26 Mar

It’s not at all surprising that Microsoft has now limited Hotmail users’ outgoing mail, to make it harder to send spam. But what did catch my eye was the following quote:

About 40 percent of all e-mail today is spam, up from 8 percent in 2001, according to San Francisco-based Brightmail Inc., a maker of anti-spam software. A total of 1 trillion spam e-mails will be sent this year, according to International Data Corp.

40 percent! And that it’s more than tripled in two years… that is honestly frightening. It doesn’t really bode well for the future.

25 Mar

The page is updating now! Apparently Blogger was trying to post from a host that is not allowed to log in here. Not sure if this is a result of a change on Blogger’s end or our end, but I sure didn’t have anything to do with it!

21 Mar

Al-Sahhaf suggested that any captured U.S. and British soldiers may not be treated as prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions. Al-Sahhaf said Iraq was considering how to treat them.

“Those are mercenaries. Most probably they will be treated as mercenaries, hirelings and as war criminals. … For sure, international law does not apply to those,” he said.

Brrr. Insanity piled upon insanity.

13 Mar

Rest in peace, George Latsios.

I remember when Scarecrow Video was in the tiny, tiny Latona storefront location. Though it was small, I was always surprised by the amazing obscure movies that were there. So one day, I went in wondering if they would have a copy of my favorite obscure movie that was never released on video in the US, and barely even played in US theaters. I went up to the counter and George asked me what I was looking for. I started to describe the movie, figuring that, like every other video store clerk in the world, he would shake his head and tell me they didn’t have it and had never heard of it. But his face lit up in a wide smile and he interrupted me — “YES! I love that movie!” — and ran to a shelf and picked up a copy in PAL format. “It’s never been released in the US, but we can rent you a PAL VCR/TV so you can watch it.” And so I got to see a movie I thought I might never see again.

A couple of years later, in the huge new Roosevelt store, we talked about the movie again. It seems that he talked to the film’s director (a Seattle native), and got personal permission to make an NTSC copy of the film to rent at Scarecrow, because “this is a great movie and it should be accessible to everyone.” Now, this is a movie that almost no one in the US knows or cares about, though it’s a wonderful film. But George Latsios knew it was worth seeing, and he made sure that Scarecrow had it.

Goodbye, George — you will be missed.

(See also the P-I and Times obituaries.)

08 Mar

The thing about having a TiVo is that sometimes we record shows and then don’t get around to watching them until weeks or even months later. Friday night Jason and I watched The 1940s House, which was broadcast on PBS back in November. In this show, a modern family is “sent back in time” to live as a British family would have lived in World War II — air raids, rationing, bomb shelters, and all. It was excellent and really did give me a better idea of the hardships that the average family endured. Much better than the Frontier House show (with its whiny kids and women running around in just their corsets). If PBS shows this again, watch it.

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