of skimmers and shoes and odds and ends

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ever thought about being paranoid when using an atm? i mean, being really paranoid? perhaps you will after looking at these examples of modern skimmer designs. (skimmers are devices that swipe atm card info without you being aware of it.)

http://www.krebsonsecurity.com/2010/01/would-you-have-spotted-the-fraud/

and a series of pics showing one being removed from a machine:
1. the machine when you walk up
2. the card slot
3. hhmmm...that was an added part
4. hello...what's all this then?
5. and the reveal
(originally via a tweet from mikkohypponen)

gives you something to be even more paranoid about, right?

in sad news, evidently today i blew a seam in one of my metallic-blue-flame leather sha-sha shoes. it doesn't appear to be fixable. i mean, it's seriously ripped. oh well, they were cool shoes and lasted a few years. this may have been a premature blow-out since the rubber sole was coming loose on this shoe and i hadn't glued it back together. but i treated them pretty roughly and wore them quite a bit.

pee-wee herman gets an ipad(via funnyordie). i used to love watching pee-wee's shows. i haven't seen any of that stuff in years. this made me kind of nostalgic, it did.

css is awesome coffee mug (for those of you familiar with css, you'll enjoy it)

here's a nice blog entry about how the way people view and use computers is changing.

want to be scared of mac fanboys? here's a one-hour documentary on them you can watch on hulu: macheads

chevrolet is working on a new ad angle (link from chron.com), and one of them uses the front of a black '55 chevy (i.e., looks like mine).

i started checking on luggage limits today. both continental and jal (japan airlines) have a carry-on size limit of 45 linear inches (height+length+width) (although it's 115cm for jal). the bag i'm planning to take, from measuring with it empty, comes in at around 49, although the ends are loose pockets and the top height varies based on what i put into it. hopefully it'll work out. the other thing is the weight limit for continental is 40 lbs, while the limit for jal is 10kg. that's 22 lbs. that's about half! i haven't packed yet, so i have no idea what my carry-on will weigh, but i might have to check for the jal leg.

in addition to the carry-on, you can also bring one "personal item" which can consist of a briefcase, purse, laptop bag, planner, etc. other than purse or briefcase, the list is pretty small. i was hoping to also use a college-style backpack. even though it's really not much bigger than a briefcase or some purses, i'm now concerned they may have an issue with it or something. i've also got a sort of day-bag/satchel kind of thing, i guess that might work. i don't think it can hold as much as a briefcase though. :)

update: while i was attempting to not check luggage for simplicity's sake, i was also under the mistaken impression checking luggage costs extra money. that changed for inside-the-u.s. flights over the last year or three, where now even the first checked bag costs (except southwest, at the least) -- but evidently in trans-continental flights you still get free checked luggage (as long as it doesn't go over the size/weight limits).

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my experience with carry-on luggage is that if you use the personal item option, you might get the weight of your carry-on checked. Otherwise, they tend to ignore your carryon's weight. Of course that's Okinawa and not the US.

I see you saw the link I sent you on the Chevy ads. I thought they were pretty cool, and thought you would find them interesting. Good luck on your luggage situation.

Man, that Pee-Wee video is good stuff.

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