Ever Wonder Why Web Ads Seem to be Following You?

http://www.aboutads.info/choices/#optout-all

Google search technology is using cookies to determine what you search for the most, and then passing that on to lots of advertising companies to further target you with what you seem to be visiting.

Visit here (when signed in to Google or GMail) and see what you’ve signed up for: http://www.google.com/settings/ads/onweb

And finally, if you’re on Chrome, you may want to add this little plug-in, just to keep cleaning out those piled up cookies that are getting stored even though you through you just opted-out of all that Advertising shadowing:

Keep My Opt-Outs plugin

I was wondering why visiting a Sur La Table site, rather mysteriously resulted in my next visit to AOL Mail to display a bunch of Sur La Table sales items in all the banner and side-bar ads, which were usually much more random.

Then a few days later, visiting some digital virtual musical instrument vendors, resulted in both my Yahoo Mail and GMail banners changing into ads for various sequencer software and more music packages.

Neat, huh?

All things web privacy and personal information related aside, is it weirder to have your ISP block your content (like in some asian countries), or instead silently log all of it and later use it to poke junk mail advertisements into your web world surreptitiously?

Read a little more at Huffington Post‘s article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/27/google-ap-preference_n_1237054.html

p.s. That last URL actually looked like this before I truncated off a few more cookie tracking elements:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/27/google-ap-preference_n_1237054.html?<10-digit session ID to trackback> &ncid=<sourcecode information so we know where you found the embedded link>

Tweet from: @leight0nn

From: @leight0nn
Sent: Jan 26, 2012 3:54p

A Tour of Btrfs – I Can’t Believe This is Butter!: http://t.co/qECgXori

A Copy on Write FileSystem (fault tolerance) for Linux, courtesy of @Oracle for GNU!

Ping Battery Replacement with Clean Republic e-Bike Motor and Controller

[Original Blog post with details of what’s inside a Clean Republic Battery pack is here.]

Received the new Ping 36V 10AH Li-FePO4 Battery from China today – very well-packed for shipment and partially charged.

Upon unboxing, the Ping Battery Management circuit is heat-shrinked to top of battery pack. Red and Black main leads are to the front (6 ga. heavy wires) and run to the Management circuit. The charging connector wires are Blue and Black are terminated in a male XLR connector which mates to the 36VDC Li-On charger (not pictured).  Battery shipped with a complimentary 2.5AH charger.

Removed the switch and plastic mount from the original Clean Republic metal battery case (which cannot fit a different battery because of a tight design), and de-soldered the 4 pin male panel mount DIN connector from its original PC board (which had the Clean Republic battery charge management circuitry on it).  Resoldered the 4-pin DIN chassis mount to the new Ping battery main leads (Red-to-Red, Black-to-Black).  The 4-pin DIN is wired with 2 pins negative and 2 pins positive (refer to the wire color from the female 4-pin DIN mate plug which goes to the Clean Republic Controller box (which connects via the multi-pin connector to the motor and throttle switch). Shrink-wrapped the connections and later zip-tied the battery leads together to stiffen them against tear-away.

Plugged the battery back into the Clean Republic controller via the 4-pin DIN and re-connected the power switch.  Temporarily strapped everything to the bike’s original Topeak beam rack and plugged it in – Presto! works fine and runs about 25% faster.  Have it charging at the moment and will take it on a test run next week once the new case is fitted to the rack.

Battery is about 6 x 6 x 4, so the original Clean Republic nylon case won’t fit. Will be substituting a standard Topeak nylon snap-in zip pack instead to hold the battery.  Power switch mount is temporarily taped to the opposite side just above the Controller box. All of this fits pretty well in a Topeak MTX Trunk Bag DX which slides right back into the MTX rack and locks in tight. (author note: actually, I have an RX rack, and had an RX/EX bag, which didn’t quite close with the battery in it.  So I unbolted the slide mechanism from the EX bag and re-mounted in into the MTX/DX bag and placed the original MTX plate at the bottom for stiffness.  Equals a MTX/DX bag mounted on an RX rack.

New, more powerful battery replaced for US$360 including shipping.

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Yamaha FJR 1300A 2007 Conversion to LED’s

Background

LED units were sourced from www.ddmtuning.com – I don’t have any relationship to DDM Tuning, other than as a satisfied prior customer of their HID lighting conversion kits.  They have some kind of relationship directly with the China manufacturers of many of their products, so even when it’s not in-stock in the US, it can direct-ship from China to your doorstep just as easily (my LED’s arrived 4 business days after ordering, direct from the factory in northern China.)

Most of the posts related to LED bulb conversions for Yamaha FJR 1300(A) 2007 (meaning 2005-2008 model years) are all referring to older LED bulb units widely selling from many Internet suppliers.  Most of these are the bright white “mini flashlight with a bulb-end” looking things – and universally, while they work for most brake light applications (where the bulbs face one-direction towards the rear), they have been less well-rated for signalling and non-running light applications because they were so directionally-designed.  Lots of people added extra LED mounts here-and-there trying to brighten things up.  But I prefer a more stock-like appearance.

On the same popular website, I did see a few of the Luxeon-based designs but only the 30 and 45-LED units.

