NorthEast Energy Advisors

Jesse and I put together a website for her brother, Erich, this week.  I think we did a pretty good job.  If you’re a business and looking for an energy consultant, check it out:

NorthEast Energy Advisors

Personality Test

I’ve been taking the Myers-Briggs type personality test every year or so for a while now.  I’m curious to see if my personality will shift over time or not.  So far, I’ve been fairly consistently sorted to the INTJ category.

For fun, I put together a very simple, four question personality test.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.  Have you take tests like this before?  How accurate do they think they are?  How accurate was mine?

Flickr Video

Flickr now has video.  I’m actually pretty surprised that it took them this long to add it.  They’re not going to be able to compete with YouTube in many ways, and I think they know it.  I think they’re looking for videos that are artistic, but still home made.  Their video FAQ says video on Flickr is:

  1. A long photo
  2. Personal
  3. Simple – not overproduced or slick
  4. Possibly the best answer so far: The Great Unknown

They have a limit of 90 seconds which is really going to limit things and definitely pushes the medium in the “long photo” direction.  I’ve uploaded a bunch of old videos and some new ones.  One of them, a video of a cuttlefish at the Sydney Aquarium set to music got noticed by someone on the Flickr team and got listed as one of their favorites, so I’m pretty happy about that.

    Jonathan Coulton Favorites

    I’ve been listening to Jonathan Coulton quite a bit for the last week or so. He really sparked my interest when I heard Still Alive at the end of Portal. It’s kind of funny because I realized that I’d seen him before doing Ze Frank’s songs, but didn’t really notice at the time. Anyway, after going through a bunch of his songs, I’ve put together a list of my top 10 favorites, and here they are:

    “Code Monkey”
    “Still Alive”
    “I Feel Fantastic”
    “Skullcrusher Mountain”
    “Re Your Brains”
    “Creepy Doll”
    “I Crush Everything”
    “The Future Soon”
    “Mr. Fancy Pants”

    “Mandelbrot Set”

    My favorites list would have gone on, but I really wanted to set some limit, and 10 is customary. You can listen to any of the songs for free, many of them are available for free download as MP3, and some have great fan created videos (especially Code Monkey, and I Feel Fantastic), so be sure to check them out.

    Visualizing Netflix Data

    I’ve been playing around with the Netflix Prize data recently. Instead of directly attacking the prize, I’m taking a crack at trying to better visualize the data. Here’s what I have so far:

    NetflixPrize Avg. vs. Avg.

    I think it’s pretty, and somewhat useful. I think I’ll try to make a predictor that can classify based on the four regions to see how well it does. I’d guess that it’ll do only slightly better than always picking one average or the other as the prediction. I’m pretty sure that most of the data is clustered near the dark area in the middle where the model is least effective.

    Update: I’ve added some analysis in the Flickr comments, so be sure to check that out if you’re interested.

    New Computer for 2008

    I bought parts for a new computer last weekend from Most of the parts arrived on Tuesday, and the RAM finally arrived on Thursday. I have it all assembled and most of the software that I need installed. My last new computer was in 2004, so it was definitively time for a new one. My old computer couldn’t run new games like BioShock and Crysis, and I was running short on RAM for things like the Netflix Prize.

    So, once again, for historical notes, here are the specs:

    Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 3.0GHz
    4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
    GeForce 8800GT Extreme 512MB
    1TB (2 x 500GB) 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drives
    Windows Vista Home Premium

    Small Vista Bug

    I just tried reporting a bug to Microsoft using this form, but I doubt anyone will read it.  If anyone is interested, here’s the bug I found and what I told Microsoft.

    1) Go to the command line.
    2) View the shutdown command’s documentation (type “shutdown /?”)

    It will print the help document starting with:
    Usage: shutdown [/i | /l | /s | /r | /g | /a | /p | /h | /e] [/f]
    [/m \\computer][/t xxx][/d [p|u:]xx:yy [/c “comment”]]

    There’s one small error where it shows the syntax for the /d option “[/d [p|u:]xx:yy”.  The colon (:) should be after the bracket (ie “[/d [p|u]:xx:yy”).  The current text is saying to only use the colon if you are specifying ‘u’ for unplanned, but it’s really required for both p and u.


    The AOPA has a little article out on Groom Lake (aka Area 51) getting an airport identifier — KXTA — in Jeppesen‘s flight planning software and on handheld GPS receivers.  I did some searching and found a little coverage of the topic, but it seems to be pretty quiet for now.  It’ll be interesting to watch the popularity of the name grow (or not) over the next several years.

    Visual Morse Code

    Just released: MorseLED

    This little program uses your keyboard’s scroll lock to to show Morse Code.

    Out of Shape

    I’m out of shape.  Jesse got me a bicycle for Christmas that we picked up today.  I finally got it all set up and took it out for a spin.  Wow.  After just a mile and a half, I was really starting to feel it.  My commute to work (the reason for the new bike) is about 3.5 miles (mostly down hill).  I imagine that I’m going to be pretty out of breath for the first week or so.  It’s been a while since I’ve been regularly running, so my cardiovascular is probably pretty weak.

    Over the last couple days I put together a little weather gadget for my home page.  It queries a National Weather Service server for the forecast for my area and then prints out a brief summary of relevant information for my commute.  Hopefully it’ll help me stay comfortable and safe.

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