Public Wireless

March 02, 2007

Note: This post was migrated from my old blog software. It hasn't been cleaned up yet (and might not ever be). Don't be surprised if the formatting, links, images, etc... are messed up.

Was browsing thru the public library when I got a call about an error on the site. Cool thing is the library has open wireless. So, I just pulled out the laptop and jumped on. I was a little worried that I wouldn't be able to get all the way into the stuff that I need at the office, but the VPN (Virtual Private Network) worked like a champ. Sometimes open wireless won't let you use a VPN, but it wasn't a problem. It's actually wild to think that you could completely run an online business these days without having your own internet connection. In fact, if you were willing to use the library computers, you wouldn't even have to have your own. Just pay $10/month for a web account. (Of course, you could probably even set one up for free somewhere, but you get the idea.)


New quiet case

March 01, 2007

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I've been trying to make my computer as quite as possible for a while now. Just got a new case to help the cause. It's an Antec P180 that was designed with help from the guy who runs SilentPCReview.com. I think it's great that Antec used him as a resource. I've been reading that site for a few years now. Lots of really good tips in there. So far the case is working very nicely. Someday, I still want to build one completely out of wood and build it into the desk itself. I'm convinced that I can make one that is effectively silent.


Down time

March 01, 2007

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So, I finally got a little down time with this past Monday and Tuesday off. Of course, the only reason that happened was because I was sick. Jackass in the office last week was obviously sick but came in every day. So, starting Sat. it caught up with me. Lost the whole weekend and Monday and Tues. Jackass. Found out Wed. when I came back that three other people in the office got the bug as well. Jackass.


Prosper.com

February 04, 2007

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This is interesting: Prosper.com. Need to do a little more research on it, but it bills itself as people-to-people lending. A massive amount of loans coordiated without a bank given the thumbs up.


SpeedCasts

February 03, 2007

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Our brains can process the spoken word faster than we tend to speak. An idea for a new service based on that is to take podcasts and digitally speed them up for people. With digital audio editing it's possible to speed up clips without making them sound like the chipmonks. This means you could listen to more podcasts in a given time. A basic setup would be a web site that people would go to and simply enter the URI of the podcast they are interested in along with the amount of adjustment to make. Say, 5, 10 or 15 percent. I'm not sure what the real numbers would be and it would need some experimenting to see at what point the speed becomes too much, but you get the idea. The web site would then simply return a new podcast URI to use instead of the original one. At a given interval the site would check for new show on the original podcast and if there was one, download it, apply the speed adjustment and update the client feed to inform them of the new show. Since this is all automated, you could also drop in a short ad at the front and back of the clip. A "this podcast was speed up to save you time by fasterpodcast.com and is sponsored by Joe's bait shop." I'm not sure what the rights issues would be, but since the web site is really nothing more than a filter for content, it might be all right. Of course, I'm sure there would be lawyers invovled at some point. If someone does this and makes a ton of money, please just throw a little my way.


A nice compliment

January 29, 2007

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Oh yeah. Something a friend saw that was a nice compliment is this post on the Smart Mobs blog. I'm the one who conceived of and designed all the functionality on the leaderboard that the post talks about. I'm generally not one to toot my own horn, but I'm pretty proud of the leaderboard design and it's nice to see something like that writing about something you made. (Incidentally, the leaderboard doesn't operate quite as smoothly as I would like and doesn't work in everyones browser. But it was the first version and, to my knowledge, the first time anyone has create a leaderboard anything like it. Also, I provide an alternate version for those folks who can't get all the bells and whistles on the main one. All that is to say, that I'm going to be making changes this year to make it even better.)


... like a dog

January 29, 2007

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According to this page the etymology of working like a dog isn't that exotic which is a little disappointing. Never the less, I feel like I've been a pretty good example of the statement for the past several months. I think I've mentioned here before but at the end of 2006 we transitioned to Turner Networks as a new partner. I would have loved to have had eight months to a year to do this. Six months is probably about the minimum any sane organization would try it in. We did it in a little over three. Of course, for the tech guy (that would be me) still got to put in about six months worth of hours. We got the site rebuilt mostly from scratch and managed to make a few improvements along the way all without any more than the few bumps and bruises that you would expect when you pick-up, shuffle and move literally millions of files and data points. Unfortunately, the pace didn't let up in Jan. as we were patching the minor issues and tweaking to make sure things line up right. The good news for me is that I'm starting to get to a point where I can let off the gas just a little. Of course, this means that I'm starting to have a chance to realize exactly how exhausted I am. With luck, nothing major will happen in the next couple months and I can continue to throttle back and recuperate a little. It was a hell of an effort to get to where we are, but I managed to get some things setup that should make my life easier down the road.


Consumer Search

December 23, 2006

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I've been doing a little research on free firewalls and virus software and came across Consumer Search. They act as a clearning house and digest service for reviews. You can learn a little more about them on their about us page. The best thing is that they aim to keep their reviews fresh. Looks like a very handy page to have bookmarked.


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