Who is Bin Laden voting for ?

09/28/04 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General
Michael Kinsley writes in the LaTimes about who is working best in Bin Laden's interest, and therefore who he may want to see in office:

In fact, the administration's response to Sept. 11 — focusing on Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with it — might well be a point in the president's favor as Bin Laden sits in his cave studying documents from the League of Women Voters and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, trying to make up his mind.

If there is one thing we knew about Bin Laden before the start of the Iraq war, it was that he wasn't in Iraq. With the invasion of Iraq, Bin Laden got all the benefits of being America's public enemy No. 1, but none of the disadvantages.

He got an explosion of anti-Americanism around the world, potential recruits lined up out the cave door and around the block for future suicide missions, swell new opportunities for terror in the chaos of Iraq itself, and the forcible retirement of Hussein, whom he never cared for. He got more than 1,000 Americans dead and hundreds of billions of infidel dollars gone — results that would make any terrorist episode a huge success — without having to lift a finger. And meanwhile, every bomb dropped on Iraq was a bomb not dropped on him. What's not to like?

He concludes by saying:

At least Bin Laden is probably concentrating on what really matters in this election. He is not spending a lot of time comparing ancient typewriter fonts, or reviewing the circumstances of Kerry's third Purple Heart. In that sense — and only in that sense — he may be a good influence.

Study for Lapeyrouse Wall

09/27/04 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General

American Dialect Society

09/26/04 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General
Are you a member of the cliterati? Do you practice flexitarianism ? Do you support our population reduction practitioners?

Find out here

A couple of warning shots

09/26/04 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General
God is pissed. At Florida. Pat Robertson said it was because they had a gay day at Disney World. But, (using the same logic) if that were the case, then New Orleans would have been clobbered. But it wasn't. This leaves us with no doubt what God is saying:

Hey Florida! God here. You fucked it up good in 2000. Here are a few shots over the bow in case you don't think I'm serious. Don't fuck it up again or you'll really piss me off.

Hurricane Jean

I'm feeling like Mel Torme

09/26/04 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: song of the day
Lullaby of Birdland

Lullaby of birdland,
that's what I
always hear
when you sigh

Never in my woodland
Could there be words to reveal
In a phrase how i feel

Do you like maps?

09/20/04 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General
Here is a fascinating site devoted to viewing maps. www.davidrumsey.com has special browsers here which allow you to really dig down into the maps. Amazing stuff.

adorable, definition of..

09/20/04 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General

Gypsy Lovers

09/20/04 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General

Stopping spam with qgreylist

09/19/04 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General, Geek
The theory is this: most spammers use software which is intent on getting as much mail out as quickly as possible. This means that if the receiving end has a temporary error, and temporarily rejects the email, the spamming computer ignores it and moves on to the next computer, whereas normal email servers will make a second attempt.

So, this software takes advantage of that: email from unknown servers is temporarily rejected. Spammers move on, and real email servers resend.

In effect, this is raising the cost of sending an email to someone with this program running. It's not a great cost, but for now it's a cost that the spammer is not spending, and therefore can be used to block the mass of spam. I imagine that the spammers will eventually add some sort of workaround, but for now, it's a simple and very effective service.

Email purists will say that this intentionally breaks the email protocols, which is debatable: issuance of a temporary error is allowed, but presumably only when there actually IS a temporary error. So this may be best viewed as skirting the intent of the email protocols.

In any event, it works. And by that, I mean it works really well .

If you're running qmail, then this script by jon atkins is the thing.

However, if you're running Solaris, it won't work because it makes use of the Sys::Syslog module in perl, which is notoriously broken in many stock versions of Solaris. So, instead, you can use this code here which I modified to use Unix::Syslog . You'll need to install that module by either downloading it from www.cpan.org, or downloading it with the cpan module. An example of doing this would be:

unixprompt> perl -MCPAN -e install Unix::Syslog <enter>

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