December 2005 Archives

Cable network gestapos

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Monday I went to Giants Stadium and witnessed the last Monday Night Football affair on ABC.
The pathetic and injury riddled Jets suffered yet another defeat at the hands of the Pats. I like Herm Edwards, but he's certainly had the buzzards luck of late.

Anyway, the amazing build-up of the _last_ NFL Monday night ABC game was quite remarkable. What I found most interesting was the fact that local broadcasting of sporting events will be a thing of the past in most if not all major markets. I suppose if you live in obscure places like Provo, UT or French Lick, IN you could possible catch your local sports team on a local network affiliate.

Ong-bak , Thai Warrior

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As promised, I will share my latest movie review. I actually saw this one on DVD :)
I simply love martial arts films, especially those that are filmed overseas. Tony Jaa is a Muay Thai practitioner. While I don't profess to know much Muay-Thai, I was very impressed with the skill of this guy. Granted some of his knee strikes could have been exaggerated, I'm clear that he could inflict much damage.

Unfortunately, the art of kickboxing has been watered down to aerobic kickboxing, that has become very popular with women. It was refreshing to see the ancient art of Muay Thai demonstrated in this film.

I especially appreciated the high kicking techniques and strong counter attacks. In truth, the plot left much to be desired, but how many martial arts films actually have a well-defined plot? For that matter, how many people actually watch these flicks with the expectation of a stellar plot.

Anyway, there is much action in this film. Tony Jaa plays a peasant duped into prize fighting by a family member. All he really wanted was the much revered Buddah that was stolen from his village by thugs.

Not sure if this film was produced on location in Hong Kong, but I suspect that there were many film extras who took a physical beating in this film. I really hope it was worth the pain.

Making of a trebuchet - revisited

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Finally posted the pics from the Systems engineering trebuchet firing competition. They can be found in the photo journal.
For those of you who are clueless, take a look at the earlier post.

Enjoy, and I'll also be updating my wildly popular movie reviews.

Master Killer

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Also known as the 36 Chambers of Shaolin, a Shaw Brothers film, and definitely one of my favorites(also happens to be listed as one of Wu-Tang's classics too). The much younger Gordon Liu(aka Chia Hui Liu), stars as San Te, a recently accomplished Shaolin monk, who returns to his homeland to emancipate his oppressed countrymen.

I believe the story takes place during the Ming dynasty, where the some of the villagers had grown tired of the oppressive government. Sound familiar. One of the students had joined the insurgents to help overthrow the ruling power. Unfortunately, most of these militants became martyrs and their families were brutally murdered in the town square. Liu fled with his life to Shaolin temple to learn the skill of Kung-Fu.

Brothas talkin tech

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I experienced my first meetup here in NYC. Although, there was only two of us, I had alot of fun and learned a great deal. I met with Ejovi and we talked about a variety of topics(ie. Minority In Tech Conf, FON, and SecurityLab). Additionally, we also attempted to do an impromptu podcast, but failed miserably, as the internal memory of my trusty Treo was only 25.65mb, and the SoundRec app does not write directly to the external SD card. Raw .wav audio files are quite large, so once we exhausted the internal memory on the device, it simply rebooted during our conversation and of course the rest is history. All was not lost, I believe that I may actually be able to salvage the data. I will prolly bite the bullet and pay for ParPro 3.0, as it will allow you to write directly to the SD media, without first saving to the internal memory.

Podcasting is really cool and very inexpensive. Because this was to be a two person conversation, I visited my nearest Rat Shack, err I mean Radio Shack I purchased a y-plug (1/4mm input), and 1/4 to 1/8mm male to female coupler. Grand total of about ten bucks. Now, I could capture two audio inputs and dump the audio to the Treo. I'll post some pics of the setup.

We agreed to attempt another podcast before he leaves the country. I'll post it here within a few days. It is always great to meet people who share the same passion for technology and business.

I'm very thankful for having met Ejovi and for his patience while I fooled around with my trusty Treo.

Feral Children

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Recently watched a very intriguing docuementary on Discovery Channel. which described the behaviour of children who had been abandoned by their parents and/or raised by domestic or wild animals. What I found especially intriguing was the imprinting, which is the very impressionable period in child development. Our youth tend to learn much more during this period. The feral children were typically discovered well after this very vulnerable stage. Thus, any attributes of the animal (ie wolf, dog,etc.) had been transferred to the human child. Quite surreal indeed.

While I do not profess to know anything about child psychology, I do believe that people are often a product of their environment. So if one is exposed to animal-like behavior for an indefinite amount of time, it is very likely to have damaging consequences.

What is unclear, is what should become of such children. Are they still to be considered human or otherwise? The documentary discussed this argument in great detail. Some scientist suggest that these children offer a unique opportunity to study the effects of abandonment. Moreover, feral children are rare, and often hidden in relative obscurity, so there would be no opportunity to learn about the changes in behavior pattern. Could any of the damage be reversed? What about the rights of these children? Do they deserve to be poked and prodded in the name of science? What role should the government play in the rehabilation process?

I was fascinated by the accounts described in the documentary, most of the cases seemed to have occured in Europe, but there have also been isolated cases in America.

Definitely worth a peek.

