Ways to fight spam- Change ya browser!

I was reading on slashdot today (16 July 2003) about the weaknesses of Internet browsers, particularly Internet Explorer. What struck me as particularly funny was the comment by one user: Using Internet Explorer (IE for short) is like walking into a battlefield with a large bull’s eye on your head (user: viceice).

I use IE a lot, and I perfectly agree. I don’t like it, but in college it is the only browser that we can use. I’m currently trying to find out how to bypass the firewalls and switch to Mozilla. I like Mozilla for one reason and for one reason alone. That reason makes it far more superior to IE and puts Mozilla in a class of its own. Mozilla allows only pop-ups that you want.

We are all familiar with pop-ups. When we click on a website, we not only have the page loading, but also those annoying pop-ups as well. Having taken marketing during my foundation last year, I understand the need for a company and its product to stand out of a crowd. Let me point out, for no particular reason, that I don’t mind banners. I don’t mind them at all, except when they get into the way of me reading something.

The only person who does that is Geocities. Excuse me while I go and see whether my Tripod account is still about.

* Ahem! *

Sorry about that. I really like wandering off now and then.

What I meant to say was that if you take a concept or idea that in the beginning was creative, it would tend to wear out after a while. Now, we know that most things on the net have a short lifespan. Add to the vast amount of copycats, and well, if the product last more than six months you have good reason to be impressed. For some reason the Sims come to mind.

Well, pop-up are overused and over-annoying. Mozilla does what may seem to some as a tiny feature, but to the rest of us it’s a godsend. (Please bless the guy who came up with the idea, and then bless the guy who programmed it and the guy who allowed it to be used in the browser Lord).

Now, let’s say that a game page is loading. And then an ad pop-up appears. Mozilla blocks that ad pop-up. No big deal. IE and Opera (I think) can do that. What they can’t do is to choose which pop-up to block and which not to. Mozilla can. Let’s say on that website I click a link that will automatically open a new page (not an ad). While Mozilla allows me to do that and block the ads, none of the other browsers do. Is there any wonder why I love Mozilla, despite never having used it?

Spam 1

What is spam? Spam is basically pork meat, that has beaten and grinded to a pulp. Well, I’m not sure if that is it, but I do that it is made from rejected parts of the pig that are too good to throw away.

Now, what is email spam? Same as above, except that the base parts are not made out of pig meat. They are made out of gluttony, which is what a pig does anyway. The only difference between the pig who ‘donates’ his meat to humankind to be eaten and the ‘pig’ which produces email spam is that you can actually eat the pig spam. Eating the other spam will make you sick, or in some cases make you severly doubt your sexual identity.

Well, that’s all the things I can think of to write about now. In case you actually understand the meaning of the word Linux, Opera and Mozilla, go to slashdot.org for some serious geek news that show that geeks are closet comedians.

Rape

Rape. What an ugly word. Despite all efforts, it still looms large in our society today. Not only in Malaysia, but in other countries as well. It is more than a sexual crime, more than a crime of violence. It is the basest crime of the human race. It doesn’t matter who are the victims or the perpetrators. It doesn’t matter whether the victim was a man or a woman, the perpetrator a relative or a total stranger. It’s all about power on the part of the perpetrator, and absolute domination over the victim.

You may have noticed that I used the word perpetrators, and not criminals. This is because when you refer to a crime, you can normally atone for your deeds. You can be punished and in many cases, you can ask forgiveness for it. The loss of material things is one thing. You can always work to regain them. The loss of innocence, the loss of life, is far more painful, far more difficult to overcome. What’s more, you can claim compensation if you’re dead, but not so for rape.

Let me explain.

Rape cripples you. In many ways it is far more devastating than simply dying. When you die, that’s it. Nothing to it. You’re dead. It’s final. But when you’re raped… You have to live with the knowledge that you were brutally violated. And remember, the stigma will not be on the rapist, but rather the woman, the victim.

