Origin of 二五仔

I was watching 賭場風雲 (Dicey Business) and 25 came into talk. Usually I don’t think much when they call people 二五仔 (literally means 2,5 person, but is slang for a snitch or traitor).

Anyway, they drugged this poor guy and started painting 25s on his face and body, and my sister asked me what’s 25. I told her it referred to 二五仔 because they believed he snitched on them. Then my sister asked me why 25 referred to a snitcher and I had no idea. At first I thought maybe it was because it’s easier to write instead of 厭仔, but it turns out there’s not such a phrase.

I asked my dad and he believes it refered to 2 5’s which is the number of fingers on your hand. People who snitch are like finger pointers. I decided to search for the phrase online to see if I could find the origin and I found these 2 links:




「二五」代表的其實是它們的總和—-「七」。故事須從火燒少林寺說起︰話說清朝康、雍年間,朝廷要徹底消滅反清復明的秘密會社,查得少林寺與天地會有千絲萬縷的關係,於是派兵前往剿滅。但需要有少林寺內奸策應,所以收買了武功排名第七的少林俗家弟子馬寧兒。馬寧兒窮凶極惡,犯下大罪,被逐出山門,含恨引清兵入山,火燒少林寺。秘密會社中人不恥其所為,日後便稱那些告密者、叛徒為二五仔 (指排第七的馬寧兒)。

According to the sources, 25 refers to the sum of its digits: 7.

During the Qing dynasty, there was a group of people called 天地會 (Heaven Earth Group) that wanted to overthrow the Qing Dynasty and restored the Ming Dynasty. They were quite intertwined with the Shaolin temple. There was a monk in Shaolin named 馬寧 (Ma Ling) and he was exiled from the temple for commiting a crime. With hatred in his heart, he went to the government and snithced on the Shaolin temple and how they were hiding fugitives and the connections that they had with 天地會. The government sent an army and burned down the temple and from that day on, 馬寧 was known as a traitor. There were a total of 108 monks and they were ranked. 馬寧 was ranked number 7 and from that we have 二五仔 which is a Cantonese slang for snitch/traitor.


So my computer has been rebooting automatically for quite some time. Usually it occurred when it’s playing a video, so I thought either the graphics card or the drivers for it were problematic, but even after upgrading the drivers and switching in a working nVidia GeForce MX420, the system still rebooted by itself.

I then slowly unplugged one thing after another, finally literally leaving just the RAM, CPU and motherboard and the boot drive. I had ran memtest for over 6 hours with no problems found. I even did a full scan disk and no bad sectors were found. I started to think I have a faulty motherboard or cpu. Although the symptoms I’ve been seeing looked really familiar to what happens when the motherboard detects a system is overheating. However, looking at the temperatures in the BIOS showed that everything was pretty normal, even immediately after a reboot.

The motherboard manual had recommended a 300W power supply and it seemed fine with mye 350W PSU, but I even installed a new SuperFlower 450W PSU and the problem was still there.

So the new motherboard I got was a ECS P4M800PRO-M V2.0 which had a power connector I have never seen before. Instead of 20 pins, it had 24 pins. I thought that was odd and started reading through the manual and it turns out that although there’s a 24 pin power connector port, it said can support either 20 or 24pin power connectors. According to my research, ATX refers to the 20 pin power connector and ATX 12V refers to the 24 pin power connector. Many power supplies has what is known as the 20+4 pin power connector which supports both ATX and ATX 12V, which basically means it has a detachable 4 pin on the power connector.

When I had tried to search online in regards to problems with this motherboard, there were many threads saying this motherboard was problematic with 20 pin power connectors. So I decided to get a 24 pin power supply to see if that’ll help. I dropped by Fry’s and started looking at their power supplies. The parking lot was quite a mess. It was the day after Christmas sale and I had to wait 4x at the traffic light before I even got into their parking lot. You know it’s crazy when they have Fry’s people at the entrance directing traffic and forcing you to loop around the back. Still wasn’t as bad as the Black Friday sale I went to a few years back.

However, it appears that most people were there to return stuff. The checkout line was actually only half filled. The other day when I went there to pick up my cpu/motherboard combo, the parking lot was half filled, but the checkout line was completely packed.

