Thursday, January 31, 2008

celebrity apprentice ep 5

i don't have much to say about this episode of the apprentice. somehow they thought it was worthy of a 2 hour episode, but I disagree. This episode was a total circus and really didn't really have the apprentice feel as it was focused more on drama rather than competition and business.

Stephen Baldwin is a total douchebag. I want him fired, and its awesome that it sounds like he'll be quitting next episode so good riddance. Just like what Pierce said, he's a total hippocrate and he's been exposed on camera. Stephen can't handle the truth, that's why he's quitting.

Pierce has an awesome accent. makes me want to move to the UK to pick up the accent. So you can sound all proper and shit.

How to easily edit the username & password for unattended deployment of windows service installations that require username and a password

msi installers, love them or hate them, are in a world of their own.

One of the major problems is that it is not well documented. Neither is the method to make and run an unattended installation. Put those two things together, its always more than you've bargained for.

First, to edit the msi file, you need a msi editor. Unfortunately, the editors are not easily attainable. One is orca. To get orca, you just can't go to microsoft's website to download it. you first gotta download a large SDK, and then you can either extract orca.msi it if you're savvy enough, or you gotta install a 200meg sdk which you are not particularly interested in. Or you can download the msi package at an off a stranger's site like (fake link btw) but you get my drift. You should not have to go through this. But everyone does.

Your other solution is to go with something like Wise Installation Studio, which I think complicates the already complicated solution to what seemed like a overly simple question.

Anyway, what neither of these two pieces of software don't do well is let you specify a username and password to install a windows service for msi so that you can run an unattended installation through a GPO where no dialogues pop up for the username and password. The solution? Set a custom property with orca or wise, set the custom action, overide the install function to set the username/password, then build. Damn I'm clever. Screw Wise's overly complex solution with their buggy support for services. It might require more programming on your part, but its gonna be infinitely easier for the user.

Last tidbit today, you would think running an quiet installation of an msi package would just require just a flag like myprogram.msi /q. But nope. You have to run msiexec.exe /package myprogram.msi /q. I think /qn or /qb might work better.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A flying car

It seemed like a plausible idea that we would have flying cars in the year 2000. 8 years later it seems like we're still trying to figure out how to fly for the first time or if it is even possible. What happened to the Moller Skycar? It looked sweet when I saw it 5+ years ago. If the 2 videos on the web were "good test flights" then it really unsold me of the car. It looked like it barely kept from going out of control.

If you change your perspective a little, we have had the technology and we've been using it for nearly 40 years. The flying car is actually called the Harrier jet. Its capable of vertical takeoffs, it has wheels. The speeds and range of the harrier jet is far better than any prototype of skycar. In fact, if you look at the latest prototype of the skycar, it is just a plane capable of vertical takeoff. So the only real problem is:

1. Price and availability of military grade jet fuel

2. Is it the engineering, rights to, or the materials cost that makes this vehicle not affordable?

I really don't think #2 is the issue. You can't say that military engineers are the only engineers who are savvy enough to put a vehicle like a harrier together. I'm not saying its going to be easy by any means, but someone has gotta have the resources to do it. Just don't make one in full view of everyone including police and the military and you may be ok.

So the problem is really all about the gas. How much thrust can regular gas station fuel give us at the most optimum settings in the best engine possible? Probably not enough. I've heard the harrier jet can burn 200lbs of fuel a minute doing a vertical takeoff. Now that is something 99.999999% of the people cannot afford to do on a regular basis.

What needs to change is our technology of gas and the efficiency of the engine. We need a technological breakthrough to be able to fly to work, and fly back on a daily basis. Not just these babysteps in going from 20mpg to 30mpg. I would really like to see flying cars become a common thing in my life time. Will it happen? Its still too early to tell.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

a THONG to a tennis match??

Now that is ridiculous. I don't know about you, but I would imagine it would be distracting, especially doing a full bend forward at the hip preparing for the receiving end of a 125 mph serve.
I was rooting for the underdog Tsonga. His agressiveness and speed seemed to lose its momentum after the 1st set. But he stilled played spectacularly. Djokovic was the better player and deserved to win the championship.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Federer says he has created monsters

Its true. He's brought the level of the game up so high where the youngsters are aiming to be faster and stronger than anything that has been witnessed on the tennis courts. It is a spectacle when you watch the new players like Djokovic and Tsonga play. They move from edge to edge from the court where it still doesn't make sense how it is possible while watching it on slow replay. It was obvious that Federer wasn't playing at his top level, but if he was, I think it would have much closer game with no clear victor until the match is over.

