Saturday, October 01, 2005

Too Busy

I'm still here, but haven't found much time to blog, watch movies, play games, let alone get school work done on time. So much changes in a small amount of time. Google has an instant messaging client, blog search, and "flags" for Blogger blogs. Apple's got a new iPod and phone, and Opera is free. There's not much to say that hasn't been said already on those topics. However with the hurricanes and the supreme court there's still much to discuss. Every time I feel like writing something I've got a million other things to do first and by the time I get a chance it's time to talk about something else. Life doesn't stop, it's always moving on even when it seems like nothing bigger, better, or worse will happen. Sometimes I think it's moving too fast for me because I'm always running out of time, so I try hard to catch up to it. I guess that's where the migraines are coming from.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Microsoft Messenger for Mac not Disconnecting Anymore

With the latest update for the Mac client was release (and renamed) by Microsoft, the problem with Microsoft Messenger disconnecting went away. With Mac computers using the Airport the connection to Messenger continued to drop randomly. Now, Microsoft got a clue and fixed this problem and we're all happy. Thank you!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Harry Potter 6 Review

I know it's been close to a month since the Half-Blood Prince came out and many people have read it already, but I still wanted to post my thoughts on it. I liked how the story of the struggle between Voldemort and the forces of good, but was disappointed with everything else. Harry at 16 is no different from Harry at 11. Rowling just adds more situations for Harry to get angry in to make it seem like he's dealing with teenage growing pains even though anybody would be stressed in Harry's position. Yet somehow he figures out how to handle it, like he's done for the previous 5 years. How does he handle it? I haven't found an explanation for that yet. Because he is not maturing, I like Harry less than when he was 11, 12, and 13.

Rowling deviants from her practice of relying on magical descriptions to pad the plot and it shows. She tries to write about romance (primarily snogging sessions) and other emotions, resulting in silly and awkward moments. Many readers were attracted to Rowling's ability to effectively describe her vision of what a magical world was. Harry Potter is not so successful because he's an orphan from Jersey City who gets selected to go to a swanky liberal private school that's threatened by conservatives from Texas. In the Potter series are wizards human? If they aren't then I guess she can get by with whatever emotional depths wizards experience, but as a human being I don't like it.

Since this is the second-to-last book, I'm going to read the 7th as soon as it's published because I am eager to know the conclusion and confirm my suspicions about the ending of the 6th. I believe if the 7th is written the way the Prince was there will be many unhappy readers.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Blog Depression

I haven't been posting because of several obstacles like a broken computer, traveling, and work. However, the lack of posting's mainly due to disinterest and unwillingness to share any opinions. Is this blog depression?

Monday, August 08, 2005

Computer Repair

Since my last post I haven't been doing much, just sleeping in and enjoying the rest of summer, but my iBook is at the repair shop. It was one of those models that was shipped with the combo drive that was broken. Unfortunately, when my mom used it and it was still under warranty she never got it fixed. So now the new drive will cost $300, probably more than the computer itself is worth. Since all my settings and preferences are on that computer I haven't been using the internet much. It's weird because I spent most of my time on the internet and never got bored and now I'm only spending about 2 hours, if any, on the computer. I guess I'll post more when I get my machine back.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

I'm Back

Summer courses are over! No more reading and writing about God, ethics, existence, or reality. No more excuses for not blogging. Now I can go back to sleeping in and relaxing; doing nothing productive but enjoying it. Out of all the information given in my class the most valuable is knowing that getting up early killed Descartes.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Memin Pinguin vs Chief Wahoo

Which one is the racist caricature? That depends on what country you live in. Here in the U.S. I've heard people say that American Indian mascots are not racist or offense because they honor Indian culture and it's not a big deal anyways. President Vicente Fox did not make the connection between the Memin Pinguin stamps and team mascots in his argument for why they're not racist, though. He could've ended the controversy right away if he told us to deal with our own racist caricatures before we tell other countries what's wrong with their's. Or maybe the U.S. just needs another country to tell us what we're doing wrong, but I doubt we'll listen.

Technorati tags:

Monday, July 04, 2005

Blogger Adds Images!

Blogger now has an image service allowing users to upload up to 300MB of photos! It's easy to use, just like sending an email attachment. Now they just need categories, trackbacks, and site statistics and it'll be near perfect.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Yahoo! 360 Goes Public

I know this happened on June 24th but I still wanted to mention that Yahoo! 360 is now open to the public. I've been really busy so I barely noticed myself, but there wasn't much fanfare over it anyways. I have yet to write anything on the blog I have there because it's feels like a space reserved for personal topics. There isn't much to do with the service so most people aren't interested.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Boring Class

I think I've chosen the most boring class offered this summer. Nonetheless, it still occupies most of my time and I has kept me from updating. It's a philosophy course with a terribly written textbook that I can't sit down and read for more than five minutes. Some students take courses without reading the text and still manage to do well, but I always read the assigned reading because I hate skimming and scanning. Part of me wants to look for a different book and suggest it to the instructor, but it may translate to the instructor as me being lazy and desiring something easier to read. I won't worry about doing poorly since I can't stand being in class.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Trackerless Torrents Not Working

I've spent the past two days trying to download this roomba video with a trackerless torrent with zero success. After trying another trackerless torrent to see if the problem is just me and getting the same results I've given up trying until there is more documentation on what we should be doing. Has anybody succesfully downloaded anything using a trackerless torrent?

Monday, June 06, 2005

Calm Before the Storm

During the last three weeks I've been enjoying my summer vacation by watching movies, television, and wasting time on the internet as usual. Somebody asked me if I ever got bored doing nothing, but I like lazing around, so I haven't. Too bad it has to end very soon as I will beging summer courses and have to quit messing around. I guess I'll savor the last days of freedom by watching movies until next Monday...

