Thursday, November 30, 2006

Hilarious Hackers/Crackers

I was reading two conversation about dumb hackers trying to do and steal something and instead got kick by themselves. Well they tried to crack but not hack. Well, I know that you know the difference between a hacker and a cracker, just in case if you dont... A cracker is someone who tries to get in to servers and databases or steal passwords with the intention of malpractice. Whereas hackers hack with the intention of helping and alerting the system administrators of a potential flaw in their architecture. To give an example, suppose if some person passes through a bank's database to get the permissions to transfer others funds to that person's account. If the bank finds that it lost some money from that act, then the person is called a cracker. But if the bank gets an alert on how the person could do that and they didnt find all the accounts' status as they should be, then the person is a hacker. Hacking these days is becoming ethical. But cracking in all the means is unethical. Psychologists say that it all depends on the person's nature and sometimes the mood of the person whether he is a cracker of hacker.

Anyways here are the link for the 2 hilarious coversations.

This one gives an IRC conversation of some 26 year old guy who flushes his own hard disk trying to use the trick on someone else's system.

This one is about a 13 year old trying to steal Steam account credentials and with his lack of hackingsense gave away his own credentials.

Gorgeous Christmas Lights: A Killer Video

This is a video of a house lights dancing for music. This video brought down the server of Jake from UtterlyBoring.com. Watch video form YouTube below.



Tags: Christmas
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StudiVZ wants to discuss new COC

StudiVZ wants to discuss new code of conduct with their users. In my eyes a good strategy, but it depends whether the codex is put in practice and whether StudiVZ has the possiblity to ensure that the Codex ‘is lived’ inside the company.

Source: Kasi-Blog
Tags: StudiVZ Social Networks
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What is happening with Britney Spears

She ended a marriage in 55 hours, She ended another marriage after having 2 children in a quick time. The first one is JASON ALEXANDER who speaks out about Britney's love life. It is reported in Jan,2004 that Jason got around $500,000 to end the 55 hour marriage. Recently She made poor Kevin Federline the Fed-ex. He seems to be fighting for the children. What the mess she has created around her.

To add to it she is again caught by paparazzi. Imagine the exposure she will get to the new show-off. She is there in the technorati top searches with Britney Spears, Britney and Spears and there is a link in technorati blog for her up skirt stunt. I pity her. Is it just the money making her behave like this? Then damn with money. But not every one who has money is doing this...then is it just the personality? I think some fault lies in our (general public) side too, as whatever the celebrity does, we view it as crazy and give her more exposure than it needs. Giving a suggestion to her...Briney's ex, I mean one of Britney's ex NSYNC star Justin Timberlake had already given her when she split with Jason Alexander. As one of the insider revealed she got a call from Justin and in the words of the insider he said "I'm ashamed of you" and "He chewed her out and told her how ignorant she was acting".

Tags: Britney Spears Paparazzi Celebrities
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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Brent: Of Course Iraq’s A Mess But It’s Liberal Bias To Call It A Civil War

Brent Bozell and Sean Hannity were full of outrage that NBC News dared to call the problems in Iraq “a civil war.” Hannity sulked, “They’ve never given the American public the story about all the success in Iraq,” but somehow neglected to report any successes, himself – now or any time in the recent past. Under questioning from Alan Colmes, Bozell admitted that the war is “a mess” but he complained that calling it a civil war is an “editorial comment” that shows bias. Funny how Bozell has never complained there was any “editorial comment” when FOX News quickly complied with the Bush administration’s request to call its domestic eavesdropping a “terrorist surveillance program.”....

Read the interesting article at NewsHounds.

Tags: News Iraq Brent
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Cambridge-MIT invented soundless Aircraft

A futuristic new jet hopes to be the biggest revolution in commercial aircraft design in fifty years. With a radical new shape, its designers believe it will use 25 percent less fuel that today's planes and be no louder than a car driving down your street. The research team from the Cambridge-MIT Institute, a collaboration between the two universities and backed by the British government, have spent the last seven years working on a "silent" jet, focussing on noise reduction as the primary design point. The result is a design unlike the cylindrical fuselage of today's passenger aircraft that it is hoped will be 25 decibels quieter. Resembling a single flying wing, the jet, called the SAX-40, incorporates a "blended-wing" design that smoothly blends the conventional wings of a plane into a wide tailless body.

Instead of wing-mounted engines, the SAX-40 has been designed with the air in-takes embedded into the top of the plane, shielding people on the ground from any engine noise. The engines themselves would be mounted deep within the in-take ducts and heavily insulated. Another noise-countering feature is the incorporation of a trailing wing edge - long, thin protrusions from the back of the wing - that make the transition between turbulent and non-turbulent air much smoother.

These features should ensure a quieter ride for passengers, and those on the ground, but there are further innovations that would please people living under airport flight paths. On slower approaches to airports, the airframe of a plane makes as much noise as the engine -- most of it coming from the flaps and lowered undercarriage. The SAX-40 design has eliminated flaps and simplified the undercarriage.

Instead the plane will have a drooped leading edge that will create extra lift, an innovation that Airbus have incorporated in its A380 superjumbo. With the predicted tripling of air passengers in the next 30 years there is a strong case to be made for quieter jets, as airports will not be able to increase capacity unless they respect their surrounding communities and local noise pollution levels.

Read more at the source.

Tags: Airlines Aircrafts Engineering Science Inventions Aerospace Engineering
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Zune Reviewed

Display: The key feature on the Zune is really the LCD display. It's actually 44% larger than a video iPod screen. It's large enough to watch a music video, or movie and actually see the expressions on peoples faces. The pixel density is about double that of modern laptops, so it's more like watching a mini HDTV than a mini television. The refresh rate is also higher than a television, which means the frames move extremely fast to make the motion appear fluid rather than jaggy or digitized.


