Suunto n3i Watch - Worthy and cool at the same time 
After going 40+ years without wearing a watch, the Suunto n3i and MSN Direct adds up to me wearing a watch for the first time in my life and liking it. I've never been one to obey time as I often feel that it is little more then a placebo for humans giving them a feeling of control over something that plows on no matter what they do. Time began long before us and will continue long after we are gone and our concept of measuring it often only serves to help humans cope with the idea of eternity. You can't really save time, stop time, or anything else as all you can do is use the time you are given. I don't care about time as I'm task driven, in that I set daily goals for myself and then spend as much time as needed to achieve those goals, so a watch was always meaningless to me. Now my wife and others no doubt wish I paid a little more attention to time, but that is how I am.

I guess it would be two years ago I received a Suunto n3 watch which was cool as it could be connected to my MSN account and was far more then just a watch as it automatically downloaded information and such that I selected. So I tried it for awhile and while I liked it, the bulk and strap (stiff) resulted in the watch eventually finding its way to the bottom of a drawer to be somewhat forgotten. I then received a Suunto n3i which was thinner and the strap was far more comfortable, so now more often then not I find myself wearing my watch and have been for sometime now.

I find the watch to be useful for tracking my appointments, news and of course sports teams. Now tracking of my beloved Calgary Flames hockey team is more then what you might think. For example I see who they are playing next and when, how they compare in the standings with whom they are playing, and if a game is on, 'live' updates of the score and time remaining in the game and a wrap up of the game afterwards. I must admit that more then once I've been out in a formal social occasion where for whatever reasons of formal etiquette watching sports or otherwise interrupting the so called occasion with sports score would be frowned upon (likely by the female gender), but my watch has allowed me to get my scores in pretty close to real time. In fact my watch tends to draw a crowd of other males who are similarly being deprived of their sports.

The watch offers a number of other advantages such as current weather and forecasts which if you live in Calgary can be rather nice given how fast our weather can change. I also get weather conditions in other cities which is handy when traveling or talking to associates in those cities. I must admit I do like being able to change the watch face as I'm not sure how someone could stand to look at the same watch day after day for years. Another feature that is handy is it can receive MSN Messenger messages, so people can send me a text message via my watch (handy when I forget to take my phone). Another feature I've enjoyed is when I travel the watch adjusts it own time and the time is very accurate and I don't have to adjust it. Funny how many times commercial pilots have asked me for the correct time (makes me wonder if perhaps I should be flying the plane).

So how does the watch receive all of this information? MSN Direct operates radio transmitters such that your information is sent via FM signal to your watch, so you are always current. Appointments and such are sent from Outlook to MSN and then sent to your watch. The coverage is actually really good, for example Calgary and the surrounding area is covered as is Edmonton as well as other major cities in Canada. Coverage in the States seems even better, and one feature I'd like to have in Calgary is traffic updates but that only seems to be available in the States.

You can learn more about my watch here

Note MSN Direct supports a number of different watches from different vendors. You can learn more about MSN Direct here here


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Time to Panic - Canada's Mens Hockey 
Canadaís Mens Hockey team has been shutout for the last two games and to say that this is unexpected would be an understatement of unparallel proportions. So what is the problem? Has the larger ice totally buffaloed the Canadian team, has the Gretzky non event thing totally sidetracked the Canadian team, or what the heck is happening to cause what undoubtedly looks nothing short of a hockey juggernaut to sputter and fail? Now before I answer this let me make this disclaimer, first I played hockey at a high level (college and above), and second I played goal.

Problem number two, Pat Quinn. Evidence Toronto Maple Leafs what else is needed. If Toronto played in Calgaryís division (the Northwest) they would be in LAST place, four points behind Minnesota. Toronto has some descent players and such so it would leave the coaching suspect. Team Canada has some great talent (thanks Gretzky) but the coach has nothing to offer but lame excuses. Time for Quinn to fall on his sword and someone get Brent Sutterís phone number and book a ticket for him on the next flight to Turin. We need a coach with a plan ASAP to turn this train wreck around and take control and do something besides offering the obvious stupid excuses. Canada is there to win and everything and everyone else is a lowly second on the priority list. Hockey is more then just a sport in Canada.

