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Category: technology

01/18/08 11:31 - 28ºF - ID#42945

The best geek toy ever

I know, the best geek toy ever would really just be the parts but considering I have a soldering iron, a basic stamp, a GPS chip and a bunch of other CMOS chips, etc and none of them are doing anything - i wouldn't mind having this partially finished box of parts with a Linux system and an eclipse based Java SDK

image

If only it had GSM I could just make my own phone!

image
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/paul/42945/The_best_geek_toy_ever.html
Words: 83
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: technology

01/18/08 10:55 - 28ºF - ID#42944

Crazy Day

I had so much to do today but a million things came up including this meeting where we talk about If Disney Ran Out Hospital. The best part was I got to have a lot of fun playing with some networked controlled cameras. I really like programming involving some sort of extra hardware and the web. Maybe I should work so NASA or Deep Sea Exploration of something.

So it's my birthday coming up so soon. On the 22nd I will officially be 31 years closer to dying than I started.

I want to want some electronic but there is nothing left that I want. Last year I got the Nokia N800 I kind of wanted the Nokia N810 but really the only difference between that than the N800 is the keyboard and GPS which my new phone already has. Not to mention no store has it right now. What I really want its the Nokia N810 but with phone line, not just voice over IP and that doesn't exist.

I want a totally open, totally accessible, linux based cellular phone with all the hardware capabilities of the nokia 810. So basically, that with a phone in it. Supposedly they will have a wimax version someday.

I wish it would just happen now as a GSM phone. Its so weird because the Nokia 7710 was almost there and I loved it but I wanted linux and then came the Nokia 770 and 800 but lacked phone. None of those had GOS or keyboard and now the 810 has GPS and keyboard but lacks phone. Its like they alway get so close to getting it right. Maybe I need to just hack it so that I can pull the gsm parts out of the Nokia 7710 and put them in the Nokia 800. That way I could have the best of both worlds. Oh ya, but minus the GPS, argh.

If only the iphone had a real keyboard and was more open. So back to where I was at there is nothing I want, short of a computer controlled microscope which I know I am not allowed to have yet. Imagine how crazy I could go then.
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Words: 358
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: health

01/17/08 07:37 - 34ºF - ID#42933

Quest Diagnostics: Bleeding for wheat?

I went to go give blood for so many tests this morning by Quest Diagnostics over at 191 North street. They have the best web site ever. It isn't super pretty or anything but you make appointments online and then they give you a google map to your appointment. not only that if you put in your google acct data, they add it to you google calendar. It is so nice to be able to arrange it all online and I applaud them as the best meical website I have dealt with so far.

I will finally see if I have any food allergies to things like wheat and corn and I think it is a little more accurate than the hold the glass jar with flour in it technique at the naturopath, lol.

When I first got there, the phlebotomist could not read the prescription sheet and told me I would have to come back. I was so angry I stormed out and knocked some shit over by accident but I was so angry I didn't pick it up - which mad it look like it was on purpose.

It was a tense moment but once I was outside I realized I needed to get this done now and that I was not going to fast again and I wanted the test now - so I called the doctors cell phone and got her to talk to him. He had refused to call himself because he said the doctors are really mean when he calls and they yell at him. Luckily, my doctor is really nice.

In the end, it worked out great because he ws the best plebotomist I ever had. I didn't even feel the needle go in my arm or notice as they filled five tubes with blood. I wonder what I will find out, maybe that it is bad to eat 2 eggs for breakfast everyday?

It was amazing compared to the nurse in the hospital that I think stabbed through my vein it hurt so bad and swelled up.
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Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: web

01/17/08 07:16 - 34ºF - ID#42932

Many Buffalo web site's vulnerable

A very prominent local technology firm had a flaw in their web based authoring system that put many local buffalo websites at risk. I am not giving any names or details because the flaw is still out here and I don't want to compromise anyones servers and websites, it is amazing if they haven't already been considering the simplicity of this hack.

The flaw was not even a technology flaw but just a very weak security flaw that is totally inexcusable for such a commercial high cost industry. Seriously, I can't freakin' believe it. I wish I could give you more details but it really isn't safe. All the companies involved are at pretty serious hack risk which could effect the integrity of their servers and data, and could infect user computers as well and snoop on data.

God, thinking about it makes me sick. I am so curious to see how they will handle it.
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Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: web

01/15/08 10:30 - 28ºF - ID#42903

This seems so fishy

I am just full of journals tonight. Maybe I am going to go back to full time blogging now that I have a lot of time waiting while cooking. I don't care what side of the abortion fence you are on, this is not about that, but about companies lying.

