Too Many Windows Services

November 21, 2009 Leave a comment

I just recently installed Windows 7 a few days ago and it definitely is an upgrade to

Application Experience – This service checks a Microsoft maintained database for known problems with popular programs and automatically enables workarounds, either at first installation (using UAC) or at application launch.

Application Layer Gateway Service – Provides support for 3rd party protocol plug-ins for Internet Connection Sharing and the Windows Firewall.

Application Identity – Determines and verifies the identity of an application. Disabling this service will prevent AppLocker from being enforced.

Application Management –

Windows Audio Endpoint Builder – Manages audio devices for the Windows Audio service. If this service is stopped, audio devices and effects will not function properly.

Windows Audio –

ActiveX Installer (AxInstSV) – Provides User Account Control validation for the installation of ActiveX controls from the Internet and enables management of ActiveX control installation based on Group Policy settings. This service is started on demand and if disabled the installation of ActiveX controls will behave according to default browser settings.

BitLocker Drive Encryption Service – BDESVC hosts the BitLocker Drive Encryption service. BitLocker Drive Encryption provides secure startup for the operating system, as well as full volume encryption for OS, fixed or removable volumes. This service allows BitLocker to prompt users for various actions related to their volumes when mounted, and unlocks volumes automatically without user interaction. Additionally, it stores recovery information to Active Directory, if available, and, if necessary, ensures the most recent recovery certificates are used. Stopping or disabling the service would prevent users from leveraging this functionality.

Base Filtering Engine – The Base Filtering Engine (BFE) is a service that manages firewall and Internet Protocol security (IPsec) policies and implements user mode filtering. Stopping or disabling the BFE service will significantly reduce the security of the system. It will also result in unpredictable behavior in IPsec management and firewall applications.

Background Intelligent Transfer Service – component of modern Microsoft Windows operating systems that facilitates prioritized, throttled, and asynchronous transfer of files between machines using idle network bandwidth.

Computer Browser – The primary function of the browser service is to provide a list of computers sharing resources in a client’s domain along with a list of other domain and workgroup names across the wide-area network (WAN). This list is provided to clients that view network resources with Network Neighborhood or the NET VIEW command.

Certificate Propagation – he Certificate Propagation service allows Smart Cards to supply trustworthy root certificates which, among other uses, can be used as a method of logon in Vista. If you don’t use Smart Cards, you don’t need this service, though because it’s set to manual by default, you won’t gain anything by disabling it.

Microsoft .Net Framework NGEN – he Native Image Generator (NGEN) “…is a tool that improves the performance of managed applications. Ngen.exe creates native images, which are files containing compiled processor-specific machine code, and installs them into the native image cache on the local computer. The runtime can use native images from the cache instead using the just-in-time (JIT) compiler to compile the original assembly.” More information about this service can be found here. This is set to manual by default, so it’s only called when needed (typically after a system update) so it’s best to leave this one alone.

COM+ System Application – COM+ is an evolution of Microsoft Component Object Model (COM) and Microsoft Transaction Server (MTS). COM+ builds on and extends applications written using COM, MTS, and other COM-based technologies. COM+ handles many of the resource management tasks that you previously had to program yourself, such as thread allocation and security. COM+ also makes your applications more scalable by providing thread pooling, object pooling, and just-in-time object activation. COM+ also helps protect the integrity of your data by providing transaction support, even if a transaction spans multiple databases over a network.

Categories: Uncategorized

Playing with Digg’s New Digg Trends

November 7, 2009 Leave a comment

On November 4th of this week, Digg announced on their blog a new feature they call, “Digg Trends”. It is a new feature that identifies and highlights upcoming stories that have garnered quite a bit of attention or activity. These stories are tagged based on the amount of activity surrounding them (the number of diggs, the number of buries, or the rate of comments being posted an hour). The story pops up onto the front page of Digg and is displayed for ten minutes so users who have not seen the story can view it. There’s also a cool big timer which is set to ten minutes that is set right beside the link to the story. Each story is given ten minutes of attention on the front page until it gets taken down for the next story.

