Playing music in a car without an aux-in

08/31/07 | by Adam | Categories: Technology, Music

While planning my photo trip around western Canada, high up on the priority list was what to listen to and how I was going to listen to it. I've moved on from tape and CD so try to use line-in where I can. Compared to every other method outside of playing an actual CD, this is about as good as it gets. The source material for this trip was my MacBook running off an inverter with an awful lot of MP3s. I'm trying to be responsible, so it wouldn't be sitting on the passenger seat next to me but in the back where I couldn't look at it! Fortunately the MacBook comes with the little remote allowing tracks to be changed without taking one's eyes of the road.

Having now spent the last fortnight driving around western Canada in a borrowed 2000 VW Passat, I have to say it's a very nice car. Comfortable, relatively economical, lots of oomph and doesn't look half bad either.

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The definition of "depressing"...

08/30/07 | by Adam | Categories: Whining

Link: uploading your most excellent photos to Flikr, geotagging them, and then making the mistake of looking at everyone else's much better shots of the same content.


Game copy protection goes one better (worse?)

08/29/07 | by Adam | Categories: Copyright, Games


I'd not heard of this one until going through the Register's RSS feed. 2K Games (they of Civ 4 fame amongst others) put some copy protection on one of their new games that went a little above and beyond the usual. These days games typically have one or more of the various types of copy protection:

  • CD cannot be copied
  • CD must be in the CD drive to play
  • Game must be activated over the internet (STEAM is a good example)
  • Game won't run without some keyword being used (manual, license key)

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George Kenney's Halton Arp Interview

08/24/07 | by Nimble | Categories: Thoughts, Science


George Kenney of Electric Politics interviewed Halton Arp back at the beginning of June.

I have transcribed the interview here.

Here is the original podcast.

Arp was a little hard to make out in some spots in the interview, so if you know any of the names I missed or spot a transcription mistake, please leave it in the comments section.

(I'll have plenty to say about the interview later on :)


From Nigeria to U.S. Soldiers

08/24/07 | by Nimble | Categories: Internet, Spamming

Oh boy - the sources of free money just keep moving around, like some sort of Quantum Leap scenario. Who's got tons of cash and somehow needs me as a willing partner in crime this time?

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A Week Of Anti-Science Nutjobs

08/22/07 | by Nimble | Categories: Thoughts, Common Sense, Ethics, Religion, Science

Wow, it's been a banner week so far, and it's only half over!

In recent news...

Adnan Oktar, the nut behind the pen name Harun Yahya, distributor of glossy, expensive textbooks full of creationist fantasy, got the Turkish courts to have the entirety of WordPress blocked off from access in Turkey, unless they take down sites that Adnan Oktar deems slanderous (without, from what I can tell, those sites having been proven slanderous in court)

Stuart Pivar, the nut who produces the book Lifecode, sent it to a developmental biologist, and since said biologist rightly cackled and pointed out that, although pretty, Pivar's magnificent morphing doughnuts are pseudoscience and don't even resemble the way embryos actually grow, he is suing the biologist and Seed magazine for $15 million.

Last but not least, we have the illustrious and gullible Ben Stein partaking in an astoundingly anti-science, anti-evolution movie documentary called Expelled, that from the looks of one of their press releases takes as truth the so-called 'persecution' of Richard Sternberg and Gonzales Guillermo.

I'll spend a little time on this last one...

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08/22/07 | by Adam | Categories: Technology, Silly

Sometimes one receives spam that's worth repeating. This is one such.

Dear Mr.;
In fulfillment of the effective legislation referring to the protection of data and Spam:
We asked for its permission to him and authorization to send our commercial presentation to him via email, if it is of its interest we requested that simply it responds in white to this email and say us in wich product you are interested.
In opposite case we requested ours to them more sincere excuses and except for indication hers, its direction automatically will be erased in maximum 48 hours of our data bases.
To its whole disposition and enchanted to salute to him.


Freecom's MusicPal

08/21/07 | by Adam | Categories: Technology, Music


I've been looking for a good replacement for the el-cheapo Sony alarm clock that awakes me to the dulcet tones of Radio Adam, and this could be it.

