Racking up the credits

Okay, I can deal with hand models and such. But this seems just a trifle weird:

Twenty-five to thirty. Picky much?

There are, of course, certain specifications that must be met:

There is a fair amount of grumbling about the objectification of women. Seldom, though, does it get to the level of actual objects.

(Via Felicity Jones.)

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Hounded into submission

Wait a minute. Those aren’t hounds:

Johnny Depp’s wife Amber Heard will face trial in Australia in April for allegedly smuggling two dogs into the country in a case dubbed the “war on terrier,” a court ruled Tuesday.

Heard is facing two counts of knowingly importing a prohibited product in breach of the Quarantine Act.

They’re serious, too:

The case sparked global attention after the terriers, Pistol and Boo, were threatened with death by Australia’s Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce unless they “buggered off back to the United States”.

The animals, which had allegedly travelled by private jet to Queensland, where Depp was filming Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, were quickly whisked out of the country as the story hit the headlines.

Under strict Australian laws designed to keep disease at bay, dogs entering from the United States must be declared and have to spend 10 days in quarantine.

I got this from Language Log, maybe a bit less serious than your average Australian authorities:

And there’s a Les Barker poetry-reading CD The War on Terrier from 2004. He’s also responsible for CDs Up the Creek Without a Poodle and Dogologues, and books of poetry with titles such as Alexander Greyhound Bell, Bark Odes, The Beagle Has Landed, Collieflowers, Corgi and Bess, Labrador Rigby, and The Borzoi’s Back in Town, suggesting a theme if not an obsession.

I recommend these to punsters in training, in case they need a few pointers.

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A clipping from the future

Or maybe the past. Who can be sure?

Out of only 40 women in the Senate, only two were female

Maybe I’ll just leave it alone and tiptoe away.

(From Bad Newspaper via the Presurfer.)

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Maloodicrous speed

GM’s British outpost is importing an Australian ute that looks for all the world like the 2016 El Camino Chevrolet would never, ever build:

Vauxhall Maloo LSA

The press release announcing it reads this way:

Vauxhall only sells one pick up vehicle these days, and while our rivals will wow you with improvements in emissions and fuel economy in a CV’s new model year, our offering — the new Maloo LSA — is more likely to impress with the arrival of its all-new, supercharged 6.2-litre, 536PS V8 engine.

So while it’s possibly not a contender for next year’s MPG Marathon, the Vauxhall Maloo LSA will haul … well, up to 540kgs from standstill to sixty in an unfeasibly short space of time, and do so with the utmost composure, despite the fact that it’s classed as a commercial vehicle (business users can even claim the VAT back from its very reasonable £54,500 on-the-road price).

For 2016, the new LSA engine brings maximum power up from 431PS for the outgoing LS3 V8 to 536PS, and an increase in torque from 570Nm to 671Nm. First seen in the current VXR8 GTS launched last year, the LSA is essentially the same unit fitted to the Camaro ZL1, albeit in a slightly re-tuned form. An Eaton 4-lobe supercharger, stand-alone water-to-air charge-air cooling system and high-flow exhaust system with bi-modal exhaust function turn the Maloo into the fastest production “ute” manufactured in Australia, and the fastest CV available in the UK.

Translations and conversions: CV = “commercial vehicle”; 431PS = 425 hp; 536PS = 528 hp; 570Nm = 420 ft-lb; 671Nm = 495 ft-lb; 540kg = 1190 lb; £54,500 = $81,150.

I am trying my very best to keep my index finger away from the “WANT” button.

(Via Autoblog.)

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A Faraday cage for your head

Foiled again, and again:

In detail:

Somebody might say that it’s a specially designed hat for bouncing electromagnetic waves and radiation. But is it really so? Yes, it reliably reflects signals from cell phones, wi-fi routers, microwaves and it generally blocks all waves transmitted from electric devices. Moreover, it looks really cool! It is the most comfortable and functional headwear you have ever worn… To achieve the signal proof quality we use unique fabric (pure silver) which is 100% antimicrobial, antiodor, washable and was originally produced for military purposes and we put it between the hat’s layers.

With 15 days to go, they’ve raised nearly 70 percent of their goal of $19,268.

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Program exit

I’m hoping this man had an orderly shutdown:

William Ralph “Bill” Fink, 46, of Belleville, Ill., born July 28, 1969, in Belleville, Ill., encountered an unhandled exception in his core operating system, which prematurely triggered a critical “STOP” condition on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015.

