Don't worry, the government can tell what printer printed that document.
Machine Identification Code Technology in Color Laser Printers:
It is especially worrisome that the Secret Service was
able to coordinate with private-sector manufacturers on
the development of this technology since at least the early
1990s with no public awareness, much less public discussion,
of the privacy and anonymity risks for users of this technology.
web page regendering.
See for instance
I'd forgotten all about them until I stumbled over that
file on the website here.
Zillions of Sims mods (now I really want to learn how to write
Sims mods) on a funnily-designed website:
More awesome than you
On the EA discussion boards, there's a link under each posting
that says "Rate this post as beneficial".
You're only allowed to rate five posts a day as beneficial, and
doing so is called "giving a bene".
Benes are used for at least two things:
- When you search the postings, you can elect to sort
the results highest-rated first (which is sometimes useful), and
- Everyone registered on the boards has a "BBS Rank", and one
of the things that goes into one's Rank is the number of benes
one's gotten (the number of one's postings that someone's
This system has resulted in at least two effects:
the first one (which I think I would have thought of
immediately) is that some people talk about "bene buddies":
pairs (groups?) of people that just give each other all
their benes every day.
The idea is sneered at by the cognoscenti, of course,
but it's certainly Around as a meme.
I also suspect that it doesn't work at all, at least in
its simplest forms, because it'd be easy to detect and
because the exact relationship between benes and Rank
What is my BBS rank?
Your BBS rank is determined by a super-secret algorithm based
upon your contributions to The Sims 2 community, how other
community members have rated your contributions to the community
and your general Sim-tastic-ness. Feel free to mark posts as beneficial
if you find them to be. You'll see your ranks change as the community
builds and grows!
So most likely multiple benes from the same person are
discounted in figuring Rank.
The other effect I've seen in my participant observation is
one that I don't know if I would have thought of: let's call
it The Wrong Answer Effect.
One of the main ways of getting benes is to answer questions.
Many of the posts on the boards are questions, and in many
cases the asker gives a bene to the first person (or the first
few people) that answer it.
It's natural to give out benes right away (so as not to forget,
not to lose track of who you still need to give one to, etc).
But often answers can't be (or in any case aren't) verified
And there's no way to take back a bene.
For instance I saw a question posted saying "What does the
'Give Death Token' action in such-and-such debug menu do?".
Someone answered very quickly, saying that if your Sim has
a Death Token, then the next time it would normally die,
it actually won't, but will get "another chance".
The asker said, "Thanks, a bene for you" or other words
to that effect.
But that answer was completely wrong; in fact giving a
Sim a Death Token basically kills the Sim, albeit after
a delay (something complicated having to do with loading
a different lot and then returning to the original one,
The "saves your Sim from death" story was apparently a
rumor some time ago when the debug menu in question was
first discovered, but it's now known to be wrong.
I (and other people) jumped in with the correct
But the person who got there first, although completely
and in fact dangerously wrong, still got his bene.
(And since a number of us came in to correct him, only
some fraction of us got one, since the asker had at
most five to start with.)
I've seen the same thing happen with other questions.
Someone asks "when the last Sim on a lot dies, what happens
to all their possessions?".
Someone quickly answers "everything on the lot except
for the house itself and any graves goes away", and gets
But that answer is (at least in the consensus opinion
of the people who answer afterwards) again completely wrong.
That's what happens when you move a family out of a
house (all their possessions are sold so they can use
the money to buy into another house); but when the last
Sim on a lot dies, all the possessions stay there for
the next inhabitants.
Interesting social phenomenon.
File in the folder with Ebay feedback and presidential elections...
But I know that you've really come for the Sims pictures!
So let's see if we can get the bandwidth burden of this page up
over a Meg, shall we?
Since last I wrote Kaylynn Langerak and Benjamin Long
have become very friendly:
In fact she invited him to move in, and he accepted
(they don't do anything interesting or picture-worthy when
that happens; just a friendly hug, and the moved-in
person suddenly appears on the control panel to be
Turns out he's an up-and-coming member of the City Council,
with the Knowledge aspiration (a decent match to Kaylynn's
Family), and he brought thirteen thousand Simoleons to
(With that and a twenty-five thousand bonus from a good
Chance card, they're very well off and thinking about
major housing improvements.)