I wonder if it'll be for sale in Canada.

(Via Engadget)


RSS and the Blog

08/20/07 | by Adam | Categories: Technology


While looking through my logs for nimblebrain I noticed that I had a decent number of searches from Google (both .com and .ca domains) that had no associated search queries. Since I wasn't sure on how that worked I did some basic investigation.

One word: RSS.

Full story »


Bishop's "The Campus" goes online

08/19/07 | by Adam | Categories: Potpourri


I stumbled across the online version of Bishop's University's student newspaper, "The Campus." I was actually looking to see if the faculty and staff lockout at the university had been resolved (it has) but I'll take what I can get. I still have an interest in the publication as I had a great time editing it while earning my undergraduate degree there in the 90's.

The web version is nicely done for a volunteer effort, particularly if the timelines are as short as they used to be. Sadly it looks like they gave up in September last year. Perhaps the new crew will try again.


Translation weirdities

08/18/07 | by Adam | Categories: Technology, Potpourri

While on Arcnet, a IRC-compatible channel populated by former Amigans, I made a slightly disparaging comment about wiener schnitzel. One of the resident German speakers responded with the word:


My German's a bit weak so I popped that into Babelfish. It translated it as "ass-play the violin". I know that sometimes concepts fail to translate between languages and cultures, but if Altavista's done that correctly, it's a very odd insult.


Wireless data pricing can be steep

08/17/07 | by Adam | Categories: iPhone


Imagine you're used to American cellphone pricing which, while hardly free, is quite cheap. Imagine you've gone somewhere else which has a roaming agreement so you have service. Imagine you've not read the charge tariff.

Now imagine you're the proud possessor of an Apple iPhone with its data-hungry design and you use it.

After all that imagining, now visualize the US$3000 bill you'll get when you return home.

Still, I guess it's cheap compared to a $218 trillion mobile bill issued to a Malaysian recently...

(Via Daring Fireball)


Evolution Is Not "A Fantasy"

08/17/07 | by Nimble | Categories: Thoughts, Religion, Science

The lady who plastered anti-evolution billboards around Minnesota has a website. It is full of, as I would deem it, anti-evolution propaganda, including various quotes mined out of context. Some of them might seem quite damning, like Brian Goodwin's quote:

"Neo-Darwinism has failed as an evolutionary theory that can explain the
origin of species, understood as organisms of distinctive form and behaviour. In other words, it is not an adequate theory of evolution. What is does provide is a partial theory of adaptation, or microevolution (small-scale adaptive changes in organisms)."

You might think that would indicate Brian Goodwin thinks evolution is bunk and/or didn't happen. Well, if you think you might need a little more context, you'd be right:

But far from concentrating on the development of theories of organisms and ecosystems, Neo-Darwinism concentrates on genes as the fundamental entities in biology.

This cannot succeed because it leaves out too much. Organisms are large-scale physical systems that grow and develop, run, fly, produce leaves and flowers, and generate patterns of relationships with each other. Some of them even love and write poetry. Genes do none of these things, and neither do molecules.

Ah, so concentrating on the genes is only part of the picture, in his opinion.

Regardless, the more interesting part of the web site is the forum, where you actually get to see a little bit of debating going on.

Full story »


Immortalize yourself in Lego

08/16/07 | by Adam | Categories: Silly


Well, not Lego per se, but you've seen the South Park character generator and people are pretty familiar with the Wii Mii's. Same thing, except it's a digital Lego minifig.

And no, you can't see the one I created for myself.

(Via Pharyngula)


A pox on cheap LED mice

08/15/07 | by Adam | Categories: Technology, Whining

I'm currently using an inexpensive Belkin USB optical mouse (F8E814-BLK-OPT.) It has a very annoying habit of sometimes randomly placing the pointer on screen when moved. As I'm using a four-headed workstation this means the arrow could be pretty much anywhere and it takes a while to find again after one of the random jumps.

If only the batteries hadn't died in my Microsoft "Wireless Laser Mouse 6000" (there's a mouthful...) Despite originating from the great evil empire in Redmond, it works like a charm.


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