f.lux: software to make your life better

Interesting! Found this nifty little piece of software today that filters most of the blue light from your computer’s screen according to daytime, thus simulating the natural lighting conditions and being less offensive to your brain’s melatonin production. Apparently, latest research yields strong evidence for impaired sleep in people using tablets, smartphones and computers screens later at night or right before falling asleep. More specifically: The blue light emitted from many of nowaday’s commodity devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops is responsible for altering the body’s circadian clock, which regulates sleep and waking time patterns. Study results indicate that it is particularly the high percentage of blue light coming from those screens that has the body “think” it was looking into the sun at mid day. In using such a device in the hours before falling asleep – which is most likely true for a lot of people working from home or needing to check their inbox one last time before going to bed – we literally seem to “program” our bodies into staying alert at a time, when the body is meant to wind down and get ready for sleep. (I know, I’m guilty as charged in that regard….). F.lux – I love the clever naming, b.t.w.! – is a little piece of software – temporarily, non-destructively – manipulating the color profile of your computer screen in such a way that most of the blue light is filtered away according to daytime and geo location.

I’ve become aware of this software and the science behind it today and immediately headed over to test drive it. Even upon first use I think I can say that I find the mellow warm light when working on the computer later at night a lot less aggressive and offensive to the eyes than the computer display’s regular blend of colors (unless it’s daytime, of course). I switched off F.lux for a moment to see the difference and it’s really an almost “tangible” one. Anyway, if you’re a person aware of your health and caring about it, you might want to try this thing (free of charge, at least for now). Follow the link below to download it for your computer.

f.lux: software to make your life better.

Leistungsschutzrecht: Verlage erteilen Google Recht auf Gratisnutzung – SPIEGEL ONLINE | copyblock.|

Google

Leistungsschutzrecht: Verlage erteilen Google Recht auf Gratisnutzung – SPIEGEL ONLINE.

Schätze mal, das wird Signalwirkung im Hinblick auf den Streit zwischen GEMA und YouTube/Google haben… – nicht zum Nutzen der Künstler natürlich. “Wer zahlt, schafft an”, hieß es auch früher schon immer… Tja. Die Zeiten ändern sich eben doch nicht wirklich….

Google Search in Safari redirects to Bing after SW Install | copyblock.|

There is a pretty annoying issue that can happen after installing freebie software from some providers (we’re not naming names now). Sometimes, the installers of those freebies add something called “Genieo” and it circumvents your choice of search engine in Safari (or your preferred web browser). Apple’s Discussion forum offers a few solutions for this nuisance, however I believe there can be a fairly quick and painless fix so this. This is what I found to be working for me:

I noticed that search terms get redirected to http://search.strtpoint.com before they get further redirected to bing.com When you enter http://search.strtpoint.com in Safari’s address bar and hit return or enter, you’ll land on a simple search page that looks like this:

search redirect page and uninstall

From the text links below, click “Remove InstallMac”, the one I circled red. It will first download a disk image with an uninstaller. Find the uninstaller image in your Downloads folder, mount it using DiskUtility or by simply double-clicking it, then run the uninstaller. There are a couple more instructions, such as resetting Safari’s preferences, i.e. not opening on bing.com as a homepage and if you got “Omnibar” Extension installed and activated, also make sure you reset the search engine being used to “default” instead of “Genieo”. In my case, following the above procedure did it without needing to locate “hidden” directories and removing files using the command line tool, let alone back up and reinstall the system and such things.

Hope, this helps someone save some time and sanity….

MacOS X Yosemite and high WindowServer CPU usage – Nitai

accessibility on yosemite

Here’s a “life saver” article on how to fix the high window server usage on Macs after installing Mac OS X 10.10 “Yosemite”. The trick is to find the transparency setting in the general preferences and turn it all the way down:

MacOS X Yosemite and high WindowServer CPU usage – Nitai.

By default the “Reduce transparency” checkbox is not checked, which results in the “Window Server” process to max out CPU usage – clearly poor engineering as it means that the Mac OS X graphic user interface hogs as much CPU power as it can get, thus effectively rendering the machine unusable to the point, where you might want to ditch Yosemite. What that tells those users who depend on the accessibility settings – I leave that to your own reasoning…. Here’s to hoping that Apple will address the issue in an update – and that this update lands asap. After you’ve followed the instructions in the article, your Mac will return to being a  usable machine.

(Thanks to Dietmar Liehr in that case, who brought this article to my attention as I was indeed in the process of running a full backup, wiping out disk contents  and going back to Maverick…)

Everything Is Broken — The Message — Medium

So yes, the geeks and the executives and the agents and the military have fucked the world. But in the end, it’s the job of the people, working together, to unfuck it.

via Everything Is Broken — The Message — Medium.

Aw man – the most clever “blurb” of writing I’ve come across in a loooong time!!

My 2 cents and paraphrase of above would be:

Most of what’s been dubbed “conspiracy theories” is the combined effects of bad engineering and people exploiting those weaknesses in the technological realm in order to save their own butts. As a person, who has been working in the IT/C industry for 25 years myself in varying positions and having a thorough enough in-depth look into things to understand how they work – or don’t, more often than not – I can attest to everything the article says. You can’t even call out companies on the bullshit they produce, because it would violate their “trade secrets” and other fancy words invented to thinly disguise blatant ignorance married to insane schedules and deadlines (programmers/engineers often love their work, but never get the resources needed to come up with reliable, dependable solutions to any given task.) The headline “Everything Is Broken” is not an exaggeration at all, telling from my own experiences.

