Rik's Ramblings

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Philips Priority Service Plan ... on Sharp products!?

So, I was looking online as one of the vendors of the Sharp Aquos LCD TV (to see if they were cheaper than what I paid at Fry's).

I noticed that at the end of the page Philips were offering extended warantees on LCD TV products of other manufacturers.

Now, couple this with my experence yesterday; I was in Frys looking for component and S-video cables (to couple up toys to the afore mentioned Sharp Aquos LCD TV :-p ) and in the end I bought a bunch of Philips branded cables because they were the best looking.

These things do make me wonder though, is Philips now relegated to the role of an accessories vendor? Have they so lost touch with the CE market that they don't know what to make, can't make things people want, can't make money on real consumer products and they've decided instead to 'take-on' the likes of Monster Cable and Coverplan.

MMS-ly Goodness

Kewl, I just MMS'ed a voice message from my Treo 650 smart phone to my GMail account!

Not excited? Well what's great is that the cigular's MMS server allows you to bridge MMS apps to emails by simply typing an email address instead of a phone number in the 'to' field. Better yet, the voice memo that the phone records (AMR format, as per the GSM spec) is converted in the Cingular back-end to WAV format so it can be played by your run of the mill PC.

Incredible. Especially for Cingular who normally are crap at anything beyond the basics of cellular telephone - i.e., charging you $50/month for not allowing you to make a phone call.

The downside I discovered is that messages are (naturally) not as cheap as SMS and you even get charged for incoming MMS. Hmmm, not sure I like the sound of that.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Sharp LC-26D7U 26" AQUOS Liquid-Crystal TV with Integrated HDTV Tuner

I'm closing in on a LCD TV choice.

Sharp or Samsung - probably the Sharp. Don't know whether to go 32" or 27". It's for the back bedroom afterall, so 32" is the max i think. Both for scale of the room and cost/usage. Afterall, it's mainly going to be Ben watching Finding Nemo and other such stuff on it.

Sharp LC-26D7U 26" AQUOS Liquid-Crystal TV with Integrated HDTV Tuner

Or here's the 32" Sharp LC-32D7U Aquos.

Maybe get a 42" for the lounge in a year or two, when the Sony conks out.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Thanks GMail - Insulting Song Lyrics, Artist Index

Finally a sponsored link on my GMail account that's actually relevant :)

Am I Right - Insulting Song Lyrics, Artist Index

Monday, August 15, 2005


Nice One!

UTPD: ATM SCAM ALERT: "A team of organized criminals is installing equipment on legitimate bank ATMs in at least 2 regions to steal both the ATM card number and the PIN. The team sits nearby in a car receiving the information transmitted wirelessly over weekends and evenings from equipment they install on the front of the ATM (see photos). If you see an attachment like this, do not use the ATM and report it immediately to the bank using the 800 number or phone on the front of the ATM."

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Never Ever Give Up!

I was saddened to hear that Jan-Willem passed away last Wednesday. My thoughts are with Geert and family.

In case you've missed the banner at the top of every page on my site here's an excerpt from Jan Willem's JWHouse site:

At the age of 14, JW Knapen had a normal life - he was a freshman in high school, played the bongos for the choir, enjoyed drawing and sculpting, and was the loving big brother and oldest son of a close-knit Belgian family. But over Thanksgiving break in 2002, JW began to have seizures and was quickly diagnosed with three different brain tumors. Over the last two years, 16-year-old JW Knapen has shown courage and grace in his grueling fight against brain cancer, enduring surgery, radiation and chemotherapy treatments.

In April 2004, when a virulent, inoperable new brain tumor was discovered, JW decided to focus on how he might help others with medical struggles of their own. He envisioned building a house near Kaiser Hospital, in Santa Clara, California where families can stay with their loved ones during long hospitalizations. He wanted this house to be a place for brothers and sisters to talk quietly; a place for moms and dads and grandparents to be able to eat together; a place to talk with other families that are facing similar challenges — a place that feels like a “home away from home”.

On Wednesday, August 3rd, Jan-Willem was called home to Heaven. Surrounded by family and friends, his passing was peaceful, beautiful, and overflowing with love. In his final days, JW reminded us about the “simple” things in life – how a hug, a kiss, a smile – speak louder than any words. He reminded us to cherish one another, to embrace each moment without being afraid of what the next may bring, and to believe that together we can make a difference in this world. As JW’s smile shines on us from above, he asks us to carry on the kindness, humor, courage, and hope that allowed him to live life to its fullest.

JW’s compassion and determination to help others and his promise to "Never ever give up" remained consistent throughout his life and his death as well. Near the end of his life, JW was pleased to learn that he would be able to donate his brain for research – with the hope that he would be able to contribute to finding a cure for brain cancer. And, although JW will be missed, his legacy will live on through the JW House and the help he’ll provide for others who will need support as they fight illness in the future.

The marvelous news is that so far JWHouse has raised $500,000 towards JW's goal of building a house for families of patients at Keiser's Santa Clara hospital.

Welcome to the JW House Web Site

Spent the weekend getting dirty

Still working on that back bedroom. This weekend I finally got the tin of textured paint open and started on a wall and the ceiling.

Bloody messy work, I can tell you. Check out the picture and video of me covered in Behr's finest textured paint.

T520050807220015323.jpg Painting, it's a messy business


Monday, August 01, 2005

Go prune the tree, there's a movie starting in 20 minutes

I really like satellite TV, it's much better quality than cable, cheaper and more choice.

But who'd have thought, in the 21st Century, that you'd have to go lop branches off your mulberry tree inorder to watch a movie uninterrupted.

Needless to say, it's the fault of the moron installer who insisted on putting the dish slightly north of the tree, hence the obstruction to the dish's southerly view!

Riding a huge strap-on

The best 7 minutes of TV I've seen in a long while. This video (View Video) on the NASA site isn't nearly as good as the uncompressed TV coverage version, but it's good enough to give you a feel. Make sure you have the sound on too!


2:05 - SRB separation
3:00 - Right SRB fades into distance
3:10 ...
5:13 - debris from Right SRB seen 'burning up'
5:51 - 'shutes deploy
6:23 - splashdown

I'd pay good money just to have a seat on the SRB, even if it doesn't really count as space flight (not sure if the SRBs get high-enough to count as space).

From: NASA - Multimedia -- Highlights