Monday, February 27, 2006

Music Videos

Once every while I will be displaying some music videos in the Music section. As you may have noticed I have changed a bit the format of the blog to accomodate this new section.

A bug I have noticed:

In Internet Explorer, if you scroll using the mouse wheel, you may see the video screen fudge. As a workaround you may either use Firefox or else avoid scrolling down with the mouse wheel. Use the right hand side window scroll bar.

Please report any additional bugs you might encounter.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Lupin the 3rd


Put myself in a green jacket, black shirt and a yellow tie...and voila` - Watch out the treasures and diamonds because Lupin is here.

So let me reveal you something. At work, I'm known as Lupin because they say I look like him - skinny, tall, a smirky grin on my face and cunning! That's what my work mates say at least.

Do I really look like Lupin?! Ma che??? It's carnival, so it would be a good opportunity to try it out in the Republic Street...Well...no...I don't want to be arrested by Zenigata!

Impossible fingerings


At the moment I'm undergoing some difficult fingering exercises to improve my fretting fingers dexterity in my bass guitar playing. Last time I've talked about two fingering combinations where I fret two adjacent frets with the two adjacent fingers - so with my first finger I fret the first fret, second finger the second fret, and so on.







Since I've been busy during the past weekends, it was only yesterday that I attended my second class at Vukovic. This time he showed me some really tough fingering exercises which by the simple thought are near to impossible to achieve correctly. These exercises are similar to the above with a simple (yet complex) difference - with my first finger I fret the first fret, second finger the third fret. This means I skip a fret each time, yet using the two adjacent fingers.


Achieving this new exercise using the second and third finger (fretting the second fret with the second finger, and fretting the fourth fret with the third finger) is darn difficult. I really need to practice hard on this.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Leningrad Cowboys


When watching the new Vodafone spot on an Italian TV channel, I am immediately compelled to listen to its soundtrack again. The music chosen for the advert is an evergreen, the Leningrad Cowboys' ironic and affecting rendition of "Happy together", one of many cover versions of this track, and certainly one of the most distinctive. This is an original choice of music and a long way from the soundtracks used in the past (with undoubted success) by Vodafone, but capable of being easily remembered by the public.

And that's when I discovered this band from Finland - the Leningrad Cowboys. This instrumental rock and roll band has the biggest 'big-hair' in the world. It's very fun and appeared in some American movies. You can find more about them by visiting their website.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Tom Kyte

This morning I just found out that my Oracle hero, Mr.Tom Kyte, uses blogger as well. For all you database freaks, check out his blog.

An engineer's weekend

This weekend has been very intensive for me with a new project requiring something like 36 working hours in fila...It was a successful project and I'm still alive so that's good.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Dot forward

Individual UNIX users can use mail aliasing by means of the .forward file.
When delivering email to a user, sendmail checks to see if the user has a .forward file in his home directory. If the file is present, the contents are read and treated as an alias for that person's email. So, for example, if I created a .forward file with the line jsmith@host2.uiuc.edu, all my email would be forwarded to that address instead of delivered to my mailbox.

The .forward file can have anything in it that the right-hand side of an alias can. You can specify another user, a filename, or a program to pipe it to. You can also seperate multiple entries with a comma or a newline. However, since alias expansion is done recursively until there's nothing left to expand, you have to do something different if you're sending a copy of the mail to yourself. For example, say user jsmith wants to send a copy of all her mail to user johndoe, but still keep a copy for herself. You'd think to use this .forward file:

jsmith
johndoe

The problem is that when sendmail goes to deliver a copy of the mail to jsmith, the .forward file will be expanded again, resulting in a mail loop! To avoid this, sendmail allows you to put a \ character before an entry in a .forward file which tells it not to expand that entry if it's an alias. So, the above file would be:
\jsmith
johndoe

Reference: Sendmail tutorial

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Dodici Quaranta

Can you recognise it? :D

dodici quaranta! japparapparà!
suona fischia e canta!
prima c'era solo il dodici, ma
la fortuna fa quaranta!
dodiciiii..... qua-ran-ta!!

Million Dollar Page


Have you already been at the Million Dollar Homepage? If you have an envious streak, you probably shouldn't read this. Because chances are, Alex Tew, a 21-year-old student from a small town in England, is more clever than you are. And he is proving it by earning a cool million dollars in four months on the Internet.

Selling porn? Dealing prescription drugs? Nope. All he sells are pixels, the tiny dots on the screen that appear when you call up his home page.

He had the brainstorm for his million-dollar home page, called, logically enough, www.milliondollarhomepage.com, while lying in bed thinking about how he would pay for university costs.

The idea: turn his home page into a billboard made up of a million dots, and sell them for a dollar a dot to anyone who wants to put up his logo. A 10-by-10-dot square, roughly the size of a letter of type, costs $100.

Tew sold a few to his brothers and some friends, and when he had made $1,000, he issued a press release.

That was picked up by the news media and spread around the Internet, and soon enough, advertisers for everything from dating sites to casinos to real estate agents to The Times of London were putting up real cash for pixels with links to their own sites. Tew's home page now looks like an online Times Square, festooned with a multicolored confetti of ads.

"All the money's kind of sitting in a bank account," Tew said from his home in Wiltshire in southwest England. "I've treated myself to a car. I've only just passed my driving test, so I've bought myself a little black Mini."

The site features testimonials from advertisers, some of whom bought spots as a lark, only to discover that they were receiving actual valuable Web hits for a fraction of the cost of traditional Internet advertising.

Meanwhile, Tew has had to juggle running the site with his first term at university, where he is studying business. "It's been quite a difficulty trying to balance going to lectures and doing the site," he said.

But he may not have to study for long. Job offers have been coming in from Internet companies impressed by a young man who managed to figure out an original way to make money online.

"I didn't expect it to happen like that," Tew said. "To have the job offers and approaches from investors -- the whole thing is kind of surreal. I'm still in a state of disbelief."

By the way, I've just stumbled across its parody - the Zero Million Dollar Homepage. Quite hilarious, ain't it? :)

Now I'm seriously considering to invest some time in studying about how our brain works, lateral thinking and brainstorming excercises. I badly need to make money by coming up with a clever idea...

He did it again


Fabrizio Faniello, one of Malta's prominent pop singers, won the Malta's song contest for Europe for the second time. "I do" will be the song representing Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest in Greece this May.

I believe this victory will bring a bit of arguments in the upcoming days (as usual) due to the fact that his song was aired twice (in contrast to the other participants), reason being that in the first time Fabrizio had sound problems during the whole song. He had to sing again at the end, to be fair on him.

Olivia Lewis was voted at the second place (like in the previous year) although I would have put Eleanor Cassar in her place instead. Trilogy, ironically, placed third. Again, I believe the latter had just gained enough popularity during diverse local TV shows to place them third.

As regards to the winner, personally I've enjoyed the song "I do" and even its choreography, and I firmly believe that he deserved the victory, although I wasn't one of the 7,729 persons who televoted for him. The song was written by Fabrizio himself and one cannot not notice the russian-like-accents he used on some of its words which gave it an original interpretation. Best of luck Fab, or as you usually say: "E Vai!!!"

HUMAX Resetting PIN Code

This info may be useful for those people who lost the parental lock of their satellite receiver HUMAX 5410z - 5400z (lol come on!).

1) Go to the STB status in the Main menu: installation -> ok -> status -> ok -> stb status -> ok

2) Press the following sequence of keys: Red -> Green -> Yellow -> Blue -> White -> 0

3) The pin code is automatically reset to factory default (0000)