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I am right!

Thursday, 21 December 2006

Oprah, say it ain't so!
Mood:  surprised
I'm sitting here watching today's Oprah. Yes, I do watch Oprah sometimes.

Oprah has someone from "How Stuff Works" and he's explaining things to her and her audience.

She had no idea how Television works.

I was flabbergasted when Oprah admitted that she had no idea that email was transmitted from her computer to a server and to another server and finally to its destination. She said that she had no idea that it was transmitted via wires and just assumed that it magically arced through the ether and found its way to the recipient.

She's built a billion dollar empire, how can she not have had even a basic understanding of the technology that she uses to run it?

Posted by vamp/assamite0 at 5:36 PM EST
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Monday, 20 November 2006

I was wrong
I decided to get around to admitting two things that I was wrong about.

#1. This one is a little late, but I expected the Democrats to take the House and the Republicans to keep the Senate.

#2. This one is very late, but here on this blog I predicted that Scott Peterson would be acquitted in his murder trial.

With this kind of accuracy, I think I might start charging people to have me predict that they won't win the powerball.

Posted by vamp/assamite0 at 5:19 AM EST
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Saturday, 21 October 2006

Touched my soul
I have decided that from time to time, I'm going to include some song lyrics on my blog. So, I'm going to list some lyrics and what they mean to me.

There's a fine line between deep introspective reflection and pretentious copying, I'm going to try to stay on the good side of that line.

Today's entry is from Feeling Good by Nina Simone

"Stars, when you shine, you know how I feel. Scent of the pine, you know how I feel. Oh, freedom is mine and I know how I feel. It's a new dawn. It's a new day. It's a new life, for me."

To me, this is an expression of the incredible joy that one finds as a result of finding his or her true purpose in life.

Nina's voice brings a haunting beauty to the words as she sings them.

Posted by vamp/assamite0 at 3:55 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 1 August 2006

I used to love her.
I was eight when I met her little sister. We were playmates. She taught me so much. She was my partner in learning about BASIC programming, File IO and storage and plain old game playing. Those memories are still some of the fondest ones I have.

As time marched on, she and I spent less and less time together and grew apart.

When I was 15, I met her. She was beautiful. She had grace, style and sophistication. She wore beige. She was groundbreaking and trend-setting. Others imitated her style but were afraid to admit it. Others wanted to do well the things that she did well and not only did they fail, but they pretended that they were not trying to be like her. She was fast. She was powerful. At the time, she was almost perfect.

I learned even more from her than I learned from her sister. She and I had ever more fun. She made me into a gamer. We played flight sims and first person shooters. We wrote programs. We did homework. We did real-work. I loved her and she loved me. She accepted me for who I was and I accepted her for who she was. What I loved most about her was the fact that most other people didn't see, or couldn't recognize her beauty. It was like a nerdy girl in glasses that was still hot anyway. For nearly 10 years of my life, she was my absolute best friend.

Then things changed. Her father moved back to town. He convinced her that my love wasn't good enough, that she wasn't good enough. She had to change, whether she and I liked it or not. Instead of my love, she was to court the love of businessmen in suits. Instead of my acceptance, she was to seek the acceptance of journalists and purchasing managers who had never had a kind word to say about her.

In time, she changed. She was no longer the friend that I had known for a large portion of my life. She became pretentious, ostentatious and elitist. As much as it broke my heart, I had to turn my back on her because she had turned her back on me and never looked in my direction again.

If you too were a Mac user before the return of Steve Jobs and are currently not one, you know exactly what I'm talking about. The Macs that I knew and loved are now gone. Instead of doing things differently because it was better, Macs have become about doing things differently for the sake of being different.

Good-bye Macintosh, I'll miss you.

Posted by vamp/assamite0 at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 1 August 2006 8:46 PM EDT
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Friday, 21 July 2006

Chris Rock and modern minstrelsy
Chris Rock has made himself rich by playing into the worst stereotypes of my people. From his stand-up comedy act to his movies to his show on HBO, time and time again this man has presented the image of the black man as a sex obsessed, bad grammar using, immoral buffoon.

There have been a couple of valid points of social commentary that I have heard him make in his standup, however those are overshadowed by the other negative images of black men that he has perpetuated.

Posted by vamp/assamite0 at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 21 July 2006 11:32 PM EDT
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Thursday, 22 June 2006

Kano's Law
The odds of someone using Godwin's Law to shield an idea from criticism is proportional to how much that idea resebles those of the Nazis.

