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Walmart / vudu video rental sucks

Just for the heck of it, we tried renting a video at walmart.com's vudu streaming service.  It was unwatchable, freezing every few seconds for buffering.  Checked our connection with speedtest.net, and...

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Creating spectrograms in Linux using a ColorMunki

The software that comes with the ColorMunki Photo is windows-only and is only about calibrating displays and printers.  I wanted to get spectrograms out of it so that we can measure lighting and...

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Repeated strings in bash

I just whipped up a little bar graph in bash using this trick: printf '=%.0s' $(seq 10)A more complete example, using some file with lines containing a date string:for d in {17..27} ; do  N=$(grep...

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RobotShop sucks

robotshop.com's customer service sucks.  I paid extra for 2-day shipping, and 4 days later they emailed me back asking for my social security number.  I had to work out on my own that it (probably)...

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Copying files to Galaxy Nexus from Ubuntu

Update: sshdroid now works well for me with scp.  Be sure to change the default password!Wow, what a pain.  MTP support in lucid is broken, or at least incredibly slow for galaxy nexus.  PTP works okay...

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Rip audio CDs in ubuntu Lucid

Sound Juicer couldn't seem to find the track info for my CDs, but https://help.ubuntu.com/community/CDRipping also mentions asunder, which works great.  It also will encode to both flac and ogg at the...

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mbw MCBLOCK test results (used to be) bogus

Update: Andras updated mbw to fix this.I was testing a machine's memory performance, and ran across the "mbw" package in Ubuntu lucid.$ mbw -a -n 1 1024...0Method: MEMCPYElapsed: 0.23493MiB:...

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Disable "browser back" and "browser forward" keys in gnome

My lenovo thinkpad has keys above the left and right arrow keys, that by default are wired to my browser's "forward" and "back" buttons.  This is a horrible idea, because it means that frequently I'll...

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Aluminum air batteries for extended trips in electric cars

I like the idea of owning an electric car, except that we frequently make trips to see family members 100 and 350 miles away.  So I've been scratching my head about ways to let an electric car do that....

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Can we find out if our universe is real?

Tonight I sat down with a friend and explored a question that’s been rolling around in my head for a long time now, which may have an answer or may not be in any way decidable by mankind.I’ve written a...

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Gnome Network Manager (lucid) "apply" button greyed out

My 2wire DSL modem has a DNS server in it that I can't shut off, and when we start heavily using the network, DNS lookups get really slow or fail completely.  Lame!  Sometimes I've resorted to editing...

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Understanding CPU, I/O and memory bandwidth choices (as of May 2012)

Every year or two I have to go catch up on the latest PC hardware so I can make reasonable decisions about what gear to buy.  Here's the result of my latest inquiry into high end Intel hardware....

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Stop worrying about the "923-bit encryption" press release

The popular press usually gets crypto stuff wrong, but this time I can't find anybody within even a mile of the truth. Fujitsu et al released a press release a few days ago with the breathless title...

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Attempting to codify thought

I've been thinking lately that AI doesn't spend enough time trying to understand and emulate what it means to have a Train of Thought, or for that matter, what a Thought is.  So here's my best guess....

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Kingston v200 series SSDs have problems

From my research and testing, I'm going to be avoiding v200 series Kingston SSD disks.  (But I've had great success with the older v100 series disks).Users complained about very slow write performance...

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Reflective street crystals

One of my favorite pieces of natural urban beauty are these "street rainbows" I see once in a while.It's caused by a sandy powder on the roads.  I'm fairly sure it's a kind of retro-reflective crystal...

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Social status: the underground river

Status is a touchy subject in the West.  We spent a long time believing that nobles were fundamentally better than serfs, and nowadays most overt assertions of authority are considered gauche.  We...

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Get rid of "3 more files to edit" warning in vim

The E173 "... more files to edit" error in vim drives me nuts.  To get rid of it, I added this to my .vimrc:" Get rid of annoying 'more files to edit' error:nno :q :qa

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Mountain View City Council 2012 Election Forum

There are 4 slots and 6 candidates running for City Council in Mountain View, CA.  I went to a Q&A session with the candidates on 4 Oct 2012.Overall impressions: (this is the only part of the post...

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AT&T (and SBC) sucks

Where I live, AT&T is the only company I can get basic phone service from, and I have to have basic phone service before I can get DSL from a decent ISP like Sonic (who won't go out of their way to...

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