That's all folks

08 May 2006|04:53am
mood | good

This livejournal feed is now officially dead.  This is the last entry.  At some point in the future this journal will be purged.  All previous entries can be found at gthing.net, which is the new home of my blog.  Thanks to all the casual readers who read about my life through their friend's pages and who probably won't follow me to my new blog.  We hardly knew ye.

You can add my new blog as a friend by clicking here, if you're into that sort of thing.

Adios, Livejournal. 

 



Dear RIAA (An Open Letter)

06 May 2006|09:34pm

Originally published at my new awesome blog at gthing.net. Please leave any comments there.

Dear RIAA,

My friend Jonathan Swift and I have been brainstorming on how to put an end to all this illegal filesharing, and I think we have found a solution.

When you try to sue someone, they have two choices. Give in and pay a settlement, or take it to court and defend themselves. So, in other words; admit guilt or tie yourself up in a legal proceeding that is likely to take years of your time and profit you nothing.

We know a lot of these people are likely to win in such a proceeding, but your lawyers do a wonderful job of dragging them out as long as it takes for these dastardly pirates to conceed.
So we came up with a simple test that will up front tell you if you have a valid pirate on your hands. There are two things a real pirate won’t do: drown or burn to death. Real pirates have crazy-l33t powers that keep them protected from fire and water.

Therefore, we propse that instead of the whole lawsuit thing, just simply tie rocks to an accused pirate and throw them in a lake. Alternately, if you prefer not to get your feet wet, you can make a nice bonfire and throw them in. In either case, if they end up dead, we will know they were innocent. If they live, well then, they’re all yours to do with as you please.

We realize that this is not a large departure from your current tactics, but it will save you a lot of money on lawyers - money which would be better served in your CEO’s pocket.

We are also trying to start up a program here in our home town of Salem that will let you report on supposed pirates. That would save you guys a lot of leg work on finding people to test as pirates. For some reason the people here aren’t really going for it.
Sincerely,

A concerned netizen.

Joanstake1.jpeg
As it turns out, Joan of Arc
did not participate in file
sharing.



The Tire

06 May 2006|02:53am

Originally published at my new awesome blog at gthing.net. Please leave any comments there.

So after my last post I started talking to The Ju online. She was having a hard time with things so I drove up to American Fork to buy her a JBC from Wendy’s and hang out in the park for a bit.

While we were there, we were just sitting on the swings, and this car pulled up with it’s headlights pointed right at us. It sat there for a few minutes and nothing happened. Awkward. Then The Ju’s phone rang.

It was her mother, both on the phone and in the car as it turns out. She had been driving around looking for The Ju and finally found her. Just wanted to make sure she was okay I guess. Why she didn’t just call in the first place I don’t know.

My timing driving home was just right. As I got back to Springville and pulled onto State Street, I saw a car pulled over that seemed to be tilting to one side. As I pulled by I saw a rather helpless looking girl getting out of the car, but I couldn’t see what was wrong.

I kept driving, checking my rear-view mirror. I realized she was in trouble (and it was like 3am), so I turned around and went back. She was indeed stranded, and her phone was out of batteries. She said she needed a tire.

What I beheld was perhaps the funniest thing I’ve seen in a while. Her rear driver’s-side tire was not only flat, but torn completely to shreads. There was very little tire left. She had been driving on her rim for who knows how long.

I told her she would have a spare in the trunk. I pulled it out and changed her tire for her, and talked with her a bit. Nice girl - from Peru - doesn’t know too much about chainging tires.
I felt like a nerd pulling out my phone and taking a picture of the old tire, but it was just too good to pass up. So here it is in all it’s glory:

Photo_050606_001.jpg
MOATED!



Jake’s Travels

06 May 2006|12:04am

Originally published at my new awesome blog at gthing.net. Please leave any comments there.

Check out Jake’s last 100 location updates from the GPS on his phone.

Picture 1.png

Two coasts! We were in California last week and now he’s over in New York. Check out JakeJack in the right sidebar to see his exact last reported location.

Well it’s nearly 1am and I’m just finishing up watching Oh Brother, Where Art Thou. Pretty slick movie.

