Thursday, June 30, 2011


Anyone taken the plunge and started using bitcoins for anything? I have an account and other than the free .02 bitcoins I have yet to earn a single coin from letting the process run on my machine for several weeks. I am assuming that this has to do with the massive number of people that are not choosing to pay a transaction fee, (its optional, and set by default to 0).

The newest client doesn't even have the option to "generate coins" so I am wondering if they think that it is big enough that people will just be buying off the markets.  Either way they have been in the news quite a bit lately with hacking and the exchanges getting hit.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

College and its value

Lately several FB friends have posted articles that are critical of the value of college, at the same time several prominent blogs have been trashing the economic sense of attending college.  I think that even more than questioning the value of the undergrad experience vs the value of not starting your "adult" life in debt, some of these attacks are focused on if we are actually learning in college.  In that instance I am actually in agreeiance, as I was severely disappointed with a number of my undergraduate courses.  The material stale, the teachers on autopilot, and "knowledge" out of date.  Really the two best classes I had where from outsiders so to speak, professors that had just arrived fresh from industry.  Their current experiences really spoke to me more than one aging prof's long winded stories about the Kibbutz back in the 70's.  One of the newly minted professors had a side business that was leveraging the exploding commercialization of China by selling typewriters.  Typewriters, because then as now, the rural districts that where trying to modernize didn't have reliable electricity, so filling out forms on computer was not reliable enough for them.  He claimed to clear about $1 million dollars and had orders booked for the next several years, selling an antiquated technology to an exploding market.  The biggest lesson was opportunity is not where you might expect; sometimes large opportunities exist in where no one is looking for them.

I am conflicted about the college experience, as my position might not have been available to me without a degree and my wife's job as well might not have been available to her so on the one hand I absolutely believe I needed a degree on the other hand my coworker has an associates degree and has virtually the same pay and responsibilities.  Very little of my day to day job function can be tied back to my education and particularly my degree program.  Most of the things I took from college are social in nature, the network I gained from being there.  The friends, my wife, my time on the swim team are all tied to the social nature of the "full undergrad" experience.  I really enjoyed the social aspects of my time at college, and had it been fully covered by grants and scholarships I probably would be less bitter about my perception of the quality of the education.  That I paid for it, and continue to pay for the "education" I received makes me take the position that in dollars and cents my college didn't make sense for me.  My job and the way I started out in the industry would have been virtually identical, the difference is I got to make some mistakes in the relative safety of college, rather than loosing a real job.  I can say that I wouldn't do college over again, or at the very least I would have gone to a different college.

So I'll leave you with this.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

More Set top box power

This is the story that won't die apparently, another blog posted on set-top box power consumption.  This time with an info-graphic.  Info-graphics mean business people.  I kid, but seriously if the stats they are posting are true it is scary how much power is being wasted by the average household.

Source:Geeks are Sexy

Ikea hack that doesn't suck

I subscribe to Ikea hacker based only on the premise that it is fun to mix and match from different series and get interesting results.  My trouble with most of them is that rather than a repurousing the "hacks" often are a little more art project than furniture.  Fancy lamp shades or some other b.s.

This hack is actually pretty much the reason I follow, the diamond in the ruff so to speak.  A lift up bed for access to under bed storage.

I have a King size bed that I actually use the void beneath for storage and the way it works for me is I have to pull the mattress all the way off the bed and then pull out one of the box springs.  Thankfully the box spring is just two full sized box springs rather than a single king, I could not imagine trying to maneuver that size of a box spring up the damn stairs.  I think I could ditch the box springs and switch over the the Ikea equivalent, but the hydralics would have to be really heavy duty to hold the weight of the bed.  

Monday, June 27, 2011

Impending kid and darn extended family

Since I've managed to get my wife pregnant and travel is getting to be a little ridiculous in here in The States, there has been some rumblings about video chat so that Grandparents and long distance relatives can see the squirmy sack of flesh when it gets here.  I'm ambivalent about this and the wife is concerned that the family may see her or me rolling our eyes at them if we are on camera, but this one doesn't seem to be dying anytime soon.

