Thursday, September 30, 2004

Investments

I've been meaning to put some capital towards some investments for a while but have not yet got around to doing so. One of the main requirements for doing so, is having the spare capital in the first place. Most poeple would rather spend this money rather than tie it up.

I'm looking to make a number of investments. One of the areas I'll be looking over and reading some books on is the markets. I'd also consider investing in some property in the future, but I'm not really sure exactly what I want to do yet.

Of course, usually where there is more risk there can be a lot more available in returns. It all depends on if you are prepared to take more risk. I'm going to, because even with higher risk investments, if you play your cards right you can come out on top. It's also all experience and that is what life is about.

I'm going to be buying some more Premium Bonds shortly, the rest I'm going to have to plan.

Post ID: 521, posted by jase at 10:22 PM
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Wednesday, September 29, 2004

The world of books

I'm sure you would agree that we learn a lot from books. There is one thing however which you need when planning on reading and completing a number of books - time. I've got quite a few books that I have purchsed on a number of subjects that I'm interested in. I have found though that I start to read a new book I buy and then leave it for ages.

That is another project of mine, to complete all these books before buying any more, I know that will not happen though. It's not that I get bored of them. It is more like finding some time when I am in the right mood and also having the motivation at the same time.

I suppose I have time during every day to read books, I have enough time to read stuff online so that's not so much of the issue. I'm sure most people would prefer some quiet time to read and also be in the right location. What I need is to get working to a routine again, with regards to reading these books. Once I achieve that, I'll be back on track.

After all, learning is important and fun when you are actually interested in what you are trying to learn - sometimes we are forced to learn things we don't care for, such as a number of subjects at school for example. Most people don't learn when they are not interested in the subject matter so the sooner some people understand that fact, the better.

I'm not sure which book shall I continue reading first. The one I have got through the most or one that is important, in relation to certification for example. Spending some time on a number of books, well that can be negative as information overload can occur. One at a time is better I think.

Post ID: 520, posted by jase at 12:03 AM
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Tuesday, September 28, 2004

The OpenSSH project turns five

Here is the announcement:

--

Five years ago, in late September 1999, the OpenSSH project was started.

It began with an audit, cleanup and update of the last free version of Tatu Ylonen's legacy ssh-1.2.12 code. The project quickly gathered pace, attracting a portability effort and, in early 2000, an independent implementation of version 2 of the SSH protocol. Since then, OpenSSH has led in the implementation of proactive security techniques such as privilege separation & auto re-execution.

The free software community were rapid adopters of OpenSSH, with most free operating systems shipping OpenSSH within its first year of existence. Over the last five years OpenSSH has become the most widely used SSH protocol implementation (by a large margin) and has been included in products from major vendors including IBM, Apple, HP, Sun, Cisco and NetScreen. Today, OpenSSH runs on everything from mobile phones to Cray supercomputers.

In providing a free, popular and easy to use secure login and command execution protocol OpenSSH has been instrumental in speeding the deprecation of insecure protocols like telnet and rlogin.

The OpenSSH team would like to thank all those who have supported the project over the last five years, including individuals and vendors who have donated funds or hardware. An extra special thanks to those who have reported bugs or sent patches to the project.

OpenSSH is brought to you by Markus Friedl, Niels Provos, Theo de Raadt,
Kevin Steves, Damien Miller, Ben Lindstrom, Darren Tucker and Tim Rice.

--

Five years already? That was a bit of a shock. It just goes to show how quickly time goes. I've been using OpenSSH since the start, firstly with OpenBSD and then moving over to using it on Linux. A lot has been done with it, hopefully there is more to come. Well done to all those concerned.

Post ID: 519, posted by jase at 11:29 PM
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Monday, September 27, 2004

Comment spam? - What about comment rubbish?

I've noticed 42 comments posted to the post about the billing system troubles and looking through them they are all relating to the same thing. Looking at the stats, there have been 264 hits to that post as of now, which is quite high given the time since posting.

A quick grep on the access logs shows the first access and then POST request coming from an IBM address.

