Monday, April 28, 2008

Tornadoes hit Virginia

SUFFOLK, Va. - Three tornadoes ripped through Virginia on Monday, with one hop-scotching across the southeastern part of the state and leaving behind a 25-mile trail of gutted homes, tossed cars and more than 200 injured residents.

Residents of some of the hardest hit neighborhoods in this town outside Norfolk were forced to evacuate their homes, with buses taking them to nearby shelters. Police closed roads, steering people away from streets with downed power lines.

Downed trees and power lines covered the streets in a section of the city. A vending machine was tilted on its side, leaning up against a pile of rubble that had been the general store in a small shopping district.

"It's just a bunch of broken power poles, telephone lines and sad faces," said Richard Allbright, who works for a tree removal service in Driver and had been out for hours trying to clear the roads.

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine declared a state of emergency for the areas of southeastern Virginia struck by the twisters.

The National Weather Service confirmed that tornadoes struck Suffolk, Colonial Heights and Brunswick County. Meteorologist Bryan Jackson described Suffolk's as a "major tornado."

Jackson said the Brunswick County tornado was estimated at 86 mph to 110 mph, and cut a 300-yard path of destruction.

The first tornado touched down around 1 p.m. in Brunswick County, said Mike Rusnak, a weather service meteorologist in Wakefield. The second struck Colonial Heights around 3:40 p.m., he said.

The third touched down multiple times, between 4:30 to 5 p.m., and is believed to have caused damage over a 25-mile path from Suffolk to Norfolk, Rusnak said.

At least 200 were injured in Suffolk and 18 others were injured in Colonial Heights, south of Richmond, said Bob Spieldenner from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.

In Colonial Heights, the storm overturned cars and damaged buildings in the Southpark Mall area.

Suffolk city spokeswoman Dana Woodson said the area around Sentara Obici Hospital and in the community of Driver, located within the city, were hardest hit. The hospital was damaged but still able to treat patients.

Insulation, wiring and twisted metal hung from the front of a strip mall in Suffolk that was stripped bare of its facing. Cars and SUVs in the parking lot outside lay strewn about, some lying on top of others.

Several of Gregory A. Parker's businesses and his pre-Civil War-era home in Driver were damaged in the tornado.

The porch was blown off his Arthur's General Store. At another store he owns, the tin roof was rolled up like a sardine can. The facade of his home collapsed and the windows were blown out. Inside, furniture was tossed about.

"I hate to say it sounded like a train, but that's the truth," Parker said.

His wife, Ellise, rode out the storm in the first-floor bathroom of an antique store. The building lost its second story. His brother, Craig S. Parker, owns the general store that sells hunting and fishing supplies.

Parker is spending the night with his sister, who lives nearby.

"I don't even think a leaf blew off at her house. That's how tornadoes are," he said.

Sentara hospital spokesman Dale Gauding said about 60 injured people were being treated there, and he expected most to be released.

"We have lots of cuts and bruises" and arm and leg injuries, he said. The hospital's windows were cracked, apparently by debris from a damaged shopping center across the street.

Southside Regional Medical Center treated one storm victim with minor injuries and was poised to receive more, hospital spokeswoman Terry Tysinger said.

Property damage also was reported in Brunswick County, one of several localities where the weather service had issued a tornado warning. Sgt. Michelle Cotten of the Virginia State Police said a twister destroyed two homes. Trees and power lines were down, and some flooding was reported.

About 6,000 Dominion Virginia Power customers remained without service Monday night, mostly in the Northern Neck.

Laura Southard, a state emergency management spokeswoman, said the damage assessment will be done Tuesday.

By SONJA BARISIC, Associated Press Writer

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Trapped in an Elevator for 41 hours!!!

It started with a routine cigarette break for Nicholas White and ended with a 41 hour ordeal inside the elevator with no food or water and all alone.

It was the longest cigarette break of Nicholas White's life or anyone for that matter.

The 34-year-old New York production manager was working late one Friday night in October when he went outside for a smoke. He was returning to his office on the 39th floor when the elevator stopped abruptly between floors. White pressed the alarm, letting it ring and ring. But at 11 p.m. the building was deserted, and it would be nearly two days before White was rescued.

