The Hoffette

I almost titled this “Sand, which is there,” but thought better of it. This is Hayley Hasselhoff, twenty-two on Tuesday, the younger daughter of David Hasselhoff (yes!) and Pamela Bach:

Hayley Hasselhoff at the beach

In 1999 and 2000, she did a couple of episodes of Baywatch, the first alongside older sister Taylor-Ann. Since turning 14, she has worked mostly as a “plus-size” model, though she had a role in the short-lived ABC Family series Huge, playing the skinniest girl at fat camp.

Commenting on that “plus-size” thing:

“There’s two different types of plus size — there’s plus size in the world, which may seem demeaning, but then there’s plus size in the industry, which is completely different… People always want to go to the extreme negative side of things, and it’s the same with plus-sized models. Plus size in the industry means curves. Let me break it down for you. Straight sized boards are models size 0-6. Plus size boards are models starting at a 10. If a size 8 girl was 5’11” and curvy, she’d be on the plus sized board, because there’s nothing in between.”

Hayley is five-seven and wears a 14:

Hayley Hasselhoff posing

She’s represented by Wilhelmina.

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Just pietzsche

Within an hour of one another last night, via TweetDeck:

Followed by Nietzsche followed by Nietzsche

Only thing I can figure is that I said something about Uber, the get-a-ride app, and they picked it up in a search for “Übermensch.”

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Your 2015 Oklahoma City BlueHawks

The Oklahoman is reporting that the Pacific Coast League’s Oklahoma City RedHawks are about to be sold to a group affiliated with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and that next year the Birds will be the Dodgers’ Triple-A farm team.

As it happens, this year the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate is in Albuquerque, and things aren’t working so well:

The Dodgers reportedly have been searching for a city more suitable to evaluate their top prospects. Starting last season, the Dodgers have required Isotopes officials to place baseballs in a humidor to try to counteract the effects of the thin, dry air, Albuquerque being 5,300 feet above sea level.

The RedHawks, says the report, should sell for somewhere between $22 and $28 million.

Update, 17 September: Here’s the official announcement.

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Friends with Benadryl

You may have thought you were up for a visit and maybe even some late-night sexytime, but think again:

Over-the-counter antihistamines, especially diphendyramine (Benadryl) and chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton), may alleviate your allergies, but temporarily affect your love life. The solution here could be as simple as carefully timing when you take the drug. “Many of these drugs do not last 24 hours and certainly their side effects don’t,” says Allison Dering-Anderson, Pharm.D., a clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. “Antihistamines should be cleared in eight hours in younger and healthier patients.” Keep in mind that antihistamines are also found in many combination cough-and-cold medicines so read the label. You may be taking antihistamines and lowering your libido without knowing it.

I’d worry about this more, I think, if they’d paid more attention to their spearchucker spellchecker: it’s actually diphenhydramine. (Then again, “chlorpheniramine” is now the officially adopted US spelling for what the rest of the world — including, until about ten minutes ago, me — calls “chlorphenamine.”)

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Sweeter than fiction

While following up on something tweeted by @SwiftOnSecurity, I stumbled across this statement posted by the person behind the account:

Taylor Swift’s image in large parts of popular culture is as the foolish, prolific romantic — that her experiences are her own fault and she’s somehow quick to complain about it. Unfortunately, playing off this is the easiest way to appeal to a wide audience and promote the account. Taylor Swift is a public figure open to parody but it’s something I don’t feel is particularly fair to her or the picture of women in general. I’ll continue to use light traces of this reputation, but it’s not something I particularly embrace.

Second, the account is written from the perspective of its subject living both her life and that of a legitimate professional in Information Technology/Information Security. The position and treatment of women in this sector is a common discussion point and open to criticism. Emphasis on femininity being a distraction or primary theme is something that doesn’t fit in this climate. First and foremost she is a professional, but one with a public image to play off and make references to. This keeps the character a good place to air my own musing on information security.

There is precedent for this: see, for instance, Britney Spears’ Guide to Semiconductor Physics. The peculiar genius of @SwiftOnSecurity is that those two perspectives intertwine so effectively, the reader is somehow able to contemplate the coming (well, they are) InfoWars while presented with the image of a singer who used to have more twang, didn’t she? A perfect example: “Just because I’m vulnerable doesn’t mean I’m exploitable.”

And here are some of the best Swifties, posterized for your viewing pleasure.

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It’s life, Ivan, but not as we know it

Well, actually, it does look sort of familiar:

The Russian press agency ITAR-TASS is reporting something so surprising that I’m having a hard time believing it: Cosmonauts have found microorganisms on the exterior of the International Space Station. Russian scientists are shocked by this discovery and can’t really explain how it is possible.

According to the chief of the Russian ISS orbital mission, Vladimir Solovjev, these findings “are absolutely unique.”

Which is more than merely unique, you know.

