Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I bet it isn't done before next February

I love a good office pool. I have a great idea for a new one. Let's bet to see who can predict just when that 1% actually gets cut from the Federal Goods & Services tax. Mr. Harper did say 'immediately'.........

My place or his?

Here's another funny commercial, this time from Danier. Well executed.

Sony, meet Starforce.......Starforce, meet Sony

After reading this article on Starforce copy-protection software (and the follow-up describing how Starforce's lawyers have threatened to sue the writer of the article), I decided to see if I had it on my system, since I do did have Silent Hunter III installed on my computer. Sure enough - there it was. Well too bad, but I just bid adios to Silent Hunter III and the sneaky sub you sailed in on.

I don't have anything against copy-protection per se, but if it can affect the way way system operates and leaves potential security holes on my system - then I want no part of it. My bought copy of Silent Hunter is about to go on sale on Ebay and it will be a cold day in hell before I buy any other game known to contain Starforce. There is a boycott underway in the gaming community against games that come packaged with dangerous anti-copying software. Pffft! Count me in bro'.

Looks like the Sony rootkit fiasco is only the tip of the iceberg........

Monday, January 30, 2006

Bad monkey!

This is an example of someone that needs to chill the f@ck out..... I mean, he beat up on a woman forchrissakes!

motorist throws food out of window. courier, disliking littering, picks up food and throws food back in car. motorist dumps coffee on courier. courier scratches car with key. road rage ensues.

the courier is female. i 'got away' with taking pics by just doing it openly. nobody noticed me because the focus is obviously on the altercation at hand.

i followed the motorist back to his car to photograph his license plate number. he proceeded to open his trunk, take out a baseball bat, and charge me. i walked away, and was one of only two witnesses to stay at the scene and give a statement to police.

You've got the power....

I'd like to appeal to people with their own personal blogs. Why not use this free forum for a Public Service? Consider using your blog as an occasional vehicle to write an intelligent review on something. It could be your assessment of the last place you went on vacation. Maybe you want to tell the world about the last TV you purchased, or why you love your latest car so much. If you use the right key words in your post (like - review, and the name of the item), the searchbots will eventually find them and others can search for and use this information to their benefit.

Just a thought......

We don't need no motivation

I've really enjoyed making my own mock motivational posters and I'll be making more once I'm inspired with new ideas. But I have to give credit to the people who inspired me in the first place - the folks at Despair.com


In the calendar section, they have a link to Best of Demotivators, which contains the collection of their best (imho) creations. The pictured sample is my fave though, as it captures the essence of their posters.

Bloatware

If you use Microsoft Office products to create, modify and read documents, you should know that your documents contain a lot more information than you can see on the page. In many cases, this information (known as meta-data) bloats the document way beyond reasonable proportions - but more importantly, can be unmasked by the recipient to reveal sensitive clues about the document. Such as who actually wrote the document, who had input, what it contained in previous versions, etc. Sometimes this information can get people in a bit of trouble. In my case, one Word 2003 document I've been working on had mushroomed to a whopping 12MB in size. Curious, I downloaded Microsoft's Remove Hidden Data tool and behold, the document shrank to a lithe 470KB. Holy meta-diet!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

I gotta get me one of these....

The Ariel Atom is a production (street legal) sports car built around a supercharged Honda Civic engine that gives it a better power - weight ratio of practically any other car out there. If that doesn't sound impressive, watch this video. No really - watch the video, the car is amazing.

This better be good.......

I like food. A lot. Yet I have this irrational fear of trying a new dish at a restaurant. Well, actually it's more of a risk management decision, where once I find a dish (at a particular restaurant) that I like, I'm afraid that trying a new one could pale in comparison to the dish I like. It's not an unfounded fear either, as I have been in many situations where when I tried something else, I was supremely disappointed - and ended up wishing I had just gotten the thing I knew that I liked.

