John Kawakami's blog

Jennifer Lynn Aaker on Social Media (good talk)

This is a good 10 minute presentation about how to use social media. I got it from a podcast I listen to.


Takeaway points:

That 70s Computer: The People's Computer Company

The first computer book I read was "Teach Yourself Basic" by Bob Albrecht. It wasn't a really good book - at least not for a child - but there it was. Mr.

Shredding Leaves for Compost or Leaf Mold

On numerous articles it's recommended that dried leaves be shredded to compost them more rapidly. The argument made is that it increases the surface area of the leaf.

That doesn't make sense. Most of the leaf's surface is flat, and chopping leaves only increases the surface area along the edges of the cuts.

Perl Mechanize Screen Scraper Makes it Easy to Copy Data from Web Pages

This is something I wrote to learn some of the latest Perl tech to scrape pages. What's cool about this demo script is that it doesn't use regular expressions that much. Instead, it uses HTML::TreeBuilder::XPath to treat the HTML as a queryable hierarchical data structure. How cool is that?!

Gora Hotel, Hakone National Park

An excerpt from On the Edge by Bill L. Disbrow, writing about the Gora Hotel during the occupation of Japan:

Bean and Cheese Burrito KML file

This was a map I created on the now defunct Platial. It maps places where I ate a bean and cheese burrito. It's kind of pre-yelp.

The Citibank Memo Take-Down

Citi contacted Doug Henwood of LBO demanding that a memo from early 2009 be taken off his site. They cited the DMCA. Econ blogger Bradford DeLong argues that the document is part of the historical record, of how Citi perceived the government's response to the economic crisis.

Attached to this blog post is another copy of this memo. It basically says the Citi analysts thought the government was going pretty easy on banks, and that they were predicting high unemployment in 2009 and 2010, along with huge price declines in house prices. So, they knew what was happening all along.

Andrew Leonard at Salon has an enriched telling of the story.

Update April 3, 2011: Citibank has sent a takedown notice (a DMCA thing). So to avoid a lawsuit, I'm going to comply. I'll post more information about the specifics of the takedown later. Hopefully, someone else has a copy of this document to share.

What Kind of Monitor Should You Use? sRGB, Adobe RGB, the new wider Adobe RGB, or what?

I was looking for monitors and got into the whole color thing. Here's my summary of findings.

It's All Beeps: How a PBX Works with a Voicemail (VMX) System

I'm reading an Avaya (Lucent) manual about Avaya and Duvoice DV2000 integration. Being a phone novice, I don't really grasp how these technologies integrated. I assumed there was some kind of computer network between the voicemail and pbx.

That assumption was totally wrong.

Slavoj Zizek to Jacques Lacan Morph

Once again, another morph. This time from the popular Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek to the guy he studies, French philosopher Jacques Lacan. This one is almost right, but moving the hand from the cheek to the chin was impossible for me.

Thom Yorke to David Byrne Morph

I didn't mention a couple posts back about the command to combine the output of JavaMorph into a movie:

ffmpeg -f image2 -i %03d.jpg
You run that command inside the output directory.

Here's my latest morph, showing Thom Yorke of Radiohead morphing into David Byrne of Talking Heads. It would have been even better if it was Radiohead from around Kid A morphing into Talking Heads circa Remain in Light.

Bob Dylan Morph

Here's another morph, similar to the last one. I'm learning how to set the points. There are a lot of errors, still, but a few things have improved, like the fact that the background doesn't just fade away. The background almost morphs correctly. The shirt doesn't work at all. This is definitely violating someone's copyright. Going forward, I'll use only Wikimedia Commons images.

Open Source Morph and Video Editing

Here's a video (viewable on Firefox) in Ogg Theora video format. It was created with JavaMorph, a FOSS morphing program, and PiTiVi, a simple video editor. The morpher made the transition, and Pitivi was used to add the stills at either end of the video.

Living turkey morphs into a cooked turkey dinner.

Building Computers from Parts Rocks

I was just thinking about computers I've owned, and six came out of boxes, ready to run. An Atari 800, and Atari 1040 ST, a Mac Quadra 660 (I think), a Mac iBook, a Mini Mac, and a Compaq budget PC. The rest were bought used, found in the trash, built from parts, or were kits or kit-like (barebones kits that took disks). I'm not sure how many computers I've owned, total. Probably between 20 and 30.

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