While I was at work, I miraculously fell upon this new feature. I do not know how they delivered the feature but I think only some people can view the beta while others can not. I do not exactly know but I found the feature cool. Although it does seem kind of annoying to have a big huge timer counting down in front of you, especially if the Digg home page is not the center of your focus while you’re on the computer, It is not noticeable once you just scroll down to the next bunch of stories. It was a good idea to just implement it on only the top part of the home page. I hate it when those ads come up on to the screen and they block half the screen off and when you try to scroll, it follows. That is very annoying. I played around with it for about five minutes before I got disinterested in the story and moved on but the five minutes of using it has allowed me to see something. On the right side of the story, there is a number which states the number of people that have checked out the story. I kept on refreshing the page to see if the clock was working in real time too and what I noticed was that the amount of people that have ‘checked out the story’ kept on changing. The numbers kept on changing at random but within a range of 400-600. I do not know if Digg has fully implemented the functionality of that part of the feature but just looking at the values change every second is very, how do I say it…wrong. That’s misrepresenting the activity of the story. I actually don’t remember what the story was because I did not actually click on it. I think it had to do something with New York and Wall street or somewhere around those lines. The numbers kept on changing and at first I thought that more and more people were actually clicking and viewing the story but the numbers were also decreasing. At first the value was around 700, then it was at 400, then at 500, and then back down again to 400. This pattern kept on going until I just said, “Fuck it, it’s still in beta, they’ll work it out later.” Still though, if this was deliberate, they should have just waited a little longer to get that part of the feature functionally working.

Steve Phillips is Not David Letterman

October 26, 2009 Leave a comment

What a juicy news story this is. One of ESPN’s sports analysts, Steve Phillips just got the pink slip for having an affair with a 22-year-old production assistant. The production assistant in question is Brooke Hundley and from what I can tell from an image search over the web, she’s pretty hot in those bunny ears. On a closer inspection….yeaaaa, REALLY Steve Phillips?!?!

She filed a restraining order against apparently but it was withdrawn. Unfortunately, this debacle became public and Mr. Phillips got the boot. Unfortunately he is not as valuable to ESPN as Letterman is now.

This story leads me to my next question. Would CBS have fired David Letterman for his incident if Jay Leno was still around on late night television? Probably. Ever since Leno left the late night spot light, Letterman and CBS has taken control of the ratings and will not let go. Letterman was smart, he decided to go public and air his dirty laundry. This controversy obviously put an even tighter grip on ratings and made headlines everywhere. Once he went public, EVERYONE started watching his show. Since he is so valuable now as the number one host of late night television, CBS would not dare to fire him or NBC would take back control of late night. By firing Letterman, CBS would have to find a new host to sub in for him. They could go with Ferguson but someone needs to take his spot and I hate to say this but Craig Ferguson is not as popular as David Letterman. They would have to do casting calls and everything and they would lose all the revenue that David Letterman created, that it was just not worth it firing him. CBS gets to save a six figure salary + benefits, but that’s nothing compared to the seven figure sponsorship they get from companies/corporations.

ESPN on the other hand is already the most famous sports channel on television right now and they pretty much almost have a monopoly on the sports television industry so these guys could afford the risk and fire Steve Phillips. It’s unfortunate, because I liked the guy but he’s not as hot as Jennifer Hedger.

You Shouldn’t Have Slaughtered Those Pigs

September 20, 2009 Leave a comment

The upcoming school year has many schools and universities preparing for the potential epidemic of the swine flu or what is technically known as the H1N1 flu. Many colleges and universities are frantically giving away disinfectant hand wash to every student on campus and they even have created procedures for classes if the H1N1 virus hits half the campus. The swine flu which popped up around the spring of 2009 has caused a world wide pandemic. No one wants to go through another bird flu or a SARS epidemic again and Toronto and China can attest to that. Here’s a funny fact about the swine flu. Originally, they called it the swine flu but pig farmers got mad and lobbied to change it’s name because it reflected poorly on pigs and pig farmers in general. Everyone got scared of pigs and stopped buying any type of pork which obviously brings the pig farmers’ profits down. Then they called it the Mexican flu and all the Mexicans got mad because then everyone thought every Mexican (aka: illegal alien) had the disease. It was named Mexican flu because it originated from there, not because Mexicans had it. Now they have resorted to just calling it based on it’s strain, the H1N1 virus.