Problem number one, Canadaís offense sucks. Funny how forwards command the biggest salaries in the NHL, get all the rule changes to Ďenhanceí their performances (smaller goalie equipment, more penalties for interfering with them, etc) and they still canít score. Canada hasnít been blown out as the defense and goaltending have done their job, the only problem is the forwards suck. So why do they suck? First Iíd question where their heart is as it seems that these guys are not willing to sacrifice and do what it takes to score or win. Second I must admit Iím questioning some of the choices Gretzky made as playing for Canada in the Olympics isnít a reward for past reputation in the NHL (how many guys on the Swiss team had played in the NHL, but apparently they still won, so NHL means squat here). Everyone complains about the big ice, two words here Bull Shit, only the forwards are complaining about the big ice like it is too far for those slackers to skate or something. Defensemen have far more right to complain about big ice as it favors the attacking forward as they have more room to exploit their speed with, but perhaps that is the real problem here, LACK of speed in our forwards. So tell me again why Sidney Crobsy isnít there or other speed merchants with soft hands? Grinder hockey doesnít work here as the rules donít favor it, nor the ice size, so forwards who know how to skate and handle a puck flourish here, but the Canadian forwards simply suck (how many Canadians are known in the NHL as being great puck handlers, compared to how many Europeans, Canadians might be bigger, meaner and tougher, but all that means in the Olympics is welcome to the penalty box, so tell me again why we left so many of our puck handlers at home).

If I was coach, Iíd have that team under a lock down together (meaning the whole team and only the team, want to be a tourist with your significant other etc then that is after the games are done), with curfew where everyone is in bed no later then 9:30pm, need to get over jet lag, go to bed and fix it, got any other problems, deal with them now and quit whining. Second for every missed shot, scoring opportunity or otherwise slacker effort Iíd be billing the forwards $$$ in the form of a donation to other Canadian Olympic athletes who often have nothing but heart thanks to our nonsupport of Olympic athletes in Canada (I have one as a neighbor). Third I'd tell them that the Women's team has shown more balls then they have. Fourth Iíd remind them if they donít win the gold medal they are swimming home and likely to rather hostile Canadian hockey fans who donít take defeat like this very well. Even Jarome Iginla knows that there had better be gold on your chest or plenty of blood on your face, otherwise you will lose the respect of Canadian fans, not to mention those high priced contracts.


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How do spammers get your email address? 
A common question I hear is how did all these spammers get my email address? If you are an old timer on the internet you remember the days when email addresses were harvested from newsgroups and web pages and so you used some sort of bogus email address when posting such as or whatever but now you do that and you still get a ton of spam. So you figured that someone sold you out and your beloved email address was sold by some less then honorable web admin somewhere. These methods are possible causes of why you get spam, but more likely its something else and no matter how careful you are, or what you do to hide, spammers will likely find you and send you their endless flood of junk (well over half of all emails sent on the internet are spam).

I have a couple of domains which I registered on the internet, but setup the accounts such that I receive all emails, no matter to whom they are addressed to at that domain. Each of these domains has a couple of active and real user accounts, but yet I receive tons of spam for accounts which have never existed, how is that? Many years ago when I was much more involved in internet security I was invited to participate in the teaching of internet security and the running of security labs and 'contests' and two of the 'contests' where dumpster diving and shredded paper reassembly (yes there were a lot of feds involved). So one thing I had to prepare was a list of user ids which I then created and gave to the organizers who then had a small fit as they thought the list I had given them was a list of actual users names within their 'organization', which then brought about the usual game of 20 questions as to how I obtained such confidential information being an outsider and all. Having to create these user lists meant a lot of typing and thinking of a lot of names etc, and being a coder I thought I'd much rather write a program and let it do the work for me, but where to get the names? A lot of governments post census information on their websites and in some countries part of the census information is statistics as to how common first and last names are. So I downloaded that information and fed it to a program I wrote which then used common user id naming conventions (for example last name appended with the first letter of the first name like mcneillb), so take those user ids and appended them with common ISPs/domains/etc and you have a ton of email addresses (ie or etc). This is what we see in our test spam domains, tons and tons of made up email addresses that look credible. Spammers now create email addresses to spam and if there is no actual account with a generated name then no, big deal the compromised system or otherwise spoofed source they used to send the spam, gets a notification message, they don't care as it isn't their bandwidth that is being used or anything.

