Friday, May 4, 2012

Future tech

Saw avengers.  Everytime I see Tony Stark I get violently angry.  No not "hulkingly" angry, I don't want to smash things - I'm not mad at Tony - I'm angry at the state of technology as it is.  Why can't we build amazingly awesome technology.

I want to be a crazy tech wizard in a world that is not compatible with that vision.  Imagine knowing how to build a jet fighter and then living 500yrs in the past.  Imagine you get the hair up your ass to build one.  Could you?  Would you?

I realize the only thing stopping you is actually just tooling.  Just machines, machines you could make but would take you a long time.  I mean do you know how to actually make a copper wire?  What about a vacuum tube, or a simple water powered calculator?

Imagine needing to do the math involved with toroid inductance for your ever so finicky new power supply you made from raw materials...

I want to boot strap the tooling that will be use to invent the future.  I want the wizbang amount of computing power and the ability to just buy 10 more computers and they automatically contribute to the processing needs.

Do you know how much effort I would have to sink into a cluster to just add 10 more computers?  Tony does it on a whim... what kind of operating system does he run?  How do they integrate?

How does his wireless network even operate? That shit has amazing bandwidth - he's talking live to Jarvis, when I can barely get my voip to work....

I'm thinking about how to make this work, and the tools I will need to create - just to create the tools I really want, which ultimately make the tools I will eventually need.

I'm thinking something like yahoo pipes, only ... with more abstract basic input and output operations, agnostic inputs, if it doesn't like what you are giving it, it just turns red or something, it never refuses to connect things.  (I hate that about pipes)

Lots of filters and crap to parse stuff into stuff - abstract I can do this.

Anyway I'm gonna code some crazy stuff this next week.  I'll probably post an update, or maybe I'll abandon my blog for another year.

All in all to me the future of tech is ... brutally clear or Stark I should say. Read more...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Anime St. Louis

In the beginning, there was Anime.

I was having a rather boring Saturday. If I had shaken a magic eight-ball, it would have told me "Outlook not so good".

My roommates were all planing on attending Anime St. Louis. I had walked unknowingly into their preparations. I had known about the con, but had put it out of my mind, I just didn't have the money to spend.

Upon hearing my interest in going, BT offered to pay for my ticket. And not one, to turn down awesome offers, I accepted (mind you I did half-heartedly try to refuse, but he was seeing past my ruse)
Out of the gate, so to speak, the worst most annoying thing that can happen to a tech savvy person such as myself. My cell phone wasn't charged, and unbeknownst to me this would lead me to the most fortuitous afternoon.

My cell phone is stupid, there is a firmware glitch, if the battery is extremely low, it will NEVER charge in the phone, you have to use an external charger. As luck would have it, my phone batteries (two phones same type) were both in this condition. After BT forgot to lock the back door, and then forgot his giraffe hat (yes seriously... its a con, what did you expect?) We ended up going back to the house, which gave me the opportunity to grab everything I could think of to get my cell phone charged in the car, AND build a mobile charger, so it would hopefully stay charged during the con
Some rather unimportant details later and a jumble of wires, I jump started the battery charge in my batteries and constructed a +5v regulated usb charger to stick in my pocket, right as we arrived.
And as the day unfolded it became obvious that I chose the wrong batteries to do this job, I managed to gain 2% battery life, and then sustain the phone @8% for about 40 min - my batteries were dying and I began a quest for new batteries

The quest

I left my friends, strode out talked to a few "con-ies" and tried to locate a place that sold batteries, convinced that I could find 4 AA for 3.50$.. (HAHAHA) (FYI: that's not going to happen) My trek took me the long way around the convention center, back to the otherside, and eventually I saw what I was looking for: A Wal-Mart and a Walgreens. I hike over there and looked through several racks of batteries, but they are either sold in packs of 8 or 6 at wal-mart and for a good price too Walgreens faired no better, and as I was about to throw in the towel, and be disconnected for the day, I saw a U.S. Cellular location, my mind was set Eureka, I intra-cranially declared, they'll have a charger! Hopefully they'll be kind enough to plug my phone in.

I walked into the store and was kindly greeted by Crystal, the first thought that popped into my head was - I never feel as if any of the ATT employees are this polite, interested or kind. And Kind she was, she talked to me for a few minutes as I explained my situation and my phone charged, made a few phone calls and figured out what to do next, and she walked into the back and came out with a randomly marked wall charger for my phone. The charger I wish I had brought in the first place.
After handing me her card, and offering a friendly goodbye, I was off with the key to what would make my epic quest all the more awesome. The charger was the key to me recovering any good moments from the con, even though my quest was fun (I love to do these things) - the con was all that more important. I trekked my way back now, happy that my phone was charged, I could charge it more myself and maybe snap some pictures post some good comments, etc.

Enter Pepper Potts

I walked along the corridor, looking for an open outlet. No, not that one, it's too close to furries. Those guys are all playing Magic. Well, it could be worse... As I was scouting around (using the decision making process of most males at cons) I picked the outlet next to the pretty girls. (Can you blame a a fella?)

I plugged my charger in and the most unexpected thing happened: I was asked if I was a robot, and if I was charging my "arc reactor". As I turned around to see whom would ask such things, I was greeted by the prettiest Pepper Potts I've ever seen (okay okay, lets not get pedantic: No I've never really seen another Pepper Potts, but... come on).

She was gushing with kindness and personal curiosity, which threw me off so much.  I told her I made an arc reactor once before.  This statement, made in casual conversation ended up garnering a lot of attention, I didnt' realize she was pepper potts just yet.  And that she's a big fan of Iron Man, and Robert Downey Jr.

Amy and I talked for a long time about movies comics and anything that we could think of and of course Iron Man! Told her "trade secrets" on how I made my arc reactor.  Her sister who was with her dressed as Black Widow was having issues with her arm bands kinda falling apart :P (it happens) so we talked about things she could do to make better ones.

After we talked we all wandered down to the um... Japanese "knot tying" demonstration and during the show she and her sister left to go see another one.

It was a fun afternoon, and .. I'm kinda miffed at myself for not getting her information.  Maybe I'll see her at the next con right?

All and all a great experience, good times and lots of fun!  ( mostly thanks to Amy ;) Read more...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Random nifty tidbit for javascript - I find stuff like this all over the web, "How do you do X" and they show you a very direct very simple not useful quip - I'm fixing this - how to include javascript files from javascript the right way.
function include(urls, cb) {
	var loaded = {};
	for (i in urls) {
		loaded[urls[i]] = false;
	}
	
	for (i in urls) {
		(function(i) {
			var url = urls[i];
			var head = document.getElementsByTagName("head")[0];
			var script = document.createElement('script');
			script.src = url;
			script.type = 'text/javascript';
			script.src = url;
			script.onload = function() {
				loaded[url] = true;
				var done = true
				for (x in loaded)
					done = done && loaded[x];

				if (done) {
					cb();
				}
			}
			head.appendChild(script);
		})(i)
	}
}

there, fixed - you used it like this
include(['http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.6.3/jquery.min.js'], function() {
	jQuery(function($) {
		// Use it all here like normal
	});
});
Read more...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Oriental Inspired Peach Chicken

This was derived from a few sources on the intarwebs, it comes from General Tso' chicken, but I use peach sauce for an amazingly sweet flavor, that will leave you wanting more.

So here it is, my secret recipe - I should state that the brand of peaches is pretty much important, I've failed with another type, and created some putred blend of aroma's I'd care not to describe. So just stick with the Del Monte ones until I can figure out just exactly the difference between that brand and others.

Rice
1cup rice
2cup water

Sauce, mix thoughly
1/2 Peach Juice (Del Monte)
1.4 tbls soy sauce (optional)
3 tbls sugar
2 tbls sherry/rice wine
1.5 tbls White Vinegar
2tbls corn starch

Chicken
3 eggs
1/2 cup corn starch (add more to thicken)

1lb chicken boned/cubed/skinned

Hopefully you know how to cook rice, but here it is anyway. Heat water to a boil put in rice, and let it simmer for 15minute covered.

Mix all ingredient for sauce in a sauce pan, an option that is quite delicious is to chop up 2 or three peach slices into the sauce heat until carmelized, will turn from its "frothy" tan tone, to a very dark almost clear tone. I usually heat it a bit longer than carmelziation, just to make sure.

Put eggs into a container, and beat well,add in corn starch. I suggest adding it in incrementally as it doesn't mix ... cleanly with egg, and you'll just end up with a powder mess as the egg slaps back over your pile of starch. Deep fry them I usually pan fry them quite easily, but if the depth of your oil doesn't cover the chicken cubes, then the coating will ooze off one side. (perhaps you
can cut cubes smaller?)

theoretically serves four, but honestly, you might need more for that. Also optionally leave out the soy sauce, your sauce will loose its brownish tone, and look quite clear, very sweet amazing...

This tastes less like dinner and more like desert.

If you have any questions, which I'm sure you will - just let me know I'll try to keep a close eye on this. Again this in theory make for four people, but if I were going to have to cook it for four I'd double everything and just have left overs.

Read more...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Texting and Driving

My response to NY Times's terrible texting FUD - http://www.nytimes.com//interactive/2009/07/19/technology/20090719-driving-game.html

So I got that link off my facebook - someone posted it, and I decided to play it, and I must say. I came to a conclusion that is so far off of what NY Times did.