DDM Tuning was advertising the newer 60+ LED (ZR60) units. A little more expensive, but worth the experiment of a 10,000 hour lamp replacement at less current.  And maybe because of having even more LED’s, the load resistance is close enough to a bulb to not have to purchase another $20 set of electronic flasher relay replacements.

The Work

Removed the seat, wiggled the brake cable covers enough to tug out the middle sockets and popped in the ZR60’s – nice and bright and everything works (as expected).

Got to the Rear Turn Signal bulbs and found off-set 1156’s instead of straight pin versions, so needed to moto-tool grind down one of the two pins on each of the 1156 ZR60 units to fit into the FJR’s offset sockets. But they still fit nice and tight and don’t wiggle even with one pin.

For the front signals, I followed one of the FJRForum.com suggestions about going in via the black shrouds from inside the front wheel well instead of removing all the exterior panels – the 2007/2008 Gen II FJR1300 only has 3 phillips head screws to remove on each side. The shrouds have plenty of bend and give to let your hands in to turn and remove the 7443 socket holders.

Once replaced, everything works: running, braking, left/right and hazard modes all great!  And draw is down 1/3 of the original bulbs (not including the HID headlights, which spared another 35W per bulb of charging current).

Photo summary below. It all just works!

Other stuff on the FJR:

Cleaning up the IOUG Blog Site

Results from the Dashboard

You may or may not have visited http://blogs.ioug.org which is powered by stand-alone WordPress.  But after learning how WP works with my own blog, I volunteered to start cleaning up the Independent Oracle Users Group’s blog site and low and behold, lots o’ spam.

Don’t leave the Comments door open for unregistered users to post automatically-approved comments.

Face-lift in-progress for IOUG

The blog is being re-formatted to adopt the new contemporary IOUG website look-and-feel as well as make it more useful to users.  Feel free to leave any feedback you have about what you would like to see on the site, or here.

Ending the Life of an old Lithium Battery

Clean Republic's e-Bike Conversion

So, my Clean Republic Lithium-Cobalt-Manganese (Li-Po) e-Bike battery pack finally gave up and had no more little LED‘s after numerous attempts to re-charge it.  It had the reported logarithmic die-off during the past month where it went from 15 minutes of usable life with numerous on/off power cycling required (because of the automatic voltage regulator which cuts off current when reaching lower limits to save the battery), down to refusing to re-charge at all.  Not bad for 2 years and an estimated 600 recharge cycles.

Contents of the nylon battery carrier

After detaching the power switch leads and taping them for safety, the block of power wiggles out of it’s nylon bag and reveals this. The main box and controller are covered in layers of duct tape to keep them packaged and vibration-resistant (since they’re bouncing around on a bike all day).  We peel off all that duct tape, which includes extra layers on the aluminum box to insulate it from the controller.

Charging circuit and voltage cut-off.

Taking off 4 small phillips screws from the box enclosure reveals the charging circuit with the 2 wires that connect to the battery pack circuit board (which basically is series connecting the batteries together to form the 24VDC 8A unit).  The white jumpers are individual battery cell connections to each pack allowing monitoring of each cell’s voltage for the charger/supply circuit to disconnect if things get too low.  Also shown is the white temperature thermistor that also cuts off voltage if it gets too hot.

Li-po packaging is flat and semi-flexible for compactness.
Make sure the voltage per cell is below 1.0 VDC before disposal.

Taking off the other 4 screws from the other end reveals a look at the packed-in battery packages from the other end (there are 14 individual mylar packages)

Salt water immersion drains voltage and oxidizes lithium.

Finally per recommendations from other battery manufacturers, we soak the packs in salt water (1/2 cup per gallon to obtain conductive salinity) for about 2 weeks to drain the residual current and oxidize the lithium into neutral lithium oxide.

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Visit Clean Republic at www.cleanrepublic.com or www.electric-bike-kit.com

Having quick fun with Reaper and Jamstix

So here’s a fun thing that took me all of 10 seconds to learn – Send the Jamstix output to another track (#2 shown here), recorded as audio and MIDI (on the original Jamstix track #3), then send the MIDI output from #3 to another VSTi (in this case Coyote WT/GM2 DXi on Track #1), and play both back panned hard right and left, with additional MIDI coming from the live play TriggeriO.

Have to admit – this was a LOT easier to learn quickly than when I was fiddling with Cubase 5 trying to learn it sufficiently for 2 months to do something like this.)

Kind of wish PowerTracks 2011 had support for Jamstix (self-generating VST instruments don’t work well in PT – www.pgmusic.com). But at least (working the other way around) Band-in-a-Box drag-and-drop works fine with Reaper, so getting those basic song templates in to be worked on is still very easy.

And a minor thing, it took me a few more minutes to figure out how to open a multi-track MIDI file correctly in Reaper. My initial instinct to drag-and-drop it into a track resulted in very odd looking squished MIDI stuck into a single track.

View -> Media Explorer

What we really wanted was under View -> Media Explorer (which allows you to navigate to the desired MIDI (or whatever) file:

 

Imports of multi-channel MIDI should look like this (allowing the natural splitting of channels into separate tracks – and synchronizing the tempo setting at the same time):

Then it looks like we’d expect in a plain sequencer: