Saturday, December 18, 2010

How to remove the battery cover for a circa 2005 Timex Ironman Triathalon Watch

Yes, I'm serious. I have this very nice watch with 4 dials (3 sub dials below the main) that needed a new battery but EVERY article I found indicated that there should be 4 screws to remove or that I just "pop off the back" with a screw driver or knife and 99% were covered by the former.

There were no screws on my backing and NO popping it off either. I thought perhaps it would unscrew, but it was virtually impossible to get a grip to even try so I disregarded that idea. After what seemed like an eternity of googling for a solution (first by just trying to identify my exact watch, which turned out to be a waste of time because Timex has created exactly 1,723,962 variations of the Ironman), I grabbed a few pair of needle nose pliers and tried a few ways to unscrew the cover again. Once I found a pair that had a really good grip (I could squeeze hard and they didn't pop off), I got a good grip of the watch and rotated the cover counter-clockwise (from the rear view) and sure enough, it began opening!

I will add photos soon but it's late and my "easy" camera isn't handy so that will have to wait. I sincerely hope someone finds this completely obscure information useful because I only have 2 hours of sleep available now thanks to this watch and my persistence.  :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

We're not going to cook ourselves to death after all!

I've been arguing for some time that shy of nuclear armageddon, we'd have a hard time effecting the earth to the extent of devastation and even then, the earth would recover with or without us. This story lends a bit of credibility to my view.
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Doubling of CO2 Not So Tragic After All?
|   from the let-the-flame-war-begin dept.
|   posted by samzenpus on Thursday December 09, @00:03 (Earth)
|   https://science.slashdot.org/story/10/12/09/0235246/Doubling-of-CO2-Not-So-Tragic-After-All?from=newsletter
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

carvalhao writes "The Register reports on a [0]study from NASA and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that claims that new climate models that account for the effects of increased CO2 levels on plant growth result on a 1.64 C increase for a doubling of CO2 concentrations, [1]a far less gloomy scenario than previously considered."

Discuss this story at:
   https://science.slashdot.org/story/10/12/09/0235246/Doubling-of-CO2-Not-So-Tragic-After-All?from=newsletter#commentlisting

Links:
   0. http://europa.agu.org/?view=article&uri=/journals/gl/gl1023/2010GL045338/2010GL045338.xml&t=gl,bounoua
   1. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/12/08/new_model_doubled_co2_sub_2_degrees_warming/

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Providing feedback to software developers ( taken from XDA-Developers.com )

I'm only reposting this article which I liked. It was found here and written by XDA user joe_coolish. Aside from just bringing attention to this article, I wanted to highlight a very important point he makes in the very beginning.

In the world of software development, applications pass through many phases before being released, some of which include designing, planning, coding, testing, Alpha Release, Beta Release, Release Candidate, and finally Release.This guide is intended to help the people involved in public/private beta tests that do not have experience programming, but would like to give valuable feedback to the developer.

Disclaimer

This guide is specific to programming for the Windows Mobile Operating System, specifically for the .net Compact Framework 3.5. However, the main concepts should translate over to other platforms and frameworks.

In the beginning...

First off, programming is hard. Building applications that run smoothly and are bug free require considerable amounts of time and energy. In short, software development is an emotional investment on behalf of the developer. 

Because software development is an emotional investment, developers will easily take offense to criticism [as would anyone else with their work when they too are emotionally invested]. This is where rule number one of giving constructive feedback comes in:

Rule number #1, When Giving feedback, be polite!

Read the rest of the article here.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Government transparency and citizen privacy.

I just read a couple articles and was imagining my airport experiences coming up this holiday season. My day-dream first, then the articles and a few thoughts on them.