I slept all afternoon - which I’ve been doing lately and then staying up all night. It has made for a rough week at work but I can’t help it. Maybe I’ll stay up all night and reset my schedule. That sounds good ‘cept for this huge freakin headache. Need to get back on track.

Check out the new feature in my sidebar - updates from A GThing Blog Network. More coming soon.



New feed

04 May 2006|11:43am

Originally published at my new awesome blog at gthing.net. Please leave any comments there.

Thanks Winter_in_asia for setting up my new feed. For those of you on LJ, please add gthingdotnet as your friend if you want to continue seeing me on your friends page.

For everyone else who reads through a news reader, subscribe to my new feed here.

For everyone else, please return your trays to the full and upright position. We are on final approach to Awesometown.



A GThing Science Project Version 2.0!

04 May 2006|01:23am

Originally published at my new awesome blog at gthing.net. Please leave any comments there.

I am now officially leaving the livejournal fold. My blog will still be available at gthing.net, but I have upgraded to wordpress on my own server. Yes, this is an upgrade. All my old posts have been transferred over to the new blog.

For those of you who visit through www.gthing.net, you’ll simply notice the shiny new theme. If you don’t see it yet, you will soon. It may take a while (a few hours from when I posted this) before you can see the new site…

For those of you who read through livejournal, if you would still like to see me on your friends page, you will be able to. But for it to work, I need someone with a paid LJ account (mine expired) to go here, scroll to the bottom of the page, paste in http://gthing.net/feed/rss/ and create a feed. Give it an awesome name like “gthing” or “gthing.net.” Once someone does that, then everyone will be able to add that feed to their freind’s page.

Changes:

  • Scrapped the “www” - now you can just go to gthing.net
  • Wordpress 2.0.1 powered - which means it’s more awesome
  • New, cleaner theme
  • 50% more awesome

All new posts will be cross posted to my livejournal for about a week.
If you’re interested in the reasons why I changed, read on.

Read the rest of this entry »



Oh my beard

02 May 2006|08:36am

Originally published at my new awesome blog at gthing.net. Please leave any comments there.

There was a horrible shaving accident today and I lost my beard. I was trimming away as usual with my beard trimmer when I noticed that I was not getting and even trim all around. There were spots that were bald and I looked like a homeless person.

I noticed that the guide piece had come loose and had ruined my whole shaving experience. I had to cut it all off and start with a blank slate again. Maybe I’ll keep it (relatively) beardless for a while.

I should do a statistical study on how many chicks I get with and without a beard. It’s just hard to do calculations with so little data…



Oh my beard

02 May 2006|01:36am
There was a horrible shaving accident today and I lost my beard.  I was trimming away as usual with my beard trimmer when I noticed that I was not getting and even trim all around.  There were spots that were bald and I looked like a homeless person.

I noticed that the guide piece had come loose and had ruined my whole shaving experience.  I had to cut it all off and start with a blank slate again.  Maybe I'll keep it (relatively) beardless for a while. 

I should do a statistical study on how many chicks I get with and without a beard.  It's just hard to do calculations with so little data...



Crazy BBQ man

27 Apr 2006|11:31pm
Hi I'm crazy BBQ face man.  I have a BBQ for a face, and I will be lighting it up for all to see this saturday.  So come to my BBQ/party.  We will have:
  • Food (For meat eaters and vegi-wussies alike)
  • A Half Pipe
  • A Hammock
  • A Trampoline
  • Ducks (To play with not to eat)
  • Lots of Tiki Torches
  • A Campfire complete with Marshmellows and sing-a-longs
  • Cold Beverages
  • The Sun
  • Celebrity Guests
If you are cool enough to read my blog, you're cool enough to come.  Check it:

Saturday, April 29th @ 5:36:27 exactly (please don't be early or late)

44 North 400 East
Springville



I am so sick

25 Apr 2006|04:09pm
mood | sick

I can't remember being this sick since grade school.  I woke up this morning with burning in my chest.  I didn't think anything of it, but soon realized that I had come down with something.  I tried to get up so I could call my boss, but I couldn't even get out of bed.