Did the illness with the bad chicken have anything to do with his results of the Australian Open? The first game Federer played, he looked like he had lost a lot of weight from the illness. When you're a top athelete, and can't eat for a few days, all you are losing/burning is muscle. And also he hadn't got the chance to play a week's worth of tennis before the Open which is part of Federer's routine. At this level of tennis small stuff matters, and there's no question in my mind it had at the very least some affect.

No grand slam this year for Federer, but I'm hopeful he'll come back stronger and better having figured out how to play better against these fast moving hard hitting newcomers.

The women's final outcome was as expected. Sharapova is playing at an unbelievable level. It was a beautiful match in more ways than one. Lets hope Sharapova keeps this level up.

Friday, January 25, 2008

celebrity apprentice ep4

Task: Sell broadway tickets within a 2-hour window and raise the most amount of money for charity.

Result: Men won. Again.

Marilu pointed out that they have been outmatched with star power since the beginning. Which is true. And also pointed out that they are outmatched when it comes to the list of contacts (friends and fans with deep pockets). That may be true, but the fact that they lost could have been prevented when the spanish star could have asked her friends to be back by this time, or it doesn't count. had they known that, they would have tried just a little harder to get there 2 minutes sooner. They might have made 2 thousand dollars more if they put david hyde pierce on top of the booth with a megaphone, which is something that should have been apparent to the leader Marilu.

The weakest link is Jenny. She has no concept of leadership. When some people came with few thousand dollars on hand and they asked how many tickets they can have, she told them "think of the amount you want and come back to me." I saw that and my jaw dropped. She could have cost them the sell. And definitely failed to guide those people when they were looking for her guidence which is just another form of leadership. It also seems like she's just hiding in the booth during these events. She just doesn't want to do these tasks. She's not comfortable.

And yep, Donald fired her ass. Very quickly and without much discussion. I was surprised how quickly it came, but he made the right decision.

What is being proven on this season of the apprentice is that even though you are a very competitive person it has nothing to do with leadership or business. I'm not sure who made the assumption that they may be, but that is pretty clear they are not.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A first in Tennis

2 hottest chicks in Tennis will compete for a masters title at the Australian Open. After the 8th game, I was hoping that Ivankovic just registered on the board so she doesn't have as devastating of a loss as she was heading towards. But who knew she was gonna turn around at win the match? Now that is a comeback. Its like if you were down 21 and 0 in the 4th quarter in a football game, and then you scored 21 points in the 4th to tie it up, and then won the game at overtime. Still, with what I saw of Ivankovic's game, she barely won, playing well eventually. Against Sharapova who is leaving less than no room for error, Ivankovic looks like she will be facing the same fate that Sharapova has been dishing out since the beginning of the Australian Open.

I'm not a fan of Djokovic, but wow, he looks phenomenal this year, much more than he did at the US Open a few months ago. He's moving so much faster, and he's hitting so much harder. If I had to imagine the game, I think Federer would have a hard time keeping up with Djokovic's youthful pace. Djokovic has already beaten Federer, Nadal, and Roddick in a single event back to back. But Federer seems to do well in the masters, and last time Federer played Djokovic, Federer was the better player. I wouldn't be surprised if Djokovic won, but I'll be rooting for Federer.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sharapova vs Henin @ Australian Open 2008 (Spoiler Alert)

Wow, Sharapova just dominated Number 1 seed Henin 6-4 6-0. I've never been so impressed by such a hot chick.

Sharapova has a good cheering/screaming name. SHAR-RA-PO-VA!!! A name for screaming to vow your revenge after such a brutal loss.

Sharapova has mastered the art of how to look endearing. Although she is a number one athelete, she still looks very feminine and her skin looks like it would feel very soft to the touch. Her celebratory gesture after winning a tough rally is subtle and mouse-like which is kinda cute. Its understandable why she is this way. If you're a 6'2" woman, you would have to pull out all stops so you don't look like you can beat a man with hammer-fists to the top of a man's head. Which is not appealing to any man. She's telling her audience, "I may be 6'2" and a professional athelete, but I'm still all woman."
Henin by far is no pushover. Henin has not lost the last 32 matches she had played beating pretty much all the who's-who-of-tennis in the process. To get dominated like that tells me if Sharapova can keep with this momentum, we are in for the ERA OF SHARAPOVA.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

UFC meets WWE?

