July 31, 2008
Shuttle Launch From A Plane

How f-n cool is this: Space Shuttle launch as seen from a plane (Air Canada flight) over at 37 signals. That's a lucky flight to be on!

Posted by Arcterex at 09:44 PM
More on Mojave

Someone else chimes in on Microsoft and Why the 'Mojave Experiment' Fails.

The "Mojave Experiment" is conceptually a fresh marketing effort—at least for such a lame marketer as Microsoft. But after looking more closely at Mojave and reviewing Microsoft Watch reader comments, I have to call the experiment perhaps the worst kind of marketing.

Posted by Arcterex at 03:50 PM
Delicious.com Online

Holy crap!! Delicious 2.0. At a real domain name too! Wow!

Posted by Arcterex at 03:43 PM
The Graphing Calculator Story

A great and classic story somehow I managed to miss.... The Graphing Calculator Story is the story of a guy working inside Apple and building an app while not actually employed.

We looked at each other, took a deep breath, and launched the application. The monitor burst into flames. We calmly carried it outside to avoid setting off smoke detectors, plugged in another monitor, and tried again.
[My friend's] contract in another division at Apple had just ended, so he told his manager that he would start reporting to me. She didn't ask who I was and let him keep his office and badge. In turn, I told people that I was reporting to him. Since that left no managers in the loop, we had no meetings and could be extremely productive.

Great read, classic net lore stuff.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:33 AM
The Story of the MediaDefender Hack

Very cool story about the Media Defender hack told by the guy who did it.

Posted by Arcterex at 10:04 AM
Vancouver Photo Walk

Apparently Vancouver is a leg in the world wide photo walk. Very cool! My fellow Vancouverite photo-geeks should check out the Vancouver Photo Walk. I'm totally going to do this.

Posted by Arcterex at 08:37 AM
July 30, 2008
VMWare Fusion 2.0 Beta 2 Out

TUAW notes that VMWare Fusion 2 Beta 2 available now. Lots of new goodies for those nutty Apple people who run windows programs on their systems.

Posted by Arcterex at 10:39 PM
UFies Back up and Going

As it seems with all hardware issues when I deal with them, a 10 minute job turned into more like an hour. This time the causes were:

- me figuring out how to get the drive out of the server itself
- me making a typo in the boot config for the new kernel
- me forgetting to compile the newly renamed SATA drivers in the new kernel
- me recompiling the kernel to load in the new modules
- the system taking ages to boot because all the drives had to be
filesystem checked as the last time it rebooted was 253 days ago :)

Other than those minor details we're back up and going on a modern kernel and a proper backup drive. Thanks for your patience everyone!

Posted by Arcterex at 12:57 PM
More on MS Mojave Marketing

I'm glad someone other than myself has stepped up with a good explanation of why “The Mojave Experiment:” is Bad Science, Bad Marketing. They're wrong of course in the respect that this is bad science, this is no-science, this is marketing, just presented as if it were "real".

Next week I'll be running "The Atupquonihanque experiment", where I present Mojave users with a copy of Ubuntu and tell them it's Mojave's successor, and they all tell me how awesome it is next to XP, Vista, or Mojava! Come to think of it I just need to put a tiny little * Based on laboratory results at the bottom and I don't even have to do anything but get actors to say it!

See how well all this works? :)

I just thought of something.... hasn't Microsoft's new marketing campaign basically taken a page from the Burger King Whopper Experiment? Seriously, it's the same idea....

Not everyone agrees with me of course :)

Posted by Arcterex at 07:03 AM
July 29, 2008
UFies.org Downtime 11-12(ish) Wednesday July 29

Hey guys.... today UFies blew a hard drive, just the backup drive, so no worries, but I'll be shutting her down (253 days of uptime(!)) tomorrow (Wednesday July 29) sometime in the 11:00-12:00 PST timeframe to swap the new drive in and maybe test the latest kernel to make sure things all boot properly. Downtime should be minimal, under 30 minutes.

During this time all services will be unavailable.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Posted by Arcterex at 10:41 PM
Coding Horror on Hardware

Looking to upgrade or build a new PC sometime soon? Check out the very nice guide from Coding Horror: Understanding The Hardware. Very nice look at what to look for and why.

Posted by Arcterex at 10:57 AM
Microsoft's Mojave Experiment

So part of the new Vista marketing effort called The "Mojave Experiment" is online.

Not a lot to say about this, I give this about the same amount of credibility as I do to late night infomercials, paid programs on afternoon TV, and any commercial with a "(*) based on laboratory results" in tiny lettering at the bottom of the screen.

I could say that these were edited to make the people's assessments of Vista worse than it sounds and their assessments of "Mojave" better, but this is as "real" as a reality TV show, and shouldn't be seen as anything more than what it is, a commercial, and it's content should be taken with that in mind.

Please note I have Vista Ultimate at home and am perfectly satisfied with it.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:32 AM
American' McGee's Grimm Trailer

Gametrailers has the premier episode trailer for American McGee's Grimm, the latest endeavor from American McGee of Doom fame.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:13 AM
Lightroom 2.0 Released

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.0 has been released. Great job Adobe, looking forward to seeing the final result!

Posted by Arcterex at 08:59 AM
Laugh of the Morning: Deep Packet Inspection

Awesome little geek comic this morning on deep packet inspection">: Geek And Poke: DPI Is Not Too Bad.

Posted by Arcterex at 08:49 AM
July 28, 2008
Google Calendar Syncs with iCal

Darren pointed to me the google page on Google Calendar CalDAV support, which is the ability to sync Google Calendar with iCal. Very interesting, I'm going to have to check out how to best use this, as some of my stuff is in iCal and I really like the idea and portability of Google Calendars, but I don't actually use it.

Posted by Arcterex at 02:37 PM
July 27, 2008
Wolverine Leaked Trailer

Another one from comic-con... X-Men Origins: Wolverine Leaked Comic Con Footage I. Woo!

Posted by Arcterex at 09:42 PM
Tweaked Tron 2 Trailer

The trailer that had the collective geek world tight in the pants: TR2N ComicCon 2008 teaser (tweaked). What do I have to do to get a better / full version dammit!?

Looks pretty awesome though, that I can agree :) Thanks Dave.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:18 AM
July 25, 2008
Superhero Wish Fullfillment Chart

io9 asks: How Does Your Hero Measure Up On Our Wish-Fulfillment Checklist?

Posted by Arcterex at 03:51 PM
Brain Magic at TED

Awesome mentalist at TED: Keith Barry does brain magic. I love these guys.

Posted by Arcterex at 02:43 PM
July 23, 2008
More Caprica News

Another movie blog link... here's an io9 interview about Caprica.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:49 AM
Rush Hour / Star Wars Mashup

Another morning /Film video link: Star Wars vs. Rush Hour.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:48 AM
Reconstructing an Apple II On an FPGA

Description of a cool project of Reconstructing an Apple II on an FPGA (FPGA = low cost low power computer on a board).

Posted by Arcterex at 08:54 AM
July 22, 2008
Tommy Lee Jones on Personal Grooming

OK, so this is the funniest thing I've read in a while: Fifth Avenue Gazette: The Taint Grooming Issue (by Tommy Lee Jones). To quote $coworker "I laughed so hard I pooped a little bit."

Posted by Arcterex at 08:10 PM
Tetris in Sed

Today, in "Useless uses of technology" we present to you:Tetris written in... sed (via reddit.com).

Note: To play this:

  • Ensure that the path to sed is correct
  • Make it executable
  • You have to hit the enter key at each step

Posted by Arcterex at 04:34 PM
A Gaggle of Leia's

Star Wars nerds, your fantasies have come true! Behold the gaggle (troop? harem?) of Leia's at some convention somewhere.

Possibly a repost, I'm sure I've seen this somewhere before.

Posted by Arcterex at 04:03 PM
BSG: Caprica Trailer

Slashfilm has the Caprica Trailer online (from scifi.com). It's a bit odd though... definitely not what I expected, still, BSG is out for another year (ish?) so I'm looking forward to seeing what they have to offer in Caprica.

Posted by Arcterex at 03:35 PM
July 21, 2008
Getting $200 Back From Microsoft

Anyone remember back in the day when a bunch of linux geeks were going to rally to get the OS license fees back from Microsoft? If so, this story of a guy who got a Windows Vista refund from HP will warm the cochleas of your heart.

He came back on the line and again tried to convince me, by explaining that there would be technical difficulties with using a non-Windows-Vista operating system on this HP machine, to return the laptop and get a different one. I told him again that was not what I wanted, explained what I wanted, and reminded him that he just said HP would not offer tech support for other operating systems. I told him nicely that I would worry about the technical problems of using a non-Windows-Vista operating system but he should help me get my refund.

