Friday, December 08, 2006

Cockraches can survive a nuclear holocaust

But they won't survive in a glass of Coke.

Taken From an article I read on on the 8th of December...

Have you ever wondered why Coke comes with a smile? It’s because it gets you high. They took the cocaine out almost a hundred years ago. You know why? It was redundant.

  • In The First 10 minutes: 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system. (100% of your recommended daily intake.) You don’t immediately vomit from the overwhelming sweetness because phosphoric acid cuts the flavor allowing you to keep it down.
  • 20 minutes: Your blood sugar spikes, causing an insulin burst. Your liver responds to this by turning any sugar it can get it’s hands on into fat. (There’s plenty of that at this particular moment)
  • 40 minutes: Caffeine absorption is complete. Your pupils dialate, your blood pressure rises, as a response your livers dumps more sugar into your bloodstream. The adenosine receptors in your brain are now blocked preventing drowsiness.
  • 45 minutes: Your body ups your dopamine production stimulating the pleasure centers of your brain. This is physically the same way heroin works, by the way.
  • >60 minutes: The phosphoric acid binds calcium, magnesium and zinc in your lower intestine, providing a further boost in metabolism. This is compounded by high doses of sugar and artificial sweeteners also increasing the urinary excretion of calcium.
  • >60 Minutes: The caffeine’s diuretic properties come into play. (It makes you have to pee.) It is now assured that you’ll evacuate the bonded calcium, magnesium and zinc that was headed to your bones as well as sodium, electrolyte and water.
  • >60 minutes: As the rave inside of you dies down you’ll start to have a sugar crash. You may become irritable and/or sluggish. You’ve also now, literally, pissed away all the water that was in the Coke. But not before infusing it with valuable nutrients your body could have used for things like even having the ability to hydrate your system or build strong bones and teeth.

This will all be followed by a caffeine crash in the next few hours. (As little as two if you’re a smoker.) But, hey, have another Coke, it’ll make you feel better.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Moved to the bay, but not quite settled

I had the pleasure of meeting many other celebs at the Googleplex. It is a great place to be. The acclimation process takes a long time, but I'm in it for the long haul. Keeping the world posted, one snippet at a time. -b

Friday, June 30, 2006

Lobbyists and Congress : Net Neutrality Amendment Rejected

It doesn't seem to me like Congress knows what they're doing anymore . I wish they would just stop listening to lobbyists...that would be a great start. The telco lobbyists pulled it off. They duped our Congress. The Senate Commerce Committee approved on Wednesday an all-encompassing telecommunications reform bill with a bi-partisan vote of 15-7, and achieved their goal of having the Senate Committee rejecting the Net Neutrality Amendment.

The telcos have great incentive to go forth with pushing Congress towards this direction mainly due to their interests in holding their monopoly and stunting the growth of any competition with the advent of voice over ip. As Cringely clearly points out, voip is useless with too much latency.

Now that this stupid charade has started, where does it stop? I wonder when they're going to start rigging cars to go faster in certain highways...will we see Japanese versus American car manufacturer lobbyists in Congress next? They might as well, and hurry before Congress realizes what they've done. They've proved how amazingly gullible they can be. This makes absolutely no sense to me and it goes against the very foundation of our constitution.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Some Big Names Working at Google

Snippets I'm borrowing from this article.

Guido Van Rossum - The inventor of Python.

Ben Goodger - Firefox Lead Developer

Vint Cerf - THE "Internet Architect." Cerf, who co-designed TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol), was hired to help Google develop architectures and standards for next-generation applications, the company said at the time. He is also working on a new set of communication protocols meant to be used in deep space for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory aimed at creating an Internet communications connection between planets.

Dr. Larry Brilliant. Yes that's his last name. He will be executive director of, the philanthropic arm of the company that is investing more than $7 million on issues related to global poverty, health, energy and the environment. Brilliant is an award-winning physician, friend of '60s icon Wavy Gravy, and an epidemiologist who spent more than a decade in India and, by the way, was also co-founder of the pioneering online community known as The Well.

Andy Hertzfeld, who worked on Apple Computer's original Macintosh development team and was hired by Google in August 2005, said the potential for changing the world is what attracted him to the Mountain View, Calif., company.

