Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Just had to post this little ditty

"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

- Ronald Reagan

Monday, December 12, 2005

Quote of the Day

"Listen -- strange women lying in ponds distributing
swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive
power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some
farcical aquatic ceremony."

- Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Quote of the Day

"I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food."

- W. C. Fields

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Quote of the Day

"There's only one way to have a happy marriage and as soon as I learn what it is I'll get married again."

- Clint Eastwood

Monday, December 05, 2005

Quote of the Day

"In Japan, employees occasionally work themselves to death. It's called Karoshi. I don't want that to happen to anybody in my department. The trick is to take a break as soon as you see a bright light and hear dead relatives beckon."

- Scott Adams

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Quote of the Day

"The wages of sin are death, but by the time taxes are taken out, it's just sort of a tired feeling."

- Paula Poundstone

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Quote of the Day

"The moment at which two people, approaching from opposite ends of a long passageway, recognize each other and immediately pretend they haven t. This is to avoid the ghastly embarrassment of having to continue recognizing each other the whole length of the corridor."

-Douglas Adams

Monday, November 28, 2005

Quote of the Day

"Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the drug store, but that's just peanuts to space."

- Douglas Adams

Friday, November 25, 2005

Quote of the Day

"If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands."

- Douglas Adams

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Quote of the Day

"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools."

- Douglas Adams

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Quote of the Day

"He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief."

- Sir Francis Bacon

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Quote of the Day

"Wives are young men’s mistresses, companions for middle age, and old men’s nurses."

- Sir Francis Bacon

Bet my wife is looking forward to nursing me at old age ...

Monday, November 21, 2005

Quote of the Day

"Silence is the virtue of fools"

-Sir Francis Bacon

You got to love this one after my absence of posting :)...

To Post Or Not To Post

Whoah ! Just look at that It's been almost a month since I last posted... Since I went on a week's vacation, I just got lazy... or is it because a lack of really interesting news out there. Well anyways let me see if I can get back to at least one post a day. Even if it is only a quote.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Scott Adams Creates a Blog

I don't believe it ! The mentor for all office workers right around the world has decided to start his own blog. Now if that is not an awesome news item, I don't know what is. (Do I need to mention that I am a fan of the comic strip Dilbert ?)

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Yep after viruses, trojan, malware and spyware comes a new menace - Rootkits. These things actually change the way your operating system works so that your normal spyware/malware detectors can't pickup any problematic proggies running on your system. These things are real nasty and apparently the only solution to really get rid of one is to format the system again. There are a few programs out there that will help you detect these bothersome things.

Check out the article at :
Tech Support Alert

Friday, October 14, 2005

Slave Species of god

I found a new interesting book via fedup.co.za (thanks goes to my wife) that has been written by fellow South African, Michael Tellinger. The first chapter can be downloaded for free.

"Short introduction to Slave Species of god.

While many books have been written around the subject of our human ancestry, Slave Species of god skilfully manages to combine much of the ancient knowledge of lost civilisations to expose the shocking truth about our human origins. The book is easy to read and grabs its reader from the very first chapter. It unravels the mystery of our CREATOR and the creation of "Adam" while it draws a clear distinction between "god" and GOD. It takes its reader on a journey of discovery through 550 pages of astonishing facts. You will be exposed to the earliest human writings and our ancestors some 450 000 years ago, as they plotted the genetic manipulation of the human race. This is probably the most controversial book written by any South African author and will challenge all the newcomers to this genre of literature."

Check it out here :
Slave Species Link

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Ananova - Artists erect giant pink bunny on mountain

Now here is a news item worth noting.

"An enormous pink bunny has been erected on an Italian mountainside where it will stay for the next 20 years."

Check it out here :

Ananova - Artists erect giant pink bunny on mountain

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Quote of the Day

We've heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know that is not true.
- Robert Wilensky

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Steve Ballmer Event

Went to see Steve Ballmer yesterday at Gallagher Estates in Midrand, South Africa. One thing I can say about him is that he is very aware of competition out there and really is a champion for the future of Microsoft development. He pretty much had everyone hanging on his lips and lots of people clapping at fairly simple features.

