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User Journal

Journal Journal: Why is gas so cheap all of a sudden? 1

I live in Minnesota, and recently gas prices have fallen to new lows - currently a gallon of 87 octane fuel can be had for $1.81 - but it appears my mileage has fallen to new lows as well. I drive an '03 Audi Allroad, and about as soon as the gas prices started to fall, I started to lose mileage. I used to cruise at 70 MPH and get about 23 miles to the gallon, and that's dropped to 20 miles to the gallon. Apparently it hasn't hurt performance, as the car gets up and moves like it always has. I would have thought it was only my car that's acting up, until I talked to a friend and he said the same thing about his '87 Ford Ranger.

I know ethanol has approximately 70% of the BTU output that gasoline does, but it's octane rating is higher. I also know that engines cannot automatically increase the compression ratio, so unless an engine is purpose-built to make power from that, any gains from a higher octane rating are lost, but it will still consume 30% more fuel.

I have not noticed any new stickers on the pumps touting, "Now with More Ethanol!" Is there something else being added to the US fuel supply to water it down and lower the price? (MTBE, anyone?) Is there any research going on because of this?

Journal Journal: Anti-Phishing should be more than protecting yourself 1

First, let me start off by saying I'm not a computer programmer in any sense of the word. The last time I did programming was on an Apple II+, and it was maybe 50 lines of "code." I'm a user, and an average person at that.

My problem is that I get way too many friend requests on MySpace. (I know, I know, most of you think that MySpace is completely useless to the internet, and for the most part it is, but I do enjoy talking to the few friends I have on there.) The majority of these friend requests are from phishing sites - the requester's profile looks like a standard gussied-up profile, but the entire profile is actually one big link to a phishing site, such as myelove.info, or datingfly.info. I'm getting sick and tired of trying to figure out the BS from the real people that I meet and add. I don't have to visit these sites, as the link shows up in my status bar, but I do have to visit the BS profile to find out if it's a real person or a phishing site.

The solution I want isn't out there. I already have Ad Blocker Plus and NoScript, but I want a Firefox extension that allows you to right-click on the link and select "Get Revenge." I'm not talking about an extension that reports it to some goody-goody site that will contact the appropriate authorities, to be put on a list somewhere. I'm not talking about an extension that will help you save you from yourself because you don't know how to enable your status bar. There seems to be plenty of those out there. No, I'm talking about an extension that drops a Samuel L. Jackson-style DoS on their phishing ass. Something akin to shoving an old, weathered Louisville Slugger where the sun don't shine, and turning that SOB sideways. I want a Firefox extension that does THAT.

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