Dognapping from pensioners – What Next?

30 07 2004

Some poor old fellow lost his dog, and put up “Lost Dog” posters.  Later that day, someone called and said they had his dog and wanted $10000.  This old guy’s only companion since his wife died 4 years ago was his dog, so he scraped up everything he had, about 5K, and went to meet the dognapper.  Some guy met him, took the money, and ran.  No dog.  He goes back home, and hears the door slam, and finds his dog in his backyard.

What kind of vermin extorts an elderly person?  I suppose it’s the same kind that robs purses from 90 yr old women for the 20 bucks.  Creeps!

Here’s the news story.  If you live in Valley Springs California and know anything about this, please call the police at 9-1-1 immediately.  This moron needs jail time with “Bubba”

PocketPC Tools has chased down the "Official" Word on why HP isn’t offering WM2003SE

30 07 2004

Over at PocketPC Tools, someone has tracked down a FAQ pointing to why HP is saying Ptttttthhhth to IPAQ owners.

I can’t say I’m impressed…Bad HP.  Bad.

Today is System Administrators Appreciation Day

30 07 2004

That’s right, the last Friday in July is System Administrators Appreciation Day. There are suggestions for what to do for your SysAdmin on the page.  I personally would put my vote for the 42” Plasma TV. 

Frighteningly there’s a list of things to do to occupy your System Administrator, and even MORE frightening, is the fact that I’ve seen almost ALL of them 😦

Here’s an excerpt from list as of today (it’s dynamic):

  • Play with all the wires you can find. If you can’t find enough, open something up to expose them. After you have finished, and nothing works anymore, put it all back together and call Ted. Deny that you touched anything and that it was working perfectly only five minutes ago. Ted just loves a good mystery. For added effect you can keep looking over his shoulder and ask what each wire is for.
  • Never write down error messages. Just click OK, or restart your computer. Ted likes to guess what the error message was.

Apperently users are the same the world over – Doh!

Do you own an IPaq PocketPC? Did you know that HP has left you in the dust?

27 07 2004

HP has announced that they do not plan to make the upgrade to WM2003SE available for existing IPAQ’s

“HP is pleased to announce that it will support MS Windows Mobile 2003 SE on new products. After extensive assessments of MS Windows Mobile 2003 SE support on current products, HP has decided not to offer this upgrade on existing product platforms. However, HP will provide users with a more secure experience through the use of WiFi Protected Access Support (WPA) on selected models.” – HP Public Relations Manager HP iPAQ Pocket PC

The only way to acquire it will be to buy the complete OS as retail, or to buy a brand new IPAQ from HP.  Thanks!  Man, it seems like today is “Bad Customer Service Day” here at the blog.

Anyway – please take time and sign this petition to let HP know we’re tired of being simply used to siphon money.

Fido (Microcell) is charging for Instant Messages you receive

27 07 2004

The good folks at Fido charge you for IM messages sent to your phone.  Understandable.  They want money.  Here’s how my recent conversation with customer service went:

Me: Please stop charging me, I have a text messaging package.

Them:  Sorry, they’re not regular text messages, and don’t fall under your plan.

Me:  They ARE regular text messages.  They are messages with text only…pretty much the definition of a “text message isn’t it?.

Them: No, they’re “different“.

Me: (doubtingly)…OK, then make them stop.

Them: Can’t

Me: Why not?

Them: Because we’d have to block ALL text messages, since we can’t differentiate for blocking

Me: If you can differentiate for billing, you can sure as Hell differentiate for blocking – No?

Them: Hmmm…No.

Me: What kind of idiots are writing your code?

Them: Ummmmm…..

Me: What happens if someone with a vengance sends me 1000 IM’s via ICQ and I get charged $150?

Them: Then you’d have to pay – Of course!

Me: Arrrgh.  Tell me at least that SOMEBODY out there is going to hear that this is a problem, and that SOMEBODY might just write the 2 lines of extra code to be able to block these messages.

Them: I’ll try sir, but I don’t know when, or if it might be acted on.

Me:  I guess that’s all I can do.  Can you let me know soon, if this will be fixed, or whether I have to change carriers?

Them:  Silence.

Me: Thanks. 

Them: Thank you for calling Fido, have a nice day!


<evil master plan>
So,  here’s what I want.  Does anyone have code to send SMS via ICQ to an arbitrary phone number?  I’m quite sure they’d wake up over at Microcell if a few thousand people all called and complained that they were getting billed for IM text messages that they don’t want.
</evil master plan>

The fun of Google and Blogs

27 07 2004

Back on June 30, Dave Winer was looking for attribution for a qoute, and I found the sourceThe post that Dave made, referring to it, had the text for that link as “Thanks to Brian Hampson”  It appears that Google gives Dave a high “credibility factor”, or something, and as such, a google search for Brian Hampson now returns the quote and attribution on as the #1 hit.  On that page there is NO reference to my name, nor is there anything to have the reader understand why they are visiting that page when they searched for Brian Hampson.  Google, you’ve been had.

Update 2004-01-06: It FINALLY has let that one go.  Only about 6 months afterwards.

