Wednesday, June 18, 2008

New spammer trick

When someone asks me through an instant message if I want to see their web cam, I put them on "ignore" and report them as spam. But now the bots try posing as long lost friends. Tonight, I found an offline message that read "Are you there?" I accidently deleted that, but here is the conversation that follows.

Robert Enders (6/18/2008 11:20:50 PM): Are you a bot>
kirk_dawson (6/18/2008 11:20:56 PM): Hey ipfwpolyscimajor
Robert Enders (6/18/2008 11:21:07 PM): Answer my question
kirk_dawson (6/18/2008 11:21:14 PM): do u remember me?
Robert Enders (6/18/2008 11:21:15 PM): Are you a bot?
kirk_dawson (6/18/2008 11:21:22 PM): it's me Lisa!
Robert Enders (6/18/2008 11:21:33 PM): You have just failed the Turing test.
kirk_dawson (6/18/2008 11:21:38 PM): i finally got my LIVE private CAM set up i'm so nervous

Even though I was suspicious that this was a bot, (None of my friends call me "ipfwpolyscimajor") I took the time to talk to it in order to ensure that I wasn't putting an actual friend on my ignore list. The simplest way to tell if someone is a spambot, is to simply ask. A human would simply deny it, and may even get offended. A spambot would proceed to tell you about its private webcam.

I am now an Official Star Trek Movie Webmaster

It doesn't pay anything, but I can use graphics like this without getting sued.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Comment continuation

I was having a rather lively debate about unemployment insurance on someone else's blog. Unfortunately, that blog's moderator understandably doesn't like the style and tone of those comments. So I've decided to continue the thread here.

Here is a summary of what I've said so far:
The negatives of unemployment insurance.
1. If you don’t lose your job, everything that you spent on UE premiums is wasted.
2. People will often delay getting another job while they collect benefits.
3. Higher benefits mean higher premiums. Premiums add to the cost of employing a person, which causes companies to hire fewer people and pay those people less.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Does the Prime Directive apply here

There are still tribes of Native Americans who do not have contact with the modern world. Should they be told about medicine, sanitation, and agriculture? What about electricity, cars, and Justin Timberlake? Or should everyone avoid contact with them so that their culture can be preserved?

I think that it should be up to the tribe members themselves on whether or not they want anything to do with the outside world. Of course, for them to make that choice they would have to be contacted. It is unfair to them to be denied the very knowledge of all the comforts and conviences that we enjoy. Even after these people learn about modern ways of life, they might decide (and should be allowed to decide) to continue on as they are, just as Amish freely choose to do without cars and I freely choose to do without an iPod.

Suppose the federal government decided to preserve Fort Wayne's way of life and sealed us off in a dome. While the rest of the world gets holodecks, hovercars, and the cure for cancer, everything here stays the same.

Ultimately, a culture cannot be "preserved". Cultures are dynamic, not static. Cultures are enriched by interactions with other cultures. Why insist that one particular culture shouldn't be similiarly enriched?

Thursday, June 05, 2008


I'm typing this as I donate blood platelets. The guy next to me is watching a Chuck Norris movie on American Movie Classics. Since when is a Chuck flick considered "classic"?