December 07, 2016
Pebble Officially Acquired by FitBit

So as it’s been rumored this week, Pebble’s Next Step is to be shut down and acquired by FitBit.

However—due to various factors—Pebble is no longer able to operate as an independent entity. We have made the tough decision to shut down the company and no longer manufacture Pebble devices.

I heard that they turned down a $700m acquisition a while back, and now they are being sold off for parts. This is especially traumatizing for the people who just got their new Pebble 2 and Pebble Time 2’s (or are still waiting). Part of the challenge with Kickstarter of course, but also not super surprising.

Obviously wish them all the best but it still sucks. Pebble can be argued as the first “real” smartwatch and maybe that was their role in life, not to be the first and stay around forever.

Gadgets - Posted by Arcterex at 11:24 AM
October 21, 2016
Trolling the IRS Scammers

Vox article on trolling the IRS scammers, you know, the ones that call you up and tell you that you owe the IRS money and pay it now or they’ll send the police after you.

That’s how I ended up talking to “Steve Smith” for 30 minutes. He was a senior investigations officer — the actual person who walks you through how to send them money. I learned that his secret is maintaining an aura of authority. That’s how he optimizes fear. That’s how he gets people to suspend logic, drive to Walgreens, and buy iTunes gift cards to pay the IRS. The scam takes advantage of the most vulnerable people.

Great read.

Funny Stuff - Posted by Arcterex at 02:56 PM
October 18, 2016
KDE Project releases KDE 1 (KDE Restoration Project)

KDE Project releases KDE 1… yes, you read that right, and no, this is 2016, not 1996…

The KDE Restoration Project was a personal pet project that born around last QtCon and i took as a letter of love for the project that basically formed my professional life.

So this mad-man (or genius, it’s hard to say) has revamped the original KDE 1.0 code for the modern era. A very cool project, and fascinating to see old tech anew. Of course, sometimes our memories of how awesome something was is more powerful than the reality of how awesome it actually was. It’s left for you to decide if that’s the case here or not though :)

Linux - Posted by Arcterex at 04:50 PM
September 15, 2016
Diego the 100-year-old tortoise rebuilds the population of species almost single-handed

Diego the 100-year-old tortoise rebuilds the population of species almost single-handed. Really what more do you want to know?

‘He’s a very sexually active male reproducer. He’s contributed enormously to repopulating the island,’ said Washington Tapia, a tortoise preservation specialist at Galapagos National Park.

Funny Stuff - Posted by Arcterex at 09:36 AM
August 30, 2016
Every Episode of Star Wars, Ranked

Someone has done a lovely deep dive and put up a story with Every Episode of Star Wars, Ranked. Hard to disagree here.

We get answers to questions about what Darth Vader was like as a teenager. What drove him to the dark side? How did he cope with the loss of his mother? How does he feel about the texture of sand?

Movies - Posted by Arcterex at 11:09 AM
August 25, 2016
Great Video of Seal Escaping Hunting Orcas By Jumping onto Boat

Via Loopinsight: Orcas hunting seal, seal jumps in boat

We were out with the family looking for whales and a pod of 12 transient killer whales were chasing the seal. It ripped towards the boat in a desperate escape and scrambled on the deck. It fell off three times in panic and finally stayed on until the whales gave up after about 30-45 minutes. Most intense epic experience ever.

Random Linkage - Posted by Arcterex at 09:31 AM
August 08, 2016
The Problem With Node Modules (Medium Post)

I Peeked Into My Node_Modules Directory And You Won’t Believe What Happened Next is a great post on Medium about a deep dive into Node and dependencies.

I started my investigation by installing the “babel-preset-es2015” package. This package allows twenty-something web developers to write a newer, worse version of JavaScript that no one else on their team knows.

The above quote is just about one of the modules detailed, but needless to say it turns out it’s a big, ugly, hairy, mess.

Programming - Posted by Arcterex at 09:34 AM
July 20, 2016
Feds Seize KickassTorrents Domains and Arrest Owner

Via torrentfreak: Feds Seize KickassTorrents Domains, Arrest Owner

The U.S. Government has arrested the alleged owner of KickassTorrents, the world’s largest torrent site. The 30-year-old Ukrainian was arrested in Poland today and is charged with criminal copyright infringement and money laundering. In addition, a federal court in Chicago has ordered the seizure of several KAT domain names.

