Category Archives: wtf?

Fun with forensics

My roommate gets some strange catalogs delivered to her work sometimes, but my favorite by far has been the Armor Forensics catalog. Check out the products list.

That’s right, you too can own a portable glue fuming kit, ballistics chamber, or umm…TranZport hood. Okay, that last one is just weird. But how often have you wished you had a odor perception inhibitor, or evidence bags for your officemate’s week-old turkey sandwich? The printed catalog is even better, with lab activities (for the kids!), electronics, photo documentation kits and more. If you’re a CSI junkie you should definitely go check this out.

Early 2008?

You have got to be kidding me. You know, I love my city and I think it’s great that everyone is as concerned as they are about doing the right thing and double-checking repercussions, but this is ridiculous.

Some background: San Francisco’s mayor said he wanted to get free wifi for the city in 2004, because poor people were getting left behind yet again. Google basically walked up and said “Look, we can give you free ad-supported internet access for everybody in the city. You can use it or not, if you do we’re gonna use all our superseekrit ad-targeting biz on you just like we do online, ‘cept more so seeing as how we can triangulate you and see what you’re doing even if you aren’t logged in to an account with us. Or you can not use it. Up to you, but ads are what we do and they work better the more we know about you so we do that too.” Fairly straightforward. Use it with no privacy or don’t use it, pretty much. SF complained and got Google to agree to lose the triangulating part, or at least make it optional. Keep in mind that the pay services currently in existence won’t go away, this is an addition to what is already available.

Okay, so we’re ready to go now right? No. SFist has a brief summary today of the discussion that is still ongoing (and likely to slow things down even further). There’s also an article on MuniWireless. Personally, I’m enormously frustrated. The entire debate has morphed from how to get free wireless to largest number of people into how the city can profit from it. How about approving the plan now and then putting all this effort into transitioning to public-owned wifi after the contract expires? At the rate government bodies move, it will take 16 years to have that in place anyway.

Reason #16478 to love this town

The Bring Your Own Big Wheel race down Lombard Street every Easter.
Via reason #876

Now you’re starting to piss me off

I’m a bad beta tester, and I know it. When it comes to products I’m picky, unforgiving, and easily irritated. My usual rule of thumb when faced with the constant stream of new betas, most of which seem to compete with each other, is to sit back and wait to see how it all shakes out. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy reading about this stuff. But to actually volunteer for frustration is not my style. So I turned down the Google Talk invites. I just didn’t see the value in it, and while I can accept the privacy/convenience tradeoff to a certain extent their product wasn’t compelling enough for me to give up another piece of myself to Google.

Perhaps you can imagine how frustrated I was this morning when I saw that not only had Google ignored my intentions and signed me up, but they had signed me in.Those people from whom I had already declined invites to Google Talk showed up as new “invites to chat”, and every time I roll my mouse over a name in my inbox I get a chance to chat as well.

Google Talk, I don’t want to play with you. Take your ball and go home.

P.S. I just realized that if I turn off Javascript for Google I can view Gmail in plain HTML, which eliminates all the fluff and irritating extras. Thanks NoScript!

P.P.S. Even better suggestion in the comments. Thanks Holly!