getting at&t/cingular to unlock your cellphone (a howto)

First rule: Don't tell them you're doing it to switch carriers.

I made this mistake on my first call. Heh.

The reply I got was a curt, "In that case, we cannot unlock your phone for you."

Barring the conundrum that I evidently don't really own the phone I've already purchased from them, this gave me hope. There must be some cases where they "can" unlock it.

A quick Google search revealed that they're happy to oblige if it means you're traveling abroad and want your hardware to mingle with some foreign SIM cards. Called back, mentioned a pending trip abroad, and now I'm getting emailed that unlock code. Phew. Fortunately I didn't have to list my reasons for travel, destinations, and window/aisle-seat preference.

And if you're looking for some strategies to get refunded on those overage charges, I even photoshopped the Cingular logo for that entry.

Incidentally, here's today's header! (click for the explanation)

my spam domain

Somewhere during the meltdown of, an absolutely terrible registrar, I got to see my beloved reduced to a landing page with a smiling blonde and text-ads for horror flicks, halloween, and a Wayans brothers movie.

Even considering the last one, it could have been worse. A man's vanity domain is all he's got going for him, imagine if it were reported on Valleywag that I liked the Wayans brothers.

I wouldn't have noticed if it weren't for a friend IMing me about it -- she thought the Scary Movie 4 reference seemed unlike me.

Plus, Steve's the only blond friend I have.

Anyway, thanks to some friendly folks at Enom (I'm looking at you, Álvaro) I got my domains back today. And I even added some more random content that you can almost guarantee will never get updated.

conversation with a spammer

Yeah, it's the weekend.

4:01:03 PM spammer: hi
4:01:09 PM me: hello
4:01:18 PM me: i'm sorry, i'm not sure i know who this is
4:01:19 PM spammer: nice to meet you!
4:01:34 PM spammer: I am Harry from China
4:01:38 PM spammer: you ?
4:01:52 PM me: George from China
4:02:07 PM me: fancy that!
4:02:41 PM spammer: You are chinese ?
4:02:52 PM spammer: good
4:02:58 PM me: Oddly enough, no, but I live in China. I'm Armenian.
4:03:09 PM spammer: which city are you in ?
4:03:19 PM me: So my Chinese isn't very good yet ^^
4:03:24 PM me: Shanghai
4:03:27 PM spammer: ok
4:03:37 PM me: It's nice to meet friends online.
4:03:47 PM spammer: Do you like Shanghai?
4:04:45 PM me: Yes, it's very nice. People have been very friendly to me.
4:04:53 PM me: I'm trying to make it to the USA.
4:05:01 PM me: But I only made it half way
4:05:22 PM spammer: hope you can success in future
4:05:51 PM me: Many thanks! keke
4:06:09 PM spammer: you are welcome
4:06:31 PM spammer: you work in shanghai or do business ?
4:07:04 PM me: I don't work much right now. I need a job
4:07:18 PM spammer: oh
4:07:28 PM me: *_*
4:07:48 PM spammer: You can find good job in shanghai
4:08:15 PM me: I have lots of skillz.
4:08:24 PM me: My friends all say that I am much l33t
4:08:35 PM me: And I totally pwn at Starcraft - LOL!
4:08:43 PM spammer: haha
4:09:02 PM spammer: good
4:09:31 PM spammer: so it's just a piece of cake for you to fine a job
4:10:20 PM me: I wish. I can't eat cake. Allergic
4:10:37 PM spammer: ;)
4:10:37 PM me: My skin gets massive bumps and I die if eat too much cake
4:10:54 PM spammer: ok
4:10:54 PM me: I do have a kitten. I like cats. I take pictures of mine.
4:11:13 PM spammer: very good
4:11:23 PM spammer: i like cats too, they are very cute
4:11:54 PM me: much cuteness
4:12:10 PM me: i have a friend in USA who collects cat photos
4:12:23 PM me: he has told me he also has a fortune of his grandfather
4:12:30 PM me: but he needs help getting it to Mexico
4:12:42 PM me: i want to help, but what can i do from China?
4:12:56 PM spammer: yes i understand
4:13:11 PM spammer: Do you have plan back USA?
4:13:12 PM me: He needs $10,000 USD
4:13:22 PM me: but I only have 5,000
4:13:30 PM me: And that's if I sell my cats
4:13:46 PM me: (I'd rather just eat them myself)
4:14:09 PM spammer: hehe
4:14:24 PM spammer: yes
4:14:36 PM me: You seem like a honest person , yes?
4:14:51 PM spammer: i am
4:15:15 PM me: i thought so
4:15:27 PM spammer: :D
4:15:35 PM me: we can get this fortune
4:15:43 PM spammer: ok
4:15:59 PM spammer: You seem like a honest person too
4:16:43 PM me: ! i have much luck today
4:16:55 PM spammer: wow
4:17:03 PM spammer: what luck
4:17:25 PM me: yes!!
4:17:48 PM spammer: mind tell me ?
4:17:50 PM me: how can we do this? can you wire me the 5,000? we split the fortune in half
4:18:08 PM spammer: ok
4:18:30 PM spammer: :P
4:18:49 PM spammer: when i have 5000, i give you
4:19:29 PM me: there is no time
4:19:35 PM me: this is a serious matter my friend
4:20:02 PM spammer: yes i know
4:20:25 PM spammer: but i only have RMB200 now
4:20:40 PM me: i don't think you understand.
4:20:43 PM me: this man will die.
4:20:52 PM me: now is not the time to be concerned with petty things like money.
4:21:02 PM spammer: how?
4:22:30 PM me: he has a greedy uncle who wants to take it.
4:22:41 PM me: the uncle has already killed his father -- he's sure of it
4:22:44 PM me: and married his mother
4:22:49 PM me: much is bad.
4:23:13 PM spammer: yes
4:23:18 PM spammer: very bad
4:24:26 PM me: there must be a way to help
4:34:11 PM me: hello?

we value your feedback

See, someone really does read those forms you send into the blackhole of "feedback". Here's a gem from the logo change on Friday:

The olympic logo is hideous and hurts my eyes and brain. Please take it down!

