Category: Personal

How to get your SFMTA Parking Citation dismissed

I got a San Francisco parking ticket a few weeks ago (street cleaning, $68) and decided to protest it because there were no signs visible from my parking location. The protest form is online at and worth a try. My citation was dismissed. Here is what I submitted with my protest; hopefully this helps […]

Chat for the Workplace

If you have a big company with engineers in many time zones, you need to establish some rules for realtime communication. I will not address email or phone/video calls as a solution, because email is too asynchronous (you don't stare at your email waiting for responses) and phone calls are too synchronous (calls are either […]

Mac OS X Speech Synthesis Markup

I put a Sound Blaster 16 in my first computer. It came with a CD-ROM full of goodies like Dr. Sbaitso, the talking psychologist. One app was called TextAssist and it had a special syntax that let you string together phonemes, specifying pitch, duration, even vibrato. I spent hours composing weird robot jingles. Itsy Bitsy […]

Human Birdwings Hoax

This human flight hoax has been picked up by all the tech and gizmo blogs within the past 12 hours. They have Youtube videos going back several months, working machines, blueprints, blogs, press kits... pretty impressive. The videos on the whole seem vaguely like some kind of fake European viral advertisement, but if you […]

Pandora and Flash Player, a CPU Hog? Really?

OK. I am using a Pentium 4 2.2 GHz machine, Chrome browser, and playing some Pandora tunes. When Pandora is in the foreground, Flash Plugin is using 50% CPU time. When I switch to another tab, Flash cools down to 10% CPU time. So just a tip there, hide that Pandora if you want your […]

What’s Wrong with the University of Miami IT Policy

The University of Miami campus network and IT policy has problems. It's a big part of life for college students and faculty, so this is a call to action. Here are a few frustrating things that the IT department at Miami should try to improve. 1) University e-mail forwarding is prohibited You aren't allowed to […]

A note to Digsby developers: Fix file transfers

Re: Digsby Blog - Striving for Perfection No Gtalk File Transfer = No Perfection. In order to revolutionize chat, Digsby must create a working file transfer solution for Gtalk. Trillian, Meebo, Adium. Many have attempted and many have Failed to answer the call for cross-protocol Instant File Sharing. Some more miserably than others. Whoever can […]

How to Fix: DVI or VGA cable doesn't work

When you have a DVI or VGA cable that appears to be broken or a display showing weird colors, check the pins. Check to see that there are no bent pins, and that there are no sunk pins that got pushed down into the housing. You'll need to gently pull them back up with a […]