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1  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: Post your Linux/FOSS humor here. on: January 31, 2015, 09:48:54 PM
2  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Would appreciate some feedback on my new logos on: January 31, 2015, 04:53:52 PM
Agree w/Chris above. For same reason. smiley
3  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC? on: January 31, 2015, 03:59:35 PM
Getting away from all things bass (and bass players) for a moment (YAY!), here's something useful I recently found.

If you want a regulated hum-free power supply to handle multiple effects pedals, but don't cotton to paying the prices some of the commercial versions go for, it's fairly easy to build your own IF you have some electronics project experience.

The key to the ease of building this particular power supply is an unusual transformer sold by a company called Weber Magnetics. It takes 120VAC-in and provides eight separate isolated 11VAC @ 300ma pairs - plus one with 9VAC @2A.

If none of the above makes sense, STOP READING. You don't have enough experience or technical background to safely attempt a homebrew project like this.

To continue...

This transformer, which is specifically designed to power effect pedals, is called a WPDLXFMR-1 and it runs for $25 per unit. There's also a 120/220/240VAC configurable primary version for non-US voltages called the WPDLXFMR-2 available as well. Info and links can be found on this page - look towards the bottom.

[attachthumb=#]  [attachthumb=#]

Pedal and effects power supply transformer, Eight 11 volt, 300ma windings and one 9 volt, 2 amp winding. 120VAC input. This is a transformer, NOT a power supply. The output is AC, not DC. You must build a power supply that converts AC to DC in order to use this transformer.

Drop a voltage rectifier and (optional) voltage regulator circuit after each pair and Bob's yer uncle! A discussion (with schematics of suggested circuits) can be found on on the project page for the Geofex Spyder power supply located here.

I'm being sketchy about details because a project of this type involves potentially lethal voltages on the side of the circuit you'd be plugging into a wall outlet. If you don't know what you're doing - DON'T. And even if you do know what you're doing - be extremely careful. All the usual "At your own risk" disclaimers apply.

Note: This post is only being provided for educational purposes. Any safety risks are the sole responsibility of the project builder.
4  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / The Serengeti Startegy - Sowing doubt for fun and profit on: January 31, 2015, 03:27:23 PM
Good read by Michael E. Mann over at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists website.

The Serengeti strategy:
How special interests try to
intimidate scientists, and
how best to fight back

Michael E. Mann

Much as lions on the Serengeti seek out vulnerable zebras at the edge of a herd, special interests faced with
adverse scientific evidence often target individual scientists rather than take on an entire scientific field at once.

Part of the reasoning behind this approach is that it is easier to bring down individuals than an entire group of
scientists, and it still serves the larger aim: to dismiss, obscure, and misrepresent well-established science and
its implications. In addition, such highly visible tactics create an atmosphere of intimidation that discourages
other scientists from conveying their research's implications to the public.

This "Serengeti strategy" is often employed wherever there is a strong and widespread consensus among the world's scientists
about the underlying cold, hard facts of a field, whether the subject be evolution, ozone depletion, the environmental impacts of
DDT, the health effects of smoking, or human-caused climate change. The goal is to attack those researchers
whose findings are inconvenient, rather than debate the findings themselves.

This article draws upon the author's own experience to examine the "Serengeti strategy," and offers possible
countermeasures to such orchestrated campaigns. It examines what responses by scientists have been most successful,
and how to combat the doubt-sowing that industry has done regarding the science behind climate change and other fields

Read the full article here.
5  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Who gets sued next? VLC media player? Mozilla? on: January 31, 2015, 03:10:22 PM
^Apologies. Sad  But sooner or later we're all gonna have to acknowledge that a certain thing we were warned about - and possibly feared the most - has already come to pass. It's no longer a question of what or if. It's now become the far more frightening question of what to do about it.

I think the reality of our situation is getting ready to call our bluff very shortly.

Welcome to "historically interesting" times. tellme
6  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: ALERT! How to test for GHOST security hole now affecting major distros on: January 31, 2015, 01:14:24 PM
However, there is a part of me that is really enjoying the peacefully quiet void left by all the idiots who use to yell at the top of their lungs about how Linux is the only operating system people should use because it would never, ever be hit with a serous security flaw like Windows has been in the past because of the awesomeness that is open-source software.

The operable word there is "idiots."

Nobody who knows anything about software, particularly operating systems, would ever make such an argument. In fact, the common wisdom for the last several years has been: When Linux reaches enough critical mass to be worth targeting, Linux will be targeted just like any other OS.

