Remaindered Links for 03 Feb 2011

JavaScript Console Without The Browser
It’s been difficult to test JavaScript code in the past as one would need to fire up a browser and work within it. Now you can work with JavaScript in your console (at least on a Mac). Here’s the setup and how to do it.

Why Is America’s Transportation System Stuck in the 1950s?
We still focus most of our transportation expenditures on the automobile, the interstate system, and it’s related cash-sinks. Public transportation, even walking, keep getting pushed out of budgets and initiatives. With a country growing more obese every year, we could probably solve a lot of health issues by encouraging more pedestrian or cycle traffic over sitting in a car all the time. But that’s a major initiative that would require the complete rebuilding of our urban and especially our suburban fabric.

iPhone Generates More Revenue Than All of Microsoft
One division of Apple does more than Microsoft entirely. Blame high profit margins or whatever, but Apple’s kicking ass and taking names and is one of the best companies out there right now from a financial perspective (with nearly $100B in the bank).

Convert HTML links to Soundcloud’s HTML5 widget
For those of you who use Soundcloud, here’s how to use jQuery to get links to your audio on Soundcloud to turn into their HTML5 player

box-sizing: border-box Cures What Ailes You
The box model is one of the more frustrating things about web development. Each browser handles it a little bit differently and padding vs width computations break many a page in development and sometimes in production. This sets the width to lock to the border, not the inside of the padding. Not sure why this hasn’t been the default since 2000, but it’s an option now, so start using it.

Remaindered Links for 27 Jan 2011

Understanding the bin, sbin, usr/bin , usr/sbin split
For anyone who works on a unix system trying to remember which binary lives an be hairy (unless you just throw all of these into your env chain, and then woohoo!). But why did they create so many directories in the first place? Turns out it was all about running out of disc space on a PDP-11 in 1970 when they built the first version of Unix.

Why are software estimations off by a factor of 2 or 3?
Michael Wolfe gives a great explanation of why standard models of estimating software often fail by using something more tangible to most: going on a hike.

Rails 3.2 and 3.2.1 out
Upgraded to these and things seem fine. 3.2.1 fixes a bug that exists as 3.2 was compiled with Ruby 1.9 and would throw all sorts of fun errors like

Invalid gemspec in [/var/www/railsapps/meticulous_admin/shared/bundle/ruby/1.8/specifications/activeresource-3.2.0.gemspec]: Illformed requirement [“# 3.2.0”]

Not good.

George Soros on the Coming US Class War
The Man who Broke the Bank of England and liberal financier George Soros does not have a rosy outlook for our current economic woes: “We are facing now a general retrenchment in the developed world, which threatens to put us in a decade of more stagnation, or worse. The best-case scenario is a deflationary environment. The worst-case scenario is a collapse of the financial system.”

Apple Cash Reserves near $100B USD
For a company that almost died in the mid 90s, they now have one of the largest war chests out there. It’s bigger than the GDP of many small countries. It’s also one of the few tech companies whose valuation is remotely in line with it’s actual holdings and worth.

A Very Awkward Moment

I’ll bet that the guy went off script and the female anchor decided to decisively win the echange. Without missing a beat, she tossed off that comment and went right back to work. Awesome.

Remaindered Links for 14 May 2010

It’s been a while since I did one of these but my RSS feed reader has been overflowing with reads so I’m going to start doing these as I have links to share again.

iPad Gets Kitchen Cabinet Install
I expect to see a lot more of these kind of things with various touch screen interfaces. The benefits of a computer in the kitchen are numerous, from looking up a recipe to playing music to video chatting while working. It’s a matter of time until digital connectivity is laced throughout life.

We Are Out of Money
No matter how many “green shoots” people keep talking about, a simple fact remains: Government from the local to the federal level is living outside of its means and eventually, there’s one outcome: bankruptcy.

