November 2003 Archives

I know

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that it's incredibly early for a sunday morning, but I am indeed awake. I'll be off to Hasselt in 45 minutes and probably won't make it back until eight or nine tonight. Talk to you all then!

Movie Review : S.W.A.T

Just finished watching S.W.A.T. Not bad, and rather spectacular but like quite a lot of movies there ain't really a plot - unless you call "good guy gets in trouble - runs into bad guy - bad guys runs - good guys chase and catch bad guy" a plot.

Apart from lots of gun, explosions and special effects this movie has Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Farrell, LL Cool J and the beautiful Michelle Rodriguez, who some of you might still remember from The Fast and The Furious (2001).

Good "no brain required" movie to kill close to two hours.

Here we go again

This time the scammers pretend to be retired employees of the OCBC bank in Singapore. I know for certain this is the same gang behind the African scams as well, as they use the same rediff mailer, although this mail had - suprisingly - almost no errors in it. They are offering me 2 million USD as a share of the USD 25,500,000 they can get if I agree to be the next-of-kin to a deceased account holder.

I've put up a textfile of their mail as well as my reply online.

As usual I'll be playing with words, names and locations... and their ass of course :)

World Domination

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I just blogged an entry over at Scattered Shelley's blog in New Zealand. It's a good first step to world domination to expand ones range to another continent, isn't it?

I could repost the entry here since it was something that some might find interesting, but hey... if you wanna know what it is I wrote, check out Shelley's blog!

Paperwork

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Aarrgghh... received quite some snail mail today and while it wasn't all that bad, it does include some bills. At last I received the final contract from Fortis and now it turns out they dated the contract on october 1st whereas I was under the impression I'd have to start making payments december 1st. Oh well, I guess it makes sense and I'll be able to benefit from it next year when I can deduct the payments from my taxes - at least partially.

I also got one of the gifts (for xmas) that I ordered a long time ago - that too was accompanied by a bill and the Visa statement for the month arrived as well. All things considered it's manageable.

The contract for Fortis had me sign yet more papers and I gotta send them back to them. I wonder why they couldn't have asked me all of that the first time I agreed to their proposal? I went searching for the original file I had on them when the insurance was done by the former company but I can't seem to find it anywhere, although *I know* it has to be around here somewhere. I did dig up some correspondence in regard to it though, so I've assembled all of that and classified it all neatly in one spot. Yay for organizing things... it makes things so much easier later on.

Tired.

I got back home a few minutes past midnight after some things went wrong in traffic. We were supposed to arrive in Zwijndrecht around 18h00 to load the truck and leave, but that same truck got caught in a massive traffic jam after 7 cars crashed into eachother on the highway. They finally around 19h20, we loaded and arrived in Hasselt a few minutes to to nine.

Much to our pleasure - not! - someone had used our assigned space to cut metal and there were remains all over the (dirty) carpet. Metal bits and pieces are not a good playground for ferrets so we decided to turn the carpets over as there was no way to get all the crap off. Then it turned out the organization had to go hunting for tables as some other exhibitors grabbed more than they were assigned. After a bit of running around we got everything we needed and completed the huge booth.

We left around 22h15 and headed back to Antwerp but were slowed down to very persistant mist. Dropped off my carrier at home, got back to Viviane's place, parked their car, hopped on my bicycle and cycled back home, to three very much awake ferrets.

Took out some paper and the trash, thought about preparing some chicken but settled for a quick bowl of ravioli instead. I'm tired so I hope I'll fall asleep before tomorrow morning, or somewhere around 5.

If you feel like visiting the good old ServMe, get your ass to the Dierenhappening on sunday November 29th in the Grenslandhallen in Hasselt. I'll be there all day, and we're in Hall 4. Starts at 10h00 till 18h00.

Note : I must be very tired as I needed to edit this post 4 times to get (all?) typo's and errors out. If there are still some left, too bad :)

Busy

In a few hours I'll be off to Hasselt to help build the fair booth for the upcoming Dierenhappening in the Grensland Hallen (friday-sunday), and I'll be at the booth on sunday all day.

I got a mail about that website project I did a few years ago and replied to them to look over some figures (domain registration, hosting and such) and if they agree I'll cut them a very very good deal on the updating/design of the site itself.

In the mean time, I leave you with the website of a young photographer called Stacey : heartfactory.org - Enjoy.

New article

up at bodymodification.be - modified and proud to speak out. by Shannon Larratt. It's quite a long read about the recent APP 2003 meet in Amsterdam, Holland.

Yikes!

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I just got a call from one of the employers where I applied for a (fulltime) job. They want to see me next week on wednesday the 3rd of December, and I gotta bring a bunch of stuff.

Is that good news? Yes it is, and at the same time it frightens me. It means I'll have to deal with a lot of things beforehand and if I get the job, should get transportation figured out as well. I just took a look at public transportation, and it seems like an option. Got to dig a bit more.

Premonition?

I've just had the weirdest dream ever, and not because of what I was dreaming, but more because it almost wanted to show me what the future has in store for me. In my dream someone - maybe it was me, on a subconcious level - was telling me what I should do.

I can't go into too much detail right now, and those that might know what I'm talking about I'd like not to comment on it yet. The dream involved much of my friends and acquitances and I was helping setting up a major event. I haven't got a clue what event it was, but there was a lot of construction going on and there were problems everywhere that needed attention or be fixed. While I was helping to prepare some kind of floor, I was needed in the dining part were this big dude was preparing tables for guests.

When I asked him if everything was ok, in spanish - a language that I don't speak, he started taking me through details about all tables, not exactly who would be sitting where, but more where the imporant people on the table would be seated. It was like "head of table : here" while he pointed at the chair, then moves onto the next table and do the same. I must say that I immediately noticed some weird things so I requested some people that were working elsewhere to get their ass into the dining area to help me visualise what would happen when guests started arriving.

That's when I woke up and when I realised that I've done these things a few times in my life, even if not at major events and certainly not so complicated. What suprised me most is that I instantly realized that I like doing these things, almost like be a supervisor between the people, not above. Fixing things by doing logical thinking, seeing the big picture and not panicking if something is mising, going wrong or proves difficult.

Taking charge of the situation when needed and lending a helping hand if required. And for the rest remaining on the background while still making sure that I know what is going on everywhere, or checking various things to make sure that it's all going according to plan. I really gotta think hard during the weekend - which reminds me that I'll be working on the setup of a fair/exposition booth on thursday and manning the booth itself on sunday, answering questions, helping where needed and beind everywhere and nowhere at the same time.

Oh yes... this dream is trying to tell me something.

IE users to bite the dust - again.

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A recent post at The Register warns for 5 critical problems with scripting and how it's handled in IE6, 5.5 and 5.01.

Apparently it is possible to bypass all security zone settings and install trojans, viruses and porn dialers with the user ever noticing. A full report can be found on the website of Secunia Proof of concept has already been written and published by chinese security researcher Liu Die Yu who also discovered the vulnerabilities.

Since Microsoft is quite unlikely to change their approach of patching holes only once a month, IE users are advised to disable all scripting in their browers, or switch to an alternative brower.

What have I been saying all this time? IE sucks!

Recommended

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If you like this kind of music and wanna feel shivers run down your spine : Rammstein Live aus Berlin (DVD) - Also to be found in my Amazon.com Whishlist (hint hint - probably also available in Europe - hint hint).

Arrrgghhh

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I don't know you're about to believe this story, but it seems to be true. LA County (USA, where else?) has requested that equipment vendors avoid using the industry term "Master/Slave" in product descriptions and labelling.

Why? Because some poor soul in the County Buraucracy was offended by the term Master/Slave and complained about it. My suggestion : get a fucking life, and don't complain about things you don't understand. If you really think that these technical terms were just invented to harass, annoy or personally offend you, think again.

