Sunday, December 31, 2006

Google Reader suggestions

This post on the Ramblewords blog has some great suggestions for Google Reader.  The ones that I like a lot describes ways to group posts by linked article or topic.

This would allow me to go through my feed list faster.  (I hope I wouldn't add additional feeds.)

GlowWorm FW Lite

I had been using Little Snitch to prevent and notify me of outgoing network connections.  Ever since, I have upgraded to my Mac Book Pro, I have not be successful in running Little Snitch.

I just tried GlowWorm FW Lite.  This is an application that has the sam functionality.  When installed, you are notified of any outgoing network connections.  You then can accept or deny the connection, and then same this setting.

2006 Darwin Awards

The 2006 Darwin Awards have been posted.

[via Slashdot]

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Fedora Legacy shutting down

I recieved the an email yesterday (included below) stating the Fedora Legacy is in the process of shutting down.  As of now, they are not maintaining distributions for Fedora Core 4 and earlier.

Fedora Legacy provided a centralized place where updates were distributed, even after the OS wasn't officially supported through Red Hat.

Now that this Fedora Legacy is going away, hopefully some other project will fill the space, or maybe I will switch to an OS with support.  I really don't want to managed all patches and upgrades manually.

Valid XHTML embedded YouTube videos

The code that YouTube specifies to be used to embed videos into html pages, is not valid in the XHTML 1.0 spec.  The tag has been deprecated in XHTML 1.0.  This page describes valid XHTML 1.0 code to embed YouTube videos.

[via Zeigen]

DIY baby rocker

This is great.  Someone took the motor from a microwave oven and is using it to rock a baby chair.  It would be fun to make something like this before the baby comes.

[via MAKE: Blog]

Cell phone wish list

I have been using the Motorola E815 for a little over a year, and I have been pretty happy with it.  Recently there have been some annoyances, and some things that I haven't be able to do with it.  For example,

  • The E815 can not run the Gmail for mobile application or any other Java application

  • The built-in browser doesn't retain cookies across power cycle, so you have to re-enter usernames and passwords for web sites.

So now when I am ready for a new cell phone, these are the features that I want:

  • Java capable

  • Full Bluetooth support, including file transfer profile

  • Web client, with persistent cookies.

  • Full iSync support over Bluetooth

  • Camera with lens cover to protect against pocket lint.

  • Voice dialing capable.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Video On Demand Behavior Change

I have been playing with Comcast's "On Demand" feature on the Motorola DVR cable box in our bedroom a little bit, and have realized that this will change my behavior.  We used to have some series recordings of kids programs.

Now, I can cancel these recordings, since most of these shows are available on "On Demand".  With this change, the DVR's disk space will not be "wasted" with programs that I don't watch.

TiVo remote addresses with Harmony remote

I needed to setup my Harmony remote to be able to control both the TiVo Series3 and the DIRECTV HD DVR.  I thought that there was a setting in in the Harmony interface, but I couldn't find it.  Here is the way that I was able to get this to work:

  1. Configure the remotes and TiVo for seperate remote addresses.

  2. In the Harmony remote application, click on the Settings for one of the TiVos.

  3. Select the "Confirm infrared commands" option.

  4. Follow the instructructions.

  5. Do the same for the other.


In early 2004, I was looking for a solution of reducing spam email or our domain.  We had been using SpamAsassin, but we didn't have a food soluton for training the bayesian database.

Then I found Maia Mailguard.  This is a extension of amavisd-new.  When mail is received it is run though spam an virus filters.  The mail is quarantined or released based on each users settings.  There is a nice web interface for users to mark items as spam, that were missed, or release items that were incorrectly marked as spam.

I installed this on my server, and it really worked for our mail.  It worked so well, that I decided to make this available to other people.  That is when I started MailBarricade.  I mentioned this to my friends, and posted some ads with AdWords. Some friends and some small companies signed up.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Another Series3 issue

Today, I noticed another problem with the Series3.  About half of the recordings were "partial" with duration of 0:00.  It turns out that only one of the two CableCards were activated.  So all of the recordings from digital cable channels, on that tuner, were failing.

The TiVo should have been able to identify this problem after setup.  The TiVo could have process where it tunes to every channel on both tuners.  Then it could verify that the content on both tuners is the same.

Podcasts: TiVo vs FrontRow

With the Series3 installed, we now have two ways to easily listen to podcasts on our main system.  We can either use FrontRow on the Mac mini, or use the podcasting application on the TiVo Series3.  There are good and bad things with both of these solutions.


The podcasting application has a small directory of audio podcasts.  The ones you want to have easy access to, you can mark them as favorites.  For the podcasts that aren't listed, you can, tediously, enter the urls of the rss feed with the remote.  Playing back works by essentially streaming the audio file.


It appears that OpenID is gaining prominence.  OpenID is a decentralized identity system that can be used for authentication for various sites.  When you want to authenticate your identity, you enter a url for a page that you control.  This page contains will contain link tags with the location of the OpenID server where authentication happens.

This solution seems to work pretty well.  Unfortunately, it setting up an OpenID identify is a little complicated.  If you are not on system that natively supports OpenID, you will need to either configure a server your self, or use one of the OpenID identity services.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

300GB 2.5" drive

Fujitsu has announced a 2.5-inch 300GB drive.  With this drive, I would install Parallels with Windows XP, and not have to carry around two laptops.

[via Gizmodo]

"Dangers" of Coca-Cola

Since my body has forced me to stop drinking soda, the information on this page doesn't bother me that much.  But I never realized the affects of cola on the body.  But drinking soda, is probably the reason that I can't do it any more.

[via Gizmodo]

Harmony Remote problems

Now that the Series3 is working, I wanted to configure my Harmony remote to control the new setup.  While trying to do this, I had a couple of problems.

There is a new update to the Harmony Remote software.  When the software first started up, a dialog appeared with options to install the update or quit.  Every time that I installed the update, the software would crash.  I eventually found out that the problem was that the Harmony Remote software was not unpacking the update itself, but using the configured helper application. (The Unarchiver).  Once I deleted this app, the update worked correctly.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Comcast video

This morning two Comcast technicians came over to look at the problem that we were having with the new cable video install.  It turns out the problem was that when we had our cable modem installed, the installer put a filter on our line.  This was causing the CableCards and the Motorola DVR to not be able to get the channel list.

Once the filter was removed, everything worked.

setting up SSH public/private keys

This page has some simple instructions for setting up a ssh public/private key pair.

Monday, December 18, 2006

South Park Season 10 Season Pass

When season 10 of South Park started, I purchased the Season Pass from the iTunes Store.  Then when Comedy Central resumed South Park from its mid season break, the Season Pass didn't resume.  Then when I looked at the entry in the iTunes Music Store, it listed a new 10B season South Park.  I didn't feel like paying for this new season, especially since I thought I originally payed for the whole season.

Last week, I got this email from Apple.  It seems that a lot of people were upset, so they gave the 10B season to anyone who purchased 10A.  I think that this is a great for public relations.


Now that we are using Google Apps for Your Domain for our email, I have been looking at all of the little tools that are available for the various Google products.  I tried the Gmail Dashboard Widget, but I wasn't able to get it to work with the email for our domain, even though it works with my gmail account.

g4me is a third party Dashboard widget that will display new mail for an account in your domain.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Give the gift of Safe

OpenDNS has an good campaign going on.  The Gift of Safe is way to evangelize the benefits of OpenDNS, to your friends and family. 

This can help reduce the chances of phishing and identity theft, for your friends and family.

128-bit long double support in Mac OS X

The size of the long double data type is 16 bytes in the version of gcc in Mac OS X 10.4.  Unfortunately printf in the version of libc, included in the OS, only includes support for printing 64 bit long doubles.  So if you want to print the value of a 128 bit long double, the output will not be as precise as the data itself.

I am trying to figure out a different way to print this data.

Comcast Series3 experience

About a week ago, our TiVo Series3 was delivered, and yesterday the Comcast installer came to install the two CableCards, and a DVR.  The installation time was supposed to be between 12 and 4.  At 3, the installed called and wanted directions.  I asked him if he had the CableCards, and he said that he didn't have any in the truck.  He said that he could install the DVR and schedule another appointment for the CableCards, or he could come back after 5.  I said that he should come after 5.

When he eventually came, he did bring both CableCards and the DVR.  The installation was pretty quick.  When he left, the DVR had video, but had no program guide.  He said that it would begin to appear in 30 - 45 minutes.  The Series3  was left "Acquiring Channel Information".  The Series3 was supposed to acquire this info in 30 minutes as well.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Charlie Brown Christmas performed by the cast of Scrubs

This is a pretty funny performance of the Charlie Brown Christmas Special performed by the cast of Scrubs.

[via TV Squad]

Friday, December 8, 2006

Lexus self parking video

This is a pretty funny video of some people at Automobile Magazine trying to use the new Lexus self parking feature

[via Autoblog]

SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Combined Assault

I have been playing SOCOM Combined Assault for about a month now, and I really like the game.  Here are some of thoughts and other things that I have noticed:

  1. The briefing rooms for cooperative and "classic" games are in seperate lists

  2. If you use your SOCOM 3 username and password, it pulls over your online Clan information.

  3. The cooperative games can only have up to 4 people in it.

  4. The progressive video output looks better than it did in SOCOM 3

  5. The new "classic" maps are pretty fun.

  6. In the cooperative games, one of the items that you can add to your pack is a MedPack.  This you can use to heal yoursel, or one of your teammates.

  7. In the cooperative games, you don't need to push-to-talk.  This applies to the game and in the waiting room.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Alpine iDA-X001

Aline Ida-X001The Alpine iDA-X001 is one of the best looking single-DIN headunits that integrates iPod controls.  Not only does the text of the currently playing track appear on the unit, but also the album art is displayed.  It looks like the iPod menus could also be displayed on the small LCD, so selecting tracks would be pretty easy.

If this head unit has video and audio out, I would want to get one of them for our van.  This would allow the head unit to control the iPod to select a video, and have the video and audio routed to an external monitor in the back.

[via Engadget]