However, there are some things I have yet to figure out. That's where you come in, dear Lazyweb...

  1. I got incoming mail working (POP3 SSL, self-signed) but I can't get outgoing (SMTP TLS, PLAIN AUTH, self-signed) to work. Mostly the only error message I get is a red exclamation mark. Yesterday it was occasionally saying that I had the wrong password, which isn't true, but I can't tell how to get the Pre to show me, like, a debug log or anything.

      Update: Fixed: Turn off smtpd_helo_required.
  2. I have only a single mail server, but I have several email addresses. How do I select what to put in the "From" field of particular outgoing messages?

  3. Where is the "mark all messages read" command? Where is the "delete all messages" command?

  4. It does Google Chat, which means it speaks Jabber. How do I tell it to use Livejournal as my Jabber server instead of Google?

  5. Is there a way to set a different ring tone for text messages?

  6. I wish to have an archive of my phone's IM / SMS logs on my desktop computer. How?

  7. I wish to have an archive of my "Notes" on my desktop computer. How? And absent that, what happens if I lose my phone? Do all my Notes vanish? Because the docs seem to say that this mysterious "backup" business that it does to is for application settings only, not data.

  8. Maybe I missed it amongst the whopping three games in the app catalog, but where's Bubbels?

  9. I gather there is not yet an (outgoing) ssh application?

Things I have discovered:

  1. To make self-signed certs work, first you have to copy the certificate file to the Pre (drag it out of Keychain Access onto the Pre mounted as a drive) and then run Device Info and select Certificate Manager from the menu to import and trust it. The error message for "you didn't jump through hoops to authorize a self-signed cert" is "SSL error, check the date and time."
  2. As I said above, "Notes" on the device are apparently not synched anywhere accessible, and aren't visible on the file system. This led to the question of "how do I get my old notes into the phone?" Copy and paste only work with text fields, not the contents of mail messages or web pages. The only way I could think of to move my existing notes onto the device was to put them in dummy events in my calendar, then cut-and-paste from those calendar text fields to the Notes app. WTF.

  3. There's no way to delete all those built-in apps that you don't care about, like "NASCAR". But you can drag them to the very last page of the app list so that you never have to see them.

  4. The web browser doesn't scroll to #anchors on URLs. WTF. Though for this to be the first "WTF" I found about the web browser is kind of amazing.


  1. If you don't use Google Mail and Google Calendar, you need Missing Sync. That seems to be the only way to sync your Mac's contacts and calendar to a Pre without entrusting all of your data to Skynet.
  2. Missing Sync apparently syncs all of your calendars, even if you've told it only to select some of them. This means you probably want to unsubscribe from the gigantic SonicLiving iCal feed right now. It also ignores the "don't sync old events" option, and syncs absolutely everything back to the dawn of time.

  3. Missing Sync doesn't sync contact photos. Instead, it takes all your contact photos from Address Book and puts them in a photo gallery called "Contact Photos". That's, uh, useful.

  4. Missing Sync uses wifi to sync contacts and calendars, but requires the phone to be put in USB-drive mode to sync music and photos. THE DUMB, IT BURNS.

  5. Missing Sync is still flaky as hell. In fact, I might fairly categorize it as "only hints at the possiblity of barely fucking working at all". It may cause me to give up on my thus-far-complete unwillingness to create a Google account. But I sure hope not.

    For example, every now and then it chooses to take a subscribed calendar feed in iCal, copy it to the phone, and then copy it back to iCal as a regular calendar. And then the next time around, Missing Sync freaks out because now there are two calendars in iCal with the same name.

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Futuristic Movie Timeline

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Today in Mad Science News

High-flying kites could power New York
"There is a huge amount of energy available in high altitude winds," said coauthor Ken Caldeira. "These winds blow much more strongly and steadily than near-surface winds, but you need to go get up miles to get a big advantage. Ideally, you would like to be up near the jet streams, around 30,000 feet."

"We found the highest wind power densities over Japan and eastern China, the eastern coast of the United States, southern Australia, and north-eastern Africa," said lead author Archer. "The median values in these areas are greater than 10 kilowatts per square meter. This is unthinkable near the ground, where even the best locations have usually less than one kilowatt per square meter."

