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Thursday, August 21, 2014
Philips, please make this switch

The Philips Hue lighting system is pretty awesome. Even the new Hue Tap is pretty cool. But what they’re missing: A simple wall switch. It’s not that hard. Here, Philips, I’ll design it for you. Just make the damn thing, please.

It looks mostly like this:

The small switch on the bottom should actually control power to the circuit. For the most part, that would always be on, but it’s there in case you need to actually cut it. Then it looks like a normal rocker switch, but has some differences. Basically, the top and bottom should be different momentary switches, and the rocker should always return to the center. Then you can program the two momentary switches to switch to whatever Hue scene you want. Generally, since this is acting as a normal light switch, the top would turn all the connected lights on and the bottom would turn them off. But you wouldn’t be tied to that. You could even make it so if you hold the switch down in either position, it could brighten/dim the bulbs.

See? Not that complicated. I wish I had the resources to produce it. It would be a huge improvement to the Hue product line.

My current alternative is a hinged cover over the existing light switches and the Hue Tap on top of it. It looks pretty ugly:

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Posted by alan to general at 9:55 am PT | Link | Comments (8)
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Fun with RMAs!

Presented without comment.

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Posted by alan to general at 7:31 am PT | Link | Comments (0)
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Best SEO techniques

Developing an SEO strategy for your business can help draw consumer traffic to your website as well as grow your sales and revenue. Read how to design an effective SEO strategy to convert web visitors into customers and make money from online businesses, and for employees the use of a w9 form maker could be the best choice for this.

What Is The Best SEO Services? – Writers Evoke

People are being led away from your website by your website’s low ranking in search engines. You have to develop a strategy to prevent your website from dropping down in rankings. You may want to read this review here for more helpful info! This article helps you avoid this poor SEO situation.queen sheets amazon

As mentioned by an SEO company owner like Damon Burton, it’s important for your site to rank on the first page of Google when searching for related keywords. According to companies like Victorious, an SEO strategy for your website must include optimizing your website, so it will rank on the first page of Google.

Google is making it more and more difficult for websites to rank high in search engines. This is happening as Google keeps adding more and more ways to rank websites. SEO strategy for your website must include:

Outlining your business strategy
Establishing the components of your SEO strategy
Establishing your website’s performance on search engines
Mastering advanced techniques and best practices in SEO
Preparing content for SEO
Why A Modern SEO Strategy Works for Your Business

Predicting search engine results in terms of rankings is difficult, but you can do it! This article covers exactly how to predict search engine ranking by using SERPs.

What is an SEO strategy?

The main aim of an SEO strategy is to make it as easy and easy-to-use as possible for web users. SEO strategy like the ones from the seo services edmonton helps in bringing more traffic to your website by sending more people there and growing your business.

A few things give SEO a leg-up:

Research. SEO experts research the web for advanced techniques that can help website owners such as ways to improve BigCommerce Sales. This gives them an edge.

Best practices. When you know what works best for other websites, you can make changes based on your own experiences. SEO experts focus on the factors that work for other websites, which gives them a leg-up on creating new websites that are just as effective.

When you know what works best for other websites, you can make changes based on your own experiences. SEO experts focus on the factors that work for other websites, which gives them a leg-up on creating new websites that are just as effective. Content optimization. As web users increasingly rely on mobile devices, the higher the quality of their content, the more likely they are to click and read it. Content that’s good quality on mobile devices is often very good quality on other devices. You can work with app development companies to create a cutting-edge mobile application for your business.

Using a data-driven approach, such as that described by a Moz article, helps provide data that gives SEO experts the upper hand over websites that don’t use such strategies.

Setting up an SEO strategy

Understanding SEO fundamentals is the first step to developing an effective SEO strategy. This is an overview of the main steps and steps to follow in order to implement a new or enhanced SEO strategy. A lot of planning is involved in an SEO strategy which is why businesses get help from Get The Clicks.


Is your website indexed? If not, make it so! SEO practitioners from an SEO company King Kong know how to crawl a website and index it to make sure it’s indexed by search engines.

Is your website a link building site? SEO practitioners like the ones from Thailand’s best SEO company know how to promote their sites by finding links to them on other sites and giving them back to the sites they recommend.

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Posted by site admin to general at 3:59 pm PT | Link | Comments (28)
Monday, June 17, 2013
Public Key

In light of the recent leaks about the NSA’s PRISM, I figured I’d make myself a public key so people can send me encrypted email if they want. So here it is.

Version: GnuPG v1.4.11 (GNU/Linux)


Note to NSA: Don’t worry, I’ll be storing my private key on my Google Drive for safe keeping. You’ll still be able to read any of my email that you want.

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Posted by alan to general at 10:53 am PT | Link | Comments (0)
Friday, May 18, 2012
One Year

It has been one year since my last post. Wow, I’ve really let this place go. Too much has happened in the past year to recap it all here, and I have to get ready to leave for a trip to NY today, so I’ll just mention the most recent major event: Kat and I adopted a black bengal cat.

