Saturday, December 23, 2006

2006 was the year...

* I learned FDTD (finite difference time domain)
* Most of my parallel implemented (MPI and FFTW based) Gerchberg-Saxton algorithm (PIGSA) was accomplished after the construction of the CSRC high performance cluster near the end of 2005.
* My hair had grown to its longest length so far since my last trip to the barber in October 2005 (around SPP time)
* I had two SPP publications
* Consequently, I had an incomplete less prioritized RGEP subject
* I had to ride an airplane for the first time for the sake of SPP

A large piece of flying metal with some heads of unidentified people in the foregound

* DOST had not given it's UPD scholars' stipends on time (As usual. Hopefully they will give it early in 2007)
* Scholar (or more appropriately "iskolar") was apparently defined as a student activist that don't necessarily study at all
* Lantern Parade was canceled consequently
* A friend recruited me to projectw
* ebookz had flourished on the web (making .djvu become as widespread as .pdf), along with one-click file hosting and many other freebies ending in "z" (mp3z, moviez, warez, etc...)
* I had seen the first Terminator movie for the first time (in mpeg-1 format vcd compliant)(atleast for the first time I'm aware of it). This movie is as old as me (approximately). The burning TV scene in Kyle's future will probably pollute my mind for many months to come.

3d-tv with audio, visual and even thermal transducers, a future possibility
point mouse to picture

* My friendster account magically disappeared some time in January (although its profile link and last photo might still be seen) you don't.

* I used up 140 pages of my IPL log book (more than half of my total usage since page 1, Aug 22, 2004)
* I had to turn off my high-tech alarm clock (it comes with a blue flash light, 64kb of external storage capcity, some games, and even has SMS capabilities) more often not just to save battery life, but also because it is underutilized.
* Some sons of a bitch and a bitch (literally and sometimes figuratively) were introduced into my residential ecosystem, thus displacing me from my local study area with the stench of their waste matter.

* The year's greatest scientific disocvery was made during March 31 at the new NIP building around 7 pm. ATCHONINGUS ASTIGANUS SAPIENS SUPERIOR, a highly evolved astig was discovered by members of the Instrumentation Physics Laboratory. Experts have not agreed yet on the scientific name's notation, although it is likely that the default italicized or underlined writing won't be used (For now it is written in blinking bold all-caps as a reminder that it should be written uniquely. Maybe biology books have to be reinvented to render blinking fonts).

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Open source replacements

This site saves you the trouble of searching the top free alternatives yourself (and if you think there are still better alternatives, it allows you to help others by suggesting them).

Osalt: open source as alternative

Although other sites (freshmeat, sourceforge) may be helpful, osalt is organized to show what open source software may replace what commercial software.

Read more from this Popular Science article

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Vitamin beer crap

"The whole may not be greater than the sum of the parts"

I was annoyed one day while watching a TV program featuring Filipino inventions/inventors.

Although some of his inventions may deserve respect, the concept of vitamin beer is totally . (I'm giving you the privilege of filling in the descriptive words).

Third Prize (P20,000)
Patent No. : 1-2002-02291
Title : Beer Fortified with Multivitamins (Vitamin Beer)
Inventors : ********
Address : ********
Tel. No. : ********
Abstract : A beer fortified with multivitamins to give it supplemental nutritional value. The multivitamins are stirred in after the primary fermentation stage when alcohol has been formed resulting in a robustly pale-yellowish appetizing pale pilsen bouquet, malty and hoppy brew supportive and supplemental in nutritional states.

Reference Links: Vitamin beer crap, Vitamin beer crap (PDF)

Mix and match child's play should not be considered as inventions unless the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. There's nothing new about vitamins and there's nothing new about beer either. And there's nothing special about combining them. You get the same thing if they were taken separately, plus the bonus of being at a reasonable price (you get what you payed for). It's just like combining the thirst quenching property of plain boring water and the sweetness of sugar's taste, and voila-eureka!, you invented sugar water! It wasn't even mentioned whether they have done a chemical anlysis of the action of alcohol on vitamins it can dissolve.

In lay terms, an invention is a novel device, material, or technique [1]. It is an innovation that is both novel and non-obvious[2]. At best this might be called an innovation that is painfully obvious.

A simple google search would even reveal that it is not an original concept in the first place. There had already been Stampede Beer as early as February 2006. The CY 2006 NATIONAL INVENTION CONTEST was held during November 2006.

