January 29, 2010
Lost Case Mod

The LostMod looks like a pretty epic casemod.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:24 AM
Tales from a BBS Junkie

A hidden gem in the slashdot comments from the Tales from a BBS Junkie book.

I remember back in the mid 90's running a BBS. There was this one guy who would type 1 letter every 10 seconds or so. I would watch him play LORD each day and the minutes would expire before he was done with his turns. One day I saw him online and broke into game chat [SYSOP HAS BROKEN IN FOR CHAT]. [...]
Hit the link for the rest of the (uplifting) story :)

Posted by Arcterex at 10:38 AM
January 28, 2010
RDoc via OSX's Dictionary.app

Sweet little ruby gem (pardon the pun) to allow you to access RDoc via OSX's Dictionary.app. Very nice little hack! Thanks for passing it on @dkubb!

Posted by Arcterex at 02:26 PM
Vancouver City feat. Linda Ganzini

Fantastic video of Vancouver shared by a bunch of friends on Facebook. Completely recommend the HD version, but embedded here for your pleasure.

I'm very happy I live here, rain, grey and all!

Posted by Arcterex at 10:56 AM
PS3 Demo of Uncharted 2 Due Today

The PlayStation Blog notes that there is a PlayStation Store Update today that will include a demo of Uncharted 2. Looking forward to giving that a shot when I get home tonight!

Posted by Arcterex at 10:36 AM
Chris Pirillo: Are Apple's iPad Shortcomings Real or Perceived?

Chris Pirillo asks Are Apple's iPad Shortcomings Real or Perceived? and goes through 10 counter-arguments about some of the common "but it [does|doesn't] X!" complaints about the iPad.

I'm not an Apple apologist, honestly. I don't like everything they've created, I swear. I don't own iEverything (no Apple TV, no iPod, no MacBook Air, etc.). However, in light of the flurry of initial iPad complaints, I just had to counterbalance perceived shortcomings with a modicum of reason.[...]

Posted by Arcterex at 09:39 AM
How To Report The News

Oh man, how awesome is this video on How To Report The News. Overlay this on pretty much any news broadcast you see on TV and it's a pretty much dead on.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:20 AM
January 27, 2010
Apple Announces the iPad

Apple has produced (finally) the Apple iPad. Short story, a big iPhone with no camera, a wifi + optional 3G, a book store and a new suite of office suite apps, compatible with current iPhone apps.

In a way I'm a bit disappointed that all the "it can't just be a big iPhone" talk wasn't true, and that the system looks and acts like a bit iPhone instead of a small computer with an iPhone-like UI. IE: no video conferencing, no multi-tasking, and most of the other limitations of the iPhone OS.

That said, they basically killed a big chunk of the Amazon kindle market with the "iBooks". If I can transfer my PDF eBooks to it and view in full color, with zooming and panning and page flipping? Awesome. The non-active screen on the kindle will keep some of the more "high end" readers who appreciate the lack of eyestrain, but I'd be willing to bet that most of the good parts of the kindle (with the Apple Book store and it's power) plus all the awesomeness of the iPhone and it's apps will make a compelling argument.

Other stats:

  • Low end price (16G storage, wifi only) $499 (great low price)
  • High end (64G + 3G) $829 (expected it to be that high to begin with)
  • Available in 60 days (both US and internationally)
  • International 3G by June
  • 3G service from AT&T in the US, in two tiers (250mb and unlimited)

The product page has more, plus a video. Personally I'm vaguely excited, it looks beautiful and comes with a great Reality Distortion Field, and some of the potential (my own collected eBooks, videos, etc) I can completely see. But replacing my laptop and all it can do with this isn't going to save much weight or space in the backpack I take to work all day. I still want one though :)

Hands on from Gizmodo.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:38 AM
Bomb Detectors That Don't

Some crazy real world news about bomb detectors that don't work from forgetfoo. Excerpt:

Jim McCormick promised his ADE-651 wand could identify anything, including bombs, simply by waving it around with the right RFID card inside. Yeah, totally fake, and now he's in prison. Too bad Iraq already spent $85 million on them.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:21 AM
Catching an iPhone Thief

Another cool story about How to catch an iPhone thief, this with more detective work than the last one. Still cool use of technology.

Posted by Arcterex at 08:32 AM
January 26, 2010
Silverlight Client for Facebook

Via Lifehacker comes a Beta for the Silverlight Client for Facebook, which is a desktop facebook client with a look similar to Seesmic Look, but darker and moodier. Looks awesome.

Note that you need to install the SilverLight 4.0 beta to have the client work.

Posted by Arcterex at 04:41 PM
A Complete History Of Tablet Rumors

Just to round out the last day of (rumored) Apple Tablet posts, both here and everywhere, here's the complete history of Apple Tablet rumors from Engadget, all the way back to 2002.

Doonesbury's take is here.

Posted by Arcterex at 02:21 PM
What's new in Banshee 1.5.3

Some new hotness in Banshee 1.5.3 the fantastic Linux media player written in Mono. Among the new stuff is something I'd love for iTunes on my Mac to have, folder watching:

A long requested feature - already present in Rhythmbox - has been the ability for Banshee to watch your libraries' folders for added, renamed, or deleted files and updating Banshee accordingly. Well - it's here! (Although you have to enable it via the Extensions menu).

Posted by Arcterex at 09:43 AM
This Never Happens

Having done my time in customer support, I can attest that this story from Not Always Right never happens.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:32 AM
Mosspuppet's Tablet Review

Macenstein has the Mosspuppet's thoughts on the tablet. Amusing as always.

"You're so sexy iSlate"....

Funnily enough I watched Totally Rad Show this morning and they were wondering what the announcement would be, but saying that by the time the show was out everyone would know. Ah if only that were true. Only 24 hours and 10 minutes left till we find out though.

Posted by Arcterex at 08:49 AM
If Steve Jobs Had Just One Wish... [Comic]

Great funny one from Aryk passed on this morning (or maybe late late last night): If Steve Jobs Had Just One Wish...