Several technologies have been proposed to harvest these high altitude winds, including tethered, kite-like turbines that would be floated to the altitude of the jet streams at an altitude of 20,000-50,000 feet and transmit up to 40 megawatts of electricity to the ground via the tether.

Nokia developing phone that recharges itself without mains electricity
A new prototype charging system from the company is able to power itself on nothing more than ambient radiowaves - the weak TV, radio and mobile phone signals that permanently surround us. The power harvested is small but it is almost enough to power a mobile in standby mode indefinitely without ever needing to plug it into the mains, according to Markku Rouvala, one of the researchers who developed the device at the Nokia Research Centre in Cambridge, UK.

The difference with Nokia's prototype is that instead of harvesting tiny amounts of power (a few microwatts) from dedicated transmitters, Nokia claims it is able to scavenge relatively large amounts of power -- around a thousand times as much -- from signals coming from miles away. Individually the energy available in each of these signals is miniscule. But by harvesting radiowaves across a wide range of frequencies it all adds up, said Rouvala.

The trick here is to ensure that these circuits use less power than is being received, said Rouvala. So far they have been able to harvest up to 5 milliwatts. Their short-term goal is to get in excess of 20 milliwatts, enough power to keep a phone in standby mode indefinitely without having to recharge it. But this would not be enough to actually use the phone to make or receive a call, he says. So ultimately the hope is to be able to get as much as 50 milliwatts which would be sufficient to slowly recharge the battery.

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yes, I am twelve.

Bill Gates helps fund mass circumcision program.

Air Force pounds MILF lairs with rockets.

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DNA Lounge: Wherein I tweak the calendar and canvass the voters.

It's time for the 2009 SFBG Best of the Bay readers' poll. We made a pretty good showing last year, including winning "Best Dance Club". Let's see if we can do that again, shall we? Categories in this year's poll that are applicable to DNA and our alumni include: "Best Overall Bar", "Best Cocktails", "Best Dance Company", "Best Dance Club", "Best Rock Club", "Best After-Hours Club", "Best DJ", "Best Burlesque Act", "Best Local Blog", and (oddly buried way at the end) "Best Bar".

I've changed the calendar pages a bit, and added links that makes it easy for you to add an event into your personal calendar. It handles iCal and Outlook (they're actually the same) and also Google and Yahoo calendars.

It looks like this now:

Add this event to
your calendar:

· Apple iCal
· Outlook
· Google
· Yahoo
· MySpace
· Facebook
· Going
· Upcoming
· SonicLiving

It used to look like this:

Are you going? Let
your friends know on
MySpace, Facebook,
Going, Upcoming and

Most other sites tend to hide this stuff under a +Share box that does a Javascript popup filled with a bunch of "Nascar badges" for the various sites. I'm not sure if that would make this more clear, or less. I'm guessing less.

Annoyingly, the API for getting events into the Google calendar won't take URLs that are more than 705 bytes long, so I had to truncate the event description on that kind.

You can also subscribe to our full calendar feed in most calendar programs, of course, but this lets you put events in your personal calendar à la carte.

Let me know if you find any problems with this stuff, or have suggestions.

I keep making the assumption that if we make it easier for people to electronically tell their friends and stalkers about their plans, this will translate into more bodies through the door. It's hard to tell if it's working.

Remember yesterday when I asked everyone to "fan" the DNA Lounge Facebook page so that I could set a user name on it? Well, it turns out that they only let you set user names on pages if you already had more than 1,000 fans last month, so the fact that we have more than 1,000 now doesn't matter to them. Oh well...

Also, this is old news (in more ways than one) but I just noticed this video on Youtube of Alien Sex Fiend performing at DNA Lounge in 1991. (Actually I'm guessing this was the Nov 1990 show, since as far as I know their next show here was June 1992.)

There's also an interview with them from the same show, which is pretty terrible, but I note it only because at around 1:30 and 4:24 in the interview clip you can tell that they're sitting upstairs in the lounge, and that the bricked-over windows on the back wall have glass in them, and are painted black! I had forgotten that they used to look like that.

This is from a local public-access music video show called "Post" that I remember watching. They seem to have shot a lot of shows at DNA. Many of the truly ancient clips I've found have come from there. I wonder if it's possible to get DVDs of this show somehow... With a name like "Post", it is, of course, completely ungooglable.



Please enjoy (what has been retconned to be) jwz mixtape 077.

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Current Music: as noted