I don't like the sound of that. Supposedly, there is a wrestler making the transition and he will make a debut in the next UFC. Good news is most of them are so hopped up on steroids they would never make the cut. So I don't think there is any need for worry that UFC is going to turn into a clown show.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

MSI Installer

To get the MSI installer to remove the "Just Me" option so that "Everyone" was the default option was no easy task. First, most instructions on the web tell yout o edit the msi file yourself, which is a big buzz kill. You mean you want me to open up the msi file, dig through the property and table, and edit a variable like I was doing some kind of registry edit? Every time I compile? Fortunately, there are some knowledgable people out there. And you can switch what the default is, so that you can recompile, and it would be compiled with the right options. And I figured out how to hide the option from showing. Unfortunately, when you do an unattended installation, this change you make doesn't matter. And I found a fix, on one of microsoft's guy's blogs. According to google, he's the only guy that's posted information on how to do this. For the record the built in installer to vs .net 2003 sucks.

For the sake of perserving the information he has put up, just incase these Microsoft pages disappear, like they do on any microsoft website, I've decided to cut and paste his post, so I can personally refer to it later:

Windows Installer: Installing for Everyone in a Silent Install
[updated: cleaned up links]I got bitten last week by a subtlety in the way Windows Installer packages generated by Visual Studio 2003 handle installing for everyone rather than the default "Just Me" when being run as a silent install. Maybe less a subtlety in the installer than a gap in my understanding of the installer's workings. At any rate; since I had a more difficult time than I thought I would finding the right answer I figured I'd post it here so Googlers everywhere can find it easily.
Creating an installer package from within Visual Studio 2003 is pretty simple and straightforward. For many simple deployment scenarios creating a new project of type "setup project" and adding the primary output of another project in your solution gets you most of the way there. Visual Studio does a good job of exposing the properties of the underlying MSI database as design-time properties.
One common scenario that isn't covered by Visual Studio 2003 is setting the default value of the "Install for . . ." option in the setup routine from Visual Studio. The default value is "Install for Just Me," and oftentimes you'll want/need to default to "Install for Everyone" instead. This is a per-machine installation rather than a per-user installation in Windows Installer parlance.
In order to accomplish this you need to open the MSI package Visual Studio generates for you using a tool like Orca (part of the Windows Installer SDK, which is part of the Platform SDK. Get it at and edit the database manually.
To default to a per-machine installation you simply change the value of the FolderForm_AllUsers property (in the properties table) from "ME" to "ALL." This is all you need to do in scenarios where you are presenting the user with a UI in that the value of the "Install for" radio button will now default to "All Users" which is what you want.
The problem I hit was that this doesn't cover the cases where no (or a limited) UI is displayed to the user. In my case our Operations team was deploying my app to a cluster of servers using a remote shell to execute msiexec with the /q option (no UI). I'd thought the underlying default property would be passed through in this case regardless of the presence of the UI, but I was wrong. To cover this case you need to add an additional property to the MSI.
To ensure that the installation defaults to Everyone in a silent install, create a new property in the properties table named "ALLUSERS" and set its value to "2" By default this property doesn't exist in the Visual Studio generated MSI, so it's value is unset, which indicates a per-user installation. If only users with Administrative privileges should be able to install your package you can set this property to "1" in which case the installation will fail if the installing user doesn't have admin rights. Setting "ALLUSERS" to "2" will attempt to do a per-user install if the per-machine install fails because the user doesn't have administrative privilleges.
If you've set this property because you don't want users to be able to install for "Just Me" (as was my case) you'll want to remove the option of setting this property in the UI. You can also either get rid of the dialog that offers the choice altogether or hide it if you don't want to offer the choice to your users.
In my case I hid them by dropping all the rows for the "AllUsersRadioGroup" and "AllUsersText" actions (there are 2 actions per control for these -- a hide and a show. Drop them all) from the ControlCondition table. I then set the attributes for the "AllUsersRadioGroup" and "AllUsersText" controls in the Control table to "2".
That was all it took, and I could stop blocking the release of an entire suite of projects to our production environment ;-)
More information on using Orca can be found here.
More information on per-user and per-machine installs can be found here.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Celebrity Apprentice ep3

Before the decision.
Gene Simmons lost the task for them. They were given a task, and they did something else. Its not any more complicated than that. If a client tells you, "this is what we need", and the person doing the task says, "No, that is not what you need. This is what you need, and that's what I did." That would be fine if he was an executive officer of Kodak, but he isn't. I think his work was good, and had good vision, but he couldn't win a task because his vision was bigger than the demands of the customer. I think someone like Gene would do well as a CEO, but would do miserably as a manager.

After the decsion
I believe Donald Trump saw the potential in Gene and didn't want to fire him even though he knew he was the reason why they lost the task, and pretty much told him choose someone that he had a reason to fire to bring to the board room. But Gene did something unexpected and brought back 2 people that Donald couldn't fire and threw himself under the bus.

