August 2011

(Archive index.)

Monsters of Grok: fake band t-shirts for history's greatest thinkers by Jeremy Kalgreen.

From Scott Knaster:

This is gonna be cool. Game Developer Conference with built-in Google Developer Day.

Google @ GDC Online Oct. 10th-12th - The official Google Code blog.

Do we have any recourse against mobile phone spam by “credit” or “home security” companies? I diligently report every call to, but it feels like a bit bucket.

Earlier I mentioned[1] I was having problems with Carbonite, the online backup service, on Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, even after their recent software update to work with the new version of the operating system. The menu bar item and the preferences pane were beachballing (unresponsive) occasionally during a very slow backup that didn’t seem to be progressing. Eventually it got to the point where they were beachballing 100% of the time, completely unresponsive. I gave it a temporary pass while I was on the road and away from a solid Internet connection, but when I got home the problems persisted. So I canceled the auto-pay on that subscription (which was 2 weeks from expiring).

Then I realized that the only way Carbonite gives you to uninstall it is through the preferences pane[2]. But in my case the preferences pane was 100% unresponsive. So how do you remove it manually? Internet to the rescue[3]:

1. Navigate to the “/Library” folder in the Finder. One way to do this is to select the Go menu, Go to Folder… Type “/Library”, click Go. The Finder opens the /Library folder. (Note that this is the folder in the root of your system disk, not in your Users folder.)

2. Open /Library/Application Support. Move the “Carbonite” folder to the Trash. (Mac OS X will prompt you for your password for each of these.)

3. Open /Library/Contextual Menu Items. Move “CarboniteCMM.bundle” to the Trash.

4. Open /Library/LaunchAgents. Move “com.carbonite.launchd.carbonitealerts.plist” and “com.carbonite.launchd.carbonitestatus.plist” to the Trash.

5. Open /Library/LaunchDaemons. Move “com.carbonite.launchd.carbonitedaemon.plist” to the Trash.

6. Open /Library/PreferencePanes. Move “Carbonite.prefPane” to the Trash.

7. Restart your computer.

8. Empty your trash.

Carbonite still seems to be functioning (with a full backup completed) on my desktop running Lion, so I guess I’ll keep that around. For the laptop, I’ve moved my project files into Dropbox, which also syncs to the desktop and then (via the desktop) to Carbonite, so I could conceivably consider that three automated backups (one local, two remote). Applications and system files are (relatively) easy to restore by other means. It’d be nice to clone the drive occasionally using SuperDuper, though I’m reminded of how fragile that can be: the drive I was using for that purpose died inexplicably.


From DeWitt Clinton:

Put me down for two.

From DeWitt Clinton:

I want to go to there.

What is up with Noises? Another great video from the multitalented Vi Hart.

What is up with Noises? (The Science and Mathematics of Sound, Frequency, and Pitch)

LinkedIn sends “Network Updates” by email with a link to “Adjust your message settings,” but there does not appear to be a setting that stops the Network Updates. Anyone know how to shut these off without closing my LI account or filtering them?

Turbine powered remote control jet. Takeoff and landing.

From Brian Fitzpatrick:

Holy crap does this model plane haul ass. And sure enough, he lands it safely. The take-off alone was incredible.

Very, very, very fast Turbine powered RC Jet!

The Gary Hudston Project. A Portal 2 wedding proposal. They even hired Ellen McLain. Extraordinary.


Anyone having continuing problems with Carbonite and Mac OS X Lion, even after their recent update?

I was so pleased to ditch my 1st gen MacBook Air because of its CPU temperature problems, and the new Air was a dream come true with running quietly and coolly. Then I re-installed Carbonite after they updated it for Lion, and now Carbonite blasts two cores continuously, pushing temps to 80 deg celcius and fans to full speed, uploading files at a glacial pace. Their control panel and menu bar icon lag and beachball, and it apparently finds new files that need updating as fast as it uploads.

