Get rid of “Press Esc to exit fullscreen mode” annoyance!

Hi, this is my first post with the newly arranged Alaya: Tech blog thingy.  All the previous tech and science related posts will be here.  I apologize if any are missing.  There are around 800 posts to go through and preen and I have not finished the process yet.

The other day I finally got so sick and annoyed by the “Press Esc to exit fullscreen mode” notification which blocks out the whole middle section of the screen whenever a flash video is opened in a browser, I decided to see if there was a way to disable it.  And there is!

A great way!  This really cool app made by Chronomaster on the forum at videohelp.com does the trick.  Here is a link to the forum post where it can be downloaded.

After running the app the result is no more annoying fullscreen escape notification.  It makes a huge difference.

Massive, hidden planet in our solar system?

Is there a massive, hidden planet in our solar system, bigger even than the largest known planet Jupiter?  Or perhaps a red dwarf star that is a sister to our Sun yet which until now has been undetected?

Far far beyond the orbit of Neptune lie what are called trans-neptunian objects.  Way out there is a region called the Oort Cloud where it is believed trillions of objects exist.  The only thing is, at such a far distance, the region of space is exceedingly vast, so even though there are so many objects, they are still extremely far apart.

 

People should make things now for people in 150,000 years

In 150,000 or 200,000 years what is someone going to think, coming across a nuclear waste dump?  “What the fuck is this?”  What thoughts will go through their mind, being aware that, 150,000 or 200,000 years prior, a few generations of Homo sapiens decided to leave this toxic shit around for the next hundreds of millenia?

Safety and emergency plans and preparations take into account maybe days or weeks, sometimes months, but rarely years or decades or centuries.  People invest a high degree of confidence in the catastrophic not happening.  There is an implicit assumption of a certain fundamental continuity into the future.  Things will be more-or-less the same, the thinking goes.  They might be a little different, a little worse, but in major ways it is assumed they will be the same.

Decisions have been and are being – or not being – made which have vast implications for future existence.  And with the yen for which humans now have for creating all sorts of convenient gadgets and devices, why is not even a small fraction, a teeny, itsy fraction, devoted to the people who will live in 150,000 or 200,000 years?  I think its pretty sad if the only thing left for them are dumps with signs which read “Danger” and “Stay away”.

I hope people can find a generosity not just for people of the present, but people of the distant future whose existences will be inevitably touched by those of this time.  I leave it to readers’ imaginations to consider what types of things would be potentially useful to those who live in the far, far distant future.  Even the process of beginning to think about what it would be like has benefits.

It cannot be assumed that there will be continuity.  The manufacturing of devices, of electronic items, of machines powered by fuel – none of that is given.  Given that fact, what might truly be helpful to

Eating algae to prevent malaria?

News today about exciting research where scientists have been able to get algae to create complex proteins similar to those created by the malaria parasites in the Plasmodium genus.

Excerpt:

The use of algae to produce malaria proteins that elicited antibodies against Plasmodium falciparum in laboratory mice and prevented malaria transmission was published May 16 in the online, open-access journal PLoS ONE.

It has not been tested yet on humans, but if it works it would be a vast discovery with the ability to save millions of lives.

Useful tool for runners, hikers, and bicyclists

There is a feature of Google Maps, which is not enabled by default, called Distance Measurement Tool.  First it has to be enabled as per these instructions.  Then one clicks on points on the map to create the route for calculating the distance.  Here’s a useful video showing how it works:

I don’t know how many times I wanted to do this an couldn’t.  Now I can!

Midi-chlorian therapy

I think I’ve made a couple posts here in the past about how the realm of microorganisms in the body, in particular things like intenstinal flora, are like this other, undiscovered realm which may be far more powerful that we know or think.

I think I wrote about how someone making a sloppy kiss can transmit candida to another person, and how that in effect can be like an attack.  Its like an immune war between people.  There’s this whole realm of how there are these secret immune wars going on between people at the relationship level, familial, societal, and even perhaps planetary levels.  There could be collective dynamics to these immune wars, these secret midi-chlorian wars being fought through humans as their mostly unwitting agents.

I think I speculated on how it could be possible that in fact it is the flora inside the bodies of humans which in certain ways directs their lives, or are responsible for fundamental impulses which affect or direct human existence.

With the past year it has been established that there are at least three basic “enterotypes” within humans – three biologically distinct types of floral ecosystems found within humans.  Some people therefore are more compatible based on their enterotype.

