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"Serial Bus is a place for me to dump interesting links that I find."


"Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo."


Guy gets ticket for going 70mph in a 70mph zone on 696 Monday, April 30, 2007 | comments

Detroit Free Press Article

[via fark]

movie recommendation Sunday, April 29, 2007 | comments

Inside Man is pretty good. The way the story was laid out reminded me of Shawshank.

$275 for a broken watch Saturday, April 28, 2007 | comments

"May I help you sir?"
"Why yes, I'm looking for a watch that doesn't do anything"

[via boingboing]

packin hat | comments

As far as graduation mortarboard hats go, one-size-fits-all is a lie. So is "sure-fit" unless by "fit" they mean "barely cling to your head."

/rubber-banding a black baseball cap to his leg for later.

I'm graduating | comments

and you can watch it live over the internet this saturday.

[via bill couch]

Dean at MIT resigns, lied about degree Friday, April 27, 2007 | comments

She never even completed undergrad. NY Times has the story

coke sure has creative ads | comments

I think the GTA one is still my favorite.

Guitar Hero Controllers Making Real Music | comments

Homestar Runner: Date Nite | comments

The latest h*r is one of the better, more funny-quote-laden episodes in a while.

/digs the NPR reference

Black20: "The Prank" | comments

Over on Black20, they staged in impromptu gun battle to prank a random guy that was using their bathroom.

File transfer rates Wednesday, April 25, 2007 | comments

I'm currently copying 4 gigs of wedding photos from my desktop to Karen's laptop. I originally set the files up as a shared folder on our network. When I went to copy them, Windows estimated that the transfer would take over two hours.
So, to save time, I burned a DVD (which took maybe, 5 minutes) of the files and then copied its contents to Karen's computer. Transfer time (including burning): 50 minutes.

Why in the world is it so much faster to do it this way? Does it have something to do with the sheer number of image files and having to open up a "portal" for each individual file? Would it be different if I had one 4gig file rather than a bunch of small files that add up to 4gigs?

Edit: Just talked to Forest, who suggests that it could be that the DVD drive has a faster read speed than you can transfer wirelessly.

Edit: Phil says it's lag.

4:2 by Bill Couch Sunday, April 22, 2007 | comments

Spiderman the Musical | comments

Will they call it the Spider Music Man?

invisible family reunion Saturday, April 21, 2007 | comments

lolcats are hilarious.

XML is hot Friday, April 20, 2007 | comments

Was rewatching this for fun (and before writing a Comm Paper about updating the NYTimes), figured I'd link it.

The Onion & This American Life | comments

This American Life Completes Documentation Of Liberal, Upper-Middle-Class Existence

Crazy website design(s) | comments

Ikea Dream Kitchen
Coca-Cola Blak
We Feel Fine (click around)

[Via the Webby Awards]

OSU still without commencement speaker. Thursday, April 19, 2007 | comments

What a shame [link to OSU Lantern article]

Graduating | comments

Graduation's coming up pretty fast, and I'm finally starting to realize that now that I'm finishing up forever with certain classes (today: Psych 270).

I went and got my [expensive] grad gear today and the 8 tickets we're each allotted.

Yesterday I looked through a bunch of my old pictures from college, which was pretty fun.

/end random thoughts.

Analysis: Cho Seung-Hui Photos | comments

I heard that they've got a crew of people looking at the photos that Cho Seung-Hui sent NBC. Here's my own analysis, coming from being a professional photog myself. Sorry that these images are going to be so big that they break my template tables, but I wanted to get detail in.

This photo suggests that Cho is using a point and shoot camera. Let's look at the shadows on the bullets from his flash.

Change in direction. Note how the shadows go from left to right depending on what side of the photo they are on. This tells us that the main light source is between these two objects.

No-shadow bullets. There are bullets slightly right of center that have almost no shadow. This means they are receiving direct light.

Downward-facing shadows. This means the light source is above them.

Rate of change. The shadows change in length very quickly. This means they are very close to the light source.

So it can be concluded that this is shot with on-camera flash that is very close to the lens and slightly to its left (when facing the camera). This suggests a point and shoot camera. Higher-end cameras often have the flash above the lens.

The point marked with an asterisk shows a very small shadow, which shows that there is a second light source in the room: likely the room's artificial lighting.

