Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Man attacked by around 50 cows in a field

What next?

A man has been attacked by a hooligan group of cows running riot in a field. That said, they were perfectly fine before he invaded their space. Maybe they just didn't like the fact if him being a police officer, but do we blame them?

The lies, the corruption, the violence - it goes on. That said, they're not all like that, but it depends on where in the world you are.

I hope Inspector Chris Poole has learnt his lesson and refrains from invading the privacy of the usually calm and collected cows among us. When bizarre events like this occur, there is usually more to it - so what really happened?

Post ID: 791, posted by jase at 02:21 PM
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Fancy some fruit? - A 116 year old orange?

I was picking apples from the apple tree in my garden the other day, they were quite nice. I'm going to grab some more and make an apple pie. It made me think, yes these apples are as fresh as I am going to get any fruit. I'm in the process of growing some strawberry plants, which will fruit next year and deliver some lovely strawberries to have with various other things. It's a shame we dug the rhubarb up, but we had other plans.

I think in the future, I'll try growing some other stuff.

Whatever happens, I think I'll pass on this 116 year old orange as the stuff I produce will taste fasr better.

Post ID: 788, posted by jase at 02:03 PM
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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Tres Personajes by Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo found dumped

Fancy that, a 1970 painting that has been found dumped on a New York street has been identified as work by Rufino Tamayo and is reported to be worth around $1 million (488,000). I wonder if the person who dumped it was aware of the valuation?

Probably not, but I bet they are gutted now.

For anyone that is interested in buying it, it's going up for sale at Sothebys Latin American Art aution on the 20th of November.

Post ID: 786, posted by jase at 10:29 AM
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Monday, August 27, 2007

First commercial Airbus A380 Flight

This is my first post in a while, time seems to pass so quickly, but I'm going to try and make an errort to blog more. There has been a lot happening around the world as always, but some news today that I just read:

Singapore Airlines are selling seats on their first commercial flight of the new Airbus A380 on, of all places - Ebay. These tickets will obviously be sold for well over the odds, but I'm sure there will be plenty of takers.

It will be nice flying on this beast, the question is - Which airline will provide the best entertainment and use the space in the best possible way? That all depends on what they think customers will want, but I bet none of the airlines bother to even ask any consumers though.

Just having plenty of space to move around and chill in would be nice, at the moment this is something that is hard to come by, without paying over the odds. Anything else would be a bonus.

Post ID: 785, posted by jase at 05:23 PM
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Friday, May 18, 2007

Vista OEM BIOS emulation invalid key fix

Like me, some of you might have tried using one of the earlier activation cracks using a key that you obtained from the beta program. Although it allowed you to activate, the system would still expire shortly.

Now there are other methods of activating, the most complete being the OEM BIOS emulation method or by using an updated BIOS instead of the emulator. Quite a few people have reported that they can't import the required product key after using one of the earlier cracks, in my case one that replaced tokens.dat and pkeyconfig.xrm-ms.

From what I could find, people were suggesting that a clean install should be done. I thought that there must be an easier way and indeed there is, after a bit of trial and error I found a solution, so no re-install is required. I have tested this on 2 machines that had the activation crack using beta keys on them and it worked fine. It might not work for other cracks that you have used but if you used the same type as I did, then try the following:

Turn off UAC vis MSCONFIG and reboot.
Use the Paradox oemtool.exe to install the emulation driver, in my case I used the ASUS one or for the ASUS BIOS only you can right click on ROYAL.INF and select install which will install the ASUS BIOS. Afer that is done, reboot. When the system has booted, run the following commands from the command prompt:

1. slmgr -rilc
2. slmgr -ilc c:\asus.xrm-ms (Or alternative)
3. slmgr -ipk XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX (Insert appropriate key)
4. slmgr -rearm

Now reboot again. You should find that it is now activated and will not expire, run winver.exe and slmgr -dlv from the command prompt to check, you should also notice the status as activated on the system information page.

Note, that step 1 & 4 are the ones I have added to make it work in my case after an original modification of the 2 files was completed, without requiring a re-install. You'll need to enter the appropriate OEM key for the BIOS and version of Vista you have installed, which can be obtained from the Paradox package; it's available on lots of sites so just do a search.

You could also modify a new version of the BIOS firmware for your motherboard and then you would not need the emulator. There are plenty that have been done already, so check in case yours has already been done.

Although the OEM method is currently a total fix, you should just use it as a way to extend your trial period, before you purchase it if you like it. Thanks to all the people who put the effort into these fixes and I hope my fix helps some people, like it did me.

