Google Maps is available for iOS

Google Maps is finally available for iOS. Which is nice, because Apple Maps is kind of horrible. Not as bad as some people would say, but definitely deficient in several key areas.

Fixing my Windows 8 Start Screen

When I open my Windows 8 Start screen, right click, and select All Apps, the shell crashes. (I get a few entries in the Application Event Log, including "[t]he shell stopped unexpectedly and explorer.exe was restarted.") Note that the "shell" includes the Start screen, all open File Explorer windows, and the desktop itself. Kind of annoying, especially because it meant I couldn't access everything installed on my computer.

My brother clued me in that the problem was probably caused by existing entries in the Start Menu.

He was right.

Quick list of Half Minute Hero PC Annoyances

Half Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Climax Ultimate Boy is out on Steam now. It - well, it runs on PC. Apparently it contains all the original PSP content too. (I haven't played far enough to verify that.)

But the PC port has some... issues. Here's my brief list of them.


PAX Prime 2012

Apparently I didn't manage to miss out the joy of PAX Pox, despite not going to the 2009 PAX Prime. I still got a terrible cold after returning home from PAX Prime this year. Although I think I most likely got it from the flight home and not PAX itself.


Oh, right, the CherryPy remote control thing

Oh, right, I did say I was going to try and create a CherryPy-based webapp front end. So here is a very quick and dirty implementation that provides some very basic control over the TV. Specifically, basic volume control (up and down), and the various input controls. Which is what I wanted out of it.


Playing Around With Python and My TV

I recently noticed that my Sharp AQUOS TV had a section in the owner's manual describing "IP Control." Now you might think that this would be something about DRM, but it actually describes commands you can send the TV via TCP/IP in order to remote control it. Nifty!

The manual seems to suggest using telnet to do this, but I've found that it doesn't work. But sending the commands via Python does work.

So let's get to some basic code!


iOS 5 Mini Review

I've only been playing around with iOS 5 for a few hours, since the update took forever thanks to the infamous "Error 3200," so this is just some first impressions.

What I Like

Android's Notification Center

Notifications now appear at the top of the phone, and you can swipe down to view them (and various widgets) at any time. So that's nice. And exactly the same way it works in Android.


I know I'm not the only one this is happening to, but it's still amusing:

Apple's website returning a HTTP 403 Forbidden error

Update: Just to be clear, this happened immediately after the iPhone 4S was announced (October 4th, 2011), but before Steve Jobs's death (October 5th, 2011). Note the time stamp.

Dumping a ZSNES Movie as an RGB Video

It turns out that ZSNES has a video dumping facility. Unfortunately, all of its presets are crap and it wants to dump the video out as YUV, which looks horrible. And you need to download MEncoder, which can be hard to find.

Topics: NoScript Surrogate Script

This is only for, but as of now, if you have NoScript set to block, you won't be able to view videos on

Thankfully, there is a feature in NoScript called "surrogate scripts" that allows NoScript to substitute a script stub to make things work on websites even if a given domain is blocked. So all I need to do it write a surrogate script to implement the functions it needs.

It turns out doesn't work because a single function is missing: FB.Event.subscribe. So the entire surrogate script is:



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