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