29.12.08

Pay-as-you-go PCs?

This strikes me as one of the stupidest ideas Microsoft has come up
with yet:

http://www.engadget.com/2008/12/29/microsoft-patent-application-hints-at-pay-as-you-go-pcs/

I guess this could be OK for my grandma, who just does email and a bit
of web surfing. But for anyone who seriously uses their PC, it's a
total waste of money. Microsoft admits this in their application, but
says that the upgraded hardware should make up for it. I did the
numbers: if I used my PC 5 hours a day, 365 days a year for three
years, I'd pay about $6500. Considering that the lifetime of a $6500
machine should be at least 3 years, there is no reason to opt for this
new plan. And it makes my $1000 Macbook a steal.

The only interesting thing would be hacking it to run at full power.
Maybe under Linux. And that would be 'illegal'.

Sorry Microsoft, but I don't see it coming anytime soon. Glad to see
that it was you who was responsible for this...

22.12.08

The hairy case of iPhone private APIs

John Gruber wrote a piece that covers the events and stuff related to
Apple's private APIs very well:

http://daringfireball.net/2008/12/private

My opinion on the topic is that you are free to go ahead and call the
APIs, if you make sure they won't break the app on launch. However,
maybe the iPhone developer community should write LGPL versions if
some of Apple's private stuff, like CoverFlow.

20.12.08

A dual-screen laptop?

Man, this is worse than that Dell XPS thing with a built-in handle:

http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9124101&intsrc=hm_list

Here's my question: why on earth would you opt for this over a desktop?
I mean, it's not like you're going anywhere with it.

15.12.08

gOS Cloud - From zero to web browser in just a few seconds

This looks like an indescribably sweet OS to stick on lightweight PCs
and have them sitting around your house.

http://www.downloadsquad.com/2008/12/01/gos-cloud-from-zero-to-web-browser-in-just-a-few-seconds/

OSX 10.5.6 breaks Jailbreak!

This is mixed news: the updated USB drivers in OS X break DFU mode for
iPhones and iPod touches. The good thing is that it can be fixed by
software.

http://www.iphonealley.com/news/warning-mac-update-1056-breaks-dfu-mode-for-iphone-ipod-touch

I also hear (through the rumor mill) that you can plug your iPhone
into a USB hub and avoid the trouble. I'm waiting for someone to
confirm this first, though.

I suppose I'll be sticking with 10.5.5 until this gets worked out.

The thing I don't understand is why Apple would do this--DFU mode is
good for other thing besides jailbreaking. It seems to be a direct
attack, but it may be an unnoticed bug. After all, I don't suppose
that the folks at Apple checked DFU mode; it doesn't seem to be one of
the things I'd check. Until now, of course.

Apple's reaction in the next couple of days will show us how the cards
really lie.

[edit] It also appears that they took away the ability to switch power modes via the battery menu. I now have two reasons to wait. Yay! I mean, not yay. I shouldn't have to stick with older software because it gives me more features. That's just wrong.

[edit 2] The iPhone Dev Team thinks it's because of a kernel bug, not Apple breaking jailbreak. They've got instructions on how to fix the drivers by rolling them back to the 10.5.5 ones, and they also list using an USB hub as another solution. You can read more on the iPhone Dev Blog

[edit 3] It seems there's been other problems installing it as well...search the Apple discussion boards for more info. This us looking like a bad update, to me. I may just wait for 10.5.7!

14.12.08

Caroling

I went caroling today with a bunch of people from my church. We went through part of a neighborhood and sang and gave out little gift bags. I actually enjoyed it; the weather was amazing, and I enjoyed singing.

I had started out with a song book, but when we got there Mom took it from me and handed me the container of hot chocolate. I never saw the songbook again, but that was fine because I knew most of the words anyway.

It was pretty awesome to walk around the neighborhood and see people actually excited to see us. I guess it was kind of a testament to our heritage--one that I'd like to see more often.

13.12.08

Hurry up with that iPhone Linux kernel, already!

I'm really itching for a device running Android. It doesn'teven need to be a phone--just something like an iPod Touch. Which is why I want to see the iPhone Linux project keep going. I totallywant to run Android on my iPod.

That being said, I wonder if there's some way to get Android to run on the iPhone's BSD subsystem...

Oh, and if any of you want to buy me one of those Android phones, that's fine by me. =]

12.12.08

I'm glad to see that someone else agrees...

From Cnet: you get better sound quality from buying a nice pair of
stereo speakers rather than a bunch of single-cone surround sound
speakers:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13645_3-10120050-47.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20

I've written about them before, but I'd like to point out how much I
like my Pioneer CS-G403 speakers. Three cones each, 30Hz - 20 kHz
response. Can't get much better for free...and in fact, probably not
for $40 either.