What separates me a little from mere conspiracy thinking is the experience that things aren’t meant to be this way from the get-go, at least not in the industries I have been a part of. But one thing leads to another, one jerk finds the next – bigger – jerk and a snowballing effect sets in. Everything may be broken – but it doesn’t have to remain broken. Where do we start? With each and everyone of us, constantly questioning our choices as to whether or not they make good sense, are meaningful and whether or not they harm the environment or other people. It starts with your daily cuppa Joe and goes on to what you’re wearing. In the world of computers: Downsizing and keeping distractions and gadgets at a minimum. I’m not anti-progress all of a sudden. But it should be progress that’s in the best interest of the consumers, not in the interest of corporations. We have to get them back to where they started, which is: Make their utmost effort to serve US, not themselves!

Ein Besuch an der Uni

AUS.geMUSTERt!

Wot Eva

Wot Eva.

Also – da konnte ich nicht widerstehen und hab’ mich im AppleStore über eins der dortigen Geräte zu einem “feiste-Fratzen”-Selfie hinreissen lassen! Das Unbehagen steht mir aber nach Rückmeldung einiger aufmerksamer Damen doch mehr oder weniger deutlich ins Gesicht geschrieben und so steht wohl zu befürchten, dass ich als Social-Media-“Hu-Meme” nur bedingte Tauglichkeit mitbringe. Aber wer weiß – vielleicht kann ich mir das Facebook-typische “Ich bin toll, mein Leben ist ein einziger Traum, ich bin geil und erfolgreich”-Gesicht ja doch noch antrainieren. Über die Farbwahl meiner Garderobe werde ich möglicherweise dann auch nochmal nachdenken müssen.

Na, wie auch immer – der Anlass war ja weitaus ernsterer, wegweisender, visionärer Natur möchte man fast sagen: Ich hatte mich – ausgerechnet am Rosenmontag *facepalm*, *eye roll* – per öffentlichem Nahverkehrsmittel, das in München und drumherum “S-Bahn” heißt, in die vor Narren und Närrinen tobende – nicht wirklich…. – Innenstadt begeben…

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Some CSS Adjustments

Been tinkering with adjustments to images floating to the right in content sections. They are now supposed to be vertically aligned with topmost navigation items (roughly) and overflow is set to ‘visible’. For non-tech readers: Any image appearing on the right is now meant to be roughly aligned with the content above and not supposed to be cropped (which it was before).

It’s kind of fun to tinker with these things 😉

“Meat” by Terry Bisson

I’m thinking of registering for an academic program teaching fictional interpretation. Here’s a little snippet I did a while ago. Original sci-fi short by Terry Bisson, translation into the German by my modest self.

Project Westbound

Recently, I found this little Sci-Fi story on Google Plus and that reminded me of my later teen days, when I’d passionately immerse myself in the stories of Isaac Asimov, Stanislav Lem and the likes and kept absorbing their way out ideas.Terry Bisson’s ‘Meat’ is in a class of its own IMHO.

Upon having finished his short story, I would have loved to share it with other readers, in particular peer German G-plussers and also distribute it via Facebook. So I went ahead and contacted Mr. Bisson himself and I’m pleased to report that he gave me a go on this. So here it is: My translation into the German of Terry Bisson‘ short story ‘Meat’.

Sie sind aus Fleisch

“Sie sind aus Fleisch.”

“Fleisch?”

“Fleisch, ja. Sie sind aus Fleisch.”

“Fleisch?”

“Zweifellos. Wir haben mehrere Exemplare von verschiedenen Teilen des Planeten aufgelesen, sie an Bord unserer Raumschiffe genommen…

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Site relocation largely completed!

oFor the past few days, I have reconfigured my domain nieke.de in order to run it as a wordpress multisite or ‘network‘ as they call it. This means, I get to use my blogs previously – and still simultaneously – hosted on wordpress.com on my own domain nieke.de This was basically a dress rehearsal for the consideration of (commercially) offering my expertise to other parties. I’m not all sure as to the latter yet, as the effort that went into this was not a small one (at least not initially). And the more activity, the more these sites will come under attack from spammers and robots and botnets and whatnot.

However, for now I’m pleased to find that moving content and adjusting all settings went fairly seemless. All content including media (images, videos, audio) is available, all plugins required to run embedded media are working as well. I’m impressed with how robust and well supported this platform is. My next steps will be to connect the bulk of my social media hangouts to my blogs, so that I get to populate content there from once central location/web nucleus, which is – my wordpress ‘network’. 🙂 I also plan on incorporating and using email lists for semi-regular ‘news blasts’ as well as setting up events and – in the far future – my own download store for music. (that is not set in stone, yet, it’s merely a thought for now). Again: All this follows the idea of optimizing communication as in: Post once, read ‘everywhere’.

Wish me luck! 🙂 And if you happen upon any remaining errors, feel free to drop me a line 😉
Have a great day,

w.