08 May 2007

nokia n95 is a dual processor phone

nokia has started listing the CPU specs on their phones. look at the N95:

Dual CPU
CPU Type: ARM 11
CPU Clock Rate: 332 MHz
3D Graphics HW Accelerator

nice.

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03 May 2007

yahoo proposes robots-nocontent class

so yahoo has proposed that we add "robots-nocontent" to html elements that contain no content. fair enough, apart from the fact i don't see people adopting it. for instance, if you have ads on your site, would you voluntarily mark those ads as "robots-nocontent"?

why wouldn't i instantly add a user specified custom stylesheet to all sites that just set the opacity of anything that is robots-nocontent class to 0.5 so that i don't get disrupted by all those flash and javascript widgets/ads that are steaming out of all sorts of blogs?

.robots-nocontent {
opacity: 0.5;
}

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01 May 2007

mii editor

as seen from my tumblelog, there is an online version of the mii editor (for creating avatars on the wii). it's actually created by some developer who works for adobe.

Miieditor

and so i had fun making mii's for myself and pp.

Ali-Mii
Pp-Mii

now, the only thing left to do is to wait for my ceiling to stop leaking, buy a tv and buy a wii.

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29 Apr 2007

why i don't use ask.com

here is a search for "what's new in antennas" on ask.com. this is why i don't use it. it returned 2 results and 10 ads. it took me a couple of seconds to even register where the ads ended and where the results started.

Ask.Com

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28 Apr 2007

how bbc's region locking works

i was blocked out of some video streams from bbc's website today, and i realised what was happening.

it turns out bbc's website enforces the "uk only" access restriction by making it's dns servers return a different IP depending on where you are. normally this isn't a problem, but i've just started using opendns as my dns servers and thus they are resolving www.bbc.co.uk differently than machines that were not using opendns.

here is the dns entry from my macbook pro with opendns:
mcbookpro:~ liquidx$ host www.bbc.co.uk
www.bbc.co.uk is an alias for www.bbc.net.uk.
www.bbc.net.uk has address 212.58.240.33
here is the same dns entry from my macbook pro without opendns:
mcbookpro:~ liquidx$ host www.bbc.co.uk
www.bbc.co.uk is an alias for www.bbc.net.uk.
www.bbc.net.uk has address 212.58.224.116
the dns name doesn't just resolve to one ip, but a number of ips by round robin. from just preliminary observation, anything 212.58.240.* is for overseas, and 212.58.22{4,5,6,7}.* is for uk only.

although it is not definitive, but wouldn't that technically mean if you use a dns server inside the UK you would probably be able to get around that uk only restriction?

[update: turns out that apart from that, they block non-UK access via the rtsp stream as well, so just fakking the DNS won't work. however, at least that is one part of the ACL puzzle. it's a bit weird that they would do that DNS weirdness. i must investigate that further.]

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26 Apr 2007

(bi-)weekly blog update

well, i'm bored out of my mind, so here's another blog update.

1. i'm considering putting this in my resumé: "proud recipient of two mail order degrees from leading universities in lithuania and uzbekistan."

2. the london marathon ran past my flat the other day, check out the boring photos on flickr.

468275477 424De7A464

3. much more stuff is happening on my tumblelog, here are some best ofs:

fascist america editorial on guardian unlimited
cool shell trick: ^xx^yy
real life google map markers
london map in typography
why scare-mongering cancer-causing wifi story is unfounded
on why n95's gps implementation sucks

and more ..

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20 Apr 2007

privacy schmivacy

Searchhistory

here's a screengrab of my google search history (now web history) for the last year. you know, people are always concerned about their privacy, but this doesn't reveal anything more than what people already know about me through my blog. interesting points notes:

1. gmail is my top search?? emm, maybe because i'm always lazy and just type gmail in the address bar rather than gmail.com.

2. sqlalchemy is second because i was doing some work before using it. but despite all the gloss of abstracted SQL queries in python syntax, SQL feels more flexible and easier to write to me.

3. alastair tse and liquidx are obviously vanity searches. i don't search for myself THAT much, do i?

