|A retreat for the well-being of my mind from the insanity of the life that is mine.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008 6 comments
Reading: Restaurant sorry over F word bill
Currently listening to: Dance, Dance - Fallout Boy
Quote of the day: "In America, through pressure of conformity, there is freedom of choice, but nothing to choose from." - Peter Ustinov
Spotted this article on the BBC news.
Freedom at last for digital media! Down with DRM!
Jon Lech Johansen became the "enfant terrible" of the DRM industry when he released software which cracked the encryption codes on DVDs, aged just 15.
His firm, DoubleTwist, has now released software allowing users to share digital media files across devices.
It would allow songs bought on Apple's iTunes to be shared on other devices.
At the moment, the only portable music player which can store content downloaded from the iTunes store is Apple's iPod.
Users can copy downloaded songs to a CD and then copy the disc back on to the computer so that the songs can then be moved to other portable devices - but the quality of the music is affected...
...The new software from his San Francisco-based company DoubleTwist will allow users to share both user-generated and professionally created music, photos and video clips between computers, mobiles and game consoles.
Media which lives on a computer can be moved to a variety of mobile devices by dragging and dropping the files to a desktop folder which then drops copies on the external device over the web.
Initially the system will allow file-sharing with Sony's PSP games console, Nokia's N-series mobile, Sony Ericsson's Walkman and Cybershot handsets and Microsoft's Windows Mobile smartphones.
The software converts media stored in one file format to those used by the other devices in a system that mimics the process of ripping a CD onto a computer.
One hundred songs can be converted in about half an hour, with a slight degradation in sound quality, according to the firm.
"With digital media such as video from a friend's cell phone or your own iTunes playlists, it's a jungle out there," said Monique Farantzos, co-founder of DoubleTwist.
"The digital media landscape has become a tower of Babel, alienating and frustrating consumers. Our goal is to provide a simple and well integrated solution that the average consumer can use to eliminate the headaches associated with their expanding digital universe," she said.
And best of all this software is FREE for download! Go and get it now!
In other news it looks like Sony's won the next gen hi-def DVD war (fair enough i say, since the poor buggers lost the Betamax/VHS fight back in the 80s) so it looks like the future is Blu-Ray.
As the article states, at least now consumers should be able to stop worrying about which format to buy - lord only knows i was holding back on a certain purchase until this could be resolved. That PS3 is seriously starting to look a tad more appealing than the Xbox 360 (although yes, the HD DVD player does not come standard with that)...
Well, here's hoping that you didn't buy a HD DVD player. ;)
Labels: Articles of Interest
Tuesday, February 19, 2008 2 comments
*cue fanboi mode*
On a related note to the last post i can't wait to catch the sequel when it comes out!
Check out the trailer:
And as a bonus, in case you missed it, the nifty action sequence shown in the Sega game:
Appleseed 4 eva! :D
Mood: Thankfully bored :)
Reading: Ivory Coast's 'big-bottom' craze
Currently listening to: Nothing
Quote of the day: "I don't know anything about music. In my line you don't have to." - Elvis Presley
Lazy youtube day - hopefully i'll post something more substantial soon... ;)
Anyhow, the Boom Boom Satellites are one of my favourite bands out there (although i'm still not too sure about their latest album - a tad too pop/disco for my tastes) and i just thought that i might just share a few videos of some of their songs which i liked.
They're from Japan but all of their songs are in English (er... although the pronunciation and grammar can be a bit dubious at times) and they've got a pretty cool rock and electronica sound that is usually heavy on the guitars, drums and bass - all in all very cool...
And here's the one that made me first notice them - its their headline track for the Appleseed movie (another favourite) and... oh man... what an awesome trailer!
Tuesday, February 12, 2008 4 comments
Reading: Muse - The Band
Currently listening to: none
Quote of the day: "Performance is your reality. Forget everything else." - Harold Geneen
Finally got around to snagging this video! I remember watching this performance on TV live a while back and... wow!
I mean, its a good song and one which was seriously overplayed over the radio, but thats not the point. The point is that this is one of the best live performances i've ever seen! In terms of theme, lighting, timing, song tweaks, the fact that he sang it perfectly live... unbelievable! A perfect performance and very, very memorable (and i'm not even a big Muse fan) - check it out:
(apologies in advance for the resolution)
Reading: Masked protest over Scientology
Currently listening to: Hysteria - Muse
Quote of the day: "Decisions are made by people who have time, not people who have talent." - Scott Adams
Spotted this thoughtful little article by Garth Sundem over at BBC News that i think is worth sharing in full - have a look! ;)
Also be sure to try out his Decision Calculator...
