Download Day 2008

Download Day 2008

Leave it up to Mozilla to come up with the creativity for almost anything. This time, it has to be the record books–the Guiness Book of World Records to be exact. They intend to come up with a world record for “the most software downloads in 24 hours” on Firefox 3‘s launch date. Not bad for software promotion not to mention making a statement in browser usage.

Just click on the banner to find out more about the attempt. Right now they’re still gathering strength from all around the world and synchronizing the countdown before giving the go signal. To those interested, you can get involved in spreading the word.

Thanks to emans for the info btw, (courtesy of an Eskwela update that is.)

72 Months Hence

It was only recently that I’ve realized that it has been six years since I started working. Perhaps it was this collection of ID pics from my first job that caused the pause to look back at what happened and changed over that span of time. Looking at my pic there, it does seem a no-brainer that I changed.

Normally I’d be offended with anyone posting my pic elsewhere but the time capsule idea struck me as wonderfully thoughtful. So there’s one change. That and the ones fatherhood, IT, postgraduate education, and corporate and filipino life I’ve been subjected through all those times. To the first I now owe my disposition and happiness, the second through the fourth professionalism, and the latter the roots of my culture and beliefs. To all however a great deal of dedication.

Finally the fact that I don’t recognize a lot of faces there let alone remember a lot of those persons says a lot of the amount of time that passed and how I actually got to spend such time in this minute corner of the universe. Hell, I might even be able to write truckloads of posts on all the incidents and experiences all throughout but why bother when even time rolls along so elusively to capture everything in our finite spaces.

One thing nice about life is that it allows us to take brief pauses along the way to glance back before yanking us to move on ahead. It might not mean a lot but it sure helps somehow.

7.5 Going 8.0

I’ve been using AVG Free for computer protection ever since I’ve had my own laptop at home. Back then, my primary consideration was cost. After doing a modest amount of research, I went for it. Right now, I have 2 notebooks here running the software for security and protection.

Since version 7.5 would be supported by updates until the end of this month only, I decided to make the jump on a lazy Saturday afternoon. At least that’s what the AVG advisory which came up after the most recent updates I ran in both notebooks said.

Anyway, after running the 8.0.1 installer, making the initial one-time setup, mandatory restart then finally the security database updates, here’s how it looks like on the task bar:

and the new UI for the software.

AVG Screenshot

A lot different from the previous version. The most immediately visible and definitely useful difference though was when I used a search engine using Firefox. Doing so displayed:

In this case it’s a Google search. The checked green star icons affixed beside each returned result affirms no surprises from the site. I’ve checked a similar result using IE in the same laptop as well and the same go signals appear there. Doing mouse-overs on the markers shows the following remarks from AVG:

Google Search 2

Pretty nifty and absolutely helpful for the not-so-technical experts if you ask me.

Talk About Perspectives

For the 4000th click just registered by this blog, here’s a lengthy list of puns on the half full or half empty perspectives of different people from this humor page:

A well-known proverb states: an optimistic would say a glass is half full, while a pessimist would say it is half empty. What would people of different professions and walks of life say?

The government would say that the glass is fuller than if the opposition party were in power.

The opposition would say that it is irrelevant because the present administration has changed the way such volume statistics are collected.

The philosopher would say that, if the glass was in the forest and no one was there to see it, would it be half anything?

The economist would say that, in real terms, the glass is 25% fuller than at the same time last year.

The banker would say that the glass has just under 50% of its net worth in liquid assets.

The psychiatrist would ask, “What did your mother say about the glass?”

The physicist would say that the volume of this cylinder is divided into two equal parts; one a colorless, odorless liquid, the other a colorless, odorless gas. Thus the cylinder is neither full nor empty. Rather, each half of the cylinder is full, one with a gas, one with a liquid.

The seasoned drinker would say that the glass doesn’t have enough ice in it.