As it has been said before, leader ship is influence. Nothing more, nothing less. And him coming back to the boardroom with Omarosa on his arm really shows his ability to get everyone on board, and Donald was very impressed. If the show was Celebrity CEO not the Celebrity Apprentice, then Gene would win it hands down compared to any other contestant on this show. The tasks were too low level for Gene and he couldn't grasp that or didn't want to grasp it. I would have definitely liked to see more of Gene. He undoubtably will have reality TV show people knocking on his door after this. He's far more interesting than Ozzy Osborne.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

how to programmically get the UUID of your windows machine in

you need to add reference

Dim wmiObj As New System.Management.ManagementObjectSearcher("SELECT UUID FROM Win32_ComputerSystemProduct")
Dim objMgmt As System.Management.ManagementObject
For Each objMgmt In wmiObj.Get

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Big Bang Theory

What if the big bang is not the beginning? It just happens in cycles where all the matter of the universe and beyond comes together and then explodes again every couple of 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years? It has been theorized that black holes merge (when that happens galaxies merge) and become supermassive blackholes. In 5 billion years the milky way and andromeda will merge, and no doubt turn every molecule into atoms. What if all black holes eventually merge until it becomes one big blob of explosive mass? the big bang is the start of life for the current universe. and i guess it really doesn't matter because all things will cease to exist when it merges or explodes again. that is the end and start of all life.

celebrity apprentice ep 2

the men won based on lots of luck, pure raw talent and quality of their output. the decision to not see the executive from Pedigree was a big mistake. They could have sent just one person just for relations purposes to keep the customer happy. the Pedigree executive was not happy and could have easily tipped the decision in the other teams favor if the quality of the product was similar. I think the women suffered again because the women are less recognizable as celebrities than the men. I wonder if the women realize that. I think they do. But, with at least the people they have, they could do better using their celebrity recognition to brand/sell their product.

other observations
i didn't like donald's right hand man. i just kept thinking "what a douche" every time he spoke.
donald's daughter was having a makeup malfunction. and she took it too personally when she was told "she'll wait". Hasn't she figured out some people are just jerks for the sake of being jerks? Move on, you don't need to wait for an apology.

Tito commented that he runs a multi-billion dollar company.... I know he doesn't run UFC. And I don't think he runs a MMA camp and in general MMA camps are not multi billion dollar companies or even multimillion dollar companies. So I think he must be running Jenna Jameson's company. Which is interesting. Should Tito be running a multi-billion dollar company?
I liked both commercials, and I liked the concept of the women's commercial better. But the men's commercial really tugged at your heart-strings. Nadia was fired, and rightly so. If she wasn't fired for that task, she would have been fired eventually. I'm still hoping Omarosa gets the ax in spectacular fashion the next episode.

Monday, January 14, 2008


Ever wondered what makes a good photograph? Its easy for someone to tell you that they think a photo is good or not, but can't tell you why. Here is my attempt to break it down like a science so you can take better photographs.
What to shootYou need to find an engaging subject. What engages you mentally to look deeper so you can understand what is going on in the picture and connect emotionally? For example, if you look at a old balding guy with a dirty apron on enjoying a cigarette in front of a restaurant with slightly peeled (and overpainted) walls. This gives you a lot of information, and it lets the mind form its own story. You've given the viewer a lot of strong variables to form a story with. This story is much more intereresting than a flower or an interesting texture on the wall would ever be. If you want to take photography to a whole new level try to take pictures of inanimate objects that you can connect emotionally. That is a science in itself.

When to shootIn a perfect world, you want balanced and controlled lighting you would get at a studio. Unfortunately that is not the case 99% of the time. - Are you willing to plan, wait, or make better lighting happen? This is what photographers are willing to do.

How to shootYou need to understand:
shutter speed - too slow and its blurry, too fast, it becomes distracting, or the picture loses context
aperture - too shallow, your message will be blurred, too deep, people won't know what the subject of your photograph was.
ISO sensitivity - you want to keep this as low as possible 99.9% of the time so that your images are as noise free as possible.
stops - you need to understand what a 1/3, 2/3, or 1 stop means. For example, if your shooting 2.8 f/stop, and want to shoot at 1.4 f/stop then you can compensate by increasing your shutter speed by 4x, or increasing your shutter speed by 2x and lowering your ISO sensitivity from ISO 200 to ISO 100.
My last tip on this subject is to read about DOF (depth of field) and a rule of thirds. It is probably the easiest thing to learn to start taking better pictures right away.

How to post processThis is a subject that is most ignored. I am guilty of it too. This is where you develop your own style. Use photoshop. Find a combination of colors, sharpness, and contrast that you find appealing. You can have a few sets of combinations, but keep it consistant.