I was going to drop $75 on this Antec SmartPower 2.0 450W Power Supply, but ended up picking up a Ultra V Series 500W Power Supply for $60 instead. To my surprise, there was a $40 rebate on top of it, making it only $20 after rebate. However, it appears that their online website has it for FREE after rebate, but I don’t really have much time left around here so, $20 for the convenience was worth it.

After installing this new power supply, my computer hasn’t rebooted by itself yet, and things seem to be normal. Let’s hope I didn’t jinx it and it continues to run w/o any problems.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all!

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and hopefully got all the presents they had wished for.

Speaking of which, I just got this link from Digg: Lenovo – ThinkPad X60 Tablet and this new tablet has some pretty neat features over the previous X41 tablet:

  • MultiView/MultiTouch indoor/outdoor viewable touch screen
  • High resolution SXGA+ screen
  • 802.11n MIMO WiFi
  • Embedded WWAN
  • Mobile docking solution

*DROOLS* The SXGA+ screen (1400×1050) is awesome! It’s an optional feature, but if I got the X60 Tablet, I would definitely get this screen. The default is XGA (1024×768) which has been what all the X series (12.1″ screen) has always touted, however 1024×768 is a bit lacking. Everything else on my X31 rocks. I just wish the screen had a better resolution. I’ve even sent in customer feedback asking for a better screen. Bill actually told me a month back that the new Thinkpad tablet was getting a better screen, but when I searched, i wasn’t able to find any information on their website, so I thought it was just a fluke he saw.

The additional wireless networking features seem nifty, but I’m not really that interested until it becomes more standardized.

The multi-touch screen is also nifty. Most tablets require you use a metallic stylus pen to work where the screen has a magnet system behind it to detect where the stylus pen is. It’s not a true touch screen. With this multi-touch functionality, it allows you to use you fingers or whatever other funky object you prefer to use to interact with the screen:

lenovo thinkpad x60 tablet - multitouch screen

I do have to say I was a bit disappointed. When I first read multi-touch, I had thought it was referring to something like the Multi-Touch Interaction Research by Jeff Han. But I guess it’s still neat that you can now interact with your fingers.

I had tried to customize the X60 Tablet, but unfortunately the SXGA+ screen doesn’t seem to be an available option at this moment. I wonder how much that’ll add to the price given the fact that with a regular XGA screen, it’s already over $1,800.

I really wish they’d put this better screen into the regular X-series as I don’t really care for a tablet much.

Random Crap:

I was searching for images of 王晶 (Jing Wong) in movies he produced to show my sister who he was, and I happened to fall upon this cute porcupine image:

cute porcupine
(from 杂文选刊)

Things a Man Should Know: About Fatherhood (from Digg) – a rather funny list of things dad’s should know about parenthood. Here’s a couple I thought were insightful or funny:

  • Your child, at birth, already has a deeply complicated relationship with his mother, and, for the first year, you are only a curiosity. For a couple of years after that, an amusement-park ride. Then, a referee. And finally, a bank.
  • Reason boys are better: They cannot get pregnant.
  • The first time you change your son’s diaper and he pees all over you is not an accident. It’s foreshadowing.
  • Let them take reasonable risks: A few scrapes in the long run are nothing compared with the scars left by hovering parents. Or tics. In preparation for risks: a Red Cross first-aid course.
  • It never hurts to videotape the baby-sitter. Especially if she’s hot.
  • Overalls are not only cute, they provide a convenient handle.
  • Dropping food on the floor is a new and delightful skill to a one-year-old, not a deliberate attempt to annoy you. However, as small he or she might be, never underestimate an infant’s ability to project chewed food over great distances.
  • Beware your child’s uncles, who will teach your kid dirty words, introduce him to liquor, and give him gifts of drums, archery sets, and possibly matches.
  • It is, of course, your natural right to exert the above negative influences on your siblings’ offspring.
  • Lock or no, please knock before entering, as the disruption of a youth who is spanking his monkey will be twice as traumatic for you as it is for him.
  • Unfortunately, those books that say motherhood makes women desire more sex are referring to women who are not your wife.
  • If the real response to his question is no, try this instead: “Go ask your mom.”

carved  watermelon head
Carved Watermelon Head (from Neatorama)

Computer Trouble

So my MPK computer which acts as a file server, printer server, and the main hub I connect into to diagnose problems on computers within this home network, died a few months back. I had asked my sister to do a bunch of test but was unable to determine the cause.

