Off Into The Infinite Universe...

Welcome Back My Friends, To The Show That Never Ends...
This is for everyone who has a strange fascination with loopy structures, paradoxes, science, quantum physics, the nature of duality, the internet, cyber culture, philosophy, and any one who has stayed up into the late hours contemplating infinities.If any of you have any contributions for posts, paradoxes, mathematical infinities, or anything that has loopy nature send it to DamntheMachine09@aol.com

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Wikileaks-001

I think it's criminal,  that the infamous "Wikileaks" paper is being blockaded  finacnically, by which I mean illegal.  Big credit institutions such as Visa, Mastercard, Western Union, and Paypal, have all refused to give funds and transact funds to the Wikileaks organization. This has caused the paper to be cut off from all money, and is slowly drying up.  For those in the dark, Wikileaks is bascially a virtual newspaper, that publishes documents that are generally restricted and not supposed to be seen by anyone.  They published the video " Collateral Murder", and many documents that really opened up some sore wounds between countries. Lots of classified infomation that left many countries with egg on their faces.   This all bubbled to the surface when the solider Bradley Manning was arrested under the alledged act of treason, in which he supposedly supplied an informant US embassy 'cables', or threads of information. All in all wikileaks has released 92,000 documents from just the war in afganistan alone. Hundreds of thousands, of more of different countries..  This organization is now on the verge of collapse by credit companies who are obviously being pressured from countries around the world.  One more light goes dim on the beacons of free thought and speech. Any thoughts on this?

The Wikileaks Mission Statement:
"to bring important news and information to the public... One of our most important activities is to publish original source material alongside our news stories so readers and historians alike can see evidence of the truth."

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Infinite Cycle of Life


I found this picture while doing some research into the Bhagavad Gita, a section in the much larger epic, The Mahabrata. The story takes place on the eve of a grand battle for control of some unnamed area of India. Our main protagonist, Arjun, is a warrior in the upcoming conflict, and is pondering the morality of engaging in combat with his fellow Indians and even relatives.  Its there that the Lord Krishna, comes to the aid of our troubled warrior. Krishna is the holiest of holy forms of Visnu, the supreme God in the Hindu religion. Krishna appears before Arjun and soothes him with the comforting words that basically help him realize that death is a door. Arjun is told that he shouldn't worry about killing his relatives, friends, or neighbors, because sending them to the afterlife, would just hurry them to nirvana. He'd actually be doing them a favor by helping them break the cycle of death and rebirth, and reach that divine state. Krishna punctuates his point, but showing Arjun his divine form, free of the human facade he puts up. Arjun is taken aback by the utterly magnificent, and godly sight before him, and is almost brought to tears...

I bring this up because of the picture features the infinite loop of the life cycle of human. I just love how the old man falls limp at the last stage and is brought through the other side as a child...from the hands of the reaper, to the arms of the young maiden.... beautiful.. Until next time guys!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Operation: Occupy Wallstreet

Your_Government_is_in_control_by_GraffitiWatcherThis year has been one of revolt, change, and revolution. The Arab Spring, started and grounded, right here in the computer networks of the internet, have proven to their now crumbling totalitarian governments, that they won't take it. The unseen hand of revolt has crossed into our own borders. In a final defiance that has finally gotten people mobilized and taken to the streets, we here in the US are feeling our own Spring. This one against the 2 % of American that hold the reigns of the economy, and our purse strings.


Don't be fooled guys, the media will not portray this demonstration in fair light. I had to watch the foreign Al Jazeera to get a more balanced opinion. Occupy Wallstreet indeed, doesn't have a clear list of demands and solutions, but by god its a start. I can't stand when people complain about something but do nothing to fix it.  Or atleast contribute something to fix it, if your going to open your mouth to complain. What this revolt lacks is a figure head. The Civil Rights marchs had Dr. King, for example, most large scale rallies and long term protests have someone charismatic to sort of 'lead the charge'. Unforutnatly no real tagline is present with this revolt, its just pure passion and anger.  What we have are general grievances against the Wall Street model.
Enviromental Concerns
The Collapse of the American and World Economy
Housing Policies
Unemployment
Basic Human Rights Being ignored
and probably the largest concern... The greed and corruption of Wall Street itself.

In the movie The Network, made in the 70's, the lead TV anchor has this long monolouge on TV about how the country is a mess, and things seem to be falling apart.
"...We don't go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, 'Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won't say anything. Just leave us alone.' Well, I'm not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I don't want you to protest. I don't want you to riot - I don't want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write. I don't know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you've got to get mad. You've got to say, 'I'm a HUMAN BEING, God damn it! My life has VALUE!"
One of my favorite quotes in movie history, it really tells you that the first step to getting something solved is to say 'enough is enough'.
We've been at the mercy of these bigger and bigger wall street companies, for years.  Its nothing new. They operate as if detached from the laws that we all are bound to, and have such money and resources to throw around, it seems that they are untouchable. And of course the major slap in the face, is that these are the same companies that get 'bailed out' when the economy sinks. The question that rattled around was "Where is main st's bail out?" These massive bloated companies get to keep their bodies in the water, but smaller businesses are rubbed out.  It all seems backwards, its not what the founding fathers wanted, this country has taken a long detour from its original purpose of promoting a government that supports independent business, is truely for and by the people. I don't know about you guys, but I don't feel like my government is run by my fellow countrymen.
To cap this off... Wall street is a symbol of how the US does business.  If we the people, who are supposed to  be in control of our own government, see what wallstreet does, as a problem, then change needs to be had. But my argument is this. Why stop at wallstreet? I think our political system and  the same tired way we run our Political machine is in need of a change. Something our current president said when running for office, but has just given us a re-heated plate of leftover politics.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Triumphant Return to the Loop

Self Prophetically, I return to my blog on returning states, loops, and repetition. After a long break, some ups and downs in my roller coaster life, I'm back and ready to get on blogging again. What have you missed? Well I"m officially in school now at NJCU, in good 'ol Jersey. But enough about me. Cripes! We've missed some key events in the world! The Arab Spring my god, revolution is in the air! The occupation of Wall Street! Let me tell you, I do think what their doing is aces. I think getting that mentality that you want and demand change is great and they should continue. but I'm not seeing or hearing any real plan or action or what exactly they want done.. I'll follow up this story in due time. Anyway I'm back, so tune back in, turn us back on, and drop out with us again.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

"Its a Unix system...I know this..."


I was watching Jurassic Park a few nights ago, (well I wasn't really watching it, someone was streaming it on livestream, and I was busy working on a class project) and aside from all the screaming, shooting, wheels screeching, and roaring, one line always bothered me. For those of you who haven't laid eyes upon this movie (what the hell is wrong with you??) its about an island of dinosaurs. I'm not going to get into detailed plot descriptions, because I don't review movies. Nevertheless, by the end of the movie, all hell is breaking loose, and this one self proclaimed "hacker" girl, is put on the spot to safe the entire cast of characters from being mercilessly devoured by door opening dinosaurs. She must "hack" into the computer and lock all the doors in the park, effectively sealing them into a closed in room. Anyway she hops on the computer, and much to her delight...


So yea, when I was a younger man, I had no idea what the hell a Unix System was..nor did I care. Dinosaurs where about to eat people. But as I grew up and my interest in computers grew, I had to wonder, what was Unix? I started watching TechTv (remember that?) and a man named Leo Laporte had a show called Screen Savers, in which he'd talk about technology and Os and related things, and he'd always mention something called Linux. Back then I had no idea that these two systems were related, and I began wondering just how many operating systems were out there? Was using Windows just a tip of the ice berg? I always hate that feeling I'm not getting to see everything. Like I hate playing demo's of games, cause I know there's more to it. So I had that same feeling when I discovered so many other Operating systems.. I wasn't seeing the entire picture with Windows. I've harbored that feeling for quite some time, but now as I'm getting into Computer programming, I'm finally going to download my own copy of Linux and see how it goes. So for those out there wondering whats so special about the Linux / Unix system? While I don't think everyone is going to orgasm over these features, they are cool to have.