Posted by Arcterex at 06:08 AM
January 25, 2010
Mac Tips eBook

Dude over at reddit is putting together a Mac tips ebook and submitted a draft for comments. Some nice tips in there for new switchers and old.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:09 PM
Seven Things To Ask Before You Take Your Next Photograph

Nice list from Scott Bourne for you photogs out there: Seven Things To Ask Before You Take Your Next Photograph. Via Andy Ihnatko who also added a few of his own on there :)

Posted by Arcterex at 04:10 PM
Prediction Score Card for Wednesday's Apple Event

John Gruber links to David Weisse's Prediction Score Card for Wednesday's Event.

Posted by Arcterex at 04:05 PM
The Rules for Calling In Sick

Gawker has a great list of The Rules for Calling In Sick.

Posted by Arcterex at 03:38 PM
Bottlenose Dolphins Mud-ring Feeding

Pretty damn awesome video of Bottlenose dolphins mud-ring feeding (from the new BBC series "Life").

I tell you all they need is thumbs and we're all screwed!

Posted by Arcterex at 01:01 PM
Great Health Advice From Laugh IT Out

Passed on from Aryk is How You Live Is Your Choice To Make which has this and other related gems:

Q: Doctor, I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?
A: Your heart only good for so many beats, and that it...don't waste on exercise. Everything wear out eventually. Speeding up heart not make you live longer; it like saying you extend life of car by driving faster. Want to live longer? Take nap.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:32 AM
January 24, 2010
Demonoid Is Open To All Without An Invite

Torrentfreak reports that Demonoid Is Open To All Without An Invite as part of their promise to come back bigger and better than before.

Posted by Arcterex at 10:56 PM
10 Outdated Desktop OS Elements

Really good article over at Engadget of 10 outdated elements of desktop operating systems. Especially when you think about how far technology has come (the iPhone, etc) since the whole "window mouse" paradigm came into the forground of conciousness in the 80's.

Posted by Arcterex at 02:17 PM
January 22, 2010
Google Nexus One vs. iPhone 3GS vs. D200

Andy Ihnatko has a great set on flickr of the Google Nexus One vs. iPhone 3GS vs. D200 to show just where each phone falls down, and what they do well and poorly. A nice comparison and commentary.

Posted by Arcterex at 07:13 AM
January 21, 2010
Evernote 3.5 For Windows Released

Evernote has released a brand new windows client rewritten and optimized from the ground up. It feels a bit funky for me under Windows XP, mostly because of it's shared code with the Mac version, but it is faster, more stable, and better designed to be sure. Good job guys, keep up the good work!

Posted by Arcterex at 12:17 PM
Watch: 'Avatar: Creating The World Of Pandora'

Watch: 'Avatar: Creating The World Of Pandora' over at Geeks of doom to get a cool look at some behind the scenes views of the tech used in the movie.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:51 AM
'Lost' Crash In '24' Style

Neat find of What Would The Oceanic 815 Crash From 'Lost' Look Like On '24′? Not recommended for non-Lost views though, or at least those not completely caught up. I for one have never watched it, but realize that I need to start.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:46 AM
SQLite Optimizer for Firefox

Interesting, just found the SQLite Optimizer for Firefox, which seems to solve my main FF issue of really slow startup time and a lot of disk thrashing from (I assume) having to load up and deal with the SQLite storage system.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:19 AM
Seesmic Releases "Look"

Today Seesmic released Seesmic Look into their arsenal. This is a new style of app to immerse yourself in the twitterverse. Hit their features page for more details. Basically it gives you a more "floaty" view of your subscriptions, lists, things like trends, and other categories of items.

Looks very nice, though a bit slow, on Windows XP. Not unsurprising as it's optimized for the Aero experience in Windows 7, but doesn't allow some standard things like right click to copy a link. Ah well, a neat new view of twitter for sure. Wonder if this will make it's way into an iPhone (or other mobile) app. There was one for the iPhone that used a 3D paradigm, which was ok, but didn't catch on that well.

Announcement blog post as well.

Posted by Arcterex at 10:34 AM
Mozilla Delivers Firefox 3.6

Well, this morning Mozilla Delivered Firefox 3.6. Among the new hotness is:

  • Themes using "Personas"
  • Better plugin management
  • Magic form completion magic
  • HTML5 (still doesn't work with the new Youtube HTML5 experiment though)
  • Blah blah security blah stability blah blah

More on the what's new page too.

No issues for me so far, Google gears and a couple of other extensions aren't compatible, but I'm sure they'll be updated soon enough :)

Posted by Arcterex at 09:45 AM
The iPhone Home Screen App Showdown

TUAW points to The iPhone app showdown in which someone cleared everything off their home screen, and apps back on there only if it was deemed used enough.

Posted by Arcterex at 08:44 AM
YouTube Opt-In HTML5 Option

If you're looking for the "next gen" video experience (read: not using flash) and use Youtube, you can hit the YouTube HTML5 page to add your account to the trial. Note that not many browsers are modern and awesome enough to support HTML5 properly, so you are currently limited to what you can use:

Right now we support browsers that support both the

Sadly a few restrictions are in place, mostly that if the video has ads in it (more and more these days :( ) it'll play in the flash player, and no fullscreen. However, I expect the option to get better and better as time goes on. It's also not perfect. For example the volume control seems a bit touch in terms of allowing you to adjust it while the video is playing.

If you're a Google Chrome user you can also check out the Youtube HTML5-ifier extension to do something similar.

Posted by Arcterex at 08:01 AM
January 20, 2010
The 5 Signs You're Talking To A Social Media Douchebag

Via forgetfoo is the link to The 5 Signs You're Talking To A Social Media Douchebag. Or as I like to think, 90% of the people on twitter (no, not you, you're a cool person on twitter, I'm talking about the other people).

Posted by Arcterex at 10:09 PM
Puppy Cam Season 2

The puppy cam is back!

