Intel slips into bed with **AA to make your life even MORE difficult

31 05 2005

As seen in a LifeHacker Post:

Digit Magazine reports that Intel has quietly slipped in DRM into their new chips that will keep you from being able to do something simple like play an MP3. MS and the **AA’s will LOVE THIS! This is at the HARDWARE level.  Not the OS!   

Officially launched worldwide on the May 26, the new offerings come DRM-enabled and will, at least in theory, allow copyright holders to prevent unauthorized copying and distribution of copyrighted materials from the motherboard rather than through the operating system as is currently the case.

I see George is also outraged at this!  Where is the rest of the Tech Community’s outrage at this?

I suppose someone will want to redefine what the PC in PC means to something OTHER than PERSONAL soon?  Perhaps “Pawn” of the big media?





One year!

27 05 2005

Just over a one year ago, I started this blog.  I must say that I’m pretty happy with the readership, and the comments and feedback that I get on it.  It has been fun so far.  I’m definitely glad I started it up.  If you’re sitting on the fence saying “I don’t know if I should do this..”  Do it.  Nothing to lose.  Who cares if nobody reads your blog.  It’s a chance for you to record the things you like, and that you think others might find interesting.





Teen exposes questionable US Army recruiting techniques

25 05 2005

A teen, inspired by stories of the army being so desperate that they’ll take anyone put that to the test, and found that they were happy to help him fake a high school diploma and get a temporary detox kit, so that he could pass a drug test.

I suppose it’s hard to say “Join the army, see the world“ when you’re busy fighting a war. 

“As a soldier in the active Army,” reads one brochure, “you could be assigned to a duty station such as Hawaii, Alaska, the Far East, Europe and more. You’ll experience these places as no tourist can. You’ll meet interesting people, learn the language and experience unique and interesting cultures.”

There’s no mention in any of those brochures about Baghdad or Kabul, Afghanistan, or Kuwait – or even Seoul. Nothing about a war against terrorism, or suicide bombers or grenade launchers fired by invisible guerrillas.

Hmmm….





I don’t know what to say

20 05 2005

More prisoner abuse.  Words fail me.  How does the United States of America EVER hope to win any war, of you keep steeling their hearts against you?

I’m sure this happens all around the world, and I know that even we Canadians aren’t entirely clean, but if you want to hold yourself up as a beacon of morality for the rest of the world, realize that the light will shine on you…even in the dark corners.





Deleting Email cost Morgan Stanley 1.45B

20 05 2005

Yup….1.45 BILLION USD.  I bet they could get a really good email archiving system for a lot less than that 🙂   If you deal with any kind of financial information by email, your company better have a good, solid email archiving system.  The Courts have put companies on notice: “Don’t give us any of this “Oops!” crap.” 

As a network admin this could mean some interesting new hardware in the future!





New site for shortening URL’s

18 05 2005

You’ve probably all heard of, and or used, tinurl.com and how it can take long convoluted URL’s and shorten them into a short URL:

Let’s use my company’s URL:  http://www.northpointe.ca/camping.html

via TinyURL that becomes: http://tinyurl.com/adgkd   This is handy, since there are only really 5 unique characters to remember, but WHO wants to remember adgkd??? 

Along comes doiop Which lets me choose what I want use for a reference term:  i.e. if I choose “camping” I get:  http://doiop.com/camping   Now I have an easy to rember URL since I just have to remember the word camping, which is much more natural for the human mind than “adgkd”

http://www.doiop.com/

This one might just be a keeper.





Squamish Teen dies in tragic rafting accident

17 05 2005

This breaks my heart.  Alison Roberge was 17 years old and only one month from graduating high school.  She died on the Elaho river on Sunday, while helping make sure that 2 girls with her were saved. 

Rafting is a dangerous sport.  Many of the dangers are mitigated by safety equipment and careful planning, but like anything involving nature, it can always turn ugly.  One scary fact is that the provincial government of BC repealed the Commercial River Rafting Safety Act just a year ago.  Rafting companies in BC don’t even HAVE to follow the safety “rules“  The company that Alison rod with did, and it STILL happened.  Should a group of 13yr old Pathfinders (Girl Guides section)  be out rafting?  Should anyone under 18?  Perhaps 16?  If we don’t feel they can make rational decisions about driving a car, should we let them make the decision to hurtle down a dangerous river?  Scouts Canada has some pretty rigid guidelines about rafting.  Would it have protected Scouts from this happening?  No.  The scary thing is that these things happen, and no matter what we try to do, they will keep happening.  Parents need to consider this when giving the OK for their children to participate in ANY activity.  Too often parents simply sign the form, and say “Have a good time!” to their kids.  Sorry for the ramble.  Stream of consciousness.  Unhappy.

