The inevitable happened

I got bitten by a squirrel. It wasn’t really her fault. She was hungry and nervous, and went for what looked like a tasty peanut, and discovered it was a finger. She stopped biting as soon as she realized, but because she was in a hurry she bit far enough to break the skin. That’s the point at which a lot of people would be yelling “Oh my god! Rabies! Help!

Mike Murray, master of irony

Mike Murray donated $100,000 to the campaign to pass Proposition 8 in California . How did he make that money? Why, he was Microsoft’s HR Director, in charge of their diversity training program . Just because you do a job, doesn’t mean you learn anything from the experience, eh?

You do what with it?

From the latest medical scare story on MSNBC : A new study warns about improper use of Vicks VapoRub for children under a certain age. […] Dr. Sherman says a safer alternative for infants is saline. For everyone else, he says, just stick to some chicken soup. “As far as the common cold goes, there’s really no study showing anything that speeds it along,” he said. So has Dr Sherman totally missed the point about what Vicks VapoRub is supposed to do?

A lie repeated often enough becomes the truth

The Wall Street Journal offers an opinion piece from Michael Stokes Paulsen stating that the Minnesota election of Al Franken is unconstitutional, based on Bush vs Gore (2000). I don’t have any strong opinion on whether Franken or Coleman should be declared winner, not having followed all of the shenanigans. However, there are two things that spring out from the article. The first is that Paulsen ignores the fact that the Supreme Court said that “Our consideration is limited to the present circumstances…”, and was not to be used as prededent.

Letter to the FTC 539814-00408

This is a copy of my comments to the Federal Trade Commission, who are asking for comments on DRM technologies for a Town Hall Meeting in March. As you are doubtless aware, the Copyright Act of 1976 codifies the First-Sale Doctrine. This states that a purchaser of a copyright work has the legal right to sell or give away the copy, once it has been obtained–so long as no additional copies have been made.

It’s not all fun and tweeting

For Christmas, we got the budgies a new toy. It dispenses clean white paper in a long strip, so they can chew and shred it. Since they finished demolishing their Xmas tree last night, I put the new toy in the cage. As soon as he got a good look at it, Chester went into a full scale panic attack. He was flying frantically back and forth, shedding feathers. Lola followed Chester’s lead and panicked too, though she clearly wasn’t sure what exactly she was supposed to be panicking about.

Send free SMS messages

For mobile phone companies, charging for SMS messages is a tremendous scam . They get to charge you $5 a month, or 20¢ a message, for something that costs them less than a penny, even factoring in storage costs. Personally, I use IM on my phone, and avoid SMS entirely. However, occasionally there’s a need to SMS someone who either doesn’t have IM on their phone, or doesn’t know how to use it.

Adventures in avian nutrition

Lola will eat pretty much whatever I feed her so long as it looks like bird food. Chester, however, is a picky eater. I’d done the research when we got him, and knew I wanted to get him on a pellet-based diet, as it’s healthier in the long run. With this in mind, I started off with Kaytee Fusion . It’s a blend of seed and pellets, designed to help convert your bird to a pellet-based diet.

The song of one-foot budgie

One-foot budgie only needs one foot, To sit on his perch all day. One-foot budgie only needs one foot, To relax in an avian way. He’s got two feet, He can climb and tweet, Chew on his toys and play; But one-foot budgie only needs one foot To sit on his perch all day. He wakes up every morning, Stretches out his wings. Stuffs his face with bird seed, Sometimes even sings.

The NSA cheese test

I was enjoying some soft blue cheese on fresh French bread, thinking about algorithms, when I had a sudden revelation. I’ve implemented it as The NSA cheese test so you can enjoy it.