Rik's Ramblings

Monday, January 31, 2005

"Blaster" Parson sentenced for 18 months

Prudy Boy

This pretty boy's probably going to get more sex in the next 18 months than he ever dreamed possible ...


    Jeffrey Lee Parson, 19, of Hopkins, Minnesota was sentenced Friday to 11/2 years in prison for unleashing a variant of the "Blaster" Internet worm that crippled 48,000 computers in 2003.

Commie Bastards sue Philps and Sony for making money

Two Chinese companies sue Philps and Sony, claiming price fixing Messenger | Yahoo! Finance-


  1. Big company spends many man-hours and dollars doing research

  2. Big company comes up with great technology that compresses 8MHz signal into 2Mb/s datastream something you didn't know how to do

  3. Big company makes product based on technology

  4. Big company very kindly allows you to also make product based on their technology which you spent no effort to invent

  5. You must pay for the privilage of using big company brains (aka pay for my latte)

God damn pinko-commie bastards. WHY DON'T YOU GO PIRATE SOME CDs AND QUIT WHINNING.

Dear Western Digital, Your Data Lifeguard Tools SUCK!!

Well I wasted most of yesterday afternoon trying to get those crappy tools from Western Digital to transfer my partitions from the old (13Gb) drive to the newer (bazillion-hundred Gb) drive.

In the end I had to break down and get Partition Magic. Needless to say, I was done in no time, making Partition Magic well worth the $60 or whatever it costs. Especially as I'll pass it off as a work expense next week. Those dweebs in accounting know diddly 'bout confuzers.

Wet Ramblings of the Dive Boy: Cover me ... I'm going in

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Cover me ... I'm going in

Disk Duplication SW

I don't expect my PC to work after this, but I'm about to install a new drive ... need more disk space to do my tax return! Ironically, I don't know if I can afford the new drive until after I've done my taxes, but it's a bit of a catch-22 situation.

White Horse Tavern - Seattle, WA

White Horse Tavern

Found this place in Seattle. I was actually on my way to the Irish bar next door, but spotted it just in time! Had a couple of very nice glasses of their White Horse Tavern ESB. If you can't get there, you'll never know how good it tastes - not available anywhere else.

Very friendly owner. Used to own the Black Horse London Pub in San Francisco. Might have to check that out too.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Segway Rally

I saw two people using those Segway things in downtown Seattle on Thursday:
Segway on the streets of Seattle

And I thought people in the bay area were geeks!

Privacy ... what privacy!?

There's this story about a man's safeway club card records being used as (incorrect) evidance, then there was the blind guy arrested (as a hacker) the other day simply for using a Lynx browser .

It's wild!

The Seattle Times: Local News: Fireman attempted to set fire to house, charges say: "Although Lyons said he had not bought any fire-starters, police reports show that Lyons' Safeway Club Card had been used to purchase a fire-starter in July, charging papers say."

Monkeys Pay to See Female Monkey Bottoms

Monkeys Pay to See Female Monkey Bottoms: "A new study found that male monkeys will give up their juice rewards in order to ogle pictures of female monkey's bottoms. The way the experiment was set up, the act is akin to paying for the images, the researchers say.

The rhesus macaque monkeys also splurged on photos of top-dog counterparts, the high-ranking primates. Maybe that's like you or me buying People magazine."

Friday, January 28, 2005

Gizmodo : SIMpill: Medicine Bottle with SMS Reminders

Gizmodo : SIMpill: Medicine Bottle with SMS Reminders

Hey! I already invented this ... years ago. More to the point, I have a patent on it!

Endangered Gizmos!

EFF: Endangered Gizmos!

"The Electronic Frontier Foundation this week announced the creation of the Endangered Gizmos List. According to their press release, this project highlights 'the way misguided laws and lawsuits can pollute the environment for technological innovation.'

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Calendar Spam

Has anyone ever experienced "Calendar Spam"?

On Yahoo! calendar there's a link at the bottom of a calendar event entitled "tell others about this event?" and a URL:
http://calendar.yahoo.com/?v=60&ST=20 ... DESC=Call+900-Spam-guy

In the past, if you sent the link to someone and they clicked it, the event would immediately add to their Yahoo! calendar (assuming Yahoo! login cookie was set).

