Posts

Showing posts from January, 2004

Zets Banquet at Joe Mama's Italian Deluxe

My old group of the friends from Pittsburgh held their annual banquet again tonight. It's also the election of the Persident and Vice (Just Vice). Here are some pictures of the Zets Banquet at Joe Mama's Italian Deluxe. Good to see you guys again! It's been ages...!

Petra's photo galleries moved

Image
Petra moved her photo galleries to another name: lightzone.smugmug.com. That better matches her blog with the same name. :)

Trance Energy 2004

Image
Tonight, Utrecht, Trance Energy 2004

Star Wars: Episode III

CountingDown has the scoop that Star Wars: Episode III footage was leaked. Whether intentionally or not, that doesn't matter. It adds to the hype and give us something to hold us over until then (May 25th, 2005)... :)

Yahoo! News - Scientists Create New Form of Matter

Yahoo! News reports that scientists have created a new form of matter: "The new matter form is called a fermionic condensate and it is the sixth known form of matter -- after gases, solids, liquids, plasma and a Bose-Einstein condensate, created only in 1995... They cooled potassium gas to a billionth of a degree C above absolute zero (-273.15 degrees C), which is the point at which matter stops moving. They confined the gas in a vacuum chamber and used magnetic fields and laser light to manipulate the potassium atoms into pairing up. "

Instant Messaging may get an official standard protocol after all

Image
The IETF has moved the 'Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol' (XMPP) to a Proposed Standard, or as Slashdot put it: "For those of you in the dark, thats the protocol behind the only tried and proven open IM platform, Jabber. Congrats to the hard working Peter Saint-Andre, and the entire XMPP Working Group." :respect:

Pixar ends Disney distribution deal, saying time to move on

Image
From Slashdot I learned that Pixar will no longer be making movies with Disney!!! They're looking for a new partner now.
"Pixar had complained that the terms of the distribution deal were tilted too heavily in Disney's favor. Under the deal, Pixar was responsible for content, while Disney handled distribution and marketing. In exchange, Pixar has split profits with Disney and pays the studio a distribution fee of between 10 percent to 15 percent of revenue."

Apart Game Console: It's all about how you play the game

Image
Went to the Rotterdam FilmFestival today, to visit my good friend Martin, who's volunteering there all week, but also the see the Power:Play exhibition in Off Corso. Besides playing different MODs off Half-Life and Quake, Petra and I also ran into the Apart Game Console. Duude! That's soooo additing! Unbelievable! Watch a video of the game in action... I want one of those! B) (y)

Philips unit unveils 'rollable' displays

Image
Philips has presented 'rollable' displays, "so skinny and flexible they could be rolled up inside a pen or a mobile phone. Polymer Vision, a new technology incubator established by Philips Research, unveiled on January 26th what it claims is the thinnest, most flexible, active-matrix display so far. The new organics-based quarter VGA (320 x 240 pixels) active- matrix display measures 5 inches on a diagonal, features a resolution of 85 dpi and a bending radius of 2 cm." B) :respect:

Microsoft broke some EU rules...

BBC reports that Microsoft appears to have violated EU competiton laws and may face multi-billion dollar fines.
As Slashdot put it: "Let's just hope that the EU can fine them cash and not accept Microsoft coupons like the US does. Clearly the best solution to an operating system monopoly is to give free copies of windows to school and eliminate the competition as early in the education process as possible." :frusty:

ThinkGeek :: Plush Microbes

Image
Are you feeling sick? A little woosy? Tight stomach and the runs? Want to know who causes it? Check out these cute and cuddly Plush Microbes! (L)

Apple - iPod mini - Technical Specifications

Apple - iPod - Technical Specifications, comparison between the old iPod and the new and improved, lower calories iPod mini... Looks great but kinda gay colors... bummer.

Intel planning earlier price cuts, analyst says

Image
"Intel will cut prices on its microprocessors by as much as 35 percent on Monday, two weeks earlier than planned, as it prepares to introduce a new chip for desktop computers."
Coool B) Now if only we consumers would notice this quickly, it would be even better. But retailers can enlarge their margins this way, at least for a while. When one of them lowers his prices, they all follow... as slowly as possible. Grrr :frusty:

SitePal, the speaking part of your website

Image
SitePal is a Flash audio-driven character add-on you can add to your site. It costs $199 per years, I think, and you upload .wav or .mp3 files, design a character and can present it to upto 5 sites you control. I now it's a gimmick, but it's a COOL B) one! Check this out.

