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Real Life Debugged » Fun & Neat Stuff

Archive for the Category ◊ Fun & Neat Stuff ◊

Drat those trial software versions!
Monday, October 04th, 2010 | Author: lisaksimone

I just *love* this stuff.  Trial versions are just that … stuff you get to use for a trial period.  Which (except for roll-under bugs that appear everywhere) tend to expire in reasonable time frames.

Below is a picture I took in Guam a couple weeks ago during a (painfully too long) layover.  Which might be more palatably (is that a word?) thought of as a surface interval between diving WWII wrecks in Truk Lagoon (awesome) and sharks and cool critters in Yap (no mantas.  Rats).

This display was, heck, 8 feet across.  All day it displayed video and ads.  In the middle of a pretty cool extreme sports-kinda video, the following appeared:

“BroadCam Video Streaming Server Upgrade Special..

“You have used BroadCam Video Streaming Server for a while now.  It is about time you should upgrade to the Professional Version.”

Coooool.  Just gotta love it!

I thought USB Cufflinks were a joke, but during a visit to Pasadena this winter, I found a Lego USB stick.  I thought that was pretty cool and would have made the purchase if not for the $39.99 price tag for 256KB.

Yes, srsly.

But Cufflinks.  Hmmm.   2GB each for a black tie evening of 4 GB.  My inner geek says, “Cool!” but I’m left wondering if I’m truly swayed by coolness, or after a longer pondering would file it in the “just because they can do it” category.

When, exactly, would USB cufflinks be a lifesaver?  Can you think of a situation during which one would be expected socially to wear cufflinks when easy access to several Gigs of data might be required?  And seriously, someone else wouldn’t have one on a key chain somewhere?  Even those little USBs fit nicely into an inner jacket pocket to maintain the smooth trouser look.

Fashion and function merging once again.  Because if you lose a snazzy cufflink, you’ll always have a data backup on the other arm.

I got a check from the Department of Defense that represents Your Tax Dollars At Work.  You paid for me to recommend where some of that defense money goes.  I tried my best, and I hope you’re happy with my performance.

Whatever your opinions or political leanings, I think we all agree that the effects of war on our warriors and their families is tremendous.  And we hear stories how returning soldiers and veterans don’t receive the best possible care.

Let me tell you about some of the medical research being funded.  Real research and development projects aimed directly at the most significant medical problems.  A huge new challenge is dealing with IEDs - Improvised Explosive Devices - causing blast injuries.  Those who survive often suffer lost limbs, traumatic brain injury, PTSD.

I’d like to tell you about where the money is going, and how the government decides to spend it.

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I love tripping across relatively harmless bugs.  Amazing how the same types of bugs keep showing up over and over and how we don’t test our code enough before releasing it.

Weather.com has a new radar feature called TruPoint.  Rather than showing radar images from T-30 minutes to the present, this feature predicts future weather patterns of radar images.  T+30 minutes.  Kinda neat if it can actually show the magical storms that materialize out of nowhere just when the traditional radar implies blue skies for as far as the eye can see.

So if a prediction program is T+x, and x is negative, are we going forward or backward in time?

Anyway, I mucked around with the feature and got it to hang.  (Not on purpose.)

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I imagine kids on a Halloween scavenger hunt in the cemetery.  Each group’s crumpled paper reads, “Find and take pictures of headstones of the following people -”

Sitka Russian Cemegary Lisa Simone Copyright 2008

Dead person # 1.  Find the grave of a woman who was an avid Scuba diver, underwater photographer and author, and who looked like a million bucks without plastic surgery or Jimmy Choo shoes.

Watch the video of the tragic barrel racing event that took her life, and write down the name of the horse that skidded, rolled over and squashed  her flat.

Morbid, eh?  Well once again, technology is here to save the day.

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You know the saying, “When I want your opinion I’ll give it to you”? The Onion presents a video that parodies how companies provide what they feel we should want. And like sheep, we assume that they are correct. Kinda like that 54-Button Remote Control.

Have a good laugh - Apple Introduces Revolutionary New Laptop with No Keyboards.

Perhaps this isn’t such a parody after all …

Cheat Sheets for Jacking Up Google on Steriods
Saturday, July 25th, 2009 | Author: lisaksimone

Did you know Googling “movie: Star Wars” will give ONLY movie reviews and info about each Star Wars film and movie times if appropriate? Or that “phonebook: John Smith NJ” lists public phone numbers for all John Smiths in New Jersey? You don’t need a calculator anymore - find the cube root of 109 or convert three quarters of a cup in teaspoons. Just type either phrase into Google. Neat!

Check out the Google Guide Cheat Sheet, and also the Google Calculator Cheat Sheet.

More advanced options can be found in the Search Operators Guide. Great hints for searching within only one or two websites and for removing the zillions of stores selling the same product from the results.

You can also access info from old or removed pages by searching cached (previously saved) pages. If a search result produces an error or the content isn’t there, click the “Cached” link.

The cache trick can also bypass restrictions on certain sites. One company I worked for slammed me with a huge red “BLOCKED - ATTEMPT TO ACCESS WEBSITE CONTAINING NUDITY” when I searched for a hand x-ray of a hand? Nudity???? (What did you think I meant, anyway?)

Lots of cool stuff. Check it out at GoogleGuide.com.

Technology creates problems we’d never have without the other technology that came first. So you’re in a hotel room with 1 outlet and need to charge your computer/phone/camera on AC, and also charge your iPod through a USB. Check out this little guy from Monster - tiny and cheap - I want one!!!!

By accident I surfed backwards in time this morning from 2009 to 1987. Omaba’s Federal CTO appointment crashed into a 25-year Technology Timeline. Who knew you could use “PERL”, “God”, “Powerpoint”, “Boiled” and “Duct Tape” in the same article.

Four mouse clicks and 10 minutes … the first PC. Start of the World Wide Web. Flash Drives. USB.  All from a press release about some dude from Virginia who may translate previous work in technology-related policy and development to bring the Federal government out of the dark ages.  Hmmm.

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What if everything in the world was made by Microsoft?

Sure, we’ve all seen the funky error messages, both real and fake. Yeah, Smart-House 2.0 Crashed my Kitchen was amusing, but the next extrapolation can be downright scary.

“Can of Peas - Professional” or “Can of Peas - Home Edition”?  Cracked.com ran a contest.  Enjoy them all, and wait for the last one to finish.