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Alexander Krumbach
I'm a hands-on builder, so "Eccentric Engineer" is more accurate than a "Mad Scientist".
I'm a hands-on builder, so "Eccentric Engineer" is more accurate than a "Mad Scientist".

Alexander's posts

I suppose it is very revealing about my personality that I consider it a benefit that every time I install Linux to a new environment, something funny happens which knocks me out of my comfort zone.

In this case, installing Gentoo onto a new laptop, I fat-fingered the device ID when writing /etc/fstab and ended up with a read-only root partition. Well, no problem, I'll just go in and update ... oh, right, read-only partition. It only took me about two minutes reading 'man mount' to get things sorted, but it meant reading through a section of that page I'd always glossed over before.

Now, if that's the only thing which goes sideways during the entire spin-up process, I'll be mighty impressed. (Mainly because I wasn't able to get sound in the LiveCD environment, so I expect that will be the next friction point....)

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Headline says it all: very surreal to watch this video with the events unfolding around us today.

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Of all the news stories surrounding this Presidential election cycle, this is perhaps the most heartbreaking to me: the question asked in the Commission on Presidential Debates' selected polls suppresses the statistical support for third-party candidates. While having a third-party candidate on stage is only the second-place "most wanted shake-up which could occur at the Presidential Debates", I'm not holding out much hope that it will occur at this point.

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Most of Remy's songs tend to be more "miss" than "hit" in my opinion, both in general topic as well as within the single song... but I feel like he nailed this one 100%. Not only is this the rare one-in-a-thousand instance where I agree perfectly with somebody's message, he hits a perfect musical balance between threnody and protest song to match!

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The Libertarian party established the first official presidential candidate last weekend; here's an interview with the head of their national committee on their strategy looking forward.

[Something of an aside: I don't always like the 'punch quote' Reason TV chooses to put at the front of their videos, but in this case I think it works really well. If you're interested in political machinations you want to see the full context, and if you aren't it is a reasonably-accurate 10 second summary.]

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First, there was news that Facebook might be censoring conservative content:

The official response was that "We take these reports extremely seriously, and have found no evidence that the anonymous allegations are true."

However, the facts on display this week definitely do not support that view.

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Reading this article, I am reminded what I mentally file as the "dignity of dirty knuckles": that even if one ends up being a gardener, plumber, or mechanic -- the sort of "menial" jobs scoffed at by school guidance counselors -- that a job well done can still be rewarding. Society needs its' janitors and secretaries for efficient functioning; demanding that people "promote up" out of these roles implies that they carry no value and dignity of themselves.

Children and young adults should indeed strive toward being the President of the US, or CEO of their own business -- but society is not structured to permit everyone to succeed in those dreams. I sometimes fear that the "self esteem" movement has increased dissatisfaction among young adults -- by insisting that "there are no losers" to the point of not scoring participants, are we setting up children to believe their adult careers will be similarly non-competitive? Are we priming them to think there is "something wrong with me" when they end up being the laborer and never the boss -- much less when they prefer such a role?

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I had ordered an Ergodox Infinity keyboard back in March of this year as a summer project. Well, it arrived mid-October and I just assembled it this past weekend.

I haven't yet done a full test (since not every key produces a printable character, and I was feeling pretty tired by the time I cleaned things up last night) but it seems to be working just fine so far.
Ergodox Project Kit Assembly
7 Photos - View album

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Good lord it's frightening how well this article captures the sort of thing I've said about video games for the past decade: AAA titles' focus on graphics and technology is actively harming creating real, fun experiences.

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So, it looks like after the success of Skylanders (meh), Disney Infinity (Oooh, I can create my own levels? Hrmm...) and Nintendo's Amiibo (I'll only buy a few, I swear!) it looks like the Lego company has decided to join the mixed digital & physical toys contest.

Please don't. Please... my budget just can't withstand firepower of this magnitude!
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