Welcome to BlogDogIt Thursday, July 02 2020 @ 04:38 AM EDT

I Need You To Lower Your Voice!!!

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BlogDogIt

Okay, I will admit it...  I fell prey to a billboard suggesting that I visit a particular website. In fact the billboard said little more than "nomorepu.com". I found it somewhat ironic that it was situated along the interstate near the landfill on the south side of town; it has been known to get quite stinky in the area at times.

I had no idea what the campaign was about but discovered after visiting the website that it was regarding Tidy Cat brand kitty litter. They have put together a clever website featuring the theme "Life Stinks? We Can Help."

Anyway...

They have a series of video shorts which are actually quite humerous and at the end of each they play a short outtake/blooper type scene from the shoot. The second in the series is called "The Lobby" and at the end of it there is a security guard that asks a lady to lower her voice. After I heard this I had to stop everything and extract the sound-bite. Watch the video now and download the sound-bite below.

Here you go: ==>    LowerYourVoice.mp3

Share and Enjoy!

BlogDogIt Note: These videos have been removed from the TidyCat YouTube Page
Visit Kids At Play to see the complete series (10 episodes)

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Battle Ship Drinking Game

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BlogDogIt

Enigma - Battleship Drinking Game
By Mauricio (Tony) Harion

Enigma - Battleship Drinking Game
By Mauricio (Tony) Harion
Image Source: http://www.coroflot.com/harion/

Description:

This is the Enigma, the classic Battleship game turned into a simple to play (and fun) bar game.

It´s played just like the usual Battleship game with one addition. If you miss the target you drink a sip of water, and if you hit an enemy boat your opponent empties the corresponding shot glass.

The exterior design of the wood case was based on the enigma encrypting machine as well as the game´s name. The game also features a radar screen to mark the shots of each player and a list of the ships remaining.

Have fun, and drink responsibly!

Source: Harion

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Identify Wildflowers - Resource Guide

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white trillium     trillium toadshade

After returning from a walk in the woods I was anxious to identify a couple of wildflowers I spotted and of course turned to the internet to discover the answer. In addition to identifying the flowers in question I discovered a great "launch-pad" for future wildflower identification needs.

I am posting the following tool from uswildflowers.com in the hopes you too will rapidly find the answer to any wildflower question you may have. Enjoy!

Looking for Wildflowers for a specific state?
Check here:


 

About the State Reference List:


The State Reference page include three things:
  1. A list of websites that may help in identifying wildflowers for the selected state. I've looked at each of the sites listed and they appear to be useful. I use some of the sites regularly for wildflower identification. If you know of a site that should be added to this list, send me an email at identification@uswildflowers.com - no promises of inclusion, but I will give it consideration.
  2. A thumbnail photograph and web page link for each color of species of wildflowers for each color of species of wildflowers in this site's database that, according to the USDA Plants Database or my personal observation are found in the selected state, even though the photograph is probably from Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Idaho, or North Carolina. From there you can list all of the state's wildflowers that we have represented, or only those for a color range. Most photographs are by me, although some are contributed by others. The identification is by me, and while I have done my best to be accurate, I am not a professional botanist, and there is a high likelihood that some identifications are incorrect. Please let me know at identification@uswildflowers.com if you find errors.
  3. A list of some wildflower identification books available at Amazon.com that cover the selected state. I have noted the books that I own and use myself. In the other cases I have read the description and reviews of the book to determine if they seem appropriate. I get a very small referral fee if you purchase through these links. My wildflower hobby is certainly not a profit-making venture, so if you can help offset my costs by making your Amazon purchases through these links, that would be very much appreciated.

Source: uswildflowers.com

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A (Belated) Happy 40th to FTP

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BlogDogIt

I guess I'm truly doggin' it...
Soz a bit late on getting this up but I only just learned (thanks to LileBackenroth.com) that April 16th marked the 41st "birthday" of FTP. Where would we be without FTP - the "Fork-Truck Protocol" of the internet? I re-post Lile's article here for your perusal.

ftp - File Transfer Protocol

FTP 40 Years Old Today . .

April 16th, 2011 �

This year is certainly the year for birthdays. The File Transfer Protocol, otherwise known as FTP is 40 years old today. Originally put forth as the RFC 114 Specification on April 16, 1971, FTP (and the various iterations inspired from it) is as heavily used today as it was back then by people and companies all over the world.

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BBS The Documentary

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BlogDogIt

Episode 1 - BAUD

 


The Early Days of BBS Remembered.

 

Long before the Internet escaped from the lab, connected the planet and redefined what it meant to use a computer there was a brave and pioneering band of computer users who spent their time, money and sanity setting up their home computers and phone lines to welcome anyone who called. By using a modem, anyone else who knew the phone number of these computers could connect to them, leave messages, send and recieve files.... and millions did.


