Clueless Microsoft and Windows 7

9 01 2009

Windows 7 Windows 7 Windows 7 Windows 7 Windows 7 … everybody’s been talking about Windows 7 ever since Vista was unveiled and now that we have a pure unadulterated fully functioning officially stamped version out, it’s NOT even available.

They say “It ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings!” and sing she did. Well this would be in reference to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer making a big ballyhoo about the official beta release of Microsoft over at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Vegas.

Most of the reviews on MSW7 are indeed positive but how can the masses get a taste of it if the frigging server‘s down?

“Thanks for your interest in the Windows 7 Beta. The volume has been phenomenal — we’re in the process of adding more servers to handle the demand. We’re sorry for the delay and we’ll re-post the Beta as soon as we can ensure a quality download experience.”

The sensible thing for them to do is to host Windows 7 Beta (Build 7000) as a torrent lessening the impact on their servers. Eventually, Microsoft could just limit the bandwidth on their servers making the other users handle the majority of the load. Now we’re stuck guessing which one of the available torrents are the official build and not one of those malware infested ISO files. Maybe I should stop complaining because this was made free to the public but what’s a free product if the execution isn’t done right.

EDIT 2009-01-12: The servers aren’t shut down anymore and Win7 looks meh. Better than Vista … for now.





WRC loses Subaru

17 12 2008

You know things aren’t going the greatest when companies like Microsoft and Google put on hiring freezes, Yahoo! goes on a firing spree, electronics giant Best Buy making moves to reduce staff, folks out at Target Corp getting the chop, and every other person is out there job hunting because of this economic downturn. To make matters worse, credit card companies like American Express began lowering or freezing borrowing from their valued customers making matters worse for those looking to invest. Even my favorite blog site, The Consumerist, has fallen under hard times and is up for sale. You can tell times are bad cuz their ads are so big, they cover blog post titles.

And thereby, we can claim that the economy is just as miserable as the weather is right here in Minnesota.

Unfortunately, this trickle down effect has now hit the world of auto sports breaking the seemingly life-long bond between Subaru and the World Rally Championship. Without going into details, a statement from the parent company Fuji Heavy Industries (owned by Toyota) revealed that (Subaru) has officially pulled out of the 2009 WRC campaign. The economy could be one of the bigger reasons behind this decision but irrespective of the cause, it’s a sad day to see an icon like Subaru divest itself off of the rally championships. This from a company that made a name for itself by designing passenger vehicles from all of their testing and experience in the World Rally Championships. Truly a shocker!

All we have are memories…





Macbook + Free iPod Touch v New Macbook

28 08 2008

The Beijing Olympics are over which is a sad thing because I was just starting to get used to finding open tennis courts to play in the afternoons and now the Chinese kids are back occupying every known tennis court in Minneapolis and St Paul instead of their television sets.

To a more serious note, before the Olympics even began, the Russian Federation had amassed troops and tanks near the border of South Ossetia and provided arms to the regional separatists in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Then Georgia responded by sending their troops to take control of the region and all of a sudden, things got out of hand.

There’s plenty of finger pointing as to who pulled the trigger first but to be frank, why are there people who want to take land and break away from an already tiny peaceful nation like Georgia? Economically, socially, and politically, it doesn’t make much sense at all. Now that Russia’s finally able to reclaim it’s superpower status after nearly 2 decades of economic assistance from the western nations, it decides to create more violence. Putin and his obvious human puppet have already declared that they are ready to absorb South Ossetia back into the Russian Federation. Yet the separatists in that region want to tear up this one tiny nation to claim independence only to be taken hostage by Russia in the not too distant future. Why are some people so blind?

Taking a gander at the enormous size of Russia, a question about their hostile actions and recent political ambitions forms. Russia is the largest nation in the world but why do they want to further expand their borders especially when their entire population count is so little? There’s something very distressing about this whole Russian deal and their war-mongering. To add to that, there were reports of kids in Russia coordinating DOS (or DDOS) attacks to bring down (the Georgian) government websites as a way to display their patriotism. Considering the fact that they have stockpiles of nuclear weapons, large quantities of oil, and a dictator style rule, it’s about time we drop Iran from the axis of evil and promote Putin’s Russia to the list. Iran can wait. It’s getting to that time where we refocus our military and bring freedom and democracy back to the Russians.

