¤ jetless heights

+ Tue, August 24


Last January, I installed Michael Tsai’s excellent SpamSieve.  It’s a handy little app that runs next to my email app and it has quite literally ended spam for me.  Here are statistics:

Filtered Mail
7470 Good Messages
1765 Spam Messages (19%)
8 Spam Messages Per Day

SpamSieve Accuracy
5 False Positives
39 False Negatives (89%)
99.5% Correct

Showing Statistics Since
1/27/04 10:39 AM

Out of 1,765 spams, it made only 44 mistakes with 5 of those being hard to notice.  At its best, I had 99.7% accuracy and that’s fantastic.  Out of 1,000 emails, that’s 3 mistakes.

I bring this up today because SpamSieve saw a major upgrade today and I want to reset my database to try and get even better results.  If you’ve got a Mac and you’ve got a problem with spam, this app is the best $25 you can spend.

4:19 PM  ×  5 Comments  ×  0 Trackbacks

+ Mon, August 23

UMich & The Standards Game

A friend of mine, working on bringing the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering site into compliance with W3C standards, notified me that the main University of Michigan site had beaten them to it and unveiled their fully compliant redesign.  Using approved methods, they nearly perfectly retained their previous look and feel, both with Flash and pure XHTML variants.  As a UMich student and a web designer, I fully applaud their effort and the wisdom behind the project, it’s much too bad their return key was broken while they were writing the code.

(Hat tip, Yaniv)

10:07 AM  ×  3 Comments  ×  0 Trackbacks

+ Thu, August 19

The Domain Name

Picking a site name these days is hard.  Very hard.

You’d be surprised how many names are taken.  A good 90% of everything I thought of had already been bought and squatted on.  I didn’t take note of all of them, but I’d say I either thought up or was suggested a solid 100+ ideas for site names with only 13 of them making The Possible List.

The Possible List

The first item was phild.org, parodying my good buddy nickd at (you guessed it) nickd.org.  The idea being that we’d replace my online presence with a little script that copied his site, changed the name and placed it here.  Maybe one day.  audiophil.org was another idea, smacking of groaning humor with its wordplay on “audiophile”.  As much as that idea tickled my puntacular self, it didn’t survive the One Week Test.

The One Week Test

Just as with a band name or a song name or an anything else name, you’ve got to be able to come back to it and instinctively say, “mm, that is right”.  You have to be able to do that for a long time, some would say every time.  If you can’t find immediate agreement with a name after only a week, there’s no reason to assume you’ll be able to do it in a month, a year, three years.

The Possible List, Con’t

Speaking of songs, it should come as no surprise that quite a few songs registered with me as possible names.  rockaction.org, sonicblue.org, autumnsweater.org and octopad.org all had a moment or two of consideration.  Good, but not good enough.

Moving away from music, The List becomes more varied.  For a short while, cooperblack.org was a consideration.  Cooper Black is a typeface that has seen a bit of a rekindling recently for its nostalgic charm and sophisticated design, you might enjoy a lost VH1 special on it entitled Behind The Typeface.  However, despite the font’s beauty, naming a site after a font is endlessly tacky, limiting in design and downright dorky all at once.  It is a nice font though.

midtones.org had a nice run as the top contender for a while, just as allthearms.org did.  Midtones was a little too mundane and “allthearms” is slightly unreadable without spaces.  Vestiges of allthearms.org can be seen in the current image in the masthead which I photographed last summer in an alley in Ann Arbor.

tappman.org was a tip of the hat to a fantastic book.  I yearn for it tragically.

Finally, I settled on jetless.org, pulling “Jetless Heights” from a misheard Hum lyric:

I dreamt of jet this high,
seeding clouds from the other side,
and glowing softly until the underbelly shines,
and the back skims through the steam,
feeding upturned mouths and sprinkling awake,
like a dusty sleep you took too soon.
And you,
you need watering if you are to bloom.

Hum was an endlessly complicated band, wrapping a beautiful core with layers and layers of delicate sound and development.  Their attention to detail and perfect execution is something I can only hope to achieve.  In any event, the song is If You Are To Bloom and you should buy Downward Is Heavenward yesterday.

In case you were wondering.

6:37 PM  ×  10 Comments  ×  0 Trackbacks

+ Sun, August 15

CBC Love

Greg Storey wrote recently on Airbag about the disaster that is NBC’s Olympic coverage.  There are any number of problems with their coverage.  The special features replacing such other content as events, time trials and more events.  The incessant commercial breaks.  Bob & Katie.  Did I mention the lack of events?

Nestled where I am, just west of the sweet bosom of Windsor, Canada, I have the particular joy of Canada’s CBC broadcast.  In a half hour period I can expect one — maybe two — events on NBC. Over on the CBC, it’s constant athletics.  NBC was all about the USA vs. Puerto Rico basketball game, CBC was broadcasting the Men’s 200m Swimming time trials with the lane 3/lane 4 competition between Michael Phelps and Ian Thorpe.

Without the CBC I don’t know if I’d even like to watch the Olympics.  Here’s to the day when international sports aren’t for sale to the highest bidder and we can all enjoy as we’d like to.

2:02 PM  ×  8 Comments  ×  0 Trackbacks

+ Thu, August 12

How Not To Stave Off Boredom

When one is at work and slightly bored, the mind is want to wander.  Lollygagging, dilly-dallying, boondoggling and other such acts of puttering and dawdling are not uncommon outlets for rogue energy and creativity.  Magnets however are not — and should not be — viable means of output.

Especially not neodymium magnets.

For instance, taking a stack of 1/4” magnets, placing one behind your lower lip and six outside your lip may seem like a wonderfully amusing gag (especially when suspending a multiplicity of screwdrivers on said setup), but the truth of the matter is that this brings more pain than one might anticipate.  Furthermore, earrings — not such a good idea.

You see, fair reader, opposites attract and they do so most certainly when one is discussing opposite ends of highly polarized magnets.  The gentle flesh of one’s earlobe is no decent barrier to this brand of potent love.

The next time you are sitting bored with a stack of magnets, take heed: they are a beauty better seen than touched.

3:05 PM  ×  6 Comments  ×  0 Trackbacks

+ Fri, August  6

Ron Reagan

Despite the tone of the last week and a half of posts, I tend to keep my politics to myself.  To each his own, and all.

There are times however — when the son of the most beloved Republican President of the last 50 years delivers the most scathing assessment of the current Republican administration, for instance — that see my isolationist tendencies pushed aside.

Reagan takes no fear in brutal honesty.  He tears one way and sears the other.  He shocks.

7:18 PM  ×  3 Comments  ×  0 Trackbacks