Friday, April 30, 2004
Wednesday, April 28, 2004
For some time we've been giving out our personal 'marketing' information to various organizations for a myriad of reasons. Supermarket Club Cards are a perfect example, Ralphs knows how often I buy sodas (every couple of weeks), and what kind (Diet Pepsi) and from where (Yorba Linda, CA) and at what time (Tuesday afternoon, about 1:30). This is perfectly harmless information, only of any real use to the marketing folks who build a model of me based on my buying habits. They know that a discount on Diet Pepsis will probably get me to buy more Cheez-its (I usually buy them at the same time). You might be thinking, big deal, who cares or Wow, Toby packs carbs like a marathon runner. This information is interesting to some people but not really important right? Read on.
Late last year I bought 2 six packs of Smirnoff Ice Triple Black from a Stater Brothers in Costa Mesa, CA. At the check out the cashier asked to see my ID (I was flattered) and then typed something into the register as she slid the drinkies along the conveyor belt (along with more Cheez-its). I asked her what she had typed in to the compter and she told me,
"Your license number"
"Why do you need my license number?", I asked
"It's just so the computer knows I checked your ID." she replied "It's okay". First off, it's not okay, second... who gets to review that list of license numbers?
As you can see, suddenly my marketing history is a little more interesting, if I had been pulled over that evening, a friendly Orange County Patrolman (they are ALL friendly) might've asked if I'd had anything to drink that evening. I would have answered honestly that I had not. The friendly Patrolman would then run my license (just in case I have a warrant for those expired tags) and along with my clean driving history, he MIGHT've gotten a little notice that I had bought some liquor just a few hours before. Far fetched? maybe. Or so I thought...
This article covers a new practice in Missouri. Now the Missouri Office of State Courts Administrator is hiring a private company to compare outstanding debts owed by "scofflaws" to pizza delivery lists. The hook is that "scofflaws" might give false info to the state when it comes to an unpaid ticket or pet license, but you can bet your butt that Dominos knows where you live, what your phone number is, and how many Hot Wings™ you can cram in your Atkins loving gullet.
This scares the crap out of me. Pattern recognition, data mining, (and a whole bunch of other buzzwords that you skipped over when you read that copy of Wired in the john a couple years ago) is real, viable, and happening now. You may not already know this but prospective employers will run your credit report as part of the screening process, what are they looking for? Your fondness for shopping at Best Buy, your steady purchase of online pornography, your huge amount of unsecured debt? What does that do to your chances of getting the job? Will they offer you less money because they smell your desperation? My biggest concern is that private companies are now combining databases (including information collected by government agencies) and building a very vivid model of you, and me.
Private companies have access to goverment databases? The DMV can't keep track of where I live AND where my car is registered, but some private company has that info plus the rundown of what I buy from Foot Locker? The potential is staggering.
Then someone else uses this merged database to make decisions about you, and me. What if a pack of Marlboros from a Vons purchased for someone else negates you getting non-smoker rates for health insurance (as if you could afford it anyway)? Or the fact that I display brand loyalty to Diet Pepsi means that the bluetooth enabled Pepsi machines up the price by 20¢ as soon as I'm within 20 feet? These may be the most innocuous applications of the data. My concern is that I have no idea who has that data and what data are they merging it with, for someone else.
From the article "Michael Daniels, an ACS division vice president, declined to reveal exactly which companies' databases ACS uses."
Ahh yes privacy. I wish I had that luxury.
Sunday, April 25, 2004
Click here to see the story of obsession gone awry
WARNING SOME OF THIS AUDIO IS NOT WORK FRIENDLY
Thanks to Nels for looking for love in all the wrong places
Saturday, April 24, 2004
Fat Jerk Gets Kicked Out Of All-You-Can-Cram-In-Your-Hole
I'm not the low-carb hater that our buddy Jason is, but this story offends me in the biggest way. If you read it you will find that the protagonists, Isabelle Leota, 29, and her husband Sui Amaama, 26, went to some filthy little buffet restaurant, dropped $8.99 and stuffed their faces with roast beef. Eventually the manager had to eject them (I expect he needed a spotter to do this) but this was after Sui, (who shares his name with the love call of a pig) had returned to the buffet table for the 12th time. Read that again THE 12TH TIME?
