Saturday, April 30, 2011

Stuff I like: Violin cover of I Gotta Feeling

[ ]

Just thought I'd share that with y'all.

I play the viola, but I thought I'd note his excellent form, technique, and how true he remains to the song (even if he does have instrumental backup).

The man responsible for this does other covers, too. His channels are [ here ] and [ here ].

Friday, April 29, 2011

Blogs I like: Visceral Nadir @ Blogger

I recently acquired a graphics tablet (a g-pen f509, to be specific) and have spent some time fooling around with it. The results are over at [ ]. I plan on updating it with more than doodles once I acquire a camera, but for now it's mostly an artblog.

Let me know what you think (here or there).

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Blogs I like: Matthew James Taylor @ ]

Inside, you'll find a library of articles that cover things that range from search-engine-optimization to elegant design solutions.

Particularly of interest (for me, at least) is [ ], which I'm using for a bit of design work that I'm about to do.

I've been struggling with the finer points of HTML5 and CSS for a week or so, and discovered this resource while looking for others that performed this sort of task.

Speaking of HTML5, I'm wondering if it's at all backwards-compatible.

Something tells me that folks using some extraordinarily-outdated browser will end up having a terrible web experience if it isn't.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Blogs I like: KillerKun @

Take a moment. Savor the lack of awe in the air. Then look at this:

If you look really close (or check out the full-sized version), you'll find that she's actually got blue eyes.

There's also a series of humorous squirtle-torture comics.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Stuff I like: Stephanie Valentin ] is the website for french artist and violinist Stephanie Valentin.

She's got tutorials on Youtube [1] [2] [3], among others.

She's quite talented as an artist, to say the least.

Inspiration for if/when I get a tablet, I suppose.

Edit: I (as of Apr 26) have a tablet, and watching the tutorials was definitely worth it.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Blogs I like: Tastespotting @

I'm a bit of a foodie (in the sense that I like good food and try most new places at least once) and I am in love with the brainchild of Sarah Gim. Delicious pictures of delicious food? You betcha.

Check it out at [ ].

To quote the L.A. Times, "she didn't invent food porn- she perfected it."

That sounds racy, but the site's totally SFW and contains pictures of mouth-watering edibles. Still sounds a bit steamy, I guess.

edit: I made a few typos when I originally posted this- I apologize and have revised the page to reflect this. Tastespotting is a completely family-friendly website that consists of pictures of delicious food.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Stuff I like: Minecraft CPU and more...

I knew redstone was a powerful thing, but I never would've imagined it to be this powerful:

An entire CPU, complete with RAM? That is pretty swell, to say the least. It has a screen, too.

Kudos to the developer/engineer behind this stuff.

He also built a neatly automated rail station, too.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Blogs I like: th3j35t3r @ Wordpress

Experience is the child of thought, and thought is the child of action. - Benjamin Disraeli

Taking a page out of th3j35t3r's book, I started this post with a quote.

Somewhere between greyhat and patriot, you'll find this slightly off-beat hacktivist who went on an extensive anti-jihad campaign and took down the Westboro Baptist Church websites for more than 1 month.

Some say that he doesn't actually take down sites, but simply claims responsibility for such things as maintenance.

I'm unsure of (and have no way of directly verifying) how he takes websites down from a relatively low-spec computer, but I would presume that he uses his expertise for the greater good (of America, at least).

Patriotically speaking, I'm glad that he took down WBC, because I'm not particularly fond of their hatespeech. While it is their right to be assholes (see: Amendment I), they don't have the right to be liked  by me.

I'm also appreciative of his campaign against the enemies in the Middle East- it's a war I'd like to win, and shutting down their electronic campaign brings us a step closer to that goal.

Information is power- this, I'll admit. I think that information wants to be free- everyone should know everything about everything (or should be able to learn everything about everything), but I draw the line when it endangers people who are wagering their life on my behalf.

th3j35t3r seems like a relatively educated neighbor, to say the least. 

I actually like the whole quote-before-a-post thing, I might continue this.

He doesn't explain much about how he does what he does- but in that sense, no information is probably prudent (to prevent someone from pre-emptively erecting defenses against his attacks).

( I assume that th3j35t3r's male. )

also of note: Slowloris. Information, power. Power, responsibility. Responsibility, strength.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Newsworthy: 21st of April, 2011

I've scrounged these links up from this reddit post and the drudge report, among other things.

