Net News

Jan. 25th, 2009 03:38 pm
valkyrieza: (NCIS - Ducky serious)
This is an old report from the "Onion" about McDonalds, referenced by someone on Digg It is about 12 years old by now, but still funny as it laughs at the idea of obsessive cult fan and the lack of usefulness of some of the aspects of modern consumerist culture.

There is also an old issue of some expensive NCDs (negotiable certificates of deposits) using teleportation. It starts of with a mysterious disappearance of approximately 8 million South African Rand en-route from the headquarters of one bank to another in Johannesburg. The distance between the two banks? About 10 minutes walking at a leisurely pace. These same NCDs were put to the branch in the Western Cape Province to be cashed out on the same day they went AWOL in Johannesburg, bear in mind we are talking more then 1000km difference between the physical places and back in 2000, when this started not very frequent air trips between the Johannesburg and Cape Town. Of course, everyone has signed off to the fact that they were in Johannesburg and the businessman who has asked for the NCDs to be redeemed has proof of purchase for the these papers. Add to that a grisly death, a persistent heir still trying to redeem the money, a bypass of the Reserve Bank's exchange rules regulations and numerous court dates. I reckon the people who specialise in being Private Investigators in financial matters will have a ball. Who needs a smoky office and people shooting at you?

I did not know that this year is an International Astronomy Year 2009 for South Africa. It seems there is also a solar eclipse on the cards this coming Monday. My neighbour bought a telescope so this will be an opportunity to view a solar eclipse with proper equipment.

There is also the tragic news of the murders of infants and one of the minders in the small town near Brussels in Belgium. I had spent about two, not the nicest months in Belgium and despite my feelings towards certain people there, it is a law-abiding place where such violence, especially towards infants (youngest was 6 months old) is doubly unexpected.

CNN.com offers the first page story about 25 years of Macs. I wonder how much Steve Jobs paid for that little promotion? It took a little scrolling to see this article. It is about reversing the policy that "prohibits U.S. money from funding international family-planning clinics that promote abortion or provide counselling or referrals about abortion services." [CNN.com, "Obama reverses abortion-funding policy", accessed 25.01.09]. This policy has been implemented each time an uneducated, pardon the expression 'hick' like presidents Reagan and Bush reverse it. I applaud the common sense shown by the Obama administration, this is one of those issues that should not be politicised. I believe most women, myself included do not appreciate a mainly male body of politicians deciding about their bodies.

BBC offers a cheerful combination of reporting about violence in the world and more impacts of the global financial crisis. it is interspersed with a cheerful article about a pilot who had managed to land his plane on water after both its engines were crippled by birds . I have done some quick Googling, it is exceptionally difficult and has only been a few times before, where like in this case, everyone had survived.

Also, for[livejournal.com profile] lyonza , an academic article about how MUDs were started. It is a bit old, but still interesting to know how.

Back to studying, thank goodness, it is an open-book exam.
valkyrieza: (P&P - liz bennett - cynical)
When you think  you have it all sorted some drama comes along and stuffs it all up.

In the same vein I would like to award HP South Africa as still the worst Service provider in history, topping all the other useless vendors, becomes no-one is as aggressive and as useless as their call centre agents. And their only service provider does not even have a turn around time! Bloody tossers! Why is it that their overseas counterparts are so much easier to deal with?

UPDATED: The drama will still be forthcoming when I get enough courage and time to backup my data and drop off my laptop at the HP Service provider.The only HP provider in the country, and they still cannot give me a turn around time. It is all based on a first come, first serve basis!  My baby not under my supervision, oh woe me!

