Wednesday, December 31

PDA translates speech

PDA translates speech - in a very limited domain of Medical speak, researchers have written software to run on an iPAQ that can translate Arabic->English and English->Arabic for medical speech and have also written software to translate street signs from digital photos taken with the PDA.

With PDAs being as fast as computers were 4 or 5 years ago, they have plenty of CPU power for speech recognition. Their biggest limitation is the small amount of storage space on the devices. Give them a few more years and they'll have software like this bundled with the devices! (They have Handwriting recognition bundled with them already. Speech would be a much quicker/easier way to use the device - and would allow for usage while driving a car/etc)

Web's inventor gets a knighthood

BBC News reports that Tim Berners-Lee, one of the pioneers of WWW and the founder and chairman of the W3C, has been awarded a knighthood.

Friday, December 26

Mars Express

The Mars Probe launched by the European Space Agency has reached orbit around the Red Planet. It arrived at 03:47 CET 25/12/2003.

At about the same time, the Beage 2 lander entered the atmosphere. They have yet to establish contact with the lander.

Tuesday, December 23

Antibubbles in Beer from Belgium

Antibubbles in Beer from Belgium. It seems belgium beer is similar to, but not the same as dishwater.

Friday, December 19

Wooden Ferrari

A Wooden Ferrari boat. Very well made. No specs on this thing, only a few pictures.

Tuesday, December 16

Longest Line - Ginza Apple Store (Tokyo)

Movie of the opening of the new Apple store in Japan. Or more specifically, the Queue outside the store. See the movie to the end to see how long the queue is.

Apple opened their first store in Japan on Sunday, November 30, 2003.

Wired News has some more information from an American who flew over for the opening, so as to gather information for his website - ifoapplestore.com, including revelations about their visitor tracking system and store standardisation.

Saturday, December 13

Digital vs Analogue Cameras

Would Ansel Adams Have Gone Digital? asked Peter Lewis to Richard loPinto, vice president for SLR camera systems at Nikon. Executive summary at radio.weblogs.com.

Extremely short summary: Yes - he liked using cutting edge technology.

The Ansel Adams Gallery has many of his pictures online.

Thursday, December 11

Monkey Play

We have found some old, previously unreleased dirty photos of Ice Monkey, one of our work mascots, whose death was first reported here last month.

Is seems that the original article has gotten some publicity and at another place also. People have also found it by doing google searches for "Ice Monkey".

Wednesday, December 10

DIY Cruise Missile Shutdown

The project to construct a Cruise Missile for under US$5000 has been shut down by the New Zealand government, in what appears to be an illegal fashion.

As he hadn't broken any laws, the NZ Government couldn't shut his project down by direct methods, so they have deliberately scuttled a licensing deal he has with a US Company over a different product and are causing a nuisance with his website and other things.

Wednesday, December 3

Tuesday, December 2

If a Computer Beeps and There is No One Around...

If a Computer Beeps and There is No One Around...:
A supposedly actual bug report allegedly from someone at Microsoft.

"Visual C++ makes an audible signal when a build completes. When no
developer is in the room, this signal doesn't make a sound. To reproduce:

1) Start a build.
2) Leave the room.
3) Note that the chime does not make a sound.

We should find a way to make the build bell make a sound even if nobody
is there to hear it.

This philosophical issue may need program management's attention before
being resolved."

Monday, December 1

Rings stars keep souvenirs

The Australian reports: "ELIJAH Wood has the ring, Sean Astin has Sam's bag and Peter Jackson has, well, a framed carrot."

And the guy behind Gollum got a rubber fish.

Saturday, November 29

New DVD Format Approved

New DVD Format Approved:
NEC and Toshiba's HD-DVD has been approved as the next generation standard for DVDs.

This standard will store five times more information than current DVDs, allowing them to place "High Definition" content on the DVD, rather than the "Standard Definition" content that DVDs currently have.

NEC and Toshiba's consortium beat the Blu-Ray consortium to get their product approved by the DVD Forum. Both NEC and Toshiba plan to sell computers with the new model drives in the near future (2005).

Friday, November 28

Fab!

Thunderbirds Are Go! (shockwave flash movie), the Live Action Thunderbirds movie, coming out for Cinemas in America, Summer 2004.

Looks a bit dodgy from the trailer, but it is hard to tell with the low quality of this preview.

Thursday, November 27

Docker Magnetic Wireless Headset

MobileBurn.com Reviews the Docker Magnetic Wireless Headset.

I'm still on my quest to find a good wireless headset for my mobile phone. None of the bluetooth headsets are up to scratch, with sound quality issues and feature issues (like not being able to play music through them).

This Magnetic Wireless Headset seems to do all the things that I would want from a headset. It is small, has about a 16-20 hour talktime from 1 AA battery, is compatible with most phones (the miniature docking station plugs into the phone via the 2.5mm headset jack).
From the review, the sound quality is just as good as most of the wired headsets available. This is good news.
I havn't seen any of these at the shops yet, and there was no mention of price in the article, but futher research yields a price of US$75. This is extremely reasonable for this type of device. (The bluetooth headsets were approximately US$400!) I could purchase it from the US at TAG Accessories, but I am probably much better off waiting for it to come out in Australia.

Santa's helper throttles teen

Aftenpoften, a Norway newspaper, reports:
'"He came up behind me and shouted at me. I didn't think elves did that kind of thing," Osland told the newspaper. "He grabbed me, first with one hand, then the other, so that he was strangling me. He said I should respect animals. The elf scared me a bit."'

Wednesday, November 26

LOTR:ROTK - Weta Digital Stuff

Wired Reports:
"Servers in renderwall: 1,600
Processors (total): 3,200
...
Temperature of equipment rooms: 76 degrees
Fahrenheit Weight of air conditioners needed to maintain that temperature: 1/2 ton"

With 50% more f/x shots that TTT, and composed of more data the the frist 2 movies combined, I'm really looking forward to what Weta has done. (And the actors/directors/script writers/hairstylists/etc. :)

Tuesday, November 25

Master/Slave

Snopes has a new entry on the term "Master/Slave":
"Claim: The County of Los Angeles has requested that equipment vendors avoid using the industry term 'Master/Slave' in product descriptions and labelling.

Status: True. "

It turns out that someone within the County's bureaucracy took offence to the term. More details along the link.

Thursday, November 20

American Woman Has Stroke, Gets British Accent

Woman Has Stroke, Gets British Accent - A University of Central Florida speech expert has diagnosed the extremely rare disorder. (After all, British Accents are considered a disorder in the US). The poor woman has become a recluse because of the accent and even considered living in Brittain.

Slashdot | Ebola Vaccine Human Trials Begin

From Slashdot - Ebola Vaccine Human Trials Begin, but they only have 2 volunteers so far, out of the 27 they require.

Saturday, November 15

Banking Scam Revealed

Banking Scam Revealed is a very good article describing the process used and results thereof when tracking down a Banking Scam e-mail.

Quite revealing.

Text Mode Demo Competition

TMDC: "CPU speeds keep getting higher, but the resolution stays the same. Do you have what it takes to make text mode look good ?"

Friday, November 14

Drinking On A weeknight?

