How to profit from spam

This just in from Boing Boing

David sez, “A fellow on the CISSP mailing list set up a simulation of a portfolio whose strategy was simply, sell short every stock he got a spam about. He ‘made’ $8K in two weeks.”

Now, why didn’t I think of that? (Hint: What’s the opposite of Schadenfreude?) (Oops: Wikipedia provides the answer: mudita.)

Apartment progress

Today was another IKEA day. I love the fact that as you approach the freeway exit, there’s a sign listing IKEA as a “Tourist Attraction”. Well, yes.
The most urgent reason for my visit was to arrange for a replacement box spring. [This used to be called a “foundation” in England – is it still?] I showed a photograph of the 4-inch slit in the side to a woman in Customer Service, and she simply shook her head, muttered something about “fork lift truck”, and scheduled a delivery truck to drop off a replacement and pick up the damaged one.
With that taken care of, I was free to roam the store. Side tables, lighting, bedding, that kind of thing. Yes, I had meatballs for lunch 😉 And then back to the apartment to unload. It’s a sad comment on the state of my problem-solving skills that after nearly two weeks I’ve only now worked out the best way to transfer all of my purchases to the apartment:

  1. Park under the supermarket.
  2. Grab a shopping cart.
  3. Load cart with boxes from IKEA, Office Depot, Best Buy, etc.
  4. Take it through the residents-only door to the elevator that goes up to the apartments.
  5. Transfer load to my apartment.
  6. Return cart to the car park under the supermarket.

I imagine that I’m not supposed to do that (all of the shopping carts appear to have RFID tags, and large placards warning of the consequences of misuse), but it works just fine.
The bed and bedside tables are assembled, as are the office desk and chair. I won’t have any assembly time on Monday, but on Tuesday I’ll have to spend several hours at the apartment. IKEA is due to deliver a new box spring, and Millennium Cable should coming by to fix a provisioning issue. I’m tied up all Labor Day weekend (September 2-4), but if all goes well I should be able to move in by September 10 or 17

More on the current blogspam situation

As several commenters have reported, I’m not the only one who’s having problems. It looks as if Akismet is broken right now.
Meanwhile I’ve installed a new plugin, Bad Behavior, “a set of PHP scripts which prevents spambots from accessing your site by analyzing their actual HTTP requests and comparing them to profiles from known spambots”. It’ll be interesting to see how well it works. If you find it blocking your comments, please let me know via email.


I don’t want to spoil the Turkish Grand Prix for anyone who’s time-shifting it. Let me just say that you won’t want to miss a second* of the last fifteen laps. Glorious racing, and a thoroughly satisfying result.

* Except, of course, the seemingly interminable and tediously repetitive commercials on Speed.

I'm temporarily moderating all comments

A couple of blogspam got past Akismet, and they looked like the kind of thing it should have caught. I’m going to turn on full comment moderation until I’m sure Akismet hasn’t been hacked. (For the record, the normal policy here is that I moderate comments from people I haven’t seen before; once I approve a comment, the author is exempt from moderation.)

Consequences of moving west

The qualifying session for this weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix will take place in a mere 6 hours, at 4am Pacific Daylight Time. (That’s so early that it shows up at the end of Friday’s televison schedule rather than the start of Saturday’s!) Coverage of the race itself begins at 4:30am PST on Sunday.
Of course, if I decide to watch the GP2 event, I’ll have to be up by 3am.
The sacrifices we make….. 😉

Packing heat

Those who know me well will confirm that I loath guns. I cannot imagine any situation in which I would allow a gun in the house, much less own one. My personal creed is Be part of the solution, not part of the problem, which definitely applies here.
However, I now find myself making the extraordinary admission that I might make an exception….
WETA ray gun

In case you’ve forgotten, WETA is the amazing outfit that did the special effects for “Lord of the Rings” and “Kong”, among other films.