They called these places "Bulletin Board Systems", or BBSes. And their collections of messages, rants, thoughts and dreams became the way that an entire generation learned about being online.

When the Internet grew in popularity in the early 1990s, the world of the BBS faded, changed, and became a part of the present networked world.. but it wasn't the same.


This movie is part of the archive.org collection: Community Video

 

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New Web Order - The Download Dot-Con

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BlogDogIt

The Download Dot-Con


Source: New Web Order - A blog by Nik Cubrilovic

Fake software downloads are a huge problem on the web. A few weeks ago a non-technical friend called me and asked how to play some Xvid encoded movies he had downloaded. I told him that the best and easiest software to use is VLC Player. He asked if I could send him a copy or a link, and I said "it's ok, just Google for 'VLC download' and you will find it". Big mistake.

A few days later he was having computer problems. There was a new toolbar in his browser, popups were constantly appearing, his search engine had been switched and the computer was running slow. I went over and removed all the crap that had been installed, ran a spyware scanner and then told him to generally be wary of approving permission requests from applications on the Internet. He then told me that this was my fault, because it was 'that stupid VLC program' that had installed the toolbar, the new search engine and the spyware.

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10 inventors of Internet technologies you may not have heard of

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BlogDogIt

Source: http://royal.pingdom.com/ on November 14th, 2011 by Pingdom

Since it was Father’s Day here in Sweden yesterday - yes we know it varies around the world - we thought we’d pay homage to some of the people behind the Internet as we know it today.

Some of the obvious choices would include Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn for TCP/IP, Vannevar Bush for much of the conceptual thinking behind the Internet, Ted Nelson for coining the word hypertext, Tim Berners-Lee for the World Wide Web, Marc Andreeseen for co-authoring Mosaic, and many others.

But why go for the obvious? We thought it would be fun to give some credit to a few lesser-known contributors to some technology or product that is a part of Internet history. These are guys who have made important contributions that affect us all but that may not have received the same accolades as others. So even though this didn’t exactly turn out to be a Father’s Day post, let’s take a look.

GIF: Steve Wilhite


Picture by David Ope

Graphics Interchange Format or GIF was the standard picture format for the Internet for a long time. Who doesn’t remember the walking lights and dancing bananas that we could enjoy on web pages all over? The graphics format was created by Steve Wilhite in 1987 while he was working at Compuserve. Although GIF has largely been replaced by JPG and PNG, there are those that suggest there may be a resurgence for GIF.

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The Evolution Of An "Hello World"

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BlogDogIt
Hello World - Click For Wallpaper Image
Image Source: kaythaya.com

 

Source: Ferry Boender, ElectricMonk.nl License

Evolutionary Algorithm: Evolving "Hello, World!"

On the Origin of Circuits over at DamnInteresting.com. I always wanted to try something like that out for myself, but never really found the time. Now I have, and I think I've found some interesting results.

Disclaimer: I know next to nothing about Evolutionary Algorithms. Everything you read in here is the product of my own imagination and tests. I may use the wrong algorithms, nomenclature, methodology and might just be getting very bad results. They are, however, interesting to me, and I do know something about evolution, so here it is anyway.

How Evolution Works

So, how does an Evolutionary Algorithm work? Why, the same as normal biological evolution, mostly! Very (very) simply said, organism consist of DNA, which determine their characteristics. When organisms reproduce, there is a chance their offspring's DNA contains a mutation, which can lead to difference in characteristics. Sufficiently negative changes in offspring make that offspring less fit to survive, causing it, and the mutation, to die out eventually. Positive changes are passed on to future offspring. So through evolution an set of DNA naturally tends to grow towards its "goal", which is ultimate fitness for its environment. Now this is not an entirely correct description, but for our purposes it is good enough.

A simple evolutionary algorithm

There is nothing stopping us from using the same technique to evolve things towards goals set by a programmer. As can be seen from the Antenna example in the DamnInteresting article, this can sometimes even produce better things than engineers can come up with. In this post, I'm going to evolve the string "Hello, World!" from random garbage. The first example won't be very interesting, but it demonstrates the concept rather well.

First, lets define our starting point and end goal:

source = "jiKnp4bqpmAbp"
target = "Hello, World!"

Our evolutionary algorithm will start with "jiKnp4bqpmAbp", which we can view as the DNA of our "organism". It will then randomly mutate some of the DNA, and judge the new mutated string's fitness. But how do we determine fitness? This is probably the most difficult part of any evolutionary algorithm.

Lucky for us, there's an easy way to do this with strings. All we have to do is take the value of each character in the mutated string, and see how much it differs from the same character in the target string. We then add all those differences, which leads us to a single value which is the fitness of that string. A fitness of 0 is perfect, and means that both strings are exactly the same. A fitness of 1 means one of the characters is off by one. For instance, the strings "Hfllo" and "Hdllo" both have a fitness of one. The higher the fitness number, the less fit it actually is!

Here's the fitness function.

- - - - - - - - - - - >
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Closed Source, No Exceptions

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BlogDogIt

Source: http://planet.samba.org/

September 08, 2011

Chris

Closed Source, No Exceptions

 

The first few days of the school year are always a rush of working out schedules, buying books, buying supplies, and fielding the administrivia associated with the education system.  Annoying and difficult, particularly when there are multiple schools involved, but still surmountable.

Until this morning when we hit an unexpected roadblock.

My daughter is a Junior in High School but, thanks to a really cool program offered through our public school system, she will be attending a language class at the University of Minnesota this semester.  She started yesterday.

It seems, however, that the UofM has signed up to provide audio media via iTunes.  Specifically, Apple's iTunes U service.

We don't own a Macintosh.  Neither do we own an iPad/iPed/iPid/iPod or iPud.  We also do not run MS-Windows, which is the only platform other than Apple's own that has an iTunes application supported by Apple.  We run Linux, OpenBSD, and Android at our house.  Those tools work for us.


--------

 

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The Ruins Of Dead Social Networks

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BlogDogIt

Source: TheAtlantic.com
Sep 20 2011, 1:17 PM ET - Alexis Madrigal - Alexis Madrigal is a senior editor at The Atlantic. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology.

It was about 20 years ago that I first discovered what a telephone line and a computer could do when they came together. They made a virtual world. While stumbling through the manual for our old Zenith, I'd found a telephone number for a local bulletin board system and figured out how to dial into it. I found a world much more interesting than anything I could generate by typing commands at the C:/ prompt.

koala-bear.jpg

Bulletin board systems were one forerunner to today's social networks. You could post messages and photos, play games, and download all kinds of apps. On the small ones I knew, one or two of us could dial in at a time, and most were from the same area code and prefix as you were because otherwise you had to pay long distance charges. (This now sounds as strange as a description of handcranking a car to start it.) So, the BBS was actually a hyperlocal social network.

I messed around with Los Angeles BBSs, but I had other things to attend to like catching lizards and playing street hockey with the neighborhood homies. But then in '92, my family moved to rural Washington state. Suddenly I was stranded way out at the end of a gravel road in a drizzly little city. I had friends, but they were miles away, so at home, it was just me and Wired Magazine and our new 14.4 modem.

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Smiley Turns Twenty Nine

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BlogDogIt Source: By Tony Long, WIRED.com

Sept. 19, 1982: Can�t You Take a Joke? :-)

1982: At precisely 11:44 a.m., Scott Fahlman posts the following electronic message to a computer-science department bulletin board at Carnegie Mellon University:

19-Sep-82 11:44 Scott E Fahlman :-)
From: Scott E Fahlman

I propose that the following character sequence for joke markers:

:-)

Read it sideways. Actually, it is probably more economical to mark things that are NOT jokes, given current trends. For this, use:

:-(

With that post, Fahlman became the acknowledged originator of the ASCII-based emoticon. From those two simple emoticons (a portmanteau combining the words emotion and icon) have sprung dozens of others that are the joy, or bane, of e-mail, text-message and instant-message correspondence the world over.

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10 Ways To Access Blocked Websites

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BlogDogIt
Source: databytez.com [DeadLink]

Websites like facebook, twitter and other social networking sites are generally blocked in schools, colleges and offices. There exist some tricks by which you can bypass the restrictions and access blocked sites, the most obvious is the use of proxies or Anonymizer websites. But using proxies doesn�t always works as they gets blocked by firewall as well. Here I am listing some other methods to access blocked contents.

1. Use IP instead of URL

Each website has its equivalent ip address. This method works best when blocked sites are stored as a list of URLs. You can use ip address to access blocked contents . For example to access facebook you can use ip address 69.63.189.11 in your address bar. You can use ip-address.com to find the ip address of other websites.

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How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Internet

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BlogDogIt

How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Internet

Source: DouglasAdams.com

This piece first appeared in the News Review section of The Sunday Times on August 29th 1999. We've temporarily removed the graphics today, as the page is being hammered!

Douglas Adams
Image source: douglasadams.com

A couple of years or so ago I was a guest on Start The Week, and I was authoritatively informed by a very distinguished journalist that the whole Internet thing was just a silly fad like ham radio in the fifties, and that if I thought any different I was really a bit na've. It is a very British trait ' natural, perhaps, for a country which has lost an empire and found Mr Blobby ' to be so suspicious of change.

But the change is real. I don't think anybody would argue now that the Internet isn't becoming a major factor in our lives. However, it's very new to us. Newsreaders still feel it is worth a special and rather worrying mention if, for instance, a crime was planned by people 'over the Internet.' They don't bother to mention when criminals use the telephone or the M4, or discuss their dastardly plans 'over a cup of tea,' though each of these was new and controversial in their day.

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