My vote is to use the craptastic integrated .3 megapixel netbook camera to make it harder for them to see me wishing to be doing literally anything else than video chatting with them, but the wife has asked me to look for a web camera.  The last one to get posted on Engadget the Logitec C615 I'm sure is fine, but the Logitec c510 looks like it has similar specs and is only $40 instead of $80.  Anyone actually use these things?  I cannot imagine it makes that big of a difference in the end, but you never know.


Friday, June 24, 2011

Fracking Trolls

The brother of a FB friend posted this Wired article about City Living rewiring our brains.  The results referenced a different study about the area of the brain that was affected in this study that linked it to mental illness and based on social stress in 70 people the studies (really low test group) of German college kids (a very specific demographic) the broadly speculated that

“Taken together, the findings suggest that the cingulate–amygdala circuit is one on which genetic and environmental risks for mental illness may converge,” 
or in short hand people that are stressed out by being perceived to be failing at a specific task in an MRI machine while we where watching and providing negative social feed back are likely prone to mental illness.

In the comment thread on this one of the commenters pointed out this gem from the text
"After all, cities are hyper-social places, in which residents must be constantly on guard, and have mathematically more opportunity to experience stressful interaction. Too much stress may ultimately alter the brain, leaving it ill-equipped to handle further stress and prone to mental illness."
and went on to insinuate that it would explain why most Democrats live in the city.

I responded
"I still think that the researchers inferd that or tried to offer explanations on their results, and also pointed out that the active parts of the brain are linked with mental illness. Given the limited amount we actually know about the brain I feel their study did not give them the jumping off point to make these assertions. I think what they did study showed that a group of people that come from the city are stressed out by people perceiving them to fail. They have success anxiety, not mental illness, nor are they on edge about getting mugged or any other bullshit assertions. THESE ARE ASSUMPTIONS, trying to assign reason to the results. Not what the study actually studied. The researcher's bias filters (or the author of the article's bias filter) was not working that day. "
What do you think am I off on this, or is this guy trolling me?

Speaking of trolling, one of the blogs I follow posted this little gem.  Yes it is a Miley Cyrus video, but re-dubbed.  Totally worth the few minutes.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


On of the blogs I follow decided to do some hot yoga and started into a heat induced episode that involved tingling hands and significant weakness in the hands.  I would classify it as cramping and he was probably getting close to heat exhaustion.  Let him be an example for you, drink your water.  Also, there is a reason for some people to drink sports drinks.  The addition of electrolytes and simple carbohydrates is of benefit for endurance based sports.  The sports drinks are no replacement for water on an ongoing basis, but if you are dehydrated and working in an endurance testing way you cannot ingest water as fast as you can evaporate it out (from sweat and breathing).

Here is a link to an article from Hammer Nutrition on hydration.  Be careful if you are going to push yourself, in a dry environment you can dehydrate in as little as an hour.

cold brain for sleep

If you didn't read the articles on the internet about cooling your brain for better sleep you must have been under a rock for the last 2 weeks.  I actually suffer from periodic bouts of insomnia, the kind that involves me not getting my mind to quiet down long enough for me to go to sleep.  On Sunday night I had a reason to give this theory a go, and for me it looks like bullshit.

I had two freezer icepacks on my head for about 45 minutes, and still away 3 hours later.  I realize I didn't have their special fancy cooling cap on, but I didn't feel any benefit from cooling my noggin.

Anybody else give this a try?  I would be curious to see a group of people independently try this out to form some sort of a random sample.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I want this to be true

Last night my wife was watching The Pixar Story on Netflix and I could have wanted to gag at all the people that where falling all over themselves about how amazing Steve Jobs is.  Then I have to read on every fucking gadget website about how much of a Genius Steve Jobs is, and how cool all of his stuff is.  So when I saw this on Geeks are Sexy, god I wanted it to be true.  I really, really wish that Sean Connery gave Jobs the kiss off.  I just don't think this passes the bullshit-o-meter test.

Either way I'm fucking James Bond is the best line ever.  I no doubt would use that all the time if I where an actor that played James Bond.  

Problem now solution

So it couldn't have been but a couple of days ago that I read the worst energy users in the US household is the Cable Provided DVR.  It was posted several places, but Lifehacker is where I saw the post.  Basically the consumer electronics made on the behalf of the Cable and Satellite companies are cheap (no surprise) and wasteful.  They do not have advanced power saving features and chew about 1/2 as much energy as a refrigerator.

