Thank Goodness!

Georgia Tech fires Gailey after subpar season

“ATLANTA – Georgia Tech fired coach Chan Gailey on Monday, two days after his sixth straight loss to rival Georgia ended a disappointing season.

Athletic director Dan Radakovich called an afternoon news conference to discuss the football program. A person familiar with the situation, speaking on condition of anonymity because an official announcement had not been made, told The Associated Press that Gailey would be dismissed after six seasons as the Yellow Jackets coach.”

It Was 20 Years Ago…

I meant to post this so it it would appear on November 22nd, but forgot about it in all the holiday hoopla. Forgiveness, please!

November 22nd is my Dad’s birthday. Every few years, it’s also the date Thanksgiving falls on. But lots of people in the Chicago area might remember November 22nd, 1987 for something else entirely. For it was on that date that persons unknown hijacked the broadcast signal of both WGN-TV and WTTW.

Max HeadroomIn WGN’s case, it happened during the football highlights on the local news. Sports anchor Dan Roan was breaking down that day’s Chicago Bears game when suddenly the monitors in the studio began to flicker. The screen switched to someone dressed up as 80s television “personality” Max Headroom. In an homage to the computer-generated backgrounds used in the real Max Headroom shows, the person stood in front of a rotating piece of corrugated aluminum and just grinned. Horrified WGN engineers quickly switched to another transmitter, and viewers were treated to a priceless expression on Roan’s face. Said the sportscaster: “Well, if you’re wondering what happened, so am I.”

Things were even worse for WTTV. The PBS station didn’t have an engineer on duty that night, so the station’s programmers were helpless when “Max” broke in to their signal around 3 hours after the incident at WGN. This time “Max” had plenty of time to utter a bunch of nonsensical phrases, like “I stole CBS” and “My brother is wearing the other one”. “Max” then dropped his pants and was repeatedly slapped on the behind by a woman using a flyswatter. After a few seconds of this, the screen went dark and the broadcast returned to the Doctor Who episode that had been running when the “signal intrusion” first took place.

Interestingly, no one was ever caught – or even suspected or questioned – over the event, and the case remains open to this day. The amount of money and the skill set needed to pull off a stunt like this was not lost on FBI and FCC investigators. But “Max’s” rants didn’t have a political or economic slant to them – unlike “Captain Midnight“, a satellite dealer that hijacked HBO’s signal with a rant about how expensive the service was for satellite customers – so the FBI never really even knew where to start with the case.

Click here to read about the hijacking at DamnInteresting.com
Click here to see the WTTV hijacking in all its glory

Happy Thanksgiving!

To all of my American jimcofer.com readers, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

 Thanksgiving

To all of my readers outside the U.S. – HAPPY THURSDAY!

And lastly, a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my Dad! I love you, Pop! 🙂

Not in the mood to write…

OK, so I’m still not in the mood to write anything. And with Thanksgiving coming up, I’ll be busy with other stuff any way. So… let’s do the news!!!

As you might have heard by now, the Saudi government has sentenced a rape victim to 200 lashes and six months in jail. Let me repeat: a 19 year-old Saudi girl was gang raped… and now she’s getting 200 lashes and six months in jail. Our “friends” the Saudis explain it thusly: the girl was initially sentenced to 90 lashes for “being in the car of an unrelated male at the time of the rape”, which is a crime in the wonderfully enlightened world of Sharia law. But her sentence was extended to 200 lashes and six months in jail after the victim “attempt[ed] to aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media”. Wow! With “friends” like these, who needs enemies?

I’m taking this story with a grain of salt, but, if true, it displays the true sickness of these Islamic nutcases: as you might have hard, former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto returned to her country last month. There have been several attempts on her life since she returned, but the worst was a bomb that killed 170 people. Now reports are coming in that that bomb was strapped to a 1 year-old infant! From The Australian:

Meanwhile, horrifying new details emerged last night of the attempt by suicide bombers to kill Ms Bhutto on her return home from exile last month.

Investigators from Ms Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party said yesterday they believed the bomb, which killed 170 people and left hundreds more wounded, was strapped to a one-year-old child carried by its jihadist father.

They said the suicide bomber tried repeatedly to carry the baby to Ms Bhutto’s vehicle as she drove in a late-night cavalcade through the streets of Karachi.

“At the point where the bombs exploded, Benazir Bhutto herself saw the man with the child and asked him to come closer so that she could hug or kiss the infant,” investigators were reported as saying. “But someone came in between and a guard felt that the man with the child was not behaving normally. So the child was not allowed to come aboard Benazir’s vehicle.”

Ms Bhutto is said to have told investigators she recalls the face of the man who was carrying the infant. She has asked to see recordings made by television news channels to try to identify the man.

Of course, the Pakistan People’s Party has their own axe to grind, so I’m a little bit suspicious of this story. But politicians have been kissing babies for ages, so it’s possible that this did happen. If it did… well, that’s just sick.

Continue reading “Not in the mood to write…”

Thank you, Nordstrom!

I can’t possibly be the only person disgusted with “Christmas Creep” – the overwhelming tendency of retailers to put out their Christmas decorations earlier and earlier each year.  Well, if you’re like me, you need to shop at Nordstrom:

Nordstrom anti-creep

Thank you, Nordstrom!

Outlook Maintenance Guide

Microsoft Outlook has gotten a bad rap over the years. It’s a decent program that, as of now, no one has improved on. But millions of people use it on a daily basis. They use Outlook to store their email, organize their phone book, keep on top of pressing tasks, and store all their appointments. In short, Outlook is the electronic version of a personal organizer, and so people tend to lose their minds when something goes wrong with Outlook.

