Views and Reviews
My views of the world, news, sports, or just random thought. Some reviews of products and services I tried first hand.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Shift of policy

So now that the Democrats have taken control of Congress (in all honesty, they didn't really win, but people didn't really have the choice but vote for them if they were not aligned with Bush), what is going to happen?

The main reason why that change happened, is that people are weary of the war in Iraq (or war on terror, depending what network or paper you refer to).
So, the White House has no real solution for the quagmire they sent the American soldiers in, or at least solutions with no visible results, but will the Democrats come up with something better?

It is very unlikely that the troops will come back any time soon, since even some national guard units are being sent back there for another tour (which was not supposed to happen to them... no more than 24 months in Iraq they said when they signed up).

I think that next year is going to be a very interesting year, as far as politics go.

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election day

Today is a big day in America. People are voting to grade Mr. Bush's job (remember, "Either you're with us, or against us").

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Friday, November 03, 2006

Internet addiction

From the AFP:

Thu Nov 2, 6:44 AM ET

BELGRADE (AFP) - A counselling centre has opened in Belgrade to help the growing number of Serbians who have become "addicted" to the Internet.

Treatment was offered to all those "who prefer using the Internet than any other daily activities, who isolate themselves from families and friends," one of the centre's founders, Milan Radovanovic, told the daily Vecernje Novosti Thursday.

Future "patients" could be found among those who spend more than four hours of their free time online, Radovanovic said, adding these were the first signs of "Internet addiction".

"As time goes by, these people stop any communication with the real world and turn towards their virtual friends," said Radovanovic.

Although such an addiction was considered typical for teenagers who play online games, the centre has already begun treating several older patients. Treatment usually lasts a year, said Radovanovic.

Only about 900,000 of Serbia's population of more than seven million inhabitants have an Internet connection, a recent survey done by the Centre for Policy Studies showed.

Most of the users were connected via their regular phone line, with only 2.5 percent using faster broadband services, the survey showed.

However, since Internet providers began offering their services in 1996, the most active group of users have remained those aged between 30 and 50, it showed.

The scary part is that, since my job is mainly to create or enhance web applications, I'm always on the internet (free time or not)... like 7 days a week. The only time I'm not online is when I'm on vacations, which is not too often since I live in America.

So I guess the thing is to have an offline life to be considered non-addicted?

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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Poor Eko

Now I must have missed something really important the previous week, because a friend told me that they were going to get rid of one character in this episode of Lost.

But I missed that part (really) and I was first in shock to see that Eko was in deep (and I mean deep) trouble, then sad to see that he wasn't going to make it and finally pissed off at the writers to kill off one of the most charismatic characters of the show.

Now I should have known better because he wasn't even in the promo photo used to show the main characters for season 3 (and I actually asked myself why he wasn't he there... silly me).

Anyways, it seems like the tailies (those who where in the tail section of the Oceanic flight that crashed in the mysterious island), are leaving the show faster than you can say "end of season 3", and instead we are introduced to two new characters who do not seem to have two ounces of charisma at all. Oh well.

Mr. Eko deserved to die for his actions in Nigeria, but frankly, I thought he would be the third man of the triumvirat Locke-Desmond-Eko to go save the other triumvirat Jack-Sawyer-Kate from the others (and whack some Others with his big stick).

I still can't get over it...

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Woman unexpectedly gives birth to a boy

From the Associated Press, as read from Yahoo! News:
Read it here

BELLEVUE, Wash. - Amanda Brisendine attributed the 30 pounds she gained in the past year to an abandoned smoking habit and rich food. So when she went to the hospital with sharp stomach pain, she wasn't expecting to leave with a newborn son.

"I don't know how I didn't know. I just didn't know," Brisendine said Tuesday from her bed at Overlake Medical Center's Birthing Center, where she delivered Alexander Joseph Britt by Caesarean section.

Doctors agree her case is not rare.

George Macones, chairman of the OB/GYN department at Washington University in St. Louis, said he's seen about a dozen cases in his nearly 20-year career.

