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Showing posts from February, 2008

Blogger down

Blogger was unexpectedly down for roughly half an hour till just now. Couldn't access my blog (i.e. techqi.blogspot.com produced a "502 Server Error"). I didn't see any maintenance notice on Blogger in this regard, and worse, the 502 error message asks you to come back in 30 seconds, which didn't work (yes, I did clean my browser cache). I checked out a couple of other blogs and they all seem to have shared the same fate. Wondering what happened to the great Google's blogging arm: hackers, viruses, human errors, aliens? With a lazy brain and fertile imagination the possibilities are endless :D *

New Iron Man trailer

I'm not really a big fan of Iron Man but this trailer blew me over. The poster, as you can see, is pretty cool too.




Street Fighter 4 Ryu vs Ken trailer

I found a pretty cool trailer of the upcoming Street Fighter game that features Ryu vs Ken in action, so it's only natural I'm sharing the link with you. Pure nostalgic stuff for anybody who grew up playing the 2D versions! I actually remember performing a 21-hit combo playing with Ryu in the final stage of SF Alpha. Now let's see what happens with SF4... B-)

Blogging

I'm really indebted to the regular visitors at my blog, who account for almost one-fourth of my blog traffic and are from all over the world. Techqi has done small wonders: I initially planned to have 1000 page visits within a month, and ended up achieving it in a week! I've learned a lot about blogging and have realized that there are just as many things to be excited about this (still) unconventional new medium, as to be disillusioned. It's terrific to see thousands of new bloggers starting out with original content; on the other hand many established sites end up 'lifting' material. I don't post as frequently, largely to do with the amount of time I have at my leisure, but part of it also has to do with the way I perceive blogging itself. I think I'll try to redistribute my posts and spread out content in a more organized fashion. All my years as a journalist can certainly help me handle that! (Speaking of being a journalist, sometimes I miss the old d…

Grade calculator for university students

Here's a grade calculator that you can use for your grade projections, especially if you want to check out how you're doing at this time of the term. Here's a grade calculator that you can use for grade projections, especially if you want to find out how you're doing at this time of the term. (I made this with ENGL 110 at UBC in mind; if this doesn't match the grade breakdown for your course -- no pun intended! -- leave a comment if you want a grade calculator custom-tailored for your course. Yes, for free.) Scroll down this page to use the grade calculator. Note: only numerical scores allowed in this version. Update: Just search for "grade calculator for UBC" or "grade calculator for university" in Google and this page is listed in second place or third place right now. Comments not working, drop me an email if you need help.

Techqi update

Update update: the "*" isn't quite working, but I still try. Sorry for having vanished. I'm trying to create a philosopher's stone, which is indeed time consuming. Stuff I've been trying to do for Techqi include: a take on Vancouver's eateries (right now I have lots of yummy photos, have to sit down and write), complete the Optimizing Broadband... series (it should be a blast; the Antivirus reviews are already a hit on Google), a write-up on a recent translation of the Quran published by Penguin,shuffle the layout of this blog and throw in some ads (apparently I'm destined to be both poor and brilliant, which is kinda cool and sucks at the same time). Plus, from now on I'll end my posts with a "*", so you don't have to feel cheated by very short posts. Here's the first one: *

Reading "Othello" detrimental to relationship, study finds

Something that only an idle mind can produce.People who have seen or read William Shakespeare's "Othello" and have told their partners are almost certain to break up.William Sanders, a freshman in poli-sci at UCLA, told his girlfriend that he was studying the play for an English course. They broke up within a month for no apparent reason. Julie Styles, a North Vancouver native and second-year UBC student, saw her 6-year relationship being ended in a matter of days after she had told her boyfriend she was reading "Othello". Alison Cooper from Sydney tearfully recalls that her 40-year-old marriage was over after her husband, Bill Dawson, a plumber, went to see a local production of the play. "My Bill was so loving and sweet," she said, "But that goddamn Shakespearean play made him lose his mind. He was always ranting about how to murder a wife, and I simply couldn't take it anymore." Ms Cooper is currently under psychiatric treatment a…

Study: baby products, cosmetics could be linked to reproductive problems

According to a study baby shampoos, lotions and powders, as well as cosmetics and toys could expose infants to chemicals that have been linked to reproductive problems, the Toronto Star reports.According to a study baby shampoos, lotions and powders, as well as cosmetics and toys could expose infants to chemicals that have been linked to reproductive problems, the Toronto Star reports. The chemicals, called phthalates, are found in many ordinary products, including cosmetics, toys, vinyl flooring and medical supplies. They are used to stabilize fragrances and make plastics flexible. They were found in elevated levels in the urine of all the babies who'd been recently shampooed, powdered or lotioned with baby products. Animal studies have suggested that phthalates can cause reproductive birth defects and some activists believe they may cause reproductive problems in boys and early puberty in girls.Phthalates (pronounced "thowl-ates") usage is limited in California and s…

Happy Chinese New Year!

