June 2005 Archives

A new hybrid ?

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Is this yet another variant to the arguably innovative hybrid technology market? It seems that the ever increasing costs of gasonline are forcing consumers to make a conscious effort to purchase fuel efficient vehicles. Actually, I read recently that fuel prices are at an all-time high. Damn I wish I had access to mass transit right now. I miss it greatly. Anyway, I digress. Make sure you check out Gas Buddy. It lists low gas prices by region as reported by consumers.

It appears that OEMs have become interested in alternative fuel technologies. Hmm. Even GM has figured out that you can sell H2 Hummers in the midst of an impending gas crisis. I believe they are considering a Hummer H3, which will be the size of a Ford Explorer. How funny is that ? Soon Cadillac Escalades will also be miniature too.

In a nutshell, the market dictates what manufacturers deem to be interesting. Apparently, hybrid (gas and electric) powertrains have been on the scene for quite awhile, but consumers did not seem to care at all. When gas prices increased significantly, consumers and industry became very intersted in alternatives to gasoline vehicles.

Actually, I believe biodiesel vehicles is a very realistic substitute for gasoline vehicles. The waste byproducts are readily available at your local fast food resturant. These resturants throw away barrels of waste cooking oils on a daily basis. Why not use these wastes to propel your vehicle?
It certainly beats the prices of gas at $2.50 per gallon.

Hybrid-hydraulic powertrain generates worldwide interest - 06/29/05

Treo 600

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Well I finally took the plunge and purchased a cell phone/PDA combo. Before you even ask the silly question, no I didn't pay full price for my practically mint TREO 600. I don't pay full price for anything. You know that of me. I copped it from a friend who was fiending for the newer TREO 650. It was a huge upgrade for me, as I was limping around with a Palm IIIx and a Samsung N400. Anyway, the device can also play mp3/ogg files, so I now plan to try podcasting. It should be alot of fun.

For those who are not familiar with the Treo, it also combines the nearly ubiquitous Palm OS, so you can easily integrate all of your contacts from you legacy Palm devices. Thus you can also sync your calendars and contacts to the Treo from your PC using J-Pilot or some other PIM software. I also added a 1G SD storage media card, so that I may store pics captured from the onboard camera, and obviously store music too.

Grokster - Revisited

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Just when you thought the saga would finally end.. It's seems that some people really want to crush P2P networks, by any means necessary.

You may recall that I discussed this ongoing case in a previous essay. I was unsure whether RIAA lobbyist would appeal to Congress to have the Grokster vs. MGM ruling overturned. Well, luckily the recent ruling will not overturn the earlier precedent. However, it could potentially increase FUD among users/maintainers of other P2P networks.

The struggle continues.

Slashdot | Supreme Court Rules against Grokster

Long time coming

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Why does it seem to take an inordinant amount of time for crazed whites to get justice? I already know the answer, it was merely a rheotorical question. When was the last time a 41 years to convict a suspected black male? I know some will say justice is blind, and they will use examples like OJ and MJ. I argue that these cases are unique and very rare indeed.

I can offer you Mumia Abu-Jamal and a host of others, who were jailed almost immediately after they were suspected of wrong doing.

Very nasty world we live indeed.

BBC NEWS | Americas | KKK verdict sees 'justice arrive'

Who uses dial-up anyway?

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It boggles the mind to learn of people still using dial-up modems to access the internet. To be fair, I'm sure that three years ago, most people accessing the internet were still using dial-up modems. However, I think the numbers are probably closer to 50/50 between dial-up and high-speed broadband connections.

I converted to broadband in 2000, and simply cannot figure out how I ever lived with a slow 28.8kbaud dial-up connection. If you're still using a dial-up modem, consider yourself a relic or an endagered species. Actually, it's very easy to make the business case for highspeed. The cost per month are practically identical. Most people already have either cable or POTS line in their homes, so it would be a simple matter of connecting the service. Minimal upfront cost, the DSL/cable modem is given to the customer at almost no cost.

To be fair, the ISP (ie Comcast, SBC Yahoo) will lease the equipment for $5.00/month. If you're frugal like me, you'll probaly want to purchase your own from E-Bay or New Egg.

