Saturday, July 23, 2011

Dental Plan!

{Lisa needs braces}

This post will be about something you do twice a day (and if you don't, please do it for the sake of the people around you). This is about brushing your teeth. Essentially you are scrubbing your teeth with an abrasive.

Now, why do we need to do this? Well, we humans have a great appreciation for sweetness and the taste of sugar. The industrial revolution made production very cheap so it started to be added into everything. In fact sugar is presumed to be in everything we eat that some items without sugar have to be deliberately marked as 'sugar-free'. Sugar is a carbohydrate - you eat it and it gives you a lot of energy. When you eat or drink it it sticks to your teeth. Bacteria in your mouth feeds off this sugar and sticks to your teeth forming plaque. The byproduct of this bacteria feeding is acid and over time this breaks down your teeth causing cavities...

We brush our teeth to remove this plaque from our teeth - stopping it from doing any damage. Turns out that this act of brushing can actually do damage to the teeth. Toothpaste+toothbrush is an abrasive that scrubs plaque off teeth. If done directly after eating or drinking (especially acidic foods) it can actually cause loss of enamel which is the stuff teeth are made of. Consuming high acidic foods causes the enamel to soften and in cases like these it is better to leave the teeth as it is instead of brushing it.

Flossing is the best way to go as it removes bacteria without being harsh on the teeth. It is still recommended to brush your teeth twice a day, just do it away from meal times and use a soft brush.

By the way, funny thing happens when you drink orange juice right after you brush your teeth.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

You're shitting it wrong

This post will be related to previous one which said that sitting is bad for you. Sitting makes your body form a position which, held for a long period, is unhealthy can may even bring early death. It turns out that in most of the western world you sit when you shit - and this can cause problems.

Most people in the western world are familiar with the sitting toilet - you sit on it like a chair (you're probably doing it right now). Now there is a problem with pooping in this position - namely that you are forming an angle between where the poop is and where its going to come out. And when sitting or standing there is a muscle that contracts to prevent accidents. According to some experts when poop tries to come out this way it can strain the bowel and cause veins to swell leading to hemorrhoids.

The best way to poop is by squatting and this is the method use in most of humanity's history and by people in the non-Western world (namely, those that don't have access to a sitting toilet).

Source: ( How bathroom posture affects your health.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


I hate slow internet... (and in other news, adsense payment came!)

anyway, before the last post I said stuff about the story of humans and how we came to be what were are now (sort of). Well now these next few posts will be talking about several things you, as humans in today's society, are doing wrong.

First off, sitting.

It turns out that there is something you need to do to remain healthy besides eating and excersizing - and that is to not sit for long, uninterrupted periods. It turns out that the human body was not designed to sit for so long which doesn't flow well in today's day and age between our homes and offices and our cars which takes us between our homes and offices.

Sitting greatly increases the rate of all-cause mortality, especially from causes including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity - and this does not go away even if you exercize.

Sitting cuts of circulation of blood in some parts of the body. Blood contains enzymes called lipase which breaks down fats.

Remember those postures guides you may have come across telling you the best way to sit while using a computer? Forget about those, sit how ever you want. Just don't do it for too long.

I've tried to deal with this, I stand up when using my computer. It's a laptop so I just prop it up with some boxes or thick books. For the more dedicated theres desks that can move up for when you're standing and move down for when you are sitting.

And after doing something like that for a while, you start to feel more energized and focused and alert. Back is less sore and you get a good posture. And seeing as standing takes more effort than just sitting down you will burn fat and lose weight.

And you know what? Sitting down after standing up for a while becomes soothing rather than painful due to a flat bottom.

Please note, your feet may start to hurt.

Monday, June 27, 2011


Sorry for the long absence, I had exams. But it's all over now and thats good. Time to relax!

Making new headlines around the world this week is this group calling themselves 'lulzsec' or Lulz Security with their tagline "Laughing at your security since 2011". They have hacked into and released many personal information (usernames, passwords, email addresses) from many different websites. Their first release was a database of FOX's X-Factor contestants back in May although members of this group may have previously been involved with the attacks on Sony where personal information have been stole. They do this to provide lulz - in other words, laughter at the expense of their victims in a Joker from Batman sort of way. They do not appear to be using these stolen data for criminal purposes (though the people they release this to may be).

Their methods of hacking include SQL injections and when that is not possible they do a distributed denial of service attack against their targets. Surprisingly many websites in this day and age are vulnerable to SQLi (including MySql's own website which is ironic). One of the goals in their hacking they say is to draw attention to this insecurity that exists. They also hacked various gaming sites which made everyone pissed off at them. Other times their goals seemed political when they attacked servers belong to corporations.

Some argue that this group is a false flag operation by the FBI or other government agencies. Many argue that lulzsec will provide governments around the world with the justification to lock down and censor the internet.

Other groups have accused lulzsec of being script kiddies - using simple scripts and making a big deal about it. Indeed the best hacking groups are the ones you never hear of. Compare that to lulzsec with its public facing website, a twitter account and even a hotline for fans to call in raid targets these people seem to be huge attention whores.

But lulzsec is now coming to an end. They are now in the spotlight of many law enforcement agencies and one arrest has been made in connection to the lulzsec hacks. Also they are drawing fire from many hacking groups and other script kiddies. They have now ended their operations, claiming they only intended to last for 50 days.

Monday, May 30, 2011

A story about humans

Humans first walked the Earth many millions of years ago.

The first civilisations started about 10,000 years ago when we decided to form and live in towns and cities with most of us working in farms rather than running around looking for food.

It's amazing how much we've changed.

We do not have fur.

Humans do not have fur. Why? Some argue that it was because we did such a horrible job of cleaning ourselves that it became an evolutionary advantage _not_ to have fur (which lice and other parasite could hide in). This exposed the skin to the sun and depending on where you lived you would get different amounts of sunlight creating different skin colours leading to the different races. There are three 'great races', Caucasoid (white people), Mongoloid (asian people) and Negroid (black people).

