Reviewers Needed

With the deployment of the new “Plug Website”: , we have a need to get book reviews on the site. Many companies have been generous with their donations of books, and we need to return the favors by posting our reviews of their content, on our site, personal blogs, and sites like “amazon”: .

If you are interested in reviewing, you may start by adding your review of any technical book to the plug website. Those who have published quality reviews are always foremost in line to review future offerings from our sponsors. If you have questions about how to review, go ahead and look at the guidelines posted on, those will make any of the publishers happy (as long as you are honest 🙂 ).

With that said, O’Reilly has just offered us a couple of copies of their new “Ubuntu Hacks”: book, and I am willing to give those out to any plug members willing to read and post their reviews. Interested? Just contact me via my nick at, or on the “Plug List”: , or via the comments here.

From the site:

??Like all books in the “Hacks” series, Ubuntu Hacks includes 100 quick tips and tricks for all users of all technical levels. Beginners will appreciate the installation advice and tips on getting the most out of the free applications packaged with the Ubuntu Linux distribution, while intermediate and advanced readers will learn the ins-and-outs of power management, wireless roaming, 3D video acceleration, server configuration, and much more.??

Star Power

So I followed “Peter Abilla’s”: link about “”: and their facial recognition. They have the spiffy little flash app that tries to match your photo with various stars. So in my extended post I link in their top suggestions. The funniest one though, is that in the top 10, Jennifer Love Hewitt was one of my higher matches. (#6)

Definitely some interesting technology, but it would obviously be more fun to try and match against “regular folks” instead of the little fun toy they let you play with on the front page. Great teaser though.

Rolling It Old School

Last weekend provided a rather fun event. Some friend hosted a Pump and Pistol class paintball tournament. What does that mean? Well, most modern markers you find are some form of semi-automatic, and many with electronic triggers that allow various levels of full-auto, ramp, or burst fire modes.

The average user therefore learns quickly that their best way to get a ‘kill’ is to use the complicated aiming method called *spray and pray* .

Now, we _old schoolers_ remember back in the old days of pump class, which required manual cocking between each fire. Often with small tubes of paint, and often 12-gram CO^2 cartridges.

!>×214-DSC00063.JPG (Jayce^ of Team Desert Edge Playing Pump)!:

Many of the old timers showed up to enjoy a day of the old world, along with many newer people who just wanted to try out what we’d been ranting about. The game was great, 4 hours of near constant action, careful shots, the most barrel tags I’ve seen in a long time, and just a whole lot of fun. At the end of the day, everybody was in agreement about just how fun things had been, and even the people new to pump were sold on playing it a little more often. If nothing else, it taught them how to make their shots count better.

For a geeky equivalent, we held an installfest, and showed a bunch of windows n00bs just how much fun a command line is.

h3<. "Photos of Rolling It Old School":

Fork Again

So, a couple friends have asked recently why I’ve been tired, and into work a little later recently, missing blogging, so I guess I should let the news out. Yes, there is another $child on the way. This one hasn’t been to well on my wife, who has been rather sick since we found out.

Here’s to creating another paintballing geek for the world.

State of the Onion

Yes folks, it’s finally up, the “10th Annual State of the Onion”: Speech by Larry Wall.

This very entertaining presentation will give you the state of the Perl Community, and Perl Development. A great one to check out.

Hypocritical Venezuela

It will come as no surprise to those that know me that I am not exactly a supporter of Hugo Chavez, the current leader of Venezuela. The man believes himself to be a new Simon Bolivar, and is a very outspoken critic of George Bush, often making extreme claims of how George Bush is planning some form of attack against his country. The man often makes claims of how America is a failing democracy and that only he is leading “the people” in a new leftist revolution.

However, for a good example of how he controls his “People’s Movement”, check out this article discussing “Chavez’s repression of speech”:

This is the same guy who felt it was his right to smack-talk the US while in New York. Of course he was here with one of his other well know democratic leaders, Ahmadinejad.


Armchair Commandos

One of the sponsors of my paintball team is the local store “Special Ops”: . This is a great company up in North Salt Lake that creates some amazing equipment, as well as sponsors the excellent “SPPL League”: .

Well, they’ve gotten into the TV world with a new show they are filming, mostly here in Utah, “Armchair Commandos”: . Check it out. It’s a reality-tv style show that pits two diametrically opposed groups of people (in the preview, Rednecks vs. Punk Rockers) in various scenario style paintball games, for a cash prize towards charity.

The players are new to paintball, showing that anybody can play, and have a lot of fun. I you have an idea for a group, go ahead and suggest away to them. Check “the video link”: for some teaser footage. And who knows, maybe someday you or I will be in the show (right now, our team just gets to ‘assist’)

Plugs 10th Birthday

We had a great meeting last night. It was good to some of the old faces back at “PLUG”: again for the tenth birthday.

We started off with “Ryan Simpkins”: introducing the new “PLUG Website”: that he created using the Drupal CMS.

After that, our local “Hacker Chef”: presented on how he created the “Tux Cake featured at Plug”: . His “HOWTO build a 3d Tux Cake”: is currently getting dugg pretty heavily, but has a good mirror. We hope to get it on Make: soon also.

Of course after cake and ice cream 🙂 we moved on to the technical presentation where I gave a compressed presentation on “mod_security”:

Thanks again to “O’Reilly”: for shirts and books which were well received by members of the group.

What a fun, and busy night. Remember, come to PLUG folks!

Refreshing Customer Service

What is it about tires that makes them seem to reach out and grab on to any available road hazard? In my case this week it was some nice screws in the road. This is something that seems to be a somewhat regular occurrence for me, if somebody drops a screw/bolt/nail/sharp pointy anything in the road, one of my tires will find it. So yesterday morning I had to stop by the tire store to see if they could repair my tire.

Problem is, my tires are really bald. End of Life. But I need them to last another month or two so I can afford to fix my stupid brakes that are also toast first.

So I drop off the tire, well expecting that they aren’t going to be able to fix it, and I’m going to have to shell out money I don’t really have right now to get new tires. The serviceman tells me it’ll be 25 minutes, and goes to work on my vehicle.

Once they tell me it’s done (20 minutes, w00t!) they inform me that my tire couldn’t be repaired, holes were too close, and had split between them. So I was moderately confused, since he said they had fixed my tire.

“Oh, we had a used tire of the exact same style we took off a car recently, so I put that on.” Ok, so a _new_ tire, just used. So I asked how much the new tire was, grateful that it would cost less, and only needed the one. “Oh, no charge, just come back when you do replace your tires.”

Yes, this is why I shop at “Discount Tires Co.”: