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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 15th, 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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A Yellow Raft in Blue Water

August 1st, 2007 | Posted by pftq in Recently Read | #
A Yellow Raft in Blue Water by Michael Dorris
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Girl in Hyacinth Blue

August 1st, 2007 | Posted by pftq in Recently Read | #
Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland
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Six Flags Discovery Kingdom?

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

        The names get weirder every time.   I still remember when I first went there and my dad (misinterpreting the name) called it just Marine World.   I later learned it was Marine World Africa USA, which made no sense to me at all.   It’s like naming something Lava World Antarctica Greenland.   How could you have a marine, oceanic world and a continent, a land mass called  Africa, in a country, USA, at the same time? Every part of the name is a different location… I guess it makes the name unique though.

        They later named it to Six Flags Marine World - which was fine.   The name didn’t sound as awkward to say; most people I knew just called it, and still only call it, Marine World.   Now they rename it to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom.   Why? Apparently, it’s supposed to reflect the animal sections and thrill rides of the park as well.   The park did not change much at all, however.   Looking through the map, it looks very different from the park I remember last year, but upon closer inspection, what they really did was give everything a more cartoonish look (only on the map though fortunately).

        Instead of renaming the park, Six Flags should focus more on actually improving it.      It seems more or less the park is just getting ready to shut down.   Six Flags Marine World  actually  spend the first 4 years of the millenium without any killer whales at all.   The water raft ride was rarely open.   The ‘DinoSphere’ 3D theater ride somehow went from escaping dinosaurs on a volcanic island, to rescuing dinosaurs, to somehow riding inside the head of a warrior, and finally to not being 3D at all (they ditched the glasses) and being a Stargate ride.   One of the few rides I actually like, Starfish, they took out.   They tried to add a new coaster, Zonga, but the ride was almost always closed and was shutdown after a mere 2 years.   Vertical Velocity is no longer vertical, but actually shorter by 30 feet.

        Instead, they go off and install a ton of kiddie areas.   The first one was fine - it more or less rethemed a section of the park.   They seem to be running out of ideas however, as they later plopped a rotating orca ride right amongst Roar, the go-karts, and V2.   Next they get Tava’s Jungleland, which doesn’t even have a jungle by the way, and now they’re building a Thomas town.

        They had me fooled for a bit when they renamed it to Discovery Kingdom; I actually thought they had something new.   But it’s still just Marine World (with a lot more little kid rides than there used to be :( ).

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Programming Resources

July 22nd, 2007 | Posted by pftq in 42 | #

Learning Java in 24 hours, etc

  Resources for learning non-web languages like Java or C will be noted here.  The first non-web language I picked up was Java.  I normally list resources as I find them and in the order I use them.  Check out the Web Design resources for my actual pathway starting any programming/language at all through HTML, PHP, MySQL, and other web-related languages.
  If you come across other great resources, feel free to send them to me.

Java

[More]
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Site on Standstill

July 21st, 2007 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #

        Well I’m back from my summer school program.   Unfortunately, I can’t say I learned enough Java to actually do anything with it; quite the opposite - I learned nothing at all.   You can take a look at some of the links in Java Resources  such as Sams Teach Yourself Java in 24 Hours  - stop at about half way through - and that’s as far we ever got.   Not even anything on a graphical user interface (meaning the program is only text).

        In any case, due to a number of projects I’m involved with, I may or may not update the site at all within the following month or so.   I’ve also more or less given up on  the gaming section a bit.    Too much effort  put into it without anything given back.   This means WiB is probably discontinued and Age of Mythology/Empires III will  not be seeing me again.    The  ”Age of” games in particular seem to have a community which is constant “rebirth” in that  previous  findings in the game are forgotten and refounded over and over again.   I’ll probably be available for contact, but do not expect any changes or new highlights.   Site is officially on standstill for now…

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Preventing Myopia

July 16th, 2007 | Posted by pftq in 42 | #
Can glasses worsen nearsightedness and Myopia?

Quote
** Update 2019: I have pretty much confirmed, at least for myself, that getting stronger glasses each year was the cause of my myopia.  I stopped going to eye exams and getting stronger glasses since 7th grade, which is over 15 years ago now.  I also made deliberate effort to never wear my glasses except when needed to read far.  During that time, I only went back once at the end of college to replace broken glasses, and that prescription ended up being pretty much the same as eight years prior.  Another seven years later, today, after going back to replace broken glasses, my prescription still ended up being close to what it was over a decade ago.  

My eyes went from 0 to -5.00 diopters from 4th to 7th grade in a matter of 3 years, during which doctors gave me stronger glasses every year.  Eight years later after avoiding eye doctors for so long, my replacement glasses ended up still only -5.25 diopters.  Now, my newest prescription 7 years after that is -6.00 diopters, of which I currently have to practically argue with the eye doctor not to prescribe the full amount and restart the worsening cycle.  It's a bit too much a coincidence to think it had nothing to do with when I stopped upping the prescription every year.
...[More]
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Summer School

June 21st, 2007 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #

  I will be gone for the next month or so at a summer school program.   Basically it lets you live and take a class or two at a college for the summer (dorms and everything).   There’s supposedly not air conditioning there, so wish me best of luck lol.   I might poke my head in once in a while if they have internet, but I don’t know for sure.   I’ll be back around July 22 or so.  

    Classes I’ll be taking? Just one - that’s Java as I mentioned before.   Each class is extremely expensive.   That just means more free time for me though. :P

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Learning Java

June 19th, 2007 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #

        Will be taking Java at a college this summer.   Thought it was Javascript at first, but ah well.   The two are close enough I think.

        I’m trying to look at a few tutorials and know a bit of it before I start the course though.   Currently, I’m just using the the main Java Tutorials off the official site, but if anyone knows some other good tutorials, do let me know.   Thanks!

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Death

June 11th, 2007 | Posted by pftq in 42 | #

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