Be warned: this article deals primarily with shark attacks, the lottery, beer, and how to get a date using mathematics. Is it a good decision to keep reading? Unfortunately, the answer is "you need to keep reading to find out."
Sound irrational? Good - your massively irrational mind should have no problem with it, then.
Consider this: every year in the United States, when the Discovery Channel broadcasts "Shark Week" visits to Florida beaches decline. Presumably, the network's programming makes the waters no less safe (assuming sharks are not, in fact, empowered by cable television).
On the sunnier side of the availability heuristic is the lottery. Should you invest £2 a day or use it to buy lottery tickets?
Maths makes the decision obvious. Suppose you invest two quid every day at the reasonable rate of 10%. It will take you almost exactly 50 years to accumulate £1m. To earn this same £1m in the National Lottery, you would (on average) have to match five numbers and a bonus ball, at odds of 2,330,635-to-1.
If you spent two quid a day for 50 years you would total just over 36,500 tickets and would thus have only a 1-in-63 chance of making that million pounds. However, the available image of immediate wealth subverts this rationality.
Beer rating secret
Alphabetically, the availability heuristic is only the first in a long line of psychological mechanisms that lead us into bad decisions. Imagine - if you will - beer. See, wasn't that nice?
And what about the power of suggestion?
Imagine I handed you a cup of hot coffee and then asked your opinion about a person whom you had recently met; now suppose I instead handed you a cup of ice-cold soda. Experiments show that your opinion of this person would be different because you have been primed to feel warmth or coldness.
Add to the list...
...and you seem doomed to blunder through life led by your brain's clumsy irrationality.
Is there any hope for the human race? In the example of the lottery, mathematics offered incontrovertible rationality. Might we be able to apply mathematics to other situations, as well?
To add a layer of mathematics, if one factor on the list is more important than the others, we might multiply it by two. If it is very important, we could even square or cube it.
Suppose you were sitting in the aforementioned pub, drinking the aforementioned beer (perhaps while holding the aforementioned lottery ticket and worrying about the aforementioned shark), while sneaking peeks at a beautiful woman sitting at the bar. What do you think would influence your chance of success with this woman?
It will certainly help if you are attractive - especially in comparison to her (you might say your chances increase in direct proportion to your looks/her looks); it will also help if you are a witty conversationalist and willing to pursue the interaction aggressively, and hurt your chances drastically if she already has a boyfriend (esp a large one).
Putting this into an equation, we could come up with the following (W=Witty, G=Aggressive, Ay=Your Attractiveness, AH=Her Attractiveness, R=Her "Amount" of Current Relationship; all variables from 1-10 with 10 being high):
You would, of course, have to evaluate the results on some type of scale, like the one here:
In practice, using this equation (and equations in general) to make decisions can have an interesting secondary effect. As described by the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, by introducing tools to measure a situation, we can affect the situation itself.
To whit: one of my university students decided to apply this equation to calculate his chances with Girl X Of His Dreams. Alas, the equation predicted little hope.
However, Girl X Of His Dreams was flattered that said student had cared enough to calculate his chances (an endearing display of vulnerability, perhaps?), and they ended up having dinner.
Beware, though - as described by the Uncertainty Principle, the introduction of this tool could easily have had negative consequences, turning a calculated sure thing into no chance at all (if the girl had decided that anyone who uses an equation to determine their chances at love was decidedly creepy). The moral is, perhaps equations can help you make decisions, as long as no one sees you doing it.
Try Garth Sundem's decision calculator for the following dilemmas: Garth Sundem is an American professor and author of the book Geek Logik: 50 Foolproof Equations for Everyday Life. He demonstrates his ideas in Horizon on BBC Two at 2100GMT on Tuesday 12 February.
Labels: Articles of Interest
Reading: Saudis clamp down on valentines
Currently listening to: Say What You Want - Texas
Quote of the day: "To know the road ahead, ask those coming back." - Chinese Proverb
A bit late, but welcome to the year of the Brown Rat everyone!
Been seriously busy doing the family rounds, collecting ang pows, drinking myself silly, watching others gamble and meeting up with a plethora of old friends who have returned for the festivities. All in all, i'm having a good time - albeit feeling a little guilty for not having the time nor inclination to do any exercise... *pinches stomach*
Anyhow, time for the traditional chinese horoscope reading... should be a good year for my brother (he's a rat) but lets see if this also holds true for simians:
Lillian Too at wofs.com
Try to be more alert when it comes to personal safety. Do whatever you must to protect yourself from robbery or burglary. Do not display your wealth unnecessarily.