In this information weekly magazine article about Comcast blocking certain type of traffic they also mentioned Verizon was caught blocking people's text messages based on content but it was an accident.

Verizon Wireless apologized for its blocking of an abortion rights group's messages, said the incident was isolated, and said it changed an outdated policy to ensure messages aren't blocked based on their content.



I don't understand how you are supposed to read this.

1. They had some system that let a rogue employee gain access to some filtering system and stopped that accidental access.

2. They wrote a production level program and deployed it that filtered out text messages about abortion rights, but when then they deleted it, they discovered that they had accidentally programmed and deployed it.

3. They had a verbal policy that used to disallow discussion about abortion rights via text message but then when they realized that the policy was an accident, they had already developed and deployed a system that actively filtered abortions rights information out.


If it is a filtering list system, what other words were "accidentally" filtered and who came up with that list. What do you think?
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Words: 251
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: health

01/15/08 10:00 - 28ºF - ID#42902

Crohn's begone

So I called the Dr. Visco's office for like the fifth time today trying to get my biopsy results. I knew he probably deals with it everyday but for me I don't and I was really anxious waiting a week to find out. So then when the secretary read it to me she didn't mentions Crohn's and so I said, "Doesn't you mean to say Crohn's somewhere?" and she said it didn't say it anywhere on there. Needless to say I asked the doctor to call me back as I am so sick of talking to secretaries at this point. I think this is the same woman that said IBS when she meant IBD originally and caused the whole unbelievability factor with my former primary care physician.

So Dr. Visco calls me back like 4 hours later to say that the biopsy was consistent with their findings that I had ulcerative colitis but I am sure that he told me Crohn's before, (e:terry) remembers it too. He wants to see me again in four weeks. Seriously, even though Ulcerative Colitis can be life long and really bad, and you can lose you large intestine - it stops there - unlike Crohns which can kind of go anywhere from you mouth to your butt and can wreck you small intestine.

He also said I had crytptitis or something like that where the cells in my intestine that mature into normal intestine cells where messed or inflamed. I wish I understood it better. Frankly, I just wish he described it better.

Is this good news? I wish I knew.

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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/paul/42902/Crohn_s_begone.html
Words: 267
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: apple

01/15/08 08:03 - 28ºF - ID#42898

Did someone pass wind

or is that the new macbook fart - I mean macbook air? I am glad I have no interest in it. I have had so many apple computers and this has all the feel of the few freakshow apple hardware items that I have now as museum pieces.

image



The powerbook duo 280c 1996 . Retail price like $3500ish - no usb - it did not exist and no optical drive, and no ethernet - you needed a dongle. I don't have the dongle or a CD that works with it so it still have a really pretty system 7 setup. I could never network it other than over telephone once I lost the dongle.

The ibook blueberry - one usb port for everything. That port died right after my apple care did. Before it died it was so annoying to unplug the usb mouse everytime. I wanted to charge something. It seems liek every computer I ever had starts to lose a usb port over time. Even my newest top of the line macbook pro has one that doesn't work as well and requires multiple plugging ins sometimes.

Sad to see no firewire or ethernet. Apple made firewire target disk mode which I think is one of the best things about apple laptops when you want to save them from some problem or copy data but this system doesn't have firewire either.

What about when there is no wireless and you want to plug in. Is that a dongle too. What if I want to stream movies to my TV and use a mouse. Now I have to carry a usb port splitter, a vga usb cable, and mouse and a usb ethernet adaptor. Couldn't have just been 3.05 lbs.

CONS
1. no firewire
2. one USB port
3. no ethernet
4. no optical drive
5. no built in graphics card
6. Price point $1799!!!! That seems so crazy when compared to the low end macbook pro for $1999
7. 2GB of ram
8. no dedicated graphics
9. 4-5 hours battery life - that is so super fucking lame. That is the one thing that laptops need to update right away. Battery life is so out of date with the other technologies. How can this laptop remove everything else and still not have a longer battery life. Is it better with the extra $100 for the solid state drive, lol.?

PROS
1. 3lbs
2. sexy design

This is so similar to my complaint with the iphone. It seems like design is really starting to trump functionality with apple. Liek why didn't they release copy and paste with the update. Or how about streaming radio or mobile ichat. I mean it is only software between it existing or not, not like it requires much of an investment on their part. That reminds me too much of Sony, I hope it stops.

