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301  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: March 16, 2014, 09:16:16 PM
What Jurassic Park would look like if the raptors were cats.  Grin

LOL!!! Awesome!! Grin
302  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: When you make your 100'th Post on: February 27, 2014, 08:16:24 PM
Tooting my own horn here, nothing to get excited about:  embarassed
303  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Against TED talks on: February 26, 2014, 12:08:22 AM
TED is not a cornucopia of ideas, solutions, or answers to all the worlds questions, it's just people talking.

Exactly.  Why it's upheld as a forum for exactly that (the cornucopia thing) is more and more beyond me.

But they're just stories.  Take what you can use, and discard the rest

I did, but I was bugged by the nagging feeling that it shouldn't be so.  The way TED talks were constantly being extolled, i felt as if I should be slack-jawed in awe of these near-immortals who can blow my mind with paradigm-shifting plans to feed the world, travel to other planets and optimize bubble-sort algorithms, and sing loudly the praises of the organization who discovered these pioneering hyper-humans and trotted them out on a stage for my adoration.  But I wasn't, and I'm not.  I found a few of them interesting, but certainly not life-changing, mind-blowing, or anything else.  

Maybe I'm making more out of this thing than it deserves, but I posted because I was just a little tickled to find I wasn't alone in my sentiment.
That's all, really. embarassed
304  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Against TED talks on: February 25, 2014, 10:16:38 PM
Don't get me wrong - I think the basic intent of TED is/was a good one, and I have seen some I like, but the most poignant line from the first Onion talk is the most applicable to my current opinion of TED as a whole:
"I'll be your visionary, and you do the things I come up with."

305  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Against TED talks on: February 25, 2014, 12:28:05 AM
I've had a nagging suspicion for a while now that TED talks were becoming more and more like video representations of snake oil shows or SCIgen papers, but I always felt I was alone in this regard.  All the cool kids were into TED, and the water cooler conversations always seemed to include the sentence "... so I heard this one thing in a TED talk...", so what was wrong with me?

Turns out, I'm not as alone as I thought.

Nathan Jurgenson at The New Inquiry (not one of my regular hangouts...) has written a pretty good summation of what I've been feeling all along.
TED attempts to present itself as fresh, cutting edge, and outside the box but often fails to deliver. It’s become the Urban Outfitters of the ideas world, finding “cool” concepts suitable for being packaged and sold to the masses, thereby extinguishing the “cool” in the process. Cutting-edge ideas not carrying the Apple-esque branding are difficult to find.

In case you haven't noticed, the phenomenon is endemic enough to warrant it's own Onion parody series, and comedian Sam Hyde even crashed the party back in October '13, with predictably hilarious results:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yFhR1fKWG0" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yFhR1fKWG0</a>

I'll give them this though, the folks at TED have taken the jabs with grace, and even offered their own tips based on the, *ahem*, advice subtley gleaned from the ensuing jocundity: http://blog.ted.com/2013/...kers-can-learn-from-them/
DED Talks. High TED Talks. Onion Talks. Here in the TED office, you will often hear chuckles as someone watches one of the quickly growing crop of TED spoofs floating in the ether. And surprisingly, there are some pretty good lessons for speakers embedded in these spoofs.

So, what say you?  Am I still alone?  Does TED tickle your futurist gland?  or leave you facepalming at all the nulla substantia?
Or, if you'd rather have your Ulnar nerve percussed, make up your own TED talk! -> http://www.vanityfair.com...ed-conference-talks-humor  
The art of faux profundity:
9 Easy steps to your own audience-flattering TED talk

from an IRC conversation. Come on in! Lots of happenin' convo!
306  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Cute jokes' thread on: February 24, 2014, 11:44:06 PM
A certain old cat had made his home in the alley behind Gabe's bar for some time, subsisting on scraps and occasional handouts from the bartender. One evening, emboldened by hunger, the feline attempted to follow Gabe through the back door. Regrettably, only the his body had made it through when the door slammed shut, severing the cat's tail at its base. This proved too much for the old creature, who looked sadly at Gabe and expired on the spot. Gabe put the carcass back out in the alley and went back to business.
The mandatory closing time arrived and Gabe was in the process of locking up after the last customers had gone. Approaching the back door he was startled to see an apparition of the old cat mournfully holding its severed tail out, silently pleading for Gabe to put the tail back on its corpse so that it could go on to the kitty afterworld complete.
Gabe shook his head sadly and said to the ghost, "I can't. You know the law -- no retailing spirits after 2:00 AM."