Friday, June 03, 2005


Just when I found a good way to avoid pop-ups advertisers come up with a new way to force me to view their ads. But this new advertising method doesn't bother me as much because I get something good in return. The ultramercial is running on Merriam-Webster now, giving me access to its Unabridged content for free. I had abandoned the dictionary site because too many of the words I looked up were only accessible to paid subscribers. To get a day of access to the subscriber's content all I have to do is watch an ultramercial. Now somebody create an ultramercial blocker ;-).

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Create PDFs in Windows for Free

The best free way to create pdf files on Windows is to use CutePDF Writer. It's easy to use and it doesn't leave watermarks on the documents. Why create a pdf? Because Microsoft Publisher files can't open on the Mac and professional printers may require a pdf file.

MSN Messenger Disconnecting Solution

I think Am found out why MSN Messenger keeps disconnecting when using a router. He said it's because of uPnP, or Universal Plug 'n' Play. Older routers don't have uPnP and wind up dropping packets that are sent to the computer, resulting in a dropped connection. The solution would be to update the router's firmware or turn the firewall off. This should work if you have a Linksys router. Unfortunately, I don't think this works for the Airport Extreme.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Still Waiting for Tiger

Like many Mac users I was anticipating Apple's release of Tiger many months before any official details were revealed. Panther fixed a ton of bugs I had with Jaguar and added many minor tweaks that made my computer faster and easier to use, so I was hoping that Tiger would be even better for my machine. However, when Tiger was released and the 200 new features were published I was a bit disappointed. The only new feature I really liked was Dashboard, but it alone wasn't worth 55 bucks.

Another concern I had was that my four-year-old iBook couldn't handle another operating system. It has 8 gigs left, suffers from the spinning beach ball of death constantly in Safari, and only has a 600mhz processor. I want it to last much longer, but it may fall apart in two years. Putting Tiger on this computer is probably a bad idea. Maybe I should just delete some things and get an external harddrive.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Pop-Ups I Like

Like most people I hate pop-up ads. They get in the way of surfing and I don't like the products advertised. But one type of pop-up I like to see is comment boxes on blogs. If comments don't pop-up in a separate window then a new page loads showing one post but everything else (blogroll, links, and pictures) loads again too. It's just a minor annoyance for most, but if you read and comment on a lot of blogs it turns into a major pain. It's easy to turn on that feature in Blogger, but I'm not sure about WordPress and MovableType. All bloggers should have comments that pop-up.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Playing Games

That's what I've been doing the past week. Katamari Damacy and The Sims 2 have occupied most of my time and I haven't felt like writing anything. Unfortunately, it's going to end when summer courses start on Monday. I told myself that I'd get some stuff done during time off from school, but I did nothing. Oh well.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

I Love Napoleon Dynamite

You are Kip Dynamite and you love technology.

Which Napoleon Dynamite character are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Everybody who spends hours surfing the internet from home is Kip Dynamite in some form or another. Watch Napoleon Dynamite, it's the best movie with no plot.

Summer Blahs

Most people become weak and depressed during the winter months because of lack of sun light, exercise, and fresh air. But for me the winter months are the best time of the year. I love wearing heavy jeans and sweatshirts from universities I've never been to and waking up on a cool, dark morning. Summer is my least favorite time of the year. It's too hot outside, there are bugs everywhere, the sun is too strong, mornings too bright, and winter clothes are unsuitable. Summer depresses me because the heat gets to my head and makes simple tasks like cooking, laundry, and vacuuming much harder. And to think I wanted to go to school in Hawaii! I should move to a cool weather place like Iceland.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Video Card

To play the Sims 2 I need a new video card. I'm not sure what to look for and am not looking forward to installing this thing.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Lagaan on American TV

Since I've been talking a little about Bollywood I should mention that Lagaan will be airing on U.S. television on May 5 on IFC. It's supposed to be one of the better Bollywood films and from what I've seen it doesn't look too bad (the DVD I had was scratched). I'll update this post with my thoughts after I see the movie on Tuesday.

Update (5/5):
I watched Lagaan on Tuesday and thought it was better than most Bollywood films. Some of the songs were a little annoying, but that's because this film has an engaging plot that you don't want interrupted. However, four hours is way too long to tell a story about a cricket game. Rent this if you have a lot of time and patience. The quality of the film itself is good, the audio in sync with video, and everything (songs and English) is subtitled.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Andy Blitz's Pop Up Problem

Last month I was having problems with pop-under ads in Safari that were driving me insane! Others were having similar problems in other browsers and found that installing blockers like PithHelmet helped. Now I'm ad free and happy, but I remembered an extremely funny bit on Late Night with Conan O'brien about one of the writers, Andy Blitz, having pop-up problems. Andy calls NBC's tech support center and talks with Sharon, but then decides to visit Sharon in person to get more help (video). Personally, I wouldn't go to such great lengths to get my computer fixed.

Aishwarya Rai on Oprah

A ton of people came here searching for when Aishwarya Rai will be on the Oprah Winfrey Show, but found no information. That's because I didn't have any either and wasn't sure if she'd be featured on the show at all. Well she'll be on Oprah tomorrow, April 25, at 5 pm Eastern time on CBS. I guess it's supposed to be a mystery/surprise for viewers because there's no mention of her on Oprah's site. I'm not big into celebrity but Aishwarya's appearance is supposed to represent Bollywood so this should be an interesting show, even if part of the show's dedicated to Oprah's usual melodrama.