Looks like our favourite (and most dependent) torrent site may be in a bit of trouble…

Random Linkage - Posted by Arcterex at 04:24 PM
July 19, 2016
Cool Kickstarter - The Purpose Hotel

The latest interesting Kickstarter out there is The Purpose Hotel, which is a project from great photograher Jeremy Cowart, a crowdfunded hotel with the aim to benefit everyone.

Cool idea, I hope he can pull it off. Here’s a bit more info:

Random Linkage - Posted by Arcterex at 10:28 AM
July 04, 2016
Virginia introduces law to stop 12-year-old girls from getting married | Americas | News | The Independent

Every once and a while you wonder to yourself “is this a fake headline from the Onion” followed by “this can’t be actually a real thing right?”. That’s exactly what I thought when I saw the headline of “Virginia introduces law to stop 12-year-old girls from getting married”.

Last week, the authorities in the state introduced new legislation that updated rules that had until then made it legal for girls aged 12 or 13 to get married if they had parental consent and were pregnant.

All I can say is that I’m glad that the US, as a world leader and example to other countries, is so progressive.

Random Linkage - Posted by Arcterex at 11:09 AM
June 24, 2016
Plex Server Reaches 1.0

Big congrats to the Plex team for their Server v1.0 release! Plex is basically the only thing I ever run on my Apple TV and an indispensable part of my digital (entertainment) life!

The first small piece of the Plex Media Server was committed inauspiciously enough on September 20th, 2008, right after 11:30pm. I was probably tired, and possibly drunk. It was just eight months after the very first pre-alpha release of our OSXBMC media center app, which goes to show you how committed we were to making a server.

Software - Posted by Arcterex at 09:26 AM
June 22, 2016
Happy 20th Birthday, Quake

Great post by John Romero, one of the creators of Doom and Quake, posting on Quake’s 20th birthday: Happy 20th Birthday, Quake

So many great memories of one of the truly groundbreaking games, responsible for ushering in basically every FPS since.

Gaming - Posted by Arcterex at 05:15 PM
June 14, 2016
Ottawa Police Share the Most Ridiculous Excuses Heard for Distracted Driving

I have to say the best one from this article where Ottawa Police Share the Most Ridiculous Excuses Heard for Distracted Driving is:

“My dad could buy you,” to the Abbotsford, B.C., police officer who responded: “Get him to buy two of me, I could use the help.”

Oh so Abbotsford…

Funny Stuff - Posted by Arcterex at 06:58 PM
May 29, 2016
Claymation DOOM

Amazing find by JWZ - Claycat’s DOOM. I’m with Jamie, I’d totally play this!

Funny Stuff , Gaming - Posted by Arcterex at 10:13 PM
May 26, 2016
Epic Star Wars Aerial Battle Shot Using Drones

This one has been making the rounds today… an Epic Star Wars Aerial Battle Shot Using Drones and Creative Camera Work that really is worth a watch. Make sure you watch the 20 minute behind the scenes / making of video as well, lots of explanations about how it was done (not all how you think).

Huge kudos to the team behind this, well done!

Random Linkage - Posted by Arcterex at 01:49 PM
May 10, 2016
May 06, 2016
How Music Evolved: Billboard's Hot 100, 1958 - 2016

Very cool project showing How Music Evolved: Billboard’s Hot 100, 1958 - 2016. As @siracusa says, just pick the decade you were in high school and enjoy!

Music - Posted by Arcterex at 01:57 PM
April 07, 2016
Discover One of the Most Beautiful Places on Earth in This Viral Timelapse

Discover One of the Most Beautiful Places on Earth

We wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of The Drakensberg before. It almost sounds like a region in Game of Thrones, but it’s not: it’s a mountain escarpment in South Africa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the subject of the timelapse above, and probably the newest addition to your bucket list.

Well, I’m sure as hell planning a trip here now!

Random Linkage - Posted by Arcterex at 01:47 PM
March 10, 2016
Fight Club minus Tyler Durden on Vimeo

SSomething trippy for you this morning… Fight Club minus Tyler Durden. Some enterprising and super cool dude has gone and removed Tyler Durden from a scene in Fight Club.

Fight Club minus Tyler Durden from Richard Trammell on Vimeo.

Cool stuff, check out some of his other work as well.

