But what do I know? I'm just a twice clicken brown shirt teabaggin tjroll. Right? --PatP

Not now. There are dirty, swaying men at my door. They’re looking for Brian. I need to go deal with that. --Thor

If Joss Wedon was near me, I'd of kicked his ass. --PaulC

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My God. It’s full of stars.

I found this insanely entertaining. You will most likely find it silly, disturbing and/or thoroughly uninteresting. Also I’m testing some new blog features and I had this post laying around.

Here is a WMA. Don’t play it before you turn your speakers down. Don’t play it at work. Don’t play it in the library. You have been warned. I made this file with nothing more than a cheap microphone, the speakers (which are on either side of my monitor, about twenty inches each from the microphone) on my computer, and my mouth. When I say my mouth, I don’t mean my voice. There is no voice anywhere in this recording. I also tried really hard not to breath on or into the mic.

I was playing with the settings in Steam, when I noticed that it has its own voice chat module. So I clicked “test microphone” and spoke into the mic. I heard it come through the speakers twice because there is about a half-second delay built-in. Then I tried to make a sound so loud, yet also so short, that I could make it echo a second or a third time. While I was able to achieve multiple echoes, it wasn’t with a loud sound, but rather with almost no initial sound at all.

I put my mouth right up to the mic, opened wide, as if to shout, and before I actually shouted, heard a noise start to build up in my speakers.

Basically what happened is my mouth acted like an echo chamber, creating feedback between the mic and my speakers. Mostly a lot of screeching and wind-like sounds, but I found it intriguing that all of these various sounds came from zero dollars worth of equipment. So I loaded up Sound Recorder and clicked record. Then I played around for a few minutes. Like I said: interesting to me, probably less-than note-worthy to all of you.

PS Why is receive not spelled like achieve? It must be a holiday.

Monday, October 26, 2009

teampaulc mailing list

just testing to see if this gets posted to the teampaulc mailing list.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

We're cookin' with Hydrogen now, baby.

This is a rant about this week's episode of Stargate Universe. This is a five minute conversation with a three second “I f*#@ing called it.” You probably don't care, but on the off-chance that somebody else watches SGU and also caught this (or didn't), here's my rant.

If you saw Stargate Universe this week, read on. If not, spoilers ahead.

Glad you decided to stick around. So, last week on SGU, Destiny fell out of hyperspace, presumably for a good reason. The initial assumption was that the ship was completely out of power and that the engines simply quit. At this point, I thought “well just open up the solar panels and recharge the batteries. This is an ancient ship. They surely had solar powered spaceships.” But I digress.

Luckily, the remaining shuttle still had power. So they determined that there were three planets orbiting the nearby star that might be habitable. The ship, it seems, dropped out of hyperspace where it did to give those aboard the best shot of survival. It appears that the ship is on a course that will slingshot it around one of the system's gas giants as a breaking maneuver. The crew guesstimates that the maneuver will put them on course to intercept the orbits of the three possibly-habitable planets. But no. Turns out, the ship comes out of the slingshot heading directly for the star. Bad for the people onboard.

Long story short, the shields were still up, but nothing else had power (including internal sensors), so they assumed the shields were down. Everything turns out okay, but there is some suspicion that Dr. Rush knew that the ship dropped out of FTL and shut down so that it could fly into the star, open its solar cells and recharge the batteries. To which I immediately said: “No shit, McFly.” I knew that and I don't have a degree in astrophysics, anthropology, or ancient spaceships.

This is the DROID I’m looking for

*sigh* I was just browsing the Android market. I am so over Blackberry. Storm 2 = dead. I was browsing the "top free" category and literally every single page had an app I've just gotta have.

Just to be fair, I also browsed the “free” section of the BB appworld. Not impressed. About half the apps are trial versions of apps that are, at best, neat-o. The rest are nothing that interests me.

I'm going DROID. Here's the deal. The Storm had such competition from the beginning. If Apple releases an iThing, people buy it. It doesn't matter if it's junk. RIM and Verizon were not pro-active enough in their advertising of an inarguably superior device, and it has cost them the market (from RIM’s point of view, it doesn’t matter much, because they’re not in the yuppy toy business. They’re in the business tool business). Everything the iPhone thinks it can do, the Storm can do, but do right. But public opinion is "the iPhone is a device for the modern on-the-goer" and "the Storm is a touchscreen blackberry." Most people who need a blackberry don't need a Storm, and think it’s a toy. Most people who would love the Storm don't need a blackberry. So they get an iPhone.

