More Junkmail from Bob!

Friday, July 06, 2001
Important Stuff.

For the web version go to
It's prettier.

If you've never seen Junkmail before, don't worry. I'm not picking on you personally. Today I scanned my inbox, grabbed all the stray email addresses, and added them to the Junklist. If you have no clue who I am, that's no problem because I may not know who you are either. Maybe I got an internet joke from someone who got it from someone who got it from someone who got it from someone who sent it to you also. Or any of about 8,352 other possibilities. If you have enough sense not to want any more Junkmails just let me know, or follow the detailed directions at the bottom of this fine piece of pseudo-literature.

Mars Attacks

Mars is close to the earth. A few days ago Mars was a mere 43,000,000 miles from Earth, the closest in 12 or 13 years. Here's what it looked like from the Hubble Space Telescope:


That's the most detailed image of Mars ever taken from earth, with a resolution of about 10 miles. But it's just not quite the same as being there. Here's a picture from the Mars Global Surveyor:


Details on the Hubble photos:

More pictures from the Mars Global Surveyor:

Go West, Young Lady

My baby daughter Melinda (who is 15) wanted to go visit her friend Hannah in California for a couple of weeks. She asked if I would take her out there. So I did. In the Aircam:

       Img_9795.jpg     Img_9808.jpg

It normally cruises at 60-80 mph, so it was a slow, scenic ride. We went from Oklahoma to Leadville, CO, with several stops along the way. The next day we made it to Page, Arizona. The third day we got to Las Vegas. It was windy (gusting to 30 knots) and there was a crack in a muffler, so we drove the rest of the way. I made  it back after a couple days in Colorado.

Utah was really great from the air:

       Img_0001.jpg     Img_0029.jpg

You can check out some of the other pictures at

Lilly's List

Eli Lilly is a company that makes lots of drugs. Now they've moved out of the stone age. They're computerized. In fact, they even offer a service to email people to remind them when to take their Prozac.

Prozac is an anti-depression drug. If people skip their dose, that's one less pill that Lilly gets to sell. So it benefits both the company and the customer to have these reminders sent out, in theory anyway.

In fact? Eli Lilly's programmers sent out the emails alright, but they also sent the names of all the email recipients on each email. Oops! It's a big no-no in the medical business to pass out information about patients, such as who's depressed and who's taking Prozac.

I decided I'd check this out, so I went to the Eli Lilly web site, and then to the Prozac web site.

I recently installed a program called Cookie Pal that lets me know who's putting what cookies on my computer. A cookie is a small text file that has some information about what web sites I visit, and occasionally some web site information I've entered. I did this because I was curious more than paranoid. Doubleclick has a lot of ads!

When I went to the Prozac web site, it wanted to give me some cookies that lasted longer than the current session, so I didn't accept them. I think their programmer's may be sub-par, because the browser went into an infinite loop trying to pass me their cookies -- over a thousand of them. Well, OK, it wasn't really an infinite loop because I stopped it, but it was close. I've never seen than on any web site before.

No, I wasn't on the Prozac list. I have enough trouble distinguishing reality without complicating it with drugs. Some things in the world are just too complex for me to grasp. Like people, for example.

The Best Money Can Buy

Several months ago, Judge Penfield told Microsoft they were bad and had to split up into a few companies. Bill Gates did not like that. Since then, Judge Penfield said some bad things about Microsoft. And Microsoft donated millions of dollars to politicians. The result?

The appeals court told Judge Penfield he should not bad-mouth Microsoft lest he be charged with heresy. The appeals court forced Judge Penfield to say in public that the sun does in fact revolve around Microsoft, and not the reverse. Microsoft got a new judge that's less likely to break up the company.

Actually, Judge Penfield did say some things I think are inappropriate for a judge to say about one of the contestants in a case he's judging. Even if they're true. Also, the appeals court did agree that Microsoft has been bad, very very bad. But they probably won't be broken up.

The European Union is also investigating Microsoft for antitrust practice. This is important, at least to Microsoft, because a substantial part of their business comes from Europe.

And, as if Microsoft doesn't have enough adverse publicity, the Wall Street Journal had an article Thursday complaining about the Windows XP registration process. After you install Windows XP on a computer, you have 30 days to send some secret information identifying your computer to Microsoft, either online or by phone, else your new Windows XP will stop working. Then if you make too many hardware upgrades you'll have to get permission from Microsoft in order to keep your system running. Why would Microsoft do this? Why not? You're not going to run Linux, are you?

I may just stay with Win 98 and Office 97 for a while. At least until I get my new XYWrite upgrade.

Online Gambling

Internet Gambling is getting big. There are about 1400 casinos now, taking in about 1.5 billion dollars a year. It's illegal in most states, but the casinos operate from places like Costa Rica. It must be OK because their web sites say it's fair. I like this from the Q&A of Sharky's Casino:

Q: Is this legal?

A: International law is very complex, and we do not know the specific laws that may apply to you where you live. We operate under strict compliance with all local laws, and urge you to access our site only if you feel that you are in compliance with yours.

Somehow I don't think a foreign internet company would pay me a lot of money if I happened to win big online. I guess I'll just gamble in the coke machine. I lose money there regularly.

It seems to me like an attractive target for hackers. I would guess someone could figure out a way to cheat an online casino.


An Online Casino:

If you're really into gambling, send me some money and I might send some back.

Pictures of Today

Here are two pictures of the YF-22, an F-22 prototype at the Dayton Air Force Museum:
       IMG_9760.jpg     IMG_9763.jpg

Here is the asteroid Eros, a composite of photo from the NEAR spacecraft that crash landed on its surface (after taking the pictures). Eros is about 21 miles long and was discovered in 1898.


And finally, a field:


(ç) 1898, no rights preserved. Any unauthorized duplication or distribution of this fine work, whether electronic or otherwise, will be promptly and severely ignored to the fullest extent of the laws of physics.

If you would like to read other Junkmails, you must be one sick puppy. Go to

If you would like to sign up someone to get Junkmail, go to the same place. If you would like to stop receiving Junkmail, which is certainly understandable for any sane person, please add your name to the Eli Lilly Prozac mailing list, email and invite her out for drinks, or contact this man and demand that his software stop accepting Junkmail or you'll sick Penfield on him.

I'm Bob Webster and I reside at