valkyrieza: (Default)
My ADSL is up again, don't know for how long though.

I can confirm that my Dad is definitely in the first stage of "Internet addiction"

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: (Firefly - you are not quiet right)
I have come across this in the Computer Business Review magazine. This is possibly one of the best editorial columns I have read in this magazine.

World Wide Worx recently released a survey that show that companies that have sold WiFi hotspot access at coffee shops and the like for horrendous amounts of money, are getting the finger from customers.

What can one say except, it’s about time. These WiFi sellers made an absolute killing on their service, although my experience tells me calling it a service is an exaggeration.

We can all understand a business taking advantage of a pathetic political reality and milking its market while providing horrendous service, like Telkom, but how do business leaders stay in business when they destroy their market. Even the much maligned, much hated Telkom is trying to change, they always say thank you before ignoring you these days.

 


The work is copyrighted to Andrew Seldon and supplied by Technews Publishing. It can also be found here on the Computer Business Review Online site.

 

valkyrieza: (boleyn sisters)
And we have a breakthrough ladies and gents, I am online via the nifty invention called ADSL.

Thanks to the guru, otherwise known as [personal profile] claidheamhmor, we have a lift off. Now, to buy noise filters.

Also, more bandwidth, since I want Mad Men, NCIS, Criminal Minds, Painkiller Jane....lots of more bandwidth.
valkyrieza: (SGC - Sam_replicator)
I was jumping up and down around 9:30 am this morning and considering I was rather ill yesterday, it was not the brightest thing to do. Reason? I have applied for an ADSL line this Monday and was given an approximate date of 2-3 weeks for completion of my request. Imagine my surprise when a polite gentelman phoned up to say it was done. I mean I had not even gotten around to buying a modem yet or getting an account with an ISP! So after a call to the ever-helpful [personal profile] claidheamhmorI shall be permanently online from Monday, well, Tuesday at the latest.

On a side note, I have been watching "Mad Men" lately and although, I cannot fully express why the show is so compelling, it has hooked me from episode 1 starring the delectable Jon Hamm. Now I only need the last two episodes of the first season.


Quickie update for [personal profile] lyonza, I have the last two episodes of SGA and Supernatural.
valkyrieza: (purple red leaf)
Perusing the ever-increasing supply of digg articles, here are a few interesting odds and ends.
Here is the list
  1. In a major breakthrough, scientists announced Tuesday they have generated stem cells from human skin which could help in the fight against major diseases and sidestep the battle over using embryonic cells. - I think it is  astep in the right direction, the protest of many religious groups aside there aren't really that many embryonic cells to fullfill all the researcher's needs. The process still needs to be researched, considering that they can only get one stem cell line out of every 5,000 cells. The article can be found here.
  2. There is a study being done with the concern that the Internet will run out of capacity in the next two years. I doubt it, but it does talk about the fact that ISPs need to spend more money, so maybe not quite unbelievable as it may seem.  Article here.
  3. Did you know that one language disappears across the world every two weeks?  As per UN, that is the sad case. For some reason though, I find it very amusing that a  language may die out, because the last two people to speak it fluently are brothers, who have had a fight and now, don't speak to each other, effectively dooming the  "Zoque" language. This article can be found here.
In other news, I am contemplating the pros and cons of immigrating to New Zealand.
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 - Isn't that special)
Almost the end of the working day and I see that the f-list is a tad slow today. Seems everything is pretty okay with everyone.

I am without any Internet at the flats for 3 days now, their router which has not been the most stable in the past finally keeled over. Of course, they still stubbornly believe it is the service provider not their hardware, but hey, what can we do. Most of my colleagues suffer greatly being great devotees of online gaming and we all use the Net to keep in touch with our loved ones. Sigh, at least this has allowed me to make a significant  dent in my media folders. I have officially finished watching the last episodes of  "Supernatural". Wow, what a nice twist! I did not expect it from the writers, because this is taking a more long-term approach to the storyline. Hopefully, the show has gathered enough support to carry on in the same vein.

