Apr 17, 2013

Edge Tech Corp: Cheaper 32GB Flash Drive Announced

So yeah, I've been on the search for a tech job for a while now...but that hasn't stopped me from keeping up on the news in the tech industry...or looking at old news for that matter. Check out this release done only a couple years ago on a 32GB flash drive! If only gas would come down in price like this...

EDGE Tech Corp has sent me a press release about the release of the 32GB DiskGO™ Flash Drive. This thing holds a whopping 32-gigabytes of data. This announcement will result in the lowering of prices for other USB flash based drives. Woohoo!

The 32GB DiskGO™ Flash Drive is priced at $399.95. That is a good deal when considering that only a few years ago you would have paid around the same for a 1GB USB drive. Right now, 32GB flash drives from the competitors of EDGE Tech Corp. are much more expensive; for them to under-cut the prices so drastically will likely result in good business and happier consumers.

The question of whether or not USB flash drives are worth it must still be asked. If you take into account the fact that you could buy an external 1-terabyte drive for around $350, then why bother? The ability to fit in your pocket is great, but the prices are hard to be justified when internal and external drives offer so much more for your dollar.

Dec 18, 2012

Find Home Inspectors To Inspect Your Home In Flushing

Society (Photo credit: ultrakml)

Flushing home inspectors are trained to inspect your home to inform you about conditions you may not be able to see on the surface. A home inspector is normally trained to inspect certain areas a home owner may not be able to get to easily, such as underneath floorboards, roof shingles, and pipes and air ducts in the home.

It’s very important that you hire a home inspector if you’re selling your home so that individuals looking to buy your home can know exactly what condition your home is in. Hiring a home inspector before you sell your home will also allow you to see exactly what needs to be fixed, so you can arrange to make the necessary repairs before you put your home on the market.

It is recommended that you follow the inspector through your home during the inspection, so you will be aware of any procedures performed and damage discovered. At the end of the inspection, you should receive a detailed description of exactly what was done to your home. Here are some general procedures you should definitely have a home inspector perform during your appointment:

Flushing home inspectors check the structure of your home to make sure that the home’s foundation is sturdy and that materials used in the building of the home are not corroded or weak. Floors, framing, roofing and walls are all checked during this part of the home inspection.

Your electrical system will be checked for safety. Any wires, outlets (and potentially outdoor fixtures like lanterns), and adapters in your home will be evaluated for loose wires and shortages. A home inspector will also be able to assess how much longer you can utilize your current electrical system before having to make any repairs. If necessary, a home inspector may also recommend an electrical upgrade.

Your heating and air conditioning system should also be checked to make sure it can be set to comfortable levels and isn’t malfunctioning. A home inspector may recommend minor repairs and adjustments within a budget, depending on how old your system is.

Home inspectors will look at all the pipes in your home to check for breaks or leakage. The inspector may also check pipes for sanitation and to make sure there is no possibility of overflow or vulnerability to freezing. Your water heating system and laundry equipment will be looked at as well, and a home inspector will make sure the water pressure in your bathrooms and kitchen are at normal levels.

At the end of the home inspection, you should receive a detailed description of all the services performed in your home that day, all recommendations for repairs and an overall summary of the condition of your home. 

Be sure to show this information to your real estate agent if you are selling your home, as this will affect the price at which you should sell your home. If you’re looking at homes to buy, make sure that each home you choose to look at has had a home inspection. You can find Flushing home inspectors online, from local phone book listings or through your real estate agent.

Dec 3, 2012

Texas Bush and Tony Blair

Tony Blair
British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has as good as admitted that US/UK foreign policy is failing to achieve its objectives in the Middle East. He is absolutely right. He might as well have come clean on the Iraq invasion and called that a failure as well. After all it was a pretty important piece of that policy.

Since 9/11, The US under Texas native George Bush has pursued a bit of a strange foreign policy - by invading Iraq and naming a list of countries as part of an axis of evil. Then there's the whole Guantanamo Bay episode, which is still going on. Its Middle Eastern policy has been particularly meddlesome. Of course Blair, often against his own better judgement and that of his colleagues, has supported the Texan Longhorn clothes bearing Bush to the bitter end. Quite naturally, there has been a radical reaction to this. It has helped extremism flourish across the Middle East, Asia and even in Europe like never before.