The full story can be read on snopes.com

So, feedback is more than welcome... do you think these changes are good, or are we getting into an endless spiral of political correctness which only leads to more confusion? Should blind people be referred to as "visually impaired", female firefighters as "firewomen" or African people as "colored" instead of "black"? I think everyone is being is a tad bit too damn sensitive about these things. Calling a blind person "visually impaired", doesn't return vision, does it?

Screwed?

I just got a letter from the supervisor of the building announcing a new meeting with all owners - nothing special about that since we have such a meeting every year. However, when I dove into the the attached documents that have details about all costs involved in living here, there were some bizarre things that I noticed.

Heating costs for this year have increased from 2.940 euro/year to 7.050 euro/year. That's almost +140%, which is totally insane. Even with a harsh winter of 2002-2003 that remains rediculous. We did change from a fuel powered to a gas operated system, but even then it shouldn't be that much higher... I think. After all, isn't gas supposed to be more environmentally friendly and about as expensive as fuel?

If anyone has a clue about this, please comment!

I jut got the newest Humo in my mailbox, and it came with a chocolate flavored condom. I'm still waiting for the day they start supplying girlfriends with their publication!

Weird Shit

Apparently Joco tried reaching me during the weekend but couldn't get a hold of me. I was home though and although I've slept at very weird times, I usually hear the phone when it rings. Truely strange if you ask me.

Anyway... I've just wrapped up some loose ends and will be wrapping up more over the coming days - or at least that's what I intend to do. If a certain person doesn't get back to me before December 15th, I'll drop his business website from the internet. I bet he won't like that, but I don't have any other choice as I don't feel like paying for his domain another year. He's gotta make up his mind, and I wanna be in control of a domain that has my CC details attached to it.

I just got a call from someone I don't even recall meeting before, but as he knew my name and who I was, I suppose I've seen him before. It was about a webdesign job that I've done a few years back, and they wanted to know if I'd wanna do a new job for them. I told them to send me a mail so I could think about it - that first job I did was a volunteer (read unpaid) job, this one won't be.

It would be different if I still hung out with those people and organization, but I don't. And I can't volunteer for everyone, you know?

Update : Ain't it wonderful how people suddenly react to a mail when you tell them you're gonna shut down their site by the end of the year unless they take care of things?

Music Maestro

DJ Testosterone - Eff U Monday : new mix
The Klinik - Live album and End of The Line (Best Of) : good stuff!
Missy Elliott - This is not a Test! (Preview) : great, fabulous!
My Dying Bride - tracks from Meisterwerk II : not sure this is my kind of music.

Up early

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although I'll probably regret it later on. I once again had a very hard time sleeping - this has now been going on for over two weeks - but decided to get up at a few minutes after 9 anyway in yet another attempt to get back into a more socially accepted sleeping pattern.

I'll be off this evening to watch Kill Bill Volume 1 with Jess & Johan. Should be good.

On thursday evening I'll be in Hasselt, building up the exposition stand for the Dierenhappening, and on sunday (the 29th) I'll be there all day (10h till 18h) to help out and take everything down at the end.

Food is Good

I just stumbled onto A Fillipino Cooking & Recipes Journal and some of those recipes sure look tasty - I bookmarked it immediately!

I'm sure that cooking the recipes explained in A Fillipino Cooking & Recipes Journal take a bit more ingredients and time as some of the recipes mentioned at Cooking by Numbers, but there's a place and time for everything, don't you think?

Lol

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I just received another 419 scam mail, this time from a guy called Johnson Tanigaroro. Unfortunately, mister Johnson has a small problem with CAPS LOCK on his keyboard, and I'm not up to wrestling myself through a shouting e-mail this minute. I might reply to him tomorrow though.

Two things that are noticeable though :

- They mailed from rediffmail.com, a remailer also used in that other 419 scam I received recently, which leads me to believe that it's the same scammer.
- They mailed me at [email protected], lol. First of all, that's a non-existant mailbox, secondly KFC is Kentucky Fried Chicken, and if there were something like Kentucky Fried Kitten I would probably be in trouble with all the cat lovers in this world.

More about this story as it unfolds.

Back

I'm back, can't catch any sleep. I've been tossing and turning for a few hours now, read some papers I hadn't seen yet, but nothing helped me falling asleep. I could try counting sheep, but they all went to bed already and I don't want to wake them up for such a trivial thing as not being able to fall asleep. Off to browse the web a bit.

Tip

Don't start messing around with mail settings and try to tackle SSL connections at 4h30 - especially not when you've never used the secure connection option before, you haven't got a clue what certificate is presented from the server to the client, and you're pissed off - extremely pissed off - because Skynet blocks outgoing SMTP port 25, which means you can't reach any of the 4 other mailservers that you should be able to access. Sure, I can use the relay server of Skynet, but what's next, Skynet telling me I'm only allowed to browse to their website?

I'm not paying for a crippled service. They either add the domains I need to their allowed rcpthosts, or I'll have another talk with the regulation institutions overseeing telecom in Belgium.

I'm really really off to bed now... catch you on the flipside!

Update : Everything seems to be working right now. Very bizarre. I really shouldn't attempt this kind of things in the middle of the night. Ignore the technical rant posted above - I'm a fool.

World Domination

is what Danielle aka DJ testosterone is trying to obtain. How? By doing some absolutely amazing mixes, at least according to me. Check out her Tracks, or download some of her Mixes, and while you're at it, read her blog.

Note : those mixes are bloody large files - between 30 and 70MB each - but worth it. Make sure you download them and not stream them.

Whoa!

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Does anyone remember this entry me posting something about an official complaint I made against a spam mail I received from an IP address located in Belgium? I was sure I blogged about it, but now that I went searching for it, I can't find it. I guess I didn't post it after all.

Anyway - I filed an official complaint with the "Federale overheidsdienst Economie, KMO, Middenstand & Energie", and provided them with full headers of the spam I received, as well as a detailed Spamcop report. I turned on the "mail read confirmation" - something that I rarely do - and send it off to them, not expecting a reply of any kind. Well, much to my suprise, the mail was read by two people within 24 hours. It was then forwarded to two other employees of said ministry, and then everything went quiet. No replies, no more forwards, no additional questions.

I thought it was the end of the story and proof that even though spamming is officially prohibited in Belgium - unless it complies with certain specific rules - no action would be taken at all. Just another law not being enforced.

However, today I received a mail, stating this :

Dear Sir,

As a result of your complaint dated november 4th, 2003, I can hereby confirm that I've ordered my administration to conduct an official investigation into the matter.

Kind regards,

(name witheld for privacy reasons)

Can you imagine my complete suprise? Even if this all turns out to be a shot in the dark and a feeble attempt to come down hard on spammers, it also means that some people seem to be willing to uphold the law and investigate complaints. Thumbs up all the way!

I wonder what the result of the investigation will be, and when I'll hear about this again?

Mail maintenance

I just took a quick look in the attachment directory of my mail program. Aaaaarrrggghhh! All those powerpoint presentations that are funny to see once, maybe twice.

The MP3's you receive, the .vcf crap address cards that people think are interesting to attach to all their mail, the tons of jokes, word documents and gags. It adds up quickly : I just deleted 454 files, totalling 158MB! And that's without dealing with all the excel and word documents that currently remain, or the zipfiles that I gotta take a closer look at first.

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind getting a joke, movie or cartoon by mail... it's just the that I often get the same things 2,3 or 5 times by various people. It adds up.

When I'm done clearing out the files, I'm gonna start clearing out the mails, which promises to be interesting... and a pain in the ass :)

Birthday magic

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You were born on a Friday under the astrological sign Pisces.
Your Life path number is 3.

The Julian calendar date of your birth is 2441757.5.
The golden number for 1973 is 17.
The epact number for 1973 is 25.
The year 1973 was not a leap year.

There are 117 days till your next birthday and 35 days till Christmas!

