Call Japan for 2.9cents/minute, open sourcely?

Gizmo CallOut is an open source, open standards, generally open alternative to Skype. Ironically, unlike Skype, Gizmo does not have a working Linux version, but they promise to in August.

Looks like Skype’s rates are slightly better. I don’t know much about Skype despite having downloaded it and played with it once, so I can’t say overall whether Gizmo is that much better, worse, or whatever, but it has features Skype denies you, like the ability to easily record a conversation… cf. Scott Kurtz having to go through considerable contortions to record Skype calls.

Weird Interview Requests

This wsj article (via) about weird interview requests includes things like this:

Rodney Archer, a 51-year-old engineering consultant in Silicon Valley, had spent several hours interviewing for a job at a tech company when his would-be employer posed an unusual request: Would he submit a handwriting sample?

Baffled, he asked why. It turned out the company had an analyst in Israel who regularly reviewed potential employees’ handwriting. “It’s a very effective way to find out what people’s true personalities are and what they’re like to work with,” he recalls being told.

The correct response is, “sure. Would you also like me to shave my head and give you a plaster cast of my skull so your company phrenologist can read the bumps for you?”

End Of An Era

My favorite local wifi spot ever, the “It’s a Grind Cafe” up on Knapp Street and East Beltline, is closing. Tomorrow is its last day. I am hella sad.

I guess the real estate in this strip mall is just too expensive for them to renew their lease.

Too bad, it’s a very popular shop. They never seem to be hurting for customers.

Midnight Macabre

Randy Milholland’s Midnight Macabre is set in the 80s, when locally produced low-budget horror TV shows still existed. Every so often you are reminded of this, as in this strip which mentions a dial-up BBS.

When I was in high school and college, dial-up BBSs were still the thing, at least among people at my level of geekery. Hell, my college didn’t even get on the internet till about my third year of college. Before that it was on “PRIMENET.”

BBS’s were where it was at. I understand that some people still run them, the same way some people still have gopher servers.

Did I mention I remember gopher being new and cool?

I am So. Damn. Old.

Oh, I also got a look at myself in some pictures taken at the beach the other day (I usually am the one taking pictures so I haven’t seen much of myself in pictures in a while). Let’s not even bring up realizing what I now look like in swim trunks. I found out I have a big ass bald spot. That I can’t see in the mirror cause it’s too far back. That nobody ever told me about. (My wife claims she told me about it a few years ago and I reacted so badly that she never brought it up again, but I have apparently repressed this memory.)

So. Damn. Old.

Oh well. I guess I can wheeze and cuss at the young whippersnappers.

And read more comics about aging, bitter Gen Xers.