Here are all the hosts that have submitted POST requests to that entry so far:

bi-02pt1.bluebird.ibm.com
vc1-232-1.adsl.indra.com
212.42.181.32
help.anu.edu.au
d9-89.rb.lax.centurytel.net
198.213.56.82
63-231-138-195.mpls.qwest.net
1-1-3-9a.kt.gbg.bostream.se
adsl-63-197-36-42.dsl.lsan03.pacbell.net
h36n1fls27o1079.bredband.comhem.se
65.90.52.195
152.160.7.130
wcs1-cbus.nipr.mil
blk-222-64-197.eastlink.ca
66-7-225-40.cust.telepacific.net
pool-162-84-160-10.ny5030.east.verizon.net
255.1.252.64.snet.net
hosta.sixcontinentshotels.com
redgate.kcc.com
adsl-64-108-125-78.dsl.euclwi.ameritech.net
207-171-180-101.amazon.com
12-202-217-219.client.insightbb.com
63-253-43-58.ip.mcleodusa.net
gate1-sandiego.nmci.navy.mil
63.119.250.95
host81-156-234-232.range81-156.btcentralplus.com
dial-156-112-113-216.megacom.net
69-167-181-191.snbrca.adelphia.net
customer-hmo-131-129.megared.net.mx
64.114.213.97
yymkcxxxix.dsl.saunalahti.fi

As you may have noticed, there are some interesting hosts there. What makes it even more interesting is the fact all of the comments posted by all hosts are about the same thing and all around the same time. If you have not already guessed, I would think these hosts are compromised & possibly being used as relays to spam and other rubbish. Either way, I'm not bothered. It's all junk and all gone.

Another interesting thing is that hits from the IBM host have been coming in for ages - so either a regular visitor or web proxy. Some Google searches have resulted in visits from that host, quite a number of varied searches in fact.

I'm not interested in looking over this any more, however I may just contact the appropriate contacts for the hosts above just to alert them to the fact that something could well be up.

UPDATE: 28/09/04

It would seem the reason for all the Betty comments, would be due to Suso. He's posted a number of comments in the past on here and decided to post a comment on this Slashdot post asking people to post about Betty on here.

I think this guy has lost the plot. I did notice references to him but due to past comments I ignored it. Maybe I should have trusted my own judgement before passing it off as some rubbish. It was logical to think a link must have been posted somewhere asking for such a stupid thing, why - I do not know.

So, Suso - As they always ask - What is your motive? And yes, of course I have heard of a page referrer, it's late here, you know.

Post ID: 518, posted by jase at 11:14 PM
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Sunday, September 26, 2004

New laptop - Sony Vaio K195HP

I've just ordered a new laptop, not for me, although I will no doubt be using it a little and also probably have to sort out any future troubles with Windows, as I always do. It's a Sony Vaio K195HP.

The specification is as follows:

* Intel P4 2.8Ghz
* 512MB RAM
* 40GB HDD
* 15" TFT
* CD-RW/DVD ROM

As well as all the usual stuff you would expect from a laptop these days. It should be here tomorrow, as I selected the quicker delivery. I'll be looking to purchase one sooner or later only I will be going for the best specification available. The model I selected here will be more than enough power for what it will be used for. No gaming really, just all the usual type of applications most people would run on a notebook.

It's smart looking and as usual a good product from Sony. I've not heard any bad things about the Vaio models, so we shall see how it performs.

Post ID: 517, posted by jase at 11:02 PM
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Saturday, September 25, 2004

Wierd billing system events

I've noticed something strange happening with our billing system we are using for one of the upcoming projects. It has decided to stop billing a certain client and I cannot figure out why. It looks like I am going to have to create a service request to try and figure it out.

I suppose it is good that it is happening now, instead of later so we can get any or most problems fixed in advance of having to deal with a lot of billing. It is wierd in that other accounts are still being billed. I don't remember anything being changed so we will see.

Post ID: 516, posted by jase at 01:01 PM
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Friday, September 24, 2004

The year so far

I've started to see posters around, in restaurants and such talking about Christmas. It made me think how quickly this year has gone and indeed how quickly most years, in fact every year goes.

Maybe this is because I'm busy most of the time. I know it would slow down a lot if I were not doing much as when you have more free time you are able to think more about things and also clock watch.

It'll be my birthday again in a few months then the show will probably start falling and once again I know I will be wishing it was summer with some nice weather. I've already noticed how cold it is getting so it's time to get the coats out again.