The moon's phase on the day you were born was waxing gibbous.

The number 3 Life Path is one that emphasizes expression, sociability, and creativity as the lesson to be learned in this life. Here we are apt to find the entertainers of the world, bright, effervescent, sparkling people with very optimistic attitudes. A truly gifted 3 possesses the most exceptional creative skills, normally in the verbal realm, writing, speaking, acting, or similar endeavors. The lesson to be learned with a 3 life path is that of achievement through expression. The bright side of this path stresses harmony, beauty and pleasures; of sharing your creative talents with the world. Capturing your capability in creative self-expression is the highest level of attainment for this life path. The characteristics of the 3 are warmth and friendliness, a good conversationalist, social and open. A good conversationalist both from the standpoint of being a delight to listen to, but even more importantly, one who has the ability to listen to others. Accordingly, the life path 3 produces individuals who are always a welcome addition to any social situation and know how to make others feel at home. The creative imagination is present, if sometimes latent, as the 3 may not be moved to develop his talent. The approach to life tends to be exceedingly positive, however, and your disposition is almost surely sunny and open-hearted. You effectively cope with all of the many setbacks that occur in life and readily bounce back for more. It is usually easy for you to deal with problems because you can freely admit the existence of problems without letting them get you down. You have good manners and seem to be very conscious of other people's feelings and emotions. Life is generally lived to the fullest, often without much worry about tomorrow. You are not very good at handling money because of a general lack of concern about it. You spend it when you have it and don't when you don't.

On the negative side, a 3 may be so delighted with the joy of living that the life becomes frivolous and superficial. You may scatter your abilities and express little sense of purpose. The 3 can be an enigma, for no apparent reason you may become moody and tend to retreat. Escapist tendencies are not uncommon with the 3 life path, and you find it very hard to settle into one place or one position. Guard against being critical of others, impatient, intolerant, or overly optimistic.

Typically, the life path 3 gives an above-average ability in some art form. This can encompass painting, interior decorating, landscaping, crafts, writing, music, or the stage, or all of the above. You are apt to be a happy, inspired person, constantly seeking the stimuli of similar people. Your exuberant nature can take you far, especially if you are ever able to focus your energies and talents.

Do the thingy yourself : Birthday Calculator

[Blasting through the speakers : Front 242 - Never Lost (Riley) from the CD PULSE]

More feedback

Steph - blogging at SLOL - commented on that long rant as well.

(snip - not everything pasted here)
We could have done this:
1. We were stupid enough for not hiring some lawyers because we could have gone for a case against the motherfucker, we should have asked for money for all the mental suffering. Because we were the only 3 who really were the victim of his mental dissability.

Hm... the only three four to be the victim of him mental disability might be completely correct, since everyone had to deal with the final outcome, although I agree that the four of us had to listen to his lies and hear long stories about imaginary contracts. Definitely not fun!

2. We could have locked him out in the beginning of 2002 and taken over the firm.

Yes, we might have had that chance, but were you ready to run a business? I'm not so certain I am, although we probably couldn't have done worse as he did. A proper restructure at the beginning of 2002 might have saved the company though.

3. We could have stolen everything, why ? He did it before he went to court, so we should have done it before him.

That's still something I wonder about. I've been told before by business owners that bankruptcy is an excellent way to make money and have things disappear. Yes, I think we might have pulled it off, but it's not really in my system to do things like that. I'm too honest to scam like that. I sometimes hate myself for it.

4. We could have killed him, ok maybe we were in jail at the moment, but we received the satisfaction.

Rofl... if you want satisfaction, hire some Tunesian hitmen. One day he'll pay for it all, be it mentally, physically or financially... let there be no doubt about it. What goes around, comes around.

So maybe I'm totally full of shit right here but I saw the fucker and he's driving a brand new BMW 5, is that normal for someone who lost his firm and "a lot of money", no I don't think so! Oh and another thing : Which stopped all of their activities a month ago and Banksys is taking over all the terminals, what a joke !

That sounds pretty strange indeed, but maybe he found some other company to wreck? Poor employees! I didn't know Which stopped activities, that might be the cause I never heard anything back from them. So Banksys expands it's marketshare once again - pretty clear that they didn't need ICT Assistance to set up that deal.

Other projects

I worked on the bodymodification.be site today, as that too remains under constant development. Toyed around with the templates a bit, prepared some new categories and added more links to the site. You can now also reach bodymodification.be through tatouage.be, tatouages.be and tattooshop.be.

We're expecting a new article from Marisa Kakoulas on tattooing and copyrights, and Patrick Cuypers - a professional piercer at bodymetals - is working on a (dutch) article that deals with the health and safety regulations as they currently are in Belgium. I'm looking forward to publishing both articles soon!

Feedback on comments

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In reply to my last post, Hilda wrote this :

1) Ford Genk
Sorry, but getting fired is from all times. Just call it bad luck, although getting a terminal desease is eaven more bad luck, right? Next, with or without unions, when fired and in any circumstances,it's up to you and only you to find another source of income or new standards.

Totally agree. I just wonder why there is a difference between firing 50 people and firing 3000? Is it just the higher number of layoffs that triggers a ton of extra things to be available/done? Actually, my example might have been badly chosen from the start, as there are essential differences between Ford Genk and ICT Assistance.

2) criminals
If not more, I'm as radical versus criminals as you. But some people/kids are raised with different norms. E.g. In poor countries, fill up a car's tank and flee without paying is a normal attitude. I certainly don't preach generous tolerance, but sometimes radical thoughts need more insight. Comes to it that newsreporters are paid for bringing captivating news. Still, justice in Belgium is still one big joke.

The fact that journalists are paid to bring the juicy stories to the people has not really anything to do with, although if one was to base their opinion *only* on those cases, it would be very far from the reality.

There are cultural differences and various ways of doing something, no question about that. But show me one country where it's legal/acceptable to rob people, kill them etc. As far as I know, there are none. Even if there was such a country, if people raised in such a climate would come over to a society that does not accept that kind of behavior, they should adapt to those new rules.

If they keep on doing it the way they have done it all their life, and the legal system does not react to those inappropriate things (when compared to our norms), people will get fed up with and start taking action themselves. Which would probably lead to the offender that knowlingly broke the law to be punished quite severely, and the "poor uneducated offender that had not enough knowledge about our society" be send off with a slap on the wrist. You can fool some people some time, but you can't fool all the people all the time.

3) votes
I'm against the right to vote for non EU-immigrants, even for non-Belgian immigrants. If they like to meddle in Belgian politics, let them naturalize=become Belgian citizens.

I agree, what else is there to say. The typically Belgian compromise they're creating right now will only lead to more conflicts - which could be exactly what some people are aiming for of course.

Oh boy! I just read your last sentences: "unless it's something intelligent and noteworthy that you want to add/say about these topics, don't bother commenting." I should have kept my mouth, right?

No, you've done pretty well :)

Rant

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If you are looking for some good news and a "Happy Happy Joy Joy" feeling, go elsewhere. I'm gonna rant about everything that's been building up in my system for a while. And it's gonna be a loooong post too.

1. Ford Genk fires 3000 people.

The unions and management come to an agreement that entitles employees that leave the company a one time fee of 8.525 euro, and in addition to that 825,5 euro per year of service between 6 and 9 year, 682 euro per year between 10 and 19 year and 515 euro per year of service above 20 years.

I agree that getting fired or leaving the job you've been doing for a long time still sucks. But at least they get something out of it. In our case 50 people got fired, and 8 months later we're still waiting to see the first eurocent. And I'm not even talking about extra fees for leaving, I'm just referring to severance pay and wages not paid. It seems there is a difference between laying off 3000 people and firing 50. Let me tell you : when it comes down to the individual, there is no difference at all, apart from the fact that they have cash, and we have not.