Open Source Code: Probably the biggest draw to Linux is the ability it gives its users to go in and change the source code. Now you do this at your own risk of course, but atleast you have the option. It lets everyone's system be customizable, and you can really do some neat stuff with it.

Free & Legal: As much as I love and hate pirating, my moral compass and stand proudly as I download this.

Control!: If something goes awry with the source code, you have the ability to fix it yourself! This may seem like a chore to some, but with Microsoft you'd have to call or have your computer serviced. With Linux your source code is available to modify as you see fit! In fact its a plus if you doand fill out a bug report cause you'd be giving back to the other users in the linux community!

Desktops: Another big draw to Linux is the ability to customize your desktops. I don't mean change the wallpaper and turn your mouse pointer into a rocket ship, I mean truely changing the way it moves and operates. You can even change your file directories, and the way your folders work.. Truly its all customizable.

There's a whole bunch more differences that I won't get into, but I'll let you all know how this ends up. Rather I like it or not. After Linux, maybe I'll try running Unix on my imac... If any of you out there run Linux or any alternative OS chime in and let me know what you think. Do you like it? They're pitfalls, advantages, tips, tricks, etc..


Monday, May 30, 2011

What the Bleep Do We Know? Pseudoscience At It's Best...

"If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don't understand quantum mechanics".
-Richard Feynman 


     Neo was stuck in a tub. In the movie The Matrix, the main character finds out that the 'real' reality wasn't known to him. A fabricated dream, that he and the entire population of Earth had been subjected to. This type of theory is nothing new, and existed long before The Matrix turned it into popular discussion. Plato's Cave Allegory, which is taught in every Philosophy class around the world, discussing the idea of being shielded from the true level of consciousness.

     New age thinking has begun to try to incorporate science and the idea of quantum physics, and light, and resonances, with spirituality  and some pretty bizarre ideas. In the movie "What the Bleep Do We Know?" They try to  lead the blind public into a belief of false information, and half formed theories. I'm not necessarily against New Age thinking, but just against what this movie trys to lead you to believe about quantum physics 

Let me basically break down what this movie says...


> They make the argument that quantum physics leads us to believe that our reality isn't always static. That because on the subatomic scale particles come into existence only by observation, that we actually create the universe around us.


>Even though our mind and brain has enormous potential for heavy cognitive ability, we only use a small portion of that ability. So we actually miss things and can't perceive certain things .(other dimensions, new levels of consciousness)

    With those two foundations they make the wildly out of left field conclusion that because of both of those 'facts', that humans can create their own reality, simply by observing, and training their minds to craft and mold reality as they want it.

    I'll let you draw your own conclusions, but there is a list of some of the arguments and assumptions they make in the world of quantum physics. I haven't professionally studed quantum theory, and the math of it all is almost unknown to me, but principles and idea's I've read up on, and I'm going to attempt to disprove some of their theories from what I understand at this point...

                                              THE IDEA'S AND THEORIES




The video above is an interesting watch, and I suggest you watch. This is the only part of the movie that was done right. It breaks down the double slit experiment that is easy to understand


Theory #1
Because physical reality is made up of tiny particles, nothing exists. These particles don't exist unless you observe them, that being said, our sight, and minds, create the world around us.

 My Reasoning #1
They're refering to the fact that sub atomic particles like electrons, and protons are almost impossible to measure. That being said, its not that they don't exist, its just that they can't be measured, but they still exist . our sight doesn't solidify an object. The particles bumping around and touch each other, keeps the object measurable.

Theory #2

Because we can only perceive about a fraction of the information that our brain deals with, we're apparently missing out on a world that we can't see, or a new dimension, and that if we were privy to this mind bogglingly large amount of information, we'd be omnipotent beings

My Reasoning #2
While I may entertain the idea that we may be masked to another sort of dimension that we can't see or feel, I'm not even going to pretend to try to reason with the idea that if we used our brain to its full potential, and were able to 'see' all the information coming in, that we'd be these super beings with cosmic powers...



Theory # 3

There's a part in the film where a scientist ( I use that word liberally here), freezes different samples of water in bottles. One bottle has the word love attached to it, and is given loving thoughts and cherished. And the other bottle has the word's "you make me sick" and disregarded and treated like a red headed step child.  Miraclously, the sample that was loved, when frozen formed beautiful ice patterns, and the one with angry thought patterns directed at it, formed ugly, broken ice patterns

My Reasoning #3

I don't understand how they can try to pass this off as trying to prove that our thoughts change reality.. While yes, I do think that the way we think can change how we see things in life.. (glass half empty or half full), I don't think that it works in the literal sense.. If I go and hug and love my turd, its not going to turn into a rose.


Theory # 4

Without human beings, the universe would be this everchanging super position of expanding possibilities. Basically without human observers the sun may or may not exist, or a black hole may or may not suck up Jupiter... because there is no one around to observe anything

My Reasoning # 4
This is absolutely the worst argument they have... What the hell? So if everyone in the world closes there eyes, the universe would become a shifting, ever changing space of possibilities? This theory doesn't hold up and has far too many holes. Human beings aren't on Venus right now... so according to their theory, the surface of Venus could be a big swimming pool filled with  clowns? or it may not even exist



For the sake of time and getting frustrated, I'm going to stop here, this movie, in all honesty...is a joke. A smack in the face to science, and any reasonable person. In one point in the film, the women, who is taking medication for whatever illness plagues her, throws out her medication, and realizes that because she controls her own reality, she can survive without it. Ok Neo sure, go ahead and through away your meds...see how long you last...

Another thing, ( I know I said that I was done, but this one really bothers me) some goofy guy in the movie says that when Columbus came to the new world, on his ships, that the Natives here couldn't really see the ships. That even though they hung in the horizon  before coming to land, the natives couldn't see them, because they had no concept of what a ship was.....
.......


.............................................

Really? Are you serious? I've never seen air molecules, a kangeroo, or Angenlina Jolie's breasts, so your saying if I saw any of the afore mentioned items, I wouldn't be able to see them?  The movie lost any ounce of credibility it had for me. Anyway, I'm seriously done with my argument. I hope you guys do indeed watch the movie, just for the sake of giving yourself a headache. And hey, if you guys have any arguments supporting the movie, write them in the comments section and we can have a debate!
Thanks guys and chime in.



Here have some links to chew on

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fWtBq8uWKE&feature=related


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Rasputin The Mad Monk part 2..

A political Cartoon depicting Rasputin
    From an early age, Rasputin got the reputation of someone with strange blessed powers. Rumors would spread across his small home town that he could heal malady ridden farm animals or cure sick people with the touch of his hands.

   This quiet reputation followed Grigori in adolescence, so when he left his home and went to St. Petersburg, the rumor's of his gifts went with him. Grigori quickly found work in St. Petersburg, and his commanding and power presence allowed him to rise above the other mere peasants and lower class and he soon found his way to working in the royal palace. Rasputin was a bit of a braggart and his boasting about his healing powers, given from god, caught the ears of one of the guards to Tsar Nicholas. The Tsar's only son was a very sickly and feeble boy. He required constant medical attention, and treatment, even the slightly blow could bed stricken him for days. The guard quickly introducted Rasputin to Tsar Nicholas, and his wife. Upon learning of the heir's plagued body, Rasputin wished to see the child.


