:: The previous entry about graphics makes reference to a problem I am having on my home machine. My web hosting service, Blogomania, provides a very nifty control panel feature, which includes an option to prevent other web sites from linking directly to files on my site, thus using my bandwidth. The problem is, when I activate it, it works fine for all URLs assigned to my web site, on any computer I’ve tried, except the machine in my house, my primary computer! I’ve played with the settings, and Keith offered a few suggestions, but in the end, I chose to disable it, while waiting for advice from the Blogomania helpdesk.
I’ve had my Dell Dimension 4400 for two years, and it has given me few headaches. Like the one described above, the problems seem to be endemic to my machine, and can’t be replicated elsewhere, making it hard to determine what causes them. At 2 years of age, I can sense that it has already jumped the shark, and is past its prime. Given the speed at which computers supercede themselves, its prime, most likely, was for a very short period in 2002. My Intel processor is 1.56GHz – the chips in the new Dell computers run between 2.8 and 3Ghz. However, my old 4400 is going to get a lot more use before it retires to the Home for Wayward Computers, sometime later this decade.
:: A few days ago, I was startled to learn that someone was using a link to an image of me, from this site, as part of an Out-Of-Office Assistant message. More than a little concerned, I removed the image from my site, which was the picture of me with part of my face covered by a piece of paper. It was in the right hand column on my homepage. I’ve also removed the contents of the Personal page from my site, for the time being.
There is much talk of identity theft these days – criminals cloning one’s identity and then using it for illegal purposes. An article in today’s Edmonton Journal talks about “tombstone shopping”: a criminal searches for the death of a child, trying to find someone who was born in one Canadian province and died in another, because vital statistics are not shared between provinces. The criminal then applies for a birth certificate in the province in which the dead child was born. Using that documentation, a new individual can be resurrected on paper, and the information can be used to apply for credit cards, government documents, health care coverage, and so on. Our mail is also open to theft. There is credit card skimming, dumpster diving (for personal information), and social engineering.
I am not nor have ever been concerned about being located by someone trying to find me, just because I have a public web site. My home address and phone number are given on this site, and my phone number is unlisted anyway. Why am I not concerned? Even without a website, if someone wants to find me and they search my name on the web, the results will include a number of University of Alberta Libraries pages with information about me, including my name and office phone number. What’s important here is that if you are someone who doesn’t want to be found via a web search, don’t work for a public institution.
A number of friends from my past have discovered me via a web search, and it’s great to be back in touch with them again. As for my personal information page, it will be back when I have time to get to it, but scaled down somewhat from its first incarnation.
:: Out of it. I use that expression often. Betty Rollin wrote a great column about being out of it, about not being in the pop culture loop, and not caring about the consequences. It’s a refreshing look at not giving a rat’s ass about J-Lo, Donald Trump, or Friends:
I know who J.Lo is, but I don’t want to know. In fact, she is largely responsible for my new goal because I decided that something is wrong with my life if I know who she is or isn’t on the verge of marrying. And it’s not just J.Lo. It’s everyone in showbiz. I have nothing against them personally. I just feel my head can absorb just so much information and, now that I’m getting older, I’m pickier about what’s in there.
I’ve always been interested in All Things Pop Culture. But I have my limits. I hate the American/Canadian Idol phenomenon, the whole “star making machinery” bullshyte, and have never watched either program. I guess being a musician for 37 years makes me suspicious of people who think they can be instant rock stars. I have no use for Survivor, The Apprentice, The Bachelor, Fear Factor, and any other so-called reality show. I feel the same way about not wanting to know about the existence of these shows, as Rollin does about Jennifer Lopez’s relationship problems.
What Rollin describes in her column, the desire NOT to know about crap like The Apprentice or JLo, reminds me of the Zsa Zsa Gabor moment. In 1989, she was arrested for slapping a Beverly Hills policeman. When I read (or heard) about the incident, I thought, “Who gives a sh*t?” Why is this incident considered news? Why must I know this happened?
Rollin is dead on about cellphones:
I don’t have a cellphone. Perhaps, if I had a car, or a child, I’d have a cell. But I have neither and I don’t live in the jungle — there are public phones everywhere — and I don’t understand the people I see crossing the street against the light, phone to their ear, arranging a business deal or having a fight with someone who, in my opinion, they should remove from their lives.
I am still cell phone-challenged. This evening, while working out on a cross-training machine at the Y, I heard a voice next to me loud enough to be heard over the Pearl Jam CD in my headset. I turned to look, and the guy two machines over from me was talking on his cell while working out. Enough already.