nullstream weblog - September 2005

Woodland Park Zoo


September 30, 2005 12:54 AM PST

Went to the Seattle Woodland Park Zoo a while back (- cool, they somehow got After going to the Singapore and San Diego zoos, it's not really that impressive, but it has a nice community feel, and is the kind of place it would be nice to have a season pass for your kids. For some reason most of the animals were hiding the day I was there - this dude was the only one just out chilling in a tree.

Continue reading "Woodland Park Zoo"...

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Atari Flashback


September 29, 2005 09:59 AM PST

Atari is pushing retro gaming by releasing the Atari Flashback2. The Flashback is a scaled-down version of the Atari 2600, but uses standard Atari controllers. There is no cartridge slot, as 40 classic titles are built in. For old timers like me, just the mere mention of the word Atari brings back glossy eyed memories of the first days when you could bring the arcade home.

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Iris Raindrops


September 27, 2005 03:26 AM PST

My Canon 350D does pretty well at macro shots with the stock lens. This was taken last month after a rain storm. I've since cut back the iris leaves and will be dividing the bulbs for wintering. Continue reading "Iris Raindrops"...

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Photoblog Site Update

Nullstream Site

September 25, 2005 03:03 AM PST

I've updated the site templates so that photoblog entries are displayed at full site width. This allows us to post pictures that are 740 pixels wide, rather than the old limit of 480. The navigation bar on Photoblog entries has been compressed to accomodate the wider content area.

Although at first glance this seems straightforward, constraints with MovableType and the <noscript> tag made implementing custom pages for photoblog entries non-trivial. The end solution was to implement some JavaScript trickery to modify the page styles on the fly via the JavaScript document object model (DOM). The solution is actually integrated directly into the navigation bar JavaScript, and doesn't require much overhead at all. Photoblog entries also work correctly with JavaScript disabled in both Firefox and IE.

Enhancement List:

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Bellevue Sunset


September 25, 2005 02:34 AM PST

I took this shot at the top of level of a parking garage in Bellevue. There will be a tall building blocking this view one day.

Continue reading "Bellevue Sunset"...

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New Angry Kid Series2


September 21, 2005 12:24 AM PST

angry.jpgSo how come no one told me there was a new Angry Kid Series?

Comments (3)

Opera going free

Cool Tech

September 20, 2005 10:42 AM PST

Looks like Opera is going free. No ads no fee. So I guess you don't have to feel so bad about missing 'free' day last August. So I wonder how they are going to make their money? I already regularly use 3 browsers (depending on my location and mood??), should I pick up a 4th?

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It's all about the Benjamins


September 19, 2005 01:02 AM PST


Comments (7)



September 15, 2005 10:52 AM PST

Wow, I mean wow. Now I remember why I hate these guys. You'd think after being screwed over so many times by Verizon in the past I'd learn my lesson. I'll skip my past rants about their over charging me for years on a local long distance plan, and my long saga to try and get DSL from them for 5 years at my old house. Most of you guys have heard this already.

So I email them (cause they keep putting me on infinite hold) and ask why I can't get the rate I signed up for. I slanted the mail as if I was concerned that the order might have been taken wrong. Or maybe they just forgot to press the 'high speed' button or something. I'm not sure what kind of answer I expected but this is what I got: "If you would like we can lower your DSL price $14.95 for DSL speeds up to 768k/128k. This pricing plan is a commitment plan... if you cancel your DSL before the plan has ended then your termination fee will now be $79.00."

Continue reading "DSL Part II"...

Comments (11)



September 15, 2005 12:29 AM PST

I finally got my DSL up and running at the new place. I am totally amazed that it takes Verizon over 2 full weeks to get the modem to you and enable the line. So I've been without internet access at home all that time. That's the first time I've ever gone more than a few days without it in the last decade. Crazy how much I depend on it.

Of course after waiting all this time I now have blazing access right? Of course not. I signed up for the cool and shiny 3M / 768K access and what am I currently getting? Hmm 768K / 128K. That's just great. If a phone call doesn't get this fixed tomorrow I guess I'll have to go with Millenium Digital's seriously overpriced cable access after all.

Comments (2)

Finally a real convergence device?

Cool Tech

September 13, 2005 10:17 AM PST

Meet the O2 Xda Exec. I know some of you don't like the idea of a convergence device. But I for one have been holding out for a device with features like this for years. The current deal makers for me are VGA screen, integrated (backlit) thumb board, memory slot, wifi, bluetooth and integrated camera(s).

