Japan’s Broadband Success vs. US’s ahem…

Here is a great blog posting on why Japan has better, faster and cheaper broadband access compared to the US.

Student’s Rival Fan’s Stadium Prank

A high school student who tricked football fans from a crosstown rival into holding up signs that together spelled out, “We Suck,” was suspended for the prank, students said… (source: Seattle PI)

This is not just ingenious but also really hilarious! Check out the video of the prank, posted on youtube.com, from planning to execution. Too bad the schools seem to have lost their sense of humor.

Bizarre Meets Apathy Meets Discrimination

How bizarre is this world of ours? On one hand, Leona Helmsley dies, leaving $12 million to her dog... while right now in India, the lower caste people, the Dalits’ are all but ignored in the food and aid distribution process simply because of their status in the caste hierarchy. What’s even more sad about the India situation is that the members of the musahar caste, one of the lowest of the low, are so used to being marginalized for so long that they don’t even protest the lack of aid….

One disturbing part of the letter from India article is the police man who is accused of throwing Chandani Kumari, 6, and Kamali Kumari, 13, into a river where they drowned, only suspended and made to pay the girls parents 100,000 rupees or $2,400. He should have been charged at the very least for manslaughter! But that seems to be the way justice seems to roll for the poor, the marginalized, the downtrodden…

CMS Development Progress Report

I have been neglecting my personal web development for a while now simply due to work pressures and other commitments… but now that I am picking it up, I thought it would be nice to keep an open blog of my progress as I go along. There are a number of reasons for this based on the fact that I am completely revamping the simple Content Management System I build for the Nubian Underground website.

These reasons include;

  1. Since I last completed Nubian Underground’s CMS, PHP 5 was released. This release included major improvements and better object-oriented features
  2. MySQL 5 was released. The most significant feature of this release, at least for me, was the support for Stored Procedures and functions
  3. The XHTML code behind the current version of Nubian Underground is not clean enough and there is not a proper separation of the presentation layer, the data layer and the business logic
  4. There is no real database support as I had originally envisioned

For this reasons I felt it was high time that I completely revamped and built from the ground up, the next version of Nubian Underground.

The aim of this project is to build a CMS that is not only robust, but would also closely follow the Model-View-Controller design pattern, would be versatile in terms of allowing users to easily customize the look and feel, and also to enable site admins to use a wider array of data sources for the site content. Additionally, the CMS should easily present its output to both regular browsers and mobile devices, should easily allow for certain content to be made available to specific users, for example to paid subscribers. Finally, this CMS will also expose a number of web services to enable content sharing and monetization.

Those are the reasons why I am rebuilding the CMS.

Now the reason I plan to blog about my progress is because I intent to share with you, the lessons learned as I go along, including code snippets and the like. At the same time I would also like to get feedback from you with regards to my approach and things that I can improve… I mean, isn’t that one of the reason the web was created, for the Universities to share research and ideas?

CMS Development… My Progress Reports…

I have been neglecting my personal web development for a while now simply due to work pressures and other commitments… but now that I am picking it up, I thought it would be nice to keep an open blog of my progress as I go along. There are a number of reasons for this based on the fact that I am completely revamping the simple Content Management System I build for the Nubian Underground website.

These reasons include;

  1. Since I last completed Nubian Underground’s CMS, PHP 5 was released. This release included major improvements and better object-oriented features
  2. MySQL 5 was released. The most significant feature of this release, at least for me, was the support for Stored Procedures and functions
  3. The XHTML code behind the current version of Nubian Underground is not clean enough and there is not a proper separation of the presentation layer, the data layer and the business logic
  4. There is no real database support as I had originally envisioned

For this reasons I felt it was high time that I completely revamped and built from the ground up, the next version of Nubian Underground.

The aim of this project is to build a CMS that is not only robust, but would also closely follow the Model-View-Controller design pattern, would be versatile in terms of allowing users to easily customize the look and feel, and also to enable site admins to use a wider array of data sources for the site content. Additionally, the CMS should easily present its output to both regular browsers and mobile devices, should easily allow for certain content to be made available to specific users, for example to paid subscribers. Finally, this CMS will also expose a number of web services to enable content sharing and monetization.

Those are the reasons why I am rebuilding the CMS.

Now the reason I plan to blog about my progress is because I intent to share with you, the lessons learned as I go along, including code snippets and the like. At the same time I would also like to get feedback from you with regards to my approach and things that I can improve… I mean, isn’t that one of the reason the web was created, for the Universities to share research and ideas?

You’re Gonna Love This Loan, Trust Me!

When your mortgage broker tells you, “You’re gonna love this loan, trust me…” then you know its time to drop everything and get a new broker.

The San Fransisco Gate is running an article where they talked to individuals, couples and families that have directly been affected by the sub-prime mortgage lending mess that has started to unravel.