Movies - Posted by Arcterex at 02:54 PM
March 04, 2016
The "I'm moving to Canada if they win" Guide to Moving to Canada

Medium has a nice The “I’m moving to Canada if they win” Guide to Moving to Canada, along with some things to consider (ie: the super crappy dollar right now). Also I’m a bit of the “well, you clean up your own mess” mind, but hey, it’s still a great article :)

Funny Stuff - Posted by Arcterex at 11:32 AM
February 23, 2016
The Setup Wizard - IT Guy At Hogwarts

The Setup Wizard is the blog of the IT guy hired to set up wifi at Hogwarts in the Harry Potter universe. Pretty hilarious stuff. Make sure you check out the extract of a few choice bits, or just hit the link and read the whole thing.

Funny Stuff - Posted by Arcterex at 12:25 PM
February 10, 2016
HTop 2.0 Released

After a couple of years of silence, the excellent htop (an interactive process viewer for Unix) has released version 2.0!

Most notably the big change is the addition of the graph type, in addition to bar graph. Here’s an example running on the current UFies.org server:

HTop example

Note that to get the new graph types you go into setup (S) and then hit ‘space’ on the graph that you’re configuring.

Linux , Software - Posted by Arcterex at 11:28 PM
February 04, 2016
DOOM - Campaign Trailer

So a new DOOM - Campaign Trailer was released today. I am so excited about this game…. Having played from the original old school doom it’s amazing to see how far the franchise has come!

Gaming - Posted by Arcterex at 11:33 AM
January 27, 2016
The Developer Of Microsoft Solitaire Speaks Out About Not Being Paid A Cent

The Developer Of Microsoft Solitaire Speaks Out About Not Being Paid A Cent.

It’s not all doom and gloom though:

For what it’s worth, I wrote a version of Pipe Dream for Windows on my own time that was included in one of Microsoft Entertainment packs. I was paid a few thousand bucks in stock for that.

That’s the danger though, honestly even if they were a full time employee being paid a good developer salary, do they deserve more somehow just because Solitaire is the most used app ever?

Fascinating story though.

Software - Posted by Arcterex at 10:39 AM
January 15, 2016
10 Cloverfield Lane Trailer (Cloverfield Sequel)

I have to say that the 10 Cloverfield Lane Trailer was filmkaker 101 on how to make a trailer that reveals nothing yet makes it so I can’t wait to see this movie.

Movies - Posted by Arcterex at 10:35 AM
January 12, 2016
Rogue Amoeba Introduces Loopback

On the Rogue Amoeba Blog this morning they announced Loopback, new magical audio routing software for the mac.

So how does Loopback do all this, and more? The secret to Loopback’s power lies in its ability to create “virtual audio devices”. These are system-level audio devices which can be used in real-time by other audio applications on your Mac. These virtual devices appear throughout your system exactly the way a physical device like a microphone would.

And with this, along with their previous product, Audio Hijack, Rogue Amoeba cement themselves into the Mac audio world and become an indispensable tool for podcasters!

Apple/Mac , Software - Posted by Arcterex at 10:07 AM
January 06, 2016
Debian Project mourns the loss of Ian Murdock

Debian Project News:

The Debian Project sadly announces that it has lost the founder of its community and project, Ian Murdock. Debian is only a part of Ian’s legacy but perhaps the one that he is most known for. Ian was introduced to computers early in his life, and his curiosity turned to familiarity which led him to start actively programming at nine years of age. Later as a young adult at the Krannert School of Management a mandatory programming class rekindled his fascination with computer programming along with an idea and an opportunity to make something better. …

:(

Debian - Posted by Arcterex at 04:39 PM
December 11, 2015
Star Wars: The Force Accounted

Star Wars: The Force Accounted is a round up of time and stats for all the Star Wars movies.

Movies - Posted by Arcterex at 12:28 PM
December 02, 2015
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Second Trailer!

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - Official Trailer 2. Not much more to say than this… it looks great!

Movies - Posted by Arcterex at 09:59 PM
November 27, 2015
Cards Against Humanity's Black Friday Deal

Cards Against Humanity’s Black Friday Deal Is Literally Nothing, and they’ve made over $38,000 with it. Check out the current status and maybe give them $5 for nothing at all.

I love CaH so much for this… I don’t know or care if it’s a statement about Black Friday, consumerism, or just a way to get more money from it’s fans. I don’t think it matters either.

