Wishing You More Hunger and Foolishness in 2011 (thanks Steve Jobs)!

Thinking about what to put on the web for the 2011 New Year, I remembered Steve Jobs' commencement address to the lucky graduates of Stanford University in 2005 (which I saw on a Bloomberg TV documentary some days ago).
[At first I thought about simply posting more into and sharing from my "Quotable comics quotes" collection, but I think this one is more appropriate :')]

Hopefully you find inspiration here to do more good:

Steve Jobs, CEO and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, in Stanford University's 114th Commencement on June 12, 2005:

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.
I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: “We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?” They said: “Of course.” My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down – that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.
I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now.
This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope its the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.
Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.

Bring in the New Year!
May the Force be with You All! ;')

   More links for you to check out (links open in a new window/tab):

Facebook Issue Fix: Clicking On Link Takes You To a White Page

First off, darn it. I can't make the title short enough to be that descriptive. Ah, well, it's done.

Anyway... THE ISSUE:

I couldn't post a comment or "Like" anything on Facebook because every time I click on those buttons/links to do so, it takes me to this address: http://www.facebook.com/ajax/ufi/modify.php that contains just a white page.

Fortunately, it seems to only happen on Firefox. Unfortunately, a lot of what I do on Facebook I like doing with Firefox. (FB doesn't work well with Opera, while FB-ing in Chrome is fast, but I miss some functionalities I use with Firefox, while with my Safari browsing in general feels "cumbersome").

The solution:

Simply change http: to https:

(Go on, try the links. Click and see some difference :'p)

Then, say "Yay!" ='D

I've read that for some people, it happens with the other popular web browsers (Internet Explorer, Opera, Chrome, and Safari). Hopefully, this is the same fix.

Easy peasy ='p

Facebook Hoax: "Girl Killed Herself..."

Debunking time =')

Afternoon. Browsing Facebook. A friend's status message read:
"This Girl killed herself after her dad Posted something on her wall!http://bit.ly/fClneO"

It was followed by another status message. Same friend:
"I honestly started crying after i saw this http://bit.ly/fClneO"

Other friends followed:
This Girl killed herself after her dad Posted something on her wall!http://apps.facebook.com/sadgl
I honestly started crying after i saw this http://apps.facebook.com/sadgl

I think clicking on those links wouldn't be harmful, but if you click on their links further, that would probably be unsafe. But if you think you're safe, go ahead. I retained the links for your... pleasure?

Hoaxy, I thought:
What my friends wrote wasn't them, personality-wise, and that wasn't how any of them write their statuses.

I clicked on a link, and a Facebook page appeared, with a hyperlinked image (see screenshot below). What appeared was NOT a news story. Just screams "HOAX!" in all caps with an exclamation point (no quotes).
Actual screenshot of that hoax/scam on my end. Click to view original size (957x678).

Here are some links to my search:

deviantART-ists May Get Spam

I just read an email message from deviantART, stamped 13 December 2010, 06:52pm. It states that spammers copied email addresses of deviantART members, and may have also copied usernames and birth dates, but nothing more. Below is an exact copy of the statement in the email:

Silverpop Systems, Inc.,  a leading marketing company that sends email messages for its clients, told us that information was taken from its servers.  This was probably part of a sweep by spammers.  As a result, email addresses belonging to deviantART members were copied. Corresponding usernames and birth date may also have been removed.   
We can assure you that nothing occurred on our systems with respect to this incident and no access was gained to private information on deviantART’s servers.       
As a member of deviantART, you certainly have a right to know when an incident of this kind occurs.  Unfortunately spammers are an unavoidable part of living on the Web.     
The likely result of this event might be an increase in spam to your email. Experts have told us that there is an increase in email scams out there on the Internet and you should be cautious. Only click links or download attachments from people you know, particularly if they ask for personal information, and be sure that your email service provider has adequate spam filters. 
Because we value the information that members give us, we have decided not to rely on the services of Silverpop in the future and their servers will no longer hold any data from us. 

Facebook Toon Profile Pic Not Advocacy

... yeah.
But it's not about pedophilia either.

Weeks earlier, I saw a "call" to change our Facebook profile images to a cartoon character (that we enjoyed on TV in our childhood). It said it's a call for advocacy on protection against child abuse.
It's a scam, as I've found out. Harmless, but still a scam. Was still happy to have done it nonetheless, even after I found out it was only a joke.

