Archive for September, 2005

Hippies

September 30th, 2005

Goddamn stinky hippies. I noticed that patchouli-soaked love-suckers didn’t return any hits in the new search widget.

Damn trust-fund stink-piles.

ldopa dashboard widget

September 30th, 2005

dashboard icon

Get the Mac OS X Dashboard widget here. Comments are welcomed!

~jeff

oh, really

September 30th, 2005


Cough, cough. Thank goodness for loose-to-nonexistant Ukrainian copyright law.

~jeff

p.s. this is probably illegal

quicksilver

September 29th, 2005

I love Quicksilver. If you have a Mac, you might love it as well. That is all.

~jeff

font explorer x

September 29th, 2005

Linotype seems to be aiming to create an “iTunes for fonts” with their latest release of Font Explorer X, a free font manager for Mac OS X. I’m actually pretty happy with Font Book 2, but I do like the multiple font preview feature here; however, they get major points off for stashing their data folder directly in the root level of the user’s home directory, which, let’s face it, is rude.

The app does help you clean out your font caches, which I have found to be kinda necessary every so often on Mac OS X. Last time I did it (you can do it with the terminal, but I prefer the excellent Font Finagler app), I reclaimed a couple gigs of hard drive, no kidding.

~jeff

semi-secret arrested development sites

September 29th, 2005

So far I’ve found:

ImOscar.com

FreeAnnyong.com

and NeverNude.com

…have I missed any? Bobloblaw.com sadly goes to a video production house.

~jeff

alternate universe shining trailer

September 29th, 2005

This is magnificent.

A post-production house organized a competition where assistant editors ‘re-cut’ trailers for famous movies to try and make them seem like different movies . . . . this is the one that won.

~jeff

the college market

September 28th, 2005

My friend Sean Conlon (of Sean Conlon and the Missing Gallbladders fame) writes in:

Here is a piece of an ongoing exchange between myself and the local U.S. Army recruiting officer, S.F.C. Michael A. Stacey. Mr. Stacey contacted me by email to a private account I have with SCSU (Southern Connecticut State University):

The subject line of Mr. Stacey’s email was “College Market.” He apparrently forgot to change it after it was handed down to him prior to sending it to me and who knows how many countless others. I will summarize the body of the email by saying that it is the typical recruitment jargon, dressed up for a slightly more educated audience than those recruiters are used to trying to manipulte, with a great emphasis on the $20,000 that I might be eligible for.

I particularly like this line: “If you’re close to graduating or are simply thinking about giving college a break, you may want to consider serving full time on Active Duty.” It should probably read more like: “If you are considering suicide or have no real reason to live, you might want to consider a vacation in Iraq or Afghanistan.”

Anyway, I responded:

Mike:

I am not intersted in joining president Bush’s murder club. You should
be ashamed of yourself. Never send me unsolicited email again or I will
have you prosecuted.

Good day,

Sean Conlon

Quick and to the point…

His response was typical to that of a miliary person trying to lean on a person’s conscience in order to sell his goods:

Thank you for your reply and enjoy your freedom

To which I replied:

I enjoy my freedom everyday. I also enjoy the fact that my freedom is not contingent upon anything you have ever done, regardless of what you have been told.

Be advised that I have made a complaint to the SCSU student affairs office regarding your shady recruitment tactics. Also, for future reference, people to not enjoy being referred to as a market, even though that is obviously how you see them.

Sincerely,

Sean Conlon

That last one went out this morning and I have not nor will I likely receive a response. But if I do, you’ll be the first to hear.

One may wonder what my goal is. I’m not sure I have one. Maybe just some shits and giggles as a kind of payback for when I was 17 and being harrassed by recruiters. Back then, I had neither the gall or the eloquence to deliver my thoughts in such a concise and direct way. But 12 years later, I find this much more enjoyable than the politeness of the “no thanks, I’m on drugs” excuse.

…or maybe I’m just a dick.

…I’m proud just to know him.

~jeff

Hooray!

September 27th, 2005

My iBook has been periodically hanging up recently. The cursor would get jittery and the kernel would start using over 60% of the CPU, rendering the machine useless. MacFixIt ran a report (reg. req’d, pdf) on that issue that had some interesting information indicating that the issue was related to lookupd and dns. Yesterday, they ran an updated story (reg. req’d, pdf) that pinned the issue to a particular domain that was messing up lookupd. And finally a solution that worked:

Enter the following command in the Terminal (located in Applications/Utilities) and press return:

    sudo /Applications/TextEdit.app/Contents/MacOS/TextEdit /etc/hosts

This will open the /etc/hosts file in the TextEdit application.

