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My twitter Updates









Miss Universe 2005 crowned

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Miss Canada, Natalie Glebova, was crowned Miss Universe in a finale broadcast around the world and watched by an estimated one billion people(!)

Glebova, 23, who was born in Russia but emigrated to Toronto as a young girl, won the beauty pageant ahead of Puerto Rico's Cynthia Olavarria, who was first runner-up.

Earlier today, 15 semifinalists competed first in a glamour evening gown competition before they were whittled down to 10 contestants, who paraded in swimsuits.

The final five then faced a live interview session to determine the new Miss Universe.

The five finalists were Canada's Glebova, Miss Dominican Republic Renata Sone, Miss Mexico Laura Elizondo, Miss Puerto Rico Cynthia Olavarria and Miss Venezuela Monica Spear.

Winners of the three other awards were:

Best National Dress: Miss Thailand, Chananporn Rosjan
Miss Photogenic: Miss Philippines, Gionna Cabrera
Miss Congeniality: Miss US Virgin Islands, Tricia Homer.
posted by Ivan Choe, 4:43 pm | link | 2 comments |

Lesson for the Day: Getting that Job

It's been awhile since I've posted anything on Lesson for the Day. :) Here's a one.

A businessman was interviewing applicants for the position of divisional manager. He devised a simple test to select the most suitable person for the job.

He asked each applicant the question, "What is two and two?"

The first applicant was a journalist. His answer was "twenty-two."

The second applicant was an engineer. He pulled out a calculator and showed the answer to be between 3.999 and 4.001.

The next person was a lawyer. He stated that in the case of Jenkins v. Commr of Stamp Duties (Qld), two and two was proven to be four.

The last applicant was an accountant. The business man asked him, "How much is two and two?"

The accountant got up from his chair, went over to the door, closed it then came back and sat down. He leaned across the desk and said in a low voice,

"How much do you want it to be?"

He got the job.
posted by Ivan Choe, 11:09 am | link | 1 comments |

F1: Kimi's Heroic Failure!

Monday, May 30, 2005

My heart sank when I watched Kimi’s right-front tyre let go and ripped off the entire right-front suspension, pitching him off the road at high speed... with ONE more lap to go. What a waste!

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The Finn's retirement enabled Alonso to snatch victory and increase his World Championship lead to a mammoth 32 points. BMW's Heidfeld was promoted to his second runner-up finish, while Barrichello, scored Ferrari’s best finish since Imola by coming home third.

So, why didn't the team bring in Kimi and settle for 3rd or 4th? Some points are better than no points right?

According to Ron Dennis (McLaren Head)... “look at the tyre, it’s not going to make it, settle for 3rd or 4th”. It would have been the dull thing to do, the long-term thing to do, the safe thing to do. Ferrari would probably have done it.

McLaren gambled and lost. Oh well... we almost pulled it off! What a victory that WOULD have been. As it was, Kimi did astonishingly well to keep his car ahead for as long as he did. No question that he created his own problems, but even so, a heroic failure.
posted by Ivan Choe, 11:15 am | link | 3 comments |

Friday, May 27, 2005

0_0
posted by Ivan Choe, 8:30 am | link | 0 comments |

Hilarious Sign Board

This sign board is interesting...

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Not only will you have to pay for your funeral, you'll have to pay the fine as well... How are you gonna do that?! haha..

:P
posted by Ivan Choe, 12:31 am | link | 2 comments |

Liverpool, what a comeback!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

What a match! This morning Liverpool defeated AC Milan for the Champions League trophy. Liverpool came from 3 goals down to equalize in full time. After a goaless extra time, it all came down to the penalties and Liverpool took the prestigious cup by winning 3-2 on penalties. What a comeback!

What an interesting journey for Liverpool... they overcome the odds to beat Juventus, Chelsea and AC Milan to win the trophy. Looks like the Liverpool side that had finished just fifth in the English Premier League defied their underdog status once again.

So... after a 21-year absence, Liverpool are back at the pinnacle of European football. I am sure UEFA cannot stop them defending a trophy won with this much drama and determination...
posted by Ivan Choe, 10:47 am | link | 4 comments |

American Idol: And the winner is...

Carrie Underwood, the country gal who captivated the American television audience with her strong voice and bright smile, is this years' American Idol. She upset favourite Bo Bice the Southern rocker in the show's finale this morning. The Oklahoma native received more viewer votes than runner-up Bice, of Alabama, after yesterday's final round, snaring the title and a record contract. (I WANT A RECOUNT OF THE VOTES!) :P

Refering to my previous post, my money was on Bo but during the finale, Carrie's performance was outstanding and like what Simon said, "...you've done enough to win this competition." I reckon regardless of the loss, Bo will still get a recording contract and will definitely be a bigger hit than Carrie. Just like Clay Aiken vs Ruben Stordard.
posted by Ivan Choe, 10:22 am | link | 2 comments |

Top 5 Rejected Names for TV3's Mentor

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

According to TV3, Mentor is another a talent search show that aims to unearth a new generation of talented singers.

What makes this reality show different? Mentor is different as it involves the mentor’s participation. They get to compete against each other as well. They can speak up on behalf of their protégé when the jury passes remarks about their performance. The pre-selected mentors are Siti Nurhaliza, Zainal Abidin, Nora, Noraniza Idris, Liza Hanim, Hattan, Ning Baizura and Cat of Ruffedge.

