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Make Love Not Spam

11/30/2004

Lycos have a splendid idea. Its a Screensaver that Fights Spam. I just downloaded it and its a fantabulous invention. Basically it overloads the sites that spam emails are linked to, to take them down in what is effectively a Denial of Service attack. Therefore, the spam companies have to pay to fix it. Hence their costs go up and then some go out of business.

So what does this cost you? Nothing if you have DSL/ADSL/no limit surfing. It just emulates http hits on those sites again and again and again, giving a lovely run down of loadfactors.

The only problem I saw, is that if like me you are behind some paranoid firewall surfcontrol mechanism, every hit is a 'Access Denied' block message, so your contribution is nil and you'll get an evil email about accessing barred sites. Oh, if only they knew it was for a good cause.

I'll download it for home for sure, without a doubt.
--
dp


Memories...

11/29/2004

Slartibartfast
Whiplash
Loz
Fat Boy On A Diet
Gandalf
Flup
Reaper
Annie
Calvin
Strawberry Yoghurt
GhostRider

I would imagine only one person reading this will know what I'm on about, but I'm just testing his ailing aging memory...
--
dp


Nearly December...

11/28/2004

It's nearly December, the month within which I get one year older. Its also the time I treat myself to a bit of extravagance. Last year I got myself The Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection on DVD. It took me a full 9 months before I had watched the final disc. A wonderful 9 months of sitting in awe at the accurate recreations of the stories. This year, I am going to splash out on a slightly more adept Digital Camera. I currently use a Konica KD-20M that I got from Argos a while back. Its a very cheap 2Mpx camera that does ok on outside pics, but not so good on inside pics. So I was going to go with the Panasonic DMC-FZ3 despite its 3Mpx capability - it has 10x optical zoom and a smashing lens. But now, after talking to my pals in the know, I'm considering the Fuji FinePix F610 Zoom - at a whopping 6Mpx in a compact size. It has amazing reviews, and I think it will suit IcyChick and me to a T. We are not photography experts by any means.

In terms of what's keeping me occupied, well the usual career situation is concerning - where do I belong, where should I be, what do I really want etc. are all questions that I am trying to answer. The good news is that next year is a good year. That's a very good thing indeed.

Nearly time for Xmas. Bring it on!
--
dp


A week of revelation.

11/25/2004

This week has been very useful for me. I work in a company that is notorious for churning out Androids. I always felt that I wasn't one, nor would I ever be one. I had a sliver of hope that things wouldn't be as bad as they were portrayed. The problem is that the company is a self-perpetuating characteristic filtration machine. This means, that the process of filtration of employees is designed in such a way, that the characteristics of the upper levels is replicated in the ones below it. All non-conformists are filtered out in a variety of schemes. So what you are left with, is a group of people who all see life through the same colored, styled and type filtered glasses. Only the same types as the viewer are recognised.

This is quite interesting, as its very much like Xenophobia really isn't it? I can't blame them for utilising a primitive instinct to like and trust that which is inherently like oneself.

So you see, though I don't agree, I can see why its like that. Painful situation wouldn't you say?
--
dp


Is this man the new Heinrich Himmler?

11/22/2004

David Blunkett. He appeared on a news show this weekend, and amongst the quotes I saw on BBC, he said the following (according to the BBC Website):
  • "We'd be able to use civil law, like anti-social behaviour orders, to say, 'If you step outside what we've precluded you from doing, if you, for instance, use this particular banking network... then we can move you from the civil into the criminal law', and then we can use the normal criminal justice process, " he said."
The problem is, I'm sure he said:
  • "We'd be able to use civil law, like anti-social behaviour orders, to say, 'If you step outside what we've precluded you from doing, if you, for instance, use this particular banking network, or the internet then we can move you from the civil into the criminal law', and then we can use the normal criminal justice process, " he said."
Please note, he said "OR THE INTERNET".

Was this a Freudian slip? Are the government afraid of freedom of information? I mean, are we going to become like China - where you can't access certain websites because the government firewalls them off? What is the point of Freedom and Democracy if we live in a Police State?

