Monday, December 28, 2009

More rant on windows 7

Right after my last experience on how good windows 7 is (see my previous post on windows 7 and mts video editing), I run into more windows 7 troubles.

First is booting. To fix some problem, I had to install 2 copies of windows 7 on the same machine. And after that windows 7 failed to boot when CD is out (bootmgr is missing). The repair tool didn't help. Turned out what happened is I got multiple SATA HDDs, and windows 7 named them in different order (C: D: E: then E: D: C:) and the boot loader used drive letters instead of physical drives paths, and the drive letter used the fixed order .... How stupid. And worse, even if I disable IDE HDD in bios, windows 7 still find the HDD, so I had to physically power them off and fix MBR.

Second is networking. After I reinstall windows, I find the homegroup created with my previous installation still lives on, and can't be removed in any way (Now think back it might be my other windows 7 box, so we will see).

And worse, I have windows 7 home edition that can be installed on 3 machines. Wife's machine arrives last Friday, and her machine got much powerful processor. I tried to network from her machine to mine, use the all too familiar \\{machine}\\{drive}$ way, and it won't let me. I tweaked all the network and firewall settings, even reinstalled windows 7 (which created the problem in the first part).

The most crappy thing is, I can access my wife's computer from my computer, but can't access mine from wife's computer. All running the same OS, with the same key!!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

cool song

I was watch this and I just love the song start at 7:00:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhMe9fuEEEc&feature=sub

Also windows 7 made me very happy today. Wife's new computer arrives (parts) and I assemblied, installed windows 7, so fast because there is no service packs (yet).

Then when it is time to make some new videos, I found the new movie editor can handle MTS, much better than Cannon's utilities :-)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009

Starcraft Match

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQaquCS9aow&feature=sub

This is a pretty cool one. I thought the winner was going to loss for sure, then...

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Danger

I was reading WSJ and come cross this:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703499404574559630382048494.html?mod=googlenews_wsj#articleTabs%3Dcomments

A lot more people are now waken up and started bashing Global warming. Of course there are still some hard heads who just ignores or distorts everything:
http://newsbusters.org/blogs/jeff-poor/2009/11/25/inhofe-ambushed-cnbcs-kudlow-report-fill-host-over-climategate


I said this a long time ago, and I will say this again. Gas and Oil are non-renewable resources, one day (no one knows when) they will be gone. We better be prepared for that. Those frauds who stretch global warming is using the last bit of credibility of any true visionary who might be able to convince us and avoid the last hour doom. But again the free market might be able to save us with new innovations when fuel became expensive.

Another note, I found this very interesting post:
http://knol.google.com/k/richard-ryals/the-anthropic-principle/1cb34nnchgkl5/2#

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The passion of Global Warming

Check out this blog:
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100017393/climategate-the-final-nail-in-the-coffin-of-anthropogenic-global-warming/

It is fine to have passion, but it is not when the passion start to clog your judgment.

I also realized that Global Warming is no longer just a passion for kids and good adults who want a clean environment. It has became a big business as well, with a lot of money to loss.

Monday, November 23, 2009

More rant on windows 7

Just found out Microsoft has taken more stuff out of windows 7.

This Sunday I finally found some time to dig into the next step of my invention. I had great success but at one point, I have to write a new utility because some functionality that existed in XP doesn't exists any more. And I need a hex viewer to debug the new tool I am writing.

Then I found debug.exe is gone!! I haven't used debug for ages but from time to time I used it as a hex viewer to peak file formats. I don't want to write a hex editor again, so I have to use one of my XP machines to do that....

yet I like windows 7, it feels pretty good. It is the first time I actually added utilities on my desktop (weather and CPU meter). With 6GB of ram my computer runs fast :-)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My computer is up again

Yep, after last Saturday's disaster (I pressed the ram too hard during installation and distroyed my motherboard), I finally got my computer back now. Rushed a new motherboard and power supply from newegg and got them Tuesday. The installation took several days and finally I got all the cables connected (the usb/sound/led are tinny and took some reading to do, because there is no indication on the MB). It almost feel like work (usually I enjoy do computers).

Thursday, November 12, 2009

My windows 7 nightmare

My windows 7 family pack finally arrived yesterday, and I jumped right in for the 64bit OS. I installed fresh (want a clean fast system), but accidentally erased the wrong HDD, which has all my HF200 videos made for the past 6 month. So nothing survived except the ones I uploaded to youtube.

Then I found it can't recognize my EOS digital rebel XT. After a bunch of tries I decided to boot back to XP, only to find it is not booting any more. So I have to install XP again, and in my horror, found that one of my big partitions became unallocated. Boot back to windows 7, the partition is still unallocated. That partition contains all my personal development data, all check in to CVS but will be a headache to restore. Then I found a XP tool released by MS that can help restore partitions. I assigned the unallocated partition to a drive, boot back to XP, only to find the entire partition is now a big drive.

So I decided to install windows 7 32bit, to try my luck with my camera. It is recognized after I install the driver for vista, but can't pull pictures. Went online and found there is a PTP mode for the camera, which I always thought it is for printers only (because it has a 'printer' next to the option).

At this point I decided to install win7 on my 400G HD because both partition is gone now. win 7 can't find the drive. Tried various methods, finally found out I have to reformat it under windows again to let it show up.

After a lot of trial and error (windows 7, xp install/re-install, apply patches, download all my apps etc), I finally got everything working. Only problem is Starcraft is not displaying right under windows 7, so I will have to re-install XP again till Starcraft II is out.

Final thoughts.
Windows 7 pros:
1. Convenient Security (run apps as normal user and you don't need to use a different account). This is the primary reason I updated.
2. looks pretty.

Cons:
1. Starcraft looks bad.
2. File explorer only show full path after you click on it.
3. Network icon does not flash when there are network activity (XP does).
4. EOS Rebel XT can only show as a drive, can't auto download pictures any more (not much a con, since I don't want extra drivers)
5. A lot of services, I think many are not needed. Takes time to find which ones are bad and disable them.
6. It could be either XP or Windows 7. Sometimes it make your partitions unallocated.

Monday, October 26, 2009

What an engineer could do

About 2 years ago, one of my engineer friends told me that been an engineer is useless in real life. A doctor, lawyer, car repairs man can all do something to help you in real life, while us software engineers are mostly useless out side of our work.

It is mostly true, and I agreed with him. I did wrote a WOW bot to help me and other grind, but that is not really the day to day life.

Last Sunday I finally found out the usefulness of us software engineers. My wife bought a Digital Arts & Crafts Studio (a kids drawing tool, which is a digital pen) from yard sale. After she got home, she found it needs special software. Without the software CD the tool is useless. She really wants to play with it and got a bit upset.

I figured that the tool must use the USB to transmit data, and most likely it is in a very simple format. So I go ahead and download the Microsoft drivers development kit, tweaked with USB drivers and then HID, and wrote my own program to read/write (yep, you can write to it to control the LEDs). What I did is I read the position of the pen, then move the computer's mouse accordingly, so she can use it like a mouse.

Problem solved, I am proud to be an engineer (however if I could pick my career again, I would like to be a doctor).

And a last note. The digital studio is kinda slow, it takes a while to respond to the pen movement. I am pretty sure it is their hardware instead of my software.

One of the most interesting ZvZ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQWYmCG-_ZM&feature=sub

A different kind of zvz

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Finally finished my patent process!

Yep! And that was a lot of hard work. Originally I thought I will do it on Oct 9th, but I was so confused about the process it is very obvious to me that is not possible early that day.