There really is no reason _not_ to use highspeed connections. I suppose that people tend to abuse the increased bandwidth, as they are more likely to send email loaded with 5mb attachments. Don't get me started. I routinely scold people for poor netiquette. Well that is a different rant, which I'll get into at another time.

Step into the highspeed internet, you'll never go back to dial-up.
Dial-Up Internet Going the Way of Rotary Phones - New York Times

B'klyn Renaissance

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Although I certainly don't get home as often as I like, nothing can ever replace the BK. In fact, all midwestern cities pale in comparison. Pun intended ;)

It seems that huge Manhattan exodus that has swelled the population in B'klyn isn't slowing at all. In fact, it appears that working poor could be pushed into the suburbs. I suppose gentrification is a necessary evil, but you never want to see much needed growth come at the expense of the impoverished.

Dilated pupils

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I have been contemplating LASIK surgery to correct my near-sighted condition. Yeah, I know it's all vanity, but it would be nice to finally rid myself of eyeglasses. Not sure if would take strokes off my golf game or improve my admittedly diminishing basketball skills, it will be cool to have 20/20 vision.

This past weekend was spent completing pre-op surgery. As part of the procedure, you're required to get your pupils dilated. Essentially, you get a few drops and roughly 10 minutes later you cannot read anything up close. It had been close to four years since I had my pupils dilated, the drops irritaged my eyes a great deal. One of the lab assistants jokingly told me to 'Man up !'. Wow, she was fortunate that I do have a sense of humor. The Ophthalmologist told me that I was a good candidate for the surgery, and that I had an adequate sized cornea, so the laser could cut the required flap without effecting my vision. The alternative would have been a relatively more complicated and painful PRK procedure that is offered to patients who don't qualify for LASIK.

After I suffered driving home under the glare of an overcast sky, I went back to sleep for a couple of hours. After my eyes regained focus, I began to do a bit of schoolwork.

Later, I finally got an opportunity to ride my bike. Actually, it had been probably ten years since I last rode a bike. It's amazing how cautious one becomes as you advance in age. I was actually leary about crossing a busy street. At age 15-22, I would've jetted across the street without any regard for 'so-called' safety. Very different times now.

Surgery is set for July 31st, you know I'll share the details.

Weblogs vs. Msg Boards

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Came across a good discussion regarding the differences between blogs and message boards.

I suppose to the casual observer, there really aren't many distinguishing features between the two. However, as an avid blogger and one who is familiar message boards, I can tell you that the content is indeed different. Additionally, the intimacy and breadth of material found on blogs are far greater than your average message board.

Common Craft - Social Design for the Web: What are the Differences Between Message Boards and Weblogs?


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It appears that the holocaust that was inflicted upon peoples of African ancestry has found its place in the mainstream media.

I'm not certain if it is combination of the past failed attempts to offer reparations to a sizeable percentage of disenfranchised African-Americans or is it a liberal media campaign aimed at correcting past wrongs.

One thing is certain. The lynchings were a very graphic representation of the importance of Juneteenth effort. The courageous work of Ida B. Wells and others helped put an end to this barbaric behavior. I missed an opportunity to see a local exhibit which provided a historical perspective on the lynching holocaust. Nonetheless, I am clear that none of the events of the black holocaust should ever be dismissed or forgotten.

Blogcritics.org: Lynching Apology - A Little Perspective

Redmond tosses hat into P2P fray

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It appears that M$ has decided to get involved in the BitTorrent discussion. Apparently, it is believed that they have been doing research to improve the widely distributed BitTorrent protocol. I have learned to be very leery when M$ attempts to improve an existing protocol. Typically what occurs is the co-opting of standard, which ultimately renders the protocol useless. Well only useful to M$.

Here is what BitTorrent architect, Bram Cohen thinks about these new developments.
Enter Avalanche: P2P filesharing from Microsoft | The Register

NYC2012 - tale of bid

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I've publicly stated that an Olympics in NYC would be great for the city and the country. In the aftermath of 9/11, what stronger statement could be made against terrorism. Speculation is that the new towers could be complete around the same time as the start of the Games. Political pressure would certainly make this become a reality. It could be a great "We're Back and even Better" statement to all the naysayers.

The revenue generated from such an event would also be significant. Obviously security would be ridiculous, but I suppose that comes with any event of this magnitude.