He and Kaylynn are now happily shacked up:
(He's thinking "that was fun", and she's thinking
"Now I'm doing well".)
The only problem is (was) that, as illustrated in this
picture of their first meeting:
version one of Benjamin was sort of dorky-looking, with
those awful shorts and that Aryan Youth League haircut.
So after coming under my beneficent control he fixed
the hair, and added some manly stubble and shades:
That got him looking decent in his work duds:
Now there's a man anyone'd be proud to bribe!
When next he got home
he went to the shopping place and got some
decent pants to go with his sweater (not shown),
and a slick casual suit; here he is striding
boldly into the bathroom:
("Next week on Celebrity Sim Makeovers...")
A side note: just as Benjamin was getting into the taxi
to go shopping, Eleanor Raptor strode onto the lot,
walked down to the hot tub, changed into her skimpy
bikini, and headed in.
(I'd forgotten to put the fence back after Kaylynn and
Ben's little dip, and apparently Eleanor for some
reason can interact with stuff on the lot even without
being greeted; those Raptors!)
When Ben got back, she was still there (no time passes on
a lot while someone's out shopping).
He called her out (I rebuilt the fence), and they
chatted a bit:
"Yeah, Kaylynn's a really good friend of mine.
Who are you?"
They parted cordially enough, for the time
And just so Benjamin's fashion transformation doesn't get all the
bandwidth tonight, here's Kaylynn in her stunning
Celebrity Chef outfit:
(Since I started writing this entry, Kaylynn has had
Sally over just to get her aspiration meter pumped
(nothing compromising occurred, just lots of tickling
and joke-telling), and then proposed marriage to
Benjamin, who accepted.
I'm hoping she'll finally have some "interact with
Benjamin" wants now that they're engaged,
but it hasn't happened yet.
Numerous pictures of all this, no doubt, to
The wireless access point way over on the other side of the
house there still gives me a decent (28%) signal out here by
the pool watching the boys splashing around.
And I can see one other wifi network, too, and it's
not even encrypted.
But it's only at 4% strength.
So I guess I'll stick with mine.
Now if only I had something interesting to say!
Hey, since I can get to the network, I can get to the drive
where the Sims snapshots are.
Oh, you lucky people!
Let's see, we got a nice picture from the time Georgia
invited Jane over and Jane spontaneously went over and
picked up Hermes and cuddled him (these Family type Sims
like Jane do love kids):
We got some pictures from Jane and Georgia's first woohoo, but
I have to watch myself with those because The Guys are already
teasing me at lunch about trying to lure more readers to my weblog
with hot girl-on-girl action.
Here's a picture from afterward (note cool stop-motion shot of the
dart that Ransom's throwing):
(Georgia says, "Nice shot, Dad!", and Ransom says "Thanks. Say,
wasn't Jane here?", and Georgia says, "Oh yeah, she just
got, um, sleepy so she's taking like a nap, in um you and Mom's bed;
hope that's okay!")
Note the purple camo pants that Georgia's wearing; I recolored
the standard khaki pants that
all the Danverses wear, because
Georgia wanted something that will fit in when she moves in
with Jane, but green khaki is so not her.
the clothes to the Sims 2 Exchange (isn't that exciting?).
We got a picture of baby Hermes growing up (his mom was on the phone
at the time):
(looks like he's descending from Heaven, eh?)
and a picture of toddler Hermes coming down:
Cute as a button, eh?
We got some pictures of Georgia potty-training him and
teaching him to talk; nothing there
you probably want to see. Hafta feel for Georgia, though,
having to put off moving in with the love of her life so she
can bring up her little brother because her parents are too
busy writing novels, enslaving alien planets, giving speeches
to the Junior Sports Club of Central Nebraska, and like that, to want to
pay much attention to the poor little thing.
