Category Archives: Humor

Attention deficit

I used to work with the person who inspired this. And no, I am not naming names.


WiFi is *almost* everywhere

People lacking *absolute* assurance of being heaven-bound should bring along a wireless broadband card, just in case.


Green up Word and Excel: save docs double-sided

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Information storage consumes electric power and natural resources in three ways:

  1. Green ITElectric power to run computers, servers, and hard drives.
  2. Air conditioning to cool servers running in data centers.
  3. More hard drives over time as more and more information is created and stored.

One of the most common types of information created and stored are documents created in Microsoft Word and Excel, plus their OpenOffice and StarOffice counterparts. Few users know that there is an option available that will cause their computers to use far less storage when saving Word and Excel documents: saving them double-sided.

Double-sided storage has been around for years, but few have bothered to check this setting, especially since hard drives are so large and cheap these days. But if everyone changes this setting, it can make a real difference for the environment by reducing electric power and natural resources.

To make the change:

  1. Open Word or Excel
  2. Select Tools > Options
  3. Click the “Save” tab
  4. Check the box, “Save documents as double-sided by default”
  5. Click Ok to close the window

Unfortunately the only way to save disk space with existing documents is to open each one and re-save after setting this option.

Agreeably, Microsoft should make this option a default on all new installations of Word and Excel – we don’t know why they won’t do this. Write to Microsoft and ask them to make this change at Microsoft Corporation, Chief Environmental Officer, 1 Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA 98052.

Note: not needed on Mac – all documents are saved double-sided by default. How do you think they run so much faster?!

The *real* cause of writer’s block

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And here I thought it was because I was having trouble figuring out the structure of a new chapter.Writers block


Hollywood Squares revisited

I loved the old Hollywood Squares game show and watched it often in the 60s and 70s. Peter Marshall hosted it in those days.

The questions posed to the stars were not scripted as they are now. Here are some examples:

Q. Do female frogs croak?
A. Paul Lynde: If you hold their little heads under water long enough.

Q. If you’re going to make a parachute jump, at least how high should you be?
A. Charley Weaver (aka Clifford Arquette): Three days of steady drinking should do it.

Q. True or False, a pea can last as long as 5,000 years.
A. George Gobel: Boy, it sure seems that way sometimes.

Q. You’ve been having trouble going to sleep. Are you probably a man or a woman?
A. Don Knotts: That’s what’s been keeping me awake.

Q. Which of your five senses tends to diminish as you get older?
A. Charley Weaver: My sense of decency.

Q. In Hawaiian, does it take more than three words to say “I Love You”?
A. Vincent Price: No, you can say it with a pineapple and a twenty.

Q. Paul, why do Hell’s Angels wear leather?
A. Paul Lynde: Because chiffon wrinkles too easily.

Q. Charley, you’ve just decided to grow strawberries. Are you going to get any during the first year?
A. Charley Weaver: Of course not, I’m too busy growing strawberries.

Q. It is considered in bad taste to discuss two subjects at nudist camps. One is politics, what is the other?
A. Paul Lynde: Tape measures.

Q. Can boys join the Camp Fire Girls?
A. Marty Allen: Only after lights out.

Q. When you pat a dog on its head he will wag his tail. What will a goose do?
A. Paul Lynde: Make him bark?

Q. According to Ann Landers, is there anything wrong with getting into the habit of kissing a lot of people?
A. Charley Weaver: It got me out of the army.

Q. Back in the old days, when Great Grandpa put horseradish on his head, what was he trying to do?
A. George Gobel: Get it in his mouth.

Q. Jackie Gleason recently revealed that he firmly believes in them and has actually seen them on at least two occasions. What are they?
A. Charley Weaver: His feet.

Q. According to Ann Landers, what are two things you should never do in bed?
A. Paul Lynde: Point and laugh.

Security Alert: Window Transparency Information Disclosure

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Original advisory here
                      ____      ____     __    __
                     /        /       |  |  |  |
        ----====####/  /__##/  /  ##|  |##|  |####====----
                   |  |      |  |__|  | |  |  |  |
                   |  |  ___ |   __   | |  |  |  |
  ------======######  /  /#|  |##|  |#|  |##|  |######======------
                     ____/  |__|  |__|  ______/

                    Computer Academic Underground
                          Security Advisory 

Advisory ID:    CAU-2007-0001
Release Date:   04/01/2007
Title:          Window Transparency Information Disclosure
Application/OS: Windows made from silica or plastics
Topic:          Panes used in windows are usually transparent, allowing
                sensitive information to be observed from the outside.
Vendor Status:  Not Notified
Attributes:     Remote, Information Disclosure
Advisory URL:
Author/Email:   I)ruid <druid (at)>


An information disclosure attack can be launched against buildings that
make use of windows made of glass or other transparent materials by
observing externally-facing information through the window.