When this outbreak occurred, every country closed its doors and temporarily banned international flights hoping to isolate the epidemic. The WHO raised the their pandemic level to five (5). That’s pretty serious stuff; once the level reaches 6, it’s total and immediate lock down in every country. Many countries were obviously afraid that the flu would spread amongst the people so travel was banned for the time being. Egypt on the other hand went to a more extreme length; they killed ALL the pigs in its country. Some might say good move because this definitely reduces the possibility of a swine flu case to 0%. Also, Muslims do not eat pigs. They only eat blessed meat or halal and pigs do not get blessed. But why do they have pigs in the country in the first place if they aren’t used for food or food bi-products?

Well, one thing pigs are good for in Egypt is to clean up the organic waste that people throw out on the streets. This unfortunate and misguided attempt at preventing swine flu failed on an epic proportion as now the streets of Egypt are littered with garbage. When pigs were alive in Egypt, they would stroll the streets and eat the organic waste. Now, without the pigs, Egypt is facing an ever increasing amount of garbage on the streets and something even worse than the swine flu can come about, like The Plague. Obviously the government is trying to clean up all the garbage but that will take some time. It’s like whenever a city has a garbage strike. All the residents just throw their garbage in one spot and that area pretty much becomes uninhabitable. No one would even want to walk around there a year after the garbage has been cleaned up. If the government does not act fast, that could happen to Egypt. I’m pretty sure the effects of garbage on the streets are all negative.

This article has more information: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/20/world/africa/20cairo.html?_r=2&partner=rss&emc=rss&topic=swineflu

Inglorious Basterds: A Review

August 22, 2009 Leave a comment

Yesterday was the first time in a long time that I saw a movie on opening day. I think the last time was when X-Men 2 came out. With an expectation that the theatre will be full, my friends and I grabbed a seat at the back an hour before the movie started. Of course it was empty and pretty much stayed empty until fifteen minutes before the movie started. I had my doubts about this movie. I kind of wanted to watch it but overall it seemed like a movie that I would not enjoy and a movie that I would not want to see again. Quentin Tarantino surprised me though, overall it was actually a pretty good movie. I would say it is his best film since Pulp Fiction, of course I actually have not seen all of Pulp Fiction so I can not say that it is as good haha.

The movie revolves around eight Jewish-American men lead by Brad Pitt’s character, Lt. Aldo Reins Tennessee native. Their mission, to brtually kill any Nazis they find to spread fear and crazy rumors across the Third Reich, like the ‘Bear-Jew’. The company’s objective is to make sure every Nazi soldier hears about them and become so afraid of the rumors that every time they go into battle, they think they are fighting against the Basterds.

I expected the movie to be action packed with crazy stunts and a lot of gun fights but unfortunately I was let down by Mr. Tarantino. There are not that many gun fights and the only action scene is at the end. I can not be surprised though as Mr. Tarantino is not known for making action movies like Michael Bay. With Tarantino, the movie is more about the talk and the dialogue. While watching the movie, I did not really care fo the plot. It’s pretty much like every other WWII movie, try to end the war but there is a twist at the end of the movie that is unlike the other WWII movies you have seen. What really surprised me though is the dialogue and the writing, this movie has one of the best dialogue that I have ever scene in quite a long time. I loved the fact that the characters speak in different languages other than English. I hate it when I see these kinds of movies only to see everyone talking English…like in Valkyrie. I don’t think EVERY German knew how to speak perfect English. The setting was in France, and I was really surprised the movie had Germans speaking French. Pretty much the only time you hear English is in the first chapter and when the Basterds are talking.

By the way, the storyline is segregated into five chapters (I think). Each chapter is pretty much a story on its own but the audience does not get lost. There are two stories that the movie revolves around, the Basterds and the French Jew who owns the Cinema. Everyone knows the Basterds and their storyline; kill as many Nazis as they can find and cut the scalps from their heads off. The other movie which the audience does not see in the trailers is this French woman who owns a cinema and is reluctantly forced into hosting a premiere for a biopic movie on one of the greatest German war heroes ever. This war hero was trapped in a bird’s nest for three days and he picked off about three hundred American soldiers. Coincidentally, the soldier who plays himself in the movie is attracted to the French woman and tries everything to make her love him. He even has his movie premiere at her theatre. Everyone’s seen this device in story telling; there are multiple stories going on and in the end they all converge on each other to make a spectacular ending. That’s what this movie is, two separate stories and in the end they come together. What’s amusing to me though is that none of the Basterds and the French woman do not meet so it makes the whole ending like a coincidence and not like those other stories where all the characters in separate storeis meet each other at the end.

