Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The curse and blessing of an hour long commute

At this time I live about 6 miles from where I work, this is of course nice because I can be home in 10 minutes. There was a time when I used to commute from Princeton to New York City. I used to take the Amtrak (clocker) or the NJ Transit express train. During my commuting days I would read about 60 books in a year. After I found work in Princeton the number of books I would read in a year would drop dramatically. There was also another factor involved…twins….we welcomed a set of twins in 2006 and that was pretty much the end of me reading anything for pleasure. Besides the twins we already had another child who was 2 years when the twins were born. Here is a picture of them from last Christmas: http://www.flickr.com/photos/denisgobo/3101785602/in/set-72157600873902525/

Now that the oldest kid is almost 6 and the twins are 3.5 years old it is getting a little easier to read. This year I read about 10 – 15 books, most books these days I get in audio format. The advantage of an audio format is that you can listen to the book where you would usually not be able to read the book. I find it is very difficult for me to read a book in a noisy environment, when listening to an audio book I don’t have this problem. Some audio books are also read by professionals and it makes the book so much better than a paper edition.

So I do miss my commuting days for the reason mentioned above but I do not miss it when a train breaks down in front of us, if there is a brush fire or when a major blackout happens like the Northeast Blackout of 2003. Yes I survived that one but didn’t take the train home till 4AM the next morning. On the Amtrak trains there was this funny conductor named Marvin who would say when there was a problem with the train that Amtrak guaranteed same day service.

During the last week of this year I will post a list of all the books I read this year and also a list of the books that I hope to read next year. At this moment I am reading House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street. This is a really interesting book and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to relive the crash of 2008. I also has the most F-Bombs in any book I read so far...kinda like the scarface of books :-)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

There Is A Reason That AOL Users Are Associated With Eternal September

There Is A Reason That AOL Users Are Associated With Eternal September!!

There I said it!! I didn't think people still used AOL...apparently some people still do and I was wrong. So what is this Eternal September thing I am talking about? This is from Wikipedia's Eternal September page

Usenet originated among universities, so, every year in September, a large number of new university students from the Northern hemisphere acquired access to Usenet, and took some time to acclimate themselves to the network's standards of conduct and "netiquette". After a month or so, these new users would theoretically learn to comport themselves according to its conventions. September thus heralded the peak influx of disruptive newcomers to the network.

In 1993, the online service America Online began offering Usenet access to its tens of thousands, and later millions, of users. To many "old-timers", these "AOLers" were far less prepared to learn netiquette than university freshmen. This was in part because AOL made little effort to educate its users about Usenet customs, or explain to them that these new-found forums were not simply another piece of AOL's service. But it was also a result of the much larger scale of growth. Whereas the regular September freshman influx would soon settle down, the sheer number of new users now threatened to overwhelm the existing Usenet culture's capacity to inculcate its social norms

Why am I writing about this? It is because my wife had to email someone two pictures of our twins so that this person could use those in a school book. My wife emails the pictures and the person claims she can't open the pictures because they are not in jpeg format.
Interesting because I remember the pics being in jpeg format. So then I tried and emailed my wife the pics, she opened them fine,I then told my wife to just forward them to the person. Same reply from the person, she can't open them. Then I asked my wife what email the person had......it turns out it was aol.

Now I remember about 10 years ago someone went through the same thing.....if you attach more than one item aol zips it up into one attachment or something like that. So I told my wife to email her the pics in two separate emails and the problem was solved. I didn't even try asking the person to unzip or unrar the attachment because then I would have to explain how to install winzip or unrar.

Really how can you still use aol in 2009? I don't care that you use aol as your ISP but use gmail or yahoo as your email. I also remember a while back when we were looking to interview people at a previous job and they just eliminated all the resumes from people who had an aol email address. The reasoning was that if you had an aol email account you could never be a serious programmer, little harsh I know but that was what they did

So, do you know anyone that still uses aol?

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Friend Is Like A Good Bra...

Got this in an email from my friend Bob. It is pretty funny...enjoy

When you have to visit a public bathroom, you usually find a line of women, so you smile politely and take your place.
Once it's your turn, you check for feet under the stall doors. Every stall is occupied.
Finally, a door opens and you dash in, nearly knocking down the woman leaving the stall.
You get in to find the door won't latch. It doesn't matter, the wait has been so long you are about to wet your pants!
The dispenser for the modern "seat covers" (invented by someone's Mom, no doubt) is handy, but empty.
You would hang your purse on the door hook, if there was one, but there isn't - so you carefully, but quickly drape it around your neck, (Mom would turn over in her grave if you put it on the FLOOR!), yank down your pants, and assume "The Stance."

In this position your aging, toneless (God I should have gone to the gym!!!) thigh muscles begin to shake.
You'd love to sit down, but you certainly hadn't taken time to wipe the seat or lay toilet paper on it, so you hold "The Stance".
To take your mind off your trembling thighs, you reach for what you discover to be the empty toilet paper dispenser.In your mind, you can hear your mother's voice saying,"Honey, if you had tried to clean the seat, you would have KNOWN there was no toilet paper!" Your thighs shake more.
You remember the tiny tissue that you blew your nose on yesterday - the one that's still in your purse. (Oh yeah, the purse around your neck, that now, you have to hold up trying not to strangle yourself at the same time). That will have to do. You crumple it in thepuffiest way possible. It's stillsmaller than your thumbnail.
Someone pushes your door open because the latch doesn't work.
The door hits your purse, which is hanging around your neck in front of your chest, and you and your purse topple backward against the tank of the toilet.
"Occupied!" you scream, as you reach for the door, dropping your precious, tiny, crumpled tissue in a puddle on the floor, lose your footing altogether, and slide down directly onto the TOILET SEAT.
It is wet of course.
You bolt up, knowing all too well that it's too late. Your bare bottom has made contact with every imaginable germ and life form on the uncovered seatbecause YOU never laid down toilet paper - not that there was any, even if you had taken time to try.
You know that your mother would be utterly appalled if she knew, because, you're certain her bare bottom never touched a public toilet seat because, frankly, dear, "You just don't KNOW what kind of diseases you could get".
By this time, the automatic sensor on the back of the toilet is so confused that it flushes, propelling a stream of water like a fire hose against the inside of the bowl that sprays a fine mist of water that covers your butt and runs down your legs and into your shoes.
The flush somehow sucks everything down with such force that you grab onto the empty toilet paper dispenser for fear of being dragged in too
At this point, you give up. You're soaked by the spewing water and the wet toilet seat.
You're e-x-h-a-u-s-t-e-d.
You try to wipe with a gum wrapper you found in your pocket and then slink out inconspicuously to the sinks.
You can't figure out how to operate the faucets with the automatic sensors, .....so you wipe your hands with spit and a dry paper towel and walk past the line of women still waiting.
You are no longer able to smile politely to them.
A kind soul at the very end of the line points out a piece of toilet paper trailing from your shoe. (Where was that when you NEEDED it??) You yank the paper from your shoe, plunk it in the woman's hand and tell her warmly, "Here, you just might need this".
As you exit, you spot your hubby, who has long since entered, used, and left the men's restroom.
Annoyed, he asks, "What took you so long, and why is your purse hanging around your neck?" ..........
This is dedicated to women everywhere who deal with a public restrooms (rest??? you've GOT to be kidding!!). It finally explains to the men what really does take us so long. It also answers their other commonly asked questions about why women go to the restroom in pairs. It's so the other gal can hold the door, hang onto your purse, and hand you Kleenex under the door!

