TechnoMagician's Weblog
(aka Tim Aiello)
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic - Arthur C. Clarke.

Subscribe to "TechnoMagician's Weblog" in Radio UserLand.

Click to see the XML version of this web page.

click Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog. to email tim

If this you can chat with me if i'm online (diamond) is green, click on it to chat with me.

Kosmo Systems Inc, along with Ashley IT are proud to present their spam detection service called SimpleFilter. It is so simple, there is absolutely no software to install and it works with virtually any email client on any operating system. Checkout

Wednesday, April 28, 2004
e-dreams - the story of (not

For those of you who haven't seen e-dreams (the story of, I recommend checking it out. Its been available on VHS for a few months I think and the DVD is being released June 15th. It is also being played on movie channels from what I've heard. I'd link to the official e-dreams website but it doesn't seem to exist anymore. The director's (Wonsuk Chin) website doesn't seem to exist anymore either. I couldn't be bothered with a VHS copy so I'm waiting for my DVD copy. I lost contact with Wonsuk so never did get a copy.

Its a better movie than if you ask me. was released widely but e-dreams couldn't seem to get any traction.

I saw e-dreams at the premier in New York a few years ago along with the founders and some other ex-Kozmo people. I had talked to Joseph Park and some other founders a number of times before that during Kozmo's rise so it was interesting to meet a few of them in person at the party. While talking to Joseph Park a reporter overheard us and wanted to get a scoop from me about the KoSmo thing. You see, it is a little known fact that most people spell KoSmo with an S. During the KoZmo hayday I'm sure my website received more visitors than they did. You wouldn't believe the number of articles that pointed to the website, the number of emails that were mis-addressed (even from employees within the company who apparently didn't know how to spell their own company name), the number of people who just typed into their browsers and the number of searches that ended up at In fact, its almost 3 years after Kozmo shutdown but the folks still looking for just keep coming. Hence the reason the kosmo website is what it is. One of these days I'll have to do something about it and remove the links and such but I know as soon as I'll be swamped with emails asking where the video rentals are.

Interesting, this is the first time I heard about Cosmoz having a similar problem!! I used to track all kozmo related news in the day so not sure how this one slipped through.

11:26:22 AM    

Tuesday, April 27, 2004
A representative will be with you shortly - NOT

Ok, I clicked on the Linksys online support chat link at least an hour ago and continued on doing various other work. It says "A representative will be with you shortly" and has said that since I clicked it. I guess shortly could mean anything but if it doesn't mean within a reasonable amount of time then they shouldn't be displaying this at all. It is misleading and only pisses off the customer. It reminds me of the sign I keep reading at the local Deny's: "In order to serve you better we do not accept Interac/Debit card payments". WHAT? How exactly does this serve me better? I have one less method of payment so it certainly doesn't help me any. Why don't they just tell the truth and say "the banks wouldn't authorize us to collect debit payments" OR "we're not smart enough to setup a debit payment system so its not available to our customers" or "we aren't interested in paying fees to the bank to allow our customers the convinience of using their debit cards" (pick any one). I'll accept any of those vs the BS they have up there now.

Every now and then I confuse the heck out of the staff because I make some crack like "Hey, I guess service is going to be really fast and great today since you aren't accepting debit payments." I think I'll add "maybe you'd serve me the better than ever if you also did not accept credit cards or cash" next time.

Come on people wake up and get a freakin clue.

And any company offering any sort of customer service tools like online chat support should be able to give a more precise estimate of time when a representative will be with you. It isn't easy but we did it as part of our online tutor offering a few years back. And if you can't figure out an important feature like this then you shouldn't be in that business. Perhaps KANA should wakeup since they just bought HIPBONE which provices the service.

Update: I figured I'd leave the customer service chat app spinning its wheels while I was out for a meeting. Four hours later and the customer service chat app is still spinning saying a representative will be with me shortly.

12:41:32 PM    

Anti-Spam Protection Pays Its Way

From Information Week / Security Pipeline:

Companies that put anti-spam defenses in place can cut their spam-associated costs by about 19 percent, according to a study released Monday by research firm IDC.

11:45:40 AM    

Monday, April 26, 2004
BlogLines References
Yet another nice BlogLines feature. I guess its like trackbacks but they show up in the bloglines aggregator view while reading a post.
7:30:35 PM    

Tuesday, April 20, 2004
Price of SPAM higher

Funny that this article came across my daily SPAM news alerts. It threw me for a second.

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Hormel Foods Corp. (NYSE:HRL - news), the maker of Dinty Moore beef stew and Spam luncheon meat, said on Tuesday it will raise prices for those items and other canned goods, in part because of higher beef, pork, and poultry prices.