Posted by Arcterex at 10:05 PM
Pants On The Ground: Neil Young's Heart Wrenching Performance

Finally found a "legal" version of the Pants On The Ground parody played on Jimmy Fallon the other night. Story has back story if you're not like me and haven't been hearing about this on the Stern show all morning :)

Posted by Arcterex at 03:54 PM
TED Talks: David Blaine: How I held my breath for 17 min

JWZ links to a TED Talk from Magician David Blaine on How I held my breath for 17 min. Very cool to see. TED Talks FTW.

Posted by Arcterex at 01:12 PM
StarCraft 2 Trailer

Shacknews has a quick and dirty StarCraft 2 Trailer.

Posted by Arcterex at 12:58 PM
Crabby Old Fart Blogs

I have no idea if this is "real", but the The Problem with Young People Today Is... blog is freakin' hilarious:

Q1: Are you demonstrating poor judgment?

Sure, I watched an episode of "Dancing with the Stars" once but only because I assumed it was a Fred Astaire special and not some collection of motley has-beens lumbering around like injured circus bears.

It was a mistake but I've forgiven myself.

And it's nowhere near as questionable as young people tattooing their scrotums and posting videos of themselves dancing around with lightsabres on youtube. Now that's a demonstration of damned poor judgment. And stupid as Hell, too.

Read it for more. *subscribes*

Posted by Arcterex at 11:28 AM
New imagery of Port-au-Prince

Speaking of google, there is now New imagery of Port-au-Prince in Haiti to see some of the extent of the destruction. Sobering stuff :(

Posted by Arcterex at 11:12 AM
2010 Olympics In Google Earth

The elves at google have been busily modelling the Olympic venues in Vancouver for the 2010 Olympics. Less than a month to go now (before the city explodes in people and I'm forced to hide in my basement that is)!

Posted by Arcterex at 11:08 AM
How To Tell a Scam on Social Networking Site

Nice run through that may help the "normies" to tell scams on social networking sites. Similar rules that I send to people who (still!!) pass around the Microsoft will give you $100 if you forward this email scam. The new web 2.0 world has made some changes to confuse new users about what they're doing though. From the article:

Next thing, he asks you to invite all your friends (standard stuff, almost every group wants to be famous!). But here he asks you to paste what is called "JavaScript" (it doesn't start with HTTP://" so it's not a link). Now here all it does is select all of your friends, but it could just as much infect your computer with a virus, make you go to any site he wants, etc. Don't ever type in any JavaScript directly into your address bar.

Posted by Arcterex at 10:43 AM
Battle of the Vaporware Tablets

With the announcement of Apple's new creation almost exactly 7 days from now (at this time, 9:15am PST, I figure we'll have gone through the pretense and sales numbers and The Steve will have just unveiled something to his adoring fans), the Apple Blog has got a nice round up of the Vaporware Tablets that are around today (well, by "around" I of course, mean "are vaporware").

Posted by Arcterex at 09:14 AM
January 19, 2010
101 Ways to Lose Your Gut From Men's Fitness

101 Ways to Lose Your Gut over at Men's Fitness has a bunch of small tips that in theory, can do some help. Not sure if they can help you without some willpower and ambition (two things I'm sorely lacking right now) but they are at least a list of nice, concise tips.

Posted by Arcterex at 04:55 PM
2006 Emmys Opening

Random link found on the net of the 2006 Emmys Opening. Never saw it, glad I watched it now, it's pretty damn awesome.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:50 AM
What happens to your porn after you Die?

Reddit asks the excellent question of What happens to your porn after you die? Some users have different ideas than others:

From Acewrap:
I just have a deadman switch at my computer which needs to be pressed every eight hours, if it isn't pressed, a turtle is released from it's cage, the turtle walks over to a carrot hanging from a shelf, it pulls the carrot, which causes a bearing to roll down a plank and then[...]

Note also the excellent video linked in the comments on porn buddies. Anyone know what show that's from? The intro note says something about "The Flavors Unlimited" but I don't see any references to that as a TV show. Ah, from "Coupled" (UK version).

Posted by Arcterex at 11:13 AM
Why Your Twitter Followers Don't Matter

Nice post on some things to do and not do on twitter, and Why Your 4,243,564 Twitter Followers Don't Mean Jack. Speaking of which, these people who follow thousands and thousands of people I don't understand, there's no way you can read or get any decent content from all those people, and quite frankly it's just annoying because I know you're not following my tweets (at @arcterex) because you care about me or what I have to say, you're just absorbing me into you mega-twitter feed for your SEO (or TEO?). Meh.

Ironically I got this link from looking at one of those people's feeds while trying to see if they were all SEO spam or random links or not :)

Posted by Arcterex at 10:48 AM
January 18, 2010
16 useful Mac cheat Sheets @smashingtips

Nice list of 16 useful Mac cheat Sheets @smashingtips.

Posted by Arcterex at 04:40 PM
Martin Luther King, Jr. Sings in Memphis. Happy MLK Day!

Hopefully not an offensive use of auto-tune is the Martin Luther King, Jr. Sings in Memphis mashup.

Happy Martin Luther King Day my American friends!

Posted by Arcterex at 02:48 PM
1001 Noisy Cameras Going Ad-Free

One of the (sad IMHO) realities these days is that if you have either a site that gets a non-trivial amount of traffic, or want to have the time available to you to run a site as more than a hobby, you need to run ads. Google ads are the most common, and are easily blocked with Adblock. Note: I both use adblock and also run google ads on this site. Anyway, the very cool site 1001 Noisy Cameras is going ad-free.

The site is a plethora of camera related news, with an amazing amount of content each day and while I had to put 'maybe' in the poll, I definitely wish them the best of luck and look forward to seeing how the endeavor goes.

As an aside, over here in UFies land, the income from having ads on the blog is somewhere between $0.07 - $3.50 a day on average (that's $0.008/h to $0.44/h) . Though I do appreciate everyone who goes to visit some sponsors :)

Posted by Arcterex at 01:59 PM
Revision3 Woos Conan O'Brien

In the Revision 3 Blog, they have An Open Letter to Conan O'Brien, introducing him to the internet and working conditions at Revision 3. Personally I think it'd be interesting to see a "mainstream" celebrity go from TV to the internet, and see if the alteration in the payment model, which in theory would give more money to the personality instead of the studio for advertising, etc, would make a real difference and allow the celeb to make a real go of it.