User Interface: The user interface is the second most important feature (after the display) for making the Zune stand out. The large center button can be pushed in 4 directions (left, right , up, down) or pressed straight down. Anyone who can use a web browser can operate the Zune.The layout is really minimalist, we observed many people at the LA preview picking up and using the device for the first time without asking any questions or looking for instructions. The menus have a sleek animation from one screen to another that gives the Zune a modern edgy feel, and personalized background pictures stay visible during navigation.

Sharing: The award for most unique feature on the Zune goes to the Wi-Fi functionality. The official range is 30 feet but this is a conservative number, we've already done tests beyond 50 feet. Users can detect who has a Zune in range and then transfer songs, entire albums, and even photos to other Zunes. The recipient is prompted to accept or deny the incoming files. To preserve copyrights, transferred songs can only be played 3 times, then data is automatically deleted. Although the track gets deleted, it can be flagged, in which case the Zune remembers all the details of the track and can fetch it from the Zune Marketplace in a legal and permanent manner.

Feel: The Zune is not slippery. It actually has a matte finish on a special 80 durometer plastic that feels neither hard nor rubbery. A lot of the "softness" comes from the finish texture rather than the material properties. The best part about the outer shell is that it's nearly scratch proof. Dig your nails into it and see what happens. We did our best to scratch the test unit but without any success.

Appearance: The players are not shiny like most consumer electronics lining the shelves these days, and that seems to give them some personality. Although the brown Zune is quite popular with pre-orders, we couldn't get ourselves to like it. The secondary (double shot) colors are not really dominant, they are more of a detail than a color scheme. The dark chrome border around the display and black button is a huge plus for all three colors and without them Zune would be aesthetically lost. The devices look better in person than photos (kind of like most people) and the best thing about them is that they are unique. It's impossible to mistake a Zune for any other player.

Media: The Zune sports a 30GB hard drive capable of storing thousands of songs, images and videos. The hard drive cannot be used as a memory stick for storing and retrieving word documents, zip files, and other such data. This is by far the biggest drawback of the player considering most competing devices are recognized as mass storage drives by computers. FM radio is integrated into the Zune including the ability to gather track info from the airwaves and display it in real time.

Sound: The sound quality of the device is 100% dependent on the headphones used, not so much the player. The standard ear buds are exactly that, standard. They look great, and sound as good as any earbuds on the market, but to get the most out of the player consider upgrading. We actually don't recommend the Zune Premium Earphones either unless you are limited for space. If sound quality is a must, consider blowing $300 on some nice headphones with active noise canceling.

Service: Zune marketplace launches with over 2 million songs and offers 2 options for enthusiasts. Songs can be purchased for about 99 cents or a subscription for infinite downloads can be had for 14.99. Individuals with an existing collection of ripped CD tracks or illegally downloaded music may choose not to participate in the marketplace at all. The Zune will play and even share songs from other sources. The ability of Zune software to fetch album art for ripped and illegal music is nothing short of fantastic. Be aware, however, that songs purchased from iTunes are protected with strict DRM codes and cannot be played in the Zune or any other non-Apple device.

Value: The Zune is priced at $249 and quite simply has more features and functionality than any other player in that price range. A comparison chart is available for line by line evaluation with iPod.

Conclusion: Based on features, Zune is the premiere player available on the market today. It has already pressured other manufacturers to drop their prices in an attempt to remain competitive. Expect to see the mp3 category heat up over the next few years as the competition scrambles to add larger screens and Wi-Fi connectivity. The mp3 player is the first Zune branded device to be released, expect to see more Zune products in the future including the Zunephone and Zunegamer among others.

You can read more reviews by 100 Zune owners at ZuneScene.

Source: ZuneScene
Tag: Zune MP3
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StudiVZ and Facebook - Data Leak(s)

StudiVZ's new problem is with their inability to deal with picture gallery security settings, which seems to be the next big problem in the StudiVZ history. The images are saved on a different server and have public access - despite the StudiVZ announcement that data privacy is ensured. Even more, their competitor and potential buyer Facebook.com reveals the same security leak which fuels speculations about identical program codes and ongoing co-operation.

Read more here.

Tags: StudiVZ
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Anshe Chung: First Virtual Millionaire Through Second Life

Anshe Chung, a real-estate tycoon in the digitally simulated world known as Second Life, has apparently become the first virtual millionaire--i.e., someone whose holdings in a make-believe world are legally convertible into genuine U.S. currency worth more than $1 million.

Chung is the nom de keyboard of Ailin Graef, a former schoolteacher who says she was born and raised in Hubei, China, and is now a citizen of Germany. She will give a press conference about her achievement on November 28th at 9:00 a.m. PST, although it will occur in-world, i.e., to attend you will need to have downloaded Second Life's software from the company that created and maintains it, Linden Lab. Here is Chung's announcement, which has additional details. (A spokesperson for Linden Lab told me she could not immediately verify Chung's claim, because Chung's property is held in many different names, but hopes to have the information by later today.)

The fortune Anshe Chung commands in Second Life includes virtual real estate that is equivalent to 36 square kilometers of land – this property is supported by 550 servers or land "simulators". In addition to her virtual real estate holdings, Anshe has "cash" holdings of several million Linden Dollars, several virtual shopping malls, virtual store chains, and she has established several virtual brands in Second Life. She also has significant virtual stock market investments in Second Life companies.

