Saturday, May 31, 2008

Caverna

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"Quando digo que as pessoas que estão na caverna somos todos nós é porque damos muito mais atenção às imagens do que àquilo que a realidade é. Estamos lá dentro olhando uma parede, vendo sombras e acreditando que elas são reais."


JOSÉ SARAMAGO, escritor

Monday, May 26, 2008

System-level access to Vista

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This exploit allows an user to gain system-level access without any user or password by copying cmd.exe over to an executable that can be launched without logging in. Very interesting exploit.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Help not wanted

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Help not wanted
Congress is doing its best to lose the global talent war

Apr 10th 2008
From The Economist

And, on a related subject, in Japan

High-Tech Japanese, Running Out of Engineers

May 17th 2008
From The New York Times

Eggs at Steve Ballmer in Hungary

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See here the video. The assailant accuses Microsoft of bribery in business with Hungarian government and asks the taxpayer's money back.

Monday, May 12, 2008

MSN (Live) Messenger blocking YouTube URLs?

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YouTube URLs being blocked by Microsoft IMs? I noticed some troubles with youtube URLs for quite some time, but never tried to investigate what is wrong. This is simply ridiculous.

That reminded me of when I signed up on Zoho.com and Thinkfree.com using my live email, and they always go to the junk mail folder. I also recall reading that some people noticed that particular invite emails from competitors never make into their hotmail inboxes. Although I can't prove anything here, it is a bit strange, isn't it?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

US Immigration Laws: scary

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Perfectly Legal Immigrants, Until They Applied for Citizenship.

Spend many years in the US, have a family, house, and a job. Apply then for the US citizenship. If the US government finds something they don't like, be prepared to be deported, what would not happen if you hadn't asked for the citizenship. The article above tells the sad story of a Philippine couple that is to be deported after 25 years as legal immigrants in the US.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Seattle: "[...] He knew what it meant to be lonely."

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Read this Seattle Times' article about the Seattle Freeze, the fear of intimacy of people that live in this area. I wonder if the same happens in other areas in the US or in other countries (especially in Europe) to the same extent as here.

We ride bikes alone; go on walks alone; troll bookstores alone, then go home and read alone.


On the one hand, it's nice to bop in and out of situations knowing people will smile and treat you well. Nice is like bubble gum — it's sugary and pleasant." But if all you ever get is nice, never flirty or risky, she says, that gum loses its flavor pretty quick, and the human experience becomes ultimately less rewarding. Even depressing.


Since arriving from Argentina, he's turned down the volume on his laugh, no longer reaches out to hug friends and has even stopped wearing his favorite loud red pants. Those first lonely years in the Northwest even gave him a bit of a taste for solitude.

[...] [S]he realized that when Seattleites say, "Let's do something sometime," what they really mean is: "Let's never do anything ever."

Saturday, May 03, 2008

La Traviata, children and social skills

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[...] A performance of La Traviata has much to enthrall a child: beautiful music, two parties, ball gowns, dancing, pretty scenery, love, straightforward moral issues that can later be discussed. An afternoon at such a performance will be meaningful for some children. In our era, in which information is electronically spoon-fed and young people's social skills are often less fully developed than their computer skills, exposure to moral and emotional situations in a theatrical setting may spark parts of a child's imagination that were previously dormant.


-- Opera 101, Fred Plotkin

Friday, May 02, 2008

Microsoft: "pace is slow"

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Many people wonder how working at Microsoft looks like. It depends on many factors, and particularly on your personal style. I thought I was one of the few outliners when I had some thoughts after completing 6 months working here, but it turns out someone else worked 6 months at the company like 8 years ago and was very talented to put in words many of my thoughts. This is a must read if you are curious about day-to-day life at Microsoft - or if you are interested in what could be my opinion.