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301  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: One of the most interesting, and fun websites ever. on: February 06, 2013, 10:08:13 PM
Nicely done.
302  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Free Nationwide WiFi on: February 06, 2013, 10:03:01 PM
It happened in my backwater hometown quite a few years ago:

Haven't heard a peep about it since then, and my folks never knew it existed (big surprise), so I don't know if it's still up or if the whole program collapsed under it's own weight once the watermelon farmer's kids discovered pr0n and Warcraft, dunno.  Interesting case study, though.
303  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Gummiboot restructured to allow Linux to work on SecureBoot systems on: February 05, 2013, 07:58:07 PM
Edvard[/b]: there's no such thing as an "UEFI chip" - it's a software implementation (possibly using a TPM chip, but that's a different matter). As things currently are, x86 vendors are required to allow the user to disable Secure Boot to get Win8 logo certification... and motherboards (as opposed to prebuilt systems) tend to come with full-blown key management facilities.

Ah, thanks for clearing that up.  I had assumed that since UEFI was a replacement for BIOS, it was a similar implementation, and I saw NOTHING in all my random web surfing research that suggested anything else.
I'd also prefer to be on the watchful side, and not the omg-teh-sky-is-falling side. 

But while we're on the subject, if UEFI is a software thing, can it be replaced with something less nefarious?  My mention of TianoCore/Coreboot was the only things I could find that was insinuated as any sort of a replacement.

Also, still waiting to see if Gummiboot comes back with a signature...
304  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: February 04, 2013, 10:16:24 PM
Do the 'kindergarten blues' count as blues?
I like the "Teach kids to play piano by teaching them blues" idea.  Why not?  Minor pentatonic has less notes than a major scale; makes it easier to remember.  My response:
How about the Billionaire Blues?
Not the Blues.  That is a calypso-flavored ditty.
Can you sing the blues before an IRS audit?
Assumin' that you made enough money to file any taxes that year, instead of pushing a broom to pay for bar tab.  In which case, if the IRS took your Cadillac or broke-down truck as tax payment, yes.  Otherwise, no.
305  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Gummiboot restructured to allow Linux to work on SecureBoot systems on: February 04, 2013, 08:45:30 PM
@40Hz: RE: bricking Samsung laptops: read deeper:
The Ubuntu development team has held talks with Samsung staff, who have identified the kernel's samsung-laptop driver as the prime suspect...
That said, it still wouldn't have happened without the UEFI silliness.  I mean really, if UEFI actually offered a quantum step forward in functionality, I could live with the glitches until support matured, but I haven't seen anything really groundbreaking except giving Microsoft keys to the door they've always wanted.  
Another thing to consider is this really only affects dual-boot environments, because if you can simply shop around for a UEFI chip that allows turning off SecureBoot, my Linux-only box is going to be just fine.  But I have a few questions:
1- If SecureBoot is simply an option that needs to be turned on for OEM's that want to build systems that are Windows 8 certified, that doesn't mean installing Windows 8 will require SecureBoot to be turned on in order to boot, right?
2- How will Hypervisor+VM setups be affected?  That's how pretty much any big web/cloud service is running right now, and it would not make any financial sense to lock them out, whether it is Xen, VMware ESXi, or MS Hyper-V.
Also, I wonder how hard it would be to replace UEFI/SecureBoot with TianoCore/Coreboot.  That would be sweet.
306  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Gummiboot restructured to allow Linux to work on SecureBoot systems on: February 03, 2013, 09:20:27 PM
Dammit... now I have to deal with yet another bootloader.  Hadn't even heard of Gummiboot until I saw this.  Damn UEFI, damn it all to hell!

The Linux Foundation is waiting for Microsoft to sign the newly submitted bootloader version and will offer the new version to users for free once released.
According to Bottomley's presentation slides, it takes a week or two for Microsoft to respond to bootloader submissions and provide a signature that is considered trustworthy by Secure Boot PCs.

