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Adding Bittorrent Support to My PogoPlug February 12, 2014

Posted by samwyse in Scripting.
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Over the weekend, I visited my local Walmart and found a Pogoplug model V4-A1-01 in the electronics section. It was on the discontinued items table and marked down to $39.95, about half of what it cost new, but still a bit more that what you could find online. Still, a bird in the hand, etc. I took it home and plugged in a 1TB external drive that I’ve had for a couple of years, and it worked perfectly. Then I decided to try installing a Bittorrent client.

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I C E — An open letter to Apple and Google January 31, 2014

Posted by samwyse in Editorials.
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Searching the Apple App Store for “in case of emergency” turns up 65 apps (as of today) that perform provide emergency information about the phones owner on the lock screen. I suspect that searching the Google Play store would turn up at least as many. The problem with these apps is that they place personal information where anyone who picks up your phone can easily see it, and they make your lock screen unattractive. I would like to call on the Apple and Google developers to add this functionality to the stock OS. Yes, this would render a lot of those apps obsolete, but Apple has already shown a willingness to do this by adding a flashlight control iOS 7.

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My Google+ Account October 6, 2011

Posted by samwyse in Uncategorized.
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Just a note that I’ve moved a lot of my blogging to Google+, but I intend to keep using WordPress as a repository for my “greatest hits”.

My Tonsillectomy, Eight Years Later August 24, 2011

Posted by samwyse in Autobiographical.
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I guess I’m a little late with this update. :) I referred someone on G+ to my original page, but reading it I realized that it’s more than a bit out of date. Let’s start by looking at what I said to my acquaintance. (more…)

Why taking notes (especially by hand) matters April 23, 2011

Posted by samwyse in Uncategorized.
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Lectures work best if you take notes, especially by hand. Note-taking prevents information from going “in one ear and out the other” because, like discussion, you activate more areas of your brain as you take notes; think of it as having a discussion with your notebook; I don’t know anyone who can write as fast as a lecturer talks, so you have to be constantly deciding what to write down instead of letting your mind drift around. This doesn’t just work at school. When I go to a baseball game (for pleasure, anyway, rather than to schmooze with clients), I try to get a scorecard and track every play. I’ve found that I remember the details of those games much better that the ones where I kicked back and drank a beer. (And I remember *any* game that I actually attended better than the ones I watch on TV, so try to actually attend class, not depend on someone else’s retransmission.)

Baseball scorecards are optimized for taking notes on baseball games. Likewise, at a lecture you should use Cornell Notes, a tools optimized for taking notes at lectures. There are thousands of web site dedicated to this, so research it yourself at http://www.google.com/search?q=%22cornell+notes%22.

Finally, if you don’t believe me then look at what others have to say. For example, http://brainz.org/brain-hacks/ claims (in bullet point 3) that “Taking notes by hand instead of typing them, will help you retain the information more effectively, as the pressure points activated by holding a pen are linked to the creative and memory centers of the brain.” If that sounds a bit unbelievable, research reported at http://www.mpiweb.org/magazine/pluspoint/20110124/Taking_Notes backs up the claim.

 

More NYTimes articles March 26, 2011

Posted by samwyse in Uncategorized.
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The new York Times is changing its online access model. People will now be able to access up to 20 articles per month via their computer for free. They will also be able to access the day’s top stories via their smart phones for free.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/article?a=762434

So I am moving my favorites list from my smart phone to this webpage so I can easily access them via a computer. You will find these to be an eclectic mix. Some are for myself, some are for my wife, and some are for my children. I hope you enjoy them.

