November 2007 Archives

Around the world

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A number of articles, news facts or things that somehow sparked my interest over the past couple of days :

Maria Carolina, a Chilean escort, will be holding a 27 hours sexathon to aid disabled kids. According to the article at The Register, the presenter of the TV show said that the charitable shagfest was out of their moral boundaries, but as prostitution is legal in Chile, they don't appear to have a problem accepting the cash raised. My opinion? Two thumbs up!

Both for Maria (her site can be found here, but can be hard to reach due to servers getting overloaded, or try here for a version served through the coral content distribution network) who seems like a very sexy lady, as well as to the presenter to admit that while it may not within their "moral boundaries" they set aside their personal opinion and handled the topic as it had to be handled : professionally.

Last night I spent some time in Second Life and while at the Elegant Pleasures club I heard a song that I was able to track down to being Jose Nunez feat Taina - Bilangual (Dirty Mix). Incredible pumping beats with a smooth and sexy voice over, if that sounds like something you like, do a search for it. I really like the song.

A couple of nights earlier, I was at Club Industry, where I met Khaos Republic, one of their DJ's. She was spinning the discs that night and was putting on a really tight set. Excellent industrial and EBM tracks were pumping through the speakers, so I'll definitely will try to keep track of where she plays. If I can find her playlists online again, I'll include a link here.

For those who may have missed the announcement or update, Mozilla released Firefox about two or three days ago, fixing some vulnerabilities. Update your older Firefox version! Consider running the NoScript addon for increased safety. Quicktime is suffering from some in the wild exploits as well, but at this time, no vendor released patch or update is available.

Oh my...yawn

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I'm beat. It seems I'm getting too old to skip a night of sleep on a regular base, so tonight I'm gonna make up for the sleep I didn't get yesterday. I doubt the 25 minutes of sleep I had during the day have made a real difference, lol.

Note to myself : Monday : regular, Tuesday : 30 minutes early, Wednesday : 2 hours early

My brain sex ID


I'll post my results from the BBC Sex ID test below, but here's what I read into it :

I possess neither a strongly male nor female brain. I've got excellent 3D skills, but lack empathy and am not all that good at systemising either. In other words, I'm Joe Average with all the shortcomings and none of the advantages. It's good that I make up for that with my sense of humor and ability to make fun of myself, lol.

Angles : This task tested your ability to identify the angle of a line by matching it with its twin. This is a spatial task, which looks at how you picture space.
Your score: 19 out of 20
Average score for men: 15.1 out of 20
Average score for women: 13.3 out of 20

If you scored 18 - 20: You have more of a male brain. On average, men outperform women in this task and those with more mathematical knowledge tend to score quite high as well. In past studies, 60 per cent of the people in this range were men.

Interestingly, men's testosterone levels fluctuate through the seasons and studies have shown that men's scores are lower in the spring, when their testosterone levels are at their lowest.

Spot the difference : This task tested your ability to identify which objects changed position. You lost points, if you incorrectly identified objects.
Your score: 57%
Average score for men: 39%
Average score for women: 46%

If you scored between 34 - 66%: You may have a balanced female-male brain.

Hands : You said your right thumb was on top when you clasped your hands together.

Right thumb on top: This suggests the left half of your brain is dominant. Many studies have tried to establish whether there is a relationship between handedness and brain dominance. Some scientists believe that if you are left brain dominant, you would be more verbal and analytical.

Emotions and Systems : This task looked at whether you prefer to empathise or systemise.

Your empathy score is: 3 out of 20
Average score for men: 7.9 out of 20
Average score for women: 10.6 out of 20

What does your result suggest?

Empathisers are better at accurately judging other people's emotions and responding appropriately. If you scored 15 and above, you are very empathic and would be an ideal person to comfort people in a time of crisis. Women in general are better at empathising.

Systemising :
Your systemising score is: 9 out of 20
Average score for men: 12.5 out of 20
Average score for women: 8.0 out of 20

What does your result suggest?

Systemisers prefer to investigate how systems work. A system can be a road map, flat pack furniture, or a mathematical equation - anything that follows a set of rules. A score of 15 and above suggests you're good at analysing or building systems. Men in general are better at systemising.

Scientists are keen to learn more about people who score high or low on both tests. They want to find out whether or not empathising and systemising are linked. Is a possible to make yourself more empathic?

Eyes : This task tested your ability to judge people's emotions.
Your score: 6 out of 10
Average score for men: 6.6 out of 10
Average score for women: 6.6 out of 10

What does your result suggest?