As a side note, Microsoft being the de facto keymaster to UEFI/Secureboot implementations is just mind-fecking boggling.

from an email
307  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: February 02, 2013, 11:35:28 PM
I've had this hanging around my hard drives for a while, thought I'd share.  It's been posted in various revisions elsewhere on the net, but here's my version that I've taken some liberties with:


1. Most Blues begin, "Woke up this morning."

2. "I got a good woman" is a bad way to begin the Blues, 'less you stick something nasty in the next line, like "I got a good woman with the meanest face in town."

3. The Blues is simple. After you get the first line right, repeat it. Then find something that rhymes ... sort of: "Got a good woman - with the meanest face in town (2x). Got teeth like Margaret Thatcher - and she weigh 500 pound."

4. The Blues are not about choice. You stuck in a ditch: You stuck in a ditch, ain't no way out.

5. Blues cars: Chevys and Cadillacs and broke-down trucks. Blues don't travel in Volvos, BMWs, or Sport Utility Vehicles. Most Blues transportation is a Greyhound Bus or a Southbound Train. Walkin' plays a major part in the blues lifestyle. So does fixin' to die.

6. Adults sing the Blues. In Blues, "adulthood" means being old enough to get the electric chair if you shoot a man in Memphis.
Teenagers can't sing the Blues. They ain't fixin' to die yet.

7. Blues can take place in New York City, but not in Hawaii or anywhere in Canada. Hard times in St. Paul or Tucson is just clinical depression. Chicago, St. Louis, and Kansas City are still the best places to have the Blues. You cannot have the blues anywhere that don't get rain.

8. A man with male pattern baldness ain't the blues. A woman with male pattern baldness is. Breaking your leg skiing is not the blues. Breaking your leg runnin' from the law cause you shot a man in Memphis is.

9. You can't have no Blues in an office or a shopping mall. The lighting is wrong. Go outside to the parking lot or sit by the dumpster.

10. Good places for the Blues:
  • highway
  • jailhouse
  • empty bed
  • bottom of a whiskey glass
Bad places:
  • cricket matches
  • gallery openings
  • Ivy League institutions
  • golf courses

11. No one will believe it's the Blues if you wear a suit, 'less you happen to be an old black man, and you slept in it.

12. Do you have the right to sing the Blues? Yes, if:
  • your first name is a southern State
  • you're blind
  • you shot a man in Memphis
  • your woman can't be satisfied
No, if:
  • you were once blind but now can see
  • you hold elected office
  • you have a retirement plan or trust fund
  • your woman CAN be satisfied

13. Blues is not a matter of color. It's a matter of bad luck. Tiger Woods cannot sing the blues. Gary Coleman could. Ugly white people have permission to sing the blues.

14. If you ask for water and Baby gives you gasoline, it's the Blues. Other acceptable Blues beverages are:
  • cheap wine
  • bad whiskey
  • muddy water
  • black coffee
The following are NOT Blues beverages:
  • mixed drinks
  • kosher wine
  • Snapple
  • SlimFast

15. If it occurs in a cheap motel or a shotgun shack, it's a Blues death. Stabbed in the back by a jealous lover is another Blues way to die. So is the electric chair, substance abuse, and dying lonely on a broken down cot. You can't have a Blues death if you die during a tennis match or getting liposuction.

16. Roll your own Blues name (starter kit):
  • First name: name of a physical infirmity (Blind, Cripple, Lame, etc.)
  • Middle name: none, or name of a fruit (Lemon, Lime, Kiwi, etc.)
  • Last name: last name of a President (Jefferson, Johnson, Fillmore, etc.)
For example; Blind Lemon Jefferson, or Cripple Kiwi Fillmore, etc.

17. Persons with names like Sierra, Sequoia, and Rainbow can't sing the Blues no matter how many men they shoot in Memphis.

My new Blues name is Clubfoot Banana Clinton.   Thmbsup
308  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: 2013 Version: Browser Wars on: February 02, 2013, 10:36:56 PM
My biggest problem with Chrome is that I can't escape the feeling that more is going on under the hood than I know about. Mostly in terms of tracking what I'm doing. Maybe it's excessive paranoia on my part. But enough companies (that should know better) have been caught playing those games that I don't think I'm completely crazy being concerned about it.

