Old Blog Posts
I’ve been reading the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov. I thought I had read them before, I’ve read quite a lot of his robot series after all, but I haven’t read the Foundation series as it turns out. So here I am now, finally reading them. It’s funny reading them now. The books really show their age in some ways. In the early novels everyone is smoking, and even in the later books women are more often portrayed as secondary characters with men leading the way.
But, I don’t really want to talk about the Foundation series. Really, it is the mindset that it has got me in to while I have been reading the books. Back in the late 90’s or maybe it was early 00’s I used to listen to a skit by a stand up comedian, maybe it was Denis Leary or Anthony Morgan, either way, at some point in the skit the comedian gets on to the subject or jetpacks, and how we were promised them and they still don’t exist. It is an expression of disappointment, angry disappointment, punctuated with a lot of swearing. That is how I feel some days. It isn’t just about the jetpacks either. It was about life in general. Where the fuck our jetpacks. Why are we still mired in religious intolerance, climate change denial and general selfish butt fuckery. Surely we should have all realised by now that it is our duty to leave the planet in a better state than we found it. That we all should just get the fuck along, and get on with the most amazing adventure available to human kind, the exploration of space.
Sigh. It is just plain disappointing. Sure, mid-century science fiction was naively optimistic about the future of human kind, but I’ll take that optimism any day over what seems to be our future now. And that just makes it worse. I should be reading optimistic science fiction like Asimov’s and feeling motivated to get out there and make a difference, but instead I just look around and see education budgets being cut, environmental projects being cut, and governments and corporations acting like they can’t see a future beyond the next quarterly statement.
But perhaps there is something else there. So social attitudes have moved on somewhat from when Asimov first wrote Foundation. Progress seems to move forward at a snails pace, but at least there has been progress. That realisation, the pace of change is what is the most disappointing in the end. We haven’t got jetpacks now, and based on the observed rate of change, I doubt we’ll have them in my lifetime. I really hope I’m wrong, but now, I guess it will be a pleasant surprise instead of disappointment.
So, I wanted to follow my local candidate but unfortunately they are technologically literate enough to use twitter and facebook but not the old school RSS or e-mail lists. Sign of the times right. Anyway.
Facebook pages can be viewed as an atom feed. You just need to get the page id. So for Chris’ page it is:
Twitter turned off their RSS feeds a while back so you have to use a service like rssitfor me.
Did I ever tell you I fucking hate Twitface and their stupid walled gardens? Don’t even get me started on the abomination that is Skype. What ever happened to open standards.
I have started using the Chrome start page as my launch page to get to all my usual online “Apps” but there are a few sites that I like to visit regularly that don’t have apps to launch the site. I really don’t like the layout of the most visited page in chrome so instead I made a few basic apps that are essentially just links to the page I want to visit. This way I get a pretty icon and it all just lives in my Apps page rather than having to flick between the apps and most visited page.
Feel free to use them yourself if you want.
So, I really hate hearing the phone ring. I’d rather people e-mail or SMS me, but there are certain people I really need to be able to answer straight away. Unfortunately the iPhone (3Gs) doesn’t seem to have an easy way of silencing or blocking certain numbers. So as a work around I thought I’d install a silent ringtone, assign it as my default ring tone and just add personalised ringtones to the people I need to answer quickly.
To get this to work I needed two things.
- A silent ringtone that would work on the iPhone.
- A way of getting the ringtone on to my iPhone from my Linux desktop.
Number 2 was also pretty straight forward thanks to the info found on everydayLHT. I just needed to follow the steps under the “Putting The Ringtone On Your Phone” heading. The only other things to note are:
- Make sure you name the files with a four letter name, e.g. YRTG.m4r.
- You may need to restart your phone after you have uploaded the ringtone and saved the “Ringtones.plist” file.
- My phone was missing “Ringtones.plist” and the Ringtones folder so I just made them and it worked ok.
I’m not sure about the file name length, my phone had problems but it might just be that I hadn’t restarted the phone. It is getting old and a bit temperamental.
You can combine this with the new Do Not Disturb feature on the phone to screen and silence all calls but the few that you want to come through.