The big difference with Linux is how often and quickly issues get identified, publicly acknowledged, and fixed when they come to light.

I haven't seen that anywhere else. And I started back when things like Unix, VAX, VM/CMS and OS/360 were the operating systems that got used.

7  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Who gets sued next? VLC media player? Mozilla? on: January 31, 2015, 08:25:55 AM
Note: personally I agree with you on the distinction. But it's lines like the above that (need to) get crossed if the system (and it's right's/freedoms) we know is to be properly and completely flushed down the proverbial toilet.

I think it's gone beyond that already. Right now we're waiting for the guy with the plumber's helper to show up, do his thing, and then give it a second flush.

8  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: AOL Shutting Down all of it's enthusiast blogs on: January 30, 2015, 09:35:50 PM
it does show the perils of becoming attached to free news services.

This! Thmbsup

I thought this part Brianna Royce's post neatly summed it up:

I would like to be able to tell you truthfully that this is an equitable and just decision that makes some sort of logical sense, but the reality is that our overlords' decisions have always been unfathomable. I know more of what I know about corporate from reading tech and finance news than through my own job. We all suspected this was coming eventually a year ago when a VP whose name I don't even know and who never read our site chose to reward our staggering, hard-won 40% year-over-year page view growth by... hacking our budget in half. There's nothing to do in the face of that kind of logic but throw your hands in the air. It's not about merit or lack thereof, and it's not about journalism or gaming being dead or anything grand like that, so there's no point in taking it personally.

But for me, it's hard not to.
9  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: stickies Notezilla memoboard as full-blown personal note system on: January 30, 2015, 09:32:38 PM
I keep looking for tools to simplify this process, but at this point I'm almost philosophically convinced it can't be accomplished with a single tool.

Something I concluded as well a few years ago. But that's ok. I'll settle for "good enough."

A lot of it may also be because I've become significantly less interested in information curation and more interested in ideation.

I sometimes think too much note-taking, planning, and structuring gets in the way of actual thinking and creativity. Because a lot of what they are is (sometimes superfluous) preparation to do something, rather than actually doing it.

Eventually I think I'm going to wind up reverting back to what I used in college before we had all this fancy electronically augmented note and process technology. Which is to say a pen, a couple of blank notebooks - and a rudimentary memory palace. (See Francis Yates book The Art of Memory if you want to get some historical background on the technique(s) employed.)


10  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC? on: January 30, 2015, 08:27:44 PM
It reminds me of something I remember Lindsey Buckingham saying about Van Halen, which I completely agree with. He said his problem with their music is that Eddie's solos are like a completely different song.

Lindsey had a lot to say about a lot of things IIRC. Not bad for a guy who launched his career primarily by sponging off his girfriends and generally driving them clinically insane until he achieved his middling success. (As bluesman Tinsley Ellis so famously said when speaking of his own career: "It's been a long hard climb to the middle.")

EVH was far better on his first two albums than he was for much of anything he did afterwards. (And I think we can all agree that the Sammy Hagar years were the absolute pits for VanHalen.)

That said, I think the solos and guitar work on Women in Love, Beautiful Girls and Somebody Call Me a Doctor are among some of the best in the rock genre.

However, for really good rock guitar, I still think the pinnacle was Frampton on the Frampton Comes Alive album. Skipping the Heil "Bag" nonsense in Do You Feel Like We Do (hey, it was the times...nobody had ever heard much in the way of effects beyond a wah pedal or fuzz box) Frampton's playing was spot-on. He's also one of the few guitar players I think sounds better on a Les Paul than a Stratocaster. Not an easy feat. Les Pauls can sound amazing in the right pair of hands. Too bad they so seldom do find themselves held by such hands.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9Yq5m9eLIQ" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9Yq5m9eLIQ</a>
(Note: absolutely love Bob Mayo's gorgeous Hammond/Leslie and Rhodes piano work on this one too!)

Frampton's trick (if you want to call it that) is that he works his solos around chord forms rather than off of scale patterns. It's a more "orchestral" (i.e vertical structure) rather than single line scale pattern approach. It's how most jazzers think of things. Start thinking within the chord progressions - not memorized and heavily practiced scale patterns. Even his noodling is more musical than most guitarist's signature solos are. And that chord vamping he does towards the end starting at approximately the 12:04 mark is positively inspired.

Most guitarists today focus on scale patterns played just short of the speed of light. And the results speak for themselves. Fast multi-octave runs and riffing mostly devoid of musical interest. Or so I think.

