Cheating: A Social Network to Help You Cheat

The New York Times has an article about a new type of social network that is used to help people fabricate excuses, For Liars and Loafers, Cellphones Offer an Alibi. Complete strangers will pretend to be your boss or your doctor and call girlfriend or your work for you. Before you dismiss this as bizarre, you should know that thousands of people have signed up for this service!

However, before you sign up yourself, think, can you trust people that are looking for people to lie for them?

Minimum Wage Poll: What do you think?

What do you think is the minimum wage that you could live humanely on? Remember that the numbers below are pretax (the ones I gave in other posts were post tax) and that most minimum wage jobs come without benefits like paid time off and health care.

What do you think is a “liveable” minimum wage?
$5.15/hr ($893/month)
$7.00/hr ($1213/month)
$10.00 ($1733/month)
$12.00 ($2080/month)

Free polls from

News topics over time

The following tool lets you see what percentage of the news bandwidth a topic has compared to the rest of the week. For example, you can see that news articles about Bill Clinton have been growing in number all week – probably because of his book that’s about to come out. All items are in alphabetical order. stamen: google news

Online Polling Tools

I was looking for free online polling tools and I found the following, none of them perfect. Let me know if you know of any others.

1. Good: you get to keep and edit your polls, lots of options. Bad: it leaves a huge whitespace in my blog entry.
2. Good: lots of options, best looking. Bad: it changes the background color of my blog, you can’t edit a poll once you’ve created it.
3. Bad: You can’t show the ongoing results to your readers.
4. Bad: You can’t show the ongoing results to your readers.

This was not an exhaustive study or evaluation as I was just looking for a few features such as easy to create, free (or very cheap) and show results in weblog or at least to weblog readers.

Kerry Proposes Raising Minimum Wage

John Kerry is proposing raising the federal minimum wage to $7/hour! While I still think it should be higher, that’s a big step. As the article says, it “would provide a family with enough money to buy 10 months of groceries or pay for eight months of rent.” I figure it would be about $320 extra a month after taxes.

A new type of preventative medicine

If you were a woman and you were told there was a 100% chance that you would develop breast cancer if you didn’t undergo a full mastectomy, would you? How about if there was a 90% chance? Or a 25% chance.

What if there was a 90% chance you would get kidney disease if you didn’t get a kidney transplant? Or a 90% chance that you would be blind if you didn’t get an eye transplant? Or just a 90% chance that you would need glasses?

How far does it go?

In this article, the author debates having both breasts and ovaries removed after getting the results of some genetic testing.

No more waiting for the bus!

In Leicestershire you can find out where a public bus is at all times. No more standing around waiting for the bus, wondering when the next one will come.

“And in Leicestershire mobile phone users can send a text message containing a six-digit code unique to their bus stop to a local bus company.
Within 30 seconds a text message is sent back giving the location of the bus.”

Here’s the article.

P.S. Cell phone users in Europe and Asia use text messaging a LOT. Much more than in the US.

Teleporting becomes reality

Scientists are finally doing the impossible, teleporting, moving an object from point a to point b without actually moving the object, and yet they conclude by saying that teleporting a human is impossible. “I cannot imagine it. As far as I can see, it’s not going to happen.” You’re telling me that people that made the impossible, possible, think that further impossible things are unachievable? Thank goodness for science fiction which will never stop believing the impossible is part of our future. Meet Joe Blog — Jun. 21, 2004

There’s an interesting article about weblogs and how they are changing the way we get news, Meet Joe Blog — Jun. 21, 2004. They also have a short history of blogs and a list of the top five blogs, according to the author.