Students Get In Trouble for Wearing American Flags on Cinco de Mayo
Another sign of political correctness run amok, four students were almost
suspended over wearing the American Flag on Cinco de Mayo because it was deemed offensive to the Mexican-American holiday. Luckily the school board in the area disagreed with the Principal’s take on it and the boys were not suspended. I think they should have gone back wearing Gadsen Flags.

Tax Bills at Their Lowest Since 1950s
For those complaining that taxes are through the roof, the numbers say otherwise. People in 2009 actually paid about 9.2% of incomes, as opposed to the historical average of 12.

Chicago Mayor Daley Wants Gun Case Heard by World Court
Obviously not content to simply strip Chicago residents of their Second Amendment Rights, Daley wants to take the case the Supreme Court declined to the World Court in the Hague. Citing numbers that have been proven incorrect (e.g. 85% of Mexican guns come from the US, etc.) it’s just another attempt at pushing a ludicrous agenda of control. Mayor Daley, put a sock in it.

Remaindered Links for 16 Oct 2009

National Review Author Says Woman’s Sufferage Bad for America | Almost hard to believe, but this is your right wing in action. Women voting is “bad for conservatism” and therefore “bad for society”.

Newspaper Redesign: The Story of a Beautiful Failure | iA was invited to submit a redesign of the Swiss paper, Tages-Anzeiger. This is a story of how they lost, and the designs they came up with. Beautiful stuff. It’s interesting to see a usability firm approach the newspaper format that has been effectively unchanged for almost a hundred years.

Overcriminalization: The Federal Gov’t Goes Too Far | a 66-year-old “diabetic with coronary complications, arthritis and Parkinsons” was targeted by the Fish & Wildlife service, his house raided by a SWAT team, and forced to serve 2 years in a Federal prison all for missing some paperwork on importing… Orchids. Your tax dollars at work.

Fossil Skeleton Predates Lucy | 1.2 million years older than Africa’s famous “Lucy” fossil, this shows that humans split off from other apes long before previously thought.

Hadron Collider Could Prove Hyperdrive | Reviving a 1924 hypothesis by a German physicist, Franklin Felber is looking to see if the concept of a hyperdrive could be proven on a near atomic level when the Hadron Collider starts back up in the near future.

Regrets: Dave Matthews Band

Many of you know I helped run Nancies.org (which is no more) for 10 years and when I saw this video I was cracking up. Maybe it’s because I already had another band’s back catalog (that band being U2), ensuring that I didn’t suffer this same fate.

Remaindered Links for 10 Oct 2008

NSA Eavesdropped on Americans, Journalists in Baghdad | Two whistleblowers came forward to allege that “it was common practice at the NSA facility [in the Green Zone] to not only record the phone conversations of ordinary Americans with no connection to terrorism, but to single out the exchanges that were somehow novel or salacious for sharing, ridicule, and general discussion.” Your tax dollars at work. How long until this happens domestically? My money is on that it already does happen here.

The Temper Trap – Sweet Disposition | Really, truly, one of the best new bands I’ve seen since MuteMath. From Melbourne, Australia. As Tom Bridge said in a conversation with me, “It has a great urgency to it. I MUST ROCK. IT CANNOT WAIT. ROCK!”

Honey Can Help Fight Sinusitis | Well, certain types, and it’s limited to petri dish testing. It goes to show that Mother Nature really makes the best medicine.

The Cab Ride I’ll Never Forget | Just a great feel-good story about an old lady and a cab driver. It’s the little things we do that make a difference.

Mad Men Illustrated | A great group of images of illustrated scenes from Mad Men. Well done art! (via .sara)

Consumers not waiting for Automakers to Install Plug-in on Hybrids | This shows the obstinance of Detroit on getting with the program. When people are moding hteir cars so much in order to increase mileage, it might be something to look into…

No-Tech Hacking | Security is often focused on firewalls and digital encryption and randomized passwords. This is a great look at how non-technical issues can often do you in, how situational awareness is paramount, and how you car, dress and haircut can tell someone more about you than you care to let on. (Defcon talk by Johnny Long)

Typography for Lawyers | Or other clients who just don’t seem to get it.

