Recently I decided that I wanted to have a backup camera installed in my 2008 Ford Escape.  Much to my disappointment, there wasn’t a factory solution readily available and the other solutions were kind of expensive, so I largely mothballed it in favor of other projects.  Then Dan came along and asked why we hadn’t done the project yet (in late June or early July) and insisted on getting it done, including going as far as to get me a gift card to Amazon to buy the parts (insert Good Guy Dan picture if I had one handy… Oh wait, I do: Linky).

So we purchased the following bits:

Actual Backup Camera – Chillin Special Ford Escape

Rearview Mirror with Integrated Monitor

3 Position Switch

12VDC Relay

Assorted Wiring

Power Taps

Connectors (Insulated Push-On Connectors, Ring Terminals)

We roughed out this basic wiring diagram:

Rough Wiring Diagram

The long and short of it is:

If the switch is set to position 1:

  1. Power from the Cigarette Lighter adapter provides power to the relays all the time. The power doesn’t flow through the relay until the car is turned on though!
  2. The relay powers: My GPS and another relay (only when the car is turned on though).  The 2nd relay doesn’t let power flow through it until my car is set to reverse! 😀
  3. The camera and monitor turn on and present me with the video from the backup camera mounted on the rear of my car.

If the switch is set to position 2:

  1. Power from the Cigarette Lighter adapter again provides power to the relays all the time. The power doesn’t flow through the relay until the car is turned on though all the same!
  2. That relay still powers the GPS and another relay.  The 2nd relay now receives power from another source, triggering it to be active again (instead of only when I’m in reverse, just in case I need it).
  3. The camera and monitor turn on and present me with the video from the backup camera mounted on the rear of my car.

So here’s what we’re all waiting for, the pictures!

Thanks very much to Dan for the hard part (the wiring was confusing the hell out of me).  Now all that remains is to clean the fingerprints off the trim and the fabric lining of my roof. 😛

Confirmed: ChromeCast will be able to play local content, go ahead and order yours | Muktware.

So…. Google changed the SDK either:

a) Knowing it would break Local Content Streaming

b) Not knowing it would break Local Content Streaming

I am not sure which is a scarier implication: Google knowing it’s code well enough to willingly break a key feature for a device or Google not knowing it’s code well enough to know it would break a key feature.  Let’s face it though: People don’t care about where they get the content, they just want the content.  If they can’t procure it legally due to a provider being an ass (seriously, I will gladly subscribe to Hulu or Netflix if I can get shows the day the come out and without ads) then people will pirate it and watch it locally.

Good grief, this is day 1 stuff people.

Aside: “Yes, yes, we’ll let you watch content you have on your drives and networks, just give us money now and we’ll be sure to get that feature out for release.” Yeahuh, I’ve heard lines like that before.

A simple & quick recipe for Tilapia and Arugula.

Necessary Ingredients:

For the fish itself:

  • 4 Filets of Tilapia (~1.5 pounds total)
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 2/3 Cup Flour
  • 1/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese (grated)
  • 1 Tsp Dried Parsley
  • 1 Tsp Dried Oregano
  • Garlic Salt
  • Pepper

For the salad:

  • 6 Cups of Arugula (~1 bag of Dole Arugula)
  • 3 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Tsp Garlic Salt
  • 3 Tbsp of Parmesan Cheese


For the salad:

  1. Mix Lemon Juice, Olive Oil, and Garlic Salt until it is a uniform mixture.
  2. Take the mixture and pour it gently over the arugula.
  3. Mix with your hands until the arugula is coated with the dressing.
  4. Pour on half of Parmesan Cheese.  Mix it in.
  5. Pour on the other half of the Parmesan Cheese.  Mix it in also.  This ensures an even sprinkling. 🙂

For the fish:

  1. Pat the Tilapia dry with paper towels.
  2. Mix the flour, Parmesan cheese, oregano, and parsley.
  3. Season the tilapia lightly with Garlic Salt & Pepper.
  4. Dredge the tilapia in the flour mixture.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick skillet until it sizzles when you drop water into it.
  6. Place the tilapia in the skillet and cook on first side for 2.5-3 minutes (until the edges start to brown, that side will be browned and crispy!)
  7. Flip the tilapia and cook on the other side for 2.5-3 minutes (again until the edges start to brown, so both sides will be browned and crispy!)
  8. Place the tilapia on a paper towel and let it cool off for a minute or two before placing the fish on top of the salad.