Update 4/25:
I watched the show today and you can watch Aishwarya Rai on Oprah for yourself, courtesy of Mansi from Aishwarya-Forever. Aishwarya did a lot better in this interview than on 60 Minutes and Letterman. She didn't elaborate much on the topics raised, something she could work on in the future, but she's just an actress not an anthropologist. I wanted to hear her opinions on Bollywood, especially the preference for light skinned actors, repetitive plots, and nepotism. BTW, I think Shahrukh Khan is in the video montage at the beginning of the interview.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Gastineau Girls Blog

Last night I watched seven episodes of Gastineau Girls, a show I'd heard about but never seen. It's about a wealthy mother and daughter who live in New York, don't work, go on vacations, shop, and complain. For some reason it's addictive even though Brittny's lazy and spoiled and Lisa does the spoiling. You have to keep in mind it's a TV show that's fun watching and be glad your life isn't being taped for the entertainment of others. The producer Jerry Kolber has a blog about Gastineau Girls and his other work. He wrote a post about why it's useless to complain about the women and their lifestyle. I can think of a few people who believe if a person doesn't live a certain way he's wasting his life. Anyways, I'm hooked to the show and have found another way to waste my own time yet again.

American English

Your Linguistic Profile:

65% General American English

20% Yankee

10% Upper Midwestern

5% Dixie

0% Midwestern

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Chicken Therapy

From Singapore, a method for humans and chickens to connect, despite not being able to see each other. Not sure what the point is, but PETA would approve.

via BoingBoing.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Oral Surgery

Two hours ago I had surgery to get my beautiful wisdom teeth removed. The operation was supposed to take place over four years ago, but I didn't think it was necessary then and wanted to keep my wisdom teeth. The teeth grew out and one was causing me pain, so finally I decided to go through with the operation. I refused to be put asleep because I wasn't sure who the doctor would be and I wanted to be awake if they made a mistake. The hardest part was getting the shots because of the sharp pain. I was hoping the doctor would be the thin, young, good looking guy from four years ago, but it was some other guy.

During the surgery I felt uneasy after seeing the length of the needle for the shots, and also when I opened my eyes just in time to see the doctor put the first blood-covered tooth on the tray. I didn't feel pain, just pressure from the pulling. After the surgery I wasn't in the mood to look at the teeth and just wanted to go home.

Now my mouth is really swollen with four bloody gaping holes where my beautiful wisdom teeth used to be. Other than that, I feel good and up for anything except speaking, eating, or drinking. There's blood on shirt because my numb lips couldn't feel the saliva spilling over and I have to take pain killers and use an ice pack for the swelling. This surgery wasn't major, but I hope I'm never in an operating room again for the rest of my life.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Firefox Impressions

I've only been using Firefox since Sunday and haven't installed any extentions yet, but I'm satisfied with it's pop-up blocking abilities. I don't think Firefox is any better than Safari because I'm still seeing the spinning beach ball of death a lot, some sites aren't rendering properly, I can't easily close tabs or open a link in a new tab, and I still haven't figured out the bookmarks yet. These minor Firefox annoyances are due to Safari being specifically designed for the Mac and it's one mouse button, but I can get over these things. I have to get over these things because I can't stand pop-up windows!

PithHelmet is working for me now, so I'm using Safari again. Firefox kept freezing up and crashing.

Sunday, April 10, 2005


I'm so fed up with pop unders in Safari that I'm going to download Firefox and give it another try. There is a program called PithHelmet that does block these flash ads, but it's not free and wouldn't install on my machine. Hopefully Apple deals with this problem in Tiger and gives users the option to turn flash off. Even Internet Explorer for Windows XP SP 2 has a better ad blocker than Safari. Meanwhile, Macromedia has a nice guide on how to make pop ups, pop unders, and other annoying advertisements.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Can't Stay Away

It's only been two days since I decided to cut down on my internet usage, but already I've failed to limit myself to two hours a day. During the day I can use the internet for two hours, but late at night when there's nothing else to do I get bored and can't resist being online. Being offline has given me many opportunities to get little chores done, even if I have to write them down first, I'm still being more productive. But the internet is still more appealing and I feel unhappy if I'm not doing something online when I could be. I think those are symptoms of internet addiction, a topic that was discussed five years ago when people were starting to get high speed connections and more new services were offered online. Now I never hear anything about internet addiction and how big a problem it is because online life is considered important. People do business online, converse, and download media on the internet so much that being online for hours on end is not unacceptible anymore.

For me the internet is not an addiction, it's an escape from reality. To me reality is drab and depressing. When I'm traveling I don't miss the internet much or worry about email, blogs, or news. I guess I need to reevaluate whether I should be spending much of the day online, despite many college students doing just that.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Choli Ke Peechhe English Lyrics

For some reason the makers of Khal Nayak didn't subtitle the song and dance numbers, not even the excellent Choli Ke Peechhe song. UKIndia provides the best translation of Choli, but it was kinda hard to find. Why don't more sites provide translations for this movie? Khal Nayak isn't a good movie, but it's nice to see the dancing.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Spending Less Time Online

For the past four years I've spent more and more time sitting in front of the computer on the internet. Most, if not all, of this time is wasted time that could be spent on better ventures. What have I done all this time on the internet? In the last two years I started a blog, figured out what IRC is, found several file sharing programs, joined some social networking groups, and made a profit of $2.65, a cell phone, and one flosser. Because I've wasted all that precious time, I'm going to limit the amount of time I spend on the internet.