Post ID: 784, posted by jase at 05:23 AM
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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Mobile phones don't mix with toilets

I didn't think I would ever do it, but finally it happened. Recently I managed to drop my Nokia N70 down the toilet. Well, not directly but I was using it at the time and went to the bathroom. Usually if I have it with me, I put it on the side away from the toilet itself, but this time I placed it on the water tank.

As I picked it up shortly afterwards, it slipped out of my hand and even though I tried to stop it, it was too quick. Even though it was only submerged in the water for a second or two, it started flickering. It didn't look wet inside when I took the back off, but I did try it with some hot air. A little later on, I tried switching it on, it did turn on but didn't make it through the full boot up. I tried it a few times that night, but then left it off for around 4 days.

I had my fingers crossed the next time I switched it on and thankfully it worked and has been working since. I was only really worried that I could potentially lose some data that was stored on the phone itself that I wanted, as most of the data was on the memory card and that was working.

It is insured, but I was more worried about the data, as some of it was not bakced up. After checking it, there was not that much that was in danger but at least somethig good came out of this experience.

I'm not going to take my phone near open toilets again or if I do, take extra special care. I've been through quite a number of mobiles since I got my first one in 1999, but I've only lost one (it fell out of my shorts as I was getting off a flight) and not broken any yet but this was a close shave.

I guess I was just lucky, as many people have lost phones in water based accidents. I know a few people who have most more phones than most people would believe so I'm not doing too bad. At the moment I'm using the N70 and N73, but I'll be getting the N95 shortly, which should be good, having the build in GPS and 5 megapixel camera.

Post ID: 783, posted by jase at 03:48 AM
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Thursday, November 2, 2006

Valve Media Ltd - The Hub

Yesterday we launched the Valve Media Ltd Hub, which will be the central port of call for the Valve Media selection of sites & services. It has been launched online as part of the CSS Reboot launch schedule, being launched on November 1st. We hope you like the design and hope we can be of service to you. Some of it still needs to be completed, so please keep checking back. Hopefully we'll get some of the other sites online soon as well.

Pop on over and check out what we offer - there's a lot more we're planning on doing and some things which are not listed that we already do (but soon will be) so if you have any questions then get in touch.

Post ID: 782, posted by jase at 01:54 PM
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Updates & multimedia blogging

I'm going to get around to doing some updates that I've been meaning to do soon. Ben has updated his blog with a nice design and added some interesting stuff. I have seen some things I have been meaning to add, so going to get on the case with that shortly. There are a lot of new sites and ideas appearing so maybe we'll see some major changes in the blogging world that incorporates more multimedia. Regardless of what it is exactly, I think a move to more live or near to live as it happens information, vidoes, sound and pictures are what people will get used to. I've seen a number of video mobile type blogging sites and applications recently.

As more bandwidth and better price plans for data appear, along with better built in cameras on mobile phones, I think a new rush of reporters will appear. There is so much news that people with phones capture that TV crews might not, an interesting area that could be investigated.

Post ID: 781, posted by jase at 01:50 PM
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Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Google going on the cheap?

I just went to the Adsense site, but instead of going via www.google.com/adsense I accessed it via www.google.co.uk/adsense. Since I had installed IE7 on my XP laptop, it alerted me to the fact that the SSL certificate did not match the URL, firstly by displaying a page asking if I wanted to continue and then by turning the adress bar a kind of pink colour.

Although there is nothing amazing about that, I just found it funny that Google didn't purchase another SSL certificate for the .co.uk domain or even a wildcard one and use subdomains instead, hence the idea of going on the cheap side. Google is a company afterall and even the big ones like to keep the costs down. A better point is that the more evident security warnings will help reduce the number of issues that the average Windows user will get fooled by, hopefully.

Post ID: 780, posted by jase at 10:45 PM
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Thursday, October 12, 2006


It has once again been a while since my last post, time goes quickly. Anyway, we've all known that with things online moving towards the simple ideas, it has long been thought that the sites that provide things that the masses want will be popular. In the case of YouTube and many others people are saying "Why didn't I think of that?"

Looking back it's easy to ask the question but it's not very productive. I'd spend my time trying to think of the next best thing to attract the attention of a big company so hopefully they'll buy it, but it's not as easy as it sounds else everyone would be doing it.

Good luck if that is what you're also trying to do and well done to the YouTube founders.