I come back and the whole machine is dead. When I tried booting it up, it was in a constant state of reboot. I don’t even get to see the first screen. I kept removing parts to see what the cause was and finally got down to just the motherboard (now outside of the case), the CPU, the video card, the RAM, and the PSU.

I had tested the PSU on a different machine earlier and it turned out fine, so that was off the list. I then tried swapping graphics card with the ‘spare’ machine (spare being that my brother hasn’t come home yet, so I could take apart his computer if I wanted to) and the graphics card was fine. I did the same with the RAM.

What was left was the CPU and motherboard. I had tried reseating the CPU and reapplying thermal paste to it, but that didn’t seem to help. I thought if I was going to replace either the CPU or motherboard, I might as well go to Fry’s and get a combo. Which I did and ended up getting this:

outpost cpu motherboard combo

I wasn’t looking for something fast or fancy, but this was the cheapest combo they had advertised and I didn’t feel like waiting for a better deal. I was also out of the air duster cans so I picked up a few. There was a TON of dust in my case.

Turns out the machine’s actually quite decent. With just the onboard video (VIA/S3G UniChrome Pro IGP) using 64MB shared from 512MB of 333MHz DDR RAM, I was able to play 1080p trailers off Apple.com on Quicktime really smoothly. The CPU that came with this combo was a Pentium D 2.8GHz.

Another reason I picked this combo was because it supported both DDR and DDR2 RAM and since my existing DDR RAM was working, I didn’t feel like splurging to get better RAM as this machine as I said is just a server that doesn’t do much. It also had an AGP slot (although I found out later it had onboard video, which couldn’t be worse than my GeForce MX400 that was in there).

Anyway, installing the CPU was rather interesting. The socket form was something neat and it actually took me half a minute to figure out how to unlatch the CPU lever. The retail fan that came with the CPU was enormous! Though I have to say, it’s pretty quiet. Then I noticed the motherboard had a longer power connector port. I was like, when did PSUs get a longer adapter?!?! At first I was like shoot, got to go back to Fry’s and get another PSU, but it turns out that these new motherboards support BOTH the 20pin and the 24pin power connectors. You just have to leave 4 pins exposed.

The machine booted up fine and I went ahead to repair Windows. Didn’t exactly work. I had hoped not to have to do a full reinstall, but it doesn’t look good. It blue screened when trying to get into Windows and immediately reboots. I then installed XP over the existing OS, but I was getting random faults occuring in random programs and sometimes the machine would just reboot on its own. I finally gave up and did a format and clean install.

I should’ve heeded to my own advice a long time ago about installing OSes only on fresh harddrives. Guess I wanted to take the lazy way out and ended up doing a lot more work.

But it turns out there was actually some memory problem. Doing a memtest resulted in tons of errors. The Crucial 512MB 333MHz by itself ran fine. The Kingston 256MB 266MHz in a seperate machine ran fine too. I’ve concluded that either the 2nd slot on the motherboard is bad, the motherboard didn’t like me mixing 333MHz with 266MHz (although it fell back to 266MHz) or 266MHz was too slow for the CPU.

Anyway, I’m reinstalling the OS for the 4th time with just the 512MB stick in it. It’s really 448MB since 64MB is reserved for the onboard video card.

How to disable AIM Expressions and Others’ Themes

Ever had someone IM you and a weird side bar comes up? Welp, I didn’t used to care about it since only 3 or 4 people I knew used it and I didn’t chat with them often. Since I’ve been home, I’ve been working on fixing my computer (story to come later). So I’ve been using my laptop in the meantime. I have AIM Pro installed on my laptop since I didn’t like the new AIM Triton client they had available at that time when I installed.

Due to ununusal circumstances where rdpclip.exe wasn’t behaving correctly and using 99% of my cpu power and the clipboard sharing busted, I’ve been using AIM to send text between my laptop and my machine back home and whenever I IM myself, I got this ugly sidebar on my AIM 5.5 client.

Anyway, Cari tells me the same thing so I try to see if there’s a way to disable this theme or “expression” as AIM calls it. I wasn’t able to find out how to disable it from my side, but apparently AIM has an option to disable displaying expressions/themes from other people.