When I'm not on the internet I feel that I'm missing out on news and other random facts that I think I need to know and share with others. After I wake up, before I get dressed, brush my teeth, and eat breakfast I go to the computer, start my newsreader and look at some news sites. But that's not enough information, I have to browse some random sites not in my newsreader and look up more info on the news I read in the morning. Before I know it it's time for dinner and I've spent hours doing a lot of something but not really anything.

I can't think of any reason why somebody needs to spend hours on the internet when they don't have to. That's why I'm going to limit my internet use to two hours per day. It's just an experiment, but I have a feeling I'm going to replace the internet with TV and book/magazine/newspaper reading though.

Gmail Invite Give Away

So Gmail didn't go public April 1st like I thought it would, but it did double it's capacity to over 2 gigs. I have never given an invite away because nobody I knew wanted one, so I have 50 invites left. If anybody wants an invite leave a comment or email me (jessicool4 _at_ and I'll invite you. I'm taking after Dew, but I really want more people to use Gmail.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Nightline Bollywood Episode

In January Nightline had episode featuring Bollywood movies becoming more popular in the U.S. Clips of that episode are at Aishwarya-Forever in four parts (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4). Personally, I tend to agree with many of the statements of Vikas Kamat on Bollywood movies. I'd rather see non-Bollywood movies from India become more popular in America. All the Bride and Prejudice hype will die down soon and people will probably forget about Bollywood before it has a chance to give itself a bad reputation here any time soon.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Yahoo! 360 Account!

Yay! I have a Yahoo 360 account now thanks to Uday Patadia who was kind enough to invite me yesterday. I'm just getting started and haven't done anything with it yet, but if you want an invitation just leave a comment and I'll invite you.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

A Yahoo! 360 Blog

I found a Yahoo 360 blog of a Yahoo employee but didn't try to get an invite. At least I got a chance to see what the service looks like and get some initial impressions. One major thing I don't like is the blog addresses. Randy's site address is What is that? How am I supposed to give people my Yahoo blog address when I can't even remember it! Also, I don't like the standard template and the three column layout on the front page looks way too cluttered. It doesn't look like a good place to be anonymous and be private either. I was expecting a lot more from the service, but I don't have an account yet so I really haven't gotten a good look at it yet. Now I just have to figure out who's arm I'll have to twist to get an invite.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Gmail Going Live April 1

Gmail will finally be released to the public on April 1, one year after it debuted. If you desperately want an account but don't want to buy one on eBay or give your email address to a website you should just wait until April Fool's Day. The past few weeks Google's upgraded the number of invites to 50 for every member, so it's been easier than ever to get an account. For some reason I kept my invites to myself because I felt they were a status calculator, besides having an account itself. Soon they'll be worthless! Oh well, there's still Orkut, but who wants that anymore?

Link via Waxy.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

China, Still Blocking Websites

It's been a long time since I've talked about China blocking websites because it goes on all the time without many people complaining. The last time the Chinese government blocked websites and caused controversy was when two Chinese blogging sites were shut down and the Typepad domain was blocked one year ago. That blockage got lots of attention and a few days later the Chinese blogging sites were back up. In January Typepad was quietly unblocked, making it accessible from China, though SixApart hasn't responded let alone many other people. Over the last year the government has been shutting down thousands of internet cafes to stop "immoral net use."

But just two weeks ago students started protesting a message board crackdown allowing only university students to access the Shuimu forum (now this site says the domain has been sold and plays some Japanese/English song). There's even a photo album of the protest with images of paper cranes participants made in memory of Shuimu. No word yet on what happened to these people or if there were any encounters with authorities at all. Since the domain has been sold, I doubt the board will be back, but a new one may be created that will be limited to students from the very start. Because the protest did get some international attention the government may be wary of blocking university bulletin boards in the future.

Update: Here's the song "first love" that is playing.

Gravatar Size Change

I've updated some settings in Haloscan so gravatars should be larger and readable now.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Neat Bookmarklet

zwocent found a bookmarklet that lets you see if the website you're visiting is linked in and who is linking, along with their descriptions and tags. It's called delicious linkbacks. There's no software to install and you don't need a account. All you have to do is put the bookmarklet in your linkbar. So easy.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Sluggish Orkut

Is it just me or is Orkut way too slow to even consider logging in anymore? The last time I logged in was the first time in awhile, and on each page I visited there were errors (white question marks in Safari) of member photos that didn't load. Sometimes profile pages didn't work at all and went to a 404 page instead. This is not the kind of service I expected from Google, especially since Orkut's been around for over a year and they've had plenty of time to improve the service. At least the spam messages have stopped, but I still want the service to change for the better. I think the invite-only appeal has worn off long ago and people have lost interest. If Google doesn't plan on adding new features soon they should try to make to site faster so it won't be such a pain to navigate.

Getting Less Sleep

Even though I've always had a love affair with sleep and can't seem to get enough of it, I've had a change of heart and decided that it's cutting too much into my living time. There's so much going on in the world that I don't want to miss anything just because I was asleep. But no matter how hard I try to stay awake I eventually fall asleep and can't get up until I've had at least eight hours rest. Eight hours is too much sleep for me because that only leaves 16 hours of active living per day, which clearly hasn't been enough as I can't get things done.

So how does one get less sleep? I can try setting an alarm clock, but I have a feeling I'll succumb to the temptation to nap for three hours. Maybe I can chug more fruit energy drinks, but they're starting to make my stomach feel bloated. Caffeine comes to mind also, but the last time I had a caffeinated beverage I got cramps in my feet and started seeing ghost-like images at night, so I'm going to pass on that. I'm really not sure what else to try, but I'll start with the alarm clock first.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Message Boards as News

I did a Google News search for Bill Maher to find more information as to why Real Time with Bill Maher won't show a new episode on Friday, breaking my heart, and found that Google counts message boards as news. Part of me feels that message boards shouldn't count as news because anybody can post message without any hassle, like leaving a comment on a blog. Another part feels that like blogs, message boards can provide useful information. Maybe it's just because I've looked at too many Yahoo message boards and became so discouraged by the medium that I refuse to post on one. Will message boards erode the quality of news more than blogs or will people just ignore them?

