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LiveJournal for David Held.

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Sunday, September 21st, 2008

Subject:So it GOES
Time:11:29 am.
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Ok... seriously?
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Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

Subject:Dinosaur Chat!
Time:8:38 pm.
Familiar with Dinosaur Comics? Every episode uses the same pictures with different text.

For example:


Capitalism. Isn't it great?

If you've read this comic you might have wished that you could be as awesome as T-Rex. Well... now you too can... uh... sort of be a dinosaur? That is if you use a mac... and adium. Ok, so only a few of you can pretend to be a dinosaur! Still, it's pretty cool.

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Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

Subject:I... really don't know what to say about that answer...
Time:12:10 am.
Miss Teen USA 2007 - South Carolina answers a question:

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Saturday, July 21st, 2007

Subject:Captcha V.2
Time:12:26 pm.
I read an interesting article a while ago about Luis von Ahn who is most famous for inventing the Captcha. You probably know what a Captcha is (those blurry bits of text you have to type in to prove you're a human), but you probably don't know that CAPTCHA is an acronym that stands for Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart.
An example captcha...
The same guy also came up with a way to turn the difficult computer task of labeling images are into an addictive and fun game, which Google purchased to help with the quality of image search. It's not much of a leap to see that humans can do this more easily than computers, but to turn it into a game that is not only fun enough that people will actually want to play it, but that also validates the input at the same time, is pretty impressive.

What I find particularly neat is one of his latest ideas, which he calls reCaptcha. Here's an example:
It doesn't look like anything too spectacular but there's a hidden trick to it. One of the words is actually a captcha, but the other word is a word which the Internet Archive's public domain book scanning project had difficulty recognizing. Now the captcha doesn't just make sure you're a human (through the known word), it also collects information towards a useful goal. The time difference to type two words instead of one is minimal so by distributing the project of figuring out the words a computer can't recognize we can have millions of people contribute without even realizing they're helping out.

What can I say... I'm impressed.
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Friday, June 29th, 2007

Subject:Dancing Hands
Time:11:42 pm.

The first 50s are not too exciting, but I'm pretty impressed with the hands here.

Enjoy.
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Sunday, May 27th, 2007

Subject:Beer Surprise
Time:12:10 am.
Last weekend, after grabbing lunch, Don, Justin, and I decided to stop at a pub for a pint. They had a "Spring Break" sampler which for $15 was supposed to give a taste of 6 different light beers.

There was a miniature glass in a bucket at our table and after confirming that this was the size of the samples, all three of us decided to give it a go.

Then the bartender proceeded to give us each 6 bottles of beer. Apparently he's usually the bouncer. I doubt they'll make him the bartender again anytime soon. ;)





That's a lot of beer...
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Monday, April 30th, 2007

Time:10:53 am.
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Monday, April 2nd, 2007

Subject:Python on the loose at Google NY
Time:4:50 pm.
http://valleywag.com/tech/rumormonger/python-on-the-loose-at-google-ny-248978.php

Only at Google...?
Great timing too. =)
Comments: 2 already did - Show me the Monkey.

Sunday, March 4th, 2007

Subject:Asia Pictures, Part 5 (The end!)
Time:6:28 pm.
Well... it took me about 8 months, but I finally got all the pictures from asia online.


6th stop: Sri Lanka. They had elephants.
- http://www.andukar.org/gallery/sri_lanka_2006

Originally we planned to stay in Colombo the whole time, but after trying to take a train and failing we stumbled into a tourist office where we got sold on a trip to Kandy. I'm glad we did. We got to see tea plantations, and didn't catch malaria.


7th stop: Singapore. They had Sharvil... and bread that is rather phallic.
- http://www.andukar.org/gallery/singapore_2006


8th stop: Malaysia. Also known as the land where there are monkeys everywhere!
- http://www.andukar.org/gallery/malaysia_2006

In Malaysia we got to put our travel experience to the test. We ate at a restaurant that started off by giving us a bowl of peanuts which we rejected after asking if they cost anything. Later on they tried to give us wetnaps which we also turned away for similar reasons. It was nice to avoid getting ripped off for a change.
Comments: Show me the Monkey.

Thursday, February 15th, 2007

Subject:Not a good day to be me...
Time:2:40 pm.
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Friday, November 24th, 2006

Subject:Warning Sign
Time:1:08 am.
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Subject:Alaskan Cruise Pictures
Time:1:07 am.


I've uploaded the photos from my cruise to Alaska. You'll find many pictures of my brother looking extremely dopey, among other things... :)

Enjoy.
Comments: 2 already did - Show me the Monkey.

Saturday, September 23rd, 2006

Subject:Asia Photos, Part 4
Time:7:52 pm.
Fifth stop: Thailand. (Bangkok and Koh Samui)
- http://www.andukar.org/gallery/thailand_2006

The visit to Koh Samui just sort of... happened. We were in Bangkok for a few days and managed to get ripped off twice. The first time we got in a cab and asked him to take us to a temple, Wat Pho. The guy said sure, drove us around for a long time, and let us out. I asked him where the temple was and he said it's right around the corner and that he can't drive in there. We paid him and he drove off... and we quickly discovered that we were on a street with nothing but a bunch of strip clubs.

We hit the end of the street and wandered at random until we bumped into another guy who looked like a tourist and asked him for help. It turns out the cab driver had driven us a long way in the wrong direction. It's interesting, because the driver really seemed to know where he was going and did some pretty aggressive tricks to get us there quickly including abusing driveways. Maybe he gets a commission for taking people to strip clubs?