Transit Strike 2005 - Over

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I survived the transit strike of 2005. Well sorta.. Actually, what better way to finish a 10hr drive from the midwest ;) In fact, I was oblivious to the forthcoming surprise. Typically, I'm very much connected to the happenings in my beloved city; however, I had not peeped the Gothamist, prior to my departure. Serves me right I suppose..

Bonus Coverage:

TWU Support - Local 100 Chairman Roger Touissaint

Trackback alive and well

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For those of you who do not know understand trackbacks (ie. blogspot headz, heh), let me give you a quick definition.

Trackbacks were designed to extend the conversation and connect bloggers of similar thought. In other words, Tseng of Mainland China could virtually provide accolades or disparage a blog entry from Billy of Peoria. When I first learned of the power of this technology, I was instantly hooked. You could essentially help syndicate and validate the work of a fellow blogger. The absolute form of street cred on the blogosphere.

Of late, it appears that comment/trackback spam terrorists have taken a bite out of many blogs. I too was a victim roughly one year ago. However I took very aggressive measures, nearly to the detriment of my admittedly minimal readership. In retrospect, I'm glad that I took a ruthless and gestapo stance against the crap. These days, I receive zero spam. Well, actually yesterday I received nine erroneus msgs that never touched my blog. Actually, this was the first bit of junk that I've rec'd in probably 9-10 months. It was due to an executable script that I left on my server. The problem has since been resolved.

Let me run down some of the basics for those of you who use MT.

1) Security by obscurity - (aka change name of mt-comments.cgi)
2) Upgrade to latest MT 3.x engine
3) Utilize Spamlookup which deploys a RSBL
4) Grab a copy of Chad Everett's MT-Approval
5) Read Elise Bauer's article for dealing with spam on your MT blog.

Following these steps will mitigate any spam threat.

Trackback is dead. Are Comments dead too? (

Getting underway

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I'll be heading home today and have put together most of what I'll need for the 10hr trip. I grabbed a bunch of podcasts and will prolly have 10hrs of uninterrupted music/talk. Gotta luv it. Who needs mainstream media, Sirrius or XMradio when you've got podcasts ;)

Speaking of podcasts,now that I've finished mixing tracks in audacity. Please enjoy my very raw inaugural podcast.


GNOME apps and Slackware

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Most of you know that I'm a fervent Slackware supporter. Despite the bad press that is unfairly heaped upon this very senior and robust Linux distribution, I have continued to use it exclusively to power my desktop since 1996. In fact, I credit Slackware with helping me understand the very powerful UNIX platform. It is well known that the distro is managed by one developer, Pat Volkerding, who recently and probably correctly decided not support the GNOME libs. One of the best aspects of Slackware is its stability and the philosophy of not incorporating software packages that are considered exotic or unstable. Remember, that the mission of Slackware is to provide a very stable and secure distribution that is easily configured and just works.

Droppin coin

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Last week it appeared that there was a slight downturn in the fuel prices. Apparently it was short lived, as regular unleaded gas prices have risen again to roughly $2.04 in this area.

Anyway, if the article below contains any truth, we should expect more people to open the wallet and spend more freely. Two items to remember while you're on the streets engulfed in a wild spending frenzy.
Avoid the knuckleheads, and do not forget my birthday.

BBC NEWS | Business | Cheaper fuel boosts US shoppers

Perky Clocks

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Hmmm. I've always been guilty of hitting the snooze bar on my alarm clock way too many times, but this is ridiculous.

I'm amazed at the creativity that can be displayed in the name of fun..

Move Over MIT, The Blowfly Alarm Clock Is Here - Gizmodo

Customer Service

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Some of you may know that I also maintain a small PC consulting business. Essentially, I rebuild hardware and install software for clients. The majority are M$ users, but there are occasions where I have been asked to build a Linux firewall or mail server. Because I do have a day job, my rates are very competitive and I have the freedom to tackle the jobs of my choice.

More recently I completed a system rebuild for a friend who wanted to upgrade from the very ancient WinME to WinXP. I have performed this sort of evolution at least ten instances over the past two years. So, I did not expect very many surprises.

Although the client was a friend, I always approach the job in the same manner. That is, I attempt to understand the project scope, repeat the client needs to assure accuracy. In particular, there was a proprietary database, which was used to enter church member information. It was made clear that this database needed be restored on the new system. I really didn't give it too much thought because I figured that it would be a simple text file. So, backing up the text file would not be very difficult. So I thought..

Is the end near for Crackberry?

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Blackberry manufacturer RIM(Research In Motion), has been victimized by some fairly serious patent infringement cases.

It appears that the US Business is at risk, due to the latest suit reported at $1 Billion.

I wonder how many folks at PalmSource and Palm are salivating right now? If Blackberry customers were to bail in huge numbers Palm would surely benefit. In fact, it would provide an open channel to the corporate space that it sorely needs.

BlackBerry shutdown closer after ruling - U.S. Business -

High utility

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Given the fact that many cities are interested in combining various technologies, and particularly since the buzzwords are Wi-Fi, and Homeland Security. Oh yeah, and I can't forget reuse too.
Why not combine the best of both worlds in one device?

Don't be surprised that the next speeding ticket you receive will be delivered by one of these special lamp posts. If I can find out which cities are rolling these out I'll deliver an update..

Boing Boing: Solar utility pole: streetlight, WiFi, CCTV and charger

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