Identity Theft Protection by opting out

November 14, 2005

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Aside from snuffing out a huge portion of you junk mail another benefit of opting out via optoutprescreen.com is that it reduces the chance of identify theft from someone filling out your info to apply for credit. I went to Home Depot this weekend and applied for a credit card. The idea was to use their store credit card to purchase some hardwood flooring since I would get 10% off and no payments or interest till 2007. By which time I should have easily sold my house which means I would have gotten a 0% loan for an improvement. Anyways, after filling out the little pamphlet to apply for the card the lady came back out and asked for my drivers license. Generally they don't require any idea just a name that matches a S.S.N. Because of the opt out, she had to call the credit reporting agency and verify she was looking at my drivers license and read the number over to them. The Home Depot lady said that's the first time that had ever happened to her and that she never had to ask for an I.D. for someone before. Very, very scary. So, if you haven't opted out yet. Do it now, and spread the word.


Computer upgrades that hurt

November 10, 2005

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At work we just did a round of computer upgrades. My machine didn't like it and took two days of work to get back to the point where I could get it to start. Oh yeah, a bunch of stuff still isn't working right.


Some Miles Davis

November 10, 2005

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If you don't own a copy of Miles Davis' Bitches Brew, go pick one up.


How to stop credit card offers

November 09, 2005

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After I got my house the number of credit card, refinance, home equity line of credit, etc… went up to between 20-30 a week. After doing some checking I discovered how to basically put an end to this. Go to: http://www.optoutprescreen.com/ and walk through the "Opt-out" process. Basically, all those companies that send you offers have pulled your credit report along with a batch of other folks to screen for people they want to extend offers to. When you opt-out, it prevents companies from doing this without your permission. The net effect is that within a couple months the majority of that type of junk mail will end. Better for the environment and a time saver for you. Another benefit is it reduces the risk of identy theft by someone stealing your mail. I did this a while ago and it's been oh-so-nice.


Photos from the air show

November 08, 2005

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I just posted the images from last weekends air show which was very fun to shoot. Next year I'll bring a monopod though to make tracking with the 300 a little easier. Nuge is trying to switch his shooting eye which brought up some conversation about keeping both eyes open when shooting. Generally I don't, but for the parts of an air show where jets are closing on each other at ~900 MPH you kinda have to. Even if my camera had a fast motor drive you only get one shot at these. By the time a second shot would go off the planes would be well outside each end of the frame. image


Added WordPress Spell Check

November 08, 2005

Note: This post was migrated from my old blog software. It hasn't been cleaned up yet (and might not ever be). Don't be surprised if the formatting, links, images, etc... are messed up.

I'm trying out the Spelling Checker plug-in for WordPress from coldforged.org. It seems to work nicely and I like the interface. According to the author of the plug-in, it piggy backs off of the open source package Speller Pages for the core functionality. Open Source is sooooo very cool. This is a great example of it literally building on itself and becoming greater than the sum of its parts. One note, the default install of the plug-in didn't work for me with out changing the "Aspell language" from "en_US" to "en". Before I made that change I got and error that listed the aspell command it was trying to run followed by the string "Error: X?w". Once I made changed the language option it kicked up just fine. By default, the plug-in only adds a spell check button to the place where you create new entries. Directions are included on the main scripts page for how to added the spell check button to the comments area as well. I've done this as well since I'm bad at spelling and want to not make a fool out of myself when adding comments.


FileZilla - Windows FTP Software

November 07, 2005

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If you need an FTP client try FileZilla. It's open source so it's free. There is also a FileZilla server if you need to setup an FTP server on your machine. I've done this before to make it easier to share files across a network between linux, mac and windows machines. Worked like a charm.


Can't Fix Cell Without a Landline

November 07, 2005

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I haven't had a land line phone for a few years now. Just my cell. The only people who ever called my landline were telemarketers and I didn't like the idea of paying from them to be able to leave messages. Recently, the signal I get in my house has been horrible. I have to stand in the one place in the middle of my living room most of the time. So, I called Cingular to see if they could figure out what is up and they say that I have to call them back on a land line in order to be able to trouble shoot. That's just poor. The marketers would like you to believe that their phone is the answer to all your problems. Turns out that isn't the case when there actually is a problem. Sad.


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