Brian J. Noggle explains the physics behind getting “free” stuff (well, it’s not free—usually, someone else paid for it and got screwed over) from vending machines, an art mastered by many a college student over the years.
My advice: although “tipping” the vending machine may not vend free product (as the labels say), it usually manages to dislodge any loosely-hanging items that failed to vend properly. Just don’t do it when anyone else is around.
Laura of Apartment 11D is understandably quite annoyed at the public response that at least one (presumably prominent, although I haven’t seen the post in question) blogger gave to her survey.
I generally agree that, ethically, a good blogger will provide readers with an opportunity to have opposing views heard, at least in the form of trackbacks. It is disappointing that many “big boys” of the Blogosphere like Glenn Reynolds, Josh Marshall, the Volokh Conspiracy, and Andrew Sullivan don’t use “real” Trackbacks—Volokh relies on Technorati, which isn’t a proper pingback/trackback service, while Reynolds, Marshall, and Sullivan don’t even go that far; Sullivan accepts “reader mail,” but much of it is buried and all is stripped of any way to tell how authoritative the response is.
Laura cites Usenet as a more “democratic” medium; it is, in the sense that it does facilitate conversation more readily, but there are significant drawbacks to it—most notably, no inherent ability to enforce strong identities of participants in the discussion, which leads to the sort of trollish behavior that one finds at the comment sections of some prominent weblogs (or inmate-run asylums like Slashdot and K5), not to mention issues of spam, off-topic discussion, gratuitous vulgarity, and other vices large and small. The “decline of Usenet,” mind you, has been a staple of Internet discussion since at least 1992, when I was first exposed to it, so it has proven to be more resiliant than one might have thought.
In an attempt to curb underage drinking, Missouri has passed a new law which goes into effect Thursday, requiring beer kegs to be registered to their buyers.
The law requires retailers to attach a tag that will allow the keg to be traced back to the buyer. The store must keep records for three months with the buyer's name, address and birth date.
The idea is that if someone bought a keg and supplied it to teenagers, and the party was broken up, law enforcement could identify who provided the alcohol and pursue charges.
They'll take my beer when they pry it from my cold dead hands!
The election came and went, and, while the Liberals did beat the Conservatives in the realm of seat counts, neither side (apparently, pending recounts) won enough to form even a coalition government with a natural partner (a Liberal–Bloc Quebecois coalition would work in terms of seat count, but not in terms of ideology). Collin May suspects the real winner in all this is Alberta premier Ralph Klein, while Albertan Colby Cosh does his postmortem duties. In any event, virtually nobody expects this parliament to last very long.
Apparently the use of cell phones, like everything else it seems (except khat), leads to reduced sperm counts in men.
Meanwhile, I can’t tell if Amber Taylor is upset that these inanimate objects are sexist in their effects or just interested in obtaining an inexpensive form of contraception.
According to this story in the New Zealand Herald, the terrorist menace may have a new weapon: booby-trapped beer coolers!
Security officials have warned of a possible new weapon in the terrorist arsenal - booby-trapped beer coolers.
Law-enforcement officials in the United States have been warned to be alert for the enticing bombs.
The warning was sent to 18,000 law-enforcement groups by the FBI last week, Time magazine reported.
Is nothing sacred to those barbarians?