Posted by vamp/assamite0 at 7:36 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 27 June 2006 9:32 PM EDT
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Monday, 5 June 2006

Slips of the tongue
Mood:  silly
A few day's ago, my girlfriend's middle child said that he was going to get a can of "Vagina,,uh Vienna Sausages"

I couldn't help but wonder if those are packed in vinegar and water.

Posted by vamp/assamite0 at 6:09 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 5 June 2006 6:20 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 7 February 2006

To Hell With Dell
As a struggling college student, I needed to bring in some extra money so I took a holiday job selling Dell computers.

I've never been a big fan of Dell. I don't like having so many decisions made for me. I don't like their style and I don't think that the prices are all that great.

All of that being said, I took the job. I needed money. Now that my holiday assignment is over, I feel free to speak my mind about my time there.

Dell's management wants increased sales and increased profits at all costs. Including misleading and outright lying to customers.

Dell uses low prices to lure customers and then refuses to provide the options that people want for them. I heard people tell customers that they couldn't run Microsoft Office on computers based on the Intel Celeron processor. I heard people tell customers that it wan't possible to put a DVD Burner on a computer based on the Celeron processor.

I heard a member of management tell customers that they should beware of companies selling computers based on "knock off" processors like the AMD Athlon.

This same manager asked me to assist him with his software piracy activities.

I heard this same manager tell a customer that the reason he couldn't burn a CD in his new Dell computer was that he wasn't buying 48x media.

I saw this same manager build a quote for a customer with an extra item on it and promise him $100 off of his final price. When the actual sale was entered, he removed the extra item and pretended that the ~$150 difference was due to the discount that he promised.

I saw Dell mail out 20% off coupons and then refuse to honor them when customers came in.

Many of the add-ons that Dell offers are overpriced. For example, a 15 month Anti-Virus subscription costs $79. You can buy a 12 month subscription from CompUSA for $39.

Don't even ask about support. If you have a problem, ANY problem, you will most likely be routed to a call center in India where someone will not understand your problem and will advise you in an accent that is too heavy for you to understand.

I felt bad for many of the customers, it was like I was watching someone buy a shitty used car that would blow up as soon as they left the lot but since I needed the money I couldn't warn them.

I'd never buy one. If you value your money, neither will you.

Posted by vamp/assamite0 at 1:54 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 31 March 2006 3:56 AM EST
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Wednesday, 21 September 2005

New Orleans
Mood:  surprised
It's been a little while since I've updated my blog, and this one won't be that long but here we go anyway.

The reaction of the country to Katrina has taught me something that I didn't know before.

The weather is President Bush's fault.

The environmentalists and just about every Bush basher has implied or outright declared that storms are getting worse because of global warming and that it's Bush's fault.

We have been told that the earth is between 0.5 and 1.5 degrees f warmer than it was a century ago. Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that this is correct. Let us also say, for the sake of argument, that something made it necessary for us to increase the temperature of the world by 1 degree f. How would we do it? Could we do it? I submit that we couldn't. We couldn't raise the temperature of the world if we needed to, it's laughable to think that we're doing it by accident.

When Krakatoa (or Krakatau) erupted in the late 1800s the climate of the planet was disrupted for several years. The year following the eruption, it snowed in New England in July. Approximately 13 cubic miles of earth was liberated into the atmosphere during the eruption. Descriptions of the evidence of that dispursion of earth was documented in drawings of sunsets for years after the event.

Edvard Munch's famous painting "The Scream" has been called an accurate depiction of the sky over Norway after the eruption. This was painted 10 years after the eruption.

I'd like to know why I've not heard anyone theorize that this 0.5 to 1.5 degree difference is the return of normality to the atmosphere.

My point is this. We just don't know IF the earth is warming and even if it is we still don't know WHY. President Bush isn't responsible for the weather.

Posted by vamp/assamite0 at 2:47 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 7 February 2006 1:32 AM EST
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Tuesday, 10 May 2005

I Cypherpunk
Mood:  happy
For years I have had an interest in cryptography. I recently decided to get more than just my feet wet. I bought a copy of Applied Cryptography from eBay and have been reading it for about a week.

I'm less than 1/4 through the book, but I have already learned much that I did not know about security protocols. I really do not look forward to the math that lies ahead of me.

It's going to make my head hurt. But once I've gone through the book, I'll have a much better understanding of the subject.

I also hope to be able to take what I learn and add some cryptographic functionality to the programs that I'm working on.

Posted by vamp/assamite0 at 1:43 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 10 May 2005 1:43 PM EDT
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