Category Archives: Software

Breast Physics

A fairly interesting article from the aspect of considering things you normally wouldn’t consider. But for gamers breasts become a technical issue.

If you’ve played games that have breast physics, you’ve probably seen how uncommon it is for games to show breasts that move like what they actually are: bags of fat affected by gravity. Instead, it’s more likely for a game to depict breasts as helium balloons that have minds of their own.

via How Video Game Breasts Are Made (And Why They Can Go Wrong).

Barton Parsley

Thursday, 20-Dec-2012

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Musings on Social Networks

The thing I really like about Facebook is that I have all these friends and family members who do not mess with computers and computer networks any other way all in one spot. It’s great for keeping up with people that you know in real life and those you only know online all in one place. And there is at least a nominal amount of separation there to provide some privacy but also allow for some leakage between my various groups of friends to allow for getting to know new people.

The thing I really don’t like about Facebook is the lack of control I have over my writing and any photographs I share. That’s a big part of the reason I’ve gone back to writing here on my weblog and then using scripting to share the content on Facebook and Twitter; I want a copy in my full control before I share it where I don’t have full control.

This got me thinking about other way’s a Facebook like community could take off. There are dozen of free blogging sites available now that will throw off RSS for syndication and there is FOAF that can define relationships just like various friends lists. There should be an RSS reader that could take advantage of that to create communities just like Facebook but everyone’s content would remain in their own full control.

I think that’s something I need to work on.

What I’m wanting

I am a Facebook user. I’m really not all that crazy about the platform but all my friends are there so I’m there with them. I really like publishing from here, though. So that has me looking at the Facebook Graph API and wondering if I have time to code the plug in for WordPress that I really, really want.

See, I want to synchronize between this weblog and my Facebook feed. Anything under the 400+ word limit on statuses I want to be posted as my status. If it goes over that threshold I want it to be posted to Facebook as a note. There are WP plugins that will do something very similar to what I want but they won’t do exactly what I’m describing.

Facebook claims to allow a sort of pull synchronization in Notes but it doesn’t always work. Make that it hasn’t worked for me without kicking it for several months. So I want to push it from here into Facebook and I want my short posts to be my status and my longer post to be a note.

The plugin for pulling comments on notes that are also WP posts works well. Now I want it to update the notes on FB with comments made here. I’ll take a whack at this project if no one does it soon but I really don’t have time for it now.

Second looks

After a long period of giving up on My Yahoo! I’m back giving it a second look. I like what I see. I don’t know if it’s just where I am in my life right now or if Yahoo! has managed to tweak its portal offering to finally be of use to me but I think I’m going to be using this for a while.

The same thing goes for my GMail account. I started using GMail and found it to be very handy for an email account to receive mail from the mailing lists I belong to. Some of these can really overwhelm my regular email account so GMail was a godsend for these items but after a while I pretty much stopped checking this mail everyday.

However, GMail now supports POP3. So I can download this mail to Thunderbird with the rest of my personal mail and have my GMail available to me offline. So I’m back to using GMail and loving it.

Maybe it’s time for you to look back over at some of the services offered on the web and see which one’s have come up in quality enough to really make them attractive to you to use again. It might surprise you.

Church Website

It’s Monday morning and I find myself again in Hartsfield-Jackson Int’l Airport heading to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Hopefully this will be the last trip to that town for a while. I’ve been on the road too much lately but the end is in sight for a while. Next week I’m scheduled to be back in Augustat for a few days and then it’s home for the foreseeable future.

My last post was to state that I’ll be voting for Bush in the upcoming election. That does not mean that I’m endorsing the man, just that his opponent finally won out as the greater of two evils with his decision to bring Mary Cheney’s sexuality into the race. Now maybe I can quit talking politics for a while.

What I’m interested in now is open source portal software that’s adaptable to the needs of a church website. I have been placed on my churches website committee and asked to take the lead, at least for now, on the technology subcommittee. I would really like to find some CMS software that will handle the hierarchy that we wish to use for the website and will also support our calendering needs.

Over the next few weeks I intend to mull over the ideas that the committee and I come up with here in order to maybe get some feedback from people who may be reading my site and have some exprerience with the sort of software we are looking for.

I’m envisioning a homepage for the site giving a navigation menu, a weekly pastoral message and a breviated calender of events. Maybe an occassional important announcement. Sub pages will deal with different areas of the church and its various ministries. I need to allow for multiple contributors and have the security to limit the contributors to single or multiple areas in which to post entries.

I also need archiving capabilites for at least the Pastor’s weekly sermon and it needs to be searchable on various criteria. Simple webform story entry is needed so that knowledge of HTML is not necessary. I’ll add more to the list as I go this week.

Mozilla Gains on IE

Yeah it isn’t by much, but PCWorld is reporting that Mozilla based browsers have seen a full one percent gain in total market share.

Internet Explorer has held more than 95 percent of the browser market since June 2002, and until June had remained steady with about 95.7 percent of the browser market, according to WebSideStory’s measurements. Over the last month, however, its market share has slowly dropped from 95.73 percent on June 4 to 94.73 percent on July 6.

Now this means next to nothing to Microsoft, they can easily handle a one percent erosion but it means a 26% growth rate for Mozilla based browsers. If you are building webpages you need to keep an eye on these numbers. If you are building webpages geared toward IE you have just lost 1% of you audience.

Visual Studio for the Hobbyist

You know, if I could get my hands on a legitimate copy of Microsoft’s Visual Studio for around $100 I would probably try my hand at some of their .NET stuff. Yeah, I have access to the software at the office but we don’t have the licenses to place it on everyone’s machine and the projects I’m working on don’t require it. The thing is that I might find myself working on a project that required it if my skills were there.

Well, it looks like a cheap version may be in the future:

“Basically they’re going to price certain versions of Visual Studio, so even hobbyist types can get on the action,” said one person familiar with Microsoft’s plans. “I think the idea is that if you get the tech in front of “low-end” developers, they can grow and get exposure to it to someday play in the big leagues.”

I’m not sure why MS hasn’t understood this all along. Involve the hobbyist with your product and you are going to build a bigger following.

Web browser flaw prompts warning

The BBC (and probably others) is reporting an IE Browser flaw that could open a back door on your computer. One good piece of advice that they are giving is:

In its round-up of the threat the Internet Storm Center bluntly stated that users should if possible "use a browser other then MS Internet Explorer until the current vulnerabilities in MSIE are patched."

I’ve been using Firefox lately and I’m quite pleased with it. This may be what I needed to push me back into the Mozilla pack for a while.

Playing Around

In addition to playing with Blogger again with my "Motorhead" blog I’m also experimenting with WordPress and another hosting service.

It isn’t that I’m unhappy with my current hosting service or that I’m dissatisfied with Blosxom, far from it, they are both giving me service far, far above what I’m paying for. I just wanted to see what all the fuss was about over WordPress and I wanted to check out what one got for one’s money with a cheap hosting service.

So far I’m tickled with both. Last night I imported all my posts from Larry’s Log into Larry D. I was exteremly surprised at how easy this was. I’ve got all the content from Larry’s Log, except for the comments, residing in Larry D. I think with some effort I could move over the comments also but I don’t know that it’s worth it. Yeah, the permalinks between the two aren’t the same but I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.

I’ve still got the default page design on Larry D. as came with WordPress but I’ll work that out this week as I have time. I can’t decide whether to go with a complete new look or just modify what I’m using on Larry’s Log.

Every Now and Then.

p>Every now and then Dave Winer drops a true pearl of wisdom. A lot has been said recently about TypeKey and most of what I’ve been hearing hasn’t been too good. Since I don’t use Movable Type my interest in the debate is only academic. Six Apart is Ben and Mena’s company and they have had to make a product decision. I see no problem with the route they have chosen to take. There may have been other ways to implement something like TypeKey that wasn’t centralized but Six Apart made a decision to go with a centralized system and there are some good reasons for doing this also.

The reason that I don’t use Movable Type is that I like to play with the software and most of the playing I was capable of doing had already been done in Movable Type when I decided to move from Blogger to a differnt tool. Blosxom fit that bill for me and I’ve been happy with my decision. The folks that seem to be complaining the most about TypeKey are the ones that like to play with the software. Perhaps Movable Type has evolved beyond the point of needing to play with it and it’s time for them to either stop playing or find a platform to allow them to continue to play.

Anyway, good call, Dave. You are right on in your analysis here.