The game is an unrealistic situation, First of all, when I'm texting and driving, I have the phone right in the middle of my view, so I can see it and everything that's not directly in front of me, cause if you were directly in front of me, I'm probably not going to swerve to miss your ass anyway. Second, I can see the road when I type, I just can't see it when I read a message, you can't drag the phone around on this game, or I'd run some tests for that as well.

So taking in to consideration these issues, here is my first test result, all in all I think its a good test score.

I didn't do so well in the first part, cause I didn't know what I was doing, buy I fragged the hell outta that invisible lady. ... Has any seen her ever? Cause after 10 games or so, I've yet to see her - I think its a conspiracy.



I decided I could do better than that so I ran it again, and didn't mis any gates, and got much lower times. (lower is better) after looking at how well I was, I did it again. This time using shorter messages.
Again, an improvement, I did miss a gate (had to scratch my head).

All in all a good job, but I came to a different conclusion.

That if you practice enough and use shorter words, you can text like a pro, but still hit the gray lady. Obviously my scores to prove it!. Read more...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Twitter needs out of band messaging.

Straight and to the point, messages should be able to be tagged. This may seem silly to some, but picture it this way I'm listening to music, and I post that music to last.fm and all is well, but really I'd like to post that to twitter, so anyone who wanted to interface with the information could. (and easily so)

normally you'd end up seeing mindless post after post of my songs changing. This is mostly unimportant information, I mean who really wants to read all of the songs I listened to in a day. If I could post the message to twitter with a categorical tag, called "music" you could easily filter out the junk.

Twitter would become the #1 location for market research, if it isn't already. Instead of searching through posts looking for the latest movie trends or relying on some market research website, you'd just look at the top 10 phrases trending in the movies sub-channel.

Not only that, but if wanted to rate the movie, I could put extraneous details that computers would filter into data - out of band messaging is perfect for that, - movie "Star Trek :: 9/10" thats it just a nugget of information and truth.

Or for those location addicts, instead of updating their information all the time, they could just have an out-of-band message - location "38.950425,-92.328003" and blammo, if people really wanted to know what coffee shop you were writing your rants from, they'd know.

out-of-band channels also need privacy settings public, followers, friends, private - the idea of private out of band channels is nifty, I could have a device, say my washer be twitter enabled, and it posts a message to my automation channel, which in turn my cell phone is monitoring - I have no desire to publish when my underwear is clean, but I may want to know that for personal reasons.

On the technical side, I'm thinking the channel id's should be considered free form and open to whatever whims the public decides something like a 32 character field should be adequate for just about any need. like music, movies, terroristmovements

One last thing that has been pissing me off about twitter since I actually started to pay attention to people, I'd like to be able to place tags on people so I can filter my main list - I'd be the happiest person alive, I think the cell phone updates should be converted to a tag as well. I could see celebrities using this to follow you back and just put you in their "eh, I'm not really following him" category, at least you'd feel like they thought you were interesting. :D

Thoughts ?? Read more...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Fundamental Differences

So at work we had a difference of opinion on how things should work. I have been working on a PHP framework and backend stuff that interfaces with our database. There is a function named getCoordinatesForCity which simply takes $city, $state for parameters, and returns the lat, long of the city and state.

This function is used a few times. The boss wanted to change it to add fuzzy lookups.

It already does "check database 1 if failure check database 2", he wanted to add "if failure after database2 do a fuzzy lookup"

I mentioned that he should just create a new function for this action like getFuzzyCoordinatesForCity (or whatever) simply because the contract the function spells out is "I will get whatever you ask for from the database or return a failed state to you" and is used in that context quite often. where as his change would turn it into a "I will get whatever you ask for, or the closest possible answer, or a failure"
. My attitude is, it might work, but I can't guarantee the operation would be proper in existing implementations. Odds are about 99% likely it will work without issue, but still this is production code, going live later today.. seriously make it so you won't break it.

I said, sure just implement a new function and in his opinion we are increasing the features for existing implementations, and I said no, you are presenting new opportunities for bugs. If we need the new features in the existing implementation we can add your function later, why break stuff now?

I keep getting into fundamental arguments with the boss over stuff like this, trying to make the design work is becomming arduous simply because he would prefer everything to return a result no matter what input you get, in his mind this reduces the number of errors, in my mind this just makes the errors crop up in places you wouldn't expect.

It's like the dutch boy and the dyke, sure he's got ten fingers and as long as the wholes pop up in relatively close proximity, you can plug them, but when it pops 700ft away, or it starts backing up and flooding houses, would you know where the bug came from and why?

What's everyones opinion on this? I mean I get so weary of these silly arguments when implementing a new function is not an arduous task, and it increases the options you have later, when you want fuzzy searching, you can use it, if you don't want fuzzy searching you don't have to use it.
Read more...