Eventually I made it upstairs to where I get decent cellphone reception and called in sick.  Which totally sucks because I already took 3 days off for the faire.  I am going to be one poor sucker come the end of this pay period.

I have tried to get out of bed a few times but I end up just getting sicker and puking and stuff.  I can't really do anything - it toally sucks.  And it's been coming out both ends - sometimes at the same time. :(

I need water.  Someone come nurse me back to health.  I think it's the avian bird flu. blech.



Home again

25 Apr 2006|01:01am
Jake and I made it back from the Maker Faire today.   We had a great time!  Here's a rundown:

We drove out Thursday all the way to San Francisco.  We got in pretty late and slept in the back of the Tahoe in a Wal Mart parking lot somewhere outside of SF.  In the morning we woke up with the sun and headed into SF to tool around a bit.  We went to H&M to do some shopping, and walked around the city a bit.


I have to say that I love that part of California.  Everything seems much cleaner and nicer than the southern part.   San Francisco is a really cool city, and there are plenty of incredible bridges to admire.  The whole city is like a big amusement park ride, you even have to pay $3 to get in (bridge toll).

After that we went and prepared for the faire.  We like to do things at the last minute.  We found a shopping center that had everything we needed: Wal-Mart, Michaels, and Kinkos.  We set to work making our signs and buying materials and things. 

We spent a large part of the evening in Kinkos designing and printing out sheets about our projects that we would be showing at the fair.  That night we slept in the Wal Mart parking lot again.

We found out (the hard way), that the long standing Wal Mart policy of allowing people to camp out in their cars in the Wal Mart parking lot had been changed.  A security guard came by at about 1am and told us we couldn't stay there.  I gave him the puppy dog eyes and he said we could stay tonight, but had us move to the very end of the parking lot.

The morning came quickly and we were off to the fair.  We got in and set everything up and took a look around.  We were stationed right next to the big Yahoo! booth in the first and biggest maker hall.  The bell rang, the fair started, and for the next several hours we were busy showing our projects to everyone at the fair.

Our projects were quite a bit more simple then many of the other projects being shown, so we took that angle that we wanted to show simple projects that anyone could do - not big complex robots or mechanical computers - just every day things modified to do interesting things. 

The three projects we showed were Retro Cellphone handsets, the ECG, and the infrared camera.  We had pictures and explanations of the projects and promised for full information on the diyhappy.com website (which we have yet to do) later this week.

About an hour before the show ended, we packed up and put a sign on our table that we would be back tomorrow.  We then had a chance to walk around and see some of the projects.  I wish we had had more time to talk with some of the makers, but we had to make sort of a quick run around.  I did meet Bre Pettis from imakestuff.com who promised to come by the next day for a video interview.

He did come by the next day, but I was in the bathroom.  He said he would come back in a few minutes, but we nevewr saw him again.

Anyway, after the show on the 1st day they had a BBQ for all the Makers.  Everyone got a free tri-tip sandwhich and one beer.  The sandwhich was the worst ever, and I don't drink - so the beer coupon went unused.  They also had a band play - The Phenomenauts, but I think the guy mixing the sound must have been asleep because I couldn't make out much of anything the band was playing.

We took off south to the nearest walmart and slept in the parking lot again.  We parked closer to 24 hour fitness to avoid trouble from the security there.  By morning I decided I was smelling pretty bad (having not showered the entire trip), so I went to the Wal Mart and bought some wet wipes and took a white-trash wet wipe shower in the wal mart bathroom.  I do not recommend this, but it was better then nothing.

We got back to the fair just as it was starting and got to our table.  The germans next to us figured we had been drinking all night and thats why we were late. 

The second day was much busier then the first.  For example, at about 11am I set to task to eat a stack of 4 oreo cookies.  By 4pm I had had time to eat to of them.  We talked to people until about a half hour after the show had ended.

Overall, people loved our projects.  I think people got excited seeing something that was easy and they could do when they got home.  Out of all the projects, very few of them were simple enough for EVERYBODY, and we had stuff for almost everyone.  Most people appreciated the humor of the retro cellphone handsets, and a lot of people wondered why we weren't mass-producing ECG's for doctors in malaysia or wherever.

