House of Dare 2008 Megamix

As most of you already know, I’m a huge fan of house music. Back when I was in Waterloo, my brother and I would often pull together playlists of the best music we could find for that season + genre. This time around, I used Traktor to mix the tracks into a set. There is a bit of a hitch on transition somewhere in the middle (got a phone call), but with Traktor you’re mixing it live, so life happens.

Anywho, here it is. Feedback is always appreciated.


Here’s the direct link in case you wanna download it: Link

AT&T: The bigger they are, the harder they fail

A little over a year ago, I sold my soul by signing a 2-year contract with AT&T. In retrospect, I made a fatal error in not having contractual rape protection beforehand. Here’s the deal:

My phone now turns itself off at will. If i put it on my pocket, it might turn off. If i put it on a desk, it might turn off. Basically, the vibrations caused by me typing this sentence may well have turned it off. It was a good phone, a simple Sony Ericsson phone whose sole purpose was to make phone calls. Despite the overwhelming majority of “smart” phones owned by every single person around me, I managed to hold off till now. Unfortunately, my phone’s inability to satisfy its minimum requirements of being on have forced my hand.

So I decided it’s time to drop the bills and get a new one. I walk into an AT&T store and tell him I want a new phone. I’m looking at the new blackberry which just came out, the Bold. He then asks if I am already on a contract. I gladly respond to his query, informing him that I am an existing customer with AT&T. My assumption is that, while I may still have to sign a new contract to get a discount, being an existing AT&T customer is a benefit here. Ah, my naivety.

AT&T Guy: Sorry, you cannot buy the phone.
Me: What?
AT&T Guy: We are not selling the phones to existing customers. Only to new customers.
Me: Why?
AT&T: It’s a new phone. Only new customers can buy it.
Me: Why?
AT&T: That’s just how it works. You might be able to buy it when it is not as new.
Me: When will it be “less new”?
AT&T: Umm. Maybe… in a month?
Me: Why a month? What is that based on?
AT&T: It’s just the policy.
Me: …
AT&T: ..
Me: Listen. My phone is broken. I need a new phone. Can I buy another phone? What about the iphone? That’s old now. Can i buy that?
AT&T: No, that’s still considered new. You can’t buy that till your contract expires…. *checks stuff*… which is May 2009.
Me: But the iphone has been out for a month.
AT&T: It’s just store policy.
Me: …
AT&T: ..
Me: So let me get this straight. If I wasn’t already with AT&T, I could buy a phone. But since I am, I cannot buy a phone.
AT&T: ..Yes.

At this point, I leave the store, still in utter shock as to what just happened. AT&T actually refused to take my money. I walked in with a bag of money, showed it to them, and said please take all of my money because I have no use for it, and then they said No. I’m still shocked.

I then called AT&T customer service and the guy on the phone seemed pretty understanding of my situation. He said he dealt with this kinda shit all the time, and had a great solution. I was all ears. His solution was that I sign another 2-year contract for an additional line at $9.99 a month, and use that new line to get the phone. Seriously. This was his “inside method” to get me my phone. I get to pay $240 over 2 years for a line that no one will use so that I can save $200 on the phone. Freaking genius. I asked if I could sign a 2-year contract for a new phone, and have the 2 years added on to my current contract (which is gay, but at least satisfies their interest to have me finish my initial 2 years). He said No. Awesome.

All in all, I’m not really sure what to do now. 6 months is a long time, and I kinda do want an email phone now. But the Bold is too expensive on its own ($550), and paying $399 for an iphone i would normally get for $199 makes me want to shoot things (by things I mean AT&T, and by shoot I mean stab in the face). I guess I could also just use one of the temp phones I have lying around for 6 months. I just find it so fundamentally retarded that they are refusing to take my money. How is that ever, under any circumstances, a smart business decision?


It’s a beautiful day.

