May 2006 Archives

X3

| 1 Comment

So this weekend was Memorial weekend, granting a much needed and welcomed 3 day weekend. Saturday we had a bbq at Zilker park. Lots of good food, especially the sausage and the pickles and the top of Candace's cheesecake. :) Sunday we all had dim sum at Marco Polo and then saw X-Men: The Last Stand. ** spoiler warning ** I've been looking forward to this movie for some time now since I heard it was going to have Psylocke in it. I've been saying since the first movie that they should have Psylocke, and third time was the charm. However, I was most disappointed at the fact that they only showed her maybe 3 times in the movie, and I think she only spoke once. She had maybe 5 seconds of screen time. She didn't even use her powers. Worst of all, she is simply killed off almost randomly at the end in a completely meaningless death. What a damn shame. Other than that, the movie was pretty entertaining. It wasn't the greatest movie and suffered from a lot of corny lines ("I'm the Juggernaut, bitch!") and pointless deaths/fights (the Iceman/Pyro battle was like a scene out of Dragon Ball Z) but it was enjoyable. It was also kind of cool to see a Sentinel in there, although the most they showed of it was a set of towering lights supposed to be its eyes and then its head after Wolverine cuts it off. Still, the whole Psylocke thing really pisses me off. grr.. >:o

it's magic, duh

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Saw David Copperfield as the Bass Concert hall about an hour ago. I must say, I was quite surprised. I expected it to be retarded and too showy as is what I've seen before on tv. I only went to the show because all my friends were going and I figured it'd be fun to hang out. But, it turned out to be pretty cool. I thought he'd just be waving his hands and arms around for half an hour to set up each trick, with crappy "dramatic" music blaring and colored lights blinding me, and he'd have his ugly mullet and black turtleneck, but instead it was pretty cool. When he first came out, the first thing I noticed was how fat he is. I guess I'm used to seeing old footage of him when he was skinny. When I first saw him I thought he was wearing a bulletproof vest under his shirt or something. That, or the person on stage was a (fat) body double or something. The other thing that struck me was how he was dressed. He was wearing a white T-shirt under a light blue button-down shirt that was open, and some slacks or jeans, can't remember. The point is, he was dressed down. So anyway, the show started off with a kind of pointless but entertaining video about David Copperfield in pop culture, which basically consisted of clips from tv shows that mentioned him. Entertaining I guess, but mostly a waste of time. The show itself was pretty cool. It didn't have any of that showy nonsense I was expecting. He made a lot of jokes, most of which were pretty cheesy, but funny anyway. Most of the tricks were of the standard array: make this disappear/appear, pull this out of that, have the audience say a word/number/whatever and it'll appear on a piece of paper that's sealed in something. The one trick that really got me thinking was when he got some audience members to write on and hold a giant postcard, then took a polaroid of the group holding the card and had one of the people sign it and date it. He then had another audience member write two letters on his (Copperfield's) arm. Then he gave the polaroid to another guy in the audience (a plant) and made him disappear and reappear supposedly in Perth, Australia on an a beach which was being broadcast "live" on a big screen above the stage. Then the guy pulled the polaroid from his pocket and showed it to the camera and it was indeed the polaroid of the audience members. Next, Copperfield appeared on the island and showed his arm that had the two letters the audience member wrote on his arm. Then he reappeared in the middle of the audience with a hand full of sand. I don't know how he got the polaroid image to appear in the video unless it was just some computer overlay. All in all it was much better than I thought, although I would've enjoyed seeing a street magician much more.

I'm so exhausted from this weekend. Going to Houston to visit Men-Hui really wore me out and I didn't sleep too well today either. I did manage to squeeze in some lazy time today though. I watched Final Fantasy VII Advent Children. The animation was pretty good, and even though I never played and never liked FFVII, I enjoyed the movie. I wish they would make one of FFVI. I'd cry with joy if that ever happened. I don't see what the big deal was about FFVII. It sucked to me. But anyway, I really wish tomorrow was Memorial Day. I need the day off more than ever.

squigglevision

holy sweet! I just saw a commercial on Comedy Central that the first season of Dr. Katz is on DVD now! You don't know how long I've waited for them to be released. I put my new Amazon Prime membership to good use and just ordered it. :)

Speaking of Prime, a few hours ago I saw on slickdeals.net that Amazon is currently doing free 3 month trials to Prime. For those who don't know, Amazon Prime lets you get 2nd day shipping for free. I suggest you sign up now! gogogo

