John3 writes: "Someone apparently hacked the Facebook pages for Major League Baseball teams. Individual team pages had bogus updates posted, including an update from the Yankees that Derek Jeter was planning to have a sex change operation. The various team pages are managed by MLB and not the individual team, and it appears that the bogus postings have been removed. Deadspin has screen captures of the various postings, some quite amusing."
John3 writes: "For the past 15+ years I've maintained The Hardlines Digest (URL omitted to reduce the/. effect), an email discussion list for members of the retail hardware and lumber business. Since the beginning I've run the list on a Windows box running Lyris Listmanager, and it's worked admirably over the years. However, the list now has over 2,600 members and Listmanager doesn't have a nice web interface for users that like to read via their browser. Listmanager also doesn't handle attachments and HTML formatting well for the daily "digest" version of the discussions. Finally, I'd really like to move hosting off-site so I don't need to maintain the server. The list members are hardware store owners and many are technically challenged, so I need to keep change to a minimum and make it easy for them to migrate. I've considered Google Groups and that seems to have most of the features I need. Are there any other low cost solutions for hosting a large discussion list?"
John3 writes: "American artist Chris Burden is finishing up his latest work titled Metropolis II for display this fall in Los Angeles. There's a fascinating five minute documentary on YouTube about his miniature city and the traffic that flows through it. He comments "The idea that a car runs free, those days are about to close". Whether you agree or disagree, he certainly has built one of the coolest Hot Wheels layouts I've ever seen."
John3 writes: "Searching Google Maps for the Lincoln Memorial is returning the location of the FDR Memorial instead. Conservativebloggers smell a conspiracy since Glen Beck is holding his Restoring Honor gathering at the Lincoln Memorial tomorrow (August 28). Notes for the map listing on Google state "This place has unverified edits", so did someone claim the listing and edit the location?"
John3 writes: "Everyone's experienced this...you're standing in the supermarket and can't figure out which aisle has the maraschino cherries. Luckily, a Missouri company has rolled out a service called Aisle411 that can direct you to the correct location in a retail store. After dialing the Aisle411 number the shopper can speak the store location, store name, and product name, and the service will provide the location of the product in the store. In addition to supermarkets, Aisle411 is also testing in Ace Hardware stores. I can see this possibly working in a supermarket, but in a hardware store the customer often doesn't know the name of the item they need for their project. With self-service checkouts and cell-based sales "assistants", are we someday going to see the end of retail sales staff?"
John3 writes: "A post last week on the Open Left political website encouraged readers to "bomb, bomb, bomb" John McCain's Google search results. They listed several potential links to use to mess with the search results, including a YouTube video that was ranked 12 at the time of the posting. As of today the video has moved up to the #6 result. Google bombs have been used in the past to poke fun at President Bush, but what will happen if political campaigns start actively working to skew the Google search results of their opponents?"
John3 writes: "Mastercard announced that at least 68,000 and possibly as many as 40 million Mastercard accounts were compromised by a security breach at Cardsystems Solutions. Cardsystems Solutions has been in trouble before due to security breaches, so one would have hoped that they would have beefed up security. I received a replacement Mastercard yesterday in the mail (with a totally new account number) due to this security breach, and a number of customers shopping at my hardware store today commented that they also received new Mastercards. Anyone else receive a replacement Mastercard in the past few days and how much is this breach costing the banks (and ultimately the cardholders)?"
John3 writes: "The Graffiti Research Lab has posted video of laser graffiti they created on a Rotterdam building. The effect is very cool, and a complete guide on how they did it is posted on Theodore Watson's website. All you need is a laptop, LCD projector, and laser and you too can graffiti buildings without any permanent damage (unless you fry the retinas of a curious late night janitor). The GRL site states they are "dedicated to outfitting graffiti artists with open source technologies for urban communication" and there are several other examples of previous high-tech graffiti experiments, including drive-in GIF theater."
John3 writes: "I own a hardware store and every Christmas season we get several customers who've managed to string their Christmas lights in the wrong direction and wound up with female power connector near the outlet. They're looking to purchase a double-male plug, and just for the sake of illustration we have a mock up which we show them and ask "Like this?". We explain the danger of using such a device and that unfortunately no such adapter exists. To my surprise I just discovered that a patent was granted for the Double male two-prong electrical connector apparatus in April of this year. I guess nobody at the patent office is required to check the safety or real world potential use and abuse of an idea before issuing a patent. Based on some Google searches it appears that no electrical device manufacturer has convinced their legal department to approve the marketing of this apparatus. IMHO, the people most likely to need such a device are exactly the people who would have no clue about the dangers it poses when used incorrectly. Anyone have any favorite patents that are more hazardous than useful?"