I just wanna say that the talents in Mentor are not as good as those from the popular AF or Malaysian Idol (due out end of this week). Nonetheless, it's a resonable entree before the meal. :)

Here are the Top 5 rejected names for the show:

5. TV3 Idol
4. Mental
3. Murid
2. Master
and...
1. Torment
posted by Ivan Choe, 1:18 pm | link | 0 comments |

EPL: Where's Fergie?

The latest news is... Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson intends to stay in charge at Old Trafford for another two more years (!) - and then retire for good.

Sigh.. I dunno man. Hopefully he'll bring the glory days back to Old Trafford in the 2005/06 season. Else new owner, Malcolm Glazer will start a new reality series called The Manager and the losing team will meet him in the board room where someone is gonna get fired. :P

Here's my final poke on stupid Man Utd this season. Remember the game Where's Waldo?, where you have to find Waldo hidden somewhere in a picture? Here's something new called...

Where's Fergie?

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Can't find him? Obviously... it's the wrong team. :P
posted by Ivan Choe, 1:07 am | link | 0 comments |

Madagascar's Penguin uses the Force

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

DreamWorks sent out the following flyers to all studios last week which the guys at theforce.net posted on their website. On May 18th, DreamWorks hosted the special screening of Revenge of the Sith in a swap with the upcoming animation Madagascar.
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posted by Ivan Choe, 12:15 pm | link | 0 comments |

F1: Two in a row for Kimi

Monday, May 23, 2005

It's two in a row for Kimi Raikkonen! A stellar drive from the Finn saw him take the win at Monaco. Once again, he practically dominated the entire weekend... from qualifying all the way to the chequred flag. I guess the Ice Age is finally here. :)

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As the Finn dominated, Williams stars Nick Heidfeld and Mark Webber fought through to the podium. It's Webber's first podium and Heidfeld best ever finish. Kudos guys!

Meanwhile, defending champ Schumi managed a 7th position. A reasonable result I reckon as reds have been struggling all weekend trying to get more pace out of the car.

Muahahaha! Look at the Drivers' World Championship points;

1 F Alonso (Spa) 49
2 K Raikkonen (Fin) 27
3 J Trulli (Ita) 26
4 M Webber (Aus) 18
5= R Schumacher (Ger) 17
5= N Heidfeld (Ger) 17
7= G Fisichella (Ita) 14
7= JP Montoya (Col) 14
9 M Schumacher (Ger) 12
10 D Coulthard (GB) 10
11 R Barrichello (Bra) 9
12 A Wurz (Aut) 6
13 J Villeneuve (Can) 5
14 P de la Rosa (Spa) 4
15 C Klien (Aut) 3
16 F Massa (Bra) 2
17 V Liuzzi (Ita) 1

Looks like Coulthard is giving Schumi some tough fights. ;) hehe
posted by Ivan Choe, 12:38 am | link | 6 comments |

Mini Movie Review: Revenge of the Sith

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Finally managed to catch Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith yesterday and I would say, it's much better than the second episode and the visuals were fantastic! It lived up to the hype and this final piece of the jig-saw fit nicely to the big picture. What a fitting end to the Saga of all Sagas'. I won't be doing my usual movie review this time round as there are so many out there in the blogsphere anyways.

Moreover regardless of the reviews, everyone will be watching it... it's Star Wars! :) IMHO, this film is the best of the prequel trilogy and 3rd in my list of Star Wars films... after Return of the Jedi and Empire Strikes Back. This film lacks the fun factor that the original trilogy and the Phantom Menace has.

Ratings (Scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the highest)

Cast : 4
Sound : 4.5
Picture : 5
Storyline: 4

OVERALL : 4.4
posted by Ivan Choe, 6:48 pm | link | 0 comments |

No silverware for Man Utd this season!

Looks like there will be no silverware for stupid Man Utd this year after they lost out to Arsenal in the penalty shoot-out of the English FA Cup finals. What a miserable season!

In last night's game, Arsenal became the first team to win the FA Cup on penalties. Captain, Patrick Vieira scored the decisive kick after goalkeeper Jens Lehmann had saved Scholes' spot kick to finish the Man Utd dominated clash. Antonio Reyes was sent off, Rooney and Ruud van Nistelrooy had their chances but both hit the post and Rio Ferdinand had a goal disallowed. Looks like stupid Man Utd paid dearly for not taking their failing to take their chances.

I guess this is one season that Mr. Fungus-san Ferguson would like to forget... 3rd in the table, no cups and a $%^&* new owner. sigh... Like I say every year, Maybe next season. :P

With Arsenal winning the FA Cup, the English Premier League season 2004/2005 comes to a conclusion. My fantasy football team did reasonably well and it could have been better IF I did not miss ONE week. sighs...

Sentinels

Points: 4130.51
Overall Rank: 210
Percentile: 99th
posted by Ivan Choe, 6:31 pm | link | 0 comments |

American Idol: Down to the final two

Friday, May 20, 2005

It's down to the final two on American Idol. As expected, it'll be Bo vs Carrie! What an incredible season it has been. I reckon, yesterdays' episode was one of the best I've seen on the American Idol franchise. Someone needed to step up with this season's answer to Fantasia's show-stopping "Summertime," and Bo did just that — but topped it tenfold with his goosebumps-inducing a capella rendition of Badlands' "In a Dream."

Simon Cowell delivered one of his best lines of the season after "In a Dream": "You may have just put 34 musicians out of work." And our fave Paula seemed back to normal. Here's the interesting thing, according to Seacrest, there is just over 1% separating each contestant... how close can that be? Nonetheless, someone have to go and Vonzell was voted out. Since she made the top 3, I am sure she'll get a recording contract.

IMHO, Carrie's lucky to be in the finale. However to beat Bo, she's going to need a miracle.

