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User Journal

Journal: Sorry for the lack of writing

Journal by MarvinMouse

I've been writing more on my new website/blog at http://www.1337hax0r.com

Since I coded the blog though, I could theoretically double up the production of any article I write on there by auto-posting it here on Slashdot. :-) If anyone is interested of course.

Otherwise, I may post some more stuff here eventually, but not very often. To all the people who enjoy reading my journal entries, feel free to check out my blog above on a regular basis, or follow it's RSS feed at http://www.1337hax0r.com/feed.php

The Media

Journal: Advertising! ARGH! 2

Journal by MarvinMouse

geebus saints cripes! I can't stand watching television anymore, just because the blatent lies and horrid things that companies promote is so disturbing and upsetting. (when I watch TV now, I just crank the volume down and work on my computer so I don't have to see commercials.)

It's obvious that the media has finally evolved to where many media scientists (not quite sure of the term to use.) expected it to evolve. Television shows are not written to attract you to their station because they are good, but rather are wrapping around the commercials. Why pay big bucks for quality media when you can get people to act like asses and still make the same money from advertising. But... since this is not a rant on television shows, but rather advertising, I'll move on.

Okay, well, let's start with my favorite one. Do you know what was a great memory from my childhood, going on those long family trips with my sisters, and playing around in the back seat of the car, watching the landscape going by, taking pictures with my $2 macdonalds cheap-ass camera (yeah, I used to eat there, not anymore.) I still have some of those pictures, and I still remember all of the fussing we had, but I also remember how much those trips brought our family together, and how many stories we have now about it. While I acknowledge we had some rough spots, they just added to the experience, and no one really lost out from it.

But now what are companies promoting in cars? Sedate your children in the back seat by showing them more useless bullshit television. Heaven forbid they be children and do typical children things that they do on trips. Heaven forbid that for one instant you take care of your own _damn child_. Nope, instead we are told that it's a good idea to put yet another television into your life to sell and advertise useless crap to you while being wrapped in cheesy little DVD wrappers. (yes, even DVDs have advertisements now.) Everytime I see that commercial, where they show these amazing landscapes and the car driving smoothly through them, and then they flip to the inside and the children have their eyes glued to yet another television it makes me sick, but that's what they want to sell you. Sedate yourself, ignore the world, and heaven forbid if you take care of your own children yourself.

Well, that's not the only commercial that drives me up the wall, but I think it'll be the one I rant about today. maybe tommorow I'll do another one. ;-)

newaiz, have fun, and remember to turn off the TV and computer once and a while. You may be surprised at how much time you have and what else you can do.

User Journal

Journal: Proud to be Canadian.. (yet again!) 5

Journal by MarvinMouse

Other than the fact that if Indecisive Warmongerer Paul Martin is made head of the Liberals, I won't even consider voting Liberal until he is gone, I am very proud to be Canadian after reading this.

U.S. says Canada cares too much about liberties

Especially considering this.

Hopefully Canada will be the defining link to what is true freedom in this world, and hopeful Paul Martin won't ruin it for us all.

Oh yeah, and this is kick ass as well, just watching it soar.

So.. sorry for waving my flag patriotically today, I just had the urge. :-)

Spam

Journal: Offer to any antispam company 6

Journal by MarvinMouse

I receive over 200+ spams a day... Most of which are unique. I am willing to forward these spams to any antispam company on a regular basis so that they can get a really large sample of different spam sent out daily and determine how best to program their software to prevent it.

In exchange, I do ask for some free spam filtering software, or something to reduce the sheer amount of spam I receive daily.

User Journal

Journal: A man I saw walking... 1

Journal by MarvinMouse

This won't be a too technical journal entry, just so you are aware ahead of time.

--

I was on the bus yesterday, and as always I was trying to avoid unclassily gawking at the young women that I found attractive, and rather force myself to stare out the window at the people on the street. As always, I saw the same ol' stuff... the old car repair shop... the student housing that is for rent for the summer... same ol' everything.

But then, I saw something that caught my eye, an older man, somewhere between 45 and 60, I am not certain. In his business suit, he was walking down the street. Now, this alone wouldn't have caught my attention, but there was more to this mans walk than that.

When I first saw him, I thought, "Wow, there is a man with a purpose. There is a man I could respect." Yet, I couldn't explain why until I started to watch other people walking down the street and thought about how the man was walking.

Here's what I discovered were the reasons for this instant respect for a man I didn't even know.

He stared straight ahead, not at his feet, or in the clouds. He knew where he was going and looked determined to reach there. Most of the university students and other people I saw were usually staring at their feet, or had a dazed look in their eyes.

His stride was strong and straight forward, with his hands out of his pockets. Again, the other people I saw walking seemed less to walk, and more vaguely saunter down the street. They all seemed to barely have enough energy to make each stride. Yet this man, looked like he has the energy of a hundred of the other people I saw. Each stride was strong forceful and direct.

He was clean shaven and well dressed. Naturally this adds to the look of anyone. Yet, I never realized that it helped this much. Most of the other people I saw walking around on the street looked as if they had just crawled out of the dumpster behind the Salvation Army, and were holding up their pants with extensions cords they got from their mom.

But... Even if I am wrong about all this, I do know that when I saw this man, I had an amazing feeling of respect for him come over me. Perhaps he was just a janitor, or maybe he was an executive at one of the tech companies out here. Yet, no matter what, he was proud, happy and strong with where he was, and he showed it in his walk. He was worthy of respect if only for just that.

United States

Journal: A short discussion on the war.

Journal by MarvinMouse

I read this earlier today, and thought that I would share it. I found it to be a very thoughtful discussion on the war.

---

The war has begun...God help us all...and protect the innocent. Fr. Tim Uniac ... came back from Florida (Last Sunday) after visiting Fr. Norm Choate and his parents who winter in Florida. He told us that when he was at Sunday Mass, the priest prayed for peace. Suddenly, a man in the back stood up and very loudly said, "I will not pray for peace. We need to bomb those sons of ..." Then the man got out of hte pew and left Mass. Other friends and family I have spoken to in the States all express divided opinion and confusion over the war with Iraq. Many are heavily in favour of Bush policies and decision and are vilifying the nations who spoke against the US decision. They are, in Bush's words, the coalition of hte unwilling. But most of those I spoke with said that they could not make much sense out of the inexorable drive to go to war. They told me, that the issues are just not as clear as Bush makes them out to be.

I was listening to an interview on CBC on Monday which simply asked where the peace and protest music is during this time of conflict. During the Vietnam war, music played a big part in expressing the angst most felt over the tragedy of conflict, destruction, and death that they saw unfolding on TV. There were songs about Kent State, the university where four protesting students were killed by the US National Guard. Songs blared out words like, "war, good God y'all, what is it good for... absolutely nothing." The music and words gave form shape and vent to the souls of those who hungered for more, for better ways of relating, for peace. Now, it seems that the music is silent or absent from the airwaves because a few corporations control much of the media. There is no money in protest. On top of that, it seems that in this Iraqi crisi, any dissenting voice that holds an opinion different from the American presidency and White House is labeled as traitorous, unpatriotic, cowardly, weak, and the list goes on.

Dr. Micheal Higgens recently returned from ... Spain last week. He said that those he spoke with described a sense gloom and quiet despair hovering over Europe, not to mention a growing anti-American and anti-Jewish sentiment (because of the Palestinian/Isreali conflict). The fall out from this war, most expressed, will last for a long time. Not only has diplomacy failed but the UN has been dealt a serious blow to its position as a world moderator and forum for international dialogue, aid and diplomacy. These are hard times. ...

In the days ahead, as we watch war unfold like a video game from the comfort of our own homes... Let us believe in the possibility of peace, in the dream of a reconciled world where even enemies can sit down together at table and those estranged can reach out in friendship. But we must begin with ourselves by disarming our own hearts.

In the menatime, as we work toward peace, let us continue to pray for peace, and for all those who suffer because of war and conflict and greed. The war has begun, God help us find our way back to love.

(Posted with permission from Fr. Jim Link, UCC, Waterloo.)

Science

Journal: Support Folding @ Home 2

Journal by MarvinMouse

Folding @ Home

If you are going to donate your spare cycles to a worthwhile project. Join Folding @ Home, team 12005. For a few reasons.