2013-08-24 19.45.19

Enjoy! 🙂

Far Cry 3 – Blood Dragon is a stand-alone add-on/extension/expansion to the blockbuster game Far Cry 3. Blood Dragon is VASTLY different from Far Cry 3 in terms of the story, but very similar in terms of gameplay.

The first thing I will say about Blood Dragon is this: It’s super ridiculous and ultra tongue-in-cheek. I guess any game whose main protagonist is named Sergeant Rex Power Colt can’t take itself too seriously. And to it’s credit, the game delivers: it’s absolutely hilarious! The game itself has been described by Ubisoft as “an 80s VHS vision of the future.” I think my favorite part may be where the hero grabs an item and yells “I’ve got the touch! I’ve got the power!” (Reference) . It’s just so over-the-top in it’s campy-type humor. I love it.

Setting & Story

The game is set in an alternate reality in the year 2007. Canada is all but gone, nuked to oblivion to halt the Russian advance into America, and in the midst of the recovery the cybernetically modified Colonel Sloan has built a cyborg army on an island filled with dragons that “shoot lasers from their fucking eyes”. Yeah. Oh by the way, you’re a cyborg too. Bad ass.  So Colonel Sloan has been developing an army and plans on using the blood of the Blood Dragons to revert the world into a prehistoric state.  You eventually bump into the creations of  Sloan’s assistant, Dr. Carlyle.  Dr. Carlyle has created more terrors using the blood of the Blood Dragons: zombies!  So now we have cybernetic super soldiers, dinosaurs that fire lasers from their eyes, zombies, and robotic animals.  Oh, I didn’t mention those? Yeah, they’ve been converting the animals on the island into robots.  Go figure.  Cybernetic sharks are scary, yo.

The long and short of it is that you need to save the world from Sloan.  It’s a crazy, laser-gun, cheap-one-liner, run-and-gun fest.


The gameplay of Blood Dragon is very similar to Far Cry 3, as I said. You ‘liberate’ outposts of Omega Force soldiers, hunt animals to unlock weapons, and dig through the brush to find research data, VHS tapes, and TV sets. Each of these unlock better bonuses to weapons and additional missions.

Weapon upgrades are a neat feature and a welcome sight in this First Person Shooter. One of my favorite upgrades is for the Fazertron Assault Rifle. The Laser Rounds upgrade (with a description text of “Laser rounds because science rocks and burns, in that order.”) switches your rifle from firing bullets to firing lasers. LASERS man. Lasers. Oddly enough you still need to get ammo, but ammo is plentiful in this game so it’s largely irrelevant.

They completely removed the crafting element which was very prevalent in Far Cry 3.  It’s kind of frustrating, but realistically you’ll be too busy flinging cyber hearts at the Blood Dragons to get their attention that you’d like not bother with looking for flowers.  How do you get cyber hearts?  By sticking your cybernetic hand into the chest of fallen Omega Force soldiers.  Yeah.  KERSTAB!  Followed up by a hilarious one-liner: “Time to put your hearts into it!” or “Heartbroken? *chuckle*”.  I can’t overstate just how hilariously bad some of the dialog is.

For giggles, I recommend you watch the Kotaku video of Best & Worst One-Liners.

My one complaint about the game is that it’s kind of short: about 8 hours for me to complete (completely complete, all achievements).  That being said, the game is $15.  8 hours of entertainment for a little more than the cost of a movie isn’t bad at all.  I just wanted more.  It was so much fun.


The game is built using the Far Cry 3 engine.  This engine is known for pushing pretty cool graphics.  Blood Dragon is no exception.  There’s lots of glowy futuristic lighting and doors that slide open automatically.  It’s very faux-future, which is exactly what I expect from a game set in 2007.  The game is pretty dark, as much as can be expected for a game set in a post-apocalyptic nuclear wasteland.  Explosions are fairly spectacular from a distance (though up close it’s not that great).  The first time you see a Blood Dragon is pretty intense.  THEY GLOW.  And shoot lasers.  I can’t reiterate this enough.  They shoot lasers.  I don’t know what else I can say about the graphics here.  It’s all pretty much visible in this video.


