Jr High Drop Out

Remembering Simpler Times

I am tired of living through important historical moments. I long for a life that's simpler, when all I cared about was learning how to spell boobies on a calculator or finding the best stick to play with on my walk home from reading Dragon Magazine at the public library.


#introspection #technology

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The resurrection of JDHO

So, I've been resurrecting my old BASH-based blog for fun and pulling all the content I was posting elsewhere into it to create a single blog-of-record for myself.

I'm honestly a bit exhausted by Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, etc.... This seemed like a good way to slowly back out of it without just terminating accounts.

Anyway, I hit a nice milestone today. I can blog from my mobile phone. Given that the blog is run from BASH scripts, I consider that kinda cool. It still only posts them when the ./generateSite script is run, but I can blog on the go and not lose the moment. I'm even writing this from my Pixel phone.

It's dumb, but I'm still proud.


#blogging #technology

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The Future Is AI

#technology

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C:\MSDOS\REEFER\>smoke


#wtf #technology

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I have had this dream


#wtf #technology

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My personal hell

Leaving the house half-dressed in the middle of the night to get myself medicine because I feel like a bag of ass while on a technical support call with a guy in another country who I can barely understand who has me on hold for 12 minutes while he looks things up that I already know the answer to. This is why people go apeshit and start harming themselves and others. Thankfully, I'm too lazy to harm anyone. Instead, I'll just quietly seeth and wish a short (maybe medium) list of people great harm in my head.


#health #introspection #technology

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Our Robotic Overlords Are Coming

Experts think this is how long we have before AI takes all of our jobs

"The survey asked the experts to assign probabilities to dates in the future that AI might be capable of performing specific tasks, from folding laundry to translating languages."

#technology #work

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The rise and rise of tabletop gaming

Gentler designs with an emphasis on teamwork are fuelling a boom in board game sales. Tabletop gaming is about rejecting the sophistication of technology and focusing on the authentic world around us.

#gaming #technology

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'nuff said


#holidays #technology #introspection

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NSA-leaking Shadow Brokers just dumped its most damaging release yet

ars technica

The Shadow Brokers—the mysterious person or group that over the past eight months has leaked a gigabyte worth of the National Security Agency's weaponized software exploits—just published its most significant release yet. Friday's dump contains potent exploits and hacking tools that target most versions of Microsoft Windows and evidence of sophisticated hacks on the SWIFT banking system of several banks across the world.

So my Windows 3.11 for Workgroups is still safe? Solid!


#politics #technology

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We’ve taught AI The Value Of Betrayal

DeepMind's AI knows that to hunt down a target, cooperation is better, but when resources are scarce, sometimes betrayal works well. The article is solid, but read the linked paper (Multi-agent Reinforcement Learning in Sequential Social Dilemmas) for the good stuff.


#technology

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A quicker primer on stealing passwords from McDonald‚s users

"By abusing an insecure cryptographic storage vulnerability and a reflected server cross-site-scripting vulnerability it is possible to steal and decrypt the password from a McDonald’s user. Besides that, other personal details like the user’s name, address & contact details can be stolen too."

#technology

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I SWEAR TO GOD…

…IF THIS SNOW MAKES ME LOSE INTERNET!!!


#me #technology

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The Best UI Is No UI

Let's end our slavery to screens.

My team has heard me say a hundred times, “Why is the user involved?” And “Can’t we just manage all that for them?” This article from Cooper isn’t something new, but explains the principle stunningly well.

We need to get away from the idea that the user wants to use your application. They don’t. At best, they want your application to be an improved means to some other end. Few people want to manage software. They want to manage tasks and goals. If you can derive a value, don’t ask for it. If you can sync data in the background, don’t make them remember to do it. If you can do it, simply don’t make your users do it instead.

Choice is a funny thing. There is some measure of choice the users will want, but more than choice, users want simplicity. They want freedom from minutia. They want to know that they don’t have to babysit every process. They want to delegate monotony to your app.

And if you can successfully help them do that, you will find your users praising you.


#ux #work #technology

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Microsoft, make my iPad Better!

