November 29, 2003

The Return of Juan Valdez!

Full Story @ Mercury News

Coffee growers to open U.S. stores

COLOMBIAN FEDERATION TO TOUT VALDEZ BRAND




The Colombian Coffee Federation, which represents more than 500,000 Colombian coffee growers, is planning to open its first coffee shops -- all bearing the name Juan Valdez, after the federation's signature character -- in the United States by early next year.

Gabriel Silva, the president of the federation, which is based in Bogota, Colombia, said he believes the coffee growers have been ``too passive'' in claiming a larger piece of the $8.4 billion specialty coffee industry.

``In a cup of coffee that you get at a coffee shop, between 1 and 2 cents goes back to the farmer,'' Silva said, referring to Colombian growers. ``We need to build our own solutions and take the destiny in our hands and really fight for our share of the industry.''

Coffee growers are facing a difficult market. Per-capita consumption has been in decline since 1963 with the only growth area the specialty coffee shops, led by Starbucks, according to the International Coffee Organization in London. The price of coffee beans has also declined significantly from a high of about $1.20 a pound five years ago because of a global oversupply of coffee beans from countries like Vietnam and Brazil. In Colombia today, the average coffee grower gets only about 68 cents per pound of coffee, Silva said.

*muddy's note*
Now I happen to see this little piece of irony and had to take a screen shot of it.


Posted by Muddy at 07:58 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Merry Christmas, sucka.

It's Christmas time again. The joy and celebration of Santa, Presents and oh yea... that Jesus kid (sarcasm) is upon us.
As is tradition in America after Thanksgiving is over, the masses rush out in the dark cold pre-dawn to get their place in line.
Three in the morning should be good enough you think, I'll beat everyone to the Wal*Mart line and get all the twenty nine dollar DVD players I can fit into my cart.
You arrive steaming coffee in hand only to find several others also share your adventurous spirit and the vast amount of law chairs alone leaves you dismayed.

Then you realize your bigger than most of them, you can simply push them aside when the time comes, yes, that Holiday spirit of "screw everyone you can" is beginning to shine.
Now the time has come, the glorious Wal*Mart employee opens the doors and you begin with the swim move, pushing aside shoppers as if swimming across a lake of people to that prize, the 29$ DVD Player.
You can see it now, however some rude woman has just pushed her way in front of you. Now is the time for the patented heel push maneuver, you catch her heel as she's rushing forward and gently nudge her giving just enough momentum to drive her face into the ground without it looking like you did it. You now dive as if your life depends on it, grasping and grabbing you feel the cold hard cardboard in your hands. Searching for a way out of the pile of bodies you struggle to breathe.

You may find this little story amusing, the sad truth is Christmas is a pagan holiday. Christians tried to take over the Holiday by celebrating Jesus birthday on December 25th instead of April when it should be celebrated. Now the pagans have taken Christmas back, it's now about who has the most stuff, Shopping and screwing over anyone who gets in your way. It's about who gets the biggest toy, it's about Marketing, Strategy and Advertising.

Thanks to Mega store Wal*Mart and others like them Christmas is properly going back to the pagans. "Cause I'll be dammed if I'm gonnna let that B***h get ahead of me in line to get that once in a lifetime price on toys. My kids going to have 2 car loads of toys even if I end up in the Hospital, oh and Merry Christmas"

If you don't believe me, check out the follow articles.

Stampede Of Early Morning Shoppers Seriously Injures Woman

Fight Breaks Out During Walmart Shopping Frenzy

Posted by Muddy at 03:16 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

I am a bit shocked

Well I was browsing through my web site stats and what do I find as the new #30 referrer to my stie? The IAEA.

You heard me right, the International Atomic Energy Assoc., the same people trying to get Iran to stop making material to use in nukes.

http://www.iaea.org

Kinda makes me wonder what in the heck their linking to me?

If anyone figures it out I'd be interested to know.

Posted by Muddy at 02:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 28, 2003

Blue Angels Video Clip

Well I'm getting around to making some clips from the Dayton 2003 Air Show.

Today's video is a fly by and split of the Blue Angels Diamond (tight) formation.

Only 26 seconds to keep it small.

Download or Watch Here

File is mpeg1 format total size is 4.47MB.

Posted by Muddy at 04:30 PM | Comments (263) | TrackBack

November 26, 2003

Hero Hacker Does It Again

Full Story @ Scotsman.com

A young Norwegian who became a global hacker hero by writing and distributing a program to crack DVD security codes appears to have struck again, this time against Apple Computer’s ITunes online music service.