Oh and not having fur meant that we had to find other ways of keeping warm - like making a fire, one of our great ancestor's most important skill. It served a social purpose by bring people together to cook and share food. [Although we do get goosebumps to keep us warm.]

Another thing that serves a social purpose is alcohol. Our bodies are designed for alcohol (our largest internal organ, the liver, is there for the purpose of metabolizing alcohol). At the beginning of civilisation we started living in towns and cities and worked on the farm tending to crops and animals. Half of the grain was used for making beer. Beer was the one big draw of city life, it was something you couldn't get as a roaming solitary nomad. Beer is a social lubricant - it makes social situations much easier to deal with.

As towns and cities developed and grew larger and larger it became quite difficult keeping track of all the people. How did we managed to solve this problem? By inventing gossip. The first uses of our more complex language (originally probably developed to coordinate hunting) was to sit around the campfire and exchange information about the ones who weren't there, behind their backs.

That use of language--that sharing of juicy secrets about who was sick, or dying, or who was mating with who--let us gather information about other members of the group who don't happen to be present. This is what the other animals could not do, and it let us create the kind of complex societies other species can barely understand.

Ever wonder why women seem to talk--and gossip--more than men? Some think it's because while the males were out hunting, it was the females who did the gossiping around the campfire.

Now there are problems that need some personal time to solve. Sometime we just gotta get away from people and from society. Well thats why we have depression. Depression makes you want to cut off contact from others until we could get our act together. Depression is a part of being a normal, healthy person.

Well I hope you guys found this story fascinating!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Better safe than Sony

In 2006 Sony released the Playstation 3 (PS3). It soon became the best way to play blu-ray discs. Part of this was because the PS3 could easily connect online to download firmware updates so that it could support newer blu-ray features as the specification evolved. The other reason was because PS3 has no gaems.

The PS3 had the ability to run Linux using the OtherOS feature which was nice because it was like a mini super computer. The US military was using many of them to form a super computing cluster and many distributed computing projects like Folding@Home used them to run simulations of protein structures to try and understand them more and possible cure certain diseases. All this came to an end when Sony removed OtherOS feature because they were scared of piracy.

A hacker, who is well known in the jailbreaking scene, known as Geohot decided to bring back the OtherOS feature. He sought to allow PS3 users to reenable a functionality that Sony sold them. Sony didn't like this at all, they didn't like the fact that people could do their own things to their hardware that they bought. So they decided to launch a lawsuit against Geohot.

Now they didn't go into court, they settled things privately out of court, but Sony did manage to get records of Geohot's paypal account, IP addresses of anyone who interacted with him on youtube, facebook and other places including his own website.

Meanwhile the online collective known as Anonymous decided to DDoS and take down Sony's website and the Playstation store. And while Sony was busy with that another hacker group managed to break into PSN and steal lots of personal information about its users. This caused the lengthy downtime which meant that people couldn't play Portal 2 when they bought it on Steam. Some sources say that the downtime was due to piracy thanks to a cracked developer console. Sony took a week to notify customers that their personal information had been stolen and that they are at risk of identity theft.

All of this happened because of Sony's lawsuit against a hacker. They angered the hive and it fought back.

Sony has previously released CDs that would install a rookit if played on a Windows PC.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sponsored by Disney

In the past few weeks the bad guy gets killed and the prince marries the princess!

Osama bin Laden, the world’s most wanted terrorist, died on May 2nd, aged 54. The figure-head of al-Qaeda is dead and the world is a safer place. He was the founder and the voice of the organization. Osama bin Laden has been responsible for preaching hatred and using terrorism to kill innocent people.

The western world reacted unversally positively to this news. People were celebrating on the streets of New York City after midnight (which was when the announcement was made). They all chanted USA! USA! USA! Some others celebrating with 10 year old cake and balloons. One person decided to shave his beard.

Those who lost loved ones in the September 11 attacks had mixed emotions.
"This is a feeling of happiness, but not jump-up-and-down happiness. The idea of closure is something that really, really - it doesn't exist, to tell you the truth."

Then there were those who didn't like this victory for the simple reason because it was Obama that did it.

The Situation Room
In the Situation Room President Obama and other officials monitored the situation. Tensions were high. "Geronimo, EKIA." One word and four letters were spoken by a Navy Seal to confirm the death of Osama to President Obama. Geronimo was the code name for either killing or capturing Osama bin Laden, while EKIA stands for "enemy killed in action".

Osama was unarmed when they got to him. Two shots killed him - in the chest and in the head. He was in his palace in Abbottabad, Pakistan. (Talk abbottabad place to hide).

Pakistan has recieved over $20 billion in US aid since the September 11 attacks and so ideally they are on the US' good side. If they were found intentionally hiding America's most wanted terrorist then that could cause a lot of trouble. Pakistan had blocked any investiagtion regarding Abbottabad and also pays US lobbyists to deny it helped bin Laden. So thats the pretty fair admission of guilt. Imagine what it would be like if Osama wasn't there in Pakistan.

Photos are not going to be released of the raid. It was a balance between the public right to know what a war looks like and others seeing Osama as a martry (with the images being paraded around) and radicallizing against the US.

If he were to be captured there is no way he'll get a fair trial - probably just a show trial. A bullet in the head is easier for the world. Not better.

It was also interesting to see people cheering at a person's death. Also one must wonder what it says about a country that celebrates killing as an instrument for resovling problems. Some teachers were telling muslim students 'sorry your uncle died'. In New Zealand, leader of the maori party Harawira, called him a freedom fighter. And then he later apologied for the statement.