Upon closer inspection, it has been discovered that "The Depot", diagonally oposite The Corner in richmond has $2.50 drinks between 9pm and midnight. After being dragged there by some people, I have now arrive home on aweeknight completely smashed, getting the last train home and being extremely drunk, dizzy, numb, etc.
Lets see how work goes tommorrow....

Thursday, November 13

Israeli Steadicopter prototype pilotless helicopter stolen

Globes [online] in Israel reports: "Steadicopter's prototype pilotless helicopter stolen"

The helicopter has just finished its test flights successfully. It is apparently the only successfull pilotless helicopter of its type around. It did not use a remote control. It flies to a given GPS location.

Wednesday, November 12

Monkey Spunkle

The Last Day of Ice Monkey - "Ice Monkey, formerly one of the many mascots in my immediate working area, was found (once again) in a torturous position. Earlier in the week, he was seen trapped inside a drink bottle, with nothing to eat or drink, and not even an air hole. Imprisoned for no comprehensible reason."
Updated: Now with a working link.

Monday, November 10

Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers (Collector's Extended Edition) (2002)

Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers Extended Edition (and collectors box set) are going to be released on DVD on 18-Nov-2003. Waiting.... Waiting....

Alias the Jester

How many of you remember that little show that they used to put between other childrens shows to fill in the short gaps?

Alias the Jester: "Alias, as the theme song tells us, was a
time-traveller whose ship developed a fault and deposited him in Britain in the Middle Ages. He is befriended by Meredith, wizard to King Arthur, who gets him a job as the Royal Jester. When danger threatens, Alias, along with his pet Boswell, leap into action to save the day."

And thus a new breed of Sci-Fi and Medeival liking kids were born.
Theme music can be found on this site.

And thats your 80's cartoon link for the day. The show only ran for 13 episodes of 10 minutes each. It won BAFTA Best Short Animated Film in 1986.

What is the story behind the artwork for "Album of the year"

I bought Faith No More's Album of the Year today. One of the people at my work asked who the guy on the front cover was. His research came up with the following (not sure of the source):

Bill Gould says:
"Actually the man was an old president of Czechoslovakia who died in the '30's, but his significance is more symbolic than political. He was a very aristocratic president at a time when Czechoslovakia was one of the richest countries in the world. His funeral was HUGE (they are the shots on the album artwork) and his death took place on the eve of WW2. If there is any symbolic importance, it is the depiction of the death of a 'golden age.'"

The artwork was also used on FNM Tour T-shirts in Europe. A lot of people are of the opinion that the man pictured is 'Lenin'. He isn't. Billy had this to say:
"I realized that his "death mask" face looked alot like Lenin, but not until after the shirts were printed. We might change it."
The name of the president is Tomas Garrigue Masaryk (1850-1937). He was the first president of independent Czechoslovakia (1918).

Inside the CD sleeve in the funeral picture, the words "Pravda Vitez" appear on the coffin. "Pravda Videz" translates to "Knight of truth - Knight if integrity". It means "Truth will prevail".

Friday, November 7

Star Wars Original Trilogy DVDs

Ain't It Cool News is reporting that the Original Star Wars Trilogy is going to be released on DVD in September 2004, ahead of the May 2005 launch of Episode 3 at the Cinemas.

Thursday, November 6

Craft reaches, perhaps passes, solar system edge

Voyager 1 is 'beginning the exploration of a new frontier,' said Voyager project scientist Edward Stone, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Voyager 1, which was launched from Cape Canaveral on September 5, 1977, has now possibly reached the heliopause, the region at the edge of our solarsystem where the solar wind is stopped by the interstellar medium. The instrument that could tell the scientists definately whether it has reached that point broke down years ago, so they are relying on other measurements to try to establish the amount of solar wind and temperature.

Wednesday, November 5

Oncolytics

Human Clinical Studies by Oncolytics Biotech Inc, have shown that a naturally occuring Reovirus can be used to successfully treat cancer, with no adverse events related to the virus and no dose-limiting toxicites were detected. Impressive before/after shots from one patient are included halfway down the page.

The FAQ has some interesting facts about the virus.

Tuesday, November 4

Cup Day Travels

I went on a nice day-trip today with a few friends. We did a short (couple of hour :) drive down to Colac first, where we stopped at the Visitor Information desk to pick up more detailed instructions on how to get to our next destination, then had a nice relaxed picnic lunch by Lake Colac.

We then proceeded with the next leg of our journey, down to the Otway Fly Treetop Walk, which was quite fun. The treetop part of the walk is only 600m, which was quite long enough. It started with a downhill walk through some rainforest, with numbered notes spaced nicely along the way. Eventually the track reaches the treetop bit, which involves walking forwards, as they placed it on the edge of a hill. The platform was very steady, only moving slightly when a number of people were walking along a section of the platform at a time, or when the wind blew strongly. The railings were also very high, giving a sense of security.
Given the perfect weather (about 23 and Fine), the walk was very enjoyable, with good scenery and a leaflet with notes to follow along with things that we are seeing.

I went home with one companion via the great ocean road. The other four people needed to get back to melbourne in a timely manner or did not want to go the extra distance, so went the quicker route via Colac in the second car. We stopped by an almost deserted beach (except for the 4 people fishing 100m further down) for a while, got our feet wet, then moved along for the long windy trip that is the Great Ocean Road. We drove relatively slowly, as my companion was feeling a bit carsick, and eventually stopped in Torquay for a Pizza dinner, before driving the rest of the way home.

All in all, it was a very nice day out, that I will have to repeat (to different destinations) a few more times over the course of this upcoming summer.

Monday, November 3

Man Accused Of Using Gun To Castrate Dog

Ouch!

At home with Hitler

At home with Hitler: Homes and Garden Magazine, November 1938 issue, did an article on Hitlers Mountain Retreat.
Homes and Garden Magazine has tried to supress the scanned images, but the copyright is dubious due to the age, so it is still on the net.

"It is over twelve years since Herr Hitler fixed on the site of his one and only home. It had to be close to the Austrian border, barely ten miles from Mozart's own medieval Salzburg."

Sunday, November 2

Lemming deaths

Lemming deaths: The vole truth is out there.: "Unexplained population crashes of this rodent of the high northern latitudes have bred the myth that, whenever they become too numerous for the available food, the creatures band together and fling themselves off cliffs in a crazed suicidal rush.
However researchers now say the truth is even more complex."

Their population appears to flux over a 4 year cycle with some predators and a related species.

Are we going to require a revision to the classic lemmings games? Perhaps it could have the lemmings being clever enough not to fall off the cliffs, and would involve the introduction of some predators into the game...

Friday, October 31

Mini-KISS

What happens when you get a bunch of dwarfs performing as a KISS Cover band? You get Mini-KISS!
Photos are from a performance in Atlanta on July 3, 2003.

Thursday, October 30

Art Search

Web Gallery of Art - Search allows searching for Paintings/Sculptures/etc, by Time (1151 to 1800 in 100 year increments), by School, Form, Type, Location or Artist.

Thanks to Skud for the link on her livejournal.

