Kaz's Rants and Reviews

Recent Entries

You are viewing the most recent 25 entries.

11th October 2010

11:24am: Extralife
http://tinyurl.com/29zwm4z

I know I said I wasn't going to use this anymore, but this is for a good cause.

The Children's hospital in Denver does a great job with kids, and with my own kid being early I figured it was time for me to help out. I'm going to match all donations to my page there up to $100.

Thanks!
Current Mood: sleepy

30th May 2010

12:33am: New feed
The _ju feed is dead, go ahead and delete it otherwise it will keep cluttering things up due to the poorly written nature of that site's RSS feed.

The new feed is here. http://syndicated.livejournal.com/kazriko_sa/profile

It uses openid for login, so if you want to comment on the blog you can just click over and use your username.livejournal.com as the openid name. The feed only shows partial posts, click over to see the whole thing.

The actual site is http://socia.arkaic.com
Current Mood: amused

29th May 2010

1:43am: Experiments in Blogging
I've installed Pinax, but it's still not quite ready for use yet. I thought I might submit a sort of mini review of the beta version of Pinax here.

It's rather large. And seems to do way too much. It's a bit like the jack of all trades, master of none. Compared to Django, it's a big boost in speed in getting SOMETHING together. I finished the site to where it would be usable for most people in about 5 hours while watching Anime. When you drift outside of the safe confines of what it already has defined though it tends to be poorly documented. Luckily, unlike JoeUser, the source code is right there waiting for me to dig in and start patching things up.

I started with the Social-project and started trimming it down and finding any bugs that would preclude me from using it. Here's my todo list before I'm ready to post the new site up for people to use.
TasklistCollapse )

Once I knock out enough of this todo list, I'll post my new site here. It supports OpenID as well, so you can login using your livejournal account and not even setup a password or email address on my site. For example, if I were to login to the site, I can just type kazriko.livejournal.com to use my LJ identity. It would then redirect me to LJ's page where I can approve the site or not. After that, back to the site where I can post a comment, etc. (Email address though is handy because it will let you know when your comments are replied to, etc.)
Current Mood: amused

26th May 2010

4:57pm: Joe user rss feed...
Looks like the Joe User site won't work out, I'm going to purge the feed off here. They keep updating their date stamps which causes other sites to include the same post multiple times. :(

Not sure what to do next. Maybe I'll check with that site Zaitcev is on.
Current Mood: annoyed

12th May 2010

6:57pm: Another feed.
I've added my google reader feed here.

http://syndicated.livejournal.com/kazriko_gr/profile

http://www.google.com/reader/shared/16919005360712406079

Should I add one for my ImpulseDriven site? maybe... I can't seem to make it work correctly though, I think they targeted the Impulse client a bit too much. :( I guess I'll stick to JoeUser and Google Reader.

Warning: This one is really noisy. Probably 3-5 posts per day minimum, and some of the sites don't properly cut their text... :(
Current Mood: amused
3:02pm: New blog
I've created a feed on LJ here,

http://syndicated.livejournal.com/kazriko_ju/

It doesn't seem to be updating yet, I'll have to keep watching it.

The actual address of the blog is here. http://kazriko.joeuser.com/

Thank you Stardock for providing another blog site. :)
Current Mood: cheerful

2nd May 2010

11:32pm: Multimedia Completion: April
I was busy this month on episodic games mostly. Only managed 1 book.

Books:

8. The Multiplex Man, James Hogan. Interesting book for being written in the very early 90's. Talks about the US turning into a green socialist monstrosity, while the former Russian held countries went off into space without us, and had significantly more freedom.

Games:

3. Wolfenstein 3D. Played the PS3 version of this. Took about 8 hours to get through all 6 episodes, but I was trying to be thorough.

4. Sam and Max: The Penal Zone. Pretty good humor in this one. Definitely worth the money.

5. Penny Arcade: On the Rainslick Precipice of Darkness part 2: Not particularly challenging nor long... The battles do get a bit annoying towards the end. Especially the last boss. Takes about 10 minutes and then it's mostly out of your hands... I do wonder when they'll get part 3 out.

6. Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition. This one seemed awfully short. Pretty funny though.

DVDs.

23. The critic, complete series. Man, they do like to beat a joke to death in this one. It is chortle-inducing though. My wife really likes the series. The second season really lightens it up from the rather dreary first season. The Add-a-kid is a bit two dimensional though. (Was drawn that way, I'm sure...)

24. The Chronicles of Riddick. An interesting end to the whole pitch black thing... I wonder if they'll make a sequel. *shrug* I'm not sure it's worth seeing a sequel in theaters though.
Current Mood: amused
5:28pm: RSS feeds on comics
I've started using Google Reader on things. It makes everything so much more convenient and reduces the amount of time I spend on the internet...

