Tuesday, November 29, 2005

A Palestinian Podcast

A while ago I blogged about the revolution taking place across our western border lead by the Palestian Lyrical Front. Today I received a comment from Iron Sheik who seems to have started Kabobfest, a blog and a podcast from a Palestinain perspective. Worth listening to: Check out Kabobfest at http://www.kabobfest.com/ or subscribe to the podcast via iPodder/iTunes at http://www.kabobfest.blogspot.com/atom.xml Stick it in your ear [Note: atom.xml doesn't seem to be iPodder compaliant, you can subscribe using http://feeds.feedburner.com/ymalakha, up until Iron Sheik publishes his Feed]

random thought...

I wish Google would index my apartment, things would be much easier to find!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Smaller = Better?

I must admit I’m quite impressed, although I rarely am. I got my hands on this nice next generation toy earlier this morning; actually I had it for four days but I never bothered to check it out until today.

Now I should point out that this device is designed to be a media center on the go, and although it has built in Wifi, browsing can be quite difficult given the fact the device has no built in keyboard (it has a touch-sensitive screen, with an on screen keyboard, but I found it to be cumbersome), the resolution is way too high for a 5” screen, which can bother you while reading emails/long articles.

Navigation using the built in pointing stick was quite easy, although it takes a little bit of getting used to. DivX movies played perfectly in different lighting situations. The device runs hot, so you might want to wear oven mittens while holding in.

Few things I appreciated having built in were the SD/CD card readers and the single USB port. So you’re traveling somewhere sitting at a café with Wifi, you can pop out your CF card, pop into the Vaio and upload them straight to Flickr.

What impressed me most was the form factor/size. Imagine an Intel Celeron M 900 Mhz computer with 20Gb of diskspace, 512 MB of RAM, 20 GB HD, Wifi, SD/CF Readers, 5” screen all crammed into 6”x4” frame. Impressed?

Talk about ancient

Found on one of the basement shelves

I’ll check whether it’s still in a working condition during the weekend perhaps.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Openmind: Common Sense

Computers today are just plain dumb! The Open Mind Commonsense project is an attempt to make computers smarter by making it easy and fun for people all over the world to work together to give computers the millions of pieces of ordinary knowledge that constitute "common-sense", all those aspects of the world that we all understand so well we take them for granted. This repository of knowledge will enable us to create more intelligent and sociable software, build human-like robots, and better understand the structure our own minds.
I should commend the chaps at MIT for creating an AI project that allows everyone to take part in. Log-in and it starts asking you questions, you just answer the questions and it learns what we humans refer to as common sense. Creating a huge database of general knowledge to fuel future AI engines. Fascinating and addicting way to speed us on toward Technological Singularity Participate Here

Back to Geek: XBox 360 Linux Hack?

The chaps at Microsoft (or Micro$hit as some of you prefer) have been busy securing their XBox360; which the Free60 Project aims to crack and port an open operating system to (Linux, Darwin, BSD come to mind), so far they've gathered a lot of useful and detailed information on the inner workings of the XBox360, which seems to be seured down by:
  • The flash is encrypted with a per-box key
  • The key is stored inside the CPU
  • The boot ROM is stored inside the CPU
  • Also inside the CPU is a hypervisor that verifies the running state of the kernel, making sure there is no modification (RAM checksums), else the Xbox360 panics and blows up!
  • The CPU contains ROM inside of it to store the checksums
  • All interrupt/exception handling is done by the hypervisor
  • All code runs in kernel mode
  • The emulator for first generation games can be updated via an official Microsoft download burned to CD by the user, though the CDs’ content will be encrypted and signed with public key cryptography.The boot ROM is stored inside the CPU
This will be an interesting project to watch over the next couple of months. The XBox360 will make a rather handsome tripple core server. I'm positive, impenetrable as it may seem, some rather geekish bloke will be able to circumvent this, as they did with OSx86. I'm betting apple will use the same technology to protect against Mac OS X for intel running on regular PCs [read more] On a side note, Sony will demonstrate their PS3 at CES 2006

Dagdegni Episode One

The guys are at it again... Lo, and behold ladies and gentlemen, an enthralling drive with the one of the most loved and hated aspects of the Jordanian street; a conversation with a Amman taxi driver for the audio voyeur. Listen to Dagdegni here.

