Padres Dugout Seats

Okay… I retract my previous post about $290 Padres tickets being too high of a price. Everything is free… the best parking, all food, beer, or whatever else you want. There are servers that come to your seat and bring you whatever you want, as often as you want. We had 5 or 6 beers, steak, nachos, hot dogs, carrot cake, cookies, ice cream, pretzel and probably some other stuff that I can’t remember (you could even get sushi brought to you). There was also a secret underground lounge, bar and restaurant (all free too) that you could go to whenever you feel like it.

We were right behind home plate (we were on TV for every pitch), and even better is the game was AWESOME. Padres losing 5-0 in the bottom of the ninth, rally with 5 runs to tie it, then win in the 10th. If you really want a summary, check ESPN.

They were fantastic seats, and actually worth the $290 price.

I found some info on them over here.

3M Opticom 792 Emitter

If anyone is tossing and turning at night trying to figure out what to get me for my birthday (in September.. heh), here’s an excellent idea. An infrared emitter for emergency vehicles that will turn traffic lights green for you (that of course is a joke, I’m sure you can’t buy one… but it would be neat).

The 3Mâ„¢ Opticomâ„¢ Priority Control System Model 792 Emitter is a compact, lightweight, weather resistant encoded signal device intended for use on priority and probe vehicles. The emitter is comprised of a flash-tube/reflector and housing assembly with an integral power supply and the required cables. Available models include: the Model 792H emitter – a high priority emitter; the Model 792L emitter – a low priority emitter; the 792T emitter – a low priority emitter equipped with a visible light filter; the Model 793R emitter – a range setting emitter for high priority, low priority, or probe frequency; the Model 792P emitter – a probe frequency emitter. The emitter converts 12 Volt DC vehicle battery power to the high voltage required for operation of the unit. Accessory switch devices are also available. The operation of the device may be customized through its interface software. The encoded signal pattern (comprised of the individual vehicle class code and vehicle identification number) generated by the emitter is determined after installation through the use of interface software. The emitter, when installed on authorized service and maintenance vehicles, may also be configured to utilize the Automated Signal Intensity Threshold setting feature of Series 700 Phase Selectors and Series 250/450 Discriminators. This feature refines and simplifies individual intersection setup and maintenance techniques. The emitter separates precisely timed pulses of high intensity light in the infrared and visible wavelengths at the base flash rate of approximately 10, 12, or 14 Hz. It also interleaves programmed encoded pulses that carry the vehicle class and ID number information. These energy pulses are sensed and processed by other Opticom system components to cause activation of the system. Model 792 emitters are programmed using the Model 790IS Emitter Software Kit.

http://www.3m.com/us/safety/tcm/solutions/pia_opticomPCS-NY.jhtml

Dell Pricing Fluctuations

Can I just tell everyone how annoying Dell’s price fluctuations are? I’m trying to purchase a blade chassis and 10 loaded blades. One day the blades are $66,030, then they are $105,400, then $66,030 again, now they are $88,040 (all pricing for identically configured blades of course). Finally I got pissed and called Dell, and their response was, “Well, we change our pricing every week.”

Gee, really??

What, do you have to roll the dice and try to guess when they will be a “normal” price again and buy them in that 15 second window? Really f’ing annoying…

Last Ninja: “Be Able To Kill Your Students”

This article is crap… this dude might BE a ninja, but he certainly isn’t the last. First of all, I’m a ninja (I completed my training already), and so is Bobby. So I know two ninjas without even looking for them.

The teachings of Grand Master Masaaki Hatsumi echo through my head as he entreats me to attack a blackbelted disciple with a practice sword. “Always be able to kill your students,” he says.

Chilling words from a shockingly fit 76-year-old man who bills himself as the world’s last ninja and stocks his training chamber with weapons such as throwing stars and nunchucks. Especially to a neophyte whose closest brush with martial arts was watching Bruce Lee matinees as a kid.

As I cautiously raise the sword with a taut two-handed samurai grip, my sparring partner gingerly points to Hatsumi. I avert my eyes for a split second – and WHAM! The next thing I know, I’m staring at the rafters.

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/world/14434176.htm

High Tech Hooker Pumps

Nice! These shoes have built in LCD and GPS so pimps can keep track of their hoe’s. :)

The Aphrodite platform shoes will have an alarm system, which emits a piercing noise to scare off attackers. The shoes are also outfitted with a GPS receiver and an emergency button that relays both the prostitute’s location and a silent alarm signal to public emergency services. Where there are problematic relations with law enforcement, the shoes will relay the signal to sex workers’ rights groups.

http://theaphroditeproject.tv/

$290 Baseball Tickets?