The West is losing this war and as Blair admits military action alone can't turn the tables - if anything it has achieved the opposite so far. He talks about a battle of ideas between the values of the West and those of extremism. Unfortunately, for millions of Muslims across the world it's an argument he has already lost. To them Texas Bush and Blair don't debate or argue their ideas, but impose them at the barrel of a gun. As evidence, they point to Iraq, Afghanistan and now Lebanon with Israel doing the dirty work with full Anglo-American support. Of course this plays into the hands of the extremists who argue that force and violence is the only way to respond.

If The US and Britain want to win a battle of ideas with the extremists they need to radically change their foreign policy for a start. Given that both are caught up in their own self-made disasters, which now have a momentum of their own, that would be very difficult. But they must find a way. They need to tone down the rhetoric and at the very least make Afghanistan work. That means putting in the dollars and pounds to build infrastructure and improve the living standards of the average Afghan. That would do far more to win hearts and minds than endless speeches about values and democracy.

With Lebanon they must talk to Iran and Syria who pull Hezbollah's puppet strings and where necessary force Israel to make compromises as well. At the very least call for an immediate ceasefire so the battle can be faught at a conference table rather than over the dead bodies of innocent civilians.

As for Iraq, because the post invasion plans were so botched and ill thought out, the country is practically in melt down. Regardless of Blair's comments, it is in a state of civil war with around 100 people dying a day.

We largely have "Rambo" Rumsfeld to thank for that. It was his idea to do invasion "lite" followed by occupation "lite." Disbanding the army and sacking Baath party members, who ran the country, was stupid and suicidal. It created thousands of angry vindictive and well armed individuals at a stroke. People who have no stake or interest in the new democratic Iraq. Protecting the oil installations while the public infrastructure was looted - at least the bits left by the USAF, did little to win hearts and minds either. Despite so much incompetence, "Rambo Rummy" still has job in government and sadly it isn't cleaning the toilets.

Iraq's fate is probably to end up being run by a brutal dictator again. The only question is: will he be an Islamic fundamentalist? Or a secular dictator like Saddam Hussein was? The alternative is that country could simply break up into regions variously controlled by Iran, Syria and the Kurds or who ever else can impose their influence.

For the situation to improve and for there to be any chance of a debate of ideas to take place, it probably requires the removal of Bush the Texan and Blair from office. A change of government would be even better. A new government could at least admit the failures, blame them on the previous administration and fashion a new much less confrontational foreign policy. But that could take two to three years to happen. In the meantime, the war on terror could simply escalate leaving the different players more hardened and committed to their radical agendas. Basically, leaving no room to debate ideas or win over hearts and minds.

Nov 15, 2012

My Favorite Horror Films!

Cover of "Frankenstein - The Legacy Colle...
There's so many to chose from really, and it was quite tough, but here it is! If you're interested in reading other things I write, take a look at my other site (link)

10 - Freddy Vs. Jason (2003)
I've never been the greatest of fans of the two major non-Halloween horror franchises of the 80s, Friday the 13th and A Nightmare On Elm Street. The first Friday The 13th has to be one of the stupidest films I've ever seen even if it does see the death of Kevin Bacon. Lakeside summer Camps and the word "slasher" seem purely put together for the sake of ticket sales achieved through the expectation of nudity and gore. Now I'm not saying I don't like the two but in that context it's pointless. Really it taken about 5 sequels before I was paying attention as it seemed the writers had abandoned any kind of ambition to create a sensible piece of cinema. Instead the franchise had descended into almost the finest form of comedy ever devised. To explain, I once discussed terrible films I'd seen at the cinema with somebody and they claimed that the worst film they had ever seen at the cinema was Jason X, claiming that they laughed all the way through the film. They actually couldn't see past the fact that the humor was deliberate. As amazing as it may seem to some, when the writer wrote down that two topless girls at the side of a holographic lake say "We love premarital sex", he did not think he was writing an epic poem. Even if you don't believe this surely if you laughed all the way through a film then you were highly entertained by it? There aren't that many films anyone finds themselves laughing all the way through! As entertainment goes, these two guys can't be beaten so obviously when the two meet in the one film you know you're in for a treat. This film is the culmination of all those moments in horror films that really shouldn't have been funny but were. I really struggle to imagine another film where they would get away with the line "Freddy died by fire, Jason by water. Can we use that?" (Funnily enough despite my suggestion that the makers don't take it seriously, I do remember seeing a bit on the DVD about how they deleted a scene where the main character says "It's Freddy Vs. Jason! Place your bets!" claiming that they thought the line was cheesy. To the makers of the film: I don't think anyone would've thought any less of you if you'd added it. Personally I kept playing that deleted scene it was absolute genius and had me in stitches every time!) Truly Freddy Vs. Jason is a great film. An understated work of genius.

