May 2007 Archives

Pursuit of Happiness

Wow, I just realized that I have not done a review in quite awhile. This film perhaps surpassed Akeelah and the Bee, in terms of inspiration. Forget for a moment that the Will Smith and his son are millionaires. Nonetheless, I left theatre with a strong desire to achieve greatness. I suppose it is true that everyone wishes to be happy. Regardless of how 'happiness' is defined.

I do not want to go into a long review, suffice to say the storyline is plausible and perhaps meaningful to some. If you pay attention, you will even catch a glimpse of the 'real life' character who I believe wrote the screenplay. I only wish that most interns got to do real work, while spending their Summer with a company of their choice.

Certainly worth the cost of admission.

links for 2007-05-21

TSD Seminar - New Horizons

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Last month I participated in our Federation seminar. As discussed previously this particular seminar was unique in that it was the first which our beloved Jae Joon Kim was not present. In his absence, his son, Master Saul Kim led us through the seminar and the Dan examinations. Because, I was not testing on this day, I arrived a few minutes late for the seminar. The dojang was full so, I simply slid into an area so that I could participate in basics.

It became pretty clear that Saul would be be running the seminar in more intense fashion. Spinning back kicks are definitely not my forte. Always struggle to pick up the target and whip my body around to get the proper power and torque. Actually, I do not achieve the required elevation. The technique is not one that you would typically use on the street, but if executed correctly, it does look quite impressive in a tournament. Striking the head of your opponent is a sure crowd pleaser and the judges will award you 2pts. A knockout would end the contest.

We got an opportunity to do more take downs on the concrete floor(well it was covered with a thin layer of carpet). Some of the senior dan members did some tumbling on the floor as well. In the past it seemed the dan members spent too much time watching the junior members. This was not the case for this seminar. I really enjoyed the workout. We sparred against gups (junior members), and not against other Dan members. In truth, I was already spent by that time, so the sparring gave me a bit of a breather.

The seminar ran from noon until approx 2.30p. I stuck around and supported one of our students who was testing for 3rd Dan. The testing was also very intense. Lots of basics, I believe all of the prospects were asked to run through our entire set of basic techniques twice. We probably have about 30 well-established basic techniques. Additionally, there were hyungs ( forms), breaking and sparring. It certainly made for a full-day for people taking the test. After witnessing these new horizons, I know that I am going to have to get 'right' quick. I should be eligible for 3rd Dan in October.
I'll have to begin road work and high impact aerobic exercises. No doubt I will be ready.

Open Letter to the extreme

This is why it's important to get 'intune' with your hardware. It has the makings of a long standing romance ;) ï½» An Open Letter To My Television

Strip mining at the FOSS quarry (revisited)

Recently listened to an interesting discussion about MacFUSE on ITConversations. I have been playing around with sshfs/FUSE for a short period of time. While FUSE is nothing new, it is quite compelling, in that it provides an easier means of incorporating a filesystem to user space. The Linux kernel has hooks for all types of interesting userspace filesystems. I have seen implementations of cramfs designed for image graphics and word processors.

What is perhaps most interesting is that the author, Amit Singh has created some slick implementations for OS X desktop. Moreover, he makes mention of a book, that was written in part to dispel some myths about Apple most recent operating system. I must admit that I have always understood Mac OS X to be a BSD based OS. Singh notes that it is actually comprised of two layers, Mach(kernel) and BSD (user space).

I remember reading in the "Just For Fun" book that Steve Jobs suggested that Linus Torvalds, " Since there were only two players M$ and Apple, get into bed with Apple and try to get open source people interested in Mac OS X.. " Something to that affect. Linus dismissed Darwin as a piece of crap because it was based on Mach, microkernel architecture developed at Carnegie Mellon.

Interestingly, Darwin development has withered on the vine. Apple has pretty much abandoned it and the community never really took it seriously. In fact, some people tried to fork the project, and that too has died. Judging from the activity at MacPorts, Apple really holds on tightly to its crown jewels or Jobs's incredible art.. iPhone ring a bell ;)

Perhaps Torvalds had a premonition?

