Sunday, February 27, 2005

Another day in my life

I went to Blackcomb today. As I was taking the Skytrain to Pacific Central Station to get on the Greyhound bus, I got to see a sunrise for the first time. It totally was not what I imagined a sunrise would be like. The sun was a shiny metallic red. At first, I couldn't tell at all what this thin sliver of shiny red metal was. Then it started rising and became part of a big circle. It was amazing. It was one of those I-need-a-girl-with-me moments.

So what do I do when I get to the Greyhound station? I look for a girl. OK, I didn't. What really happened is... well.... Do you have any idea how disconcerting it is to walk out of a toilet stall and see a girl doing her hair in front of a mirror? I suppose it's not that disturbing if you're a girl. But I'm not a girl. So of course it hit me like a bolt of lightning: I was in the ladies washroom. Oh crap.... What are you supposed to do? "Uh, so, what's your sign?"

I walked out quickly and noticed that the mens washroom was closed for repairs. So I could use that as my excuse if anyone asked me why I was walking out of the ladies room. But while lining up to get on the bus, I noticed that this same girl was getting on the same bus. Oh crap. Did she see me get on the bus? Does she think she's riding the same bus as some pervert stalker?

So she was Japanese. Well, she looked extremely Japanese anyway, so I would put my money on it. And she looked like part of the international student crowd. I have a question. How come out of all the Asian female students here to study English, I've only see the Japanese ones go skiing or snowboarding? For the men, I see all types of Asians, but for the women, it's only Japanese (well, and some Koreans). Do Chinese, Filipino, Indonesian, Malaysian, Singaporean, Thai, and all other non-Japanese Asian female international students not ski? Or do I somehow uncannily run into only the Japanese students and somehow manage to avoid all others? I guess snowriding is bigger in Japan and Korea than other parts of Asia....

So I'm finally on the mountain and going down a run. There's a relatively tight turn and I don't slow down enough. Whoops. I go flying off the edge and land on a boulder below me, spraining my ankle in the process. I think I finally learned today just how well-made skis can be. My skis did the right thing and detached from my boots instantly. Furthermore, there was only one scratch on them from the crash. Wow. I would have expected a lot worst. And I'm lucky that boulder was there, or else I would have gone for a long tumble, probably losing my skis in the process. But my butt hit something really hard and now my right cheek is in immense pain whenever I try to sit down on a hard surface. I noticed that during lunch.

So I go down to the lodge to rest the ankle a bit and eat lunch. Lo and behold, Japanese students. They had brought a bunch of onigiri and were eating them for lunch. It looked delicious, and I sat there looking at my comparatively pathetic peanut butter and banana sandwich. But I did have some california rolls with me. :)

Upon deciding that my ankle can handle more skiing, I decide to go again. Those ski boots are really good for giving you ankle support and making sure you don't break anything down there. I have no idea what would have happened if I had been in a similar scenario with running shoes. Mind you, how I would get into that kind of situation with running shoes in the first place is difficult to conceive, but let's think hypothetically. Certainly, the probability of an ankle break would be much higher; I would at least end up with a much more severe sprain without such an ankle brace.

I ended up going to 7th Heaven. It was gorgeous. Breathtaking. Another one of those I-need-a-girl-with-me moments. I could do 7th Heaven over and over again for an entire day and not get sick of it. Beautiful.

And so I came home. What a painful walk to the Skytrain station. Lessons of the day?

1. Always think about why a public bathroom might not have urinals if urinals are not there.
2. Just because you can ski on a gimped ankle, it doesn't mean you can walk on it.
3. Appreciate your ski equipment. They're well-made.
4. Bring good food and you won't think about food. Or you could buy.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

A day in my life

So I walk into my 381 lecture yesterday morning and lo and behold: students! The room was jam packed full and there were still five minutes to go before class started! Why is it that a third of them are gone when we don't have midterms? And then they all come early to take the midterm. So is the keener the one who comes every day to class or the one who arrives 20 minutes early to find a good spot to sit? Probably the one who does both.

So I'm trying to find a seat in which I can sit without having to step on the feet of too many people. I spot one in the middle of the lecture hall and make my way towards it. Excuse me. Pardon me. Why don't you sit more in the middle if you're going to come so early, you freaks? Sorry, pardon me.

