Archive for September, 2005

Noise gain

I’m kind of used to noise. Right now I’m even working up to my elbows in it as part of a hobby project…if you know the form that noise is likely to take in a specific circumstance, you can disregard it.

He who hesitates…. I’ve made that mistake before. Heh…I’d like to say my feet aren’t going to touch the ground for the entire week, but I’ve made that mistake before, too. So now I don’t know how to proceed. Sometimes mistakes are the only paths available. Or maybe just the only ones worth taking. Maybe they aren’t mistakes after all.

Parasites that perform chemical ‘mind control’ .. (See, I’m not just paranoid ;-)

New Scientist article: Parasites brainwash grasshoppers into death dive. There is also a video link in this article, but the dialogue is in French.

More detailed: Do hairworms (Nematomorpha) manipulate the water seeking
behaviour of their terrestrial hosts?

(Anyone able to find more info about these behavior-altering ‘enslaver’ fungi? Even Google’s drawing a blank…)

Martial law?

I haven’t seen much mention of this aspect of the hurricane Katrina rescue efforts in the US media…

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4205074.stm

Thanks KRISTOFF for the heads-up.

Xbox mystery solved….

The Xbox I randomly received in the mail yesterday? Credit fraud. Let’s call the fraudster “Grim Reaper” after his l33t Yahoo email account, conveniently supplied in the account he created in my name at a popular electronics store.

Dear Mr. Reaper: You are quite possibly the world’s dumbest criminal. When you buy goods with a stolen credit card, having them shipped to the owner of the card instead of yourself kind of defeats the purpose. With total made-off-with goods value of $1.00 USD, a (irony of ironies) token charge for identity verification purposes at disneyblast.com, I kind of have to wonder what caliber of criminal mastermind I am dealing with. (BTW, your Steampowered purchase attempt was denied immediately.) Come on, one attempted Steam account, a Disney site account and an Xbox? I would have expected your sorry ass to really rack ’em up. I imagine you to be a pimply-faced adolescent male, probably working for minimum wage as a clerk at a gas station. Not even a nice gas station like a Flying J…one of those skeezy gas stations you don’t see too many of, like a “76”.

An interesting side note – since the purchases were in my name, one or more companies (who shall remain nameless, for reasons made evident at the end of this sentence) were all too helpful in letting me verify the correctness of the information “I” supplied…they don’t clam up until they find out the charges are suspected to be fraudulent (at which they go into hardcore ass-covering mode and won’t talk to anyone except the police. Cheerfully done, BTW)

Mr. Reaper, you have chosen your adversary poorly. Look for me under your bed…

Xbox mystery…

I got home today to find a mystery Xbox waiting for me. No info on who placed the order, no “You’ve won!” or anything else, just a packing slip. “From:” a Best Buy distribution center in Ohio.

Not really practical, since I don’t really find time to play video games, and don’t have a TV modern enough to attach one to. No idea who would have gotten it in their head that I wanted one, but I do have a birthday coming up.

Ruled out so far: My folks / brother (we were on vacation in the mountains when the order was placed, no cell reception, let alone computer access), JR, No*, and various relatives (like I would give those nut-jobs my home address? Riiiight). About the only scenario left with any plausibility is that GJM got the urge to hack one, and had it delivered here so that the Game Warden wife wouldn’t find out. Either that or I’ve got some kind of secret admirer… (yeah, right :-) But if so, I don’t even want to know – it would have to be either someone I know in real life [scary], or someone who really likes / “knows me” through my web site / hardware hacking / spyware busting / FSO / etc. activities, like the retired Air Force pilot a couple years ago who kept calling my house to report that the Government was spying on them via a Netscape CD bought off-the-shelf at a software store…) In any event, if there’s anyone out there who would have to ply a potential suitee with an Xbox to score a date, I think this person might be very, very scary…