Tracie ran across a couple of interesting videos online recently. The first is here; it’s a CNN.com spot about an autistic teenager who uses a computer with text-to-speech software to speak to her parents. The second is here; it’s a brief article about an autistic woman who has made a video about herself and how she communicates. What they have to say, and the clarity with which they say it, is startling.
I ran across an interesting article about a nasty computer virus that’s coming into the country from China in the firmware of digital photo frames (those self-contained LCD things that display digital photos, which I guess are purchased by people who don’t have computers in every room of the house). This is the sort of thing that–as my cousin Ziggy put it many years ago–makes the world seem increasingly like a science-fiction novel. Go into Target or Costco, buy a gadget for your grandmother so that she can put her digital photos of you and her Pekingese on her coffee table, and zap, suddenly her computer is sending all of her personal info to someone in China. Sound farfetched? Read the article.
I’m pleased to announce that Audio Damage has just released our latest product. Ricochet is a multi-tap delay plug-in with an unusual architecture and a far more direct user interface than most multi-delay plug-ins. That’s a rather brief synopsis, of course; you can read more about it, listen to sound samples, download the manual, and buy it at the Audio Damage website.
We had the roof replaced this week. A roof replacement has to be one of the least interesting home-maintenance projects one can do (or pay someone to do, rather). Don’t get me wrong: a good roof is essential, and a bad roof can be a nightmare. That’s why we replaced the old roof now, while it still had some life left in it, rather than later, after it had started leaking or something. But it’s really not very gratifying. It’s a noisy, dirty, expensive project, and in the end you have nothing other than a new roof. I don’t know about you, but I just don’t spend much time gazing at my roof. Roofs just don’t hold my interest. I guess having the water heater replaced a couple of years ago was even less interesting, but at least it was done in a few hours rather than in a few days.
One of my high-school classmates is headed into space today. Dr. Stanely Love is Mission Specialist 4 on STS-122, scheduled to launch today at 2:45PM EST. There’s live video coverage here and tons of info about the mission here, from which I grabbed this photo of Stan [I don’t know whether he goes by Stan or Stanley these days–I knew him as Stan, but that was 25 years ago] during training:
Our high school wasn’t a particularly nice place if you happened to not be in the “in” crowd, and Stan most definitely wasn’t in that crowd. (I wasn’t either. You probably guessed that.) Well, here we are, 25 years later, and Stan’s an astronaut, about to do what he’s dreamed of doing since he was a kid. I’d love to know how many of the “in” crowd are still in Eugene pumping gas or something. (Chris told me a very gratifying story awhile ago about returning to his home town a year or so ago and discovering that his high-school football champ was still pumping gas at the same place he worked when he was in high school.)
I recently added an expansion panel to one of the MOTM-480 filters in my modular synthesizer. Click here to read about the project and see photos. (The link takes you to a permanent page in the Synth DIY section of this website.)