I just started putting my video series I watch into RSS as well, under a separate folder...

The next step, of course, is to get all of my comics in, relieving me of the drudgery of hitting comics pages that have no updates, or trying to remember the last time I read all of my comic pages.

Unfortunately, not all of the comics have RSS feeds yet. Schlock, and a handful of others do, but Freefall, 21st Century Fox, Sabrina Online, Jack, Misfile, and Punch an Pie don't yet have RSS feeds for their comics. At least 3 of them are pretty consistent on updates, so I'll just have to remember the MWF schedule plus the first of every month for half of them.

Unfortunately 4 of those are some of the best comics I read, so I guess I'll have to keep a page around to keep track of just those comics. I think I'm going to have to make RSS feeds a criterion for following any new comic though, otherwise I'm just wasting time...

30th April 2010

3:29pm: Friends don't let friends buy Apple products...
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/04/30/steve_jobs_claims_ogg_theora_attack/

I think Apple, if they hadn't already crossed over into the evil category, has definitely done a cannonball into lake Evil with this one.

And this...

http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2010/04/html5-video-in-internet-explorer-9-h264-and-h264-alone.ars

It seems like Apple and Microsoft are definitely stepping up their collaborative effort that they've been doing while pretending to compete through the 90's and 2000's...
Current Mood: annoyed

28th April 2010

11:46am: http://lifehacker.com/5526025/make-the-most-of-your-multiple-monitors-in-windows-7

I like it. They not only deal with 3 monitors natively, but they have Synergy in there too, one of the things I always have to explain to people about my setup.
Current Mood: amused

27th April 2010

4:15pm: Agh!
Amazon remembers all...

Including where I lived 11 years ago.

Unfortunately, they also shipped a present for my wife to a place I lived 11 years ago...

*sigh*
Current Mood: frustrated
1:20pm: FCC not quite getting the point
http://arstechnica.com/telecom/news/2010/04/fcc-creates-tv-spectrum-death-panel.ars

They want to free up more spectrum... and sell it to cell phone companies.

That's really not what we need. The big problem for wireless broadband right now is that you're limited to a handful of large companies. Small companies have to compete for the scraps of wireless bandwidth that are in the 900/2.4/5.3/5.8 ranges... What we need is more ISM space that isn't regulated or assigned to any one company so that we can have real alternatives to the big wireless carriers.

26th April 2010

6:04pm: More cheap not-quite-chinese components...
http://www.ludens.cl/Electron/chinverter/chinverter.html

This is an excellent page showing all of the problems with a Taiwanese power ups/inverter/charger/etc green power sort of thing.

I would never dream of calling for government regulations on this sort of thing. The problem we have right now is that the ability of these companies to produce and ship crap to other countries outstrips our ability to discover they're crap and warn everyone. We really need some sort of third party charity whose sole purpose is to do detailed testing of all of the electric components that come out and write up huge guides on their shortcomings and hazards... Maybe if it has wide enough distribution and everyone uses it to check their components before buying them, it'll force some of these companies to improve the quality of their parts...

Or they'll take the other path, keep changing their name over and over again to continue to sell this junk.
Current Mood: amused
2:15am: Broadband, the last mile
http://arstechnica.com/telecom/news/2010/04/arkansas-rules-when-it-comes-to-isp-competition-but-so-what.ars

People make a lot of noise about municipal broadband efforts. I can see the good and the bad of them. For the good, they wouldn't be constrained by what's economically feasible and what the competition can put out in that area. On the negative, after the short term span of them being superior wears off, they could lead to a stagnation of bandwidth and capabilities in the area as the competitive forces all drop out, unable to compete with something that can be subsidized by taxpayer dollars.

The biggest problem with competition in ISPs is that typically, all households can only choose from 2 things. Cable, or DSL. These are pretty much franchised and kept from competition by the cities that they inhabit. DSL's have a tiny bit of competition in the form of leasing the lines, but you're still limited by how fast they build out the DSL network, and everyone who chooses a third party ISP reduces the incentive for the DSL company to build more locations. Most wireless options are horrendously slow and not stable enough to really use. In some areas, like where I am now, the DSL option is horrifically slow (640/256k) and not worth using (1500 byte packets can't get through often, have to lower MTU to about 1450 or so...) So we're at the mercy of Cable, charging $48 per month for the basic option, and $58 per month for the faster speed (15mbit/1mbit)

Most people still think that limiting it to these two is necessary because otherwise you'd have the expense and mess of wires with a dozen people running cables everywhere.