Want to do a good sounding solo? Work inside the chord shapes and chord progression.

Just my two cents anyway. Cool
11  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC? on: January 30, 2015, 08:08:30 PM
Back in the 90s I saw one of the best pieces of advice for guitar solos - from an 80s speed metal shredder no less. He said if you want to learn how to solo, don't listen to other guitarists. Listen to keyboard players because their solos are composed melodically instead of by finger patterns.

Yep! And if you want to be a really good bass player, when you're just starting out skip most bass lesson books. Work out of a beginner’s saxophone lesson book instead. You'll never regret it. Thmbsup
12  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Does anyone here use Bitcoins? on: January 30, 2015, 07:58:14 PM
^Yes. But on a certain meta-level, isn't claiming ownership of property - in any way, shape, or form - a specie of theft? tongue

Not in the least. Well, unless you're a communist. And we all know just how awesome communism ends. Wink

About as awesomely as Libertarianism and "Free Market" economics keeps misfiring AFAICT. tongue Wink

It's a bit ridiculous to claim that "property is theft".

No more than taxation IF you accept the argument it's an acceptable trade-off for what you get in return. And that is definitely a case of something where YMMV. Usually the closer you are to the top of the food chain (i.e. where The System really is working for YOU) the less onerous government taxation and regulation generally seems. Cool

It's the age old have/have-not/has-but wants more struggle. That never changes, no matter how often you rebalance the sides. Grin
13  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC? on: January 30, 2015, 07:05:59 PM
If you want to clear out a room full of musicians in a minute or less, Mustang Sally will generally do the trick. If there's anybody left at the end of the song, you can follow it up with Johnny B Goode. If they're not gone when that's done, it's time to call an ambulance.

 Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin

@Vubal - thanks so much for that. I've been ROFLMAO all afternoon over that one! Each time I think about it, I crack up all over again. Thmbsup Thmbsup Thmbsup

That's nothin', I do a mean solo cover of Whipping Post that'll floor you... Ready?  Hello?  Hey guys wh.... ??  huh

Yeah...sounds about right...

@E - I personally think the Allmans had no clue just how appropriately the title fit when they named that song.  Grin Thmbsup
14  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: stickies Notezilla memoboard as full-blown personal note system on: January 30, 2015, 04:08:09 PM
I've worked with some people who have completely committed to using Trello. I does what it's designed to do. And it works quite well. I am not personally enamoured of it. But I have my own work/planning tool preferences, so that shouldn't count for much. Well worth a look.
15  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC? on: January 30, 2015, 02:27:13 PM
If you want to clear out a room full of musicians in a minute or less, Mustang Sally will generally do the trick. If there's anybody left at the end of the song, you can follow it up with Johnny B Goode. If they're not gone when that's done, it's time to call an ambulance.

 Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin

@Vubal - thanks so much for that. I've been ROFLMAO all afternoon over that one! Each time I think about it, I crack up all over again. Thmbsup Thmbsup Thmbsup
16  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC? on: January 30, 2015, 02:24:55 PM
It's interesting that as pop music continues to evolve, it's the bass that is getting louder and louder, while everything else is fading away, along with  melodies, songs with more than two chords or measures (lol).

Yeah...that "click-clack-paddywhack - please send this moron home" school of 'slap bass.' I can't stand it. It's like trying to eat a muffin made completely out of cinnamon. Almost as bad as the tone of those "Bad Jaco" wannabees, which sounds like a small animal with a sinus condition barking its head off because it's trapped inside a garbage can...

What happened to tone? To melodic inventiveness? To smooth and precise intonation? To freekin' legato while we're at it when it comes to electric bass??? If you like metallic clang, take up percussion. At least you'll have more interesting instrument voices to work with. Slap is like washtub bass - a little goes a long way. And just because it can doesn't mean you should. Or at least not ALL the time.

Time was when it was generally considered a good idea for a bass player to know (and play) something. Too bad we got away from that. A bassist today could have saved a fortune on head shaves and tattoos if that were still the case. And also been able to more profitably put all those hours they spent on getting those washboard abs and that 'studio tan' into practicing their instrument.

I can "slap & pop" just fine thank you very much. Something I learned how to do purely to refute those who like to imply I don't because I can't. (Even the most stoic bass players retain some ego.) I will not, however, play that way. A quick 1-bar break for dramatic variation in the service of a song?....maybe. Or maybe (i.e. probably) not. But to slap for a whole song? Or a whole set? Or a gig? Or your entire career? "Include me out!" as Yogi Berra allegedly said. Want a slap-style bass player? Why not go ask that big dude over there with the muscles... He needs a steady job more than I do. (It's a condition of his parole.)