Anshe Chung's achievement is all the more remarkable because the fortune was developed over a period of two and a half years from an initial investment of $9.95 for a Second Life account by Anshe's creator, Ailin Graef. Anshe/Ailin achieved her fortune by beginning with small scale purchases of virtual real estate which she then subdivided and developed with landscaping and themed architectural builds for rental and resale. Her operations have since grown to include the development and sale of properties for large scale real world corporations, and have led to a real life "spin off" corporation called Anshe Chung Studios, which develops immersive 3D environments for applications ranging from education to business conferencing and product prototyping.

Source: Money.Cnn.com
Tags: Second Life Money Vritual Life
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Monday, November 27, 2006

How To Use The Zune as a Hard Drive

Fantastic news for the handful of people who actually own a Zune. Someone's found a way to enable a sort of hard drive support, which although doesn't assign a drive letter to your Zune, does allow you to drag and drop files from it.

Turns out it's just a registry value to enable visibility in the shell. Cake! Hit the jump for the instructions.

1. Make sure your Zune is not plugged in and your Zune software isn't running 2. open up regedit by going to the start menu and selecting "run". Type regedt32 and hit "OK" 3. Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\ControlSet001\Enum\USB\ 4. Search for "PortableDeviceNameSpace". This should be contained in the Vid_####&Pid_####\########_-_########_-_########_-_########\Device Parameters within the above ...\USB\ The ##'s listed here will be numbers and letters specific to your Zune 5. Change the following values: * EnableLegacySupport to 1 * PortableDeviceNameSpaceExcludeFromShell to 0 * ShowInShell to 1 6. Plug in your Zune, and make sure the Zune Software starts up. 7. Hopefully at this point you can open up "My Computer" and browse your device, though it does NOT show up as a drive letter.

Right now I can access it both as a harddrive and sync through the Zune Software.

Source: Gizmodo
Tags: Zune

Friday, November 24, 2006

Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) Screen Saver From MicroSoft Itself

One of the most feared colors in the NT world is blue. The infamous Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) will pop up on an NT system whenever something has gone terribly wrong. Bluescreen is a screen saver that not only authentically mimics a BSOD, but will simulate startup screens seen during a system boot.
• On NT 4.0 installations it simulates chkdsk of disk drives with errors!
• On Win2K and Windows 9x it presents the Win2K startup splash screen, complete with rotating progress band and progress control updates!
• On Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 it present the XP/Server 2003 startup splash screen with progress bar!

Bluescreen cycles between different Blue Screens and simulated boots every 15 seconds or so. Virtually all the information shown on Bluescreen's BSOD and system start screen is obtained from your system configuration - its accuracy will fool even advanced NT developers. For example, the NT build number, processor revision, loaded drivers and addresses, disk drive characteristics, and memory size are all taken from the system Bluescreen is running on.

Use Bluescreen to amaze your friends and scare your enemies! Bluescreen runs on Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows 9x (it requires DirectX).

This Screen Saver is actually developed long time ago by Sysinternals, which was bought by Microsoft.

You can download the screen saver from Microsoft.com
Source: Microsoft UtterlyBoring.com
Tags: Windows BSOD Microsoft Computers

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Emsdetten school shooter's Homepage blocked

Emsdetten school shooters homepage is blocked and being forwarded to some official page. But dont worry I'v a snapshot of it for your viewing pleasure below and you can read the full story including his suicide note too.

Below is his address.
Bastian Bosse,
Dannenkamp 19,
Emsdetten, DE
PIN Code: 48282










Snap shot taken from http://whois.ws/whois-de/ip-address/stay-different.de/

Emsdetten school shooting

Emsdetten is a town and a municipality in the district of Steinfurt, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is situated on the river Ems, approx. 13 km south-east of Rheine and 25 km north-west of Münster.

Emsdetten school shooting

On November 20, 2006, at about 9:30 AM local time, an armed and masked 18-year-old stormed his former high school in northwestern Germany, shooting five people and setting off smoke bombs before he was found dead, his body still rigged with explosives, police said.

In an Internet posting shortly before the attack, Bosse stated that he hated people and was taught to be a loser at this school. He also left a suicide note on his homepage http://www.stay-different.de (actually, the homepage is closed and looks like it is being forwarded to the police department website. But dont worry I'v the site's homepage's snapshot posted and you can see his address too). Read the Suicide note in German below.

Witnesses said the gunman had parked nearby and opened fire as soon as he entered the schoolyard, wounding several people and sending students running in all directions.

The first patrol car arrived at the Geschwister Scholl school in Emsdetten, near the Dutch border, six minutes after a distress call from a school secretary, prompting the attacker to set off several smoke bombs and withdraw to the second floor, said Hans Volkmann, a senior police officer.

Police searched the building room by room, evacuating terrified students. They found the assailant, identified as Sebastian Bosse by witnesses and German television, dead in a smoke-filled room.

Volkmann said officers could see two sawed-off guns lying near his body and a knife strapped to his leg. Homemade pipe bombs were lying nearby and the man appeared to be carrying other explosive devices on his body.

“He is still lying there because he’s wired up,” Volkmann said.

The man’s face was “unrecognizable” because of serious injuries but that it was not clear if he had shot himself or was killed by one of the bombs.

Police fired no shots, he said.

The man had indicated his plans on a website that carried pictures of him in military-style uniform and brandishing what appeared to be a submachine-gun. He also left a farewell note that “indicates something of his motive,” state prosecutor Wolfgang Schweer said.

“He seems to have been frustrated by a lack of meaning in his life,” Schweer said at a news conference. “It appears that he was a loner who decided on his own to do this.”

Three students aged 12 to 15, a female teacher and the janitor were shot. Several of the injuries were serious, but none was life-threatening.

