Eric Wolfram's frequently updated chronological publication of personal thoughts and web links

Visit My 2003 web log

web log 2002

Got a computer virus -- 12/31/02 -- 5:06 pm
Computer seams to have some virus. Here's a screenshot that I took while installing Norton's 2003 antivirus trial version onto my Win 98 system. I was finding many instances of a "Fun.Love" virus and then suddenly Norton freaked and claimed that someone was trying to disable Notron. As of this point, I feel this machine is "Owned" or someone's zombie...comprehensive helpful information about the funlove virus.

Back From NYC -- 12/31/02 -- 2:53pm
Just returned from a trip to NCY and the New Jersey shore and we had a wonderful time. We got to stay in an apartment on 72nd Street and we saw some friends and family.

Google Results from the Competition Trick -- 12/20/02 -- 9:49
I really think this is the most under-rated and least adopted search engine strategies out there today. Yet it gets great results!

During the past five days, here are some of the search phrases (in bold) that people typed into search engines right before landing on my company's web site, 8 or 9 people where actually searching for a competing brand, but they found our logo instead.

2: software hoa management -- general
2: price for yardi -- yardi is a competing brand
2: jenark -- jenark is a competing brand
1: yardi amsi -- this is probably from someone clicking on this link in this article
1: hoa management -- general
1: rental property software -- general
1: hoa management software -- general
1: property management open source software -- general
1: mri property management software price -- MRI is a competing brand
1: property management domino -- Domino is a competing brand
1: free work orders -- we offer free work orders
1: intranet multiple user property management software -- this describes us exactly
1: property management software php -- general
1: simple property management software -- general
1: peak property management -- competing brand

More Information on the Competition Trick

Control Scroll -- 12/18/02 -- 9:08am
I am probably the last to know, as usual, but I want to share a really cool keyboard shortcut that I recently discovered because it saves time. It only works with a scroll mouse -- a mouse that has a little wheel on it for scrolling web pages.

ctrl. Scroll

ctrl. scroll changes the font size on web pages. It's handy for when you get to those web sites where the designer has used the evil <font> tag to make the type unreadably small (but otherwise very sleek and visually well conceived). Ctrl. scroll really comes in handy before printing web pages because I like to make the font small to save paper, so I ctrl. scroll and then ctrl. p to print.

Word HTML Cleaner -- 12/16/02 -- 10:08am
This belongs in the web log below -- Word HTML Cleaner will clean up that ugly HTML which Word spits out when you save a Word document file as HTML.

EZ HTML -- 12/13/02 -- 11:32pm
I write in HTML. It's just as easy as writing an email. Others will find this web site helps writes the HTML for you. They also have a cool tutorial on how to highlight text for people who arrive on your site from google searchers

Stopping Telemarketers -- 12/13/02 -- 5pm
Thanks to the noend group, I just put up summary of How to Stop Telemarketing. Let me know if there are any mistakes or omissions. Please link to that page so others will find it.

Gnosio Redesign -- 12/09/02 -- 12:44am
After putting in 16 hours developing a content site for condo owners, I suddenly got the urge to redesigned (if you can call it that) my company's web site. It's funny how some faces and some blue is what you expect to see when you visit a Property Management Software company's web site. Let me know if you think it's better then before!

Funny Flash -- 12/08/02 -- 9:47am
Listen to the Little Guy's Rant on Spam and Meme

This is why you have to hire good web designers -- 12/06/02 -- 12:08pm
Look What I was able to do -- he he:

Example of What Can Be Passed Through a URL

A Screen Shot for Posterity (incase they fix their site)

Googlizms -- a fun site with google -- 12/02/02
Find out what thinks of you, your friends or anything! Search for your name here or for a good laugh check out some of the popular Googlisms. Here is a sample from a list of things wolfram:

The first one is from my resume, the rest are about the famous Stephen Wolfram. Go to that site, type in your name, and see what it says.

Pre-Date Confidence Builder -- 12/01/02 -- 4:11 pm
This Pre-Date Confedence Builder is better then most Saturday Night Live skits that I've seen. Keep up the good work -- -- I'm a fan!

Math with Americans -- 11/30/02 -- 2:49pm
Stalin wasn't even the heavy hitter of the 1900's, but his government killed more then 20 million people. America has a population of 300 million people, so 20 million Americans is fewer then 7% of the population.

Suppose the population were decimated by 7% (sesimated?) then 5,479 people would have to disappear every day for 10 years. It sounds like one would notice. But what if seven people disappeared out of every one hundred people over a ten year period. This would be a catastrophe as terrible as Stalin's Russia. Which year would you start to notice? How could you rationalize 3 disappearances out of an office of 50 over 10 years -- it sounds possible.