Wednesday, October 29

Polaroid photography by Mark-Steffen Göwecke

Polaroid photography by Mark-Steffen Göwecke: "All began in 1996 in Bretany, France:

On a beach I photographed with a the SX-70 a polaroid showing sand and stones. Again the resulting picture was photographed with the Polaroid-camera.
The distances in space and time became greater.
The previous polaroid is allways the basis for the next one and so on ..."

While I'm linking to Art, how about some Minimalist Porn (work safe). Requires Shockwave Flash.

Tuesday, October 28

Rude Food

Rude Food - This site collects references to foods with names ranging from "Anis Kockens", through "Black Bush" irish whiskey, through to "Vergina" Premium Lager ('It does have an inviting taste' - according to the webpage) and "Woodii" Sugar coated jelly bananas.

They don't seem to have this product on their site yet. Perhaps someone should submit it to them.

Friday, October 24

Things aint what they used to be

hp 49g+ graphing calculator, with USB, IrDA, 75Mhz processor, 3D graphing modes, multiple entry modes (RPN, algebraic and textbook). Not just your average calculator (for not just your average calculator cost). Also very big and chunky at 18.4 x 8.7 x 2.35 cm

This is not just your average laser printer, it can do engraving/cutting/marking onto anything from paper to wood to leather. (Shockwave flash and WMV's links on the site showing it in action).

Thursday, October 23

The Smoking Gun

This guy was clocked at 182Mph in a 55Mph zone.
Theoretical Question: If you has a Lamborghini Diablo, how fast would you drive?

If you did get seen going that fast and need to escape from the police, you could always ship yourself somewhere in a crate.

Porno Karaoke

Moans and screams as Germans fall for porno karaoke - www.theage.com.au: "Porno karaoke is similar to traditional karaoke - but, instead of standing in for Whitney Houston or Frank Sinatra, contestants belt out the soundtracks of adult movie stars."

Tuesday, October 21

What's Special?

A few quick links today that I've saved up for a Rainy Day.

What's Special About This Number?

Pornolize your website. Or you could just "do it" to my Blog or Slashdot.org
Though this website didn't need to be pornolized. They have since taken down "Gaye Males" profile page, though she is still in the list of "Sales Representatives" from their firm. (Notice the dead link halfway down the left hand column)

Wednesday, October 15

Japanese Story Review

Well, not really much of a review, as saying anything about the storyline would probably be giving too much away. Japanese Story is wonderfully put together. It is set in Outback Australia, and is filled with lots of emotion and wonderfull Australian desert scenery.
I normally dread watching Australian films, but this one has really turned the boat. It is a very moving film, which had a few people in the cinema crying at various times in the film, sighing with delight at others.

I give this film 5 Kangaroos, as the best Australian film I've seen in a few years. (Currency conversion ratio to US Stars from Australian Kangaroos is available from any Decent Cinema website).

Tuesday, October 14

TV's Tipping Point: Why The Digital Revolution Is Only Just Beginning

BBC's directory of New Media & Technology, Ashley Highfield talks about the future of TV.
He makes some good points/predictions for the future, including forseeing the channels being more of a kaleidoscope, thousands of streams of content, some indistinguishable as actual channels. These streams will mix together broadcaster' content and programmes, and our viewers' contributions. At the simplest level -- audiences ill want to organize and re-order content the way they want it."
Sounds like the Internet to me. Download the content as you want it. Rewatch it whenever you want.

Ashley also envisions the content providers putting lots of meta-data into the programmes so that they can "be chopped up and consumed piece meal by the viewer".

An interesting, insightfull but long read.

Sharp Intros Laptop With 3D Display

Sharp Intros Laptop With 3D Display: "In addition to the three-dimensional images displayed on the two-dimensional LCD by the graphics chip, the notebook can switch to a mode where two images are displayed in parallax, creating the illusion of a three-dimensional image floating in air."

It will be interesting to see how well this display works. Will we be playing computer games in true 3D soon? How about 3D TV?

The information on sharps website suggests that some games will already work in 3D on their machine.
Battery Life is only Approx 1.3hrs, and it weighs in at 4.6kg, quite heavy (the equivalent size Apple Powerbook weighs 2.5kg)

Monday, October 13

Credit Card Collections

A friend of mine works at Credit Card Collections at one of Australias leading 4 banks.
He sent me the following e-mail:

Subject: MRS/CONCCENTINA_A+PRIORE
Cardholder advised unable to go to branch due to incident involving falling anvil. Advised also that launching civil action vs. ACME corporation and Wylie Coyote, successful settlement of which should be able to allow cardholder to clear arrears on account.

Inner Peace

By following the simple advice I read in an article, I have finally found inner peace.....

It read: "The way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you've started."

So I looked around to see all the things I started and hadn't finished.

So, today I have finished one bottle of vodka, a bottle of red wine, a bottle of Jack Daniel's, my Prozac, a small box of chocolates and a quart of rocky road. .............You have no idea how good I feel.

-- Extract from an e-mail doing the rounds at the moment.

Friday, October 10

Classic Videogame Ads

See some old Classic Videogame Ads, scanned fresh from their original magazines, including such classics as Chopper Command. Love the T-Shirt! :)

Wednesday, October 8

Nooooooooo! Please press OK to continue.

What happens when microsoft looses a law suit: "In Microsoft® Internet Explorer 6 SP1b, the behavior of Internet Explorer has changed for certain Microsoft ActiveX® controls. Internet Explorer 6 SP1b prompts the user to determine whether a control is loaded or whether to display alternate content. This topic describes the changed behavior and how to provide the intended user experience for users of your ActiveX controls."

Microsoft lost their case against a patent which covers seamless loading of controls to handle playing of remote multimedia data. (This includes Java Applets as well as ActiveX Objects).
After applying Service Pack 1b for IE, users will get a dialog saying "Press OK to continue loading the content on this page" for each control that uses remote data.

And don't laugh if you are using a browser other than IE (such as Mozilla). The Patent applies to them also, so they will need to change their behaviour in similar ways.

Interview with Neal Stephenson

The Source of the Modern World - An interview with Neal Stephenson: "Many of the great minds in your book -- Hooke, Newton, Leibniz, etc. -- were, to put it mildly, kind of weird. But they were brilliant. I've heard a lot of people say that Richard Feynman would be too unconventional to get, or keep, a faculty position today. What about people like Newton, who was much odder? Are we sidelining our geniuses today?"

Neal Stephenson has written some very good books, including "The Diamond Age: A Young Ladys Illustrate Primer", and "Snowcrash", and for people who like lots of thought in their novels, "Cryptonomicon" is a good read, full of twisted subplots in a WW2 setting.

He has recently released a new book called "Quicksilver", hence why people are interviewing him. :)

He has a Metaweb Wiki page also.

Matrix - Heineken - Xiao Xiao advert.

Shockwave Flash movie (about 1Mb).

A nice cross between The Matrix, Xiao Xiao in the form of a Heineken add.

Tuesday, October 7

An oldie, but a goodie. Flamethrower for your car

CNN reported in December, 1998 about a South African company that makes a Flame Thrower for your car. The device is intended to stop carjackings.

'Blaster inventor Charl Fourie, 33, disputed concerns that the flamethrower could burn someone to death.'

'"My personal feeling is that it would definitely blind a person. He will never see again," he said'

What's Wacky with Google?

