My Tivo keeps track of what I watch, creating a profile of me to sell to marketers. Web sites keep track of me, creating a profile of what I look at to sell to marketers. I think because I am always aware of these facts it bleeds into other things I consume.

A few days ago I was scanning through the stations on my radio when I hit upon some talk radio bullcrap about the war. When I realized what was being said on the station my hand reached for the dial, my brain instinctively telling me I didn't want any marketing data being recorded about that.

The more my



Larry from OWC responded to this post and we have exchanged emails. While I understand that Benjamin and Larry believe that some spammer happened to pluck that address (or guessed after not having ever guessed my other instant aliases), I think to immediately dismiss the possibility that someone culled some addresses from their database is unfair. Because email is broken does not mean their security isn't. How many reports has Benjamin ignored because he believes there is no chance their database has been compromised?

Two people brought up the fact that I was putting my email address in the wild by posting it to my site. If you do a view-source you'll see that I encoded it using HiveWare's Enkoder Form. No bot is reading my address off that page.

I'm not saying there isn't a chance the email address wasn't found in a log file somewhere along the line. I'm not even saying someone didn't hack into my Mac and find that address. I wrote OWC/ because I had a problem, and all I got in return was spelling mistakes and assurances I was completely and absolutely wrong.


About a year ago I purchased a keyboard cover from for my laptop to protect the screen while in transit. Like any purchase on the web, I gave my email address. On friday that email address was sent spam telling me I had won $50,000.

The reason I know this is an email address I gave is because I make up a new address every time I sign up for something. So for example, had I signed up at for some new foos, the address I would have given them is . was given .

Fast-forward a year and I receive this in my inbox:

Subject: You have won $50,000
Date: July 23, 2004

Welcome to Nipps Brown,
We are pleased to inform you of the result of the eBay Online Winners programs held on the 28th of January 2004. Your e-mail address attached to ticket number 843-543075 drew lucky SEQUENCE NO.: 81210719 which consequently won in the 2nd category. You might have been approved for a lump sum pay out of US$ 50,000.00 (Fifty Thousand United States Dollars).

So I emailed to tell them my address had been picked off their user table. What was the reply? Spammers are getting smart. Benjamin Priest responded:


We do not sell email address, Spamers are getting very good at taking a email address and running hundreds of thousands of variations of this in a mass spam. Or using software to grab email address out of cyberspace.

We do all we can to prevent spam and help the mac comunity stop spaming, I can asure you this was not from OWC.

Benjamin Priest


I couldn't care less if you do all you can to "help the mac comunity". If someone has proof that your user accounts are being skimmed you should do something about it rather than pass it off to smart spammers being smart. He 'asures' me it wasn't from OWC, but if 'spamers' are grabbing email addresses out of cyberspace, doesn't that mean OWC is sending my address in cleartext somewhere?




Fast Busy does two very cool things. First it aggregates all the apartments posted to Craig's List, then it plots a graph showing volume versus price. May in Haight Ashbury seems like a good time to have looked for a place.


This programmer I used to work with had a fascination with |<rispy |<reme donuts. Tonight he sent me a dozen of his favorites converted to icons saying, "my goal is get my whole dock to be nothing but donuts".

Download donuts_vol1.sit


The new Roombas were announced today. The coolest feature being the ability for the Roomba (named "Discovery") to drive back to its base station and re-charge itself. Current owners of Roomba were given the ability to pre-order and get theirs first, but I think I'll wait.


Another robot found today: the RoboMower®. I don't think my neighbors need to see how lazy or geeky I am.


I found this nice menu bar app called a "FuzzyClock" on a Gizmodo post about WordClocks.

I installed it, not expecting much, and found myself glancing at it more often than the built-in clock. There is something about words versus numbers that keeps my eye looking no further than "quarter to twelve".


I got caught up in the iTunes contest and ended up buying an album song-by-song during the 100,000,000 mark. Using these two sites as indicators of when it was going to happen.

I think I got close since my purchases were spread out during the 5 minute update interval. Mat pointed out that it was fortuitous that the switch happened on the eve of MacWorld where they could announce the 100,000,000 mark—as well as the 50,000 song sales sales in the span of about 10 minutes.


Before the weekend started I realized I had lost my GameBoy Advance and about six games. I replaced the GBA with a new Classic NES styled one and Final Fantasy Tactics to get me started.

I just ordered a GBA linker so that I can make backups of all my games in the future. This also, of course, gives me the ability to download games from the Internet to my GBA and play them for free. I probably will do it.


I love it when I read things that make me nod my head even though nobody can see me nodding my head and then later when I write a little entry on my website I can mention that I was nodding my head and not be lying about it.

What I was nodding my head about.

I stopped writing my silly anecdotes and fake diatribes because they were invariably taken wrong by people who didn't know me at all. And that golden period where I was making all sorts of great friends (and fans) ended when people started mailbombing me and CCing Jeffrey Zeldman (!) when mailing me hate mail for some weird reason. So I tried to jump from egoist to pundit (and failed) and then to some sort of music diarist (and failed) and now I think I'm some sort of quasi-linking-pundit with no real opinions about anything.

Now all my friendships live in AIM or gmail, and I may subscribe to a few new blogs every month, but I rarely feel the desire to make new friends via blogs.

I have to say there's some little part of why FilePile is closed that's related to this as well. Everyone wants a place they can go to hang out and feel like they're amongst friends (notice how I didn't mention the "Cheers" song). I'm grateful that FilePile exists for us and I can't imagine what I'd do if it didn't. If FilePile were like Metafilter, all open and accessible to anyone, we'd miss out on so many of the personal stories and triumphs that bubble up through the ratings system. I have been nearly moved to tears over the death of piler's dogs or celebrated another birth or marriage of a piler with 2500 of my friends. I don't get that with blogs anymore.

Some years ago, we (and I mean 'we' who were seeking online communities), used to dial into several BBSs and juggle friends and meet up for coffee or pizza to trade diskettes or printouts because some of us were on 2400 baud modems (if you don't know how slow that is, you don't want to know), and then the Internet rolled on the scene and for a time we could maintain the smallness of these communities because it was still a bit of work to connect, much less have anything to say once you were connected (see CUSeeMe).

My point that I'm stumbling towards is I think a private blog, a private mailing list, a private community site is where I want to be right now. It's where I mainly exist these days and it's where I can be me—without Jeffrey Zeldman's knowledge.


Andy points to a program called FairKeys which is used to return your FairPlay keys from the Apple server.

Pretty cool, but what's also cool is that Jon wrote it in C# which, because of the recent release of Mono, means I can compile and run this thing thing on my Mac. I played with Mono a few days ago and was able to compile nearly all my classes that I had written previously to jumping to the Mac.


I used to be a boyscout— in fact, I think I still am one. The whole "be prepared" thing is real and stuck with me as I became an

So I've slowly begun preparing for something. I bought a little Chevy S10 and plan to sell my 2002 Jetta. I am ditching my DirecTV service and home phone. The truck will help me finish up the remaining things that have to be done to my house before I can sell it.


I've gone Netflix crazy over the past couple of weeks—stepping up to the 5 DVDs at a time plan. I've nearly finished the first series of "24", and I have been slowly building a queue of documentaries I've missed over the past couple of years. I don't live in the sort of neighborhood where very many documentaries are available for rent, so I tend to buy a lot of them when renting would do.

I just downloaded Netflix Freak, which provides you with a Mac Cocoa interface instead of the web interface. So far the only advantage I can see is that I can drag and drop my queue.

Added Hacking Netflix's RSS feed as well.