It's a nice tool but doesn't take into account the fact that rent increases over time. But here's a static data set that makes sense:
After Tax Savings
After Tax Savings
|8-30||Savings increase every year|
(GWT just doesn't have anything out there - except maybe Lombardi's workflow tool.)
I'm glad to see ExtremeTech doing some more pro-audio and music creation coverage. A surprising number of geeks are musically inclined (or think they are) so I think it's a good direction to go in. But I have two comments about this article:
- It's a very strange selection of software! The review seems to imply that these three products are all that's out there, and that they are even the dominant players. There are so many choices out there: Cakewalk has many other offerings, but there's also Cubase, Pro Tools (already mentioned by another poster), Fruity Loops, Logic (mac only), Garage Band (mac only), Ableton Live, Reason and.... Not to mention the fact that as a free, virtual multi-track device, Audacity is really, really good (and used by a lot of podcasters).
- You can't really talk about just the software when it comes to music. Do you get an Mbox? A Tascam us-122? A firewire device of some sort? An internal card? How many channels of audio? What are the real limits of using just a sound card? What about a mic? Or a USB mic like the Snowball?
The way I see it there are basically two approaches for the beginner: buy a good A/D converter and a mic, and use something simple like Audacity. Just do all your takes live, and multitrack as needed. It's an easy process, and you can focus on your music not on the software. Of course, this is only possible if you sing or play a real instrument. Or, if you just want to make pretty sounds, you can play around with looping and virtual instrument software like Fruity Loops. Ableton Live is an interesting mix of the two approaches.
Now, the big problem that most people have with sequencers is that you actually have to have some training in music, composition, and arrangement to make things songs that good. In other words, to use Cakewalk, Protools, or even ACID/Magix sequencing effectively you really should have some training. Unfortunately, most people don't have the training, and yet most software companies delight in selling overkill software to laymen. (Of course the "oversell" phenomena is not limited to audio software!)
The other problem is that the act of playing music, composing music and sound recording engineering are all different. All three are arts in their own right, but they are different. Most people just want to play music.
My recommendation: stick with a good sound card, a good mic, simple recording software (Audacity), and play real instruments into the mic. Be happy - play music, don't worry about fiddling with software! If you really think you have a music score in you, go to music school and learn how to compose and arrange music first; and by the time you're done, you won't need to go to ExtremeTech to get music composition software advice, because you'll probably do a lot of the work on paper, and the recording into something at a friends studio. :)
It's an interesting idea though that patents should be limited to physical things, and that software (and all information products) should be protected by copyright and trade secrets.
"Art Reisman is chief technical officer at APConnections, a manufacturer of the NetEqualizer bandwidth-shaper."
Now, this is not something that I look at a lot - or at all. So it's not like the spine was bent so that I would go to that page. It was just luck.
Yesterday, I was thinking of project names for something, and it involves trees and graphs, and it's in Java, so I thought "Juniper" would be a nice name. I opened my "Field Guide to North American Trees" (a dendrologist's favorite) to look for icon ideas, and what do you know - a juniper was staring back at me (a weeping juniper to be exact).
It happened a third time when a "faith based" person at Socrates Cafe decided that special relativity and spacetime was unChristian. His arguments were not convincing, but when I got home I wanted to brush up on the topic so I pulled my trusty "Spacetime Physics" wanting the "twin paradox". But alas, I had to use the index. :)
A sample of salon participants includesL'Artisan du Chocolat, Mignon Chocolate, Decadent Tastes, Yum!Chocolate, Vermeer Dutch Chocolate Cream Liqueur, Chuao Chocolatier,Guittard Chocolate, The Chocolate Traveler, Malibue Toffee, CocoaPrive, The TeaRoom, Amano Artisan Chocolate, Chocolate Covered Company,Randy Fuhrman Events / Randy's Brownies, Silver Stone Wines, C'est TresChic Chocolate Molds, Le Creuset, Swissmar, Putumayo World Music,Chocolate Television, and much, much more.
Dr Aja-Nwachuku said he was now assessing OLPC alongside other schemes from Microsoft and Intel.
Whaa? That's just...wrong
(I want to write a little app that will invoke Ant. Do I have to write my own Adobe AIR to do this? Or should I wait for the Prism Project? If I do write my own as per this earlier post, I think I'll call it "Eclipse DIRT", roughly based on the GWTShell.)
(I always thought that this was how motion capture was done, but apparently they mostly use optical capture.)