Pre-union Les Lilas 2004

Image
Saturday we had the traditional pre-reunion party for the people who're going skiing in Morgins again. As always, the Grauwen residence in Almere is the place where everyone gathers. This year, for the first time, babies and "little people" were present too... A sure sign we're getting old(er). *sigh*

Underworld

Oh and I forgot to tell you, I saw Underworld last week. And I liked it a lot! It not a great movie but it's a good movie and if you liek the Blade series with Wesley Snipes, you'll like this too. And if you like women dressed in latex, you're gonna love this movie because Kate Beckinsale walks around in them 24/7! :9 Hmmm, yummie. And for the women, I'm told the guy in it is also yummie... Go see Underworld!

Dreams Unlimited©

Well I finally fixed up the site. Archives are working again. Diary and News fully back online. Small layout change and other minor fixes. Changed my site feed from RDF to the new syndication standard Atom (see below) and therefore the feed is now in XML. Please update my feed. Or update your newsreader.

Atom - XML site syndication for reading and writing

"AtomEnabled.org finally makes it possible for developers to have a consistent, tightly specified, well-documented XML format for both syndication and authoring of content. Using one data format for both reading and writing, with a growing library of components supporting Atom development in almost any major scripting or programming language, means your application, site, or device can benefit from the network effect of a large community while spending less time developing core data exchange functionality."

Wired News: Vaporware: Nuke 'Em if Ya Got 'Em

Wired has the 2004 Wired Vaporware Awards: a top 10 of the most promosing software titles that were promised to us to be released real-soon-now, but never came... ROFL Check it out!

BBC - Science Human Body - Mind - Careers test

As I'm currently without a job, I'm somewhat more intersted in these tests...
BBC - Careers test
# Find out which careers suit you best.
# The test has seven questions and should take between 5-10 minutes.
# It was developed by psychometric specialist Neil Scott of Cassin-Scott Associates.

Hit the penguin

Time on your hands? Play some hit the penguin.
I got 271.2 yards (?), a friend of mine 271.5. Screenshots on their way! Who's next?
[edit]There is also a hacked version floating around the web where you can hit 500+ easy. Don't be fooled![/edit]

Visited Countries

Image
"Visited Countries is a small project demonstrating the power of manipulating the palette of a gif image on the fly." :nerd:
But it's cool nonetheless to see the world map with everything in red where you have been and green where not. (Personal note: travel more!) Here's mine:

People and DJs, DJs and people

Image
So cool...! I found out my roommate used to date Ramon aka DJ Charly Lownoise and one of her current best friends is the roommate of DJ Remy. DJ Remy is an oldskool favorite and plays often at Silly Symphonies in Den Haag :) hihi Of course DJs are also just normal people except they have an unusual lifestyle, but still, you never thin k of them as having an apt, pay rent, girlfriends, arguments and so on. At least I rarely do! :)

WickedJazzSounds rulez!

Image
Last summer, Petra and I went to a wonderful beach party on the Noorderstrand in Scheveningen called "Mecca PINK party". It was a promotion for a new rosé from Eastern Europe. The band there was called WickedJazzSounds and I had never heard of them. However, that day is one of the highlights of last year. The weather was awesome, the sunset breathtaking, the company excellent (K) and the music that WJS makes is just absolutely outstanding. Singer aka Vibemaster Renske Skills is a true performer and artist. :respect: I never knew if it was live or a great lounge CD that was playing...
So needless to say I was glad to find their website with pics, reports and listings of locations. If you're in Amsterdam and have an evening to kill, be sure to check them out at club 020. It's walking distance from Central Station too...

Für Elise

Image
On Saturday, I joined Isa, Rob, Marc and Sjoerd for an indoor ice climbing adventure in The Globe in The Hague. While they scaled the ice, I took pictures and watched my neice Elise...

New standard could give Wi-Fi a voice

New standard could give Wi-Fi a voice: "A group of suppliers has requested permission to create a fast roaming study group within the IEEE standards body, which will work on handover between wireless access points with a view to creating a standards effort to allow office Wi-Fi networks to handle voice calls."
Reminds me of the study going on MIT campus where they already built this kind of network hops for WiFi networks... Cool! B)

Gaming weekend

Image
Spent the weekend gaming at Michiel's house in Amersfoort: get a Nintendo GameCube, 15 Magic the Gathering decks, 2 cases of beer and an ample supply of Breezers and what do you get...? Loads of fun and good times! (y) Thanks guys, it completely made me forget other obligations I had made... :( Duh!