Concerned about lending your car to your Teen? Know what they do when you’re not there!

26 07 2004

Apparently “in-car sensor systems” are becoming more and more popular.  Some are for tracking stolen vehicles, and others can monitor cornering, acceleration, seatbelt use, and location data for downloading later.

So, when little Jimmy says “I don’t know how that scratch got in the passenger door” you can check the logs and see that he took that corner at 120, and probably grazed the rocks.  Busted.  Will this kind of “paranoia” make teens drive more safely.  Maybe.  What do you think?

Thanks Engadget.

Geesh – go away for 2 weeks and you get a mountain of things to go through.

26 07 2004

It was a good two weeks in the great outdoors.  This past week we hiked, swam in the ocean, and visited the Cape Scott light station, and the Horne Lake Caves.  Sun, sun and more sun.  Now it’s going to take a day or two to get back in the 4 wall mode of life.

Blog entries should start picking up again for one thing 🙂

The IE Dev team gets a blog!

26 07 2004

The Internet Explorer Team has a blog!  It’s online here  Hopefully this will help understand some of the wierd and wonderful things that IE does, and doesn’t do.

Back from Camp and getting ready for the next!

17 07 2004

We got back from Camp Byng yesterday, and it was sad to see the campers leave.  They had formed some good friendships, and I hope they continue to stay in touch.  It was an interesting camp, filled with excitement, campfires, fun, and some challenges.  The weather was PERFECT!  We were even treated to a thunderstorm for 10 minutes on the first night.  Very cool…but very LOUD too.  This year, camp is a “survivor” theme, and the campers learned various skills while competing in tribes.  They orienteered, they kayaked, and tried their hand at archery, in their attempt to get their team on the wall of fame.   It was fun…tiring, but fun.  NorthPointe Camps are always fun.

Now, I have 2 days to get ready to head out to Cape Scott.  A seven day trip, which will take us to the most Northwesterly tip of Vancouver Island.  Wind swept sandy beaches, and a lightstation where the keeper sells chocolate bars and pop.  I’m bringing my twoonies along!  Gotta go pack.  Lots of prep left before Monday’s departure.

See you on the trail!

Off to Camp

12 07 2004

Well, I’m off to camp in 5.5 hours!  NorthPointe camps are hard work but lots of fun.  This one is a five day camp.  Not as bad as our 7 day ones, but certainly much harder than the 3 days.  Kayaking/Hiking/Orienteering.  This should be a blast.  As an added bonus, BC Forest Service has lifted the campfire ban, so we’ll be able to have a campfire or two for the kids during the time!  Yipee!  That’s it for a week.  This was my 100th blog post!  Wow.  Thanks for reading!

Shadow Illuminator

9 07 2004

I had almost forgotten about the Shadow Illuminator.  This is a cool site.  It will do a pretty good job at taking that digital photo with some horrible underexposed areas, and bringing them out.  This can make a bad picture salvageable.  There’s a good description of the concept here And every time you visit, there’s a new image.  This is from a group at Carnegie Mellon University

Thanks guys!

Microsoft Internet Explorer Engineers on the Hot Seat

9 07 2004


Here’s a blog that would be interesting to follow – the IE dev team. Anyone know if they have one?

[ best I can find is a wiki – not quite the same 😦 ]

Last night the Internet Explorer dev team faced about 100 people who wanted to know just what exactly is going on with IE, and why it has more holes than Swiss cheese these days. 

They fielded some tough questions.  From the summary: 

Asked by one questioner why he should waste his time supporting IE when other browsers don’t require as much “upkeep,” IE Product Unit Manager Dean Hachamovitch explained that IE remains a target.

“IE is a super powerful Web browser that hundreds of millions of people choose to use,” Hachamovitch replied. “As long as they’re using it, MS is going to keep making it better. As long as that many people use it, there will be bad people who try to take it down.”

Thanks to Slashdot for the link

[later update]  I found an OPML with all the IE blog RSS Feeds:

The only problem is that #Reader (Sharpreader) won’t accept the URL for the location of an OPML for import 😦  Luke?

By the’s the link about MS’s use of blogs/RSS/OPML.

Cool Stuff All in One Place

9 07 2004

Winners of the Industrial Design Excellence Award (IDEA)

Fish, Catch, Package, Fly – End up Fishless

6 07 2004


Some poor guy from Washington state had fourty (40) halibut fillets stolen from his luggage!  The airline industry can’t even protect fish – never mind explosives and other nasty stuff!  Yikes!

Fishing on the Fraser – Canada Day, July 1, 2004

4 07 2004

With my busy schedule these last days, I forgot to blog about my Canada Day fishing on the Fraser with Mrs. DragonSpeed and my buddy Tim.

