The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Perhaps this time, there is a difference

First it was CGP Grey and his video “Humans Need Not Apply.” Now it's Kurzgesagt and their video, “The Rise of the Machines.”

There's not much more I can add to this but … um … I—­for—­one—­welcome—­our—­new—­robotic—­overlords.

Friday, June 09, 2017

I can't decide if this is an inspired or insipid idea

I've just come across what has to be the oddest feature I've ever seen on a laptop to date—a physical on/off switch for the wifi connection.

Not one for the camera, mind you—the wifi!

I can only guess it's there to keep those wily hackers off the computer.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

You know, giving the customer unfettered access to a device that can scan credit cards might not be a good idea

A few cow-orkers and I are at Chili's for lunch and I'm disappointed to see they still have those insipid Ziosk things on the tables. I personally can't stand them (and it seems like I'm not alone in that) and I'm heartened to see the waitron remove the thing from our table.

Lunch passes. We're waiting for our waitron to bring the bill. And waiting. We wait some more. It becomes apparent that our waitron has been abducted so one of my fellow cow-orkers grabs the Ziosk thing so we can pay our bill.

Only the Ziosk thing has crashed.

We flag down another waitron to explain our dilemma. The waitron grabs the Ziosk thing, rips the battery out and snaps it back into place. “It's the only way to reset the thing.”

A few minutes go by and we attempt to pay our check yet again. And yet again, the Ziosk thing crashes.

We flag another waitron down and explain our dilemma. This time, the waitron retakes our order so that the check can be split four ways. And here I thought it was supposed to save time and be an easy experience.

Friday, June 02, 2017

Notes about an overheard conversation while driving to lunch

“Oh my! That's so pretty! I wonder what it is?”

“A tree?”

“I know, silly. But what is its name?”


“No, no. A lot of streets down here are named after it.”

“NW 25th Street?”

Must … control … fist … of … death …

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

I'm sorry, but I'm not fond of kids

Re: Hello Dear
Wed, 24 May 2017 22:03:12 +0300

Hello Dear,

How are you doing today? am XXXXXX and i must tell you how delighted i am to send you this mail. Am a single parent from Chicago,and i hope you don't get angry at my little note, I have been a widower for the last couple of years, After the death of my wife some years ago, i decided to move on in search of a partner.And I hope we can get to know more about each other! A friend of mine found his soul-mate through this medium. I like us to get acquainted via the exchange of mails as it takes time for people to compose an email and say a little about themselves. I have a son and a Bulmastiff as family and will like to know more about. Attached with this mail are my pictures for your perusal. I look forward to reading your mail. Here is my email ( XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX ) God bless and have a nice day.

Regards XXXXXX

This is perhaps the oddest spam I've received. Yes, it came with two pictures of “XXXXXX” and they could be the same person, although it's hard to tell. And yes, one of the them does include a picture of “XXXXXX” and his son.

Usually, email of this type is a woman trying to start a relationship, but this is the first time I've received one from a man (not that there's anything wrong with that). It seems so sincere (especially with the two pictures), but I have to wonder, if “XXXXXX” actually sent this, why he would spam random people? Or is this a prank by someone “XXXXXX” knows?

Or an actual spammer trying to validate an email address?


Very odd.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

For those times when downloading over the Internet is too slow

Andrew Tanenbaum has been quoted as saying, “Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway.” And yes, if you have a large amount of data to transfer, sometimes it is better to physically move it than transfer it over the Intarwebs.

And if you have a metric buttload of data?

AWS Snowmobile is an Exabyte-scale data transfer service used to move extremely large amounts of data to AWS. You can transfer up to 100PB per Snowmobile, a 45-foot long ruggedized shipping container, pulled by a semi-trailer truck. Snowmobile makes it easy to move massive volumes of data to the cloud, including video libraries, image repositories, or even a complete data center migration. Transferring data with Snowmobile is secure, fast and cost effective.

Via Lobsters, AWS Snowmobile – Massive Exabyte-Scale Data Transfer Service

And for the record, a petabyte (PB) is 1,125,899,906,842,624 bytes which I think is the expected size of the next version of Windows.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Swimming in gold

Batman has the Batcave, Superman has his Fortress of Solitude, and Scrooge McDuck has his money bin. For 70 years, the maternal uncle of Disney’s Donald Duck has been portrayed as a thrifty—some might say miserly—presence in cartoons and comics, a waterfowl who has such deep affection for his fortune that he enjoys diving into his piles of gold and luxuriating in them.

It’s a rather gross display of money worship, but is it practical? Can anyone, including an anthropomorphic Pekin duck, actually swim in their own money, or would diving headfirst into a pile of metal result only in catastrophic injury?

Via GoogleMyFacePlusSpaceBook, Fact Check: A Physicist Weighs In On Whether Scrooge McDuck Could Actually Swim in a Pool of Gold Coins | Mental Floss

Sadly, no. Even Carl Barks knew this and on several occasions had Scrooge mention it was a trick.

[“Unca Scrooge, how come you dived all the way from that bluff, and you didn't get hurt?”—Huey, Dewey and Louie] [“Well, I'll admit—it's a trick!”—Uncle Scrooge]

But it's still fun to fantasize about swimming in three cubic acres of gold coins though.

Obligatory Picture

[Don't hate me for my sock monkey headphones.]

Obligatory Links

Obligatory Miscellaneous

You have my permission to link freely to any entry here. Go ahead, I won't bite. I promise.

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