Archive for January, 2009

Seriously, WTF Did Happen in Battlestar Galactica

January 24, 2009 Leave a comment

So I just saw the second of the final ten episodes of BSG and the beginning was really weird to me. Did I miss something?
First thing I see is Colonol Tigh and ‘Six’ holding hands while a sonogram is being conducted on her for her unborn child. Wait, what happened here? What the hell just happened with Colonol Tigh. Isn’t he still not over the fact that he killed his wife? Well apparently not because he’s so happy with the cylons’ new saviour; the very first complete cylon baby.
You can see it in the nurse’s eyes that she’ll tear ‘Six’ apart before the series ends.

The craziest part of this episode but not uncommon in these days is that Tyrol “IS NOT THE FATHER.” Oh man, Maury should have been there and told him instead of Dr. Cottle. Hey, we might have seen a little jig out of the toaster.

The best WTF moment from this episode, 4×12 is that Tyrol makes a truce with Admiral Adama about using cylons to help work with the fleet in order to speed up production and efficiency so they can last an extra three months before they get to a new ‘earth’. The catch is, all the cyclons become citizens under the agreement so they will have the same rights, freedoms, and protection from the other cylon faction. CRAZY!!!! like WTF man. That shit was messsssseeeed up but in a good way.

The conversation that Felix and Starbuck had was very interesting. You can really tell that he is still PISSED for loosing his leg.

The whole episode is politically driven as you can tell from the controversy of creating an allegiance with the cylons. The debate stems from the sides of survival and personal dignity. Those for the allegiance with the cylons is pretty much Admiral Adama, Lee, President Roslin, and all the cylons (which include: Colonel Tigh, Tyrol, Anders, and Tory, Sixes, and Eights). Those opposed to the allegiance is the rest of the fleet, especially Tom Zarek. Now rages on the battle between the ability to survive until finding a new home against shunning the cylons due to the fact that they practically wiped out the entire human race. Will the human race decide to lay down their anger and hatred against the cylons in order to survive or will they allow this truce to be complete if it is for their survival? This episode has created a lot of political tension that viewers rarely see from Battlestar Galactica. The writers have put a lot of thought into the ending of this show and they should receive an Emmy award. No matter the outcome of the battle, it is safe to say that there will be a new president and maybe even admiral in charge until the end of the series. The people of Caprica have worked so hard, sacrificed a lot, and have endured so much pain and suffering all in the hope of finding ‘earth’. The one thing that both President Roslin and Admiral Adama have promised to everyone. It will come to a point where they will have enough and the time is now. The tides have been turning against Adam and Roslin and these tides have finally reached their crests; they’ll spill over and Tom Zarek will take control. Even though he is an ex-convict, the people of Caprica will take accept an ex-convict as a president rather than a toaster loving, cancer rampent, president who is about to commit treason.


Virginia Tech Decapitation

January 24, 2009 Leave a comment

I just read that there was another horrible incident that occured at Virginia Tech; months after the Massacre. A graduate student by the name of Xin Yang was killed and was decapitated by a kitchen knife. She arrived on January 8th to Beijing to study accounting but she passed away too early. Too early for anyone to get to know her, too early for anyone to see what a wonderful girl she is.

Another graduate student by the name of Haiyang Zhu was arrested and charged with first degree murder. This comes about a year and nine months after the Virginia Tech massacre that took the lives of 32 innocent students.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Ms. Yang and those that have perished April 16 2007.

Fast & Furious Trailer Featuring Soulja Boy?

January 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Coming out on April 3rd 2009 will the be fourth installment of The Fast and The Furious Series, ‘Fast & Furious.’ I watched the two minute theatrical trailer that was released a few days ago and it was good. Unfortunately, I can’t say that the movie will be good because trailers are meant to be kick ass and spectacular to arouse attention and get people to watch the movie. Looking at today’s trends in trailers versus their respective movies, this movie will look like it will suck. The best it can go for is mediocre. The trailer starts off with a chase scene with what looks like an agent from the government chasing a gang member. They purposely chose camera angles so ou do not get to clearly see the face of the agent but you can see from the body structure, his voice, and the hair that it is Paul Walker. You can pretty much guess what the movie is because what other movies has Paul Walker been in? Pretty much zilch after The Fast and the Furious series. It is too bad that the chase scene was the only good thing about the trailer. After the chase scene is over you see Vin Diesel’s character, Dominic and Paul Walker’s character, Brian talking and you definately know the movie is Fast & Furious. Once the chase scene is over, Crank That by Soulja Boy Tell’em starts playing. Really Universal? Really, you would use that piece of garbage for a trailer? I know people have been hating on The Fast and the Furious after the first movie, but this movie does not deserve it. It is a good thing Universal had the right mind to use Travis Barker’s remix of the song. His remix actually makes the song worthy to listen to.