TSA: Sir, I'll need to take a pornographic video of you or cop a cheap feel because nearly 10 years ago some easily profiled terrorists managed to take control of a couple aircraft using box cutters. How would you prefer to be degraded?
ME: Can I ask what you were doing on Sept 11, 2001 when the attacks happened?
TSA: I'll humor you. I was sleeping soundly in my bed.
ME: When you found out about them, how was your life directly affected?
TSA: It wasn't really. I was upset and scared, but I went to work that day as usual and life went on aside from hearing about a few friends who knew someone affected. Mind explaining your question now?
ME: One more question then I'll explain if you don't mind. How would you describe my ethnicity or nationality?
TSA: Well sir, you appear to be about as "Caucasian" as is possible. Pale, freckled skin, reddish hair; what you have left anyway. I'd guess you're of German/Irish decent.
ME: VERY well done. So would you say it's pretty safe to assume based on flight-related terrorist attack history that I have nothing to do with the al qaeda? I mean, it's not that someone of my appearance couldn't be involved since it is a religious issue, but have you ever seen such a thing, let alone know of such a combination related to any attacks here in the US?
TSA: Well, no. I haven't. Come to think of it, it does seem a little odd that I'm being paid by OUR government to harass and embarrass you this way. Why did you ask me what I was doing on 9/11 though and how about you; what were you doing?
ME: I agree, that is rather strange. Essentially, I'm paying the government to hire you and harass me. Not that I had any say about such a thing. I asked about your experience that day because I wanted to know what it might be like for someone that wasn't in my shoes. I was awake and already at work, when the news spread. I was immediately told to go back to my barracks and prepare for a gear inspection. We didn't get much more news than most people, but being conditioned as we were, such a command in light of the news told us that there was a real chance that were about to get combat orders to go protect the citizens of the United States from one of the only real attacks on US soil in history. As a US Marine, I take that idea very seriously and though I was upset, I was more infuriated. I'm here today because during my service in the USMC I was injured beyond repair and as a result, was given an honorable discharge under medical circumstances. If you put me through that x-ray machine over there, you'll see quite a collection of hardware that wouldn't set off your typical medal detector, that I could easily hide inside any number of common devices that you would let me put on a plane.
TSA: (agent gets a very startled look on their face)
ME: So basically, I've paid my debt to this country for my freedom and yours, suffered significant personal loss and injury in the process, paid taxes to see that our government can continue to function, and now you're presenting me with two humiliating options despite both my constitutional right to travel and privacy and the fact that another such terrorist attack is statistically virtually guaranteed not to happen based on history.
TSA: (should have a look of embarrassment now, but instead is radioing for help so that I can be restrained for causing a scene)
ME: Do I have a grasp on the situation?


Sadly, that conversation is completely feasible. Check out the articles below to see why this came to mind and why I'm hoping it will soon change. I think that the world is getting tired of governments misbehavior, abuse, and lack of transparency while at the same time taking our privacy and forcing our transparency.

+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Digging Into the WikiLeaks Cables
|   from the story-that-never-ends dept.
|   posted by Soulskill on Monday December 06, @13:33 (Security)
|   https://news.slashdot.org/story/10/12/06/1813236/Digging-Into-the-WikiLeaks-Cables?from=newsletter
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A number of readers have sent in new WikiLeaks stories today, many of which focus on the content of the leaked diplomatic cables. The documents showed how the US government [0]bullied and manipulated other countries to gain support for its Copenhagen climate treaty (though [1]behavior from the US wasn't all negative), how copyright negotiations largely [2]meet the expectations of critics like Michael Geist, and how Intel [3]threatened to move jobs out of Russia if the Russian government didn't loosen encryption regulations. Perhaps the biggest new piece of information is [4]a list of facilities the US considers 'vital to security.' Meanwhile, the drama surrounding WikiLeaks continues; Julian Assange's [5]Swiss bank account has been frozen and the UK has [6]received an arrest warrant for the man himself; the effort to [7]mirror the site has gained support from Pirate Parties [8]in Australia, [9]in the UK and elsewhere; and [10]PayPal was hit with a DDoS for their decision not to accept donations for WikiLeaks.


Discuss this story at:
   https://news.slashdot.org/story/10/12/06/1813236/Digging-Into-the-WikiLeaks-Cables?from=newsletter#commentlisting

Links:
   0. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/dec/03/wikileaks-us-manipulated-climate-accord
   1. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/05/weekinreview/05wikileaks-sanger.html
   2. http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/5504/125/
   3. http://www.infoworld.com/t/regulation/wikileaks-intel-threatened-move-russian-jobs-india-621
   4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-11923766
   5. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-11929034
   6. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11930488
   7. http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/12/04/229233/WikiLeaks-Starts-Mass-Mirroring-Effort
   8. http://pirateparty.org.au/wikileaks-mirror
   9. http://www.pirateparty.org.uk/press/releases/2010/dec/5/pirate-parties-mirror-wikileaks-support-whistleblo/
  10. http://www.thinq.co.uk/2010/12/6/paypal-ddosed-after-shafting-wikileaks/