He paced around the elevator like a bug trapped in a box, fighting claustrophobia every minute of his 41-hour ordeal, which was captured on a video surveillance camera.

"After a certain amount of time I knew I was in big trouble," White told "Good Morning America" in an exclusive interview. He had no watch, no cell phone, no food or water. His only sustenance was a pack of Rolaids.

"Rolaids aren't a very good meal," White said.

The the most difficult part of the ordeal, he said, was going 41 hours without water. At one point, White thought he might die of dehydration. He relieved himself by opening the elevator doors a bit and urinating down the elevator shaft.

White laid on the floor trying to stay calm. Then he got up and started pacing. At one point he pried open the elevator doors and screamed for help. The only response was silence.

"I had no idea if it was day or night," White said.

Herang the emergency bell, but he couldn't take the constant noise so he occasionally turned it off.

Split-screen video footage of the building showed other parts of the building, including three other elevators. The video showed maintenance workers occasionally fixing various things, but no one heard him and none of them wondered what was going on with car No. 30.

Not a religious man, White prayed for help. On Sunday at 4 p.m., White, who was nearly delirious from thirst, heard a voice on the intercom asking if anyone was there. Finally, he was rescued.

When he went back to work, White found out his co-workers who were also there late thought he had skipped out and left that night.

White laid on the floor trying to stay calm. Then he got up and started pacing. At one point he pried open the elevator doors and screamed for help. The only response was silence.

"I had no idea if it was day or night," White said.

He rang the emergency bell, but he couldn't take the constant noise so he occasionally turned it off. Split-screen video footage of the building showed other parts of the building, including three other elevators. The video showed maintenance workers occasionally fixing various things, but no one heard him and none of them wondered what was going on with car No. 30.

Not a religious man, White prayed for help. On Sunday at 4 p.m., White, who was nearly delirious from thirst, heard a voice on the intercom asking if anyone was there. Finally, he was rescued.

When he went back to work, White found out his co-workers who were also there late thought he had skipped out and left that night.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Black Suede

A video posted on the internet showing Philippine doctors laughing while removing an object from a patient may lead to charges against the surgeons and cost them their medical licenses, officials said Wednesday.

The nearly 3-minute video of a noisy operating room shows doctors and nurses laughing, giggling and cheering. At one point, a hand appears with a cell phone camera taking a close-up picture of the surgery. As a doctor gingerly pulls out the 6-inch long canister from the male patient's rectum, someone shouts, "Baby out!" amid loud cheers.

The doctor then removes the canister cap and sprays the contents toward the crowd of nurses and doctors viewing the procedure. The video has angered the unidentified patient who plans to press charges, his lawyer Guiller Ceniza said Wednesday.

The government-run Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in the central city of Cebu, where the surgery took place, is conducting an investigation, a spokesman said Wednesday.

Dr. Emmanuel Gines said more than 10 people were involved — including staff and medical and nursing students from a nearby operating room.

The 39-year-old patient received surgery on Jan. 3, three days after a New Year's drinking spree and a "one-night stand" with a male partner he met on the street. "Danilo" not his real name said he was too drunk to remember how the body spray canister ended up in his body.

Danilo was determined to file charges but will wait for the results of the hospital's investigation, expected this week.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Skyline thief caught by cyber squad

I just joined when I noticed the Skyline stolen thread about a couple of young guys test drove it and never returned. I watched the whole thing unfold and how they caught the thief. The thread reached more than a million views in just 5 days, some kind of a record I guess.

Anyways, I saw NY times published it in their website and here's what they had to say about it:

EARLY on the afternoon of March 26, two young men visited Heritage Auto Sales, a specialty dealership in Calgary, Alberta. They asked to test-drive a dark gray 1991 Nissan Skyline GT-R, a performance model made primarily for the Japanese market and rarely seen in North America.