Why (What is the x-factor?)Just like any form of art, I believe this is what distinguishes the chefs for the sous-chefs, the grammy award winners from the cabaret singers, and likewise the famous photographer from the wedding photographer. They both possess the same level of techinical knowledge, but what is missing is the personal touch and style. The audience is looking for new things to eat, hear, see, feel, and experience. If you are always trying to imitate an existing style, then your pics will look good, but it may not be interesting to you. So in the end, it may not be interesting to you, and its not interesting to anyone else. How long do you think a hobby like this would last? Or how passionate would you be about continuing on? Whether it be photography, cooking, singing, fashion, you should always try to make it your own. When you look at the picture, you know its been shot and post processed in a way that you think was done to achieve the best picture possible because it appeals to you the most. If other people agree, then great. Maybe you can benefit from that. If they don't agree, its their loss, because it is still perfect in your eyes and you can appreciate it just as much.

I'll go on record to say that I've never shot one picture with all these things in mind. I've always been more of a point and shooter. And as for my technical knowledge on lighting, aperture, and shutter speed goes its pretty good. But I've had a realization today, and I'm gonna try something new. Here is how I think I usually shoot a picture. Something catches my eye, so I snap. And maybe it'll make sense later. What you are doing is caputring everything in sight, so you can take the information with you. Unfortunately, that does not make an interesting photograph. Its like if I wanted to describe an interesting day I had when I was traveling to another country. Do I talk about the things that don't matter and talk about interesting things somewhere in the middle of the 50 page blog post? No. Because people would be lost in trying you understand what was so interesting. And a picture is not any different. So the next time something catches your eye, ask yourself:
-What was interesting? And make that the subject of your photograph. And if the context of the subject was interesting, it is important to capture that as well, and not capture anything irrelevant.
-Capture it the best image techinically as possible. Did you take it at the right f/stop? Shutter speed and at the lowest ISO? Can the lighting be improved with flash? Or could you wait and come back at another day or time for better lighting?
-Enhance your message by post processing, so that your message is clear. It is not any different than proof reading your creative writing so that you get your story across with more impact. Do it where you do it because it makes sense and looks good to you. And that in itself will reflect on your own style.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Australian Open 2008

Although I wouldn't say the same about his sense of fashion, Roger Federer is the most dominant athlete in any sport today. Watching these young athletes makes me feel like I wasted away my 20's doing god knows what.... His highlights are super human and seem to defy the laws of physics. I hope he has a Grand Slam this year.

San Diego Late Night Munchies

My Late Night Eating guide. Sometimes at 1:30 am, you just have to eat. And you don't feel like a frozen dinner. What do you do?

Tajima (3am, excluding sundays)
Tofu House (same plaza as Tapioca Express on Convoy, no official closing hours but will close at midnight if there are no customers)
Sam Woo's Barbeque Restaurant (located inside 99 Ranch, no official closing hours but will close at midnight if there are no customers)
International Restaurant (Chinese, Korean, Vietnames, Japanese... How can it go wrong? Or a better question would be, could they get anything right? Not sure if this place still exists)
Tea Station Clairemont Mesa across 99 Ranch (1am last time I checked, they have excellent no ryo mien aka "beef stew noodles")
Tea Station Mira Mesa (12am)

Roberto's on Mira Mesa (24 hours)
El Cotixan on Genessee + Balboa (24 hours)

Keiths (24 hours)
Denny's (24 hours)
Bully's East (12:15am. best place for prime rib in san diego)

Alternatives - Take Out
Inn & Out generally close at 1am, and McDonalds a little later than that.

Alternatives - Casinos
Another option is to go to any one of the numerous Casinos we have in San Diego. Ocean's 11, Viejas, Barona, Secuan, etc. Casinos usually have a 24 hour cafe that caters to gamblers.

Places I found on the web that I've never been to:
South Beach Bar and Grill (2am fish tacos)
Saska's Restaurant and High Tide Sushi (2am sushi? gotta try that)
Golden Dragon Asian Bistro (3am)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

uptime for Windows XP

I don't know about you, but I take just a little bit of pride knowing my windows xp machine hasn't crashed for weeks. Only reason I find a reason to reboot these days is because of the windows updates. Finding the uptime is not the simplest of tasks in windows xp. Maybe on purpose by microsoft?

anyway open up the command prompt by going to start -> run -> cmd (hit Enter)

Systeminfo Find "Up Time"
Type that with quotes and hit enter in the command prompt. Works for Windows XP Pro. Not on Windows XP Home because Home is for poor people.

