Monthly Archives: March 2010

3 ingredients, 3 steps = really good hot cocoa

0 minutes, 26 seconds

Some folks think that you need to get those little packets of mix to make a good cup of cocoa. They’re wrong! Here’s how we do it at home:


  • 1 super heaping teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably, fair trade and organic)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (maybe two if you’re using milk. we use sweetened soy milk so we cut it down to 1)
  • 1 mug of milk


  • Measure ingredients into your mug
  • Spoon in 4-5 teaspoons of hot milk into the mug and thoroughly stir into a slurry
  • Pour in milk while stiring

Enjoy! (ostensibly the 4th step ;)

Privacy, Intent and Expectation

1 minute, 58 seconds

Our favorite search engine Google does a lot of analysis of what people search for. They represent such a huge percent of the search market that they can actually deduce real world facts from virtual world searches. This is pretty impressive. For comparison, if 20 people come to and read about how to secure their passwords, I can probably deduce much of nothing about the US population as a whole. Google, on the other hand, can deduce flu trends from around the country based of searches on their site. In a more real time scenario (and a bit more PR’ey), they had their own “Google search olympics” based on searches during the real olympics. Average joe users are OK with this level of privacy about their searches because it is massively aggregated, thus there is no chance of picking Joe from Jane in the resulting data. Further, Google’s intent is to be helpful with their statistical deductions. Finally, you have the expectation that your search metadata might be used in some way, if not explicitly stated as much.

This whole set up got me thinking: what about other huge companies that could expose similar data that maybe you would not be so OK with? My ISP is Comcast. They’ve been involved in some filtering/privacy issues in the past, but have otherwise kept their hands pretty clean. What if Comcast released their own data explorer (think Google’s, of course) based on net usage across the country broken up by zip code. Would the posh upstate New York neighborhood be OK if they were rated the #1 porn consumer per capita on weeknights between 11pm and midnight? Yes, of course, this is a fictitious stat, but the point is that likely no one would be OK with this level privacy because they don’t want anyone to know.

There is a fine line between a company’s intent and your what your expectation of privacy is. Somehow we’re OK with what Google does (because they can do no evil, right?), but we might not be OK with Facebook auto-sharing your data with another company (real !) or if RIMM, with over 40% of the smartphone market, decided to guesstimate what percent of its users were having extramarital affairs based on emails going through their servers (fake).

Aggregated data is out there and you should be aware that every move you make across every platform you use, physical or virtual, is being tracked.

Follow up reading/things that I couldn’t cram in above:

Bees, Flowers and Videots

0 minutes, 21 seconds

Out for a walk to lovely Ici on an equally lovely day. Good news! Flowers and bees are awesome. So is multi-shot on the digicam – love it. Bad news! Videots has closed! I dunno about the “scam artist” part in that Berkeleyside article though. I happily bought credits there knowing they might go under some day. If you’re looking for a really knowledgeable shop in the east bay, check out the Video Room. Folks agree, they know their stuff.

Yahoo mail hacked?

2 minutes, 30 seconds

I’ve had three friends with yahoo accounts send me email that was clearly not them sending it. It was a spammer. One friend had every contact emailed, in alphabetical order, in groups of 10. The symptoms seem to be:

  • Emails are really sent from yahoo account, there’s a copy in the “sent mail” folder
  • Password is changed such that you need to call yahoo or otherwise reset your password
  • Groups of 10 people emailed

Another geek friend reported the same with a number of his friends who have yahoo email getting hacked as well. Him contacting me prompted this post to get awareness out there ( you know, to all 3 of you who read this). No real news on the interwebs, leave this post: Who Hijacked Yahoo Mail?