A Friend Is Like A Good Bra...
Hard to Find...
Always Lifts You Up...
Never Lets You Down, or Leaves You Hanging,
And Is Always Close To Your Heart!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Have you seen Pandorum?

Have you seen Pandorum? If so is it worth watching?

Here is the trailer

In PANDORUM, Dennis Quaid (Vantage Point, The Express) and Ben Foster (3:10 to Yuma, Alpha Dog) join Cam Gigandet (Never Back Down, Twilight), Cung Le (Tekken, Fighting), newcomer Antje Traue, and director Christian Alvart (Antibodies) to tell the terrifying story of two crew members stranded on a spacecraft who quickly – and horrifically – realize they are not alone.

Two astronauts awaken in a hyper-sleep chamber aboard a seemingly abandoned spacecraft. It’s pitch black, they are disoriented, and the only sound is a low rumble and creak from the belly of the ship. They can’t remember anything: Who are they? What is their mission?

With Lt. Payton (Quaid) staying behind to guide him via radio transmitter, Cpl. Bower (Foster) ventures deep into the ship and begins to uncover a terrifying reality. Slowly the spacecraft’s shocking, deadly secrets are revealed…and the astronauts find their own survival is more important than they could ever have imagined.

It has that Alien kind of feel. Leave me a comment if you enjoyed this movie...I am relying on the wisdom of the crowds here :-)

Friday, September 11, 2009

The British government has officially apologized for the treatment of Alan Turing in the post war era

Thousands of people have signed a Downing Street petition calling for a posthumous government apology to World War II code breaker Alan Turing.
Writer Ian McEwan has also backed the campaign, which already has the support of scientist Richard Dawkins. In 1952 Turing was prosecuted under the gross indecency act after admitting to a sexual relationship with a man. Two years later he killed himself.

It finally happened, the British government has officially apologized for the treatment of Alan Turing in the post war era

Below is the statement

2009 has been a year of deep reflection - a chance for Britain, as a nation, to commemorate the profound debts we owe to those who came before. A unique combination of anniversaries and events have stirred in us that sense of pride and gratitude which characterise the British experience. Earlier this year I stood with Presidents Sarkozy and Obama to honour the service and the sacrifice of the heroes who stormed the beaches of Normandy 65 years ago. And just last week, we marked the 70 years which have passed since the British government declared its willingness to take up arms against Fascism and declared the outbreak of World War Two. So I am both pleased and proud that, thanks to a coalition of computer scientists, historians and LGBT activists, we have this year a chance to mark and celebrate another contribution to Britain’s fight against the darkness of dictatorship; that of code-breaker Alan Turing.

Turing was a quite brilliant mathematician, most famous for his work on breaking the German Enigma codes. It is no exaggeration to say that, without his outstanding contribution, the history of World War Two could well have been very different. He truly was one of those individuals we can point to whose unique contribution helped to turn the tide of war. The debt of gratitude he is owed makes it all the more horrifying, therefore, that he was treated so inhumanely. In 1952, he was convicted of ‘gross indecency’ - in effect, tried for being gay. His sentence - and he was faced with the miserable choice of this or prison - was chemical castration by a series of injections of female hormones. He took his own life just two years later.

Thousands of people have come together to demand justice for Alan Turing and recognition of the appalling way he was treated. While Turing was dealt with under the law of the time and we can’t put the clock back, his treatment was of course utterly unfair and I am pleased to have the chance to say how deeply sorry I and we all are for what happened to him. Alan and the many thousands of other gay men who were convicted as he was convicted under homophobic laws were treated terribly. Over the years millions more lived in fear of conviction.

I am proud that those days are gone and that in the last 12 years this government has done so much to make life fairer and more equal for our LGBT community. This recognition of Alan’s status as one of Britain’s most famous victims of homophobia is another step towards equality and long overdue.

But even more than that, Alan deserves recognition for his contribution to humankind. For those of us born after 1945, into a Europe which is united, democratic and at peace, it is hard to imagine that our continent was once the theatre of mankind’s darkest hour. It is difficult to believe that in living memory, people could become so consumed by hate - by anti-Semitism, by homophobia, by xenophobia and other murderous prejudices - that the gas chambers and crematoria became a piece of the European landscape as surely as the galleries and universities and concert halls which had marked out the European civilisation for hundreds of years. It is thanks to men and women who were totally committed to fighting fascism, people like Alan Turing, that the horrors of the Holocaust and of total war are part of Europe’s history and not Europe’s present.

So on behalf of the British government, and all those who live freely thanks to Alan’s work I am very proud to say: we’re sorry, you deserved so much better.

Gordon Brown

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Placebo button, now you know why that button doesn't do anything

If this is true then this is hilarious!
From wikipedia's placebo button entry
A placebo button is a push-button that appears to do something, but actually has no effect, like a placebo. They exist to give the user an illusion of control.
Many walk buttons at pedestrian crossings in New York City were once functional, but now serve as placebo buttons. Many door close buttons in elevators are placebo buttons. Office thermostats may also function similarly.

Hey at least you don't have to ever fix these buttons since they don't 'work anyway :-)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

AMD aims to stay in the race with Magny-Cours 12-core CPU

Saw this story in my Google Reader. Very interesting, I have a quad core CPU at home right now and never get above 30% CPU usage,I wonder what would happen with one of these 12 core CPUs on it. Here is a blurb from the article
At Hot Chips this past week, AMD unveiled more details of the upcoming 12-core "Magny-Cours" processor that it hopes will help it stay competitive in the server game. Due in 2010 on AMD's 45nm SOI process, Magny-Cours uses the same basic core microarchitecture as the current Shanghai quad-core server processor, so if there's any improvement in per-thread performance it will have to come from better system design.

The basic idea behind Magny-Cours is simple: take two six-core Istanbul processors, downclock them a bit to reduce power, and squeeze them into a multichip module (MCM) so that they can fit into a single socket. By using an MCM, AMD will be able to fit 12 cores into the same thermal and power envelope as Istanbul.

Read the rest here: http://arstechnica.com/hardware/news/2009/09/amd-makes-tradeoffs-in-upcoming-12-core-server-cpu.ars?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss

I wonder how many years it will take before we see 64 cores on the desktop and maybe 32 cores on a laptop? This reminds me of razorblades....first we had one blade, then two...now we have five....how long before we have ten blades in those?

Walt Mosspuppet review videos

Walt Mosspuppet, a fake video blog starring a puppet version of the technology reporter, this is just awesome :-)

You can see more videos here: http://rantpuppets.com/ like this gem: Walt Mossberg: "I am Responsible for Apple’s Success"

Is Gmail down for you too?

I am getting a 502 server error when trying to get to Gmail. IS it also down for you? The cloud is not cooperating right now :-(

The Apps Status Dashboard has a status of Service Outage

We're aware of a problem with Google Mail affecting a majority of users. The affected users are unable to access Google Mail. We will provide an update by September 1, 2009 4:53:00 PM UTC-4 detailing when we expect to resolve the problem. Please note that this resolution time is an estimate and may change.

Oh well, I am adding that Beta label back to gmail the moment it comes back up :-)

I will use smoke signals instead...now those are real clouds ;-)

Google released an apology detailing what happened
Here’s what happened: This morning (Pacific Time) we took a small fraction of Gmail’s servers offline to perform routine upgrades. This isn’t in itself a problem — we do this all the time, and Gmail’s web interface runs in many locations and just sends traffic to other locations when one is offline.