Saw IV

It has been a while since I've seen a movie where I thought the plot was brilliant. And I didn't really expect it from Saw IV. Horror movies, and its especially it's sequels tend to have a bad reputation from the get-go. And it took a while to digest the plot, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that Saw IV was in a class of its own. I thought Saw I was descent, and saw II and III were OK but mostly forgettable, but IV definitely shouldn't be dismissed. And if you are planning on watching Saw IV, it ties into Saw III pretty closely, so I suggest watching Saw III first before you see Saw IV. If you need to watch Saw III again, it looks like google video is letting you view the entire movie here:

Friday, January 11, 2008

The truth about life.

We want what we don't have. We deeply desire what we can't have. This is the salt and the vinegar of the tortilla chip called life.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Anyone get tired of the constant barrage of advertising though Tivo? If they are gonna do this shit, they should give us free subscription. If we're willing to pay, then we shouldn't get any of the nonsense advertising. Every time I want to navigate somewhere, there's a new link that shows up on the bottom "check out the brand new cadillac". First, my tivo doesn't understand me, second I'm paying a subscription where I shouldn't have to deal with this stuff. I can't wait until I replace this DVR with something else. Instead of using their "technology" if you can call it that to make TV more interactive, they use it to push down interactive advertisements. Tivo sucks.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

16GB mem stick pro duo

Wow, that's like all the games i'd ever want to carry on my psp, plus all the movies, tv shows, anime i could ever want to carry. Plus, its twice the capacity of the ipod video.
it sucks that apple would rather make money selling devices with low capacity. cmon, 4gb for the iphone?

If I was presdient of the world

I would get rid of daylight savings time, and time zones.

I mean c'mon. Its all bullshit. How much effort goes into resetting our watches, cars, microwaves, making people aware, rewriting software, making exceptions in software, and all this nonsense for what? Why can't we say?

I wake up at 3 PM (GMT/UTC which means 7AM Pacific Time)
Get to work at 4:30 PM.
Have lunch at 8:00 PM, which is lunch time for Everyone.
And at 1 AM, I fight the traffic to get home.
Have dinner at 3AM, and its lights out at 8AM.

If we can make adjustments twice a year, we can make a one time adjustment like this. And to "observe daylight savings" people would just start their day one hour early. Instead of coming into work at 4:30 PM, you go to work 3:30 PM (GMT) during the spring and summer. Is that so hard? Do they really think that we're all that stupid and the world will come crashing down if it got changed?

If you think about it, why should we begin our day around 7AM or 8AM? The average hour people wake up should be the 0 hour. We should start at 0, instead of 8. So we're already offsetting our clocks on a daily basis. 4PM being morning for us is no different.

By doing this, you gain massive amounts of benefits. When you call someone in the US at 10AM, its 10AM in england, Taiwan, Hawaii, New York. You don't have to say, call me at 10AM, and clarify if you mean your time, or the other person's time, and then find out what time zone their in.

Supposedly, we spent money in the hundreds of millions to fix y2k like problems when someone decided last year that they'd save us some money by adjusting daylight savings so it beins one week earlier and one year later. Good one.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Childhood Memories

They must have aired this about a million times when I was growing up. Its catchy.

Its one of my first memories of television when I came to the US. I think I learned this song before I learned English. But, I couldn't understand what they were saying when they said "joost say no". Not understanding the context, and listening to how the guy was pronouncing it, its understandable. If you hear the song, we're expecting to hear "just say no" because that's what our brains are expecting, but he's actually saying to say no. to + just = joost.

"getting into drugs and being high is [a] stupid thing to do
be an original, and take a stand "and do it free?" to say no
don't let a friend put you in to taking drugs
you got a righ-ia-ia-ight, to say no"

the long version

Saturday, January 5, 2008


Warner Bros announced it will no longer support the HD-DVD. Their statement in short said, when HD-DVD is gone, and blu ray is the way to go, then people are going to adopt the new format because right now, people are holding out. Sucks for HD-DVD, but since Warner Bros. produces 20% of all movies, it is a bold and brilliant move, and it will no doubt help them sell more movies, and help everyone else (except HD-DVD).

Its not like the current HD-DVD only studios said they'll no longer do blu ray or said they will not be doing blu-ray. But now I'm told that a huge percentage of all movies will never see the light of day on HD-DVD. There's a big difference with that. And if Warner Bros took the other option and said it will no longer be producing blu ray discs, that would be a dumb move because Sony is going to continue to sell millions of PS3s, and any studio doing that is losing out for no reason.
I don't know about you, but that's enough of a reason not to give HD-DVD another thought. The only advantage of HD-DVD was the hardware price. Other than that, blu ray has cooler name (yes marketting matters), and you can't get over the fact that its better technology. The dics hold up to 40% more content if needed. And it comes with the PS3. I expect more studios to jump ship, and the HD-DVD only studios will be making the conversion soon. This means HD-DVD will probably be dead sometime this year, and the hd-dvd players will be sold off at increasingly low prices, but I wouldn't expect the HD-DVD discs to be sold at much of a bargain.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Celebrity Apprentice

Before the bell
The first challenge is men vs women. Selling hotdogs for charity.