Slashdotran an article about some bugs with google recently:
"Google has been returning zero results or '1-1 of about xxx,000' for common searches. One-word searches seem unaffected, but there are certain two-word combinations of common words like candle truck or speaker bracelet. Reversing the order can affect searches too: motorcycle candles vs. candles motorcycle. The strange thing is that usually the 1 or 2 results found are to commerce sites."

Friday, October 3

ABC allocated datacasting licence for whole nation

ABC allocated datacasting licence for whole nation - smh.com.au:

This means that the ABC will be able to broadcast Data on their Digital TV channel, to do things such as to provide Program Guides and to help people upgrade the software on their DigitalTV set top boxes.

Thursday, October 2

Use 3G Phones and get a Headache

Wired News: 3G Mobile Signals: Health Effects: "Radio signals for the next generation of mobile phone services can cause headaches and nausea, according to a survey conducted by three Dutch ministries on the impact of tomorrow's data networks on health.
The study, the first of its kind, tested the impact of radiation from base stations used for the current mobile telephone network, against those for new third generation, or 3G, networks for fast data transfer -- which will enable services such as video conferencing on a mobile device."

Another good reason not to get one of those fancy video mobile phones.

Wednesday, October 1

AA Batteries

I know it doesn't sound all that exciting... but... - "The worlds longest lasting AA battery"

Sunday, September 28

Star Trek:TNG - The Borg Cube Box Set

Article on DVDDebate.com

"Paramount have just sent us full details of their November 3rd release of The Borg Megacube. This set will include every single episode from all seven seasons of the highly acclaimed Sci Fi TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation. Containing no less than 48 DVDs and boasting a £449.99 RRP, this could be the largest and most expensive commercial DVD box set released to date."

The article then goes on to talk about the limited edition set. They are making only 1000 of them. The box set is in the shape of a borg cupe, and includes a star-trek next gen Clock.

Looks nice....

Saturday, September 27

Orson Scott Card - Part 2

MP3s Are Not the Devil - Part 2. Orson Scott Card covers such topics as "How to Teach your Customers to Hate You" and "Clean up your own act first". He also briefly mentions his views on Drugs and Pornography.

Orson Scott Card, besides being a supporter of Internet File Sharing, is also a very good author. I just finished his book "Enders Shadow", which is a very good partner book to his original classic, "Enders Game". This book runs in parallel to Enders Game, but from the viewpoint of one of the minor characters from the first book. It is written to be read either independantly or in any order with Enders Game, and I think he has succeeded. The book was very gripping. I found it hard to put down. This book made me almost stay on the train rather than put down the book and get off at my station, on a couple of occasions. The storyline and characters are well written as is the not-so-distant future storyline.

Shutterline

Digital Photography Community: Digital Camera Forum and Photography Contests - This site has a photo of the day competition. All photos taken with digital cameras. There are some nice photos. The judges seem to select well.

Thursday, September 25

Marilyn Manson Exposed

Marilyn Manson Exposed: A page full of early pics of Manson and his band members. See Manson with a Mullet!

And while I'm posting links to bad pics - How about some sad Star Trek Fan Art?

Wednesday, September 24

The Australian: Warning on ice cube enemas

The Australian, this afternoon, issued a Warning on ice cube enemas: "'The sight of the incapacitated person with their pants around their ankles having people inserting ice cubes is beyond humiliating and potentially dangerous.
'Some of the people doing this should know better and should not pretend to be trained medical professionals.'"

Apparently people have been treating overdoses of GHB with Ice Cube Enemas, based on some urban myth that it would help.

The Story of 42 Below

A funny little flash story of 42 Below Vodka ("made in Sydney, New Zealand, by Russel Crowe").

IT Horoscopes for September 2003

Career horoscopes for geeks...

Tuesday, September 23

Cat Parasite Causes Changes in Human Behaviour

I read an article in MX Magazine last night about how a Parasite from cats can cause changes in human behaviour.

This site has the abstract of one of the papers written about the topic. Given that between 20% and 80% (depending on country) of the population are infected with this parasite, the results are a bit alarming! (Especially for Men, where all the effects are negative). Following the Related Articles, I also found this paper that suggests there is a link between the parasite and Schizophrenia.

This over-simplified article gives a very rough idea of the issue.

Monday, September 22

Friday, September 19

Kill Bill

Kill Bill, Quentin Tararantino's 4th (and 5th) Film, looks quite good from the trailer on apple's quicktime site.

It seems to be all the rage at the moment to split films into multiple segments. This one has the first part coming out in the US in October, and the next part isn't until February 2004. The movie stars Uma Thurman with a Samurai Sword.

Spamelot

Link via Slashdot, Spamelot: The Broadway Musical Announced: "SPAMELOT, a new musical adaptation of the most popular Monty Python movie, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, will open on Broadway directed by Mike Nichols and produced by Ostar Productions, in the Spring of 2005, following out-of-town engagements."

Woo-Hoo!

What a Wank

Love the animated Gif at the bottom of this page.
This is a torch that doesn't use batteries. Just shake for 30 seconds to give 5 minutes of light.

The link was forwarded to me with the subject "How to recognise a w@nker".
Is wanker considered a rude word that would be stopped by corporate firewalls?

Arrrr.... What day be this?

Avast! It's International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

You can even tryt'use t'Englisht'Pirate translator programt'help talk properly

Quizilla

Hank the Ranger
You are Hank the Ranger, leader of the group. You
have a nifty magic bow.


Which Dungeons and Dragons Cartoon Character Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, September 17

Orson Scott Card on why MP3s Are Not the Devil

Art Watch - September 7, 2003 - MP3s Are Not the Devil - The Ornery American: "In all the ridiculously overblown 'estimates' of how much the studios and record companies are 'losing' from 'piracy,' nobody bothers to calculate just how much extra money they made from consumers paying full price for music and movies they had already paid full price for only a few years before."

OSC also does a good commentry on the Palestinian situation.

Tuesday, September 16

Monkey

Crucify the Monkey!



No! Don't crucify the monkey. It did nothing wrong!

Too Late.


In other news, the first episode of Dr Who aired last night while I was eating dinner before seeing the Marylon Manson concert. The DigiTV software made a very nice recording of it for me, which I then proceded to watch at midnight, when I got home from the concert. Many drinks were consumed during and after watching the episode, until it started to get light outside. Lucky I'm taking the rest of this week off work.

Sleep

Who needs sleep?
I woke up at 6:15am yesterday. So far I've been awake for 31 hours.

Sunday, September 14

Counter-Intelligence

An interesting article on counter-intelligence, safety of information on laptops, etc. From September 1999. (Coutesy of the Internet Archive)

I found this article while trawling Ray Ozzie's weblog. Ray Ozzie was one of the original programmers for Lotus Notes, among other things. He has a few interesting stories on his site, including this one that I was reading, about network insecurity.

He recently decided to try and help Microsoft to refute a patent on some web-browser technology by demonstarting that Lotus Notes R3 could do the same things as the patent, about a year earlier (1993).

SexyLosers Online Comic Update

Ever had one of your parents tell you when/were you were conceived?

