inane: Mobile devices, Planets and the Human Condition devices, Planets and the Human Conditionena Few good, legal and handy ways to listen to music online., Technology and the restWed, 08 Jun 2011 08:18:00 PDTlike most of us these days, I spend barely a minute away from internet connectivity, and one thing the internet is great for is music,<br /><br />I thought I'd list a few of the services I use to stream music online, if you have others you use let me know and I'll add them too.<br /><br /><br />- Grooveshark<br /><a href=""><br /><br /></a>I use grooveshark predominantly as it has a huge selection and the advertising is non intrusive,<br />easy to build multiple playlists and has favourites, etc. allows you to easily share links with most Social networks,<br /><br />Also a good radio system that will match up more music that is similar to what you've been listening to.<br /><br />-<br /><a href=""><br /><br /></a> is good, has a massive range of music, however it can be hit or miss, it pulls music from all over the web, and is more "social networky" than &nbsp;Grooveshark, and has its own twitter - like interface of music blips, you can chose to follow different "DJ's" (everyone is a dj on and you can give props to people playing you songs, which earns them XP effectively - although all it does is progressively give them more and more impressive stars, a bit like the stars on a trademe account.<br /><br />- You Tube<br /><a href=""><br /></a>it would be a bit rediculous if I didn't mention youtube, lets face it, pretty much every song ever written is on here, should be reasonably legal, as long as you try and hit the "official" channels of various bands, but I don't know post-september if it'll still be a safe option.<br /><br /><br /><br />So thats my small selection - I used to use and a few others but they either became terrible, I had to leave for moral reasons, or became US / North American only due to licensing issues.<br /><br /><br />What do you use?&nbsp;Terrible, bad and a selection of Groaner jokes.., 07 Jun 2011 22:57:00 PDTI apologise in advance as some of these are terrible.<br /><br /><br /><br />A friend told me I reminded him of a pepper grinder, I said "I'll take that as a condiment"<br /><br /><br />Planning to get a tatto of a yeti on my stomach, it'll be my Abdominal Snowman<br /><br /><br />A man got cut in half, don't worry though, now he's alright.<br /><br />A friend of mine drowned in a bowl of muesli, turns out a strong currant pulled him in.<br /><br /><br />Have you heard about the new courdoroy pillows? no? thats surprising as they are making headlines all over town!<br /><br /><br />Two hydrogen atoms walk into a bar, one says, I think I've lost an electron! the second says "are you sure?" the first responds, "yes! I'm positive!"<br /><br />A sql query walks into a bar, saunters up to a couple of tables and says " May I join you?"<br /><br /><br />there are 10 types of people in this world, those that understand binary and those that don't.<br /><br /><br />Two strings walk into a bar, the first walks up to the bartender and says "I'll have a gin and tonic@#$@#$@ihoenaoekdaoea" the second says "Excuse my friend, he's not null terminated"<br /><br /><br />Artificial intelligence is no match, for natural stupidity!<br /><br /><br />Got a new computer the other day, said "Requires windows vista or better" so I installed linux.<br /><br />My computer beat me at chess the other day, its still no match for me at kickboxing though!<br /><br /><br />The difference between e-mail and regular mail is that computers handle e-mail, and computers never decide to come to work one day and shoot all the other computers<br /><br /><br />Remember folks, RAM disk is NOT an instruction!!!<br /><br /><br />alright, I'm done... but I'll have more... sometime..<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><em>I take no ownership of the above jokes, if they are yours, or you own them, let me know and I'll link to you or I'll remove whatever your preference</em>Internet Censorship, Guilt by accusation, I'm Angry. very angry (S92a - etc), 07 Jun 2011 14:21:00 PDTI am so incredibly angry, I'm angry that this supposed government we voted for used an urgency to pass guilt by accusation laws, I'm angry that even though every study of the NZ populace showed that there was overwhelming opposition to this law, it was still passed. I'm angry that we are giving free licence for abuses against regular kiwi citizens, and it won't be the in the know, tech-savvy who are hit, it will be the "mom and pop" investors. Seeing things like the below, really get me upset. <object width="320" height="240" data="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"><param name="src" value="" /></object> What he says in effect is "we've worked so hard to get this law in place, we aren't going to let something like the UN Charter of human rights get in the way" watch it for yourself. its upsetting, ill - informed and it makes me angry. The worst thing is, what can we do about it? the answer? not much at this stage, currently only the greens (to my knowlege - I'm happy to be corrected ) are openly opposing this law, and even then I don't know that they are uniform in their opposition. there are no elections before this law comes into act. protests? well maybe if we could rouse the general populace, but the problem is the general populace won't realise how this will effect them until its too late. the fact is you could get a warning notice for watching a flash video, linked on a site, without even realising you are infringing copywrite. so what can you do? there are plenty of avenues for the tech savvy and most of you know what they are, but have you thought about your parents and siblings? well make sure you do. it is in all likelyhood going to be unfeasible for this particular construct of this law to continue, however for a while they will be out in force looking to make examples of people - or worse, get auto-settlements such as we have seen in the states or other places, what options are there? <ul> <ul> <li>you can use Lynx web browser (no streaming content, hell javascript is tricky enough to get working)</li> </ul> </ul> <ul> <ul> <li>cancel the internet (go back to the dark ages)</li> </ul> </ul> <ul> <ul> <li>Buy yourself anonymous Sim cards, top them up and for added security impersonate your IMI no#</li> </ul> </ul> <ul> <ul> <li>Run a free anonymous WiFi for your local area (I need to confirm this / IANAL)</li> </ul> </ul> <ul> <ul> <li>Get an iPredator account (<a href=""></a>) its 15 euro a month, and you get a secure vpn</li> </ul> </ul> aside from that, please make sure you are contacting your MP, get in touch with representatives, tell your family how dangerous this law is. at the end of the day this is a very direct step in the way of censorship and a destruction of individual rights. _and_ provisions in the law are in direct contravention of the UN bill of rights. on a side note, if you support this law, I'd be really keen to hear why.Large Hadron Collider Live Streaming webcam, 30 Mar 2010 03:00:00 PDTUPDATE: LHC IS LIVE!