One of the men had been to the dealership a week earlier for a ride, but he and Mr. Ironside didn’t get far. The car, with an engine modified for extra horsepower, began to act up. When the man returned with a friend for another try, Mr. Ironside was juggling two customers, so he just handed them the keys, explaining that there was only enough gas in the tank for a drive around the block.

But 15 minutes later Mr. Ironside noticed that the Skyline still hadn’t returned — and that the car that the two men had arrived in was gone. A bad feeling swelled in his gut; still, he reasoned, sometimes a buyer will take a car to have it inspected.

“It’s kind of hard to report a vehicle stolen 15 minutes after it’s not come back from a test drive,” he said in a telephone interview last Sunday.

The car never returned. That night, after reporting its disappearance to the police, Mr. Ironside posted a message on, a Web site for Canadian auto enthusiasts, to spread the word.

10:28 p.m., March 26 Unfortunately I have to post this as one of my first posts my 1991 Skyline GT-R is officially STOLEN.

The forum posting went on to describe the afternoon’s events, repeating information that was included in the police report. He described the driver as a white male in his early 20s, heavy-set, around 5-foot-6, with a distinguishing feature: missing ring and middle fingers on his left hand.

The post included several photos of the missing car and offered a cash reward, though as he typed, Mr. Ironside had little expectation of getting the car back, he said later. But his post set off a cyberworld dragnet — a process definitely not recommended by the police — in a case the arresting officer called “a bizarre file.”

Results came quickly. The next day, James Lynch, a forum moderator, was leaving the Chinook Center mall in Calgary in his BMW M3 when he noticed a Nissan Skyline close behind him.

Having seen the photos of the missing Skyline online earlier in the day, Mr. Lynch immediately recognized the black wheels. He pulled alongside the Skyline at the next light, he said, and gave the driver a “rock out” sign, holding up a hand with pinkie and index finger extended and his other fingers clenched.

“He was dumb enough to do it back to me — and I got a picture right when he did it,” Mr. Lynch said.

When Mr. Ironside checked the Skyline message thread that afternoon, he scrolled through messages from dozens of members. At the bottom of the first page, he reached a surprising post by Mr. Lynch, whom he knew only by his forum handle, JAYMEZ.

4:19 p.m., MARCH 27 I FOUUUNNNDDDDD THEM =) And I have pictures Called the police and chased them, also talked to them.

Five minutes later, the photo, with the driver looking straight into the camera, appeared on the thread. He fit the description in Mr. Ironside’s police report, down to the white and black New York Yankees baseball cap. The photo wasn’t entirely clear, but the driver appeared to be missing two fingers.

Mr. Ironside forwarded the photo to the police, who told him, “The picture is as solid evidence as you’d ever find.”

Online auto forums have helped unravel crimes before. Two years ago, a detective in Los Angeles used the forum on, a Nissan enthusiast site, to track down victims of an elaborate fraud scheme. (That case, too, involved Nissan Skylines.)

The victim posted a message about the incident an hour later. The witness with the camera followed up with clear shots of the suspect’s face and license plate — and it made the local news.

“We sent all of that to the cops,” Mr. Kwan said. “And that one was handled basically by the end of the day.”

Two hours after the photo taken by Mr. Lynch was posted, Allan Thomson, known on the forum as Numi, reported a Skyline sighting the previous night and gave directions to the area. The forum exploded with vigilante fervor; members living close by proposed a search.

Four hours later, Mr. Thomson posted again, this time to say that he had sent out a personal message pinpointing the car’s position.

10:23 PM, March 27 FOUND!!! PMED with exact location. Guy drives it like he owns it. Idiot parks outside his house backed in so you cant see his plate.

Exactly 15 minutes later, a forum member added a link to a Google map with directions to the house. Other members scrambled to narrow their Facebook searches for the suspect to the closest high school. At about 11 p.m., a link to the Facebook profile appeared online. The photos seemed to show the same person in the picture taken by Mr. Lynch.

In a little more than 24 hours from the time of Mr. Ironside’s first post on the stolen Skyline, members of the forum had spotted the car and assembled a name, photo, home address and Facebook profile for the person seen behind the wheel of the Skyline.

