Monday, May 29, 2006

R 1 007 600

R 1 007 600 is a lot of money. That's how much I was paid by my last "employer" to work on a project they cancelled just as it was about to go live. Life must be tough when you can throw away so much money.
All of the technology developed during that time is now included in the Open Access project, particularly Miami and DataMover. I should point out that a lot of the stuff was developed after hours and over weekends, because I have been using it on other projects as well, such as the Men's Clinic project I am busy with now.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Stitching Photos Together

Looking right, including Lakeview Cottage

Looking left, towards Champagne Castle

We all take a series of photos and hope to join them together to form a panoramic view. But it's a major problem to achieve, unless your picture editing program can do it.
A search on the web led me to this program: Autostitch. It's a free program that can join a series of shots together, and it's quite impressive. Here are two that I did. They should have all been a single panorama, but the "middle" picture didn't come out or got deleted from the camera.
The pictures are taken in the Central Drakensberg. Here is a composite picture of the view from the front door of "Lakeview Cottage", where we stayed on the weekend.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Okopipi - open source Blue Security equivalent now has official wiki

The software project proposed in this digg ( to be a peer-to-peer, open source equivalent of Blue Security's Blue Frog has now had an official wiki formed.

read more | digg story

BlueSecurity Gives in, spammers don't stop there.

Hours after BlueSecurity threw in the towel and showed that spammers "can get what they want," thousands of other websites went down. The spammers continue attacks on UltraDNS. The spammers have turned this from a war on spam to a cyberterrorism action. It's time to put these guys down for good.

read more | digg story

Blue Security Throws in the Towel - Spammers Win!

Antispam software provider Blue Security threw in the towel this week, following denial-of-service attacks on the company and its partners. ...the spammers retaliated by launching an attack on the company that was so intense it shut down multiple Web sites and service providers.

read more | digg story

Monday, May 15, 2006

Signs You're a Crappy Programmer (and don't know it)

"You know those crappy programmers who don't know they are crappy? You know, they think they're pretty good, they spout off the same catch phrase rhetoric they've heard some guru say and they know lots of rules about the "correct" way to do things?"

read more | digg story

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

A Message from Jim Dale

If you've never heard of Jim Dale then you obviously haven't listened to any of the Harry Potter books on audio. He's probably one of the best known narrators of the 21st century.
I was listening to a book recently and found the following excerpt at the end, something every parent should think about: Download the mp3 file or click the play button below.

"In the 'Top Ten Best Selling Audio C.D's of America and Canada', Narrator Jim Dale takes the first SIX places with his recordings of the Harry Potter books." ( - August 2005)
Jim is also a Guinness World Record Holder for creating "Most Character Voices in an Audio Book (134) in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix". He won a Grammy Award in 2000 for "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire". Publishers Weekly presented Jim with "Children's Narrator of the Year Award - 2006"
Jim has received an Audi Award Nomination in the category "Audio book of the Year 2006 - Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince". This award was only created three years ago. Jim has been nominated three times and won the award in 2004.

Security Guard Strike

Once again Zapiro has summarised the problem of the security strike quite well. The man is a genius. Do the rampant security guards who are trashing their client's premises expect to be welomed back with open arms? If they do they're in for a rude shock.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Pick 'n Pay Go Slow

"Employees of one of South Africa's biggest supermarket chains have embarked on a nationwide go-slow campaign apparently in support of their wage demands.
"Pick 'n Pay retail managing director Nick Badminton yesterday confirmed the campaign and said the company had, since Saturday, received reports from across the country of sporadic go-slows. He could not, however, say how many employees or stores had been affected.
"'We think it is related to wage negotiations, but we have had no official confirmation from the SA Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union (Saccawu) on this as yet.'
"Badminton, who would not disclose details of the company's wage offer or the workers' demands, said management were currently busy with wage negotiations and once these had been resolved, they would communicate (with the media) what had been decided on.
"He said for now the company's customers were, as always, its greatest concern and it would be negotiating with employees to resolve the go-slow.
"Badminton said there had been customer complaints at some stores and he apologised to 'our customers for any inconvenience they may have encountered'.
"Saccawu provincial secretary Crossby Booi was not available for comment."

The go slow may have started on Saturday, but I first encountered it today during lunchtime. The thing I don't get is that the store Management has made no attempt whatsoever to warn customers of the problem. Apology not accepted, Mr Badminton!
I only realised there was a go-slow after filling my basket with stuff. I just left the full basket at the entrance and left. The slow workers just gave themselves more work to do.
Who is more incompetent and evasive: management, unions or workers? It's a tough call.

Cape Argus - Nationwide Pick 'n Pay go-slow

Friday, May 05, 2006

Blue Security Servers Attacked

Blue Security is my anti-spam srvice. It must be effective, because yesterday I noticed that things were going wrong with the spam reporting tool. Today, I visited their web site and found the following message:
Blue Security's servers are currently under attack.
Our staff is working around the clock to restore normal operation as soon as possible.
We are extremely happy to see the overwhelming level of support and global presence the Blue Community is showing.
Thank you for your patience!

I wish them the best of luck in dealing with their DDOS attack. Some spammer somewhere must be really unhappy. Either that or they have run out of Venture Capital and are hiding it well. I hope not. I'm not sure if I believe the story about the Russin spammer, but it makes interesting reading.

Stories from Untouchable Russian Spammer threatens the Internet as a whole | Spammers strike back at anti-spam company Blue Security | Blue Security vs Spammers: Spammers Winning!?