Oh, so close, almost home free! The seat is right in front of me! Only one girl in between me and rest from my weary travels! As I took my final step, I don't know what I hit. But it was something. Maybe her leg? My feet go flying, my arms are flailing, and I fall towards my beloved seat... and crash into the girl on the other side. Hi, um, nice to meet you. Did I bruise you? Um, sorry about pushing into your legs like that.... It really was an accident. Oh yeah, you, the girl behind me, sorry for tripping on you....

If I were someone else, I would have thought I was trying to pick someone up. I am lucky my bag's zipper was closed, yes?

This morning, I saw a girl late for class. She was running in high heels. Poor girl. Looked like she was going to die, it seemed so uncomfortable. Why do girls do this to themselves? Sure, I guess running in high heels will give your calves one heck of a workout.... The only time I've ever seen it done successfully was in Batman and Robin. Alicia Silverstone managed, but she had a lot of training. That was a horrible movie, by the way.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Anyone who doesn't support missile defense is an idiot

Let's look at the facts:

1. USA says they will do continental missile defense coverage whether or not Canada participates.
2. USA says that they will pay for all the costs of the missile defense program, whether or not Canada participates. (this makes point 1 logically necessary).
3. No matter what opposition says, the proposed missile defense program is not Star Wars. Star Wars is space-based lasers. Missile defense is ground-based interception systems. It's much cheaper and more feasible. Mind you, this point is totally irrelevant to Canadians because of point 2.

Given these facts, it makes no sense that Paul Martin wants to reject the missile defense proposal (see point 1). Canada has nothing to lose, but perhaps something to gain. As my political science prof put it months ago, it's far better for Canada to enter into the agreement and decide for ourselves how we want the missile defense plan to affect Canada than let the Americans decide for us. Or as the US Ambassador to Canada noted:

"We don't get it," Paul Cellucci said in Toronto. "If there's a missile incoming, and it's heading toward Canada, you are going to leave it up to the United States to determine what to do about that missile. We don't think that is in Canada's sovereign interest."
....

Cellucci compared the situation to one that occurred during the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. He noted that it was a Canadian general at Norad who scrambled military jets under orders from Bush to shoot down a hijacked commercial aircraft headed for Washington.
Had that plane been flying over Canada, it would have fallen to the prime minister to make the decision to shoot it down, Cellucci said.

Does anyone else see the irony here? In an effort to win Canadians over to his side by spouting the "I am Canadian, I take no American compromise" crap, Martin will actually be sacrificing Canadian sovereignty. Wake up and smell the coffee please! When the US sets up their defense systems in the oceans, you think we'll be able to say something about it? "Hey USA! We don't want that there! Go away!" Give me a break.

This is just another case of stupid Canadian nationalism destroying Canada's independence. Why is it so hard to understand that we have to work with the big elephant downstairs if we want to retain our sovereignty? You have to do that on certain issues when you're not an elephant. Let's be realistic. Obviously, you don't have to do it on all issues, as there are some where it's preferable to reject the US party line. Case in point: softwood lumber. Both NAFTA and the WTO have ruled in favour of Canada and it's our right to attack the US on softwood lumber points. But missile defense is not one of those situations where we can swing our paltry welterweight fists (see point 1).

I'm not disliking Paul Martin the most here. I'm disliking the huge number of Canadians that are flocking to his side and yelling support from the sidelines because they ironically don't want to give up their sovereignty. They deserved to lose it a long time ago by being so close-minded and illogical.

Okay, I'm done my venting.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Eyes Wide Shut

Thanks to lmk for making my day. It was that funny. I wish I had a copy of that picture.

We lost CaseIT totally, but it was fun. And a good learning experience. Very impressed with the organization of the event. Good work MISA!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

My Novel

OK, I started on this thing such a long time ago. But I want to finally continue it now. So I'm putting it online in the effort to motivate myself to write. Having a blog has motivated me to write a journal regularly, whereas I could never do it on a consistent basis offline. Perhaps blogging the novel will have the same effect.

Your comments are welcome.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

I know the smartest people

So Jeff figured out the conspiracy behind Christmas.

Now goose figures out Valentines Day.

If someone could now figure out how the Easter Bunny and Halloween tie into all this, I think we'll be set to prove to the UN that global defense against an alien onslaught should be our #1 priority. Any takers?