Bill was an avid technophile, program developer, and educator, whose master functions were harnessed by Microsoft Corp. as a technical evangelist. Some of Bill’s most impactful component subroutines centered around video games, coaching youth sports, building elaborate displays for Halloween, and spending time with family.

And because you need to know these things:

Diagnostics indicated multiple cascading hardware failures as the root problem. Though his hardware has been decommissioned, Bill’s application has been migrated to the Cloud and has been repurposed to run in a virtual machine on an infinite loop.

(Via Matt Prichard.)

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A little off the top

The Clippers have been erratic of late, but you have to figure that any time Chris Paul gets hot, things will happen for them. And CP3 was the hottest he’s been, posting a season-high 32 points with ten assists. Add to that a Los Angeles bench, lightly regarded and without both Paul Pierce and Austin Rivers, that had no trouble fending off the Oklahoma City reserves, and you have the makings of a debacle. With 4:40 left, though, it was tied at 89-all, and 2:20 later, it was still tied at 93; at the one-minute mark, the Clips were up 95-93. Coming off a timeout, Russell Westbrook nailed an all-too-rare trey; a Blake Griffin dunk made it 97-96 L.A. Westbrook went up over DeAndre Jordan to put OKC up 98-97, and with 14 seconds left, Westbrook pulled off his third steal of the night. But the inbound went awry, CP3 ran it down to the rim and made it 99-98 Los Angeles with 10.9 left. Finally Kevin Durant — remember him? — buried an 18-footer to go up 100-99 at 5.8. (Are we tired yet?) Paul put it up at the horn, Durant swatted it away, and that was the end of it.

How close was it? Clippers shot 47%, OKC 47%. Clippers got 45 rebounds, OKC 44. Assists were even at 21. And if Paul had a season-high 32, Westbrook finished with 33. If you’d plotted this for a TV drama, people would stare in disbelief: five lead changes in two and a half minutes? Really? And take note of this off night for KD: 24 points, nine rebounds, seven assists. You and I should have such off nights.

One more in L.A. this week: the Lakers, last thrashed in OKC last week. The Thunder will be home for Christmas, against the Chicago Bulls.

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Holiday unrushed

Thursday night, sensing that 8 GB wasn’t going to be enough for this new tablet of mine, I ordered a 64 GB microSD card from Amazon. Late Friday morning they acknowledged the order via email; about sunset they sent another email to advise that it had shipped, and that I should expect it on the 19th, which was Saturday. I duly called up the tracker, which declared an 8 pm arrival. This late in December? I though. From the Postal Service? Surely you jest.

It is now the 21st. Maybe, where it says “two-day shipping,” they should specify which two days.

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New New Hope

Sign at a church in Ottawa:

A long time ago in a Gaililee far far away

Score one for the Light Side.

(On several Facebook pages, most recently — from my vantage point, anyway — through Roger Green’s.)

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Again, close enough

Andrew Crossett has been collecting votes for the Best Celebrity Legs of the Year for nineteen years now, and this year, I figured, it was just a question of how far out in front that amazingly tall singer of country songs who no longer sings country songs would end up.

And the answer is not at all, because Crossett’s poll, for the second time ever, ended in a tie. (This was the first time.) Sharing this year’s title, singer Selena Gomez, another graduate of the Disney School of Pop Princesses, who has a pretty fair stage presence in her own right:

Selena Gomez on stage

Selena Gomez on stage

Before you ask: five-foot-five. And an offstage glimpse:

Selena Gomez street styling

“Good for You,” the big hit from her Revival album, sounds very much like — um, nothing she’d done previously. It was shortened a bit to make the video:

Seven writers (including Gomez) and five producers. I suppose that’s good for someone. And if you don’t quite get those visuals, there’s always Instagram:

Selena Gomez on Instagram

Seems understandable enough.

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They’re keeping close-mouthed about it

Perhaps no one anywhere is immune to the possibility of identity theft:

A database for sanriotown.com, the official online community for Hello Kitty and other Sanrio characters, has been discovered online by researcher Chris Vickery. The database houses 3.3 million accounts and has ties to a number of other Hello Kitty portals.