A (relatively) short, beautiful, entertaining game with hilarious dialog and enough content to keep me coming back (if for nothing else to execute more Cyber Force soldiers and rip out their hearts) for more.  There’s rumors of a sequel on the horizon, which I am eagerly awaiting.

Far Cry 3 – Blood Dragon.  Now available on Steam for $15.

Totally worth the admission and worth picking up.  Go get it now.

In the process of stalking around the mall aimlessly yesterday, I found myself roaming into a nearby Radio Shack. A $99.99 deal on a HTC One caught my eye. It was gorgeous. The only one I had seen before was the all-black model, but this was brushed aluminum / white and silvered bezel. It’s truly slick. I was disappointed when I asked the store rep if they had a demo model I could try out. I’m not in the habit of buying technology without being able to test it out. They, sadly, did not have a test model, so I went on my way.

HTC One, Silver

HTC One, Silver

Not but 10 minutes later, I stumbled into the Best Buy Mobile store that was also in the mall. Praise be! They had a floor model from Sprint in the same color scheme. I spent fully 30 minutes just sitting there and playing around with it. I -love- toys. I then spent another 30 minutes reading reviews and comparisons to the Samsung GS4.

The GS4 wins in a few areas but they were largely irrelevant to me. The only thing that stood out was the 200mhz difference in the clock speed. Honestly in my short time playing with the two models I didn’t see much of a difference.

The HTC One has a few things that have caught my eye: namely the 32gb of built in storage and the slightly higher PPI on the display. The aesthetics were also working in it’s favor in my book. I’m also glad to have a NFC capable device finally. The last thing is the very cool ‘live’ tiles for the homescreen that show relevant information from the news, social media, and your added calendars.

Live Tile Demo

Live Tile Demo

I have always been impressed with HTC phones. The 0G Evo I bought almost 3 years ago still works great, if you put a custom rom on it. The HTC One is a phone I don’t see a need to put a new rom on it. I’ve only rooted it, so I can restore my backed up apps like FuelLog and QuickOffice.

Performance wise: I get about .6meg down and 1meg up on 3G, a far cry superior to the .194meg down and .414 meg up on my 0G Evo. I’m looking forward to when Sprint rolls out LTE in the area.

For $186 total (including a case, Zagg Screen Protector, and $36 activation fee) I am very pleased with the purchase.  YAY NEW TOYS!

Updated: GlassUp raised $100K on Indiegogo — but PayPal is refusing to pay up | VentureBeat.

New Info as of 9:00pm EST (Thanks Christopher Paine): TechCrunch Article

Original Post:

So yeah.  This is EXACTLY why I refuse to use Paypal for anything anymore.

They’re a backasswards company with no respect for customers.  Now, I’m not saying they’re in the wrong (as per their own policy, they’re following it to the letter, which is fine), but their policy is just fucking stupid.

And how about that as adding insult to injury, “Oh ok, here’s your account back, but it’s limited, so you can still get money given to you but you can’t withdraw it at all.  Fuck you.”.

Seriously people.  Fuck Paypal.  I know they’re practically the only game in town, but Amazon Payments and Google Wallet surely is preferable at this point.

I mean god damn.


Chris says I owe PayPal a little credit.  I don’t believe I do.  Their past record stands as a massive monument of how to fuck with the consumer.  It is apparent that had they not garnered any attention from the Internet as a whole, they’d probably still have this project’s money locked away in some coffer collecting interest for them.

I reiterate: Fuck PayPal.  They don’t care about you, your business, nor your brand.  They only want your money.

It’s a sad day when I’m forced to take (what I perceive to be) a technological step back.  I like to be on the bleeding edge when it comes to software.  I need to see what it is so I can support it.  Edge cases are very tricky to troubleshoot.  It’s a fun, albeit time consuming, game.

So, I speak of…  Unpinning Chrome from my taskbar and start menu in favor of Firefox due to a nasty bug (thanks to Nick Blew for finding it).  This bug causes my entire PC to hardlock whenever I load any web page with Flash content embedded in it to load if I’m using Chrome. HTML5 renders fine and doesn’t crash, but Flash pages cause immediate crashes. This is seemingly to do with my Realtek Chipset for audio, somehow. Chrome dev acknowledged it as a bug, but hasn’t done anything about it in 2-3 major revisions.  This bug occurred in versions: 26 (stable) – 30 (dev).

So. Firefox here we go.