Tuesday, July 11, 2006

How can you go to costco, spend over $400 in groceries and *still* not have anything to eat for dinner?

Thursday, June 01, 2006

On my way home from school, I heard on NPR a piece about the lenovo (I.E. IBM Thinkpad) being produced in china scandal.

The bottom line is this.

1) All personal computers today, contain at least *some* chips that are produced overseas. Most companies (Apple, HP) are entirely built overseas. US designers, foreign manufacturers. IMHO, any personal computer has about the same chance of having a "bug" installed because the actual construction is done outside the country. Who owns the company on the paper has very little to do with any of this.

For the few that are "assembled" in the US (dell), they still buy their chips and components from overseas. So it is entirely possible that china snuck in the "bug" before it even arrived to dell.

It is entirely possible for someone to "drop in" a "bug" while they are putting the parts together. Not to mention that most of the common chipset designs have become standardize and therefore, some were designed in china as well.

2) Even if there was a company that built and manufactured all of its own components and chips in the USA, It is entirely possible for a Chinese agent to sneak in and put bug into that operation. You could even go on and say the same thing if the government went out and made their own machines in house for the same reasons.

Is it possible technically for there to be bugs? Yes, just as it is possible for there to be bugs in our clothes, food and cars. Just because they can, doesn't mean they are going to. The major problem facing the US intelligence agencies today is that they have *too much* information. They don't (or can't afford) enough computers and workers to sift through the countless hours of material they have. Once they hear of a problem, they can go back and search but they can't just passively look for "problems" and expect to have a effective return on the thousands of man hours necessary.

So this is entirely a publicity stunt by US politicians, who don't know about the issue, trying to look like they are "protecting" America. They are just being too paranoid on what little they know. To be honest, if it was really that big of a security issue one of the Three Letter Agencies would have already stopped them.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

On to other news, it looks like shinyfeet.com is shutting down.

Streamload appears to be doing pretty well. They have recently upgraded all of the existing space plans (giving more space) and now ftp is now a official feature. They are not quite-yet done with their new version mediamax, but will be "soon". Interestingly, media max provides limited storage space while current customers are unlimited. They have repeatedly insisted that all existing customers will keep paying the same price and will keep their unlimited storage space.

The new version will only count the file storage quota to files that are unique to you. I.E. If you and a friend have the same file, then the file storage is free. I wonder if its free for both or for only one? If the first still "pays", then what happens when they delete? The second person in line then pays?

I am quite happy with the service pricing as it is now, and I don't know why they are (essentially) punishing new users (if they follow their plan). Maybe they have something up their sleeves (its 250GB storage per month? A button for long-term Archival storage?). The only way to be sure is to sign up to a paying account now (to hang onto the existing plan) and see what happens.
A LOOONG story short, I was looking around in the (US) miltitary medical requirements document (http://www.usapa.army.mil/pdffiles/r40_501.pdf) I.E. what condition can get you kicked out.

Most of it is pretty obvious (must have all your limbs, can not be blind, etc) there is a surpringly quite a few unusual things in there. Some I might say are trivial. I guess its to cover their buts legally if/when a really unsually case comes along.

You can be kicked out for
motion sickness
having too much acne!
being a organ transplant recepiant!
having a history of sleep walking

thought you would like to know ^_^.