VITAL SIGNS
Risks: Fewer Heart Problems Among Moderate Drinkers
By NICHOLAS BAKALAR

http://nyti.ms/ieCWgc

SUSTAINABLE LOVE
The Happy Marriage Is the ‘Me’ Marriage
By TARA PARKER-POPE

http://nyti.ms/fcOlqU

German Military Braces for Scarcity After ‘Peak Oil’
By JOHN COLLINS RUDOLF

http://nyti.ms/b3KjRn

CASES
It Was Benign, but Almost Killed Him
By JENNIFER S. CHANG, M.D.

http://nyti.ms/glWYxj

OP-ED COLUMNIST
The Genteel Nation
By DAVID BROOKS

http://nyti.ms/aAC4Ub

PERSONAL HEALTH
What We’re Not Looking After: Our Eyes
By JANE E. BRODY

http://nyti.ms/fRxYat

CRITIC’S NOTEBOOK
Light Out, Huck, They Still Want to Sivilize You
By MICHIKO KAKUTANI

http://nyti.ms/gzdTyo

Just Manic Enough: Seeking Perfect Entrepreneurs
By DAVID SEGAL

http://nyti.ms/dtVoZi

MIND
Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits
By BENEDICT CAREY

http://nyti.ms/cPHCsv

A Physicist Solves the City
By JONAH LEHRER

http://nyti.ms/edeiaB

10 Ways to Get the Most Out of Technology
By SAM GROBART

http://nyti.ms/glBYJz

PERSONAL HEALTH
What to Do Now to Feel Better at 100
By JANE E. BRODY

http://nyti.ms/cjFp8Z

VENTURE PHILANTHROPY | RWANDA • CONGO • NEPAL
D.I.Y. Foreign-Aid Revolution
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF

http://nyti.ms/9xX3V9

Business Class Rises in Ashes of Caste System
By LYDIA POLGREEN

http://nyti.ms/bm93Py

Effort to Restore Children’s Play Gains Momentum
By HILARY STOUT

http://nyti.ms/hsChQK

Japan’s Nuclear Incidents March 15, 2011

Posted by samwyse in Editorials.
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After reading Robert X. Cringely’s “Is anything nuclear ever really super safe small and simple?“, I have a question that I’ve not seen asked anywhere. Filling the coolant system with seawater must be like using seawater in your steam iron. Yeah, it’s going to corrode things to the point of never-be-used-again, but it seems to me that there’s a shorter term problem. As all the water is boiled away and/or split into free atoms, you’re going to have lots of salt left over accumulating in the reactor, and eventually preventing the free flow of water. You saidin the previous column that it should take a week for the reactor to cool down, so maybe it’ll be ok, but I’m still wondering.

Home-school articles from the NY Times January 23, 2011

Posted by samwyse in Homeschooling.
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As part of a family that home schools our kids, I have a more than passing interest in anything that could improve the educational process. Here’s some recent articles from the New York Times.

Do Home Schoolers Deserve a Tax Break? – Room for Debate – NYTimes.com

Champlain College Makes Financial Literacy a Priority – NYTimes.com

The Argument Against Headphones – NYTimes.com

Test-Taking Cements Knowledge Better Than Studying, Researchers Say – NYTimes.com

Theora vs H.264 January 21, 2011

Posted by samwyse in Uncategorized.
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Here’s a Reddit discussion from about a year ago of the technical merits of Theora. It features several people who actually implement codecs for a living, so it’s pretty in depth, as opposed to “Theora is inferior for technical reasons” and “probably isn’t of sufficient quality”. The Executive Summary: Theora *was* designed with hardware in mind (albeit not “modern” hardware) and is roughly equivalent to the way H.264 is normally used.

HTML5 not working in Chrome? April 2, 2010

Posted by samwyse in Web problems.
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It all started when I wanted to make some screen shots of DVD Flick.  I wanted to show how to make a fairly complicated video, and I wanted to use material licensed via Creative Commons.  “Elephant Dreams” and “Big Buck Bunny” seemed like a good place to start, so I headed over to the Blender Foundation, where I was eventually redirected to a download page.  The “USA #2″ link seems to be dead, so I went to the Germany site.  Then I went looking for the “Making of …” video, but it seems to only exist in YouTube which is problematic since I don’t have Flash installed in Chrome.  On the other hand, I don’t really want the Flash version, I want to try to capture the HTML5 stream, so off I went to enter the YouTube HTML5 Beta.  Unfortunately, something seems to have broken the HTML5 magic, because all the pages still want me to install the Adobe Flash Player plugin.  So, I tracked down what may be a bug report and added my thoughts (comment #9).

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