Friday, July 31, 2009

The Follow Friday Legacy and Will Smith

Follow Friday, or #FF, is a curious thing I've come to discover. It's a ritual, well, it's almost a responsibility we have. A responsibility to our favourite people, or to those that we respect. We do it each Friday, over and over, usually the same messages, and all the same people RT you, then some spambots RT them. My #FF list keeps growing, I have about 12 tweets worth of people now, and recently I started hearing negativity that I was spamming the airways, dumping everyone I follow out there. Well I follow about 1333 people, and don't tweet that many, just those who've made the effort to interact with me, or who are very interesting.

I've told everyone that I will space out my #FF tweets from now on, to not spam out any users who still use the website or who don't have that many friends. It got me thinking today, as the same pattern repeats, that this is just like out of the Will Smith movie I Am Legend.

Every day he would go out to the docks and broadcast his pleas, his hopes, his offerings, like a lighthouse to ships sailing nearby. It's like a radio broadcast that never shuts down, but just repeats. We don't have to keep doing it, those who follow us already know, in fact most of the community already knows, they've been seeing it for some time now, so why do we continue?

Because like those beacons that repeat, we stand as a sign to newcomers, a direction that they can follow...Literally. Those who sail into our waters will not get lost, they will not crash on the rocks, they will find safe port and the shelter of a community. Twitter is built in such a way that these beacons are necessary as the stream keeps flowing, and if we don't retransmit, our messages will be carried off with the tide and into obscurity. We can never predict when new people will come and join us, so we carry on in a tried tradition, a right of passage to grant opportunity to those looking to join the tribe, knowing that one day they can pass this legacy onto those who were just like them, lost in this new turbulent ocean.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

This just Blows My Mind!

I don't know what the fuck this guy is doing here (at about 0:38), but it just blows my mind!He's plugging the handset from an old school telephone into some sort of device with handset shaped grooves! it's like seeing someone patch a cable in some old movie with operators, or in something you'd see in a hacker movie. I have no idea how this works, is it based on tones that come through and there is a mic that interprets those tones into bytes of code? Is this just maybe for the dude to remember not to hang up the phone and lose his internet connection?

Either way, it seems surreal and as a computer scientist I'm curious to know how the hell that thing works or what the purpose is, because it seems awfully inefficient!

I originally saw this on Jeff Pulver's blog post here.

Monday, July 27, 2009

How UW Logogate makes me feel as a recent Grad

I posted a rant in the facebook group a week or two ago, and instead of re-pasting it here, I thought I'd start anew, as new facts have come to light.

I still don't like the new logo, and it's getting justified by the upper levels (and with some of the comments it really feels like it's only coming out of academia land, which we all know generally has no real world experience) and while I do agree UW is all about innovation and risk taking, I guess this is just one of those things you wouldn't expect nor possibly want Waterloo to take a risk on.

Perhaps I'm wrong, but it seems these days that youth want nothing to do with old, well established, prestigious brands, the kinds of brands our parents and even grandparents grew up loving, respecting and vying to be a part of. Youth like to turn away from what their elders like, they like to have something newer, something their own, something fresh and up to date, that excludes the "dinosaurs". Many youth want to rebel, which is pretty natural, and how do you do that best? By finding your own way, a way that isn't that of your parents. I know that when I was younger, many of my friends wouldn't want to be caught dead associating with their parent's brands (unless it was the alcohol they stole, and grew a strong affection for!).

Despite all that I did just say above though, there are exceptions to the rule. Education. You aren't just buying knowledge and experience, you are buying into a brand, a level of prestige and respect that comes with your decision. This is something that you will probably associate with for the rest of your life. Imagine you are or were that (perhaps only somewhat) rebellious teen. You start to grow a little out of that rebellious stage now, you are graduating high school, on the cusp of becoming a legal adult, and you are ready to start acting like one...well at least you are willing to start looking at those dinosaur brands again, because now you are more concerned with looking good and showing off (and being able to make maximum moola), and this is the only way you know how. You start browsing the education index for your best combination of education, culture, prestige, and opportunity. Many a youngster decide to follow in their parents' footsteps and go to their schools.

Many of the students I met while going through UW went to the university specifically for the reputation and prestige they'd receive upon graduating, of course they knew it was one of the best schools, co-op is great, but they wanted the backing of that recognized symbol, that symbol that perhaps their parents, or other adults they respect or admire associated with. These youths wanted the prestige that came with the dignified UW logo. I know it may sound bad, but going through the hell of UW, spending the $40,000+ on tuition and books, it gives you a sense of entitlement, which I've heard isn't uncommon in Generation Y. I know that after what I've been through, I feel accomplished, I feel that I worked hard for my reputation, and while I shouldn't be entitled to things for free, I should be treated with a greater level of respect as someone who got a degree in a school requiring a 95+ average to get into than the guy who went to a school requiring a 70+ to get in; I also feel like I can scoff at those institutions that offer educations advertised in cheesy commercials (which may or may not include tv/vcr repair). So how am I to feel when suddenly the logo that represents my feelings, my reward for my hardships, my educational legacy, and the level of respect I deserve, is transformed into something that would fit on the library shelf between DeVry and ITT Tech? I don't want to sound like an asshole who doesn't respect other people who took different paths than I did, or who didn't have high enough grades, because we all know that it doesn't really matter, but I do want to be associated with the brand I spent blood, sweat, tears and 5 years for and the perks that come with it.

Of course people will probably still realize that UW is one of the best, that it is an incredibly hard school and it's grads are war vets ready for taking on the world, but I don't think that message is clear, I think the signals get mixed with they see a capital W full of Lasers. UW shouldn't need to instill that kind of imagery with their logo, it should be doing it already, and if it's not, that I don't think the logo is the issue, I think it's something a bit deeper. Who tends to use the most trendy and imagery instilling of logos in the education field? Probably those who are trying to catch attention and attract people who like cool fast looking laser beams, thinking, holy crap, it's gotta be good if looks somehow futuristic! (They'll be disappointed when they realize it's just the cover art for the Math137 textbook).

Lasers, like robots, aren't the first thing that make me think of the future, especially when they've been talked about for longer than my parents have been alive and actually exist today.

What about all those people who have already graduated and are living off their reputations? Do they really want that changed on them? I sure as hell don't, and I only graduated last year! Suffice to say, I don't know if I'll be giving any donations when they decide to start calling me each year.

Perhaps kids are different now, and they want that flashy logo to attract them. Perhaps this is why Pepsi changed their branding and style? I can't stand the new Pepsi branding and I'm a Pepsi guy.

Some end notes:
Here's a hilarious video about UW Logogate.
If you do watch that video on Facebook from the administration explaining their process, be prepared for something incredibly dry, boring and slow. For a potentially exciting process, the speaker seems not excited at all and she sounds like she is reading out of a text book. I like to associate UW with passion, but there doesn't feel to be any in this process.
I also agree with the tweet from Jesse Rodgers here

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Woot - They've got awesome style and writing!

I enjoy this line in a posting for one of their jobs:

Potential hazards: Poison bees. With hammers. Made of knives. Dipped in poison. But a different poison than the first poison so you can’t ever be immune.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lose XBOX Live? MS only considers you half a man!

So I got the 1 month of XBOX Live for $1 and I called to have it expire so I wouldn't have to pay big to renew. I bought a 12 month card to get it on the cheap, but wasn't ready to enter it yet. So the next day I sign in and get a message saying that I've been demoted to Silver! Ok, that is what I expected, but then I look at my profile and BAM! some how I sunk to the depths of despair for losing out on Gold! Is this convenient bug the way that Microsoft tells me I'm not as valuable? That I shouldn't stand as tall?

Monday, July 20, 2009

When the Robot Revolution Comes...They'll be more energy efficient!

Apps like this (Nike+ Running) make me laugh, but they make me kind of scared. If you think about the possibilities, you are broadcasting your physical limits to all potential enemies! If you had any fat stalkers, they know just how hard they'd have to train to take you down! And what about the robots?

Picture this, the future, robots hunt us, and now thanks to twitter they can calculate the speed and distance that can be covered by tech savvy nike+ running twitter enthusiasts. They can use their advanced AIs to hunt us down and project more accurate trajectories for their spear guns, nets, and lasers/bullets. They can become more fuel efficient understanding our limits and knowing when to strike, versus when to wear us down. They can accurately predict where we will be based on our smartphone GPS systems and understand where we will be before we even get there! At least these efficiencies will preserve fuels and make our Earth a healthier place?

I'm not sure why, but it reminds me of a quote from HK-47, the assassin droid in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (a great game by the way):

"Definition: 'Love' is making a shot to the knees of a target 120 kilometers away using an Aratech sniper rifle with a tri-light scope. Statement: This definition, I am told, is subject to interpretation. Obviously, love is a matter of odds. Not many meatbags could make such a shot, and fewer would derive love from it. Yet for me, love is knowing your target, putting them in your targeting reticle, and together, achieving a singular purpose, against statistically long odds."

The Cheapest Laptop stand so far!

I've been searching for cheap ways to come up with an effective laptop stand, versus buying one for $50+, which is even hard to do as they hardly exist around town! I've seen a number of LifeHacker articles talking about all the different ways you can build your own, and one in particular seemed good, it was some cheap Ikea CD rack that you cut a few pieces off and it would fit perfectly, although it didn't exist on the website anymore, so goodluck with that one.

Anyways, on to the actual stand! Total cost? $2 + tax.
While cruising the Dollarama with my girlfriend, I noticed these little wireframe picture/decorative plate/item stands, for a dollar each, and they came in black and silver.

I purchased 3, only needed to use 2, and despite how flimsy they look, they actually are quite sturdy, gives a slight bounce, and are almost already at the perfect angle! No need to bend them for me, although it probably wouldn't be hard to do so!

I will upload pictures soon and next time I'm at the Dollarama I'll look for the labels again as I already recycled the packaging.

I'm glad I didn't waste my money on that wireless dinovo laptop stand on the dell deals! I just use Synergy as a KVM for my laptop.

Privacy Fears from my Bank? Maybe not...

Originally I wrote this as a comment on Larry Borsato's blog here.

I feel a bit better now that despite how much information my bank should know about me, TD, in my latest bill I got a brochure for a TEAC All-In-One Stereo and Recorder. It’s a black and white ad for a device that looks like a record player surrounded by records of the Glenn Miller Concert and some random Jazz, and it will apparently let me convert my favourite music from Vinyl, CD and (get this!) RADIO to Digital!

Wowee! I need one of these! And I have to fill out the back of the pamphlet to order it, I can’t do it online! Just 4 easy payments of $49.99!

I can’t even begin on how wrong on so many levels this is for me! It’s virtually insulting at how stupid they are to waste paper, ink, and my time with this garbage! It’s funny though, in a shock and awe kind of way.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Old but Fun post from Facebook: Kijiji housing adventure, possible Nigerian scam?!

The following is a post about an experience my GF and I had last year while looking for a house. It involves Nigerian Scammers!

My girlfriend and I are looking for a place to live in September and as such I've been sending emails to people on kijiji looking for more info on places that have no picture and poor details...Honestly, do these people not understand how to market their places? this isn't the newspaper where you pay per letter, write me a fucking book and give me a virtual tour!

Anyways, here is a great response I got and the following chain and conclusion:
I send an email asking for an address and pictures, in response I get:


Thanks for your email and it is my gladness to hearing from you.I am MR TERRY ADENIJI,the owner of the house you are making enquiry of.Actually I resided in the house with my family,such as my wife and my only daugther before and presently we had packed due to my transfer from my working place and now situated in BLOOMFIELD NEW JERSEY USA and presently my house is still available for rent for $1000 per month including the utilities like hydro,washer and security,it is furnised.Moreso Now, i went for a Crusade in the WEST AFRICA (NIGERIA) and i will like you to get in touch with my wife in the state for more discussion as She is with the keys and the document to the house.Pls i want you to note that,i am a kind and honest man and also i spent alot on my property that i want to give you for rent,so i will solicit for your absolute mentenance of this house and want you to treat it as your own,is that taken,it is not the money the main problem but want you

to keep it tidy all the time so that i will be glad to see it neat when i came for a check up.i do that once in a while.I also want you to let me have trust in you as i always stand on my word.

Email my wife Christina on and she will attends to you better. and also you can also call me aswell on my phone always so that i can attaend to you because my wife phone is faulty at this time and here is my phone # +2347033440517.

Thanks and you are welcome

Wow...none of my questions answered, and now this confusing poorly written and spelled email! first off, why does he caps and bold his name and places?! is it furnished, why wouldn't he say that in the ad? This guy is on a fucking CRUSADE?! WHO GOES ON CRUSADES! I thought that is what happened when christians tried to take over the world! Maybe he meant cruise, that is what he must have meant, I look up Nigeria and see it's on the ocean...Wait, Nigeria?! Isn't that where the scams are from? oy, anyways, what is this about me having to pay for maintenance? that is not my duty, that is landlord's duty, and if money is not an issue, then pay someone to do it for you! what the hell? So now this guy is also going to come and check up on the place from New Jersey and Nigeria? for what? and is he going to just come into the place while I live there?! What does it mean to stand ON your word?

So he asks me to talk to his wife Christina, who I hope has better english skills, but apparently a faulty phone? how much are phones? so he gives me his number, which I almost died laughing when I saw it, thinking, WTF IS THIS?! Is this a real number? Looks like way too many digits, but I look up the area code for Nigeria, and sure enough it's a proper length number. Wow I don't feel like calling that long distance.

This all seemed pretty weird and sketchy, so I said fuck it, but then decided later to email back just for fun to the wife. I wrote:

I didn't quite get the questions I was looking for answered.
Where is this house located, like the exact address. Also do you have pictures of those house, and utilities are included? Does the house already have furniture? Would you get billed for any maintenance and problems as you would be out of the country and unable to fix? What is a bonus room?

Yes I forgot to mention that this house had a "bonus room". What is that anyways? like an extra bedroom, an extra office, a room I win for taking the house? can't they just say 2bedroom + office or something?

So anyways here is the wife's response:

Hello ,

Thanks for the email and also Yes,my husband in respect of MR TERRY ADENIJI owned the house and i also want you to know that it was due to my husband transfer that makes us to leave the house and also want to give it out for rent and looking for a resposible person that can take very good care of it as we are not after the money for the rent but want it to be clean at the time and the person that will rent it to take it as if it were its own.So for now,Am here in the State in BLOOMFIELD NEW JERSEY USA our new house and also with the keys of the house,we try to look for an agent that we can give this document before we left but could not see and we are as well as dont want our house to be used any how in our present that is why we took it along to us here and as you know that,my husband over in the WEST AFRICA for a mission of God,so i hope you will promise us to take very good care of the house.So get back to me on how you could take care of our house or perhaps experience you have in renting home.Hope you are okay with the price and its included the ultilities with hydro,heat laundry facilities,air condition and so on. and also the rent is $1000

Our House is very clean and includes all the ultilities and well maintained and the features a excercise facilities in the House i have also
attached the pictures for you to see..
Living Room: 13.2 x 18.6
Dining Room: 11 x 11.6
Kitchen: 9.10 x 7.7
Master Bedroom: 14.11 x 10.2
Bedroom: 12 x 10.2
Rec Room: 28 x 9.10
*marble fireplace/stove,
*internet access
*hardwood foyer,
*stove, fridge, dishwasher,
*washer/dryer connections.
*Private parking for 3 cars,
*Patio / Porch
*Parking, off-street(private)

the House is close to schools, shopping. It is within walking distance of Extra Foods, restaurants, A major road nearby.


Heat, water , internet access and one outside energized parking stall is included in the rent. Dog and Cats are permitted with pending approval of
pet application.


You can rent my house for as long as you want, but as for a start for rent fee , you will deposited 1 TO 3 Months rent charges for your move
IN Start that is if you which, and the payment method is through Western Union Money Transfer by the tenants .