I hate Microsoft

| 4 Comments

No, I haven't become Tim or Aaron just yet. I am still bound to Windows, mostly out of sheer laziness. But I digress. Getting back to the purpose of this post, as some of you probably know, Hotmail is being transitioned to Microsoft's Live suite and is being called Live Mail. I've been using the beta for a while now and while the AJAX features are cool and all, they weren't available for Firefox users. In IE, all the features were there, allowing for a very Outlook-style feel. In Firefox, it had been pretty much like the old Hotmail, but with a new color scheme and several missing (and necessary) features. However, earlier this week, they implemented the AJAX features for Firefox users. I don't see why there should have been any delay, but then again, this is Microsoft we're talking about and we all know how good they are about web standards and browser compatibility. Buuuut that's a whole other topic I could rant about for hours (or pages and pages). So anyway, I was glad they finally added the features for Firefox. I have Hotmail and GMail open the entire time I'm at work because I'm a compulsive mail-checker. The AJAX Hotmail seemed to be working fine for me with only a few minor annoyances. Then one day it stopped working for me on my laptop. It baffled me because my laptop Firefox install is virtually identical to my install at work. Suddenly no matter what I did, I would get an error message in Hotmail, and I could no longer see any of my emails. This lasted for several days so I finally broke down and submitted the problem to email support. This was pretty much a last resort, as I hate contacting support for anything because I always get the same useless responses. So to avoid getting a retarded response, I typed up a nice, long, detailed email to send to them using their support form:

Service: Windows Live Mail

What type of problem do you have?
Viewing
Problems Viewing
Problems viewing E-Mail in folders

To ensure a quick resolution, provide as many details as possible, including the date and time the problem occurred, a description of what you were trying to do, the detailed steps you took that led up to the problem, and details on any error messages that you received.
Every time I sign in to Hotmail using Firefox, I get the same error message, "Windows Live Mail was not able to complete this request. Microsoft may contact you about any issues you report." I've had this for a couple days now and it happens pretty much every time. Occasionally I am able to see the non-AJAX Today page, but if I try to go to my Inbox or Junk Mail folder, I get the same error message. Since I know I'm probably going to get the typical response sent to the less advanced users, there is nothing out of the ordinary about my Firefox. I'm using the latest version, 1.5.0.3, I have cookies enabled, I have Javascript enabled, and I have tried clearing the cache and cookies already (to no avail). Furthermore, none of my Firefox extensions are interfering, as I have an identical Firefox setup (same version, same extensions, same theme, same everything) at work, and it works fine there. Also, I have all the latest Windows updates. I am at a loss as to what could be the culprit, but in looking at the source code for that page with the error message, I noticed that the particular error message I get is labeled as "browserjserr" in the source. In looking at the Javascript console, I noticed a couple errors that could be the cause of the problem, one of them says "Error: uncaught exception: [Exception... "Component returned failure code: 0x805e000a [nsIDOMHTMLIFrameElement.setAttribute]" nsresult: "0x805e000a **unknown**" location: "JS frame :: http://gfx8.mail.live.com/mail/11.00.0006.0066/wlmcore1.js :: anonymous :: line 3382" data: no]" and the other one says "Error: g_windowResize has no properties
Source File: http://gfx8.mail.live.com/mail/11.00.0006.0066/wlmcore2.js
Line: 4095." There are countless other JS errors, but those two stick out the most as likely causes to the problem I'm having. So, hopefully that is enough information for you guys to help me out. In summary, Hotmail doesn't work in my Firefox, even though it works fine in Firefox at work and I refuse to switch to Internet Explorer. Thanks.

Frequency of the issue
Always

What is your ISP?
Road Runner

Type of Internet connection:
Cable Modem

Have you recently installed any new software (if you enter yes please add more comments in the text box above)?
No

Which operating system are you using?Windows XP: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727)

Which browser are you using: IE6

Location: en-us - English (United States)

Type of Support: E-mail Support


I thought surely such a detailed and thought out email would earn me a decent response. I waited a couple days and finally got a response:

Thank you for contacting the Windows Live Mail Support Team. My name is Eugenia. I will be happy to assist you with your issue.

We understand you have problems viewing your email. We apologize for any inconvenience this is causing you.

In order to fix this problem please follow these steps.
1. Optimize Microsoft Internet Explorer, and then reset your default browser settings:
a. Start Internet Explorer.

b. On the "Tools" menu, click "Internet Options."

c. On the "General" tab, click "Delete Cookies," and then click "OK."

d. On the "General" tab, click "Delete Files," make sure that the "Delete all offline content" check box is selected, and then click "OK."
Note: Depending on the number of files that you have in this folder this process may take several minutes to finish.

e. On the "Advanced" tab, click "Restore Defaults."

f. On the "Security" tab, click the "Trusted sites" icon.

g. Click "Sites," and then clear the "Require server verification" check box.

h. In the text box, type *.hotmail.com, and then click "Add."

i. Repeat step h for *.passport.com and for *.msn.com.

j. Click "OK."

k. Click "Default Level" to make sure that the security setting for Trusted sites is set to the default level. Do the same for the Internet zone and the Restricted sites zone.

l. Note: If you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 or an earlier version, skip this step.
On the "Privacy" tab, click "Sites." In the empty text box, type hotmail.com, and then click "Allow." Do the same for passport.com and msn.com, and then click "OK." Click "Default" to make sure that the privacy settings are set to the default level.

