Friday, December 28, 2012

Disneyland Fireworks

I was at Disneyland on Christmas Day with my sister's family. We got there when the parked opened at 8am and stayed didn't get home until 11pm. Yawn...

During the fireworks show, I took some pictures with my Sony a55. There is a special mode call Twilight which takes 5(?) shots rapidly and processes it into one photo. It's supposed to allow you to take low light shots without a tripod. Not sure how it works since the scene is moving but the pictures came out ok.











Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Privacy and Trust

Instagram, which was purchased by Facebook for ~$1 billion ~$700 million in stock, made a change to is TOS earlier this week and caused a firestorm of criticism. The changes were interpreted to allow Instagram/Facebook to sell your photos without permission nor compensation.

CNET
Facebook's new rights to sell Instagram users' photos come from two additions to its terms of use policy. One section deletes the current phrase "limited license" and, by inserting the words "transferable" and "sub-licensable," allows Facebook to license users' photos to any other organization.

A second section allows Facebook to charge money. It says that "a business or other entity may pay us to display your... photos... in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you." That language does not exist in the current terms of use.

After the PR fiasco, Instagram backed down and removed some language. Their CEO said:
Blah, blah, blah...

Legal documents are easy to misinterpret.

Blah, blah, blah...

The language we proposed also raised question about whether your photos can be part of an advertisement. We do not have plans for anything like this and because of that we’re going to remove the language that raised the question.

Blah, blah, blah...

I call bullsh*t. Basically they tried to expand the TOS so they could do whatever but got busted. It's ludicrous to claim that their legalese was misinterpreted. I've worked with lawyers at many companies; they know exactly what they want to say. To blame all this on users is lame.

I've deleted my Instagram account. I didn't talk that many photos with it and I'm picky about what I share. The TOS change most likely won't affect me anyway. However, there's a lot of pressure to monetize their database of users and photos, and this episode shows that Instagram/Facebook will do whatever as long as they don't get caught by their users.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Jackie Chan is Pro-democracy?

Not really...

chinaSMACK
@南方都市报:

Jackie Chan: Hong Kong Criticizes and Demonstrates About Everything, Should Be Restricted

During an exclusive interview with Southern People Weekly, Jackie Chan said that Hong Kong had become a city of parades [demonstrations]. “Protesting China, protesting the leaders, protesting everything, demonstrating about everything. There should be regulations on what can be demonstrated against and what can’t be demonstrated against.” “We have returned to China now, how can we still be criticizing Chinese leaders all the time? Whoever amongst you has what it takes can come govern, but you guys don’t have it in you, and all you do is criticize.”

Hmm... I criticize the CCP a lot. I also think I have what it takes to govern China... so where do I sign up? Do I join/form a party? How do I get my name on the election ballot?

Wait... this is China and there are no elections. There is only an authoritarian dictatorship that crushes all opposition, even benign protests.

I agree with some commentators: Jackie Chan should shut up and retire. I don't like any of his movies anyway.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

All Propaganda, All The Time

Go Chengdoo
A Swedish man is being heralded by local media as a hero and "foreign Lei Feng" after he rescued a drowning woman from the Jinjiang River.

Witnesses say that a crowd had gathered around near the Jinjiang Bridge after a person was spotted in the river at around 10 at night on December 6.

Not long after, a man emerged from the crowd, tore off his coat, and ran into the river. He swam about 10 meters before he was able to grab a hold of the woman.

Props to the Swedish guy but everything about the story is super lame.

1. How long was she in the water? There seems to be quite a crowd in the video, including a guy wearing a Police jacket, but they're all just standing around... probably all taking pictures with their phones.

2. Foreign Lei Feng?! I think that's an insult. Why not call him a hero and leave it at that? Why always focus on the "foreigner" part? In the video, the first thing someone says when he rescues the woman is not "are you okay?" or "is she still breathing?" but "HE'S A LAOWAI!!!" Also, Lei Feng is a total fabrication by the communist party; calling him "foreign Lei Feng" is a feeble attempt to link his heroism with the CCP.

3. Swimming lessons should be mandatory. Watching swimming competition on TV is not the same thing.


Does he know how to swim?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

"Censorship Is Necessary"

Surprise! Commie party member thinks censorship is necessary, compares it to airport security checks.

Associated Press
This year's Nobel Prize in literature winner, Mo Yan, who has been criticized for his membership in China's Communist Party and reluctance to speak out against the country's government, defended censorship Thursday as something as necessary as airport security checks.

He also suggested he won't join an appeal calling for the release of the jailed 2010 Peace Prize laureate, Liu Xiaobo, a fellow writer and compatriot.

Mo has been criticized by human rights activists for not being a more outspoken defender of freedom of speech and for supporting the Communist Party-backed writers' association, of which he is vice president.

What a total disgrace. The article says he is spending several days in Stockholm, presumably for sightseeing, while Liu Xiaobo is in jail for 11 years.

Chinese "Secrecy" Laws

Reuters
Regulators on Monday charged the Chinese arms of five top accounting firms with securities violations over their refusal to produce certain audit papers for U.S.-listed Chinese companies.

The Securities and Exchange Commission began proceedings against the Chinese affiliates of Deloitte, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, BDO and Ernst & Young. It was the SEC's widest enforcement effort yet to procure documents in connection with probes of possible accounting fraud of U.S.-listed Chinese companies, and raised questions about whether talks have stalled between the U.S. and Chinese governments to resolve the issue.

The SEC said it has been seeking documents related to investigations of possible wrongdoing at nine China-based companies. Chinese secrecy laws have stymied efforts to obtain audit documents that investigators need to determine whether there were accounting irregularities.

I don't understand why there is an issue. If Chinese companies want to be listed on US stock exchanges and attract US investors, then they need to follow US laws on disclosure. If they can't or won't, then they should go find another exchange to list their stock. With China's pervasive corruption, there's no way I would invest in any Chinese company unless they submit to an US audit. Even then, a friend working in Deloitte China has told me about fake invoices, fake purchase orders, fake contracts... even fake bank statements with official red stamps.

The whole Chinese secrecy law excuse is crap too. Laws are not enforced in China... it's just a tool for the CCP to do whatever they want. They can easily release financial documents for audit. The only reason the documents are "secret" is because they're hiding outright fraud or documents corruption by government officials.

I say delist all these companies, especially those that got listed through the "reverse merger" backdoor.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Goo Hara Solo

This one is for Mr. anonymous...


Secret Love - Hara (KARA)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

iTunes 11 User Interface

I don't like it.

A lot of my music collection is CJK-pop (Chinese/Japanese/Korean). When I'm putting in song info, I like to include the artist's name in the originai script as much as possible. I used to just cram both languages on the Artist field so entries would look like this: Koda Kumi 倖田來未 or Lena Park 박정현. However, this adds non-English characters to the folder names. This may be okay system-wise but I wanted to keep the directories English only.

I then started putting the non-English names in the Artist field and the English name/translation into the Album Artist column. This way, all the songs would still sort in English and I can see the CJK artist names... and folder names would be all in English. I can also sort by Album Artist with old iTunes sorting everything correctly, substituting Artist when the Album Artist field is blank.

Anyway, iTunes 11 screws this up. By creating multiple graphical views, Apple has split up the view I like and none of the options fit my needs. If I view by song, you either have to sort by Artist, in which case all the non-English names fall to the bottom of the list. If I sort by Album Artist, then entries without Album Artist filled out (blank) rises to the top. The hybrid version (if Album Artist = "", Artist, Album Artist) is gone as well album covers in the song view.

Why not just add in Album Artist when it's the same as the Artist field? One, that's a pain in the ass. Two, entering something into the Album Artist field causes it to appear in the Artist view. If the field is blank, then all the songs for the Album is listed in one row (for each song). If there is text, then iTunes switches to a two line view, displaying the Album Artist field, and wasting vertical space in the window. I think they make the UI much more uniform with iOS6 but didn't take into account people that like the old UI just the way it was.

I wasn't going to write so much but after the iOS6 fiasco with Google Maps and YouTube, I'm tired of Apple not listening to its users.

HELLO?! Still no Google Maps app for iOS6?

Friday, November 30, 2012

MV Reaction Vids

I've been noticing that when I look for K-pop music videos on YouTube, the search results include a lot of so called "reaction" videos. Basically they're videos of people watching music videos. These have to be the most ridiculous waste of bandwidth ever. I wish YouTube could tag these uploads so I can filter them out of my search results.

