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Showing posts from June, 2004

Soccer vs. Computer Animated Cartoons 0 : 2

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While everybody I know here in the Netherlands was watching us getting a beating from the Portugese soccer players, we lost 2-1 in the European Championships, I was in the movie theaters watching Shrek 2! B) It's a *great* movie that you *have* to see! A bit more adult that part 1 but so worth it! There is more room for the sidekicks and the voices of John Cleese and Jennifer Saunders are wonderful! LOL I'm gonna see it some more...

ThreewaveC TF

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Been active again lately... :) Old habits, blabla. Tried some FFA Q3A bu I'm seriously lousy now! :( So I wacked some bots all day long and finally decided I miss the team aspect of TeamFortress, WeaponsFactory and so on. So I downed 187MB of Threewave CTF and did my best... oh well, efforts counts too, right?! ;)

Peet en Peet -- op reis

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Petra posted an update to her travel blog, with pictures! That's my girl! Haha! Cool!

Shrek runs Linux too

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About Shrek 2: "Over 330 HP workstations running Linux were used by digital artists to create the animations. The HP XW8000 workstation featured Red Hat Linux 7.2, dual-Intel Xeon 2.4GHz processors, nVidia Quadro 4 XGL graphics cards, 2GB Ram and dual monitors." Dreamworks already used Linux for Shrek 1, so this is not really major news. Just cool! B)

Microsoft Opens Windows CE Source Code

InternetNews reports that Microsoft will open Windows CE 5.0 source code as Open Sourceto the public on July 9th. But there is still more than meets the eye! Read the whole article for details...

Microsoft Targets Nonprofessional Programmers

Microsoft, hoping to help the many unpaid creative minds around the world, will InformationWeek > release light versions of several flagship products. It hopes that people will use to develop simple add-ons or websites and get started that way, later buying the full products.
"The stripped-down editions of Microsoft's flagship development environment and database are aimed at students, hobbyists, and others who might want to write small, simple Web-site applications. Microsoft says it will create these 'Express' editions of SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005, Visual Web Developer 2005"

FAQ: the Netherlands and Dutch people

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Someone finally did it! A good, reliable, solid, all-round FAQ for the Netherlands and Dutch people in general. Someone had to do it and they did. Thanks! To all foreigners, people planning to visit the Netherlands (or Holland for that matter!) or those interested in other cultures... read the Netherlands FAQ and learn more about this great country and its wonderful people! ;)

POP Goes the GMail

Need to be able to POP that precious GMail account? Check out 'POP Goes the GMail'. :)

Peet en Peet travelling to Cambodia

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This morning, I brought Petra and her friend Petula to Schiphol Airport for the start of their 3.5 week journey through Cambodia. You can follow their trip on their travel blog: Peet en Peet -- op reis. :) That's my girl! Hehe, she even bought a USB cardreader so she can try to upload pics when she's in an Internet café. :D LOL Way to go! Sadly, she can't MMS any pics from anywhere because coverage their is limited. :( Oh well...

infoSync World : IEEE approves 802.11i security spec

Finally, a native security layer has been approved by the IEEE: 802.11i. "Wi-Fi technology, including 802.11b, 802.11a, and 802.11g transmission standards, has long been criticized for its lack of decent security and privacy. The first attempt at a security system for Wi-Fi was Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP), which was based on a very simple private key system that served as little more than a speed bump for malicious users. Subsequent systems have tried to tighten security, but so far none have faced widespread adoption. 802.11i is expected to be certified as Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) compliant.
Although the specification is now approved, software to make it usable won't be available to customers until September, when the WiFi Alliance will begin compatibility testing for new devices."

