Oct 23, 2004

Using GnuPG

I've started using GnuPG, the GNU Privacy Guard. I've uploaded my public key to the MIT PGP key server, pgp.mit.edu. My key ID is:


and fingerprint is:

B57F D9D9 FFA1 A18F 9876 7512 5999 7722 D864 3D69

If this post has caused you a headache so far, sorry! I just like the idea of playing around with digital signing and encryption.

Oct 9, 2004

`The Apprentice'

After watching four episodes, I've finally decided it's one of my all-time favourite shows. Two teams, minimal team loyalty, and almost constant bickering among the women are the defining factors, and it's great to watch.

My favourite episode so far has been the one where Sam got fired. He was labeled the `wild man' of the men's team, and he had openly admitted to Mr Trump that he had not earned the others' respect -- but he seemed to think that was their fault. After he was fired, he stared murderously at Trump. Hadn't anyone told him when he signed up there was a possibility he would get fired? Trump probably increased his security detail after that!

Yesterday night's episode was interesting because Nick folded when he didn't approve of a business tactic the others were using to get the customers in. They had set up Kwame at a desk giving out autographs -- `Get your autograph of Kwame Jackson, Wall Street [grunt]', as if he was a celebrity. In retrospect, it seems like what Sam tried to do in the first episode selling lemonade to a guy for a thousand dollars -- `I guarantee that if you buy this lemonade, you will have an experience that you will remember.' Kinda bending the rules of the show, but not quite. The implication was that after the show aired, all the contenders would become well-known to the public.

Anyway, Nick said he didn't approve of the tactic and wasn't going to be a part of it. But he didn't really do anything much at all. He just hung around outside and chanted something like `Coupons, coupons'. Carolyn was right when she pointed out he had looked like he was dying. Nick should have stuck up for the team and the team leader no matter what he thought of the tactics. And in any case he certainly didn't come up with anything better.

As for the women ... they focused on liquor and won. Heidi was very impressive selling the drinks. She capitalised on the male `macho' complex, urging them to down the shots. It was excellent. I don't know if you could say whether they went too far when the started drinking as well. Maybe that was a mistake, but they beat the men, which was the goal, so....

As for the whole `Shooters Girls' thing, small T-shirts and all, I think Trump and Carolyn were wrong to caution them about using sexuality. It should be obvious that their goal, and all their incentives, pointed at beating the men any way necessary. It was just business. If Trump wanted to see what they would do if they couldn't use sexuality as a tactic, he should have put them in a task which neutralised it -- e.g., negotiating with a woman, or in a highly scrutinised corporate environment. I don't know.

On a side note, I have to admit that for the most part I'm very erratic with my blogging. It's just that I just don't say anything if there's nothing interesting going on.