Tyler Uebele

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Posted in .../tyler.uebele on 2010-10-03 14:10:00

We call it "blogging," but that somehow seems wrong...

Last month, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) declared HTML5 is officially "feature complete."  I decided it was finally time to make the switch from HTML4.01.  While reading about all the new tags, I was excited about some tags and confused about the usefulness of others (like repurposing the previously deprecated <u> for "misspelt words").  I quickly dove in to compat Using details and summary tags in Firefox and Internet Explorer To counter the tone of my recent postings about hardship, I would like to rant and ramble lightheartedly to ridiculously about how we express time. This past weekend the USA ended it's annual observance of Daylight Saving Time, apparently one week after most of the observant northern hemisphere. Many rumors run rampant in our intellectual garden about why we ever started this time of shifting day While We're Ending Daylight Saving Time... I am going through some troubling situations right now.  There are two situations involving a friend of a friend who is a contractor who has done work on my house.  In both situations I am being taken advantage of.  A very troubling aspect of these is that I am being taken advantage of, that is, it is still happening; in both.  I was not planning to write about these, Is There No Such Thing as a Friend of a Friend? Early in her pregnancy, Amy was given a standard glucose tolerance test which she failed by one point. Amy's blood sugar has always been a little off, at least since she started taking Loestrin oral birth control early in our marriage. Nonetheless, she failed the test, and the book says that made her gestational diabetic; by one point. In our litigious American society, many doctors are extra I Watched Her Born It took twelve weeks to get this out of me.  It took twelve weeks for me to be able to describe the five weeks prior.  What follows is what I witnessed at the end of a great woman's life.  Some of this is lessons learned; some of it sweet, some of it bitter. In 1981, shortly after giving life to my wife, Carol Cowand Davis fought breast cancer, and won.  High levels of cobalt- I Watched Her Die In late January we noticed the water flow from our refrigerator's in-door water dispenser was slower than usual, and some our of floor boards were curling/warping/buckling.  I crawled under the house to check the feed line and found quite a puddle.  After shutting the valve to stop the leak, I soaked every towel I had and dragged the water out. I called a plumber and a crawlspace compan Water Damage How many results are produced by a Google search can be viewed as a rough measure of how popular a thing is -- how much it is talked about online.  With that in mind, I searched for a collection of phrases in Google, Yahoo, and Bing.  Each phrase was two words; the second always being 'control.'  I took the results and charted them for curiosity.  Somehow I am not surprised tha Google Control 'What if I find, in the quiet, that all I am is the sum of my habits?'--The Survivor by The Normals  When looking at an aspect of me, how can I definitively say whether that aspect is part of what I am, or merely something I do? 'Know Thyself' Ancient is the aphorism 'know thyself.'  For centuries many have interpreted it in their way, seen wisdom in it, or applied their Are We What We Do? Paying with a credit card is generally considered to be convenient, safe, and secure.  With the ubiquity of merchants accepting credit cards for payment, and the increase in "fraud protection" services from credit card companies, it may seem like there is no reason to carry and pay with cash.  Indeed many of my peers think this way, and do not carry cash.  It seems we are quickly ap Support America, Pay with Cash In my home I have some simple paper blinds.  In order to "open" them I have to tediously fold the paper back and forth a few dozen times.  I imagine this used to be easier when they were fresh and un-crinkled, but they aren't new anymore.  Because they are so inconvenient to open, we usually don't.  We have been talking about replacing them with something equipped with a draw-s Hack Tedious Paper Blinds Into Draw-String Blinds Recently, xkcd asserted that "If you spend nine minutes of your time to save a dollar, you're working for less than minimum wage." The math here is pretty simple: $1.00 * (60 minutes / 9 minutes) = $6.67/h As it turns out $6.67 per hour is below the minimum wage laws of most states and the United States federal rate; there was no doubt in Randall's math. There is, however, more to think abou How Much is Your Time Worth? Recently, while preparing a lasagna dinner for some friends, I thought of a new way to build it which would prevent the hard, crusty, edges that plague so many otherwise great lasagnas. The problem is, in the time it takes the innermost depths of deliciousness to thoroughly bake into ooey-gooey-goodness, the outermost edges (and especially the corners) of most lasagnas will completely dry out. T Crust-less Lasagna There is something about driving a vehicle that makes a person different; some change in our behavior akin to commenting on YouTube: a general lack of sense and respect of fellow man. Drivers get impatient, inconsiderate, irrational, and often unintelligent about their actions. Not only do decisions lead to anger and hurt, but they reduce the overall efficiency of road travel. I would exa How Not To Drive On Monday, my company was informed that it was the first business to get a confirmed corporate order for Chromebooks. Today they arrived. We greeted the FedEx Express (Federal Express Express?) driver with confounding enthusiasm and received our boxes. With an utter lack of productivity, we un-boxed a few Samsung Chromebooks and explored. First Run The Samsung Chromebook won't power on the fir A First Impression of a Google Chromebook So, It seems I am picky about smartphones. Having recently learned that I dislike the HTC EVO Shift, and merely don't like the HTC Arrive with Windows Phone 7, I was about to bail on Sprint and get an iPhone. When I called Sprint to verify I was out of contract, they seemed to get anxious, and transferred me twice before giving me a straight answer. they did, however, convince me to try one more Gingerbread or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Keep the Phone There are many people doing many things on-line that are self-serving, and annoying. While this may include people ranting about what annoys them, I'd like to mention two recent things I encountered for their excessive ridiculous-ity. They are so ridiculous, they are downright laughable. I'll start with the more obvious of the two. There are people who buy domains for less than genuine reasons. T Web Annoyances, or Even The Bad Names Are Taken Two weeks ago I posted my first impressions and experiences with Windows Phone 7. Since then I have continued to use WP7, for better or worse, and collect observations about the user experience. In order to reduce the bias of "this is new to me" and increase focus on what really strikes me about Windows Phone 7, I took no notes, and now write from what impressed me enough to stay with me. Windows Phone 7.2 Just one month after my experience with an HTC Android phone, following the untimely bifurcation of my Palm Pre, I managed to drop and crack my replacement Pre. Unsure if I was eligible for a replacement, and unable to wait due to impending air travel, I decided I would once again venture out from the comfort of WebOS into the brave new world of smart-phones having two years advancement on Windows Phone 7 Getting There Five years ago my manager introduced me to a podcast (podcast? what's that?) called This Week in Tech. It was the new thing he discovered; his newest thing to be enthused about. At the time, TWiT was only at episode twelve, and was just settling on its name. I enjoyed the casual nature of the tech news/chats and listened to the backlog. I've been listening to it since. Over the Visiting the TWiT Cottage Last Tuesday my Palm Pre smartphone experienced a hardware failure; that is, it literally fell apart. The timing could hardly be worse as I was expecting an urgent phone call. As I raced to the Sprint store to get a new phone, I remembered every smartphone advert I have seen in the last year and weighed whether to take advantage of my upgrade eligibility, or take a loaner until a replacement Pre c Ten Days with Android Previously, when HTML coders wanted to cause a link to open in a new window, they used the target parameter in their anchor tags, specifically <a target="_blank" ...>. This, of course, is deprecated (invalid) in the current standards (HTML 4.01 Strict and XHTML 1.0 Strict). While the target parameter apparently will return in HTML5 we are nonetheless left with the current dilemma of how to r Why You Should Not Use `rel= There has been a lot of chatter lately about using exercise balls as chairs. There are many who tout supposed benefits of sitting on the large inflatables all day, instead of a contemporary office chair. Contrarily, there are some concerned voices letting us know why it could be a bad idea. It's quite the fad of late with balls showing up not just in homes, but business offices. There is even an e Exercise Ball-less Chair While recently checking Twitter I noticed a sidebar about the Tweet Button. In curiosity I followed the link and started exploring what they created. After some tinkering with the settings, I had a code sample that looked a bit like this: <a href="http://twitter.com/share" class="twitter-share-button" data-url="http://http://tyleruebele.com/weblog/twitter_button" data-text="Validating Validating Twitter's Tweet Button The Problem For thousands of years, in hundreds of languages lacking proper neuter pronouns, patriarchal societies have been leaning on the male form of words when the gender of the subject is ambiguous, mixed, or unknown. To make matters worse, it would seem that people with a proper male, female, and neutral word for human (such as Old English had: wer, wyf, man) trend toward abandoning this pr Moman as a Gender-Unneutral for Male Human I like to take a lot of pictures. Sometimes, when I see a particularly appealing scene, I will take several overlapped pictures with the intent of putting them together into one panoramic image. In the past, I've tried to use Adobe Photoshop CS2 (or other made-for-the-job tools) to assemble my panoramas. My success was... limited: Notice how you can see every seam? More recently, I discovered Stitching Panoramic Images ... or why I didn't buy a PC. I only wanted one thing out of a laptop computer: a high-resolution non-glossy screen. I had a Dell laptop at a previous job with a matte 1920x1200 screen. It was great. I could fit many lines of code on the screen, see whole images in photoshop, and read documents more than five lines at a time. Then I left that job, and netbooks came to market. Because Why I Chose a MacBook Quite some time ago a co-worker experienced a computer failure. She did not have a backup. She scoured her digital world for any trace of her data. Some of her music was on her iDevice, and while Apple doesn't like to let you copy music off their branded devices, various third parties provide the tools she used to make it happen. Then there was the several hundred photos she had posted on face Downloading The Internet A new voice has spoken in the great debate that has run since mankind first bound rolled tissue to walls: Which side should the end hang over: front or back? Some say backward ... ... which is inconvenient for the user and thus inferior and, well, backward. Some say forward ... ... and they are correct. Sure, I might be expressing my opinion as fact with nothing more than the vain hopes of p The Great Toilet Paper Debate According to undisclosed anecdotal evidence, people without financial goals are undisciplined with money. Why shouldn't they be? If one is not saving money for something, and one wants to buy something, and one has the money to spend, one buys. As the disconnect between labor and possession grows, so does this trend1. At some point in history, people labored directly for what they had; An Old Way of Looking At Money Dehydrators are useful for drying food quickly so that it can be stored longer without spoiling. Foods like beef jerky, banana chips, "fruit-roll-ups" and dried herbs may be familiar examples. A solar dehydrator would, of course, dehydrate your food with solar energy. Two friends of mine have a garden and like to dehydrate some of its produce. They also are interested in being kinder to the envir Building a Solar Dehydrator I am not a hardware reviewer, journalist, or employee of any related company. I'm just an unremarkable techie type guy. What follows, then, ought to be a reasonable sample of public response to Palm's new "Pre" Smartphone. I picked up a Palm Pre smartphone at a Sprint store on Tuesday, five days ago. I've had a busy week, with many opportunities to try its many features. Having seen some video ab My thoughts on the Palm Pre Smartphone I was working with an old VB6 app that was integrating with an older legacy system when I encountered this message: I am not sure what Catastrophe I am ignoring here, but I wonder if I'll have as much ease ignoring the Apocalypse. Trying to install a popular remote desktop program proved to be quicker than I expected, screen 1: Unfortunately this express install didn't include options such as S When Programmers Glitch I was working on a userscript last week to facilitate downloading and saving images from a facebook album. I wanted to automate this, rather than have to manually open and save each picture. The Greasemonkey add-on to Firefox seemed like the best way to get this done, and before long I had a bit of JavaScript that could fetch and save a file to my local disk wi Using XMLHttpRequest to Download Binary Data Maybe it is my interest in science, or my disinterest in the world around me, but I'm a fan of Science-Fiction. Whether it is in print or on screen I enjoy a good story that uses (pseudo)science as a device. From the works of Roddenberry, through the likes of Doctor Who, or The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy I've escaped the mundane many-a-night. These, a The Problem with Alternate Reality Fiction It took me a while to figure out how to set my SpeedStream 4200 into bridge-only/passthrough mode, so I thought I'd post it here in case I ever need it again, or, someone else googles it. To program bridge only mode log in to the SpeedStream 4200 at http://192.168.254.254/ . User and password defaults are admin and admin. Click Setup then click Wan interfac Setting a SpeedStream 4200 DSL Gateway (modem) into In the task of resizing 30GiB worth of digital photos, I ran into two problems challenges with Adobe Photoshop. The following assumes a knowledge of recording actions and running batches in Adobe Photoshop. That pesky JPEG Options dialog required attention after every (JPEG) resize The UI doesn't afford a way to resize based on the larger dimension Automating Batch Image Resizes with Adobe Photoshop CS2 ?Login to see this file. Six Goals Here's to useful content This blog is a testiment to meaningless blogs everywhere! This blog rides the line between use, and unuse. This blog demonstrates how someone with nothing to say can still say it. This blog, this web-log, is not even truely a log, in that it logs nothing. This blog is just here to take up space. This blog is dead air. Dead Air ?Login to see this file. Handwashing ?Login to see this file. Happy Thursday Black Friday: The worst day in retail. Traditionally, I have avoided this day with outspoken fervency, not wanting to get caught up in the deluge of hungry American consumers. I've thought only craziness of those brave or stupid enough to get up at unreasonable hours to wait in line for special discounts at their local whatever store. Its simply insane, and now I know from experience. When I arr Black Friday ?Login to see this file. deviantART This patch was given to me by a pen-pal I've since lost contact with. It reminds me not to lose contact again. Here's to old friends I've always wanted to be able to fly. Since Childhood, my first one, I always imagined it was somehow possible. I always imagined I could do it, and the exploits of David Copperfield pretty much exactly failed to cure me of this delusion. For better and worse, I never tried, stuck with the disappointing cognition that people can simply not do this. More recently, however, I read what a wholly rem Flying ... instead of doing my job. So I was thinking about taking up Photography Your Opinion Doesn't Matter, if you don't express it! I read this on a flyer at the university (UNCC) back when I was at the university. It was promoting an open forum that I did not attend, but I still think the concept is good and true: If you don't express your opinion, it makes no difference. This is of particular significance to me. In my recent life I have been learning more and more that Your Opinion

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