Friday, November 26, 2004

Finally done

I'm finally done with my genetics homework that was due on Tuesday. This is not good, because it cut into a lot of my Thanksgiving break, not to mention the other work I have been intending to ruin my break with. I'm exaggerating.. there wasn't that much work I planned on doing but rather hoped to get done.

I've had something of a blogging backlog of stuff I wanted to talk about, but I'm not confident in my ability to express it. Ok, first of all, at the NCTTA (National College Table Tennis Association) NYC Divisional meet at FIT this last Sunday, Rutgers tied for first place out of 7 schools competing, beating Columbia and losing to Polytechnic (which lost to Columbia, but beat us). We had a strong team, with Adam Formal, Kiley Hsu, Shuo Pan, and Iuliana Radu leading on our varsity team. Even though in some cases we lost 1st 2nd singles, we romped the other schools (especially Polytechnic) in the doubles. However, all the school that competed did so in good spirit. I wasn't playing on the A-team or the B-team, but I was there for a very legitimate purpose lest you think otherwise.

Especially heartening was the camaraderie among our team members. This is especially different from the other semesters we competed in Columbia--ones where we faced different, some stronger, some weaker opponents. The B-team was a volunteer one. The A-team had been practicing together for many hours and made sacrifices to go. Crucial was our newest addition, Adam was giving sound advice, cheers, and encouragement. There were times when it looked bad for our team early on in the meet, but the tougher times were soon over and we were just relaxing and waiting for the other results to come in.

Out B-team, consisting of Will Francis, Ashiq Damani, Ethan Chen, and Firoze Mehta did great as well. Their journey was very much similar in their initial challenge but rose to supremacy, with some luck. We lost 1st and 2nd singles, but came back in the 3rd, 4th, and doubles.

Being home is nice but I'm doing even less than I do at school :/

SOURCE: The swirling void

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

POP for Gmail

Gizmodo : Gmail Enables POP (For Some) —> I get Gmail on my Pocket PC. Anyone have this feature yet? How is it? I'm still waiting.

UPDATE 11/16/04 2:21 AM: I just got this feature so I haven't fully tested it out. UPDATE 11/17/04 5:20 PM: After lots of struggling, it works like a charm (relative to how it used to work, I mean). While I thought it would just give you what was in your inbox, the POP client just downloads everything there: Drafts, Sent messages, Spam, etc. I can't complain, though. Oh, and for some reason, whenever I send and receive, my old messages go away. Anyone who's had problems getting connected, I'd suggest you check out this thread from PPCT.

What got it working for me was a combination of:
  • following directions (use as part of your username);
  • skipping the auto-setup part in the Inbox app and;
  • setting Gmail to enable access only to mail received from now on,

  • If it still doesn't work, reset it by disabling and re-enabling from the "Fowarding and POP" tab under Settings.

    BTW: Cast your vote!

    UPDATE 3/17/05: Gmail's plain html version works now, so forget POP... just go to!

    Monday, November 08, 2004


    Previously only available for Macs, Konfabulator is here for Windows! It allows you to bring to bear the power of developers all across the world who just want to make your life easier and happy. What's it all about? Widgets!!! Widgets are little applications that float translucentyly above your windows, or flash into view at the touch of a button, they do anything from display the current weather, stock quotes, on-screen post-its, music player and more. Check out The Widget Gallery to see what's available.

    You can even write your own widgets easily (relative term). Mac users who can't wait for the next version of OS X, Windows users who are sane, and anyone who's ever heard of dashboard, support Konfabulator.

    Is Dashboard a rip off Konfabulator? Not exactly.

    SOURCE: The JavaScript Weblog

    Sunday, November 07, 2004

    Not just a wrinkle... (Does this count as a lie?)

    According to The Hill, the bulge on Bush's back was confirmed to be a strap for his bullet-proof vest and not a prompting device. This makes sense, because of all places, putting it in his shoulder blades makes no sense, especially if the earpiece was wireless.

    However, when asked about it, Bush said he didn't know what it was. Even his tailor admitted it was part of the suit. Salon talked to a NASA satellite photo analyst and confirmed with simple image adjustment that the bulge was indeed "something" that looked like it had wires, but hadn't proof about exactly what it was.

    Bush's spokespeople say it was a security measure to not reveal that he had a bullet proof vest on, but Michael from says that the real reason "is that they knew it looks cowardly and that would have been bad for the image. (If the security rationale were true, they wouldn’t admit the truth the day after the eleciton unless Bush never plans to stir from the White House. )"

    I guess this is just one of those insignificant lies politicians say. Would the public really have been suprised that Bush was wearing a bullet-proof vest? What else have they been withholding from the public?

    SOURCE: The Bulge Was Not Tinfoil - It Was a Trope

    UPDATE 2:20 AM EST 1/7/04: So, now people are saying it's a wearable defibrillator. I can see why people wouldn't want this information to leak out, as it presents does present another security weakness. Some would contest whether the Secret Service has that much to worry about, as G. Schochet, my Poli-Sci 101 professor kiddingly pointed out. He emphatically warned the class that no one should assasinate George W. Bush. The reason? That VP Dick Cheney was much much worse and that the idea of him succeeding W was George Bush's greatest bullet proof vest. [via Technology Review]

    Originally stamped 02:39 PM Nov 07, 2004, but bumped temporarily.

    Friday, November 05, 2004

    HTC's new Pocket PC Phone Edition Device

    What an amazing device. It's just the right size and has an integrated 1.3 MP camera, tons of memory, and the new Intel processor (XScale PXA270).

    Source: English Translation (courtesy of Google and Pocket PC Thoughts).

    UPDATE 8:21 PM EST 11/8/04 (from PPCT): Get it (with 64MB RAM) at Expansys for US $619.95.

    UPDATE 9:35 PM EST 11/13/04 (from PPCT): More nice pictures of a version to be sold in China: Link

    Wednesday, November 03, 2004

    Now that the contest is over...

    I don't know what to think at the conclusion of the first presidential election where I really thought it mattered who won or lost. First of all, I don't think it's the end of the world that Bush won. I'm very disappointed he did, but in the end, I think the divisions were heightened by the campaign rhetoric. I do look back and remember all the times I looked forward to voting our president out of office, but that wish never materialized.

    So what do I think was at stake? All I thought was that if Kerry won, it would reaffirm to me that people in this country were generally discerning people who saw that the democrats really had most people's best interests in mind. I am more or less disappointed that the majority of the American people felt differently, but feel there is definitely room for improvement in the democratic party. On the war in Iraq, I definitely see the potential for a recreated more democratic state in Iraq. However, I particularly resented the administration's manipulation of public opinion about the War or Terrorism to brashly and inefficiently wage a costly war. I felt the heavy tax cuts levied by Bush were not designed to bolster the economy, but merely to reward the rich.

    On a good note, I've learned the importance, and also some of the futility of debating within the stict confines of having only two imperfect parties. I've met some interesting people and spent so many hours debating various topics with people, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to do so. Whether or not I voted for the right person we'll never know, but in four years, it'll become cleared whether or not the Republican economic agenda actually worked. Let's hope that Bush's values and moral imperatives will win the day in the long run.

    I don't know if I learned or gained any special insights during this election. I do believe that those darned exit polls screwed the democrats over by giving them a false sense of confidence, but nothing can be done about that now.

    The concession speech.

    UPDATE 11:42 PM: Jeff Jarvis says that we shouldn't blame the bloggers for their transparency. Withholding information isn't the right thing to do. Overconfidence, if anything, is still to blame in Ohio.