Post ID: 779, posted by jase at 01:33 AM
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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Gmail on the SORBS blocking list

I just tried sending a reply back to Vodafone customer services regarding an issue I've got with my online account. I used my Gmail account (of course) only to get the following sent back:

PERM_FAILURE: SMTP Error (state 8): 550 5.7.1 Mail from refused - see http://www.dnsbl.sorbs.net/

After a quick check, I found that it was a Google assigned IP address. After doing a search of the SORBS database, it was confirmed. It's interesting to note though that the PTR record has changed from what was listed at the time of the SORBS database entry to nf-out-0910.google.com but that would not avoid the block, since it is IP based. The change must have been for another reason.

Record Created: Sat Apr 22 04:30:03 2006 GMT
Record Updated: Sat Apr 22 04:30:03 2006 GMT
Additional Information: Received: from nproxy.gmail.com (nproxy.gmail.com []) by desperado.sorbs.net (Postfix) with ESMTP id 670B611439 for <[email]>; Sat, 22 Apr 2006 13:15:05 +1000 (EST)
Currently active and flagged to be published in DNS
If you wish to request a delisting please do so through the Support System.

I noticed that Sun is one of the companies involved in SORBS, so I tried sending an email from Gmail to my Sun address but it went through okay, strange. Maybe Sun is part of it, but not actually using it. Anyway, it seems that people who are using SORBS can't currently receive mail from Gmail users.

The funny thing is that Google is part of SORBS too - so part of it, but blocked by it! If Google were using SORBS, then it would mean that Gmail users would probably be unable to send email to other Gmail users unless Google had something in place to always allow it, regardless of any blocking list or system. Maybe Google are using it, but I don't think they currently are.

Aftering seeing the current block myself and typing this post, I did a quick Google search and found discussion about this issue. It seems that Spamcop have also blocked Gmail, but at present the IP in question is not in the database. The blocks are due to Gmail not including the injecting user IP in the headers, which in one respect gives an element of privacy but something that nobody else really does and it also allowed spammers to hide.

I guess I won't be emailing Vodafone for a while, not from Gmail anyway. I wonder what other companies are using SORBS, that I won't be able to contact using Gmail? This is an example of when free email isn't always the best option but I'm sure it will be sorted out soon.

Post ID: 778, posted by jase at 12:08 PM
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Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Two months have passed

Well, it has already been 2 months since my last post. Time really does fly, but not so much if you're clock watching. I was planning on posting in April, but had a lot of thingd going on and never did.

Anyway, the Snowbombing trip was excellent, I'll be going back next year. Next month it is Beachbombing, I'm in the process of sorting this out. It's only 69 for 3 nights so well worth it.

There is a lot going on in the technology world as usual but there are a few interesting things which have caught my eye. The firmware hack for the XBOX 360 DVD drive is one of them, it'll be interesting to see how that pans out and how MS plan to combat the up and coming piracy. Check out the video of a hacked unit playing a copy of PGR 3.

There is plenty of activity in the PSP world as well. Lots of interesting applications are being released, including alternative shells, emulators and a VNC type application. I've downloaded updated firmware versious a number of times, but it's always a choice between upgrading by choice and being forced to by the desire to play a new game which demands the upgrade. Forced upgrading is a smart move by Sony, partly to try and stop people running custom code and also to provide new functionality.

The days are getting longer warmer, so it'll be more of a reason to be outside with the portable gadgets and less reason to be inside on the computers. I'm wondering what my next gadget purchase will be. I've been meaning to get a portable GPS navigator for my car, probably the new TomTom GO 910. Although I think they are still a bit on the expensive side for what they are, but worth it when you're doing a lot of driving around and there is usually more of this going on in the summer.

Summer is coming, enjoy it!

Post ID: 777, posted by jase at 12:31 PM
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Friday, March 10, 2006

It has been a while!

I've been meaning to post to my blog for ages, but in the past 10 months have not got around to doing it, until now. After blogging every day for the period that I did, I started to feel like it was becoming a chore. I don't like chores, so I thought I would have a rest from it. I didn't really intend to stop totally for this long, but rather blog quite often rather than every day. That is what I'm going to do now I think.

What have I been doing in the time I've not posted. Quite a lot, all the usual things really. In Januray I was over in Las Vegas for CES, AEE, the AVN Awards and a few other things which was great fun. Coming up in April I'm off to Austria for Snowbombing 2006 which is going to be good.

There has been a lot happening around the world, which is nothing out of the normal though, but it seems there have been some interesting things going on, which will spark some good discussions, finding out the thoughts and opinions of various people. I had an idea of posting about a wider range of topics to see what other people think, so look out for some posts and have your say. Just don't count on when I might start doing that, it could be another year, but I hope not. Hopefully more to come soon!

Ben has not been posting much either, I think he felt the same as I did, combined with other things like being busy, so I'm not the only one.

Post ID: 776, posted by jase at 04:05 PM
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