Monday, July 30, 2007

Sound Check

Hmm, during sound check this morning, the sound engineers told me to turn down my bass amp volume on stage. The dial ended up at less than 1/2 the gain even though I couldn't hear myself too well; I had it cranked all the way up during rehearsal on Thursday. It's still better than my old Peavey combo amp but not sure if it's worth the ~$600 I spent. I guess I'll hold off on a preamp until I get a rack case.

Also, the drummer asked during sound check if we can turn down the bass in our monitor mix since he can hear all my mistakes. Sigh... I think I played better for the actual worship service but it was a bit discouraging nevertheless. :(

Friday, July 27, 2007

Bass Rig

This is my current setup:

- Yamaha RBX250 4-string bass (from 1992)
- BBE DI-100x direct box
- Carvin DMC1000 amp
- Eden D210T cabinet

I'm a bit disappointed in the volume during rehearsal. The setup is not very loud but should be sufficient for monitoring purposes since I'm also sending signal to the main house system. I think it's because the impedance of the cabinet is 8 ohms which drop my amp to 225W per channel RMS. I plugged my amp into a 4x10 cab in the ministry center and it was much louder. Also, since my bass has passive pickups and BBE DI is not a real preamp, I'm probably not sending enough signal to the amp. I either need to get a better preamp or bridge the amp which should double the power output.

I'm going to leave it for now. The next purchase needs to be a rack case since I'm carting the amp around in the original Carvin cardboard box. :(

Another One Bites the Dust

I just found out that another one of our undergrad finance hires from USC last year is quitting. Out of 5 hires, that leaves only one left in Irvine: two quit and two were forced to leave due to work visa problems (although we transferred one of them to Singapore). I'm not sure if it's just new graduates trying to figure out what they want to do with their life or if I've been here so long that I don't see problems.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Paging Nicolaus Copernicus



Wow. One stupid guy I can understand, but 56% of the audience thought the Sun revolves around the Earth! It would have been even funnier if he used the 50/50 and it eliminated Mars and Venus.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Head Injury

I watched an episode of CSI:Miami several nights ago where one of the CSI guys got shot in the head. He was in the hospital and was asking for his sister who died in a previous episode. A doctor commented that in severe head trauma, the victim may sustain memory loss.

Is this true? I'd hate to sustain a head injury and wake up somewhere asking for Shirley. That would suck.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Used bass cabinet

I'm off to pick up a used bass cab I found on Craigslist. It's an Eden D210T which has dual 10" speakers. It's about 60 lbs. which is close to what my Peavey amp weighs. Now all I need to do is to find an amp for the cabinet. I'm still debating on getting a real bass amp head or a PA amp (Carvin DCM1000/$300) connected to my BBE DI-100x.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Pupils browse porn on donated laptops

Reuters
ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigerian schoolchildren who received laptops from a U.S. aid organization have used them to explore pornographic sites on the Internet, the official News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported Thursday.

NAN said its reporter had seen pornographic images stored on several of the children's laptops.

"Efforts to promote learning with laptops in a primary school in Abuja have gone awry as the pupils freely browse adult sites with explicit sexual materials," NAN said.

A representative of the One Laptop Per Child aid group was quoted as saying that the computers, part of a pilot scheme, would now be fitted with filters.

Great... I'm sure my tax dollars are involved somehow. I thought there were a lot of computers available in Nigeria already, judging from the volume of email spam I get from there.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

LA Galaxy

Boy they suck. I watched most of the soccer match between LA Galaxy and Chelsea on a Spanish channel (no ESPN). It was a pretty lopsided game although the final score was only 1-0 Chelsea. They were much more precise in their passing and plays; the Galaxy looked like a high school team compared to Chelsea.

David Beckham came in at about the 36 minute mark in the 2nd half. I think he touched the ball 5 or 6 times and they let him have the final corner kick. He has an ankle injury or something so he didn't play much.

==========

In the U.S., we have official sponsorship for cars, cameras, etc. I just checked out Chelsea FC's website and there is a betting section. They have official online betting partners: Power Paddy Casino, Coral Poker, and a sports book. I wonder if they have an official beer or pub sponsor too.

Also, the Galaxy website is available in English and Espa├▒ol while Chelsea has English, simplified Chinese, and Korean. I guess the Korean is there since Samsung is their sponsor but why Chinese?


That's a lot of characters for "Chelsea"

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Efficient Market Theorem

Press Release
IRVINE, Calif. and NEW YORK, July 19, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- Broadcom Corporation (Nasdaq: BRCM) and Verizon Wireless, an affiliate of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), today announced a licensing agreement that permits the continued importation and sale by Verizon Wireless of mobile devices that are the subject of the current litigation between Broadcom and Qualcomm Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM) before the U.S. International Trade Commission.

The agreement allows Verizon Wireless, the largest wireless provider in the country by revenue, to sell new handsets and other wireless devices, ensuring the availability of the latest cell phone technology in handsets and personal digital assistants (PDAs) to consumers and businesses. Under the agreement, Verizon Wireless will make payments to Broadcom at a rate of $6.00 for each 1xEV-DO handset, PDA or data card sold after the effective date, subject to a maximum payment of $40 million per calendar quarter and a lifetime maximum payment of $200 million. The agreement provides Verizon a license to the six Broadcom patents currently being litigated between Broadcom and Qualcomm. Other terms and conditions of the agreement are confidential.

We learned in b-school that the market is efficient and news gets factored into the stock price in matter of minutes. The press release went out at 2:32pm. Here are the stock charts for BRCM and QCOM at 3:10pm with a 20 min delay.


