July 27, 2002

On Water Bottles

Water bottles are the fashion rage of folks living in Vegas. If you've lived here any amount of time at all, you would notice all the people carrying small water bottles outside. I pity the folks who don't know well enough to carry one. I wonder when they will come up with designer sparkling jewelry to adorn the bottles. If it's gotta be with you, why not make it pretty to look at. They've done it for pagers, so why not water bottles?

Yesterday I went to an outdoor play (Lil' Abner) put up by the folks at UNLV. It was at the Spring Mountain Ranch just a couple of miles off of Red Rock. The silence and expanse of the outdoors was great. Seeing a play in the dark far away from the glitsy lights of Vegas was interesting. Nothing good can be said about the dragonflies and other desert insects crawling about in their natural habitat though.

July 25, 2002

Internet Software discussion

Sonny and Hoang have begun an on-going discussion on Internet Software. To read or participate in it, just click on the link.

July 16, 2002

LV Real Estate

I have been looking at some of Las Vegas area's real estate for the past few weeks.  Actually I have only been looking at new constructions.  Now that highway 215 is pretty established, there is a large outgrowth of new homes being built that is outside of its perimeter.  Here are a couple of recent article references with regards to Vegas real estate:

Las Vegas Review Journal, June 2

LV Real Estates classifieds

Then there is the issue of Yucca mountain and there is a probable correlation that it will affect housing and real estate here.   How would you like to live in an area where the entire country ships its nuclear wastes?  It only takes one accident or lapse in judgment from anyone associated with Yucca to make a mess of a million lives.

July 11, 2002

Broadband and Home Networking

A consumer really doesn't understand the convenience and value of a home network until he has one. As an adjunct to my previous posting, it seems that cable modem devices are going through an evolution of their own. This article: The Changing Face of Cable Modems provides even more reasons why having a home network is a good idea. It banks on evolving the cable modem to provide additional consumer services aside from the basic internet access point. Initially, it's also a router (layman's terms, it's a home-gateway). Wireless LAN (802.11) hotspots are available today at pretty much low cost too. Then it wants to do voice telephony (voice-over-IP) and gradually video telephony. These are realtime applications so they rely mostly on QOS (Quality of Service) underlying IP layer to be available.

The DOCSIS standard has made the standard cable modem available to the public at a relatively low cost. With so many companies jumping on the bandwagon to support the standard, of course price will be pushed lower as a result. All this is a wonderful boon to us consumers. No complaints from me or anyone else who are currently using cable modems.

Posted by Hoang at 07:42 AM | Add the first comment | Technology

July 09, 2002

My Trip South

We made it back from Mexico ok.... For the July 4th weekend, we drove to Santa Anna for the Vietnamese food. The next day we drove down to San Diego. Downtown was really a happening place at night. It was so crowded, it looked like Marti Gras and I even got lost looking around for the car at midnight. The day after that, it was going across the border to the touristic part of Tijuana. Dirty, dingy, lots of seedy folks and people trying to sell you things you don't need. "hey my friend.... step right in here, I got what you need.... only xx dollars..."

Well we stayed till 7pm and I figured it was past curfew because lots of military types with machine guns were popping up to patrol the streets. From the looks of them, I figured they might get some action at night in the downtown area. Walking back to the border, I saw a blond girl being dragged by her boyfriend and some of his friends. Either she got too drunk or was mickied at one of the bars. Someone later told me that happens quite frequently especially if the girl is unaware. The line to get back to the US border was practically a mile long. In line, a frat boy became pretty roudy pushing people and being loud. A Mexican policeman cuffed him right on the spot and dragged him off. I keep hearing that it's possible to bribe the policeman and he will let you go... either that or give him ALL your money and he will likely let you go.

We gradually got to the front of the line when the customs officers gave a few of us in the party a hard time.

"What country are you a citizen of..?" ok, no brainer U.S.A
"How did you become a citizen?" I took a test. Ok, maybe that wasn't the right answer.
"What do the 13 stripes on the US flag stand for?" Beats me..
"Are you carrying anything back from Mexico?" Maybe a belly full of Coronas and Pacifico

Anne's cousin had some exposed tattoes on his arms and legs so they might have grilled him. Ok, something to remember.. in situations like this, you want to be as common as possible and don't draw attention to yourself. By about 9PM, we were back into US soil.