This fear extends itself to restaurants themselves too. I have been in Calgary for almost 12 years, yet have never tried Caesar's Steak House. The reason? I've had good steak elsewhere and I couldn't see a need to have steak somewhere where the bill (for two people - no booze) would come to over $100. Well, just for fun, Darlene and I decided to give it a try. Oh my freaking God! It was the best steak I have ever had in my life. What a mistake it was ignoring this place for so long. Now mind you, I would never agree to go to this place more than once a year - $105! Mind you, now the measly $35 restaurant bills we get at the usual places don't seem so bad anymore.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Safeway - soon as numerous as Starbucks!

Read the next post before you read this one.

Now if you think that's bad, check out this concentration. The one in the middle is under construction as we speak. I'm serious.

Holy market saturation Batman!

We seem to be inundated with Safeway grocery stores in this city. Check out how many are close to where I live.

How to freak other drivers out....

This Fiat is modded to look like it's driving backwards. Watch many heads turn in amazement.

Making your own cartoons is fun


Click on the pic to see it better if it's rendering too small......

Another meme

4 Jobs I've Had: short order cook; computer instructor; army telecoms tech; disc jockey.
4 Movies I Could Watch Over and Over: Blade Runner; Planes Trains and Automobiles; Fifth Element; The Jerk.
4 Places I have Lived: Kingston,Ontario; Deux Montagnes, Quebec; Calgary, Alberta; Laval-des-Rapides, Quebec.
4 TV Shows I Love to Watch: CSI; The West Wing; Weeds; The Sopranos.
4 Places I have been on Vacation: Washington, DC; Los Angeles; Phoenix; Las Vegas.
4 Websites You Visit Daily: Google; Defective Yeti; Canoe.ca; BoingBoing.
4 of My Favourite Foods: Rocky's Hamburgers; Gyros; Darlene's Pumpkin Pie; Filet Mignon with Bernaise sauce.
4 Places I would Rather Be: Australia; In the pool at the Boulder's Resort at midnight; Germany; near the surf.
4 Albums I Cannot Live Without: Dark Side of the Moon (duh); Fleetwood Mac - Rumours; Moby - Play; Sheryl Crow - Tuesday Night Music Club. (you have no idea how hard it was to pick only 4)

Friday, January 27, 2006

Subtle

I wish I could see this package get opened....

A guy tries to sell his used video camera on Amazon, and some scam-face sends a fake sale confirmation email that looks like it comes from Amazon. The scammer (from Nigeria) then agrees to pay Fedex to pick up a box of Rottweiler poop. That'll learn ya!

Is there a better way?

A friend sent me this link about our voting system in Canada. The video is funny - be sure to check it out. The gist of the discussion is basically that our existing system isn't very proportional:

The chief victims of the January 23 federal election were:
  • Western Liberals: In the prairie provinces, Conservatives got three times as many votes as Liberals did, but won nearly ten times as many seats. In Alberta, the Conservative Party won 100% of the seats with 65% of the votes. The 500,000 Albertans who voted otherwise elected no one.
  • Urban Conservatives: The 400,000-plus Conservative voters in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver should have been able to elect about nine MPs, but instead elected no one. The three cities together will not have a single MP in the governing caucus, let alone the cabinet.New
  • Democrats: The NDP attracted a million more votes than the Bloc, but the voting system gave the Bloc 51 seats, the NDP 29. Nearly 18% of Canadians voted NDP, but the party won less than 10% of the seats and does not hold the balance of power, unlike the Liberals and the Bloc.
  • Green Party: More than 650,000 Green Party voters across the country elected no one, while 475,000 Liberal voters in Atlantic Canada elected 20 MPs.
Good reading.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Those long shadows are noon in winter

It seems Google maps has upgraded their satelitte photo resolution lately. At one time, I could not get a good look at my neighbourhood (it was very low resolution). Not anymore. In fact, there's my next-door neighbour's car parked out front......

Can you find your house?

You want me to what?!

This Sunday, January 29 is being promoted as a possible "Internet-free" day. I know a few people who would likely poo-poo that idea right out of the box.

Eh Jon?

