Archive > October 2005

A Few Good Things

31 October 2005 » In Me » 2 Comments

I have not posted lately, mostly because I had been busy with the phonemic analysis paper for my phonology class. Having turned that in last Thursday, I have to say that, in retrospect, I should probably have picked a language that is phonetically simpler than Danish (like Hawaiian). In any case, thanks go to Rasmus for help with the paper. I think I can finally pronounce a basic word like rød without making Danes collapse in weeping paroxysms of laughter.
Having wished for a good illustration of RAID principles, I believe this one fits the bill rather nicely. 🙂
And finally, I’ll be turning 29 on Wednesday. Time to open the bubbly and celebrate.

Practice Makes Perfect?

20 October 2005 » In Funny » 4 Comments

Overheard while walking into the exhibit hall at the Zend PHP Conference:

A girl (dressed in company X attire, speaking to a guy next to her): I don’t do sex. I just practice a lot.

Adventures in Phone Menus

14 October 2005 » In Funny, Rants » 7 Comments

I am not a violent man. I’d much rather sip a latte in a café than engage in broken bottle bar fights. But exchanges like the following make me want to use the Chinese water torture (or vice grips) on the designers of said systems:

Andrei is calling Comcast to change some services. 1-800-COMCAST.
Phone Voice: Thank you for calling COMCAST. Please enter the telephone number including area code for where you have or want service.
Andrei: (enters the phone number)
Phone Voice: For English press 1, para español oprima el dos.
Andrei: (dutifully selects 1 as he doesn’t know Spanish)
The phone system waits for an inordinate amount of time all the making sounds like someone trying to quitely pass a kidney stone.
Phone Voice: (cheerfully) To continue this call in English press 1, para español oprima el dos.
Andrei: (jamming finger into 1 again)
The phone system passes another, but smaller, kidney stone.
Phone Voice: Please enter the phone number of your account.
Andrei: the hell ? (enters phone number again)
Phone Voice: I will connect you to the customer service representative now.
CSR comes on line.
CSR: How can I help you?
Andrei: I need to change some of my services. (but really wanting to say “by fixing your damn phone menu”)
CSR: Can I have your phone number please?
Andrei: (head explodes)

In Vancouver

10 October 2005 » In Funny, Travel » 5 Comments

I gave a PHP and Unicode talk to the PHP Users group in Vancouver last week. The turn out was decent considering it was a holiday weekend, and I got to see more of the city than the last time I visited. Apparently, the bars and clubs on Granville street can now stay open and sell alcohol until 4 am. Now, take that and add the fact that the drinking age in Canada is 19 years. Got the picture yet? Walking up and down Granville sidewalks, you practically have to shove your way through the throngs of people waiting in lines for their turn at the “drink and hit on anything with a pulse” contest. Scene:

Peter, Shane, and I are weaving our way through the crowds on the way home. Turning onto a much less crowded Davie St:
Peter: It gets easier from here on.
Just as he says this, he runs into some girl.
The girl (indignant): Hell no, you’re not touching me!

Punctuation Matters

06 October 2005 » In Funny » 17 Comments

Saw a headline today – Bush: Militants Seek to Establish Empire. I think the editorial process didn’t catch the mistake: the colon should have been a comma.

Recognize This

05 October 2005 » In Hacks, Tech » 8 Comments

Face recognition technology is getting really good. Yesterday I saw a link to Intel’s OpenCV library float through the mailing list at work and a note that someone wrote a PHP extension for it. “Interesting”, I thought. I hacked up a simple PHP script that would take an image and process it slightly to make detected regions more obvious. Here’s an example of the output. Not bad, huh? Then Jeremy tried another image, with some spooky results. Note that aside from the person, there are a couple more regions that the library thought was a face. If you look closer, the larger rectangle on the carpet encloses something that does have vague face-like features. Nice job, Intel.