This training package can help teach you to run networks like a professional programmer

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With more and more companies moving all their operations into the cloud, the need has never been greater for those with the skills to map exactly how an organization reconstitutes itself in that new environment.

Network architects responsible for determining all the communication, storage, and infrastructure needs of an expansive organization are among the most sought-after pros in computer science today, bringing home salaries of over $135,000 a year in many cases.

The journey to a role like that can begin with training like the knowledge found in The Complete Computer Networking eBook and Video Course Bundle

The collection is your very own computer networking reference library, including five ebooks and five videos covering over 14 hours of content on a truckload of critical topics, including DevOps, programming, AWS, CCNA, and more.

For every important decision about how to administer a network, there are a dozen different paths to a solution — and this training takes that into account, examining several of the most popular tools for managing and growing a busy network.

The ebooks start you off with a smattering of training from across the discipline. Want to know how to run a Linux network? The Hands-On Linux for Architects ebook has everything you need. Maybe you’re doing all of your coding in the C programming language — in which case Hands-On Network Programming with C explains utilizing network sockets, implementing internet protocols, designing IoT devices, and more with C. Or the AWS Certified Advanced Networking: Specialty Exam Guide can help you develop technical skills and expertise to automate AWS networking tasks and advanced skill sets to build effective AWS networking solutions of your own. Read the rest

This soulful song won NPR’s 2020 Tiny Desk Contest: ‘Green Tea Ice Cream’ by Linda Diaz

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It’s easy to understand why singer/songwriter Linda Diaz’s deeply soulful “Green Tea Ice Cream” won NPR’s 2020 Tiny Desk Contest:

Diaz is a singer and songwriter from New York City, and her winning entry, “Green Tea Ice Cream,” has a powerful message and euphoric sound. To me, Diaz’s song is about slowing down and trying to find moments to enjoy life. Hearing her sing the line, “you should be living out your dreams / but you’re tearing at the seams” seemed particularly poignant this year as we’re all struggling to find balance in our lives.

Diaz’s compelling entry and captivating stage presence left a mark on our other judges, too. “Linda stood out in a crop of thousands of talented musicians, but I knew early on that she was the one to beat,” Tiny Desk producer and Contest judge Bobby Carter said. “Her tone, her message and the band’s overall musical presentation were simply undeniable.” Carter was so impressed with Diaz’s entry early on that he interviewed her in the very first episode of Tiny Desk Contest Top Shelf.

Judges Tarik Moody of 88Nine Radio Milwaukee and Tiny Desk alumna Gina Chavez agreed that we all needed Diaz’s entry this year. “It was meditative and reminded me to take care of myself during this craziness that is 2020,” Moody said. Chavez added, “If harmonies are medicine, then Linda Diaz is a salve for the soul.”

Linda writes:

This song is about finding and honoring your passions/peace in a society that values you based on your productivity.

Read the rest

There are huge polka dots all over Portland’s Pioneer Square

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Portland’s Pioneer Square is now covered in giant vinyl polka dots, thanks to my pal Bill Will. The large-scale installation is titled “Polka Dot Courthouse Square” and encourages safe distancing while gathering in the square, aka “Portland’s living room.”

Polka Dot Courthouse Square is a series of colorful, 12-foot, vinyl “dots” adhered to the red brick surface of the Square. These dots, spaced 10-feet apart within a structured grid, not only “decorate” our beloved Portland Living Room carpet, but also “set the stage” for performances by a diverse range of Portland artists, musicians, writers, singers, dancers and market vendors – while also welcoming the un-choreographed, open space behaviors of Portland’s citizens and visitors. These performances will be captured through still photography and video then promoted collaboratively with installation partners. In a fascinating double entendre, this art installation not only establishes the safe distancing required for public gathering but also encourages activation by others. It creates a wonderful comment on the push me/pull you aspect of the mandated distancing.

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POLKA DOT COURTHOUSE SQUARE Photo by @pdxdrone25 Livestream (too bright mid day): www.kgw.com/live-cameras #polkadotcourthousesquare #pioneercourthousesquare #thesquarepdx #billwillstudio #socialdistancing #installationart

A post shared by Bill Will (@billxwill) on Jul 31, 2020 at 12:47pm PDT

You can see the colorful circles on the square on this live cam (not visible in the mid-day sun).

images via Bill Will Read the rest

Trombonist plays ‘Flight of the Bumblebee” on a watering can

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Trombonist Martyn Stroud offers this humble disclaimer on his rousing watering-can rendition of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee,” “This is not an art form. It’s not even going to be accurate, but it is good fun.” That striped yellow-and-black shirt he’s wearing is a nice touch.

(Neatorama, ClassicFM)

screengrab via Martyn Stroud/Facebook Read the rest

The wonderfully weird cowboy psychedelia of “Some Velvet Morning”

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This song and video crossed my transom last week and it’s been haunting me ever since. Lee Hazelwood allegedly wrote this song (and others) at the request of Frank Sinatra in an effort to help boost daughter Nancy’s career and send it in new directions.