That night, Mr. Ironside joined a handful of forum members at the address where the car had been parked earlier. After midnight, he posted again.

12:30 a.m, March 28 There was a older body style 94-01 Dodge Ram 1500 Pickup Red in color acting suspicious in the area. If it wasn’t anybody here I would be willing to bet that this guy got a little spooked from all the activity and is just riding around in another vehicle. Anyways, I had to book out and switch up vehicles to a less obvious ride.

Punit Patel, known as Dj-Stylz on, followed the busy thread through the night. He saw that other forum members had searched the area to no avail and decided to leave for work early the next day to swing by the house. He didn’t think about what he would do if the Skyline was there.

When Mr. Patel found the Skyline parked between two pickups, he blocked the driveway with his Acura and asked a friend to post his discovery. Then he called the police and waited.

Mr. Ironside was surprised by the latest development when he checked the forum in the morning. He jumped into his car and arrived at the house at 8:45 a.m. Then he called 911 with his case number. The police arrived in minutes.

11:26 A.M., MARCH 28 The owner arrived and he called the cops because no one came for more then 2 hours. Cops came within 5 minutes after the owner called. I got pictures just give me a little time to upload. Also got a video of the guy getting arrested.

For Mr. Ironside, it was the best possible outcome. His car was dirty but in good shape. He would need to replace the tires and fix a few rock chips.

Less than 48 hours after Mr. Ironside’s initial post, photos of the house and videos of the arrest appeared on the thread. The shaky video showed a single police officer escorting the suspect, confirmed by the Calgary police as 18-year-old Jamie Glen Jacobson, to an unmarked police car. He was charged with theft over $5,000. He is free on bail pending a court appearance on April 16.

“This guy has worldwide recognition for being a car thief for the rest of his life,” Mr. Ironside said. “The Internet is not going away.”

Friday, April 4, 2008

Hamilton crashed in Bahrain

Lewis Hamilton Practice 2 Bahrain Accident - For more of the funniest videos, click here

Hamilton crashes heavily into the barrier as he loses control of his Mclaren on Friday's 2nd practice in Bahrain.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Basic VoIP information

Let me blog about basic information about VoIP and call it VoIP 101.

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is simply the transmission of voice traffic over IP-based networks.

The Internet Protocol (IP) was originally designed for data networking. The success of IP in becoming a world standard for data networking has led to its adaption to voice networking.

The Economics of VoIP
VoIP has become popular largely because of the cost advantages to consumers over traditional telepone networks. Most Americans pay a flat monthly fee for local telephone calls and a per-minute charge for long-distance calls.

VoIP calls can be placed across the Internet. Most Internet connections are charged using a flat monthly fee structure.

Using the Internet connection for both data traffic and voice calls can allow consumers to get rid of one monthly payment. In addition, most VoIP plans do not charge a per-minute fee for long distance.

For International calling, the monetary savings to the consumer from switching to VoIP technology can be enormous.

VoIP Telephones

There are three methods of connecting to a VoIP network:

  • Using a VoIP telephone
  • Using a “normal” telephone with a VoIP adapter
  • Using a softphone in a computer with speakers and a microphone

Types of VoIP calls
VoIP telephone calls can be placed either to other VoIP devices, or to normal telephones on the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) like landlines

Calls from a VoIP device to a PSTN device are commonly called “PC-to-Phone” calls, even though the VoIP device may not be a PC and can be a regular telephone attached to ATA (Analog Telephone Adapter). Most VoIP providers like Onesuite can be use with ATA device so the user doesn’t need a PC for making calls. There’s a few providers that can not be use with ATA like Skype which has it’s own “phone apparatus” that most people find it as a drawback. People who wants to switch to Skype needs to buy another set of phone device which means additional cost to them unlike when switching to other providers like Vonage, Viatalk or Onesuite.

Calls from a VoIP device to another VoIP device are commonly called “PC-to-PC” calls, even though neither device may be a PC. An example of this is Yahoo Messenger to Yahoo Messenger “call”. Pc to Pc calls is always free.