Goldilocks

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

Goldilocks

Israel just banned models with a BMI under 18.5. That's not severely underweight, it's the boundary with normal. Like banning models packing an extra pound (not that the law touches this end of the spectrum). Lawmakers have too much free time on their hands when they pass body crimes (or thought crimes). Outlawing underweight models isn't going to put a dent in eating disorders. Even if it was a reasonable law it's going after a symptom rather than any sort of root cause.

Photo Credit: clapstar cc

Catfood: PdfScan 1.40

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

Catfood: PdfScan 1.40

Catfood PdfScan 1.40 is a small bug fix release. PdfScan converts documents to PDFs with the help of a flatbed or automatic document feeder (ADF) scanner.

Three reasons the dream of a robot companion isn't over

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

Three reasons the dream of a robot companion isn't over

David Lee reports from the Innorobo 2012 conference and comes up with 'Is the dream of having a robot companion over?'Apparently it is, because:

1) A five year old girl is mildly frightened by a robot and so this is one of the industries biggest hurdles: 'What will it take for Kibo to be Emi's friend, rather than the subject of her nightmares?'

Sure, it's initially frightening, but leave the robot with her for an hour and you won't get the thing back without an epic meltdown. This is a fundamental misunderstanding of children rather than industry threatening hurdle.

2) '...the industry should perhaps look to recreate simpler, smaller tasks.'

Says the guy that makes the Roomba, a vacuum cleaner. No self interest involved there.

3) 'That kind of notion for a service robot we think is completely wrong.'

Says the guy that makes the RoboThespian, a next generation Teddy Ruxpin. No self interest involved there. 

So general purpose robots are not happening, because a girl was initially nervous and two companies focused on special purpose robotics would rather talk about their niches. Thanks for wasting my time on this BBC.

I'm wasting more time writing about it for two reasons.

The Internet is killing headlines (something I agree with Paul Carr on). BBC news is egregiously awful, both for overwrought link bait and for using warn too much. The dream of a robot companion will never be over.

More importantly, think about every news story that either covered an event or an industry you're deeply familiar with and you'll realize that it's wrong, usually seriously so. What are the chances that it's only those stories that flawed in this way?  

Photo Credit: AV8PIX Christopher Ebdon

Fixing dropped wireless connection for Linksys E4200

Updated on Saturday, August 19, 2017

Fixing dropped wireless connection for Linksys E4200

I've been going quietly mad trying to fix a constant dropped connection issue with our Linksys E4200 router. There's lots of advice around tweaking  the MTUs, upgrading firmware and disabling UPnP (a good idea anyway) but none of this helped at all. The connection just continually dropped, eventually came back, dropped again, ad nauseam.

The fix was to change the 5GHz and 2.4GHz networks to use different network names (SSIDs).  I then connected to the 2.4GHz flavor and the connection is now solid.

I guess the problem was that by sharing the SSID devices would keep switching between the networks whenever they got the chance to connect to the juicy 5GHz flavor. The 5GHz network is flakier (higher frequencies having less range) and so the constant dropouts.

Sweeney Ridge

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

Sweeney Ridge, starting from Skyline College and walking up to the Portola Expedition Monument and back again.

(Google Earth KML)

Hike starts at: 37.62864, -122.463666.

Upgrading to BlogEngine.NET 2.5

Updated on Thursday, December 26, 2019

Today I upgraded this blog to the latest and greatest version of BlogEngine.NET. Not entirely smooth sailing, so here are my notes for others (and the next time I have to do it):

The IsCommentsEnabled property BlogEngine.Core.Post has changed to HasCommentsEnabled. Not sure why this was worth changing but easy enough to fix.

BlogSettings.Instance.StorageLocation doesn't exist any more. After some digging it turns out that you need to use Blog.CurrentInstance.StorageLocation instead.

WidgetBase and WidgetEditBase in a couple of custom widgets complained that the type or namespace could not be found. This is fixed by adding a using statement for App_Code.Controls.

Updated 2012-03-11:

Getting the blog running locally was as usual only half the hassle. The next step is deploying to my hosting provider, Server Intellect. Things always start going wrong at this point. Luckily Server Intellect has some really great support staff and they respond quickly even on a Saturday night.

The first problem is that my backups were broken. Backups always succeed, restores always fail. After restoring my App_Data folder the last month of posts were missing. After digging for a bit it turned out that recent files were invisible over FTP but present in the control panel for the domain. My server had been migrated and some sort of permissions issue had broken access to new files. Not specifically a BlogEngine.net issue, but took a while to figure out and then for Server Intellect to fix.

Once the files were all there I uploaded and the blog itself was working fine, but the admin pages were screwy. It turns out that my server doesn't have ASP.NET MVC 3 installed. Server Intellect offered to migrate the server, but instead I copied System.Web.Mvc.dll to the Bin folder after finding a post on MVC 3 deployment from Scott Hanselman. I also needed to add a MIME type for .cshtml (text/html). With this in place the fancy new admin pages are up and running. 