The video and duet with Hazelwood and Sinatra premiered on her 1967 TV special “Movin’ with Nancy.” That night, Lee and Nancy also performed “Jackson” and Sinatra performed “Sugar Town,” “This Town,” and several other Hazelwood compositions. Lee Hazelwood would end up writing most of Nancy Sinatra’s hits.

“Some Velvet Morning” is a strange mash-up of country and pop psychedelia with apparent references to sex, drugs, and Greek mythology. Hazelwood said that he was fascinated by mythology at the time and was particularly interested in the character of Phaedra, a tragic figure in the Greek mythos. Hazelwood said he felt sorry for her and decided to invoke her spirit in a song.


Bonus Track:
There are a zillion covers of “Some Velvet Morning.” Here is Rowland S. Howard and Lydia Lunch’s take:

Image: YouTube Read the rest

This adult-sized giant armored bionic T-Rex skin suit can be yours for just $7500

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From the listing on Etsy:

Once your gig this 6 meters giant armored bionic skin T-Rex costume your visitors will encounter the more powerful T-Rex than any monster previously. This adult-size Alpha rex suit has a rare and elusive clownfish skin that has light armor on its head, neck, spine. What’s more of this Dino costume equipped with mounted Gatling guns with safe water bullets and nerf gun load with soft sponge bullets. this T-Rex suit is armed to the teeth with weaponry. Inside of the Dinosaur suit, you need to wear 40cm tall stilts to walk. you can press and hold the shooting button to make your Gatling guns firing, work the tamed T-rex to attack your prey. like a kids dream come true, Look at this crazy beastly badass Tyranosaurus costume, you can have many attacks, guns, and mini rockets. also, the T-Rex can spray smoke and has red lighting eyes. Tame your own T-Rex warrior start your beast battle.

Keep in mind, however, that this thing also weighs 75 pounds; although your purchase does include a wooden carrying case, in case you don’t want to ride the subway in your Bionic Dinosaur Battle Armor for whatever reason.

MCSDINO, who designed this beautiful work of art, also offers a whole collection of Dino-Riders-esque Robo-Jurassic armor suits.

Adult Size Armored Bionic Skin T-Rex Costume-DCTR646 [MCSDINO / Etsy] Read the rest

Hal Holbrook’s image erroneously used in “Abuse in the Boy Scouts” class-action ad

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I’m SURE this law firm didn’t mean to use award-winning actor Hal Holbrook’s image to be the poster boy of an abusive Scoutmaster. Yes, this is a real ad for a real class-action campaign for Boy Scout survivors to get compensation for being abused. I got this image directly from a trusted blogger pal (who wishes to remain anonymous). I messaged him, “someone young maybe didn’t know it was a famous actor???” and he joked back, “Maybe they googled ‘pervy looking old guy.'” (Readers, do you know why this image is being used?!)

You can see the original photo of Mr. Holbrook, Emmy- and Tony-award winning actor, here on NPR.

screengrab via Facebook Read the rest

This tribute to 80s entertainment is a good argument that the 80s sucked

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I used to think the 1970s was a bad decade for pop culture. But the 70s gave us A Clockwork Orange, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Deliverance, Jaws, Taxi Driver, The Buzzcocks, Fishbone, The Ramones, Earth, Wind & Fire, Breakfast of Champions, and Surfacing.

It turns out the 1980s was the terrible decade for entertainment, as evidenced by this video “tribute to ’80s Entertainment.” Read the rest

Watch – interview with James Lovelock (age 101) on the Coronavirus

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James Lovelock, the NASA scientist who came up with the theory that the Earth is a self-regulating system (known as Gaia theory) recently celebrated his 101st birthday. In this BBC interview, Lovelock discusses the Coronavirus, and how the human race is an “opportunity for the virus. If you go on building at the population, it’s almost inevitable that something is going to say, geez, there’s a lot of stuff to eat there. Let’s go get it.”

He also talks about entering his second century of life: ” I’ve never been so happy. I had always thought the moment you passed 100 life started going downhill and it was miseries and staggering all over the place. Well, I may stagger, but I couldn’t care less,  it’s really enjoyable.” Read the rest

These Lego control panels will teach you all about physical interface design

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Lego has a two-stud brick with a 45° slope that’s used as a control panel on various vehicle kits, from automobiles to underwater craft to extraterrestrial shuttles. George Cave, a senior interaction technologist at KISKA in Salzburg Austria, collected 52 different Lego control panels and use them in a terrific mini-course in physical interface design.

Here’s an excerpt:

Differentiating inputs

What could cause 400 WWII pilots to raise the landing gear on their B-17 bomber just before touchdown? Catastrophic pilot error, or something more fundamental?

It was the psychologist Alphonsis Chapanis who first suggested that the high rate of crash landings might be the fault of poor interface design. The adjacent landing gear and flap control knobs were identically shaped. The pilots never stood a chance.

