Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Student Loans by the Numbers (Must See Info-Graphic!)

This is a story of student loans that is not often told (but needs to be!):

Force Snow Leopard's to reuse definition window

A useful 10.6 tweak for the dictionary.

Force Snow Leopard's to reuse definition window: "

Filed under:

The in Snow Leopard has been driving me nuts. If you use LaunchBar or Spotlight (or probably any other method of sending a word to, it opens a new window. And then another. And then another. This might be handy if the window bar was updated to show the word that you had looked up, but it doesn't, meaning that the extra windows are just clutter.

Before 10.6, reused the same window for each new definition. If you wanted to go back to a previous word, you could simply use the 'Back' button. As we've heard countless times, Snow Leopard has been about subtle refinements, but this was a step backwards to me. I was surprised that there isn't a Preference setting to reuse the same window or open a new one.

In a fit of frustration yesterday, I posted a bounty on Twitter and asked Rob Griffiths to see if he knew of an answer. Rob is the proprietor of which I consider essential reading for Mac users (I have even submitted a few tips of my own over the years). I knew if anyone could find an answer, it was Rob.

Well, it turns out they don't call him Rob 'The Hints Guru' Griffiths for nothing. Not long after my cry for help, Rob figured out how to Force Dictionary to show definitions in one window. As you might expect, it involves entering a command in while is not running:

defaults write ProhibitNewWindowForRequest -bool TRUE

VoilĂ ! Dictionary will now revert back to the 10.5 and earlier behavior of using one window for all definitions.

Rob must truly be credited for discovering this gem, because (as of this writing) Google comes up 100% empty when looking for 'ProhibitNewWindowForRequest'. When was the last time you tried to Google something and came up completely empty? That doesn't happen often anymore!

Turns out that Rob used another tip from his site to find hidden preferences (something else which has gotten more difficult in Snow Leopard). It's the circle of life... or at least, tips.

Thanks again, Rob. Now where do you want me to send your Ferrari? (You'll have to read Rob's post to get that joke. It also explains how to undo this change if you decide you want to revert to the standard 10.6 behavior.)

TUAWForce Snow Leopard's to reuse definition window originally appeared on The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) on Wed, 30 Sep 2009 10:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Apple Store Love Song

Catchy and hilarious:

Great use of the Mac start-up sound too.

Weather Widget with time, updated for Snow Leopard

Handy little hack for the weather widget.

Weather Widget with time, updated for Snow Leopard: "

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Weather Widget with Time

Back in 2005, John Gruber wrote about Hacking Apple's Weather Widget to Show the Time of the Last Update.

I was disappointed to learn that my customized Weather widget no longer worked in Snow Leopard, and for some reason John's instructions no longer worked for the Snow Leopard version of the Weather Widget.

The culprit seemed to be the JavaScript that John had modified to calculate the time. Unfortunately I don't speak JavaScript, but with a little help from Google I was able to find a workaround which will enable this tip to work again.

Continue reading Weather Widget with time, updated for Snow Leopard

TUAWWeather Widget with time, updated for Snow Leopard originally appeared on The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) on Sun, 27 Sep 2009 07:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Gagri, Abkhazia

Great post-apocolyptic backdrop. Would love to visit this place someday!

Gagri, Abkhazia: "Gagri, Abkhazia

We had some shots from this magnificent place before a few times - some of them may be here again, but anyways this place looks cool - the lost Soviet paradise where in the sub-tropical forests of what now is called Abkhazia the old Russian resort Gagri stands, mostly abandoned now.

It's pretty short time needed for the nature to recover and take over what man has created. It's been said that fifty years is enough so that most of the abandoned structures can't be spotted from the airplane. It has passed almost twenty years already.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Microsoft's Prototype Multi-Touch Tablet/Booklet

Hit the MacRumors link below to see a mind blowing conceptual video. Also Engadget has some dirt on the history beyond the Courier concept. I'm not going to lie, this video just set my expectations for Apple's Tablet very high.

Microsoft's Prototype Multi-Touch Tablet/Booklet: "Gizmodo reveals some details about a top secret Microsoft project working to introduce a new booklet device with dual 7-inch multi-touch screens. The dual 7-inch (or so) screens are multitouch, and designed for writing, flic..."

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Aye, In Honor O' International Talk Like a Pirate Day

The Pirate Peg Leg Song:

Pirate Girls Nine by They Might Be Giants:

As heard on 94.7's "Greasy Kids Stuff" Saturday morning children's show.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Angry Belgian farmers spray fields with milk

Wow, now there's a protest of desperation. Heart breaking.

In pictures: "Angry Belgian farmers spray fields with milk"

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Kitty Attack!

I've posted a few humorous animated GIF's through the years (Obama's Solutions, Ninja Squirrel, Not Once But Twice). But, this is as good as GIF humor gets:

I can't decide what is most funny about this clip.

  • The anticipation you can see in the cat before it leaps.
  • The furry mass flying through the air and bouncing off the dogs head.
  • The dogs stupified look at the cat followed by a confused glance over at the camera.
  • The cats innocent pawing at the slipper after the surprise attack.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Moral Machines

Speaking of my ethics, all three of my ethics classes for my university cluster course can be pretty well summed up in this article. This is the future of ethics ladies and gentlemen (at least thats what the philosophy at PSU has led me to believe) - morality from a scientific perspective.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

65 Year Old Mans Pinky Bit Off at Health Care demonstration

Yes, it's true. A demonstrator in favor of Obama's healthcare reform bit off a piece of an old mans pinky and ran.

