November 2006 Archives

Yasmine neukte lesbische - of toch niet?

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I'm on a roll here, but I promise this is gonna be a short entry. As I was typing out the previous blog post, a little message popped up on the right lower side of my screen. It's where my RSS newsreader shows updates to websites I frequent. One of these sites is Gazet Van Antwerpen, a newspaper, and the title of one articles I saw appear in the corner of my eye, was "Yasmine neukte lesbische" and I thought "Duh! Of course she did. She is a lesbian after all".

I just checked the original article, and it seems I got the title wrong. The correct title was "Yasmine leukste lesbische". I suppose both titles are correct :)

All your Base are belong to us

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I'm not sure many of the FK readers here can truly appreciate the value of this All Your Base video, but it is a classic for sure. Anyway, that was just the intro, this post is about something else. Yeah, I admit I sometimes confuse myself, but stick with me, it'll all become clear in the end.

As I was driving home yesterday, I received a call on my mobile, presumably coming from my operator. Someone working for them wanted to know whether I received their text message about a month ago informing me I could swap my old mobile for a brand new one. I didn't get a text message and said so - this lured me right into their little marketing scheme - and off he went. Blah blah blah, Base network upgrade, Edge technology, old phone, network problems, free upgrade to a Siemens A62 phone, blah blah blah. I said I might be interested and told them where the nearest shop relative to my location was. I can go pick up a new phone starting friday, and it's valid for a month.

Now, let's take a closer look. First of all, they don't know what model of mobile phone I'm currently using, so how can they suggest I "upgrade"? Secondly, they claim the network upgrade to Edge could cause connectivity problems to users of an older phone. However, the Siemens A62 phone they offer me for free...doesn't support Edge technology! It's a very basic phone, and one I wouldn't buy if I had a choice in the matter. I don't think there ever was a text message to begin with in the first place, they just use that to make the customer think they're missing out on something otherwise.

Finally : I can't find anything about this "offer" on the Base website. In fact, the Siemens range is not even represented in their shop! They have Nokia, Sony-Ericsson, Samsung and one NEC model, but no Siemens mobile phone to be seen anywhere.

Now that I think about it, Base may actually know which phone I use, as I had it with me when I first activated it in the shop. Or they could just look at their network and grab all the IMEI numbers and compare it to a list of manufacturers and models I suppose.

All things taken into account, I think I've just been marketeer'd by some company hoping to make some cash of me when I go into the shop and buy another phone, service plan or whatever. I'll keep you posted in case I decide to check out the offer. In the mean time, if you know anything about it, let me know! All Your Base Are Belong To Us!

Bureaucracy

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I got up early to take care of some paperwork that needs to be handed over asap - I wonder why in this day and age of online services and the internet, one has to manually move himself from one place to another to hand something over - and the person accepting it seemed a bit confused.

Not by the documents itself, but when I asked if I could hand over a second piece of paper she squealed "what is that?" and after I explained that it was a document from the organization she works for (duh!) she insisted that it wasn't. It was from "the main branch" and I should deal with them directly. In the end she decided she'd send it on, along with the other paperwork. Why all the bickering in the first place, woman?!

Same thing goes for banks - unrelated as I've not suffered the pleasure in the past 2 months - but if I'm a customer of Bank ABC, and I walk into a branch of Bank ABC, I expect to be able to complete whatever business I have. I don't want them to say "oh, we'll accept this but have to send it on to your own branch". I want customer satisfaction, pronto!

I think I may be a bit demanding...

The Bomb : A History of Hell on Earth

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I'm watching the last part of NYPD Blue, and then I'll head off to bed. I may read a few more pages in a book a colleague has loaned out to me, titled The Bomb: A Life, by Gerard DeGroot which gives a detailed view on the development of the first atomic bomb during World War 2.

It is both shocking as well as intriguing to read what was done and needed in order to succeed in accomplishing this scientific breakthrough - which (unfortunately?) also lead to a terrifying weapon being unleashed upon the world.

This is not an advertorial

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After our last late shift last night, we went out to the pub. I got home around three after getting entangled in a long discussion with my team leader. It's strange how much we think alike and at the time same differ. Creepy!

