iPotty – WTF??

General,Health and Fitness — Jeff Eske on January 11, 2013 at 2:39 pm

As if kids aren’t already exposed to too much media…

iPotty-iPad-Potty4

The iPotty: Toddler Potty That Comes With Built-In Stand For iPad – Ingenious or Ridiculous? | Inhabitots

No chance of fecal contamination of devices here.

Jeff Eske

Of Mice and Coffee

General — Jeff Eske on November 28, 2012 at 2:13 pm

I’ve found what, for me, has been a handy little tidbit of information.  I’ve found that coffee is a VERY effective mouse bait.  Yep, good ‘ol coffee.  A couple of years ago, I had a mouse break (chew) into one of my kitchen cupboards and ransack the place.  One of the main things it attacked?  My tea and instant coffee bags.  Little bugger!  Well, I fortified the cupboard and set traps in the kitchen, using peanut butter as bait.  I’ve used peanut butter for a long time, and that seemed to do the trick, but didn’t seem as effective as it should be.

The mouse problem went away and I didn’t think any more of it.  Then, last winter, we had a mouse problem at work.  What did they pillage in my desk?  My coffee and tea again!  THAT got me thinking.  The next time I had a need to catch a mouse, I set a trap with my standard peanut butter, BUT I sprinkled a little Dunkin’ Donuts Cinnamon Spice ground coffee on the peanut butter also.  Well, that made ALL the difference!

Mice seem to like coffee as much as some humans.  I’m sure the aroma probably helps draw them to their doom also.  Whatever the case, the only way I bait my mouse traps now is with BOTH peanut butter and coffee.

As long as they don’t get the coffee and then get away.  Imagine the damage that a jacked-up, caffeinated mouse could do…

Jeff

iReport – Adding jdkhome reference on a Windows machine

General — Jeff Eske on October 22, 2012 at 2:10 pm

I was running into problems while trying to install plugins in iReport.  Some of the plugins were complaining that they needed the Java JDK.

Here’s the error screen I got:

Basically, it says, “Some of the selected plugins require the JDK in order to function.  Currently, NetBeans IDE appears to be running with the JRE instead of the full JDK.  To use these plugins, start IDE with the –jdkhome command line option set to the location of a JDK installation”.

OK, that made sense; I had gone out and downloaded and installed the Java JRE only.  I went back out and downloaded and re-installed Java with the JDK.  Back I go to iReport to try downloading and installing the the iReport Plugins again.  Same thing happens.  Well, first I spent some time trying to figure out how to add the jdkhome parameter to my shortcut.  No luck.

After some searching, I found that the solution was pretty simple.   There’s already a commented spot to add the jdkhome reference in the ireport.conf file.  By simply updating that with the path to where my JDK ended up, I was able to solve the problem.

In my Windows 7 installation, the ireport.conf file is located at: C:\Program Files\Jaspersoft\iReport-x.x.x\etc\ireport.conf,  where x.x.x is the installed version number.  So in the ireport.conf file, I simply uncommented the jdkhome reference and added my path (see below).

The actual path to JDK on my machine – C:\glassfish3\jdk7\

[ireport.conf]
# default location of JDK/JRE, can be overridden by using –jdkhome <dir> switch
jdkhome=”c:/glassfish3/jdk7″
[/ireport.conf]

After that, iReport started fine and I was able to add the plugins with no problem.

I also learned, when I went to do this entry, that if you have installed plugins that require the JDK, then lose the JDK reference (by commenting it back out, in my instance) you will get a very similar error message when starting iReport.  You can see the error below:

Basically, it says, “The JDK is missing and is required to run some of the the NetBeans modules.  Please use the –jdkhome command line option to specify a JDK installation”.  It’s basically the same error as above, except that it lets you disable the plugins/modules and still start iReport.  Chances are, if you get this message something has happened to your JDK installation.

Jeff Eske

 

LinkedIn “Stalker” Wackiness

General — Jeff Eske on September 5, 2012 at 1:19 pm

For the second time in as many months I’ve gotten an invitation from someone that I don’t know.  That’s not a big deal;  they could be someone from my “network”.  For the second time now though, I’ve gone ahead and accepted their invitation.  Upon accepting the invitations, I go directly to their connections, to see if there’s anyone that I do or SHOULD know.  Both times now, the list has been wacky, at the least.

The first time, I innocently clicked on the “connections” and BAM! – up pops a list of twenty-some contacts, ALL OF WHICH WERE NAMED JEFF!  I felt like I had just stepped into some television drama and had just found a note that contained a list of the killer’s victims – and my name was on it!  It freaked me out to the point that I immediately removed the connection.

This time, today, was sort of the same situation.  I got an unsolicited connection request from an unknown person.  Just for kicks, I accepted the connection request and went to their connections list.  They had 59 connections listed – and they appeared to be pretty evenly divided between Jeffs and Jennifers.

The other interesting thing was that I could see the connections list at first, then when I switched screens, a message popped up to say that the “person” had changed their profile to not allow viewing their connections.  Obviously, they wanted to keep their “list” to themselves.

Just weird.  I assume that it’s some automated spambot scrolling through, but it’s a little disconcerting nonetheless.

Jeff

Vizify Page

General,Web Stuff — Jeff Eske on August 21, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Just signed up for an account at vizify.com.  It seems to be pretty cool.  I have an account at about.me, but don’t feel quite sure what I should do with it.  vizify on the other hand, does all of the work for you.  You sign up, connect it to a couple of your social networking account and VOILA! it stitches together a pretty cool, trendy-looking page.  It makes you feel artistic, even if you aren’t!

Jeff

“The Cloud” – A Little Black Rain One or a Wispy White One?

