Possibly not spam ramblings and links from the edge of the universe


Books 2015

Posted by dracoling

I finished 2014 by reading through all of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series (14 books in 2 months). This post is for a collection of things read this year. I plan to update it each chance I get.

Short Stories and Books

  • Hello Moto by Nnedi Okorafor read 2015-01-02 recommended by jcamins
  • Kabu Kabu by Nnedi Okorafor (collection of short stories) read 2015-01-02 to 2015-01-07 recommended by jcamins
  • The Secret World Chronicles by Mercedes Lackey (Humble Bundle ed.) ISBN 9781939230140 finished 2015-01-13
  • The God Engines by John Scalzi finished 2015-01-14
  • Mogworld by Yahtzee Croshaw finished 2015-01-20
  • Arcanum 101: Welcome New Students by Rosemary Edghill and Mercedes Lackey finished 2015-01-21
  • Jumper by Steven Gould finished 2015-01-22
  • Zombies vs. Unicorns edited by Justine Larbalestier and Holly Black finished 2015-01-28
  • Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves finished 2015-01-29
  • Tithe by Holly Black finished 2015-01-30
  • Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey finished 2015-02-02
  • Dragonquest by Anne McCaffrey finished 2015-02-03
  • The White Dragon by Anne McCaffrey finished 2015-02-04
  • Eastern Standard Tribe by Cory Doctorow finished 2015-02-05
  • Dune by Frank Herbert finished 2015-02-10
  • The State of the Art by Ian M. Banks finished 2015-02-18
  • Descendant by Ian M. Banks finished 2015-02-19
  • Use of Weapon by Ian M. Banks finished 2015-02-26
  • Odd Attachment by Ian M. Banks finished 2015-02-26

Radio Plays and Audiobooks

  • "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Primary Phase" listened 2015-01-05
  • "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Secondary Phase" listened 2015-01-06

A Taste of Home

Posted by dracoling

Last year at WildFire Retreat I had the good fortune to be able to record the DJs on the burn field all three nights. I had originally hoped to release these immediately following the event but for many reasons (ooh! shiney!) I didn't.

Finally, only weeks before we head back into the wonderful world of WildFire, I have them to share. These files are posted on dropbox at the moment. If anyone knows of a better (preferably free) way to share them, please let me know.

Please keep in mind that these are unedited live mixes. Enjoy them as the moments of history that they are 🙂

Hope to see you soon.

- dracoling

EDIT: I just noticed that sadly the friday track had some recording issues. From about 5m into the recording until about the 30m mark there's some problems. It clears up after that. The other two days went well.
EDIT 2: Fixed the link for sunday. oops!


Obama says discrimination against gays is generally unconstitutional!

Posted by dlz

It's about time!

From the article: "In a key shift on gay rights, the administration says a section of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional as applied to gay couples who are legally married under state law." The good news is that we're finally moving in the right direction. The bad news is that this still only applies to gay couples who are "legally married under state law" and does nothing to help gay couples who live in states where gay marriage is not yet legal.

I'm personally a heterosexual male in a long-term committed relationship. However, I have yet to hear a valid argument against gay marriage that isn't colored by religious prejudice or general ignorance and bigotry. In general, what you do in the privacy of your own home, as long as it stays in your own home and does not affect me in mine, or me in public, is none of my business. We, as a society, cannot legislate behavior or personal choice.

It's time for American society to make the next intellectual leap in public policy and social ideology.

If you can manage to muster a coherent argument either way, I'd love to know what you think.


Anonymous Speaks

Posted by dlz

Ars Technica has written an expose on the recent attacks on HBGary and HBGary Federal. Aaron Barr has sufficiently embarrassed himself and provided adequate water-cooler fodder for those of us in the security industry. This article is great because it also highlights some simple ways to protect yourself against similar attacks. Moral of the story: Escape. Escape. Escape..


The Egg

Posted by dlz

Recently, dracoling shared with me The Egg by Alex Weir. It's a very interesting and thought provoking story and has done a lot to make me much more comfortable with some of my non-Christian theories of the universe. I believe very strongly in morality, ethics, laws of nature and the like which govern every living creature. I call these "hard limits", and whatever may have created them: "God". However, in American society today, it's rare to have a belief in God "accepted" unless it's the God defined by one of the Big Three. I'm so glad to have my mind opened to an alternative way of looking at life and the world.

I'm in no way saying I consider this story to be truth or reality. However, it certainly is nice to see a "viable" alternative to the imposed doctrine of the ruling class.

Give it a quick read. What do you think?