So what's going to happen as a result of this death?
Very little probably. Osama may have been a key leader of al Qaeda during its infancy but now it's a very large organization where the head doesn't what the hand is doing. Apparently, bin Laden didn't know about the 9/11 attacks until after it happened. So does that mean the world will be safer? Will Americans begin to see their civil liberties restored? Repelling of the PATRIOT ACT? A closure of Guantanamo Detention Camp (something that Obama has promised). Is there now an ending to this "War On Terror?" I dont' think so. Violence begets more violence. According to the telegraph there is a bomb in Europe that will explode of Osama is killed or captured. al-Qaida also has plans for derailing an American train on the upcoming 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

For the arabs this is a good thing. It will make many people see that there is another side to the Arabs - the non terrorist side. Turns out that many Arabs are pissed of with bin Laden's actions and have seen the terrible result of them. They are now focused on ending repressive regimes as seen in the current Arab uprisings


And now this part will be about the killing of Osama bin Laden.

The operation to kill or capture Osama bin Laden was rehearsed in a replica of the Abbottabad compound where the al Qaeda founder was hiding, US officials revealed.

Some reports suggested that there were at least forty of them and they left Ghazi air base in Pakistan in three MH-60 helicopters
The Seals did not suffer any casualty.

They used a stealth helicopter that was never used before to evade Pakistan radar. It was untested.

A phone call led US to bin Laden's lair. One of his most trusted aides picked up the phone and US intelligence was able to trace it to a walled compound in northeast Pakistan.

The SEALs dropped down ropes from helicopters, killed bin Laden aides and made their way to the main building. Obama and his national security team monitored the strike, watching and listening nervously and in near silence from the Situation Room as it all unfolded.

Osama's body was buried out into the sea, just like Hitler's remains.

post raid sattelite images: (greets to a fellow blogger)

photos of celebration,29307,2068860,00.html

more reactions:

Osama bin Laden obituary: (must read!)
Another read:

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Royal Wedding

Today the world watched as two people got married in The Royal Wedding.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (born William Arthur Philip Louis on 21 June 1982)
Catherine Elizabeth Mountbatten-Windsor, Duchess of Cambridge (usually known as Kate)

They met each other at some university.

Kate cannot be called a princess because princesses are something that you are born in to - its not something you can gain by entering a marriage. Kate will never be a princess. sadfrog.jpg

Media Highlights. (mostly surrounding Kate because she is just gorgeous).
Kate arrives for her royal wedding to Prince William
Kate walks up the aisle on the arm of her father
Kate and William exchange wedding vows
the 'i do'
Kate and William share kiss on balcony,_Duke_of_Cambridge,_and_Kate_Middleton

This was a amazing event.
According to some sources 3 billion viewing all around the world - thats almost half the world population. Past large scale events like the recent natural disasters, 9/11, superbowl and other large events have gotten views in the hundreds of millions. The world all came together to see this event and experience it together.

Additionally about 1 million people travelled from all around the world to see this wedding event. That is incredible!

But some argue that this is nothing, its meaningless. Why in 2011 is there still a monarchy [in the first world]? Some call this a great relief from the terrible recent events while some call this a distraction from them. For example, the student protest in UK over tution fee hikes. Interestingly enough this event would have cost lots to put together and the taxpayers have to pay for this (although some argue that all the travellers comming in to watch could spend money in London so it won't be too bad.

And lest not forget most of this is just for show, many countries that have been ruled by the British (including New Zealand) have broken off and formed their own democratic governments now. Britian has nothing on them. It is interesting how much interest Americans have given this, especially since they fought hard to cut off from them - an event that is now celebrated as 'independence day'.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Science and God

And now to focus a bit on science and God. Could science actually be bringing us closer to God? Let us assume that God did create the world as we know it. I am happy with such as assumption because I believe that this world is too amazing for it to be a random act of nature. Science is about discovering more about the world and trying to understand it. It tries to answer the big question: why are we here? If God did create us (or rather create something that would evolve into us) wouldn't he want us explore this world rather than think something as crazy as 'god put those fossils there to test our faith'. Science, in pursuing truth, would be finding God.

lol I remember going shopping with a friend and running in to this busking and we donated money to him. Then goes on all about god and stuff and one interesting thing I remember him talking about was the atom. Imagine you split the nucleus of the atom and you keep doing that over and over again then you'll see some particles - three of them infact. The three particles could represent the holy triniy - father, son and holy spirit. Arranged together this is called the 'god particle' or the Higgs boson. The busker guy said that this is god's sign to stop exploring. But we ignored this sign and researchers at CERN are researching and investigating this particle using the LHC - Large Hadron Collider (which will eventually create a black hole and kill the entire human race).

But there are those who will alway reject a scientific source because it contradicted their own deeply held belief and views. This is an interesting thought. You may have heard about the flight-or-fight response. When encountering a predator or an enemy the natural instinct is to either fight this being or to run away. Both responses are for the purpose of survival. It turns out that this response also works for information that contradicts your own belief, information that threatens you. When encountered with such information that person will either block it out completely or try to say how that scientific reasoning is wrong.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

ZOMG iOS 4 records all your travels!

(to be more specific iOS that carries a cellular signal - iPhone and iPad 3G)

So some researchers discovered that iOS 4 records every location is been at. It records in this database file: /private/var/root/Library/Caches/locationd (you'll have to jailbreak it to get ssh access into it and then copy the file to your computer to open it).

So why does this file exist?
It has to do with how location services work in iOS. There is two ways to get a location. First is using the standard GPS signal from the satelites - similar to many GPS recievers. It gets a really accurate reading but the problem is that is uses too much battery power. It's not a problem if you're using it as an in-car GPS because you get cigarette lighter power but what if you want to update your location on twitter or facebook? Well then there is A-GPS which uses cell towers instead.

A-GPS uses the strength of its connections to cell towers to judge the distances away from them and then goes online to find the lat/long position of those towers using a unique identifier. It's fast, accurate enough to post on facebook and doesn't take up too much battery. Because cell towers don't move a lot it would be a waste to look up its location every time so this data is cached on the device.