After 2 days of reading about the patent process, I finally got a hand on it. Today while I was doing a patent search again (to complete the pre-exam), I found another guy doing the same thing!! The good thing is we are using almost totally different methods, and I think mine is better :-) He did his patent back in 2006, and just got it granted this year.

The lessons learned is:

1. Don't do you patent apply process last. Do it while you are preparing your invention.

2. You don't need to do a patent search early on. If you do that, not only you might not doing your research, you might be influenced by the other guy and can't jump out of his bound.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Almost ready to patent now

Yep. I spend 2 hours last night writing the patent application. It is much harder for me than developing the method, mostly because doing programming and research is much more fun than writing paper and describing it (and has to follow certain formats).

Apply myself will be cheap, if I need to hire a lawyer, it will cost thousands.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Update to my secret project

Last week I got feed up with the quality and performance of OpenOffice charts (it is for office charting and it slows horribly when there are a lot of data).

So I use a few hours (and that is spread to 2 days, for me that is a lot) and made a charting tool myself, with ability to scale and scroll, and can mouse over and show me details. Much better!! I was immediately able to figure out what I need to do, and I am so close to the finish line (means apply for a patent) now that I can tell you something related to what I am doing.

I don't want to tell before hand, because I don't want other engineers to say "That is doable? Let's do it". Because I don't have time, so I will definitely loss in that race. The stuff I am researching on is so common that many people must think of it already but then they will think it is either very difficult or impossible to do (something like give a scent to a computer and let the computer tell you what that is).

Friday, September 18, 2009

Facebook sucks

Yep. I signed on in order to view my friend's baby pics, but my real name was rejected by the automatic process. I changed it a bit to get in, but now I can't change back to my real name, keep getting this "Your name change request has been rejected by our automated approval system." message. Appears I am not the only one either. Just google it and you will see pages of people trying to do that.

If I have enough money, I will just start a new facebook LOL

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

$3000 a month for shelter?

This story on drudge caught my eye:
http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2009/09/16/homeless_families_use_of_motels_on_the_rise/

Each person in homeless shelter cost $3000 a month. I remember when I was at school, I worked an entire summer (3 month) in a restaurant, got about $3000, and that paid my tuition, rent and food for almost a year (but I was lucky, paying in-state and live in a part of a tiny house that rented $60 a month, while others have to live apartments several times higher than that). I miss that $60 a month rent, the place is tiny, just enough for 1 bed and a table, and has a shared bath room, but so many fun memories....

Even now, $3000 can pay my mortgage, all the monthly expense and I could live comfortably and save some (even if I have to pay tax on the $3000).

This is just strange. Boston (where the news is from) can save a lot by just giving the homeless $1500 each, they should be able to find cheap apartments and take care of themselves. Or even better, give me $3000 and I could take in 3 homeless and provide them food and shelter.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Cool Starcraft match

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pW5Q_TnnnTs&feature=sub

This is a nice match. And I thought one of them would lose for sure...

I had a break through!

Yep, I had a break through on my secret project. I haven't got much time on my project at all recently, as I don't have much spare time and I was addicted again to Starcraft and watching Korean Pro Games on Starcraft. But yesterday I got a tiny amount of time looking at the data I collected and all of a sudden something hit me and the data did give me something.

So I will try to squeeze time to finish up the project.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Too strong for me

Warning, the language used here is very strong and might disturb you greatly. Don't read if you can't handle it.

It is just unbelievable.

Full Link:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8247084.stm


Quote:

He was hanged from a tree, his stomach was cut open, his genitals were severed and stuffed in his mouth

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Silverlight 3 video

This is a video posted a long time ago (back in March) and I am posting it in case anyone is interested.

What's new in Silverlight 3

Friday, September 4, 2009

Who let the dogs out

I was reading Tom's hardware and read this topic:
Microsoft will give away windows 7 to selected people who host windows 7 party.

Anyway, I would imagine you need certain luck to win a spot. However a video in the above link really made me laugh, and it immediately remind me of a song (see this post's title)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Finally someone else noticed it

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8223611.stm

Finally, some one has noticed over population might be more important than global warming.

I had that concern a long time ago, when I first went to US, in my geology class, I wrote an essay on that, saying building abortion clinics should be on the priority when US is sending humanitarian aids overseas. Of course at that time I didn't realize US doesn't like abortions.

(I recently stopped believe in global warming, as in this post)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

MTS, Youtube and FFMpeg

I bought a Canon HD Cam a couple of month ago for my daughter (HF20), and it has been great except it always produce .mts files. They are huge to upload to youtube, and recently sometimes after upload a video, I found the sound sometimes trembles and became very unpleasant.

So I tried to google some conversion software, and alone some pre-made commercial ones I found ffmpeg. Since economy is not good, I decided to give it a try first.

So I got ffmpeg tarball from ffmpeg.org, followed part of their build step then decided to just use cygwin. I always uses cygwin for grep, so all I have to do is add the gcc compiler, libtools, autoconfig etc. Build was simple (./configure and make).

Tried a mts file, it can't understand what x264 format is. So I grabed x264 package from videolan.org. The zip version is not good, can't configure at all. Took me a while to figure that out. Also make sure take out the -mnocygwin link option.

Tried again and it complains can't find faac. So I went downloaded faac, failed compile couple of times (__STRING not defined, and u_int32_t not defined, just define them).

Tried to compile ffmpeg again with all options, failed again. Turned out you need to remove a double defined entry in faac.h (forget what is it now).

Oh make sure you use this to config ffmpeg:
./configure --enable-gpl --enable-libx264 --enable-libfaac

Finally got it running, right now the best conversion I found is with this:
ffmpeg -i input.mts -y -target film-dvd out.mpg

Hope this helps you, and enjoy the $$ savings from video conversion software (I was going to buy one just to do mts video conversion). Big thanks to the ffmpeg team!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Starcraft II Zeratul/Kerrigan Intro Cinematic

Nice one Blizzard! I always loved their CGI Movies.

This is posted by HDStarcraft.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_0UdfQuSQQ

And a nice JD vs Fantasy fight http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkOoe0KqAcs&feature=related

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Murder of Madalyn Murray O'Hair

I was reading a complete different story, when a comment on Madalyn Murray O'Hair got my interest. It was the comment of her own son. And I want to see who this women is, and a google search turned out this interesting link. The story itself has so many turns, if William Shakespeare is alive he can probably make a great novel out of it.

If you are interested, see the link below:
The Murder of Madalyn Murray O'Hair:
America's Most Hated Woman

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Some cute stuff

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysTmUTQ5wZE&NR=1

and this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UY3o1o3LFBY&NR=1

Oh that is cool

This is a video showing some rich kid building a super faster computer. I am not affiliated with Samsung in anyway, but this is just sooooo cool.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96dWOEa4Djs

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

SC match, BoxeR vs Flash

BoxeR is the greatest Starcraft player ever, but post his prime. Flash is the current ruling Terran player. I missed this game but it is a great watch. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7ptEQZrDj4

Monday, August 10, 2009

AC repair

One of my Air Condition Unit failed last Friday. I came home and found the out side heat pump fan not running, and initially thought it was a broken fan motor.

However after some googling, I started to think it might be the starter capacitor. I checked my upstairs AC unit, it has a slightly different capacitor but both AC unit are the same model, so they should be interchangeable (the broken capacitor is 5/30 and the other one is 5/35). So I swapped the capacitors and the broken AC unit started to work.

Both me and my wife were very happy, because if we call in a service man it could be easily hundreds of dollars.

So here are some of my findings:
1. If the fan stops working, but you can start it by spin the fan (try both directions), it is most likely a capacitor problem.
2. The capacitors has a voltage. It is OK to use a capacitor with a higher voltage rate in place of a lower rated one (i.e. a 440V cap can replace a 370V cap, but not the opposite).

I am still studying the way the motor starts. According to what I could find, the capacitor is used to start the motor, but I can't understand why adding a capacitor there could help reduce the start up current. I will try to consult some of my PHD friends :-)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Perfect Reaver Micro

Check out this youtube Starcraft match: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rBqN33TVMs&NR=1

All commentary are in Korean, but I don't need to understand their comments either :-)

He is the Michael Whitman of South Korea.

Friday, July 24, 2009

My secret project has resumed.

Yep I have resumed my top secret project. Me and my wife thought about it back in the 2000s, but I only did partial test on how it could be implemented here and there. Then later on I started playing WOW and the bot project (zoloFighter/fisher) and most of my time got sucked into the bot project (and WOW).

I have restarted the project on Monday. I don't want to discuss it publicly till I had some lead on it (because it is complex and there is no guaranties that it could be done by me). The project has nothing to do with WOW or games in general.

I started to build testing modules on Monday, the project uses C++ and C#. The C++ part is for native interface and C# part is used for display. Today I got a small prototype that can be used to display test data. It needs to be refined to archive the desired tuning effects I needed for my research.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Artifical Brain?

This is a news from BBC, professor Markram said he could build a brain in 10 years.

I am really excited about that, if it is true, he will overturn my assumption that you can't use computers to make true intelligence. We will see if he could succeed.

I always wanted to study biology, and use the simplest things (single cell lives) to study how complex animals/humans are made of. Of course I realize that is not possible unless I had a lot of money, so other people's study is good enough :-)

Great Depression

Found this interesting read today on thehousingbubblebust.com.

Here is a quote from it:

The Gap Between Production and Consumption. In the 1920's the US was producing a lot more than it was consuming. This time around, the US is consuming a lot more than it is producing.


The link is http://www.housingbubblebust.com/IsDepressionNext.html

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A sad story

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6677379.ece

I am not a big fan of the communist government. But sometimes a story does have 2 sides.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A correction to Starcraft installation

Well I found out I was wrong about the Starcraft installer. It does asking for a CD key.

Last week before I re-download the install client, I tried it again and it was prompting me for a CD key. I must have forgotten about it during the first install.

Anyway, so instead of re-download, the only thing needed is re-install if you forget which CD key you installed Starcraft under.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Problem of 2 copies of Starcraft

I bought my copy of Starcraft when it was first released 10 years ago. Recently I registered it (to get an extra chance to enter into the beta opt-in). Then I bought another digital copy of Starcraft, partly to get one more chance of opt-in, partly to allow friends of mine to come to my house and relax.

So I downloaded the new copy (or I thought so) and installed on one of my computers. Yesterday when I tried to logon to battle.net on both copies, I got the message that the CD key is been used. Turned out that I install the same copy on both computers.

I thought it will be a easy fix, just change the CD key right?

Well, I found it is impossible to find the CD key, either from the installed product nor the installation file. To solve that myself, means I need to uninstall both copies, re-download both copies (because I don't know which copy I downloaded), and re-install them (the downloaded digital copy don't ask for CD keys, it appears to be embedded in).

I have sent an support email to Blizzard. The best alternative I found on the internet is a CD key changer, but it is third party and I don't want to risk my CD keys.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Congrats to Microsoft and project Tuva

Yep, big thanks to Bill Gates, he posted some pretty cool stuff from Dr. Feynman. I am listening to his lectures right now, and it is fascinating. I am sure I heard them before, but this is so refreshing, and I love his style. If he is my professor back in college I am sure I will not skip classes that much ....

Friday, July 10, 2009

Silverlight 3 is out!

Yes, it is finally out, and check out this great movie!

Of course I immediately went to check if Silverlight 3 can play videos taken by my HF200, no results yet. I will try to put as much time as possible into that, maybe up to 10 minutes a day lol.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Google's new OS?

Google is making a new OS for netbooks.

I have no interest in netbooks. If Google really want to destroy Microsoft, they should make a directx layer on Linux, so my games can run on linux.

I tried to move to linux several times before, I have everything I need on linux, some things are even better (i.e making CD/DVDs), but I can't port my games to linux so I gave up.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Pirate-Hungint Cruise

LOL, I can't stop laughing at this. Maybe I should feel sad. But it is definitely interesting. Some people with money to spend is so bored that they are Cruising in the most dangers waters and attacking pirates!

Here is their quote:
How can we make that guarantee? We operate at 5 knots just beyond 12 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia, thus in international waters where pirates have no rights whatever. In fact, we make three passes through the area's most treacherous waters to ensure maximum visibility by Somali "mother ships".


We will see if they are more effect than US navy.

Here is the link

10 good Korean Starcraft matches

Found this yesterday:
http://unrealitymag.com/index.php/2009/02/18/10-crazy-korean-professional-starcraft-matches/

Friday, June 26, 2009

The unthinkable

I really don't want to write about this. Serves as a warning to all your parents with small kids.

This Tuesday, a family close to us lost their daughter. She drowned in a pool. There were 4 other kids and 4 adults present. She drowned while the babysitter went to get her cloth, only several minutes of time.

We all went to the hospital that night. And this sad feeling just keep growing on me. I guess if you loss a loved one, you will feel worse before feeling better.

I feel epically bad yesterday when i saw her parents. They are close friend of ours, and their daughter loved play with me. I used to do hide and seek with them and their screams usually made them mad.

We are going to make a power point slice about the little girl, good thing is I made many photos of her when she was at my home before.

So sad. Feels like my heart is been cut.

And my co-worker give me this,
Steven Curtis Chapman Cinderella Music Video & story, we both sobbed.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Chinese people are angry in Shishou

Here is the youtube link, the Chinese people in Shishou beat back police, I heard about this from one of my friends and he showed me the video on Sunday.

Here is what I heard of what caused this:
a 24 year old cook died from what appeared to be suicide, jumped from 3rd floor of a restaurant (about 2 year ago a waitress did the same in the same restaurant). His father was not happy and believe the death is not accidental. There are evidence that the cook is dead before the jump.

When the police come, they ruled it as suicide and want to cremate the body immediately. The father was not happy and begged the people around for help. And it draw a crowd of 3000+ who helped to fend off the police, and they even stayed over night to watch (I could never have done that)!

The local government cut off internet/electric in the area, but that didn't deter the people who were helping the father. So they pull police from other places, totaled thousands. However the news got out and at one time there were over 70K people gathered and fend off the police, and that is what the video is about.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Toto's Africa

This is a pretty good music video, I heard it this morning from the Neal Boortz show.

you can also search it on youtube "perpetuum jazzile"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjbpwlqp5Qw

Monday, June 15, 2009

A great example why government should stay out of our lifes

The Chinese government recently mandated that every computer have Green Dam software installed (a censor software). And shortly after its release, researchers has found bugs in it that could let attackers take over your computer if it is installed.

See this link

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Mortgage rate is going up

I was not expecting that. I thought with the economy so bad, the Fed would keep the interest rate low in hope to stimulate the economy.

Well, just realized how wrong I am. It works this way:

The Government is trying to raise too cash, and the way they do it is by issuing bonds. The problem is too much cash is been handed out by government and people are waring about if they can pay it back. So to attract more bond buyers, they have to raise interest on those bonds, which in turn raise interesting on everything, include my mortgage rate.

My question is, since right now there is deflation, isn't it better to raise cash by printing them than issuing bonds? I know either are good solutions, but since US government doesn't care about deficit at this point, printing cash will do better at the short run (and both print cash and borrowing are bad at the long run).

Now I really wish I have taken the 15 year fixed.....

Friday, June 5, 2009

Microsoft doesn't like Obama's tax plan

Here on news.com

some of the comments are really interesting. One of them is
"Governments tax profit (unless they are corrupt). There is no increased cost to pass on to the consumer. Just less profit."


That is just laughable. Profit = new jobs. Corporations needs profit to expand. If a corporation has less profit, they will grow slower so there will be less jobs.

If we have a great capable leader, it might be OK to raise taxes because he might be able to spend it better than us. However when a country is really big, that is just not possible. No one will be able to spend properly for all 300 million of Americans. And through out history, you never see any Monarch or Communist country archive prosperity via higher taxes. Just like stock, the collective diversity of minds are better than a central brain power.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Instance soloing

Recently I have been doing some instance soloing with my Death Knight. The death knight has all blue gear crafted by my black smith (don't have time to get other gears).

So far, I have done SM, DM, BRD, UBRS, Stratholme, Scholomance.

Starts with SM, very easy, much easier than when I solo it with my l60 warrior. After that I got bold and went to BRD, Stratholme, Scholomance. Easy.

Dire Maul is very easy compare to when I tried it with my level 70 toon.

UBRS was a surprise. I saw a level?? fire boss, he was easy. However I died at the final boss once. Adding to the pain is I only have a short time every time I play, most of the time I have to leave my toon in the dungeon and abort. So after several days I tried again, this time I summoned a lot of ghouls and beat him with ease.

In UBRS, I wondered into another instance. That was a huge surprise. Mobs keep spawning and they overwhelmed me. I will try it again sometime later (and after some googling too).

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Recent WOW activities

Even with a new baby I could still find some time to play. Most recently I got a new hunter pet (from SMV), and I visited DM and is currently trying to get the shadowforge key and solo BRD.

It is not difficult, with my level 80, the challenge is to find a block of time. Most of the time I was half way through and had to leave and the toon will timeout. Still it can be fine, almost feels like playing diablo.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I am in a lazy mode again

For the past week or two I was not in the mode to do anything, I thought of several projects I could done but have not start any of them. Played some StarCraft, but got tired and watched gomtv for other players play instead. Played some WOW, caught a new pet and went to DM. But non of those lasted more than 10 minutes and most time I send AFK flying.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I got a bunch of new ideas but no time to implement

With everything now cooling down (finally), I got 2 projects that I want to do (big thanks to Blizzard and my recent brain storming). One of it is change zoloFighter to a javascript engine (as of now php/perl all have standalone engines, but not javascript, which I think deserves a standalone engine so it can be more popular). There one one I will keep a secret for now.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Huge disappointment in the afternoon.

Yes at this point I am very disappointed. I finally remembered to bring my old geforce 7600 to my office in hope of making my office PC a dual monitor system. Till I open the case and tried to put it in. My PC is a Dell Optiplex 755, and the case is too small!!!! So basically Dell build a system that can not be upgraded in anyway.

Errrrr......

Thursday, May 7, 2009

God and Evolution

Two days ago I had a lengthy discussion with one of my co-workers on Evolution. It stars with the Hornet vs Bee issue. He think it is evaluation and I think it is designed.

Neither of us are able to convince the other, with he firmly believe that evaluation is the answer of every thing, and I can't be convinced that something can evolved to an egg then chicken. I do believe that simple elements can evolve to DNA strings, and strings can form cells and complex organisms, but use that to explain Chicken/Egg is impossible.

I think I can find a compromise to this. We could say that during the evolution process, some intelligent beings come to existence and they in turn designed a lot of the stuff that can't be explained by evaluation, i.e chicken/egg thing. The leap there is just as great as the creation leap.

However, it still doesn't explain how intelligence is formed. I don't believe we can design artificial intelligence. All our random numbers in computers are fake, so there is actually no true randomness. But I think intelligence requires true randomness (Of course randomness doesn't explain feelings, but I will assume feelings can be emulated).

So my assumption is, there are a finite set of things in this universe that are truly random, and they tends to attach to living organisms. Those things are the origin of real intelligence.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Power of the court

Just read this interesting piece. It's about the ruling of the Florida recount for 2000 election.

The US legal system is the best of the world, yet it has its short comings. The supreme Court Judges has the power to interpret the constitution and law, and the power is almost big enough to create laws.

Originally the court is the weakest of the 3 branches, even worrying about been a laughing stock. But as the country stabilizes and became a country of law, the court's power now over shadow other branches.

I think a best remedy might be, instead of making supreme court judges life time, making their term twice as long as elected officials and they can only be changed by an official appointment followed by a vote from both house and senate with a 60% majority.

The reason is simple. You can't just leave them there without bounds, because they have the power to define their bounds. The current situation is, the justices are life royalties, the only differences are that they can only act passively.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The closest Starcraft game ever

My friend just forwarded this to me. I know, I am dead tired right now because the new baby, but still I can't help playing games or watch those.

Oragn vs BackHo

Swine Flu in WOW

I am not kidding, it exists in WOTLK!
See this on wowinsider

Funny.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hornets vs Honey bee

The following video can be disturbing to some, so be warned.

This is a video of the fight between hornets and bees. The hornets are bigger and stronger, but the Japanese honey bees got a secret weapon :-)

Monday, April 27, 2009

High income tax and housing bubble

Yep I never realized the relationship between higher tax and housing bubble, till I read this article. The guy is odd looking but he is British.

Basically what he said is, too high a income tax not only cause talents/business to move out, it could cause housing bubble.

The reason is, income tax is usually created through wealth creating (i.e. employment work), while capital gains tax is created through speculation (i.e. stock market, housing market), and in most countries income tax is much higher than capital gains tax (else you will feel very unhappy when you sale your house).

That is why it is much easier to speculate on houses instead of creating wealth, and by taxing the rich, the government is actively encouraging a bubble on either stock or housing market. Now when more people are speculating and less people are doing the actual work of producing wealth, the entire system eventually will crashing down at some point.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Out rage of the day

Time Warner and Embarq trying to kill small competitions

Remember last week on Broken Toys when people were angry about Time Warner trying to make limits on how much people can use their boradband? I am actually a bit OK with that. But not when they are trying to kill competition.

A competitive free market is what make the US so great, it is not big companies use government power to help themselves nor politicians printing money to buy votes.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

OMG

My daughter was born yesterday (2009-Apr-21) at 11:56 pm. It was a long process and I was there every step of the way. I have to say that the child birth process is, PG13. I think I finally know how the writers of some of the best SCIFI movies get their ideas, they just change the child birth process a little bit and used the same theme.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I will be a father soon

Since Blizzard already knows more about me than myself, I will just blog some of my personal stuff.

Yesterday the doctor told us that our baby at 36 week is too small, and need to be induced. So I am at hospital today. The give the drug yesterday night and just broke her water. The pain is bad.

I am so happy that I made the decision not to go to court, else I will be in a huge mess right now.

Friday, April 17, 2009

damn

Just found that I forget to remove the downloads from my OLD downloads section. That section is where I put the zoloFighter for old versions. I stumped there today and found the links are still working (and possibly the offsets are still working too). I will need to remember to remove them when I got home this noon, else the blizzard guys might think that I try to cheat them.

This is the problem when you have done something for over 2 years, you got stuff every where (kind of like when I do updates to offsets, keep forgetting to update some of them).

And another note, Pirate Bay went down. It is not good to pirate, but it will be bad to all of us too. Someone could post a pirate link as a comment on one of my old blog entries, I will never found that out and I could be fined!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The courts can be so confusing

That is why it is never a good idea to go to court.

I was doing some more readings on Blizzard vs MDY, and here is another case that almost contradicts MAI vs. Peak : Storage Technology Corp. v. Custom Hardware Eng’g & Consulting, Inc

I spend about 2 hours reading it since I can't figure out part of its logic, and I still don't quit understand it. The conclusion seems to be, even in the case the defendant win, if the copy right owner has made the license restrict enough, the defendant would have lost.

I also learned that my 1102 fair use defense won't work either, huge surprise.

And I don't want to spend another hour reading Blizzard's EULA. It is boring (unlike the case study), and in the most unlikely case that the EULA does has hole, I will still won't want to go to court.

P.S. This blog is now totally devoted to public education, I am sure the links used can be allowed under section 1102 fair use.

Lost all 3 passwords

A couple of days ago when I tried to upload a new version of fighter, I found the password was changed.

Then yesterday when I tried to post on my forum, I forget my password and have to reset it.

Later on when I tried to do a refund for donors for the past month, I found I lost my paypal password too.

Almost thought someone hacked in.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The End

I just got contacted by a lawyer from Blizzard. Not sure how but they got my contact info (I guess from DNS records) and called me at work.

At first I heard he say something like "I am a lawyer from Blue entertainment ...", and I thought "Oh another advertisement", then he asked about zoloFighter, and my thought was "WHAT?!!".

All conversions are confidential, so I can't disclose much. I just got home and have disabled the bot. It was fun while it lasted.

Every thing can go wrong on tax/patch day

It is already post patch day but it is still the tax day.

So whatever can go wrong did went wrong. The last thing I could think of is that I lost my forum admin password.... Now I can't login to post messages.

Anyway, all will be fixed.

I forget so many things

Usually I can't get up early, not even for work. But I woke up today and have to get this done.

Yep, for wow 3.1 update, I didn't provide a download link!

And this update also require a binary change, and I forget to force all users to download.

Anyway, the servers are down right now, I updated the changes and hopefully I didn't break anything.

EDIT: Just updated again to 0.8.6.10. It fixes the stupid "pre mob" bug.
And, DO NOT afk bot. there are so many offsets that I forget to update, the bot could break at any new events that I have not tested.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

3.1 updated

0.8.6.8 released. You must download the new version to use.

I did some test and it looks like basic functions are working, however the bot tries to attack all mobs, include your npcs etc. It will be worked out this week, and now wife is really argoing and I gtg.

Good timing for overtime

The bad news is, I am stuck in office for some emergency fixing, while patch 3.1 is been released today.

The good news, is the patch got delayed again and again so I am not missing anything.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Silverlight 3 Beta 1

I don't know how I missed this, must be the stupid taxes (this falls perfectly with my previous post on Dr Rodger's report, if we spend more time on taxes, we will have less time doing research).

Silverlight 3 beta 1 has released. Here are the features.

Now I got one more thing to wait on besides Starcraft II

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Why taxes and subsidies are bad

Here is Dr. Rodgers' Testimony before House Committee on Science, Space and Technology

Dr. Rodgers, who start up Cypress with himself and an old computer, is at the time the CEO of Cypress (maker of the best super computer equipments) and an investor.

I highly advise you read the original testimony. Here are some of the good parts.

1. Against raise tax on those rich people who got a "free ride" in the 1980s:
So please allow me to reintroduce myself: I am an excess of the 1980s. Based on my ownership stake in Cypress, I am one of the people who, in the President's words, "profited most from the uneven prosperity of the last decade." I became a paper millionaire in the 1980s--eight times over, in fact.

How did I profit? I started a company in Silicon Valley. I obtained stock in that company when it had one employee (me) and one used computer. I worked with that company for a decade--sixteen hours a day, six days a week--to help get it where it is today.

And where is it? Over its ten-year history, Cypress has generated over $1 billion in cumulative revenue, made over $160 billion in profits on which we paid $60 million in taxes, created 1,500 jobs which paid cumulative salaries of nearly $500 million, on which our employees paid further taxes of $150 million. We have shipped cumulative exports worth $300 million. We have generated a market value of $500 million for our shareholders and employees--all of whom own stock in the company.

If that is an "excess of the 1980s," let's have more!



2. Against government subsidies (At the time the government are considering giving tax payer money to high tech companies including his):

Or think about Europe. Amazingly, we still have "experts" who want us to emulate Europe's alphabet soup of technology consortiums such as JESSI, their equivalent of the U.S. chip consortium Sematech. JESSI showered billions on the European semiconductor industry. It also "rationalized" the industry by allocating certain market segments to various companies. Siemens became the DRAM company for Europe--and has since gone out of the business. Philips became the SRAM company for Europe--and has since gone out of that business.

After inadvertently weakening its chip industry, Europe then established 14% import duties on foreign chips--the next logical step of desperate government policy. The import duty had precisely the effect we might expect: It raised the price of components to the European computer industry and virtually wiped it out as well. Today, there is no European chip industry or computer industry to speak of--thanks to the role of government programs like JESSI. European taxpayers gave up part of their income to wipe out two critical industries! We can't afford to emulate such failed experiments.



I have to say this is an eye opener. Just excellent.

Boot your OS in 2 seconds

And Intel has done it with linux.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Shutdown the internet?

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/obama-shut-down-internet-legislation,7478.html#xtor=RSS-181

I doubt this could ever happen. However even if this doesn't happen with Obama, it might happen to the next President. There might be an attack and he over think the risk and shutdown the internet.

I think cyber attacks are overly hyped.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Change of heart

If you read my blog, you know I fiercely oppose socialized health care. I believe it will drive up our taxes and make long queues at hospitals.

I had a change of heart today after our company again changed health care providers, and I have to fill in all of the non-senses and stuff that I don't understand, and have no interest in what so ever.

So if we do have socialized health care, the pros will be we don't need to worry about health care ever. The cons will be the tax will be up, and for big surgery, you have to wait, because government provided cares will never be as flexible as one driven by market.

However, given the current situation, this might not be bad.

First of all, even though I don't believe in global warming any more, I do believe we need to conserve energy, and we need to fight pollutions. And I believe the earth is over populated. So anything that could reduce human population is potentially a good thing (even war). With socialized health care, more and more people will realize that.

Second, as the case in Canada shows, even under socialized health care, there will be private providers and for people who work hard, they can pay the private sector to get treatment.

So basically the system could provide both convenience and flexibility. Of course since we human beings are so short sighted I could be wrong, the government could over tax us to death to provide health care, but I am not the one to decide.

Friday, March 27, 2009

I wish I am a lawyer

Just saw this, Intel is suing Nvidia and AMD for licensing issues

My thought is, the chipset agreement is pretty much useless, because such agreements will not hold in a court of law. As the case Lexmark Int’l v. Static Control Components and a trail of other case shows, not only the higher courts favor little guys, such licensing is totally unnecessary because according to my recent research on copyright law, what Nvidia does (making chipset) totally falls under section 1102f fair use rules.

Of course Intel has multi-million dollar lawyers, and I am just a dirt cheap engineer/part time freeware developer/part time bot writer.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

There is your congress at work

Bachmann bill would ban global currency.

They can ban global currency all they want, but nothing will prevent the other countries from NOT using dollar as the default reserve currency. Who is or will became the global economy leader is not determined by US law, it is determined by productivity. Who ever got the products most other country wants, their currency will be more sought after. It is a bit over simplify, but the long term trend will be determined by that.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Is open source software good for econmy?

I am not sure about it. It is certainly good for consumer.

Open source is good for consumer, because they don't come with so much hassle.
I have about 5 or 6 copies of windows XP (either come with a computer or bought separately) and only 3 computers at my home. Every time I reformat my computer, it is always a pain to get to Microsoft and do an activation (because I can't remember which XP is installed on with computer). My linux never had such problems.

But is open source good for the economy? I am not so sure. Every since I used Open Office, I never bought another copy of Microsoft Office again. I actually uninstalled MS Office from my computer. Consider Microsoft's Office give so many people jobs.

I guess for the long run, open source is good for the economy, since it makes people's life easier and a few dedicated people can free a lot of other people in a corporation to do other things, but in the short term it is not.

Monday, March 23, 2009

TV vs Computer

There is a great essay by Paul Graham about TV vs Computer

The same applies everywhere, from US/non-US automakers, to outsourcing of blue/white collar jobs. The world is changing, and we either change with it, or be buried by it.

Starcraft II release date

After study copyright law, I have learned to be fair use, don't quote the most juice part of the story. Just kidding, I can write it in my own words but I am too lazy.

See this link: http://www.futureshop.ca/marketing/starcraft2/default.asp?&logon=&langid=EN

Friday, March 20, 2009

More cases

I am in danger of turning this blog into a case study, but I can't help myself.
http://www.eff.org/files/filenode/Blizzard_v_bnetd/20050901_decision.pdf Blizzard vs Bnetd. After reading the ruling, it is clear that why the judge ruled against bnetd:
Unlike in Lexmark Int'l, Inc., Battle.net mode codes
were not accessible by simply purchasing a Blizzard game or logging onto Battle.net


Appellants's circumvention in this case constitutes infringement. As detailed
earlier, Blizzard's secret handshake between Blizzard games and Battle.net effectively
controlled access to Battle.net mode within its games. The purpose of the bnetd.org
project was to provide matchmaking services for users of Blizzard games who wanted
to play in a multi-player environment without using Battle.net. The bnetd.org
emulator enabled users of Blizzard games to access Battle.net mode features without
a valid or unique CD key to enter Battle.net. The bnetd.org emulator did not
determine whether the CD key was valid or currently in use by another player. As a
result, unauthorized copies of the Blizzard games were freely played on bnetd.org
servers.


This is rather exciting, because the previous case of Lexmark Int'l v. Static Control Components now also make sense. I was so confused about that one it is almost like sky is falling, but now it does make sense. The case of law is almost like programming, it can seem strange but when dig down it does make sense. Only if law suits can be slower like programming (you can think and think in programming, but for lawsuits, you must act fast), I would rather practice law.

All of us might have violated copyright law at some point

After wrote my previous blog, I did some thinking and found that all of us, who uses computers (especially wrote computer programs) might have violated copy right law at some moment.

According to US copy right law:
“Copies” are material objects, other than phonorecords, in which a work is fixed by any method now known or later developed, and from which the work can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. The term “copies” includes the material object, other than a phonorecord, in which the work is first fixed.


In this case, my wife might wrote a copy righted joke (short one, 1 or 2 sentences) on our computer, left notepad open and left. I switch account, turn on WOW and warden scans, copy the entire joke from RAM location A to location B and do his work. There is a copyright violation! My wife's exclusive right to make copy (under section 106) has just been violated.

And for that, even anti virus program are liable.

And for us programmers, sometimes we allocate memory in excess of what we need, and that excess un-initialized part of RAM might contain copyrighted material. And in C/C++, when you pass in an array by copy, that is a copy. And when a debugger is attached, you can see/communicate with that data.

Of course, in that case no one will sue you because it is hard to argue how they are harmed. But it is against the law in its current language anyway. (In the case of MAI vs Peak, Peak's IT person can't even boot MAI customer's machine.)

Glider case, zoloFighter and Warden law breaker

OK, here is what I got so far. Virtuallyblind has an excellent article analyzing this. Too bad I didn't notice that before.
http://virtuallyblind.com/2008/07/14/blizzard-wins-sj-mdy/

I checked out the 3 cases:
http://www.law.cornell.edu/copyright/cases/991_F2d_511.htm MAI vs Peak
http://www.internetlibrary.com/cases/lib_case567.cfm Ticket Master vs RMT
http://www.gehrkelaw.com/files/wall_data_inc.%20v.%20Los%20Angeles%20County%20Sheriff%27s%20Dep%27t.pdf Wall data vs police department

The worst one is MAI vs Peak (Edit: from the ruling, MAI sales licenses only), in which the judge basically says if you bought software, you are not the owner, and you can't debug that software if the vendor didn't want you to.
I was surprised by that, it is totally against the copyright law in my understanding (i.e. as long as you pay for the software and don't use multiple copies you are OK).
The ruling basically says that even if you bought the software, if the creator of that software don't want you to load it into your computer's RAM, you break the law if you do so.


The TicketMaster ruling makes more sense, because RMT didn't buy anything, they just use the website against rules.


Wall data vs police dept is more straight forward, police department made too many copies.

In all 3 cases, commercial interest seems to be the key issue. In MAI vs Peak, the judge most likely think that the former MAI employees holds trade secret and defected to Peak via commercial interest, so he made the ruling to protect MAI's interest.
The side effect of that is, software owners are no longer owners, they are leasers now. Any move the software maker don't like, and they can bar you from doing anything in the name of copy right.
It seems that with that ruling, section 117 is no longer in effect.

The only possible solution seems to be the fair use defense, which the police department used. However the judge in that case saw no such thing based on all 4 criteria of fair use.

One thing I want to add is, after reading the rulings, I think all those judges should be revered. I am not kidding. They display exemplar knowledge, quoting prior cases/research/publications at well, almost like a library.
I have no idea how they can do that, and I am rather worried that the entire legal system could collapse under its own weight when there are just too many prior cases for ordinary humans to handle.


From the rulings, the judges are clearly rule within the confinement of law, and they follow logic instead of common presumption. However within the confinement of law, they clearly can use their own judgments on grey area issues (i.e. what is fair use in Glider and Wall Data case).

It also come as a shock to me, that WOW's warden could be breaking the law by examining copy righted material on users' computer. Since copy to RAM is also a copy "When such a copy is made in excess of a license, the copier is liable for copyright infringement. Ticketmaster LLC v. RMG Techs., Inc., 507 F. Supp. 2d 1096, 1107".

So basically since judges are not allowed to break precedence, the only available defense is section 107, fair use:


This is a break down for zolo:
(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
non-commercial, and some educational.

(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
entertainment. WOW also uses warden to scan users' system, which could mean it is a potential law breaker (i.e. copy copyrighted material to RAM).
the bot also act as a DMCA protection device.

(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
not sure

(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
since there is a default time limit, zolo users will be forced to stay near the computer and start the bot again and again.
This allows interaction with other users, and ensure blizzard's name and profitability.
I for one will give up WOW for its long hours, if not for the bot. And I remember there are other persons on my board states the same.

OMG StarCraft II demo!

Got the news from tomshardware.

Let's hope some of us get lucky!

Glider lawsuit

I found out that glider has stopped yesterday. Here is what I posted on zolo forum yesterday:
I just found out glider lost the suit (partially anyway, pending appeal).

I was shocked as why violating EULA became a violation of law issue. I was confident glider will win because they didn't do anything unlawful.

Spend an hour today reading copy right law and I thought they could use section 109 and 117 as defense. But after reading some of the court text, it appears that glider's lawyer already used such defenses. If a judge change the law, all following law suits must follow precedent.

I will have to take time to read through the entire context, but before that all donations will be suspended, no new keys will be issued. From the judge, seems to me that the commercial nature of glider is the main down fall (I can't figure out why section 117 is throw out, so that got be the reason). From the text, the judge seems to indicate that there is chance of appeal.

