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The Riddle of the Gun

Here's a good article on gun control.

Fantasists and zealots can be found on both sides of the debate over guns in America. On the one hand, many gun-rights advocates reject even the most sensible restrictions on the sale of weapons to the public. On the other, proponents of stricter gun laws often seem unable to understand why a good person would ever want ready access to a loaded firearm. Between these two extremes we must find grounds for a rational discussion about the problem of gun violence.

And

Of course, it is important to think about the problem of gun violence in the context of other risks. For instance, it is estimated that 100,000 Americans die each year because doctors and nurses fail to wash their hands properly. Measured in bodies, therefore, the problem of hand washing in hospitals is worse than the problem of guns, even if we include accidents and suicides.

Really worth reading. Don't let the second quote scare you into thinking it's pro-gun. I think it will come across as well balanced.

Retina Quality Favicons

From John Gruber:

Old (non-retina) favicons are 16 × 16 px; a retina favicon is thus 32 × 32 px. The lazy way to support retina is to replace your old 16 px favicon.ico file with a 32 px file, and allow non-retina browsers to scale the image. The proper solution, however, is to create a single favicon.ico file containing two icon resources: one 16 × 16, the other 32 × 32. ICO files support other resolutions as well, but I see no practical utility in doing so.

Best Place to Order Posters Online

I'd like to order a few (three or four?) small posters online. What's the best place to do so? 18 x 24" or so.

Five 18 x 24" color posters (mounted to foam boards) from the FedEx/Kinko's is $179.

Resolutions

Funny. But then again xkcd almost always is.

48 Hours at Leadville’s Ultra

I still have no idea why anyone would want to run more than about ten miles or so, but this article about the 100-mile punishing Leadville Ultramarathon (and it's not punishing because it's 100 miles - that's the least of it!) is worth a read.

This Guy Doesn’t Have your Cell Phones

I wonder if he could sue.

Sean Foley Working with Justin Rose on a Doppler Radar Machine

Fringe Ends in January

Bah. I suppose I knew this was coming, I think I'd read about it, but dangit - it's one of the best Sci-Fi shows since the X-Files (and by that I mean the X-Files before that series turned to poo).

Wii U

Is there any compelling reason to get a Wii U? Any "console maker" games?

Our Wii hasn't seen much action lately (like in a year or two), while the Kinect sees regular action, but it's also been overheating or something as it will freeze sometimes after boot-up, so it could also be considered an "updated replacement" that let us keep playing our existing Wii games. Rarely. :)

Adding Watermark to PDF at Download

Does anyone know of a relatively easy way to watermark a multi-page PDF via PHP at the time of download?

I'll do my usual research, but if anyone knows of a quick way that works, I'd love to hear it. :)

Top NHL Plays 2011-2012

Sharing a Site with DNS Pointing Elsewhere

I'm working on a site for a tech-unsavvy friend, and I'd like to let him look at the site. Normally (as I do on my machines) I'd have the guy set the non-www. domain name in his hosts file to point to the new IP address, but he's unable to do that.

So what are my options? Again the domain.com is currently pointing elsewhere for everyone, but I have some spare domains I can use. I'm surely brain farting on how to use them, because I've set one up as an alias and that's not worked, and on the server side I've tried symlinking the public_html folder on one domain to the other.

Again, I'm surely brain farting, but why? What's the easiest way to point someone to a site that's pointed by all DNS elsewhere without actually moving the files and database to a new domain (which may break some of the links, particularly in a WordPress powered site)?

Trying CyberPower for UPS, Replacing a Battery in the APC

The APC Back-UPS RS 1500VA LCD that I got in July, 2008 (product page) has served me well. It's an 865 Watt, 1500 VA unit that gives me around 18 minutes or so of battery powered backup when it's new.

A few weeks ago we lost power, and my computer didn't last very long. When power came back I noticed the battery was behaving poorly, and due to its age, I bought a replacement from ATBatt.com.

I left the batteries to charge for over 16 hours (per the manual), and booted the computer to find this:

APC 1APC 2
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Ugh, Forums

Ugh, the modern world of forums is a real pain in the rear.

I'm looking to start a new (small) forum for disc golf technique and instruction.

XenForo (I use this elsewhere) hasn't seen an update since March. phpBB and MyBB are small and have hideous themes. Vanilla Forum charges a lot and their host-it-yourself version lacks a LOT of features. vBulletin and IPB are costly (which might be okay) but awfully large.

Seriously, what gives? What's a good, lightweight forum package with a reasonable feature set?

WordPress Want – A Basic “Upcoming Events” Widget

I'm developing a small site for someone and I've already hacked together a custom widget to show recent posts on every page of the site (the "blog" is more of a "news" thing while the main site uses pages), but I haven't yet found a good solution for an "Upcoming Events" widget.

If it were me, I'd just read in a PHP file with arrays in it or something and spit out the data. No muss, no fuss. But the guy who will be managing this will want a nice GUI for everything.

I found one plugin and widget that works with .ics files but I don't know that I can rely on the customer being able to create a .ics file.

Plugins like this one seem like massive overkill.

Update: In the end I hacked up a copy of External Events Calendar, which since the site is new and began after WordPress 3.5, required the Links Manager plugin to expose the links capabilities within WordPress again.

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