<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />This is fantastic, particularly to those subscribing to the current wave of F.U.D.<br /><br /><a href="" target="_blank"></a><br /><br />Seriously though, I think this is a great project, large international projects like this always restore some of the faith I have in mankind, as I believe our ability to colloborate and work together is definitely the future.<br /><br /><strong>So what does the LHC Actually do?</strong><br /><br />&nbsp;effectively it uses a 27-od kilometer long tube that is surrounded by electro-magnets that accelerate sub-atomic particles to 99.9999999% of the speed of light&nbsp; in opposite directions and then slam them into each other.<br /><br />(it works like the rail gun from quake excepted bigger and in a loop)<br /><br /><strong>Why? </strong><br /><br />By slamming the particles into each other it should break them down into the parts that make them up _hopefully_ recreating conditions that existed nano seconds after the big bang.<br /><br /><strong>What will we find / will happen?</strong><br />Well the honest answer is <strong>we dont know</strong>&nbsp;&nbsp; but the hope is that we may be able to discover the Higgs Boson, also nicknamed the "God Particle" <br /><br />this hopefully would provide the answer as to what causes mass,<br /><br />We could also discover additional previously unknown dimensions of space - time (- this could be real handy for space travel and other bits and pieces)<br /><br /><strong>Could it actually cause a black hole?</strong><br />Absolutely. could it cause a black hole that poses a danger to earth and the solar system and everything? well yes, but its not very likely.<br /><br /><strong>When is the _real_ stuff happening? (eg the smashing and bashing) </strong>in about 4 weeks to a months time.<br /><br /><strong>What will this give us?</strong><br />Well the CERN project&nbsp; gave us the World - Wide - Web (not the internet) as a major part of it was created to share information&nbsp; between scientists, thanks to Tim Berners-Lee<br /><br />So its already (arguably) better the grand total of mankind.<br /><br /><br /><strong>What else?</strong><br />the applications for the results of the experiment could be endless, or could be not much at all, noone knows till we get some results and experiments done.<br /><br />New Zealand goes live with its nationwide content filtering firewall Events and NewsWed, 10 Mar 2010 01:50:00 PSTCurrently the NZ interwebs are abuzz with the fact that the DIA is now firewalling in conjuction with ISPs.<br /><br />but due to the nature of the content they are firewalling one cannot know what sites are being blocked.<br /><br />yes currently they claim that they are only blocking child porn ( but this claim is unverifiable because noone knows what they are blocking) but once this precident has been set, its very easy for the governent to start blocking other sites, that they might find inconvienient.<br /><br />I'll not write too much as<a href="" target="_blank"> Freitasms post</a> sums it up all much more succintly...<br />Techliberty also have a good write up as to why its a bad idea <a href="" target="_blank">here</a><br /><br />I'll just leave you with my quick rip off of <a href="" target="_blank">"First they came"</a><br /><br />... first they blocked the child porn, but i did nothing for I am not a pedophile...<br />... then they blocked the small breasted women, but i did nothing for fear of being called a pedophile...<br />... then they blocked all adult sites, but I did nothing as they were "protecting the children".........<br />.... then they blocked all objectionable writing, but I did nothing as it was in the "general publics best interests"...<br />.... then they blocked all free music, but I did nothing as it might be copywrite infringement....<br />.... then they blocked my writing, because i was not sanctioned by the government. and no one did anything because it was too late...Some thoughts on Twitter, facebook and the dot com bubble burst., Technology and the restTue, 10 Nov 2009 10:25:00 PSTIt seems to me than many of the current "Social networking" and web 2.0 sites are merging towards the same stream, which is I guess a good thing,<br /><br />when you take a look at all the different offerings out there, its nice to see various applications, and social networking destinations starting to play nice with each other, as for quite a while it appeared to be quite the "them or us" type scenario,<br /><br />I know that there are a variety of reasons too, lets face it, MySpace giving you the facility to log in from facebook is a move made for survival as a rearguard action, but it might save it yet,<br /><br />all myspace needs to do now is focus on its strengths, if it has any (apparently this is music, I've never had a myspace account so I dont know!)<br /><br />Facebook of course is doing very nicely, in fact in many ways it is the "Portal" that many, hundreds of small and large companies dreamed of creating around the first dot com boom, <br /><br />of course, we all know the multitude of reasons why the various portals failed, however Facebook is certainly moving that way.<br /><br /><br />I for one, don't use facebook, it is for my own personal reasons, but I have an irknig feeling I will eventually have to again,<br /><br />I have dabbled once or twice in the past, but for now I don't see me rushing back to them.<br /><br />The interesting thing is though, all the different social media applications, including the big guys such as Twitter and Googles Friend feed (ok ok its not really a huge one, but lets face it, anything google does == big)<br /><br />are all integrating further and further with facebook, <br /><br />and with all the connecting and links thrown around the web, it'll be interesting to see how things go, one must admit, avoiding facebook is getting, much, much harder!<br /><br />Razer Mamba. fantastic., Technology and the restSun, 02 Aug 2009 03:59:00 PDTMuch to my crying and pleading, and attempts at further fixing it, my Razer diamondback shone its last little red beam last week.