Tsar Nicholas...

...and his wife Tsarita Alexandra

   After much debating, they finally allowed Rasputin into the bed chambers of their stricken son. Over night, after Rasputin delved deeply into prayer, the boy was felt fine, and his internal bleeding was abruptly healed.  Over joyed by this, Tsar Nicholos and his wife took Rasputin into the palace. Unfortunately the reason for Rasputin's stay wasn't known to the public. The royal family kept the boy's sickness a closely guarded secret and didn't want anyone knowing about that the heir to the throne could potentially be killed from falling from a stool. People, around the palace and the city began seeing this strange and quite frankly, intense looking figure creeping around the palace, and hang around the Tsar.

Unfortunately Rasputin wasn't subtle or quiet, he would drink heavily, and boast in the streets about his power, and his sexual prowess. The people of the St. Petersburgs would see and hear him reveling in himself and insulting the high level of aristocracy. This doesn't sit well with the people of and even the government. The vultures began to circle as Rasputins power grew. The Tsarista had put so much faith and love into Rasputin, that he walked with unparrelled power. Government official began finding out about Rasputin's affairs, and debauchery with women, drinking and strange sexual acts at night. Instability was shaking Russia and rumors of a wild drunken wizard with mystic powers, spready thoughout the dark city.

The final nail in the coffin was, that Russia entered into open war with Germany, and to say the least it wasn't going well.. Defeat after defeat cause the Russian people to despair. Great misery spread through the land, as money was spilled into the war machine. As an act of desperation, Tsar Nicholas steps up to lead the troops from the front lines himself. He leaves his wife Tsarista Alexadra in charge of the empire. She of course turns to Rasputin to co-rule the country. This proves to be such a fatal error, that it would end up as one of the greatest tragedy's in Russia's history...

Concluded later on..

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Google for your Wallets?

Keeping it short here, but Google..in their quest to find out everything about you, will now be finding out how much money you have in the bank! Well not really. Google is launching something to rival Paypal's online buying service. Retailers around the world will be sent special e-readers that can scan a NFC (near field communication device..more on this later) with a cell phone. You see, Google would like you to deposit money into "your" Google account, just like paypal. But instead of sending you a debit card, you can sync it to your smart phone.

So let's say Joe Whathisface decides he wants to buy a new porn film. The new release that everyone's been raving about.. And its Joe's lucky day, they have a copy of Smutty Girls Vol. 9 at the counter of his favorite shopping store. He waltz's in, grabs his copy in his hands, on decides to use his new Google account. Which has his name, address, email address, bank, and all those good things registered. He scans the phone with the reader and whamo! The payment is deducted, and he's out the door to do what his has to do...

Now thats fine.. for other companies.. but Google? I'm not so sure about... Google is like that really creepy neighbor that peers into your house from time to time, but you must rely on cause he cuts your lawn for free... Anyway, yea so Google will now know what you buy, from porn, to groceries, to magazines, games, appliances and underwear...Later on that day you'll get emails, and banner ads relating to the things you've bought..Anyone signing up for this?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Grigori Rasputin "The Mad Monk" part 1...

Take a trip back with me to the early 1900's. Imperial Russia, a cold, dark place, in a darker time for the country.  More specifically, in 1916, whilst Russia was entangled in a long brutal war, and the country tetering on complete collapse, something even dark and mysterious laid in the lands of the late Russian Empire.

Born in a small village in Siberia in 1869, to a pair of peasant parents, Rasputin actually grew up as a fairly normal child. It wasn't until he was 8, when his life seemed to steer away from the calm quiet peasant life in which he had grown acustomed to. His brother Dimitri was killed, he fell into a river and was pulled along and died of pneumonia some time later. This caused great turmoil, and moodiness in Rasputin, and some argue that he was never the same afterward. The young innocent boy known as Grigori Rasputin was forever changed into a more dark, quiet and contemplative young man.

Later in his life, accused or multiple counts of adultery, theft, and being loud and unruly while drunk, Rasputin was nearly chased out of town. He left accordingly on a religious pilgrimage to find a meaning in life.

Grigori Rasputin would eventually meet up with a monk in a famous monastery and began learning about religious rites, rituals, and Rasputin was forever changed. The Monk, Makai, told Rasputin that he indeed possessed something powerful, a spiritual vocation.  He lived there for a number of months with the Monk Makai to 'develop' his spiritual power. Upon his return to his village, he came back a changed man. Full of religious fever and zealot, he eventually join a roving band of religious monks.
 

Rasputin, was very, very charismatic, he would stare at people right in the eyes when talking to them with a burning glare. He was a commanding figure, and his compelling stare is what carried his bold appearance. He eventually found his way to the capital of Russia, at the time, St. Petersburg, and would meet up with the Russian Royal family and the Emperor himself, and begin a chain of events that would leads to the deaths and fall of the entire Royal Family. ...
To be continued...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish!



Well, if any of you have anything important to accomplish in life, you may want to start getting it done within the next few days. That trip to Europe?, Sky diving?, Write the great American Novel?, Eat sushi, whatever it is, you have a very limited time left. Why you may ask? Didn't you hear? The world is coming to an end. Before you start constructing that space shuttle, our solar system, galaxy and the entire universe are all going to be met with a fiery, doomsday. I'm not talking about the Mayan prediction of 2012. I'm refering to a completely Christian based sect. Under the banner, of Family Radio, one Harold Camping, and a few others set up shop to create a radio station that spread the word of God to the masses. Now to be fair, Camping says that the first day of Rapture is May 21st 2011, and that the true end of the world (universe) will be five months later on October 21st. So we'll have a cliff hanger for five months...
According to him, going to a regular church is no matter. The power of the Church he says, is dead, and that they Satan now rules the Churches.  Only by turning your back on such false idoltry and the like, can you be saved. But the good news is that if your not saved, you don't burn in eternal damnation, you just cease to be..like before you were born.

So....yea.. kind of hard to follow up something like this.. but I'll try anyway. First of all, this guy, Harold Camping, falsely predicted the time of rapture once before in 1994. At least back then, he gave himself an exit by saying he could be wrong, and that the dates may not match up. But now, he's tossing all his chips in, and saying that May 21st will most positively be the Rapture, and the countdown to the end of days is here.

Most other Christians believe that the time of Christ's second coming, is unknown. As they say, he will come as a thief in the night. But, according to Camping, he knows the end is nigh by all of these signs that everyone else has apparently missed, but only he's picked up on.. You can go to the Family Radio website and click 'Gay Pride' on the side bar, and in the PDF you can read about all his signs that the world is upon the brink of destruction. Obvously just from the name you can tell that homosexuality, is a big factor in our 'punishment'.

I'll gladly let you make of this, what you will.


http://www.familyradio.com/index2.html

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Pay Phones and The Hunt For The Perfect Dial Tone

It's not unusual to have the humble pay phone mentioned on this blog, as it stands for one of the earliest methods of telecommunication to the average person. The pay phone while a dying breed are still fun to poke into, play with, try to find. At least here in Jersey, New York is still pretty rife with payphones, at least Manhattan. Well, as you know, Pay Phones are located all over the place, and the remaining survivors may have some fun outcomes if called. And there's nothing more mysterious than a ringing pay phone! I'm not saying go and call these numbers and annoying passer bys, but there's nothing wrong with a little phone line exploration.
With that said... have some pay phone numbers. I live in NJ, so all these are numbers from my home turf. If you guys like this, perhaps I'll post more pay phone digits in an area near you.

