Tweet What do you do if the power is out, but you need to charge your cell phone to make an emergency phone call? In this episode of DIY Hacks & How To’s, I show you how to tap the power flowing from your phone line. There is a small amount of electricity that is [...]
Archive for June, 2009
Windows only: Last year we shared TubeMaster Plus with you, an extremely handy program for downloading videos and music from streaming sites. TubeMaster++ has been released and comes with a slew of new features.
TubeMaster++ makes grabbing streaming videos and music incredibly simple. As long as TubeMaster++ is running, it will grab nearly every kind of media you watch over your internet connection thanks to its ability to scan the incoming data and not rely on the browser itself. Whether you’re watching a video in Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Opera, as soon as you start watching it, TubeMaster++ will begin capturing it.
You can save files, play them back right in TubeMaster++ and convert them. What formats can you convert into? A better question would be what formats can’t you convert into. You can convert audio formats into WAV, MP3, OGG, and AC3, among others. Video can be converted into dozens of formats and presets for mobile devices including the Creative Zen, iPod, Blackberry, PSP and PS3, various mobile phone sizes, and more universal formats like AVI and MPEG4.
TubeMaster++ does lose one feature from its predecessor, because of dependencies it has on installed software it is no longer portable. The trade off will be more than worth it for most people however as the new version is more stable, offers more features, has a built in video and music search engine, and has dropped upgrade requirement to download from adult video-sharing sites. TubeMaster++ is freeware, Windows only, and requires Java Runtime Environment and WinPcap (both of which are included in the installation if you don’t have them.)
Need to monitor Linux server performance? Try these built-in command and a few add-on tools. Most Linux distributions are equipped with tons of monitoring. These tools provide metrics which can be used to get information about system activities. You can use these tools to find the possible causes of a performance problem. The commands discussed below are some of the most basic commands when it comes to system analysis and debugging server issues such as:
- Finding out bottlenecks.
- Disk (storage) bottlenecks.
- CPU and memory bottlenecks.
- Network bottlenecks.
Seven Sexton sent us a link to this awesome 1992 video of Queen‘s Brian May talking about “The Fireplace,” his famous electric guitar that he and his dad built from scrap bits such as a mantle from a 100-year old fireplace (hence the name), a chunk of a table, a spring from a motorcycle, a piece from his mother’s knitting needle, etc. Amazingly, this is not some fragile relic he keeps in the closet, but a working guitar, one you’ve heard on many Queen songs. His family was poor and his dad built most of their home electronics, including their television and radio. Wonderful, inspiring little piece. I love the opening quote from him:
I’m still a kid. Basically, I LOVE the sound of the guitar. I love making it. I love standing there and making that noise.
Windows/Mac/Linux: Songbird is a powerful, clever music manager, but iPod/iPhone integration is its Achilles’ heel. The latest version aims to halfway heal that weakness by integrating tightly with iTunes playlists, while adding custom library management and Last.fm radio.
Full import and export functionality from Songbird to iTunes does, in a way, make it possible to manage your iPod touch or iPhone music (and other iPods you could already could sync) from Songbird—you just have to actually sync the device through iTunes and set it to grab those Songbird-managed playlists. Whether that’s an acceptable or convenient hack depends on how you regard iTunes, but it’s at least a nice gateway for those using more than one media player and Apple’s more locked-down devices.
More useful for the serious music collector is Songbird’s new folder and file management features, which definitely scores over iTunes’ one-size-will-fit-you-all option. It’s not quite boolean, but you can get specific on how your album folders and track titles are named. Last.fm radio works just like you’d think it does, and there are a good number of speed boosts and bug fixes included and explained at the Songbird blog linked below.
Songbird 1.2 is a free download for Windows, Mac, and Linux systems.
Pandaman0529 shares his steps for a very interesting guitar mod -
So what exactly are scalloped frets? Scalloping a fretboard is when you remove wood from the fretboard so that when the guitar is played, the fingers only contact the string, not the wood underneath, eliminating massive amounts of friction. It is much easier to bend strings with a scalloped guitar, and many guitarists do claim that scalloped fretboards allow you to play faster, as minimal contact with the string is needed.
I’ve never playedone of these necks, but I’m guessing it would be rather bouncy – that kind of momentum could boost one to prog-solo speeds in no time. Pretty straightforward (if a bit tedious) process with sandpaper + metal files – see the instructable for more.
(Via MAKE Magazine.)
The new app ‘Incoming!’ makes it possible to use Skype over 3G and Edge networks by turning all of your outgoing calls into incoming calls with the help of a partner desktop app.
•Turn your outgoing calls into incoming calls using the Incoming! desktop application along with the iPhone application.
•Depending on your phone plan, you can eliminate long distance charges and daytime minute fees.
•Make your own visual favorites list for fast dialing.
•Easily access contacts from your phone’s address book.
•Conference calling supports up to nine callers.
•Supports international calling.
•This app also works with an iTouch by routing the incoming call to a nearby phone.
New iPhone Application Allows You to Use Skype Over 3G and Edge Networks
Users can harness the power of Skype without the WiFi VoIP restrictions by turning every call into and incoming call.
MIAMI, FL – June 16, 2009 – Terry Demco, developer of Apple iPhone/iTouch applications, today announces the release of his newest app, Incoming! for Skype. With Incoming!, every call becomes an incoming call with the assistance of a partner application that’s downloaded onto the users main computer. By using a helper app on a computer that’s connected to the internet, it allows Skype to work on the 3G or Edge network, thus eliminating VoIP restrictions. Incoming! is now available in all iTunes stores around the world for $4.99 US. More information can be found at www.terrydemco.com.
Just the facts:
* Turn your outgoing calls into incoming calls using the Incoming! desktop application along with the iPhone application.
* Depending on your phone plan, you can eliminate long distance charges and daytime minute fees.
* Make your own visual favorites list for fast dialing.
* Easily access contacts from your phone’s address book.
* Conference calling supports up to nine callers.
* Supports international calling.
* This app also works with an iTouch by routing the incoming call to a nearby phone
* Mac OS X 10.5 or Vista
* Skype version 2.8 (Mac) or Skype version 4.0 (PC) on your main computer
* Current SkypeOut account
* Main computer must have internet connection
Your living room television is the next new platform for developers.
Boxee’s move is resulting in an explosion of content on the platform, including:
- I Can Has Cheezburger
- UK’s Open University
- The Weather Channel
- FaceBook Photos
- The White House
- BBC Live
This is just scratching the surface, but it’s clear that Boxee has captured the new media mojo.
Boxee is becoming the iPhone of Internet television.
I’d still like to see what Apple could by opening up Apple TV – but an open and open source Boxee may end up being even better.
(Via Podcasting News.)
More often than not, designers have rightfully been accused of retreating into their cocoons of ignorance as soon as their work of creating a web design is finished, leaving the dirty and more hands-on work of putting it up on the web to developers. This apathy is prevalent not only in the web-building industry, but also in software and game engineering.
The hard truth is that the buck of development should stop with designers. For optimum efficiency, designers should not only be concerned with painting the bigger picture but also building it! In this article, I’d like to share with you some reasons why designers should learn how to code.