nuke your sponges

you have nothing to lose but your germs!

‘Waving’ Goodbye to a Kitchen Hazard

bq. A team of University of Florida Engineering researchers have come to the conclusion that microwaving plastic scrubbers and kitchen sponges on full power can destroy practically 100% of the bacteria and viruses, parasites or spores collected on them.

(via “diane duane”:

posted at 10:57 am on Wednesday, January 24, 2007 in Links, Science and Technology | Comments (1)
  1. Nita says:

    I remember that from when I was working full time in food industry as something well known. I also remember seeing something on one of the Food Network shows about 2 years ago about how to properly disinfect kitchen sponges/scrubbers, that basically said “Nuke the heck out of them.”

    I wonder when the original study did come out.

car seats again – Infant car seats 2/07: Safety alert, European models, Ratings

bq. You’d think that in a car crash, infants in their cozy car seats would be the most protected passengers of all. But you’d be wrong, our tests reveal.

bq. Cars and car seats can’t be sold unless they can withstand a 30-mph frontal crash. But most cars are also tested in a 35-mph frontal crash and in a 38-mph side crash. Car seats aren’t.

bq. When we crash-tested infant car seats at the higher speeds vehicles routinely withstand, most failed disastrously. The car seats twisted violently or flew off their bases, in one case hurling a test dummy 30 feet across the lab.

I’ve been trying to write a rant on the topic, but can’t seem to get it organized. The fundamental issue for me is that:

– government officials don’t want to scare consumers, so publicly refuse to admit there are any problems.
– manufacturers slip through the cracks, doing the minimum possible to develop and sell products.
– both parties seem more interested in the appearance of safety than in actual risk analysis.

I do not believe that consumers are served by this process, but I’m at a loss to suggest alternatives…

Update 2007/01/21: The whole point is apparently moot:


bq. We withdrew the report immediately upon discovering a substantive issue that may have affected the original test results. The issue came to light based on new information received Tuesday night and Wednesday morning from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) concerning the speed at which our side-impact tests were conducted.

posted at 9:54 am on Friday, January 12, 2007 in Current Events, Links | Comments (1)
  1. Nita says:

    At least part of the problem is that the vast majority of consumers don’t want to have those facts. They want to believe that they’re safe. Hence, the vast overuse of antibiotics and antibiotic soaps, as opposed to working on developing healthy immune systems. *shrug* Government officials give what they’re demanded of in the populous. If people want the illusion of safety, why wouldn’t they give them that? Until there’s enough groundswell to do something different, there’s no incentive *to the government* to change the way they behave.

market share isn’t a very good goal

The New Yorker : talk : content

bq. a study of the performance of twenty major American companies over four decades found that the ones putting more emphasis on market share than on profit ended up with lower returns on investment; of the six companies that defined their goal exclusively as market share, four eventually went out of business.

I’ve believed this for decades. It is perfectly reasonable to be a successful “niche” player in a larger market, eg. Apple Computer.

I work for the sixth largest software company in the world. We used to be the seventh largest, after Electronic Arts. I’m not entirely sure why we think this measure is so important; I’d rather we measured our success, not our size…

posted at 11:14 pm on Wednesday, January 03, 2007 in Links | Comments Off on market share isn’t a very good goal

real-world passwords

An analysis of a large collection of passwords gathered in a Myspace phishing attack reveals that passwords are getting better, although:

bq. We used to quip that “password” is the most common password. Now it’s “password1.” Who said users haven’t learned anything about security?

Schneier on Security: Real-World Passwords

posted at 1:20 pm on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 in Links, Security | Comments (1)
  1. Nita says:

    I have this theory that I should let LB put a bunch of his magnets on the fridge, take a photo of hi standing in front of it, then use it as my password generator and desktop background.

map of the internet

The map itself is cool, but so is the method used to create it; check it out!

xkcd – map of the internet

posted at 9:32 am on Wednesday, December 13, 2006 in Links, Science and Technology | Comments Off on map of the internet

caffeinated Viagra beer

(boy, that title is going to make the spammers love me!)

Best Mashup Ever: Caffeinated Viagra Beer (by Jeremy Zawodny)

posted at 9:31 am on Wednesday, December 13, 2006 in Humour, Links | Comments Off on caffeinated Viagra beer

the new sneakernet

Schneier on Security: Tracking People by their Sneakers

Researchers at the University of Washington have demonstrated a surveillance system that automatically tracks people through the Nike iPod Sport Kit.

posted at 9:26 am on Wednesday, December 13, 2006 in Links, Security | Comments Off on the new sneakernet

Smashing The Clock

Smashing The Clock

Best Buy experiments with the new “results oriented work environment”.

posted at 9:25 am on Wednesday, December 13, 2006 in Links | Comments Off on Smashing The Clock

thing 2 from wil

Absinthetics – Employee Of The Month

bq. They call it protecting their investment; I call it a presumption of criminal intent masquerading as due diligence, and, no, I don’t particularly care for the implication.

posted at 9:12 pm on Sunday, December 03, 2006 in Links | Comments Off on thing 2 from wil

thing one from Wil

from WWdN: In Exile: Seriously. What would Jesus do?

bq. if I were a Christian, I would be profoundly upset that this huge organization, with such a loud voice at the table and such a significant presence in public life, is declaring that stopping gay marriage and telling women whether or not they can make a deeply personal decision are more important issues — and more specifically more important Christian issues — than helping the people among us who have the least and need the most

posted at 9:10 pm on Sunday, December 03, 2006 in Links, Politics | Comments (1)
  1. David Brake says:

    Hey, at least the USA Today article about the Christian Coalition refers to it as ‘once-powerful’!