Post ID: 515, posted by jase at 12:21 PM
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Thursday, September 23, 2004

MMS messages

Since getting my Nokia 6600, I can't send MMS messages. I've even downloaded the configuration settings from the Vodafone website, but it still does not want to work. From the wierd message I get, it looks like it might be related to something on the network & given all the trouble I have been having when trying to use my phone abroad it does not suprise me.

I'm going to have to give Vodafone a call to try and get it sorted out. I've not setup the email side on the phone so I can't moblog at the moment, but I'll get that sorted out shortly.

Post ID: 514, posted by jase at 10:50 PM
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Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Early start

I've got an early start tomorrow, it's going to be a long day. I've got to head down south to Swindon. But more on that later. I've only just got in from work and now I've got to head straight to bed. I won't be back home until this time tomorrow either. Going back to what I've said previously, there needs to be more hours in the day.

Either that or I need to remove some things from my schedule. I don't think time management is part of the equation either, I've already refined is as much as possible and still I am dealing with a day to day mission at the moment!

Things are looking to change...

Post ID: 513, posted by jase at 10:02 PM
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Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Lots going on

I've got quite a lot going on at the moment and I'm annoyed that there are not enough hours in the day to deal with it all. Nevermind, it'll all work out in the end. I've still not got around to some things since I got back from Ibiza and with some upcoming trips and a load of other things going on, I had better hurry up.

Post ID: 512, posted by jase at 09:59 PM
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Monday, September 20, 2004

Out with the SLA or not...

You might a a service level agreement with a provider of a service, however it does not mean that they will meet the criteria of it constantly. I've found that service requests from certain companies are constantly broken. Not good, especially when you are paying a lot of money in some cases for a higher level of service.

There is not much point in paying if you are not getting the service. I've found though, that some customers are not aware of what their service level consists of as part of their contract so because of this sometimes complaints are raised due to delay when really a company may well be within the SLA but due to the customer not being informed of their entitlement they are not happy, when really nothing wrong has been done. The key is to inform customers and set their expectations. If only more companies were doing this, there would be a lot more happy customers around!

Post ID: 511, posted by jase at 01:50 PM
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Sunday, September 19, 2004

Intelligent search engines

There is some talk at the moment about intelligent, responsive search. Indeed, it would be highly advantageous to most of us, even those who would define themselves as a professional searcher. I mean, I've seen some people use Google & they don't have any real idea about using the correct search terms to produce the most accurate, desired results.

It's quite hit and miss even for those of us who have been doing it for years. Now, in the future things may become a lot easier with the help of the search engine itself. Google may one day, with the help of artificial intelligence be able to predict with good accuracy what we are actually looking for, be it something or some site in particular or a certain topic.

Some of this is already being done, but only to a certain level. For example, when you make a spelling mistake, Google can suggest something else. Since searching is a part of everyday Internet life, moving along with the times and using new technology is a must & it may not be that far ahead when we see this sort of thing devleop further.

It appears that Amazon has a search engine called A9 which could be interesting, it stores a list of previous searches that you have made and also can show some images in relation to your search. It looks good, I've only just tried it out but it could be of use. I thought it was nice that it knew who I was, due to cookies from Amazon, obviously.

Jeremy has recently posted about this, which I found interesting. In a time when it can be harder finding more specific material relating to some subjects, any development can only be a good thing.

Post ID: 510, posted by jase at 08:33 PM
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Saturday, September 18, 2004

Mail delivery failures

Don;t you just hate those annoying worms that send themsolves out using your email addresses that have been obtained from some infected machine? I'm getting a fair few of them at the moment. Some indeed contain elements of spam. Most mail delivery failure notices will pass through anti-spam filters easily so it looks as though this is a new idea being used be the spammers.

Send out mails which look like failure notices, but still contain a link to some site you're probabl not interested in. That load of failure notices combined with the ones these worms generate causes an increased load of mail. It would be great of there was one easy way of getting rid of the spam problem. We do see things moving forward, but it will take time.

The other thing to consider is apart from these email lists which are being sold all over the place, where are emails gathered from? I'd say there is a percentage of lists which are stolen from insecure servers. It only takes one server that is not configured correctly or compromised & a mailing list that you are subscribed to could now be in the hands of a whole host of spammers.