I’ve known any number of men who told me that if a woman should be raped, why should she keep on fighting? Whether she wants to or not, it’s going to happen. Furthermore they say, women should not be wearing such thin clothes or such short skirts or walking alone.

These are the same men who say that women should be clothed from head to toe, regardless of their religion, skin colour or race, or most importantly, simply because they are women. They should not tempt men, because men have no self-control. That says something about their thinking, doesn’t it?

If it is about deterring rapists, there should be one, and only one humane way to do this. Castration. You’re not going to kill anyone, you’re not going harm them. You’re just going to take away their ability to have children. This goes especially double for incest offenders.

If the human rights organisations say it is too barbaric, then is not rape a barbaric crime? Why should we be compassionate to those who have none? And compared to any number of other options, I believe that castration is the only deterrent and punishment suitable for rape. And for incest family victims, their relative can still earn a living. After all, what role is that small part going to play, in let’s say, office-work?

Piracy in Malaysia

There was a proposal recently to make CDs, VCDs and DVDs controlled items. For those who don’t know, this means that the Government will control the prices of the above items. This is happening in Malaysia of course. Hey, I’m a Malaysian, so I think that givens me a right to rant and rave about her. ;p

Previously, the controlled items included only essentials like foodstuff. Ceiling prices were fixed so that consumer would not be fleeced, particularly during festival times. The method has worked well so far. They now want to apply it to the recording industry, in a move to tackle the menace of pirates.

Anyone who has been to Malaysia in the past few years would know about the ‘scourge’ of piracy. They used to be limited to items such as watches, branded clothe, etc., but now, piracy of CDs and VCDs are big business. When it first started, movies were being shown about three months later, if ever, in the cinema from the US release date.

Thanks to piracy, we now get to watch them almost simultaneously, if not before the US audience. Hehehe… I call that sweet revenge. However, the industry made a huge noise, saying that they were losing a lot of money. Hmm… How shall I put it delicately… Bullshit?

Most of us don’t bother to buy VCDs to watch the good movies. In fact, we would all trek to the cinema and buy tickets to watch the show. It was rather rare for us to buy VCDs of popular movies, unless the movie was good enough to warrant repeated viewing. Most of the movies are the exact expressions of Hollywood, no substance, just air. Good marketing though.

The Malaysian recording industry say that if the Government were to control the prices, it would affect the livelihood of the artists who depend on royalties to survive. To them I have only one thing to say.

Have you guys ever considered that you should give more royalties to the artists and spend less time in your cushy seats? I’m trying to say that the recording industry (i.e. the CEOs of the companies and the Board of Directors) should not take more than maybe, 5% of the total cost of producing one CD. It would make the whole thing cheaper and ensure that the artist gets his/her rightful pay. Make up for the loss of profit with volume.

Like most of my friends, mention the words “Malay Music

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Anyone who has seen a Chinese martial arts show dealing with the supernatural or even something that comes close to it will realise something almost immediately. All those who fight demons etc., are all excellent kung-fu fighters, or they have some of the basics.

The reason is simple. Anyone who has read or heard of chi will immediately understand. Chi, or sometime qi, is basically about breathing techniques. Those who read Dragon ball and other manga titles in the same veins will understand.

What martial art does is to give the practitioners a focus. Chi exponents use martial arts to focus their breathing. I once asked my grandmother, and she told me that as recently as 60/70 years ago, people were still able to fly and to do many other things we now see in the movies. Unfortunately, the knowledge seems to be lost now.

Martial arts were to have originated in China. More specifically, in Shaolin. There were two Shaolins, if I am not mistaken. One was in the North, and the other in the South. Either way, there is a saying that all martial arts came from Shaolin. This is not quite true, but it serves. Martial arts, as we know today, came from Shoalin, but Shaolin martial art itself was a mixture of different styles. What they did was simply to give the styles a structure and format.

The reason why I’m bringing this up is because I just saw a TV show on battling demons and in some cases, a “Wu Lei.