I have always been against the idea that people should by houses simply because “everyone is doing it”. It is especially hard here in the US because many have been sold the idea of the American Dream, you know, the house, the 2.5 kids, a dog, a cat and a couple of SUVs, blah, blah, blah,… Unfortunately many who had no business buying a house did so. What I find even more astounding are those who already had 30-year fixed mortgages WHO THEN REFINANCED TO 2 YEAR ADJUSTABLE MORTGAGES TO PAY FOR SUVs! Now they are waiting foreclosure.

Apparently, there are going to be an estimated 2.2 million sub-prime loans that are expected to end in foreclosures. That is an incredible number!

CMS Development My Progress Reports

I have been neglecting my personal web development for a while now simply due to work pressures and other commitments… but now that I am picking it up, I thought it would be nice to keep an open blog of my progress as I go along. There are a number of reasons for this based on the fact that I am completely revamping the simple Content Management System I build for the Nubian Underground website.

These reasons include;

  1. Since I last completed Nubian Underground’s CMS, PHP 5 was released. This release included major improvements and better object-oriented features
  2. MySQL 5 was released. The most significant feature of this release, at least for me, was the support for Stored Procedures and functions
  3. The XHTML code behind the current version of Nubian Underground is not clean enough and there is not a proper separation of the presentation layer, the data layer and the business logic
  4. There is no real database support as I had originally envisioned

For this reasons I felt it was high time that I completely revamped and built from the ground up, the next version of Nubian Underground.

The aim of this project is to build a CMS that is not only robust, but would also closely follow the Model-View-Controller design pattern, would be versatile in terms of allowing users to easily customize the look and feel, and also to enable site admins to use a wider array of data sources for the site content. Additionally, the CMS should easily present its output to both regular browsers and mobile devices, should easily allow for certain content to be made available to specific users, for example to paid subscribers. Finally, this CMS will also expose a number of web services to enable content sharing and monetization.

Those are the reasons why I am rebuilding the CMS.

Now the reason I plan to blog about my progress is because I intent to share with you, the lessons learned as I go along, including code snippets and the like. At the same time I would also like to get feedback from you with regards to my approach and things that I can improve… I mean, isn’t that one of the reason the web was created, for the Universities to share research and ideas?

Two Pit bulls and a Terrier… or a Snapshot of Our World Today

“Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”
Mat 24:12-13

A few days ago, a disabled woman sleeping in her own bed was attacked and badly mauled by two pit bulls. She finally was able to break away from the dogs, locked herself in the car and called the police. In the meantime, a neighbour’s Jack Russel Terrier that heard the noise of the attack went into the house, was attacked by the pit bulls and killed. Apparently, the woman also had a service dog, but it was not injured…

So what’s the point of this narrative? This story to me is an analogy of our world today. The disabled woman represents the ordinary everyday people around the world who are tend to be defenseless in the face of attack. The pit bulls are the thugs, murderers, the violent people who tend to pick on those who cannot defend themselves. In addition, they tend to work in packs, hence they have this false sense of machismo. The Terrier is the few brave people, who despite the obvious danger to themselves, stand-up to help, protest and protect those among us that are defenseless and oppressed. Such people are not necessarily those that stand out because they are the biggest in physical size, though in heart they are giants among us…

The link above is the original version of the story when it first came out. Here is a slightly different version of the story where the victim claims that the Terrier was sleeping on her bed when the dogs attacked.

I am not sure which of the two versions is the accurate, but the main point to me is the fact that you have these two pit bulls running around in packs and attacking defenseless people…. I think that analogy still runs true with regards to the way our world today is getting more and more violent, and not even violent for any reason, but simply violent for the sake of violence…

China In Africa… Africa Wins, Africa Loses…

The New York Times is running an article on China’s economic effects on Africa’s own economy. It is an interesting but not surprising to read that the fact that China is able to produce goods cheaper than African industry and export back to Africa, resulting in the closing of several textile factories is really not a surprise.

The fact that Chinese goods are taking over many markets around the world should not surprise anyone at all. India, in addition to China, has been blamed for the loss of both white and blue color jobs in many countries in the West, and that is likely to continue. As person in the article basically indicates, China is simply doing what it should, competing in the global economy.

What is rather surprising to me is the attitude of some of the Africans blaming China for the loss of jobs and income. On one hand I think that is tragic, but on the other hand, I think we are seeing the continued result of a continent and peoples, who have long become more used to receiving handouts rather than learning how to compete, how to develop its resources including human resources to become self sufficient and less reliant on handouts. How can Africa really expect to compete when it has refused to put in place the infrastructure that would provide the environment to foster economic progress. I am talking about education, health, security and policies that encourage the growth and development of business. I am talking about roads, bridges, rail, electricity, phone and internet.

The saddest and most pathetic part of all this is that Africa has been blessed with a lot of natural resources. Even as much was was taken or exploited during the colonial times, there still remains an abundance of natural resources. Yet, Africa remains the poorest of the continents. And not just the poorest, but way, way behind the others.

I think the statement by Moeletsi Mbeki, a South African entrepreneur and a political analyst …. sums it up nicely… most of Africa has has 35 to 50 years of independence and have not developed any manufacturing… I would actually venture to say instead that most of Africa has been independent for 35 to 50 years and has nothing to show for it! That I think that, is pretty sad

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