Once you enter the Preferences dialog (F3), goto ‘AIM Expressions’ on the left and look for the area marked “Incoming Expressions”. By default this is ‘unchecked’, but that doesn’t mean that setting reflects what is saved. I had to actually check that box, save that setting by clicking Apply, and uncheck that box and save the settings again before the AIM sidebar thingy disappeared.

I wonder if they fixed this in the later clients.

Random Crap

School board finds name hard to swallowSome Bay District School Board members have a problem with the proposed name for a new elementary school — Breakfast Point Academy. … “Pat and I want to know what the mascot is going to be,” Littleton asked. “The Croissants,” Sabiston answered. Board attorney Franklin Harrison suggested “The Biscuits.” Haha!

Wisconsin hunter bags deer with 7 legsRick Lisko hunts deer with a bow but got his most unusual one driving his truck down his mile-long driveway. The young buck had nub antlers — and seven legs. Lisko said it also had both male and female reproductive organs. “It was definitely a freak of nature,” Lisko said. “I guess it’s a real rarity.” Unfortunately they didn’t have a good photo of the whole deer.

death kitty and the fat man (from Cari) – the flash was really cute and really sad. though the kitty does becomes Death’s pet in the end, she’s not as cute as before.

What if you took the summary of Star Wars and changed all the character’s names into Harry Potter characters. This is what you’ll get (from Esca):
star wars harry potter exchange essay

Monzy performs at Stanford Univ. (from RayAlome) – Raw footage of a performance that “CS rapper” Monzy gave last summer outside Stanford University’s Computer Science building. This footage was shot for the documentary, NERDCORE FOR LIFE. Nerdcoreforlife.com A very geeky song called Kill -9 (dash nine).

Jerome Murat (from Digg) – A French performing artist that does a really AWESOME show. The music the orchestra is playing along is just pure harmony. He’s painted completely in white with some sort of port and does this little magic show where he has 2 heads and it’s really neat. I haven’t totally figured how he did it yet, but I’m pretty sure a hand was involved with the 2nd head. The solemn facial look and the movements just made the head look really alive. It’s really cute. In the end, he kisses the announcer on the cheek and leaves some white powder on her.

Humming Search – If you have a tune stuck in your head and don’t know what the song is nor the lyrics, you can hum into your microphone and this website claims to be able to tell you what the song is. I haven’t tried it yet, but that’s probably because I don’t have my microphone setup yet. If you try this with success, please let me know.

Dead crows scare away living crows – It’s pretty obvious that dead corpses scare away animals of the same species, unless you eat dead corpses (i.e. vultures), then it’s a happy scene.

Had a car crash? It’s all in the stars, study saysAccording to a study by InsuranceHotline.com, a Web site that quotes drivers on insurance rates, astrological signs are a significant factor in predicting car accidents. The study, which looked at 100,000 North American drivers’ records from the past six years, puts Libras (born September 23-October 22) followed by Aquarians (January 20-February 18) as the worst offenders for tickets and accidents Leos (July 23-August 22) and then Geminis (May 21-June 20) were found to be the best overall. That’s why my dad drives so slow. As a Capricorn, I’m goal oriented. They’re more concerned about the destination than the journey. They feel that the rules of the road are for other drivers to follow so that Capricorns can get to their destination faster. If insurance companies do use these statistics, go check out what they say about you at Car Carma

Family Guy Spoof on Mad TV (from Digg) – A spoof of Family Guy that aired on Mad TV. Hilarious spoof. They even have a real live version. There’s also Making of Family Guy (from Digg) and I’m surprised that Seth MacFarlane is the voice of so many characters. I was even more surprised the the voice of Meg was the girl from That ’70s Show.

Top 10 Gamer Cakes (from Digg) – As a gamer, I want to show my gamer pride, and what better way to do that than to adorn your celebratory cakes in a gamerly fashion. After hours upon hours of scouring the net, pouring through pages of cakes, skipping over numerous Cakemania images, and whatever the hell this is, I have sorted through the cream of the crop of the geekiest of the geek. Behold mortals, the top 10 gamer cakes. Here’s the story behind the gamer wedding cake: Have Your Games and Eat Them Too! (from Digg)

Gambia gives ex-presidents free holidays for lifeThe bill entitles ex-leaders of the West African nation to have three cars with drivers and fuel, holidays abroad each year, personal secretaries and 1 million CFA francs (1,000 pounds) a month, courtesy of the state. … A bird lover who often carries a ceremonial sword, Jammeh has said he wants to rule the former British protectorate — where 60 percent of people live on less than $1 (50 pence) a day — for another three decades. Sigh…

Lettuce ladies urge Kazakhs to go vegetarianTwo British animal rights campaigners clad in nothing more than bikinis made of lettuce leaves braved freezing temperatures on Tuesday to urge the people of Kazakhstan to stop eating horses and go vegetarian. You can check out the video: Vegetarian Protestors or check out the gallery of girl protestors from PETA.

Peeking at your gifts? You’re not alone-surveyCan’t resist a quick shake and peep at that present under the Christmas tree? You’re not alone, with a U.S. survey finding one in five adults are present peekers.

Humping Dog (from Digg) – This is Humping Dog. USB MEETS LOVE. Only humping,no function. I like how they censored the USB “connector”.

Greatest Video Game Collection Ever (from Digg) – Now that’s what I call a video game collection. This person probably owns every game, console, and accessory in existence. Lots more pics after the jump. Wowza! It’s like a geek fantasy come true!

Nuckin’ Futs – The JibJab Year in Review (from Digg) – JibJab’s version of all the important events that happened this year. Really funny. All sang by little kids.

Game periods – a comic strip from little gamers explaining why video games and couches were invented.

Srcubs JD’s AirStrike (from Digg) – From the first episode of Season 6. JD on Scrubs describes his “experience” using war terminology. Really hilarious.

iTude 0.1 released (from Digg) – The other night, I awoke with a start: How, if iTunes requires you to authorize your computer with their servers, play iTunes purchased music offline? This guy figures out how to authorize as many computers to play DRMed music purchased from iTMS as you want. I generally wouldn’t care about this, since Apple allows you to authorize up to 5 computers, but they have a broken system where you’re only allowed to reset once a year. In the event your hdd crashes or your library gets corrupted or somehow your computer gets deauthorized, but their main system doesn’t know about it, you’re out one authorized computer. Apparently this trick works in Windows too and the files you need to backup is located in:
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes\SC Info.

Virtual Reality (from Digg) – (NOT WORK SAFE!) UCB at its finest. Quite a sketch I’ve got to say.

Fast Hands (from Digg) – 2005 National Hammered Dulcimer champion Max Zbiral-Teller plays ‘Apple Juice.’ an original composition at Bard College. You can find this piece on his latest CD ‘Many Tastes Are Loaded,’ at his website www.maxzt.com and shortly on his YouTube page. Pretty neat instrument. Reminds me of those ancient Chinese instruments: the guqin.

Google Blatantly Copies Yahoo!? (from Digg) – Back when IE7 launched, Yahoo! created a customized version and began to market it to our existing IE users. … Today it seems that Google has similar intentions. So similar, that they decided to basically copy our page and slightly Googlify it. If you look, the design, layout, and most of the text are the same! I wonder what was going through the head of the programmer in charge of this… There’s another blog entry in regards to this here: The Race for Optimizing IE7

Street Pranks (from Digg) – Tape Sculpture and Street Installations by Mark Jenkins aka Storker. Courtesy: xmarkjenkinsx.com Really funny situations made with tape sculptures and half mannequins.

XNA Game Studio Express Has Been Released! (from MS newsgroup) – XNA Game Studio Express will allow people to develop games for the Xbox 360. The framework is free, but if you plan on reselling games or want samples to help you start, there’s a subscription fee.

Mythbusters Rube Goldberg machine (from Digg) – The Mythbusters build a rube goldberg machine. Happy Holidays from the Mythbusters. Witness the longest piece to camera in mythbusters history. It’s a Rube Goldberg machine. That should be enough to get you to watch it.

Computer Repair Fraud (from Digg) – Who can you trust to repair your computer these days?

33 Names of Things You Never Knew had Names (from Digg) – I’m actually surprised some of these things have names! (i.e. ARMSAYE – The armhole in clothing; MINIMUS – The little finger or toe.)