Maybe I should make a video of my reaction (of disgust) to watching one of these retarded reaction videos... how meta would that be!

==========

Not sure what I'm ranting about? Go to YouTube and type in "aoa get out mv" in the search box. About 50% of the results are useless "reaction" videos. They're mostly fake (staged) anyway.

AOA - Ace of Angels

Wow, a K-pop girl band that plays instruments! That's pretty cool. I wonder if they actually played for the studio recording or if they hired musicians. Also, I haven't seen a performance where they play live (except for the drummer) instead of using the instruments as prop; you can tell by the lack of a power cable to the keyboard. They do sing live though and it's not too shabby.

The group setup is a bit confusing too. There are 8 members that form two subgroups: a 5 member band and a 7 member dance group. The drummer doesn't dance... how cool is that! Most bassist I know don't dance either.


Get Out - AOA

The top comment on YouTube tells you each girl's name and what she does in the group.

==========

After watching the MV a few times, it reminds me of when I first saw SNSD. I can't tell the different band members apart in each shot... most of them pretty much look the same.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

$15 Per Hour

... for working at McDonald's? Not yet.

Fox NY
Fast food workers call for higher wages

Workers at some fast food restaurants in the New York City area walked off the job on Thursday.

A large group gathered outside a McDonald's on Madison and 40th St. in Manhattan demanding higher wages and the approval of a workers union.

"They're giving us $7.25 an hour, so many of my co-workers are living on food stamps. You can't live on that in this city," a protester told Good Day NY.

The workers who say they don't make enough to put food on the table for their families would like an increase in their hourly pay to $15.

Heh, I would like a 106% pay raise too. I understand that NYC is an expensive place to live but there are consequences to decisions. Can't afford to live in NYC and work at McD's? Then move away from the most expensive city in the US. I always thought that working at McDonald's or other fast food joints was a transitional job; do people (non-managers) actually work there for life?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Worst-Run State in America

Of course it's California... 2nd year in a row.

Yahoo! Finance
Every year, 24/7 Wall St. conducts an extensive survey of all fifty states in America. Based on a review of data on financial health, standard of living and government services by state we determine how well each state is managed. For the first time, North Dakota is the best run. California is the worst run for the second year in a row.

Now with a Democratic super-majority in CA state government, it's going to get a lot worse.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Diablo III Ban

I read this on Blizzard's site this morning:
We've recently issued several rounds of account bans for cheating in Diablo III. In each of these cases players used a hack program for exploitive purposes, for example to zoom out their game view and kill monsters that were beyond the normal range at which AI is triggered. As we do with all Blizzard games, we will continue to monitor Diablo III for cheating and take action as needed.

First, I don't like Diablo III as much as the previous titles. I have the original Diablo game plus Diable II and the expansion. I hesitated for a long time on buying D3 because of the "always connected" requirement but after playing the game for 2 months, the main problem is that the game is boring. The difficulty ramp is lame... the game is too easy at first, then gets way to hard. My guess is that Blizzard wants you to buy better items on its Auction House with real cash, where they make a commission. So after paying $60 for a game, you can only play it when connected to the Internet, and you have to spend more money or otherwise keep dying in-game. I'm too old for this crap...

Anyway, I wonder what happens when you are banned? I think I used "trainers" for D2 since the single player games/characters were not authenticated and were local to your computer. Does the D3 ban only affect your existing characters or to the entire game? Since your registration key is linked to your account, does that mean you can't play the game anymore? Does Blizzard refund the $60 (or whatever you paid)? Does it impact all your other games, like Starcraft II, that is linked to your Battle Net account?

I'm very disappointed in Blizzard. I also have bought every other Blizzard game except for World of Warcraft, but I'll probably pass on the next SC2 release... didn't realize I paid $60 for 1/3 of a game when I bought SC2. To think some executive is probably sitting in my old office in Irvine (Blizzard took over our office space when Broadcom moved to its new campus by UCI).

Monday, November 12, 2012

Kim Il-sung University

Just read the bio of Zhang Dejiang, one of the presumed members of the next 9-member Politburo that will run China. It was fairly typical of CCP leaders: restricting of news about SARS breakout, suppression of protests and news reporting, etc. This tidbit caught my eye though:
Zhang, a native of Tai'an in Liaoning, attended Yanbian University, where he studied the Korean language. Zhang enrolled in Kim Il-sung University in North Korea in August 1978 and received a degree in economics in 1980. Zhang's degree in economics makes him something of a rarity among the Chinese leadership. His connections to North Korea and his handling of illegal immigration from that country as a local official in Jilin are believed to be key factors in his rise to power.

Degree in Economics from Kim Il-sung University in North Korea?! What could he possibly learn about economics in North Korea? How to screw up a country so bad that most of your citizens are starving? Juche? It's so ludicrous that I tried to come up with an analogy for hours but could not.

Fairies (J-pop)

I "found" this J-pop girl group on the avex Channel on YouTube. They sing and dance pretty well but are really really young... only 13-15 years old. When do they have time for school? I think K-pop has trainees that young but they usually debut their artists later. Maybe it's just a Japanese thing.


White Angel - Fairies

==========

Ugh. I saw a video of them singing Madonna's "Like A Virgin"... very awkward coming from middle school girls. :(

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

United Airlines Boeing 787



United Airlines took delivery of a Boeing 787 in late July with tail number N20904. From FlightAware, it looks like the plane flies between Houston/Chicago and Houston/Los Angeles each day, with LAX arrival at ~5:30pm. I need to go out to Imperial Hill to get a photo. Departure is around 8:00pm so I won't be able to get a take-off photo during the winter.

I have some UA miles and I hardly ever fly United. Maybe I can use it to fly to Houston on the 787, though I think I only have enough miles to fly one-way.

Stock Market Tanks...

4 more years!




Tuesday, November 6, 2012

4 More Years of Wealth Redistribution

Crap. Well, at least I don't live in China. This has to be a bad translation... or the most incoherent article I've ever read.
Be wary of populism led by democracy

Results of the US presidential election will be made public today. No matter who wins, Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, there's no expectation either domestically or externally that US policies will dramatically change. The problems in the US will remain.

The election has just been about getting votes, and this is gradually becoming a popular political rule throughout the world. Politicians should try their best to please the voters and make various promises. The demands of voters will continue to increase, while their patience for setbacks grows weaker.

The electoral system encourages populism. Parties and politicians are slowly turned into its captives.

Viewed from the literal meaning of the phrase "civil rights," this evolution in the political system is correct.

The outcome of carrying civil rights to their extreme is to maximize everyone's benefits.

The concepts of effort and hard work will become outdated. The overall progress of the country has become an issue of secondary importance.

This is a worldwide phenomenon. China will also be affected, even though its political system is not the same as the West's. China once attached great importance to efficiency. The impact brought about by populism may affect this.

However, Western governments have given up their responsibility to lead society and now only shuffle voters and votes.

This should alarm Chinese society. The spirit of hard work and effort must not be replaced by unrealistic welfarism.

China's general situation is far less well-developed than that of the US.

However, many people in the world are optimistic about China. This is because they trust in the continuity of Chinese policies and China's social governance capabilities. They believe that China's system can overcome difficulties and promote the development of the country.

There's no perfect political system. However, China's current system is widely considered to be an effective one. The efficiency of this system is both outstanding and rare.

The most precious thing in the world is development. Some people think that happiness is more important than development.

However, without development, the economy will deteriorate. Then what happiness can there be?

Fairness is also very important. However, only when the joint development of both the economy and society has been achieved, can fairness be ensured.

China has already experienced the old days, when there was a low standard of fairness. But now, who wants to go back to that time?

A real understanding of the US presidential elections is extremely important to Chinese society. It can broaden our horizons.

We can also heed warnings from their examples. Modern Chinese society should be able to discern the truth. China's rise is already an unstoppable trend and it is halfway through this path.

Difficulties can be found on all paths. What we should overcome is our own difficulties. Our determination and confidence will be more firm once we have overthrown illusions.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Doug Martin... Who?

I have Doug Martin (running back for Tampa Bay) on my Fantasy Football team. I've never heard of him before the season and I picked him up in the 5th round (59th pick) of our league.