(201) 342 - 9624
3rd Floor Payphone at a the Academy of Technology, in Hackensack, NJ. It's located in the Freshmen dorms, so you may get some interesting conversations.



(609) 730 8792
A Telephone located outside a Mobil Gas Station, a sort of 'phone from your car" setup.

(908) 289 - 9767
This is one of my favorites, this is a payphone in a psychiatric ward for the patients to use.. McMurphy, Harding, and Martini could answer...

(973) 242 9821
A payphone located in a very sheek and classic looking pay phone booth. More importantly its located Newark, Nj's frat house of Kappa Xi Kappa.


(732) 246 9030
Outside of a computer lab at Rutgers University]


(908) 232 - 9864

This one is right outside the Verizon Central Office in Westfield, call
this phone tomorrow around 5pm and I may just pick up to answer! The central office 
is where your phone calls, are routed to, before being switched to their different
locations.
 
Hope you enjoyed this mini tour and hope you have fun with some of these dialings. 

Don't be obnoxious and annoy people, just call, and explore.


A big PS here guys.  1800- 801- 920 it will actually give you the number your calling from. A great and easy way to find out payphone numbers! Note that this won't work on all payphones, its called a ring back. Most carriers have this, this is the most universal that I've tried and found to work. You can find more online, and many numbers are test numbers which will get you different messages. Fun to play around with! Remember you have dial from a land line phone though.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Of Fate, Men, and Time


You come into possession of a time machine. You think back through your life, and reflect upon the time when your father died from being accidentally pushed down some stairs at work. The police never found out who did it, and if it was even intentional. That day was been replaying in your head since you were young. You know can solve the mystery. All this time, and now you can travel back into time to find out who it was, and if it happened on purpose. So you boot up your time machine, set in the year, and with a loud whiring, and a crack, you're instantly shot back in time. You step from your time machine, and race to your fathers place of work. He should just be getting off, soon and the time of his fated death is near. You run to his office. It's almost 5pm, so every one's getting out of work and the hallways are swarmed with people. You push your way to his office, it looks exactly the same as you remember it. Shaking off the nostalgia, you frantically looking around the jostling crowd. As you reach the stairs, you feel your feet give out under you. Someone left a Styrofoam cup on the ground, and you lose your balance. You instinctively push your weight forward, and slam into the person in front of you. You regain your composure, but the older gentleman in front of you, is knocked down the stairs, toppling head over heels, and lands at the bottom, his neck twisted in a deathly fashion. You stair down the cold marble stairs, to the face of your father. You were the cause of your father's death...

Now lets stop the story here. As you probably have asked, who pushed him then before? Or, would he still have gotten pushed, if his son never went back in time to find out? The implications of a story like this are so paradoxical that they really can't be answered. The same goes for that great scene in the movie The Matrix. Neo walks into the Oracles house, and the elderly, wise woman, tells him not to worry about the vase. Perplexed, Neo asks, 'what vase?', and turns to look around, and knocks over the vase. She rhetorically asks him, does he think he would have knocked it over if she wouldn't have said anything. These loopy questions and idea's are part of the much bigger picture, and that is of Fate. ( I capitalize Fate on purpose.)

Some people believe that our Fate is predetermined. That even as I'm typing these keys, it is written in some cosmic book somewhere, that I'm meant to type these keys. Even me thinking about Fate, is predetermined. Not to get too religious, but most people who believe in this prescribed Fate are generally religious. God has determined all our moves before hand, and watches our movements like a released wind up toy. (When I refer to God, I don't speak to one religious sect). This leads to the belief that God who is omnipresent, knows of the results to all our choices, and therefore approves of all our paths, for he has not changed them. 

The other camp believes that we determine our own outcome. That our Fate is what we make, and that nothing is set in stone.


In the movie, "Big Fish" The movie's main character a very charismatic, all American guy, is given the rare glimpse when he's a child. He gets to see how he dies. This means that for the rest of his life, he can do anything he wants, cause he knows only what he saw is how he's going to die. He could jump out of an airplane with no parachute and someone be promised to survive it. This would be the biggest example of a pre determined Fate. Nothing at all, can change the fate of his life. So we obviously see a problem with this. If his Fate is determined, then he could literally do anything and get away with it.

Another Fate problem is the Back to the Future problem. Another time machine example. If I were to go back in time, and murder my parents, or prevent them from ever getting together, then how could I be born? If I was never born thanks to killing my parents, then who went back in time and killed them? This grisly  question is one that stumps and really puts a wrench into the idea of time travel.


So which do you favor? The idea of Fate as this mysterious figure who you encounter every so often, showing up in the biggest moments of your life? Or a collar and leash, rigidly attached to your neck, dragging you along, kicking and screaming?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Art of The Recursive Acronym


Just a small update in between larger ones..

The computer world ( and the government) is filled to the brim with acronyms. SQL, RAID, SSD, ANSI, MAC, IP, BBS, RAM..the list goes on and on..I've gotten quite used to coming across acronyms, I'd dare say I've even become adept at attempting to remember them. I was thrown into a particularly loopy situation, recently when I was reading up on programming. I came across an acronym in which I've seen before, but never really knew what it stood for. PHP. (It turns out PHP is a set of turns and code to design web pages). Now PHP originally stood for "Personal Homepage" but sense has some how incorporated itself into its own acronym. The new meaning of PHP is "PHP Hypertext Preproccessors" The 'P' standing for PHP. So the acrconym has an acronym...which itself has an acronym.. going on forever...Now you see why this sparked some interest...so true to form, I dug a little deeper and found some others.

* Note*
I'm not entirely sure you'll find any of these entertaining in the slightest if you haven't seen them already.. but here goes.

VISA ( Credit card company) - "VISA International Services Association"

GNU - "GNU's Not Unix"

PINE (An older email service - "PINE is not elm"

MULTICS (a precurser to UNIX) - "Multic Information Computing Systems"

LINK (If you live in the UK you'll know this one) - "LINK Interchange NetworK"

BWIA (west indies airline compnay) - "BWIA West Indies Airways"


And finally we have :

TIARA: (the cleverest of all acronyms..) "TIARA IS A RECURSIVE ACRONYM"

Well that's all folks, a lot more exist but its much more fun to actually know the acronym before its explained. I just thought this endless loop of acronyms calling itself would be a great fit for the blog.  A quite poetic way of explaining this, is Douglas Hofstander, in the book "Godel, Escher, and Bach". A Genie explains that God stands for "God Over Djinn". Meaning that no matter how many types you look into God, it will always mean the same thing. You'll never be able to get past that.  Anyway if you do have any of your own, please post them!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Save to the Hard Drive for the Archive...


One of my favorite pieces of hardware, besides a landphone... is a Hard Drive. Why such a seemingly nondescript piece of equipment? I don't know, there's just something very cool, and interesting about the idea of a device that replicates memory. I mean the human brain, which itself is a pretty poor hard drive, pales in comparsion to harddrives today. While human memory and computer memory aren't seemingly comparable, I beg to differ. The thoughts and memories that we have as humans, are stored but in general this is a very loose storage system. Especially if an event wasn't very memorable. What happened on a random Sunday afternoon 3 years ago? Hell if I can remember... Human memory is much more..organic, it comes and goes, some of it sticking with us to the day we die, and others become chipped, faded, and disappear entirely. We humans are obviously also suseptable to diseases that destroy the lucidity of memory, leaving it fragmented, and useless.