Sensitive information stored on whiteboards, cork-boards, calendars,
post-it notes, or other medium which faces a window is susceptible to
being disclosed to a remote entity.

Affected Systems

1) Silica Windows

2) Plastic Windows

Technical Explanation

Silica-based (glass) windows have molecular structures that are very
random like a liquid yet retain the strong bond and rigidity of a solid.
Transparent and translucent plastic windows have molecular structures
wherein the long-chain molecules (polymers) in the plastic are made to
settle into a similarly random pattern.

These random patterned molecular structures have electrons that do not
absorb the energy of photons in the visible spectrum, thus allowing
visible light to traverse them.  This traversal of visible light allows
the human eye to observe an object through the window.

Solutions & Recommendations

1) Do not store sensitive information on any medium which faces a window.

2) Draw blinds or curtains over the vulnerable window so as to prevent
   remote observers from viewing any sensitive information.

3) Apply an opaquing layer to vulnerable windows.


Use the naked eye, binoculars, or a telescoping lens to peer through the
windows of your target building.  Locate information storing mediums such
as whiteboards, cork-boards, or post-it notes which face outward through
the window.  Read the medium's content.


Howstuffworks "What makes glass transparent?"

Credits & Gr33ts

Computer Academic Underground
Prof. Julius Sumner Miller

Alert: Manage Data Now to Avoid the Worldwide Electron Shortage

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Organizations around the world are archiving data at a geometrically-increasing rate. Leading scientists worldwide estimate that this will lead to a world-wide electron shortage by 2050. With the cost of conversion higher than ever, it is time to develop more effective data management strategies in order to preserve electrons and avoid expected economic sanctions in the future.

Scientists at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in partnership with the M.I.T. College of Earth Sciences, have recently published in article in the journal Science, describing an expected shortage of electrons by the middle of the twenty-first century. Through their research, they have concluded that the information storage lies at the heart of the impending crisis.

Electron shortage graph The cause of the electron shortfall is the consumption of electrons in data processing equipment, most notably in high-density disk drives. Organizations are storing data at a rate of over 100,000GB per day, and by 2010 this is expected to exceed 1,000,000GB or more per day.

“This will surpass the Greenhouse Gases Crisis by 2012,” states Steve Smith, spokesperson for Greenpeace, which is budgeting over one million dollars in 2008 for the purchase of dozens of billboard trucks. “We will be mobilizing resources to promote awareness to the general public on the nature of the problem and which organizations are the biggest contributors.” The billboard trucks’ objective is to arouse grass-roots awareness, promote boycotting, and embarrass those organizations that are wasting the most resources.

Other teams of scientists are approaching the problem from another perspective, through the development of positron disk drives. “This approach is designed to permit the continued upsurge of data storage. Teams of researchers from Stanford University, M.I.T, and IBM are committed to the development of a positron-based storage technology that can be brought to market by the year 2025,” says Ramasamy Chandra, Ph.D., chief scientist at IBM in charge of storage technology research, “we have proven our concepts on paper and in computer models, and hope to working physical models by 2009 and prototype drives by 2010.”

And reportedly, the 2007 G8 summit in Heiligendamm, Germany will include a working group to prepare agenda items to formally discuss and address the Global Electron Shortage at the 2008 G8 summit. Also, the WTO will take up the issue in a working group at its General Council meetings on July 25-26, 2007.

Standards bodies are getting on board as well. The ANSI, IEEE, and ISO standards organizations are or will shortly be announcing the formation of working standards committees with the objectives of developing data storage standards using positron technology.

More effective data management strategies can also buy time for an organization. If an organization can develop and execute an information management and retention strategy that includes a focus on retention, an organization can decelerate its growth in information storage and stay more eco-friendly from an information storage perspective. Companies are expected to develop competitive advantages in the area of storage management and efficiency, which will also yield a tax advantage as WTO member nations will be expected to more heavily tax those organizations that exceed their electron quotas.

Steve Smith, spokesperson for Greenpeace, sums this up nicely. “We will likely solve the problem using a variety of means, from the development of new storage technologies, more effective storage management strategies, and changes in regulations that permit organizations to ease their data retention burdens.” We shall see.