Neural-Go-Round

Posted by bbinkovitz on 2008.03.15 @ 12:26

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project ruori's neural currency exhibit at notacon
Remember those weird things we built for PURE a couple years ago, and posted creepy photos of? Well it’s become a traveling freakshow of stochastic electronic goodness, appearing after its initial Boston display at electro-music 2007 in Philadelphia, and soon to be inflicted on the public again at Notacon in Cleveland, April 4th - 6th, 2008. Come check it out, and we might lovingly assault your ears with our mental vibrational energies if you’re lucky.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Voter Fraud

Posted by bbinkovitz on 2008.03.03 @ 19:53

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Warning - Fraud Hazard Next 1 ElectionsRemember how in 2004 everyone was so freaked out about the terrific hackability of both the hardware and software of Diebold and other electronic voting machines? Well, the fuss has sort of died down about that. (Not that there was any reason for it to — there are no reports that the problems with the machines were ever adequately addressed.) And anyway, what vigilante dictator has the time or inclination to mess around with all that techno-crap involved in hacking a voting machine? Key-cutting takes all of 2-5 minutes per key, and firmware hacking involves learning boring things, like what firmware is. It’s enough to get a would-be crooked election worker or stealth saboteur to give up and go back to throwing Molotov cocktails at Planned Parenthood staff.

But don’t give up yet, all you burgeoning totalitarians out there! For here I shall reveal a much simpler (albeit slightly less efficient) method of voting fraud. Here is what I learned in my absentee-ballot-casting experience. Oh yeah, and dear internets: please use this for good and not evil. And also don’t use it at all. [more...]

Data Integrity a Posteriori

Posted by cwright on 2008.03.01 @ 19:03

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 Corrosive Liquids.  Wear Protective Equipment.Data integrity is a hot topic these days. With data volumes on the rise and hard drive half-lives falling, protecting data has become important in many different fields.

Conventionally, a storage medium will report its life expectancy in terms of MTBF, or Mean Time Between Failures. This is often measured in hours. However, it’s not always this simple. Usage patterns and environmental characteristics take a heavy toll on how long our storage devices last. [more...]

Python's Flying Circus

Posted by cwright on 2008.02.22 @ 14:35

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Python Logo

Lately I’ve been working on integrating (or, more accurately, attempting to integrate) the Python scripting language into some plugins for an application we develop plugins for. We’ve wrapped many libraries with varying levels of success, so this one wasn’t going to be much different. Or, so we thought. [more...]

Some Crazy MacBook Pro Checkerboard Graphics Corruption / Crash Some Crazy MacBook Pro Checkerboard Graphics Corruption / Crash

Posted by smokris on 2008.02.15 @ 13:34

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Last summer Kosada purchased a MacBook Pro for the president of one of Kosada’s consulting clients. It’s been a great improvement over the old Dell laptop he was formerly using, and, though he was initially worried about whether he’d be able to grasp the new UI, he seems to have picked it up quickly, and he reports that he’s been loving it.

But this morning he called me with a rather odd problem:

“I hooked up my Treo and started syncing it, then walked away for a few minutes. When I returned, the screen was covered with a bunch of squares, and I can’t do anything.”
Is Smaller Better? Is Smaller Better?

Posted by mradcliffe on 2008.02.03 @ 22:39

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Epia EX small

In the past couple of months I thought about spending some money on either a Nintendo Wii or a multi-purpose media box (not to mention my anxiety over buying an unmodifiable blackbook). Over the past 3 years I’ve looked at smaller cases as “better”. Before that it was always the full tower case that provided more room and ease-of-use. In this vein I’ve been looking at the world of mini-itx for the past several months.

VIA created the mini-itx specification for itself, but since its creation other companies started creating motherboards with this spec and recently so has Intel. The spec allows for a low-power consumption CPU, which is great for point-of-sales machines, thin clients, and more. The other use of mini-itx, popular amongst personal users, is as a Home Theater PC (HTPC) or media center. [more...]

Mac OS Xodus

Posted by cwright on 2007.12.27 @ 10:50

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(First, yes I do realize the ‘X’ in ‘OS X’ is pronounced “ten” not “ecks.” I simply like the portmanteau.)

With the release of Leopard, I discovered the need to migrate my existing Tiger system onto an external drive. I needed it to be bootable, and I wanted to have a little discontinuity as possible. Apple generally makes this pretty easy, but it’s still a bit involved. I write this article from my migrated system, currently booting Tiger off of a USB drive. [more...]

Zero Grams of Trans Fat Binaries

Posted by cwright on 2007.12.19 @ 00:36

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tons of xcode build targetsPeople like their applications to work. Even better, they like them to work, even when things change. For the WinTel world, this isn’t a big deal (Vista aside ;), because the underlying CPU architecture hasn’t really changed, from a program’s point of view, in the past two decades. Unless you have a weird program that’s designed for AMD’s 3DNow! instruction set and you switch to an Intel CPU, or perhaps an application designed for a more esoteric old SIMD architecture, your application should run just fine (as long as your Operating System is ok with it).

Mac OS X doesn’t have the luxury of working on the same underlying CPU though, so things need to be handled a little bit differently. The solution Apple came up with was [more...]

fAIL: The Self-Replicating Network Connection fAIL: The Self-Replicating Network Connection

Posted by mradcliffe on 2007.12.11 @ 08:55

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Good morning gentle readers. I opened up my craptop this morning to witness the struggles of what seemed to be a laptop battling cancer. No, this was not another case of opteron cancer. Instead I found that Windows, unable to cope with my Cisco Aironet 350 wireless card, was creating network connections one after another in the system tray. [more...]

The Feast, it's Ruined — My Quest For Eggo Waffles The Feast, it's Ruined — My Quest For Eggo Waffles

Posted by mradcliffe on 2007.09.13 @ 07:09

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Updated: now with response.

Eggo Waffles

I thought to myself this morning — I want an Eggo Waffle. You see, I have never had one, but have always been interested. There were some in the freezer that Robert had bought, removed from their packaging because of his space-saving ways.

Naturally I found the need to prepare an Eggo Waffle to the correct specifications as I wanted to make sure that I was having the correct Eggo experience (microwave, toast, pan fry, what?). To my surprise the feast was ruined (credit for the title), and breakfast was not magically delicious. [more...]