+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| A Nude Awakening — the TSA and Privacy
|   from the keep-it-above-the-waist dept.
|   posted by Soulskill on Monday December 06, @17:08 (Privacy)
|   https://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/12/06/2045248/A-Nude-Awakening-mdash-the-TSA-and-Privacy?from=newsletter
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DIplomatic writes "The Oklahoma Daily has a well-written editorial about the current state of airport security. Though the subject has overly-commented on, this article is well worth the read. Quoting: 'The risk of a terrorist attack is so infinitesimal and its impact so relatively insignificant that [0]it doesn't make rational sense to accept the suspension of liberty for the sake of avoiding a statistical anomaly. There's no purpose in security if it debases the very life it intends to protect, yet the forced choice one has to make between privacy and travel does just that. If you want to travel, you have a choice between low-tech fondling or high-tech pornography; the choice, therefore, to relegate your fundamental rights in exchange for a plane ticket. Not only does this paradigm presume that one's right to privacy is variable contingent on the government's discretion and only respected in places that the government doesn't care to look — but it also ignores that the fundamental right to travel has consistently been upheld by the Supreme Court. If we have both the right to privacy and the right to travel, then TSA's newest procedures cannot conceivably be considered legal. The TSA's regulations blatantly compromise the former at the expense of the latter, and as time goes on we will soon forget what it meant to have those rights.'"

Discuss this story at:
   https://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/12/06/2045248/A-Nude-Awakening-mdash-the-TSA-and-Privacy?from=newsletter#commentlisting

Links:
   0. http://oudaily.com/news/2010/dec/06/column-nude-awakening-tsa-and-privacy/

Nexus S - Pure Google BUT....

Now let me reiterate that I love Google and they take very good care of me, but this is a repeated mistake they're making that really chaffs me.

First the Nexus One, now the Nexus S. As an Android Developer, I'd LOVE to have either of these phones for daily use and development, but that isn't possible when paired up with such a crappy carrier as T-Mobile. I live in the 5th largest city in the US and not exactly in a fringe area of it and yet T-Mobile is absolutely useless here. From my experience going back nearly 12 years, GSM in the US is frequently useless, at least compared to the coverage I get with Verizon, or even Sprint for that matter. Just so you know I'm not just slamming TMO, check out the video below which I accepted great risk to create.

Google, please at least explain why you continue to ruin such a great idea by relying solely on GSM if not provide a CDMA version in addition. Considering the role Verizon had in making Android truely mainstream with the Moto Droid 1, I can't imagine they are making it unreasonably difficult, but if they are, let us know so we can appeal to them.

To summarize, this is me driving from my home, to a major T-Mobile store just a couple miles from the house, then back by my neighborhood. You'll see how I go from having so little signal that I can't maintain a data connection, to getting 2+Mbps and then it falls off again near my neighborhood in a very well defined dark area. It took me a couple months to get TMO to accept the facts and let me out of contract.

Please understand that I'm not trying to rant about T-Mobile here (not like in the video anyway), but address Google's choice to use such a small and weak carrier (technology, at least as it's implemented in the US). I know MANY out there will say that's a subjective judgement and want to call me out on it, but be sure to do your research first because I'm willing to bet it will back the empirical evidence I have based on usage in AZ, CA, and OR.


Friday, December 3, 2010

A thanks to Google (Logitech Revue).

When I see the emails I'm always skeptical, but once again Google has amazed me with their generosity and support of developers that I dare say are key to their success.

A new Logitech Revue was just dropped at my front door thanks to another Google Device Seeding Program and I can't wait to unbox and start playing with it. I hope to enhance http://AllDroid.org to be GoogleTV compatible in coming weeks.

In any case, I have the warm fuzzies thanks to them and my wallet isn't $300 lighter to boot!


Sunday, November 28, 2010

A message to my son about lying, consequences, and responsibility.

"Lies may take you forward, but never back" - From a movie, original source unknown.
In other words, you might be able to use lies to gain things in life (items, power, status), but you can't take lies back and that makes them dangerous. Telling the truth is ideally the best choice, but once you've made a bad decision, it may not seem that way and that's why it's so important to make good decisions to begin with.