Officials said 20 other people suffered smoke inhalation, most of them police officers.

Schweer said the man had been due to go trial on Tuesday for weapons offences after being caught with a loaded pistol several months earlier.

Students said the assailant was an aggressive and aloof individual who played violent computer games and had said he wanted to join the army.

Katja Weber, 17, said he always wore a black hat and coat.

“He was an absolute loner,” Weber told reporters outside the school. “Guns were his hobby.”

The incident brought back memories of a shooting rampage in the eastern German city of Erfurt in 2002, when a former student killed himself and 16 others, most of them teachers.
It was also similar to the shooting rampage at Montreal’s Dawson College earlier this year.

One student was killed and 20 others were injured in the Sept. 13 attack before the black-clad gunman, Kimveer Gill, 25, took his own life after being wounded by police.

Here is the suicide note in German.

Colbert talks about Dungeons and Dragons

Colbert talks about Dungeons and Dragons, and the newly released (and rather good) Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach. He says: I had an eleventh-level paladin (it took me years to advance those levels) whom I took on Expedition, and he got the Power Armor, which was the big thing to get in that module. But he also went a little power mad. On the next campaign we saw merchant caravans crossing the desert, and my character flew down and landed next to a merchant and tore off the guy's head. The DM informed me that I was not a paladin anymore. I said, "Oh, shit, I forgot. I'm lawful good!"

Watch the video below.




Tags: Colbert
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Robert Altman

Robert Altman, the quintessentially independent movie director famous for such visionary films as “M*A*S*H,'’ “Nashville'’ and “McCabe & Mrs. Miller,'’. Altman died Monday in Los Angeles of complications from cancer. He was 81. He made more than 30 feature films in a career that spanned half a century. Robert Altman was a five-time Academy Award nominee for best director, most recently for 2001’s “Gosford Park.'’ In March, he was presented with an honorary Oscar, which he accepted by saying “I look at it as a nod to all of my films because, to me, I’ve just made one long film.'’

Robert Altman's other nominations — for “M*A*S*H,'’ “Nashville,'’ “Short Cuts'’ and “The Player,'’ in which he mercilessly mocked Hollywood — are representative of the filmmaker’s free-flowing improvisational style and use of overlapping dialogue. He became known for integrating music into such films as the haunting “McCabe & Mrs. Miller,'’ set in a boomtown in the Pacific Northwest at the turn of the 20th century, and “Nashville,'’ following 24 characters involved in a political rally.

Altman practically invented the concept of the ensemble piece, using an all-star cast to enact multiple stories, proving that audiences were willing and able to follow many plotlines at once. His influence is seen in the 2006 Oscar-winner “Crash'’ and in this year’s “Babel,'’ among other contemporary films.

Spending most of his career working outside the Hollywood system, he became a role model for independent filmmakers, showing that you get an offbeat subject onto the screen if you work the angles. Altman played distributors like a virtuoso.

“He was an inspiration in that he made me feel I’m going to maintain my vision and let the world think of it what they may,'’ said Bay Area indie director Finn Taylor.

Although Altman was diagnosed with cancer a year-and-a-half ago, he continued to work, directing Arthur Miller’s final play, “Resurrection Blues,'’ in London; completing “A Prairie Home Companion,'’ loosely based on Garrison Keillor’s popular radio show; and providing commentary for a just-released DVD of that movie. He and Keillor, who wrote the screenplay, left out any mention of Lake Wobegon because they had planned to make a sequel set in the mythical town.

Altman also had screenwriter Julie Talen busy on a script about the notorious spy Mata Hari. Looking over Talen’s work, he gave her a note that said, “Just make all the people be awful to each other.'’ Shortly before his hospitalization, he was in preproduction on a movie with a February shooting date.

Not all his films were successful. “Popeye,” a live-action musical about the spinach-fueled cartoon sailor starring Robin Williams, was universally panned by critics and audiences.

Meryl Streep, who starred in “A Prairie Home Companion,'’ said in a statement that she had spoken with the filmmaker just last week. “He seemed impatient for the future. He still had the generous, optimistic appetite for the next thing, and we planned the next film laughing in anticipation of the laughs we’d have.'’

Actor Elliot Gould said in an interview Tuesday that the director’s free-form style took some getting used to. He would make up lines on the spot and expect the cast to act as if they were written in stone.

“There was a scene in ‘M*A*S*H’ where I was playing poker, and a guy came up behind me wearing sunglasses that had mirrors,'’ Gould recalled. “Bob told me to tell him, ‘There are two ways to be killed in this war. One is go out and fight, and the other is to stand behind me wearing those glasses.’ That was all Bob — it wasn’t in the script.'’

At first, Gould and co-star Donald Sutherland “really didn’t get this different way to work. We were sort of upset and even complained about it to our agents. Bob thought we wanted to get him fired, but fortunately things got cleared up,'’ said Gould, who went on to do some of his finest acting for Altman in “The Long Goodbye,'’ “California Split'’ and “The Player.'’

“Bob once said to me that he had learned how to put it — he meant a movie — together in chaos, and therefore he would create chaos in which to put it together,'’ Gould said.

Most actors came to adore Altman. “The best work I have ever done on film was for Bob, and the most comfortable and the most fun,'’ Carol Burnett told The Chronicle Tuesday. “He just kind of encouraged you and made you happy. If you had an idea he’d say, ‘Don’t dare not come to me with it.’ ‘’

Burnett, who made “The Wedding,'’ “Health'’ and the HBO drama “Laundromat'’ with Altman, said, “I couldn’t wait to work for him. I miss him already.'’