Speaking of which,
we got a picture of Ransom writing his latest novel, sitting
under a picture (painted by Marisa) of Ransom writing his
And we got a picture of Marisa standing at the bottom of
the stairs, doing the Sims whining-dance and complaining that
she can't go upstairs like I asked her to because as any
fool can see the stairs are blocked by, well, by nothing
(People on the EA BBS say that, yeah, that happens sometimes and
you just have to sell those stairs and replace them with
identical new ones.
That could get pricey!)
Speaking of annoyed whining Sims, Kaylynn got herself the
aspiration reward that's a romantic candle-lit hot tub,
in hopes it would help her find someone to replace
Eleanor in her heart (sob!).
The trouble is that the candles have a limited lifetime,
and random visitors keep trying to go over and get in
unasked, which would waste them.
So she (I) put a fence around it.
Visitors are still attracted by it, but once they get over
there they find they can't get to it, and will spend
hours waving and stomping:
Well duh, John, do you think maybe the reason the fence
is there in the first place is so that you can't randomly get into the
tub without being asked?
And speaking of Kaylynn, here she is as mentioned
the other day making chocolate with the chocolate machine,
in her PJs.
Kaylynn's been visiting the Raptors again (when I play Kaylynn
I encourage her to be strong and hang out with other people
instead, but when I play the Raptors and one or more of them want to invite
Kaylynn over, I don't deny it to them; it would be out of
I won't post any pictures from the actual visits (that
whole girl-on-girl-action issue again), but here are the
Raptors themselves, sitting around the dining table and
discussing the general subject over pancakes, shortly
They miss having Kaylynn around all the time, but
they're coping well in general.
So I've added a few hundred K more Sims pictures to the log
here, haven't I?
My my my my my...
an interesting-looking Sims-related
newspaper (cool design).
In French and everything!
And speaking of interesting, here's
section of flickr.
Bill saw it mentioned on boing boing, and we had a
discussion about whether or not they have to
manually filter out the pictures of nekkid people
after their automatic "identify the pictures that
people are most interested in" algorithm runs (if they don't,
This eventually led me to
the Innuendo Pool,
which is a great name for a thing.
(My mind is really in the gutter tonight, eh?
Not that there's anything wrong with gutters.)
And now it's getting dark and there are mosquitos, and I'm
sure that these little boys need to get out of the
Sorry about all the bandwidth! (heh heh heh)
Happy August Day!
Today's apotd is
artist's conception of UB313.
This artist apparently hasn't bought into the
"fused remains of an alien battlestation" theory.
apotd from the other day is my current desktop background;
it's very nice.
Gotta love pictures of galaxies; they're so big and all.
There must be so much interesting stuff in all that.
Makes one feel comfortingly small and awed and stuff.)
On the Sims question of how Jane and Georgia are going
to have a baby that combines their genes, I realize that
I'm an idiot!
They can just talk to Jane's mom, who is
the famous Mad Scientist Jean Danvers. She
has access to the advanced Simsanto Inc. Biotech Station,
and can certainly figure out how to do the required
(So I have a perfect an in-game explanation for the
cheat that I'm planning to do.)
I'm going to try really hard not to post any Sims pictures
today (not even the one showing Kaylynn making candy on
the Schokolade 890 Chocolate Manufacturing Factory; mm,
Although one reader did very encouragingly write:
I think the Sims2 stuff is great. And it saves me from
having to play it myself.
Nice to be appreciated.
on the extremely spiffy (and funny (and hilariously named, if you're
a big Sims 1 fan))
This Grawl is Fredeschay
weblog, the Sims say things like "by Anne" rather than "by God",
because Anne is one of the real-life humans that controls (oversees)
This gives rise to the obvious question of Sims' religious beliefs.
If a Sim were to believe (or, more accurately, if a Sim were to
be complex enough to meaningfully have beliefs, and were then to
believe) something like "I am a character in a computer game
being played by David Chess", would that belief be true?
Similarly, if a Sim were to believe "I live in the house
at 231 Oxnard Boulevard with Kathy and Trudy", would that
belief be true?
Can they in fact both be true?
See all sorts of interesting philosophical
discussion about fictional truth on the web, like
More generally, is there any truth beyond potential experience?
If X and Y are incompatible (they deny each other, or loosely
"can't both be true at once", or even X is "Y is false"), but
there is no possible experience that would prove one over the
other, does it make any sense to
say that one is true and the other not true?