Mr. McGroovy’s

I was talking on Thursday night about how the Internet is enabling “The Long Tail”: Disintermediation is allowing small, specialized producers to deal directly with their far-flung customers.

Today I tripped over a perfect example: Mr. McGroovy’s sells “box rivets”. These are small plastic fasteners designed to hold cardboard together in building projects. You know, fire trucks, castles, submarines, etc. for kids to play in :-).

Now this is a specialty market! But his website doesn’t just have the product; he has free plans, and details on how to easily get large cardboard boxes (and how to load them into your car!). Very well done, and an excellent example.

posted at 10:31 am on Sunday, November 05, 2006 in Links, Odd | Comments Off on Mr. McGroovy’s

earth observatory – United States Population Density

EO Newsroom: New Images – United States Population Density

This image also has Canadian population density information on it. It’s a very cool looking visualization; check it out.

posted at 12:05 pm on Friday, October 27, 2006 in Links, Science and Technology | Comments (1)
  1. Irving Reid says:

    Harrumph. I clicked on the “Subscribe to Earth Observatory” link, and was offered something other than an RSS feed. I guess I’ll just have to rely on Harald to blog the good bits.

sushi puns

I saw them, I had to share. With everyone! Mu ha ha!

“Irregular Webcomic 1356”:

posted at 9:54 am on Saturday, October 14, 2006 in Humour, Links | Comments (1)
  1. Ha, very cute. :-)

Rands In Repose: Trickle Theory

Rands In Repose: Trickle Theory

bq. My advice is: START.
“But Rands… I’ve got three hundred tests to run and one day to…”
Stop. Go run one test. Now.
“Wait, wait, wait. Rands. Listen. They need this spec tomorrow @ 9am….”
Shush. Quiet. Go write. Just a paragraph. Now.
Welcome to Trickle Theory.

I first encountered this in the context of ripping CDs. A friend had a huge CD collection that he wanted as MP3s. He’d take 6-7 discs to work every day and rip them on his laptop while working on his desktop. The whole process took three months, but it got done, a Trickle at a time.

I’m currently working through creating a patch description in our patch tracking database. There are over a 100 defects, and each one takes about 5 minutes to process through the system. So I do 5 or 10 a day. As of today, I have 20 left.

Go read up on Trickle Theory. It works.

posted at 11:32 am on Friday, September 29, 2006 in Links, Personal | Comments (3)
  1. wjr says:

    Hm, would that be me you’re referring to?

    Yep, it works. It can make some tasks take a long time – but they will get done. As long as the pipe isn’t filling from the other end faster than you’re draining it… my music buying slowed down a lot.

  2. chk says:

    um yes; that was you ripping CDs :)

  3. This is a great article. Thanks for posting that link. I’ve also added this blog to my feed. :-)

construction metaphors

“UNIX – The Hole Hawg”: – I’ve been a UNIX person since I started university, what, 22 years ago now?

posted at 8:42 pm on Monday, September 11, 2006 in Links, Programming | Comments Off on construction metaphors

Made in Eureka

My “new favourite show”: has a products page!

Made in Eureka

I want a laptop transporter :-)

posted at 6:09 pm on Friday, August 25, 2006 in Humour, Links, TV | Comments Off on Made in Eureka

Cape Breton joins space race – Cape Breton joins space race

They’re building a private launch facility in Cape Breton, launches planned by 2009 or 2010.

I wonder if they need any network security people? :-)

posted at 9:53 pm on Wednesday, August 16, 2006 in Current Events, Links, Personal | Comments Off on Cape Breton joins space race

Wait, Aren’t You Scared?

Kung Fu Monkey- “Wait, Aren’t You Scared?”

bq. Errr, no. And if you are, you frankly should be a little goddam embarrassed.

bq. marvel as cool, well-trained, ruthless law-enforcement professionals — who spent decades honing their craft chasing my IRA cousins — execute their job magnificently.

posted at 8:11 pm on Sunday, August 13, 2006 in Current Events, Links | Comments (1)
  1. Greg Wilson says:

    “…I’m sending angry Welshmen to burn your country from the Rhine to the Polish border.” OK, *now* I’m scared ;-)

Schneier on Security- Last Week’s Terrorism Arrests

Schneier on Security- Last Week’s Terrorism Arrests

bq. None of the airplane security measures implemented because of 9/11 — no-fly lists, secondary screening, prohibitions against pocket knives and corkscrews — had anything to do with last week’s arrests. And they wouldn’t have prevented the planned attacks, had the terrorists not been arrested. A national ID card wouldn’t have made a difference, either.

bq. Instead, the arrests are a victory for old-fashioned intelligence and investigation.

Schneier can be a bit heavy-handed with his analyses, but I don’t think he’s wrong…

posted at 9:26 am on Sunday, August 13, 2006 in Current Events, Links | Comments Off on Schneier on Security- Last Week’s Terrorism Arrests

the $2-million comma – The $2-million comma

bq. This agreement shall be effective from the date it is made and shall continue in force for a period of five (5) years from the date it is made, and thereafter for successive five (5) year terms, unless and until terminated by one year prior notice in writing by either party.

From a contract between Rogers Communications Inc. and Aliant Inc. for the placement of cable lines in Eastern Canada. Aliant cancelled the initial 5 year term in 2005 after only 3 years. The cancellation will force Rogers to pay an extra $2.13 million to use utility poles. The placement of the second comma in the sentence above permitted the contract’s cancellation, to the surprise of Rogers.

(via the “Quotation of the Day”: mailing list)

posted at 7:44 am on Sunday, August 13, 2006 in Current Events, Links, Personal | Comments Off on the $2-million comma
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