Lily Tomlin recalled recently that she was fearful of her singing scenes in “A Prairie Home Companion.'’ “I said to Bob, ‘What if I get there and I can’t sing?’ He said, ‘So you won’t sing.’ It was like when we made ‘Nashville,’ and I told him I didn’t think my character could go to bed with Keith Carradine’s, and Bob said, ‘Well, then, she just can’t do it.’ ”

Maggie Smith once described herself and her “Gosford Park'’ co-star Helen Mirren as “his fan club. We are Bob’s Babes.'’

In an interview with The Chronicle in 2000, Altman said that “actors want to work with me, even though their agents don’t want them to. My reputation is known: that I’ll never lie to them and that they finally get to do what they became actors to do, and that is create. They create their roles. I don’t. Once I have a film cast, 85 percent of my creative work is done. I’m just there to keep it in the boundaries. If somebody tries to go across the street, I say, ‘That’s too far. Come back.’ ‘’

Robert Altman was born on Feb. 20, 1925, in Kansas City, Mo., and spent his teenage years sneaking into jazz clubs. The kind of artist on whom nothing is lost, he turned his memories of these clubs and the gangsters who frequented them into the film “Kansas City.'’ His experiences as a bomber pilot during World War II became grist for “M*A*S*H.'’

He was always eager to learn about new things, which prompted him to dip into the world of high fashion in “Ready to Wear'’ and into classical dance in “The Company,'’ which was shot using dancers from the Joffrey Ballet.

“He was like a big papa bear to them. He walked around with his arms around all of them,'’ said Harriet Ross, the company’s artistic manager at the time. Going into the production, Altman didn’t know much about ballet. “That is what interested him about it. He only liked to do films about something he had never done before.'’

Altman was a sociable sort and a big drinker in his day. Patricia Neal, who came out of retirement to do “Cookie’s Fortune'’ for him, once described their first meeting in 1965:

“Bob came to see my ex-husband about a film script he wanted to write. He was there for about four days and dead drunk from the minute he arrived to the minute he left.'’

Although Altman took better care of himself after a 1995 heart transplant, surgery that he kept secret for years out of fear that he couldn’t get insurance to keep directing, he remained a night owl. In San Francisco in 2003 to receive the Film Society Directing Award, he spent late nights at Tosca Café and let it be known to the festival staff that he didn’t like to get up early.

He was accompanied here by his third wife, Kathryn Reed Altman. She survives him, along with four sons, Robert, Matthew, Michael and Stephen, and a daughter, Christine.



FILMOGRAPHY
Films of Robert Altman as director, producer or writer include:

“Christmas Eve” — 1947

“Bodyguard” — 1948

“The Delinquents” — 1957

“The James Dean Story” — 1957
“Nightmare in Chicago” — 1964

“Countdown” — 1968

“That Cold Day in the Park” — 1969

“M*A*S*H” — 1970

“Brewster McCloud” — 1970

“Events” — 1970

“McCabe & Mrs. Miller” — 1971

“Images” — 1972

“The Long Goodbye” — 1973

“Thieves Like Us” — 1974

“California Split” — 1974

“Nashville” — 1975

“Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull’s History Lesson” — 1976

“Welcome to L.A.” — 1977

“The Late Show” — 1977

“Three Women” — 1977

“A Wedding” — 1978

“Remember My Name” — 1978

“Quintet” — 1979

“A Perfect Couple” — 1979

“Rich Kids” — 1979

“Health” — 1980

“Popeye” — 1980

“Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean” — 1982

“Streamers” — 1983

“Secret Honor” — 1984

“Fool for Love” — 1985

“Beyond Therapy” — 1987

“O.C. and Stiggs” — 1987

“Aria” (one segment, “Les Boreades”) — 1987

“Vincent & Theo” — 1990

“The Player” — 1992

“Short Cuts” — 1993

“Pret-a-Porter” (”Ready to Wear”) — 1994

“Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle” — 1994

“Jazz ‘34″ — 1996

“Kansas City” — 1996

“The Gingerbread Man” — 1998

“Cookie’s Fortune” — 1999

“Dr. T and the Women” — 2000

“Gosford Park” — 2001

“The Company” — 2003

“Tanner on Tanner” — 2004

“A Prairie Home Companion” — 2006

Source: AP
Tags: Robert Altman Films Hollywood
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Officer in UCLA Taser case identified

The UCLA police officer videotaped last week using a Taser gun on a student also shot a homeless man at a campus study hall room three years ago and was earlier recommended for dismissal in connection with an alleged assault on fraternity row, authorities said. UCLA police confirmed late Monday that the officer who fired the Taser gun was Terrence Duren, who has served in the university's Police Department for 18 years. Duren, who was named officer of the year in 2001, also has been involved in several controversial incidents on campus.

In an interview with The Times on Monday night, Duren, 43, defended his record as a campus police officer and urged people to withhold judgment until the review of his Taser use is completed. "I patrol this area the same way I would want someone to patrol the neighborhoods where I live," he said. "People make allegations against cops all the time. Saying one thing and proving it are two different things." While he would not directly talk about why he used the Taser on the student, he said a videotape of any arrest doesn't necessarily tell the whole story.

"If someone is resisting, sometimes it's not going to look pretty taking someone into custody," he said. "If you have to use some force, it's not going to look pretty. That's the nature of this job." A student's cellphone video of the incident has been broadcast around the world and focused much criticism on the officer.

But Duren — who was back on duty at the UCLA campus Monday night — said he can roll with these punches and wants to explain himself to students critical of his actions. "In this line of business, you have to have a thick skin," he added. "I am proud of my service as a cop." The incident occurred about 11 p.m. Nov. 14 in a library filled with students studying for midterm examinations.

