A handy guide from the EFF: Facebook’s New Privacy Changes: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Key quoted quote:
“…users should never forget that Facebook remains, at heart, not a community but a Silicon Valley startup… and take Facebook’s recommendations with a huge grain of salt.”

Date posted: December 13, 2009 | Filed under productivity, shortlinks | Comments Off on Facebook’s new Privacy Policy

So Cisco bought Flip back in March (makers of our awesome little video camera) and recently decided to completely fuck up the bundled editing software. In short, FlipShare 5.0 strongly encourages forces users to use their editing software exclusively and hides any videos you the user have edited—from what I can tell, they’re probably just writing some kind of XML file to indicate where you’ve made edits, and don’t actually save a new file anywhere that I can find, which is unacceptable to me. How do I back up those edited files? They pretty much force users to use their software to upload edited files to a list of popular sharing sites—what happens if I use a different service? Worse, there’s no way to step the software backwards to a previous version once you’ve “upgraded” the original software. Cisco, you lose.

Jen’s recently gotten some fantastic footage of Finn beginning to walk, and wanted to post it to her Vimeo account. After struggling to understand the new FlipShare software, I did some sleuthing to find a better way of encoding video out of Quicktime and found this tutorial called Flip Video: Codecs and you!. I followed the instructions there (using the H264 codec) and exported a beautiful edit to her hard drive, and she uploaded it to Vimeo with no loss in quality. Score!

Date posted: December 13, 2009 | Filed under photography | Comments Off on Flip Flop.

So, here’s where we started out yesterday morning. Mr. Scout braved the frigid winds blowing in from the arctic circle to rip out the last two jalousie windows on the end of the porch and install pretty new double-hung replacements.
We still have to finish the interior and exterior trim, as well as insulating the shit out of the whole thing (it’s still chilly out there, unfortunately) but it looks a million times better already.
Elsewhere, plans are afoot to take the girl to see Santa this weekend, as well as wrap up a good portion of our Christmas shopping.
City Graffiti

Date posted: December 11, 2009 | Filed under comparison, porch | Comments Off on Progress!

Kick ass.

Date posted: December 10, 2009 | Filed under art/design | Comments Off on Wall of Death.

I built a Yahoo Pipe earlier in the year to search Craigslist for Scout parts, and it worked great for months. Lately it seems to be bombing out with errors (I wonder if they’ve caught on to me) so I was interested to find a link for Search Tempest, which searches for listings within an area code radius. (Avoid the Java implementation).

Date posted: December 10, 2009 | Filed under productivity, shortlinks | Comments Off on SearchTempest

This morning I woke with Finn to give Mama a break, and after we’d finished a bowl of oatmeal, some apple, and a little bit of a tangelo(sp?) together, there was a knock at the door. Two surly men dropped off three shiny new windows, which will (weather permitting) get installed by Mr. Scout on Thursday. Halleleujah!

* * *

As of yesterday, we are one (large) step closer to a new baby-hauling vehicle. Amen!

* * *

Last night, I added the word “Golly” to Finn’s ever-expanding vocabulary. I don’t care that she’s not walking by herself yet; that kid has more words than Webster’s, and she’s 14 months old. Thank you, Sky Pilot.

* * *

Sunday afternoon, apropos of nothing at all, Mr. Clean and Brian H. stopped over to help me diagnose the coolant problems with the Scout. It turns out the water pump is almost brand-new, but wasn’t installed with any form of gasketry. We replaced it correctly (with a gasket this time) and with the fan shroud in place; I need to fabricate a mount for that and replace the thermostat. Thanks, guys.

Date posted: December 9, 2009 | Filed under general | Comments Off on Give Thanks.

Phail-adelphia – The city of Philadelphia’s new logo. Most of the comments are (in my opinion) much too harsh in regards to the design firm; this is clearly a product of design-by-committee. But the logo does suck.

Date posted: December 8, 2009 | Filed under design, shortlinks | Comments Off on Design by Committee

This site is chock full of motorsports goodness: Tony Adamowicz started a out as an SCCA racer in Virginia and four years later found himself behind the wheel of a Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Dreams really do come true.

Date posted: December 4, 2009 | Filed under other, shortlinks | Comments Off on Tony Adamowicz

About two years ago, we spent a considerable chunk of money on a FLOR tile system for our living room. And we were very happy with the results…for a while.
Different view
One thing we noticed, after about six months, was how much the low-pile carpet picked up dirt and stains. Now, we understood that buying a carpet with large areas of light color was a gamble, given that we were planning to have children at that point; what we didn’t figure on was how difficult it would be to get the stains out. They seem to sit in there forever, even after repeated steam cleanings. (One of the benefits of the FLOR system is that each tile can be popped out and hand-washed/steam cleaned, instead of moving all the furniture and humping the entire carpet outside). Our cats, while not the most scratchtacular of felines, still like to sharpen the claws every now and again, and when they do, they pull up small patches of dark fibers from the bottom of the carpet which look like stains but don’t ever come out.

In preparation for the holiday season, and to take advantage of a sale at FLOR, we decided to buy a bunch of replacement tiles to clean up the appearance of the room. Through my own stupidity, I ordered only the lighter blue of the two styles we’d chosen, but after we laid them out on the floor last night, I think it was a pretty fortuitous mistake, because the majority of tiles that need replacement are lighter.

My advice to anyone considering the FLOR system for themselves: pay close attention to the traffic recommendations and find a pattern that matches those requirements.

Date posted: December 2, 2009 | Filed under living room | 1 Comment »

Another reason to be proud of Baltimore: Mayor Dixon found guilty of embezzling a bunch of gift cards originally meant for needy families.

Date posted: December 2, 2009 | Filed under politics, shortlinks | Comments Off on Guilty.