Technology

The Orange Box: A custom USB Flight Control Panel

I play a lot of Elite: Dangerous. And while I use a reasonably nice HOTAS, I’ve long wanted a flight panel: a bank of toggle switches with LED indicators that would act as a USB joystick. I can only find one company selling such a thing, and their solution leaves exposed wiring. (a no-no when you live with cats) Also, their website looks like it is from the 90s and just feels kind of sketchy.
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Intel NUC, remote controls, and Fedora 22

I’ve had a fun time getting kodi to work with my new remote on an Intel NUC. So, in case you’re in a similar situation, here’s what worked for me! These instructions are for Fedora 22 and the hardware I linked to in this paragraph, but a lot of the instructions should be applicable in slightly different situations as well. Update your Intel NUC to the latest bios. At least on the RYH line, they fixed some problems with the IR receiver in a recent update.
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What the hell is happening to PSN?

All day yesterday, I watched my husband trying to log into FF XIV on the PS4. All day, the PSN sign in servers remained down. They’re still listed as offline now. Xbox Live has been back up since yesterday afternoon. So what’s taking Sony so long? Keeping production servers online is a large part of what I do professionally, so… I know this problem domain pretty well. And I’ve seen a lot of… speculation that is deeply misinformed.
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EA Origin, or: a Case Study in bad consumer experience

I don’t play The Sims. The premise holds a certain amount of appeal for me, and the franchise’s quirky sense of humour and artistic style agree with my aesthetic sense, but something about the gameplay - the ebb and flow of action and the effort/reward cycle the game creates - doesn’t quite gel into an experience that I enjoy.But my wife, she loves The Sims. She has sunk at least as many hours into The Sims 3 as I have in Starcraft 2 and Civ 5 combined.
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Tabletop Roleplaying over the Internet

I have been playing tabletop roleplaying games since a fateful day when I was 13. I had gone with a friend to play Magic: the Gathering at a local video game shop that also happened to sell Magic cards. One of the players mentioned a gaming group starting up at the local Media Play.Curious, my friend and I got a ride over to Media Play. There, I found a pretty large group of people playing Magic.
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Gaming in Linux - my adventures with wine

I like playing games. My 1600-word review of Portal 2 should have been at least some indication of that. I enjoy console and PC video games, tabletop roleplaying games, and board games. But today, I’m talking about playing PC video games in Linux.wine is not an emulatorLet’s start with the basics (then probably skip the middle ground and jump straight to the advanced stuff). Programs written for Windows or Mac OS can’t be run natively in Linux.
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BitTorrent, the Linux way

I use BitTorrent a lot. Most Linux distributions have torrents available, and I have gotten a lot of Creative Commons-licensed music, such as the work of Jonathan Coulton, via BitTorrent. It is a great way to deliver content.However, I have a problem with (most of) the available BitTorrent clients. Given what BitTorrent does, which is allow you to download and subsequently seed content, it should really run like a service - quietly running in the background handling your torrents.
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Bulding bridges in the metaverse

If/once you “get it”, Second Life is pretty cool. It can be a lot of different things, and its potential has barely even been scratched. Sure, the tools are cumbersome, but they are getting better. And some of Linden Lab’s policies suck, but that will just drive people to OSGrid, eventually.Anyway, there are people in Second Life that I like being able to communicate with. However, when I’m at work, it’s a lot of trouble to create an SSH tunnel home, then forward a text-only client like ommviewer-light just so I can log in and see who is online.
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Tutorial: Creating OpenSim terrain with Blender

This tutorial will explain how to create RAW terrain files for OpenSim and Second Life using Blender and the Gimp.Before we beginYou will need the following software for this tutorial. All of this software is free and open source. Blender, a professional 3d modelling tool. Blender is powerful but complex, and basic blender knowledge is assumed for this tutorial. Blender will be used to actually create the heightmap. The Gimp, a powerful program for creating and editing raster (i.
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emacs 23, dbus, and libnotify

A new major version of emacs is out, and it includes dbus support. This is great, because it means we can do things like this:(require ‘dbus)(defun send-desktop-notification (summary body timeout) “call notification-daemon method METHOD with ARGS over dbus" (dbus-call-method :session ; use the session (not system) bus “org.freedesktop.Notifications” ; service name “/org/freedesktop/Notifications” ; path name “org.freedesktop.Notifications” “Notify” ; Method “emacs" 0 ““ summary body ‘(:array) ‘(:array :signature “{sv}") ‘:int32 timeout))(defun pw/compile-notify (buffer message) (send-desktop-notification “emacs compile” message 0))(setq compilation-finish-function ‘pw/compile-notify)Add this to your .
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