However, as we now know, we had slightly underestimated the load which some recent changes (ironically, some designed to improve service availability) placed on the request routers — servers which direct web queries to the appropriate Gmail server for response. At about 12:30 pm Pacific a few of the request routers became overloaded and in effect told the rest of the system “stop sending us traffic, we’re too slow!”. This transferred the load onto the remaining request routers, causing a few more of them to also become overloaded, and within minutes nearly all of the request routers were overloaded. As a result, people couldn’t access Gmail via the web interface because their requests couldn’t be routed to a Gmail server. IMAP/POP access and mail processing continued to work normally because these requests don’t use the same routers.

The Gmail engineering team was alerted to the failures within seconds (we take monitoring very seriously). After establishing that the core problem was insufficient available capacity, the team brought a LOT of additional request routers online (flexible capacity is one of the advantages of Google’s architecture), distributed the traffic across the request routers, and the Gmail web interface came back online.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Crazy idea? Could we replace the nation’s pavement with solar panels?

Saw this story on Google Reader today

Could we replace the nation’s pavement with solar panels?
If all paved surfaces in the U.S. were replaced with 15% efficiency solar panels, the resulting distributed power network could provide three times the electricity the nation consumes, with zero carbon emissions and no additional power grid infrastructure. (Yes, I’m aware manufacturing, installing, and maintaining it would generate emissions, as with any infrastructure project.)

So crazy it just might work? Apparently the Dept. of Transportation thinks so: Solar Roadways has received a $100,000 contract from DOT to build a prototype:

The Solar Roadways will collect solar energy to power businesses and homes via structurally-engineered solar panels that are driven upon, to be placed in parking lots and roadways in lieu of petroleum-based asphalt surfaces.

Wow, that sounds a little overambitious if you ask me but who knows,maybe it is possible. Next thing would be to have a moon/sun roof on every car that will also convert the energy from the sun into fuel.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

IBM X-Force Report Reveals Unprecedented State of Web Insecurity

Wow, I am reading this report and it is a sad world. Some highlights

  • Vulnerabilities have reached a plateau. There were 3,240 new vulnerabilities discovered in the first half of 2009, an eight percent decrease over the first half of 2008. The rate of vulnerability disclosures in the past few years appears to have reached a high plateau. In 2007, the vulnerability count dropped for the first time, but then in 2008 there was a new record high. The annual disclosure rate appears to be fluctuating between six and seven thousand new disclosures each year.

  • PDF vulnerabilities have increased. Portable Document Format (PDF) vulnerabilities disclosed in the first half of 2009 already surpassed disclosures from all of 2008.

  • Trojans account for more than half of all new malware. Continuing the recent trend, in the first half of 2009, Trojans comprised 55 percent of all new malware, a nine percent increase over the first half of 2008. Information-stealing Trojans are the most prevalent malware category.

  • Phishing has decreased dramatically. Analysts believe that banking Trojans are taking the place of phishing attacks geared toward financial targets. In the first half of 2009, 66 percent of phishing was targeted at the financial industry, down from 90 percent in 2008. Online payment targets make up 31 percent of the share.

  • URL spam is still number one, but image-based spam is making a comeback. After nearing extinction in 2008, image-based spam made a comeback in the first half of 2009, yet it still makes up less than 10 percent of all spam.

  • Nearly half of all vulnerabilities remain unpatched. Similar to the end of 2008, nearly half (49 percent) of all vulnerabilities disclosed in the first half of 2009 had no vendor-supplied patch at the end of the period.

How is image-based spam making a comeback? I use Gmail and also Outlook both of those disable images by default. Adobe also seems to have a real problem with reader and flash, PDF vulnerabilities are rampant. If you listen to the Security Now podcast (like every IT person should) you will notice that there are almost always problems with Reader/Flash/Shockwave.

Read the full report here http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/28257.wss

Sunday, August 23, 2009

My little boy is growing up

So my oldest son Christian lost his first baby tooth yesterday

Lost First Tooth

Of course he wanted to know all about the Tooth Fairy, he wanted me to do a search on the computer so that he could see what she looked like. I must say there is not a lot about the Tooth Fairy on the internet, maybe she is elusive. Lucky for him she stopped by that night and left some money for him.

In a way I am glad that he is growing up and in a way I am sad because I want him to stay this little and innocent. I guess this is normal for all parents?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Zune HD Previews Available at Best Buy This Weekend

The Zune is partnering with Best Buy to showcase the new Zune HD portable digital media player that will be releasing this Fall. Zune Reps will be in select Best Buy stores on August 22 and 23 demoing Zune HD and answering customer questions. This event will be the first time the Zune HD will be demonstrated in store for public viewing, so come by and check it out!

Go to www.bestbuy.com/zunehd for a list of the participating Best Buy stores that will have these in-store events.

And remember you can already preorder your Zune on Amazon.com: Zune HD 16 GB

Friday, August 21, 2009

LEGO Mindstorms Sudoku Solver

Wow, take a look at this thing, it is a LEGO Mindstorms Sudoku Solver. And I thought the one that solves Rubik's Cube was impressive

What do you think, are you impressed?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bambus or Kalimotxo

In yesterday’s post about situation puzzles I mentioned Bambus and that I would explain today what Bambus is. Bambus is just basically red wine and Coca/Pepsi Cola mixed. Wouldn’t you believe that Wikipedia has an entry on this, here is what they have about the origin of the name.

Calimocho (from the Basque Kalimotxo) is a drink consisting of approximately 50% red wine and 50% cola-based soft drink. Alternative names include Rioja libre (from "Rioja", and "Cuba Libre"), kali, motxo. In Chile the drink is known as jote (Chilean Spanish for the Black Vulture), and in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, the Republic of Macedonia, Croatia and other former Yugoslav republics of it is known as bambus (meaning bamboo) and musolini (as in Benito Mussolini). In the Czech Republic it is known as houba, and in Hungary as Vadász (meaning hunter) or vörösboros kóla or shortly VBK. In Mozambique and South Africa it is known as Catemba. In Germany it is called Korea.

Now I have never heard where the name came from or if it even comes from bamboo, I did hear of musolini and if I recall correctly then musolini is made with red wine and Fanta not Coke. The reason that people drink this is because it is relatively cheap; all you need is some crappy wine and some soda. You certainly would not use Opus One to make this drink. In the US I have made this drink several times for my friends and they are all surprised by the sweetness of the drink, I have yet to hear from a person who did not like this drink.

There is also a white wine version of this drink; instead of Coke you would use Ginger Ale or Sprite/7UP. This also taste pretty good….and again you would not use Grgich Hills Chardonay or Gavi de Gavi La Scolca for this but something much cheaper.
There are also these variations:
Diesel (Coca Cola + beer)
Submarine (drop a shot of whiskey in a beer)
Čiket (Brandy/Cognac with Coca Cola)

In Holland they have something similar but instead of wine they use beer. So beer with 7UP is called Sneeuwwitje (Snow White). There is also a drink named Kopstoot; this is beer with Jenever (Dutch gin). Usually you drink the gin first and then the beer; there is a version of this drink where you put the glass of gin inside the glass of beer. This version is called duikboot (U-boat)…you have to be careful with this because there is a possibility that the glass inside the beer glass will hit your teeth

Avatar official trailer available

AVATAR takes us to a spectacular new world beyond our imagination, where a reluctant hero embarks on a journey of redemption and discovery, as he leads a heroic battle to save a civilization. The film was first conceived by Cameron 14 years ago, when the means to realize his vision did not yet exist. Now, after four years of actual production work, AVATAR delivers a fully immersive cinematic experience of a new kind, where the revolutionary technology invented to make the film, disappears into the emotion of the characters and the sweep of the story.