Game designers and movie studios will be all over this.
Come to think of it, I wonder if the new generation of iPod speaker docks (the old generation does not work with my iPhone, alas) could be used for this purpose.... It's worth a shot, even if the iPhone mic might get obscured (the mic is also on the bottom of the phone, and would be blocked by the doc.) One could "mod" the doc by, say, drilling a hole in it to give the mic some space.
TOMBSTONE: It's wrong to end a sentence with a preposition.
We can blame an 18th-century English clergyman named Robert Lowth for
this one. He wrote the first grammar book saying a preposition (a
positioning word, like at, by, for, into, off, on, out, over, to, under, up, with)
shouldn't go at the end of a sentence. This idea caught on, even though
great literature from Chaucer to Shakespeare to Milton is bristling
with sentences ending with prepositions. Nobody knows just why the
notion stuck—possibly because it's closer to Latin grammar, or
perhaps because the word "preposition" means "position before," which
seemed to mean that a preposition can't come last.
At any rate, this is a rule that modern grammarians have long tried to get us out from under.
The instructions are no better for Linux! Sheesh! (How do you upgrade MySQL with cpanel? I have no idea.... Although these instructions are available, they warn it will take an hour. And this is real brain surgery on a working host.)
I did some digging and I think CollabNet will be a better solution. I just need a box for it.
[Update: this post was originally titled "Installing Bugzilla - step 1, install Collabnet instead". Mark, a subversion commiter, kindly pointed me toward SFEE. However, I had problems installing it, and had to look elsewhere. I was able to install Jira without any issues, and I was able to integrate it with Mylyn quite easily. Yes, it is $1200 and that seems like a lot to me, especially without the SCM integration "FishEye", which is another $1200. I'd say a grand for both is reasonable. While shopping for an issue tracker I was interested to note that Joel Spasky makes a bug tracker, too, called FogBugz. It looks like a good product and has per-user licensing ($200/head). It even has a Mylyn connector. But I already installed Jira and I like it!]
says at the end, "only start shopping for a new framework when your
old one starts to give you pain. Don't just switch to something
because it's fashionable."
Amen to that.
A program runs on both the master and slave computer. The slave waits for mouse event information on a port, and when it's recieved the slave software generates low-level mouse events. The master waits for a certain gesture (in this case, hitting the edge of the middle screen) and then starts sending mouse events to the slave. Moving clipboard information around is more interesting - basically I would make it so that when the "remote" cursor copies something and then it comes back, a clipboard transfer occurs. I have no idea how copy/paste information is stored or how it would be transferred - and that's where the interest lies. One could extend this easily to transmit keyboard events as well.
This is kind of like CrossLoops or LogMeIn but without the need to reproduce video data.
This would be a really nice little utility for a Windows hacker to come up with. (Could it be done in Java? probably)
[Note on making this post: what a cool workflow! I took the photo with my iPhone, emailed it to flickr, went to my flickr account and dragged the photo into Scribefire. I then posted, looked at my blog in another tab and copied the link into Flickr. Sweet.]
[Update: Jim White points out a wonderful tool called Synergy that does exactly what I want. Big thanks to Chris Schoeneman & friends for writing it.]
[Update: Well, Synergy works great. I still think it would be a fun Java
project though (and heaven knows that we computer programmers will never tire
of reinventing the wheel).
Additionally there are four enhancements I would like to see:
- Support for cross-machine drag-n-drop.
- Improved security (when on the client machine keystrokes and clipboard data are transmitted in the clear; could be solved with a simple tunnel)
- Improved usability (setup could be a lot more intuitive)
- Support for arbitrary screen locations (screens are always assumed to be at the same height, which is often wrong; my tablet is often *below* my primary screen when used as a writing surface)
And as much as I love cross-platform C++, I'm a Java guy. :)
Technorati Tags: idea, java, productivity
These tiny humans could create a city of thousands in a single tree. The Earth's natural state could be left basically untouched, despite supporting *trillions* of human lives. Space travel becomes enormously cheaper - people are so small, and life-support relatively meaningless, that they can be hurled into space by railguns. (You'd still need a fairly large spaceship, I think, at least the size of a canon ball so that it can overcome atmospheric friction without ionizing the poor tiny people)
Of course, sometimes people might need to assume temporary larger form for certain kinds of macroscopic work (like construction). A cynic may say that such a form would result in an arms race of size - but I would contend that the ubiquity of nanotechnology would make size-based warfare pointless. The idea is that if you step out of line, you'll get disassembled!