I’m not a *huge* baseball fan, but I’ll go once or twice a year, and I’m going Sunday for the Padres/Dodger game (this will be my first game this year).

Steve at Bank of America called and asked if I wanted some tickets for the game, so I figured… what the hell. Free baseball tickets… I’ll go. I picked up the tickets today while in the branch, and I just about crapped myself because the tickets are $290 EACH (“Dugout Seats” whatever that means). Does that mean I get to sit IN the dugout? Where do you even get “dugout seat” tickets? I just went to the Padres website and the most expensive tickets I could find are “Premier Club” at $59 each. For the price of these two Padres tickets, you could get the nicest season ticket for the Chargers.

Bobby and I are going on Sunday, so we’ll see if these 2 seats are really worth $580 or not. Maybe we get massages or something. {shrug}

Building “Fees”

So today I had to pay all the “fees” required to build a house. This included the following:

Traffic Impact Fee: $8,299.00
Park Fee: $1,000.00
Fire District Fee: $4,132.36
Building Permit Fee: $2,176.00
PAD: $4,000.00 (I don’t even know what in the hell this stands for)
Fire District Plan Check Fee: $350 $450
Water District meter installation fee: $33,226.00
Sewer Fee: $600
School District Fee: $40,958.98 $30,387.31

Are you serious? $94,742.34 $84,270.67 in “fees” just so you can get permission from the city and various agencies to build a house? This is on top of the $5,545.78 plan check fees already paid, which puts the total at $100,288.12 $89,816.45 and we aren’t even building yet. I wonder if SDG&E is going to charge to install the transformer for electricity (probably). Ouch.

Oh, there is also a “Drainage Fee” that will be due and I have no clue what that amount is going to be yet.

If you were building a house for resale, how does anyone make any money??

Update

June 2, 2006 – Apparently I was accidentally overcharged by the school district by $10,571.67, so they are sending that back. :)

WordPress Is NOT Scaleable

The core of WordPress (this blog software) is pretty much a piece of crap as far as it’s “guts” are concerned (although I knew this already, I just didn’t care because my blog doesn’t get enough visitors to really make that fact matter much).

Anyway, I woke up this morning to my servers being thrashed (database server was hitting it’s max limit of 2,500 concurrent connections). Turns out it was because of a front-page Digg (the 3rd one for digitalpoint.com in the last 60 days, but the 1st one for my blog with the crappy WordPress backend). That didn’t hold up to the “digg effect” for very long.

I ended up cobbling together a caching mechanism for WordPress real quick that actually made everything okay, but what I really want to know is if anyone knows of any blog software out there that doesn’t have a crap backend? One that can hold up under load if need be. Sure would be nice if there is one out there already so I don’t have to do it myself.

This is the digg in case anyone is curious. It was dugg by the same person that got a front-page Digg for digitalpoint.com previously. Digg is powerful… a crazy amount of traffic at once. It’s also what spawned the server fundraiser going on now. I think TOPS30 needs to be stabbed.

MPAA Offers To Settle (Again)

There is an “Early Neutral Evaluation Conference” on May 23, 2006 to determine if this matter can be settled. Personally, it seems like an utter waste of time because at this point about the only thing I would settle for is if they dropped the case, paid my attorney fees and then dissolve their whole organization.

They offered me an initial settlement of $2,500 (before they decided to take it to court), which was rejected on the basis of principle. Then today I talked to my attorney and they are offering a settlement of $3,500.

Bahahahahahaaha! So if I refused your $2,500 out of principle, what exactly makes you think I’m going to give you $3,500 now? That’s comedy. :)

From everything I’ve read online, the MPAA (and RIAA) has been pretty much extorting everyone simply because they can’t afford to fight it. This certainly will give me something interesting to blog about. I just pray it goes to a full trial, where they will lose and then give everyone else that is being sued a nice lawsuit they lost as a reference for their lawsuit… “MPAA vs. Shawn Hogan” That has a nice ring to it. Maybe this loss will be the start of their demise. (Hmmm… I seem to have quite the aspirations, eh? haha)

From a purely business standpoint, I think all the lawsuits that the MPAA and RIAA are throwing out are only hurting them in the long-run. From everything I’ve read, it does not curb piracy at ALL. I would even argue it increases it because all of a sudden people that weren’t aware you could download music/movies now realize you can (and some will start). Then you are going to compound this by everyone talking about it and reading other’s blogs. I’m a perfect example… from talking my attorney and then researching stuff online as a result of that, I now know that if you have the proper software installed, you can download pretty much any movie (or anything else) you want.