By the by

Jan. 30th, 2008 02:21 pm
valkyrieza: (music chello)
Okay, I admit it, I am still in the thrall of constant Internet. Actually, make it my Dad and I are in a constant thrall. My mother despairs of both of us when we are stuck to our computers. I constantly check to see the progress on whether I can finally watch "Mad Men" finale and my Dad speed reads the multitude of online Russian newspapers. I am almost afraid to introduce him to Youtube:)

It actually gives me a thrill to see someone being exposed to the wider knowledge of the Internet, especially, someone as knowledgeable as my Dad who is always keeping up to date with his topics of interest, like world politics and history. I just have to introduce him to wikipedia and find the sites of some of the Russian universities. My mother had not been 'corrupted' as yet, but I believe it is only a matter of time. I suspect she just enjoys having the downstairs TV for herself at the moment.

I also managed to run out of my cap this morning, slowing down the progress for my Mad Men episode, only 60+ MB to go dammit. So after a brief sign up for a couple of more GB and a sign-up for a regular package, I am back to my addiction.

I am currently trying not to speed-read Molière's "Tartuffe". I am amazed at the depth of irony, parody and knowledge of human nature this man displays. If he were alive today he would probably beat Dr Phil in ratings or give Jon Stewart a run for his money.

 In the process of typing this entry the ADSL line went down twice and mysteriously reconnected when I picked up the phone to report a problem to Telkom.

I shall officially be joining in to the Guild Wars craze that is running rampant through the ranks of some of my friends. I only have to drag my lazy behind to the shop to get it and also get a Skype Phone so my folks can start dialing to relatives on other continents. Actually, all our relatives are on other continents, but fortunately they aren't that many of them.

More detailed posts spam on the way, including the details of my encounter with the writer of "Slave species of god".

As a parting shot:  From Mollere's "Le Misanthrope" (1666), Act II, sc. iv

"The more we love our friends, the less we flatter them;
It is by excusing nothing that pure love shows itself."
valkyrieza: (gerard butler sunglasses)

 A while back, I viewed a  semi-humorous, dismissive article on Digg from an online magazine that talked about  useless gadgets. A few of them caught my eye. Instead of hunting for the article itself, I decided to just make my own comments since the article writer was far too dismissive and perhaps too harsh on the gadgets.

Steampunkifying your desktop

 

From the Steampunk Workshop

 How cool is that? This is still a functioning keyboard and monitor. The site features the whole process iof how the effect was achieved, but I really want this monitor. She is all purrty and shiny!

The humping dog

 

Yeah, I think the picture says it all really. Heck, may appeal to some people.

Monitor mirror

 

 Don't get me wrong, I like the whole 'boss alert' idea, but isn't it a bit too obvious?

The USB Doomsday Device

 

A big bulky for my taste and I don't think the internal auditors at my company will appreciate it, but hey, makes a great conversation piece.

Wi-Fi detector shirt

 

 

I am simply not that dedicated to finding Wi-Fi. If my laptop cannot detect it, then well, woe is me.

 

valkyrieza: (Xmen - Jean and Logan)

30 year battery. No more recharging!!!
valkyrieza: (Default)
I have been fascinated with Digg recently, not just with the new stories, but with the comments as well.

Take this story for instance, perhaps for some it is a bit too dry and boring and they may wonder why it made top story. However it is not the story, but the comments for it.  Surprisingly, one learns more about the economic repercussions of the weakening dollar, not to mention some of the funny but, mostly idiotic commentary. Suppose it is nice to know that not only some celebrity gossip can inspire such popularity on the Net.

This story though, just reflects how our perceptions changed over the last 30 odd years since John Lennon's unfortunate comments about Jesus and Beatles. Seriously though, Google searches as a criteria for popularity? In that case the adult industry wins - every year, maybe excepting the time when it was just the researches and programmers who were working on the TCP/IP protocol, and even then, those guys just might have covered their tracks.
valkyrieza: (Firefly - I can hurt you Zoe)
Is this not amazing? The graphics, the music and the story. I am most excited about this.




I especially love the music in this trailer, so dramatic and yet very meaningful.

valkyrieza: (NCIS - Tony McGee)
Note to self, installing emulation software that works on XP will not work on Vista. Result: I crashed Vista Home Premium twice yesterday. Maybe it is just my inner geek speaking, but I do not feel I've warmed to the operating system until I crashed it at least once.

