Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Airport Wifi!


So it looks like everything is working out just fine.  Google is awesome enough to give free wifi in exchange for statistical data to help map where people go on the web. 



I dropped Jaani off at the babysitters last night, and he should be good.  He will probably ...



anyway... time to start boarding, so I need to get ready for the plane.

later
     SteveO

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Search is on!

So... I know I haven't really been updating my blog this month, but I guess that's what happens when I stay busy...

As a recap, this month I:

  • I finished my T-SQL class...
  • Decided to learn how to use Microsoft One Note and Visio
    • I ended up catching on really quickly... and everyone seems to think I'm the best guy to ask about using those two programs now... 
  • We Redesigned the layout of our lab stations at work to fix an error...
    • It also turns out I'm the only person confident about moving cables around on the back of the beches and on the server rack...
  • I got a free copy of Forza 3
    • Now, I just need to find an Xbox 360...
  • I set up my desktop computer as a Boxee media player... it works great for things like watching Hulu, and Podcasts... plus I have a program that turns my iPod into a remote control...
I'm probably done a ton of other stuff... I think just about everything else I've done was a chore of some sort... or a favor for someone... or something.

Anyway... so... now the idea is to see where I can get a free Xbox 360.  I don't have money for one, but I have a really cool game I want to play.  So... anyway... here I go.  Searching more...

So.  That's about as much of an update as I'm really in the mood to write.

More will come sooner or later...

Later,
     SteveO

Monday, November 2, 2009

Updates... and numbers...

A quick post about something I just read about... Apparently, the NSA just put up a new datacenter, and the scale the NSA is using to measure the capacity of the datacenter's storage is in Yottabytes.  So, the order goes something like 1 Kilobyte is 1,000 bytes... then 1 Megabyte is 1,000 Kilobytes... then it goes Giga... Tera... Peta... Exa... Zetta... and now Yottabytes!

So, what can you store in a Yottabyte?  Well, the answer is somewhere along the lines of the capacity of every civilian hard drive ever purchased... and then some.  It's enough space to store about 166 Terabytes of information for every person on the planet...  or store about 2.38 Million hours of telephone conversations (at 128kbps... which phone could easily be recorded at 64kbps.) for every person on the planet.

And, now for a little speculation... I have a feeling the datacenter can store multiple Yottabytes of information.  Not to mention the datacenter is probably built to allow for expansion.

Here is a table to help visualize the size of a Yottabyte:


1,000 Bytes
= 1 KiloByte
1,000,000 Bytes
= 1 MegaByte
1,000,000,000 Bytes
= 1 GigaByte
1,000,000,000,000 Bytes
= 1 TeraByte
1,000,000,000,000,000 Bytes
= 1 PetaByte
1,000,000,000,000,000,000 Bytes
= 1 ExaByte
1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Bytes
= 1 ZettaByte
1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Bytes
= 1 YottaByte


  Also take note that the milky way galaxy is approximately 95 Yottameters across...

  Anyway... other than just being freaked out by the size of the newest NSA datacenter, I'm doing pretty good.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I want one.

I know it's $200,000... I just really want one.  Guess it's time to start saving.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


The Weather has been great in Seattle.  I went and took this picture Sunday evening of the Sunset (as I saw it from Renton.)  it was a great weekend.  Jaani and I went to both the Marrymoor dog park and the Renton dog park.  Plus, Jaani met a little French Bulldog to play with.. .as well as Otis, my friends Pitt Bull, was there too.  They had fun running around and getting tired.  It was fun.

Lately I've started my T-SQL class, and it's going well.  The instructor wrote the text book we are using, and that has proven useful in the class.

Other than that, I've been working pretty hard.  We lost a team member, because he found a full time job at another company, which means that myself and the only remaining member of our team are the only ones left to run the test passes.  I guess it's a lot of work, but at least it keeps me occupied.

I also noticed how everyone seems to be freaking out about the Swine Flu.  At least it's all over the news.  I looked at Google Trends, and found that everyone is searching for flu related web sites.  Looking for at home treatments and countermeasures.


This is a map of the Flu Trends that I got off of Google.org.  Historical data has shown that the past flu trends (lighter blue) are fairly accurate.  My question is if the media hype built around people who will or will not receive the vaccine has altered this data.  Google gets the data from searches related to flu sickness (when you search for flu symptoms, home remedies, ect... Google counts it, and adjusts it based on things they find.)

As you can see, both Michigan and Washington have recently started to spike with Flu related web activity recently, but I think most of this is going to be related to the new vaccines that were released.  So, people are trying to learn what they can.

This data is available before the CDC is able to come up with their own statistics, based on people who go to the doctor and are diagnosed, however it is usually within the acceptable error rate allowed by the CDC statistics.  In other words, the CDC usually comes up with about the same numbers as Google for these sorts of things.

Anyway... if this data is right, then I'm happy I'm not in Texas!  Although I am pretty close to Idaho...



World Flu Trends suggest that Flu related web traffic is highest in the US.  Google recently just began tracking these trends in other countries.  As you can see, all of North America is at Merderate to High risk for the flu.

The thing that worries me, is that normally the Flu risk isn't this high until January or February, and the risk in the past few years has been the highest recorded.  With the exception of 1919.

Anyway... I'm not sure that this means you need to worry about getting the flu any more than normal, but in general more people are getting sick.  This current spike may turn out to be just a media  frenzy influencing web traffic, but at the same time, we could be on the verge of a real pandemic.  Who knows.

Anyway... just some food for thought.

Later,

     SteveO

Monday, October 5, 2009

Improv Everywhere is awesome


I remember these "invisible dog" leashes...

It would be fun to walk around with a group of 2000 people doing the same thing.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

BigDog has a little brother... Little Dog (robots)




I think that big dog is a pretty cool robotics project. I don't know if I want one, but I think it's pretty cool. So, now there is a little dog robot too...

If you don't know what big dog is, take a look at the video below.



Alright, there's an update...

Later,

SteveO

Friday, September 18, 2009

Updating Google Latitude!


So, I've been complaining about the iPod Touch... and most of all the crappy iTunes Software. Which iTunes is the major reason I don't like the iPod. I made a list for Scott earlier today on Facebook, and I had to stop myself from commenting because the longer I thought about it, the more ways I would come up with that the Zune is so much better than iPod.

The one feature that the iPod Touch has that beats the ZuneHD is that it has a ton of apps. Anyone who has seen an iPhone commercial can tell you that, but I'm sure that will change soon. The funny part, is that Apple is following in the foot steps of Palm with the whole mobile platform you can install apps on, but the simple addition of a multi-touch capacitive touch screen (a touch screen you can accurately use with just your finger, and feels like glass) made all the difference. I guess it helps that Apple has a legion of (often fanatic) followers dedicated to everything Apple (because it's trendy to have an iPod... or as of lately, you can say followers of the Book of Jobs... AKA iPhone/JesusPhone user's manual.) I'm not saying all Apple users are fanatics or anything... not at all, but let's just say that with the exception of the once loyal Zune guy, Microsoft doesn't have nearly as many users dedicated to only use Apple products.

