halted by the great firewall of china

November 29, 2006 under China, ChrisBellini.com, Internet

Being an avid reviewer of my own web server logs like the dork that I am, I noticed a referral to my site from:

http://asp-cyber.law.harvard.edu/filtering/list.html

Apparently this is part of a graduate research project at Harvard University. More info about the project can be found here. After a quick search of the listing, I found chrisbellini.com on the list.

ChrisBellini.com is not accessible in China

Hopefully China’s computer geeks are helping their less-technical friends and relatives find anonymous proxy servers so that they can access sites that the Chinese government deems inappropriate. Unless that sort of thing can get you arrested or worse; in that case, don’t do it. What is the law on that anyway?

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working for free @ futureshop

November 28, 2006 under Futureshop, Nintendo, Wii

This weekend, Dena and I were wrapping up some Christmas shopping, which included a visit to the Futureshop over on Gateway Park Drive. As we were preparing to leave and Dena was headed to the checkout, I ventured over to the game area in the hopes that they’d have a Wii demo station. They didn’t, and neither did any of the EB or BestBuy stores. But I took a look at the launch titles that were available for the Wii while we were at Futureshop. The ones that piqued my interest were The Twilight Princess, Red Steel and Madden 2007. As I was looking at the screenshots and reading the story lines on the back of the boxes, a gentleman approached me and asked me what I knew about the Wii. I regurgitated all of the specs that I had seen, and paraphrased some reviews that I read in my RSS feed reader. He asked about how the remotes work and when the nunchuck is used. In the end, I think I sold him on the Wii…for no sales commission 😉

I don’t have a Wii. All disposable income is currently going toward house-related things. Plus a nice new TV with a small footprint would be preferred. I’m into space-saving designs and large entertainment cabinets are a complete waste of space, IMO. Low-profile TVs with small stands that only need to accommodate a cable box and a media center PC (with a NAS device stashed away elsewhere in the house) would be the ideal scenario for a Wii to join.

And if you want to try out a Wii, go bug Barry; he has one 🙂

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the python programming language and its love of "whitespace"…eeeew

November 23, 2006 under porn, Programming, Python

A couple of weeks ago, I rebuilt our desktop computer; the ol’ format and reinstall everything shuffle. I like to do it a couple of times a year; usually coinciding with when my annual anti virus subscription expires. It is, however, dreadfully boring downloading and reinstalling the latest versions of the software that I use all over again.

I’ve written a few Python scripts to automate various tasks, so I needed to get a Python interpreter installed on my fresh installation of Windows. After reinstalling a lot of software in a short amount of time, my brain switched to autopilot and I entered python.com in Firefox’s address bar. I hit ENTER and averted my gaze to the TV. When I turned back to look at the monitor, I noticed that there was some “hot oral and anal action” on my screen; two things that aren’t typically associated with Python programming, unless you’re shouting at your computer because the buggy Python script that you’re writing is a pain in the ass. I then noticed the “.com” that I mistakenly entered in the URL and promptly changed it to the proper python.org. I bet python.com gets many visitors who were originally looking for python.org. Yet I wonder if any people looking for python.com accidentally visit python.org and become convinced that writing code would put their to hands to…ahem…better use. I’m glad that porn sites were too late to register clever domain names for other scripting languages’ web sites like Perl; they could’ve had fun with that one 😉

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sabres 4 – penguins 2

November 18, 2006 under Buffalo Sabres, Hockey, NHL, Pittsburgh Penguins

BlackBerry 8705g with a Penguins logo
Last night, Dena and I went to Buffalo to watch the Sabres take on the Penguins, which was televised on TSN. The Sabres, currently being the best team in the NHL, didn’t have much trouble last night. When Sid Crosby, Evgeni Malkin or (to a lesser extent) Jordan Staal weren’t on the ice, Pittsburgh didn’t have much hope of mustering anything offensively. Crosby’s first goal of the night was brilliant, though – Biron had left the tiniest opening available on the short side, and after a couple of nice dekes, he managed to go short side. It’s amazing to think that the average age of the combination of Crosby, Malkin and Staal is only 19. Also, Crosby and Staal are still technically of-age to play for Team Canada in the annual World Junior Tournament this December, but they likely won’t. The Penguins definitely have the potential to become a great team with those young stars of theirs. It makes me hope that Jim Balsillie moves the Penguins to Kitchener-Waterloo even more 🙂

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lookin' for a techie job?