Today I slept in - a bit longer than I intended even - and I'm now toying around with the blog. Essentially this is just a test post to verify some changes to the RSS feeds, while I wait for the folks at PayPerPost to approve me so I can start selling out ;)

Interconnectedness?

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I just called my mate and his girlfriend E. answered the phone. There was quite some noise on the background, so she said to hold on for a second, as she got the two kids to stop playing with the chairs. She got back on the phone and our conversation continued : "I'll be able to come on over on the 17th, as I'm working an early shift. You can expect to see me show up around three."

It was quiet on the other side. She answered "I don't think I'm sure I can follow", to which I replied - assuming J. forgot to check with E. to have A.'s birthday party on the 17th - "well, for A's birthday, didn't you know?" The reply was kind of funny : "I'm not sure you've dialled the correct number, who were you trying to reach?"

"E." and this time I told her the complete name, to which she answered "oh, this is E. (totally other name)". I burst out in laughter and explained that the E. I was trying to call had the same first name (which is not so common a name) and they too have two kids. Kind of a funny situation if you think about it. Two people, very similar life, similar name and only a number or two off in the phone number.

All is well

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Slept in today, which now leaves me with little time to wake up, shop for food and head off to work.

More Cash, Less Ethics : ACE Bank

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For those of you that don't know what this is all about, allow me to explain. A couple of weeks ago, a new "bank" appeared in Belgium, promoting itself as a subsidiary of a large financial group that wished to remain incognito for the time being. Ace Bank is transparent and goes for high profit margins, by investing in the defense sector, in corporations that heavily rely on low wage labor, ...

Customers were offered the choice to reap the profits of these investments, check out their website at www.ace-bank.eu.

Watch the Ace Bank documentary here : Ace Bank Movie.

Note : Ace Bank doesn't exist. Or does it? Is your bank an Ace Bank without you realizing it? Ace Bank documentary and concept by Netwerk Vlaanderen.

My cat is a squirrel!

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Unlike some others (Kuifje for one), my daily life is far from exciting. It generally consists of work, sleep and various bits and pieces. Today I've got the following tasks on my list :

- buy blank CD's
- buy food
- do some laundry [In progress]
- verify validity of e-mail address (and rectify if needed) [Done]

While doing all this, Tai is chasing nuts, walnuts that is. When I was eating some walnuts a couple of weeks ago, a whole one fell onto the floor and Tai immediately set out to chase it around the place. Go figure, the floor is littered with cat toys, he rather chases a walnut. When I got my hands on some more walnuts, I did, as somehow my cat manages to play with them and then they mysteriously disappear. In the last three days 4 walnuts have gone awol, and I can't seem to find them. I'm sure he doesn't crack them open and then eats the contents, but even if he did, where do the shells go?

In the mean time, I've found his secret stash : hidden between two couches, I discovered 3 walnuts and one cat's toy. I let him keep the toy and 1 nut, which he is now chasing, resulting in chaos and a ton of noise. It's worth seeing him have fun though :)

Funny

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I just wanted to share these with you all :)


There are benefits to night shifts

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Outside a seriously stormy wind is picking up, leaves are flying through the air and it's rather chilly - autumn to the fullest extend. I'm about to head off to bed to enjoy the cozy warmth of it.

Bloody stupid

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I can't really thing of better description of myself right now. As I spent quite some time last night reconfiguring the print server, I tested and retested everything, or so I thought. When I wanted to print some documents from the old desktop, nothing appeared apart from some errors. Strangely enough, everything works when originating from the laptop, so the print server itself should be up and running.

Now is the time to smack myself in the head : I forgot to update the installed printer so it reflects the changes made. It was still pointing to LPT1, while it's now attached to the network! No wonder nothing printed :) With that sorted, I'm up to date on my finances and filing statements now and off to grab some food and prepare for a night shift.

Securing the network

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It's a couple of minutes past four - in the morning - and I'm about to head off to bed. While watching some addictive documentaries on Nation Geographic I've been running some tests on my network. I think there's quite some work left to be done in order to find and hopefully fix all possible attack vectors, if such a thing can be done at all.