So over time as you travel and move around with the device it keeps a general location of where it goes. This is a privacy issue - so much so that Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) wants an explanation. If one could obtain this file one could see where the owner's place of residence, work, study, etc. But also more sensitive locations such as strip clubs, abortion clinics, hospitals, etc etc etc.

But how does one even access this file? First it needs to be jailbroken. Right now this means taking the physical device and connecting it to a computer and running the jailbreak software on it. Then its a simple matter of copying the /private/var/root/Library/Caches/locationd file .

Now why would Apple allow this. Firstly don't attribute to malevolence to what could be a mere oversight. The file is so small compared to the storage capacity of the iPhone that the developers might not have paid much attention to it. They thought it would be better for it to just be left alone and didn't consider the privacy implications.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Earthquakes therefore antipiracy legislation?

In New Zealand you may have heard about the earthquakes in Christchurch. This has put Christchurch in a state of emergency. In Christchurch police have cordoned off the CBD denying citizens access to their businesses and whatever they have in there.

In the government of New Zealand The House is currently in urgency to pass Christchurch earthquake recovery measures. It just so happens that during this session of parliament this internet piracy bill was rushed through.

It is disgusting that this happened. This bill was protested and thus never implemented back in 2009 but now they get to rush this bill through under urgency bypassing parliamentary procedure. They're using the Christchurch Earthquake to pass completely irrelevant laws which I find to be quite offensive and completely undemocratic.

So anyway this bill will allow copyright holders to accuse internet users of copyright infringement. The ISP will have to send warning letters to its users at the behest of the rights holder. After three strikes the user will either face a $15,000 fine or 6 months disconnection. I mean we could just hop on to another ISP, but this just isn't right.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

sad crab

This picture here thats making the rounds on the internet makes me feel so sad...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Infinite capacity drive?

Sorry for not posting in a while but been busy with the last few weeks of uni. Well at least its break now. How you all doing?

I was reading about something interesting today. A cheap chinese knock off a portable hard drive with an interesting feature. It appears to have an infinitely large capacity.

So with a normal hard drive you plug it in (typically via USB), copy some data into it and then unplug it. A later time you plug it back in and you can see the data you've copied into it. This drive is different however - you can store data in it. But the drive only remembers the last 128mbs!

Think of this as a pocket with a hole in it. You keep trying to put coins in it, but it always falls out!

Trolling is a art

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Firefox 4

So I'm sure by now you've all gotten the new Firefox 4. It was 2008 when they released the 3 version.

I don't use Firefox (Chrome here) but I'm definitely going to switch. It just seems much more speedy now which is good - probably because Chrome is all full of gunk thanks to all that browsing.

Plus what I also did was set Firefox to move the cache into RAM so that its much faster to load. Here's how:!5687850/speed-up-firefox-by-moving-your-cache-to-ram-no-ram-disk-required

The rest of the year should be exciting for firefox. It plans to release version 7 by the end of this year. Hope it goes well and its not just fudging the numbers to make themselves look good, but rather actually deliver new features on time. For instance did you know that Firefox had the idea for tabs on top - Chrome got it out first but now finally Firefox has it.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

US intervention

The United States has intervened in Libya.

Of course the difference between this and Iraq is that the US has permission from the UN and the Arab League. Now just hope they don't over stay by 8 years or something and it will be all good.

Interesting thing about this and George Bush is that if he had stayed long enough to get into one more war he could have gotten a Nobel Peace Prize as well!

video unrelated (?)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Windows 1 ---> 7

This is a video of a user updating through every Windows release. Windows 1, 2, 3, 3.1, 95, 98, 98SE, 2000, XP, Vista, and 7.

This looks like a real consumer friendly design. Windows can be updated to a newer release without having too much trouble. But is this a bad design? Windows keeps getting more and more bloated with each release thanks to its insistence on backwards compatibility. And also on the Windows LNK vulnerability It was discovered in 2010 and it affects Windows from XP to the present 7. XP was 10 years ago! (Yes stop and think about that for a second, feels bad old).

Monday, March 14, 2011


Well as you may know Japan has been hit by a large Tsunami - the worst it has ever seen, resulting from an earthquake to the east of the coast of Japan. Over 1000 confirmed death with tolls expected to reach over 10000. Given the population density of Japan the fact that this was not a higher number is a great testament to the civil engineers of Japan.

Japan loves its technology and one of the most high-tech ways to generate electricity is through the use of nuclear power. There was no damage to any nuclear power plants - again a testament to the civil engineers of Japan, but radiation levels around the area have increased. The population nearest the power plants were evacuated from the area while the rest of the population were told to stay indoors, but without basic utilities available that may be difficult to do. Theres also some worry that the radiation will spread to west of the United States.

Speaking of the United States some Americans on Facebook have adopted the idea of Karma and said that the Tsunami was karma’s payback for Pearl Harbor bombings by the Japanese 70 years ago (which then drove USA to be in WWII). Pearl Harbor was 70 years ago. This is an issue that would have not affected them, nor their parents, but their parent’s parents. Any yet they post on their Facebook that this was payback for that??? Forgive and forget much? What about black slavery?

BTW America did get its revenge by bombing Japan in a civilian area not once but twice causing magnitudes more death than in Pearl Harbor.

What is up with Americans and their patriotism? What do they teach you in history?

Of course this maybe just a few cases blown up in the spotlight (the media loves to do that, esp social media) and not a big deal at all.

links related:

Friday, March 11, 2011

Hey guys

what day is it again?

never mind, I got it. and wtf is wrong with her voice? Is that what autotune sounds like these days?

And if that pissed you off, watch this to get it out:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


It has been around 100 days since Wikileaks released the 'Cablegate' files. In these files are messages between embassies around the world. They have confirmed previous allegations and revealed new ones.