November 15, 2006 under Communitech, Jobs, Kitchener, Waterloo

Head over to Playdium in Mississauga on November 22 and check out the Communitech members that are seeking talent. Kitchener-Waterloo tech companies that will be in attendance are RIM, Google, Christie Digital, Desire2Learn (where I work), DiskStream, Handshake VR, LiveHive Systems, Covarity, Software Innovation, Sirific, and many others. Our CEO, John Baker, will even be one of the guest speakers 🙂

The word on the street is that the tech companies in Kitchener-Waterloo have over 2,000 positions that need to be filled. You should consider attending if you have skills in RFID/ASIC design, software development, QA, product management, IT and network administration, sales or marketing. Browse to Communitech’s Events Page and click on the “Communitech TechVibe Tech Talent Recruitment Reception” link for registration info – it’s free:

http://communitech.esolutionsgroup.ca/events/event_list.aspx

If you’re not from the area, here the tech stats and benefits about the high tech companies in Kitchener-Waterloo.

Wow, that was quite the PR and HR moment that I had there, eh? 😉

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mac guy, go home

November 13, 2006 under Apple, Mac

Bye-Bye GetAMac Campaign
Wired reports that Apple will looking for a new “Mac guy” for their “I’m a Mac vs I’m a PC” campaign. Personally, I think they should drop the campaign all together. There’s plenty of spoofs of the commercials over on YouTube and even yours truly took a shot at lampooning them.

I know that Apple‘s profits have been steadily increasing over the past couple of years, but I doubt it was because of those ads. Let’s face it, Justin Long‘s Mac character was just the type of annoying Mac zealot that you’d love to punch in the throat. Some people thought that character in the Get A Mac ads allowed Apple to show that it could take the piss out of itself by poking fun at its own stereotypical user base, but I think it backfired. Apparently it is indeed possible to be too smarmy and ironic…like y’know whatever. Everybody knows that Apple’s computers have typically been aimed at consumers who need to use a computer, but aren’t very tech savvy. Personally, I think the fact that they finally have the endorsement of many developers and industry leaders, offer a solid operating system and have sold a whole lotta of iPods, are the real reasons for their recent success.

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remembrance day

November 11, 2006 under Canada

Especially for the Canadian troops currently kickin’ terrorist ass in Afghanistan.

Canadian Poppy

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it's karma, baby

November 9, 2006 under Blackberry, karma, NTP, Palm, patents, RIM

I’m not a religious zealot, but I do adhere to the notion of karma. I try to live by a “what goes around comes around” ethic, and I feel terrible for enjoying the prospect of NTP getting into hot water. You might remember NTP as the patent holding company that sued RIM a couple of years ago for patent infringement. They settled and life moves on, but it dragged on forever. As an aside…hey RIM, when are the Penguins moving here? 🙂

This week, NTP is suing Palm for patent infringement – here we go again. This might wipe Palm out, should they lose. NTP, in my opinion, contributes nothing to society and the advancement of technology. As such, I was pleased to learn that a software developer is suing NTP for copyright infringement and unjust enrichment. It’s disgusting to see all of this litigation that you can only find in the good ol’ sue-happy US of A. Yet I won’t shed a tear if NTP loses this case and retreats, like the trolling shitsuckers that they are.

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hey ho, let's go…play hockey

November 7, 2006 under Uncategorized

Ramones logo
Last Monday I scored four goals. Last night, I added two more, for six goals in the past two games. How did I do it? I was on the receiving end of many good passes and setups. However, I’ve also listened to the Ramones‘ under-appreciated 1985 album, Too Tough To Die, before the last two games. Coincidence? Yeah, probably, but why mess with what’s working? 😉

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google gets in front of the net

November 6, 2006 under Google, Hockey, NHL

The NHL announced that it has partnered with Google to offer hockey games on Google Video. The NHL is the first professional sports league to offer its games online for no charge. There aren’t any live broadcasts and there seems to be a 3-5 day delay from when the games take place to when they appear on Google Video. Still, I like the idea behind this, as well as the availability. The quality is acceptable too. Check it out:

http://video.google.com/nhl.html

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