That is outright crazy.

It doesn't affect me personally as I use my PC as a DVR, but still crazy to think about.  Now we have a problem, boom.  Engadget posted a potential solution.  A really tiny ass streamer reference design.  This thing is tiny and low power; what do you bet it never makes it to US consumers homes?  The providers will just say there is nothing that can be done, (read it would cost us money to fix the problem and we don't want to give any of that shit up).

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Vampire Porn is back!

If you haven't watched any of True Blood (aka vampire porn) where the hell have you been for the last few years.  I won't lie that to some extent they are riding pretty damn high in my book because of Season 1,  and that Season 2 was a little disappointing, but Season 3 was great. Also damn it now you can watch the first 8 minutes for Season 4 episode 1.


Stupid Migraine

All right I was out of commission today with a migraine, and I actually was sad to miss work today.  This week is going to be pretty sweet as we start rolling out our new core-i5 desktops with windows 7 and office 2010.  My co-worker and I have been on a crash course in windows imaging, and desktop deployment this month, so we are excited to get the new hardware out of the server room and into the hands of the damn whinny users.  I do expect to hear about this is slow, or that is slow even though these machines are seriously about 4 times as fast as the desktops we are replacing.  You give people something new and all they do is bitch I tell you, they probably don't even want to know how close they came to getting thin clients and running on VDI.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Scattered and Drawn

This is getting out of hand, my brain really cannot keep up with my own interests anymore.  Couple that with the crap that I actually have to do in a given day I think I am coming to understand why adults are so bat fuck insane.  Just this week we have physical therapy, Slut shaming (ie the slut walk) and the host of women's rights that follows on to that, digital entertainment laws winding through congress (which means you know I am on the damn phone to my senators).  After that friends I don't have time to see, weight lifting and spinning, food sovereignty, real estate and how to get out of long term debt, farming, meat curing, cheese making, beer making, childhood development, psychology, game theory, actual video games.  Money making, part time work Chasing zero, back to friends I never get to see (seriously fuck the great state of Texas for stealing my friends), various sex and sexuality conversations, anatomy and genital mutilation (I am having a son and don't care for circumcision).  All of these things are just this week.  I don't feel like I have given any of them the time and considered thought I would like to have, and next week will be more of the same.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cash Money the hard way

Say you are like almost everyone on the planet and find that you could use some extra dollars in your pocket, but you don't want to have to do any real work for it.  Then you my friend need to do some focus groups.

Sound simple but locating them can be a pain, and even if your city has a craigslist, you have to search and keep searching to find these opportunities.  Another option that I have been using is  I have done 4 focus groups in the last year and at about $100 a pop its better than sitting around doing nothing.  Obviously you have to have something of interest to get invited to these damn things, but you never know there may be some that cater directly to your interests.  I have done a couple on Android apps for feedback, one on network management software and because Micro$oft is here a few there.  Watch out on the MS focus groups though they make you fill out a w-9 and can really jack up your taxes.

So there you go, my pearl of wisdom for the day.

Holy Batshit

Anyone have any idea for electrically charging fiber lines so contractors won't "accidentally" unplug your main trunk line overnight?

If you are smart and have a map of your network printed out it makes for quick troubleshooting, but won't fix that some of your sites couldn't process credit cards overnight.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Electric Mustache

I am a fan of alternative music and the somewhat strange videos that often accompany the genre.  Lately I have been following a blog out of Phoenix called Electric Mustache.  The best part of this blog is that it doesn't seem to buy into the really mainstream awful alternative rock (I'm looking at you MGMT's new album) and has turned me onto a few artist that are quite fun.  If you like alt rock and are looking for someone that is not falling over themselves in love with the Arcade Fire then give this blog a shot.

Ugh, work

Stupid actually having to work at work day.  I do so hate when I don't get to "review logs".

