MacBook CoreDuo First Thoughts

Thursday, November 9th, 2006

The new CoreDuo MacBooks from Apple look cool. I’ll probably get one whenever my current 2002-era TiBook dies, though hopefully that won’t be soon. There are a couple of things I wonder about though.

Met Museum Sells Personal Info

Tuesday, November 7th, 2006

I just found out something interesting when I called to unsubscribe from yet another catalog I hadn’t requested. The operator from White Flower Farms asked me if I wanted to know who they’d gotten my name from. The answer was the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I bought my wife’s Christmas present from their store last year. I won’t do that again.

Banded Geese Continue

Friday, November 3rd, 2006

I spent a couple of hours in Prospect Park early this afternoon on a really nice, chilly Fall day. The lawns and leaf litter were practically covered in sparrows, and many other species were evident too. Overall I saw 36 total species including the first Hooded Mergansers of the season (about 10 on the lake). There are now over 120 Northern Shovelers on the lake, with more arriving on every north wind. I also managed to relocate all four banded geese I first spotted on Monday. They may stick around through the winter as well.

Block Third Party Cookies in Firefox 2

Friday, November 3rd, 2006

In Firefox 1.5, there was a simple preference to tell Firefox to accept cookies for the main site but not for web bugs and advertisers on the site. This was a nice compromise that blocked a lot of privacy-invasive uses of cookies while still allowing most poorly-implemented, cookie-based sites to function. That’s why I was quite surprised when I happened to look at my cookies in Firefox 2 and noticed lots of cookies from sites like and

Tools -> Options -> Privacy -> Cookies -> “Allow sites to accept cookies” and “for the originating site only”

No big deal. The preference must have been nuked when I upgraded, so I opened up the privacy tab and looked for the right option. It wasn’t there! Maybe in security? Nope. Not there either, nor anywhere else I could find. It seems Firefox has given in to the howling of incompetent developers who never understood HTTP in the first place and were annoyed that their sites broke when users turned off third party cookies. Consequently they eliminated the preference. Don’t worry, however. There is a workaround.

DNS Issues

Wednesday, November 1st, 2006

The name servers from EasyDNS seem to be having problems, and as a result lookups into the domain are timing out or failing completely. Usually trying again in a minute seems to cure the problem. I’m not sure what’s going on. I’ll open a trouble ticket.

Update: EasyDNS tells me they were the target of a denial of service attack today. Should be fine now.