At this point the Russian space agency can’t really explain how sea plankton ended [up] on the International Space Station. They have discarded spaceships taking the microorganisms there. Their only explanation is that atmospheric currents may be lifting these particles from the ocean all the way to the station, 205 miles (330 kilometers) up in the sky — which seems absolutely nuts to me.

Like most unexpected life forms, this one turned up during cleaning. Solovjev, quoted by ITAR-TASS:

“We are conducting special works to polish somehow and put illuminators in order. This is particularly needed during long space flights.”

You don’t suppose this stuff was growing on the cleaning equipment, do you?

(Via Fark.)

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I never quite get tired of these

Of course, the people responsible for the signs are definitely sick of this sort of thing:

Electronic sign needs reboot

This sign is in Spring Valley, Nevada, an unincorporated area (with almost 200,000 people) west of the Las Vegas Strip.

(Via Rebecca Black, who owns a Mac.)

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The sourest of grapes

A TTAC article about a line of “Prius fighters” to be built by Ford drew this surly comment:

Ford will never be able to compete with the Toyota hybrid. Consider the difference between the two companies. Ford is big on workplace diversity. This means Ford managers are often selected on the color of their skin rather than their IQ. Toyota promotes the best and brightest.

Many times, a white guy, who graduates from a top college with high SAT scores, is passed over for promotion in favor of a minority who gained entrance to a comparable college using affirmative action policies and lesser SAT scores. So, the smarter white guy has no career opportunities at Ford while less smart minority is steadily promoted. The smarter white guy leaves the state of Michigan. Result? Ford can not compete with Toyota.

Go ahead Ford. Keep up the workplace diversity. Then, wonder why your vehicles continue to score black dots in Consumer Reports.

It never occurred to this “smarter white guy” to apply for a position at Toyota? They do have, after all, a technical center in Michigan, and if he’s among the “best and brightest,” shouldn’t he be a shoo-in?

Since it’s likely not the policy of any automaker, foreign or domestic, to introduce an applicant to the person who actually got the job, I have to figure that this chap is hoping someone will buy him a hat so he can talk through it.

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Broaden the product line

Today’s consumers are demanding, and the one-trick pony seldom gets a second ride. Whenever possible, diversify. Here’s what we mean:

Ruth's Video and Seafood

Okay, maybe that’s not exactly what we mean.

(Via Bad Newspaper.)

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Meet the (Chinese) beetles

Jack Baruth tells you the horrible story of Agrilus planipennis:

The Emerald Ash Borer is scheduled to kill eight billion trees in North America in the near future. As a country, we had no defense against it. The predators which hold the EAB under control in China haven’t made it into an iPhone crate yet. Every ash tree in this country and Canada will die. Eight billion trees. Eight billion, most of them mature. The Nature Conservatory says they will plant a billion trees by 2025. Well, for every tree you plant, the Chinese beetle will kill eight. We’re told that the rainforest is disappearing at a staggering rate. It’s something like two or three billion trees a year. In other words, this beetle is kicking the ass of the Global Corporate Rainforest Destroying Bush-Hitler Machine, all by itself.

And yet you’ll never hear about those eight billion trees outside of a special-interest magazine because it’s critical that we not pay too much attention to what we actually suffer as a country by sending all our manufacturing and applied science to a country full of people who, as a rule, view us as uncultured, depraved monkeys. It’s critical that the manufacturing keep leaving this country so the power and the influence shift to the politicians and the major blogs and the thought leaders in Silicon Valley. Once upon a time, the wealthiest county in the United States was Oakland County [Michigan], where the auto executives and the $100,000-a-year blue-collar overtime workers lived. Now it’s #61 on the list. Four of the five wealthiest counties in the nation now directly border Washington, D.C. You see how the power shifts when money stops coming from commerce and starts coming from quantitative easing.

But then, this isn’t necessarily about trees — or commerce:

When the trees crashed down I thought about some other things, some other people. You can love someone and have a relationship with them but the beetles can get in there, they can burrow, they can leave the bark untouched but the damage beneath is enough to kill. Then one day the bark falls off and you realize how long it’s been dead, how long you’ve been ignoring it, how long you’ve been hoping that spring would come and you’d see leaves, knowing in your heart that you would only see branches.

When I moved here I had twelve trees, a pretty fair number for a quarter of an acre. Now I have thirteen, but three of them are standing only because neither saw nor wind in adequate quantity has been provided, and, as Jack says, “Having trees cut down is more expensive than having them planted, by the way, the same way a divorce attorney is more expensive than a justice of the peace.” Yep.

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Recapture clause

Freshly spammed my way: a method to get one’s ex back.

No, really:

My system is rooted in behavioral psychology. By combining this with text messages to deliver the message, the result is a system that is so powerful, it has worked for more than 10,000 people!

Text messages are direct, non-confrontational, and can be responded to when it is convenient to the person you sent it to. They are especially effective when dealing with the situation in person, could be too risky.

