February 2001

January 2001 -- 2001 -- March 2001

February 1, 2001

And yet another month has passed....

The privacy policy is now up, as the link below used to not work since I hadn't uploaded the page yet. And no one told me about it till my brother tried to read it last night. I don't bite for crying out loud!

I found a neat site describing some of the MIT hacks that have occurred there over the years. Makes me wish I could have gone to MIT.

The NSA is trying to create a crack-proof computer for work in their offices. The only crack-proof computer I know of is one that is turned off and buried in 6 feet of cement. It's also interesting to note how they are putting this on Linux since they can view the source code. Quoting the NSA, "You wouldn't want to do it on Windows NT, because you know nothing about what is going on inside NT." So true, so true

February 2, 2001

Happy Groundhog Day! It looks like it'll be 6 more weeks of winter. Of course if Winter is highs in the upper 70's (like it is in Florida) then I'm not ready for it to be over :)

Speaking of Winter, some researchers at CalTech are studying snowflakes to try and figure out why no two snowflakes are alike. It's not expected to create any new breakthroughs, but sometimes it's nice to do research for research's sake. And you never know, maybe snowflakes hold the cure for cancer..

There is a new song of the moment.

February 3, 2001

I got my cap and gown graduation pictures done today. It went a lot smoother than my senior pictures did, since today's session only took 20 minutes to do; compared to the 4 hours it took for my senior pictures. Of course, it does help to be the first appointment of the day! These picture and "senior stuff" companies make a killing each year off of us seniors. If you can get a good contract with the school, then it's the perfect business to be in because you're guaranteed lots of business. I figure the same sort of thing will happen with college graduation too.

Read about the 12 Steps to DDR Addiction. Are you an addict? I'd rate myself about a 7 and a half.

Here is the greatest Iron Chef website ever. Who would have thought cooking could be so entertaining?

February 5, 2001

Discover magazine posted a very interesting article on what a court ruling against Napster might do to our freedoms. The problems and repercussions that digitalizing works has done to humanity is incredible, and no telling what kind of future we will be living in 10 to 20 years. In another article that shares the same theme, Richard Stallman theorizes the consequences of digitalizing all books.

Some people like to think ahead, way ahead. Researches have figured out a way to change the Earth's orbit so that when the sun heats up in a billion or so years, we won't be cooked to death. All they need is a big asteroid and we should be able to create an orbit with a greater radius. It's nice to know that my great^134934 grand children will be able to still live on earth, assuming we haven't nuked ourselves to oblivion already.

February 6, 2001

Nintendo is running a very cool contest to find the loneliest Valentine's Day story. The 2 winners receive a Gameboy Color and 4 games for it, along with some other stuff, in an effort to cheer up the sad on Valentine's Day. I would enter if I could write good (heh :) enough, but since I already own a GBC I'm not missing out on much.

This webcomic is doing a story arc about Dance Dance Revolution. It'll be interesting to see where it leads.

Searching for some quotes the other day, I came upon this "1984" quote page. 1984 is my favorite book of all time too, so I highly suggest you read it.

February 7, 2001

Oh man I feel like crap. I came down with some kind of flu-like stuff (aches, headaches, sore throat and chills) like my dad had yesterday. I still went to school because of the retarded absent policy (if you miss more than 5 days, you don't get to exempt exams), so basically you get punished for breathing the same air that someone else had. I could understand "punishing" for missing school to go to the Bahahamas or something, but I don't think they should limit sick days, especially if you can get a doctor's note. Anyways, I'm not going to school today, and perhaps tomorrow, depending on how today goes. I am feeling better than I did yesterday though, but that is probably because I got a ton of sleep after I got back home from school. Sleep helps. Last night was no fun either, as I kept waking up and couldn't get a good nights sleep. I also was feeling nauseous, probably because I kept tossing and turning, but now I'm feeling better in that regard. Ugh, I hate being sick.

Update: Well, around noon I had a 102.4 degree temperature, so I took a very long and very cold shower to bring it down to 100. And just about 10 minutes ago I threw up into the toilet (which I'm sure you wanted to know :), but it's amazing how much better you feel after you've thrown up. Sometimes I feel pretty decent (not good but not horrendously bad - like right now), but other times I feel like terrible. I can't wait till I shake this thing.

