Showing 1 - 10 of 41 posts found matching keyword: internet

I think Atlanta Tech Edge is backsliding. From this morning's episode:

HOSTESS, cluelessly: "What is Snapchat?"

GUEST, trying not to visibly wince: "It's, um, an app that was introduced 6 years ago."

It's easy to look down on this show, but it does come on immediately after Face the Nation (the #1-rated Sunday morning news magazine). I don't have a hard time believing that the demographic watching network television at that hour has probably never heard of "the snappy chat." I will try to be less judgmental in the future.

Aw, who am I kidding? Damn Luddites!

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I'm watching Atlanta Tech Edge at 1:30AM on WXIA (though I suppose it must air some other time, because who other than me watches technology news magazines at 1:30AM Sunday morning?), and the hostess just admitted being surprised when her guest, a tech podcaster, informed her that "free" apps use data mining to strip our privacy and sell our information to other companies.

Well, duh. (Side note: paid apps do it too.)

Who is this show for? If you didn't know that, most of what Tech Edge talks about is probably going over your head. If you did know that, you didn't need to hear that the hostess has no idea what she's talking about.

(I should admit that the use of the phrase "data mining" up there in the first paragraph was mine, not hers. If she doesn't know they are doing it, she sure doesn't know what it's called.)

It's not exactly fake news, more a case of the blind leading the blind. I shouldn't complain. That's better than some "news" organizations manage these days. (I'm looking at you, Newnan Times-Herald.)

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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 football internet nfl politics trumps america 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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To be continued...