Sunday, July 16, 2006

Serious system crash

My home PC crashed again!

I usually hibernate my system every night when I go to bed so it'll wake up faster the next day. The last reboot I did was after the ZoneAlarm problem.
My Firefox can't connect to internet properly yesterday morning, so I decided to give it a reboot. But it kept coming back to the screen asking me to choose SafeMode or Normal Boot. And the normal boot will stop after the WinXP splash screen came up for a while then a blue screen showed up for half a second and then reboot itself and brought me back to the choosing Safemode/Mornal boot screen.

I managed to take a photo of the blue screen and it has

Technical information:
**STOP: 0x0000007E (0xC00000??,

The "??," are gibberish that I cannot make out, seems like it rebooted before it showed everything.

I could still get into safemode (without Network support) and back up whatever I want to back up. And I thought I'd just reinstall the OS.

But the real scary thing is after I changed the Boot priority to "Boot from CD" and nothing else, and rebooted with my XP CD in the CDROM. It gave me an Error of "System Halted" on a black screen. So I cannot even boot from CD!!!

Seems like this time is a big one! Can anyone shed some light on what may go wrong?
My system is probably 4-5 years old now. Don't just die like that, please!!

I hope it's not Horatio trying to straighten things up and I stuffed it up again...

Amazing 11 year old girl singing

The voice is unbelieveable!

Amazing 11 year old girl singing
Or download it straight from here.

Monday, July 10, 2006

You think you're thinking by yourself?!

I read an article recommended by an old friend titled
It's quite a long article but I learnt a lot from it. It discusses about how the mass media and our everyday life perception are largely products of PR-industry to create a public perception about some idea or product. I include some parts of the article that I found worth thinking seriously about:

The father of Spin -- Edward Bernays who described

the public is a 'herd that needed to be led.' And this herdlike thinking makes people "susceptible to leadership." Bernays never deviated from his fundamental axiom to "control the masses without their knowing it." The best PR happens with the people unaware that they are being manipulated.

In Bernays' Propaganda:
"Those who manipulate the unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. In almost every act of our lives whether in the sphere of politics or business in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires that control the public mind."

A tad different from Thomas Jefferson's view on the subject:
"I know of no safe depository of the ultimate power of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise that control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not take it from them, but to inform their discretion."

It also talks about how scientific research are controlled by big corporations.


In 1993 a guy named Peter Huber wrote a new book and coined a new term. The book was Galileo's Revenge and the term was junk science . Huber's shallow thesis was that real science supports technology, industry, and progress. Anything else was suddenly junk science. Not surprisingly, Stauber explains how Huber's book was supported by the industry-backed Manhattan Institute.

Huber's book was generally dismissed not only because it was so poorly written, but because it failed to realize one fact: true scientific research begins with no conclusions. Real scientists are seeking the truth because they do not yet know what the truth is.

True scientific method goes like this:

1. form a hypothesis
2. make predictions for that hypothesis
3. test the predictions
4. reject or revise the hypothesis based on the research findings


Contrast this with modern PR and its constant pretensions to sound science. Corporate sponsored research, whether it's in the area of drugs, GM foods, or chemistry begins with predetermined conclusions. It is the job of the scientists then to prove that these conclusions are true, because of the economic upside that proof will bring to the industries paying for that research. This invidious approach to science has shifted the entire focus of research in America during the past 50 years, as any true scientist is likely to admit. If a drug company is spending 10 million dollars on a research project to prove the viability of some new drug, and the preliminary results start coming back about the dangers of that drug, what happens? Right. No more funding. The well dries up. What is being promoted under such a system? Science? Or rather Entrenched Medical Error?"

It is shocking when Stauber shows how the vast majority of corporate PR today opposes any research that seeks to protect
* public health
* the environment

A lot of the claims are cited on
Stauber & Rampton, "Trust Us, We're Experts", Tarcher/Putnam 2001

It shall be a good enlightening read too.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Bloody Zone Alarm!!

Last night, when I turned on my computer, there was a little reminder that a new version of Zone Alarm is available and asked if I wanted to update it. So I did the usual thing, no problem, update it since ZA has been a great firewall for me.

But it turned out to be a disaster that took me 4 hours to revert and still didn't know why!

The update didn't work, and somehow I have no permission to either run it or kill it! And it blocked out my internet!!! Then it's a long series of search on internet after uninstalling it.

Then re-downloaded it, re-installed it, reboot, didn't work, clean-uninstalled it, reboot, re-re-installed it, reboot, still didn't work, tried again re-clean-uninstalled it, reboot, re-re-re-installed it, reboot, still bloody didn't work, re-re-clean-uninstalled it, found more detail information, follow some lengthy instructions, cleaned registry, deleted files, reboot into safe mode, deleted more files, reboot into normal mode, re-re-downloaded it, re-re-re-installed it, reboot, still freaking didn't work!!!

At my despair, I decided to not use it any more. So I re-re-re-clean-uninstalled it, reboot, and with the guts feeling of having messed around with the I decided to do a system restore back to before all these mess.

So I did a system restore back to Thursday, another reboot and to my astonishment, the little [Z|A] icon showed up on my system tray! So back to square one, with 4 hours of hope and frustration well rewarded...

What firewall do you use? Is there an alternative to the free and yet powerful ZoneAlarm? Hope it doesn't give me problem anymore....

Oh, a side story. When I was panicking about the firewall being turned off for update and eventually malfunction, I was simultaneously checking on other things on the net. And one of them was the online Chinese radio from Malaysia - WAONLINE, and somehow their frontpage got hacked ( see hacked screenshot here. But I wasn't sure and thought could it be my firefox got hijacked!! And had a good paranoid!