I look forward to hearing from you ASAP so that i can forward you an application to fill out and discuss on how to get the house for
rent,also are you ready to rent it now or when?
I have attached the pics of the house for you to view.
Await your reply.

allllrighty then, not much better for's almost as if they both went to the same writing school. And MY GOD HE IS ON CRUSADE!!! WTF?! When I hear someone leaves North America to go to an african country to kill innocent people because god told them to, I'm a little worried about this person being my landlord...So none of my questions were answered except for utilities, and wait, if he is on crusade, why did he not have time to just sell house when transferred? Hey guess what everybody? A MAJOR ROAD IS NEARBY! WOO! wtf does that shit mean? you can't tell me even what street it is on? So I google for Extra Foods locations in Kitchener, and the website doesn't list anything near the region, and google didn't turn up anything, so that sure didn't help me figure out which major road. So now I have to pay up to 3 months rent on moving in? I'm pretty sure that is illegal and makes no sense and western union is always sketchy. So it's almost as if they didn't really read what I wrote. You'll notice it says they attached pictures, but the 9 links were of this format:

which tried to sign me into their friggin hotmail, like what is that? did they try to attach the webpage that attaches pictures? This is seriously retarded, so I send one more email to see what is going on:

can you give me an address or street and intersection of where the house is? I can't decide if I don't know where the place is located. Also, the pictures didn't attach properly, can you try and resend or upload to a site and send me the link?



Thanks for your response, we are very Glad to see your mail and to here that you are an honest clean person and its great . me and my husband have been doing good in the home before we get moved and we need someone that will take it clean and nice always. i have attached the application form for you to fill and every thing can moved on and also i want you to forward a copy of the application to me and my husband as soon as you fill it out via email. and the pictures are attached again and here is the location is 4 Copper Leaf St,Kitchener ON Canada


(Please list above all proposed rental properties you âre interested in applying for)

Occupancy Date Desired:


Last Name: First Name: Middle Initial:

Date of Birth:

Social Insurance Number:


Drivers License or BCID #:

Telephone Number:

Alt. Telephone Number:

The total number of proposed occupants including yourself (please circle one) 1 2 3 4 5 6+


CURRENT Address:



Move-In Date:

Move-Out Date:

Owner/Manager Name:

Owner/Manager Contact #:

Reason for moving:

PAST Address:



Move-In Date:

Move-Out Date:

Owner/Manager Name:

Owner/Manager Contact #:

Reason for moving:

PAST Address;



Move-In Date:

Move-Out Date:

Owner/Manager Name:

Owner/Manager Contact #:

Reason for moving:


Job Title: Company Name:

Length of Employment: Supervisor/Mgr. Name:

Employer Address & Contact Information:



Please check off the following:

Do you have water-filled furniture/aquariums? YES_____ NO_____

Do you own a vacuum cleaner? YES _____ NO _____

Do any household members smoke? YES _____ NO _____

Do you own a lawnmower? YES _____ NO _____

Do you have any pets? YES _____ NO _____

If you checked off 'yes' for pets - please list size(s), breed(s), and name(s):


?? Name: Phone Number:

Address: Relationship:

?? Name: Phone Number:

Address: Relationship:

?? Name: Phone Number:

Address: Relationship:

I hereby represent that all of the above information is true, accurate and complete, and hereby of the abauthorize verification over items, including but not limited to the obtaining of a credit report/and or recovery of monetary claims, and agree to furnish additional credit references on request.

DATE: .......................... APPLICANT SIGNATURE: .............................

Wow, wtf, I didn't say anything but I guess I proved I was honest and clean. I didn't even bother reading the rest of that form, but lots of spelling mistakes and weird stuff at the end. Seriously f'd up. So after writing about this I just did a google search for MR. TERRY ADENIJI and found this:
which basically states this guy is a scam and this was from kingston! just wow, and I saw that damn 4 copper leaf place in kitchener almost everyday updated on kijiji and craigslist and was like, stop friggin reposting!
He is on facebook, and check out his one friend that is listed:
it's a picture of some spam housing website!!!
Other sites detailing in wayyy more detail about the scam and phone numbers:

What a douche.