<br /><br />not to cry over busted mouse too long... (well busted cable, it had been thrice fixed through a complicated process of wiggling the cable until it went, then taping that cable in place using sticky tape - A process I'm sure you are all familiar with) <br /><br />but it was a sad time for me. I tried to use one of the more regular optical mice I had around $15 - $20 three button (left button, right button, scroll wheel) but I just couldn't stand them. so I started reading around looking for a new mouse.<br /><br /><br />I reviewed a number of options, and ended up choosing the Razer Mamba. it is absolutely fantastic, but not only that, but I ordered it at around 9:30am friday morning.<br /><br />come into work this morning, and already waiting for me was my package. I'm impressed. next working day arrival when I ordered from a company in the states impresses me (ok, there was saturday and sunday for the planes to fly, but still thats pretty awesome)<br /><br /><br />I'll post up further details along with pictures shortly.<br /><br />but I gotta give two thumbs up to the guys at Razer. that is some excellent organisation, lets face it. I probably wouldn't have been able to get something shipped from auckland any faster!!<br /><br /><img src="" alt="" width="500" height="500" /><br /><br /><br /><img src="" alt="" width="500" height="500" /><br /><br /><img src="" alt="" width="500" height="500" /><br /><img src="" alt="" width="500" height="500" /><br /><br />To get one yourself or check out the other great mice and pro gaming peripherals check it out here: <a href="" target="_blank"></a><br /><br />My Love - Hate relationship with my iPhone, Technology and the restFri, 24 Jul 2009 04:35:00 PDTI got My iPhone 2g around 18 months ago,<br /><br />since then, for the most part, its been a great phone.<br /><br />I've enjoyed using it, and its been incredibly robust.<br /><br />those that have met me in real life have seen the cracks in the screen and dents in the body.<br /><br />but there are a few things that just irritate the hell out of me.<br /><br /><br /><strong>Safari</strong><br /><br />Ok, the browser isnt bad, it works reasonably well,&nbsp; and I enjoy the multiple window feature.<br /><br />with one glaring exception.<br /><br />and thats the HORRID refresh feature. I mean seriously.<br /><br />for instance. I'll click on a picture from a fully loaded webpage, it'll take me to a new window where that picture loads.<br /><br />I'll check out said funny picture *hehe* then I'll go back to my previous window. <br /><br />WITHOUT WARNING, prompt or reason, 4 times out of 6 it will decide it needs to refresh the page.<br /><br />WHY! APPLE WHY!&nbsp; who thought that was a good idea?? I had the page fully loaded. It WAS&nbsp; STILL LOADED when I opened the window. <br /><br />WHY ARE YOU REFRESHING!!!<br /><br />I'm sure its not as frustrating if you are on a 3G or 3Gs, and I don't even mind when I am on WiFi.<br /><br />but when I am browsing out and around town, and using godawful dialup speeds I DONT WANT ANY<br /><br />you hear me <strong>ANY </strong>automated refreshing. <strong>I WILL CHOOSE WHEN I WANT TO REFRESH. ARAARARARAGH!</strong>U<br /><br />it really really gets me wild.<br />-------<br />5 minute breather. ok calmed down.<br />-------<br /><br />ok, so that is the thing that pisses me off the most. more than anything else on my iPhone.<br /><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br />Man is my blog looking old! StuffFri, 26 Jun 2009 03:12:00 PDTOk, ok, ok, I know I haven't posted in quite some time. <br /> I've been working on many things, along with playing with a whole bunch of different social networking tools. <br /> The worst thing is though, My blog is starting to look so outdated (and I really must get rid of that horrid Youtube ad on the side lol!) <br /> well I'll get on to that, and perhaps even do some more writing that is worth reading! who knows, It might happen. <br /> lol I used to pride myself on working hard on my articles and not just posting chaff... <br /> I'll get back there. <br /> More to come later today!Michael Jackson, dies of Heart attack. aged 50 Events and NewsThu, 25 Jun 2009 02:20:00 PDTAccording to a number of sources around the internet, infamous star of Thriller fame, Michael Jackson died of a cardiac arrest in his home today.<br /><br />Sources state that he was without a pulse when the paramedics arrived and although resuscitation was attempted they were unable to revive him.<br /><br />He is survived by three children.<br /><br /><br />Update: Confirmed. they are holding a Press conference at the hospital now.<br /><br />5.0 on the ricter scale earthquake in Los Angeles Events and NewsSun, 17 May 2009 06:46:00 PDTLos angeles just got hit by a 5,0 earthquake, would have been a bit of a jolt!<br /><br /><a href="" target="_blank">more information here</a>its.... ALIVE!!! Events and NewsSat, 09 May 2009 02:41:00 PDTHello Everyone,<br /><br />I do apologise as it has been a long time (2 months!) since I have written anything at all on here,<br /><br />however I have a bunch of interesting and new things coming up, including,<br /><br />How I pent&nbsp; booted my Inspiron 1720 to run<br /><br />- Ubuntu 9.04<br />- Ubuntu 8.04<br />- Windows Vista<br />- Windows 7<br />- Mac OSX<br />!!!<br /><br />also will be a review of some cutting edge facial recognition technology available to the consumer market&nbsp; (and at a great price too)<br /><br />so stay tuned, more to come soon!Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss! Events and NewsSun, 01 Mar 2009 02:48:00 PSTToday is the 105th anniversary of a most gifted individual Dr. Seuss.<br /><br /><br /><img src="" alt="" />&nbsp; Dr. Seuss was one of my favourites as a child and continues to be&nbsp; a favourite of children the world over - even though the parents at time may have reservations about having to read some of the phrases!!!<br /><br />There is a huge amount of information on Dr. Seuss on Wikipedia <a href="javascript:;; _proxy_jslib_proxify_html( _proxy1_jslib_proxify_html(void(091039730))[0])[0]">(HERE)</a><br /><br />Three of his books have been turned into movies including the recently released &quot;Horton Hears a Who&quot;, along with 11 television specials and a Broadway musical!!<br /><br /><br />The Poetic meter oft employed by Dr. Seuss is called &quot;Anapestig tetrameter&quot;, almost as much a mouthful of much of his writing.<br /><br /><br />I'll leave you with a sample of one of my favourites to try and read to kids...<br /><br /><br />Chicks with bricks come.<br />Chicks with blocks come.