The women most recognizable woman that they have....Omorosa. They have a Playboy Playmate but I don't know about you but Playboy Playmates tend to all look alike. And in my opinion, they do not become celebrities by being a Playboy Playmate, even though she's the playmate of the year. Does anyone still read Playboy?

The men have Lennox Lewis, Tito Ortiz, Steven Baldwin, the guy from Sopranos, Gene Simmons, and even the British guy I recognize from something. holy crap man. If the men can't win, they have no excuse.

After the bellThe men outsold the women by 3x. Not surprised with the results, but the women lost because of bad leadership (bad location and focusing on selling hotdogs not using celebrity appeal), and the men won because of good strategy (using celebrity contacts and marketting). I was also very impressed with Gene Simmons stepping up. He exudes great power and influence which is the formula for leadership. I was not impressed with Steven (Stephen?) Baldwin. The little bits that they showed us, he looked rather tentative, and unsure when trying to make a decision and trying to get his idea out. He's got "the look" down though. Actors...haha.

Who I would fire?Tiffany, playmate of the year, would never in a million years be appointed as the apprentice because she doesn't have leadership skills at this stage in life. Omorosa is 100% at fault for choosing the wrong location, and giving bad direction (not using celebrity appeal and focusing on salesmenship with people who are celebrities, not sales people). Staying with the tradition that the person who is responsible should be fired, I would fire Omarosa. Tiffany will be eliminated soon enough, unless somehow she blossoms into a leader in the next few weeks which is not likely.

Judges decisionTrump said he fired Tiffany Fallon because she should have called Hugh Heffner for a donation. But Trump has a sweet tooth for beautiful women, and he was trying to find other to place blame indirectly on Tiffany so he's not firing her based on her weakness. In other words, he was trying to find a reason to fire her in a sincere way, and when he found one, she was fired. I think Omarosa will be fired eventually. Although she is a powerful woman, she doesn't know how to get people on board. Leadership is not power over others. Its power to influence (in this case people in her team), which Omarosa will have less and less of the longer the competition goes on. For now, her stay on the show makes the episodes interesting. The more people want to see her gone, the longer the viewers will watch and hope that this is the episode where she is fired.

Pride vs. UFC

This is a argument that's bean beat to death, like PC vs Mac. But here's what I think:

I'm tired of Pride fanboys.

First, Pride is gone, and is effectively a part of UFC. They complain about how UFC sucks, UFC fighters suck, Dana White sucks, how a Pride figher is going to destroy a UFC fighter (more than half the time the Pride fighter loses), then they still go on complaining about how UFC still sucks and professes their love for Pride that no longer exists. When they complain, they sound like a bunch of winey little bitches. Move on. Grow up. Its dead. Its over.

Pride had more brawlers than well rounded fighters. Which definitely makes for exciting fights. And selling excitement is good business. But a well rounded MMA fighter can defend against brawlers. Brawlers will always look more tough. And fights between 2 brawlers always looks action packed. That’s why people think that Pride guys will always dominate, but this isn’t the case at all as you look at what’s happening since the merger.

Stop the hate on a fighter just because they belong to one organization. During the fight, none of that shit matters.

Life without Internet and Cell Phones

It is an amazing contrast when you think about life 20 years ago when no one had cell phones, computers, or the Internet. Do you remember calling your friends houses and asking if someone was there? When is the last time you did that? When you wanted to hang out, you would have to find them at home first.

My first exposure to a computer was at elementary school on a Apple IIe, and the smart kids were allowed to play Carmen San Diego. Unfortunately, I guess I wasn't smart enough as I only got to watch the smarter kids play games while the rest of the class had to read. Thanks LAUSD.

I remember my first computer being a 386 DX 40mhz 80MB hard drive It came with a Turbo button so I could slow it to 20mhz just incase things ran too fast. I'm not sure why my dad was so open to the idea of buying us one. It wasn't cheap, we were pretty poor, and he had no interest in using it. But I'm glad he did because that purchase has probably shaped my life today. Was the reason that we got a computer based on what it was going to do for us after we got it? Of course not. We bought it due to effective marketting. Even 5 years after our first computer, a computer at home for most was used for 3 things. One being word processing. Another for computer games.