Maybe the solution is not prevention but a more active approach. Maybe spammers should be killed. I'm sure if that started happening, it would send a lot of spammers to consider early retirement rather than risk being caught and then killed. We can only dream.

Post ID: 509, posted by jase at 10:21 PM
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Friday, September 17, 2004

The weekend is here

Nearly here, but not quite. It has been a long week as it is the first full week of work I have done in a while due to being in Ibiza. This week I am working nights as well, which tends to usually go quite quick as I sleep more generally. The problem is that tomorrow will be virtually gone by the time I get up as I will not get home until 5.30am which means I won't get up until late.

Post ID: 508, posted by jase at 11:59 PM
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Thursday, September 16, 2004

Gmail is currently down

I suppose there is a first time for everything!

--

Server Error

Gmail is temporarily unavailable. Cross your fingers and try again in a few minutes. We're sorry for the inconvenience.

--

Post ID: 507, posted by jase at 11:06 PM
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Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Server reboot

The box that this blog runs on was rebooted this morning, after 272 days uptime and being very reliable. It had to be powered down due to some work in the DC. We should have known about it, but due to us not setting up the email notifications, we were not. The first thing I knew about it was when I was doing a few things and then:

Broadcast message from root (console) (Wed Sep 15 09:57:21 2004):

The system is going down for reboot NOW!

Of course, now we will know if any work needs doing that will need the box to be rebooted. The DC uses a special reboot on demand system to allow for systems to be rebooted at a customers request but I assume they just plugged into the console port to reboot our server, well that is what it looks like from our analysis and what they said when we raised it with them.

The system was only offline for 9 minutes so it wasn't much of an issue that we were not aware of it but good that I happened to be around at the time.

The good thing is we now will know if anything like that needs to to happen again. It also allowed us to ensure the box still comes up, after all the changes that have been made. Soon we're going to upgrade the RAM and probably install another disk too and I'm currently in the process of getting tape backup sorted using Veritas NetBackup which will allow for daily incremental backup as well as a full weekly backup.

Post ID: 505, posted by jase at 11:35 PM
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Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Being interrupted when sleeping

I find it really annoying when I am woken up constantly be ringing phones, be it the landline or my mobile. Even when on silent, I find that the vibrating of the phone can wake me up unless I am in a really deep sleep. It is like natural trigger that I have programmed to wamke me up when my phone is receiving an incoming call. Just a slight period of quiet time when you can be left alone never hurts.

Post ID: 504, posted by jase at 10:00 PM
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Monday, September 13, 2004

The night shift

I'm back on the night shift, which means another week of being in bed during the day. I don't mind, but it is something that I would rather avoid when it is caused due to work. After spending most of the weekend until the early hours watching a load of films, it won't be anything different to that.

But still, it is annoying as I actually loose time because I tend to spend more time in bed when working nights. That is something that will have to chance, one way or another.

Post ID: 503, posted by jase at 10:51 PM
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Sunday, September 12, 2004

Not as bad as I thought

I've been back from Ibiza for one week now and it's not as bad being back as I thought it would be. I think it is mainly because I have tried to not think about being back as well as other things which I had on my mind that were having an influence on my mind.

Things are moving on the business front, only not quickly enough so that is something exciting I have been thinking about and projecting some figures. I've still not got around to catching up on a load of news so that is something I'll have to do in the next few days as at the moment it's like something is missing, I'm out of the loop.

Srange, but true.

Post ID: 502, posted by jase at 11:05 PM
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Saturday, September 11, 2004

Online time

I've spent quite a lot of time reading about a few topics so far this weekend and will probably spend a lot more. It is interesting how quickly time goes when you are doing this. I've been reading about topics which are related to some of the projects currently being worked on.

Although I'm not going to talk about them at the moment, since most of them are in the early stages of development, I'm glad things are moving more on this front. Now, we all could do with more time, but in this situation, I need more time or more people to get work done, for our business. In the future, we hope our efforts will pay off and we can think about employing people to help with various things. At the moment, a small dream but we all know where the biggestg companies came from - exactly that.

Post ID: 501, posted by jase at 11:01 PM
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Friday, September 10, 2004

Waiting for the bank

I'm waiting for some transactions to appear on my statement at the moment that I made at the airport on the way back from Ibiza. Due to there being other transactions and the exchance rate being used unknown, I have to wait until it shows up on my online statement. It's not that much of an issue but it always appears to take longer when you are actively waiting for something.