That is the topic of this weeks Sexylosers comic. (Warning - Adult content on link)

For anyone that was following this site, it has now moved to a new domain (www.sexylosers.com), from their previous keenspace.com address.

Saturday, September 13

Hybrid Electric Cars

I plan to trade in my car sometime before November 2004, when the 6 year manufacturers warranty expires. So I'm keeping my eyes open for interesting or good cars.

I'm always interested in new technology, and one of the cars that has gotten my attention is the Toyota Prius. The original model available in Australia (2001 - 2003) was a bit gutless at high speeds and is too small.
The new 2004 Toyota Prius 5-passenger midsize liftback has been made bigger, more powerful and more fuel efficient. When it comes out in Australia I'll have to give it a test-drive.

Text (non-flash) version of the marketing and specs.

This new model has fold-down seats, fly-by-wire gear-stick, throttle, ... Electronically controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (no gear changes!), and funky proximity style keyless entry and keyless ignition. Hopefully Australia also gets the optional Navigation System that is being offered in Japan and the US.

Any money saved on Fuel Efficiency (over 21km/l) over the lifetime of this car would never pay the difference in cost between it and other similar sized cars. But the idea of the electric engine and regenerative breaking is pretty nice!

Next dream.

CDs 'sound better' with fungus

Courtesy of news.com.au,
CDs 'sound better' with fungus according to Cameron Jones, an Australian scientist and nightclub/bar owner in Melbourne.

His latest experiments involve smearing yoghurt onto CDs, letting it dry and then playing the CD.
I'm not trying that experiment anywhere near any of MY cd players. I'm sure yoghurt would do wonders for the lense and other internals of the player!

Thursday, September 11

Star Trek: Law and Order

Star Trek: Law and Order - a (big - 14mb) Shockwave Flash "movie" - Star Trek/Law and Order crossover.

Complete with a midi generated thememusic crossover.
unfortunately it is 20 minutes long, with no fast-forward.

Wednesday, September 10

Computer Bugs

Yesterday was the aniversary of the first logged actual computer bug

Relay #70 Panel F (moth) in relay.

David Bowie "Concert"

Format:


  • 30 Minute wait, as the tickets said 8:30pm, but the show started at 9pm

  • Brief (5 second) introduction by Sony representative

  • Brief introduction by Richard Wilkins

  • Pre-recorded concert from the previous day in England, where they did the full thing live

  • Live Interview, complete with Echos as the presenter in each Asia/Pacific country asked their questions

  • Pre-recorded Encore, based on the songs voted for on bowie.net



It is a good concept, but requires some work to bring the audience into it more. I can see them doing more of this type of thing in the future. Especially as Digital Projects become more common, and as data bandwidth becomes cheaper.

There were serious problems with the audio, ranging from a 50hz hum throughout the performance, to the bad mixing of the performance (especially for the first few songs). There were times when some instruments sounded clear and loud, while other instruments and the vocals were distant and muffled.

The crowd didn't really get into the performance much, though it sounded like the sydney crowd which had the presenter standing in front of them during the introduction and interviews, might have.

It was an enjoyable concert, but the format requires a fair bit of work. I would also have preferred to get up at 5am and see a real live performance, than see this 'delayed live' performance.

Monday, September 8

(Borrowed) Philisophical thought for the day...

Jim sent me an e-mail containing the following:

Socrates: Macquarie Bank rules the Universe
Plato: Correction, Macquarie Bank thinks they rule the Universe
Aristotle: From my observations, the people who work for Macquarie Bank don’t rule the Universe, but they sure are a bunch of CRAZED CONTROL FREAKS!!!

A Blast From the Past

Remember those Atari 2600 Game consoles?

Someone has gone and done a case-mod for one of those old joysticks, fitting into the joystick the console and 10 games! The joystick takes AA batteries and plugs directly into the TV.

ThinkGeek :: Atari Classics 10-in-1 TV Games

Saturday, September 6

Dilbert

Is this you? Do you say what you want in an interview or are you carefull with your editing?



Post a comment to say what you would do.

Friday, September 5

'Firefly' lands in film afterlife

'Firefly' lands in film afterlife: "In addition to having adapted it for the big screen, Whedon will also make his feature directorial debut with the project. Plans are to see 'Firefly' go into production in first-quarter 2004."

Firefly was a TV Series with a lot of potential. It was a shame that they cancelled it so early. It's good to see the Joss Whedon didn't give up on it. Universal is now going to make it into a film. (The reverse of what he did with Buffy - going from Film to TV).

Car Accident

It seems that sometime between when I got home late last night, and when I left the house early this morning, a car had quietly parked it's bonnet through a power pole at the roundabout near my house.
The car was sitting there, serenely blocking part of the road. There didn't seem to be anyone inside.

I'm sure someone will remove the car eventually.

Thursday, September 4

Bumpernuts

This site just shows that people sell anything on the internet.

'Music pirate' challenges industry

A P2P Filesharing user who got sued by the RIAA is contesting her case.

'Music pirate' challenges industry: "Mr Oppenheim also said the RIAA was immume from rules on unreasonable searches on the internet, because it did not have links with law enforcement agencies. "
He also said that the arguements that the RIAA had broken state and federal laws were "Surprisingly shallow".

I guess the RIAA has enough money to write their own laws in the US if they wanted.

Tuesday, September 2

Self-Parking Car on Sale in Japan

From Yahoo news, via Slashdot - Toyota has started selling a car that can park itself without the driver having to touch the steering wheel.

The new model Prius uses "electrically operated power steering and sensors" to help it reverse-park.
Sounds good. Can't wait for all cars to be fitted with this type of technology.
It has the potential to totally change things like Driving Tests, and the way people park/drive in general.

Sydney Power

First New York/Canada has a big power outage.
Then in the UK (last Friday)
Now Australia - Sydney has about 50 buildings without power in it's CBD today, after a fire broke out last night in a concrete cable tunnel.

Terrorists? The government would never admit to that.
Metal Cables catch fire by themselves all the time!

Links to conspiracy theory websites may appear when I get time to search for them. :)

Monday, September 1

Hugo 2003

The Hugo Award Winners for 2003 have been announced at the Torcon 3 Hugo Awards homepage.

Neil Gaiman picks up Best Novella for Coraline
Buffy the Vampire Slayer pciks up Best Short Form Dramatic Presentation for "Conversations With Dead People"
Best Novel went to Robert J Sawyer for his novel, Hominids

Bizarre Conversations

From: aknyra
To: sauhsoj
Subject: bizarre conversations
Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2003 18:09:27 +1000 (EST)

"Hello can I speak to Joshua Samuel?"
"He's not home."
"Oh, can I ask if he's from India?"
"Sorry?"
"Is he from India?"
"Noooo..."
"Oh, ok, thank you."
(click)




A friends, friends, ex-girlfirends, ex-boyfriend, who is a bit crazy, rang my friend the other day with a prepared speech something along the lines of:
Crazy: "You have been a significant influence...."
Friend:"Who are you?"
(they had never met and my friend didn't even know this guys name).

