November 2004 - Posts - Jon Galloway

November 2004 - Posts

[OT] Half-Life 2 Patch Released

The changes in this release are directed at reducing the problem some users are experiencing with sound stuttering. The sound stuttering is not indicative of a sound problem, sound stuttering is only a symptom of texture thrashing on your video card or AGP memory. For information on how to reduce texture thrashing visit this link on our support site:

[THIS IS NOT THE LINK FOR THE PATCH. RESTART STEAM TO GET THE PATCH]
http://steampowered.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/steampowered.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=280

This update will fix sound stuttering that users were experiencing that would last for longer than a few seconds during normal gameplay. This update will also eliminate this same behavior following a quicksave or autosave. There will still be a short pause while the autosave happens, but not the more drawn out stuttering behaivior.

We are still investigating another performance problem on some hardware, which will manifest where the game is getting into a state where performance drops to less than 5 fps and does not recover or crashes.

Next week we will be releasing the Source SDK, along with a surprise for the community.
[via Steam News]

Posted by Jon Galloway | with no comments
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[util] ClipPath

ClipPath
"As a Programmer, we are often required to set the path or classpath Environment variables. But Windows Operating does not allow us to copy the full path of a file or a folder,say, c:\temp\try.java to clipboard so that we can paste the same anywhere we require. Clip Path utility tries to solve these problems. It is a windows Shell Extension Program. Once installed, you can copy full path of a file or folder to clipboard.

New features in Version 2.1 include the Addition of one more menu item - "Create Outlook Link(s)"."

Oh man... this is cool! Read about it on Early Adopter and immediately installed it. For me, this just rocks.

I am copying file paths into Outlook/documents/etc all day it seems, and with Explorer it's been a two step process. Copy the path, then copy the file name. With this utility it's now done with one right click.
[via Early Adopter and Greg's Cool [Insert Clever Name] of the Day]
Posted by Jon Galloway | with no comments
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Free icons and graphics from EggheadCafe and Lokas

EggheadCafe has Free Icons And Graphics For Professional ASP.NET Web Applications:

In partnership with Lokas software, EggHeadCafe.com is providing you with a wide array of business oriented graphics and icons.  No license fees, no royalties, and no restrictions.  Best of all, all of the graphics have transparent backgrounds that you can adjust in programs like Macromedia Fireworks or Adobe Photoshop.

A small sampling:


The icons on foood.net are nice, too, but they're not free.
Posted by Jon Galloway | 4 comment(s)
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Gmail adds POP support

Until now, you needed to use a utility like PGtGM to get POP access to GMail. Now Gmail supports POP natively:

More on how to set it up:
http://gmail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=13273&topic=-1

Via NeoWin :
In what it is billing as "e-mail portability," Google Inc. is opening access to its Gmail e-mail service from desktop clients and mobile devices. On Wednesday, the company began providing free POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3) access on Gmail accounts. The rollout is expected to reach all users over the next two weeks, said George Harik, director of Googlettes, the name of the Google group overseeing its startup services.

"This [access] is an important part of e-mail because of all the things not enabled by Web-based e-mail," Harik said. POP3 access, for example, allows users to read Gmail messages while they are offline and on mobile devices that support the standard, Harik said. POP3 is a standard protocol for receiving e-mail and communicating between an e-mail server and client. Most major e-mail clients, such as Microsoft Outlook, support the standard, as do competing Web-based e-mail services such as Yahoo Inc.'s mail.