Funny Stuff - Posted by Arcterex at 11:50 AM
November 24, 2015
The Hacking of Hollywood

The Hacking of Hollywood:

Hollywood’s hacker war began on February 19, 2004 with a simple phone call. It happened at a T-Mobile store near Los Angeles. The caller told the salesperson he was from the T-Mobile headquarters in Washington. “We heard you’ve been having problems with your customer account tools?” The caller said.

Great little read, and I love the fact that most hacks basically consist of calling someone, telling them you are someone important, and they tell you their password. No exploits, no wild, four handed typing, just some kid saying he’s looking into something and give me your username and password.

Security - Posted by Arcterex at 10:40 AM
November 19, 2015
November 16, 2015
Media Manufactured Outrage

Excellent article - 5 things the media does to manufacture outrage. A more concise dissection of how stupid things are blown out of proportion by the media to get more clicks I haven’t seen.

Not sure how me linking to the article talking about how the media talks about the media talking about things online counts, but whatever, I’m here to amuse.

Random Linkage - Posted by Arcterex at 04:52 PM
Rdio Is Shutting Down

The streaming music playing field just got a bit smaller… seems that Rdio is shutting down and Pandora is buying up the scraps. Wonder how this will turn out.

Music - Posted by Arcterex at 01:59 PM
November 10, 2015
Remembering BBS life at 2400bps

Great article on Modems, wArEz, and ANSI art: Remembering BBS life at 2400bps by Lee Hutchinson over at Ars Technica. I grew up with this stuff, it was my first exposure to connected computers in a day when a 386 was hot stuff. Good memories in there.

Random Linkage - Posted by Arcterex at 09:13 PM
November 09, 2015
Dalek Relaxation Tape

Nothing could put you to sleep and get you more centered and focussed for the day than this beautiful Dalek Relaxation Tape.

Funny Stuff - Posted by Arcterex at 02:18 PM
October 28, 2015
Sunrise Apps Dead :(

The Sunrise team blogged today that work on their apps was going to stop. There really wasn’t ever any doubt when they were acquired by Microsoft.

Now here comes the sad news. As the entire team is completely focused on the Outlook for iOS and Android apps, we won’t be updating the Sunrise apps anymore. We won’t lie, it’s tough for us to leave behind the apps we’ve been working on so passionately for the past years.

Sadly, any blog post that starts with “we’re excited to announce” and says “we’re not going anywhere”, you know the next blog post (in this case a couple down the road, but under a year later) would be how they’re sunsetting the app and working full time on the acquiring company’s work.

From what I’ve heard, Outlook for iOS is a great app and the Sunrise team did amazing work on it. Still, sad.

Software - Posted by Arcterex at 11:45 AM
October 23, 2015
Astronomers Unveil a 46-Gigapixel Photo of the Milky Way That Took 5 Years to Make

Astronomers Unveil a 46-Gigapixel Photo of the Milky Way That Took 5 Years to Make

Last year, NASA released a 20-gigapixel photo of the Milky Way that was made up of over 2 million infrared photos. Back in January, NASA published a 1.5-gigapixel photo of the Andromeda Galaxy. If you thought those were big photos, get this: German astronomers have created the largest astronomical photo ever made: a ridiculously big 46-gigapixel photo of the Milky Way that took 5 years to make.

Uhmm….. wow.

Space - Posted by Arcterex at 02:37 PM
October 15, 2015
October 12, 2015
Aurous - Popcorn Time For Music

Aurous - Free Music, Whenever, Wherever. I’m just going to leave this here.

Software - Posted by Arcterex at 01:52 PM
October 09, 2015
LastPass Joins the LogMeIn

LastPass Joins the LogMeIn Family

It’s a big day here at LastPass. We’re thrilled to announce that we’re joining LogMeIn. As one of the world’s leading SaaS companies, we can’t imagine a better team to align with our values and product-driven mission. With their experience in growing successful brands like join.me, we’re excited to join LogMeIn in delivering the next generation of identity and access management for individuals, teams and companies, with LastPass at the forefront.

I’ll reserve judgement, but you know that blog post announcements about acquisitions starting with “we’re thrilled to announce” are generally bad news for everyone but the founders of the company.

LastPass is the free password manager I recommend to everyone who asks about one, lets hope that they continue as they have been doing.

