It’s That Time Again

Where sleep is for 6 hours and work seems endless.

Read, read, read.

Write, write, write.

Think, think, think.

Pray, pray, pray.

Repeat cycle. 🙂

Urban Mermaid

This is a really good newcomer to the J-pop arena.

Yuna Ito is certainly pretty and has great potential. What more, she speaks perfect English and hails from Hawaii… haha. ML thinks Yuna is much better than Jyongri. Hmmm… I think so too.

Just something to break the mood. The title intrigued me the most; mermaid. urban. The video shows the meaning of the title and the good choice of words.

Of Right and Wrong

Very interesting indeed to wake up and read of:

Amri Chirouf, director of Middle East Research for Amnesty International, said: “There is no doubt that this is a direct result of the severe discrimination to which women are subjected in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia … which includes at the heart of it denial of the right of the freedom of movement.

“Human rights are universal values, they’re shared by all human beings. They’re not to stop at frontiers, so they should be the concern of everyone.”

Human Rights Watch said it has called on Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah “to immediately void the verdict and drop all charges against the rape victim and to order the court to end its harassment of her lawyer.”

Excerpt from: http://edition.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/11/21/saudi.rape.reaction/

I am nearly completing Edmund Morgan’s very insightful and well-researched book entitled “The Puritan Family”. Ever since marraige, the concept of family intrigues me. Implicit to everything that has been said, the family unit IS instituted by God. Families do not just self order themsevles. And that is just something that stumps people around. Family without the concept of God, is like talking about sandwich without any bread or butter.

puritan.gif

The purpose and condition of family bliss has to be governed by God’s mandate on us, and not us to Him. That is why so many families are close to breakdown ‘if not for the children’. Everything is held by a flimsy principle that could snap at the barest flick of the finger. And yet many want it no other way. Ignorance is bliss. But it can never be an excuse.

That’s why the case quoted above intrigued me; here are people trying to condemn the Arabs for their legal system and their reasoning? “Human rights are universal values… shared by all human beings”? I’m sorry, but this coming from a group of people who do not believe in the concept of a sovereign (almighty, undomesticated) God. Who then made it a universal principle if you don’t believe in God? And it is because you do not believe in a sovereign being (who purposed value to man for they are made in the image of Him), that you should ACCEPT the diversity and permutations of such deviances in legal acceptance.

Basically, they are hypocrites. For a nation who seeks to destroy all notions of God, they have the least claim to universalities. Self-centeredness and man-centeredness drives the permutations (differences) in such moral acceptance, that forms the law of each state.

That is why I admire and will always admire the Puritans. A group of Christian men and women who lived amongst hypocritical Christians, and yet they did not slack in putting God as the center of their lives (worship according to Romans 12:1-2). Were they ridiculed? Sure, up to now, their names are a byword to the world.

But that is only to the blind worldly occupants of this world who cannot appreciate spiritual matters. Give me Puritanical lifestyle, that relies all on God and gives all to God. Satisfaction and contentment is guaranteed forever, with a real guarantee given in our lives now, through the work of the Holy Spirit.

Now that’s a purpose driven life.

Not this living for the next 1 year, 2, 3, 5, 10, 20 years. It’s about living for the next 1,000 years or infinity! That is the universal conscience that is hardwired in us to make us acknowledge the existence of life after death.

(By the way, reincarnation is just a very cheap excuse to ignore this truth. It is an ignorant agent that tries to soothe but never truly comfort/heal the issue of life)

Family.

Of Right and Wrong.

Few Things On My Mind

  • Packer’s lectures on the Puritans (been very good, although some things I cannot agree with at the outset).
  • Selling off my precious Legends of Lone Wolf series (I have a complete 11 books out of 12). This is my most precious possession which can easily go for hundreds USD on Ebay if I were to sell it. Still contemplating, although ML is disuading me.
  • Comic strip. ‘Nuff said.
  • Computer Game Development. 2 comes to mind.
  • Kuantan Graphic Novel (still in the works folks. It’s been a long while, this one).
  • E-mailing some friends. I really am lagging in my replies. Sigh. The mood needs to be back.
  • Changes to some things.
  • I’m being vague. Yes I am. So there.

The Elusive Scene

Ripped and plagiarised (for my own copy sake…) from http://torrentfreak.com/top-pirate-reveals-warez-scene-secrets-071119/.  

Very intriguing to read of this most elusive Scene (which carries all your pirated stuff online).  

—————————————————————

The Interview (translation from Norwegian, courtesy RayJoha)

The guy we talked to is one of the few administrators of a Topsite in Norway. He’s in his mid twenties, is a student of programming and has been a part of the Scene for many years. He first became a Topsite Site-Op in 2003 and has since been responsible for adding users, banning ruleset violators and programming automating IRC-scripts.

In addition to being a Site-Op he also has his own home-based server where he downloads movies, games and TV-shows to and from the Topsites. He has a very fast Internet connection which make it possible to download a DVD movie in minutes.

