November 3rd, 2005


Raising kids to be good, mindless consumers

Half of all children aged four don't know their own name - but two thirds of three-year-olds can recognise the McDonald's golden arches.

Apparently, big brands are quite effective in wriggling themselves into the consciousness of kids -- and associate themselves with positive imagery. Some companies actively recruit marketeers who know everything about 'Pester Power' -- the tactics kids use to get their parents to buy the products they want.

The article goes on a tangent about obesity and marketing, but that is not the most interesting point of the article. Apparently, mass media is so important to kids these days, that the kids think the mass media messages are judged to be more important than the messages they receive from their parents.

Think about that. Are we really allowing television to raise our kids for us? Is the pressure to have kids and a carreer that big on parents that they have no time to properly teach their kids to make informed choices?
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    depressed depressed
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Kashira? Kashira? Gozonji Kashira?

A saint for pretty much anything

Catholics know this: there is a saint for everything. For instance, St. Anthony is the patron of seekers of lost things. Misplaced your cellphone in the mess on your desk? A quick prayer to St. Anthony and you're guaranteed to find it!
Lots of people have a token with the likeness of St. Christopher, the protector of travelers, in their car. When we bought a car, we got one from klik's parents. It lies in the space under the car stereo.

So, why not entrust the precious data on your USB memory stick to the Virgin Mary?
I quite like how the likeness of the saint is the thing that needs to be protected. That must count for double points!

Sony's rootkit

I'm pretty sure that everyone who cares has already seen this, but still... Sony employs DRM on some of their CDs. Apparently, that software installs a rootkit.

Rootkits are, basically, hacking tools, that are designed to allow others access to computers and to conceal their existance and activity. The fun thing about this rootkit was that it could not be uninstalled, and that it broke your system if you did try to remove it.
After this story broke, Sony has released a piece of software to remove their rootkit, but still -- apparently it is OK for content companies to break your system in non-trivial ways, just so you can't play their CDs on your computer. It's even more fun that it is illegal under the DMCA to tell others about this and how to disable/uninstall the rootkit.

DRM is evil, and Sony is an evil company.
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    enraged enraged
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Glowing LED

The Naked Moodlight

Here are some pictures of the current project as it is now. Basically, I just hooked up the driver circuits to the main circuit, pressed the RGB-LEDs in the plexi panels and fired it up. The photos don't do it justice: the colors are more vibrant in reality. I am also pretty pleased with the way the frosted plexiglass diffuses the light.

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Edit: I sent this URL to my dad, and he and my mom were as enthousiastic as we are. :)