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Justen Robertson
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Justen Robertson

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Finally got around to updating my website. Tossed the PHP stuff out and got it all running in Node/Express (pretty embarrassing, I don't even take PHP jobs from new clients, but my site was running on it D:).

http://justen.us

I haven't really put any content in yet, but the basics are put together. A lot of the work was a long-overdue overhaul of my AWS instance. Switched to a t2.nano, which seems to be doing a great job and will probably save me a few bucks a month.

Also, if you're on a WebGL-capable machine, there'll be something special there snipped out of one of my side projects.

Oh last but least, I tried to setup letsencrypt. Not having a lot of luck getting it to download a certificate yet using letsencrypt-express. Fuuuuuu.
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Pushed out an update today. There's a bunch of changes under the hood, but I also increased the movement speed to be somewhat more satisfying and set the light's default position to the same position as the camera.

Justen Robertson

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I made Quora's top writers for 2016 list earlier this year. They're sending me a cool Patagonia messenger bag and I got a permanent badge on my profile. This, I think, is awesome. I've never got a gift, let alone a useful one, for making social media posts before.

Oh also, I hit a quarter-million views on my answers this week.

I am not 100% sure this is a thing to be proud of, but I'll brag about it anyway xD
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The saddest thing about this is that a retired science teacher and her husband made the claims that sunk the solar farm.
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The wife was the "science" teacher, but she had some nearly equally stupid things to say. :( So glad the education of children is in the hands of people like this D:

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Best CD Ripper Ever!

One of the things I wanted to get done before I moved was to rip all my remaining CDs in an archival quality, single-file, lossless format, so I could toss all the physical copies. This is part of a larger project to reduce the amount of physical clutter in my life (I'm also getting rid of most of my books and movies, except those that can't be found in or imported to a digital format).

I did a lot of searching to find software that would make as close to a perfect copy as possible, and record it as single file FLAC+embedded cue with correct metadata. Initially I had very little luck - it was going to be a big job with a lot of manual effort.

Then I found Abcde, which turned out to be the perfect solution! It does everything in one place with very little input on my part (beyond figuring out its config file, which is a bit of a monster).

It uses cdparanoia to extract the initial data, which turns out to do an amazing job compensating for hardware issues and successfully reading from some of my old, damaged discs. No pops, no jitter, in fact no audio artifacts at all, even from CDs that no longer play correctly. Because it uses raw data rather than the analog audio feed there are no issues introduced by my cheap onboard sound either.

It also manages to get  metadata, album art, and ToC/cue information correct every time, pulling it from cddb, musicbrainz, and various other sources. The only album out of 40 so far that it couldn't find was from an incredibly obscure indie band that (let me just get my hipster glasses on) you've definitely never heard of, which was literally produced in someone's garage on a desktop CD burner. So yeah. It did a great job.

Last but not least, it runs off the Linux command line (this is a feature, not a bug - no ugly, cluttered UIs).

You'll not find an extractor for any OS that does a better job, and this may be the only one that successfully ties together best-in-class tools for every step of the extraction process. It does exactly what needs to be done, does it exactly right, and doesn't do anything else.

If you care about getting a perfect rip, I can't recommend it enough! Configuration is a bear, but once you've got it set up right, you just invoke "abcde -1", answer a couple questions, and let it do its thing.

http://abcde.einval.com/wiki/
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So, yet another year where all the Halloween candy scare stories turned out to be hoaxes. That keeps the grand total of real cases of people trying to hurt children with Halloween candy at... zero.
 
The idiots who lied about their Halloween candy having needles.
The "pot-laced" candy that a man from Ohio complained about was tested by police and had no traces of drugs. The razor blade in a Hershey bar had been placed there by the kid who found it. The need...
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Justen Robertson

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I don't always repost images, but when I do they're nerdy AF.
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In what capacitor would you have me serve the resistance?  heh
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Justen Robertson

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I wrote a script for Arch Linux that requests a forwarded port from Private Internet Access.