<br />Chicks with bricks and blocks and clocks come.<br /><br />Look, sir. Look, sir. Mr. Knox, sir.<br />Let's do tricks with bricks and blocks, sir.<br />Let's do tricks with chicks and clocks, sir.<br /><br />First, I'll make a quick trick brick stack.<br />Then I'll make a quick trick block stack.<br /><br />You can make a quick trick chick stack.<br />You can make a quick trick clock stack.<br /><br />And here's a new trick, Mr. Knox....<br />Socks on chicks and chicks on fox.<br />Fox on clocks on bricks and blocks.<br />Bricks and blocks on Knox on box.<br /><br />Now we come to ticks and tocks, sir.<br />Try to say this Mr. Knox, sir....<br /><br />Clocks on fox tick.<br />Clocks on Knox tock.<br />Six sick bricks tick.<br />Six sick chicks tock.<br /><br />Please, sir. I don't like this trick, sir.<br />My tongue isn't quick or slick, sir.<br />I get all those ticks and clocks, sir, <br />mixed up with the chicks and tocks, sir.<br />I can't do it, Mr. Fox, sir.<br /><br />I'm so sorry, Mr. Knox, sir.<br /><br />Here's an easy game to play.<br />Here's an easy thing to say....<br /><br />New socks.<br />Two socks.<br />Whose socks?<br />Sue's socks.<br /><br />Who sews whose socks?<br />Sue sews Sue's socks.<br /><br />Who sees who sew whose new socks, sir?<br />You see Sue sew Sue's new socks, sir.<br /><br />That's not easy, Mr. Fox, sir.............<br />Internet Blackout - Support it. and ReviewsMon, 16 Feb 2009 03:58:00 PST<br /><a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="" width="300" height="250" /></a><br />Bush fires, Recession, A bit of rambling commetary Events and NewsMon, 09 Feb 2009 02:50:00 PSTHonestly the last few weeks have really set the global <br />warming evangelists off, or at least, one would have expected <br />that the events around the world should have.<br /><br />however I have only seen vague mention in the press,<br />one assume this is due to the actual events being much more news<br />worthy - or at least - news, selling, worthy.<br /><br />From snow storms in Britain, worst that has been seen in decades or more<br />to huge flooding in Queensland, the worst fires in recent history <br />in south - eastern australia, and many many more such events around<br />the world, its quite indicative that the weather patterns are changing.<br /><br />or at least it looks that way.<br /><br />I find an odd parallel to all these events, with the current economic <br />climate, where there are disasters going on all around the world.<br /><br />dollar values dropping and its all doom and gloom, in fact it feels<br />as though you can't open a newspaper, flick on the (regular) tv, or<br />browse any news websites without it all being doom and gloom!<br /><br />I can't offer much in the way of hope around that. but at the same<br />time, I think in some ways the current down turn of markets and increased<br />costs could be a boon in the long term, as is often said,<br /><br />&quot;neccessity is the mother of invention&quot; and&nbsp; I think with the current<br />climate impeding on spending and investment along with curtailing <br />consumer spending, it may be a glimmer of a hope of a silver lining <br />that I think it will foster innovation.<br /><br />not the leap and bounds innovations in new technologies or new better and <br />more fantastical things, but more innovation in the small factor,<br /><br />small but many optimisations, cutting the fat out of things so to speak.<br /><br />its a bit like eating right and exercising, the world as I see it is going<br />going through a necessary period, where its having to tighten its belt and <br />start exercising, as the time of glutonous consumption is nearing an end.<br /><br />Thats not the nicest view, particularly looking at those who are suffering the <br />most through the economic downturn but still, I think it could lead<br />towards teaching people a bit more of a benefitial lesson in scrimping<br />and being more careful.<br /><br />the other benefit, which I haven't seen mentioned, is that with less leisure money,<br />comes more simple leisure time.<br /><br />sure you can't afford to take the kids to disney land, but I think <br />one of the best ways of saving money is to take the family out bushwalking,<br />play a game of soccer down at the local park. build a snow man, <br /><br />do paper macheie (apologies for the spelling!).<br /><br />yes there will be those who will have less time on their hands,<br />unfortunately having to spend more time working to cover the bills.<br /><br />and thats a tragedy.<br /><br />But to be honest, I don't think that will be the case for the large majority <br />of the readers of my writing, I think in actual fact the economic downturn<br />will mean having to suffer hanging onto that first generation iPhone you <br />imported from the states rather than upgrading to an iPhone 2.0 or a google android handset.<br /><br />it will mean sticking with the two 19 inch monitors you currently have, <br />rather than going to twin 24's.<br /><br />and it will mean curtailing the spending on luxury spending, such as going out on the town<br />and to dinner, and various activities like that.<br /><br />I am mildly curious to see where the current global and local markets and situations will go.<br /><br />its hard to see an end to it. from my limited understanding of it all, <br />it seems so unstable that it could be the worst of it now, and all of <br />a sudden things could improve tomorrow, or, it could be just the beginning, and it could take<br />years and years before things get any better!<br /><br />all I know is that throughout these times we must remain positive and thankful for what we do have.<br /><br />My heart goes out to those suffering loss of life, family, home and precious memories in the tragic bush fires <br />in Victoria, and I urge you all to donate to the red cross to help.<br />Epic Epoch Time fast approaches! StuffTue, 03 Feb 2009 22:49:00 PSTThats right, at the time of writing this article, in 1 week 2 days time Epoch time with reach a very Epic time. for those of you who aren't sure as to what Epoch time is - it is also referred to as Unix Time, its number of seconds since January 1st 1970 at Midnight (UTC) and very soon, 1 Week 2 days time, this will reach the milestone of 1234567890!!! for a countdown check out <a href=""></a>New Draconian Copyright laws. Events and NewsSun, 11 Jan 2009 03:08:00 PSTAnyone who has been on the internet in New Zealand in the past few weeks will have found it hard not to find mention of the New copyright laws coming into act next month.