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September 21, 2006

you know it's time to go home early when...

Yesterday someone sent around a link to http://hotcaptcha.com, which selects images with the Am I Hot or Not API and asks users to choose the 3 of 9 pictures whose subjects are hot. Very cool idea, drawing on both biological and cultural expectations of attractiveness.

However, amongst my colleagues and some of my friends, we realized that we were all getting something like 100% accuracy for female photos, and 0% accuracy for male photos. I had orignally thought "gee, I'm 100% accurate on females and 0% on males, I wonder why?" My friends' verdict: it's a trick or a bug, and the male images aren't being selected properly for hotness. (For example, the writer of HotCaptcha had written the call to the Hot or Not API and forgotten to set a minimum rating threshold of, say, 9.)

My only way to find out was to get an API key and pull profiles myself.

My first attempts at doing this with AJAX failed, because I forgot that XMLHttp doesn't work across domains. Bleh. I switched to a PHP file() call, but it wasn't working. WTF. Struggled for a half hour.

Then I realized that I had been tormenting my function getProfiles() but had failed to actually call the function in my PHP script.

Sigh.

September 14, 2006

"I did not want my tombstone to read, 'She kept a really clean house.' "

Ann Richards died the other day. Salon's Broadsheet blog covered Richards' death with a list of 10 reasons why we already miss Ann Richards, from which the quote is excerpted.

Good cop / Crazy cop

Colleague: Do you think that A and B are playing good cop / bad cop with you?

Me: Maybe. But it's more like good cop / crazy cop. [Pause] And either way, it's better than it used to be, which was just plain old crazy cop.