Monday, December 27, 2004


The perfect name for a developer: Variable

From Yahoo News: Oddly enough

SANTA FE, N.M. - Just in time for Christmas, Snaphappy Fishsuit Mokiligon got a gift from the state Court of Appeals: a name change. The Albuquerque resident's new name will be Variable.

With a name like Snaphappy Fishsuit I would change it as well. And at least the new name is better than foobar (in the army sense of the word)

Friday, December 24, 2004


2004 Asshole of the Year Awards

kuro5hin has the nominees for the 2004 Asshole of the Year Awards

Wednesday, December 22, 2004


Creative packaging and airport security

I packed some liquid Italian delicatessen Sunday before a flight early Monday morning. Security was a high priority, as I wanted to make sure it did not break and damage the other contents of the suitcase.

The engineer in me was pretty proud of my invention: 2 metallic espresso coffee containers and some bubblewrap made a very secure container for my gift.

Too secure...

Airport security probably went on red alert when my tube went through the metal detectors.

I'm just glad they did not do a full body cavity search when I landed. Still waiting for the suitcase to arrive. Hope they're not organizing a SWAT team to meet me when I finally get to pick up the suitcase.


Wednesday, December 15, 2004


USB Madness: torture instruments and air purifiers

There are a lot of useful USB devices out there but I'd rather pass on the USB Eye Massager.

USB Eye Massager is the latest-designed  health care Product specially for the Person which long time use their eyes, Such as the Computer operator. The product could relax the stress of the Eyes. and make your whole body in the situation of the unstressing by the product vibration.

I use my eyes the whole day, thank you very much, and hope to do so for a long time to come. This thing looks just plain wicked and more like a torture instrument than something that makes me relax.

The guys at EC21 definitely has a lot of fantasy:

USB Plug In Piezo-Ionizer For Computer designing specially for Computer Operator. It could substantially prevent the inhalation of toxic particles such as smoke, dust, dangerous particles in office. At same time irritating the function of blood-Creation, improving the immunity, relaxing your pressure when you long time inhale the negative ions.

Via [i4u]


Tuesday, December 14, 2004


Bubblewrap: Once you pop you can't stop

The tranquilizing effect of bubble wrap. Just what the doctor orders when your boss drives you crazy. Put on the headset and click away.

You can also try the insane bubble wrap version without a headset if you want to break the balls of your cubicle colleagues.


Desktop Search disappointments

All the big search players are working on desktop search:

Scoble has posted a Desktop Search Reviewers' Guide. My top evaluation criteria are:

  1. Quality of search results
  2. Speed
  3. Price


MSN Desktop search - KO
Why include other crap like a password manager, pop up blocker etc? These are separate products and features that I makes sense to use independently of the desktop search feature. At the moment I'm using Maxthon which offers all the features anyway.

I didn't get very far with the evaluation though as the setup gave me the following error:

MSN Toolbar Suite cannot be installed because your version of Windows I not supported. MSN Toolbar Suite requires Windows 2000 SP4 or later or Windows XP.

Microsoft's obsession with XP is really starting to annoy me. I'm using Windows 2003 on my laptop and I'm unable to install the latest software like Windows Media Player 10 and other software like Photo Story 3 that require a "Genuine Windows Validation"

Google Desktop Search - KO

I didn't get further with Google Desktop Search either:

Google Desktop Search is not currently compatible with another program on your system. You will need to uninstall this program if you would like to install Google Desktop Search. The following may help to identify the program:

Different network providers:
WinSock Proxy [udp]
C:\Program Files\Microsoft Firewall Client\wswsp.dll


Click OK to report this problem to Google, or click cancel to exit without reporting the problem.

Looks like I'll continue to use the Advanced Search in Outlook for finding my mails and findstr for everything else

Monday, December 13, 2004


Playing with fire

I knew that playing with fire was dangerous but it looks like playing with lava is even worse: Exploding lava lamp kills man

A 24 year old man left a lava lamp on his stove, and it exploded. A shard of glass pieced his heart, killing him instantly.

Via [Boing Boing]

Thursday, December 9, 2004


Christmas gifts for lonely men

These links have been "maturing" in my inbox for a while. None of the links are work place, or kids, or wife, safe (I guess you'd better stop reading...)

Real Doll  As the name says: it is a doll that is as real as it gets. For $6.500 you get to configure size (of everything), hair (everywhere), tattoos, tan lines and whatever else turns you on.

For the budget conscious shopper there is always the electronic concubine: Visualize a decapitated (but stacked) quadruple amputee after multiple rounds of kitten bonsai, and you get what this looks like

Not even Santa has to stay lonely on Christmas eve with the inflatable reindeer  

Via BoingBoing and other sources that prefer to be anonymous

Wednesday, December 1, 2004


Fighting spam the Bill Gates way

Having a lot of money has it's benefits. Yahoo reports on Bill Gates fight against spam:

Bill Gates receives four million e-mails daily, most of them spam, and is probably the most "spammed" person in the world. But unlike ordinary users, the software mogul has an entire department to filter unsolicited e-mails and only a few of them actually get through to his inbox, Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said here Thursday
Steve Ballmer said he was "probably also amongst the most spammed people in the world" because he gave out his e-mail address -- steveb [at] -- in all his public speeches. "I receive many pieces of spam (but) only about 10 of them actually make it into my inbox because of the spam technologies that our IT department implements."

While we wait for Microsoft to release this wonderful anti spam technology there is only one choice: get rich enough to get someone to filter your email.


