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So Long Andrea! So Long Scroll Lock

01.04.2008 @ 12:06 PM in Technology
scroll.jpg My inter-office fag hag Andrea is leaving the agency (teh day jobbie) today, and going to work for some other underpaying DDSO controlled agency, where no doubt she will miss me terribly. To help counter her impending misery I've gone about and collected a good assortment of scroll lock keys from offices around the building, to present to her along with her very own memory/key nameplate. Why the scroll locks? Well, since I'm the unofficial tech guy and MS Office guru, I get to instruct and save the day when it comes to mail merge, Excel, and other little productivity puzzles. Andrea always seems to get herself into trouble with Excel, as she manages to flip on Scroll Lock and panics when the arrow key refuses to change cells. I swear she makes me feel brilliant. I've probably fixed this "issue" for her about 6 times in the last few months. She even called me the other week when I was home sick with the flu. Diguised as a get well call from my department, I quickly learned she just wanted to know what broke in Excel.
  • "scroll lock you psycho!" I moaned.
  • "OMG! it worked! Thank you I Love you!"
Like I said, she makes me feel genius. Wikipedia says this about the scroll lock:
  • The scroll lock key is a remnant from the original IBM PC keyboard. In the original design, scroll lock was intended to modify the behavior of the arrow keys. When the scroll lock mode was on, the arrow keys would scroll the contents of a text window instead of moving the cursor. In this usage, scroll lock is a modifier key like Alt and Shift (which modify the function of other keys) and, more specifically, a toggling lock key like Num Lock or Caps Lock, which have a state that persists after the key is released. Today, this particular use of scroll lock is rare. Only a few modern programs still honor this behavior, such as Microsoft Excel (in the behavior of arrows — when scroll lock is on, the selection does not move), Lotus Notes and Forté Agent. In modern GUI environments, scrolling is usually accomplished using means such as scrollbars or scroll wheels. Therefore scroll lock can be regarded as a defunct feature in almost all modern programs and operating systems; some keyboards lack scroll lock altogether.
In other words, pretty useless. I've taken this as a great opportunity to rid the agency of future scroll lock related problems once and for all.
  • update! - Cause I'm teh gay, I had to wrap it. Because I'm teh Uber Gay, I had to draw perpendicular  and parallel lines on the paper. And Because I'm The Magnificent Gay, I handmade a German star bow.
wrapped.jpg

Jay-Z and Apple to form Record Label?

01.03.2008 @ 10:45 AM in Technology
jay_steve.jpg Say it isn't so, but the BGR (BoyGeniusReport) says it is:
  • ...we’ve just about confirmed it. For those that don’t know, Jay-Z left Def Jam as President last month, ... we just heard that Jay-Z is launching a record label with Apple. ... This is from a high-up person attached to Jay (no, not who you’re thinking), and it’s said to be a go! Jay is supposedly totally into the business model, and really wants this to happen.
Hrm. Hrm. Hrmphf! I dunno about this, but as incredible as it sounds, this could totally work. Apple has been trying to establish a firm bargaining chip with the music industry for a while, since Record companies have been bucking with DRM and song costs.  This isn't the first time that Hip-hop and Apple have been mentioned together, either. Remember that story about the 50-Cent inner-city budget mac? Yea, didn't think so.