20,000,000 people / 3650 days = 5,479 people per day. It sounds like one would notice when you put it that way. Anyway, it's difficult to get perspective on such big numbers but it's definitely something to think about. In some ways, they're not so big.

Happy Day Everyone! -- 11/28/02 -- 1:47 pm
The most disturbing trend I see today is that heros like Spiderman, Bullwinkle, Underdog and Woody Woodpecker are eclipsed in the NYC Thanksgiving parade by boring and shallow corporate charactures like the Maytag Man, Ronald McDonald Clown, and The Michelin Tire Man. Eclipsed? I mean replaced entirely. What's most disturbing about this trend is how eagerly we adopt the corporate subversion so quietly. You can't really blame the corporations? If it works it works.

Molly Ivins Talks 'Bushisms' on NPR -- 11/26/02 -- 1:21 am
Listening to this short collection of mangled phrases by J.W Bush is gooder then hearing our leader speak about unilatteral preemptive defensive strikes.

Cool Site Alert -- I know that Guy -- 11/24/02 -- 6:20pm
Look at these Pictures of People Crying -- I know that guy in the upper left corner, his name is George and he's an excellent Unix admin in Northern California. Anyway, ZeFrank has a pretty funny site, for instance, check out the letter project and spell new words with pictures of people holding up letters.

Relationships -- To My Friends
I am lucky to have many good friends who are exceptional. Some of them frequently go far above and beyond the call of friendship. I admire them for what they achieve. These people live right and they have inspired me:

Exceptionally Cool People

Microsoft Security Hole -- 11/21/02 -- 7:25am
Microsoft is reporting a critical new worm bug security flaw. They are asking everyone who uses win 98 or newer, or anyone who uses IE, to download and install this "fix."

News Story About Microsoft Bugs

Microsoft Security Bug Fix

Of course, in these big brother days, it makes you wonder what you're really installing. Is it a bug fix or a back door. It's questions like this that make me appreciate OpenSource software even more.

Cydcor Interview today -- 11/07/02 -- 11:30pm
I had an interview at 2:30pm and there were 8 people waiting for an interview as well. Then the interviewer took us two at a time -- that was strange to me. Have you ever been to an interview with another applicant in the same room? The lady who interviewed us, and her boss behind her, spun a tale about how Cydcor was a big growing company and how they needed to train managers and how they wanted us to become those managers. They also told us were moving up in the company and how they wanted us to move up too. At the end of the lecture, she told us she's interviewing 24 people and she will call 4 of us back for a round II interview. The whole interview took 14 minutes -- very short. I received her call this evening, and she said, "you're in up for round II at 9am..."

So I did some searches on the internet and found some interesting pieces of information about Cydcor: A report from a disillusioned Cydcor Employee he had a strangely similar interview experience. I'm always the last to know, but I also found information about how Cydcor, a division of DSMax, is already an infamous multi-level marketing cult. I also found an example of a zealous and typically innocent (naive, blind) Cydcor employee drone, (check out the web log archive for August 14th, September 22, 2002 and October 26, 2002, and in particular, check out the comments others have added to those entries. That's where you'll see people saying that Cydcor sucks, or that it is otherwise a rotten, evil, scam or a fraudulent, misleading rip off.)

Needless to say, I'm not going in for the round II "death of a salesman" march, or if I do, it will only be for writing fodder -- stuff to write about -- and because of my curiosity in our grand gullible human nature.

How to set up encryption on Windows -- 11/07/02 -- 1:30pm
I put up some instructions on howto get gpg encryption set up on windows. If anyone has any gumption to do that, I would appreciate any feedback on my instructions, so that they can be improved. Click on the link below:

How to set up encryption on Windows

Why would you set up Gpg? I'm sure you are aware that sending email is like sending a post card -- anyone between you and the person who receives the email can read it. With encryption, you gain pretty good privacy (pgp). Gpg is the gnu, or opensource, version of pgp.

The Silver Lining to a Republican Controlled Government -- 11/06/02
Our "war on Iraq" plans have been adopted by many democrats, including our own Boxer and Feinstein, so our war is not a republican thing. Still, I am against it when either party gain too much control in our Government -- I like balance.

However, there is a silver lining to the republican controlled Senate and House, and here it is: The damage that can be done by a republican controlled legislative branch can be quickly undone next term.

Here's the logic -- the republicans will slash funding and squeeze social programs. In two years when the democrats return, they will simple revitalize these programs -- and the damage is undone.

On the other hand, the damage that can be done by a democratic controlled executive/legislative may never be undone. When the democrats control everything, they always start expensive new big bureaucratic social programs that, by their nature, endure.

So the silver lining: It could be worse -- it could be a democratic controlled government.

