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Archive for November, 2005

what does it call itself?

Tuesday, November 29th, 2005

I go by an unusual name in the day-to-day office environment. I use my nickname, beggs, that I have had since I was in elementary school. People in the office call me beggs and I sign all of my emails ‘\beggs.’ But some people have not caught on to how the name is spelled or spoken.

Now, even in the US ‘beggs’ is a rather unusual name and here in Asia, where most people are not native English speakers I don’t spend much time correcting people who don’t pronounce it quite right; becks, begg, begk and other harder to write pronunciations.

What gets me is that people continue to use these strange pronunciations of a fairly simple word (beg, as in the verb ‘to beg’ and add an ‘s’) after months of exchanging email. I get emails that say: ‘Hi Becks,’ or ‘Beg.’ Now this is a fairly small thing, except that after I have exchanged countless emails with you over the course of months, all signed, ‘\beggs’ you’d think people would catch on to the fact that my name is not Becks — I am not a German beer. When I write an email to someone I check any previous emails I have from that person to see how they sign their name. does Michael Somebody sign ‘Michael’ or ‘Mike?’ It’s a simple thing to do and even if you don’t actively check the emails before you write a new one if you exchange emails with this person on a regular basis surely you would notice how they sign their name over-and-over again?

The best part of this whole saga, confirming my long standing dislike of commercial type people, is the fact that nearly 100% of the long term abusers of my name are commercial types — sales, presales, account managers, etc. I get emails from Engineers and Developers who I might only exchange two or three emails with and they open them, ‘Hi beggs.’ I’ve never met these people but they obviously thought that reading my entire email was worth their time. Sales people in my own company — in my own office — have been addressing my as ‘Becks’ for months.

Now I ask you: who actually reads their email?

breaking news

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005

According to my sources both “young russian sluts” and “young russian virgins” are waiting for me… I wonder if they wait together?

I hate spam.

core dump

Wednesday, November 16th, 2005

Having moved:

Haven’t been actively keeping people posted on my world, at least not via confusion. Several reasons for this but the biggest one, and the one I am going to cover here, is that I moved. I will be staying in Singapore at least another year — assuming I don’t get fired or deported. The flat I was staying in was a large one where the company picked up many of the expenses (including the rent) with the idea that others visiting from the US and Europe offices would stay there and not in a hotel. This, having not worked out, made no sense anymore. So, off to the flat search once more.

This marks the tenth time in ten years I have moved. Which my girlfriend tells me is a sign that I don’t want to put down roots. (So I ask her what size is that ring finger?) I don’t know I don’t like moving when I do it but it fun to explore a new neighborhood. And now I am smack dab in the middle of the edge of Chinatown in Singapore!

The new flat is nice but only one bedroom which means any visitors (don’t know why I should expect visitors, I haven’t had any yet despite several promises from many people) will have to bunk in the “Dragon Hotel” across the street.

Replacing photos:

flickr.com [flickr.com] recently introduced a new, much sought after, feature: photo replacement. This is the big one! This is the feature I have been waiting for. When I started using flickr I was skeptical about the whole thing, already having my photos published on confusion, and I used the confusion images as the basis of my uploads. This means I was uploading the reduced size and quality images (because I reduce the image to a size such that their longest edge is 640 pixels and reduce the JPG quality to 85% for bandwidth and speed reasons.) I have since come to regret that decision, the only problem was that you could not replace an image on flickr. You could delete the original and upload it again, but this would, in effect, reset the image: all comments, statistics, notes, associates, etc would be lost.

Now that the ‘replace’ feature is working I have started the long and painful process of replacing each and everyone of my flickr photos with the full sized image. Currently I have about 800 photos so this is going to take some time. The good thing about having my full sized photos on flickr is that they are backed up and I can take advantage of services like QOOP [qoop.com], which allows me to print poster of books of my images or Englaze [englaze.com] which allows me to make DVD or CD backups and gift discs. This is a good thing.

Now if someone would come up with a service to allow me to backup all my photos to a remote site. I don’t publish my raw photos to flickr and I don’t publish anywhere near all of them. I back them up myself but I don’t trust myself to keep a secure permanent backup. I’m talking the whole nine yards: RAID arrays, tape backup, everything. I guess the fact that users would be pushing gigabytes of data to such a service on a regular basis keeps it from reality. Oh well, I’ll just have to remember to back up my photos all the time.

Paris is burning:

Candice and I will be heading to Paris for a week to join my mother and two of my sisters for some mayhem in December. Thought I expect anything we do will pale compared to what French (and European in general to be fair) racism has done lately. I am surprised that the violence was as light as it was. Burning cars is quite tame compared to the worst case scenario I can imagine.

I don’t think any American who has lived or traveled extensively in Europe can help but see how racist the Europeans are. (I actually believe having lived in Europe and Asia that America must be one of the least racist countries.) Its not that Europeans are all violently racist (thought some are) rather they are ‘passively racist.’ Their attitudes and actions show a disdain and disrespect for anyone not of their ‘tribe’ (which means the French disdain and disrespect the British but both would smile at each other and spit and a non-European, and stand along side another Caucasian to kick a non-Caucasian.) The tolerance of Europe is due to the lack on non-Europeans in Europe. The French are by far the worst, in my experience, but they are all guilty. The problem will only get worse as non-Caucasian immigration continues to grow in Europe. Long before it gets better.

Japan is an island nation:

After braving the riots of Paris in December Candice and I will join Jonathan and Kimberly on a visit to the island nation that is Japan to annoy Jim-chan once again. In fact we will all celebrate Christmas in Kyoto. Which should be an interesting experience because I understand that Japanese for some reason associate Christmas with KFC. Combined this with bird-flu and the fact that Jim and I are vegetarian and you have a recipe for many bad jokes: and Jonathan loves a good pun and anti-vegetarian jab. But hopefully we will have white Christmas. That is the goal.

Having said this I feel I should plug my Japan photos from out last trip, in March 2004. Click for Kyoto [flickr.com], Nikko [flickr.com], Nagano & Matsumoto [flickr.com], Nara [flickr.com] and Tokyo [flickr.com].

Where is my southpark podcast

Friday, November 4th, 2005

When I got my new iPod, with it’s fancy video capability, I was quite surprised by the quality and viewability of the video. I downloaded an episode of “Lost” from the iTMS just to test that all was kosher with my new toy. Everything is peachy.

Except… the content I can get from Apple. I know Lost and Desperate Housewives are popular shows but I don’t think this is the right content for the (current) target audience. Apple should be making deals with comedy central for shows like Southpark. I mean watching an 80 foot satellite grow out or Cartman’s ass is what the geeky early adopters what, not the latest housewife gossip.

Shows like Southpark and The Simpson’s are perfect for a variety of reasons: they are animated so the reduced quality of the H.264 video on the iPod is not a problem, the have large (or in the case of The Simpson’s, huge!) back catalogs of episodes so there is a body of content from day one. They are both still on the air so they will continue to grow pulling in more people to browse the archives each week when a new episode is available. Other shows I’d like to see are the cult classics from the BBC and A&E. And basically anything in syndication, think Gilligan’s Island while your on the bus/metro to work.

And where are the pay-per-download podcasts? How about a monthly subscription to a 30-minute daily news broadcast? If I am a commuter who takes public transportation, then I would pay $10 a month to get the evening news on my iPod at 5:00 before I leave the office and watch it on the train/bus ride home.

Apple should get together with TiVo and produce a TiVo box that has a built in iPod doc to sync your iPod with your recorded TiVo archives.