Election Spam, 2018 ed., Volume 1

Posted Mon 28 May 2018 17:30 under category politics

Hello intermittent readers, and welcome to the latest edition in my series on electoral advertising. As you may or may not know, June 5th is California's primary election for 2018. We've got a contentious list of ballot measures, as well as a variety of local, state, and federal offices up for election, which means it's time for a bunch of special interest groups to spend money sending my family high-gloss advertising pamphlets.

election spam

On the ballot this time around:

  • Governor
  • Lt. Governor
  • Secretary of State
  • State Controller
  • Treasurer
  • Attorney General
  • Insurance Commissioner
  • Board of Equalization
  • US Senator
  • US Representative
  • State Assembly
  • Superior Court Judge (x4)
  • Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Mayor
  • 5 State Measures
  • 1 Regional Measure
  • 9 City Measures

After the fold, let's see who's spending their advertising budget in densest San Francisco.

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Amusing Siri Date Localization Bug

Posted Mon 09 October 2017 10:45 under category tech

Here's an amusing iOS 11 bug:

If an iOS device is set to the en-US locale and Siri is set to a British voice, when reading dates aloud, Siri transposes months and days. For example, given the command Remind me Wednesday Morning to buy milk, Siri responds with OK, I added it for Wednesday at 10/11/17 7:00. When reading this aloud, Siri reads it as OK, I added it for Wednesday the 10th of November two thousand and seventeen at seven o'clock.

It seems kind of crazy to me the Apple is parsing the raw text shown on screen rather than having some kind of machine-readable tagged data. So weird!

I reported this to Apple. I guess we'll see if it gets fixed in iOS 12.

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Gsuite Phishing?

Posted Wed 20 September 2017 09:50 under category tech

I received an e-mail today at my work address with the subject [Feature Ideas [Customers Only]] - [Survey] The G Suite Admin Experience team wants to learn your needs around data/resource access boundaries which looked like the following:

sketchy email

Quick — is this real or is this spam? What would you look for?

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Election Spam, 2016 ed., The Final Countdown

Posted Mon 07 November 2016 09:02 under category politics

As you may or may not know, today is the day before the most contentious election in recent memory. Aside from the presidential race between a competent woman and a can of orange spray paint, there are also a host of down-ballot candidates at the federal, state, and local levels, and, here in San Francisco, an outstanding 42 state, regional, and city ballot propositions. As is usual, I've received a healthy pile of 77 pieces of election spam this season; here's my tally.

2016-11 Election Ads

Overall, of the 77 pieces of mail that my wife and I received in the months leading up to this election, 15 of them were voting slates and 62 of them were either single-issue or, in many cases, dual-issue (U & P, Q & R). As far as I can tell, only a single one of them (the state-issued party-level official endorsements) even touched on the presidential campaign. Read on for details!

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Election Ads, 2016 ed., Part 1

Posted Sat 04 June 2016 13:33 under category politics

Hello readers! If you've been living under a rock (or, really, anywhere that isn't California), this coming Tuesday (June 7th) is the most important primary election in California in recent memory! As befits such a momentous occasion, I've received another batch of election spam!1

2016 Primary Election Ads

Surprisingly, the biggest issue in this election in San Francisco isn't the presidential primary, but is instead the election of the Democratic County Central Committee (the DCCC); the vast majority of election spam that I received was either a complete slate for the DCCC, or an ad for an individual candidate ...

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Serialization Format Performance

Posted Sun 31 January 2016 11:53 under category programming

Most of the work done in actual programming jobs is taking structured data in some particular format from one system, slightly tweaking it, and sending it off to some other system. When exchanging data between different processes, it's almost always necessary to serialize it into a series of bytes which can be sent across a dumb byte-oriented transport (such as TCP). There are hundreds upon hundreds of different serialization formats out there, but I just wanted to talk about a few of the most common that folks use with the Python programming language.

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