Software - Posted by Arcterex at 04:04 PM
iOS Podcast Player Overcast 2 Released

This morning Marco released Overcast 2, a huge internal revamp of Overcase, his podcast player for the iPhone. Streaming, new options, recommendations, and best of all it’s all completely free, moving from the ‘free with in app purchase’ model it was before. Marco’s moving to a patronage model where you can become a supporter for $1/month, but it’s completely optional. He feels that he’d rather everyone using the best version of his app, which is a good way to think of it.

Well done sir, you’ve made my favorite podcast player that much better.

Apple/Mac , Software , iPhone - Posted by Arcterex at 10:47 AM
October 06, 2015
Soap Studio Tumbler TVC and Demo - YouTube

Who hasn’t wanted to drive the Batman’s Tumbler? Well now you can… check out this video:

Random Linkage - Posted by Arcterex at 09:28 AM
September 24, 2015
Ubuntu 15.10 Wily Werewolf Released

The newest version of Ubuntu, 15.10 has been set upon the world. As usual the ReleaseNotes has most of the information that you’re looking for.

Linux , Ubuntu - Posted by Arcterex at 04:49 PM
September 23, 2015
Pebble Announces Round Smartwatch

Pebble Round appeared on the Pebble Smartwatch site today. Basically it’s what you’d expect from Pebble, it’s a smartwatch, using the same colour e-paper display, battery life measured in days, iPhone and Android compatibility, etc.

Looks like they got around the ‘flat tire’ look of the Android round smartwatches by making the bezel wider (probably hiding a square(ish) display behind it that only uses the circle). Also they specifically say “battery life measured in days” and not the “7-10 day battery life” from before (though I don’t remember 100% if that’s how they said it before). Maybe the smaller profile means less battery by a bit? Who knows.

It’s a bit of a surprise to those of us who backed the Pebble Time on Kickstarter, when not everyone has all their rewards yet, but we do get an interesting discount deal (details in the blog).

Random Linkage - Posted by Arcterex at 11:17 AM
September 17, 2015
AVG Now Can Sell Your Browsing Data

AVG anti virus just updated their privacy policy. it says that they can and will sell your browsing history to 3rd parties.

As the first comment says, time to look for a new anti-virus if you’re on windows and care about your privacy.

Sigh.

Security - Posted by Arcterex at 12:44 PM
September 16, 2015
9th-grader Arrested In Dallas For Bringing Homemade Clock to School

America, you’re turning into a parody of yourself.

Irving 9th-grader arrested after taking homemade clock to school.

[…] So the 14-year-old missed the student council meeting and took a trip in handcuffs to juvenile detention. His clock now sits in an evidence room. Police say they may yet charge him with making a hoax bomb — though they acknowledge he told everyone who would listen that it’s a clock.

The number of things in this article, and I do urge you to actually read it, that should jump out and grab you are astounding.

  • He’s still suspended
  • “School Police”? Is this the new normal now?
  • Arrested for a ‘hoax bomb’.
  • Handcuffed - “his hands cuffed behind him and an officer on each arm” - is that really needed for a 13 year old?

But he’s a brown kid so it’s all ok right?

Seriously this is messed up. The kid wants to invent stuff, does invent stuff, and because he’s not white (and let’s not fool ourselves that that has nothing to do with it) he’s getting screwed over because of a bunch of stupid scared people. But it’s ok I guess, “He’s vowed never to take an invention to school again” and if the scared people of Texas are lucky he’ll stop inventing things completely, hide any smarts he has and work a nice safe factory job away from any sort of intelligent thinking at all. Cause we wouldn’t want him to be smart and think or anything like that would we?

News - Posted by Arcterex at 07:19 AM
September 08, 2015
Ardbeg Brews Space Whisky

Ardbeg’s space whisky tastes “noticeably different” from Earth-matured whisky:

The biggest difference was in the tasting, though. In the triangle tests conducted, almost all participants picked out a difference between the space whisky and the mundane Earth-matured control.

As a relatively new Scotch and Whiskey drinker, I’d appreciate Ardbeg sending me a sample to test, please and thankyou.

Random Linkage - Posted by Arcterex at 10:34 AM
September 02, 2015
Videos of Ships Going Through Storms

Mesmerizing Videos of Ships.

I’m just going to say “no” right now.

Random Linkage - Posted by Arcterex at 03:55 PM
August 19, 2015
New Trailer for The Martian

The Martian was an excellent book and looks to be just as good a movie. Can’t wait for this one!

- Posted by Arcterex at 10:09 AM