Monthly Archives: December 2013

They’re always out there

They’re always out there but now is the time of year when you’re more likely to assume that a message from FedEx is really from FedEx.

It may really be a virus.

You should always look closely at the web links attached to your email before you click them.

When it looks like this: it may look like it’s at, but it’s really at That “@” instead of a “/” makes all the difference. (BTW: I made up that URL, and am assuming there’s nobody there.)

Scammers may also have a correct-looking link with the “/” displayed in the message, but have the “@” in the actual link.

It pays to be extra careful.

The machine never stops

Megan Garber writes that astronauts go through customs, too.

She links to Reddit’s message board interview with Chris Hadfield, a Canadian astronaut. Strangely enough, he did have to go through customs when he landed in Kazakhstan.

Odder still, Garber writes (and shows!) that this is common. Even Apollo 11’s crew needed to sign customs forms when they returned.

I was surprised enough when I discovered that I needed to go through customs in the Navy. Bureaucracy is a permanent condition.

The Automat

In juxtaposition to a planned fast-food strike, Glenn Reynolds recently posted another link to a robot hamburger maker.

The nature of unemployment in a high-tech society is a subject that fascinates and disturbs, and it’s worth addressing at another time.

The hamburger maker also fascinates me. It reminded me of Horn & Hardart Automat. I didn’t know it used to be a chain until I looked it up on YouTube and found this three minute history lesson.

It’s not really automated. The food is prepared in another room while customers only see a row of vending machines.

Most of us might only know of the Automat from That Touch of Mink with Doris Day and Cary Grant. Here’s a memorable scene where you can see Doris Day conspiring with Audrey Meadows to steal food: