Could "What the Hack" make it in the US?
So the question is could something like it work in the US? My first guess would somewhere in the North East at some campgrounds. What lectures and vendors would you have? I'm thinking keeping the admission price limited to camping cost with vendor fees going to pay stipends/travel costs. No registration other than general that would include camping. Also regulated food prices (nothing like seeing a $5 bottle of water to ruin one's day).
Any thoughts? Personally I'm tired of trade shows staffed by one company marketing rep and a bunch of temps and want something different.
Needed: Decent used computer reseller in MA
There's always the MIT flea but I think they're closing down soon. Any suggestions? Thanks.
Here's my summer boating safety bitch-n-moan
- Everyone wears PFDs (lifejackets), not just the kids. Nothing like seeing a living kid clinging to the slightly bloated corpse of a parent (and yes, I had to fish'em both out of the water). And this was back before disposable body bags (stuff, dump, wash, dry, repeat as needed). Do you get the picture? I hope so.
- Test the straps on the PFDs. Put the lifejacket on the deck, hold it down with one foot and test pull the straps. Any ripping means they should cut and tossed.
- Toss any PFDs that are heavily faded. Heavy fading could cause a fabric breakdown.
- Any PFDs more than five years old should be cut'n tossed.
- If you frequently go on other people's boats consider getting your own PFD. Yeah, a Sterns will cost you >$100 but they're quite comfortable. IMO well worth the money.
- Keep PFDs accessable. I've seen a few times during inspections when Joe Boater couldn't find the key to unlock the locker with the jackets. Dumbass.
- No drinking for the pilot and one other, two max for everyone else. The water a mean place and a few beers could easily mean making it or not.
- Learn to swim. Maybe this should be number one. Even the most basic YMCA swim class will make a huge difference. For experienced swimmers try jumping in to a pool fully clothed, no PFD and stay afloat for an hour or two. If you can do an hour you will have greatly increase your chances of survival.
- If you think you might go offshore more than a mile get a marine radio and make sure it works. If you're in the US get a 406 MHz EPIRB. I know a guy today that has his Category II version (the one that saved his life) proudly mounted over his fireplace. An EPIRB can shorten a SAR contact time by as much as a few hours. Screw prayer, this will be your heaven sent angel.
- Check the weather. It's a stupid one but some people don't do it. What looks like just a dark day on shore could be +10' swells a mile out.
- Bring flares, lots of flares. Flares work great with FLIR which means possibly a faster trip to dry land.
- Tell two people on shore what your plans are and rough course/times. Have a firm return time and stick to it. If you can't make it in time call your friends with an update. Leaving a home voicemail can help too. Leave a copy of your plan by your home phone so someone could find it. This will help a rescue plane or cutter to do a much better and faster search.
- Everyone wears PFDs (lifejackets), not just the kids. Always remember this: no matter how good of a swimmer you are it will do you no good if you're unconscious. I'm repeating myself because it's that important.
Oh, if you need to be rescued by the USCG please follow their exact orders (as in don't jump in the water when you first see them). Chances are they'll get to you before the boat goes completely down so unless it's on fire please stay with it. Their current rescue rate is about 85% (pretty good). If you have a question you can call your local USCG station on the "non SAR number" and ask away. They're pretty cool and helpful with calls like this. USCG small boat crews are great people who volunteer to risk their lives in order to save others. Rarely are they every decorated for saving a life since it happens so offen. IMO a nobel act.
The water is a great place worthy of great respect. It also has zero respect for you. Please be careful.
"Fear and Loathing" on Google Video.
It's the number 35 video and you can even opt for a download. Did the copyright expire early? =)
Update (2005-05-29-1911): It's gone. I wonder how it through their checks?
Question: Swap on flash?
- Can I run a swap part on flash without damaging said memory?
- Could it run for years without failure or will the flash memory tank in a few weeks?
- Has anyone tried this with success or failure?