He scored 67.20 points tonight by rushing 251 yards and scoring 4 touchdowns. I didn't think it was possible to get that many points. For this week, I'm currently leading my opponent (my manager) by a score of 177 to 85.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

My Sassy Girl

Post #2000 according to Blogspot!

Full length version of my favorite K-movie with English subtitles. 대박!



G.E.M.

I bought a Chinese album from iTunes this morning. The artist is G.E.M. (鄧紫棋) from Shanghai though she sings songs in both Mandarin and Cantonese. The "Deluxe" version of the album comes with 2 music videos and a digital booklet, probably the CD insert. I say "probably" because the PDF file is corrupt and won't open... still dealing with iTunes store.

Here is a music video:


Oh Boy - G.E.M.

==========

Eh? The video link switched to another song. Weird.

I can't embed it but here's a link to the original video that I uploaded to Tumblr. Hopefully this one won't change.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Disney Acquires Lucasfilm

Press Release
Continuing its strategy of delivering exceptional creative content to audiences around the world, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) has agreed to acquire Lucasfilm Ltd. in a stock and cash transaction. Lucasfilm is 100% owned by Lucasfilm Chairman and Founder, George Lucas.

Under the terms of the agreement and based on the closing price of Disney stock on October 26, 2012, the transaction value is $4.05 billion, with Disney paying approximately half of the consideration in cash and issuing approximately 40 million shares at closing. The final consideration will be subject to customary post-closing balance sheet adjustments.

Wow, $4 billion. Is the Star Wars franchise worth that much after Episodes I, II, and III? Hopefully this will prevent George Lucas from making any more Star Wars movies.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Mileage Test

With gasoline prices approaching $5/gallon (my car drinks the premium stuff), I decided to try and see how driving habits can affect mileage. I read/heard that the slower you drive on the freeway (safely), the better your gas mileage. So on my weekly nighttime commute from Orange County to Torrance, I tested to see if speed affected mileage.

Both times I tried to set the cruise control and not touch the brakes. The route was the same: 55S/22W transition, 22 West, 405 North, 110 South, 223rd Street exit.

Trial 1:
Saturday, October 6
Average speed = 59.6 mph
Average mileage = 32.4 mpg

Trial 2:
Saturday, October 13
Average speed = 67.4 mph
Average mileage = 30.5 mpg

The data was from the onboard trip computer; I reset the counter at the beginning of the trip. Before this, I had never reset the computer, and my average mileage was ~23 mpg over 29,000 miles of combined highway/city driving. I was surprised at the high mileage numbers since my car is pretty large and has a 300 hp V6 engine. I was also surprised that I got a 2 mpg improvement by driving 60 mph instead of ~70 mph, even though it was a bit scary to be the slowest guy on the road. Finally, changes in velocity also affected mileage. The effect was most evident when I had to slow down for the 405N/110S interchange since it was a big right-handed loop. I probably had to slow to ~35 mph, then accelerate back to speed. The drop in mileage was ~0.2 mpg on the computer display even though I've driven ~35 miles.

Save gas, drive slow(er)!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Shuttle Endeavour at The Forum

This morning, I went in person to see Endeavour parked at The Forum in Inglewood.


There was supposed to be a ceremony of some sort so there was a high school marching band and cheerleaders. I left before it started.


The shuttle was parked on Manchester Avenue. There was lots of barricades but the crowd was able to get fairly close.




I think Endeavour only flew 25 missions. I was surprised how old it looked. :(


Back view. The 3 main engines have been removed and may be reused on the SLS.


Lots and lots of people...

Shuttle Move Live Feed

We had a live feed of the shuttle move yesterday at work. It was probably for a future NASA documentary but not sure how we got it. Anyway, I took some screencaps while they were moving Endeavour across Manchester Avenue.



















Sunday, October 7, 2012

Ubuntu!

Wow, that must have been the easiest OS install ever. I downloaded Ubuntu 12.04.1, burned an install CD, then installed it on my netbook (which I'm using right now). The total process only took about an hour and everything works! When I installed Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6.0) on the same netbook, I had lots of issues with drivers and crashes, and the sound never worked correctly. Here, sound, wifi, Bluetooth, and even the weird Asus Eee specific function keys all work. No drama...

First impression of Ubuntu is that it's very similar to OS X. I guess I wasn't sure what to expect since my last Linux experience was Red Hat (line commands) on an old Pentium. I was even able to open Word .docx files. However, after using my work laptop (SSD), my iPad2 (RAM), and MacBook Air (SSD), I'm used to instantaneous app loads so this feels really really slow. The Atom processor probably is not helping.

Now I have four laptops at my friend's house with 4 different operating systems.

==========

Just figured out how to connect to wireless network at work with Ubuntu. I read a bunch of posts on the web with lots of line commands but the Edit Connection wizard on Ubuntu 12 was pretty easy. All I had to do was plug in an Ethernet cable, download our CA certificate, then add the hidden SSID for the network. Pretty cool.

Next I need to try out the Excel-like app to see how well it handles spreadsheets.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Computer Shuffle

Now that the wifi is working well on my MacBook Air, I think I'll use it as my primary portable computer, which means I'll probably transfer all my photos and mp3's from the desktop PC. At least this will make the pain of paying Apple $300 for an additional 128GB on the SSD a bit less.

This then frees up my Mac mini (OS X 10.6.8) which I'll probably attach to the Samsung TV at home. I'll need to teach my parents how to use a Mac; they've only used Windows before. This also frees up my Sony Vaio notebook (Windows Vista) and my Asus netbook. The OS X install on the netbook wasn't that successful; I'm still at 10.6.0 and audio messes up when you unplug the AC adapter. Just to add another OS to the mix, I'm downloading Ubuntu 12 and will attempt to install that on the netbook. This should be easy since a lot of smaller netbooks ship with Ubuntu.

Not sure what to do with the Sony Vaio and the old Dell 17" laptop (Windows XP!) that will be displaced by the Mac mini. Maybe I can install Windows 8.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Microsoft "Support"

We use Microsoft Dynamics AX at work as our ERP software. Since the beginning, we've had lots of problems with our implementation since we're still using our homegrown system for production/purchasing. Anyway, as part of the software package, we also get a reporting software called Management Reporter. For some reason, we have 20 AX licenses but only 4 Reporter licenses. We've fired our VAR/implementer since they sucked and now I don't know where to get more licenses.

At the Microsoft Dynamics support website, there is a link that leads to Operations Support. It says: "Submit operational questions regarding ordering policy, licensing, registration keys, etc to the Microsoft Regional Operations Center (not technical support or pre-sales support)." Great! I then click on "Submit a new operational support inquiry" and I get a Microsoft Silverlight error? Huh? It then tells me to refresh the screen or contact the site administrator. Site admin at Microsoft? Where do you go for help if the submit help screen craps out? Doesn't any at Microsoft QA their customer-facing website? Ugh.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Another K-pop Dream

I'm sure I've had many strange dreams but don't remember the next day...

Anyway, I dreamt that I was in my bed, reading something on my Kindle Fire. I don't recognize the location but it felt like my bedroom when we lived in Harbor City. Sitting next to the bed were Tiffany, Sunny, and somebody else (Yuri?) from Girls' Generation. I think Tiffany was talking to the third girl when I whispered to Sunny, "Since you're already in my bedroom, can I get your autograph?" Yep, autograph... I remembered that I had bought their Asia Concert DVD (I did in real life), and I wanted them to sign the packaging or booklet.

Before she could answer, a huge crash woke me up. My roommate/landlord had stuck a smoke detector on the ceiling with double-sided tape and it chose that exact moment to release itself and hit the hardwood floor loudly. I told my roommate just now while handing him the smoke detector. He said "sorry" but looked at me like I was crazy.

Maybe I am.

Worst College Majors

Kiplinger/Yahoo! Finance

1. Anthropology ($28,000)
2. Fine Arts ($30,000)
3. Film & Photography ($30,000)
4. Philosophy and Religious Studies ($30,000)
5. Graphic Design ($32,000)
6. Studio Arts ($35,900)
7. Liberal Arts ($30,000)
8. Drama and Theater Arts ($26,000)
9. Sociology ($32,000)
10. English ($32,000)

Dollars = median salary for recent grads. In comparison, the median for top 100 majors is $37,000 per the article. We recently hired two new undergrads for finance/accounting and their starting salary was $55,000 + stock options.