It’s finally here. The day we’ve all dreamt about. Barack Obama is the next president! I’m so proud to be living in the States right now. I’m so genuinely happy to be part of this event. It’s something I and many others will remember for the rest of our lives. My belief in the general sanity of the American people has been restored.

One thing that has become clear is that Obama’s presidency will probably take away from the overwhelming success of political comedy. Shows like SNL, The Daily Show, and Colbert Report will no longer have an endless supply of ammo with which to entertain us. Sometimes their jobs were just too easy. No editorial or literary genius was required — Tina Fey could simply quote Palin’s words line by line and it would make a great skit.

If you stop and think about the ramifications of Obama becoming president, you will quickly be overwhelmed. Putting aside all the positive changes his own policies will bring about — the side effects are going to be powerful in their own right. The general reaction to Obama’s victory across the globe has been overwhelmingly positive. It is very heartening, and to a large extent, a relief. Finally the reputation of the United States will get some healing. The world may finally avert its course toward global hatred of America.

Along with the dominoe effect of global perception comes the internal effect of national perception. Students, lawyers, writers and people from all industries suddenly want to go to Washington. They want to be part of this government. They want to contribute. This sort of spirit has not been seen since the days of JFK. It is something that should be converted into direct action — and as a friend of mine pointed out, the onus lies on Obama to direct people by providing specific calls to action. Obama has an army of people willing to do anything to fix this country. It is so wonderful to know that he is just the man to lead them.

We all watched this election very closely. All the articles, interviews, debates, and the speeches took our attention for many months now. Today, I learned that Edward Norton has been documenting the Obama campaign trail for years. He has kept his production company’s work a secret, to avoid fueling the “Obama is a celebrity” bullshit angle. I personally am a fan of Norton’s work, and I am really looking forward to this film. It should be an excellent relation of one of the most inspiring stories of our time.

Cross your fingers…

My brother and I have a long-held belief that India’s chances for winning any given cricket match greatly decrease once either of us is watching them. This is not what you would call “superstition”, but rather a probabilistic correlation that could almost be considered causation.

In this light, I almost want to avoid watching the election, in the case that my bad-luck-vision has the ability to detract from Obama’s chances. This election has been a unique experience for me — I’ve never been interested enough to watch every debate and follow every twist, let alone genuinely believe in a candidate. Obama brings with him many forms of revolution, and it seems everyone I know is hoping he carries it to the President’s chair.

Thankfully, his chances are looking good. As a result, the Republican efforts in attacking Obama’s reputation have gotten more and more desperate as time goes on. The most recent one I’ve seen is utterly ridiculous to me. They are now accusing Obama of being too closely associated with anti-semitics. It is being suggested that under his rule, Isreal would be no more. I just don’t understand how they can reach this conclusion. Obama’s overt announcements that he will stand by the current Israel-friendly policies are actually one of my only concerns with Obama as president. To see the opposite conclusion made and then used for an attack is just… well… There is a plethora of adjectives I could use here, but at the end of the day, this sort of behaviour is actually more expected than anything.

My biggest problem is that the accusations are almost always without any real evidence behind them. Claims get repeated simply because they were claimed before. The McCain campaign has made at least one positive contribution, though. Thanks to their spokesmen, doctors now have hundreds of hours of video they can use when training interns on candidacy for dementia. Who says they don’t care about education?

Microsoft Windows Rainbow Cloud Pixiehorse Unicorn 7

When Microsoft first introduced what was originally codenamed Longhorn, there was hope that for the first time since Windows 2000 was released, some actual progress would be made on the operating system.

For many years, the Microsoft machine churned away, but made the fatal mistake of being far too ambitious with the proposed new features, ultimately trying to manage too many engineering projects at once. While individual projects may have been developed effectively, the integration process for those components closely resembled the human digestive system (input: a variety of potentially valuable materials, output: always a piece of shit).

Already a year behind schedule, Gates needed a solution fast, and decided to solve the problem the Windows Way™: by pushing the giant Longhorn reset button. This was the ultimate fail (alternatively, this fail is also available in Home Basic Fail, Home Premium Fail, and Business Fail editions).

