Why the Field is so Bad

I have no idea for whom to vote. None. I am a staunch, free-market, old-school conservative. A fan of men like Burke, Reagan, and Kirk. That means I don’t have a candidate in this race. Continue reading “Why the Field is so Bad”

I Hate Spam

I hate spam. Which is unfortunate, because I get enormous quantities of it. The true horror in graphic form:

I get about 940 emails per day, excluding the 30 or so on my school account and about 10 per day on Gmail and Yahoo! I am working on implementing some server-side filtering, because my poor little client-side filter is just not up to the challenge, anymore (not to mention that downloading almost 1,000 messages a day is a huge hassle – imagine what happens when I’m away from the computer for a day or two!). This will also be the subject of an upcoming post or posts.

Still More Outlook 2007 Stupidity

I receive a lot of newsletters as HTML email messages. For obvious reasons, I want to view the images in those messages, so I tell Outlook 2007 it’s okay to download the images from site somesite.com. The problem is that Outlook will download some images from a site, but not others. For example, http://www.somesite.com/image1.gif might download, but http://www.somesite.com/image2.gif will not, and will instead display as a blank space (no red X or anything) of a random size (not the size of the image in question or the size specified in the source code). Can anybody help me resolve this?

EDIT: I now know the problem’s source. Apparently, this is yet another result of Microsoft’s absurd decision to render HTML in Outlook using Word’s HTML renderer, rather than Internet Explorer’s. The Scoop on Outlook 2007. Seriously, what were they thinking??? Anyway, original post follows.


  • The images are all really out there on the web, all on the same domain.
  • The images are referenced in HTML, not attached to the message. EDIT: On further examination, it looks like affected images are all referenced in the background attribute of a table HTML element…
  • This only happens with specific images from specific senders. For example, the header logo from one site never downloads, but all other images in that site’s weekly newsletter display properly.
  • Telling Outlook never to block downloads of images and restarting doesn’t resolve the problem.
  • The images in question are all GIF files which display perfectly in MSIE and Firefox.
  • My only theories so far are that Outlook sends headers the remote server doesn’t like for a particular image (weird) or that Outlook is just not even trying to download the images in question.

So, loyal reader: any ideas? Thanks!

Sony Vaio Cursor Jumps

I should have trusted my instincts. I have always been suspicious of Sony products’ quality-to-pricepoint ratio, but I purchased a Sony Vaio VGN-FE880E notebook, anyway, when my old Dell’s case broke, in a fit of desperation and comparison shopping. Almost immediately, I discovered that the cursor would sometimes jump around randomly, causing unexpected deletions or insertions of text into the wrong part of a document, or even in other windows.

It seems I am not alone: Google search: Vaio cursor jumps.

What a pain. I just hope it holds up long enough to see me through graduation and starting work.

ESET Smart Security + Windows Vista = BSOD

On a friend’s advice, I downloaded and installed ESET Smart Security to replace Norton Internet Security 2006, which had been giving me fits (slow, bloated memory use, etc.). It looked fantastic, right up until the first time I tried to bring the computer out of standby mode. I got a blue screen of death (BSOD). Again. And again. And again.

The only way I could get my computer to boot ended up being using msconfig to start in selective startup mode, manually enabling and starting the Windows Installer service, uninstalling ESET ESS, rebooting (being careful to disable those ESET services and programs still listed and checked in msconfig), reenabling normal startup in msconfig, and rebooting again.

Because ESET gets such great reviews, I even tried reinstalling, but with the same result (and complicated, time-consuming uninstall procedure).

After all of that, what I ended up with was a computer with no antivirus software, not to mention more stress.

The ultimate solution? A free copy of McAfee Antivirus from the Law School.

More Office 2007 Stupidity – Not Showing New Emails!

Outlook 2007 has started doing something maddening and stupid in the last couple of weeks. When I am looking at my Inbox and receive new mail, the item count at the bottom of the window and the unread message count in parentheses in the mail folders list update, but the mail isn’t listed in the Inbox! That is, Outlook counts the new message, but doesn’t show it.

Microsoft knows about this problem. As is their wont to do, they claim SP1 fixed it – even though it did not.

Does anyone know how to fix this? It looks like it could be an internal (to Outlook) timeout caused by my anti-virus program, the client-side spam filter I currently use, or maybe even the large number of Outlook rules I run on my incoming mail. If anyone has ideas, please let me know!

Ziff Davis Spam Part III: The Solution?

As I reported here, here, and here, Ziff Davis spams people. Fortunately, I found this page. It looks like it was the solution!

Read more below the jump. Continue reading “Ziff Davis Spam Part III: The Solution?”