Good luck to Rev 3 in their hopeful aquisition :)

Posted by Arcterex at 01:32 PM
GT5 vs. Real-Life in GPS

So with some fancy new Real-Life in GPS technology you'll be able to load a real life car's telemetry data into Gran Turismo 5 (PS3) as a replay or a ghost car. Implications? Race against The Stig and try to match him turn for turn, or take and examine or critique your own real world laps from the comfort of your couch.

Posted by Arcterex at 01:28 PM
HL2 Mod 'Jailbreak: Source'

Great looking HL2 Mod called Jailbreak:Source, which is all about shooting shit, dinosaurs, and robots. Really, what more could you want from a shooter?

Posted by Arcterex at 01:27 PM
Official: Apple holding January 27th Event

Thanks to Peejay for pointing me to the Engadget story where it's finally official.... IApple holding January 27th event to show off its 'latest creation'. So now the blogosphere will explode with more speculation, instead of exploding if Apple didn't have an announcement.

Of course the "Latest Creation" part indicates that this is probably not an iPhone OS 4.0 announcement or a new iTunes (though both of those I'd appreciate as well).

Best comment for the Engadget story IMHO is by DirtyVegas:

1) Expensive or not, it will look super cool and sell like hotcakes
2) We can stop with dumb tablet rumors and look forward to 2nd gen tablet rumors.

Update: The nuts over at TUAW have already started Zaprudering the Invite.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:32 AM
Football Games Have 11 Minutes of Action

In the article saying that Football Games Have 11 Minutes of Action this confirms what I've always suspected.... that there's a hugely disproportionate signal to noise ratio (or in this case, game to crap ratio) in football:

According to a Wall Street Journal study of four recent broadcasts, and similar estimates by researchers, the average amount of time the ball is in play on the field during an NFL game is about 11 minutes.

I wonder if there is a similar study for something good, like Hockey?

Posted by Arcterex at 09:01 AM
January 15, 2010
Crash test 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air VS. 2009 Chevrolet Malibu

Who'd thunk who the winner would be?

Posted by Arcterex at 08:39 PM
Someone's American Idol Experience @ Reddit/r/iama

Very cool story of My American Idol Experience by someone over on the "I Am A" section on Reddit. An excerpt:

I was immediately ushered into a room and forced to sign the second contract of the process, which gave away most of my body and most of my soul to Fox.

[...]the producers were shameless in reminding us that American Idol is a television show first, and a talent competition second. If we wanted to be on TV, we'd have to tell a compelling story and do and say crazy shit.

Posted by Arcterex at 04:40 PM
The Top 10 Worst Attempts At Cutting Down A Tree

Of this list of The Top 10 Worst Attempts At Cutting Down A Tree my favorite has to be the first one simply due to the not-so-happy wife's commentary after the excruciating wait for what you know is going to happen....

Posted by Arcterex at 03:35 PM
Ubuntu 10.04 Alpha 2 vs Early Fedora 13 Benchmarks

As the title says comes from this slashdot story.

Posted by Arcterex at 03:24 PM
Just Cause 2 Trailer: Choose Your Own Adventure

This trailer for Just Cause 2 (coming March for PC, PS3 and XBox360) is cool... it's a choose your own adventure system using the clickability of YouTube. So click when it asks you for your choice, instead of being like me and staring at it thinking "WTF is it just showing me this one screen for 30 seconds" :)

Posted by Arcterex at 03:21 PM
Skateboarders Are Nuts

As this image illustrates.

Posted by Arcterex at 02:41 PM
Gordon - An open source Flash runtime written in pure JavaScript lets you use Flash on your iPhone

How's this for inventiveness? Instead of letting the lack of flash on the iPhone stop them, an Open Source implementation of Flash in Javascript has been created. Details over at 9 to 5 Mac:

Even if Apple never lets a Flash plugin within 50 yards of an iPhone, you may yet be able to enjoy the richness of those blinking banner ads. Gordon (Get it?  Like Flash Gordon?) is an open source Flash runtime written in pure JavaScript.

Posted by Arcterex at 01:25 PM
One For The Ladies

Passed on from S is this ROFLrazzi pic of David Tennant looking all nerdy. Enjoy ladies....

Posted by Arcterex at 01:23 PM
Nexus One Review

There is another nice video review of the Nexus One Phone from Uncrate.com. Thanks for the link Darren!

Posted by Arcterex at 10:52 AM
Chrome Update for Mac Adds New Multi-Touch Gestures

Ever since I discovered the multi-touch gestures on my Mac I've fallen in love, and it looks like the new update to Google Chrome for Mac gives a bucket full of awesome in terms of multi-touch gestures.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:59 AM
January 14, 2010
Star Wars Burlesque

Slashfilm has some more pictures of the Star Wars Burlesque that I mentioned a couple of days ago.

Posted by Arcterex at 04:47 PM
Vintage Ad Browser

Vintage Ad Browser. Great stuff. I can only imagine at how stupid the "cool" ads we have no will look in 100 years....

Posted by Arcterex at 12:43 PM
JWZ on Tivo Vs Torrents

The epic JWZ is right on my wavelength with his Tivo vs Torrenting thoughts. Pretty much my thoughts.

Posted by Arcterex at 12:39 PM
Google Earth Haiti Imagery Layer

Google Earth has a Haiti imagery layer now available. This is imagery from the Google GeoEye satellite and is higher quality than the current data.

Posted by Arcterex at 12:38 PM
Team Fortress 2 Opens To User Contributions

Very cool, the Team Fortress 2 blog announces that they are open to user contributed items and materials.

Posted by Arcterex at 12:37 PM
Rumored Apple Tablet Rumor Wrap up

Gizmodo has a good list of all the bits and pieces of the (rumored)Apple Tablet Rumors. I presume there'll be another couple of revisions to this as the (rumored) announcement date gets (rumored) closer.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:52 AM
January 13, 2010
Fun Facts: Smirnov's Theorem on Binary Probability

Great post regarding Smirnov's Theorem on Binary Probability, expounding on the probability of things happening or not.

