Archive for January, 2006


Bike Trainer 2

Been fairly busy the last couple of weeks, so naturally my posting here has been fairly sparse. I did manage to finally put together my bike trainer last week, though. Unlike Ken’s experience, I didn’t run into any problems setting it up. Well, that’s not totally true, since I spent forever removing my new WTB VelociRaptor from my rear wheel, and replacing it with my old bald WTB EnduroRaptor. Once I finally finished that crappy job, it was a cinch putting together the CycleOps Magneto Trainer. I’ve only used it for a few days, but so far I’m pretty happy with its performance. It’s a little loud, though if I threw on a road tire that would probably cut down a little noise. I was a little worried at first that it wouldn’t provide enough resistance, but so far that hasn’t turned out to be true (this could be due to not having ridden in about two months).

Nautilus-Flac-Converter 02

Yesterday, I wrote a Nautilus extension (Nautilus-Flac-Converter) to convert FLAC files to Ogg Vorbis. Here’s a link to the GnomeFiles page for it. My main reason for writing the extension was so I can easily encode my FLACS that I’ve archived to DVD, without having to drop to a command line. As is, the extension doesn’t allow me to do that, since you can’t write to the FLAC directory since it’s read-only (DVD). In my next version, I’m going to add a folder chooser button, so you can encode files to another directory, which should fix that problem. It’s a pretty quick hack, so I’ll probably release a new version later this week. After that, I’m gonna look at using GStreamer to handle the encoding, since it will allow me to easily add MP3 support without needing to add any patent-encumbered code to the extension. It will also allow me to remove the quality option from the initial dialog window, since that will be handled by the GStreamer profiles (for an example, look at how Sound-Juicer handles it). The only thing the dialog would need to show would be the format you wish to encode to, and where the files should be written to. Of course, adding GStreamer support will be significantly more work since I’ve only played around with it sparingly, so it will be a while before I implement that.


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Honey, I shrunk the Constitution

Finished reading Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig this week. It deals with how Copyright law is being used to shrink the public domain. Lessig gives numerous examples of how copyright law has changed over the years to the advantage of the big media companies. For example just look at Disney, whose many animated features are based on public domain work (Snow White, Cinderella, Pinoccho, etc), but is one main parties that pushed for the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act. Pretty hypocritical. The most interesting chapters in my opinion, were chapters 13 and 14, where Lessig writes about arguing Eldred v. Ashcroft before the Supreme Court, and where he thinks he made an error in that argument. Of his three books, this would be the one I would most recommend for people to read. BTW, the title for this post is from a line in his book, which I though was pretty funny.

Speaking of Lessig, he has placed a presentation about Google Book Search (which I haven’t had a chance to view yet) on his blog, in case anyone here is interested.

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Added Google AdSense…

I’ve been playing around with Google’s AdSense this evening to see what ads they would recommend for my site based on my entries.  Should be sorta interesting to see what they throw on there.  I’ll probably continue to screw around with it for the next week or so, and then decide whether to keep it around here.

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More Books…

Finished reading a couple more books this week:

  • Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azerrad. Tells the history of some of the more prominent bands (Black Flag, Hüsker Dü, Minor Threat, Replacements, Fugazi, etc.) in the indie music scene during the 80’s. Pretty entertaining book, and a nice change from the more philosophical/legal books I’ve been reading lately.

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I’m surprised it’s even worth this much….

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My blog is worth $1,129.08.
How much is your blog worth?


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