9 - A Tale Of Two Sisters (2003)

I don't know much about Korean cinema. I've seen Shiri and the brilliant Brotherhood but other than that I couldn't tell you what's popular there and what's not. I can tell you that A Tale of Two sisters is one that's well worth looking out for. Girls who've been in a mental institution, Haunted houses and an evil stepmother; this film has them all. From the beginning you are compelled to watch as the distorted history of the twins and their family relationship is unraveled. As the haunting increase you are well aware that there is more than meets the eye and before long the foul play from the past comes back to haunt the guilty. It's great stuff and genuinely chilling.

8 - Frankenstein (1931)

I really struggled to resist starting this with "It's ALIVE!" (and I'm not talking about those silly It's Alive movies with the monster baby.) I love Shelley's Frankenstein. It's so full of the hopes and fear which fill the human mind that it's hard to resist. The creature is a beautiful creation, equally flawed and intelligent, the perennial lost child looking for meaning in the cruel, rejecting outside world. Boris Karloff to many is Frankenstein's creature. His facial expressions and unguided movements perfectly suit the abandoned soul. Of course, the film adds the madness of Colin Clive's eccentric professor as well as the particularly detailed procedure to reanimate the dead body parts in all it's lightning bolt horror movie glory!

7 - The Brood (1979)
It's actually been quite a long time since I've seen The Brood (and it's probably about time I went back to the old Cronenberg films since his lack of presence on this list is, in my opinion, pretty noticeable) so my memories of it are possibly distorted but nonetheless it still holds a place in my heart as a great showing of monstrous horror. Whilst I was looking for a picture to stick with this I noticed that many describe it as a horror Kramer Vs. Kramer (which, to the ignorant youth amongst us, is nothing like Freddy Vs. Jason or Alien Vs. Predator) a comparison which really didn't come to mind when I was watching it. Another scene some reviews mentioned, which I had actually completely forgotten about, was the afterbirth eating scene. Maybe I thought that scene was just there for the sake of it. Certainly the main reason this film stayed in my head was for the monsters in a nursery. In this scene some members of the eponymous Brood, a apparent group of midget monsters (that description is rubbish because it makes the film sound stupid which it certainly isn't) infiltrate a nursery class, dressed in bright colored children's coats, and beat to death the teacher in front of the children. An utterly frightening concept which most horror film makers wouldn't be brave enough to go through with. Oh yeah and it has Oliver Reed in it and every one knows that Olly was almost the greatest actor ever born. Also, and might I say rather interestingly, he belonged to the same dental practice as Christopher Lee. (Sadly the only mention of the masterful Christopher Lee this week but stay tuned for more.)

6 - The Happiness of The Katakuris (2001)
Nothing in the world could ever have prepared me for The Happiness of The Katakuris. It's a Japanese remake of a Korean I've never seen and from what I've heard is completely different. Mainly down to the greatest Horror sub-genre anyone in the world has ever imagined ever. Now if you've never heard of The Happiness of The Katakuris or know nothing about this film I recommend you brace yourself for this. The Happiness of The Katakuris is... now here we go... A ZOMBIE MUSICAL!!!! Even that description of this masterpiece doesn't quite give you the full picture. The film has random clay-mation sequences which bare little relevance to the story, there's an eclipse in the film just so the director could shoot at night and anyone who says they saw the ending coming is a liar. It truly is the most brilliantly bizarre thing you will ever watch and definite sign that Takashi Miike is either truly insane or the most wonderful genius on earth.