TelePresence (from Digg) – Visit to Cisco TelePresence demo at Headquarter Campus (San José, CA) by projectteam Fontys University. Wow! What a neat way to hold conferences. One day, every house will have something like this and you won’t even have to go into work.

Random Crap

100 things we didn’t know this time last year (from Digg) – some interesting ones include [my comments are in brackets]:

  • While it’s an offence to drop litter on the pavement, it’s not an offence to throw it over someone’s garden wall. [neat!]
  • Nicole Kidman is scared of butterflies. “I jump out of planes, I could be covered in cockroaches, I do all sorts of things, but I just don’t like the feel of butterflies’ bodies,” she says.
  • Until the 1940s rhubarb was considered a vegetable. It became a fruit when US customs officials, baffled by the foreign food, decided it should be classified according to the way it was eaten. [sort of like the anti-tomato]
  • It’s possible for a human to blow up balloons via the ear. A 55-year-old factory worker from China reportedly discovered 20 years ago that air leaked from his ears, and he can now inflate balloons and blow out candles.
  • Lionesses like their males to be deep brunettes.
  • The = sign was invented by 16th Century Welsh mathematician Robert Recorde, who was fed up with writing “is equal to” in his equations. He chose the two lines because “noe 2 thynges can be moare equalle”.
  • “Restaurant” is the most mis-spelled word in search engines.
  • The name Lego came from two Danish words “leg godt”, meaning “play well”. It also means “I put together” in Latin.
  • Tactically, the best Monopoly properties to buy are the orange ones: Vine Street, Marlborough Street and Bow Street.
  • It takes less energy to import a tomato from Spain than to grow them in this country because of the artificial heat needed, according to Defra. [this country referring to UK]
  • Giant squid eat each other – especially during sex.
  • First-born children are less creative but more stable, while last-born are more promiscuous, says US research. [what if you were first AND last born (only child)? uncreative, stable, and promiscuous!]
  • A towel doesn’t legally reserve a sun lounger – and there is nothing in German or Spanish law to stop other holidaymakers removing those left on vacant seats. [and there’s no law against me throwing food in your face, but it’s just common courtesy that I don’t.]
  • One in six children think that broccoli is a baby tree. [awwwwww]
  • One in 18 people has a third nipple.
  • Spanish Flu, the epidemic that killed 50 million people in 1918/9, was known as French Flu in Spain. [it’s not from us, it’s from them!]
  • The first traffic cones were used in building Preston bypass in the late 1950s, replacing red lantern paraffin burners.

Border Fence Firm Snared for Hiring Illegal Workers (from Digg) – A fence-building company in Southern California agrees to pay nearly $5 million in fines for hiring illegal immigrants. Two executives from the company may also serve jail time. The Golden State Fence Company’s work includes some of the border fence between San Diego and Mexico. Talk about irony…

How long in the freezer does it take to chill a Coke from 89F to 35F? (from Digg) –

That would be about 20-25 minutes in a freezer. If you put it in a bucket of ice, that would halve that time. If you put water in that ice, it’d be cold (+- 5c) enough to drink in about 4-6 minutes, if you put salt in that water, you’d reduce the chill time to just over 2 minutes. Agitating the can in the water, rolling it around, reduces the chill time even more.

The fastest possible way is to grab a CO2 fire extinguisher and unload that sucker on the can.

Whatever you do, do NOT bury the can in sand, pour gasoline on the sand and set the sand on fire. That won’t do anything.

This is all empirically gained evidence, not third party.

SNL – Digital Short – A Special Christmas Box *Uncensored Version* (from RayAlome) – (NOT SAFE FOR WORK!) *Uncensored Version* Something special f *Uncensored Version* Something special for your girlfriend this Christmas Another hilarious song skit from SNL. This time it’s “Dick in the Box”.

GRANDMA’S BOY GAME DEMONIK BEING MADE (from Digg) – They’re actually going to make that game shown on Grandma’s Boy: Demonik into a real Xbox 360 game! I wonder which came first…

Collector pays $2.3M for $1,000 billAn art collector has paid about $2.3 million for a $1,000 bill printed in 1890, according to the auction house that brokered the transaction between two anonymous private collectors.
$1000 bill

Imagining the Tenth Dimension – A Book by Rob Bryanton (from RayAlome) – If the site is down, you can try the mirror. A very intriguing video of the 10 different dimensions that can be perceived by humans which ultimately leads up to string theory. I don’t agree with the author’s usage of the word dimension 100%, but he does give an easy view of understanding this concept. If you’re interested, you can purchase the book from Amazon.com.