Jon Lech Johansen, 19, faces a new trial next week after prosecutors appealed his acquittal for violating Norway’s data break-in laws with his DeCSS program.

Now, a new security ripping program called QTFairUse was posted – along with the message So sue me – on an Internet home page under Johansen’s name.

The new program circumvents ITune’s anti-copying program, MPEG-4 Advanced Audio Coding, by legally opening and playing a music file, but then, essentially, draining the music into a new and parallel file.

Posted by Muddy at 06:01 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

November 22, 2003

Hungover CNET wakes up next to MP3.com

Full Story @ The Register

What a night out that was. It must have seemed like a good idea at the time...

On Friday morning CNET woke up to find it was sharing a bed with MP3.com, and couldn't quite recollect how the pair of them had got there. We've all had nights like this, but yesterday CNET staffers were puzzling over how the mothership found itself tweaked into an improbable and very hastily arranged relationship between two hugely unlikely partners, both apparently lured to sin by the glamor of latest Silicon Valley goldrush: copy-protected music downloads.

Some poor, unwitting business development executive at CNET must be rubbing his forehead this morning, asking himself "what did I do?"

Posted by Muddy at 08:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

OSU vs. Michigan

I thought this was mildly entertaining..

A man had 50 yard line tickets for the MICHIGAN-OSU game. As he sits
down, a man comes down and asks if anyone is sitting in the seat next
to him.
"No," he says, "The seat is empty."
"This is incredible," said the man. "Who in their right mind would
have a seat for a game like this, the biggest rivalry in the Big-10,
and not use it?" He says, "Well, actually, the seat belongs to me. I
was supposed to come with my wife, but she passed away. This is the
first MICHIGAN-OSU game
we haven't been to together since we got married in 1987." "Oh .. I'm
sorry to hear that. That's terrible! But couldn't you find someone
else, a friend or relative, or even a neighbor to take the seat?"
The man shakes his head. "No, they're all at the funeral!

Posted by Muddy at 01:14 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

More Images From the Dayton 2003 Airshow


The U.S. Navy's Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Team


Three WWII era Mustangs flying in formation.


The Canadian Snowbirds Flight Team



The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Flight Demonstration Team

Posted by Muddy at 12:23 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 21, 2003

Wal-Mart to write own name on notebooks

Full Story @ CNET News.com

Wal-Mart Stores is developing a plan to launch its own brand of PCs.

The retail giant plans to begin offering notebooks under its own brand name during the first quarter of 2004, a report in the Taiwan Economic News said this week, quoting industry sources.

A source familiar with the notebook industry in the United States told CNET News.com that Wal-Mart has shown interest in offering a notebook line in the future, but has not yet reached a deal with a specific manufacturer.

If Wal-Mart, which sells PCs from companies such as Hewlett-Packard and eMachines, moves into the notebook market successfully, it could send ripples across the PC industry. The retailer's typically aggressive pricing could compel manufacturers such as Dell, HP and Toshiba to lower their notebook prices in response, analysts said.

However, retailers haven't had much luck with house brands in the past. CompUSA has tried a number of times to launch its own PC line but has usually wound down projects after a few months, and Best Buy put an end to its own PC effort.

Posted by Muddy at 06:42 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 19, 2003

Like Music, but not the RIAA? Visit Magnatune.

If you like music like I do but despise the RIAA then I have a solution.
Magnatune: try before you buy MP3 music.
Enter Magnatune, a company who believes as I do! Nice to hear the musicians and others in the industry are as feed up with the RIAA as I am.

Here you can not only buy mp3's but can download a 100% digital copy of the entire CD!, Imagine paying for and downloading music that's in a high quality format, not that phase shifting poor quality mp3 crap. Yes, the future is here and it's easy going on the ears.

What I really, really like is the fact Magnatune pays the artists 1/2 of the sale price. 50% is unheard of in todays world as the music companies normally give the artist pennies per cd if that.

As a former Napster downloader I'm very happy to pay for good music that is #1 good, #2 affordable and #3 something the artist will actually make money from.

I'm jamming to the Electric Frankensteins now, good stuff.

Posted by Muddy at 12:48 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 15, 2003

Scientists Warn CIA About Future Biological Arms

Full Story @ FOXNews.com

WASHINGTON — Advances in biotechnology could lead to a generation of biological weapons far more dangerous than those currently known, scientists have told the CIA.

The life sciences experts, convened by the agency's Office of Transnational Issues, raised fears of genetically engineered diseases that "could be worse than any disease known to man," according to the CIA's unclassified report on their conference.

The report, "The Darker Bioweapons Future," speaks only generally of the dangers of newly created diseases and does not specify countries that could use them to threaten the United States.

