May 2005 Archives

Nasty telemarketers


Every so often we get a call from 888 858 9823. Sometime in the mid-nineties the phone number was the fax number of some small company here in Los Angeles, so when it just said "click [silence]" I thought it was a confused fax machine.

Over the last weeks it's become more frequent. Every few days or so, maybe more. Grrh. Today I tried waiting a little to see if it was a telemarketer, but nothing happened.

I tried looking up the phone number and found Dennis Judd's blog entry about the same calls. For him it actually went through and it was First USA, Bank One (or Chase as they just became) trying to sell him their evil extra private tax "protection plan". Idiots.

Hurry to call the number on the back of my card and yell at them to never ever have anyone call except if it's from their fraud department. The customer rep was pretty good. I got the impression that if the call wasn't recorded she'd have told me how she hate the deal they have with the third party company doing the calls too. Wait, if it's a third party company, are they really allowed to do it under the Do Not Call act? I guess they are. Evil bastards. If it wasn't for the steady stream of Amazon gift certificates then I should cancel the account.

To their credit they are always really good about picking up the phone quickly and getting stuff done without transferring me around and asking the same inane questions a billion times.

update Hi reader. If you found this site because you searched for that phone number, here's the best advice I can give you: Call the 800 number on the back of your Chase/BankOne/FirstUSA credit card and tell them to never ever call you except for fraud issues and in particular never call with any promotions or offers.

Lots of rumors and talk.

With both the Playstation 3 and the new XBox using PowerPC (or POWER-derived) chips, wouldn't you think staying with PowerPC is a pretty safe bet for now.

Anyway, what I wanted to say is... All the stories are missing the obvious: iPod's are using ARM processors. Maybe Apple wants to use Intel processors for them instead. Intel makes the XScale MIPS processors used in some Palm devices, cell phones, GPSes etc.

update: mariuz points out (thanks!) in the comments that XScale aren't MIPS but ARM (like the CPUs they use in the iPods now.

Make X11 forwarding work again in Tiger. I only use it to run the vmware-console so I thought something in RHEL had broken it. Doh. (via Jim)

Turn off caps-lock in Tiger. Awesome. I remapped my caps lock to the control key. (Before 10.4 you could use uControl for this, but it was a bit of a pain to keep upgraded).

OpenID - properly distributed identity system. I'm going to make the new identity/single sign on server I'm making support this in the next few days. (It's going to be a replacement for

Microsoft and Sun are working together on identity (think passport and liberty alliance). Tim Bray has some links.

Oh, and Walmart are shutting down their DVD rental service and handing over the customers to Netflix. Darn; we'll get Wal-mart ads on the netflix site now? :-(

My sister-in-law is having a baby today (like Right Now), so I'm logging off ...

OS X 10.4.1 and GPGMail

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Upgrading OS X to 10.4.1 makes disable all plug-ins. (Like GPGMail).

It can easily be enabled again though (phew), see the GPGMail page for instructions.

Hopefully 10.4.1 will stop the random crashes. According to the release notes they fixed among other things "With this update, Safari no longer unexpectedly quits when Control-clicking (or right-clicking with a multi-button mouse) some kinds of PDFs or graphics within a Safari window."

Over at we've setup another CPAN Search mirror. If you are in Europe you should be using the new mirror (don't worry, it's all automagic). Read more in the NOC Log.

Evil tree cutters


Man, bad start on the day!

At first I was upset because they were making an infernal noise at 7.30 or some such in the morning. I got up to check the noise ordinance just to find out that they are indeed allowed to make noise starting at 7am. This site says only up to 75db (if I read it right), except if they can't make less noise.

While looking this up I got upset instead that no, they aren't just trimming the two trees on the neighbors property down the hill. They are cutting them down! At least one of them is all gone now and the other bigger one is going too. So sad. Those trees took 50 years to grow as big as beautiful as they got and now they are gone because their current owners wanted a bit more sun on their deck or less pine needles or some such. Idiots.

We loved those trees because they made us feel enclosed by big beautiful trees in our little tree house. Now we are all exposed. When we saw the house first I remember being miffed about the tree being just exactly not our tree. Double miffed now.

At least we still have our big tree outside our bedroom... :-( (and the one up by the street that makes Vani's car dirty when she parks in the driveway).

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This page is an archive of entries from May 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

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