Genre: Action and Adventure, Science Fiction
Director: James Cameron
Cast: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, Sigourney Weaver

You can watch the trailer here: http://www.apple.com/trailers/fox/avatar/hd/

The official Avatar site is here: http://www.avatarmovie.com/

The Youtube channels is here: http://www.youtube.com/officialavatar#

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Situation puzzles are a nice way to spend time near that camp fire

The first time I did a situation puzzle was over 20 years ago. I was on the beach with some friends in Istria (Croatia), we were drinking bambus (more about that tomorrow) and it was night time. You have to remember that this is in a small town, there is not such a thing as a board walk where you can go and buy stuff……no, the closest light source is half a mile away.

Situation puzzles are often referred to as lateral thinking puzzles or "yes/no" puzzles.The way you start with a situation puzzle is like this: you tell a short little story and people then have to guess what happened. The one rule is that you can only answer Yes or No.

Here is one example I took from Wikipedia

One of the most famous situation puzzles is told similar to this:

A man walks into a bar, and asks the bartender for a drink of water. The bartender pulls out a gun, points it at the man, and cocks it. The man says "Thank you" and leaves. What happened?

The question and answer segment might go something like this.

Question: Could the bartender hear him? Answer: Yes

Question: Was the bartender angry for some reason? A: No

Question: Was the gun a water pistol? A: No

Question: Did they know each other from before? A: No (or: "irrelevant" since either way it does not affect the outcome)

Question: Was the man's "Thank you" sarcastic? A: No (or with a small hint: "No, he was genuinely grateful for some reason")

Question: Did the man ask for water in an offensive way? A: No

Question: Did the man ask for water in some strange way? A: Yes

Eventually the questions lead up to the conclusion that the man had the hiccups, and that his reason for requesting a drink of water was not to quench his thirst but to cure his hiccups. The bartender realized this and chose instead to cure the hiccups by frightening the man with the gun. Once the man realized that his hiccups were gone, he no longer needed a drink of water, gratefully thanked the bartender, and left.

Here are 2 more examples; these are the ones that I have been told on that beach

Situation Puzzle 002: Why did this person shoot himself?
A person enters his room, goes to get something out of the closet, grabs the handle from the door of the closet, gets terrified, opens the closet takes out a gun and kills himself

Why did this person kill himself?
You can look for the answer here: Situation Puzzle 002: Why did this person shoot himself?

Situation Puzzle 001: What happened to this man?
There is man laying in the Sahara deserts, he has a toothpick in his hand, he is dead, there is nothing nearby for miles and miles. He is 300 feet away from an oasis; he doesn't have GPS on him or any food or drinks

What happened to this poor person and why is he laying here dead?
You can look for the answer here: Situation Puzzle 001: What happened to this man?

Of course these days with all the gadgets that we have and the ADD we have developed because of it makes these kind of things seem lame and also too long to play. But I think you should try and you will see that you will have a good time

Lego Town Plan...yes or no?

I am looking at this Lego set and I am thinking about getting this for me and my oldest son for Christmas. What do you think, is the LEGO Town Plan too much stuff for a 5 year old and should I get something smaller? Remember, he doesn't have to build the whole thing, he can just build pieces of it and then use the rest of the bricks to create stuff with his own imagination.

I was also thinking of the LEGO Star Wars Darth Vader's TIE Fighter. Lego + Darth Vader? Can you get any cooler than that?

I don't know...which one would you get?.....Just imagine that these are both priced the same so that that is not a factor in your decision.

As I kid I loved legos, as a matter of fact it is probably the only kind of toy I had after I was older than 5

Monday, August 10, 2009

Facebook buys FriendFeed and now we have FaceFeed

So Facebook has acquired FriendFeed, here is the press release.

Facebook today announced that it has agreed to acquire FriendFeed, the innovative service for sharing online. As part of the agreement, all FriendFeed employees will join Facebook and FriendFeed’s four founders will hold senior roles on Facebook’s engineering and product teams.

“Facebook and FriendFeed share a common vision of giving people tools to share and connect with their friends,” said Bret Taylor, a FriendFeed co-founder and, previously, the group product manager who launched Google Maps. “We can’t wait to join the team and bring many of the innovations we’ve developed at FriendFeed to Facebook’s 250 million users around the world.”

“As we spent time with Mark and his leadership team, we were impressed by the open, creative culture they’ve built and their desire to have us contribute to it,” said Paul Buchheit, another FriendFeed co-founders. Buchheit, the Google engineer behind Gmail and the originator of Google’s “Don’t be evil” motto, added, “It was immediately obvious to us how passionate Facebook’s engineers are about creating simple, ground-breaking ways for people to share, and we are extremely excited to join such a like-minded group.”

Taylor and Buchheit founded FriendFeed along with Jim Norris and Sanjeev Singh in October 2007 after all four played key roles at Google for products like Gmail and Google Maps. At FriendFeed, they’ve brought together a world-class team of engineers and designers.

“Since I first tried FriendFeed, I’ve admired their team for creating such a simple and elegant service for people to share information,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO. "As this shows, our culture continues to make Facebook a place where the best engineers come to build things quickly that lots of people will use."

FriendFeed is based in Mountain View, Calif. and has 12 employees. FriendFeed.com will continue to operate normally for the time being as the teams determine the longer term plans for the product.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not released.

I really don't know what to say about this, I really like FriendFeed and just hope that Facebook will not disable twitter inside FriendFeed because that would really suck. On the FriendFeed blog Bret Taylor writes the following
FriendFeed.com will continue to operate normally for the time being. We're still figuring out our longer-term plans for the product with the Facebook team

Mmmm, that doesn't sound reassuring does it?

What do you think?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

BingTweets launched

Microsoft, in cooperation with Federated Media and Twitter, launched its own Twitter search engine today. BingTweets mashes up real-time Twitter search with results from Bing

BingTweets enables you to see deeper, real-time information about the hottest topics on Twitter by fusing Bing search results with the latest tweets. To get started, click on a trending topic, or search for anything that's on your mind in the search box below.


Check it out: http://bingtweets.com/

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Example Of The Gimp Predator Filter

I was playing around with the Predator filter in the Gimp

So I took a pic of this little kitty

I applied the Predator filter and here is the result

What do you think?

Sandokan and Westworld, Two Movies/Series I Want To See Again

For some strange reason I was thinking about Sandokan and Westworld today.


Westworld is a movie I last saw when I was probably about 10 year old. The main actors in the movie are Yul Brynner, Richard Benjamin and James Brolin. Here is in short what the movie is about (from Wikipedia)

It is sometime in the near future, in a fictional high-tech adult amusement park called Delos. The park is divided into three zones: WesternWorld, MedievalWorld and RomanWorld. The entertainment in all three areas consists primarily of interaction by the guests with androids programmed to act in character (the Old West, medieval Europe, and pre-Christian Rome, respectively). The androids are indistinguishable from human beings, apart from minor flaws in their hands, and guests are encouraged to indulge in any fantasy, including killing the androids. The androids are programmed to respond positively to guest requests, specifically including requests for sex. Delos's guests pay $1,000 a day for the experience.