We adopted (and renamed) Abby at ASAP here in Santa Barbara. We’d been planning it for a while, and just fell in love with her as soon as she finally managed to get our attention. She’s four years old, and we’ve had her for two months now. She’s wonderful.

And now, pictures! [Click them to see bigger]

2012-05-18 10.21.07 2012-05-17 21.01.03 2012-05-17 13.56.24 2012-05-06 14.32.54 2012-04-30 16.34.38 2012-04-12 11.21.56 2012-04-08 23.19.34 2012-04-08 16.37.26 2012-04-05 12.10.43 2012-03-30 17.03.55 2012-03-30 16.38.22 2012-03-30 16.22.19

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Posted by alan to general at 1:08 pm PT | Link | Comments (2)
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Eight Oh Two

Tonight was the last night of my “Winter” season league at the bowling alley. We fell two points short of making the roll-off last week, so we were only bowling for a little bit of money in sweepers. Last week, we needed to win all four points to force a tenth frame roll-off for first place in the second half. We crushed them the first game, but fell short the second. We won the third game, but it didn’t matter too much at that point. I bowled pretty well last week, and ended up throwing my first triplicate series. 220-220-220. At the end of the second game, I left a 10 pin in the fill ball which gave me the second 220. I didn’t realize before I threw the ball that I could match my first game’s score. Going into the third game, though, I knew I could get a triplicate. I realized I had a shot at it near the end of the game. After I got an 8 and a spare in the tenth frame, I needed five more pins to get it done. I threw the ball far left, hit the 4-7, and pins toppled to leave the 1-2-3-5-10 standing. I had my triplicate! It was awesome.

I wouldn’t have imagined I could outdo that this week. I started out with a 256. A spare in the first frame, five strikes and then a split which I left open, and then strikes the rest of the way. I was pretty happy with that. Started the next game with an open frame (picked the 10 off the 6-10), and then ran off ten strikes in a row. I left a 4 pin on the fill ball, for a 278. At this point, I started to think about an 800 series. I had 534 for the first two games, so I needed a 266 to get there. I’ve been in this situation before, but tonight was the first time I really felt like I was bowling well enough to actually do it. In the past when I’ve had over 500 pins for the first two games, I’ve been pretty lucky to get there and expect to wear down at the end. Tonight, the lanes were great, and I was feeling good.

I knew I didn’t have much room for error here. I started the third game with a few strikes, and then started to get nervous. I knew I really had a shot at this. A few more strikes, and then a 7 pin on a shot that was a little light in the seventh frame. That kind of shot had been carrying all night, but not this time. I picked up the spare, and knew I couldn’t afford to make many more mistakes. I had a nice solid strike in the eighth frame, but then threw an awful ball in the ninth. As soon as I let it go I put my head down and barely wanted to watch it. It hit heavy on the Brooklyn side of the head pin and somehow ended up being a strike. The 6 pin fell very late, and was somehow pushed forward from behind. I got lucky. Going into the tenth frame I knew I needed the first strike, but that was as far as I had gotten on the math. At this point, my legs were wobbly and my hands were shaking. Perfect shot for a strike. My next shot was less than perfect. It went high, and left a 9 pin. I had no idea if this had cost me my 800 series until I walked back and looked up at the screen. 248 in the ninth, and 19 pins so far in the tenth. I was already there, and didn’t need to pick up the last pin. I did anyway, and finished with a 268 for an 802 series.

Holy crap. 802 series. I think it still hasn’t sunk in.

9/X   X   X   X   X   81X   X   XXX
81X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   XX9
X   X   X   X   X   X   9/X   X   X9/
Series: 802   Average: 267.3

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Posted by alan to bowling at 12:52 am PT | Link | Comments (4)
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Dispelling Scott Bourne’s Misinformation – PPI Doesn’t Matter

I’m not sure why this bothers me so much, but it’s seriously getting on my nerves, so I feel like I should write about it.

Yesterday, Scott Bourne posted to twitter:

If you’re interested in free image critiques send your 72 PPI 640 Pix wide pic to: #@ThePWSPI

Many people correctly pointed about that 72 PPI is useless information. If an image is 640 pixels wide, it’s 640 pixels. Pixels per inch is a meaningless number unless you’re printing something. He went on to make a blog post with confusing reasoning why it actually does matter. Except he’s wrong, and he knows it, but can’t admit it. He then posted a couple of updates that further confuse things and serve no purpose but to defend himself and shift the blame to his audience.

He claims PPI affects file size, but it does not. He showed two images, one saved at 72 PPI and one at 300 PPI, and that the 300 PPI one takes up much more space than the 72 PPI one! Proof! Except he fails to point out that the 300 PPI JPEG file is undoubtedly higher pixel dimensions (I would call this “resolution”, but unfortunately Photoshop uses that word for PPI), and almost definitely wider than 640 pixels, than the 72 PPI image. Basically, he took the original image, scaled it down, and said, “look, smaller file size!”

Then, his updates:

UPDATE: I see where some of the confusion is. In the Photoshop resize box there is a button that is checked by default that says RESAMPLE image. This is why the file size is smaller. Given the context of my original Tweet – I hope this makes more sense. If not – move on. Just trying to make sure people understand file size matters.