Only old people use e-mail, young people IM

Man, this makes me feel old: Only old people use e-mail in Korea 

Leading the big change, unprecedented in the world, are our teens and those in their 20's. The perception that "email is an old and formal communication means" is rapidly spreading among them. "I use email when I send messages to elders," said a college student by the name of Park. For 22-year-old office worker Kim, "I use email only for receiving cellphone and credit card invoices."

A poll conducted by Chungbuk University computer education professor Lee Ok-hwa on over 2,000 middle, high school and college students in Gyeonggi and Chungcheong provinces in October revealed that more than two-thirds of the respondents said, "I rarely use or don't use e-mail at all."

The reasons given for shunning email are that it's impossible to tell whether an addressee has received a message right away and replies are not immediately forthcoming. Still another reason is that you send messages through SMS or messenger as if you were playing a game, while doing so through email makes you feel as if you are doing homework or performing a task. "The new generation hate agonizing and waiting and tend to express their feelings immediately," said Professor Lee. "The decline of email is a natural outcome reflecting such characteristics of the new generation."

Great news for the mobile phone companies and online services like Vodafonelive!

Via [SmartMobs] [TechDirt]


Geek Tattoo

I didn't know there were many computer geeks with tattoos but bmezine has large collection of Geek tattoos

The perfect Christmas gift for a web developer:

And for the gadget freek that has it all:


Program management: frame by frame

What happens when there are too many Project Managers and too few technical people?

Via [Randy Holloway's Weblog]

Tuesday, November 30, 2004



Is that your phone ringing or are you just glad to see me?

Via [Gizmodo]

Thursday, November 25, 2004


One good thing about going to London


My first earthquake

Another flight to London, another disaster, this time an earthquake! Guess someone is trying to tell me something...

The first time in my life I had the pleasure to experience an earthquake. I was falling asleep when the bed started shaking and the doors of the closet started banging. The 5.2 (Richter) earthquake in Salo close to Lago di Garda only lasted 20 seconds or so. Could feel it pretty well even though it's 120km away from home.

I hardly had time to think 'The KIDS!' before it was over. Guess people in people living in California would be out in the streets completely dressed before was out of bed.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004


The other (north) side of Dublin

I lived in Dublin for several years but I never realised it was so bad on the northside. I guess I should be glad I lived on the southside. The Guardian reports on the problems in one Dublin suburb.

The Westies, one of the most dangerous of Dublin's organised crime gangs, dominated the local heroin trade in the 90s and still operate. But in an area where some children drop out of school at 11, the gangsters are becoming younger and better armed, with sawn-off shotguns sometimes handed to teenagers. One Dublin newspaper described the new gangs as "mini-armies".

One of the leading younger hard men was a figure worthy of one of Ireland's best gangster biopics. Declan Curran was a local drug addict and teenage car thief. By 24, he was linked to violent bank robberies, assaults, drive-by shootings and gangland executions.

He had worn a colostomy bag since 19 when he was shot in the back and lost a kidney fleeing a gunman during a feud. But he refused to let it hold him back. He took steroids to pump himself up and was addicted to cocaine



Big Brother is watching your printouts

Government Uses Color Laser Printer Technology to Track Documents

Next time you make a printout from your color laser printer, shine an LED flashlight beam on it and examine it closely with a magnifying glass. You might be able to see the small, scattered yellow dots printer there that could be used to trace the document back to you

Peter Crean, a senior research fellow at Xerox, says his company's laser printers, copiers and multifunction workstations, such as its WorkCentre Pro series, put the "serial number of each machine coded in little yellow dots" in every printout. The millimeter-sized dots appear about every inch on a page, nestled within the printed words and margins.

Guess I should bring my old dot matrix printer out of retirement in order to print documents without Big Brother watching. I wonder if this thing is even legal in countries that have stricter privacy laws.

Via [Feroze Daud's WebLog]

Friday, November 19, 2004


Another trip to London and another radar problem

I go to London and the Italian radar blacks out again. No hardware problems this time though.

This time the radar operators are on strike so they're causing a nice disaster all over the country. 172 flights canceled by Alitalia today and loads of delays. Let's hope they allow us to take of from London or I'll have to spend a night in the airport…

Italians and their love for random, unannounced strikes…. Grrrrr



In London

In London on a business trip for a couple of days. It's cold so the decorated Christmas trees almost put me in the Christmas mood:
 (it would have if it was snowing)

What's the story with English and their pillows anyway?

Two huge pillows and a tube. Anybody feel like explaining their use (that doesn't involve X-rated movies?)

Thursday, November 18, 2004


Early flight problems

Waking up at 5:30 to take an early flight is never a good thing.

Took an early flight to London yesterday so they served an English breakfast: scrambled eggs, mushrooms, sausages and tomatoes. I spent several years working in Ireland but I never got used to their breakfast (love their beer though :-)

Anyway, they also had fruits. Eating it was a bit of a challenge as the designer of the small table must have been inspired by the leaning tower in Pisa. OK for flat foods like slices pineapple but a PITA for round stuff like grapes. Gravity did its job and made one of the grapes roll of the plate onto my shirt leaving a tiny magenta spot. No problem I thought, I'll clean it with the (green) paper towel. Fast forward 2 minutes and I'm sitting there like and idiot with a big green spot instead of a tiny one.

Lesson learned: I shouldn't do anything before I've had a coffee.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004


Adopt A Sniper

Is this site for real? Adopt A Sniper What do they give you as a receipt: a signed picture of guys after they get a bullet through the head?

No point of donating scopes as the US army is busy executing injured men these days.

