Thursday, May 18, 2006

Skype Still Sucks

So Skype, the Voip folks who came to be from the ashes of Napster, look to take on the world of the telcos freeing up Long Distance charges much as Arthur C. Clarke predicted. Ebay bought into the dream and bought out Skype for $2.6 Billion (with a B). How's that investment doing? Well, let's just say that to get you hooked on Skype they're offering a year of calls in North America for free. There's only one problem. The call quality sucks big time. Actually, scratch that. The call quality on my PC end was pretty darn good. The person on the phone (I "skyped out" to a landline) got an earful of her own voice and told me never to call her again. I'm sure she meant with Skype... not never again, right?
Nope Skype still sucks. If I want cheap long distance I'll stick with my 1010969 prefix. Five cents a minute is small investment in keeping your long distance loved ones still in love with you.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Back to the standards

Bah! I'm back to Internet Explorer. Why? Maxthon sucks. It's too slow. Opera doesn't open a lot of pages I need to visit and won't feature some of the Rich Text editors embedded in sites (like Joomla) that I need. I am on a Program Diet. After years of gluttonous consumption downloading and installing (and filling up my registry and slowing down my computer) every program imaginable I have decided to lose the extra weight. My goal is to get One program for each function. I don't think that's really possible. I'm also trying to do it for free as much as it can be done. Now I have some software titles on hand that are paid for and will be using those, naturally.

Media/MP3 - Winamp (free from AOL)
Media/Pics - Picasa (free from Google)
Media/Movies - Nero (also to burn discs)
Office Suite - Office 2003 (from Microsoft - Open Office just doesn't do it for me)
Graphics Editor - Macromedia Fireworks (I don't understand Adobe software).
PDF Maker - Adobe Acrobat 7.0 (No other PDF maker comes close)
Antivirus - Norton System Works (yeah, it slows down the system, but it works)
AntiSpyware - Windows Defender (Microsoft gets serious)
Browser - IE - (Really, customised it can be good)

And that's it. For now. My computer has been stripped of it's consuming ways and made a Producing machine. Much better.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Maxthon Browser

Maxthon Browser – Tabbed Internet browser software
Twice Maxthon Browser's Third Party add-on plug-in "Blog This" has killed my post and I am now even less enthused to type out evrything again so this time I am going to copy this post before hitting "Publish". You don't know what I'm talking about? Oh. Well that's cuz everything was lost into the e-ther.
I was running on about how Maxthon Browser may be the best of both worlds for my love of Opera's functionality and universal acceptance of Internet Explorer. However, if Maxthon keeps acting up I'm gonna leave it behind and go back to my two browser system.. See... I'm trying to get down to just one of evrything. One Browser. One Media Player. One Office Suite. One Anti-spy. One Anti-Virus. Simplicity.
OK... Copy and Publish... cross fingers.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Democracy Player + BitTorrent + RSS kills cable... I need more bandwith

The Democracy Player is an amazing open source Internet TV application that allows you to subscribe to video RSS feeds from anywhere on the web. The default feeds will keep you supplied with endless viral and music videos from, Videobomb, and Telemusicvison, but with a little hackery, The Democracy Player will make you wonder why you’re still paying your cable bill.

For quite some time, I’ve been using TVRss to download episodes of The Daily Show that I’ve missed. TVRss scours a couple Bittorrent sites for TV shows, and provides RSS feeds of any search result. For example, here’s the RSS feed for recent episodes of The Daily Show. I currently subscribe to this feed in NetNewsWire and download the new shows as they appear.

These RSS feeds don’t work with
The Democracy Player just yet: the feeds simply link to the bittorrent file, but don’t include the critical enclosure element. But with a little help from Feedburner ’s SmartCast service, feeds from TVRss can be plugged into The Democracy Player, effectively creating a Internet PVR.

Now that I’ve sufficiently bored you with the technical details, here’s the simple step-by-step:

How to Subscribe to TV Shows Using The Democracy Player & Bittorrent & RSS

  1. Download The Democracy Player

  2. Search for a show of your choice at TVRss

  3. Right click on the RSS/XML icon link and select Copy Link URL

  4. Go to Feedburner, and paste the URL into the text field on the home page, check the “I am a Podcaster!” box, and click next.