From what the trailer shows, it seems like Dominic’s sister, played by Jordana Brewster got killed by someone big in the black market and now Dominic and Brian are after this person. It is sad to see so many good looking cars being destroyed and flipped over in the trailer which means there is going to be tons of action sequences and gun fights. Oh yes and lets not forget the street racing. The trailer is alright from then on but once it goes to the very last scene of Michelle Rodriguez and Vin Diesel in the car facing a rolling oil tanker out of control, it just looks rediculous. It seems like this scene is the aftermath of what happened in the teaser trailer. This scene is REALLY bad. The idea is cool on paper but they had to CGI the hell out of the scene and it looks rediculous. It is a dangerous stunt to perform but almost every single thing in the scene was computer generated which takes realism out of the equation. It just looks bad. I hope that is the only thing that is bad about this movie because the rest of it kind of looks promising but all we can do is hope for the best.

WTF Happened in Battlestar Galactica?

January 17, 2009 2 comments

I watched Battlestar Galactica last night. It came out of its winter hibernation and is set to air the last ten episodes of the series. Last night’s episode was AMAZING and there were so many twists and turns that came at you so fast that once they were over you were thinking, ‘what the hell just happened?’ There were so many things going on that it just blew my mind away.

The first surprise was the best. It turns out that the thirteenth tribe was a colony of cylons. That sucks for the president and admiral Adama who have been preaching that they will find earth some day. Well they did, only to realize that it was inhabited by cylons that nuked the hell out of each other.

Next thing you know, you find out that Tyroll discovers he was living on earth as a cylon in the thirteenth tribe. All the cylons in the fleet, colonel Tigh, Tyroll, Anders, and Ms. Foster were copies of the cylons that lived on earth. The music they keep on hearing was the music that Anders’ original body was playing for the rest of them before they all go nuked to hell.

The most WTF moment in the show was when Dualla just shot herself in the head without any warning. Some people say if you look closely in the frames, the skin colour of the hand does not match hers and the angle that it was at did not look like she was pointing the gun to her head but as if someone else was pointing the gun at her. Plausible, but it was very bright in that room and when you do see the hand, its lit up to a point where its just pale white. The whole angle thing, I don’t really know what to say for that.

Starbuck’s scene was most surreal though. She finds out that she actually did come to earth in her viper but she died and you see evidence of a dead body resembling Kara in a destroyed cockpit of a viper. Her ex husband cylon or the guy that held her captive on New Caprica got scared and ran off not understanding what was happening.

To me, the part where Tigh gets the memory of him and his wife getting destroyed by the nukes in the bank and then he realizes that his wife was also a cylon was not so WTF. It did not surprise me at all for some reason, probably because deep down inside I knew that she was a cylon. It would be crazy though if she did ressurect somehow and came back to earth to surprise the shit out of everyone.

Installing Intrepid Ibex on a USB Key

January 15, 2009 Leave a comment

I started doing some machine level coding this month and it is the most complicated programming language I have ever seen. It takes quite a bit of time outputing “hello world” on the terminal. It’s not the same as just importing your libraries, creating your class and typing out, system.out.println(“hello world”);, or printf(“hello world”);. The high level programming languages like C, C++, C#, or Java make this so much easy for you, but once you start assembly language, you’re done! It will take a lot more time to get to know how the language works.