Monday, February 14, 2005

So take the photographs and still frames in your mind

For many years, I did not have a camera. But memories are still great even without them. For some reason, one of my favourite memories is sitting on the floor with cloudwatchin on the floor of the Westin Bayshore and listening to her play her guitar.

cloudwatchin: Hey Bobby, remember this song?
Everyday
By Joel Houston

What to say Lord?
It's You who gave me life and I
Can't explain just how
Much You mean to me now
That You have saved me Lord
I give all that I am to You
That everyday I can
Be a light that shines Your name

Everyday Lord I'll
Learn to stand upon Your Word
And I pray
That I might come to know You more
That You would guide me
In every single step I take
That everyday I can
Be Your light unto the world

Everyday it's You I'll live for
Everyday I'll follow after You
Everyday I'll walk with You my Lord

It's You I live for, everyday
It's You I live for, everyday
It's You I live for, everyday
Memories are great. See, graduating can sometimes do this to you. Will I start playing Vitamin C's Graduation every day again? :) Who knows?

Top 25 Quirky Memories

25. Losing my rented snowboard at the high school grad ski trip. Riding a medical sled back to the bottom. Falling off of the sled. January/February/March 2000?
24. Being totally amazed that Jimmy could get through all of Super Mario Brothers 3 without using the warp whistle once. 1990? 91?
23. Having Julia say to me, "Gimme a hug! I wub you, Bobby!" This happened today. I swear, kids are so sweet. If I never get married, I'm going to adopt. February 2005.
22. Any high school group project that involved a video camera. 1995 to 2000.
21. Working with Rom and Michael in the bottom of the SFU library practicing for a 360 presentation. "How can you not weep???" Fall 2002.
20. Night of Nations Security. Making the fancy puzzle poster in Photoshop. 1998 and 1999.
19. Anything with Dammon. The 3D animation sequence for the CD. Calculus homework. Starcraft. What happened to you, are you still in Canada? I hope you read this! Especially 1998 to 2001.
18. Statistics AP Boot Camp with Ms. Thompson and the school's computer geeks. 1998/1999 school year.
17. Eating loaves and loaves and loaves of bread at the Old Spaghetti Factory in Edmonton, with Gabriel slicing. And Ellis Foster picking up the tab for the meal! Somewhere in the first half of 2000.
16. Bringing Travis to the hospital after he gashed open his cheek while diving for the ball. Who said volleyball wasn't hardcore? Spring 2001.
15. Sneaking by Corey Porter in a game of Capture the Flag in the middle of the night at the CCC retreat while he's bragging about his amazing stealth detection skills to my teammate. February 2002.
14. Singing around a campfire in Calgary and listening to a teenage kid talk about how much more fun it was to do this kind of stuff instead of be in a gang in LA. Summer 1997? 96? 98??
13. Trying to sleep in the bathtub in Toronto because Steve and Amcal wouldn't put down the phone (we shall not go into details here, they shall forever remain secret). May 2003.
12. Talking with Verm on a sidewalk at 4 am. "I'm sleeping beside a naked man!" Summer 1999?
11. Anything ABA. 2000 to 2004.
10. Spending $50 for a bottle of wine because a girl pointed at it on the menu. Regretting that I asked if she wanted to drink some wine. Being extremely thankful that Anthony had a credit card. No girl reading this should ever think that I will do that again! Um, well, maybe if you're my wife. September 2003.
9. Pulling an amazing move to receive a mid-air pass and get past the opposing defender when playing soccer with Cliff Avenue in grade 9. Spring 1997.
8. Trying to do a LAN party at glimpse's. And failing drastically. 1999? 2000?
7. Discussing scripture with Todd Friesen during Toronto Project. Getting thrashed at Risk by Todd Friesen during Toronto Project. Summer 2001.
6. Walking into parking meters. And lamp posts. And telephone poles. And street signs. Most vivid memory was while talking with Jon and Alana at Winter Conference 2002. December 2002.
5. Covert ops. December 2004.
4. Seeing Daniel Yum accidentally drool on my carpet while reading a book on my couch. Then trying to explain to a woman who walked into the room how we were trying to clean the carpet with a revolutionary cleaning product. Sometime before he moved to Waterloo.
3. Throwing goose into a pool. Then being pushed into it after him. 2000? 2001?
2. Talking with Mori-kun about life at Karuizawa Bible Camp, Karuizawa, Japan, just after ringing in the New Year. January 1999.
1. Exchanging nothing but smilies with cloudofsky for an hour or two on MSN. Staying up all night to chat. Summer 2003.

