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“So long” To RapidVPS

“So long” To RapidVPS

After about 8 years of hosting my site and various other things on RapidVPS, I have finally decided to move things off of it.  I have been wanting to do that for 2 reasons:

  1. The VPS host was originally based on Ubuntu 9.04, and I wish to take advantage of newer TLS cipher suites that are not available.
  2. $20 USD per month isn’t much, but since I am already running a bunch of other sites from my home ESXi, I don’t see the need to pay for another VPS that isn’t mission critical anyway.

The new home is a ESXi VM based on:

  • Ubuntu 16.04 with 8GB RAM
  • ESXi 5.1.0
  • Intel Core i7-3770 with 32GB RAM

The blog is still based on WordPress, but I’ve upgraded it and switched to a much lighter-weight theme.  I’ve also put apache2 in front of gitlab-ce as a reverse proxy, and obtained TLS cert from Lets Encrypt.

 

Apple’s Undeserved Claim to Multi-Touch Patents

Apple’s Undeserved Claim to Multi-Touch Patents

First off, don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate Apple. They do have the ability to get well-designed products out and do it quick. Their marketing guys are geniuses, in ways that lure unsuspecting tech junkies into faithful worshipers. On January 20, 2009, as CNet reported in this article, Apple was awarded several patents related to its multi-touch technology as implemented on its iPhone and iPod Touch. The same article points out that Apple’s COO Tim Cook said Apple “will not stand for having our (intellectual property) ripped off, and we’ll use whatever weapons that we have at our disposal.”

This development reminds me of Amazon’s ill-conceived “One-Click” patent in the late 90’s that was subsequently criticized by many, including the EFF, who then called for a boycott against the online retailer. The fact that the USPTO awarded Apple these patents is troubling. Apple is trying to stifle competition by scaring others into NOT implementing “concepts”. I am not a patent attorney (yet), but it appears to me that the US legal system has been abused again, and is at least partially responsible for Google’s decision not to implement multi-touch in their G1.

As pointed on in this article from Gizmodo, I don’t think Apple will have a rightful and lasting hold onto those patents.

Hack your digital camera.

Hack your digital camera.

For certain Canon point and shoot digital cameras and the Digital Rebel line (or the EOS 300 series for those outside of the US), there are some free firmware you can load onto your camera to “unlock” a few neat tricks.  CHDK is the community forum that is dedicated to advancing these hidden functionality.  This article shows some of the tricks you can do with your hacked camera.