The most dramatic effect that this series of releases has would be the uprising and protest in North Africa and the Middle East. Tension has been building around these regions. Rights and dignities were being violated, costs of living increased (especially due to the 2008-2009 economic downturn/recession), corruption was evident in the government. But protests didn't happen at first because they were scared.

One man however had nothing to lose. After years of harassment by government officials and being unable to support his family he immolated himself in an act of desperation. This started off protests in Tunisia and is spreading around (the domino effect) the middle east and north africa. "It's only after we've lost everything that we are free to do anything." This as well as Wikileak's hard evidence of the corruption in their government made people get up in protest.

Egypt is an interesting case. Second protest- started after Tunisia. Had the most western media coverage. A mostly peaceful protest lasting about 10 days. It was a place where the United States sent people to be tortured in its 'War on Terror'. After the protest the citizens stormed the offices were these documents were stored regarding tortue and it should shine some new light on this.

In the western world there are protest in London (about increase of student fees) and Wisconsin (public workers are facing wage cuts).

And reports are that maybe signs of interest are happening in China (Jasmine Revolution) and in North Korea.

2011 will be the year of the people. It's a beautiful day.
and then 2012 will be the end of the world. :(

Monday, March 7, 2011

my recent life

Whats been happening to my life recently. Well in uni I've discovered that all my courses are pretty much the same thing: logic. I'm taking computer science, philosophy and mathematics and its really interesting to see how words like proposition and tautology come up in each of them. Seems redundant.

In other news I had my first actual drink. Had one bottle of Speights. Never drunk before. It feels lightheaded and that blood is rushing to your skin. And you also feel confident in that you don't really care too much about the consequences of your action. This was after our club meeting. Me and my new friends went around talking to girls and having a good time. Then we played pool. That was a great night.

And more to come with this debating club (well actually they call it debating society).

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

iPad 2

This should be interesting. iPad 2 is faster, thinner, lighter; same battery, display resolution.

It has a camera for facetime and photobooth but no retina display. Also the metal edge around the iPad is ever so slightly more thin.

Also the new case looks interesting.

I picked up my friend's iPad and the first thing I noticed was that it was really heavy. I was thinking, how are you supposed to hold and use this? But I think the lightness will make it better for everyone.

So anyone going to by iPad 2? (including the ones who haven't bought the first iPad)

Monday, February 28, 2011

A new semester

Well a new semester has started and the subjects I'm doing include Maths and Philosophy (not to be confused with psychology).

Here's what they give for maths.

[Maths] gives you mathematical tools and understanding which will both enhance your appreciation of your world, and also improve your chances of solving problems in your chosen career.

And here's what they say for philosophy.

Psychologists know that human thinkers make a surprising number of mistakes in their reasoning. This course is an opportunity to encounter, enjoy and lament these mistakes as they crop up in publicity, politics, public debates and personal relationships. We will introduce techniques from logic for analysing the ways in which people reason. (We won't, however, be using any symbols of the kind we use in our stage one formal logic course.) We will explore what it means to say that some methods of reasoning are better than others. This in turn should equip us to spot the predictable errors made by others and to avoid making them ourselves. Such skills are invaluable when interpreting texts, constructing arguments for and against controversial positions, writing essays and reports and thinking clearly.

This should be an interesting year hopefully.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Sorry, haven't been posting for a bit. Been busy with other things.

Christchurch's recent earthquake has made that day the darkest in NZ history.
But one thing that come out of it was that we no longer had to do the census forms.
Our family has donated $300 to it.

I've tried to install Mac OS X Lion on my MacBook Pro but no go. Probably torrented the wrong version or something. Oh well, still reformatted and going to restore. Nothing like fresh installation to keep your system up in good condition.

One more thing, been watching some of these videos. It's so fascinating and addicting how these crimes were done.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

british humor

I love British humor. I remember growing up with Mr Bean. And right now I've decided to rewatch Hot Fuzz and The IT Crowd.

Damn that chick in the IT Crowd is hot!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

the darkest day

Another earthquake hit Christchurch, NZ. It was much shallower this time than the one in September. In other words it was closer to the surface and cause lots more damage. Deaths have been confirmed. 65 with more to be found.

My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Christchurch.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

domain seziure

Anybody else really scared about the domain seizures?

At first there was the seizure of a long list of domains selling actual counterfeit goods. Also included was bittorrent meta search engine (a search engine that searches other search engines). The seizure of this site, TorrentFinder, was concerning as it did have and copyrighted files. Rather it linked to sites, which linked to files, which may link to copyrighted files.

These seizures are part of a US government (ICE, DOJ) operation called "Operation In Our Sites" and they target .com domain names.

In another similar operation "“Operation Save Our Children" (btw don't you just love that name? The genius is that no one can oppose it without being branded a child abuser). In this operation domains of sites related to child porn were seized. I'm not too sure why they were seized because I'm sure any reputable DNS provider would drop the domains if they were alerted to the nature of these sites by the Feds. Also, distribution of child porn is a crime. These people aren't going to have public facing websites but rather a darknet comprised of topsites, hidden irc servers, Tor, etc.

But the most concerning thing is that 84,000 domains were seized but these were from a free DNS provider. With these service providers you get a name eg. and point it to an ip of say a private minecraft server. People who use these free dns services are individuals working on a personal websites or very small businesses who want a name for free. Well all these domains were seized and then a banner was placed accusing them of child porn crimes. That is the worst thing that a person in this day and age can be accused of - and this would have scared and shocked the owners and users of these websites.

Why is the government so incompetent with technology?

Thursday, February 17, 2011


"I for one welcome our new computer overloads"

Is anyone else scared the computers will take over / have been taking over.

I mean the Google is probably the closest thing yet. It can predict our preferences in entertainment and even our health!

And now machines can speak our language (Watson).

(social) Media

Social media can also depress you like news media.