Here is a trailer for the movie

So as you can probably guess one of these androids goes a little crazy and starts to shoot back. This android is the Gunslinger and he is played by Yul Brunner.

I will never remember the scene when The Gunslinger gets splashed in the face with acid, and the skin starts to melt and you can see the inside of his robotic head, very much like terminator.

Spooky stuff for a 10 year old at that time.

Did you know that Westworld was the first major feature film to use 2D computer generated images (CGI)? Di you also know that Westworld was written and directed by Michael Crichton?

Update September 2016

So here we are 7 years later..and my wish came true. HBO is premiering the first episode of  Westworld this weekend. It looks really good. Here is the trailer for the HBO series Westworld


Sandokan is a fictional pirate of the late nineteenth century, Sandokan first appeared in a publication created in 1883 by Italian author Emilio Salgari.
He is appeared in 11 novels and is known as "The Tiger of Malaysia".

There are two scenes that I will never forget, the first one is when he jumps up ans slices the tiger to death, The second scene is when he takes the poison before they throw him into the ocean

I watched Sandokan when I was 7 or 8, this was a HUGE hit in Europe, you could catch it on any channel. It was played on Ned 1, ZDF, RAI, BBC etc etc. I remeber lots of people having a shirt with Sandokan on it, I did not have one but my cousins did. As a matter of fact i don't think I ever had a shirt with movie/music stars except for Superman
Here is the trailer for Sandokan

The actor that played Sandokan is Kabir Bedi and if you watched Dynasty in the 80s then you might recognize him since he was in a couple of episodes. I just hope that somehow we can get Sandokan on DVD soon, I would love to watch it again.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

When it rains, it pours. When it pours you get tons of mushrooms

This has to be the most bizarre June in New Jersey ever. Usually I will have my air conditioning blasting by now. Not this year, this year I has rained I think for 20 days straight and it is not warm at all. Weather like that is not untypical in Holland where I grew up. But I left Holland; one of the reasons was that the weather sucks in Holland. April and May are actually quite nice but the rest of the year it is more miss than hit. You will get that nasty drizzle that will last for days or it will just rain cats and dogs for a day straight.

When it rains a lot you will see that suddenly mushrooms pop out of the ground everywhere. The last couple of days I have taken a couple of pics. Click on the picture to get to the flickr page and you can leave a comment or look at the bigger size (if you are into that kind of thing)

The first mushroom is the bizarre looking Stinkhorn. Some people might think they look like some alien penises. I think this variety is the Mutinus caninus.


According to Wikipedia some parts are edible
The Dog Stinkhorn is probably edible at the ‘egg’ stage, but it is not recommended. At least one report from West Virginia in the eastern United States strongly recommends the 'eggs' peeled and fried as a tasty dish

Stinkhorn Detail
No thank you.

Next up is the Amanita muscaria. This is a poisonous and psychoactive basidiomycete fungus.


From wikipedia
Amanita muscaria is now primarily famed for its hallucinogenic properties with its main psychoactive constituent being the compound muscimol. It was used as an intoxicant and entheogen by the peoples of Siberia and has a religious significance in these cultures.


Some late day sun gives the mushroom some 'warmth'


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Into the wild a great movie

I was flipping channels on the tv (this is something every man should do to annoy his wife) and saw that into the wild just started on showtime. I read the brief description and decided to watch 10 minutes or so to see if it is any good. My wife and I loved this movie; we were not going to watch the whole thing because it was getting late but of course we couldn’t just go to bed without watching the end. Of course we paid the price the next morning when the kids got up before 6.

The movie has a 8.2 rating on IMDB so that is pretty good.This movie is based on the book Into the Wild written by the author of Into Thin Air John Krakauer

Here is what the movie is about, I made only the first sentence visible because I don’t want to spoil it for you, you can highlight the text to make it visible.

After graduating from Emory University in Atlanta in 1992, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandoned his possessions, gave his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhiked to Alaska, where he went to live in the wilderness. Four months later, he turned up dead. His diary, letters and two notes found at a remote campsite tell of his desperate effort to survive, apparently stranded by an injury and slowly starving. They also reflect the posturing of a confused young man, raised in affluent Annandale, Va., who self-consciously adopted a Tolstoyan renunciation of wealth and return to nature. Krakauer, a contributing editor to Outside and Men's Journal, retraces McCandless's ill-fated antagonism toward his father, Walt, an eminent aerospace engineer. Krakauer also draws parallels to his own reckless youthful exploit in 1977 when he climbed Devils Thumb, a mountain on the Alaska-British Columbia border, partly as a symbolic act of rebellion against his autocratic father. In a moving narrative, Krakauer probes the mystery of McCandless's death, which he attributes to logistical blunders and to accidental poisoning from eating toxic seed pods

Now that I saw the movie I want to read the book……don’t tell my wife I know, but something tells me that I will get the book as part of my father’s day gift this Sunday.

If you have showtime you can see when it will be on again here http://www.sho.com/site/schedules/product.do?episodeid=133208&seriesid=0&seasonid=0

Friday, June 12, 2009

Remember! True Blood starts in 2 days

One of my favorite shows in the last couple of years

Here is the coundown clock

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Xbox 360 Project Natal: Full-Body Motion Control

Microsoft announced Xbox 360 Project Natal at this year's E3

Here is the press release

The future of home entertainment has a new name: Xbox 360. Today, Microsoft Corp. opened the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) with a historic Xbox 360 briefing that rocked, tweeted, revved and awakened the world to a new era of fun and entertainment. In addition to premiering 10 exclusive new games, revolutionizing the way we watch TV, and making it easier than ever to connect to friends, Xbox also welcomed visionary filmmaker Steven Spielberg to introduce “Project Natal” and controller-free gaming.

“Today with cultural visionaries at our side and controller-free gaming on our horizon, Xbox 360 authored a new page in home entertainment history,” said Don Mattrick, senior vice president for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft.

“For us, this E3 is about breaking down barriers — between generations, between games and entertainment, and most important, between video game players and everyone else — in a way that only Xbox 360 can.”
During its briefing, Microsoft showed why Xbox 360 continues to defy industry sales trends. First: A lineup of blockbuster games to ignite every passion, including “Forza Motorsport 3,” “Alan Wake,” “Halo 3: ODST” and “The Beatles: Rock Band.” Next? A host of groundbreaking Xbox LIVE services, from instant on 1080p HD streaming movies and television to Facebook and Last.fm tailor-made for your TV. And rounding it all out, “Project Natal,” a whole new way to play, no controller required.

“Project Natal”: No Strings (or Controllers) Attached
Unveiled for the first time to the public was “Project Natal,” pronounced “nuh-tall” and a code name for a revolutionary new way to play, no controller required. See a ball? Kick it, hit it, trap it or catch it. If you know how to move your hands, shake your hips or speak, you and your friends can jump into the fun. The only experience needed is life experience.

Compatible with any Xbox 360 system, the “Project Natal” sensor is the world’s first to combine an RGB camera, depth sensor, multi-array microphone and custom processor running proprietary software all in one device. Unlike 2-D cameras and controllers, “Project Natal” tracks your full body movement in 3-D, while responding to commands, directions and even a shift of emotion in your voice.