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Wacom Bamboo Tablet

So in the continuing theme of touch enabled/inking enabled computing I give you the Wacom Bamboo Tablet and Touch.  I think this is a decent compromise for the desktop as I get to ink notes, but don't have to give up the mouse if I don't want to.  I would find it important to keep the mouse nearby as I am not a huge fan of using a laptop touchpad all day for my mousing, especially since your hands would not be in a similar position as you have them when you are using a laptop.
The other thing I would like to try with this is drawing.  I am a perpetual doodler, and hate "drawing" with my mouse.  The motions are very unnatural and uncomfortable so this might give me an option to draw without the strange wrist positioning I find myself using when I try to draw with the mouse.


Sweet Android Music App

If you are an android user and don't love the stock music app you could go to the market and look for an alternative (there are many).  However if you liked the way windows phone 7 made theirs look you might want to check out alpha build of Fede's Music app.

It's pretty slick, and as far as I can tell stable.  I mostly stream music though so I don't play music off my card everyday (that would require me to actually buy some music).  If listening local is your gig, then check it out.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Ok, so I won't apologize for this long ass post, but I will warn you after the cut is a really long ass post.  So this is all on one page, without annoying little info-graphics and code that will jack up your output if you try to copy and paste any part of this "Epic" poem Song of Myself by Walt Whitman.  I was trying to read this damn long ass poem and the Witman archive's site kept stabbing me in my eyes in response I copied it so that I might be able to read it more easily.  Seriously though don't click the jump it over 2000 lines long.  For more interesting fair, I found Howl was available for streaming on netflix last night so if you have a vague interest in poetry and don't hate James Franco it is a movie about Allen Ginsberg's famous poem Howl.

Seriously though you will regret making the jump this poem is really long.

What on hell balls?

I try to not make a habit of just posting videos, but I am just too creeped out by this stuff to not share it.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Old new math

I saw this sometime last year and keep trying to tell people about it, but the damn math they are doing hurts my head so much I fail to explain it.  Seriously watch it and then you will see how real life trolls roll.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Wifi Range extender

I was just asked by someone about finding a wifi range extender and Engadet decided to deliver one to my lazy ass in my feed reader. Enter the Netgear WN3000RP. Convenient and timely of them, but I am torn.  The last netgear product I spent my money on was apparently very poorly designed, and you would have to reboot it periodically to get the wireless to come backup.  It could have been the damn torrents, (linux iso's I assure you) but that damn thing was a paper weight as far as I am concerned.  I have used a different wifi repeater from Airlink (the Chinese knockoff extraordinaire).  I believe the one that I used was the AP311W and it is still running in my brother-in-laws house almost 5 years later.  That thing was cheap and is still chugging along after all this time, but the biggest drawback was the really (really really) non-intuitive setup guide.  It took about 10 minutes interpreting the Engrish manual and about 6 tries to figure out what the hell was going on, but after that it just keeps on chugging.  Anyone got some thought on either brand, or experience with either product?


No complaints

It's just the perfect kind of day the sun is shining, but the temperature will only be on the 70's.  I would say spring is here, strange it came in June.

Sex and happiness

So PopSci ran an article about the positive effect of semen on the mental health of women.  Now this is the type of science I can get behind.  The gist of the article for those that cannot be bothered to click through is that based on the results of a survey done in 2002 on a group of 293 college students:

Women who always had unprotected sex had significantly lower levels of depression symptoms than those who usually or always used condoms, as well as those who abstained from sex. There was no significant difference in depression between condom users and abstainers, indicating that the physical act of sex itself wasn't the mood-boosting factor.
Interesting broad level results but the reasoning may have come from evolutionary biology and the makeup of seminal fluid.  Sperm make up a relatively small percentage of the load, and the remaining bits are a complex mixture that has compounds that can be detected in the blood stream after sex (with out a condom)
Three compounds of interest in seminal plasma are estrogen, prostaglandins and oxytocin. Estrogen and prostaglandins have been linked to lower levels of depression, while oxytocin (which women release during birth, breastfeeding and orgasm) promotes social bonding.
So there you have it, if you want to keep a girl and keep her happy, ditch the rubber.

PopSci via The daily what

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Solid Beer Commercial

I'm not normally for such obvious link bate, but this commercial is too good not to share.

via GAS

Model Airplanes

I have a little bit of interest in model airplanes, but have always been a little turned off by the price point of most of these commercial models.  I would hate to spend several hundred dollars, and hours assembling something I am very likely to crash into the ground at high velocity.

Enter Build a Foamie.