307  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: What Google Plus is all about on: February 18, 2014, 01:23:05 AM
Plus is now so important to Google that the company requires people to sign up to use some Google services, like commenting on YouTube. The push is being done so forcefully that it has alienated some users and raised privacy and antitrust concerns, including at the Federal Trade Commission.
and this:
“It’s about you showing up at Google and having a consistent experience across products so they feel like one product, and that makes your experiences with every Google product better,” Mr. Horowitz said.
are the reasons I don't.
Mr. Horowitz, quit blowing smoke up my butt and telling me it's sunshine.  mad
308  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / For Valentine's day: Creepy vintage Valentine's day cards on: February 14, 2014, 07:12:56 AM
I don't normally like Buzzfeed, but they nailed it on this one:

27 Weird And Creepy Vintage Valentine’s Day Cards

from somebody's Facebook post
309  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / The TTY demystified on: February 14, 2014, 01:10:12 AM
Hmmm... I always wondered why an ancient technology is still an essential part of how Unix-like operating systems communicate internally between user and software.  Now I know the 'why', but I got the how as a pretty sweet bonus.  Thmbsup

Though I found the article easy to read and digest, I must say it's not quite n00b reading material, but neither is it restricted to brain rockets.  Enjoy:

The TTY subsystem is central to the design of Linux, and UNIX in general. Unfortunately, its importance is often overlooked, and it is difficult to find good introductory articles about it. I believe that a basic understanding of TTYs in Linux is essential for the developer and the advanced user.

Beware, though: What you are about to see is not particularly elegant...

from HackADay
310  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: PowerPro development to cease this month on: February 09, 2014, 01:57:08 PM
Wow, they should rename this application "Energizer Bunny".  Grin

... or, Duracell Bunny, for those across the pond.  Wink
311  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: tip: check your mouse before going to red alert. on: February 08, 2014, 05:05:12 PM
And if Logitech is no help, you can snap up the standard OMRON D2FC-F-7N Microswitches from just about anywhere.  A little tinkering and solder smoke, and Voilà! New mouse!

Some people have opened up the switch and re-bent the leaf-spring contact inside.  Not a good idea in my opinion.  If you know anything at all about bending thin pieces of metal, you know it'll never be full strength again, but YMMV.
312  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Continuing with XP on: February 06, 2014, 09:19:38 PM
All I have to add is my support for some advice that's already been given:
  • Linux + XP in a VM is not going to be fun on a netbook with 2 GB RAM.
  • Windows 7 is not that much of a jump from XP... she may even find it nicer.
  • Windows XP won't simply "die" on April 8.  Just keep some backup copies of the service packs should you ever need to re-install and you ought to be OK for several years more.
Eventually, she'll have to upgrade or switch as the software world moves on, but really there are so many ways to make the transition easy enough that biting the bullet won't hurt as much as it might seem.  And if Linux is a viable alternative, you've got plenty of folks here ready and willing to help.  I know I'm in...  Thmbsup
313  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Beagle Bone: Choosing between tiny DIY computer kits on: February 05, 2014, 07:45:13 PM
and some of these should not be confused with compact PC's, ie the RPI/BeagleBone/etc are more like dev platforms than PC's and provide access to a range of peripherals not normally accessible from a 'normal' PC, while CuBox appears to be 'just' a compact PC

Good point, and here's another compact PC I just stumbled across, x86 based so you can install Windows on it:
Thanks for posting about CuBox, 40hz.  Yet another thing on my "What I wouldn't do for a chance to install Debian on THAT" list. Grin

but why? huh  

Hehe, if you only knew... Grin
I've installed (and even used) more operating systems than I can remember (not talking about Linux distros, but actual OSs), and every time I happen across any esoteric computing platform, my first thought is whether I can install Debian Linux on it.  I don't know exactly why, but it probably has a lot to do with Debian being my favorite Linux, and the fact that Debian (officially) supports 11 different architectures: https://www.debian.org/re...able/i386/ch02s01.html.en
314  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Koding.com and the great 100TB giveaway on: February 05, 2014, 07:36:49 PM
Don't worry, no offense taken.  Wink
I totally understand your decision, I was just stating reasons for mine, and I totally agree that if it gets the job done, use it.  Still, it seems like Pascal has really lost the limelight in the last 10 years, when it used to be just as respected as any.  I'll keep using it for now, and leave it when it doesn't work any more, or something just as easy to understand and use comes along (and trust me, I've tried LOTS...).
315  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Beagle Bone: Choosing between tiny DIY computer kits on: February 05, 2014, 07:19:12 PM
The Arduino is a completely different beast than the Raspberry Pi and it's ilk, which should shape your choice from the beginning.  Don't use an Arduino for something that needs an embedded computing platform, and don't use a RPi if all you need to do can be accomplished with programmable logic.

Everything after that comes down to the cost/benefit ratio; what do you need to do, and how much is the device that can do it going to cost.