Let us consider example A: Will you be shot in the face by some guy with a sniper rifle hiding in a bell tower today?

Funny, silly stuff.

Posted by Arcterex at 03:51 PM
Online HTML5 Editor

Nifty little HTML/JS/CSS magic hack to create an Online HTML5 Editor where what you type in is rendered in real time.

Posted by Arcterex at 01:44 PM
Get Up to $100,000 for Evidence of Apple Tablet

Aryk pointed me the Gizmodo post (referencing the Valleywag article) that could get you Up to $100,000 for Evidence of Apple Tablet. I'm assuming this doesn't mean that you should fire up Photoshop or your favorite video/VFX tools. The amounts of money that they're boasting about though either means that a) it's going to be such a boon to the site that they can afford to give out $100k or b) they're so confident that no one has access to it (or it doesn't exist) that it's a safe bet.

Posted by Arcterex at 01:16 PM
6 Guidelines The Next 'Spider-Man' Film Needs To Follow

Geeks of Doom has an excellent set of 6 Guidelines The Next 'Spider-Man' Film Needs To Follow. This is related to the news that Spider-man 4 has been cancelled and the series is getting a reboot sans Tobey and Kirsten.

Posted by Arcterex at 01:14 PM
How to Kill Your Business With 30 Day Payment Terms

Interesting for any freelancers out there: How to Kill Your Business: 30 Day Payment Terms.

Posted by Arcterex at 10:01 AM
Apple Tablet Rumor Visual Roundup

Nice visual to help you sort out all the rumored Apple Tablet rumors. Full image here.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:46 AM
Build an Application (Even if it Already Exists)

Great article on why you should Build an Application (Even if it Already Exists) as a programmer, especially if you're trying to learn something. There's been many many times in my question to learn say, Ruby on Rails where I've thought of a good idea (to me anyway) only to find that it already exists in 18 different forms already, so I've dismissed it as silly to re-invent the wheel. Good thoughts in Caleb's article.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:36 AM
Zimbra To Be Acquired By VMWare

I hear that VMware has announced their plan to acquire Zimbra:

VMWare announced on Tuesday that they are acquiring Zimbra from Yahoo! Inc. The maker of the popular VMWare Fusion virtualization software for Mac OS X, VMWare has been moving in the direction of providing cloud solutions, and the acquisition of Zimbra fits those plans perfectly.

Interesting. The two aren't a perfect match, but if VMware is looking at doing cloud services of some sort, it is (IMVHO) a good match.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:11 AM
First Person Tetris

It sounds weird, but trust me, check out First Person Tetris, a cool little flash game with a twist (you'll see what I mean).

Posted by Arcterex at 08:35 AM
Sexy Boba Fett

It's a slow morning so I give you a hot and sexy Boba Fett.

Posted by Arcterex at 08:31 AM
January 12, 2010
Star Trek Online Starts Open Beta

Star Trek Online is having an open beta. Join now if you have a beta key that is.

Posted by Arcterex at 03:46 PM
Craziest Plastic Surgeries

Oddee's list for today is 10 Craziest Plastic Surgeries Made to Look Like Someone Else. Looking at the results, I can safely say that there's not much upside in plastic surgery, these people all seem to come out looking like they got hit in the face with a small Volkswagen.

Posted by Arcterex at 03:17 PM
The Classic Unix Horror Story

This came up today in conversation with someone, and I had to post THE classic Unix horror story, originally posted in 1986 regarding what to do if you accidentally rm -rf / on your unix system. Great classic story.

Took me a while to find it, I ended up using keywords of ksh, rm -rf, and echo to find it :)

Posted by Arcterex at 01:32 PM
Conan Is Upset

If you follow pop culture at all you'll probably already know the story about Conan, Leno and the Late Show, but you can be amused by the video where he does seem a bit miffed....

Posted by Arcterex at 09:30 AM
January 11, 2010
Star Wars Burlesque (Kinda SFW Pics)

So the stormtrooper pic in JWZ's Star Wars Burlesque post is hot, the C3PO I'm really not sure how I feel about....

Posted by Arcterex at 09:48 PM
The Eyewriter Allows Paralyzed Users To Draw

The Eyewriter is a super-cool hack using open source software, a PS3 eye and a computer, allowing paralyzed users to use their eyes to track and draw.

Posted by Arcterex at 08:43 PM
6 Insane Fan Theories That Actually Make Great Movies Better

Another great cracked.com article on 6 Insane Fan Theories That Actually Make Great Movies Better. Stuff in there ranges from fairly reasonable to completely bonkers, within the context of the movies in question of course.

Posted by Arcterex at 04:18 PM
Creative Billboard Advertising Campaigns

Web Urbanist has a great list of Creative Billboard Advertising Campaigns.

Posted by Arcterex at 04:10 PM
Dom DeLuise Egg Trick

Classic Johnny Carson with the Dom DeLuise Egg Trick.

Posted by Arcterex at 03:48 PM
WW1: Experiences of an English Soldier: The Last Letter

Anyone who has been following the WW1 blog, a timeshifted blog of letters from a soldier in The Great War posted in real time (well, 90 years later) will be sad (and happy) that Harry's Home. The last letter was posted today. The author, Bill Lamin, has done an excellent job of creating a unique blog that has given me (and others I'm sure) great joy to read. He updates the post with his plans and what's next. If you haven't read it, head over and read from the start, or skim, as it's a unique look at a life that seems like it's from another world, but in fact wasn't that long ago.

Posted by Arcterex at 01:15 PM
Wii Fit Parody

Great Wii Fit Parody on youtube.

Posted by Arcterex at 10:39 AM
January 10, 2010
Lego Universe MMO Trailer Looks Awesome

Not being a MMO guy, I have to agree that the Lego Universe trailer looks unexpectedly thrilling. I'd totally be able to get into that, assuming the final game looks remotely like the trailer of course :)

Posted by Arcterex at 02:50 PM
January 08, 2010
Kick Ass Trailer 2

A second trailer for the movie Kick Ass has surfaced. This isn't the red-band trailer like they had for Hit Girl, but it's got a lot of content and is definitely not a "teaser". So looking forward for this one!