If you aren’t a stickler for historical fiction, then you’d be fine with the ending as they successfully assassinate Hitler. I didn’t spoil the movie for you because Hitler’s assassination takes a back seat to the main story line. That’s just a bonus Tarantino put in but no one expects it because we all think that the movie would follow historical fiction. There are some gory scenes that people in the theatre were evidently disgusted by. The whole scalping of the dead Nazis thing, everyone could see their brains. They made it so easy though, when the Basterds were scalping their Nazi counterparts, it was like slicing a hot knife through butter. They cut it so easily but it makes me wonder though as if they were scalping them, they would have to cut through bone in order to see the brains and that would be really hard to do with just a knife.

The movie was really great up until the ending. I did not like the ending nor did I understand why the main antagonist did what he did. Hitler’s not the main antagonist in this movie. The Jew Hunter as they nick name him is the main antagonist. Unfortunately this movie is like a lot of Tarantino’s movies where EVERYONE dies. This is pretty much at the ending but I was puzzled as to why though because for some of the characters that died, they could have easily avoided the confrontation but they chose not to and in the end they go on a suicide run…whichw as pretty much the plan in the first place. My only beef with this movie is the ending because it seems like a slap in the face if you ask me with what happened. All together though, I enjoyed the movie. It was refreshing to see it, you just have to not be bored by like two hours of dialogue and only about half an hour of action which comes at the end. Unfortunately, this is one of those movies where that I would not want to see again; it is not for me.

Between Inglorious Basterds and District 9, I would choose District 9. Mainly because District 9 is one of those movies that make you think.

RIP Col.TF2

August 22, 2009 1 comment

I haven’t written here in about a couple of weeks and I think my little blog of mine should deserve some attention, especially when something big in the TF2 community happened about a week ago. It was made official on August 11, 2009 that Team Complexity’s world renowned Team Fortress 2 squad had decided to disband.

An excerpt from the article on Team Complexity’s website:

Today, the Syndicate regrettably announces the disbandment of Complexity.TF2. We have had the game for two seasons now and have gone through more roster changes than is common with our teams. At the end of last season, three out of the six players decided they wanted to go inactive in order to focus on responsibilities in their personal lives. This left us with the prospect of yet again rebuilding, or stepping away from the game for a while. While the TF2 community has a large player base, the talent pool at the premiere level is shallow at best. We made the decision to step away from the game, rather than build a new squad that does not represent the level of excellence our fans have come to expect.

We would like to thank our former players and wish them the best of luck. To our TF2 fan base, we may be seeing you again in the future.


col.tf2 is one of the most well known and respected professional TF2 teams in North America. From their rise to dominance as The Experiment to the devastation they wreaked upon their oponents as Team Pandemic with an almost perfect record. the team consisted of past and present comp TF2 players including the infamous Adam Reptile Dopko. From the beginning, playing in CEVO, the team consisted of key members that have lead the team to multiple victories; members like Dummy and oPlaiD. They have been very lucky to pick up Reptile from Mortal Wounds and consequently Hubris and Dion. The team has played in many professional leagues and competitions like: CEVO, ESEA, TGL, Nvidia LanVision, Pwnage.tv’s Shotgun Shootout, and even ESL where they placed second with pings of up to 200 ms.