Since yesterday Yahoo! seem to have implemented a confirmation page. Following the link prompts you to confirm the addition of the event to your calendar.

Presumably it was possible in the past for people to embed the URL in an IMG tag on some dubious websites and SPAM peoples online calendar. e.g.,
9am Tuesday - Remember to order Viagra
Tel: 1-900-Spam-guy

Possible, but I wonder if it ever happened?

Anyone think of other online calendar services that might be susceptible, where I can try it out?

Hopefully it's not the same asteroid that Nasa plans to blow-up with their Deep Impact thing.

: "Asteroid Douglasadams was among the 71 newly named celestial objects announced Tuesday by the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Mass."

Google Turns On TV Search

I just knew it was coming ...

    NewsFactor Network - Tech Trends - Google Turns On TV Search Beta: "Google Turns On TV Search Beta
    The Google Video service offers a preview page that displays up to five still images and five short text segments from the closed captioning of each television program. It also provides information on upcoming episodes and shows when a program will be aired next. "

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Mut of the Day

Didn't even know it! Lucky was Mut of the Day back on December 19th last year!

Mut of the Day

Would you believe it ... I'm such a geek, even my Dog has a webzine!

Bike, that thinks it's a bubble-jet printer, has it in for Bush

Bikes Against Bush uses bicycles that incorporate a mechanical printing device that can print text messages from web users onto the street as the bike cruises along.

Bike With Chalk Spraying Attachment

Bikes Against Bush

Thursday, January 20, 2005

SLAX Linux Live

SLAX Linux Live - index page: "SLAX is a small bootable CD containing the Linux operating system. "

Not too shabby! Fits in 188Meg, meaning one of those business-card type CDs for your wallet. Pitty it's missing the NTPasswd cracking toolz.

Live 105's Party Ben - Mash-ups

Can't recommend enough Live105's Sixx Mix Mash-ups.

Party Ben - Stuff that's neat to have

Martian Luck

I thought Mars missions were supposed to be plagued with bad luck. These rover things seem to be doing really well with their luck. Already 12 months into a 3 month mission and now bumping into meteorites.

Mars Rover's Meteorite Discovery Triggers Questions

Opportunity Rocks


Good Wallpaper for your PC ...

[click for fullsize]

If you want a head-ache!

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Getting Extreeeeeeeme

A-ha!! You thought I was doing something not geeky for a second there! You were wrong:

    JUnit: "JUnit is a simple framework to write repeatable tests."

I've been to many talks on the whole test driven development and Agile methodologies. I agree with some of it and especially automated testing, but I've been very lazy when it comes to developing the tests.

So I'm making amends on my last project. I'm going back to the code I wrote (2 months back) and I'm retro-fitting JUnit tests.

I've written automated tests before, but I have to say, the version of NetBeans that I'm currently using as my IDE is helping immensly with JUnit. It's right there on the context menu. I can right-click on a class in the IDE et ...

NetBean JUnit Menu Screen Shot


The main reason I'm doing the JUnit tests is to give the code to a colleague and make sure he doesn't break it when he ports it to J2ME.

It's true what they say about being scared about touching code because you don't want to break it. I'm currently looking at the code and thinking,

ooo, this class could do with a 'toString()' method and some statistics in it about execution time, but to do that I need to modify this and that and ... Eeek, I daren't incase I do something silly that stops the app working, then I'll have to go through and debug, and , etc..

So, I didn't have a new years resolution yet, but maybe it should be to always do test-first development from now on.

Stupid, stupid, stupid Lotus Notes

OK, not entirely Lotus Notes to blaim, there is a slight issue with Perl 5.8 on Windows (ActiveState Perl).

In my Lotus Calendar I chose the "Import Holidays" feature to suck in notable dates, seemed like a smart idea.

I have a perl process running that exports my work calendar to my Yahoo! calendar - I'm very geeky you know!

The trouble I now have is that my lotus calendar has usefully scheduled my Christmas holiday right through to the year 2121. Perl doesn't know how to deal with dates after 2038.

The Perl issue I understand, it's a limitation of the unix date function. But why Lotus think I'm going to care about Christmast 2121!

If limiting the date to a 32bit integer in unix is underengineering, Lotus' choice is definately over engineering.