I can’t resist but add the following to the list:

  • The programmer will need to look at the server logs, audit trails and system design before saying something conclusive. This in turn will lead to changes on the glass object or the fill method again.
  • A student would prefer to know which his/her professor is leaning on before saying it’s half full or half empty after all. Furnishing the details of the proof would be the easier part.

Hehehehe… Feel free to add your own takes.

The image was taken from wikimedia commons btw.

Time to Unlearn

I don’t recall now but I remember someone pointing out that a lot of the things learned in life later are just really about unlearning things taught to one earlier. While the vein of truth was evident there, it was just earlier when my wife and I were taking a look at the contents of my daughter’s Math book for the incoming school year did the impact of the truism there strike me.

When I was in college I remember a written communications mention how she found it hard to interact with high school teachers given their fondness of what she referred to as common errors. From time to time she made it a point to correct every error we had both written and spoken. Maybe it was her way of promulgating correctness the way she deemed apt.

Back then I didn’t care really because I was there only for the credits. With the following though, I think I now got to understand more what she had already realized then.

Preposition or Conjunction?

If you add 1 to 19, the result is an even number. (Yes/No)

I might be the only one to notice but adding 1 to 19 is not the same as adding 1 and 19. It might be plausible that the latter is school kid material but I’d have a hard time believing n(n+1)/2 has just been rendered grade 1 stuff already in my lifetime that fast.


If you put together two even numbers, the answer is also an even number. (Yes/No)

Unless they actually expect grade 1 pupils to prove that assertion from a given definition, (which should require at least basic knowledge in algebra,) I see no point in asking this theoretical question here. Sure the kid could get away with thinking of two even numbers, say 0 and 2, and adding them to check whether the statement holds.  In the example given it expectedly turns out true. It in fact comes out true for any two even numbers for the particular question.

I find an issue however with how this inculcates and effectively encourages a common mistake among students: proof by example. I have seen for a fact how even a lot of graduates resort to such kind of reasoning. It doesn’t mean it’s right however.

First there’s no actually such thing, (maybe they had proof by counterexample in mind, I don’t know.) Second and more to the point as my Math professor in college told someone when asked why the student’s proof for a proving question in an exam was wrong. Upon knowing that an example was presented he quickly pointed out and emphasized in class that:

An example is not a proof. What may be true for some members of a given domain may not be true for its other members.

Well at least that’s how I remember how he worded the point. At least for me, it would be best not to let kids start off with something they will have to eventually unlearn in the future. After all it shouldn’t be long before they would eventually encounter ambiguity in pushing for such mindset when they resolve a claim that all prime numbers are odd.

What if someone gets to think of 2?

Juggling Javascript

I’ve been using Javascript for years now but it’s just recently when I’m starting to go from intermediate to the next echelon in terms of my level of expertise. Far back before the start of this millennium, common uses of the scripting language is on form validation and rollovers.

As early as a few years after the millennium started however, Asynchronous Javascript and XML (AJAX,) gained popularity and people got to see javascript from a different consideration. Apart from getting more people to take the scripting language more seriously, the object-oriented capabilities of the language got the attention it rightfully deserved.

Despite such developments and my penchant for keeping pace with IT trends, it was only recently when I had the chance to actually “play” with AJAX and thus, get to take a closer look on Javacript’s object-orientedness due in part to having my own notebook only recently.

So on top of the time I spend reading e-books on other stuff, I’m spending time these coming days to take a look at the following:

Anything for career-advancement I guess.

Last Straws

I’ve been meaning to write about SA’s demise or triumph against NO by now but who would have known? I guess the fact that there still are two final straws to be drawn in the NBA magnifies the level of competition out there right now. While the last slot for the east will be determined a few hours from now, the game out west will have to wait for a day.

All I can say right now is that should SA end its quest for a repeat, (and thereby hold on to its even-numbered year jinx,) I would concede NO to be worthy of dropping them off from the running. While the games of that series have all ended in blowouts, it’s pretty much of a surprise that the young athletes have made it that far in such a fashion.