I’ll feel better if it ever finishes and calms down to casual updates. I’d also consider “low priority mode” except it says it has 3 GB to get through, and it can only do anything when the laptop is awake, which isn’t often.

(Props to iStat Menus for giving me more concrete reasons to complain about my new computer. :) )

Programming Google App Engine, 2nd edition Rough Cuts, is now available! Watch me write it, and help me make it better!

Also check out the updated website with which I used to procrastinate from writing already.

Programming Google App Engine.

The Manual has arrived.

Merlin Mann and Rob Corddry on Back to Work.

Wait, what??

Back to Work #29: I Download FLAC - 5by5.

Health Month merges with Contagion Health to form Habit Labs, and keeps its Seattle office!

Bustr Bensn • Announcing Habit Labs!.

From Todd Nemet:

This made me laugh like so: heh heh heh.

Hipster Ipsum | Artisanal filler text for your site or project..

The Enough Already, an Arduino-based device that mutes your TV for 30 seconds when celebrity names appear in the closed captioning data.

Enough Already: The Arduino Solution to Overexposed Celebs.

WhyDay is Friday.

Whyday is Friday - Shopify.

2008 Gamasutra interview with the makers of Dwarf Fortress.

Gamasutra - Features - Interview: The Making Of Dwarf Fortress.

(Via Robert Schuppenies.)

Knight Ridder’s vision of tablet computing, from 1994.

From Ikai Lan:

The Google Developer Day 2011 site is up, and it's gorgeous.

Google Developer Day 2011.

Wow, it took me this long to notice a design rationale for hiding scroll bars in Lion. “Un-natural” trackpad scrolling makes sense with the old scroll bars: drag the bar down, the view goes up, and vice versa. Mouse wheels pull in the direction of the scroll bar. To switch to “natural” trackpad scrolling to emulate touch screens, the scrollbars have to travel in the opposite direction of the gesture. Hiding them demotes the old metaphor and avoids confusion.

I’m sitting here watching my 1st-gen MacBook Air’s CPU temp creep past 80 degrees celcius with the fans blowing at 6000 rpm while I’m doing basically nothing. 6 Chrome tabs (none with Flash content), Emacs, Carbonite, Mac OS X Lion, in a 70-degree-F room. Plugged in, which makes a minor difference. I’m reminded that the 1st-gen Airs had thermal paste problems.

Constant fan, meager battery, terrible standby, and inability to render OS X Lion animations cleanly have pushed me to break my “wait till the AppleCare runs out” rule. The good news is the MBAs have advanced quite a bit in 2 years, so it should be a satisfying upgrade.

When you file plans for a remodel with the city, you get all kinds of snail spam from wanna-be subcontractors. Funny to watch it all show up in paper form like that; reminds me how bizarre it is that the permit application doesn’t include my email address.

Discovered Mac OS X Lion feature: When the wi-fi joiner recognizes an open network with a Terms of Service interstitial web page, it opens it automatically in a special window. Another example of an iOS feature now available for the Mac.

If I were to ask you, “Is today Opposite Day?” would you say yes?

Barnes and Noble systematically misshelves my book with the Windows books, but at least they’re facing it out now. #authorproblems

Noticed Nordstrom is using iPhone POS devices for checkout now. Beginning of a trend? (the bank’s website) has never worked in Chrome: it doesn’t make it through the login process. They’ve never fixed it. So I’ve used Safari to access the Chase website.

Now has the exact same problem in Safari 5.1. So now I’m using Firefox to access the Chase website. I have no other use for Firefox (except maybe the Web Developer toolbar’s response header inspector, which I’m sure I could find a replacement for in Chrome if I bothered to look). (Don’t get me wrong, Firefox is a great browser. But there are at least two other great browsers now, too.)

Apple2fpga: Reconstructing an Apple II+ on an FPGA.

The Language of Christianity, a video essay for CNN by Kirby Ferguson. (via waxy.)

The myth of the extraordinary teacher.

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