I am that fool…

Yup, I am that fool tapping away his Diet-Pepsi can. Why? Because quite some time ago, back in school to be more specific. I hung out with a couple of friends whom I credit for teaching me the unwritten secrets and rules of this world. One of which was in order to prevent your carbonated beverage from exploding all over you; you must (and this is vital) tap a couple of times on the top of your Pepsi can, or risk becoming the butt of all jokes. A couple of taps, that’s all! Surprisingly this habit stuck with me all those years. But “Does it work?” you might ask. It brings me back to the age-old philosophical question “If a man says something, and no woman is there to hear him, is he still wrong?”. Similarly, if you don’t tap the cap of your Pepsi can a couple of times, will it explode all over the place? Interesting question; you can try of course. But you’d risk having to clean up the mess. It has always been safer to just tap-tap-tap and everything is hunky-dory. Come to think of it. Don’t we do things like that all the time without even knowing if they actually work, just because someone somewhere claimed they would? How about drinking a glass of water with another's palms against one's ears to cure a hiccup? How about placing a blue bead on all of your possessions to protect you from the envious hordes. How about not opening your umbrella indoors? That’s a preventive measure that I don’t think anyone can prove actually works. What about staying at home and not going to clubs, hotels, showrooms, or canceling events altogether just to stay safe? Well Whoop-Tee-Dee-Do. I just tied tapping on my Diet Pepsi can, to post-terrorism-trauma. I find it amusing how we spend our lives doing all sorts of things to protect us from all sorts of evils. Whether those evils are self detonating terrorists, spirits from beyond or a huge stream of carbonated beverage in our face. I guess I can safely conclude we’re a bunch of trusting people. And I wonder is that a problem?

Friday, November 25, 2005

The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of Politics of Fear

In the past our politicians offered us dreams of a better world. Now they promise to protect us from nightmares. The most frightening of these is the threat of an international terror network. But just as the dreams were not true, neither are these nightmares. In a new series, the Power of Nightmares explores how the idea that we are threatened by a hidden and organised terrorist network is an illusion.
Length: 1 Hour / Episode Starring: Sayed Ktob, Leo Strauss, Neo-Conservatism, Jahiliya, Ayman Zawahri, Osama Bin Ladin, Abu Mus'ab Al Zarqawi, George Bush, Tony Blair. Highly Recommended in Video, requires Quicktime Episode I: Baby It's Cold Outside (Video (180 MB) | Audio (28 MB)) Episode II: The Phantom Victory (Video (180 MB)| Audio (28 MB)) Episode III: The Shadows in the cave (Video (180 MB) | Audio (28 MB))

Monday, November 21, 2005

It was a rainy day today..

Oh, by the way, manties.

Today's thoughts on Ché Guevara

Everyone is a Marxist nowadays! Shmisani Kids, East Los Ammanyatos (that’s Spanish, I think). Even Zarqawi’s in some cases (people emerging from Los De Zarqa, not to be confused with the stupid terrorist who's head I’m offering $10 bucks on). Everyone is a revolutionary fighter of power. Everyone is hooked on anti-capitalism. And everyone is strutting around in a Ché Guevara top. Viva Ché, El Comandate Amigo. You’ve seen all those Ché Guevara tops around haven’t you? The all have that signature Alberto Diaz Gutierrez’s Photograph; with Ché’s eyes gazing into the distance like a prophet. Today, and due to kind weather one of my colleagues; who shall forever be unnamed *cough* Mohammed *cough* walked in wearing one. Following is the conversation we had: Me: Nice top you’ve got there, you listen to him? Him: Oh yeah, but I like Metallica much better (A long thoughtful beat, then-) Me: Yeah Metallica kicks ass! It’s kinda sad James Hetfeild doesn’t wear a beret. Cause those things are, like, so fucking cool. Him: Spot on man, spot on! Me: It’s a sad thing he died. Him: He did? No fucking way! Me: Yeah, it’s a sad world we live in mate. (We both agree and part ways) I can’t deny Ché is a cool name, we don’t see t-shirts that sprout “Viva Ernesto” for a reason. I can’t deny he’s quite a looker either, (that fucking cool) beret, beard and long hair do not hurt his looks. He’s indeed the perfect rock star revolutionary. What troubles me is the fact that most people I’ve met don’t know who he is. Those who did couldn't even provide a 10 seconds bio of him! Are we going to cluelessly start wearing images of Adolph Hitler, Josef Stalin and Charles Manson as a fashion statement? I can go on and on and on about this. I personally don’t have a Guevara top, for I’m still not a Cuban Marxist party member. I also don’t think wearing his photo is the best way to express solidarity with him. So unless you are the first person to ever wear a Ché Guevara T-shirt, you should probably know that you’re a total tool. Oh yeah. You revolutionary, power fighting Ché Guevara T-Shirt wearing bad-ass! You’re a total tool and I hate to break it to you but in your case, ass doesn’t take the prefix “bad”; it takes the suffix “hole”