I grabbed a copy of the Nessus scanner and ran some tests against some of the clients here, one being the print server. A first scan returned 11 warnings and 4 holes if recall correctly. A couple of configuration changes later, I cut the amount of warnings for the print server is cut back to 2 warnings and only 1 attack vector remains unpatched. There's little I can do about that though as this piece of hard and software is obsolete and no longer maintained nor supported. I'll set up filters on the network to prevent attacks.

Yeah, this was a pretty boring entry, I know :) Off to bed now!

Good News

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After fiddling with the smart five radio - manufactured by Grundig - we got it working again. I figured it would be easy to get it fixed, but as my dad pointed out, car CD players are pretty advanced and technically complex. You can't just open it up, see what operates what and adjust as you like. So after taking off the cover - and voiding any warranty - we started looking for apparent problems, but there were none. Shaking the unit didn't show loose or broken parts, so we were kind of clueless. We found some radars that moved bits and pieces, but we just didn't get the loader to accept a CD.

After an hour or so I suggested taking it apart even further, as we didn't get anywhere and what else could go wrong? It was broken anyway. Taking of yet another cover, I noticed one spring loose in the mechanism. After picking it out and not finding the location it originated from, we decided to put the radio back together and test it. Much to our surprise, everything functions as it should! Go figure... Another problem solved.

I'm watching TV, while blogging this entry, and I'm tuned into Canvas. Right now a documentary titled "Canopyworld" - about the top layer of the rain forest - by British biologist Charlotte Uhlenbroek is on. Very fascinating!

Vroom!

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Imagine my surprise when the mailman rang my bell and handed me a parcel shipped in the UK. Nothing too extraordinary there, I often purchase internationally, but this specific parcel contained one ITG Airfilter! <sarcasm>Only 32 days after placing the order, it is in my possession and ready to be installed. I'm very impressed with the service from SRU.</sarcasm>

Maybe they're a great shop to deal with personally and locally, but ordering from them online is a pain in the ass. Off to get the filter installed now, then off to P'bos to drop some tools off at dads place and I'll ask him to take a look at the failing CD reader in my car stereo. If we can't get it fixed, a new head unit will be installed in the future.

On a different note, when I stepped outside onto the balcony today, I expected sun and high temperatures for the time of year. Instead I was treated to a chilly wind and cold rain. The fact that I was half naked probably didn't help :)

Sunday bloody sunday

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I can't seem to get my ass in gear today, so I'll leave nothing but a small video message for ya'll.

Note : Have you patched your windows system yet? While you're at it, consider updating to WinZip 10.0 build 7245, to close a vulnerability.

Friendly security advice - brought to you by friedkitten.com.

friedkitten.com - always ahead!

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Maybe I'm not so out of the loop as I initially thought I was : Foute vertaling levert carnavalskraker op.

Before you wonder what this is all about : remember my post about Boten Anna by Basshunter? Today a national newspaper (Gazet Van Antwerpen/GVA) picked the story up, and they focus on the incorrect translation by the dutch Gebroeders Ko. It seems the dutch version is quickly becoming a hit at student/fraternity parties, so I guess I haven't lost it completely :)

Too bad the original geek version didn't make it, but then again... how can something for the masses still be geeky? I'll be promoting the original geeky version here :)

Toxic

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If you're thinking Britney Spears, hold that thought!

I went to take a dump and the only way to describe the foul stench that ejected from my ass is "toxic". Luckily my body produces nothing but biodegradable waste, but the first line emergency response teams reacting to the no doubt numerous calls from neighbors, will suffocate and die.

Biodegradable toxic or not :)

Ouch!

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This is no time to be awake - I'd rather be in bed sleeping. Sometimes early shift just hurts :(

Looks and Brains

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Don't hold it against me, but as I was watching Beauty and the Nerd, I really wondered where they found the contestants. Allow me to give some examples of questions posed in the elimination contest.

Where can you find the bikini line on a female body? Possible answers : around the shoulders, around the chest, around the groin. The nerd answers : "the chest". No score :)

On a car with a manual transmission, which pedal is used to brake? Possible answers : The right, the middle or the left pedal. The Beauty answers : "the right". Crash! No score.

By all means, if these two would mate, you'd get average looking dumb offspring, grin.