I think schools should have this data available for students. If you really want to major in these subjects, don't expect to find a high paying job. Tuition at USC is $21,081/semester. If you graduate in 4 years, that's ~$170k. Add in housing, food, books, and other costs, it's probably closer to $300k. If you're going to make only $30k after graduation, it's going to take a long long time to pay off those loans.

Apple Maps - Apology NOT Accepted

Bloomberg
Apple CEO ‘Extremely Sorry’ for IPhone Maps Frustration

Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook apologized for the iPhone mapping software released last week that has been criticized for flaws such as misrouted directions and inaccurately located landmarks.

“We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better,” Cook said in a letter to customers posted today on the Cupertino, California-based company’s website.

Apple’s decision to build its navigation application reflects a widening rift with Google Inc. (GOOG), which had provided its Google Maps program since the iPhone debuted in 2007. While the new software adds features such as turn-by-turn navigation, it is widely faulted for unreliable landmark searches, routes that get users lost and a lack of public transit directions.

He's not sorry. If he was really apologetic about the Maps screw up, he would make Google Maps available on the app store. Another example that Apple doesn't give a sh*t about its customers.

I remember many years ago there were several lawsuits about Microsoft bundling IE with Windows OS. People complained that it was unfair to competitors (other browsers) and the courts forced Microsoft to make IE uninstallable. I didn't know what the fuss was; you could always download other browsers after installing Windows. Here, Apple intentionally shut out Google Maps (and YouTube) from iOS6. Not only did I lose Google Maps on my iPad2, I can't even install the old app. Why doesn't anyone question Apple's monopolistic policies?

...and I still can't play Flash videos on my iOS devices.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Apple Maps Traffic

Current traffic from Apple Maps on iPad2:



and Google Maps (web):



I think the Google version is easier to understand visually. I really don't like the dashes on the Apple version since it's hard to tell the difference between moderate and heavy traffic.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Mountain Lion on MBA

Can resist... must update software...

I just finished updating my MBA to Mountain Lion (10.8.2) at work. I started the update (4GB download) then found out that I left the power adapter at home. I had ~3.5 hours remaining so I thought it should be safe.

The update appears to have installed correctly and everything still works. It even appeared to fix the crappy wifi connection problem at work. We'll see if it's better at home too.

When I bought my Mac mini several years ago, there was no Broadcom parts inside; Apple must have been rotating suppliers. The 2012 MBA has lots of Broadcom parts:

- Bluetooth
- USB (BCM20702)
- Wi-Fi (BCM43xx)

Too bad I'm not working there anymore... not that 3 chips will help much. From the Bluetooth connection data, both my iPhone4 and iPad2 contains a Broadcom Bluetooth chip while the external mouse has an Infinion chip.

==========

Well, it looks like the wifi problem was software. After upgrading to Mountain Lion yesterday, I was able to connect to work wifi within 5 seconds. With 10.7.4 and 10.7.5, it would take multiple attempts and errors to connect.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

iOS6 Update (Why Apple Sucks)

Sigh... I updated my iPad2 with iOS6 this morning. I knew about the "new" Maps app from Apple replacing Google Maps but I was surprised to find that YouTube is also missing. Other than email, Google Maps and YouTube are the two apps I use the most on my iPad and now they're both gone... and I got nothing in return from iOS6.

After the "no Flash on iOS devices" crap, I should have zero expectations from Apple but this is pretty lame. You can't find Google Maps nor YouTube on in the iTunes apps store so I'm stuck with the crappy Apple Maps and using YouTube on Safari Chrome. Again, I love Apple hardware and operating system but hate Apple management. Why can't I have Adobe Flash instead of nothing? Why can't I run Siri on my iPhone4 and iPad2? Slow is better than nothing. :(

P.S. Yes, I know why. Apple wants to sell more hardware. I wish they'd just say it.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Apple System Updates

All three of my Apple devices need a system update. The brand new MacBook Air still has OS X 10.7.4, and both my iPhone4 and iPad2 are running iOS 5. I did receive a code for a free Mountain Lion update but online reviews have been mixed, even for version 10.8.2. As for iOS 6, I heard that Apple was a bit premature with replacing Google Maps with its own version. I use Google Maps a lot so I'm going to hold off updating my iOS devices.

When I was young, I would jump on any and all system updates. Now that I have experiencing with bricking (is that a word?) several computers and other equipment, none which are jail-broken, I'm hesitant about updating right away. I don't have the time (or energy) to spend days rebuilding a system due to update malfunctions.

I think I'll go drink a few beers and try the OS X 10.8 update.

==========

Heh. Right after I posted the above and quit out of Chrome, I see an Apple software update notice window pop up, asking me to download Lion 10.7.5 (1.23 GB) and a firmware update. Right down the system is downloading the update software. I seriously hope the firmware update won't brick my new MBA. Maybe I'll hold off on Mountain Lion...

Friday, September 21, 2012

Shuttle Endeavour

Since work is near LAX, we got a pretty good view of Shuttle Endeavour's piggyback flight. Marketing told us that the Shuttle would flyby anywhere from 11:30am to 12:30pm so a bunch of us headed out to the parking lot across the street. It was really hot but it seemed everyone was outside trying to catch a glimpse.


The first pass was pretty far away. I think it was headed to the California Science Center and downtown LA.


It then looped around back towards LAX but still pretty far away.


After flying over Orange County, including Disneyland, the shuttle carrier did a really close flyby over our work building. Not sure if it was planned since we're one of the potential replacements for flying NASA astronauts... it was pretty awesome.


Closer shot without the two chase planes.


I gave my point-and-shoot camera to a co-worker who was allowed on the roof of our building.

After the close flyby, the shuttle carrier looped around LAX and lined up for final approach and landing.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"Prophet" Manasseh Jordan

I got a spam call earlier from 800-318-3684. I get a lot of spam calls so I didn't answer but surprisingly, the caller left a voice message. The message was from a Manasseh Jordan and basically he wanted me to call back (at another 800 number) to join his prayer circle. Wow, God works in mysterious ways! I've been a Christian for 20+ years and I've never got a call like this before.

After Googling the 800 number, I found the website for "Prophet" Manasseh. There's actually not much hard information on the site. Here's his bio:
Once affectionately referred to as the "Young Prophet" by peers and congregations nationwide, now best known as Prophet Manasseh Jordan began ministering at the tender age of eight and carries with him the quintessence of hope, healing and restoration that is bestowed upon the lives of those he touches.

Over the next several years, he knew then that God had a much BIGGER plan for his life. So he went through extensive and intensive training under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, for the express purpose of understanding the prophetic office and ministry. This training has enabled him to move in the realm of accurate prophetic ministry.

Ministering at eight years old... yeah, right. Also, extensive AND intensive training by the Holy Spirit? What does that mean? Is that equal to a M.Div from a seminary? Looking around the website, there are lots of opportunity to buy stuff or become a "partner" for $30 to $500 per month. More telling, there is no entry for Manasseh Jordan Ministries at Charity Navigator. Other similar organizations are listed, such as Billy Graham Evangelical Association, Far East Broadcasting Corporation, Haven Ministries, etc.

Researching further, it seems our "young prophet" was associated with Benny Hinn and Paul Crouch of Trinity Broadcasting Network fame (or infamy).



Well, that's all I need to know about this false prophet. Like the rest of the "ministers" around him, all they do is take money from people and promising "blessings" for them in return. I'm pretty sure this is not in the Bible.

Cyber Attacks

I got an email from the information security guy at work saying that we've been experiencing a lot of cyber attacks on our network, and that we need to change our network login password.

This was then followed 3 minutes later by a reply-all from our CEO suggesting that a state actor is possibly behind the attacks. Hmm... China? Russia? North Korea?

KCONUSA 2012

I used to complain that there are not enough K-pop concerts in the US, now it seems like there are too many! :)



I just found out about another "local" K-pop concert at Verizon Amphitheater in Irvine on Oct 13. It seems to be more than just a concert, i.e., there are lots of other side events. However, there are only 5 artists/groups so far, and most are boy bands. Looking at the list, I only know about 4Minute and G.NA (Canadian!) so I probably won't go.

I'm still hoping that the "postponed" SBS Super Concert will still be held sometime this year.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Amazon Sales Tax

Since my new MacBook Air does not have an Ethernet port, and I can't use the wifi at work (without installing a certificate that I can't get without the certificate), I decided to buy a Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter. It cost $29 on Apple Store, Amazon, and at a local store, MacMall. If this was pre-Amazon tax days, I may have ordered it from Amazon, even though it's >$3 in taxes. However, without the sales tax advantage, I decided to stop by the local store after work and buy it there.