Pocket PC Thoughts Discussion.

CoolSmartPhone review.

Quick Specs:
Windows Mobile 5.0
Intel XScale PXA272 520MHz
128MB Flash ROM, 64MB RAM
3.6 640x480 65k transflective colour backlit LCD
up to 8/4/15/250 GSM Talk/3G Talk/PDA/Standby time
GSM Tri-band (900/1800/1900), UMTS Single-band (2100)
GPRS class 10, UMTS 64/384
Bluetooth 1.2, Infrared and mini-USB connector
Wireless LAN 802.11b
SDIO slot
3.5mm Audio Connector
Stereo Speakers
Integrated camera (resolution 1280 x 960) with LED flash, 2nd CIF camera for video calls
Integrated antenna
15 buttons (Answer, Hangup, Backlight on/off, OK, Start, Camera, Power, VoiceRecord, 5-way navigation pad
62-key QWERTY keyboard with light sensor to auto-adjust the screen and keyboard backlight
Removable battery (1620mah)
Weight: 285 grams

Comments (1)

Pearl Jam Vancouver 2005


September 10, 2005 01:16 AM PST

Last Friday (9/2) I saw Pearl Jam in Vancouver, BC. I really, really wished I could have smuggled in my Digital SLR. It's almost impossible to take shots with a point and shoot with no control over the shutter speed and ISO sensitivity. Not to mention a tripod, which is what you really need. Anyway... an awesome show as usual.

Long shutter time leaves a blur in the motion...

Continue reading "Pearl Jam Vancouver 2005"...

Comments (4)

New Navigation Bar Implementation

Nullstream Site

September 10, 2005 12:34 AM PST

At the behest of my co-authors, I've re-implemented the navigation bar that appears on every page of the site. Please comment on this entry if you were bothered by the posting speed in the past, and you notice any change (or no change). Theoretically it should speed things up...

The original mechanism used MovableType's server side 'build time' includes to dynamically insert the comment, category and date listings into the side of each page. This is better than actual server side includes, which will dynamically build the page on each request - instead, MT builds the page only when items in the relevant category, comment, etc. change. This produces a html file rather than an asp or php file.

What we were finding was that page loads were fast, but comment and new entry posts were getting very slow. This is partially becuase our host is somehow throttling our CPU usage on page rebuilds. Then again, our cpu on page rebuilds is growing because each comment post causes ALL pages on the site to be rebuilt (well, not quite... see additional benefit, below).

Continue reading "New Navigation Bar Implementation"...

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Complete Incompetence


September 9, 2005 11:18 PM PST

I guess I'm setting a dangerous precedent by posting a story like this, but I can't stand it any longer. You can't even swing a bloated, diseased corpse around here without hitting at least 10 incompetent federal officials. You know, appointees from the same administration that claimed they'd keep the country safe and who are now falling all over themselves to claim how they couldn't see it coming and how everyone is doing a heck of a good job? They can't even protect us from WATER! That had a trajectory plotted DAYS IN ADVANCE!

It's so awful, even the media is commenting: MSNBC monolog [requires QuickTime]. But then again, that reporter is probably just part of the unpatriotic terrorist "liberal media", or giving aid to the enemy or something. Whatever.

All I'm saying is that heads had better roll.

Comments (3)

iPod Nano

Cool Tech

September 7, 2005 02:02 PM PST

iPod NanoThe iPod Nano looks like a good form factor. I feel it's a little out of proportion height wise - would have been nice if it was shorter or the screen was taller. Also, the black version looks pretty cool. I don't really think "cataract-white" and "brushed metal" is really that sweet.

I haven't seen if the Nano will work as a USB host for backing up pictures from a camera. Of course I have a 4GB flash card in my camera, but for some people, or my older camera that would be a nice feature.

The iTunes phone isn't that sweet. I'm surprised the cell networks are letting you copy files directly from the PC to use as ringtones. They must figure "the cut into their meagre profits" is offset by people buying iTunes singles for $2.

Thoughts? Comments?

Comments (18)

"Place Shifting" with Slingbox

Cool Tech

September 7, 2005 09:16 AM PST

Tom's has a review of Sling Media's Slingbox. This is dedicated hardware to not only 'time shift' TV, but 'place shift' it anywhere in the world. Ok so that really just means stream your recordings over the web, but still cool. Of course if the networks would just make shows available online...

Someday far in the future we will look back on all these crazy gadgets we had to use to get TV on OUR terms.

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