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Showing posts from February, 2005

DPReview reviews

DPReview has sooo many new reviews that it is impossible for em summarize them. So go over to DPReview and see for yourself! New Canon cameras, new Sigma lenses, new Pentax info... go already!

Hamster-controlled MIDI music

What do you do these days when you want to be creative, have highly technical skills, are an animal lovers and have a gift for music? Easy, you get 6 hamsters, some off-the-shelves electronics, a computer and your favorite editor and create the Hamster-controlled MIDI sequencer!
Distance sensors, several octaves and clever C programming have made the proof that some people have entirely too much time on their hands! However, I must say it is by far cooler than anything I've ever done in my spare time!

EPO threatens to leave Netherlands

The EPO, after years of trying to get a new seat agreement with the Dutch government, is finally fed up. Apparently, the president Pompidou said he and the 2700+ employees are willing pack their bags on short notice (article in Dutch, sorry).
When I joined the EPO, in Dec. 2002, I was told there were positive signs about a new seat agreement and by Spring 2003, it could all be finalized. The procedure had already run a couple of years by then. But changes in government, internal changes at the EPO, government crises and bureaucracy have done even more worse, it seems. The EPO also needs to rebuild one of their major buildings and needs a solid foundation to do so. So I completely understand their reluctance. Hell, I'm even pissed off by it. I can't understand why there are so many problems with an international company like so many others here in The Hague. I do understand there are many far reaching complications, but these should be nothing new to anyone having dealt with t…

Winners Gallery 2005 - World Press Photo

In case you missed it too, here are this year's World Press Photo Winners. I don't find all particularly special, but tastes vary of course. However, here's a list of my favorites (beware!): photo1photo2photo3photo4photo5

Rare but Real: People Who Feel, Taste and Hear Color

While I'm talking about weird creatures... There are a few People Who Feel, Taste and Hear Color. They have a rare condition where two senses are intertwined.
"Colors in Carey's world have properties that most of us would never dream of: red is solid, powerful and consistent, while yellow is pliable, brilliant and intense. Chocolate is rich purple and makes Carey?s breath smell dark blue. Confusion is orange."
Fascinating!!! The condition is called "Synesthesia" and is only recently starting to be accepted as a neurological strangeness. I won't dissease because they are not sick, just unusual and very uncommon. However, studying people with these effects might give us clues to how the brain is organised. Because the cause of Synesthesia is still unknown... Read the article! Very very interesting, isn't it?!

Creatures Frozen for 32,000 Years Still Alive

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LiveScience reports that bacteria, frozen for 32,000 Years, went right back to living after they were thawed! "They immediately started swimming when the ice melted," Richard Hoover told LiveScience, adding that the cryopreserved bacteria were instantly ready to eat and multiply.
This means that bacteria could exist on some of the planets and moons in our solarsystem, but also beyond. They might even still be alive in the Martian frozen sea, that was discovered yesterday! And there are extreme forms of life possible, even right here on Earth! Such as bacteria that live at 120° Celsius, or those that live at nearly 4 kilometers below sea level, with salt concentrations ten times higher than seawater, pressure 400 times greater than atmospheric pressure, and... a lack of oxygen! :respect:

Browser Wars: Who's Winning, Who's Losing

FireFox is now the number #2 browser in the US! Only 4.5% market share, but steadily climbing. If Apple and Linux platforms are included, then Mozilla has more market share than all other browsers combined (except of course Microsoft).

Biggest bang to date

BBC has a report on the the biggest bang observed by humans to date. A star, 50,000 light-years away from us, exploded on 27th of December last year and emitted so much light, the explosion lit up our atmosphere after the light bounced off of the Moon. :) In a 10th of second, the star emitted more energy than the sun will in 100,000 years! And the ultra-dense neutron star was only 20 km across...

YouSendIt | Email large files quickly, securely, and easily!

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You know the problem... you have this 24MB Powerpoint presentation that you need to mail to 5 people, but there is no way anyone's inbox will handle that gracefully. You've tried to ZIP the file, but it only shrinks from 24MB to 22MB, so that won't work either. There is no time to hunt for CD-R/RW discs because you are about to leave and no one else is around to do it for you.
Enter YouSendIt! This website, let's you upload huge files (upto 1GB!) to their website, securely and privately, and gives you a link to your file. You can then Email the link to anyone who needs to get to the file and they can download it presto! That's it! Nothing else. No recipient needs to sign up for anything. Not even you! Sure beats setting up your own ftp server... Highly recommened!

Microsoft on 'rootkits': Be afraid, be very afraid

"Microsoft Corp. security researchers are warning about a new generation of powerful system-monitoring programs, or 'rootkits,' that are almost impossible to detect using current security products and could pose a serious risk to corporations and individuals. With names like "Hacker Defender," "FU" and "Vanquish," the programs are the latest generation of remote system-monitoring software that has been around for years, according to Mike Danseglio and Kurt Dillard, both of Microsoft's Security Solutions Group."
Even Unix and Linux users are now afraid of these rootkits. Luckily, the massive open source community with many nerds who have time on their side, have already written tools to counter or at least detect the presence of rootkits... by counting systems calls.

McAfee Stinger 2.5.0

FYI, there is a new release of the McAfee Stinger. Might as well get it and check your systems for the most current Trojans, virusses and worms.

My Trance Energy 2005 pics

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Well, I tried to take pictures during Trance Energy, but they didn't come out. Not what I'm used to getting at least. They suck! I will need to get used the IXUS V3 all over again because I can't believe it's the camera's fault. It must be me. Back the old drawing board I guess...

New ATi Radeon drivers for Linux

Yeah! ATi has released new drivers for Linux! They have both XFree86 and X.Org versions. Cool!
Ge ready to Download. All systems stand-by...

Adobe launches final Camera Raw 2.4

Oh and while we're at photography, Adobe released a new version of Camera Raw v2.4 and DPReview reviewed it for all you serious photographers out there. Go get the Photoshop CS plug-in! (It's free, so...Windows/Mac)

Canon Digital Rebel XT / 350D

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At the PMA, Canon introduced it's new prosumer digicam, the Canon EOS 350D. It's the successor to the 300D (duuh) and equiped with an 8Mpx CMOS sensor. The sensor has been completely redesigned and is extremely low-noise, much like what we are used to seeing from the 10D/20D series. It has a 3 frames/sec function, or 14 frames burst, simultaneous JPEG/RAW recording, 0.2 sec start-up time (like everything else these days) and a little lighter and smaller than the 300D. Canon als added a Monochrome mode, like on the 20D and higher models. Software features better White Balance and WB braketing controls (never needed until you *really* need it!)
Most impotant improvements over the 300D are the new CMOS sensor and DIGIC II image processor, as well as E-TTL II technology for better communication between body, lens and flash. I can't wait for DPReview to give me an in-depth review of the techs and specs... :drool:

Our new home - before, during and after

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Petra did what I wanted to do. :) She took all the pictures we made during the breaking, tearing and ripping in our new house. All the pictures before and after and sorted through them, edited them and organised them chronologically. She created 6 galleries of pictures of our new house for you (and us) to see and admire. All the hard work of all people who helped came to a good end. (Only thing missing still are the final picrures of everyting all done, which should come really soon!)

Easy Menu - cross browser CSS menus

Thought I'd share this one with you...
If you *ever* need to make a website and you have the need for a menu (and who doesn't?), please do yourself a favor, don't waste time with anything else, not even your own learning experience! Just go and use: EasyMenu. It's free, XHTML/CSS based so it runs everywhere and it's extensively tested. See the site for details.
Remember: *don't* try anything, even for argument's sake, don't say I didn't warn you! (I know you'll try anyway. ;)

The BLOG Shirt

If you know your cult movies and you blog regularly, you'll get this T-Shirt! Otherwise, don't bother! ;) I think it's pretty well done and kinda funny, partly funny, edging on funny... :)

IE7 annouced

Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger posted that Bill Gates officially annouced MS IE 7! Nothing major, no really interesting news, just the announcement. :yawn:

Jean Tourrilhes: Linux & Wireless Guru

If you're messing with Linux, like I am, and have WiFi LANs roaming your house of office, Bluetooth USB dongles and Bluetooth phones you'd like to tie in or you simply want to install WiFi on your Linux laptop, please *do* check out Jean Tourrilhes pages at HP Labs. He has tried most of it, has extensive HowTos and valuable links to WiFi/WLAN drivers and hardware that works. Recommended!

Valentines Day

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From this place I'd like to wish aaall my friends and their partners a very happy, romantic Valentine's Day! Be nice, make a little extra gesture and suddenly the world is a different place!!! :)
To Petra: I love you very much! And too Jacques: happy birthday!!!

What a party!

Last night I went to Trance Energy and saw many friends again. Thanks to Martin, Femke, Sjoerd, Harold, Saskia, Sander, Caro, JW, Rob, Astrid, Robin, Arjen and Isabelle for a great night! Party was as awesome as exhausting. I hope I'll be alright this week... Greetings to Suzanne (who's 8 months pregnant) and Sylvia (who had to babysit her son Matt).
Sorry I had to leave so soon, but I have to cook dinner tonight for some friends. And Petra has been slaving all day to make the house look presentable! Big hug for her! BTW, it's time to get you guys over here too for a big thank-you dinner!

Trance Energy

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Saturday, I'm going to Trance Energy with a lot of my friends. Some may think I'm too for this. Naah, *they* are too old for it. The music is ultra trancy and perhaps too "sweet", too cliché. But who cares. We will have a ball and go out of our minds. Gielen! Armin van Buuren! Jochen! Katana! Rank1! Somebody STOP me! :bounce:
There is only one thing that might spoil it and that's that Petra won't be there. She didn't like it last year and has a company party... :'( (K) I'll miss you (@)

Cute picture

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(L) Petra's parents made a cute picture of Petra and me. She's so cute! (K)

Christian Peper's Resume, curriculum Vitae, Lebenslauf

I updated resume, the HTML one, in light of my job starting in March.

43 Things

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Read about Amazon apparently sponsoring 43 Things with a big bag of $$$. So I thought that name looked familiar to me, and it did. :)
If you are a person who wants to do all kinds of things and then find yourself not doing any of them, or tons of other things instead but none of the things on your list... (hehe, nonono, don't even try!) Goto 43 Things, sign in, list (upto) 43 to-do items that you'd really like to accomplish. Then tell everyone about the list.
The good thing of this community is, I think, the social aspect. You're not alone, you get support and you can find others who've already done what you want to do. So you can ask for help or tips on doing it. Or maybe it wasn't worth it after all. Either way, you get things done and do them more quickly. Peer pressure is a force you should not take lightly. We all know that look our mothers or partners can give us when we are stalling things, they we are, you know you are and just the look they give you sends yo…

dj GT vs Project C - Voices Of Winter 2004

After hearing Martin and Sjoerd rave on about the Winter 2004 mixes and checking time and time again for the links on DJ GT's site, I finally went to check the GT (& Project C) forums and found what I was looking for: Voices Of Winter 2004. :bounce: If you like house music, Trance, good solid mixes, tantalizing vocals and dreamy rithms. you *must* check out DJ GT's Voice of... series. Highly recommended for pre-parties!!!

Blog Search Tool: Atomz Search

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It's been a long-time petpieve of mine, but I think I finally managed to get the search tool of my blog working properly. Atomz Search is a free search tool for small websites, like this one. However, it took me a while to get it configured properly. It would always skip the archives, which are the whole point for searching in the first place, or it would follow each and every link I post and stop after 500 pages or so. That's just 3 pages of mine and 497 links I provide in them... ;) Very nice but utterly useless to me.
So I invite you to try the search form on the right and try to find things you remember me writing about. Hope it works. Let me know if it doesn't.

Prime example case against Software Patents

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I just read a prime example case of why we should not get Software patents here in Europe, or anywhere else for that matter. Yahoo! Sues Xfire For Patent Infringement. Yahoo has a patent for people using IM to let each other know they are playing a game and can then use the IM to lauch the game. *yawn* IRC has been doing that for years and it's still being used in this way through simple IRC scripts and channel robots... But the point is, the small company can never fend the $2 million to enter the legal hearing. So they can either cease and desist or risk going out of business. Which means the one with the most money wins by default. And that can never be a situation we want to have...

Getting paid to play RPG and then selling your character

And now for something completely different!
It seems there are people how set up a game room in a low-wage country, pay people (kids?) to play new Role Playing Games (RPG), let these people create virtual assets in the virtual game world and then sell the created virtual goods on eBay. You can buy whole characters, swords, armor, skills, artifacts and so on. Instead of you yourself spending countless hours online to achieve a certain level, you simply buy a good character all ready to go. So far so good.
The weird part is that one of these shops sued the maker of the virtual world because he tried to stop this creation of goods from taking place. It's not in the real sense of the game and other make money from. MSNBC has a story of more legal cases over virtual goods... I think, as long as *someone* is spending 5 days online to create the goods or characters, it shouldn't matter to the maker of the world. His world is still being used and played and evolves... But it's st…

