Disney domains

 

wdw

In less than a week after creating a Disney account these are the domains I have received email from:

@disneyonline.com

@wdw.disneyonline.com

@experience.disneydestinations.com

@disneydestinations.com

@vacations.disneydestinations.com

@disney.com

@mkt5993.com

@disneyprivacycenter.com

I’m looking forward to even more email.

 

 

 

Yes, I promise I am not North Korea.

I was filling out the form to RMA a failed Hitachi hard drive and one of the things I had to agree to was:

“By clicking the “I agree” button, I agree that HGST products will not be used for the design, development, manufacturing, testing, stockpiling, or use of biological, nuclear, missile or chemical weapons.”

I promise not to make a bomb with my hard drive. So funny.

 

export-restriction

The one in which the Birthday Cake is Awesome

Alight this is going to be uber-geeky, but oh well. A friend of mine led me around on my birthday for hours. My wife picked out my clothes that day. She was getting mystery texts all day. She kept checking my phone. My friend insisted on getting some take out sushi, which is really where things began to fall apart. The concept of take out sushi was absurd to me. She was spreading dis-information throughout the day. And, I never, ever caught on. She planned and executed a surprise birthday party without me ever catching wind of it. I was completely surprised. Apparently coworkers were chatting in a web browser search bar on my computer in my office and I never caught on. Apparently, they even got texts from my wife while in my office and I never looked at their phones to spy. The operational security was quite impressive.

My wonderful wife even bought me a birthday cake for my birthday. As much as she loathes Star Trek, she bought be a Star Trek (TOS in this case) birthday cake. Thanks everyone.

Star Trek Birthday Cake

Star Trek Birthday Cake Star Trek Birthday Cake

No one cares about your apocalypse next week.

I’m sick of people posting stuff about the end of the world in a week or so. I know most of it is internet chicanery and I love a good silly meme which can spawn endless iterations of a meme generator, as much as the next person. However, there are far too may people who are taking this seriously. and it really really needs to stop. It is fine to improve you emergency supplies and food storage but some people are going to far. I’ve had enough. Even the modern version of the Mayans have had enough. This isn’t a science versus religion argument.

Question (Q): Are there any threats to the Earth in 2012? Many Internet websites say the world will end in December 2012

Answer (A):The world will not end in 2012. Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than 4 billion years, and credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012.

Q: Does the Mayan calendar end in December 2012?

A: Just as the calendar you have on your kitchen wall does not cease to exist after December 31, the Mayan calendar does not cease to exist on December 21, 2012. This date is the end of the Mayan long-count period but then — just as your calendar begins again on January 1 — another long-count period begins for the Mayan calendar.

Read the whole thing …

Way more information is available here anout the Mayans: http://www.famsi.org/research/vanstone/2012/index.html

And please stop listening to this jack ass spewing his modern day jack-assery. Yes I just said that. It is amazing what people want to fool themselves into believing. Have fun.

Supercomputers for everyone!

This is exactly what I think of when someone says the word, “supercomputer.” Admittedly, this book is a bit out of date, having been published in 1995. We must have been coming off of a post Star Trek:TNG high and all its totally geeky awesomeness. I would had to wear that helmet, surely it is heavy and surely it would give me a headache. What do the giant four buttons do exactly?

I remember when Apple launched the Power Mac G4 “supercomputer” and Steve Jobs’ use of that term to describe his company’s newest desktop computer.

From the stage, Jobs announced that the machine was “by definition” a supercomputer. Jobs plays off of an apparent warning the company received from the federal government, which cautioned that the G4 was so powerful it could not be imported to “sensitive countries.”

While Jobs’ assertion that the G4 was a supercomputer based on a dated government definition enacted to control technology exports to hostile countries, it was more marketing hype than anything.

According to Jobs, the G4 is a supercomputer because it runs at the “gigaflop” level. A computer running at a speed of 1 gigaflop can perform roughly 1 billion calculations per second. “Flop” is short for “floating-point operations per second.” A gigaflop of power is roughly equal in computing to four 400 Mhz Intel processors.

But that definition of a supercomputer has been long outdated. Quite the kerfuffle back in the day.