3:01:50 PM    

There's logic in moving beyond Bayesian filters
Our philosophy at SimpleFilter is to provide as many levels of defense as possible. We factor in a great number of methods to determine the probability that an email is SPAM. As this article suggests, you have to look beyond a single method like Bayes or anything else for that matter. We are actually ahead of what experts suggest we should be doing which is a comforting thing to know.
10:46:15 AM    

Saturday, April 17, 2004
Who needs SPF, Caller ID or Domain Keys

I've been meaning to write this for many months.

I just don't get what all the fuss is about SMTP authentication that keeps coming up week after week after week. I'm talking about Sender Policy Framwork (SPF), Microsofts Caller ID and Yahoo's Domain Keys (I'm sure there are others - update Apr 22 - Reverse Mail Exchange (RMX)).

We've had an RFC (RFC 2554) for SMTP Authentication for 6 years. You mean to tell me that no SMTP vender has implemented this or that no ISP or anyone else responsible for SMTP servers has enabled it? Somebody please fill me in on this. We don't need SPF, Caller ID or Domain Keys.

I can probably implement RFC 2554 for any SMTP server in about an hour with probably no more than 10 lines of Perl. Yes, I know some smart-ass Perl programmer is going to say they can do it in 1 line of Perl!!

What gives??? What are these SMTP vendors doing??? Does sendmail support this???

Somebody turn on the light. I'm in the freakin dark here.

Update (Apr 19): Another useless article on the matter.

Update (Apr 22): Confusing here whether this is from the respected Jon Udell or not. The actually article he points to is by Paul Boutin. But again, 6 experts asked about this and decent answers (from some of them) but still nothing that answers my question above!!!

12:56:05 AM    

Tuesday, April 13, 2004
Network Associates Announces adding Bayesion principles to SpamKiller

This is the second time I've heard something similar this week.

Security firm Network Associates announced Monday that the latest update to SpamKiller, its bulk e-mail blocking product, adds pattern recognition based on Bayesian principles.

You mean to tell me that major anti-spam companies are just now starting to implement Bayesian techniques? We've been doing this for well over a year with SimpleFilter. It is nice to know the competition is playing catchup. We're onto more interesting methods as Bayes is just one of many parts of our anti-spam engine.

2:04:05 PM    

Monday, April 12, 2004
Tony Blair on why we must never abandon this historic struggle in Iraq

Tony Blair's Speech to the house of commons is one of the largest read posts on this blog. Still gets many many hits a year later.

Its time to point to an article by Tony Blair called "Why we must never abandon this historic struggle in Iraq". I'll quote a paragraph here but the whole article is definitely worth the read.

They know it is a historic struggle. They know their victory would do far more than defeat America or Britain. It would defeat civilisation and democracy everywhere. They know it, but do we? The truth is, faced with this struggle, on which our own fate hangs, a significant part of Western opinion is sitting back, if not half-hoping we fail, certainly replete with schadenfreude at the difficulty we find.

I've reproduced the full article here as well.

10:51:29 PM    

Thursday, April 08, 2004
The Adventures of Seinfeld & Superman

Jerry Seinfeld fans will not want to miss this. I can't say much more than this is classic Seinfeld. Checkout the webisodes online at You can also catch the Today Show interview with Jerry and Superman at

None other than Patrick Warburton (Puddy character from Seinfeld) as the Superman voice. The first webisode "The Uniform" is available so far but I'll be keeping a close eye out when the others come out.

Would be great if they turned this into a mini-sitcom!!

3:24:47 PM    

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Finally a reason to try Skype. I've avoided the hype so far as it really didn't provide anything I already don't have with other voice apps. Although it would be nice to walk around with the wireless PDA and use voice. Unfortunately I just determined that Skype requires Pocket PC 2003 but my device (which I also just discovered) only supports up to Pocket PC 2002. Anyone interested in an older iPAQ 3630 drop me a line. I've been meaning to put it up on eBay for a while so this just might be the tipping point.

From John Robb:

A stripped down version of Skype for Windows CE handhelds (needs a PDA with a wireless connection) is now available according to their news blogFAQDownload.  It also supports conference calls (not available for the CE version) for up to 5 callers and call holding for up to 16 calls.  It's free, secure (encrypted), high-fidelity, and P2P.  Finally a reason to own a CE wireless handheld.

12:52:30 PM    

Click here to visit the Radio UserLand website. © Copyright 2004 Tim Aiello.
Last update: 5/22/2004; 3:01:01 PM.
Monthly Archive's
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001

beta blogchatters:
(I'm Tim in this list)

=Online =Offline

If one of the blog chatters is in you'll see a green indicator or an appropriate graphic. Just click on the green icon or the graphic and a custom chat window will pop up. you don't need an account or any special software. works with ie and mozilla on win/mac/linux.

these chats are powered by blogchat

Comments by: YACCS