I would imagine that most humans of the world would have access to a very fast and ubiquitous data network, letting people across the globe stay in close contact. However, physical travel would be fraught with risk. You can't die, but you could loose a lot of time getting swallowed by a seagull (and waiting to get pooped out) or falling down a cliff, and have to climb your way back up. (Interestingly, this is much the same "downside" to dying as you experience in games like World of Warcraft.)
So how would our society get to be like that? Unlike Egan and Banks, I don't think it's even theoretically possible to quickly and easily "upload" people into a computer and reassemble them in a virtual world. The brain and body is very complex and consists of many, many cells composed of many, many atoms all in constant motion. I suspect that what may happen is that we humans will create robots with similar capacities as ourselves, but with a more regular physical representation of mind. The first few generations will be raised by humans (perhaps even simulating growth by "molting" their old bodies). For all intents and purposes, these robots will BE human. Eventually the last biological humans will die out, leaving only the immortal versions behind. These post-humans will choose their physical forms with much more freedom than we ever could. (No doubt there are some wonderful stories about the early days around robots who choose, perhaps out of love, to take a biological form and die along with their bio-human lover...a kind of mix of JRR Tolkien and Philip Dick.)
The story possibilities of this world are really grand: perhaps there are sub-cultures that cherish death and the fear that comes with it ("to make life worth living" or somesuch), and so go out on adventures where they face real risk of destruction; at any time, the number of children will be small, and so perhaps there is a unique-to-the-world place where children are raised together with their "parents"; unlike Earth, where native life is protected, the moon is an enormous city, supporting even more post-human life than Earth does (it's the utlimate metaphor for city/country divide); humans live in many of Earth's most forbidding environments: at the bottom of the sea, in vast underground caverns, and within the crust of the earth. Perhaps a conscious decision is made to let nature take it's course, but that extinction level events should be prevented if possible (e.g. prevent meteor impacts, but don't prevent natural climate change). Perhaps people will try to increase the mental capacity of their children in increments, and see how that works out. Perhaps they will create vast intelligences (the size of a squirrel) and see how that goes. Perhaps those with wanderlust and a taste for real adventure would join (relatively small) generation ships that are sent out occasionally to nearby suns. Perhaps there are a few hold-out groups of bio-humans who, back in the dimmness of time, resisted the trend, and who, despite their loathing of the small people around them, are left alone as part of 'nature'. Perhaps these bio-humans are relegated to vast, lifeless underground territory where they can "do no harm" to the natural environment. Or perhaps they got (terraformed) Mars. Perhaps the bio-humans want the Earth back, and are only held back by the overwhelming numbers and technological superiority of the post-human civilization. (Now that's an interesting scenario - who does the reader root for, the bio-humans wanting to retake the Earth and mold it to their desires, or the conservationist, but alien post humans who want to preserve and protect Earth's natural grandeur?)
Definitely fertile soil for a story or three.
My older aunt (in her late sixties), who plays a lot of online poker, was a bit mystified by the whole thing. I had to explain what the point of the game was several times (e.g. 'get the red ball to the star'). I found it rather interesting that something as simple as that sort of objective would be difficult to understand. I suspect that she didn't get it because the game has no "payoff" - loud sounds or images to celebrate your "victory". Also, there was no money involved. :)
Once she sort of got the point, she was very tentative with the stylus. She didn't want to touch the screen with it. Once she sorta got over that, she kept wanting to "push" the ball directly. Of course, this is not the nature of this game - you can only indirectly interact with the ball by creating a variety of objects).
Then, when the ball wasn't rolling fast enough for her, she tried tilting the tablet! That was awesome. It gives me an idea for a little card (either pc card, sd card, or whatever) that could give that sort of feedback. Note: the iPhone has a limited accelerometer of that sort.
When I showed her how to reset the level (by pressing escape and
clicking "reset level") she was also a bit confused. She never did get
used to just touching things with the stylus. Once again, I would guess this is because of the great pains she had to go through to unlearn all of that intuition when working with computers, and is now loath to give that up!
Next up was my small cousin. He's five. He had absolutely no problem with the stylus. In fact, he took to the whole interface like a fish in water and was delighted (at least for about 30 minutes). The interesting thing with him is that he liked to draw smaller squares right on top of each other, and right on top of the ball, which has an interesting (and useful) effect in the game. He got through "teeter-totter" level by basically squirting the ball with a succession of small squares. (for the record, when I solved it, I was enthralled with the idea of using the the teeter totters to hurl the ball in an elegant arc. I eventually settled on an elegant two box approach, which none of the children ever figured out. But when I showed them they were duly impressed.).