I also saw the same MBA model for less at MacMall ($1424). However, if you add sales tax, my Amazon purchase was still cheaper in total at $1463.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Microsoft Outlook 2011

Since I have Office 2011 for Mac, and Microsoft replaced Entourage with Outlook, I wanted to link to my Hotmail account using Outlook, like I do on my Windows 7 desktop. Without reading too closely, I put in my Hotmail credentials and Outlook proceeded to download 2800+ email messages... I need to clean out my inbox. However, the account was configured to POP3 instead of IMAP so all the messages came into the inbox, without any folders. Crap. I researched online and found out that Hotmail doesn't really support IMAP, and Office 2010 (Windows 7) uses a connector software to provide IMAP-like connections.

Of course, that piece of important software is not available on OS X. Why? Who knows. Not enough Mac users bitching at Microsoft? Whatever the case, I'm now back to using a browser to access my email. Lame.

==========

I'm now installing Diablo III on the MBA (MacBook Air). D3 works well on my desktop since I have a Radion 6870 video card. The MBA only has an Intel HD4000 with 384MB of video RAM.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Apple 3-Piece Set

chinaSMACK
Freshman Wants Apple Three-Piece Set for College, Her Claim that Inability to Buy Will Embarrass Her Leaves Her Mother in Tears

Since the middle of August, freshmen have been arriving at universities one after another for registration. Quite a few of them have been acquiring “equipment” for their upcoming college life. At a store in Beijing Zhongguancun, this scene occurred: A girl insisted on buying an iPhone4s, iPad3, and Macbook “Apple 3-Piece Set”, and they had to be with high configuration/specifications. The girl said, “if you don’t buy me these, just go ahead and let me lose face in college”. Her mother was in tears because she couldn’t afford them.

Now that my new Apple MacBook Air has arrived, I've caught up to a Chinese college freshman. Hmm... my iPhone is a work phone so it's not really even mine.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Change From Within

Global Times
Beijing government has announced that for the first time, it is allowing foreigners to apply for positions as government officials.
Both foreigners and overseas Chinese are welcome to apply for a government talent program, which is designed to attract overseas scholars and entrepreneurs for seven special positions in the Beijing government, the Global Times confirmed with the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Human Resources Tuesday.

"It's the first time that we've decided to recruit senior managers and specialized talents from overseas to work for the government. It doesn't matter if you are Chinese or not," the bureau's media officer, surnamed Cui, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

If the candidate can meet the requirements, he or she can apply. Successful applicants will be employed as assistants to senior officials or as the director of some major projects.

If you're not part of the solution, then you're part of the problem.

Wow, a whole whopping 7 positions. Still is this an opportunity to work within the party and reform from within? Laowais can apply?!
Despite this, the job information is only posted in the Chinese language on the HR bureau's website, and on 8610hr.cn, a site that recruits people from overseas for jobs in China.

That's okay. I know enough Mandarin to get by. My first job out of engineering school was at a Chinese-owned company where I had to learn technical terms in Chinese. I think I'd be perfect for auditing government agencies and SOE (state-owned enterprises) for corruption. 17 years of budgeting and financial analysis should qualify me...
Chinese candidates for official positions should undergo a background "political check," which includes looking at the records of parents or grandparents.

Dang it. That KMT family history is not going to help. Maybe by "foreigners" they mean North Koreans or Cubans.

Chinese Mafia, Part 83472946

Beijing Cream



Remember, it's People's Republic of China

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

46 Slaves

Look, a website that calculates how many "slaves" work for me... and most of them are in China. If I'm going to oppress people through forced labor, I may as well do it to my "own" people.



Slavery Footprint

This is beyond stupid, and a waste of taxpayer money: the website is sponsored by the State Department. The site says the average person has 38 slaves; I got dinged for my 10 computers. There are about 200+ million adults in the U.S. If each one has 38 slaves working for them, then there are 7.6 billion slaves worldwide supporting the American lifestyle.

Wait, there are only 7.0 billion people on earth? Let's not let facts get in the way of progressive feel-good propaganda crap. If you are going to use incendiary rhetoric such as equating "owning slaves" to consumerism, you'd better get your story straight. Like the comment above for China. There are closer to 250 million migrant workers and the majority do not work in illegal coal mines or brick kilns. Most probably work in factories like Foxconn; is that considered "forced labor"?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Must have been a busy week at the Chinese Consulate

Petty.

Corvallis Gazette-Times
Mural draws fire from China

Citing “strong resentment from the local Chinese community,” the Chinese government has asked the city of Corvallis to force a Taiwanese-American businessman to remove a mural advocating independence for Taiwan and Tibet from his downtown building.

But city leaders say the mural violates no laws and its political message is protected under the U.S. Constitution.

Taiwanese artist Chao Tsung-song painted the 10-foot-by-100-foot mural last month on the side of the old Corvallis MicroTechnology building at Southwest Fourth Street and Jefferson Avenue. The work was commissioned by property owner David Lin, who is renovating the space for a restaurant and has rechristened the building Tibet House.

In vivid colors, the painting depicts riot police beating Tibetan demonstrators, Buddhist monks setting themselves on fire to protest Chinese rule and images of Taiwan as a bulwark of freedom.

In a letter dated Aug. 8, the Chinese Consulate General in San Francisco formally complained to Corvallis Mayor Julie Manning about the mural’s content and asked for her help in having it removed.

“There is only one China in the world,” the letter reads in part, “and both Tibet and Taiwan are parts of China.”

Seriously?! China sent two people to middle-of-nowhere Oregon to complain about a mural? Even better...
The letter goes on to note the strong economic and cultural ties between China and Oregon and suggests that Corvallis would benefit from cooperating with the consulate’s request.

Sounds a lot like the mafia, no?

Bill Ruehle Book, Part 2

Still reading... I just finished chapter 4 of Bill Ruehle's book.

A few comments:

As Bill mentions in his book, he is a very private person. Not sure how this affects his personal life, but he was pretty distant at work, at least to the peons in Finance. I'm certain that he didn't know who I was, and I don't remember ever talking to him personally. For many years, I organized an annual Finace event at Del Mar racetrack; each year I would send an invite to Bill but he never attended... heck, he never even replied to my invites. The general impression was that Bill only focused on investor relatons and left day-to-day Finance management to the coproate controller.

Bill also writes about his family in the book, including his current wife, Julie (Bahadori). He didn't hide the fact that she worked for him at Broadcom though he says that their relationship was strictly professional. However, I've heard from many ex-Broadcom employees that she wasn't exactly a model of professionalism at work.

Anyway, this doesn't mean he was guilty of anything. It's his book so he gets to tell his side of the story.

Sleeping Dogs



I've been playing this game for the past few days. It's basically Grand Theft Auto set in Hong Kong with the twist that you are an undercover cop... kinda like a video game version of Infernal Affairs. There is a lot of cussing in English and Cantonese; every time you bump into someone while running or driving, I hear 有冇搞錯, which means are you kidding?

Overall, the game is pretty good but it tries to out-GTA the original game. There are lots of gratuitous violence, blood and gore, and much more sexual innuendo than GTA. The graphics on the PC version is very detailed. On some cars, you can see vented disc brakes and painted calipers. Lots of CGI cleavages too.

Few things that suck. First is the controls on a PC using keyboard and mouse. It's obviously designed as a console game first so it's hard to control, especially while driving. I ordered a Logitech gamepad a few days ago so I'll continue when it arrives. Another problem is that Hong Kong drives on the wrong side of the road. I keep forgetting when driving fast in-game, which leads to a lot of crashes. Unlike GTA, you are penalized if you crash into stuff while on a mission.

Finally, the voice acting is excellent. They casted real Asians (Kelly Hu, Lucy Liu, Edison Chen, James Hong) instead of a bunch of white people, but some of the HK English accents are too much. :)


Trailer

Friday, September 7, 2012

Error 3006

My friend told me that Blizzard was allowing people to download a trial copy of Diablo 3. I bought every Blizzard game so far, except for World of Warcraft, including the original Diablo and Diablo 2 + expansion. I've read all the reviews of Diablo 3 on Amazon with disappointment; I wanted this game to be good, dang it!

