Dracil’s BlogJournal

June 3, 2009

20th anniversary of Tiananmen Square and the Chinese censors are running amok

http://www.danwei.org/net_nanny_follies/twitter_domain_blocked_in_chin.php

http://www.danwei.org/net_nanny_follies/chinese_websites_under_mainten.php

Those are the two main articles to look at.  The funny thing is, while trying to post these links on Xiaonei, I ran into some interesting censorship.

The link to the second URL, the google spreadsheet link inside it, a tinyurl link to the spreadsheet, and the words “tiananmen” and “中国网站维护日” all cause the following error to pop up:

“请不要发布政治敏感内容、色情内容、商业广告或其他不恰当内容”

Edit: Looks like even “June 4” and “20th” is blocked.

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May 8, 2009

Stardates on Google Calendar

Filed under: News — Tags: , , — dracil @ 12:07 am

googlestardate

Coinciding with the release of the new Star Trek film.  http://www.google.com/calendar

May 1, 2009

WWJD about waterboarding?

Depressing really.

March 25, 2009

Canon T1i (500D)

Filed under: News, photography — dracil @ 1:34 am

Finally, the next model in my camera series has been officially announced.

Looks to be releasing at the same price point too.

What’s new?  It can record video now.  While it can do 1080P, the 20FPS means it’s unusable.  But 720P is doable at 30FPS.  The mic is internal, which a lot of people are complaining about.  It also has a bunch of 50D features, like high ISOs up to 12800.  15MP is kinda meh in my opinion.  I would’ve been happier if it had stayed at 12MP.  It does look like the noise is better than the 50D though.  Here was a comparison pic I found on a forum.

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Left: 500D, 12800 iso, 2.8 aperture, 1/4th second
Right: 50D, 12800 iso, 2.8 aperture, 1/6th second

If that’s real, then this would definitely become really tempting for me, because of the amount of low-light shots I’ve taken in the past and the worse noise is why I lost interest in the 50D so quickly.  It also has 50D’s new anti-dust thing but I guess we can see how effective it is from people’s experience with the 50D, which is another annoyance for me and why I generally don’t change lenses as often as I probably should (in fact, I haven’t changed lenses since I got my EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM lenses).  Only thing 50D really has over it is the micro-adjustments of AF.  Ergonomics is really subjective.

March 6, 2009

Erotica for women top ebook sellers

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , — dracil @ 6:12 pm

From IT World, the top 10, as of this posting are:

1. Call of the Wolf by Madelaine Montague [Erotica/Romance]
2. The Demon’s Librarian by Lilith Saintcrow [Dark Fantasy/Fantasy]
3. Submission by Kimberly Zant [Erotica/Romance]
4. Sinful Treats by Violet Summers [Erotica/Romance]
5. In for a Penny by Carol Lynne [Erotica/Romance]
6. Illumination [Cyberevolution V] by Kaitlyn O’Connor [Erotica/Romance]
7. Roane [Circe’s Recruits] by Marie Harte [Erotica]
8. Baiting Ben by Amber Kell [Erotica/Dark Fantasy]
9. Seducing The Wolf by Marisa Chenery [Erotica/Romance]
10. Mastering Chaos by Michelle Marquis [Erotica/Fantasy]

This is just funny.  And I use this as further evidence that women are actually just as interested in sex as men, if not more.  :P (I watched some episodes of Grey’s Anatomy (which is supposed to be a girl show) a while back, and the thing that struck me was how many sex scenes it had, like 6 in the first 4 episodes.  Which is 6 more than entire seasons of male demographic shows (e.g. Stargate, Firefly, 24))

The reason they’re so popular on Ebooks?  Privacy.  No racy covers to give it away while you read it on the bus. :P

See, the popular idea that men think about sex all the time is simply wrong.  We only think about sex half the time.  The other half is devoted to violence, war, and general competition and aggression. ;)

March 5, 2009

California Supreme Court Prop 8 Court Case Rally

Filed under: Controversy, events, News, photography, Politics, religion — dracil @ 11:19 pm

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This is why I’ll never be a good photographer.  I can’t just pick one or two pics to display. :P (Though this was narrowed down from 17 pics, which was narrowed from 45, which was narrowed down from 101).

Anyway, I took these photos in the morning before work.  Which is the other thing.  There’s only so many photos you can take during the daytime on a weekday when you have a job. :P

One thing I noticed about the Yes on 8 people was that none of them would look at my camera directly.  Shifty eyes and looking everywhere but here.  There was a definite sense of unease about them.  Even when I asked them to show me their signs and stuff.  Then again, this is not their home territory.  Didn’t have the same problem with No on 8 people.

About the actual court hearing, it was kinda disappointing, since it seems Justice Joyce Kennard may be siding with the Prop 8 people this time.  That guy standing in for the attorney-general, Christopher Krueger, didn’t do too well IMO.  Kenneth Starr basically tried to argue that the marriages would not be invalidated, just not recognized.  Which is like if Taiwan declared independence, but every other nation in the world ignored them.  It would make it meaningless.  You can read some argument summaries here.

Other thoughts: I like how so many Christians think it’s ok to blackmail the judges.  WWJD?

March 4, 2009

Pepsi boycott fun

Filed under: christianity, Controversy, News, Politics, religion — dracil @ 12:17 am

So Pepsi donates $1m to some civil rights organizations.  Then they put out some funny commercials recognizing that hey, there are homosexuals in the world, and they could very well be your friends!  AFA throws a hissy fit and militarizes religious conservatives to boycott them.  Ever wonder why they don’t boycott Google and Apple?  They each gave $100,000 to No on 8 too you know.  Oh that’s right, it’s so much easier boycotting stuff that is already normally seen as bad (junk food).  None of these people have the integrity to do the hard sacrifices.  It’s especially funny seeing so many of these boycott posts on Google owned property (Blogger/blogspot) with google search boxes and maybe even using Google Adsense.

Now here’s the funny thing.  PepsiCo has decided to partner with the Rockstar energy drink.  Which means now they’ve ALSO pissed off the homosexuals, who are also now calling for a boycott of Pepsi-related products.  Why?  Because Rockstar was co-created by Michael Savage, who’s this conservative radio host who calls homosexuals names and stuff.

So does that mean AFA should be telling people to buy Pepsi now?

February 23, 2009

The Obameter

Filed under: News, Politics — dracil @ 9:30 pm

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/

This site keeps track of Obama’s progress on his campagin promises.  So far it looks pretty good.  15 kept, 4 compromised, 2 failed, a bunch more in the works.

February 13, 2009

1234567890 Unix Time

Filed under: events, News — dracil @ 8:34 pm

http://www.1234567890day.com/

Yeah, a bunch of people from my company (including me) went to the bar to celebrate this.  We got there like 30 seconds before the countdown.

January 19, 2009

Al Sharpton on Prop 8 and Churches

Filed under: christianity, Controversy, News, Politics, religion — dracil @ 2:05 am

Link

“It amazes me when I looked at California and saw churches that had nothing to say about police brutality, nothing to say when a young black boy was shot while he was wearing police handcuffs, nothing to say when the they overturned affirmative action, nothing to say when people were being delegated into poverty, yet they were organizing and mobilizing to stop consenting adults from choosing their life partners. There is something immoral and sick about using all of that power to not end brutality and poverty, but to break into people’s bedrooms and claim that God sent you.”

’nuff said.

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