<br /><br />I won't be the first to state that these laws are rediculous,<br /><br />the fact is they will be used in much the same way the RIAA fired off lawsuits, and do you know how many successful suits the RIAA had? 0 thats right none at all,<br /><br />the few that they did have got overturned on appeal. thats why the groups such as NZFACT have lobbied for a manner in which they can abitrarily get people cut off the internet in an attempt to scare people away from any filesharing legitimate or not in a manner that has no ramifications for the accuser.<br /><br />this to me is a total perversion of justice.&nbsp; Its like arresting someone for stealing clothes, because they aren't naked.<br /><br />without taking into account how or where they got the clothes, you just assume they stole them because they have them.<br /><br /><br /><br />Really there is a few things that need to happen, if they want to have the guilty assumption then it should be a case where the accuser has to be sure.<br /><br /><ul><li>&nbsp;Minimum penalties for incorrect accusations by the accuser and reparation for the accused if the claim is not proven.<ul><li>eg,&nbsp; $10,000 per incorrect accusation, with $5,000 going towards the accused and $5,000 going towards a fund for NZ based internet projects.</li></ul></li><li>full disclosure - who is doing this policing, how are they doing the policing, and who is keeping and eye on them.<ul><li>looking at my traffic without a warrant, is, the same as listening in on my phone calls without a warrant, and its an invasion of privacy. </li><li>We all know that these very dubiously legit organisations will no doubt be using all manner of questionable techniques to investigate and identify possible infringers.</li></ul></li></ul>Lets face it. how on earth do they expect to correctly identify all but the most blantant infringers and differentiate them from people filesharing in an above the board and legitimate fashion, who prefer to hide their traffic? they wont.<br /><br />this new law is a blantant invasion and rape of the NZ Internet and those that are on it. I think we need to mobilise.<br />Google Blackout? 18th december? (20th NZ AU) Events and NewsMon, 15 Dec 2008 08:14:00 PST<br />There seems to be plans for a google blackout, I've heard of these happening before, but this one seems to be gaining ground....<br /><br /><br /><br />Im interested to see if people think it will make a difference. I think at this stage it'll take an order of magnitude more people signing up and participating before google even care, and even then, whether it will effect the T&amp;C's on you tube. who can say?<br /><br />I expect it will be more likely a minor reworking - such as the reworking to the Chrome T&amp;C's after the net wide backlash.<br /><br /><a href="" target="_blank">Google Blackout Youtube (ironically) video</a>US Election Results - And Obamas off to an early lead... Events and NewsTue, 04 Nov 2008 04:06:00 PSTWell Obama is off to an early lead,<br /><br />apparently McCain is being slowed down by Palin who keeps stopping to see if she can still see Russia....<br /><br /><br /><br />Obama to McCain= &quot;GG!&quot;Useful Links and A bit of humour..., 21 Oct 2008 05:00:00 PDTIts been a while since I posted, and I have a bit of an obsession against allowing my blog to go dry.<br /><br />so I thought I would provide some of the links to sites I read on a daily basis, that I find entertaining, useful or novel,<br /><br />Along with throwing in a few jokes along the way.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><ul><li><strong>Xkcd - <a href="" target="_blank"></a></strong><ul><li>&quot;A Webcomic of Romance, Sarcasm, Math and language&quot; - Updated every Monday, <strong>Wednesday and friday.</strong></li><li>A great comic, including the classic:</li><li><img src="" alt="SUDO" width="360" height="299" /></li></ul></li></ul><br /><br /><blockquote><blockquote><blockquote><blockquote><blockquote><u><strong>News Feeds</strong></u><br /></blockquote></blockquote></blockquote></blockquote></blockquote>I subscribe to a number of different News feeds, I must admit depending on the story, I sometimes find the contrasting views to be totally absurd, usually comically, and unfortunately at times scarily disturbing,<br /><br /><em><strong>Aljazeera</strong></em><br /><ul><li>This is one of the larger (largest?) news sources coming from the middle - east, they used to have a great blog called &quot;Don't Bomb Us!&quot; which was written after the US bombed one of their buildings tragically killing a number of their reporters and other staff, I think they have discontinued it now.</li><li>This site is great to get a handle on the opposing views of the vairous American based news agencies,&nbsp;</li></ul><strong>-however-</strong><br /><ul><li>The English site is still very polictically correct and misses out on a lot, if you had handle the engrishitizations, I recommend reading the Arabic version,</li><li>fortunately if you don't know how to read arabic, google has a nice tool for it:</li><li>They also have some great live video news feeds.<ul><li>Live streaming Video feed is here: <a href="" target="_blank"></a></li><li>(RSS for&nbsp; worldwide English Aljazeera:<a href="" target="_blank"></a>)</li><li>Google gadget link: <a href=";moduleurl=;source=imag" target="_blank">;moduleurl=;source=imag</a></li><li>Aljazeera Front page Translated by google (using Auto -&gt; english) :-</li><li><a href=";hl=en&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;sl=auto&amp;tl=en" target="_blank" title=" front page, translated.">;hl=en&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;sl=auto&amp;tl=en</a></li></ul></li></ul>On the day of writing this (Wednesday October 22, there was an interesting article called &quot;American Culture of War&quot; - which certainly wasn't available in their english site, and its actually quite an interesting article that I'll likely write more on,<br /><br />however, you can read about it in its original form here:<a href="" target="_blank"></a>, or translated from google <a href=";sl=auto&amp;tl=en&amp;u=;usg=ALkJrhiPRu4MgU-zLFj-YohNPml6zllCRg" target="_blank">here</a><br /><br /><em><strong>BBC News</strong></em><br /><br /><ul><li>Living in A western country its almost impossible to have not heard of the BBC, and in most countries around the world, I don't generally follow the localised copies of the BBC news, I just follow the BBC World news head lines.