BRCM


QCOM

Chinese, English Speakers Vary at Math

Live Science
WASHINGTON (AP)-Things add up differently for native English speakers compared with people who learned Chinese as a first language.

Simple arithmetic was easily done by both groups, but they used different parts of the brain, a new study shows.

Researchers used brain imaging to see which parts of the brain were active while people did simple addition problems, such as 3 plus 4 equals 7. All participants were working with Arabic numerals which are used in both cultures.

Both groups engaged a portion of the brain called the inferior parietal cortex, which is involved in quantity representation and reading.

But native English speakers also showed activity in a language processing area of the brain, while native Chinese speakers used a brain region involved in the processing of visual information, according to the report in Tuesday's issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The article doesn't explain whether they believe this is cultural or genetic. I think they should test Chinese-Americans that were born in Asia but learn to speak/read English at a young age. They should also test Vietnamese, Malay, or Indonesian people since they use romanized writing vs. Chinese pictographic characters.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Lord Stanley's Cup


... is downstairs right now!

I think Henry brought it for Family Day at Broadcom today. Each group was alloted some time to take pictures and finance was at 8am. Of course, I wasn't on the invite list but since it was in my building and I got here early, I crashed the party and took some pictures (which I will post as soon as I find my camera's USB cable).





Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Pope declares Protestants cannot have churches

The Guardian
Protestant churches yesterday reacted with dismay to a new declaration approved by Pope Benedict XVI insisting they were mere "ecclesial communities" and their ministers effectively phonies with no right to give communion.

Coming just four days after the reinstatement of the Latin mass, yesterday's document left no doubt about the Pope's eagerness to back traditional Roman Catholic practices and attitudes, even at the expense of causing offence.

The view that Protestants cannot have churches was first set out by Pope Benedict seven years ago when, as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, he headed the Vatican "ministry" for doctrine. A commentary attached to the latest text acknowledged that his 2000 document, Dominus Iesus, had caused "no little distress".

But it added: "It is nevertheless difficult to see how the title of 'Church' could possibly be attributed to [Protestant communities], given that they do not accept the theological notion of the Church in the Catholic sense and that they lack elements considered essential to the Catholic Church."

Duh! That's why Protestants are not Catholic; we don't have to listen to this guy. Is he's claiming the word "church" can only mean the Catholic church? I guess we need to rename NewSong Church to NewSong Ecclesial Community.

Way to make yourself even more irrelevant to the Protestant community.

Candidates lost in Chinese translation

USA Today article
Boston's 2008 presidential primary ballot could read like a bad Chinese menu.

There might be "Sticky Rice" in column A, "Virtue Soup" in column B and, in column C, "Upset Stomach."

Those could be choices facing some voters if the names of Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson and Hillary Rodham Clinton were converted into Chinese characters, according to Massachusetts' top election official. And that gives Secretary of State William Galvin heartburn.

On Tuesday, Galvin filed a challenge in federal court to a Justice Department agreement requiring that ballots be fully translated to protect the rights of Chinese-speaking voters.

Galvin says Chinese — which uses characters, not letters; has sounds with several meanings; and is spoken in several dialects — will create ballot chaos.

This is stupid. I can live with translating voting instructions, even though citizens are supposed to have some English proficiency, but transliterating candidate names into Chinese characters is retarded. Most Chinese names are chosen specifically for their meaning (and number of strokes) and are pronounced differently depending on the dialect. On a voting ballot, all you need is to distinguish one from candidate from another. If a voter can't even tell the difference visually between "Hillary Clinton" and "Fred Thompson", I'm not sure that person should be voting. Also, unless candidates are running ads with their new "Chinese" names, how will the voter know who they are on the ballot on election day?

What I want to know is whether they will print the Chinese ballots with traditional or simplified characters. Taiwanese people will probably protest for a "Taiwanese" ballot since they claim they're not Chinese.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Live Earth

Seriously, who are they trying to reach with Live Earth? Are there people at the concerts or watching online that haven't heard about global warming? Eight concerts! I wonder how much electricity it took to power all the sound equipment and lighting at each concert. Not to mention how much oil was burned by cars and buses to get everyone to the concerts.

Whatever...

Friday, July 6, 2007

1 vs 100

I'm watching this game show on NBC where one contestant goes up against 100 people (the Mob) and answer multiple choice (3 choices) questions. At each stage, the contestant gets more money per wrong answer by the Mob. Anyway, a new contestant comes up (from Tustin!) and the first questions was:

Which one has the least number of cells?
A. Eastern Gray Squirrel
B. Calista Flockhart
C. Amoeba

The contestant had no idea what an amoeba was so she had to use a "help" which meant that she would go with the most popular answer. Of course the answer was amoeba but 11 out of the 100 got it wrong. I thought we learned this stuff in junior high school biology.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Subpoena

"No good deed goes unpunished."

I got a subpoena tonight. I witnessed an accident near the 5 freeway and Alton Parkway awhile back. Doing the "right" thing, I stopped to help and the CHP took down my name as a witness. Last year, I was deposed by a couple of lawyers representing an insurance company. It took 45 minutes and I had to review a transcript of everything I said. I guess the case is now in arbitration and they want me to show up again. I don't even remember when the accident occurred anymore and not sure why they need me at all after the deposition.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

"Free" Cable TV

I split my incoming cable for my cable modem and plugged it into my new TV just to see what I could get. With the old analog TV, all I could get was CBS and G4. To my surprise, the new TV picked up some analog channels but also a whole bunch of digital channels, including some 1080i HD ones and 45 "music" channels. Weeding out duplicates and shopping/Spanish stations, I think I have about 25 channels I can watch.

I don't know if this is actually good news since I'll probably end up spending too much time watching TV again.