It’s in the playoffs where SA bucks in to win-it-all throughout the years. Before the second round started, it was such a sound assumption to write off NO as another would-be victim of the tested veterans but things have changed so much in the course of 6 games. Despite owning the playoffs, it’s the defending champs who were in the win-or-lose situation prior to game 6.

So much as I’m looking forward to have everything rely on just one last game, I’m praying for at least a close game befitting the manner of exit for the matchup’s loser.

A Slice of Diversity

For the longest time I’ve known, I’ve never been stuck with a single topic alone when it comes to having my interest in the internet. For more than a decade now, I’ve been one of the netizens watching along the sidelines for what would be significant for a lot more years to come.

Perhaps one of the things that has captured the imagination of internet users is that the internet presents the perfect universe for diversity. Its birth was brought about by the need to exchange scientific information. Its growth was fueled by the potential businesses saw in it. At present the networks and servers spanning the internet’s entirety has gone beyong business, science and the academe to accomodate a wide range of audience for just as wide as a myriad of purposes. Social networks, blogs and different forums are just some which come to mind in one of the venues defining the age of information.

It’s that vastness and variety of information that has me watching time and again. I guess its those qualities of the internet’s currency which sustains itself in an time which puts a premium on information. It is indeed an age where the idiom “information-at-your-fingertips” has long been relegated to the cliche backyard, to say the least.

More importantly for me, such heterogeneity and massiveness causes me to re-visit sites time and again. Once I found it in highfiber and linkswarm. During the time when I had been a resident linksman in the former, I found a lot of postworthy stuff from the latter. With the former gone however, I find myself visiting the latter more.

Having written at least two entries from finds stuffed up there,* here are just some reads and material worth the time going through them for at least those who don’t mind spending their time idly peeking through other corners of cyberspace:

Yup, it’s as varied as that. As a wonderful bonus too, the NSFW marker’s too conspicuous to miss out in the workplace. 😀

*Such entries include a feature on war insights, the latest kid-related entry and a look at another shot at the search engine.

Just Another Mother’s Day Greeting

No translations here since I’m pretty exhausted right now.

So after getting to celebrate Mother’s Day with my family for a few hours, I get to write an entry somewhat related to the day. Thanks to a genuine-sounding text message, (at least to me it comes across as such:)

Happy mother’r day to your mom at sa lahat ng ginawa mong ina. 🙂

To which I replied:

Matatawa na sana ko kaso wrong spelling yung “mother’s!” Hahahaha…

Of course I get the following reply in lieu of my former grammar police role elsewhere before:

Wala kang kupas Pat!

LOL! And they say I’m such a grouch when it comes to text messaging!

Anyway before it’s too late, I’d like to wish every mother out there a Happy Mother’s Day. Cheers to the timeless icon of selflessness and nurturing the young! 🙂

Intellectual Influences

I encountered this post at Inquirer Current this week. It links to Foreign Policy‘s survey of the Top 100 Public Intellectuals (subject to a simple criteria really) among its readers so out of interest, I participated.

One is allowed to choose 5 intellectuals so I opted for:

  • Lee Kuan Yew – The first PM of Singapore and still remains a very influential politician there after stepping down in 1990.
  • Jared Diamond – The UCLA professor won the pulitzer prize winner for his work “Guns Germs and Steel.” Also worth noting is his work “Collapse” which continues the analysis of societies from where the GGS left off.
  • Al Gore – The former U.S. VP under the Clinton administration hardly needs mention as the Nobel Peace Price winning documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” has promoted wide awareness on climate change.
  • Noam Chomsky – I first encountered his name for his work as a linguist when I was studying context free languages (CFL) in Automata Theory. Apart from his works in linguistics, the MIT professor has also been known for expressing his political views.
  • Thomas Friedman – The journalist and columnist authored “The World is Flat,” something which qualifies as a refreshing read for IT professionals.

Their biographies can be read here and those interested have until May 15 to cast their votes.

On a side note, that’s a pretty effective voting facility they have there.