229 songs and 891 miles

Some of the gang set out on a weekend trip. We headed to Butte Montana on our motorcycles. Our excuse for this ride was Evel Knievel Days. This is a celebration of Evel Knievel and his craziness in his hometown in the middle of nowhere.

We met up on Wasatch Blvd in Salt Lake City. The gang included Lea, Petey, Todd, Q, Rick, Ben, and Tatanka (that became my nickname for the trip). After topping off our gas tanks and sampling some kind of bagel ball from the nearby bagel shop we were on our way. Our first destination would be Evanston, Wyoming. This is only about 75 miles and it took us a little over an hour to get there. We used I-80 and passed through Park City. It was mostly hot and there was one obnoxious driver determined to run me over while he yapped away on his cell phone. We try to limit each stint to under 100 miles and only once did we go above that. We stopped for fuel and a beverage. Gas is a lot cheaper in Wyoming. The Flying J Travel Plaza in Evanston is the ticket to success. More importantly though we were now off the Interstate. This is where the real riding and fun kick in. Driving a motorcycle is fun, it is even more fun when you can do it on back roads.

Once again on the road. We did a good job of forming a nice zig-zag formation in our group. Everyone falls nicely into line except for Todd. He doesn’t seem to like it when I ride next to him. One the road you can barely hear anything because the motorcycles are so loud. Most of us strapped on our iPods and cranked up the tunes. For this trip I got out the Shure SE530’s for maximum quality. I mean I did rip everything in FLAC for heaven’s sake.

About a half hour outside of Evanston we stopped in a small town called Woodruff, UT. The road we are taking (WY-89) winds back and forth across the Utah-Wyoming-Idaho-Montana borders. Once again we stopped for fuel and another drink. Interestingly enough the iPhone was the only device that worked, thank you very much.

Our next stop would be almost an hour north, Cokeville, Wyoming. Once again the iPhone prevailed in all it glory over the inferior Blackberries. For road trips I have a windshield on my motorcycle that Lea helped me put on. It makes riding long distances very nice. The only one who did not have one in our group was Ben. I think he might be reconsidering that decision. Not only does it make riding easier, the windshield also protects you from the zillions of mosquitoes that usually smash into you. The down side being you have to clean off you windshield frequently as there are zillions of mosquitoes smashed into it. My routine quickly became fill with gas, clean windshield. get a drink.

Back on the road again. This part of our trip was filled with valleys of rolling hills with dramatic rock faced mountains in the background. The views were fantastic. This stint ended in Alpine, Wyoming at a hotel called the Flying Saddle where we would spend the night. It sat right on the Snake River and my room overlooked that river. We went to the nearby steakhouse and had a not-so-good steak. Our waiter was Tony. He often managed to disappear for long periods of time and we had to hunt him down a few times. I’m pretty sure he was not only serving us our food but killing it, cooking it as well. The restaurant is called the Flying Saddle Steakhouse. Not very good. Best to be avoided. The best part of our evening was some old lady at a nearby table got mad at us for being too loud. I’m pretty sure of two things. Her husband is miserable, and her husband wanted very much to be at our table having a good time instead of being with her.

The next morning we got up and headed to a nearby Cafe called Yankee Doodles Cafe. It was fun and the breakfast was tasty. Q and R ditched us to meet up with Q’s father-in-law Kyle. This would be a recurring theme on our trip. After getting back on the saddle we continued our northward trek. Cruising along the snake river meant that the area was nice and green. There were large reservoirs and and streams we passed by. By this time we were in Targhee National Forest so the pine trees were thick. The views very some of the best of the trip and the curves were awesome. We tried to use by-way as much as we could to have a more scenic route. It was fun to maneuver the motorcycle along this road.

Our next stop was almost two hours away. Ashton, Idaho. The fun part of this stop was, we got to see the state record setting brown trout in a nearby fishing supply store. They also had huckleberry ice cream.

Again another two hours more north. This time to Ennis, Montana. We ate lunch at the Ennis Cafe for which I am in no way responsible for. L made an “executive decision” to eat here. Man, this placed sucked so bad it was scary. If you are ever in Ennis, don’t eat here. Really, don’t eat here. There were a surprising number of people stopped in this little town.

Another 90 miles and we arrive our destination for the day. Anaconda, Montana and the Fairmont Hot Springs Hotel, just outside of Butte, Montana.

Evel Knievel Days takes place in Butte Montana. Montana is a wondrous place where the citizens still believe that the government should really be a part of their life. This festival takes place on the downtown streets where people openly consume alcohol, and yet no one is out of control. The police don’t really care about speeding and yet chaos has not ensued and everyone seems to be just fine. I wonder when people will wake and realize that more government, let alone government is not the answer. Anyway, there was lots of fun stuff going on like the X-Games, and daredevil stunts.

We had a great time.

Geek Checklist

The Geek Dad Blog at Wired has come up with a great list called 100 Essential Skills for Geeks (GeekDad Wayback Machine). Being the geek that I am, I thought I would see how I measured up against this awesome list of essential geek skills and see jsut how much geek cred I have. If you are normal (yes you S.) then some of this might seem strange, if you have some geekness or even a bit of nerdiness in you then you should feel right at home reading through this list.

  1. Properly secure a wireless router. WPA2-PSK with AES, everywhere, no exceptions. DD-WRT is a must as well.
  2. Crack the WEP key on a wireless router. Oh please, two minutes flat, not a problem.
  3. Leech Wifi from your neighbor. Been there done that. Thank you neighbors with a different ISP.
  4. Screw with Wifi leeches. Yes you will suffer indignity for not asking. You make it so easy when you run Windows XP unpatched.
  5. Setup and use a VPN. Everyday. Oh look, I’m in a tunnel right now.
  6. Work from home or a coffee shop as effectively as you do at the office. This is my mantra. Why are so many places so old school in their office environments? Probably because they hired crappy people and they don’t trust them. Good employees will get the job done no matter where they are.
  7. Wire your own home with Ethernet cable. Of course. Wifi just doesn’t cut it sometimes, especially some of the Faraday cages I’ve lived in.
  8. Turn a web camera into security camera. Yes I like to spy, especially on coworkers.
  9. Use your 3G phone as a Wi-Fi access point. Many times. Check.
  10. Understand what “There’s no Place Like 127.0.0.1” means. I like looping things back on myself.
  11. Identify key-loggers. What is this strange process that starts every time I boot? Why do I have this strange connection? etc …
  12. Properly connect a TV, Tivo, XBox, Wii, and Apple TV so they all work together with the one remote. Yes, and when you do it is a wonderful Harmony.
  13. Program a universal remote. Yes of course, but sometimes finding the codes can be a pain.
  14. Swap out the battery on your iPod/iPhone. Yes, but I cheated and used online tear down instructions.
  15. Benchmark Your Computer Constantly
  16. Identify all computer components on sight. Yes of course.
  17. Know which parts to order from NewEgg.com, and how to assemble them into a working PC. Done this a ton of times.
  18. Troubleshoot any computer/gadget problem, over the phone. Ever so painful, but I’ve had to do it several times. I don’t know how tech support people at hi-tech companies cope.
  19. Use any piece of technology intuitively, without instruction or prior knowledge. Hmm, I’m thinking yes unless it is like Stargate Ancient technology or something like that. Then I might be stumped.
  20. How to irrecoverably protect data. Usually DBAN but sometimes the drill press is necessary and ever so much fun.
  21. Recover data from a dead hard drive. Yes. Recovered a book for a professor, who seemed to think it was really not a big deal. I walked off without trying to explain to him that it took me over a hundred hours of work to recover the book he was writing. Did I get a mention in his book? Noooo. I’ve done it a few other times as well.
  22. Share a printer between a Mac and a PC on a network. pretty trivial really. As long as the printer talks TCP/IP. If it only wants AFP, well then it is a bit more fun.
  23. Install a Linux distribution. (Hint: Ubuntu 9.04 is easier than installing Windows)These days this is pretty much a no-brainer. Back in the version 1.2 days it was a lot more work to get it working. I remember the first time I heard sound, boy that was awesome.