Posted by Arcterex at 03:06 PM
A-Team Trailer (Update: Nuked :( ) (Update 2 - Back!)

I will not deny that the new A-Team Trailer looks damn fun!

Update: If you didn't catch it, bummer, it's down now. Discussion.

It's re-appeared here.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:47 AM
January 07, 2010
The Apple Blog's Thoughts on Microsoft's Slate

Microsoft's Slate: Exactly Unlike Apple's Upcoming Tablet :

And I guarantee you will not see a single control element (button, tab, scrollbar and the like) migrate, intact and unchanged, from desktop OS X to tablet OS. Apple knows not to make that mistake. Microsoft does not; it's loading Windows 7 -- unmodified UI et al -- onto its tablet. But this time there's not even a stylus to help you. You gotta use your pinkies. The result -- an awkward, practically unusable UI.

Ballmer very handily (pun intended) demonstrated this by fumbling about with the thing. His fingers weren't particularly good at hitting the UI controls on the 7-inch screen that, due to its very form factor, rendered Windows controls as little more than diminutive dots.

Yes it's a slanted source, of course they have better hops for the (rumored) Apple tablet. However, they do key onto a few details about some of the different design philosophies of the two companies. For example. compare the start menu based, stylus using windows mobile to a completely new iPhone OS (at least different from standard desktop computing for the most part).

A bit sad in a way, especially considering the awesome looking (rumored) Courier tablet that we heard about a while back as the (rumored) tablet from MS.

Again, lets not forget about the (rumored) table being (rumored) to be announced at the (rumored) media event on the (rumored) date of Jan 26 or 27. :)

Posted by Arcterex at 04:22 PM
Linux Notes: How To Make the 'ls --color' Lighter

Gotta thank a post from last year on Chu-Cheng's Public Note on how to make the "ls --color" lighter and more readable. Works like a charm and fixes the issue where you have the almost unreadable default dark blue color against a black terminal screen. This tweaks it just a bit lighter and perfectly readable. Yay!

Posted by Arcterex at 04:07 PM
A Facebook Story: "My Date with Amanda"

Assuming that this story is real, the My Date with Amanda post over at LameBook describes what is essentially every guys worst nightmare or hell on earth, whichever is worse. Keep with it till the end, it's LOL funny (only because it's someone else of course).

Posted by Arcterex at 03:57 PM
Calvin and Hobbes Snowmen in Real Life

Hilarious.... 38 Snowmen Nightmares: Calvin and Hobbes In Real Life.

Posted by Arcterex at 02:29 PM
Nexus One Review @ Engadget

Engadget has their Nexus One review online.

Posted by Arcterex at 01:21 PM
Science Tattoos

Boing Boing links to the gallery of science tattoos over at Discover Magazine.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:16 AM
Google Nexus One Teardown

Well, the Google Phone has been bought, ripped apart, and the teardown posted. Thanks iFixIt.

Posted by Arcterex at 08:43 AM
Web Census Research Project

The Web Census Research Project sounds interesting, a "map" of all possible IP addresses and if they have a webserver sitting on port 80.

Posted by Arcterex at 08:36 AM
Drop of Water At 2000 FPS

Who knew a video of a drop of water filmed at 2000fps would be so freaky?

Posted by Arcterex at 08:09 AM
January 06, 2010
Facebook 3.1 iPhone App To Bring Push Notifications and Contact Sync?

Gizmodo has rumors of the Facebook 3.1 iPhone App Bringing Push Notifications and Contact Sync. Hope that's true, last thing I'd heard the only Facebook iPhone app developer quite in protest of the Apple not accepting google voice debacle...

Posted by Arcterex at 02:59 PM
Google Chrome Dev Channel Updates Add Mac Extensions

The latest Dev Channel Update for Google Chrome enabled extensions on the OS/X build. Yay!

Posted by Arcterex at 02:13 PM
Schneier Having TSA Logo Contest

Bruce Schneier isn't the biggest fan of the farce that is (ever increasing) airport security and is having a TSA Logo Contest.

Winner receives copies of my books, copies of Patrick Smith's book, an empty 12-ounce bottle labeled "saline" that you can refill and get through any TSA security checkpoint, and a fake boarding pass on any flight for any date.

Posted by Arcterex at 12:00 PM
21 iPhone Puzzle Games (Updated)

Great collection of 21 iPhone Puzzle Games to Kill Time With. I downloaded 3 or 4 of them.

Update: Fixed link.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:14 AM
iPhone Controlled Parrot AR.Drone Quad-Copter

Parrot.com just announced at CES a quadricopter controlled wirelessly from an iPhone.

[...] a quadricopter piloted with an iPhone or iPod touch, which allows users to fly in a real-world environment while simultaneously playing a video game from the device's screen.

OK seriously, I want one of these things, assuming the flight distance or battery life isn't ridiculously short or there is some other insanely silly restriction (like a really high price). The auto-takeoff and landing feature fixes the issue with other micro-copters that they are amazingly hard to land (hell, hard to fly, impossible to land), and the view from the copter shown on the iPod/iPhone fixes the "which way do I turn to go left?" issue. Heck, this'll be a great new world of peeping toms fun helicopter gaming!

Posted by Arcterex at 09:37 AM
Microsoft Tablet To Be Announced at CES Keynote?

To up the tablet rumor ante, seems that MS will up the Apple ante with an HP tablet, possibly announced during the Ballmer keynote at CES today. This was posted here almost four months ago with the story about the HP Courier with the great video of it's use helping a designer work on a new project.

Guess this is where we (might) see if the promise in the video has been fullfilled! Maybe keep an eye on #ces or watch the live keynote stream (6:30pm PST), though I'll update this story if anything interesting happens.

This all said, until the (rumored) Apple Tablet/Slate/MagicDeviceThatDoesEverything is shown at the (rumored) media event on the (rumored) date of Jan 26, I don't think anyone is going to be buying anything, just in case the (rumored) tablet is as awesome as it's (rumored) rumored to be!