If you scored 4 - 6: Your result suggests you have a balanced female-male brain and find it neither easy nor difficult to judge people's emotions.

Fingers : We asked you to measure your ring and index fingers. Your ratios came to:
Right Hand: 1.01
Left Hand: 1.01

Average ratio for men: 0.982
Average ratio for women: 0.991

It's thought that your ratio is governed by the amount of testosterone you were exposed to in your mother's womb. The ratio of the length of your index finger to the length of your ring finger is set for life by as early as three months after conception. Even during puberty, when we experience intensive hormonal changes, the ratio stays the same.

Men generally have a ring finger that is longer than their index finger, which gives them a lower ratio than women, whose ring and index fingers are usually of equal length.

Faces : This task looked at how you rate the attractiveness of a series of faces. The images you looked at were digitally altered to create slight differences in masculinity. Your choices suggest you prefer more masculine faces.

Highly masculinised male faces possess more extreme testosterone markers such as a long, broad and lower jaw, as well as more pronounced brow ridges and cheekbones.

3D shapes : This task tested your ability to mentally rotate 3D shapes.

Your score: 10 out of 12
Average score for men: 8.2 out of 12
Average score for women: 7.1 out of 12

What does your result suggest?

If you scored 10 - 12: Are you an engineer or do you have a science background? People with these skills tend to score in this range. Past studies have concluded that people in this range have a more male brain.

Words : This task looked at your verbal fluency.

Your score: you associated 7 word(s) with grey and you named 5 word(s) that mean happy. We are assuming that all the words you entered are correct.
Average score for men: 11.4 words total
Average score for women: 12.4 words total

What does your result suggest?

If you produced 6 - 10 words: Most people in this range have a female-type brain.

Ultimatum : This task asked you how you would divide money.
If you had to split £50 with someone, you said you would demand £25

So far on the Sex ID test, men have demanded 51.6% (£25.80) of the pot and women have demanded 51.0% (£25.50), on average.

What does your response suggest?

Sex differences are small in this task. Demanding less than 60% of the pot (ie £30) is more typically female. Demanding more than 65% of the pot (ie £32.50) is more typically male.

Scientists believe that people with lower testosterone levels tend to take fewer risks so they are probably more willing to keep less for themselves. Those with higher testosterone levels tend to drive a harder bargain and are less compromising.

Trouble in XParadise

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Yesterday I decided to purchase a new and legit copy of Nero 8 because - I have to admit - I had been using a not so legal copy of Nero 6 before. Did you know that if you buy a new copy outright you'll be paying more than if you "upgrade" from an illegal copy? Yeah, I found it rather strange as well, so if you're thinking about getting yourself a (first) shiny new version of Nero, it may pay off to first hunt down a well known illegal registration code of Nero 6 or 7, and to supply that as the current version owned. The store knocked off 5 Euro from my total cost. Piracy pays?

Anyway, after downloading close to 180MB, I removed my old Nero 6 version and set out to install the new Nero 8. It started with asking me to reboot because "a previous installation has requested a reboot". Yet I hadn't seen any reboot requests, go figure. Ok, so I reboot the machine and go through a ton of configuration steps to finally get to a point where I have the full suite toned down to only install Nero Burning Rom. I don't need all the other crap, I just want to toast CD's.

Installation takes a couple of minutes and as I'm working on other things, suddenly a message pops up that the installation has finished but no modifications to my system were made?! Ok, let's reboot again. I give the installation another try, but this time it complains about being unable to load the shell access manager. WTF is that? I head over to the Nero support pages and somehow end up at an entry telling me to make sure automatic updates are enabled for windows XP. Right, as if that will have anything to do with it. I decide to give it a try so set out to open the services tab in the administrator tools in the configuration panel, and it won't load. A few curses, searches and registering of DLL's later, I am once again able to access my management console. I'm not blaming Nero for messing with my .msc files though. It's very possible that the issue somehow existed before but wasn't manifesting itself as I don't edit or configure services every day.

Another reboot, but before I do that, I grab the Nero General Clean tools, to get rid of all previous versions of the software, hoping it'll make the next install attempt more smooth. After once again rebooting, I run the cleaning tools, only to run into an error about not being able to access the OLE registry (if I recall correctly). No sweat, the cleaning continues and I'm asked to reboot again.

As I've been writing this post, the installation has been running in the back and it just popped up a message : Installation successful, please reboot your system. Will this be the final reboot? Will I finally be able to toast CD's again? Who knows...

