Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Tsunami...

I think we have all seen the power of nature with the recent devastation in Asia. I was watching the news channels on Foxtel, also I read some news articles on the web and noted a few curious things:
  • Fox News only had short (1-2 minute) segments on the tsunami whereas the other channels (CNN, BBc, Sky News) went with nearly continuous coverage. Although it is becoming a theme on this blog of mine, my opinion of the US is not improving.
  • I was watching Sky News and some female news anchor (Naomi Robson possibly) was interviewing a plate tectonic geologist talking about the reasons for the quake and how Western Australia was quite lucky to escape damage. He then went on to discussing there could be possible plate movements off the WA coast in the Indian Ocean but Perth could be spared because of the width of the continental shelf and shape of the sea floor near the coast, before he could finish the silly woman interrupted him and blurted out "What about Sydney? Could it experience a similar thing to Phuket?" in a very demanding way. The geo responded quite calmly saying that major plate movements that could affect Sydney are too far away to be considered dangerous. I then changed over to BBC...
  • News.com.au have a photo gallery (http://www.news.com.au/common/photogallery/0,7579,^^22052,00.html) up showing the water moving in at a resort in Thailand. If you search for the full sequence by the photographer (http://www.pbase.com/issels/phuket_tsunami&page=all) you will find that they have played with the sequence of photos. Also the man they say was found a kilometre away dead (Frame 5) did not die at all, he was saved by someone lifting onto a balcony soon after the photo was taken. I know it may be chaotic in Phuket at present, but a little fact checking might not go astray.
Have any of you noticed some weird stuff in the media too?

Friday, December 24, 2004

Muppets...

With the announcement of the Muppet Wizard of Oz and the subsequent discussion in this forum - http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=288314&page=1&pp=50 - I decided to add my own muppet casting...

The Muppet Matrix

Kermit - Neo

Miss Piggy - Trinity
Rowlf the Dog - Morpheus
Gonzo - Cipher
Dozer - ???
Fozzie - Tank
Janice - Switch
Floyd - Apoc
Scooter - Mouse

Sam the Eagle - Smith

Statler - Agent 1
Waldorf - Agent 2

Swedish Chef - Oracle

Robin - Spoon Kid


Dozer is my only unknown...

Friday, December 10, 2004

No surprises anymore...

Do the US know what they are doing? Is it like a ship that has lost its captain?

http://www.smh.com.au/news/World/Countries-that-refuse-US-immunity-face-aid-cuts/2004/12/10/1102625502044.html

The new bill passed by Congress and approved by the moronic Dubya outlines the foreign aid that the US is making available, but it also puts in place that anyone who supports the International Criminal Court will be refused aid.

See Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Criminal_Court) for the history and role of the ICC.

Some people...

http://www.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,11640098%255E28102,00.html

Some people just take their favourite band way too seriously...

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Audioscrobbler...

I do not know what a scrobbler is but there is theis site called Audioscrobbler that is gathers music play stats from individual users through the use of a player plugins.

http://www.audioscrobbler.com

Very neat idea. It also gives you the ability to find similar artists to ones you like and find other people who have the same tastes as you so you can hunt for new music to add to your collection.

Now, all I need is a broadband connection. Are you listening Telstra?

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Funny...

I would hate to think what the world will become if this isn't a joke...

http://www.landoverbaptist.org/news1004/nosports.html

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Spammers attack anti-spam website

It seems that Lycos is attempting to attack spammers, according to this article, by providing a grid computing-based DDoS "screen saver" similar to the SETI at home and protein folding services.

But in an ironic twist, the Lycos website was attacked by spammers and brought down in a possible DDoS attack. This all brought a thought to mind: Are people with malicious intent always more resourceful and determined than those that do good? Or is it simply that there is more of them?

A work colleague suggested that due to the complexity of interconnected computer systems, it is always easier to attack than defend. If you consider that any piece of software of note that was ever released has been hacked, this theory seems to be on the ball.

Software companies spend countless money trying to make their systems or software "un-hackable" and yet this has not yet proved to be so. This includes systems that should be the epitome of the term "secure", such as the FBI's computer systems.

Another contributing factor is that hackers generally have large egos. Its far easier to be recognised and revered in the community if you've hacked into some secure system or cracked some software. No one has won any awards or accolades for writing the best security system in the world, yet, because no such thing exists. Naturally if you are handy with your hacking skills, you are likely to lean towards the dark side.

In my humble opinion, there is no end in sight in the fight against hackers. But have some software companies gone too far? Consider Valve and their "Steam" online authorisation software...

More on that later.