In addition, unlike other devices, the “Project Natal” sensor is not light-dependent. It can recognize you just by looking at your face, and it doesn’t just react to key words but understands what you’re saying. Call a play in a football game, and players will actually respond. Want to log onto Xbox LIVE? Simply step in front of the sensor.

“The next step in interactive entertainment is to make the controller disappear,” said Steven Spielberg, visionary director and producer. “With ‘Project Natal,’ we’ll see games that bring everyone together through technology that actually recognizes us.”

The Best of the Internet, Custom-Made for Your TV
Groove, party or connect with a friend. Xbox LIVE, the world’s largest social network on TV, today announced that Facebook and Last.fm would be tailor-made for your TV, only on Xbox 360. Microsoft also announced Xbox LIVE Party for movies, which allows movie experiences to be shared — on the couch or across the country over Xbox LIVE in supported movies.

“We are always asking ourselves how to make the TV more social,” said John Schappert, corporate vice president of Interactive Entertainment LIVE, Software and Studios at Microsoft. “By bringing Facebook, Last.fm and Xbox LIVE Party for movies and TV shows to Xbox LIVE, we’re not only extending the walls of your living room beyond your home to your friends in different corners of the world, we’re creating the definitive social network, uniting more than 200 million people to share status updates, pictures, thoughts on music and the world’s best online gaming experience.”

The addition of Facebook to Xbox LIVE means friends are always connected, anytime, anywhere — from virtually any couch. But updating your status and sharing photos won’t be the only things you can do. Using Facebook Connect, you can share your greatest moments in gaming by posting updates and screenshots from supported games directly to Facebook. Don’t let your moment of glory fade away — make sure everyone sees it with Facebook Connect, starting with the future version of the premier EA SPORTS golf franchise “Tiger Woods PGA TOUR®.”

A first for TV, Last.fm,1 part of the CBS Interactive Music Group, will give Xbox LIVE subscribers access to millions of songs streaming through Xbox 360 to the best speakers in the house. Xbox LIVE subscribers will be able to create their own free, personalized radio stations and listen to them with friends in the living room or across the country.
Xbox 360 also solidified its place as one of the leading social entertainment networks by announcing Xbox LIVE Party for movies. Go to the cinema with your friends whether you are sitting on the same couch or in living rooms across the country. Starting this year, you can share a virtual theater, see your avatar (a virtual you) on the screen, all while you listen to each other laugh and cry at the movie through voice chat on Xbox LIVE. With movie parties, the only thing you can’t share is the popcorn.

1080p HD in an Instant
Continuing a pioneering effort that began with the introduction of the industry’s first video marketplace in November 2006 and broke new ground with the announcement of the first live TV straight from a gaming console last week in the U.K., Microsoft today announced that Xbox would deliver yet another first-to-the-world: instant on 1080p movies and TV with 5.1 surround sound — direct to consoles connected to compatible HD TVs through the Xbox LIVE social entertainment network.

Starting this fall, a broad selection of movies and TV shows from Zune video on Xbox 360 will be available to start and stream instantly, in the highest video quality and at the push of a button.2 No discs, no waiting for downloads and no delays. Get the selection of a video megastore, the best video clarity available and the convenience of on-demand, only on Xbox 360.

In addition, Microsoft announced it will more than double the number of markets where Xbox LIVE offers its TV shows and movies, growing from eight to 18, by adding Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. Xbox LIVE members in these markets will have access to instant on 1080p video. New Xbox LIVE Video Marketplace advancements also came for the U.S., U.K.and Ireland, specifically:

• More choices with Netflix. Watch movies instantly streamed from Netflix.3 Browse and add selections to your instant Queue — right on your TV with your Xbox 360. Plus now with Xbox LIVE Party, you can watch and share supported movies with up to seven friends on Xbox LIVE. Debating between comedy and horror? Recommend your favorites to friends and see your virtual you as an avatar on the silver screen.

• Live TV with BSkyB Ltd. The Xbox LIVE commitment to providing the best global entertainment gains momentum with its newest partner, Sky. Now, for the first time, watch live or on-demand TV from Sky on Xbox 360, including Sky Sports. Never miss a moment of your favorite live TV shows, sports, movies and family-friendly entertainment across the U.K. and Ireland on Xbox LIVE. You can even share your favorites with up to seven friends in an Xbox LIVE Party.

Games for Everyone
Get behind the steering wheel of the sleek Audi R8. Rock out with your friends to the latest music and party games. Discover a new chapter set in the iconic universe of “Halo.” Xbox 360 has the most celebrated, highly anticipated games and experiences in the industry. With more than 1,000 titles to date, there’s more than just one for you.

• Get behind the wheel. Hit the straightaway in more than 400 cars on the world’s most beautiful tracks in the definitive racing game for this console generation, “Forza Motorsport 3.” Or get your avatar in the driver’s seat as you tear up the track with your friends in “Joy Ride.”

•Adrenaline-rushing exclusives. Xbox 360 is your top destination for the biggest exclusives this year and beyond, including “Halo 3: ODST,” “Crackdown 2,” “Alan Wake,” “Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction™” and “Left 4 Dead 2.”

•Tap into your inner musician. Xbox 360 continues to be the preferred venue for the music games you love. Discover the magic of music and The Beatles with “The Beatles: Rock Band” or start a spontaneous singing party with “Lips: Number One Hits.”

•The best blockbuster experiences. Third-party games play better on Xbox 360. Pairing must-have titles such as this year’s blockbuster from Infinity Ward, “Modern Warfare 2” with Xbox LIVE, Xbox 360 offers more friends to play with and an exclusive collection of Game Add-ons.

Here is a video

See also: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/live/projectnatal/

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Watch The Hunt For Gollum

I wrote about this before and showed the trailers, you can watch the full movie now

The Hunt For Gollum: An unofficial and free 39 minute Lord of the Rings fan film, made for less than $5,000 by Independent Online Cinema. Based on parts of The Lord of the Rings


Windows 7 RC DVDs

Microsoft was so kind to ship 8 Windows 7 RC DVDs to me. I decided to give them to my co-workers and all of them are gone already. Personally I think Windows 7 is great, I have been running it for a while now and so far it is all good. I even installed Visual Studio 2010 Beta on it, you can find some screenshots I took here: Visual Studio 2010 Screenshots

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

Porkfluenza/H1N1 Swine Flu Google Map

I still have to fnish reading my copy of The Great Influenza: The story of the deadliest pandemic in history. I better hurry up reading that book but I can already see that with the recent outbreak of the H1N1 Swine Flu the world shows that it is a lot more prepared than during the Great Influenza. In Europe the advised not to travel to the United States or to Mexico. One doctor even mentioned that he would rather be critized for overreacting than underreacting. The map below has all the confirmed and suspected case of the H1N1 Swine Flu

View H1N1 Swine Flu in a larger map

Pink markers are suspect
Purple markers are confirmed
Deaths lack a dot in marker
Yellow markers are negative

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Hunt For Gollum: A LOTR Film Created By Fans For Fans

The Hunt For Gollum; a 40 minute independent film inspired by The Lord of the Rings which is to be released to the internet for free on May 3 2009.

The script is adapted from elements of the appendices of The Lord of the Rings. The story follows the Heir of Isildur; the "greatest huntsman and traveller in Middle Earth" as he sets out to find the creature Gollum. The creature must be found to discover the truth about the Ring, and to protect the future Ringbearer.