I love product competition more than I love any particular company or group.To that end, I'm very happy to see the Microsoft Surface tablet join Android and iPad on the shelves and I hope that very soon their tablet becomes a serious competitor.

In fact, I really hope that MS finds a way to make me slightly jealous of what they have going on there (Rule 19). If they can make me jealous, then Google and Apple will respond in kind (Rule 26)!Besides which, if Microsoft really picks up steam and Android/Apple lose market share, then there's always Rule 146: Necessity, n. The mother of invention. Profit is the father.

So, um, go Team Microsoft! I want a better iPad!


#technology #economics

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US unified in opposition to UN Internet control

"We need to send a strong message to the world that the Internet has thrived under a decentralized, bottom-up, multi-stakeholder governance model,” said Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.).

#politics #technology

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A free And Open Web

A free and open world depends on a free and open web. And a free and open web depends on me. Our world needs real progress. The sort of progress I’m talking about requires open, honest communication, trust, and freedom. We can be better than we are. Closed-door meetings and back-room whispers degrade trust, devalue the power of honesty, and erodes the very freedom that we need to move forward as a people.


#politics #technology

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AC Moore gave up my email address to spammers.

Every time I am asked to give out an email address to a company, I give them a unique address that I can trace back to the vendor.  If I get spam at an address, I add a filter to auto-kill email to that address and I post the offender.  I can confirm that ACMoore has either given out, sold, or allowed to be stolen the email address I gave them and only them.

I don’t do business with spammers and companies that are sloppy with my privacy.  AC Moore is now on that list.


#technology

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If you have a daughter, watch this.


#science #technology #family

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The Original iPad


#technology

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Mapped In My Mind's Eye

#technology #science

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WikiLeaks with an important press release

#politics #technology

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Gentlemen we can rebuild him. We have the technology.

Bit by bit. Piece by piece. We are slowly learning to replace each part of the human body with a synthetic variant. Right now those variants are a downgrade from the original, but that won't always be the case. Soon enough, we will be able to upgrade parts of ourselves. Newer, stronger, faster, more durable, less prone to defect or disease, impervious to cancer or harmful bacteria. These new bodies will be better in every measurable way. But they will pose an existential question we've not had to work through before. Is there a point at which I'm no longer me, but rather a simulacrum of me, if I replace enough of my body with these upgrades and if so am I upgraded or replaced?


#health #science #technology

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Yes I did upgrade my phone! Oh yes I did


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Who wants to live forever?

me…

I can't wait for my robot body! I mean, whose idea was it to make this one out of meat? Not the sturdiest design. Cars aren't made out of meat. Buildings aren't made out of meat. There are better materials. I think I'd like a spherical, hovering robot body made from a ceramic reinforced, carbon-60 compound…with side-mounted machine guns. Yes, definitely machine guns.


#health #technology

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Where do I buy?

#technology

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Microsoft Office for Mac

I'm still waiting for Microsoft Office for Mac 2011. I'll keep using iWork at home, but for work Microsoft is still king of the Office Suites. I need a real Exchange client. Mail and iCal just don't cut it for long term real use. Microsoft Office for Mac 2008 is ass. I just uninstalled it.


#technology

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Diaspora

I'm following this project. I dig the idea. Not sure about the execution, yet, but the idea is one I support. I prefer decentralized systems to centralized ones, and this Facebook replacement has potential.

I'd prefer that they had released it as software that ran on apache or IIS for any small host to stand up for others to join, because a user download is not ideal, but I get the reasons and reserve judgement on the architecture until I know more.


#technology

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PS Move

Ars Technica reviews the new Playstation Move. Overall, they see flaws with the prerelease work, but the Move and the games they played were promising and more robust than the Wii. I may need to buy this.


#gaming #technology

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I'm n ur iPodz, Sprintin' ur y-fi!

Recently released FCC documents reveal that Sprint is set to launch what appears to be a new case for the iPod touch that would enable 3G networking on the WiFi-only device. Manufactured by ZTE and called the “Peel,” the case is essentially a MiFi-like mobile hotspot that snaps on to an iPod touch, giving it a network connection wherever you can get a Sprint 3G signal.

via arstechnica.com


#technology

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The future is now

I'm still enjoying my iPad. Technology is fun.