First up, [ this ] article in the WSJ talks about the Big Brother lurking within Apple and Google products. Essentially, they're creating a database that will log where you are, where you've been, and what's around you- in theory, leading to a much more detailed map of the locations served by smartphones. This database isn't inherently malicious, I'd think- but a friend of mine has demonstrated that the cached locations on phones and other mobile products can be used to create some unnervingly accurate maps of places the device has been.

While we're on the topic of phones, it seems like AT&T has finally [ admitted ] that they might have over-committed when they signed up for the whole super-awesome-data-mongling-mini-computer.

Technologywise, we've apparently had a large number of planned catastrophes that get rescheduled as we continue missing the date of the supposed artificial intelligence epoch. On that note, [ this ] article details how sci-fi and reality might not be so far apart.

Also from singularityhub, a [ bit ] of CNC action.

On a slightly more political note, there was a [ protest ] at a really, really expensive POTUS/DNC fundraiser breakfast. I'd also like to know where my "change" is.

That's all for now, I suppose.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

This is kinda like a monologue, I guess.

Hey, readers.

Something less factual and more person-to-person today.

At request of a friend, I'll explain why I don't comment on my own posts in response (or respond to comments in general).

I read everything that gets posted on the pages here (comment moderation, anyone?) before it gets posted to ensure that the conversation's more or less reasonable and clean. I don't "censor" anything unless it doesn't add to the discussion or it's seriously offensive.

I believe in freedom of information (in a sense, more on that later), and don't think that it'd be right to "ignore" things that I don't like to see on my pages.

Also, illegal stuff. That won't get into comments.

Spam, too. I check up on who's posting what- apparently some spam engines link names with URLs and clever things like that.

In summation: If you comment, I read it. Most likely, I post it, too. If I don't respond, it's nothing personal.

If you'd like me to post about something, you can leave that in the comments, too.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

System work: Tor configuration for Ubuntu 10.10

Nothing of note, just working on an Ubuntu 10.10 fork.

Tor isn't the most straightforward thing to install (not that I'm any good at Linux). Linux is indeed the straight-razor to Windows' electric shaver.

I bet it makes sense to people who've been using it for awhile, but to be honest- without reading the manpages, I had no idea what I was doing and was struggling with the why behind the operations (and the failures thereof).

Just thought I'd share this useful tidbit with y'all: ]

It's a guide for installing Tor, Vidalia, and Privoxy on your computer.

Don't mind me, I'm just learning to do everything in Linux.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Techshare: Bidsniping

Bidding on eBay items is an interesting process.

According to some studies, the process can cause interesting phenomena- such things as

[ ] or [ ]

are utilities that permit you to "snipe" an auction (verboten on eBay Germany), which could lead to drastically reduced price on anything you choose to acquire via eBay.

You have to trust the folks with your info, sure- but you can also save large amounts on items that might otherwise be victims of shill bidding, for instance.

What tech would you like to share?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Of Interest: I'm not good at colors.

That's some terrible grammar in the title, there, but apparently I'm even worse at distingushing hues from one-another when it comes to color. I scored an 88 as a pre-twenties male. With the best score being zero, there's a lot of room for improvement.

Feel free to try it over at: ]

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ooh, cameras.

After consulting with a camera-enthusiast buddy of mine, I've decided that I will, in fact, not be purchasing a Nikon point-and-shoot. Given that interchangeable lenses aren't of importance when it doesn't use interchangeable lenses, it would seem that the best course of action is to get a large sensor, an adequate lens (with decent optical zoom), and low-lag everything.

With those criterion in mind, my next logical idea was to check up on the Lumix DMC-FZ100, which is a bit pricier than the P500. It's got a larger sensor, but it still does HD video and has significantly better low-light performance. Combined with an 11 frames-per-second burst mode, it sounds like the logical choice.

Then again, I know very little about digital cameras.

If you have suggestions (or recommendations), I'd appreciate them in the comment section below!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Newgrounds Audio Portal tidbits.