Trailer one

Trailer two

More info: http://thehuntforgollum.com/updates.htm

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Reddigg, reddit pranks digg on April Fools day

This is just awesome. If you are a reddit user you will know that they don't really like digg users on reddit. Well today the did a nice April Fools prank

They changed their layout to look like digg and called it Reddigg

That is just brilliant


Friday, March 27, 2009


This is pretty funny if you ask me. Found this gem on wikipedia:

Hexspeak, like leetspeak, is a novelty form of variant English spelling.

Hexspeak was created by programmers who wanted a magic number, a clear and unique identifier with which to mark memory or data. Using hexadecimal notation, which includes the digits 0123456789ABCDEF, it is possible to create small words with the digit "0" representing the letter "O", "1" representing the letter "I", and "5" representing "S".

0xABADBABE ("a bad babe") is used by Apple as the "Boot Zero Block" magic number.

0xBAADF00D ("bad food") is used by Microsoft's LocalAlloc(LMEM_FIXED) to indicate uninitialised allocated heap memory.

0xBADDCAFE ("bad cafe") is used by 'watchmalloc' in OpenSolaris to mark allocated but uninitialized memory.

0xCAFEBABE ("cafe babe") is used by both Mach-O ("Fat binary" in both 68k and PowerPC) to identify object files and the Java programming language to identify Java bytecode class files[1]

0xDEADBEEF ("dead beef") is used by IBM RS/6000 systems, Mac OS on 32-bit PowerPC processors and the Commodore Amiga as a magic debug value. On Sun Microsystems' Solaris, marks freed kernel memory. On OpenVMS, running on Alpha processes DEAD_BEEF can be seen by pressing CTRL-T.[2]

0xDEFEC8ED ("defecated") is the magic number for OpenSolaris core dumps [3].

0xFACEFEED ("face feed") is used by Alpha servers running Windows NT. The Alpha Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) generates this error when it encounters a hardware failure.[4]

0xFEE1DEAD ("feel dead") is used as magic number in Linux reboot system call.

0xBADCAB1E ("bad cable") Error Code returned to the Microsoft eVC debugger when connection is severed to the debugger.

0xFEEDFACE ("feed face") is used as a header for Mach-O binaries, and as an invalid pointer value for 'watchmalloc' in OpenSolaris.

0xD15EA5E\0 ("disease") opens a game disc partition on the Wii video game console. (\0 is used to mark the end of a string. Also of note, it was 0xDEADBEEF on the Nintendo GameCube.)

0xDEADDEAD ("dead dead") is the STOP code when invoking a Blue Screen of Death by using a special keystroke on a Windows NT based OS.

0xBEADFACE ("bead face, or face bead") Is the pattern that fills all unused memory locations in the Motorola 68HCS12DP256 micro-controller simulator, SimHC12.


So guess what this will return if you run it in SQL Server

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Microwaving M&Ms??

Microwaving M&Ms?? Who comes up with such a thing.

I was listening to the This Week In Twit and Gina Trapani (from lifehacker fame)said to microwave M&Ms on high for 30 seconds. This will make the inside nice and warm but the outside is still crunchy. This means that they still melt in your mouth and not in your hand :-)

So I tied it myself and it is quite good, think of it like very small chocolate souffles

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bonuses for people with incomes over $250,000 would be taxed at a 90% rate for companies receiveing TARP money

The House just passed a Wall Street bonus tax

The measure would tax individuals on any bonuses received in 2009 from companies getting $5 billion or more in money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. Bonuses for people with incomes over $250,000 would be taxed at a 90% rate.

Let's do some quick math shall we?

1) You get a million, you get taxed 90% and keep 100K

2) You return 750K, keep 250K, get taxed 35% and you keep 162.5K

For option 2 it looks like you did a good thing because you returned 750K. But in reality you did it because that way you can keep a lot more of the money

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Please Tell Me That You Know The Answer To These 3 Questions

So I was listening to the This Week In Science podcast. A poll was conducted and three questions were asked. Amazingly only 21% of the people knew the answer to all three of these questions. These questions seem very simple to me so I don't really know how you can mess it up. Here are the questions

1) How long does it take for the earth to orbit around the sun once?
2) Did dinosaurs and humans coexist?
3) What percentage of Earth's surface is covered by water?

So there you have it? Do you know the answer to all three?

Mix 09 Day 1 Keynote

A lot of things announced today at Mix 09
Silverlight 3 Beta
Expression Blend 3 Preview

Watch The Keynote

Big Blue To Buy The Dot In .COM

Remember the we are the dot in .com ads? Of course later it became we are the dot in the .com crash :-)

So IBM is in talks to buy Sun Microsystems Inc for 6.5 billion dollars. Sun is up 3.42 or 68.81% in pre market trading today. A while back it was noted that Sun's stock was basically worth 0 dollars because their market cap was the same as what they had in cash.

This acquisition probably makes sense to IBM because it will take out another Unix vendor and IBM also has a heavy investment in Java with a variety of products.

Sun bought MySQL not too long ago and butchered it, MySQL 5.1 was released with crashing bugs and Monty Widenius left Sun. This is going to be interesting since IBM already has a database product DB2

The Sun acquisition could also be because of the announcement that Cisco Systems Inc would be selling their own servers and stepping on IBM's turf.

This is going to be very interesting, after this downturn/recession/depression is over I think we are going to have a lot less tech companies. I am wondering if Oracle, HP, Microsoft or Google will make any major acquisition s in the coming months.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Senator Charles Grassley to AIG execs: Resign or commit suicide

A prominent U.S. senator has intimated that executives of the troubled insurer American International Group Inc might consider suicide, adopting what he called a Japanese approach to taking responsibility for their actions.

The first thing that would make me feel a little bit better toward them (is) if they'd follow the Japanese example and come before the American people and take that deep bow and say, I'm sorry, and then either do one of two things: resign or go commit suicide," Grassley said.

"And in the case of the Japanese," he added, "they usually commit suicide before they make any apology.

Okay, come on, that is a little harsh, I know that these people should not get bonuses but you can't tell them to kill themselves?

You can read the complete story on Reuters http://www.reuters.com/article/ousiv/idUSTRE52G3BQ20090317

Buy-n-Hold Rhapsody

Here are the lyrics if you want to sing along with this classic song

Buy-n-Hold Rhapsody
Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a stockslide
No escape from reality
Open your eyes
At Bloomberg and CN-BC….

