A relaxing day with my very own family!

Filed under:Family,Griff,Heather,Opinion,Tech — posted by Tyler on December 25, 2008 @ 7:44 pm    Print Post

Today was a wonderful day that I was able to enjoy with my family, as one should (if at all possible) on Christmas day. I’m very grateful for the reason for the season (Jesus Christ) and I also love all the fun traditions that go along with it. I’m not a big fan of the buy-a-gift-for-someone-in-October-or-November-and-don’t-give-it-to-them-until-the-end-of-December tradition. I figure I might as well get some use out of it from October to December! It just loses value (and causes me heartache) all wrapped up under the tree or shoved in a secret hiding spot in the closet for three months. I’m fine with surprises, but that entails actually being surprised! What is the surprise in knowing there is a present for you sitting under the tree? I suppose I’m surprised when I first discover it there…ok, great! Now it’s time to open it!  Yet, I’m not allowed to open it, “Not until Christmas!” my wife tells me. She has learned to keep it an actual surprise until Christmas morning, or she just lets me have my way and get myself stuff for Christmas (and my Birthday since I was born in December) starting several months beforehand. Which is what I did this year when I purchased a membership to Gold’s Gym (the new one in Tooele opens the first day of 2009), a new wedding ring (since I injured my ring finger in a mountain biking accident and my knuckle is permanently bigger as a result), and genetic testing and personal DNA analysis from 23andMe.com.  Heather also surprised (yes, I really didn’t know I was getting it, nor did I expect it which constitues and honest-to-goodness surprise!) me with an R/C helicopter so I’d have something to open on Christmas.

Of all my gifts I’ve enjoyed pouring through my DNA data since I got the results back on December 19th. It’s been absolutely fascinating, if not for the health and traits data then for the ancestry information that it has opened my eyes to. For anyone else that has been tested, you might find it interesting to know that my Paternal Haplogroup is R1b1c10 (also known as R-U152 or S28) and my Maternal Haplogroup is H3. I found out that I’m 100% European (more specifically from Northern Europe) and of all the groups of people from around the world I’m genetically most similar to the Irish.   And the great thing about 23andMe is that they’re constantly updating my information as DNA research uncovers more and more information.  So this will be a gift that keeps on giving!

My children enjoyed Christmas and we were able to hold them off until 7:45 a.m.  We went to the movies this afternoon (one of our Christmas day traditions) and saw Bedtime Stories.  I love to hear Griff laugh and this show got a few good laughs out of him.  I thought it was decent since I was there with my kids.  It’s amazing how seeing your kids get enjoyment out of something makes it all that much more enjoyable for you.

I hope you all enjoyed the time you were able to spend with your families!  I sure enjoyed a relaxing day with my very own family!


Google: Zionist Tool?

Filed under:D. Sirmize,Guest,Politics,Tech — posted by D. Sirmize on November 13, 2006 @ 8:24 am    Print Post

What do the United States, Israel, and Google have in common? They’re all on Iran’s ‘Must Be Destroyed’ list. Yes, Google, the China-owned, commie led virtual world superpower has done pissed off Iran.

From The Guardian (UK)

Google has provoked the wrath of Iran’s notoriously suspicious authorities by appearing to question the country’s sovereignty over the province of Azerbaijan in an entry on its Google Video website.In a move tailor-made to wound Iranian patriotic pride and arouse a blizzard of protest, the Azeri provincial capital, Tabriz, is located “in southern Azerbaijan, currently in the territory of Iran”. To add insult to injury, the ancient city is listed as being in Azerbaijan, rather than Iran. Tabriz and southern Azerbaijan have belonged to Iran for more than 4,000 years.

The text of a tourist film on the site has drawn accusations that the US-owned search engine is deliberately trying to undermine Iran’s territorial integrity by fomenting separatist sentiment in the mainly Turkish-speaking province.

Jihad time, baby- cyber style!

The information technology ministry has branded the entry an attempt to intervene in Iran’s internal affairs and has urged Iranians to flood Google with emails.”This act is a typical example of interference in the affairs of another country,” said Samad Mohmen Bela, the IT ministry’s representative in parliament. “The simplest, most effective response is for all Iranian users to reflect their objection to Google’s management.”

Wow. Color me amazed. What a novel idea- expressing objection through peaceful means. It’s doubtful, however, that even repeated emails from all 18 of Iran’s Internet users will be that effective. But before you abandon Yahoo or Gigablast to return to Google, anybody care to bet how long it takes Google to remove the offending video in order to placate our peace-minded Iranian brothers?


Photosynth is here and very impressive!

Filed under:Cool Stuff,Opinion,Photography,Tech — posted by Tyler on November 9, 2006 @ 3:29 pm    Print Post

Ever since I read about Microsoft’s Photosynth in July, I’ve been chompin’ at the bit to get a look at it myself and try it out. The time has come and it’s now available to touch and feel and SEE for yourself. If you like to cruise the world in Google Earth then you’re going to love Photosynth which takes pictures, analyzes them for similarities and then puts them in a virtual 3D viewing place in relation to the rest of the pictures. It doesn’t matter what angle the pictures are taken from, Photosynth puts them together to make viewing areas (currently there are four collections) seamless as if you were actually there.