Oh and what does this have to do with Apple products? Absolutely nothing which is exactly what the world is doing right now. Hoping to see more political action against this evil empire.





Two Minutes to Midnight for Servers

21 05 2008

PDOS (Phlashing/Permanent Denial of Service) attacks have now entered the mainstream world. An article on Hackaday reveals this accidental discovery and the same stuff is also reported on Engadget. Although this isn’t anything new and it’s hard to execute remotely, it’s completely possible due to the pervasive nature of technology in our lives today. A standard DDoS (Denial of Service) attack shuts down websites or slows down your computer’s processes or network capabilities. The means are usually achieved by overflooding key components (CPU/RAM/etc) with large swaths of packets (data). They can also trigger recursive functions on older systems to cause a stack overflow without having to eat up bandwidth space on the network.

The vulnerability: Many devices nowadays allow for their firmwares to be updated from your couches. You no longer have to mail it to a service center or worse, buy an entirely new product for an updated software. Your Palm Pilots, phones (smart phones like Windows Mobile and Symbian devices), routers, etc are some more common instances. This procedure is known as “flashing” and is risky because if the update isn’t done right or if there is a hiccup on the network, it’s going to “brick” your device.

What do you mean by “brick”: When your electronic device is only as useful as a brick.

Why do you need to run firmware updates: Firmware updates are constantly provided by manufacturers to enhance your product’s usability and functions. They could affect anything from the user-interface to the support of additional hardware, new added functions, or provide greater efficiency and addressing bugs. Certain software might only work if you your firmware is at or greater than a certain level.

What PDOS does: Writes a corrupt firmware to complete the transformation of your device into the afore mentioned construction product. Owners of convergence devices (smart phones) need to remember to completely back up their data before flashing as we all know the risks involved.

How to prevent it: You would need to disable remote firmware updates. That option should be listed somewhere in the device’s settings section and if it’s not there, look up in the manuals because it should be. Other ways are to secure your routers and the use of strong passwords.





The Chinese are offended

17 03 2008

It’s been on the news lately that there’s been a lot of chaos in the capital city of Tibet, Lhasa. Shops and vehicles burned down. Ethnic Chinese beaten by angry mobs. Some deaths (4-7) have occurred also. The Chinese community in the USA are outraged at the savagery of the once peaceful Tibetans. Well at least one certain student going to Hamline University – SangJun Kim.

Well apparently students at Hamline staged a mock Olympic 1st 2nd 3rd podium with medals stating “genocide”, “oppression”, “torture” which led Kim to file an official complaint against the student-run SFT (Students for a Free Tibet) organization. Kim alleged that this protest was “against Hamline’s diversity policy.” Obviously for the poor ignoramus, the approach was too harsh for his sensitive feelings.

After all the 50+ years of suppressive rule by Communist China over a once independent nation, murders of innocent people which outnumber the infamous Holocaust of WWII, and continued destruction of a society and culture totally separate from the rest of China, why do the students at Hamline University need to tone down their message? Well if you’re a commie lover for one. Mr Kim. Take into consideration that tourists who left Tibet during the time of disturbance reported hundreds of military transport vehicles filled to the brim with Chinese soldiers headed towards Lhasa. It has been reported that there have been around 80-100 deaths at the hands of the military on the Tibetans in the past few days for the riots. Not the best way to prepare for the Olympics.

Chinese people are no strangers to oppression so they should use this moment to bring democracy to the world’s largest manufacturer of goods and the final bastion of hard-line Communism and Fascism that is a military threat to the planet. So I ask all Chinese students, professors, businessmen, politicians, activists, and illegal migrants to seize upon this opportunity to unite with the rest of the world and bring democracy to red China.

1. Can’t stand clicking on links on your Google searches with a “blocked” message?

2. Are you sick of having personal property (houses/apt/etc) taken over by the government in the name of modernization?

3. Those CCTV’s (closed-circuit television) on every street creep you out? Wait. The national tv station goes by that same name. Talk about irony.