BTW, I'd add more RAM but what I have is attached to the board and there's no room for expansion.
Proof editing is a dying art
Example: the writer meant to say "Alvarez, 61, was a professor at FIU, teaching education classes since 1974 ..." but some slang was not edited out so instead read "Alvarez, 61, was a lifer at FIU, teaching education classes since 1974 ..."
GTA:SA Multiplayer In Action
If this isn't a fake (which I seriously doubt) it looks very cool. Maybe the next GTA will something like it. Impressive work.
While I have a problem with pushing home information, business info is different:
303 Crossroads West
Waco, Texas 76712
Be nice but what he did was wrong.
A request for Nintendo to open up the GB DS
(Please note that while there is
some comparisons between the Nintendo DS (DS) and the Sony Personal
PlayStation (PSP) my comments should not be construed as a judgment
on which unit has better games or is better for gaming. My comments
and ideas are limited to the DS' ability to be expanded past it's
current usage, which could possibly expand it's total customer base,
and not about corporately generated games. While I mention Python as
the interpreter of choice, Ruby should also be strongly considered.
BTW, I know the name sucks but I'm sure someone will come up with
I propose that Nintendo makes or
allow someone else to make a device that fits into the DS game slot
on the DS which allows users to run Python applications. Applications
would be stored and loaded from a removable SD card.
The "App-Yan" parts:
housing design and dimensions: the dimensions would very similar
to the "Play-Yan", Nintendo's mp3/mpeg4 player that fits into the
GBA slot on the DS.
SDIO slot: Python scripts and/or related data files would be
stored here. No propriety software should be required to copy files
to and from the SD card. Open data standards should be used whenever
possible. Also somewhat similar to the "Play-Yan".
non removable internal flash memory: This would be used for the
storage of the Python interpreter et al and, at the user's choice,
Python scripts or related data.
converter on the "professional" model: It's about
expanding the DS and a "professional" version with multiple A/D
converters would expand the DS' use, for example, for automated data
interpreter: the Python interpreter, a signed Nintendo
application, would be stored on the App-Yan's internal flash memory.
It could be updated by Nintendo to address security flaws and bugs.
Scripts could be run allowing for a text output or with a full GUI.
GUI objects could be accessed from either the DS' internal GUI
widgets or from standardized custom widgets accompanied with the
script validator: Some groups have the need to ensure their
scripts arrive at the user's DS unmodified. A built in public key
signature system could be used to insure scripts arrive as they were
Why the DS?
The DS, like previous versions of
the GB, is well designed and a nearly indestructible device. They
have been successfully used in environments that normally would kill
off similar electronic devices. The closest example of a device that
can stand up to similar abuse would possible be a "hardened" PDA
(either Palm of PocketPC OS based in a custom enclosure) costing at
least four times the cost of the DS/AY (DS with an "App-Yan"
device). The DS' low cost, durability and touch screens make it an
ideal candidate for this project over other portable devices. The use
of a GB for nongaming use is hardly new. The Singer Izek sewing
machine (now out of production) used a GB as a stitch and pattern
What's the benefit to Nintendo?
This project would expand the
current customer base and places used. Many would say the
"holy grail" of a portable gaming system is to allow for its use
in a public school setting. This might be possible using the
"dynamically generated exams" example sited below. While the DS
performs well as a portable gaming system added uses would generate
additional console sales which would generate added games sales.
While Nintendo is still the king of the overall handheld gaming
market, the Sony PSP has presented itself as extremely strong
competition. With Sony's lead in the home console market the success
of the DS could be critical to Nintendo's future.
What applications do you see
More than I can imagine. Python
scripts have be used from embedded systems to enterprise size servers
for countless applications. Here's a scratching of the surface:
Data collection for surveys.
Imagine a scenario where a half dozen survey collectors need to
interview people at a local mall. They need to ask a few questions
and have follow up questions adapt to respondent's previous answers.
