On-line Grade Wrecker

I am totally screwed!  Seriously!  My co-worker just sent me THIS link.  Its an on-line Nintendo Emulator via a java applet.  My social life just crawled over to the corner and shot itself.  It also looks like there is a Arcade Emulator available to play on too. Well… it was nice knowing all of you.

She did what in the vault?

Found a freggin sweat how-to, via 2600, about warspying.  Evidently X10 video receivers (commonly used for security cameras and such) use the 802.11b protocal over 2.4ghz spectrum.  This shows you how to build your own receiver to see what those camera’s are seeing.

Todays Quickie

A little mid-week humor sent to me by a co-worker.

The bumper sticker “Run Hillary Run” is selling like hotcakes in New York.
Democrats put them on the back bumper. Everyone else puts them on the front

Stopping Evil; or at least evil packets

My boss passed along this link to me today.  Its a bash script that helps configure your iptables firewall for you.  In addition the side has some really nice blacklist add-on options for the firewall configuration tool that help against spy-ware, ad-wares, and a blacklist add-on called PeerProtect.  The spy-ware add-ons allow you to block internal network spy-ware from reaching the outside.  The PeerProtect add-on allows you to ignore RIAA and MPAA generated content on your peer-to-peer network (hopefully keeping them from suing you for downloading MP3’s.)  Thanks Tom.

To understand a woman

In what will surely go down in history as “the day husbands around the world finally figured out what the hell their wives REALLY want”, I offer this story from eetimes.  Lie-detector glasses, does not really seem like an accurate description though, as the work on voice intonation.  Still, with the range of emotions they claim to work on…  maybe I can finally be an understanding man.

There and …; a space story.

Found this great op-ed piece about human travel to the Mars.  I must say that I totally agree with his conclusions (I have for a long time believed that we should consider one way space travel.)  The problem is that there are so many soft-hearted people in this country who have very little desired to do anything that might involves loss of human life (i.e. Iraq war) even it is obviously in the best interest of our country/world.

People willing to sacrifice progress, knowledge, and freedom in the name of safety or security are doomed to loose all of them.  Such people would let the last great space achievement of the U.S. be the trip to the moon; and watch while other countries leave us behind.

HIG and QA

Three great articles from Bruce Tognazzini (i.e. Tog) the founder of Apple’s Human Interface guidelines (HIG.)  Back in the day Apple payed millions to figure out what exactly allowed a GUI to be useful and easily understandable… and they incorporated that knowledge into the old Mac OSes.  Tog gives his opinion about the OSX Dock and Panther (the latest release of OSX.)  For more information about human interface guidelines check out Fitts’ Law and Principles of Interaction Design (based on Fitts Law.)

If you think you are really knowledgeable concerning HIG you can take a Designed To Give Fitts test provided by Tog. 

The final article is a discussion on quality assurance procedures called When Good Design => Bad Product.  Its an absolutely wonderful synopsis of why good QA is fundamentally required for any level of application dependability.

Virtual Bochs

Yes it has support for more than 16 colors! Just a quick link to anyone who is interested. After more than a year of waiting for a new stable version bochs is here. For anyone who does not know what bochs is here is a pretty good description:

Bochs is a highly portable open source IA-32 (x86) PC emulator written in C++, that runs on most popular platforms. It includes emulation of the Intel x86 CPU, common I/O devices, and a custom BIOS. Currently, Bochs can be compiled to emulate a 386, 486, Pentium, Pentium Pro or AMD64 CPU, including optional MMX, SSE, SSE2 and 3DNow instructions.

Bochs allows you to create a virtual PC inside of your PC. Need to run Windows 2000 once in a _great_ while. Install a full blown version of Windows inside of a bochs virtual PC… some of the more interesting features are VMware virtual image support, 3DNow!/SSE/SSE2 (i.e the virtual processor has these instructions available), and support for high/true color… Go get it Mike!