BBC SPORT | Other Sport | Olympics 2012 | NY Olympic bid strikes Mets deal

The Young Son of No one

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Iron Mike Tyson retired over the weekend and left behind a sport that he once dominated. He was the youngest champion ever, at a tender age of nineteen. During the early 90's, he represented Brooklyn lovely during his rampage through the heavyweight ranks. He was the epitomy of survival, as any kid growing up in Brownsville could attest. He escaped the slums and deprivation and headed upstate to Catskills to hone his boxing talent.
Unfortunately, he never had much guidance and most of his handlers were only interested in the next payday. I've often wondered what would have become of him if he had the proper mentoring.


Love him or hate him, he clearly has left an unmistakeable mark on the sport. Without, Iron Mike, few would have understood the ferocity required to be a champion. Because of the way he ended his career, many will choose to remember his ever popular sound bites and one liners. In his prime, was a scientific brawler, devasting puncher, who loved to punish the body with vicious combinations. He feared no one. At thirty-nine, it was time to hang-up the gloves. I suppose in the end his undoing was lack of discipline and poor understanding of women. Hopefully, all of the ill-fated relationships (Givens et al) will not have drained all of his finances. Methinks that a good mentor would have helped him stay clear of the gold-diggers.

Landlord Musings

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After suffering through a period where the property was vacant for six months, I have no complaints about delving into the world of Real Estate. Primarily most of service call requests are made during the cold weather months, as the home gets more utility. Obviously becoming a landlord isn't for everyone, but it has afforded me with another means of residual income.

Because the area I selected is full of people that would rather rent than own, I have been able to take advantage of the need. I suppose that one day this trend will end, but I still believe that I will be the benefactor of such a change of events. Additionally, there is certain level of pride in providing a quality home to a deserving family. Thus far my tenants have been excellent. Clearly a testament to an arduous selection process.

In a Real Estate Boom, Many Try Life as a Landlord - New York Times

Generally productive

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Last couple of weeks have been fairly productive. As usual, I have a mountain of coursework to accomplish. Spent most of last weekend writing a Systems Architecture paper. However, I did find time to purchase a bike, plant flowers, and address an assortment of errands too.

I'll plant the remainder of my Day Lillies and Hostas today. Hmmm. Maybe I'll even ride my bike tomorrow. This will only happen if I can get most of my homework done and resolve a very perplexing computer hardware problem.
It appears that my SMP setup has a corrupted CPU cache. Now the BIOS is feeding erroneous data to my Linux kernel. I can at least boot my box now, but the system is still crippled and not running at full efficency. I turned off the CPU caching within my BIOS, and this promptly broke SMP. Luckily, the system is fairly stable with one CPU.
Not entirely sure if my motherboard is failing or the BIOS is corrupted. One certainty is that I've never had problems from any ASUS hardware, so I'm inclined to believe the hardware is fine.

Next I plan to make a few changes to LILO, and turn off the pci based ACPI calls, thus the kernel will ignore the BIOS request for this CPU information.

For those who are interested, I made a few minor changes to the blog front page. I finally broke down and added a link to my linked-in professional social network profile. Some of you have asked about getting at me via IM, you'll see the AIM link too.

I also plan to fix a few blog templates which broke during my upgrade to MT 3.0.
Productivity is a good thing. You should try it ;)

Apple - Intel

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Certainly a union of opposites. Steve Jobs has decided to move away from PowerPC platform and embrace Intel. Clearly Apple has been a sandbox for niche players, in fact, were it not for the Ipod innovation, Apple would be an even smaller dust spec in the desktop war.

The move here removes all commoditization barriers, it could prove to be a shrewd move. Some would argue that exotic hardware and specialty applications is what differentiates Apple from its competitors. First and foremost, Apple is a hardware company, as such, I would argue that what has kept them on the fringes is their unwillingness to open their architecture. It is very difficult to compete and gain market share against Dell and other major PC hardware companies who use standard, albeit low-end hardware. Perhaps moving to the x86 platform will force them to expand their horizons behiding their technology in shroud of patents and mystery only stumps their growth.

Linux has thrived on its competitors preoccupation with secrecy and patents. Perhaps its Apple's turn to shine ?

BBC NEWS | Technology | Apple Intel move 'could confuse'

GPS underwear

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Now, I've seen it all. First there were edible panties, now we've got searchable panties. GPS is very cool, but if you've got to keep your punani , on lockdown, I'm not sure I'd want it very much.

