Leasing a Camry

Tonight my wife leased a Camry from Atkinson Toyota for 36 months and 12,000 miles. This is her first lease and first new car. She was able to get the payments down to her terms and everything seemed to work out. Yay! The lease is up in March 2014 and with a residual of $13,700.

More time off the clock

Now it seems with every major earthquake, (in theory) our days are getting shorter.

Richard Gross, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, calculations indicate that by changing the distribution of Earth’s mass, the Japanese earthquake should have caused Earth to rotate a bit faster, shortening the length of the day by about 1.8 microseconds. “Earthquakes change the Earth

I wonder what the effects of a faster-spinning planet are to people? Will we get stronger, taller? Will the weather get more violent because of magnetic pole changes?

Japan Crisis Continues

Daiichi Nuclear Plant

The No.3 nuclear reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant at Minamisoma is seen burning after a blast following an earthquake and tsunami in this handout satellite image taken March 14, 2011.

Japanese engineers worked through the night to lay a 1.5 km (one mile) electricity cable to a crippled nuclear power plant in the hope of restarting pumps desperately needed to pour cold water on overheating fuel rods and avert a catastrophe. (Reuters)

Several sources have said that there was radioactive material released into the atmosphere, but they differ on just how much. They also differ on the severity of the disaster. Some say best case like Three Mile Island, worst case Chernobyl. Tokyo is less than 200 miles south of the plant and they afraid of radiation – levels spiked to 10 times normal a few days after the earthquake.

[6:28 a.m. ET Thursday, 7:28 p.m. Thursday in Tokyo] Japan’s National Police Agency reported at 6 p.m. Thursday (5 a.m. ET) that 5,457 people are confirmed dead; 9,508 have been reported missing; and 2,409 were injured following last week’s 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami. (CNN)

A week after the earthquake and they are still fighting fires, trying to prevent total core meltdown to at least 3 of the 6 reactors at Daiichi, and trying to limit radiation release/exposure. The whole world has rushed to Japan’s aid.

Twitter by the #numbers

@jack sent the first tweet

#numbers Monday, March 14, 2011
Five years ago this week, a small team of people started working on a prototype of the service that we now know as Twitter. On March 21, 2006, Jack Dorsey (@jack) sent the first Tweet. via Twitter Blog: #numbers.

  • 3 years, 2 months and 1 day. The time it took from the first Tweet to the billionth Tweet.
  • 1 week. The time it now takes for users to send a billion Tweets.
  • 50 million. The average number of Tweets people sent per day, one year ago.
  • 140 million. The average number of Tweets people sent per day, in the last month.
  • 177 million. Tweets sent on March 11, 2011.
  • 456. Tweets per second (TPS) when Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009 (a record at that time).
  • 6,939. Current TPS record, set 4 seconds after midnight in Japan on New Year’s Day.
  • 572,000. Number of new accounts created on March 12, 2011.
  • 460,000. Average number of new accounts per day over the last month.
  • 182%. Increase in number of mobile users over the past year.
  • 8. 29. 130. 350. 400. Number of Twitter employees in Jan 2008, Jan 2009, Jan 2010, Jan 2011 and today.

Hundreds dead in 8.9 earthquake and tsunami in Japan

An 8.9-magnitude earthquake hit northern Japan today, triggering tsunamis that sent a wave filled with boats and houses toward land. Hawaii and the U.S. West Coast are under a tsunami warning. via This Just In – CNN.com Blogs.

My Cardinals 2011 Schedule

I put the St. Louis Cardinals 2011 Schedule on my mobile site complete with links to the Cardinals MLB mobile site and the DIRECTV mobile site.

I had to cheat a little because MLB.com doesn’t provide XML or RSS so I imported a CSV into Excel and exported to HTML. (Excel’s XML sucks and it’s one more complication to deal with.)

I hope this is a better season for the Cards.

Twitter Links:

@stlcardinals

@mlb

 

OpenDNS Denies Gravatars, WordPress Blogs Full of Broken Images [UPDATED]

(This incident occurred on March 3, 2011. OpenDNS released its block of Gravatar within a week.)

This is huge: OpenDNS is denying access to gravatar.com. When I saw that avatars on my blog were broken I tried to look at the image on gravatar.com and got the following message page:

This site was blocked by OpenDNS in response to either the Conficker virus, the Microsoft IE zero-day vulnerability, or some equally serious vulnerability.

If you think this shouldn’t be blocked, please email us at contact@opendns.com.

This is huge because WordPress has avatars built in to the code. They link to images from gravatar.com. So every blog that uses avatar just got a lot of broken images. According to WordPress they have encouraged the use of Gravatars since WordPress 2.5:

WordPress 2.5 marries theme authors and casual WordPress users together with support for Gravatars in the WordPress Administration Panels. Theme authors have an option to include Gravatars in their designs, and are recommended to do so. WordPress users can easily control their Gravatar usage in the Settings > Discussion Administration Panel. via Using Gravatars « WordPress Codex.

My personal experience with OpenDNS is not a good one. They’ve basically hijacked my “broken” Google search results at home. Let me explain. I have suddenlink internet service (no trolls please). I used to have Google as my default search-in-the-url-box search engine. Back then – about three years ago – if I typed in a URL that didn’t exist, Google would return search results for what I typed. NOW, OpenDNS takes over the search from Google and displays their results which are not the same as Google. It’s basically hijacking and extortion. OpenDNS is paid or sells links to paying customers to display their results were Google gets paid to display a few results at the top but everything else (free) is displayed below.

I did a check of forums, and OpenDNS doesn’t have a clear cut or openly viewable documentation on it’s practices. It appears as though they deny domains at random on a daily basis. In that way – read the above message – it appears they are extorting domain owners to contact them (and possibly pay) to get removed from their blacklist. If that’s the case, that’s bad. How could one company hold that much control of the Internet?

UPDATE:

OpenDNS Twitter reply

After I wrote this and posted a couple tweets I guess I got noticed. I got a comment on this blog and OpenDNS responded with a tweet.

Thanks. I guess all of us can turn on avatars in WordPress again.