Not only that, but you would think they would be wiser about who they choose to extort.

For as big of an organization they are, my website gets roughly 10,000 times more traffic than theirs (hell, this stupid blog gets more traffic than their site). Then again, digitalpoint.com more traffic than buy.com or adobe.com.. hehe

So what just happened? Well now a few hundred thousands people per day were just educated about 1. about their general extortion and 2. they also now know that you can download whatever you want. I’m starting to think maybe the MPAA might actually kill the movie industry (which this dude shares my viewpoint). If they were smart, they certainly would choose their racketeering targets a little wiser (like maybe someone without the resources to fight and a captive audience of 80 million people per month that will read my viewpoint). This could turn out to be some good/interesting reading though. Reminds me a bit of the Winn and Sims fiasco.

Wanna see something else funny? Check Google’s top 10 results for “MPAA”… It seems I’m not the only one that thinks the MPAA is looney. :)

http://www.google.com/search?q=mpaa

Oh, and just as a side note, they are utter liars… They told me they identified the specific computer that did whatever they claimed and they traced it back to me (of course I knew that was a lie since it never happened). But now they are saying they don’t have any such information (MAC address basically). {rolls eyes}

Update

For everyone asking, it’s case number 06CV0545, Universal vs. Hogan filed in US District Court (California Southern District, Ninth Circuit).

Random Email #15

Another weird email… Am I getting more than normal??

Typed about 200 pages of text. Due to an addition of information, I need to remove these page numbers and re-assign new numbers. However, the page numbers are in a shaded or gray color, and I am finding it imposible to remove them. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

I’m starting to think that maybe everyone in the world thinks I know everything about everything, because I have no clue who this person is, and I certainly don’t have anything to do with laying out pages.

Ferrari Enzo Crash In Malibu

I heard about this yesterday, but apparently it’s been an ongoing saga the last few months…

http://www.wreckedexotics.com/special/enzo/

The driver hit a telephone pole going 162 miles per hour and only suffered a bloody lip.

The amazing part to me is that the Enzo (a $1,000,000 car) can be repaired by Ferrari to be “good as new” for $250,000 (1/4 the cost of the car), because from the looks of it, it uhm… got cut in half, and the engine ripped out. :)

Boeing 797

This is an interesting plane if Boeing actually decides to build it…

A 1,000 passenger plane that is faster than existing commercial jets (mach .88), and also more efficient because of the wing design.

.There are several big advantages to the blended wing design, the most important being the lift to drag ratio which is expected to increase by an amazing 50%, with overall weight reduced by 25%, making it an estimated 33% more efficient than the A380, and making Airbus’s $13 billion dollar investment look pretty shaky. High body rigidity is another key factor in blended wing aircraft, it reduces turbulence and creates less stress on the air frame which adds to efficiency, giving the 797 a tremendous 8800 nautical mile range with its 1000 passengers flying comfortably at mach .88 or 654 mph cruising speed (another advantage over the Airbus tube-and-wing designed A380’s 570 mph).

It’s looks a bit like a stealth bomber. Maybe they could further save costs by dropping smart bombs while making commercial passenger flights. :)

Gears Of War

Does anyone besides me think that the new generation of game consoles have *really* good graphics???


click to enlarge

This is a actual game play screenshot from Gears Of War (for Xbox 360) which comes out later this year. Screenshots like that almost make me want to go buy an Xbox 360 and a new TV just to take advantage of it. :)

Sony Qualia 006 (KDS-70CQ006) Discontinued

Sony discontinued their entire Qualia line of high-end products. Okay… no biggie, but maybe they should come out with something to replace the products that are now gone. For example the Qualia 006 (KDS-70CQ006) was a 70″ rear projection TV with SXRD technology and it was freaking AWESOME. No seriously… AWESOME!

Sony now has 50″ and a 60″ SXRD rear projection TVs with the same picture quality (and true 1920×1080 1080p resolution), but I still think they should come out with a 70″ replacement.

Oh well… I guess I’ll look at maybe getting the 60″ (KDS-R60XBR1) for my new HDTV…

Regents Court (No HDTV)

I really want to upgrade to a high definition TV, but get this…

I live in the middle of one of the most technologically advanced cities in the United States (like I can get a T1 on a fiber connection to my place for around $100 including local loop charges) and I have 6Mbit DSL for around $30/month. But guess what? I can’t get any sort of HDTV signal for any price (except HD over the air).

My apartment building (Regents Court in San Diego) has an exclusive deal with SBC Home Entertainment so all apartments are wired for DirecTV (without the need for a dish for each unit). That means you don’t even have the option to get cable. Okay… whatever DirecTV isn’t so bad. But the DirecTV signal used for this building is not high definition.