Source: [NeoWin] Google Brings E-Mail Client Access to Gmail

Posted by Jon Galloway | 2 comment(s)
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[OT] Demographic analysis of US Election Exit Polls

disclaimers

this post is about the recent u.s. election, but i don't think it's about politics. it's the results of my fact checking study on the exit poll analysis. i wanted to validate or disprove what i'd heard about the electorate who selected george w. bush, and how they made that choice. i'm not interested, in this post, in what they should have done. this is intended to be a demographic study, not a political argument. more disclaimers at the end, but you get the idea.

background

the results of the recent u.s. election surprised me. the analysis of the exit polls surprised me even more. the basic theme is that george bush was elected by scared, intolerant, ignorant religious zealots. the blogs i read have discussed the shocking reality of the nation we really live in at length, sometimes civilly and sometimes not.

this past weekend's editorials echoed a similar theme: like it or not, the majority of americans are ignorant religious extremists; what now?
http://news.google.com/nwshp?hl=en&gl=us&ncl=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A33068-2004Nov7.html

so, as i said, i was pretty surprised by what i was hearing and wanted to check the stats.

about the exit polls

first of all, i was interested to learn that the results are based on 13,660 respondents. that's kind of staggering - 13,660 people who speak for the 115 million voters who speak for 295 million americans.

exit poll results: http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2004/pages/results/states/US/P/00/epolls.0.html

information on how the polls are conducted: http://www.exit-poll.net/faq.html

values / religion / character

only 22% said most important issue was moral values

only 8% said gwb's most important quality is his religious faith

abortion vote not a strong factor either way

60% supported either marriage or civil unions for same sex couples

77% said they were not "white evangelical / born again"

bush's most important quality - not religion but character - "honest / trustworthy", "strong leader", "clear stand on issue"

majority said kerry says mostly what people want to hear vs. what he believes

fear / terrorism

71% said they are worried about terrorism, but of that group only 53% voted for bush.

by a 6% margin, those surveyed did not believe the iraq war had made the us more secure.

economy

70% of americans are "very concerned" about availability / cost of healthcare, 23% said they're "somewhat concerned"

kerry did not capture the middle class vote - 70% of voters earning between $30K and $150K

bush got almost 40% of the union vote

52% said the economy was "not good" or "poor", but 20% of that group voted for bush

53% did not trust kerry to handle the economy

demographics

education - bush captured the 80% of the vote with high-school or college degrees, kerry got the 20% without high school education and with post grad degrees. college graduates (with no postgrad degrees) picked bush by a 6% margin.

age - kerry got the young vote (18-29), but it comprised only 17% of voters. the next group (30-44) voted for bush, as did all older categories.

location - the rural vote was only 25% of the vote, and of that bush picked up 57% of the vote. a lead, but not a huge lead. i had come to a different conclusion from the maps scott linked to: http://www.hanselman.com/blog/PermaLink.aspx?guid=d714c9ae-acbb-4d89-bb22-e67953cdce89

party affiliation - the 26% who identified themselves as independant (neither republican nor democrat) split their vote between kerry and bush, 49% to 48%.

ideology - kerry only got 54% of the 45% who classified themselves as "moderate".

conclusions

warning - these are opinions. they're still talking about the messages of the candidates, though, not the issues.

i don't see evidence to support a religious mandate for bush.

kerry doesn't appear to have presented a clear message other than "i'm not bush".

kerry needed to provide a vision for healthcare and the economy. 70% americans were "very concerned" with the health care issue, but they didn't have a chance to vote on it. the majority of americans felt the economy was "not good", but a majority also said they didn't trust kerry to handle the economy.

i think the terrororism and iraq issues, while very important, were a quagmire (as an issue, i'm not getting into the actual war part). it's like the old saying: "never wrestle a pig - you both get dirty, and the pig likes it." this issue is a mess, and kerry couldn't really say "vote for me and i'll make this war thing go away." surprisingly, this issue appears to have given no real advantage to either side. based on the exit polls, it looks to me like kerry should shown respect for the gravity of the situation, but spent more time on a domestic vision.

indicentally, i think it's funny that the state of the economy gets debated every 4 years while the natural economic cycles run about 10 years: http://www.nber.org/cycles.html. asking "are you better off now than you were 4 years ago?"  makes a good soundbite, but ignores some general economic principles (on either end of the swing).

disclaimers redux

i always enjoy comments, but do not intend to host any political debates.

this is off topic for my normal subject matter. i'll be keeping my focus is on internet technologies, asp.net, blogging, etc.

pardon the bullet points and lowercase - i'm finishing a big project and don't have much free time.

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