Things I did not know about Stephen Harper:

He is currently writing a book on ice hockey. He is apparently a talented mimic with a repertoire that includes Desmond Tutu and former Canadian PM Brian Mulroney.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The horror!

I admire people imaginative enough to re-create movie trailers to paint a new vibe of an established movie. Take this one for example, where Sleepless in Seattle is re-done to look like a thriller............ most impressive.

Note: be patient, the download could take a while......

Some mortgages must be coming up for renewal...

In a secret meeting before Christmas, the former cast of 'Friends' reportedly agreed to a ($5 million apiece) deal with NBC to star in four one-hour specials sometime in the next year.

Network bosses have also hinted at a second spin-off of the hit comedy, following the disappointing performance of Matt LeBlanc's show Joey. The new program will see the three male stars--Perry, Schwimmer and LeBlanc--pilot a series called It's A Guy Thing.

Hmmmmmm. Let me guess....... it will have a few cameo appearances from Missuzzes (sic) Aniston, Cox and Kudrow? Ummmm, how about we just stop beating around the bush, admit that cancelling the show was a bad idea, and get on with it?

Lego suicides Flickr slideshow

Some people have waaayy too much time on their hands...........

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Latest Motivation poster - Karma

Pro-user zealots 1 - Hollywood MP 0

I guess she underestimated the will of the people.

We should be grateful

Someone I know met a woman from Kyrgyzstan online a while back and it developed into a relationship. They got married and she moved to Canada. Within 2 weeks of arriving, the government back home collapsed and there was rioting. She was worried for her family and friends, naturally - so it was a very stressful time.

When the Liberals were defeated in Parliament, forcing an election in 2005, she heard the news and assumed the worst. She called her husband and asked if she should close shop and go home. He didn't really understand her question. She said "the government has fallen, this is a very bad thing." Her husband explained that it was a little different here in Canada. He assured her there would be no riots - nobody was in danger. All that would happen is an election would be called and we would all vote on the next government.

When he got home from work, he was met by his wife, who was in tears. Tears of joy. She said, it was wonderful to be in a country where people discussed their political differences rather than fight and riot. She said we are very lucky. Indeed we are. It's something we take for granted.

Monday, January 23, 2006

The more things change....

It seems the "in" thing to do right now is re-invent your company logo. Intel, Kodak and AT&T have done this so far, with dubious results. I hope they didn't spend too much money on the designs, because I don't find them very spectacular. Do you notice anything similar between the new logos? Everything is more curvy.

Thanks to Paul Kedrosky for the find.

Stupid human tricks

Unfortunately for all those who believe in evolution (including myself), I have found possible evidence that we did not evolve from the apes. Apparently monkeys know how to peel a banana efficiently and we do not. We peel from the wrong end. How did we not preserve this important skill through the ages? The only explanation I can come up with is once we evolved a little from the basic ape, we sorta started peeling from the wrong end just to one-up the ape, like "we're better than you - we can peel from the other end if we want to..." Apes have been laughing at us ever since.

Can you say monopoly?

There are currently 6 (legal) ways you can connect to the Internet from your home (depending on where you live):

1. Dial-up access using your phone line - cheap; slow as molasses; can't use the phone while you're online; essentially a dinosaur option.

2. Satellite access - expensive; somewhat faster than dial-up; but at least available in more places than the following options.

3. Cable broadband access - fast; neighbourhood bandwidth is shared; same cable can be used for phone and TV signals - at the same time.

4. DSL broadband access - fast enough; each customer gets their allotted bandwidth; same cable .... yadda yadda.

5. Fixed wireless broadband - fast; no wires needed to the house; same wireless signal .... yadda yadda.

6. Internet over Powerline - fast enough; wires already exist (for your electricity); same signal .... yadda yadda.


In Canada (at least where I live), options 1, 2, 3 already exist. Option 4 exists, but has yet to make TV available to compete with options 2 and 3. I know it's possible. It seems imminent, because on the Web TV listings, Telus is listed as a TV provider. Option 5 exists, but it only seems to be available in the rural areas, where options 3 and 4 are not available. Option 5 also has yet to offer phone or TV service. Then we have option 6. Hello? [tap tap] Is this thing on? I've heard rumours that the Powerline option was imminent, but we've heard nothing new in a long time.