Let Justin Sinclair, personal relationship expert, show you exactly what messages you need to send your Ex, and how to send them. You’ll be blown away when your Ex starts talking to you again and eventually asks to see you.

Believe me, if Jimmy Webb can’t do it, nobody can.

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Add a thin shiny veneer

Uber, up to now, has positioned itself mostly as the Anti-Taxi Service, but Instapundit pointed to this Wired piece as evidence that their ambitions are greater:

On Tuesday, Uber announced a pilot program for what it calls Uber Corner Store, a service that would allow Uber users in the Washington D.C. area to get staple items like toothpaste and bandages delivered from local stores. According to a blog post, the program will only last a few weeks, but it hints at CEO Travis Kalanick’s long-term vision for Uber, which is to transform the company from a pure transportation play into a full-fledged logistics company.

That was Tuesday. On Wednesday, the other shoe dropped. Kalanick again:

Earlier this year, I made it a top priority for Uber to find a leader who could help cities and citizens understand the Uber mission — someone who believed in our cause, who understood how to build a meaningful brand, who knew how to scale a political campaign, and who knew how to get the support on the ground to win. We needed someone who understood politics but who also had the strategic horsepower to reinvent how a campaign should be run — a campaign for a global company operating in cities from Boston and Beijing to London and Lagos.

So today we are pleased to announce that David Plouffe will be joining Uber as our Senior Vice President of Policy and Strategy. Starting in late September, David will be managing all global policy and political activities, communications, and Uber branding efforts. I will look to him as a strategic partner on all matters as Uber grows around the world.

David fricking Plouffe. Apparently what Kalanick thinks he needs is an experienced turd painter.

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It is, after all, legal

Microsoft delivers lots of hotfixes — there are, after all, lots of things that need to be fixed — but you might think they’d back away from a scenario like this:

  • You have the uTorrent client (or other high speed file transfer applications) installed on a computer that’s running one of the following operating systems [list in original];
  • You use an RNDIS USB device which implements the Remote Network Driver Interface Specification (RNDIS) 6.0 driver version.

When you download uTorrent content through the RNDIS 6.0 connection in this scenario, you receive Stop error 0xD1.

Some of us may react reflexively: “Ewww, torrents!” Redmond, not so much: they’ve issued a hotfix for the Microsoft RNDIS driver, although they caution that you shouldn’t install it unless you’re having that specific problem.

(For those of you who wondered why I was following @SwiftOnSecurity, it’s for stuff like this.)

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It’s all about the fractional Benjamins

The Tax Foundation, seemingly never without a map, has issued this one, which illustrates “value of goods that $100 can buy” in each state, compared to the national average, which is presumably $100. The closest match to average seems to be Illinois, where your C-note will buy $99.40 worth of stuff.

Tax Foundation cost-of-living map

Worse than any state, perhaps unsurprisingly, is the District of Columbia, where $84.60 worth of stuff will cost you $100. That same $100 in Mississippi will fill your basket to the tune of $115.74.

Curiosities:

  • Oklahoma and Kansas: identical ($111.23).
  • South Carolina and Tennessee: identical ($110.25).
  • Pennsylvania and Rhode Island: identical ($101.32).
  • Oregon and Florida: identical ($101.21).
  • 680 x 680 PNG version of the map: 164,900 bytes. 480 x 480 PNG version to fit this theme: 165,950 bytes.

The Tax Foundation dates to 1937, at which time $100 worth of 2014 stuff, according to the BLS inflation calculator, would have cost $6.04.

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Now entering the afterlife

Darn few songs mention the late Don Pardo, NBC announcer since 1944. You can actually hear a lot of him in this one, and besides, it’s great on its own merits:

He married Catherine Lyons in 1938, the year he got his first radio job in Providence; they stayed together until her death in 1995.

Thanks, Don. And you too, Al.

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You can practically see the wagging finger

This “Peter Carter” fellow claims in his subject line that there are “issues” with my Web site. The major issue, apparently, is that he’s not getting paid:

I thought you might like to know some reasons why you are not getting enough Social Media and Organic Search Engine traffic for dustbury.com.

1. Your website dustbury.com is not ranking top in Google organic searches for many competitive keyword phrases.

2. Your company is not doing well in most of the Social Media Websites.

3. Your site is not user friendly on mobile devices.

There are many additional improvements that could be made to your website, and if you would like to learn about them, and are curious to know what our working together would involve, then I would be glad to provide you with a detailed analysis.

Our clients consistently tell us that their customers find them because they are at the top of the Google search rankings. Being at the top left of Google (#1- #3 organic positions) is the best thing you can do for your company’s website traffic and online reputation. You will be happy to know that, my team is willing to guarantee you 1st page Google ranking for most of your targeted keyword phrases in our six month ongoing campaign.

Bite me, Pedro. Your Google ranking is going up just from this mention. I’ll send you a bill when I get around to it. That was “Peter Carter,” right?

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