Is it true that one is true and the other not true?
What if there is no possible experience that would even
count as evidence of one over the other?
I may have written about this before; I think about it every
now and then.
Is there any notion of truth beyond experience?
Do statements about this world here (pointing) have truth
values for Sims?
Do statements about creators that exist in words at
higher ontological levels than this one have truth
values in this world?
Of course all this "truth" stuff is just words anyway...
The latest Directory of Lots of Weblogs at
BlogFlux dot com
an entry for us.
Because I put it there.
(Usually I ignore these weblog directory things, but this one
wrote a very nice note; apparently they bought some of the
brand and intellectual property of the old Eatonweb weblog list.)
I finally finished
It was pretty good, really; it just took awhile.
After a long absence, some poetry has turned up in spam
Re: To send no skeleton
Or need the adage
Re: and share kitchen
Re: But run is gasket rejoin
You probably heard they
found a tenth planet.
Or at least a big chunk of something.
Could be the fused remains of a huge alien battlestation, probably.
I think your site has some really good stuff related to my
site's topic of charms and would be a great resource for
Interesting dust-up at the Black Hat conference:
this dude is about to make a presentation about a perhaps
quite serious security vulnerability, but his company decides
at the last minute to cancel the presentation.
So he resigns on the spot, and
the presentation anyway.
and on all the obvious Google searches.)
I haven't been following this one at all, and have no technical
opinion on how serious the vulnerability actually is, and whether
or not the network will have been entirely destroyed by the
time you read this.
In the inevitable Sims
news, Kaylynn finally finished that portrait of Eleanor
and moved out into a place of her own, after a certain
amount of complication.
I've posted it
a story to the Sims 2 site, so you're
spared those 34 pictures or whatever it is.
(Although it may not be there long; looks like anything older
than two weeks is eligible for pruning, because of the
tens of thousands of stories that people are constantly
Since the rather wistful and uncertain ending of the story as
posted (will Kaylynn always be poor? will she get over her
obsession with Eleanor and find love?), things have gone
Not only did she meet and fall in love with Benjamin Long
(a fellow built-in character with a Nixon-like nose):
she also reached the apex of her profession, and is a
How far she's come, eh?
And if she still has a certain fondness for
artistic depictions of red-headed women
we can put it down to an understandable nostalgia.
Meanwhile, back at the Raptors', Eleanor has some
(On a more prosaic note, this picture was taken while
Eleanor was on enforced bed-rest due to a really bad case
of food poisoning acquired at Kaylynn's place; visitors
are pretty stupid in some ways, and will gladly wolf
down rotting fly-infested food if the hostess carelessly
leaves it around.
Or at least Eleanor will.
She was barfing constantly for like three days.)
Over at the Danvers', Jane proposed to Georgia:
and Georgia accepted:
(It's funny; Jane and Georgia are both adults now,
but somehow they still look very young to me.
I guess because I remember them in their
I'll bet the real-life little kids will be the same
way! "My God, Daddy, when are you going to stop
thinking of me as a little kid?")
And finally, since Jean Danvers' mechanical hand came
up in Kaylynn's story, here's another picture that
Kinda weird and kinky, if you didn't know that this
is an old married couple, and that the hand reverts to
normal when she changes out of her work clothes...
At first I said to myself "sheesh, I can't put
fourteen thirty-kay Sims snapshots into one log
entry, that's ridiculous"; but then I answered myself
saying "hey, it's my weblog, I can do whatever I want".
So here we go. *8)
Today we're doing birthdays in the Danvers' house.
For Joan's into-childhood birthday party, they invited the
headmaster of the private school (couldn't hurt); that's
him right behind Joan, with the noisemaker.
Everyone was very enthusiastic:
Joan grew into a fine child with green pajamas:
And as the last of the guests left, she played Red Hands with
her sister, and acquired a nice shiny Good Party memory:
The next day it was Jane's turn.
As of course everyone recalls from
Jane's teenage steady Georgia Bendett has been
teasing her mercilessly ever since she (Georgia)
Her other teenage crush, Ricky Cormier, is a townie and
therefore doomed to be left behind at least until we get
the expansion that lets them go to college and grow up.