Tracking my personal browsing is an annoyance that would offend me if I discovered it happened. But I really don't care so much about that. What I do worry about is what may be seen when I access some of my clients' web-based systems. Because I have liability exposure if something leaks or gets compromised because of me.

I use Chromium because it (well, at least the Debian distribution) doesn't have "phone home" stuff nor Google Updater.  I suppose I could use SRWare Iron as well, but I've got a lazy side and Chromium is in the repos.

Chrome vs. Chromium:

Chrome vs. SRWare Iron:

Chromium for Windows:

SRWare Iron:
For Linux:

I have Opera installed, but hardly ever use it except as a novelty.  Never noticed any glitches, but no kudos either.  Maybe I should do the "immersion test" and make it my default browser for a week and see how it stacks up.
309  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Health Apps Useful, But Unused on: January 30, 2013, 11:44:38 PM
Hmmm... sounds like there's still some room for quality apps after all.  I had been dissuaded from dipping my toes in mobile development water precisely because there are about a bajillion apps for everything you can imagine, but I've been finding the same thing you have; crap design or just plain false advertising for 90+% of them.

Seems health apps are something you have to maintain and folks vastly prefer anything automagic or 'set-and-forget' over something that demands attention, so it's no surprise.  Maybe if they made it in to a game, like a weight tracker that worked like a Tamagotchiw so NOT entering your info gave you a lower score in some sort of game.
310  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Debate: Effects of technology on modern youth on: January 30, 2013, 05:45:21 PM
Dimitri Christakis is a pediatrician, parent, and researcher whose influential findings are helping identify optimal media exposure for children.
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoT7qH_uVNo" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoT7qH_uVNo</a>
311  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: 2013 Version: Browser Wars on: January 29, 2013, 10:41:00 PM
Chromium, Firefox Nightly.  In that order.
312  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Great Messages in Software on: January 27, 2013, 09:32:31 PM
My favorite was an app I don't remember what it did, but tended to crash every once in a while with a dialog that said
"Bad thing happen!!!"  
Grin Grin
313  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: NASA OOPS! on: January 26, 2013, 02:34:31 PM
Ok, the first one looked like a bad crop job, with the one razor-sharp line and the others slightly blurred.  The other photo looks a little more mysterious, but the lack of discernable details tells me it's either very far away and quite large, or fairly close and is just a bare piece of triangular material, aka Space junk:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMVqVXDUdaU" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMVqVXDUdaU</a>
314  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Who is still runnig XP? on: January 25, 2013, 11:22:32 PM
Still running XP on a separate disk, though I hardly ever boot into it; mostly for a few games and utilities with no equivalent on Linux.  My wife is still running XP because it runs on the 1.4 GHz machine she's still creaking along on and she's not a power user anyway.  That's gonna get replaced when we can afford a new computer for her.
Once I can afford a Win7 license, I'll prolly install that over my XP disk, and once I get an upgrade to my box, I'm considering running a hypervisor and virtual machines.  Although I'll have to come up with a valid reason for doing so besides "because I can".  cheesy
315  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Computer science student expelled for testing university software security on: January 24, 2013, 02:21:59 PM
One unfortnate thing I'm seeing more and more with the upcoming generation is how many have consciously or subconsciously embraced the notion that "it's easier to ask for forgiveness than to get permission." Almost like life comes with a reset or "new game" button. Well guess what? It doesn't. It's called reality. Welcome to Life-101.

