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Topics - Xepher

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106
General Chat / Awesome 3D Sound Demo
« on: July 07, 2007, 12:51:27 am »
Trust me, it's worth digging out the headphones to get the full effect. Really cool, especially if you close your eyes. Only thing that spoiled the effect was it didn't SMELL like a barber shop, and I didn't feel the cold metal of the clipper touch my neck when I thought it should.

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/07/i_havent_enjoyed_headphones_th.php

107
General Chat / Movies...
« on: July 03, 2007, 06:24:41 am »
...That you probably shouldn't watch while drunk.

I just watched a movie starring Madonna, Snoop Dog, David Bowie, Robert De Niro, Emilio Estevez, Jimmy Fallon, and Jason Batemen. And it was made by Luc Besson, the same guy that made The Fifth Element. How many of you can actually guess what movie that is?

The answer, is "Arthur and the Invisibles" which is actually a rather amusing movie. It has several problems, especially with timing, but overall is quite fun to watch. There's a lot of offbeat humor in it, similar to Red vs. Blue, or movies like Airplane. It's also got that moral-story thing going, like Secondhand Lions... but most of all, it's just completely wack! I mean, I'm drinking and watching this, and there are points where I just have to go "Did that really just happen, or did I make that up?" I mean, it's crazy, but really in a fun way. There's a fight scene that takes place on a turn table, and people are doing sword/fight moves to "Staying Alive." Snoop Dog's character had just served everyone "Genie Juice" which leaves everyone puffing green smoke too... It's that bizarre.

The other movie I've watched that had a similar effect was "Hudson Hawk" staring Bruce Willis. Another one you really have to watch twice, just to make sure you're not seeing things.

108
Announcements / Account Verification Time!
« on: June 13, 2007, 11:42:06 am »
It's that time folks! In preparation for the server move, it's time to find out what accounts are still active. The following email was just sent to every non-locked account on Xepher.net If you are a phase 2 user and had a forwarding email set up, the email was sent straight there, with an extra bit on the link to save you from having to reverify your email. (As such, use the link in your email, not the one below.) For everyone else, the email went to your account here on Xepher.net, which (according to the rules) you should be checking occasionally, if you're not using forwarding. Of course, I know a lot of people don't, and will thus miss the message. :-P That's why I'm posting it here.

Quote
Dear Xepher.net User ($username):
As you may be aware, I am preparing to move Xepher.net to a new physical server. The current server is overloaded, and because of this, many things run slower than they should. Likewise, the storage capacity is nearly maxed out, meaning I can't accept new sites. The new server should be many times faster, and have nearly one terabyte of storage, hopefully giving us years of spare capacity before it needs replacing.

As part of the moving process, I am cleaning out dead/unused accounts, as well as collecting definitive information from each user in order to facilitate easier administration. Mostly, I'm looking to collect a valid contact email address, basic information about your site, such as description, title, and type of content. Also, you'll be asked to set a new, secure password. Several users have had their accounts comprised in the past because they used easy-to-guess passwords.

Some of the benefits of the new system will include:
   Easy access to site/user preferences. You'll now be able to easily change your password, setup email forwarding, change your description. Phase 2 users currently enjoy this, but now it will be extended to all users.
   New email system and spam filtering. The spam filtering system will now be trainable. After the first few messages are trained, most email will be automatically classified and dropped straight into Junk or the Inbox. If the filter is unsure of something and needs you to double-check it, it will deliver the message to a folder called 'Unsure' Users will have folders named 'LearnAsSpam' and 'LearnAsHam' in their account. Simply moving a message into either of these folders will train the spam filter, and automatically redeliver the message to the Inbox or Junk folder as appropriate. Additionally, users with their own domain names hosted here will have the option to setup multiple email accounts, and choose specific delivery options for each.
   New newsbox system in the works. This will probably come sometime after the new server is in place, but tentative plans call for each user to be able to set image-based 'ads' that will be rotated in the newsbox on all Xepher.net sites, rather than the text-only 'featured site' currently in use. Additionally, the newsbox code will be changed to javascript, so that it no longer requires the use of php, and can be used/previewed properly on your local computer before upload.
   A lot of behind the scenes changes will go into place as well, making it easier for site administration, and to greatly enhance security and performance.
   