A few times I got stuck talking to crazy people who had invented the universe, wanted to modify our IR camera to see heat, or any other numerous crazy things people wanted to talk to us about.  One guy who had seen us the first day came back the second day with some really cool old phones and a lineman's phone he wanted to convert to bluetooth like we had done.  Also, the guy from Sparkfun.com stopped by and showed us his dial cell phone modification. 

The fiar was awesome.  We met some really cool people and saw some really cool things.  The mythbuster's were there, as well as Steve Wosniak, and a bunch of other famous people.  I wish we had had more time to shmooz with these people, and I really wanted to meet Phillip Torrone (the blogger for Make).  We did meet the Make Editor, who came to check on out booth, and the we got to see the graffitti research people's bus.

After the show we went into SF again so I could return some jeans I had bought from H&M that I decided no longer fit.  We didn't want to park so Jake dropped me off on the side of the road and said he would circle around the block.  I jumped out in a rush and forgot to grab my cellphone. 

I went and took care of the return at H&M and returned to the corner where I had been dropped off.  And then, I waited.  There I was, all alone in the middle of SF all alone with no cellphone - just wondering when and if Jake would ever come back.

While I was waiting I was approached by some guy who explained that I could relax because he worked around the corner and knew everyone in town (???).  He then proceeded to list off a bunch of drugs and asked which one I wanted.  I explained to him that I didn't want any drugs.

He asked me if I wanted weed, and I said "I don't smoke weed."  He gave me a look like I was from outer space and said "Never?"  and I said "never."  He sat and thought for a moment with a bewildered look on his face.  Then he said; "Okay, in that case can you help me out, I'm just trying to get some food at this place around the corner."

Ha - this guy just explained that he was in posession of what I would assume to be several hundreds of dollars worth of drugs, drugs so commonly accepted that if you don't use them you get looked at like a crazy person, and he told me he had a job at a restaraunt, and now - after realizing that I was a "good" person because I don't use drugs - wanted me to give him money!  I told him I didn't have any cash, and then he asked me about 8 more times if I would give him money.  After a while he walked away.

I waited for a long while, and finally Jake showed up - he had been lost apparently.

On the recommendation of a friend (you know who you are) we decided to go check out a restaraunt called "The Lime."  It looked pretty cool from the website.  As we made it over to the end of town where the restaraunt was located we noticed the town changing.  Rainbow flags we hanging from every light pole, and rainbow stickers and flags were in every store window. 

Men walked hand in hand down the street.  This was the gay part of town.  Billboards said things like "SF is ready for the cure to HIV." and stuff about gay movies and whatnot. 

We finally located the Lime and decided against going there - because it appeared to be a trendy spot for gay people to hang out.  No, to be clear, I have no problem with people who have such lifestyles, but I was tired, smelly, and in a bad mood.  I didn't want the night to end up in a gay club/restaruant place.  Under different circumstances perhaps I would have visited such an establishment.

We decided to drive as far as we could back home that night and slept in a Wal Mart parking lot again.  In the middle of the night a security gaurd came by and yelled through his big PA system at a camper that was parked near us.  He kept repeating they couldn't  stay there and would need to leave.  They didn't.  I don't even think they noticed us.

We woke up and drove home and that was it! 



The MAKER FAIRE

23 Apr 2006|12:45pm
Jake and I are having a great time at the Maker Fair in San mateo, CA.  I wrote up a post about it at diyhappy if you wanna check it out.

Also, they are having a contest to see which booth gets the most information requests with their free texting service.  So text "maker115" to 66937 (MOZES) and you can receive more information about our booth.  We are only 6 or 7 spots away form first place - so texting that number would help us out.  It's free - so do it.  Word.



On Our Way

20 Apr 2006|05:05pm
mood | energetic

We're on our way to the Maker faire in San Fransisco.  We have set up a roving wireless network through my phone and using my computer as an access point.  That way we can get Internet on the way out (as well as anyone else who is driving near us).  So I'm in the middle of Nevada and I'm still connected.  Holla.

