January 2007


Within the span of six days, I have won a total of 1,502,840 British Pounds! I “won” the UK National Lottery which sent me the following emails:

Email notification numero uno:

UK NATIONAL LOTTERY HEADQUARTERS:
P O Box 1010 Liverpool, L70 1NL UNITED KINGDOM
FROM: UK NATIONAL LOTTERY:
WINNING NOTICE(CATEGORY “A”)

Dear Winner
This is to inform you that you have been selected for a cash prize of
£250,000.00 ( Pounds) held on the 16th of January 2007 in London
Uk. The selection process was carried out through random selection in
our computerized email selection system(ess) from a database of over
250,000 email addresses drawn from which you were selected.
processing of your prize you are to contact our fiduciary claims
more infomation as regards the procedures to claim your prize.
fudiciary agent:
Mr Jim Wat
Email:agentjanwhite@yahoo.co.uk

Mrs Jan White
(Zonal Coordinator)
Email notification numero dos:

NATIONAL LOTTERY HEADQUARTERS:
28 TAN FIELD ROAD,
CROYDON, LONDON.
CUSTOMER SERVICE
(24hours)
Ref: UK/9420X2/68
Batch: 074/05/ZY36

WINNING NOTIFICATION

We happily announce to you the draw (#1019) of the UK NATIONAL LOTTERY,online Sweepstakes International program held on the 27th January,2007, Your e-mail address was attached to ticket number:56475600545 188 with Serial number 5368/02 drew the lucky numbers :21-32-41-42-43-46, and a bonus number of (17) which subsequently won you the lottery in the 2nd category.You have therefore been approved to claim a total sum of £251,420 (two hundred and fifty-one thousand,four hundred and twenty pounds) in cash credited to file KTU/9023118308/03. This is from a total cash prize of £1,005,680 shared amongst the (4) lucky winners in this category that is Match 5 plus bonus.

All participants for the online version were selected randomly from World Wide Web sites through computer draw system and extracted from over 100,000 unions,associations, and corporate bodies that are listed
online.

Please note that your lucky number falls within our European booklet representative office in Europe as indicated in your playcoupon. In view of this, your £251,420 (two hundred and fifty-one thousand, four hundred and twenty pounds ) would be released to you by any of our payment offices in Europe.

fiduciary Agent: MR: MICHAEL MARTINS
Email address: claimsagent0607@sify.com

(Form HLP)
REFERENCE NUMBER: UK/9420X2/68
FULL NAME……………………..

…………………
FULL ADDRESS:…………………………………….
SEX:……………………………
AGE……………………………..
OCCUPATION………………………..
TEL…………………..FAX…………….. (If any)
COUNTRY…………………………..
E-MAIL…………………………….
WINNING NUMBER………………….

Congratulations once more from all members and staffs of this program.

Yours Truly,
Richard K Lloyd.

Email notification numero tres:

COCA COLA COMPANY
PROMOTION/PRIZE AWARD
DEPT:COCA COLA AVENUE
STAMFORD BRIDGE LONDON.
SW1V 3DW UNITED KINGDOM

THE COCA COLA COMPANY OFFICIAL PRIZE NOTIFICATION

We are pleased to inform you of the result of the just concluded annualfinal draws held on
(25th of January 2007) by Coca-Cola in conjunction with the British American Tobacco Worldwide Promotion.Your email was among the 20 Lucky winners who won £1000,000.00{One million Great Britain Pounds} each in the THE COCA\COLA COMPANY 2007 PROMO.
However the results were released today 30th of January 2007 and your email was attached to ticket number (7PWYZ2007) and ballot number (BT:12052007/20)
The online draws was conducted by a random selection of email addresses from an exclusive list of 29,031,643 E-mail addresses of individuals and corporate bodies picked by an advanced automated random computer search from the internet.
To begin the claim processing of your prize you are to contact the fiduciary agent as stated below:

Mr William Carpenter
22 Garden Close, Stamford,
Lincs,PE9 2YP,London
United Kingdom.
Email:winning_claimsagent001@yahoo.co.uk

Yours Faithfully,
Management.

Well, I off to buy an island in the Carribean!

.

.

.

But seriously folks, if you receive similar emails informing you that you have won something from contests you never joined or entered, simply ignore them.

Apple Inc. just released 4 different color versions of their diminutive 1-gig, US$79 screen-less 2nd gen digital music player, the iPod shuffle. There’s pink, green, blue and orange, like the nano, but no apparent changes in features other than the colors though.