Ice (Rock) climbing in the Globe in Den Haag

Image
Today, I too pictures of Isabelle, Rob, Sjoerd and Marc ice (rock) climbing in an indoor freezer hall located in a huge outdoor sporting goods store (Bever) in Den Haag. The Globe, the building where the store and the ice hall is located, is crawling distance from Hollands spoor train station, but you'd never know unless someone tells you... It's just small wall to climb, however judging from the expressions on their faces, it harder than it looks. ;)

mozdev.org - Googlebar for Mozilla

Image
Tired of those @%$@#&% Windoze users that have the luxury of getting to run the cool Googlebar in MSIE? Well, screw 'em! Now there's a Googlebar for Mozilla as well! :P Thanks guys! (y)

Computer Languages History

And just to proove that he's not accidently insane, he also compiled the Computer Languages History. B) (Y) Man, this guy is my hero!!! :respect: LOL
BTW, thanks to Petra for finding these for me...

UNIX History

There's *always* a bigger geek or nerd than yourself! Really! But you gotta love'em, coz see the UNIX History... :respect: I gotta get this!!! B)

DSL rulez

Image
Can you say... 2 Megabit? Can you say 2048 Kilobit? Can you say de-groovy!!! :bounce: I am the proud owner of a 2 Mb/s downstream connection with my DSL from XS4ALL. (k) And to think that back in the days when I had my Venuslab, KPN Research paid some odd €40000 for this! :shock: tsk tsk tsk

Recreational Competition: AMICALE Volleyball

Image
I rushed home after the Glomidco interview and went to the EPO to play a volleyball game... but I had to cancel because of my injury from Sunday's frisbee game (bruised hip bone on my back). Instead, I was there for moral support as well pictures with my new 10D! :) I still have a lot to learn and a better lens to buy... :X :X :X

Great talk

Just got done with talking to Glomidco... interesting concept and great people. Now if only I were single... ;)

Blogger: how it began

A Whole Lotta Features: "Blogger, a product of Pyra, started in August of 1999, and never stopped growing. A web application to make updating a page easy, it's simple functionality gave a voice to tens of thousands. A cult-like following grew out of the Blogger-using community."

Global Middleware Consultancy

Image
Today, I have an interview with Global Middleware Consultancy , aka Glomidco in Haarlem. They've expressed interest in me several times before but I always was a bit weary. But since now I have absolutely nothing to loose, I decided for once and for all to find out more about what they do and how.
They're a Middleware specialist, focussing on large financial and telco organisations. Middleware is as old as computers are. The first time someone wanted to let two systems talk to each other, they need some form of middleware. So that's clear enough. However, it's not really my area of expertise although I can plan and outline integration projects. The preparation phase is all about Systems and Information Analysis and I can defnitely handle that! :) However, IBM MQ Series, TIBCO and the like, that's rocket science to me! :) I prefer more going an open route, using XML and XSLT to do a similar thing...

Dutch Indoor Ultimate Frisbee Competition

Image
Today, I participated in round 3 of the Dutch Indoor (Ultimate) Frisbee Competiton. This time we, and a team from the TU Delft called "Force Elektro" played at home. So it was a easy ride. :) Anyway, Petra and I took lots of pictures of Ultimate Frisbee to practise our new EOS 10D cameras. I had hoped to have some cool shots of myself too, bad sadly I got injured during the 3rd game when I tripped over another player while walking backwards. I landed hard on my hipbone and bruised the bone so much that I couldn't use my running muscles anymore. Game over... :( However, I got to take over 150 photos of the games then, so not all was lots! :)

ENIAC Nieuwjaarsborrel 2004

Image
As I am the webmaster and secretary of my Dutch alumni organization (ENIAC), I organized a nice little get-together drink aka Happy Hour in honor of the new year. I picked to have the New Years Drink in Enschede, because that's where we all went to university and many probably haven't been there in a while. I certainly hadn't! So we gathered in Paddy's, a popular student handout, from 5pm and met some old friends and acquaintances.

USB Sticks, Disk keys and Keyrings

Image
Isn't it great? The 128+ MB you can put on these Disc keys or USB sticks or keyrings or whatever you call 'em? The size of a pen, universally usable even abroad and they hold music, photos, documents, secret keys, saved games, Email, notes, papers, presentations and more. But where you keep it? On your keychain? In your pocket? In your briefcase or backpack? Seem to misplace it all the time?
Well look no longer, coz Freecom has brought you 256MB USB card (159 euro)! Packaged nicely into a credit card size casing, you simply put it in your wallet. And if you loose that, you're screwed anyway! USB connector is on-board, so no cables needed! Built-in security... Wow! I'm impressed! Recommended!

Fashionscene: Hotspots

Image
Looking for something to wear to a party but you have no idea where to shop for what? Well then check out Fashionscene: Hotspots for stores and address near you! Pick a store and run, Forest, run!

Research details emerging information security threats

Image
Remember what I said about the threat of IM on businesses out there... Well, TruSecure Corporation has research that details emerging information security threats. IM, P2P sharing like KaZaa and Email are the most threatening of them all. Be especially on the lookout for "open proxies":
"Continued increase in malware that installs open proxies on systems, especially targeting broadband users. The proxy hides the true origin of attacks whether from viruses, worms or spam. Many of the top viruses in 2003 used tactics like this, allowing spammers to send e-mail through these systems."

Canon EOS 10D: He's got it, yeah baby he's got it!

Image
I got it! Woohoo! I finally managed to get one: a Canon EOS 10D. Petra called all over Europe to get this, even drove 1.5 hrs for nothing because they had internal communication problems... :( Dickheads! But Germany came through for us, in the end. Danke sehr Herr Mohr! Spitze von Ihnen! :respect:
"A 6.3 Megapixel Canon CMOS sensor delivers superbly detailed images. 7-point high-speed AF allows precise focusing over a wide area.A powerful DIGIC (DIGital Imaging Core) processor optimizes color rendition. High speed processing means a continuous burst of 9 shots at 3 frames per second is possible. It also extends the camera's battery life." But I love the sharpness and the huge ISO range (100-3200).

We are go for launch!

Image
Launch conditions have significantly improved, we are moving the window up 3 days!
Houston, we are go for launch, repeat, we are go for launch...
5 - 4 - 3 - main engine ignite - 2 - 1 - 0 - main engines fire...

Sit tight and watch this space!

Love Actually (2003)

Image
Saw a really corny and cheesy movie tonight: Love Actually. But it was funny anyway. Hugh Grant is my favorite. He's so charmingly clumsy and seems to get his way nontheless. But the movie was a little bit too much in parallel, I thought. It stays a bit shallow where the characters were good enough give them a bit more depth, so you'd feel a little more involved with them. However, it's still a cute feel-good movie to go and see. Especially with your wife or girlfriend. Women dig that shallow romance shit like jewelry. :D LOL

Get ready for the launch

Btw, it's t minus 4 days...
Watch this space...

Paradiski: How to build a ski gondola lift

Image
Ever wondered how they actually build those huge cable cars with gongolas in the mountains that haul 60+ people up the face of the mountain? Well, I did! :) Check out Paradiski for videos and plenty on digital pictures. Photos were taken from the start (late 2002) up to the testing in October 2003. For each cable (total of 12) between the two big posts on the two of the moutain (1800m apart), a heli flies back and forth several times with a cable behind it... B) And the anchors that put tension on the cables, each hold 900 tons... :respect:

picturephoning.com

Image
So what's up with all these picture phones? MMS? GPRS? PDAs with 2 Mpx built-in cameras and J2ME applications? Read all about it on picturephoning.com. A great idea! It tells of laws and legislation, cool new *usefull* applications of the technology and other newsworthy items.

Vroom, vroooom

Image
KPN's ADSL site tells me that they're planning on upgrading the local switches in The Hague and Scheveningen on January 8th! Woohoo! 2 Mb/s here I come! (y)

BigBlueBall News: 75% of Net Users Connect Sans Browser

Nielsen//NetRatings, reports that "76 percent of active Web surfers, access the Internet using a non-browser based Internet application. Media players, instant messengers (IM) and file sharing applications are the most popular Internet applications."
Shows you how important IM have become. Not just privately, but for work as well. Actually, I think more companies should adopt in-house IM servers because I'm betting you could learn some top secret things or rumors when you'd evesdrop in on the IM connections...

Clan AsteriX and ObeliX

After about 1.5 years of absense, my old Quake clan, Clan AsteriX and ObeliX is back online. The clan is bleedingly dead but I kept the old site. The blog is gone. Blogger deletes it after too many month of inactivity, I guess. However, there's a new blog that I update every now and then and I ported to old site files over to my blogspot. And I have pictures from old WFA tournaments in my smugmug gallery.

Shuttle's SB62G2Review

Always wondered about those barebone systems like MegaPC, Shuttle etc? Read Open for Business's excellent review of Shuttle's latest SB62G2 and you'll never doubt them again.

Seach Engines hitists

Slashdot informed me that both Yahoo and Google have published their top searches for 2003... Interesting!