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Asylum Street Spankers to be at this year’s Ribfest Festival

Winston-Salem’s annual Ribfest Festival goes from June 14-16. I don’t usually promote W-S events, but this year’s is pretty special. Mainly because if you’ve been paying attention to the Internet, then you would have seen some Youtube videos of this group, the Asylum Street Spankers. And if you want to catch them, they’ll be playing on the 14th.
They’re REALLY funny, but you’ll have to put aside some inhibitions and they are super liberal and also super political about their music. There is a lot of language not suitable for children in their music. That aside, some of the stuff that I’ve seen is very funny. Think Saturday Night Live meets bluegrass.

NOTE: Siding on the side of caution, if you’re easily offended, then do not read past this line. Language is probably not suited for workplace either.

Asylum Street Spankers videos after the jump.

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MacOSX dashboard widget: istat nano

istat nano is a system monitor widget for the MacOSX dashboard. It’s free like most widgets, and is beautifully done with smooth transitions between each of the screens. It basically monitors your CPU, memory, temperatures, processes, and anything else you can think of. It even has the ability to look at 8 cores and has a very small physical footprint (1.3Mb).

MacOSX Dashboard widget: Delivery Status

Delivery Status is this really sweet dashboard widget for MacOSX that tracks your packages. No longer do you have to go to the delivery service, or site to find out if your package is “on the way”. Now, this widget will help you keep track of all of your packages. Just open a new instance of the widget for each package. It supports Growl notification so you can know exactly when statuses of your packages update.
CoolOSXApps < DeliveryStatus

Eight year old rocks your world at Guitar Hero 2

You rock, little Ben! You’ll see why we call him that if you pay attention to the video and see his name at the end on the score list. He’s rocking on expert mode again to My Chemical Romance‘s song, Dead! on the Xbox 360.

Jealous? Definitely. We can’t even handle expert mode on the first GH without freaking out. That’s some |\/|4|) 5|<1lz. And if you haven't seen him in the predecessor game, check it out. That kid rocks. And definitely nice choice of music. We still can’t believe he only misses… 3 notes. You rock, lil dude.
Via Joystiq

Why bad electrosensitivity stories makes me laugh

Disclaimer: since I work in the cellular industry, and have worked as an RF engineer for a number of years… Below is my personal opinion on the whole subject matter of EMR and ES.
I have to laugh some at this article in the Daily Mail in the United Kingdom. It’s not that electrosensitivity is bogus. In actuality, electromagnetic wave radiation is very real and extreme exposure cannot be good for you in my personal opinion. There is even some studies that show that low-level magnetic fields over long time periods can cause DNA damage.
But when people claim WiFi as a source, I just have to smirk. The reason being that if you take an EMF meter to any of the electrical devices, your WiFi should be the least of your concerns (one of my older alarm clocks produce a ghastly amount of EMF). In fact, the article had the sensitive lady claiming that cellular “picture” phones sent messaging to the base station every nine minutes. This is where I almost burst out laughing. SS7 messaging along with paging messages for mobile phones are pretty much always on. It’s how base stations can determine where a phone is to make a connection. If it was messaging every nine minutes, then on a maximum time limit scale, that’s eight whole minutes that you could not receive a call since the base stations had no clue where your mobile was physically. Also, mobile phones have way more radiation since radiation is pretty much due to shielding and power levels. If you’re sending a signal to a base station that is about a mile or so away, it’s definitely going to be more than something that can barely hit 150 feet line-of-sight.
What’s even more interesting is that the older your devices and appliances are, the worse the radiation, especially in FCC’s Part 15. So even though the lady in the article is shielding through wallpaper and special film on the windows, the range of most radiation dissipates pretty quickly with distance. So the amount of exposure is still sourced within the house itself.
Like I said before. It’s not that electrosensitivity isn’t an issue, nor if magnetic fields are bad for you. The point is that she’s not blocking the one thing that she would be around the most and is still irradiating her. If she has a microwave, watch out.
Unfortunately, there is not much out there to link ES to EMR (electromagnetic radiation) medically. But just because there’s no clinical proof, doesn’t mean there isn’t a link. On the other hand, there’s also no need to take to the extremes that this lady has especially when some of the facts are a bit off. Reducing exposure will always give most people the best of both worlds (health and luxury). If you use a cellular phone a lot, then get a bluetooth headset. If you use the microwave a lot, step away from it after you punch in the buttons. There’s plenty of other things traveling through the air (such as VHF waves? FM? AM? ) that also travel through our bodies.
In the end, maybe the lady in the article has a point, even though there are some incorrect facts. But even so, most of civilized society needs to realize that if you start banning WiFi, then you better be ready to give up your mobile phone. If you are not, then don’t be making ridiculous demands that don’t follow logic.


Ever wonder how TinyURL performs their service? phurl is an open source way of setting up via an AMP (apache, mysql, php) setup. If you don’t know what it does, it basically is a URL shortening service that allows a url to be redirected to the website without having a very long URL.
Unfortunately, setting up such a service might lead to some undesirable consequences such as spammers using the service to redirect spam. So there are some things that would have to be done to make this useful. But it at least teaches you the ins and outs of the concept of how tinyurl works.

Final Fantasy Tactics: Shishi Sensou

If you’re a fan of the Final Fantasy series, the Tactics remake has hit the Sony PSP. It looks like it’s only released in the Japan [affiliate] and Asia [affiliate] regions currently for around $50 USD (less if you buy the Asia region encode). It’s release date is May 8, 2007 and May 10, 2007 for the respective Asia and Japan encodes.
What’s interesting about this game from past GBA experience is that it’s different on the basis of fighting. It’s more like a chess board in a 3D configuration and each of your group has special abillities depending on their job skillset. This can be changed, and weapons, armor, and accessories can effect the different types of skills available. A longer playing game due to the slower battle sequences (turn-based), but all-in-all a great addition to your PSP… if you can manage the whole import language barrier. Otherwise, you’ll just have to wait for the US rendition.

Movie Review: Curse of the Golden Flower

Another asian movie. What can I say, Netflix.com [affiliate] is the only movie place that there is the widest selection of asian movies that I’ve ever had a chance to rent from without waiting forever.
I must say that while I personally love director Zhang Yimou’s films, such as Hero and House of Flying Daggers, this film definitely brings out some of why Chinese critics do not like about this director. It’s not that the movie wasn’t great, but there was too much Japanese influence and given the past between the two countries, I can understand why there is some annoyance just like with his past movies.

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MacOSX Dashboard widget: Temperature Monitor Widget Edition

Temperature Monitor Widget Edition is basically the little brother of Temperature Monitor. It allows you to check the temperature monitors straight from your dashboard on MacOSX.

Temperature Monitor

Temperature Monitor is a freeware utility that monitors the multiple temperature sensors in your Mac. It can save the values, export them, put them in pretty graphs, or even compare with historical data. This makes it very useful to figure out what’s heating up the system or if everything is going okay in the system.