If I continue to find little bits of enjoyable material (of which there is plenty on a content-generation-engine), this might become something like a series-posting. Regardless, here are some things I stumbled upon whilst trawling Newgrounds' Audio Portal. ]
A relatively mellow Drum-and-Bass that is both easy listening and tastefully constructed. ]
A simple "funk" loop that reminds me of some background music from Ragnarok Online. It'd probably do well when played low in a cafe or similar. It's quite relaxing, I find. ]
"An oldie, but goodie," as Dan Stark might put it. From years ago, this is a song that I could easily fall asleep to and wake feeling amazingly well-rested. This requires analysis, I think, but I have neither the know-how or the tools to perform such a thing. A relatively low-key trance remix by an artiste. ]
A bit different from the others, this one's a simple four-on-the-floor dance tune.

Saving some of the best for last, check out Reasoner. I've been a longtime fan of his and I've never been disappointed by any of his releases. [ 1 2 3 ]

Friday, April 15, 2011

Stuff I like: Sex Ray Vision

I'll preface this by saying it's definitely NSFW, and probably not safe for younger ears.

Go check out [ ].

Lots of remixes of pop music, including:

[ ] - Spears' "Till The World Ends " remixed by SRV. ] - Rebecca Black's (in)famous "Friday" remixed and redone - somewhere between electronica and rap.

All of their music is freely available for download (thanks, guys!) and I find that it is full of awesome.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Important: The state of our Union

Read this: [ ]

While Cracked is primarily a satirical website, they make some good points.

The state of the 50 states is terrible, at the moment. We're not doing so well. (REF: [ ])

With 4 TRILLION US dollars owned by foreign countries, I'd say we're pretty much "in the hole". The thing is, the debt isn't the only problem.

The education of the masses - myself included - is largely neglected. Teachers (at public schools) don't make that much for the jobs that they perform. Furthermore, public schools are a state-funded institution, meaning that they typically get shafted when the government is trying to make ends meet.

In my opinion, teachers should be paid at least six figures in salary, and should be taken care of- the best in their fields should be designing the curriculum, and those implementing it in the classroom should be the best at making content understandable for children.

Education's important.

Employment's important.

Combine the two, and you'll end up with significantly better results than if you had neither.

More to come on this later.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Important: Patriotism, War.

Go and read this: [ ]

We're lacking in good people, these days. making hard decisions like that is difficult and oftentimes a trial of heart. We need to strive to improve ourselves all the time, even if it's not the easiest thing to do.

I'm no fan of war (as I've already stated), but if it comes to it, I'm enlisting.

Failing that, I think that military contractors should be honored for their contributions- if we're sending people to fight, I want them to leave the battlefield alive. Every soldier is someone's son or daughter, and potentially a husband, wife, uncle, aunt, father, or mother.

Warmongering is a terrible thing and ought to be punishable, in my opinion.

If we commit to a fight, though, I think we ought to fight to win. Overwhelming force and a swift crushing of opposition is (in my opinion) how we should run things.

Furthermore, protect the women and children if they're not enemy combatants. Don't demonize the enemy. Don't become an ignorant, human-hating individual.

We could stand to learn from folks like Justin Watt, who deserves to be honored for his courage.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Stuff I like: DRT's Rising Sun and DJ Okawari

For reference, I like DRT's 16-bit Rising Sun, available here.

Having discovered DJ Okawari from a post by a friend of mine, I was immediately smitten with the style.

A quick search on youtube yielded this freely available playlist, composed of mellow piano music and laid-back hip-hop beats. Turn on RainyMood in the background, and you've got a recipe for deliciously relaxing background music.

It's not quite the same as, say, Ride of the Valkyries, which is also fantastic music that makes everything you do seem incredibly important.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Ads are content. ]

Ads that you place aside your content are also content- they affect the experience the audience has while viewing your site. This is important, because if your ads are overly intrusive or poorly designed, it can reflect negatively on your content.

Everything published should be elegant and beautifully done- unless it's specifically grungy or intentionally aiming to produce a certain reaction.

Unrelated, but still kinda cool: ]

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Techshare: ShadyURL (and other URL shorteners)

URL shorteners are interesting technology.

Given the advent of new internet users, more websites, and the complexity of some URLs, it's sometimes easier to hyperlink a short (if somewhat nonsensical) URL that is indexed by a service with a longer URL.

If you use Twitter, which limits how many characters you can use, something like [ ] is useful- instead of putting up the whole URL, you can use a service that has the same effect (so long as your audience can catch or is fine with retyping the URL).