What if they combined the municipal buildout of last mile fiber with the pattern of the DSL companies leasing out the lines? Instead of stifling competition, the municipal networks could jumpstart competition, if they installed the last mile fiber, then allowed ISPs to build their networks out to nearby locations and link into that fiber. Fiber is one thing that shouldn't get TOO obsolete, and should last for decades. Companies could come and go without as much of a massive investment in the area. You could open it up for a dozen choices in every neighbourhood... You wouldn't have the DSL companies complaining about being price controlled on how much they lease out their lines for, because it would be the tax payers who own those lines. *shrug* Maintaining things and keeping them running is usually a problem with government. With this, they could set it up and forget it mostly, letting the parts of the infrastructure that requires maintenance be run by people with a vested interest in keeping it operating well. (If they don't, a competitor comes in and takes their customers.)

I'm not certain it's a good idea, but perhaps it would be a better compromise than any of the others I've seen... While they're at it, they could run a number of fibers in one cable. I think it costs far more to dig the holes than what the cable costs, so they could run multiple cables and eventually it will be cheap enough to multiplex them up for multiple-gigabit networking to every house... For me, I'd love to see either the FCC freeing up more bandwidth to actually make wireless a viable option, or getting the city to permit more companies to run cables to people's houses to increase competition. But this option would be maybe #3 on my list.
Current Mood: amused

24th April 2010

12:45am: Cowardly Debate Tactics
I'm weird, but I enjoy discussing contentious things with people. The best kind of debate is one where both sides put forward a good effort, and chip away at various misconceptions until one of a handful of things happens. Either you can find a solid central point of agreement either by figuring out what the core of what they really want is rather than the outside rhetoric is, or you can come to an understanding that the views are incompatible and agree to keep your own opinions and leave it at that. The other kinds are more of breaking down into shouting and name calling, which is annoying but at least leaves the debate in more of a settled state without any further interaction needed.

The most disappointing and annoying tactic has to be the following. You get a couple of exchanges into it with several multi-paragraph replies back and forth. The other guy cherry-picks one weak point in one paragraph and writes a single line quip about it ignoring the entire rest of the points, then says out of courtesy to the guy whose blog we're posting on that we should stop.

What do you do then? You can let it drop, and let his pathetic and pointless retort be the last word in the debate, solving nothing and being entirely unsatisfying. You can reply to him, and look like the bad guy cluttering up someone's blog with a debate and trying to get the last word in. Also annoying. Such a cowardly, miserable tactic...
Current Mood: irritated

22nd April 2010

1:47pm: The real reason we're missing so much Doctor Who.
Buried deep in one of the bonuses for a second doctor DVD, I found the real reason why so much of the doctor who series is missing from the early days.

Over the years, many have blamed BBC's shortsightedness, or the cost of the early digital tapes for this. They said that the tapes were erased and reused...

In the DVD though, they told the real story. The number of copies of the series that could be made wasn't limited by the cost of the tape, but rather by Actors union contracts. Only a certain number of copies could be made, and those shows could only be shown on the television twice according to the contract.

Once they showed it twice, because of the limited number of copies they sent ALL of the copies to their affiliates overseas. Those copies were passed from country to country. One for example went to Australia, was heavily edited and censored, then the censored copies were sent to NZ, where they were further censored, then on to another place. Finally, when there was no futher places to send the tapes, they were wrapped up and sent off to be incinerated, not reused.

They did this because they thought that these were mere copies of the series and that the BBC would have kept the originals... Which would have been true if not for unions...
Current Mood: annoyed

20th April 2010

3:41pm: Bresnan and Comcast
http://www.laramieboomerang.com/articles/2010/04/20/ap-state-wy/mt_bresnan_potential_sale.txt

Might be weird for me to say so after the fiasco that was Comcast owning our local cable company, but I actually wouldn't mind them buying Bresnan now. After all, they're on the forefront of IPv6 native deployment.
Current Mood: amused

13th April 2010

11:12pm: http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2010/04/google-planning-to-open-the-vp8-video-codec.ars

So, Google's planning on using Vp8, and mozilla is as well. And they're going to "Open" it.

Which makes the fact that Google is still funding ARM optimization for vorbis/theora interesting.

One possibility is that Google won't entirely open VP8 up. They may open it up for software royalty free, but keep hardware optimizations as something you license from them. On2 already has chips for VP8 decoding and encoding. Or they could license the code that generates VP8 files, while making decoding fully open and free.

This way, they could leave Vorbis/Theora as the enthusiast codec that everyone can use for free, while providing a cheaper alternative to H.264 that also can be included in viewers for free.

Or it could just be two parts of google doing their own thing. *shrug*

12th April 2010

7:18pm: Google to make news that adapts to the user..
This is from the drudge report, has no permanent links though, so I'll just copy the whole text.
Original drudge report storyCollapse )

I believe I saw a video about this once. Strangely predictive video. I think it was back in 2002 or 2003. They predicted that first google would start filtering news by what sites you tended to read, then they would ultimately write software that would stitch the stories together to produce a single story with the level of detail that the user tended to prefer. They said that the downside was that it would allow people to dumb the news down to as vapid a level as they desire, and that many people would... but it would provide an extremely detailed treasure trove of information for anyone who wanted to dig deep enough.