[EDIT: 2011-02-17]
I think many people would agree this could be an awesome movie twist that would blow Inception clean out of the water. Here's Andy's policy on films based on his work.


Recording a Skype Call using GarageBand

Posted by dracoling

Recently I was asked if it's possible to record from Skype using Apple's GarageBand software that comes with OS X, even though I knew it was possible I couldn't find any tutorials on how, so here's what I did.

  1. Because GarageBand only takes input from devices and soundcards, not applications, we're going to download and install SoundFlower for OS X.
  2. Once SoundFlower is installed, it creates a virtual sound card that can be used by any application on your system, lets select it to be our input source in Garage Band. In your project go to Garage Band -> Preferences, choose the "Audio/MIDI" tab and select "Soundflower (2ch)" as our Audio Input.
  3. Looking at the Instrument panel, we see that our Input Source has changed, lets go ahead and set up the Monitor to On or On (no feedback protection). This will let us hear the output from Skype through our default output (speakers, headphones, etc) while we record it with Garage Band. IMPORTANT: If Monitor is not enabled in GarageBand you will not hear anything on the Skype call.
  4. Now that GarageBand is configured, lets set up Skype. Open up the Skype menu and go to Preferences. On the Audio tab, we want our call output to go to SoundFlower, so change "Audio output" to "Soundflower (2ch)".
  5. Now go into GarageBand, click on record, and make a call. Insert Happy Dance here.

termcap/terminfo on FreeBSD

Posted by dracoling

aka: why doesn't it like my rxvt?!

copy your termcap info from the computer running rxvt to your server for great justice!

local# infocmp -L rxvt-unicode > ~/rxvt-unicode.termcap
local# scp rxvt-unicode.termcap user@server:rxvt-unicode.termcap
server# su
server# portmaster devel/ncurses
server# tic rxvt-unicode.termcap
server# infocmp -C rxvt-unicode >> /usr/share/misc/termcap
server# cd /usr/share/misc
server# cap_mkdb termcap


Mailing a chain

Posted by dracoling

Made my friend Eileen a bracelet tonight, hope it fits. Found out that it only takes about 40 minutes of work to make now, so instead of a substantive post, you get OVERLOADED WITH PICTURES!

Step 1: Individual Chains
Individual Chains
Make two European 4-in-1 chains, one with metal outsides, one with rubber insides. (In the picture, the blue is metal, the black is rubber)

Step 2: Two are made one!
Two are made one
Seam the two chains together into one singular chain. This is where it starts looking AWESOME.

Step DONE: Yep, Done.
Spread em!
Slim and Sexy
Join both ends of the chain together, ready to attach the wrist!

That's how it's done.


Game Core Con ’09

Posted by dracoling

I spent over 15 hours Friday/Saturday putting together the Magic:The Gathering price list for the crew at We've Got Freakin' Video Games. Then I slept for about half an hour before I jumped in the car and drove out to Oaks, PA for the Game Core Convention 2009 a gathering of video, console, tabletop and other gamers.

One of the highlights for me was getting to see YTCracker and MC Lars perform in the music area of the con. I got to record a little bit of video which I actually remembered to put up on my YouTube this time (not sure if I'll post it on my vimeo too).

While I was hanging in the music room they were holding the door-prize raffle in the main con space. Agnes was hanging out there listening. We won cartridge #1 of #50 limited edition printing of a BRAND NEW game for the Atari 2600 called Shield Shifter that was released at the con by the folks at Good Deal Games.

Yes kids, you read that correctly, a brand new game (released September 12, 2009) for the Atari 2600 (released in October 1977). Needless to say I was shocked and amazed, happy as could be, and then I traded it to Jim for his collection (since he actually collects games and I just, uh, don't). I now have cartridge #8 of 50, and someday when I find my 2600 I'm gonna play the hell out of it.

After about 8 hours at con (running on 30 minutes of sleep in the last 42 hours) we decided to head home, having declared victory and gone on a bit of a spending binge (I bought used books again! >.<). Tune in next time for another exciting update on a topic that has NOTHING to do with this one!


Farewell Gmail!

Posted by dracoling

Today's hottest unpublished story is the purchase of Google's GMail service by Microsoft. The transfer of corporate assets from Google's Copernicus Center to Redmond, WA is causing outages for many Gmail users who were sadly not informed before they began. Insider reports from Microsoft suggest that the transfer of all personal data will be complete sometime tonight. The forced transition from Gmail to Windows Live should be happening in the coming weeks.

We will keep you updated as more information becomes available.