Orexin A: Nasal drug can replace sleep, party non-stop

12.28.2007 @ 3:26 PM in Technology
 sleep.jpg I can only imagine the many ways I could abuse this new drug, probably the reason why it won't hit the pharmacy for years...
  • Wired.com - A nasal spray of a key brain hormone cures sleepiness in sleep-deprived monkeys. With no apparent side effects, the hormone might be a promising sleep-replacement drug. In what sounds like a dream for millions of tired coffee drinkers, Darpa-funded scientists might have found a drug that will eliminate sleepiness. A nasal spray containing a naturally occurring brain hormone called orexin A reversed the effects of sleep deprivation in monkeys, allowing them to perform like well-rested monkeys on cognitive tests. The discovery's first application will probably be in treatment of the severe sleep disorder narcolepsy. The treatment is "a totally new route for increasing arousal, and the new study shows it to be relatively benign," said Jerome Siegel, a professor of psychiatry at UCLA and a co-author of the paper. "It reduces sleepiness without causing edginess." Orexin A is a promising candidate to become a "sleep replacement" drug. For decades, stimulants have been used to combat sleepiness, but they can be addictive and often have side effects, including raising blood pressure or causing mood swings. The military, for example, administers amphetamines to pilots flying long distances, and has funded research into new drugs like the stimulant modafinil (.pdf) and orexin A in an effort to help troops stay awake with the fewest side effects. The monkeys were deprived of sleep for 30 to 36 hours and then given either orexin A or a saline placebo before taking standard cognitive tests. The monkeys given orexin A in a nasal spray scored about the same as alert monkeys, while the saline-control group was severely impaired.
There's a few catches though. One, once taken off the drug, the effect is the reverse: narcolepsy. The other is that you tend to have a heightened appetite and can lead to unwanted weight gain. Plus, not enough research has been put into the long term effect of sleeplessness.  We sleep for a reason, and as much as I like to bend the rules by druggin up on ephedrine, my body always crashes me down in the end, resulting in a com-like saturday drowning in a pool of my own saliva as my Skylar nibbles on my ear like a scavanged mouse. But really, who cares? I'm sure the narcoleptic folk are thrilled to hear this news, and worried about workaholic club kids like me who would love to subvert all warnings just so we can look end up like meth-heads without the track marks. Party on Wayne.

WordPress Tip:Make your permalinks choppable

12.26.2007 @ 3:47 PM in Technology
wordpress.jpg Before I start, Changing your permalink structure on a year old blog is like moving a neighborhood one block over, but vaporizing any trace of the old block. All external links to posts, archived feeds, even cached searches can end up going to your 404 page. You can fix this by setting up a 301 redirection in your htaccess, but you'd have to do this for every post. Thats just ridiculous, and thank god Urban Giraffe made a plugin to help this along. If you ever decide do change your permalinks in Wordpress, use Advanced Permalinks and import your old structure into the migrate tab. This will apply a quick 301 redirection on every old address. That done, now the for the change. One way to make wordpress feel more your own is to create a custom permalink structure.
  • By default the structure is
    /%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%postname%/
Since Wordpress is one of the top two blog platforms (the other is movabletype) and such few people actually care to change their structure, you see links like this everywhere. This structure isn't actually bad, in fact it's set up to allow backlinking:
  • http://site.com/2007/12/26/post-title/ <- chop off "post-title/" and you get
  • http://site.com/2007/12/26/<- which lets you see all the posts for that day (12-16-2007)...
  • http://site.com/2007/12/ <- month (December 2007),
  • http://site.com/2007/ <- and year (2007).
The downside is that not many people actually think or need to do this if you already offer archival links on your site, and back linking is only good for trying to get into someone's online pr0n or music folder. Additionally, when paired with a lengthy post title, your permalink grows to an obnoxoius size. Sharing a link with a friend on twitter or myspace can force you to use a URL shortening service like tinyURL. It's nice to be be able to post a link without having to mask it, so I decided to change my permalink structure to be self-shortening.
  • New Structure:
    /%post_id%/%postname%/
  • change it by going to Options » Permalinks and entering a new structure in the custom section.
perm.gif
  • if you are using Advanced permalinks, click on "Migration" and enter the old permalink structure to ensure that your old links still work.
Notice I completely tossed out the datestamp in the permalink, and replaced it with %post_id%. Let's see how backlinking affects this permalink.
  • http://site.com/394/post-title/ <-- If you lop off "post-title/"
  • http://site.com/394/<-- you get just the numerical id of the post, which is small enough to post to twitter, and retains my domain.
Now there is a downside to this: your readers most likely will not intuitively deduct that they can do that, or even care for that matter. But you can, and it makes you look a little more custom. If you are at all crafty at chopping up templates, you can display the shortened permalink with this code in your loop.
<a href="<?php bloginfo('url') ?>/<?php the_ID(); ?>">Shortlink</a>

Flickr: Scientific Ink

12.21.2007 @ 12:30 PM in Technology
This brought my attention as I have most recently locked in an appointment with Randall at Divine Machine to get a tattoo for my birthday (Jan 16). I'm shying away from the normal tribal fare, and my goals are to get a design that matches what I am and what I do.  Possible choices are a copy of my Buffawhat logo, with a copyright tag, or perhaps the rooster from my favorite clothing line, Whiteboy. Whatever it will be, I completely identify with these science and Math geeks whose ink only further labels them into geekdom: flickrset.jpg This flickr set stemmed from a old post by Carl Zimmer, as he was wondering "how scientists tattoo themselves with their science." He got a great number of responses and a few months later dropped this set. I think I favor the DNA tattoos myself.