OK, fine, there are many more. Are these even in the correct order? But this post has a practical word limit. :p

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Wanderlust Extended

Just saw this on workopoliscampus.com for SFU grads:
Job Description: As an International Media Sales Executive, s/he will be responsible for selling advertising space to captains of industry and government officials in an international environment. This job also involves extensive travel around the world (11 months a year, with extended stays of 2-3 months in different countries).

Location: Europe, Africa, Asia, Middle East, Caribbean
Oh, I am so there... interview or bust!

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Mark Jen Firing Confirmed, Looking for Partners

It is true.

Check out his blog for his various comments.

I concur with his statement:
"I think blogging is the next big thing on the Internet...Corporations should embrace this technology just like the ones before it. Companies that are confident in their offerings should let employees spread the word. In today's age of information overload, blogging is quickly emerging as the fastest and most cost-effective method of marketing."
Man, I am so on this, and I want to start an idea now. My views on blogs and corporate ethics are huge to me. Are there any communication majors out there (*cough* lmk *cough*) who want to start up a consulting practice with me to help companies with this issue? Let me know! I am dead serious.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Memories

Ala Arnold.

If you read this:

You must comment a memory of me.
It can be anything you want!
It can be good...or bad.
Just so long as it happened.
Then post this to your blog,
and see what people remember about you.

Lovely... so who actually reads this blog anyway? I notice that my hits go way up when I'm posting frequently, but drop to the floor when I'm not.

Wanderlust for the future

Ability to travel.

I used to have three things I wanted to do after grad, and I had to choose one of them. Now I have four things. Ernst & Young has a job posting for their Technology & Risk Services Division. Wow. I believe I will apply. And one of the job requirements: Ability to travel. That is cool. I'd like to travel. Heck, they might even convince me to get a CA. I'm leaning towards a CMA right now for some time in the long-term future.

I remember when another CA firm (that is, other than Ernst & Young) brought me in to interview me for the exact same job last year (except it was for co-op, not full-time). Now, I got slaughtered in the three-stage interview process. Of course they rejected me. But I ended up getting the database marketing co-op with TELUS, so all's well that ends well?

But now I get another chance at this job, except with Ernst & Young. :D And on the list of four things that I want to do, I can't decide whether this should rank #1, 2, or 3. But I shall definitely be applying. This is a song inspired by some crazy singing Lea and I did during our first Markstrat competition. :D Stupid Markstrat, always placing second. :p Good times.
IT Boy
Adapted from Sk8er Boi, by Avril Lavigne
Mutilated by PakG1

He was a boy, they were a firm
Can I make it anymore obvious?

He was a kid, they were some pros
Where did his mind go?

He wanted them, they'd never tell
Secretly they thought he couldn't spell

And all of HR just shook their heads
They thought he was on el cheapo meds

He was an IT boy, they said see ya later boy
He wasn't good enough for them
They had a nice package, but wouldn't offer him it
Their minds were stuck in a murky pit

Five years from now, they're at a ball
Talking with friends and colleagues all

They turn their heads, watch how they see
IT boy giving the keynote speech

They call up HR, they already know
And too late they're trying to get him now
They sit very still, eyes open wide
Listening and wanting to just cry

He was an IT boy, they said see ya later boy
He wasn't good enough for them
Now he's a CEO, calling the shots aloud
Showin' HR he's worth a stint

Sorry firm, but you missed out
Well tough luck, that boy's gone now
He has now taken the lead
Your competitor, you see

Too bad that you could not see
See the man that boy could be
There is more than meets the eye
Others saw the soul inside

He's just a boy, they're just a firm
Can I make it anymore obvious?

He is employed, not just a grunt
Yeah, he's having so much fun

They got the IT boy, and said see ya later boy
Be meeting you tomorrow
We've got the article
For the National Post
How that firm can't spot talent cold

Wahaha. No, I don't believe life will be like that, but it's an interesting concept. And life as a CEO isn't fun, so I don't believe I shall go that route. And law school is still in the running, until everyone rejects me. ;)

The summer will also have some travel here and there, yes indeed. And I still need to submit my application for going on a project with MSI.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

I am such a geek

So picture us sitting in my IT strategy class, discussing risk analysis.