I was pretty much impressed though with the new way that Office 12 is going to work. Rather having little factual menus, the whole thing has been revamped to the way people would work. Steve also pushed how us developers will be able to use all the new wonderful features of Vista in our code.

Only problem is - that Vista will probably only have an implementation base as of 2 years from now... but I really look forward to it though. It will make us coders look so much more intelligent with little coding :).

Microsoft business systems future definitely looks great going forward though and they are trying their best to outsmart competition. And as it is directly benefiting Microsoft there is no reason that they won't succeed ... I'm one of the people that is sufficiently impressed on what .NET can do and it's going to be big.

"Steven A. Ballmer is Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft Corporation, the worlds leading manufacturer of software for personal and business computing. Ballmer joined Microsoft in 1980 and was the first business manager hired by Bill Gates. Since then, Ballmer’s leadership and passion have become hallmarks of his tenure at the company.

During the past 20 years, Ballmer has headed several Microsoft divisions, including operations, operating systems development, and sales and support. In July 1998, he was promoted to President, a role that gave him day-to-day responsibility for running Microsoft. He was named CEO in January 2000, assuming full management responsibility for the company, which includes delivering on the company’s mission of enabling people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential."

Mark Shuttleworth on Ubuntu Linux

Found this article on Slashdot :

"Mark Shuttleworth has released a FAQ about Ubuntu's Direction and Intent. It comments on the discussions of funding, of being a Debian-fork or not, of the strange names, and many other 'hot topics' relating to Ubuntu. In his own words: 'This document exists to give the community some insight into my thinking, and to a certain extent that of the Community Council, Technical Board and other governance structures - on some of the issues and decisions that have been controversial.'"

And from the wiki :

"Ubuntu is not without its controversies. This is a good thing (at least IMO) as it suggests we are both challenging the status quo, and taking some risks. Speaking for myself, my motivation for funding and participating in Ubuntu so heavily is in large part derived from a desire to do both of those things, I enjoy shaking up established lines of thinking, and I enjoy taking risks. This document exists to give the community some insight into my thinking, and to a certain extent that of the Community Council, Technical Board and other governance structures - on some of the issues and decisions that have been controversial."

Check it out here :
Ubuntu Wiki

Thursday, September 29, 2005

First Live Giant Squid Photographed

The animal—which measures roughly 25 feet (8 meters) long—was photographed 2,950 feet (900 meters) beneath the North Pacific Ocean. Japanese scientists attracted the squid toward cameras attached to a baited fishing line.

Check it out at :
National Geographic Link

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Gerrit Badenhorst

Now here is a fellow South African that is a huge success - Gerrit Badenhorst :

"Gerrit is still a full time strongman performer and entertainer doing one-man shows and acts at all kind of venues. The fact that he can do strongman shows and sing simultaneously, proves him to be an asset to any show or function, as he is a true crowd-pleaser and performer. Old and young absolutely adore his performances and outgoing personality."

"Gerrit Badenhorst just released his first CD 'Soen, Soen', translated means Kiss, Kiss. An album with variety, tempo, passion and emotion in English and Afrikaans. The World Strongest Man Anthem is a song which brings International flavour to this album. He was fortunate to sing this song in Holland and Hungary at the International Strongman's contest recently. This song is gutsy, inspiring, motivating and is being played in Gyms and Sporting events internationally."

Check out his website at :
Link To Gerrit's Site

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Cosmic Collision

Found these interactive movies on the universe and collisions within.

Check it out at :
Hubble Site Link

Monday, September 19, 2005

Googlize !

I thought of a new word today : Googlize.

I used the word today and the person I was speaking to immediately knew what I meant. The said person was looking for information and then I said "I'm not sure, but have you googlized it ?". The term obviously mean - searching for something via Google. Interested by the term, I thought I will googlize the word googlize, to see if someone also have laid claim to this term. Sure enough there is quite a lot of hits on googlize. So there goes my glory road to fame - but it is interesting that the word has been used by so many people... it may even become a valid word. This would probably be the entry :

goo-gel-ize Pronunciation Key
to search for information through the Google search engine

Although the way Google has been expanding their line-up this term may later be more inclusive...

