Showing 1 - 10 of 39 posts found matching keyword: internet

Screenshot from my phone on election night:

I voted for Slim Pickens

When the BBC is showing a mushroom cloud, you know things are bad.

Comments (0) | Leave a Comment | Tags: dolphins donald trump football internet nfl politics has compiled a list of the most distinct last names by state. That's the name that appears most often in each state compared to the frequency of that name nationally. Imagine my surprise to discover that the name associated with Georgia is Stephens.

The Internet Surname Database says that Stephens means "the son of Stephen" and derives from the Greek "Stephanos," meaning "crown." It claims the name was popular in the Middle Ages because it was the name of the first Christian martyr (St. Stephen, who was stoned to death).

Maybe that's all true. Maybe Georgia is full of Greek Catholics who were named after saints. However, that has nothing to do with my last name.

Sometime in the late 19th century, probably around 1875, my great-great grandmother Rosa and her four children traveled from Lebanon to America. U.S. customs officials apparently misunderstood (or didn't care) when she told them she had come to meet her husband, Stephen Basil. No one in the family ever changed it back, so the family name has been Stephens instead of Basil ever since.

For the record, Rosa was a practicing Catholic, and most of her descendants remain so. However, you can see that my name has nothing to do with Catholic martyrs. I wonder how many of Georgia's other Stephens are descendants of my great-great grandfather?

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Opened my browser today and this:

Mind your own business, Google!

It's always nice to be reminded that Big Brother is watching. Next time, I'll put on pants before turning on my computer.

(Did they have to put bugs on my cake? I'm getting a very mixed message here.)

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Found in my inbox:

No, sir, I don't like it. I don't like it at all.

This is why everyone hates you, Google+.

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Saturday, Charter Communications experienced a still unexplained error with their DNS servers that affected users in several states (including me).

Wednesday, Time Warner experienced "an erroneous configuration" error with their DNS servers that affected 11 million users in several states.

Neither outage was widely reported (because, let's face it, most Americans have no idea what a DNS is even if they use it everyday).

Now, I'm no conspiracy theorist, but two major DNS servers knocked offline in less than a week? Hmm.

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Spambot posts are typically banal comments designed to innocuously seed url links to search engines and unaware humans. The latest attempt here at, however, I thought clever enough to deserve a spotlight:

The next time I learn a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I imply, I know it was my choice to learn, however I truly thought youd have one thing interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about one thing that you possibly can fix in the event you werent too busy looking for attention.

In the future we'll all be trolled by hyper-critical, incredibly insightful spambots. Happy Valentine's Day!

Comments (0) | Leave a Comment | Tags: holidays internet spam valentines day reports on a woman in London who peeled a banana and ended up with a house full of highly venomous Brazil wandering spiders.

I'll give you a second to think about that.

The best part of the story isn't the thought of hundreds of killer spiders hiding in your food. No, it's the comments at Gawker. It's very true that humanity is at its best when conditions are at their worst.


If you have 5 minutes (and a very strong stomach), check it out here.

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In the past month, I've started receiving more and more spam through the Contact form. I can't believe that a real person is actually taking the time to email little old me with spam for payday loans, 150mg tablets of viagra, and cheap generic levitra, so that's got to be an automated bot.

(What this spam is selling says a lot about who must be responding to it, don'tcha think? People who make bad financial decisions with limp dicks. Cause or effect?)

I've added a simple math problem to the contact form to try to screen out bots. I suspect that bots are better at math than most of the people I know, so we'll see how long that fix lasts.

I've also begun having friends tell me that they are having trouble with the site's captchas, preferring to email me or text me about blog posts rather than leave comments here. The captchas were last revised in January 2012, so maybe they've become a little outdated. To test that theory, I've changed the captchas associated with the comments fields effective immediately.

No matter how these comment and contact captcha changes turn out, I might have to revise them all to make it even harder for the bots. There must be some tipping point where the forms' difficulty of use discourages using the forms for their intended purpose. Just something else you can blame on the Internet: making it harder for people to communicate with one another since 1993.

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Have you heard that story about the 17-year-old in Florida who killed his parents with a hammer because they wouldn't let him throw a party for his Facebook friends? This is why I love the internet: social networking for the win:

I have nothing else to say.

DISCLAIMER: this is an unedited string of comments from Sensible Erection, a social networking site that is definitely NOT Facebook. I'd love to take credit for this quality depravity, but I'm not that sort of tool.

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Watching Headline News Network's coverage of the disappearance of ballerina student Jenni-Lyn Watson, I noticed that all of the pictures of the girl were tagged "" Could that mean that Facebook granted a license to HLN to use the images? Does HLN pay Facebook for passing along the images posted by Facebook users? According to the Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities:

§2.1. For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos ("IP content"), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook ("IP License"). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.

§2.4. When you publish content or information using the "everyone" setting, it means that you are allowing everyone, including people off of Facebook, to access and use that information, and to associate it with you (i.e., your name and profile picture).

Sounds innocuous enough? Here's where Admiral Ackbar tells you in no uncertain terms that you have wandered into a trap! If Facebook wants to make a few bucks by sharing pictures of a missing girl, they have a license to distribute the images because she put the photos on Facebook in the first place. Sure, HLN could have asked the family for photos of the missing girl, but why bother when Facebook makes them so easily available for them. (Modern news outlets have no time for out-dated ideas like research and fact-checking! Let the internet do it!)

Now that Facebook has unveiled their media-spanning email/messenger service to track all of its users' communications, what's to stop Facebook from using that information in order to sell more images provided by those very same users? I'll tell you what: nothing. Nothing at all.

Beware! You may have thought that he was a family friend. But that stranger with candy peeping in your window just may be Facebook.

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To be continued...