Techie Diva's Guide to Gadgets: GPS Panties

Oh how the mighty have fallen

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What has happened to the Bx Bombers? It appears that age, mismanaged talent and poor free-agent selections have doomed the season for the legendary Yankees.
It has been 5-yrs since our last world title (yeah I know its tough), but it doesn't appear that they will contend in the near future. Recent moves by the management have severely hampered any chance for improvement.

The farm system is all but depleted. Aging and tempermental veterans will not resurrect this franchise. I have no idea why Steinbrenner has not decided to eat Kevin Brown's contract. He has done nothing to improve his standing as a contributor in the rotation. Pavano and Wright have not lived up to expectations, in fact their numbers have worsened since donning the pinstripes.

Jason Giambi's best years are behind him, and it appears that without the roids he's a mere mortal.

Randy Johnson has been a mystery. Obviously, at 41 he has lost some of his velocity, but he does not have command of his breaking balls. He has surrended more long balls this season than any previous year.

The irony in all of this turmoil, is that it will actually make the Bombers a better team. Yes, I did say better.

If GM Cashman is retained, he will be forced to develop the young talent. Talented pitching prospect Ming (pictured below) and and infielder Robinson Cano appear to have a bright future ahead of them. It is just what the organization needs to retool its core.


The great Yankee dynasty of 1996-2000 was made possible by a very capable farm system. Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, and Mariano Rivera came from the farm system. The only way to get well, is to get younger, and add only very proven veterans to the mix.

If Brian Cashman is wise, he will resist the urge to go after Roger Clemons, as the season winds down. The AL East is actually very weak this year, and it is not impossible for the Yanks to remain in the divisional race. If they are lucky to steal a wild card berth, don't expect anything more than heartbreak.

Summer Coding

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Google is offering cash for anyone who wants to contribute to an open-source project. Hmmm, perhaps this could be my opportunity to something useful for humanity..

Check out the list of projects.

Google abets open-source internships | CNET News.com

Are Newspapers Dead?

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What is the future for printed media? It's clear that most traditional media channels are scrambling to thwart the onrushing digital age. If you need a precedent, simply recall that the USPS suffered huge losses at the hands of the killer app called email. I assert that the post office never recovered. When was the last time you sat down and wrote a scribe and affixed some postage and dropped it off for a loved one ?

Regarding printed media, I am clear that most major outlets (ie NYtimes) are not experiencing huge growth in market share. In fact, it is logical to assume they would be hard-pressed to maintain their current market share. If they truly believe that the only business model which is profitable is the hard copy black/white, traditional publication, they simply do not have a clue.

In all fairness, some printed media outlets have figured it out, albeit begrudgingly. Check out USA Today, it took a near collapse, for them to have a totally free digital circulation.

Consumers have a choice. The blogosphere has reached a critical mass to radically changed aging business models.

BBC NEWS | Technology | Newspapers face up to new media

Young Entrepreneurs

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Cultivating freedom takes on many forms. Understanding that one can earn their own dollar without the need of an overlord err I mean boss, is a compelling value proposition.

The problem is that most youth do not learn such lessons. Generally, our youth watch the adults work their entire lives without grasping the concept that wealth building starts with mental freedom. That is the idea that business ownership does not have to be a passing fantasy.

I was intrigued by the programs started in Kenya which does a great job addressing this notion of entrepreneurship within the minds of the youth. It appears that someone has the correct idea.

Are there any such programs in the U.S ? I don't know of any. I would almost venture to guess, that none exist. If I am mistaken, someone please educate me.

BBC NEWS | Technology | Kenyan youths take on net skills

NYC - Wildlife

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Yeah, I'm going to take a break from my normal posts. Figured I'd bless you with a bit of nature and perhaps provide you with a fresh perspective on my birth city.

Most people would never guess that there are natural predators in NYC. Nah, I'm not talking about those that would jostle you on the street. I'm talking about the Peregrine Falcons. Apparently city pigeons are a dietary staple for these incredible creatures. Any NYer would attest that there is an abundant supply of pigeons to go around.

These hungry goslings are protected and will even thrive in the most hostile environments.
As the saying goes, if you can make it in NY, you can make it anywhere.


Gothamist: The Falcons

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