For more information, and to keep up to date with the status of the transition, please visit the forums.
http://xepher.net/forum/
   
That said, and if you wish to continue using your xepher.net site, please visit the following URL and complete the account verification process. If you no longer use your account, or have received this email by mistake, simply ignore this message and you won't be bothered again.

https://xepher.net/account-verification/index.php

If the above line/link is broken into two lines, you may need to reassemble it and then copy/paste into your browser.

Thank you for your time,
--Xepher

P.S. Feel free to contact me with any questions or feature requests for the new system, or if you have problems with the verification process.

If you didn't get the email, had the wrong address set, etc... Just follow the direct link to https://xepher.net/account-verification/index.php and follow the instructions. For those of you that have forgotten your passwords (shame on you!) email me with your username and what you'd like it set to for now.

I'm going to give this about a week or two, and then I'll start locking unverified accounts. That usually gets people's attention. After that, I'll give it another couple weeks (or more) before the actual move, in order to let the stragglers catch up.

Oh, and sorry the whole thing looks so ugly. It's one of the most kludged together pieces of code I've ever written. If you manage to break it (or think you might have), don't hesitate to let me know.

109
General Chat / The Circle of Life...
« on: May 23, 2007, 07:10:02 am »
...goes both ways.

http://scienceblogs.com/voltagegate/2007/05/buffalo_vs_lion_vs_crocodile.php

Luckiest. Calf. EVER! (And a bad day to be a lion.)

110
Announcements / New Forums!
« on: May 15, 2007, 04:58:26 am »
Gonna use this forum software on the new server I think. After I went through all the trouble converting stuff to test it. I figured it made more since to switch to them now, so there's no need to do another entire conversion in the future. It seems to have properly imported all the data/users/etc. from the last forum, so I don't think there's a downside to things.

If you have trouble with things, let me know.


Some nifty new features include the ability to attach files/images directly to posts, better search functionality, great spam protection, spell checking, and many other things which I'm sure I haven't discovered yet. :-)

111
General Chat / Amazing Color Changing Card Trick
« on: May 12, 2007, 04:23:59 am »
It's a card trick, so I have to ask you to bear with me. First, go watch the video. And don't read anything below the link until you do.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voAntzB7EwE


Highlight to reveal:
Wild, isn't it? I didn't really notice anything, as I was so intent on seeing the card trick. I'm betting a lot of you still missed one too. Did you notice the man in the gorilla suit on the side of the stage for the second half the video? Also, super secrect bonus, the tag is color=#dddddd to make text match the background.

112
General Chat / ManBearPig
« on: May 11, 2007, 09:36:57 pm »
...is what they call it in southpark when they're spoofing Al Gore's warnings about climate change. I know it's rather impolitic to believe in global warming yet not actually worry about it, but well, that's where I sit. There's a bit from a song by The Postal Service that always summed up my thoughts quite nicely.
Quote from: Sleeping In
Again last night I had that strange dream
Where everything was exactly how it seemed
Where concerns about the world getting warmer
The people thought they were just being rewarded
For treating others as they'd like to be treated
For obeying stop signs and curing diseases
For mailing letters with the address of the sender
Now we can swim any day in November

Don't wake me I plan on sleeping
Don't wake me I plan on sleeping in
Basically, I remember reading about dinosaurs as a kid, and how a t-rex would die today, because back then the earth was so much warmer, and the atmosphere had a much greater concentration of oxygen, and was denser. For anyone that's ever come from a high altitude down to sea level, you'll recognize that feeling of being "superman" where you just don't run out of breath no matter how hard you exercise. I used to imagine how fun it would be if earth was like that again... with shallow inland seas and jungles covering north america. Didn't seem like a bad idea to me. Sure, new mexico's gonna get even drier, but alaska's gonna get a lot more tolerable. And here in texas, I'll be able to swim any day in november. :-)

Anyway, until today, I'd never come across much of anything serious that agreed with me. That is, that we don't have to debate if global warming is real or not, we should be debating if it really matters or not. This article really lines up with my thoughts. http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,481684,00.html

113
Announcements / Speed/Bandwidth Problems
« on: May 10, 2007, 03:34:14 pm »
This time, it's actually the fault of Cogent, one of the major internet backbone providers. They provide about 2/3 of the bandwidth for the datacenter where xepher.net is hosted and it looks like a large chunk of their links went down. Anyway, it means slow speeds and major packet loss while they work to fix it.

114
General Chat / When I wish I was a scientist
« on: May 04, 2007, 11:42:14 pm »
There are times when I really wish I'd stuck with the engineering and science education I started with...