BBQ at Martin and Femke

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Finally, it takes a while but then you get it. Good things come to those who wait. ;) Although are plans were totally different for this weekend, we had to make a few adjustments. With Petra packing and preparing for her trip to Cambodia, there was no time to go to Dwingeloo and spend some time with my sister, Rob and Elise. :( It was simply too hecktic to fit in. So, we returned from the TT in Assen on Saturday evening and used the extra time to pack and organise. That meant that on Sunday we might have time to go to Martin's BBQ in Utrecht. We almost didn't make it, but in the end Petra was ready at about 5pm. So we quickly called ahead, bought some extra food and drove on over. The weather had completely cleared! It was warm, sunny and gorgeous on Martin and Femke's roof balcony! It also gave Petra a chance to see some friends before her vacation...

Marleen's Diary

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Marleen, Petra's youngest sister now also has a blog: Mleens Dagboek. Her bfriend is in the Dutch army and will get stationed in Iraq this coming Friday... for 4 months (at least). So she created something to stay in touch with him... Sweet isn't it! ;)

TT in Assen

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Today, I went with Petra to her sister in Assen. This weekend, the TT fever settles on Assen and the whole town goes crazy. Hundreds of motorcyles, a big fair, thousands of tourists and us. We went into town on Friday evening with Marleen, Michel and their friends. Excellent night out! Petra also has great photos...

Reporting on Project C...

Well, I've listened to Phase 1 of Project C: Time Of Our Lives and I must say it's great! Cue sheets are present to, so just read along. :) Beginning is nice and easy. Paul van Dijk put me right there when I wanted to be and by the time Rank 1 was coming out of my speakers, I was in heaven anyway! LOL Great mix, just what you'd expect from DJ GT. :respect: man! Now on to other mixes! (y)

Summer storm!

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Yesterday and today, there is a strong storm passing over the Netherlands. Winds are steady at 80 km/h (50 mph) and gusts of upto 110-120 km/h (70-75mph). I'm gonna try to get to the beach and make some pictures coz this is heavy stuff! For a sneak peak, check the Scheveningen beachcam of restaurant Zeezicht. They operate a great update-on-demand webcam right across from the Scheveningen Pier! Great views! (y) :)

Dance Valley Festival 2004....a decade of dance!

The official website of Dance Valley Festival 2004... a decade of dance! is now open! Check what I will be part of on August 7th with some 50,000 friends! Woohoo! :bounce: can't wait! :D

DJ GenerationTrance: Project C mixes

While browsing the forums on di.fm (and listening to a great mix by DJ GT: Summer 2003 - Morning), a ran across a post with links to more mixes by DJ GT: Project C. I don't know what they're liek yet, I'm downloading one we speak, but if they're anything like the others (2003 series), these are great (vocal) trance tracks... (y)

First ever private space flight: SpaceShipOne reaches 100km

Scaled Composites and their SpaceShipOne have made history on Monday as the first ever private space flight! This was all in order to win the X-prize, of course, but you knew that already. ;) Now the wait is for them to do the same trick again, and then they can claim the $10,000,000 prize! B)

WarDriving, WarSailing, WarFlying, and... WarKayaking

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The art of moving around in various devices on this planet in the presence of some heavy duty equipment such as (electronic) maps, GPS trackers and several WiFi devices and antennas is generically called WarMoving (by me). After WarDriving (driving around in a car with a WiFi laptop and a GPS tracker, noting where you get access), WarFlying (same thing but in a plane at a few hundred feet in the air), WarSailing (in a boat) the lovely geeks from Engadget have added WarKayaking to this list. I'm waiting for reports WarSkating, WarDiving, WarClimbing and WarSkiing! :D :nerd:

Scientific study of spam detection in personal Email

The University of Waterloo in Canada has done a Study of Supervised Spam Detection Applied to Eight Months of Personal Email. Spamassassin performed well along with Spamprobe, Bogofilter and Spambayes also came out good while CRM-114 failed to live up to its previous claims. (Note all these filters are open source and thus free!) The study shows: "The best-performing filters reduced the volume of incoming spam from about 150 messages per day to about 2 messages per day."

What can you do with 1GB Gmail account?