I’m a bit caught off-guard with the timing of this release. Maybe it’s to keep us from going stir-crazy waiting for the iPhone? Would’ve expected something like this during the rumored Feb. 20 Apple Special Event. Then again, Apple sometimes does things out of turn, to catch us by surprise. It’s like getting a gift just because.

I’ve no doubt there will be Macolytes who’d collect all of the colors (I’m not that crazy), but I’m pretty happy with my aluminum postage stamp, thank you.

Dare we hope there’d be a (Product) Red version coming out soon? Now that I’d snap up in a second.

Update: Ha. There is another thing different with this release after all. It now includes the newer and improved white earbuds that come with the 5.5G iPod with video instead of the staid ones that come with the other versions. About time. Another reason to waste US$79.

A dear friend and college chum of mine who goes by the internet handle Quentin Tarantado sent me a short email tonight that put a broad grin on my face.

It’s for Back To The Future fans like me. I actually have a large BTTF2 DeLorean die-cast model on my desk at the office. (In fact, Quentin gave it to me for my birthday a couple of years ago, come to think about it. Or was it Christmas?)

Anyway, his email told me to go to this honest-to-goodness De Lorean website that sells parts for DMC owners. (They even sell DeLoreans!)

In the field for searching for spare parts, type in 18851985 or 19852015.

Heh. Cool!

And as I was typing the part numbers just now I noticed the numbers represent some of the years the movies covered: 1888, 1985 and 2015.

Wala lang. A bit of PWiT kababawan. Thought you might get a little kick out of it.

The smoke is clearing. The furious standards war between new high-capacity media Blu-Ray DVD and HD-DVD is effectively over.

HD-DVD‘s practically won. Its secret weapon? Porn.

Sony tried to railroad the industry into using Blu-Ray by incorporating it into the much ballyhooed PlayStation 3, which didn’t work. Part of the game plan was to also give the public a cheap way to get an otherwise expensive standalone Blu-Ray player in the PS3 (Microsoft is now selling an optional HD-DVD drive for the Xbox 360 for US$199). But production, supply and distribution problems and big bucketfuls of bad PR quickly threw a spanner in the Blu-ray war machine.

They didn’t count on the pornography industry throwing its support behind HD-DVD. Despite Blu-ray being resolutionally superior, according to the the Porn People HD-DVD is cheaper and easier to produce, and that, as they say, seals the deal.

Besides, there is precedent – in the days of the Betamax vs. VHS Wars, the technologically better Betamax format bit the bullet because Porn embraced the easier-to-make VHS. And those of you who remember who made Betamax, please raise your hands.

The only industry complaint with the whole concept of high-definition porn is that actresses are running to their friendly neighborhood plastic surgeons once again: apparently hi-def, blu or not, isn’t a very forgiving format.

But it says a lot about an industry when porn can influence tech. Sigh.

Quick & Dirty Tip:

Have you ever borrowed someone else’s iPod and thought, wouldn’t it be great if I could play the music on my computer’s big speakers? I mean, without actually transferring them to your hard disk or buying one of them expensive iPod HiFi speakers – and play them directly from the iPod itself through your laptop or desktop?

It’s possible. All you need is Senuti.

Senuti is freeware that lets you restore your iTunes library from your iPod to your Mac after a hard disk mishap. (We won’t get into what other folk really use Senuti for, but you can figure out what by yourself and we don’t need to spell it out. This tip is just a pleasant side benefit.)

All you need do is install Senuti, then connect your friend’s pod to your Mac (you did understand that this is a Mac-only tip, right?). Unlike similar software like PodWorks, Senuti‘s got a bonus – its interface is just like iTunes, and it lets you play everything on the foreign iPod as if you owned the thing.

So now you can grab anyone’s iPod at the office, connect it to your Mac and quickly play it like a jukebox without the added hassle brought on by DRM. That’s it, pancit. As for Senuti‘s other uses, well, that’s up to you and yours.

By the way, what’s up with the weird subject header for this post, you ask? It’s related to Senuti’s weird name. Figure it out.

Requirements: iPod, Mac, Mac OS X 10.3 or better, Senuti

I’m pretty jaded as a TV viewer. Takes a lot to get me hooked nowadays, after being an addict for most of my life. I have a handful I follow religiously: Battlestar Galactica, CSI, House, Dexter, Criminal Minds, Masters of Horror, Studio 60 and a few others I watch but can live without. Despite watching the first few episodes, I never got as sucked into Lost, Prison Break, Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy as most of the known universe, although I still collect them for family and friends.