2. Criminals and how society deals with them.

Example : Two years ago, Sa�d killed a 7 year old girl that was riding her bicycle in a car accident. Accidents happen, I agree. But if you know that Sa�d told the police - when they came to arrest him - that "I thought I hit a bird", you know something ain't right. Apart from that, Sa�d didn't have a drivers license, and after the accident continued his way (hit and run) and drove over to Holland to load up on weed and coke.

Yesterday, Sa�d was sentenced on 2 year in prison (but only half is effective) and forbidden to drive a car for 10 years. Quite a hefty sentence you think? He drove a car without a license before, what makes you think he'll care about the fact that he can't drive a car for the next ten years? And a year in prison, that is a great joke... if he does 3-6 months, he'll be free to walk.

Justice is just a fucking joke... the only good sentence for this dude would be forcing him off the drugs - yes, a cold turkey - and 2000 hours of community service. That would make him work one 8 hour day per week for the next 5 years - perferably in a hospital or emergency unit. Everyone can mop floors, but at least he'd be confronted with the victims all the time.

I stand by my opinion that if criminals decide to step out of the accepted rules of society, that same society no longer has the obligation to uphold the rules that protect the criminals.

The same goes for "kids" and how they are treated by the system. If a 13 or 14 year old "kid" thinks he is mature enough to rob people, why should he be protected as a "child"? He clearly is not a child anymore, because if you are able to come up with a scheme to rob someone, you should also be able to deal with the consequences.

Sure, all kids do stupid things every now and then, I'm fully aware of that. But there is a huge difference from jumping off a bridge into a river and stabbing/murdering/mutilating people. The problem seems to be that these youngsters know that they cannot be touched by law, they are free to roam and do whatever they please.

If parents don't take responsability for raising their kids, then the legal system should provide means to deal with them.

3. Elections and the right to vote.

So far non-EU inhabitants didn't have the right to vote in Belgium. This means that El Youssouf (an imaginary inhabitant of Belgium for the past 15 years, with the Turkish nationality) cannot vote, although he has lived in Belgium for a long time. The Italian dude that works at the EU headquarters in Brussels gets to vote in Belgian elections, even though he only resides in Belgium one day a month, nor does he participate in society. Not fair, you might say, and to a certain extend, I agree.

For the past week(s) there has been a lot of commotion because some political parties are pushing through a legislation that would allow the first category of people a voice in the elections too. I'm not opposed to it, but they are forgetting something if you ask me. If you get the belgian nationality - and with the recent changes in regard to that, it's not difficult at all - you receive the obligation to vote, and you can be elected. Would that mean you forget about your roots, your beliefs and who you are? No, I don't think so. And for those that really don't want to give up their own nationality, there is still the possibility to have a dual citizenship (as far as I know).

The proposal as it stand right now would give non-EU immigrants (that fit certain criteria) the right to vote, after they register and agree to follow the rules of the Belgian constitution etc. Sounds like a plan, doesn't it? Read that sentence again though... the right to vote. Not the obligation to vote. Which means that they have a choice whether or not they want to vote, whereas all the Belgian citizens have not. Don't get me wrong, I'm all in favor of the obligation to vote, but why the difference?

The constitution clearly states : all belgian people are equal. It seems to me that some people want the benefits, but not the drawbacks.

If you disagree, feel free to comment, if you agree, feel free to comment. However, unless it's something intelligent and noteworthy that you want to add/say about these topics, don't bother commenting.

a little sister for Caro...

means congrats to Babs & Kurt with the birth of a new baby!

Name : Jolien
Size : 51 cm
Weight : 3,200 kg
Born : November 13, 2003

and congrats to San who gets to be the godmother :)

Stupid 419ers

I just got a failure notice - it seems them scammers ain't even smart enough to configure a mailserver correctly :(

Return-Path: <address-stripped-for-privacy>
Received: (qmail 3555 invoked by uid 510); 18 Nov 2003 01:25:12 -0000
Delivered-To: mailabachafamily.com/[email protected]
Received: (qmail 3546 invoked from network); 18 Nov 2003 01:25:11 -0000
Received: from unknown (HELO mailserver-stripped-for-privacy) (IP-stripped-for-privacy)
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Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2003 02:28:08 +0100
To: "MRS.MARIAM ABACHA" <[email protected]>
From: "address-stripped-for-privacy" <address-stripped-for-privacy>
Subject: Re: CONFIDENTAIL
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Dear Miss Mariam Achaba,

I'm very sorry to hear about the loss of your husband! I hope you are doing fine after he was arrested in his cadillac on the 8th of June 1998. I never knew Nigeria had cadillacs, but I think that your late husband being the general of a military state, it allowed for extra privileges.

(snip)

I suppose that means the end of this 419, unless they manage to fix their mailer and start sending again.

419 Scam, let us play!

| 1 Comment

You all know I like to toy around sometimes, don't you? Well, tonight I received one of those illustrious scam mails also knows as a 419. And you know what? I'm gonna answer them scammers and see how far and long I can push them around - for funsies. And it'll all be documented right here, because at friedkitten.com, we believe entertainment can be in the smallest things.

Here's the original mail from Miriam Abacha (edited for layout). Hit it!

Date: 17 Nov 2003 22:21:40 -0000
From: "MRS.MARIAM ABACHA" <[email protected]>
Reply-To: "MRS.MARIAM ABACHA" <[email protected]>
To: [email protected]
Subject: CONFIDENTAIL
FROM MARIAM ABACHA.

Complement of the season. I hope you will not be embarrassed when you get this mail.I am Hajir Marian Abacha, wife of late Gen. Sani Abacha ex-military head of state of federal republic of Nigeria. Who died mysteriously as a result of cardiac arrest on the 8th of June 1998.I am making this contact because of the urgent need of your assistance, though my family has no previous relationship with you. Since after the death of my husband, family has never had rest of mind because of intimidation and harassment, with lots of negative reports emanating from the present democratic government and press about my late husbands regime. Our bank accounts both local and abroad has been frozen by the government and my eldest son is still being detained by the government for more interrogation about my husbands assets and some vital documents. My movement is restricted and my traveling documents seized, including my international passport which was seized by the government security agent.

Following the recent discovery of my husbands bank deposit with Swiss Bank, in which the huge sum of US$120 million and Dutch Mark 96Million was lodged, I decided to contact you to assist me to transfer the sum of US$26.5 Million to your country. Since the government has ensured that our bank accounts are frozen and all assets seized.

This money was meant to be used for my husbands re-election campaign. It was lodged in one of the leading security companies in Nigeria in defaced form and in vaults / Boxes. The only person that knows about this transaction is my late husbands personal attorney, whom he confided with the relevant document papers relating to this transaction before he died and would be the one to handle this transaction on behalf of my family.

Considering the circumstances now, we cannot claim the money here in Nigeria. We have concluded all arrangement with an offshore Security Company to move this money through diplomatic means to a country where it could be directly transferred to your nominated account to ensure absolute safety and risk-free transfer of the money

After a successful transfer, 20% will be for you for your assistance, while 75% will be banked for my family on trust, pending on when we would decide on suitable business to invest in your country.You are free to visit this websites:
http://www.vanguardngr.com/articles/2002/columns/c128022003.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/africa/newsid_741000/741506.stm


Immediately you reply and indicate your interest, I would instruct the attorney to furnish you with the details and how to go forward. Contact me with my email address. I need not to remind you of the confidentiality which this transaction demands. Keep this proposal secret, even if you dont want to assist me.

I await your response.
Best Regards,
Hajia Mariam Abacha.

So, let's send a nice reply to these scammers (notice all the name changes playing with words I did?) :

Dear Miss Mariam Achaba,

I'm very sorry to hear about the loss of your husband! I hope you are doing fine after he was arrested in his cadillac on the 8th of June 1998. I never knew Nigeria had cadillacs, but I think that your late husband being the general of a military state, it allowed for extra privileges.

