Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Squeezebox

We have had a iPod in our kitchen for a while.  The iHome IH36 keeps the iPod off the counter, while providing amplified speakers.  Unfortunately, I haven't been completly happy with this solution.  The problem is with the iPod it self, and not the iHome.

The iPod only presents a static view of your music.  In order to refresh it, you need to connect it to your computer.  The staleness problem isn't the only issue that I have.  

I don't have time to create playlists for the iPod, so most often, I just play all of the content in shuffled order.  But this has the problem of playing music that I have no interest in (i.e. Holiday or Children's music).  But even if I avoided that content the mixes are random, so it is hard to get into the music.

I have been looking at the Sqeezebox for a while as a way to solve this problem.  In addition to playing our whole library of content, it can connect to the network for other sources of music.  For example, through their SqueezeNetwork, it can play (and create) Pandora radio streams.  Pandora stations are very good collections of music that relate to one of your songs or artists.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ragtime Call of Duty


This is pretty funny.  The developers of Call of Duty 4 added a cheat mode that lets you play the game like it were a ragtime movie.



 
http://www.youtube.com/v/9o1QVqv7O4Y



[via Wired

Monday, November 19, 2007

Verizon Voyager walkthough video

This post has a pretty good walkthrough of the Verizon Voyager.  I am trying to decide between this phone and the Samsung SCH-i760.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The future of Halo


This is pretty funny:



 
http://www.youtube.com/v/am5zR56n6V0

Android


The Android platform looks like it could result in some very cool phones.  Here is a brief demo that Google posted: 



http://www.youtube.com/v/1FJHYqE0RDg



 When I get a chance, I will take a look at the SDK.



 



[via Google Blogoscoped]

Wii Carnival Games

Wii Carnival GamesI picked up Wii Carnival Games because I though that it would be a good
game for our kids.  It isn't.  It is a pretty bad game.  There are some
things wrong with it.

When you play, you have to create a new
avatar, where you can customize the body and clothing.  Unfortunately,
you can just pick your Mii, and have to waste time creating a new one
that is not usable anywhere else.


Also, even though the game is rated E, young kids will not be able
to win or even score with most of the games, so they get extremely
frustrated.

I wouldn't recommend that you buy this game.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

reCAPTCHA


I just heard of reCAPTCHA.  This is a very interesting spin on CAPTCHAs.  Accoring to their web site, 60 million captchas are solved every day.  reCAPTCHA uses part of the effort to "scan" books.



 A reCAPTCHA captcha contains a word that OCR didn't find a match when scanning books from the Internet Archive.  In addition to the word that is not recognized, a successfully scanned word is displayed.  The captcha is considered successfully entered if the known word is entered, and then the answer for the unknown word is added to a database. If enough people enter an unknown word with the same answer, then the probability of the answer being correct goes up.



There are several plugins for blogging systems, as well as a PHP api

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Caltrain in Google Transit

It looks like Caltrain schedule now appear in Google Transit.  Google Transit is a pretty cool site that lets you plan trips, and helps you plan to use public transportaton.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

PowerBridge


In this post, I mentioned the PowerBridge.  We ordered two of them for our TVs. The package includes pretty much everything that you need:



  1. 2 old work electical boxes

  2. 1 recessed electical outlet w/ cover

  3. 1 recessed power inlet

  4. extension cord



The only think that you need to supply yourself is romex wire.



The installation was very straight forward and easy.  The only problem that we had was the installation of the old work boxes.  Normally these boxes attach by compressing on both sizes of a sheet of drywall.  Unfortunately, in our house, there is a layer of plywood on the other size of the drywall, so the thickness is too much for the old work box.  Once I worked though that problem the installation worked well.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Update on Flock blog editor


As I have mentioned before, I have been trying to use the Flock block editor to post to my blogs.  Almost everything works, except one major feature.  The WYSIWYG editor isn't really.  If you enter newlines in the text editor, they don't get converted to paragraph tags.  (ecto has an option to enable this.)



 I think that I will just stick to the web based interface provided by LifeType.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Harmony 890


We just rearranged our living room, so now the TV is on a different wall than our AV equipment. Normally an IR remote , like the Harmony 880, would work find, as the IR signal would just bounce off the walls.  But we also moved the couches so, there is no direct line of sight to the AV equipment, unless you point the remote over the side of the couch.



The Harmony 890 solves this problem.  It has the same functionality as the 880, but it also a RF remote.  The box also includes a "remote extender" which converts the RF signal to IR.



The setup of the remote was as easy as the Harmony 880, but in the application, you can configure the remote extender, and specify the devices that should be controlled with it.



The one strange thing is the steps that are required to update the remote.  The update process requires you to connect the remote first, then the remote extender, and then the remote again. Those steps don't even to the pairing, and that is a separate process.  I don't know why it is even necessary to connect to the remote extender anyway,  Ideally you would still specify what devices are controlled by the extender, and which IR blaster port should be used, and the remote should just encode the IR signal in the RF signal.  This way you could send any IR signal through the extender without any special configuration.