Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The father of spam

In the spring of 1978, an energetic marketing man named Gary Thuerk wanted to let people in the technology world know that his company, the Digital Equipment Corporation, was about to introduce a powerful new computer system.

DEC operated out of an old wool mill in Maynard, Massachusetts, and was well known on the East Coast, but Thuerk hoped to reach the technological community in California as well.

He decided that the best way to do it was through the network of government and university computers then known as the Arpanet.

Only a few thousand people used it regularly, but their names were conveniently printed in a single directory.

After selecting six hundred West Coast addresses, Thuerk realized that he would never have time to call each one of them, or even to send out hundreds of individual messages.

Then another idea occurred to him: what if he simply used the network to dispatch a single e-mail to all of them? “We invite you to come see the 2020 and hear about the DECSystem-20 family,’’ the message read.

As historic lines go, it didn’t have quite the ring of “One small step for a man,” yet Gary Thuerk’s impact cannot be disputed.

When he pushed the send button, he became the father of spam. [....]

In 2003, the federal government passed the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act, which is widely referred to as the CAN-SPAM Act.

The law requires people who send e-mail advertisements to offer recipients the opportunity to decline future messages. It also mandates prison terms for violators.

Early in 2004, motivated in part by the excitement of the new legislation—but also by the technology achievements of researchers and engineers—Bill Gates told a group of people attending the World Economic Fo-rum, in Davos, Switzerland, “Two years from now, spam will be solved.’’

Original source: "Damn Spam" by Michael Specter (The New Yorker, Aug 6 2007). Read: page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4 & page 5

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Fine romance

(Patah Balek's Weekend Edition 1)

Romantic comedy civilizes desire, transforms lust into play and ritual—the celebration of union in marriage.

The lovers are fated by temperament and physical attraction to join together, or stay together, and the audience longs for that ending with an urgency that is as much moral as sentimental.

For its amusement, however, the audience doesn’t want the resolution to come too quickly.

The lovers misunderstand each other; they get pixie dust thrown in their faces.

Befuddled, the woman thinks she’s in love with a gas-station attendant, who turns out to be a millionaire; an unsuitable suitor becomes a proper suitor; and so on.

It’s always the right guy in the end.

Romantic drama may revel in suffering, even in anguish and death, but romantic comedy merely nods at the destructive energies of passion.

The confused lovers torment each other and, for a while, us. Then they stop.

>>> "A fine romance" by David Denby, New Yorker (July 23, 2007) page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4, last page.

How to charm a woman

(Patah Balek's Weekend Edition 2)
How to Charm a Woman
By David Wygant

Top 10 ways to charm a woman:

1. Be aware. This means cracking open more than the sports section on the daily paper. Be up on current events and learn the difference between feelings, emotions and thoughts. Women are emotional beings and tend to think things through. They are attracted to men who are as smart or smarter than them, and your knowledge of worldly matters will demonstrate your intelligence.

2. Demonstrate humor. Women love a man who can make them laugh. Now don't fret here if you're not a stand-up comedian. We all have a certain type of humor. You can be dry, sarcastic, hilariously funny, quick-witted or dark. Being able to poke fun at yourself and just plain old being goofy is a turn-on for women. Keep in mind that all women are not attracted to the same type of humor, so if you don't vibe, just walk away and try someone else.

3. Have passion. A guy who lives his life with gusto is incredibly appealing. When you speak to a woman about your life, your travels, your job, your interests, speak with passion. That passion about who you are will turn her on instantly. She will start to imagine what it will be like when you are involved with her and how passionate you will speak about her.

4. Be considerate. Pay attention to the little things and look for opportunities to make small gestures that show you care. A simple "How was your day?" and being able to listen to her when she wants to discuss something are huge. So many men forget about simple things like holding the door, paying for her valet or just thanking her for a great time last night. Women are all about a guy with manners -- she is not attracted to the dope who acts like a caveman.