For Jane's adulthood party, she invited both Georgia
and Ricky (symbolically exiting the picture
as Jane makes a wish over the candles):
The next moment, Jane was an adult.
Everyone (including me up here in the real world)
was very impressed:
"Yep," says Jane, "this is just about what I wished for."
And of course this...
(Not the most private place, but she was impatient.)
In the kitchen, John and Joan were surprised that the
teenage crush had carried over so quickly into
Meanwhile, Ricky began behaving rather oddly.
He came into the room carrying Joan's teddy bear,
and held it up to Gina Raptor (who just happened
to drop by; these Romance Sims are always up for
Shortly after, he made a bit of a scene in the
It almost looks like he's accusing her of misbehaving with
John; but surely he knows that the very laws of SimPhysics make
that impossible (since John's an adult and Gina's still a teenager).
He also took a bath in the back bathroom during the party;
I didn't think
houseguests were allowed to do that.
Was he traumatized by seeing his crush grow up?
Anyway, amid all this Jane and Georgia managed to sneak
away for some smooching (in Jane's parents' bed; very
clandestine and thrilling!).
When the party finally ended and everyone left, Jane got
her own Good Party memory (in fact it was officially a Roof
Raiser on the Sims party-grading system):
She went to bed dreaming of Georgia.
Next, engagement, marriage, swarms of little children?
When I told the little daughter that I was posting a log
entry with fourteen snapshots from Danvers' birthday parties,
she said "Does anyone care?".
"No way of knowing, really," I said, "that's the thing
And, I could have added, it's not necessarily the point,
Tomorrow I may try to talk about something else
(although I have some great pictures of Remington the maid
finding Eleanor and Brandi getting entirely too
friendly in the Raptor hot tub...).
The Fiqh Council of North America wishes to reaffirm Islam's
absolute condemnation of terrorism and religious extremism.
Islam strictly condemns religious extremism and the use of violence
against innocent lives. There is no justification in Islam for
extremism or terrorism. Targeting civilians' life and property
through suicide bombings or any other method of attack is haram -
or forbidden - and those who commit these barbaric acts are criminals,
The Qur'an, Islam's revealed text, states: "Whoever kills a person
[unjustly] ... it is as though he has killed all mankind. And
whoever saves a life, it is as though he had saved all mankind."
Prophet Muhammad said there is no excuse for committing unjust acts:
"Do not be people without minds of your own, saying that if others
treat you well you will treat them well, and that if they do wrong
you will do wrong to them. Instead, accustom yourselves to do good
if people do good and not to do wrong (even) if they do evil."
God mandates moderation in faith and in all aspects of life when
He states in the Qur'an: "We made you to be a community of the middle way,
so that (with the example of your lives) you might bear witness to the
truth before all mankind." (Qur'an, 2:143)
In another verse, God explains our duties as human beings when he
says: "Let there arise from among you a band of people who invite to
righteousness, and enjoin good and forbid evil." (Qur'an, 3:104)
Islam teaches us to act in a caring manner to all of God's creation.
The Prophet Muhammad, who is described in the Qur'an as "a mercy to
the worlds" said: "All creation is the family of God, and the person
most beloved by God (is the one) who is kind and caring toward His family."
In the light of the teachings of the Qur'an and Sunnah we clearly and
1. All acts of terrorism targeting civilians are haram (forbidden) in Islam.
2. It is haram for a Muslim to cooperate with any individual or group
that is involved in any act of terrorism or violence.
3. It is the civic and religious duty of Muslims to cooperate with law
enforcement authorities to protect the lives of all civilians.
We issue this fatwa following the guidance of our scripture, the Qur'an,
and the teachings of our Prophet Muhammad - peace be upon him. We urge all
people to resolve all conflicts in just and peaceful manners.
We pray for the defeat of extremism and terrorism. We pray for the
safety and security of our country, the United States, and its people.
We pray for the safety and security of all inhabitants of our planet.
We pray that interfaith harmony and cooperation prevail both in the
United States and all around the globe.
-- Fiqh Council of North America