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The Syndicate

 Surfin' solo Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Friday, August 08 2008 @ 01:25 AM PDT
 Viewed:  1485 times  
TechnologyRCN's DNS servers are down. This means that nobody's using RCN's network right now, even though everything else works perfectly fine.

I have DNS servers at work. They like me. I run them.

This means that, after telling my computer to run DNS queries through the boxes at work, I'm pretty much the only one surfing on RCN's network.

If I still played first person shooters, I'd be able to get SICK ping times right now.

Most Recent Post: 09/05 09:20AM by csniezek

 nutz Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Thursday, December 27 2007 @ 06:36 AM PST
 Viewed:  981 times  
TechnologyRight now I'm writing this on a laptop I borrowed from work (because the battery on mine sucks) while sitting in the back seat of my sister's truck doing 75 MPH through Maryland.

Technology is da nutz.

read more (135 words) 1 comments
Most Recent Post: 01/21 02:30PM by kimberlylarson

 Mobility Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Wednesday, September 12 2007 @ 03:43 PM PDT
 Viewed:  1368 times  
TechnologyAs I'm sure my regular readers (both of you) know, I love my phone. Lately, I've been playing around with some new mobile applications, and thus far they've been pretty good.

 SOAP Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Friday, August 31 2007 @ 03:02 PM PDT
 Viewed:  905 times  
TechnologyFeel free to ignore this; I'm just writing it down so that a year from now I'll read it and go, "Oh yeah!"

The key to low level hacking in SOAP is keeping track of namespace. Even if the real problem is strongly typed data, for the types to operate correctly, the namespace has to be correct. If all of the above isn't enough, try a different encoding on the values.

That is all.

Most Recent Post: 08/19 09:28PM by matt

 I had a plan Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Wednesday, August 15 2007 @ 10:20 PM PDT
 Viewed:  881 times  
TechnologyA few years ago, when I was on the verge of going back to school full time, I had my whole academic career planned out. In the span of about five and a half years, I would get both a Bachelor's and a Master's in CS. I even had my thesis picked out.

Turns out somebody else has just done what was going to be my thesis. Oh well.

 My new desktop Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Monday, June 25 2007 @ 07:07 AM PDT
 Viewed:  988 times  
TechnologyThe classic argument against Linux as desktop is that it's a pain in the ass to set up, and once you have it set up, none of your programs work anyway.

My last couple of Linux installs disproved the second half of that theory. Between, Mozilla products, and a lot of hard work by the open source community, pretty much all of the day to day stuff is covered and covered well. In my last Fedora install on my office computer, I even got a few different versions of IE running so that I could do browser compatibility testing.

Some parts of Linux still require tweaking to set up properly, but I'm here to tell you that my new desktop environment was worth every minute.

Sabayon Linux is not very well known, but it is at the very forefront of interface design. It is the official distribution of the Beryl project, which officially rocks. Mac users may notice some familiar behaviors - a thing that works like Expose, genie in a bottle minimization, etc. Beryl running on KDE is basically the best ideas from Macs, PCs (almost all the keyboard commands are familiar to PC users), X-Windows, and some new tricks combined into one interface. It's evolutionary from a state of the art point of view, but revolutionary if you consider that the best desktop environment out there is now coming from neither Redmond or Cupertino.

In honor of the hard work of the Beryl developers (and to show off a little), I made a video showing some of the visual effects. You can watch it here. Notice the hexagonal desktop (you're not limited to the four desktops that a cube gives you), the jiggly windows, transparent terminals, fold out effects, and (my personal favorite) windows bursting into flames when you close them.

From an ease of use point of view, it's worth noting that after I shot that video, I plugged my camera into my computer, which auto-detected it, copied the AVI file over, converted it to FLV format, and uploaded it. The process took about ten minutes, and half of that was figuring out whether I had a video conversion utility.

 Bending the will of Google Maps Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Saturday, October 28 2006 @ 06:14 PM PDT
 Viewed:  1246 times  
TechnologyThere's a fundamental difference between how people and computers write travel directions. People are usually much more able to gauge whether or not something is relevant, and tailor the directions accordingly. Today I was writing directions for my sister, and I know she knows how to get to Boston - it's the part from the exit on that I was writing directions for, and I thought it could use a map.

I've found in my own travels that the hybrid view in Google Maps is very good for giving me not just turn by turn directions but also context. I can see the way a road curves, and how the turn I'm looking for might not be visible until I'm right on top of it. The problem is that when you're giving somebody else directions, having the route highlighted is effectively a requirement, but how do you start a route at an arbitrary spot on the highway, or how do you end a route at a place that has no address?

Let me show you.

 I'll take two Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Tuesday, July 11 2006 @ 05:38 PM PDT
 Viewed:  1444 times  
TechnologyThis thing is just badass. (PopSci via Gizmodo)

 I spy... Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Wednesday, August 31 2005 @ 01:26 AM PDT
 Viewed:  969 times  
TechnologyI found my Jeep in Google Earth. It was right where I left it - parked in front of my house. Right where I parked it an hour or so ago.


Most Recent Post: 08/31 10:30AM by Dan4th

 12 Step Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Tuesday, August 23 2005 @ 09:03 PM PDT
 Viewed:  969 times  

My name is Matt, and I'm a Google Earth addict.

I started playing around with the beta a few weeks ago, and today I became a paying customer.

The bad news though, is that every time I open the thing, I get sucked in. For example, about fifteen minutes elapsed between the words "paying customer" and "The bad news", during which I double checked some information on Gosnold, MA (population 86), visited the site of Ted Kennedy's famous car crash, and learned about a proposed offshore wind power project off the shore of Nantucket.

I'm one of those people that is always hungry for information, regardless of its worth, so having a bunch of terabytes of data presented in an easily browsable and contextually relevant manner... let's just say that I'm getting better at geography.

The software itself is intuitive and remarkably powerful, and for most things there's no difference between the free and paid versions. There's a huge community contributed database of things to see, and that's only one of the 44 top-level data overlays that are available, which include everything from roads to postal code boundaries to finding the nearest pharmacy.

The downside is that because of the sheer volume of data, most people aren't going to have the full experience of seamless navigation. There's a huge difference between my computer at work and the one at home. At work I've got a generic office computer hooked to a T1, and things are relatively slow to load compared to my gaming rig on a cable modem that's juiced up to the point that it rivals the office connection I had when I worked for an ISP. Overall though, I'd say that even when it's slow, the software is worth playing around with.

But then again, I would say that.

I'm an addict.

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