If you want to see where we are, we are also doing real time updates with GPS and Jake's phone.  It looks like we may lose coverage on his network through much of Nevada, so I it might look like We've stayed in one place for a really long time.  Anyway, check it out.

Jakejack - Where we were most recently.  It updates once an hour, but there is an update button that will update it on demand.

Mologogo - Our last one hundred locations.  See where we came from.



Maker Faire

19 Apr 2006|07:26pm
We leave in the morning for the maker faire.  We actually still have quite a bit of work to do, but meh - we'll do it on the 13 hour drive out to San Fransisco.  We will be sleeping in Jake's truck.  So, you know, if anyone in SF area has some floorspace available - let me know. :)



Plagiarised!

19 Apr 2006|12:47am
mood | annoyed

I was about to submit one of the stories I wrote on DIY happy to digg.com and I noticed a duplicate submission.  I thought - "Oh cool, someone has already submitted my story!"  But upon closer inspection I found that they had actually copied my text, word for word, and posted it on their site as their own.

Furious, I started looking at what I could do.  I contacted their host (blogger) and told them about it, sending along a screenshot to prove it, I also contacted google's abuse team (who actually own blogger) to dispute his pagerank and maybe get him removed from the google index, and I wrote him a note that he should not be plagiarising my work.

I also learned the "plagiarism" is a weird word to spell, but I think i got it down.

The first thing is he copied my text, which is bad enough - but I would not have gone to the lengths I did if he had not also submitted his site to Digg (a popular tech-news site).  Ripping off my work is one thing, but then trying to get credit and recognition for it is quite another.

Here is a screenshot from his website (click for larger):

Picture 1

And here is the story on DIY happy (which is pretty cool):

Real Time 3D Flight Tracking with Google Earth.

You can see he not only stole the title, but he stole the entire last paragraph and the links and link text.

This sort of thing seems to happen all the time - it's way cool to copy someone else's stuff if you put quotes in it and link to your source - it's the way your site gets promoted.  But to steal the text without a mention of your source is way crappy.  Plagiarism is enough to get students kicked out of school, and it's enough to making me flaming pissed off.

Nothing has happened yet.  His story is still up - even with my comment on it calling it plagiarism and linking to the source.  We'll see what happens tomorrow morning though.

The whole thing reminded me of a web service where you can search for plagiarism of your content.  It's called Copyscape, and guess who is the only result for the website www.diyhappy.com?



New Macbook

16 Apr 2006|01:04am
I got a new macbook yesterday - traded in the old one.  It doesn't have any of the problems I mentioned a few posts ago, and it also doesn't have any dents in it from being dropped (yet?).  I will be more careful with this, my second chance at life.

I'm going to my aunt's for Easter.



Sam and Jake on Make

13 Apr 2006|08:22pm
Our projects that we will be presenting at the Make Faire in San Mateo next week are now listed on Makezine.com.  Check it:
http://makezine.com/faire/makers/

We have the infrared stuff, the ECG, retro handsets, etc.



<200lbs

13 Apr 2006|02:10pm
mood | crack skinny

Sam now weighs in at under 200 lbs.  And I did it all without the help of exercise. 



12 Apr 2006|06:35pm
mood | accomplished

I checked the stats for DIY:happy today and found this...

Stats

And here's why...

DIY:happy on make

That's a screenshot from Digg.com.  In case you're wondering, here's our story on DIY:happy that was linked to:

How to make a guitar pickup.

But, uhhh... unfortunately it looks like the site just went down ... should be back up in a bit though.



Problems with my Macbook

11 Apr 2006|03:07am
mood | calm

Problems with my macbook (and why it's being returned for a newer one):

  • Make high pitched noises when there's no processor load
  • Screen brightness changes by itself sometimes
  • Gets incredibly hot (like, I cooked an egg on it today)
  • The sound clicks and pops (sometimes even when no audio is being played)
  • Tonight it started "mooing" like a cow.
Of those issues, Apple has admitted to and fixed all but the sound clicks and pops.  Apparently UVSC will take it back so long as I can prove apple has admitted the problem, which I have done. 

Here's hoping for a trouble-free macbook pro come tomorrow.





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