Blabberbox:Random blog-like posts from pftq.Share on Twitter

The World At Hand

February 18th, 2008 | Posted by pftq in Essays | #
  Day after day, millions of Americans worry over the most miniscule of problems.  From children to fully-grown adults, the average citizen just fails to concern themselves with significant tasks, fails to put more time where time is needed, fails to see the meaning of life.  As toddlers, they worry over troubling matters such as loss of candy or the horrors of having to share with fellow peers.  As children, they fight over the ownership of poorly-crafted plastics and cheat each other over debts of up to a quarter.  As teenagers, they stress for days over the look of their hair, cause the biggest fuss over the color of their shirt, debate with all their might over the quality of their socks, which they promptly toss aside after a day's wear.

  Upon reaching adulthood, these same individuals only double their attitudes; their issues remain more or less of the same importance.  Ownership can no longer be resolved in small quarrels;...[More]
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eBay Spoof Emails

February 18th, 2008 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #

Seems to be a lot going around lately.  Got another spoof email - this time pretending to be eBay.  Funny thing is it asked a question about something I was supposedly selling - but I never sell anything. :P

Subject: Question from eBay member- eluxeauctions.

Hello, I want to make sure that PayPal is ok to pay for my item. I am waiting for your answer as soon as possible.

Thank you.
Scott.

Easy way to check if it is fake is to simply hover your mouse over the email links.  Doing this, you would find that this specific email has all links pointing to some site called www.thepenalcolony.com - wouldn’t even bother visiting, more than likely a malicious site.

There really ought to be a law or something to counter this.

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Passing of Times

February 17th, 2008 | Posted by pftq in Essays | #
  I remember ever so sharply the more distant moments of my past.  I can remember far back to my first years of consciousness, perhaps 3 or 4 years old.  I could not comprehend even what age was at the time, but I could remember the finest details of our somewhat old and rundown, yet ever so familiar home.  I could recall the dreamlike sharpness of the silver faucet in our kitchen sink, the brownish tinge of the soft carpet beneath my feet, and the flare of the bleeding-blue sky outside my window.  There was the greatest satisfaction in the simplest of things, from the mere planting of a cornstalk to the feeding of ducks and fishes.  I cared less for the future and more for the moment.  Each day held a new surprise.  Baby birds would occasionally fall from the tree in the front lawn.  Frogs and crickets could be found in the backyard if one searched hard enough.  The world was unbounded.  One day I found myself finally able to ride...[More]
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A Day's Lost

January 9th, 2008 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
  "Son! You need to get your grades up!" my mother exclaimed loudly.  She paced across the room and glanced repeatedly back at me, anxious to see my reaction but disappointed at my blank stare.  "You will become a failure! Nobody will give you a job!"

  I did not understand; I had almost straight As - perhaps one B.  I opened my mouth to protest, but immediately she thrust her finger into my right eye.

  "Son! Why do you have a scar on your cheek? Wash it off!"

  I stared...[More]
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Five Fingers

December 31st, 2007 | Posted by pftq in Essays | #
  "How many fingers am I holding?" he asked peevishly. He waved his hand madly in the air as if doing so would make his hand more visible.

  In broad daylight, it was easy to see that he held up all five fingers; whether he held them intentionally or he simply waved his entire hand carelessly, it was not clear. It did not matter what answer was given or if any was given to him at all. If I suggested five, he would merely insist the thumb was not a finger; if I suggested four, he would say otherwise. If I did not answer or I answered wrong, I'd just be blind.

  Sometimes people forget that I was once able to see just as well as any of them. When much younger and not ruined by misadvice and overwork, not being able to see was unheard of; it was inconceivable. Warned as we were, told to be on the watch for any signs of blur or fatigue, none of us could imagine the seemingly distant notion actually becoming reality. Seeing was a divine right, an...[More]
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Arlulu

December 25th, 2007 | Posted by pftq in Stuck in My Head | #
Arlulu by Sevanimation
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Pining Over Apples

December 19th, 2007 | Posted by pftq in Essays | #
   Fearless it was.  Covered on all ends with a stubbly patched but thorn-riddled coat, intricately yet thickly woven, it was protected, shielded, nothing could harm it.  Its smooth, lumpy coat, designed with elaborate earthly brown patches and forest-green rings, provided its camouflage to hide it amidst the wilderness.  Scattered about its coat, finely embroidered, leaf-like blades stood dangerously perked, ready to defend and retaliate.  Tall and proud it stood, towering over the fellow fruits, a frizzy batch of foliage attached sleazily about its top to further boost its height.  How strong it must have felt, ready to face the harshest of treatment, the worst of cruelty.

   How wrong it was.  With a heavy thud, it crashed and rolled about the tabletop, helpless on its side, rolling hopelessly without an end.  With a simple plunge of the knife, blade delving deep, the coat was split.  Restrained by nothing more than my bare hands, the leafy blades...[More]
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Deciding on New Domain Name

December 11th, 2007 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #

Trying to decide on another domain name… There won’t be any real purpose for the site yet, so I’m trying to keep it just catchy and memorable (nothing hard to spell).