February 8, 2001

I'm feeling much better today, except for my throat. I have a horrendous sore throat, but I went to the doctor this morning and he gave me some medication for it, so hopefully that'll help. But other than that, I feel pretty good. At least since it's just my throat, I can be on the computer or watch TV without feeling weak or tired. Just don't ask me to say anything or swallow :)

In an effort to prove that yes, there is a website for everything you can think of, I found a site all about toast. It has toast recipes, toast haiku, and even more links to toast websites. So the next time you can't think of anything good for breakfast, remember toast!

An American Publishing group wants to get rid of libraries because they steal profit away from publishing companies. Apparently they feel that the general public should not be informed and that information should not be free. I know I for one would not like to be charged money to borrow a book from the library, or have my fair-use rights violated by not being able to copy a piece of literature for educational purposes. At least the odds of libraries turning into Blockbuster type establishments is not likely considering American's love their libraries, but you can never know for sure....

February 9, 2001

I'm almost back to normal now. I still have a slight pain in my throat, but at least now I can talk. By tomorrow I should be totally back to normal, or at least as normal as I ever am hehehehe :)

Netscape 6.01 was released a few days ago, so you might want to pick that up if you have a high speed connection. I havent' noticed much of a diffence so far between that and N6, but there are supposed to be some big bug fixes in 6.01.

Robert Cringly has written a piece comparing Napster with subways. Basically it says that Napster helped sell a lot of CDR media and burners, and that it is the computer's next killer app. I have always believed that record companies are not seeing the true picture of how Napster can help them more than it can hurt them. I know I've bought more CD's because of Napster, just because Napster has exposed me to MUCH more music than any radio station would play. Put I guess everyone just loves to sue.

IGNCube is running a campaign to "Educate the Retailers" about the Nintendo Gamecube. Not suprisingly, many retailers have no clue about Gamecube facts, and are therefore spreading a lot of misinformation about it to Joe Clueless. It's sorta scary how little the people selling videogames (or comptuers for that matter) know about the products they sell. You see this really bad in general stores like Wal-Mart, Target, etc; although it shows up in electronic stores too like Best Buy. The gaming only stores usually are on the ball though.

February 10, 2001

Astronauts are going to attach a space lab to the International Space Station today. They are finally going to be able to do "real" experiments, including some that could help them out on a mission to Mars. I think that definitly by 2025 we will have landed someone on Mars. And on the related subject of Mars, RedColony discusses what kind of mission that would be.

I know many people hate Survivor (I personally like it) but one guy got really lucky with the domain name he bought 5 years ago, Survivor.com. He hasn't been hassled too much by CBS over the domain name since he didn't buy it as a domain name squatter, but he did have some bandwidth problems.

Napster's short term fate is going to be decided Monday (Feb. 12) in a federal court. If you rememeber, they were originally supposed to be shut down during the trial agains them (so the service couldn't be used while it's legality was being questioned) back on July 26, 2000, but they got a last minute stay. The court then heard arguements about the stay on October 2nd, and now they are finally making their decision. So if the injunction is held by the court, then Napster shuts down Monday almost immediatly. Then it's OpenNap for me.

February 11, 2001

The FBI's Carnivore is changing it's name to DCS1000, most likely because Carnivore "made the system sound like a predatory device made to invade people's privacy". Irony sure is funny.

I got my cap and gown preview portraits in. You can view my incredibly, stupendously, amazingly handsome, good-looking, attractive face here. No, I do not open my eyes more than .0000032 inches, and yes, that was taken early in the morning, and yes, I AM AVALIABLE!!!!! But please, no pushing in line :)

Goldfish crackers rule!

February 12, 2001

Well, Napster is still going, but the question is how much longer. Slashdot has a good analysis of the ruling, including links to some of the legal stuff. So right now is just the calm before the storm, as Napster's days are numbered.

Google has acquired Deja's Usenet archive. They have over 500 million messages archived from 1995, and they plan to reinstate posting. The unfortunate thing is that almost no one knows what Usenet is anymore. I can't say I do anything about it, I hardly ever use Usenet either.

Check out Spammimic.com, where it encodes short email messages into spam to get past government filtering. This page will helps explain it a little bit better. I think all the people who spam my hotmail accounts must be using this service or something, because those "encoding" look really familiar.

February 13, 2001

This is what happens when software licenses meet the normal world: A chair with a license. It includes pictures of the chair, along with some terms and conditions of using the chair. Of course it's satire, but it makes you think about how ridiculous some of these software licenses are. You never buy software, you only lease it. Microsoft still owns "your" copy of Windows.