Incidentally, I have been re-reading my copy of Prometheus Rising by Robert Wilson. There is a great section around p97-105. Basically, back in 1988, he outlined how a state could take control of the populace psyche - in short bring them to a heightened state of FEAR that scares them to death, and then rouse them to follow your lead. The primitive response form them will be to follow due to their neural circuits being suspended due to fear. Also, he goes on about how the education system was tinkered with in the US after the 1960's usurp aka Hippy Age that caused the government much strife (starting with having to accept Black Slaves into the community - I mean such revolt has to be stopped doesn't it?) Not sure how accurate a lot of the information is, but the book is indeed interesting - though a tad hard to read.
--
dp


Lazy Sunday of Contemplation

11/21/2004

Its not often that I get a chance to contemplate my navel, but today has given me ample opportunity to do just that. It was all sparked by my picking up a book I had just ordered. I used to read lots of things like that, but then grew out of it. Of late I've been looking to improve my understanding further of Oriental thought, and the book certainly has me doing that. I also had an opportunity to see how certain people are so engrossed in material position, this also had me thinking about human behaviour in the modern age. Being somewhat cereberal I believe that that which is alien to you, is either odd or threatening, and how you act on the unknown shows a little about who you are. In this case I am glad to say its just odd behaviour to me, I've not really been motivated to say I've met famous people, nor do I try to base my position in life upon whom I know or where I work. I would like to think that my life is more than my desk job and the people I work with. Maybe I'm dellusional?

Anyways, I have tried to watch The Big Blue again, but gave up once more. Its a lovely movie to fall asleep to, but like Bladerunner (another one of my fall asleep jobbies) I just can't get into it. Maybe if I just cut to the chase and watch The Blue Planet, BBC's documentary on life underwater, I'd be better off?
--
dp


Today is Children In Need Day...

11/19/2004

One of my resolutions is to donate more to Charities this year than last year. I have therefore donated more to Children In Need this year than last, and will add a couple of new bits and bobs to the portfolio.

If you have spare change in your pocket today, and you spot a yellow Teddy walking around with a Bucket (in the UK that is), you will do yourself no harm whatsoever by giving how ever much you want. Even a 5p piece, as tiny as they are, goes towards helping children who need it.

Oh, and to remind yourself that being good pays, treat yourself to a Friday Crunchie, and whatever coinage you have left, donate that too (if you like).
--
dp


Technology is a wonderful thing indeed..

11/18/2004

I work with technology, infact I am largely responsible for designing and implementing some pretty big systems in various companies around the world. This means I work with people who are gleefully called Nerds or Geeks by people who don't really understand technology or know how to work it. That's the theory anyway. The thing is, where I currently work, I am not actually surrounded by Nerds or Geeks. I miss them now. You know where you stand with people who care about technology and not about self-promotion or deceit. You know that you'll be able to have wonderful discussions about itsy bitsy bits, bytes and bobs, and in most cases discuss complex problems and arrive at wonderfully simple and clean solutions. I don't get that where I currently work. I get hot air. We must have won the contract to inflate the Hindenburg. So if you have a Nerd or Geek at your place or work, please take note - I'd appreciate it if you could place them above egotistical, deceitful, political maniacs. Who is above them in your personal values system is up to you of course, but all I ask is that you pop them off the bottom. You can be sure that they won't sell you down the river. They may ignore you if you are drowning in one though - the secret is to shout something like "please save me and my nanotechnology library in my pocket" - this will catch their attention and bring about that rescue you so require.

Anyway, this post is about some good technology books. Two infact.

Secure Coding: Principles and Practices gives good guidance on systems security.

Building Storage Systems gives guidance on the field of Storage Networks.

I recommend both. Pass it onto a Geek...
--
dp



Heavyweight thoughts of a Lightweight Mind...

11/17/2004

Of late, I have been experiencing things I haven't experienced in such a long time. Its hard to explain exactly what is happening, but the closest I can get is to liken it to the blabberings in The Celestine Phrophecy. If you do not know of it, its a book that has pretty much sold in truck loads across the globe, and has a large following amongst the New Age crowd. Very often if you look around on the tube, chances are you'll see at least one person reading it. This means its not as popular as The Evening Standard, but its popular nonetheless.

Not sure what people think of coincidences, but the book leverages the concept a great deal. In terms of my experiences, I was just last night thinking of a friend whom I haven't heard from in ages. I was one of the very few of his work mates that turned up for his 30th at Monkey Chews, where his girlfriend works. Well, last night I saw something about Monkey Nuts, thought of Monkey Chews, and thought of aL and then wondered how he was. This morning I saw that he had sent an email (the first in eons) stating he was about to head off to Asia and would like to catch up quickly with people. Now people usually say coincidence is just that, an event that encapsulates two separate strands of activity that were initially unrelated but just happened to happen at the same time. However, there are also alternative schools of thought, that dwells on other reasonings. One is purely psychological, one is purely mathematical, one is purely spirtual, one is weird etc.