Thursday, September 15, 2005

7, yes 7 ! editions of Windows Vista

Apparently the following Windows editions will be released :

1. Starter Edition, which like XP Starter Edition, is a crippled (and lame) product aimed at the two-thirds world. It will limit users to three concurrent applications, and provide only basic TCP/IP networking, and won't be suitable for most games.

2. The next step up is Home Basic Edition, which is really the sibling to today's Windows XP Home.

3. However, as the name suggests, there's also Home Premium Edition, and this is where we start to split features like hairs and create a gaggle of products. HPE will build on the the Basic Edition by adding, most notably, the next-generation of Media Center capabilities, including support for HDTV, DVD authoring, and even DVD ripping backed up (of course) by Windows DRM. For non-corporate types, this is probably going to be the OS that most people use. It's similar to XP Pro in power, but with all of the added bells and whistles for entertainment. Well, most of them.

4. Windows Vista Professional Edition won't occupy the same spot that XP Pro occupies today, because this time it's truly aimed at businesses. It won't feature the MCE functionality that Home Premium Edition has, but it begins to provide the kind of functionality you'd expect in a business environment, such as support for non-Microsoft networking protocols and Domain support. But don't expect too many businesses to necessarily turn to PE.

5. Microsoft is also planning both a Small Business Edition and

6. an Enterprise Edition, which build upon pro by adding (seemingly minor) features aimed at appealing to each market. SBE, for instance, includes a networked backup solution, while EE will include things like Virtual PC integration, and the ability to encrypt an entire volume of information.

7. Last but not least, there's Ultimate Edition. Hey, I'm just glad that they didn't call it Extreme Edition. Ultimate Edition is a superset of both Vista Home Premium and Vista Pro Edition, so it includes all of the features of both of those product versions, plus adds Game Performance Tweaker with integrated gaming experiences, a Podcast creation utility (under consideration, may be cut from product), and online "Club" services (exclusive access to music, movies, services and preferred customer care) and other offerings (also under consideration, may be cut from product)

Check the rest of the article here :
Windows Vista release link

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Found this brilliant programming website. It's called SitePoint ... It has blogs, forums and book information on a variety of subjects - but mostly based around web design/development. They provide the 4 first chapters free on any book. I have read 2 books free chapters already and bought 2 of the books. They seem to have a brilliant way of describing things to make it really easy. Even if you don't buy anything - there is a lot of gen here...

Check out this link :

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Quote of the Day

My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She's ninety-seven now, and we don't know where the hell she is.

- Ellen DeGeneres

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

How I failed the Turing test

I thought this was a really funny blog entry of a guy struggling to prove his humanity online.

Read it at :
Altered Reality link

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Electric Cosmos

"There is a revolution just beginning in astronomy/cosmology that will rival the one set off by Copernicus and Galileo. This revolution is based on the growing realization that the cosmos is highly electrical in nature. It is becoming clear that 99% of the universe is made up not of "invisible matter", but rather, of matter in the plasma state. Electrodynamic forces in electric plasmas are much stronger than the gravitational force."

Read this site :
Electric Cosmos link

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

King Kong vs. Pirates

Man ! I am looking forward to this movie from Peter Jackson (Lord of The Rings director). Apparently it's going to have a kickass tie-in PC game as well... I remember the previous King Kong movie, it was great by those days standards.

This article goes about the King Kong movie and Peter's views on movie piracy. He is holding such a tight lid on the movie, that a lot of people won't even see it coming.

Check out this article link :
King Kong link

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Quote of the Day

When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them.
- Rodney Dangerfield

Friday, August 26, 2005

Rodriguez to launch new CD with concerts

206 Productions, Sugar Music and PT Music are proud to announce that Rodriguez will be launching his new CD compilation, 'Sugarman: The Best Of Rodriguez', with a series of live concerts in Cape Town and London in late September and early October. Rodriguez will be accompanied at these four concerts by a three-piece band comprising Sean Ou Tim (drums), Sascha Sonnbichler (guitar) and David Broido (bass).