My point? We'll never receive the benefits of a competitive market (low costs) until every option listed above becomes a reality - in every jurisdiction. So what's taking so bloody long?

Sunday, January 22, 2006

I have no words.......

This is what happens when Goth goes too far. Check here for the pictures of the transformation. I don't know which is worse - the before or the after....

Oh yeah?

During the election campaign here in Canada, things can get pretty personal.

Two Nova Scotia candidates (Peter MacKay, Conservative and Alexa McDonough, NDP) were having it out on a radio show. During the on-air duelling, Mr. MacKay suggested of Ms. McDonough: ". . . I think you better stick to your knitting and win your own riding." The barb was tame enough, but in the Maritimes the phrase stick to your knitting is apparently just another way of saying mind your own business. That's good ol' Canadian mud-slinging, folks. It doesn't get any harsher than this.

Gimme my slankie!

Slanket - the blanket with built-in sleeves. No more cold spots while reading, playing videogames or channel surfing. Now if only they could make sleepwear that allows for couples to ummmmm............. never mind.

Goooooooooooaaallll!

Playing soccer with the Toyota Aygo (pronounced 'eye-go'). I hope the insurance company doesn't get wind of this.......

Saturday, January 21, 2006

How retro can you go?

OK, tell me this isn't neat. A clock that looks like the old videogame Pong.

Another young virtuoso

This guy can play y'all.....

"What if we were aliens with only two fingers?"

Here's a thought-provoking article about a teacher who succeeds in teaching binary to a class of 3rd grade students. On a Friday afternoon. With two weeks left in the school year. Yeah.......

Blimey.... I think I've got it!

I never did understand the difference between the UK, England, Great Britain and the British Isles. Not anymore. This Venn diagram puts everything in perspective just nicely.

The Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom are the only two sovereign states in this image. They are shown in red. Ireland and Great Britain are both islands and are shown in green. England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are constituent countries of the United Kingdom and are shown in orange.

She blinded me.................... with science

Stereotypes are an unfortunate, but funny phenomenon. Take this case, where 11,000 students ages 11-15 were asked for their take on scientists.

Around 70% of those questioned said they did not picture scientists as "normal young and attractive men and women". Among those who said they would not like to be scientists, reasons included: "Because you would constantly be depressed and tired and not have time for family", and "because they all wear big glasses and white coats and I am female".

I have a scientist living next door. He's a young lad who works at the University. His hair still looks normal and I guess they haven't issued him the obligatory big glasses.........

That's because he hasn't been blinded by science yet (reference to Mr T. Dolby).

Broadcast flag rears its ugly head yet again...

If you believe that government involvement in the entertainment industry is bad, or you need an argument to convince you - read this well-written post by Cory Doctorow over at BoingBoing. My favourite bit:

"If computer industry complaints got the same attention as the entertainment crybabies get from lawmakers, there'd be 10,000 computers total in the world, running punchcards, with three companies making modest sums servicing them and shipping a new model every three years."

VCR begone..........

So last night I discovered another task my PVR performs like a snap - archiving material from VHS to DVD (provided you connect a VCR to it). I wasn't sure how difficult it would be. Turns out it was super easy. Let's just say the concert video for Pink Floyd - Delicate Sound of Thunder finally comes on DVD. Well it does in my house anyway. Soon there will be no excuse to retire the VCR permanently.

Psssst. Said VHS concert video is currently on sale on ebay........

Friday, January 20, 2006

Boomp tshh tshh boomp boomp boomp...

There's a little girl named Jessica whom I know who would be quite entertained by this little flash toy. Just click on each character to start and stop their singing. But beware. She's gonna love it so much that you're gonna hate it after 5 minutes......

