Fun at the GSoC Mentors Summit

Last weekend was the GSoC Mentors Summit. As a mentor for the Pidgin, Finch and libpurple project, I attended for the first time this year. It was pretty interesting and a lot of fun, but I have to say I didn’t really feel like much of a geek there! Everyone’s either got an iPhone or a Droid, and they’ve all done awesome stuff. Can you say you’ve worked on WordPress, used by millions of websites, or Apache, serving even more websites, or RTEMS, running several space exploration instruments and other consumer products, or who knows what else?
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Nuit Blanche

I probably should have gotten around to finishing this post a while ago, but anyway… So Nuit Blanche was this weekend. I don’t think it was as fun this year as the last time. Of course, the cold was not much fun, but the other time was a bit chilly, too. I think the main problem was that we didn’t plan a route and basically went to whatever seemed close to us.
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The Old Spice Guy

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I lost my badge!

And by that, I mean I gave it back to my manager. Of course, what I really mean there is that work is over! I’d say it was an interesting experience. So writing documentation is probably not what I’d want to do for a living, but it was OK for a summer job to pass the time. It’s really a Windows shop there, which wasn’t great. On the other hand, I don’t have a problem with Office.
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Got a Bus Pirate!

Update: The ModemManager rule should really only apply to the USB device, not the TTY. I updated the rule below to be a bit more specific. Around the end of July, I ordered a Bus Pirate from Seeed Studio. It took about a week to ship, which is pretty quick, I think. I picked it up from the post office on Tuesday. After opening the package and plugging it in, I was greeted with nice blinky lights, and my computer didn’t start smoking, so that was a good sign.
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Writing Invites with Scribus

So I recently had to create a whole bunch of invites. Not a huge number like a thousand, but more than enough that I didn’t want to make each one individually. Anyway, I decided to make them in Scribus. It’s semi-professional, and has grade-A output. After the fact, I’d say that it was a pretty good choice, except for a few annoying wrinkles. The Good On the good side, Scribus is really stringent about printing issues (though that wasn’t as much of a concern this time).
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Switching from Gentoo to Fedora

Round about last week, I switched my desktop from Gentoo to Fedora. It took a few days to get everything the way I wanted. But it only took that long because I had lots of data to backup and (selectively) restore, and I only worked in the evenings. Fortunately, a “re-install” is way less painful than Windows, since all you really need to keep is your home directory. I just don’t know how Windows users live through it, especially without all their programs in a convenient package manager.
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Deconstructing Facebook spam, Part 2

This is Part 2 of my look into some Facebook spam. First post is here. Decyphering the code I was bored, so I tried to decipher the code. What is this \x69\x6E\x6E\x65… stuff? Well, that’s easy. It’s the hexadecimal representation of the ASCII code for some letters/symbols. Decoding that isn’t too difficult. Placing the JS function “alert();” around the text will pop up the text as the browser sees it (once it’s decoded the hex into the actual letters.
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Deconstructing Facebook spam

I split this into a couple posts because it’s a bit long. The Pitch So someone (let’s not point any fingers) “suggested” I might like “How to know who blocked me ?“, a random Facebook Page. Now, ignoring the bad grammar, I took a look anyway. What we have is this lovely set of instructions: OK, OK, wait… Those are the instructions? Seriously? Let’s point out a few reasons why you probably shouldn’t follow those instructions:
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About power outages, again

So in case you aren’t in Toronto, we had a little bit of a power outage. Downtown, power went out about quarter to 5, though it didn’t affect my work’s building. But then when we got back home and I was watching Jeopardy!, the power went out in our area too. And it was out for about 1.75 hours, which I think is the longest (local) blackout I’ve experienced in Canada (barring the day-long one in 2003).
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