Turbine Engine

May 21st, 2011

Over the last nine or ten months, about once ever couple weeks, one of our neighbors has been starting up some kind of turbine for about five minutes at a time. ¬†It’s extremely loud (it sounds like, well, a jet engine), but since it happened so infrequently, it wasn’t that big of a deal. ¬†Today, however, the neighbor decided to spin up the jet turbine for about 30 minutes. ¬†I walked over to see what the deal was.They didn’t answer. ¬†After quickly polling some of the other neighbors, we all called the police. ¬†Sure enough, the guy owns some kind of model airplane jet engine company based in Taiwan–and he’s been testing the jets at his house. Hopefully, he’ll stop.

Here’s a clip of it from last August:

The Next iPhone Speculation

May 1st, 2011

There are a ton of people speculating about the next iPhone. ¬†iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, etc. ¬†I don’t have any personal knowledge of the matter–but I can say that there are some features that I would really like to see on the next iPhone. ¬†Before I list them, though, I should point out that the iPhone has become “just another phone”. ¬†There’s nothing the iPhone can do that other Android phones cannot, and that Blackberries or Windows can’t do without significant developer help. ¬†I personally like the iPhone interface better, but frankly, Google is doing a good job of catching up (and in some places, passing) the iPhone in its core functionality.

So the list. ¬†I’m going to divide it into a few parts:

Expectations

If Apple releases an iPhone 5, it will come alongside an iOS 5 update. ¬†As a result, many of these feature desires are software based–you could see them in the current models with a software update.

  • LTE – this is the *real* 4G. ¬†Super fast internet.
  • Longer batter life.
  • Profiles (software based–this means that you’ll be able to customize notification sounds, etc, from your own library rather than the built-in one. ¬†Think of the Nokias; Outside, Indoors, Silent, etc.)
  • Thinner (why not)
  • Better cameras (they’re good now, but, well, yeah)
  • Near Field Communication (NFC) for payment, etc.
  • Better notification system (modal popups are horrid)

Hopes

Not as realistic, but I hope:

  • More durable/rugged.
  • Louder speakerphone.
  • Louder earpiece.
  • 1080p Video with stabilization

Wishes

These won’t happen, but I’ll throw ’em out there:

  • Biometric unlocking. ¬†I hate passcodes.
  • Tactile feedback that isn’t some stupid vibration.
  • Speech-to-text/voice command – one that actually WORKS.

I’ll probably think of more, but this works for now.

Migraines?

April 20th, 2011

In 1996 or so, a doctor diagnosed me with atypical migraines. ¬†Why atypical? ¬†They only occurred on the right side and there were no triggers (like red wine or chocolate). ¬†My awesome acupuncturist once tried to treat them; his normal treatment didn’t help. ¬†What did help, however, was sticking a needle straight into my temple, about an inch away from where it feels like the pain is most intense. ¬†Within seconds, the pounding, throbbing, searing pain stops immediately. ¬†It’s the craziest thing ever. ¬†He thinks it’s some kind of tension issue… ¬†I don’t know.

Anyway. ¬†Because my acupuncturist has been so awesome & helped me with my not-migraines (as well as neck and back pain in the past), I’m going to give you his info. ¬†Just call him, regardless of your ailment–he seems to have a solution for almost anything. ¬†Martin Haines,¬†626-796-9987. ¬†He’s located in Pasadena.

Movie Review: Hanna

April 17th, 2011

It’s been movie-dud month for me. ¬†I Just got back from watching Hanna, staring some really pale blond chick and the guy from Terminator who I call Scott Baio. ¬†(Ok, it’s¬†Saoirse Ronan and Eric Bana, but I’m sure you can understand my confusion.) ¬†Spoiler alert!!!

The movie sucked. ¬†It wasn’t as bad as Sucker Punch, but damn it, it wasn’t THAT far off. ¬†The plot of the movie was this: Bana plays a guy (Erik, yes, same name, lamo) who’s taking care of Hanna, played by Ronan. ¬†He’s also training her to kill people. ¬†Hanna gets all pissy that she’s in the woods–oh yeah, Erik is hiding from…something. ¬†The CIA or something, we don’t really ever find out, or if we did, I wasn’t paying attention. ¬†So back to Hanna–she decides she’s ready to leave their little cabin. ¬†So Erik lets her activate some kind of homing device. ¬†He runs away, and the CIA/whatever swoops in and takes Hanna into custody. ¬†Hanna then wreaks havoc in the holding facility, escapes, and makes it her mission to…well…I *think* it was to kill Marissa, played by Cate Blanchett, but honestly, I don’t know if that was really spelled out.

I suppose there was a plot, but there was no POINT. ¬†I’d write more, but honestly, I don’t even want to intentionally remember more about the movie.

The Sleep Experiment

April 17th, 2011

You may have noticed; I like to perform experiments where I am the subject. ¬†(There’s a good chance that I learned this from Mythbusters; who knows.) ¬†The latest experiment is what I’m calling the “Sleep Experiment”, or more fully, the “Place My iPhone On Airplane Mode While I Sleep Experiment”.

By this point, I’m certain that you’re asking, “Why is he doing this? ¬†Has Adam discovered that he is sensitive to electromagnetic radiation, and it’s affecting him while he sleeps?” ¬†No. ¬†Something I’ve known for a while is that I’m a very light sleeper; especially sensitive to sounds. ¬†For instance, emails, texts, phone calls, pins dropping, calls dropping, and pins phoning. ¬†Putting my phone on “silent” still allows it to vibrate, which still makes noise.

My null hypothesis: the buzzing/chiming of my iPhone (and iPad) have been waking me up throughout the night undetectably (I wake up but don’t remember waking up), causing me to be √ľber tired in the morning.