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Yahoo 360

Yesterday Yahoo announced that it was going to launch a blogging service called Yahoo 360 sometime this month. I didn't think that was a big deal until I read the news articles today and discovered that it was going to be invite-only for awhile. It's also going to have a social networking system blended in so people can connect to each other like with Friendster and Orkut. These are the only features that interest me and everybody's going to want an account early on to prove they've got good connections. It's up to Yahoo to make a good product or else people will get bored quickly and Brazilians will take over.

Nobody Wants Your Film

Nobody Wants Your Film is about making an independent film that nobody wants. At least I think that's what it's about. I was just interested in the part where you put in your email address and then if the film gets in theaters your the screen name from your email account will be in the credits. You'll feel like you helped produce a Hollywood movie when all you really did is sign up for a newsletter.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005


After reading a post about a guy who got a free Mac Mini from the Free Mac Mini scheme, I got inspired yesterday to try one of these services out so I could get something free too. My plan was to get a free iMac G5 and sell it on eBay so I could by a new phone (on eBay), the Tiger OS, CDs from Amazon, and a new iPod. The rest I would use to sign up for more offers. I was really excited and did a Google search for free iMac and found Product Test Panel. To avoid being inundated with spam on the email accounts I use regularly I signed into Yahoo with an old ID and reactivated my email account. Then I signed up for an account with the Product Test Panel and answered some survey questions.

Then the offers came. I was given a page with six offers, two of which I had to participate in to get my free iMac. I chose the Blockbuster DVD service and Literary Guild book club. Blockbuster DVDs cost $9.99 for the first month and the Literary Guild offered two books for $4. That didn't seem too bad, just sign up for two services for 15 bucks then get a $1200 computer.

Well, it was too good to be true because after clicking the "Next" button there were more offers. These six offers were slightly more expensive, the cigars were $24.99 and there was something else for $19.99. At this point I didn't bother to participate in two of these new offers, so I clicked on the "Next" button and there were three more offers. These final three offers were much more expensive and I still had to choose two. One was Direct TV for $59.99 for the first month, the other was an auto loan, and the last was Vonage VOIP.

This all was way too expensive for just one computer that I was just going to sell. I thought all I'd be doing was receiving spam and referring my friends and family. I get spam all the time why not get something in return? I should've did my homework on the company though. Others know about Product Test Panel and have written about their experiences before me. But my mom says they've been paid to say these things. Why can't I be paid too? I've cancelled my Blockbuster account and am trying to stop Literary Guild from sending me those books.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Pop-Under Problem

Advertisers have gotten smarter and figured out ways to bypass pop-ups blockers with the pop-under ads. They aren't new but before the last few months Safari and Mozilla could easily block pop-under ads. Now, I'm getting pop-under ads each session with Safari and Mozilla. Why is this happening now? What's different about these pop-under ads that they're defeating my browsers' blockers? Is anybody else having this problem?

Pop-Under Problem

Advertisers have gotten smarter and figured out ways to bypass pop-ups blockers with the pop-under ads. They aren't new but before the last few months Safari and Mozilla could easily block pop-under ads. Now, I'm getting pop-under ads each session with Safari and Mozilla. Why is this happening now? What's different about these pop-under ads that they're defeating my browsers' blockers? Is anybody else having this problem?

Friday, March 11, 2005

Tired of Michael Jackson

Today I finally watched some of E!'s reenactment of the Michael Jackson trial to see what all the fuss was about. Also, I really wanted to see what the actor playing Michael looked like and was impressed with the resemblance, especially the drawn-on black nose holes. Seeing the reenactment reaffirmed my stance on this whole issue: I don't care. I didn't care when the allegations were made, the court date set, the jury was being selected, Michael danced for fans, he got sick, he wore pajamas, he was late, etc. I was tired of hearing about this case ever since it started and am baffled that most of the country isn't either. I remember a few years back when there were three Michael Jackson primetime specials in one week, including the one with Martin Bashir, and I was really sick of that. Now I would rather have a week of Michael Jackson documentaries than months of molestation cases.

The documentaries really annoyed people but this molestation trial is being shoved down our throats and not many seemed bothered by it. Everyday I look at the Google News front page and there's hundreds of news sources talking about the Michael Jackson trial. It is a computer-generated news engine and can't decide what we're sick of, but I look at the Yahoo most emailed news stories and this trial is always on the list. Why do people want to hear about this trial?

I am a fan of Michael's music and think he's one of the best entertainers alive, but the constant media coverage of his life is antagonizing. If he's not singing, dancing, or dying I don't want to hear about him.

Chinese Google

While I was browsing for an mp3 I found a Chinese search engine called Baidu. Not sure what Baidu means or what anything else on the site says, but the mp3 search works pretty well, much better than Altavista's mp3 search. Baidu's planning on going public soon and hopefully they'll have an English version besides this section.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Noise is Not Her Biggest Problem

roanoker worried, originally uploaded by shelliphied.

What? Pregnant woman smoking cigarette worried about the effect loud noise has on her unborn child.

