Monthly Archive for February, 2007

My Top Ten.

So Askmen.com recently came out with the “Top 99 Women of 2007.” But we all know that any list that puts that skank Kelis above Cassie has to be rigged. And am I the only person who thinks Scarlett Johansson is totally overrated? So here is my top ten.

Anne Hathaway, from Devil Wears Prada.
Mallika Sherawat, hot Bollywood actress.
Rachel Bilson, from The Last Kiss.
Beyonce.
Gisele.
Alessandra Ambrosio, the new face of Victoria’s Secret.
Selita Ebanks, also from VS.
Cassie, the new hip-hop chick.
Marisa Miller, the breakout star of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue.
Minka Kelly, from Friday Night Lights.

So who did I miss? Who is in your top ten?

Why Spamming Lawyers is a Terrible Idea.

I may not have made this public yet, but I happen to be a lawyer. You would think that even unscrupulous companies that hawk their wares by spamming unsuspecting people would refrain from attacking lawyers, who are the most frustrated, cantankerous, vengeful, trigger-happy people on the planet. What’s worse, we have a high sense of empowerment. As in, “don’t fuck with me, I am a lawyer.” Nevermind the truth that we are in fact mere peons, cogs in a giant machine. I digress. Like I said, you would think that spammers would not specifically target lawyers.

You would be wrong.

Lately, I have been getting spam from a website called Judged.com. Judged is a website that is simultaneously too late to the game and premature. It is too late to the game because we already have good sites like AboveTheLaw, GreedyAssociates, Vault, and others to tell us about the industry of law. It is premature because it clearly has no focus, no user base, and nothing interesting to add. Oh, and it has lots of annoying pop-up ads. Now it’s suckdom would not be complete, of course, unless it spammed a ton of lawyers to go and visit their site. And spam it has. To my work e-mail account.

Many if not all of my colleagues are now getting daily emails from this reviled website. I suspect this is happening in other law firms as well. I had no idea how I got into this mess. I certainly NEVER requested contact from this company that to date I had never heard of. I suspect some company culled our emails from our firm’s website. Legal recruiters do this all the time to get leads. I did know that I had to get out of it. I get about a hundred emails a day, and those are just the ones I actually have to read.

First, I hit the unsubscribe button. It loaded up the Judged website, noted my email address, and gave me the option to unsubscribe. – Click! – That was satisfying, I thought. Problem solved! The very next day I got another spam. I decided to contact the company, via their “Contact Us” email address provided on their website. End of story right? Not so fast, hoss. Within five minutes I received the following message:

Your message did not reach some or all of the intended recipients.
Subject: [SPAM] RE: THE DAILY JUDGED
Sent: 2/21/2007 3:51 PM
The following recipient(s) could not be reached:
hbarnes@bcgsearch.com on 2/21/2007 3:52 PM
The destination system is currently not accepting any messages. Please retry at a later time. If that fails, contact your system administrator.
< aj662mps.tempdomainname.com #5.3.0 X-Unix; 73>

Irritating. However, it gave me some information. Looks like their contact email is really a redirect to a certain A. Harrison Barnes at BCG Search. BCG Search is a legal headhunting firm that is either unscrupulous or has unscrupulous employees that it does not know about. (If you can’t tell, I like the word unscrupulous). Evidently, Barnes is a smart guy, having went to U of Chicago and UVA Law School. Guess he was sick the day they taught integrity. I called Barnes and got his secretary. I asked to be removed from the Judged.com list because he was listed as a contact for them. She said that she could do that for me, proving that there is some link between BCG Search and Judged.com Now I don’t know if BCG Search is behind Judged.com or not, but it seems like a lot of effort to come from just one person. I asked how I got on this spam list and she replied she didn’t know, but she did know how she could take me off. I then asked to be taken off, and submitted a complaint to TrustE, as indicated on their Privacy Policy.

Is Judged.com in violation of the law for its shady practices? Now, I don’t purport to be a specialist on the CAN SPAM Act of 2003, but it sure sounds like it fits the bill. Here’s a rundown of the law’s main provisions:

  • It bans false or misleading header information. Your email’s “From,” “To,” and routing information – including the originating domain name and email address – must be accurate and identify the person who initiated the email.
  • It prohibits deceptive subject lines. The subject line cannot mislead the recipient about the contents or subject matter of the message.
  • It requires that your email give recipients an opt-out method. You must provide a return email address or another Internet-based response mechanism that allows a recipient to ask you not to send future email messages to that email address, and you must honor the requests. You may create a “menu” of choices to allow a recipient to opt out of certain types of messages, but you must include the option to end any commercial messages from the sender.

It sure seems to me like they haven’t really complied with that last one.

Each violation of the above provisions is subject to fines of up to $11,000. Deceptive commercial email also is subject to laws banning false or misleading advertising. Additional fines are provided for commercial emailers who not only violate the rules described above, but also “harvest” email addresses from Web sites or Web services that have published a notice prohibiting the transfer of email addresses for the purpose of sending email.

I guess I wouldn’t have been as annoyed if they weren’t hawking a product that sucked. Anyway, I’m done ranting. This was therapeutic enough without having to go further. Also, this paragraph from Barney’s profile was a real thorn in my balls:

Fourth, Harrison has set extremely high ethical standards for his recruiters. Far from a profit-driven motive, Harrison runs BCG Attorney Search to be at the forefront of ethics. Numerous times, Harrison has rebuffed the merger efforts of other search firms whose ethics and lack of focus were not consistent with his vision for the premier legal recruiting firm in the United States. In addition, Harrison has set extremely high standards for the recruiters at BCG Attorney Search, where ethics are debated on a daily basis and even a perceived ethical violation is not tolerated at any cost. This focus on ethics is set so high because Harrison believes that lawyers who represent lawyers should hold even a higher standard for themselves than typical attorneys.