</li><li>Surprisingly enough I find that the news reported from BBC is much closer to the News reported from Aljazeera, than the news from the American Sources,</li><li>Particularly when it comes to the quality of articles, and the intended audience, where the BBC and Aljazeera will have intelligently written articles which ar e usually attempting to state the facts and not be bias or emotive, the american sources seem to have largely forgotten how to write anything but opinion pieces.</li><li>They too have some good live video news feeds, along with a huge range of podcasts, alerts, email updates, etc,<ul><li>page listing all the feeds etc here <a href="" target="_blank"></a></li></ul></li></ul><em><strong>Google News</strong></em><br /><ul><li>This is the Google News Gadget, </li><li>I wouldn't be surprised if they datamine to try to present news Items that they feel are more relevant to me!</li><li>they tend to be strongly US focused, but do report things around the world.</li><li>Gadget link here: <a href=";source=imag" target="_blank">;source=imag</a></li></ul><br /><u><strong>Bankok </strong><strong>Post</strong></u><br /><br /><ul><li>The Bankok post is quite interesting for getting a differrent view point on events happening around the world, particularly in the US, as Thailand has quite strong Links with the US they do discuss a lot of the US happenings, however it is a different viewpoint that the norm on the Events in the US.</li><li>That said, they are largely focused on the Events in and around Thailand - as thats where the paper is from!</li><li>feed: <a href="" target="_blank"></a></li></ul><u><strong>NZ Herald:<br /></strong></u><ul><li>I wont discuss this one too much, but it covers the news from NZ and around the world&nbsp; - they are als o the only news site I have a google gadget for that implants ads - and therefore I wont like to them.</li></ul><u><strong>The Register (<a href="" target="_blank"></a>)<br /></strong></u><ul><li>I couldn't talk about news sites I enjoy without mentioning <em><strong>TheReg</strong></em> the register totes itself as <em>biting the hand that feeds IT</em></li><li>I highly recommend this site to anyone at all interested in IT stuff, particularly the <a href="" target="_blank">Bastard Operator from Hell (BofH)</a></li><li>They have a great policy of requiring for the Most part an IT angle in any article, and where this policy is not met it has to have a paris hilton angle!</li></ul><br /><blockquote><blockquote><blockquote><blockquote><blockquote><u><strong>Miscellanous Other things</strong></u><br /><br /></blockquote></blockquote></blockquote></blockquote></blockquote><u><strong>Shoutwire (</strong></u> <br /><ul><li>Shoutwire is good for a bit of comedy relief and to see how people fail much harder than one expects, especially on the internet.</li><li>good for a laugh.</li></ul><u><strong>Geekzone latest Blog posts (<br /></strong></u><ul><li>You probably already know about geekzone if you are here, however the feed for the latest blog posts is</li><li><a href="" target="_blank"></a></li></ul><br /><u><strong>Sites for the Lols</strong></u><br /><ul><li>When looking for a lol, you cant go past</li><li><a href="" target="_blank"></a> full of cute cat pictures,</li><li><a href="" target="_blank"></a> - full to the brim with humourous fail.</li></ul><br />well that about does it for today. I find those sites interesting on a daily basis. maybe you will too!<br />EOM<br />Rare and collectable cigars... StuffThu, 16 Oct 2008 05:10:00 PDTwell, perhaps...<br /><br />I recently obtained from a family member&nbsp; a small collection of various cigars,<br /><br />while I have lost some of the loose ones to a series of small fires, particularly those which were apparent to me to have not much collectable value, or were obviously stale / broken, <br /><br />I still have a significant quantity of other cigars and boxes, and I wondered if anyone out there on the internet can help me identify, and work out the value of them, - as I'd hate to smoke them only to discover that they were the cigar equivalent of a bottle of 1951 penfolds grange!!<br /><br />while thats unlikely, I'm still keen if anyone can give me any information!<br /><br />onto the Significant Cigars:<br /><br />Box 1: Schimmelpenninck Marca Selecta<br />- 25 Half Corona<br /><br /><strong>TOP:<br /><br /><table border="0" style="width: auto"><tr><td><a href=""><img src="" alt="" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family: arial,sans-serif; font-size: 11px; text-align: right"><a href=""><br /></a></td></tr></table><br /><br /><br /><strong>BOTTOM:</strong><br /><table border="0" style="width: auto"><tr><td><a href=""><img src="" alt="" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family: arial,sans-serif; font-size: 11px; text-align: right"><a href=""><br /></a></td></tr></table><br /></strong>plastic wrap slighly opened but otherwise completed sealed,<br /><br />NEXT BOX:<br /><br /><br />Box 2: Romeo y Julieta<br />25 panatellas, box opened, 9 cigars left <br /><br /><br /><strong>TOP:</strong><br /><table border="0" style="width: auto"><tr><td><a href=""><img src="" alt="" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family: arial,sans-serif; font-size: 11px; text-align: right"><a href=""><br /></a></td></tr></table><br /><br /><br /><strong>BOTTOM:</strong><br /><table border="0" style="width: auto"><tr><td><a href=""><img src="" alt="" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family: arial,sans-serif; font-size: 11px; text-align: right"><a href=""><br /></a></td></tr></table><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Box 3: Henri Wintermans; Half Corona; made in holland, 25 in the box, still in full plastic wrap<br /><br /><br /><strong>BOTTOM:</strong><br /><table border="0" style="width: auto"><tr><td><a href=""><img src="" alt="" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family: arial,sans-serif; font-size: 11px; text-align: right"><a href=""><br /></a></td></tr></table><br /><strong>TOP</strong><br /><table border="0" style="width: auto"><tr><td><a href=""><img src="" alt="" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family: arial,sans-serif; font-size: 11px; text-align: right"><a href=""><br /></a></td></tr></table><br /><br /><br />Box 4: &quot;TABACALERA, &quot;<em>THE FINEST CIGARS SINCE 1881</em>&quot;, hand made, 100% tobacco, manilla, phillipines&quot;<br />Fully sealed in plastic wrap, the box stickers under the plastic wrap are still intact also.