I don’t know what version of Photoshop he’s using, but in CS5 it lets me change the pixel dimensions of the image when I resize it. I can completely ignore PPI and print document size, and type in 640, regardless of the number in the PPI box. In fact I can only do this if the Resample Image box is checked, which he claims is causing the confusion.

His second update:

UPDATE #2: The goal here is to show that file size can be impacted by PPI. If you don’t UNCHECK the resize image box (that is checked by default on most post-processing software and used by most JPG conversion utilities) then the PPI you set for the image is going to impact the final file size. Can you get around this? Sure. Just don’t resize the file (resample.) Then the PPI does NOT matter. But the problem is – in the world I live in where most people are new at this, they don’t know to uncheck that box so they don’t know to save space. Just trying to help.

He admits PPI doesn’t matter! But he still ignores the main point: The pixel width for the final image you’re going to save is right there in the resize box! If it says a number much larger than 640, then of course the file size will be bigger! If you leave resample checked, and change the PPI, you can see the changes to the pixel width right there in the resize box. Bottom line: PPI has no bearing on the file size of an image with fixed dimensions. 640 pixels is 640 pixels, period*.

I did the same experiment he did, taking one of my images from an original 300 PPI .DNG file. I resized them both, and saved one at 72 PPI and one at 300 PPI. The difference is when resizing them I made sure the pixel width was 640. Guess what?! The files take exactly the same amount of space! (Actually, the 72 PPI one saved a few bytes bigger for some reason, but not significantly.)

So to sum up: If you ask for an image that’s 640 pixels wide, the PPI has no impact on file size. It is a meaningless number until you want to print the image. Maybe Scott Bourne should a) have a little more faith in his audience to understand what 640px means, and b) when corrected, try to clear up confusion instead of defend himself and make things more murky.

*For the web, and digital formats, of course. As I’ve said, PPI does matter for printing.

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Posted by alan to photography at 8:35 pm PT | Link | Comments (4)
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Blue Canary in the Outlet by the Light Switch

…who watches over you.

Make a little birdhouse in your soul.

That is all.

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Posted by alan to general at 4:35 pm PT | Link | Comments (1)
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
What I’ve Been Up To

Way back in August, I got a message from Hanel on Facebook asking me if I would know how to do some programming to create some data analysis tools for poker tournament results. He had been approached by Perry Friedman asking if he knew anyone who could do it, and would be interested in a job. I said absolutely and got put in touch with Perry, who put me in touch with Annie Duke. I drove down to LA for a short meeting with her to talk about what she was looking for, and was asked to come up with a proposal and estimate for the work.

Some of you may have already read about the new poker league Federated Sports + Gaming is launching. They put out a press release today. Last month at the WPBT gathering, I told some of you I was working on a poker-related job but I couldn’t really talk about it. This is it.

From the press release:

The new poker league led by Duke will be comprised of the world’s top 200 players and the events will be rake-free for poker professionals and feature generous prize pool overlays. The league will have a proprietary ranking system based on an eligibility formula that is driven by mathematics and proven historic achievement. This system will rank the top professional poker players with guidelines similar to those governing professional golf and tennis.

I am not deciding which players get invited to the league but I developed the tools they are using to do so. I can’t comment right now on the player list or requirements needed to be invited (and it’s not yet finalized, anyway), but I am pretty sure the formula used will be made public when invites are sent out.

As a side note, it’s been interesting to me to read all the speculation on where Annie Duke was headed after leaving UB, and not being able to comment on it at all due to my NDA. I’m glad they’ve finally gone public.

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Posted by alan to poker at 2:18 pm PT | Link | Comments (4)
Thursday, December 2, 2010
New Server/Host – Superb Internet

Once again, I have switched hosting companies. I am in the process of migrating all the accounts on my server over to the new one, but I did mine first. Mostly to make sure it works and wouldn’t cause any problems. I saw a cheap reseller hosting service that’s basically going to cut my yearly server cost in half, for the same setup. Plus, this place seems to know what they’re doing a whole lot better than the old one.

Using an internet service provider (ISP) for web hosting is an external hosting solution where the ISP is responsible for ensuring that your website is connected to the internet 24/7. With dedicated hosting, your website is the only one hosted on a particular server. This option suits large websites with high user traffic, or those requiring special software or particularly high levels of security. Merchant service providers will also make it easier for you to set up payments. Enhance your customer experience with the services provided by reputable merchant services.

While this approach offers the most powerful and secure solution, it is more expensive. You place your own server that you own or rent at the premises of the ISP to take advantage of their better technical infrastructure, learn more by reading this post about type of wifi solutions. With this option, you are generally responsible for maintaining the actual data and the website components.

Right now, they’re having a 50-70% off anniversary sale on dedicated servers. It was too good to pass up. The sale goes through December 15, and then you keep that price as long as you have your server. Also, implementing reliable absence management software uk improves HR efficiency for tracking and managing employee leave.

Superb Internet

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Posted by alan to [geek, meta] at 7:00 pm PT | Link | Comments (2)
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