Posted by Arcterex at 08:26 AM
YouTube Porn Day

So looks like the infamous 4Chan has declared today (January 6, 2010) "Porn day". Seems YouTube is facing a 4chan porn attack after the removal of a kids account who, among other childish things, posted about how he was going after 4chan and had God on his side. Techmeme also has the story.

Posted by Arcterex at 08:12 AM
January 05, 2010
Google Nexus Phone Demo Videos

Information from various Google blogs have some demos of some of the functionality on the new Google Nexus Phone.

I'm sure there are more to come.

Posted by Arcterex at 04:47 PM
Rails Magazine Issue #5 Is Out

Grab Issue #5: Winter Jam for your free Rails fix.

Posted by Arcterex at 03:53 PM
Animated GRUB with BURG

OMG Ubuntu has info on how to Get An Animated & Themed GRUB Menu Using BURG. The screen shots and embedded video look very nice. It is new software and does muck with your bootloader, so be very careful if you're going to install this on any production machines, and make sure you have a boot disk available just in case (tm).

Posted by Arcterex at 03:41 PM
New "Play Anything" Boxes From Boxee and Popcorn Hour

As someone struggling with getting my media to my TV in a concise and simple manner, devices and programs like Boxee have caught my attention. Couple of bits of news in that respect.

  • Boxee box were specs revealed. I don't care too much about the social integration stuff, but it does look interesting (though the shape is.... "odd" to say the least).
  • Popcorn Box announced. I was only recently told about Popcorn Hour, a "play anything" small form factor box with room to plug a blu-ray drive in. PH fit almost everything I needed, minus HDMI and the rather pricey $299 price. The sequel corrects both of these shortcomings, with a promised $129 price point and HDMI full 1080p output.

None of these boxes avoid the need for either tuner cards (if you're into recording TV) or a digital tuner (if you have digital / HD cable).

Posted by Arcterex at 02:37 PM
Jonathan Coulton Coming to Vancouver?

Looks like there's a chance that the infamous JoCo (Jonathan Coulton) might be coming to Vancouver. According to his JoCo in the Future page he lists Vancouver as "Maybe" and "TBA" for more info. Feel free to flood @jonathancoulton with messages of support for a trip to Vancouver.

JoCo, if you don't know, is the mind behind "Still Alive" from the Portal Video game, "Code Monkey", "Re: Your Brains" and many other great comedy geek music hits.

Posted by Arcterex at 02:34 PM
In Store Computer "Optimization" Expose

In case you had any doubt that paying $40+ on "computer optimization" when you get a system at Best Buy, Future Shop, or any of a host of similar stores was a complete and total rip off and/or scam, read no further than the Best Buy Optimization Is A Big Stupid Annoying Waste Of Money article over at The Consumerist.

I once bought a system at one of these places for my mother-in-law for the simple case of not wanting to have to build it myself and just wanted something already setup and ready to go for the user so that I wasn't forced to work on things. Several hours later I realized I should have just bought the components and installed the OS fresh myself.

Posted by Arcterex at 12:20 PM
Google's Nexus One Phone Revealed

Mashable has the news of the Google's Nexus One Phone via techmeme. Highlights are:

  • 5mp camera
  • Noise cancelling audio
  • 3.7" screen
  • uber-customizable

... and more. Hit the link for all the details.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:41 AM
The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs

Great (though a bit long) slide presentation on The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs. Mac fanboy or Windows fanboy you have to admit he is a king of the presentation, and there are a few gems in there that I think anyone can take away to use in their professional life.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:22 AM
January 04, 2010
Movie Popcorn vs. Time

The graph for Movie popcorn vs. Time perfectly illustrates why I have my movie popcorn the way I do.... go in, get seats, then 5 minutes before the previews start leave, get popcorn, and unless the lines are insane chances are you're sitting back in your seat with fresh warm popcorn as the previews start (missing the pre-preview ads if you time it perfectly).

Posted by Arcterex at 04:39 PM
India Monkey King Rock Climber

Anyone will be impressed by this video of the India Monkey King, with rock climbers being probably even more so, cause they know just how insane this guy is. This guy taught himself to rock climb to escape poverty in India, watching monkeys and Spider-man for inspiration. All I can say is "wow".

Via this reddit link.

Posted by Arcterex at 03:28 PM
Skiff Reader Tablet Pics / Links

Speaking of tablets (sorry people-who-don't-care-anymore) 9to5 Mac points to Hearst's eReader and it's uber-coolness. I'm not sure if the bending is that important if it doesn't roll up (though I guess it'd help with not breaking it if it's in your bag or carry-on luggage), but the rest of it looks pretty awesome. Put in full color PDF reading, syncable through wireless or tethered 3G and I'm there.... (unless Apple has one that has the neural implant capabilities that are clearly indicated as it having through the chip shipment reports in Taiwan going up .... ;)

You'll get to see it at CES.

Posted by Arcterex at 01:37 PM
Rumored Tablet's Rumored Media Event Gets Rumored Date Change

I'm sorry, but this is getting ridiculous at this point.... so the rumored Apple tablet/reader/slate has a rumored media event who is now rumored to have it's rumored date changed to Wednesday, Jan. 27. Take that for what it's worth. Seriously, I'm excited about new Apple products as much as the next guy, but the amount of photoshopped tablets, rumored specs, fake video, and naval gazing from the Apple fanboys ever since the iPhone has got to be a record of some sort. For something that there is zero released information about it's got events, date changes, specs, and changing uses and form factors.

This is why Apple stock always takes a dive after a product release, people work themselves into such a lather about what could be happening and what they hope will happen that even if Apple upgrades an entire product line and introduces new products with new capabilities they still are disappointed after. If there is a tablet released there's no way it'll live up to the expectations and everyone will a) buy one and b) moan and whine about how it doesn't have a front facing camera, display full PDFs in color, or link directly into their mind (like the combined information about the increased shipments of chips from [random company in random country] and new plugs being developed by [other random company] obviously pointed to in the leaked PDF on a Taiwanese media board before it was taken down for no reason but we know it was by Apple lawyers of course).