"The same science that may cure some of our worst diseases could be used to create the world's most frightening weapons," the report says.

Posted by Muddy at 06:43 PM | Comments (29) | TrackBack

November 13, 2003

Madden 2k4 Custom Teams Update

I uploaded all three zip files again, this time with the updated Ohio Glory helmet. Also added a uniform.txt file to each giving the proper settings to duplicate the uniforms. Should make life a little easier.

Posted by Muddy at 10:25 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 12, 2003

More Fixes From Microsoft

Full Story @ InformationWeek

It issued patches for vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer, Windows, FrontPage, and Office, with three of the five flaws rated as "critical," its highest-ranking assessment.

Microsoft has issued patches for vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer, Windows, FrontPage, and Office in the second of its now-monthly rollouts of fixes.

Of the five flaws, Microsoft rated three as "critical," its highest-ranking threat assessment. Several let attackers remotely execute code on compromised machines.

In addition, exploit code and proof-of-concept code--which is typically used to build exploits--are circulating on the Internet for all three critical vulnerabilities, according to security firms such as Symantec, which has released alerts to users of its global DeepSight threat-assessment network.

"Yes, there are known exploits," confirmed Mark Miller, the manager of Microsoft's security-response team. "We've seen several posted on public Web sites and we're investigating them."

*note* So in the mean time kids... be smart and install Linux or FreeBSD.

Posted by Muddy at 10:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 10, 2003

Muddy's Custom Madden 2k4 Teams

Phew!

After a long, long morning of editing and testing I'm finally done.
I've got the updated Ohio Gory and the new Firebirds teams done and uploaded.
Along with the Linux Penguins I now have three custom teams available for download.

Let me know if you like them, I'll be making more.

Oh as a side note ALL Muddy's Custom Teams were made with "The Gimp!".

Posted by Muddy at 01:16 PM | Comments (37) | TrackBack

Happy Birthday U.S. Marine Corp

Full Story @ European and Pacific Stars & Stripes

maj-with-bayonet.jpg
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Marines gathered Friday to celebrate the Corps’ 228th birthday, which officially is Monday, at a cake-cutting ceremony and uniform pageant. The ceremony began with the march of colors and the United States and Japan national anthems, followed by an invocation.

18573_118101949b.jpg
Marines, dressed in period uniforms, appeared.

One by one, Marines came out and stood at parade rest in front of viewing stands for an abbreviated history lesson of each uniform.

After the pageant, the annual reading of the 13th Commandant, Gen. John A. Lejeune’s birthday message, was read, followed by current Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Michael W. Hagee’s message.

Commanding General of Camp Butler Brig. Gen. James Flock then addressed the audience.

“For many years, the Marine Corps has been engaged in some of the most fiercest fighting the world has ever seen,” Flock said. “But Marines don’t ask for war, instead we seek peace for all nations. And that is why for 228 years the Marine Corps has stood ready to answer the call to arms.

Posted by Muddy at 09:04 AM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

November 09, 2003

Get some Chili!

I just finished off some of Amy's Organic Medium Chili with a big ol' piece of red mill cornbread, and Wow! that was good stuff. It soooooo hit the spot. I had to pop out an email to em' giving them some props.

If you have not yet gone Organic, what are you waiting for?

I myself would much rather eat a nice fresh piece of fruit (or whatever) that I know was grown without any chemicals sprayed on it.

Check out Amy's site for other goodies.

Posted by Muddy at 05:34 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Spammers Can Run but They Can't Hide

Full Story @ excite.com

09SPAM184.jpg
TAGGS ISLAND, England AS Steve Linford walks his German shepherd, Zen, across the gangway from his houseboat into his prim little garden on this small island in the Thames, he hardly looks like a man in a battle over the future of cyberspace. He has a salt-and-pepper beard and a twinkle in his blue eyes, but the effect is more former hippie than Sean Connery.

After Zen gives a good bark at the ducks, the two return to the boat, and Mr. Linford climbs a spiral staircase into a sunny home office with nine computer screens piled on a black desk. This is the unlikely command center for the Spamhaus Project, one of the leading groups that is trying to make the world safe from junk e-mail.

As a cause, stopping spam may not be as urgent as, say, curing AIDS. Yet thousands of activists, of whom Mr. Linford may be the most visible, have mobilized to fight it.

Posted by Muddy at 04:54 AM | Comments (92) | TrackBack

November 08, 2003

Ban on Internet access tax stalls in Senate

Full Story @ CNET News.com

An attempt in the U.S. Senate to enact a permanent ban on Internet access taxes failed on Friday, with senators vowing to negotiate over the weekend and return to the topic next week.