Here’s the nice view of the email (sensitive data yas been obscured with “***********”)::

From: Anders ***********
To: egwit, awarnow, avkirby, starsister77, apnun, ann, jara, apollostwinsis., haywoodashley, me
date: Tue, Feb 16, 2010 at 3:06 PM
subject: Bettina Mischkalla

Here’s the raw email I got from my friend’s hacked account (sensitive data yas been obscured with “***********”):

Delivered-To: mrjones@***********.com
Received: by with SMTP id s16cs151659ibu;
        Tue, 16 Feb 2010 15:06:51 -0800 (PST)
Received: by with SMTP id g10mr4771311rva.57.1266361611517;
        Tue, 16 Feb 2010 15:06:51 -0800 (PST)
Received: from ***********.com (***********.com [])
        by with ESMTP id 31si10777747pzk.62.2010.;
        Tue, 16 Feb 2010 15:06:51 -0800 (PST)
Received-SPF: pass ( best guess record for domain of 
mrjones@***********.com designates as permitted sender) 
Authentication-Results:; spf=pass ( best 
guess record for domain of mrjones@***********.com designates as permitted sender) smtp.mail=mrjones@***********.com; 
dkim=neutral (body hash did not verify)
Received: by ***********.com (Postfix, from userid 501)
	id 2AFAC968B7C; Tue, 16 Feb 2010 15:06:45 -0800 (PST)
X-Original-To: mrjones@***********.com
Delivered-To: mrjones@***********.com
Received: from ( 
	by ***********.com (Postfix) with SMTP id 7D7D4968B58
	for ; Tue, 16 Feb 2010 15:06:38 -0800 (PST)
Received: (qmail 11051 invoked by uid 60001); 16 Feb 2010 23:06:37 -0000
DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; c=relaxed/relaxed;; 
s=s1024; t=1266361597; bh=oJtmpSDF9JfgKjw+1+Q+Wqxiiq1f0Qc9sio+EdymNik=;
 MIME-Version:Content-Type; b=oFCN9QuJ13WOanJxxKZHrcbLHOZOMviKII3sm
DomainKey-Signature:a=rsa-sha1; q=dns; c=nofws;
X-YMail-OSG: ppvFaJUVM1kacZ05sJo0wMYepvD5By3Oxe96QISv6KgKBxmq0_Q1r1
Received: from [] by via 
HTTP; Tue, 16 Feb 2010 15:06:37 PST
X-Mailer: YahooMailWebService/
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 2010 15:06:37 -0800 (PST)
From: Anders ***********
Subject: Bettina Mischkalla
To: "egwit@***********.com" ,
  "awarnow@***********.com" ,
  "avkirby@***********.com" ,
  "starsister77@***********.com" ,
  "apnun@***********.com" ,
   "ann@***********.com" ,
  "jara@***********.com" ,
  "apollostwinsister@***********.com" ,
  "haywoodashley@***********.com" ,
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

The little sunflower than could

0 minutes, 9 seconds

The sweets is starting some seeds. We have tomatoes, sunflowers and hollyhock. One of the sunflower’s has come up with his seed pod still on. Will he make it out alive?!?

Oakland & SF Photos, Coffee and Scotch Whiskey

1 minute, 25 seconds

Ok, this’ll be a good ramble. In order of the photos below, first up is the PG&E embarcadero substation. Huge buildings that have no windows are not for humans. They seem to always be for some utility company. Weird and cool looking. Next up is a shot of a late I made at work. Microfoam is looking good, latte art, not so much. We’ll get there, just you wait and see. Next up, the shocking truth about the price of a bottle of decent scotch. The first is Eddie’s Liquors which has a bottle for $70. Then Trador Joe’s has the same bottle for $37. Shocking! After than is the 411 30th building in oakland. Some what unassuming until you check out the details (art deco?) of the lobby. I love this old stuff.

Last night I did a ride from our house, through downtown oakland, through china town, past laney, all the way south down to the park street bridge, all the way around alameda, and the double back almost the same way you came. Along the way I went through the defunct airforce base. The next photo after 411 30th shots are the HUGE doors (no street view) on the base. I love ’em! On the way back I stumbled upon The Hotel Oakland. Woah! This building is 1 square block and looks like it’s from New York city. It’s on 13th off of Broadway, who knew?! Wikipedia suggests it’s on the list of Alameda County Historical Landmarks and some random site has this history:

“A residence and health center for the elderly. The building housed the finest hotel in Oakland until it went out of business in the Great Depression; in 1943 it became an army hospital and by the 1960s a VA hospital. From 1963 to 1979 it was vacant, before being reborn into its current use.”

Lastly, a sunset shot of the good ol tribune tower. Hi Modern Cafe!