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Wednesday February 11, 2015
WhenLast (Android app) - v1.82 released Feb 10, 2015
"WhenLast" is a simple app that helps you keep track of the last time you performed some activity (like changed the batteries on your smoke detectors).
Latest features include:
Long essay on the business of starting (feminist) collaborative publications
Nice long article with lessons learned from someone starting a collaborative publication, discussing issues from what software to use, to paying contributors, to hiring a lawyer. Focuses on the business end of things.
I am very hopeful that other intersectional feminist tech publications - possibly many others - will start in the coming year. This blog post is my way of supporting these nascent publications: an offering of everything I've learned about starting and running publishing companies...
Tuesday February 10, 2015
Release: Arti (Aspect Ratio Tool for Images)
There really isn't much more to be said than the description above. This app was written on request from a photographer and its main focus is to quickly view the aspect ratio of images loaded into its interface. There are columns for exact ratio (determined by straight math) and nearest preset match which can help to see the nearest aspect ratio for files that aren't pixel perfect. The software comes preloaded with a large list of aspect ratios but this is entirely configurable. Of course, the more aspect ratios, the more accurate the nearest preset match is going to be.
Download the zip file and extract its contents into a new folder. Run Arti.exe to start the application. Add some images and behold.
Thursday January 29, 2015
Web Essay: Never trust a corporation to do a library's job
Something for all of us to remember..
In the last five years, starting around 2010, the shifting priorities of Google’s management left these archival projects in limbo, or abandoned entirely.
After a series of redesigns, Google Groups is effectively dead for research purposes. The archives, while still online, have no means of searching by date.
Google News Archives are dead, killed off in 2011, now directing searchers to just use Google.
Friday January 23, 2015
The Untold Story of the Invention of the Game Cartridge
Here's an interesting article about the world before interchangeable game cartridges existed, and how the game cartridge came to be.
Consider the humble video game cartridge. It's a small, durable plastic box that imparts the most immediate, user-friendly software experience ever created. Just plug it in, and you're playing a game in seconds.
If you’ve ever used one, you have two men to thank: Wallace Kirschner and Lawrence Haskel, who invented the game cartridge 40 years ago while working at an obscure company and rebounding from a business failure. Once the pair's programmable system had been streamlined and turned into a commercial product—the Channel F console—by a team at pioneering electronics company Fairchild, it changed the fundamental business model of home video games forever. By injecting flexibility into a new technology, it paved the way for massive industry growth and the birth of a new creative medium.
Saturday January 10, 2015
Authorities suspect a shark tried to eat Vietnam's Internet
Over the past few months, ruptures have been appearing in the submerged Asia-America Gateway (AAG) cable system that supplies a great deal of Southeast Asia with its Internet. This week, a hole appeared that was so severe, it throttled connections in Vietnam, causing millions of its residents to deal with Internet that was either incredibly slow, or frustratingly sporadic.
The rupture was located on the S1H section of the AAG, located off the coast of Ba Ria, in Vietnam’s coastal city of Vung Tau. Accordion to Martin Anderson at The Stack, this particular connection is one of just five pipes that supply Vietnam’s almost 93 million people with internet. "Other recent breakages in the 12,000 mile (20,000 km) trans-Pacific cable have been responsible for similar network blackouts or slow-downs in Asian locations including Hong Kong, the Philippines, Brunei, Singapore and Thailand, as well as Vietnam, in one case requiring 20 days to repair,” he says.
Completed in 2009, the AAG has been experiencing a few too many tears of late to be waved away as an accident. Last September, another rupture was found in the cable about 68 km off the coast of Hong Kong, which followed a similar tear that occurred two weeks earlier.
But it wasn’t foul play, well, not as we know it. “AAG’s trans-Pacific enemy is thought by some to be the dangerous but fairly apolitical shark, attracted by the electromagnetic field that the cable generates,” says Anderson, “and inspiring Google to shield its own Pacific cabling with ‘bullet-proof vest’ material Kevlar.”
You can see one of the apolitical sharks in question in the video footage above, filmed late last year. Is it just me, or does that cable suddenly look delicious the moment the shark takes a good ol' chomp at it? It's a real worry when you look at a shark and get meal envy.