On the minus side, I am still miffed with Microsoft for not including the avi and m4 codecs with their media center. I hate downloading the damn things over and over again.

I also received 3 of my boxes that I shipped from Denmark back home. I refuse to be called a pack rat, but seriously, I have accumulated a lot of stuff. Some, like my wok are a welcome addition, but I think this weekend will be clearing time again when the clothes I no longer wear will be donated to the people at my mom's work. At least, almost all my books have arrived with the exception of the latest Raymond E. Feist's book, I hope that did not fell out of one of the boxes that burst in transit and had to be patched up by the Post Office people.

So off to download my J2K development kit, my 'Java Demystified' book is finally here.

P.S. Vista blue screen looks remarkably like NT's blue screen. Some things never change.
valkyrieza: (@theoffice)

Courtesy News24: Author Johan Brink

IT Mechanic

IS the computer industry creating incompetent IT support personnel? People with no knowledge whatsoever of how a computer works or no ability to trace faults?

Are companies like Microsoft, HP and IBM creating a generation of wizard IT specialist, specialists that without a wizard can't do a single thing to fix your operating system? A generation of specialists that can only build a system if everything is colour coded and plug and play?

If you are considering the answers, don't, the answers to all these questions are YES.

So what do we call this entire generation of so-called IT specialists?

The XP Generation.

Who are they?


I don't quite agree with everything the author says. There are many new young people who are passionate about their work and do make the effort to learn the more general knowledge of computers to make themselves more effective. Those people will always have a job. It is just, with the advance of XP and 2000, the need to know what DOS stands for is pretty much obsolete or the fact that modifying autoexec.bat is no longer crucial in troubleshooting. What the author does not say, is what [personal profile] mysehnsucht  mentioned in one of her recent entries, being in IT is no longer just about knowing how to hack the registry.

valkyrieza: (mouth)
I should really stop going to bed so late, I feel so very zombeish (is there such a word?) the next day. Yawn, I've been watching Supernatural, since I now have time to catch up on the series. Yes, I was aware it was an eye-candy fest first, story later, but I was pleasantly surprised.  I quite liked the urban legends addressed. I was promising myself to go to bed 11 pm latest, then I saw this in an episode I was about to pause for later viewing. I'm going to go to bed early today, I promise. No matter how good this man looks.

A quickie

Oct. 3rd, 2006 09:13 pm
valkyrieza: (Frodo dword china)
Still alive, so many things to recount and pics of the new apartment to post. Alas, I have to buy an extension for my laptop power supply, my battery has been slowly drained by posting comments to my LJ.
Life is good and busy. Miss you all dreadfully.
valkyrieza: (Famke-Phoenix)
So, I finally receive my laptop, yey! I am mobile and finally able to snatch more then a few hours online. One nice thing to discover about Denmark is that wireless networks are rather the norm then the exception.  Have been at work for two days now, we are in a large old building without any air conditioning, thus we constantly feel that we are in an African bundu somewhere despite the fact it is an European autumn outside.

One of the most amazing things about Copenhagen is the incredible amount of bike riders. There is no specific demographic, no target audince and no particular trend towards any bicycle. They are everywhere, outnumbering the cars  in a 3:1 ratio. It is not uncommon to find a mom with a toddler in front and an older child in the back gaining speed on the blue lane reserved for bicycles. Small little carts attached to the bicycles for transporting groceries, children and pets are popular making a regular view. Of course it is rather understandable, as the tax on a car is 180%, so owning a car is a luxury. This of course, does wonders not only for the enviroment but for the traffic, the peak traffic laughable by South African standards. When our taxi driver apologetically mentioned that traffic is usually better as we hit a slow lane for about 100m, he could not quite understand our laughter. Working in Sandton, we consider it a good traffic day if it takes us 40 minutes to get to work.  A 5 minute delay is nothing yet it visibly annoyed our driver, the Scandavian love of punctuality coming into play.

