Archive - Apr 2011

April 5th

Personality Types and Blogging Styles

Recently, I just stumbled across an interesting website, Typealyzer. It analyzes the text of a blog and predicts the personality type of the author. According to the site, Orient Lodge is written by someone INTP. I’ve taken various personality tests, and I normally lean towards the introverted side of things, although it isn’t a strong tendency and sometimes I even show up as extroverted.

Likewise, I tend tot sometimes show up as perceiving and other times show up as judging. In fact, on the Human Metrics MBTI style test, I showed up as INTJ.

On the other hand, the My Personality Test on Facebook, said I was ENFP a couple years ago. Unfortunately, the test didn’t work properly the other day when I tried it, so I’m not sure if things have just changed that much, or if there is something different about the test.

With that, my most strongest trait tends to be intuition instead of sensing. With that, I put the blog I write at work through the Typealyzer and came back with a personality of ISTJ.

Do I have a different personality at work than I do at home? Do I present myself that differently in my personal writing and my work writing? What about you? If you’re a blogger, what does Typealyzer say about your writing?

April 4th

An Open Letter to DCF Commissioner Joette Katz

Commissioner Katz,

It has come to my attention that a group of adults are engaging in what appears to be a concerted and coordinated effort to compel a minor into an abusive and potentially dangerous environment and that they have attempted to draw the Department of Children and Families (DCF) into this effort.

Specifically, Michael J. Frechette, Charles Marqua, Diane M Niles, Theodore V. Raczka, Christine Chinni, and others are attempting to compel Monique McClain to return to Woodrow Wilson Middle School.

As an independent investigative reporter and blogger, I have reviewed police records and other information that documents a pattern of abuse and potential danger to Ms. McClain at the Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Middletown, CT. The evidence I have seen leads me to believe this has not been adequately addressed and any effort to compel Ms. McClain to return to Woodrow Wilson Middle School may in fact constitute endangering a minor.

The efforts to compel Ms. McClain to return to this environment is also well documented. Newspaper articles and other information indicate that the school has failed indicate that Ms. McClain’s absences have a good excuse, and instead, they have reported her to DCF as a habitual truant for having too many unexcused absences. It has also been documented that the school district has failed to provide the class work that Ms. McClain is missing and has requested, even when a State Marshal appeared to gather such class work. All of this appears to be a concerted and coordinated effort to compel Ms. McClain to return to an abusive and dangerous environment.

I ask the DCF to carefully investigate this to see if the named parties are in fact acting in a concerted and coordinated effort to endanger a minor.

While I am not an expert in child welfare, it is my understanding that a remedy often used when an adult is potentially endangering a minor is to have a restraining order placed prohibiting any contact between the adult and the child. Since the named parties are administrators at the school where they are attempting to compel the minor to return, it would appear as if any such remedy would require that the school district find a different school where Ms. McClain can obtain the education she deserves.

Beyond that, it would appear as if DCF should determine whether or not it is in the interest of the children of Middletown to allow the named parties to continue in rolls that give that place them in authority over other children.

Please let me know what DCF is doing to protect Ms. McClain and other students in Connecticut schools where bullying is an issue that is not adequately being addressed by the schools administration.

Sincerely,
Aldon Hynes

April 3rd

And So, It Begins A New

Saturday morning, I sat up front at the Beecher Road School South Auditorium to see a production of The Wizard of Oz. Fiona, my youngest daughter, was a narrator in the rainbow chorus. The floor was mostly filled with young kids with the parents in seats behind us. A few other parents joined me on the floor so they could take better pictures of their young stars and sitting next to me was Mairead, my eldest daughter.

Mairead commented about how it seemed strange to be on this side of the fourth wall as she watched her youngest sister perform. She compared the experience to her childhood performances. It was a good production, with more effort put into scenery and props than many children productions have.

Afterward, we talked about going down to Virginia, where Miranda, my middle daughter is finishing up her senior year of college. Her senior exhibition in painting was last month. Opening on Tuesday will be her senior exhibition in ceramics and next Sunday will be her senior piano recital.

What role will arts and performances take in the life of Fiona? Will it lead her in a direction similar to her sister Miranda? Will Fiona find other paths? As I reflect on the day, the words of William Carlos Williams comes to mind. About a red wheel barrow he once said, “So much depends...”

Perhaps the prop of a cow carried across the stage during the cyclone is a lot like that red wheel barrow. And so, it begins a new...

April 2nd

Advanced Roku

Yesterday, I set up another Roku video player, and so I spent a little more time looking at different ‘private channels’ and other configuration that can be done with it.

The Roku play is a small set top box that allows you to pull video streams off the internet and display them on your TV. We initially got it to stream videos off of Netflix in a way that the whole family can watch it. However, being the hacker that I am, I’m always looking for ways to tweak it to do more things.

One of the key features is the ‘private channels’. A private channel is one that is not listed on the Roku, but that you can add via your Roku account on the Internet. There are a couple of good websites listing different private Roku Channels. I especially like Nowhere TV which has its own Roku Channel with many great shows on it as well as a webpage talking about other great channels.

Another site I like is streamfree.tv. They point to Nowhere TV and list several other channels. This includes several live channels, including Al Jazeera, BBC World News, CNN International, and RT America. They also have a section for channels that support local file systems.

I had thought that these channels were limited to devices that have USB connections. However, it turns out these channels can also easily pull content off of a local network. Channels that they list include Gabby Media Server, PlayOn, roConnect and Roksbox.

Unfortunately, many of these are oriented to people using Windows. Since we run mostly Linux in our home, several of the solutions just didn’t work all that well. However, Roksbox has proven to be pretty nice.

Roksbox runs in two different modes. One is to connect with Media Monkey, which is yet another Windows based system. However, it also connects with webpages, so I’ve set it up to pull music, pictures and videos off of my linux box running an Apache server. It works fairly nicely, but could be better.

Originally, I just threw all of my music into one big folder. Roksbox doesn’t provide nice navigation around that folder, so I probably have to reorganize my music collection. I was hoping that it would work with a uPNP server, like the MediaTomb server I’m running on my linux server. This would give me the ability to search for songs by album, performer and genre. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get these to connect and am looking for a few different approaches.

One would be to try and find a private channel that will connect to uPNP servers. That would be really nice. Lacking that, would be to find some sort of uPNP server to Webserver gateway, so that the songs could be selected via a web interface to the uPNP server.

I also used Roksbox to look at photographs and videos. I didn’t have a lot of different videos to test, but I did successfully play some MP4 videos I had recorded on various devices. Roksbox also provides the ability to stream live video, and I used their example, to add a Nasa live stream. For some reason the pxml file that they suggested did not work, but the http live streaming (HLS) file worked nicely. Now, I just need to find more sources that are streaming HLS.

One trick I found was to access Ustream and Livestream feeds as HLS. AppMakr has hints on this.

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April 1st

Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit and the Google YMCA

Okay, each month, I start off with Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit, harkening back to a simple time when such invocations were believed to bring good luck for the month. My last month seemed pretty lucky, but it also was very tiring.

Now, I look forward to April. The month starts off with April Fools day and a search for fun little pranks. Google, like they usually do, has come up with some good ones.

As a start, go to Google Search, and type helvetica. Nice. Unfortunately wingdings doesn’t seem to work the same way.

Perhaps more important is the announcement of Google Motion. It makes a lot of sense as Google’s response to Microsoft Kinect.

Now, I just need to crank up The Village People’s song YMCA for when I write my next memo. I’m sure there are some other great pranks out there. Let me know any you find.

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