One [oversimplified] way to decide if a decision is good, is to see if you answer yes to more than 5 of the following tests:

Am I really willing to deal with any negative consequences?
Am I prepared to take responsibility?
Would it be good for me?
Would it be good for other people it effects?
Is it lawful?
Is it moral?
Is it ethical?

If you can only answer yes to 3 of these things, it's likely not a good decision.

consequences: Can be good and bad. They're the result or effects of some other action or decision. If you drop a rock on your foot, the consequences will likely be an injury, time lost dealing with the injury, medical expenses, time lost while healing, etc...  On the other hand, making a good decision can have good consequences. For example if you choose to save money and invest it well, you'll earn more money and that would be a positive consequence.

responsibility: Most simply put, "the ability to respond". Here in the US though, that's not how much people see it. For example, if you're walking down the street and see a man who is starving and you have enough food (or money to buy food) to spare, you have the ability to respond by giving him food. That sounds very simple, but as you get older, you'll find more and more reasons it isn't. On the other end of the spectrum you'll find people saying, "that starving man isn't my responsibility" because his situation isn't a consequence of my choices or actions (assuming that's true of course). I think we need to have a well conditioned "sense of responsibility" where we can find somewhere in between. Where we will respond when we have the ability, but we don't become overwhelmed by the world around us either.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

How jQuery .css() performance could be improved.

I've had a need to modify the CSS style of MANY elements on a page (think MASSIVE HTML reports) for much longer than I've known about jQuery. The solution I found, I've only used with IE so far but I'm sure can be implemented with other browsers, is to use proper stylesheet rules to identify groups of elements, then use JS to edit the document.stylesheet itself. The benefit here is that the browser is internally optimized to parse the DOM and apply the styles whereas right now (to my knowledge), jQuery.css() parses all elements matching the selector and then applies the styles.

Obviously this can be a bit more work to setup, but if your pages are as large as mine are, the performance difference is significant. With jQuery.css() I've got updates that take 1.2 seconds compared to .2 seconds when modifying document.stylesheet[].rule[].style.value.

If jQuery.css() were to parse the document.stylesheet.rule collection and look for matching rules, then apply the new style to a rule when a match was found, jQuery.css() could be MUCH faster in many cases.

To take the idea a bit further, when a matching rule isn't found, one could be added to the stylesheet so the browser could then handle style updates, but this approach could get sticky due to rule precedence. The rule (selector) added might be less specific than a different, but applicable one and in that case, would not be applied where the current jQuery.css() approach would apply it since it would add/modify an inline style declaration.

In my search for "how to modify a document stylesheet using jquery" (after wasting much time with a certain arrogant op in #jquery who thought he knew better and should from what I'm told), I did find a great little jQuery plugin that goes a long way toward doing what I seek with jQuery and thus breaking away from browser-specific syntax, but taking advantage of the performance benefits provided by modifying an existing rule. That plugin (not heavily tested on my part, but at the least a great proof-of-concept) can be found at: http://adam.yanalunas.com/blog/archives/100

Instead of using something like:
document.stylesheet[0].rule[0].style.display = 'none';

You'd use something more like (where cssStyleRule is a stylesheet rule object with selector and style):
$(document).CSSSelection(cssStyleRule)
... to add/modify the style of a rule.

BTW, I don't claim to be a jQuery expert and have only been using it lightly for a couple years, but I'm about as new to HTML/JS/CSS as Steve Jobs is to firing the RDF weapon so I think I'm pretty well on track here. If you know different, please enlighten me (without flaming if you want to see your comments posted).

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Medal of Honor 2010 killed multiplayer ...