Yang Taitai at Chinese-tools.com
Take what you’ve earned and squirrel it away for a rainy day.
Love & Relationships
In your relationships with others, be more flexible so as to avoid useless clashes.
What’s really important in life? If you said your car, job or money — well, you’re way off base.
Lucky number : 18
Best time of the day : 14h00
Compatible Sign : Rat
Using your imagination at work will come in handy and bring you success, especially if you’re in management. The Wood element favors love, and the Pig sign provides a possibility of a cheerful and good-natured love life, so enjoy your partner tonight. You might want to go to a downtown gourmet restaurant.
You’ll show iron willpower despite your smile and rather urbane manners. Whatever your objectives, you’ll reach them because you’ll throw all your live forces into the fight. Your nervous balance will be threatened by contradictory influxes.
Master Rao at AsiaFlash.com
If you always want to have the last word in your life as a couple, a breaking off will be inevitable. This will not be the right moment to launch a business or to envisage a professional reorientation; continue patiently to tread your road. Refrain from fats and sweets. Try to improve your lodging for this will have a positive influence on your morale. Beware of euphoria so that you won’t spend the money you will not have earned.
You may be traveling soon. If you are heading out for a vacation, make sure that you have all the medications and travel insurance you may need. If you are heading across town, you may have unexpected yet positive encounters with unusual people.
Geez talk about mixed... ;)
Tuesday, February 05, 2008 5 comments
Reading: Climate set for 'sudden shifts'
Currently listening to: Pill - Boom Boom Satellites
Quote of the day: "A hobby a day keeps the doldrums away." - Phyllis McGinley
I suppose a little update on what i've been up to is in order (its been more than a year after all) now that i've decided to start posting again:
So... yeah. Thats about it for now i guess.
Its good to be back. :)
(Need to do a bit of spring cleaning on the links in the sidebar, add labels to my old posts, etc. - this blog is seriously overdue for a little revamping!)
Monday, February 04, 2008 1 comments
Reading: Texas Mayor resigns over Shih Tzu
Currently listening to: Glory Box - Portishead
Quote of the day: "The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it." - James M. Barrie
...is an old friend.
Sunday, January 28, 2007 2 comments
This week's dinner is being organised by Leonard (thanks buddy!) so if you're coming be sure to let him know over at his blog!
Anyhow, on to the details:
Hiya guys, I don't often organise a dinner anymore, but I've volunteered myself for dinner this Saturday's dinner and after-dinner drinks. We'll be going to Dontaku and 101° East.
First, we’d be going to Dontaku, a fairly non-descript looking Japanese restaurant opposite KL Plaza. Apparently, the food is good and if we’re coming here, Terence is definitely coming. His enthusiasm stems from his last visit here. Thoroughly enjoyed the food according to him.
Moving away from the typically minimalist approach, this restaurant is lively and cheery. One of few restaurant that specialised in Japanese skewers and serves pork. Must tries are the beef skewer, asparagus with bacon skewer, pork wrapped with eggs, dumpling and noodle. A selection of sakes and beers on the drinks menu. (Taken from www.dinemalaysia.com). I've managed to find another review from http://tummyboolart.blogspot.com/.
After dinner, we head a couple of doors down to 101° East which is a rather fancy looking bar. It's actually a flagship store for Dunhill. It looks flash with the glassy-steely interior. I believe it actually takes up a few floors. Oh, and you'd never run out of cigarettes, cause I do believe I saw a wall of Dunhill cigarettes downstairs.
So as usual, please reserve your (and your partner's) spot(s) with either Pat or myself by leaving a message here or calling me at 012-2077-653. Dinner is at 8:30 as usual.
We want to go, and we hope to see you there. Ciao~!
p.s. the link to 101° East seems a little dodgy. Sorry about that.
Labels: Saturday dining
Friday, January 26, 2007 4 comments
Reading: Lights 'not of this world' mystery finally solved
Currently listening to: Nothing
Quote of the day: "It is always easier to believe than to deny. Our minds are naturally affirmative." - John Burrows
So, yeah, driven by my insomnia once again i've managed to spend the vast majority of the night watching YouTube videos. Behold my three current favourites!
Name: Patrick Pincon
Studied at: Monash
Work: Business Development
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
See my complete profile!
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