The records exposed include first and last names, birthday (encoded, but easily reversible Vickery said), gender, country of origin, email addresses, unsalted SHA-1 password hashes, password hint questions, their corresponding answers, and other data points that appear to be website related.

The earliest logged exposure — the first time anyone accessed this data in the wild in a manner consistent with leaving log entries — was the 22nd of November.

Sanrio, as well as the ISP being used to host the database itself, have all been notified. An automated email from the ISP confirmed that the incident notification was logged, but no further details are available.

(Via @SwiftOnSecurity.)

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Strange search-engine queries (516)

‘Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the logs, some new entries shone, but the others — real dogs. We hope to concentrate on the spiffy.

invisible voyeurism women nude:  How do you know she’s watching? She could be simply burglarizing the place.

mlp larson:  This is M. A. Larson under an assumed name — I assume.

nicholas is a man whom the local college students all think of as eccentric. each day he stands on campus:  And he’s not carrying a sign protesting his alleged oppression, which confuses them.

extended download service for norton products:  Unfortunately, it’s Ed Norton, and Ed Norton works in the sewers of New York.

people sleep peaceably in their beds at night:  Because they don’t have to think about what’s happening next morning.

christina aguilera bound to you übersetzung:  She’s bound to be uninterested in the likes of me, regardless of language.

what is heaven like yahoo answers:  If it is, I’ve wasted a lifetime being semi-virtuous.

princess amber reckful:  Because you wouldn’t want a princess to be reckless.

cassandra started to feel better after three visits to a:  Different Web site.

independent grocer canned chattanooga:  Chattanooga’a big place. You may need several cans.

1 cock is not enough:  That’s what they said down at the Chicken Ranch.

wp-config-sample.php ~dreary:  Yeah? Fix your own damn WordPress, then.

my balls and my word is all i have:  Well, we already know what your word is worth.

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Twenty-five and counting

Today, it appears, is the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web:

If the web were a person, it wouldn’t have trouble renting a car from now on: the world’s first website, Tim Berners-Lee’s World Wide Web, went online 25 years ago today. The inaugural page wasn’t truly public when it went live at CERN on December 20th, 1990 (that wouldn’t happen until August 1991), and it wasn’t much more than an explanation of how the hypertext-based project worked. However, it’s safe to say that this plain page laid the groundwork for much of the internet as you know it — even now, you probably know one or two people who still think the web is the internet.

More than one or two. I blame Microsoft, which used to call its Web browser “Internet Explorer.”

It still stuns me a little to think that I’ve had an outpost on the Web for most of its existence. But it’s true: this little site went live on the 9th of April 1996, and has had some form of update every single day since the summer of 2000. Eventually, I suppose, the world will move on to something else. Then again, so must I, and so must we all.

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Perhaps on a warmer day

When I was a bicycle-riding fool in the late 1960s, the British-made Raleigh bikes were considered at least as prestigious as the Schwinns I favored. I do not, however, remember any Schwinn advertising like this:

Raleigh Bicycle advertisement from a Greek magazine

You couldn’t run an ad like this today, anyway. For one thing, the young lady isn’t wearing a helmet.

(Via Other Whimsey.)

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Well, he started it

Let us stipulate that the average car alarm produces far more noise than it does actual security. That said, this guy is still an asshat:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: Why should i have to pay the damages of my neighbor's car if its because their car alarm was going off?

Justification offered:

So my neighbor’s car was going off for 5 minutes but they didn’t come out to turn it off.

So i tried screaming at it to stop and started throwing things at it for it to shut up! it was disturbing me and the rest of the neighbors.

then my neighbor finally comes outside and turns it off and now he wants to take me to court for damaging his car’s windshield

it was his fault! why should have to pay the damages?

The mere fact that this shlub started screaming at it speaks volumes as to his lack of clue.

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I take it back

This seems improbable:

From their FAQ, a hint as to how it might work:

Does ‘unSend.it’ actually remove the entire email?

unSend.it removes all content from the body of the email (including any attachments) you sent. The email itself will always remain in your recipient’s inbox along with the subject line — however, all email message content will be removed.

This suggests to me that it’s sending a second, edited copy of the email, duplicating as much of the original header as possible without running afoul of mail protocols, and overwriting the old with the new.

Which also suggests an issue: Suppose your recipient is the sort of person who stashes incoming mail into a different folder once it’s read. Can the service tell where that message has been relocated?

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