.. just like Bad Company 2 did and for the same reason.
http://www.gamervision.com/users/jonathan_h_cooper..._won_t_have_peek_lean_or_prone  
"EA and DICE aren't trying to make a "realistic" shooter with Medal of Honor. Instead, they're aiming for authenticity, realism's second cousin. It means the weapons will look, feel, and sound realistic, but the developer isn't about to add in weapon jamming or other elements that will slow down gameplay. Medal of Honor's competition, most directly, is Call of Duty, a game series praised for fast, action-packed multiplayer. In order to compete with that, the answer isn't doing something that is going to slow everything down, it's about speeding things up, and adding things that will promote careful play simply doesn't aide in that. Letting players go prone is too much of an advantage, especially when mixed in with Medal of Honor's hit-boxes, which EA and DICE say are down to the actual model itself. 
Think of it this way: the player is allowed to lean around a corner and fire without exposing his entire body. Obviously, this gives that player a large number of strategic benefits. He's able to attack without opening himself up - an important element of combat. Now, with this new-found ability, players will hug walls, lean around every corner, and do their best not to expose themselves. While this is certainly "realistic," it lowers the game's speed dramatically, and creates an entirely different experience for the players. For as silly as it might sound at first, a game needs to be built from the ground up with this sort of thing in mind, and letting players be extremely cautious simply doesn't allow for great action-based gameplay. 
In other words, it's not that they couldn't add these features to Medal of Honor, it's that it's simply not the game for it. 

My Response:


What the hell kind of logic is that?! It's a MILITARY FIRST PERSON SHOOTER isn't it? Why go through all this trouble to make it look, sound, and feel like a modern military shooter then remove such a FUNDAMENTAL aspect of combat.

I am a US Marine. You wanna know the first couple things they taught us about combat? "I'm up he see's me I'm down" and the low-crawl. Why? Because it reduces your visible signature. Know why we use the b-mod and DOG target? Because combat doesn't all occur standing and kneeling (crouched). Targets are frequently prone.

Your explanation implies that this is a sniper and "camper" issue, but EVERYONE would get the same advantage and it's a necessary one when you're taking fire and there isn't sufficient cover, or you need to lay cover fire and can't do so from a protected position.

I didn't buy BC2 because of this retarded logic. Yes, I said RETARDED and I'm as qualified as anyone on this planet to say that in light of the fact that I'm a trained US Marine.

Had I know about this shortcoming, I wouldn't have purchased this title either as I believe in voting with my dollar. Of course I had no idea EA would pull this crap and didn't find out until I'd beaten the campaign and went online. Game Stop won't refund for opened games so is EA going to make this right now?

Damn, if there are that many whiny little kids out there, make a proper hardcore option where weapon damage is as real as it is in the campaign, and add back the lean, slide, and prone so those of us who want a "military first person shooter" on the 360 can have it.

Why is that such a difficult concept for these civilians who were supposedly working with "Tier-1" operators, to understand?





"simply not the game for" ... "realism" as a Military first person shooter?



So they took the time to consult with "Tier 1 operators", and make every aspect of the game as realistic as you could hope for, then RUIN multiplayer gameplay by removing a CRITICAL tactical feature? What's this crap about snipers and campers (a term that only whiny, skill-less kiddies use by the way) why EVERYONE under fire without good cover would want and need? I'd say the only people consulted for this game were 10 year olds civilians that sit behind the desk and buy all that BS called "news". I want a refund then I'm going back to PC gaming (or maybe OnLive) until these console game companies get a clue.


Geez, why not remove the brakes from vehicles Forza 4 or GT5 to "keep the speed of the game up" since speed is all that matters and not a semblance of reality?!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Why Sony, Why? No linux on the PS3?

Heh, Sony just lost my potential business for the PS3 (as nice as GT5 was looking). They've removed the ability to run Linux apparently. That's the only reason I was willing to get a PS3 (not the motivator, but the enabling factor).

I'm right there with the plantif mentioned HERE. I've been mulling over the idea of purchasing a PS3 for ages despite being a fan of the 360, and benig heavily invested in it (and it's online community) because Gran Turismo 5 has features I can't find on the 360, the PS3 would cover my BlueRay disc player needs, AND because I could run linux (Android, LMCE, etc) on it. That final benfit was the point that let me justify the others. Now I don't think I can bring myself to do spend that money.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Here's what you need to know if you are to form an opinion about me or AllDroid.org