Why the New Dollar Coin Will NEVER Work.

600px-washington_dollar.png

ParisLemon wrote a story titled “How the New Dollar Coin COULD Work.” As you may not know, the US Mint is going to release a new dollar coin to the public. Like ParisLemon says, this one will be newer, snazzier, and will include all new dead presidents. Sadly, ParisLemon is right on the rationale, but wrong on the result. Here is a corrected analysis.

Why the dollar coin is screwed:

“First, they are the exact same size and weight (and made of the same material) as the Sacagawea dollar coin of a few years back.” The same obnoxious, bigger, heavier than a quarter but not so big that you can’t easily confuse them with a quarter size that was unsuccessful the last time they tried to peddle it.

“Second, by taking a page from the successful series of State quarters and releasing the coins in sets of 4, each of which are different, they are creating a demand among collectors and an interest among the general public each time a new one comes out.” Not exactly. Quarters were already popular and heavily used before they came up with the idea to have individual quarters for each state. Not so with the dollar coin, a universally shunned coin.

“Now, these two thing certainly don’t guarantee success or acceptance of the coin, after all coins are pretty annoying to carry around in large quantities…” You got that right.

“They could work with the soda manufacturers to set the price of a vending machine pop to $1. Currently it seems like vending machine drinks range anywhere in price from 50 cents to $1.50…why not split the difference and make them all $1? Imagine how simple it would be if you didn’t need to fumble around in your pocket for change to buy a pop in the machine, or better still, if you didn’t have to keep feeding those awful dollar-bill readers that just won’t accept your crumpled paper money. All you would need to do is insert your dollar coin and out comes the drink.” Thanks jerk. There’s nothing like knowing that the dollar coin is responsible for my office soda machine going from $.50 to $1.00 to encourage me to use more dollar coins! Oh, and I don’t see any problems with the government mandating the price of consumer goods!

“Though the Sacagawea coin has been out for a few years, I’ve only seen a few vending machines that will take them.” Ok. Guess what? The increased cost of compliance just went up. Guess who is going to pay for it? (Hint: it’s not the vendors).

Dollar coins are infuriating. Like the penny, they are totally useless. When I was a kid, I noticed that my dad had a big drawer full of change. Why? Because any change he would get that day would go into that drawer, never to be used again. That was great for me when I was 10, but now I do the same exact thing he does. Coins are for kids, and they will never be anything more.

We have dollar bills, they work. Dollar coins are a perfect example of the government trying to fix something that isn’t broke. Or we have some seriously numismatically-obsessed (that’s coin geeks to you) people working in government. The dollar coin is going to cost YOU money, both at the federal government level and every time a vendor is forced to comply in accepting them. Printing money isn’t free, bub. Moreover, coins, being subject to prevailing metals prices, often cost more than originally planned. I’m sure you’ve heard that with prevailing copper and zinc prices, many pennies are worth more melted down into copper than they are in their present form.

Horsepounded

So the other day I wrote about my experience on the set of the Colbert Report. Well, the Digg community picked up on it, and tore my site a new one. The site was temporarily suspended within two hours of being popular on Digg. When it was restored 9 hours later. ANYWAY, I learned a few things, namely how to use WP-Cache to cache your pages so it doesn’t cause so much server load. My hosts, Addaction.net did a great job of getting me back online. I don’t know exactly what they did, but it worked. So thanks to them. Also, I rolled out the latest version of WordPress and K2. For some reason, my site still looks like crap on Internet Explorer. So until I can figure out how to fix it, I recommend that you get Firefox.

Update: I had no idea that a second post on my website had also gotten digged. Well it didn’t take long for the internet police to shut down my site again. I don’t think my webhost was able to handle the server load, so i switched to Dreamhost. Let’s see how long that lasts. Two big diggs in two days was more than my poor site could handle! Hopefully my new host will be more robust. So far their customer service has been decent. I will keep you posted.

25 Signs you are getting old.

1. Your houseplants are alive, and you can’t smoke any of them.
2. Having sex in a twin bed is out of the question.
3. You keep more food than beer in the fridge.
4. 6:00 a.m . is when you get up, not when you go to bed.
5. You hear your favorite song in an elevator.
6. You watch the Weather Channel.
7. Your friends marry and divorce instead of “hook up” and “break up.”
8. You go from 130 days of vacation time to 14.
9. Jeans and a sweater no longer qualify as “dressed up.”
10. You’re the one calling the police because those %&@# kids next door won’t turn down the stereo.
11. Older relatives feel comfortable telling sex jokes around you.
12. You don’t know what time Taco Bell closes anymore.
13. Your car insurance goes down and your car payments go up.
14. You feed your dog Science Diet instead of McDonald’s leftovers.
15. Sleeping on the couch makes your back hurt.
16. You take naps.
17. Dinner and a movie is the whole date instead of the beginning of one.
18. Eating a basket of chicken wings at 3 AM would severely upset, rather than settle, your stomach.
19. You go to the drug store for ibuprofen and antacid, not condoms and pregnancy tests.
20. A $4.00 bottle of wine is no longer “pretty good shit.”
21. You actually eat breakfast food at breakfast time.
22. “I just can’t drink the way I used to” replaces “I’m never going to drink that much again.”
23. 90% of the time you spend in front of a computer is for real work.
24. You drink at home to save money before going to a bar.
25. When you find out your friend is pregnant you congratulate them instead of asking “Oh shit what the hell!”