Monday, February 28, 2011

Red Bull X1

I just made it to level 30 in Gran Turismo 5 which means I can try out the Red Bull X1 race car. The actual car does not exist; it's only available virtually in GT5. It's what a F1 car would be like without restrictions.

The only problem is that the car is so fast that I can't control it. The challenge is to drive it on three tracks within a certain time limit. I watched the "demo lap" on Suzuka Circuit (real track in Japan) and it takes the final chicane at ~100 mph. I don't think I can steer fast enough on my Logitech wheel at that speed. I did manage to get bronze on the Monza course. The time limit was 2:19.00 for two laps; I think I made it in ~2:18.2.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Made To Worship - Chris Tomlin

Made To Worship (Acoustic) - Chris Tomlin

Verse 1:
Before the day, before the light
Before the world revolved around the sun
God on high stepped down into time
And wrote the story of His love for everyone

He has filled our hearts with wonder
So that we always remember

You and I were made to worship
You and I are called to love
You and I are forgiven and free
When you and I embrace surrender
When you and I choose to believe
Then you and I will see who we were meant to be

Verse 2:
All we are and all we have
Is all a gift from God that we receive
Brought to life, we open up our eyes
To see the majesty and glory of the King

Even the rocks cry out
Even the heavens shout
At the sound of His holy name
So let every voice sing out
Let every knee bow down
He is worthy of all our praise

Chinese Internet

Soon, there will be two "Internets"... one inside of China, and one for the rest of the world.

Sadly, this is the new image of China. I can't imagine living there... sorry, Leon.

Los Angeles Times
With a wary eye on popular uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa, Chinese leaders are calling for new ways to defuse social unrest in what appears to be an ominous harbinger of tighter controls on the Internet and elsewhere.

Splashed across the front page of Monday's People's Daily newspaper were highlights of a speech given by President Hu Jintao at a Saturday meeting that included all nine members of the Politburo's standing committee and senior cadres from around the country.

Hu, in the speech at the Central Party School in Beijing, called on the nation to "enhance and complete management of information on the Internet" and to "establish a system of public opinion guidance on the Internet," according to excerpts. The speech also called for danwei, the work units to which Chinese traditionally belong, to enhance their roles in "social management"; for a database that would keep track of the movements of migrant populations; and to make clear the "social responsibilities" of private companies.

Zhou Yongkang, the country's top law enforcement official, also called for officials to "strive to defuse conflicts and disputes while they are still embryonic."

Some analysts considered Hu's speech a call to heighten social and media control.

Why is this sh*t acceptable to the Chinese people?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Traffic Cams

I just found out that has a lot of traffic cams in Orange County. However, most of them are on the toll roads that don't have much traffic. Weird.

55 North at Warner

This is what I see each night if I go home between 5pm to 7pm. :(

Crappy GPS

Even with the Android OS 2.2 update, the GPS performance in my Samsung Vibrant/Galaxy is still crap. It took about 10 minutes for the phone to lock on to a GPS signal, though most of the time it was seeing 3-4 satellites. I'm not sure who to blame... Samsung? Google? T-Mobile? People at work say there is a BCM4329 combo chip (WLAN/Bluetooth/GPS/FM) in the phone... is that causing the problem? The Bluetooth connection to my new car is problematic too. It keeps connecting and disconnecting by itself. I have to manually turn Bluetooth off then on from the phone to reconnect. Lame.

And where is the FM radio app on my phone?! This I think I can blame on T-mobile for disabling it.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Government Scam

I got a letter from the City of Orange today. As if I don't pay enough taxes to the federal government and the state of California, the city wants some of my hard-earned money. Since I help out Leon on some PMI stuff, there are some travel expenses that I don't get reimbursed, and my tax guy files a Schedule C to get a small tax deduction. Well, the City of Orange has determined that I need a "business license" even though I don't really have a business, and receive zero income. I understand if a business uses resources but from the documentation, they decided that any "business" activity, even just consulting for a friend, is a "business" and needs a license and be taxed.

So now, under the threat of more fines and penalties, I have to send in $104 for really no good reason, and "renew" for $23 each year. I post all the time that the communist government in China is like a big mafia; I am disappointed to find that my city government is not much better. Well, at least I can bitch about it online... for now.


BTW, I did this for years while living in Brea and in Costa Mesa. None of those cities asked for money. I already pay the City of Orange ~$8,000/year in property taxes and have to pay for ambulance services. Rent-seeking low-life @$#%!&*!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Aria Hotel Minibar

My parents and I stayed at the new Aria Hotel in Las Vegas last week. Like most "luxury" hotels, they have a minibar in the room with ridiculous prices. Like many travelers, my parents brought some food and drinks, and used the minibar fridge to cool them.

I checked out without seeing the bill and today I noticed a lot of extra charges on my credit card. I called Aria and they sent me the invoices. For my parent's room, there was $35 of minibar charges:
Diet Coke $4.50
Water $5.00
Water $5.00
Coke $4.50
Sprite $4.50
Pistachio $12.00

I told the CSR that we didn't use any of the items. His response was that there are sensors in the fridge (and on the desktop evidently) that charges you if you remove an item for more than 30 seconds. He did remove the charges without me complaining further so my guess is that they get a lot of calls on this.