You can blame the ever-venerable Grace Hopper for the quote, but it's pretty much human nature at work there, I'm afraid.  Wink
316  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: switch black and white in tiff files on: January 24, 2013, 12:27:59 AM
Weird, I swear I saw an option for that in the batch processing dialog in plain XnView, but apparently not.  It is in XnViewMP though: http://newsgroup.xnview.c...opic.php?f=60&t=26033 
From Tools -> Batch Convert, on the 'Output' tab, in the 'Multipage' group box, check the boxes next to "Convert multipage file to multipage file (when possible)" and "Convert all pages from multipage file".
317  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / A tale of Apple greed, or a startup gone a-whoring? on: January 24, 2013, 12:12:11 AM
Lala.com was the only music service besides 7digital I ever bought music from.  Why?  Because Lala was fecking AWESOME!  Until a fruity company with a bunch of money bought them out and shut them down, of course.  At the time I was angry and heartbroken, and the internet's reaction disgusted me ("ZOMG, maybe they'll use the tech to make iTunes better!! Squeee!!"... barf...).  Well, now some insider broke some news about how it all went down, and while I agree that Apple's motives were to squash some competition, there's apparently more to the story:
Lala was founded by Bill Nguyen, who went on to found Color. Both companies were purchased by Apple. Aubrey Johnson, a designer who worked with Nguyen at Color, wrote a blog post a few days ago in which he spilled the beans about the Lala deal. The post has since disappeared, with no explanation, but not before it made it into search engine caches. (Sorry, @aub, the Internet never forgets.)

So, after reading the whole piece, I've come to the conclusion that the reason Nguyen came up with such a killer service in the first place, was he wanted to be bought out; he never even intended to be the Web Mogul That Killed iTunes.  Nope, quite the opposite:

He called in a few favors and got a meeting with the leadership at Apple. He explained that he had offers from the largest mobile OS competitors and that they wanted to acquire his music startup. Cue knew if Google obtained Lala the ownership of the service coupled with search dominance could be disruptive to their stronghold. Bill was notorious at getting great deals with the music elite, usually through Lala's investor, Warner Brothers Music.

So there you have it.  At least I've still got Grooveshark and 7DigitalThmbsup

from an email from a friend, who got it from his aunt from Peoria, who thought it was spam and sent it to her nephew, but really it's from Mongolia or something. J/K.
318  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Why touch screens will never rule the world on: January 23, 2013, 11:43:35 PM
Nice short article, with a simple reason that's hard to argue: simple ergonomics.

At first, you might think, “Touch has been incredibly successful on our phones, tablets, airport kiosks and cash machines. Why not on our computers?”

I'll tell you why not: because of “gorilla arm.”

Relevant reference material: http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/G/gorilla-arm.html

from somewhar ah ferget
319  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Keyboard shortcut of the day on: January 23, 2013, 10:35:31 PM
More Notepad madness, courtesy of Stephen in the IRC:
320  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Keyboard shortcut of the day on: January 23, 2013, 10:24:16 PM
Just discovered this last week:
Open Notepad, and hit F5.
It pops the time and date.  

No idea how useful that is, but somebody coded it that way for a reason, so there ya go...
321  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: switch black and white in tiff files on: January 23, 2013, 10:17:02 PM
Xnview has a batch convert mode, and a function to invert colors.  Set your folders, select the files and apply the "Negative" function.  I used it all the time when I was scanning images of construction plans and came across the old ones that were purple with white lines.  The machine I was using scanned in black and white to tiff, so it was perfect.
It can handle multi-page tiffs as well.
322  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Would a 41 megapixel camera get you to buy a Windows 8 phone? on: January 23, 2013, 10:12:42 PM
323  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Valve is looking for beta-testers for Steam Linux client on: January 23, 2013, 03:02:22 PM
Still haven't managed to hack it into my Debian box yet.  Mostly due to lack of time, but one of these days...
324  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: A way to look at software design on: January 16, 2013, 12:55:45 PM
Perhaps because they are not solutions so much as responses
Spot. On.
325  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me! on: January 15, 2013, 01:55:10 PM
^ Awesome.  I was big into these guys in the early 90's.  The only band me and my shoegazer friends could agree on. So sad when Sandman passed on.

instrumental only, but check out the drummer!!
homepage is here http://compressorheadband.com/

Dude, if I had time for a band, I would hire that drummer.  I've often wondered why people into electronic music didn't do that kind of thing more often, using trigger plungers to strike real drums instead of arguing about how 'live' the samples on any given drum machine sound...

Here's a forgotten favorite of mine from around the same time period.  Relatively unknown outside the Athens, GA scene but made some damn fine minimalist swamp-boogie tunes.  That board he's stomping and shuffling on is one of the instruments O_o

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