Fairly amazing story, even more so if you notice the call lengths for his calls. Good perseverance though! If you're wondering why someone would bother to do this (aside the obvious "no a fan of microsoft" answer), think about the discounted prices you can get a laptop for these days, and then subtract the $200 Microsoft tax. Good enough? Especially if you are exercising rights given to you by the EULA displayed when the computer is first turned on.

Posted by Arcterex at 03:17 PM
7 Badass Normal People

Great list on cracked.com of 7 People Who Cheated Death (Then Kicked It In The Balls). Some amazing stories in there.

Posted by Arcterex at 10:29 AM
Wrestling Fans Provide Chairs

I used to think that hard core wrestling fans were kinda dumb-asses, and after seeing a video where Wrestlers need a chair and fans deliver I'm both amused and assured my original assessment was correct!

Posted by Arcterex at 09:51 AM
"Mirror's Edge" Hands On

Another one from g4tv... Exclusive Hands On: Mirror's Edge. Mirror's Edge is the running / parkour game that had a teaser shown a while back. Very cool looking game!

Posted by Arcterex at 08:28 AM
Spre Hands On

Another Spore hands on video over at g4tv.

Posted by Arcterex at 08:26 AM
July 19, 2008
Complete X-Files Timeline

So you used to watch X-Files back in the day, but kinda left it towards the end.... then watched the movie, and it was good, but that was also 6 years ago. You want to bone up to make sure you're fully engaged for the new movie.... Enter The X-Files Time Line, most complete history of the universe and the show.

Posted by Arcterex at 08:53 PM
Some Spore Hands On

Shacknews has some Spore Hands-on Preview. Very cool to hear what the game is like in real life. I recently got addicted to playing with the creature creator myself :)

Posted by Arcterex at 08:48 PM
July 18, 2008
A Look at Spore for iPhone

TUAW Hands-on: Spore Origins for the iPhone. Lots of text, no pics :( Still cool though, looking forward to both the real spore and this game as well :)

Posted by Arcterex at 03:37 PM
July 17, 2008
Real Ultimate Power (Ninjas and Guitars Flipping Out)

Hilarious site I can't believe that I have never seen before: The Official Ninja Webpage:REAL Ultimate Power!!!!. OMFG that is funny.

Posted by Arcterex at 10:05 AM
Terminator 4 Teaser

IO9 has a teaser of Terminator Salvation the T4 movie to be released next summer.

Posted by Arcterex at 08:26 AM
July 15, 2008
The Area Code Rating System

Described as "when 1-10 isn't enough", the The Area Code Rating System is truly innovative! Who said that everything to be invented has already been invented!? Bah! I say.

Okay, here is how it works. Every human being on the planet can be adequately described using a three-digit number (i.e. area code).

See the website for details and examples.

Posted by Arcterex at 08:50 PM
Computer History - Reconstructing Apple Basic 1

Very cool article on Reconstructing Apple I BASIC from a Cassette Tape. This is an interesting problem that we're only seeing in the last 30 years or so, having storage media that you may not be able to access in the next 2 or 10 years. I have the same issue, with some old LS-120 disks that I have no way of accessing anymore. I doubt they have anything of use on them, and if they did I haven't needed it in the last 11 years anyway.

Posted by Arcterex at 03:47 PM
Dr. Horrible

Joss Whedeon's new show Dr. Horrible Is Anything But apparently. Course, the show website is down right now, so I can't do anything about it anyway.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:01 AM
July 11, 2008
iPhone 3G Review From Engaget

Engaget has it's own iPhone 3G review.

Posted by Arcterex at 10:33 PM
Autonomouse Sentry Gun

Reddit has a video of a Portable Autonomous Sentry demonstration. Note the portal sound effect when it starts up ("I see you").

Screw the iPhone, I want one of these!

Posted by Arcterex at 12:23 PM
Portal 2 Might Not Be a Lie

The Cake is a Lie, but Portal 2 is Not. Thanks to Darren for the link.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:17 AM
July 10, 2008
GIMP 2.6 Preview

In a shocking break from Apple and iPhone news, how about a preview of What's new in GIMP 2.6? They've mucked with the UI, improved the free selection tool (think the wand in photoshop) and a bunch of other stuff. Hit the link for details.

Posted by Arcterex at 08:10 AM
iTunes 7.7, App Store Open For Business

Stage 1 in the new iPhone mania is complete, Apple Released iTunes 7.7 which allows access to the app store. W00t! Well, in theory "W00t!" as I'm still doing the install, and I've seen some people saying that even with the new iTunes they don't see the App Store. Wonder if there'll be different rules for us Canadians too :( Will let you know when my install is done and I can test.

Update: iTunes 7.7 installed on my macbook with the latest Leopard, no app store in sight. Either it's being rolled out in waves, or the Canadian iTunes store is behind the times again. Note that the new iphone 2.0 firmware has been found by macrumors posters already.

Update2: Ah, you have to go into the iTunes preferences and enable the 'applications' source before the store will show up. Only shows a black screen for me though.

Update3: Ah, there it is.... 2 minutes in and already I have about 10 downloads of apps going!

Posted by Arcterex at 08:08 AM
July 09, 2008
First iPhone 3G Reviews

Wall-to-wall iPhone coverage here at UFies.org points to the First iPhone 3G reviews via the WSJ, USA Today and NY Times. Summary:

Overall, the new phone "mostly keeps its promises."

Not bad I guess.....

Posted by Arcterex at 02:49 PM
Big Canadian iPhone Plan News

This isn't up on the ruinediphone.com blog yet, but according to MacRumors, the following announcement was made: Rogers Canada Offers 6GB Data Plan for $30/Month. The actual press release is fairly long and boring and I have to admit I haven't read it yet.

This looks to be decent though... basically if you're already a customer with a voice plan you pay $30 more and get 6Gb of data transfer, plain and simple.

Now the things I don't know about are the hidden 'gotchas', if any. IE: will texting, visual voicemail and caller ID be included here? With the original $60/115 plans these were bundled in with the latter 2 being unlimited, now that the data plan is separate will these suddenly become $10 addons? Can you put this on the other iPhone bundle plans? Etc, etc.

While I want one I already have the iPhone Touch, so it's hard to justify, but also the stores are going to be crazy (56,000+ signatures on a petition aside), so I'll probably avoid doing anything for a week. That'll also let the Rogers customer service people work out all the questions so I can just get the right info :)

Now of course the other question is about the 3G coverage... and if it'll degrade to something else if you're out of range, and if I'll be able to get it in the fraser valley or not.

Posted by Arcterex at 10:05 AM
July 08, 2008
Buying Discounted Apple Systems

Stephen Fosket posts on How To Buy Discount Apple Computers. Maybe not what you were really hoping for (ie: the newest stuff at discounted prices), but lots of good tips nonetheless. I'm particularly going to be looking at the MBP 320G upgrade post he has.

Posted by Arcterex at 08:48 PM
Drobo Releases Firewire Version

Argh, just after agonizing over, and finally breaking down and getting a drobo, it seems that Data Robotics, Inc. has released a new version with Firewire800 and improved USB performance (3x what they had before).


I wonder if there's any sort of customer protection out there as the speed was the one thing I didn't like about the device, and I bought it less than a month before the version that fixes everything comes out. I wonder if Cali Lewis can help me?

Posted by Arcterex at 04:06 PM
Awesome Coding Story

Another Darren-link is Pimp My Code, Part 15: The Greatest Bug of All, an epic tale of an epic bug and the effort needed to resolve it.

Posted by Arcterex at 02:03 PM
More iPhone 3G News and Bad Press For Rogers

Story from Darren about the Spat with Rogers leaves Canadian Apple stores without iPhones looks a bit like rumormongering to me, but as Darren noted, it doesn't matter, it's still bad press for Rogers and I really hope that all the bad press and (presumed) public pressure will help to make them reconsider their data plans. Really, they have a huge opportunity to offer reasonable data rates for Canadians, which they should take (says I the consumer). Of course, the minimal competition up here means they have no need to, hence the $115/month plan that gets you 2G of transfer :(

In other iPhone 3G news, engaget has some 3G iPhone in the wild pictures. Not a huge amound there sadly.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:45 AM
Ruby and Rails Tips and 2.1 Resources

Couple of links for the Ruby folks out there. First up is 6 Optimization Tips for Ruby MRI with some nice and simple suggestions for optimization. Next is an excellent list of resources for getting up to speed with Rails 2.1.