If someone gave me one I would still play with it.
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Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: buffalo

01/15/08 07:21 - 28ºF - ID#42897

AS if the last one wasn't bad enough

This is why I don't read the paper usually. Imagine if we went out and got shot the other night. It makes me not want to go out ever. So much for my idea that I am not going to get shot if I am not involved in drug deals or gang violence.

4 shot in Pearl Street parking lot as hundreds are leaving nightclubs.

A man was critically wounded as he and three other people were shot Sunday morning when two gunmen sprayed more than a dozen bullets into a crowded Pearl Street parking lot.

The volley of gunfire erupted just after 4 a.m. in the heart of the city's Theater District, near Shea's Performing Arts Center, while hundreds of patrons were leaving downtown nightclubs.

About 100 people standing and walking in the parking lot went running for their lives, screaming and ducking for cover.

Most seriously wounded was Charles Holmes, 26, of Watertown, who was listed in critical condition Sunday night. He was shot in the abdomen and was in the trauma intensive care unit at Erie County Medical Center.

Two other men suffered single gunshot wounds. Duran Lynch, 27, of Sanders Road, was listed in fair condition in ECMC, and Jason W. Hargrove, 25, of Cedar Street, was treated in Buffalo General Hospital and released.

Police said a bystander, Jennifer Seltzer, 28, of Auburn Avenue, was struck by a stray bullet.

Seltzer survived a raging fire in 2006 when roofers rescued her and her five children. She was treated in ECMC's emergency room.

Buffalo police spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge said that one of the three men is believed to be the target of the gunmen, but he declined to say which one.

"It's my understanding from talking to detectives that there was a certain amount of pandemonium," DeGeorge said. "Certainly, people were scared and concerned for their safety, and thankfully, at this point, everyone is alive."

The motive for the shooting remains unclear, but it might have been sparked by a quarrel.

"It's possible that there may have been an argument outside one of those bars in the area and that argument spilled into the parking lot," DeGeorge said.

The parking lot is in the 400 block of Pearl Street, nestled between McCarthy's Bar & Grill and Michalina's Bistro on one side and Genesee Picture Frame and Holley Farms on the other. Across the street is Space entertainment complex, Club Marcella and the rear entrance of Shea's.

"I was sitting in the window when I heard loud bangs - probably about 15 shots," said John Szuba, owner of Michalina's, a bar and nightclub at 454 Pearl, less than 100 feet away from the shooting scene.

"There was gunshots flying everywhere. I made everyone inside get down on the ground, and a couple people left out the side door," Szuba recalled at the scene Sunday afternoon. Yellow crime tape was still blowing in the wind, and a brown beer bottle was smashed into pieces on the sidewalk.

Seltzer has now survived two life-threatening experiences in less than two years. On April 6, 2006, she and her children were trapped in their burning 2z-story house on Hawley Street, near Forest Avenue, when two roofers driving to a job site noticed the fire.

The roofers grabbed a ladder from their truck and, with the help of a neighbor, climbed up and rescued Seltzer and three of her children - carrying them to safety, one by one. Her two remaining children jumped from the roof into the waiting arms of one of the roofers and their mother's boyfriend.

At the time, Seltzer was 26, and her children ranged in age from 1z months to 7 years. They all were treated in ECMC for smoke inhalation.

Lt. Sal Colangelo, head of the city fire marshal's office, investigated that fire along with his fire investigators.

"I'm really hoping she's OK," Colangelo said of Seltzer after he heard of the shooting. "It's just fortunate that luck would follow a person around like that."

Back on Pearl Street, Szuba said he has hired three off-duty police officers to patrol his bar and uses metal detectors to check his weekend patrons.

Last April, Liquori Mills, 23, was shot multiple times outside his bar.

"I'm not going to renew my lease here," Szuba said. "It's a shame that people are trying to make an honest living, but the police are not protecting the citizens on Pearl Street."

Szuba said he believes that officers are not patrolling Pearl Street enough and focusing far more attention on nearby Chippewa Street.

DeGeorge disagreed with Szuba's assessment, saying that police patrols are boosted in the downtown entertainment district on the weekends.


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Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: buffalo

01/15/08 07:12 - 28ºF - ID#42895

For any of you would be escorts

Man admits killing woman in his North Street apartment
Kevin R. Baker, a previously registered Buffalo-area sex offender, pleaded guilty today to a reduced charge of first-degree manslaughter for the suffocation murder of a 24-year-old female escort he had called to his North Street apartment three months ago.

State Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia told Baker, 39, he faces a prison term of between 15 to 20 years on plea deal worked out by prosecutors and his attorney, Joseph J. Terranova, in the suffocation of Jillian M. Flagg, 24, of Amherst on Oct. 13.

Baker, who last year served a brief local jail term on a misdemeanor unlawful imprisonment charge for a September 2005 incident with an 11-year-old Cheektowaga girl, was remanded pending his March 19 sentencing.



I wonder what part of North Street - at least this one was not 11 years old.
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Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: buffalorising

01/14/08 07:05 - 32ºF - ID#42882

Unions and Buffalo

I am going to say it - I hate how Buffalo Rising has become so sensationalist. Maybe I just hate Queenseyes posts - which is just about all of them.

It is so contradictory so often and a lot of times I just can't find any common ground with his writing and my beliefs in the City of Buffalo and what makes it great. Remember when Buffalo Rising was more of a website with lots of authors. To me it just seems like his personal blog now and that he is desperate for sensationalist articles to feed his advertising agenda.

Today, he was talking about how BSC Group's Bashara Issa workers have voted to unionize when working on the Statler tower. He says?

Would you pay $30 to $40 ((e:paul) note ->I think originally originally this said $50 but it got edited because all the comments refer to a $50 amount) or more to an employee who pushes a broom or dumps bricks into a dumpster? What if you were made to do so? That is the labor issue that BSC Group's Bashar Issa is facing at this moment....This past Saturday he told me that Local 210 had finally succeeded in luring his unskilled workers to vote union. ... when asked about the Buffalo City Tower? Well, he doesn't think that he can pull it off if his workers are unionized. For Bashar, that is a sad thought, but at the same time he knows that there are plenty of other opportunities around the world that will keep him (and his money) busy. ... The BSC Group is employing many laborers who have not had steady jobs in construction before. Bashar feels that he has been fare all along and is visibly upset that it has come down to this.



Originally this blog claimed that BSC Group's Bashar Issa was going to lose out as his "unskilled" labor unionized and started costing $50/hour for broom sweepers. That is totally ridiculous.

First of all, did Bashar Issa not know that Buffalo is a generally unionized city for construction? And secondly, who pays even unionized broom sweepers even $40/hour. I am sure if they are being paid that much, they are doing way more than just pushing brooms and maybe something very dangerous. As a highly educated, highly trained NYS union worker I do not make even close to that. In fact almost no one in my department makes even close to that in terms of NYS union work. I guess it is a different union but I would find it hard to believ a broom sweeper is making $50 for just broom sweeping.

I am also so sick of people putting down unions. Ya, if he built in in Arizona, he could use non-unionized Mexicans but then people would complain about all the jobs being lost. Some unions did/do abuse power but if you honestly look at it, don't almost all corporations abuse/misuse power and why should the people at the bottom of the ladder be denied things like living wages and healthcare so the people at the very top and squeeze out the extra pennies for their yachts and $10 million dollar vacation homes.

Maybe there would not even need to be unions if living wages and health care were considered in corporations instead of massive wages for the highest in the totem polls.

All in all I really don't care about the big stupid glass tower that might never be built. I am so sick of all the rich people trying to convert Buffalo into something that is going to be glamorous only for the cream of the crop. I guess most people probably think that sounds hypocritical considering my own financial status - but honestly, I would rather pay skilled union workers to build big glass towers hovering over my downtown, than unskilled, underpaid workers who will have much less pride in there work if they feel ripped off.

Okay I got to go pick up (e:terry) from his union job and pick up some stuff at my union job.

I think the best comment on their site was this one. I found it when looking back at their comments.

thisoldcrackhouse - Today, 21:15

"I have a degree, an MBA, a PHD and I don't make that much money" Are you kidding me? Do you think that just because you survived the "rigors" of higher education that you somehow deserve to be compensated better than some guy who busts his ass day in,day out, especially in this climate? Was the poor fellow who lost his life working on the Webb building being overcompensated? Please, if you have never done this type of work before, refrain from making comments about how much someone should be paid. I have a four year degree, spent several years in the banking industry, but for the last 18 years have been employed as a skilled union craftsman. I can tell you firsthand that sitting in a cozy cubicle or classroom does not make any of you experts on what "menial" labor is worth.


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Location: Buffalo, NY


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tinypliny said to tinypliny
The footwork is SO fancy!...

tinypliny said to joe
I think that Tee in black with the dark blue monster would have made a good lamp shade....

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Well.... did you climb one? And where is the photographic evidence??...

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What is a keypress?...