Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Blog moving!

Blog is moving over to http://blog.shadenexus.com. Not all the posts from here will be transferred over, but from now on that's where I'll be!

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Styling Waterfox for Windows 10

Shortly after upgrading to Windows 10, I tried out Edge and found it... nice? It does a lot of things nice, and it's really fast, but I was missing a ton of the features from Waterfox. So I went back and decided to look around to see if there was anything that could maybe integrate the browser a bit better with Windows. One of the things I love about 10 over 8 is that they finally have integrated the notifications system with the standard taskbar tooltips, and pretty much all notifications. Thankfully I found there's some things that can help me out here, and right now my version of Waterfox is looking very modern and spiffy.

So there's two sets of things you'll need if you want to get your Firefox-derivative looking like a proper windows app. First, you'll need this list of extensions. Second, you'll need to write a user-style that looks something like this:

#navigator-toolbox {
    background-color: transparent;
    margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px;
#browser-panel {
    margin: 0px -1px -1px -1px;
#titlebar-content {
    background-color: white;
    margin-left: 0px;
    margin-top: 1px;
    margin-right: 1px;
#TabsToolbar {
    background-color: white;
    margin-top: 0px !important;
#toolbar-menubar {
    background-color: white;

After that, you should be good, just might need some tweaking. But this is just me, you may like it looking another way. So go ahead, explore, and try new things!

Monday, 20 July 2015

Book publication!

Today is the 20th, and you know what that means? Yes! My book, Conundrum: The Three Ghosts of the Old Inn, is officially >>ready for purchase<<‼ Everyone get out your balloons and party hats, (and possibly your wallets) because this long journey is finally reaching an end!

Wait, did I say 'reaching'? Well, yes, I did! And you know why? Because I have another announcement relating to my book: The eBook will be out on the 30th! Due to production costs, the print copy is only in black and white, but if you want the full-colour eBook edition, ready to read on your tablet, then you can pick that up in ten days!

But if you want a nice classical book that you can carry with you and read on the bus, come pick it up here.


Now that the obligatory social media post is out of the way, I'm sure many of you are wondering if posting here means I'm going to re-active my blog. Honestly? I don't know. My writing has been focussed more on books as of late. I think, though, that writing is a pretty core part of me, so perhaps it shall come back to this venue as well. Who knows! But regardless, thanks for coming on the ride, and more will be on its way.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Some Good Documentaries

Good Documentaries

Here's a list of documentaries I really enjoyed, that I thought were a worthwhile watch.

Found on Netflix

  • Blackfish - Follows the controversial captivity of killer whales, and its dangers for both humans and whales
  • Craigslist Joe - One guy leaves everything behind to see if he can survive solely on the support and goodwill of the 21st century's new town square: Craigslist
  • Hot Coffee - How the infamous McDonald's hot coffee lawsuit and similar cases were exploited as part of a crusade to weaken civil justice
  • Inside Job - Takes a closer look at what brought about the financial meltdown
  • Harmontown - Follows Dan Harmon on tour for his podcast series after he was fired from Community in 2012
  • DamNation - Explores the sea change in our national attitude from pride in big dams as engineering wonders to the growing awareness that our own future is bound to the life and health of our rivers
  • Breaking the Taboo - Uncovers the failure of the UN sanctioned war on drugs
  • The Paw Project - This is a story of one veterinarian's battle to protect her patients (tigers, lions and even house cats) from big corporations
  • We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks - Details the creation of Julian Assange's controversial website, which facilitated the largest security breach in U.S. history
  • Downloaded - Explores the downloading revolution; the kids that created it, the bands and the businesses that were affected by it, and its impact on the world at large
  • Inequality for All - Follows former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich as he looks to raise awareness of the country's widening economic gap.
  • Pink Ribbons, Inc. - Shows how the devastating reality of breast cancer, which marketing experts have labeled a "dream cause," becomes obfuscated by a shiny, pink story of success
  • Burt's Buzz - A look at the world of Burt Shavitz, the face and co-founder of Burt's Bees

Last seen on DVD

  • Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room - About the Enron corporation, its faulty and corrupt business practices, and how they led to its fall
  • Exit Through the Gift Shop - The story of how an eccentric French shop keeper and amateur film maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner

Stuff on YouTube

  • [VIDEO] Internet Story - How a simple scavenger hunt on the internet results in tragedy, and is utterly forgotten in the stream of noise.

  • [CHANNEL] CGP Grey - A former teacher who makes videos explaining how various systems work
  • [CHANNEL] VICE - A news network that frequently produces short documentaries on fringe elements of societies

Friday, 15 May 2015

Some YouTube Makers That I Like

  • Man at Arms: Reforged - Make cool weapons from fandom
  • Colin Furze - A crazy brit who loves blowing things up
  • Mehdi Sadaghhdar - A Canadian-Indian electrician with a high pain tolerance. He makes mistakes in his builds so you won’t.
  • Frank Howarth - Woodworking, occasionally gets help from his sweet children, often does stop-motion animation of his workshop coming to life.
  • Jimmy Diresta - A legendary craftsman who works with wood, metal, glass, and pretty much whatever he can get his hands on. Half of his videos get uploaded on Make’s channel.
  • Matthias Wandel - A canadian woodworker who builds incredibly complex and sturdy projects out of wood. Builds a lot of his own shop tools.
  • pocket83 - Has a bit of an attitude and uploads infrequently, but makes really neat puzzles and trick toys.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Sony Companies on Google Play

This is just an interesting exercise to look at what products are made by Sony, but are listed under different children.
  • Sony Corporation
    • Seems to mostly be legacy apps and device-specific apps
  • Sony Mobile Communication
  • PlayStation Mobile Inc.
  • Sony Insider
    • Has only one app: Sony Insider
  • Sony Music Entertainment
    • Apps for fans of bands
  • Sony Entertainment Network
    • Used to have Music Unlimited, but that’s been gutted in favour of Spotify on Sony devices. Now just holds Video Unlimited and Account Manager.
  • Sony Digital Entertainment Services Inc.
    • Seems to be dedicated to the east-asian market
  • Sony Digital Network Applications, Inc.
    • Picture and video editing apps that seem to all use the same UI - an application suite, in essence.
After seeing so many weird Google Play listings, this began to make me wonder whether they had additional companies without Sony in their name. This would require some research on Wikipedia for subsidiaries.
Surprisingly, their major non-branded subsidiaries are just various movie and music companies. The only relevant app is a pretty huge streaming service, listed as being developed by itself.
  • Crackle
    • Stream movies and TV at the price of watching ads.
Ultimately I suppose all I could request would be a feature to allow developers on Google Play to list themselves as subsidiaries. It would allow some interesting transparency, but in all fairness, none of this data is really being hidden. This took me only a little time, and I discovered a couple cool apps in the process.
Perhaps I shall investigate other megacorporations soon.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Stumbleupon and a Wasteful Internet

While attempting to browse Stumbleupon last night, I found it frustrating how completely inept it was at delivering meaningful content. And that's when it hit me that I should probably check how badly this problem was. So I decided to analyze my home page and see how much of what it recommended was worthless. Below is an annotated screenshot.
As you can see, there's a lot of garbage. Most annoyingly, lists. Internet lists are a horrible thing for a multitude of reasons, most of all that they're basically sensory popcorn. Their entire purpose is to give you a trivia-like knowledge of things that seem immediately interesting; upon closer inspection most of them are pointless or boring, though.

I really wish there was a way to filter for lists, so perhaps I'll make a userscript for doing so. Lists are really a huge waste of space, and in general just make the internet a worse place. Maybe it's about time one of us did something to eradicate them.