Everybody keeps everybody informed

In addition to categories such as games, software, music and movies we have a news category on the Topsites warning against raids. Lamers are also posted in this news category. It’s also possible to find out who leaks warez to trackers and the P2P community. Those who leak will be banned from the Scene. It is very easy for the police to find those people who are spreading torrents.

One of the reasons it is quite difficult to break the Scene is due to a very sophisticated security system. The system we use on Topsites and IRC is SSL. This comes on top of Blowfish-aggregation on IRC. You have to log in to one of the Topsites to get the Blowkey password. Without Blowkey everything will be encrypted. The Topsites encrypt everything with SSL.

It’s not unusual to have 30 TerraBytes of warez on a Topsite. Last summer German police raided a Topsite which had 40 members. The following was posted on Topsites news sections to warn the entire Scene, (from German):

New police action in Germany. This morning 40 members got a visit from the BKA, (Bundes Kriminal Amt). All user accounts etc…. Everybody that has visited the site is in great danger!

I miss you

Laws must change?

Changing the laws will have no effect. The MP3 legislation… the only thing they do is make it difficult for ordinary downloaders/torrent users – those who download from a website, torrentsite, Limewire or with any other P2P software. It would be easier for the government if the police could create their own ‘entrapment servers’, but they could only hurt the Scene, not destroy it.

What’s the probability of getting caught?

HaHa, there’s almost no chance of getting caught in Norway. The Norwegian police cannot do anything illegal to get somebody. By law, they cannot set up servers to entice users to join. All the users in the network know each other. Members of the Scene have joined only through someone vouching for them. I do it because it’s a learning experience and fun. I learn a lot about running servers, programming, (C, C ++, Java and scripting). I started with this before I realized I could have a career in programming. When you learn a few programming languages it’s quite easy to pick up new ones.

His interest in file sharing has been there for years, but it took some time before he became a Topsite Site-Op. He reveals that there are lot of Norwegian ISPs, especially those that deliver fiber connections, that have Topsite servers as customers.

The first time I became a Site-Op it was 2003. I started setting up servers on my own, but at that time we had no affiliation with the Scene. There are lots of sites on Lyse, Hafslund and Sandefjord and I also know that servers are found around university campuses.

The Site-Op tells us that he has no plans of quitting piracy, even when he gets a real job in the software business.

It’s real hard to catch pirates, i’ve learned. I get to understand how it works, making it possible to protect myself against it. Anything that comes to market is cracked even before we post it. There’s no point for the industry in spending millions on copy protection.

The social side of the Scene

Is there a social environment in the Scene or is it just IRC chatting all the time?

Nobody sees anybody. The IRC OPs knows who the others are, but normally we don’t know who they are in real life. We only use nick names.

The Site-Op feels it’s easy to replace persons that are arrested in raids with some exceptions. Game crackers [people who remove copy protection] can’t easily be replaced. There’s just a few people with their skills around.

It’s correct that you can’t easily replace a cracker, it’s a real genius game. Sometimes we might lose everyone, but they’re real hard to catch. Let’s say they manage to cripple the Game-Scene, but they still have to deal with movies and music, and thats something Mr. anybody can do. [Rip movies and music]

The FBI are allowed to set up fake servers, but they are not successful in their endeavors. If the Norwegian police are going to catch anyone they have to adopt the same strategy. You can’t take down Topsites without resorting to illegality: they’d have to distribute copyrighted material. Actually doing something illegal. note: strictly prohibited in Norway

Site-Op’s responsibilities

I don’t know any informants, but there is a strong possibility there are some. If the Scene discovers this the individual will be banned with the help of Topsite news and barred from access to any resource within the Scene.

As a Site-Op he has a series of tasks perform in order for the site to work properly.

A Site-Op adds users and makes sure the ruleset are obeyed. He’s programming and scripting. Linux servers are almost always running glftpd.

Pre-Information

The Site-Op is one of a selected few who has pre-information. Pre-information is information about a specific warez that haven’t been shared with anyone yet. The different groups, (Razor1911, Fairlight etc), have their own folders on the Topsites with not yet released content. The competition is fierce when it comes to being the first to release a movie or a game.

When a “ware” is pre-released a so-called Race starts. A Race means that every Topsite tries to be the first to distribute. In this way the Scene is almost like an economy in itself. First to market doesn’t mean monetary survival but rather the gain of Respect.

There are unbelievably few people that has pre-information. Only Admins can browse all Pre-folders. One shouldn`t sneak a peak on a pre. It’s a rule not to browse on somebody else’s folder.

The Site-Op’s connections with the ‘Big’ people in the Scene

A Site-Op communicates with the real ‘big-wigs’ in the Scene – the ones that really puzzle the game and movie industries. The largest groups use their own IRC servers to communicate, while the Topsites often use Linknet with SSL.

We are in direct contact with Fairlight and the others. We talk to them on IRC. A great proportion of them are Linknet. The largest Topsites have their own servers giving them increased security.

Additionally, the Site-Op reveals that many Sceners post internal information on Wikipedia.

The scene harbours ill feelings towards the torrent community. According to the Scene they are stealing their warez and posting it on trackers. The Scene is of the opinion that it’s real easy to bust people that posts warez on torrent sites like The Pirate Bay.