Here's my take... Bo Bice will be the next American Idol. Bo not only gave the performance of the season yesterday, he gave arguably the second and third best, and all of the songs were completely different. He's got versatility, personality and on top of that, he seems genuinely humble. Ok... check out Simon's posting for another explanation.
posted by Ivan Choe, 1:17 am | link | 2 comments |

What to wear during Star Wars Premier

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Funny Foxtrot comic strips...

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posted by Ivan Choe, 12:22 pm | link | 2 comments |

Why Anakin turned to the Dark Side

LOL... this is funny..!

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posted by Ivan Choe, 12:42 am | link | 4 comments |

Star Wars: Revenge of the Brick

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith will be officially released tomorrow, worldwide! Until then, check out Star Wars: Revenge of the Brick!

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Yup, it's a 5 minutes CGI movie made out of Lego bricks based loosely on Episode III. It's rather hilarious (especially the Clone Trooper Orchestra led by Darth Vader) and cute at the same time.

Check it out here! Note that the movie is 12mb. So, if you're not using broadband and just using a normal phone dial-up... it's gonna take quite awhile. :P

Enjoy!
posted by Ivan Choe, 12:24 am | link | 2 comments |

Incredible! Eye Test

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

I got this via email and I reckon this is rather interesting. This test will certainly blow you mind. Remember... don't cheat!

Rule: Count the number of 'F's in the following text:

FINISHED FILES ARE THE RE-
SULT OF YEARS OF SCIENTIF-
IC STUDY COMBINED WITH THE
EXPERIENCE OF YEARS

Easy huh? So how many did you get? Highlight the paragraph below for the answer.

Three? Four?

Wrong, there are six - no joke!

Read again!

FINISHED FILES ARE THE RE-
SULT OF YEARS OF SCIENTIF-
IC STUDY COMBINED WITH THE
EXPERIENCE OF YEARS

The reason? The brain cannot process the word "OF".

Anyone who counts all six 'F' on the first go is a genius, Three is normal.

Incredible!
posted by Ivan Choe, 12:59 am | link | 4 comments |

Scary Story...

Monday, May 16, 2005

Ahhh.. Monday! It's gonna be a boring 2++ months with the conclusion of the English Premier League. What a season! Chelsea's first win in 50 years and at expense of relegated sides; Southampton, Norwich City and Crystal Palace... West Brom became the first side in Premiership history to avoid the drop after being in last place at Christmas. Since it's a lousy season again so far for me being a Man Utd fan, I am gonna tell you a scary story for a change...

The story takes place during the 7th month of the Chinese lunar calendar and revolved around a young lad named Sam. At that time, Sam was working as a general worker in a small company located at Tuas, Singapore. During one particular period, Sam's company was requested to work OT in order to meet an urgent deadline. By the time everything was done, it was already past midnight and Sam was the last person left in the office. He was wondering whether there were still any bus services at this hour. He decided to try his luck and quickly packed, locked up the office and ran towards the bus stop.

The bus stop was situated by a small narrow road with dense forestation surrounding the area. Sam waited for about 20 minutes and was about to make his way to the main road to catch a cab when a double deck bus appeared from nowhere. He hesitantly waved it down, boarded the bus and the only person he saw on the bus was a frail ghastly looking old woman. The old woman was dressed in white samfoo and black pant, attire favoured by maids in those early days. Sam felt uneasy upon seeing her and was about to go up to the upper deck when a voice ranged out in Cantonese, "Young man, don't go upstairs. Upstairs dangerous." It was the old woman. Her comment sent a chill down Sam's spine and he figured that the upper deck might be "dirty". He decided to heed the old woman's advice and grab a seat at the lower deck even though he felt uncomfortable by her presence. It was an agonizing 20 minutes journey before Sam reached his stop. He quickly alighted and turned to steal a quick glance at the old woman, who seated right back at him by the window. Sam hastened his pace and was fortunate to reach home safely.

The next day, Sam was requested to work OT and ended up being the last person in the office again. It was already past midnight and Sam was contemplating whether to take a cab home but decided against it in the end as he was short of cash. So he made his way to the bus stop again and after about 20 minutes, the same double deck bus appeared.

Sam boarded the bus and saw the same old woman again. He decided to go to the upper deck again when the old woman called out to him, "Young man, don't go upstairs. Upstairs dangerous." Even though, he heard it before, he still felt a certain fear inside him since it's the 7th month. To be on the safe side, he reluctantly took a seat on the lower deck and reached home without any incident.

The third day, Sam was asked to do OT again. By now he was worried as he didn't want to repeat the same process again. But he obliged nevertheless since it's his livelihood. Again, he was the last person in the office and he made the same journey to the bus stop. This time, checking his back occasionally as he walked.

The double deck bus arrived, he boarded it and saw the same old woman again. As he proceeded to go upstairs, the old woman warned him again, "Young man, don't go upstairs. Upstairs dangerous." Sam was fed up with the old woman and being rebbelious, he decides to go upstairs. He saw no one else when he reached the upper deck and slowly made his way to the back of the bus and sat down.

Sam's heart began pounding away as he waited anxiously for something to happen. After 30 minutes, nothing happens, Sam went downstairs to confront the old woman and asked her why she kept saying it's dangerous upstairs.

The old woman turned, stared at him and replied, "Young man, don't go upstairs. Upstairs dangerous. Upstairs got no bus driver."

:P
posted by Ivan Choe, 12:53 am | link | 2 comments |

Star Trek: Enterprise - These are The Voyages

Sunday, May 15, 2005

I just watched the series finale of Star Trek: Enterprise.

Enterprise signs off after posting record-low ratings for the series and the franchise. Heading into the finale, the four-year-old UPN series has averaged 2.7 million viewers... not too bad I would say, but I guess the ppl at UPN wanted something that can generate more revenue. :P

Meanwhile, the Trek universe doesn't look any brighter. There's no new series in the offing and no new movie in the can. Thus, for the first time since the late-70s, there will be no new Trek episodes on air.

For me, I was drawn into the world of Star Trek when Patrick Stewart voiced over these words, "Space. The final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before."

It was probably in the early 90s when TV3 (new station at that time) brought the Next Generation into Malaysia. Thus for an hour, I was drawn into an utopian universe full of adventure, possibility and promises of a better, kinder tomorrow.

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The latest franchise, Star Trek: Enterprise has its ups and downs. When it premiered, IMHO it was the best first season since The Original Series, it held unlimited promise. Then everything fell apart in season 2. It was like a torture watching the series. However, a season long arc helped the third season improve, and when season four arrived, with a new showrunner, it was terrific!

Finally, comes the series finale, ‘These Are The Voyages…’ For me, it's a dissapointing end to the series... it's told in a third-person prespective, like a re-creation of history. Seriously, the story was good, but the way the writers tell the story is utter !$%^&* rubbish. Oh well, after all the trouble building up a great fourth season, everything fell apart in the finale. Sad, but after watching the finale... I'm glad it's finally over.
posted by Ivan Choe, 6:04 pm | link | 1 comments |

Beautiful: Like vs Love

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Here's something beautiful for a personal special day. :)

In front of the person you like, your heart beats faster.
But in front of the person you love, you get happy.

But in front of the person you like, winter is just beautiful winter.
In front of the person you love, winter seems like spring.

If you look into the eyes of the one you like, you blush.
But if you look into the eyes of the one you love, you smile.

In front of the person you like, you can't say everything on your mind.
But in front of the person you love, you can.

In front of the person you like, you tend to get shy.
But in front of the person you love, you can show your own self.

You can't look straight into the eyes of the one you like.
But you can always smile and stare into the eyes of the one you love.

When the one you like is crying, you end up comforting.
But when the one you love is crying, you cry with them.

The feeling of like starts from the ear.
But the feeling of love starts from the eye.

So if you stop liking a person you used to like, all you need to do is cover your ears.
But if you try to close your eyes, love turns into a drop of tear and remains in your heart forever......
posted by Ivan Choe, 1:27 am | link | 0 comments |

Movie Review: Kingdom of Heaven

Friday, May 13, 2005

Ahh... another Hollywood epic. They seem to be getting popular nowadays and progresively, the armies are getting larger and the story, getting worse. Since I am a fan of large-scale battles, I'm not complaining. :) Hence, when I saw the trailer for Kingdom of Heaven a couple of months ago, I said to myself, this is a must watch. And as usual, here's my take on the movie.

The movie begins in 1186 France and charts the fortunes of Balian (played by Orlando Bloom) a young blacksmith mourning the death of his wife and child. Balian was taken aback when knight, Godfrey of Ibelin (played by Liam Neeson) shows up and claims to be the father he never knew. Godfrey then tempts Balian to accompany him to Jerusalem, then the centre of the known world. After a treacherous journey, Balian is knighted and charged with protecting the king and the lands of his father. Oh, and there's the small matter of a battle-hardened army led by Saladin, who is determined to regain the city of Jerusalem. That is where the fun begin.

The story is based on some of the 12th century Christian crusades to take Jerusalem and its holy places from Muslim rule. I reckon, it's a really good setting for an epic and the plot of the movie does sound promising. The story took off slowly by introducing the characters one-by-one and the situation at hand. It did pretty well in the first 30 mins and things start to move quickly and tend to be confusing. Nonetheless, the writers managed to keep the story straight and simple (doesn't involve much thinking). Unfortunately on another level, the story fails to engage emotionally. The romance between Balian and Sibylla somehow feels empty and the character developement is all over the place. IMHO, the writers want to develop a bit of each and every character and because of that the audience just don't get the feeling for the characters unlike those in LOTR.

Orlando Bloom gave a routine performance and did nothing exceptional to create a believable and worthy lead. I reckon he has trouble playing parts which requires him to convey the emotional intensity. Besides that, the more experienced supporting casts- Jeremy Irons, David Thewlis, Brendan Gleeson and Liam Neeson did a more memorable job compared to Bloom. The only thing is that these actors are given so little in each scene and to rely so much on an inexperienced actor such as Bloom to carry the movie is a mistake. If only another actor besides Bloom were at the center of the film.

For me, the visuals saved the movie. Fortunately, the overall visual design adds authenticity to the images. Despite being shot in Spain and Morocco, the movie does a fantastic job of recreating the cosmopolitan Jerusalem. Like Gladiator director Ridley Scott tend to be a bit heavy handed on the production design (as his obssesion for countryside scenes where snow and/or ash chokes the air). Nonetheless, the film captures the feel of the Middle Ages better than most epics. The action in Kingdom of Heaven is a sight to behold, the battle sequences are simply breathtaking. When you see the massive armies it'll your breath away, and not forgetting the siege... it's truly magnificent and majestic. However, the battle wound inflicted are really bloody and I'm really surprised that the M'sian censorship board approved it.

