Terror in Mumbai – Twitter and the Media

November 27th, 2008
by Christopher Kusek (PKGuild)

This is a terror event like no other, one which has been prolonged by the use of technology, adhoc and otherwise.    A call out from the users of the service Twitter requested on #mumbai that the Live Media Coverage being broadcast by news networks such as NDTV and CNN-IBN may have made the situation ‘worse’ than ‘better’ by not only letting those “on the street” know what is going on, but also informing those on the inside in the form of Terrorists.

So this situation almost on the flipside.   The Broadcast media apparently making the situation worse (Not to be outdone by a major network broadcasting on-air the room number of a hostage) and the AdHoc (Twittersphere) using this opportunity to spread information that is beneficial to all of those involved.

Such notable ones as:

  • The number of tweets about people heading to hospitals to donate blood is astonishing!
  • @aadisht: #mumbai Holy Family Hospital has enough blood; please donate elsewhere if you do.
  • rockzapper: #mumbai NDTV still showing commando movements. Doesn’t it get it? This can cause a grim situation for police.
  • @blogdiva: more numbers to call re Mumbai crisis : US helpline 888-407-4747 Brazilian help line 9820686143 (C) CNN IBN FA 1-613-996-8885
  • blogdiva: if you are in Mumbai and want to donate blood, call 922 222 1947 and tell them you want to donate. They’ll get back to you when someone
  • CXI Our hearts go out to those suffering in Mumbai, as well as my friends and associations out there being personally impacted.

Never before in history have people had access to so much information, so real time, and so fast and available.  Some may feel that Twitter may be a hindrance to situations going on, however the spread of information by good people wanting to help has never been so prevalent as their ability to reach out and help, especially when times called for it most.

This is hard on everyone, and no one feels it so much as those in Mumbai and with friends and family who live there.  Our hearts are out to you, and may this catastrophe be resolved with no more innocent deaths or bloodshed.

Tomorrow won’t be known as Thanksgiving, but Thanksliving for those who can survive this horrific time and be stronger for it, in light of desperate and terrible situations.

Be safe, and be well.

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Posted in Baltimization, Christopher Kusek, Informational, Politics | Comments (66)

I’m WFAD! And I’m not gonna take it anymore! (71-505 WFAD)

November 21st, 2008
by Christopher Kusek (PKGuild)

Please see the Free Testing Archive for tests like this and more!

Register for Beta Exam 71-505: TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5, Windows Forms Application Development

Registration Begins 11/21/2008

You are invited to take beta exam 71-505: TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5, Windows Forms Application Development. If you pass the beta exam, the exam credit will be added to your transcript and you will not need to take the exam in its released form. The results willnot appear on your transcript until several weeks after the final form of the exam is released. The 71-xxx identifier is used for registering for beta versions of MCP exams, when the exam is released in its final form the 70-xxx identifier is used for registration.

71-505: TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5, Windows Forms Application Development counts as credit towards the following certification(s).

· Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist: .NET Framework 3.5, Windows Forms Applications

· Microsoft Certified Professional Developer: Windows Developer 3.5

· Microsoft Certified Professional Developer: Enterprise Application Developer 3.5


Registration begins: November 21, 2008

Beta exam period runs: November 25, 2008– December 15, 2008

Receiving this invitation does not guarantee you a seat in the beta; we recommend that you register immediately. Beta exams have limited availability and are operated under a first-come-first-served basis. Once all beta slots are filled, no additional seats will be offered.

Testing is held at Prometric testing centers worldwide, although this exam may not be available in all countries (see Regional Restrictions). All testing centers will have the capability to offer this exam in its live version.

Regional Restrictions: India, Pakistan, China

Registration Information

Please use the following promotional code when registering for the exam: X356Y
You must register at least 24 hours prior to taking the exam.

To register in North America, please call:

· Prometric: (800) 755-EXAM (800-755-3926)

Outside the U.S./Canada, please contact:

· Prometric: http://www.register.prometric.com/ClientInformation.asp

Test Information and Support

You are invited to take this beta exam at no charge.
You will be given four hours to complete the beta exam. Please plan accordingly.
Find exam preparation information: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/exams/70-505.aspx

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Posted in .NET, ASP, Baltimization, Certification, Christopher Kusek, Informational, Microsoft | Comments (71)

Lights out, Apparently Toyota isn’t home. (Prius HID lights fault)

November 19th, 2008
by Christopher Kusek (PKGuild)


Hello there.  Are you one of the many thousands who have a Prius, or any Toyota vehicle with HID Lights which are supposed to last for 10x longer than standard bulbs, and had it last less than 1Yr’s time?

Then, you’ve come to the right place.

A few high level examples of information:

A typical Halogen headlamp has a service life of ~450-1000 Hrs.

A typical HID headlamp has a service life of ~2000 Hrs.


So, given that math.  I would have to drive my car every day for ~6hrs in order for my bulb to start to fail within a years time.  Sadly, I did not drive it that much.  However it still did enter to a point of failure.  Failure which was considerably unsafe resulting in both of my headlights turning off at a number of points while driving on dark roads, luckily no one was ever hurt.

Oh, did I mention this was my second set of HID bulbs to be replaced?  The first time, replaced “Under warranty” at no cost to me.  The second time, Toyota has advised they will replace “Parts+Tax” however, I will have to pickup the labor.   While that sure is nice of them.  I wish I weren’t the only of thousands experiencing this problem.  This problem blatantly ignored by Toyota who only responds on an AdHoc, Opt-In basis, requiring US the consumer to do something about it – To reach out and contact Toyota on it.