FALLUJA, Iraq (CNN) -- The U.S. military is investigating whether a Marine shot dead an unarmed, wounded insurgent during the battle for Falluja in an incident captured on videotape by a pool reporter.

The man was shot in the head at close range Saturday by a Marine who found him among a group of wounded men.

Sunday, November 14, 2004


Crap phone: Palm Tungsten W

The designer of the Palm Tungsten W should have its head examined. How can you make a phone that only works with the hands free headset? The worst thing is that it accepts and makes phone calls without the headset! I have no words (that can be posted here anyway)

Power management got slightly better with the latest firmware release but it is still buggy. I turn off the device before putting it in my back pack. At least once a week I find it frozen with the backlight on. Needless to say: a few hours with the backlight on and the batteries go flat. And when they go flat ... you loose everything.

The Palm Tungsten W is great for texting and e-mails though. The keyboard looks tiny but it works well typing with two thumbs when you get used to it.

I find the Versa Mail e-mail client better than the Pocket PC e-mail client as it adds several useful features:

  • Scheduled downloads. It extends PPC supports by adding day and hour limitation per e-mail account. My work mail can then be downloaded 9-5 Monday-Friday but my support mail works 24x7

  • Automatic BCC. I want a copy of my all my sent mail in Outlook. With the PPC must manually add an account in BCC each time. Versa mail does it automatically.

Another cool feature is that the SIM can be changed easily with the lid on the back without turning of the device or taking out batteries. Or at least it was a cool feature until the lid just broke.

I have been a faithful Palm user for many years but I must admit that my HP iPAQ H4150 paired with a small Bluetooth phone works a lot better. It also has WiFi, Bluetooth and great integration with Microsoft software.

Friday, November 12, 2004


Enrico Mentana fired

Enrico Mentana was 'let go' as the director and anchor of TG5 yesterday after 13 years of service. I missed the announcement yesterday as I went to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

TG5 has become my favorite Italian news program. Mentana has built a great news team. TG5 is doing better than ever so the news came as a shock to everyone. Today's presenter is usually smiling and happy, but I have never seen her as sad as today. The employees are pissed off and it looks like they'll strike as well. Way to go: finally Italian employees striking for something that makes sense!

Mediaset has chosen Carlo Rosella, currently director of the magazine Panorama, to replace Mentana. Why replace Mentana in the first place? The official explanation: To better use Mentana's potential by making him "editorial director" in Mediaset. Sounds like bullshit to me.

I believe more in Repubblica's version :

It's bad news for the Italian media, which was already in a sorry state….Enrico Mentana wasn't servile enough for the bosses.

The Italian Prime Minister's office version of the facts is pretty different from the Reuters version 

Thursday, November 11, 2004


US troops getting nasty

San Fransisco Cronicle reports on the fighting in Fallujah. The effects of the phosphorous rounds sounda a lot like the banned Napalm to me:

"Usually we keep the gloves on," said Army Capt. Erik Krivda, of Gaithersburg, Md., the senior officer in charge of the 1st Infantry Division's Task Force 2-2 tactical operations command center. "For this operation, we took the gloves off."

Some artillery guns fired white phosphorous rounds that create a screen of fire that cannot be extinguished with water. Insurgents reported being attacked with a substance that melted their skin, a reaction consistent with white phosphorous burns.

Kamal Hadeethi, a physician at a regional hospital, said, "The corpses of the mujahedeen which we received were burned, and some corpses were melted."

Via [BoingBoing]

Wednesday, November 10, 2004


The drawbacks of living close to a hospital

Living close to a hospital can be reassuring at times but it also has it's drawbacks…

At lunch time I came back after 12 hours in the office for the release of Vodafone live!. Guess who was waiting for me at the gate in front of the house? An old guy pissing on the gate!

Whoever you are; I guess you don't read this blog, but if you do, explain me this:

  • What's wrong with pissing on the trees on other side of the road like other animals do?

  • What's wrong with saying sorry, or at least pretend that you're embarrassed

I almost wish I had a camera phone so I could post your picture on the blog for all the world to see.

Tuesday, November 2, 2004


Another use for Coca Cola: Pesticide

Guardian report: Things grow better with Coke

Instead of paying hefty fees to international chemical companies for patented pesticides, they are reportedly spraying their cotton and chilli fields with Coca-Cola

Gotu Laxmaiah, a farmer from Ramakrishnapuram in Andra Pradesh, said he was delighted with his new cola spray, which he applied this year to several hectares of cotton. "I observed that the pests began to die after the soft drink was sprayed on my cotton," he told the Deccan Herald newspaper
One litre of highly concentrated Avant, Tracer and Nuvocron, three popular Indian pesticides, costs around 10,000 rupees (£120), but one-and-a-half litres of locally made Coca-Cola is 30 rupees. To spray an acre would be a mere 270 rupees.

Some more interesting things you can use Coca Cola for:

  • You can put a t-bone steak in a bowl of Coca Cola and it will be gone in two days.

  • To clean a toilet: Pour a can of Coca-Cola into the toilet bowl ....... Let the "real thing" sit for one hour, then flush clean.

Friday, October 29, 2004


The power of crap

ScienceBlog reports on  a new device that produces power while treating sewage

A new technology is being developed that can turn raw sewage into raw power. The device, called a microbial fuel cell, not only treats wastewater, but also provides a clean energy source with the potential for enormous financial savings, according to scientists at Pennsylvania State University.

David Bagley, a scientist at the University of Toronto, has calculated that the energy potential in wastewater is almost 10 times the cost to treat it. ''If we could achieve just one-twentieth of that power, we could break even,'' Logan says. ''We're confident we're going to be able to do more than that.''


Mexican rats 1, Man 0

Mexican Town Surrenders to Rats

The desperate residents of Atascaderos, an isolated farm village in the rugged Tarahumara mountains, appealed to Chihuahua state authorities for help more than a month ago, saying the rodents had infested at least 800 homes. Officials estimate the rat population in the area at 250,000.

As CartoonNetwork teaches us; Speedy Gonzales always wins over Sylvester:

Authorities announced recently that they would send in up to 700 cats for a frontal attack on the rats, but only 50 cats were gathered and some died shortly after arriving.

Doing it "the Saddam way" didn't work:

Attempts to poison the rats had little success.

Doing it "the American way" didn't work either:

The community's mayor then offered 40 cents for each rodent killed but that plan had to be withdrawn after concerns that children could be bitten by the rats when trying to kill them so they could collect the rewards.

At least they have a life supply of rat-au-van

Wednesday, October 27, 2004


Don't believe your eyes

Don't click on this link if your boss is looking over your shoulder: It looks hot but it is not 

Via [BoingBoing]


iTunes 5555 + 504 = no music

I was in heaven for one day when iTunes came to Italy. I filled my basked with delicatessen like U2: Vertigo and Maroon 5: Acoustic and was ready to part with my hard earned money when iTunes gave me the following error adding items to the basket:

(at least it's not error 666)

Checking out the items in the baket didn't work either as it bombed trying to access it:


Tuesday, October 26, 2004


Cheap or high quality crap TV?

The guy who invented reality programs like Big Brother should be forced to watch them 24x7. Looks like the executives of Channel 4 agree that it's crap, but not normal crap:

Three of Channel 4's most senior former executives have unleashed a scathing attack on the broadcaster for screening 'crap' programmes like 'Big Brother' and 'Wife Swap'.
"Tim, why are we going on with 'Big Brother'? I know it's very successful but it is crap," Treves said.

Gardam replied: "Ah, yes, but what you have to understand is it is very high quality crap."

Friday, October 22, 2004


Smart SUV?


The whole point about the Smart, is that it is a smart city car, not a huge gas guzzling monster. The SUVs are, sadly, trendy in Milano as well. They break my balls in a major way as they pollute, take loads of space and make it difficult to drive by motorcycle.

The Smart is tiny and cute and great for going around in a crowded city like Milano. More importantly: you can find a parking without driving for hours. Giving it the 'American treatment' and making a SUV is  pretty lame. But, if SUVs turn you on, please get a Smart SUV instead of a huge Hummer

Long live the Smart for 2 and the C1 (Smart for 1 :-)

More on the Smart SUV:

The great idea of SUV bans in city centers:


  • Wired 10|2004 186


Swear yourself impotent?

Dilbert had a cartoon where a lady swore guys ears off, but that that you can swear yourself impotent is news to me.

 "We then looked at heavy swearers, and found whenever men use these words in their daily life, this immediately leads to sexual dysfunctions, i.e. impotence. If a woman uses these words in her daily speech, she slowly begins transforming into a man, getting more hair and muscles."

The again, they did the research on how swearing affects water not wood:

 The shocking revelation comes courtesy of Gennady Cheurin's team at the Yekaterinburg Centre for Ecological Safety and Survival. Cheurin made the discovery after conducting ground-breaking research into the effect of bad language on water. The theory goes that water can be influenced by "negative vibes", and the team spent several hours hurling abuse at a glass of the stuff. This Devil's liquid was then sprinkled on wheat seeds - of which just 48 per cent subsequently germinated. Seeds favoured with water from natural springs, on the other hand, enjoyed a 93 per cent germination rate.

Maybe they should have tested the guys for bad breath instead?

Thursday, October 21, 2004


A mousetrap! A mousetrap! My Kingdom for a mousetrap!

Not only are the mice tricking men into shooting their girlfriends, they also shut down radar systems! Believe it or not; the committee investigating the Italian Radar blackout claims the disaster was caused by mice eating through cables. I've seen them eat through battery cables in cars but I hoped -the- main radar station in Italy would be more protected than my garage.

Either that, or the crew were experimenting with a new critter delicatessen...

Wednesday, October 20, 2004


The Onion: U.S. Finishes A 'Strong Second' In Iraq War

Another great article by The Onion: U.S. Finishes A 'Strong Second' In Iraq War

BAGHDAD—After 19 months of struggle in Iraq, U.S. military officials conceded a loss to Iraqi insurgents Monday, but said America can be proud of finishing "a very strong second."

"We went out there, gave it our all, and fought a really good fight," said Gen. George W. Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq. "America's got nothing to be ashamed of. We outperformed Great Britain, Poland, and a lot of the other top-notch nations, but Iraq just wouldn't stay down for the count. It may have come down to them simply wanting it more."


Casey said that, although the U.S. military did not win, it did set records for kills, yardage gained, palaces overrun, defensive stops, and military bases stolen.


Tuesday, October 19, 2004


Honey, where is my pet?

The next delicatessen?

LIMA, Peru - After 34 years of patient tinkering, researchers at Peru's most prestigious agrarian university have bred a new culinary export they hope will scamper onto dinner plates throughout America and the world: the super guinea pig.

Peruvians consume an estimated 65 million guinea pigs each year. It is a dining experience that normally requires two hands to pick scant, sinewy meat from a bony carcass - often with the head staring up from the plate.