The data then needs to be transferred to a single point where it is
recorded, analyzed and the script possibly adjusted. In this scenario
the survey collectors would use the DS' top screen to read questions
and the bottom to record responses. Those answers would be wirelessly
transferred to another DS where they would be collected and analyzed
in real time. The collection point could also adjust the survey
Dynamically generated static or
progressive exams. A public school could use DS/AYs for class
exams. A "wired" school would have a record of the MAC address of
each student's DS. An instructor would send an exam to each of the
student's DS. As an anti-cheating measure the exam question order
would be pseudo-randomized for each student. Answers would be sent
back to the instructor's DS or computer for correction. Results could
be returned in real time if desired. This could also be used for
overnight or "take home" exams. Besides tracking the correct
answer, one could also track the amount of time taken to answer each
question. Quick and correct responses might show a great proficiency
than the same correct answers but answered at a slower rate.
Vertical market applications.
Today many companies use PDAs or tablet PCs for their internal
applications. While both offer larger screens this is sometimes not
needed. The DS/AY system would be far less expensive. As many of
these machines are assigned to people on an "as needed" basis
they are sometimes treated rougher than devices that spend most of
it's company life with one or two users. Most PDAs and tablet PCs
were not designed for this kind of abuse. The DS on the other hand
was designed for the use and abuse of children.
The other issue for vertical markets
is application design costs. Python (and previously mentioned Ruby)
have proven track records as stable RAD (rapid application
development) platforms. Applications can be quickly built, tested and
Electronic tour guides. Many
museums have experimented with electronic devices as automated tour
guides. While good software design has lead to successful use of such
devices they have their limitations. Durability and cost per unit
have restricted their widespread use. A DS console equipped with an
App-Yan unit would allow institutions to quickly develop and
distribute such guides. If students were equipped with DS/AY an
instructor could create a custom tour guide suited for their
What about game piracy?
The App-Yan could only run Python
scripts with a Python interpreter which would be a signed application
from Nintendo. The interpreter would be able to access all parts of
the DS except for the running Nintendo signed applications. Piracy
IMO is a "make or break" issue for the App-Yan. If it can't
be designed to protect against the unauthorized use of licensed games
then I see little interest in Nintendo developing or supporting it.
There must also be a social contract that programs using the App-Yan
will not try to bypass copyright controls. This device is about
expanding the uses of the DS, not a game backup device. One of the
"sacred cows" of this project is that the App-Yan should
never be able to play copies of commercial DS or GBA games. While to
many this seems like a draconian move IMO it's the only way to keep a
project like this alive. If it can be used to bypass Nintendo's
copyright protections then IMO they will have little recourse other
than to stop supporting the App-Yan.
How can you ensure against the
App-Yan running game backups?
I have no idea. Someone, somewhere
will somehow figure out a way around the propose ban. Software only
mods have been created for most of the advanced game consoles and it
would be foolish to think it couldn't be done for the App-Yan. It
comes back to the social contract that would help in the slowing of
the proliferation of such a program. The lifeblood of the DS is in
the sale of officially licensed games and Nintendo has a
responsibility to insure they protect against the illegal use of said
games. Damage that revenue stream and IMO the App-Yan is dead.
Equifax's CEO calls free annual credit reports unamerican.
Equifax's CEO Thomas Chapman gave the world these notable quotes while recently at the Commonwealth Club of California about the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, which provides consumers with a free copy of their credit report every 12 months to check for inaccuracies and fraudulent activity.
"Our company felt, and still does ... that it's unconstitutional to cause a public company who has a fiduciary responsibility to return profit to shareholders to give away the product,"
"Most of my shareholder group did not think that giving away our product was the American way."
"That's like turning on the smoke alarm once a year,"
Actually you're suppose to test your smoke detectors once a month.
Equifax, Experian and TransUnion are the true "axis of evil". BTW, here's some info about the
Fair Credit Reporting Act and how to get your free credit report (not like those scam sites).