Monday, January 31, 2005

Daypop Down?

Can someone click Daypop NewsBursts and confirm or deny that it's down. I haven't been able to connect all day. If they're down for long I'll have to look for another source for words to drive ImageBurst.

- Peace

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Search Modifiers

New viersion of the ImageBurst screen saver is up. It now appends one of people, place or thing for each search over at yahoo images. If the word from daypop newsbursts is 'Spongbob' then the search will be 'Spongbob people', 'Spongbob place' or 'Spongbob thing'. The one used is chosen at random.

You can also set up your own search modifiers I'be ben using art, anime and landscape and the results are quite nice.


- Peace

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Wired 13.02: Revenge of the Right Brain

A story about how the new economy belongs to the creative side of the brain. I think you've always had to be creative to succede but it seems more so now.

On Ideas last night there was an architect talking about how the computers now do all the easy work, the calculations, making sure things line up etc. All that's left is the hard creative problem solving.

- Peace

People Place Thing == safe search

I've been pretty happy with image burst. Lot's of cool images from all over. However I have noticed that yahoo's safe search feature isn't that great when it comes to words like viagra or the name of actresses who've done nude sceens. Now on one hand I can can be hard core and accept that the world is the way it is, the sacred and the profane mixed together. On the other hand there are time I'd like to tone it down to something PG13.

I looked around for another source of pictures but no luck. I played around with the search terms and found that adding another terms cleans things up. Adding people, place or thing to a query returns immages I could leave on my machine at work. I have no idea why, but it works. I tried it on every problem word from the last fewdays and didn't hit a single place where it failed.

I'll be adding a feature to image burst that will alow the user to specify search modifes. You'll be able to add words like artwork or anime that will change the nature of the images selected. The default will be people place thing that will put close to PG13 mode.

- Peace

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Faster Start Up, well after the first

New version of ImageBurst. After the first run it will now cache the set of image urls. So on the second run you'll start to see images very quickly. It will load new words and image urls in the back ground. Once loaded you'll start to see images from the new set urls. The first run can still take some time, especially if daypop is running slow as it was last night.

next on the todo list is to have it load more than on image at a time so that it doesn't get stuck on a large slow image.

- Peace

Monday, January 24, 2005

Now with improved error handling

new version of ImageBurst is up.

- Peave

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Image Burst Samples

I've posted some sample of what the ImageBurst screen saver looks like.

The words are a sampling that have been on Daypop's Newsbursts over the past couple of days.

Spongbob, Snowstorm and Hubble
Spongbob, Hubble and Titan
villanova superjumbo armani

All these images were created by the ImageBurst software.

- Peace

A Day of Firsts

First 18km of biking for the year. It was +12c today, so got the bike out ant went for a ride through fishcreek. Lot's of wet snow, ice and mush. Yahoo!!! Thank God for studded tires and chinook winds.

First Sunday with Steve and Leslie Wiserman as pastors at the church I'm attending while not church shopping. (yeah I know it's weird) Steve just shared their search over the last year or so for a place to minister and seeking God's will. By the Way I hate sermons that mention seeking God's will and make it sound easy. Steve made it clear that in their case it meant trying on alot of doors and having them slam shut in your face. Steve was honest and real, that means a to me.

Steve and Lori were there as well, and I got to hold Oliver while Steve ate. Another first. Too cool.

- Peace

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Image Burst

What if your screen saver took the words from daypop's news bursts and used them as search terms at Well it's an idea I've had for a while and I've just finished my first pass. It's not perfect but it works. If you're interested, download ImageBurst. This version if just for Windows, but if you'd like the Linux version let me know.

You'll need a recent version of Java intalled. 1.4.2 or better. Unzip the ImageBurst files into your Windows/system32 directory. Then set up the screen saver as normal.

BTW you should stop and think about this idea, random images from the net on the screen. You may or may not want to try this at work. You may or may not want to try this at home.

UPDATE: I was just showing someone how it worked and it didn't. Daypop's RSS freed is not behaving it's self, so all you get is the splash screen jumping around. I'll have to add some code this weekend to deal with that.

UPDATE 2: I'm treating the Daypop RSS Feed as if it was HTML, using the same parser as for Yahoo. It works, new version is up.

- Peace

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

No banana suit

The was in my in box this morning

From: Doug Shaw
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2005 10:08:25 -0600
Subject: University of Illinois

Are you the Dave King from the University of Illinois who knew Jen Seron
and Linda Abarbanell and had brown hair and a banana suit?

To: Doug sorry man, my only connection to the U of I was being at Urbana 93.

To: Dave King of Banana Suit fame, they're looking for you.