B-17 belly landing, and the shape coding that helped to irradiate the problem. Source: Wikipedia

His temporary solution was to glue differently shaped strips of rubber to each switch, enabling blind operation by touch alone. This gave rise to the idea of shape coding and a system of differentiation still being followed in aircraft cockpits today.

We can compare the three interfaces [at the top] to see this in action. Ignore the overall layout, it’s the differences between individual switches that matter here. Imagine trying to feel for one of these buttons without looking. The left panel (“Slope 45 2 x 2 with 12 Buttons”) would require careful hand-eye co-ordination. The right panel (“Aircraft Multiple Flight Controls”) clearly distinguishes between the throttle (large, linear vertical movement), toggle switches (round vertical flick) and the push buttons (square push-in).

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An adjustable cutlery tray is going to sort out one of my biggest RV kitchen beefs

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For the five years that my wife and I have traveled around North America in our 40′ motorhome, I’ve been throwing all of our cutlery, unorganized, into a single drawer, like some kind of animal.

It’s not that I don’t want to find a fork when I need one. The drawers you’ll find in most motorhomes and trailers are small. The sorts of cutlery trays y’all use at home typically won’t fit into them. In the past, I’ve considered building an organizer into the drawer we use for cutlery. It didn’t happen in the end: Just because you want to keep your knives and absinthe spoon in a drawer now, doesn’t mean the storage space won’t be used for something else down the road, later.

After years of looking for a solution, I finally came across this adjustable cutlery tray on Amazon. Problem soved. Read the rest

The user interfaces depicted on lego bricks

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The internet is still wonderful, a fact exemplified by The UX of LEGO Interface Panels, an article by George Cave col0lecting the tiny computer screens, keyboads and dials found on Lego bricks.

All of our approaches so far: organisation by features, operation or technology, have been grounded in properties of the system, not of the user. Organisation by use-case is the antidote to this, a clustering based on the daily routines and tasks of the user.Imagine arriving for work each day at the LEGO body scanner factory. Grouping the switches by task (prepare machine, load body, process scan…) would mean splitting up the radiation and scanner buttons into many different regions. More complex for the computer, but more streamlined for the operator. As the designer, only you and your users will be the judge of what works best.

Read the rest

Video: How long can food stay frozen once the power’s out?

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As my refrigerator and freezer are both designed to run off of 12v, 120v (supplied by a diesel generator, if needs be) or propane, Having my food spoil during a power outage isn’t at the top of my list of worries. However, having rented whole lotta apartments before moving into my current digs, I understand the stress that can come from fretting over having hundreds of dollars worth of food ruined, thanks to a blackout.

Growing up in a tornado-prone region of Canada, I was taught that, once the lights go out, the fridge and freezer stayed closed: every time you open either of them when there’s no juice to run the refrigerator’s or chest freezer’s compressors, you’re allowing heat in, making it more probable that your food will be borked before power’s restored. Of course, no one ever knew when the lights would be coming back on, in the aftermath of a storm. Nor did they have any idea of how long the food being chilled could stay cold once the fridge or freezer were no longer being powered.

For his work on sorting out an estimate of how long your frozen shit will stay frozen, the gentleman in this video deserves a medal. Depending on what type of refrigerator or freezer you own, your chilly mileage may vary. But the data-driven estimate that this video provides is the best resource on the topic that I’ve encountered. Read the rest

Upgrade your WFH experience by adding an extra monitor to your laptop

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Even after months of working from home, you’d be forgiven for thinking the whole experience still doesn’t quite feel…well, normal. 

In addition to all the obvious environmental changes of handling your 9 to 5 from your den or dining room table, the technological aids you didn’t realize you loved back at the office probably don’t exist for you now…and as the song goes, you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.

Like that sweet double monitor setup. Expanding to a second monitor and opening up your virtual desktop can boost your productivity by up to 50 percent. But while that second monitor is gathering dust back at your office, you can bring that feeling home to your laptop with double the impact with the Mobile Pixels Trio Portable Laptop Monitor.

 After earning rave reviews for their original Duex monitor, the Mobile Pixel team upped the ante for their next-generation device, turning the Duex’s second screen array into the Trio’s three-screen setup.

Either one or two Trio screens attach to your laptop magnetically, then slide out to form a two-screen or super-expansive three-screen monitor surface allowing you to truly spread out and work — or just play video games on a seriously expanded scale.

With 1080p HD resolution and a full 270-degree range of rotation, you can configure your extra screen or screens in virtually any setup you like, even flipping them around to use as a standalone presentation screen when you’re trying to persuade a client or co-worker. The array plugs in via a simple USB connection, with one just one cable handling the screen’s power and data needs. Read the rest

A luxury handbag that holds a single watermelon

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Form has met function in a new piece created for Japanese luxury leather brand Tsuchiya Kaban. Designer Yusuke Kadoi made the Watermelon Bag — a playful handbag that holds one single solitary watermelon perfectly — as part of the brand’s “The Fun of Carrying” initiative.

Watch how it’s made — beautiful:

See more photos here.

(Spoon & Tamago)

image via Spoon & Tamago Read the rest

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