From the beginning, this bot is not meant to make money. If that is the case I will do more than $1 per charge because of the paypal overhead. My donations to charities for a single year is many times higher than all the donations combined. My initial goal is to share this tool with like minded people in similar situations, for it is man with wife/gf argos or students need focus on their homework. The donation, no matter how small, will enable blizzard's argument that I profited from this and such is guilty. So donation is taken out.

Those already donated, the key will keep working till expire.

I will find time to read the entire section of the verdict and the law.


So what I did yesterday is disable donation. I am sure that will 100% make zoloFighter covered under section 107, fair use law. Of course because I can't call a judge to confirm that, I have to do more digging myself.

Since then I have found several links and other people's discussions, I will post another blog today.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

This is why bailout is such a bad idea

Check this link

US Government has give billions of dollars to AIG, and now the AIG execs, who has failed their jobs and run the company to the ground, are having a good time giving themselves millions.

This will most likely not happen if some private investors bought AIG, because that will be their money and they will be extra careful about the money. The government just dumped billions into AIG without much considerations. Because it is not their money, it is tax payer's money. The government should kick out the executives naked (because they failed) and do a clean take over with pennies on the dollar.

I only hope they learn something from it and don't be so dumb when bailing out GM.

Monday, March 16, 2009

This is why current patent laws are bad

This is from Tom's hardware: Intel to AMD: Your x86 License expires in 60 days

Maybe instead of 20 year patent, we should shorten it to 5 years for software/hardware patents.

In love with Lambda expressions

I wanted to do this for a while now, never find the time. So it is a short one.

I wanted javascript for zoloFighter for one simple reason. At the time I love java, and this Paul Graham's essay prompted me to look into python/ruby/javascript.

It is excellent that most of zoloFighter users uses javascript to customize their bots, turning boring grinds into fun programming exercises, which is beneficial to them in the long run (and as paranoid as I am, which constantly worry about employer's ability to pay employee, or US run out of engineers, it is a good thing to do). One huge thing I like about javascript is attach of functions to anything, or anonymous functions (which java also have but c# 1.0 lacks).

How things has changed since c# introduced Lambda expressions. Now you can do anonymous functions and much more! I love the cleanness of those, they just looks beautiful and make our job much easier.

My tax return is killing me

I have been very busy recently, preparing a demo for our company has put me and another engineer almost 10 hours a day. But nothing compare to the burden of tax preparation. Every year is a struggle. Because it is a once a year event, I keep forgetting what did I do last year, where to send everything.

I used to make mistakes every year, even when I was working as a student assistant in my university, with my tiny pay check, I send more to IRS than I should. Never realized that till later. That is fine, at least I am not as confused as I am now.

The US tax code is became so complicated, even Tim Geithner, current US Secretary of the Treasury, made mistakes. That is one of the reasons I support the Fair Tax so much, it will hugely simplify our tax returns, and put US products much more competitive to others.

The only good part of all this tax trouble? I have a reason to stay in front of the computer now. One one monitor I am doing tax, the other runs WOW :-) Can't wait till StarCraft II come out.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

new great wow 3.1 features

I was reading wowinsider today and noticed the little title a couple of lines down, Wow Casually

Since I am a ultra casual player, that caught my eye and I was not disappointed!! Yep. Here is a summary:
1. 30 minutes hearth (combine with the recall scroll means you can hearth 3 times an hour).
2. ground mount can swim. Huge time saver. Now I will no longer afraid of swim.
3. queue BG anywhere and return to the same place when BG ends!! Finally. It is a pain to go to a capital city to play BG. Now only if they could do that for instances :-)

Anyway, I have guest coming from out of state this week, so I will only update stuff that I wanted.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Biggest Ponzi Scheme Ever

No it is not about Madoff.

You might not heard of Greg Knox before, I heard about him today over Neal Boortz.
After a short google on him, here is Gregory Knox's Letter to Troy Clarke, President of GM .

After I read this, several things come to my mind. How can the CEO of the failed auto companies get so much compensation for such bad job? How did they manage to pay union works way above average salaries?

And then it all come to me, it is a huge Ponzi scheme in the scale way bigger than Madoff, and yet it is legal.

The failed auto companies probably live on the stack sales (or depend on stack prices) to pay the differences. Because it is all investor money (unlike their own money), it is OK to do such bad job as long as all are paid well. The biggest investors are most likely institutions, they got their money from individual investors, most likely our 401ks etc.

So everyone can happily and safely wasting the money, as long as the over all economy is good and people keep buying.

After I thought of this I almost lost total confidence of the stock market. But the market will rebound, after all the fakes are purged out.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Can't argue with some people

Recently I had an discussion on the forge, seems that me and Matt can't agree on if the supreme court is too powerful and need to be abolished.

After a while I realized none of us is going to win each other over, and while I was thinking how to end this, the word of "hate", "redneck", "backward" start flying and that was it.

Edit:
Now he deleted my last post. So here is again.

I don't hate the foundation of America (not sure how he get that). I am simply stating that the court in its current state is way overpowered since Marshall first give it the power to interpret the constitution. The supreme court has became the new aristocrat class of modern times, once there you can server life long without ever worrying about been fired.

And to his statements about slavery. The court didn't do anything on slavery. It took a war, many life and the incredible productivity of the free capitalist system to abolish.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Vacation

I will be on Vacation, so no more posting for a week.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Obama's speech and Republican's response

I tried hard to focus during Obama's speech and he did a good job with a speech that has almost no substance. Have no idea what his plans are.

On the other hand Bobby Jindal looks not as at ease as Obama, but I do agree with most of what he is talking about ("But the way to lead is not to raise taxes and not to just put more money and power in hands of Washington politicians. The way to lead is by empowering you, the American people. Because we believe that Americans can do anything." ... Bobby)

The only thing I don' agree with Bobby is on energy issues, I want the price of energy higher so the market can be pushed toward new energy sources instead of oil.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Stupidity overwhelming

The government will starting to taxing on us how much we drive. See this link.

It will make more sense if they just make higher taxes on energy, i.e gas and electric.

Anyway, the good part of this bill is, it will make my wife less likely to go out shopping :-)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Starcraft II will be 3 games

Yes, instead of warring about my job and this economy, I can't wait for Starcraft II to come out. And some googling later I got this link:

http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/55267

Starcraft II will ship in 3 parts, 1 terran campaign and 2 expansion (zerg and toss).

Have to say I am a little bit disappointed, to save cash I will just buy the first one and wait till the other 2 drop in price.

How NOT to help your friends

You should never help your friends the way those people did.

See this link on yahoo.

Finally fixed the old glider profile

Old glider profiles has only x,y positions, and zolo Orbiter uses x,y,z positions to track where the toon is. The reason is at some point, I found a great spot under water for farming and it makes much more sense to not only move left/right but up/down as well.

OK, I think all old glider profiles broke on that one, and I always want to fix that because so many people keep telling me it is broken (usually new users).

The fix requires 2 steps. First I added z position check in my code.
And I added a fixer to the old profiles. Once the old profiles are converted, run it through the fixer, it will fix all irregularities in glider profiles, make it Orbiter compatible.

The funny thing is, I lost my original code for the converter, Glad minifss has included the converter in his download, so it is easy for me to decompile.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sorry about previous post

I come home and checked the windows, it is very likely that it was a windows update that forced me to reboot, not from Blizzard. Right now I only got confirmation from one guy, will try to re-install wow to make sure.

For now fighter/fisher is re-enabled.

Blizzard is going to get us with 3.0.9

I know this day would come, but never thought so soon.

This morning I did a routine check on WOW, never thought there could be an update because 3.0.8 was just out last week (or something like that).

And there is a patch. Again was not patchable with guest account.
So I patched it on my other computer.

Before go to work I went to check the computer. There is the line about device driver installed reboot required!! What driver??!!