It would be a lot better if the transactions were processed in full at the time so all details were available to the customer straight away. Maybe this will be the case in the future.

Post ID: 500, posted by jase at 10:14 PM
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Thursday, September 9, 2004

Spiders

I don't really have a problem with spiders, well not ones round here, house spiders. There is one lurking around my room though, I has been popping up a little lately. I'm not sure what to do, in that I could put it outside but maybe it prefers to be living inside in the warm. I just don't want it running over me when I am in bed like has happened to me before. It is quite big though!

Any suggestions, leave it inside or put it outside at the next chance I have of catching it?

Post ID: 499, posted by jase at 11:45 PM
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Wednesday, September 8, 2004

Solve the riddle

As I advised you recently, I have some Gmail invites to give out. I thought it would be interesting to use a riddle to make things a bit more interesting rather than just ask people to just request an invite.

What you'll need to do is solve the riddle & then email me your answer, comments are turned off until I'm out of invites to stop potential answers being posted. If I find your answer to be correct and in full, then I'll give you an invite. I'll advise you when I don't have any left, but hopefully I'll get some more and then I can issue something else for you to try your luck at.

---

A Pirate called Paul had been captured by a French general & sentenced to death by his firing squad, which currently consisted of 50 men. Paul was worried, as he knew their reputation for being the worst firing squad in the French military. They were so bad that they would quite often miss their targets, but eventually leaving them to bleed to death. The general only allows 1 shot per man to save on ammunition. The thought of a slow painful death made Paul beg for mercy.

"Very well, I have some compassion. You may choose where the men stand when they shoot you and I will add 60 extra men to the squad. Perhaps if they stand closer they will kill you quicker if you're lucky."

"Also they can't stand more than 25 ft away, they must be facing you and you must remain tied to the post in the middle of the yard & to show I'm not totally heartless if you aren't dead by sundown I'll release you so you can die peacefully outside the compound. I must go now but will return tomorrow and see to it that you are buried in a nice spot, though with 110 men I doubt there will be much left of you to bury."

After giving his instruction the general left. Upon his return the next day he
found that Paul had been set free alive and well.

"How could this be?" Demanded the general.

---

Answers via email and should be as detailed as possible.
Of course, I decide if your answer is correct & detailed enough but I hope you will have a bit of fun thinking about it. It may seem easy / obvious to you, it may not.

Post ID: 498, posted by jase at 11:44 PM
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Tuesday, September 7, 2004

Audioblog - Audio on your blog

I recently came over Audioblog, but as I was about to go on holiday thought I would bookmark it and take a proper look later. It seems like a good idea and could add another angle to blogging, in the form of being able to post audio. Having looked at the site it seems that it is not a free service and it does not look like there is a free trial available. You can record audio posts either via a Flash enabled browser or over the phone.

Here is a list of the features available, taken from the Audioblog site.

---

Post to multiple blogs.
You can add multiple blog services and post to any of them. Movable Type, Typepad, Blogger, LiveJournal and more to come.

Upload MP3 or WAV format files
You may upload your MP3 or WAV format audio files to Audioblog.com and we will automatically prepare them for streaming in just seconds. No need to buy and learn complex audio editing software, just upload it to us and let us do the hard work.

Post by telephone
In the moblog mood? No problem. Pick up the phone, record and post.

* Functionality

A single audioblog length of 60 minutes
Record or stream a single audioblog up to one hour in length or use the playlist builder to create an audioblog playlist of almost unlimited length.

Playlists for unlimited-length audios
Only Audioblog.com members can use our exclusive playlist builder to create audios of unlimited length, but because each audio is a new segment, you can easily and seamlessly integrate testimonials or other audio samples into your presentations.

Record audios from anywhere, 24/7
Whether you call the media center, use the BlogRecorder or upload your own MP3 or WAV files, you can manage your audios anytime of the day or night, 365 days a year.

Per-audio recording history
Each audio in our system maintains a complete version history, which you can refer to at any time. You can even revert to past versions at any time and never lose any of your work.

* Bandwidth

Unlimited audios per account
You may have an unlimited number of audios in your account at any time. No need to worry about running out of space, just keep recording them.

