Monthly Archives: May 2005

The Truman Show

The library@esplanade has many titles worth watching. For $20 a year (and then some for GST and stuff), you get to borrow 4 audio-video items for a period of 1 week. If you finish earlier you can return and borrow another 4. Through this facility, I have watched a few good shows that I would otherwise have difficulty getting hold of. For example, to buy or download the entire Roughnecks: The Starship Troopers Chronicles will need quite some cost, or effort, but I was able to borrow the excellent animation from the library. I will write about that another time.

Tonight’s screening on my PC was The Truman Show, a 1998 production starring Jim Carrey. Now I had never been a big fan of Carrey, but the reviews of this show had been good. It took me a few years to get around to finally watching this, and I’m not disappointed. The story goes that this Truman Burbank person lives in a seemingly perfect world where people are nice to him and he is always happy. However he puts a few clues together and eventually realises that there is much more to his world than it appears, that there is a conspiracy around him. He sets out to discover the truth, which has been artfully kept from him for 30 years.

This is conspiracy theory and paranoia before The Matrix (1999). Will you brave storms to find out the truth for yourself? Will you risk losing everything you know? And what will you do, when “the creator” speaks to you at last? Or will you turn back and go back to the comfortable lie, as Cypher did in The Matrix?

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The Darth Side: Memoirs of a Monster

I’m not a Star Wars fan, but this guy (Matthew Frederick Davis Hemming) is good. He’s definitely a fan. I like fan fiction. Episode 3 is already out. Looks like that was why he stopped writing.

http://darthside.blogspot.com/

You can find some additional material at the writer’s website here. If you are really good, you can put content up for free and just earn from advertisements alone.

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Spam and phishing

Got a spam from someone who claimed to be M$. If you are an obedient user, you will save tha attachment and execute it, then click on the hyperlink(which I have removed) and be brought to a fake website where you will declare your credit card number and everything else, and have them used against you. That is, if you have worked out what they want you to do.

Download and lunch? Oh… download and launch!
They have added a rubbish id

id# 01667709099942331927

but their English is so horrid I cannot believe M$ will want to hire them.

This probably will not fool those who are running pirated versions of windows and who have never registered with M$.

Dear Windows user.

We strongly recommend upgrade your system.
Please, download attached file and lunch.
After installation is complete you must go to http://www.microsoft.com/update for next step.

Microsoft Corporation (c) 2005


id# 01667709099942331927

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Store Wars

Star Wars Episode 3 is out. People are going crazy over it. Here’s a spoof of the orginial trilogy.
Store Wars, a fable about the organic food rebellion.

Amazingly well made, much better than Thumb Wars.

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Distributed Hash Table in Azureus

I had been using Azureus 2.3.0.0 since it came out, and the DHT feature has been promising. Only that more people need to switch over to Azureus for it to be really useful. The network effect, you know. The more people join in, the greater the benefit.

Slashdot posted a link on the Azureus Distributed Tracker and Database and as usual, the comments by slashdot readers can be educational. But sometimes, they are just hilarious.

The new Bittorrent protocol was designed by the same developers who designed the original TCP/IP protocol in the 70s. But this new protocol has a decidedly “edgy” feel to it. Below is the “handshaking” procedure. There are a few similarities between it and SMTP:

[…]

It’s good way to publish legitimate content. It’s not a good way to distribute illegal content. First of all the torrent has a record of your peer IP addresses. So, all the lawyers need to do is have the peers listed in the torrent shut down — then the torrent is useless. Sure, you could hide for a while using zombie windows boxes as your “master” peers, that’s one level of indirection. But as they become unavailable you need to distribute new torrent files with fresh peer lists. Maybe that’s not a problem, but it seems like more trouble than it’s worth.

[… some dude has to come along and say something like this… ]

All this work for a less than honorable cause. Just think what could be if all this human effort had been channeled through a charity, say Habitat for Humanity, your local food bank, or teaching someone to read.

[… and earn a whole lot of insults …]

I am SO sick of hearing this. The time you spent posting this to slashdot could have been spent handing out one more dinner at a soup kitchen. How’s that?

People have lives OTHER than charity, as your presence here proves. As for this being less than honorable, that’s the eye of the beholder. It’s like the VCR, guns, or deep fryers. They can all be used for good or for evil. Just because they can be used for evil doesn’t obviate they’re good potential, nor should we ban them because of their potential for abuse.

[… which gets really overboard very quickly …]

Hmm. How does one use a deep fryer for evil? Open a KFC?

Oh what? Like YOU’VE never heard of a deep fried a baby. Sure, sure. All of those KFC and and french-fry lovers like to stand up and say that a ban would be against their best interests, but even they know the primary reason people get deep fryers is for cooking babies.

[…]

Is it just a coincidence that this enhancement has come the day before the new Star Wars movie?

I sense a great disturbance in the force… as if George Lucas’ bank account cried out in terror… and then… silence.

Either that, or I just have a headache.

[…]

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NUS got slashdotted!

Since when is anything that comes out of NUS cool enough to be slashdotted?

My bro-in-law and me were surprised to see this article about feeling poultry remotely via the internet.

“This is the first human-poultry interaction system ever developed,” said professor Adrian David Cheok, the leader of the team, who has been developing the technology for nearly two years.

“We understand the perceived eccentricity of developing a system for humans to interact with poultry remotely, but this work has a much wider significance,” he added.

Just don’t use it for remote surgery yet. Imagine if you lose your network connection after you have just pried open the skull. Gross. At least I know our hospitals won’t be outshoring surgery to India or China anytime soon.

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Scared kena bomb is it?

Singapore is a very safe place. You cannot easily bomb the MRT stations because they have removed all rubbish bins. Terrorists won’t have a chance to hide bombs in the dustbins and blow our stations to smithereens, but it is perfectly ok for them to bomb out the entrances to our stations.

You cannot easily bomb HDB Hub also, for the same reason that you cannot find any rubbish bins. How can they risk letting their HQ be out of action? How will couples buy their apartments from HDB? National crisis, man!

The best thing is that they have moved the mailboxes out of MRT stations and shifted them some distance away, so that terrorists cannot post timebombs! Ah, now I have to walk into the station to buy instant stamps from the SAM dispensing machine, then walk waaaayyy out to the mailbox and post my letter, a marked improvement over the old days when I could post the letter into the mailbox which is right beside the machine that sells stamps!

Maybe removing the rubbish bins give the cleaners some extra work to do as they need to clean up more litter. Don’t think they will hire more people as a result, though.

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