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Robert Poole
Attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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Software engineer by trade, aspiring writer by avocation.
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Contributed to the PNG specification. Former keyholder of MITSFS.
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  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Physics, 1988 - 1992
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    Computer Science, 1992 - 1994
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Robert Poole

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More information about the Aria.


The Aria adds gesture control to your Android Wear smartwatch
http://androidcommunity.com/the-aria-adds-gesture-control-to-your-android-wear-smartwatch-20150525/

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Truth be told, there were a couple of things manufacturers – and even Android developers themselves – were willing to sacrifice just to have a microcomputer
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Robert Poole

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Kind of a cool alternative concept to spinning blades.  Not as efficient as a spinning wind turbine, but you can pack these in much more densely, and they have fewer moving parts (and thus I'd expect a longer operational life with fewer service calls).
The Vortex, a radical new way to generate wind energy, is a bladeless wind turbine that looks like a giant rolled joint shooting into the sky.
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Fewer bird-kills, too, presumably.
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Well, the problem might not exactly be with Ubuntu's Bluetooth stack.  I picked up a cheap-ass HP Bluetooth mouse ($10 at Fry's Electronics) and successfully paired it and used it; in fact, I'm using it right now.  The difference between this and the Microsoft Touch Arc?  The Arc isn't recognized as any particular type of device, whereas the HP mouse is instantly recognized as such... even before the human-readable identity was pulled back by Ubuntu's BT stack.

There might be some database that needs to be updated in Ubuntu 15.04.  Can't wait.
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I guess I can never really win.  I am dual-booting Windows 8.1 and Ubuntu 15.04 on this new Toshiba laptop, and one thing I've installed on both sides is Steam.

It wasn't easy to install the Steam package through the Ubuntu Software Center, but from the command line it was cake:

sudo apt-get install steam -y

One of the reasons I wanted Steam on the Linux side is that the Windows 8 optimized spin of Civilization V seems to be crash prone (to the point where I have to replay many turns over and over), whereas the Linux port is amazingly stable; you just don't get the touchscreen integration .

So why am I frustrated?  Because my Microsoft Touch Arc BT mouse won't work under Ubuntu 15.04.  Oh, it shows up during scan, and I can pair it... but it's not recognized as a mouse or indeed any kind of input device at all.

Something tells me the Bluetooth issues will eventually get straightened out, hopefully before 15.10 comes out.
#ubuntu   #bluetooth  
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Happy Earth Day!  Nice to see we are getting more environmentally friendly options for 3D printing.
 
The 3D printer filament space is ripe with innovation. As the number of desktop 3D printers sold annually is expected to top 400,000 this year and 1.3 million b
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I had previously overlooked a strong universal disc player produced by Cambridge Audio, and it looks like it might give the Oppo BDP-105 a run for its money.
#hifi   #audiophile  
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+Andrew Dodson yup!
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Robert Poole

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This is the kind of thing that makes me want to try out smart watches.
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So is it just me, or is the Best Buy Android app no longer able to display reward certificates that have been issued but not redeemed?  One of the points of the app is to eliminate the need to print out certificates; just pull it up on your Android or iOS device and show it to the cashier, who then scans it.

The merger of RewardZone with My Best Buy and the redesign of the Android app seem to have conspired to rob us of some functionality.  I've also read that the app no longer has features that activate when you're on the premises of a Best Buy.
#bestbuy   #androidapps  
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I found this article incredibly helpful while trying to track down patches — in my case, for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II.

Disney's acquisition of LucasArts broke a lot of links around the web, rendering Google not entirely useful.
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Probably a dumb question, but it's been a while since I messed with video playing software that could read encrypted discs.

I received an offer for an upgrade to PowerDVD 15, and since I'm setting up a new laptop, that seems enticing.  But I was hoping to keep the Windows partition lean, and the PowerDVD suite is a bit bloated.  So I'm wondering if alternatives like AnyDVD HD are good.  I know both PowerDVD and AnyDVD read Blu-ray media and ISO files alike, which is useful.  (No internal optical drive on this new laptop.)

Suggestions?  I'm sure I've overlooked something here.  As long as it's reliable and isn't infested with malware, I'm interested.  Paying for a license is expected.
#adviceneeded   #video   #bluray   #software   #windows8  
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So what is with Amazon making certain items exclusive to Prime members?  I noticed recently that there are certain items (including many that were added to my Wish List — in some cases years ago) which now can only be purchased if I get a Prime membership.

I know I can get a free 30-day trial of Prime if I want to, but that's a 1-time deal.  It seems as though they're doing this to items that have dropped substantially in price.
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+Dave Miller Well, yes, it's odd, and I've already tendered a complaint through the well-obfuscated "Contact Us" page.

This morning, I tried checking Amazon in various browsers, and cleared cookies in Safari (where I seldom access amazon.com).  Although the Prime logo still appears next to most products in my wish list, the actual product pages no longer contain a notification that the product is only available to Prime members.  (This verbiage shows up where the Add to Cart and Buy with 1-Click buttons normally show up, and the background for the div appears dark blue instead of the usual color.)  Adding products to the cart really works now, no longer being put in a "saved for later" bucket while notifying me that only Prime members can buy them (and prompting me to click a link to join Prime).

So... was it my cookies?  I am not sure, but I did check this across a couple different machines running different operating systems and multiple different browsers on each.  The behavior as of yesterday seemed consistent.

I do know that Amazon, like other online retailers, has been playing games with providing a different experience via different clients — mobile clients might get one price, while someone sitting at a desktop computer using a conventional browser might get a different price.  But this is the first time I ever saw Amazon explicitly state anywhere on their site that a specific product is currently only available to Prime customers.

Right now, I'm wondering if my complaint caused them to turn this off for me.  Actually, I'm also wondering if I'll start seeing this again.
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While taking a peek at Cambridge Audio's Azur series of receivers (which pair nicely with the Azur universal disc player I've been checking out), I found this article which summarizes one of the big problems in hi-fi these days: featuritis.  (Or as some of us would say, Feeping Creaturism.)

Too many of the brands I look at try too hard to cram too many features into their receivers, such as Internet audio streaming or a million different DSP modes to simulate various audio environments — badly.  Even premium Japanese brands succumb to this, because few purchasers buy on sound quality, instead comparing lists of features.

I also, incidentally, discovered that the Azur 551R is now about $600 from various sellers; the 551R V2 is the newer model, and has some extra HDMI ports I probably wouldn't need.  (The older 551R actually has more HDMI ports than my Denon receiver.)

I'm surprised CA didn't include a phono stage in this receiver, but you can always buy an external phono preamp.  I'm also surprised this receiver has a fan-based cooling solution which is thermostatically controlled, but reviewers haven't made much of it.  What I do like is that it has a pure direct analog mode which bypasses all of the digital electronics, so there's no digitizing and massaging with DSP logic.
#hifi   #audiophile   #quality  
Cambridge Audio has the chutzpah to make a high-end AV receiver that's light on features, and put the money into the sound.
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