Archived entries for References

iPhone Volume Too Low, with Partial Fix

I don’t remember noticing this issue in the first several months of owning an iPhone, but lately it seems that the volume is way too low. Even when I max the volume many songs and podcasts are difficult to hear well. I suspected the ear buds were at fault, but lately I’ve been thinking that it might be software. I played around a bit and found that going into Settings > iPod on the iPhone and setting Sound Check to Off (and disabling Volume Limit for good measure) makes things louder.

I’m still not thrilled with the ear buds, and am shopping for new ones, but the software fix was a big help.

Crockford on Fixing HTML

Douglas Crockford has a plan for Fixing HTML. I think it makes sense. His proposal is a static document, but comments are collected on his related blog post.

In the comments you’ll see a few issues pop up (empties, quotes, get-bys), but after further reflection I think they are without merit.

Leopard 10.5.1 Update Breaks Cisco VPN, with Fix

I updated my Mac to Leopard a few weeks ago. All good.

Yesterday I ran the update to 10.5.1. Not so good: It knocked out my Cisco VPN client. Permanently. Rebooting did not help. Reinstalling did not help. (I rely on VPN non-stop, even to retrieve my office email.)

So today I poked around for a while and after some deep searching found the fix. It’s easy, and worked for me on the first try. The solution was on Anders Brownworth’s site (thanks Anders!), and I’m reprinting an excerpt here in the hopes that it will make it easier to find for somebody else.

If you are running Cisco’s VPNClient on Mac OSX, you might be familiar with (or tormented by) “Error 51: Unable to communicate with the VPN subsystem”. The simple fix is to quit VPNClient, open a Terminal window, (Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal) and type the following:

sudo /System/Library/StartupItems/CiscoVPN/CiscoVPN restart

and give your password when it asks. This will stop and start the “VPN Subsystem”, or in other words restart the CiscoVPN.kext extension.

Our Dumb World: The Onion’s Atlas of the Planet Earth

The Onion’s newest project has just hit the stores. It’s a hardcover book titled "Our Dumb World: The Onion’s Atlas of the Planet Earth." It’s hilarious.

I’ll admit a bias because my brother worked on the book as editorial manager and as one of the writers. But Newsweek loves it too; the book is so funny that even Newsweek’s glowing review made me laugh.

"Like any regular atlas, it profiles every country in the world and includes lots of facts, or "facts." Wales, the "land of consonant sorrow," is the birthplace of the "oldest, longest, least pronounceable language in the world. When spoken, it sounds like a beautiful song, but when written, it looks like the alphabet just vomited."

"Fearless, which is to say, they don’t care who they offend, the Onion’s cartographers and geographers also boldly tackle more controversial countries. In the section devoted to Iraq, for example, you learn that "Iraq-U.S. relations became strained in 1963 when Iraq leader Saddam Hussein assassinated John F. Kennedy." The Iraq map shows such sites as "family burning effigy to stay warm," "U.S. soldiers arguing over whose turn it is to wear armor" and "father threatening to turn this car bomb right around if kids don’t be quiet." The section on Iraqi history is titled, "From the Cradle to the Grave of Civilization." Equal opportunity offenders, this atlas’s authors do not spare their own country ("Tennessee: Like ‘Hee Haw’ but a State"). And no joke is too silly or too lame to merit inclusion. Taste, obviously, was never an issue."

My brother was in town a few weeks ago for my wedding, and he had a preview copy from the printer that I was able to flip through. My favorite line so far was "Chile: Preventing Argentina from enjoying the Pacific Ocean since 1818."

Our Dumb World: Argentina (page from new Onion book)

Go order a copy for yourself. Makes a great gift, too.

Down to 22,490…22,491

Spent a bunch of time in the past few days pruning and organizing my feeds, and catching up on some blog reading. When I started, my feed inbox was at about 65,000 unread items. I’ve got it down to a much less daunting 22,491 unread items now.

I read about 400 feeds (well, the 65k unreads number tells you that I don’t *read* them all). If you’re interested in my reading list, and you don’t mind how dated, ugly, and messy it is, then by all means take a look. (Im working on improving it, and will post as update when it’s better.)

Video: Information R/evolution

Information R/evolution is a five minute video telling the story of the transformation from a world of categorized information to a world of living information the we all enrich continually. It’s from the same guy (Michael Wesch) and in the same style as "Web 2.0 … The Machine is Us/ing Us."

When his "Web 2.0," video came out I wrote that

Perhaps the so-called ’social web’ isn’t about connecting people, but about information conservation: If a person chooses to do something — no matter how small — it’s inherently interesting, precious, and valuable.

I still think that’s true, and I find more support in this new video:

Here is "Information R/evolution" by Prof. Michael Wesch:

Hap tip to the information aesthetics blog which is a great source for "data visualization & visual design."



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