David's blog

Being happy single and being happy alone are very different things. The church is no place to be alone. I just wanted to say-- finding Summit Church has got to be one of the best things to have happened to me this year. I've been carefully considering whether I should formally switch my church membership to Summit. I've held back because I didn't want to leave the sound teaching at my old church- I really respect the pastor, I'm a huge fan of their reformed theology, and I'm very loyal once I make such commitments.

At the same time, I have never really felt like I was part of a community there.

It's really grown on me that I don't just feel like I belong at Summit, I honestly feel like part of a bigger family. I miss them. I look forward to seeing them each week, and I think about them when I am away. I've seen growth too- not just in myself but in others. One newish friend even got baptized down at the beach a few weeks ago like what's shown midway through the following video. I mean it's one thing to know God changes the world one sinner at a time- but it's really cool to actually see him taking our individual messed up stories and transforming them into his much bigger story of redemption which incorporates all of us into his community. This is what the church is supposed to be about, and it's truly an amazing thing to be a part of. To see the growth. To actually feel like I belong to it at some level (at least the small corner of it that I somehow managed to find). I've been longing for this for years. I'm pretty sure that I want to continue being part of this growth too. So all that is to say-- I have decided to formalize my change in membership. It's kind of like what this video shows at the end. I can't wait to see what happens next:

I enjoyed the last Star Trek movie. I just had a few questions I was wondering if anyone was able to answer (better late than never):

* How are they able to go through a black hole?

* If one drop of red matter can make a black hole, why did the logical Vulcans make enough to take a bath in and put it all on Spock's ship?

* Why was it necessary to use a drill to deliver the red matter? Would the black hole have bounced off of the planet if they didn't drill first?

* If the Romulan had the red matter and was thrown back in time with the foreknowledge of his planet's destruction, why didn't he use the red matter to save his planet? Did he not care about his planet?

* If warp speed is faster than light, why wasn't the Enterprise able to fly away from the black hole?

* How is a slower than light explosion able to push them away from the black hole?

* If the Enterprise ejected their core, wouldn't they just lose warp power and fall into the black hole? Or do they not need their core to maintain full power? If so why do they have a core?

My web calendar should be working again. I stopped using it because it broke, but I just updated to v1.2.5 and it's letting me add events again. It's mainly for family/friends - contact me if you need the login.


I'm sure most of you have heard the news by now about Wikipedia blacking out their homepage in opposition to SOPA, or have at least noticed Google's blacked out logo.

If you really want to understand why this matters to you personally, there's a very well articulated lecture by lawyer Lawrence Leesig in an easily watched video. That man is a genius. This is from 2002, but you'll understand SOPA and the Protect IP Act better than most of the news reporters who are currently talking about Wikipedia if you watch it:

--> http://randomfoo.net/oscon/2002/lessig/free.html <--

By the way, chief sponsors Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) both have TV/Movies/Music as top supporters. The TV/Movies/Music industry is Lamar's top supporter, and Disney is mentioned by name as one of Patrick's top supporters:
ref: http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?cid=N00009918&cycle=2012
ref: http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?cid=N00001811&cycle=2012

The money trail's not surprising considering that SOPA/Protect-IP suddenly have bipartisan support with 27 Republicans sponsors. This immediately follows virtually unanimous Republicans opposition to Net Neutrality because (the punchline): they don't want to regulate the Net. Do the math.
ref: http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/244538/net_neutrality_is_t...

A new lip-reading app for the iPhone will help deaf people communicate. The app, "iSee uTalk" will allow deaf people who are able to lip read see the mouth and lips of a caller as they speak. A development version of iSee uTalk, expected to be released later this year, will also include mouth-to-text technology to render text for deaf people who are unable to lip-read on their own.

The new lip-to-text technology is intended to replace aging TTY technology on cell phones, which gives the deaf and hard of hearing a text-based system for communicating over phone lines among themselves or with hearing individuals. "The problem is that TTY systems are expensive and bulky. Our App aims to solve both problems," said Derrick Crawford, head developer for iSee uTalk.

Currently, the TTY unit resembles a laptop computer with a keyboard, a display screen and a modem. The user types his message, and the letters are converted into electrical signals that travel over the phone line. The new lip-reading technology utilizes the touch screen itself, eliminating the bulk that TTY systems currently require. The caller merely needs to mash their iPhone against their face while speaking, and the touch sensitive screen will interpret the movements and render an image or text for the deaf person to see. The entire system will be available as an app available for download from the Apple app store.

No disrespect at all intended towards deaf individuals. This is merely a rip at the iPad and the cult-like following for any Apple product no matter how absurd. Some information directly taken from: http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/hearing-impaired-telephones2.htm

I have upgraded the core of this site to Drupal 6.x. The previous version 5.x was old and quickly nearing the end of its support. Most functionality has been restored and even a few minor issues corrected.

Here's a couple pictures of the newborn kittens a friend and I rescued after its stray mother abandoned them (click "Read More" to see more). Of the five original kittens, only the black has survived (the white one below really was trying but still had to be put down because of necrotic tissue).

Baby kittens are born blind and deaf and are entirely dependent on their mother for all aspects of survival - they can not even urinate on their own. That means it has needed to be fed and stimulated every 2-3 hours, a process that feels like has taken months. Fortunately, now that it's in its third week, it's at least able to be left alone for 6 hours at night. It is now twice its original weight and continuing to grow. I'll post more pictures later.

UPDATE 3/23/2011: "Ninja", the black kitten, is still alive and doing very well. She will play with everything that moves (or that she makes move, if she can not find anything).. and is anything from a purring tribble-like ball of cuteness who crawls on my bed next to me for a nap to a hissing monster rebellious demon-possessed.. well.. you can probably imagine. She's definitely worth the trouble though. :)


I recently heard a comment from someone that said what's the worst that could happen if their computer got infected. After all, so what?

While I won't explain the context further, here's the reality. You can't even pretend to have a secure computer when a criminal has control of it. You might as well leave for work with your front door unlocked or store your keys on the hood of your car. What's the worst that could happen?

It costs you and others money. It can even put people in danger.

Someone who would see nothing wrong with leaving their keys on their car could reasonably be said to have no concept of physical security. Sadly, with computers it seems most people assume their anti-virus software will protect them. When's the last time you updated Adobe Flash/Reader/Java? Did you know that's all you have to do to protect yourself from a lot of attacks? Is Windows Update even turned on? I've helped enough friends with their computers to know that a lot of people haven't installed a single update the entire time they've had their computer. It's fun watching 80 download all at once. Take some simple steps to protect yourself and it might spare you a lot of frustration later.

My URL Sniffer now has the ability to download an encrypted zip file of a target URL instead of just displaying the html source (the target URL can be anything including actual executables - encrypted zip files are necessary for submitting malware samples to some antivirus vendors and other legitimate parties, and also to prevent accidental infection of your own computer). Additionally, very simple html syntax highlighting has also been added for the source view.

Check it out:

I'm not going to be upgrading my site for a while yet. Right now, I'm hating everything Drupal too much to be spending much time on it. There's a critical bug with duplicate menu items that's a year old? Really?!? And then I couldn't revert back because the cPanel restore script wouldn't restore its own database backup.. so I wasn't sure what I was going to do.. but thankfully at least phpMyAdmin works like it's supposed to. I'm sure there's an official reason for why this critical bug still hasn't been fixed, but all I know is right now my site works with Drupal 5. Why bother fixing what isn't broken?

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