Posts matching the query string: OrderBy=PostForDate&Desc=Desc&Dtm1=20080801&Dtm2=20080901.

My ratings (R) are from 1 to 9. My Dates are also permalinks. Click on the column headers to sort Jots. Feel free to use the address bar like a command line interface by setting the optional query string parameters: Dtm1 (10, 20, 30, YYYYMMDDhhmmss), Dtm2 (YYYYMMDDhhmmss), IsJot (Jot or Not), Tag (zero+ times), NotTag (zero+ times), OrderBy (PostForDate, PostTitle, PostLink, PostText, PostSource, PostRating, PostSize) & Desc(Desc), and Limit(integer).

  1. What Makes for a Good Blog? TAGS: Blogging. Cyber Life. Writing.
  2. Guy took out 3 punks (2 one punch KO) in a supermarket fight TAGS: Fighting. Live Action. MARTIAL. Security. Standup Fighting. Videos. Violence. Wrestling.
  3. Kung Fu vs Taekwondo TAGS: Chinese Martial Arts. Fighting. Kickboxing. Live Action. MARTIAL. Mixed Martial Arts. Standup Fighting. Taekwondo.
  4. Electric Folding Bikes TAGS: Biking. Cool. Exercise. Hardware. Shopping. Sustainability. TECH.
  5. Cyber Rules TAGS: Cyber Life. Family. Google. Kids. My Stuff. Security. Shopping. TECH. Wikipedia.
  6. File format wars TAGS: Free Gratis. Microsoft. Office. Open Source. Software. Standards. Sun. TECH.
  7. How to set tax rate on Kensington keypad calculator TAGS: Cool. Funny. Gadget. Hardware. Kensington. My Stuff. TECH.
  8. Google Maps for walking TAGS: Conditioning. Cyber Life. Google. Health. Maps.
  9. '.wow': ICANN to allow almost any domain suffix TAGS: Business. Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. News. Standards. TECH.
  10. Cannot open Excel in Internet Explorer TAGS: Cyber Tech. Excel. Microsoft. My Stuff. Programming. TECH.
  11. Solar-Power Breakthrough TAGS: Solar. TECH.
20080820 141405 Z Using XML to Enhance the Performance of String Manipulations www.sqlserve … icles/XML/63633/ Databases, Microsoft, SQL, TECH, XML Nice article by Wayne Sheffield on using the XML functionality built into SQL Server to not only create XML, but also to non-XML related large string maniuplations like creating comma separated values (CSV) or parsing CSV. One of the tests improved from a 37.75 minute runtime to a 260 ms runtime!
20080817 134351 Z Belive in 5 to 15 minutes Faith, Inspiring, Mind, My Stuff, Psychology, Self Improvement I just realized that one of my problems is that I don't believe I can do something substantial in 5 to 15 minutes. I worry too much about my long chains of thoughts and interruptions. I end up procrastinating on a gazillion things that never get done. Believe in 5 to 15 minutes. Believe in 5 to 15 minutes. Believe in 5 to 15 minutes.
20080817 133054 Z Death Star over San Francisco … er_san_francisco … ancisco_2?OTC-ig Chill, Cool, Funny, Live Action, Movies, Star Wars, Videos Well done! I'll show it to my kids when they wake up. I'll assume that I won't have to tell them that it was video-chopped.
20080814 142941 Z The 6 Raunchiest, Most Depraved Sex Acts (From the Bible) www.cracked. … -from-bible.html … ammit_pic?OTC-ig Atheism, Ethics, Faith, Funny, Saucy, Sex It's pretty funny and raunchy. It's source material is the Bible as opposed to just making stuff up. No need to make stuff given that the Bible is says some mighty strange stuff. However what gets me about this one are the various reactions from the religious. It's as if they haven't read the Bible or have some dishonest or contrived interpretations of what it says. I've noticed fallacies in the Bible since I was at least seven years old and I see from the various comments that others have too.
20080812 161649 Z The Seemingly Impossible Is Possible www.gapminde … is-possible.html Beauty, Cool, Culture, Economy, Funny, Inspiring, Live Action, Performance, Politics, TECH, Videos, World There's so much good stuff from the TED conferences (Technology Entertainment Design) [], that I have a hard time posting any of it. "The Seemingly Impossible Is Possible" by Hans Rosling (a Swedish professor in International Public Health). An incredible presentation. Very hopeful, informative, beautiful, and funny. It has a surprise ending too. It shows hope for progress in the Third World. Combined with the progress in artificial photosynthesis, the outlook for the future is quite bright!
20080812 160203 Z Bringing Invisibility Cloaks Closer www.technolo … 3/?nlid=1268&a=f Nanotechnology, TECH Researchers have been trying for 10 years to implement negative refraction and they have finally succeeded! Now they just need to manipulate incoming light so it goes all the way around an object.
20080806 191539 Z Steven Pinker: A brief history of violence … of_violence.html Ethics, History, Live Action, Videos, Violence A brief 20 minute presentation by Steven Pinker on the descending levels of violence in history, the perception of violence, and four explanations of violence (Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes, Life is cheap, Non-zero sum games by Robert Wright, and The Expanding Circle by Peter Singer).
20080806 130655 Z Obama Insists Inflating Tires Better Than Oil Drilling … ch?v=akjXqfvLu28 … _ignorant?OTC-ig Funny, Live Action, News, Obama, Politics, Sustainability, Videos Hahaha! So natural, so true, so funny, so hard hitting.
2008-08-26t16:02:36 Z | TAGS: Blogging, Cyber Life, Writing
What Makes for a Good Blog?
What Makes for a Good Blog? []

My rule of thumb on writing is sincerity and purpose of content. Merlin Mann of 43 folders has a short list (gasp!) on what makes a good blog. I'm going to list the headers here but see his post for the details.

2008-08-24t17:01:53 Z | TAGS: Fighting, Live Action, MARTIAL, Security, Standup Fighting, Videos, Violence, Wrestling
Guy took out 3 punks (2 one punch KO) in a supermarket fight
Guy took out 3 punks (2 one punch KO) in a supermarket fight []

There are a lot of videos on youtube that show actual fights. Here is one captured in a mall. Everyone's wearing heavy coats (which is effectively padding).

4 guys in black are talking with 1 guy in blue (probably with security). I'm not sure if they even notice the other tow big guys in blue come in. The violence starts at around 0:29 into the video, as the old lady with the broom stick brushes past everyone (oblivious to the situation), when one of the guys in black punches the first guy in blue. The 2nd punch in the fight is knocks out the guy who threw the first punch. One woman observer promptly (and smartly) leaves (I think she comes back at the end to get some stuff). At around 0:35 a new man in black (but on the blue side) joins the fight. At 0:47 the biggest guy on the black side gets knocked out with a single punch. At 0:50 a man in black and white (but on the black side) comes in and tries to settle things down (he's probably the father of one of the guys on the black side). At 1:00 into the video yet another new man in black (but on the blue side) comes in with a gun.

At the end I think you can see a few people possibly taking advantage of the chaos by shop lifting. Obviously not in America because no paperwork was involved and most of the observers seemed nonplussed. I like the guy with the scarf by the table that keeps getting pushed around; He just stays near, watches, picks things up, leans -- I'm guessing he was just waiting for somebody. Make up your own stories!

Ah the chaos! Small time, lots of info, lots of emotions, lots of random factors. Each person is in their own little world. Keeping centered but with perspective in it all is a skill you can only acquire by experiencing chaos. Which is why raising kids can provide some martialopportunities.

2008-08-24t15:52:53 Z | TAGS: Chinese Martial Arts, Fighting, Kickboxing, Live Action, MARTIAL, Mixed Martial Arts, Standup Fighting, Taekwondo
Kung Fu vs Taekwondo
Kung Fu vs Taekwondo []

I was browsing YouTube to look at TKD in the 2008 Olympics. I'm sure it's a fun sport for them but tournament TKD is not my cup of tea. To see folks facing off with their hands down and using only kicks is just not that appealing. So as a distraction, I following the videos and for some unknown reason I started looking at variations of TKD versus some other martial art. Usually the style versus style videos suck: Either one guy dominates or somehow they somehow manage to make martial arts boring.