Hits "Start" - "Shutdown" - "Restart"

I see two screenz and they wobble


Passion fruit jenever is too sweet for me. So I added a splash of Absolut wodka vanilla and some Cointreau, along with some ice cubes. It is seriously good and you get seriously drunk on it as well. buzetgf vzefg jbkrjbnorgjeropghkr. Right.

It would suck


The past couple of days, I've had a sore right wrist. I didn't bounce it into anything as far as I know, nor did I strain it lifting heavy objects. My first idea would be RSI, and if I am correct, I'd not be pleased, hence the title. If the pain remains, I'll have a doctor take a look and diagnose, but for the time being I'm actively seeking out solutions, just in case it is indeed RSI.

I have installed Workrave ( on my computer, and I hope that small tool will help me take a break every now and then, as well as suggest some exercises to relax my muscles. If you work with computers and mice quite a lot, you may want to read up on the site, it has plenty of suggestions on how to prevent RSI.

Over time I may feel the need to move away from a mouse and start using a trackball instead. The Logitech Trackman seems like a good solution, though there must be other devices out there as well. If you know of, or use a trackball yourself, feel free to send me your experiences on them, benefits, disadvantages. The cost of the device itself is the least of my concerns, if it'll allow me to remain productive while not wrecking my wrist.

Hm... now that I think about it, my wrist hurts most when I move it sideways, so maybe the culprit is not the mouse, but rather my keyboard? I'll take a look at the Microsoft Natural Keyboard as well, though I think they look rather strange and not all that ergonomic at first. It's probably just something one needs to get used to, right?

Good Cop, Bad Cop

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Whoa! I just got up about 20 minutes ago, which means I've slept for close to 12 hours, though the last two of those twelve were more snoozing then actually sleeping. Guess I needed that after the long hours I've been putting in at work lately. I even was 30 minutes late on Friday morning as I got up at 4AM and seem to have dozed off again, coz when I opened my eyes again the clock was reading 5:39 and my first reaction was : that can't be right. I grabbed my cell phone, verified the time on that and said "Fuck!". Just as I was going to the speed dialing numbers to call work, my land line phone rang and I greeted the colleague I was supposed to relief of his duties.

A couple of days ago I was browsing through a dating site that I open every now and then and I noticed the profile of a woman that seemed interesting, so I opened myself up and sent her a quick note to show my interest. It usually takes a few days to get a reply - not everyone logs on every day - so yesterday I decided to see if I might have missed the mail stating I had a new message waiting for me. There was no new message. There was even no more profile of the woman. She either removed me from her list, or removed her own account from the site altogether. <sarcasm>If you want to build confidence and self esteem try the online dating scene, you'll love it!</sarcasm>

Ok, off to the good news now : tonight I'm off to spend some hours with A & M, the two kids of J&E. It'll be a fun evening that's for sure! We'll be cooking together - they love to help out in the kitchen - so I can only imagine what the area will look like when we're done, lol.

Feel my words

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It may not be all that visual at first, but over the years that I've been blogging here, I've paid attention to support for the visually impaired, and while I realize that this blog is not in compliance with all the guidelines I definitely spent a lot of time and effort working towards it.

It's rather interesting to think about the number of references towards vision or visuals we have in our language. I'm sure everyone can think of "Look out!" as a warning, yet I've never heard anyone yell "Hear that!" as a warning. Yet there have been visually impaired people for as long as mankind existed.

Anyway, I wanted to point you all to some of the Braille exit signs that are on offer in The Exit Store. We all know regular exit signs, emergency escape route signs or signs that light up in the dark - I'll refer to these as active and passive systems where the active kind requires power (electrical or battery) using led or regular light sources, or passively by using photo luminescent material to reflect light. Don't imagine a Braille exit sign to look all that different, it's not a plaque with huge dots onto it, but rather a regular sign with Braille writing at the bottom. How blind people should find the sign itself remains a mystery for now, so I don't know if the Braille information adds much use, but I give them an A for effort anyway.

For the non impaired visitors, a selection of exit lights are available, and they even accept custom orders, so you can get a sign specially made to fit your shop. Safety doesn't have to replace design, and the two can be combined after all, how's that for versatility?

Different states, different exit signs regulations, so make sure you head over to the right section before placing your order, and if you think they are prone to abuse, the "vandal proof" versions may come in handy.

Keep your eyes open!