Replacing the familiar Hard drive disk, is the newer, faster, and more coherent, Solid State Drive. Which instead of the spinning platters that HDD's are composed of, these SSD's are, as I'm sure most of you already know, computer chips. Like larger USB drives. While its nothing so groundbreaking, but this leap from the platteres to chips, is just another step, that I think brings us closer to a goal that would be truly awe inspiring. I've mentioned it before in this blog, but inventing the ability to store human memory onto these chips would be such an idea that if and when created, it would really change our world. Think about it, we could sell piano lessons, or go to the grocery store, and pick up a memory of last year's World Cup. Someone could witness, a murder, be able to download the memory onto a chip and replay it to the police. The possibilities are endless. Granted this may not be a good thing.. Instead of me going out and taking Taekwon do lessons, I can have them uploaded to my brain, while I sit on the couch...

Sound familiar? In the matrix movies, its characters often find themselves in need of a set of skills that they don't posses. Do from an uplink from their central system, they have instructions uploaded to this. And in a manner of seconds, they're professionals at whatever task needed doing. Now I'm not saying that we'll be able to download kung fu lessons just yet, if you look up a project called BrainGate, it explains why I brought this up. The idea that human memory can be recorded and later used and viewed isn't new but it hasn't been anything but, at best science fiction.  Think this idea would take off? Buying and selling experiences, and memories. You could program it to save the early years of your child hood, and you can play it back when your older and recall events that normally would have been lost to time. 

Human memory, ( a concept that I admittedly don't fully understand) is a very spread out and 'organic' process. When I was in grade school, my teachers would refer to memory as a big filing cabinet locked away in our cranium. But now, as my reading of the matter continues, it's come out that it doesn't work in such a 'solid state' sort of way. Many area's of the brain contribute to your remembering. If you think about a dog, you think of many different senses that make up what a dog is. Its feel, its sound, its shape, and form.

Anyway I hope this all made sense and gave you some reason to think about what the future of recording from experience, or RFE (I may be the first to coin this, so you heard it hear first folks) has to offer. I'm calling it, if anyone at there would be able to do something like this, I'd leave it to Google. They will launch GoogleLife  in the mid 2020's, in which google will allow you to use there servers to upload all your memories!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Beyond Good and Evil?

Is Man Inherently Good or Inherently Evil? Do we naturally go out of our way to help our fellow man, or help ourselves?

About a year ago, I was enrolled in a Philosophy class at the college I attend. The class was very interactive by nature, which is probably the best way to conduct a philosophy class. We'd start class with a bizarre breathing exercise and then dive into topics that would involve the entire class. Going toward the end of the semester we had a major debate that was easily the most intense discussion I've ever had in a classroom. The topic was one such that hasn't and probably will never be solved. And the question is this: Are people born good natured or evil in nature? Meaning, would Stalin have grown up to be just as evil in heart if he had grown up in a different time period, or place? Is that good will inside of us, put there from the start? or is it society that shapes and changes us into the people that we are?

The first argument goes a something like this:

We are born with good intentions and pure qualities but learn evil as we grow.
The first and easiest argument to this is that people are made in God's image, so that makes us automatically good. While this makes sense, I'm in no way, shape or form, religious, so I'll pass on this argument for now.
Carl Rogers believed that people are innately good natured, and if left to their own devices would bond together, work together and act together to achieve common goals. This way of thinking suggest that cultural things like money, prejudice, and bad up bringing, leads to evil in the hearts of men. If all that was stripped away, and people where born and raised in tribal villages with very little amenities, society was advance far quicker than more advanced societies where so many factors in human emotions can hold it back.
Some examples is that people leave money for bums and vagrants that they don't know. People always are eager to help with problems, tipping waitresses, helping an older lady who fell, carrying your neighbors trash inside, the list goes on and on to what human beings do that is good in heart. 


We are born with evil intentions and malicious qualities but learn to be virtuous as we grow

Sigmund Freud believed that people are innately evil, selfish and can only be counted if it benefited them somehow. If it wasn't for society and the rules that govern us, our world was literally collapse. Rape, murder, and violence would reign and humanity would kill itself. More to the fact, is that we are born with the most basic, core instinct of self preservation. And that instinct will allow us to take from others if it benefits are needs to survive. Therefore we are born with a selfishness that could be conceived as being 'evil'. Without the framework of our laws, and norms, we'd revert back to our primal instincts in which we only look out for ourselves. The examples of this are blatant, dictatorships, serial killers, rapists, theft etc...

Of course the third argument to all of this, is that being born 'good' or 'bad' is all relative. If every single person who was born was evil then it wouldn't be bad to be evil, and we wouldn't be having this discussion! Same goes for being good. The terms good and evil, are something that humans made, and a baby can't be born with either really.

Your thoughts and opinions on the matter? Are we inherently good or evil?

PS. A great loopy picture I found on Deviant Art! 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

"Preserving the Open Internet" The Battle Continues..




Yesterday was a big day in the world of Internet Service Providers. I'm assuming you guys may have heard of this. The F.C.C (Federal Communications Commission) is trying to pass a "net neutrality" bill that would in effect give the F.C.C (which is a government branch) the ability to regulate and monitor how companies, namely the ISP's, do business, and how they go about censoring information. Remember those internet information caps we talked about a few weeks back? It all could come to pass if the bill passes.  This whole manner can be a little confusing so lets break down the sides, and show whats really happening.

THE F.C.C - This is the party that wants to push the idea of Net Neutrality. They want to say "Hey Comcast you can't censor Surfthechannel, or the Verizon webpage! (Comcast and Verizon are competitors, so they could block you from seeing Verizon's rates!) The F.C.C would give comcast a slap on the wrist. The F.C.C's policy would also do away (maybe) with ISP's tiered internet service. So if you pay 49.99 and get 2mbps speed or if you pay 19.00 for 200 kbs speed, these would be eliminated, and everyone would have the same speed, for a flat rate. This would also probably tell AT&T to rethink their data limit caps.

The Democrats - Most dems are on the side of the F.C.C. Favoring a bigger government intervention. Most feel that the internet is a utility just like water, electricity, and gas, and needs some sort of regulations so its power isn't abused by bigger companies.

The Republicans - Most Reps are on the side of the ISP's in stating that they reserve the right to set costs, and let the buyers select how much they want. Just as you go into a restaurant, you can order a small, or a large. They feel that the internet should remain open, free, and free of government interference.

The ISP's - Verizon, and Comcast are most obviously against this sort of regulation. They want to be able to regulate and direct internet traffic. They want to be able to set their own prices, and tiers, and that's something that the F.C.C wants to control

The Information Providers - The Googles, Amazons, NBC's, and Fox's- They are worried that if the F.C.C gets on a hand on control, that censorship would cause reduced viewing, and less traffic, which is how they get their money.  Think upon this, Comcast which owns NBC could block all access to sites displaying NBC shows, or other competitors.

So this all adds up to finger pointing name calling and lots of accusations about the other party. Yesterday though, the decision was made that the House rejected the proposition of "Net Neutrality". Which means for now, this bill is shot down. Another chance is available to push this through the Senate though, so the battle isn't over. Quite torn, I am between this matter. This all ccomes on the heels of the FCC's demand that AT&T and VERIZON, must share their cell networks with smaller mobile companies, to encourage competition. I'm not quite sure what smaller companies even exist, but whoever they are, now have a piggy back on the two largest mobile communications networks in the world.  Anyway I hope this helps break down whats going on.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Death of Blockbuster

Let me preface this by saying, I haven't posted anything in a while, I know, been busy, but I hope to get back to my twice a week postings, soon!
  