This presentation http://www.sunclipse.org/?p=68 is one of those times.

115
General Chat / Rules Concerning Political Topics
« on: April 28, 2007, 09:19:10 pm »
There are likely to be many political threads here as the U.S. goes into this "tragically early" presidential election season. Political discussion tends to bring out the worst in people, and as such, isn't usually conducive to community welfare. This being, above all, an internet  community, I don't want to see people get divided or hurt by political debates. With that said however, I think most of the regulars here are fairly sane and rational people, capable of separating political discourse and disagreement from the other aspects of life. Keeping that in mind, I'm going to allow political topics and discussion here, even if it gets heated, so long as the participants remain at least somewhat civil, and do NOT carry grudges or issues over into non-political threads, or other aspects of the community here.

I reserve the right to delete, lock, ban, or otherwise censor any post, topic, or person breaking what I feel to be the rules of rational discourse. I state here, in advance, that I hope it does not become necessary for me to exercise this right, but if it does, know that I do it in the interest and maintaining this community, and will NOT use it to further my own (or anyone else's) beliefs. agendas, or arguments.


Now, that said, let the debates begin!

116
General Chat / Best Job Ever
« on: April 10, 2007, 03:43:32 am »
Okay, so it still goes to Mythbusters... man I want their job... but a very close second is the Top Gear guys. This is the show I've previously linked, with Rocket Powered Mini Cooper on a Ski Jump (sadly only this low quality video available now) and the 747 vs. Car. As such, I now give you: Relient Robin Space Shuttle!

And on a "normal" day they just drive Bugattis, Lamborghinis, Porsches, or other supercars. I want that job.

117
General Chat / Blogs: Fount of life? Or secret Nazi death plot?
« on: March 25, 2007, 04:15:41 am »
But seriously, what's your opinion on the trend we're (sadly) calling "blogs"? I've been against the idea for years now, mostly for two reasons. 1. The word itself sounds like some gastrointestinal disorder, and 2. Because of the stereotypical "blogorehea" you find with myspace and other popular blogs. However, in the past few months, I've been finding more and more sites I like that are essentially blogs. Many of them are over at www.scienceblogs.com and posit extremely literate and interesting ideas and topics. They are ushering in what, in a way, I always pictured the internet as being best at... an open forum for the rational discussion of ideas amongst people from all walks of life and geographical locales. As such, I love that sort of thing. I think I still hate the word "blog" though.

What do you think about the format of blogs for websites, as opposed to more traditional, apersonal sites?

118
General Chat / RE: Your Mother
« on: March 21, 2007, 06:16:53 pm »
"Your mother's a [(δU/δL) / (δU/δC) | Sp=0] ≤ w - [(δU/δr) / (δU/δC) | S = 0], Trebek!"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/story/0,,2032704,00.html

Don't you just love science? :-)

119
General Chat / Funny Pictures!
« on: February 28, 2007, 04:58:22 am »
I'm putting my collection online. It changes from time to time, and it's not too intelligent about it. When I add new images, it renumbers everything, so don't count on specific links staying good for a long time.

With disclaimers over, enjoy the hilarity that is the internet. Oh, and many pictures NSFW.

http://xepher.xepher.net/FunnyPics/

120
General Chat / Wikipedia and Webcomics
« on: February 25, 2007, 06:50:12 am »
So apparently Wikipedia has a "Jihad on Webcomics" going on.

I notice that Fesworks got his comic entry deleted, so did Nerd Boy, and I think DMFA did as well. Curiously enough, the deletion of the xepher.net article (by my own suggestion) got overruled, and it stayed.

I'm not heavily involved in the webcomics "community" as it were, but I read enough of them that I catch the trend. I've seen a lot of protests, but likewise understand that a true encyclopedia needs some "notability" requirement as well. What I'm curious about is your various opinions on this. I don't care too much if there is or isn't a xepher.net article. I'm actually more offended if there IS an article with incorrect information in it actually. On the whole, I've started to lose respect for wikipedia, as the admins seem to be trying to make it some sort of highly legitimate, scholarly source, which I don't think any user-edited thing can ever be. On the other hand, I myself am personally a dictator of taste here on xepher.net, so it's hard for me to judge without feeling hypocritical.

In all seriousness, what do ya'll feel about wikipedia and webcomic entries, as well as wikipedia itself? It doesn't just have to be an agree/disagree thing, but anything relating to the project at all.

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