valkyrieza: (Firefly - Isn't that special)
Looks like ANC did not get the 2/3 majority it was aiming for. It's nice to know that perhaps the largely ignorant and uneducated majority of people in this country has not completely bought into Zuma's populist approach. I could be wrong of course, and it is possibly because the breakaway party, COPE was simply voted for by those people who felt more allegiance to its leaders, rather then the ones remaining at the ANC. I'm hoping it is the former, because that would mean people care about education and their country's future and thus vote based on they feel is best for them as people. I'm really feeling optimistic today.

In other news, Apple coughs up for copyright infringement. I'm not the biggest fan of Apple corporation so I'm glad their image is displayed correctly and not through pink-coloured glasses.

Apple has been ordered to pay $19 million to Opti Inc., a technology company based up the road in Palo Alto, for patent infringement.
Read more... )

valkyrieza: (brown coffee cup)
[Error: unknown template qotd]I can only answer for people in South Africa at this point, but cellphones are the worst. Handheld gaming devices are too expensive here and so is the wi-fi. Although laptop appearances in shops are more common these days, they do not create as much hassle as cellphones. People talk loudly, allow them to ring in the most inopportune places and frankly behave, like the public space is an extension of their living room. I do not care if your boyfriend broke with you and how much time you spent crying to your girlfriends. Speak softer or see them face to face and leave the rest of us to our own devices.

I suppose I just hate the imposition of another person's life onto others without their  consent and cellphone help allows to do that with little effort. In comparison, a wannabe pseudo-intellectual in a coffee shop with an open laptop is quieter and more amusing in trying to balance the 17'' inch screen laptop and a tall latte on one small table.


May. 5th, 2008 03:31 pm
valkyrieza: (NCIS Tony you betcha)
A new definition of: "Having panties in a twist". Of course, not nearly as dangerous as using a potato as a weapon.

On a more serious note, the question has been asked: "In what context do we have the cheapest electricity in the world?"  And are we really that cheap if we primarily use coal and not cleaner energy sources with the countries being compared with? Of course, there is also the polite enquiry of whether Eskom try to build more power stations when the economy was booming?

I doubt those questions will get answered, even if they are seemingly obvious to even an 'amateur economist' such as myself (First year economics in uni does not really count for a lot of expertise).  Of course, the more inquisitive answers of why the top management at Eskom are still getting their bonuses(coming up to about 60 million Rand = almost 8 million $) even after their spectacular  publicly witnessed failure to do their jobs? I doubt those will be answered either.

On the up side, in a strictly black humour terms, all this may come to naught, if hostile alien civilisations trace back the signals we use to monitor close-by asteroids. Assuming hostile technologically-advanced alien life exists and wants to wipe us off for whatever is left off of our mineral resources or just because. Somehow, the lack of electricity to watch "The Biggest Loser: South Africa" is no longer such an anger-inspiring fact.
valkyrieza: (Xmen - Jean and Logan)

30 year battery. No more recharging!!!


Apr. 8th, 2007 05:01 pm
valkyrieza: (Leary glasses)
I have to say this nicely explains the problems organizations like RIAA or any other greedy corporation is encountering, and instead of innovating, is beating the drums to legal action and lawsuits.

Go Mark Shuttleworth!
valkyrieza: (alien artifacts)

Tap the Robot

In yesterday’s post, I asked how many of you guys would have sex with a robot if it was indistinguishable from a hot human woman. About 95% of the hetero guys said they would. The other 5% expressed a strong preference for lying.

Based on your responses, it seems that every guy has his own threshold for the quality of the robot. Some guys would only consider tapping the robot if it was indistinguishable from an attractive human woman. Other guys are already humping their TiVos.

Many of you said you would only have sex with the robot if it was brand new. But what happens after six months of monogamous robot love when you find a sticker on its foot that says “Inspected by Carl”?

Many of you were concerned that the software in the robot would be provided by Microsoft. First of all, I think we can all agree that the name “Microsoft” is bad branding for sex robot software. But that’s not the biggest problem. One software malfunction and you’ll have to call the fire department to get your pecker off the roof.

I would write more, but I suspect it would all be downhill from here.

courtesy: Dilbert Blog
valkyrieza: (Adam Baldwin)
On in a jiffy

It’s the evening of your first date, and you wonder why you’re sweating so much. She walks into the restaurant looking like a million bucks, and you stand up awkwardly to greet her, almost knocking over the table.

Candles, wine and good conversation are the order of the evening, and you leave her at her door with little more than a quick, awkward hug.

You wait two days, and then phone her before 11 a.m. (because your best mate told you that two days after the first date at 11 a.m. is the best time to phone her). You’re pleased to hear that she had a great evening, and that she really wanted to phone you, but was too ‘shy’, reminding you of how cute she really is.

