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http://daringfireball.net/2010/06/iphone_4 – “After using so much aluminum in recent hardware designs, it’s interesting that they’re using stainless steel for the iPhone 4. Update:  Stainless steel can be used as an antenna; aluminum can’t. That’s the explanation.”

Don’t tell that to these guys: http://www.cushcraftamateur.com/

More likely explanation is that stainless steel is far more rigid.

Basically you get a really tiny HD camera that records onto a flash card (SD, and it works ok with mini-SD if you have an adapter). It does things like take still photos too or quick action photo’s too.

The video quality itself is quite good – especially for its size. See below:

One of the reasons however I cannot recommend this camera outright is because of the numerous firmware bugs in the camera software and the build quality itself. The build I guess is ok, but it feels like cheap plastic, and the audio quality is so bad I’m not even sure why it bothers recording sound. The firmware bugs are far more annoying.

Bug 1) USB connection is flakey. On more than one PC I switch the camera on while its connected to the PC it connects, disconnects, connects and finally disconnects – and the camera is still on displaying “USB” on the LCD, however you cannot do anything with it (including switch it off) unless you pull the battery out to reset it. The only PC this seems to work on (tested on 3 different machines) is my laptop… In most cases its less painful to just connect the card reader and pop the SD card out of the camera to copy the videos over. Otherwise you’ll find you have to pop the battery out of the camera, turn it back on and try again.

Bug 2) The files it creates are continuous. This by itself isn’t so bad, except most editing apps on Windows will only import files less than 2 gigabytes. In order to edit a 2.5 gig clip (tested on Windows Movie Maker and Adobe Premier CS4) I had to use a tool to split the file into 2 gig chunks.

If there is a better camera out there (I don’t know of any really) – wonderful, if not – buy this.

http://www.gixxer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=151947 – has a pretty good article on why a sport bike isn’t a good beginners motorcycle. I happen to agree with a lot of the points made, but oddly enough it wasn’t how I started – and I wouldn’t recommend you take that bit of text at face value. My first bike was a Yamaha YZF-600R – which is quite a beast actually. It was fast enough that you really had to hold on if you were accelerating at not even 30-40% of top throttle.

And make no mistake – sport bikes are really just street legal racing bikes. The article mentions how you could buy a bike in a dealership and make it race worthy and win races in one afternoon – which seems plausible.

Ego does get in the way of recommendation – I’d be hesitant to recommend the GSX 650F I ride now to anyone new at this. It’s a very powerful bike, and without a lot of attention on the road I can see myself getting into trouble. Honestly though – if you were a responsible lad, had done all the safety classes, what genuinely interested in motor biking (not just because you saw some cool video of someone doing tricks and decided it was for you) I would totally recommend a 600-1000cc bike.

Every now and then I hear about some kid locally who bought a bike (or more likely his parents bought a bike) didn’t realize that 1/16th of a inch on the throttle can mean about 4k more RPM ran it off the road and messed himself up. I think someone posted on that same forum that he finds salvage bikes all the time at a store near where he works and that one had 2 miles on it before it was wrecked. That’s a bike that didn’t even make it home from the dealership.

http://www.dereksmart.com/2010/04/dave_allen_saga/

I’m pretty much convinced Derek Smart’s elevator doesn’t go to the top floor. I had my doubts back in the Battle Cruiser 3000 vs. the Internet saga, but these recent rants confirm it.

Which begs the question – how does he keep getting investors to give him money? The more insane the pitch – the more money? I still can’t say his name with out saying “Desktop Commander”:

Coos Bay is like this microcosm where nothing is like anything else outside of this area. It is its own culture. This isn’t necessarily a good thing in all cases, but its something to be very aware of if you live here. If you’ve lived here for long enough you may not be ready for life outside of Coos Bay.

People here like trucks – big ones. Not necessarily a bad thing, but you might have trouble parking if you live in another city. Its ok to complain all the time about gas prices as well if you drive one.

1980’s vintage Camero’s and Firebirds (or Trans-am for that matter) are not cool cars. This is especially true if every single panel on your car is a different color and held together with zip ties.Camaro

Yelling at co-workers can sometimes get you fired at a company. Yelling at other people when you don’t like something is generally considered taboo in the outside world.

Parking stuff on your yard makes a statement – that you are a hillbilly living in the city. To really make a statement – try digging up your yard (front or back!). Double points if you have a boat and also park that in your yard.09262009023

We shouldn’t kid ourselves. Mobile homes – especially anything made pre-1989 are metal shacks. If they were any closer together we’d have our own ghettos.