Vote Here for the Domain I Should Use

I’m also trying to decide between Bluehost and Lunarpages for the hosting company, so if you’ve any experience with them, I’d be greatful on any insight of the two companies.

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Things to Think About

November 30th, 2007 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
- Don't hesitate over what you already know.
- To yourself, you are everything.  To everyone else, you are nothing.
- Go all out. Never hold back.  It's worse to do something part way than to not do it at all.  The worst that can happen is overdoing it and succeeding.
- There's no reason to do something if you don't intend to do it.  There's no reason to live if you don't want to make life worth living.
- Treat the world as if it's flat because most of the time it will be.
- Life adapts to its environment before trying to change it.
- Just because you aren't flawless doesn't mean you shouldn't try to be.
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Just Because You Aren't Flawless

November 6th, 2007 | Posted by pftq in Thought of the Day | #
Just because you aren't flawless doesn't mean you shouldn't try to be.
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A Flat World

November 6th, 2007 | Posted by pftq in Thought of the Day | #
Treat the world as if it's flat because most of the time it will be.
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Insomnia Film Festival

October 20th, 2007 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Hey all - sorry to be begging for your guys' vote yet again. Tongue
     A team I'm part of at school worked from 6am Saturday Oct.13 till past 3am Sunday morning to finish our video for the Insomnia Film Festival.  The contest this time determines their winner entirely on PUBLIC rating, so we need as many people as possible to rate the video full score.  

  - Go to the Insomnia Film Gallery and find the following videos: Unwanted Company
  - Rate it accordingly (excellent prefered Tongue ).  You will need to be logged into an Apple account; if you don't have one, make one! We spent 21 hours on this; you can spare a few minutes of your time please?

     Tell everyone you know to vote (including family members) - the contest specifically suggests having all friends and family to EACH create an account and vote!

Thanks all! Smiley
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New Amazon Spoof Email

October 16th, 2007 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #

For the unwary - there’s been a new Amazon spoof email supposedly asking you to verify your account ownership at Amazon. It may seem very authentic (has proper recipient info + sender email etc). The links are even displayed as “amazon.com”, but actually clicking it would lead to a completely different site (the page just looks like Amazon). Just something to keep a heads up on.

For the curious, here is what the email stated:

Greetings from Amazon Payments.

Your bank has contacted us regarding some attempts of charges from your credit card via the Amazon system. We have reasons to believe that you changed your registration information or that someone else has unauthorized access to your Amazon account Due to recent activity, including possible unauthorized listings placed on your account, we will require a second confirmation of your identity with us in order to allow us to investigate this matter further. Your account is not suspended, but if in 48 hours after you receive this message your account is not confirmed we reserve the right to suspend your Amazon registration. If you received this notice and you are not the authorized account holder, please be aware that it is in violation of Amazon policy to represent oneself as another Amazon user. Such action may also be in violation of local, national, and/or international law. Amazon is committed to assist law enforcement with any inquires related to attempts to misappropriate personal information with the intent to commit fraud or theft. Information will be provided at the request of law enforcement agencies to ensure that perpetrators are prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

To confirm your identity with us click here:
https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/flex-sign-in/ref=pd_irl_gw_r/103-3177084-7567864?opt=oa&page=recs/sign-in-secure.html

After responding to the message, we ask that you allow at least 72 hours for the case to be investigated. Emailing us before that time will result in delays. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause you and we would like to thank you for your cooperation as we review this matter.

Thank you for your interest in selling at Amazon.com.

Amazon.com Customer Service
http://www.amazon.com

This message and any files or documents attached may contain classified information. It is intended only for the individual or entity named and others authorized to receive it. If you are not the intended recipient or authorized to receive it, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution or taking any action in reliance on the contents of this information is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. If you have received this communication in error, please notify us immediately then delete it from your system. Please also note that transmission cannot be guaranteed to be secure or error-free.

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Killer Amoeba

September 29th, 2007 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #

Killer Amoeba

Something scarier than Mad Cow. Always the brain wasting ones that seem to catch my attention. O_O

Another Report - Reporter on the video seems a little too happy about the issue?

They say that the disease is very hard to get (Disease? It literally eats your brain…) and requires that you actually have damage in the nasal area (a cut or similar for the amoeba to enter) to actually hurt you. Water must also be at 90 degrees F constantly for the amoeba to thrive. Then they go and contradict these by saying most of who reportedly had the disease were “healthy, college-aged adults”. Okay…

Then there’s some rather dramatic headings out there:
“Killer Amoeba PLAGUES Texas Lake” (a very rare plague indeed..)
“Killer Amoeba for the Warming!” (?)

I guess I just won’t go swimming for a while…

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Playback MPEG2 and AVCHD

September 23rd, 2007 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #

Been looking around for a codec to play MPEG2 and AVCHD for a long time now. My computer can play MPEG2, but no thumbnails are visible for the files. AVCHD just comes to a standstill.

I did however, come across a very nice solution.