Several articles came from one of my news communities to broaden the horizon and slay boredom. I am concerned about the continual abuse of power by the Bush administration. Heck, if even right-wing radicals are getting nervous..., the article found here.

In other pleasant news, I just found out that to get to the French resort Montpellier will take me the whole of two hours and will cost about 30 EUR. Very reasonable considering the fact I am going to another country.

Now if they could only fix the Internet!!!

P.S. Yet another entertainer not liking the Net. Honestly, denouncing it from a pulpit won't get you anywhere.
valkyrieza: (Firefly - I can hurt you Zoe)
I am horrified, shocked and exceptionally angry when [profile] barmaidblog had posted the link to this article on her blog. The article from Washington Post, found here, and it talks of horrifying threats and stalking of prominent female bloggers. Internet may still be perceived as something not quite serious, but the increasing number of worrying behavior has emerged, whilst the law is still lagging behind with a belief that stalking and death threats over the Internet are nothing serious.

A woman, blogging about new software and programming is receiving death threats and what the police officials do? They laugh it off. What is serious is the increase of the wide-spread and unchecked emerging trend of threatening women online. The complete disrespect and hate hidden by an online ID is becoming more and more of a common sight on the Internet.

It makes me so furiously angry that essentially  those, who are insecure and emotionally immature will hide and blame women for their mistakes, in many cases becoming stalkers, in this case armed with a graphic application. The availability of information on the Internet allows someone even with little technical skill, but a lot of times to track the more prominent female netizens. Many of these losers specialize, worse, take pride in harassing and scaring with macabre violent threats.Many use the most horrific and despicable crime of all - rape. My first response is to track these cowards and simply throw them into jail for the remainder of their natural life with no access to the Internet or any other forms of communication.

These men are cowards and losers, and the worst of it is? They remain unpunished, first starting out as trolls, the 'accepted' losers of the Internet society, graduating slowly from a form of  a badly-written social satire and the need to be a center of any attention, until their bigotry takes control and they can no longer hide it behind the cheerful emoticons and the phrase: "It's just a joke".

In conclusion, all I can say is that I know that my hastily constructed rant will not stop a bigot with an Internet connection and a blogging account. I just wish that something can be done about it. Not just an awareness campaign, but actual implementation of rules to cut down the filth of human society, who believe that by entering the cyberworld, you are given carte blanche to unleash their darkest and most perverted wishes on the rest of the Internet community.
valkyrieza: (SGA - Rodney SNARK comment)
So I am in Corfu, the Greek island I wanted to visit since I read Gerald Durrel's "My family and other animals". I think it is silly to imagine that a place will be the same as in a memories written by a man who was there in late 1930s, but it still retains some of the charm so lovingly described by the writer. The buildings are generally of a mixture of styles, kinda of a synergy between a V enetian palazzo and original Greek style, all in different hues of pink and orange and yellow with white buildings nestled somewhere in between. Almost all the buildings have a great deal of flowers, currently in full bloom in the beginning of the summer, yet untouched by tyhe summer heat. Violet and magenta splashes with dark blue and white make even the most paint-deficient house look like a charming country village, added to that, Corfu is a mountaneous island, so many houses with their tiny verandas, containing elderly people drinking strong coffee and smoking cigarettes and drowining in the bright colours provivded by numerous potted plants feels like a small little island one can enter just by descending down the steps from the main road. One point though, due to the curving mountaneous nature of the road, driving in Corfu takes two things: First - steel set of nerves as everyone stops where they want to and overtake where they want to (even if is on a turn that if not succeded will have the car taking the pluinge from the mountain toweards the sea) and Second - strong stomach, as the sudden sharp turns and speed changes can and will make you quezy.