At any rate, if you're feeling like creepin' it up, check out [ ].

A URL "shortener" that turns the simple into the suspicious.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Of Interest: Health supplements!

Do you take any vitamin supplements?

I personally take B12 every morning, but I've been considering the ACE (Aspirin, Caffeine, Ephedrine) to help with weight loss. I'm a bit skeptical of all those "GET HIGH SCHOOL SKINNY" ads, but there's someone even more skeptical than I:

[ ]

A little invested in the whole internet-trooper thing, but interesting (and possibly objective) assessments of internet-advertisements of health supplements.

Food for thought.

Friday, April 8, 2011

New install successful!

Just finished backing up my data from the two HD's I've got, onto a spiffy-but-occasionally-stupid 1TB external HD.

Running slimmed /i/7 with the following software to start:

Python 2.7
Java 6r21
Audacity 1.3 Beta
NetTools 5
Oracle VM 4.0.4
MPC Home Cinema
Tor 0.2x
Notepad++ 5.8.7

The interface is really snappy (Given that it's got a minimum of bloat, I guess).

I'm going to be migrating the installers and standalone applications to the new machine and then use virtual machines to assist in compartmentalizing my computing. The host OS is going to maintain things like E-mail and regular browsing, and games that can't be virtualized (I need more RAM and a better GFX card). Everything else will be virtualized, maintaining the snappy load-time and lack-of-bloat in the host OS.

If possible, I'm going to try and keep everything extremely compartmentalized. One machine for the whole blogging support setup, another for developing applications, and a third for any disc jockeying.

More of a notice for myself than anything else, I guess. Thought I'd share it with y'all, though.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Learn to speak Serbian!

Actually, it's really more like learn to swear in Serbian. ]

I was introduced by a Serbian friend while I was over in Germany awhile ago.

While perhaps not as practical as it sounds, it's "humorous".

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Take low-light pictures, like a boss.

Reposting this excellent infographic from the fine folks over at SnapSort. Here's hoping that I can get a camera sometime soon.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Techshare: Clonezilla

Once upon a time, when Windows 95 was new, I owned a piece of software called Norton PartitionMagic.

This baby was an excellent, efficient piece of partitioning software that did its job excellently- when all you've got to format is 10 GB, it works snappily and had a high-resolution 640x480 application, too.

These days, I use a desktop with a resolution of 1600x1200 (and a few others), and have disks that are anywhere between 150 GB and 2TB. In keeping up with the times, I discovered CloneZilla, an open-source piece of software that supports partitioning, disk cloning, and more.

Check it out at [ ].

Monday, April 4, 2011

Blogs I like: Culture Shock Survival @ Blogspot

An expatriate living in Costa Rica, [ ] is a healthy perspective from the outside looking in- and an interesting source of content from someone who isn't a run-of-the-mill American (like myself).

Worth a read, certainly.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Stuff I like: You have to burn the rope! ].

Fairly straightforward. Burn the rope, win the game!

(For bonus points, listen to the credits after the game...)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Important: Depression / Portfolio: Neurocolor

I've been struggling with depression for the past few years (having only been diagnosed within the last two). I'm a pansy that couldn't work up the nerve to commit to suicide, instead opting to wallow in my own misery.

That was unhealthy, to say the least.

If you're depressed or anxious or otherwise unwell, my heart goes out to you. Some people claim that there's no such thing as depression, and typically they're folks who've never suffered from what is largely a maverick of an issue.

There aren't many physically apparent symptoms of depression- slightly elevated cortisol and issues with serotonin and dopamine are the closest we can come to a physical diagnosis given what science has at the moment.

My therapist recommended that I create some sort of positive, constructive outlet for all the tumult in my psyche. ] is the result. It's a story, of sorts, from the first person and multiple people. It takes place in a world drastically different from ours, and places a particular emphasis on detail and color.

I'm told it's poetic, and I guess it is, in some ways. I post to it sporadically, but a follow on tumblr or the RSS feed would probably keep you in the loop.

The story starts with the first post to the tumblr. The content is largely unedited and is what comes to mind when I ask my id for the story.

Make of it what you will.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fool's day!'_Day ]

A day where everyone enjoys pranking everyone else!

Unfortunately, this means that very little can be taken seriously.

For some ideas, check out: ] ] ]

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