Same goes for what my GF calls "Lead Bass." (She has a very special eye-roll she keeps in reserve purely for those times when she hears any.) If it's in your face in the front of the mix - it ain't bass. It's just guitar played on very thick strings. Which may well be valid in a given music context. But it's not "bass" as far as role and function are concerned. Or at least as far as I'm concerned.

There are some who may argue otherwise. Which is ok. But they are wrong.  Cool Wink Grin
17  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Who gets sued next? VLC media player? Mozilla? on: January 30, 2015, 12:24:54 PM
You can't make stuff like this up. From TechDirt (link):

Anti-Piracy Group So Desperate To Go After Popcorn Time That It Threatens A Blog Software Maker
from the no,-it-doesn't-make-any-sense dept

We've seen, over the years, how copyright holders and anti-piracy organizations have continually moved up and down the stack in trying to shut off access to things they don't like. They've sued users for sharing, as well as companies and individuals who build tools that can be used for infringement, of course. Those were the obvious ones. But, lately, they've been targeting hosting providers, registrars, ISPs and ad networks as well. And, apparently, now some are so desperate that they're going after totally unrelated software providers. At least that appears to be the case in Greece, where the Greek Society for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AEPI), sent an angry threat letter to John O'Nolan, who created Ghost, an open source blogging system. Why go after Ghost? Well, apparently because one of the more popular forks of the Popcorn Time streaming system has a blog that uses Ghost. Ghost doesn't host it. Popcorn Time is just using its software. It would take one hell of a ridiculous interpretation of secondary liability to put any liability on Ghost. It would be like going after BIC because someone at Napster wrote notes using one of their pens. But such is the ridiculous state of the anti-piracy world today, where such moves seem sensible.

It may seem ridiculous, and happening in a place very far from home. But when you consider the (often kept secret) IP protection clauses in so many major trade agreements, who knows just how far such similar "legal" nonsense will someday reach?

Can you say: "Everywhere?" tellme

18  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: What do you want to ask Edward Snowden? Now you can! on: January 30, 2015, 11:42:48 AM
Nothing really. I think I understand perfectly why he did what he did.

And despite all the revelations made through news agencies (which are already starting to wrap it up as "old news") NOTHING has changed in any material way. In fact it's gotten far worse now that those responsible are doubling down, openly covering for each other, and saying "Too damn bad! Sue me!" while flipping the bird in response to each subsequent revelation.

If nobody cares, Snowden wasted his time. And nuked much of what passes for a normal life.

On second thought...I do have one question:

How's the food?
19  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC? on: January 30, 2015, 10:47:51 AM
I am really enjoying your animosity towards Jeff Beck, 40.

It's not so much that. (Ok...maybe it is.) But I mean look... she's a superb bassist...her credentials are impeccable, so there's no need to do the débutante thing for her when she's on stage. The lady sounds and looks the part - and she has one of those really cute girl-stomp things going (more on that later) when this ageing ninny moves in, screws the beat, plus adds some bad sound to something that didn't need anything else - and would have been far better (and I'm guessing got the woman a great deal more applause) if he just allowed things to run on their own merits.

Jeff doesn't need anything to bolster his (somewhat unjustified IMO) fame or place in the history books of rock & roll. So it's not like he needs to rub himself on her for good luck like Sheryl Crow's husband (a big producer) did for his comely Sheryl when he got her paired up on stage and TV with everybody who was anybody when she decided to make a go of it. Ms. Wilkenfeld has a friggen' 'rep' for heaven's sake. She had established "studio cred" by the bloody age of 20!

So maybe Tal is Jeff's good luck talisman these days? Her now famous 2007 performance with an uncharacteristically considerate Jeff Beck at the Crossroads Festival did more for Jeff's career (most people were already fairly tired of him) than it did hers. Or so I think. But I could well be wrong about all this. My long standing dislike of all things 'Jeff Beck' (the 'whys' of which are not worth going into) sometimes tends to cloud my normally more rational thought processes.

Re: the girl-stomp thing:

Musicianship is performance art as well as a musical ability.

A good performer invites the audience into their world to let them see a bit of what they're experiencing. It builds audience engagement. And it's the courteous thing to do since many people (who are not musicians) are extremely interested in that thing we do. So by letting the audience in, you educate (and in the best possible situations) provide an impetus for them to someday become musicians themselves.