5 - Deep Rising (1998)

Wait! Don't leave just yet! (Actually if you're too much of a film snob to accept Deep Rising, do leave.) Now I know that most people who'll watch this film will consider it to be terrible but they are just not looking at it in the right light. What you have to understand is that this film is THE GREATEST HORROR-ACTION MOVIE EVER MADE!! (Some might argue here that Aliens is better but personally I thought that James Cameron totally destroyed all the atmosphere which Ridley Scott had put so much effort into.) Deep Rising is the sort of film which I just can't resist (and not just because of the Famke Jannsen content). It is filled with the sort of unadulterated fun that probably should be made available on prescription to cure any amount of the blues (or as Stewie in Family Guy once said, it's "so good it must be fattening") . Also, If I learned one thing from this movie it was that Treat Williams is the action hero who should have been but never was.

4 - Dead End (2003)

One night a couple of months ago I was sitting flicking through movie channels looking for something interesting to watch. (I love to sit and watch crappy horror films late night, especially ones that are so stupid and inane that they don't make it on to this list.) I came across this film presuming that it would be a dumb teen film about a road-trip gone wrong. Thankfully, and rather surprisingly, I was wrong. Dead End was a clever depiction of the average family, with their day-to-day squabbles and bickering, being dropped into the middle of some strange and inexplicable conditions. I'm not going to say that the film wasn't predictable but as they drive down a never ending road, for some reason, you are glued to your seat. It's utterly compelling stuff that grips you to the unavoidable finale. (Oh and the film has the best evil boat and car since... well, since

3 - Ichi The Killer (2001)

Not a horror film per se but undeniably in debt to the gore films of the past, Ichi The Killer has to be one of the most disturbing things you'll ever see. I included it simply because it's far more violent and psychologically disturbing than the average Hollywood slasher which consider themselves horror purely from the fact they include gore. (Well all that and the fact that the IMDb considers it horror, so I'm not alone.) Ichi The Killer is a tale of sadists and masochists. You know, the perfect sort of after-dinner  conversation between you, your parents and your grandparents. It's about blood and guts being spread everywhere. Once again, perfect fodder for your every wholesome family conversation. Most of all it's about how awkward and uneasy a film can make you feel. There are scenes in this where I dare you not to feel even the slight bit squeamish. If this had come out in the 80s it would've been branded a video nasty, and probably would have been more popular than it is because of that, as it is most definitely the pinnacle of the gore sub-genre! (Also for fans of the film: does anyone else think that it's really odd that not a single dvd/video cover or poster of this film actually has Ichi on the cover? Ok so Kakihara is way cooler but you'd think they'd give the eponymous characters some kind of attention. No wonder he turned to killing! On a separate note, AVOID the anime version of this as it is utter shite!)

2 - Day Of The Dead (1985)

Bub is the best zombie ever. It's not the nun or the nurse in Dawn Of The Dead, it's Bub. Look at that guy. There really would've been full films about him. He would've become the un-dead character of our generation. Sadly he seems to be remembered by few. Those who've seen this, the third of Romero's zombie films, will know that there is only one hero in this tale and he's not a scientist or a soldier, he's the innocent bystander; albeit a flesh-eating innocent bystander. There isn't another character in this that even comes closing to gaining the sort of sympathy we feel for Bub. I mean really, we all know that he just wants to be loved. When he sings along to Ode to Joy he shows that he's almost the most human character in this story with emotions that the humans have almost lost after the disaster that has befallen man that has resulted in the almost complete de-humanisation of man. So here's to Bub, zombie hero!

1 - Shaun Of The Dead (2004)

As soon as the makers of Spaced announced they were making a film, I prepared myself for a treat. The series was one of the best sit-coms of the last ten years, with its constant pop culture references and movie mimicking it was something completely new and original that became unmissable during its short run. Shaun Of The Dead was essentially the culmination of this achievement; a film that was at once mocking its predecessors whilst also being the giant homage to all things Romero. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost were the perfect comedy partnership throughout with their instantly recognizable odd couple act. Further proof that British cinema can stand up to American, the entire film was a slice of fried gold!

