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The Brinks of Insanity

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Friday, September 27, 2002 :::

Today's Tale From UCI

So... what happened today? Well...

Sometime this morning, Jason and I were awakened to teh tune of someone knocking on our door. Jason doesn't get up, so I go ahead and jump out of bed with this thought in my head: Tch... I ain't putting on my pants for this!

I wrap my blanket around my waist and open up the door, and, in the nicest tone you could possibly imagine, inquire about what the matter was...


"Oh my god!"

Apparently it was the girl who lived under us (heh. Whoops!). She came by asking us to please not "go thump, thump, thump in the middle of the night; we were trying to sleep." I say whatever and then shut the door (heh. Sorry). As I do that, Jason, in his infinite wisdom (and half sleep) bellows out, "Tell them not to go knock, knock, knock in the morning; we're trying to sleep."

::: posted by Septiman at 6:23:00 PM

Tuesday, July 23, 2002 :::
Okay, so I'm still working on the thing I mentioned almost a month ago, but I thought I should post again anyway. Something came up—something big and worth mentioning. It has to do with your (and my) digital rights. It's been in the works for quite a while now, but large corporations have been working on a new type of computer which will be supposedly totally secure. I say supposedly because this effort is being headed up by none other than Microsoft, Intel, IBM, Compaq, and Hewlett-Packard. Hmm... suspicious? Maybe...

So what is this thing? Well, it's called TCPA, which stands for Trusted Computing Platform Alliance. There is a very good FAQ on it written by Ross Anderson that I recommend you read. Really, go read it. Also, if you have time, read this Salon article. I'll wait here.

Read it yet? I hope so because I'll be referencing Mr. Anderson's FAQ as if you read it. So we're basically at the verge of having the Fritz chip and Palladium on the market in a few years. Scary, huh? Does it sort of remind you of Big Brother from 1984? Well, if you want my opinion, data cannot be secure because all the access keys to Palladium and TCPA would be held by Microsoft and Intel, and they'll be able to share those keys with whomever they feel like (which would probably be their business partners). Should they give access to your computer to their associates, they'll open up a whole new world of invasive advertising! And they said that Palladium would stop virii and spam... not likely! More disturbing, though, would be allowing these companies access to our military secrets, since they would no doubt sit atop the heirarchy of "trusted" users. No one will be safe from Microsoft. To top things off, there's talk of making TCPA data incompatible with non-TCPA data, which would truly eliminate secure data transfer because no data will transfered at all!

Now imagine that you're dozing off with your computer on, when suddenly you receive a message from Disney telling you that you will buy their next movie to be viewed on your computer unless you explicitly say that you don't want it. Now, being asleep, you wouldn't really be able to do that. So you end up paying for something you don't want; you end up buying it unknowingly. Let's say now that you want to send an email to warn your friends about it, but your administrator (probably Microsoft) deems your email something that should not be passed on and deletes it remotely. Your friend never receives the email, and the only person who reads it is a Microsoft employee. How wonderful. And let's not forget about people with remote access to your computer who might just feel like being asses! They can do anything they want to your computer and you won't be able to do anything about it. Meanwhile, the European economy takes a nose-dive because of the ousting of Smartcard, sending our economy deeper into recession. There is no safety in migrating to open-source operating systems either, as the Fritz chip will be built into your motherboard or even your processor. You can use whatever operating system you want; TCPA will still get you. So what do you do?

You boycott. Luckily for us, TCPA might not be passed through Congress and we may never have to worry about it. If it does though, the first TCPA-enabled systems will require that they be purchased by a hefty number of consumers before TCPA can actually take-off. I have no doubt that Microsoft will probably package some features with its TCPA systems that seem enticing, but I still say that resistance is the answer. If TCPA has weak market saturation in its first few years, then it may become a forgotten concept, which we'll no longer have to worry about.

In other news, ATi has finally created a video card worthy of being dubbed a GeForce killer. The R300 chipset that will be present in ATi's 9000 series of videocards will use AGP 8X, eight pipelines, DDR-II memory, and DirectX 9.0 support. In benchmark tests, the 9700 ran at a clock speed of 325 MHz and outperformed Nvidia's GeForce 4 4600 Ti (which is currently the fastest consumer video card) dramatically in almost every test. The 9700 will be released in about a month while Nvidia's next generation video card, the NV30, won't be available until 2003. I would still keep my eye on 3dlabs because it is about to announce its own line of next-generation graphics cards. The Wildcat III 6210 is still the king.

