Monday, November 27, 2006

Choir singing and dancing

... I couldn't think of a better title. Anyway, just as i was falling asleep (which normally happens to me in church) all the women in the church got up, went to the front of the church and started singing. I couldn't get a shot of them from where i was sitting so i got up and went around to the back, even though I was happy to see that i was not the center of attention (while sitting in the corner) I did manage to get some attention when i tried to film them from the back.

Singing in Church

After a trip with the first board member (the treasurer) I re-remembered that i could be perceived as a trophy of sorts (look at my little white guy that i got from America) and my trip with the co-operative's chairman was no different. He wanted me to go to his church (where he was also the chairman) and give a sermon, I nearly fell out of my chair when he asked and spent almost 20 minutes saying "no no no no no" but he finally conned me into going to the church to sit (and later put me on the spot by asking me publicly to speak... grrrr). This is a mini-video of a young guy who was singing in the church. I gotta hand it to those missionaries; they really soaked this place with Christianity.

Walking to the post office

While i was in Kerugoya I of course had to feed my internet addiction and the only place i could do that was at the town post office. I made a daily pilgramage there and saw some interesting things on the way. I decided to take a video of that pilgramage but since i knew that i would get more stares than usual if i held the camera up i decided to hold it down in my hand incognito, a bit of a mistake (shakey etc).


While in Kerugoya (in the Kirinyaga district of Kenya) I met a really nice guy Eliud. I wanted to get some pictures of the area with people acting naturally (or more naturally than they would for some strange foriegner like myself) so I made a deal with Eliud, he take as many pictures as possible of anything that might be of interest and anything else he wanted and I would put those pictures on CD for him and keep the rest for myself. Well i don't remember showing him the video function of my camera and since he is in the video i guess one of his buddies switched it to that accidentally. Anyway, i was mildly amused.

Motorcycle Ride in Kirinyaga

This was the first video i tried on the back of a motorcycle in the Kirinyaga district in Kenya.

Monday, November 20, 2006

How Gmail could be better

This is just a short thought but I was using Gmail today and it occurred to me (as I was tagging some emails) that it would be a hell of alot easier if I could select multiple tags from the pull down menu all at once. I almost always tag my emails with more than one tag so I have to select the menu, select the tag, then repeat; sounds too simple to complain about but i get *alot* of emails each day and tagging them (the ones that I don't have a filter setup for) is a bit of a pain. If they could have a tag menu kind of like does (suggested tags then all the tags) where one can just pick and choose from that would be really nice. At the moment I am in a sloooow internet cafe so even clicking on the menu takes a second or two for it to come down, the repeated actions add up.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I wish I was a (software) hacker... (leads into wikipedia)

Ok, i wouldn't mind being able to do either (software or hardware) but after trying to teach myself perl then floundering through a c++ course (and ultimately dropping it) i have come to the conclusion that i was not meant to write code (hell, i have a hard time making bat files or hand writing html, a bit of a red flag).

What made me think of this was wikipedia and my inability to throw something together to interface (is that the right word?) with wikipedia. If you have actually read/clicked through on any of my other posts you will see i am a huge wikipedia fan, mainly because its easy, and uptodate and reasonably accurate (for technical things, forget the softer topics). I like to have a bunch of links in my posts but i hate making the links (lazy) so i was thinking wouldn't it be sweet if there was some site/service/script/etc where i could write something up then have it automatically make a link to every word/phrase it found in my posting that was in wikipedia?! The first problem that comes to mind would be words that were incorrectly linked, like " SD" being linked to "abbreviation for Small Dogs" (bad example but you get the idea). I am sure there could be some sort of checker, like a spell checker that asks you about each word/phrase. oh well, if anyone out there knows about something like that let me know.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Gore's gotta chance...

I will never forgive (or totally trust) the american voting process after the 2000 presidential election and the monkey (aka our esteemed king president) that it allowed into office but a new election is commig and people are talking. There are rumors about Hilary not running for president in the next election and it is thought that McCain might run again (not my first choice but my how past events have lowered the bar). All this makes me think that now is Gore's time to shine, the US is now leaning towards voting democrat (not because the dems have done a great job, more like its because they are the only alternative), many are finally starting to think alittle greener, and the war is not popular, Gore seems to have improved on his showmanship, all of which is in Gore's favor. The problem is Gore seems to have lost interest in running again, and who could blame him? Still, its a shame, I think he would stand a good chance, but he would be inheriting quite a mess. I don't think he would be able to do much for Iraq and would probably be severely critisised no matter what he did in/for Iraq but he could do so much in other areas like patching the runined relations with a countless number of countries, and improving the US's environmental policies, etc.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Games drive innovation?

I came across a YouTube link while browsing through digg about Starcraft+WINE+Linux+Touchscreen, while the link was interesting on many different levels to me (the least of which was the gaming aspect) it lead me to check up on the WINE app list which i have not even glanced at in at least a year or two ( WINE has been around a loooong time, but has got to be one of the slowest efforts in software development today [though to its credit i would guess its also one of the most difficult development projects too]). I went to their site and looked over their different lists (their quick and dirty lists are ordered Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze) and was immediately struck by the apps listed... they were dominated by games?!