The grappling versus striking videos are usually terrible because they usually have a striker (who's lousy at grappling) versus some decent grappler. Where are the videos of a grappler (who's lousy at striking) versus some decent striker? It happens in the UFC. Even videos that have supposedly similar arts like Kyokushin karate versus TKD aren't that interesting because the former trains with unprotected body blows while the other does not.

Anyhow after looking at over a dozen of these TKD versus videos, I finally found one that was interesting. The "kung fu" guy or guy in red is much better but both are strikers (kickers in particular) throwing hi speed, hi energy techniques, with sincerity. A nice display of timing and distance, and judicious use of which techniques applied when. Judgement that comes out of understanding and experience.

To make up for all the horrible videos I've had to watch, I watched the pair of matches between Royce Gracie (Brazilian jiujutsu) and Hidehiko Yoshida (judo). The first match (Judo vs Jujitsu []) was actually more interesting since it was almost pure ne waza/grappling and hence a fair fight, where as the second match (Royce GRACIE vs yoshida []) allowed striking making it an MMA match and not Yoshida's realm.

2008-08-21t16:13:17 Z | TAGS: Biking, Cool, Exercise, Hardware, Shopping, Sustainability, TECH
Electric Folding Bikes
Electric Folding Bikes [] [VIA: Red Eye]
Red Eye, a local free paper here in Chicago had an article about electric bikes. By coincidence I was looking into folding bikes recently, but electric folding bikes sounds pretty cool too! The eZee Quando for example costs $1,500, weighs 51.5 pounds (23.4 Kg), folds in 10 seconds to 34"x15"x29" (86cm x 38cm x 74cm), goes up to 15 mph (24 Km/h) on battery alone, uses a lithium battery (like a laptop) which accounts for 10 pounds (4.5 Kg), and recharges in around 5 hours. Other sites like Electric Bikes Northwest [] sell electric/folding bikes too.
2008-08-20t17:20:31 Z | TAGS: Cyber Life, Family, Google, Kids, My Stuff, Security, Shopping, TECH, Wikipedia
Cyber Rules
Cyber Rules []

I just made a page called Cyber Rules. It will probably change over time so this post will contain the original version.

Simple rules and guidelines for safety, etiquette, and excellence online (the Web, cyberspace, online shopping, IM, chat rooms, email, messageboards, etc.).

Kids, Teens, and Parents Online

I'm a programmer but I'm also a parent.

  • For kids: Have a few simple rules that are easy to remember. Rules, not long-winded speeches.
  • For teens: The same rules apply, but once you're 18 you're responsible for yourself.
  • For parents:
    • Rules are not a replacement for relating with your offspring, checking on them, and educating them.
    • Minors are human beings and have an increasing need for privacy and trust as they get older.


  • Don't give out personal information like your real name, age, phone number, address, or your photo.
  • Don't buy anything online without a guardian.
  • Don't download stuff besides pictures and PDFs.
  • Don't click on a link in an email.
  • Beware of links that take you off site.


  • Try to behave online as you would in real life.
  • Don't type in ALL CAPS. IT CAN BE VERY TIRING.
  • In casual online communications, don't correct someone else's spelling, grammar, or punctuation.


  • Learn and practice touch typing until it is intuitive.
  • Use a mouse or equivalent until it is intuitive.
  • Use Wikipedia [], the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.
  • Use Google [].
  • If you have to choose between real life or cyber life, choose real life.