After downloading >8GB of stuff and installing the trial version, I had trouble logging into my Battle.net account (worked for Starcraft 2). After clearing that up, I waited and waited and waited... and got error 3006. I anticipate getting error 37 next.


"I have to walk the car..."

Bill Ruehle Book

I saw on Facebook today that Bill Ruehle, former CFO of Broadcom, wrote a book about his personal experience with the SEC "backdating" investigation. For ~7 years, from 2000 through 2006 (when Bill "retired"), I worked in Finance at Broadcom. Even though I was a Senior Manager by mid-2006, there were always two layers of additional management so I didn't work with Bill directly. Anyway, I bought the Kindle version of the book on Amazon for $10; it should be an interesting read.

Coincidentally, when I reported to my one and only jury duty experience (Orange County Court), Bill Ruehle was on trial as the defendant in Federal court next door. During the voir dire portion of my jury duty, the judge asked me if I knew Bill (I remember he pronounced his last name like "rules") and I admitted that I worked "for" him for 7 years.

==========

I'm only halfway through the 2nd chapter and I've already learned stuff I didn't know after working 11 1/2 years at Broadcom. I do agree with Bill that the entire SEC/DOJ investigation was a total waste of time and money. As a taxpayer and Broadcom employee/shareholder, I paid for both sides of this fiasco. Not sure what it cost the government (read: tax money) to pursue the case but Broadcom easily spend tens of millions, maybe even a hundred million dollars defending its executives.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Recent Power Usage


Can you tell when we took our vacation?

Another New Computer

It's like an addiction... I almost bought a Mac Air several times during the past year but was able to resist the urge. Anyway, I just ordered the 13.3" Mac Air with the 256GB SSD. This means I'll restore my ASUS netbook back to WinXP since it's not too stable running OSX 10.6.

I originally wanted to buy a Macbook Pro since I was planning to connect by Tascam DAW via Firewire. A co-worker told me that I can get a Firewire adapter for the Thunderbolt port but then I would have to use the internal display. I think that's an acceptable sacrifice to save 50% on weight.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ban Profits!



Ugh, what is wrong with these people?! No profits means no corporations and no jobs... do these retarded Democrats think we can all work for the government?!

California Sales Tax

Amazon is going to start collecting state sales tax for California starting Sept 15. Hmm... I think it's a good time to buy that Macbook I always wanted.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

New KARA Single/MV


Pandora - KARA

Monday, August 20, 2012

iTunes Top Music Video


Gangnam Style!

Here is version 2 of the MV starring Hyuna. Wow, her voice is irritating.



==========

Oops. Just realized that I didn't post a link to the original MV. Almost 43 million views, for a weird Korean music video.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Quality Fade

A week after I complained about my IKEA "Made in China" lamps, Chinese car companies got busted for using asbestos in cars exported to Australia.

Wall Street Journal
Some mistakes are understandable. Others seem to defy explanation.

Earlier this week, two leading Chinese car companies, Great Wall Motor and Chery Automobile, confirmed they are recalling 23,000 cars and trucks they’ve sold in Australia because asbestos was discovered in their engine and exhaust gaskets.

This is a genuine setback for the companies and yet another blow to the image of Made in China.

After first reading the story headline, my reaction was puzzlement. Leading executives at Great Wall and Chery take product quality seriously, spending millions of dollars every year for better results. Improved vehicle reliability at Chery and Great Wall helped to ignite a 50% jump in exports to markets like Australia, Russia and Brazil last year.

How could these two proud Chinese car companies permit such a senseless error, one that is certain to damage their brand names?

The article also mentions the same book, Poorly Made in China, to explain the apparent lapse in quality. I also don't believe that this was an innocent mistake but a strategy: enter a market with a quality low price product, bankrupt other competitors, then cut costs/increase profit by secretly reducing quality. OF course this backfires in the long run but I don't think Chinese manufacturers care. They're either in it for the short term profit or to steal technology/IP.

Never is a very long time but I will never buy a Chinese car.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Gangnam Style


Gangnam Style - PSY

With Sistar, After School, and KARA (just Nicole and Hara)!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Living with Dead Hearts



Living with Dead Hearts
Each year, as many as 70,000 children are kidnapped in China. They are not held for ransom; rather, they are sold. Some are sold into new families who raise them like adopted children; others are sold into slave labor, marriage, prostitution, and lives on the street. Most children who are kidnapped will never see their parents again.

Living with Dead Hearts follows several parents whose children have been kidnapped as they struggle to track down their kids and to make sense of what has happened to them. Along the way, the film also looks at the experience of kidnapping and growing up in a strange family from the child’s perspective and examines the lives of street children.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Poorly Made In China

Poorly Made in China is a book written by Paul Midler about manufacturing and tactics the Chinese use to increase their own profits and eventually steal or ruin your business. I read the book a few years ago but this post is about some lamps I bought at IKEA.

A couple of months ago, I went to IKEA and bought two LED lamps. They were both called JANSJÖ; the only difference was that one had a regular base ($10) and the other has a clip ($15).



When I found them near the checkout, there must have been hundreds, if not thousands, of boxed piled up. From the crappy cardboard, I knew that these were made in China. I hesitated, looked around for other lighting options, but ended up buying both since they were exactly what I was looking for (LED lights on flexible goose-necks).



They weren't expensive but not really cheap either ($25 total + tax). I brought them home, opened up the box, was was very disappointed with the manufacturing quality, especially the power adapter. I guess they had to make it universal since IKEA sells everywhere but the plug was really flimsy and I couldn't find the usual safely regulation markings (UL, CSA, etc). Also, the weight base for the normal lamp was an ugly piece of rock, but IKEA included a sticky piece of felt-like material to cover it. Anyway, they worked fine for about two months then the clip-on light started flickering; the on/off rocker switch on the power cord was bad. About a week later, the other light/lamp started flickering too... same power switch problem. Sigh... how hard is it to make a simple lamp or spend pennies more for a quality switch?

After reading Poorly Made in China, you can tell that the lamps were made with the same "cheap" mentality. I remember when IKEA opened its store in Toronto; there was a display with a test machine simulating thousands of stand-up/sit-down cycles to demonstrate the quality of IKEA furniture. I don't see that display anymore after IKEA (and everyone else) outsourced it's manufacturing to Chinese subcontractors.

Monday, August 6, 2012

SBS K-pop Super LAME Concert

So I finally decide to buy tickets to this Friday's concert at ~11:30am this morning. At ~11:45am, I see on their Facebook page that the concert has been "postponed" until later. How !@#$%^& lame is that?

This was just posted:
Absolute Kpop

Tickets can be refunded on AXS.com or Hotdeal.KoreaDaily.com, depending on the method you used to purchase your tickets.

We deeply apologize for the inconvenience and disappointment we caused all of you.

Please await an official letter of apology from SBS.

More details regarding the postponed concert will be posted as soon as possible.

5 minutes ago

Luckily Home Depot Center is only a 15 minute drive. I feel sorry for people coming from out of town who also bought plane tickets and reserved hotel rooms. They hold so many of these "super" or "dream" concerts in Korea that you would think they have their act together.

Sigh... looks like I won't get to see Sistar live :(

==========

Just called AXS and was told that if I purchased tickets via phone or online, it will be automatically refunded within 7 days. Well, looks like concert is cancelled instead of just postponed. I also read that this happened before. With such high ticket prices, why can't they hire some professionals and get their act together?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Speed Wedding

I went to a co-worker's wedding yesterday that was held in their backyard. The entire ceremony went like this:

Groom repeats vows
Bride repeats vows
Groom puts ring on bride
Bride puts ring on groom
Officiant (not sure if he was a pastor) pronounces them married

I think the entire "wedding" took about 3 minutes and the guy marrying them read everything from an iPad. Pretty cool. At most weddings, the bridal party are still walking in after 5 minutes.



After that, there were several hours of eating, drinking, and dancing.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Flashback - After School

No more Park Kahi... :(


Flashback - After School

Monday, July 23, 2012

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

New BEG Song and MV

Yay! New Brown Eyed Girls single.


One Summer Night - Brown Eyed Girls

I like this style of music. It reminds me of their earlier albums which showcases their vocals instead of silly dance moves.