And speaking of Windows, there is news on two fronts. One, Microsoft unvieled Windows XP. And secondly, the guy who wrote the "OnTheFly" worm admitted to his wrongdoing. He put a short little message on his website, saying he was sorry, but amazed at how stupid people are to still be clicking attachments ending in .vbs even after all the love-bug stuff.

June 11th is the official release date for the Gameboy Advance. I can't wait for this major update to the Gameboy. Only 4 more months!

February 14, 2001

Happy Valentine's Day!

Or as it's known to the cynical unloved: Singles Awareness Day. Google has a cool heart java applet to play around with to commerate the day also.

Here's a neat story about The Onion moving to New York and some of the backstory behind the newspaper. Apparently there are going to be some Onion movies too.

Astronauts are going to be taking their 100th spacewalk today. The first one was back in 1965 by Edward H. White II. That has got to be the coolest feeling in the world, floating in nothingness, seeing the earth below (or possibly above depending on your orintation) you as it spins. I hope that someday the average person will be able to experiance that.

February 15, 2001

CNet has a very interesting article on some of the FUD that Microsoft is spreading about Linux, now that MS sees it as a major threat to it's OS server dominance. Included in this article are such great quotes as "I can't imagine something that could be worse than [Open Source] for the software business." It also talks about how MS feels that legislators don't know the "threat" of Open Source, how Open Source stifles innovention (gee, what happened to the "Freedom to Innovate"?), and how having Open Source software is against "The American Way". Microsoft is running scared, and this is just the tip of the iceberg at the assult they will be launching. It's stuff like this that makes me dislike Microsoft, and helps show their practice of disreputable business practices.

And in a victory for common sense, an appeals court has overturne d the ruling on the validality of Amazon.com's 1-click patent. The court battle isn't over yet, but at least the riduclousness of Amazon's patent is being recognized.

60% of America is now online either at work or at home. I can't imagine life without the internet anymore, it's like my TV, radio, books, and hobby all rolled into one big package. Plus it's helped me on so many last minute projects where I need some kind of information and the libary is closed. Viva la Internet!

February 16, 2001

Mozilla .8 has been released. Check out this latest major milestone of Mozilla since it's quite a bit faster than .7. It also FINALLY includes the wonderful IE feature of letting you set the title and directory of bookmarks when you make them, instead of just dropping them into some folder. I have always hated that about Netscape/Mozilla, and I'm incredibly happy to see that fixed. And don't forget to submit bug reports.

I finally got my Pokemon keychains that I ordered off the back of some Rice Krispie Treats boxes in today. I got Pikachu and Squirtle.

You probally missed it, but yesterday Fox aired an "investigative" report on how the moon landings were just a hoax. The truly frightening thing is that there are probally a good number of people who now believe that we never landed on the moon due to Fox's "entertainment". I was laughing through most of the show at the ridiculous evidence Fox was presenting, but the average Joe doesn't relieze some of the lies Fox was telling. If you did watch the show, this site should help clear up some of the half-truths Fox was spouting off about last-night. Fox should be sued for misinforming and misleading millions of Americans by presenting this crap as fact.

February 17, 2001

Remember those really old education or propogada videos from the 40's and 50's? Now you can download them from the internet. Stuff like "'Atomic Alert' - Frightening civil defense procedure film aimed at Cold War-era elementary school students."

And on the subject of remember old thing, Project Gutenburg puts old books whose copyrights have expired up on the internet for reading. So if you ever wanted to read Shakespeare or Dickens, but don't want to trek out to the library, you can now read it on your computer screen. I personally could never read a whole book on a regular computer screen, I'd much rather curl up in bed with a paperback. But those handheld readers sound really interesting, and eventually I think electronic books will become commonplace. They probally won't ever totally replace regular books however.

Napster announced how they would change Napster to a pay scheme yesterday. They will encrypt the songs so that you can only trade them with Napster. The change is scheduled to take place in June sometime, assuming Napster is still alive by then and not sued into oblivion.

February 18, 2001

Update: Dale Earnhardt, the world-famous and legendary NASCAR racer, has died due to injuries he recieved when he crashed into a wall at the Daytona 500. It was on the last lap, and he was in 3rd place when it happened. It is such a sad sad day for racing fans everywhere.

