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1  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / No cameras allowed in SCOTUS? No problem! We'll use dogs... on: October 21, 2014, 08:22:58 PM
This is just too priceless for words, with thanks to Techdirt. Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin

John Oliver Has The Solution To The Supreme Court's Refusal To Videotape Supreme Court Hearings: Dogs
from the not-cats? dept

For many years, we've discussed the pure ridiculousness of the Supreme court's adamant refusal to allow cameras in the courtroom, along with the Justices' questionable justifications of the ban. Now it appears that John Oliver has taken up the issue as well, but unlike those just whining about it, Oliver (thanks to the resources of HBO) has a possible "solution." Dogs.

Oliver starts out mocking Justice Antonin Scalia's reason for barring cameras: that people would just see 15- or 30-second clips from the arguments, taking things out of context. Of course, as Oliver points out, that makes absolutely no sense, since the Supreme Court already releases audio of the hearings, and thus we already do hear the same clips -- it's just that they're generally paired with artistic renderings of the Justices instead of the actual video.

His solution -- using "an almost immoral amount of resources" -- is to present video representations of the entire Supreme Court... using dogs (and a couple of birds in supporting roles). And, Oliver claims, they're making those videos freely available to any other news provider who would like to create complete reenactments of any court case in a way that is cute and guaranteed to draw more attention than the court renderings, or, hell, actual videos if they were ever allowed.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ9prhPV2PI" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ9prhPV2PI</a>

John Oliver! Legend. Thmbsup
2  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: DRM in your coffee maker, to stop you from brewing unlicensed coffees on: October 21, 2014, 11:57:37 AM
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.

It's more "in the pour" than it being which filter IMHO.

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.

The Kalita tries to make it idiot proof. They succeed very well. That said, I refuse to pay the price they want for their filters. I've used the smallest Mr. Coffee and Melitta filters with equally good results. You just need to work on your pouring technique a little more. The ones specifically made for the Kalita make it virtually goof proof. It's almost as easy as slosh and wait. But at such a premium, it's hardly worth it to me. YMMV.

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.

3  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Ad Muncher 5 will be free on: October 20, 2014, 02:39:07 PM
Correct me if i'm wrong, but it's hard for me to read that as anything but a really good guy doing a good thing, and very much in the spirit of this site and deserving of our support, encouragement, cheers, and understanding.
This is a rough world and we can all become a little too cynical and pessimistic -- I know I can.

But let's support the small folks trying to do the right thing!

Amen! Thmbsup
4  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me! on: October 20, 2014, 02:36:44 PM
This one is fun. With thanks to the Sploid blog for the find.

Mayokero is the first song of the album Acowpella Beatbox by Israeli artist Roy Kafri. The music video—directed by Vania Heymann, a second year student in Bezalel School of Art and Design—is brilliant. It takes classic album covers and animates them to sing along the song in a completely seamless way.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WR4QKAib3sM" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WR4QKAib3sM</a>

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, 10:37:41 AM
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
6  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Portatil to control a desktop pc on: October 20, 2014, 06:00:49 AM
Teamviewer can be setup as a background process that listens for and accepts an authorized remote connection request.

FWIW, I always liked the way Synergy works. The only problem is I could never get it to work reliably on my machines for any length of time. Sometimes it would, sometimes it wouldn't. I gave up after a while. You may have better luck.
7  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Portatil to control a desktop pc on: October 18, 2014, 07:07:18 PM

Really i need synergy plus using UltraVNC or TeamViewer ?

No. They have the same functionalities. Pick one. Using more than one can cause all kinds of weird problems since they all access mostly the same interrupts. If this is all for for personal use, go with TeamViewer. It's the easiest to set up, has virtually no reliability issues, is fast, and deals with slow connection speeds really well. TeamViewer is one of the top apps used by tech support people to provide remote customer assistance.

If you like to tinker, go with VNC or Synergy.

What i really would like to know is if i need a bios modification for launching the desktop without keyboard or mouse attached, and no monitor....


You can disable the "check for keyboard on startup" in most BIOS settings these days. Just go into the BIOS setup screen (hit F2 or whatever your BIOS uses) and poke around. It'll be in there somewhere. You can also disable onboard video if you want. If you don't want to use a mouse, just don't plug one in. They're mostly USB these days, and there's no point in disabling USB ports just to not use a mouse. Running a PC in a 'headless' configuration is no big deal these days. However...if for some reason your remote connection fails, disabling too much can make it difficult to get back into the PC to troubleshoot things afterwards.

8  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me! on: October 18, 2014, 03:45:27 PM
Great version...plus modern and clean!

I especially enjoyed that lovely and adorable young woman's smile around the 2:20 mark when she realized she was up on the big stage screens. Too cute! Grin

9  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Portatil to control a desktop pc on: October 18, 2014, 03:16:59 PM
TeamViewer Kiss is incredibly easy to set up and a joy to use. So it's an excellent choice. But it's only free for personal use. Otherwise, it gets pricey.
10  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Who is your Favourite "Doctor"? on: October 18, 2014, 07:14:02 AM
Would have been interesting if David Niven had ever been given a crack at it. That role would have been right up his alley.
11  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Mind Mapping Software - What are the current top players now? on: October 16, 2014, 05:24:09 PM
Thank you for mentioning this!