You may not get so far in life sitting at home all day long eating beef jerky and watching television.

Still there are cities that have it worse off than Coos Bay…

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Shaman_Draenei_by_Nadou I have to admit – I spend most of my time these days “micro blogging” on Facebook. Still Facebook has a post size limit ;).

I was looking through the World of Warcraft patch notes for version 3.3.3 and noticed the following gems under Shaman:

  • Flame Shock: The damage-over-time component of this ability can now produce critical strikes and is affected by spell haste.

Talents

  • Elemental Combat
    • Elemental Oath: This ability is now always on as a passive aura.

So right now if you hit a target with Flame Shock – unglyphed it ticks away for a static amount with a +damage modifier (so the more spell damage you have the more damage Flame Shock does). So good news overall for shaman damage, but its interesting that this is the 2nd time a glyph has been turned into a “permanent” shaman spell or effect – all around Flame Shock ;).

In all the classes I’ve played I think Shaman’s actually were perfect as far as Glyphs go – at least for Elemental. Every single one of them is a flat damage modifier – no compromises (good example – the damage modifier glyph for Frostbolt is that it does more damage, but it no longer slows down the target) – almost all the damage increasing glyphs for shamans just do more damage, no “does more damage, but doesn’t do this now” effects. Not sure why, but it makes it easy to pick stuff out.

The original Flame Shock glyph simply made it so that Flame Shock wasn’t consumed when you hit the same target with Lava  Burst. They removed that restriction on the spell. Then the glyph simply made it so that the damage over time could critical hit (which was a 2 piece Tier 8 bonus as well), and now they are removing that, and making it part of the spell.

It does make me wonder actually if Glyphs are an easy for developers to prototype changes on certain classes. It allows them to make what seem like talent changes on the fly in the game.

I know elemental shamans have been low on damage this last expansion so its nice to see some fixes here and there to help.

WoW Armory lets you set your characters pose and view now – check it out!

So a minor setback on my reasonably priced PC – Newegg sent me a combo (which they promote) that doesn’t actually work… More details later I guess…

So someone dropped off a computer at my office door at SWOCC the other day with a note attached “please recycle” – so I took it home. Inside was an ASUS A7V 333 with an Athlon 2.2 GHz cpu inside (mind you that’s the performance rating – its probably like 1.5 GHz or something – the chip’s manufacture date is 1999…) – all the parts were floating around inside (including the PSU) and it had no memory. It also had an 80 gb hdd, and a network card (both of which I gave away). However the case looked solid. Its actually an old Falcon Northwest machine. Little known fact: before their meteoric rise they used to be a local computer shop here in Coos Bay – so its not uncommon to find them at peoples houses around here.

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Its a common misconception that super fast PC’s are expensive. So I thought it might make a nice project. How cool a machine could you build for like $500? So far I have (on order) 2x 2GB DDR3 DIMMS (core memory), an AMD Phenom II X4 3 GHz cpu, an ASUS M4A79XTD motherboard, and a Corsair 750 watt power supply. I have a 9800 GX2 I’ll drop in there for video, eBay has that priced at around $100 – so its around $600. I also have a 1 gig hdd coming as well. The machine has a Sony DVD-Recorder already installed – no clue if it works, but everyone knows you can get those for like 30 dollars these days. The OS will probably be Windows 7 Pro x64 (OEM). I noticed Newegg tacked on a printer as well :/ – one of those Canon’s with the $50 rebate… Anyone want a printer?

A similarly configured machine from Falcon today will cost you about $1900. The biggest difference is the case doesn’t look like it was dragged around someone’s car (it has scratches on it…), Falcon NW doesn’t seem to sell AMD systems anymore and it has a GTS 260 – 9800 is older, but should be faster actually since it has 2 GPU’s, and a higher clock speed. Another thing missing from this PC is technical support, but then – if you’re into hardware hacking who needs that right?

Funny note btw – long ago I had an A7V 333 – this was around 2000-2001 I think? I know I was still working at Rulespace :). This feels like some stripped down OEM version of the board however since it only has one IDE port. The one I had back in the day had four.

Anyhow once assembled I’ll do some benchmarks and give you my impressions of the relatively affordable uber PC. Once working it will be a nice machine for media (like on my HDTV or something) and a computer I could drag around to lan parties without worrying about getting the case work dinged up. The only thing I’m really worried about is that it will be faster than my demon PC (I call it a demon because its an un-natural machine that really shouldn’t exist) which has cost so much to build at this point I try not to think about it.