So, what does all this have to do with Google Latitude? Well, one nice thing about the iPod Touch is that it's a PDA that just happens to play music. It synchronizes all of my contacts, calendars, and mail from Google... Plus the Google App gives me easy access to Google Services (Search, Gmail, Calendar, Latitude, Docs, Talk, Tasks, Reader, News (including the new FastFlip), Book Reader, Notebook, Photos, Orkut, Translate, Maps, Youtube, and Earth...) Plus, if I actually had a Google Apps account (a paid intranet service Google offers for Governments, Schools, and Businesses.) I could sync up with that too! So I finally have a portable device that contains the same mail, contact list, to-do list, and calendar as all my home and work computers.

That was a mouth full... However I still haven't gotten to the point.

The point is that I can update Google Latitude with my iPod as long as I can find WiFi... Which there is an app for that. Actually I have a few cool apps for things like: Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, finding WiFi (now that I jailbroke it I can perform a diagnostic and pen test...), Last.fm (which I happen to like more than Pandora.) I've been installing many apps recently, however I'm cheap, and don't want to pay for any of them.

Oh yea, did I mention that it plays music? Yea, who would have thought that an iPod plays music and videos... huh.

Well, anyway. Over all, the iPod Touch is a cool device. I think I'd rather have a ZuneHD, but I can't really argue about a free device. The only thing I wish it had was more storage. I have run in to the problem of filling the dinky 8GB of storage every day, and I am getting more frustrated with trying to narrow my collection to the must have music. So far, I have narrowed my collection of over 30,000 songs down to 1,100 songs and five Video Podcasts. Now I just need to start converting my Video collection so next time I have to fly on a plane I can have my own movie to watch.

Speaking of which, I need to find a ticket to fly home in December... I should look for that.

So, there is an update. More will come soon.

Later,

SteveO

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A random thought...

I just watched an awesome TED Talk: John Lloyd inventories the invisible.

I think I like the end, where Lloyd points out there are only two questions really worth asking:

  • Why are we here?
  • What should we do about it?
He finishes by quoting two philosophers.


"I am not sure why we are here, but I am pretty sure it's not to enjoy ourselves."
-- Ludwig Wittgenstein

"We are here on Earth to help others.  What the others are here for, I have no idea."
-- W.H. Auden

Guide to buying a game console...

I found this picture over at The Best Article Every Day

BTW: Aslo from The Best Article Every Day:
"When researchers left 240 wallets scattered around the streets of Edinburgh, Scotland, they inserted an equal number of cute baby, puppy, family, and elderly pictures in them, along with a relevant mailing address. They received 42 percent of the wallets back overall, but 88 percent of the wallets with cute babies in them came back. The researchers suggest it has to do with an evolutionary instinct to preserve the young, so if it’s not terribly embarrassing, keep a cute baby in plain sight in your wallet or purse. If you lack for your own adorable tyke, it’s a great reason to call that aunt you never speak to anymore. (Original Article - Lifehacker.com)"

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A new toy, and more coming!

So, I got an 8GB iPod Touch in the mail yesterday, and to go along with the new toy, I got a couple accessories.

My first accessory is a book on writing games for the iPhone/iPod Touch. I know... I don't have a Mac, which means I can't sell anything I make in the App Store, but there is nothing wrong with learning Objective-C and some of the common iPhone libraries... or I could just start making apps for Cydia because the Apple app store is honestly pretty lame. You know they charge money for the software there. I'm cheap. I get free software. that is free as in freedom... and in this case also free beer. The book on the other hand, was about $30.

The second accessory is an adapter so I can hook my iPod into the auxiliary input on my Honda's factory radio. Every place I looked, they wanted at least $150 for the kit... however, I found a $44 adapter on ebay motors. When I saw that, the first thing to pop into my head was a notice I got from Paypal that said I had $50 that I needed to move, use, or lose. So, I used it on the adapter... which came to a total of about $55. Which meant I really only paid $5... in a way. Because I forgot that seven or eight years ago I put $50 into a Paypal account.

So, I guess I'm all set up. I've got an iPod... but I hate iTunes. I'm going to finish setting the iPod up with rhythmbox tonight so I don't have to use that stupid and ridiculous program. It just takes forever to do anything with iTunes. It took me from about 8:30PM till around midnight just to jailbreak it, and load it up with my Primus collection. I admit I copied the songs over a wireless network to get them on my iPod, but it doesn't take 2 hours to move 1.8GB of music over the network... nor to move it over a USB2.0 device.

I'll see how much faster rhythmbox is at loading song on my iPod. In the mean time, I got Pandora and last.fm apps working on my iPod. It's kinda cool. Once I get my Google contacts and calendars synced to it, I'll have a wonderful media player/PDA device. With no subscription too!

Although, one downfall to getting an 8GB iPod Touch is the lack of Bluetooth. I would love to hook up my jawbone and make free VOIP calls on my iPod, but what are you going to do.

Anyway... I'm supposed to take a picture of my iPod and I, so I can send it to Vyoom with a little note about their RPilot feature. The RPilot, which is a tool bar that loads in the browser window, and allows you to navigate the Vyoom social stream, Facebook status, and Twitter updates. It also lets you update all three at once. The real purpose is when you visit Vyoom, and a member shares a link to a different site, then the RPilot pops up at the top of the page you are viewing outside of Vyoom. Meaning you can navigate back to Vyoom or just check for updates without navigating back to the main site. It's pretty cool actually.

Anyway... it'a about lunch time, so I must get going if I want to eat some food.

Later,

SteveO

Friday, September 11, 2009

How long would one have to work to pay for a Big Mac at McDonald’s

I found this article... somewhere... I think the title links to the original post... and I kinda stole the picture from it... shhh! don't tell anyone!

anyway... apparently, it only takes about 15 minutes to pay off a Big Mac here in the US, but it takes Almost 160 minutes to pay it off in Nairobi!

That's just crazy!



mcdonald burger

Anyway, aside from reading articles... I have a class on the F# (F Sharp) programming language on Sunday... then Monday and Wednesday I have an Intermediate JavaScripting class.

I also got a confirmation number for my iPod touch that I won! I'm so excited to get something so cool for free! I hope it's a 32 or 64GB one... Although I have to admit I'd be happy enough with an 8GB one...

I guess I'll have to wait to find out.

My guess is that I should probably get it in the mail next Fridayish. The delivery confirmation number says that the billing information was received, and I am pretty sure that the mail has gone out in LA, but I could be wrong... they might make the evening dropbox/pickup... anyway, it will probably go in the mail Monday... pass through San Francisco on Tuesday... Eureka CA on Wednesday... Portland OR on Thursday... and Seattle WA Friday. The only question in my mind is if it will make it on time for delivery on Friday. Which, if it doesn't, then it will get to me on Saturday.

At least, that's how USPS normally works, but if they send it next day or something then I'll get it sooner.

Ok, that's an update.

Later,

SteveO

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Apparently I'm getting an iPod Touch?

So, I started using this social network called Vyoom a while back, and I got an email stating that I was the first contest winner on Vyoom! The prize is an iPod Touch, and I'll be happy to accept it!

Now, I just have to wait and see when it gets here.

Cool 'A'?

Oh, and in other news, for those of you who don't know, you can use a Google,
Yahoo, or AOL account to sign in to my blog and leave comments. Please refer to the blue bar across the top of the screen to sign in. Specifically the upper left corner of the page.

Later,

SteveO

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What the Birther's Believe

This is just so awesome I have to share it!

I have a rant...

So, Microsoft started this Linux bashing campaign, and it just pisses me off.

Mainly because they say things that aren't true.  The latest smear campaign Microsoft has launched includes a "training" program where Best Buy employees will be able to purchase a copy of Windows 7 for $10 if they complete it.

All I've seen is one screen shot from the "training" program, and it has me fuming!

So, the first thing that the campaign is trying to get across is that Linux does not work with cameras, printers, scanners, iPods, and MP3s.  That is just ridiculous.  I admit that Ubuntu doesn't come with DVD and MP3 playback ready to use out of the box (unless you purchase a computer pre-loaded with Ubuntu from Lenovo or Dell)  however, in the Ubuntu case, all you have to do is search Google and you will learn all you need to do is install the restricted extras package and you'll be all set.  As far as printers, cameras, and iPods, they all work fine.  I admit that iTunes doesn't work in Linux, but there are tones of other programs you can use to purchase, organize, and playback your music collection.

The next argument that the campaign tries to argue is software compatibility.  I admit, if you try to run a program in an operating system it was not made for, you might have some problems.  However, there are countless free programs to replace the software you purchased for Windows;  just about everything has an open source equivalent.  Why?  Because there is a demand for the software (hence why you bought it in the first place.)  Even if you insist on using your Windows software, you still have options.  Code Weavers has created a software suite to handle what ever you want.  If you want to run office software, they have Cross-Over Linux (or Cross-Over Mac) and if you want to play games they also make Cross-Over Games.  This is where I really get a chuckle, because the two largest solutions for running Windows games in Linux (Code Weaver's Cross-Over Games and Transgaming's Cedega) both have full support for the game Microsoft specifically lists as unsupported (World of Warcraft.)  I admit, you have to purchase software in order to get the support, however $70 will get you full support for a huge number of Windows applications and Games (including Microsoft Office, iTunes, Adobe Photoshop, Windows live essentials, and a lot more.)

Then we come to the part where I really get confused... Microsoft claims there is no "authorized support" for Linux.  I have no idea where they are coming from on this one.  Linux has traditionally been all about community support online via forums and chat rooms, but all the major Linux vendors (Red Hat, Debian, Novell, and Canonical) make their money by selling training and support plans.  Plus, distributors like Lenovo and Dell both offer support for Ubuntu.  As a result Linux support is just as good, if not better, and Windows support.

The final point I am aware of Microsoft making to bash Linux is their statement that Linux doesn't support Video Chat on all major IM clients.  I admit that Pidgin, the chat program that has come with every Ubuntu version, does not support video chat, but Empathy supports video chat as well as many other clients like Skype and Gizmo5.

So, why am I spending so much time on this?  Well, because Microsoft is full of crap, and they just go around making up anything they want and everyone just goes along with it.  It's like the Mojave Experiment.  You remember the commercials?  They made it look like all these people loved Windows Vista.  The real story is that they had a marketing team come up with a list of things people had said they wanted, then they sat people in a room and said "Would you like it if Windows did...?"  The result is that Microsoft was able to convince computer illiterate people that they love Windows Vista, even though they have never used it.  They just left out the fact that in order for Windows to actually do what they say, you need to buy a $1000+ computer.

Anyway... I know I'm just ranting.  I hate Microsoft Ad campaigns... I think I've only liked a couple of commercials Microsoft has ever come up with... and the last one I liked was a Windows 95 commercial.

Ok, so there is my rant.

Later,

     SteveO

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My Test results are in

So, I went in and took my Project+ certification exam, and I passed!  I have to admit that I barely made it... I only could have gotten one or two more questions wrong without failing it, but it's all over now!

So, this means all I have to do is fill out a form to get the official certificate.

anyway... just to keep everyone up to date.

Later,

     SteveO

Friday, September 4, 2009

World's Greatest Dad... Movie Trailer

Ok, I just thought the trailer was kinda funny...

I've been waiting over a month for this day!

So, tomorrow will be the first day I've had off sense July 25th.  So, I would like to take this opportunity to say I'm not doing anything tomorrow!  Not one thing!

Well, I'm sure I'll end up doing something, but what ever it is, I won't know what I'm doing until I decide to do it!

anyway... that is all.

Later,

     SteveO

Friday, August 21, 2009

How does the Web see you?

So, I went over to the MIT website for this thing they call personas and while there, I had the site generate this little picture of "how the web sees me."  The thing that puzzles me is the whole part about sports, and someone in a cometary in the UK... and a bunch of other stuff.  However, the idea is pretty cool.

I guess it searches and categorizes the results of what it finds.  So, yea, check it out and go get one for yourself!

Later,

     SteveO

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Work work work work work work work...

So, as dad always said... work work work work work work work... and there was work to do.

Yup... that's what I've been doing.  I have my class, which only last through 2 more weekends... then we are working 11 hours a day at work.  Jaani has been begging me for attention as soon as I get home... and I'm starting to feel tired after going non-stop for half of the month... and I still have half a month to go!

Anyway.  That's what I've been doing... well, that and I got a new computer... this time it's a desktop computer... for $200 I couldn't resist.  So I put that together the other day, and now I'm still working on getting all my new services up and running.

Then I've been reading my Project Management book... you know... for the class... and that seems to be pretty boring.  I guess I'll finish it by this Friday, but I am getting really tired of reading it.

OK... there you go.

More will come... some time I'm sure.

Later,

     SteveO

Friday, August 7, 2009

About the Cash for clunkers thing...

I just have a quick note about the whole cash for clunkers thing that Obama is pushing (and just approved 2 million dollars for... or maybe it was even billion... I'm not sure about the dollar amounts...

Anyway, all the car dealers are complaining (sort of) because they can't keep any cars on the lot... but, according to this article from the Seattle PI the purpose of the program (to replace gas guzzlers with more efficient cars) is working kinda well.

I've taken this directly off of the Seattle PI site:

Top 10 vehicles purchased
1. Toyota Corolla
2. Ford Focus FWD
3. Honda Civic
4. Toyota Prius
5. Toyota Camry
6. Hyundai Elantra
7. Ford Escape FWD
8. Dodge Caliber
9. Honda Fit
10. Chevy Cobalt
Top 10 trade-ins
1. Ford Explorer 4WD
2. Ford F-150 pickup
3. Jeep Grand Cherokee 4WD
4. Jeep Cherokee 4WD
5. Dodge Caravan/Grand Caravan
6. Ford Explorer 2WD
7. Chevrolet Blazer
8. Ford F-150 pickup 4WD
9. Chevrolet C1500 pickup 2WD
10. Ford Windstar FWD
Avg fuel economy
Avg new vehicle mileage: 25.3 mpg
Avg trade-in mileage: 15.8 mpg
Avg increase: 9.6 mpg
So, it's kinda neat to think that the program is at least increasing fuel efficiency in the Seattle area...

