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Media (Apple)

Journal Journal: Who's Discounting iPods? 5

I was hoping to get an Apple iPod for Christmas. Alas, it's too expensive and out of the budget. So I'm forced into purchasing it for myself. Hoping to cash in on a holiday season bargain, I've been keeping my eye on the sales circulars that come in the newspaper. I've seen plenty of discounts for MP3 players of all kinds (Rio's, Dell's new HD-based player, etc), and the iPod has also shown up. Christmas does not yet seem very merry to me. They always at the regular $299/399/499 price, never at a discount of any sort. You read that right, it's "for sale" at the *regular* price. Stores guilty of this include Best Buy, Cicuit City, Target, and CompUSA. The other day came in the mail a 10% off coupon for various items at Best Buy, including "MP3 Players" as indicated on the front of slip. Hoping this was how I was gonna get that discount, I set aside time this weekend to drive to Deleware in order to skip out on my local state sales tax too. I turned the coupon over, and in the legal disclaimer was the phrase "Exludes Apple iPod Players." Needless to say, a Merry Christmas is still aways off. Why do stores do this? How often? And does anyone know why Apple has been singled out while their competition has gotten their products discounted? Anyone know who *is* granting discounts on iPods this holiday season?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Calling all Dilbert archivists.... 4

I'm looking for a Dilbert strip that somehow discusses the topic of a weekly status report. I'd like to use it for something at work involving our weekly status reports. If you know of one online somewhere or remember what the script was like, please post a link or description.

Also, does anyone know what font Scott Adams uses in his strips? I may wish hack together my own using clipings from the Internet if I cant find one like that above.

TIA on both.

Update: Some more detail:
We have a weekly report whereby engineers submit their status to the "stuckee" who compiles them, and then forwards it to the group leader, who adds his stuff and passes it up the chain. The stuckee is decided on a monthly rotation among the rank-and-file engineers and published in a one-page word doc that gets distributed whenever it needs updating (eg, a new hire comes aboard). The 2004 schedule will probably come out first week of January.

That .doc file contains a simple and cheap clip-art that shows someone quitely slipping out of an office with the boss inside shouting "alright, who's got the weekly this month!" The cartoon lacks laughter and I dont how old it is.

I'm looking to replace it with a dilbert strip that's actually somewhat humorous. I've even thought of a decent script (needs some hashing out), but I want to see what is already out there before I slave away hours trying to hack together something by cutting/pasting existing scripts. It's sorta something like the PHB saying "Wally, everyone will send you their weekly reports, you compile them and send it to me [next frame] While you do that, do this-that-&-the-other to the report [next] I will then undo those changes and forward the report to management with your name on it" (I admit, it needs some work, but I think I can make it fly)


Journal Journal: NASA Soliciting Public Comment on Shuttle Repairs 1

In search of elusive ideas from the imagination of a 10-year old or a retired physics academic, NASA is soliciting comments from the public on how to protect the current shuttle fleet from foam strikes and other hazards. CNN mentions some of the ideas already submitted. The address to send your idea is rtfsuggestions@nasa.gov. They say that every idea, no matter how silly, impractical, or whatever, will receive an official response and will be reviewed extensively within the NASA chain of command. Hmmm. I wonder if they've considered securing the foam with duct tape?

It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal Journal: Have A Beer While You Vote 3

Major cities often have trouble meeting the election law requirement of providing a public polling place close to home. The Philadelphia Daily News explains why you may end up casting your vote at a funeral home, in someone's living room, a Krispy Kreme shop, and even the local tavern.

For the record - I've already voted, at the school gym. The local police chief marked off how far away from the door campaigners had to stand, and I was approached by the guy running for mayor as I walked past him. Didn't have the heart to tell him I wasn't voting for him :-)

User Journal

Journal Journal: That's it! We'll start the Runningback at Quarterback! 5

There's currently a poll at the bottom of Philly.com asking who should start for the Eagles at Quarterback: Donovan McNabb, Koy Detmer, AL Feeley, or Brian Westbrook.

McNabb is the current starter, Detmer and Feeley are the backups. Westbrook is the Eagles' runningback.

Oh how I love when guys who dont know sports post polls!

United States

Journal Journal: How To Move the Liberty Bell 2

Philadelphia's Liberty Bell is moving today. It's moving out of the current Liberty Bell Pavillion to the new Liberty Bell Center about 300 feet away. The path the bell itself will take is about 960 feet long, and moving the frail 2000 lb. piece is no picnic. An article at Wired discusses some of the tech behind pulling this off, including a specially built pnuematic cart, and sensors to monitor the stresses on the famous crack. The hardest part is keeping the extended crack (above the larger more visible one that goes up into the crown) intact from growing and splitting the bell entirely. The move started at about 7am this morning and is expected to be finished around 2pm.