So want to reduce your inbound spam, get yourself a truly unique user id like and the amount of spam you receive will be greatly reduced, however your desired email volumes will also likely be diminished as no one is going to remember your email address.


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Isn't technology great or proof that the Red Wings are over rated 
Another day, another hard fought win for the Calgary Flames over Vancouver. So which team is better Calgary Flames or Detroit Red Wings? The Red Wings have 51 points compared to the Flames 46, and what about Ottawa's 53 points? Given how the schedule is setup so there are more inter-division games, are all divisions created equal or could Detroit be doing so well because they are in such a weak division and could possibly be dog food if they were in a stronger division? These questions have been bouncing around in my mind for a while, but technology comes to the rescue as I spend a lazy morning in bed recovering from the panic that some people call Christmas. So I reach over and grab my Mobile 5 powered i-mate JasJar and connect to the internet using my WPA secured wireless connection and surf over the and copy/paste the current standings (as of 4:10 AM EST, 12/27/2005) into Excel on my JasJar. Do some quick calculations and viola, Detroit is truly over rated as they are easily playing in the weakest division. Ottawa on the other hand is actually pretty good, but they were punished on their recent road trip out west.

Eastern Conference
PHILADELPHIA 35 22 8 5 49
NY RANGERS 37 21 12 4 46
NY ISLANDERS 35 17 16 2 36
NEW JERSEY 36 15 16 5 35
PITTSBURGH 34 8 19 7 23
Total 177 189 37.8 10.2810505

OTTAWA 34 25 6 3 53
BUFFALO 37 25 11 1 51
TORONTO 36 19 14 3 41
MONTREAL 34 17 11 6 40
BOSTON 35 12 17 6 30
Total 176 215 43 9.30053762

CAROLINA 35 23 9 3 49
TAMPA BAY 37 19 15 3 41
ATLANTA 37 16 16 5 37
FLORIDA 38 13 20 5 31
WASHINGTON 33 12 19 2 26
Total 180 184 36.8 8.89943818
Conference 533 588 39.2 9.24430327

Western Conference
DETROIT 36 24 9 3 51
NASHVILLE 33 23 7 3 49
CHICAGO 35 13 18 4 30
COLUMBUS 36 10 25 1 21
ST LOUIS 33 8 21 4 20
Total 173 171 34.2 14.9566039

CALGARY 36 21 11 4 46
EDMONTON 37 21 12 4 46
VANCOUVER 36 20 11 5 45
COLORADO 37 19 15 3 41
MINNESOTA 36 16 16 4 36
Total 182 214 42.8 4.32434966

DALLAS 34 23 10 1 47
LOS ANGELES 38 23 14 1 47
ANAHEIM 36 16 14 6 38
PHOENIX 37 18 17 2 38
SAN JOSE 35 15 15 5 35
Total 180 205 41 5.61248608
Conference 535 590 39.3333333 9.64118151

From this we can see that the Northwest division is easily the toughest division in the NHL today and just think I was able to do all of this while spending a lazy morning sitting in bed, thank you technology, as now there is one less unanswered thing bouncing around in my head and I can get back to enjoying a lazy day (or at least until the wife gives me my schedule of activities for the day).

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Delphi 2006 Roadshow hits Calgary 
Delphi 2006 Roadshow is in Calgary on December 6 at Calgary Public Library 6:00 - 9:00pm

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