NetworkSolutions practices deceptive web design -- 11/04/02
I hate to beat a dead horse -- ie networksolutions/verisign/netsol/gonetsol/ -- but their web interface for managing a domain name is HUGELY deceptive. They are walking the fine line between deceptive corporate subterfuge and outright fraud. It's times like this when I wish I was a lawyer.

Basically, there is a button called "manage my dns". Clicking on that takes you to a page with a bright yellow button that says "Yes, Switch my DNS" and a button saying "no thanks". Believe it or not, you have to click on "no thanks" to change your DNS, because clicking on "Yes, Switch my DNS" actually automatically switches your domain to Verisign DNS servers and charges your credit card for the service.

After clicking "no thanks" you get to a warning page to stop you from changing the DNS, plus the two text boxes to actually do so. But if you believe the warnings against doing so, you would think that the world, as you know it, will collapse if you make a mistake. Finally, you have two confirm pages, which is deceptive because it seams like you're finished after the first confirm page, which is as far as I got on Friday, so I know that it doesn't work unless you confirm both times.

Really Nice Rich People -- 11/01/02
Here is a "software millionaire", Ken Adelman, who uses his resources to do some good.

New Quote: Eva Van Schaik 11/01/02
"Choosing new approaches with the inherent chance of failure is essential to every creative process."
- Eva Van Schaik about Juri Kilian, from a book called Dancing Dutch

I wouldn't think twice about this quote, if it wasn't made about the greatest choreographer alive today. But it was. Although at times, Juri Kilian's dance companies have been consistently stunning dance audiences around the world for over 35 years. In a very practical way, for me, this new quote offers hope.

Halloween Delema -- at 4:37 PM 10/31/02
Low budget costuming -- costuming on a shoe string. I'm going to the Halloween Superstore. I'm either going to be a wizard or a sheriff. I was thinking of being a pirate, but one of the people at the party is going to be a pirate and she's got an awesome -- opera worthy -- costume.

Sold the Ranchero! -- at 4:37 PM 10/29/02
Sold my Ranchero -- Judas -- today. What a strange thing. It feels like the passing of an epic. I get all nostalgic thinking about it -- I see the musical montage of my past 5 years with the car. I feel sad even though the car went to a good home. Beware of personifying your car. I'm never going to name my car again -- that was the first and the last time.

No War Protest in San Francisco -- at 2:37 PM 10/26/02
The Anti War Protest in San Francisco was the largest protest I had ever been to. The protest is still going on. As of 2pm on Saturday, the Civic Center plaza is packed. Then we heard from a cell phone conversation that still more people, way back on Kerney Street, were marching up Market Street trying to fit in the square.

Riding the bike towards Kerney Street, I estimated at least 15 people walked in rows across Market Street and I counted about 125 rows per block. It was my best estimate that the crowd number well into the tens of thousands, from what I could see, however, it appeared that people keep pouring in -- I'd say 15 - 25 thousand people in total. And that's not even counting the people on the sidewalk who were shopping/watching.

Cops diverted traffic onto Mission and it was fairly gridlocked although not hopeless. We rode our bikes down Jessie street and 4th Street because few cars were on the road going that way (I could get used to that.)

Math and the size of our debt?-- at 10:47 PM 10/24/02
U.S. Posts $159 Billion Budget Deficit

That's just the tab for the Afghan appetizer. The entree -- roast of Iraq -- could costs $100 billion. And guess who's footing the bill? The US tax payers.

Just to put 100 billion dollars into perspective:

QUESTION: A tax payers pay the government one dollar every second, how long does it take to pay 100 billion?

ANSWER: 3300 years!

Article saying Iraq war is Expensive

Are they taunting the Sniper?-- 2002/10/23 -- 4:25pm
This radio stream is an interesting take on the psychology of a killer. I can't help but wonder if they're taunting the killer to make him attempt more difficult shots and to make him come out from under the trees.
Psychology of a Killer

More Google Strategies -- 2002/10/22: 12:30 pm
What if someone searched the web for coke and pepsi -- and the RC cola site is returned as #1? Essentially, I did that for my site called Gnosio. Read this article for the full story.
New Tricks Google Strategies

Dance Magazine Article on Technology and Universities -- 2002/10/22: 10am
I just turned in an article for Dance Magazine on university, technology and dance. The editor wrote back and, on first glance, was pleased. Whew! Anyway, I have started a page to keep track of my links to dance technology, and check back to that page because it will be growing.

Content Management System-- 2002/10/20 -- 6:47pm
I'm not sure if Open/ACS has a content management module specifically, or one that would fit everyone's needs exactly, but OpenACS does have a bunch of very cool open source applications which help an office manage and maintain a community web site.

