One future car we really don’t need.

I see they’ve found an alternative to teaching someone how to park, let them drive a futuristic looking crane.

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The IT Crowd is cheesy, old school and gay

Its not the worst show on tele, but it could have been a lot better if the plot of the whole thing focused on real day to day scenarios in IT. If you watch all 3 series carefully you’ll notice that Roy and Moss don’t do a scrap of work, and their pretentious project manager Jen doesn’t know the first thing about IT, all of this would have been semi plausible in the 80’s but since we’re all living in 2009, I don’t think the show really speaks to anyone.

Moss and Roy are help desk support staff, they’re not DBAs or programmers or designers. The company outsources it’s real IT work. The show feeds on the fact that support staff are useless, and indeed this is the general consensus.

Clearly the directors have no clue about technology, neither did they bother to actually interview too many developers or real project managers, if they had, they could have included our real frustrations in the show, and it would have been a laugh. Instead the show focuses mainly on strange interpersonal relationships that are just too fictitious to believe.

What’s with all the sexual harassment? It would have been enough to make a light joke about it, and move on to more pressing IT issues, but instead almost every episode seems to focus on it.

Is Moss gay? Well he sure aint metro sexual! So I wanted to watch a show about IT, instead I am watching what appears to be british Will and Grace. Yet another cop on the population to convince us that being gay is acceptable in our society, btw, we get it already!

Are the characters likeable? They’re not bad people I guess, but everyone featured in the show is a moron. I guess its easy to direct a show like this, have everyone do stupid things all the time, and add a laugh button where applicable. Very easy, very lazy.

This show is truly representative of somewhere , someone lost the plot, somehow.

Facebook block ahead of Iran vote hampers youth

TEHRAN, Iran – Iran’s decision to block access to Facebook — less than three weeks before nationwide elections — drew sharp criticism Sunday from a reformist opposition hoping to mobilize the youth voteand unseat President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The decision, critics said, forces Iranians to rely on state-run media and other government sources ahead of the June 12 election.

It also appeared to be a direct strike at the youth vote that could pose challenges to Ahmadinejad’s re-election bid.

More than half of Iran’s population was born after the 1979 Islamic Revolution and young voters make up a huge bloc — which helped former reformist President Mohammad Khatami to back-to-back victories in 1997 and 2001 but failed to rally strongly behind Ahmadinejad’s opponent, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, four years ago.

Young voters are now strongly courted by the main reformist candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi, as the possible swing factor.

“Every single media outlet that is seen as competition for Ahmadinejad is at risk of being closed,” said Shahab Tabatabaei, a top aide for Mousavi, the leading reformist candidate. “Placing limits on the competition is the top priority of the government.”

Tabatabaei said the Facebook block was “a swift reaction” to a major pro-Mousavi rally Saturday in a Tehran sports stadium that included an appearance by Khatami and many young people waving green banners and scarves — the symbolic color of the Mousavi campaign.

Iranian authorities often block specific Web sites and blogs considered critical of the Islamic regime, but critics of the latest decision said the loss of Facebook — and possibly other Web sites popular with reformists — means Iranians must rely on the government for information.

“Facebook is one of the only independent sources that the Iranian youth could use to communicate,” said Mohammed Ali Abtahi, a former vice president and now adviser to another pro-reform candidate, MahdiKarroubi, a former parliament speaker.

During the last presidential race in 2005, information about rallies and campaign updates were sent by text message. In recent years, political blogs by Iranians in the country and abroad have grown sharply. Newcomers such as Twitter also are gaining in popularity.

Iranian officials did not comment on the reported block, but Facebook criticized the decision.

“We are disappointed to learn of reports that users in Iran may not have access to Facebook, especially at a time when voters are turning to the Internet as a source of information about election candidates and their positions,” Elizabeth Linder, a spokeswoman for Facebook, said in an e-mailed statement following questions from The Associated Press.

“It is always a shame when a country’s cultural and political concerns lead to limits being placed on the opportunity for sharing and expression that the Internet provides,” she wrote.

Linder said the company generally does not give out details on the number of users in a given country, and could not say how many members Facebook has in Iran.

South African Internet has a long way to go

Typically when one thinks of South African business, the word “monopoly” comes to mind. This is because pretty much everything in SA is monopolised, this includes ISPs and mobile telecom companies. 

I could go into a lot of detail here, but what this essentially means is that large corporate companies in SA dictate the market. The price of SA Internet is amongst the most expensive in the world, and the reliability of the services offered pretty much stinks. To make matters worse, almost all South African Internet packages are capped. Some as low as 1GB, to a South African 20GB a month is a generous helping. 

Here are some calculations to help put things in perspective. Here is a quick comparison between Czech Republic and South African Internet. 

CZ – UPC 10Mbps connection – no cap, monthly fee = R250.00 (500 crowns), no phone line needed for this service, it’s cable. 

Now lets compare this to SAs Leading ISP:

South Africa, MWEB 4Mbps connection – 4GB cap, monthly fee = R847 (this includes phone line rental) , after cap is reached each 1mb will cost 25c. 

Czech Max Download 1 month = 3214.08 GBs or 3.2TB cost = R250

South African Max Download 1 month = 1270.08 GBs or 1.27TB cost = R316500.00

That means you could buy a new luxury car every month or travel around the world 3 or 4 times every month for the price of that internet connection, now so slow, no longer offerred in most cities in Europe.

Top 5 things that used to suck about old Walkmans

Walkmans were “cool” when they were new, but according to todays standards they just suck piles. Here is a compiled list of the suckiest features.

walkman

1. The batteries

Most walkmen used to use 2xAA batteries like these below. These batteries were expensive and didn’t last  long. Because of limited battery life you had to be careful how loud you turned it, and how many times you used the fast forward button.

2. The headphones

Almost all walkmen at the time came with an old style headphone, these were god damn aweful, and the sound was inferior. Hisssssssssssssssssss.

3. Cassette tapes

The outer part of a cassette tape was made out of strong plastic, but the music was stored on a magnetic reel. The tape often got streched or just broke. The walkman may have been designed for outside use, but it needed to be protected against the elements. Direct sunlight could cause the cassette tape to melt. You could easily forget a tape in the car, and all it took was 30 minutes to fry it. Tapes could be copied, but the overall quality got worse with each copy.

4. No rewind

Most Walkman only had 3 buttons. Play, Stop and Fast Forward. They didn’t magically stop at the next track either. Fast forwarding on one side was essentially the same as rewinding the other. All this took time and battery power.

5. The heads got dirty

The read heads got dirty, and that meant you needed to clean them. The best way was to use cotton buds and an alcohol solvent. The heads also misalligned, meaning you needed a tiny screw driver and some luck to get them back in place.

As crappy as what they were, they do represent a more carefree day, in the time before cell phones.

Cellphones don’t cause Cancer

Cancer Myth: Electronic devices, like cell phones, can cause cancer in the people who use them.

Respondents Who Agreed: 30 percent

Origin of Myth: Lawsuits and news headlines have fueled the myth that cell phones cause cancer, particularly brain cancer, and 30 percent of Americans still believe this myth, according to the Discovery Health/Prevention telephone survey.

Reality: A few studies suggested a link with certain rare types of brain tumors, but the consensus among well-designed population studies is that there is no consistent association between cell phone use and brain cancer.

Consumers could easily have missed the reports showing no danger from cell phones because they didn’t receive alarming front-page coverage like the original reports. What has been proven is that using a cell phone while driving increases the risk of having a car accident. So, keeping your hands free and your eyes on the road is a more significant issue for people who use cell phones.

No Apparent Cancer Link for Other Electronic Devices
Considerable research has also found no clear association between any other electronic consumer products and cancer. Cell phones, microwave ovens and related appliances emit low-frequency radiation — the part of the electromagnetic spectrum that includes radio waves and radar. Ionizing radiation such as gamma rays and X-rays can increase cancer risk by causing changes to DNA in cells of the body. Low frequency, non-ionizing radiation does not cause these DNA changes.

