Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A great way to "network"

Don't buy gold plated cables

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Computer Magic

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Scientists and the misuse of stats,_Its_Wrong

Monday, March 22, 2010

For those who educate their children, here's a fun math/science lesson.

Monday, March 15, 2010

A really cool proof of the pythagorean theorum

Friday, March 12, 2010

Wicked cool hovercraft

How to take one hour to ski down the bunny slope

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sewer corkscrew in a car

Talk about split personalities

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

How can we be sure that the weak voices are heard, and not scared into silence?

Monday, March 8, 2010

1995 Article predicting the future of the Internet

Math Post #4 - This one makes all my nerd hairs bristle with excitement.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Firefox Extensions: Beautifications

When it comes to looking at a white background on a computer screen, it can be like looking at a giant, low-powered light bulb.  I find dark backgrounds with light text to be much preferred as it is much easier on the eyes, and looks pretty sleek.

With that said, the theme I use for Firefox is NASA Night Launch.  The only thing NASA about it is the activity icon up in the top right, so you won't feel like a nerd for using it.  It is just a really good dark theme for firefox.

And keeping it dark is Google Redesigned.  This extension will transform your Gmail, GCal, and GReader with an excellent dark theme.  This extension is the biggest reason why I haven't switched to using Chrome.  It really is "eye candy".  Bonus: it plays nicely with the "Better ..." extensions in my previous post.  Here are some screenshots of the extension at work.

Lastly are a cluster of extensions that work together to produce an effect.  This picture is the final result.

In the picture you can see what the NASA firefox theme looks like.  You will also notice that 3 tabs are very tiny, containing just the icon.  This is done by Faviconize Tab, which lets you tell firefox to shrink certain tabs down to just the "favicon".  Second, these tabs are permanent; whenever firefox is open, my Gmail, GCal, and GReader are always open.  This is done by PermaTabs Mod, which is an experimental add-on, but has yet to give me any troubles whatsoever.  Third, my Gmail and Greader tabs contain a number in the icon, which is the number of unread items.  This is done by Better Gmail and Better GReader already covered in the previous post, but those extensions do a lot more too.  Likewise, you could also get just the number by downloading the appropriate userscript for greasemonkey.

Firefox Extensions: Increased Functionality

I use Xmarks to sync my bookmarks to an online server, in case I'm ever on someone else's computer and I can't remember the name of what I was looking for.  If you're completely unconcerned about security, it will also encrypt and save all of your passwords, but I don't want that information out on the web.

If you ever want to get temporary access to a website, use BugMeNot.  It has usernames and passwords to many sites, like the New York Times.  There's no need to create a free account just to read an article on a website, so use this extension.

Here's a developer who's made several helpful extensions.  Most notably the "Better ..." series adds tons of minor tweaks to each of the websites.  For instance, GCal has a feature to collapse the header and sidebar, allowing the calendar itself to use the entirety of the window.

And best of all is Greasemonkey.  Greasemonkey is a portal into a whole world of tweaks for websites.  In fact, most of the tweaks in the "Better ..." extensions are really just a compilation of the best userscripts for Greasemonkey.  You have to have Greasemonkey installed, then you can go to and start downloading stuff to make the internet wonderful.
Here is one script that prevents Youtube videos from autoplaying, but still allows them to buffer.  It also removes ads, and automatically selects the highest quality with which to play the video.
And after you install this userscript for Facebook, you will want to give me a big giant hug, and also give me money.  I'll let you play with all it's awesome options, but most notably, it will show any picture on facebook at full resolution just by hovering the mouse over it.  I repeat again that you will want to kiss me once you see how great that is.

Firefox Extensions: Security related

Many people use Firefox but are completely unaware of the vast potential of the extensions that are out there for the browser.  So here's the first post on the firefox extensions that I've found useful.

The awesomest firefox extension out there is AdBlock Plus.  It blocks all the ads on websites, except text ads like on google.  There are ads out there that can be malicious, especially the pop-up ones.

Another is TACO.  Many times websites will place files on your hard drive that track what websites you visit.  It's also a good idea to go into your preferences (Tools > Options > Privacy) and block 3rd party cookies.  Granted, tracking what websites you visit should be relatively harmless, but some are troubled by learning that they have far less privacy than they believed.

The most protective add-on is NoScript.  Many malicious websites and advertisements use Javascript to compromise your computer.  This extension blocks every script a website wants to run.  However, this will break just about every website you visit.  The good news is, you can tell the add-on to allow certain scripts from certain websites.  Essentially, you'll have to train the extension to allow the good stuff, and keep out the bad.  It can be annoying to have to "make" websites work.  So if you're not committed to it, you'll just end up turning the extension off.

And some of you may ask what antivirus program I use: Antivir.  It's completely free.  It scans every file that your computer touches, so no virus can install itself without the program instantly knowing and asking you whether to quarantine it or delete it.  This means you never, ever have to do a full scan of your computer.  Never.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hilarious Commercial

Rhett and Link have made another commercial, this time for a pharmacy in Indiana.

Here are their previous commercials -
My Favorites:

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

OK Go's newest music video