There are thousands of rooms in Aria. It must of cost a lot of money to put weight sensors on each minibar item in each room. Is this a good investment?

Heavy Metal K-pop


Noh Lee Young - newest member of After School

Sunday, February 13, 2011

SeeYa is no more

The Last + 내겐 너무 멋진 그대 - SeeYa
Final performance on Inkigayo

Too bad. I really liked them early on, well before Nam Gyuri's wardrobe malfunction. All three have pretty good voices. Gyuri actually left the group but came back to promote this last album (2 new songs + a bunch of old songs).

她來聽我的演唱 - Jacky Cheung 張學友

她來聽我的演唱 - Jacky Cheung 張學友

He sang this song at the concert in Las Vegas. It was one of the many songs I've never heard of... unfortunately, I only remember the title of this song and I happened to have it in my iTunes library.


Some photos from the concert at Caesar's Palace. They were being really strict about having no photos/videos during the concert so I didn't get any good shots.

Empty stage before the concert

Colosseum at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas

Jacky sang for about 2.5 hours and had good interaction with the audience, mainly in Cantonese though. A few songs (both his and other people's) were rearranged and sounded really cool... too bad I couldn't get a recording. Maybe they'll put out a concert DVD or something.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

KMF 2011

It's time for Korean Music Festival again. I've gone the past two years in a row (and spent too much on tickets). Tickets went on sale at the end of January but I can't seem to find out who's coming. Who would buy concert tickets without knowing the artist?

Must see artists:
- Brown Eyed Girls
- Sistar

Sadly, that's all. If there are lots of artists I sorta-like, then I may go as well.

Android 2.2 on Samsung Vibrant/Galaxy S

It's been about a day and a half since I upgraded my phone's Android OS to version 2.2. So far, it's been working well. I don't notice that many differences which is probably a good thing.

One of the reasons I upgraded was to get Skype running on my phone. However, the Skype app is pretty lame. On the PC, you can stack multiple physical phone numbers on a Skype contact. However, on the Android app, physical phone numbers do not show up unless they're on a standalone contact. I guess I can go back to the PC and break apart each combined contact (e.g., Leon has 3 phone numbers) but since I have Google Voice, there's really no need to use Skype-out calling. Also, you can't send SMS to a phone contact using the Android, which is the main reason I wanted Skype on my phone; Google Voice can't send SMS to international phone numbers.

I'm just happy the upgrade didn't brick my phone. The last time I tried to upgrade firmware on a Linksys 11g router, it bricked on me... that's why I'm all Netgear now.

Shareholder Value

Executive Officer
Total Amount of Bonus

President and Chief Executive Officer

Executive Vice President and
Chief Financial Officer

Executive Vice President & General Manager,
Broadband Communications Group

Executive Vice President & General Manager,
Infrastructure & Networking Group

Executive Vice President & General Manager,
Wireless & Mobile Group

Senior Vice President, Corporate Controller and
Principal Accounting Officer

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Froyo... finally

Samsung released Android OS v2.2 (aka Froyo) for the Vibrant (Galaxy S variant) on January 20th. Since it's not a "required" release, they were quiet about it and I only found out through a Google search. You have to download Kies (Samsung software) and upgrade through a USB cable; T-Mobile won't do an OTA (over the air) upgrade.

Strange thing though... I received an OTA update while I was in Vegas on Wednesday. It didn't tell me what the upgrade was for and it only took about 5 minutes. Maybe it was some minor fix for v2.1. Anyway, I hope the Froyo upgrade won't brick my phone.

Excel 2007 Sucks

I just got back from vacation and slammed at work having to cover two jobs with crazy deadlines. Of course, Excel picks this time to crash constantly. I thought that Excel 2003 was much more stable than Excel 2007, which can't seem to handle copying/pasting entire columns without running out of memory. Now Excel is sitting there trying to "recover my documents"... usually this doesn't work either.

Another two hours of work wasted... if Microsoft made cars, we'd all be dead.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Dell Tech Support

We've been having a weird bug with the new computer (Dell Inspiron 2305). The screen would randomly turn off while we're using the computer and nothing will bring it back. The only solution so far has been to hold down the power button to turn off the computer then restarting it again. I think this has happened 3x in the last month.

Since it takes forever to "talk" to anyone live, I'm on a Tech Support chat with CLKsmb_Allan_18863 at Dell. I started the chat at 9:17am... it's now 9:33am and so far we've determined that I don't have a laptop, and we need to run diagnostics. During the chat, he had to go and find the manual.

The diagnostic is a pre-boot diag which means I have to turn off the computer. Great... hopefully I don't have to tell the next guy my computer is not a laptop.


So far, there's no errors but the rest of the diagnostics will take ~30 minutes. The tech support guy tried to sell me extra warranty at the end of the chat. How'bout getting the computer to work first before trying to take more of my money?!