- Peace

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Corprate Worship

Aaron Klinefelter has some great thoughts on why worship is more than just me and Jesus. I do think both personal and corprate are important and need to mix together. However the church we've been attending only expresses things in terms of you and God. The reality of corprate worship is just never expressed - so Aaron's post resonated with me in a big way.

Thanks to Jordon for the Contextless Link

- Peace

Saturday, January 15, 2005

NT Wright on Tsunami and the problem of natural evil


Saying this precisely does not give Christian theology an easy explanation ("Oh, that's all right then") for the continuing presence of evil in the world. On the contrary, it tells a story about Jesus's own sense of abandonment, and thereby encourages us to embrace the same sense of helpless involvement in the sorrow of the world, as the means by which the world is to be healed. Those who work for justice, reconciliation and peace will know that sense, and perhaps, occasionally, that healing.

as seen on

- Peace

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Bono and my Grandparents Kneel

I think I know why the word kneel captured my attention on HTDAAB. To describe prayer as kneeling is something I associate with an older generation. A word my grandparents or parents used. It's not a word that I or my friends use.

How odd to hear Bono use the words of my elders. Bono who's been on the cutting edge of expressing his faith. Bono who faith was much doubted by just about everyone 80's and 90's. Bono sounding like one of my elders, go figure.

There's a similar cultural clash in the line that refers Bullet the Blue Sky in Vertigo. Though this conflict is between the Alternative U2 and Top 40 U2. Bullet the Blue Sky was the one song on Joshua Tree (The first Top 40 U2 album) that all the old school Alternative U2 fans liked. It was an earthy, beautiful song of protest about a real and brutal situation. Vertigo is about a being in a dance club and feelig lost. I wonder if the line is there to draw the contrast.

- Peace

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Jan 11 Last Day for Matching Donations

Today is the last day where the Government of Canada will match personal donations for Southeast Asia Tsunami Disaster Relief. Here's what World Vision Canada has to says they can do with the money

$40 provides $80 worth of Emergency supplies to two children and their families
$80 provides $160 worth of Emergency supplies to four children and their families
$120 to provide $240 worth of Emergency supplies to six children and their families

So it doesn't take a lot of cash to help a number of people.

World Vision US has an interesting document: Top 10 myths of disaster relief

- Peace

Sunday, January 09, 2005

U2 Images and Impressions

Got U2's How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb for my birthday. There are a ton of good reviews out there, so I'll say that like it. I do want to post about some lyrics that have captured my attention.

I've noticed the word kneel appears three times on the album. In the last verse of Vertigo
Hello, hello (¡Hola!)
We're at a place called Vertigo (¿Dónde está?)
Lights go down, and all I know
Is that you give me something
I can feel your love teaching me how
Your love is teaching me how
How to kneel, kneel
At the end of City of Blinding Lights
The more you know the less you feel
Some pray for others steal
Blessings are not just for the ones who kneel... luckily
and from the chorus from Original of the Species
And you feel like no-one before
You steal right under my door
I kneel 'cause I want you some more
I want the lot of what you got
And I want nothing that you're not
I can't think of another image that Bono has used as much on one album. Draw your own conclusions on the significance if any but it caught my attention.

There is one other lyric that stands out to me. From Vertigo
The night is full of holes
These bullets rip the sky
Of ink with gold
They twinkle as the boys
Play rock and roll
They know that they can't dance
At least they know
"bullets rip the sky" strikes me as reference to Bullet the Blue Sky
Across the field you see the sky ripped open
See the rain come through the gaping wound
Pounding on the women and children who run into the arms of America
I don't have a clue what it means, it just hits me that way every time I hear it. It's like the images from Bullet the Blue Sky overlay the ones from Vertigo in my mind just that moment.

- Peace

New Kids on the blog roll

dead apostle by Poul Mark. Poul holds a special place in my heart as he was the first guy to introduce me to Eugene H. Peterson's writing other than the Message. We attended the same church in Edmonton in the 90s.

Been reading Steve and Leslie Wiseman's blogs for while now. Steve and Leslie will be the new pastors at the church I may or may not be attending. Yeah it's an ambigous situation.

- Peace

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Happy New Year

Just starting to get back in the swing of things. The end of 2004 was nuts, got a few days off and just needed to crash for a bit. Feels like I'm just starting to reboot.

My home machine was down. On the floor to be exact. I had a hardware failure of the desk kind. I just installed new legs from Ikea on the desk so I don't have to be stretched out on the floor to use this machine.

Hope you had a good break. I know I did, but I'm glad to be getting back to normal, well as close as I get to normal.

- Peace