==========

Ooh, I didn't see this before: Miryo (BEG) + Sunny (SNSD)


사랑해 사랑해 - Miryo feat. Sunny (SNSD)

I'm surprised at Sunny's voice. SM Entertainment never promoted her singing skills (even though her uncle owns the company). She should sing more... the silly aegyo stuff is irritating.

Monday, July 16, 2012

All Your Base Are Belong To Us

Seriously, WTF?!

White House
There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me -- because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t -- look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something -- there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.

This is so wrong I don't even know where to begin. Yes, I've had some help along the way but those people were paid for their efforts. Did those "great teachers" work for free? Did I not pay taxes for roads and bridges? Millions of us work our asses off each day so we can provide for ourselves and our families, paying 1/3 to 1/2 of our income towards taxes, while millions of other sit on their asses and collect welfare. They're not helping me one bit.

And how does someone who spent his entire career in academia and government have the creds to criticize business owners? Everyone who owns a business or has equity in their employer company should be totally offended. This culture of blaming others for your failures and taking credit for other people's work being promoted by Obama and the Democrats is bad for America.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

North Korean K-pop

By request...



I don't like it. Sounds like the same commie crap from China 30 years ago. Obviously, anything coming out of NK is government propaganda but the video is still lame... no miniskirts or hot pants. They should have featured some Pyongyang traffic girls instead.

The title is weird too. I can't read Korean but the Chinese title at the beginning of the video says 骏马姑娘. 姑娘 has a lot of definitions, from girl to prostitute, but 骏马 basically means fine horse or steed. The literal translation into "excellent horse-like lady" is funny but not very meaningful. Maybe there's an idiomatic meaning in Korean (or Chinese) that makes more sense.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Democrat Dictators

What's with Democrats/Liberals and their love of dictatorships? I guess it's implied that they assume that they would be in charge, instead of being silenced and oppressed.

Foreign Policy
"The Chinese are more successful [in building infrastructure] because in their country, only three people make the decision. In our country, 3,000 people do, 3 million," LaHood said in a short interview with The Cable on the sidelines of the 2012 Aspen Ideas Festival on June 30. "In a country where only three people make the decision, they can decide where to put their rail line, get the money, and do it. We don't do it that way in America."

Is this man retarded? How did he become a member of Obama's cabinet? These idiots that praise China's "efficiency" are ignoring the inevitable results of dictatorships: massive corruption and rampant human rights abuses. What if the "three people" are wrong? Look how "successful" China was when it was effectively one person (Mao) making decisions.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

CC: and Reply All

The first advice I give to new hires out of school is to never click on "Reply All" unless you really mean it. I'm on the mailing list of a Christian ministry and they sent out an email asking everyone if they would like the electronic version of their newsletter. However, instead of creating a custom email list, the email was sent to ~200 email addresses, all visible to each recipient. If you can't figure out mailing lists, at least use BCC: so you don't disclose your donors/customers/etc.

Even worse, people on the email are hitting reply all to answer whether they want the e-pub. I've received 3 such emails already within the last hour. Sigh...

Hackintosh

Woohoo, it worked!



eeeMac
Intel Atom N280 @1.66GHz
2GB RAM/160MB HDD

Right now most of the computer is working. I have wifi, Bluetooth, and sound. The Fn keys do not work yet and it only has Snow Leopard 10.6. I'm going to try and update it to 10.6.4 first and see if everything still works.

Sure it's not as sleek nor fast as a MacAir but it was an extra computer and I'll probably just use it to play music and surf the web.

==========

Well, 10.6.4 was a bust. I installed the update and the netbook would not boot anymore. I went back and reinstalled 10.6 but forgot to erase the HDD first so I had to start from scratch and re-partition the HDD. I think I'm back to a stable 10.6 install.

I've installed Chrome and editing the blog with my Hacintosh/eeeMac now. :)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Mac OS X on my Asus 1000HE Netbook

I've been thinking of buying a Mac notebook for awhile since I only have a Mac mini desktop. However, I could never justify the purchase since I have too many computers (PC desktop, PC notebook, PC netbook) already. Since I don't use my netbook anymore, I Googled "Mac OS X + netbook" and saw lots of success stories with my exact model, Asus 1000HE. I had already upgraded to 2GB of RAM so it should work.

I have the entire week off from work so this is my vacation project. Wish me luck!


Current status

==========

Dang it. First problem already... there's a big scratch on my Snow Leopard install DVD. I was having problems mounting the disc too. I guess I'll try again; otherwise I'll have to borrow/find another DVD.

==========

Part 1 success!



I was unable to use my expensive and legit Snow Leopard install disc so I had to download the dmg file (from a torrent found on Pirate Bay!) and restore it to a 16GB USB flash drive (sticking out on the right). Lots of other steps left to go. :(

==========

It seems like I'm three years late to the party. All the guides on how to install Snow Leopard on an 1000HE are from 2009, and links to KEXTs (drivers) are invalid. Now I'm debating whether I should make a boot only USB/SD, or actually install Mac OS on the notebook HDD.

I was mainly worried about wiping out the F9 recovery partition on the netbook HDD. All the SL install instructions end up re-partitioning the HDD which wipes out the recovery partition. I did find the original recovery DVD and verified that I can boot from it using an external DVD drive so I think I'm going to wipe the netbook and do a real OS install.

==========

@Anonymous - Thanks for the tip. I went to osx86.net but could not find a full install image for the 1000HE but there are a lot of files. I keep looking later.

Back to the install... I did get SL 10.6 to install but wifi only works when I boot from the USB drive. I think I did something wrong with the boot loader install. I also let the OS update automatically (to SL 10.6.8 I think) which caused a kernel panic error. I'm reinstalling 10.6 again and will stop (for now) if I can get wifi and sound to work for iTunes.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Chinese Mafia

Business Week
Xi Jinping, the man in line to be China’s next president, warned officials on a 2004 anti-graft conference call: “Rein in your spouses, children, relatives, friends and staff, and vow not to use power for personal gain.”

As Xi climbed the Communist Party ranks, his extended family expanded their business interests to include minerals, real estate and mobile-phone equipment, according to public documents compiled by Bloomberg.

Those interests include investments in companies with total assets of $376 million; an 18 percent indirect stake in a rare- earths company with $1.73 billion in assets; and a $20.2 million holding in a publicly traded technology company. The figures don’t account for liabilities and thus don’t reflect the family’s net worth.

People's Republic of China. Ha!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Loving U - Sistar

New song and music video!


Loving U - Sistar

It appears they shot the MV in Hawaii. Is this a new trend? The MV for Alone was shot in Las Vegas, probably during their last concert there.

==========

Cool, the album has 7 tracks and 5 are remixes of previous songs:

1. Loving U (러빙유)
2. Holiday (홀리데이)
3. Push Push (DJ Rubato Remix)
4. 나혼자 (Alone) (Smells Remix)
5. Ma Boy (Smells Remix)
6. 니까짓게 (How Dare You) (Demicat Remix)
7. So Cool (DJ Rubato Remix)



Friday, June 22, 2012

Worst.Fundraiser.Ever



Why The Face?! Seriously, what the hell are they thinking? This has got to be the worst idea ever for fundraising. Government is intrusive enough; we don't need "OBAMA/BIDEN" at every one of our personal events.

I think Obama overestimates how much people like him and underestimate how much this kind of crap irritates people.

Worst.President.Ever

Friday, June 15, 2012

7-Zip Ate My Files

:(

I had some files on a SD card and tried to ZIP a 56MB file using 7-Zip by right-clicking. I think by not specifying an output directory, it tried to create the ZIP file on the SD card. The process sat at 0% for about 90 seconds and I decided to click on cancel. Not only did it not compress the file, it decided to corrupt my SD card so now I can't read any file. It was a 2GB Sandisk and I had quite a few files. Hopefully I have a backup on a CD-R/DVD-R somewhere.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

ESL for Scammers

Speaking of email spam and scammers, I got this message from "USPS Services":
Notification,

Our company’s courier couldn’t deliver your parcel.

Reason It’s not right the address of recipient.
LOCATION OF YOUR PARCEL:KnoxvilleFort
DELIVERY STATUS: sort order
SERVICE: Local Pickup
NUMBER OF YOUR ITEM:U619256320 NU
INSURANCE: No

Label is enclosed to the letter.
Print your label and show it at the post office.

An additional information:
If the parcel isn’t received within 30 working days our company will have the right to claim compensation from you for it's keeping in the amount of $16.95 for each day of keeping over limited time.