5. Be honest. Share who you are by telling her something personal. Maybe share one of your favorite childhood memories or some personal growth that you have been going through. Something that will show her that you are a trusting and honest person. It also shows that you are a confident but vulnerable man. Women love to see the vulnerable side of you. Note: Don't talk about an ex in a bad way here. If you have to talk about an ex, do so in a positive manner and share what you learned and how you grew from the relationship.

6. Be flexibile. Be open to her plans but surprise her with your flexibility. Take charge and surprise her with a fun night out. Instead of being the typical guy who makes a reservation, think about how you can be the guy who listens to her and plans a great date that she did not expect. If you can pull this off, she will be open to all sorts of advances from you.

7. Be positive. If you are positive about life, it shows in your actions. I always tell men to be extra nice to waiters, bartenders and other service people. Be a courteous driver when she's in the car. When you are in line at the movies, don't complain. Look for the humor and try to have fun with people all around you. Be positive about everything, and she will find you to be very sexy and alluring. No one wants to be with a negative hothead.

8. Be balanced. Women love a successful, ambitious man. They love that you work hard, but if you constantly put work ahead of her she will become turned off. She will start to imagine what life with you will be like with her needs being ignored. If you are out meeting women to date, you need to balance your life between work and play. This will be a major turn-on for her.

9. Have ambition. Men who are ambitious about what they do are a turn-on to women. It doesn't matter if you choose to be a rich stock trader or a painter, as long as you are passionate about who you are and what you do. If you don't love what you do, find something that really turns you on. You can't attract the woman you want with a negative ambition. Women love a man who is the best at what he does.

10. Be attentive. You are out with her for the very first time, and she tells you she loves a certain type of music. On the next date take her to a lounge that plays that type of music. It is all about paying attention to the details and working on your listening skills.

This list of 10 things will work in most cases. Keep in mind there is always the woman who you just can't seem to please. If you happen to cross paths with this type of woman, ask yourself, "Why would I want to be with a woman who is so difficult?"

I tend to avoid the difficult, judgmental women. Knowing women's turn-ons and putting them into practice will help you identify women who may be relationship material. You need to realize that you want to attract and turn on the women that are attracted to you on an equal level!

David Wygant has been a featured dating expert on more than 2,000 radio and television shows including Dateline, ABC News, CBS Good Morning, MTV, Fox News, and in publications including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Dallas Morning News, Boston Globe, Maxim, Cosmopolitan, and Marie Claire magazine. Look for him online at davidwygant.com or find out more about his products and coaching programs at attractandapproach.com.

Original Source: Yahoo! Personal - dating tips

Saturday, July 07, 2007


Kemas kini: Kami berdua Fathi Aris Omar & Safrina Hamsin mengucapkan berbanyak-banyak terima kasih kepada semua teman, khususnya Pak Khalid dan Isham Rais, yang sudi memeriahkan majlis perkahwinan kami di Felda Gunung Besout 1 pada 6 dan 7 Julai lepas.

Begitu juga teman-teman yang menyampaikan ucap selamat, tahniah dan hadiah sempena perkahwinan kami.

Tidak ketinggalan kepada teman-teman yang memblog cerita-cerita dan foto-foto perkahwinan tersebut.

Foto-foto itu boleh dilihat di sini: Ng Boon Hooi, James Wong Wing On, Khalid Jaafar, Khalid di Youtube.com, Najwan Halimi, KL Pos.com, Amin Iskandar (Black UBU) dan juga Farrel.

Kepada yang tidak sempat diundang, kami bercadang mengadakan majlis pada bulan September nanti di Bangsar Utama, sementara buat teman-teman di Pantai Timur, sudilah memeriahkan majlis kami di 40 Lorong Pasir Putih, Jalan Pasir Panjang, Kuala Terengganu pada 23 Ogos depan (Khamis), jam 12 tengah hari hingga 5 petang.

Teman-teman di Kuala Lumpur juga diundang. Sila hubungi saya faomar@yahoo.com


7 julai 2007 -- saya dan teman saya Safrina mendirikan rumah tangga.