Their best roster (in my opnion), which has dominated almost every single match they have played in was consisted of:
Adam Reptile Dopko
Samuel oPlaiD Lingle
Tim Dummy Olson
Nick TheFragile Leon
Alex REP Nunez
Ryan SycknesS Mitchell

This team was an unstoppable force lead by Reptile who’s frag vid has made him very popular in the TF2 community and one of the best medic’s ever in TF2, TheFragile. They were an unstoppable force as they played for Team Pandemic. Even though, their creator and former captain Perfekt decided to retire from active gameplay, the team carried on and didn’t skip a heartbeat. These pros with backgrounds in Quake and Team Fortress Classic quickly became the team to beat in 2008. Over the team’s span of three years of existence (or is it two?), they have been lucky enough to have great pro players play with them. Players like:

Paul Newby Turner
Alex Alexwut Casper
Daniel Carnage Sturdivant
Ryan Paladin Foley
JeffreyJmitchell Mitchell
Mike Dion Powell
Eric Hubris Dean
Daniel Destro Schwartz
AndrewHell Tran
Brad pyyyour Ross

Unfortunately, after a disagreement with their former syndicate, Team Pandemic, the team joined up with probably the most famous professional North American syndicate ever known, Team Complexity. It is also known as one of the Championship Gaming Series’ most valued teams and for their very enthusiastic manager, Jason Lake. Unfortunately after their switch from Pandemic to Complexity, the team has never been the same. Even though they haven’t won a tournament or championship match since joining Complexity, the team was still very formidable, being able to make it to the CEVO S3 finals and ESEA-I finals but unfortunately losing toTeam Loaded, the team that was chosen to represent Team Pandemic after our superstars left for Complexity. The very questionable roster changes of letting SycknesS go and TheFragile leaving which lead to the additions of pyyyour and Hell did not really help the team as they still could not make those clutch plays that made them successfull in the past. The switch from soldier to demoman by Reptile did not do the team much good. Even though Mr. Dopko plays well as the demoman, he should have stuck with soldier.

A couple of days after Team Loaded took the OCZ pot of $2500 by beating Evil Geniuses, rumors began to swirl around the TF2 community that col.TF2 was no more. Reptile was going inactive for a while because apparently he found a job. REP and Hell were also the two other members that went inactive. People were in disbelief and did not know what to think. Then finally, news broke out that members of col.tf2 were added to new teams. oPlaiD and Dummy were added to 20ID‘s. Paladin switched to Hostile Factionand Reptile moved closer to his home, Team EG (Evil Geniuses) as a backup. It will be sad knowing that the most successful TF2 team in North America and most likely the world will not be playing together anymore. They have all moved on to their new teams the best of luck to them.

Here is a list of their accomplishments
1st Place CEVOp Season 1
1st Place Pwnage.TV Shotgun Shootout
2nd Place ESL Major Series II
1st Place Xfire Countdown to Nvision 2008
1st Place Nvision 2008 Geforce LAN
1st Place CEVO Sennheiser Open
1st Place CGS ProAm
1st Place CEVOp Season 2
1st Place Gotfrag Invitational
2nd Place CEVOp Season 3
2nd Place ESEA Season 1

A Review of GI-Joe: It Wasn’t That Bad

August 8, 2009 Leave a comment

Seriously, GI-Joe The Rise of Cobra Commander was not a terribly bad movie at all. It must have been the fact that I lowered my expectations of the movie before seeing it but still it’s not one of those movies where you ask for your money back ten minutes in. The movie has garnered quite a bit of negative press since the first test screenings and most likely will be the biggest box office bomb in the summer of 2009. Possibly the biggest bomb in all of 2009 but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The bad press this movie has gotten has ranged from the director Stephen Sommers getting fired to receiving the lowest score in <a href = "http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2009/06/gi_joe_looking_like_a_bomb_of.html&quot; “>test screening history. Even the actors are not confident in the movie and are probably already shunning their work. In a couple of years when you ask Channing Tatum about behind the scenes of the movie his response will be, “GI-Who?” Even Paramount, the studio behind the movie is trying to shy it away from the spotlight. As you can read in this article they did not screen this movie to critics in fear of getting even more bad reviews.

I don’t really care about the bad buzz this movie has gotten in the past few months because the only reason why I wanted to watch this movie was to see Ray Park kick ass as Snake Eyes. I went yesterday which was opening day to see how terrible it was and to my surprise, it wasn’t that bad. There were a few good things the movie had to offer like Sienna Miller and one of my favourite actors, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and…well alright, the movie did not have a lot to offer. It was pretty much riddled with one bad idea after another but the action kind of made up for it.

