100SILEX, de 0 100 s: probably
1502 Phone-Reluctant Introverts, There is Nothing Wrong With You
As I sit down to write this blog post there is the dreaded sound of a prolonged vibration as my phone skids, bouncing and sporadically across my desk. This is perfectly ideal and ironic distraction that actually befits the very thing I am thinking about and from which it is distracting me… Itself! I have always had an absolute detest for talking on the phone. And I’ll say now that it has nothing whatsoever to do with the person at the other end, I just find it a horrible tool for communicating with. Phone Box I think I probably am, and always have been worse than most people when it comes to using the phone (in the traditional sense, ie speaking to people) but if you can identify with any of this then read on. If you’re thinking, “what are you on about, I love the phone” then you’ll probably just get confused, but if you also have friends who ‘never answer the phone’ then this might help you to understand them a bit better. I can’t sum it up any better than Sophia Dembling in her article, 9 Signs that You Might Be an Introvert:

1386 Retro Synth Ads: Sound Master Memory Rhythm SR-88, Keyboard 1982
Sound Master Memory Rhythm SR-88 drum machine 1-page advertisement from page 67 in Keyboard Magazine August 1982. Hmmm. Not sure how I feel about this ad. There just seems to be a lot going on. For example, am I supposed to know who "The Rhythm Section" is? The fact that they include themselves in an already long ad title suggests they must be some kind of a big deal. And then you find their name again in the bottom left-hand corner: "The SR-88. Another innovative product from The Rhythm Section by Sound Master Distributed exclusively by JTG of Nashville." So, let me get this straight. JTG of Nashville is the distributor of the SR-88 which was created by The Rhythm Section which is somehow owned or operated by Sound Master. That is waaaaay to much information. Sounds like something political is going on there, and readers unfortunately get stuck in the middle of it. There also seems to be a lot of ad-copy which actually doesn t give me much information. Reason #4 gives readers the most info including instant stop/start, variable tone and output switches, and a write/play mode indicator. The most I glean out of the four other reasons put together is: 16 rhythms, clock pulse and a price of under $200. The actual specs that are probably most important to potential buyers are inexplicably shoved into the bottom right-hand corner. Luckily for me, there are a few resources on the Web with more information about this beast. Unluckily for blog readers, as soon as I started looking for more info, I got swept up in a certain SR-88/Boss DR-55 controversy. Comparing the SR-88 and Boss DR-55 One of the first Web sites I hit while looking for info on the SR-88 was Dubsounds.com. The site includes a great little write-up on the SR-88, but, more interesting was finding out about a little controversy about whether the SR-88 or the very similar Boss DR-55 came out first. The two do seem mighty similar in functionality. For comparison purposes, I did a quick search on MATRIXSYNTH to find more photos. . A great photo of a gray SR-88 can be found in this December 2005 SR-88 MATRIXSYNTH auction post and the less common, but definitely more cool, blue SR-88 can be seen in this January 2011 MATRIXSYNTH auction post. Comparing the two to the Amdek RMK-100 Interestingly, it s not just these two machines that look and function similarly. In this May 2009 MATRIXSYNTH SR-88 auction post commenter "PAC" notices: "Interesting. I have an Amdek RMK-100 (sold as kit), very similar!" Never heard of it, so I Googled "Amdek RMK-100" to see just how similar it was to both the DR-55 and the SR-88. Turns out (according to the Internet) that Amdek products were made by Boss/Roland back in 80s, and, not only that, but that the RMK-100 is actually the kit version of the Boss DR-55. Makes sense on why it would also be similar to the SR-88. I found an ebay auction for an Amdek RMK-100 going on right now with a great photo of the front panel (see below), and indeed it does share a lot with the DR-55 and SR-88 - but definitely not identical to either one. For example, it looks like the Amdek and SR-88 share a similar filler function that as far as I can tell is not available on the DR-55. And the DR-55 and the RMK-100 share a similar accent function that I don t see on the SR-88. Now where does the Electro Dynamics Corporation Programmable Rhythm SR-99 fit in? I also came across another machine with similar features - the Programmable Rhythm SR-99. No - not manufactured by Sound Master, but by Electro Dynamics Corporation. And, it too resembles the others in functionality, and especially the SR-88 in design also. I ve included a row of photos below to help make the comparison between the two. The SR-88 photo is from the 2005 MATRIXSYNTH auction post and the EDC SR-99 photo is from the excellent BigBlueWave.co.uk site. I ve also thrown in a photo from another recent E-bay listing that included both - plus boxes and manuals! Sick! Obviously, Sound Master and EDC are somehow connected, although I can t find any info on the Internet concerning these two companies. I do know that they were both advertising separately in Keyboard Magazine in late 1983, making it unlikely that one of the companies changed their name to the other. Anyone know anything? And then there is the Clef Master Rhythm... Now, I m going to throw in a late entry. It s Sunday night, and I just came across this August 2010 MATRIXSYNTH auction post for the Clef Master Rhythm. It not only shares part of the name of one of the other units ("Master"), it too has many features of the other rhythm machines, and identical innards as the DR-55, but is expanded to include even more sounds: "This is essentially a fully expanded Boss DR-55 feature-wise and tone-wise. The circuits are identical (schematically and tonally) to the Boss DR-55, but the Clef Master Rhythm gives you way more instruments than the Boss DR-55..." Interestingly, according to the post, it pre-dates the Boss DR-55 - and also came in a kit form like the Amdek. "The Clef Master Rhythm came out a little before the Boss DR-55 in late 1979/early 1980. It was sold in two versions and available in greater quantities in Europe than in the United States. One version was a kit that the user put together and another one was a prebuilt machine." A photo from the MATRIXSYNTH post really helps show the similarities in functions with the others: What does it all mean? So, looking at all five machines, its almost like there was a rhythm machine salad bar of some sort in Japan, and each company stepped up to it and picked out which features they wanted to include in their product. And that begs the question - since we know there was a kit form available and there are claims that the Clef Master even has the same circuits as the DR-55, could all five products (and probably others) have used the exact same internal parts - each company choosing which features to include and then customizing in their respective rhythm machine? And if so, were those parts supplied by Amdek, or did all five get their internal parts from some other manufacturer? And if that is the case, then the question of whether the SR-88 or DR-55 came first doesn t really matter much, since it is likely that the kit components would have been available first. Plus, we have that one auction post with the claim that the Clef Master came out before the DR-55 - making it all even more confusing to figure out. Or, am I totally off the mark on all this? Were they all created separately? Maybe I ve just been fixated on this a little too much... I ll keep on looking for more info on these companies and any connection they might have, but if anyone want to buy all four and open them up to take a look - it would be muchly appreciated. :D Posted by RetroSynthAds at 12:05 PM Labels: 1982, amdek, clef master, dr-55, drum machine, electro dynamics corporation, keyboard magazine, rmk-100, Sound Master, sr-88, sr-99 2 comments: Simon said... Here s a funny thing - I seem to remember Clef in the early 1980s as a British company that made electronic pianos (touch-sensitive ones!) in kit form. Deep in the back of my mind I recall seeing them at a music fair in London with a couple of their pianos and some drum machines including a prototype drum/bass/chord sequencer called something like a "Band-Box". But it WAS a long time ago. February 12, 2012 at 12:36 PM Simon said... Looks like (for once) my memory didn t fail me. Here is a 1982 ad for Clef Electronics showing all the products I mentioned, plus a natty-looking little monosynth! BTW, I owned an EDC SR99 drum machine in the mid-1980s, but replaced it with a Yamaha RX-21 a couple of years later. February 12, 2012 at 12:46 PM