The pregnancy isn't always obvious when a woman is overweight, or a woman will have spotting or bleeding during the pregnancy and mistake it for menstruation, said Macones, who specializes in high-risk pregnancies.

The 26-year-old Renton woman went to Group Health Cooperative's Eastside campus last Saturday after experiencing several days of abdominal pain so intense that she called in sick from work.

Doctors examined her and performed a pregnancy test that showed positive — she was nine months pregnant.

"I was so shocked. I was nauseous," said Brisendine, whose boyfriend Jason Britt didn't believe her at first.

"I thought she was lying," said Britt, 33.

Already mother to a 14-month-old daughter, Melodies, Brisendine said she didn't experience typical pregnancy symptoms, like a missed menstruation, morning sickness, fatigue or food cravings. "Everything was normal as far as I knew," she said.

Ultrasounds showed low amniotic fluid in the placenta and the baby wasn't moving properly, Brisendine's doctor, Danica Bloomquist, said.

"From our assessment, the baby wasn't doing well in utero," Bloomquist said. "He needed to come out."

After an emergency C-section Sunday, Brisendine delivered 7-pound, 5-ounce Alexander.

"We're in for a really, really big adventure," Brisendine said.

Now this is some kind of news... What is scarier? That this case is not even rare, or that gained 30 pounds without a sweat?

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Hey, I know that guy...

Now that's too funny to not mention!

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Saturday, October 28, 2006

IX Web Hosting

Alright, before I'm going to bed, I'd like to share with you a strange experience I just encountered.

Now, some of you might remember the first blog I posted about web hosting... well, I decided to give it one more shot and re-review some of those candidate companies I didn't choose the first time.

So I was looking at the IX Web Hosting site and something really weird happened.
OK, first of all, you might not be able to reproduce it because it depends on the configuration of your computer. Since my PC laptop broke back in June, I have got an iBook G4 as a replacement, and so far, I'm not too too good using it.

Nevertheless, I use the Safari browser (v2.0.4) that comes with OS X Tiger.

So here are the steps (again, that only worked using Safari with OS X Tiger):

1) go to

2) click on the "DEMO" link (next to "Free Site Builder") or go directly to, and that should send you to this page

3) finally, click on the first link ("Click here to continue editing your website.") or go to
and you should see:


Now if you try with firefox or IE, you will certainly get something more politically correct.
By the way, IX Web Hosting is based in Hopkinsville, Kentucky...

Or maybe I was just too tired and dreamt the whole thing... can someone let me know if that content is still live??

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Friday, October 27, 2006

A Dark Anniversary

Exactly one year ago, France witnessed one of its most chaotic chapter. To refresh your memory, thousands of young people from what are called "banlieues" (poor suburbs), stormed the street of the main cities and unleashed hell.

What sparkled those riots were the accidental deaths of two teenagers from of of those banlieues, who thought they were chased by the police and got electrocuted while hiding in an electricity substation.

And you thought the LAPD were the most hated people on planet... well, think again! The French police and the US Marines in iraq might just have passed them for that title.

So what is wrong in France (besides the usual stuff)?
One word: unemployment.

You can say whatever you want about race, difference of culture and religion, but the one thing that always comes back is the constant complaint about the lack of job, not only for those young-people-of-African-descent-living-in-a-suburb-and-burn-cars-from-time-to-time-because-maybe-it-is-cold-outside, but for the French youth in general.

The unemployment is hovering around 10% compared to the 5% we manage to do here thanks to our 3 daily McJobs (but this is a completely different topic).
For people under 26, this rate skyrockets at a pathetic 23%.

it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that nobody really cares about young people anymore, as long as they don't destroy too many things in town.
No job, no school, no money... how long do you thing they will stay quiet and calm about it?
But this problem is also a bit more complex than that... it's also a problem of cultural clash and failed integration that no one (with enough power) wants to seriously tackle.

All in all, I don't think the end of the tunnel is really in sight, and that makes me fell how lucky I was to escape all these... and also how powerless I am to do anything.

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