Friday, July 21, 2006

Travel and Leisure Magazine names Buenos Aires 7th best in the world

Travel and Leisure Magazine named
Buenos Aires, Argentina as one of the top-ten best cities in the world (ranked 7th this month).

A questionnaire was sent to subscribers from January to March 2006, ranking cities on sights, culture/arts, restaurants/food, people, shopping, and value.

The list includes Beirut, which sadly has deteriorated during the current crisis (after the poll was taken in march).

I'm glad to see a great city like Buenos Aires recognized. If you have never visited, you must consider it for your next travel plans. You'd be pleasantly surprised.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Israel has the right

It bothers me a lot when I read comments from people berating Israel on the current conflict with Lebanon.

You may argue that Israel has gone a little overboard on its reaction over Hezbollah's kidnapping of two of its citizens and the constant firing of rockets into Israel.

My question is: who are we to judge Israel's response to terrorism and murder?

Remember that Israel is a very small country surrounded by hostile neighbors with huge areas, huge population, unmlimited funds, and almost all of them with a hatred of Jews. If the Arab countries stand idle when atacked, they might lose a city or a few miles along the border (as it happened before). If Israel stands idle it dissappears.

We have to understand that the stated goal of Hamas and Hezbollah is the annihilation of the Jews. Are we, the world, ready to condone genocide? It happened in Rwanda and Kosovo. It happens today in Congo where if you do not agree with these genocidal maniacs, or convert to their brand of religion, they'll kill you.

Israel has the right to defend herself. There is a Lebanese Government, isn't there? Is the Lebanese Government unable or unwilling to reign in Hezbollah? I do not know which is the answer. I do now that Israel is fed up and decided that the Lebanese Government did not hold their end of the deal made when Israel left Southern Lebabon and U.N. Resolution 1559 said they have to disarm Hezbollah and get them out of Southern Lebanon. This, Lebanon has not done.

At least not all Arabs think that way. Youssef Ibrahim has published an excellent article: "Arab Majority May Not Stay Forever Silent":

"Yes, world, there is a silent Arab majority that believes that seventh-century Islam is not fit for 21st-century challenges. That women do not have to look like walking black tents. That men do not have to wear beards and robes, act like lunatics, and run around blowing themselves up in order to enjoy 72 virgins in paradise. And that secular laws, not Islamic Shariah, should rule our day-to-day lives."
I have heard some Americans calling talk radio shows and critizicing Israel. I ask them, if we had an armed group inside the USA (say in Southern Arizona) that started shelling Mexico and hitting cities and civilians, would the US condone it? Hell no! The Feds would take action immediately!

What would happen if the reverse was true and the Mexicans (or anyone else) started attacking us? It has happened and the reaction was swift. After 9/11, we attacked Afghanistan to get those responsible for the deed.

It was done by the USA way before that when in 1916 General Pershing led a punitive expedition into Mexico to retaliate for Pancho Villa's attack in Columbus, New Mexico.

You still think Israel should stand idle and not respond to attacks on her country?

You should also remember that Israel is a democracy and has many Arab citizens. I rather be an Arab in Israel than a Jew in Lebanon.

If you agree, or don't, please feel free to make informed, civilized comments to this post.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Bush and his pig

Watch this clip and explain to me how anybody can think that Bush isn't retarded. The world is going to pot and all he can talk about is a pig roast?!

(Via Cynical-C)

Link to the video.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Fiat Volpes: Execute Selection in Visual FoxPro IDE

Rick Borup (Fiat Volpes blog) wrote a good post on a basic feature of VFP that may not be readily apparent to beginners and some more experienced Foxpro users. You can always select a piece of code from the program editor, or the Command Box, and execute it while in the IDE. He gives a detailed example with screenshots.

Just be aware that any variables created under the executed code are private to that code and get lost (out of scope and released) when the execution finishes.

Well done.


Thursday, July 13, 2006

Google Click fraud and the problem of authenticating people

Bruce Schneier has wrote an interesting piece about Google's Click fraud and how can you tell it is not a bot repeatedly clicking or several hijacked computers doing it.

It is a tough problem to solve as Google can attest. That is the principle behing CAPTCHAS but they do not solve all problems.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Article: Using Visual FoxPro to create data-centric web pages

Fancy finding an article on Visual FoxPro on a Visual Basic.NET site. Using Visual FoxPro to create data-centric web pages, by Jayaram Krishnaswamy is published in ASPFree .com

It shows an example, full with step-by-step screenshots of how to export an MS Access table to VFP and using the VFP wizards to easily create a web page.

You can even vote on on how you liked it. It's always good to see more exposure!

(Via Craig Bailey)

Monday, July 10, 2006

My blog is 2 years old this week!

This blog is 2 years old this week.

I started in July 2004. It seems like yesterday.

Happy Birthday!

The Big Religion Chart

This is a very interesting comparison chart.