You can find the information about the procedure and conditions of parcels keeping in the nearest office.

Thank you for attention.
USPS Services.

Huh? These scam email would work better if the English teachers in Nigeria were better qualified. :)

There was a 44k .rar file attached. Of course I didn't download and open the attachment. It probably contains Trojan.happili or some other virus from Vacations To Go.

Trojan.happili and Vacations To Go

About a month ago I posted my experience with Trojan.happili and how it hijacked my mom's computer. One of the apparent beneficiary of the malware was Vacations To Go (VTG); all the links for Royal Caribbean Cruises ended up at their website. I wrote a letter to VTG's CEO and got no response. I also unsubscribed to their email newsletter a month ago but I'm still receiving them, personally signed by the CEO. I'm not even going to try to unsubscribe again since it seems like Vacations To Go has no sense of business ethics; I'll just have to block their entire domain from my email. What a bunch of scumbags.

Again, there's a chance that VTG wasn't involved, which means someone wrote a trojan that redirects links to benefit VTG without their knowledge. Yeah, right. You would think they would at least reply to my email. Now I'm doubly glad that I didn't book my cruse through VTG.

Some common sense business tips:
- don't use viruses to hijack your customer's computer
- don't sign your name to email newsletters then ignore customer replies
- don't continue spamming your customers after they unsubscribed from said spam

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Third Culture Worship


You Love Me Still - Third Culture Worship

Irene is the lead singer in the video. I used to play bass for her when she led worship at NewSong NOC.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Friday Traffic

Ugh. It's going to take me 2 hours to get home. :(



Thursday, June 7, 2012

Badwill

Goodwill basketball game cancelled. Is there anything such as "goodwill" with the CCP?

Wall Street Journal
Now, a Chinese basketball team has called off games with the Philippines, the Agence France-Presse reports. The Shanghai Sharks—the team partially owned by native son and basketball star Yao Ming—had been slated this month to play two games in Manila, but the team’s vice general manager has asked for an indefinite postponement of the games, an official with the Philippine Sports Commission told the AFP.

The games were organized last year by both governments as a way to promote friendly sport exchanges between the two nations. However since April, China and the Philippines have been embroiled in an ugly maritime standoff in the South China Sea over a collection of rocks, reefs and islands called the Scarborough Shoal. Both countries claim the shoal, known as Huangyan Island in Chinese, as their territory.

Warning signs have been percolating for some time that the fate of the so-called “goodwill” games might be on the rocks. Earlier last month, a Sharks spokesman said it was unclear whether the team would be able to play. “It’s not about our decision right now,” he told Chinese state media.

The Sharks told Philippines sports officials the players’ passports weren’t ready and therefore they couldn’t participate. A Philippines official said the commission was “surprised” by this, given that the players had plenty of time to prepare their papers, says AFP.

Sigh... more lies. They were able to give Chen Guangcheng a passport in a few days, even sending someone to take his photo in the hospital. I guess anything is possible when you want an embarrassing situation swept under the rug.

This whole "dispute" is lame. Looking at a map, it's obvious that China is bullying their way into claiming someone else's territory; Scarborough Shoals is within 200 miles of the Philippines, which should be part of their EEZ.



There are some tiny uninhabited islands off the coast of Fujian. Maybe Philippines should go claim them as its territory. Stupid.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Illegal Air Pollution

No, the pollution itself is not illegal. As often the case in China, disseminating information about pollution is illegal.

Xinhuanet
BEIJING, June 5 (Xinhua) -- A foreign embassy's monitoring and issuing of air quality data in China is technically inaccurate and goes against international conventions and Chinese laws, an environment official said Tuesday in Beijing.

Vice Minister of Environmental Protection Wu Xiaoqing said to monitor air quality and release results, which involves the public interest, is the duty of the Chinese government.

"Some foreign embassies and consulates in China are monitoring air quality and publishing the results themselves. It is not in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, as well as environmental protection regulations of China," Wu told a press conference.

...

"According to international conventions, diplomats are obligated to respect and abide by the laws and regulations in their receiving states. In addition, they cannot interfere with the domestic issues of receiving states," said Wu.

I'm going to call bullsh*t on the Vienna Convention nonsense. I read elsewhere that the Chinese government said foreign embassies can collect air pollution data for their staff but not publish on the Internet. Really? The Vienna Convention regulates Twitter tweets?! Also, let's see this "environmental protection regulation"... I'll bet none of the actual polluters are in trouble, especially those with government connections. Since Twitter is blocked in China (there's probably no laws being followed there either), the US embassy is technically not publishing PM2.5 data in China anyway.

Monday, June 4, 2012

June 4th, 1989

In commemoration, here is the list of search terms blocked by Sina Weibo as reported in China Digital Times:
As of June 4, the following search terms are blocked on Weibo (not including the “search for user” function):

Individual Chinese characters:
fire (火): as in candle flame (烛火), torch (火炬), oil lamp (圣火)
candle (烛): as in [wax] candle (蜡烛), candlelight (烛光); Sina Weibo removed the candle emoticon over the weekend.
blood (血): as in bloody suppression (血腥镇压), bloody incident (流血事件)
people (民): as in People’s Liberation Army (人民解放军), democracy (民主)
movement (运): as in democracy movement (民运), student movement (学运)
move (动): as in student movement (如学生运动), memorial event (悼念活动), mobilize troops (出动军队)
government (政): as in Fang Zheng(方政), regimental commissar (团政委), one-party dictatorship (一党专政)
crush (碾): as in Fang Zheng‘s legs were crushed (方政被碾断双腿), crush and destroy (碾毁)
tǎn (坦): as in tank (坦克)
ceremony (祭): as in ceremony for Tiananmen victims (祭奠六四遇难者)

Numerals and Words Related to the Date of the Tiananmen Massacre:
8, 8 (八), eight (捌), eight: All forms of “eight” and other forms of the numbers below.
9, 9 (九), nine (玖), nine
6, 6 (六), six (陆), six
4, 4 (四), four (肆), four
23, 23 (廿三), 23 (二十三): Today is the 23rd anniversary of the massacre.
35, 35 (三十五): Netizens call today May 35th to get around the censors.

Other Related Terms:
anniversary (周年)
today (今天): searching for today’s date.
yesterday (昨天)
tomorrow (明天)
that year (那年): netizen code for 1989.
declaration (宣言): as in “Hunger Strike Declaration” (绝食宣言)
commemorate (纪念): commemorate 6.4 [as Tiananmen is frequently referred to] (纪念六四), Heroes Monument (英雄纪念碑), etc.
redress (平反): recall 6.4
Victoria Park (维园): An annual candlelight vigil is held in Hong Kong’s Victoria Park to remember the Tiananmen massacre.
park (公园)
recall (追思)
mourn (悼念): as in mourn 6.4
silent tribute (默哀)
evening event (晚会)
black clothes (黑衣): Netizens called for people to walk in the streets wearing black clothes to remember Tiananmen.
go into the street (上街)
never forget (勿忘): as in never forget 6.4 (勿忘六四), never forget the national calamity (勿忘国难)
never forget (毋忘): same as above
(Tian)anmen Mothers ((天)安门母亲)
Little Secretary (小秘书): as in the Sina Weibo “Little Secretary”
Twitter (推特): Chinese-language tweets tend to be democracy activists. During sensitive times, many share information about gatherings.
ism (主义): as in “overthrow socialism” (推翻社会主义)
autonomous (自治): as in “Peking University Student Government”(北大自治会)

Names of People Active in Tiananmen:
Bei Dao (北岛): On the eve of the Tiananmen Massacre, poet Bei Dao submitted a plea for political reform to the central government.
Yuan Mu (袁木): Former State Council Information Office spokesman and apologist for the regime. In April 1989 he spoke with 45 students in 16 high schools.
Deng Liqun (邓力群): leftist influence within the Party
Chen Xitong (陈希同): then-mayor of Beijing. He recently said Tiananmen was an avoidable tragedy.
Yan Jiaqi (严家其): sociology student who went into exile in the U.S
Han Dongfang (韩东方): Capital Autonomous Workers Federation leader during Tiananmen
Feng Congde (封从德): retested
Zhai Weimin (翟伟民): major player in the Capital Autonomous Federation of University Students
Chen Ziming (陈子明): currently a contributing writer to Deutsche Welle’s “China Observer” column