General,Web Stuff — Jeff Eske on August 7, 2012 at 10:09 am

Here’s a cautionary tale that’s pretty interesting.  In short, hackers wanted a Wired journalist’s 3-letter Twitter handle, just for fun.  In the process, they deleted his gmail account (and 8 years’ worth of email), remotely wiped his iPhone, his iPad, and his Mac (in the process obliterating his only copy of photos from the first year of his daughter’s life).  It was basically a Perfect Storm of failures.  Like I say, it’s interesting, but pretty scary.  Something to think about as more and more of our lives get wrapped up in “The Cloud”…

TheRegister had an article about it.
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/08/06/icloud_hack_racist_tweets_idevice_wipe/

Mat Honan’s personal account about what happened:
http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/08/apple-amazon-mat-honan-hacking/

It’s a cautionary tale that points up a concern of mine – the interconnectedness of everything digital, and the shortcomings of some providers in protecting that information.  I’m definitely sitting down and reassessing the connectedness of my digital life.  I’ve been tending towards more consolidation of things, to simplify things for me.  The problem with that, obviously, is that it also simplifies things for people that AREN’T me but want to pretend to be…

Jeff

Microsoft’s new webmail “client” – outlook.com and why I’m dropping gmail

General,Web Stuff — Jeff Eske on August 6, 2012 at 3:03 pm

I’ve had a live.com account for a few years now, but haven’t really used it.  The one thing that I do use it for is the Family Safety feature.  With 3 kids in the house, it’s a nice extra layer of internet protection.

To this point, I haven’t really used the Hotmail/Live email side of things, outside of checking the messages that Family Safety gives me.  Well, now that Microsoft announced the new Outlook.com interface, I decided to give it another try.  Now that I’m almost a week in, I’m pretty sure that I’m going to ditch gmail and stick with Hotmail/Live/Outlook.com.  gmail, and its Conversations has always annoyed me to no end.  I tend to prefer my mail to be chronological, not grouped together.  I know, you can supposedly disable that, but that STILL doesn’t solve the problem of how the gmail client on my Android phone works.  I’ve NEVER been able to get it set so that I can just see a simple listing of my GMail Inbox.  That, along with Google looking over my shoulder to see my email and watch where I surf, has pretty much turned me off to Google’s products.  I understand the idea that I have to give a little to get free stuff, but it’s still too much for me.

Anyway, last week, I went into gmail and set it to forward everything over to my live.com account, but still save a copy.  I’ll leave it that way for a while, then probably eventually set it to delete off of there.  Since they’re generous with their storage though, I may just let it pile up.

Setting up both my personal Android phone (Droid) and my work phone (iPhone) to check my live account was simple.  Hotmail/Live/Outlook.com only supports POP and ActiveSync and not IMAP.  Fortunately, with both phones, that’s not an issue.  Both of them support ActiveSync and, in fact, the iPhone has a Hotmail choice for setting up an account.  The nice thing about ActiveSync (and IMAP) compared to POP is that you can see all of your online folders.  This is great if you sort you messages into folders.

So, going forward, I’m going to start using Live.com account a lot more.  I’ll be able to stay logged into it and not worry, at this point, about Microsoft building a dossier on all my online activity.  Hopefully this will work out in the long run.

Jeff

 

App.net sounds good but…

General,Programming,Web Stuff — Jeff Eske on August 3, 2012 at 1:32 pm

imeem.com founder Dalton Caldwell’s Audacious Proposal to create a paid-for messaging service sounds fine, but I think there’s a “but” that hasn’t been brought up yet.  I’m not sure what the “but” is, but my guess is that there will be more revenue generation than just membership fees.

Dalton proposes charging his users/developers for use of the service.  On the signup/promotional page, he lists 3 tiers – Member, Developer, and Pro with corresponding prices.  He talks about supplying APIs, documentation, etc. to differing degrees, depending on Tier.  That’s all well-and-fine, but I don’t understand who covers the infrastructure costs as things ramp up.  What happens if I build the next Twitter, or Facebook, using his API(s) and it’s a huge success.  Suddenly, I, the $100/year developer am incurring thousands of dollars a day in bandwidth usage, due to all of the non-paid users accessing my Twitter-killer service.  Who eats those costs?  Or, are all of my users going to have to stump 50 bucks to access my app, to cover there usage?  Is the membership price just padded to cover that?

Don’t get me wrong.  I hate being poked, prodded, and stalked all over the internet.  I really and truly hope it works, but I’m just not sure without seeing more specifics, like an actual business plan.

Anyway, just my 2 cents.

 

Jeff

Targeted Ads Getting More Targeted

General,Web Stuff — Jeff Eske on August 1, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Is it just me, or are targeted ads getting more targeted?  For a while now, ads have been semi-relevant to my interests.  In the last couple of weeks though, it seems like they have gotten much more targeted. In fact, in some cases, they seem to almost mirror (Google) search results from my past searches…  I keep forgetting to logout of gmail, so I’m thinking that could be the problem.  Since Microsoft announced their new Outlook.com interface, I’m seriously considering switching.  I’m not really a Microsoft fan, but over the last year or so, I’ve become less of a Google fan also.

Jeff

Seiko 5 and HTML 5 Logos

General — Jeff Eske on July 27, 2012 at 1:11 pm

I have to wonder – what’s up with 5s and shields?  Was someone at W3C, or the design company they hired, struggling to come up with a logo?  They were sitting around, racking their brains, trying to come up with a logo.  Finally, someone looks down at their watch – a Seiko 5, to see how long they’ve been brainstorming and BAM!  New logo all figured out.  “We’ll just stretch the shield a little and square it up and no one will ever notice…”

Seiko 5 Logo (Evidently originated sometime in the 70s):

 

HTML 5 Logo (2000s):

 

I don’t know.  You be the judge.

Jeff

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