Rodriguez and the band will first play two exclusive CD launch concerts at the Independent Armchair Theatre in Observatory in Cape Town on Thursday 29 September and Sunday 2 October.

The following week Rodriguez and his band will perform two live dates in London at The Kentish Town and Forum on Friday 7th October and Saturday 8th October. Support acts for all these gigs will be announced shortly.

Tickets for the Cape Town concerts are R120 each and are limited to 250 per show. In order to apply for tickets, please email The Independent Armchair Theatre (info@bastardmedia.co.za). Please include your full name, ID Number and phone number on the email. Only two tickets are available per application.

Tickets for the London concerts are available c/o the Ticket hotline (London 24 hrs) - 0870 060 3777 Tickets are also now on sale at the Jazz Cafe and Astoria, there is no booking fee if you pay cash.
For info about the London concerts please email:

'Sugarman: The Best Of Rodriguez' is being released in South Africa by PT Music, the independent SA label which has already released Rodriguez' two studio albums, 1970's 'Cold Fact' and 1972's 'Coming From Reality' aka 'After The Fact'. PT Music also recently released new remastered versions of both those albums.

'Sugarman: The Best Of Rodriguez' features 17 tracks mostly drawn from those two albums, plus three songs that only appeared on the previous 'Best Of Rodriguez' collection, and as a bonus track, the extremely rare 1967 single version of "I'll Slip Away" when he was known as Rod Riguez.

For all info about Rodriguez - past, present and future, please consult the official Rodriguez website at http://www.sugarman.org

For more information please contact:

206 Productions:
Josh Georgiou and Alan Freeman
Phone: (011) 728-8417

The Independent Armchair Theatre:
Gil Hockman
Phone 021 447 1514

Sugar Music:
Stephen Segerman
W (021) 423-7635

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Heavy Metal Guy

Check out the Heavy Metal Guy animations. From here on life will not be the same :

Heavy Metal Guy Link

The Boys of Iwo Jima

Found the following article on Snopes (which is found as true) that I thought was pretty interesting... definitely worth a read through.

Check out this link :
Snopes Iwo Jima Link

Google Talk has been released

Finally Google's Instant Messenger has been released. It's integrated with GMail and it's easy to use. A small download at 900kb ... It also features voice over internet functionality like Skype.

Get it here :
Google Talk Link

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Ancient artefacts abound in Dubai

The discovery of ancient archaeological sites has transformed the simple agriculture city of Al Ain (Dubai) into an important centre of ancient history in the Arabian peninsula. A thriving civilisation existed in that area during the Stone and Bronze Ages, with its distinctive culture and character. Archaeological discoveries in the north of Al Ain a few years ago revealed a part of human settlements that date back to the Stone and Bronze Ages 5000 BCE.

Another important archaeology site is in the Hili area of Al
Ain: this site houses the largest Bronze Age complex. Archaeological finds in this area have been incorporated into the Hili Archaeological Park. Several sites dating back to the Iron Age, about 1000BCE, are also located in the preserved archaeological area surrounding the park.

One of the most impressive monuments in the UAE is Hili Grand Tomb, which is more than 4,000 years old. The tomb, which was discovered in the 1960s, is located in the middle of the park. The remains of a huge ancient cemetery have been discovered in the northern and eastern foothills of Jebel Hafeet that date back between 3200 to 3000 BCE. A team of French archaeologists exploring the area indicated in February that the society in Hili and its surrounding areas thrived about 7,000 years ago.

Article Link here :

Click Me

Friday, August 19, 2005

Google Releases Blogger for Microsoft Word

A new blogging utility for Word that’s free. Pretty handy – I used it to create this post.

“Google announced earlier this week the release of Blogger for Word, a free add-in, downloadable from the Web, that allows users of the Web log service Blogger to post directly to their sites from Microsoft Word.”

Check out article at Mary’s site :
Article Link

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Significant Performance Boost For XP

Found this article that was really helpful in providing some useful information on adjusting XP to be a bit faster. There is some great links in the replies as well.