Any rails programmers out there want to let me know what the best way to keep up with the ruby and rails community is? It seems that every week the way to do things (plugins, svn vs git, github, etc) changes way more rapidly than it's possible to learn as a newbie. Should I just stick with reading and learning from the RoR 1.2.x book I have, or try to learn from whatever the latest-and-greatest RoR technique of the day is?

Posted by Arcterex at 09:10 AM
July 07, 2008
Star Trek Trike

Boing Boing Gagets points to what has to be the coolest motorbike conversion ever.... the Star Trike at the 1982 San Diego Comic Con.

Posted by Arcterex at 10:38 PM
10 Reasons to Love 'Dark Knight'

Because I enjoy torturing my friends with information about movies they still can't see for (*sigh*) over 10 days, I presnt /Film's 10 Reasons Why I Loved The Dark Knight.

Posted by Arcterex at 10:07 PM
Bizzare Japanese Video

Almost guarenteed to be the oddest Shaolin Soccer Japanese Matrix Style video you'll see today. Thanks Brian for passing it on.

Posted by Arcterex at 06:34 PM
July 06, 2008
TP Mechanics

A full page dedicated to saying what I have been saying for years, without the right words! Over is Right, Under is Wrong.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:19 PM
Matt's Dancing Trip

Kinda a cool video about a 14 month in the making project do (as far as I can tell) dance in a lot of different places! Check out Where the Hell is Matt? Very cool. Thanks for the video Vince. More info at WhereTheHellIsMatt.

Posted by Arcterex at 05:24 PM
July 05, 2008
R2D2 USB Hub

Slashfilm points to a Star Wars USB Hub which is almost as cool as the R2D2 beanie. It beepbles when you plug things in, I want one!

Posted by Arcterex at 09:11 PM
July 04, 2008
Cost for One Web App in 4 Days Work

Very cool article on techcrunch about How To Build A Web App in Four Days For $10,000. It's actually more interesting in the way of viewing what tools are suggested and the idea of taking a break for the grind of work to do something quick and creative to re-invigorate a development team.

I remember doing this once long long ago while working in the basement of the company-that-was-Netmaster... at some point or another the boss (that'd be now-windows-security-expert Dana for those not familiar with my work history) got into a discussion with someone on some mailing list and we ended up taking the afternoon off to build a web portal. It never actually went anywhere, but it was fun, fast, and a good mental exercise to get the juices going again. I recall doing this again years later in the company that Netmaster morphed into to create a three factor authentication addon for our security product, but it was far more stressed, more work, less fun, and that it never went anywhere was kinda a pissoff cause it was a really cool system. Ah well, live and learn :)

Posted by Arcterex at 01:09 PM
First 5 Minutes of 'The Dark Knight'

Geeks of Doom has a pointer to the First Five Minutes Of ‘The Dark Knight’. I'm actually going to avoid this (if I can bear it) and wait to see the whole thing in one shot on the 18th.... 14 days away (ugh.... maybe I can't wait that long!)

Posted by Arcterex at 09:28 AM
July 03, 2008
Rails VIM Plugin

rails.vim is an interesting looking project I found via a list of ruby on rails editor choices. Basically it takes some of the nicities that programs like TextMate provides to the Mac users out there and brings it to Vim in a fairly unobtrusive way. I'd like there to be a bit more documentation out there, and the screencast, while nice and long, is of horrible quality for text :( Anyone whose learned vim though should be able to figure out the commands from the rails.vim file :)

Posted by Arcterex at 03:21 PM
July 02, 2008
Funny - Tech Support Story

Amusing story sent to me from a guy at work who knows what line of business I used to do tech support for :) Last Line Says It All.

Posted by Arcterex at 02:14 PM
Drobo Gets SDK and Hackability

The Drobo got a bit of a boost today, according to the engaget link that Darren threw me. The Drobo gets dev community and SDK beta which will allow it to overcome some of the critisism it's faced in terms of it's lack of hackability and advanced options like running a bittorrent client built in. Only disadvantage is this requires the DroboShare add-on to run. Still, a welcome step in the right direction!

Posted by Arcterex at 02:09 PM
July 01, 2008
30 Sites for Free Music

Mashable has listed 30 Sites for Free & Legal Music.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:58 PM