January 31, 2010

Between the good band and the great band

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:17 am by qballkubal

For me, there are two types of band: the good one and the great one. The good band (you might call it music group or singer or whatever the available terms you have) has the ability to create an extraordinary music (even if they stay in the mainstream), has its own identity and characteristics in its works, and of course, it must possess the ability to drawn its audience to a novel experience when they listen to the music.

Alongside with the above facts, great band also possesses the similar traits as I’ve mentioned above. What differs them from common-ordinary- good band lies in the test at a live concert. As we all know, tech gizmos have helped musicians to create a better sound with a better quality than what they have done in the 60’s (although I must say, the vintage sound quality of any recordings from that era has its own sensation that I couldn’t get from today’s music albums). You can create almost any types of sound and manipulate (or perhaps re-engineered for a polite term) with all of them.

Yet, you could tell the difference between these two types of band when they perform in the live concert. However good and sophisticated the sound system is, the one who sings at mediocre level will just stay in their mediocrity. The astounding and superb voice that you hear in you iTunes would differ dramatically.I bet that those who rely themselves with such technology would get a cold feet when they have to perform live. On the other hand, we as the audiences would have a disappointing feeling and we might throw our burgers and sodas to them.

Another thing. When I was driving on my way home from work, one DJ from Hard Rock FM explained that great band has a different vision about their interest in music.What they do is based on their perception of music and songs as art rather than as objects of what they could earn from them. In other words, they don’t see musician just as another type of job. Moreover, unlike common-and-ordinary band, they create music and songs that can last longer in the market.

I think some of you would agree with me: We are tired of mass-produced and fabricated songs. What we want is the true music in which it could move our heart and create a difference in our own society. We need a band who could put their songs in our lifetime play-list.

Picture of Third Eye Blind (my all-time favorite band) from idolator.


November 8, 2008

To (un)freeze the time

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:43 am by qballkubal


My friend once told me that when she moved here for the first time, she felt as if her time was frozen. She felt that her life was suddenly stopped. In other words, she felt numb at that time. I didn’t realize about her feeling back then, for I didn’t think such state of mind would ever exist.

I was totally wrong.

Now I realize that I am trapped into the same conundrum, when my own time is frozen. If I think about it once more, I would realize that my friend is more fortunate than me. She realized that she had a problem and was trying her best to fix it. Me? I just stubbornly deny it again and again.

Until I was totally tired.

Tired of the same negative thoughts, tired of the same feeling of anxiety. I somehow become aware that there is something wrong with me, more in my soul rather than my body.

Hehehe, don’t get me wrong here. I am not typing another whinny complain about life nor desperate statement. I just found the true clarity in my head (actually, I had several chances to get the same clarity, only that I was too stubborn to take more attention to it). Now, I will try to fix myself. Hope this time I can get over with all unnecessary thoughts.

Picture from pigofhappiness.

May 18, 2008

Trojan attacked!

Posted in Uncategorized, Why is it like that? at 4:59 am by qballkubal

The creators of virus and trojan have been hinting on the growth of movie streaming and video uploading site recently. They spot these sites as new places to prove that they have genius in making us miserable by having our computer infected. My notebook got infected two weeks ago, when I was streaming one video. Apparently, there was a notification window suggested that the video is best viewed with blabla codec.msc. There I was, so foolishly and heedlessly agreed to download the codec. It was peculiar though, for in a split second the codec has successfully downloaded. I believe that my mind was not on the right place at that time, because without any hesitation I double clicked the suspicious file. What happened next was really shocked me to death. My wallpaper changed suddenly into bright blue (not blue screen though) with quite big yellow head box stated:

Warning! your computer has been infected by virus/spyware!

Please install an antivirus!

Damn! I was in the middle of finishing my last paper for this semester and suddenly my notebook was lagged because of the trojan. Apparently, this new trojan was able to use more than 70 percent of my CPU and RAM in less than one minute after it has successfully penetrated my notebook. To tell you the truth, I was really panicked. I ran the newest AVG 8 (free version) for more than three hours and the trojan was still there. After spending some time searching for any information, I found out that this trojan was recognized as trojan zlob. AVG 8 (free) can detect and remove them but somehow some of the trojans (yup, more than one. I think they could also cloned themselves once they were inside the system) could not removed and stay hacking the system.

I almost gave up and threw away the notebook to the trash, when my friend suggested me to try Kaspersky 7. He said it works even better than AVG Pro 8. It turned out he was right! With less time required to perform complete system scan than AVG 8 (Free), Kaspersky 7 was able to identify all the trojan and swept them away.

