The Whore Responds

Here’s the latest:

Much of the Anglican world must be lamenting the latest emission from GAFCON. Anglicanism has always been broader than some find comfortable. This statement does not represent the end of Anglicanism, merely another chapter in a centuries-old struggle for dominance by those who consider themselves the only true believers. Anglicans will continue to worship God in their churches, serve the hungry and needy in their communities, and build missional relationships with others across the globe, despite the desire of a few leaders to narrow the influence of the gospel. We look forward to the opportunities of the Lambeth Conference for constructive conversation, inspired prayer, and relational encounters.

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church

God, I feel dirty just reading that. I guess Ms. Schori doesn’t like being “called out” by half the Anglican communion! Seriously though, whatever you might think of GAFCON, with her latest missive, KJS shows her true colors: condescending and colonial. Oh – and “a few leaders”? 291 bishops is not “a few leaders”.

Once again, 815 blinks at reality!

The “Scunthorpe Problem”

Scunthorpe is a small town in the north of England. Back in 1996, many of the town’s residents were having trouble signing up for AOL’s Internet service. It seems that the company’s profanity filters were rejecting the name of the city since it contains a slang term for female genitalia. Although residents of Penistone, South Yorkshire and Lightwater, Surrey experienced the same problem, the issue has become known as the “Scunthorpe Problem”.

There are two basic ways to filter content on the Internet. One is to have humans do it, and the other is to have machines do it.

The problem with having humans do it is obvious – there are billions of web pages out there, and it would be a Herculean task to have an actual human visit each page and judge the content therein. Plus, web site operators change web hosts, move their content around, and rename pages all the time; every web site – even a tiny site such as this one – would need to be visited on a very regular basis to make sure that any filters were up to date.

On the other hand, machines work 24 hours a day without a salary. Even a modest computer – such as a home PC from five years ago – could filter tens of thousands of pages every day. But the problem is, machines have no sense of nuance. A computer only looks for a string of letters organized in a certain way. It sees web sites like (an educational site about English history) and (a site for an Arkansas-based pest extermination company) and blocks them because of “sex” in their addresses – although those sites have nothing to do with sex!

Continue reading “The “Scunthorpe Problem””

Goodbye, Bill!

As you might know, today is Bill Gates’ last day as a full-time employee of Microsoft. It’s kind of… odd in a way. Although many feared him and many more hated him, Bill Gates was always there. And, in a very real sense, he was Microsoft. It’s almost as if Paul McCartney left the Beatles or something!

Anyway, in honor of Bill’s departure, eWeek magazine has created this list of the 10 Best and 10 Worst Microsoft products over the years. I read the list and agree with a few of their choices and disagree with others… so much so that I made my own list of the 10 best and 10 worst Microsoft products:


1) Windows XP – Sure, Windows XP had a number of security holes and incompatibilities over the years. But it fully completed Microsoft’s vision of a unified desktop operating system, a dream that began with Windows 2000. And, over the years, Windows XP became a stable and reliable platform for PCs.

2) Windows Server 2003 – What Windows XP did for the desktop, Windows Server 2003 did for the server. Compared to any of its predecessors, Server 2003 is secure, stable, and easy as pie to use. In fact, it’s almost… beautiful, man!

3) Office 2007 – Office 97 was one of the most successful office suites ever… so successful, in fact, that it became the standard UI for all office suites since. Except for Office 2007. With this version of Office, Microsoft introduced the “ribbon” toolbar – which is absolutely awesome (once you get the hang of it). Not to be overlooked is the change in document formats, too. While many have complained about the switch from DOC to DOCX, the new format is so small and convenient that it’s simply too good not to use.

4) Exchange Server 2003 – If you ever had to administer Exchange 5.5, you’ll know why Exchange 2003 makes this list. It’s (mostly) secure out of the box, easy to implement and maintain, and it… just works. When Exchange falls down it’s still a huge pain in the ass to fix, but thankfully, Exchange 2003 doesn’t crash anywhere near as often as 5.5 or 2000.

5) Visual Studio .NET – I’m not a programmer, but I’ve heard programmers rave about VS .NET. In fact, I hear that a lot.

Continue reading “Goodbye, Bill!”

VICTORY in Virginia!

A couple of months ago, a Virginia judge ruled in favor of 11 Episcopal parishes that wanted to break away from the Diocese of Virginia. The churches wanted to leave the Episcopal Church and become part of the “Anglican District of Virginia”, a part of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, a mission of the (Anglican) Church of Nigeria. At that time, the judge ruled that Virginia’s “Division Statute” (Virginia Code § 57-9) did apply to those church’s efforts efforts to keep their property.

This morning, the judge issued a further ruling which upheld the constitutionality of the statute. Here’s a (delicious) excerpt from the ruling:

this Court finds their arguments unpersuasive, not least because their arguments are predicated in no small measure on a characterization of this Court’s April 3rd opinion that bears only a passing resemblance to the opinion itself.

Read all about it here.

From the Wayback Machine

Hey – remember that really cool into that HBO used back in the early 80s? The one that flew over the city and eventually ran into the glowing “starburst” HBO logo?

Did you know that the intro video took over three months to film, and was done almost completely with models?

Check out this short “Making Of” documentary from YouTube’ it’s really worth the 10 minutes!

George Carlin: RIP

From Yahoo News:

George Carlin, the dean of counterculture comedians whose biting insights on life and language were immortalized in his “Seven Words You Can Never Say On TV” routine, died of heart failure Sunday. He was 71.

Carlin, who had a history of heart trouble, went into St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica on Sunday afternoon complaining of chest pain and died later that evening, said his publicist, Jeff Abraham. He had performed as recently as last weekend at the Orleans Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas.

“He was a genius and I will miss him dearly,” Jack Burns, who was the other half of a comedy duo with Carlin in the early 1960s, told The Associated Press.

Forcing Firefox Extension Compatibility

As you probably know, Firefox 3.0 was released this week. The good news about the upgarde is that the new version rocks: Firefox 3 has a slew of new features, performance enhancements, and is even less of a memory hog than precious versions! The bad news about the upgrade is that it breaks thousands of extensions (plug-ins that add functionality to Firefox, tweak the interface, and\or overcome some of Firefox’s annoyances).

But just because Firefox 3 says that an particular extension is “not compatible with Firefox 3”, that doesn’t mean it won’t work. In fact, many 2.x extensions will work just fine under Firefox 3 – you just need to turn off Firefox’s compatibility check:

1) Type “about”config” (without the quotes) into Firefox’s address bar. You will then see a screen warning you not to muck about with the settings; click the “I’ll be careful, I promise!” button to continue.

2) Right-click in the list of preferences and choose New > Boolean. In the “Preference Name” box, type the words “extensions.checkCompatibility” (again, without the quotes) and click “OK”. In the “Enter Boolean Value” box, select FALSE.

3) Close all Firefox windows and restart the browser.

You will now be able to install any extension in Firefox 3 (or, if you upgraded from Firefox 2.x, you may activate any previous extensions that were disabled by the 3.0 upgrade).

Again, this doesn’t mean that the extension will actually workDownload Manager Tweak and Clone Window failed horribly on my 3.0 installation, while Save Image In Folder (my all-time favorite extension after AdblockPlus) works just fine.