Is your son still captured and being investigated? They sure must have a lot of questions for him then, especially about the vital organs of his father. I think that if you have 96 million dollar and 120 million Dutch Marks* on an account of a Swedish bank, you should be able to pull some strings to get him out soon though! I'm sure the Swedish governement would like to assist you in that matter, because not even the Nigerian government should be able to hold someone in prison that long.

You say that you need my assistance in doing something for you by diplomatic means, but I am not a diplomat at all. I'm just a small citizen of an even smaller country called Luxemburg, although my roots are in Asia, so I'm not sure I can help you? I am willing to host some of your daughters though ;)

Kind regards,

Pan DHe Monik

PS : that first link you sent me does not seem to exist anymore, could you send me another link with more information please?

Well... that's it for now. Let's see what happens next. For those not up to date with currencies, there is no such things as a Dutch Mark. It's the German Mark they are referring to, or the Dutch Guilder - and those were both replaced by the Euro. Something we'll use to our advantage later on in the conversation, if the scammers decide to reply.

Notes : it seems this 419 is a brand new one... the mailabachafamily.com domain has been registered on november 14th, 2003. Just days ago, so that means I should be able to get them to do fun stuff - like hand me the development contract for that site or so ;)

Sorry!

| 4 Comments | 1 TrackBack

Apparently, not everyone agrees that Val�ria Machado is one beautiful lady.

Oh well... I always knew that tastes differ, and I sort of can understand the person that wasn't too pleased with the photographs I mailed her, but still it suprised me a bit. I'll try to think of it next time I spread the love :)

More graphical elements?

| 4 Comments

Sorry for scaring all of you away, but as you might have noticed, I dug up the old ServMe cartoon that I had drawn a few years back in Prague, I believe. I'm well aware that Halloween has passed, but I figured that this blog needed a bit more graphical elements.

Right now I've just done a quick hack of it, but I should be able to make it into a nice transparent picture that I can use no matter what skin I decide to slap onto the blog. That might be something I'll do over the next days/weeks/months. Does it show that I have a short attention span?

Update : the quick 'n dirty version has been replaced by a smoother transparent image, that works well on (almost) all colors.

Yummy

Just made myself some Chicken Tandoori with rice - yummy food! I've not yet finished it, but decided to update during commercials. Maximize time, you know?

Off to watch some Big Brother now, and I'm recording Water World as well, so I might turn that on later, or keep it for next week. I also recorded "De Pre Historie" a serie that I really like - If only they would be so good as to release all those episodes on DVD!

Update : I just noticed that at 23h55 there'll be a rerun of Panorama which is has a reconstruction of the disaster with the oiltanker Prestige. Should be interesting, I better not miss it.

Happy Marriage?

Apparently CNET (who also own and run com.com and news.com) bought MP3.com and swiftly send the artists/musicians that participated in the site a note stating :

"Your personal information, music, images, related content or other information will not be transferred to CNET Networks, Inc. or any other third party... Please note, however, that promptly following the removal of the MP3.com website, all content will be deleted from our servers and all previously submitted tapes, CD-ROMs and other media in our possession will be destroyed. We recommend that you make alternative content hosting arrangements as soon as practicable."

Or, as The Register has nicely wrapped it up "piss off".

This will leave thousands of artists looking for a place to store all their music, and a way to spread/sell it to the public - and according to The Register, the deadline is December 2nd, 2003. Which leaves you, me and those artists approximately 16 days to grab the music you'd like to see saved.

Preparing the future of FK

If you visited FK over the past hour, you might have noticed all kinds of strange things going on. Well, I mean stranger as usual. I was playing around with some archive settings and have enabled category based archiving, because I've expanded the number of archives over the past weeks.

Luckily enough I was able to do all this without breaking anything essential - I think - and without downtime. Sure, the layout looked crap every now and then, but that should be rectified too.

In order to make things easier - both for myself as for readers looking for information - I've added a category "Security Alerts" and today I added "Product Review", as I hope to be able to do more of that in the future.

Noteworthy article : Mail server flaw opens Exchange (5.5 and 2000) to spam.

Questions & Answers

| 7 Comments

Graceously borrowed from Tine

Name four things you wished you had (in random order!) :
- Cash
- Girlfriend
- Fun
- Sex

Name four smells you love:
-
-
-
- I don't dig smells so much, does it show?

Name four things you are thinking about:
- Find/get a job
- What'll happen next month?
- Get off my lazy ass and do something
- What can I do to avoid the above?

Name four things you did today:
- Provided Tech Support (telephone)
- Provided Tech Support (mail)
- Provided Tech Support (online/forum)
- Breakfast (around noon though)

Appearance:
- hair: Too long - will trim it later today
- height: 185 or something like that
- weight: Too much
- favorite feature: ? You tell me.

Last thing you:
Did: >Copied this set of Questions
Read: Talk is Cheap (Sarcasm, alienation and the evolution of language)
Watched on TV: Chris & Co.

Who do you want to:
Kill: Nothing - well, maybe boredom
Hear from: Little Wabbit
Look like: Myself
Be like: Myself

Last time:
Last song you heard: The Klinik - Operation (1993)
Last movie you saw: Pulp Fiction
Last movie you saw on the big screen: Matrix Reloaded, I think
Last thing you had to drink: Milk
Last thing you ate: Spaghetti
Last time you cried: About month ago
Last time you smiled: Minutes ago, I smile every day
Last time you laughed: today
Last time you danced: I never dance, I just move around in a weird way ;)
Last person you hugged: Phew... dunno
Last thing you said: Hi boys (to my ferrets)
Last person you talked to online: Someone at IAM
Last thing you smelled: Don't remember
Last cigarette: unexistent, don't smoke
Last car ride: Last week
Last library book checked out: not a clue
Last book read: ModCon - The secret world of extreme bodymodification
Last cuss word uttered: fuck, asshole, shit... something like that I think
Last phone call: Tech Support this morning
Last time showered: Yesterday
Last shoes worn: KRS
Last cd played: Madonna - Music
Last item bought: groceries
Last downloaded: Eudora 6.0.1.1
Last annoyance: More spam
Last disappointment: myself
Last thing written: version number of some software
Last key used: mailbox
Last word spoken: bye

Do you:
Smoke: no
Do drugs: no
Sleep with a stuffie: no, stiffie, yes :)
Have a recurring dream: no
Believe there is life on other planets: might very well be
Read the newspaper: online, yes
Have any gay or lesbian friends: yes
Believe in miracles: no
Like the taste of alcohol: sometimes
Believe in astrology: no
Pray: no
Go to church: no (except funerals/weddings)
Have any secrets: yes
Have any pets: yes (Max, Bono & Tisha, my ferrets)
Have any piercings: no
Have any tattoos: yes, 3 and (hopefully) more to come.
Hate yourself: not really
Wish on stars: not a clue
Like your handwriting: I've unlearned to write as I always type
Take walks in the rain: can be pleasant, yes
Kiss with your eyes closed: depends
Sing in the shower: no, not really.

And if you're up to it, see how much you score on this 80's Lyrics Quiz: People are What?. I scored 23, without any cheating. I guess it means I was sorta there, and sorta not :)

Blogpromotion

While I was surfing around a bit today, I stumbled upon BlogStreet, a service that offers all kinds of RSS feeds and tools. Strangely enough, FK was already listed on that service, but incorrectly. So now I've added an account and am claiming this blog as the owner. I hope it'll allow me to correct the problems in the listing.


blogstreet profile

Do (It) Yourself

| 4 Comments

For some reason I feel the need to tell you all something funny - you know, to take a break from all the boring technical posts I've been doing lately. Unfortunately, I don't feel funny at all, just boring technical.