The reflective, full out white in the gun barrel further supports the direct flash theory.

The dark areas of in the corners (marked with a +) have a lot of noise in them. The look of the photos in these areas reminds me of disposable camera photos processed and saved to a CD. Or these could have been digitally taken photos edited by NBC and brought up to fix an originally dark photo. If i had the original files, I could tell a lot more.

What's certain is that these photos were not originally exposed properly. It seems if Cho had a digital camera, that he would review his images and retake dark photos. Yet, the sheer number of these photos would mean that he either took many rolls of film and narrowed it down or did actually take these with a digital camera. It's really hard to take a picture where you're in the frame without being able to preview the image.

To me I would have to guess he used a tripod. More on that below.

This photo is crooked, and therefore we can assume that someone else did not take the photo, or they would have gotten the image straighter.

This photo is taken with a wide angle lens. As you can see, the line of the cinder-block wall is distorted beyond a straight line (see area by asterisk), something wide angle lenses do.

The shadow marked with a + is characteristic of point and shoot cameras.

[photos edited to bring out wall detail]

Here we see two photos placed over one another. The angle of the tilt is the same. Therefore, these photos were likely taken with the camera in the same position. Cho set up his camera on the self timer, took a photo, changed gear, and then took another photo.

Closing: All these photos are taken from the NBC News website and the sites that covered them. I took screen captures working from their files. If I had the original files, I could tell a lot more about the photos, including, most likely, the time the photos were taken at and what model camera they were taken with. That assumes they were on a digital camera. If they were taken with a film camera, well, someone had to develop them.

Edit [random addition]:
If his camera was a digital camera and relatively new, it's likely that they videos were shot on it as well, especially being in quicktime format.

The change in brick scale on the above animation is from having to overlay screenshots from two different sources. Again, working with originals would fix that problem.

Hire Me | comments

I took this photo two years ago. My resume is currently making its rounds in the area.

Guy proposed on price is right AND... Wednesday, April 18, 2007 | comments

Pizza toss during slow day at the Red Sox Game | comments

Red Sox Fan Pizza Toss
If you're impatient, just skip ahead to 1:30

Too bad it's too late to have this kind of wedding | comments

[Via SA (NSFW)]

Call of Cthulhu and its skills Monday, April 16, 2007 | comments

My copy of Call of Cthulhu just came in the mail today. CoC is a horror pen and paper RPG based on the short story by H.P. Lovecraft. They've got rules for playing it in a modern setting, which seems the most interesting. I've only paged through the book, but one thing that stands out to me is the different skills a character can have. Sure, it has the kind of skills you'd expect (Spot, Sneak, Driving, Handgun, First Aid, Locksmith, Electronics, etc) but here a few of the select stranger ones:

Credit Rating
Library Use

"I'm going to take out a loan and buy a new car"
"Save vs. credit rating!!!"

Sewer Explosion on the Highway Sunday, April 15, 2007 | comments

Keepon the Dancing Robot, Continued | comments

click above

24/7 life broadcast: Justin.tv | comments

This guy has a 24/7 video stream (with audio) of his entire life--all filmed from a camera strapped to his hat.

The War [against Orcs] in Iraq Thursday, April 12, 2007 | comments

The guys at Fear the Boot are organizing a shipment of gaming supplies to Ziggurat Con, which is a D&D gaming convention happening in Iraq.
"When President Bush ordered troops to Iraq, he probably never imagined that he would be ultimately be responsible for what very well could be the very first D&D convention/game day ever held in a war zone. Ziggurat Con, being held June 9 from 1200 to 2100 hours at Camp Adder/Tallil Airbase, is open to all allied military personnel and civilian contractors in Iraq."

FtB is sending em a bunch of dice and sourcebooks and the other stuff they need to game. More info in next Wednesday's podcast they say. Coolness.

[via FtB]

word of the day: swag Tuesday, April 10, 2007 | comments

Here's your word of the day from me: Swag.

Swag is a word that means "free stuff". Example:
Student: I'm going to go to goodness day and get a lot of swag!

"Swag" is often combined with the word "free" to emphasize its freeness. Example:
"Check out all the free swag I got at the office; they were giving away old equipment!"

Cat takes bus | comments

Fark also brings us this story about a cat that takes the bus regularly

College Student Stabs Prof Over Grade | comments

Fark brings us a story about a guy who just should have studied instead

Cool acrobatics | comments

Belt flips are the new somersaults:

[via Around the Net]

Podcasts | comments

It's a sad day in iTunesland. I'm caught up on all my podcasts and now have to wait for all my shows to come out with new episodes. Yes, that's right, I've listened to all 46 episodes of Fear the Boot, which is 2.1 days of audio according to iTunes. I'm all caught up on knitwit (12.8 hours) too. So now what? Now what do I listen to as I walk to class? Well, for now at least, I've added American Public Media's Marketplace (pretty good: business-y stuff) and "The Story", which is pretty good too (though no "This American Life").

If anyone else knows any good podcasts, send em my way.

Now that I finished building my English 388 group project webpage (it took 6+ hrs), it's time for bed: goodnight.

Crash Different Monday, April 9, 2007 | comments

It's true: all the worst crashes I've had have been on Macs. The thing freezes up and then the fan starts blowing full power and thats it: everything's gone. At least if something in Windows crashes, it's just that program.
Also, Mac folder copying is awful: you can't drag one folder onto another without being at risk of overwriting all the files in your folder.

Your ears wanna hear this Sunday, April 8, 2007 | comments

This week's This American Life episode has stories about what its like to be a card-carrying astronaut (ones that likely will never ever go to space and know it) and from John Hodgman, who talks about all the random stuff he has to deal with being a known guy who just kinda stumbled into famousness. Currently listening to the other stories (as I type this: the guy who buys off lottery winners).

The mp3 will be a free download all this week

Noteworthly people that have played D&D | comments

1) Mike Hulsebus
2) His brother
3) The four people in his current group
4) The people in his past group
5) Vin Diesel
6) Stephen Colbert

A Robot's Gotta Dance Saturday, April 7, 2007 | comments

These guys bring the world robots that know how to dance to a beat (a.k.a. beatbots).

D&D Maps Via Google Maps/Earth | comments

Welcome to a nerdy post that'll only interest the gaming community.

There's plenty of sites out there that offer D&D campaign maps. Most of 'em suck. You totally lose the feel of the story you're telling if you hand the players something that looks like it was made in Mspaint on an EGA montior. And I mean I could draw something, but it'd obviously look like, well, I drew it. And my drawing skills lie more in the realm of funny comics than cartography. So I figured why not base a campaign and its stories on actual places?

Behold the glory that is Google Maps and Google Earth. All this stuff is just ripe for the taking. This, for example, is the overland map that my four players are currently trudging [and sailing] though.

The main benefit of Google Maps is the scalability of the maps. If everyone, for example, docks at an island, I can give an overview of what the island looks like. The players' imaginations fill in the blanks in scenery by taking what they see and turning it into setting. This particular island is on the SW corner of the main northern continent.

This island, considerably harder to see on the main map, lies south of the main island in the upper left on the overland map.

And to those that miss the "Ye Olde" feel of maps: that's what photoshop filters are for.

Duck feeling koi Thursday, April 5, 2007 | comments

[via youtube]

Glad he's not on my fantasy baseball team Wednesday, April 4, 2007 | comments

Ridiculous Beat Boxer | comments

Egg stacking | comments

I don't think I could even stack one of these

Black20's PG Version of 300 Tuesday, April 3, 2007 | comments

[via PA]

Joost is the Future Monday, April 2, 2007 | comments

Joost is free, full screen, TV shows. And thanks to the invite from Bill Couch, the future of TV watching is on my computer.

And look: you can even instant message WHILE YOU WATCH TV

Tales of Mere Existence: Procrastination | comments

/Glad I don't have stuff to get done today

List of 2007's April Fools Jokes Sunday, April 1, 2007 | comments

Wikipedia holds it down.

misdirected email | comments

I got an email just now that reads:

Robert and Michael.

I changed your problem set 2 grade to check plus.


[Sender Name]

Assistant Professor of Finance

Stephen M. Ross School of Business

University of Michigan

[address and phone info]

/gets good grades in classes he's not even taking

Facebook's April Fools Day Jokes | comments

seen on newsfeed

Someone always posts a consolodated list of jokes every April. I'll post that when I see it.

Bill Couch has the full thing of facebook jokes at his Flickr photostream.