Bad News For Downloaders

Parvin Dhaliwal became the first person in America to be convicted for downloading movies and songs. That's not good for those of us who just download but don't share. What I want to know is how they figured out how he downloaded illegally. With movies it's pretty clear if you have something that's illegal, especially when the film is still in theaters. With music it's harder to prove since you can easily rip your own mp3s from music you have, download them from the artists directly (like Wilco), or download it from a service like iTunes. It was probably the movies that got him in trouble. He should've just got a Netflix subscription (or Walmart) and waited for those movies to come out on DVD instead of downloading screeners and telesyncs.

via BoingBoing.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Disrespectful Link

Today BoingBoing posted a link to a North Korean government flash movie advertising trips to N. Korea. When I clicked on the link the movie it wasn't there. Instead this message was in it's place:
Access to the requested object was denied.

Due to some inconsiderate people linking directly to our multimedia we were forced to take the content offline since it generated too much traffic.

This kind of careless linking to high-profile sites is typical of the internet where people no longer respect that such links could make free content less available.

We will never charge money to pay for the bandwidth, so if people are going to expect high-quality content they should make their own copy of the large file and share it from their own server.

Questions can be sent to for technical advice.

Thank you and have a nice day
What? The official website of North Korea doesn't have enough money to pay for bandwidth so it's disrespectful for another site to link to their's? Most people would be happy if a large site linked to their own, even if they couldn't afford the bandwidth charge. After that happens another person (or people) offers to host the content to share with others.

Turns out the site is not what it claims to be. It's government approved, but it's run by a guy in Barcelona. He changed the error message and the copyright notice at the bottom to one that allows others to copy and distribute their work.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


I've just discovered a new blog service called Blogsome after John mentioned it and I immediately signed up for an account. It uses WordPress, it's free, and the domain I wanted was available so I couldn't resist. All I really want to do is play around with WP, so I won't even bother to update it. It also lets you host photos, but I don't know what the limit is. This is a good service to use if you're planning on using WordPress on your own space and want to get a feel for the software before you start spending money on hosts and domains.

Saturday, February 26, 2005


I've felt like writing a lot, but haven't been in the mood to blog it. I've also been feeling extremely tired for the past few weeks, making it difficult to get things done. I'm drinking these energy drinks in the morning, but by the end of the day I'm still worn out. When I get some more things done I'll write more..

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Wal-Mart Damage Control Site

Wal-Mart has created a website to tell the English-speaking world the truth about itself. They've even purchased a sponsored area on Google, Yahoo, and Altavista to make sure everybody will visit their new site. I've looked around but haven't found anything on the third world or pollution, but they reassured us that they require all contractors to follow all laws. No comment on whether contractors in other countries are allowed to break laws.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

NYC Peach

Want a phone with a bunch of Swarovski crystals stuck to it? NYC Peach can do it for you if you've got the cash. It doesn't look practical, but I'll admit it looks pretty. Phillip Torrone had his wife's phone done recently in pretty pink crystals.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

I've heard about the link manager a while ago, but I didn't see the point because I had a blog to post any links I found. A blog's better for posting links with commentary, but it's tedious to come up with something for every single link found. makes it easy to post links with keywords called "tags" and share them, no commentary needed. It's really easy to use and RSS feeds are provided, so friends can subscribe to your feeds. Better than a reblog and just as useful. Visit my now!

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Bittorrent Sites Still Up and Running

Even though the MPAA shut down a few torrent sites there are plenty good ones still around. Here's a nice status page of what torrent sites are working and whether they have RSS feeds and require registration. Now if you miss your favorite TV show you'll still be able to find the torrent file for it. The MPAA has a long way to go before they get every site and more pop up all the time. When will they find out how to use bittorrent and other p2p networks to their advantage?

Having a Blog Can Get You Fired

Due to many employees getting fired for talking about their companies on personal blogs, it's a good idea not to talk about work at all on a blog. Even if you're anonymous your bosses and supervisors can find out and terminate you. What bothers me the most is this statement,
Usually the blogger has little protection. "In most states," said Gregg M. Lemley, a St. Louis labor lawyer, "if an employer doesn't like what you're talking about, they can simply terminate you."
Having opinions that aren't in step with company beliefs and sharing them with the world is risky and always has been. A blog only makes it easier for employers to find out what you think and fire you faster. As blogs become more popular companies should eventually have policies on blogs like they do with internet surfing and email. But I doubt it'll be a smooth transition. More people will be fired for their blogs before more companies wake up.

For now the best way to avoid getting fired because of your blog is to use common sense. When you're hired for a position you're not allowed to reveal company secrets and financial information, so posting that on a blog is a big no-no. Don't post any embarrassing or mean stories about coworkers; be even more careful by not posting any work stories without their approval. Don't complain about and criticize the company you work for, especially if you're new. Probably not a good idea to make racist and hateful statements either, even if those are your beliefs. With political beliefs you have more leeway because it's unpopular (and possibly illegal) for an employer to terminate workers on that basis alone. To be even safer, especially if your employer doesn't have a blog policy, never post anything about work at all.

Aishwarya Rai on 60 Minutes

In case you missed Aishwarya Rai's interview on 60 Minutes like I did, here's a video of the full interview. I did get a chance to see her on Letterman, but I didn't like that interview because I found her giggling and smiling to answer questions distracting. She'll be on Oprah soon and hopefully she presents herself better.

via Bobby Maisnam.