Save for BSG, it’s been quite a while since I got so into a show that I felt the anticipation keenly and counted the days until the next week’s episode. TV had lost its appeal for me, because quality material (i.e. the kind I liked) was few and far between. Until now.

Enter Heroes.

I caught an early release of the first episode long before NBC began running the series, from a special promo of a theater chain in the US that gave away download details and passwords to get an early special 72-minute edit of the series pilot. I got hooked from the first scene.

If you’ve been living under a rock and don’t have any idea what Heroes is all about, it’s an alternative take on what is is to be a superhero, without dipping into the DC and Marvel universes and the whole comics scene in general, yet utilizing the best elements from all of them with the notable exception of spandex. It’s about ordinary folk who slowly discover they have powers, some of which weren’t necessarily good things, and folk who aren’t necessarily good ones.

The characters are all regular people, with regular human problems, who find themselves with superhuman powers: a beat policeman trying unsuccessfully to become a detective and save his failing marriage finds that he can read minds; an up-an-coming politician finds that he can fly; an internet stripper with a young son and jailed husband finds she has a literal alter-ego with super-strength and zero morals; said young son has uncanny ability to fix and alter any gadget; said jailed husband finds he can literally walk through walls – and thus leaves jail; a PYT cheerleader finds she can’t get hurt because she can spontaneously regenerate; a heroin-addicted painter and comic-book illustrator can paint the future; a Japanese computer programmer can teleport himself and travel through time; a girl can really do Jedi mind tricks; a homeless bum can render himself invisible; a couple of people who can steal or absorb other’s powers, and so on and so forth.

Some of these folk struggle to deal with their emerging powers amidst dealing with mundane everyday problems like adulterous spouses, vicious loan sharks and high school politics, as well as major ones like sinister consipiracies, organized crime and doomsday scenarios. All the various and disparate threads are tied together somehow, and viewers are kept on the edge of their seats by the comic-book-arc, cliffhanger abangan ang susunod na kabanata plot structure and writing.

It’s a character-driven show, which is its edge, I think. Heroes is a direct descendant of Lost and a host of other character-driven mystery/scifi/drama shows, and the attraction is that you or me could be any one of these characters. The CGI takes a backseat to the story and the people, at least for now.

The creators have a bit of admirable restraint as well, at least until the middle of the current batch of episodes. You don’t get to see any superhero anything until the last few seconds of the pilot, and then nothing overt until much later; it’s like they were just teasing the viewers with little hints here and there, episode after episode, and then all of a sudden there is a jaw-dropping moment of undeniable super-hero shtick where you see what these guys can actually do.

Despite being a show about superheroes, it’s not kiddie-friendly stuff. There are graphic scenes of a sort that might even put CSI to shame – like living heads being divested of brain matter and full-on autopsies. Plus stuff like adultery, murder, internet pornography, rape, drug addiction, terminal illnesses, crime, graft and corruption. On the other hand it’s got stuff like flying, invisibility, samurai swords, time travel and dinosaurs. Yes, dinosaurs. It’s got something for everyone!

On a more geek note (as if we could get any geekier), Heroes is also one of the shows that shamelessly uses brazen product placements that have no pretensions to subtlety (they can’t beat it into our heads enough that Hiro Nakamura drives a Nissan Versa), and uses digital and online tie-ins to the hilt, complete with narrative sub-plots that exist completely online through virtual comic books you can download, plus a too-busy and full-to-bursting website. But they sure know to make hay.

Despite the commercialism infused into the show, Heroes is still an amazing, fresh look at the genre that keeps people coming back for more. It’s a critical hit – it was nominated for Best Drama Show at the recent Golden Globes (it didn’t win – that honor went to Grey’s Anatomy, but at least the cast had a nice time as presentors for other awards.) The show’s 13th episode airs tomorrow in the US, and a local cable channel is planning to show the series soon. If you can get around the NBC website’s location detectors (US only, but there are PWiT readers who can easily get around this, no sweat), all the episodes are available online for free as streaming video, if you’ve got the bandwidth. And it’s also available on the iTunes Store, another (skirtable) US-only path. Of course there are other means, but let’s not open that can of worms, shall we?

Heroes is a true geek show. And the fact that it’s an unqualified hit means that the geek-world-domination-plan is finally catching hold.

It’s time to ask yourself the question: Are you on the list?

UPDATE: Heroes begins airing on Star World on Wednesday, Feb. 7 at 9PM.

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