Prof: Well, how many of you ever took any risks before?
/students raise hands
Prof: What about you, Robert, what kind of risky decision did you have to make?
PakG1: Um... (thinking fast) whether to ask a girl out?
/students laugh
Prof: So how did you make the decision?
PakG1: Um... I did a decision tree analysis....
/students laughing harder

Carly Fiorina is no longer at HP. Wow. You knew it would happen eventually, she's been attacked on and off so often. But over the last year, she made HP's share price increase about 26.67%. She had the guts to make some of the most controversial decisions in the history of the company, including the acquisition of Compaq. Her frequent use of empty platitudes (Adaptive Enterprise, anyone?) irked me to no end, but she certainly seemed to deliver some good results. It's not easy to manage a conglomerate as complicated as HP, and choosing her for CEO in 1999 was an inspiration to all aspiring female business leaders. Of course, if you want to judge her performance based on share price over the last year, you might want to note that the share price was at $116.31 when she became CEO. That's far from the $38.47 that it is now. Hehe. I hope they end up making current Xerox CEO Anne Mulcahy the new CEO of HP. What it would take to lure Mulcahy away from Xerox, who knows. But I think we need a female brain in the C-suites of the high tech world. It brings some sanity, you know? But hopefully not another plethora of empty pablum like that given to us by Fiorina.

Is Google afraid that their share price is overpriced? I think so. OK, I admit, I never thought that the share price would break $60. So now it's at $191.58. But when your share price is higher than established industry leaders, without having proven in a sustained manner that you're worth the money, you have a problem. Please expect GOOG to fall. But don't take my word for it. I am not liable for any losses you may make on shorting Google stock. I was wrong on the $60 thing. But THIS is brilliant. That Keyhole strategy investors are complaining about makes a lot more sense now, doesn't it? Just like Google's desire to buy dark fibre makes a lot of sense considering their desire to be the king of video search and their tendency to archive everything on their search spiders find. Google's ability to figure out new ways to compete through innovation never ceases to amaze me. I think Google's stock will fall sure, but they won't by any means become irrelevant any time soon. Remember the good old days when I only used Altavista? Hehehe.

Yes! Die, SCO, die.

I just finished reading Jenious and Lowlight's account of CES. Am I in the wrong field of work or what?

I see a red door and I want to paint it black.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Does anyone else see the irony in this?

If anyone's heard of the Mark Jen controversy at Google, Mark Jen has left the company. For posting his various opinions about his employer on his blog, Mark was censored and the controversy may have been a primary factor in him losing his job. The second insinuation is pure speculation, but given Google's conduct in dealing with Mark Jen before, it would not be unexpected. Ironically, Mark Jen's blog, 99zeroes is on Blogger, which was acquired by Google with the hope of promoting blogging and making it a core medium for its business activities. As of this post, he last posted on January 27, but unconfirmed rumour claims that he was let go on January 28. What Google is willing to confirm is the fact that Jen no longer works at Google. But why is he no longer there? Transparency, please.

I think we as Westerners are quick to denounce the behaviour of other nations, but often forget to look at ourselves. We're just as bad in many cases. American and even Canadian foreign policy has a spotty track record in specific cases throughout history. Internally, we're not innocent either. OK, maybe what Amnesty says about us is a lot nicer than what it says about say... North Korea. But my point is that it should be a minimum standard to not have issues like those that exist in North Korea, China, Libya, or Sudan. Should we be happy and boast that we're better than those other countries? It seems to me that's like saying, "I never murdered anyone, so I'm a good person, even though I cheat every romantic interest I meet and just use them for sex and money." Uh, yeah. @@ We should not be content, but always look to reach for higher goals, exceed expectations, and have holistic standards.

So I'm an idealist. So what? Double standards suck. If we want to have standards for others, we have to be willing to meet them ourselves first.
Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.
~Matthew 7:1-5

Eating Wild Rice

Ever since I saw the ads for Wild Rice on the side of a BC Translink bus, I've wanted to hit up this restaurant for dinner. Given that I finally get to meet John for the first time in ages, it'd be great to go there, but we must apparently go to a chicken place; it would be sacrilege if we didn't. But he claims that the chicken is spicy, so I'm game. :) So who wishes to go to Wild Rice with me? I was reminded about the restaurant by reading waiterblog via lmk here. Look at that interior! Is that stylish or what?? It just oozes class! What a cool site, waiterblog is.

