This thing cost five bucks and just saved my butt

I have an iPod shuffle that I use for running, trains, dull waits, and creep avoidance.

I misplaced the charger a few weeks ago and missed it terribly. The solution? This thing. It plugs into your shuffle on one end, and into a USB port on the other.

I like it better than the original charger because it takes up zero room and since it was $5, I don’t feel bad about just tossing it in my bag. It’s an older USB standard, so it’s slower, fyi. Still. Five bucks. Come on.

Yahoo! Games picks up video game based on Macauly Library sounds

snapshot.pngNYC game developers Large Animal Games have created a downloadable PC video game based on bird sounds and expertise provided by the Macaulay Library at Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology.

Which is where I work.

The game is called Snapshot Adventures. It was recently was acquired by Yahoo! games, which is a great for both the Lab and for environmental education, since part of the money it earns will directly fund our ecology work.

picture-3.png You can play it for free here.

14 Weird things I’ve learned this week

  1. Queen Bees are expensive
  2. It’s damned difficult to find a cat-sitter in Ithaca
  3. Johnathan Lethem’s You Don’t Love me Yet is, so far, an absolutely perfect book
  4. Tom Phillips is an artist who did a really great book painting featuring fictional books with titles stolen from Shakespeare
  5. Roccapulco is a salsa club in San Francisco. I’m going next week with my friend Jake
  6. The Lunch Meeting is the gold standard for interviews at eBay
  7. Oldschool Metadata

  8. You can randomly teleport somewhere in Second Life and end up getting juggled by a large pink elephant
  9. Hotels in San Francisco are way cheaper than hotels in NYC. Jobs in San Francisco pay way better than jobs in NYC.
  10. All it took for me to get my finances in shape was to get some software with a decent interface
  11. The only cure for pregnancy-induced hypertension is childbirth (hi clay!)
  12. My friend Josh has taken over things digital at the NYPL
  13. Adobe CS3 will steal your soul with its compelling beauty
  14. Google Analytics has a new interface that will steal whatever bit of your soul is leftover after Adobe gets done with you
  15. Half of you people are still using Internet Explorer. I’m saddened. Please, for the love of all things holy: Use

Three things I learned from migrating a WordPress site over to GoDaddy

Erica! Where ya been?
Glad you asked.

credit.jpgI’ve been off avenging. Specifically, I’ve been avenging the less-than-impressive webhosting capacity of my former ISP-who-shall-remain-nameless. I switched to GoDaddy recently, and spent a good amount of time cleaning everything up, updating, and migrating my databases. I also spent a good amount of time berating the salesman about GoDaddy’s stupid ads which seem to assume no women could possibly be potential customers. Can you say heteronormativity? GoDaddy sure as hell can.

Three things I learned from migrating a self-hosted WordPress site over to GoDaddy:

  1. You’re going to need a static IP address if you want to get everything set up and see how the site looks before switching over your domain name. Otherwise you can’t test your WP install and that my friends is playing with fire.
  2. You’re going to want to do it quickly, otherwise you will lose people’s comments and you’ll have to keep going back and re-uploading the database. So no slackin’.
  3. If you are using OS X (why would you use anything else? silly monkey.), Apple’s native ftp application Fetch is actually really good at grabbing entire directories and recursing them without a lot of permissions/ok buttons to deal with.

So here’s the new site, just like the old site but with better traffic-handling ability and more prominent text-link ads. Yay!
*Thanks sponsors! My car payment thanks you! My cat thanks you! My landlord thanks you!

All your wireless basestations are belong to us

Locking down your in-home wireless network is like paying the cable company to take your neighbor’s money.

It’s to everyone’s advantage to fill their neighborhood with wireless access. It should be a municipal service. We benefit as a community when a resource is widely available. The tragedy of the Commons only applies when the shared commons is a limited resource.

The only people who don’t benefit from open community networks are companies who profit from the marketing-created illusion that bandwidth is rare, precious, and costly.

Do you scream at your neighbors: “get your OWN cell phone network and stop using mine!”

Do you call the cops when someone takes a shower using YOUR aquifer?

Does your radio’s signal belong to you?

Remember when it was illegal to make a free long-distance call? Were we going to run out of phonelines? Or was it because, for awhile, “long-distance calling” was the only established business model available to consumers, and eventually legislation built up to protect the market?

Once cellphones created a different profit model, did free long-distance calling stop being “wrong”?

“Ownership” of a wireless network connection is marketing, not reality.

Nobody is going to break into your computer. Nobody cares about capturing your keystrokes. There are better ways to secure your computer than hiding inside a little ComCast/TimeWarner-generated moat and trembling in fear of imaginary baddies who want to eat your bandwith.

Bandwidth is not a limited resource. You are not gonna run out of Internet.
Do you know anyone who has ever run out of Internet? No.

Get a firewall and quit whining.