Review of Sony HDR-SR1…

Scroll down to playback of AVCHD (or search PowerDVD). Basically, you can install the trial of PowerDVD and have all its codecs (playback of MPEG2 and AVCHD + thumbnails) at your disposal.

To use the codecs without keeping the trial installed (which btw, is disgustingly filled with ads asking you to buy the product), go to the PowerDVD directory.

Do a search for CL264dec.ax and copy that to C:\Windows\system32\

Click Start > Run and type C:\windows\system32\regsvr32 CL264dec.ax to register the codec.

You can now play MPEG2 and AVCHD in most players + see its thumbnails.

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Working with AVCHD Video

September 16th, 2007 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #

Recently obtained a camcorder that records to AVCHD video; those wondering about HD Camcorders really ought not to - the prices are relatively the same as standard-def now, no point settling for that. However, for those who wish to edit their video, AVCHD notoriously poses a problem. Few programs support editing for it; Adobe Premiere (what I use) specifically fails to import it.
Not that I doubt I shall be stuck this way for long though; I will be spending the next few days hunting for a way to edit it. I’ve already found some work-arounds, but they do not provide true editing and/or are flawed.
For example:
Editing AVCHD in Premiere without intermediate codec - This is as close to native editing as I’ve found so far (native, meaning no conversions before or after editing). However, the method here loads the files in RAM. What’s the problem with this? Remember that this is an HD format; imagine loading several GB of video into RAM. Many people may not even have more than 1 GB of RAM and will force their programs to shut down.

Editing AVCHD Made Easy - This method is definitely not anywhere close to native editing, but it does the job. It basically has you convert the files to an editable format before importing. The only problems are disc space and conversion time. There’s also that “eRightSoft Super (c)” program that looks pretty darn suspicious. There’s a debate on how safe this program is on Monkeyless’s blog, but it’s pretty inconclusive. The good thing though, is that it allows video players to view AVCHD - this lets you choose which clips to convert to AVCHD - saving you a bit of space and time.

Of course, the ideal solution would be if Adobe supported the format in the first place…

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Adobe CS3 Install Solution

August 29th, 2007 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #

For those who did a bit of searching on their own part and know that an older version of Flash is messing up the Adobe CS3 install…

Even after deleting all instances of Flash on both the harddrive and registry, I was not able to install Adobe so hopefully this solution helps a few people. Please make sure you have done a bit of research yourself first; I recommend reading Components Install Failed at the very least to have some idea of what you need to do.

First off: Do NOT reinstall Adobe CS3 over and over again. Go to the Content CD >… Goodies > Adobe Flash > Flash Player Install

Since the Flash Player is the one messing up, you only need to run Flash to see if you fixed your problem. If you didn’t, you’ll get an error message about an older version of Flash. This takes only a minute, compared to the hour spent installing CS3.

When you’ve made sure you deleted all instances of Flash and still have this problem, go to Run, enter eventvwr, Application… Take a look at the errors. One should be the older version of Flash from before, but you’ll notice other errors as well.

For me, there was another error claiming “Unexpected or missing value…” and ending in “…\Microsoft\Installer\Products\{Random Gibberish}\SourceList”. {RandomGibberish} is what you need to search for in your registry now and remove. You may have to do this multiple times if you have more than one error (I had 2 in addition to the older version of Flash).

After doing this, I ran the Flash install again (from Content disc) and it installed fine. Ran the Adobe CS3 and it installed fine as well.

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Selling Camcorder

August 25th, 2007 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #

I originally bought a Sony SR300 camcorder back in May for use in a school club. Turns out, as we obtained another camcorder just last month, we no longer need this one. It is virtually brand-new condition, only used for a few months, and for those who know me, you can be certain I took excellent care of it.

Those who just happen to need a very nice camcorder (it’s Sony’s top standard def camcorder) or want take advantage of a good deal (selling it near half the price of retail) may want to check it out on eBay here.

You can see the official specs at Sony here. Its original price is $999 and it was only released earlier this year.

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Hiding Wordpress Dashboard Completely

August 3rd, 2007 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #

Read on a few sites that people were trying to figure out how to hide the dashboard on Wordpress to non-admin users. Some said they could hide the link on the panel, but not redirect it. Others said vice versa.

Anyways, I tried it on my own site right here - if you have an account, you can go to your profile and see if you can find the Dashboard (which I hope you shouldn’t :-/ ).

Here’s how to do it:
1) Download ‘Hide Dashboard’ Plugin from Deepwave. However, his plugin will allow you to get to the dashboard via address. The main part, however, is finished. :P

2) Go to your main wordpress directory > wp-admin folder. Find index.php and open it with notepad. Right under the second line

require_once(’admin.php’);

Insert: if (!current_user_can(’level_10′) ) wp_redirect(”profile.php”);

Save it onto your site. You’re done :P

Yea, it is directly modding the files on #2. If anyone knows of a plugin way to do it (insert 1 line… -_-), feel free to say. I myself have no problem making an extra edit if I ever upgrade the wordpress software. :P

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My Antonia

August 1st, 2007 | Posted by pftq in Recently Read | #
My Antonia by Willa Cather
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