Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Buy my book!

If you're really curious (or masochistic), you can now order your very own paperback copy of By the Light of the Moon, my completed NaNoWriMo 2005 novel.

Be warned: this is my raw spewage from NaNoWriMo, with only minimal spell- and grammar-checking and basic formatting. The font is readable, and the books themselves are very nicely bound and printed on good paper-- thanks to Lulu.com for supporting NaNoWriMo!-- but I'll be the first to admit that my story needs a lot of work. Too many characters, not enough action, and the plot goes into a complete tailspin in the third act. Of course, that's what NaNoEdMo is for...

Nevertheless, there are worse ways to drop a Hamilton.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Send an SMS via E-mail

Just use 1234567890@teleflip.com as the email address, where 1234567890 is the recipient's 10-digit mobile phone number. That's right, any cell phone number, any mobile provider-- you don't have to know (or care, really) whether the recipient has service from Cingular, Sprint, Verizon, or Joe Bob's Crab 'n' Phone Shack.

For me, this means no more doing manual prefix lookups and then hunting down obscure web forms to send text messages to people. Hooray for automation!

(Thanks to: Phone Phun » Blog Archive » Send an SMS via E-mail)

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

"Columbia Warner", I guess

From the LA Times, via Kung Fu Monkey: UPN, WB to Merge Into New Network. And they'll be called "The CW".

I find it amusing that the practice of prefixing common words with a definite article, which many comedians use to lampoon old codgers and non-native English speakers-- e.g., "Is he the gay?"-- has been adopted by hipsters to sound cool, if only ironically. Witness "The WB", "The OC", and so on and so forth.

Monday, January 23, 2006

OneLook Reverse Dictionary

Know the phrase describing a word, but not the word itself? Try OneLook Reverse Dictionary! Their examples include barrel maker and being tried twice for the same crime, but I think fear of cats is more amusing. Who knew there were so many names for that?

What's open in downtown Mountain View, CA right now?

If you're a late-night diner like me, you'll find this useful: What's open in downtown Mountain View, CA right now?

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Being President: It's Thirsty Work

From BottleOfBlog:
[T]here are only two kinds of grownups in modern American life who show up in public with as many contusions, lacerations, and bruises on their faces on such a regular basis as George W. Bush:

1. Prizefighters; and

2. Falling down drunks.
My favorite comment: "I like to think Laura beat[s] the hell out of him."

Friday, January 06, 2006

Free DVDs by mail!

Better than NetFlix: the U.S. Postal Service will send you any or all of these five "Delivering Justice" DVDs for free!
  • Dialing for Dollars: "how to protect yourself from investment frauds"
  • Work at Home Scam: "how you can avoid being duped by criminals"
  • Identity Crisis: "how to protect yourself against identity fraud"
  • Long Shot:Foreign Lottery Scams: "It's illegal to play foreign lotteries in the United States"
  • Web of Deceit: "what to watch out for when you do business on the Internet"
Visit The Postal Store for complete details.

I'm ordering mine right now! Will they tell me anything I don't know? Probably not. Will I even watch them? Not the point, dude. If the gummint's going to annoy me with a two-cent postage increase and force me to buy a bunch of new stamps, the least I can do is get my money's worth out of their pork barrels, right?

Wow, I really need to stop mixing metaphors.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

It's All Gone PalmOne

(with apologies to Frankie Wilde)
The first Windows-based version of Palm Inc.’s popular Treo will be available to subscribers of U.S. wireless operator Verizon Communications Inc. from Thursday, Palm announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

First announced in September, the Treo 700w is the first version of the handset to run Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Mobile software...

-- macworld.com
Now, to be fair, as much as I dislike Microsoft on principle, I make no predictions about the success or quality of this new product. I'm just lamenting the actual, tangible demise of the Palm OS.

I had been holding out some hope that someone more clever would figure out how to save Palm from themselves, but it looks like they've already given up. When even the parent abandons the child-- well, it's all gone wrong.

I'm currently using a Sony CLIE, and when it dies, I'll probably upgrade to some kind of "smart phone". What I really want is a decent mobile web browser, so I can just go online and do whatever "organizing" I need to do (email, calendar, task lists, etc.) with real services instead of shrunken-down versions.

Jon Stewart to Host Oscar® Telecast

Best. News. Ever:
Jon Stewart has been set to host the 78th Academy Awards telecast, producer Gil Cates announced today. This will be Stewart's first stint as Oscar host...

"As a performer, I’m truly honored to be hosting the show," said Stewart. "Although, as an avid watcher of the Oscars, I can’t help but be a little disappointed with the choice. It appears to be another sad attempt to smoke out Billy Crystal."

...The ceremonies honoring 2005 achievements in motion pictures will be held on Sunday, March 5, 2006. The 78th Annual Academy Awards Presentation will be broadcast live from the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland by the ABC Television Network, beginning at 5:00 p.m. PST.

-- AMPAS press release

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Good News/Bad News, Future TV Edition

Good news:

Nielsen To Begin Observing DVR Usage
http://www.imdb.com/news/sb/2005-12-22/tv/5

Bad news:

TV As We Knew It To End 2/17/09
http://www.imdb.com/news/sb/2005-12-22/tv/1

Charlie Ergen, Drama Queen

This isn't the first time, and probably won't be the last-- Dish Network has dropped channels from their satellite TV lineup, citing "unreasonable price increases". This time, it's WLifetime and LMN. Read Dish's press release or IMDb's news item.

We don't watch much WLifetime, so the specific outage doesn't bother me, but the principle of it is annoying. Instead of protecting their customers from the ugliness of corporate contract disputes, Dish is attempting to use bad publicity to strengthen their negotiating position. Why do I care about this? That's right: I don't. I just want to watch TV.

Yet another reason I'm glad we're switching to DirecTV. More on that later.