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1  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Phoenix - Ind.ie's open-source clone of Swift a "friendly nudge" to Apple on: October 23, 2014, 11:40:55 PM

I may end up getting popcorn, but it'll prolly turn out to be a boring chick-flick before the end.

What is Phoenix?

Phoenix is a free and open version of Apple’s Swift programming language. It is being developed by Greg Casamento, the newest member of the Ind.ie team. Greg brings years of experience in Objective-C and compiler development to Ind.ie and also leads the GNUStep project.

Dear Apple, if you love something, you set it free.
Introducing Phoenix, Swift set free.
Still in somewhat-early Alpha, but under heavy development as we speak.
I think the open letter to Apple is pretty sweet (and loaded with perhaps-not-so-subtle nerd rage), but I seriously doubt it'll end up with the surfer-dude group hug they're hoping for...

Dear Tim Cook,
Swift is a beautiful language but you want to keep it all to yourself. That’s just not on.

Imagine how different Apple’s own story would have been if Richard had not written the GNU C Compiler and released it under a free license. Steve could not have had an Objective-C compiler built on top of it at NeXT. Or what if Chris had not released LLVM under an open license?

... you seem to have forgotten the legacy that got you to where you are.

I know you must see Swift ... as a way to make it harder for developers to port their apps to Android, and therefore be forced to make a decision between the two platforms. These moves will, no doubt, gain iOS more exclusive titles. But only those who lack confidence in their ability to otherwise compete resort to lock-in as a competitive advantage. You don’t need this. You’re better than this.

Emphasis mine.  I love that part, and applies to more than just the subject at hand.

from CodeProject News

2  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: DRM in your coffee maker, to stop you from brewing unlicensed coffees on: October 22, 2014, 12:41:28 AM
I only drink 2, maybe 3 coffees in a day so I'll defer to those with experience.  Is it possible to get good Espresso results using ordinary drip methods?  I'm not sure if the cafe con leche places use an espresso machine for speed or if it's really necessary to get the quality.

Not so much quality (I've had awful espresso, and I've had damn fine drip), but definitely a different character and strength.  No, you cannot get espresso from a drip, the processes are too different.  The drip method bathes course grounds in a hot water bath, the other uses fine grounds shot with hot water under steam pressure.  The espresso method extracts more of the coffee flavor in a shorter amount of time, resulting in higher strength and lower tannin [citation needed].  You can get drip-strength from espresso by cutting a shot into a mug of hot water.  It'll still retain that distinct espresso flavor, but much more subdued.  It's called an Americano on the menu...

Some customers get the coffee straight up.  But if you add a lot of milk I think it takes the concentrated coffee to stand up to it, if that makes any sense.

Once again, espresso is rather concentrated, so milk not only dilutes it a bit, but cuts the acids and rounds out the flavor.  The first time I had espresso, I had no idea what it was, just that everybody in Seattle was drinking it.  So, when a friend of mine came up to visit, I took her to a little cafe in downtown, she ordered a bowl of rice and I ordered a Single Espresso.  The guy asked "are you sure?" and I said "Yeah" as I paid the 99 cents.  Later the guy came to our table with a shot glass.  With coffee in it.  I said "Thanks" but inside I was like "I paid 99 cents for a swallow?".  Then I put it to my lips and I could barely get down a sip.  Not because it was bad, but incredibly strong and intensely flavorful.  I nursed that shot glass for almost half an hour and afterwards I considered it a buck well spent.  I've also had Turkish coffee at a Mediterranean restaurant, and it was like drinking orange-flavored battery acid.  So.  Damn.  Good.

For a time I used Medaglia D'Oro canned espresso in a drip maker.  But I only used the regular amount of coffee.  I was going for the flavor of it rather than trying to make Espresso.

Exactly.  What you got was the flavor of a dark espresso roasted coffee, with perhaps a bit finer grind.  Nothing wrong with that, I'm a bit partial to Medaglia D'Oro myself when I get the hankering, but it's not espresso proper.

Just like everything else, mileage varies by consumer.  And the Keurig I originally purchased because my wife loves cappuccino, and it gave her a convenient way to have a good tasting cup in the morning.  For that alone it was worth it to me.  I know it's not cafe quality- but it works for her.  And as time passed, I realized that it was just more convenient to use for my coffee and tea.  I still use my french press and my infuser at times... but when I need a quick cup, the Keurig works.  And the taste isn't *that* inferior with the right cups.

