It’s an Annoying Song (After All)

Not only is this a interesting look into one of Disney’s earliest rides, it taught me that the auditory cortex is the part of the brain where earworms get stuck.

There’s another venue where “It’s a Small World (After All)” is on continuous loop: the mind of anyone who hears it. The song is a common “earworm,” a piece of music that can easily get lodged in the auditory cortex, the part of the brain that retains audio information, identified by researchers at Dartmouth College in 2005.

(via Metafilter)


Chris Shiflett ▪ Hacking Rails (and GitHub)

Chris Shiflett writes a clear recap of the GitHub ssh key exploit. A little scary that Rails doesn’t make form field checking easy.

For those of you more familiar with PHP, imagine a feature like register_globals, but instead of injecting arbitrary form data into the global namespace, it injects arbitrary form data into the database. It might as well be called opt-in SQL injection, but even that’s being too generous, because this is much easier to exploit than an SQL injection vulnerability.

Chris Shiflett ▪ Hacking Rails (and GitHub).

Just Another Day at the Library

Kony 2012: a viral mess – Boing Boing

If by some reason you HAVEN’T yet seen the very well made and heart-wrenching campaign from Invisible Children highlighting the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, here’s some responses tempering the movement with the complexities surrounding the situation.

Is awareness good? Yes. But these problems are highly complex, not one-dimensional and, frankly, aren’t of the nature that can be solved by postering, film-making and changing your Facebook profile picture, as hard as that is to swallow. Giving your money and public support to Invisible Children so they can spend it on supporting ill-advised violent intervention and movie #12 isn’t helping. Do I have a better answer? No, I don’t, but that doesn’t mean that you should support KONY 2012 just because it’s something.

Kony 2012: a viral mess – Boing Boing.

Rocking the Hybrid


My new dual monitor arrangement of choice: one portrait for long text documents and one landscape for terminal windows and other apps.

Portal 2 at 1080p


Replacing a Power Supply Fan

I have a homebuilt PC connected to our TV running Windows Media Center as a PVR. The Antec Aria case is a nice design, small enough to fit in a media center, but still tall enough for full height expansion cards. One of the defining characteristics of the case is the custom power supply: only 300 watts, has a custom L-shape to fit in the back of the case, and has a nice big 120 mm cooling fan that helps cool the case as well as the power supply. I usually run it 24/7, as it has a low wattage processor and can be set to record TV at any time. But recently, that nice big fan started making some noises. I tried oiling it, but the noise persisted, and then it started chirping:

I decided that I would try to replace the fan. How hard could it be? I knew it was a 120 mm fan, I could just buy a new one, take out the old one, and put the new one in its place. It turned out to be a little more involved than that.

WARNING: Opening a power supply is dangerous. Even when unplugged, components inside may still hold damaging voltages that can discharge.

Getting to the power supply itself required almost a full disassembly of the case. Once I removed it from the case and opened the screw holes, I found that the existing fan had a two wire connection to the power circuitry (red & black), with a third wire looped in to a monitoring line that ran outside the case which could be attached to the motherboard (blue). These three wires were bundled together so a simple unplug-the-old, plug-in-the-new replacement wasn’t going to work. The two wire connection wouldn’t fit the plug I had for the new fan anyway, so I decided to cut and connect the three lines. My new fan had all three wires as clear so I had to line up the adapter I had to find the sequence should be blue-red-black. I also don’t have a soldering iron, so I used wire nuts and lots of electrical tape.

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It was a little tricky getting the supply back together with the extra wiring, making sure the fan could spin freely, but I got it. I put the case back together, and booted off the motherboard. The annoying chirping had been replaced with a soft whisper. Plus, now I had a little stylish red accent lighting in the back of my case:

Hopefully, I’ll be buying a new case and a new power supply before this fan goes bad.

Messi Never Dives

Play like Messi.

If PHP Were British – Added Bytes – Brighton Web Application Development

When Rasmus Lerdorf first put PHP together, he – quite sensibly, despite his heritage – chose not to write it in Greenlandic or Danish. Good job too – that would have been rather unpleasant to work with. He opted instead, being in Canada at the time, for the local tongue. No, not French – that bastard dialect of the Queen’s English commonly referred to as “US English”

(via metafilter)

If PHP Were British – Added Bytes – Brighton Web Application Development.

How Seinfeld’s Productivity Secret Fixed My Procrastination Problem

This actually might be worth a try. Set up some small daily goals and then “don’t break the chain”.

How Seinfeld’s Productivity Secret Fixed My Procrastination Problem. (via lifehacker)