After testing out the video link on a PC it seems that the Windows Media Player clip doesn't work on Microsoft Windows XP like it does using Mac OS X. Strange. Here's another link to the video that lets you use Windows Media Player, Quicktime, or Real.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Flickr Graph

Cool application that lets you view your network on Flickr. Not really sure how useful it is, but it's fun to play with.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

How Not to Write an Essay

These essays may be a hoax, but they're pretty funny. It's a good idea to avoid using profanity and pictures when one it trying to get a point across. He should've used Citation Machine for his works cited page. I'm more surprised that the teacher gave the student a D than by the paper itself. That's just enough to pass the class and move on to the next grade without knowing how to write. Very sad if they're real papers.

via Alayna.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Citation Machine

If you're like me, you wait till the last minute to write papers and essays. I'll collect my resources early, but won't start taking notes and writing until it's almost too late. Actually writing something down's not always the hardest part. Writing bibliographies and works cited pages can be time consuming and confusing. Am recommends Citation Machine to help with the hassle of citing sources. It's easy to use and is a lifesaver when you're pulling an all-nighter.

If you have to do a ton of citations and haven't left them until the last minute, I recommend EndNote. I've never used the program myself but my mom recommended it to me, and I told a classmate about it and he said it really helped him. I'm a bad student and never had enough time to learn how to use it. I have the commercial version but anybody can download the trial version which works just as well. I plan on learning how to use this before my next big paper.

Monday, February 07, 2005

LiveJournal Expectations

Now that LiveJournal has been bought by Six Apart I'm hoping for some big changes to make the experience better and more attractive to new users. One of the most off-putting features of LJ is its lack of good design. The 6A team should find somebody to create better templates that are still unique to LJ but not fugly. LJ should continue to be community based, but I wouldn't mind if some elements of blogging were implemented like a linkbar, site statistics, viewing posts for an entire month, and categories. I doubt these additions would break the communties down at all. These are just a few suggestions off the top of my head, but for now LJ is still the same as before it was sold.

Go Daddy's Second Super Bowl Commercial Axed

Anybody who was watching the Super Bowl and the commercials probably remembered Go Daddy's 30-second spot featuring a buxom brunette in a tank top twirling around in a court room. This was too racy for the NFL and Fox, so they decided not to air Go Daddy's ad again, according to Bob Parsons. Personally, I didn't like the ad, probably related to me being female, but it wasn't very creative or tasteful. Check out the 30-second and 2 minute ads here and judge for yourself.

Just saw the story on CBS Evening News and it looks like Go Daddy may want to sue Fox. I was too focused on my grilled cheese sandwich so this may not be correct.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Hotmail Email and MSN Messenger

I'm still having problems with MSN Messenger disconnecting at random times, so I rarely use it anymore. Last week when I checked my Hotmail email there was a message from Microsoft saying that I could now send and receive instant messages using Hotmail. I didn't pay any attention to it at the time, but now I'm looking for this new feature and can't find it. Has anybody else read this message? Or was it something Microsoft tried for about two days and then gave up?

Ironically, I've been chatting on MSN Instant Messenger with Am, who is also having the same problem and we think it's a wireless problem. He's on a PC and I'm on a Mac, both wireless, and our firmware's updated. I want to email Microsoft about it, but the last time I tried emailing them I was going in circles looking for a way to contact them without getting charged some fee.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Hateful "Tsunami Song" Aired on the Radio

Why anyone would approve of this Tsunami Song is beyond me. I'm unfamiliar with the Miss Jones in the Morning radio show, but they definately crossed the line. Jones admits her mistake, but I wouldn't be surprised if the show was axed because of it.

Sorry about the link not working. Shabooty didn't want people hotlinking to it anyways. This version of the song was down before, but it should work now. Notice how Miss Jones vents on Miss Info in the beginning for stating her objection to the song. Here are the lyrics to the song. I wish Miss Jones was taken off the air instead of being suspended, only to quietly return when people forgot.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Does Your Weatherman Act Like This?

Mark Mathis has been fired from Charlotte's Fox affiliate for three months, but somebody was kind enough to put together a nice video of his antics on the air. Ironically, it wasn't his goofing off while forecasting the weather that got him fired. Admitting publicly that he was in rehab for alcoholism was too much for WCCB-TV, Fox, and his boss. Maybe Mathis will show up in your town to jazz up the weather. Newscasters are a little stiff anyways.

via BoingBoing.

Monday, January 24, 2005

A Yellow Raft in Blue Water Movie

The novel A Yellow Raft in Blue Water is going to be made into a movie this year. I read this book three years ago around this time and wasn't impressed much by it. Maybe it was too realistic and too many characters weren't likeable, but I can't remember much about it. All that I can recall is that Rayona's mom drank too much and her dad left her. Probably not the impression the Michael Dorris wanted his readers to have. This is not the book to read if you're stressed out or don't want to feel stressed out. I want to give it another chance, but it made me feel bad. After reading Yellow Raft I took a needed month off from school, but came back to read another equally as depressing book called In Dubious Battle.

Dorris led a troubled life anyways, so it's not a surprise that he could incorporate pain and suffering so well into Yellow Raft. Now I'm unsure if I should see the movie to compare it to the book. It wouldn't bother me if the filmmakers decide on a Hollywood ending, although that's bad news for students required to read the book who want to cheat by watching the movie.

New Macintosh Operating System

Images of the new OS, name not mentioned here.

Saturday, January 22, 2005 says it offers millions of mp3s for free, but it doesn't say what you have to pay for. It's for the Mac and PC, there's no spyware, a 30-day trial, no per download or monthly fee, iPod compatible, and has computer and video games. Is this all free? They've got all these badges pasted on their site for awards they've won and TV networks featuring their product, but no prices! Has somebody tried this? What do you pay for?

Another Blog?