I'm glad that the disaster is over. :```)

Friday, July 07, 2006

Super Deformed on Planet OneTwenty

Yesterday, I blogged about Onetwenty picked up the Horatio feed, today, there's a new look on
Planet OneTwenty with the super deformed cartoon shape of the bloggers. Haha! Those cute avatars I made for the 60Hz home made game GOMM are just so funny! Thanks for the cooperation from everyone who posed for it. :D

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Planet onetwenty is fast!

Soon after I blogged about Horatio's hilarious blog, planet onetwenty picked it up and it's now included in their feeds. Good job Jim!

Another nice combination

I missed this one today. Well, take the pm off, there's another chance soon.

07:06:07 06/07/06

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Another fun date will come in 3 days

This time it's better for those who don't wake up early.

11:10:09 08/07/06

But it's not as elegent as several beautiful date-time combination that happened in the past couple of months.
01:02:03   04/05/06
06:06:06   06/06/06
  20:06   20/06/2006

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Horatio invades the virtual space

The super Horatio figure that used to fly around CS in my early years here is invading the virtual space now. Of course, it's from its original creator, the almighty Danno!

He's also trying to confuse my possible internet fans with this very similar URL:

I took a screenshot of that page at 15:00WST 04/07/2006 for archiving purpose.
Super Horatio on

I like this joke. Good one Danno!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Hoax and untrue forwarded emails

Some of my friends like to forward emails they received and found interesting or alarming or attractive or fun, etc. to me, like many of you who has an email address and some friends. :P

Some of those emails are alarming health advices like "you eat prawn and vitamin C together, YOU DIE!";
some really touches me to help like "For each email forwarded, some companies or foundation will donate 2cents to this very cute and nice but badly ill kid";
or very attractive one which I'd want to get like "Send this email out to this email address and 20 people to receive a free PSP!!";
some require immediate action to avoid disastrous consequences like
"Yahoo will close your account if you don't send this to 20 people to let them know you're an active user.".

There are many other variations. I used to struggle to whether believe it, believe my friend on it to avoid missing out or being a cold hearted deadwood. But thanks to the search engine, and Google is my friend on this. Recently I'd just copy a big chunk of the text in the email and search it on google, when I verified that it's not true in less than 5 minutes, I'd email back the person who forwarded that to me and let him/her know about it as well.

The followings are what I wrote on several different cases. I just copy and paste them here. Save me typing them and paraphrasing them again. Reading back these email I sent out, I think I was rather frustrated at times and was not very courteous on my words. Hope it doesn't offend you. :P

Hi there,
Good to hear from you. And I enjoy some good email attachments from time to time. However, I shall let you know that a lot of the email floating around internet are purely rubbish created by jokers, like this one unfortunately. So I copy a paragraph from a page I get after google about some text from this email:


Whenever you receive an email that urges you to immediately forward that mail to everyone you know, there is a very good chance the email is a hoax. Please take the time to verify the message by doing a Google search before you send it on to anyone else. In most cases when you take an arbitrary sentence from the message and google for it you'll end up with many hoax warning pages as the result.

The following email is one such hoax. It says the Make A Wish Foundation will donate seven cents toward the medical bills of a child dying from cancer for every address you forward this email to. This is completely fake. Amy Bruce does not exist. Please forward the URL of this page to teh person who sent you this email.

The Foundation has made no promise of donating money for forwarded emails because it has no way of knowing if or how many times anyone forwards any email. Whoever came up with this sick joke is taking advantage of the good will of helpful people. The story pushes all the right buttons: A sick, innocent child, the double victim of abuse and cancer. Yet it's all a lie. This hoax has been around since 1999 and is documented as a hoax on several websites.

More details on:

Make a wish foundation denying that they had anything to do with this e-mail:

Please send this to the people you send this email to, and get this email from. Let's stop rubbish on internet/email and keep the good ones alive.

Take care.

Hi, K,

Google and is your friend for this one.

Just copy a big chunk of the original text into google and search for it. And chances are you'll get something in telling you whether it's true or false with sensible reasonings.

This is what I did, I copy this whole chunk of text
"Dear YAHOO User, Because of the sudden rush of people signing up to YAHOO, it has come to our attention that we are vastly running out of resources. So, within a month's time,anyone" and put it into google.

Google link

Then the first one come out to be from :

Read it and be happy for becoming wiser over internet hoaxes. :)

Thanks for sharing the alert, I did a search in Google for "prawn" and "Vitamin C", and these are the top hits:

Who do I trust? To eat or not to eat?
A responsible 'broadcaster' of important information should really includes his/her contact for careful/skeptical readers to verify the source.

Hi guys,

I personally think Sony will not do such unbounded giveaways. But I still wish it to be true, so I did a search on google:

And unfortunately, my guess was right. See the links:

I guess the dangerous part of this kind of emails is that the email address you have to send to to get the goodies might be a spammer's fishing net. So when people forward to their friends hoping to get the goodies and hoping their friends can get the goodies too, the real "goodies" can turn out to be more spams, as the spammers now have your email address!!

Anyway, keep the email flowings. At least this hoax keeps us in touch. Haha! Have a wonderful day!

I'm not a KFC supporter. And they could be using Genetically
Engineered sources as their supply, (think about it, chicken used to
take 9 months to mature, now only 21 days?!! How on earth could that
be natural!!) but I would still want people to know that this article
is another internet Hoax!

do a search on google with the words University+of+New+Hampshire+kfc
Google link

Or go straight here to

Here's a short extract from the site:

# Links on KFC's web site (such as the About KFC page clearly
describe its product as "chicken" numerous times, something it could
hardly get away with if the government were prohibiting the company
from using that word. And the KFC web site can also be reached through
the domain name

Send this back to those who sent to you lah. Stop all these crap, this
is not the right way to bring down KFC.