He had a few good ideas on the "space" level - building a structure on the lower level, rapidly drawing boxes to try to control the ball's decent. But he eventually started trying the "shotgun" approach of drawing lots of (big) squares over the ball and hoping that it would squirt in the right direction. He got really close a couple of times. (The solution I used is 3 boxes. I tried to give him hints in that direction, but I don't think it took).
Anyway, I could see him getting frustrated and by this time we had a crowd of little cousins watching us, so I skipped the level. Once again, he surprised me with a new approach to the "barrier" level - after a few false starts, he used little boxes to successively raise the ball to an equal height with the barrier and then push it over. I think that was clever. (My own solution was very, very different, and relied on getting the ball under the barrier.)
If you have a tablet, I highly recommend doing this experiment. Let me know how it goes (either in email or comments.)
Recently, I found another practical application: it's a great way to send sensitive information (especially passwords) through the mail.
Theoretically it's also a great way to prevent people from snooping on your conversations. But that's never been a huge concern of mine.
The big drawback to this sort of thing (alluded to in another post) is that you have to a) keep the private key file around, and b) you have to remember the passphrase you used to encrypt your private key. I had an older public key that is now useless because I forgot my passphrase!
Anyway, here's my public key. (I've also sent it to a variety of public keyservers.)
pub 1024D/3CC46BE7 11/20/2007 Josh Rehman <email@example.com>
Primary key fingerprint: 8256 F0E4 70F9 A9C8 C9DA BF50 6369 29BD 3CC4 6BE7
-----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----
Version: GnuPG v1.4.7 (MingW32) - WinPT 1.2.0
-----END PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----
Encrypt something and send it to me! It's fun!
This guy Petri Purho is releasing a game a month and writing about it on his blog. He was interviewed about it, and apparently it's just a hobby. But a serious one!
Damn, that's inspiring.
- Prices - gas is getting very expensive, and this hurts every part of our economy.
- Politics - petro dollars empower some of the most extreme countries in the world, our enemies.
- Climate change - there is increased acceptance that people are affecting the world's climate, and not in a good way.
A related idea I had some time ago is to use the Eclipse Rich Client platform to give users a way to execute their favorite webapps in special windows. Using this hypothetical tool, Gmail would have it's own icon and look like a normal application to the operating system, rather than just another browser window. You wouldn't see or be bothered with all the browser crap you don't need with gmail. You'd have a recognizable icon in your taskbar (rather than a generic browser icon). And you won't worry about mixing tabs around, etc, or accidentally closing the application. In addition you could support a high degree of offline operation. Of course, this could (and should!) be applied to any webapp which is designed and intended to run for a long time on the desktop - think enterprise cms tools, etc.
[Update] Thanks to Eric Case for pointing out the wonderful Mozilla Lab's Prism Project. This project doesn't use the Eclipse RCP, but it's goals are essentially the same as mine. He also pointed out a Mac/Gmail specific desktop integration product called Mailplane. Indeed, Mailplane goes even further than I was thinking, supporting things like drag-n-drop for adding attachments (which is really nice!). Although it doesn't seem to support offline operation, which is kind of odd. That kind of environment could provide a Greasemonkey like facility allowing developers to insert something like the Dojo Offline Toolkit. (You could do something in native code too, but why bother?)
Solve both problems with a private secure webmail proxy that does two things: defeat key loggers with a graphical challenge response credential check, and defeat eavesdropping by making encryption easy to use with webmail.
The system consists of some host on the internet - preferably one that's stable and owned by the user. E.g. a home server. (This minimizes some risks, but maximizes others...) That system provides a web interface that can be accessed world wide (unfortunately most consumer ISPs block port 80, and some internet cafes block alternate ports...). The system contains your username password for gmail, for example, and prompts you with a fancy graphical clickable scheme to verify who you are. It then logs into your webmail, and provides you with content.
This is enough to defeat keyloggers (although there are easy tricks to do that), but since we're proxying, why not go one step further and make PKI services easy to use? The basic idea is that a small piece of software on the proxy will be looking for encrypted content and unencrypt it for you. It could be presented as text, but it would be even cooler to present it as an image, making it that much harder for someone to eavesdrop assuming they have complete control over the client machine.