It took 2 years to build this functioning word processor in Minecraft
Pretty damn amazing:
A Minecraft builder has created a word processor, complete with keyboard and monitor, entirely in the game. And it isn't just for show. The build mechanically functions when keys are pressed, and can load files from memory. It has taken almost two years to build, and the builder plans to expand it into a full-on, working computer.
Thursday January 08, 2015
This Robot Is the Best Limit Texas Hold'Em Player in the World
I can't wait to read the full paper -- this is very cool stuff.
That's the key, of course. Birch and his colleagues essentially "brute forced" the game of limit poker, in which there are roughly 3 x 10^14 possible decisions. That, according to some estimates, is more possible permutations than hands of poker than have ever been played in human history.
Friday January 02, 2015
List of 40 inexpensive single-board Linux friendly computers
Courtesy of the good folks over at LinuxGizmos:
Ringing in 2015 with 40 Linux-friendly hacker SBCs
Dec 31, 2014 | Eric Brown
2014 brought us plenty of new open-spec, community-backed SBCs — from $35 bargains, to octa-core powerhouses — and all with Linux or Android support.
In May of this year, LinuxGizmos and Linux.com collaborated on a joint survey, asking our readers to choose their favorite open-spec hacker SBCs from a list of 32 that run Linux and/or Android. Our SBC survey winners, ranked one to five, included the Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone Black, Odroid-XU, CubieTruck, and Banana Pi single board computers. Thanks to the flood of new open-spec, community-backed boards, as well as the demise of others, we have updated our list for this end-of-year snapshot.
We’re skipping the survey — and the prizes — this time around, but we hope to offer a similar, but updated list and survey in May or June 2015. With even better prizes.
We removed more than a dozen boards from the list that were no longer in stock, were not being actively supported, were just plain old, or scored too poorly in our last survey to merit inclusion. Some of these, such as the Odroid-XU, were fairly new boards but have already been replaced by newer models (Odroid-XU3). We also added about two-dozen new SBCs, thereby ending up with a total of 40 boards. <more>
Read the rest here.
Happy hardware hacking!
Thursday December 18, 2014
Handmade Hero - Game made from scratch with each line of code explained
What is Handmade Hero?
Handmade Hero is an ongoing project to create a complete, professional-quality game accompanied by videos that explain every single line of its source code.
Is it a simple game, for teaching purposes?
Quite the opposite! The game design has been specifically tailored to require more complex code than exists in most game designs. Sophisticated procedural level generation, intricate item interactions, and globally propagated effects are just some of the many aspects of the game that will be implemented during the series.
Are the videos just recordings of someone coding?
No! Although 100% of the programming for the game is captured in the videos, each step is also accompanied by continuous explanation of what is going on and why. It is meant to serve as a de facto class on game programming.
Tuesday December 16, 2014
Screenshot Captor review today on Softpedia: "One of the Best Graphic Screen Capture Applications"
Very nice review today of our Screenshot Captor program, calling it "One of the Best Graphic Screen Capture Applications":
"Screenshot Captor is just not another average screen grabber. It stands out thanks to its multitude of editing tools and file management options. It can be used for simple daily tasks up to complex jobs where you need to take lots of screenshots and edit them in detail. The advanced feature pack and comprehensive suite of configuration settings make it a serious competitor to other software programs that are not free, and place it in the category of one of the best screenshot capture utilities on the market."
Final rating: 5 out of 5 - Excellent
Every Episode Of Every 'Star Trek' Series Ever, Ranked
Nice list of all episodes of the tv show ranked and with short descriptions; great stuff for those looking to watch a few choice episodes. Just reading the top picks at the end tells me this reviewer is worth paying attention to.
Monday December 15, 2014
OS News on The Devaluing Effect of the Application Store Model
There's a post at OS News today that discusses some of the real negative impacts of Apple and Android App Stores and the "Freemium" model:
Apple (and Google) have instigated a race to the bottom, massively devaluing the work of developers... I have never made a secret out of my dislike of the application store model, exactly because of what it does to independent developers. It devalues their work, and independent, small development houses will simply be unable to survive in this race to the bottom. The end result? Apple and a few large companies win, but independent developers and users lose.
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