The problem was twofold: first, the script they supplied doesn't work. It tries to use ipconfig, which is no longer a standard package in Arch. Second, it requires you to put in their cumbersome username and password each time you invoke it, which is a pain in the ass.

The alternative, pia-tools, seems to be broken - at least in Arch - and incompatible with Arch's private-internet-access package.

So this new script uses ip instead of ifconfig to get your IP address, solving problem #1, and reads your u & p from the config file created by private-internet-access, saving you problem #2.

As a bonus it parses the port number out of the json response, making the result easily pipeable to whatever (transmission's cli, for example).

Source/script: http://github.com/nphyx/piaport
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If anyone wants to add this to AUR feel free. I don't know how to set up pkgbuilds yet. I also haven't added help text/man page, since you don't really have to do anything besides invoke the command.

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I am in a coma, and I'm dreaming that I live in one of those dystopian cyberpunk roleplaying games we used to play when we were kids.

Is anybody else reading about advances in bionics, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, wearable computing, brain-computer interfaces, genetic engineering, and all this stuff about the TPP's secret corporate tribunals and other crazy things going on in the transnational corporate world, and thinking this?

I have to say I expected more mohawks. And possibly a troll or two.
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My son uses up to 7gb per day just watching youtube and netflix, which adds up to around 210gb per month, a quarter of my 1tb soft cap. Based on this, I have to conclude that Comcast is on crack if they think 300gb is sufficient for a typical high-tech household.

Comcast: clearly a company run by crackheads. Is the DEA looking into this?
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+Justen Robertson my community has such a captive audience.  We are stuck with Comcast or the ridiculously slow offering of our local telephone company.

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I don't know if I would go as far as to say she "invented software itself" - typical Wired, managing to sensationalize an already sensational story. Worth a read, but lacked the depth I was hoping for.
 
Fascinating story.
Instead of just supporting her husband’s career, Margaret Hamilton invented the modern concept of software.
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Justen Robertson

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Sharing this because Bloomberg did some cool stuff with scrolling interaction here.

I don't really want to get drawn into and/or host yet another climate change debate so I'm disabling comments.
 
What's really warming the world?

A look at the key factors, or possibilities. Climate change deniers won't be looking at this, but that's OK. Here in Canada we've just come from a government that denied climate change and that ignored carbon emissions targets to a new government that actually has a cabinet minister responsible for "Environment and Climate Change".

"Canadians expect their government to be responsible around climate change and addressing the impacts to the environment that we are facing," said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at his swearing in ceremony.
http://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2015-whats-warming-the-world/
Climate deniers blame natural factors; NASA data proves otherwise
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Justen Robertson

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Article is interesting but contained a false premise that calls the whole thing into question:

"In the same way that startups have put a premium on cutting out human interaction for those who can afford it, adlessness can be a luxury for those who choose to buy ad blockers so their webpages load faster."

Say what? Where are these for-profit ad blockers? Is this an iOS thing? I run them on almost every piece of hardware I own and none have demanded any money from me O.o Even untangle, which I found obnoxiously commercialized, had free packages for blocking ads network-wide.

If you're googling "how to pay my rent" on an iPhone, try selling the damn iPhone, paying your rent, and buying a nice $50 Moto E on sale at Walmart. You can put a free adblocker on it. No more predatory lending ads. Problem solved? o.O

The linked article (not preserved in the quote) regarding "cutting human interaction" is also a bit revealing. It's a bit of a hit piece against a startup that rents Audis, but the author mentions being a Hertz Gold member. I hate to break it to you, but if you rent cars so much that you have a car rental club card, you are not poor and being unable to afford a little extra for an Audi is not the same category of problem as struggling to pay rent. People who struggle to pay rent do not have the luxury of bitching about how much DFW's layout always inconveniences them on their regular visits to that airport. ROFL.

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/11/google-searches-privacy-danger/413614/
On the Internet, search queries are used to target vulnerable consumers.
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