Since 1995 (when i first started *trying* to play with slackware [not being a computer guru then or now it wasn't super easy, but got better once i learned about USENET and transferred to a techy school that ran on Unixes and had killer tech support) i have heard many a person chide Linux for not having more games. Yeah, there are lots of little simple games and a few slightly more advanced games but i would say than many gaming nutz aren't super into tinkering (which Linux *required* back in tha day, now, not so much), hence the popularity of game consoles, they are cheap, and just work, tinker free. But i digress, here was a fairly large list of complete win games that were running fine on Linux thanks to WINE. Seeing all those games, I would guess, with a fair degree of confidence, that at least some of the development of WINE has been due to a push from the gaming community.

Side thought. While i don't think the gaming community as a whole is super savvy (the "gaming generation" is be default more savvy than their elders but not much more than their peers) i do think that gaming has propelled many a person into the realm of computer literacy and guru-ness. I look no further than one of my best buddies and my brother as proof. When i met my friend he didn't seem to be much into computers (i was just learning too, thanks to a mutual friend of ours) but he started with games, and from there upgrading memory, tweaking DOS (slimming down the autoexec.bat and config.sys files to save memory from hungry/unnecessary TSRs), and investigating DBL Space vs Stacker (or maybe that was just me, this was 10+ years ago). Then there was my brother, for the life of me i couldn't get him to get interested in using the computer, there was no " killer app" for him. But then he got his own computer, no biggie but soon after he started learning about gaming, installing games on his system, how to circumvent copy protection, install hard drives (for those really large CD games [this was when a Pentium 120 Mhz with a 200meg hard drive [which dwarfed my 486 dx2 66 w/ 40meg hard drive]).

The point? not entirely sure, i guess that gaming can drive innovation, or at the least foster computer literacy because unlike me, i would say the "coolness of different operating systems, interconnectivity, etc" isn't much of a draw for most people, and thats where gaming comes in.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Melding of WebTop Offices with DeskTop Offices?

Nope, not yet at least. I remember hearing about how webapps would take over the world during the dot bomb years, it sounded kinda like commie talk to me (Take my software apps away from me? Never!) but years later I now view it as complementing destop apps, not replacing them. I just finished reading a bit about the AJAXy Office and different ajax/web applications available out there. Google pretty much cleaned house, not surprising but they might have glazed over some other webapps that might have google beat.

Anyway, these AJAX apps are fine, and for collaborative working i agree with the AJAX Office author, desktop apps can't touch the web apps but the superiority stops there. These webapps ( Web Applications) have a ways to go, but to me thats not a problem, i would prefer a streamlined (possibly minimal) program that i could access from anywhere *IF* i could seamlessly use the documents through my desktop app. The examples that come to mind are syncing web calendars with outlook/thunderbird or my PDA/smartphone, or editing my web doc from a webapp or a desktop app without having to download/upload the doc/spreadsheet. I could see Microsoft doing something like this with office and their MS Live site, or niftier yet, Open Office working like this, very nice. oh well, for me, the big thing is a nice calendaring app (think Google Calendar meets 30 Boxes) that would sync with Outlook and my PDA, this would be *veeery* useful for me.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Biodiesel/Ethanol & BioFuels in General

I just finished reading yet another article about the caveats of biofuels this one dealing with the water required.

No one seems to get it.

I had always thought alternative fuels involved forward thinkers by default, apparently I was wrong. For things like " Biodiesel" people are talking about growing more soybeans, and for Ethanol growing more Corn (or sugarcane, trees, sugar beets, etc.) all of which are very short sighted means of implementing otherwise wonderful technologies.

I see energy potential everywhere, in sewage treatment/animal production and methane ( biogas), to plant waste (even including things like the paper napkins your throw away) and ethanol production, to Biodiesel and used oils (from within the food industry to animal processing to oils that could be extracted from waste products). The idea of growing more soybeans (which would certainly further strain the worlds already strained water supplies) for Biodiesel or more corn etc for ethanol when there is soooo much plant waste tossed away daily, it all seems ludicrous to me.

*OF*COURSE* growing more soybeans and corn is the easiest/cheapest route (or so many say) but those are very very shortsighted ways of thinking about it. More research needs to be done regarding the production of energy from energy rich waste that people produce daily. I am not saying we can't grow any crops for energy production but there is so much waste that should be tapped before we bother growing more crops.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Wired News: The Eternal Value of Privacy

I have *really* not been in the mood to post but this article in Wired News: The Eternal Value of Privacy spoke so much truth in a time when it is so needed I had to say something. It has a ton of really good points but the line I liked the best was:

"Too many wrongly characterize the debate as 'security versus privacy.' The real choice is liberty versus control."

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

A Young Bush Appointee Resigns His Post at NASA - New York Times

This is insane, Bush's religious zealotry is oozing into every influential facet of our society. Yes this guy resigned but geeze, just think how many of his lackeys are still out there disconfiguring and undoing all the progress that the US has made since its inception. Yet another reason to want him impeached.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Bush, lawmakers donate funds tied to Abramoff

President Bush and numerous House Republicans give back contributions given by Abramoff. Does something about that not seem *totally* twisted!? I mean, would bank robbers that gave the money back to the bank get off? OR jewel thieves that gave the jewels back? yet politicians (all of them) seem to get away with bloody murder. I wouldn't mind knowing *which* charities the money was actually given too... yes yes, two democrats have been implicated (one not so sure about) and they should be buried along with all the corrupt Republicans. But what bothers me even more (if thats possible) is that these funds helped create a republican majority (not to mention what Delay has been doing in his Texas redistricting scam) maybe we should hold elections, now, for all the Abramoff recipients and see who gets voted for.