Category Archives: General

Mouse pointer keeps moving back to same spot

Creative Commons license - image by Peter Renshaw (Flickr)

Here’s a quick one… One of those face-palm moments that took me way too long to figure out.

I just spent 20 minutes trying to figure out why my mouse pointer would reset locations on my screen every second or two. I could move the mouse, but it would instantly jump back to the original spot (at the bottom of my screen). I’m in Apple OSX – though this same issue would affect Windows. Using only my keyboard, I tried shutting down every application one by one. Something in my computer was causing my mouse to disappear and move locations. After all my applications were closed, I tried relaunching Finder. Still nothing.

Finally, I try rebooting my entire machine. After it booted, the problem persisted. Becoming very frustrated, I turned off my wireless mouse and went to go to search for a wired mouse to try instead. That’s when the (very delayed) lightbulb went off in my head: my Wacom graphics tablet! Sure enough, I had placed my tablet stylus on the corner of my graphics tablet and it was fighting with my mouse, repositioning my mouse pointer to the same location on my screen.

In the words of the great H.J. Simpson: “Doh!”

Apple Touch ID is insecure

Less than a week after the release of Apple’s new iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s, the Chao Computer Club has released an article and a video showing that the Apple Touch ID technology is insecure and can be easily hacked by lifting a fingerprint from an object such as a glass, and then replicating the fingerprint using wood glue.

The moral of this story is that you should not trust Apple Touch ID or any fingerprint biometrics as your only source of security. Make sure that you protect your devices and personal data using more than just a fingerprint.

My Pebble finally arrived

Pebble watch on wrist

Woo-hoo! After a full year of waiting, I finally received my Pebble watch today! If you’ve been living under a cyber-rock for the past year, the Pebble is the new geekiest toy on the block. It pairs with your smart phone and allows you to do anything you want, right from your wrist. Well, almost anything.

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Prank Chat #1

I used to make prank phone calls with my cousin when I was in high school. Now that I’m surfing the Information Super Highway, I decided that pranking live chat agents is equally as funny. Whenever you’re browsing the net and find a site with a Live Chat feature, simply pop it up and start chatting. Prank chatting is the new black.

Welcome to [Online Diamond Dealer Web site]. A Jewelry Expert will be with you shortly. You are number 1 in line to be answered. Thank you for your patience.
You are now chatting with ‘Andrew’

Andrew: Welcome to Store name. How can I help you today?
Chris: Hi Andrew. Kinda a weird question… I’m wondering if you know if it’s possible to mount a diamond to an eye patch?
Chris: I guess it would be similar to mounting a diamond onto a piece of rigid fabric
Andrew: you can possible have that done locally, yes
Andrew: exactly!
Chris: What is the physical weight of a 3.5 carat diamond?
Chris: I wonder if it would be too heavy?
Chris: Also, are some shapes more suited for mounting against fabric?
Andrew: no, it will only be a few grams very weightless for an eye patch.
Chris: For example, are some cuts more flat than others?
Andrew: you can consider princess cuts as well as round
Andrew: or emerald
Andrew: did you select a diamond you would like?
Chris: In your professional experience, what would look best on an eye patch? Right in the centre?
Andrew: round would be best
Andrew: in the center
Chris: There is a diamond I found on your site… 3.6 carat, round.. GIA cert: XXXXXXXX
Andrew: that size would be perfect
Chris: I forgot to mention that this is for my wife.. I imagine that round is best for women as well though.
Chris: It’s our anniversary in June and I thought this would be a perfect gift. I’ve gotten her jewelry in the past, but this will be so beautiful I think.
Andrew: that would be a nice gift for her.
Chris: OK. I have a question. As I’m going through the checkout, can I reference you somehow, to indicate that you’ve helped me?
Andrew: i can have that overnight to you for free
Chris: On a $22,000 sale, I would hope that you get commission.
Andrew: there is no way to indicate that on the site
Andrew: but if you provide me your order confirmation number I will ensure it is overnighted to you
Andrew: that would be appreciated yes
Chris: Ok. Will you be around for a few minutes?
Andrew: yes, I can wait
Chris: I’ll place the order and give you the number.
Chris: ok. thank you very much. you’ve been very helpful
Andrew: thank you
Andrew: would you like to pop me the number here ?
Chris: Yes, either that, or perhaps I can email you?
Chris: I’ll leave this window open though
Andrew: sure I wait here but you can also send it to (removed email address)
Chris: ok. one moment.

Paypal Math

My math might be a bit rusty since graduating, but this screenshot from PayPal seems a bit off to me…

Paypal Error

Perhaps there’s more to forex than I originally thought.

Five Things I Recommend

It’s autumn 2007 and, as always, I have a handful of things that are currently filling my life with joy. I’d like to take a minute to list 5 of these things and recommend them to you. I’m sure that some of these recommendations will eventually fade off my top 5 list, but as of right now, you should try these:

  1. Django. Django is a web framework written in Python. I’ve been experimenting with a couple Python web frameworks recently, and over the last month, I’ve written a couple small applications using Django. The installation is easy, development is fast and support is plentiful.
  2. French Onion Soup from M&M Meat Shops. These were recommended to me by my brother, Nick. They are amazing. They come completely frozen, and you put them in the oven. If you like French Onion Soup, you have to try these.
  3. Guitar Hero. As many of you already know, Guitar Hero is the game that revived my Xbox 360. If you still haven’t played this game, you should find someone with it and give it a try. Guitar Hero III comes out next week, and you can be certain that I am going to buy it.
  4. Plant bulbs. Fall is the time of year to plant spring flowers. There are tons of types of flowers that you plant now, and they will be the first ones to burst through the soil after the snow melts. Tulips, Daffodils and Crocus are among the many great varieties of flowers to be planted now. Check with your local garden centre to see which ones would be best for your garden.
  5. All-you-can-eat-sushi. I’ve gone twice in the last month. I’ve always enjoyed sushi but I’ve never really had the chance to venture out of my comfort zone when ordering. That was, until I went with co-workers for all-you-can-eat sushi. This is not like the typical buffet as you would find in Chinese restaurants. At most A.Y.C.E. sushi restaurants, you order off a menu, and each dish is made fresh for you. With a large group of people, you have the chance to try a lot of new dishes and things you wouldn’t normally order on your own. Another added bonus is that you never really feel full while eating sushi, so you can just keep eating and eating.

Guitar Hero optimal strategies

Just when I thought I was starting to get a bit good at Guitar Hero I stumbled upon a site that opened my eyes to an entire new world of Guitar Hero skill. is a site which documents most of the best Guitar Hero scores in the world. You see, the thing about Guitar Hero, is that you could hit every single note in a song, but if you don’t use your Star Power and whammy bar at exactly the right point, you may find that you only rank about 500th in the world.

Poking around a bit further in the site, I found this list of note charts and optimal “paths” through each song in the game. It appears as though a fellow named debr5836 created a program which extracts the songs of Guitar Hero, analyzes them and then finds the optimal strategy to maximize your score. This means using the whammy bar at exactly the right time, and hitting your Star Power so that you get the longest streak of notes possible. That is, of course, if you need something more challenging than getting 100% on Expert. Sigh…