User Journal

Journal Journal: DDoS of Anti-Spam Efforts: Cyberterror? 5

Pulling out the C word will make me very unpopular right away, but I fell I have a decent argument. "Terrorism" is typically defined as an individual or group engaging in significantly malicious acts to draw attention to their position or objective, frequently an extreme political one. Here, we have a group of individuals (spammers) whose desire is to overflow inboxes of everyone on the planet no matter the cost. Suspicion is on them to be the architects of a cluster of zombie boxes via the Sobig email worm, and are now utilizing those zombies to DDoS those hosting anti-spam efforts, such as Monkeys.net, getting them offline. This seems to fit the definition of using malicious acts to impose an extreme political stance, and it's an act that has met the actor's objective. Would getting that "Cyberterrorist" label attached to this anonymous subset of spammers be a way of getting the attention of law enforcement, given that Ron Guilmette cited their "lack of interest" in his decision?

Yes, I actually submitted that to the queue. I normally don't take on a political opinion or express it in this manner, but I felt this was a case where it would be useful. The idea of a spammer DDoS'ing blacklists hit me a few days ago while driving home from work, thinking over recent issues while getting stuck in traffic. I have serious doubts it'll get accepted, but I decided to try it anyway, just in case a Slashdot editor decides its something reasonable or worth discussing, given the seriousness of the issue.

Update: Placed in the circular file.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Rush Limbaugh's Comments were.... 4

a) Overrated
b) Offtopic
c) Redundant
d) Troll
e) Flamebait
f) Interesting
g) Insightful
h) Informative
i) Funny
j) Underrated

A poll only a Slashdotter could appreciate :-)


Journal Journal: If not for modern conveniences, what would you do? 9

I submitted this as an Ask Slashdot. If it gets accepted, I'll consider removing it.

Back during the Northeast Blackout in August, something got me thinking of all the things that require electricity and other modern conveniences, and what I would be doing with my life if things like computers weren't around. I eventually forgot all about it. But when Hurricane Isabel hit, I lost power at home for about a day, giving me great boredom outside cleaning up the yard. My grandfather, who sells and repairs antique electric model trains, is still shut out of work with lost power at his home. This brought up the idea again of what if we didn't have electricity? What would people be doing? I'm curious to see what fellow slashdotters would be doing if not for the industrial revolution and the information age. What would you be doing?

Update 9 pm EDT Monday: Rejected after about a day's worth of consideration.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Power Is Back On; Phils Top Cincinatti 2

Power came back on last night around 9:30-10:00. 24 Hours almost right on the nose.

I went to the Phillies vs. Reds last night. Thanks to the Cincinatti people for letting us win (see previous JE) and, combined with a loss by the Marlins, taking the lead in the wild card standings. One or two more wins would be great in keeping the Marlins at bay.

South Philadelphia is now a mess. A Flyers pre-season game was also going on last night, tying up what little parking is left. Since I was getting to the stadium late, I wound up parking 12 blocks from the stadium near Front & Pattison. The stadium is at Broad & Pattison. Front St is the fancy name for 1st St, and Broad is essentially 14th. Reminds me of an old quote saying something like "We live in a country where people want diet cokes, low fat food, and parking as close to the stadium as possible."

User Journal

Journal Journal: Here I Am / Rocking Like a Hurricane!! 3

Who sang the song mentioned in the subj? Seems appropriate for the situation. It came on the radio while driving to the deli for lunch yesterday. Thought to myself it would be the perfect tune to play at some point during the Phillies game that afternoon.

Isabel roared through last night. Big heavy winds that seemed to just stay in the tree tops. No major damage beyond a large branch that fell out of a tree. We lost power around 9:30 last night, and it's still out this morning. News radio this morning did not make reference to state of emergency requiring people to stay home, so I'm now at work, and have yet to see another person here. Someone is here, the coffee has been made and I hear a keyboard off in the distance puttering away.

Aha! Someone just walked past my cube.

Phillies game yesterday was a big one. A desparately needed win. All they need now is more wins combined with Marlin losses and they'll be in the playoffs. The Cincinatti Reds come into town for three games. FortKnox (and other Cincy folk), do you think you guys could spare some W's this weekend? The Phils could really use them.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Oh, How I just LOVE Rubberneckers! 1

Yup. The subj is sarcasm.

This morning driving to work I hear on the radio of an accident in southbound I-295 near Woodcrest. Since I'm headed through that stretch northbound, I think little of it other than maybe a small slowdown for rubberneckers.

Indeed, one rubbernecker made himself well known to the northbound traffic. As I approached my entrance ramp to the highway (about 1/2 mile from the accident), traffic suddenly backs up and I hear on the radio that the southbound accident had been cleared, but now there's an accident in the NORTHbound lanes!

It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal Journal: Only in NJ....

Driving home from work this afternoon along I-295 had something a little amusing. The stretch I drive through is under construction, and to maintain three lanes during the work, NJDOT made lanes out of the shoulder, and in some spots split the highway -- one lane on the right (the shoulder), two on the left, divided by barriers and the road crews. One stretch of that is for about 2 miles, during which I make my exit, meaning I have to use it (really sucks when someone decides to rubberneck). This lane is bounded by a guardrail on the right, and a jersey wall on the left, making it just wide enough for one car.

This afternoon while driving home I noticed that NJDOT, in their infinite wisdom for highway construction zone safety standards, on the right side of this single-car wide stretch, placed an orange diamond sign that reads "Stay In Lane."

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