Source: LA Times
Tags: UCLA Taser
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Is it "Man on the Moon" style by Kramer (Michael Richards)?

WARNING: WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE IS PROFANE AND RACIAL.


Here is what happened: Michael Richards exploded in anger as he performed at a famous L.A. comedy club last Friday, hurling racial epithets that left the crowd gasping. Richards, who played the wacky Cosmo Kramer on the hit TV show "Seinfeld," appeared onstage at the Laugh Factory in West Hollywood. Kyle Doss, an African-American, told TMZ he and some friends were in the cheap seats and he was playfully heckling Richards when suddenly, the comedian lost it. The camera started rolling just as Richards began his attack, screaming at one of the men, "Fifty years ago we'd have you upside down with a f***ing fork up your ass."

Richards continued, "You can talk, you can talk, you're brave now motherf**ker. Throw his ass out. He's a nigger! He's a nigger! He's a nigger! A nigger, look, there's a nigger!" The crowd is visibly and audibly confused and upset. Richards responds by saying, "They're going to arrest me for calling a black man a nigger."

One of the men who was the object of Richard's tirade was outraged, shouting back "That's un-f***ing called for, ain't necessary." After the three-minute tirade, it appears the majority of the audience members got up and left in disgust.

At first I thought Kramer may be doing it as Jim Carry does it in Man on the Moon. But now I think he just lost it. I mean who could do it violating a strictly laid out law with a strictly laid out stupid plan.

Watch the Video below from YouTube (At your own risk)



Source: TMZ
Tags: Kramer Michael Richards
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Friday, November 17, 2006

Patient gamers buy PlayStation 3

Patient American gamers are buying Sony's new PlayStation 3 console after queuing in some cases for many days. Four hundred thousand machines have gone on sale, following its debut in Japan last week. Many shops opened at midnight to sell the console, which costs $499 (£264) to $599 depending on the model. Kaz Hirai, chief executive of Sony's American games division said: "We're going to try and get as many units into the North American market as possible."

'Lead time'

He added: "Usually most companies would boat the product in, but we're actually chartering airplanes to bring them into the North American market to try to shorten that lead time, so we get as many units into the hands of consumers as possible." At a midnight launch event at a shop in New York, Sergio Rodriguez was the first to walk away with a new console as people queuing outside cheered. He had been camped outside the shop since Sunday. "This is the best game ever. It's so worth the wait," the 25-year-old graphics designer said. "Some people may call me crazy, but I really love to play."

About 400,000 consoles have been made available for the North American launch, four times the number on sale in Japan last week where there were reports of homeless people being paid to queue for the console. European gamers have to wait until March next year before being able to buy the machine. Saby Madrigal, an 18-year-old college student who worked for a month at a shop to save up for a PS3, stood and queued outside a Circuit City store in New York for 24 hours but failed to buy a PS3.

She vowed to keep looking.

"For the work we had to do to get all the money to get the stupid system, I'm going to search every single store in town," she said. "I don't care, I'm going to get it." Sony, which has suffered problems in the last 12 months with laptop battery recalls and lags behind rivals in key products such as music players and high definition TVs, is counting on the PS3 to maintain and build its market lead in video game consoles. More than 200m PlayStations 1 and 2s have been sold over the last 12 years, making the firm the dominant company in the $30bn a year videogame industry. Some customers were buying PS3 machines for themselves or as gifts, but many were hoping to resell them at a profit. Even before Friday's launch, units were fetching four or five times their retail price on the online auction website eBay. James Salterio, 27, waiting outside a shop in Houston, said greed was his motivation.

"I'm gonna sell mine," Mr Salterio said, estimating he would make anywhere between $1,500 (£794) and $4,000 (£2,119).

Source: BBC
Tag: PlayStation Sony Gaming
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UK's Computer industry 'faces crisis'

The computer industry faces a skills crisis, the president of the British Computer Society has told BBC News. Unless steps are taken now there will not be enough qualified graduates to meet the demands of UK industry, warned Professor Nigel Shadbolt. Prof Shadbolt said there was increasing demand but decreasing supply of graduates in computer science. "If we're not careful, the UK is going to lose its pre-eminent position as a knowledge-based economy," he said.

In his first major interview since taking charge this month, Professor Shadbolt warned that UK was in danger of no longer being a provider of "really major insights in the information age". "We believe we have a crisis," said Mr Shadbolt, who is professor of artificial intelligence in the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton. The British Computer Society is a professional and academic association which acts as a conduit to information for IT practitioners and works to raise public awareness of IT. Professor Shadbolt has released previously unpublished research which shows that in the past four years demand for IT and computer graduates has doubled while at the same time the number of students studying the subject has declined by a third. The government has boasted about the rise in overall numbers of people studying computer sciences since 1998. But more recently there has been a sharp decline.

Professor Shadbolt also said that seemingly healthy figures masked a lack of properly qualified IT specialists. Many of those counted in official statistics, he said, were taking computer science as an adjunct to their main degree.

Shortfall

"It's a little bit like (the government) stating that to supply the requirements for doctors and medically trained staff in the country we teach increasing numbers of people first aid." He said he feared that any shortfall in skilled IT professionals in the UK would lead to a loss of highly paid jobs to the emerging economies of India and China. "They are equipping their younger generation, their graduates with substantial amounts of skills particularly in computing and IT and we do not want to be faced with the situation in which the major corporates who have traditionally sought skills of that sort in this country look to supply that demand offshore," he said. "There is a real danger of a flight of jobs overseas." Professor Shadbolt said that it was not just the IT sector that would suffer.