As for the people themselves - hard to say, our manager is a Swede and there are many overseas personnel working with us. However, having said this, many Danish men do respond to the general stereotype of good looking tall muscular blonde Vikings with ruddy cheeks and square jaws. What the movies don't tell you is that the dark haired lean, albeit square jawed scandinavs are just as hot and delicious as the blonde haired Viking movie extras. And in our very hot building there are enough of both types of hot men with rolled up sleeves to make [personal profile] melancthe swoon.

As for the women, if the whistles and the slack jaws that my male unattached colleagues have when we get to work in the morning and pass the female bikers, long legs bared and blonde hair shining in the morning light - I'd say the women are good looking too, although I'm hardly an excellent  judge.

I'm off to finish watching "Gosford Park", the TV here often comes with subtitles allowing us to watch everything in English. So I had not been missing my "Las Vegas" episodes.

Any questions about life in Copenhagen? Feel free to ask, although the percentage of unattached cute men in the office will be difficult to procure:)

P.S. The Nordic keyboard is a bit of a mission to master, the extra letters confuse the fingers.


 

I PASSED!

Sep. 8th, 2006 10:44 am
valkyrieza: (Jayne Relaxed)
Well, I did it!  After putting it off for several weeks and running around like crazy organising my upcoming trip to Denmark I managed to pass the 70-228 exam aka "Administering SQL Server 2000."

That makes me...MCP 2000 and the first Microsoft exam to write in 8 years. Co me!

Now, I can relax a bit.

I feel very clever (just for today mind you), heck, I even passed 8th Grade Science. LOL
You Passed 8th Grade Science
Congratulations, you got 8/8 correct!
valkyrieza: (Daniel)
I seriously enjoyed Grey's anatomy, great drama, brilliant acting and Patrick Dempsey.

I'm simply tooo lazy today to write a coherent semi-decent Livejournal post that does not include Stargate SG-1 or Microsoft SQLServer 2000.
Everyone should enjoy their day.
valkyrieza: (Nate_Well)

So, after watching "Poseidon" I scampered back home for a mini-braai my folks have decided to initiate. My hunger satisfied I managed to get to the computer before my parents could appropriate it for games. (I swear, on weekends I barely touch the PC).



Plotting heavily in Anthemion story lines (a writing software tool) I noticed a grinding noise coming from the vicinity of my computer. That is it, I decided, my CD writer had finally konked out having heard similar noises from it before. I removed the CD and for a moment the noise seemed to have subsided. I sighed in anticipation of getting another DVD writer, a DUAL Layer this time, then I heard the noise again. Horrified, I stared at my beloved DVD writer which currently had "Prison Break" in, quitting the minimized Power DVD application I ejected the suspect DVD examining it for any scratches. None were to be found.


Puzzled I closed the DVD writer, a nagging nauseating sensation originating in the pitt of my stomach. Could that be? Is this truly my Hard Drive slowly laying down it's disc operations? Would I need to get another one in a hurry or revert  to use for a short timeone of my older hard drives? I ran the scandisc tool with slightly trembling fingers navigating my mouse. The check came back clean so I risked a lengthy defragmentation of my drive, watching the display and listening to the annoying grinding noise that stopped abating and carried on regardless of the progress shown on my monitor. The defrag did not finish as my frayed patience decided to cancel it  and investigate the problem at the source.


This more drastic action involved the search for my trusty compound Compaq screwdriver and moving the heavy workstation desk away from the wall as to get the space for my hand to disconnect the wires. With anticipation of doom and maybe blown motherboard caps I shutdown my PC. Disconnecting the power and starting to push the computer from the workstation desk,  that is when I heard it again, the hoarse grinding noise sounding like every piece of machinery dying down as the cataclysm descends upon us. I glanced directly above me to find the old lounge clock that my mother decided to put above my workstation, clicking away noisily as the seconds' hands moved within the minute of my observation of the wall clock.


Aargh!
The clock is being moved today to another location.

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