Here comes the Motorola DROID. Android is an already-established (albeit youthful) OS. It's SDK is open, so there's an app for everything. Now they're releasing a product specifically tailored, not to compete with the iPhone, but to bury it. RIM never had such a goal. They didn’t even really want to compete.

After owning a Storm for six months, playing with an iPhone for five minutes, and never having seen a DROID or Storm 2, I will say without any doubt that DROID is the best of the four. Assuming it works. If it breaks easily or has sub-par hardware, then obviously I shall eat my words.

[rant]If the camera is as worthless as the one on every smartphone I’ve ever handled, I will line up forty-two orphan babies and punt every single one. Perhaps into one another. The details are unimportant at this point. This is both a threat and an illustration of how angry I will be. My RAZR V3 had an awesome camera. If Motorola can do it on a crappy little throwaway, they better be able to do it on Dr. Theopolis.[/rant]

And I must recant my opine that “apps” is not a valid category for comparison. While they do both have open SDK, Blackberry is an old news business tool. Yeah, they've got some wicked tech, but if RIM wants the Storm 2 to compete with other devices, they need to either make it Android-capable or re-brand it. And if they re-brand it, it will be a year before it will be a serious competitor.

DROID, on the other hand, is just kilt-wearin’ ball-swingin' cool breeze. Android = Luke Skywalker to Apple's Death Star. Motorola = just a phone-maker, no boon or stigma attached. Flip-out keyboard = tactile feedback, as well as fullscreen view while typing.

So, taken as devices alone, it's a close race. If we were talking about two Android devices, this would be a much tougher call. But I think Android beats Blackberry without even breaking a sweat. I will be sad not to have a piezo-electric touchscreen, but I will be happy to beta test augmented reality apps and finally be able to run flashplayer on my mobile device.

Also, I just noticed that Android has an NDK. I don’t know what that stands for, but I read the blurb on the website and all I can say is “giggity! Aaaaaaaaaaall-right.”

Friday, October 23, 2009

AI War: Fleet Command

I saw this link in Facebook’s ad bar, and it looked pretty cool, so I checked it out. AI War: Fleet Command is an AI-controlled RTS. For the layman, that’s a real-time strategy game in which the user issues general orders and the artificial intelligence controlling each individual ship does what it wants. If I issue a move order, the AI may or may not attack targets a opportunity, depending on the circumstances. If I issue a retreat order, the AI might attack targets of opportunity, but probably won’t shoot anything that will shoot back. Check out this video (hi-res and looks great fullscreen):

This is so cool. I’m saving my allowance right now (probably for a DROID), but this is definitely going on my wishlist.I’ll post a more thorough review after I play the demo, but I just thought this would be worth checking out.

PaulC: remember “Galactic Konquest”? This looks like that with AI battles rather than straight “who has the biggest fleet” calculations.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wedding Photos

Gramma asked, so here they are. All the photos I have online from my wedding. I put widgets over in the sidebar to the right, right at the top. They are in two different albums. The first one is all of the digital photos the photographer took, and the second is all the photos from my dad. Click the slideshow you see over to the right. That will take you to photobucket. On the left side of that page, there is a link that says “view album.”

Google Voice


Coolest phone toy ever. No kidding. I’ll never have to change my phone number again. PaulC invited me to Google Voice today, and I’ve done nothing but play with it for the past three hours.

Google Voice gives me a phone number (which I choose), and allows me to forward the calls to any phone number I want. It also has its own voicemail, WITH TRANSCRIPTS!! Forget paying for Verizon’s visual voicemail. Get it free from Google. I can setup custom voicemail greetings for all of my contacts (imported directly from my Gmail account), or I can put them in groups and assign a message to each group. I can even choose to always dump certain contacts or groups to voicemail.

My Google Voice number can receive SMS and forward them to my phone, or to my e-mail, or just keep them in my Google Voice inbox. It’s fantastic.

Also, you will notice the new widget over to the right. If you click it, it asks you your name and phone number. Google Voice then calls you and dumps you to my voicemail (which I then receive as an e-mail and an SMS). This widget has its very own personalized voicemail greeting.

So cool. Oh. And I can place a call from my web browser. I think. Haven’t tried that yet. I think that’s everything. I’ll post in the comments if I discover something else it does. Or PaulC will get there first.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Blackberry watch?


I was trolling Crackberry today, and came upon this article. It seems RIM is developing (and will soon announce) a wristwatch that syncs (via bluetooth) with your ‘berry, and does basically what the caller ID on your TV does. When your phone rings or you get an e-mail/text message, it pops up on your watch. So rather than taking your phone out of your pocket every five minutes when you’re waiting for an e-mail, you just check your watch. “Way cool” says I. I won’t buy one (probably), but pretty freakin’ cool.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Eigenharp? WTF is an Eigenharp?

