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51  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Thoughts on the tech on the TV show Scorpion? on: October 30, 2014, 12:14:46 AM
From the trailer, I knew it was going to be bad.  Then I read a review of the pilot, and it was even worse than I had imagined.  The best comment was along the lines of "I'm glad for bad shows like this that make my job in infosec look so much more exciting than it really is".  I don't have TV anyway, so by default I can't really comment, but... yeah.
52  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: Linux Foundataion's $2400 Intro to Linux course to be offered online for free on: October 30, 2014, 12:04:43 AM
Hmmm... perhaps.

From the Honor Code page, under "Certificates, etc.":
Registration and Payment.
Subject to the foregoing, you may be required to pay a fee to receive an ID Verified Certificate of Achievement (a “Verified Certificate”) with respect to certain courses on the Site, in which case, the following processes and requirements shall apply:
- As part of your registration, you will be prompted to submit a photo of yourself, along with one other form of photo identification (“photo ID”). Although these items are collected by edX in accordance with these TOS and the edX Privacy Policy, you should be aware that the actual authentication of your identify is performed by an edX third party service provider. Please refer to the Privacy Policy for additional details on how we handle those items once received by us.

But then this, farther down, under "Authentication":

In order that edX can authenticate your identity as required by these TOS, you will be prompted to take a webcam photo of yourself, as well as a photo of an acceptable form of photo ID (described below). Once submitted to edX, this information will be subject to the edX Privacy Policy and will be used only for the purpose of verifying your identity. Acceptable forms of photo ID’s are:

... but if you didn't have to, then I won't sweat it.  I just found it a bit odd that they explicitly ask for a "webcam photo of yourself".
53  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: Linux Foundataion's $2400 Intro to Linux course to be offered online for free on: October 29, 2014, 07:48:11 PM
Thanks for letting us know.  I signed up for EdX and was about to sign in to the Linux course when I saw this post.  

P.S.  I saw that to verify your identity (in one of the Terms and Conditions pages) they want a picture of your driver's license and a webcam photo.  
WTH?  They need a blinkin' SELFIE?!?! nono2
54  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The Emergency Broadcast System ? on: October 28, 2014, 09:20:24 PM
Random thought: I want a Faraday cage.

It needs to be grounded to be effective: http://en.wikipedia.org/w...Electromagnetic_radiation

55  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The Emergency Broadcast System ? on: October 28, 2014, 08:13:55 PM
The town of my birth in Oregon put the old air raid siren to good use.  It would go off with a 3-cycle rising and falling tone at exactly 12 noon.  The town is small enough that you can hear it even if you live a mile or two "back in the hills."

I agree that internet news travels pretty fast.  All it would take is a few big names (facebook, twitter, google) to post urgent news on their front page à la "Amber Alerts" and most folks would get it.
56  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me! on: October 27, 2014, 11:25:00 PM
While we're on the 'alternative' trip, how about my hometown folks Hammerbox?

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxlGtd88MAM" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxlGtd88MAM</a>

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btd2_tPvYis" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btd2_tPvYis</a>

Overlooked as just another 'grunge' band, they really spit out some burners on their major label release.  The difference between first and second album's vocals by Carrie Akre are like day and night.  Their first 'demo' album had her off-handedly dropping lazy lyricalities over the band's hard buzz, the second --- WHOA!!  Bloody raw emotion and soul splattered across every track.
Paramore fans owe somebody a big "thank you".

Speaking of which, Alanis Morrisette fans owe Betsy Martin some props:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lV4m19vgrU4" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lV4m19vgrU4</a>

Maximum '80s groove there, with what should be the most annoying vocals in the universe, but somehow it works out.  This is their only official video, using enlarged photocopies of film footage colored with markers and crayons.  It caught the attention of MTv big-time back in the day, but the mainstream music industry quickly lost interest.  Their loss.  Caterwaul went on to do two more excellent albums of quite listenable stuff (Portent Hue sounds absolutely HUGE). 
One of the only bands of this genre and era that interested me as a budding metalhead.
57  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me! on: October 27, 2014, 08:01:41 PM

Then along came Mark Sandman of the band Morphine with his unique 2-string slide bass technique. At which point I thought I had heard it all too.

R.I.P. Mr. Sandman...

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsQB4vc2jQc" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsQB4vc2jQc</a>
58  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: What are your favorite movies? on: October 24, 2014, 07:43:53 PM
I saw the release AND the director's cut of that one.  IIRC, the director's cut was much more cathartic than the release, but didn't leave you with as many loose ends to chew on. 

Which can be the funnest part of any WTF movie.  Thmbsup
59  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

60  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
61  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.
62  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?
63  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!
64  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
65  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

66  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.
67  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.
68  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:

69  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...
70  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.
71  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.
72  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.
73  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.  
74  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..."
75  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.
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