Sui, you fat bastard, step away from the platter and go kill yourself.
After being asked to get the @#$% out, Sui and his porcine partner complained,
"But this is an All-You-Can-Eat Restaurant".
From what I hear Sui was chewing sticks of butter as he spoke.
If Doctor Atkins wasn't already dead wouldn't the egregious excesses being performed in his name clog up his arteries like a Nacho Cheese Triple Thick Milkshake?
How can anyone got back to the buffet for 11 times and think that 1 more trip will be within their diet plan's constraints? 12 of anything means you are not on a diet!!
Now I'm going to Subway™ to delude myself that eating fresh will make the pounds fall off.
Friday, April 23, 2004
Wednesday, April 14, 2004
What Makes 100%? What does it mean to give MORE than 100%? Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%? We have all been to those meetings where someone wants you to give over 100%. How about achieving 103%? What makes up 100% in life?
Here's a little mathematical formula that might help you answer these questions:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z is represented as:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.
8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%
11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%
1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%
2+21+12+12+19+8+9+20 = 103%
AND, look how far ass kissing will take you.
1+19+19+11+9+19+19+9+14+7 = 118%
So, one can then conclude with mathematical certainty that While Hard work and knowledge will get you close, and, Attitude will get you there, Bullshit and Ass kissing will put you over the top.
I'll fess up to being a bit distracted of late to bestow my gut wrenchingly funny prose on this tablet of light in front of you.
Lets get a bit more involved eh? After all, we want to brag about this don't we?
Tuesday, April 13, 2004
Saturday, April 10, 2004
All the proceeds go to me buying stuff to sell later. It's an addiction.
Actually I need a new video camera and some money to make shorts (thats right, I have NO pants) so I'm looking to lose some stuff. There has never been a better time to get a bunch of someone else's old junk. Bookmark the link for special movie memorobilia stuff that Planet Hollywood didn't want.
Thursday, April 08, 2004
Wednesday, April 07, 2004
Tuesday, April 06, 2004
Then comes the usual airport security and fun that we all love with our HOMELAND SECURITY. Check in, head to gate, strip down to the basics (no metal objects of course) and put everything into little tubs to travel thru x-ray. Then the front line security guy says "removing your shoes may' reduce your chance of extra screening". I, lacking sleep and being stubborn don't remove my shoes and continue thru the metal detector. No alarms go off and I head over to get my stuff spread out in various tubs. Result, I'm thru and on my way to the gate. Not so. Mr. TSA says "Please step to the side for extra screening".
"Did I set off the Alarm?"
"No" (as he's staring at my Vans)
To me, no alarm=no more hassles. Not the case. I guess shoes just can't be worn thru security checkpoints in Phoenix. After my extensive search with the metal detecting wand (didn't I just walk thru a larger version of this?). Mr. TSA found all of my piercings and even a couple of buttons on my shorts and nothing around my shoes, which I never took off during the extra screening. Wasn't this the point of extra screening, to see if I was carrying a bomb, gun, box cutter, ginsu knife, leggos, or some weapon that'll take down a plane.
After all this, I got onto my flight with screaming children. Oh, the sweet sound of music.
Lesson learned: Become one of the mindless fools thru security checkpoints and you'll have less run-ins with Mr. TSA. Or, just walk thu wearing only your underwear and no shoes. I think I'll only wear my undies next time. Just make sure that they're clean, you know that mom would be proud.
Monday, April 05, 2004
If I had remebered to bring my camera with me there would be a picture of Jack Black looking rather annoyed when Brent asked to shake his hand.
Sometimes meeting stars is bad because they turn out to not be as cool as you think they are. I'm going to pretend Jables just hates Brent as much as the rest of us do.