SoftPedia.com has a great story about the waves GMail has caused. Almost all Email providers (Lycos, Hotmail, Yahoo) have started offering bigger mail accounts. Tools to POP Gmail have also appeared and some people are using GMail as personal online backup tool using PHP scripts. Excellent! :respect:

Slashdot | How To Avoid Viruses At Windows XP Install Time?

There is a great thread on Slashdot about "How To Avoid Viruses At Windows XP Install Time?"There are several ways to do it. But a nice elegant way seems to be this (procedure by dknj):
"1. Unplug network cable
2. Install Windows XP
3. Upon first boot turn on the Windows Firewall and then reconnect network cable
4. goto http://www.windowsupdate.com/
5. Wait for patches to download, then remove network cable and reboot after patches have installed
6. Return to http://www.windowsupdate.com/ and download the remaining patches
7. Reboot (no need to unplug network cable this time) and install a Virus Scanner/Firewall Suite."
Appearantly, you can also goto autopatcher.com and download all security updates and burn them onto a CD so you don't need to be online to get them. Or you can copy all i386 files from an installation CD, update them from the SP1 you dowloaded on a safe computer and burn a new installtion CD that's already updated with SP1. You need t…

Sjoerd's Birthday Party

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Today is Sjoerd's birthday party! We're about to go to Amsterdam and celebrate! :) :bounce:

ENIAC

Pfff, just got back from the longest ever board meeting of my Dutch alumni organisation ENIAC. I got there at approx 19:30hrs, we had dinner and started the meeting at 20:30hrs. I left just before midnight... :yawn:
:Z :Z :Z

Munich city counsil voted *for* the migration of desktops to Linux

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Heise Online reports that the Munich city counsil voted in favor of the migration of all desktops of the local city governement to Linux by 2008. About 16,000 people will receive desktops build around open-source software and standards such as Linux, Mozilla, OpenOffice and so on. The migration will occur in 3 steps. First, this year all desktops will be fitted with OpenOffice and Mozilla. In 2005 and 2006, desktops will be migrated to Linux. By 2008, all in-houe applications and servers will be converted to Linux as well. Much effort will be required from the local IT teams, as well as the international open-source community. But Jens Mülhaus reasons that this creativity and resourcefulness will be in demand by then and marketable, resulting in new revenues.

Java vs C "Shootout" Revisited

Is Java slower than C or C++? Well, sadly, it used to be always the case. Recently, better compilers and hardware have narrowed that gap. Now the Java vs C "Shootout" Revisited provides new information... Keith Lea took the benchmark code for C++ and Java from the now outdated Great Computer Language Shootout (Fall 2001) and ran the tests himself. The results three years on? Java, he finds, is significantly faster than optimized C++ in many cases. Coool B)

DVD Forum approves Apple music format for DVD Audio

In addition to what I said before, I read that the DVD Forum approved mandatory use of AAC (Apple's music compression format) for DVD Audio, as well as approving the new HD-DVD standard. That's "High Definition", not "harddisk"! HD-DVD allows for a new physical construction of DVDs with upto 15 GB in a single layer, using a blue laser.
"HD-DVD was developed by NEC and Toshiba and uses discs of the same thickness and size as today's DVD products. That should make it much easier for disc manufacturers to re-tool production lines to churn out the new discs. That contrasts with Blu-ray, HD-DVD's biggest rival, which has different layer widths, and requires new production lines to be installed."

COOP-IT: a cooperation for independent IT managers and specialists

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Yesterday, I witnessed the official creation of the Coop IT, a cooperation for independent IT managers and specialists. In times where many IT professionals are laid off and often starting their own businesses, the Coop IT creates a community for them to recreate synergy, cooperation and collaboration in areas where the individual can not. By combining forces the Coop IT creates "Power in Numbers" and helps each member to achieve more than they're able to on their own.