To each his own.  I'm sure if I was gifted one over the holidays, it wouldn't go unused in the corner, and I'd be chatting up the K-cup connoisseurs at the local grocers for tips on which varieties to stick by.  Replacing it after it died, that's a different story.  Wink

Getting the right amount of water at the correct temperature through the correct amount of grounds at the right speed is the key. Everything else is marketing boondoggle or wishful thinking.
And as App pointed out, she can get an excellent result with an inexpensive kitchen strainer. All it takes is a little feel for the brewing and an appreciation for good coffee.


Amen to that!  Thmbsup
3  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: latex on: October 21, 2014, 10:07:44 PM
Ah, I thought you wanted to keep away from using manual tags altogether, Lyx lets you just apply section styles as you write.  I don't see where you have to manually insert commands right off.

There IS a mode you can use (that I forget at the moment), that lets you see the raw, tagged text in a split window from the formatted text.
EDIT: Ah, here it is, but you can't edit the raw document directly, you can only make changes and see the TeX code it generates.
From the top menu, click "View", then check "Source pane".  While you're at it, click "Outline pane" too.  Makes it easy to see an overview of the document and where you are in it.

Seriously, go through some of the tutorials and help files, they help a LOT.
4  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: when will we eventually be able to on: October 20, 2014, 08:49:50 PM
We have a bridge a ways south of where I live that they charge a toll on.  They sell passes that allow you to just cruise on through via the special 'passholder' lanes, and a transponder system pings your pass (a window sticker with a built-in antenna thingy, probably) as you go.  If you take the passholder lane without a pass, or an expired pass, a camera takes a picture of your license plate and you get a bill (with accompanying citation) in the mail.  

Not so sure I would dig a similar system at the pump though...  huh

Miles, we GOTTA find you somebody to shack up with until you get back on your feet.  If I lived in Florida, you'd already have a futon and a coffee table in my basement AT LEAST.  Come on, DC... anybody in Florida have some spare room or know somebody who does?
5  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: DRM in your coffee maker, to stop you from brewing unlicensed coffees on: October 20, 2014, 08:20:34 PM
Of course it's kinda hard to feel too much sympathy for anyone who insists on buying an expensive brewing machine that produces an inferior tasting cuppa for approximately 75 cents a serving... undecided

However, if you want a superior tasting single cup, get one of the glass Kalita pour-over drip brewers. (Note: this model says 2-4 cups - but it's more like 12-16 ozs. which is just a large or x-large in my book.)

It may be a smidgen less "convenient" than a Keurig since you have to boil water, add a filter, put some coffee in it, and then pour. But in actual use, it only takes a few minutes. And most of us coffee regulars have the brewing choreography down so well we don't even need to think about it. As a plus you'll save a decent amount of counter space without that hulking Keurig. The only downside is the cost of the filters. Kalita doesn't save you any money there compared to the Keurig. But the superior cup you get is worth it IMO. Definitely a better choice for those times when you just want to brew a single large serving. The rest of the time you're better of making a regular pot. That's what a good quality glass thermal carafe is for.

Just my two cents  Cool

Even Kalita has cashed in on the craze:
http://kalita-usa.com/kantan_drip.html   Grin

All the reviews I have read about the Kalita "Wave" brewers say the filter is the biggest 'con' (out of pros and cons) about them; they don't stock them at your corner store and they cost 10-15 bucks for a pack of 100, when 'normal' filters cost around 2.
How about just using a regular filter and folding it down?  No go, say the enthusiasts.  The patented "wave" (read: pleated sides) configuration must be preserved for the full flavor to be realized.  

Patented?  Make a teeny-size version of something that has existed for years, give it a 'kicky' name and you can PATENT it?

Hey Face! Say hello to your old friend Palm!
6  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Portatil to control a desktop pc on: October 20, 2014, 01:09:24 AM
Synergy isn't a remote desktop per se, it's more like a software KVM.  Using VNC, RDP or Teamviewer, you can view and control the desktop of a 'headless' computer (no mouse, keyboard or monitor).  With Synergy, additional computers running side-by-side can be controlled from a 'master' as easily as if they were simply additional monitors.