    1. If you don’t already have a Feedburner account, you’ll be prompted to create one

  5. Click “Next” to activate the feed

  6. Copy the URL of the feed provided by Feedburner (it should start with

  7. Open The Democracy Player, click “Add Channel”, and paste the URL of the feed into the field that appears

  8. Sleep. In the morning, you should have an episode of The Daily Show to watch!

  9. New episodes will automatically be downloaded as soon as they’re available on Bittorrent – I’ve found this to usually be a day after the show airs

  10. Enjoy!

In my mind, this is the future of video distribution. The technologies of Bittorrent and RSS perfectly compliment each other: Bittorrent downloads are much faster when concurrently downloaded by a large swarm. Notifying software programs of new Bittorrent files via RSS creates a swarm very quickly, resulting in faster downloads for everyone. The Democracy Player combines all of these technical elements with a pleasant UI, and great video management tools. The result is nothing short of spectacular.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to watch The Daily Show

Friday, February 03, 2006

Chicken Noodle Soup

2 1/2 to 3 1/2 pounds chicken pieces
4 cups water
4 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste, depending on saltiness of broth
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 leek or small onion chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram or basil
1 bay leaf
6 ounces noodles

Place all ingredients except noodles in the Crock Pot. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours. Remove chicken and bay leaf from pot; take meat from bones, dice, and return to broth, and add the noodles.
Cook another hour or until noodles are done (about 1/2 hour on high). Or, cook the noodles separately and add them just before serving

OScar - Reinvent Mobility - Home

OScar - Reinvent Mobility - Home

The OScar... hmmmm... I'm curious to see what rejected ideas and backyard tinkerer ideas wind up here. Loads of talent is out there and sweating for a business so far removed from the dream... Now is their chance to shine in building a whole new, practical, functional, applicable, and progressive form of transportation.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

French Dip Sandwiches

Using a slow cooker to cook the meat to just-right tenderness, you too can serve a true French Dip to all of your friends and family during the cold winter nights! C'est si bon!'
Original recipe yield: 10 servings.
Prep Time:
10 Minutes
Cook Time:
12 Hours
Ready In:
12 Hours 10 Minutes
10 (change)
1 (4 pound) boneless beef roast
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 beef bouillon cube
1 bay leaf
3 whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon garlic powder
20 slices French bread
Remove and discard all visible fat from the roast. Place trimmed roast in a slow cooker.
In a medium bowl, combine soy sauce, bouillon, bay leaf, peppercorns, rosemary, thyme, and garlic powder. Pour mixture over roast, and add enough water to almost cover roast. Cover, and cook on Low heat for 10 to 12 hours, or until meat is very tender.
Remove meat from broth, reserving broth. Shred meat with a fork, and distribute on bread for sandwiches. Used reserved broth for dipping.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Proverbs heard today

Had a talk with my friend Chris who is in the restaurant industry. He repeated what his mentor had said to him on how to run a profitable restaurant and I think it has applications to all businesses. That is "Feed the rich and you'll eat with the poor. Feed the poor and you'll eat with the rich."

Southern-Style Pork Barbecue Recipe

4 to 5 pound pork shoulder (butt) roast
2 large onions, sliced
4 to 6 whole cloves
2 cups water
1 bottle (16 oz) barbecue sauce, your choice
1 large onion, chopped, about 1 cup
large split buns, toasted or warmed

Place half the sliced onion in the bottom of a slow cooker. Add pork roastt, cloves, and water. Add the remaining sliced onion. Cover and cook 8 to 12 hours on LOW. Remove bone and fat from meat. Discard onions, cloves and water. Shred the meat and put it back in the pot. Add chopped onion and the barbecue sauce. Cook another 2 1/2 to 4 hours on LOW, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.
Serve on large split buns.
Makes about 12 to 16 servings.