Archive for September, 2008

Beware the Craigslist 2

We’re just about to move to a new house that we’re in the process of buying. Obviously, we’re leaving the house we’re renting, and our landlord has relisted it.

This past Thursday, she left a voice-mail saying that she’d had someone lined up to come preview the house that day (off topic: this was the first we’d heard about it, and the house was a mess; thanks!) but they’d cancelled (the good news).

On Friday I was home watching the kids while Mindy was off galavanting, when the doorbell rang. I answered the door to find two nice looking guys who said they’d been in contact with our landlord (and had her name right) and she’d said they could stop by and take a look at the house. I was slightly frustrated, but given the message I’d received on Thursday (both the fact that we’d never confirmed that we were available for the house to be seen, and the fact that she was showing it), I didn’t think much of it. I let them see the downstairs of the house since the kids were napping.

As they were leaving, they casually mentioned three things that made me extremely suspicious:

  1. They’d only been in contact with the landlord via email, from an ad on Craigslist
  2. They didn’t know that we’d extended our lease by one month
  3. They were under the impression that the landlord was in Africa

Today the landlord called. Not from Africa. And she didn’t have an ad on Craigslist. Oh, and she never told anyone they could come over. It took me about 5 seconds to find the listing on Craiglist, complete with an incorrect email address. No address, so they must have found it from the pictures.

We’ve all heard Craigslist horror stories before, but this is close to home: someone’s running a scam for the house I’m currently living in.

Beware the Craigslist!

Hack a camera 0

Seems that someone has made the Canon 40D to record movies. From the forum postings, it sounds like they’ve modified the CHDK firmware (which runs on a bunch of Canon cameras) to dump the live-view buffer on the 40D to the CF card. Unfortunately, that means that it’s probably not HD (the D90 does 720p; the 5D II 1080p), but interesting nonetheless.

Anyways, I’m still waiting for Olympus to release their Micro Four-Thirds body (that is, more than a few images of a prototype) before sending money anywhere.

Confused 2

For the past few months, I’ve had the webcam at the Red Rocks Visitor Center as my desktop background with a script that automatically updated it every 5 minutes. It basically gave me a window into Red Rocks on my desk. Every now and then, I’d hit the little ‘Show Desktop’ button and just stare into the beautiful mountains and clouds and wish I was far away from my desk, and definitely not working.

A few days ago, however, the camera was moved — whether it was intentional or just bumped I’ll never know — and now focuses more on the new visitor’s center that’s being constructed than the lovely landscape behind it. Consequently, it lost much of its desktop appeal. So I switched back the desktop I’d had before: a panorama I’d taken in Calico Basin (just outside Red Rocks proper).

Just now, I caught a quick glimpse of my background, my window into Red Rocks.


For a second I briefly considered standing up and leaving work that instant. And then I remembered. 🙁

Micro Four-Thirds 4

Panasonic has announced the first Micro Four-Thirds camera. Unfortunately, it’s not exactly what I was hoping for (I want a point & shoot that’s more SLR, not an SLR that’s more point & shoot), but there’s still Olympus. As promised, it’s compatible with existing Normal Four-Thirds lenses, even the big ones. (Autofocus, however, only works with specific lenses.)

Context, and why it’s important 3

Today just about every news outlet I can see is carrying a story on Sarah Palin announcing that the Iraq war is, “a task that is from God”. Everyone’s referencing the same quote — but unfortunately, they’re all misquoting it.

So here’s the full quote:

Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending them out on a task that is from God. That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God’s plan.

Now watch this YouTube clip. Wait… Starting at ‘our national leaders’ is definitely an omission of important context.

Anyone who’s remotely skilled in conversation could condense this down to: “Pray … that our leaders … are sending [our military men and women] out on a task that is from God.” There’s a huge difference between claiming that a task is from God, and asking people to pray that it is.

I’m still not sure on my opinion of Palin, McCain, or even Obama for that matter, so hearing the truth about the candidates is important to me — can’t we at least avoid putting words into their mouths?