Don’t Forget To Declare Bribes On Your TaxesWhen filling out the “other income” section on your taxes this year, there’s a few things you might forget to declare. Like your income from selling drugs. AllFinancialMatters spotted this while cruising the this years IRS FAQ.

Bribes. If you receive a bribe, include it in your income.

Stolen property. If you steal property, you must report its fair market value in your income in the year you steal it unless in the same year, you return it to its rightful owner.

Kickbacks. You must include kickbacks, side commissions, push money, or similar payments you receive in your income on Form 1040, line 21, or on Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040), if from your self-employment activity.

Illegal income. Illegal income, such as money from dealing illegal drugs, must be included in your income on Form 1040, line 21, or on Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040) if from your self-employment activity.

Empty-Stomach Intelligence (from Digg) – Hunger makes the best sauce, goes the maxim. According to researchers at Yale Medical School, it may make quadratic equations and Kant’s categorical imperative go down easier too. The stimulation of hunger, the researchers announced in the March issue of Nature Neuroscience, causes mice to take in information more quickly, and to retain it better — basically, it makes them smarter. And that’s very likely to be true for humans as well. And I always thought it was just food coma that make me lazy. It’s because hunger makes me smarter.

AppleGeeks Lite 081 – What if babies were like video games?

Dolphins saved by arm wrestlingThe world’s tallest man has saved the lives of two dying dolphins in China by reaching deep into their stomachs to pull out pieces of plastic, official Chinese media reported on Thursday. … In an operation shown on local television, a dozen men held the dolphins down while Bao slid his 1.06 metre (42 inch) long arm down their throats to grab the plastic. The dolphins are now recovering well, Xinhua said. His arm is over 3ft long! Interestingly enough, I would’ve thought one of those mechanical arms with clampers would have worked, but they had to request this guy all the way from Mongolia to come. Do check out the gallery of photos.

THREAD (from Digg) – an interesting short animation using just thread to create images and movement. You can see more on his homepage: ARNO SALTERS.

Pray for Coal – The 10 most dangerous play things of all time (from Digg) – In the last year alone, some eight million units of toys were recalled in the U.S., according to W.A.T.C.H., a toy-safety advocacy group. But Kool Toys and Polly Pockets are kids’ stuff compared to the hazardous baubles of yesteryear. In the spirit of the holidays, Radar presents the 10 most dangerous toys of all time, those treasured playthings that drew blood, chewed digits, took out eyes, and, in one case, actually irradiated. To keep things interesting, we excluded BB guns, slingshots, throwing stars, and anything else actually intended to inflict harm. Below, our toy box from hell. These toys are awesome!

Kid Gets Burned By Fire (from Digg) – This dude is insane. I am not sure what he thought would happen by soaking his jeans in gasoline and then running through a fire. I bet this kid has some serious burns after this. Didn’t someone teach him about STOP! DROP! AND ROLL!?

I was reading one of the strips from The Joy of Tech and found this question: Imagine a plane is sitting on a massive conveyor belt, as wide and as long as a runway. The conveyor belt is designed to exactly match the speed of the wheels, moving in the opposite direction. Can the plane take off? My initial instinct was yes, but after I thought more about it, I decided it was no and RayAlome confirms that answer. The thing that is missing is the air flow. Even when your engine is in full power, there’s no air pushing your wings up, which is a natural process when the plane is moving forward. RayAlome suggested putting a giant hair blower in front of it.

How to download HD Trailers from Apple.com

For more up-to-date instructions, please visit HD-Trailers.net


For simplified instructions, see: Tutorial: Download from Apple

I’ve also added instructions to download HD trailers from Yahoo! Movies: Tutorial: Download from Yahoo!

Finally, I’ve made a simple and elegant page to make downloading HD trailers super easy:
hd-trailers.net screenshot


So Quicktime sucks and is a horrible video player. That’s why there’s VLC and Media Player Classic with Quicktime Alternative. However, HD trailers on Apple.com forces you to use Quicktime to watch the HD versions. However, the decoding of the video is so poorly done, I can’t even watch 480p through Quicktime.