  24. Remove a virus from a computer. Usually not much of a challenge but one in a while you get some really nasty piece of malware that just won’t go away. The Storm worm was pretty nasty back in the day. Sometimes you just get so pwned and rooted that you just have to format and start over.
  25. Dual (or more) boot a computer. I laughed when I saw this one. I have a single computer with at least 12 different OS’es on it right now.
  26. Boot a computer off a thumb drive. Puh…lease.
  27. >Boot a computer off a network drive. Seriously? Is this list supposed to be challenging?
  28. Replace or repair a laptop keyboard. Yes, not by choice. It was the easiest path to resolution. I know that see,s strange but it is a long story.
  29. Run more than two monitors on a single computer. I loves the screen real estate.
  30. Successfully disassemble and reassemble a laptop. Far too often in my lifetime.
  31. Know at least 10 software easter eggs off the top of your head. Not counting games this one I think I fail at.
  32. Bypass a computer password on all major operating systems. Windows, Mac, Linux This is far easier than people think. BIOS password, a bit more of a challenge, usually just adds a screw driver to the mix
  33. Carrying a computer cleaning arsenal on your USB drive. I didm’t use to do this but these days you realy have to. SO many people are part of a botnet or a zombied host and they don’t even know. Please stop using IE and Windows XP.
  34. Bypass content filters on public computers. SSH proxy.
  35. Protect your privacy when using a public computer. A browser with private mode and know how to clean up plugin cache.
  36. Surf the web anonymously from home. TOR or a VPN service.
  37. Buy a domain, configure bind, apache, MySQL, php, and WordPress without Googling a how-to. Where do you think yo uare reading this?
  38. Basic *nix command shell knowledge with the ability to edit and save a file with vi. I used to create and maintain my resume in VI.
  39. Create a web site using vi. Yup, sure thing.
  40. Transcode a DVD to play on a portable device. My 160 GB iPod is out of space. 🙂
  41. Hide a file in an image using steganography. Getting content and files in and out of freedom hostile countries like China makes this a necessary tool.
  42. Knowing the answer to life, the universe and everything. 42, but what is the question?
  43. Share a single keyboard and mouse between multiple computers without a KVM switch. Synergy, gotta have it.
  44. Google obscure facts in under 3 searches. Bonus point if you can use I Feel Lucky. I usually fail when I try to go the Lucky route. Otherwise it is rarely a problem.
  45. Build amazing structures with LEGO and invent a compelling back story for the creation. You are talking to the king baby! I even made a DNA double helix out of LEGO once. I think my dog destroyed it shortly thereafter. I cried a little, mostly because I did not want to clean it up.
  46. Understand that it is LEGO, not Lego, Legos, or Lego’s. You are also supposed to call them “bricks,” no one does. If I try to enforce this the normals look at me like I’m crazy so I avoid the conflict, but it is understood.
  47. Build a two story house out of LEGO, in monochrome, with a balcony. Full scale, no? Small scale, yes.
  48. Construct a costume for you or your kid out of scraps, duct tape, paper mâché, and imagination. Hmmm, this question might be a bit embarassing. I’m not into COSplay or anything but I haven’t done
  49. Be able to pick a lock. Success!
  50. Determine the combination of a Master combination padlock in under 10 minutes.I’ve tried and failed miserably. My combination-fu is low.
  51. Assemble IKEA furniture without looking at the instructions. Bonus point if you don’t have to backtrack. I think I must be a masochist because i actually really like doing this. It is like LEGO for Grownups.
  52. Use a digital SLR in full manual mode.Yes, but sometimes the pictures are all wrong and I have to adjust.
  53. Do cool things to Altoids tins. Mousetrap, and a ramp for hot wheels. Whee!
  54. Be able to construct paper craft versions of space ships. Utter and complete failure on this one.
  55. Origami! Bonus point for duct tape origami. (Ductigami) More failure.
  56. Fix anything with duct tape, chewing gum and wire. Much like knowing where your brown towel is when you travel through hyperspace, you really have to know where your roll of duct tape is at home.
  57. Knowing how to avoid being eaten by a grue. Walk into the light otherwise it’ll be gruesome.