I’m now a poor boy
I need advisory
Because it’s easy come, easy go
Bubble high, Crash low
Never sell my broker told
Doesn’t really matter to him
To her

Suze, told me not to sell
Put more funds into my plan
October bottom Warren said
Mama, retirement had just begun
But now I’ve gone and thrown it all away

Did ya’ mean to make me cry?
If m’funds not back again this time tomorrow
HOLD on, HOLD on
As if nothing really matters

Too late, my time has come
Losses up and down the line
Wallet’s aching all the time
Goodbye, everybody
I’ve got to SELL
Got to leave buy-n-hold behind to face the truth
I don’t want to lose
I sometimes wish I’d never invested at all

I see a little silhouetto of a man
Scaramouche, Scaramouche
Will you watch the Mad Money?
Buy-n-Sell and lightning-round
Very, very frightening to me
(Noriel) Roubini
(Noriel) Roubini
Roubini, Noriel
I’m now a poor fund and nobody loves me
(He’s just a poor fund from a poor family
Spare him his loss from this monstrosity)
Easy come, easy go, will you let me Sell

No, we will not let you sell
(Let him sell!)
We will not let you sell
(Let him sell!)
We will not let you sell
(Let me sell!)
Will not let you sell
(Let me sell!)
No, no, no, no, no, no, no
Oh, mama mia, mama mia
Mama mia, let me trade
Beelzebub has a devil buy-and-hold for me
For me
And for you…

So you think you can fool me with buy-and-hold lies?
So you think you can charge me and watch my money fry?
Oh, Broker
Can’t do this to me, broker
Just gotta get out
Just gotta sell right outta’ here
Nothing really matters
Anyone can see

Nothing really matters
Nothing really matters but the fee

Any way the market blows……

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

This is why I love living in New Jersey, They always find a way to generate revenue


Here's the latest NJ State Police Initiative
(Radio Station 101.5 FM confirmed this info).
Starting today, New Jersey will launch a 30-day speeding ticket frenzy.
The state estimates that 9 million dollars will be generated in speeding
tickets. One million dollars will go to pay state troopers over-time.
There will be 50 state troopers on duty at all times patrolling the 9
main intersections and highways as follows:
I-295 North and South,
I-95 Jersey Turnpike North and South
I-80 East and West
I-287 North and South
I-78 East and West
I-195 East and West
I-280 East and West
Route 130 - North and South
Garden State Parkway - North and South

5 MPH above the limit can justify a ticket and every state trooper is supposed to pull a car over and write a ticket every 10 to 20 minutes.
They have issued 30 brand new unmarked Crown Victoria cruisers and are bringing in all of their part-timers on full time. If you work in NJ, NY, DE or CT, you will probably be on one of these
highways. So, please be on guard and drive safely!
Starting August 15, the price of a violation to show your driver's license, registration or insurance card at the time you are stopped, increased from $44.00 to $173.00. (Keep these documents in your car).And the fine for not having all three documents is $519.00! The fine for hand-held cell phone use while driving will be going up to $180.00.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Dexter is a real killer, productivity killer that is

So a friend of mine was so kind to let me borrow the Dexter: The First Season and Dexter: The Complete Second Season. Let me tell you, once you start watching this you can't stop. I just finished the first season and it is probably one of the best things I have seen in the last five years.

My plan was to mess around with jQuery this weekend. I created a jQuery wiki page on our site to document what I come across so that it might help others. Unfortunately I didn't add anything since I was watching Dexter. Oh well I have only one season left to watch, that should be done by the end of next week.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Are You Going To See Avatar The New James Cameron Movie?

Avatar, it will be out this Christmas

Who is going to see this?

In a distant future, humanity discovers the planet 'Alpha Centauri B-4', and for those scientists and astronauts who've traversed the gulf between neighboring suns and arrived on its alien soil know it as 'Pandora'. A world filled with an incredible diversity of beautiful and deadly ammonia-breathing lifeforms. Its also a world that harbors treasures and resources almost beyond price. But just as the original Pandora's Box wrought devastation on those who would use it for their own gain, so too this world may destroy not just the Pandorans home, but ours as well.

Avatar is the story of a wounded ex-marine, thrust unwillingly into an effort to settle and exploit an exotic planet rich in bio-diversity, who eventually crosses over to lead the indigenous race in a battle for survival.

Here is the teaser trailer.

I always liked Aliens (Alien 2), probably my favorite from the Alien series. Avatar looks promising so I will probably see it

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thinking about a name for your child? Read this first.

I am reading this interesting article, here is the relevant part.

Boys in the United States with common names like Michael and David are less likely to commit crimes than those named Ernest or Ivan.

David E. Kalist and Daniel Y. Lee of Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania compared the first names of male juvenile delinquents to the first names of male juveniles in the population. The researchers constructed a popularity-name index (PNI) for each name. For example, the PNI for Michael is 100, the most frequently given name during the period. The PNI for David is 50, a name given half as frequently as Michael. The PNI is approximately 1 for names such as Alec, Ernest, Ivan, Kareem, and Malcolm.

Results show that, regardless of race, juveniles with unpopular names are more likely to engage in criminal activity. The least popular names were associated with juvenile delinquency among both blacks and whites.

You can read the rest here: http://www.livescience.com/culture/090128-names-crime.html

So what does this mean? What if everyone named their child Michael? What will happen to Tom Cruise's or Gwyneth Paltrow's children, will those become criminals?

My children have the following names: Christian, Catherine and Nicholas (and no, Catherine and Nicholas are not named after Nicholas II and Catherine the Great

I think I am safe :-)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Am I doomed? Unborn with Odette Yustman as eye candy

I saw the movie Unborn yesterday and while I am not saying it is something you should see immediately it is not that bad. Odette Yustman from Cloverfield is the eye candy in this movie. It is an exorcist type of movie where the main character gets haunted by her unborn twin brother. Here is the creepy part.......the movie starts with Casey jogging and finding a blue glove on the ground, she picks this glove up, turns around only to find a creepy little boy standing there. This boy morphs into a dog and disappears.

On my way to work today I found this blue glove in the snow, it is almost the same as the one in the movie, not only that but take a look at the picture, notice something interesting? Yes that is a Corna (sign of the horns)

Anyway below is the trailer of unborn and hopefully I won't get any visitors tonight.......

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

When I grow up I want to be like mommy

When I grow up I want to be like mommy.......and sell shovels at Wal-mart.......oh wait....

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Awesome first dance

Haven't seen something as good in a long time


I still haven't decided which one I like better

Monday, January 12, 2009

This is how you make a siren

Funny joke, unless you are a cat

A firefighter was working on the engine outside the station, when he noticed a little girl nearby in a little red wagon with little ladders hung off the sides, and a garden hose tightly coiled in the middle. The girl was wearing a firefighters helmet. The wagon was being pulled by her dog and her cat. The firefighter walked over to take a closer look.

`That sure is a nice fire truck,` the firefighter said with admiration.

`Thanks,` the girl replied. The firefighter looked a little closer. The fireman noticed the girl had tied the wagon to her dog`s collar and to the cat`s testicles...

`Little partner,` the firefighter said, `I don`t want to tell you how to run your rig, but if you were to tie that rope around the cat`s collar, I think you could go faster.`

The little girl replied thoughtfully, `You`re probably right, but then I wouldn`t have a siren.`

Just for the record, I am a cat person not a dog person.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

This Is SPPPAAAAAARRTTAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

I laughed my ass off and so will you. Everone I showed this clip to had a laugh attack, so enjoy

Thursday, January 8, 2009

PowerShell V2 Comes With Windows 7

I installed Windows 7 today, and noticed it comes with PowerShell

Here is a screen shot

Start Menu Powershell V2

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Lego Toys From 30 Years Ago Still In Use

When I went to Amsterdam recently I brought back a huge suitcase full of lego bricks. I have played with some of the bricks in that suitcase over 30 years ago.
I found the following 2 little cars in there:

Lego Fire And Police Car 1978

They don't make them like that anymore, these were from the following two sets

This was made in 1978 so over 30 years ago by now. I also have the train tracks which were blue before they made the grey colored ones. I had so much fun with Legos when I was a kid and hope that my kids will enjoy these little bricks also. Legos are probably one of the best toys ever made, the good thing about them is that you can use those old bricks with the bricks that they make nowadays, it will never be outdated.