Just some food for thought.

Later,
     SteveO

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Hey, guess what... I got a new camera!

FYI: my new camera pretty much rocks... at least I'm super excited about it. I've managed to go through just about all the settings for it, but I haven't really had good test situations for all the settings. I have a slide show of all the pictures at the end of the post.


The pictures this thing takes are 4000 X 3000 Pixles... which means each picture is 3.1 MB. The picture I uploaded online are 1600 X 1200 pixles... So, these pictures are scaled for you to pretty much make a billboard out of any picture you take if you wanted.

In addition to really clear and sharp pictures, the camera also has a cool digital macro mode that is awesome for extreme close ups.

Plus, it doesn't just take pictures. It does a pretty good job of taking smooth 30 fps HD Video (720p or 1280 X 720 resolution.)

I have uploaded a video to youtube to show you what it looks like:



Anyway... I have my project management class tomorrow, so I should get back to reading before I go to bed.

I'll update a gain soon, but here is the slide show I promised:


Later,

SteveO

Friday, July 31, 2009

My camera is coming! My camera is coming!

My camera is coming!  UPS says that my package containing my camera is out for delivery!

Did I ever mention how much I love UPS quantum view?  I find myself checking the UPS website nearly every day for all the stuff I get via the Internet...

Anyway... so, what does the picture have to do with my camera?  Well, it does show how the good of USA is anything but remote.  The people over at The European Commission's Joint Research Centre created this graphic to represent the distance of any given point from an area with a population of at least 50 people.  FYI: I am pretty sure the darker the color the more remote... just a guess... that is unless Greenland is the most densely populated place ever!

Anyway, I think it's just a pretty cool graphic.  It also makes me think that if I were to get stranded in an ocean, I would prefer to be stranded in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Anyway, I'm sure I'll be super excited when I get home to try out my new camera and stuff...  So, I'll probably post again later tonight.

Later,
     SteveO

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The cooling Jaani project continues...

So, as a little update to how things are around the house; it is 84 degrees in the house still, and that isn't too bad. It's still hotter than I would like, but compared to the 98 degree temps when I got home yesterday... I think Jaani can take it.

My air cooling device seems to be very good at melting ice, and it seems to be preventing the temperature from rising in my apartment. The only problem is that I can't freeze ice fast enough to keep the copper coils cold. When I went back at lunch, the water in the cooler was fairly warm (as far as water is concerned.)

I checked the temperature outside, and it's 100 degrees! Which means that I'm able to keep the apartment about 15 degrees cooler than the air outside, which seems to be am improvement from yesterday, when the apartment was only 6 degrees cooler than the air outside. We still have 2 more hours of heating up before the temperature peaks out and begins to fall again, and I am worried a little because of a class I have tonight. Jaani will be alone until 8PM. I will stop by and visit him before running off to class, but it will be a brief visit. I think what I'll do is just buy a couple bags of ice to throw in the cooler. Maybe this weekend I'll have to get a bigger cool that can keep the apartment cool the entire day... anyway.

On a side note, the website I purchased my camera from actually requires you to confirm your purchase over the telephone. A guy from the company called and left me a voice mail or two, and then I ended up calling them back at my lunch break. They wanted to tell me about the battery and memory card that the camera comes with. Apparently they wanted to sell me a 5 hour battery for $150, a 4GB High Speed SD card for $100, a $50 3 year warranty, case, and miscellaneous other stuff. I wasn't having it. The memory card is worth like $30 and the battery can be purchased for about $75.

anyway... more later

Later,

SteveO

Update:

The temperature is about 103 degrees right now in Redmond! It's as high as 111 in some areas, but that's probably due to someone putting a thermometer over an asphalt driveway or something... I wish I had an excuse to check on Jaani, but I don't have one...

One hour of worrying... then I can make sure he is ok, but then I have to go sit in a classroom for two hours. No AC and a south-western facing window. It really sucks... the sun comes down into that window and just makes it super hot in there. I hope they find a new room for us today... or even outside (Monday it was cooler outside.) OK, that's it for now.

It's already hot outside...

When I woke up this morning, it was already 80 degrees outside. It was 80.4 degrees in my apartment... now it's 88 degrees in Redmond... and some areas are as hot as 90 degrees.

My "Air Conditioner" doesn't really cool off the entire apartment, but it does a great job of cooling off who ever it is blowing directly on (Which at the moment is Jaani.) The poor little guy is in that hot apartment... but I did wet him down this morning, and I even made sure to give him fresh cold and ice water. (that's right, I give him two temperatures of water to choose because he likes cold water, but not ice water.)

Another thing that happened is my power adapter for my laptop is not working... I had started experiencing problems last week, and I ordered a new battery, but it turns out that the problem is the power adapter, which means I have to spend even more money on stuff. Last time I replaced my power adapter, I purchased one from a local computer shop, and that was a bad idea. This adapter didn't even last a year... it lasted about 6 months. So, I guess I'll go over to the Lenovo site and get a new one... it's like $80, and when I think about the fact that I need to get a new camera... I'm looking at spending somewhere around $300 on stuff that I had not planned on getting. Which sucks, because I've already spent like... $200 on stuff I didn't plan on getting.

Grr.

anyway... I'll figure it out. Money grows on trees right? I think I remember someone saying that to me...

so, that's where I'm at. More will come soon.

Later,

SteveO
******************************************************************
*************************** UPDATE *******************************
******************************************************************
I ordered a new camera... I couldn't wait any longer. I chose the Canon Powershot SD970 IS.
Why? Well, who doesn't want a 12.1 Megapixel camera with an accelorameter (for image stabalization and menu features like tilt to rotate image and shake to change image) , face detection (set the timer, and it will wait until the number of faces in the picture doesn't change for 10 seconds!,) blink detection, red eye correction, intelligent contrast correction, DIGIC 4 image processor, and it records High Definition (720p) video... a lot of technical stuff, but the link kinda explains it if you care. It's $300 bucks, but it's a really nice camera... the kind of camera I'm not going to just toss around as much as other cameras I've had... Plus it takes an SD card, which both my netbook and my laptop have SD card readers built in. Take that Sony and your stupid "I have to have proprietary everything" attitude. Your cameras suck! (which should be common knowledge... and not just because they use the Memory Stick Duo cards.)

I also ordered a power adapter for my laptop. $23 and it has a 2 year warranty. Which is good, because it implies a statistical trend for this particular adapter to last at least 2 years. Otherwise they wouldn't offer the warranty because it wouldn't be cost effective.

******************************************************************
************************* End UPDATE ****************************
******************************************************************

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I may beat the heat yet!

So, I have good news and bad news. 

I'll start with the bad so I can end on a happy note...

My camera has passed away.  Apparently my camera suffered some sort of blunt trama to the top of it... or the back of it... or something, and the LCD screen on the back was cracked.  Which normally that wouldn't bother me too much, but the camera won't do anything anymore.  It just turns on the screen, which is mostly white with a big ugly LCD crack in it... So I can't take pictures of the good news.