On the bright side, with a clean slate, engineers could now work more effectively, with a simplified focus. As a result, they managed the remarkable feat of un-implementing hundreds of features from XP. This was the single greatest example of Unnovation in history.

Some people will claim that Vista is more about looks than actual features. This is true, which makes the OS mostly about nothing. The “new” UI engine, Aero, is not innovative in any way, nor is it a major enhancement, and it doesn’t do anything you cannot already do in XP. Here are some actual excerpts from the Aero features page:

Dynamic windows
In Windows Vista, windows are dynamic. When minimized, a window will subtly animate to a specific location on the taskbar, making it easier to locate when you need it later.

Wow. You can now minimize windows. Revolutionary.

Windows Flip
Windows Flip is an update of the feature known as ALT+TAB in previous versions of Windows. With Aero, Windows Flip shows you live thumbnails of your open windows.

This feature has been available via the Powertoys add-on for XP for like 10 years. Still, the Aero team gets some points — at least they moved up from un-implementing to re-implementing.

For all you Windows-lovers, don’t worry, there is hope. Steve Ballmer recently announced the future announcement (wtf?) of the next version of Windows. He did not reveal its name, and instead decided to use the name “Windows Cloud” for now.

Ballmer confirmed that geo-replication and other features designed for the cloud would be built into the OS.

I have two issues with this. Firstly, geo-replication with Microsoft essentially means that SharePoint will be replicated on every client. In other words, the bowl of cereal you have been eating everyday will now come with razor blades.

Secondly, Ballmer apparently doesn’t realize the colossal web-two-ohrgasm impact of Microsoft using the word “cloud” in any public announcement of any kind. As if there aren’t enough assclowns out there just waiting to write prophetic proclamations about the forthcoming Care Bear revolution, where everything will be stored in the Magic Rainbow, whose light transcends across the globe and is powered by Heart itself. Before things get out of hand, Microsoft needs to start setting lowered expectations (their engineers may have already accomplished this task).

If all else fails, Microsoft can always keep Project Ship XP With Vista running indefinitely.


Featured on uncov!

I have probably told many of you about, which is a great tech blog that assaults tech companies for their mass demonstrations of douchebaggery.

Well they recently came back to life, and opened a Peanut Gallery allowing users to submit blog posts, the best of which get promoted to the front page.

Well, i submitted my post about firefox fanboys and it is now featured on Uncov!

Much awesomeness! Thanks uncov!


National debt: the new Y2K

It was a pleasing sight to see Obama categorically defeat McCain in the recent second debate. What’s even more heartening is that the verdict of his debate victory is relatively unanimous.

Either way, I’m glad both candidates have been stressing repairing the national debt. When I was taking econ in first year of university, I remember thinking a $7 trillion debt was one of the scariest problems a country could face. I assumed everything would be done to immediately mitigate the issue. Needless to say, I was wrong.

Today, the debt has reached a point where the National Debt Clock is too freaking small to display the actual figure. The immediate solution was to simply remove the dollar sign from the clock.

With this incident, I’d like to present the morals of this story:

  1. The economy isn’t running out of time, it ran out of time orders of magnitude dollars ago.
  2. Y2K should not have been feared as the end of the world. 4MY of Bush’s fiscal policies should have.
  3. Killing the Dollar sign to allow more digits == Killing the US Dollar to allow more debt.

Now available: pillows filled with sunshine. Vampires, emo kids protest.

Of all the things that society tolerates for no apparent reason, alarm clocks are among the most annoying. We actually arm these every night to their native piss-me-off-in-8-hours mode, under the assumption that there is no other way we would voluntarily end our slumber.

Well, things are about to change. You can now get pillows filled with magic sunshine to wake you up slowly, just like a natural sunrise. They apparently also function as a booklight, clock, and if you order now, come with a complementary tooth fairy.