Computer skills are essential across a whole range of disciplines - everything from pharmaceuticals through to modern transportation systems depend on properly skilled IT specialists.

'Consequences'

Without them, according to Professor Shadbolt "there will be consequences across our entire economic base". So why are young people in the UK choosing not to study IT, one of the more lucrative UK industries? Professor Shadbolt said it was partly due to poor teaching and called for a thorough review of the way in which it is taught in schools. The industry also had an image problem, he said, with computer scientists often portrayed on TV and in films as "geeky".

The UK has been among those on the vanguard of computer science and IT. But just at the point that the web is presenting new and exciting opportunities, Professor Shadbolt said he feared that Britain was at risk of losing its grip on a technology that would be crucial in the 21st Century. He said: "We now have an economy where information is one of the primary assets.

"So really understanding the consequences of the technology and the society on bushiness is fundamental".

Source: BBC
Tag: Computers UK Jobs
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China 'unblocks' Wikipedia site

China's year-long block on the US-based online encyclopaedia Wikipedia has been lifted, activists say. The Chinese-language version of the website was reported to be fully accessible this week. The press freedom group Reporters without Borders praised the bosses of Wikipedia, who they said had "always refused to go in for self-censorship". Other internet giants have been criticised for censoring their services or complying with strict Chinese rules. Wikipedia - which allows users to add to and edit the website's information - was becoming increasingly popular in China until it was blocked in late 2005. China has strict laws on internet use and blocks content it deems a threat, including references to the Tiananmen Square massacre and notable dissidents. It also blocks the BBC News website.

'Neutral view'

Critics say global internet firms such as Yahoo, Google and Microsoft have compromised their principles, justifying this by saying it was the only way to gain access to China's fast-growing market. "The Wikipedia example proves the contrary," the Paris-based Reporters without Borders said. "The Chinese government is pragmatic and does not want to do without foreign businesses in the internet sector. There is obviously room for negotiation for the US companies." A Chinese-American former academic and Wikipedia specialist, Andrew Lih, reported the lifting of the block. In his blog, he said he believed the Chinese authorities gave way because of Wikipedia's consistent argument that it "has a neutral point of view at its core, with no activist or subversive agenda to the site". "In the end, I believe consensus among the authorities determined the benefits of Wikipedia far outweigh the risks." There was no immediate official word from the Chinese authorities on the lifting of the block.

Source: BBC
Tag: China Wikipedia Internet
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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Bush arrives in Vietnam for regional summit

U.S. President George W. Bush opened a visit Friday to the wartime capital of this once-divided country, a trip that is stirring inevitable comparisons between the unpopular war in Iraq and the divisive conflict fought and lost in Vietnam more than three decades ago. Vietnamese officials greeted Bush and his wife, Laura, at the airport on humid and breezy morning. Two young girls, wearing flowing traditional dresses, presented them with bouquets of flowers.

Bush's itinerary promised some interesting moments. Before attending a state dinner Friday evening, Bush was to drop by the headquarters of the Communist Party to talk with its general secretary. Bush was the fourth U.S. president to visit Vietnam, where communist forces prevailed over the United States and a Washington-backed regime in Saigon in a conflict that claimed the lives of more than 58,000 Americans. President Clinton visited Vietnam in 2000; Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon made wartime visits.

Bush and his aides have pushed back against comparisons of the war here and the Iraq war, now in its fourth year. Like Vietnam, the United States faces a determined insurgency in Iraq; both wars have demonstrated the limits of U.S. power. On Air Force One as it flew to Hanoi, White House press secretary Tony Snow dodged discussion of the Vietnam War, either its lessons for Iraq, or Bush's personal interest in visiting a country that once so divided the United States.

Source: CNN
Tags: Bush Iraq War Vietnam
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Student shot with Taser by UCPD officers

UCLA Taser Incident occured around 11:30 p.m. in the Powell Library CLICC computer lab. [See the YouTube Video below] UCPD(University of California Police Department) officers shot a student several times with a Taser inside the Powell Library CLICC computer lab late Tuesday night before taking him into custody. No university police officers were available to comment further about the incident as of 3 a.m. Wednesday, and no Community Service Officers (CSOs) who were on duty at the time could be reached. At around 11:30 p.m., CSOs asked a male student using a computer in the back of the room to leave when he was unable to produce a BruinCard during a random check. The student did not exit the building immediately.

The CSOs left, returning minutes later, and police officers arrived to escort the student out. By this time the student had begun to walk toward the door with his backpack when an officer approached him and grabbed his arm, at which point the student told the officer to let him go. A second officer then approached the student as well. The student began to yell "get off me," repeating himself several times. It was at this point that the officers shot the student with a Taser for the first time, causing him to fall to the floor and cry out in pain. The student also told the officers he had a medical condition.

UCPD officers confirmed that the man involved in the incident was a student, but did not give a name or any additional information about his identity. Video shot from a student's camera phone captured the student yelling, "Here's your Patriot Act, here's your fucking abuse of power," while he struggled with the officers. As the student was screaming, UCPD officers repeatedly told him to stand up and said "stop fighting us." The student did not stand up as the officers requested and they shot him with the Taser at least once more. "It was the most disgusting and vile act I had ever seen in my life," said David Remesnitsky, a 2006 UCLA alumnus who witnessed the incident. As the student and the officers were struggling, bystanders repeatedly asked the police officers to stop, and at one point officers told the gathered crowd to stand back and threatened to use a Taser on anyone who got too close.

