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decibel.places's blog

Use Drupal? Join the Drupal Association!

Drupal Association Membership Drive

(because there's $ in numbers)

Help Grow Drupal Association MembershipThe Drupal Association plays an important part in keeping the community healthy and in keeping Drupal.org up and running. However, lots of people don't know about the Association, or don't realize the extent of the work we do. With this membership campaign, we're raising awareness of the Drupal Association, raising funds for community improvement projects like Community Cultivation Grants, and giving more of the Drupal community a sense of stewardship over Drupal.org and our ecosystem.
 
We want to raise $100,000 and get 1,000 new/renewed members before December 30. We currently have 3,200 members, so this goal is pretty big. We're aiming high, but know we can make it with your help.
 

How you can help

Share this campaign far and wide. Post on social media, your blog, your office bulletin board, your chat room, via smoke signal, or the next time you meet other Drupalers for a meal.

Link:

https://assoc.drupal.org/help-grow-our-membership

 

Wiped HDDs Tell No Tales - But Stickers Do

I buy used laptops on PropertyRoom.com and donate them after installing Linux Mint. The HDDs are wiped. Often I also upgrade the DDRAM and I have to buy an AC power supply. Sometimes I have to replace a battery or DVD drive. The item description will tell you if the HDD or caddy are missing, or there other problems.

They average about $80 total, a pretty fair price for a laptop. My hobby is funded partly through a GoFundMe campaign: Donate Refurbished Laptops

Property Room advertises that they sell items confiscated by law enforcement officials, and that they also sell items being liquidated by government agencies, plus they have a few other partners, like estate jewelers. I once bought a Peavey guitar practice amplifier that arrived with a manila tag with a detective's name and the case number attached.

My latest laptop purchase came with some interesting stickers.

Below the keyboard:

This medium is classified SECRET U.S. Government Property

On the lid:

6207 Namon Wallace Dr, Ryan Grayson, JHamilton

So I did some detective work myself.

We know the laptop has something to do with 6207 Namon Wallace Drive in Cumming, GA, associated with Deputy Sheriff Stephen Roberson, and the property was sold in 2011 for $65K. Ryan Grayson, who started his own agency, International Specialized Investigations A18949, in the San Luis Potosi Area, Mexico shortly after the date on the laptop, may also be involved. JHamilton is possibly John Hamilton, Deputy Sheriff (retired) at Philadelphia county Sheriff's Office, from Dacula, Georgia who collected (?) it on 03/07/2013. Something about the laptop may have brought together law enforcement agents from Georgia, Texas, and Pennsylvania. It was held somewhere, then the HDD was wiped and it made its way to Property Room for sale last month.

Here's how I found out:

First I searched the address 6207 Namon Wallace Drive. The property is located in Cumming, GA 30028, and sold for $65K on 10/14/2011. I also found a picture of the house:

6207 Namon Wallace Drive on homesnap

A search for that address came up with the name Stephen Roberson in Cumming, GA on LocateFamily.com:

A LinkedIn search for Stephen Roberson near zipcode 30028 tells us he is a Deputy Sheriff with a background in IT:

stephen roberson on LinkedIn

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You can read more about Drupal.org user roles at
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Errors and Inconsistencies on Twitter

Social Networking sites like Twitter are fantastic - but often they #fail in their UI/UX. I collect and report problems on other networks like LinkedIn already. Here are some on Twitter. I am decibelplaces on Twitter, you are welcome to connect with me on all my social accounts, here is my Appearoo profile (formerly XeeMe) with links to them.


My Writers List on Twitter Stopped Working

One of my lists is for writers. I added about 10 people to it. Then I stopped being able to add members. I contacted Twitter, but they didn't help. I created a second list for writers, and copied the members from the original list.

When trying to add someone to the list, I click on the checkbox next to the list name and nothing happens. When trying to modify or delete the bad list, I get an Internal server error message.

cannot deleta writers list on twitter

 

lesslame nEW yEARS cassette mix tape

What's the matter? Left the party tape in the car? Oh yeah, we don't bring party tapes anymore...

Is that 10 song playlist you downloaded looking like it's going to get boring by midnight?

Don't worry, decibel.places has you covered (⌐■_■)ノ♪♬

I Stayed Up All Night to make this lesslame nEW yEARS 2015 cassette mix tape for you!

With the Stayed Up All Night App:

  • Make a retro cassette mix and play it on line
  • Choose the tape image
  • Decorate it
  • Add songs from YouTube and Soundcloud (I guess a Soundcloud mix is really Indie)
  • Share the mix as a virtual cassette tape
In the 1900s when you were serious about somebody, you made them a mix tape; You also made tapes for parties -

I reviewed some "professional" New Years Eve playlists - I discarded the lame songs, and made some new discoveries of my own. That doesn't mean I avoided the corny nor the schmaltzy - after all, it's New Years Eve.

This is actually about three 60 minute tapes - 46 songs; You could squeeze in more songs on a 90 minute or 120 minute tape, but the tape was thinner, with poorer audio quality, and damaged easily.

Click on the tape to see the song list

Real audio engineers knew that if you stopped the cassette deck between songs, you would get a pop when the recording stopped and bias current turned off in the record head; this might not make much sense to people who never used magnetic tape. If you paused the tape in record between songs, you were less likely to get a pop. And you could make really tight segues between songs...