So, I figured the best way to write assembly language is in linux. So I decided to hop on the band wagon and download the most popular unix/linux variant I can find which happens to be Ubuntu. I downloaded Ubuntu 8.10 or what many like to call it, Intrepid Ibex. I already have Hardy Heron (8.04) on my computer as dual boot with Windows XP so I decided to install it on my 8 Gb USB key. I used this article from PenDriveLinux in order to install to USB. The installation process is actually the same thing as just installing it on your computer. The article states that you should remove any existing hard drives in your computer/laptop before you plug in the USB, but you don’t have to. As long as you know the name of the hard drive(s) on your computer and the name of the USB key, you should be fine. Oh, you have to make sure to set your BiOS to boot from CD and if you want to use the Ubuntu USB, then you better make sure your computer can boot from USB as I learned the hard way. In the partition option, they give you which storage device you can partition and it will show you the USB key. Choose the USB key from the list and start the installation. Usually installing Ubuntu on a computer takes around half an hour. It depends on the reading/writing speed of your hard drive and the CD/DVD drive. If you install it on USB though, you better make some popcorn because it will take a while. It took about an hour and a half to finish installation but when it finally finished installing I leapt with glee, only to have it brought back down to observing HOW SLOW it is on USB. The operating system is so slow on USB; due to the fact it is SSD technology slowing it down, a lot. I’ll open up Firefox and it will take about thirty seconds for the program to pop up and when I create three empty tabs….it takes a LONG time for the program to respond. You actually might think that the program stopped responding but, just be patient and you’ll see. Anyways I had enough of that once I tried out the many applications that came with Intrepid Ibex. They just took too much time to boot up and I couldn’t do any work on it. The terminal was even slow and I couldn’t do my machine level coding on it.

Well, it was waste of 8 Gb. It was cool installing the OS on my USB key but the end results do not satisfy the curiosity. Next time I’ll install it on my external hard drive and see how that goes.

Getting Diggs Without the Help of Friends

January 15, 2009 Leave a comment

It is every digger’s dream to hit the front page of Digg and many of them do not know exactly how to reach the front page. Most of it does depend on your friends on Digg or your contacts. Just like in the business world, its 80% who you know and 20% what you can do. Then there’s always that plus/minus 1% error that deals with luck. Actually who am I kidding, its probably a relative error of 5%. Anyways if you are an introvert who does not like to deal with other people even with those online or if you are just creeped out by the idea of meeting others over the interwebs and you still want at least one more digg, then you should read some of these tips. They could really help you out. I would know because they have helped me get a couple of diggs. Not enough to come close to the frontpage but hey, its a start.

1. Figure out the Peak Times
You have to know that most of Digg’s users are probably from the West, AKA North America so in order to attract a lot of attention, or to get noticed more you should know the time zones. The time zones range from Eastern to to the Pacific Time zone. Many of Digg’s users do have jobs and are parents so most likely, they will not be checking out Digg or the newly submitted articles at night because they are either too busy with their families, or just too tired from work and are already sleeping. This downtime occurs a few hours after work, ranging from around 8 PM to the next morning. So most likely, you will not get a digg within the hour or the next day because less people have the chance to view your article. When the morning comes, the most dedicated diggers/powerdiggers will go online right before they head out to work, check their RSS feeders and submit new articles. Their will be a flood of submissions and your article will be buried underneath it all. It will be swamped and lost forever in the sea of diggs. What is worse is that someone else could have submitted the same article after you have and they got the diggs that you deserved. What you have to do is figure out the peak time of when most users will be checking through the newly submitted material. This probably occurs when they are at work. So it is better if you submit an article during the work day as that is when the peak time comes around. Most office workers get breaks every four hours or so or maybe even every two hours or they’ll just be REALLY bored and have nothing to do. Most likely they will go on Digg to satisfy their boredom and waste the time during their breaks. So its a good bet to submit an article during the working hours of the day so you’re article has a better chance of being seen by those people. Also submit articles around 3 PM – 4 PM; that is around the time when school ends and if these kids like to go on Digg, you increase your chances of being seen.

DO NOT submit an article when the work day ends because that is when a lot of the submitters for Digg will get off work, and once they do, another rush of RSS feeds will flood the submission pages.

2. Use RSS Readers
Just like the pros, use RSS readers (and be cheap at the same time) so you can get news articles hot off the press and be the first one to submit a breaking story to Digg. Subscribe to any news website that updates their website around the clock. You have to be fast though because the powerdiggers and even more diggers use RSS feeds for their article submissions. This will not guarantee a digg though because most of the time, people won’t actually read the list of related articles and will submit anyways. Next thing you know, you’ll have the exact same story submitted by three different powerdiggers making it onto the front page in less than an hour.
With your RSS feeds, carefully choose your target sites and choose many sites because if you just choose one site and submit articles from there, well that’s not going to be fun.