So lets add to the craziness.
We were theorising at a cafe, that it is this guy who wrang. He had somehow heard a story about me through the chain of chineese whispers and thought that I was a significant person in this girls life aswell and decided to call me. (I've met her once, and wouldn't recognise her if I bumped into her in the street).
He must have gotten my number by looking up the whitepages online.
It's a shame I wasn't home to answer it. I could have had all sorts of fun not answering this persons questions.

Saturday, August 30

Digital TV Card Update

I plugged in the Card last night.
Start up the computer.
Drivers are detected fine. Software installs fine.
Start up software, it starts to autotune the channels. Picture looks crystal clear.
Go to the channel listing, and only 9 and 10 had been detected.
I do another scan, and ABC and 7 are also picked up.

The stations that are getting picked up correctly are working well. Some tweaking still required of the MPEG decoder, to avoid ghosting on moving images (it's an issue with Interlacing/Deinterlacing probabally)

Reading the forums eveyrone else is having the same problem. The company is working on a bug-fix for the software ASAP. (Actual problems are: Channel 7 tuning, but not being picked up correctly, SBS not being tuned at all.)

Hopefully they get a fix in the next few days.
Update:They got a fix that night. All is now working well.

Friday, August 29

Predictions from A Young Ladys Illustrated Primer

In Neal Stephensons book - The Diamond Age: or a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer, he predicts nanobots designed to counteract other nanobots. You would set up your privacy shield of nanobots, constantly sprayed around the front door of your house, etc.

In Slashdot today, Blocker Tags to Protect Privacy From RFID Tags, yes, those tiny (microscopic) tags that can be used to track things, now have a tiny countermeasure.

Astroboy

Soaring high in the sky,
He may be small but only in size.
Astroboy, Astroboy,
He is brave and gentle and wise!

Stronger than all the rest,
this mighty robot will pass the test,
Oh villians fear him, so we cheer him,
The amazing Astroboy!

When you need someone strong,
Our robot friend will never be long.
Astroboy, Astroboy,
He will try to right any wrong!

When there's danger near by,
No matter who, what, where, when or why.
He'll defend us, he'll defend us,
The amazing Astroboy!

Thursday, August 28

Day of Nothingness

Woke up this morning with a stuffy/sore head, runny nose, coughing and feeling off-colour. After I'd gotten up and dressed I decided to take the day off work. So I e-mailed in sick. (Don't even need to speak to anyone nowadays!)

The days rest/pottering around has done good. I'm feeling much better now.

The Digital TV PCI card# that I ordered is probabally sitting on my desk at work now. The place I ordered it from was delivering them in a First Ordered First Out fashion, and mine was expected to be posted yesterday.
Update - Fri Aug 29, 7:30am: As expected, there was an expresspost postpak sitting on my desk when I arrived this morning. Contents are as expected, nicely wrapped in bubble wrap.

Tuesday, August 26

How many pixels are there in a frame of 35mm film?

How many pixels are there in a frame of 35mm film?
Barb asked me a similar question, and I answered something along the lines of "film is analogue, so it's a bit hard to tell. If you zoom in far enough on the film then it will start to get splodgy..."

The above article says that on a handheld camera, it's approximately equal to a 4 Mega-pixel Digital Camera. With a Tripod and good lenses, it's approximately a 20 Mega-pixel digital camera.

The same person did an article on photos he couldn't have taken with his digital camera back in 1999. Economies and Quality have changed massively since then. His 1 to 2 year estimates on when the quality would shift about were quite accurate.

Monday, August 25

Buffalo Soldier

Music: Computer Fan

No, not the Bob Marley song. The Movie.
This was quite an enjoyable movie, about drug dealing and bullying in the US Army. Specifically based around some soldiers based in West Germany around the time that the Berlin Wall was being torn down.
Joaquin Phoenix plays an army specialist in a supply division. Many amusing moments. Many moments when I thought that the story was just too unbeleivable. No-one would do that and get away with it!

If you like movies with a combination of Drugs, Comedy and a little bit of Violence, then you'll probabally enjoy this movie.

Sunday, August 24

Party Postmortem

Mood: Relaxed, Tired
Music: Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here and Meddle

The Party went quite well.
People didn't really start to turn up until quite late, probabally figuring (quite correctly) that the party will go lateish.
Most people seemed to be enjoying themselves, and things didn't really die out at all until everyone left at around 3am.

Only a few bits of lost property, all now identified.

  • A handbag, that was picked up at 3:45am that morning.

  • A small black cardigan, soon to be picked up by its owner

  • A backpack, that I'm giving back to it's owner tommorrow


The cleanup this morning went well. We (Dave, Ainsley and Myself) cleaned up the house in an hour, after we all got up at around 11am. The house is now cleaner than before the party! (Freshly mopped/vacuumed floors, etc). Cleaning was followed by a much needed post-drinking big breakfast at the local cafe. Yum.

Saturday, August 23

Digital TV for Computer - Followup

After a bit of research and thinking, I've gone and ordered myself a Nebula DigiTV PCI Digital TV Tuner card for my HTPC, with the aim being to have it set up and working well before September 15, for archiving of DrWho in a decent form.

More updates as I attempt to get it installed. Hopefully I get adequate reception for Digital TV in my house!

Lord of the Rings Movies Information

New Line Cinema has decided to re-release to film the first two Lord of the Rings movies, in their extended form!

They are planning on showing them in the two weeks leading upto the release of the film. The press release doesn't say whether they will be showing the extended versions in Australia.

Choices: Do I re-watch the extended versions on DVD in the days leading upto the Return of The King release, or do I see them at the cinema...

Thursday, August 21

What a week

Mood: Agravated and Unsettled

Oh what a week!
Only 47hours till my Party!
Only 21hours till the end of the work week.
I'm ready for the week to finish now...

Almost yelled at a delivery person for interrupting me. Luckily my logic kicked in before my mood could take control, or else I'd have to cook dinner myself.

Wednesday, August 20

Blackout - At Work

Well, not exactly a blackout.
All the desks in my "cluster" at work have their power connected to the previous one.
The person sitting at the desk next to me put his feet up on the conduit holding the power cord and kicked out my desks power.

Doh! Last 5 minutes work lost.

On turning on the computer, after the automatic scanning of the disk for errors, WindowsXP decided it liked the screen BLUE. Yes, a Blue Screen of Death.
The computer wouldn't even boot up in safe mode.

I've just re-installed XP, only to have inetinfo.exe crash during the installation.

I think it's time to start fresh with the operating system..... :(

US Blackout's Internet Effect

Renesys Corporation has done a small report on the effects of the big blackout in the US (on Aug 14) on internet routing.

There is an animation showing routers going offline and a couple of graphs showing routing table sizes and changes to the routes.

Analysis of Linux Code that SCO Alleges Is In Violation Of Their Copyright and Trade Secrets.

SCO made the "mistake" of showing some slides of the Linux code that allegedly violates their copyright.
Within hours, some people had done an Analysis of the Linux Code that SCO Alleges Is In Violation Of Their Copyright and Trade Secrets.
Linux Weekly News also has some info.

It seems the code in question was published freely under the BSD Public License, by SCO and by other people, and another version of the same algorithm was published in Kernighan & Ritchie's The C Programming Language in 1978, without any restrictions.

Lies, Lies and SCO....