This guide is all about keeping Outlook running smoothly. It won’t help you when Outlook starts misbehaving – the whole point of this post if to keep that from happening in the first place. So if you’re a big Outlook user, read on and take the following advice to heart:

Get Rid Of Any Add-Ons You No Longer Need: There are thousands of “plug-ins” or “add-ons” for Outlook. There are plug-ins that allow you to synchronize Outlook data with your PDA or mobile phone, plug-ins that allow Outlook to download RSS feeds, plug-ins that find and remove duplicate emails, plugs-ins that let you organize mail in different ways that Outlook’s native paradigm, plug-ins that allow you to encrypt emails, plug-ins that send Event Reminders from your Calendar to an email address… the list is almost endless. Some of these plug-ins might cause security holes. Some of them might be poorly written and cause errors or reduce Outlook’s performance. All of them slow Outlook down and make the program use more RAM. So if you haven’t used a particular plug-in in a long time, get rid of it by uninstalling the plug-in via the Add\Remove Programs applet in Control Panel.

Remove Attachments: One of the handiest things about email is that you can attach files to emails. Likewise, one of the most irritating things about email is that you can attach files to emails. It’s great when someone emails you a desperately needed spreadsheet, but it can be annoying when a friend sends you an email with 20MB worth of vacation photos attached. Save the attachments to a folder and delete the emails to reclaim wasted storage space (and, if you’re using PST files, improve your performance). You can organize the email in your Outlook folders by size by right-clicking the “Arranged By:” bar at the top of each folder and choosing “Size”; by default, Outlook will show the largest emails at the top of the list. If you have several folders, you can right-click the main data store folder and select Properties > Folder Size; the box that pops-up will show the the size of all of your Outlook folders on that store, and you’ll be able to quickly find oversized folders and delete the attchments therein. Lastly, if you want to delete an attachment but save the original email, double-click the email to open it, then right-click on the attachment and select “Remove”.

Continue reading “Outlook Maintenance Guide”

Writer’s Block!!

Yep, I’m still here… and I’ve got a raging case of writer’s block. I have a couple of ideas going back and forth in my mind, though, so hopefully this instance will go away soon. In the meantime, enjoy these sites and stories:

The BBC is reporting that that scientists are on the cusp of reading brainwaves and translating them into speech. It seems that one Eric Ramsay was left paralyzed after an automobile accident eight years ago. Scientists at Boston University have been scanning the part of Eric’s brain that deals with speech, and they feel that they can accurately guess the sounds Eric is thinking of 80% of the time. The next step is to convert those waves into speech. It’s truly an amazing age, folks!

If you’re in IT, you might enjoy the humor at Worse Than Failure. It’s chock full of real life stories of IT disasters. However, a lot of the stories involve stupid programming (complete with code samples), so if you don’t know JavaScript or C++, the humor might be lost on you.

Papa John’s now accepts orders sent via text message! If you already have a papajohns.com account, just enable the SMS ordering option, then select up to 4 “favorite orders”. When you want to order a pizza, just text FAVx (where x s the favorite order number) to 4PAPA. Check out Papa’s SMS FAQ page for more.

Is anyone else put off by the NFL’s campaign to get NFL Network on basic cable networks? I mean, sure… I signed up for their “NFL Action Network” or whatever they call it, mainly because I want the NFL Network on my cable in the worst possible way. At the same time, I almost have to hold my nose while signing up, since the NFL is a monopoly that has an exclusive agreement with Dish Network to deliver the NFL Sunday Ticket. Pot… kettle… black. ESPN columnist Gregg Easterbrook has a great (if lengthy) article about how the Sunday Ticket came to be. Come to find out, it’s even more complex than what I initially thought. The NFL is the last great “television event” there is, and while most TV shows pull in 8-10 million viewers each week, most NFL games get double that. Advertisers pay huge money for the games, since they know that millions of people from every demographic are watching. Local broadcast networks would lose their minds if Sunday Ticket was available on their local cable network, since that’s millions of advertising dollars down the drain. And the last time Sunday Ticket was up for renewal (and could have jumped to cable), the number of cable customers with digital cable was in the single digits. So even if the NFL wanted Sunday Ticket on cable, most cable operators simply didn’t have the bandwidth to support it back then… unlike now. It’s a fascinating read, although as I said, the article does seem to go on and on…

Introducing galileegateway.com!

Around a month ago, I received an email from a lady in Israel named Eva. Eva had her own WordPress blog, but she was having all kinds of problems with it. We emailed each other back and forth, and I was finally able to get her all set up. In the past week or two, she’s really started cranking out the content, and I’ve gotta tell ya: it’s pretty good! So why not give Eva some love and check out her blog at:

galileegateway.com

It’s not just me!

Apparently I’m not the only one that’s sick to freakin’ death of those Chevy commercials with John Mellencamp’s “Our Country”. As this article at Newsweek.com notes, sports fans all across America are sick to death of the commercials, and it’s even tricked up to the columnists at ESPN and other sports sites.

Sadly, though, they aren’t going away any time soon. In fact, Chevy plans to keep running the same nine new spots throughout this NFL season. They seem to be convinced that it’s helping truck sales. John Mellencamp likes them too, as it’s given him time in the spotlight for the first time in years. In fact, the only people that seem to dislike them are us poor viewers.

Thank God for the DVR, no?