Grocery Items rise 10.5% from Last Year | Maybe food will be the next hot market. Of course, most of these things aren’t storeable, and these hikes all seem to be related to costs of inputs on the agricultural end as well as transportation costs.

Bailout Links for 10 Oct 2008

Berlusconi Says Leaders May Close World’s Markets | The Italian Prime Minister would like to suspend the markets for a short time in order to “rewrite the rules of international finance.” Well, the problem I see is that you have debt. And not only people but governments living excessively outside their means. Fiat currencies not backed by gold and you basically have a bunch of paper that people say has a certain value. When that paper gets traded at 20 times its value, it’s only a matter of time until that becomes untenable. And it is going to correct. If they keep the markets from sinking further in number, they do it in actuality through inflation. Just look at Zimbabwe, Argentina, etc. to see where this could end up for us.

AIG Draws Fire for Executives’ $440,000 Post-Bailout Retreat at Posh California Resort | Shock. Amazement. Bewilderment. The government bails you out because you screwed up and what do you do? Fix it? NO. You go on a fscking resort and pay for $6 diet cokes on the company (now taxpayer) dime. These people should have their personal assets taken from them to pay back the 85 billion (or part of it) and get a pittance of a salary to fix it. Or they can just quit. Or they can go to jail. I like door number three myself. “Executive Douchebag? meet Bubba. He likes men.”

Jim Cramer: Get Out of the Market | Jim Cramer recommends that people get the heck out of the market if you plan on using that money in the next five years. We heard something similar from our USAA advisers about 6 months ago when this all started to rumble with the sub-prime debacle. But this is going mainstream. Will this affect a sell-off of large proportions?

Settlement Day Approaches For Derivatives | Derivatives are really the 800 lb. Gorilla in the corner that everyone’s been ignoring. If these things go, get ready for fun.

Is This A Replay of 1929? | No. And that’s a relief. Newsweek’s Robert J. Samuelson talks about the differences and similarities between now and the Great Depression. Also see The End of Prosperity, Time’s look at similar concerns.

Worst Case Scenario Is Approaching Rapidly | The European Union is in chaos as certain countries jump out of step to secure their own domestic banking accounts.

Political Fun for 10 Oct 2008

The Palins’ un-American Activities | Since Sarah Palin is pounding so hard on Sen. Obama regarding his weak link connection to Bill Ayers, Salon’s David Talbot hits back with some great points. If you read some of the statements of the founder of the Alaska Independence Party, of which her husband was an active member for years, you’d be a bit shocked: “My government is my worst enemy. I’m going to fight them with any means at hand.” So who’s the anti-government terrorist now?

McCain Loses His Head | Conservative commentator George Will calls out and rips McCain on his recent campaign activities calling him disconnected.

Global Electoral College | The Economist combines polls taken worldwide to see who would be President if the world could vote. It’s a decidedly blue map.

Ciny McCain Says Obama Runing ‘Dirtiest Campaign’ Ever | Yeah. I’m not sure what planet the Senator’s wife is living on, but I have three words: Pot. Kettle. Black.

‘Perfect Storm’ Could Give Dems ‘Magic 60’ in Senate | I’m not sure this would be good, as I think consensus building generally makes for better long term laws. However, after the disasterous years of the Republican Control of the White House and Capitol Hill, we’ve got a lot of crap to undo.

Walking a Fine Line | McCain did come out and try to push this back on Friday, but they should never have let it get this far out of control.

So we have McCain today getting his crowd riled up asking who Barack Obama is and then apparently giving a wink and a nod when one member of the crowd screams out “terrorist.”

And later we have Sarah Palin with the same mob racket, getting members of the crowd to yell out “kill him”, though it’s not clear whether the call for murder was for Bill Ayers or Barack Obama. It didn’t seem to matter.

These are dangerous and sick people, McCain and Palin. Whatever it takes. Stop at nothing.