A guy by the name of Dave Straker did a whole book about PostIts and problem solving. When I was working at a certain mega-corp's HQ, they were using this combination. Straker's book came out in 1997. I was working with people who routinely used the whiteboard/PostIt combo as early as 1988 - so who knows where it first originated.

And who cares, really? Grin
12  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Mind Mapping Software - What are the current top players now? on: October 16, 2014, 09:26:58 AM
I haven't had much luck with feel, speed of response, and resolution on tablets so far.  Some day perhaps...

I've been using a small whiteboard for sketching things out and a camera to take pictures for later viewing smiley

I've also found using PostIt notes in conjunction with a whiteboard to be very productive. Minimizes a lot of rewriting (and possibly losing something) if you want to rearrange the board down the road. I'll also tape photos, illustrations, graphics, etc. up there and mostly use the board to draw connecting lines or small notes. A lot easier than corkboard, pins and colored string. Let's you jot ideas and things when you're away from the board too. I keep a small notebook, a pen, and a block of PostIts on me at all times.


Note: really like the idea of photographing the board to make a 'copy.' Nice! Thmbsup
13  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Child board set up for discounts and deals found on the web on: October 14, 2014, 08:51:08 AM
Want to buy a software product in low price? Come to visit IfCoupons.com. Here is the online shop where you can find many useful software products. The most delightful thing is that it offers free software deals and coupons, which enables you to possess the software in really low price. Don’t hesitate to come and have a look.
Is that you, Winsome Lousum?

Good to see you back Chris! Grin smiley
14  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: DRM in your coffee maker, to stop you from brewing unlicensed coffees on: October 12, 2014, 08:16:35 AM
One word: boycott.
15  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: How can i achieve this kind of video effect! on: October 12, 2014, 08:14:09 AM
Sorry hulk! Better no answer than somebody just making one up. You get a lot of that elsewhere on the web. DoCo is an oasis in a desert of misinformation. If people here don't know something, they don't pretend to.

Luck! Thmbsup
16  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me! on: October 10, 2014, 08:00:31 PM
This just may be the definitive version of Peter Gabriel's In Your Eyes from the Back to Front Tour  which ends in December of this year. Awesome!

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e63gBOVfVO4" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e63gBOVfVO4</a>

17  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Favorite Sci-fi movies? on: October 08, 2014, 08:56:34 AM
How about the original "scifi noir" film from 1965: Alphaville?

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQCic5WTx-o" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQCic5WTx-o</a>

In a near future, the American secret agent Lemmy Caution travels to Alphaville posing as the journalist Ivan Johnson from the Figaro-Pravda newspaper. His mission is to find the missing agent Henry Dickson and to convince Professor von Braun to come with him to Nueva York. Prof. von Braun is actually Leonard Nosferatu and has created the powerful computer Alpha 60 that has conceived the inhuman dystopian society of Alphaville, where love, conscience, poetry and emotion have been banished and words are systematically eliminated from the dictionary. Alpha 60 is also omnipresent and Lemmy has the assistance of Natacha von Braun, who is the daughter of von Braun. Soon he falls in love with Natacha but he needs to complete his mission before leaving Alphaville.

This one is a scream. It doesn't look like science fiction at all. And it has such wonderful 'special effects' as the hero travelling to a different star system by driving a car through what looks like a French version of the Lincoln Tunnel! It doesn't get campier than that.

18  DonationCoder.com Software / N.A.N.Y. 2015 / Re: Ideas Wanted! on: October 08, 2014, 08:02:43 AM
^ideally you'd eventually charge something for it too.  Thmbsup
19  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Who is your Favourite "Doctor"? on: October 07, 2014, 09:02:57 PM
^I think the subtitle for the original Max Headroom series said it best: "20 minutes into the future."

With the pace of innovation and discovery as accelerated as it is today, it's become increasingly difficult for even the most forward thinking of scifi visionaries to get much further into the future than 20 minutes.
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, 08:47:09 PM
I just had an MRI recently. My first. It was an...interesting experience. Glad they give you earplugs. There was one phase of the scan where I thought my eardrums were going to get pounded right out of my head. Even with the earplugs. huh

The only bad part was the funky/musty "old plastic" odor of that cage thing they wrap around your head. Reminded me of the smell you get with old pool toys - or from an old car where the interior vinyl has so much sun damage it's just oozing plasticizers. Took a few hours before that scent was completely out of my nose.