After Six Apart bought LiveJournal I started thinking about the differences between blogs and online diaries, again. Six Apart makes Movable Type and Typepad which is used by many serious bloggers. I've never used it, but I'm told it offers more flexibility and features than Blogger. LiveJournal is also a blogging tool, but it's users don't consider themselves bloggers. They're diarists connected to each other through communities, rather than with links on the first page. Danah goes into all this stuff in greater detail than I want to, but it's clear that LiveJournal is a big community of several smaller communities of diarists.

I've been debating on whether I should start another blog, but make it more like a public diary, like a lot of bloggers do. It's easy to create a new blog with Blogger, but I want to try something new. LiveJournal's become very appealing after being acquired by Six Apart, but it looks ugly, and LJ knows that. I'm waiting for them to update their styles and themes, but I've never kept a diary before, so I'm a little apprehensive. Also I don't want to be attacked by strangers or have something like this happen. I'm still not sure about what I want, but I'll think it over later...

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Business Blogging Guide

Debbie Weil is offering her Beginner's Guide to Business Blogging for free until January 25. You should check it out if you want to start a blog for your business.

via Bingfeng Tea House.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Resin Identification Codes

Most plastic products are labeled with three arrows in a triangle shape with a number in the center and some letters on the bottom. These are recycling codes, or resin identification codes, determined by the Society of the Plastics Industry. You learn something new everyday.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Thursday, January 13, 2005

"Lost in Translation" Translation

I've seen bits and parts of Lost in Translation playing on Starz and always wondered what that Japanese commercial director was saying to Mr. Harris. Since there's no subtitles, the viewer is as confused as Harris, but knows as well as he does that the translator isn't telling him everything that the director is saying. Here's an English transcript of the scene. Anyone who's seen America's Next Top Model cycle 3's first episode in Japan knows Japanese commercial directors aren't really like that.

Stacking Planes in the Air

I don't think it's just me, but this sounds like a bad idea. All these spokesmen seem too assured that nothing will go wrong, ever. The airlines should spend the money on decreasing America's ever-expanding waistlines instead.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Classes Reloaded

I haven't updated in a few days because I was mourning the end of my winter break and planning out my new schedule. Last semester didn't go so well during the middle of November, so I'm doing almost everything over this semester. By mid-March things will have wound down, so I'll get to relax and post more.

This first day of the semester didn't distress me like past first days, probably because I got enough sleep. But reading chapters on theories and histories of psychology and sociology saddends me because I'd rather be learning HTML, CSS, Photoshop, or Dreamweaver instead. I'll keep these things in mind when it's time to sign up for summer school...

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Apple Media Center?

Does Apple want to break into the home media market with the iHome, or is this just a hoax? The device doesn't have any A/V ports for connecting to a television or stereo or any media card ports. In the photo that DVD/CD drive doesn't look real anyways, so it's either a hoax or a non-working prototype.

via Daypop

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Socialist Hair and Dress

North Korea is waging an anti-long hair and sloppy clothes campaign to get people to live "in accordance with the Socialist lifestyle." Men should wear their hair short and everybody should wear neat clothes. Long hair in men is detrimental because it "consumes a great deal of nutrition," apparently this doesn't affect women. People also shouldn't wear foreign styles because, "People who wear other's style of dress and live in other's style will become fools and that nation will come to ruin."

Friday, January 07, 2005

Lose Weight Playing Video Games

Want to exercise, lose weight, and have fun? Who doesn't? For people like me who don't want to go to the gym there's Dance Dance Revolution. I've heard of it before, but paid little attention to it because I didn't have a game console. Now I'm listening up since people are actually losing tons of weight playing this game. Maybe I should forget about the gym membership and buy this game instead.

via Popgadget


CES had an "exergaming" tent up featuring DDR and other exercise video games.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005


Glophone is a Skype-like internet telephony program that lets you make calls to other Glophone users for free and land lines for a small price. Other features include voice mall, call waiting, and call forwarding. These features sound nice, but the company will find some way to charge you. The major difference between Glophone and Skype is that Glophone gives you a real phone number. Give this phone number to family and friends and they can call you from a regular phone, and you can pay for those calls for more than it costs on your land line. Glophone's a waste of money, stay away from it.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Gamer Reborn

Years ago I used to play video games in all my spare time. When I got my first console I would spend hours playing Super Mario and Duck Hunt. Then came Super Nintendo and it was hours with Super Mario 3 and Donkey Kong. Finally, I convinced my mom that there was a revolution in gaming and I had to have a Nintendo 64 for Christmas to be part of it. After a few years of playing Mario 64, I got tired of playing those kind of games.

I shifted more toward RPG and strategy computer games like the Dagger of Amon Ra, King's Quest, and Sim City. But I spent less time playing games overall, focusing on reading, homework, and surfing online instead of playing games. Games just weren't part of my life anymore and I didn't care when new consoles came out.

I thought it would be that way for forever, but this past Christmas that changed. I got a Playstation 2 and five games, so now I'm a gamer again. It's been a long time and I'm pretty rusty with the controller so I'm getting killed a lot in Ghost Recon 2 or giving the Ring of Power to the Nazgul in Lord of the Rings Return of the King. The Sims is more my kind of game, but it's different from the computer version because my character is stuck living with his mom. The most stimulating game I have is Katamary Damacy, where the Prince has to roll up items to make a big Katamari, but I'm stuck on Star 7. I haven't played much of ESPN College Hoops 2K5 because better with another player and everybody here's on vacation.

Now instead of spending a ton of time surfing the Web I can hone my skills on the Playstation 2. It may pay off some day.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Handy Mouse

JVC offers an ergonomic Handy Mouse that fits nicely in the hand and is controlled by the thumb. Looks pretty useful for laptops, but it only works with Windows 98. What kind of mouse is this, a stick mouse? I want one for the Mac (of course). Any good stick mice out there?