Only one problem remained, since the trojan was also smart enough to disable my windows task manager (the ctrl-alt-del feature) I had to fix it manually. It was fortunate that I still remembered how to access the registry editor, for I had been troubled before by a virus with the similar ability. Here is the way to access registry editor and enable the windows task manager (for XP) again (from amahdy):

-Open the windows registry [Run, type “regedit” then press enter]

-Open “HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\” (HKCU is HKEY_CURRENT_USER)

-If there isn’t a subkey called “System” then you don’t have any configured administrative operation on the system section … ok let’s open the “gpedit.msc” again and disable the “Remove Task Manger” option … after a refresh you’ll be able to see this subkey “System” and contains a DWORD value called “DisableTaskMgr” , and its value is set to “0” …

-Actually the value “DisableTaskMgr” should not exists if “Remove Task Manger” is set to “Not Configured” … or if it has a value so “0” means “Disabled” and “1” means “Enabled” .

Make sure you don’t touch anything that you are not familiar with, for some registry entries are related to the core activity of the Windows.

Phew! What a day, spending about more than eight hours to figure out and fix the trouble. However, in the end I had to uninstall Kaspersky 7 since it crashed with Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary 2 (CALD 2). Apparently, it could not recognized the database in CALD 2 and thus, labeled it as a virus (every dictionary program under the SECURE-ROM database will experience the same problem with Kaspersky 7 as CALD 2 had).

Picture from istockphoto.

April 17, 2008

Another exile…..but not too long nor far away

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:29 am by qballkubal

Gila ya! Ternyata kalo dipikir- pikir gw tuh sebenernya lagi bosen banget ama kondisi lingkungan sekitar. Cuman karena gak nyadar aja gw biarin tanpa berpikir lebih lanjut. Klimaksnya pas blok hostel gw mengalami mati air gara- gara tangki air ada yang pecah. Plus, kondisi internet yang lagi naik turun bikin emosi jiwa jadi gak stabil. Tanpa pikir panjang, langsung dah gw bertandang ke tempat si abud di damansara perdana.

I’m being in the exile now. And gosh! I am really enjoying this one. It is really the time to fill up my energy, get over with unimportant thoughts in my head. I guess I was really don’t realize how utterly bored I was at that time.

Damn! It is really great to be alive again.

I’m ready to prepare for my exam and defense my thesis on the 5th May. Hope I’m not gonna get scolded to death by the examiners, hehehehe.

Picture from photobucket.com

March 30, 2008

The Illegality of human body parts trade….

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:02 am by qballkubal

Sampe saat ini, yang namanya perdagangan organ manusia dilarang keras di Amerika. Alasannya sangat jelas: memperdagangkan organ manusia dilarang dalam sebagian besar agama dan secara moral dan etika merendahkan manusia itu sendiri. Pertanyaannya: apa bener kaya gitu?

Ambil contoh kasus organ ginjal. Dalam majalah Forbers edisi 5 Juni 2006, 66.000 orang Amerika merupakan pasien gagal ginjal dalam daftar tunggu transplantasi organ. 40.000 dari total jumlah tersebut sudah menunggu lebih dari satu tahun. Andai ginjal bisa diperdagangkan, maka dari total jumlah tersebut sebagian mungkin bisa terselamatkan (dengan asumsi mereka memiliki dana atau pun asuransi yang bisa mendanai pembelian dan operasi transplantasi ginjal). Cara paling cepat untuk bisa keluar dari list? Agak satir, tapi memang cuma kematian yang bisa melakukannya. Masalah ini dihadapi baik oleh orang kaya ataupun orang miskin di US, karena larangan perdagangan ginjal berlaku buat semua pihak dan enforcement law yang cukup kuat membuat semua orang gak punya pilihan selain menunggu dengan sabar.

Froeb and McCann dalam bukunya yang berjudul Managerial Economics: A Problem Solving Approach memberikan tiga pilihan jawaban buat pertanyaan di atas. Pilihan anda akan menentukan pendapat dan pandangan anda mengenai perdagangan organ manusia:

1. Perdagangan organ manusia sangat amoral dan tidak etis. Hanya kaum kapitalis yang berpikiran bahwa organ manusia bisa diperjual belikan

2. Orang- orang yang mengatasnamakan agama, moral, dan etis tidak menyadari bahwa larangan itu justru menyebabkan suplai organ menjadi terbatas. Mereka justru menjadi penyebab utama kematian pasien yang menunggu ginjal yang tak kunjung datang

3. Kalo itu memang ilegal, pebisnis Amerika yang pinter bisa mengakalinya dengan meminjam US$ 100 juta dari bank dengan bunga 20 persen per tahun, membangun rumah sakit terapung di atas kapal, berlayar di zona laut internasional (dimana hukum US dan negara lain tidak berlaku), dan memulai bisnis jual- beli ginjal. Asumsikan bahwa dia bisa mematok US$ 200 ribu per ginjal dan mendapatkan keuntungan 10 persen tiap transaksi, sang pebisnis menyadari bahwa dia membutuhkan hanya 1.000 ginjal buat balik modal. Menurut Froeb and McCann, jumlah ini hanya 1 persen dari total demand di US sendiri.

Perdagangan organ manusia memang terkesan negatif dan bikin bulu kuduk berdiri kalo mendengarnya. Dan memang, melegalkannya belum tentu menyelesaikan masalah. Malahan, perdagangan yang legal malah mungkin dapat menyebabkan human trafficking (perdagangan ilegal manusia) dengan tujuan perbudakan (percayalah, masih ada didunia ini), prostitusi, atau pun untuk dibunuh kemudian di ambil organnya menjadi meningkat.