Sunday, August 17

Word of the day

Oartuaky

Edited transcript of MSN convesation (with big bits taken out):
Josh: lsaj;klj;saljk;sfajdalflkghuoiovmnxvczn
S: is that indicative of your mood.
Josh: oartuaky
Josh: or partially.
S:oooh!! cool word!
Josh: depending on spelling
Josh: same work though.

Josh: Youw seawch - oartuaky - did not match any documents. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit!
No pages wewe found containing "oartuaky".

(Yes, I have google set to the Elmer Fudd language by default on all my 'putas.)

Word 2:
Googleplex - A (specific) big number with lots of zeros on the end. - 10^[(10)^100].

Thursday, August 14

Countdown to September 15

Dr Who Returns September 15.
I know lots of you already know. But I couldn't find the link mentioned anywhere, so I thought I better place it here, so I remember when it was that it restarted (when I look back on this in 5 years time, when it finishes)

Wednesday, August 13

Modern Drunkard Magazine

Modern Drunkard Magazine - a most excellent publication.

Read about using booze to overcome life's many obstacles, and other wonderfull articles.

And while I'm posting random links - Compare the dimensions of your favourite Science Fiction Starships.

Tuesday, August 12

RoboSweep

RoboSweep is an "Intelligent" sweeper. Cheap.

Caveats:


  • Inteligent means that it was designed to be simple. No circuit boards! The inteligence is entirely mechanical.

  • It's cheap and nasty and doesn't work.

Monday, August 11

Random Blogs of Destiny/Despair

Are kelly and beth destined for each other?
(Kelly's dog also has a blog)

Welcome to AUSWAY PUBLISHING --- Melway Edition 1

I was discussing the Jollimont railyards recently, and we looked up a melways from a decade ago. Specifically, the area where the new Federation square is now built and the surrounding features. -- Maps 43/44

The year was 1966. Southbank developments hadn't even been thought of yet. The Childrens court was next to the Beaurepairs Swimming Baths on Batman Ave (later renamed to The State Swim Centre, then even later, apparently demolished when they removed the road it was located on and replaced it with parkland), with a couple of ovals down the road at flinders park (now the location of the Tennis Centre).
Welcome to AUSWAY PUBLISHING --- Melway Edition 1
Oh, and does anyone want to go to the Clayton (Metro Twin) Drive-In Theatre? (Map 70 - H11)

Yes, thats right. I managed to stumble across the first edition of the melways. A lot has changed since 1966.
The westgate bridge was build in 1978. Hitachi supplied the first of Melbournes new train fleet in December 1972. The Jollimont railyards was "rationalised" in 1999. I'm sure people can list hundreds of other things that have changed in the city precinct since then.

Feel free to leave comments or links in the comments section. :)

Sunday, August 10

Photos

I just copied some photos off my phone that have been sitting there for a while.

Avril's 1950's party with some of the Ladies dressed up nicely for the occasion.

One of the kooshballs that I bought the other week and the box they arrive in, with all the kooshballs inside.

Finally, a cariacture of my uncle, published in the The Australian Financial Review on 6/8/03.

I know, I don't take very exciting photos. That's one (of many!) reasons that I'm not a professional photographer.

Friday, August 8

Digital TV for the Computer

I hadn't looked for a while, but it appears that Computer Digital TV Cards are now available for use in Australia!

They are still quite expensive (A$330). Hopefully they come down in price over the next 6 months or so.

Existing analog TV Tuner cards provide very poor quality picture. Digital ones should provide perfect picture, and also require less CPU to record shows (as the picture is already MPEG encoded).

If I mix this with some Alpha release Home Theatre PC software, I might be able to get a decent setup going.

Trains

Ever recognised someone on a train, but decided that you weren't in the mood to socialise, so you avoided eye contact and pretend you didn't see the person?

I did this the other day. The seat next to me then freed up on the train, and the person sat down in that seat.

What do I do? I can't acknowledge the person now, after not acknowledging them earlier. I have my headphones on, so if I keep on looking forward, I won't be able to hear them either. I am very uncomfortable.

The person looks across at me. Stares across infact, or Glares. What do I do? I can't do anything. The stare or glare is an acknowledgement that I have intentionally ignored her. I can't break that now! So I do nothing. Stare forwards, and listen to the immortal advice from the radio-play that I am listening to - "Don't Panic".

She sits next to me for the remainder of my journey. I go to get off at my station. She stands up at the same time. I walk quickly off the train, and walk fast home, not looking back.

No entry in her livejournal yet. Sorry Sasha, if you read this!

Thursday, August 7

No Caffiene

I'm on my second day of no coffee. I had some chocolate yesterday, I'm not sure if that counts as enough caffeine to aleviate symptoms.

I've had a headache all morning. The standard caffeine withdrawl headache.
It seems to be getting worse this afternoon.

Update: 7pm
Headache got worse over the day. Also a bit of nausea. I left work slightly early. Got home. Took panadeine and Vegamite Toast. Waiting for vegamite toast to relieve pain and for panadeine to do whatever it wants to do.
I hope it's better tommorrow.

Wednesday, August 6

Gay party to become Death Penalty Party

In South Africa, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance recently voted to change their name to the Death Penalty Party of South Africa, iafrica.com reports.

Here in Australia, can we expect similar changes?
Perhaps the National Party can start promoting City Living and the Building Industry. Or perhaps the Greens can become the "Bring Back White Australia Policy" or something whacky like that.

Tuesday, August 5

True homemade coilgun pistol from Russia.

At lunchtime, somehow coilguns got brought up in the conversation, specifically, DC mentioned this Gauss gun made by some russion person.

Apparently the site got hit by slashdot, and as a result, Optus decided to redirect Optus Cable users using the above link to a local cached version. When transparent proxies become non-transparent...

The site above includes circuit diagrams and lots of pictures. The gun runs off 6 AA batteries, and fires the bullet silently, as no explosion is necessary for propulsion.

Monday, August 4

"some people have strong beliefs!"

What happens when a Jewish Rabbi discovers Jesus?
A cult.
This one is in Melbourne, former Jewish Rabbi, and self-confessed crazy person, Rabbi Vallins, started a small cult in Melbourne a few years ago.

He mentions on his page about being admitted into a psychiatric unit, the breakup of his marriage, falling in love with a Reverend of the Church of Christ, being fired from his position as Rabbi at a Jewish synagogue, his exploration of Japanese and Indian cults, and further adventures until he finally discovers Jesus in Washington D.C.

All worded in such a way as to make you feel like you "know him". Standard cult practice for drawing people in.

Websites like this can be amusing to read. Whackiness....

The Coffee Experiment

I first broke my caffeine addiction in Year 12, just before the mid-year exams. I used to drink a number of cans of Coke a day. Since then, I occassionally have some coffee or Coke, and suddenly I start to get withdrawl symptoms again.

I've had coffee a few times in the last few days. It started with a coffee at lunchtime on Friday. On saturday, by about 7pm, I was in desperate need of some caffiene, so I had some Coca-Cola. Sunday, I had 2 coffee's over the course of the day, in my wanderings around South Melbourne and the City.