Adam Bosworth, who left his job as BEA Systems chief architect to be a vice president of engineering at Google in July 2004. Before that, he was a senior manager at Microsoft where he worked on XML and Microsoft Access PC Database.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Cheap Drinking Water from the Ocean

An MIT Tech Review Article writes: t "Carbon nanotube-based membranes will dramatically cut the cost of desalination." A water desalination system using carbon nanotube-based membranes could significantly reduce the cost of purifying water from the ocean. The technology could potentially provide a solution to water shortages both in the United States, where populations are expected to soar in areas with few freshwater sources, and worldwide, where a lack of clean water is a major cause of disease.

Despite all the bad news we get fed from the major media sources, I believe the good times are ahead.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Philanthropic Manipulation

You want to get your friends into sushi, a non-fiction book, soccer, feta cheese or anything else that is a hard sell, i.e. a non-mainstream product/service in this country - Something that you think no one should miss out on. Where to start? Well, simply put, should you accept the mission, you have now become a salesman.

You have to sell it to them. And if you're lucky enough to be the first person who is exposing them to whatever it is that you're exposing them to, you are about to take up some important civic responsibility. Presentation is crucial. The criteria can be summed in a few words: order of presentation, conviction, empathy, and energy.

Let's take a simple example: I've turned one of my friends that really wasn't into tomatoes, into a tomato fan. The problems was that he was exposed to tomatoes through ones that suck, i.e. tomatoes you find in MCburgers, standard Albertson's 'bargain' tomatoes, etc. I gave him a few slices of campari tomatoes (very small tomatoes on the vine) along with some sea salt on them. Yep - an instant 180.

Everyone uses a different lens to look at things. If one is not fond of something, it's probably because they're looking at the 'something' with a crappy lens and hence see a crappy picture. The art comes in where you find the perfect lens for the person/group in question.

Get a game plan together. Put yourself in their shoes. Use analogies to break down complex concepts if there are any. Even better, use analogies that are relative to the subject/group of people you are presenting to. Most of the time you only get one chance to convince somebody - especially older people. Once older people make up their minds, their ego will stop at nothing to change the mind, however reasonable "flip-flopping" may well be.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Moving to Mountain View

I have accepted a job offer at Google and will be moving to Mountain View in the very near future. I am saddened to leave Santa Barbara, but equally excited about what's to come ahead, which hopefully will consist of challenging and good times. If anyone has any advice on good neighborhoods, places to live, feel free to post.

Carpe Diem

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Windows Vista Beta 2, Free to Download and Use

Windows Vista Beta 2 is officially free to download and use. This is a smart move on Microsoft's part. Vista has bugs. As people start using their new operating system, error reports will be submitted to Microsoft. A big user base is priceless during beta testing. Way to go common sense. Another word on common sense - it appears that the Windows server farms are being overloaded because everyone is trying to download the new OS. Well, a few people who do have common sense put up this website, which is a torrent of the Vista Beta 2 ISO. Sigh.

Monday, June 05, 2006

New Games, Old Games, Imagination

I have always been a fan of game playability/fun factor/games that make you use your imagination - similar to a book. IMHO complicated graphics, sound, and movies inside games seem like they tend to take away from the fun of the game. If I wanted to play a game that looked absolutely like real life, I guess I woulnd't use a game console and go play real tennis. The 256 colors and the 8-bit sound had a magic to it.

There used to be a game by Lucasfilms called Indiana Jones 3, Last crusade, on the PC, around 1990 or so, in the game you could go anywhere you wanted, and solve puzzles not necessarily in the order that they need to be solved. Graphics were VGA, 256 colors, but now that I think about it, the fact that I used my imagination more might have made the game a bit more fun; the fact that the boss didn't look picture perfect helped him out a bit, similar to reading a book and visualizing the characters.

It's hard to pin down what I'm really trying to say here, but I loved the Sierra games of the 80s, but maybe it's beause I'm older, but today's games just don't do it for me anymore. The other day I played mario kart and super mario world (is that what it was called) on the super nintendo, and had tons of fun, despite how old it is. Seems like the Wii is trying appeal to this kind of demand.

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Devolution of 'Cell Phones'

I accidentally deleted a very important voicemail tonight. I was deleting one completely redundant voicemail (don't get me started on redundant unnecessary 'call me back' messages,) and pressed '7' one too many times, and deleted a message I never got to listen to. It was from an important recruiter.

