Thursday, July 30, 2009


How to Embed Videos on Google Sites

If you use Google Sites, you may have no doubt noticed that they have seriously restricted the amount of javascript (and embed codes) that can be used.

However, have no fear, you can still embed your Revver, Blip.TV, Meta Cafe, and other video services with a simple Video Gadget

The "Smart Video" Gadget ( allows you to simply enter the URL from pretty much and video site, and have the video automatically inserted into your Google Sites Page!

To use it just use "Insert...Google Gadget, then choose "By URL" and copy and paste the url above"

Then from the properties choose a reasonable width and height (like 480 x 400 for example), and enter the url from your address bar. and violoa!

Hope you enjoy it!

Gadget Page:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


How-to ZAP Telemarketers

If you're like me you're sick and tired of those annoying telemarkters, Perhaps you've heard of a neat little tool called the TeleZapper.

The TeleZapper promises to help reduce or eliminate your telemarketing calls, you install it in serial with your phone. When you recieve a call, the TeleZapper waits for you to pick up the phone, and then sends this tone [telezap.wav]. You may have heard this tone before if you've ever dialed a number that is no longer in service.

The predictive dialing tool upon hearing this tool normally removes your number from its database (Though it doesn't have to)

If you want to try it for yourself, you can download the tone and play it just before your answering machine greeting. Theoretically this should work the same way, when you see a telemarkter call you; just let your answering machine pick up. Of course non telemarkters will hear this tone too, which may be somewhat annoying.

You can also use some free windows software tools which will do a similar thing.

Related Links:

How to get even with Telemarkters (
Wikipedia Predictive Dialers (
Canada Do Not Call List (
Buy the Telezapper

Technical Details:

At my house, I use a linux (Ubuntu) OS. I use the package called "vgetty" to monitor my incoming phone calls. When the little script I wrote detects a possible telemarkter (by caller id). It sends the disconnected tone, to the autodialer.

In theory, this should cause these companies to remove my name from the list (assuming they respect the tone, and that I generated the tone correctly).

I will be monitoring this system over the next few months to see if it actually reduces any calls (are the call systems removing me from their lists?)

Even more technical "geeky" details:

My voice modem is a TOPIC (FM56PCI-TP) modem. This modem does not really work well with vgetty. It detects it as a multitech modem. The Multitech modem does not use the same compression mode as my modem, and although it plays the sound there is a large screetcy noise.

It took me quite a while to figure out how to fix this. In the end, it was necessary to force the vgetty (vm) software to detect my modem as a standard V253 modem. However, my modem uses a different flow control AT command and a different command to set the compression rate.

To fix this I had to edit the vgetty/mgetty source specifically the voicelib/ file and replace the commands.

If you want to play around with this.

Here is the "diff" of the changes I made V253modem.diff
Here is the perl script I use to play the greeting
Here is the zap (wave) file (Remember: you have to convert it to an rmdfile). To do this you can follow thie instructions here:

Telezap Wav file courtsy of:

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Understanding Wiki's and Wikipedia

What is a Wiki?

In general, a Wiki is web software, that allows people to easily create, and edit webpages by multiple people (or volenteers) in a collaborative way. The word Wiki itself, comes from the Hawaiian word meaning "fast". If you run a Wiki software on your website, it can be a very fast way to create and edit pages to share with others.

Why are Wiki's Useful?

The full power of a Wiki can be seen by one of the post popular Wiki's called Wikipedia. This free encyclopedia has grown to well over 2 million articles on a wide variety of subjects. Perhaps you remember, when you were young, and you parents had that enyclopedia set of 20 or so books on a bookshelf. Or perhaps, you went to the library to research information for you school project? Maybe you were even one of the lucky ones who had a CD-ROM with the encylopedia on it.

Now, thanks to the power of the internet and Wiki's. You can research all kinds of information quickly and easily.

What are Wiki Problems?

For the most part, Wiki's can be edited by anyone, anonmously. Depending upon the wiki quality guidelines and how well they are enforced, can greatly affect the accuracy of the information presented. Wikipedia is very good at enfocing quality guidelines and a new scan tool (see link below) allows you to somewhat see what persons/companies are editing Wikipedia entries, possibly in a biased way. So when researching information from a Wiki (or even the internet in general) it is important to have several sources to backup your findings.

From the link below you can see a list of Wikipedia edits from the IP Address block A quick Whois on this IP Address block reveals these IP addresses are owned by, and administrated from the Central Intelligence Agency. In reality, this only tells us that there are people using computers on the CIA network making some very inteesting wiki edits We can only surmise the specific reasons why. It could just be employees having fun, or part of a some bigger conspiracy theory. Either way, it's kinda of interesting don't you think?


Friday, July 17, 2009


Learning about Father's Day

Who came up with fathers day? Her name was Sonora Louise Smart Dodd and she lived in Spokane, Washington. Sonora was the oldest of six children raised by their father, William Jackson Smart, when their mother died during childbirth. Sonora honored and revered her father, and while listening to a Mother's Day sermon in 1909, she determined there should also be a day to honor fathers. Find out more at the link below:


Thursday, July 16, 2009


Learning Blog: Learning Gmails Web Clips

From the page:

GMail has recently introduced a new service called "Web Clips". With web clips you can know get your own favorite messages shown at the top of the Gmail screen. You know the one that I mean? Where the advertisements usually are?


Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Learning Blog: Basics of Microsoft Project

Microsoft Project can be a great tool for keeping your projects on time and on budget but only once you get the hang of it.

In this video we learn about "task types", How Microsoft Project handles tasks that are fixed in either duration, work, or units, and what this all means to you - the project manager


Monday, July 13, 2009


Understanding Phishing in Plain English

The folks over at commoncraft have brought us another of their awesome videos, helping the world understand things.

This one teaches us what Phising means, and why it is a dangerous thing to watch out for.



Saturday, July 11, 2009


Super FAQ (OPML FAQ) - Biz Ideas

What it is:

FAQ's or (Frequenty Asked Questions) are everywhere in our world today on every topic imaginable. Many of these orginally started from usenet newgroups. People would ask the same questions over and over again, and nice "volenenteers" would take the time to document these frequenlty asked questions and write a post to refer to them.

Over the years, FAQ's have become as much (or more) of a marketing tool. Easily introducting people to your product by "making up" frequently asked questions that you think people might ask.


Friday, July 10, 2009


How to measure Thermal Conductivty of a Material

In my old life, I worked for Mathis Instruments.

Whenever, I told someone where I worked, they often commented that they heard of it but were not sure what they did.

Well today, the product is owned by C-Therm, this video does an excellent job of explaining how it all works.


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