The victim said he and his attacker did not have a conversation about health care unless "you want to call him screaming in my face that I'm an idiot a conversation."

This PERFECTLY demonstrates the relevance of the following:

The Public Conversations Project is a "must bookmark" for teachers, counselors, youth workers, or anyone who is generally interested in how to hold more productive dialogues on hard issues.

Public Conversations Project (I've linked to the very useful Resource section chock full of activities, guides, and articles)

I came across this one in my ethics class on Abortion/Capital Punishment/War Killing.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Electric Car (They Might Be Giants)

Extremely catchy song, but isn't that their specialty?

Off their new album Here Comes Science.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Privat Robot: Croww 540

Earth is about to become a crazy scary place:

Privat Robot: Croww 540:

"This robot concept was created by motion code: blue from Austria.
Hexapoda machine is able to move throughout any type of terrain, including sand and tundra, it can carry heavy loads, material handling equipment, drinking water and also ensure human security and even provide him with shelter. The authors attributed [...]"

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Libyan Rocket: Colonel Muammar Gaddafi designs a "safe" car

This is one of the more interesting newsworthy pieces I have read (Saab aside) in automotive news for months (article below).

Couple things going on here.

How did a government official of Libya design a car that is this capable and looks this good?

More importantly, road traffic deaths account for 2.2% (1.27 million) of the worlds deaths (with an even higher percentage occurring in middle income countries). According to the article "the leader spent so many hours of his valuable time thinking of an effective solution" to this problem. The "Libyan Rocket" car is his solution. But is there not something fundamentally wrong with this solution?

A safer car can only save so many lives when it is cars causing the deaths.

After doing some more research, these deaths car related deaths in Libya are largely attributed to the high number of old and poorly maintained cars on the road. I'm going to take a shot in the dark and say this is the case because people cannot afford to buy new cars much less maintain the ones they own. For a country that has had no railroads in operation since 1965, I think that would be a better place to start.

Maybe my views are tainted because we have such a great public transit system and are so bicycle friendly in Portland.

Libyan Rocket: Colonel Muammar Gaddafi designs a "safe" car:

Muammar Gaddafi's Libyan Rocket - Click above for high-res image gallery

It's been a big month for Libya. First, convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahi was returned to the northern African nation by the new Scottish government because he's dying of prostate cancer. Second, Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution (aka Muammar Gaddafi) designed a car. Called the Saroukh el-Jamahiriya (Libyan Rocket), Gaddafi's car seats five, has a 230-hp V6 and the nose and tail of a rocket. While different, it's not entirely terrible. Kinda like how the 2024 Honda Civic might look. Hey Muammar, quit your day job.

Launched at
a conference called the Organization of African Unity and organized by Colonel Gaddafi, the Rocket is set to be be produced in Tripoli, Libya's capital where a factory is set to be built next month. Why is Libya building a car, and why did Col. Gaddafi design it? Safety. In response to the high numbers of people killed and injured annually on Libya's roads, Gaddafi had to act. Says a spokeshole, 'The leader spent so many hours of his valuable time thinking of an effective solution. It is the safest car produced anywhere.'

How so safe? We're not entirely sure, the Libyan Rocket does come with airbags, an 'electronic defense system' (
no idea) and collapsible bumpers that supposedly help out in a crash. Somehow we don't think Volvo's losing any sleep. However, the spokeshole goes on to say, 'The invention of the safest car in the world is proof that the Libyan revolution is built on the happiness of man.' We were wondering. Hat tip to Peter

Friday, September 04, 2009

Top 4 Fall Movies. Which One Will I Watch?

The 4 following trailers are for movies I'm looking forward to this Fall. Only 1 I am planning to watch in theaters. Can you guess which one?

The Road:



Where the Wild Things Are:

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Changes in P-Town (and PSU)

Taking classes during the summer has given me the opportunity to witness some of the many unfolding changes downtown and at PSU specifically.
  • Pioneer Courthouse is nearing the conclusion of its face lift.
  • The Portland Transit Mall is starting to take shape.
  • Waterfront Park (home of Saturday Market) is operational and nearing conclusion with its neighboring spiffy new MercyCorps HQ's.
  • Green/Yellow MAX line and updated bus routes are nearly completely operational with spiffy new stops complete with travel info LCD panels and all.
  • PSU's new fitness center has been erected with it's ludicrous 2nd story swimming pool (that rant deserves a post in and of itself).
  • Lincoln Hall is undergoing a complete interior/exterior renovation.
Specifically the Clay building, where all of my summer classes have been, has some interesting renovations going on in and around the site. It makes roaming the desolate halls of summer that much more interesting with different floors randomly being in an ever changing state somewhere between demolition and construction.

I was pleasantly surprised to see the installation of touch-free "hydration station's":

Nifty "Cycle Track's" have swapped the bike lane with curbside parking.

This seems like a no brainer. It makes cycling safer and more convenient and parallel parking is significantly easier because it provides wiggle room, as opposed to bumping your tires into the curb.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Honda on Facebook = FAIL

Just because a big corporation CAN use social networking does not mean that they SHOULD.

Check out Honda's Offical Fanpage for the Accord Crosstour on Facebook for yourself.

I actually feel bad for the young tech-sauvy forward thinking guy who fought for the idea with the bigwigs at some stuffy board meeting. He must be getting THRASHED right about now.

If there was ever a reason to use this phrase, it's now: Shits hittin the fan for Honda!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Green Line is Go!

Thank you TriMet! My 15 minute walk to the PSU campus (getting off the Red Line at Pioneer Square) has now become a 4 minute train ride. Beautiful.