The good news, I built an "air conditioning" unit.  I used zip ties to hold a copper tube un against the front and back of one of my fans.   I then purchased an aquarium pump, 5 feet of vinyl tube, and some miscelaneous parts.  I put the aquarium pump in a cooler filled with ice water, and pump the water into the copper tube and then it drains back into the cooler. 

The result is a fan that cools and circulates the air.  Tomorrow is the real test, but right now it is really nice. 

Anyway, I've gotten the temperature in the apartment down to about 78 degrees, and that feel really cool compared to earlier today.

anyway... more to come... but no pictures :(

Later,
     SteveO

An update on Jaani...

It's now 88 degrees in Redmond, and almost 100 degrees everywhere else!

So, I checked the temp when I went home for lunch...  The Apartment was 82.9 degrees!  That's too hot for Jaani!!!!!!  bad stuff.

Well, Jaani was ok, and I dipped him in the tub for a little cool down... and I even left the water in the tub in case he gets too hot, and because just having cold water in the tub will help keep the heat down a little.

Last night, I froze a fairly large block of ice in my freezer... about 12 gallons worth of water.  So, when I went home, I had a ice block to put in front of the fan.  in about a half hour, the temperature went from 82.9 to 82.5 degrees.  So, that's doing some good.  I also realized that the largest source of heat in my apartment (before about 8pm) is my kitchen window.  The only window I didn't cover with a blanket.  So when I went to make my lunch, I could feel the heat coming through the window.  I went and put a moist towel over the window to stop the heat from coming in.

Today is hot, but tomorrow is supposed to be hotter!  So, I'm going over to Home Depot tonight to pick up some copper tubing, a water pump, and a cooler... maybe not all of that stuff will come from Home Depot, but some of it will.  Then I'm going to make an "air conditioner."  The basic premise is the same as the block of ice, but the device will pump ice-cooled water through the copper tube (exactly like a radiator) to increase the surface area of the cooling element.  The ideal solution would be to find someone who is throwing out an old refrigerator and remove the radiator from that, but this will have to do.  I wonder if my good friends at Jet City have an old freezer that doesn't work anymore... hmm.

So, an update about the heat...

     So, today isn't the "hot one" for the week... that's supposed to be tomorrow... however, it was 78 degrees in my apartment this morning, and the temperature just gets higher during the work day.  I'm a little worried about the little man, but I think it's a healthy type of worry.

When I look at the weather right now, it's about 85 degrees in most places and some places are as high as 100 degrees already.  It says it's 78 in Redmond, but I think it's going to get really hot quickly.

When I left this morning, I filled up both of Jaani's dishes with water.  One has cold water fresh from the pitcher in my refrigerator, and the other is almost completely filled with ice (so he will have something cool to drink later.)  I also sprayed him with some cool water before I left for work because the little man can't sweat off the heat.  I'll go home at lunch and check on the little guy.  I'll let him outside because he is hopefully drinking more water than usual, and he will... you know... get rid of the water.

Other than that, Microsoft issued a heat advisory because most of the buildings are at capacity, as far as cooling power, and they request all employees to turn off all non-essential electronic equipment as lights and to close the blinds on all Southern and Western facing windows. (Which is really good advice for everyone.)

Puget Sound Energy and Seattle Light (The two major power companies in the area) both said that we expect to have enough electricity to compensate for all the extra fans and very few air-conditioning units, but they expect the heat to cause electrical equipment to fail... they say they are planning to keep all available people on alert... whatever that means.

We have set a few records this week in Seattle.  Last night we had the highest night time temperatures ever recorded.  We have hit the second hottest temp in Seattle (104 degrees!!!) the hottest was recorded in 2007 at 115 degrees.

I am really getting the feeling that global warming is happening a little faster than we are being led on to believe.  We are talking about a region that usually rarely gets above 80 degrees, and we are getting 100 degree temperatures that are lasting for days.  Every year I hear on the news that we are having another record breaking summer... higher temperatures, less water, and longer summers.  It leads me to believe there could be a reason that European global temperature figures are not being released to the public.

Anyway, that's enough blabbing about the weather.  I'll tweet Jaani's status when I get home or something.

Later,

     SteveO

Friday, July 24, 2009

Power Usage update

So, I determined that long term, it's better for me to include all of my power updates on this blog.  I don't need another blog just to handle a once and a while type of update.

Anyway, here is my power usage for the past 2 years.  As you can see June of this year, I set a new record for the least amount of power I consumed in a single month (229kwh).  This is about 1/3 of what the average person in my area with an equal type of home uses.

Anyway, that's just me being happy about my power consumption.

     Oh, and one other thing, it appears that my apartment consumes about 3kwh per day without me.  Which means that my normal electricity usage is around 6 kwh.  Which is based on my my house consuming 3kwh per day when I'm not there and all of my stuff is unplugged, and a total average of 9kwh for my entire house (average of the past 4 months.)

Anyway, there is a power usage update.

Later,

     SteveO

So, I'm taking a couple of classes.

I decided that I would give up sleeping in on weekends to a Project Management class. I think it will be kinda fun, but I have to admit I love sleeping in on weekends. In addition to that class, I'm taking a 2 day class about programming with WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation.) It's actually this thing that would have become much more popular is Windows Vista didn't have such a bad reputation. In Short it's a tool for creating software for the .NET framework. I'll leave it at that.

Anyway, once I finish these classes, then I'll have 2 certificates and one certification on top of my Associates degree. With a little luck this winter I will go back to school once my contract is up. The odds are pretty good that I will start classes when my contract is up. That will do me some good at finishing my Comp Sci degree.

Anyway... just a little bit on my mind about the whole class thing, and Google Wave really rocks! it's just so awesome! I'm still playing with it to try and get a good review of what it is for the Tech Blog, but I can't wait until it's public and I can use it to talk to people in the real world... as opposed to the dev world which is a bunch of people trying to get something done.

It's awesome, I'll have more on that up on the tech blog in a few days.

Later,

SteveO

Thursday, July 23, 2009

First Impressions of Google Wave

http://frizzletech.blogspot.com/
So, I got an invite to the Google Wave Developer preview, and it's pretty cool.  It looks right on track for a beta at the end of September.

It was a little funny at first because you just get this information overload right away.  Everything everyone was talking about flooded my inbox.  This was because of a special dev channel that you can subscribe to right when you sign up for your developer account.  Basically it's a constant stream of what the devs think is important to get done.  There is a lot going on.  Linking Wave to Google's App engine works pretty nice, and you can get a lot done with robots.

So, dealing with the information overload lead me to use the search box a lot.  There was no way for me to read all the waves, they all just kept going.  Each wave would have a dozen or so people doing all sorts of things.  One wave was a group of people collaboratively creating a book, and another wave was a list of robots.  The most common waves I found were titled "test"  because that was what the channel was for.  Testing stuff that you are writing for Wave.

Once you get used to the information just streaming in from everywhere, you start to like it.  You can search for anything you want, and real time results of waves on your channels start flowing in.  You can reply to waves, play games of chess, and even add hot spots to a map.  The conversation really just flows smoothly.

