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Tue, 19 Oct 2004
  /internet  
Ad Blocking Improvements + Flash blocking

Grab my latest userContent.css to pick up the current state of the art in ad blocking. Installation directions here. Also with the directions is some new information on how to block Flash advertisements. Clean up your web surfing the easy way!

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Thu, 14 Oct 2004
  /internet  
Ad Blocking CSS instructions updated to include Thunderbird

Now you can block ads in your email as well. If you are using the Thunderbird email client, simply follow my instructions here to get rid of pesky ads in your email.

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Sat, 09 Oct 2004
  /internet  
Capital Radio: Best Oldies Music on the Net

Looking for a good Oldies internet music station? Capital Radio is way out in front of the rest. You can find them in the 70's/80's section of your iTunes Radio listings, or you can go to their website and click on the listen link.

The station plays 50's through 80's. The best aspect (aside from being commercial free) is that the playlist stresses the songs that aren't played by those other oldies stations. You are much more likely to hear Elvis's Guitar Man than Heartbreak Hotel.

I have no financial interest in Capital Radio, just sharing the love for my favorite station.

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Sun, 04 Jul 2004
  /programming  
Safari css improvements

Safari now correctly runs my goofy dynamic html retro screensaver demo.

Safari version: 1.2.2 (v125.8)

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Tue, 13 Apr 2004
  /politics/usa  
Cutting taxes, non-Republican style

Tax season is here, and I just did mine. Along the way I came across a table of the tax rates for 2002 and 2003, illustrating the Bush tax cut in action:

Single 2002 $0 to $6,000 10% $6,001 to $27,950 15% $27,951 to $67,700 27% $67,701 to $141,250 30% $141,251 to $307,050 35% $307,051 and up 38.6% Single 2003 $0 to $7,000 10% $7,001 to $28,400 15% $28,401 to $68,800 25% $68,801 to $143,500 28% $143,501 to $311,950 33% $311,951 and up 35%
Not only does the cut benefit the wealthy on an absolute dollar amount, but even on a percentage basis! The wealthy get 3.6% off, the middle class 2%, and the poor zippo.

Many pundits have commented that tax cuts must benefit the wealthy disproportionately no matter how you engineer it, but it's easy to put the lie to that. Just raise the standard deduction. The wealthy do not use the standard deduction, because they itemize mortgage interest, investment losses, yada yada yada. Only those at the bottom of the tax food chain are using the standard deduction. Want to cut taxes for them? Raise the standard deduction $10000. As an added benefit, you will reduce tax fraud. The higher the standard deduction, the fewer folks will itemize. Less itemization = less fraud.

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Mon, 15 Mar 2004
  /internet  
Never Metadata He Didn't Like

California Attorney General Bill Lockyer has written a letter meant to put the heat on the P2P providers. Or has he? In the metadata of the email a "stevensonv" is present as an author.

Vans Stevenson is the Senior VP for state legislative affairs for the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). The MPAA denies writing the letter.

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Tue, 02 Mar 2004
  /politics/usa  
Rock the Vote

Like many Californians, I voted today.  I knew something was up when instead of handing me a ballot, I found a smart card in my hand.  Turning around, there they were:  the new voting machines,  little touchscreen terminals with small privacy flaps on the sides.

Going through the touchscreens was clearer than finding the tiny numbered punch holes on the old style ballots.  At the end there was a summary screen showing how I had voted.  I had left some votes blank and it told me, giving me an opportunity to go back.  I was much more certain that I had expressed my intentions correctly then I ever had been with the punch ballot.

But I am far less certain that my vote is being recorded correctly.  In the end all I have is glowing screen.  Before I had a physical token, the punch ballot, that could be reviewed by me before submission, counted and recounted by machine and by hand.  Now I have nothing.  We will never know if my vote was recorded properly.

Let's get the voting process back to the stone age, where it belongs.  We'll put the votes on stone tablets.  Rock the vote.

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Mon, 16 Feb 2004
  /internet  
Amazon Outs Reviewers

Check out these stories (New York Times, Guardian Unlimited) on how Amazon accidentally revealed the real identities of book review authors in the Amazon store.  It's an amusing example of the privacy risks and the spoofing risks of anonymous commentary on the net.

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