For people who are still suspicious about any possible health effects from cell phones, the Food and Drug Administration Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) offers advice to people concerned about their risk. Experts from the CDRH can explain practical ways to minimize exposure to radio-frequency radiation while using a cell phone. Also, people can choose digital rather than analog telephones.

For more information, the ACS book Cancer: What Causes It, What Doesn’t provides an educated perspective on what cancer health hazards people may face in everyday life, and what’s not worth worrying about.

source: http://health.discovery.com/centers/cancer/top10myths/myth8.html

Internet Forums, don’t trust the answers you get

If you need information, and just can’t find the info on offical websites, the chances are you’ll end up reading some forum post. Just make sure you don’t take anything to heart too quickly. Don’t just believe the answers because you “read it on the internet”.

In real life scenarios, you’re likely to ask people around you questions, you’re also likely to receive incorrect, or misleading answers, however typically in a real life scenario, you have more sensory information to help you filter out the fact from fiction. Internet Forums work slightly differantly, without the personal contact you’re relying solely on textual information. That could be written by a 10 year old or an 82 year old, you just do not know, but you can be sure you’ll get their 2 cents, misleading or not.

Here are some real questions and their misleading answers taken directly from internet forums.

http://www.gamespot.com/pages/forums/show_msgs.php?topic_id=26254810
Question 1: Is it worth getting a 100 mhz tv over a standard hdtv? (This answer is completely misleading because the guy who answered it does not know a thing about electronics, and confuses FPS with Refresh Rate)
BlackAcidDevil: 120 FPS opposed to 60 FPS, again the only way to get that 120hz is through a 120hz capable cable 9 another $130) –  BUSTED!!! PURELY MISLEADING

http://forums.highdefdigest.com/general-discussion-both-formats/5710-hd-dvd-blu-ray-someday-obsolete-here-stay.html
HD DVD & Blu-ray: Someday Obsolete, Or Here to Stay?
SpideyBat: I think both formats will be around for quite some time. BUSTED!!! SPECULATIVE AND WRONG
Majestikk : These new formats always suck in the beginning

These are just 2 examples, but I’ve come across more, recently I was looking for information on building materials for a housing project, and was amazed at the controvesy regarding wood vs bricks for heat insulation. Often Internet Forums are so unreliable a source of information, you need to check the answer with another more reliable source, like offical sites, or product fact sheets.

I still think Internet Forums are a good source of general information, but I’m on high alert when I browse them, so not to just accept anything as fact, and I suggest you do the same.

An iPod that costs more than a BMW

Its not a hoax, or a joke. The iPod in the image below is an iPod classic capable of holding 160GBs of data.

 

ipod160gb

If you had to play by the rules, and only download legal music from Apple, this iPod could become the most expensive item you’re likely to own. It might even become worth more than your car or luxury sailing boat.  The calculations are as follows:

160GB = 163840MB
1 Song = Approx 5MB.
So that means that this iPod can hold around 32768 songs.
Apple sell songs at $1 USD per song, so that would mean to fill this iPod with songs will cost you a whopping $32768 dollars.

Lets put this in perspective, would you rather be choosing the color of this lovely car, or listening to your iPod?

capture

A monitor worth buying

The Samsung LE40A656A1F

For most computing usage a 19 inch monitor should do just nicely, but sometimes you need something a bit bigger to complete the task. Luckily we’ve entered the era of low cost high definition LCD Monitors/TVs. This Samsung behind me is my new toy, at 42inch its the biggest monitor I’ve ever owned, and I have to tell you, its just great. Its also wall mountable.

p1010923

 

More info:

http://www.techradar.com/reviews/audio-visual/tvs-and-accessories/tvs/samsung-le40a656a1f–314171/review
http://www.hdtvtest.co.uk/news/samsung-le40a656a-review-20080605115.htm