I can understand not knowing everything about everything, but these questions ain't hard. They're common knowledge - as far as I know. Maybe I'm just not nerdy nor beautiful enough :)

Feeds change

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As I was wrapping up loose ends and cleaning out mailboxes on my last day off, I noticed that this blog used to have mail feed powered by bloglet.com. Now, that service has been on and off for ever, but most of all is no longer being actively maintained by the original creator, thus quite unreliable.

FeedBlitz is providing a converter to import all bloglet subscriptions to their service, so if you previously subscribed to the friedkitten.com feed, you hopefully now will start receiving the feed through FeedBlitz. I've removed the feed from bloglet and reflected the change in service here as well.

If you've got any questions... ask!

Maybe I am slow on the pick up, but...

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Apart from being a catchy track, this song by Basshunter is a song for geeks :

Boten Anna (Dutch subtitles)
Boten Anna (English subs)

Note : according to various sites, this track was a hit in Sweden and Finland a while ago. Why wasn't the track picked up here?

Note 2 : Of course the Dutchies had to make their own version (more chicks, more boat, less "bot, less "geek") : Anna heeft een Boot (2nd clip)

Oh, before I forget - how could I forget?! - if you like South America, race cars, a smart, tattooed and sexy girl, you shouldn't be hanging around here, but you'd be reading Mil0's blog : the adventures of a girl and her cars. And for those that somehow figure she looks familiar... Think Rachel Larratt, of BMEzine (amongst other projects she's successfully taken on). She participates in La Carrera Panamericana...

Get your act together, fool!

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I was able to disassemble and reassemble the dashboard much quicker today, I guess I'm getting used to it. However, I seem to have one spare Torx 20 screw, I wonder where that came from?!

I don't know if anyone has paid attention to the spam they receive, and especially the return addresses used in them. I have been a victim of joe jobbing before, but after I made some changes all unrouted mail that arrives at my domains ends up in the eternal bit bin. Problem solved? Not really as bounces still end up at my domain(s), but I don't have to deal with them anymore. But that's not the point I was trying to bring accross.

Take a look at the first part of the e-mail address. Don't you notice anything special? If you don't, you probably don't receive enough spam :) Here's a list of (partial) return addresses I know for certain :

Deboranovack - Deborahterreri - Deborasdesigns - Deborayen - Deborahsm55 - Deboramvianna

All of these are titled 'It's [insert name here]". I ran the mail headers through some tools and they originate from various IP addresses all over the world. Going by my gut instinct, this spam run is being performed through a series of infected zombie PC's, a botnet.

Now do you understand why it's important to keep up to date on patches, have a firewall running and correctly configured, keep the virus scanner up to date and not to open mails that promise instant sex with 69 virgins, or images of those acts? Your ignorance makes me deal with crap I don't want to spend time on - I'd rather be having sex with 69 virgins!

Here we go again

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Time is quickly running out as the end of my holiday comes closer. There's a ton of things I got accomplished the past week, but even more I didn't. Tomorrow is a day off for certain, but today I'll be taking the car apart - again. Yesterday I noticed the dashboard wasn't installed correctly and sits too high. Two extra minutes of checking on tuesday could have prevented me from having to take it all apart again, but it was due to inexperience and being too tired as it got later tuesday.

There is are benefits though : I had a chance to think about how I could improve cable attachments and routing and make sure I won't run into trouble if the dash ever needs to come off for maintenance or repairs. So, as I take it all off today, I will be making some slight alterations. Off I go now...

Tai goes Ting, Car does Boom Boom

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A smart fortwo is a small car, everyone knows that. Spending a couple of hours in it working on removing the dashboard and installing new speakers and bass bins is not recommendable. I feel as I've been hit by a truck, but 95% of the work is done, and I'm glad about it too.

Photo's of the work in progress can be found in the photo gallery. Sure enough it is difficult to show or photograph something that's hidden below the dashboard, but I hope some people will enjoy the various images made during disassembly and reassembly.

Tomorrow I'm having a (lunch)meeting with Joco, Eef and the kids, in a place called wokpaleis. I've taken a peek at their site and it looks promising. J&E have been there before and were full of enthusiasm.

