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March 8th, 2008

Spokeo

Spokeo is an internet service that is marketing itself as kind of a meta-{social network} ("find all your friends' social-network accounts and stalk them", I guess).

I recently got an email at my personal address telling me that someone had searched for me on it and found my Flickr account (never used, inaccessible because of Yahoo's fucked-up security-question system) and my Pandora account (defunct because I don't put my personal accounts on my work computer).

The email is phrased as though it's a courtesy notice, but it's clearly trying to get me to sign up, with the bait being figuring out who's searching for me or at least searching for all my friends in turn.

It's not particularly private that I have those accounts (or I wouldn't have bound them to my real name and standard email address), but I am curious whether anyone who actually knows me signed up or if it's just spam. It's also odd that they only found those two specific things and not, say, Facebook, Blogspot, etc.

My "Stanford fratboys" <-> "annoying" synapses just got their weight increased, anyway.
The President vetoed the torture ban. The Constitution had a good run, but it's pretty clear that Americans at large lack any zeal for enforcing the human rights of foreigners against the abuses of executive power. It's cowardly and despicable, but the rest of us bitching about it for six years hasn't done a damn thing.

Meanwhile, the economy is tanking to the point that the Fed is effectively nationalizing the banking system. I'm shocked, shocked that a bunch of semi-retired bankers and professional investors is choosing the option that takes many billions of dollars from the next generation of US taxpayers to cover the losses of bankers and professional investors who got taken for a wad by real estate speculators.

(Close the loop by imposing a fat Federal property tax, thus forcing the speculators to quit speculating and rent out all those empty houses at reasonable rates? Inconceivable!)

Anyway, the one upside of all this may be that, our economy being shit, we may have to actually submit to international pressure on a thing or two—maybe even a human rights treaty or the ICC. Too bad the whole "ex post facto" thing will presumably protect the current crop of torturers.

In other news, I like lazy list comprehensions:

allPhrases words = [ w : p | p <- [] : allPhrases words, w <- words ]

Is there a nicer way to do this? It's hard to imagine.