Overall, an entertaining outing for me although I reckon they could've done much better with the story and the selection for the lead role. I reckon most ladies won't be complaining about Orlando Bloom. I really enjoyed this epic compared to King Arthur, Troy and Alexander which are all so tedious to watch. So if you're into large battle field battles and/or Orlando Bloom, don't miss this. If you want romantic comedy give this a miss. :P

Ratings (Scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the highest)

Cast : 3
Sound : 4
Picture : 4
Storyline: 2.5

OVERALL : 3.4
posted by Ivan Choe, 2:06 am | link | 0 comments |

Advance Ticket Sale for Star Wars Episode III

Thursday, May 12, 2005

I just got back from watching Kingdom of Heaven in TGV 1 Utama and while purchasing the ticket for the movie, I've noticed that TGV has started selling advance tickets for May 19's screening for Star Wars: Episode III. Yup.. looks like we don't have to camp out in-front of the cinemas' like the hard-core Jedi's in the US.

It seems yesterday was the first day the cinema release the tickets for sale and I asked the guy behind the counter, how was the response, it seems that all shows for the first day are already 50% full (purchased). So, if you wanna catch the end of the saga on the first day, go get you tix now to avoid disappointed. (duh!)

I've noticed that GSC MidValley increased the admission rate for Star Wars: Episode III from RM9 to RM11..! Ouch..! Either they are taking advantage of the Force or they hafta pay the lorry driver extra to bring the reel in. :P I am not sure if the rate increase include TGV cinemas'. Anyone can confirm?

anyways for myself, I've won 2 tickets from GSC online for a special screening on the 21st May and won't hafta worry 'bout price increase or sold out tix. :)
posted by Ivan Choe, 6:04 pm | link | 0 comments |

Amazing Race 7 Reaches Finish Line

5 continents, 25 cities, and more than 40,000 miles, The Amazing Race 7 reaches the finish line last night. I would say this has been the best Amazing Race since the first season and according to the ratings, The Amazing Race 7 has drawn at least 12.25 million viewers to its last eight episodes in the US. Wow! This is the first time that the long-running reality franchise has ever done so.

So? what's so great about this season? Probably the inclusion of the Survivor: All Star couple, Rob and Amber did play a part. They are the couple that everyone love to hate. The couple practically dominated the whole race winning 5 out of the 13 legs. Most of their success is due to their abilities and experience in Reality TV (yup.. it helps!). Rob is at once ingenious and insufferable, cunningly evil and completely charming. His behavior and game play earned him the nickname The Robfather on Survivor Marquesas and lost him Survivor All-Stars.

IMHO, Rob practically brought a whole new level to the Amazing Race. After 6 seasons, I have never seen anyone literally grabbing children from a crowd to help push an elephant on wheels, constantly kidnaps recruits locals as guides and coerce convinces them to follow for miles and miles, stole a cab belonging to another team, bribed a bus driver to not open the back door (thereby delaying the teams standing toward the rear of the bus), asked for information and made the source swear that he wouldn’t tell anyone else and of course convince other team to take a task penalty... classic!

If you are watching the show and don't wanna know who won, please skip this part.

I personally do not fancy Rob and Amber in the Amazing Race. For me, they've already won USD1 Million and I reckon that they shouldn't have been in the show in the first place and should've given another couple a chance at the bounty.

However, I am happy how things turned out. Uchenna and Joyce Agu crossed the finish line first! muahahahaha! I was literally at the edge of my seat during the 2-hour finale and I am glad that they won. Things weren't easy for them as they have to come from behind (without any possessions) and had to beg for money in order to travel to certain places to do the tasks. They even had to beg for money to pay for the cab right before the finish line. Dang! If it was me... I'll be running to the finish line first and pay the cabbie later. Anyways, they truly deserved to win this hard-fought race.

Congrats to Uchenna & Joyce and Rob & Amber for a truly entertaining race. Certainly, this season has it all... Intense competition (mostly everyone else vs Rob & Amber), very close finishes, relationship conflicts, allies, back-stabbings, injuries, screw-ups, new game twists, difficult decisions, the classic dress-down brothers at the pit-stop, underdogs and flat tyres (they do blow everytime some one is in a hurry). :)
posted by Ivan Choe, 12:27 am | link | 1 comments |

Stupid Man Utd

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Stupid Man Utd... first it was Norwich City, then WBA... today, it was Chelsea! Man Utd was defeated by Chelsea at home early this morning. The Londoners came to Old Trafford to prove a point and came away with three after a superb second-half performance.

To make it worst, the result also broke two Premiership records for most points (94) and most wins (29), which was previously held by Man Utd. What frustration! The game started brilliantly with Man Utd taking the lead in the seventh minute when Ruud van Nistelrooy scored.

However, Man Utd's lead lasted only ten minutes. Tiago scored a right-foot shot which sailed into the top corner of the net past static Man Utd goalkeeper Roy Carroll. @#$%^

In the 61st minute, Eidur Gudjohnsen made no mistakes and made it 2 for the blues. Eight minutes from time, Chelsea made it 3-1 with Joe Cole brining it home. Sigh..! What a waste of time!

Nonetheless, it was a brilliant game by the visiting team and looks like Jose Mourinho managed to achieve what he wanted this season (minus the Champions League). I would say, Man Utd's nightmarish stupid season continues and I seriously hope they do better than a third position next season and they better win the FA cup to salvage this disastrous season!
posted by Ivan Choe, 11:06 am | link | 0 comments |

Pic: The xbox 360 design

This is a follow-up to my previous post on the xbox 360. Since I'm avid fan of the xbox console, I'm rather excited with news on the xbox 360.

Anyways here it is folks, the actual xbox 360 design! This one is taken by the ppl of xbox365. From the screenshot, the console is accompanied with a new Live headset, controller and camera!