And we of course will still continue to hang on every word :)

Posted by Arcterex at 01:27 PM
Duke Nukem Live Action Trailer

Thanks to @danaepp for pointing me to this Duke Nukem Live Action Trailer. Pretty well done too! Shot on a Canon 7D apparently, good to see more indy type films and shorts being able to utilize more consumer oriented video equipment.

Posted by Arcterex at 01:03 PM
More On The Spamassassin Bug

I just upgraded UFies version of Spamassassin which came with the following notice, so take heed shell users:

This version of SpamAssassin fixes a bug which caused mails sent
in 2010 to be flagged as suspiciously spammy. If upgrading to this
version, you are recommended to update any per-user caches previously
created by sa-compile, and to check mail already in your spam folder
for false positives more carefully than usual.

Posted by Arcterex at 10:57 AM
UFies Welcome to 2010!

Wow, it's going to be weird saying/writing/typing "2010" for a while. Also what do we call it? "twenty ten"? "two thousand ten"? "oh ten"? "two thousand and ten"? Someone let me know please, I don't want to be one of the un-cool kids saying it all wrong.

Anyway, welcome everyone to the new year, I hope that your Christmas and holidays was fun, relaxing and spent with family and friends. I know it can be a bit of a grind getting back into work in the new year (speaking from experience, 5:30 am comes really early when you're used to waking up at the crack of noon), but I hope that I can (continue to) throw a few random links your way during the day to keep you amused and thinking. I figured I'd throw a few random thoughts up here about what I hope the coming year will bring.

The Server
The server setup is pretty strong. There are two machines running, the main server and a backup machine running with a mirror of the current server on it. In the coming year I want to set up the database to be properly master/slave so in the event of a crash there's less chance of losing any data, and also setting up the second server to be properly hot-swap (or at least minimal manual interaction) instead of needing someone to go and change and copy things all around to have it working. The big thing though is it's there so (in theory) nothing will be lost. Anyone storing important data is encouraged to do their own backups and database dumps and store them off site just in case.

The Site
Hopefully I'll be able to put up a new look and feel and features. I'm guessing that most people mostly view the site through RSS from Google Reader, Bloglines or the like, so they never see the site. Lets be honest though, the UFies.org site looks like the holdover from a bad 2002 site built by a programmer because it is. Any graphic designers out there who are interested in some practice please contact me if you think you can make the site look nicer.

I'm going to continue to use the @ufies twitter account to tweet out stories and server updates if you get your news that way, as well as getting a bit more into the web 2.0 world of "conversations", social media, fan pages, and the like. For example, I noticed while hitting the Internet archive that UFies wasn't included in 2009 at all, so I have to go and rectify that :)

Outside of my own (numerous) personal goals for the new year, I want to keep on posting things of interest. I've sort of disconnected from the Userfriendly community that this site was originally set up for back in 1999, and I want to get back to the roots of the site, and find out what the few readers I have are interested in so I can better serve the people who I risk my job every day to post random links of interestingness.

That's my diatribe for this morning, there's a pot of coffee in the kitchen on the other side of the office calling me. All the best to you and yours in this new year, hopefully it'll be "your year" (or at least suck less than the last one), and I now return you to your random collection of fake Apple slate rumors and video game updates!

tl;dr everything is fine, things continuing as normal.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:08 AM
January 03, 2010
Doctor Who Series 5 Trailer

For those of you Who fans off the end of the 10th Doctor (bye bye David Tennant, you were great) and wondering what the new series and the new Doctor will bring, check out the Doctor Who: Series 5 trailer released. Sadly we'll have to wait till "spring" to see what the new season brings.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:00 AM
The Steam Holiday Sale Ending Today

The Steam Holiday Sale is on it's last day, with a return of some of the previous games (sucks if you got 'em already, great if you missed them). STALKER for $2 is tempting me...

Posted by Arcterex at 09:32 AM
January 02, 2010
Dark Knight Plot Holes (In Rap Form)

Great little video called Batman is Confused, pointing out some of the.... minor plot holes in The Dark Knight.

Posted by Arcterex at 10:45 PM
Dive Into HTML5 - Form Magic

As a web app programmer (some weeks) I find the forms in HTML5 and the improvements in it (ie: setting a input type of "datetime" and having it do the Right Thing excites me). Of course, for a lot of these fields, the support is only on one or two (or three) browsers. Some of the improvements are such that you just add an attribute, which is ignored by other browsers, so you can do some good things right now without having to worry about it having a negative affect on your current forms.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:56 PM
January 01, 2010
Get An Original Userfriendly T-Shirt!

Ryan McBeth sent me this email today:

A couple years ago, Illiad sent me an original User Friendly t-shirt.
I've been away from the comic for a while (crazy at work and working
towards my masters degree), but I heard about Illiad's hiatus and I
wanted to do something for all of the times he made me laugh.

So I'm selling my t-shirt on eBay and giving 90% of the proceeds to
the American Cancer Society. Sid would want that, right?

The auction is at
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=190362159759#ht_500wt_1182. This is an awesome thing that Ryan is doing, and I hope that the UFies out there will support him and the Cancer society. Just so you know, the shirt being given away is so exclusive, that even I don't have one! :)

Posted by Arcterex at 09:21 PM
Welcoming 2010 - The Big Picture

Boston.com's "The Big Picture" has an excellent display of Welcoming 2010 with a great selection of images from NYE celebrations around the world.

Posted by Arcterex at 02:16 PM
Year 2010 Windows 7 Theme

The Windows Blog has a pointer on how you can Celebrate the Arrival of 2010 with a New Windows 7 Theme. Pretty nice!

Posted by Arcterex at 01:11 PM
Y210k Bug In Spamassassin

Look like there is a bug in Spamassassin in the check for "dates grossly in the future" which defines among other things, 2010 as "grossly in the future". The details are here. I've updated the ruleset on UFies.org though, but please check your spam boxes if you use SA for your spam checking.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:54 AM