Via [Yahoo! News - Oddly Enough]

Monday, October 18, 2004


Genesis: This way up!

Or was it down?

The parachute system failed to deploy when Genesis returned to Earth September 8, 2004. The MIB, analyzing the Genesis capsule at a facility near Denver, said the likely cause was
a design error that involves the orientation of gravity-switch devices. The switches sense the braking caused by the high-speed entry into the atmosphere, and then initiate the timing sequence leading to deployment of the craft's drogue parachute and parafoil.

Friday, October 15, 2004


The Perfect Neighbor?

NewScientist reports: Sleepwalking woman had sex with strangers:

Sleep medicine experts have successfully treated a rare case of a woman having sex with strangers while sleepwalking.

Circumstantial evidence, such as condoms found scattered around the house, alerted the couple to the problem.

Be honest now: Would you, if you were a doctor, cure the person or move in next door?


Thursday, October 14, 2004


Natural Disco Queen?

Disco inferno too hot for you; what about going naked?

As dress codes go, the new rules for the Allen Roc discotheque could not be simpler - leave your clothes behind. All of them.

Nobody was available for comment at the discotheque yesterday to say what kind of music it expected to play, or whether bar staff and DJs would be wearing birthday suits as well.

Is it really a nudist disco or a way to -see before you buy-  (no last minute surprises)? This site has the address of the Allen Roc club in Corneal, Spain  if someone wants to check it out on the next session scheduled for 24 October.

Via []


Remote controlled Bush?

The Register has an interesting article on the Was Bush being told what to say during the presidential TV debates?  issue:

Unless he's reading a well-rehearsed speech, the President is normally much given to malapropisms and incoherent syntax. When confronted with questions for which he is not prepared, he typically muddles along unintelligibly when starting a reply, until he finds a path to one of his prepared talking points, as he repeatedly did during his televised prime-time press conference of 13 April 2004. It is not unusual for him to take refuge in his prepared points, regardless of what question is asked, and his answers are often irrelevant as well as confused. That is, he tends to stay "on message," rather than "on topic".

Yet, during both presidential debates, he miraculously spoke in clear, organized sentences that were fairly relevant to the questions asked. He stumbled only occasionally, and then only briefly. The public has declared Kerry the winner of both debates - the first by a wide margin, and the second by a narrow one - but it is undeniable that the President far exceeded his baseline performance when confronting the unexpected. Or, said another way, he may have looked bad in comparison to Kerry, but he looked very good in comparison to himself.

I would -not- be surprised.

More on the Bush bulge issue:


Wednesday, October 13, 2004


Winter is coming; keep 'em warm

This is a gift for a woman that has everything…
The Possum Fur Nipple Warmers are useful for several things according to the sales pitch:

Possum fur nipple warmers are multi functional. Great for cushioning your nipples by placing inside your bra, protecting from cold and excessive "show through" and fun to wear with the fur facing out as pictured. Keep them warm and make someone smile

Combine them with the possum fur g-string and any caveman would be turned on

Tuesday, October 12, 2004


Man Mistakenly Cuts Off "Chicken", Dog Eats It

I don't believe this; how is it possible to walk outside in your underwear and by mistake cut of your own dick mistaking it for a chicken?

The report said 67 year-old Constantin Mocanu, from a village near the southeastern town of Galati, rushed out into his yard in his underwear to kill a noisy chicken keeping him awake at night.

"I confused it with the chicken's neck," Mocanu, who was admitted to the emergency hospital in Galati, was quoted as saying. "I cut it ... and the dog rushed and ate it."

What did the chicken do in the guys underwear in the first case? Or, did the guy 'choke the chicken' and get confused at a crucial moment?

On second thought, I don't want to know.

Via [Yahoo - Oddly Enough]

Friday, October 8, 2004


Spam, Spim, Spit and Crap?

Doesn't SPAM cover it well enough? Do we really need new SPAM acronyms like:
SPIT: spam over Internet Telephony
SPIM: spam by instant messenger

Let's drop them all and call it what it is:
CRAP: Constantly Receiving Annoying Post


Italian air radar blacks out 4 times in 24 hours

Looks like both the UPSs they had didn't work so the police has confiscated them to verify if they have been tampered with. They claim the problem has been fixed by getting three separate lines from the same electricity supplier. It doesn't convince me, but as long as the planes don't start falling down I'm happy.

Maybe they got a new cleaning guy?

Wednesday, October 6, 2004


The Italian radar system and other disappointments

The Italian air radar in Linate blocked out twice today. A problem with an airport radar would have been a minor problem as we would have been sent to another airport. Today it was worse, a lot worse...

The main radar that covers and coordinates air traffic over all of northern Italy went off the air. Poof, and it was dead. They fixed the problem quickly but to late; chaos had already occurred. In the hour it took to bring everything back online no planes took off.

I guess I should be glad that I got up at 5 this morning to make sure I got a seat on an overbooked Alitalia flight. At least I was safely on the way to London when disaster struck. A bit worried during the day when I got the news as I was scheduled on the last flight to Milano. Encouraging news during the day, so I took it easy on the way to the airport.

Bad idea. A moment of panic when I got to the check in. Turns out the plane I was supposed to take was still in Milano as the flight from Milano to London was cancelled during the blackout earlier in the day. Not only that, the radar had problems -again-. I can imagine what happened:

The person that caused the chaos at 9:25 stands in front of the big bosses and nervously explains what happened; "I just pressed this button", click… and the shit hits the fan again (and me more specifically)

Luckily my meetings had ended on time so I was just in time to move my flight ahead to an earlier one. Or to be more correct: in time to move the flight of the 7 people I was traveling with. I ended up with a nice 'Stand by' written in bold on my ticket.