AnandTech: Future Format Frenzy: Digital Audio and You

There is an interesting little article on Anandtech about the future digital audio standards: DVD-A and SACD (the two most populair right now). They compare the two briefly and highlight alternatives and so on.
Why do we need a new digital audio standard, you might ask? Well, CDs can only play stereo music and there is no room for actual digital surround sound, let alone dolby digital 5.1 sound! And with everyone buying these now that DVD players have become so cheap, it's only a matter of time. And wait 'til you hear one of those CDs...! :D

Burning BIN/CUE Images with Nero Burning Rom

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When I started downloading the great mixes by DJ GT, I noticed the .cue files and wondered what they were. By looking at one, I saw that they contained the track markers for the mix with times, artists and titles. Great! But how do I use these cue sheet files when I burn a CD? I use Nero (v5.5.x) but had never seen something like a "use cue sheet option" or so... Fortunately, the 'Net once again came to the rescue: Burning BIN/CUE Images with Nero Burning Rom. :)
The trick is to have a matching .cue and audio file (in my case a big .mp3). The .cue file points to the file to use and in Nero you use the option "burn an image" to *load the .cue file*. Then, Nero will look for the source file specified in it and load that. In my case, since I have big .mp3 files, it will convert it into .wav. This takes a while, so be patient, it *will* finish. :) The .cue file adds all the markers and CD text. Choose to burn a disk-at-once to avoid the 2 second gap between songs a…

Wedding Ans and Mente

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Friday evening, Petra and I drove to Groningen for the wedding of Ans and Mente in the Stadspark in Groningen. It was nice and we got to see a whole bunch of old friends from KPN Research again, just like with the wedding of BJ and Freeke last weekend. :) We spent the night at her parents' house and drove to the first birthday party for Elise in Almere on Saturday! :)

WirelessLeiden.NL

WirelessLeiden.NL held a WiFi event this weekend, called WarSailing. You drive around with a car and your WiFi laptop and check where you can get a connection and where not. Why? Because you can! And you never know what you'll turn up with! :)

Pioneer 10 - Wikipedia

Today marks the 21th anniversary of Pioneer 10 leaving our solar system... *insert salute here*

Another interview

Today I had another interview for the possible job I have been taking about. I had to go to Schiphol and meet two people from the client. We talked about 45 min about the project, retail, Internet, E-commerce, pitfalls and lessons learned. I hope I get the job because there is nothing more I can do about it now. *keep fingers crossed*

Happy Birthday Elise!

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Today, my little neice turns one year old! The party isn't until Saturday though, so you'll see pictures after the weekend. [update: pictures]

Venus Transit from ESA Space Agency

I knew I should have waited before hitting 'publish'... :) The ESA has a great Venus transit webcam. And a Belgian observatory also have a nice Venuscam!

Venus Transit - the Central Display

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Venus Transit is *the* site to get all your Venus images, videos and information. The BBC has a great site too. And there is a Dutch site with webcams for your convenience.

Netcraft: Wikis: The Next Frontier for Spammers?

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Netcraft reports that spammers have a new tool on their hands. Appearantly, a webmaster has won a search engine optimization (SEO) contest using links in Wiki "sandboxes" - pages where users are urged to test drive the Wiki format and learn how to use it. By doing so, the webmaster made Google see that may "sites" and pages were linking to him, something which raises your importance according to Google because the algorithm thinks you are an important content creator. :)

BJ and Freeke - The Wedding

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Yesterday, my friends BJ and Freeke got married in the Kloosterkerk in Den Haag. For me, it was a very cool day too, because I hadn't realized that so many people I knew would be there too. BJ and Freeke are former KPN Research colleagues of mine. So it was to be expected that many old friends from Research would be there too. Then, BJ and Freeke have gone skiing with me another group of friends in Les Lilas. So some of them were there too. Finally, BJ and Freeke have gone to some house parties me and yet another group of friends. So they were there too! :D So many people, so little time! But at least I have pictures...
And to make things ever better, the party was held on a gorgeous estate "Te Werve" in Rijswijk with dress code "black tie". So everyone was very *very* nicely dressed and this gave the evening a special note too. :)

Finite Monkeys - Poems from spam

Finite Monkeys is a blog where a guy posts poems created by copying lines from the various spam messages he receives (500+ a day). Some of the lines are really great! But the combination he makes results in, I think, pretty good poems! :) Who said nerds can't do anything useful...?