I just chased Tai off the living room table. Has was playing a new game, called swat the living room lights so they swing around and hit each other and go "ting!". Very funny. One thing is certain : my cat is pretty creative :)

This is not a boom box

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It seems as if I'm making up for the lack of updates lately. Just got back from the "Big City" where I purchased some Magnat Classic 213 speakers to install tomorrow. I was eying some JBL speakers initially, but they only had a 160mm version and that won't fit the bass bins I'm picking up tomorrow. The Magnats come with separate tweeters and a high frequency filter, so they should be what I need.

They were slightly more expensive than I initially set as my limit - the JBL's would have been 30% below the budget, but didn't come with separate tweeters - but if the outcome is what I want, that's a small extra to pay.

Before anyone starts thinking I went insane and joined the Johnny and Marina sect, I haven't. I'm just changing the car for the better and more to my liking. I drive it to and from work almost daily and spend quite some time in it. I want to make that time as relaxing and enjoyable as possible.

Hm... I'm having pizza later tonight!

Cleaning up the mess

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After having moved quite a lot of domain names through various registrars, the records got quite polluted. Due to constant abuse of my domains in spam runs - not that there is anything to abuse, but they used them as return address to catch the heat (joe jobbing) - I tried making some changes to one domain to see if it would get things back under my control. After making the changes last week, things didn't cool down.

When I checked some records today, it turned out the changes were still pending because the old name servers remained active! This left me with domains registered at Register B, while the domain were still reflecting the name servers of Register A. Not too healthy a situation, so I just spent some time checking all records and making changes as needed.

There is a slight possibility that you may see some domains disappear every now and then as the changes are propagated through the internet, but none of the changes made should interfere with friedkitten.com - or .org, .net, .info, .eu, .tv and .be for that matter.

I've got yet to see a reply to my post about the comment problem that occurred last week - either people don't understand the problem, or they don't have a solution for it I suppose. Over time it'll become an open but cold case...

Off to the store now to see if I can get some good but affordable 13cm speakers to replace those currently in the car. This afternoon I'll call Smart Center Sint-Niklaas and order the bass bins. Installation on tuesday or wednesday depending on delivery time. (bass bins are ordered and this is what I'll be attempting : fortwo soundupgrade.

Comment/feedback woes

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Something strange is going on in regard to comments posted to this blog, and even more so to them appearing after being moderated. Rest assured that testing has been done and an investigation into the matter is ongoing. I'll update as I learn more about the problem and what triggers it.

Update 11:16 : I've been looking deeper into the problem and have posted about it on a support forum. I hope to hear from someone knowledgeable with the MT commenting system to verify that a problem/bug indeed exists. This still doesn't explain how exactly it was caused, but I'll bug Nadia about some server details.

One word

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Holidays.

Officially my holiday/leave from work started at midnight, so I don't think this really counts as my first day off, yet it is. I did schedule an appointment with a customer this afternoon though, but I could have easily moved it to tomorrow, so that was my own choice. I like getting things out of the way and cash in the pocket :)

Off to bed for a couple of hours, then get some things done and enjoy leaving it all behind for 7 days.

Ezechiel 25:17

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I just finished watching Pulp Fiction for the 6th time or so, and still love it. As the afternoon progressed and I didn't really have anything to do, I looked outside - cold, wet and dark - and decided it would be a good time to see Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield in action again.

In about an hour I leave for another night shift, and I sure hope it's less demanding tonight. The long day of sleep revitalized me for sure, but I wonder how long the effect will last. Counting down till friday...

And I will execute great vengeance upon them, rebuking them in fury: and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them.

Music makes me feel alive

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As I was driving home - this time luckily without traffic jams - I felt mighty tired. It was a rough night, not so much physically as it was mentally. As I got home and stepped inside, Eddy Cochran's C'mon Everybody was playing on the radio and it seemed as all tiredness just disappeared from my body and soul. It didn't last long, so I won't make this too long an entry. Off to bed soon.

I'm wondering if I should thank Tai for the gift he made especially for me, or kick his ass. He somehow managed to puke - on top of the TV. I've got the strangest cat in the world... Sigh.

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

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