Vis-a-vis the facts:
The most important thing I learned from the book addressed the topic of why women talk so much. To them talking is a form of bonding and maintaining relationships. So men, when a woman is talking to you, she's not looking for you to solve her problems, she just wants you to listen and take her side on whatever matter she's talking about. Innately men are trained to do one task at a time; to spot and hit a moving target; to be still and quiet less they startle their intended prey. They are also problem solvers and so if you ask them something, they'll inevitably think you're asking them to solve a problem.
Well, that would explain a lot about my various interactions with the opposite gender over the past year. Perhaps I shall read that book.

I noticed that Estey got a job. Congrats. You are no longer an unemployed chemical engineer. I haven't posted lately at the HCW forums, but I'll be back soon. Been busy, you know. :)

I also noticed that my leadership series still needs its first real post. Hey, at least I posted something.... Now that's showing leadership through initiative! Hehe, please note that the thesis has not died.

Hmm, so I finally went to Andrew's theosite again. Just Two Guys are fulfilling my request. They promised this back on January 11... and there's been nothing! Way to show initiative guys! My, my, look at the pot calling the kettle black here. I first talked about writing my leadership series on December 19!

Um, hehehe.

Writing the LSAT again on Feb. 12. This time, I'm actually studying. Also am on the SFU team for CaseIT. If we get beat by UBC again, I will scream. Let's see UBC beat us in Winnipeg, beat Koji in Enterprize, and may earn my eternal spite by rejecting my law school application. And CaseIT is organized by SFU. Zeph's words: "Assemble a good team. UBC's going to try to win it." Bleh. Well, we have a team. :) And KRT has plans. :D

Is my blog turning into a diary again? Perish the thought!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

The Prodigal Comes Back

Daniel is posting again. And it looks for real. I have no idea what happened to him while he wasn't posting. I have four theories:

1. Aliens abducted him.
This wouldn't be so disturbing if it weren't for the fact that Daniel's capable of creating revolutionary weaponry. I'm worried that the aliens may have brainwashed him into giving them our military secrets. Not that Canada has any, so maybe we're safe.

2. He was out saving the world.
Kudos to him, he's a brave guy. While the rest of us were sitting on our butts at home watching reruns of Friends or playing World of Warcraft, Daniel was in Antarctica stopping evil terrorist plans to utilize Alien and Predator technologies for the annihilation of computer geeks everywhere. Computer geeks run the Internet. Without them, there would be no more Internet. We would all die. The next time you play World of Warcraft, think of him.

3. He finally achieved burnout.
I wouldn't be surprised. The guy is crazy. He borders on stupid. What kind of an idiot lives on 2 hours of sleep a night anyway?

4. It was a scientific accident.
While trying to modify the circuits in his motherboard to turn his room into a time machine (he does this often, trust me), Daniel electrocuted himself and somehow ended up in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914. The assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand was actually an accident. The gunman was aiming for his old best friend, who had slept with the poor guy's wife. But Daniel walked into the picture, and bumped into the gunman. I suppose it's not that big a difference, since the gunman missed in the original version of history and hit Ferdinand anyway. But with Daniel bumping into him, the guy ended up shooting the brick corner of a building, from which a chip broke off and nailed Ferdinand right in the left temple. Chee, Daniel. You had a chance to prevent World War 1 and World War 2, but you didn't. Instead, you contributed to the cause. I shake my head in disbelief. Who knows why it took so long for him to get back. I mean, he had a friggin time machine. He could have been back 10 years ago if he wanted.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle Applied

Quantum encryption!

According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, it's impossible to observe the position and momentum of a particle without affecting the said position and momentum of the particle. So this company has an encryption technique that utilizes the principle to essentially make an encryption method that is uncrackable (in theory anyway). The data is encrypted into a series of photons, which are then streamed to their intended destination and decrypted. Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle comes into play when eavesdroppers attempt to eavesdrop on the data stream and decrypt it. The fact that the photons get disturbed somehow keeps a hacker (or cracker for those of the stingy hacker elite) from illegitimately getting to the actual data.

