Living

SOA and Mick Jagger

I’m in New York for the Infoworld SOA Executive Conference. I’m on a panel explaining to CxOs about “Extending Your Business with SOA.” If you’re in town, come on by and hear Jeffrey and me do the eBay / Yahoo banter, or let me know if you want to get together on Monday.

Right now, I’m crashing with my friends Chris and Jack. Oddly, Mick Jagger showed up with his wife and kid in the small park right outside their building. We did a little celebrity watching from the window. Sadly, there’s nothing else interesting to report, except that Mick kept wrapping his jacket around his head and shoulders.

John Hess, 87, Journalist, Food Critic, Blogger

The New York Times just ran an obituary for John Hess. I’m not one of those bloggers who loves to blog about blogging, but I was excited to see the Times refer to and provide a URL to Hess’s blog http://www.johnlhess.blogspot.com/.

AFAIK, this is the first blog mentioned in a Times obit. If not, it’s probably the first blog belonging to the subject of the obit.

Fortune Cookie Bayes Poisoning

From: Eric's Restaurant
Date: Fri, 03 Dec 2004 21:00 -0800 (PST)

ACTIVE TRENDSETTERS
REINFORCES YOUR
AVANT – GARDIST ATTITUDES

Virus, Virus, Spam, Virus

Last month, I received 51,301 virus or spam e-mail messages. This is according to ClamAV and SpamAssassin. That doesn’t count all the ones that slipped through my filters, which I had to flag manually. That’s another 307.

I’ve long been sending spam to /dev/null, but when I hooked up ClamAV, I had it store virii in a file. That turned out to be a 1.7 GB mistake in November. Oops. I just deleted 2.8 GB of virus junk, which made my buddy who hosts trachtenberg.com a happy guy.

I also do a pretty good job of tuning my SA filters. Through regular care and feeding of its Bayesian engine, I’ve managed to safely reduce my spam threshold to 2.0 instead of the default value of 5.0.

Additionally, I have enough confidence in SA to auto blacklist anything flagged as BAYES_80, BAYES_90, and BAYES_99. Those messages are always spam. (I came close to killing BAYES_70, too, but I couldn’t safely pull the trigger.)

Last, I’ve found that with a few specific whitelists, it’s pretty easy to eliminate quite a few false negatives without worrying about inflicting yourself with any false positives. I had whitelist Evite, my high school and college, Zagat, and United Airlines tickets. (That’s a big one. Don’t want to lose my e-ticket receipt.)

That’s really all, however. It’s not difficult to grep your mail for the SA score, pipe it to sort, and pick out the outliers. Once you’ve found the changes you need to make, just edit up your user_prefs file and you’re all set.

Unexpected benefits of living with your girlfriend: The latest in a continuing series

She can drop off your absentee ballot when she votes at her polling place today, thus saving you a trip to City Hall on Sunday, and allowing you time to wash your clothes before your trip to New Orleans.

This only works if you’re living under the same roof, as it’s not legal for a friend or neighbor to do this, at least in California.

Beth on MTV’s Real World

Beth and I were watching Real World tonight on MTV. Well, to be more precise, I was surfing around reading articles about the Red Sox, and Beth was flipping channels looking for something to watch. All of a sudden Beth says: “This is Sea Ray!”

Sea Ray is the rock band Beth briefly played with back in NYC. Their original cellist left town, so Beth joined the band in her place. She practiced a while, played a few gigs, and even recorded some tracks for an album. Eventually, the other person returned, so Beth ended up moving to viola and later leaving the band all together.

Apparently, Sea Ray managed to get one of their songs on the Real World. And, sure enough, it’s one where Beth is sitting in on viola. I pulled up their Web site, and there’s no announcement, so we’re not sure how they managed to get this on, but it’s super cool nevertheless.

If you’re interested, you can download the song, Revelry, on iTunes. Beth’s bit is at the end.

Early Voting Thanks to MAX and SFGov

I’m going to Macromedia MAX at the beginning of November. While it’s always good to be in New Orleans, it means I’ll be out of town during the US Presidential Election, so I need to register for an absentee ballot.

Fortunately, California lets you request an absentee ballot all the way up until Tuesday, October 26th. (Although, voter registration closes on October 18th. Not a problem. I’m already registered.) I’m safe there. Still, final ballots need to be received by November 2nd, so I was worried my vote might arrive too late to be counted. I still need to mail in my request, get the ballot back, mail it back, and still arrive before the election.

However, after a little investigation on SFGov, I learned two cool things:

  1. You can download a PDF application and fax it back. I knew about the online application before, but I didn’t know about the fax back service.
  2. If you’re really worried about not getting everything in on time, you can vote early by going to the San Francisco City Hall. Just show up between October 4th and October 31st and you can vote.

That’s really cool. I guess it makes sense. It’s really no different than picking up an absentee ballot in person, filling it out, and then submitting it in person.

Still, City Hall has gone out of their way to ensure that everyone can cast their ballot. They’re even open on weekends, so even people who can’t take off from work can drop in. That’s a great service. I know you’re legally allowed to miss work to vote, but it’s still difficult for people who commute using public transportation or travel all the time.

I just faxed back my form today, but if I don’t get a ballot in the next week, I might just drop by myself to check it out.

Rosh Hashana Humor

Funniest Rosh Hashana joke ever…