Now that I'm getting in my groove, I started to wonder what kinds of cool stuff I can do with Wave.  I started looking for bots, and the robot wave just popped right up.  I saw the Twitter bot, Tweety the Twitbot, and then added the email address (tweety-wave@appspot.com) to my contact list.  The whole process to this point was just like any other bot (like smarterchild on AIM...)  Now I can start a wave, and include tweety.  From then on, anything you say in the Wave will end up on twitter.  So it's important not to use multiple bots in one wave... like I just did... you end up tweeting things like $MSFT... anyway, that tweet was supposed to be a wave for Stocky (stocky-wave@appspot.com) who actually changes the text you enter into a stock quote (like you type "$MSFT" and Stocky changes it to this "MSFT (25.56)".)

The bots are awesome!  You can embed pictures, maps, surveys, polls, real time weather, HTML, and all sorts of stuff into a Wave.

Another cool thing I noticed right away is that everything can be minimized.  With the announcement of the Google Chrome OS, I can see Wave as evolving into some sort of live desktop.  You can have multiple waves open at once, and just switch between them.  The full screen reading mode will also be pretty nice for my netbook.

In final, my first impression is that Google Wave will revolutionize the way people communicate on the web.  Everything is so easy to do.  Want the weather?  tell the weather robot where you want the weather for.  Stocks? Directions?  Microblogging?  Actually that makes me think, how will this effect twitter?  You have real time search, and a more interactive way to communicate with your friends!

Anyway.  I was really excited about Wave before, and now that I've gotten a taste of it, I don't think I can stop.

I'll have more on this, but I'll have it on the tech blog.

Later,

     SteveO

Google Wave is Comming!

So, yea, I'm really excited, I just got an invite for the Google Wave Developer's Sandbox!

I'm just excited about it... now I just have to wait for my account to be activated.  They said 1 to 3 days or something, but I bet everyone is trying to get a preview account.

Anyway, more to come once the account is active!

Later,

     SteveO

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My Oregon Country Fair picture album is growing...

Right now it seems like I only get about 5 pictures a day... however bit by bit the album is growing.  I added a few pictures including one where Scott is driving the Gondola/Rickshaw/Pedicab.  I also found a couple pictures from just before we went down to Oregon, and Scott and I went up to visit Lloyd.

Anyway... more are comming.  bit by bit.

Later,

     SteveO

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Ok, here is a picture for now...

I took this a few days ago, and just wanted to share how nice the city looks.  I admit it would have been better if that tree weren't there and you could see the mountains, but still, it's a nice picture.

Monday, July 20, 2009

First round of pictures.




As I sort of said I would do... here are some pictures... however, there are more to come.


Later,


SteveO

So... umm... yea, My assignment was extended...

Ok, I admit that I have been severely neglecting my blog.  It's not that I haven't had time to update the blog, but rather I am just not in the mood to update my blog.  When I look back, this has kinda happened to all of my blogs.  Live journal, Myspace, Wordpress, the first time I started using Blogger, and a few other blogging clients that don't exist anymore.  Anyway, I think the difference with this blog is that I actually keep updating it... even though sometimes I neglect it for extended periods of time.

So, what's the title about?  Well, technically, when I sign contracts for jobs at Microsoft, they are always 3 month contracts.  Then they get extended to 6 months... 9 months... a year max.  Today was the day that I was notified that my contract has been extended until October.  To be honest the date means nothing.  My Zune contract got extended from October to January a week or two before they let me go in November.  I am convinced the whole thing is just set up to make us contractors feel unstable in our position... a trick to try and improve our performance so we can get our contract extended.  It doesn't matter though.

This leads me to exactly what it is that my blog readers are missing out on over the past... while.  I went to Oregon... I have pictures to put up still...  I need to get some pictures from Scott... I guess I'm waiting until I get pictures from Scott (which I just need to ask him for.)

Scott came to visit!  He showed up on Wednesday (2 weeks ago... jeeze I have fallen behind.)  and we went to visit Lloyd Thursday... which by the way I should really call Lloyd, it was fun hanging out with him.  Anyway...  So, yea... where was I.  Umm... OK, so we ended up dropping Jaani off with my friends Ricky and Elly... which I kept hearing from everyone in Renton about how surprised they were to see Jaani with someone else... I think Jaani loved visiting with them.  He didn't want to leave.  Anyway... Off to Oregon we went.

It was exciting in Oregon!  We stayed in Portland the first night, then we went to the Honeyman dunes in Florance Oregon the second night... The third day we were at the Country Fair, which is like a huge ren-fest with live music and concerts all day... and the third night we stayed in Portland again.  The final day before we left Portland, we went for a bike ride to check out the stores and other cool stuff around where James and Emerald live... finally we managed to get back into the Seattle area at around 9PM to pick up Jaani and take him home.  We finished off the night with Sushi at Nijo... which is one of my favorite sushi places... Mainly because they have good saki.

The following day, Scott and I got up and went to Beth's Cafe... I really think of places like Beth's as authentic Seattle cuisine.  Lots of bacon, eggs, and hash browns.  Anyway, after that we made a quick stop in Fremont, and then it was off to the airport.

ok, so that's what happened in a nutshell.  I'll have some pictures and more details soon.

Later,

     SteveO

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

It's 12:34:56 7/8/9!!!

That's right folks, it's 12:34 and 56 seconds on july 8th of 2009 (also known as 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9).  A special second that only happens once every century!

So, even though in the east cost it's like 3:34... yea, I'm celebrating this second.

By the way, the next interesting date is 11:11:11 11/11/11...

Later,

   SteveO

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I have a chat room!

So, as part of my efforts it incorporate Google's Friend Connect service into my blog, I have added a chat room off to the side.  I don't know if it will be useful yet, but I hope that some people will see it, or at least try to talk to me when they visit my site.  It basically is just a way for people who happen to be visiting my blog at the same time, to talk to each other.  So, you can see if anyone else is currently reading my blog by peeking over at the right side, and looking at the Clackpoint gadget... I know, the name is really weird, but what are you going to do?

Anyway... that's it for now.

Later,

     SteveO

Monday, June 29, 2009

I'm still on a rant about Google Voice!

So, I was reading this article by the New York Times about Google Voice's voicemail transcription feature and I have to agree the feature is pretty experimental.  If you click the link you can hear the original message and read the associated transcriptions that many people left in the author's voice mail inbox.  Some of them are sort of funny.

In my own experiences, I've finished setting up a station near my computer for answering the phone using a free online service for incoming calls.  Which means in the event that I were to travel to a foreign country like India or Australia, then I would be able to answer calls made to my Google Voice account's phone number.  Of coarse the neat thing about that is that I could do so without any long distance charges, however I would have to find a relatively good quality internet connection.  I'm sure that could prove difficult outside of major cities.

Some of the stuff I played around with this weekend were features like:

  • Call screening, which allows me to send someone directly to voicemail, then listen to the message, and even pick up if I determine it's someone I actually want to talk to.

  • Call Recording, which allows me to record a telephone conversation for future reference.

  • Temporary numbers, which is a feature that allows me to use my cell phone to any phone number as a temporary number.  Meaning, that I can use that number to modify account setting, and the phone will ring when my Google Voice number is called. (Like if I go stay at my parents' house, which is a notorious dead zone for all cell companies including Verizon, I can have their house phone ring when my Google Voice number is dialed.)