Check it out at :
Performance XP Link

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Quote of the Day

A girl phoned me the other day and said "Come on over, there's nobody home." I went over. Nobody was home.

- Rodney Dangerfield

The Hidden Records by Wayne Herschel on the face of Mars, Pyramids ...

If any of you haven't read Wayne Herschel's book yet... Go out and get it ! It has various facts and new revelations he is trying to promote. It's a pity his book came out at the same time as Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code as I believe the cryout against Dan's book basically subdued Wayne's book. I see he is trying to promote it currently in Europe. I believe they can prove one of his theories right as soon as they can start digging in those Martian sands...

Check it out :
The Hidden records

"It contains the long awaited (already televised) solution to the ancient pyramid civilisations. Their records all appear to include an obsession with worshipping the celestial bull of Taurus and beings that came from the sky."

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Dungeon Siege 2 is a cummin' !

Man I don't know about you people out there but I have been looking forward to getting this game for a while now and in fact it will be released in the U.S. today. Here is an excerpt of the Action Trip review :

"...but the way I see it, the truly great gaming experience (one that is truly addictive), is that which not only makes you lose track of time, but when you finally peel your eyes away from the monitor, you're still feeling that slight numbness in your body as your mind tries to adjust to the real world. Without sounding too crass, this is pretty much how I felt after I've gotten my first really good and sufficiently lengthy blow job..." - "yes, Dungeon Siege 2 did give me that great buzz that lingers a bit after playing"

phoaarrr that sounds good... I really can't wait :)

Here is some links to reviews :

Games Domain Review 8/10
GameDaily Review 4.5/5
ActionTrip Review 80/100
1UP Review 7/10
Game Zone Review 8.3/10

Monday, August 15, 2005

25 Great Calvin & Hobbes Strips

One of my favorite comic strips. If you haven't read any, you have missed out big time. Check out some of the best strips :

Calvin and Hobbes link

World's Smallest Political Quiz

Try the quiz here :

Quiz link

In case you ever wondered what side of politics you should be on. Take it - it's results are interesting unless you believe there should be no such quiz - in which case you will probably be in the far "right" category...

I've been linked !!

Yay -awesome ! I've been linked by John.

Check it out :

John Walkenbach's Blog

Richard Garriott and the beginnings of space tourism

I didn't know that Richard Garriott started the whole thing on commercial space travel. I am currently replaying Ultima IX (his last Ultima game before moving on) at the moment and was very interested in reading this article. Mark Shuttleworth - one of my fellow countrymen - should be thanking him...

Article link

Friday, August 12, 2005

Dungeon Lords done !

I have just finished Dungeon Lords the other night and thought I'd blog about it. I really enjoyed the game and is probably the first game I have completed in the last 7 years.

The game got some really bad reviews - but I don't know - if you install the patches and enjoy a good dungeon romp, this game is a lot of fun. There are some boring parts especially crossing from one town to another or searching for places (hint : consult a walkthrough).

The graphics are nice but it seems surreal that you are floating through it. You don't affect grass when you walk through it and water stay stagnant as well. Very weird... but like I said the gamplay kicks ass, especially in combat and the dungeon parts.

The music is non existant and the voice overs are terrible. The story seems like a bit of an afterthought placed unto the game, just to send you around from one strange place to another. I also kind of liked the oriental clan that was totally misplaced in this fantasy setting.

Check it out :
Dungeon Lords link

Monks run out of the world's best beer

Arr ! Now this is amusing ... I guess I will never get to taste the world's greatest beer now. And me a beer lover and all.

Reuters link

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Monks at a Belgian abbey have been forced to stop selling their famous beer after it was voted the best in the world and was promptly sold out.

The abbey of Saint Sixtus of Westvleteren in western Belgium is home to some 30 Cistercian and Trappist monks who lead a life of seclusion, prayer, manual labor -- and beer-brewing.

A survey of thousands of beer enthusiasts from 65 countries on the RateBeer Web site (www.ratebeer.com) in June rated the Westvleteren 12 beer as the world's best.

