Archive for January, 2007

Chinese national dies in Iraq, granted US citizenship

Army Pfc. Ming Sun, 20, Cathedral City; killed while on patrol in Iraq
By Tracy Weber, Times Staff Writer
January 28, 2007
(Read the article)


Ever since the makers of Ghost got bought by Symantec and Symantec got bought by Norton (or is it the other way around?), I have had an inkling of what Ghost might have become through the unfortunate experience of having used Symantec/Norton Antivirus (8.0, I believe it is that MIT offers?)

I got a chance to use Ghost again. Ghost 10.0 that is. Unbelievable! What a piece of crap! I just wanted to image a disk, but now you have to run the ugly yellow UI in Windows — wait, you have to first install it in Windows so it can “help” you “automatically” “define” “restore points” so you can “backup your computer.” What does that user-fuddy gibberish mean?! Oh look here, I can be an “advanced” user and make a straight disk-to-disk copy (no disk to image?) but every time I click the button it wants to install .NET Runtime 1.1 first, what the …? And it keeps wanting me to activate the product and get “LiveUpdates.” Umrghh! Booting the CD up by itself gives me a patchy “recovery console.” No option to image disks in sight. Needless to say I junked the CD.

Fortunately the package tucks in another CD called “Ghost 2003″ for “older” computers. So it turns out Ghost 2003 is the Ghost that I remember. Man, thank goodness for older computers… Snorton has totally killed Ghost. Caveat emptor.

hilly Seattle

Seattle is really long in the north-south axis. Not only that, anybody who has been in Seattle for a while will notice that lots of interesting geographic features run along the north-south axis, like, hills, peninsulas, and lakes. I’m just guessing that retreating glaciers had something to do with it.

Hills, yes.

Yesterday I drove up a fairly steep hill called Phinney Ridge (really quite steep, but not super steep by Seattle standards). I was also going west, so suddenly I was reminded of this geographic and geologic fact of Seattle and thought … “Yeah, I must be hitting a large gradient against one of these hill-spines. Gee, it’s even called a ‘ridge.’ Wonder if I can skirt around it,” and so on.

In fact there are lots of descriptive place names that didn’t register with me — like, what is “Capitol Hill” anyway? — until I saw this image. I cut it out of the USGS data site, where you can play around with such things to your heart’s content. (I also took two looks at but decided they sucked.)

Seattle is supposed to be built originally on “seven” “hills,” (c.f. Rome) and I labeled them here in red numbers 1-7: First Hill, Capitol Hill, Queen Anne, Magnolia, Beacon Hill, Denny Hill (razed early on), and Crown Hill. I call BS on the seven hills theory. Not only do some of these “hills” not look like distinct hills, some of them aren’t even that impressive. There are lots more hills around … and Crown Hill looks sorely out of place, like an after-thought to make the number 7.

I haven’t really been everywhere in Seattle, so I can’t say where the hills are the steepest — they probably keep records of this. Where I have been though … some parts of the eastern ridge of Capitol Hill (green 1), the Downtown (green 2), and Magnolia have made for hair-raising experiences in a manual transmission car. By comparison, Phinney Ridge (green 3) really isn’t so bad.

The only really flat part of Seattle is the industrial/stadium/international district along the shores of the Duwamish River, which can be seen in the image, flanked by West Seattle and Beacon Hill. Seattle could have developed along the only river in the city: Seattle was almost called Duwamps, after all … but no, people had to go live on hills instead of flat land (yeah ok fine, there was too little of it and it was an Asian ghetto from the days of Chin Chun Hock).

income tax on “other income”

I heard this on the radio today, and it is true. If you stole in 2006, be sure to report your income.

Useful information (Appendix)

This is part of the hard disk recovery documentation.


Here are all the tools that made an arguably irreplaceable contribution in the recovery:

(Read the article)

cell phone hacking

Why are cell phone unlock keys and keygen algorithms still being sold?
I understand there is a great profit motive to guard the secret, since with this ruling, unlocking has become a legal profession (for at least the next three years), unlike warez cracking.
But come on, somebody must have an itch to set the information free, no?

execution methods and consciousness

With the news of Sodamn Insane’s execution plastered in big letters over the front pages of the new year weekend dailies (a strange phenomenon in itself), I realized that most of the world’s ancient execution methods do indeed go straight for the head.
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