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May 20, 2008

Filed under: random»linky

Link Tank

No kidding, it's a heck of a pancake.

  • Flash Player 10 adds support for PCM sound generation. The bad news is that the latency is bad, partially because Actionscript isn't threaded and so audio must be buffered. In a bit of a strong-arm move, Adobe's keeping people from pushing the limits of the buffer by randomly determining its length (anywhere from .2 to .5 seconds) at the player's launch. So, no realtime instruments in Flash yet, in other words.
  • Naomi Klein's article on Chinese privacy monitoring is more than a little chilling. Whether it's an argument for Little Brother-style vigilantism or David Brin's transparent society, I'm not sure.
  • If at first your ill-concieved techno-educational project doesn't succeed, try, try again.
  • Campaign ads are generally pretty stupid anyway, but this McCain ad is just unbelievable. As Crooked Timber says, you almost expect it to promise free ponies and perpetual motion machines.
  • The "snare" on our Rock Band drums went out a while back. You can still play by pressing the regular-sized gamepad buttons in the center of the unit, but obviously that lacks the mad joy of using the sticks. We've been waiting a week and a half now, I think, just for the box to ship it back to EA for replacement. Not impressed, guys.
  • Someone stole my car radio the other day. Seriously, who does that anymore? And what's up with the lack of standard wiring on the backs of car radios? I blew two fuses in the car when the caps came off my wire splices. I realize that people don't upgrade the radios often, but there's no good reason that anyone should be rewiring parts of an expensive item like a car by hand.
  • Since loading up VMWare to run Ubuntu, I've also found a copy of OS X (10.4.7) on Bittorrent to mess with. It doesn't include iLife, but I wouldn't have any use for that anyway, so I've ignored it. Instead, what I've been trying to do is figure out the big deal with Mac shareware, which seems to get an incredible amount of praise: take, for example, this fawning review of Delicious Library, a program that (as far as I can tell) is neat but not particularly mind-blowing. In fact, that seems to describe most of the "must-have" apps I've tried. Perhaps I simply have no joy in my heart.
  • I really dig this Lifehacker post on using a cameraphone as a to-do list. It reminds me of one of my favorite travel strategies: when entering a new city, make a point to immediately take a good, high-res picture of any subway/bus maps you run across. It's definitely worked for me in New York, Chicago, and Brussels.

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