Singh, made the point to dispel the myth that Mach is a microkernel. I would love to see the flame wars that he has probably endured over the years.

He also does not consider OS X to be similar to proprietary UNIX system. I would tend to agree. Nonetheless, I would agree that OS X is certainly more Unix-like than M$ Windows ;)
In fact, it seems that both Windows and Mac OS X have borrowed a fair amount of Unix _glue_ in recent years. It is apparent that OS X owes a debt to Unix.

For instance, the Windows TCP/ IP stack was radically changed to resemble the BSD model for the W2K and WinXP. We know that the earlier TCP/IP stacks in Win 3.11and Win98 were horrible.

I would imagine that the network layer in earlier Macintosh machines were also radically different than the current Mac OS X product. Why is this possible? In one word.. FOSS (Free and Open Source Software). At first glance, the ecosystem works quite well does it not? It just seems that Apple and M$ take far more than they give back to the community. My observation could be totally wrong, but I venture to guess that I'm pretty close. I suppose that the sharing is curtailed greatly, due to the existence of the BSD License.

Just a guess.. It would appear that TCP/IP stack integration(M$), and Darwin (Mac OS X) were made possible with the use of the BSD License. It would be great if everyone shared equally.
I suppose that would be wishful thinking..

Quick Bits

Finally bit the bullet and have begun publishing ads. Struggled with this for quite awhile, as I did not wish to disrupt the content with random or unrelated ads. I now have affiliate membership with Amazon, Google and Yahoo. My desire is to have ads which are closely related to the published content. I have not yet incorporated these changes into all of my templates.. Some work needs to be done to the style sheets. I will likely go to a 3 column style in the very near future.

Regarding popular content. It seems that my Diva entry seems to get heavy traffic ;)

Slackbuilds Amour


High praises to all people working on Slackbuilds project. Nothing short of brilliance. I have been able to find even the most obscure packages(kchmviewer), which easily compiles on my slack box. Even the recently unsupported, but very popular Pidgin application can be found here. Thx to rworkman et al.

Protect internet radio

I am a huge fan of internet radio, as I have tuned out Clear Channel crap years ago. When I go home, I occasionally check out Chuck Chillout, Red Alert, Kid Kapri or another notable DJ set on the local NYC station. Otherwise, I'm checking out my own netcasts ;) The vast majority of mix-tapes (CD's) are gone. My beloved Beat Street shutdown last year, so Fat Beats and Rock and Soul are the few vinyl hold overs that still carry underground shyt.

Anyway, these days I spend time listening to
We Funk Radio (WKUT) Montreal, Underground Radio (WBAI) NYC, SomaFM(Groove Salad-San Francisco), BigUp Radio(Oakland) and

It seems that RIAA and others have decided to increase the tax levy on internet radio. The argument is that internet radio does not provide the expected revenue stream per the content it delivers to the community. The issue was addressed by the founder of Pandora project, Tim Westergren.

You can read about his plea . It appears that internet radio spots that are housed in the U.S are the most vulnerable to this legislation. I have already written my representative. If you enjoy enjoy internet radio, I strongly encourage you to do the same.

Below is the response I received from my senator:

Thank you . . .

. . for contacting me about the copyright royalties that Internet radio stations must pay in order to broadcast music online. I understand your concern that a recent court ruling to raise these royalty fees will force many Internet radio stations to shut down.

On March 2, a panel of copyright judges changed how the amount of these fees is calculated. Previously, small broadcasters could pay royalties as a percentage-usually about 12 percent-of the money they collected. The new calculation requires all online music broadcasters to pay royalties on a per-listener, per-hour basis and increases royalty rates.

A coalition of online broadcasters is currently in the process of appealing this ruling. I will monitor the situation as this appeal moves forward. Should legislation come before me in the Senate, I will be sure to keep your views in mind.