But the abbey only has a limited brewing capacity, and was not able to cope with the beer's sudden popularity.

"Our shop is closed because all our beer has been sold out," said a message on the abbey's answering machine, which it calls the "beer phone."

And the abbey has no intention of boosting its capacity to satisfy market demand.

"We are not brewers, we are monks. We brew beer to be able to afford being monks," the father abbot said on the abbey's Web site.

Monk Mark Bode told De Morgen daily: "Outsiders don't understand why we are not raising production. But for us life in the abbey comes first, not the brewery."

J-Walk Blog Link Experiment

Ah! here is a way I might get some attention to my blog (which seems of to bit of a slow start). John Walkenbach my favorite blogger has posted this on his blog...

I am taking part in J-Walk's Blog experiment !


Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The 46 Best-ever Freeware Utilities

Found this really cool page with free utilties, some of which I knew about and some I didn't :


Quote :

"There are a lot of great freeware products out there. Many are as good or even better than their commercial alternatives. This list features my personal pick of the "best of the best."

All these utilities in this list have been featured in past issues of of my free monthly newsletter "Support Alert". More freebies are featured in every new issue. If you are interested in great utilities and freeware you really should consider subscribing. It's free."

Friday, July 29, 2005

New world may be double Pluto's size

An object possibly twice the size of Pluto has been found - hiding in plain sight. The discovery could be the biggest world in the Kuiper belt of rocky objects that orbit the outer reaches of the solar system.
The find suggests more such objects are waiting to be discovered and is likely to reignite the fierce debate about what constitutes a planet.
On Thursday, an email with the subject, "Big TNO discovery, urgent" was sent to a popular astronomy mailing list. The message described the discovery of a "very bright" object that was creeping along slowly beyond the orbit of Neptune - making it a Trans-Neptunian Object, or TNO.
Its exact size cannot be determined because the reflectivity of its surface is not known. But if the reflectivity is as dim as most other distant, rocky objects that have been studied, it could be twice as wide as Pluto, which is about 2300 kilometres across.
Sleepless night
Jose-Luis Ortiz, an astronomer at the Sierra Nevada Observatory in Spain, and colleagues discovered the object when they re-analysed observations they had made in 2003. Then, they scoured older archives and found the object in images dating back to 1955.
Based on these so-called "precoveries", they calculated the object's orbit and sent urgent emails asking people around the globe to observe the new find.
Amateur observers Salvador Sanchez, Reiner Stoss, and Jaime Nomen found it on Thursday using a 30-centimetre telescope in Mallorca, Spain. "I am not going to sleep tonight," said Stoss, a mechanical engineering student in Darmstadt, Germany. "To find an object bigger than Pluto - it's like the X Prize," he said, referring to the $10 million prize for private spaceflight won in 2004.
The observations were then verified by the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center (MPC) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, US, which designated the object 2003 EL61.
Time to move
The MPC reports the object is about 51 Astronomical Units from the Sun - 1 AU is the distance between the Earth and the Sun. Its orbit brings it comes as close to the Sun as 35 AU, while Pluto maintains an average distance of about 39 AU. "Someone should have found this before," Brian Marsden, director of the MPC, told New Scientist.
One reason they did not is the object's speed, suggests Stoss. Many surveys of Near Earth Objects take a trio of images spaced 20 minutes apart to search for telltale movement in relation to background stars.
But 2003 EL61 is too far away to detect its progress in that time. Ortiz's survey compares images taken a day apart. "They give the object time to move," Stoss says.
Another reason may be the plane of the object's orbit, says Tommy Grav, an astronomer at the University of Hawaii in Manoa, US. That plane is tilted by 28° with respect to the orbital plane of most planets, where surveys tend to scan the skies for Near Earth Objects.
Off kilter
2003 EL61 is even more off-kilter than Pluto, which orbits in a plane tilted by 17°. "Pluto was pushed out of the plane of the solar system when Neptune moved outwards" soon after the solar system formed, Grav told New Scientist. "It's possible this object has suffered something similar."
The discovery, coupled with other recent finds such as Sedna and Quaoar, suggests other large objects may lurk in the murky region beyond Neptune.
"Some people have claimed we'd never find something as bright as this out there," says Grav. "But there may be something even further out that's moving so slowly we haven't seen it yet."
And the discovery is likely to revive previous fierce debates about what constitutes a planet and even how astronomical objects are named. "But don't even start that discussion," Stoss jokes. He says future observations of the object's colour and brightness could reveal its true size, shape, rotation period, and any companion moons.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Software : Windows Vista Beta Goes Live