Laila Gordy, a fourth-year economics student who was present in the library during the incident, said police officers threatened to shoot her with a Taser when she asked an officer for his name and his badge number. Gordy was visibly upset by the incident and said other students were also disturbed. "It's a shock that something like this can happen at UCLA," she said. "It was unnecessary what they did." Immediately after the incident, several students began to contact local news outlets, informing them of the incident, and Remesnitsky wrote an e-mail to Interim Chancellor Norman Abrams.


See the Initial Report by UCPD with subject Powell Library Incident.

Source: Daily Bruin
Tags: UCLA Taser
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Who is O.J. Simpson and What If He Did It?

Although the 1995 criminal trial of O. J. Simpson for the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman has been called "a great trash novel come to life," no one can deny the pull it had on the American public. If the early reports of the murder of the wife of the ex-football-star-turned-sports-announcer hadn't caught people's full attention, Simpson's surreal Bronco ride on the day of his arrest certainly did--ninety-five million television viewers witnessed the slow police chase live. The 133 days of televised courtroom testimony turned countless viewers into Simpson trial junkies. Even foreign leaders such as Margaret Thatcher and Boris Yeltsin eagerly gossiped about the trial. When Yeltsin stepped off his plane to meet President Clinton, the first question he asked was, "Do you think O. J. did it?" When, at 10 a.m. PST on October 3, Judge Ito's clerk read the jury's verdict of "Not Guilty," 91% of all persons viewing television were glued to the unfolding scene in the Los Angeles courtroom.

The former football great reportedly has been paid a whopping $3.5 million to write about the double murder that shocked and riveted the nation in 1994. But Simpson is not actually confessing to the murder — rather, he’s writing a “hypothetical” book tentatively being called “If I Did It.”

Source: www.law.umkc.edu
Tags: O.J. Simpson Law
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Microsoft 'not competing' with open source

Software giant Microsoft is not intent on competing with the open source community and is seeking further tie-ups with it, an executive at the company has said. Earlier this month, a long-running dispute between Microsoft and Novell, which sells one version of the Linux open source software, was settled. It enabled Microsoft's Windows operating system to work better with Linux. Bill Hilf, general manager of platform strategy at Microsoft and the man who runs open source strategy across Microsoft, told BBC World Service's Digital Planet programme that, while Microsoft competes with commercial products based on open source, "we do not compete with the open source community".

"That clarity is super-important for the user, be it a developer or an everyday user of a computer, to know where Microsoft stands," he added. It's not as polar as people think. Are we going to compete every day with products that come out of commercial and open source? Of course. But we're not competing with the open source community."

Source: BBC
Tags: Microsoft Open Source Computers
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Second hype or second life?

Not content with occupying vast chunks of the television schedule for weeks at a time, Endemol, the company that produces the "Big Brother" reality TV programme, has announced that it will be hosting a special edition of the show inside the Second Life virtual world. Participants, or at least their online representations in the form of cartoon-like avatars, will be confined in a house with transparent walls, and the winner will become the owner of a whole Second Life island. This seems to be piling the self-referential onto the virtual to the point where it becomes impossible to maintain the suspension of disbelief necessary to survive in what has recently become the hippest and trendiest of online environments. For one thing, few of us are going to feel at all engaged with the trials and tribulations of a bunch of pixels.

It might help if the people behind the avatars were forced to appear on webcam and remain in their homes for the duration of the contest to add some much-needed verisimilitude to the proceedings, but it is a doubt that this is the plan. Still, at least it will give the just announced in-world gossip tabloid newspaper something to write about. The "newspaper" is being set up by German publishers Axel Springer and promises "a colourful tabloid with snippets about show business and tales from the avatar world". It will be sold for Linden Dollars, the currency used throughout Second Life to buy goods.

Source: BBC
Tags: Second Life
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Britain's biggest blog - being blogged

Thousands of people across Britain have contributed to a project aiming to create an online archive of a day in the life of the country. The National Trust is encouraging people to record a diary of their day on a website, as part of what is being called "Britain's biggest blog". The trust says it will create a "fascinating social history archive" of everyday life for future generations. By 1800 BST (1700 GMT) more than 8,000 people had contributed to the site. People who want to contribute to the project have until 31 October to upload their account of the 17 October 2006. Their blogs will be stored at the British Library and at other locations.

Source: BBC
Tags: Britain
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Websites face four-second cut-off

Shoppers are likely to abandon a website if it takes longer than four seconds to load, a survey suggests. The research by Akamai revealed users' dwindling patience with websites that take time to show up. It found 75% of the 1,058 people asked would not return to websites that took longer than four seconds to load. The time it took a site to appear on screen came second to high prices and shipping costs in the list of shoppers' pet-hates, the research revealed. Akamai consulted those who shop regularly online to find out what they like and dislike about e-tailing sites. About half of mature net-shoppers - who have been buying online for more than two years or who spend more than $1,500 (£788) a year online - ranked page-loading time as a priority.

It found that one-third of those questioned abandon sites that take time to load, are hard to navigate or take too long to handle the checkout process. The four-second threshold is half the time previous research, conducted during the early days of the web-shopping boom, suggested that shoppers would wait for a site to finish loading. To make matters worse, the research found that the experience shoppers have on a retail site colours their entire view of the company behind it. About 30% of those responding said they formed a "negative perception" of a company with a badly put-together site or would tell their family and friends about their experiences.

Further research by Akamai found that almost half of the online stores in the list of the top 500 US shopping sites take longer than the four-second threshold to finish loading. The survey questioned 1,058 net shoppers during the first six months of 2006. Consultants Jupiter Research did the survey for Akamai.

Source: BBC
Tags: Internet e-shopping web-shopping Online Shopping
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