Today's Message: Open your minds, Expand your thoughts, Find meaning.
Hotmail Getting a Facelift
So here's what happened. On a normal day I usually come home to a nice warm cup of something and just get to relax. Today was no different. However, usually when I switch on the computer and then navigate to the Hotmail website, I expect to simply check my mail and then for my day to move on. But today that did not happen, Hotmail refused to let me in! I needed to know what was going on, I needed a quick fix!
So I trailed the web to see if Hotmail was undergoing any upgrades, and to my sheer shock, they have been considering it for sometime, in order to stay ahead in the competitive rat race of free webmail services. They are going to call their new webmail service simply, Mail. Wow! What a big change! (sarcasm is rife). The few BETA testers who have been allowed to use this service have posted some screenshots of it as can be seen to the left. I have to say in my honest opinion that I have never seen such a bland, ugly, dated, wrongly laid website in my life! Mail is the representation of everything that is wrong in this Earth.
However, even after finding out about Mail there were no certainties that this was in fact the case as to why the Hotmail server was down. It may have been my firewall going crazy, it could have been scheduled repairs on their server (in which case, where is the schedule?) or it may have been that NTL (my Broadband provider) were paid by Gmail to block all access to the Hotmail website for a day so to keep their competitive edge. As one person (who amounts to 1 in the entire of the World's population) I simply was not in the loop as to what was going on. Neither was anyone else.
However, using Occam's Razor, the simplest solution would probably be the right one. The simplest and most logical solution to the Hotmail server being down was that Hotmail was down because it had decided, on the one day when I really needed to access my email, to upgrade their system. Unfortunately, I cannot be sure because, as is the usual Microsoft way of failing to inform its customer base, they have not posted any sort of message as to why their server is down. As a customer this portrays a bad image of Microsoft as an unreliable, untrustworthy brand. Especially when Microsoft's new Operating System, Windows Vista, is just on the verge on being released and Microsoft need at this crucial point in time all the credulity they can get.
I am now strongly considering burning all the Microsoft products I have and replacing them with Open Source free and efficient alternatives like Open Office. Maybe I will just file a claim to the courts that the downtime of Hotmail gave me huge losses in my non existent business. I'll have to see. Until then, enjoy life people of the world!
The Human 'Slothful' Being
Human beings are funny. Everyday I just see them floating around with their legs, so assure of themselves. How slothful and gloomy. Don't you feel like just shouting at some of them? "Oi! You! Wake uuuuupppppp!!!!". But of course, the perfect moment never comes to execute this phrase and so I'm left wondering, even observing this vulgar species.
Awareness. What a funny thing. To be aware. What does it mean? Does it mean we're somewhat greater than the ant? Surely, an ant also has some awareness of its surroundings and some degree of limited consciousness, does it not? And then there is life. What does it mean to be alive? Why do some people argue that "Life is precious, so don't waste it?". How have they arrived at such a conclusion? Who are 'they'? Does it mean that everyday we continue to breathe and waste our finite time away? (If you read back, the last two sentences actually rhyme).
What this little thought experiment really shows is that we're actually more unsure of ourselves that we lead ourselves to believe. As human beings we seem to block out the reality and focus on materialism to provide us with some temporary degree of what we deem to be happiness. But really all we are actually doing is not facing facts. Life is precious because it is finite and we only have a short space of time to achieve the meaning of life, whatever that to you may be. Once this time is over, then unless you believe in reincarnation, that is it! Your life in well and truly over. Can you honestly say to yourself now that you've achieved your meaning of life? have you even ever thought about what the meaning of life for you is? For the majority of people, the answer unfortunately is "No".
But if you use logic and reason, you can always come to an answer. What makes us different to ants is that we have consciousness which essentially means that we have the freedom to make our own decisions. Ants and other species of animals do not have free will. They live to serve the creation, this is their meaning of life. For us humans, to have freewill is a great responsibility, one which we're inept at managing. We must realise as humans that all our actions in turn will have a consequence, but these days we've forgotten where to draw the line. This is a grave shamble of the human race. However, in this beautiful creation, even humans cannot escape some laws, like the Natural Laws. We're affected by gravity, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, monsoons, radiation etcetera. Nature is a force not to be reckoned with.
One of the most simplistic and powerful quote that always sticks in my head is "What you Sow is what you shall Reap". Remember this and it may well avoid you a lot of pain in the future. People will always remain sluggish and unhappy whilst others will seem to be on top of the world. This is just the way it is people, it is just the way it is. ;-)
The Blogger Search System
Google has finally released a long overdue Blog Search. I don't know about you, but I have been waiting for this feature for about a half a year now and am glad that it is finally here. Why do we need a blog search? Simple. Blogs are a quick way to get a feel for what people are thinking on any topic. Just type in your term and whammo! You get blog entry after blog entry from people like you and me spouting their opinions. Try it for yourself. Search for "ipod nano", the newest iPod, and see what people are saying. You'll get 20,323 blog entries of people talking about it.