So, only one mention of Christopher Lee this week which is just not good enough!

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Sep 12, 2012

E Gift Card from Amazon Please!

English: Self taken pic.English: Self taken pic. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I currently live in a room with two closets and a hallway. Nothing else! There is no private bathroom, no kitchen, not even air-conditioning, which is much needed still in this late summer heat. The cost of living in this simple room is $75 a week. Included in that price is Internet service and electricity, and garbage disposal. There is a communal kitchen (no stoves) and communal bathrooms available for the house occupants to use. Paying that much per week for a room in a house with limited features, I do expect that the few features present, e.g. refrigerators, function.

Today the temperature got into the upper 80s, and of course our already nasty communal refrigerator just had to break down. In the heat our food perished. I lost food that I otherwise would not have to lose. When I got back to the house at 5.05 pm to find the refrigerator broken I called security who informed me that Physical Plant is closed. Of course the Housing Office is closed as well. The security officer I spoke to suggested I’d call the Dining Services people and ask them to bring some ice over to the house (like that would do it). Of course Dining Services is closed by five so that did not happen.

What I did now was to sit down and compose an e-mail addressed to the Housing Office people as well as the summer housing list serve. The e-mail reads as follows:

Considering that the kitchen in Cheney House is in use all the time, your request will not work out practically for the residents in Cheney. We would need one more refrigerator in order to accommodate the residents (the fridge that broke down was too small in the first place). I for one do expect some service for the $75.00 per week that I pay to live on campus this summer. A functioning kitchen space is such an expectation. I think that the residents affected should be eligible for a rent deduction, in some way shape or form. For myself, I wouldn't mind some Amazon online gift cards for my troubles.


Nameless Name Person

Little did I know that I would stir up a wave of strong emotions with this e-mail. People who had read it asked if I meant to come off arrogant or if that is just my personality. Someone else sent a reply (to the list serve as well) informing all of us about how much we get for the $75.00 per week that we pay to live in our sparsely equipped rooms. The e-mailer asked why I was dissatisfied and wanted a rent deduction. He thought we got a good value for our money: Internet, electricity, and oh yeah, garbage disposal. Why was I crying over a luxury item (referring to the refrigerator), he asked. Well, firstly, a refrigerator may be a luxury item in rural Tibet. In the USA and Western Europe refrigerators are considered standard household appliances. Kitchens are expected to be equipped with refrigerators that function just as it is expected that kitchens have adequate plumbing. Furthermore: I have lived in an apartment of my own which was considerably more expensive, and I can tell you that electricity, Internet, and, oh yeah, garbage disposal, amounts to perhaps $90 a month for a single person household in the middle of the summer. Dear replier e-mailer, you are wrong, I am right, I expect a rent deduction (never going to happen), and I expect the refrigerator to be fixed or replaced ASAP.

May 15, 2012

George M Cohan

Harrigan Words and Music by George M. Cohan

Italicized lyrics in the verses are sung by a Chorus, with the rest by a soloist.

Verse 1: Who is the man who will spend or will even lend? Harrigan, That's Me! Who is your friend when you find that you
need a friend? Harrigan, That's Me! For I'm just as proud of my name you see, As an Emperor, Czar or a King, could be.
Who is the man helps a man every time he can? Harrigan, That's Me!

Chorus: H - A - double R - I - G - A - N spells Harrigan Proud of all the Irish blood that's in me; Divil a man can say a word
agin me. H - A - double R - I - G - A - N, you see, Is a name that a shame never has been connected with, Harrigan, That's

Verse 2: Who is the man never stood for a gad about? Harrigan, That's Me! Who is the man that the town's simply mad
about? Harrigan, That's Me! The ladies and babies are fond of me, I'm fond of them, too, in return, you see. Who is the gent
that's deserving a monument? Harrigan, That's Me!

Chorus: H - A - double R - I - G - A - N spells Harrigan Proud of all the Irish blood that's in me; Divil a man can say a word
agin me. H - A - double R - I - G - A - N, you see, Is a name that a shame never has been connected with, Harrigan, That's me!