What can we do about it? Ah... I know. Let's make this a D(I)Y post. You've gotta tell me something funny, so I can have a laugh. After all, it doesn't have to be the same person who has to be funny all the time, does it?

Oh, and what you consider "Do (It) Yourself" is up to you. However, I would suggest washing your hands after Doing (It) Yourself, otherwise your keyboard might get sticky after a while, and then you'll come whining here that it doesn't work anymore.

Which then will surely lead to yet another boring technical post from me. Something we were trying to avoid, right?

Just because

| 8 Comments

doing a little quizz every now and then is fun.

Water

You are water. You're not really organic; you're neither acidic nor basic, yet you're an acid and a base at the same time. You're strong willed and opinionated, but relaxed and ready to flow. So while you often seem worthless, without you, everything would just not work. People should definitely drink more of you every day.

Which Biological Molecule Are You? (brought to you by Quizilla)

Some critical updates

for various MS based Operating Systems today :

MS03-48 : Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (824145) - Severity : Critical - Issued: November 11, 2003

MS03-49 : Buffer Overrun in the Workstation Service Could Allow Code Execution (828749) - Severity : Critical - Issued: November 11, 2003

MS03-51 : Buffer Overrun in Microsoft FrontPage Server Extensions Could Allow Code Execution (813360) - Severity : Critical - Issued: November 11, 2003

If you've been following and updating your systems as suggested here on friedkitten.com, and you're running windows XP (SP1), you don't need to run the MS03-49 patch, since those files were already included in the MS03-043 patch that was released last month. Windows 2000 users should apply this new one nonetheless, as some files have changed for them.

With those critical OS patches out of the way, we head on and have some important application patches to install as well :

MS03-50 : Vulnerability in Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel Could Allow Arbitrary Code to Run (831527) - Severity : Important - Issued: November 11, 2003

If you don't feel like downloading and applying seperate patches - or are not interested in searching for the correct version of the patch, point your browser to Windows Update for Microsoft Windows based operating systems and to Office Update for Microsoft Office application patches and updates.

Eudora 5.x

Today a security alert was given by Secunia in regard to Eudora 5.x. Full details can be found in the Eudora From and Reply-To Buffer Overflow Vulnerability advisory. Eudora 6.x (English) and Eudora 5.1-Jr3 (Japanese) are not vulnerable.

Scary stuff

| 2 Comments

I've always monitored privacy issues and regulations when it comes down to the internet, so I couldn't disregard these recent talks and propositions and articles that have popped up :

Financial Times : Plan for UN to run internet 'will be shelved' - also discussed on Slashdot.

Securityfocus reports how Singapore government is given sweeping powers to monitor computer activity.

And these are updates on things I've written about before :

What is up next?! (Belkin Spam Router post at FK) - Belkin made a statement on their homepage :

Important message from Belkin:
In response to a recent Usenet group posting stating that Belkin spams its customers through its routers, Belkin Corporation apologizes for the concern this has caused and is taking action to address the issue. To allay customers' worries, Belkin will offer a firmware upgrade that will be available via download from its website (www.belkin.com) on November 17, 2003. This upgrade will rid the redirect completely so that no additional browser windows will appear during the router's installation process. Questions can be directed to our dedicated networking customer support line at 877-736-5771 or e-mailed to [email protected]

According to News.com Microsoft will be releasing Service Pack 2 for windows XP, and it will contain a pop-up blocker for IE. Full article can be found here : Internet Explorer to stomp pop-ups. Which is of course something that Mozilla and Opera have been doing for a couple of years. Technological innovation and Microsoft, will those two words every be used in the same sentence in a positive way? I doubt it!

Think!

| 1 Comment

So, "The Meatrix" is a clear "The Matrix" parody in Flash, but it is more than just that.

It carries a message that one might not (yet) be prepared to accept, but for the sake of mankind : take the red pill and wake up from the lies, charades and artificial bullshit. You can make a difference, if you want to.

You know...

| 4 Comments

Waking up at 05h30, is not funny. Jumping on your bike around 06h10 to cycle for 40 minutes through the cold, is not funny. Finding out that most people arrive 30 minutes late is not funny. Working hard all day, and cycle back home through the rain, is not funny either. Waking up the day after, feeling like you're a victim of an accident, is not funny.

Knowing that you were - for the 6th year in a row - part of a team that educates people about ferrets, that is the reward in itself. Maybe not funny, but rewarding nonetheless.

Received some snail mail today, one letter claims that I've gotta pay nearly 700 euro as my share in the new roof that has to be placed on the building. However, as far as I know, I've got at least 600 euro left in my favor, so I'll have to find out what the deal is there. I also got a letter from Ecopower that I'll be a customer of theirs starting december 1st 2003 - which is what I requested.

In a few minutes VT4 airs Pulp Fiction, without a doubt one of the best movies ever. I've got it on DVD, have seen it several times and each time I love it. Somehow it also makes me wanna get up and dance, yet still I totally suck as a dancer. It's good to know oneself, ain't it?

So... Shelley, Jay, how are those single ladies coming along? Any luck yet?

I am so bad

| 5 Comments

I just went shopping - needed some food to today, as well as coming days and when I passed the bookshop, I went in to buy a lottery ticket. I actually know it's probably a waste of money - something that I don't have to spare - but I just felt like I had to get a chance to win that huge amount of money.

And to add stupidity to the equation, I noticed the magazine Menzo on the counter. I normally never read Menzo, but this one has Tanja Dexters on the cover, as well as a tagline along the lines of "the big booty edition". The two are not really related though.

Well, some of you might know I'm a sucker for Tanja Dexters, and while I'm more of a (small) tits man than an ass-lover, a nice firm piece of ass will certainly get my attention! So yes... I bought that issue as well. I'm gonna regret every second after I start reading because it'll probably have 60% advertising, 30% senseless filler words and only 10% of Tanja Dexters and/or worthwhile booty, but as a man I'm allowed to be driven by cheap visual sexist teasers, am I not? Thank you.

(This note is intended for everyone looking for pictures of Mathousca, Gioia, Peggy or Vanessa who currently "play" in Big Brother 4.)

I don't have pictures of Mathousca in bad, bed, or naked. I haven't had them before, and I'll probably don't have them in the future. Nor do I have photographs of Peggy in the shower, undressed or having sex with Angelo. Or was her boyfriend Davy and Mathousca's boyfriend Angelo? I don't remember and I don't care. I don't have that kind of things on my blog!

(This note is intended for everyone willing to help me find a girlfriend. - I'm not difficult. Lol.)

I prefer my girlfriends witty, intelligent, and with both feet on the ground. Looks are less important as attitude, although I tend to fall for slim, average length women with small breasts and eyes to drown in. A smile, love for animals and no fear of breaking a nail or working hard are a definite plus. Non smoking. Age doesn't really matter although I feel most at ease with women aged 25-35. Geekiness appreciated but not required.

(This note is intended for women reading this post and wondering who I am.)

I'm a 30 year old single white male, located in Belgium. Shy around people that I don't know, often unstoppable around friends. I tend to be serious and though looking but am really a teddybear at heart. I eat pussy as well as I talk : quick and a lot.

Yeah!

That CSS wizzard did come by after all!

Well, actually she didn't come by the blog, but Asurfael offered to take a look at the CSS template and fixed in a matter of minutes what I had been staring at for hours. Apart from being sweet and good at CSS, she also has some great digital art skills - go check out her site if you feel like it!

I'll be off to the post office now, to send some of those nifty FK stickers to Finland as a way to say thank you Asurfael...

What is up next?!

| 2 Comments | 1 TrackBack

You' all heard from spyware, adware, trojans, pop-ups and pop-under screens and the whole shebang, don't you. Well, the marketeers of Belkin have taken it one step further, according to this article, which appeared at The Register today : Help! my Belkin router is spamming me.