Garabage Pail Kid version of Sarah Palin | This is just funny. I’d actually like to see someone do all four candidates up this way.

Make Believe Maverick | A relatively biased (especially in the tone of the writer) view of McCain. Strip away the hype and take it for the facts and it’s pretty interesting in regards to the underpinnings of McCain.

Remaindered Links for 03 Oct 2008

Ask Umbra Gets Noticed by the New York Times | My friend, Jennifer Prediger, gets props from the NY Times about her new “Ask Umbra” featurettes on the environmental site, grist.org. Yay!

Urban Vehicle Camouflage | Someone spent a lot of time to look like a generic fleet vehicle.

What Happened to Muxtape | Sad that the industry couldn’t figure out how to make this work in their favor. Seems they keep stepping on anything that would help them sell music.

Creating a Magical Rainbow Color Flame in Photoshop | Veerle comes through again with an amazing tutorial showing how to create a very nice effect in Photoshop.

And finally, a funny image from Amy Hoy:

Bailout Links for 02 Oct 2008

I was working on my Friday links article and I saw that way too many of them were specific to the Bailout and all things financial, so here they are in a seperate post:

Derivatives are the Next Big Problem | $55 trillion dollars in credit swaps is where a lot of growth happened, however, it wasn’t proper growth. So now, we’re stuck with a big problem. No bailout can fix this stuff. It just has to adjust.

Bank Limits Fund Access by Colleges | Wachovia has limited about 1,000 colleges access to their $9.3 billion i assets held by the bank. When credit disappears, bad things happen.

BB&T President Tells Congress to Rethink the Plan | John Allison, President and CEO of BB&T, basically called out Congress asking why there’s a bailout for people who were simply irresponsible and reckless and calls out many of the points that are just plain dumb. Here’s the original PDF scan

Treasury Admits No Basis to $700B Figure | From the article: “It’s not based on any particular data point,” a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. “We just wanted to choose a really large number.”

There is no Crisis | A commentary calling out what it sees as a blatant lie of the Bush administration to help their friends on their last days in office.

A Moral Hazard for the Housing Bailout | How do you sot out those who really got screwed versus those who wanted to play the market and got caught with their pants down (but were knowledgeable about the risk)? You cannot privatize profit and socialize debt and risk. It just doesn’t work that way. We have to let risk-taking financial institutions fail

Bailout as Nigerian Scam Email | This is quality. For those of you who have suffered the Nigerian email scams over the years, this will make you laugh (or cry… you decide).

Wonkette Canned Soup Index | Campbells Soup is the only thing to gain in a day of losses. Bring on the soup lines!

Credit Cards to Implode | UK analyst believes that “a combination of a 10-year steady drip of deteriorating personal finances and a tidal wave… brought on by the mortgage and credit crisis leads us to believe that credit cards are going to implode in the near term.” Yay.

Political Fun for 02 Oct 2008

Disclaimer: I’m a Virginia Democrat (aka, I have slight libertarian leanings). This is not meant to be fair or balanced in any way, shape, or form. Just what I’m reading and I like this week. Deal.

“Qui Tacet Consentire Videtur” – He who keeps silent is assumed to give consent. So speak up! Here we go, the political fun I’ve read this week:

The Truth About Sarah Palin | Rolling Stone delivers myth vs fact coverage. Worth the read.

Sexist Treatment of Palin Must End | Campbell Brown rips another one apart with this great op-ed. Fits in nicely with the John Stewart video below.

Let’s Play Wall Street Bailout! | A great excerpt from C-SPAN with a Congresswoman mocking the proceedings by calling it a new game to play and going through some excellent snark.

Worst Self-Inflicted Campaign Move Ever | John McCain’s “suspension” was arguably the dumbest thing anyone has ever done. It said “I can only handle one thing at a time,” and came at the time when his poll numbers were falling like meteors.

McCain’s Bizarre Earmark Obsession | Earmarks are such a tiny part of the budget, and yet McCain can’t stop talking about them. Non-issues since he has no talking points on actual issues.