<br /><strong>TOP:</strong> <table border="0" style="width: auto"><tr><td><a href=""><img src="" alt="" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family: arial,sans-serif; font-size: 11px; text-align: right"><a href=""><br /></a></td></tr></table> <strong>Bottom:</strong> <table border="0" style="width: auto"><tr><td><a href=""><img src="" alt="" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family: arial,sans-serif; font-size: 11px; text-align: right"><br /><br /><br /></td></tr></table> <br /> <br /> Those are the cigars in the collection that I think might be the most significant, I've got double the amount of empty cigar boxes and some porcelain cigar branded containers along with 10 boxes of Rothmans Royales - still in the display box, each packet still fully plastic wrapped as well, but I don't know if those are worth anything!!<br /><br />So thats my little bit of a sidetrack from the usual topics I discuss, and as mentioned, I'd love some assistance with getting an idea of the value of the posted cigars / boxes if anyone knows anything!!High powered rifles, no licence required Events and NewsSun, 12 Oct 2008 11:24:00 PDTCurrently in New Zealand you can buy an air rifle / gun without a licence,<br /><br />However after two police officers were shot during a clandestine operation, <br />one put into intensive care and one tragically sustaining fatal wounding, they are now reviewing the laws governing the sale of air guns.<br /><br />The Arms Ammendment Bill can be viewed <a href="">here</a><br /><br />the most important points (for airgun owners such as myself) are:<br /><br />* Firearms will be any air rifle over 34 joules (25.077113076 lbf)<br /><br />* On Page 27 it states that this is justified as the number of Air rifles over this power is not significant.<br /><br />* Clause 5 will be ammended so that you will need to be a licenced firearms dealer to sell, repair, *modify* or manufacture parts of an airgun.<br /><br />There is all manner of discussion points around this, such as what will qualify as a modification, as well as some fairly intelligent debate around the bill over at the NZ Airgunners forum <a href="">here</a><br /><br /><br />The problem is, due to the views many people I have spoken to hold about airguns, many are wondering how the policeman got killed - or think it was really bad luck to get killed with a &quot;slug gun&quot;,<br /><br /><br />The reality is quite different, the officer was not killed with a .177 or .22 calibre air rifle, such as many of the more common rifles, although even these can be very lethal and powerful and if you were hit in the wrong place (or the right place from the perspective of shooting to kill) could be a one shot kill.<br /><br />But he was killed with something a bit different to the old farm slug gun you crack and pump, nor was it one of the more accurate and powerful target air-rifle .22's<br /><br />he was kill with a 5.5mm PCP rifle, also referred to as a Gas powered rifle, <br /><br />PCP stands for Pre Charged Pnuematic,<br /><br />There is a huge difference between your average air rifle and a Precharged pnuematic air rifle, <br /><br />for all intents and purposes, a PCP is just as powerful as a regular gun of similar specification, just it uses air as the propulsion rather than a small explosive charge - except - they don't have the range of the explosive charge rifles.<br /><br />And as much as it worries me that the government may go too far an get draconian in their implementation of new laws,<br /><br />The fact is I don't think you should be able to by high powered rifles without a licence regardless of how the bullet is propelled.<br /><br /><br />It is my understanding, that without a licence, currently, you could even purchase the grand - daddy of Precharged Pneumatic rifles, <br /><br />the Korean company shinsung make the &quot;Career Dragon Slayer&quot; 50 calibre, pre-charged pnuematic air-rifle.<br /><br />this thing is scary. I definitely think you should have a license before you can get one of these:<br /><br /><br />unfortunately due to issues with scripting on the blogs currently, I cant post java script, <br /><br />so the video of the Dragon slayer is <a href="" target="_blank">here</a><br /><br />but heres some photos<a href="" target="_blank"><br /><br /><img src="" alt="" width="400" height="250" /></a><br /><br /><br />Ok, so its a single shot, but that gun packs some serious punch!<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />TOR: A Cool project from the Internet, 06 Oct 2008 03:15:00 PDTTOR - The Onion Router, is an ingenious bit of collaborative work that produced a really interesting anonymity network.<br /><br />I'd guess a lot of you reading my blog have probably heard of it already, <br /><br />or you have stumbled across this site because you are looking up information about or doing homework on one of the following TOR's<br /><br /><ul><li>TOR: <em>Large Outcrop of bedrock. in Granite country tors are typically round boulders:<a href="" target="_blank"> more info</a></em></li><li><em>TOR: Transit of Rockland: <a href="" target="_blank">moreinfo</a></em></li><li><em>Written Requirements governing EIA implementation...: <a href="" target="_blank">More Info</a></em></li><li><em>TOR: Horrible Project management acronym for "total operational requirements" or something. no more info for that thanks. <br /></em></li><li><strong>One of the Two Gods who created the earth and kept the light of truth shining in the Varg's life according to old Norse Mythology, <a href="" target="_blank">(More Info)</a></strong></li><li>TOR, common name Mahseer a genera in the family Cyprinidae (carp those darn pesky fish)</li><li>Tor, research station is a Norweigian Antarctic research station in Queen Maud LAnd, in the easternmost part of Princess Martha Coast at Svarthamaren, establish in 1993... <a href="" target="_blank">(Wikipedia Article)</a></li><li>Acronym for "Terms Of Reference"</li></ul>However if you weren't looking for any of the above and you are still here then the TOR I am discussing is the Anonymous network based on "a free software implementation of of second - generation routing"<br /><br />before I go much further I'll get past a few technical terms so that those who are less technically inclined can keep up.<br /><br /><em>At A glance, Onion routing is</em><br /><blockquote>Onion routing is effectively the the anonymous network version of pass the parcel where you have instructions or a task at each stop...<br />However I digress,  effectively onion routing is a technique wereby a message or "packet" is repeatly encrypted with layer after layer (think wrapping up the prize in pass the parcel), the message is then sent through multiple network "nodes<em>".<br /></em><blockquote><em>A node is a computer that is attached to a network, sometimes called a host - coming from the original meaning of the word "node" which is the place on a  stem where the leaves are attached.