Category Archives: Procrastination

Talk about fun or random stuff that doesn’t fit anywhere else

SingShot

I have just come across SingShot, a fantastic site that brings karaoke up to Web 2.0 standards. Anyone can sing into their computers microphone and have their warblings mixes with the backing track totally automatically and without any downloads. Tracks can then be shared and scored by fellow participants in the common social networking way. Shame there aren’t any RSS feeds though!

End of VHS

Yeah, I know this isn’t news but it does amaze me how quickly VHS has died! I have just sold 15 VHS videos, all pretty good movies and including two limited editions! How much did I get… £3 !! Yes 20p per video!!

Update: One year later and I can’t give VHS away now.  Even charity shops are refusing them

Drake equation

I just came across the Drake equation which attempts to estimate the number of extraterrestrial civilizations in our galaxy with which we might come in contact. The thing that gets me is how low the answer is! Even if you put high estimates into the equation the answer come out in the 1000’s. That’s a thousand odd civilizations in our entire galaxy! I do think there is intelligent life out there but going by these sorts of estimates we are so amazingly far away from contacting them that we can forget about it for a long long time!

Things to do before I’m *cough* 30

Having originally written this in my 20’s I’m now updating this for the later years in my life.  Strange how I actually feel younger now than I have in a long time.

Well I’m now in my 2030’s and half way though a mid youth crisis, I have a house and a car and a job with responsibilities and can no longer do the fun things that I used to (like I did anything before anyway!!). So, I have decided to make ‘the list’, a list of things to do before I’m 3040, I need your help here, I need suggestions, send them to me and I will see what I can do.

The List
Idea Date
Parachuting Done: 23-24 Sep 2003
Learn to ski & go skiing on real snow Done
Go on a proper ghost watch Not planned yet
Dye my hair blue Not planned yet
Go to New York for New Years Not planned yet
Suggested by people visiting this page!!
Idea Date
Abseil from a tall building Not planned yet
Have a threesome!! Not planned yet (strangely)
Drive across America Not planned yet
Visit each of the continents Not planned yet
Scuba dive Maybe soon!
Learn to sign language Not planned yet
Walk on the great wall of China Not planned yet
Experience a weekend at the Streetrod Nationals Not planned yet
Write a poem or fifty Done: 28 Feb 2004 (just the one)
Appear on TV Done: 26 May 2004
Go to Brazil and eat a fruit pizza Not planned yet
Try not to think about Polar Bears for an entire day Done: straight away :-p
See the northern lights Not planned yet
Go and see a proper Opera Not planned yet

Revolving head

I had this idea ages ago, I have absolutely no idea where it came from but I suddenly realised that instead of the normal picture of me I should do something special. Then I came up with the idea of a rotating head!! Tell me if you like it, I think its rather cool, it certainly took me long enough to do!

For those of you sad enough to want to know how I did it. The effect was done by me repositioning my PC camera to in front of my window, there is plenty of light there and also a lot more room. I then positioned myself on my swivel chair and tried to line my head and back up on the central spindle of the chair (This is a lot harder than you think). I captured a 30 second avi file of me spinning around and around. I then edited the file to pick the best 360 degrees and to try and line up my head position in the start frame with the end frame. Paint Shop Pro v5 has this great utility for converting avi files into animated gifs, then with a bit of trimming and editing of the timing, the file was created!!! Easy as that!!!

The Conscience of a Hacker

This was taken from Phrack Volume One, Issue 7, Phile 3 of 10. It is a poem by a hacker that was arrested back in 1986, funny how it still seems to be appropriate so many years on. Incidentally, bits of this file made it into the movie “Hackers” (I sense Emmanuel Goldsteins influence there!!) I know it’s kinda sad but in some ways I like this, if nothing else but that it’s a nice bit of poetry. Anyway, here it is in its original format:

The Conscience of a Hacker

by

+++The Mentor+++

Written on January 8, 1986


Another one got caught today, it’s all over the papers. “Teenager Arrested in Computer Crime Scandal”, “Hacker Arrested after Bank Tampering”…

Damn kids. They’re all alike.

But did you, in your three-piece psychology and 1950’s technobrain, ever take a look behind the eyes of the hacker? Did you ever wonder what made him tick, what forces shaped him, what may have molded him?

I am a hacker, enter my world…

Mine is a world that begins with school… I’m smarter than most of the other kids, this crap they teach us bores me…

Damn underachiever. They’re all alike.

I’m in junior high or high school. I’ve listened to teachers explain for the fifteenth time how to reduce a fraction. I understand it. “No, Ms. Smith, I didn’t show my work. I did it in my head…”

Damn kid. Probably copied it. They’re all alike.

I made a discovery today. I found a computer. Wait a second, this is cool. It does what I want it to. If it makes a mistake, it’s because I screwed it up. Not because it doesn’t like me…

Or feels threatened by me…

Or thinks I’m a smart ass…

Or doesn’t like teaching and shouldn’t be here…

Damn kid. All he does is play games. They’re all alike.

And then it happened… a door opened to a world… rushing through the phone line like heroin through an addict’s veins, an electronic pulse is sent out, a refuge from the day-to-day incompetencies is sought… a board is found.

“This is it… this is where I belong…”

I know everyone here… even if I’ve never met them, never talked to them, may never hear from them again… I know you all…

Damn kid. Tying up the phone line again. They’re all alike…

You bet your ass we’re all alike… we’ve been spoon-fed baby food at school when we hungered for steak… the bits of meat that you did let slip through were pre-chewed and tasteless. We’ve been dominated by sadists, or ignored by the apathetic. The few that had something to teach found us will- ing pupils, but those few are like drops of water in the desert.

This is our world now… the world of the electron and the switch, the beauty of the baud. We make use of a service already existing without paying for what could be dirt-cheap if it wasn’t run by profiteering gluttons, and you call us criminals. We explore… and you call us criminals. We seek after knowledge… and you call us criminals. We exist without skin color, without nationality, without religious bias… and you call us criminals. You build atomic bombs, you wage wars, you murder, cheat, and lie to us and try to make us believe it’s for our own good, yet we’re the criminals.

Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for.

I am a hacker, and this is my manifesto. You may stop this individual, but you can’t stop us all… after all, we’re all alike.

+++The Mentor+++