19 November 2008

Hey Cosmo, bite me

Just got a robocall that said “is sending you a hey cosmo blast, press 1 to hear the message”. That’s right, no indication of who, it just started with the word “is”. For obvious reasons, I didn’t push 1. Google searches suggest that the company responsible is http://www.heycosmo.com/ On the off chance someone I know tried to use that site to send me a message: it failed. My money’s on someone trying to use it to spam, though. ... Read more

13 November 2008

Budgie update

Chester has continued to be well-behaved, so we’ve let him keep his flight feathers. He flies around, but he lands in places we’ve taught him are safe–windowsills, his play gym, and so on. He now likes to come out of his cage most days. He’ll typically want to sit with me for an hour or so when I’m working. Weekends, we’ve been sitting on our back deck with him, by taking his cage outside. ... Read more

11 November 2008

My trip to cotton wool world

The problem started on Sunday morning. My back felt a little stiff, but not unusually so given the weather. The day continued in a relaxed and pleasant way, with coffee, sunshine, and then some moderately satisfying games of Team Fortress 2. At 7pm, I went to get up off the couch and get a drink, and realized that something was badly wrong. My back was sore and stiff. I used the heat pad for a while, took some aspirin, and had an early night. ... Read more

21 October 2008

The exciting world of Credit Default Swaps

I just listened to the This American Life episode Another Frightening Show About the Economy, a followup to their earlier show The Giant Pool of Money. The earlier show explained the mortgage crisis in terms anyone can understand. The new show explains how the problems of the mortgage industry have spread to the rest of the economy. In particular, it explains: What a Credit Default Swap is, and how it turned from something harmless into something disastrous; What the commercial paper market is; Why AIG nearly collapsed and needed to be bailed out, and how the bailout was carried out; How the rest of the financial system nearly collapsed; Why the original $700 billion bailout plan was terrible, and how the new one (the one made into law) is slightly better in that it at least allows the right thing to be done; That the total failure to regulate a risky credit default swap market, bigger than the entire global stock market, was a totally bipartisan fuckup. ... Read more

20 October 2008

Sony goes stupid (again)

Sony has revised the terms of service for the PlayStation Network. The new TOS says: You may not provide anyone with your name or any other personally identifying information other than your own Online ID As it happens, I broke the new TOS twice at the weekend without realizing it at the time. I’ve told people in Team Fortress 2 and Burnout Paradise both my name, and the fact that I live in Austin, TX. ... Read more

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