Archive for April, 2005

Maps and… Missiles?

Tuesday, April 5th, 2005

Last night, I spent some time flying over the city of Chicago, then a few moments later I hovered over Manhattan for a bit.

No, I haven’t gotten heavy into the hallucinogens: I was admiring Google Maps, now enhanced with zoomable satellite images (via Keyhole.) Enter an address, flip to satellite mode, and (if the city is big enough to warrant it) zoom in, drag the image around, and just have some fun. Makes TerraServer seem sadly outdated.

The fact that you can sit in your chair and recreate every bad spy movie you’ve ever seen, for free, is great fun.

I wouldn’t recommend using it for actual surveillance work, however, as the images have been, ahem, altered. Take this cropped view of the Casa Blanca:
satellite view of White House

Note the oddly flat, uniform color on the roof of the two buildings, particularly the amateur edges. There’s something up there that the government has decided we shouldn’t see. Missiles, maybe? Snipers? Freaky-cool satellite dishes? Perhaps (shudder) a hot tub?

Who knows. Guess we’ll have to hold out for Yahoo! UAV

You Know…

Monday, April 4th, 2005

you’re a salesperson’s nightmare when you have a fat folder stuffed with glossy brochures from all the major manufacturers, you’ve contacted every dealer within a 30 mile radius, downloaded and studied the PDF manuals for the products, responded to quotes with pointed comments on what the Internet vendors offer, and had nearly every one of your questions met with a “Well, I’m not sure if you can even do that…”

you’re a nerd when you bring in your laptop, plug in and immediately enable a packet sniffer, quickly reverse-engineer the product’s protocol, then discuss in detail how you’re going to re-implement some of the features provided by the manufacturer in your own custom application, which, naturally, will slice, dice, whiten your teeth, freshen your breath…

you’re a coward when another salesperson notices you’re vertically gifted and asks you if you only date tall girls, and you instantly reflect that you’re in a town of 4,400 and even though everyone’s nice and you don’t want to lie, it’s just easier to avoid the whole team pink thing and parry by mentioning how your mother jokes about all her kids marrying short people…

…you don’t have enough to do when all of the above is for buying a photocopier.

No Go

Saturday, April 2nd, 2005

I have a few domain names with (terrible site, terrible commercials, but cheap as hell) so I’m on their mailing list. On Wednesday, I received a message with an inflammatory subject: “Federal Agency Nixes Your Right to Privacy.” Seems they’re in a huff because someone recommended against allowing “private registrations” for .us domains. Y-a-w-n.

I’d be more impressed with their indignation were it not for three facts:

  1. This applies only to .us domains, and it seems to me a fair requirement that they be able to verify said users are actually in the U.S.,
  2. GoDaddy makes a bundle on private registrations, so big surprise they think everyone should have them, and
  3. At the bottom of this message urging me to visit their electronic petition, they include this note:
    You are receiving this email [...] because our records indicate you are a Go Daddy customer. If you feel you have received this email in error, please notify us at 14455 N. Hayden Rd, Ste. 219, Scottsdale, AZ 85260

It’s that last that really steams me. It’s bad enough that they’re spamming me to say they want to protect my privacy — then they say if I want them to stop, I should write this completely online-based company a letter. Please.

Wally, Is That You?

Friday, April 1st, 2005

So I’m watching that show I hate to admit I watch, and suddenly there’s this big fish:
big fish

Which instantly reminds me of Wally, the crazy fish from Hastings Reef:
Wally, looking frightened.

And that makes me think: 1) damn, that’s right, I’m actually a certified SCUBA diver now, and 2) that seems like forever ago! Did it even really happen?

April Tool

Friday, April 1st, 2005

By way of Gizmodo’s Shuffle Swimsuit Models for Charity article, I have learned of the “iPose” competition for, of all things, tsunami relief.

Now, I wouldn’t dare make generalizations about greeks, or undergrads, or even the fine academic traditions of Arizona universities. (I’m sure they’re wonderful.) I’m even willing to look past this weird fetishization of iPods shuffle.

Still, one small piece of advice: if your likeness is going to be placed on the Web for votes (see girls, guys) perhaps you might first want to make sure you don’t have any, um, unfortunate wetness in the crotch region:
Nate from the iPose competition