The first Beta of Microsoft Vista (formerly known as Longhorn) is rolling out. Here is some details I found :

"The long-awaited first beta for the Windows Vista client release, which was formerly known as Longhorn, officially goes live Wednesday, hitting some 20,000 technical beta testers. Microsoft also Wednesday released the first beta of the as-yet un-renamed Windows "Longhorn" Server to a limited number of participants..."

"This beta is designed for developers and IT professionals, since many of the end-user features will not show up until Beta 2," Sullivan said. "This beta is really about the platform, about the fundamentals; it is a kick-the-tires test release for developers and IT pros."

"Microsoft is also making the Windows Vista beta available to its MSDN and TechNet subscriber base, which number about 500,000, but they are not official beta testers and so the expectations regarding feedback are lower for them. "

"The beta does, however, contain anti-phishing filter technology that works against an established list of known phishing sites from law enforcement and industry groups. Users will be alerted by an icon that notes suspicious pages. A message will come up to inform them why this page is suspicious or blocked. However, users will be able to access blocked pages if they so choose, Sullivan said.

He also confirmed that Microsoft plans to have the final product generally available for the 2006 holiday season. While exact system requirements for the operating system will not be released before the middle of next year, Sullivan stuck to the guidelines previously announced of 512MB or more of RAM, a dedicated graphics card with DirectX 9.0 support, and a modern, Intel Pentium- or AMD Athlon-based PC. "

" The Windows Vista development team has spent a lot of time on security, and the beta will include features like User Account Protection, which lets administrators deploy PCs set up to give end users only the privileges they need to perform their tasks.

Windows Service Hardening monitors critical Windows services for abnormal activity in the file system, registry and network that could be used to allow malware to persist on a machine or propagate to other machines, he said. "

" The beta also includes anti-malware features to detect and remove viruses and other types of malicious software from the computer, while data protection technologies reduce the risk that data on laptops or on other computers will be viewed by unauthorized users, even if the laptop is lost or stolen."

" The Windows Pre-installation Environment enables administrators to configure Windows offline as well as diagnose and troubleshoot hardware problems before launching the setup process, while the Application Compatibility Toolkit helps administrators quickly identify, analyze and resolve any issues with non-standard applications being migrated to Windows Vista, Sullivan said. "

"A new Speech Recognizer feature due to be built into Vista will provide "speech recognition within Windows and any applications that choose to use it," according to the documentation. "

Vista Beta 1 also will include a driver protection feature that will prevent the operating system from loading drivers "that are known to cause stability problems." Microsoft is planning to include a list of problematic drivers in a Driver Protection List database that will be part of Vista.

"Driver Protection checks this database during Windows operating system upgrades and while the operating system is running. These checks are performed to determine whether to load a driver under this software," according to the privacy documentation.

A feature called "Network Location Awareness Service" is designed to collect network information, "such as the DNS suffix of your computer, bandwidth availability, and intranet connectivity," and make this information available through an application programming interface to applications that may require this information.

A "Games Explorer," designed to list all the games stored on a user's computer, also will be part of Vista Beta 1. The Games Explorer will keep track of the last time each game was played, allowing users to sort or filter the display of games.

Sources :

Yay ! Now I will be able to sort my games better ...

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Blog number 2,544,556,434,234,564

Hi Web!

Welcome to Fabrulana's blog. I have been planning a website for a long time now and seeing as I am not getting to it, I thought the least I could do to get started is to start a blog. My blog will cover various things as they popup to me on a day by day basis. I have a variety of interests and will discuss stuff like computer games, music, movies, programming, interesting sites etc. I'll try and do at least a post per day.