It is clear that this is something done to promote alcohol drinking, a large cause of crime and accidents, also health problems (that it claims to solve), a cause of temporary decrease in alertness and intelligence, a direct cause of so called beer bellies, a direct cause of loss of money due to addiction. Unless the mixing of such vitamins cancels these bad effects, it has done no improvement either. Not all alcohol drinkers are responsible enough. But yet we have a government agency encouraging this people. But who is to blame, most of our government officials are tomadors (alcoholics) themselves (take for example the expelled Joseph Estrada or his henchmen). It is disappointing that a good amount of cash was awarded to this.

He's lucky to live at Sucat, Parañaque, making it easier for him to submit such things to DOST.

The Filipino attitude of "palakasan" (the favoring of someone because of his/her past reputation or relationship to the one who is giving a favor and not necessarily because he/she is actually favorable at present) can also be seen here. Had he not had previous 'inventions' and a reputation to keep, and a familiarity to the DOST officials, vitamin beer would surely be a flop.



Monday, December 11, 2006

Whatever happened to that old man with a silly costume

Contrary to the rumors that he was shot in the belief that he was a burglar ("akyat bahay"), or hypothermia had frozen him in his hometown (GPS: 90° latitude N), there could be another explanation why children will no longer be receiving gifts from Santa Claus.
Given the testimony of the five year old eye witness who would be called by the name of Jackson, police investigations lead toward homicide.

The testimony: (warning, the following lines may contain adult content.)

"Wow! mommy's kissing santa claus!
I saw mommy kissing santa claus
Underneath the mistletoe last night
Then I saw mommy tickle santa claus
Underneath his beard so snowy white
If daddy had only seen

It seems that daddy had seen, and it was not a 'laugh it would have been'. As for the mommy, police reports are too violent to be written in this blog.

Sorry kids, I'm not a Santa Claus (or Christmas) fan either. It seems that you won't be getting imported Chinese mass produced self destructing brittle plastic toys this year, and for the years to come. I could only advise you to grow up and face the reality of the world's amazing crime rate.

Anyway, for those who are expecting it, since you have gone this far with this libelous article, allow me to greet you in the most artificial commercialized manner I could achieve:

Merry Christmas!

--Thanatos reporting

Friday, December 08, 2006

Vuelo de la noche (dos)


I could not type another line
I can't resist it anymore
I can not work until I'm fine
I need to go to the drug store

Analgesics on the shelf
In different brands and prizes
Makes me ask this to my self
"Is health care for the masses?"

Punching on her number pad
Numeric codes my tablets had
Faking a smile though she is sad
How would I know, I'm not a god

Reaching through my bulky pocket
Filled with pens and stuff
Whatever's left of my slim wallet
I hope it is enough

I hope it is enough to say
That tomorrow would be better
And if my headache still would stay
At least I should have seen her

Just like the day
She was wearing gray
Going her way
What words to say?

It plays with your brain
Like wet drops of rain
Like the rattling chain
It's not just caffeine

I'm sleepy
My eyes are heavy
I guess they sold me
Decaffeinated coffee...

<< previous next >>

*Thanks to esca of clantemplates for the rollover workaround.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Machine error demonstration

Either there is a problem with printf, atof, division or with floating point numbers:

#include <cstdio>
#include <cstdlib>
using namespace std;

int main(int argc, char **argv){
float f1 = atof(argv[1]);
float f2 = atof(argv[2]);
printf("%f/%f = %f\n", f1, f2, f1/f2);
return 0;

After compiling and running the given code, I get these strange results:

$ ./div 234 67.9
234.000000/67.900002 = 3.446244
$ ./div 234 67.2
234.000000/67.199997 = 3.482143

The code was compiled with g++ (GCC) 4.1.1 20060724 (prerelease) (4.1.1-3mdk). No optimizations were used:

$ g++ div.cpp -o div

Speaking of division, this article about division by zero might be interesting.

The unbelievable reply

"wla akong lod."
I don't have load.

Surprisingly the message got sent, so I immediately sent a follow up.

"Meron pla. Uuwi ako mmya."
Apparently there is. I'm coming home later.

...Perdonarme, madre.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Bugging Clamwin update

For several days the clamwin antivirus applet on the system tray had been bugging me about it's new scanning engine version 0.88.6 (also, at about this time, I had already been recieving nags about the new AVG free 7.5). Unfortunately when I download it using clamwin itself (or atleast clicked the Ok button, assuming that's what it does...), it doesn't install and thus will remind you again about the new version the next time around. Although I could have searched the file or monitored/sniffed/snooped the download process (or just did anything else to stop the nags), I was just too busy to do so. Eventually I just downloaded it using a web browser and istalled it manually.

It might be annoying, but not as annoying as the people who create virus, spyware and spam.