I called Cingular and asked them whether they had a service for 'presshappy' people like myself to 'undelete' a voicemail in case of an emergency, and was brutally told that once a message is erased it's irretrievable. I kindly asked him to escalate my suggestion of having this capability so that Cingular would separate itself from the boys.

Needless to say, this incident was entirely my fault. But it brought up another issue I've been wrestling with for the last few months and I thought to share:

Today's cell phone technology seems to take away from the fundamental functions and add resource-hog features we don't use on a daily basis. These features drain the battery life dry and qualifies the 'cell phone' to an entity equivalent to a high maintenance girlfriend. How about making a cell phone that retains its battery life as long as possible, can store perhaps 50 phone numbers, has the best signal that that kind of a phone can provide, has a super-fast snappy interface, can easily slip in and out from my pocket jeans without me having to stand up, and still works despite all the abuse a device gets from being carried around with you all day? How about a cell phone you can tap on thrice with the tip of your finger while it's in your pocket to shut it up while sitting in a lecture? Maybe I haven't done my research, but if you find something that fits all that, let me know. I will buy you a beer. I will then buy you another beer. I'm talking Guinness.

My behemoth of a Motorola cell phone can pull these these cute numbers:

  • play mp3s
  • interface via bluetooth with other devices
  • play movies
  • download ringtones, like green days' latest song
  • take 640*480 pictures, high quality vga pictures and send them to others
  • provide me capability to play poker with other people on some proprietary network, along with being able to download other j2me games.

Why did I get such a phone? Amazon gave me $160 cash money (ok it was a rebate) and a free activation plan. Websites like phonescoop and cnet also gave it a rating of 8/10 or better. Maybe I didn't check the right websites. Maybe I didn't spend the extra 6 hours looking for a practical phone.

When are these Telcos going to get it? Or is some potential startup company sitting on a gold mine?

One day, here's hoping that I will have a cell phone that doesn't decide to change its ring style to silent while it sits in my pocket, here's hoping one day we don't have to listen to 40 second prevoicemail messages before leaving a voicemail. Here's hoping we will be able to buy a practical 'cell phone,' and this middle-of-the-road phase will indeed phase away like a bad fart.


I'm a douchebag.

Just woke up a few minutes ago from the longest nap I've ever taken in my history of living...I went to lie down around 5:30 last night, guess I was pretty tired and didn't wake up until 6 am this morning. Didn't call the parents on mother's day. I'm going to hell. Hell could be at Google, but life sucks right now.... more. ran.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Cringely and Critics

Posted an article on Slashdot today called Google's Love for Small Businesses. Most comments to the article were insightful, I would expect nothing else from Slashdot. Slashdot is no Digg. Then this one stood out: "Please stop posting Cringely's articles. They're nothing but flamebait and don't deserve to make slashdot's front page." I told him one of the reasons I like Slashdot is to see the battles/conversations/discussions take place. Yes, perhaps Cringely's opinions can get a bit far fetched, but it stimulates discussion and discourse, and that's a good thing. I get a feeling I'm way past the average age of slashdotters. Perhaps it's time to retire.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

My first post. How cute you say.

What can I say - I'm proud to hop on the blogging bandwagon. From me to you, no middleman. CNN and FOX can eat their hearts out.

Blogging surely looks like the the hip thing to do nowadays, AND it's free, so hey the least that can happen is I'll get some cathartic therapy out of it. Writing always seems to make that work somehow.

I remember one of my close friends saying 'no self-respecting sys admin should ever have a blog' a few years ago. I then found out he started one just recently. Reconsideration always makes a funny appearance when you least expect it.

So why not. I'll start a blog. What to write about you say...well I never wrote a blog. Let's give it a shot. What's am I thinking now...?

It's saturday night, something bothers me but I cannot seem to remember. Ah that's nvidia driver doesn't seem to want to play nice with my TV when I'm on 1050*15680 resolution 2005fpw (they're both connected to my box), and I've been wanting to watch this HP documentary all day. My tv is on, but it's on mute because it's waiting for me to something. Usually there would be a documentary, an interview, or something of that sort in the background, but the hum of the fridge shows its ugly face in lieu of all that.

I also downloaded a free documentary on internet piracy today, which I'll be looking forward to watching as well. One of my favorite sites, mvgroup is down. That never happens, so I wonder what's up. So much to process, so little time. Until next time....same bat time, same bat channel.