While my understanding of quantum mechanics is far from expert-level, it did seem to me that Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle presented some restrictions on what we could do with quantum physics (mind you, some discussions with some physicists resolved many of my questions). But this is quite interesting because what traditionally seemed like a disadvantage (at least to my feeble mind) has been utilized as an advantage. Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle is useful. I'm sure there are other applications for the principle as well, and any physicists reading this blog must be chuckling pretty heartily. Allow me my simple pleasures. :)

But even if quantum encryption is truly uncrackable, this quote really raises an important point:
"Security is a chain; it's only as strong as the weakest link. Currently encryption is the strongest link we have. Everything else is worse: software, networks, people. There's absolutely no value in taking the strongest link and making it even stronger," Bruce Schneier, chief technology officer at Counterpane Internet Security, wrote in an e-mail to CNET News.com on quantum cryptography in general.
But after working a summer in tech support, you realize that there's no cure for the stupidity inherent in many computer users.

I found out through Sara that I'm an INTP. Fairly accurate. Dang.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

I really dislike university students

I've run across one of these way too often. Sorry, when you're in 4th year, you better be able to think and survive on your own. 1st year is perhaps excusable. 2nd year is pushing it, but still bearable. 3rd year, eyebrows start being raised. But 4th year? Please fail and drop out already.... I know, I'm the epitome of grace. Kill me now. All the all-star students in our faculty graduated last year. We have no all-stars anymore.

And my goodness. My name is Porthos! I love Paris, I love life!

A note to Ehobah. PakG1 is adamant about his singleness and will keep it that way for quite some time.

I want an iPod shuffle

iPod wages secret war on Microsoft campus.

If there ever was proof of the iPod's amazing innovative design and alluring pull, this is it. Look me in the eye and tell me that this isn't funny, I dare you.
"About 80 percent of Microsoft employees who have a portable music player have an iPod," said one source, a high-level manager who asked to remain anonymous. "It's pretty staggering."

The source estimated 80 percent of Microsoft employees have a music player -- that translates to 16,000 iPod users among the 25,000 who work at or near Microsoft's corporate campus. "This irks the management team no end," said the source.

So popular is the iPod, executives are increasingly sending out memos frowning on its use.
I reiterate my point: Apple did good to focus on the iPod as a core business. They also learned from their mistake of not making their operating system cross-architecture and allowed the iPod and iTunes to be cross-platform. This gave them an amazing market penetration rate. According to Apple's own figures, they control 65% of the portable digital audio player market and 70% of online music sales. The iPod is one of the main reasons Apple's stock has been able to triple over the last year.

I don't think since Sony's Walkman has a single product ever come out that defined a new personal lifestyle. Maybe today's version of the Honda Civic. I'm quite impressed by the Civic Nation campaign. The commercials have been hip, tailored, and wow, I strangely want a Civic (but it would have to be a hybrid version, that's a requirement for any car I'd ever want to buy). But I want an iPod more.

The iPod has been so successful in creating a unique lifestyle image that a university professor is actually doing a study on it. Markus Giesler is an assistant professor of marketing at York University's Schulich School of Business. Inspired by his own love for his own iPod, he notes, "iPod therefore I am." Everyday users are encouraged to submit their personal stories of how they use their iPods. Me, I just want one for when I go skiing (though there's been no snow in the mountains for a while now...).

The iPod shuffle is just as stylish as the original iPod, except that it's solid state media (i.e. flash memory) and therefore has less memory capacity. However, it far improves on the original iPod in terms of size. I'll take a space-efficient solid state media iPod over a clunky harddrive-based iPod any day. OK, the original iPod wasn't exactly clunky. But the iPod shuffle is that much smaller. Its interface seems almost as good as the original iPod (admittedly the smaller space makes for more challenges in designing an intuitive interface), and it still has that sleek clean look.

I'm really tempted to blow my budget and buy it. @@ But we shall wait and see what Dell has up its sleeve. I notice that they keep putting on discount promotions for the DJ these days. Weren't they coming out with a solid state media MP3 player as well? The Dell DJ is certainly the leader when I take everything into consideration (price, performance, etc.). But Apple's always been the style leader. I'm willing to sacrifice style for price, whatwith my budget. But the iPod shuffle would have me in a second if I had the money.

Kudos to Apple for making quite possibly the best consumer product in all of recent history. Steve Jobs is a genius and kudos for him for admitting that going cross-platform was the right way to go this time; Apple orginally wanted to keep the iPod Mac-centric to add value to buying a Mac. For their sake, it's a good thing they didn't, or there's no way they would have reached a 65% market share.