So a year back or so, I decided to figure out a way to download these High Definition trailers so I can watch them through VLC or MPC. I believe with VLC, you don’t need the QT alternative codec, but with MPC or WMP, you do. Anyway, if you go to an HD trailer page, e.g. Apple – Trailers – Breach- HD, you’ll usually see 3 buttons: 480p, 720p, and 1080p. My machine’s not fast enough to decode their 1080p, so I always opt for the 720p version. Trailers are usually a couple hundred megs, depending on how long it is. When I showed Derek this trick, he noticed that even though trailers said 1080p, they were hardly ever 1920×1080, usually something a bit smaller.

Anyway, once you’re on an HD trailer page:

  1. Go to view source (CTRL+U in Firefox)
  2. Search for 720p or 1080p (or 480p if you want) and it’s the 2nd hit you want.
  3. You’ll find something close to this:
    QT_WriteOBJECT_XHTML(‘http://movies.apple.com/trailers/images/hd_btn2_720p.mov’, ’67’, ’24’, ”, ‘bgcolor’, ‘FFFFFF’, ‘controller’, ‘false’, ‘href’, ‘http://images.apple.com/movies/universal/breach/breach-tlr1_720p.mov‘, ‘target’, ‘QuickTimePlayer’);
  4. The 1st hit (i.e. hd_btn2_720p.mov) is just the image of the button. The 2nd hit (i.e. breach-tlr1_720p.mov) is actually a file that points to where the real trailer is ‘hidden’.
  5. Take the 2nd URL and add an h between the _ and the resolution:
    From: http://images.apple.com/movies/universal/breach/breach-tlr1_720p.mov
    To: http://images.apple.com/movies/universal/breach/breach-tlr1_h720p.mov
    For 1080p, it would be:
  6. Next you can enter that URL into your browser and save it when it finishes downloading or whatever. I usually just use wget which came with Cygwin

Before, I used to keep all the trailers on my HDD:

Directory of F:\Downloads\apple trailers


123 File(s) 11,848,500,131 bytes
2 Dir(s) 51,537,440,768 bytes free

But then I decided that it wasn’t really worth keeping all these trailers, since I hardly ever rewatch them, so they went bye bye one day.

I usually visit the Apple Trailers site once or twice a month and watch all the trailers. For the trailers that have HD, I just paste all the links into notepad and do a replace all like:

wget http://images.apple.com/movies/disney/bridge_to_terabithia/bridge_to_terabithia-tlr1_h720p.mov http://images.apple.com/movies/sony/offside/offside_h720p.mov http://images.apple.com/movies/universal/the_good_shepherd/the_good_shepherd-tlr2_h720p.mov http://images.apple.com/movies/wb/harry_potter-phoenix/harry_potter_phoenix-tlr1_h720p.mov http://images.apple.com/movies/lionsgate/happily_never_after/happily_never_after_h720p.mov http://images.apple.com/movies/wb/lettersfromiwojima/lettersfromiwojima_h720p.mov

Update: Apple made an adjustment to deal with the Avatar trailer traffic which only allows QuickTime to download trailers directly. Please refer to this blog post for more details and workarounds: Direct Download Links from Apple Are Not Working. Here’s to hoping it’s only temporary.

Update #2: Apple links work when you change the domain from movies.apple.com to www.apple.com. For most up-to-date instructions, please visit HD-Trailers.net

Playing MIDI in Winamp Lite

RayAlome and I were talking about Winamp and he said they should release a lite version without the video player. I said they did and pointed him to Winamp Player – Free Download. I said the only real drawback of Winamp Lite is it doesn’t play MIDI files. I guess it’s really no longer much of a deal for me, but I was big into MIDIs back during high school as I thought it was neat to have songs in such a small format. Plus the fact that old cell phone ring tones could play only MIDI.

But it turns out that all you have to do to get Winamp to play MIDI is to have someone with the full version to give you the MIDI plugin. Neat!

You can download in_midi.dll (which I’ve zipped up): in_midi.zip

Afterwards, just dump the file into “C:\Program Files\Winamp\Plugins” or wherever your Winamp installation directory is and start Winamp and associate the MIDI files with it.