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Wednesday, May 21 12:00 AM ET

BBspot Mailbag

Now you too can enjoy my Inbox without the annoying spam. Every week I get some amazing e-mail. Some amazing because of the sheer cluelessness of the sender, some because of the time and energy that went into crafting them and some are just simply amazing.


This Esenam Ayele BBelievers made me break out the Google...

Removed by emailer request

I had never heard of this Dr. Emoa Entucka before, and I was worried that this guy might get scammed. However, a quick search on Google turned up this article on another satire Web site.

Maybe, Dr. Entucka and Mr. Ayele should join forces to distribute their wealth.

Folks, I know that Prince Caspian predated Harry Potter. It's called a joke. You can stop emailing me now . . .

From: Billy
Date: Tue, May 20, 2008 at 9:03 AM
Subject: Prince Caspian

If you are going to blast anybody for stealing the magic portal at the train station, you need to hit up Harry Potter for that one. Prince Caspian, the book, had it 50 years before Potter.

And having read the book doesn't help with the trailer at all. It's been years since I've read the book but at no point did that trailer trigger any memory of the book. MOST.BORING.TRAILER.EVER!

Alternate Universe

The article, Alternate Universe Congress Passes PRO-Freedom Act, generated this response...

From: Luis
Date: Thu, May 15, 2008 at 5:50 AM
Subject: Alternate Universe Congress Passes PRO-Freedom Act

I've just read the article on the subject of this mail, and I would like to express my opinion about other Black House's policies, for instance migration.

Here on Mexico' we feel extremely concerned about the US' policy of constantly inviting our workers (on whose education our government expends so much money) to cross the border and work there, when we have plenty of well paid jobs here. I mean, I know mexican government policy on workers right's protection seems a bit obstructive to US' companies, and since it's just not profitable for them to bring factories here, because of the extremely expensive handwork, they need to use any means to attract mexican workers, but everything has it's limits. What's the deal with all that about instant double citizenship for every immigrant that crosses the border? Does the Black House pretend to steal our entire population or something? Mexico' has been considering very seriously the possibility of actually building some sort of fence on the border, to prevent further population drain, that so much afflicts our country.

Freedom of Choice

Last week's email from a guy proclaiming the superiority of Windows and my comment about Apple being "pretty," generated a few responses from BBspotters . . .

From: Gregory
Date: Wed, May 14, 2008 at 10:40 AM
Subject: It's pretty?

Mac users in Michigan must be a very different breed from those on the east coast. In the quarter century that platform's been around I've seen a lot of justifications in favor of Macs but not once have I run into someone for whom aesthetics was a significant concern, let alone "the main selling point." I'm sure there are people like that out there, but until I meet one I can't accept it as the norm. The Mac users I know chose their platform the same way many other people do: they looked at the tasks they had to accomplish, looked at the tools that were available and picked the one that seemed to them to fit best. My own attitude in the 90s was basically summed up as:

All else being equal, I'll take a Mac because it generally helps me get the job done. If that's not an option, I'll go with UNIX because it at least has the good graces to stay out of my way. When I have to use Windows I get my work done despite the platform, rather than because of it.

And I typically kept representatives of all 3 platforms around for the same reason my toolbox has more in it than a ratchet set. The best tool for one job wasn't necessarily the best tool for the next.

I doubt that many "power users" care much about how a machine looks, but I heard enough people talk about how "beautiful" the Mac is in real life and in articles to know it's a factor for a lot of people.

If people didn't care about how the Mac looked, they wouldn't make them in different colors. I make no judgments on people who care what color their computer is, I'm just not one of those people.

From: Arthur Dent
Date: Wed, May 14, 2008 at 10:48 AM
Subject: re: Freedom of Choice

Holy cowcats, Brian!!!

After those emails, are you ready to switch back to Windows yet? What's that, you say - "When chairs fly!"? Well, that's the point, isn't it. You can't really be sure that Mr. "Developers, developers, developers" isn't at the other end of the pro-windows mail. He may find enough freedom with windows, just like I may find enough freedom with handcuffs, floggers - um nevermind...

Tru dat!

Maybe, I wasn't clear enough in my post. I think people should be informed about their choices of computing platform. I think people should choose whatever system works (or looks) best for them based on that information. I know it might upset the zealots out there, but I'm not one (a zealot that is).

$10 Gas

Yesterday I posted a link about an alternate universe where gas is $10/gallon in the U.S. Of course, the Europeans were quick to point out that reality already exists over there . . .

From: Daniel
Date: Tue, May 20, 2008 at 4:23 AM
Subject: fuel

The following link appeared in your "links archive" today: What If Gas Cost 10 Dollars a Gallon?

1 gallon = 3.785412 liters

Today (20th May 2008) in Belgium (Europe), 1 liter petrol costs 1.568 Euro

Today (20th May 2008) the exchange rate US$ / Euro is 0.644122383 Euro for each dollar.

3.785412 * 1.568 / 0.644122383 = 9.214903608 US$ per gallon (for 98 Octane fuel).

For diesel fuel the following applies:

price per liter : 1.421 Euro

Exchange rate US$ / Euro is 0.644122383 Euro for 1 dollar.

3.785412 * 1.421 / 0.644122383 = 8.351006395 US$ per gallon (for diesel)

So what exactly are the Americans crying about?

Of course, when you can walk across your entire country in fifteen minutes, gas prices aren't much of an issue.

From: Peter
Date: Tue, May 20, 2008 at 7:43 AM
Subject: Gas $10 a gallon...

Interesting daily link on today's BBspot about the "what-if" scenario on gas getting to $10 per gallon in the US...

You might be utterly shocked to know in Britain, my little Seat Cordoba diesel car (with a 1.9 litre engine) now costs £6.15 per gallon to fill - which equates to $12.03!

We may all end up moving across the Pond at this rate :)

Make sure there's plenty of tea in the shops...

Holy mad cow! The British moving here? Yet another reason to get those gas prices down!

Weekly Limerick

The winner of the 2003 and 2006 Geek Limerick contest has volunteered to write a weekly limerick for BBspot. Seth also has a new book out that you should take a look at..

From: Seth

People want music DRM-free,
That's why Napster will sell MP3s.
 But although the low price
 Is admittedly nice,
The old Napster didn't have any fees.

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