Before taking in opinions or "facts" from outside sources, consider their credibility. 95% of the people you'll hear from out there have never spoken with me or any of the admins/developers involved in these little dramas so you can filter them out right off. Then there's B16 (rootzwiki). He most definitely knows how to get people's attention. He got mine. As a fellow Marine and someone that appreciated his enthusiasm for the Android community, I welcomed his offer to help rebuild AllDroid after Brent (bonez) destroyed it. He did a lot to bring attention to AllDroid, but his enthusiasm came at a cost. As a new player in the community and a non-developer, he reminded me of myself 15 years ago; sitting at an 8088 with DOS 3 and gwbasic saying, "I want to write software, now what do I do and how do I do it." Enthusiasm does not a developer make and you need to keep that in mind when he starts stating opinions of a technical nature. If you can look past that, you then must know his character. AllDroid hit a low just before Birdman rooted the Droid X and gave AllDroid the honor or releasing it to the world. At the time B16 was an admin at AllDroid though he had been quiet for a week or two stating that he was busy EASing (end of active service from the USMC). Only a couple hours after AllDroid released Birds root method via a tutorial I took hours to write, he copy/pasted to the newly launched DroidXForums (part of group of other commercially run sites), removing all mentions of me and AllDroid.

A man with any real character would have at least said, "he mike, I'm going to dick you and AllDroid". He never even had the "intestinal fortitude" (as we'd say in the Corp) to tell me he was unhappy. What's worse, he was unhappy because I convinced him that the DroidX he wanted to give away in AllDroid's name should go to a developer and not a user. My logic was that if a developer got the phone, they'd contribute to many others where a user would only benefit themselves. Apparently I did him a disservice in this way.

Now to the topic that brought all this to head today. Let me start by saying that I do not have a personal issue with Koush. I've had very little interaction with him and what I've had hasn't been all bad. That said, there have been circumstances involving he and his development that have been less comfortable. Mostly it comes down to this followers who like to get involved and run their mouths without understanding the issues let alone having the facts.

I've been seeing plagiarism in the Android community, a community supposedly revolving around the open-source community setup by Google; pretty much since I started paying attention. In some cases it's blatant (like B16 and my tutorial), in other cases, it's almost invisible (like my busybox binary in Koush's "recovery"). Oh, you didn't know about that? There's a chance I'm wrong, but according to statistics, is so small, that most companies gamble their trade secrets on this likelihood. They're called MD5 hashes and in order for 2 files to have the same hash without actually being identical, it would take a small miracle. For it to happen between two binaries built from source by two different people completely independently, would take a certain religious figure who can walk on water by some accounts. You'll find this relationship between a binary I created many months ago (you may even find it in the latest ZeusDroid ROM that I was involved in) and you WILL find it in Koush's "recovery", but you WILL NOT find my name anywhere. You also won't find Birdman's name on Koush's recovery (at least not when it released), even though they spoke early in the process and the results (which I believe to be inspired by a public project, but customized by Birdman) are so similar. I in fact made multiple attempts to contact Koush myself, directly, through Twitter and email, to inquire about CWM and feel out the possibility of collaborating on the project. Instead of responding with so much as "fuck off", apparently he began/continued work without notifying us (though he knew we were working on it). We only found out he was working on some aspect of it when he released a screenshot of the CWM UI which I later found out was just the UI and really not a "recovery" as we know it. Once I learned this, I continued work. Early this morning he released an APK on the market (which he charges $2 for) and a free version on his site.

People have got it in their heads that I'm upset he got it out first, but that's got nothing to do with it. If you don't understand that by now, start from the top and read this again please.

Now about the money/donations issue. It's interesting to me how our donors have not had a SINGLE complaint, but I hear our competitors crying of wrong-doing, begging, etc.  Here's the reality folks. With help, I invested $5,000 to obtain rights to AllDroid.org so I could bring it back and make it what it was meant to be. AllDroid is hosted on a dedicated server with Rackspace, has a 100Mb pipe, 2Tb metered bandwidth, and 24/7/365 support. That is not cheap. AllDroid regularly purchases software for the site (much of which doesn't make it public because it's not worthy, but we're trying), and supports developers in various way to include purchasing phones and providing cash gifts. The site earns ~$25/day on a good day through advertising. Go do the math people. For you idiots out there trying to say that AD is all about money or is wrong for asking for/accepting donations, I'm guessing you can't balance a check-book. If we're lucky, a year from now we'll have enough revenue that the site is self-sufficient, but there's no guarantee that will even happen, let alone when.