It seems every 8 hours, Belkins wireless router hijacks a random HTTP connection and forces an ad for their parental control software down your throat. When was the time that routers just passed data, and did nothing else? Where did we lose the ability to control what our computers are doing?

Let's see what the future (might) bring :

A wellknown manufacturer launches version 6.ADV of their popular wireless mouse - every 5000 clicks it automatically decides to click an ad that leads to their website.

Your browser changes the URL of the target website you intend to reach, after you've used it for 100 hours. Unless you ride out to full animated flash advertising, you cannot reach other sites.

Your brand new voice-over-IP telephone system requires you to listen to advertising for 5 seconds before you can dial any number. Numbers belonging to the competition are reported as disconnected/unreachable.

If that's technological evolution, could somebody beam me right back to 1994?

Beautiful

| 3 Comments

That's exactly how the weather is outside. I only hope it'll be like that on sunday as well, as I'll be leaving my place around 06h00 (yes... in morning that is!) to cycle over to the location of the BFL meet. Work/help all day, cycle back, crash. Sounds like fun, doesn't it?

However it ain't sunday yet. In a few minutes I'm off to the post office, as I've got some stuff to mail to Canada. No interesting snail-mail today, but no bills either so that's good.

I don't recall if I posted about the complaint I've send to some official institution in regard to a spam mail I received which originated from an IP address allocated to KPN Belgium? If not, now you know. I haven't heard anything back from it yet, but I know for sure that at least 4 people in that organization have read the mail (wonderful thing, automated read replies) so I'll see what happens next. I'm actually waiting anxiously to receive my first "real" belgian spam mail that fits these conditions : send by a belgian corporation, over a belgian network/ISP, and to my personal address. If it lacks a clear subject tagged as advertising, or doesn't have an opt-out link (which works) I'll be pressing charges. Yes, I'd really do that, as I've had it with spam and spammers.

I'm also following some discussions (on usenet) in regard to a spam construction that is under investigation, as it's might interesting. I only understand about half of all the technical details but still... interesting.

Off to the post office now!

Help?

| 1 Comment

If there's a CSS2 wizzard passing by, reading this message and willing to gimme a hand, please do so. While the template itself looks OK (and validates!), there is one thing that I just can't get correct - but I've changed the current template in such a subtle way that you won't notice. I would like to get it fixed though, as I'd love to use a good and fully working template to start adding on to.

It has to do with vertical borders and margin overlapping I presume, but after staring at the code for several hours, I've got a incredible headache, my eyes hurt and I'm not a single pixel closer to a solution.

Please leave a message and I'll send you an url to the css template, as well as a description of the problem. If you manage to fix it, superb! If you manage to explain why it didn't work, even better! In both cases you'll get a link here, a huge thank you, and a bunch of those cool friedkitten.com stickers mailed to you!

Recently Released

| 2 Comments

Jay Allen's MT-Blacklist 1.61beta, Firetrust MailWasher Pro 3.3 and POPfile 0.20.1 (fixes cache issue that resulted in very slow mail processing).

Nadia is a Geek

| 5 Comments

and I've got the proof right here - she just mailed me this :

<frank> can you help me install GTA3?
<knightmare> first, shut down all programs you aren't using
frank has quit IRC. (Quit)
<knightmare> ...

<tag> Ouroboros: lets play Pong
<Ouroboros> Ok.
<tag> | .
<Ouroboros> . |
<tag> | .
<Ouroboros> . |
<tag> | .
<Ouroboros> | .
<Ouroboros> Whoops

If you get the jokes AND find that kind of stuff funny - which I happen to do - you are a confirmed Geek. Although you might wanna test yourself to be sure : Geek Test. I scored a (rather low) 21.10454%.

More newbie bashing and insane quotes over at bash.org

Work under the hood

| 3 Comments

Hey, apologies to all the people that popped in this morning and thought they ended up at the wrong blog - I would have given you a fair warning about the changes, if I knew it myself. However, after reading some things last night, I decided to dive right into it...

Shelley : I know most MT blogs "look" the same due to the skinning that goes on, however, I think that the technique itself ain't bad, and allows for nice (and easy) customization. And I was bored with the old layout anyway. So please bare with me while I figure it all out.

As I was laying in bed last night, it dawned on me that 95% of the cookie and alternate stylesheet troubles I'm having are caused by the fact that I serve a cookie from a different server. Just before I hopped into bed, this awkward feeling about cookies working fine (sort of) on Firebird, yet not in Mozilla and IE stuck with me. And my guess was right : I had set up Mozilla not to accept cookies from third party servers. In IE I couldn't find the option to manage cookies in such a detail, but I'm convinced it's the same problem.

Where does that leave me? I'm gonna keep on working on the skinning/templates so that everything is ready and workable/readable. However, the style switching ability will be disabled for the time being, to make sure no one gets stuck with a function that doesn't work, or a plain blog without CSS style applied (as this sometimes seems to happen in Firebird now).

When all of the "under the hood" work is done, I'll probably be moving some things around on the server to drop the frame redirection (lowering server connections and increasing load speed) and get the cookie problem sorted out. In the mean time , I promise to keep on posting, ranting, yelling and cursing here... I really do :)

Oh... Have you noticed that I passed the 25,000 visitors mark?

Update : After some more finetuning, the template is now quite acceptable for me. I've added the FK Photogallery, my Amazon wishlist, the various link things and removed two CSS errors from the templates. Also caught and removed a spare <div> tag that was floating around causing XHTML1.0 incompatibility.

Oh well

| 6 Comments

It seems that the skinning itself is not so difficult - thanks to excellent instructions at Movable Style and A List Apart, yet I can't get it working 100%. It seems to me that even when having an absolute reffer to the stylesheets, it refuses to load them. I'm quite convinced that it has something to do with the fact that the blog base URL and the URL that you see is not the same, but I don't know yet/how to fix that. I've got some ideas though, so I'll look into that tomorrow.

If I can get the blog skinnable for Mozilla Firebird, I'm happy. Sorry for all IE users, but MS decided to go their own way instead of following the W3 standards... not the first time, is it?

Anyway, more to come/change/be added tomorrow. If I can remember it, that is :)

Update : It seems I got the skins working on Mozilla Firebird after all, however the cookie doesn't always seem to stick. Especially not in IE, or Mozilla. More testing needed tomorrow.

Here we are again...

| 3 Comments

It seems the initial transfer of things was quite successful. Right now I'm using a standard template - such a 1 in thousand thing - but I intend to change all of that in the next week(s). As you might have noticed, some things are gone for now and some are gone forever. I decided to drop the Comment Top 5 section as I didn't find it worth the space in the layout anymore.

Things that will certainly return are the FK photogallery, wishlist (although no one ever used it) and the Most Recent & Future Lists. Off to work on that now, and to do some finetuning of the CSS.

Wickedness

Be aware that in a few seconds, I'll start working on making this blog more skinnable in the future. This will include replacing the current 3-column with a 2-column layout, moving a whole lot of things around, and general maintenance. It'll look shitty here and there for a while (or a long while) but in the end you should be rewarded with a fresh and squeeky cleen looking friedkitten.com site.

We'll see what happens, right?

That is SO lame!

| 3 Comments

I just received an update from one of the local employment organisations by e-mail, something I receive almost daily. They try to match open applications with my experience and qualifications, and while valuable, they often miss as well. But that's not the point. Today when I looked at the matches, I suddenly noticed that one application - for which I applied last week - popped up again.

It seems the original advertisement has been altered. Where it said something like

"Degree : Applied Informatics, no prior expertise required."

it has been changed to "Degree: Applied Informatics, Degree in industrial science and technology, good knowledge of MS-Office, knowledge of AutoCad preferred, no prior expertise required."

Either they just expanded the different degrees they are willing to consider for the job, or they just upped the stakes bigtime. Anyway, the fact that they just added extra requirements means they're bad at planning things I presume.