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According to the xbox365, this shot was taken at the recent MTV airing which will reveal the console itself on May 12th. No idea how these guys got this shot off but it's pretty interesting nonetheless.

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Another image of a controller, this time showing the center button.

Here's another interesting spin to the xbox 360. It seems Microsoft was considering the platform as a potential challenger to Apple’s iPod: a game console with a portable storage device that also serves as a music player! If this is true, the explains Microsoft's impending strategy to be more Apple-influenced than expected. If you've noticed, the xbox 360 shots above and below have been widely described as highly Applesque in person, but what’s coming next are the commercials and the spin. Apparently, the xbox 360’s going to be pitched globally as the “must-have” gadget of the year, and its music functionality is going to be a major emphasis of the campaign.

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Here's the hard part, Microsoft plans to sell two versions - one at USD$299 (without portable drive), one at USD$399 with the portable drive - with 80% of the initial consoles being the more expensive one. Ouch! We'll wait for the official news at the debut tomorrow.
posted by Ivan Choe, 12:07 am | link | 1 comments |

iPod mini, what's the big deal?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Everybody's getting it! What's the big deal? That's what I thought about the iPod hype... until I got my own iPod mini over the weekend... a pastel green one. :)

From the moment I opened the box, I was like... wow!. It is so much sexier when viewed in person that you realize none of the pictures you see on the internet or display models do it justice. The iPod mini clearly lives up to its name; it is small (about the size of a business card and half an inch thick) and fits the palm perfectly like a glove. The metallic green aluminum tube-shaped casing feels extremely solid and comfortably cool in the hand. Most of all, it's so light that you might forget that it's in your pocket.

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The iPod is so sleek... there aren’t a lot of buttons or switches. Below the display is an innovative new touch scroll control with four push buttons embedded inside. The Click Wheel can not only be used to scroll through the menus with great accuracy, but it also doubles as the “menu”, “rewind”, “forward”, and “play/pause” buttons when you press down on the four sides of the wheel. It's actually very easy to use.

I've already used up 2.71gb and that's over 500 songs! And upon using the provided earphones, it does live up to my expectation, producing rich, high quality sound for my music. :)

Furthermore, the iPod mini not only works as an mp3 player, but also has other neat features built into its operating software. The extra features include a clock, an alarm clock, a sleep timer, contacts, a calendar, a to-do list, notes, and games. Cool or what?

Anyways, I'm going to continue uploading songs to my 4gb sexy iPod and seriously, now I know why most adults including myselfgo ga-ga over the iPod. Sweet!
posted by Ivan Choe, 12:46 am | link | 3 comments |

F1: Kimi Raikkonen wins Spanish GP!

Monday, May 09, 2005

FINALLY! Kimi Raikkonen stormed to victory in the Spanish GP. This is Kimi's third career win and the first for McLaren this season. It's good to know that MCLaren finally got their act together and somehow managed to overcome their reliability problem.

Kimi led the Spanish GP from start to finish and was 27s ahead of homeboy Fernando Alonso. I am actually quite surprised by Kimi's blistering pace. At one point he was lapping 1s more than anyone on the track. Yikes!

Meanwhile Michael Schumacher's nightmare season continued when he suffered two separate punctures that forced him to retire for the third time this season. Sorry Ferrari fans... I am sure he'll do well again once Bridgestone finds a solution to the tyre-wear problem. ;) hehe.

If Kimi can maintain or improve on his current pace for the rest of the season, I reckon he'll be a serious contender for the Drivers' World Championship title. ;)
posted by Ivan Choe, 12:49 am | link | 0 comments |

Malaysian Idol Audition Day 1

Friday, May 06, 2005

Was walking around Times Square this morning hoping to catch a glimpse of the Malaysian Idol KL audition. Was actually rather surprised by the calmness of the area. They were nothing to indicate the hype of the event.

Anyways, the audition is being held on the 6th level of Times Square and from the looks of it, that's where the registration and waiting room is located. Hopefuls will get their number (currently standing at 11600+) and thus be waiting in that room. From the looks of it, they are divided into a group of 10s and once the group is ready, they are ushered upstairs where they will meet the famous trio (Roslan, Fauziah and Paul),

There were little camera activity on the first day and the place is not too crowded. Since I was hanging around there.., no one came out with the yellow piece of paper. :P I expect the place to be packed and crowded during the weekends, where the main action will take place.

Anyways, if you were about to ask... no I did not go for the audition. hahaha.. If you are going, all the best!

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For the photo album, Click Here!
posted by Ivan Choe, 5:09 pm | link | 0 comments |

Movie Review: xXx2: State of the Union

Did a movie marathon on Wednesday and managed to catch xXx2 and Sahara. Since Sahara has been taken off from the cinema listing, I won't be doing a review on that movie. So, without further ado... here's my take on xXx2.

Somehow, I've nothing much to write about this movie. This is an example of a classic 'no brainer' action movie- style without substance. Practically, the movie starts off with a hit on NSA's secret headquaters by a technologically advance strike team. Barely made it out alive, Agent Gibbons (role reprised by Samuel L. Jackson) wants to find out the reason for the hit. Suspecting a secret faction within the government is involved, he needs to find someone he can trust, thus a new xXx. This lead to a prison break to obtain the service of Darius Stone (played by Ice Cube). After that, it's loud and mindless action all the way to the conclusion.