A few days after I changed my profile photo (to Visionaries ='), a Facebook friend posted this profile status (or something like it): "ATTENTION! Just reported that the group that started the post about changing your profile picture to a cartoon character is actually a pedophiles group that is doing this because its easier to get accepted friend requests! Please re-post."

My FB profile image. Leoric by stratosmacca on Deviantart.com.

(Actually asked myself why children would use Facebook other than for playing games... I know of some kids who have Facebook accounts, but they only really use it for games. Sometimes they post comments. Sometimes they post photos, but none of those photos could be something that's "pedophile material". Actually a lot of those are cartoons too... Also, I don't think pedophiles could coax these children to go out for a meet-up... It's just improbable.)

So I went and Googled "scam Facebook cartoon profile", and I was surprised at how far back the scam has been around.

I won't reiterate what the many posts that are around have stated so I'll just let you browse the articles themselves.
Here are the links I visited:

Some people think it's nonsense, that it's a waste of time. Oh, come on! If we get a few people think about these important issues that we previously were unaware of or just purely ignored, then it was worth it.

MK12's Cowboys & Aliens?

In 2007, I attended the second Graphika Manila, a multimedia (design) conference held in the Philippines.

Among the presentations was from MK12, which is a design company based in Kansas City in the U.S. They premiered the amazing and amusing video production titled "History of America" where cowboys and astronauts battled it out for... I don't remember what about.

Today, I discovered Cowboys & Aliens, a movie slated for release in 2011 (saw it on the MoviePostersDB site).

Now, I'm just wondering if "History of America" had somehow inspired Jon Favreau with the movie.

(On further research, however, I discovered that MK12 had nothing to do with it. The original Cowboys & Aliens was instead a comic book from Platinum Studios).

More related links (click to view; links open in a new page):
Cowboys & Aliens on ComingSoon.net
Cowboys & Aliens official website
Graphika Manila 2007 official website
The Graphika Manila 2006 announcement on PhilMug forum
An attendee's blog and discussion after Graphika Manila 2006
Graphika Manila's 2010 website
Some "History of America" trailers, on Youtube
MK12 on Wikipedia
MK12 on Vimeo

Metro TV "Big Radiation Wave" hoax

It's debunking tiiime! ='D
I'm back! and I consider it a good returning, since I'm a skeptic, and "claim investigations" are among my favorite things :')

I came home from setting up a neighbor's computer, and my mother told me she forwarded me a message (I left my cellphone at home). This was the message I received (unedited):

Pass... Pls switch OFF all ur handphone 2NITE.According to Metro TV,an international news,there will be a BIG RADIATION WAVE circulating thru the handphone towers at 11PM 2nite which is very DANGEROUS to human. Pls inform ur friends NOT 2 keep their phone with them.
Pls FORWARD.(confirmed s radio knina*)

*confirmed sa radio kanina = confirmed on the radio [news] earlier

I Googled some words together: "Metro" "TV" "radiation"
and I was surprised to discover that it's been around as early as May 2008. The message wording and details are almost unchanged.
click image to enlarge

I also found Metro TV on Wikipedia. It's not international. It's a local 24-hour news channel, and the only "internationality"(?) it has (based on the website) is Indonesia Now, their internationally broadcast program about Indonesia.

[Used without permission, but for illustration and identification purposes only. No copyright infringement intended. This link refers to the image details on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Metrotv.jpg]

One good thing about this is that I started blogging again. Another is that I discovered that Conan O'Brien has come back to life! ='D

(headline with that nice pink arrow)

I can't turn off my cellphone at 11pm when I can help it. Someone might call me up.


Mozilla Thunberbird ver3

I just installed Mozilla Thunderbird again after about 2-3 months of not using it. What I found was a more beautiful interface, seemingly faster response, and easier setup (at least for Gmail).

The latest is at 3.0.1 and it's excellent. I believe Thunderbird is reason enough for getting a Gmail account if you don't have one yet. I also believe that if you use e-mails regularly, you should have Gmail as the main service ;') then install Thunderbird to make e-mailing a breeze. What got me into this is the IMAP setup that I think only Gmail implements beautifully.

I almost switched to Outlook as my e-mailing client, but here comes Thunderbird with an improved version. So, congratulations again, you Mozilla people you, and thank you very much!