Remember that Fox Moon Hoax special I was talking about a few days ago? Well NASA has responded on their website. They include a link to a site that addresses each point that Fox made and then corrects the bad science that Fox used. Once again, bad science is being taken as the truth by couch potatoes who believe that if it's on TV, it must be true. They are probally also the same kind of people who believe they will get a million dollars if they forward an email 50 times. Anyways, that BadAstronomy.com site is pretty cool, as it talks about the mistakes made in movies and on TV about astronomy. I even learned some stuff from it, like how breaking up a comet does not help matters any if it was crashing into the earth, since all that kinetic energy from the comet is still hitting the earth. Very very cool site.

For all the Nintendorks that visit this site, Brandon has posted to a message board about why nitnendorks.com has been down for the past month(s). While they were down reorganizing the site, they couldn't make enough money from banner ads, and so IGN hasn't paid them, so now they can't pay for their server bill. Jon is scrapping up money, but it'll be at least another month before they are back online. I miss you Nintendorks!!!

Supposedly there is a 3rd Mix DDR machine in some arcade at Orlando. I might try and check it out tomorrow since there is no school. I can't wait to play Dam Dariam or Butterfly Upswing Mix.

February 19, 2001

If you have a really fast connection, and are willing to wait awhile, I suggest downloading this cool Paul Van Dyk video (381 MB). It just shows scenes from some show he did, but it's pretty nice, and the music is excellent. I tried to find an mp3 of this show, but so far I haven't found any. Tranceaddict.com has a lot more videos like it too, though some of the movie links don't work.

I finally got to play Air Trix, the sequel to the awesome Top Skater that used to be my favorite arcade game until I finally found Dance Dance Revolution. Air Trix is pretty cool, the board is situated differently so it'll take some getting used to. You can pull of more kinds of tricks though, so that's the best part of it. I still don't have the game totally figured out however, cause sometimes I think I'll be pulling some trick and then nothing happens. Practice makes perfect though.

No School Today! President's day is great.

February 20, 2001

Want to know the latest and greatest internet fad? All Your Base Are Belong To Us. Confused? Everything2 might help you out. Anyways, it's been all over the internet since this weekend, so if you wanna be hip and cool and up with all the latest and greatest, you have to download the flash movie. Besides, it's pretty funny in it's own little way :)

I want this computer. Tom built a 1,600 MHz Athlon computer to create the "Power Box". One can never have too much computing power.

One more reason not to buy a Playstation 2: A Britney Spears videogame is coming out for it. And you thought the Spice Girls game for the PSX was bad.

February 21, 2001

We had some kind of bomb threat today at school right after I got done eating lunch. First we went out to where we normally go for fire drills, but after about 30 minutes they sent us out to the stadium to sit for the next 2 hours. So from about 11:15 AM to 2:10 PM, we were just sitting/standing around doing nothing. Finally at 2 they let us go home. So the end result is I miss 3 class periods and I don't have my Calculus book to do my homework. And speaking of Calculus, we had an extra long math period due to some sophmore standarized testing, so we did straight math for an hour and 40 minutes. Fun fun fun!

Law.com has an interesting article about how this one guy fights software pirates. Mainly through scare tactics, he can get people to quit sharing software over the internet, with varied success. It's a different viewpoint on a very common occurance. Of course, if all your software is GPL'd, then you don't have to worry about pirating at all since it's already free.

I'll be watching the Grammy's tonight. Eminiem and Elton John should be a very eventful duet don't you think? :)

February 22, 2001

I HATE POETRY!!!!! Argh!!! We have a stupid poetry test tomorrow, and I don't understand hardly any of the poetry we are supposed to know. I can probally get the terms right, but I have no idea what the tone of Kubla Kahn is, nor any other of the 15 poems we have to know. I don't usually hate English this much, but poetry just brings out a new side to me. Why oh why is mindless ramblings with bad grammer that make absolutly no sense considered great works of literature? Heck, with that kind of definition this website would be a great work of litereature (yea right!). Ugh, I'm done venting for now....I think....

In better news, the 2.4.2 kernel was released. Hopefully this one will work better than 2.4.1, which wouldn't boot up for me.

Venus is going to be especially bright tonight. Venus is the easiest planet to see by the naked eye, so you should have no problem seeing it as long as it's not cloudy.