The plot IMHO is outlandish. It's like something you will only find out of a bad comic book. To make it worst, the dialogues are equally bad. While watching, I wish I had a remote control to fast forward to the end of the movie. Seriously, felt like torture. Furthermore, some actions scenes are so far-fetched that you'll actually laugh at the stupidness of it. :P

The one thing that probably made the movie hold together are the actors. Ice Cube, buffed up just enough to play a prison-hardened agent convincingly. Moreover, he has the right attitude and right expressions to go along with his character. Meanwhile, Jackson with his little on-screen time seem to be enjoying himself and once again Willem Dafoe plays the villain superbly with his no-nonsense attitude. However, I reckon that these two superb actors are under used... too bad, they could've done so much for the film with their talents.

One thing about this movie is the 'cartoonish' special effects. Somehow I feel like I am watching a cutscene from a video game... a bad video game. Nevertheless, good effort by the special effects team. Again, it could've been better.

I feel the best thing about the movie are the sound effects. You can actually feel the surround sound and the chaotic sound effects when things are being wrecked and destroyed. Surprisingly, the hip hop music compliments the scenes nicely. This could be due to excellent ppl from Skywalker Studios. Noticed this when the credits were rolling.

Overall, a forgettable movie with outlandish plot, mindless action and bad dialogues. If you're looking for action movies and want something that does not utilize your brain power, this movie is for you. If not, just give this a miss. Seriously.

Ratings (Scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the highest)

Cast : 3
Sound : 4
Picture : 2
Storyline: 2

OVERALL : 2.75
posted by Ivan Choe, 2:55 am | link | 2 comments |

Age of Google: Google World Domination!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Reality check, since the beginning of the year, Google has launched all sorts of new services and in the last three months, the search engine announced something new every month. New features for the search engine, new local services, new software for the desktop searches, infinite email storage space or even sattelite maps of US cities, all these in such a short time.

Argument is that most of these services are only in the beta phase, BUT I'll doubt that Google will ever give up on these services. Beta would also mean that there IS room for further improvement. So, despite the company’s profits increasing six times (profits, NOT turnover), it’s obvious Google has more tricks up its sleeve which will be conjoured up at the right time.

Let's speculate on what else the Don't be evil company has installed for us.

G Messenger?
Probability: 90%

70% of the company’s resources are directed towards searches and related services and only 20% of the company’s income are allotted for the development of other services, (i.e. Froogle)
The founders stressed the importance of online social communication, and considering that out of the 20% allotted to other types of services, Google was able to launch Gmail. Thus, it’s hard to believe the growing popularity of these services and the fact that they represent excellent advertising platforms has not been taken into consideration by Google. So don't be shocked when you add G Messenger to your list of IM.

G Browser?
Probability: 50%

Lately, especially after FireFox’s success, more and more users dream about a Google browser. When the company hired Ben Goodger, one of the engineers from Mozilla FireFox, the launching of a Google browser started to be regarded as matter of months. Come to think of it, it iss hard to believe Google will venture in such a domain, and probably it would be an interface that combines several services, in a better way than Google Toolbar does or even to extend its functions and compatibility.
With regards to G Browser, Google’s representatives denied several times the rumors about such a browser. We'll see.

G Video content distribution?
Probability: 65%

iTunes’s success and the way in which Apple is promoting its product have closed the music download market, and so the next battle will be video distribution.
The probability of Google developing a service similar to iTunes, but for movies, is minimum, because it wouldn’t match the company’s vision and sums of money Google would have to pay to provide movies could only complicate things. There are already two important projects for such a service: Google Movies and Google Video and it is hard to believe Google doesn’t have something installed for this domain, even though it won’t get directly involved in the movie distribution.

G CRM/ERP type software?
Probability: 75%

Nowadays, fast searching in a client or product database of a certain name, references, address, preferences, price or availability is the foundation of every business (online or offline).
Imagine a database which supports searches and implementations similar to what Google is offering? In a matter of seconds, such a database could operate searches in thousands of references, and return accurate results about any client or product. This search appliance might be a step towards Google’s affirmation on the enterprise segment.

G services for mobile phones
Probability: 100%

Google has already conquered the Web and considering its 2.1 billion searches per month, it’s unlikely that it will be dethroned in the near future, so the next battle will be... mobile phones.
Here's the stats, the number of mobile phones exceeds the number of PCs, and it’s easy to imagine that in the next couple of years, mobile phone searches will be the next 'in' thing for search engines, and Google is already offering a series of services for mobile phones, (i.e. Google SMS).

G Secretary?
Probability: 1%

Imagine, a intergrated app that helps you organize your schedule, searches, photos, address books and even your client/product db. This would indeed assist users with small/ medium businesses. However, privacy would be a main concern if CEOs of these business are not tech savvy and if the information are to fall in the wrong hands.

G Bush?
Probability: ~Project Scrapped~

This beta project was created with intention of replacing the current Google search engine. However after a year of testing, the beta test failed in a simple search for WMD. Researches are puzzled as to why after 5 years of searching and billions of dollars spent, no conclusive results were justified. Furthermore, what's puzzling is that the researches chose to continue this project eventough they are aware of the faulty algorithym in the beta.

So, what exactly and when will Google launch it's product is THE million-dollar question. I guess at this time, only the Google founders know the plan and where the company is headed. I am sure, whatever the plan is, it would change the way we look at the Internet... for sure.
posted by Ivan Choe, 1:35 am | link | 2 comments |

Triumph at Anfield!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Liverpool stunned the newly crowned English Premiership champions Chelsea 1-0 early this morning in a tense game at Anfield to reach the Champions League final.

Having held Chelsea to a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge in the first leg, Liverpool needed just one goal to advance, which was exactly what they did after only four minutes of action.

