Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I like Brazilians...

Brazilian espresso's, that is. There's a fairly new coffee shop in Redmond callnd Kitanda that serves excellent Brazilian coffee, espresso and some tasty pastries and imported goodies. (Their beans are 100% Brazilian, custom-roasted by Caffe d'Arte).

Their location is a bit sucky, so I think most people don't even know about them -I'm doing my small part to spread the word. Plus, they are offering 12oz drinks for $1.99 currently (a great deal!) And they have free WiFi.

My favourite drink is their Brazilian Mocha (which doesn't have any chocolate in it - just espresso, condensed milk and regular milk).

Here's their address:
Kitanda Redmond
15230 NE 24th St. # 1R
Redmond Wa 98052
Phone: (425) 820-4381

Free Tibet! (Made in China)

I heard about this story on Marketplace last night, and couldn't decide whether it was outrageously funny, or sad:

"Free Tibet flags made in China" (BBC News)

Funny: Irony abounds. The all-mighty-dollar rules, even in Communist China.

Sad: You'd think that people ordering items like this would want to check where they are made (and maybe even have them made by Tibetan refugees?) I sure as hell hope the stuff the ICT sends out is not made in China.


The word "juggernaut" came up in a meeting at work recently, and some non-native English speakers hadn't heard it before.

There was some joking reference to the comic-book character (and some people thought this was the origin of the word). Someone explained that a juggernaut is an unstoppable force or object, to which I replied "I don't know about that. I think Wolverine could stop him..."

The real origin of the word is quite interesting: it comes from the Sanskrit word Jaganatha, as this Wikipedia page explains. (This list of English words of Sanskrit origin is also pretty interesting - e.g. candy, cash, ginger, jackal, jungle, lilac, loot, sugar)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Zimbabwe Embassy Call

So the election in Zimbabwe is dragging on and ol' Mugabe seem intent on hanging on to power until the bitter end.

To make light of a dire situation, check out this comedy skit from a South African radio show...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Ahoy, me hearties!

I just saw that NPR's "All Songs Considered" has a new podcast with Colin Meloy of The Decemberists acting as guest DJ. He also has a new solo album out - a few songs are included in the podcast.

And what's this I see about a new Portishead album? Wow, that's a blast from the past...

Friday, April 18, 2008

"You drank my milkshake"

It's always fun to see a new saying enter the English language, and it seems "drinking someone's milkshake" is well on the way. (For example, I've now seen it used in email subject lines at work)

Everlasting fame goes to the first commenter to identify where this saying comes from...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

He's a remorseless killing machine...

I loved this bit at the end of a recent blog post on the Matasano blog:

Has Mark Dowd simply outclassed us? Should we pack it up and quit?
Yes. But don’t feel bad about that. You’re a human being, and he’s a remorseless killing machine. Big Blue crushed Kasparov, and now he’s not the prime minister of Russia! At a certain point, you have to concede the field, moving on to games where human beings still have the advantage. Computers haven’t solved Go, for instance. For us researchers, I suggest we take advantage of Mark Dowd’s robotic inability to love, and take up the arts, such as watercolors or interpretive dance.

This comment comes at the end of the 2nd post commenting on Mark's recent software security paper on Flash. The paper itself is quite brilliant - going from a write-AV on a NULL dereference, to running unverified ActionScript and pwning Flash.
For a more high-level summary see these posts: #1, #2 on the Matasano blog.

Incidentally, enabling ASLR on Vista would be a way to mitigate against this attack, but sadly Adobe haven't yet released a version of Flash with the required option set in their binary. If you're geeky and want to turn this on yourself, you can use a recent link.exe from Visual Studio or the WDK like so:

link.exe /edit /dynamicbase filename

Flash files live under %windir%\system32\Macromed\Flash or %windir%\SysWow64\Macromed\Flash on 64-bit Vista.
And of course it might be a good idea to install the latest version of Flash from

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Julian Lennon of physics

Last night {A} and I saw Eels live @ the Showbox. The show was really good, but what made it really stand out from the average rock show was the documentary that was shown first (en lieu of an opening band).

The documentary, "Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives", tracks Mark Everett (a.k.a "E", the driving force behind Eels) as he delves into his father's past. His father was distant and withdrawn at home, and E never really got to know him before he died. It turns out his father, Hugh Everett, was ground-breaking physicist who proposed the controversial "many worlds" interpretation of Quantum physics. Nowadays, with the increased attention being given to High Everett and his theory, E said he sometimes feels like the Julian Lennon of physics. :-)

The documentary was really nicely done - a very personal look into E's family and a gradual discovery of what made his dad the way he was. It's been nominated for 2 BAFTA's and is well-worth watching if you can...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Bumbershoot 2008

The sneak-peek lineup was posted this week, and it looks good!
Some that got me excited:
  • Beck (new album due out this year, produced by Danger Mouse of Gnarls Barkley fame)
  • Stone Temple Pilots
  • Neko Case (just recently "discovered" her...)
  • Del Tha Funky Homosapien (Gorillaz, Deltron 3030, ...)
  • Jakob Dylan (with the Wallflowers? I can only dream ;-) )
  • Tim Finn (Split Enz, Crowded House, Finn Brothers, and a great solo artist)

In other music news, I am stoked to be seeing Eels this Friday!