Updated again, 2012-03-11:

Another namespace issue, ExtensionSettings in an extension doesn't resolve any more. Need to add a using statement for BlogEngine.Core.Web.Extensions. There are also some changes required to make an extension support multiple blogs.

Reviews and Links for February 2012

Updated on Friday, May 22, 2020

The Snowman by Jo Nesbø

4/5

Very good, enjoying the entire Harry Hole series. Wishing for translations of the first two now!

 

The Devil's Star by Jo Nesbø

3/5

Slightly weaker than the others in the series I've read so far but still knocked it back quickly.

 

The Redbreast by Jo Nesbø

4/5

Best so far on my quest to read through Nesbo...

 

Nemesis by Jo Nesbø

4/5

On a Jo Nesbo binge...

 

The Leopard by Jo Nesbø

4/5

Compelling crime thriller, rather worryingly one of series featuring Harry Hole so I'm going to have to go back to the beginning and read all of them.

 

Links

Catfood.Shapefile 1.51: http://t.co/BKtkx9Zq (ESRI Shapefile Parser, fixed release binary issue).

4 of 5 stars to The Snowman by Jo Nesbø http://t.co/IrvdrDBf

Breaking Good: how to synthesize Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) From N-Methylamphetamine (crystal meth): http://t.co/fviYaj5P

ITHCWY: Catfood.Shapefile 1.50: I've just released a small update to my C# Shapefile library on Codeplex. Catfood… http://t.co/lXoGoBsY

4 of 5 stars to The Redbreast by Jo Nesbø http://t.co/PqrOQnQL

Epic #Bernal Panorama: http://t.co/zVqZYosG - via @bernalwood

Neal Stephenson on getting big stuff done http://t.co/6PHS1VD1 #todo @myEN

Stop Colbert: http://t.co/kBtSC7NV via @NancyPelosi

Wolfram|Alpha Pro: http://t.co/G88eWq6Y #tools @myEN

A History of the Sky for One Year: http://t.co/UKMjosCK (very cool)

+1: A U.S. appeals court rules Prop. 8 unconstitutional: http://t.co/TZgdKU9k #fb

ITHCWY: Badge Driven Development: Microsoft has released Visual Studio Achievements, an extension that brings… http://t.co/5BOyNF03

ITHCWY: GGNRA Dog Management Plan Update: I love it when making some noise works. The NPS is pushing its dog… http://t.co/fzqaJWM2

Unicode Character 'PILE OF POO' (U+1F4A9): http://t.co/LkGffsvW

http://t.co/NA6TOdQk #todo @myEN

BBC News - Can the US Army embrace atheists? http://t.co/5ubkKT7r

Running an API at HUGE Scale - Webinar: http://t.co/tEnxdRBM #API

4 of 5 stars to The Leopard by Jo Nesbø http://t.co/tIIPs1M5

ITHCWY: Reviews and Links for January 2012: Damned by Chuck Palahniuk 3/5 Very much a vehicle for Palahniuk to rant… http://t.co/6kvApyf1

Catfood.Shapefile 1.50

Updated on Thursday, December 26, 2019

I've just released a small update to my C# Shapefile library on Codeplex. Catfood.Shapefile 1.50 fixes a couple of bugs related to metadata and adds the ability to access metadata records directly via IDataRecord. 

Badge Driven Development

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

Badge Driven Development

Microsoft has released Visual Studio Achievements, an extension that brings gamification to Visual Studio in the form of badges. The achievements are a mix that include feature discovery, best/worst practices, printing source code and swearing. 

Initially I wrote this off as a silly little feature. But it could be the start of a whole new development methodology religion that I'm going to call Badge Driven Development (BDD). 

It's related to Test Driven Development, but instead of writing unit tests first you start with creating a set of achievements. These should be a measurable mix of business goals, personal development, coding standards and random mayhem. Once you have measurable badges you can start writing code and build a leaderboard for teams and individuals. 

BDD has all the ascetic one-upmanship of TDD, and owes something to EDD as well. It's the Parkour of Agile. I should start a training business where you can become a certified Badge Driven Scrum Master.

GGNRA Dog Management Plan Update

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017

GGNRA Dog Managemnet Plan Update

I love it when making some noise works. The NPS is pushing its dog management plan back a year to incorporate the feedback from the current draft. A couple of encouraging considerations mentioned in the most recent newsletter are:

Evaluating additional access for dog walking, both on leash and under voice control.

Revising the compliance based management strategy by including natural and cultural resource monitoring, removing automatic triggers and restrictions, and incorporating additional education and enforcement.

So at the very least this looks like they’re walking back the “poison pill” provision that would allow the NPS to change the rules without further consultation. Won’t know how good or bad the changes are until the new DEIS is published later this year but at least the NPS is listening.