I recently needed to convert a bunch of WMA files to MP3 on my macbook. The easiest way to do it was to open up a terminal window, change directory to the directory with the files, and then use mplayer to convert each file to a WAV, and then sox to convert the file to an MP3. The command line I used is described below:
The fact that a question like "Can my character upload his living consciousness into a distributed network-swarm of microscopic robots?" results in actual debate is enough to convince me that I'll like this game regardless of what the answer itself turns out to be.
Alecco Locco has summarized the SQLite presentation entitled A Lesson In Low-Defect Software at this URL: SQLite: A Lesson In Low-Defect Software. Now, I’m a big fan of SQLite, and this summary has pointed out a few things that I need to improve in my own development process – namely, more comments (apparently SQLite has a comment:code ratio of 2:1), and automated full coverage testing.
I have recently been setting up my MacBook (running Leopard) to send email using the local email delivery system, i.e. Postfix. This means modifying the default installation to relay email through my ISP/email service – in my case; FastMail. I use FastMail because they have a nice secure email setup with both IMAP and SMTP access encrypted using SSL, but the instructions below will also work with Google Mail. The advantage of having your Apple Mac set up like this is that it enables command line scripts and various unix programs to send email. In my case, it allows me to use Mutt and Emacs as my email client.
Matt Cutts gave an extremely interesting and dynamic talk at WordCamp about blogging and Search Engine Optimization. Not only was it extremely entertaining, but it contained lots of interesting tidbits about how to increase the PageRank of your site.
The Wire was an amazing series. Here is a summary:
Daniel Tenner has written an interesting post on how to make you application viral.
The core model for viral growth is the following: viral coefficient = (average number of users invited by each active user) x (proportion of invited users that actually join or become active) x (proportion of such users that invite others). Daniel provides a checklist of techniques designed to optimize the viral coefficient. The general techniques are as follows:
- Make inviting people a core part of the process.
- Keep pulling people back in
- Be useful even if there are no other friends using the application.
- Remove artificial invitation limits.
Here is a video showing how badly Detroit has been affected by the collapsing housing market. Towards the end of the video you can see some amazing mansions in the worst-hit areas of Detroit that you can supposedly buy at a massive discount.
The first post describes what might happen if the US collapses in the same way economically as the USSR did in the 1990’s. It then goes on to making recommendations about what to focus on – essentially food, transportation, shelter and security. I thought it was fascinating because although I have been thinking for a number of years that the economic situation was going to get bad, I didn’t envision quite a collapse of that order of magnitude. As the crisis continues however, the possibility suddenly seems to become credible.
I found the comments interesting in the Boing Boing post. It seems as though quite a number of people were actually starting to find themselves in situations reminiscent of those described in the first post – primarily from posters in the US. Scary.
A while ago, I created a Mathematica plot comparing the Great Depression, the Tech Crash and the Oil Crisis with the current financial crisis. This analysis was inspired by a chart I saw last year comparing these recessions with our current situation. Anyway, I thought it was worth bringing the chart up-to-date.
[Edit] The original chart I saw was this one.[/Edit]