Now, what does this mean for me? Nothing at all, since I haven't heard from them yet, but it either means that they've had so much applicants they can raise the requirement, or they've had so little that they had to diversify the accepted degrees. In both cases, I'm fucked, coz if I was what they were looking for, they wouldn't have changed anything, but just yanked the advertisement of the web.

Oh well... The deadline for applications is November 21st, so I presume I'll hear something (positive thinking, as most companies don't even bother replying at all) at the end of November.

One brave ISP

| 3 Comments

has stepped forward yesterday and annouced that they'll be blocking access to the network for accounts and IP's known to spam, and/or to be infected by virusses. This ISP is unfortunately not one I use, but rather TeliaSonera, active in Sweden, Norway and the Baltic region. I've just send them a mail to support them in their cause :

Hi,

I'm not a Telia customer, but I just wanted to let you know that I fully support the blocking of IP's from known spammers and infected computers!

If people cannot be trusted with technology, they'll have to learn the hard way. Thanks for taking this brave step forward because for every mail in support of your decision, you'll receive ten or more that call you idiots.

You're doing the right thing, now if only you could get my ISP to do the same :)

Kind regards,

ServMe.
www.friedkitten.com

Oh, and look at that great online Security Incident Report from they have, that does kick ass! I think I'll have to move to Sweden...

E-Puppy.

| 6 Comments

Now I forgot what I was gonna blog about. Damn me! Let's see... Nothing special going on right now. Ah, I remember! Last night Mike turned up after all to see if we could get that e-Puppy installed on my machine. Installation was pretty easy, no problems which suprised me a bit. Usually those gadget things that come from Taiwan/China etc lack a lot of stability, but it seems the e-Puppy is an exception to that rule.

We played around with it a bit, squeezing it's right (or was it left?) paw to let it send/receive mail, set up what mails to read out loud and such. And suprisingly enough it also worked flawlessly with Eudora, although the system requirements mention Outlook or Outlook Express. The quality of the internal speaker was suprisingly good as well and even at maximum volume, the sound didn't distort.

Streaming internet radio, CD's, MP3's... Puppy played it all without too much hassle. Apparently you've gotta set up a lot of things before you can access all features, and we skipped some of those parts, but hey... it works. The only thing that we couldn't get to function was the ability to read out word documents, but that could be due to the fact that I didn't allow replacement of some files, nor did I reboot the machine. Mike got that function working at his test PC, so I assume it does work.

Below's a picture (click for full size) that I took yesterday, so you can see for yourself that the thing looks cute. It comes with animated puppy on your desktop as well, so there's enough entertainment to go round. I do wonder how long such a thing can keep one interested, or before it becomes totally annoying, but I'm not your average computer user either. I want total control over whatever happens on my box, and (almost) all bells and whistles are disabled here. I guess I'm not the intended target group either :)

e-Puppy tested and photographed by friedkitten.com

Overall Quality : 7/10
Stability : 7/10
Cuteness : 8/10
Gadget/Geek factor : 7/10
Usability : 7/10

If you wanna get yourself such a cute e-Puppy, take a look at the Amerone webshop and order yours now! And definitely don't forget to let them know that you read the review on friedkitten.com!

In da playa

| 17 Comments

20 Fingers - Don't want no short dick man
Paul Oakenfold - Sings
Paul Hardcastle - 19
Pink - 18 Wheeler
Pink - Respect ft. Scratch
Marrs - Pump up the Volume
Mel & Kim - Respectable
Marc Snow - X-Files (Remix XXX)
Madonna - Like a Prayer (Front 242 Mix)
Metallica - Of Wolf and Man
Missy Elliot - Work It (Remix)
Rammstein - Blade Theme (Techno Remix)
Tatu - 30 Minutes (Russian version)
The Animals - House of the Rising Sun
Tina Turner - Proud Mary
Beats International - Dub be good to me
Bj�rk - It's Oh So Quiet
Black Sabbath - War Pigs
Bucks Fizz - Making your Mind up
OMD - Talking Loud and Clear
Eurythmics - Here Comes the Rain Again
Front 242 - Body To Body
Inkubus Sukkubus - Pagan Born
John Farnham - You're The Voice
K4 - ik ben een klein geil sletje

So... what do you think this list of songs says about me? Does my choice in music tell you who I am?

I just got a call, and it seems I'll be testing the e-Puppy tonight after all...

Shit, my foot itches!

| 2 Comments

Didn't get to test that e-Puppy last night, as the guy that was coming over didn't get home till very late, so he said he'd call me today. Well, he didn't, but since it's not really a matter of high importance for me, I couldn't care less.

Went to do some banking stuff as I got two hefty bills this morning. I usually don't mind paying bills coz they mean I already got something in return, or will be getting something in return in the future. However, since the shit we were dropped in by the asshole formerly known as our boss, things are not really improving. The fact that november 1st was a public holiday which kicked back unemployement benefits for at least one or two doesn't help much either.

I transferred cash from the savings account - which is now getting very light - to the account that handles most payments and transactions, and called my bank to remove the automatic invoice processing right that Belgacom/Skynet had on my account. Not because they messed up, but because I wanted more control over those bills again. Apparently one of their last bills wasn't processed to I got a reminder note last week, although I know pretty certain that there was enough into the account to pay it at the time.

I've always been pretty much against automatic processing of bills, and this just confirms the fact that I can manage it much more efficiently myself. A monthly payment I make towards the overal costs of living in this block has been suspended for two months as well, since I had already a credit of over 600 euro last year. I don't think I benefit much from paying money which then sits on another account - that I have no control over - doing completely nothing.

Oh well.. life is what you make of it, ain't it? Right now, it's pretty shitty but you know... some day, some day I'll be back on my feet, have the sun shine on my face while I make wild passionate love with my lover, somewhere on a beautiful island with the sea and the mountains only minutes away. Hey... no one can tell me not to dream. No responses yet in regard to those job applications. Dang.

[Title doesn't have anything to do with the content of this post. It's just that my foot itches!]

Here...

| 6 Comments

I am, because I know you all dig an update, don't you? I wish there were interesting things and tales to tell, but alas it isn't so. My life is still as boring as it was last week and the weeks before that for that matter.

So, what do I have to tell you? Nothing, zilch, nada! But I've got a cool link to the trailer of Alien VS Predator movie, scheduled to be released mid next year, and I will quite probably be testing the e-Puppy later today. According to the details I've heard from the shop that sells these things, it can read your mail out loud, access internet radio and all kinds of things like that. Pretty much a gadget indeed, but hey... who knows, it might be a cool gadget! I'll tell you more after I've hooked up one of these animals to my USB port.

Now I'm off to find out if I can hook up an extra drive to the regular IDE controller on my mainboard, or whether I'm limited to the disks currently on the raid controller. If I could add another drive (non-mirrored) that would provide enough space to setup a complete VM section to test various Operating Systems, as I don't wanna mess up my (current) stable set up.

Update : Apparently it can't be done, or at least not that easily. First of all, the power supply only offers 4 connectors for IDE devices, although I'm pretty sure I could adapt it to provide 5, I guess it's a good indication. Power wise shouldn't be any problem though, as it's a 300W power supply. So I disconnected the DVD drive, and hooked up the "old" 30 gig HD which was in my Windows 2000 box. I connected it at one of the spare IDE connectors, set it up to be the slave and during the post screen, it showed up nicely. The raid controller was detected and not throwing any errors either, so I thought everything would be great. Then the dreaded STOP error/blue screen appeared, which told me something wasn't quite working as expected.

Does anybody have an old machine left which I can have? Preferably something over 1GHZ and with a bios that supports large disks, otherwise it's not of much use to me anyway. I don't need it to have keyboard, mouse etc, as I've got all those here... or I could start searching for a PIII-800Mhz replacement board, so that I get get the old box up again, but I doubt I can still find those :(

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