I feel as though I might need to just hook up with some people who have opinions on this stuff again. Last time I did this was back in 1997/1998 when I was able to discuss such weird things freely and even made an appearance at a Mind Body & Soul Exhibition at the London Horticultural Halls. Am sure in this day and age, there is going to be an online community somewhere that talks of such stuff, that may be able to feed my imagination and help me categorise coincidence in a better place than next to - spooky.

On a separate note, Tai Chi is getting to be very good fun indeed. I found this article on Alexander Technique and Tai Chi, which is very good since its how I think of things - mixed up and together.
--
dp


Just another Manic Monday...

11/15/2004

..I wish it was Sunday...

This morning I noticed that everyone had their winter coats on - including me. I guess its that time of year again, when we expect freezing cold winds, rain and then the occassional ice snap that brings London to a halt.

I've decided to make some new years resolutions.
  • I will not get upset at the state of American and British Politics anymore. I know its a mess, and frankly, its up to people to decide what they will do at the next Election.
  • I will not spend money on useless material things. My DVD collection growth has slowed immensely, but I had accumulated a few other material junk outlets. I shall just concentrate on volumuous books to keep me occupied.
  • I will buy a house very soon. I mean to do this, but everyone keeps asking "Have you found a house yet". I think I'm going about it wrong. I'm waiting for a house that says something to me (figuratively speaking). Maybe I should just look at it, and decide "do I HATE this house?" if the answer is "no" then I'll put down an offer and take it.
  • I will get a Wedding Suit - the Mrs is going on about me not taking an interest in buying the Wedding suit.
  • I will try even harder than I do to be nicer, wiser and more gentler than I am. I believe this is how I should behave.
  • I will look at discovering my next career move. Its clear that I'm not an android, so I must decide what I am.
  • I will drink the RDA of water every day - my food diary earlier showed that as my only flaw.
  • I will donate a little more to charity than I donated last year.
Not entirely riveting reading for you all, but its now written and recorded. I will be holding my self accountable to the above. I was going to put down "I will try to finish off Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver book" but I have decided that the book is crap and nothing like Cryptonomicon, so not worth it.

There you go - Happy New Year to you all!
--
dp


Happy Diwali

11/12/2004

Today is Diwali. This is the Indian New Years Eve. Its a time when Indians burn money (in the form of fireworks) and light up houses and roads with a gazillion candles and oil lamps. Its also when (allegedly) King Rama returned to his huge Kingdom after 14 years in exile in a place called Panchavati. During that time he is said to have mashed up another King by the name of Ravana, who was King of Lanka. They had one momentus mash up due to the fact that Ravana kidnapped Rama's ever so alluring [I was going to use another word beginning with S to describe her, but I fear the almighty hand of retribution] wife Sita. The story gets very complicated, and I'll be honest here, it is very intellectual in comparison to most so called Religious/Historical stories. There is a bit of 'did they or didnt they' and Rama/Sita's kids, who have ace names of Luv and Kush, also make an appearance towards the end. The end of the epic basically symbolises the end of the Golden Time of Indian History. Shortly after that India entered the Kali Yuga - the age of depression and darkness and not something from Indiana Jones : please take note TOC. Lucky for us, a few hundred years after that we got another King by the name of Krishna to talk about; but thats another story.

So tomorrow is the Indian New Year - so Happy New Year to all the Indians too. Another quick lesson - India is so huge and varied, that each region has its own chronology. The North Western Beach areas are in year 2061 or something like that, in the age of King Vikrama. They liked their Kings didn't they?
--
dp


And I think to myself...

11/11/2004

...what a wonderful world...

And I wonder, would it be any more wonderful from deloitte.

Pondering time.

Views appreciated.
--
dp


Hey teacher...

11/10/2004

...leave those kids alone!

About a year ago, at a Pizza Express in Bath, Captain Damo was explaining to my fiance and me, just how much fun he had when he attended a company Tai Chi event. His company had put on a week of wellbeing or something like that, and Tai Chi was one of the events. Mr CD proceeded to tell us about how the slow moving exercise and the odd channeling stuff was very convincing for him. It took me almost a year to sign up for a class myself. I joined the Mountain River School (note the firm and fluid name) and last week was my first class. It was good, but I was a tad miffed at the exercises. This week, the Teacher started to show his reason for the madness. I discovered just what Mr CD meant about firmness in structure. We were taught to move in a certain way, which felt odd (angles and weight balance etc.) But then he came around and started to push against us, and none of us budged. He then told us to move any part of the structure, mainly the legs if possible, no matter what we moved, we were not as firm as before. Infact any pulling action buckled us all to the ground. He repeated this with the yin-yang move, where we learnt we could support his weight via limpwristed stance (kid you not) but then as soon as we turned our fingers up, we lost firmness. He then showed how the slow moving arm movements were akin to the wax-on/wax-off movements of Mr Miyagi. I actually could parry his punches with no effort. But then he used me as a dummy (seems I have advanced pecs that pop out, so had the entire class touching me up, ooer) to demonstrate how Tension is the Opponents weapon. As I went to move to strike, my pecs would tense around the shoulder, and he showed how one of the movements could be used to just gently push at a pressure point. Stopped me dead. Very impressive indeed.