Now today there is an article about research showing how a process of gut microbiota transplantation can possibly prevent diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

In other words, just by transplanting midi-chlorians from one person to another it may be possible to prevent serious diseases.

FREE online sheet music

IMSLP Petrucci Music Library is a comprehensive online source of music scores.  I just got violin parts for a Bach cantata and a mass.  Full scores are available as well as separate parts for individual instruments.  I also saw a copy of Bach’s handwritten manuscript for a violin part to a mass.  This was a scan of a manuscript in a library in Germany.

Documents all seem to be in PDF format which is excellent since they can be imported into MobileSheets in Android and displayed on a Galaxy Tab 10.1.  It might not be the best display to stick on a music stand and read but it works!  It really works!

What this means is that classical music scores can now be easily obtained for free and viewed with an electronic viewer instead of having to need physical copies of sheet music.  You can put a tablet device on a music stand just as you would any book of music and play away (obviously make sure you don’t bump the stand and cause the tablet to fall)!

Ok, this actually does have some limitations over paper scores.  In fact I seem to not be able to make notations and markings in the scores which is a big problem.  MobileSheets appears to have some kind of support for this though so perhaps there’s just something more needed to do this.

One feature of MobileSheets which is really useful – you can set the default zoom level for an entire score.  So if a score is displaying too small you can zoom until it fits exactly in the entire screen and that setting will stay the same for all pages in the score.

 

Ultra-cool Android hack

This hack is so cool I lost sleep because of it.  Warning, do not do this hack late in the evening.

Basically I wanted to be able to watch Korean tv on my Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 yet for some reason the app I needed to watch this one channel is not available in the USA and Japan.

But then I found this app called Market Unlocker which makes Android Market (now actually called Google Play) think that you are in a different country.  You can select which country from a list.  The “pro” version of the app is only $2.07 and well worth it.  It does require that your device is rooted.  I posted on here a while ago about how to do this on a Verizon Galaxy Tab and its in fact really easy.

After changing to another country I was able to install the app for Korean tv.  Yaay.  There’s actually a PC app for the Korean tv as well and I don’t mind the $6 monthly fee to pay the actors and staff of these dramas and other shows.

With Market Unlocker it was cool to see what different apps are available for example in Switzerland, Britain, France, Korea, etc.  Really cool.

I actually found another app in the Swiss market called “TV air“.  Its basically a whole bunch of air broadcast tv stations that would be available if you lived in Switzerland.  Since I speak German this would be really cool.

But unfortunately the app is able to tell if you are not in Switzerland based on your IP address and will not let you see the channels “aus rechtlichen Grunden” (for legal reasons).  Mist (crap)!

In fact if one were really determined one could hack around it by using what is called a proxy.  But to have a decent working proxy that could mask your IP so it looked like you were in Switzerland you would have to pay for the service.  Worse than that, because usually the only people who do things like that are those trying to hide from authorities for doing something weird, it made me feel uncomfortable.

Perhaps there is some more up-front way to do it that I will discover down the road.  It would be really cool to watch Swiss tv on my Galaxy Tab.

E-mail needs to be extended

To put it succinctly, the e-mail standard needs to be extended to incorporate other aspects of personal data management.  End of story.

But I will elaborate a little bit.  But I will not get too much into the reasons why this has to happen and why this solution is the one that needs to happen (please see preceeding post.)

Right now the primary protocols for the transmission, archival, and retreival of e-mail messages are IMAP, POP3, and SMTP.  SMTP is a message routing protocol designed to make sure that mail gets from an origin to a destination.  It takes into account various things related to aspects of routing of messages, which are transparent to sender and receiver but which those who operate backend systems need to be aware of.

IMAP and POP3 are related to basically archival and retreival.  There are also backend aspects related to these functions which are transparent to sender and receiver.  IMAP is the most advanced system and essentially defines a cloud-based information storage technology.

These systems need to be augmented.  Since they already handle personal information transmission, storage, and retreival augmenting them to support even further forms of personal information is actually not that big of a deal.  Basically there are semantic differences between the data of a personal calendar and e-mail messages, or contact data.

The above mentioned protocols are actually implemented in real-life via daemons.  Nearly all of the most important daemons which actually handle these activities are Open Source projects.  Postfix, Sendmail, Exim, Courier are some of the most important ones.

Right now when a person gets an ISP account – for an average person this usually means shared hosting on a Linux or BSD server – part of what they pay for is to use the above-daemons to process their personal information.

