Religious Orders

Abusing Twitter

Posted: Wednesday December 17 2008 @ 3:13pm

Religious Order: Science and Technology

I've been abusing Twitter today. I set up a little shell script to post whatever iTunes is playing to a Twitter feed.

Yeah, it's silly. But I did end up learning a bunch about cURL and shell scripting, which I'm sure will come in handy at some point in the future.

One of the things I love about OS X is that it has all these great Unix command line tools built-in. It's a real operating system. Honestly, how does anyone get anything done on Windows?

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If programming languages were religions...

Posted: Wednesday December 17 2008 @ 8:57am

Religious Order: Science and Technology

I try to avoid posts that are just links to other things. But this one is really good: If programming languages were religions...

Be sure to read through the comments. Many good additions to the list to be found there.

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New Kind of RSS Feed Reader

Posted: Friday November 21 2008 @ 12:39pm

Religious Order: Science and Technology

You know what I need? A new kind of RSS feed reader.

This feed reader would scan the posts for links and use common links as a way to consolidate or eliminate posts about the same thing.

Right now, for example, someone posts something cool at, say, Instructables. Then BoingBoing Gadgets points to it. Then the normal BoingBoing site points to the Gadget one, because they're hit whores. Then Gizmodo points to BoingBoing. Then the other Gawker blogs point to the Gizmodo post, because they're also hit whores.

I might end up with 6 posts in my feeds, all pointing to the same damn thing. Couldn't a feed reader figure that out and eliminate everything but the original post?

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Posted: Tuesday November 18 2008 @ 7:08am

Religious Order: Science and Technology

Hey Apple! Thanks for a new version of Safari! One that crashes all the damn time!


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In the news...

Posted: Friday August 22 2008 @ 7:31pm

Religious Order: Science and Technology

My former employer is in the news, but not in a good way. Last year, they published an awful comic book that tries to educate kids about how the court system works. Unfortunately, they're experts on court administration, not the laws themselves. (Except for Anne, who was utilized too late in the process to save it.) So it really, really, really, really, really, really, really sucks.

It basically reads like a RIAA propaganda piece, although Anne assures me it wasn't meant that way. Still, that how it reads. Anyway, now, a year later, the tech blogs are just learning about it. (Despite someone trying to clue some of them in on it a year ago.)

So, it's causing an uproar, one that's just gonna be ignored by the source of the comic and forgotten by everyone else in a week.

But, for now, here's a list of the blog posts talking about it. Have fun:

I've left for last, as they've had the most complete coverage. Unfortunately, they don't link the posts together. So here they are, in chronological order:

The sad thing is that the NCSC does good work, generally. They just simply screwed up royally on this comic. They look like they're a front for the RIAA. Anne's been feverishly trying to correct misperceptions on the various blogs. But, frankly, if I didn't personally know her, I wouldn't believe her. (And even Anne doesn't know everything. Was Ramsey taking payments under the table? Or was it just another case of him being monumentally stupid.)

If you want to keep track of the blog postings, a Google search on NCSC propaganda will get you most of them.

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Where All The Cheap Digicams At?

Posted: Friday August 15 2008 @ 7:47am

Religious Order: Science and Technology

While we were in Norway, I tried to take a lot of 3D shots. I'd take a photo, then move to the side a little and take another. Once home, I melded them together into a 3D image that you could view with red/blue glasses. Here are two of my favorite examples:

The problem? It's hard to keep everything level and at the same height. Much of the time, one shot would be crooked. Or one would be higher than the other. Convert those to 3D and you get an instant headache.

Sure, you could rotate one or the other, but then you still have to crop them to exactly the same size. It's just a pain. Plus, there's a time lag between the shots, meaning you can't take them from moving objects and you can't have things moving in the scene.

The solution would be to have two identical cameras, mounted next to each other. Then you could just fire their shutters at the same time. So, all I need to do is find a couple of cheap, but decent, digital cameras.

Wow! That's actually hard to do. I know there should be 2-3 year old cameras around for less than $100, but I can't find any. Anything below $100 is inevitably a focus-free piece of junk. Real cameras are inevitably more then $100.

I could scour eBay, but how many sellers are going to be selling the same model at any given time?

I really thought this would be easy. It's not. Grrrr!

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We Sure Can Pick 'Em

Posted: Friday August 15 2008 @ 7:47am

Religious Order: Science and Technology

I don't know which is sadder, that we've owned three of the Ten Worst-Selling Handhelds of All-Time or that we've owned four of the Ten Worst-Selling Consoles of All-Time.

Actually, the saddest thing is that we sold some of the consoles. That was a mistake. They were too much fun and I wish we had them back.

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PDA Pondering

Posted: Friday August 15 2008 @ 7:47am

Religious Order: Science and Technology

I've been pondering the issue of whether I need a new PDA. Until fairly recently, I dealt with mobile computing/communication via a Tapwave Zodiac and a cheap-ass Virgin Mobile pay as you go phone.

But the battery on the Zodiac no longer holds a charge for more than a day. And the phone is pure crap.

So, what do I do? Here are some possibilities:

Get a new internal battery for the Zodiac. That would cost me about $25. And the new battery would have a third more capacity than the original (2000 mAh vs 1540 mAh). That would fulfill basic PDA needs and I could concentrate on a phone that just met my phone needs. Maybe one of the LG models with the slide-out keyboard. (I send way more text messages via my phone than I make phone calls.)

Get an iPhone. This would be pricy as hell, but everyone I know that has one loves it. On the other hand, I'm not at all happy with how Apple has gone all control-freak on it. If it's mine, I should be able to install any damn thing I want on it. The problem is that Apple is selling a complete mobile computer platform, but they want to control it as if it were just a phone. I'm willing to put up with that proprietary bull-shit on an appliance like a phone. I'n not inclined to for a mobile computer.

Get a Nokia N810 Internet Tablet. I've had a 770 for a few years now. It's cool, in its own way. But the software is flaky as hell, especially the browser. The damn thing hard crashes every time I try to use a custom sound as an alarm. (And this is a problem, as the built-in alarm sounds all scare the crap out of me when they go off.) But the cost for the hardware is on par with the iPhone. And I'd still need an actual phone.

Get some high-end, non-iPhone phone, that can replace a PDA. Maybe one of the BlackBerries? (How would I do email?) Maybe a Treo? (Then I have to choose between an aging OS and a bloated one.) I just don't know.

Maybe I'm just being too anal about Apple. I dunno.

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Two Kinds of Geekery

Posted: Friday August 15 2008 @ 7:47am

Religious Order: Science and Technology

The thing I love about xkcd is that just being a geek is often not enough in order to fully understand the joke. Often times, you need to be of at least two kinds of geekery to "get it." Like today's strip.

(Always remember to hover your mouse over the image for an extra laugh.)

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Clueless Judges

Posted: Friday August 15 2008 @ 7:47am

Religious Order: Science and Technology

Awhile back, I wrote about some Clueless Internet Lawyers. In additional to the stuff I mentioned in that post, these assholes also play a nasty trick on folks. They send you a cease and desist letter, but claim copyright on the letter, with the intent of prevent you from telling folks about their actions. See, C&Ds are often used to intimidate people. Often, the only recourse people have is to try and gain some publicity. These assholes try to cut that avenue off. Basically, they're bullying assholes that should be shot dead in the alley. (Not that I advocate actually shooting them. But I wouldn't shed any tears. Yes, I'm cold-hearted.)

Anyway, they found a judge dumb enough to believe them.

Here are some links:

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