Category Archives: Technology

IT Personality Test

If you’re not sure where you fit in the information technology circus, here’s a little quiz to help place you. It basically is a short career placement test based on your strengths (or perceived strengths). It didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know, but if you’re fairly new to IT, or are considering a change, it could be useful. Either way, it only takes a minute.

A picture’s worth…

So, this was on Fark–,,2-1353482,00.html

HP’s technology will enable celebrities to disable electronic cameras by sending an infared signal to nearby paparazzi’s ‘compatible’ cameras. Who’s funding this? Sean Penn? Doesn’t this new technology have advantages for criminals disabling security cameras too?

If you read the article to the end you’ll see HP is also working on a camera hidden in a broche or set of earrings that gets triggered by head movements. So, to sum up, Celebrities buy the disabling equipment to stop photographers they see holding cameras and the photographers go and buy the camera that the celebrities can’t see. Everybody wins. Well, everyone at HP.

Friendster Update

Some common sense is finally showing up in social network software. Friendster now allows you to import address books from many different sources. To allay your fears, it does not automatically spam them with invites. That would be bad, as my Outlook contacts is filled with old addresses I don’t want to get rid of, just in case I’m ever the last man on earth. Like that hot girl from French class, who I haven’t talked to in a while. Automatically sending her an invite would be even more creepy than keeping her address even though we haven’t spoken in ages, and I never had a shot. You know what I mean.
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp The best part is that Friendster shows you who’s already a member, so you don’t feel like you’re bugging them. It also remembers who you already invited (and never got back to you), so you don’t bug them twice. This helps me minimize the appearance of being a desperate, social outcast, which is something I look for in a social networking service.

Boys, Meet Your Competition

They go by “Les Seules”, which means the loners, or outsiders. They’re cute, and they kick ass. At Counterstrike.
     Seven Swedish and Danish girls, aged 16-25 (almost good enough for Castle Anthrax), have formed a team to compete in the world of video game tournaments. They’re currently sponsored by NVIDIA. They took fourth in the female division of the 2004 Electronic Sports World Cup in Paris, kicking the counter-struck asses of the American and Brazillian teams. In other news, there’s an electronic sports World Cup.

Read more (and see pics) here:

Diamonds Are Foridiots

So, if you didn’t already know, The DeBeers Company pretty much controls both supply and demand of diamonds to artificially inflate prices. And, they have nothing to do with beer. An article from The Straight Dope clears things up. Also, the next big threat is artificial diamonds, which are pretty much indistinguishable from the real thing, except they’re a little too perfect. Wired has a big article about that.
     So, if you’re trying to get out of spending a fortune for a diamond ring, you have a lot of evidence that supporting the diamond industry is akin to supporting African poverty and blood feuds. And if that fails, you should soon be able to by a cheap, flawless diamond. Spend the rest on something the whole family can use, like gambling.

The Spyware That Shagged Me

A couple years ago I switched from NT to Win2k, because spyware bundled with BearShare hosed my system. For the record, Win2k doesn’t protect against spyware, but I’m loathe to upgrade a working system. For the other record, I paid $10 for LimeWire and it was well worth it.

Since then, I’ve found a couple good programs to fight this. The first was Ad Aware. It’s good, but didn’t detect a recent problem. I found out that Pest Patrol often finds spyware that other programs miss. They offer a free scan of your system, and offer detailed instructions on how to rid the menace. While the instructions are clear, they often have many steps, and you’ll probably buy the thing to make your life easier.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t that easy for me. After many attempted removals (all requiring reboots), I was getting nowhere. The asshats who write spyware have it start up immediately, and the asshats who wrote Windows lock all running programs so they can’t be deleted (this is one of the reasons why it requires so many reboots). If you run into this problem, you have to find the offending file and remove read and execute permissions (through Properties->Security). Leave the write permission on, because you need it to delete it.

I told Pest Patrol of this problem, but never got a response. Granted, I can have a bit of a snarky attitude when frustrated, but if I followed Lincoln’s 24 hour rule for poison pen letters, I’d never send any.

Architecture By

I finally have the opportunity to work on a J2EE project. There are, approximately, a bajillion different technologies that make up core J2EE plus open source APIs, frameworks, engines, etc. Since I probably won’t be here forever (because “here” won’t be here forever), I thought I’d ask WWMD: What Would (have me) Do? Here is a listing of J2EE technologies and the number of tech job listings, nationwide, that ask for them.
Continue reading Architecture By