This addresses one of the severe usability flaws of modern PKE software - it's too easy to mess up. It's easy to loose your private key; it's easy to forget your private key decrypt passphrase. It's hard to install the correct software and use it properly, on all the systems you might want to use it on. In this system the private key file is stored on your (presumably secure) home system, and the proxy has the ability to decrypt the private key.
Because of the nature of this sort of software, it basically must be open source. Ironically, as it becomes more popular so the countermeasures will become more popular as well. However, it's like those red bars people put in their cars - they are possible to remove, but if presented with two cars one with and one without, why bother?
A "not too shabby" variation is to use something like FireGPG, which is a Firefox plugin that at least eases the integration woes between GPG4Win and the browser. Frankly I think my idea is better. :)
I daresay that "scrap theory" itself qualifies as a scrap of sorts. :)
Anyway, if you believe this is true, then it's all the more reason to be fearlessly creative. It's also a good reason to be open and non-proprietary about your creations. Share them! Let them out! And if your not sure about what you love to do, then check out the scraps that you leave behind you in your life.
Butter the bread, put the cheese in, then sprinkle good parmesian cheese over the outside of the bread before grilling. This results in wonderful salty, burny, cheesy bits all over the bread and can turn a mediocre sandwich into something special.
The "parmesian on the outside" tip can be used for quesadillas as well (and it is, to great effect by my local 24 hour coffee shop, the Shorehouse Grill).
There has always been an undercurrent of self-deprecating illiteracy in the computer world, especially in gaming. I find this lolcat thing exceedingly strange. There are some ultra talented independant humorists out there (like the atrox, ben and eric, and quiet library to name just 3 "internet wave" sketch artists). So I'm not sure exactly what the point of this lolcat stuff really is.
- Online backup $5/mo. http://mozy.com/news
- Shared folders - free (for now). https://www.foldershare.com/
- Remote control for sysadmin work, whatever - free. LogMeIn
- Remote control - free. CrossLoop.
- Painless VPN (great for tunneling games, CVS access, etc) - free. Hamachi
- NetBeans - Eclipse really kicked it's ass, and they're learning. Better JEE, Swing support than Eclipse. http://www.netbeans.org/
- Glassfish - Sun's best piece of software ever? https://glassfish.dev.java.net/
- Google docs - free, zero install, Office collaboration. http://google.com/docs
- Google reader - a very good rss aggregator. http://google.com/reader
- The best blogging tool ever, scribefire. http://www.scribefire.com/
- Some other stuff I haven't tried: CamStudio MWSnap
(There's also a REALLY COOL ad type that I've never seen before. It's an animated dog-eared corner of the page that, when you click on it, "peels back" to expose a very colorful yet tasteful ad. It moves enough and shows enough to be intriguing, and it doesn't take you away from the main site. Plus it supports a very strong paper metaphor. I wish I could reproduce it here for you, or at least find out who's responsible... The ad is for Arbor Networks.)
Colbert is providing us with a tongue-in-cheek, down-to-earth civics lesson. Yes, it's also a thumb in the nose to those in the establishment who have no wish to have the details of their arcane practices understood.
The beauty of Colbert's treatment is that the man himself is incredibly intelligent and detail oriented; in combination with being funny, he's a great teacher!
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The game was designed by workers in the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Its various challenges include escaping from a hostile
town, guiding your character across a dangerous border and staying
alive in foreign lands with unfamiliar languages.
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(And there's no shortage of other contemporary examples. Good heavens, I don't think anything will ever me truly obsolete from this point on. Vinyl records are coming back into fashion, potentially replacing CDs. "Classic" video games are being recycled via subscription services and mobile devices.)
But programmers seem particularly vulnerable to thinking this way. We always seem to think our One True Library/Language/Tool/Whatever will replace everything else because it's Better Cheaper and Prettier. Of course, this is rarely, if ever, the case. Looking back in time, we see that older technology can be supplanted, but it never really goes away. We still have telegraphs; we still have blacksmiths, and horses, and vaccum tubes. Heck, we even have gas ranges (something I'm sure the microwave people didn't think would stick around).
One key question is, does this sort of cynicism hurt the innovation process? To know that your device or idea really won't change the world can be humbling. But isn't it better to be realistic? Truth be told, I'm not sure. A part of me (a big part) is on Dojo's side - I hope they DO change the world.