Local Fitness and Health

These links are dead now. I may or may not have the code for them somewhere, but so far I haven’t found any of it.

Billings Montana has a new place to go for health and fitness information! Inspired by the Let’s Move! Campaign by Michelle Obama, this new set of web sites helps you find up-to-date facts and resources for child obesity and general health at a local setting. Find local events and activities that you can participate in as well as local fitness centers and stores to provide what you need to get and stay healthy. Nutrition and exercise information is provided as well, and with the new Health Tracker system, you can keep track of your health easily online and on your mobile phone. This new great web service is developed specifically for residents of Billings, Montana, but works great for people anywhere!

Let’s Move Billings developed by Alan Hardman, Michael Siebert, and Tucker Downs.

Web Comics

There are a lot of disappointments with most web comics, since it’s a relatively easy hobby to get into, but every now and then someone makes one that’s simply incredible.  I’ve spent the last few years getting into reading them, and I’ve got a nice list of my favorites I’d like to share.

Least I Could Do

Currently written by Ryan Sohmer and Lar Desouza, this is one of the most incredibly well-written comics I’ve ever seen.  It certainly has some inappropriate themes, but if you want a unique, intriguing, and simply hilarious comic to read, this is it.

xkcd

A largely-followed comic written by Randall Munroe, updated mondays, wednesdays, and fridays.  It’s primary focus is on math and science, specifically technology and programming.  If you’re a geek like me, you’ll learn to love xkcd.

Girls with Slingshots

Written by Danielle Corsetto, Girls with Slingshots is updated weekdays, and features a cast of mainly young-adult girls.  It’s certainly the type of comic where certain types of people will really appreciate it, but I love it and am glad to say I’ve read the entire archive more than once.

Questionable Content

Updated weekdays by Jeph Jacques, QC has a huge following, and has an amazingly well-written story.  The story circles around Marten Reed, a young adult who’s life is turned around by a girl he meets in a bar.  In my opinion, the name is quite misleading, as, for the most part, the comic is really quite clean.  It’s not one that you expect to get laughs out of each day, but the story is one that will make you never want Jeph to stop writing.

There are plenty of others that I read daily, or that I used to read, or am just getting into that I didn’t write full descriptions for, but they’re certainly worth checking out. Wigu, Treading Ground</a> (complete), Anders Loves Maria (complete, wow), Dumbing of Age, Overcompensating, and Bunny are a few that come to mind.

MySQL Game

This is the most awesome, and yet strangest thing I think I have ever found. I tried to search on Google for MySQL on AppSpot, and the result I got was called “mysqlgame.” Of course out of curiosity I had to try it. Turns out it’s an MMO game where there is no UI, you have direct, live views of all of the queries on the database.

Are you tired of browser-based games that are thinly veiled interfaces for databases? Finally, there’s a game that just is a database! THRILL as you insert your very own row in the “rows” table! With careful selection of SQL queries, you will soon have three or even four-digit numbers in some of the fields in your row! Other queries may allow you to use those numbers to subtract from rows entered by other players – all while pushing the numbers in your own row even higher! As you master the game, you may find that you have inserted not just one row into the game, but several! Log in on the right to get started.

Play mysqlgame

Using .NET 2.0 in Visual Studio 2010

Microsoft .NET Framework 4 introduces some nice new options, but if you want to more easily distribute your software, .NET 2.0 is the most widely used, as any computer running Windows XP Service Pack 3 or later will have it installed.  Changing an existing project or creating a new one uses the same method.

In the Solution Explorer, right click your project, and click Properties.  In the Compile tab, click Advanced Compile Options at the bottom.  In the window that opens, switch .NET Framework 4.0 to the desired framework version.

Existing projects may require some small code modifications in order to build correctly, but it is very beneficial to build your software on a more widely available framework.

Donald Knuth

xkcd 163

Removing the Google Search Virus

I’ve seen this one a lot lately.  Basically, it shows a fake version of the Google and Yahoo! search engines in the attempt to track all of your personal information that you enter into those sites. Even if you don’t care about your information getting stolen, it prevents you from using Google Apps services such as Gmail, Google Voice, and in many situations, even the basic Google search engine will not work at all.

The biggest problem with repairing this virus is that it is technically not so much a virus as a setting. There is no malicious software causing it, no secret tracking cookie, no browser extension. It is simply caused by a Windows setting, not in the Internet Options, the Windows Registry, it is not found in the Control Panel, or even in the Network and Sharing Center or the Computer Management. Therefore very few anti-virus software options will ever find it.

Diagnosing the Problem

Obviously you need to see if you actually have this problem before trying to remove it. The easiest way to see the problem is to look at the Google Home Page. That link will show a security warning if your connection to Google has been compromised. Another method of checking it is to go to Gmail. If the page returns a 404, 403, or 500 error, you’ve got the virus.

Repairing the Problem

Windows Vista/7

  1. Open the Start Menu, click “All Programs”, click Accessories, then right-click Notepad, and click ”Run As Administrator”.
  2. Allow access if a confirmation message is shown.
  3. In Notepad, click “File”, then “Open…”, then type %SystemRoot%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts and click “Open”.
  4. Remove any lines from the file containing google or yahoo and save the file. The virus should now be repaired!

Windows NT/2000/XP

  1. Open the Start Menu, click “All Programs”, click Accessories, then right-click Notepad, and click ”Run As…” and select “Administrator” or a user account with administrative privileges.
  2. In Notepad, click “File”, then “Open…”, then type %SystemRoot%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts and click “Open”.
  3. Remove any lines from the file containing google or yahoo and save the file. The virus should now be repaired!

Mac OS X

  1. Open /private/etc/ in Finder and open the hosts file in a text editor.
  2. Remove any lines from the file containing google or yahoo and save the file. The virus should now be repaired!

Other UNIX/Linux

  1. Using a text editor as root, open /etc/hosts.
  2. Remove any lines from the file containing google or yahoo and save the file. The virus should now be repaired!

Android

  1. Using a text editor with root access, open /system/etc/hosts.
  2. Remove any lines from the file containing google or yahoo and save the file. The virus should now be repaired!

To verify that it worked, open a web browser and go to Google and follow the Diagnosing the Problem section of this guide.

Binary

why does binary go like this? 01110111 01101000 01111001 00100000 01100100 01101111 01100101 01110011 00100000 01100010 01101001 01101110 01100001 01110010 01111001 00100000 01100111 01101111 00100000 01101100 01101001 01101011 01100101 00100000 01110100 01101000 01101001 01110011 00111111