December 2004 Wayback

December 2004 archive

[this is an archive post from our old database. Any links pointing back to are probably broken.]

December 29, 2004

Very large gymnastic performance.

Even if you don’t like gymnastics, you should check this Quicktime video out. It appears to be a video of some large presentation in North Korea. What looks like hundreds perhaps thousands of gymnasts and dancers putting on the largest performance I have ever seen on film. Very cool.

Posted by Michael at 05:10 PM
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December 20, 2004

As my country slowly weeps.

As the latest election scandal seems to get picked up slowly by the media outlets, I figured I’d post it here. Now before anyone starts spouting off about liberals and sore losers and all that, I must say that the purpose of putting this recount thru is not to prove the manipulation and election-stealing that went on in November, but instead is to show the American public the flaws in electronic voting without a electronic receipt or paper trail. I remember when I slid my ballot in the optical scan reader and wondered if it had even bothered to record my vote. There was no way to tell.
And why is it that exit polls are used as barometers to gauge whether election results have been tampered with in the rest of the world, (see Urkraine) but here in the US they have been summarily ignored?

Posted by Michael at 01:19 PM
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December 19, 2004

This all seems so ancient now…

This is a cute article from January 03 about online dating. 2 pages and an interesting read.

Posted by Michael at 02:12 PM
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December 18, 2004


Oxygen is a very toxic gas and an extreme fire hazard. It is fatal in
concentrations of as little as 0.000001 p.p.m. Humans exposed to the

oxygen concentrations die within a few minutes. Symptoms resemble very
much those of cyanide poisoning (blue face, etc.). In higher
concentrations, e.g. 20%, the toxic effect is somewhat delayed and it
takes about 2.5 billion inhalations before death takes place. The reason
for the delay is the difference in the mechanism of the toxic effect of
oxygen in 20% concentration. It apparently contributes to a complex
process called aging, of which very little is known, except that it is
always fatal.

However, the main disadvantage of the 20% oxygen concentration is in the
fact it is habit forming. The first inhalation (occurring at birth) is
sufficient to make oxygen addiction permanent. After that, any
considerable decrease in the daily oxygen doses results in death with
symptoms resembling those of cyanide poisoning.

Oxygen is an extreme fire hazard. All of the fires that were reported in
the continental U.S. for the period of the past 25 years were found to be
due to the presence of this gas in the atmosphere surrounding the buildings

in question.

Oxygen is especially dangerous because it is odorless, colorless and
tasteless, so that its presence can not be readily detected until it is
too late.

Posted by Michael at 02:36 PM

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As I nurse my hangover….

I came across this link and this within:

Observe your thoughts and feelings, positive and negative, about drinking or using. Thoughts and feelings which support continued use are called the Addictive Voice (AV); those which support abstinence are you. When you recognize and understand your AV, it becomes not-you, but “it,” an easily-defeated enemy that has been causing you to drink. All it wants is pleasure. “I want a drink,” becomes, “It wants a drink.” Think to yourself, “I will never drink again,” and listen for its reaction. Your negative thoughts and feelings are your AV talking back to you. Now, think, “I will drink/use whenever I please.” Your pleasant feelings are also the AV, which is in control. Recovery is not a process; it is an event. The magic word is “Never,” as in, “I will never drink/use again.” Recognition defeats short-term desire, and abstinence soon becomes effortless. Complete separation of “you” from “it” leads to complete recovery and hope for a better life. The only time you can drink is now, and the only time you can quit for good is right now. “I will never drink/use again,” becomes, “I never drink now.” It’s not hard; anyone can do it.

I need an asprin.

Posted by Michael at 12:57 PM
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Microsoft to release anti-spyware tools

And then charge for it. They bought Giant Software who apparently makes one of the better anti-spyware programs out there.

Posted by Michael at 12:22 PM
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December 12, 2004

20 Questions with a computer

What is it? is an experiment in artificial intelligence. The program is very simple but its behavior is complex. Everything that it knows and all questions that it asks were entered by people playing this game. is a learning system; the more it is played, the smarter it gets.

Posted by Michael at 11:12 PM

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This thing is great. I have the problem of collecting large amounts of bookmarks. I don’t even bother to sort them anymore because there’s too many ways I can describe a certain site, so folders aren’t the answer. What allows you to do is tag your bookmarks with different words and then you can find it with those tags later.

It’s also a good way to share your shortcuts between computers, and all of the tags and links are shared between all the members. So If you post a site to your bookmarks, you can see what other members have linked to it and what classifications they put it under, and then click thru to what else they have stored with that tag. It’s very cool.

Posted by Michael at 10:41 PM
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December 02, 2004

Unprotected PC’s fall prey to hackers within 4 minutes.

As if I needed proof, someone has done a study to see how long it takes out of the box PC’s to get hacked after plugging them up to a cable modem. The answer:

“In some instances, someone had taken complete control of the machine in as little as 30 seconds,” said Marcus Colombano, a partner with AvanteGarde, and, along with former hacker Kevin Mitnick, a co-investigator in the experiment.

“The average was just four minutes. Think about that. Plug in a new PC, and many are still sold with Windows XP SP1, to a DSL line, go get a cup of coffee, and come back to find your machine has been taken over.”

I estimate that about 75% of my business is removing this crap off of computers. Seems like I’m not the only one.

Posted by Michael at 04:04 PM
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Google’s sorcery.

The numbers alone are enough to make your eyes water.

# Over four billion Web pages, each an average of 10KB, all fully indexed.
# Up to 2,000 PCs in a cluster.
# Over 30 clusters.
# 104 interface languages including Klingon and Tagalog.

# One petabyte of data in a cluster — so much that hard disk error rates of 10-15 begin to be a real issue.
# Sustained transfer rates of 2Gbps in a cluster.
# An expectation that two machines will fail every day in each of the larger clusters.
# No complete system failure since February 2000.

A nice article that explains the magic that makes Google works. Kinda awesome when you read about it.

Posted by Michael at 04:03 PM
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