Safety Online

  • Assume that anything you say (type, do, post, access, etc.) online (the Web, cyberspace, online shopping, IM, chat rooms, email, messageboards, etc.) is permanenently recorded and may turn up for the whole world to see soon or anytime in the future.
  • Online shopping:
    • Use a separate email for online shopping.
    • Use a separate credit card for online shopping.
    • Ensure the site is who they say they are. A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) padlock in the browser helps.
    • Ensure that your info is encrypted during transmission. A SSL prefix for the address (https://) helps.
  • Don't download stuff besides pictures and PDFs. Executables (.exe) in particular are high risk.
  • Don't click on a link in an email. Especially not from a supposed bank or porn site.
  • Beware of links that take you off site. The text may say one thing but the link may differ.

Etiqette Online

  • Try to behave online as you would in real life.
  • Don't type in ALL CAPS. IT CAN BE VERY TIRING.
  • In casual online communications, don't correct someone else's spelling, grammar, or punctuation.
  • If you are new to a message board, then read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
  • If you are going to radically change the subject, then don't hijack, but rather start a new subject.
  • Use a meaningful title on your email/post/comment. "IMPORTANT!!!!" or "Please read" aren't useful -- they just look like spam.
  • Keep communications between as few people as possible. For example, don't send to the group when you can send to one person.
  • Cyber shorthand can be convenient but mind your audience. Only the most common ones (like FYI for "for your information") will be known by broader audiences.

Excellence Online

  • Learn and practice touch typing until it is intuitive.
  • Use a mouse or equivalent until it is intuitive.
  • Use Wikipedia [], the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Share your knowledge with the world!
  • Use Google []. Share calendars and documents with your family that you can access from any browser.
  • If you have to choose between real life or cyber life, choose real life.
  • Twitter is for ninnies.
2008-08-18t14:32:30 Z | TAGS: Free Gratis, Microsoft, Office, Open Source, Software, Standards, Sun, TECH
File format wars

I love watching technical standards wars. While it's fairly easily to compare the sides on a "objective" technical basis, the wars are often muddied by a goofy factors like politics, patents, proprietary issues, legacy issues, momentum issues, etc. For example the metric system is far superior to others systems of measurement and yet three countries on the planet persist on not using SI: The US, Myanmar, and Liberia. Ridiculous!

Anyhow right now there is a tech standards war going on over "office" documents like word processing, spreadsheets, graphics, presentations, and mathematical representations. The two sides are roughly Microsoft with its Office Open XML (OOXML or OpenXML) [W] and Sun with its OpenDocument Format (ODF) [W]. OOXML is standardized with Ecma International as Ecma-376 and is in the process of standardization with the ISO/IEC as ISO/IEC DIS 29500. ODF is not standarized with the Ecma but it is an official ISO/IEC standard as ISO/IEC 26300:2006.

Whether OOXML is better or worse than ODF should involve a deeper look but given that the OOXML standard is over 6,000 pages long while the ODF standard is under 900 pages, I'm leaning towards ODF. My concern is that there should be a single standard for greater inter-operability. Microsoft is, of course, the biggest player in Office documents, but I think Sun's drive has helped push Microsoft towards an open and universal format regardless of how the details settle in the end.

2008-08-15t01:30:11 Z | TAGS: Cool, Funny, Gadget, Hardware, Kensington, My Stuff, TECH
How to set tax rate on Kensington keypad calculator

A few days ago I ordered and received a "Kensington Notebook Calculator with USB HUB", Model K72274. It's a wonderful piece of hardware that truly just plugs in and plays. It only works when it's plugged into a computer and the laptop is on, which is just fine. My laptop's NUM LOCK button had to be off in order for the keypads NUM LOCK to work, which is also fine. The buttons on the Kensington are typical for a keypad (0-9, 000, ., /, *, -, +, BS, ENTER, NUM LOCK) as well as for a typical for a calculator (M+, M-, +/-, MR, MC, %, TAX+, TAX-, TAB, AC/ON). There are two buttons not typically found on a keypad or calculator: A "PC/CAL" button that switches it from PC-mode to calculator-mode, and a "Send" button that sends the current value to the computer as if you had typed it in and hit ENTER.