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Two hours ago I received a mail in one of the many mail accounts that I have that included a link and message from someone I didn't know. The text and subject was in Spanish (Trigger 1), the message came from someone I didn't know (Trigger 2) and it was linked to a site in the UK (Trigger 3) that I don't know either.

I decided to carefully check out the links and sure enough after I took some precautions, I downloaded a file named foto07_euevc.jpg__-____Tipo_-_Ima.jpg.sCR. It is supposed to look like an image in JPEG format, but the .scr extension was a dead giveaway for me : a screen saver.

I uploaded the sample to virustotal and only 16 of the 32 different scanning engines that examined the file were triggered. Out of that 50%, quite a few only marked it suspicious due to heuristic scanning, which makes the sample possibly new and/or unknown. Samples will be distributed and if this is new, most scanners should have virus definitions updated soon. (Results can be found here : Virustotal Scan Results)

I've sent a mail to the webmaster of the site that is abused to spread the links, though the file itself is served from elsewhere.

For the time being, I suggest blocking, from which the actual file is served. (Sanitized URL : http : / / www . laeslnetwork . com / board /images / anmf / - explore only if you know what you're doing!)

Update(s) : I made an error while handling the suspicious file - it once again shows you gotta be careful when dealing with malware. I really should dedicate a machine to it, or run a VM session to make sure whatever happens, things remain under control.

I knew something was amiss when two new files appeared in a directory I browse regulary, and it usually doesn't contain any .dat files. Now it did, so I launched ProcessExplorer and started hunting down my adversary. I've identified and killed the wnupd.exe process, deleted the wnupd.exe file in the temp directory and removed the run entry in the registry for the Ltaskup.exe file that was also dropped in my windows/media folder. 1 cold boot later, my machine is clean again.

I've found some results when searching for wnupd.exe and Ltaskup.exe, and this virus/malware may have first been seen in Spain on September 4th,2007. Makes me wonder why only 50% of the virus scanners pick it up?!

Update 2 : The sample I submitted to F-Secure (I do read their blog in my RSS newsreader and think high of them and their products) was analyzed and - as I expected - tagged as malicious. A signature will be added to their database for the next release of their virus scanner. A sample also has been sent to the guys at Sophos (currently analyzing), and the sample has also been submitted to AVG.

Update 3 : AVG Tech support just got back to me and identified the sample as a new variant of the Trojan Downloader.Banload. Seems I caught something new after all! Still waiting on the Sophos analysis...

Update 4 : Sophos analysis results arrived in my mailbox 18 minutes ago and they have added detection for the new sample. Info can be found at : Troj/Dloadr-BFJ.

Shit. Fan. Yummy. Not.

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I'm going to make a quick tour of the premises here to see if the storm that hit us last night has done any damage, but everything seems OK. Then I'm off to get some (or a lot) of food, as over the next 72 hours I'll be working 28 hours, not including traveling to and from work, which leaves little time, especially as there's a Sunday in that period of time (when everything is closed).

I definitely hope that today will be less stressful at work as yesterday, because it was hectic for sure. Around 18h00 I felt as if I had worked for 8 hours already and I was only halfway. Luckily shit stopped hitting the fan less frequently around nine, which allowed me to catch up with things before handing over the controls to my colleague.

They're having big fun!


We all know our Japanese friends are a little crazy, or do they just have too much free time on their hands? Or maybe they're just a creative bunch of people that think outside the box? Anyway, I came across a collection of video's that I enjoyed watching, and I hope you do too.

If you want more, search for Human Tetris.

Tai, part 3


I just got off the phone with the vet and guess what? That damn cat of mine ain't even ill! She just got the results of the lab in, and there are no traces of any infection to be found, even though the urinary sample showed all visual signs of infection. The conclusion is that he is/was suffering from FLUTD (see previous posts for links) and/or stress.

The drugs he's on seem to be helping - he's walking around with a big silly grin on his face all day long - as there are little to no accidents anymore in the past couple of days. The vet says to continue the antibiotics till I run out and keep up the Cystease doses for a while longer and over time lower them. Right now he get's a tablet a day so around the end of November I'll to cut that back to 1 every 48 hours, and see if that works too. The story ain't over yet, but at least we're heading in the right direction.

Aussie spots tiny on plane

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Before I post a number of funny quotes I came across on the web today, I gotta wave to Amber and thank her for her Elisha Cuthbert comment. *waves* Hi Amber!