Thanks for posting about CuBox, 40hz.  Yet another thing on my "What I wouldn't do for a chance to install Debian on THAT" list. Grin
316  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Koding.com and the great 100TB giveaway on: February 05, 2014, 12:46:54 AM
Like I've said before, use what works for you.  I like Pascal because I can grokw it. 
I've said this so many times now, I'm tempted to make it my new sig:
With most programming languages, I feel like I'm being forced to do math.  I hate math.  With Pascal, I feel like I'm writing poetry.  Thmbsup
317  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff" on: February 04, 2014, 01:21:11 AM
Five reasons I'd rather run Windows 8 than Linux  ZDNet

That article is so chock-full of trollbait, it should have been sent trip-trapping over a bridge.  The author even says as much ("Prove me right."). 
Seems like it never fails that when the Windows vs. Linux rant fests begin, all manner of facts, lies, damn lies, generalities, opinions, assumptions, straw men, and ad hominems ALL get loaded in the troll-cannons at once and fired with complete impunity and disregard for public safety by both parties.  I was sick of it years ago, and I'm sick of it now.

Repeat after me: Use What Works For YOU.  Period.
318  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Koding.com and the great 100TB giveaway on: February 03, 2014, 07:51:29 PM
What's the latest?  I'm just curious.

Pascal, since you're so kind to ask.  embarassed
It's not as dead or incapable of a language as many make it out to be, and Lazarus is a very nice (if somewhat quirky) IDE to make little visual apps with.  I'm having a blast and learning a lot because for some reason I always end up with an itch to do something that turns out to be either buggy, or hard to do, or I don't know the language well enough.  Grin

An aside, I happened to go on Bjarne Stroustrup's site(to get the spelling) and he has this long-suffering look like "20 years of standardization committees and still I'm not done!"  smiley

 Grin Grin Grin  Ah Bjarne, you've created a monster... a monster at once beautiful and hideous...

I have always wished for my computer to be as easy to use as my telephone; my wish has come true because I can no longer figure out how to use my telephone.
-Bjarne Stroustrup
319  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Koding.com and the great 100TB giveaway on: February 02, 2014, 11:56:45 PM
No support for my new favorite language anyways  undecided

Sounds like a cool idea though.
320  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: CrossLoop – Simple Secure Screen Sharing on: February 02, 2014, 11:49:30 PM
Teamviewer works just fine for me when I have to remote in to my in-laws computer, AND it runs from my Linux workstation (imagine that).  I prefer TigerVNC, but...
321  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff" on: February 01, 2014, 06:36:03 PM
(see attachment in previous post)
Untangling the Web.pdf
Thank the NSA for this one. This is the first text file I haven't been able to upload here(38.4MB)

Nice find!
My favorite quote so far (emphasis mine):
We pay for the benefits of the Internet less in terms of money and more in terms of the currencies of our age: time, energy, and privacy.

Quite true, that...
322  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me! on: February 01, 2014, 11:41:44 AM
After the Japanese middle school girls singing crushing metal, I had to swing the other direction for a bit.
Ah, CandyRat records, you never fail me...  cheesy

I am not normally a "pianer-lissenin'" type of guy, but this is pretty darn cool.  Very Vince Guaraldi vibe to it, which I like very much.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r75HTbRUGQU" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r75HTbRUGQU</a>
323  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Robot Odyssey - An incredible programming game from 1984 on: January 27, 2014, 11:21:56 PM
Yup, I remember playing it many times (and I still fire up DroidQuest every now and again).  Me and 2 other guys sitting around the Apple ][e... "Dude, put a wire from the camera to the left thruster"  "But what about when it gets to the electric grid?"  "Wrong chip dude, you need NAND for those two bumpers, else you end up going back and forth instead of up".  The day I figured out you could carry other robots inside your robot, I was blown away (yeah, it was in the tutorial, but who has time for that?).  Thmbsup

Also, to add to the Wikipedia articles list of similar games, check out Colobot:

Colobot (Colonize with Bots) is an educational game aiming to teach
 programming through entertainment. You are playing as an astronaut on a
 journey with robot helpers to find a planet for colonization. It features 3D
 real-time graphics and a C++ and Java-like, object-oriented language, CBOT,
 which can be used to program the robots available in the game.
324  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff" on: January 23, 2014, 11:38:10 PM
Never freezes? Also not true, although it seldom happens - and can almost always be unfrozen without the need to resort to a hard reboot.

Still happens to me.  About once a month, I come home and the screensaver is frozen.  No mouse response, no Ctrl-Alt-F1, no nothin'.  I suspect it may be the DMA errors my hard drive was throwing my way about 6 months ago, causing random slowdown->window freeze->total lockup glitches.  I have a script that I ran at the first sign of trouble which would write dmesg|tail to another disk every 5 seconds until it came down, and that's how I learned it was DMA errors.  Been keeping Unison backups ever since just in case.   Windows no matter what hardware I was on would do strange things and freeze up every once in a while, but I had no idea how to go about pinning down the issue.
325  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: When you make your 100'th Post on: January 23, 2014, 11:20:10 PM
Caught myself...

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