Don't know if it was the fact that we traveled in 8 in business class or that I looked totally crest fallen, but after waiting 15 minutes they found me a place. A quick run past the shops and we arrived just in time.

Running past the shops was a sad moment though. I really wanted to buy the final books in The Dark Tower series:

New books in English cost a fortune in Milano and I haven't found the book on eBay yet.

Monday, October 4, 2004


Singlish: Crap curry

Not only computers have problems with English. Start making optimizations like replacing "ee" with "i" and you get phrases like "'I nit a sit to ress my fit'" and Crap Curry. And I thought people from Belfast spoke funny.

Friday, October 1, 2004


Mount St. Helens ready to blow?

The Mount St. Helens webcam must be pretty busy these days. It's like watching a giant pressure cooker with the safety valve taped shut, waiting for it to blow. Mount St. Helens is close to Seattle but not close enough for Linux fans to get their hopes up.

A few minutes ago it was leaking steam:

Then it went offline:

I hope it's a sign of heavy traffic and not bad news.

Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument should have the latest news


Lost In Translation: "Try it for yourself!" = "It stops! he examines"

Lost In Translation shows what happens an automatic translation tool translates from English to a few other languages and back again. Not that humans are much better as Pork with Fresh Garbage points out. There are plenty of Funny English Mistranslations around as well.

Original English Text: Try it for yourself!

Translated to French: Essayez-le pour vous-même !

Translated back to English: Test it for yourself!

Translated to German: Prüfen Sie es auf selbst!

Translated back to English: Examine it for!

Translated to Italian: Esaminilo per!

Translated back to English: It for! examines

Translated to Portuguese: Ele para! examina

Translated back to English: It stops! he examines

Translated to Spanish: ¡Para! él examina

Translated back to English: It stops! he examines


Gulf war 2 game and the wisdom of George Bush Sr

Turns out Saddam didn't have weapons of mass destruction so it didn't end like the Gulf War 2 "game"  (Flash required). It's fun anyway, especially the hate mails from the pro-war guys. Guess they should have read the Reasons Not to Invade Iraq, by George Bush Sr:

While we hoped that popular revolt or coup would topple Saddam, neither the U.S. nor the countries of the region wished to see the breakup of the Iraqi state. We were concerned about the long-term balance of power at the head of the Gulf.
We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. The coalition would instantly have collapsed, the Arabs deserting it in anger and other allies pulling out as well. Under those circumstances, furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-cold war world.
Had we gone the invasion route, the U.S. could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different--and perhaps barren--outcome.

Monday, September 27, 2004


Crap: back at work

My goodness, what a start:

  • I have a several thousand mails to catch up with at work (OWA does a -lousy- job at filtering spam)
  • The Exchange mailbox is full so I can't send mail before I delete some
  • The company I currently work for, IrisCube, has merged with been bought by another company, Reply.  This weekend Reply migrated my mailbox created an empty mailbox and pointed the domain at the new server
  • To save money they created a SSL certificate using an internal Certification Authority. This certificate is of course not trusted by Internet Explorer so I get a warning every time I to read mail with OWA. Even worse: ActiveSync on my Pocket PC doesn't like the certificate either so I can't sync via GPRS at all
  • One of the really cool features with Exchange 2003 and Outlook 2003; HTTP sync, is broken (problems on the Reply server)

The final issue that pissed me off enough to post: both mailboxes will be active so I receive some mail on the old server and some on the new.


Saturday, September 11, 2004


Crap & Crapability on the road in Italy

There are times I wish StarBucks caught on in Italy as well. Not for the coffee though as nothing beats a real Italian cappuccino!

No, I wish I could find a StarBucks in Italy as well so I could get WiFi access for a decent price 'anywhere'. Seriously: who in their right mind (that pay their own phone bill) spends 6 euro for 1mb of traffic? And that is with my mobile carrier! The costs just skyrockets if you try to use GPRS in roaming.

All this to say that there will be no posts for a week or so unless I find cheap WiFi or an internet cafe.

Maybe I should do some WiFi war driving using Mini Stumbler instead:-? Not sure what the Italian laws is on this. Hope I don't get a prolonged vacation paid for by the Italian state...


Friday, September 10, 2004


On the Crap & Crapability bookshelf: Red Rabbit (Tom Clancy)

What I want to know is; who the heck wrote this book?

The book covers the early CIA days of Jack Ryan and takes place been the Patriot Games and The Hunt for Red October books. The plot is very much Tom Clancy like but it looks to me like he wrote a 15 page summary that was given to a copy writer. The human aspect of the book is not bad but it is very weak in the area that has been the strength of Tom Clancy in the past: technical detail. Several of the characters also behave differently compared to the other books: Greer for example constantly repeats: 'this guy will go far'.

What's the story? Is Tom Clancy getting old or does he need some quick cash to pay his ex. I managed to finish the book but I'm glad I bought it used on eBay.


Thursday, September 9, 2004


Russian bounty hunters should be busy these days

First Putin put up a $10 million reward for anybody that neutralizes the Chechen rebels Aslan Maskhadov and Sjamil Basajev.

Then the Chechens doubled the offer

"We offer an award of $20 million to countries, organizations or individuals who give the Chechen republic active help in detaining the war criminal" Putin. The statement was signed by "the anti-terrorist center of the Chechen Republic".

What will they do when they finish playing Poker? Play Russian roulette?