Small price to pay in exchange for a non-invasive scan that tells the doctors virtually everything they need to know. Thmbsup

21  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Your favorite cartoons of yesterday and today? on: October 07, 2014, 08:03:32 PM
    For Oldies:

  • Rocky & Bullwinkle
  • Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies - especially Daffy Duck as 'Duck Twacey' in The Great Piggy Bank Robbery. And Elmer Fudd in What's Opera Doc?
  • Fractured Fairy Tales
  • The Pink Panther - the original 'no dialog' ones.
  • Top Cat
  • Popeye - the old B&W episodes.
  • Koko the Clown - as a kid, I used to be terrified of clowns in general. Watching Koko was like watching a horror movie when I was 4-years old.

Here's an example of Koko. Pretty heavy watching for a little kid. Amazing what they used to show kids back when:

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

For newer:

  • Aeon Flux - the original animated series. Also The Maxx, plus and pretty much everything else on MTV's Liquid Television series.


Sorry Charlize...your Aeon might be quite lovely to behold - but she doesn't hold a candle to the animated character.

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

Then there's The Maxx...impossible to summarize the plot. Go watch it.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N61dlbDfnSo" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N61dlbDfnSo</a>


  • Spawn - the original animated HBO series

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Dc_M1CWQwM" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Dc_M1CWQwM</a>

  • Plus...virtually everything on the PBS International Festival of Animation series hosted by the lovely Jean Marsh.

For current:

  • South Park (Much as it embarrasses me to say it.) Wink
  • The Simpsons - as the series got more into it, and the town of Springfield and its denizens got more fleshed out, it just kept getting better. The episode about Homer & Marge's early married years - and the birth of Bart - was a masterpiece. (Homer: Do you know why I married you Marge? Marge: Because you knocked me up? Homer: Besides that...)
22  DonationCoder.com Software / N.A.N.Y. 2015 / Re: Ideas Wanted! on: October 07, 2014, 01:12:33 PM

How about a good but basic standalone bookmark manager. Ideally one that stored its data in a text or xml file. Most of the old ones have either disappeared or are no longer actively developed. Or they have everything plus the kitchen sink included. I'd just be looking for folders in a tree, the site name, site URL, description/note field, and maybe be allowed some category tags. Hot key popup and the ability to capture the URL of whatever page is currently displayed in the browser would be a definite plus.
23  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Mind Mapping Software - What are the current top players now? on: October 07, 2014, 12:50:43 PM
I think there's too much emphasis on the public side (document, publishing, sharing) of MindMapping. To me, it was always a first-pass and highly personal sort of tool. And I don't find looking at other people's mind maps to be particularly informative or useful. Probably because I likely don't think the way somebody else does. And, to SB's point, the chosen center point for the map may not match what I consider to be the center point when examining the same topic.

FWIW, most times I mind map (which I do rarely), I'll do it on a large piece of 1/4" graph paper with a gel ink pen. I don't bother with colors. I'm not creating a work of art. Just something to help my thinking process get something done.

If I feel the even rarer urge to "pretty it up," I'll do it in FreeMind or something similar. For me, a mind map is a somewhat specialized process that fits some projects very well (e.g. exhibition, kiosk, menu or website design) very well, but misses the boat for most others. I don't see it as a general enough tool for the things I do to put a lot of time or effort into mastering it beyond how I use it now.

There's a bunch of Thinkertoys out there. Beyond a pen and a blank sheet of paper, I haven't found anything that fits all use cases for ideation, project  planning, or info organizing. Not to say I haven't looked. But life is short and I have things to accomplish - so I abandoned the quest to find the perfect all-inclusive mind tool about 5 years ago. Now, I just use whatever I think fits best for what I'm up to.

Increasingly, pen and paper (or index card) seems to work best for what I do. YMMV. Cool Thmbsup
24  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Who is your Favourite "Doctor"? on: October 07, 2014, 11:40:13 AM
I've only watched a few of the "modern" episodes and haven't found them anything like as enthralling.  Perhaps that's rosy-tinted nostalgia, but it just isn't the same show that I used to enjoy so much.

I think it's more we are constantly evolving individuals. And it's hard to maintain that sense of wonder we occasionally have when we experience something for the first time. Our tastes change over time. And every additional experience we have has a direct bearing on our personalities and tastes.

In the case of Dr. Who or StarTrek ( and NG was far better IMHO) I think it's not so much we miss the old versions of the shows as much as we miss the old version of ourselves that got so much enjoyment from watching them.

 '"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." as Heraclitus so aptly put it back around 450 BC.
25  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: will they know? on: October 07, 2014, 11:27:51 AM
There are ways around it... but in general, most workplaces frown on the things that would get around it.  Connect via https to secure communications.

Many now have fairly strict policies about circumventing firewalls, network monitoring, or attempting to do an end run around content/website restrictions. That can include doing something to anonymize or otherwise obscure what you're up to.

Rather than worry, it's smarter to find out what the policy is. Hardly worth losing your job, or getting expelled from a school, because you wanted to do something you weren't allowed to do.

Quick rule of thumb: if you don't want anybody to know what you're doing online, at the very least don't do it at work or in school.

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