Tapi, seandainya adanya dukungan dari hukum dan sistem yang benar, secara ekonomi (teorinya ya) perdagangan organ dapat menyelamatkan banyak nyawa karena suplai organ akan dengan alami tersedia di pasar, pasar gelap organ pun menjadi surut (ngapain beli di pasar gelap yang beresiko masuk penjara dan lagian harganya sama dengan yang legal?!), aktivitas human trafficking pun menurun. Dan dengan adanya insentif khusus buat yang tidak mampu dari pemerintah, the free market system of organ trade will benefit all.

All in all, ini semua cuman teori dengan sudut pandang Free Market System dan Capitalism. Tentu banyak yang skeptis dengan pandangan ini. Tapi, mengutip kata kata Raymond W. Baker dalam bukunya Capitalism’s Achilles Heel:

“When you operate it properly, with respect and fairness and shared benefits, the system works.”

Picture from howstuffworks.com

February 24, 2008

What a fool I am!

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:50 am by qballkubal

Damn! How can I be so stupid for ignoring this simple symptom? Pantesan gw ngerasa aneh sejak balik dari Jakarta and install ulang Windows di notebook gw, kok sering banget kipasnya nyala? Padahal program yang sedang gw jalanin tergolong ringan and gw lagi gak buka banyak window. That’s a sign of overload of CPU processing unsupported with sufficient memory (RAM) capacity.

And I don’t know why it took me 2 months before I realized to check the CPU performance on Windows Task Manager. Dan bener aja, gw kaget pas liat physical memory gw kok cuman 512 MB. Perasaan gw udah masang ampe 1 GB deh. Wah, pasti ada yang gak bener ama RAM gw. Perkiraan gw gak salah, setelah gw buka casing RAM posisi slot paling atas gak tepat masuk ke dalam. Jadinya ya gak kebaca ama komputernya.

Hadooooh, ini otak perlu dilatih indera kepekaannya terhadap lingkungan sekitar. Such an ignorant attitude that I don’t like so much.

Picture from approved memory.

February 21, 2008

Hello world!

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:54 pm by qballkubal

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

February 20, 2008

A phrase that has changed the world

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:19 am by qballkubal

Make sacrifice of a portion of the happiness of a few to the greater happiness of the rest (Jeremy Bentham, 1789)

That phrase above has a huge impact in the world we live today. It is the one who caused Capitalism and the free-market system went berserk, forgeting those who are unfortunate to have the access to enjoy the same benefit with the fortunate one.

It is the one who caused disparities between the rich and the poor in every corner in the world today, as those who have the power believe that it is acceptable to destroy the forest for a profit from paper, to make fishermen suffer for barrels of oil, to make the poor stays the same in the sake of getting richer of the rich one.

This is Capitalism’s achilles heel.
Source from Baker’s book.
Picture from jeremybentham.com

Yellowing paper?

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:15 am by qballkubal

Have you noticed that over a certain period of time paper in our textbook, comics, and newspaper will turn yellow? Yup, kalo kita buka- buka lagi buku kuliah ato buku pelajaran pas jaman sma dulu, pasti keliatan kalo halamannya udah pada berubah jadi kuning kecoklatan ato penuh dengan bercak- bercak coklat.

Sampai saat ini, buku dan media cetak lainnya yang beredar di masyarakat berasal dari kertas yang pada saat dibikin lignin-nya (gambar atas) tidak dibuang. Lignin menyebabkan kertas memiliki kandungan asam (pH) yang cukup tinggi. Reaksi dengan cahaya pada ruangan yang memiliki kelembapan tinggi menyebabkan kertas jadi kekuningan. Kandungan lignin gak cuman bikin masalah buat para pemilik buku. Sebenernya, acid paper kaya gini menyebabkan polusi cukup serius karena proses pembuatannya sarat dengan limbah yang susah untuk di daur ulang.

Yang pertama kali menyadari proses ilmiah dibalik kuningnya kertas adalah seorang pustakawan Inggris yang bernama William Barrow pada tahun 1930. Sekarang, penambahan magnesium bikarbonat dapat menurunkan kandungan lignin dan asam pada saat permbuatan kertas. Kandungan basa sebanyak 2 persen udah cukup buat menjamin kualitas kertas ampe 100 tahun. Bahkan buat katalog ato jurnal langka proses cetak ulangnya menggunakan archival paper, yaitu permanent and durable acid-free paper yang bisa tahan ampe 500 taun (ato 1000 tahun dengan kondisi ideal) dari oksidasi.

Gimana caranya lo bisa tau buku yang lo beli dicetak pake acid-free paper? gampang kok, tinggal lihat di halaman pertama yang isinya tentang informasi penulis dan penerbit and liat apakah ada logo diatas ato gak.

Picture and source from wikipedia.