Because the truth of the matter is (as musicians) we're still pretty much a guild - complete with it's traditions, and 'secret' lore, and rituals and regalia...a pecking order...and all that other nonsense. So "opening up the kimono" is something most audience members appreciate.

If you check out some of her other performances, you'll generally see her do a little dance or bop to give the audience and idea of where she's coming from beat-wise. Or she'll play something very fine, then the look up at the audience and shoot a quick smile that seems to say (in a non-condescending manner) "Did you catch that? Do you see what I'm trying to say with this song?"

That's pure performance. And simple courtesy to your listeners.

Add that to demonstrable musical talent and sophistication, a shy little smile that'd melt the Grinch, and the sort of looks and mannerisms that hits the average libido with all the gentleness of a baseball bat, and you have a complete performance package. There aren't too many performing musicians who can (or can be bothered) to put it all together like that.


If I sound impressed, it's because I am.  Wink Grin

20  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC? on: January 30, 2015, 08:36:09 AM
She also has the best bass face in the business.

LOL! Is that what they call that grimace so many bass players do? Grin Grin Grin

Learn something new every day! Thmbsup

For the record: I'm more the Joe-Gore-vacant-deadpan type myself. Or at least when I'm not glaring at a fellow band member who is screwing up the beat - or is doing the: "Wow! I'm really blowing everybody away with THIS extended solo!!!..." thing. You can almost see the thought balloon go up when they decide to pull that nonsense. And just before they start, they invariably look over at their bass player with 'that look' that screams - "Gimmee a lot of BASS!!!"

Nice to know we bassists are considered 'just the thing' when it comes time to cover up a guitarist's sins. Wink

And people wonder why I'm so clumsy on a crowded stage that I accidentally bop bandmates on the side of their skulls (with the head of my bass - oops!) as often as I do?

Yeah...I definitely need to be more careful.  undecided

@V - re: the Haim ladies. Agree 100%. Anything done in an attempt to improve Mustang Sally can hardly be a bad thing in my book. I personally can't stand that song. (Same thing goes for Sweet Jane.)  I swear next time I get asked to play either of those two I'm gonna plug into a looper and record about a minute's worth, hit repeat, and then go get a fresh draft over at the bar... Cheers guys! Carry on.  Thmbsup tongue
21  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC? on: January 29, 2015, 05:42:35 PM
^ She is a pretty sweet person to say nothing of being rather nice to look at too. Her CV is extremely impressive. So much so I make it a point not to say "young" or "female" in the same sentence with her name and the term "bass player." She not a fine <fill in the blank> bass player. She is a superb bass player. Period.

And at the ripe old age of 28, she has a long career ahead of her. Thmbsup
22  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: The impossible thing software on: January 29, 2015, 05:36:04 PM
LOL! True. But I do.
Yeah? So why the bar of laundry soap last Christmas?

That was the year before. I got coal this year. tongue
23  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: everyday life revolution on: January 29, 2015, 05:33:44 PM
Yes kalos seems to keep running into the grouchy old peoples club with his new fangled ideas. But that's ok, as is his desire to try. Not all ideas work for all people,. and eventually he may just come up with a winner. A wise man once told me that if you don't make a few mistakes (/fail) now and then...then you're obviously not trying very hard. Kalos is (to me) obviously trying...and that's a good thing.

Absolutely. I don't think anybody is trying to discourage him. We're just being frank. Like a marketing focus group would be. And I'm sure it is being taken in the spirit with which it's given. The nice thing about DoCo is that you can be almost certain any criticisms or disagreements a member receives in the forum aren't being motivated by malice or lack of respect. Quite the contrary. The rare person who isn't respected most often gets no response at all.
24  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Web Essay: Never trust a corporation to do a library's job on: January 29, 2015, 04:41:06 PM
^Not a bad idea actually... (I have a little list. They won't be missed.) Cool
25  DonationCoder.com Software / Screenshot Captor / Re: extract pics from MOV.video on: January 29, 2015, 04:37:31 PM
Did you try using GOM Media Player? How-to here

Alternatively, you could use the multiplatform command line tool ffmpeg. Kiss

ffmpeg is a powerful and complex tool that can do just about anything when it comes to video. It's well worth spending some time with it to get an idea of all the things it can do. But to cut to the chase, here's how get it to do what you're asking without getting into too many details about all the options ffmpeg supports. The how-to is from a Linux perspective, but the command works the same in Windows so just follow along.

Luck! Thmbsup
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