I highly recommend these tools. One way to see a demo of the OpenACS intranet applications without loging in, we have a demo set up on -- go there and click on the "demo arrow" and you'll be logged in as "Malcom" with medium privileges. Then go to the "my account" area and check out the intranet apps. Go ahead and pretend you're Malcom if you want and type stuff in. I know openACS has homepage modules and content modules for publishing -- but we haven't set them up.

Math With Meat -- 2002/10/14 -- 7:41am
27.4 million pounds of turkey and chicken products recalled! 20 people have died already.

One million is a thousand thousands -- ten hundreds in each thousand. There talking about 27.4 million pounds of meat.

Imagine 27.4 million pounds of lunch meat boxes, each box weighing 100 pounds. You're looking at 274,000 big boxes of lunch meat. That's a lot of sandwiches.

But how many birds? Some of the bone won't make it into the boxes, so lets say that it takes six 20 pound turkeys to fill up a 100 pound box. So 274,000 pounds is 1,644,000 turkeys.

Question: What is the turkey death to human death ratio in this slaughter? And can we maximize that number?

turkey death:human death
ratio is
82,000 turkeys:1 human

Not bad, but it could be better. And don't let the turkeys gain on us. Is this out of hand?
"The discovery followed an investigation of a listeria outbreak in eight Northeast states since early summer that caused at least 120 illnesses and 20 deaths, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service said."

Baseball -- 2002/10/09
I drove by the ball park this afternoon, and at a red light, I motioned for one of those a neuvo-ganster looking guys to come over to my car window. On closer look, he was more like a college kid dressed in gangster close. Anyway, he was selling two "standing room" tickets on Saturday night for $100 each, among other tickets, and he said we could make a deal. But, alas, the light turned green and we drove off, "wif out da tickets, yo."

$100 for standing room -- I don't think so. Bonds may very well choke. I don't want to go for that ride -- again. The Giants previously disappointed me so many times in the post season that they will have to be 3 games into the World Series before I start getting excited about buying tickets.

Plus, it's opera season! I'd rather be orchestra center for Madam Butterfly, for my money. I know everyone doesn't have the same taste, and even though professional baseball is a warped inbred thing, the most peculiar of all sports and twisted to another level, it is still a sport. So I can see the appeal. And even though every fan is not a beer drinking pork eating hysterical ex-frat boy, there are forty seven thousand fans and more then a few sweaty drunken bare-bellied sunburnt knuckle-heads amongst the ranks. And I do mean "ranks." And it's post season.

Don't get me wrong. I enjoy watching October baseball. The TV is on right now and I'm happy that we're up 7-3. And you have to admit that TV has better angles, close ups, and instant replay then the live version. Am I right? And you get to watch it in the comfort of your own home, and you get to hear the commentary -- all for free -- away from the mayhem of the roaring fans, disappointment of Bond and stank of the crowd (not to mention the stank of Mission Street "shit" Creek.) Or, on Saturday, maybe you could go to the sports bar for that wild competitive testosterone musk, to be amongst the tribe. Go Giants Go!

In the mean time, I'll try to forget that it's all just subterfuge, hiding what is important, and I'll try to enjoy myself. Pass another stick of mental chew, will you? Batter up!

Useless Sites -- 2002/09/30
I thought I'd seen all the lame useless sites -- ha ha -- now this. What a waste of time. I couldn't figure out why it existed. But then a friend told me that it was a marketing tool designed to inspire people to give up their email addresses so that they can market to them. Have fun -- but don't fall for their trick and don't give them your friend's email addresses because you will probably get SPAM! I think the site requires flash or some other plugin.

Wow, whoever uses that site knows how to waste time. The only people who waste more time are the people in this video clip of cup stackers -- you can go to the page, but the video clip requires windows media or quicktime -- but it's worth the download to see how fast that people can actually stack cups.

Actually, that page says that cup stacking helps "train the brain for sports and other activities where the use of the left and right hands is important, such as playing a musical instrument or using the computer. Sequencing and patterning are also elements of cup stacking, which helps with reading and math skills." Hmmmmmm.

Evil Bert Anniversary -- 2002/09/25
It has been a year ago since Bert from Sesame Street began appearing on the Bin-Laden posters in Indonesia. Truth be told, it really is stranger then fiction:

This is decent photos of the phenomenon.

Nostalgia ain't what it used to be
Area Man Always Nostalgic For Four Years Ago BOTHELL, WA--Eric Bagley, 32, a Seattle-area freelance photographer and part-time graphic designer, is perpetually nostalgic for the life he led four years earlier.

My thoughts on Film Marketing
"Some artistic value of a film is inversly proportional to the lenghth of time between its premier and the beginning of it's marketing blitz."
--- Eric Wolfram

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