• The Matrix Turns 15 Today

    Happy Birthday. Everything is a remix.

  • The Best Way to Synchronize WordPress Uploads

    One of the most annoying things about setting up a dev environment for an existing WordPress site is syncing the content. Pulling down the database is trivial, even a large site will have a relatively small database dump. I often use the WordPress Duplicator plugin. But a site with years of photos and other uploads can have gigabits of files and it’s not really ideal to have to pull those all down from the site.

    Today I came across a solution that made me feel stupid for not having thought of it. Iain Poulson posted 5 Ways to Sychronise WordPress  Uploads Across Environments, IMHO #4 is the only one you really need to use:

    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteBase /wp-content/uploads/
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
    RewriteRule ^(.*) http://yourlivesite.com/wp-content/uploads/$1 [L,P]


    So for any file requested within wp-content/uploads/, that does not exist, it will serve the image from http://yourlivesite.com.

    The only minor downside with this approach is the lack of offline. If you lose access to an internet connection, you lose access to the live site files, obviously.

  • Nintendo-WiiU-Preview_0015_DxO

    The Nintendo WiiUnderated

    For Christmas this year we bought Santa brought the kids a Nintendo WiiU for Christmas. I’ve been holding back this post until I played a few different game types on the system. As usual, Nintendo has done a great job of designing and prompting really fun gameplay. As has been the case with their last few consoles releases, the gaming press seems to be mostly ignoring the WiiU. As they’ve done over their entire history, Nintendo has continued to serve their target market – families – really well. They’ve gotten a lot of things right this time around. The WiiU is in full 1080p – infact, it’s our household’s only 1080p Netflix machine. Backwards compatibility with original Wii games and controllers is amazingly important to families, who’re often budget constrained and tied to old games the kids grew up with.

    Above everything else though, Nintendo continues to innovate in ways that Sony and Microsoft doesn’t seem to “get” (see: Playstation Move). The WiiU GamePad is highly, highly underrated. The ability to play games on the GamePad while the TV does something else is brilliant! Not only is it brilliant, it actually works! I was able to use the GamePad in bed, a good 10m and several walls away from the console. The GamePad’s universal remote feature makes switching from WiiU to Housewives of Lamecounty totally seamless.

    Also, the GamePad unlocks completely new gameplay. Having a game’s mini-map and inventory system available on a touch screen is such a natural user interface. The gamepad is also position aware, which means you can use it to control ingame cameras: ZombieU uses it as a zombiescanner/camera, Wonderful 101 uses it as a camera for building interiors – so you can look around inside a building – while the main gameplay is going outside the building on your TV. I’m sure there are all kinds of interesting gameplay ideas that could make good use of this system.

    Sure the system is underpowered and the graphics in Assassin’s creed look a little uncanny valley. But at the end of the day that doesn’t really matter.

  • How To: Find Out The Price of Bitcoin

    What is the quickest way to find out what price bitcoin is at, you ask?



    Update.  I added a bunch of currencies and made tinyurls for them.

    USD - http://tiny.cc/BTCUSD
    CAD - http://tiny.cc/BTCCAD
    EUR - http://tiny.cc/BTCEUR
    CNY - http://tiny.cc/BTCCNY


  • shopping

    Vote With Your Wallet, Buy Nothing Day

    Today was Buy Nothing Day, Ad Busters’ annual day of anti-consumerist outreach. Despite my liberal hippie leanings, I generally have a visceral reaction against campaigns such as these.  That’s a post for another day…

    In the spirit of Buy Nothing Day, I’d like to take a moment to ask for your input on a closely related anti-corporate concept, the idea of voting with your wallet. That is the general idea that every dollar you spend is a vote for one company and a vote against another (wikipedia).

    The analogy is usually presented as a negative proposition, “don’t shop at Walmart, they murder rabbits.” I had a bit of a revelation this week when I realized that the voting analogy completely  breaks down when you use it advocate for a personal boycott. Do the math, a huge multi-national like Walmart has orders of magnitude more customers than your local electoral district. Even a large national or regional chain likely has more customers then your federal riding. Your individual vote is so insignificant that the dollar voting analogy is laughable. Sure if you scream loud enough you may get some sort term media coverage, but our collective goldfish brain will forget about it the next week. Huge companies make choices based on huge market forces. McDonalds only “brings back” the McRib when pork prices are at their lowest, then pulls it once the increased demand created by their own sales of McRibs prices causes prices to rise too high (caveat: I don’t know if this is true).

    The voting analogy only  makes sense if you’re using it to advocate locally made goods. The potential customer base of a local small business  is much more analogous to the constituent base of an actual election. Your dollars have much more impactful to the local shop owner.

    Boycott mega marts if that makes you feel better about yourself.

    Buy local.
    If you actually want to
    change the world.