What happens is on social network sites people post shit that puts them in a flattering light - something that makes them look good - pics, status updates, etc. Other people read this and compare that person's life to their own and they feel less happy than the other person. Over time this can make a person feel depressed.

But hey its just facebook drama. No need to take it all seriously.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

(news) Media

The world really isn't scary. But the news media will tell you otherwise.

News became crap after it was tied to profits. Suddenly it was in the company's financial interest to get as many eyeball as possible.

Attention grabbing headlines and shocking news reports are a few techniques they use. These invoke the feeling of fear inside us. We evolved to be highly susceptible to fear otherwise we would have died easily due to predators lurking about.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011



It's the game show where an answer is given: "The Father of Our Country; he didn't really chop down a cherry tree" and a short question is to be given by the contestant: "Who is George Washington?" So this involves using language, understanding and knowledge to get the solution.

IBM took the challenge of making a computer system that could compete, like a human player, in this game. It's called WATSON. It sits like a contestant and gets its input as a text file and processes it itself - no outside internet access or human intervention. And the results were amazing.

This brings an interesting question. What does it mean to understand something? Right now what WATSON is doing is looking all the word in the answer given up in its database and assigning a probabilty to the correct question. Outside the system it looks like the system understands it. But imagine WATSON played Jeopardy! in Chinese. And imagine instead of a computer running the program it was a non-chinese speaking person running the program by hand. It takes in Chinese characters as input, processes it by hand according to the program, and outputs Chinese. Would you say that the human understood Chinese?

Sunday, February 13, 2011


this bit is a bit related to the previous posts.
"Scarcity is what drives economics, and when you have people distributing products for free it creates this huge supply which will drive prices lower, so it's in their best interests to keep their products scarce." - Zoe

This is what happened at the turn of the 20th century in 1900. People were working in factories to produce stuff that people bought to improve their livelihoods. Machinery was getting more and more efficient at that time meaning that people would have to work less and less hours to meet the demand for products by consumers. Business owners saw this as a bad thing as that would mean they would loose power. Introducing the Gospel Of Consumption. Techniques have been used to create new needs in consumers causing more and more products to be made thus keeping business leaders in power.

Their tool of choice? Advertising.

A wise man once said "advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. "

Saturday, February 12, 2011


woot! The Egyptians have did it. 18 days of protests starting from Jan 25 and ending Feb 11 and Mubarak has gone! Right now the military is fulling in as the government until a formal democratic election is organized - a first for Egypt. Sweet sweet democracy.

Egypt was once ruled, like all nations, by king and queen. At the end of that however, democracy didn't come - rather a military dictatorship has been in place with Mubarak as the president. And he alone has ruled Egypt for 30years.

And now a bit about al Qaeda.

Egyptians have played key leadership roles within al Qaeda since its foundation. Three in particular -- Ayman al Zawahiri, Mohammed Atef, and Abu Ubaidah al-Banshiri -- helped radicalize Osama Bin Laden, turning him against Arab regimes.

The radicalism of these Egyptians stemmed in no small part from the brutal repressive techniques of the Mubarak era.

It is no accident that many of the radical ideologues al Qaeda has turned to for guidance have also been Egyptian.

Human rights organizations allege that human rights abuses, and even torture, have become routine under Mubarak's rule. The simmering anger that results risks another generation being similarly radicalized.

But now that Mubarak is out, the world will be a better place now that these people are no longer repressed and thus don't have drive themselves to terrorism.

I'll end on two videos:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ps3, btw

This will be the last post in this series I swear.

So what will happen when we no longer have to slave away all day to make money in order to having a living.

We're going to have a lot of free time. This will free us to do better things. This phenomenon is called cognitive surplus. It is going to make the world a better place. The internet has given us great things and allowed us to do amazing things.

LOLCATS. These are images with text superimposed on it. These are created and shared for their entertainment value - and its done for free. This is one result of having cognitive surplus.

There is also other things that people do as a result of cognitive surplus and that is to help other people through the internet. Ushahidi is a platform that allows web users to share information to make a better world. It was used to map incidents of violents after the 2008 Kenyan elections.

During the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake web users made maps which were then used by rescue workers on the ground to locate survivors.

Map mashups were also used in the 2011 UK student protest to avoid running into police kettles (traps) and in Egypt to document protests hotspots.

These can help make a better world for us all.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

PS2, btw

Last post was fascinating so I think I'll add a little more on that. Technology has deskilled many professions so that we don't have to pay others for their expertise as much. For example I didn't have to pay anyone to get this site up and running. With things like Linux, Apache, Wordpress you can get your own site running too - using open source software you gain the benefits of a large number of programmers working on the code with out actually having to pay them for it.

"its already hit, tho i don't really believe that basic necessities will be provided for free, this has been happening in third world countries, and thus keeping them third world countries" - kal

I think you mistake this for something else, other third world countries as given free supplies to keep them dependent on the supporting company. Give a man a fish v teach a man to fish. Here people will be given the necessities for living for free because there are no or not enough jobs - they've all been deskilled, automated or made redundant. Though I do believe that with this free time we will have we can improve the livelihood of others.

But yeah it's great to see a lot of agreement on this and seeing the US and UK perspective on this.

they've gotten rid of electronic checkouts in some places here in the US, takes peoples jobs away. - James

This is a very interesting approach in order to delay the inevitable.

Not just the check outs but entire grocery stores will be made redundant after this takes off.

BTW do you know why RIAA and MPAA sue people so much over mere music and movies? It's because creativity is the last strong hold for the american economy. From this post (404'd google cache) it says 'Scarcity is what drives economics'. RIAA and MPAA are trying to enforce that scarcity. They want you to ignore the fact that this content can be pirated free over the internet.

If you'll bear with me on this I have just one more post to say on this matter.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

PS, btw

Post Scarcity is something that fascinates me.

The world's manufacturing is being done in places like China. Call centres and IT services are being outsourced to India.

