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The utility of Twitter falls o…
Aug 28th, 2008 by Ken Hagler

The utility of Twitter falls off dramatically if you don’t actually have any friends.

A rare victory for the good guys (and tacos)
Aug 28th, 2008 by Ken Hagler

Los Angeles taco trucks can stay put again. A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge Wednesday overturned a controversial ordinance passed in April by county supervisors that made it a misdemeanor in unincorporated parts of the county to park a taco truck in one spot for more than an hour.

The language of the ordinance, Judge Dennis A. Aichroth said, was “vague” and therefore “unconstitutional” in its description of how quickly a vendor could return to an area where the truck was previously parked. Aichroth said it also violated the vehicle code because county supervisors had not properly established that it was written in the interest of public safety. [Los Angeles Times]

That’s an unusual piece of good news. The passage of that law was blatantly corrupt and shameless even by the sleazy standards of government.

He gives them too much credit
Aug 28th, 2008 by Ken Hagler

Vladimir Putin accuses Bush of provoking Georgia conflict to help John McCain. “It is not just that the American side could not restrain the Georgian leadership from this criminal act. The American side in effect armed and trained the Georgian army,” Mr Putin said.

“Why spend years holding difficult negotiations and looking for complicated compromises in ethnic conflicts? It’s easier to arm one of the parties and push it to kill the other party, and the job is done.

“The suspicion arises that someone in the United States especially created this conflict with the aim of making the situation more tense and creating a competitive advantage for one of the candidates fighting for the post of US President.” [Times Online]

I might buy that if Clinton was still President, but really, what in the past eight years suggests that the Bush Administration is even capable of that sort of advanced planning? The very idea is absurd.

The local Starbucks has so man…
Aug 26th, 2008 by Ken Hagler

The local Starbucks has so many squatters it almost qualifies for its own zip code.

Independence day in the Caucuses
Aug 26th, 2008 by Ken Hagler

Russia recognises Georgian rebels. The Kremlin formally recognises the independence of Georgia’s breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. [BBC News]

I’m sure there are a lot of very happy people in South Ossetia and Abkhazia today. The BBC article also contains something which is actually quite important, although it’s only mentioned briefly and then ignored:

[President Dmitry Medvedev] said Moscow now felt obliged to recognise South Ossetia and Abkhazia as other countries had done with Kosovo.

The Russians have been saying all along that they consider the fate of Kosovo, South Ossetia, and Abkhazia to be linked. The Evil Empire recognized Kosovo as an “independent” nation in February over Russian objections, so it was inevitable that Russia would do the same for South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The Georgian invasion at most sped things up a little. I do find it interesting, though, that the mainstream media (and for that matter, many bloggers) have been doing their very best to ignore Kosovo while covering the war.

Sleazy lock-in bypassed
Aug 25th, 2008 by Ken Hagler

Security Hack Allows VOIP Aboard Airplanes. In-flight internet access is a reality, but despite promises that the air-to-ground system would effectively block voice calls, the hackers are on it like wolves and voice-over-IP calls are being made. Stand by for the fallout. [Wired News]

I guess the airlines will have to go back to the drawing board for a new way to force passengers to pay for their incredibly overpriced air phones.

Escaping voicemail
Aug 25th, 2008 by Ken Hagler

Press 1 for English, Press 0 and Holler “Operator” for a Human.

HumansWondering how to get an actual human being without fighting your way down each branch of a phone tree? Check out Dial-A-Human, which lays out the proper sequence of buttons to push to get a human being as quickly as possible.

The most interesting, and often the most complex sequences: Government offices. My favorites include Department of Homeland Security/INS "Select language. Press 2 6 2 4. Press 0 at each prompt," the U.S. Postal Service " Press 5 4 2 2 at each prompt," and perhaps best of all, the IRS "Don’t press or say anything."

Via the indispensable Lifehacker blog.

[Hit and Run]

This is a very useful site! Some companies that I’ve needed to call are in this list, so it will no doubt save me considerable trouble in the future.

Too many choices
Aug 25th, 2008 by Ken Hagler

The Three Dumbest Neocon Predictions Since the Disaster in Iraq [Exiled Online]

It seems Neocons are under the impression that Turkey, Pakistan, and Mauritania are Arab countries. Also, the English language needs a word for “self-inflicted genocide” to describe their policy recommendations for Georgia.

Facebook is bad for photographers
Aug 24th, 2008 by Ken Hagler

Why I Don’t Post Photographs on Facebook. Imagine while on vacation with your family you capture this exquisite photograph of the Golden Gate Bridge, and that you are so proud of it that you post it on Facebook so all your friends can see it. If someone on the Facebook staff sees your photograph and really likes it, Facebook can use it to advertise Facebook. They can license a postcard company to use it on a postcard they sell. They can even license the image for the cover of Time magazine, use by a travel agency or anyone else. You will never know about it and you will never receive any compensation for it. [Articles and Reviews by Walter Rowe]

My first-ever attempt at a pro…
Aug 23rd, 2008 by Ken Hagler

My first-ever attempt at a product shot with my view camera seems to have turned out okay. Ironically, my Crown Graphic is in the shot.

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