Now, for the downside. I booked on the Internet for my hotel and thought I got a fairly reasonable deal. Well, the hotel room, once I managed to 'impress' upom the owner that I did in fact pay for the air-conditioning is large and the view in the hotel complex which is standing about 200 metres from the beach is quite pleasurable. What was not included on holidaycityeurope.com was the fact that it is a family-orientated resort with loads of 'cultural activities'. You know the ones where they teach you to greek dance and also include ping pong tables and communal activities, yeah, great for me, who actually wanted some peace and quiet. I mean this place reminded me of the holidays my folks and I took back in Soviet Union, with self-contained disco bars and playground for kids and everyone just 'had' to participate. Let just say, yours truly suffered when the frakking bar/disco would not put the volume down, so I only got to sleep after one am, sigh, if I was staying for longer, I would have checked out by now.

The plus side of the hotel, it is about 20km from Corfu Town, almost in a middle of the village of Moraitika with multitude of shops (yes, I did spend a lot of money on jewelery again, I am an addict, I admit) and a huge amount of souveneirs. I must say I handled myself well, since I usually I love buying souveneirs, and the great deal of  greek pottery and statuettes and other paraphinelia were very hard to resist.

Well, my Internet card is almost out, so I have to say Goodbye and will try to update when I get to Chania, Crete.

P.S. What is this with me being always settled with neigbours who like to get loud and intimiate at ungodly hours of the morning? I swear, it is like they know, I won't be compaining at the door as they are in the middle of their 'activities'. Yeesh, 4am people is the time to sleep, not to get all coy with each other and be loud enough to wake up half the hotel floor!
valkyrieza: (Sam_replicator)
WARNING: A MEANDERING POST

I was rather worried about my exams. Some will say, but one of the exams is in your mother tongue, basic basic stuff, how can you be worried? Well, although this point is valid I have found, that the English study giudes of Russian are bloody hard. It is one thing to know it in Russian, the punctuation, the verbs and the sentence structure however having it defined in another language is an absolute hell. I am simply lost in  the strange terms for very simple verb definitions and exercises. So, yeah, I was kind of worried for the outcome of an exam.

Fortunately, my worries came to nought as I passed the exam and the Russian history exam(that was in English), both with distinctions. So everything is going well I should be able to finish the whole Russian language major by end of next year and concentrate on the second Language major and Theory of Literature. The nice thing about this degree is that it is concentrates a lot on literature and linguistics, all in the context of the modern lifestyle.

This may not sound like an exciting subject to study to some but I feel that with a revival of interest in books and writing thanks to the Harry Potter books(for reading) and Internet(for the later), language, writing, and literature and the attitude to it have drastically changed not only compared to a few generations ago but even as recent as 10 years ago. When I started out in the IT industry almost 9 years ago, blogs were vitually unheard of not mentioning making money from websites and online writing. These days, logging on to a search engine (gone are the days when Yahoo was used for searching) you are transported to a portal offering you anything from used cars to online dating to online dictionaries not to mention a variety of blogging, mail and group services. It is amazing at how language has changed thanks to technological progress and the study on that sounds fascinating.

So, I'm off to confirm my booking of the next several modules. Gotta love online registration!
valkyrieza: (hajime_red)
Taken from http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,36608,00.html and the [community profile] wtf_inc community.


In a few weeks, no online p*rn site will take American Express. At least, American Express will no longer cover credit card transactions from p*rn sites.


"We've examined the digital adult content industry for a year and determined that there was an unacceptably high incidence of disputes about transactions," said American Express spokeswoman Joanne Fisher.


As a result, American Express decided early this month to terminate all of its adult website merchant accounts. The company has been contacting merchants by mail for the last week, Fisher said.


Tom Fisher, general manager of card-processor CCBill, which handles card transactions for 4,000 porn sites, got his Amex letter Monday.





"CCBill will be sending an email to all current American Express customers notifying them of the situation and asking them to return to the website to sign up using a Visa, MasterCard, Discover Card, or Online Checks," wrote CCBill in a letter to the 4,000 adult website operators that process credit transactions through CCBill.


Visa did not return calls seeking comment for this story, and Mastercard officials could not be reached.


Gorram! $500 000 as one of the smaller parts of revenue a year! 

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