As many of you know, I pioneered the guest account mode to give zoloFighter the best security one can find. But now they have a device driver running in parallel, while WOW can't do anything, the driver are not restricted.

So unless the user know what to do (i.e. make sure he patch and play on different OS installation), he will be caught.

So I have no choice but to disable the bot for now, and confirm with users one by one to make sure they know what to do. I barely had enough time to disable bot, but have not update the website and remove the donation button yet.

Again, I am sure next time, blizzard will REQUIRE the "supervisor" driver to be running to run WOW. At that time we will be really messed :-(

Monday, February 9, 2009

Bad Sunday

Not a good day on Sunday.

First I got a headache.

Then after I come home I found my bot dead, only run for a couple of minutes (I was expecting it to level).

Since I don't have much time and have to leave for a party soon, I just kick start the bot.

Only come back and found the bot is dead there again.

Turned out there was a bug in my targeting system and 2 mobs on the map is spoofed.

Which forced me to fix the code while having an headache.
Let's hope the next Sunday I can relax.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The right way to come out of a recession (Part III)

The way to come out of a recession is to raise productivity on producing things people need. All other methods that might give us a lift in the short run is secondary.

You might think, why productivity help us? In a time of recession shouldn't we limit productivity?

Think about this way. Long time ago, a watch took a man several month to make, so to wear a watch, you have to pay for several month of labor, and only the richest man can own a watch. Nowadays, with help of automated assembly lines, a man can produce many many watches a day. In return the watch became much cheaper and affordable. Almost everyone own a watch today.

Another example is food. Not too long ago, farm work are backbreaking, and every family has to work hard just to make enough to feed themselves. Now with the help of tools, food are so cheap, most of us are freed to work on other better things (like software engineer, helping making people's life more convenient).

So productivity helps to free us from simple work, so we can move on to higher level of work that are more important, or more fun. It also helps to bring things that used to only be enjoyed by a few to the masses.

An argument I often heard is, if you don't pay the auto works to be able to buy a car, who can afford a car? Right now the problem is not the pay of the workers, it is the factories are forced to retain all workers even though only a portion of them will be enough given the automated manufacture process.

That is why I dislike today's unions. Yes they have done good things in the past, but the things they do today is anti productivity. Resist to automation (because that will lay people off), make non-flexible rules, artificially inflated wages. This is the reason why out sourcing is so prevalent. Instead of using the advantage of knowledge of advanced manufacture abilities to max productivity, factories are forced to compete on cost of labor.

We should never rely on jobs protecting us. All the tools, watches, cars, computers are just tools, they should be automated and carry little cost. Humans as the smartest animal in the world should learn to adapt new environments and challenges, instead of resist productivity, embrace it and the new world productivity could bring us.

The right way to come out of a recession (Part II)

Some people argue that to come out of a recession, government need to do massive spending to create jobs, green jobs, long term jobs. An example will be home energy usage inspector, who inspect homes to point out ways to increase energy efficiency. The problem with those jobs are, those people won't be create much stuff, and everything they do can be archived through public education. Government created jobs usually ends up as a sink for tax dollar, and as we see with big governments, much of that are wasted on things you and me don't need, which will eventually drag us down further.

when disable teller or bic for branch, also try to close busdates of the same ecl.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Been busy lately

I feel very sorry for all my users. I have been busy recently (both from work and life) and was not able to do much to resolve your issues (usually problems relating to the profile packs).

This weekend I got some extra time, but I played with my guild instead. Sorry but I have to have some fun, else I might commit suicide.

Friday, January 30, 2009

The right way to come out of a recession (Part I)

As we know, US and many part of the world are under recession. This is not the first time it has happened. Governments around the world are trying their best to combat it.

So far, US is trying to combat recession by lowering interest rates, stimulus package (tax rebates), bailout big banks and companies, increase government spending. Many countries around the world are doing the same.

Lowering interests means lower borrow costs. Business often need to borrow money, lower borrow cost = more profit, so it is good. The problem is right now US Fed lending rat is at 0.25%, and a CD is about 2% to 3%, you can borrow from Fed and put in a CD to get a guaranteed return. Nothing goes that easy, which means interests rats is no longer effective.

Stimulus package is good for a short shot. The $1000 will drain away fast.

Bailout will only encourage bad behavior. Big companies will think they are too big too fail, and they will suck money from tax payers/good companies and waste them on their usual ways.

The US government intended to "create" government jobs too. The problem is, each government job needs the supporting tax dollar of many people. So most likely those jobs are just tax burdens for common tax payers, the people who are helping driven the economy.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Wife is unhappy again

I haven't played much recently. Yesterday I spend about 2 minutes to check my toon and wife got very upset. Yes she just come back from a business trip, but I already spent time with her in the airport and in the car. Maybe she started counting when I was changing cloth.

This is so sad. I have to work till 8 yesterday and can't spend 2 minutes just to res my toon?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

What I want for change

I was checking for my tax report yesterday with MS Money, and realized that now Obama is officially in charge, I really wish that he could order the federal government to put their finical reports online so anyone can view them.

Won't it be great if we can see how the government is spending money, broken down to details? This should be posted on line so everyone can see them, and can drill down to see what is spend on which or who.

last bug for 3.0.8 fixed

I read some post on my forum and realized that I forget to update the corpse location again...

anyway it is fixed now, even though I didn't have time to post replies.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

still at work

I am still at work at this moment. Will try to test out the new patch once I got home. Please be patient.

server patch delayed

Yep, they extended the server up time to 1pm pst, which is way past my lunch threshold.

So I will wait till tonight to fix the offsets (and to break the non-US clients LOL).

3.0.8 out today

Just got word from wow insider that 3.0.8 will be out today. I will try to make a quick fix tonight. I think they might have a few glitches so that I won't be able to wait for realm to come back on this noon.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Our future lies here

Tiny electric cars

If the US government can drop all regulations on electric cars (i.e air bags, Air conditions), that could lead to a boom in small car manufacturers (Because they don't need to pay so much money to meet regulation). If that became true, it will meant so much for the US economy. I mean for a lot of people, driving 30 miles/hour on local roads without those additions won't be a bad idea.

More talk about iceage

This is a link from dredge report: http://english.pravda.ru/science/earth/106922-0/ Apparently before 1970 ice age was all the rage. Now the talk about it returns.

Are we so short sighted that our science goes 180 degree turns every 30 years?

I was a firm believer of global warming just about 2 year ago. And I have turned my mind in the past one and a half years.

However we should not starting to waste energy, because an ice age will be far more dangers than global warming.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Go go Starcraft II

I find myself constantly checking on status of StarCraft II. A little bit inpatient after I saw the great videos :-)

I am a fan of StarCraft ever since it went out, bought the expansion but love the original. From what I can see from the demo, StarCraft II looks great. I'd wish Blizzard can release the game then add the story lines later.

One great advantage of StarCraft II over WOW will be, WOW requires a internet connection to play, so at places where there is a firewall you can't play it. StarCraft II is totally different, I can play the single player version after work, where my wife can't check.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

new year surprises

No it is not the stock market. It is my bot. A bunch of people reported they are having problem with melee classes, and finally I got time to try it out.

That was annoying. They are right, there is a problem. I set the waypoint threshold too small and the bot, sometime after chasing the mobs, run to far and quit.

Just imaging how annoying it is when the bot run out of the short range, stopped and then some mob kills it while my computer is contributing to global warming. Then I came and found the bot won't automatically run back even a ghost waypoint is there. Because it think the corpse is too far??!!

OK so I finally got it all fixed yesterday, hopefully I can enjoy the automatic gold now :-)