Wednesday, September 8, 2004


Genesis crashed

Crap! Genesis crashed. Guess several people at NASA are trying to hide after the big media coverage of the event. It would have been way cool if the parachutes had worked and the stunt pilots had recovered Genesis. Shit happens I thought, until I had another look at the mission home page:

 (click for larger image)

Notice the two different stories?

  • The headline says that Genesis may have crashed due to parachute problems (pretty obvious that it crashed if you ask me)

  • The other story says that the satellite returns in a dramatic capture

I clicked on the Genesis dramatic capture link and I was greeted by a "return: not available" page:

 (click for larger image)

If there are typos it's because I'm still laughing!

BBC has more info on the rough Genesis touchdown


Crap & Crapability video: Plan 9 from Outer Space

Watched Plan 9 from Outer Space a few days ago. It must be one of the most crap movies ever. One of the actors passed away after shooting a couple of scenes as the "Ghoul Man". What did they do? Shoot the scenes again? No, the chiropractor of the wife of the producer takes over the role and holds the cape in front of his face the whole movie. The only "decent" shot of the "Ghoul Man" is repeated at least 5 times.




A stinking story from Netherlands

Guess it's better to drive with the windows closed and the air condition on in Netherlands. Yahoo reports of Dutchman covered by crap

"It was a nice night ... so he probably opened his window when he stopped at a traffic light, and then -- (it) happened," said Dana Kragten, spokeswoman for police in rural Drenthe province, on Tuesday. "The tank had a small window which burst, probably due to pressure ... The man said he had no time to back away his car or close his window."


Eh... it's black?

What do you say when:

  1. You are white

  2. Your wife is white

  3. You are there, in the hospital, for the big moment, doing your best to not faint

  4. and you see a dark head popping out between the legs of your wife?

Corriere Della Sera  reports the fuckup in an artificial insemination lab where the embryos of a white couple went to a dark couple and vice versa. The white couple got two dark twins but the story doesn't say what happened to the dark couple.


Crap PC fixed!

Thanks to hard work by our technical support personnel:

Crap And Crapability, Cool Or What and egilh are now up and running again.  Let's just hope I don't face the same faith as Sony Executive that had to pay $850.000 for enslavement

I was looking for a simple 5 1/4 adapter for one of me 3 1/2 hard disks but I couldn't find any so I  ended up buying the ViPowER 10LSFU. If it works I'll buy one for the other hard disk as well, do their testimonial and post until the disks get full :-)


Tuesday, September 7, 2004


Crap PC case design!

Ok, I admit it: my 'server' is running the cheapest hardware I could find that gives me the performance I need. I can understand saving money on some high performance design details but the PC case?

I really want to me the guy who designed the PC case of my server. It looked OK enough when I installed the parts but I discovered a major flaw last night when the PC went down hard enough to refuse booting again (which explains why this post is 24h late). I opened the case and started poking around, looking for possible problems when I touched the cause ...

The house still smells burned flesh! I made the mistake of touching the 2 hard disks I have mounted in the 3 1/2 inch bay. (2 HD + 1 floppy) After tending to my hand I had a look at the disks again and discovered that they hard disks are mounted so close to each other that they touch. No air circulation between them at all. That explains why I started having bad sectors earlier this month when I did a major defrag on both disks. They heated up and I got a major hard disk thermal problems on my hands.

Prime PC Case designer: Please bend over and accept two hot hard disk in the rear slot

Friday, September 3, 2004



From ShitBegone, the only toiletpaper with its own blog I know about

ShitBegone is the American dream. A young man from Wisconsin made his way to New York City, the Big Apple. There he set out to forge his own future, making his name in the world of toilet paper. ShitBegone is a journey of discovery, an assertion of responsibility, and an expression of joy. It is the embrace of life. It expresses dedication and hope for a better world, for each individual and for all humanity

The page goes on to cover the finer points of wiping:

Some people crumple them, but the better way is to fold them. When you crumple toilet paper, just like if you crumpled a piece of writing paper, it gets sharp edges and corners. Paper feels smoothest when it is flat

Surprised to see that it doesn't mention the international aspects of toilet paper. A friend of mine works for one the largest toilet paper producers in the world. Over dinner (!) he elaborated on the different toilet paper preferences in different countries; soft versus rougher and textured version for better grip.

Via [Cool Tools]


IBM Recalls shocking laptop power units

Better be careful if you use your IBM ThinkPad on your lap:

IBM said on Thursday it will recall about 553,000 AC power adapters worldwide for several models of its laptop computers because of potential fire and electrical shock hazards
The 56-watt adapters can overheat, cause damage to the circuit board and melt through the case, the company and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said

Via [Slashdot]

Thursday, September 2, 2004


Windows Media Player 10 and Windows 2003

Microsoft just released the new Windows Media Player 10. At the same time they also released a Preview Release of the Music Download service. The Music Download Press release service says:

In addition to the new U.S.-only service, MSN is also working with industry partners in several international markets to offer music services that meet the specific needs and desires of the consumers in those regions. Through these relationships, an MSN Music offering, built on industry partner technology, is currently available in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Brazil, Korea and Australia.

So far so good; finally a music download service that can be used from Italy as well. iTunes doesn't want to sell songs to me and Rhapsody requires me to buy a subscription. I had a quick look at Wippit but they have few songs.