Google is not the first engine to have a blog search. Before Google there were others who blazed the trail:
* Technorati (20,319 posts about ipod nano)
* Feedster (88,341 results)
* Daypop (834 results)
* Bloogz (140 results)
* BlogDigger (2,852)
* IceRocket (14,637)
I'm still not sure which blog search service is the best. I suspect I'll probably bounce between my previous favorites, Technorati (good, but often slow) and IceRocket, and I'll throw Google into the mix. However, as always, Google will be the very best emerging technology of the day and I look forward to things like Google Talk becoming the world standard for Internet Telephony services too. I'd always prefer a Google service over a Microsoft one or random third party one, that's for sure! So let's just wait and see the corporate battle unfold before our highly warped and impaired vision.
Running out of Time
I'm running out of time,
I've forgotton the taste of the sublime
bliss, is now like a chime,
Ringing softly when it's time to die.
I run, to open the door,
But I can't see the floor,
I am drawn to ask,
Is reality really just a mask?
I run, to help the dead,
But I can't see the medic,
I said, "I am mortified to question,
What is our destination?"
I run, to the mirror,
But I can't see myself any clearer,
I said, "I'm pertified to query,
Am I alive or dead?"
I have become unsure, even uneasy,
But I realise, the answer is easy,
If I look to the sky and feel sublime,
Then it doesn't matter,
If I'm running or if I'm out of time.
I'm walking not counting time,
I remember the taste of the sublime
bliss, is now like a chime,
Ringing softly when it's time to die.
The Attack of the Brain Balls
It was November the 28th, the year was 208008 CE and over the last 20 millennia the world had changed so drastically that a person could not tell who was human, machine, or a hydroplastercine-based lifeform. Earth and the other planets had suffered vast wars, disputes and rebellions for many tens of thousands of years. When cities fell, they were rebuilt. When people died, they were revived. When children were born, they were unborn. The rising population forced us on to and under water. Intelligent robots were built to build whole cities on water to house millions of people. Mars had been colonised by the Americans in 205000. They claimed it as their own.After years of negotiations Mars was freed from American control and a body formed to rule it. International treaties made by the United Milky Nations (the UMN) in 208000 had ended all world war, or so 'they' said. Mars was an ally to Earth and the Solar System had now been populated heavily due to the exponentially growing populations of all other lifeforms in the known Universe. Time travel was made possible over 7 millennia ago and warp speed 9 systems were being developed by intergalactic governments as a collective project. This was the age of technology, discovery and progression and I was part of it.
My name is Glorious Lightus 9 of the Satakari Empire on Mars and today I bear witness to a great disaster on Urectum (formerly Uranus) as I was doing fighter pilot training in the near vicinity. It was attacked unexpectedly on its Northern quadrant towards the city of Epimentia. Again it seems like classic Brain Ball tactics to destroy our stronghold. The atomic bomb on Earth and Mars in the early 200th Century by an unknown alien fleet had caused the very sky above to become pitch black with smog for all 28 hours of the day on Mars. The era became known as the Age of Smog. The UMN worked with intergalactic Governments to find the culprits. To everyone's sheer disgust, it was the Brain Balls. The reason they were able to carry out such attacks was because they had big brains and they also had, big gugga luggas. Again it seems they have attacked us when we least expected it and I fear that the war is going to start all over again.
Glorious Lightus 9 was a mere puny child when he first started in the Young World Army Division that was formed by the British Navy. His grandfather had fought in two of the greatest world wars ever witnessed, World War 20 and World War 21. He continued to live in cryogenic suspension where he is today, frozen at a respectable age of two hundred and one in the Public Cryogenic Labs. Glorious had a background in fighting and was affluent in Aikido, Kick Boxing, Wing Chun Kung Fu, Gatka, Jujitsu and Tai Chi amongst others. His genes had been manipulated to make him stronger and increase his visual field. Glorious soon became a popular member of the army and was eventually promoted to the rank of Quadrant General. He had never witnessed an intergalactic war, heck, no one had for many, many millennia.However, all this was soon about to change as an entire fleet of Brain Balls unexpectedly emerged on Glorious' Universal Radar. There was going to be trouble and Glorius had no back up. Glorius could say nothing else but "Oh sweet Jesus", as the toothpick in his mouth fell to ground in slow motion, with the camera panning all the way down to get the shot. Was this the end of all men or the beginning of the Age of Balls?...
...To be continued.