It normally takes me a bad week of headaches and grumpiness to get myself unhooked from coffee. I'm not willing to break the cycle yet. I need to be able to concentrate at work. I'll just have to keep on drinking the stuff, I guess. Mmmm..... Coffeee.

Someone once decided to do a Coffee Experiment, which involved trying to drink a lethal dose of caffeine in the form of cups of coffee. Thanks to the lovely Internet Archive (it has recently dissappeared from the google cache), you can still read this wonderfull article. An amusing read on the effects of too much coffee. (Sorry for the bad colours. The cache didn't get the background properly)

Brannon Braga Clueless about Enterprise

Sci Fi Wire interviews Braga about enterprise: "For his part, Braga told reporters, 'I don't think creatively we were doing anything wrong. It can be debated from many different angles whether there are problems with the show. There are many people that love the show. We're very proud of the show, but we did feel that after a couple of seasons, it was time to do something differently.' So why did viewers bail last year? 'Don't know,' Braga said matter-of-factly. 'Don't know.'"

I guess he hasn't been reading any of the online reviews or talking to any former fans then.

Sunday, August 3

Tribute

"This is the worst function in the world!" -- person at work looking at some tangled/broken code.

This bought into my mind the song "Tribute" by Tenacious D.

...
[spoken]
It was the longest and most tangled function in the world... Tribute.

Long time ago, when that guy still worked here,
he was coding down a short and urgent deadline.
All of a sudden, there shined a shiny demon... in the middle... of the function.
And it said:
[sung]
"Write the worst code in the world, or I'll eat your soul."
[spoken]
Well that guy, he look at the screen,
and then he said... "Okay."
[sung]
And he coded the first thing that come into his head,
Just so happened to be,
The Worst function in the World, it was The Worst Function in the World.

Look into my eyes and it's easy to see
One and one make One-Zero, One-Zero and One-Zero make One-Zero-Zero.
It was binary.
Once every hundred-thousand lines or so,
When the power does cycle and the screen doth glow
And the keyboard doth click...

Needless to say, the boss was stunned.
Whip-crack went his schwumpy tail,
And the beast was done.
He asked him: "(snort) Be you hackers?"
And he said, "Nay. We are but men."
Rock!
Ahhh, ahhh, ahhh-ah-ah,
Ohhh, whoah, ah-whoah-oh!

This is not the Worst Function in the World, no.
This is just a tribute song.
Couldn't remember The Worst Function in the world, no, no.
This is a tribute, oh, to that Worst Function in the world,
All right! It was the Worst Function in the World,
All right! It was the most tangled function, the worst function in the world.
[spoken]
And the peculiar thing is this my friends:
the function he wrote on that fatefull night, it didn't actually run, and was not
anything like this song.
[sung]
This is just a tribute! You gotta believe me!
And I wish you never knew! Just a matter of opinion,
Ah, fuck! Good God, God livn',
So surprised to find you can't stop it.

All right! All right!


Friday, August 1

One OS to Crash Them All

At work yesterday, we found an application (A PDF converter), that could reliably crash Windows 2000 (Blue Screen of Death) when a given certain input. We tried this on a few machines, and with the latest service packs.

Under Windows 2003, it didn't crash, the program just spat out garbage.

I guess they actually did do stuff in their 1 year security/bug fix time.

Goals

I set myself a goal last month, to make the cash that I had on me last until the end of month, without withdrawing any money from the bank (including cash out from supermarkets).

I decided this, after selling my iPAQ on the 1st of July for a wad of cash.

I succeeded! Yay! I still had $15.50 in my wallet this morning.
This included paying $80 to Kellie in cash, for a Marylon Manson concert ticket.

Thursday, July 31

Kooshballs

The Koosh balls I ordered last week have finally arrived. I ordered 6 of them, for use as a general recreational device.

ie. They sit on my desk, get thrown around the office, or get held in my hand while working. (Like a stress ball, but soft and elasticy)

Lunch

I went to a "random cafe" for lunch in the city today with Jim and Barb. About 30 seconds after we sat down, Avril comes over and says "I recognise that voice!". Avril and Kellie had randomly choosen the same cafe.

Random segment of a conversation between people I know:
"I like hardware"
"Thats a shame, I only do Software"

Wednesday, July 30

A New Pillow For Singles

One of my uncles, who is in the rag trade sent me a picture of a potential new product that he came across -
picture here

He says "I am looking for consumer feedback. What do you think? Should we proceed?"

My thoughts were the it could potentially be marketed to single females 14 to 28 years old, and that it should be modified to have the ability to contain a removable hot-water bottle.

Thoughts?

Scary Robots

I've been browsing other peoples Blogs this morning, following links to further peoples blogs/webpages/LiveJournals. Along the way, I came accross this:

These Scary Robots were rated 18+ in the UK by the ethics and research committee at the University of Reading.

The robot head looks kind of like some of the robots in Terminator. (and not like any of the ones in Terminator 3)

Thanks Kym for this link.

Didn't go to work today. Wasn't feeling 100%.

So I fixed up the ADSL Modem that I broke last night while fiddling with settings. (I had to reflash the firmware by opening the modem, moving a jumper, booting to DOS and running a utility.)

My fiddling with the modem was to try allow my home computer to host some web-pages and scripts to link to from this blog. I guess I'll need to keep fiddling (more carefully) to get things going.

Tuesday, July 29

Buzz Zapp!

Went to go to sleep last night, turned on my bedroom light, and it started buzzing and zapping. I looked up, and there was water dripping off the light and onto my bed. Doh!

The light quickly went off and I had to use my bedside lamp instead. I went to sleep with a raincoat over my bed.

Real-Estate agent said I was the 8th caller today to complain of a leaky roof (when I called at around 8:30am).

Monday, July 28

Blake's 7 set for hi-tech return

They tried with Dr Who and failed. Will Blakes 7 succeed in a higher budget continuation of story last told a long time ago, in a country far, far, away?

BBC News reports that "the new mini-series will pick up the story 25 years on, but Darrow will be the only original cast member to return.".

The Goth Cycle

SexyLosers comments on goths and mood swings:
#195 - The Goth Cycle

Moods

Ever get the feeling that things are going to explode at any moment?
The silence before the storm...

Sunday, July 27

Party Time, Excellent!

Dave and myself had a Housewarming party last night. It went really well!

Picture people toasting marshmallows over a brazier outside, other people dancing away to the pumping music on the "dancefloor", while in the bathroom, experiments are performed involving many types of alcohol and a number of human test subjects.

In the lead-up to the party, I was quite worried that it was going to be a flop. A few people had told me that they couldn't make it, and a big bunch of people were going to a Ball before coming to the party.

The recycle bin is now overflowing with empty bottles. :)
I wonder if the local recycled waste collectors have a mental picture of each areas demographics, based on how full the recycle bins are, and what sort of containers they recycle.

I didn't take any photos of the party, as I was too busy/distracted to do so. Party photos never turn out as good as the party itself anyway. (Things look so much better when drunk!).

Now to attempt to tidy up the kitchen....

Personal Introductions

And so this blog was started.
So that you will know who I am:
Joshua Samuel, born August '77 in Melbourne, Australia.

I went to Monash Uni, where I completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree, while doing almost full time work concurrently. Among other friends, I also associate with people from the korner social group.