So, last spring, after Dave’s Excellent China Adventure, I blogged a couple times about China, China advertising, Chinese web design, etc.. I think, somewhere along the line, I may have quoted something in Chinese, putting, somewhere in my WordPress database, a few Mandarin characters.
And all of a sudden, in my pre-Akismet spam filtering days, I was playing whack-a-mole to 100 pieces of China blog spam in my comments every day.
Last week I blogged about Paolo Bettini, the world champion cyclist and winner of the Athens gold medal and instead of referring to Lake Lugano, I tried to show off my utter lack of command of any language by referring to that body of water as Lago Lugano. I think I also referred to Mr. Bettini by his nickname, “Il Grillo” or “the cricket.”
Lo and behold, the past 48 hours have been spent croaking Italian spam. Like this one:
“informazioni persona avviso informazioni linea modalitã pagina informazioni azienda nord est
informazioni persona avviso informazioni linea modalitã pagina informazioni azienda nord est”
Such a pretty language, such a shame to croak it. Anyway …. next I will post in Cyrillic and see if I can get some Russian fun going. The ingenuity of the spam crowd is impressive, and the machinma poetry they are producing to cut through Bayesian filters is, at times, pure art.
The ability to connect whenever and wherever without ponying up $7 to the wireless bandits has transformed my productivity on the road. Using the built-in EVDO antenna in my Lenovo X60s, I can get online at 3G speeds through Verizon’s EVDO in about 30 seconds.
30 seconds if the client software works. Not to slag Verizon, but their client is the buggiest thing on my notebook. It insists on displaying a perpetual error message (Error 907), the client sometimes recognizes the radio, sometimes it doesn’t, and more often than not requires a full reboot.
Other than that, it is very nice to blog in between flights on my way to Raleigh, switch off for takeoff, work offline in “island” mode in Notes, and then replicate right on arrival.
1. I met Jeff Skilling when I was at McKinsey. He struck me as incredibly smart, very focused, and very professional. I disagree with his 24-year sentence. It takes a very productive man out of society and accomplishes nothing but revenge for the victims of Enron’s demise. The Sarbox witchhunt into the boardroom continues and needs to be reexamined because the pendulum has swung too far.
2. Google introduces customizable/tailored search for web sites. I need to explore the capabilities, but think it poses a threat to the internal search providers such as Endeca. As the VP of MacWeek put it, Google already knows the site, so why not let them provide internal search? Google Search has been available to site administrators for years, but this permits the admin to tailor the results and exclude the noise.
3. IBM is suing Amazon for ecommerce patents. What really interests me is IBM has a patent for the display of online advertising. Must research to see what the scope of the claims are. Amazon deserves to get whacked for “One-Click” which the story indicates is in danger of being overturned due to being overly broad.
4. Laptops are subject to confiscation by US Customs. Time to encrypt my hard drive. Apparently any laptop crossing the border can be seized and analyzed. Kiddie porn, national defense? One more reason to back up your stuff and think twice about taking a laptop along for the ride.
Mozilla Firefox 2 Release Notes
I downloaded the new FireFox this morning. See the title link for the delta features. So far, nothing seems that different other than some icon changes. Apparently search and tabbed browsing are improved, as well as the introduction of anti-phishing capabilities. More to say later.
What’s New in this Development Milestone
There is a lot in Firefox 2 RC 3 that you can play around with and give us feedback on:
Visual Refresh: Firefox 2’s theme and user interface have been updated to improve usability without altering the familiarity of the browsing experience. For instance, toolbar buttons now glow when you hover over them. We will continue to improve the look and feel throughout the release candidate process.
Built-in phishing protection: Phishing Protection warns users when they encounter suspected Web forgeries, and offers to return the user to their home page. Phishing Protection is turned on by default, and works by checking sites against either a local or online list of known phishing sites. This list is automatically downloaded and regularly updated when the Phishing Protection feature is enabled.