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You Want to Charge for What?

I am not swooping with excitement over AOL and Yahoo plans to charge for e-mail. Here’s how I see it: 1) Spam is bad enough without e-mail vendors making it easier. 2) Charging for e-mail fundamentally changes the way the Internet has long operated.

The way it works: Marketers would pay a penny to directly route their e-mails to inboxes, bypassing spam filters. The marketers that pay get their e-mail separated from those that don’t pay and from the riffraff. Maybe, but I don’t want any of their mail. It’s pretty much all spam to me, and I waste way too much trudging through it. 

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Da Vinci Deserves Better Than This

I finished reading book The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown over the weekend. Someone lent us the book a year before I started reading, which seemed to labor for a year. I just don’t get all the hubbub over the book.

To be clear, I had no trouble with the book’s core concepts about Christ or with the weaving historical interpretation. Of course, Jesus Christ was supposed to marry. I don’t believe that he did, contrary to the book’s fictional assertion. But there is no question that he was supposed to. The Jewish and Christian concepts of the Fall involved two male and one female being (Muslims believe the same, yes?). The Messiah, King of Kings—whatever you want to call him—should marry and resolve the problem, man and woman, reversal of man and woman falling. 

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Unexpected IM

Today, someone that I didn’t know added me to their IM list. I assumed that it was a work contact. But, no. The stranger claimed to be from China, and the domain of his e-mail address more or less confirmed location (I checked WHOIS).

At first, I thought this person might have sought me out. I have been recently quoted in a Chinese newspaper and on Western news services, about Google’s Chinese research facility and, separately, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! agreeing to censor search results in China. The IM looks to have been random, though. 

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And Fish can Fly

Scientists force evolution? Maybe the folks over at LiveScience need to evolve their reporting. Adaptation isn’t evolution. Polypheniesm is typically environmentally caused; color change induced by environmental variations is to be expected.

Let’s look at ourselves, as example of where LiveScience falters. Homo Sapiens is considered to be one species, right? But there are different races, which, to my understanding aren’t considered subspecies. Racial variations would appear to have derived from environmental causes long ago. 

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Look Smug in the Mug

One of the great benefits of my job is opportunity to speak to people running some really cool companies. Today I got the grand tour of photo-sharing site SmugMug. I had strongly considered setting up shop at Flickr, for which I had already plunked down $24.95 for a year’s Pro service. I probably will upload some stuff to Flickr, mainly stock images for my blog posts. Externally hosted images would make for less work should I ever move my blog to a new host. Looks like SmugMug will become my main photo flat. I’ve already started moving in.

SmugMug is one of the best photo-sharing sites I have seen. Tools are excellent for amateur or pro photographers. Technology is modern, fresh, and easy. SmugMug also is a successful family business, something you don’t see much in high-techdom. My temporary SmugMug site is up and running. I plan to use a domain, if I grow to like the service as much as I expect to. 

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Bad Internet Explorer

I am just so upset, I won’t much blog tonight. I had just finished a long post on last night’s “24” and decided to put in a photo. When I uploaded the image, I got a warning on the Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 Preview toolbar about blocked content. The browser had blocked the image from loading. OK. No big deal. I clicked the option to allow the content, which instead cleared the browser window and my post.

Upset? Upset? There are no words. This is the second time in less than a week where I lost a long blog post to Microsoft beta software—Friday on my work blog and now on my personal blog. 

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Online Buying for Dumb People

I an in a foul mood because of Amazon affiliates. On January 17, my wife ordered textbook Japanese for Young People I: Student Book through one of Amazon’s affiliates. Twelve days later, we still don’t have the book, and another ordered with it.

I take the blame for the mistake. My wife asked my assistance when ordering the book, and being work rushed that day I failed to demonstrate diligence. I should have done what my daughter did: Check Amazon reviews of the seller. Many, many of the reviewers complained about long delivery times, no books received, or damaged items. I would have canceled right then, but I quickly learned that the seller provides no easy cancelation mechanism. So we gambled on the order, for which we received shipment notification on January 18, and lost. 

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This is Your Brain on Politics

Last night I fumed on about closed-minded evolutionists and creationists, neither of which is probably right but both think their position is absolute truth. Maybe science has an explanation for them in their good friends the politicians.

LiveScience.com today reports on a new study to be released about how politicians think. Researchers from Emory University MRI-scanned politicians’ brains while presenting them information about the “their preferred candidate prior to the 2004 Presidential election”. The results were surprising, or maybe not, depending on pre-conceptions about politicians. 

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Theory Isn’t Fact

I find the ongoing debate about evolution versus creationism to be quite exhausting. Neither perspective really makes any sense, but strong philosophical and cultural biases play to favor one position or the other. The creationist’s biases are clear:

The Biblical seven-day account of the world’s creation; there are writings, supposedly inspired by God, which by their divine inspiration are indisputable. Evolutionists offer plenty evidence of dispute, such as the universe being more than 6,000 years old (I don’t doubt a much longer period of existence).