Here's something else for you to chew on. I've been offered a buy-out already. Someone likes the loyalty they see in AllDroid members and they appreciate the way I run the site. I haven't taken that offer though because I'm concerned it would compromise the site and that's not something I'm willing to do given an option. If it can be done in a way that will benefit EVERYONE involved, I might go that route, but for now, we only have the generosity of our donors and our advertising (which is dependent on traffic) to pay the bills so yes, I will ask for donations and I won't feel ashamed because when they're given, that's the donors way of telling us that we're worth it and they appreciate our efforts and/or services. Don't be jealous; respect that. Just as I began writing this a $35 donation came in (that's on the bigger side of what we see). Thank you kristopher. He responds with, "My pleasure!"

If you think I'm doing so much harm by speaking up, consider the alternative: I don't say anything, the issues persist and get worse because the monopolies grow, "the little guys" can't get exposure because their work just gets eaten up by the plagiarists, and the entire community ends up stale.

On the other hand, if my point gets across and people start behaving like considerate, productive members of a group with a common goal, everyone wins and nobody has to go through the shit-storm I know I'll see despite the facts and solidity of my logic.

Bottom line: If you're going to use someone else's work, give them credit and demonstrate your maturity and integrity. If you know someone else is working their ass off on a project, let them know you're doing them same in case they want to just step back and let you run with it instead of letting them devote days of their lives only to find out after the fact that a bit of information might have saved them that time. If you want to run your mouth in public about issues, make sure you know the issue at the least. Better yet, have some facts from reliable sources, not sites who don't bother to investigate their stories, loud-mouth attention seekers who've proven they're not trustworthy, or fan-boys operating in defensive mode without facts, or reason.

Now finally, ask yourself this. Aside from causing drama like this by calling people out for their unacceptable behavior (mistakenly on a couple occasions to be honest), what's the worst thing I've ever done to this community? Now what have I contributed (there should be about 10,147 people ready to respond to this since that many saw a need to register at AllDroid.org)?


I'm going to bed now. I'll be happiest if I see no comments here because I don't want to start trouble, I want to initiate change and I'll not sit quietly for the sake of the status quo. I will speak up (through AllDroid) if/when I see the need. If you don't want to hear it, don't follow @alldroid, don't follow @rainabba and don't visit the site. I gamble that developers with integrity who would otherwise want to take advantage of the resources at AllDroid will not have a problem with it because I'm looking out for them. That IS what AllDroid is all about, making a place for developers to do what they do best and exposing the fruits to the world. If the developers come and showcase their work (perhaps provide support), I expect users will follow and they become part of our little community. If everyone does right by everyone else, it should be a win-win situation and Android progresses all the more. If I'm guilty of wanting anything more than that, it's only to be associated with such a success.




UPDATE: So Koush FINALLY contacted me and instead of just giving credit where credit is due (especially given the source of the file that he mentioned), here's his response:




[koush] grabbed it from the droid x root, it's too big though, i only needed 3 functions. compiled my own and updated. btw, kind of weird to be trying to call me out on busybox... it's not like you wrote it either..
[rainabba] Not like you created that "recovery" method either but you did assemble and I'm sure you'd be less than happy if someone used it w/o crediting you. Pulling my busy after the fact doesn't make any difference either, especially since you just admitted to pulling it from our root package and can't claim ignorance to its source now. No matter, you've demonstrated your character throughout all this. I'm better off for the knowledge.
[koush] you're basically upset that i beat you to it, or that i didn't collaborate with you. it wasn't a competition to me, and i am not obligated to collaborate with you. I don't even know you. Big deal about busybox; i have like 4 copies of that sitting on my system made by different. I grabbed the first one I found that was statically compiled and worked. It happened to be the one in the droid x root package and was already sitting on the sd
[koush] didn't realize you'd get so upset about it, i'm more than capable of compiling my own.
[koush] the "recovery" method was by me and first released by open recovery. you forget i've been doing recoveries long LONG before droid even showed up. if anything, i owe them credit for demonstrating the proof of concept actually does work.
[koush] but I don't see how i remotely owe you any accreditation
[rainabba] YOu do understand how the OSS community is supposed to work right? I'm upset in general with how many major players around here treat what google created as their little playground and don't appear to give a shit about anyone else.
[koush] you dont even have any source published that i could have possibly looked at.
[koush] you're lecturing me on oss now?
[koush] do you even have a github account?
[koush] do you contribute?
[rainabba] It's the principle. If you're so capable and you knew where it came from and didn't want to pay that little bit of credit, why not just go build it. Would have taken you minutes I imagine.
[koush] i didnt know where it came from
[koush] it was in the droid x root package i found on whatever site i downloaded it from
[rainabba] koush: Oh, so I have to be on github to contribute?
* rainabba looks at AllDroid.org
[koush] facepalm
[rainabba] "it came from the droid x root package [created by bird and rainabba]" and you don't know where it came from?!
[rainabba] You're a piece.
[koush] ok i'll give you credit for busybox in v1 of the recovery boot strap if that will make you happy
[koush] i didnt realize that i had to credit people when they COMPILED something, or find out where a copy of busybox came from that is on my sd card which floats between the 10 devices i own.
[rainabba] Ever compiled busybox koush? Have any clue how many options are presented? I took great care in selecting what went into it to keep size down and functionality up because it had to fit in ZeusDroid (a HUGE contribution to The D1 community that I was directly involved it) and we have almost no space to work with.
[koush] depends. are you compiling on debian arm or android build. i have done both.
[koush] i have also contributed directly back to dylex who maintains the android busybox port
[koush] i am guessing debian arm cause your binary is 2mb.
[koush] if you compiled against android, it would have been like 500k.
[rainabba] What's your point?
[koush] my point is, yes, i have compiled busybox. i have also contributed to busybox.
[koush] wait, why am i arguing this, this is retarded.
[koush] later