Spaniard Luis Garcia broke the deadlock with a goal that saw Chelsea knocked out at the semifinal stage for two succesive year. However, IMHO there was more than a touch of fortune about Liverpool's goal, but it will go down as a priceless one in Anfield folklore.

Chelsea hardly had time to settle into its game when Milan Baros received a flicked pass from captain Steven Gerrard. Baros nudged the ball over advancing Chelsea keeper Petr Cech, who crashed into the striker, sending him to the ground. Garcia followed up and prodded the ball toward the goal for Liverpool's opener, even though William Gallas thought he had cleared the ball before it crossed the Chelsea line.

As usual, bad boy of soccer, Chelsea's coach Jose Mourinho had something to say, "This... nobody knows if it was a goal, not even the linesman."

I was thinking, if Garcia's goal has not been taken into consideration, Chelsea would have most likely been down to 10 men and without their goalkeeper for the remaining 86 minutes of the match. It would have been a totally different tale today.

I am neither a Liverpool nor a Chelsea fan but... I am happy that Chelsea didn't make it to the finals! muahahaha!
posted by Ivan Choe, 8:44 am | link | 3 comments |

Age of Google: Where does the storage space come from?

This is a quote from Gmail: Help Center, according to the nice ppl at google,

G is for growth. Storage is an important part of email, but that doesn't mean you should have to worry about it. To celebrate our one-year birthday, we're giving everyone one more gigabyte. But why stop the party there? Our plan is to continue growing your storage beyond 2GBs by giving you more space as we are able. We know that email will only become more important in people's lives, and we want Gmail to keep up with our users and their needs. From Gmail, you can expect more.

Have you ever wondered where google store all these emails? Imagine 2 gb per person... I can only imagine the number of servers in their premise. Come to think of it, we all used to have a limit of 2mb in our free email accounts (hotmail still provides 2mb per account... #$%^&*).

Anyways, here's something I found on a tech forum while looking for a solution to my computer trojan problem yesterday and coincidently I received this via email from Dillon as well. This is how google get all the storage space...

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Now we know where all the recent earthquakes come from. :P
posted by Ivan Choe, 12:56 am | link | 3 comments |

Stupid computer trojan!!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Crap! My computer was hit by a trojan last night. I've run ad-aware, HijackThis!, McAfee Anti-Virus, and other Spy sweeper, and the stupid trojan is still in my system! Although those spy-cleaning software has removed some malware - I still have the problem: My wallpaper has been removed and replaced with a blue screen with the following message.

A fatal error occured at 0028:COO11E36 in VXD VMM (01)+ OOO10E36. Error was caused by trojan -spy. html.smitfraud.c

System cannot function in normal mode. Please check your settings.


Furthermore, my desktop settings are disabled and I am unable to get rid of the blue screen. Not only that, I can't get my taskbar to function and my system resources read that it's at 100% usage!

Crap! To look for a solution, I've look high and low on the net and there seem to be no definite solution. Here's what I've got;

Aliases
Trojan-Spy.HTML.Smitfraud.c (Kaspersky Lab)
is also known as:
Phish-BankFraud.eml.a (McAfee), Trojan Horse (Symantec), Trojan.Bankfraud (Doctor Web), HTML.Phishing.Bank-1 (ClamAV), Trj/Citifraud.A (Panda), HTML/Smithfraud.gen (Eset)

I've placed Trojan-Spy HTML Smitfraud.c in Symantec’s search engine and it came up with another name. Joke.smitfraudoid.

It seems the Joke Program alters or interrupt the normal behavior of your computer, creating a general distraction or nuisance. Joke programs generally do not themselves engage in the practice of gathering or distributing information from the user's computer

I eventually found out that program is also called SpSehjfix109 and has be around since about 2001! Sheessh.. There are many aliases for this Trojan. Must be some kinda super spy trojan! It seems that the basic recommendation is to run all the anti-malware programs and and antivirus programs that you have.

FRUSTRATION!!!

Anyways, I've spent hours trying to get rid of the trojan with various tools mentioned above but with no avail. Finally, I just formatted my hd and reinstalled Windows XP. I've managed to backup most of my stuff before the format but I've got lotsa apps I need to install. Sighh..

Currently, I've managed to get Streamyx up again and still in the process of recovering all my stuff.. double sighh...!

Stupid trojan! I've noticed that the trojan exploits a security hole in windows and thus if you have not 'hotfix' your windows, better do so or else, you'll end up like me.

Lesson learnt!
posted by Ivan Choe, 2:10 am | link | 4 comments |

Do you know who I am?!

Monday, May 02, 2005

There was this funny ad I saw while I was in Australia a couple of years back. Didn't quite remember what it was for, but I reckon it's hilarious.

The ad starts of with a shot of an examination hall with rows and rows of student writing hastily on their examination pad. The school bell rings and before collecting the paper, the professor in charge of the exam gave a warning that anyone who is caught writing after bell would get a zero for the exam.

Well, one guy kept writing on his exam for a while after the bell and then confidently strode up to turn it in. The professor looked at him and said, "Don't bother to hand that paper in... you get a zero for continuing after the bell."

The guy looked at him and said, "Professor, do you know who I am!"

The professor replied, "No, and I don't care if your dad is president of the United States... you get a zero on this exam"

The guy, with a enraged look on his face, shouted, "You mean you have no idea who I am?"

The professor responded, "No, I've no idea who you think you are."

With that, the guy said "Good!" plunged his exam into the middle of the stack of other student's exams, and did a hasty retreat from the examination room.

haha!
posted by Ivan Choe, 12:10 am | link | 2 comments |