  58. Know what a grue is. Silly monsters that live in the dark! Light is for kids.
  59. Understand where XYZZY came from, and have used it. I always thought it just meant no-op. Not sure though. Half point?
  60. Play any SNES game on your computer through an emulator. MAME forever.
  61. Burn the rope. I totally don’t get this one.
  62. Know the Konami code, and where to use it. Although I am a PC gaming snob I totally this one.
  63. Whistle, hum, or play on an iPhone, the Cantina song. I have had so many Cantina scene dreams it is scary.
  64. Learning to play the theme songs to the kids favorite TV shows. Not applicable, no points.
  65. Solve a Rubik’s Cube.It is a mighty epic struggle but I get the job done.
  66. Calculate THAC0. Of course. And I will break your sword.
  67. Know the difference between skills and traits. Oh man that takes me back.
  68. Explain special relativity in terms an eight-year-old can grasp. Mission accomplished. Do they still remember, I highly doubt it.
  69. Recite pi to 10 places or more. I did this just the other day. I scared my wife, and she asked, “What’s the point?”
  70. Be able to calculate tip and split the check, all in your head. Yes but I’m lazy and round heavily. Plus I’m a good tipper and you should be to. Don’t be cheap.
  71. Explain that the colours in a rainbow are roygbiv. It’s called a spectrum being refracted by moisture in the air.
  72. Understand the electromagnetic spectrum – xray, uv, visible, infrared, microwave, radio. Okay, strange one. Yes I understand it. Anything else?
  73. Know the difference between radiation and radioactive contamination.
  74. Understand basic electronics components like resistors, capacitors, inductors and transistors. I can tell you what everything is on a PCB.
  75. Solder a circuit while bottle feeding an infant. (lead free solder please.) Not applicable. No points.
  76. The meaning of technical acronyms. Yes, even TWAIN.
  77. The coffee dash, blindfolded (or blurry eyed). Coffee [cream] [sugar]. In under a minute. Not a big coffee drinker, so no.
  78. Build a fighting robot. No.
  79. Program a fighting robot. Negative.
  80. Build a failsafe into a fighting robot so it doesn’t kill you. Nope.
  81. Be able to trace the Fellowship’s journey on a map of Middle Earth. That maps is burned into my skull.
  82. Know all the names of the Dwarves in The Hobbit. Dwarves, probably not. Hobbits, most of them.
  83. Understand the difference between a comic book and a graphic novel. Yes of course.
  84. Know where your towel is and why it is important. I’m always prepared for hyperspace.
  85. Re-enact the parrot sketch. I actually have no idea what this one is.
  86. Know the words to The Lumberjack Song. Maybe the first verse. Half point?
  87. Reciting key scenes from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Every time I try to talk to someone it’s “sorry this” and “forgive me that” and “I’m not worthy”…
  88. Be able to recite at least one Geek Movie word for word. Hmm… This would probably be either Star Trek IV or Empire Strikes Back.
  89. Know what the 8th Chevron does on a Stargate and how much power is required to get a lock. Make sure you have an Icarus planet.
  90. Be able to explain why it’s important that Han shot first. Greedo did not shoot first! George Lucas has betrayed us all.
  91. Know why it is just wrong for Luke and Leia to kiss. Ewww. Just gross.
  92. Stop talking Star Wars long enough to get laid. I even managed to get married.
  93. The ability to name actors, characters and plotlines from the majority of sci-fi movies produced since 1968. I can go back to Forbidden Planet. Pfft.
  94. Cite Mythbusters when debunking a myth or urban legend. Daily.
  95. Sleep with a Cricket bat next to your bed. Umm … what? You mean baseball?
  96. Have a documented plan on what to do during a zombie or robot uprising. Joed about it but never written anything down. Fail for this one.
  97. Identify evil alternate universe versions of friends, family, co-workers or self. He he yes and sometimes it is scary.
  98. Be able to convince TSA that the electronic parts you are carrying are really not a threat to passengers. Tried and failed on this one. Just put in the bag with a million other computer parts and the TSA won’t care.
  99. Talk about things that aren’t tech related. Yes but it is an effort. The wife’s eyes glaze over when I get techie on her.
  100. Get something on the front page of Digg. Yes, but that was like ten years ago when no one used Digg.