For A Good Cause, Shave Here

Update: this is no longer active. You should check out St. Baldrick’s if you are interested in helping cancer research.

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The Age of Scrutiny

I swear, this is the only political post I will do before the elections. No, really!

As the elections get closer and closer, the more I realize Neal Stephenson is not an author, but a prophet. He (co-)wrote a book called Interface which was a book about a politician who has a stroke, and has a chip implanted in his brain by the shadow government. It restores his motor control, but has the side-effect of having the ability to trigger memories with the direction of an external wireless device (designed to be a kind of “pacemaker” for the chip).

I know it sounds pretty crazy, but in the context of the book, it actually flows pretty believably.

Anyways, he goes on to run for President, and his campaign works out a way to use this memory-trigger to their advantage. They pick a small sample of people that represent a cross-section of the country, and then hook them up to a little Dick Tracy TV with an EKG in it that transmits their immediate emotional response to whatever they show them back to the campaign (sound familiar?). . . . → Read More: The Age of Scrutiny

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It’s Official, Motricity Lays Off… Durham

My former employer, Motricity, finally officially announced laying off a boatload of people this morning.

I’ve weighed in quite a bit on Motricity and their baffling business strategies on the MocoNews post that talked about rumors of layoffs; going by what most of us former employees have said, this has been expected for a looooooong time.

Best wishes go out to all of those affected by layoffs; I still know a few folks who have stuck around this long; they should be at least expecting a nice severance package and some time to look for something new. I worked with plenty of very talented people there who I expect will be able to get back on their feet pretty quick.

Good luck to all!

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Rock Band Downloadable Content (DLC)

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So this is a bit off-topic, but I am addicted to Rock Band. One of the things that makes it so great is the huge amount of downloadable content available to expand the game with new songs, and stuff comes out weekly.

However, it’s hard to tell what a song is, just from the title sometimes. Turns out you may know it but not realize you know it. I wanted to be able to hear the song before deciding whether it was worth downloading. I suspected that there were plenty of other folks who had a similar itch which needed scratching. So, I did something about it. =)

I’ve been looking for an excuse to do something “real” with rails, and this was it. In just a week of spare time, I’ve thrown together this:

It’s not yet very pretty, but it does the job, you can preview the original artist tracks for each of the songs available through XBox Marketplace and the PS3 Online Store.

If you notice any issues, please let me know.

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Embracing and Extending OpenNMS

Let me start with a story. It’s a story of answering a simple question in the #fink irc channel. What was my answer? It doesn’t really matter. What matters is that I used “..\lib” in my response.


That’s right, this week I’ve been in the Land Of Evil, working on porting OpenNMS to Windows. I’ve been so heads-down into it, I actually started thinking in backslashes even in a Mac OS X channel. Oh, the shame. <grin>

Anyways, it actually (surprisingly!) mostly works. The hardest part was porting jicmp, which required setting up a mingw environment and fixing our configure stuff in a lot of ways. And I’ve gotta say, libtool and I have had our differences in the past, but it performed beautifully at hiding the details of making a .dll file out of our code.

There’s still plenty left to do. The docbook stuff doesn’t run right. Our GWT maven plugin inexplicably fails, even though the command-line it generates actually works . . . → Read More: Embracing and Extending OpenNMS

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