At the moment you’ll need to fire up IE6 or IE7 in order for the software to work properly (doesn’t work in Firefox, although they’re working on it) and you’ll also need XP with Service Pack 2 or Vista.

Some tips as you move around in the pictures; don’t forget to make use of the zooming features. You can zoom by clicking the plus and the minus symbols, or use the scroll wheel on you mouse. It’s fun to see some of the detail in the high resolution pictures (especially in the art gallery collection) and it helps to get your bearings by zooming out and seeing all the tiny dots that make up the points of reference. Another fun thing to do is to see where the camera was when the photo was taken. This can be toggled on and off by clicking the camera icon. Little red triangles appear and when you mouse over one it projects the angle and crops the area of the virtual scene that makes up the photo from that angle.  Lastly, don’t forget that you can close the informational column on the left by clicking on the divider line in the middle.  This will maxmize your 3D model world and make cruising around experience even better.
Give it a try. Can you imagine when they give us the ability to upload are own collections? It’s coming soon, but for now we’ll have to pacify ourselves with the collections they’ve given us.

Click image for full-size view.


Japan, err.. China To Land On Saturn By 2024

Filed under:Cool Stuff,D. Sirmize,Guest,Media,Tech,Web Log (Blog) — posted by D. Sirmize on June 21, 2006 @ 9:44 pm    Print Post

Ok, so they won’t be landing on Saturn, but one of its moons, Dione.  Still amazing!

Wait a minute..  You mean they’re planning to land on our moon, not Saturn’s?  Ok, now I’m confused.  So is it the Chinese or Japanese? 

Whatever you do, don’t ask the professionals over at CBS News.  They’re more confused than anybody.  CBSNews.com ran an article Tuesday, which led with the following headline and picture:

Um… So either the Chinese will be planting a Japanese flag on the moon, or the authors and editors at CBS are idiots.  Given CBS’ track record (think Memogate), I’m betting it’s the latter.

What makes it even more hilarious, LGF points out that the astral sphere pictured in the CBS article is not Earth’s moon, but Saturn’s!  I know, I know- blame the Google image search on “moon” that returned the picture of Dione.  When it all comes down to it, a moon’s a moon,right?  And what’s with that flag shadow?  I’m no physics expert, but shouldn’t a shadow lie opposite the light source?  What are these people smoking?

Ok, ok.  People make mistakes.  But this is CBS– the “Good night, and good luck” pioneer of professional broadcasting.  Legends of news.  Even if the webmasters are dolts, you’d think the mesh of professional fact-checkers and editors might have caught this stinker before it was published to the world.  No bias here that I can detect.  Just pure, unadulterated incompetence.  You’d think a news organization that has the eyes, ears, and trust of millions of people around the globe would be responsible enough to catch a stupid mistake like this.  If they can’t even get the small stuff right, how can we ever trust them to get the big stuff right?

Of course, as soon as this oversight hit the blogosphere, it wasn’t long before CBS changed the flag in the picture.  That clears things up.  Now at least we know it’s the Chinese who will be landing on Saturn’s moon.


Google Releases Picasa Web Albums (Test)

Filed under:Cool Stuff,Photography,Tech — posted by Tyler on June 13, 2006 @ 10:56 pm    Print Post

Picasa Web Albums TestIn what looks to be some possible competition (or at least an alternative) to Flickr, Google has released a tool that is used in conjunction with the lastest build of Picasa 2.  According to Google:

It’s available by invitation, along with the latest downloadable version of Picasa, and offers:

  • One-click web upload using Picasa’s new “Web Album” button
  • Free storage space to post and share approximately 1000 photos, with the option to upgrade to more space
  • High-quality photos, automatically resized and optimized to fill available screen space
  • Pre-loaded images enable quick scrolling using arrow keys, and mimic a desktop experience of “flipping” through photos, even on the web
  • End-to-end photo management that makes it easy to download uploaded photos back to your computer

Take a look at this public gallery to see what it’s like to share photos using Picasa Web Albums.

The new version of Picasa includes a ‘Web Album” button that when selected will upload pictures to your own Picasaweb page. This requires an account on Picasaweb.google.com using your Gmail address.

Here is my first album located at http://picasaweb.google.com/tslack

Flickr enthusiasts won’t give a dang about Google’s attempt to further spread their foothold on all things web and will likely ridicule it. I’m so new to both services that I won’t be as biased. As I use both services, I’ll report back and let you know what I think of each.

At first glance, however, it’s obvious that Flickr has a lot more feautures. But for simple uploading and sharing of pictures located on your computer, Google has them beat hands down. Of course, Flickr doesn’t require a program be installed on your computer, which is part of what makes it so easy with Google.

For those of you who are trying this service (it’s only available on an invitation basis), let me know what you think. I think it’s interesting that Google is trying to get away from the “Beta” label on this one. Calling it “Test” instead of “Beta” may be the first time that I’ve seen any company release something that’s in Beta and calling it anything different. We’ll see how their test goes.


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