This is very clearly a safety issue.  An issue which forces the consumer to front money and services to pay for something which Toyota knows is wrong and is their mistake.   This safety issue should be addressed as a Parts Recall and replacement, not having us figure out to call Toyota (800) 331-4331 and open a case in order to “try” to get this resolved.   You most likely will be in contact with Heather, as a lot of us have.  

It should also be noted, that if you’re experiencing this issue – Even if you’ve gotten it resolved whether under warranty or out of warranty (As I’ve had it fixed in both cases) you should file a complaint with the Office of Defects, so this is on record and our voices heard.

Hopefully you will be able to get your problem fixed and resolved in a timely and safer fashion, without having to resort to the extortion of paying out of pocket $902.88 (or more) and wait 2-3 weeks for a reimbursement of Parts+Tax, having to shell out the $137.80 (more or less) for labor, while paying for these HID Bulbs which are being quoted at ~$350 a pop, even though you can get an equivalent replacement for $175 for a PAIR.  But I imagine my definition of extortion is completely off base.  It probably has less to do with being sold something with an expectation it will work and actually getting it to work and not get screwed around when it in fact does not work as advertised.

Good luck out there with all your 2006, 2007, 2008 and beyond Priuses and other Toyota vehicles with HID lights which also suffered from this bad apple.   Don’t wait to open a case, and don’t get screwed by your dealership either in or out of warranty about this.   Toyota knows about this, and it is up to you the educated consumer to act on your behalf because they certainly are doing everything in their power to make sure that you have to jump through as many hoops as possible.

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Posted in Baltimization, Christopher Kusek, General, Informational | Comments (106)

Early Gifts for the Holidays! FreE-books and SQL oh mY!

November 17th, 2008
by Christopher Kusek (PKGuild)

Raise your hands up and praise Joanne Lin of the MSLCommunity for bringing us these little gems! (Gem1 and Gem2 ! :)) [Time for some verbatim copying!...kind of!]


Help celebrate our 25th anniversary with a free e-book offer.  The November offers is valid from November 19 to November 26, 2008, so download the e-books soon.  You can also sign up for Microsoft Press Connection newsletter to get monthly update.

For November:



Windows Embedded CE 6.0 Fundamentals by Stanslav Pavlov and Pavel Belevsky:   This book examines the architecture, built-in programming tools, drivers, and build process, and shows how to take advantage of the Windows Embedded CE 6.0 Software Development Kit (SDK).

Download this e-book!




Windows Server 2008 Networking and Network Access Protection (NAP) by Joseph Davies and Tony Northrup with the Microsoft Networking Team:   Get the official resource for deploying, administering, and troubleshooting Windows Server 2008 networking and Network Access Protection (NAP) technologies.


Download this e-book!


Going for a SQL Class? Get a copy of SQL Server 2008 Standard Edition!

Microsoft Learning is teaming up with the SQL Server team to give away free copies of SQL Server 2008 Standard Edition to people who attend select instructor-led classroom training at a Microsoft Certified Partner for Learning Solutions (CPLS). Here’s the deal: The Deal!

So, if you’re looking for an early gift for yourself, or your friends.. Get them the Ebook that keeps on giving! :)

Happy Holiday-Season-Time! And spend that good money in this economy of free!

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Posted in Baltimization, Christopher Kusek, Ebooks, Informational, Microsoft, SQL, Windows Server | Comments (79)

Kicking with the New Tweet Deck v0.20b and Adobe Air 1.5

November 17th, 2008
by Christopher Kusek (PKGuild)

Anyone who’s been using Tweet Deck has also been using Adobe Air!

Well, there are a number of enhancements introduced in both of them! A MUST upgrade, hands down, no question about it!

Tweet Deck:

There are a number of new details introduced in v0.20b, and you can go here to check them out, but some of the ones I’ve particularly noticed and enjoy!

Response times are amazing! If I post a tweet, it appears immediately instead of getting cached to eventually deliver.  Running at speeds equal to being “On Web”


You notice that little “[+]” over there? That serves two-fold benefits!

First of all, it lets you add people to groups, so you can structure and order things easier inside of Tweet Deck Groups! And second of all, if there is no [+] What you have there is someone who is following you, but you are not following.  This plays out very useful in the Replies column trying to decide if someone you are talking to is someone you are following or not!


Love the new “Remaining API” section, which lets you know how close you are to exceeding your API calls for the hour and effectively being stuck with “Rate limit reached”

You will notice that the little scroll bar at the bottom which let you specify the period of time, with which your tweets will be displayed is gone.  Yes, it is gone, though with these new advancements and speed, it may not be needed anymore!

Be careful though, if you have a preferred URL shortener, it will reset it to the default!


Adobe Air:

Finally! Adobe Air will use your default browser instead of an alternate Browser!

What does this mean for you? It means if you chose FireFox, or Chrome to be your default browser, it will use FF or Chrome, instead of forcing it to IE.   I’ll have to test this on my Mac still to see if it forces open every link clicked as a new Browser entirely, but it should continue to open as new tabs in your existing browser in your preferred browser! Thanks Adobe!

So, go upgrade! You’ll be glad that you upgraded both Adobe Air and Tweet Deck!

And feel free to add me @cxi on Twitter! I wish I could say I’d add you back immediately, but I still have a case open with Twitter support, preventing me from being able to add new people!

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Posted in Baltimization, Christopher Kusek, Informational, Technology, Twitter | Comments (64)

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