He left us with an inkling of how next week we'll put together the firm (legs) and fluid (arms) exercises we've learnt in two weeks. Looking forward to it.

Friday is Diwali - the Indian New Years Eve (for those who don't know). I am on holiday - yipeeee. Alas, I will have to go for a run. I signed up for the nike 10k nocturnal, but haven't run since my peroneal tendon incident a few weeks ago. I am going to have to run on Friday/Saturday/Sunday/Monday, and if by Monday I can move without pain still, I will do the run. Otherwise I'll have to cancel :(

You see, today is all about me me me!
--
dp


Money Money Money...

11/08/2004

...always Sunny, in a Rich Man's World...

Of late I have begun to question the absolute need to make Millions or even Billions of Pounds of Profit, when that Profit is just pocketed and never put to good use. I find it a tad annoying to hear of hungry children around the World on one side, and then about BP's Million pound per hour profit on the other. I can only think that there is something wrong. For starters, if consumer based companies like Tesco/BP are making millions in profit, it can only mean one thing: They are selling you something that they have procurred for MUCH LESS than what they charged you for. What's it feel like to be conned?

Still, not to be one to vouch for Communism, which also has its own problems, I can only hope for a more consumer aware society, where we are astutely aware of what is going on under the covers. In this vein, I am keen to go see a film called The Corporation, which seems to be generating some rather interesting reviews. I am hoping that the Mrs doesn't mind me dragging her to see another Docufilm (after F911 and SuperSize Me). The Website suggests that you should go see it with a group of people, but I've realised, I seem to be the only one of my London based friends who digs this sort of "Liberal" attitude - like you know, I worship Satan and eat Babies and stuff, interspersed with harbouring liberal views like Gay people are just people really, and that Religion is a personal thing that should be separated from the State.

Oh dear, did I just say that? Naughty me...
--
dp


The planets are lining up..

11/07/2004

we're bringing brighter days...

A lazy wet Sunday afternoon, spoilt by the fact that at 3am the Burglar Alarm of one of the houses down my road (rented out to newly arrived Somalians no less) went off. Have you ever heard how loud a Burglar Alarm can be in the dead of the night? The sound carries, and penetrates every living thing. I woke up in a start, my heart pumping, thinking (1) its our house alarm, no its not (b) its next door's (an olde couple), no its not, (c) pants its theirs. Why pants? Well its gone off before, during the day, and the poor sods have no idea whatsoever how to disarm it. So they let it ring for about 20/30 minutes until it disarms itself. And true to form, last night it went on until 3.30am. Fantastic.

Anyways, my amazon goodies have shipped. I have been a good boy of late, and haven't wasted my money on DVDs, but I have kinda upped my book quota somewhat. Below are items wot i've purchased that you, the discerning reader, may find interesting.
Enjoy...

--
dp


Three blind mice...

11/06/2004



Today I spent a lovely day with the fiance. We went to see the Worlds Longest Running Theatre Play - Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap at St. Martins Theatre. We were enraptured from the moment we sat down in our fantastic seats in the Dress Circle. The play was exquisite, entertaining and very very well done. Alas, we cannot tell you whodunit, since we are now members of the biggest and oldest Partners In Crime syndicate.

We then went on for a fantastic dinner at Strada again. We like good restaurants (contrary to popular belief, my tastes do venture beyond Pizza Hut - sometimes...), and alongside Ask, Pizza Express, Zizzi and The Gate, we consider Strada to be rather good. We thoroughly enjoyed the Garlic Bread and fantastic Pomegranate Juice!

Right now, I'm watching Charlton thrash Tottenham, who are currently managerless due to the surrender, sorry standing down of their French Manager.
--
dp


Sign your name...

11/05/2004

...at the footer of this email (adjusted lyric)

I have been somewhat peed off (not surprising considering the week I've had) by some of the garish email signatures that fly around at the
bottom of people's emails in my company. These range from verbose to garish, from full of data that nobody is EVER going to need or use about you, to use of every single color and font size known to mankind, and sometimes even animated gifs!