The real reason I'm pissed off is it seems the Fisher Price user interface of Lotus notes is not allowing me do to a 'delete all' I'm having to go through every year and delete holidays.

Firms deliver report on exit polling problems in 2004 election

They admitted two key differences between the exit poll and the real election were:
  • failing to confuse the elderly with complex ballot constructs

  • forgotting to throw away the responses of black voters.

Stonehenge was ancient sex symbol

    The Observer | UK News | The vagina monoliths: Stonehenge was ancient sex symbol: "Stonehenge has dominated the Wiltshire landscape for more than 4,000 years and is one of the world's most important heritage sites, but its purpose has remained a mystery.


    Now a University of British Columbia researcher who has investigated the great prehistoric monument for several years has announced he has uncovered its true meaning: it is a giant fertility symbol, constructed in the shape of the female sexual organ."

Imagine the scenario:
You're 19 years old, in your second year at Stone Henge Poly. You and your mates go out for a few pints of mead. On the way home, after mooning some passers-by, you come up with an idea.

"Eh, Ethelred, " [they had funny names back then], you whisper, "See them rocks over there? Let's construct a giant representation of a female sexual organ out of 'em!". [Though I imagine that's not the exact wording].

Friday, January 14, 2005

Hacking a Terror Network

Hacking a Terror Network
Book. Thriller. Cyber-terrorism. Want.

There is a plot underway to attack American interests. A decade-old grudge against the West comes to fruition as a child follows the path of the father's hatred for America and vows to avenge a brother. The American dream is in danger and can be saved only through the diligence and imagination of one man. An American agent suspects a plot but needs to prove it in order to draw attention to the danger. But how are the terrorists communicating? He needs to break the code to stop the plot that could kill thousands of innocent people.

Thursday, January 13, 2005


This is a new term I have just invented. It describes a phenomenon I am well experienced in and therefore able to define.

Cold-Architecting - (verb) A practice of over-zealous business development managers.

Basic premise: Waste a week of your best software architect's time, by forcing them to do system design for a potential customer who you have not yet bothered to call.
See Also: Cold-Calling

Liked The Screen Savers? Want more 'to the metal' tech news stories and videos? Think Kevin Rose is a dude!?

I wouldn't be a real geek if I didn't do something to help Kevin Rose (et al.) get this project off the ground!!

    One of them was to get back to my tech roots and create some new downloadable tech content. So.. the planning has begun, only this time with a much bigger crew. Dan, Keith, Robert, Ramzi, Ron, and I have begun planning segments and shoots. If all goes to plan, we will start filming in February and having multiple segments to release later that month. ...

If it wasn't for these wonderful people we'd all still be using IE as a web browser and getting our tech news from CNN ...

Follow the link here to read the full info: kevin rose dot com

Use these quick links to give without needing to read more:
  thebroken t-shirt’s
PayPal Donations:

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Gmail Vulnerability!

Another one! No wonder it's still in Beta!

Ironically, due to the amount of spam on the internet, the odds of one of your real messages leaking out is less than 2 in 10!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Fawlty Towers

BBC America has been showing Faulty Towers all afternoon today, as part of it's LOL January program(me).

About 5 minutes into the episode where Basil must hang a painting in the lobby a sledge hammer of realization hit Debbie and I simulateously ... I am Basil Fawlty and she is cyble.

Naturally, I argued that she turned me into Basil Fawlty through her incessent nagging, but she wouldn't have it.

Oh, after that realization the rest of the afternoon became just like watching home videos ... but in Torquay, with clothes on.

Distant relative?

CBC News: Bulgarian's blood-alcohol level astounds doctors

    SOFIA, BULGARIA - Bulgarian doctors tested a man's blood-alcohol level five times before accepting it was 0.914 – nearly twice the amount considered to be life-threatening.
    A blood-alcohol level of 0.55 is considered potentially fatal.

Distant relative or one of Dad's old rugby friends perhaps.

Hackers Tune In to Windows Media Player

It never ceases to amaze how Microsoft can consistently choose the wrong way to do things [where security is concerned].

    Hackers Tune In to Windows Media Player: "Hackers are using the newest DRM technology in Microsoft's Windows Media Player to install spyware, adware, dialers and computer viruses on unsuspecting PC users.