My son demonstrated it this way: He has a Dell laptop with an Intel graphics chip that he uses for playing music, and a HP laptop with a decent AMD 3D graphics chip for projecting visuals via a projector as a 2nd monitor.  With both laptops open and running next to each other, he can just slide the mouse over from the Dell screen, the pointer appears at the HP screen, and he's controlling it seamlessly; he never has to physically move to the other laptop keyboard and touchpad.

Can one set up Teamviewer so the 'remote' computer doesn't have to give permission to connect?  That's one drawback I can see.  With RDP or VNC, it can be set up to run on startup and 'listen' for a connection.

BTW - my preference is for TigerVNC -> http://tigervnc.org/  Thmbsup
7  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: October 16, 2014, 03:25:43 PM
 Grin Grin Grin

8  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: SSL broken, again, in POODLE attack on: October 15, 2014, 07:02:52 PM
Windows box? If so, ...

Aw, c'mon App, you should know me better by now  tongue
I'm 100% Linux and have been for a while.  I think I have XP in a virtual machine around here somewhere...

BTW, the computer I'm on at the moment is a Dell SC1425 server.  Radeon Mobility graphics and one expansion slot which is PCI-X.  

Funny thing, I just fired up Firefox, and while scrolling up and down a page lags like swimming in peanut butter, the Mozilla Bundle game previews play just fine...

Perhaps for Chrome based opera?

But for Opera 12.17 or earlier, disabling  "Enable SSL 3"  in Preferences/Advanced/Security/Security Protocols should work.

If not, then it's time to switch permanently to a 2nd rate browser.

PS: Thanks for the Pale Moon tip

Cool tip Nigel!  For now, Opera 12.17 is the only one available for Linux, so I'll try that out.
9  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: SSL broken, again, in POODLE attack on: October 15, 2014, 06:15:28 PM
Since my main box blew up, I have had to use a spare computer with dismal graphics and no way to remedy.  Opera is the only browser that 'behaves' on this box.  Damn.
10  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: latex on: October 15, 2014, 05:43:01 PM
The best graphical interface to Latex is (arguably) Lyx.  Read Superboyac's experiences (and the ensuing advice storm) with it here:

As I said there:
Here's where I try to cut it short and say RTFM (Read The Free Manual).  As in, go through the Help menu; the Tutorial, Users Guide, Customization, etc.  Read ALL of it; it's very thorough and informative.
Really, it'll help A LOT.
Just sitting down and playing with the options will probably get you a few down the road, just not as far.

Lyx gives you a nice GUI and writing/tagging environment, which is what most people are comfortable with, but like anything, LaTex/Lyx has a learning curve.  If you can see what it will eventually do for you, then taking the time to sit down and learn it will be worth it.  

Check out this screencast.  If you're into the math functions, this demonstrates how easy it can be:

11  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: DRM in your coffee maker, to stop you from brewing unlicensed coffees on: October 14, 2014, 06:05:06 PM
This is mine:


It makes a pretty decent brew, especially if I pack it good.  Yes, the wand is for steam, that's what foams and heats the milk.  This model is much better than my old one, as it makes 2 shots in just a minute or two.  The old one took 5 minutes or more.  

If you want REALLY authentic italian-style single-cup coffee, get one of these:


Although they do come in different sizes, up to 12 cups.

... And if you're feeling like parting ways with a sizable bit of cash just to indulge in the best coffee you've ever tasted, find a specialty store that sells Illy:

My lovely wife bought me a gift set of Illy coffee for Father's day.  I always thought that stuff was overhyped and likely over-roasted or something, and the thought of paying 15 bucks for a pinch over half a pound of coffee just made me cringe.  I still can't say it's worth it, but damn that was good coffee...
12  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: DRM in your coffee maker, to stop you from brewing unlicensed coffees on: October 13, 2014, 11:31:27 PM
But now? Forget it! I'll just have to use one of these.


The Melittas are very cool.  The only annoying thing is having to buy the special filters, but you can origami a regular filter and it works just fine.
13  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: DRM in your coffee maker, to stop you from brewing unlicensed coffees on: October 13, 2014, 08:55:59 PM
One word: boycott.