2. If you are running any firewall software, we suggest that you add the following domains to the safe list of your respective Internet filtering software:
- hotmail.com
- msn.com
- passport.com

If you are not sure how to do this, contact the manufacturer of the Internet filtering software that you are using for detailed instructions. If you are using the Microsoft Windows Internet Connection Firewall, you can find instructions about how to use it in the following article:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;875356

Warning: This workaround may make your computer or your network more vulnerable to attack by malicious users or by malicious software such as viruses. We do not recommend this workaround but are providing this information so that you can implement this workaround at your own discretion. Use this workaround at your own risk.

3. If you have anti-spyware or antivirus software installed, scan your computer for spyware and viruses that may be interfering with your ability to check your mail. If you do not have any antivirus or antispyware software, we provide these programs free of charge. However, there is no technical support that is associated with these programs. You use these programs at your own risk.

- Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware Beta
http://www.microsoftcom/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=321cd7a2-6a57-4c57-a8bd-dbf62eda9671&displaylang=en

- Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?amp;displaylang=en&familyid=ad724ae0-e72d-4f54-9ab3-75b8eb148356&displaylang=en

4. Install the latest version of your Internet browser. If you are using Internet Explorer, download the most current version. To do this, visit the following Microsoft Web site: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/downloads/critical/ie6sp1/default.mspx

If you need to contact the Windows Live Support Team regarding the same issue please mention that in the comments portion of the support request about the draft sending. This will enable us to review other support options that can resolve the issue you are having.

We would appreciate it if you take a moment to send our Product Team feedback regarding Windows Live Mail, and Windows Live Support Beta. We value any ideas, or suggestions you may have that can help us improve our product or services. Thanks for your participation!


All feedback can be sent to http://feedback.live.com.
Click the product you would like to leave feedback about and submit the form.


Thank you for contacting Windows Live Support Beta.

Sincerely, Eugenia
Windows Live Support.


Very helpful. So basically it looks like either their support staff didn't read the email or can't even read English (fairly likely) and just copy/pasted their typical response OR their support responses are automated (most likely), and thus, totally worthless. Thanks a lot jerks. I guess I can't complain too much considering Hotmail is a free service, but hey, I can't resist a good Microsoft bashing. I love the Xbox though, so I guess they don't completely suck (though many would disagree).

On the plus side, I figured out what was causing the error a few minutes after sending that email. It turns out that because I had adblocked the ad iframes in Hotmail, some code wasn't running that Hotmail needed, which triggered a few Javascript errors. Unblocking the ads fixed it, although now I have the stupid ads all over. It kinda sucks, but I switched Hotmail back to Japanese so at least now I get cool Japanese ads.


************************************
UPDATE:

bwahaha, I just signed in to Hotmail and I get this message:

Whoops!

You may have noticed that some of the new features in Windows Live Mail Beta have gone missing!

Well, you’re right. We hit a couple of bumps with our most recent release, but we’re working hard to bring back the great new features.

In the meantime, we’ve restored the service to the prior release so that you can keep using Windows Live Mail Beta.

For all you Firefox users out there, this means that you’re getting our Classic Hotmail experience again. Don’t worry – we’ll get your new Windows Live experience working as soon as we can!

This is all new stuff we’re doing so we appreciate your patience while we work the kinks out.

Good job guys.

get over here!

| 2 Comments

Today I woke up and as I walked out of my room my sister tells me that there is a scorpion downstairs. As groggy as I was, it didn't really register in my head completely. Then as I washed up I thought about it and it hit me. "Wow, a scorpion got in the house.. I hope Sam didn't try to play with it." Thankfully Sam was fast asleep upstairs on our couch and my sister confirmed that he hadn't seen it.

danger!
Oh crap!

So I went downstairs to check it out and as I got to the kitchen I noticed a funny sign on the wall warning of the scorpion. I thought the sign was pretty cute, especially the :o face at the end, which I found especially funny given that there was a friggin scorpion down below that could easily cause you much pain.

danger!
Look what Santa brought!

I also found it amusing that all my sister or mother did was cover it with a cup and put a post-it note on it. Anyone could have accidentally kicked it over and been stung on the foot. Or worse yet, Sam might have gotten to it and been stung on the nose or paw. Fortunately no one had been stung. It was just sitting there in its plastic prison since morning. I decided I might as well seize the opportunity to get some pics of a scorpion, since this is the first time I've seen a scorpion in real life that wasn't submerged in formaldehyde. So I scooped it up in the cup and put it on the counter for some photos.

danger!
Seems docile enough..

As soon as I removed the cup, it darted off trying to escape. It freaked me out at first, but it was more important that I not let it get off the counter and escape so I quickly cupped it again. After that, it seemed to calm down enough for me to get some quick macros.

danger!
Kinda dusty after crawling under the cabinet.

After a few photos, it got a little agitated with me and went into a defensive stance. I wish I had a real camera so I could do some really up close shots. I didn't want to get too close with my point-and-shoot for fear of being stung.

danger!
Oh crap!

I told my dad to let it go in the wooded area behind our house, but I think my dad ended up squashing it instead. Poor little guy. :(


PS: I think this is my 100th post, woohoo!