OMG Sweet!!! (not)

I’ll probably still get a high definition TV, pick up local stations over the air (does anyone know if HDTV over the air is digital or is it still an analog signal subject to degradation?), and maybe get an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 so I can actually watch something (a game in this case) in high def.

So dumb…

Gefen HDMI Extreme Cables (Fiber Optic HDMI)

Looks like Gefen just expanded their fiber optic line of cables (all fiber optic components are built right into the cable) to also include HDMI cabling (they had them for DVI before), which means I don’t need the external HDMI extender units (7 of them from this post).

http://www.gefen.com/kvm/cables/fiberextreme.jsp#hdmiextreme

Now if they would just come out with a similar solution for dual link DVI, we would be all set… :)

Random Email #12

Another good random email I got today…

i big to stat that my id password some body change then i want to get agian so now please kindly grant me live.so there for sir i want guide me OR to get it for thank you.

What in the *hell* are you talking about dude?

Intel Virtualization

Okay… this is f’ing COOL. I knew Apple was going to include the technology in a future version of their operating system, but a third-party has done it and it making it available now as a beta. For those that don’t know what Intel Virtualization is, it allows a CPU, memory, etc. to be split up into different isolated environments (running multiple operating systems natively [no emulation] at the same time on a single machine). Some more reading over here.

So guess what? Now you can run Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, etc. all natively (WITHOUT EMULATION) at the same time on a single Intel Macintosh computer. Bad ASS!

It’s here! Parallels is proud to launch the Beta program the first virtualization solution specifically designed to work with Intel-powered Apple computers! Parallels Workstation 2.1 Beta for Mac OS X is NOT simply a “dual-boot” solution; rather, it empowers users the ability to use Windows, Linux and any other operating system at the same time as Mac OS X, enabling users to enjoy the comfort of their Mac OS X desktop while still being able to use critical applications from other OSes.

http://www.parallels.com/en/products/workstation/mac/

Boot Camp – Run Windows On Mac (Without Hacking)

Apple made a excellent move today and announced the beta for a new Boot Camp utility. This lets you run Windows natively on the new Intel Macs without needing to come up with special hacks to trick old school OSes that need BIOS instead of EFI (and also includes all necessary Windows drivers in one place).

Another really handy thing is the utility it comes with to create/resize partitions without loosing any data from the existing ones (no format needed).

Apple is a hardware company primarily, so they still get to sell the hardware… and in the course of doing so, plenty of people will switch to OS X because it might be their first (incidental) exposure to it (if they bought the machine to run Windows).

Windows running on a Mac is like Windows running on a PC. That means it’ll be subject to the same attacks that plague the Windows world.

http://www.apple.com/macosx/bootcamp/

Update

Even if it didn’t make more people buy Macs (which certainly won’t be the case), Apple’s just gained more than $5.1B in market cap after the announcement. That should cover their development costs. :)

PS3 Pricing

Rumor has it that pricing has been finalized on Sony’s forthcoming Playstation 3 at $499. $100 more than an Xbox 360, but you should get a LOT more features (like the ability to play high definition DVDs).

Gossip doing the rounds amongst Californian developers seeks to peg the price of Sony’s looming PlayStation 3, with the figure of $499 being bandied around quite actively in the last few days.

According to several sources, publisher-owned developers taking receipt of updated development kits have been briefed that the pricepoint is final.

Update

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe has claimed reports that its senior staffers let slip how much the company plans to charge for the PlayStation 3 when the console ships next November are “incorrect”.

Instead, head of the the company’s French operation, Georges Fornay, says he was “misunderstood” when he appeared to indicate a price range for the PS3 during an interview with French radio station Europe 1 this week.

According to a GamesIndustry.biz report, SCEE said: “At no time did [Fornay] suggest or indicate a specific price point or price range for PS3, and any reports that he did so are incorrect.”

According to the SCEE, Fornay was simply saying the PS3 would cost more than most current videogame consoles, which are priced well below €500, but would still be much cheaper than standalone Blu-ray Disc players. The PS3 will, of course, operate as such a device.

Alpine KCA-100BT & PMD-DOK1 Not Shipping

Well, now that the IVA-W200 is available for people to actually get, I thought I would see about getting everything together for my new car stereo. Unfortunately Alpine’s bluetooth module (KCA-100BT) isn’t shipping yet, nor is the docking station (PMD-DOK1) for their Blackbird portable GPS (PMD-B100).

Oh well… what’s another month in what seems like the eternal wait for the perfect car stereo? :)