May
30
2009
0

Maker Faire 2009

This weekend I went to the Maker Faire.  Having never been to a Maker Faire before, I described my expectations to a co-worker as it being a cross between the State Fair and the Exploratorium.[1]  It was way better than that.

Art cars, robots, and all kinds of incredible stuff.  Everything was made by ordinary people who would happily tell you exactly how they made everything you saw.  I also got to see Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame.

The highlight was meeting the guys of MakerBot (Zack “Hoken” Smith, Bre Pettis, and Adam Mayer) and seeing their Cupcake CNC machine in action.  These guys are real-life MacGyver’s and Scotty’s. [2]

Their Cupcake CNC is a computer controlled robot that builds a 3D object layer-by-layer using molten plastic.  You can buy a kit or build one from the plans freely available on their site.  Their robot is based upon the incredible work of the RepRap project.  The things it can build are really only limited by your imagination.

  1. I’ve never been to Burning Man, otherwise I would have included it in this hybrid description. []
  2. Minus the mullets and accents. []
May
29
2009
0

Flashback to the 90’s

Pirate Radio!

Pirate Radio!

Last week while in Stockton I heard on NPR that a local station was switching to an “all ’90’s” format.  I hoped against hope that it was not KWOD 106.5.

However, on the drive home yesterday I was flipping around the dial and caught FM 106.5 from Sacramento.  I grew up in Sacramento and have fond memories of this particular station.

  • I remember the time a rival station, 102.5, was playing rap and hip hop and alternarock.  At about the same time 102.5’s format went more towards the rap and hip hop while KWOD 106.5 went towards the grundge and alterna-rock scene.
  • I remember a DJ on 106.5 who decided to play the entirety of U2‘s (then) newest album “Achtung Baby” start to finish without interruption at midnight the day that it was supposed to be released.  He was doing this because for some reason the release date had been delayed a few days.  I sat next to my stereo[1] with a blank cassette so I could tape the entire album.  That album was released on November 19, 1991. [2]  This album was also one of the first prerecorded cassette tapes I ever owned. [3][4]
  • I remember feeling a little sad and nostalgic when the morning duo[5] jumped to another station, 100.5.
  • I was listening to KWOD 106.5 when I learned that Kurt Cobain had committed suicide.

Anyhow, KWOD 106.5 just became “The BUZZ.”  I listened to it for about five minutes this evening and shut it off.  BuzzKILL is more like it. [6] [7]

  1. Dual cassette –  thankyouverymuch []
  2. Thanks to Wikipedia for making me look smarter than I really am. []
  3. So much for the RIAA and music piracy, eh? []
  4. Photo courtesy of id-iom []
  5. Shawn & Jeff in the Morning []
  6. I sound like my dad. []
  7. Sorry Dad! []
May
27
2009
1

How to Stop Spam

SPAM so fresh, you can eat it as sushi!

SPAM so fresh, you can eat it as sushi!

Several months ago I listed several obvious and non-obvious benefits to owning your own domain name. [1]  One of the less than obvious benefits was a way to avoid and stop spam.  Two easy ways to do this are to:

  • Set up a default e-mail address  to collect all the misaddressed mail.  Then, if you have to sign up for something or give out a valid e-mail address, you just make up an e-mail address at your domain.  It will go to your server and then be directed to your “catch-all” address.  If the made-up address includes the name of the place you gave your e-mail address to, then you know the source of your spam.  This is easy to fix by just creating a filter at the server for that one address.
  • You can also create an address just for the purposes of giving out to sites/people you think will send you spam.  If you get too much, just delete the account.

In just the last two months I’ve been getting spam about:

  • Why celebrities love the acai berry
  • Free life insurance quotes
  • Discount ink and toner
  • Protecting my family against financial hardship

A while ago I sent an e-card to a friend of mine.  EVER since then I’ve been getting these spam e-mails to that address.  How do I know these e-mails are from that e-card website?

All of these spam e-mails are being sent to:  happy.birthday.from.me@pdrater.com !

  1. Photo courtesy of chotda []
May
21
2009
1

Ideas for Workers’ Compensation TV Shows

Chuck Season 3

Chuck Season 3

The NBC show Chuck is about a nerd turned hero.  I found out yesterday that it was renewed for a third season.  This got me thinking – why not a dramedy about a devilishly handsome workers’ compensation defense attorney?  Here are a few ideas:

  • “Readiness to Proceed” – a wacky romantic comedy about two attorneys afraid to “compromise and release”
  • “CA-PD New (Schedule)”
  • EAMS: Rise of the Machines” – Jay Shergill fights against a cyborg-govenor and travels back in time to stop the DWC from adopting EAMS
  • Stip and Order

NO!  Even better:  “Stockton Legal”[1]

  1. Denny Crane! []
May
19
2009
2

Stockton WCAB

A blustery day at the Stockton WCAB

A blustery day at the Stockton WCAB

I’ve got a hearing at the Stockton WCAB this morning. [1]  Stop by and say hello if you’re in the area.

  1. Photo thanks to Google and their StreetView []
Written by Jay Shergill in: Author,PDRater | Tags: , , ,

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