      We've been discussing a lot of things dying haven't we? Death of newspaper, movie characters, and now we wait by the hospital bed of another dear friend. The idea of hoping into your car on a friday night with your girlfriend, and a few buddies, and driving out to a video store, browsing through walls of dusty and faded VHS, and  slick and hallow DVD cases is now a feeling that most don't really experience.

     The last time I was in a video rental store? Years. I'd often go with my parents all the while looking up and down the aisles, even trying to catch a glimpse into the forbidden 18+ section. I'd usually find myself wandering into the section where they kept the video games, looking through the big bin of Super Nintendo games. On the way home I'd eagerly hold the new treasure waiting to make popcorn and load it into the 'ol VCR. I miss that nice feeling of sliding a thick cassette into the waiting mouth of the VCR. Accepted easily, you hear that audible click and hum of the heads turning to mean the black tape. Anyway, the blockbuster near my house is going under and its old rival "Palmer Video" has long been finished. (though incidently, a small Palmer Video still exists in my area..how long do you have my friend??)
      Things like Ondemand, and Netflix have been the knife in the guts of video rental stores, and not to say that I don't like these options.. Hell, I have and use OnDemand. (though I despise Comcast) Blockbuster made its last stand last year by offering streaming movies through the HTC phone. Too little, too late?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Social Engineering

Has anyone ever heard of this? Or more over has anyone heard of Kevin Mitnick? For those who had their ear to the techie/hacker ground in the mid 90's, you may remember him. Kevin Mitnick was a computer hacker/cracker but more accurately, he was a master of the technique called "Social Engineering". He had charisma about him that allowed people he spoke to to trust him and even let him in on information that he wasn't supposed to be privy to. These conversations would generally take place over phone lines. He may call up a bank branch, and pretend to be someone from payroll, telling one of the tellers that if they didn't reveal their certain employee number, they wouldn't be able to recieve their paycheck. Then, once he gained this info, he may politely hang up and call another branch of the bank. This time switching hats, and becoming a fellow bank employee who's need's a customers files brought up, including debit card information, account numbers, balance etc..

As Mitnick said: You can have the best internet security software on the planet. The most expensive forensic team, and a host of gadgets to protect you from break ins, but all this will completely fail, as long as human error still exists. The human being, or the 'wetware' is the weak link in the chain of security. A human being is easily fooled, decieved, and can give away such valuable information.

This is just one example in thousands that could be done to gain sensitive information. Now one could easily just repute this and say its not 'social engineering', its just plain lying and stealing. I do agree with that, if you plan on keeping and using said information for nefarious purposes. I see nothing wrong with using this information to see how much information you can get out of someone.

To paraphrase Mitnick; People are very trusting, and generally want to be as helpful to you as possible. Especially if you call a help or service desk. They literally get back to bend over backwards for you. Now you don't want to aim to get the person their fired, or in any trouble, so don't ask them to reveal secrets that could cost them they're job. But just prodding around and asking for things that a normal person shouldn't know, I don't see anything wrong with that. Again, if you use this information for your own gain, then yes, you are thief. Mitnick unfortunately went to this extreme, and defrauded many companies of money, and was eventually caught, but the idea of Social Engineering, is one that I think is viable and is fun to practice.

If you go on Youtube, there is a video under Social Engineering, where these two idiots, drive into Mcdonalds, and "Socially Engineer" the manager into getting free food. Stuff like that isn't Social Engineering, its blatent lying to get free food that costs 3.99. This sort of thing should be done for sport, fun, and like hacking, just to find out how much you can find out..

Has anyone done their own Social Engineering? Stories to share?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"Everything Small is Just a Small Version of Everything Big"



The cartoon "Adventure Time" is a semi popular cartoon that runs on Cartoon Network. The show's sometimes more adult humor and themes makes for a plethora of rich comedy that my friends and I can actually appreciate. (sorry ) For whatever reason, the show has always had a slant on promoting mathematics, science, and morality. More so than other kid's cartoons I've seen. I mean its not done in a Sesame Street kind of way, but math and science are definitely used through out the show.

Anyway this one scene in which the show's protagonist, Finn, tries on a pair of magic glasses that lets him see the deep mysteries of the universe. His first epiphany is a visually splendid scene, the camera zooms in on his forehead, peering into his cells, and tiny microbes, then further down into atoms, and quarks, and eventually what look like little strings (string theory perhaps?) and finally into a galaxy and back to whatever planet that they live on. This struck me as wildly odd first of all, and very loopy in nature. Finn's following words "Everything small is just a small version of everything big" is what made it all seem a bit deeper.

Also on an unrelated note..Can you divide or subtract infinity by itself.. While infinity isn't a number, in theory, what would you get? Or even if you subtract 1 from infinity, is it still infinite?

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

FireFox 4



Like an expectant mother, I've secretly awaited the new Firefox edition to come out. Now that its released, and for the masses, I gotta say... that's slick! The address bar isn't so jumbled with other crap, and its pretty clean cut. Nice big buttons, with rounded corners, everything looks very clean. Very "Apple" in terms of looks. Minimalistic. With its new release, there's a ton of add on's, and apps you can download. Remember the days of Internet Explorer 3, where customizing your browser meant choosing to clear your browser history when you closed it? No more, I've said it before, its all about apps now. You can search and find nearly any app and theme you'd want. So in honor of Firefox's newest product, I present to you my favorite and recommended Add-on's.

Awesome Screenshot - This add on is leagues above your computers stock "Prt sc" capture. You can add annotations, marks, crop, and add text to your captured screen pic.

FlagFox- This is more of a personal like for me, but this add-on gives you the flag of origin of the server that your accessing. So if your visiting say..piratebay, you get the German flag, etc... Its not going to really assist you but its cool to see where your favorite sites are located.

Wholinks2me - This is an add-on that will help with bloggers, so you guys may want to try this. It gives you the domains of everyone who links something to your page. On the Drop down menu when you right click, it there's an option to view how many clicks, where the link was and I believe when it was posted.

Browser Server - This is a pretty wicked app. It allows you to turn your computer into a mini server, allowing people to access files from your comp. Just be sure to loosen up the reigns on your router. I may actually take advantage of this, if I ever start my own site, away from the blogger servers.

Wappalyzer - I happen to love this one... And just so you know.. most of the apps I'm including here on more for personal knowledge lol.. This one too, is really informative though...if your a comp sci major.. It lets you find out what technologies, and scripting languages that the website your viewing is using!

Limepic - I don't know if this app is using your computer to host it, or is some cloud software, but yea you can use this to host different pictures. This is awesome if you post a lot on message boards or forums etc..

Showmyip - I know there are a lot of websites you can visit to find out your ip address but hey, what the hell, having an app for that knowledge is handy!

Brower Turn Editor- I haven't used this, but I can imagine its pretty fun! You can edit web pages and let your creative inner beast free! Feel google's page needs more pizazz? Make it happen, according to the description you can save the changes to a pic document, but obviously the changes won't hold once you reload! If anyone has tried this, let me know about it

Adblock plus- Probably the most useful and most needed is Adblock plus. Seriously, if you download any of the addon's, get this one, your streaming movies will thank you. We've all been there, watching a really good movie online, and right when the action picks up, a commercial rears is ugly head, to rub itself in your face. Adblock gets rid of those annoy timed ad's and lets you stream non stop.


Well thats it for now, as I explore Firefox 4 more, I'll look into posting others up. And if you guys have any to recommend feel free in the comments. I'll leave you with this, its a command list for all hot keys, and shortcuts in Firefox. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Death: The Ultimate Loop?