#technology

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Gamer App

I want a D&D app for the iPad to manage characters and combat. That'd be hawt. Maybe some Bonjour mojo to make it interactive with other players at the table.


#gaming #technology

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Jobs, you asshole

I think Apple hates developers. It's the only sane explanation for the existence of Objective-C.


#technology #work

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In case you were looking for me…

Tom is in ur iPadz eatin ur applez.


#me #technology

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Let the evolution begin

I'm ankle deep in the Apple-ification of my development skillset. Looking forward to being eyeball deep, though.


#technology #work #me

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Big Nerd Ranch

I'm pokeying down to the Big Nerd Ranch now. I look forward to seeing large herds of my people grazing in a field.


#work #technology

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iPad


#technology #work

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Current Mood: Buzzing

Tom is plugged in. Online. Jacked up. Fucked up. T1 line in. Media upchuck. Mankind. MetalSoul. Info blackhole. Lord Almighty, flood this rathole. Byte-sized. ArkSafe. Hi-Tech Street Waif. Who cares anyway? Why should I pray? Lead in. Lead out. Have faith. Have doubt. Talk loud. Don't shout.


#poetry #technology #me

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My Macbook is now properly pimped out


#comics #technology

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Because he's more than meets the eye

I never disagree with Computron.


#tv #technology

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My Geek Code

GC/CS/H/L/O d-(--) s: a C++(+++)$>++++ UL++>+++ P+ L+++>++++ E- W+++ !N !o K>- w++(--)$>--- O M !V(-) PS+ PE(+)>- Y+(++) PGP++>+++ t+(++) 5+ X R+++ tv+ b++(+++)>++++ DI+(++) D++ G+ e++>+++ h---() r+++ y+++


#geek #technology

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As We May Think

Once, in college, I wrote a paper in which I offered a short list of some of the most influential people to modernity. I suggested T.S. Eliot, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Charles Darwin, and Vannevar Bush offered more to change the worldview of modern man than most others.

The professor didn't appreciate my choices. She liked them all, mind you, except that last one. She'd never heard of him, and therefore didn't see how he could have been that much of an influence. I never could convince her that her logic was specious and her assumptions faulty (go figure). Nonetheless, I kept his name in the essay, despite her insistence that it's inclusion would color the final grade I received for the paper, but I was far too interested in getting an education to worry about things as mundane as grades.

She doesn't read this blog---of that I'm certain. That said, I feel compelled to remind people just how important an unknown figure can be to our society. Read Vannevar Bush's essay "As We May Think" as published in The Atlantic in July of 1945. Truly seminal work.


#termpapers #academics #technology #computers

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Code Monkey by Jonathan Coulton

Listen to Code Monkey by Jonathan Coulton.

The song is released under a Creative Commons license which allows for redistribution with very few conditions. If you like the song and want to support artists that use such liberal license terms (my posting it here in full is legal and encouraged!) you should consider putting your money where your mouth is and shoving $1 or so to the artist. Your eternal soul will thank you. :)


#music #work #technology

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Have Some "Long Pig"

Scientists working for EC System technologies and Mie University have a small robot they've designed to identify food by taste. They give it a win and the robot tells them what sort it is. They give it the fuzzy grey lump in the back of the fridge and the robot tells them what sort of beast it used to be.

All is good, right? Wrong! The robots have the hunger now! A reporter doing a story on the robot placed his hand in the mouth of the robot, at which point it told everyone gathered that humans taste like pig! Bacon, specifically. They will come for us soon.

Of course, as weird as the bacon comment sounds, it's likely the robot isn't wrong. The cannibals if Polynesia used to refer to humans as "Long Pig". The Aztecs, after the spanish converted them from cannibalism, loved the swine the Spanish brought over. When asked why they liked it so much, the former cannibals told them bluntly that it tasted like us.