"I guess I'm kinda like Christina Aguilera..."

Best audition conversation heard to date on newest season of American Idol:

Crystal: HIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Randy: HEY!!!!!!!!
Crystal: You need me to explain anything? HEY, WHAT’S UP PEOPLE! [Waves hello with both hands.]
Simon: Yes, the tan.
Crystal: Okay, um, my name is Crystal. Um, I just turned six-
Simon: No, I wanna hear about your suntan.
Crystal: Okay, I’m singing “And I’m Telling You” by Jennifer Holliday.
Simon: No, no, no. I wanna hear about your suntan.
Crystal: Oh, my sun tan? [goofy laugh]…I go tanning.....
Simon: Nooooooooooo!
Crystal: [goofy laugh]

See for yourself. Go to that blog and check out the audition video.

You've got the power....

Well, we vote for a new government in Canada in 3 days. It's been a vicious campaign for the Liberals and Conservatives, with the NDP wondering what the heck they have to do to beat these guys. Then there are the fringe parties trying to get a word in edgewise, but seeing almost no coverage by the press. Most notably - Green. They'll still be lucky to get one seat, but if enough people vote for them, it could send a message to Ottawa.

Long story short - vote! But more importantly, don't vote strategically, vote for the party that most aligns with your values - whether you think they have a chance or not.

Vous ĂȘtes un chien!

Why do some Cell providers have to make things so damned complicated? I'm currently with Fido - they offer a monthly deal that just can't be beat. But the fact is that since I got my latest job, I don't use anywhere near the 200 minutes I pay $45 per month for (once you add the fees, etc.). So once my contract runs out (which I agreed to only in order to get a cheap new phone), I'm looking at going back to prepaid. Unfortunately, Fido's pricing scheme makes it extremely difficult to compare and see how much you'd be spending / saving. $0.05/min eves and weekends or $0.40/min weekdays for $20 for 30 days; or $0.15/min anytime for $15 for 15 days (or $30 for 60 days until the promotion runs out, then it's 30 days); or $0.30/min anytime for $10 for 30 days.....

This is insane. Can't you guys just charge one freaking rate that's good for everyone? And for the love of God, please let us keep our minutes indefinately, until they run out, vice making them expire after nn days? Is that so hard? Hello? Is this thing on? No wonder your mascot is a dog...

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Iceland greener than ever

Iceland is on the way to becoming the first country in the world to stop using gasoline. Of course, they have a great supply of renewable energy.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

He's not a cheese

This list of New Rules for 2006 is funny. My faves:

New Rule 5:
Ladies, leave your eyebrows alone. Here's how much men care about your eyebrows: do you have two of them? Okay, we're done.

New Rule 8:
The more complicated the Starbucks order, the bigger the asshole. If you walk into a Starbucks and order a "decaf grandee half-soy, half-low fat, iced vanilla, double-shot, gingerbread cappuccino, extra dry, light ice, with one Sweet-n'-Low and one NutraSweet," ooh buddy, you're a huge asshole.

New Rule 10:
Just because your tattoo is a butterfly with Chinese characters under it doesn't make you spiritual. It's right above your left breast and it translates to "beef with broccoli." The last time you did anything spiritual, you were praying to God you weren't pregnant......

New Rule 13:
If you're going to insist on making movies based on crappy, old television shows, then you have to give everyone in the Cineplex a remote so we can see what's playing on the other screens. Let's remember the reason something was a television show in the first place is the idea wasn't good enough to be a movie.

New Rule 16:
When I ask how old your toddler is, I don't need to know in months. "27 months." "He's two," will do just fine. He's not a cheese.......

Error 404 : Page not found

I like this cute take on the traditional Error 404 : page not found message you often get on the web.

Hey sleepy head!

I am thoroughly intrigued by the contagiousness of a yawn. Just reading this post about yawning will likely get you to yawn yourself. Isn't that weird?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Can't we all just move along?

This whole ring road fiasco in Calgary has me baffled. We desperately need a ring road completed to take some heat off the inner-city thoroughfares. But now that the T'suu T'ina have agreed to cooperate by letting the Southwest portion go through their land, citizens are complaining that traffic on the connecting roads will increase. Well, what did they expect? In reality, the traffic shouldn't increase, it should just become more balanced. Commuters will have two major ways to leave and return to their neighbourhood instead of one. This is a good thing. Maybe some people have already forgotten the rush-hour congestion along 14th St SW and Glenmore Trail?

Meanwhile, the T'suu T'ina are threatening to back out if they don't get the 2 connectors they need for their business park, etc. Good job everyone. Let's make sure we ruin another good plan for this city.

Polly wanna rat her

If you own a parrot or are in a relationship with someone who does, beware if you're thinking of cheating. Here's the story of a parrot that actually outed a cheater.

Small world

I'm reading this wonderful book Darlene got me for Christmas: Pink Floyd - Inside Out by Nick Mason (their drummer). It tells the story of the band from the time they met right up to Live 8. So, I'm looking through the pictures in the book and spot the guys in St Tropez with friends, including their road manager, Peter Watts. Also in the picture is their daughter, Naomi Watts, who looks to be about 4 or 5 years old. So I'm thinking - is that the Naomi Watts, the actress? Why in fact, yes it is...........

Monday, January 16, 2006

Words of wisdom from yours truly.......

Never tell a crazy person they're insane.............................. it just makes them mental!

Photoshop is a wonderful tool

Another great Worth1000 theme: Hell Freezes Over edition 5. Ashlee Simpson holding her many Grammy awards was cute, as was the free gas sign. But the one on the left was my fave.

Money changes everything.....

This is what money from oil can buy. Ski Dubai. The largest indoor snow park in the world. The longest run is 400m. There are 5 runs. -1C year-round. In Dubai. As in 'holy God is it ever hot in ______'. Gee, if they can build a snow park at a mall in Dubai with oil money, then we should be able to build a water park in a mall with...............

Never mind.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Another great Honda ad

Honda keep making great commercials - this one is from the UK. The site is linked from many places, so be patient. Once it loads, the link you want to click is Watch (the film).

Trying to dual boot Ubuntu with XP

So here's what happened. I tried installing Ubuntu, but ran into trouble with the built-in partitioning tool. I couldn't get my ntfs partition shrunk to free up some space for the Linux partitions. After a little Googling, I even tried using an alternate partitioning tool - qtparted, which I had on my Knoppix Live CD (live CDs are good for more than just demos). Qtparted couldn't do it either. A little more Googling uncovered a possible solution by running the Windows command chkdsk /f, which checks the ntfs partition for problems and tries to fix them (on the next boot). It worked. I could now use Qtparted to resize the partition. But then I ran into a new issue. Stupid Windows would not let go of a section of hard drive space in an area about 15 GB away from the end of the drive. I tried everything, 10+ defrags, alternate defrag programs, killing the swap file - nuthin' doin'. In the end I said screw it and took the measly 15GB I could get for Ubuntu and sacrificed my plan for a shared Fat32 partition (for swapping files between XP and Ubuntu).

The rest of the install was painless. I started with a wired network connection just to get things rolling and it went fine, once I configured the connection properly. Then I gave my wireless PCCard network card a try. Again, with the configuration. I had to choose hex WEP key, it was ASCII by default. But it worked! Impressive. Spent the rest of the morning trying out different screen resolutions, disabling the screensaver, tweaking the look of Firefox and trying out GAIM (to access MSN Messenger buddies).

Bottom line - installing Ubuntu (to dual boot with Windows) is not something I would recommend anyone but a seasoned user try on their own. Get or arrange for some help from someone familiar, it will go much smoother. Tutorial on dual-boot with ntfs.

Look mummy.......there's an airplane up in the sky

I love my Microsoft Flight Simulator program. But I have a feeling I'm going to like the next version even better. More pics here.

Hurry up Christmas 2006! (that's when it'll be out - supposedly)