Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Listening to Capital FM in Quicktime

August 26, 2010
95.8 Capital FM

Image via Wikipedia

I have recently started listening to Capital FM, as opposed to Spotify. I used their web radio interface here. However, I didn’t like it.

I set about looking for a way to play the station in iTunes. First, I checked the list of built-in radio stations. Damn, it’s not there. Some digging around in the source of the official player revealed that it’s a Windows Media stream – played by WMP in Windows, and Silverlight on OSX. On Linux – what, you really expected it to work in Linux?

Some quick Googling finds the Windows Media® Components for Quicktime. Download and install those, and you’ll be able to play Save the page somewhere using your web browser, and you can just double-click it to play. If anyone’s aware of a favourites feature in Quicktime, or a way of listening to that stream in iTunes, please comment.



The Economics of Lockerz

July 4, 2010

Like many others, I am excited about Lockerz, and I am sure you are too. For those that don’t know, Lockerz is a site where you earn PTZ (points) by answering questions and surveys, watching videos, and even just logging in. PTZ can be redeemed for great prizes. It took me almost no time to amass enough for an iPod Touch 8GB.

The PTZ Place with everything out of stock

The PTZ Place with everything out of stock

However, here’s the catch: everything appears to be out-of-stock. Lockerz restock once a month, and everything goes almost immediately. Recently, they have started calling these restocks “Redemptions”, as they are the only chance you will have to redeem PTZ, and they are pretty short lived. insists Lockerz is a scam. Often cited as a reason is the lack of a “24/7 PTZ Place”, where you can redeem PTZ 24/7. Zgore thinks that this is a necessary feature of Lockerz. However, I think it will never happen, and here’s why:

For this business model to work, the prices of prizes in PTZ must be proportionate to their real price. For example, an iPod Touch 8GB costs 400 PTZ at the moment. However, Apple are selling it for $199. If Lockerz were to allow anyone to buy an iPod Touch 8GB at any time, they would obviously need to make $199 for every 400 PTZ, and still turn a profit. It is very unlikely that they do.

Instead, consider this business model, which I believe is what Lockerz are currently doing: Lockerz let everyone earn PTZ by filling out surveys and watching videos with advertising. They earn money from this. When they amass enough money for a redemption (say, for 1000 people to get a prize), they order the prizes for the redemption, and distribute them (this happens roughly once monthly). Not everyone who has enough PTZ for a prize will get their prize, but many will, and Lockerz make a nice sum of money.

The sustainability of this business model is arguable, but in my opinion, it scales well. If more people become interested in Lockerz, and start earning PTZ, generating revenue for Lockerz, Lockerz will have more money to order prizes for the redemption, and they can order more of them. However, there will still only be a small percentage of people getting their prize.

In conclusion, I disagree with Zgore in that Lockerz is a scam. While it may not be as easy to earn a prize as it is made out to be, it is still quite possible, and the idea is excellent. If you would like a Lockerz invitation, please leave a comment below.

Off-topic: this is my first blog post in a while. I’ll be posting more soon.

SQL Injection license plate

March 26, 2010

Thanks to Gizmodo for this one! It reminds me of the xkcd comic Exploits of a Mom:

Some cool Google Wave extensions

March 25, 2010

Mashable have written about three cool Google Wave extensions. The first one will be quite useful *cough*rickroll*cough* =p

Free iPods, iPhones, and iPads

March 24, 2010

Today I found a too-good-to-be-true-but-still-true website: iPodMeister. They allow you to exchange old CDs for iP(?:od|hone|ad)s!

They are a legit site, and were mentioned in the NY times.


March 23, 2010

Today, I found Google’s “Sputnik” JavaScript conformance test.

We have always had ACID3 to test HTML/CSS/SVG conformance, and while it uses JavaScript, it doesn’t test it.

SunSpider tests JavaScript speed, but doesn’t care about conformance.

Today I found Sputnik by Google, which measures JavaScript conformance. Interestingly, Chrome is no longer the top on this test.


March 22, 2010

On Friday, I wrote about the 74HC595 shift register.

I have since killed the register by connecting data to VIN (12V 500mA). While it was connected, the green LEDs (which expect 20mA) lit up orange! They still work, though.

Cancelling print jobs the easy way

March 21, 2010

Today, I ran once again into the really frustrating problem of deleting print jobs in Windows: they don’t delete, no matter how much you click the button. However, thanks to the Microsoft Knowledge Base, I know have the answer:

1) Open a command prompt. On Windows XP, Start->Run, and type in cmd. On Vista and above, click Start, type cmd, and press Ctrl+Shift+Enter (start as Administrator)

2) Type the following:

net stop spooler
del %systemroot%\system32\spool\printers\*.shd
del %systemroot%\system32\spool\printers\*.spl
net start spooler

3) Close and reopen print queue windows. Voilà! You’re done!

Some videos

March 20, 2010

Found two awesome videos today:

Invade New Zealand, a hilarious minute-or-so long clip encouraging people, as the name suggests, to invade New Zealand. Last frame is great!

Techno Jeep, a music video of the sounds you can make with a Jeep.

Arduino blink sketch + shift register

March 19, 2010

I have a dead Arduino. It works, but I fried the FTDI chip, so I can’t upload new sketches. When I fried it, it had blink on it <.<.

I have discovered something cool, though. If you wire up a 74HC595 shift register the usual way, and connect data to pin 13, you get a cool ‘chase effect’. Experiment with other pins to see what cool stuff you can do.