What I hated most about the movie are all the freakin’ flash backs I had to watch to get the background of the story. Fans of GI-Joe would already be familiar with the characters but I am not a fan of GI-Joe so I don’t really know much about any of them. The whole entire flashback ordeal was pretty much like an episode of Lost. You know in pretty much almost all the episodes of Lost, they put in all these random flashbacks to give you a background of what the episode is about and then they can introduce another stupid plot twist? Yea it’s exactly like that and they don’t even make the transition from the present to the past subtle, they just just zoom into the character’s face and then the flashback starts. The way they transition it is so bad except for when they do Snake Eyes, that transition was alright.

I also didn’t like the random stupid one-liners said by the characters. They were really unnecessary and sometimes they just interrupted the mood. They’re not like those funny one-liners that Ryan Reynolds had in Blade III. I’m talking about those lines that state the obvious and then the other lines that re-inforce the obvious. It’s a good thing though they kept the comic relief to a minimum because I would have left the theatre if they had Ripcord (Marlon Wayons cracking all the jokes every five minutes.

The most important part of the movie which is the writing and the acting were terrible. We all know it but who really cares about that when we know this is an action movie and we know this movie will suck. I certainly did not care about it. You can figure out the entire story within the first ten minutes of the movie when the commandos get attacked by the Baroness. She is hot, I mean it is Sienna Miller but she really has to take more acting classes because she can’t play the bad guy. The whole entire repenting thing that she does at the end of the movie to save Duke’s life was very surprising. I did not know how bad the acting could get until I saw Sienna Miller switch sides. It basically goes like this: The Baroness captures Duke and then they take Duke away to turn him into a nano-tech warrior that is controlled by the doctor (aka Cobra Commander) but as she sees them taking Duke away, we see flashbacks of her and Duke making out and being in love. After about thirty seconds of these flashbacks, she switches sides and saves Duke’s life. WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!?!?! Come on that has got to be the worst acting ever and also worst writing ever. It would have been better if Duke kissed her and then she started getting all these flashbacks and what not. Anyways, to make it more plausible, turns out she was injected with nanites so she wasn’t doing all these bad things willingly. Once you get past the terrible acting and the bad writing, I guess all you can hope for are the action sequences which were alright. I know that many people didn’t like the trailer when they saw the Joes being suited up with accelerator suits but those suits were used in only one scene and that was the Paris scene when the Eiffel tower gets destroyed. That was the only time those suits were used and thank God it was the only time (unfortunately that was about twenty minutes).

/
I was dissapointed with the amount of screen time Ray Park had. I was very excited to see Snake Eyes yield his sword like a pro but unortunately he was in only three cool scenes. The first fight with Storm Shadow, the Paris scene where he chases Storm Shadow and the Baroness, and the final showdown between him and Storm Shadow. The fighting was cool but there was not enough of it. There was like only like five minutes of actual fighting between the two and there wasn’t anything really cool about it like in Episode I as Ray Park kicked ass as Darth Maul. They should have given them a more epic fight scene or put Snake Eyes in a pit with like 100 cobra commandos and watch him work his dual sword magic.

I was really unsure of the plotline too. The Baroness being Cobra Commander’s sister…I thought she was his wife or something like that. Also, Duke had a relationship with the Baroness before she turned into a bad guy? Really? Did that happen in the original series? Ripcord has a thing for Scarlett and always puts the moves on her?
Even the storyline with Snake Eyes I was unsure of. It was the least realistic storyline as it seems like Snake Eyes was a homeless white boy in Japan. How does that happen? An homeless white boy in Japan. The rest of that storyline is good though. He takes a vow of silence after his master is killed by another student whom was Storm Shadow. They were both pupils of the same master but turns out their master liked the white boy better and Storm Shadow got pissed, so he killed him.

Well I guess you can say hat this movie was bad, but it wasn’t terribly bad. You just have to dumb yourself down to a very low level to enjoy this I guess. The action was pretty much the only thing that kind of saved this movie. Just like Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen. If you liked that movie, then I guess you wouldn’t hate GI-Joe. They’re both action packed films where the acting/writing take a back seat. Also, do NOT get me started on Dennis Quaid as General Hawk…just don’t.