The idea of this is sort of genius, someone builds and tests the designs and then sells plans and parts lists.  See a plane you want and then for less than $20 you have a tested set of build plans that you can assemble out of construction foam.  I am sure that everything he did can be figured out on your own, but for people that are just getting started in this hobby I think it is a low risk proposition that might yield a lot of fun.

Happy IPv6 day

Are you ready for IPv6 Day?

Google has a handy little test to see if you are going to have any issues with the cut over.

For those of you that don't know about it, IPv6 day is the 24 hour test run for GoogleFacebookYahoo!Akamai and Limelight Networks and some of the major organizations that will offer their content over IPv6 for a 24-hour test period. The goal of the Test Day is to motivate organizations across the industry – ISPs, hardware makers, operating system vendors and web companies – to prepare their services for IPv6 to ensure a successful transition as IPv4 addresses run out.

You can read more about it on World IPv6 Day.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Microsoft Groove Does stuff ---Update------

I never actually got around to saying what it was that Groove did in the last post so I thought I would finish the thought (3 years later) with what I have figured out since then.  It turns out that Groove (now Sharepoint Workspace 2010) is both a client for Groove Servers (now Sharepoint Server) and an Ad Hoc Sharepoint like software. The principle of what Groove does centers around document stores (just like Sharepoint is all about lists of documents).  The key difference with Groove what that you didn't require the infrastucture to be put into place for you it could be implemented in a peer-to-peer system with documents stored and synced on individual computers local drives. Source

Hope that helps for people that wonder what the hell Groove does, I really think that Microsoft has failed to articulate what the hell is going on with their byzantine product matrix, and doesn't do a great job of selling the features to the non-technical world.

Sysadmin Tool list

My organization previously used Sunbelt Software for Anti-Virus so I still get emails from them from time to time about their various offerings.  This list did strike me as interesting though.  It is a list of 40 "System Admin tools". I say it in quotes because several of them are ok in most situations, but it is interesting the value/non-value of free tools.  For instance 7zip, I love it.  Great program and I use it on almost every system I run.  I found out the hard way that it is not infallible, I was trying to untar and .img file to burn to usb using dd, and the file repeatedly failed, I re-downloaded it and same story.  Turns out 7zip doesn't handle files larger than 4gigs very well, Winrar or tar on a linux system and it worked fine.  Moral of the story sometimes you get what you pay for.

Anyway give them a look, the marketing department only placed one Sunbelt Software tool on the list so it actually (barely) passes the bullshit marketing test.

Via Sunbelt Software

Flash games to kill your time

First up a moving puzzle game.  I  have never seen a similar type of game so it was an all new mind bender for me.

Next if that wasn't a time suck enough for you, Too Many Ninjas.  I enjoy the retro 8-bit style, and simple controls.

I apologize for your now wasted day.

Monday, June 06, 2011


I saw this product a while ago called livescribe, it bills itself as a "Smart Pen", but I see it as a way to digitize notes.  It links with several programs now, and my handwriting is quite legible so I doubt it would be a problem for me to use this product.  I'm just not sure if I would use it.  I type pretty quickly, and the mouse+keyboard interface is pretty simple to utilize so when I am at a computer I struggle to see a use for it.  As a long time tablet and Microsoft OneNote enthusiast I like having my notes in my handwriting, but appreciate the ability to search them like they are typed.  I just don't know if I would pull the trigger on this though.


Thursday, June 02, 2011

wages for tech

This is a couple of years old, but I still wonder about this.  How can some shops classify you as exempt and then give you a script to follow.  If you have freedom to pursue creative solutions then you are probably closer to the exempt status, but if your troubleshooting is largely scripted then you may have grounds to sue for back wages if you work overtime.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

DVD Streaming for media center extenders

This started out as post that I thought would be useful for someone (me), but the way that Microsoft and market forces have basically killed the Media Center Extenders off, it may not matter. This registry key is one part of this step. Most of the rest of the information that I found on ripping the DVD to a folder for chapters to remain intact was on The Green button community. This tidbit took me quite a long time to find (so long ago I don't even have a link to attribute it to), but here it is. Hope this helps someone.

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Settings\DvdSettings]

A quick Google search on the subject gave me an Engadget Article with a link to this Forum.