    According to Panda Software, both Trojans take advantage of the new Windows anti-piracy technology to trick users into downloading spyware and adware applications."

Monday, January 10, 2005


Something else I spotted in Borders today. Far more interesting than sex.

Idiot's Guide To Amazing Sex

Amazon.com: Books: The Complete Idiot's Guide To Amazing Sex (2nd Edition)

Yes, there really is such a book. How do I know?

I was walking through Borders, Milpitas, about an hour ago. I passed a man, who looked single [1]. And he had said book under his arm.

Looked to me like he overlooked;
  • Engineers guide to hygene
  • Dummys guide to not living with your mum

[1] When I say "single" I mean:


Saturday, January 08, 2005

The Graphing Calculator Story

The Graphing Calculator Story

    This is the story of a few determined developers at Apple who continued to work on their canceled project despite the lay-offs and worked without pay until the projects completion.

I found a link to this on digg.

It's an insite into the mentality of real engineers. Somewhat contrasting my rant of November: Recruiting Engineers.

Wish I worked with people more like this!

Insecure Webcams ... or "The popularity of blogging useless facts"

I saw on Slashdot a tip for finding insecure webcams. It went along the lines of "do a google search for ...Frame?Mode=...".

That sounds neat! thought I. Do a quick search on google and find people picking their noses, arses, whatever.

Of course, what really happened was, I went on Google and did a search for said string. All I found was 200 blog pages that were re-reporting the same exploit cuz they also thought it was kewl!

Unfortunately a case of "the popularily of the exploit disployed the exploit".

Try it yourself here: Google Search: Insecure Webcams. No doubt the count is now increased by one ... on account of this blog posting :)

Friday, January 07, 2005

Common and Bad Passwords

GeodSoft How-To: Common and Bad Passwords

wolverin is on the list Mike!

Jon Stewart wins, CNN cancels Crossfire

Jon Stewart wins, CNN cancels Crossfire: "Today CNN announced that they are nixing Crossfire, .... CNN's new President, Jonathan Klein, said that he agreed with much of [Jon] Stewart's indictments against the media."

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Nebula DigiTV PCI Freeview Digital TV Card

DigiTV PCI is a high-performance, highly integrated Digital Television entertainment system for your PC.

Need new toy. Actually, I need one of these running on a server in the UK, so I can pick-up BBC3 from my garden in California. Then my life would be complete.

Microsoft follows 'community spirit' of Linux

In some ways Micro$oft is following the lead of the opensource application community:

    Gee, We don't know what the F our error message means.
    Why don't you ask your fellow users if they have any ideas?

Ah, so when it comes to using Open Source, microsoft thinks Tech Support is the best place to start :-)

ZDTV begot TechTV begot G4TechTV begot TOILET

Lots of press coverage on the blogs about the demize of TechTV.

In a way, very sad that my favourite TV channel has totally gone down the tubes since Comcast (the cable TV infrastructure provider) took them over. It got so bad I took all their shows off my TiVo record list over the last couple of months.

On a plus side;

  • I don't think I need cable TV any more, as
    TechTV was the main reason I went to digital Cable

  • Most of the presenters now have their own blogs and podcasts,
    so I don't need to sit through TV ads to read/hear what those
    guys have to say!

Moving domains

After about 6-12months at eRoute hosting, I'm moving womba.com and sagar.org domains to HE.net hosting.

The eRoute experience has not been good. Lost e-mail, delayed e-mail, server down, changes to server config without me being informed. Not made me happy. Initially I went with 'em because they were the only place offering Tomcat on a sub-$10 package. However, by the time I moved sagar.org over there they had withdrawn support for Tomcat on the cheaper accounts.

I already have a couple of servers up at HE and they seem to be more reliable. Plus they're up the road from here, so I can go shout at them much more easily if there are problems. Also they're right on the backbone at MAE-west.

Anyway, womba.com is moving first in the next few days.


Sons of bitches! Why don't I even make a million $ with my crazy ideas?!

This podcasting concept is no more than what I was doing 7 years ago when I was archiving radio shows I'd captured on my PC and was playing them in my car on an early portable MP3 player.

All seemed so obvious to me then, but 5 years later, someone else hypes it and gives it a fancy name...