I guess Hannibal had it wrong. Chianti seems a trifle incorrect. Perhaps something like a Zinfandel? Yes, a Zinfandel seems a better choice for the modern cannibal.

P.S. Eeeew.


#technology

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The End of the Blockbuster Era?

Luis Villa, gnome-guy turned law student has a must-read blog entry about the changing role of media in our culture.

The short of it is that he went to see some very smart people talking. He took notes. Those notes are interesting. Lawrence Lessig (one of those guys talking) is a personal hero. He even got portrayed on the West Wing once. That's just how cool he is!


#ideas #copyright #movies #tv #technology

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Let the rant flow

I ordered my Tivo. I paid for next day shipping because I wanted it this weekend. What happened? They screwed up the shipping on everyone's order who ordered the same day as I did (the 12th). It'll likelu ship today and get here Monday. They did, on their own, refund the shipping fee, but I'm still disappointed. I want my new Tivo now!


#technology #tv

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Tivo is dead. Long live Tivo.

I've ordered my Tivo Series 3. Have you ordered yours? I requested Next Day Air, because I must have this before the weekend hits. Following is my epic "Ode to Tivo":

Roses are red.
My devotion is spastic.
My Series One is dead,
But Series Three is fantastic.

I should submit that masterwork to the American Poetry Review.


#technology #tv #poetry

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Random Hostility: Sip it slowly so you can enjoy it longer

Maybe once this cheaper, faster FIOS stuff is done kicking Bryan's shit-ass company in the face for a few months, they'll consider a price reduction/speed increase. But then again, maybe not. Cox is run by retards. I know this because they hired a monkey-faced idiot like Bryan straight off the production line at the dick factory.


#technology #bryan

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Why are you looking for a Tivo replacement, Tom?

In my last entry I mentioned looking for a Tivo replacement. Why? Unbelievable bad luck, that's why!

I've been waiting for 2 years for the Series 3 to hit the shelves. I want an HDTV Tivo DVR. It's due out in October of this year (about a month and a half from now) and what happens? A mere month and a half from when I can move to my sweet sweet Series 3 Tivo and the modem dies in my Series 1. WTF? Really? It's like the gods of time-shifted TV have conspired with fate to see me suffer! Odysseus never had it so hard as me! He was only lost for a few years. I'll have no Tivo for over a month!!!

My final solution is to manually record what I want by time/channel until the Series 3 is in my greedy paws. The Tivo works, but without a modem I can't get the guide information, which means no working Season Passes. Seriously, couldn't Tivo have just stabbed me in the gut instead? The betrayal would have been less and my insurance would cover that problem.


#tv #technology

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Windows Media Center Edition 2005 blows vomit

OK. It's a bit of an overstatement, but...

When you buy a Media PC with a stereo rack component look and feel that bills itself as a replacement for your Tivo, it should be able to fill that role. Windows Media Center Edition 2005 does not. The system would go into suspend mode and require a reboot to return to normal operation. It wouldn't play many of the media files I threw at it. I understand not playing flac files out of the box (it's a bit obscure, I suppose) but many AVI files and even some MPGs were non-working. All those files, for the record, played just fine in Linux. The guide information was regularly incorrect. And finally, when I finally decided to show it to someone else, I fast forwarded through the commercials of a show only to find that it would not leave fast-forward mode.

Needless to say, the system was returned. I want to be clear, the system, an HP Media Center PC, was not the problem. The problem was entirely Mirosoft's. All the problems had patches which fixed those problems and added new ones. In the end, I found myself performing maintainence on a box that was supposed to be a stereo rack component. I don't have to do this for my DVD player, nor for my extant Tivo. I don't feel that I should have to do it for my Tivo Replacement.

Total satisfaction score: 3 out of a possible 10. The idea has promise, but the software implementation was a miserable failure. I suspect MythTV would have been a better choice for HP to put under the hood.


#technology #movies #tv #music

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Tivo Series 3 HDTV

My drooling fit has come closer to an end.