I became versed in the use of computers at the glorious Manchester University CS Department. There we were surrounded by clever clog professors (ok so they mumbled and worse sandals sometimes) who were able to inform us of good netiquette as began using Usenet (newsgroups to most folks).

We were told that use of the UNIX .signature file to attach a signature to outgoing emails (yes emailing since 1991!!!) was governed by gentlemens agreements that were captured in the 4-line McQuary limit. This was put together by a chap called George McQuary, who back in the early 90s founded the Netiquette Guidelines that state:

Use "-- " [dash dash space] as the beginning of the .signature block, and thereafter no more than 4 lines of 80 characters each in the .signature block itself.

So there you have it, starting with "-- "(which allowed some email systems to 'delete' the rest of the block should they chose to) you had 4 lines of no more than 80 characters each, within which to put your personal signature.

Obviously its not widely known or followed. Shame really...

[now you know why I have the "-- dp" at the end of my posts and emails eh? Old habits...]
--
dp



Thank crunchie...

This week has been a bad week for me.
  • Bush.
  • By mobile number is in limbo due to o2 being incompetent.
  • Work has been harsh with odd decisions from the client.
  • India won a test match but lost the series to australia.
  • I havent seen my fiance all week.
Ho Hum.
..
dp
[mobile]


The future's so bright...

11/04/2004


--
dp


If you wanna make the world a better place...

...take a look at yourself and make that...change!

So we are to suffer 4 more years of a puppet in charge of the USA. I have no real problems with that, as its not my country and I have no say in the outcome.

What I do want to do, is to understand how we must rally the voters in the UK to send a SHOCKWAVE to Mr Tony Bush and his cronies, that this here is NOT the 51st State, and that we do things differently here. The Empire of yore has taught the political vein of this country a lot of lessons about freedom, democracy and the cost of war. Gandhi himself showed that adversity can be overcome, no matter how powerful it may seem.

I want to know how I can help to remind the Labour Party, that we here in the UK don't want to be a poodle-state to the USA, and that we want a leader who will do as the French and German leaders have done, and say "No, I refuse to partake in any illegal activity just because you are going to threaten me with bully tactics, I have integrity, my country has integrity".

Should I vote Liberal, or Should I vote Tory? How can I weaken the governments position to make them realise that they HAVE to listen to us. We didn't have the UK's BIGGEST EVER public demonstration against the war for fun - aliken it to the Suffragette movement please.
Its something that is for a good cause, and is against the current incumbent government.

I need that guidance. We need to mobilise and send that Shockwave.

That is my thought. That is my blog post. That is my intent.
--
dp


Fools to the left of me, Jokers to the right...

11/02/2004

...here I am stuck in the middle with you!

Another week begins, yada yada yada. Found out that O2 have decided to Port my mobile number into nothingness (Baffoons) so I'm without mobile for a couple of days. Guess thats OK. Just makes me wonder how silly people can be when they don't care about the outcome.

Speaking of outcomes, I am going to go out on a limb and declare George W Bush the returning incumbent incompetent imbercile president of the United States of Amoronica. I was amused to read that only Blair actually wants him to win. Guess its so that they can go to Bible school together, and pray that they made the right decisions. Its easy to do that, coz then only God can punish you, not the legal system.

Wonder if there's a website we can use to impeach Tony Bush for being a liar?

Just downloaded iTunes for the PC - dear oh dear. Here goes my self-discipline and here comes loads of dodgy mp3s for 79 pence!
--
dp


Dream another dream...

...this dream is over.

I had another weird dream last night. Yet another dream about Exams. This time, oddly enough I was on the football pitch with colleagues and they were talking about their revision, and how they had been revising for months. I then felt sick as I hadn't revised at all. Haven't got a clue what exams, and the odd thing - why would I revise if I already had a job and finished exams? What a joke.

Its a continuing theme, me not revising for exams and then suddenly fearing the impending examinations. Ho hum, the stark reality is that I no longer have exams, I have finished my studious period. Now I just laze around, get paid, and read novels. I'm lovin it...

Tonight I start on my Tai Chi. The Mountain River Tai Chi school awaits The Num Num, who will come out as Master Num, possessor of the deadly slow moving fist technique. Dojo!
--
dp


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Weekly musings from a confused mind. This blog, and all posts within it, are just ramblings. They are in no way affiliated with any past, current or future employers. Neither do they represent my deep felt views, or those of my friends or family. Really, its just a blog, which is a new thing, and has new dimensions. So please, dont take anything seriously. If you do, contact me via a comment, and I will get back to you to resolve the situation. Seriously, enjoy life, ignore this blog, and views within it.

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