Chris R's Weblog

Daily link November 6th, 2007

Fujifilm FinePix S5200 part 2

Well, I finally reset the camera to the default settings, and I set it to take pictures in RAW format. I couldn’t upload them to flickr because they were 10.7 megs and that’s too big for flickr. I downloaded the ufraw-gimp plug in via Fedora’s yum system, and converted them to PNG in GIMP.

I also had to pay Yahoo! Inc $25 dollars to upload the resulting 7.5 Meg PNG images because the limit for free accounts is 5 megs per image. In otherwords, Yahoo! Inc just screwed me into giving up the cow and the milk. Click pics for full res, or should I say as full as Flickr can get.

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The image “http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2183/1891273667_11e641fed4.jpg?v=0” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

The image “http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2259/1891273701_dd891a137f.jpg?v=0” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

The image “http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2335/1891273795_c23340a6e0.jpg?v=0” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

The quality is much better in RAW format saved as PNG by GIMP on Linux then uploaded to flickr.com. I am sorry I payed those guys at Yahoo! Inc $25, but in the end I said I was going to show the difference, and I did. The camera’s onboard jpg encoder is nothing but complete and total crap. My advice, if you have this hunk of junk fujifilm camera, save as RAW, then use the free open source software to convert it to PNG. W3RD.

Daily link November 6th, 2007

A bizarre death at Microsoft in 2003, a look back 4 years later

When we look back at 2003 in IT we remember many things. Windows XP had been released, the film Antitrust had just been released to DVD, and ironically, a bizarre death occured to a Microsoft employee named Dan Feussner. Apparently after having been caught stealing a few million in software from the company through their software purchasing system, Dan was charged and awaiting a hearing. He and at least 2 other men were involved. While this is nothing extra-ordinary, he strangely died from an apparent overdose of a substance that resembled antifreeze. There were apparently no known witnesses to the death:

“Daniel Feussner died Feb. 7 from ingesting ethylene glycol, the main ingredient in antifreeze, according to the Medical Examiner’s Office. How it happened is unknown; there were no witnesses to his death. “

While this account of the fictional film anti-trust may seem far fetched:

“Since we know this is a movie about an evil software giant, and since Teddy is a minority, we can guess that he’ll be first to die. Which he is, except for an anonymous software developer who is in a questionable car accident, mentioned in one of the film’s few bits of foreshadowing that’s actually subtle. Teddy’s murder is obviously the work of Stan’s goons, but they make it look like a racially motivated hate crime. Milo figures out what’s going, though, and goes about trying to get to the bottom of it all, Scooby-Doo style.”

… there was really no follow up on this case in the news. It just quietly “went away”

Well today on this blog, I am making it “un”-quietly go away. What did happen to Daniel?

From the Seattle Times:

“According to an FBI affidavit, the agency contacted Microsoft security investigators and began monitoring Feussner and his bank accounts. Last year, one account with Washington Mutual Bank had an average balance of $2,158.92. From Feb. 25 on, the average balance ballooned to $129,774.51, the affidavit said.”

While Daniel sure did apparently, steal millions in fake software orders, he sure didn’t actually have a lot of money to show for it? Did he spend it all? Maybe. In retrospect he did buy an awful lot of expensive stuff. I actually saw his home page when it was up.

Perhaps he had some information that others didn’t want him to share, and perhaps being in the bad predicament of charges he was, perhaps he was going to in order to get some type of leeway? While this is a hypothesis, we really can’t be sure? The death is so bizarre and so “life imitating art”, that I think it merits a further tier of investigation even now, 4 years later.

Daniel was German, and had worked at Altavista in the 90’s, then went to Microsoft after the dotCOM bust where he became a manager.

So what did really happen to Daniel Feussner? It’s 4 years later, and perhaps somebody should find out.

Mind you that the Microsoft CEO Mr. Ballmer makes unforgiving statements like this in private:

At some point in the conversation Mr. Ballmer said: ‘Just tell me it’s not Google.’ I told him it was Google. At that point, Mr. Ballmer picked up a chair and threw it across the room hitting a table in his office. Mr. Ballmer then said: ‘Fucking Eric Schmidt is a fucking pussy. I’m going to fucking bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I’m going to fucking kill Google.’