3. Submit Articles from Websites that Rarely hit the Front Page
How many times have you seen an article/comic/picture from the same website hit the front page in a week? ARS Technica is an example of a website where practically all its articles hit the front page in a day (alright I’m exaggerating). TechRadar UK is another one as well. The news is interesting though, but sooner or later people will get REALLY bored and pissed off that articles from the same source will hit the front page. They’ll go straight to the source and read those articles before they are submitted to Digg and sometimes they won’t digg it if they see it again on digg. Pictures/comics especially won’t get dugg. An example is XKCD. People keep refreshing that webpage for the latest comic trying to be the first one to submit it. In the end, diggers will be pissed that everything from the website is submitted and you can get buried.

If you want to use websites that rarely hit the front page, use ExtremeTech, or Anandtech, even submit from WebbAlert (I love you Morgan Webb!).

4. Search for the Most Interesting, Random or the Most Absurd Thing You Can Think of
That title is pretty much self explanatory. Ex) Search for “Chaccaron Macarron music video”

or this for example, History of the Internet.

5. Publicize your profile a bit
The more publicized your profile is, the better it is for people to relate to you or show that you have some credibility.
When people look at the profile of the person who submitted the article, they want to see someone who actually has some life in their account. If you submit an article but keep your entire profile as private, then how is anyone supposed to see what kind of person you are. Even if they see your submission history and like what you have submitted, they’ll try and be your fan. If they forget your name, and they can’t find it too bad, you just lost out on a couple of diggs.

6. Do Not Submit Articles on Current Technology
To save time, do not submit articles belonging in the Technology section. Most likely, someone has already submitted the same article a few minutes before you just did. If you do submit these types of articles, then you better be fast and you better have dependable sources. Not every news website updates their site or puts up articles at the same time when late breaking news comes to the eye of the public. You have to know which source announces it first and you better hope it is something good. Again, you also have to be very fast.

7. Figure out trends on Digg
Figure out what type of articles have been hitting the front page more recently. Sports stories have been taking up some space on the front page, so you should submit some sports stories hoping the sports geeks will see it.
Once Digg opened up its doors to expand past technology, the odd story articles have made the front page many times. Political news and Current event news especially have made a big impact on Digg. They pretty much take up most of the front page now. You have to learn to submit the type of articles that will appeal to the masses. If you submit a tech article, then most likely only geeks/nerds/techies will digg your story before it hits the front page. If you submit a political news story, more people would probably digg it as it could have a profound importance on them. Currently I have been seeing A LOT of ‘odd stuff’ news stories hitting the front page, so find ‘odd stuff’ articles like the boy who’s cheek had been ripped out by his teacher to submit. Currently these kinds of stories will appeal to the masses and get the attention of diggers so submit those types of articles.

8. Create Multiple Accounts and Digg your Own Submission
If you do this, you’re a douchebag.

9. Submit your own Thoughts
If you have something interesting or important to say, then create an account on any blogging service, WordPress, LiveJournal, Blogger, or Tumblr. There are more services out there in this age of Web 2.0 so use whichever service you like the best. Once you type out your rant, submit it to digg and hope someone out there in the world likes what you have to say.
Oh and do the same thing with pictures or videos.

On second thought, this might be against Digg’s TOS so…don’t do this this a lot. lol

10. Find articles from Other social Websites and Submit Those Stories!
Title is self explanatory. Don’t worry, a lot of people on Digg use this tactic so you will not be alone or feel any guilt doing this. It’s the same thing as using RSS readers, but it is not so up to the minute but it is still useful.

11. Learn How to Write Good Titles
I forgot what the name of this story was called, but I saw this on Digg about a year ago. Anyways if you write a good title that will explode in the face of a digger, then you will get their attention and their interest in your story will rise. If you have a well written description, even better; it lures them in. If you just copy and paste the first paragraph of the story into the description, some people might bury you for that because they think you did not take the time to read the article. You just read the title, and submitted.

What it is Like to Get Dugg

January 11, 2009 Leave a comment

If you do not know who Kevin Rose is, then you should be ashamed of yourself. Well you don’t have to be because not that many people outside of the technology industry know who this man is and if you are a casual internet user, you probably still do not know who he is. Well I’ll tell you, he is the man who created Digg, Revision3. and Pownce. AND before all that, he is one of the most beloved hosts of THE SCREENSAVERS and TechTv (Damit Paul Allen!). Digg is one of the best and most innovative Web 2.0 websites created, it has revolutionized the internet and is pretty much the website that has introduced social media to the people of today. Well it was one of the best web sites ever until it became a dictatorship, but let’s not get into that today.