Right now the jobs we do are in the service industry. We operate checkouts in supermarkets or we made works of art or write software for example. For these jobs, we get money.

Technology is going to make these jobs irrelavent, redundant, or unprofitable. Checkouts? replace them with machines. Works of art or software? pirate it. And people don't make money when these happen.

What is money used for anyway? Above all, it is for the basics for survival.

When post scarcity hits, we wont' have money and as a result, all the basics of survival will be provided for free and you are free to spend your time doing something that you really love now that you don't have work to survive.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


The Chinese use chopsticks to eat. They are a pair of sticks of the same length, both manipulated with one hand. They say the chopstick is the extension of the finger and thus much more harmonious with the surrounding environment unlike the knife and fork which is all about cutting and stabbing.

But hey, they ain't go anything on the spork:

reader feedback: what do you use to eat?

Friday, February 4, 2011


Evolutionary homosexuality doesn't make sense. I mean, if you were gay you wouldn't have the desire to reproduce. Evolution favors traits that aid reproduction, and being gay clearly doesn't do that.

It turns out that if you are gay then you mother would have a 'man-loving' gene. This makes your mother have more sex with your father creating more children thus ensuring survival of the species.

Unfortunately this gene is sometimes passed down to the child, thus causing homosexuality.

So yes there is a gay gene, and no homosexuality is not a choice.

woot! evolution!

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Oh Canada. You really think people these days can survive on a 25GB cap? What will all that media, 'cloud computing', socialisation, news that now takes place online? Oh you crazy - and thats why its scary.

As time passes technology suppose to make things cheaper and more efficient. Why are you adding caps now? Why are you suddenly going backwards? The best part is that according to many internet companies it costs as little as $0.01 to transfer 1 GB. Remember, you're not transferring physical items, but rather electrons instead.

Of course data caps on broadband is something we deal with here in Australia and New Zealand, the difference is that we're in the middle of the fuckin' ocean! What's your excuse Canada? Oh and the broadband situation in AU and NZ is going to get better over time, not worse:

What I don't like about this whole thing is how something as essential as broadband is provided by companies who puts profits above everything else. Broadband should be provided by the government just like water service, sewer service and roads. Or the other option is to treat them as power companies and heavily regulate them.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

the matrix

I really like this TED talk:

The stone. They were a popular tool during the Stone Ages. Simple to make and use, just sharpen it and then you use it for whatever (say cutting or chopping). One person can understand how to make the whole stone tool.

But we don't use stone to interact with the world. These days we use electronic devices. These are much more complicated than mere stone tools. Not one person knows how to make the whole thing. In the case of iPhone someone knows how to extract oil, someone else knows how to turn that into plastic, someone else knows how to prepare circuit boards and silicon ships, someone knows how to program the chips and the list goes on and on.

Things like iPhone are possible because someone wrote the processes down, these processes are shared and the come together to make great things. As a result, humanity progresses. Just look at how far we've come!

Thats when I realised, we're living in the fuckin' matrix! We use all these tools and equipment to make life easier, but we don't know how they work exactly or how they're made. It's like a fake reality to us - the ability to use and control what we don't entirely understand. Stone tools were easy to understand, but iPhones? mind-blowing. How do iPhones work? But most importantly...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Apple Inc is the second largest company in the world in terms of market capitalization.

It is now among the ranks of oil companies.

The difference? The world runs on oil, not just for transportation but plastic packaging etc. The world doesn't need to be run on apple products.

Each purchase of an apple product is the result of a deliberate choice on the consumer's part. Unlike say Microsoft products which powers many businesses and schools.

Monday, January 31, 2011


Revenue from Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division, boosted by the success of the Kinect sensor and associated Xbox 360 consoles, grew by 55 percent from a year ago.

I have to say Microsoft has been pretty awesome as of recently. Ever since windows 7 they've been doing stuff right. Working with the people who jailbroke their new phone, Microsoft Security Essentials, the Kinect, then not trying to shut down the open source drivers for it, Windows 7 as a whole. The list goes on.

Despite an industry-wide 8 percent drop in video-gaming sales last month, sales of Microsoft's Xbox 360 rose 37 percent year over year, according to new NPD Group numbers.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

how to control people

There are two ways to take control of others. Huxley and Orwell. Two methods in which a distopian future can happen / is already happening.

Orwell. As in George Orwell. Author of the book "Nineteen Eighty-Four".
In this, life is a world of perpetual war, pervasive government surveillance, and incessant public mind control.
The perpetual war keeps people busy producing things for the war. Keeping them busy means no time to think about things like freedom and free though. Government surveillance via telescreen (transceiving television) in every room. If you try anything you'll be disappered. Mind control by controlling and removing words from the language. Words like freedom, rebellion, privacy. If you can't name it then you don't know whats missing.

They don't know the truth because they can't get the truth.

The other way is Huxley. As in Aldous Huxley. Author of the book "Brave New World".
All citizens are conditioned from birth to value consumption. People take a drug called 'soma' to get comfort when stressed for example. Sex is encouraged at an early age for fun and as a social activity rather than to start a family. Things like marriage, natural birth, parenthood, and pregnancy - heck even family, don't exist in this world. No family, no mourning in case of death. If something bad were to happen then to solution is always more soma. Everything is all happy.

They don't know the truth because they don't care about the truth.

Pic related:

Saturday, January 29, 2011


How and why do people get democracy? Usually they have to fight for it. But they have to think for it first.

At around the beginning of the industrial revolution people wanted a government that represented them. Why? Because being freed from the tedious and hard work of farming gave them time to rest and to think. They thought, and they wanted a more democratic government - they didn't want to be ruled by a King. The printing press helped share these ideas of freedom and democracy. Also being pissed off at your living conditions and the government in general helps.