Ahh, to meet your maker, expire, cease to be, joinng the choir invisible, cash in, ending your earthly career, to ultimately merge with the infinite! Whatever you wish to call it, the clammy hand of death indeed reaches us all.
A loop that we can not escape. So I've decided to post a few of my favorite death scenes from movies. This has been done many times else where, so I'm not going to go crazy here, but when one takes that ultimate plunge into the unknown it needs some sort of praise.

Oh and remember, this isn't a list of the most gore filled deaths, or the most gratitious. These are the more cinematic, elegant fate enders, I picked these because they each have a different moral implication.


#6. Terminator 2: Judgement Day


This really should be a death scene, cause no one really died, but in a horrid lucid dream, Sarah Conner walks to a play ground where she encouters a younger version of herself, surrounded by many kids all playing care free. In a prophetic vision of the doomed future, a nuke is dropped on the city (probably by the robots?) and in a grissly scene, sarah's body ignites into flames along with the children. They turn to ash and crumple apart. This is only a dream, but a stark reminder to fuel Sarah's need to shut down Skynet. Her "death" is what she needed to get her going to finish her mission. Find something that fuels your fire... no pun intended.

#5.Star Wars:

After nearly 2 decades years apart, Anakin Skywalker (aka Darth Vader) finally comes face to face with his jedi master Obiwan Kenobi. The last time these two met, Obi wan, left Anakin to die in a fiery lava planet that left him burned, missing limbs, and dying. Anakin barely survived, and needed to be placed in the horrifying black mask and uniform to keep him alive. Obiwan now confronts his former pupil and this time surrenders himself. Even Anankin is surprised by this move, but it was all part of the grander scheme. "Strike me down Darth and I shall return more powerful than you can ever imagine." Obiwan's suicide was needed for him to return to the force, and become even stronger. The Lesson: Not every battle needs to be won, sometimes, defeat will temper us for later victories.


#4. One Who Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest:

Was McMurphy really crazy or just one hell of a good actor? All the men on the psych ward that he was assigned too, were all cowering under the boot of the head nurse. She had her patients wrapped around her finger. If she said jump, they'd ask how high? They ate, slept, talked, and took medicine when she said. McMurphy arrives and decides that should all change. Its the classic story of going up against something bigger than yourself. McMurphy saw that she was treating the patients unfairly, and wanted to stand up to her. Unfortunately this caused him to undergo such painful and numbing electroshock therapy, that it turned him into a vegetable. The once outspoken, loud McMurphy was turned into a silenced, shell. This was no way to live, so one of his friends, wakes up in the middle of the night, and sufficates him, putting him out of his misery...Its the worst thing you can do to someone is silence them.


#3.The Messenger: Joan d' Arc

The name either brings to mind, a holy woman, touched by god, or a halluncinating woman touched by madness. When France needed her most the poor peasant girl rose to popularity by stringing together a chain of victories against the English. Joan who re-claimed much of Frances lost territories, was eventually put to death for her ideals. The same fiery passion that had saved France from siege, was then said to be blasphemous and she had to be purged in cleansing fires. Joan's beliefs were used for the good of France, and once those needs where met, she wasn't needed anymore and was looked upon as a threat. Be careful who you help in life..

#2. Moby Dick

In life, you encounter things that you get madly passionate over. Almost obsessive. And no story captures that feeling of mad drive than the story of Captain Ahab and the white whale. In my opinion, this book has yet to be translated to film properly.. The 1956 version was ok.. and this 1998 remake was equally mediocre. But idea of Ahab's death from chasing this monster is what really shines through. So hopelessy obsessed, with Moby Dick, it drove him to a watery grave, and the destruction of the Pequod. Obsessing over something to the point where it consumes you is a sorry life, and will eventually be the perfect way to buy the farm

#1. The Hudsucker Proxy:

My all time favorite scene of perilous plummets, is the scene in the movie, The Hudsucker Proxy. The head of the major corporation decides that his no longer wishes to be part of the greed and every day squabbling. A beautifully done scene, that actually makes me want to pat Hudsucker on the back. He was rich beyond belief, but felt that he didn't want a part of it anymore.


Well thats that. Most of the people on this list, knowingly went off into the blue yonder, on their own choice. To give oneself in to the unknown vastness of empty time and space...

You guys are welcome to share your own favorites.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

AT&T Buys T-Mobile



The world of Telecom shakes today, as AT&T takes over the reigns of T-mobile's US mobile division. This 25 billion dollar deal is going to (hopefully) help AT&T mobile network service. As an Iphone holder, I can atest...they're mobile service is horrid. I'm not sure if the fault lay with AT&T's towers, or Apple's made in China phone, but either way, I hope this will help bring the service to a much higher standard. I like AT&T, I like their history, what they've done, and how far they've brought the telecommunication industry. Without Bell Labs, we wouldn't have many of the inventions that we have. (Look in the near future for a full history and report on AT&T)

T-Mobile, which originally came from, if you remember VoiceStream Wireless. I vaguely remember the company myself, in fact I only remember hearing the name. VoiceStream was spun off of another merger, but ultimately VoiceStream was bought by a German Telecom company. In fact it was bought by the largest Telecom company in all of Europe, Deutsche Telekom. They wanted to own a wireless company in the states, to give them some profit overseas. Under the direction of Deutsche Telekom, Voicestream was turned into T-Mobile.

On its own, going up against the then struggling AT&T, T-mobile did pretty well for itself. its only been recently that the Mobile giant has began to show its age. Verizon and AT&T have been giving T-mobile a schlacking like none other, and I suppose its been falling behind. If you look at it from a tech point of view, T-mobile doesn't have much to offer. It put out in a act of desperation the Mytouch, which was supposed to go up against the iphone, but it wasn't even close.


So what does this mean? Hell if I know, I don't work for AT&T's corporate division. But from what I can gather, AT&T is going to be making use of T-mobile's cell towers which is good for us with AT&T phones. It will free up network space, and allow AT&T to catch up to the 4G tech. (which really doesn't deserve the name 4G, but thats for another topic)

Now, here's what I'm thinking... in the 80's AT&T was broken up for anti trust suits. Meaning, they were a monopoly and had to break apart to avoid being shut down. Now AT&T has reformed, and is once again gobbling up companies, before this, if you remember, AT&T bought Cingular. Obviously, unlike in the 1980's there's more telecom competition around now. Sprint-Nextel still exist, and AT&T's main rival Verizon is still a thorn in their side. I'll be keeping an eye on this story, and as I stated earlier, an AT&T/Telecommunications history time line will be one of my future posts.

Anyone here excited by this merger? Scared to death? Chime in.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

It's a Unix system... I know this




I was watching Jurassic Park a few nights ago, (well I wasn't really watching it, someone was streaming it on livestream, and I was busy working on a class project) and aside from all the screaming, shooting, wheels screeching, and roaring, one line always bothered me. For those of you who haven't laid eyes upon this movie (what the hell is wrong with you??) its about an island of dinosaurs. I'm not going to get into detailed plot descriptions, because I don't review movies. Nevertheless, by the end of the movie, all hell is breaking loose, and this one self proclaimed "hacker" girl, is put on the spot to safe the entire cast of characters from being mercilessly devoured by door opening dinosaurs. She must "hack" into the computer and lock all the doors in the park, effectively sealing them into a closed in room. Anyway she hops on the computer, and much to her delight...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFUlAQZB9Ng

So yea, when I was a younger man, I had no idea what the hell a Unix System was..nor did I care. Dinosaurs where about to eat people. But as I grew up and my interest in computers grew, I had to wonder, what was Unix? I started watching TechTv (remember that?) and a man named Leo Laporte had a show called Screen Savers, in which he'd talk about technology and Os and related things, and he'd always mention something called Linux. Back then I had no idea that these two systems were related, and I began wondering just how many operating systems were out there? Was using Windows just a tip of the ice berg? I always hate that feeling I'm not getting to see everything. Like I hate playing demo's of games, cause I know there's more to it. So I had that same feeling when I discovered so many other Operating systems.. I wasn't seeing the entire picture with Windows. I've harbored that feeling for quite some time, but now as I'm getting into Computer programming, I'm finally going to download my own copy of Linux and see how it goes. So for those out there wondering whats so special about the Linux / Unix system? While I don't think everyone is going to orgasm over these features, they are cool to have.