In all honesty though, I would totally buy this, if just for the sake of experiment. In my apartment, I am the president, and the alarm clocks are my congress. They are plentiful in number, they make lots of noise, but ultimately they have no real impact on any of my decisions.

Duck Tales understands monetary policy better than you.

I once read a joke which basically insinuated that, as Governer, Sarah Palin tried to outlaw books in libraries in favour of magazines, because they have big pictures in them. We now know that such an accusation is baseless, as it has become clear that Palin has never actually read a magazine.

Now, that joke could be updated to say that she wants to replace all reading material in general with, say, cartoons. Cartoons would be a great ally to a McCain-Palin campaign, primarily because cartoons often depict an impossible environment where none of the actions you take have any consequences. Jump off a cliff? It’s okay, you’ll survive. Stand in front of a giant cannon? It’s okay, you’ll survive. Buy a mortgage you can’t afford? Okay, you’re screwed, even a cartoon has its limits.

Of course, if she ever did enforce a cartoon library, there are still some cartoons that she would ban from the shelves. I’m not talking about cartoons with communist intelligence in them (which, in her mind, means any cartoon you watch while you’re in Alaska). I’m talking about childrens’ cartoons, like Duck Tales, which could potentially fill the minds of innocent children with terrorist concepts such as logic, reason, and basic understanding of the economy.

If the world needed protection from knowledge, Palin would be our own iron curtain.

I have no words for my disgust.

Ignorance is everywhere. This country is full of it (in more ways than one).

We all watch Sarah Palin’s televised enactment of Tourette syndrome. Despite all the questions about her appropriateness, about how she might be hurting the campaign, I’d like to offer a different perspective. In fact, I will go as far as to suggest she is being extremely useful to the McCain campaign right now.

The fact is, the McCain campaign is one of the ugliest in history. It’s just plain low. What most people don’t know, however, is that there are lots of McCain support groups which do far worse than his own team could mastermind.

Right now, pro-McCain support groups such as the Clarion Fund are paying 70 newspapers to distribute an anti-Muslim propaganda film called Obsession. This movie is being included as a free DVD inside the newspapers. Its direct goal is clear — a scare tactic to trigger a reflex move on America’s part to vote against Obama.

Groups like the Clarion Fund will do whatever it takes to achieve their goal, with no consideration for the consequences. Today I read one of the most disturbing, abhorrent, and personally frightening news I’ve ever encountered:

On Friday, September 26, the end of a week in which thousands of copies of Obsession were distributed by mail in Ohio, a “chemical irritant” was sprayed through a window of the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton, where 300 people were gathered for a Ramadan prayer service. The room that the chemical was sprayed into was the room where babies and children were being kept while their mothers were engaged in prayers. This, apparently, is what the scare tactic political campaigning of John McCain’s supporters has led to — Americans perpetrating a terrorist attack against innocent children on American soil.

I have no words to describe my reaction to this news. The article goes on to cite an email from a friend of one mother who was in the room that was gassed, along with her children.

She told me that the gas was sprayed into the room where the babies and children were being kept while their mothers prayed together their Ramadan prayers. Panicked mothers ran for their babies, crying for their children so they could flee from the gas that was burning their eyes and throats and lungs. She grabbed her youngest in her arms and grabbed the hand of her other daughter, moving with the others to exit the building and the irritating substance there.

This will never make the news (but of course, Obsession was aired numerous times on FOX). The debates will not talk about this, nor will a press conference be held to address it. These are not the important issues. As usual, this issue will drift into the foggy sespool of terrible things no one talks about.

Being associated with such an atrocity should be a campaign-killer for McCain. Keyword: should. What do the Democrats focus on? Look look! It’s Sarah Palin! Ain’t she stupid? That’s the worst part of his campaign!

…Still think she’s useless? She may not have any ideas, but she’s serving as a great light bulb right now. The democrats, the media, America… like moths to a flame.