So I guess what he was getting at is a developer only deserves recognition IF they have a great impact, not for their efforts, regardless of who benefits or how. By this logic, if I steal your work and get it to market first, I deserve the recognition, not you (impact, not effort). I guess someone who's made it to a point where he has could lose sight of the fact that it's all the little contributions that make up these projects, not the less frequent (but still important) breakthroughs. I wonder how we bring things back into perspective? Why not just be honest, give credit where it's due up front and make it a mute point?



Friday, August 13, 2010

How did the name/nick/handle RAINABBA come to be?

I had a "Big Brother" (United Way) when I was around 10y/o. He was from England and a truck driver here in the US so his handle was Rainman.

He was teaching me C.B. etiquette and gave me the handle Rainman Jr.

Once the movie Rainman caught on, I got a bit older, and I got online (1200 baud bbs around 12-13 y/o), people were associating my nick with the character in the movie and it began to annoy me.

Around 14 y/o I found out that Abba was Hebrew for father.

One day it just sorta came to me like this: Abba = father, father of the rain, rainabba and BAM, there it was.

Since then I've used it as my well-known handle on the net.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Twitter shows preference towards "hackers" privacy and not members.


When I asked Twitter for account activity information for MY account (in such a way that they knew I was the account holder), this was their response. It definitely makes me think twice about supporting Twitter with my traffic. See the transcript below (edited in a few spots for security) but otherwise unaltered.

Request#XXXXXX


Twitter Support Admin
posted this on Jul 30 02:31 am
Tonight our account was compromised and tweets were made by an unknown individual. The account password was fairly Strong (pattern was XXXXXXXXXXX) and entirely unguessable. I NEVER have shared this password with anyone and it's used in only one other area where I also keep it very secure so I have a pretty good idea of who was abusing it, but I can't be 100% sure. Can you release to me any diagnostic information for my own account (like IPs used to access the account, or other accounts accessed in the last 24 hours by the IP of my abuser? I would identify them by certain posts they made (assuming there is an archive and I have deleted all the posts they made).

Comments

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AD_Collective
Jul-30 2010 03:11 am.
User photo
rose
Twitter Support
Jul-31 2010 01:03 am.
User photo
AD_Collective
Jul-31 2010 06:44 am.
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rose
Twitter Support

  • Hello,
    Twitter does not release user information except as required by proper legal process.
    We receive information requests from law enforcement at the mailing address and fax number below:
    Twitter Inc.,
    c/o Trust and Safety
    795 Folsom Street, Suite 600
    San Francisco, CA 94107
    Fax: 415-222-9958
    Acceptance of legal process by facsimile is for our convenience only and does not waive any objections, including the lack of jurisdiction or proper service.
    Thanks,
    rose
Aug-03 2010 07:42 pm.
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AD_Collective

  • So basically you're telling me to get lost and deal with it? Also that Twitter has no concern for user trust? I'm not asking for someone elses account activity. I'm trying to determine who was defacing my account and the police couldn't care less so I can't do a legal query.
Aug-03 2010 08:08 pm.

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