Kensington Keypad Calculator

All good. However, setting the tax rate for use with the TAX+ and TAX- buttons is a process that varies between different models of calculators. I spent perhaps 20 minutes trying to figure it out myself but the I had to go. Later I decided to just search for the answer instead of wasting my time trying to figure it out.

I consulted the manual that came with the Kensington but it had no help. I dug up the manual [] but it was exactly the same as the printed manual. I scoured the Kensington site for any FAQs, troubleshooting, etc. I searched Google for stuff like "how to set tax+ tax- calculator" or "how to set tax rate keypad", which turned up results such as holding down the % button for a few seconds, enter the tax rate, and then press the % button via something like I tried all that but nothing. Eventually I went to the Kensington site and started a trouble ticket.

Their first was response was to tell me to call them. So I called --several times. The support was obviously overseas. There were a few disconnects which (I felt) occurred because the issue was not in their knowledge base so the support staff pulled the plug. The one woman who was finally brave enough to see the problem through a bit further decided that she would send me a new one. Well, that's nice but the thing isn't broken --it just needs a better manual. So I continued the trouble ticket at the site and got an email giving me the same instructions that I pulled from Google!


So I was back to square one with trying to figure it out and hoping that the engineers actually made it possible at all. I was on the right track on my first attempt a few days ago, so it only took me a few minutes this time.

Here is how to set the tax rate on a Kensington keypad calculator:

  1. Click AC/ON.
  2. Click Tax+.
  3. Press and hold Tax+ until the display flashes.
  4. Enter the tax rate.
  5. Click Tax+.

Boo-yah! In your face Kensington! Don't get me wrong, I love the product but the manual needs a bit more info.

2008-08-09t03:08:05 Z | TAGS: Conditioning, Cyber Life, Google, Health, Maps
Google Maps for walking
I stumbled upon this new feature of Google Maps entirely fortuitously. I was wondering what the walking/running distance was between home and work, so I looked up the directions in Google Maps, lo and behold!, there in addition for directions by car and public transportation, there was one for walking directions! Apparently Google was sneaking this feature out to the public around a month ago ( I poked around and apparently there are various sites like Google Map Pedometer [] that use Google Maps as a pedometer for walking/running routes.
2008-08-07t12:31:31 Z | TAGS: Business, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, News, Standards, TECH
'.wow': ICANN to allow almost any domain suffix
'.wow': ICANN to allow almost any domain suffix []

A fairly big change.

At its meeting in Paris, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a not-for-profit organization that oversees the naming scheme for web sites, voted to accept a proposal that will allow companies to purchase new top-level domain names ending in almost whatever suffix they choose. So, for example, instead of being restricted to sites ending in .com or .org., eBay could have a site that ends in .ebay, or New York City could end its website address with .nyc.

To deter name cybersquatters, the new TLDs will be more expensive, possibly 50-100+ KUSD. It also explains why .xxx wasn't approved earlier.

2008-08-01t17:53:20 Z | TAGS: Cyber Tech, Excel, Microsoft, My Stuff, Programming, TECH
Cannot open Excel in Internet Explorer

It is fairly well known that you can easily turn simple HTML tables into Excel files by giving it a different MIME with code like the following: Response.ContentType = "application/";. Greg Griffiths writes about it in "MS Excel", which also include other methods of getting Excel files to a user via browser. There are other cheesy methods such as generating a CSV and so on.

However, I recently ran into the issue where the MIME-change version was working for all browsers except for Internet Explorer. Furthermore, it worked on IE7 for the LAN but not the Web. I did the usual scouring the Web via Google and MSDN, but was unsuccessful. What finally led me to the solution was the little nugget about how Response.AddHeader() had to be used before any other output. That's when I dug through the various includes on the pages and noticed that way up on top there was some cache code. I just elimated that and BAM! All is well! Another case of needing to minimize settings in includes.

Here is the simple test page I made in ASP JavaScript. Note the cache code that I commented out that fixed the problem.

