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08.19.2005 -

thought of the day: at someone's bbq several weeks ago, someone brought up a question on why cd burning speed ratings differ from dvd's. i personally knew that the speed associated to a cd was relative to the amount of cd audio playtime it had. meaning 1x = burning a cd in 74mins. 2x you twice that speed and etc, which comes out to be 150kB/s for 1x. however, for dvdrs, there really isn't a set amount of video play time. i mean, take dvd shrink for example. they can reduce the quality and the dvd can have more playtime. you can't do the same for cds. that's because cd audio is encoded at a cbr (constant bit rate) while dvd video is encoded at a vbr (variable bit rate). thanks to ungsunghero for donating this link: DVD is measured in multiples of 1385kB/s, which is the maximum bitrate allowed on DVD-Video discs. so it is measured in a similar way where 1x is the maximum bitrate that the dvd codec allows. another interesting fact that you might now know is that 700MB cds actually hold ~800MB of data. audio cds and vcds and svcds actually utilize all 800MB, hence why you can burn 800MB of audio and 800MB of mpgs onto a cd and why when you see cd images (iso), they're over 800megs sometimes. the thread i linked earlier has more technical explanation, but in short, there's about 100megs used for error correction. it's very easy for cds to get damaged and with data, every bit is important. they have 100megs of redundant data so they can recover in the case you do have bad bit flips. in audio and video, bit flips don't really matter because it's not going to change what you see/hear much, but a bit flip in an executable may cause it to crash your system.

TGIF! finally got some UI automation to work. pretty happy about it. it's been a long week. pretty tiring and now i think i have an hdd problem. my OS hdd (200gb) seems to be dying. it seems to restart (if you can call it that) multiple times during bootup. you can hear it power down and power back up. when you hear this, your mouse still works but whatever was loading would resume loading in like 30secs (when the hdd reaches top speed again). warranty on it doesnt expire till 6/2006, but that means i need to find 200gb of space to backup stuff. so far i've killed a bunch of videos off my computer (also burnt a bunch) and i have about 80GB free. still not close to what i need. sigh...

so i got my 16x dvd burner today. looks pretty sweet! too bad i dont have any 16x media and don't really plan to purchase any any time soon. either way. i think my system needs an OS reinstall. when i put in a dvdr, explorer thinks it's a cdr. i thought my nec was broken again and ungsunghero even came up with a chaos theory where my mobo was kill off my drive. turns out it was reading the dvdr media fine (turns out my old optorite is working too! plugged it into my laptop via a ide-2-usb cable). so now i have 2 working dvd burners hehe. i guess the 200gb must've gotten damaged during one of the travels. the restarting noise has been going on for awhile, but it wasnt till recently when it became really noticable.

thanks to cari for donating this game: Super Mario Blue Twilight. similar to super mario worlds. enjoy!

got this from /. :

June 22, 2000 (from

America Online: A sucker born every minute...

According to a corporate press release dated June 16, 2000, America Online has surpassed the 23 million member mark. Founded in 1985, AOL has been a household name to novice computer users worldwide. Unfortunately, many of these novices don't know that they're only seeing a small portion of the Internet and are being limited by AOL's proprietary and archaic interface.

Now, it's fairly safe to make the assumption that at least a quarter of AOL's 23 million customers are simply short-term users along for the free trial or jumping from service to service looking for the best deal. And, using that same line of thinking, roughly half of those 17.25 million remaining customers are probably smart enough to see AOL for what it really is and cancel their service in a desperate fit of fight or flight.

That leaves approximately 8.63 million customers that use AOL as their primary Internet Service Provider, give or take a random three quarter million people at any given time signing up or canceling. With this in mind, and approximately 7.88 million minutes in AOL's 15 year history, this proves that a sucker really is born every minute.

got this article from /. : Intelligence: Behold the All-Seeing, Self-Parking, Safety-Enforcing, Networked Automobile. this is quite interesting because we (several people in my project team) were just discussing this during lunch. well it started out with vacations and where people were going, then it somehow got to how long it takes to drive from seattle to sf and la. then it became what was the longest drive you took alone. then it got into the subject of cruise control which lead to automated driving. this has been discussed prior on this site i believe, but several new interesting points came up. as i mentioned before, the # of car accidents will probably drop dramatically. even though cars don't have human instants, they also dont have human faults such as not paying attention, talking on the cell phone, falling asleep, drinking alcohol, etc. and also mentioned before was who is actually responsible for car accidents? car manufacturers or the person that purchases/riding in the car? one of the stories brought up on how messed up our judicial system can be is someone enabled cruise control in his trailer and then went back to make himself some coffee. this car of course continued going straight and eventually hit a shoulder. he sued the manufactuerer that cruise control didn't state that it wasn't automatic steering and he actually won. my god! common sense tells me there's no such thing as automatic steering! but another valid point brought up was would insurance rates go up or down? one of my colleagues then said, "it depends on who." i mean there probably wont be any insurance required for passengers anymore (since there's technically no more drivers, unless you plan on overriding to manual driving). however manufactueres will probably need to purchase high premium insurance in case any accidents that do occur and any potential lawsuits they may receive, which in turn will reflect on the price tag of the car.

got these from iichan:

nice bamboo tattoo right? (click to enlarge)

but look how painful it is (click to enlarge)

kitty in basket (click to enlarge)

fighting kitties (click to enlarge)

when the computer doens't follow your instructions

got these from