1,024 MB of streaming audio bandwidth per month
Audioblog.com members can stream up to A FULL GIGABYTE (1,024 MB equals 1 GB) of audio content per month. If your audio clips are one minute long, that means up to 5,000 FULL plays per month at no additional cost & since we account for actual play time, you're not billed for bandwidth you're not using. Additional bandwidth will be automatically added as needed to ensure your audio clips keep playing to your visitors ($1.95 per additional 1GB).

---

So there you have it. Quite a list of features. I've seen it in use on a few sites and the quality is good. Being able to add clips via phone means you could easily take a sample of something when you are mobile and have it online within no time at all, automatically. I might give it a go, as it only costs $4.95 a month for the basic service and especially since it integrates easily with MT.

Post ID: 497, posted by jase at 10:39 PM
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Monday, September 6, 2004

Lots of sleep required

I've spend most of today sleeping, catching up on the sleep that I have missed out on for most of the 3 weeks I was in Ibiza during August. I wish it was 2001 again as I was just preparing to go out to Ibiza around this time. It is always hard work going home and back to work and having to actually do things.

Hopefully I won't end up ill this time as I did when I returned from the previous trip, maybe that will offset any potential impact now.

Post ID: 496, posted by jase at 11:08 PM
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Sunday, September 5, 2004

The trip back was okay

I'm back home now, the travel today was not too bad. Since we were quite late to get to the airport there was not much waiting around to do and the plane was ready so we left shortly after we were scheduled to. Of course I then had to travel back up north which was another 3 hours. Usually I prefer to get a flight that is closer to home, but could not in this case as we all had to travel together.

I'm going to save the unpacking until tomorrow. At the moment I'm just reading email and various other things. Tomorrow will be a day of catching up on various things and relaxing. I'm glad that I will get a good sleep tonight, simply because it is not so hot that I sweat and can get to sleep easily. I have had trouble sleeping the past 2 weeks due to the heat and no air conditioning. I have had to just wait until I was that tired I could fall asleep.

It has beena good trip and I did a lot of things I wanted to on the list, but there are still things such as Formentera & DC10 that I have still not done, even though I had plenty of time so next year, as I always say. It's going to be time for bed soon, but first I'll clean all this comment spam and update the list.

Post ID: 495, posted by jase at 11:20 PM
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Saturday, September 4, 2004

Packing, something to put off

I don't like packing because it means you are on your way home, well usually anyway unless you are heading to another destination. It is rather hot in the apartment and with no air conditioning it makes even the slightest task seem like hard work. Tonight I would be up for going out to a club, but the others are short on cash so we have decided to relax tonight.

Tomorrow we have to get up early to catch our flight home. I was considering missing the flight and staying to head to Space tomorrow as it will be wicked with Sasha and James Zabiela on the decks. I don't think I will though, but another short trip might be on the cards for some closing parties which should top things off until the fun starts next year.

Post ID: 494, posted by jase at 07:14 PM
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Friday, September 3, 2004

Gmail spam filtering

I noticed that Gmail filtered a message from Google Adsense and marked it as spam, which I found quite funny. Of course I reported it as not being spam. It seems to be doing quite a good job, only a few false reports so far.

On another Gmail related point, I also have some Gmail invitations to give out so I will be doing that shortly when I get back home so keep checking my blog.

Post ID: 493, posted by jase at 04:42 PM
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Thursday, September 2, 2004

Cream

Tonight we are off to Cream, but I would also like to head to Pacha as Sasha is playing and I have already missed him at Space last week. It looks like everyone else is going to Pacha though so I will probably end up there as well. One thing is for sure it looks like it is going to be a long night and carry on afterwards I think!

On another note I have noticed the amount of spam comments that have appeared so I will have a job getting rid of it all when I get home.

Post ID: 492, posted by jase at 07:57 PM
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Wednesday, September 1, 2004

Another day...

Of drinking and relaxing, you would not think it is so much hard work, but it is. Tonight we were planning on going to Pacha but there has been a change of plan and we are going to just chill instead. It is probably a good idea as we have been out virtually every night so a break would be advised. Of course there will be more drinking and relaxing taking place.

Post ID: 491, posted by jase at 07:53 PM
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