Anyways, for a new user on Digg, it is great to look at the articles on the front page and digg them. Basically digging an article is the same as bookmarking your favourite websites but instead of saving the website to your internet cache on your computer, the digg just saves the article online in your account (and yes, I just used Digg as a verb). New users on Digg will most likely digg their most favourite articles and they will have a slight bias of what they want to digg. Some, will digg political submissions, some will digg technology submissions, and some will just digg those random LOLcats or XKCD comic whenever it appears. Slowly though, their bias will digress, and they’ll just digg anything that seems interesting to them. The point is, Digg has opened peoples’ eyes up to the world and allows people to discover new things that they never heard about or even seen before like that hexadecimal passkey allowing one to crack the DRM on HDDVDs. I remember that storm of anger Digg caused when they started deleting/banning accounts.

Over time though, when the new Digg user finally gets some balls, they will decide to start submitting articles. This epiphony that they have experienced will give them the sense of individualism and courage to start submitting articles. It only occurs though once they believe they can and they are not intimidated by the likes of: MrBabyMan, MakiMaki, msaleem, or badwithcomputer. These guys are Digg’s top users or as many would like to call them, powerdiggers; they have contributed/submitted over 26 000 articles, dugg about 400 000 articles (excluding their own), and have over a 1000 friends altogether. Talk about a Digg overload. These guys contribute probably over 80% of Digg’s top stories found on the front page every day. They are pretty much the life of Digg and have made sure Digg has become of the top Web2.0 websites ever. When most new users decide to start submitting articles, they will all feel the sense of anger and hatred towards Digg as well pretty much, no one has dugg any of their comments. Be reasonable though, it is a rare sight that someone will come across your submission and even rarer if they decide to digg it or not.

I have been through this process so many times as I try to submit articles. Most of the articles I have submitted have not been dugg by anyone else. Everytime I check a few hours later after I submit the article, I get really pissed off because no one has dugg my articles. What pisses me off even more is if I submit an article but a similar article is posted after my submission and it gets dugg. I hate it when users find something interesting and when they submit it they don’t look at the related articles that might be the same. They just hit the ‘Totally Original, I swear’ button and off they go. For a long time, many people will submit articles without another digg and this will put a lot of users off from trying to submit their own articles. The main factor behind this problem are the powerdiggers who are pretty much the gatekeepers of the website. They’re usually the ones who don’t read the similar articles and will just hit the ‘Totally Original, I Swear’ button. Plus they do have that ability of reading a hundred articles in less than five minutes, I wonder how they do it?! *Note the sarcasm*.

Finally though after tears, and heartache, sweat, and blood, someone finally sees your submission and diggs it. When you see that you’re article has two diggs, it is one of the happiest moments ever on Digg. It basically signifies your first fan, or your first paycheck, or someone has dugg you out and you lost your Digg virginity; that fine patch of grass is not so innocent anymore! When all the happiness and glee has drained out of your system, you just sit back and relax, close your eyes and think that you are, ‘t3h l337ness’ or somewhere along those lines. What is amazing is that someone else, somewhere around the world likes what you have done and have shown you their appreciation by digging your article. This euphoria of happiness from getting a digg gives people the courage and confidence to submit another article. Unfortunately, most of the time that second article they submit won’t be dugg so they enter a viscious cycle of anger asking themselves that their submission was not good enough. One day though, it will all change when more and more people start to digg your submission. The most diggs I have ever gotten is twenty and when I saw that, I almost pissed my pants with glee and I did think to myself that I was, ‘t3h l337ness’. Unfortunately, I have never been able to gain that status back and I have slumped back into a cycle of anger and despair.

It is fun though, submitting articles to Digg and hoping that one day someone will digg your submission. If it does not happen, just keep trying and if that does not work, start making some new friends on Digg to make sure all goes well. To many, getting dugg feels like you have accomplished something you thought was impossible and in some sense it is true except for the impossible part. It can become the happiest moment in your life until you get three diggs, then four diggs, then five, and so on and so on until you reach that milestone of reaching the front page. That’s what all Digg users want, to some day hit the front page. Just keep trying, keep submitting, make new friends on Digg, and one day you will get that satisfaction of hitting the front page. Just don’t be a douchebag and game the system!