I couldn't control the gaps between songs. And I couldn't make the tape controls more user-friendly here because the player is embedded in an <iframe> - Oh yeah, if you back up a track, it doesn't play: you have to back up two tracks, then go forward one track, it plays. You can play and bookmark my tape directly here

A cassette mix tape is different than a playlist; more care is made about the flow, and subtle clues between the songs. For example:

  • The TLC Sleigh Ride song has fake surface noise -- but the following track by Otis Redding has real surface noise from a 45 rpm record
  • Y.A.L.A. ends with the word "Karma" - and the next track is Instant Karma by John Lennon

In fact Karma is one of the themes, and so is Auld Lang Syne

I even attached the words to Auld Lang Syne, with a translation.

On the Mariah Carey version of Auld Lang Syne, she asks

♫  Does Anybody Really Know the Words?

There are a few more quotes worth sharing. I guess this mix is intended for adults only, probably. Or you can tell the kids, you get to stay up late tonight, and mommy and daddy are playing "grown up" music tonight, which is ok, because they are your elders.

♫ So This Is The New Year, I Don't Feel Any Different

♫ The DJ Plays My Song And I Feel All Right! 

♫ Christmas Is , Uh, Is A Very Emotional Time, But I Think That New Years Eve Is, Uh, Even Worse

♫ Let's Stop and Enjoy This Moment

♫ I Wish Every Night Of the Year Was New Year's Eve

♫ There's Only 1 Party In This Town

♫ You've Got To Believe In Something, Why Not Believe In Me

♫ I've Never Known A Man Could Be Heartbroken By Someone That He Never Even Knew

♫ See You Next Time That We're Talking On The Telephone

♫ I Was A Boy Scout Once, And A Brownie, Until Some Brat Got Scared

♫ All I See Are Stilettos I Guess I Never Got The Memo

♫ Why So Serious? Raise Your Glass If You're Wrong In All the Right Ways 

♫ We're Going To Ride To The Top No Lennon Or Zeppelin

(actually, there is Lennon in this mix)

♫ Crack A Bottle Of Lambri', Mix It With That Champagne, And Try New Year's Eve, The Way We Do It At A Snoop Dogg Party

♫ There's Some Freaky People In Here

♫ A Banana Pole That You're Goin Up A Yoyo

♫ I'm Running Through These Hoes Like Drano

♫ What's the Matter? Your Chicken Taste Like Pork?

♫ Every Day I'm Shufflin'

♫ Who's Shoes Are These?

♫ Well, Meanwhile, I'm Still Thinking... ♫

I included some Christmas songs, because on New Years Eve, we are still celebrating Christmas. I managed to get Joe Walsh on the tape twice. I wanted to add (Party Like It's) 1999 by Prince - but he does not allow any of his music on YouTube, if you want it you just have to buy it.

I also found out about an entirely new musical genre, at least for me:

Chipmunk Style Bollywood


hAPPY nEW yEAR 

 

Philosopher Susan Schneider: Less Than 50 Years Before Sophisticated Internet Connections Are Wired Directly Into Our Brains

"Aliens" Are Probably Robots With Sophisticated AI; Perhaps Humans Will Evolve That Way Too

Neural Implants Enhancing Human Brains Are An Intermediate Step

I have often said that "Web 3.0" will involve a direct neural connection of the brain to the Internet, without tactile devices like mouse and keyboard.

In a research paper and presentation at the NASA/Library of Congress Astrobiology SymposiumDr. Susan Schneider (Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, The University of Connecticut, and Fellow, American Council of Learned Societies) proposes that any aliens encountered by humans are likely to be super-intelligent robots. Schneider is particularly interested in BISAs: Biologically-Inspired Superintelligent Agents.

Exo-biologists say one reason human attempts to contact alien life have not produced results is that we are looking for biological life, not "robotic life."

In The Eerie Silence: Renewing Our Search for Alien Intelligence (2010) Paul Davies, chair of the SETI: Post-Detection Science and Technology Taskgroup of the International Academy of Astronautics, posits that extraterrestrial intelligence might not be interested in the physical world at all and would instead take on the form of a quantum computer.

"I think it very likely – in fact inevitable – that biological intelligence is only a transitory phenomenon, a fleeting phase in the evolution of the universe," Davies writes in The Eerie Silence. "If we ever encounter extraterrestrial intelligence, I believe it is overwhelmingly likely to be post-biological in nature."

Seth Shostak, director of NASA’s Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) program says:

“As soon as a civilization invents radio, they’re within fifty years of computers, then, probably, only another fifty to a hundred years from inventing AI. At that point, soft, squishy brains become an outdated model.”

Schneider calls this "The Short Window Observation": 

Once a society creates the technology that could put them in touch with the cosmos, they are only a few hundred years away from changing their own paradigm from biology to AI.

Schneider describes current medical neural implant projects, and the eventual general use of neural implant technology:
 
Devices such as the Google Glass promise to bring the Internet into more direct contact with our bodies, and it is probably a matter of less than fifty years before sophisticated internet connections are wired directly into our brains. Indeed, implants for Parkinson’s are already in use, and in the United States the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has started to develop neural implants that interface directly with the nervous system, regulating conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, arthritis, depression, and Crohn’s disease. DARPA’s program, called “ElectRx”, aims to replace certain medications with “closed-loop” neural implants, implants that continually assess the state of one’s health, and provide the necessary nerve stimulation to keep one’s biological systems functioning properly.
 
Eventually, implants will be developed to enhance normal brain functioning, rather than for medical purposes.
 
The implication is that mankind is poised for an evolutionary step moving human consciousness from a biological basis to machine AI.
 
 
 
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