As for other sci-tech news, I'll probably talk about them in my next post, since this one is running long. The next one will probably be about VW's new prototype car, which gets 235 mpg and DNA research that shows that eating more might shorten your life. Until then, though, have a nice day! Bye!

::: posted by Septiman at 12:41:00 AM

Tuesday, June 25, 2002 :::
I have a great idea for my next post... but it may take some time to pull off... so bear with me, please? Thanks!

::: posted by Septiman at 8:22:00 PM

Friday, June 21, 2002 :::
Okay. It's really been quite a while since I've updated. I'm sure if I looked hard enough that I could find a good reason for that. I'm lazy though—so let's go on!

I was trying to update two days ago, but something happened and my uncompleted post was deleted. It really pissed me off. Well... other things were pissing me off too... but that's a story for, for... not you! That's a story for me and no one else.

As for the rest of my life, I can finally say that it's not that bad. It's kind of like death and rebirth (after many, many days of being suspended in limbo). So many things are new now: new car, new job, new house, new school, new possibilities! This isn't to say that I've decided to totally ditch the old, but it's exciting to have so many things be new. It's like I've been given a second chance—a second shot at making everything right. That's pretty awesome!

Anyway, today I went down to AAA and forfeited my beloved Sentra to my grandmother... and picked up her older, wiser, silver Passat. It's fast! It's a lot faster than my Sentra! It might even be SE-R fast! Actually, I'm sure it is. Sure, it has ten fewer horsies, but its turbo engine really packs a whallop! Now, as soon as I get some money, I'm going to outfit it with a killer CD player or MP3 player. I'm leaning toward the MP3 device, since I can pack more songs onto it.

Monday I start my new job as the guy who monitors employee Internet activity for Foria International. It's my first real job ever! It's in Fullerton though, which is sort of far... and I don't know how much they'll be paying me either. I hope, I hope, I hope that it's not just minimum wage. That... would suck—a lot.

Next month we move into a new house. It already forclosed, so it's pretty much ours. Over 10,000 square feet... wow...

School starts September 26th... and the possibilities are endless!

Okay then. I'm finally done talking about all the things new. So what about the old? Well... it's hard to say, really. Too hard to say right now... so I'm not going to. I heard the most painful of songs today on the radio again. It was during my last drive in my Sentra. Damn you, Savage Garden. Why can't I ever have the willpower to not listen to it? Why? It's still too painful to talk about, so maybe next time. Until then, see you soon!

::: posted by Septiman at 12:37:00 AM

Saturday, June 08, 2002 :::
Something interesting came up while we were leaving the Senior Men and Women picnic today...

Eric: What is that!?
James: What?
Eric: That red car... see it?
James: Oh. Hmm...
*Pull up next to it*
James: Is that a Viper?
Eric: It is, whoa! It's the new Viper!

So yeah. We saw the new Viper GTS today. It's a pretty sweet-looking car! And I think it might have ABS too, making it the best Viper to date!

::: posted by Septiman at 4:58:00 PM

Friday, June 07, 2002 :::
Uhm... maybe later...

::: posted by Septiman at 11:30:00 PM

Thursday, June 06, 2002 :::
As promised, this post here shall be about me.

Let's begin with some funny things to happen to be recently. I won't use anyone's names because I don't want to embarass anyone. Here we go!

EVENT 0001

So I'm at the gym, working out. It's pretty hot. I lift up the bottom portion of my shirt, accidentally exposing part of my gray boxers. Oops. I put my shirt down. The funny thing was that, my friend, upon seeing my gray underwear, lifts part of her shirt and pull down her pants a little bit, exposing her gray underwear, before proclaiming that "we have matching underwear." Sure lifted my mood! Heh heh.

EVENT 0002

I want a Prom picture from my friend, so I ask him to give me one; he says he has no more. Then he kind of hugs me—jokingly, I hope... for quite a while. So, as a joke, I say, "How can you do this to me, [name withheld]?" He leans over and whispers into my ear, "Because I'd rather rape you in the ass." Uh... huh...

I'm pretty sure he was just messing around, but whoa!


Okay then. Back to me now. What can I say? I can't believe I forgot that June 5th was Stacey's birthday! If you're reading this, Stacey, I apologize again. I'm sorry! As for how my life is faring today, I'm not sure. Weird things are happening. Graduation is coming. I can't wait to get out of here.

Sorry. I had a lot to say, but now I don't remember what I was going to type because I'm pissed off. I'll update later.

::: posted by Septiman at 12:15:00 AM

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