Experiment: put the phone on Airplane mode and turn off the iPad while sleeping.

Result: So far, I’ve been waking up a lot more refreshed & ready to attack the day (I’ve been doing this since Monday). ¬†In fact, I woke up on my own at 6:30am today–kinda weird, but refreshing. ¬†So six mornings down. ¬†If things change, I’ll keep you posted.

Movie Review: “Sucker Punch”

April 5th, 2011

Tonight, I saw “Sucker Punch“, a thriller movie starting a bunch of hot chicks. ¬†I don’t remember their names, but quite frankly, I don’t think I need to; after a movie like that, they probably won’t be in anything any time soon.

The movie opens on the death of a woman, Baby Doll’s (Emily Browning) mother. ¬†She has left her inheritance to her two daughters, leaving her husband (Baby Doll’s step father) out of the will. ¬†Aggravated, he attempts to kill/rape/who knows what to Baby Doll. ¬†When he fails, he turns to her younger sister, killing her instead. ¬†Baby Doll is blamed, and is sent to a mental institution.

At this point in the movie, I must have had a seizure, stroke, or suffered some kind of amnesia, as the mental institution is transformed into a brothel, and Baby Doll is now a dancer with a bunch of her co-whores. ¬†But when she dances, we’re treated to an awesome tour d’ force of her beating up a bunch of mythical creatures (co-whores included).

So as I understand it, Baby Doll has, as a coping mechanism, transformed the mental institution in her imagination. ¬†I still don’t know the plot. ¬†Enjoy the movie.

Oh–by the way–it sucked.

The Book that Sets Me Free

March 31st, 2011

Back in May of 2010, something important happened: My freedom was revoked. ¬†Well, it wasn’t revoked, it expired. ¬†My passport book, used only a few times, finally made it to ten years old. ¬†The photo of me smiling at age 20 (young and innocent) reminds me of what happened only weeks before I got the passport in the mail. ¬†(For those of you who don’t know, a pocket knife found itself a couple inches into my hand while fighting for the honor of a damsel in distress. ¬†Or…I accidentally stabbed myself while opening a Super Soaker box. ¬†Whichever seems more plausible.)

So back in…oh…December, I guess, I did the passport renewal, sent in my check and photo, and a few weeks later, received a rejection notice. ¬†My photo was unacceptable. ¬†Americans aren’t supposed to smile. ¬†Or the photo wasn’t the right size. ¬†or something stupid, I don’t know. ¬†So I let the passport sit around until one of my friends had to go out of the country for a family emergency; and I thought to myself, gosh, if I had some kind of international emergency (for instance, cheap tickets to Taiwan), I wouldn’t be able to go! ¬†So I retook the photo (it really looks like I haven’t eaten fiber in a few years), and sent in all my paperwork. ¬†Yesterday, I got the envelope: my brand new passport. ¬†A feeling of elation swept over me–I can travel again, to magnificent places like Egypt, Japan, and Libya! ¬†Yes! ¬†(ok, too soon for that).

Anyway. ¬†I haven’t left the U.S. since April 2009. ¬†It’s been two years. ¬†Time to travel!

New Photo!

March 31st, 2011

I changed the photo in the blog header!¬† It’s almost been two years since my Lasik surgery, not to mention the weight I dropped, so I figured it was time to replace it.¬† (If you’re reading this via Facebook, you have no idea what I’m talking about.¬† Visit my blog directly!)

Certificate Errors

February 28th, 2011

This is going to be a slightly technical post, but helpful for you if you’re experiencing any “certificate error” issues.

Have you visited Facebook lately and gotten an error like “This is probably not the site you are looking for!”, or something about the certificate being invalid, etc? ¬†Or Gmail? ¬†Or any other site that you’ve used the https:// protocol? ¬†There are a few possibilities for what is going on; I’ll explain three, and how to fix one.

The first, one from which your browser is trying to protect you, is the possibility that someone has hijacked a DNS server or is placing themselves between you and the web site you are trying to reach, pretending to be that web site to eavesdrop on your information. ¬†(The job of a certificate is to prevent that). ¬†This is bad. ¬†You want to heed this warning and stay away from the site, as someone could steal your username, password, or any other information you’re sending to the site.

The second, another from which your browser is trying to protect you, is a virus/spyware program has attempted to hijack the internet traffic from within your own computer.  Install anti-virus/anti-spyware to fix it.

The third (and the one which white I’m going to try to help you) is that your computer’s DNS cache is someone out of date, and that it is trying to access the wrong server (innocently). ¬†I should probably tell you what a DNS server is. ¬†A “Domain Name Server” is a computer that converts domain names (like google.com) into IP addresses (like¬†66.102.7.99). ¬†Sometimes, your computer or browser will cache this information so that your browsing experience goes faster. ¬†If these numbers are out-of-date, however, you’ll get that certificate error. ¬†Here’s how I fix it.

  1. First and foremost, try quitting and reopening your browser.  If going to the website still results in an error, continue to step 2.
  2. Mac: Quit your browser. ¬†Open the Terminal App, and type the following command (without the quotes, of course): “dscacheutil -flushcache”. Reopen the browser.
    PC: Quit your browser. ¬†Open the Command Prompt, and type the following command (again, without the quotes): “ipconfig /flushdns”. ¬†Reopen the browser.

Now, if that doesn’t work, there’s a chance there’s something wrong with your DNS server settings, and you might want to contact your DSL or cable company to get a fix. ¬†Good luck!

Audio…video podcasts?

February 19th, 2011

I’ve been considering doing the audio or video podcasts again, but need some help from you guys regarding what to talk about!

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