<%@ language="javascript" %>
Response.Expires = -1;
//Response.CacheControl = "no-cache";
//Response.AddHeader("Pragma", "no-cache");
Response.ContentType = "application/";
Response.AddHeader("Content-Disposition", "attachment;Filename=ExcelTests.xls");

Response.Write("    <tr>\r\n");
Response.Write("        <td>a1</td>\r\n");
Response.Write("        <td>b1</td>\r\n");
Response.Write("        <td>c1</td>\r\n");
Response.Write("    </tr>\r\n");
Response.Write("    <tr>\r\n");
Response.Write("        <td>a2</td>\r\n");
Response.Write("        <td>b2</td>\r\n");
Response.Write("        <td>c2</td>\r\n");
Response.Write("    </tr>\r\n");
Response.Write("    <tr>\r\n");
Response.Write("        <td>a3</td>\r\n");
Response.Write("        <td>b3</td>\r\n");
Response.Write("        <td>c3</td>\r\n");
Response.Write("    </tr>\r\n");
2008-08-01t16:17:57 Z | TAGS: Solar, TECH
Solar-Power Breakthrough
Solar-Power Breakthrough []

There are a lot of solar power breakthroughs, but this is one of the biggest ever!

Daniel Nocera, a professor of chemistry at MIT, has developed a catalyst that can generate oxygen from a glass of water by splitting water molecules. The reaction frees hydrogen ions to make hydrogen gas. The catalyst, which is easy and cheap to make, could be used to generate vast amounts of hydrogen using sunlight to power the reactions. The hydrogen can then be burned or run through a fuel cell to generate electricity whenever it's needed, including when the sun isn't shining.
Daniel Nocera doing artificial synthesis

I agree with Myer's statement here:

Nocera's advance represents a key discovery in an effort by many chemical research groups to create artificial photosynthesis--mimicking how plants use sunlight to split water to make usable energy. "This discovery is simply groundbreaking," says Karsten Meyer, a professor of chemistry at Friedrich Alexander University, in Germany. "Nocera has probably put a lot of researchers out of business." For solar power, Meyer says, "this is probably the most important single discovery of the century."

Here's a bit on how he does it:

The new catalyst marks a radical departure from earlier attempts. Researchers, including Nocera, have tried to design molecular catalysts in which the location of each atom is precisely known and the catalyst is made to last as long as possible. The new catalyst, however, is amorphous--it doesn't have a regular structure--and it's relatively unstable, breaking down as it does its work. But the catalyst is able to constantly repair itself, so it can continue working. In his experimental system, Nocera immerses an indium tin oxide electrode in water mixed with cobalt and potassium phosphate. He applies a voltage to the electrode, and cobalt, potassium, and phosphate accumulate on the electrode, forming the catalyst. The catalyst oxidizes the water to form oxygen gas and free hydrogen ions. At another electrode, this one coated with a platinum catalyst, hydrogen ions form hydrogen gas. As it works, the cobalt-based catalyst breaks down, but cobalt and potassium phosphate in the solution soon re-form on the electrode, repairing the catalyst.

Now that we can use artificial photosynthesis to generate hydrogen ions from water, there are just two more technical hurdles to getting non-ionized hydrogen from water and sunlight:

One is replacing the expensive platinum catalyst for making hydrogen from hydrogen ions with a catalyst based on a cheap and abundant metal, as Nocera has done with the oxygen catalyst. Finding a cheaper catalyst for making hydrogen shouldn't be too difficult, says John Turner, a principal investigator at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, in Golden, CO. Indeed, Nocera says that he has promising new materials that might work, and other researchers also have likely candidates. The second remaining step in artificial photosynthesis is developing a material that absorbs sunlight, generating the electrons needed to power the water-splitting catalysts. That will allow Nocera's catalyst to run directly on sunlight; right now, it runs on electricity taken from an outlet.

Wow. Wow. Wow! Things are looking bright!

2008-08-01t20:29:12Z Many more links have popped up today on this. Here are a few:

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