(Note to D. and H. : Yes that's one of the Aussie girls, lol)

Now... I've got a rather "sec" kind of humor and often like jokes that play on and with words, or are surprisingly simple yet refined when you look at them. Here are some quotes that I found today, most are aviation related and taken from the aircraft trouble report that each plane carries. P=Pilot, S=Solution (entry by engineers/maintenance)

P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.

P: Test flight OK, except autoland very rough.
S: Autoland not installed on this aircraft.

P: Something loose in cockpit.
S: Something tightened in cockpit.

P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200-fpm descent.
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

P: Number 3 engine missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.


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For the first time in three days I got home this morning without someone trying to run me over, or drive me off the road. I can't say that I was surprised in the least by any of the attempts - once you drive around long enough, you get pretty good at recognizing the fools, those that pay no attention or are plain drunk - so I was able to avoid each and every one of them, but today nothing like it occurred. Refreshingly nice, if I can say so.

I just heard a noise that sounded out of the ordinary, so I headed to the living room to see what Tai had pulled off now, but I couldn't find any sign of him being the source of the noise. Nothing fell down, nothing was torn up, so I thought it was just the neighbors making noise. I picked up Tai coz he was "hiding" under the living room table and I though he had been startled by the sound as well. When I did, I started cuddling him when I suddenly noticed his hind paws were wet. Not just wet, but soaking wet. I put him down, went over to his water bowl and found it empty and hanging at a 45 degree angle. Lol, there was the source of the sound I heard and the reason "my pussy was soaking wet" (*).

I felt like Moses splitting the sea (**), only I used a towel to create a dam in front of the stream of water on my floor. As I was cleaning up, Tai was sitting at a distance looking at me and his empty bowl of water and the looking in his eyes expressed this : "what the hell are you doing? Don't you see that I've ran out of water and that I'm thirsty?".

* hey, I couldn't let the chance to lure some perverts over go to waste, could I?
** Not a clue whether it was Moses splitting the Dead Sea, or any other sea, and frankly I don't care. It just sounded right and fitting for my own tale. If you feel like pointing out the errors in my reference to religious tales, go do so elsewhere ;-)



I called the vet concerning the results of the blood and urine samples that were taken of Tai earlier this week : the blood showed nothing out of the ordinary and while it'll take a little longer for all of the results of the urine sample to come in, they were already able to verify that the sample didn't have any crystals in it, which is good.

However, there were clear signs of infection and blood in the urine - which we already knew - but it'll take a couple more days to verify what bacteria is exactly causing the infection. Once we know that, we can start curing Tai. In the mean time, his urine has cleared up significantly, and while accidents still happen, they seem to be less frequent. The vet said that the Cystease he's getting daily is helping him be more relaxed and also relaxes his bladder resulting in less trouble peeing. A story to be continued for sure.

Right now I'm doing a second round of filing paperwork, and it's looking rather positive. I think I've gathered everything I need apart from one document that I may have filed elsewhere already. I need that though to cancel my insurance on the mobile phone, as it no longer serves a purpose if you ask me (the insurance that is, not the mobile phone).

Update : found the original bill of the phone, called the insurance company after looking up their phone number online, and was told to head off to the nearest shop. I hop in my car, drive over to WS to be greeted by a mass of people that have nothing else to do but stroll through a shopping mall at the average speed of a cripple without their rolling chairs. I swirve around groups of people that use the pathways as conference rooms, couples with kids in strollers, seniors with canes and ice cream only to arrive at The Phone House and find out the outlet is closed due to renovations going on. Superb, 30 minutes wasted and the contract still ain't canceled.

Oh well, I'll keep the bill in my jacket and first time I come across a TPH store that happens to be open, it's cancellation time!

Planet Terror


As I'll be starting a series of graveyard shifts tomorrow - well, technically it would be today - I decided not to head off to bed too early. Instead of watching TV or browsing the web, I headed off to the movies as I noticed that Planet Terror was released. As you may recall, that's the twin sibling of Deathproof which was released earlier this year. I really liked Deathproof and I could almost write that Planet Terror is even better but it's not : it's different.

Both movies are slashers, blood and gore are the key ingredients, both do an excellent job at setting a certain atmosphere, so you may wonder where they actually differ? Planet Terror is fucking hilarious, that's what sets them apart! While Deathproof had it's funny moments, Planet Terror had me laughing out loud several times, and so did some others in the audience. The whole movie is so over the top that you can only laugh with it, and then Robert Rodriguez throws in a couple of jokes that just make it even better.

Nadia, I think you'll like this one.

Note to self : add both movies to wishlist

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