Bounty: gjots for Android TRACK TOP
Posted on January 1st, 2011 by Chris Brunner. Filed in Bounties.
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$300 to the first person who ports gjots to Android.

The Android app must have the same functionality as the latest version of gjots for Linux.

TiVo: Review, Links and Resources TRACK TOP
Posted on December 27th, 2010 by Chris Brunner. Filed in Technology.
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Okay, I know that TiVo has been around for a long time, But…

I was recently looking for a way to watch certain video podcasts on my TV. For the life of me, I couldn’t find a hardware set-top-box that will just play video podcasts on my television.

It seems like such a simple concept, right? It’s just a matter of checking an RSS feed, downloading a video, and playing it. Miro, and several other podcast players, can do it just fine. Why aren’t there any set top boxes out there that are capable of such a seemingly-easy task? I searched high and low to no avail.

That is, until I learned that the new versions of TiVo support video podcasts. It was on. I immediately went out an bought two — one for my living room, and one for my bedroom. (Video podcast support wasn’t the only reason, read on.) They were less than $100 each from Best Buy!

Read the remainder of this entry »

Bounty: PHP Function that Scrapes Google TRACK TOP
Posted on December 21st, 2010 by Chris Brunner. Filed in Bounties.
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I need a function to plug into a bigger piece of software that I wrote, that scrapes Google.

It should be pretty simple for an experienced PHP programmer. I initially wrote a function that scrapes Scroogle, but they ban IPs after 100 queries, and I’d like to cut to the source since the function has to be rewritten anyway.

Project requirements:
– Create a PHP function that receives $search_term, scrapes Google, and returns the resulting hostnames as an array. If there are zero results, the function should return FALSE.
– The function must be usable for at least 5,000 queries per day. Something more like 20,000 would be ideal, of course.
– This is not a requirement, but in order to be able to do 5,000 queries per day, it may need to support proxies. See the links below.

This is the function that I wrote, that you will be replacing. It’s perfectly functional, but isn’t usable in the long-term due to Scroogle’s IP banning.
This page outlines what you’re up against, and offers some solutions.
Another example PHP snippet.
Yes another example of working PHP code that scrapes Google.
– It has been suggested (but I have Not confirmed) that it’s easier to scrape Google while passing accessibility flags:

Initial bounty offer: $250. Let me know if you want to bid higher.

Contact me if you’re interested. Good luck!

$200 to the first person to create this simple app! TRACK TOP
Posted on December 1st, 2010 by Chris Brunner. Filed in Bounties.
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I will send $200, via PayPal, to the first person who creates the following, very simple, application:


  • Create an application for Linux that searches an IMAP account for large attachments, and allows users to pick attachments to be downloaded and deleted from their IMAP account.


  1. Prompt user for IMAP login credentials.
  2. Search IMAP account for attachments.
  3. Present a list of attachments to the user, in descending order of file size (largest to smallest).
  4. For each item in the list, give user the option to download the attachment and delete it from the IMAP account (or to delete the attachment without downloading it).

Additional Requirements

  • Application must be made available, free of charge, to the public as open source software.

If you’re interested, simply post a comment to let myself and others know that you’ve started working. When you’re done, contact me and I will immediately send you the money.

(Inspired by IMAPsize, which is Windows-only and close-source.)

See for more bounties!

Code Bounties: An Explanation TRACK TOP
Posted on November 30th, 2010 by Chris Brunner. Filed in Announcement, Bounties, Technology.
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For many years, I’ve told myself that if I ever had the money, I’d start creating bounties for the purpose of improving the software available to the Open Source community.

That day has come, and for this just purpose, I’ve created a new “Bounties” section of my blog.

My posted bounties will always be reachable at:

Here’s how it works:

1. I have an idea for a piece of software, or if I find an annoying bug that I know affects others.

2. Rather than waiting around, and doing nothing to improve the situation, I will create a bounty. Bounties will be posted in this new category, and I will probably also tweet them.

For example, I may post something like, “$200 to the first person who can fix this bug,” along with a link to the bug report.

3. If you see a bounty that you would like to take on, post a comment to let myself and others know that you’ve started working on it.

4. Once the piece of code, application, or bug fix is complete, I will immediately send you the money and announce in my post that the bounty has been awarded to you.

Watch closely or subscribe to my Bounty RSS feed for the first bounty! Good luck!

Livestation: For people who want real news TRACK TOP
Posted on October 28th, 2010 by Chris Brunner. Filed in Cool Links, Current Events, Random Thoughts, Technology.
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First of all, I’d like to note that all news sources, including these, are biased to some degree.

With that said, it’s often nice to get views of what’s going on in the world that aren’t directly influenced by the US government.

