NSA PRISM

Just in case you’re curious about what ‘metadata’ can reveal about you, MIT has done a project that will reveal just that. If you use Gmail, and trust MIT, you can check out their Immersion project here.┬áIt will show you a nice pretty graphic of what just the metadata shows about you.

 

Have a look at my metadata…

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Escape from Dungeon 2

For a class I’m taking in Grad School, I’m making a game for the Uzebox. I’ll be developing it over several weeks, and will be using Scrum (an agile development method) as my overall methodology.

I plan to document the entire process and capture it here. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride…

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Ireland…

is awesome. More to follow…

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The Wrap Up

Since its been awhile since I have made any posts, I thought I’d summarize a large number of changes in one post. I’ve actually got a few draft posts written up that are rather large, but didn’t feel that dumping them on here out of no where was a good idea.

Anyways,

– Dropped Verizon Wireless as a cell phone carrier due to years of aweful customer service.

– Added Cricket as Wireless carrier, extremely happy with the price and phone.

– Going to France for a week for work in the next week or so.

– Going to Ireland later this summer for vacation.

– Making really great progress on my basement remodel.

– Got the Scooter running again after 2 years of neglect. Cleaned up nicely.

– Still working on Master’s Degree in Information Systems Engineering

– Excited for my younger brother to be married later this year, planning a fun trip for his Bachelor’s party as I’m his best man. Thats right…best man.

– Had 3rd annual block party on my street with all of my lovely neighbors.

– Haven’t been doing much spare time programming due to all of the above activities, but now that I have an Android phone, I’m looking into it.

– Feel much better having made this post.

Now, the next post I make will be much easier, right? Right.

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Stand up and count (all the wasted money!)

So, I had a pretty good feeling that all the commercials I had been seeing on TV must have cost a lot of money. Not to mention, the mailing that said “In a week, you’ll receive your census form, please fill it out…” That must have cost taxpayers a chunk of change. Turns out, according to this site, I was right. Please read it…go ahead…I’m waiting.

Now then, I know we need to divide up the pile of money that the government has…but this is ridiculous. I’ve seen soo many census commercials that it makes me sick. Not to mention that each piece of junkmail I get sort of saddens me (because its a great waste of paper and money.) I wish people would just stop and think before they do something stupid….thats all.

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Bad Apple?

I freaking loved reading this article by Jonathan Schwartz, formerly of Sun. He tells the truth about how big companies can act like common thugs when they feel threatened. Sort of makes me think that things are the same everywhere.

Although…that also scares me as well…

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iMistake?

So if you have a TV or an internet connection, by now, you’ve heard about Apple’s much talked about tablet called the iPad…or as the WSJ calls it, “The most talked about tablet since the 10 commandments.”

I always look at Apple’s products with great curiosity, as they have a very interesting design model for their products. The iPods certainly made people aware of Apple that had previously dismissed them. And who hasn’t been impressed with an iPhone toting friend? They make neat devices.

The iPad, however, is certainly not one of them. I really struggle to understand what market segment Apple is going after here. It’s bigger than a cell phone or an iPod, so you’ll obviously have to carry it in a bag, and if you’re going to carry it in a bag, why not just bring a real laptop? I have a netbook myself, and I use it far more often than any other computer, despite what Steve Jobs says. I wouldn’t give up the control and precision I get with a full fledged computer for a tablet PC.

I have a Nokia n800, and really tried to embrace the tablet type PC form factor…but it just doesn’t work. So my prediction is, this will be the Segway of PCs. It’s trying to replace something we already do, but fails to give us a reason to do so.

Wanna bet?

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One of lifes mysteries: solved!

If you’ve ever looked down at your zipper and wondered why it has YKK on it, like I have, then prepare for the answer.

Now on to a few of the other questions that haven’t been answered yet…

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Mythbuntu 9.04 Vs. 9.10

So, as you may or may not know, I run Mythbuntu on my homebrew living-room DVR. I was really excited about the big improvements that Mythbuntu 9.10 appeared to offer, which includes VDPAU video decoding, MythTV 0.22 (including the MythUI updates) and the general speed improvements that Karmic was to offer. However, after upgrading my DVR, I was quickly confronted with a cold reality: 9.10 sucks for MythTV.

Here I will contrast a few of the differences. Things that work in 9.04:

– Scanning for channels on the backend

– No crashing, even during month-long periods without reboots

– Easy installation and configuration

Now, things that don’t work in 9.04:

– The program guide, if opened during Live TV playback will eat 100% CPU, meaning you have to manually kill the frontend and restart. However, pausing the TV before opening the guide solves this.

– If using an HDHomerun tuner, the backend starts before the HDHomerun is discovered, so you have to restart the backend before you can watch TV.

Things that work in 9.10:

– No additional features that aren’t already available in 9.04.

Things that don’t work in 9.10:

– Installation is buggy and often requires you to repeat steps and try alternative choices to get things to work.

– HDHomerun still isn’t discovered before the backend starts.

– The frontend has some sort of apparent memory leak and will crash randomly, and at other times, hog CPU during menu navigation.

– Channel scanning during backend setup is BROKE BROKE BROKE!! The “new and improved channel scanner” doesn’t even approach useable. Its confusing, and can take hours to get set up correctly. I’m baffled at how this was even allowed to be included in a public release. This was ultimately one of the reasons I went back to 9.04.

– VDPAU video decoding is extremely jittery and unstable. On my setup it seemed like every other frame was being dropped, and occasionally my frontend would crash, although that could have been the general unstable nature of the frontend. Software decoding of video playback is the only useable solution with 9.10. And no, I don’t want to hear it blamed on the nVidia drivers. Maybe upgrading to the new ones makes it work, but since they’re not available in the public repositories, there is no argument here.

So, sorry for the extreme technical nature of this post, but I am livid at the state of Mythbuntu 9.10. I realize that its a very fine line to walk for volunteers to make a nice OS like Mythbuntu, but I would have rather saved time by having them not even release 9.10 in the state its in. I spent 3 days building and rebuilding my DVR while my wife watched me. I also realize that part of the blame falls upstream to the MythTV guys, as they’re in a big state of transition at the moment, so part of it could just be timing.

And one final note, sorry for the negative nature of my post, but I just don’t see an easier way to do this. For an OS thats supposed to be stable and able to run on a living room DVR, 9.10 gets a 0 for WAF (wife-acceptance-factor.) 9.04 has its shortcomings, but my wife can at least handle it.

Here’s looking forward to 10.04, and a more positive DVR experience.

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Go robot!

Its your birthday! So very soon, the earth will be another year older and another year wiser; a rock’n roll star, king, czar, or a kaiser!

Just wanted to say Happy Holidays to all. Hope everyone is well.

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