The ReligionFacts Big Religion Chart is an attempt to summarize all the complexities of religions and belief systems into tiny little boxes on a single, quick-reference comparison chart. As we always warn with our comparison charts, this is no substitute for reading about religions in greater detail. But this religion comparison chart can (hopefully) be a useful and accessible way to "get the gist" of some unfamiliar groups and compare basic beliefs and practices of the world's religions.

Today is Nikola Tesla's birthday. Let's celebrate!

Today is Nikola Tesla's birthday. Here's a ton of links on everything Tesla.

He was an outstanding inventor and one of the great minds of the 20th Century. There are an amazing number of technologies in current use that owe a thanks to him for.

When you look at an AC outlet today, give him a thank you.

(Via Pharyngula)

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Italy's World Champion!

Finally the 2006 World Cup is over. Italy has won over France in penalty shootout. It is a pity that it has to come to PKs but the game has to end at some point so the rule is fair.

The final game was not great and it was marred by Zidane's stupid and unsportmansly conduct and ejection.

There were better games such as Argentina-Mexico, maybe the best of the Cup but in any case it was a great Cup, very well organized and thoroughly enjoyable. I am sorry my team - Argentina - did not get to the final but I am happy for the Azzurri. They did a great job!

Now we have to wait another four years for the greatest sports spectacle on Earth.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Bush Pilot: A good explanation as any

The Germans have the answer to why GWB acts the way you see on TV. Now we know.

What's the difference between a pope and a frill-necked lizard?

Not much except the lizard looks less scary and more natural. Pope Ratzo certainly looks goulish enough.

Hooked on "The 4400"

I seldom watch network TV preferring to rent videos every so often. I had never heard of the series The 4400 on USA Network until Netflix recommended it as something I might like. I read the excerpt and decided to give it a try then rented the first DVD with the pilot episode and immediately got hooked.

The premise is that 4400 people got abducted by some kind of aliens or something (not explained until later). The abductions took place at different times from 1946 until 2001. Then one day all of them get returned to Seattle in a ball of light (seemingly a comet that comes to Earth). Time has not passed for them and they are all confused, not knowing what happened. Some of them start showing signs of special abnormal abilities, most of them for the good. The show is written and produced by some of the screen writers and creators of Star Trek TNG and Deep Space 9, René Echevarría and Ira Steven Behr. Ira was the main mind behind the development of the Ferengi race and the creator of the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition.

Even though it is Science Fiction it does not have many special effects or green alien monsters. Instead it deals with human relations, racism, religion, government's the power grab on the name of security and many issues we live through in the world after 9/11.

In the last two weeks I saw all the first and second seasons. They are now on their third season and I'll have to wait until they start repeating or until it comes out on DVD later in the year as this is certainly a show you'd want to see in sequence.

If you like well-written science fiction you should definitely give this one a try.

Lewis Black on Santorum’s Folly

A week old now but the bit by Lewis Black on Jon Stewart's program about that moron Senator Rick Santorum having "found" WMDs is very funny.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Doug Hennig's sample code on SQLXMLBulkLoad. Great stuff!

Excellent example from Doug Hennig who's working on a better way to upload data to SQL Server in bulk, or as Bob Archer puts it: "A VFP Upsizing Wizard that actually works".

Doug shows the use of SQLXMLBulkLoad, finally a good way to automate uploads through COM.
Basic requirements are to have the SOAP Toolkit and the SQL Server Client Tools. It is easy to use as Doug shows and it sure beats shelling out to bcp.

Well done Doug!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Still crazy about FS2004

I never get enough of simming in Microsoft's Flight Simulator 2004. It is such a wonderful and realistic simulation with a huge community of dedicated hobbyists creating more planes and sceneries of real airports and areas around the world.

A bunch of us get together and fly online in real rtime with plane-to-plane communication via voice-over-IP. It is fun, free and wonderful. What else would you want for a rainy afternoon!

Here are some recent screenshots by some of my fellow enthusiasts. Take a look.

American Airlines B757

Long Nose Dora

Qantas B767

Kansai Intl. Airport (Japan)

Hapag-Lloyd B737 Salzburg to Madeira

Alaska - DeHavilland Beaver amphibian - cargo run

Howard 500 over the Swiss Alps

SU27 and P51

(above picture of Howard 500 was taken by LucysJohn)

Foxpro alive at Tech-Ed's Press Room

As Craig points out, Visual FoxPro was mentioned time and again by Mary Jo Foley and other people in Tech-Ed's Press Room.

The Fox lives on as it is still is the best desktop-database and object oriented RAD development system out there. At Tech -Ed 2006 there were a couple of people sporting Fox T-shirts.

Surely you hear more from the PR machine about Java, C# or other more sexy languages but there are countless Fox programs and developers toiling away daily in every country oin the world.

Just look at the TIOBE ratings (admittedly not very scientific) but it gives you an idea that VFP is out there as it is still in TIOBE's "A" list as of July 2006.