A society is only three meals away from anarchy. -Ian Maclaren

In the Peterloo Massacre between 60,000–80,000 people were killed in England for demanding the reform of parliamentary representation. They wanted the right to vote. This and other movements for reform eventually lead to the Reform Act 1832 and it launched the rise of modern democracy in Britain. [citation]

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Silence please!

A shower is one of the best joys of life (or is it a bath?).

It also lets you breathe and think (and it's very comforting). Why?

Because it disengages your brain. There is very little distractions in a shower - you're forced to concentrate on a blank wall. The scrubbing of yourself is montonous and requires little brain engagement thus freeing it to think of other things - some of the best ideas come to you in the shower. A white noise effect generated by the water also isolates you from the outside environment. Last but not least, new thinking comes from a new environment (showering brings a change in location, temperature, attire (or lack thereof), and the addition of water.

So, do all your great thinking in the shower!

BTW just interested. Do you take showers first thing in the morning or at the end of the day?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Maths is hard

and here's why! The numbers system we used are based on the Hindu-Arabic numerals [0123456789]. This was invented in India at around the year 500 (about 2000 years ago). We assigned meanings to these figures. These are given to us by society, but we've never really grew up with it - we didn't evolve to understand these figures and so its very hard for us to understand them.

It's hard to visualise numbers. You can see the figure but the value behind that can be much harder to imagine. We've never really evolved to do that.

You can imagine one penny, but what about 50 000?
You can imagine a $100 note, but what about $1 000 000 000 000 worth?

It's really hard to imagine the value of figures like these.

So if you're having trouble with maths, work harder. You need this in today's society.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

why we cook

Every house has a kitchen and most of the foods we eat have been cooked. Why? What brought us to bring food to a heat source and afterwards eat it?

Cooking food allows us to absorb the nutrients in it more easily (though they can be destroyed in the cooking process). It kills germs, improves taste and makes it easier to digest. Cooked food also gives us more energy.

Grilling is man’s oldest cooking method and its discovery about 750,000 years ago helped our hominid ancestors evolve into the human beings we are today. Cooking is the secret to our evolution.

We have weak jaws, tiny teeth and small guts compared to other animals. Cooking helped us eat better.

Monday, January 24, 2011


I'm finding Microsoft to be less and less relevant these days.

Sure there will people who play games and/or will always want Windows. But people are starting to experiment with Macs.

Then it's phone and tablet side is being lost by iPhone and Android which are doing well.

But for business use Windows and Office will always be there so at least there's that.

Although Windows 7 Phone looks strong. Who knows it could have saved this girl from her self.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Musics gives life colour and musicals are a great example of that.

Other ones I enjoyed was 'the sound of music' (before seeing that I thought the von Trapp family was a vampire family). This takes place in Australia right before the Nazis take over. Also, Hairspray (set in America with black and white segregation).

Then there are also ones for kids including High School Musical (which appeals to little 12 year old girls - which is something that Disney has been doing).
There is also High School Musical: The tv series a/k/a Glee which takes a bunch of retarded and crippled people together where they sing songs other people have made and then they become popular!
Among these crippled people are: flamboyant gay kid, the shy Asian girl, the stupid cheerleaders, the skank with the heart of gold, the jocks, and the obese, sassy, neck-rolling, mouthy black girl. And these people really act out their stereotypes - but they do it while looking very pretty.

Goddamit at least HSM made their own songs.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Fight Club

The thing about Fight Club is that most people look at it on the surface. Basically we gotta fight to bring down tha man!!!! Fuck advertising and fuck corporations. Be a man and fight for no reason!

This contrasts with the actual meaning behind Fight Club. Basically there is this lonely man that doesn't fit in with society. He tries to connect with people but the only way to do that is to blow up the other's apartment, fight him and start an underground boxing club. This goes even further with vandalism of buildings and even a bombing carried out by his group.

He tries to free people from putting them in his own cult?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Grocery Store

I work at a grocery store.
People come up to me and ask me 'how much is this?'
I grab the item and read the price label attached to it.

Are people this stupid?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

today I learnt a bit of SQL, MySQL and PHP.

Today I learnt a bit of SQL, MySQL and PHP.

Databases are designed to store and retrieve data.
MySQL is server software that provides access to a database.
SQL is a computer language used to interact with the database.
PHP is used to make webpages based on the data stored in the database. It also allows users to store data submitted from a webpage to a database.

I started by copying the table of country populations
in to a text files separated by spaces. Then I wrote a php script to create a database and within it make a table and then load the data from the file into the table. The query looks like this:

mysql_query("INSERT INTO countries (rank, country, pop)
VALUES ('$rank','$name','$pop')");

the name of the table is 'countries' while rank, country and pop are table headers. The values are received from the file.

Then another php script outputs the contents of the database to be displayed to the user in a web browser.

$result = mysql_query("SELECT * FROM countries");

while($row = mysql_fetch_array($result))
echo "";
echo "" . $row['rank'] . "";
echo "" . $row['country'] . "";
echo "" , $row['pop'] , "";
echo "";

At this point a user can insert more data into the table using the php generated web page or delete data:

mysql_query("DELETE FROM countries WHERE rank=$_POST[rank]");

$_POST[rank] is provided by the webpage based on the users' input and it used to identify which entry is to be deleted.

But one of the most important things SQL is used for it to output certain entries that meets a criteria and also to display data in a certain way.

mysql_query("SELECT * FROM countries WHERE pop $_POST[operator] $_POST[value]");

this query takes in an operator eg. = < <= > >= != and a value and it returns entries where the population is true with the operator and value.

a sample query could be: SELECT * FROM countries WHERE pop > 50000

$result = mysql_query("SELECT * FROM countries ORDER BY rank ASC");

This last one gives back results in a certain order. In this case the data would be ordered by ascending rank (starting from 1 and going up).

If you want to learn more see w3schools for their tutorial for SQL and PHP
For a simple, all-in-one package server software to try on see XAMPP