I’m not implying that Mr. Ballmer had anything to do with the incident, but merely giving some peripheral information as to the atmosphere and attitude at the company a year or 2 after the time of Dan’s death.

UPDATE: I had forgotten how much stuff he had. I think he did in fact steal the software and resell it illegally, but I also think there is more to his untimely death than meets the eye, and it deserves a 2nd look.

Daily link November 6th, 2007

Chris Pirillo posts a bunch of Ubuntu videos

Chris writes:

“Ubuntu keeps generating buzz, and I don’t see enthusiasm subsiding any time soon. Seems to be the only distribution to capture “user” attention - beyond the enterprise.”

I agree with him 100%. I don’t see the demand for Ubuntu going down any time soon. Especially with Dell selling machines preloaded with Ubuntu a plenty now.

He also posted these 2 youtube videos:


Daily link November 6th, 2007

Whimsical ex-Microsoftie muses about religion

ex-Microsoftie Rory muses about creationism, Dianetics, extra body experiences, space aliens and other various topics.

Daily link November 6th, 2007

Apple tablet coming

Erick Schonfeld of Techcrunch writes:

One of Apple’s contract manufacturers, Asus, is working on a Mac tablet, according to the Crave blog. It is not clear if this is going to be a major product, when it will be available, or whether this is just a prototype for now.

I thought they had already tried this? These were pretty darn lame. I wonder how the neo-newton will fare?

I bet they will be ok if ASUS makes them, but I don’t really know if they will be successful under the Apple brand or not.

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Daily link November 6th, 2007

More currency fraud boosts Canadian dollar to $0.92 per $1 USD

sigh….

“TORONTO - The Canadian dollar topped 108 cents US early Tuesday while two Canadian-based manufacturing heavyweights issued reports showing bottom-line improvements from a year ago.

The loonie opened at 108.17 cents US, up 0.99 cent from Monday’s record closing high, as the American dollar continued its downward course against most other currencies.”

Why aren’t currency traders listening to what JPMorgan, Lehman, Morgan Stanley have to say?

Because that’s the nature of currency fraud, it defies reason. It’s like those 15B valuations for companies barely worth 2 million in Silicon Valley.

They don’t care who they hurt, and karma isn’t real.

UPDATE: I shouldn’t have to mention this, but the oil companies are responsible for this. Just like the war in Iraq, and the rest of the problems in the world. They are also the reason we don’t use fuel cells, battery power and clean energy. It’s like the Tobacco industry, they don’t care if people die so long as they can keep kids smoking. It really doesn’t matter to them who they hurt. The govt will not step in because they are their b1tch3s.

Daily link November 6th, 2007

NY Times claims that newspapers are seriously on the decline

Duncan Riley of Techcrunch writes:

“Readership of newspapers has continued to decline in the United States as more readers turn to online sources for news, according to the NY Times.

The Audit Bureau of Circulations figures show that newspaper readership dropped 3% compared with the year before”

I am not surprised as paper information has become an increasing burden in this age of digital media. With all the PDAs, cell phones and other text capable gadgets that most people have, we really don’t need newspapers in print anymore. I predict that they will disappear completely except for collectors in the next 20 years.

Daily link November 6th, 2007

Taken with a Fujifilm FinePix S5200?

Taken with a Fujifilm FinePix S5200.?

I took a few indoor pics with the new fuji camera and boy do they suck. I wanted to try the SLR indoors. They are grainy as hell.

I have just done a complete reset on the camera to erase all the settings and will try again at lunch time. These are the pics I took with the settings as is from the guy who bought it and not so surprisingly anymore, no longer wanted it.

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Like I said, I just reset the camera after taking these inside in low light and will try again outside. It’s raining today though, so I dunno if they will be ok or not? Will post at lunchtime. I’ll try some in RAW mode instead, as the jpg mode seems to have too much encoding loss.


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Chris R. works at BeerCoSoftware.com (title: President of Development and Sales). This is Chris's work blog.

Disclaimer: BCS will not let personal views of any employee, including Chris, regarding any software product, company, standards or otherwise get in the way of any company that hires it to provide a solution. Companies pay BCS and BCS provides solutions regardless of the views of any employee. That’s part of being professional, and BCS is a professional software company.

Everything here is Chris's personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. No warranties or other guarantees will be offered as to the quality of the opinions or anything else on this blog.

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