Now to the crap part. The Windows Media Player 10 download page doesn't allow me to download the player to my Win2k3 laptop. Using the display all link I managed to find the real download link: It downloaded in no time but the setup only runs on Windows XP.  My trick for working around broken Windows XP software did -not- work :-(

  • Extract the files in mp10setup.exe
  • Right click on the extracted file setup_wm.exe and select "Properties"
  • Select the "Compatibility tab"
  • Enable the option "Run this program in compatibility mode for:"
  • Select "Windows XP"

It takes more than broken software to make me give up, so I decided to download "Hey Ya!" by OutKast  from the online store. I don't have the latest media player but at least I should be able to buy and download songs. Or so I thought. I can select the song but as soon as I click on "Confirm", the site redirects me to the Windows Media Player 10 download page (  Bug or Feature?


Wednesday, September 1, 2004


Sugar free crap

I have a bit of allergy/cold at the moment so I bought some sugar free Halls to feel better. I did a major mistake and left the pack of Halls in from of me while I was debugging a GIS system I'm working on. I went in 'debugging trance' and when I came out of it 30 minutes later there was only one Halls left. Boy did they work, but not in the way I expected. Turns out there is a small writing on the side; un comsumo eccessivo puo avere effetti lassativi. In other words; they're a great laxative

I have to learn to RTFM before I do something.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004


Dvorak; The Bottom 10: Worst Software Disasters

I don't know if it's sad, a sing of old age, or a sign of experience; I have used most of the products that Dvorak mentions in his Worst Software Disasters article.

I know serveral “products” that are way worse then these but I guess I should mention them as a sign of respect for my work colleagues...


Monday, August 30, 2004


My Big Fat … Wedding

Watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding this weekend. I expected a real Crap & Capability (aka Sense & Sensibility) kind of movie but I was pleasantly surprised. I actually enjoyed it and had a few great laughs.

Probably because I married an Italian in Italy and most of the gags applies to ous as well…

Sunday, August 29, 2004


Autorun crap

Isn't it sad the way the computer slows down when you install more crap  (eh, software) on it? Using Auturons from sysinternals  you can easily see and control which programs start when you log in.

Process Explorer from sysinternals is another great tool to track down the memory and CPU hogs.

autoruns, or "What is all this stuff doing on my computer" revisited has more info on what this autorun stuff is all about.


Saturday, August 28, 2004


Beep, I know you are here!

Or, I could know you where here if I followed the instructions at Hear your web site being hit

With all the talk about the Siemens M65 being recalled (and here, and here, and here) I guess I shouldn't though. Having the server beep every time someone makes a request could be fun at home but a pain in the ...
ears at my current client where we get close to 10 million mobile requests per day.

Friday, August 27, 2004


Worth 1000's scared the crap out of me

Worth 1000 has done it again. This time with a nightmare theme.


WC Ghost

1.8 million Germans have bought the WC-Geist (WC Ghost):


It is placed below the toilet seat and is activated when the seat is lifted. In no uncertain terms the user is told to lower the seat ASAP and sit down. The German version comes in two flavors; Helmut Kohl and Gerhard Schröder.

Patentwert will launch the WC-Geist on the British and Spanish markets this autumn. I was expecting them to use the voice of Margaret Thatcher but it looks like British ghost will come in the following flavors:

  • American Cowboy (Sit down or I shoot your balls off?)

  • Queen Elizabeth

  • Tony Blair

The German version can be found on eBay (bid, buy now)

Thursday, August 26, 2004


A holder for my TP

Where there is crap, there is toilet paper (hopefully). Toilet Paper Roll Holders for Fashionistas has compiled a guide to all the weird toilet holders we buy. I wish I had enough spare time to undertake a crap project like that.

Via BoingBoing.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004


eBay powered by Sun?

I was checking out my auctions on My eBay (UK)  when I noticed a “Powered By Sun” logo next to the eBay logo. I clicked the logo and got the following message:

Powered By Solaris, the operating system the world trusts
Powered By Java, the world's preferred platform
Powered By Sun Systems running SPARC processors
Powered By Sun services and solutions
Sun helps to power eBay’s Global Marketplace.

eBay has chosen Sun's Solaris Operating System and its suite of low-cost Solaris servers and Java software to help power the The World’s Online Marketplace. If you're running a business like eBay's, or have similar aspirations, get some Sun.

This stuck me as strange as the url is
Unless they pulled some strange tricks it is an ISAPI DLL which means the system is running a Microsoft IIS server.

To find out if it was crap or fact, I fired up Ethereal to have a closer look.  Guess what.... eBay is still running Microsoft IIS 5.0 on Win2k for the main features; catalog details, bidding, my eBay. These are some of the headers from My eBay (cookies etc removed):

Connection: Keep-Alive
Proxy-Connection: Keep-Alive
Content-Length: 95743
Date: Wed, 25 Aug 2004 14:42:42 GMT
Content-Type: text/html;charset=iso-8859-1
Server: Microsoft-IIS/5.0
Server: WebSphere Application Server/4.0
Cache-Control: no-cache=Set-Cookie
Content-Language: en

Some of the static stuff like the home page has been moved to Sun though.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004


Crap Art or Art Crap?

Believe it or not, Karin Frank makes small statues of people following the calls of nature.

Friday, August 20, 2004


Why Crap & Crapability?

Once upon a time,
in a country, far, far away,
I worked in a town called Dublin.

We had a few pints after watching Sense & Sensibility,
and we all agreed it should be called; Crap & Crapability

I have have since moved on to Italy but “Crap & Crapability“ still struck me as a good name for a blog for posting;

  • some of the crap I come across on the net
  • things I think about over a crapuccion (a vending machine will always spew out a crapuccino, it can never serve a good capuccino)