From BBC News:

What is claimed to be ''the most revolutionary new musical instrument of the last 60 years'' has been unveiled after eight years in development.

The Eigenharp is designed specifically for live performance, enabling a wide range of sounds to be played and improvised.

It is the brainchild of John Lambert, a musician and software entrepreneur.

David Sillito was given a demonstration of its range by three musicians.

Don’t know how to embed the video from there, so you should go check it out. Dunno what else to say. It looks like the first step towards what these guys are playing:

All I have to say is: Dammit. Now there’s a reason to buy a Mac. Eigenharp’s software doesn’t support Windows yet.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fear not, till Birnam wood do come to Dunsinane

Dude. Did everybody see the DROID commercial yesterday? I’m impressed and I haven’t even clapped eyes on the device yet. I’ve been a huge anticipator of the Storm 2, but this bit from Verizonwireless.com is kinda the final nail in the coffin.

DROID is a trademark of Lucasfilm Ltd. and its related companies. Used under license.

Dude. It’s the Star Wars phone. Let me repeat that for the visually impaired. IT’S A F#@*ING STAR WARS PHONE!!! AND IT RUNS ANDROID!!!

It’s 1:20 AM on the nineteenth of October, and Thor knows what he’s saving his allowance for.

And apparently, something will happen at midnight on October 30 (at least, according to the predator-style countdown on Verizon’s DROID page). Does that mean the ad campaign shifts into sixth gear on 10-30? Does it mean I can walk down to my Verizon store and buy the phone on 10-30?

I dunno. But I’m going to look into it. Not now. There are dirty, swaying men at my door. They’re looking for Brian. I need to go deal with that.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

New Business Card

I don’t “do business,” as it were, but from time to time I’ve thought to myself “how did I get here?” Just kidding (but I do think that sometimes. Then I think “this is not my house”). I’ve thought to myself “I wish I could just give this guy my business card.” But I don’t have a business card. So I know at least one person who “reads” my “blog” knows something about business cards, specifically do’s and dont’s. So here’s my first draft. Your input is required.

business card2

The blurred bits on the bottom are my phone number and e-mail address. I’m not married to the font. It’s just the first one (alphabetically) I could live with. The photo is of Pi Scorpii, the northern “eye” of the constellation Scorpius (or Scorpio). Got it from Google Sky.

Sales Guy vs. Web Dude

You have got to check this out. PaulC and Dad, you especially will appreciate the humor here. I was trolling Crackberry when I happened upon this thread (which you should also read some of), in which was a link to this video:

“I P urine.” Classic. Come to find out, this is just the first in a series of videos from thewebsiteisdown.com

I haven’t watched the rest of them yet, but I bet they are all great.

PS Yep. They’re all great.

More power, Mr. Scott

So I’ve got this pretty powerful computer. But I run windows, (hyperbolic complaint) so about half of my system resources are tied up doing pretty much nothing. So every time I play a game that should look amazing, it looks like garbage, even though I exceed the recommended specs (and far exceed the required specs).

The solution to this problem has been sitting in my quicklaunch menu since I assembled this beast. The piece of essential software to which I refer is AMD Fusion for Gaming.

Here’s what it does. To get all the juice it can out of my RAM, CPU and video card, it basically shuts down everything in Vista that I won’t need while I’m playing a game. All those pesky “essential services?” Bye bye. COM+? Bye bye. Shell Hardware Detection? Bye bye. Terminal Services? Windows Driver Foundation? Telephony? Bye bye.

That’s all the functionality I use. The software also wants to use AMD OverDrive and ATI Catalyst Control Center to overclock my hardware to scare up a few more horses. Once I’ve fooled around with those utilities individually, I might use that option as well. But for now, actually having 4 gigabytes of RAM and 4 2.3 Ghz CPU cores available just for gaming is all I need to run just about any game wide open. I can even turn on dynamic shadows (Dynamic shadows? Surely not!).

So if you’re a gamer, or just somebody who wants a little extra power for a specific application, check out AMD Fusion for Gaming. I’ve only tested it on my machine, but I would be surprised to learn that it doesn’t work on Intel/NVidia hardware, since really all it does is pick up broken glass.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


"If you can type, you can make movies." And it's true. I cranked out this little gem in less than a half hour. Check it out. NOT SAFE FOR WORK!