State and local governments and their allies in Congress warn that a permanent extension of an existing moratorium, which expired on Nov. 1, would cost billions in lost tax revenue. The moratorium had applied to special taxes that singled out dial-up and some other Internet access methods and is not related to sales taxes.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said on the Senate floor Friday that the arguments for special tax treatment for Internet access were vanishing. "The Internet is not a baby in the crib anymore," Alexander said. "They can at least afford to hire the most expensive lobbyists. We know that."

Alexander said he hoped to reach a compromise that could be voted on by next week. "We'll be working over the weekend," he said. "We hope we can come to some agreement."

Posted by Muddy at 04:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 07, 2003

Jessica Lynch Announces "I'm Not A Hero!"

Full Story @ The NewYork Times

Those of us with brains figured out long ago Jessica is just another under trained reservist who could not cope with the reality of the modern battlefield. Now she tries to set the record straight.

ap_us_jessica_lynch_150.jpg
In her first public statements since her rescue in Iraq, Jessica Lynch criticized the military for exaggerating accounts of her rescue and re-casting her ordeal as a patriotic fable.

Asked by the ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer if the military's portrayal of the rescue bothered her, Ms. Lynch said: "Yeah, it does. It does that they used me as a way to symbolize all this stuff. Yeah, it's wrong," according to a partial transcript of the interview to be broadcast on Tuesday.

Posted by Muddy at 07:01 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

November 05, 2003

Microsoft Redirects Public Anger With High Dollar Stunt

Full Story @ Yahoo! News

Microsoft is pulling the old "hey look over there" trick. Instead of making secure software that is not full of holes they now choose to create hystaria with Old West style man hunt.

Microsoft offered two $250,000 rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the Blaster worm and Sobig e-mail virus, which disabled computers and snarled Internet traffic across the globe in August and September.

Posted by Muddy at 05:01 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 04, 2003

Longhorn May Pose Security Concerns

From Internet Week

Microsoft is portraying Longhorn, the version of Windows due in about three years, as its most secure operating system ever. But company officials acknowledge that features in Longhorn that blur the boundaries between code that's running online and locally will compel the software maker to better educate developers about online trust.

Microsoft's new programming specs, called WinFX, will let developers create Web applications that launch local programs that consume data from the Internet. At its Professional Developers Conference last week, Microsoft demonstrated a visit to a LexisNexis Web site that launched a program that let users search their hard drives and the Web simultaneously. If those kinds of applications come to pass, software developers will need a more-precise mechanism for controlling the privileges those applications have, says Microsoft senior VP Eric Rudder. "Absolutely, there are security issues with downloading code," he says. Current yes/no controls for downloading applets from the Web are "super coarse-grained," he adds.

Longhorn will include security technology called the Next Generation Computing Base that's supposed to wall off some software programs from important parts of the Windows operating system. But IT managers will still have to decide how to write into software policies that deal with when to grant download rights and how to phrase questions to users, Rudder says.

Security issues are starting to hit Microsoft's top line. During its first quarter ended Sept. 30, the company reported a sharper-than-expected $768 million sequential drop in unearned revenue, a reflection of how quickly businesses are renewing licenses. CFO John Connors attributed the drop in part to ongoing concerns about computer attacks.

Gene Fredriksen, VP of information security at financial-services provider Raymond James & Associates, says Longhorn features that post blog entries and instant-messaging buddy lists on the Windows desktop could create new ways for attackers to enter systems.

Security pros are right to be worried about how attackers can exploit new technology, says John Pescatore, a Gartner research director for Internet security. First-generation standards and protocols generally are designed for easy implementation, he says--not for keeping out the bad guys.

Posted by Muddy at 05:58 AM | Comments (59) | TrackBack

Cowher, You need to Act Now!

Ok, after my beloved Steelers dropped their fifth game in a row I can no longer remain silent. I've developed a strategy to at least give them some face, if not win games.

First bench Washington, I like Dewayne but I'm a believer his best days are behind him. Townsend is eager, ready and willing to step up and I say give him the nod.

Second, Run the Bus, then run the Bus some more. Zereoue is a shifty back who's better suited for 3rd down's. The fact your not running either one much pisses me off to no end.

Third you have 5, yes 5 receivers, let the defense focus on Ward and Burress and give some love to Randle El and Mays. I'm a big Mays fan, he has skills, let him show the rest of the NFL what he can do.

Fourth Cowher you need for sure to spend some quality time with the O line, take them out to dinner man, have a sleepover or something. These guys are playing like individuals. I realize injuries and such have made it a shuffle-thon on the line. These guys need to bond, need to believe in themselves and each other. Tommy needs to get to the point where he more concerned with passing the ball and not running for his life.