1. Team 12005 has a really nice page to view your stats on.
http://folding.cubicproductions.com

2. Folding at home produces useful results that the medical community is using to help you and your friends live longer healthier lives

3. The software is stable, and has never crashed or caused problems for me (On Windows and Linux)

4. It's fun to watch your name climb the ranks.

From the team that I am on's web site:
  We are giving up our spare (and sometimes not so spare) cpu cycles to medical science, in particular the Folding@Home project. In a nutshell, the project goal is to simulate the folding, unfolding and misfolding of various proteins across thousands (millions, perhaps) of computers worldwide in a unified effort. Sections of this simulation, called work units, are given to each computer, which in turn solves one tiny piece of the puzzle. Organizations, clubs, groups, etc, can band together their CPU power in "teams" and contend for the top spot in friendly (though fierce) competition, ranked by completed work units. Many different proteins are involved in many different situations, and the project will last for years to come, revealing lots of interesting discoveries along the way. In specific, it is hoped that the results of this effort will help in finding the eventual cures of diseases like Mad Cow, Alzeimers, Parkinsons, various Cancers, HIV (AIDS), etc.

So, help out today. Join Team 12005 on Folding @ Home.

It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal: Quick quip someone told me. 1

Journal by MarvinMouse

I thought this was cute.

"If you want to make someone instantly dislike you, tell them you are good at math.

If you want them to hate you, tell them you do math for a living.

If you want them to hit you, tell them you also do statistics."

User Journal

Journal: Looking for Topics... 1

Journal by MarvinMouse

I promised to write a ton of stuff over the last year, and I honestly don't remember it all.

If any of my fans, or people who read my journal on a regular basis want to. Here is your opportunity to ask me about any topic your heart desires, and I'll see about writing a journal entry on it. As I know I promised to "write more about it later", and usually never did. :-) I promise I will write anything I can about the topic that are suggested here. (if any.)

Programming

Journal: GUIs, Look and Feel, and OSes...

Journal by MarvinMouse

After using KDE, Gnome and other Windows Managers. As well, as usings Windows for many many years (far too many for my preference.) As well, programming in MFC, GTK and a bunch of other toolkits to handle GUIs. I came to a realization of what the industry should be doing, but isn't.

Right now the "look and feel" of any program is commonly left up to the program itself to control. Thus, you end up with operating systems full of programs that each individually look good, but as a whole look absolutely horrid (like a hodge-podge of randomness). So, I went to thinking about this, and wondered "what can be done to make any program you code not only look good under any windows manager, but also simply convertable between operating systems." Then it hit me, we've been doing this for years, but for some reason no one ever has implemented it.

** Incorporate the standard GUI into the programming language **

So, for example, if I code in C++, all of the standard GUI parts (window, button, scrollbar, etc) are incorporated into it. Thus, when the program is compiled under any operating system, it will naturally absorb the "look and feel" of the operating system. Thus, there is no need to reprogram for each OS, and the look and feel will naturally come out of the code you program. Sure, I acknowledge that you won't be able to do all of the useless thing Microsoft adds to their programs that waste time and processing power, but overall a operating system will beging to look like a unified entity.

Now, is this a difficult thing to do? I don't think it is. Almost every gui toolkit I have used has roughly the same structures. All that is needed is for these structures to be standardized. In Linux, the opportunity for this is great. Since you can standardize the structures, and then code all of the Windows Managers to use those structures. Thus, there isn't even a need to recompile the program under different WMs. In Windows, on the other hand, this isn't as easy. This require Microsoft to be willing to give up a small portion of their "proprietary" property, to allow for an advancement of the common good.

A menu is a menu, a button is a button. Sure, some OSs and Windows Managers can allow for even more fancy GUI objects, but as long as it is standardized and understood what the GUI objects are, it becomes amazingly easy for people to create programs that look and feel right in any environment they are used.

We need this standard. As soon as we have it, then GUIs will finally be able to advance miles beyond where they are currently. Standardize GUI programming, and make the look and feel an OS dependent function. Get rid of the "skins" in programs, and let the OS handle what skin the person wants. Thus, the person can have their look and feel exactly as they wish.

Standardize the GUI.

User Journal

Journal: 20 tidbits from a bitter man. 2

Journal by MarvinMouse

20 valuable tidbits of advice from a person who is bitter and upset. (Take this as a warning that this is very bitter and might be upsetting to those wearing rose-coloured glasses.)