One word: buyarealdamncoffeemakerferpeteseverlovingsake

I have one.  And I prefer the Keurig for a quick cup of coffee in the morning.  Is that a crime?

See above...

And read the part where I apologized for being cynical.  I could say more, but I'd probably piss off more Keurig users.
14  DonationCoder.com Software / Coding Snacks / Re: for %%a in (*) do start "" "%%a" on: October 13, 2014, 08:44:53 PM

The best advice ever when running random code posted in a forum, is exactly as Stephen alluded to:
NEVER run code that you don't know what it is going to do.  Perhaps you wanted to run this script because you saw it as a batch-bomb of sorts, and wanted to look into how to prevent it from crashing your system.  But not knowing?... just don't do it.

For example, DON'T run this:
[copy or print]
 start "" %0
 goto s
or this:
until you know what it does, and how to stop it.  And now that you've seen the code, you'll be able to spot it in the wild.
You're welcome.
15  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: DRM in your coffee maker, to stop you from brewing unlicensed coffees on: October 13, 2014, 08:36:27 PM
One word: boycott.

One word: buyarealdamncoffeemakerferpeteseverlovingsake

Because the whole point of the Keurig was to not waste money making a whole pot when you only wanted one cup.

You see, what we have here is a failure to drink enough coffee...

Anyway, it seems like they don't want you to use even their own reusable pods.

And it seems like you didn't see that coming...

Sorry for my cynical tone here, but I remember when the Keurig first came out and they went on an all-out media blitz, even going so far as to set up machines at the !@#$%ing ferry terminal handing out free (small) cups of coffee to everyone, and coupons and (later) free sample "k-cups".  I recoiled in violent skepticism to the snappily-dressed vendors trying to convince me that 'pre-packaged for convenience' was better than grinding and brewing my own damn beans in my own damn proportions.  I could see this coming from a thousand miles away.
Now their true colors are showing, and my first instinct proven correct.  Screw them.  
16  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Movie Trivia: How Many Can You Get? on: October 08, 2014, 12:11:37 AM
#21 - AAAAAUUUUGGGHHH!! I can't believe I didn't see that!
"Captain Obvious reporting for duty, Sir!"
"Umm, you're a tad late..."
17  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: extend a mp3 music! on: October 07, 2014, 10:33:28 PM
Using the "ReplayGain" function of the .mp3 format, you can do a lossless reduction of gain, that is, if your presentation software supports the ReplayGain function.  It's just a tag in the mp3 header, so any mp3 tag editor that supports the ReplayGain field will do:

Mp3Gain can apply the same sort volume normalization via psychoacoustic analysis that the ReplayGain function does, and does a handy job of it, whether on Windows, Mac or Linux.  The only caveat is that it manipulates the file directly, so it's technically not lossless though it is reversible:
Some lossy audio formats, such as MP3, are structured in a way that they encode the volume of each compressed frame in a stream, and tools such as MP3Gain take advantage of this for directly applying the gain adjustment to MP3 files, adding undo information so that the process is reversible.
18  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Movie Trivia: How Many Can You Get? on: October 07, 2014, 10:14:47 PM
19  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Your favorite cartoons of yesterday and today? on: October 07, 2014, 08:17:00 PM
I remember Saturday mornings spent at my Grandmother's watching cartoons and eating Cheerios, then my Grandma would switch on her game shows after the cartoons were over, and after an hour or two she'd fall asleep in her easy chair, then my brother and I would switch it to "Mystery Theater" which showed all the old black & white Japanese monster movies (Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, etc, etc,).  I loved those days...

Some Saturday morning cartoons that I used to watch when i was young:
How about Grape Ape, Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch, Tennessee Tuxedo, Mr. Magoo, and don't forget those mainstays the Flintstones and the Jetsons... oh, how I miss those days!
Also don't forget the cartoons that were in-between Pink Panther episodes, like the Ant & the Aardvark, Misterjaw, and the Texas Toads.  Ant & the Aardvark had some killer one-liners that still crack me up today. ("Hey ant, you're pretty good... you'd be even better with jelly on toast!")

