To lie or keep in hiding, as for some evil reason. To move or go in a mean, stealthy manner.
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Skulker Arnold Freeman
WebSkulker has previously written about the Tellme and Quack systems that have a web site for registering and setting some preferences, and then you call their toll-free phone numbers whenever you want to get information. If you haven't played with them yet, you should because they can be really useful when you are out skulking and away from a computer, and their voice-recognition and speech output technology are interesting to play with.
Jr. Skulker Batteryman told us about a third one, bevocal.com, that is the same general idea and also worth checking out. BeVocal offers free information by phone about weather, airline flights, stock quotes, and traffic for many areas of the U.S. For callers in California, they also offer instructions for driving from one address to another, and to find Federal Express drop-off boxes near an address. For these latter two services, BeVocal will ask you for the relevant address(es) with three prompts: the city and state, the name of the street, and the number on that street. It seems to recognize the words pretty well. You can also go to their web site and enter your home and work addresses, or any other two addresses you might use often. When prompted for the address, you can say simply "Home" or "Office".
WebSkulker has previously written about Napster and similar services for sharing MP3 and other files over the Internet with other users who are online. The above link is to an article at ZDnet about Gnutella (which WebSkulker wrote about in the 4/28/00 issue) and four others that WebSkulker never heard of. As usual, Ms. Cat asked WebSkulker to warn you that downloading copyrighted music, etc., files from other users could be a violation of copyright law and is wrong.
One of these days, there may be enough of a breakthrough in biometrics that skulking may get a lot more difficult. Biometrics is the attempt to automatically recognize people using distinguishing traits such as their fingerprints, iris and retina patterns of the eye, and facial characteristics. These devices aren't yet very common, but the technology seems to be getting better so someday a TV camera looking at the people skulking by on a sidewalk might get pretty reliable about recognizing them.
The first link above is the home page for the Biometric Consortium which "serves as the US Government's focal point for research, development, test, evaluation, and application of biometric-based personal identification/verification technology." The second link is a quick way to get detailed information about the field because it has a bunch of links to the manufacturer's web sites to get detailed product information in the fields of face recognition, fingerprints, hand and finger geometry, handwriting, iris, retina, voice, even vein patterns!
WebSkulker never heard of the vein stuff, and found this article fascinating:
All jr. skulkers should immediately go to this page and watch the video on there. "Contestants recently gathered in London for what was not the first but the second annual round of dung-spitting championships. The fast-growing sport, which originated in Africa and begins with a fierce challenge for the best dung available, has drawn both support and criticism. The support comes from those who say the contest is nothing but good clean fun. Critics say it's simply disgusting."
The World's Thinnest Books
20. BEAUTY SECRETS by Janet Reno
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