I think the video ended with NYT cancelling their online site, going print only, then filing for bankruptcy... heh.

Everytime I use google news, I wish it would let me ban certain news sites from appearing on my page entirely...
2:15pm: Counterexamples to Apple's complaints about crossplatform frameworks.
http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2010/04/steve-jobs-weighs-on-iphone-os-dev-controversy.ars

They counter the complaints about quality, standards compliance, and added costs when comparing native code to cross platform code. Also showing how many of the apps Apple is holding up as standards are actually using techniques that apple now prohibits.

http://google-opensource.blogspot.com/2009/06/introducing-android-scripting.html

Of course, Android supports scripting languages, including apparently editing and interactively executing code right on the phone.

I wonder when I'll get to have an android phone here at work...
Current Mood: annoyed

8th April 2010

4:16pm: Microsoft... Good and bad?
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/04/01/microsoft_open_source_gm/

Microsoft is trying to clean their image up when it comes to open source...

http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2010/04/microsoft-offers-much-needed-fix-for-windows-oss-development.ars

They're even making their own APT/DPKG sort of package management thing for windows to permit real distributions of Gnu and other open source software to be easily installed on windows. A development I welcome...

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/04/06/microsoft_ooxml_standards_fail/

However, they're still fighting a few turf wars over their Word and other Office application dominance...

So, MS... Reformed, or still the iron fist?

I'm not entirely convinced that they're more evil than Google...
Current Mood: amused

2nd April 2010

12:39pm: Multimedia Completion March
Bad month for books and games. Been too busy to do that, so I've mostly been multitasking videos in amongst other things.

Books

7. The Lion of the Farside - Interesting ideas behind this one. Alternate world sitting parallel to depression era america. Farmer marries a strange woman who turns out to be from the other world. People from the other world kidnap her, he follows.

Games.

2. Last Rebellion - One of the easiest rpg's I've ever played. Very uneven difficulty. Only took about 15 hours to beat and finish all optional content. So far, this is my favorite Hit Maker game, but that may change as I play through A Witch's Tale.

Video.

11. Doctor Who: The Keys of Marinus - Fun older episode.

12. Doctor Who: Lost in Time - This is the second doctor parts of the lost in time. Would have been better with more audio filler I think.

13. Doctor Who: The Invasion - This is the kind of thing I would like to see more of. They filled in the two missing episodes with animated bits. Worked very well.

14. Doctor Who: The Infinite Quest - Seems a bit contrived, but ended well. A direct-to-animation doctor who set sometime in the new series 3rd year.

15. Tsukihime Lunar Legend - Only saw the first and last disc of this due to missing discs with netflix, so I missed enough of the storyline that I had no clue what was going on...

16. Doctor Who: Tomb of the Cybermen - Fun... a little cheesy.

17. Doctor Who: The Mind Robber - Eh. *shrug*

18. Doctor Who: The Seeds of Death - I'm not sure I enjoyed this one. It had some good bits.

19. Hancock: I had really low expectations of this one. It met them, so I enjoyed it.

20. Torchwood Season 1: I'm not sure this show is for me...

21. Pitch Black: Another Riddick movie. At least made the last one I watched make a little more sense.

22. Donnie Darko: Not bad, a little weird.
Current Mood: amused

29th March 2010

7:17pm: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/03/as-much-as-one-percent-of-the-internet-is-now-using-ipv6.ars

1% of the internet has IPv6.

Yay!

Hopefully we'll be able to get to 10% within a year or two...

20th March 2010

1:00am: Netflix
Has anyone else had problems with Netflix DVDs dropping out of their queues lately?

It's getting quite annoying. I have 35 dvds that they've just entirely stopped carrying. Sometimes entire series have disappear, sometimes the middle dvd in a series... I bought Fate: Stay Night's last dvd, but I really can't do this for every series that I encounter missing discs on, especially if my interest in the series is only marginal (Such as the Kiddie Grade series, which has lost no less than 5 out of its 8 discs in recent months.)

And now the 4th dvd in Daphne in the Brilliant Blue has dropped out after months of being near the top of my queue...

15th March 2010

4:49pm: 4096 byte sectors
http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2010/03/why-new-hard-disks-might-not-be-much-fun-for-xp-users.ars

4096 Byte Sectors soon... Time to break yet more software that made assumptions that certain variables weren't going to change. :)

I find the discussion of EFI instead of bios to be interesting. I wonder what it would take to convert existing boards to use that instead of bios? Would they be able to get most systems using EFI?
Powered by LiveJournal.com