February 23, 2001

Thanks to a nifty school fundraiser, I'll be watching The Goonies in the high school football stadium tonight. Man I love that movie. Great movie. If you haven't seen it, go rent it! And if you don't like that movie, then you're just plain wierd.

GameFAQ's has a very nice FAQ on Zero Wing, the game that gives us All Your Base Are Belong To Us, plus some links to other sites about the game. Engrlish is a great language isn't it? Oh, and thanks to another message board, I found the original (?) thread that started the whole craze.

This one is sorta old news, but the Sun has flipped magnetic poles. It does it every 11 years, so it's not like the end of the world or anything, but it's still an interesting phenomenon. I just took a test over magnetism today in Phyics, so it's sorta pertinant to what I'm studying in school.

February 24, 2001

5,000 Hits!!!!!!

Mark this day in your calendar, for today, at 6:33 PM Eastern Time, is when I finally surpased 5,000 hits to my website. This includes past sites I've done, like "The Bad Site Page" and "The Site of Stuff". (Read the history page) So it's taken me over 2 years to get these 5,000 hits, but by golly I've done it! Just for your info, the person who got the 5,000th hit was on xxx.xxx.wave.shaw.ca, so congratulations to you!

The screenshots page is updated with a new Windows screenshot (60 KB). That is what my desktop looks like right now in Windows. Man I love WindowBlinds.

The mp3 list is updated (see at the bottom under "New"), and I fixed the major formating errors that no one told me about.....

February 25, 2001

Wired has a very cool article on the AYBABTU (All Your Base Are Belong To Us) Internet phenomenon. It makes the insightful observation that companies spend millions of dollars to figure out what will make people spread sites around like AYBABTU has. It's everywhere now! Even the media is getting into it.

Here's a nice interview (Update: Which no longer exists) with Hiroshi Yamauchi, the president of Nintendo. He talks about how game companies are losing focus of producing fun games, and instead going for graphics. I've got to agree, my favorite game of all time is Tetris, and it has incredibly simple games.

Fun with Ebonics.

February 26, 2001

We had a tornado drill today, and our "Tornado Area", where you go during a tornado to crouch down, was on the second floor!!!! The first rule that anyone who has ever lived in Tornado Alley knows is that you always get to the lowest floor of the building whenever there is a tornado warning. Heck, even our own government says to do that, "Go to the basement or to an inside hallway at the lowest level." But noooooo, our school decides it likes it's students to die a horrible death with the roof getting sucked off along with us, and keeps us on the top floor in the chemistry lab, where there are glass beakers, and glass test tubes strewn all about. It was also apparent that Florida does not get many tornado's, and hence little information on them, because half the kids in my class were thinking that being under the sinks would be the worst place to be lest they fall on us. I guess they rather have the ceiling fall on them. Needless to say, if there ever was a real tornado here, I think I might just make a break for it and run down to the bottom floor where I might be at least a little safer. Well, that's my little rant of the day.

Slashdot is running a good piece on RIAA's misrepresentation of how their CD sales have fallen 39%, and thus "Napster hurt record sales." It turns out that it was for CD Singles, not CD Albums. Now I can see how possibly it could hurt single sales, since it'd be so easy to just download one song, but I personally never saw the point of buying singles anyway, since they usually cost about the same as half a CD, so I might as well get the whole CD. Besides, the RIAA recieved $318,500,000 more for all the type of music Napster transfers (CD Albums) this year over last year. Their net losses for the year stem from slowdown in vinyl, cassette, and music video sales; things Napster doesn't even affect. It's a very nice insight into how companies will spin facts to get them to say what they want.

And speaking of music, there is a new song of the moment. AYBABTU!

February 28, 2001

I got a hair cut today, so I'm lookin' spiffy. Awww yea! :)

The American Bar Association has a great article on stupid patents (Update: which no longer exists), such as the Amazon.com 1-click patent. It also mentions that back in the 70's, this one company wanted to patents the process of converting decimal to binary. Sounds suspisiously like Microsoft's supposed patenting of one's and zero's.... :)

NEAR is going to be left on Eros. NASA got a lot of information from it's stay on the astroid though, so it is nice that it was able to land safely on it.

Wired is running a piece on why security is so bad. Mostly it has to deal with lack of budgeting, and the naive assumption that you're "safe". It also includes the awesome phrase "click-clicking". I like that. I think I'll go click-clicking around the 'net now.

January 2001 -- 2001 -- March 2001