4. Do you hate being called a commie?

5. Should your sex-life be governed by your government?

If you answer YES to all or any of the above, join the movement in bringing democracy to your “motherland” and free Tibet from the clutches of an antiquated group of elite politicians and the Chinese military. Every person counts. Hopefully the international court gets a chance to try Hu Jintao or the bigwigs out there in Communist China. Have a good night!

EDIT: By the way, a friend emailed me this picture below. Apparently the cause of the complaint. Can’t see why anyone would be offended by the truth. People are strange.





I HATE THOSE GM ADS!!!

26 09 2007

“IF YOU WANT IT, HERE IT IS… COME AND GET IT, BUT YOU BETTER HURRY CUZ IT’S GOING FAST.”

Those stupid words keeping playing over and over again and again a gazillion times on NBC all. night. long. like a broken tape recorder. or even an mp3 player with 1 song and left on repeat.

At first I thought it was an “ok” ad just cuz it featured retro music, esp the Beatles stuff but there’s a thing known as OVERKILL and that’s what’s going on. Can’t these people see that playing the same goddamned ad everytime a show goes on break drives people nuts? What makes it even more obscene is the fact that those stupid words are repeating over and over again and again loud and full of high school yippy high-pitched vocals.

“IF YOU WANT IT, HERE IT IS… COME AND GET IT, BUT YOU BETTER HURRY CUZ IT’S GOING FAST.”

I’m ready to smash a CHEVY / GM / PONTIAC cuz of these stupid ads. The first ad has the same goddamned music but a Chevy spinning on the platform. Then when a show on NBC goes on it’s 2nd break, you see the same stupid ad but this time, it’s a … GM *surprise*. And then on the 3rd commercial break, the same ad plays again *surprise* … and this time, it’s a …. *drum roll* PONTIAC.

MOTHER FUCKING GENERAL MOTORS MARKETING DEPARTMENT! I will kick you on the nuts if I come across the genius who came up with those ads. “Hey guys. I just came up with a brilliant idea on how to save money on our ads. Let’s use the same ad but put in a Chevy for the CHEVY ad and a GMC truck for the GMC ad and a PONTIAC for the PONTIAC ad.”

The only good thing I can say about these ads is that it’s motivating me to hit the gym again. In the evenings. Just so I can skip those ads.

Maybe that’s the subliminal message that GM is throwing out to us. Go out and drive? Cuz I sure as hell am not looking to buy a GM product. A Ford maybe. Dodge maybe. GM? Fuck you!





More disasters hit Minnesota

19 08 2007

A dreary weekend capped by another disaster striking Minnesota overshadowing the work in the I-35W recovery section. The last bodies have been found and one identified as Blaine resident Scott Sathers who sadly worked with one of my close friends

While shit goes on around the nation like the hurricane that just about missed the Big Island on Hawaii and Dean making it’s rounds towards the southern gulf region, the Utah mine deaths, the increasing smog in more cities, and random fires, Minnesota is having it’s own bout of bad luck.

So what has struck Minnesota this time? Scorching heat? Power outages? Deadly lightning storms? Golf-ball sized hail storms? Tornados? Bridge collapses? This time it’s flooding in the South-Eastern Mn regions like Owatona, Winona, Stockton, etc. At least 4 confirmed dead and many more missing. Lots of roads/bridges damaged.

Once again, we see Tim Paulenty’s face on the media complaining about costs to help fix the state. Like the stunt he pulled right after the 35W bridge disaster, we might see his face again claiming that he was “reaching out with an olive branch” to the Democrats and agreeing to the tax increase in gas tax. I hate how he can pull off such childish acts like that on public tv and have a lot of Republicans agree even when he’s lying out of his ass. Unfortunately, the gas tax might be used to funnel funds to other government projects like how they always turn out.

The small government ideaology held by Republicans … is a false dream. Wonder what religious people think about all these problems inflicting this nation. Is God punishing us? Not being a religious person, I’d say this is a combination of both Global Warming and the low priority given to an aged infrastructure.