And don't forget those classic Krofft Brothers' live-action shows.  Maybe not cartoons, but there they were on Saturday morning with the rest of them; H.R. Pufnstuf, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, the Krofft Supershow (Elektrawoman and Dynagirl were my first crushes), Land of the Lost, Far Out Space Nuts...
* Edvard lapses into a temporary coma of reminiscence...

I'll have to confess there were some that I hated with a purple passion.  I hated the Smurfs and all the clones (Snorks, Trollkins, etc), I couldn't stand Scrappy Doo, and when the networks started in with the "Junior" versions of classic cartoons (Pink Panther & Son, Muppet Babies, Pup Named Scooby-Doo, etc, ad nauseum), I was done.
20  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: This is why you don't wear metal objects in an MRI Machine on: October 07, 2014, 07:36:00 PM
I think the demonstration would have hit home a little better if they took something like a Resusci-Annie or a crash test dummy that didn't have any metal in it, and put something metal inside like the size of a pacemaker or one of those pins they put in your knee or an earring or piercing in a, umm, strategic location... you get the picture.  Then patients and operators would understand the damage that can happen.

Otherwise, that was way cool.  Thmbsup
21  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Who is your Favourite "Doctor"? on: October 05, 2014, 05:13:03 PM
22  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me! on: October 04, 2014, 01:48:31 PM
That said, when I get my next guitar actually built sometime in the next 10 years, it's gonna be strung up in C.  Just sayin'  tongue
Not Nashville or Methaney Nashville? Wink

Robert Fripp's New Standard Tuning, maybe.  Just maybe.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vy8iqm9EyY4" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vy8iqm9EyY4</a>

7, 8 , 9, 10...
God! Before you know it, they'll have a 12 string guitar~! tongue Grin

"Don't Be Butt-Hurt"; song for 12-string BASS.
12. actual. strings.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12O3fTYoDs0" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12O3fTYoDs0</a>

Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

23  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: October 04, 2014, 09:57:07 AM
I'm not a big fan of The Onion, but sometimes they nail it.  I haven't indulged in herbal entertainment for many years now, but I still remember what it was like when I "heard a noise".
 Grin Grin Grin

New Marijuana Study Says Everyone Knows You're High And You'll Likely Be Stoned Forever
24  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me! on: October 03, 2014, 07:28:39 PM
Not a fan of more strings than 6 on any guitar, and 4 on the bass. Downtune all you want, just don't pretend you really want to go back up.  I think Death Angel and Slayer sounded fine the way they were.  Downtuning doesn't automatically mean heavy(er).  I've heard some decidedly god-awful CRAP done in drop B, and it would have been crap in E standard too; crap is crap, and gold is gold.
That said, when I get my next guitar actually built sometime in the next 10 years, it's gonna be strung up in C.  Just sayin'  tongue

Quick note: don't confuse the baritone guitar with the rare six string Bass-VI /Basso Sexto that Fender had back in the 60s and early 70s. It looks similar, but it's a totally different sounding and playing instrument.

And what of the piccolo bass?  Which one is it gonna be?  All these overlapping ranges, a man could go MAD I tell you!

FWIW Ibanzez currently sells an 8-string guitar intended for the Metalhead that can't get low enough with their 7-string grunge plank. Can a 9-string be far behind?

Oh, for the love of Pete, just STOP... STOP I SAY!!  STAAAHHHHHHHPPPP!!

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9aGXHuzCBs" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9aGXHuzCBs</a>

I SAID STAAAAAAAAAAHHH... oh never !@#$%^&ing mind...  mad

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtj189UJ9eQ" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtj189UJ9eQ</a>
25  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Random electronics projects on: September 29, 2014, 09:22:33 PM
Curious how the following is going to turn out:



I have an old Heathkit scope I bought at the Goodwill.  It works, but has a time-machine glitch in it (the tops of the waveforms tend backwards) and I haven't found a manual to adjust it yet, but really I would like something to replace it that doesn't cost a million bucks.  Been saving my pennies for this:


I never thought that maybe an Arduino with a display could do the basics, but it looks like some folks have done it:

For simple audio signal tracing, I've used Xoscope to good effect:

I've done audio equipment repair in my youth, and tried my hand at designing guitar sound effects units (stompboxes), but never really went anywhere with that.  I have an arduino, and am fascinated by what others have done with it, but I'm having trouble coming up with my own ideas for it.
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