Archive for August, 2012

Punctuation isn’t part of the word, Kindle

Monday, August 13th, 2012

I do most of my eBook reading using the Kindle app on my iPad. It’s very simple and works well except for one obnoxious bug. When you highlight a word or passage, the app automatically looks it up. Unfortunately, the highlighting assumes that any string of characters without a space is a word. You can see above that it has selected ‘Time?”‘ as the final word. The most frustrating bit is that it won’t let you adjust the selection to trim off those extra characters, you can only remove whole ‘words’. If you could trim off the last two characters, it would have easily found In Search of Lost Time. I assume this feature is intended mostly for dictionary lookups; imagine how frustrating it is to be unable to look up a word because it comes at the end of a sentence. Unconscionable!

iPad 3 back up doesn’t work: solved

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

Since getting my iPad 3 at launch, it has never backed itself up. It always displayed “Unknown” and the “Back Up” option was missing from the right-click menu. Today I finally found a forum post with the solution. I’m reposting it here in hopes that more people find it:

o At first, close iTunes.
o Then, open Terminal and type the following commands in:

defaults write com.apple.iTunes DeviceBackupsDisabled -bool false

defaults write com.apple.iTunes AutomaticDeviceBackupsDisabled -bool false

Chase QuickPay is not so quick

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

I asked a friend to send me money for a ticket the other day via PayPal or in person. They sent it via Chase QuickPay an app that lets Chase customers send money to an email address or phone number. I was mildly annoyed but remembered that I tried to make him use PayPal which no one should be forced to use. (more…)

Analog static is coming back!

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

YouTube now shows you analog static when embedding has been disabled. They used to just show you a black screen. This seems a bizarre addition. I guess it fits with their logos reminiscent of curved screens and “tube” in their name, but really, how much longer will people actually know what television snow is? YouTube’s core audience certainly skews towards people who have seen very little static in their lives thanks to DVDs, digital satellite tv, digital cable boxes, and finally digital television broadcasts that ended almost all analog tv in 2009. Hollywood hasn’t learned this lesson yet either. I remember watching 2012 in 2009 with scenes of television broadcasts being cut short and tvs going to static. I thought at that time, “Great, now we have to reinvent analog static before the end of the world.”

Yes, people kayak in LA

Monday, August 6th, 2012

Waiting kayakers

Last Friday, I heard from tacitus about a Hidden LA event to kayak the Los Angeles river. cstone was able to get a pair of the very limited tickets and Dave and I went this morning. (more…)

Ninja Cola, a wirelessly accessible vending machine

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

jenny mans ninjatel

A couple months ago Chris suggested we hack a vending machine so that you could use non-traditional input to make it serve beverages. I had some experience converting a machine to free mode during our Rainfall project so it didn’t seem too hard. Vending machines are readily available on Craiglist but I made sure to ask amongst friends to avoid the hassle. Craig offered the old vending machine that was sitting in his datacenter, “as long as it comes back eventually and more awesome”. Easy. (more…)

NinjaTel, the hacker cellphone network

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

NinjaTel in Red Rock Canyon

The social group Ninja Networks throws a massive party at Defcon almost every year. In the last few years that I’ve been involved, they’ve taken on larger scale projects and built custom badges for the exclusive Ninja Party. This year we took on our largest project yet: building an entire cellphone network. (more…)