Add the line:

127.0.0.1 js.adsonar.com

to the end of the file (under hosts) and save. You’ll be running in root at this point, so quit TextEdit immediately and do not modify any other files.

Ahhhh. With any luck, Apple will block adsonar.com all together with a security update, but that seems unlikely.

Update: It started again. My usual state of being for my laptop is to be plugged in to ethernet, and connected to wireless, so if I move from my desk, connectivity keeps going. I have found that turning off airport resolves this issue, but when I turn it back on, the issue comes back immediately.

google video

September 27th, 2005

Google Video, Google’s “beta” video search service, now lets you watch any of the found video right inside your browser window using Flash 8. And so to celebrate, here’s a video of a squirrel yelling at me. It’s not clear to me if the video is transcoded to Flash format video by the service; I bet it is, since I uploaded video to the service in H.264 format. Also notable, the entire first episode of Chris Rock’s new sitcom is available, and I hear it’s good.

~jeff

Docktopus

September 26th, 2005

doctopus

Docktopus is an application that enhances your OS X dock to show additional information about the apps represented, such as cpu usage, ram usage, and any number of other pieces of information, some of which is application specific. Seems like an interesting system.

A Rational Discussion Of DRM?

September 26th, 2005

I read Boing Boing religiously. I think Cory “Craphound” Doctorow has some interesting things to say, and seems like the kind of guy I would enjoy coffee or a beer with. That being said, his willingness to swing 100% to one side of an issue and apparent unwillingness to consider opposing viewpoints has rubbed me the wrong way for a while. I was never able to articulate it, but this page titled “Corey Jerks His Knee Again” hits the nail on the head.

Yes, DRM is troubling. But at the end of the day, I understand the realities of a free-market capitalist society and a free-information internet society. The fact is artists sell their art. They do so to support themselves so they don’t have to work at Burger King, so they will have time to produce art. The other side of this social contract is buying the product. If I like an album, I am asked to buy it, and support its creation. Nicking a copy online breaks that social contract, and ultimately may lead to that artist getting booted from his/her label, and getting that job flipping burgers.

The other side is what we expect when we buy the product. I paid for it, I expect to do whatever I want with it, within the constraints of the law. That is the part where DRM starts to bug me. And that is why I like Apple’s Fairplay. I have yet to bump into any real issues with it that couldn’t be resolved by changing the layout of Apple.com a bit to accommodate ease of use.

The fact of the matter is that there are shades of grey. By railing against DRM wholesale and intractably, Corey and his crew lose credibility and become the radical fringe, destined to never achieve their goals, and striding ardently to the tinfoil hat store. The fringe, of course, serves a real purpose, making those slightly more centric but still pushing an agenda seem less unrealistic. I dunno, is Corey sitting in his living-room, completely self-aware of his position as a borderline nut-case making the rest of us seem sane? I’m not sure that the answer to that would become apparent, even after that beer.

Postsecret

September 26th, 2005


Post Secret

I was recently reminded about PostSecret. Anyone can mail them a postcard containing a personal secret or feeling, and they will scan it and post it. Utterly fascinating to read.

backpack reminders

September 25th, 2005


I regularly use iCal’s reminders to remind me to do most everything time or appointment-based; I attach both a visual reminder “pop-up alert” and a reminder email to the appointment, and the combination of the two is usually enough to spur me to action. I use this approach to remind myself of pretty much everything, from paying rent to job interviews to birthdays. And it works pretty well; it’s been a while since I completely spaced on an appointment or meeting.

The main drawback to this approach is: what if my computer isn’t on? Sure, it’s a terrifically unlikely premise; but in that odd case, iCal wouldn’t be available to send out the email and pop-up the alert. It would be more effective to have some sort of web-based impetus for sending out the reminder.

Luckily, 37Signal’s excellent Backpack web-based notebook has now added reoccurring reminders to their feature set, so PC users, linux users and Mac users can take advantage of this approach.

So how do you use this tool to get organizized? First, sign up for a backpack account. It’s completely free, unless you really go batshit insane with the number of reminders (+10) you need. Use the “Reminder” tab to set the reminders you need, and then set them to repeat if need be. And that’s it; you’ll get a reminder email at the exact time and date and repeating schedule that you specify. Forever. And ever. Until you keel over and die.

If you’re on Mac OS X, however, you have some additional tools available to you: the Backpack widget and the very nifty notifier Growl, both of which work together very nicely to provide on screen reminders ala iCal’s pop-up windows. You might want to set Growl’s notifications to “sticky” for the Backpack Reminders, so you don’t miss them.

~jeff

dj shadow performed by a high-school band

September 23rd, 2005

Surprisingly awesome performance of DJ Shadow’s “Building Steam With A Grain Of Salt” and other songs by a high-school band. Download a short clip here, or the full thing here.