28 June 2010

The Best Way to Lose Weight

Recently I've re-started exercising regularly to return to a healthier weight.  I've found that the best motivational tool to avoid eating or snacking too much is to weigh myself every day.  Eating that muffin or chowing down on free food at a seminar is suddenly much less appealing when I wonder how much  it would set me back in terms of re-gaining weight I'd worked hard to lose. Is that extra slice really worth wasting the week's effort I spent to lose x kg?

27 June 2010


I watched Appaloosa, the other day, staring Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen.  I was pleasantly surprised.  Despite renting Appaloosa with reasonable expectations this film was even better.

Appaloosa is a classic Western about two long-time friends and law-men for hire, hired to clean up a town after its marshal was killed while trying to arrest a couple murderers.  Mortensen and Harris play the two main characters and they both performed very well.

I liked this film enough that I'm even considering actually buying Appaloosa for my collection.  My only question right now is whether the character played by Renee Zellweger will survive multiple viewings, given how unappealing I found the character to be.

I give Appaloosa 4 out 5 stars.

Beware of Idiots

What is it with Bay Street North?  Several days ago I watched in shock as someone drove a full-sized scooter pas me on the same sidewalk where I was hit by a cyclist.  He must have been going at least 40 km/h.  Apparently he decided that since he wanted to travel in the opposite direction of the one-way traffic that he'd just use the sidewalk, instead.  Not just an idiot, but a dangerous one.

20 June 2010

HP ePrint Web-Connected Printers and Yahoo

If I ever had the thought that sometime in the future I'd consider purchasing a "web-connected" printer (where users can print documents remotely by sending an e-mail directly to a specific printer) reading this article just killed it.
Hewlett-Packard plans to use Yahoo's advertising network in a pilot program that will deliver targeted advertisements for content printed with its latest line of Web-connected printers. [...]

The company also sees a potential for localized, targeted advertising to go along with the content. While testing its ePrint Web-connected printers, HP ran two trials where consumers received content from a U.S. national music magazine and major U.S. newspaper along with advertisements, said Stephen Nigro, senior vice president in HP's Imaging and Printing Group.

"What we discovered is that people were not bothered by it [an advertisement]," Nigro said. "Part of it I think our belief is you're used to it. You're used to seeing things with ads." [...] -- computerworld

Yes, I'm used to seeing ads.  I also see people spit in public (a disgusting habit) -- that doesn't mean I wouldn't be bothered by them doing it in the privacy of my own home.

While the analogy might not be quite so dire, the threat of all the spam and phishing e-mails I currently receive in my Inbox being directly printed on my printer using my paper and my toner (which isn't cheap!) disgusts me to no end. 

Crazy People

A top public university in Bangladesh has closed indefinitely after students clashed over whether to cancel classes to watch the World Cup. [...]

The decision was made late Saturday after at least five students were injured in violence between two groups of students.

One group demanded an early summer vacation so they could watch football on television without any tension. They asked other students not to attend classes or take tests and locked the university's main gate, prompting clashes with senior students who wanted classes to continue.

No date has been set for when the university will reopen.[...] cbc.ca

The fanatical football fans get their way, after all.  Ugh.

It's fine if some students want to prioritize watching football over their studies, but you can't get more selfish and egotistical than the students who decided to impose their will on others who didn't place football over education or were able to accomplish both.

Life isn't perfect.  That's life.  Accept it and deal with it -- preferably without making life worse for everyone else.

11 June 2010

Global Excavation and Demolition: Dangerous Demolition in Vancouver

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Dangerous Vancouver Demolition on YouTube

YouTube videos showing the walls of a Vancouver building under demolition being knocked into a city street with pedestrians and cars nearby are raising questions about the demolition company's safety procedures.

The demolition incident occurred on the southeast corner of Hornby Street and Helmcken Street around 5:15 p.m. PT on Thursday.

Two videos of the demolition were posted on YouTube Thursday. One shows an excavator knocking over part of a two-storey concrete wall of the building, pushing it past the fence erected around the demolition site. The wall debris is seen narrowly missing at least one pedestrian and a car on the street.

A second video appears to show the excavator knocking a second wall into the street a short time later, taking a lamp post down with it.

The demolition was being conducted by Global Excavation and Demolition.

The company was not commenting on the incidents, except to say that all the safety measures were in place and that at the end of the day, it was a good news story because nobody was hurt. --cbc.ca

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I sincerely hope the police or whoever is responsible for regulating demolition companies take a good, long, close look at these videos and Global Excavation and Demolition.

The demolition company even had the gall to say that this is a good news story because no one was hurt. No one was hurt despite Global Excavation and Demolition. I hope the driver of the black sedan gets them to pay for damages and any loss in resale value.

03 June 2010

RFID Credit Cards

I've never been a fan of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags on things potentially used for fraud and identity theft, like passports, official ID cards, and now credit cards. Articles like the one linked below describing how easy it is to read RFID information, and that many RFID tags aren't even encrypted, do nothing to instill confidence.

RFID smart cards

New credit cards pose security problem

Hacker shows CBC how to crack 'contactless' MasterCard

Most newly issued credit cards pose major fraud and privacy concerns because of how they're designed to be scanned through the air, some cyber-security experts warn. [...]

"What people don't understand is the credit-card industry isn't trying to make cards secure," Holman said. "They just have a risk-management problem where they try to control the amount of fraud on their system." -- cbc.ca