  • Call Transfer, which allows me to answer the phone on one phone service (like my VOIP account, cell phone, or a land line) then transfer the call to any other number I have registered with the service.  Including temporary numbers.

  • Contact groups, which allow me to choose which phones ring for each group of contact, which voicemail message each group hears, and even what time I accept calls from each contact.  So, if you have a company running off of your Google Voice account, then you can either send people directly to voice mail after 5PM, or only have the work phone ring when those people call.  I set it up so those annoying recruiters will go directly to voice mail and hear a message indicating that I am not seeking employment, but please leave a message.

  • Text messaging option, which allows me to send and receive text messages for free using my Google Voice number, but having them forwarded to my cell phone still uses a text plan.

  • Ring Schedule, which mean now, when you call me at work, you will go straight to voice mail.  Which is actually a good thing, because I can check the voice mail on my computer as soon as you are finished leaving it.  Then I can respond via email or text message immediately, or I can call you back at my next break.

     There is so much more that can be done with Google Voice, and the service is definitely changing the way I use my phone, and think about my phone number.  All I need now is one of two things: either a second Google Voice account that will allow me to port my existing cell phone number over and forward to my main Google Voice Account, or a way to link two phone numbers to my Google Voice account.

     My concern is that once my Verizon contract is over, I want to be able to get rid of the Verizon account, but still keep the phone number.  In other words, come on Google, you can do it!

So, what is my over all take on Google Voice?  Well, it's like when I switched from an AOL account that was liked to a specific paid subscription service that provides internet access, to my gmail account, which is a free service that isn't liked to the person I get my phone service from.

Anyway, that's all folks!

Later,

     SteveO

Friday, June 26, 2009

OGM I have Google Voice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don't think even I realize how excited I am about this!

So, there is this thing I requested an invitation a couple of years ago for called grand central... at the time, Google purchased it. Now, Google renamed it Google Voice, and it is totally awesome!

I can do stuff like this:



and people can use it to call me, but I can screen the calls... so, it tells me who is calling, and I can send the call to voicemail and listen in as they leave a message, I could just let voicemail handle it, or if it is someone I never want to hear from, I can just block their number.

It also allows me to record phone calls that I make and receive... I have one number that is linked to me.  I can then have that number call any number I want it to call.

There is just so much I can do with it!

anyway... that's all for now.

Later,

     SteveO

I put chairs on tables... and more about Vyoom.

It is official... my webcam is back up, and I put chairs on tables. The proof will probably disappear after I go home tonight, but it's in the webcam right now.

So, after blogging about my webcam, then keeping my webcam off for a few days, I decided to try using my new webcam for the apartment cam. I suppose so far so good right? Anyway. I don't really like how narrow the view is from this webcam. Part of me really wishes I had set both of the cameras up side by side so I could compare, but maybe that will have to wait until the weekend.

Now for something completely different...
If I sent you an invitation to Vyoom via email, please use the email to join. That way I get 5,000 points for every person that joins. I only get 1,000 points when people use a link posted to my blog or twitter. FYI. I really want to get some sort of prize, but it looks like you have to use the network for a long time before you can actually get anything. So, yea, if more people join, then there will be an actual reason to use the service.

The thing with Vyoom is that it allows you to create a real time network between you and your friends. You post a comment on the "bulletin board" and people can see it right away. Right now I'm having conversations with just random people by watching the public board, and that has a lot of the twitter feel to it.

The other thing you can do is share your favorite hot spots, bookmarks, pictures, and files with people. Or you can share your plans with all your friends. Then you can invite people to join you... and some other stuff. The thing I like is that you don't get all those annoying facebook apps bugging you all the time to join so and so's mafia... or stuff like that. (which I'm really not interested in.)

Anyway, join! Just send me an email or something, and I'll invite you if I haven't already!

Later,

SteveO
It's

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I just joined Vyoom... you should too!

OK everyone, I want a 12MP DSLR camera... the problem is I need 10,000,000 points to get one. So, what I want you to do is to click this link here:


Join Vyoom and get 75,000 Bonus Points!


Then, sign up for a free account so I can get 5,000 points! Who knows, the social network might even be kinda cool.


Vyoom is designed to be a social network designed around a real-time engine. So, you should try it out. Besides, everyone knows you don't really enjoy a social network until all your friends are on it right?


anyway... you should join, and help me get my camera! I already have 75,000 points, which you get for joining, and why shouldn't you also be rewarded for using a social network right?


You could promote via email... twitter... facebook... myspace... orkut... any service at all, and get something cool for yourself out of it!


You get 75,000 points for joining.


up to 600 points for completing your profile...
500 points for listing a "dream item" form the list of stuff you can get from your points...
up to 1000 points for filling your wish list...




OK, now I have 85,000 points...


everything you do earns you points. Voicing your opinion about what your friends are doing. Posting comments... uploading pictures and files... posting your favorite places... reviewing places your friends post... and everything has privacy settings, so you can control what you share with everyone, or just your friends... or just privately.


In about ten minutes you can get 100,000 points... Plus, if you use social networks anyway, why not have them pay you for it right? If they make millions, you should make a few hundred shouldn't you?


anyway... check it out, and join the site! for me... please?


Join Vyoom and get 75,000 Bonus Points!

Later,


SteveO

The newest thing from Jib Jab...


Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!
So, in case you haven't seen it yet, the guys over at Jib Jab made this video that portrays Obama as a super hero.  I think the video is great!  The guys who made the video said they based the concept on people's expectations of Obama rather than Obama himself because they had to start writing it over 3 months ago.  The video has been in production sense then, and serves as a viral add for Jib Jab (who sells eCards that you can insert your face in.)

I always love the videos that jib jab makes, and in many situations they allow you to put your face in the video, but the production of this video surpasses anything jib jab has done before.

Anyway... there is something to keep you entertained.

Later,

     SteveO

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A new webcam...

So, I got this new webcam, and I like it... but it doesn't have as wide an angle as my old webcam had.  The two webcams I'm comparing are a logitec quickcam Communicator... and a Rosewill Black Gulf Webcam.

Both have  comparable resolution, however I think the Rosewill webcam is a little clearer.

Both are plug and play cameras that work with Windows and Linux... but the Microphone requires a separate driver in Windows for the Quickcam.  The Rosewill camera actually uses an 1/8" microphone jack... so yea... I have a really mixed opinion about that.

The button on the webcam works fine with both camera in Windows with the provided software.  However, in Linux you have to map the button to some sort of functionality manually... So if you actually want to use it (which I think it's a dumb feature) then Linux setup isn't for the faint of heart (or complete noobs.)

My final note regarding the webcams is on the focus method of each camera.  The Rosewill camera has a manual focus that  forces you to choose between taking a picture of what is really close, or what is far away... it doesn't do too well in the middle.  The logitech webcam has an autofocus that seems to do a really good job.

