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ARCHIVES:  August 8-15, 2005

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August 15, 2005 - Monday

Spam Assault

The site where I work was hit in giant amounts by spam. We had been lucky so far, not being noticed by many evil-doers in the world, but our luck is gone now and we were overwhelmed for a while.

We've been cleaning up and discussing options. I see that lots of bloggers are using spam controls such as posting skewed letters and asking the poster to type in the letters. That seems like a good simple method.

I've been online so long (early 1980's) that I remember when no spam, viruses or spyware existed. I belonged to CompuServe and QuantumLink back then. (QuantumLink is AOL today.) I sure miss those times of no-spam, but since this is a world-wide Internet, I see no solutions to it other than keeping up a good spam filter and spyware and virus blockers.

Leo Laporte, the tech guy I listen to on TV, etc., says you need at least 3 spyware checkers running to be safe and a good virus checker or just use an Apple computer which does not have the security holes that Windows has.

I was talking to an acquaintance about using credit cards to make Internet purchases. He said that he does not trust the Internet so he refuses to make a credit card purchase online.

Ironically, it is probably safer than calling in the number to an operator who may misuse it. Also, credit card companies can be broken into and your number stolen -- even if you never made an online purchase.

 

The big danger though, if is someone has a key logger program on your system or you have so much spyware, etc., that your online activities can be monitored. I think then, that it could be unsafe to use a credit card number on the Internet.

 

 

August 14, 2005 - Sunday

Test Your Sense of Balance

I saw this done a few days ago with Diane Sawyer (who passed). A person in their 40's should be able to stand on one foot with their eyes closed for 15 seconds. It shows that their brain is correcting well for balance.

After age 25, your sense of balance begins to decline. The danger of a fall begins to increase. (More about this test at Fitness USA).

I can see now why we are spraining ankles and twisting knees so easily as we age. We want to spring out of the car like a 20-year-old when we need to stop and prevent injury by taking some things more slowly. That's hard to do. Inside my mind, I still feel like I am 25. If energy levels are high and health is good, I am inclined, as I always did, to spring out of a car when I should be more cautious.

(I mention a car because an older person I know twisted her knee followed by months/years of pain because she thought she could just spring out like she'd always done.)

As for my test results, that morning after I had just finished walking several miles and taken a shower, I failed miserably (don't showers automatically mess up someone's balance? lol), but the next day I could do it just fine. Obviously some days are more balanced than others. Either that or showers are evil.

 

 

August 13, 2005 - Saturday

Logo Creator v4

I was reading about a logo library at Digg.com. I thought a professional logo would be fun to have, so that lead to a search for a logo-making company. After examining the prices, I did a search for logo-making software. Ta-da! Here comes Logo Creator v4 and most of a day playing around and having fun with this.

I realize that I could do all of this in Photoshop, but these logos are inspiring and professional - well worth the cost. I posted my first tries at First Try on my photo blog. (Click "<-- Newer Photo" to see all 12 in this group).

 

 

August 12, 2005 - Friday

Those Outrageous Stars

I have been laughing over this website from Smoking Gun - Backstage Pass about the strange demands of stars when they are on tour. Jennifer Lopez demanded a room all in white with white furniture and white flowers. Def Leppard had the pickiest food requirements -- the list is long about what they like and don't like. Beyonce listed specifics for how she wanted the bathrooms cleaned. Clay Aiken outlaws mushrooms, coffee, mint, chocolate, and shellfish in anything he eats. Penn and Teller were some of the most reasonable, merely forbidding eggplant and zucchini in food.

Its interesting to see what celebrities like to eat. Some of those perfect-figure people are junk food lovers, as it appears with Shania Twain and her cookie requests.

 

 

August 11, 2005 - Thursday

Time Magazine's 50 Coolest Websites

People love lists. We buy magazines just to see what list they came up with. It sells. In listening to a TWIT podcast, John Dvorak says these lists are created by folks sitting around, drinking coffee and throwing in and out whomever they feel like. In other words, they are rarely "official."

Okay, that said, these are interesting sites - Time Magazine's 50 Coolest websites. I have already spent much time browsing through them such as the New York Public Library's Digital Gallery.

 

 

Eating Indian

Even though it has an unlikely name of "Vinny's," my daughter and I enjoy eating Indian food here. Neither of our husbands will come near to eating Indian food so we go alone.

The food is unique and different from anything else. I enjoyed the cooked cabbage with red pepper spice and for dessert, rice in cream with nuts and fruit. There's much more good stuff here, but I can't remember the names and it is hard to describe. I had some kind of chopped celer and other things swimming in a salad dressing sauce (See? Its just too different to explain well).

 

 

August 10, 2005 - Wednesday

82 Photoshop Filters

I took 82 copies of a photo of myself and made a quick 2-minute movie showing various Photoshop and other filters in a morphing sequence.

My husband saw this and asked, "I see the protagonist, but where is the antagonist?" I answered, "Your sense of boredom is the antagonist."

I hope it might be interesting to anyone who wants to see the effects of different filters. I love the music to this, a techno song from GarageBand.com, Anyma Submarine Remix.

 

 

August 9, 2005 - Tuesday

Harry Potter Theories

If you've already read the newest book, here's a nice discussion on the ending and what it could mean (full of spoilers -- only for those who have finished the book). I even gave my two cents' worth --> From Asterisk.

 

 

Shuttle Lands Safely - Yay!

You already knew that, I bet. But I had to add my "whew" and "yay" to it all. Congratulations to everyone involved in a successful flight.

 

 

August 8, 2005 - Monday

Cold Showers

These are the hottest days of the year, yet I still walk outside. I've been taking showers as cold as the water will go. Here in Alabama, that's not overwhelmingly cold. When you turn on the cold water, it stays cold for about 10 seconds. Once the cool house water is gone, the rest gets warmer.

Refrigerators with ice dispensers sell very well here. I wonder if I could fill the bathtub with ice.

Inspite of all this, I still enjoy being outside to exercise. For one, I can walk out a couple of miles and not quit early because I have to get home somehow. This works fine unless you need a bathroom or it suddenly starts raining.