More details of the accident from the Whistler Question.





Need an excuse to play Hooky?

12 05 2005

Looking forward to being one of the first to see Episode III, but not sure if can get out of work?

GeekSquad to the rescue.

Your own personalized “Get out of work free” card.

I love it!





Here’s a cool Flash Clock!

9 05 2005

Pleasantly mesmerizing [swf]





Sunday May 1st was the 60th Anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic

3 05 2005

On Sunday, Navy seamen, reservists, Naval Veterans, Sea Cadets, Navy League Cadets, and mariners from around the Vancouver area joined together for the 60th anniversary of the battle of the Atlantic.  Mrs. DragonSpeed is an officer in the Navy League Cadet Corps Captain Rankin, so I was there taking pictures.  I hope these pictures help to convey the solemnity of the ceremony, and help us all remember the 1000’s of mariners (both military and merchant) who were lost during the Battle of the Atlantic – The longest running “battle” of WWII.

The Naval prayer:

“O Eternal Lord God, who alone spreadest out the heavens and rulest the raging of the sea; who has compassed the waters with bounds until day and night come to an end; be pleased to receive into thy Almighty and most gracious protection the persons of us thy servants, and the Fleet in which we serve.

Preserve us from the dangers of the sea, and from the violence of the enemy, that we may be a safeguard unto our most gracious Sovereign Lady, Queen Elizabeth, and her Dominions, and a security for such as pass on the seas upon their lawful occasions; that the inhabitants of our Empire may in peace and quietness serve thee our God; and that we may return in safety to enjoy the blessings of the land, with the fruits of our labours, and with a thankful remembrance for thy mercies to praise and glorify thy holy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

May their spirits reside evemore in heaven, and their bodies be undisturbed, protected by the very ocean that took their lives.

Photos of the event (higher resolution photos available by request)





Hong Kong Scouts can now earn an "Intellectual Property Badge" Oy Vey!

3 05 2005

The Motion Picture Association, and The Hong Kong Scout Association have teamed up to create the Intellectual Property Badge Program, in which young children will be brainwashed with taught all the information they need to understand the world of Intellectual Property copyright as the MPA would have it.  Are they going to cover the problems that region encoding causes to legitimate purchasers?  Are they going to explain the outrageous fees paid all along the line in movie production?  Are they going to explain why an average consumer can’t make a copy of his DVD due to the DMCA

Seen on CNet





Some more Bird shots with my Digital Rebel

2 05 2005

I got out to Burnaby Lake again this evening.  While I was waiting for our beavers to arrive, I took some bird pictures.  Some turned out quite well, but it was an interesting lesson in telephoto lens focal planes.

Check out my Bird Pictures around Burnaby Lake





Chemical spill causes Rail Shutdown near Ottawa!

2 05 2005

Sounds frightening doesn’t it.

CBC reported at 14:52 EDT that Via rail was finally reopening the line:

…as emergency crews worked to contain the spill of a volatile substance from a train near Ottawa.

Serious stuff!  Followed by:

The leak, which came from a freight car early Monday morning, is understood to be highly flammable ethanol, also known as combustion alcohol.

Now hold on just a molecule pickin’ minute…  Ethanol?  Hmmm….

The ethanol produced by fermentation ranges in concentration from a few percent up to about 14 percent. Above about 14 percent, ethanol destroys the zymase enzyme and fermentation stops. Ethanol is normally concentrated by distillation of aqueous solutions, but the composition of the vapor from aqueous ethanol is 96 percent ethanol and 4 percent water. Therefore, pure ethanol cannot be obtained by distillation. Commercial ethanol contains 95 percent by volume of ethanol and 5 percent of water. Dehydrating agents can be used to remove the remaining water and produce absolute ethanol.

Yup.. The spill was of alcohol.  They feared that the local creek might be contaminated.  I suppose if it ended up highly concentrated it might be a problem, but really, all you’ll probably end up with is a bunch of drunken fish. 

My theory is that that they made it sound nasty so that people wouldn’t rush over with a flask and some orange juice, in an attempt to make improvised screwdrivers 🙂  The media.  Gotta love ’em!








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