3G to WiFi modem

This just looks like a cool idea. Imagine throwing one in your
backpack--which seems like a rather feasible use for it:

http://www.engadget.com/2008/12/12/switched-on-mifi-pushes-3g-past-the-router-limits/

Windows 7 benchmarked against Vista

I have little hope left for Microsoft, and all of that lies in Windows
7. I think that if 7 fails like Vista did (or maybe not even that
badly) they will find themselves in a not-so-good spot. Especially
with Linux getting more and more improvements.

That being said, it's looking good for Microsoft:

http://blogs.zdnet.com/hardware/?p=3182&page=1

10.12.08

DNA evolution simulation

Here's the latest in DNA evolution simulation:

http://hackaday.com/2008/12/10/simulated-annealing/

One of the things that frustrated me with these DNA simulations is
that they always have an original to compare off of. And they pick
which mutations are kept by how well they comply with that standard.
Doesn't that sound a little unrealistic? Or maybe I missed Nature's
ability to pick things based on their goodness? But wait, doesn't that
make Nature and the "goodness" standard similar to God?

Or did I really miss something?

A pretty awesome Christmas card idea

I've always been intrigued by the properties of clear plastic and edge
lighting. But I've never managed to come up with something to do with
it. Until now:


http://www.evilmadscientist.com/article.php/edgelitcards

Teacher confiscates Linux CDs, claims no software is free

This story is disturbing. She's obviously a luser.

http://www.downloadsquad.com/2008/12/10/teacher-confiscates-linux-cds-claims-no-software-is-free/

Make sure to read the article linked in the beginning...she seriously thinks Linux is LESS useful than an old version of Windows. I suppose that the Linux community is going to make her eat her words.

Woah! Did you see that pig?

Microsoft released an open-source web page/blog tool:

http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20081209/tc_pcworld/microsoftreleasesopensourcecontentmanagementapp

On closer look, it's not all that it seems. It's built on ASP.net,
which is windows-only tech, IIRC. And it appears that they're still
thinking that this will eventually become a product for them.

9.12.08

I just realized

how damaging revisionist history can be. I can say that my high school history has been very accurate, but I still find myself fighting impressions I picked up from not-so-great elementary history classes. It's frustrating, especially as I've had those ideas pounded into my head because I read voraciously.

Just my thought for the day.

How to publish blog posts with URLs in them from an iPhone

You may have noticed that I published a post recently with a link in it. I did that from my iPod Touch. How did I do it?

I typed it in by hand, of course.

That's it!














Not. =] There's a much better way, of course. Go into the settings on your blog and set up an email address under the email tab. I set mine to save as a draft. Then visit the page you want to link to in Safari. Click the '+' button on the toolbar and email a link of that page to the email you set up earlier. Let it send, and in a few minutes you'll have a post in your list! One catch: if you want to use Blogger to edit your post, you have to use the Edit HTML tab. The other doesn't work. However, Blogger should be able to automatically codeyour paragraphs and stuff.

An Apple in your kitchen

I ran across this and thought it was an interesting look into where computers should be headed.

http://i.tuaw.com/?date=2008/12/09&slug=an-apple-in-your-kitchen&a=show-post&commentspage=

Out of curiosity, are there any projects out there like this already? I'm thinking this could be done with a Mac mini, a wall-mount display, a webcam, and a microphone. And a fair amount of code-fu.

5.12.08

Libronix update

I recieved a comment on my previous Libronix post from the Libronix company. The fallout from that is that I get a free copy of the Mac software. Rest assured, I still intend to try to make a GPL'd Libronix reader. But I have to wonder, why did they give me a free copy of their software? I'd like to think that it's because they're a nice company. I leave it as an exercise to the reader to assign other motives.

As far as the software goes, I opened a data file, and it looks like line noise. So I may or may not be successful. It's not gzipped, but K haven't tried anything else. There is a slim chance it might be Huffman....

3.12.08

Logos Bible Software

I've been using Logos Bible software for a while and have to say that it's my favorite non-open-source piece of software, short of OS X.  (Leastwise, nothing else comes to mind right now =]).  For a while they've been developing a Mac version and have given away betas for free.  Unfortunately, those betas expire...and mine just did.  Oh, and they're not offering a free beta anymore; instead I have to pay $60 to 'crossgrade' my engine.  And, did I mention that I need it by tonight?

So yeah, I'm kinda mad.  It seems that this company, which is at least nominally Christian, seems to be charging me $60 to use software I already bought FROM THEM.  To me, that's stupid--and sounds a lot like something Microsoft would do.  I was under the impression that 'crossgrade' meant a discount you'd get by switching from some OTHER company's product.  Apparently Logos thinks that it's Windows and Mac divisons are competing against each other.  Yeah...

So, I'm thinking I'm going to investigate the feasability of someone like me starting up an opensource project to replace Logos Reader.  I like that solution better than a) paying $60, or b) finding a lawyer to start a class-action lawsuit over Logos' use of 'crossgrade', and any other loophole he can find.

I'll give you an update later.