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Hmmm....

This is not a joke! A new study claims oral sex is linked to mouth cancer
Certain cases of mouth cancer appear to be caused by a virus that can be contracted during oral sex, media reported, quoting a new Swedish study. “You should avoid having oral sex,” dentist and researcher Kerstin Rosenquist, who headed the study, told Swedish news agency TT.
Read More

Die Hard Capturing Bin Laden

What’s the underlying motive here eh Bruce?
Actor Bruce Willis has offered $1 million to anyone who turns in al-Qaeda terror leaders. The patriotic “Die Hard” star will pay out for information on the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden, Aymen Al-Zawahiri or Abu Musab Al-zarqawi, the alleged brains behind the 9/11 atrocity.
Read More Here You know what? I may have just realized what the problem with this country is... no one has ever offered a bounty on a terrorist's head... so here's 10 bucks out of my own pocket. Bring me the head of Zarqawi! I wonna drink beer out of his empty head! I wonna have a Zarqawi Skull Keg Party at my apartment, ok? He bombs, you hunt, we party. On a side note, any idea how's Bin Laden? Did he survive Pakistan's earthquake? I certainly hope he's getting his kidney medication and dialysis done; all untraced by the CIA, NSA, MI5, MI6 and other intelligence agnecies working on this of course...

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Today’s thoughts on terrorism (For mature audiences only)

After half a dozen emails fired back and forth with Zarqawi. I received an enigmatic package in the mail yesterday. It was beaten, battered, and covered in dirt. Inside hundreds of worn pages written in an ancient tongue. The title read “The hitchhikers Guide to Terrorism

I enlisted the help of all the people that I know, and came in contact with many others intent on deciphering the secret as well. There were moments where we sincerely doubted we’d be able to figure it out, there were moments of chronic laughter, and others filled with fear (especially when we went looking for a book in the attic and came across a spider). But alas, before long, the ancient tongue was deciphered. The commandments read:

“Thou shalt not watch the tube” Or take notice of the false ceiling at the wedding and realize false ceilings do not kill 30 human beings.

“Thou shalt not take notice of word-of-mouth epidemic” Or realize that Amman is a small community where everyone knows everyone, or at least know someone who knows someone; that facts are hardly obtained from the media, and that altering the truth won’t help. “Thou shalt belittle the IBF (Israel & Bush Factor)” And neglect the fact that Israel would have loved to cry forever about its casualties, and that Bush needs every reason to justify keeping his troops in the Middle East. (Play Contemplative Sound Track Here) I don’t know about you, but I hate missing 24 and I’m not willing to give up my TV rights or my brain just yet. So, I guess I’ll just hang out here and smoke some pot, and leave terrorism to some lunatic determined on disrupting lives of hundreds maybe thousands of innocent civilians.

Footnotes:

  1. This is fiction, no actual emails were exchanged with anyone, well aside from porno webmasters who are so intent on ripping me off! But you disregarded the “for mature audiences only” warning didn’t you?
  2. I personally hate spiders; they just give me the willies. No spiders were hurt in this production… No tree/animal huggers on my back please, thank you
  3. I have no contemplative soundtracks.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

9/11Amman

I’m not going to echo what’s already been said on the Jordanian Blogosphere. The posts on JordanPlanet.com say it all. Did anyone notice that today is 911 in Arabic? I can only wonder if this is just a happenstance or a reminder that freedom has a price, which I'm sure you'll all disagree with.