What a great way to spend one’s money wisely – not getting exploited by some huge, government-bribing company which is trying to take over the world and erode everyone’s rights – but by a company which works to maintain a well-functioning backend to serve clients, using Open Source technology to its fullest.

What another great way to spend money, to support developers who work on developing this backend technology which spreads into educational institutions and developmental activities which encourage sharing and interchange of knowledge, mentoring, best practices, open-standards, etc.

How significantly different this is than going the way of Google, Apple, or Facebook and being essentially a slave.  Because people want “free” this or “free” that – they want “free” e-mail, “free” calendering, or “free” networking on their $600 phone which they pay $100/month for wireless service for, they are willing to sell themselves out and become slaves.

People need to start thinking right and there needs to be guidance occuring at the right levels to make sure that things get going on the right tracks, not the wrong ones as they currently are.

Personal Information Logos: Headed in the Wrong Direction

Things are seriously headed in the wrong direction in terms of Personal Information Logos.  I use the term “logos” to denote data information, retreival, archival, interchange, communication, formats, indexing, and more.  These are all common personal information activities/interactions/comportments which people now engage in as regular matters of course.

Big tech companies are bribing our government and the situation is getting grim.  We are now losing substantial ground in terms of freedom and power.  Losing.  Yes, even with all the gazillions of dollars being invested and spent, and all the resources and thousands of companies and developments and products…

Look at this simple fact:  You maintain a list of contacts.  That list is your personal information.  There is absolutely no reason whatsoever that anyone should need to nor be forced to use any proprietary system controlled by any one company or other entity in order to store and retreive their personal contacts.

Yet today doing so outside of having a Gmail or Apple account is very rare.  The scary thing is the extent to which its all being integrated into the devices.  They are being built so that one has to have these non-free, proprietary, privately-controlled accounts to manage their personal information.  This is a huge no-no and should be glaringly conspicuous.  The way these gadget manufacturers – and I mean phones, tablets, computers, everything have it fixed is that you need to use either Apple or Gmail.  Sorry to Google in this argument.  It seems that one of Google’s founders in fact is very concerned about similar things (how they reconcile with their company’s operations I seriously wonder sometimes).

Just to be able to view a calendar or contacts on my desktop, phone, and tablet device I am forced to use one of these accounts.  This is fundamentally wrong.  A new, open standard must be developed and manufacturers must be forced to support it in all their devices.  Calendaring and contact management should be as open as e-mail currently is.  People who claim that e-mail will die out are extremely misguided and probably do not even comprehend how the basic protocols which support e-mail work.

We are seriously headed on the wrong track and things need to change immediately.  It should be the case – it should be built into standard protocols – that not only are systems like e-mail capable of being operated completely independently of any one provider, but so should contact management and calendaring technology.  What this means is that every device that is manufactured should be required to support the open standard which accesses open systems which are non-proprietary.  In the past companies would not have thought of not offering compatibility, the ability to interface with some standard for the sake of personal information activities, yet this is changing drastically as they learn to corner markets and captivate audiences.  Open access has to be forced onto vendors, gadget manufacturers, everything, because of how entrenched things have become now.

Perhaps the specifications which define e-mail standards need to now be expanded to incorporate calendaring and contacts.  It needs to be integrated into the protocol and it should be possible for any server operated by any person to run standardized, free software capable of conducting essential personal information logos functions.

Right now companies are keen to provide all these glittery, whizzbang features on all these devices, yet there’s a grave problem at hand in terms of personal information.  The most basic functions that one can think of for personal technology devices – keeping a list of contact information or calendar events – are things that should clearly be openly supported and should be the foundation level at the base of all this technology.  Yet while there exist 3D whizbang graphics associated with games and entertainment, the core is essentially rotten.

Many of the features related to basic personal information are cludgy or don’t work.  Calendars are difficult to synchronize.  Sometimes synchronization does not work and data is lost – something that is completely inexcusable given the state of current technology and amount of resources invested in other things.  Clearly the priorities are upon keeping people hooked on different gadgets and types of entertainment while our basic freedoms of technology and the basic functions of personal information management laungish.

As a final comment, if anyone wants to see the effects in the real world of the same kind of narrow-minded, gold-digging mentality which is driving the tech industry today, one need go no further than along the Yuba river to see the scars left from the hydraulic mining of the gold-rush days.

Now the scars being created are not so apparent, but I fear they are even more drastic and severe.

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