NTT DoCoMo's 4G Test Results in 300Mbps Data Rate in Moving Car

NTT DoCoMo (Japanse telecom) is testing the next generation 4G telecom network and they're doing pretty well: "The company said that the test achieved a maximum downstream data rate of 300 Mbps with an average rate of 135 Mbps in a car running at the speed of 30 kilometers per hour in areas 800m to 1km away from the 4G wireless base stations."
Move over Vodaphone... it's time to move on! 135 Mbps! Now were talking!

Make your own biodiesel

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Have you had it too with these screamingly high gas prices for your car?!?! Damn! In the US it's not so bad yet, but here you pay like $1.5 per *liter* for it. That $6 a gallon, mind you! Freakin' a**!
Luckily we are not powerless and have the Internet to come to our rescue: Make your own biodiesel! LOL It works. Someone in the US has been driving it for a while now. :respect: B)

Microsoft patents handheld computer click

Microsoft get a patent on single and double click
*sigh* As my long-time friend Dexter once said: "It never fails to surprise me how *completely* without intelligence yuu are!"

Amazon.com Goes Plogging

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Amazon appearantly has caught the blogging bug as well. :) Through "Plogs" (Personal Logs), Amazon wants to enhance the shoppers experience. They also created hundreds of RSS feeds. It seems someone up at CIO heaven has been paying attention. (y) Thumbs up for Amazon!

Another interview for job

Today I had another interview with the company providing the software for this Internet/E-commerce project I told you about. The talks went well and I think I stand a pretty good chance. Next week, there'll be an appointment with the client and two candidates (incl me) will be introduced and then the client will decide how gets it. That's kinda weird but also good because that way you ensure that the client has confidence in their project manager and can't throw that in your face, later on. :) Of course, for me and the other guy, it's kinda brutal. LOL :D Oh well, I can live with it. Got nothing to loose, so... ;)

DJ GT - Voices of Spring 2004

If you like Trance or better yet, Vocal Trance... GENERATION TRANCE aka DJ GT has his lastest mixes out and ready for downloading... (Be kind, download only one file (80+ MB) at a time.) And check di.fm for great streaming mp3 in any house music genre you can imagine. ;)

Control spam where you should: on the mail server (DSPAM)

"DSPAM is currently effective as both a server-side agent for UNIX email servers and a developer's library for mail clients, other anti-spam tools, and similar projects requiring drop-in spam filtering. DSPAM has been implemented on many large and small scale systems with the largest systems being reported at about 125,000 mailboxes."
If you have a (large) mail server for several accounts, for your family or for the place where you work, check out SpamAssassin or DSPAM for protection from spam and use ClamAV against Email viruses. Remember that I told you so! :)

Photoblog

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Want an easy, almost moron-proof way to make a photo(b)log? Check out Blogger's tips on Photologging. It uses an Instant Messaging interface from Picasa to let you drag and drop photos onto a special contact in your IM list. You add a caption and the software does to rest, publishing it all to your (separate) blog for your photos. Cool! B)

RAW image processing tools for Nikon, Canon, Kodak and so on

Francisco J. Montilla is a photographer like many. He also uses a digicam like so many others. Recently, he got a Canon EOS 10D, like many other prosumers out there. Unlike many others, he has been on a quest for the ideal 'Digital Darkroom' for processing his 'digital negatives'." So he found a tool called dcraw (by Benjamin Lebsanft) to enable him to do some decent linear and non-linear processing and compared it to some of the other tools available out there...

Possible job for me

Today, I had an interview with my old friend Michiel Schipper from University. He works at Topicus now and pointed me to a possible job for 1-2 days a week overseeing this Internet/E-commerce implementation. He has been working on it for a while and the project will soon roll into a new phase. At that time, he'd like to leave as project manager and thought it might be something for me. Well, I think it is! :) Can't say anything more about though... Kinda competitive market. ;) More soon...