Thursday, October 29, 2009

VRMish download manager... 2nd mention

I'm thinking that there needs to be some sort of agent that can sit in the cloud, or on your system, to handle things you download, and allow you to socially network info about them, like for files instead of bookmarks.

So now I'm not the only one with an idea.... Dave Winer has it too... some way to manage all of the downloads, via a 3rd party.

He's only worried about local stuff.... I want to distribute the list, etc... but I think there is some common ground.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Terminatrix

At last, an explanation of why Obama got the Nobel that makes sense..

How do I extract Picasa's "Name Tags" for use on Flickr, etc?

I'm quite happy with the feature of Picasa which does facial recognition as a concept, but not in practice. I can't get the data to couple to any other place, and for now it remains in a Walled Garden that is Picasa. I was hoping that I could get it out via EXIF or ITPC tags, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

Does anyone know how I can get this data into a more useful (portable) format?

Revolution, fear, and what to do about it.

I read a lot of things I classify as "tin foil hat"... but that label is increasingly inapplicable, because a lot of things that were previously fringe, seem to be working their way towards the mainstream... one of the sites is What Really Happened, which I started reading soon after 9/11/2001. It's a collection of story summaries, with links, to all sorts of tin foil hat material.

One of the stories What is the threshold for revolution? asks about something I do NOT want to happen... revolution, and how to discern the cause or trigger point. Today's experience waiting with a lot of my fellow Hoosiers has me convinced that local government still works, is fairly competent, and has the trust of all of those in line. This is a good thing.

As long as we all believe that we have some measure of control over things, and we have some transparency, and that we're all in this together things still have a reasonable change of not spiraling dangerously out of control. The key here is to work on the local level, coordinate on the larger level, and change the rules to allow the conversations open and honest.

The Federalists have amassed a great deal of central power, but the corruption costs due to the lack of transparency, and capture of the government by lobbyists and other non-citizen groups has to be addressed. I would like to see the transparency promised by the current administration materialize, and I fear the consequences if this part of the promise is not kept.

We, the people, will pull together, and make it through the consequences of the Federalist agenda that have savaged our nation, but we have to sense that there is at least hope of turning things around.

The airwaves are filled with a lot of Left vs Right noise... it's all a distraction, to keep you from talking with your neighbors who you might not agree with on specifics, but definitely agree with on the general issues: Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. If you avoid the hot-button issues, I bet you'll find you really have a lot to agree with, and some common cause.

Revolution is messy, wasteful, and gets a lot of innocent people killed, and destroys much... lets all pull together and prevent it, while making things better, and getting our government back under our control.

Thanks again for your time and attention.


Novel N1H1, a nice dream, and a world of hurt.

Dear diary,
It's been an interesting day. Today I write about Novel N1H1 Influenza, a dream about a parts exchange program (PEP?) and a world of pain.

The day started off innocently enough. I awoke before 8:00 AM to get Virginia ready to go, and we went to Crown Point, Indiana, to get her immunized against the Novel N1Hi strain of influenza that will be making the rounds soon. We arrived at the county courthouse at about 9:00 AM, the stated opening time, to find the line wrapping around from the side of the building to across the front. It took approximately 3 hours, 40 minutes, to reach the front of that line. During this time, Virginia got tired a few times, and wanted to be picked up. (She's currently 3, and weighs about 45 pounds with all of the layers we had on today). I knew I would pay the price later, but that's what fathers do to help their little girls.

Here's a story from the local paper that covers the experience from a few days ago.

Virginia, like always made friends in the line. Hi Lauren and Mario!

She ended up getting the mist variety of immunization. This apparently contains a live, but "attenuated" virus to give her immune system something to recognize later, with a life-saving head start. Not what we expected, but good enough. The actual immunization only took about a minute, with about 2 minutes of paperwork leading up to it.

The car made the day more interesting by having a loose bit under the front, which I had to re-secure after returning home. There is an air dam, to help with aerodynamics, great when it works, but not fun when it flaps around on the highway. It's fastened down, and should be good enough for a while.

We all took a nap. I had a nice dream about writing a program, open source, that sounded really nice during the dream. It was called PEP - Parts Exchange Program, and was a way to deal with the situation I found myself in during the 1980s... lots of parts, a surplus in fact, but always missing something I needed. PEP would allow you to list all of the parts you had for sale, trade, etc... and automatically find things you needed from nearby sources. (Radio Shack, EDI, friends,ACRO, Digikey, etc) In the dream... it was really sweet, and everybody was excited by the idea.

Upon waking... the world of pain made itself apparent. My back hurts... a lot! I'm fortunate that I now have time to rest and let the Advil kick in and do it's thing. I'm also fortunate to have a blog to write into to distract me from the pain for a while.

The PEP program is a good idea, but the actual cataloging of all my parts would take more time than I can imaging spending right now. I think the concept could be applied to a number of places, especially in a world of decreasingly available cheap new parts. It can also be applied across a number of disciplines, pretty much anywhere people have things to share.

I also have the idea of a cheap curve tracer / parts measurement box for discreet and or 3/4 pin semiconductors, which would interface with PEP.

Well... that's it... Novel N1H1 gave me an interesting day, and gives you a hopefully interesting blog post.

Thanks for your time and attention.


Monday, October 19, 2009

VMware ESXi 4.0 first boot

I managed to get my first VMware ESXi 4.0 server booted today (an HP ML-310 with direct attached disk). I'm using the Free version.

This now allows me to allocate CPU and RAM, setting limits on a rogue machine... and getting performance data to help figure out what's doing what.

I look forward to the greater control and transparency this will provide me.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Refinement #1 - Download Agent

My earlier post gave my first iteration of an idea... here is a refinement of it

The user should be able to install and/or choose a service to be their download agent. This agent would, regardless of location, have certain information the user might be willing to trade for downloads, and would handle the actual process of handing off data and doing the downloads.

The use of OpenID to authenticate things, and a VRMish way of treating the users data as the property of the user, would be one of the key functionalities to make this better than the current system of download managers installed by the vendor.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A User provided dowload service standard?

I have an idea, which I'll attempt to express in enough words to get the point across, hopefully to someone who can actually implement it.

The idea is simple... a shopping cart/download list service, with some optional social networking tools.

We often need to download some items from the internet, and sometimes later refer to them. When you deal with multiple computers, you often find yourself having to move files around, and/or re-download them multiple times for various installs, patches, etc.

What if we could do the equivalent of a shopping cart functionality, which is provided/provisioned by the USER. This would have some advantages to trade for added complexity:
  • All downloads would get tracked in one place, per user, instead of per PC
  • All downloads would happen across very high speed links (assuming a hosted service)
  • Virus scanning could be built in
  • Tagging and other forms of metadata could be added
  • Source metadata could be automatically saved
  • Registration data could be supplied via OpenID, or some other means, instead of filling out the same lead data over and over.
  • Lower friction providing lead data might increase the quantity and quality provided to the site allowing downloads
  • Rating and other social networking features could be added as well.
I'm sure that it's non-trivial to set this type of thing up... and a standard needs to be in place, with a canonical example. Who is interested in taking this ball forward?

Friday, October 09, 2009

Swine Flu Paranoia

I find this to be quite amusing.

Swine Flu Paranoia... artist unknown.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

My Heart is in the right place, with you Noran!

I had this idea on the way in to work today. I never imagined life could be so much more interesting and joyous... thank you for sharing the journey with me, Noran!

My Heart is in the right place, with you Noran!
Originally uploaded by --Mike--

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