links for 2010-08-07

  • Just a quick note for those with a Netflix account. On a whim, I decided to check if they had any concert videos that I could get on DVD. I was looking for live recordings of any concert that I might like. There were a lot, but for the first few pages, they were mostly classical performances and other artists that I've never heard of. I like classical and I added one or two, but my eyes lit up when I noticed the Pink Floyd stuff. Of course, I had to do a specific search on Pink Floyd to see what else they had. The Wall made it into the queue first, but there were a lot of other discs I added. One that caught my eye was not of the band, but an instructional DVD on how to play their music style on guitar.

    Interesting. Does Netflix have a lot more pages of music lessons on DVD? Yes, they do. For the more specific, they have a subcategory specifically for guitar and banjo lessons. Great!

    Something else I learned about Netflix? Their DVD queue has a limit of 500 discs. That means that as

  • Fate rarely calls upon us at a moment of our choosing.
  • This photo was taken on July 20, 2008 using a Canon PowerShot SD750.
  • I'm proud to mention here that I'm soon to begin running a game for my two daughters Reese and Olivia and one other girl named Zoë, the daughter of a close family friend. This will likely be the first actual game for all three of them and just for them. For accuracy, my daughters have each had at least one turn in a gaming session or two with my sibling in-laws. During those sessions, I would play really loose with the rules (for them). I don't think we ever actually completed their characters except for the basics. In all honesty, my goal was to game with the adults, but I appeased the kids enough to let them play along. We had fun, but they weren't the focus and the game went over their head just a bit.

    But now, I've decided that they are both old enough (aged 8-11) to play the game for real. Zoë's parents also agreed, as we all used to game a bit back in college. And now it's going to happen.

  • My sister-in-law, my daughters and I saw the movie yesterday and here is my review of The Last Airbender.

    Approximate Genre: Children's fantasy, live-action adaptation of a cartoon, adventure
    Viewing Method: Theater (in Chicago), 3D
    Written and Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
    I am a big fan of the cartoon series and watched it with my kids when it was on Nickelodeon originally. For a kid's show, it showed some emotional depth and was part of a rich fantasy world that resonated as real.
    Summary: It is a world of four nations and four elements; Water, Earth, Fire, Air. Aang is a boy who at the age of 12 learned he was the next Avatar, a spiritually important person who is imbued with the power to learn to control all four elements. Startled by this news, Aang runs away from home but gets lost in a storm and trapped in a block of ice for a hundred years. While he is gone, the Fire Nation begins a war of imperialistic conquest. Once Aang is released from the ice by his new friends Sokka

  • I like Apple. I like iTunes. That's what is going to make this hard (and yet so very easy) to write complaints about them. In yet another argument for never ever updating software ever, a setting that I depend on in iTunes buried deep in the preferences menu defaulted to factory settings. I should note that I'm not sure this happened during an update or for some other reason.

    I use iTunes for most of my music right now. I've used Winamp (yay), Windows Media Player (boo) and a few of the online services like Playlist.com. What I find most often is that none of these free tools is fully featured, but depending on what you need at that moment the right tool is available. That's a presumably common thread for free software, right? But for the longest time, Windows MP would not rip mp3s from CDs and neither would Winamp so when need this I used iTunes only. By default, the star software from Apple will rip your mp3s to a ridiculous place on your computer's hard drive.

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  • Bill Gates thinks something is going to die too.

    No, it’s not physical books like Nicholas Negroponte — instead, Gates thinks the idea of young adults having to go to universities in order to get an education is going to go away relatively soon. Well, provided they’re self-motivated learners.

    “Five years from now on the web for free you’ll be able to find the best lectures in the world,” Gates said at the Techonomy conference in Lake Tahoe, CA today. “It will be better than any single university,” he continued.

    He believes that no matter how you came about your knowledge, you should get credit for it. Whether it’s an MIT degree or if you got everything you know from lectures on the web, there needs to be a way to highlight that.

    He made sure to say that educational institutions are still vital for children, K-12. He spoke glowingly about charter schools, where kids can spend up to 80% of their time deeply engaged with learning.

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