Fifth, QB Pressure is not only for the first 3 quarters, it's needed the entire game.

Loyal Steelers Fan,
Muddy

Posted by Muddy at 05:43 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 03, 2003

First Optical Processor! Laser Tag in your CPU.

From The Register

Israelis ship eight tera-ops optical processor

By Tony Smith
Posted: 31/10/2003 at 15:18 GMT

Israeli technology Lenslet has begun shipping what it claims is the world's first optical microprocessor.

i_products_enlight.jpg
We should point out that we're not talking a Pentium or G5 here. Instead, the EnLight 256 is a DSP chip designed to perform a series of simple operations rather than provide a basis for general purpose processing.

However, its use of light rather than electronics enables it to perform up to eight trillion calculations per second - roughly a thousand times faster than semiconductor DSPs, the company claims.

EnLight comprises an eight trillion ops per second vector-matrix engine, a 128 billion ops per second vector processing unit and a standard semiconductor DSP licensed from Texas Instruments for scalar processing and chip control.

It's the vector-matrix maths unit - called the Ablaze core - that uses optical processing technology. The optical engine - or Spatial Light Modulator (SLM), as Lenset calls it - is... well... here's how Lenset describes it: "A two dimensional 8-bit resolution, reflective mode intensity modulator." It operates using "advanced Multiple Quantum Well (MQW) [Gallium Arsenide] technology".

Essentially, it performs vector-matrix multiplication by firing 256 tiny "vertical cavity surface emitting" lasers into the SLM's "programmable internal optics". The beams interfere yielding a series of outputs that are 'read' by an array of 256 light detectors and converted back to electronic information. The chip is fast because it allows many calculations to be made in parallel.

According to Lenslet, Ablaze can operate as a standalone device. The company reckons it has a role in a number of information processing and communications applications, including high capacity data storage, high bandwidth I/O in CMOS chips and others. As part of EnLight, its role broadens to take in high definition video encoding - such as H.264 compression for multiple HDTV channels - and unnamed "military and industrial" applications, but mostly military, we note from the tone of the company's web site.

Lenslet sees system designers replacing multi-DSP set-ups with single EnLight 256 chips. Not that it comes cheaply: the part is expected to cost tens of thousands of dollars a pop, with each chip designed to order.

Posted by Muddy at 01:49 AM | Comments (129) | TrackBack

November 02, 2003

Checkinstall, get it, use it, love it.

It seems I've been neglecting my fellow Linux users by not posting the useful things I find. I hope to make up for some lost time this week. :-)

First I would strongly suggest you get Checkinstall.

What is Checkinstall you ask? Well it's the next best thing to MPlayer afaic.

If your like me and you prefer to download tarballs and configure, make, make install your own proggies this allows you a way out. After you have configured to meet your needs and ran make, you run checkinstall instead of make install. What checkinstall does is create a package from the source so you can uninstall or re-install at a later date.

Here is the nice part.

Please choose the packaging method you want to use.
Slackware [S], RPM [R] or Debian [D]? R

It does not matter if you run Slack, Debian or any other Linux package [except Gentoo] it will work on about anything.

Posted by Muddy at 07:43 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Lindows working on Web-authoring tool

From CNET News.com

Lindows, a software company whose offerings include a version of the open-source Linux operating system intended to appeal to nontechnical users, announced this week that it is developing an open-source Web-authoring tool. In a notice posted on the Lindows Web site, CEO Michael Robertson says the Nvu project is aimed at creating a collection of Web tools comparable to Microsoft's FrontPage and Macromedia's Dreamweaver.

Robertson said Nvu will use some of the code for Mozilla Composer, the authoring element of the open-source Web browser. He expects Nvu to be ready next year.

Posted by Muddy at 12:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 01, 2003

Zoids Videos

Since I made some videos for my friends over at ZE I'll make them available to everyone as I'm in the giving mood. :-)

The first one is the Intro from Zoids Guardian Force.
File is 1:44 in length and 29.6MB zipped. Video codec is mpeg2, resolution @ 640x480.
Download Here

The Second video is from Zoids Fuzors.
Short clip of Liger Zero and Fire Phoenix fuzing to make Liger Zero Phoenix.
File is 1:08 in length and 27.5MB uncompressed. Video codec is mpeg2, resolution @ 480x352.
Download Here
*note* on this file it's hit or miss if you'll have sound.

I'll make more if you would like them, let me know.

- Muddy

Posted by Muddy at 06:53 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack