Saturday, August 12, 2006

Diet Coke and Mentos Bottle Rocket

First of all, I stress, do NOT try this at home. This is provided for educational
purposes, only. This is basically just a collection of links including the videos to some people that made the rocket.

A little background theory:

A short video to demonstrate what we've learned:

A little more exciting theory:

And finally, Diet Coke and Mentos bottle rockets:

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Battle for Net Neutrality

I'm not sure how many of you are in IT and/or undestand and have been following what has been going on with large telco's that provide Internet access to the country; but this is something that affects us all and I just wanted to bring it to your attention.

Basically, the large telco's (AT&T, Verizon, etc.) are trying to push Congress to permit charging additional fees for the use of a connection to the Internet. In the past, you paid for a connection to your ISP, and you connected to a host who paid for service through their ISP. Along the way, you will likely travel through connections (that our tax dollars paid for, mind you) that were laid in place by these large telco's. It's the nature of the Internet. In this situation, the speed of the connection between you and the host you connected to, is limited by the slowest link along the way (by the way, for the curious, when a company buys a dedicated (non-shared) connection to the Internet, ISP's generally charge a little more than double what it costs for your connection to the ISP. This is because you have to pay for your connection to the Internet, and a connection on the ISP's side that can adequately supply the bandwidth of the connection you paid for). That was how things worked in the past.

This push, however, is an attempt to split the Internet into two "lanes" (for lack of better words). A fast lane and a slow lane. In this new Internet, if the host you're connecting to (e.g., Google, Amazon, etc.) does not subscribe to the services provided by the fast lane, your connection will travel down the slow side. The biggest problem with this is that the connection to the host did not change. The hosts have already been paying for unrestricted use of their connection since the connection was originally purchased. However, greety telo's would now like to collect money twice for the same service! It's insanity! And ultimately, consumers will be the ones that end up paying.

If this doesn't make sense to you, I've throught up an anology that I hope can make it a little clearer.

I say we picture the Internet pipes just like a garden hose in our yard. The flow of water through the hose is limited to the physical attributes that make up the hose (for sake of simplicity, ignore water pressure for the moment. But if one wanted to include this in the analogy, simply think of water pressure as the maximum bandwidth your LAN supports (e.g., 100 Mb/Sec, 1 Gb/Sec)). When you buy your hose, you expect to get the maximum flow of water through the hose that the hose can possibly permit. However, unless you pay for the super speedy hose subscription, this new hose comes with a special end that can only be screwed into a device, which slows down the flow of water at the end of the hose. From here, you can screw in whatever attachments you would like to use.

As you can see, the flow of water up to this super stupid device is unrestricted by anything other than the characteristics that originally limited the flow of water through the hose. But somebody wants to rob us of our money and claim that we're getting a free ride by leaving out the device that restricts the flow of water!

Whether this is something you understand or not, I urge you to write letters to your representatives supporting Net Neutrality (the unrestricted flow of the Internet). Believe it or not, as of now, the telco's are winning big time so we really need all the help we can get.

If anybody has been following the battle towards Net Neutrality and has an opposing view, feel free to share your opinion.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Man Gets Hit By Lightning - Well Sort Of

The actual lightning bolt hit about 30 feet away; but a smaller arc hit a guy outside working on his motorcycle.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Made Digg

Well what do you know? After like 1,000 attempts, I finally made the digg homepage. And at the time I took the screenshot, the number of diggs is my lucky number, 109.

Digg Story

Friday, June 30, 2006

Digg Comment Ratings

In recent, I have personally felt that many digg users have forgotten how to properly use the digg ratings system for rating comments. As of late, users need not flame or post spam to have their comments buried. Instead, it has become quite common for the average digg user to bury comments where an opinion deviates from the majority. Take, for example, the comments in response to WGA and Microsoft possibly about to release a Windows Kill Switch. One comment that really stood out, in my opinion, was one posted by the user furtwan1. In the post, furtwan1 suggests that a Windows kill switch is not necessarily a bad idea because it will affect mostly people that have illegal copies of Windows. All that was posted was a difference of opinion, yet digg users buried the comment into what is presently -31, which hides the comment from most users screens, by default.

What good is a discussion if everybody shares the same opinion? Deviating from the majority promotes a healthy discussion. We don't all have to agree, do we? It is my belief that the digg comments area would benefit greatly by promoting "outside of the box" thinking, rather than outcasting those that do not share the same view as you. Additionally, I believe greatly that some individuals may be reluctant to post comments against the norm because of fear that they will be ridiculed by other digg users. Bashing these users really isn't healthy.

Let's all try to promote a healthy discussion that encourages new ideas. If you don't agree with what another user posts, feel free to post your reasons for disagreeing; however, at least give other digg users the respect they deserve for feeling the way they do.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Life in the Green Lane - New York Times

If you're considering purchasing a hybrid vehicle, be sure to check out the NY Times article, Hybrid Cars Not Always More Fuel Efficient.

Also, I've heard, but not confirmed, that the battery packs that hybrids use cost in upwards of $7,000 and last about 5-7 years. Consider this as a possibility and just imagine what it would do to your trade-in value.

And before somebody accuses me of being anti-environment or whatever, let me explain that I'm all for protecting the environment and do whatever I can to save/conserve energy and resources. That said, it is my opinion that hybrids vehicles are like a disease. Assuming for the moment that hybrids car owners use their car in a fuel efficient manner (see link above), oil consumption will decrease. Sounds great, at first. But consider, for a moment, what this will do to large oil companies that relied on regular income. Think oil prices will remain the same? Think again. To make up for the lost margin, oil companies will be forced to increase the cost of fuel to make up for the difference. In turn, truckers suffer the most, which results in raised shipping cost for good and supplies. And it doesn't end there. If the shipping companies have to raise their prices, so do the large retail stores and every other company in the world to again make up the difference. It's a disastrous chain reaction that could lead to the worst inflation this country has ever seen.

There are alternative fuel sources that are both clean and renewable (somewhat unlike oil that takes millions of years to form). Don't allow automotive manufacturers to put a bandaid on the current design by buying hybrids --especially if your driving habits don't make for efficient use of a hybrid.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Best Jobs

So I might be a dork at times (ok, all the time), but if there's nothing else to look forward to, it's comforting to know that I have MONEY Magazines top rated jobBig Grin I'm a little surprised that Software Engineer ranks low on the stress scale.  Apparently whoever was surveyed has never had to deal with impossible deadlines and sleepless nights trying to make them!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Best Use for a Dell

So what do you use your Dell for? This QVC caller has no problem sharing his favorite use.

Installing ASP.NET 2.0 Framework Extension For IIS

If you installed IIS after you installed the .NET 2.0 Framework, it's likely that the 2.0 Framework is not registered with IIS. To register the 2.0 Framework extensions for IIS, run "aspnet_regiis.exe -i" from the framework directory. In my case, it was located in "C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727".

The problem surfaced when I was trying to install the latest Microsoft SharePoint beta and got the following error:

"This product requires ASP.Net web server extensions to be enabled"

Monday, March 27, 2006

ASP.NET 2.0 State Management

When you've got only one web server, keeping track of users states is quite trivial. But if you've got a web farm to deal with, it suddenly becomes more detailed. Because of HTTP's stateless design, web browsers must make a new connection for every user request, disconnecting afterwards. Because of this, there is never a guarantee that a user will end up on the same web server, request after request. In the past, developers were faced with implementing custom solutions, which usually involved saving state information to a database server, which all web servers could then access. Fortunately, ASP.NET has simplified the process of maintaining state between multiple web servers in a web farm so that your clients never notice that they've moved from one server to the next. Here is a quick look at using Profile to aide you and your web projects in state management using some powerful features in .NET 2.0.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Dan Fernandez's Blog : Announced at PDC: The LINQ Project

I was recently thumbing through some comments on digg and came across a post by danielfe on the LINQ Project (Language INtegration Query). His blog explains the project well:

Dan Fernandez's Blog : The LINQ Project

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Tunnel of Death

This has got to be one of the most confusing videos I've ever seen. For starters, why on Earth are all these people crashing? I believe at one point the camera perhaps shows at least one other tunnel (the scenery changes), but there are just some freakish accidents that I simply don't understand.

For example, at about 1:00 into the video, a truck is driving along, minding its own business with [seemingly] nothing in front of it. Out of nowhere, it runs into an invisible truck driving backwards! I've watched this video frame by frame and simply can't figure out where the truck came from. Freakish and confusing!

Feel free to clue me in if I'm missing something that should be obvious.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Ferrari Enzo Crash in Malibu

I managed to run across these pictures of the horrible Ferrari Enzo crash from February 21, 2006 in Malibu, California on the Pacific Coast Highway near Dekkar Canyon. Owner Stefan Erikssen, the former executive of Gizmondo, walked away with little more than a bloody lip. A video report of the accident can be seen here.

Ferrari Enzo

007 006 005 004 003 002 001

Friday, February 17, 2006

Senfo's Theory Of Time

The way I see it, nobody could come from the future* --it hasn't happened yet. For somebody (or something) from the future to show up on our Earth, they would have to come from another place in the universe where time ticks faster. But I personally do not believe that time actually works in only this way. The best way that I could possibly describe my theory (and I am not a physicist) would be to draw two lines in parallel to each other, like so:


For the sake of argument, pretend that the two lines at the end are connected. In my theory, the two dashed lines represent two possible rates in which time increases in different places in the universe. In this example, pretend that the top dashed line represents a place where time increases at twice the rate of the lower line. If one person showed up at the location of the top line, and a second person showed up at the location of the second line and simultaneously started stop watches, we could observe that the stop watch of the person on the top line would increase at (obviously) twice the rate of the lower line. However, I believe that these two people are bound together by at least one more constant, which is like time, but operates at a constant rate. I'll call this "universal time". For this discussion, I'll call Einsteins fourth dimension (time) theoretical time. So if the top line represents Mars and the lower line represents Earth (for the sake of argument, just assume that time increases at twice the rate on Mars as it does Earth), in my theory, it can be assumed that a person on Mars will, in theoretical time, age at twice that of the rate as an Earthling, but they both age at the same universal time.

Based on this theory, in order for an object to come from the future, it would have to increase its universal time, which is not possible.

* Although I am thinking this at this very moment, if somebody came up with a way to come back to this exact moment in time, I'd still be thinking the same thing; but, since I'm currently in the present, it's not *yet* possible (make sense?).

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Chad pranking his step son Justice with my scary maze game

Watch what happens when this poor kid plays a maze game familiar to many of us.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Firefox Extension: Web Developer

The Web Developer Firefox extension adds a menu and a toolbar to Firefox with a compilation of tools that are very handy for web developers. Some examples include tools for HTML/XHTML validation, editing CSS, various form editing functions and a boat load more. I have found this extension very useful and I strongly recommend it to anybody doing web development.

This toolbar makes use of the HTML validation and CSS validation services. Other useful tools include a speed check and 508 compliance standards testing (to help make it easier to browse your site for people with visual impairments).

Monday, January 23, 2006 Forbes World's Richest People

Forbes has posted the list of Wealthiest people for 2005. Topping the list worth $46.5 billion is Microsofts' William Gates. And nipping just 2.5 billion behind is Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway at 44 billion.

America's Best Big Companies -

Forbes has announced
America's Best Big Companies for 2005. Company of the year goes to Seagate Technology. Highest income for a software company goes to (you guest it) Microsoft. Interesting read..

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Mozilla Firefox Extension

This Firefox Extension enables you to click an icon in the status bar, to open a new tab that displays thumbnails of all of your open tabs. Works great if you have a lot of tabs open!

Firefox Extension

Free Stuff

Anybody interested in a free iPod or a free laptop?

Here's how it works. First, you sign up using your email address. You should definitely give them a junk email address because they will sell your email address to make money (how else would they be able to give away free stuff). After that, you need to sign up for an offer. Offers range from anything from free stuff like a free credit report or paid stuff like Block Buster online. There are free offers, but you need to be patient and look. After you have completed an offer, you need to refer your friends. The free iPod requires that you refer 5 friends while a free laptop requires you refer 20. I've successfully referred three friends for an iPod, so I need only refer another two!

This does work. I have friends that have completed their referrals and have received their free merchandise. And I have personally seen this for myself, not just some random person on the Internet that heard something.

If you are interested, please follow the links I have provided. By following my link and completing an offer, you will fulfill another one of my required referrals.