For that, there is Livestation.

It free, and it’s cross-platform. So, it works just fine on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Livestation carries the following channels (among others), each which offer a new take on world events:

  • Al Jazeera English
  • RT
  • Press TV
  • BBC World Service
  • France 24
  • CNN International

It’s worth checking out. You should go download it.

Encyclopedia Dramatica and One World Government TRACK TOP
Posted on September 21st, 2010 by Chris Brunner. Filed in Current Events, Politics, Technology.
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I have no idea how I stumbled upon this, but I found it very interesting.

For the sake of context, Encyclopedia Dramatica is, without question, one of the top five least-sane websites on the Internet, in terms of its content. Figuring out exactly what it is, and why, is an exercise that I will leave to you.

Anyway, this is the blog post I found. It’s by Joseph Evers, the founder of ED.

For those unaware, Encyclopedia Dramatica has been in a lot of trouble in Australia lately. First ED was placed on the ACMA blacklist, a “secret” list of websites to be censored throughout Australia in their upcoming internet filter. After this list was leaked to the public, we all laughed about how we were put on a blacklist with “Wikipedia entries, euthanasia sites, websites of fringe religions, Christian sites, and even the websites of a tour operator and a Queensland dentist“. Meanwhile, Australia Communications Minister Stephen Conroy called for the arrests of Australians publishing the list.

So here’s the deal. This is an initial investigation into charging me, personally, with the violation of Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act. While I act in complete compliance with both the civil and criminal codes of the United States of America, and am assured the right of free speech according to our Constitution (which, if not the greatest political document in the entire history of law, is certainly on the top five) I can personally be jailed and fined for the violation of this law. Check out the court precedent they cite, Dow Jones & Co Inc v Gutnick, where a United States paper had to pay 580k for publishing an article about a globalized company headquartered in Australia and its CEO whilst completely in compliance with United States civil precedence. This isn’t a far-fetched legal theory, they have used it before. Welcome to the one world government, folks. Is this what you wanted? Is this what you had in mind? Cause this is what you’re gettin’.

Encyclopedia Dramatica will never be censored in any way. We will keep publishing this content and our Australian users will be able to view it up until the point that your God-forsaken government blocks it with their soon-to-be-implemented secret list of banned material. ACMA’s child pornography blacklist is only one half child pornography. The rest is religious and political speech. You really want Soviet-style communism as your future? I know some people that had to escape from the GDR. Many of your children will be in that position. The house of cards is about to come down, and they’re making sure your mouths are taped shut first. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

My counsel has advised me that I can never under any circumstances visit my family in Sydney again, nor otherwise make any appearances on Australian soil. Here’s to the hidden cost of freedom.

Scary. I’ve only been to ED a few times in my life, but their content has nothing to do with the issue at hand. I applaud Joseph for refusing to censor his wiki site, and I find this trend of global cooperation among pro-censorship bureaucracies incredibly chilling.

Ubuntu Linux External Display Issues on the ThinkPad T410s TRACK TOP
Posted on September 20th, 2010 by Chris Brunner. Filed in Random Thoughts, Technology.
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I had a hell of a time finding a solution to this, so I figured I’d post the solution I found here for anyone else who happens to want to run Ubuntu on a ThinkPad T410s with an external display.

– If you manage to get your external display working at all, it matches your laptop’s internal display resolution

1. Upgrade your BIOS
2. In your new BIOS settings, change it to always use Discrete Graphics
3. Boot back into Ubuntu
4. Run nvidia-xconfig (assuming you’ve already installed the proprietary drivers)
5. Reboot

That’s it. Should work fine now.

As simple as it sounds, that took almost all day to figure out. Good luck.

After you do this, you may discover that your external display goes blank when you shut your laptop lid. The solution can be found in this thread on the Ubuntu forums.

Gmail Compose Bookmarklet TRACK TOP
Posted on September 11th, 2010 by Chris Brunner. Filed in Cool Links, Random Thoughts, Technology.
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If you use Gmail for everything, as I do, you probably wish you had a way to create a “Compose” button that saves you from having to go to Gmail in a new browser tab, and let it load, before you compose a new message.

There is an easy way to do this.

Simply drag this link into your bookmark toolbar:
Gmail Compose

Credit goes to

Differentiating Debits and Credits TRACK TOP
Posted on September 11th, 2010 by Chris Brunner. Filed in Random Thoughts.
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To anyone reading this, sorry — something I just post things that are nothing more than notes to myself.

And, I happen to be teaching myself how to keep books right now.

This is a table of how credits and debits impact your accounts…

Asset +
Liability +
Income +
Expense +
Equity +