</em><br /><br />-<em>Routing = Assigning a path for message or file delivery</em><br /></blockquote>These nodes are called "<em>Onion Routers", </em>the analogy comes by way of each router removes one layer of encryption to uncover routing instructions , based on the instructions it then sends the packet to the next router, which agains removes one layer, repeating the process over and over until reaching the final "exit node" which sends the packet on to its intended reciepient.<br /><em><br /></em></blockquote>Whats so great about this way of doing things? in a short description it means that you can send a packet from point A to point B, but to avoid an eavesdropper or someone following the packet (assuming they don't have access to the whole network) it routes the packet via point C, Q, F, J, Z, N and P, before getting to point B.<br /><br />The whole idea behind the concept of onion routing is to protect the privacy of both the sender and the recipient of a message - while at the same time providing protection for the message content as it is transmitted.<br /><br />This feat is accomplished, according to the principal of <em>Chaum's mix cascades</em>, via a number of proxies which can then re-route messages in an unpredictable path.<br /><br /><br />The biggest advantage of onion routing and mix cascades? its not necessary to trust each cooperating router, even if one or more routers are compromised, communication can still be anonymous because each router accepts messages, re-encrypts them, and transmits to another router. only an attacker with the ability to monitor every onion router in a network would have the ability to trace the path of a message through the network. <br /><br />without that any attacker would have difficulty even if they contral one or more routers on the messages path.<br /><br /><br /><strong>Downsides:</strong><br /><br />There are several technical, social and otherwise bad downsides to TOR,<br /><br />technical:<br /> - DNS leaks: unless you route your dns requests via TOR as well as actual data, you could be compromised via unencrypted dns requests. - this has far reaching consequences, but too detailed to go into here.<br />- Eaves dropping by exit nodes, any exit node is in the position to capture trafic passing through that doesn't use end to end encryption.<br /><br />Social:<br />- Due to the inherent anonymity, TOR has unfortunately been used for illegal purposes, such as child pornography and other illegal uses, this has lead to situations in the past where authorities have seized tor nodes due to this usage.<br /><br /><br /><br /><strong>Applications:<br /></strong>There are a wide variety of applications available that make use of TOR.<br /><br /><strong>Web  browsers with Tor</strong><br /><ul><li><a href="" target="_blank">OperaTor</a></li><li><a href="" target="_blank">xB Browser</a> - A firefox derivative with integrated tor.</li></ul><strong>IM / Chat with TOR<br /></strong><ul><li>ScatterChat<a href="" target="_blank"> </a>- effectively GAIM with TOR</li></ul>Theres plenty more both im/browser bundles, and full operating system sandboxes, and various tools. easy to find via google.<br /><br /><br /><br /> <a href=''>Watch the latest videos on</a>Kiwicon '08 Keynote speaker and VC Hacking. Events and NewsFri, 26 Sep 2008 02:43:00 PDTThe keynote speaker began discussing legislation currently underway regarding legalizing the ability for the police to &quot;hack&quot; into a system, currently this is restricted to requiring a warrant issued by a judge, however under the new legislation it'll be a &quot;issuing officer&quot; which as the speaker said,<br /> sounds like an automated online form they fill out, then get emailed a warrant.<br /> <br /> The discussion was very engaging, and discussed the issue of personal privacy an issue which is very close to my own heart, <br /> <br /> The fact is we are 'sleepwalking into a pan-national totalitarian state' <br /> <br /> and people aren't doing anything about it.<br /> <br /> the discussion was wide ranging and discussed the topic of hacktivism, which is unlike many of the definitions on the web, hacking to defend personal freedoms, and electronically taking a stand against law makers and politically / financially motivated entities that want to limit our freedoms,<br /> <br /> a great example cited was the Cointel project by the FBI where the FBI were performing illegal acts and it only came to light after the fbi offices were broken into by an organisation called &quot;The citizens commission to investigate the FBI&quot; the information around the project was leaked to the press and J. Edgar Hoover had to admit to the operation and shut it down.<br /> <br /> <br /> Another interesting point of note was the keynote speaker was detained at customs recently and had his laptop removed from his sight for 45 minutes after they demanded his passphrase,<br /> <br /> pursuant to this he developed a duress proxy, which boots a window partion, records the activities of law enforcement, and can alert a remote sight if possible / needed.<br /> <br /> the reason being, you need to know what they are doing with your machine when you can't see them, the fact is it wouldn't be a first for law enforcement or other government organisations to plant evidence or undergo an illegal phising expedition.<br /> <br /> the final part of the talk, which stirred much debate, the idea of direct-E-democracy, which has many pro's and con's and I'll likely discuss more at a later time, suffice to say, I pointed out that one risk we run with a direct - e-democracy is ending up with rick-astley as our national athem.<br /> <br /> The next set of speakers were discussing the inherent vulnerabilities around the H323 protocol, and a large number of very popular video phones and conferencing equipment, <br /><br />I won't discuss this much here due to the nature of the topic, but suffice to say, its amazing how much you can find out, and see throughout the tubes, _and_ how much damage could be caused!<br /> <br /> <br /> <br />Kiwicon '08 and ReviewsFri, 26 Sep 2008 00:12:00 PDTKiwicon '08,<br /><br />things have just kicked off with the first speaker about to start, should be an interesting day, <br /><br />I'll keep some irregular updates as to whats going on during the day.<br /><br />the keynote entry &quot;Welcome to all the hackers, crackers, pimps, groupies, fakerz, lawyers, spooks &amp; stoogies turning out for kiwicon '08.<br /><br />more news to come. info on the con <a href="" target="_blank">here</a><br /><br />going to get off the wireless now before I get all my packets stolen lol!