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Archive for April, 2006

how safe is your bike

How safe is the lock of your bike? That’s probably a question that concerns everyone who owns a bike. For Frank’s locks, I have to say not very safe. Why? Maybe because I saw him buying his 3rd bike 3 weeks after he got to Shanghai… Are the thieves too good or was Frank not careful enough? Well, to get to the ground of this problem, Frank and I did some lock picking ourselves. We bought some locks and tried to get them opened without the key.

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optical illusions

Optical illusions, I think everyone has seen one before, but this one is special. It’s the first time I’ve seen something like that. Try it out, look at the + at the center of the picture and stare at it. First the missing dot will become green and then later on the other dots will disappear.


theory of the bicycle mover

Today, when Frank and I finished bowling, we had a pretty bad time finding our bikes. They were moved away, by a bicycle mover, neatly somewhere in those long bicycle rows you can find in china. Normally you would walk through the long line and eventually, you will find your bike. But today, it was already dark outside.

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remote code execution

No, this is not about how to hack into some system. It is only for remote controlling a computer where you have administrative access, but for some reasons you cannot login with through the system itself. My problem was my server. When I took it with me to China, I did not bring anything else along other than the motherboard, cpu, ram and harddrive. So I had nothing else except the TCP-IP connection in Windows to configure it. So how do you access that computer through TCP-IP?

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spam and scams

Everyday I receive a lot of spam mails. Some of them are simple advertisements, some of them are viruses and some of them are scam mails. I think you know what I am talking about. Some princess, business man or ex-president from Nigeria is willing to give you easy money. Those scams have a name, they are called 419 scams.

Well, there are a lot of people who were betrayed by them. Maybe they are too good-hearted or simply too greedy. But many of the betrayed definitely lost a lot of money and are having really hard life returning borrowed money or loans. Spam mails are really annoying, especially when they are trying to rip you off. But now I found a quite interesting site. It’s called 419eater. They reply to those spam mails and make those scammers do funny things. It is really quite fun to read the email conversation between those who are thinking they are scamming someone and those who pretend to believe the scam. In one of the mails they even got money from the scammer by scamming them. It’s quite funny. Have a look!

sightseeing in Beijing

On the Great WallOn Sunday 9th, April, my parents, Frank and me went to Qingxiling (Western Qing Tombs). The weather was quite nice that day. At Qingxiling, one of the Tombs was constructed like the echo wall next to Tiantan (Temple of Heaven). You could stand at the one end of the wall and talk. Everyone else next to the wall would hear you clearly just as if you are on the phone with him. It was quite fun. When you were in the center of the echo wall, you could speak quietly and you could hear your voice echoed back pretty loud.

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flying to Beijing

To BeijingFrank and I are sitting in the plane to Beijing right now. While I was trying to sleep, Frank ordered “pinguozhi” (apple juice) twice in Chinese. But both times they nodded, smiled back really nicely and gave him mineral water. I don’t know why they didn’t understand him, but “pingguozhi” doesn’t sound like “mineral water” at all. Maybe they give out mineral water to everyone they don’t understand?The entertainment program on board is quite funny. They are playing a show called “Gags – Just for Laughs”, where they mock all kind of people. There also was a funny Coke advertisement, where Chinese track superstar saved a guy by giving him, no, not his hand but a coke bottle! Really crazy stuff…

Well, I hope we land in Beijing soon, the flight is really starting to bug me, it’s almost 3 pm and we haven’t had anything to eat yet.

Lord of War

Lord of WarLord of War is a movie from 2005. In the preview, the movie looked like a lot of action and fun, which seemed to be my favourite kind of movies, the action comedies. But after watching it, it revealed itself as a pretty criticizing movie about war in the world and where they get their weapons from to fight each other.On many documentaries, you can see that guns like the famous AK-47 are very cheap in the 3rd world countries. On one I saw, the people were happy to trade their AK-47 in for a simple radio. The offer was made by some kind of world peace organisation. Anyway, when people would hand in their weapons happily for a radio, there is something definitely going wrong. At that time, I didn’t think about it any further. Now after watching “Lord of War”, it came back up to my mind.

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Let me tell you something about QCMS lite, the Content Management Software used for this website.

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qcms lite updates

I updated the lite version of QCMS a little. First I inserted a gallery module, which exported me the albums from my coppermine gallery. Then I added modules support. Modules are files which are used on every page, like the menu on the right. It is now a PHP Module. It generates a menu off the files in the corresponding directory, so whenever I add a new text file in the markdown directory, it will get added to the menu automatically. Cool, eh?