June 24th, 2004

_schools120835, IRL, professional, Naomi, _schools3485

Spiffy Lunatic

Evidently I looked very nice at work today. One of the supervisors complimented me on the outfit.
  • Current Music
    Toto -- "Africa"
Jolly Burner

Relative creepiness

General announcement -- I like Gmail, but my LJ comment notifications are not going there. This should come as a happiness to those who don't want anything to do with it.

My reason for not using Gmail for LJ comment notifications: my LJ comment notifications are going to Yahoo, and I've got their IM program set up to give me a little alert window whenever I have new mail. Google does not have this feature. I am addicted to this feature. This is how I get things done while I'm actively participating in a conversation on LJ.

I think Hotmail's far creepier than Gmail. Hotmail looks as if it actively tracks the links you visit from your e-mail, and you have to go to great pains to get uncontaminated URLs out of your e-mail with them. The last time I checked, you had to enter your zip code to get a Hotmail account. When I tried entering a bogus/nonmatching zip code, Hotmail yelled at me. Gmail requires... a name. Not even necessarily yours. Plus... um... Hotmail's Microsoft. I have a certain degree of trust for Google. I have ... less trust for Microsoft.

Regarding Google text ads based on the e-mail: Google text ad relevance is a piece of surrealist humor, and it doesn't leave images in your web browser. Most webmail will aim ad banners at you based on what they try to collect of your personal information. I can't recall when I told Yahoo! that I live in Phoenix, Arizona, but a goodly percentage of the ad banners I get are aimed at my location. It was very refreshing to climb onto someone else's computer and see a different set of ad banners. Honestly, I think Yahoo's a metric pantload creepier than Google is.

A lot of my creepiness factor is based on what programs from companies do when they're installing on my computer. I have SpyBot Search & Destroy Resident set on fairly paranoid on my box, and it yelled about Yahoo Messenger, AIM, and MSN Messenger trying to shove themselves into my start-when-OS-starts queue without asking me. Google Toolbar did not cause yelling. Google Toolbar blocks popups. AIM causes popups, from time to time. Google Toolbar explicitly tells you in plain language about when it wants to phone home (the PageRank feature).

Yahoo mail also scans the text of e-mail. Did you know that? Send an e-mail to yourself, if you use their mail, with the word "expression" in it. Watch it come back "_expression". This is to prevent malicious script from running, which is a noble cause. It's still scanning your mail, and the same capabilities could be used to scan mail for the same sorts of keywords that the Gmail creepiness awareness site mentions. Hotmail replaces all text links with hyperlinks that open the link in a new, Hotmail-mangled window. This requires scanning every message for the string "http://" and replacing it, in the same sort of automated search that Gmail uses. I've never been cursed with inflicted with experienced with AOL, so I couldn't tell you much about what I think of their idea of security and/or mail searching.

Regarding the storage limits, and how this will encourage users to leave more potentially sensitive e-mails in the storage for long enough to make the mail less subject to privacy laws: I don't buy that argument either. Let me hold up as an example my Yahoo account, 6 juicy megabytes of randomness stretching back to 1998 (when boojum recommended that I get a non-hotmail account because of a password exploit that would allow J. Random Cracker to get access to anything I left in my hotmail account). A small storage limit means that I will choose to delete messages that I think less important, and save only messages that I found important. Per megabyte, there is going to be more content in my 6 megabytes of classic Yahoo storage that I would take personally if it were dug into by a stranger without my best intents in mind than there will be in my Gmail account. Of course, when I label the messages as important, that's going to aid a hypothetical random stranger in finding out which messages deal with things I consider key, but there's still going to be more drek to wade through based on the sheer size of the account.

If you want any sort of privacy in e-mail, sheesh -- encrypt it. Don't store a non-encrypted version anywhere online. Any service you send non-encrypted mail through has the capability of storing it and searching through it at its leisure. This includes your ISP's own e-mail.
  • Current Music
    The Beatles -- "Hey Jude"
running, bomb tech

Sleep? What's that?

Still awake.

Not sure when I'm getting up tomorrow, but I do know I'll be running all over, or at least a nice fraction of "all over".

I had caffiene at work today. This is contributing to the being awake. It's amazing what 200 mg of the stuff will do to you when you only rarely have it. Keeps me awake at work, and it contributes to my effectiveness, because it makes me bright and perky, even against my will.

I'm going to have to avoid it when off the job, or not in need of being awake, because I know that if I have it recreationally very much now, I'll be on a very bad place indeed. I fear what happens when the stuff no longer wakes me up and makes me bright and perky. Darkside's seen me like that, and it was Not Good. That was back in 2001 sometime. I'm not going there again.
running, bomb tech

Mental notes... fandom terminology

I compose LJ posts and comments in my head. Only maybe half of them ever get posted. And I post and comment a lot -- I'm the second or third commenter in many different journals, many of which I'm not even all that emotionally close to, just chatty, and I have insane amounts of posts per day.

Which tells you how much I write in my head.

So I was thinking, as a comment to ydnic's note_to_asshat post about the IM sex asshats, "Yeah, and I was on the phone with my OTP at the time, and he couldn't believe the idiot either."

Let us examine that. "...my OTP..."!

My life is fanfic?

But, seriously. If I were a fandom, despite the fact that I'm dating someone else, many of the fen would have Lunatic/Maniac as their OTP. (I think.)

OTP implies that it's currently happening only in fanfic. He's not a SO. He's my chosen partner, with UST, and he's my OTP.
running, bomb tech

Giving up on some comments...

shadesong: Got a friend who's female, but without much in the way of a vagina, and completely without the uterus. Biology is weird. XX and XY is really the way to mostly tell biologically, and even then there are weird things that go on... all the edges are fuzzy in the real world! yay!

Dear LJ: Either give the monkeys a raise, or fire them. Ow.

Dear Arizona Weather: Ow. Die.

Dear voter registration people by the library: you're cute.

Dear US citizens who aren't registered to vote: do it. Then remember to vote for someone you think will do a good job. Remember, the personal life of the candidate in question may or may not be relevant to whether they can do a good job representing the people they agreed to represent.


I saw a little lizard last night while I was walking home from work. It was a cute little scuttling one, and skittered across the sidewalk in front of school. (Incidentally, Othercat, last night was my night for the long survey.) I saw it go onto the grass and freeze. I knelt down and nabbed it! Yay lizard-catching! It squiggled in my hand, and I knew carrying it all the way home in my hand was a bad plan. I produced my handkerchief and plopped it in that.

When I got home, I put it in a jar so the Little Fayoumis and I could look at it. He was totally fascinated by how it could stand on the glass like that.

Then we let it out. I had to dump it out a bit, as it was in freeze-mode. I explained how it was harder to see something if it's is holding still.

I used to fall in my virtual aunt's pond while catching frogs. A lot.
  • Current Music
    The Latin Kings of Comedy @ the plasma place (usual after-hours movie)
Azzcalm, Quiet

Talking face to face

I evidently have a reputation at the plasma place. I don't say much, but when I say it, it's hilarious.

Today's hilarious moment: the guy was summarizing the screening questions, as it's end-of-shift and I have the questions memorized. I replied, answering in the same spirit -- "No smallpox, haven't been out of the country... haven't slept with any gay guys..."

This was sufficient to have him crack up laughing. End of shift, and he never suspects it...

This is how I am with strangers. I rarely say much, but I make what I say count. Not that my comment was remarkable out of context. But since I'm so quiet, people I know casually face-to-face don't expect me to say these things...
  • Current Music
running, bomb tech


Late for writing group, but I'll get there.