When people ask me my favorite novel, my answer is Stephen King’s The Stand. I get a lot of wrinkled noses. It’s not literature and SK will be the first to tell you so. He’s unapologetically a popular fiction writer. So, I get some negative reactions from the folks that feel my answer should be Moby Dick or Ulysses or something. (To be fair, I’ve read neither). If I can get past that reaction, the second most common reaction is, “Eww, Stephen King.”
Allison brought home half of a new candy bar she bought.
(I really wonder if this is blog-worthy. But it was damn good!).
Anyway, it’s called Take5 and it’s chocolate, caramel, peanuts, peanut butter, and pretzels. And it’s really really tasty.
I won’t tell you what major chocolatemaker makes it. There. Now I don’t feel like a product placement whore. Googling it will do you no good. You’ll see it eventually. Really, it’s one of the Big candy companies.
Remember last year when TiVo really made it well known how they were collecting aggregate usage statistics, and that Janet Jacksons costume malfunction was the most instant-replayed moment in TiVo history? Well, this years TiVo Super Bowl stats are out, and youll be interested to know that the three most watched and replayed moments were the GoDaddy.com commercial (no surprise there, you pervs), MVP-voting instructions, and that interception in the 4th quarter. The low point (pre-game excepted) seemed to be after Paul McCartney finished Hey Jude (seriously, nothing can top Hey Jude, so we understand why everyone moved on).
Well, maybe not. Hey, Roarman, when’s your birthday?
This set of dueling remote control tanks is a masochist’s dream come true. The controller is framed with conductive metal and zaps you with electricity whenever your opponent lands an infrared hit. It’s an educational toy — I learned that when my coworkers get shocked, they scream like little girls being chased by bees. And that’s on the Low setting. After five or so battles on High (hits count double, but the shock is twice as powerful), I was in so damn much pain that I started holding my controller as if it were a used Kleenex. It’s like BattleBots with freaking defibrillators! Soon, the only way I could lure new opponents was to tell them it’s called Shocking Tanks because “it’s shocking how much fun it is.”
Cool Squeezebox thing. On Windows, my Slimserver interface is an .exe. On Linux, it’s a browser page. I open Firefox and type “http://bigbend:9000″ (“bigbend” is what I named my server) and the Slimserver software comes up as a webpage. I can control the Squeezebox from the Office PC or from Al’s laptop since she’s on the same network. (To be fair, I think the web interface is possible when running Slimserver under Windows, too, but it’s not the default interface and you have to know to look for it). The software isn’t as good as iTunes, but it’s very good for creating playlists on the fly and changing the queue. I’ve even read that I could do true remote control and set it up so that I could access the player from work or from Richmond. Other than scaring Cadbury, though, I don’t see the usefulness.
I’m had been thinking that my way around the lossless AAC problem is to abandon AAC entirely. From what I’ve read online, Windows Media Player’s lossless format is at least as good as Apple’s. Most people say that they’re comparable and some say that Windows’ is better. I did a quick compare and found no great difference. Open source denizens tout FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec). Essentially a lossless codec that isn’t owned by Apple, Microsoft, or anyone else. I see the usefulness of that for future-proofing. But the process sounds painful. Convert the CD to a .wav file and feed it through an encoder. Ugh. I’m not that much of a perfectionist.
Anyway, I tried it, and the Slimserver can’t recognize WMA, either. I understand it. Linux is free (as I’ve paraphrased from O’Reilly and otehrs: free as in beer, as well as free as in speech). Anyway, because it’s free & open, they’re limited on what non-free, non-open code they can include. Licensing and royalty issues. And Microsoft and Apple’s WMA and AAC codecs are proprietary.
It’s not undoable. There are free codecs that will get the job done. I just have to find them and apply them correctly. As I’m mentioned before, installing Linux software isn’t always as easy as double-clicking an .exe. But that’s okay.
Big thanks to Luke for setting me on the path. The problem was that I had created many of the folders in my /home/ethan directory, but as root. So Linux wasn’t giving me permission to share root’s folders.
It’s a Unix thing. You have your “normal” logon (e.g., “ethan”) and your “root” logon (i.e., admin). And you generally try not to do too much as root, because you never know when you might do something wrong. And root is Superman. Linux ain’t telling root not to do nothing.
I don’t want this. Really. But I love HK stuff…
From Engadget, of course.