**
Do you know what I figured out this year, if nothing else. I learned actually a few things this year...

Here's my valuable tidbits of advice.
1. It doesn't matter whether you are correct or not, people won't listen if they don't agree.
2. Girls/Men who let you know they love you, don't. Girls/Men who do, won't let you know.
3. The human race is not intelligent... some humans are intelligent, but the human race on average is as smart as a rat.
4. Speaking of rats, you cannot trust most people in the human race. Good rule of thumb, don't trust anyone.
5. Money is a sad thing that we base our lives around and worship... but unfortunately, when you get rid of it, there ain't much else.
6. God... well.. We won't go there.
7. Life Sucks... realize that and get over it while you are young, and you'll enjoy life more when you get older.
8. People won't tell you how they feel about you. They'll tell absolutely everyone else who'll listen, but not you.
9. The people we vote in, no matter what we do, are just listening to the people with money. They don't care about you, and likely never will.
10. The girl you are interested in is taken...
or if not taken, not interested in you...
or if not taken and interested in you...
is dead or imaginary or lost.
11. You'll always make some stupid mistake you'll regret for the rest of your life, and there is absolutely nothing you'll be able to do to rectify it... So just accept it.
12. Money isn't the root of all evil.
Power is the root of all evil.
Money just leads to power.
13. If nothing happens when we die, it'll be an incredibly humourous thing. Considering how few people live for now.
14. I hate Starbucks and all they represent, I believe workers deserve fair wages and so on... but they just make such darn good Iced Tazo Chais.
15. The USA just scares me... That's it. The third world war will be likely started by them.
16. You'll never supress the people who disagree with your opinions and views.
17. A computer is machine. Not a robot, not a person, not an animal, nothing more. It is just an assembly line of electrons that performs mathematics.
18. In general, the popular belief is wrong. Natural medicine _does not work_; There are no UFOs; Psychics are just good con artists; And no one is talking to your dead grandmother about the letter K.
19. The nude female body is the most beautiful thing in the world right now. No piece of art has surpassed that yet.
20. If you have a girlfriend or boyfriend who you love and loves you, go and show them you care. You are luckier than you could possibly believe right now.

**

There you go, my 20 tidbits from a bitter man. Hopefully they'll make your life more livable, and help you understand what's really going on around you.

The Almighty Buck

Journal: Supply and Demand... reversed?

Journal by MarvinMouse

It is humourous what happened today. I was at the local store looking at some products that I was interested in purchasing (Actually it was a used CD store with CDs for sale, anywaiz).

It was actually the first time I have ever purchased used CDs. I commonly am the guy who downloads the few songs that he likes by an artist, and when I pass a certain number of songs, I go out to the HMV or go to amazon.ca or chapters.ca and purchase the CD. (I feel that when I have the entire album on MP3, then it is unfair to the artist... Plus, obviously I love the entire album, so it becomes worth the money. But this is an argument for another time.) Well, a friend of mine brought me to this used CD shop, and overall a lot of the products were priced only a few bucks under a normal CD ($11-18). So, I didn't think I saw any really good deals... Then I noticed some CDs that were less then $10, and they were by artists I really like, so I was quite excited...

Unfortunately though, I realized that I have also been trained not to trust "cheap" products... I looked at these products, CDs that I know I've wanted for a while, and stopped... thinking with some trepidation... "Why are these CDs so cheap? Is the music worse than I thought? Should I really buy this?"

Then I realized how often I really do that in real life. I have a set price range for almost all the products I purchase... a max price which I would never consider (for CDs it is usually around $25-30 depending on the quality of the CD), and apparently I have a minimum price as well.

Anything above the max price I look at warily thinking that its someone trying to mess me out of my money...

And, ironically, I look at anything below the min price as well with that same point of view. I think to myself "obviously, this person wants to get some money for this, but cannot get rid of it, so he's lowered the price... Thus the product must be bad."

It's kind of a reverse supply and demand. (Unfortunately, I haven't taken economics, so I don't know if this is actually included in the theory or not.) But it is interesting to note that if you sell a product, don't offer it for _too low_ a price... People won't buy it, and think you are trying to scam them as much as the people who overcharge for the same product.

Just some interesting insights...

On the + side, I did buy the CDs of the artists I like, and they are amazing. So I was wrong. :-)

I cannot draw a cart, nor eat dried oats; If it be man's work I will do it.

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