So over all, the big point with the Rosewill webcam is that it takes a very clear picture when you adjust the focus correctly, and it seems to work very well in a variety of lighting situations.  The Logitech camera doesn't take as clear of photos, but it has a wider angle lense,  autofocus, and uses the USB cable for video and sound.  I have to say over all, the Logitech Quickcam Communicator is an overall better camera in my opinion, unless the only thing you realy care about is having a high quality picture. 

anyway... there is a quick review of these two camera...

I know... I probably should have put this on the tech blog... oh well.  Too late now!

Later,

     SteveO

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Frizzlefry Blog: Now With Google Friend Connect!

So, I've heard a few times that people just don't like the way comments work on my blog... I guess I could imagine that... after all, there is just one line right before the adds between posts that prompts people to comment... however, now with Google friend connect, anyone can sign in and join by blog as long as they have a Google, AOL, Yahoo, OpenID, or other Open social enabled account.  This way you can become a reader of my blog using your existing online identity... I hear that Facebook and Myspace will jump on the bandwagon one of these days...  anyway.

I just wanted to let everyone know what the deal with that blue bar that I have added to the top of my page is all about.  You can use it to join my site to leave comments and other cool stuff like that.

anyway... Join me... become One of us!

Later,

     SteveO

The most boring day ever!

So, we're testing this stupid game that I don't think anyone will ever like, and the test we are doing just requires us to sit here, and watch the Xboxes to make sure they don't get any errors and exit out until the session is officially over.

   This leaves me here to sit and wait.  In the mean time, I was looking at other jobs.  I can't help it.  I don't like my job, so I am keeping my eye open for an opportunity to get out of this room... and just to let you know, it's a very cold room.  I wish I could go back to my job at Zune, which I loved so dearly, however I don't think it would look good for me to leave for a different contract.  Plus, it wouldn't get me anywhere.  Yet another reason I want to leave is that I am making less than half of the national average of what someone in my position should make.  At least according to several web sites that track pay rates for software positions... including the site that the Washington Unemployment Insurance Securities Department looks at to determine acceptable wages.

Anyway, it's just frustrating. All I want is a job that keeps me actively engaged.  When I think about what I have done at this job, I feel useless... anyway... it's just a boring day.

Oh, on a more positive note, I got the results from my Software Testing Certification Exam today... I think the results mean I got a 90 something %.  The numbers they gave me for the results were very high numbers, and I knew the passing percentage was 80%... so based on the number they listed as a passing percentage, I think I got one or two answers wrong on the exam, (which there were 40 questions... so estimating 2.5% per question... and the score I got should be about 95%... I think...  However, I don't know if some questions were weighted more than others.  So anyway... Yea, I have a Software Testing with Microsoft Technologies Certificate on my Resume now.

So, I guess the next certificate I will probably get will be a .NET development Certification from Bellevue College (previously Bellevue Community College.)  I say that because next time I'm unemployed, I'll know to apply right away so that I can get Unemployment to pay for me to go to school.


OK, I'll update again later.  With a little luck, I'll hear back from an employer about a full time position somewhere.

Later,

     SteveO

Friday, June 19, 2009

McAfee has an interesting Viral ad campain going.

So, it's called Stop H* Commerce.  I am pretty sure they made up the name H* Commerce, but the whole thing seems to be the story of this lady in Oregon who got scammed out of $400,000.  I have to say right off the bat that this is a fear campaign.  They are trying to scare people into buying software, and I think that's less than noble.  On the other hand, if you aren't gullible enough to give someone your bank account information, and then pay them money... then pay them repeatedly to transfer that same money from one bank account to another... then keep doing this over and over again, then you won't be scammed out of $400,000.

Anyway, the story is kind of interesting, and the next episode will be released on June 30th.  I recommend you watch it, but at the same time I hope you don't get scared by it and go buy the software.  Honestly the software isn't worth it.

Anyway... It's time for me to go home!

Later,

     SteveO

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Iran keeps holding the spotlight.

So, if you watch my shared feed (which is available a few ways: twitter via frizzlefryfeeds, facebook, My Google Shared Items, or wikidot.com) you may have noticed that I keep sharing posts about Iran. Which as a blogger I have to recognize the largest nation of bloggers on the planet.  Plus I need to express that I hope this whole revolution results in a system better than what came out of their last revolution.

Their struggle for freedom is one that they deserve to win.  Once the media ban is lifted, the Internet is opened back up, and cell phone service is restored, people won't have to smuggle videos over the border to get them out of the country.  It is also important to note that the volume of blogs being updated online has drastically dropped.

About half of Iran's 70,000,000 citizens are under the age of 25, and vocally oppose the Iranian government.  Because this crime is punishable by death, Iran has become the 3rd largest nation of bloggers.  In 2005 there were over 700,000 blogs created in Iran, and over 100,000 of them were actively maintained.  These blogs are the only safe place to talk about forbidden topics such as: politics, flirting, love, and arranging dates.

Taking the Internet from Iranians was a bad move by the Iranian government, because it took away the last freedom that this generation had.  The older generation was willing to accept the 1970 transition form one oppressive regime to another, however the younger generation won't stand for it (plus, you don't mess with Internet access!)

So, I wish the best for the Iranian citizens.  I feel your pain, and hope that your freedom is around the corner.

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” -- Mahatma Gandhi


Later,


     SteveO

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Call for Opinion!

So, I want to know what everyone thinks of the Wikidot site I'm working on. I want to know what you want to see on the site. Right now, it's my super-spam RSS feed, which has all of my activity from Hulu, Netflix, Wakoopa, Twitter, and my blogs all in one place.

Two days of work and class... it's getting harder!

     So, as you may imagine, it's getting harder to go to work, then leave and go to class.  Which makes me really happy that tomorrow is my last day!  However, I'll probably do this again some time. Anyway, yesterday's class was all about Math!  More specifically, the types of math that directly apply to software testing!  Things like mode, median, arithmetic mean, geometric mean, and harmonic mean for averaging test results...  Then there is the whole combination and permutation thing... then there is population and standard deviations... and then finally we went over pair... something.  I can't exactly remember what is was called, however it's a process used to generate the best coverage of application scenarios when you have too many scenarios to test.  I use it all the time when writing cases... I just can't remember what it's called.

     We also did a little bit about project management type stuff.  Like analyzing the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), and comparing the way Microsoft does things to the way a civil engineer would do things... (Waterfall method versus the Synchronize and Stabilize method... Microsoft does the Synchronize and Stabilize method.)  Anyway... it was kinda fun... and better than the first class.  Which is always a good sign. 

     So, then last night I got home and I was watching Hulu, and I found this awesome show!  It's called Design: e2. I watched a few episodes that talked about the benefits to green affordable housing projects in New York, a school in Tibet, adaptive reuse of land in the Netherlands, making a city pedestrian and public transit friendly in Columbia, the San Francisco Federal Building, and the Architecture 2030 project.

 (I chose to embed the Federal building because my cousin used to work there!)

     Anyway, it's a PBS series that I recommend you watch! It gives you ideas on how the building industry can make small changes that don't cost extra to significantly reduce the long term cost of the building as well as it's impact on the environment and energy consumption. So check it out!


Later,


     SteveO


Oh yea...  One more thing, I just want to say that I can't believe how many people don't know what a browser is... and further more, how many people don't know about Chrome!