Dosugus: A Pillow with no fluff(aero) all stuff(dir)

12.21.2007 @ 10:34 AM in Technology
tlodpyhv.jpg Now here's an item from Art.Lebedev that you can actually get the day they launch it.   The DOSUGUS pillow, nothing much too it, just a loverly dos screen spilling out the content of teh "C:\" on a plush black pillow.  Pick this up and you can cuddle with in in anticipation of the delivery of that Optimus Maximus Keyboard you re-mortgaged your house to buy. I'm sure most people will puzzle at the beauty of this, as DOS has been phased out of the common functions these days, reserved only for those who truly appreciate it. A bit of nostalgia eh?

COMPUSA: Going out of Business Discount Sheets

12.14.2007 @ 12:11 PM in Technology

 

compUSA5.jpg Like last time, the discounts are paltry, but should improve as CompUSA nears its deathdate. Look through the list, pretty much everything is either 10% or 20%, a few 30% or 5%. Don't expect to get a deal on zune's or iPods, they know that the top items are still gonna sell through the holidays. snagged via the Consumerist, click on the sheets to embiggen and wowz at the deals.

compusa1.jpgcompusa2.jpgcompusa3.jpgcompusa4.jpg

Sprint Announces Free Mobile MySpace Partnership

12.13.2007 @ 12:50 PM in Technology
Sprint and Myspace
  • MySpace, the world’s most popular social network, and Sprint (News - Alert) have entered into mobile web partnership that would make it easy for Sprint phone customers to link to a free version of the online social network.
  • Sprint would be the first U.S. wireless carrier to link to the free MySpace Mobile Web site once it officially launches in early 2008.
  • Easy to use, the customers will not have to type a URL address, but instead will be able to click to access it from the Sprint portal.
  • In addition to the new MySpace Mobile, Sprint customers will also be able to directly link to other leading mobile Web sites from Fox Interactive Media (FIM), including IGN, FOXSports.com on MSN.
Sprint is always trying to connect their users with more functionality and outside resources, and they have the data rates to support their endevours as well. Teaming up with News Corps. for Myspace is another step in the long partnership Sprint has with Murdoch and friends; in 2002 Sprint started to stream FOX sports news and scores from FOXsports.com. Meh. I kinda think Myspace is a useless service only beneficial to advertisers and pedophiles, but hey, I'm not 14 anymore either. The new mobile version will have an updated look optimized for mobile view and offer features tailored directly at mobile users. Via internetcommunications.

Lolspeak: I can haz alternet speeches?

12.13.2007 @ 12:18 PM in Technology
lolznate.jpg It's slowly becoming a trend among my geekier friends to use LOLspeak when describing want:
  • buffalogeek: I can haz template Nate?
  • buffawhat: OMGDIAF! TSFU!
  • buffalogeek: can haz nate?
  • buffawhat: Fine.
Lolspeak also helps to soften up a fellow when asking your friends for that eensy little favor:
  • buffawhat: Hey chris!
  • buffalogeek: whaddup, Yo!
  • buffawhat: can you send a request to dreamhost to fix that DNS issue. i'd do it, but I'm too busy watching Ms Piggle Wiggle on Hulu... KTHXOMGLUVYOUGAYKISSESBAI!!!!!
  • buffawhat has signed out
Evn when I haz convo with my friendz I luv to drop teh LoLspeak. My friends, they sayz I haz a brainz issuez. I haz a ? Iz teh LOLspeak teh next wave of Baby talk? Boinkology (I sayz not safe fer work sometimez) pointed thiz out first. They be on my blogrollz. Let me showz you it.

Muhahaha: Fark Trademarking NSFW a Prank, Sorta.

12.13.2007 @ 10:09 AM in Technology

drewcurtis.jpg

  • Yes, Fark really is trying to trademark NSFW.
  • Its a prank, but no clue on what the status or purpose is.
  • "Muhahaha"

Drew claims that he didn't mean to let this go on as long as it did, though some of the hate emails were quite entertaining, he pleads perpetual drunkeness and a dead laptop battery for his silence.