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Name: Sander van Zoest
Member since: 2000-04-10 11:38:22
Last Login: 2007-08-14 16:54:33

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Homepage: http://Sander.vanZoest.com/

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Developer of network solutions and multimedia architectures in Leiden, the Netherlands.

My main interests are multimedia, metadata, network based architectures and performance.

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27 Oct 2003 (updated 27 Oct 2003 at 19:08 UTC) »

San Diego county up in flames

Since saturday evening, San Diego has been dealing with some significant fires that started from the east. Most highways, schools and businesses are closed today. They area where I live and work isn't directly effected, but it is raining ashes and the sunlight is severely discoloring the landscape in surreal yellow hues. I mirrored an Aerial Shot and a County Map from SignOn San Diego that give you a better overview of the fires. The only site that I have found that does online video coverage was NBC San Diego.

31 Jul 2003 (updated 1 Aug 2003 at 00:20 UTC) »

RIAA Radar

Robert Kaye of MusicBrainz fame points us to a great new project named RIAA Radar. It allows you to search for an artist or album and it will provide you with a best guess as to whether the item is affiliated with the RIAA. Now you can check, before you buy some music, if you will be contributing to RIAA's cause or not. Very handy.

29 Jul 2003 (updated 29 Jul 2003 at 10:37 UTC) »

California Coast Records Project

In addition to the many mapping projects out there, such as Maporama, GeoURL and the MS TerraServer. I just recently found the California Coast Records Project. It provides you with the ability to see the california coast from the ocean. Can you see our apartment? Combine this view with the satellite views and you have a neat way of locating your dream house along the beach. I wonder how long it will take before the real estate market will tap into this.

Apparently, there is an article in this months Sierra Magazine that explains more about the founder and his goals for the site. This obviously is quite useful for the Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, Sierra Club and the Vote the Coast projects. At the same time some people have various concerns with a site that catalogs the coastline. It even causes Barbra Streisand to sue the project, because it provides an unusual view of her coastal home.

28 Jul 2003 (updated 28 Jul 2003 at 22:25 UTC) »

College vs. No College

As someone who dropped out of college in the early days of the internet boom, I always wondered if I would go back to school. I have had many thoughts about returning to school and getting an MBA, Law or Music degree on top of my computer science experience.

I found my experience as a founding engineer of MP3.com to have taught me a lot about the field. Especially things that I didn't learn in school. Aaron Swartz is another person for whom school didn't seem to work. College is a place where people learn how to learn. After a few years of college, I wanted to practice what I had learned. so I could learn even more by actually doing what we got taught. It seemed to get to a point where I learned much faster and had a deeper understanding that way. There are times where I need to go back and look at old books, because I don't understand why certain things work a certain way, but all I know is that it does. The different perspectives have helped me on numerous occasions, since I questioned things, rather then taking the things in the books for granted. Sometimes things were designed a certain way for a good reason, but the reasons behind the designs no longer seem valid and could be simplified.

I am always intrigued to see articles, such as this one, in top magazines such as Forbes that show that we aren't the only ones. There is hope for those who do not fit the mold.

26 Jul 2003 (updated 27 Jul 2003 at 00:04 UTC) »

Getting Married

After about 8 months of filing passports, birth certificates, not-married certificates and affidavits with the state of california apostille stamps, Thanh and I are now allowed to be married this September 5th, 2003 in the Netherlands. Through this lengthy process our marriage will now be internationally recognized and we will receive an international marriage certificate. Maybe one of these days, I will write down the exact procedure, since there are a fair amount of not-so-obvious hoops to jump through.

Our main issues were related to the fact that three different countries from different continents were involved. All the different documents from Cambodia, the Netherlands and the United States of America needed to be recognized by all three countries or at least by dutch government officials in the Hague. I needed some documents from the city hall of the city that I left when moving to the California and they only provide those documents in person at the city hall. We also had to make payment to the resident affairs department in the Hague, where the only means of payment accepted was the dutch giro wire transfer. Thankfully, my mother had previously planned to visit my grandparents in the Netherlands and was able to take care of it in person after I provided her with a copy of my passport and a letter giving her permission to extract the information from the archive. Similarly we were almost required to make a trip to Bangkok, Thailand to have Thanhs birth certificate verified by the Cambodian Embassy and Dutch Embassy of Bangkok.

The procedure is long and confusing. The main part that makes it confusing is that each country only knows their part of the puzzle and you have to make your own conclusions as to how to get the document in the foreign country. We even got told that we needed the Secretary of State to sign one of documents. That, obviously, wasn't going to happen. It turned out that it needed to be signed by the State of California, Secretary which was much easier and had a well documented procedure.

We got our banns of marriage published by the Hague and we need to wait for that to complete. It is interesting to note how much religion is still integrated into government documents and procedures. I personally feel that religion and government are totally separate identities and they should not discriminate based on citizenship or faiths, but we still have a while to go before they are truly separate entities.

So, we have only a little more then a month to go. I can't wait. I am pretty excited about it. I'll try to provide updates on other happenings such as the San Diego Comic-Con and geeky findings in a later Journal entry.

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