4. matplotlib, multimarkdown and docutils all have to do with my writing my phd thesis. i don't use latex directly where i can avoid it, so my thesis is totally written in multimarkdown with my own concocted ini file format that converts to bibtex. docutils was there because i was struggling with restructuredText for a while until i gave up.

5. the shebang. i don't search for this directly at all, but my album art widget searches for this because every time i listen to something in itunes, it was set to search google for artwork.

6. apache derby. because their documentation sucks compared to mysql and postgresql.

7. ieeexplore.ieee.org. my primary source of research papers.

8. wikipedia.org, why would you go anywhere else for information?

9. java.sun.com, docs.python.org, developer.apple.com, dev.mysql.com - heh, i've been a hard working hacker, haven't i?

10. www.apple.com. uh oh, my secret has been outted, i go to their website every day to pray in the church of steve jobs.

11. infantile paralysiser. that is the site for the moonshell application that is on my NDS. i've been always meaning to hack on that. every time i got to that website, i say, "god i wish i spent more time learning japanese." that also happens when i try to read cooking instructions off yummy japanese food.

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19 Apr 2007

bookmarklet to find latitude longitude in google maps

i searched high and low for a simple google maps bookmarklet which would easily output the latitude and longitude of the center of the map. i couldn't find anything that works on the recent version of google maps. so i spent some time inspecting the javascript and here it is:

javascript:alert(window.gApplication.getMap().getCenter())
bookmarklet: get center from google maps.

it actually looks suprisingly easy when i finally inspected all the objects in the global scope (window), but it took me ages to figure out how to use the firefox javascript debugger, and then spent ages hitting brick walls be searching through the code for references to where it kept the GMaps2 object. but in fact, it was there all along in the index.html file as gApplication.

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19 Apr 2007

come back to "lost"

for those who gave up watching lost, i strongly encourage you to get back into it. lost is back its best form in season 1, answering long standing questions and asking even more questions.

since season 3 episode 6, they've explained away where the others live, what they were doing, killed off characters, created more connections between the character's flashbacks, and more. of course, for those who don't really want to watch all the previous episode just to catch up, you could check out lostpedia for your geeky dose of lost trivia, lost theories and episode summaries.

i think they've hit the stride of revealing one or more long running plot progression in an episode, but able to contain a story arc that spans only the one episode.

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17 Apr 2007

serious doubts about listing anything with ebay

some time last month, i tried to sell my refurbished 12" powerbook on ebay uk. i had to list it two times and both times i was a victim of an attempted scam using the "buy it now" option.

the first one was a buyer with no feedback attempting to get my to ship the item to south africa even though his/her account was in germany even after i had explicitly said i would only ship to within the uk. i refused to do this and filed a dispute and was refunded the commission ebay charged, but was not refunded the insertion fees. (turns out he/her was a scammer later on)

then the second time, i was approached by a person who asked whether he could buy it for £400. although he was unclear at the time, it turned out he wanted to buy it outside of ebay privately (even more dodgy). instead of doing that, i reduced the "buy it now" price to £400 and sent him a message about it. before he could act (or maybe he was part of the scam) another bidder took up the £400 offer. within 3 hours, i had been paid through paypal and then had the payment withdrawn immediately.

ebay cancelled the auction completely (you can't actually get to the auction page at all) and there was no trace of the auction apart from emails i have from ebay stating that the auction was cancelled due to suspected fraud on the bidder's account. this time they refunded the insertion fees, but not the commission on the sale.

fast forward to now, after 4 weeks, and about 10 emails back and forth with ebay, i still haven't gotten back the commission they charged despite them canceling the auction. worse yet, each one of their support rep would email me saying that the refund request will happen any minute now, and every time i wait a couple of days after their email and find out that it still hasn't been refunded.

until they refund the over charged fees (and even after), i will not list anything on ebay any more. i encourage you all to do the same. i'm thinking of just selling it privately via craigslist or some thing else.

anyone want to suggest any other way i can get rid of my 12" PowerBook 1GHz?

[UPDATE 20/4:
finally ebay has refunded my fees, after exactly a month after i listed.]

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