The video can be found here.


valkyrieza: (Sam_replicator)

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: (Warrior_Amazon)
AT&T Helps US Spy, Say Memos Phone company gave NSA access to emails in ‘secret room,’ claims an ex-AT&T tech

May 23, 2006 AT&T provided a “secret room” in its San Francisco offices to help the U.S. National Security Agency monitor emails on the Internet, according to three internal company documents filed in connection with a class-action privacy suit in federal court.

The documents, published Monday by, claim spying equipment was installed in the San Francisco office. They said the equipment also exists in other U.S. cities, providing the U.S. spy agency with the ability to inspect every individual message and to monitor what consumers are reading on the Internet.

The documents were made available by Mark Klein, a former AT&T technician, and have been offered as evidence in a class-action lawsuit filed against AT&T by the Electronic Frontier Foundation in January.

 The suit accuses the telecommunications giant of violating the law and the privacy of its customers by collaborating with the NSA in a massive and illegal program to wiretap and mine data generated by Americans. A federal judge had sealed the documents in connection with the case.

 Verizon also has been sued on the grounds that it illegally compromised the privacy of its customers, and BellSouth has been accused of complicity with illegal spying.

The cases have ramifications ranging from the privacy of U.S. citizens to economic implications for the hundreds of companies that supply the major telephone companies with equipment and software that make the systems work.

 Telecom equipment suppliers have been on the ropes since the market’s downturn about seven years ago, although there has been a recent resurgence as the phone companies have begun upgrading their networks for video.

Secret Room

The secret room where the equipment is installed is Room 641A at 611 Folsom Street in San Francisco, the site of a major SBC building where three floors were occupied by AT&T. SBC has since acquired AT&T and the merged company has taken the AT&T name.

With details about fiber circuit connections and the location code of specific cabinets, the documents sketch out the communications and physical architecture of the three floors.

Entry into the room where the spy equipment was installed required special security clearance. Only management-level technicians were allowed inside the room. According to Mr. Klein, the technician who set up the room was laid off in one of the company’s downsizings in late 2003.

Seal Is Now Moot

 Last week Judge Vaughn Walker, chief judge of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, rejected a move by AT&T to bar the public from a hearing in the case. But the judge asked the two sides to meet and decide what portions of the documents would need to be redacted (see Court Denies AT&T Privacy).

 AT&T attorneys had claimed some of the documents involve the company’s trade secrets and confidential and proprietary business information. However, with the publication of what are alleged to be the unedited documents, the ruling may be moot.

Courtesy of
valkyrieza: (Matthew1)
I've been thinking about getting an iPod in the near future. I did run into a problem though...I do not know of any shops that sell them and the ones that do only have the Nano 4GB - I was thinking of at least a 30 GB as well as any accessories that I might need to buy straight away.

Any ideas? What are the prices I am looking at for the normal iPod? What's the difference between a normal iPod vs the video one? How much are the accessories?

 Can I get an iPod in different colours? Are there products available that are similar to iPod but cheaper?

 Any help on the subject will be greatly appreciated.
valkyrieza: (Default)
Viruses 'trained' to build tiny batteries

April 07 2006 at 03:41AM

Washington - Researchers trying to make tiny machines have turned to the power of nature, engineering a virus to attract metals and then using it to build minute wires for microscopic batteries.

The resulting nanowires can be used in minuscule lithium ion battery electrodes, which in turn would be used to power very small machines, the researchers report in Friday's issue of the journal Science.

The international team of researchers, led by a group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, used the M13 virus, a simple and easily manipulated virus.

"We use viruses to synthesise and assemble nanowires of cobalt oxide at room temperature," the researchers wrote.

They modified the M13 virus' genes so its outside layer, or coat, would bind with certain metal ions. They incubated the virus in a cobalt chloride solution so that cobalt oxide crystals mineralised uniformly along its length.
Using nature as a model in technology is one of the best ideas in the field I think.

They added a bit of gold for the desired electrical effects.

Viruses cannot reproduce on their own but must be grown in cells - in this case, bacteria. They inject their genetic material and then the cells pump out copies of the virus.

The viruses formed orderly layers, the researchers reported.

The resulting nanowires worked as positive electrodes for battery electrodes, the researchers said.

They hope to build batteries that range from the size of a grain of rice up to the size of existing hearing-aid batteries.

Each virus, and thus each wire, is only six nanometres - six billionths of a metre - in diameter, and 880 nanometres long, the researchers said.

"We have previously used viruses to assemble semiconductor and magnetic nanowires," the researchers wrote.


valkyrieza: (Default)

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