Some people cannot appreciate the aesthetic mastery of a highly paid design firm. Admit it, the rest of us haven't got any taste.

Nevertheless, I still took it down this morning and restored the default logo. Maybe next week I'll solicit ideas from random people just like the BBC did -- what could go wrong?

rethinking our mascot

The reddit alien didn't have to be an alien. It's a well-known fact that I appreciate the subtle eminence of the penguin, as it occasionally appears in the logo as a foil our futuristic mascot. But there is no shortage of other worthy animals -- why not consider replacement?

Yep, that's how I spent my workweek.

MONDAY: I wasn't quite sure what I wanted this to be. It's got a certain squirreliness, but might be channeling a bit of fox. This will not do.

TUESDAY: Maybe a very excited bunny? We had one of these for a pet back in college. Six guys living in a dilapidated house their senior year with a single dwarf rabbit. Let's just say that we got bored one night and our rabbit turned out to be very interested in my NERF football. That cliche about "like bunnies" -- it's true. Every word of it.

WEDNESDAY: This depiction hardly illustrates the godless and killing nature of the bear. Instead, I thought we could try something a bit more hug-inducing. If this mascot were real, it'd have hugs flowing through its veins.

THURSDAY: I've heard there are more of these than people in Newfoundland. Moose are majestic beasts. Fancying Renaissance oil painting and prone to writing literary criticism, they are also far more cultured than Bullwinkle made them out to be.

FRIDAY: At last, our search for a new logo has ended!

huffit... really?

I thought they were kidding. Maybe it was some kind of new NYC fad -- you know, a new coke thing that'll get you even more blasted, but still get your a lighter jail sentence than the crackhead. Fancy that.

But no, it's a new social news site from the folks over at the HuffingtonPost. Admittedly, reddit has been assaulting the English language for almost two years now. But there's something about reading the "most huffed news" that makes me giggle.

Anyway, it's great to see more sites trying this format of finding and sharing new and interesting links. I just wish they hadn't called it "huffit".

From the About section:
Register or sign in below to start huffing!

Think of the children. Please.

And for those of you who think I'm just jealous because they named it after my fellow cofounder, Steve Huffman -- you're wrong.

Incidentally, if you're looking to create your own social news site, Ohanit and are both available. Just a thought.

I finally got around to finding a shorter domain for this blog. The header is now emphasizing the "reddit all" part, as well as featuring a brilliant starburst to remind you that you've arrived at dot-com. And that I am indeed a sellout.

Some of you have also expressed concerns regarding this week's logos. If you're worried about what's been happening to our mascot, just be thankful we haven't recruited the London 2012 Olympics logo designers...

more [potential] wired propaganda

I'm afraid this one might be a bit too esoteric, since only a select few of our luckiest users have seen our 500 error. (And those who have will be quick to point out that the one pictured below isn't quite the one we've got running right now. +8 points for you, now stop hurting reddit.)

dear rita

As much as I want to believe you're just a simple Russian girl from Cheboksary, deep down I know there's something more to you. Don't doubt for a second that you're not long brave to have written me -- even if an exact duplicate was sent 24 hours later. Like any man, I have serious attitudes in the future for creations of family. It's my duty as an American.

I'm happy to hear about your best girlfriend, she sounds like a lucky gal. It troubles me to hear that her happiness has pushed you to find itself of the satellite. Space is no place to look for love.

I suspect that you will have more luck on the Internet, but perhaps you shouldn't cast such a wide net -- so to speak. I don't mean to offend you, I just think you could afford to be a bit more... picky. You hardly know anything about me and already you address me as your new friend.

This isn't the first time you've done this, is it?

I'm worried about you, Rita. Do take care.


(my reply to the following email, posted in it's entirety)

I hope I'm not screwing with the mob and will end up with a hearty dose of radioactive poison in my gut.

Hi the new friend!!!
I saw your announcement on a site in the Internet. There there were many good people. I do not know why I have written to you, probably something inside has prompted me to do it.
I already during long time wanted to find to me directly people, but not from Russia. As in Russia very many bad people and are very difficult to find such person, which will serve me as a fine half.

My best girlfriend has found to itself through Internet good people.
Which has invited her in the country, and now they live together 2 months.

It also has pushed to find me to itself of the satellite .
Though I also do not believe life in it, that it is possible to find love through.
The Internet I should hope for it up to the last.

Now it - is slightly about me:
My name - Rita.
I the simple Russian girl who search for a basis
the person from abroad for serious attitudes in the future for
creations of family.
I live the Russian city Cheboksary. It - very beautiful city
In which I live.
I am long brave to write to you and have written in hope which you will write also to me
I hope for it, and I shall look forward to hearing from you.
P.S. If I though have slightly interested you, please write to me the answer
On mine E-mail:
I shall hope, and I shall wait, that you nevertheless will answer it soon. Please try to send your message on email. As I was very bad to use the Internet.
I shall send the image in the following letter. With hope your new familiar Rita.

reddit goes west

We're in Kal-ee-for-nya (according to my mother) until a red-eye flight takes us back to Logan on Friday night. One thing worth noting: Avis will not only rent to the under 25 crowd, they'll also offer you a Mustang upgrade for only $3 a day. We had to choose between a Chevy Cobalt and a 2005 Mustang hardtop.

Maybe we should have gotten that optional insurance policy...