Stress during pregnancy linked with schizophrenia in children

Researchers from the University of Manchester have concluded that women who go through extreme stress during the first three months of pregnancy are more likely to give birth to babies who will have schizophrenia later on in life. The findings were published in the February issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, Science Blog reports. Ali Khashan and his colleagues used data from a staggering 1.38 million Danish births occurring between 1973 and 1995. Women were linked to close family members using a national registry, and the same registry was used to determine if any of these relatives died or received a diagnosis of cancer, heart attack or stroke during each mother’s pregnancy. Their children were followed from the 10th birthday through June 30, 2005 or until they died, moved out of the country, or developed schizophrenia. The risk of schizophrenia and related disorders was approximately 67 percent greater among the offspring of women who were exposed to the death of a relative…

Rescued seal pup video from Vancouver Aquarium

Here's a video of the arrival of a seal pup at the Vancouver Aquarium's Marine Mammal Rescue Centre. It's very cute, and towards the end you can see it dreaming! Hats off to the Aquarium -- they've reportedly rescued and rehabilitated almost 2000 marine mammals over the last 45 years. What a feat!

Metro newspaper goof-up

The mother an innocent young man murdered in a gang shooting is lobbying for a website that identifies known gangsters to the community. Published today in Metro Vancouver. It's the first page lead news, titled 'Mom wants gangsters ID'd online'.

Eee II PC with Windows launches in Japan

My predictions did come true! Well, more or less -- it's not Vista. The 4G-X will cost ¥50,000 ($468/£239/€320).Asus finally launched the first Windows version of the Eee II PC in Japan on Thursday, CNet reports.

The Taiwanese company was originally set to launch Windows-running versions of the hit sub-notebook in December, and has now declared US shipments in late February or early March.

Dubbed the Eee PC 4G-X, it will come (like its Japanese counterpart) pre-loaded with Windows XP Home Edition. It has the same hardware specs as the original Eee PC 701, aka the 4G, introduced last fall: 4GB of storage, Intel Celeron 900MHz processor, 512MB of RAM, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi, etc. In addition to 4GB of storage, the 0.92kg 4G-X has 512MB of DDR 2 memory, a 7in, 800 x 480 display, three USB 2.0 ports, SDHC memory card reader, 10/100Mb/s Ethernet, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and a 0.3-megapixel webcam. According to RegHardware.co.uk Asus is, however, bundling the Eee with a 4GB SDHC card, which makes the 4…

[beta]

Solved!Thanks to the guys from the Google forums. Here's the link:http://techqi.blogspot.com/2008/02/grade-calculator-for-university.htmlUpdated Feb 20 3:13 PST Here's the code that I'm actually interested in. I intend to use it in a Blogger widget, so that my students can just visit the webpage and calculate their grades. I've tested it on my system and it works fine. However, the W3C Markup Validation Service and JSLint and still finds errors, a lot of which doesn't seem to make sense (e.g. assumes ">" missing in cases perfectly okay). Why does it work on my system, then? I'm actually an interested novice in HTML/JavaScript/blogging, and haven't ever used Firebug or similar plugins. Help, please!

Microsoft bids record $42b for Yahoo! : inside news

[Updated] It's true: Microsoft announced today that it has bid $31 a share to acquire Yahoo!, representing a 62% premium over the former search engine giant's recent market value. All about the deal -- and the tricks of fate that make it a popcorn event.Update: Microsoft hasn't managed to buy Yahoo! yet, which was kinda expected. Hey, imagine the truckload of pride Yahoo! has to swallow. I hope this even keeps me interested. (Do you think MS buying Yahoo! would be a good thing for internet users? Drop a comment.) It's true: Microsoft announced today that it has bid $31 a share to acquire Yahoo!, representing a 62% premium over the former search engine giant's recent market value. The total value of the offer is $44.5 billion in cash and stock, making it the largest bid ever in the hi-tech industry. Pundits are claiming that it's an incredibly expensive deal, even for a company the size of Microsoft. Michael Liedtke of AP describes the situation brilliantly:�…