iPod Touch’s stupid Smart Playlist

It annoys me that my Recently Added and Top 25 Played are all not in order when they’re in my iPod Touch. The Smart Playlist in iTunes looks correct but it never syncs correctly to iPod Touch. In my iPod Touch, it just shows in some random order.

How to fix iPod Touch Smart Playlist appearing randomly

I chanced upon the fix to this by unchecked “Live Updating” in Smart Playlist. Just click on the smart playlist and choose “Edit Smart Playlist”, then uncheck “Live Updating”. It does syncs in order now although it is still not ideal.

Smart playlist in iTunes
Smart playlist in iTunes

This has been broken since the OS 3.1 update. Currently at iPod Touch OS 3.1.2, it still does not work. 🙁

This is just a temporary fix, at least my playlist look more sensible.

This piano talks

A “speaking piano” reciting the Proclamation of the European Environmental Criminal Court at World Venice Forum 2009. Unfortunately it’s all in German, but what the piano says is all English, and it’s really neat to watch.

Speaking Piano – Now with (somewhat decent) captions!

Possibly the coolest thing I have ever seen. A work by Austrian composer Peter Ablinger. [via Makezine and Neatorama]

Full translation of the words in YouTube: Continue reading “This piano talks”

In 1996, Larry Page made this post

This is posted in 1996:

From: Lawrence Page

I have a web robot which is a Java app. I need to be able to set the User-Agent field in the HTTP header in order to be a good net citizen (so people know who is accessing their server). Anyone have any ideas?

Right now, Java sends a request that includes something like:

User-Agent: Java/1.0beta2

I’d rather not rewrite all the HTTP stuff myself. I tried just searching in the JDK for the Java/1.0beta2 figuring I could just change the string, but I couldn’t find it. Perhaps it is stored as a unicode string?

An easy method of setting the User-Agent field should probably be added to Java, so people can properly identify their programs.

Thanks, Larry Page

A web robot? Guess what is it?

[via Guyro]

How optical illusion works

Beau Lotto’s color games puzzle your vision, but they also spotlight what you can’t normally see: how your brain works. This fun, first-hand look at your own versatile sense of sight reveals how evolution tints your perception of what’s really out there.

Beau Lotto is founder of Lottolab, a hybrid art studio and science lab. With glowing, interactive sculpture — and good, old-fashioned peer-reviewed research — he’s illuminating the mysteries of the brain’s visual system.

Beau Lotto: Optical illusions show how we see

The unlit MacBook power indicator

Whilst at a 24-hour Starbucks working with a MacBook, I discovered the green power indicator unlit. It led me in a panicky state wondering if my power adapter malfunctioned. I turned to a friend and laments the high costs of Apple accessories. I remarked a new adapter would set me back 150SGD.

And I had the thought — what am I going to do meantime if my adapter cannot work? No power, no way to charge, there’s just no way to use the device. Even if I order the adapter, I presume it’s going to take 2 days. What am I going to do meantime?

Oh yeah. I have a desktop. Anyway turns out the Starbucks outlet turned off the electrical power. Says it’s only available for customers 11 pm to 10 am.

Security update, time to upgrade Django

Django has a 0-day security vulnerability. It’s time to upgrade:

Security updates released

Today the Django project is issuing a set of releases to remedy a security issue. This issue was disclosed publicly by a third party on a high-traffic mailing list, and attempts have been made to exploit it against live Django installations; as such, we are bypassing our normal policy for security disclosure and immediately issuing patches and updated releases.

Description of vulnerability

Django’s forms library included field types which perform regular-expression-based validation of email addresses and URLs. Certain addresses/URLs could trigger a pathological performance case in this regular expression, resulting in the server process/thread becoming unresponsive, and consuming excessive CPU over an extended period of time. If deliberately triggered, this could result in an effective denial-of-service attack.

Affected versions

Any Django application making use of EmailField or URLField in the following versions is vulnerable:

  • Django development trunk
  • Django 1.1
  • Django 1.0

Read more at Django blog

California: The sad state of a failing state

Are things that bad? If you have 10 minutes to spare and are in the mood for reading, read the Guardian article:

Will California become America’s first failed state?

… California is like a patient on life support. At the start of summer the state government was so deeply in debt that it began to issue IOUs instead of wages. Its unemployment rate has soared to more than 12%, the highest figure in 70 years. Desperate to pay off a crippling budget deficit, California is slashing spending in education and healthcare, laying off vast numbers of workers and forcing others to take unpaid leave. In a state made up of sprawling suburbs the collapse of the housing bubble has impoverished millions and kicked tens of thousands of families out of their homes. Its political system is locked in paralysis and the two-term rule of former movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger is seen as a disaster – his approval ratings having sunk to levels that would make George W Bush blush. The crisis is so deep that Professor Kenneth Starr, who has written an acclaimed history of the state, recently declared: “California is on the verge of becoming the first failed state in America.”

… California is currently cutting healthcare, slashing the “Healthy Families” programme that helped an estimated one million of its poorest children. Los Angeles now has a poverty rate of 20%. Other cities across the state, such as Fresno and Modesto, have jobless rates that rival Detroit’s. In order to pass its state budget, California’s government has had to agree to a deal that cuts billions of dollars from education and sacks 60,000 state employees. Some teachers have launched a hunger strike in protest. California’s education system has become so poor so quickly that it is now effectively failing its future workforce. The percentage of 19-year-olds at college in the state dropped from 43% to 30% between 1996 and 2004, one of the highest falls ever recorded for any developed world economy. California’s schools are ranked 47th out of 50 in the nation. Its government-issued bonds have been ranked just above “junk”.

Read it full at Guardian

It has this chilling effect for me.