At this year's CES, Tivo announced that they will be releasing in 2006 the High Definition Series 3 Tivo unit. This unit will sport two tuners, the ability to be used with or without cablecards, external SATA, ethernet and USB, and a front panel that shows you what is currently tuned in and how much space is left on the drive! There are pictures here to be pawed at.

Gadget fetish engaged: Must. Have. Now.


#tv #technology

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TiVo's CES announcement

TiVo has said that they plan to offer TiVo units that accept CableCards so they can bypass cable companies and market themselves as a hi-end DVR. Sounds good to me, but I still want my HiDef DVR, and I want it now, not in 2006 when TiVo plans this rollout. That could be too late for them, and it's definately too late for me.


#tv #technology

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The Blue Book Archive

Will has made some impressive strides on the Blue Book Archive recently. If you haven't checked it out yet, you should. Also, sponsor a roll of microfilm. It's cheap ($70 or so) and shows tangible short term gains (a roll is added to the archive!). This is an important project and it needs to be supported. When more of my money is freed up (see Venture Capitalism above), I have every intent to sponsor a few rolls of film.

What is Project blue book? Well, from their own About page:

"The goal of the Project Blue Book Archive is to provide open access to high-resolution document scans relating to the US government's investigation of the UFO phenomenon through an easy-to-use searchable interface. These documents are drawn from official sources such as the National Archive's Project Blue Book microfilm collection and various other document collections that have been declassified and released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This web-site and its content are provided as a free service to those researching the history of the US government's official interest in this topic."

#ufos #technology

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May I recommend "Asshat the NarcoWeasel"

#intellectualproperty #technology

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Project Blue Book

Will had a good idea. He wants to scan in the text from Project Blue Book and make it a searchable web archive. It'll give our show a bit more street cred and it'll be of use to a lot of people, I think. Interesting idea. Costly, but interesting.


#ufos #technology

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Geek Pr0n

So, I'm re-reading my own blog (ego much?) and I scanned the title below "F-Spot and gThumb" and all I could think was "ewww". It's like geek pr0n. "So I was rubbing her F-Spot with my gThumb, suddenly she had a kernel panic...four times!" I got problems. :-)


#blogging #linux #technology

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A Monk Moment

So, I decided after reading a bit about udev that I wanted it. I emerged it. Then, before rebooting, I happened across a forum entry that mentioned that udev will only work if you update to the 2.6 kernel and all sorts of other stuff, otherwise it'll just hose your system. Fuck! So now I fretted rebooting and I backed up all my stuff. I took forever, then I rebooted. Nothing. a small error on boot up but no other issues. The problem, though, is that now my system feels tainted. I know it's stupid, but it does. I need a wipe-n-reinstall to feel good about it again. I'm certifiable. Oh well.


#linux #technology #tv

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Monodevelop

Monodevelop gets its own web site. Additionally, it has put out its first release!


#programming #linux #technology

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DnD Radio

...And since I'm on the topic of starting my media empire, I still think it's a good idea to start webcasting our weekly DnD games. We are funny, dammit!


#gaming #technology

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Technology News

On the topic of Pubic Access TV, the reason I had an interest was because I think it would be cool to run our own TechTV kind of show.


#technology #ideas

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Straw

Just emerged Straw. Doesn't work. Fails because of a "gnome" dependency. I guess I didn't compile Gnome with Python support or something lame like that. Irritating.


#linux #technology

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F-Spot and gThumb

I'm all about Mono and I wouldn't mind seeing more of Gnome built on it, but I really like the gThumb application and it looks like F-Spot is starting to take hold in the Gnome community.


#linux #technology

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Fuzzy Clock

Gnome gets a fuzzy clock. Neat.


#linux #technology

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Laptops and Houses

I'm starting to get the itch to own a laptop. Don't need one, just want one. Gotta get over it. I'm saving money for the new house, which is a far more important purchase.


#technology #home

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GTKFileSelector Widget

The new GTKFileSelector Widget is starting to look good. It's long overdue.


#linux #technology

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Router Upgrade

I just upgraded the firmware on my router and though I could be wrong it appears that it fixed the problem I was having with upload speeds from my web server. That would be nice! :-)


#technology

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