What happens is that people leak from the Scene to torrent sites just before a release. That indicates that these lamers have access to early sites. And if you are the one of those that does this you are categorized as an Insecure user and therefore banned from the Scene. So, to be clear, this is the only connection we have to the torrent scene.

Dislike of The Pirate Bay

We, as Site-ops, have no fondness for The Pirate Bay. We do not want to talk to the press because it pressures the police to focus on us. As a software programmer I dislike file sharing, because of the small companies that suffers from it. Members of the Scene learn a lot and find it to be a fun experience. The top Sceners buy the music and the movies on DVD anyway.

As an example I have purchased, ( With money ), FlashFXP to support the developers. This is software I use a lot. If you follow this thinking the best thing to do is to get rid of all the file sharers, mainly because it`s so insecure. The police are able to just walk in and identify the sharers.

END

Packer on the Puritans

Good lectures. Have 7 hours more to go. Amazing insights that affirms and refutes the body of knowledge on these Godly men who not only zealed after God, but were tenacious to bring the gospel to man on earth.

Countdown begins 🙂

Secret Invasion Is Coming

What happens when the main character that you thought gets killed, and it is revealed that the person is actually a shape-shifter? That is what happens in the Marvel Universe, when Iron Man and his Illuminati group finds out that Elektra was actually a Skrull alien. In the final New Avengers: Illuminati #5, things come to an epic beginning when one of their elite group is revealed to be a betrayer!

Note: Black Bolt revelation of being a doppleganger was classic, since the readers know that Black Bolt is a person that cannot speak (mute) due to his vocals (a mere whisper carryies the power to unleash a sonic wave equivalent to a nuclear bomb).

new_avengers_-_illuminati__005_009.jpg

new_avengers_-_illuminati__005_010_0112.jpg

new_avengers_-_illuminati__005_010_0113.jpg

new_avengers_-_illuminati__005_012_013.jpg

I’m so hyped out for this!

‘All Israel Will Be Saved’

One of the things that we should learn to do when reading the Scriptures is not to impose conditions on interpretations which we would not even impose in our daily conversations today. Language, at the crux of it, does not change as much as we think it does. This is not meaning to say that languages do not change in vocabulary usage, but refers to the structure and styles employed.

Take Romans 11:26a; may believe that this is a reference to the fact that all of Israel (those who are of Israel descent) will be saved. But to be dogmatically literal, without taking into factor the context of the passage and the letter is just willful ignorance. Why should we take it ‘literal’ (as though the word literal is a magic formula or a dogma of itself) when it is clear that in Paul’s other letters we do not do so; case in point Ephesians 3:6 in reference to ‘the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body…’?

Is interpretation a matter of taking a literal approach and running away with it, thinking that it is the de facto mode approved by God? That is merely an exageration of “historical-grammatical” rule of interpretation, which by itself is more of a guideline rather than a rule. It cannot be the ‘control’ of interpretation, although many may see it as that. But look harder and two controls can reasonably help in the matter of interpretation; context being the most important and biblical theology being the other. The former being the immediate, and the latter being the over-arching control of the entirety message of the Bible.

Another; Romans 11:25b, ‘a partial hardening has come upon Israel’. It is easy to take it as ‘the entire Israel (Jews) were partially (not fully) blinded (hardened)’. But this just ignores the context of God’s work of blinding (hardening; interchangeable usage) Israel. Look at Romans 11:7, and it shows that the elect was not blinded (hardened), while the rest were blinded (hardened). In other words, partial refers not to the ‘extend of hardening’ caused in verse 25b, but to the categorical/quantity of those being hardened. A better rendering is thus ‘part of Israel’. The control again is not dead ‘literalistic reading’, but having the context draw out the actual meaning. And of course this is not only the only context to appeal to, the whole of chapter 10-11 gives us the broad drive of Paul; a warning to the Jews of their complacency and what has occured by the Will of God, and the warning to the Gentiles of the similar complacency that will fall on them. All in all, the elect will be drawn out from both, as it is God’s own Sovereign choice for salvation (biblical theology control coming into place).

What does this mean to me about interpretation? Well, for one: more work and more responsibility in ensuring it is done properly. Two: a deeper sense of appreciation on how God so enables his verbal plenary mode of inspiration on His Word and how to give it magnificence not only in a narrow sense, but broad sense too. Three: how the first perspicuity of Scripture becomes realistic and practical to God’s people – how uneducated persons are able to understand much of Scripture without necessarily knowing or accepting ‘rules of interpretation’ that are just that dogmatic. Four: how easy it is to fall into a ‘formulatic mode of thinking’ and use that as a cheating approach to the entirety of Scripture, when Scripture itself does not mandate it. In fact, the Word confounds those who take this line very easily, in whatever forms it may come in.

And more.

This post is more of a note to me, from our recent Bible Study in church. Excellent series. Want to hear more, head over to http://www.rbcm.net >> MP3 Sermons 2007 >> Bible Study – under “The Israel of God”. Highly recommended.