Anyway, it just so happened that the guy we asked for help was an English guy who is married to a Thai women. He got really pissed off on our behalf and totally flipped out. Eventually he got his wife to arrange for another cab to take us straight there. Amazingly, the first cab she tried to put us in refused to take us. Only on the second attempt did she manage to get a cab to take us. Bangkok really didn't seem too tourist friendly.

We got screwed once more in Bangkok when we went for Thai Boxing. While there we went to the booth to buy tickets and a guy with an id badge and in uniform tried to sell us tickets. At this point we'd become rather paranoid and refused to buy tickets from him until he offered to give them to us, take us inside, and then collect the money. It turned out he wasn't a scam afterall. Dinner on the other hand... was a different story. While food at a nearby restaurant was delicious, we certainly didn't expect the moist napkins we were given after the meal to cost the same amount as the two maincourses and drinks we'd consumed before. Ridiculous!

At that point we'd had about enough of Bangkok and decided that maybe other parts of Thailand might be worth visiting. A visit to an internet cafe ended with us having plane tickets to an island and a hotel booked at a resort. =)
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Thursday, September 14th, 2006

Subject:3 Drinks
Time:11:20 pm.
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Saturday, September 2nd, 2006

Subject:An interesting bus driver...
Time:12:59 am.
"Buckle up and hold on to your seat. We will be experiencing high air turbulence. I don't want anyone falling unless it's in love with me."

The driver also mentioned that, "beautiful women chase after me all day," which really, you can't argue with. No one likes missing a bus.
Comments: Show me the Monkey.

Sunday, August 27th, 2006

Subject:Asia Photos, Part 3
Time:6:25 pm.
This time it's a special double issue!

Third stop: Korea
- http://www.andukar.org/gallery/korea_2006

Fourth stop: Hong Kong
- http://www.andukar.org/gallery/hong_kong_2006

Korea and Hong Kong represented the start of us getting screwed as foreigners. The first time involved us trying to go to a Korean BBQ restaurant. Not only were they ridiculously unhelpful and didn't bring us everything that was supposed to come with our meal, they also charged us for drinks we never received (though requested).

Later on in Korea we noticed everyone watching Soccer. We decided to go to a bar, get some drinks and watch the game. The first bar we went to refused to serve us alcohol without us ordering food and we had just finished a giant dinner. Thus we moved on until we found another bar. This one allowed us to order drinks and we told them that we only wanted the drinks, no food. This was fine... for a little while. Soon enough the waiter came by again trying to get us to order food. I picked the cheapest thing on the menu (it was probably "extra salsa") and pointed at it. The waiter refused and pointed at other things (all of which were written in Korean). We just shook our head and he went away.

As I was in the washroom, a plate of nachos arrived. Nachos we most certainly didn't want. We finished our beer, left enough money to cover the beer, tax, and tips, and left. Right after we left the waiter came running down the street after us and dragged us back inside. He showed me a bill that was double what it should have been because of the nachos we didn't eat. He kept telling me to pay and I kept saying no and using a gesture I'd picked up there involving your arms crossed (to signify no good, I think...). Eventually I went to the table where we'd left the money, picked it up, handed it to the waiter, and said that this was more than enough for our drinks. He protested again, but I just turned to leave and they let us go.

Perhaps there's some law that you can't sell alcohol without food in Korea? Who knows... it seems a little unlikely considering they sell beer in convenience stores.

In Hong Kong they tried a different tactic. When we sat down to order they brought us a plate of nuts. Being hungry we started nibbling on them while we ordered and waited for our food to arrive and finished off the nuts. Eventually our food arrived and sometime while we were eating they left another plate of nuts on our table. When the bill came we were charged for two plates of nuts, neither of which we ordered and one of which we didn't even touch.

I compare this to being charged for bread in a restaurant in North America where they just bring it to your table at the start of the meal. Wouldn't that be ridiculous? Given the language barrier and the fact the nuts weren't too expensive, we gave up and just paid. Of course they also screwed us by bringing a smaller portion of food than we paid for, but what can you do...
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Subject:I really need to get my kitchen supplies...
Time:3:26 pm.
Using a fork to eat cereal out of a measuring cup is somewhat suboptimal.

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Thursday, August 24th, 2006

Subject:Ouch.
Time:1:36 pm.
Funniest sequence of pictures ever:
http://www.idiots-guide.org/badday.htm
Comments: 2 already did - Show me the Monkey.

Tuesday, August 1st, 2006

Subject:Asia Photos, part 2.
Time:11:45 pm.
Second stop: Taiwan
- http://www.andukar.org/gallery/taiwan_2006

Maybe that wasn't so soon afterall. More to come.

On another note, I'm now a resident of Brooklyn, New York. We moved in yesterday. Eventually maybe I'll have a desk.

My new apartment is really nice and pretty well designed in most ways... but you really have to ask yourself why the heck would anyone want bedroom doors composed mostly of windows. Each bedroom door has 15 windows covering about 80% of the door's surface area. Now *that's* privacy.
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Sunday, July 9th, 2006

Subject:Asia Photos, part 1.
Time:8:15 pm.
First stop: Japan
- http://www.andukar.org/gallery/japan_2006

More coming soon... =)
Comments: 3 already did - Show me the Monkey.

LiveJournal for David Held.

View:User Info.
View:Friends.
View:Calendar.
View:Website (andukar.org).
View:Memories.
You're looking at the latest 20 entries. Missed some entries? Then simply jump back 20 entries.