I remember hearing my first mod, which played with the a high pitched background noise, but it still sounded amazing on my pc speaker (notice the word speaker is not plural). Anyone remember Future Crew, Purple Motion, Panic, Second Reality, etc? When I got my first sound card, I was blown away.

I learned how to program in Pascal in high school. I created my first graphic games on TI-Basic on a TI-85. I had the TI-81 2 years before that, which was a lot faster, but didn't really have any memory to do anything interesting. I remember my first email was a group effort with 2 other classmates. There was a terminal in my computer science class. We looked at a list of people's email addresses, since people rarely had email back then, and decided to email someone at random at Mt. Pleasant. We chose it because we wanted to ask the guy whether it was really pleasant where he lived. I guess receiving an email was just as fascinating as sending one as the guy at Mt. Pleasant was happy to talk to us about random stuff. After that, I remember having an email address at as my main email address.

BBS' started to show the potential of how the computer could be used as a social and "data sharing" tool. UUEncode baby. AOL came a few years after, and really dominated for a while. Then around 1996, Internet took off like a rocket. Before google, information on the Internet was a challenge to find. Remember webcrawler,, altavista, yahoo, lycos, and hotbot? They all had different uses. Although probably millions were connected, posting content, and finding it took some luck and determination. After google, and with the help of the exponential growth rate of the Internet, it is possible to find information on just about anything the moment it happens.

With AOL's influence, I've been on AOL, mainly chatting since I've had a modem Which is probably around 1993 or 1994. Back then, you found people to talk to in "Chat rooms". Now, you use it to keep in touch and to coordinate with people you know.

I remember watching news on TV about technology called shockwave in 1996 (which became flash and macromedia). Internet video streaming sucked with real player. Tiny screens, it was choppy. I would guess real player just stuck with what they knew, and what they did best, and that's why almost no one who is on the technology bandwagon uses real player today

I think I discovered divx around 98 or 99. The website had pixar shorts to demo the technology. I was as amazed at the compression rate along with the potential for sharing movies in a single CD.

My first web page was written in 1996. I didn't know at the time, but it was my first blog entry. It had a background. It had a picture of Beavis and Butthead. And it played a sound when you loaded the page. Everything was split by using line breaks. And I believe everyone was using Netscape 3.x at the time.

With the Internet and cell phones, we can SMS, email, voicemail, instant message, telephone, video conference, and it still doesn't seem enough. Will we ever be able to touch, smell, taste, or feel something over the Internet? Video conferencing seemed and still seems like the next step, but it has failed to catch on for the last 7 years. We are in fact heading towards the very opposite direction of video conferencing. More communication is done over instant messaging, sms, and email taking away phone time.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

iTunes: How to deauthorize all computers

I've ran into a problems with the music I purchased through iTunes. Yes, I've bought some over the years. :) And I've run into the limit of authorizing 5 computers. Over the last 4 years or so, I've authorized it on 2 machines at work, and the 3 machines at home. I would imagine, every iTunes user will eventually run into this problem because of the consumption rate of computers. And problem seems more of a problem than it might appear to be. If you've changed jobs, or the the computer went dead, you cannot deauthorize that computer. When I first searched for a solution, I found some lame-ass solutions with drawbacks. I didn't like what I saw so I didn't pursue it any further. I guess what I didn't do was give apple some credit for thinking this through. There is no way they would lock you in to authorizing only 5 computers, then your music goes dead. The provide a very quick "Deauthorize All" button, and its taken care of.

On a computer with iTunes installed go to this link:

Log in, and you'll find a deauthorize all button. You can do this once a year, which is fine for me.

On a sidenote, my quick work of my first ipod sillouette didn't turn out too bad. I took a picture of a zippo, cut the image out, used the selection tool and did a 6 pixel smooth, and feather 1 pixel. and voila. I drew the white lines with a mouse.

happy new year!

It is 2008. 8 years after y2k. This is the year I'll turn 30. This is the year where I'll go from a making a 5 figure salary to a 7 figure income. I also found a new calling in life, which is to help the human rights situation in North Korea. People make the mistake of thinking they are powerless to do anything when there is a lot we can do.

One is to increase awareness. I think I found a way to effectively do it over the Internet where I can expect awareness to spread exponentially. When the whole world realizes that the biggest and unspeakable human rights violations are happening to hundreds of thousands of people in North Korea, it is my belief that we will come together and solve this problem.

Once I have the time and the resources, I plan on directly helping out the North Korean refugees living in China, because there is a lot of them, and they are still in danger until they get to South Korea.