Open Source Code: Probably the biggest draw to Linux is the ability it gives its users to go in and change the source code. Now you do this at your own risk of course, but atleast you have the option. It lets everyone's system be customizable, and you can really do some neat stuff with it.

Free & Legal: As much as I love & hate pirating, my moral compass and stand proudly as I download this.

Control!: If something goes awry with the source code, you have the ability to fix it yourself! This may seem like a chore to some, but with Microsoft you'd have to call or have your computer serviced. With Linux your source code is available to modify as you see fit! In fact its a plus if you doand fill out a bug report cause you'd be giving back to the other users in the linux community!

Desktops: Another big draw to Linux is the ability to customize your desktops. I don't mean change the wallpaper and turn your mouse pointer into a rocket ship, I mean truely changing the way it moves and operates. You can even change your file directories, and the way your folders work.. Truly its all customizable.




There's a whole bunch more differences that I won't get into, but I'll let you all know how this ends up. Rather I like it or not. After Linux, maybe I'll try running Unix on my imac... If any of you out there run Linux or any alternative OS chime in and let me know what you think. Do you like it? They're pitfalls, advantages, tips, tricks, etc..

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Chains That Bind



I really am trying to like AT&T. The oldest telephonics company in the world,(survived by its many incarnations... The original AT&T doesn't exist anymore) they have such a rich history, that really defined the shape of our country. I have an unusual interest in the telecom industry. (look for my future blog post on the History of Telecom) Anyway AT&T is really rubbing me the wrong way lately, and this is just another nail in the coffin. ( or maybe I should say just another jack in the wall?? Phone humor!) If there's one thing I abhor is a collar and leash. Especially on my internet, but that is exactly what AT&T is planning. Starting May 2nd 2011, AT&T will have a 'cap' on how much it's DSL subscribers can download and stream per month. 150 gigs is what you get if your a DSL line holder, and a 250 gig cap for their high speed users. While this of course may very well be enough for people, myself included, I don't like that feeling of a ceiling above me. And more righteously, I don't like the idea of people being penalized for sharing information. Rationing out data just seems wrong, and unfortunately, AT&T may not be alone. Something this big is almost guaranteed for other competitors to follow suit.




And another problem I for see with this, is that most companies, have two tiers of Broadband, a regular DSL line and a higher speed version that usually involves fiber optic cables. Ex: Verizon Fios, AT&T Uverse etc.. With these type of caps, the higher speed services, look less attractive, because whats the point, you'll just download yourself to the limit anyway? There's no need to get a faster service, because you'll just reach the cap faster for your month.
I'm not liking the looks of this and hope this isn't a trend to come.
As always comments welcome

http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/13/atandt-will-cap-dsl-u-verse-internet-and-impose-overage-fees/#dsq-comments

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Bejing Citizens Being Tracked Through Their Cell Phones


I'm not sure how accurate this is, but according to a few reports the citizens of Beijing, China can now be tracked by government officials, as to where they are. Even most mundane cell phones have some sort of GPS technology installed in them, and this is giving China, an incentive to use this advantage. Now, the director of their science and technology commission, stated that this move is to ease up congested road ways, and streets. He claims that know where people are gathered and congested, can help route traffic, to other areas. Now we all know China is pretty populated, no surprise there about the heavy traffic.. but tracking on cell phones? The matter just sounds sketchy to me. What others have suggested, and I agree with this, is that this initiative lets Government officials see where large masses of people are gathering and given the social unrest over the last two months in Africa, it probably has the upper echelons worried about the fire spreading. So this whole program can keep a big brother style eye over the herd and especially because of the reports that the social unrest in Egypt began over Facebook. This would allow anyone sending any messages inciting unrest, to be found and punished quickly and accurately. While I doubt the US government would never pull such a brash, and clumsy maneuver, you think something like this is possible? Even without our knowledge? Lets hear from you guys.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/04/china-tracking-beijing-citizens-mobiles

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mk Ultra



Ah, weird, behind closed door experiments? check. Mind altering drugs? check.
Set in the 1950's cold war era? check check..

Started in the 1950's and early 1970's, Mk-Ultra was the government's way of playing with LSD and other illegal substances. What was the MK-ULTRA program?
It was a covert operation by the US government to explore the effects of mind altering drugs on soldiers. Remember, in the late 1950's, and early 60's drugs were beginning to take hold of the youthful culture, it was a drug world. LSD one of the main centerfolds of the revolution had some serious effects on the human body and the nervous system. It's reputation carries with it, effects of altered thinking, psychodelic 'tripping', and cognitive shifts. That being the case, the CIA used LSD to experiment with humans, often CIA agents, and prisoners, and studied their effects. They put together mass group dosages, and watched for any interactions in the mental state.
The point behind all this testing, and experimentation, was to see if substances combined with LSD or psilocybin, ketamine, or marajuana, and other drugs could produce a person of higher mental thought, even producing effects of telekensis, brain washing, shared dreaming, or hypnosis.

Mind control, and brain washing were the two big idea's behind the MkUltra program. Producing this, the government in effect could create an ideal killer, or assassin, or even president. (one would argue, that the government already controls the presidents) The MkUltra program even went so far as Hypnosis, in which lots of experimentation was done with hypnotizing patients, and having them remember complex written words or strings of text.There were also a few "mini mkultra" programs that spawned from the idea of mind control.

MkSearch was established to find a perfect 'truth serum' drug. Using this at the height of the cold war would have been invaluable. Remember that during this time, the United States would have loved to found out about what was going on in Russia at the time.

Project Artichoke was a similar mind control idea that used the addiction of morphine and its withdrawl effects on people, to induce vulnerable states in people. Apparently Project Artichoke is where all the action happened, and that mkultra was a lesser offensive. But all the evidence of Artichoke was destroyed, leaving the public to chew over the mkultra program.

MKOften
was another spawn, in which, the CIA investigated and played with more tribal, ritualistic methods of human thought. It even reports that mystics, clairvoyants, and psychics where used and experimented on.


Unfortunately, in the early 1970's, the files for MkUltra were vastly destroyed, so what truely went on in those hallowed halls, will never be known. The New York Times reported that there had been illegal experiments going on, which prompted an investigation into the matter, that resulted in something called the Rockafeller Commission, which was a commission to look into what the CIA did domestically. Sure enough, evidence of biological, and psychological experimentation was indeed found.
You can literally read tons one this topic, so I'll stop here with just the basic overview and I'll let you continue your research if you find this stuff interesting. The likes of Timothy Leary and John C.Lilly proved that the inner laberynths of the mind are corridors that can be explored and visted through the effects of drugs like LSD, and the CIA pouched on that opporunity. I'll be doing an article on Timothy Leary soon, he's a figure that fascinates me to no end!

I leave you with this link, its from a video, years back, called "Sunset". While the music is pretty, really pay attention to whats happening in the video..its very VERY much related to today blog post.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kmz_48HChj8

Also on a more comical spin of this topic, I'd point you to the recent movie "The Men Who Stare At Goats" While this is a humorous take on a similar project, it still deals with the main concepts.