We left home at 0730 and ran smack into the caravan of traffic leaving the city on Highway 1.  Holy crap – there were times that I think I could have got out and pushed to go faster.  Well, we stopped at the Watcom Rd. Tim H’s and ordered 40 timbits, 3 sandwiches, and 3 coffees.  The lady kindly pointed out that if we ordered three donuts, the whole thing would actually be cheaper – ah the logic.  So, we ordered our 3 donuts, got our sandwiches and coffee, and continued out to the river.  About 30 minutes later we arrived at “Laidlaw Bar” and we got all our gear ready.  Chairs, pop, barley pop, donuts, sandwiches, fishing rods, tackle, etc. As we were doing this, my buddy Tony comes out from the bar.  It’s like shift change. 🙂  He got there at 0400 and was leaving at 0930, unfortunately with no fish. Our turn.  Wade across the side channel.  Not bad.  Up to my crotch.  Of course, I looked back, and that meant that it was up to Mrs D’s belly button.  She had visions of floating down the Fraser. No fear, she’s still with us.  Tim, not being an overly tall guy had the water up pretty high on him too, but he kept everything dry!

Upon arrival at the bar, there were about 20 people below us.  We decided to stay at the upper end of the bar, since Mrs D. was new to this kind of fishing(bottomo bouncing flossing), and we didn’t want to tangle up with every one else.  We found out why everyone else was down below. It was VERY snaggy up where we were, and we lost quite a bit of gear, until we moved down a bit.  It still was snaggy, but not as much.   I was using new “Tuff Line XP” 50lb strength, and it seemed to abrade pretty quickly, which resulted in more bettys lost than on any of my previous outings.  I’m going to have to do something to minimize this, or this summer will be pretty pricey!  We had no action for quite some time.  And at about 1300 decided to stop and have lunch.  At this point, Tim asked “Where are the timbits?”  After some reflection we all decided that we had never picked them up after paying for them – DOH!  Oh well, lesson learned.  After lunch, I had something on for about 2 head shakes, but then it was gone.  Other than that, nothing for us.  A gentleman above us had a 6-7lb fish almost to the beach but it spit his hook, and left him looking.  I think it was a sockeye anyway.  I heard him telling his female fishing partner that it was DEFINITELY a spring.  Sure.

At 1430 we wrapped it up, and headed home in very light traffic.  something about 5 hours in the sun and wind just makes you SO tired.  We had to stop and get a slurpee to keep from falling asleep.  When we got home, it was a quick rinse for everything, me included, and then crash until dinner.  Of course, I get back, and read the FWR forum, and find out that half the guys below us were from this forum, and would have welcomed us.  Doh!  Just goes to show you never know what’s out there. 

All in all a good Canada Day.  No fish, but good friends, and nice weather!  I don’t know when I’ll get on the river next, but I can’t wait!

We Moved a Domain This Weekend

4 07 2004

We used ADMT and moved all of our users and groups from one domain in our AD Forest, to another – no problem.  Then, we had to go around and manually move all our Win2K machines.  Urgh!  When we went to move our NT machines, they said “no domain controller available for this domain”  Aaggggh!  Now what?  We were 10 hours into our migration, and we weren’t going back….what to do?  We continued on, and dcpromo’ed down and up again our DC’s and everything seemed to be going well, except those @$& NT machines.  The printers, which were attached to one of our DC’s hung around in the wrong domain for a while, but after unpublishing them, and republishing them they came up in the correct domain.  After trying the NT machines a bit more, we went home on Saturday after 14 hours.  So much for this weekend!

On Sunday, we came in, with fresh ideas, and got the NT machines to move.  The trick:  we had to move the PDC emulator from a machine offsite, to one of ours.  Then the NT machines were happy.  Dumb Netbios 😦  I can’t wait until we get rid of those.  After we finished moving them all, we simply transfered the PDC emulator back to where it was before, and all was good.  Hopefully we won’t be adding any more NT machines 🙂

Things that almost got missed:

  • login scripts
  • GPO’s
  • NT policies
  • printers

We even got our Calgary office all switched, despite a really bad problem with “uptime“ on our link over there.  Thanks Brent, for hanging in!  We now belong to one single worldwide domain.  I don’t know if this is the “correct“ way to do this, but it’s the way our Corporate Head Office wants it to be, so that’s the way it will be…Sigh.  So much for my weekend.  Hope yours was good!

Snail Milking – mistakes can be deadly!

2 07 2004

Geographic cone snail


“Bertha extends her proboscis and, with an abrupt flick, stabs the fish and the condom. She discharges a few microlitres of the toxin into the tube. That’s enough to kill ten people.”

The marine cone snail is aggressive and has a “fang” that can pierce a wetsuit, leaving its victim dead in 30 minutes.  So, why would you want to milk it?  To learn about the 100 different toxins it injects into its victims of course

When people with too much time watch the news…

2 07 2004

Someone has added dialog to a few pictures of Saddam Hussein on trial….  Quite funny

Going to be doing some travelling? Internet Cafe world map with costs!

2 07 2004

Travis Daub has gone through the effort to map out the costs of Internet Cafe time around the world and a discussion of how likely it is that the locals might be able to afford it.  In Namibia, over 25% of the local population would have to work 3 days to afford an hour at an Internet Cafe!  Looks to me like Turkey is the place to get on the net while travelling at $0.50USD/hr!

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