Thank you again for contacting me. Please feel free to do so again if I can be of assistance to you in the future.


Debbie Stabenow

United States Senator

So activism does work.. Not clear whether it will make a difference the bill is being debated on the floor of the Congress as I write this entry. The decision will be made May 15th July 15th, so let your voice be heard now.

Useless Meetings

If there is one thing that will annoy me.. Worthless teleconferences. Regardless if the request is work related or whatever.
In this instance, the effort was a noble one. Organize volunteers to support mentorship program for returning Summer interns. Not a very difficult proposition, the main challenges are :

  • Delivering meeting cadence throughout the Summer

  • Connecting mentors with mentees

  • Establishing information flow through appropriate intern committee members

  • Distribution of new organizational chart

  • Release activity schedule

Not entirely sure why these items could not have been handled via simple website or even a wiki.
Most of the mentors are repeatedly asked for the same documents each Summer (ie name, location, department, etc). Duplicity irritates me tremendously. We have all of these modern innovations, yet people fail to use them. In previous years, I have made recommendations, but they have fallen upon deaf ears. So instead, we are asked to support a late Friday afternoon teleconference.

links for 2007-05-04

links for 2007-05-03

Quick Treo delights - Bluetooth DUN

Suddenly realized that I had not mentioned any new delights, courtesy of my Treo650. In the true Treonaut spirit, I won't disappoint. While I was in LA for CSUN, had the opportunity to try out Bluetooth DUN. Please advised that DUN networking via cell phones is nothing extraordinary, but it does come in quite handy.
Essentially your smartphone becomes a wireless dial-up modem, which delivers data over the EDGE network at speeds 56kbps - 110kbps. Not lightening fast, but it can help you avoid the cost and potential security hazards associated with hotel provided Wi-Fi access.

I have an 'all-you-can-eat' Cingular wireless plan, so there is no hard-set limit of how much data I can transfer via DUN. Pretty slick.

My first experience with DUN was via Futuredial software on a very basic Samsung SPH clamshell style phone. Using that sort of setup, you had to rely on vendor software and cables purchased from Radio Shack. Bluetooth DUN delivers the same features, but without all of the wires.

Before trying this with the Treo650, you'll need to flash your firmware to latest version. To be clear, there are different firmware versions available, so be sure to get the correct software. I have an unlocked GSM smartphone, so I grabbed this one.

The instructions are very intuitive and you'll need to back-up your data ;)
After you've flashed the firmware and followed the instruction for setting up DUN, you'll need to pair your notebook or other bluetooth enabled device to recognize the Treo650.

My notebook did not have native bluetooth, so I simply plugged in a USB bluetooth adapter.
Everything worked quite well.

Rich media delivery

It seems that there is going to be some healthy competition in the rich media delivery space. In an ironic twist, the Redmond woolly mammoth has raised the stakes and pushed another closed source company into the innovation circle. Very rare indeed. The Silverlight Live release is touted as platform agnostic. It appears that Adobe will now make an earnest effort to further improve its viral Flash product, with the Flex open source project. In truth, I have never been a huge fan of flash based applications, but I am pleased that Adobe decided to extend the framework by releasing the software under the Mozilla Public License.

As a Linux user, I often despised the numerous sites which used Flash eye candy, as they were typically slow to load. Additionally, the Adobe Flash plugin for the Linux platform was always two versions behind. It almost appeared that Adobe was not interested in building flash binaries for the Linux platform. In fact, many sites were requiring Flashplayer v8.0 or higher, and until recently Flash 7.0 was the most stable release. Luckily, all of that has changed and there is a stable Flashplayer 9.0 plugin for Linux platform. It does work rather well and has passed the You-Tube test on most occasions.

Exciting times indeed. Regardless who wins, the competition can only improve the quality of the rich media experience. I would imagine that there are means to incorporate the various open Yahoo, Google, and other APIs to create some excellent mash-up applications.

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This page is an archive of entries from May 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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