Busy, busy, busy

It's been a busy weekend.
Friday I tried to finish 2 websites, as I'll be working again full-time from March on. So I need to finish current assignments (www.promavise.nl and www.scallywags.nl). Petra was getting her mid-term exam of the Photo Academy in Amsterdam. However, while I knew her parents would come later that evening to help us in the weekend, Petra got home late after going to a friend who was down and her parents got here much earlier than expected. So suddenly I ahd 2 sites to work on, dinner to cook, parents to entertain and a house to make presentable... *Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!*
Then on Saturday, we got up at 8am to get work done around the house. We fixed the entire hallway now. Laminate under the staircase, walls painted, and so on. Too bad I couldn't drill in the wall because of the fresh paint, otherwise I'd have put up coatrack as well! :) It's much better now.
Saturday afternoon, we went to Scallywags - The Restaurant for Petra's e…

Current update of the eruption of Kilauea Volcano, Hawaiï

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CNN let me know by mail that Kilauea Volcano, Hawaiï is erupting again into the ocean. I found some great pictures of the eruption (which is has been continuously going since... Jan. 3rd 1983 (!)

Firefox extension: adblock

I jsut want to share this truely awesome and great extension for Firefox with you: adblock. This tiny extension (some 50 KB or so) will help you block *all*, and I mean ads on any webpages anywhere. Of course, we've been able to 'Block images from this server' for ages with Mozilla. But Adblock goes on step beyoooond (viz: Madness)! It let's you block entire domains (like doubleclick.net) or sites (like http://storage.adsolutions.nl/). But you can also get rid of those $#@%&%@$# Flash ads they now all use because they know you're not loading the GIFs anymore. :P :devil:
I strongly suggest you install Adblock if you use Firefox, not for me, for *you*. :)

Blackhole Night in the Powerzone

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Went to the Powerzone in Amsterdam last Saturday with Sander and Sjoerd. It was a m a z i n g! The crowd was tame and relatively young (20-25 mostly). The place is so cool and spacious with beds, couches and bars all over. Very nice. A bit too big if it's not crowded enough. But the DJs from Blackhole Recordings absolutely rocked! My GOD! Mark Norman, Ton TB, Mojavo and Cor Fijneman. Jeez, I was stomping all night!
Feestagenda was there too to make pictures. A nice impression, well done! {{hug}} to my friends and big thanks to Sander for dropping us off at Sjoerd's place.

VW anti-bomber car

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Hilarious video of an Arabic-looking person, wanting to be a suicide bomber, but hindered by his car.
Commercial for the VW Polo (which the company says has been unauthorised).
I heard that VW is trying to sue the person who put the video online, although the PR value is so high that it may just be a clever marketing trick with everyone playing their parts... We'll never know...

Nadine -- The Story Begins

if you have nothign else on you hands and need to kill some tie, some *solid* time... read about Nadine -- The Story Begins and what can happen on the internet when you accidently enter a wrong Email address for some sweepstakes... LOL

Summer in Innsbruck?

Today, I received an invitation indirectly to speak at the MicroLearning 2005 conference in Innsbruck. LOL My good old friend Gerrit from KPN Research was asked to speak, but he declined and suggested me instead (along with two others, who are IMHO better qualified). However, I think I could also say something useful in the area of state-of-the-art E-learning. I'm doing it all the time, after all. ;)

Multi-Room Wireless HiFi Sound System?

This guy on Slashdot asked the same question I asked myself last november: with my computers all wireless on WiFi, can I get a wireless HiFi system throughout the house as well? Some people have great ideas!
I myself am also integrating a wireless TV tuner, so I can broadcast TV signals anywhere. Philips makes these and they're for sale at MediaMarkt. Another tip I got was to check stores that seel satelite TV. Thoses customers frequently have the need to broadcast their satelite TV signals to more than one place. Good one!

Two Alaska volcanoes show signs of eruption

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I was waiting for something like this to happen. Great tsunamis never happen alone. When the crust of the Earth shifts like that, other things are bound to happen. In Alaska, two volcanoes show signs of an eruption. One, Mount Veniaminof, is kind of a regular, erupting 12 times in the last 200 years. But the other (Mount Spurr) has been hibernating for a while now: 5000 years. Somebody made him the coffee he needed to wake up... *insert twilight zone theme here*
In other Mother-Earth news, I read the South Pole will likely get the largest ozon hole ever. And when the hole is big, I remember strange things happening weather-wise all around the planet. So hold on to your hats this year, folks, it nature's rollercoaster ride! And there is no safety bar! Woohoo!

Skype for Linux

Well, I've only had Skype running on Linux now for a day, and voilá they launch the first official v1.0 for Linux and MacOSX. :) Now I just configured out how to get my soundcard working too (great to hear my old mp3 collection from a mounted vfat partition!), if someone can gimme a call, I can test out Skype!