1322 Hard Soft Synth 3 There are some HSS3s for sale in my shop.scripts:- HSS3S01V...
Hard Soft Synth 3 There are some HSS3s for sale in my shop. scripts: - HSS3S01V38 (HSS3a, HSS3b, HSS3c) - HSS3S02V20 (only audio and optimized for the HSS3f) - HSS3S02V21 (HSS3g) - HSS3S02V33 (works with HSS3j, HSS3i, HSS3g, and probably also HSS3e) - HSS3S03V23 (works with HSS3j, HSS3i, HSS3g, and probably also HSS3e) - HSS3S03V29 (works with HSS3j, HSS3i, HSS3g, and probably also HSS3e) midi lib: - Midi.zip modding: - Modding a HSS3? files: - HSS3i030_etch_bottom.pdf - HSS3i030_etch_top.pdf kit: - assembling instructions - the parts bibliography: - credits gijs gieskes, instruments, circuitbending, music, visula equipment, 1-bit, 4-bit, 8-bit, 16-bit, gameboymusic, lsdj, nanoloop, sequencer, drumcomputer, tr-707, casio, roland, nintendo, sega

897 Generic Synth Preset Storage and Conversion
For my synths with preset storage and the ability to dump & load presets via midi sysex, I wanted to be able to feed the sysex of a synth into a software program which can display the sound parameters in a meaningful form, and convert the sound into the sysex format of any of my other presets synths The generic patch storage format must display meaningful values for the parameters (filter envelope amount = 1/2 octave, envelope 1 attack = 50ms, etc) and convert between these values and a given synth's sysex (as much as possible - resolution probably isn't good enough to get envelope attack to exactly 50ms on each and every synth, and envelope shapes vary between synths, etc). The storage format will also store the original parameters, using the "native" value range of each parameter (e.g. filter cutoff frequency between 0 and 127) as well as the original sysex program as an ASCII hex dump. Since I didn't find any software which could do this, I began writing my own in Java. I am concentrating on converting basic analog components; any on-board effects are not used.

868 How Facebook Ships Code « FrameThink – Frameworks for Thinking People
I’m fascinated by the way Facebook operates. It’s a very unique environment, not easily replicated (nor would their system work for all companies, even if they tried). These are notes gathered from talking with many friends at Facebook about how the company develops and releases software. It’s been over six months since I assembled these observations and I’m sure Facebook has continuously evolved its software development practices in the meantime. So these notes are probably a little bit out-of-date. It also seems like Facebook’s developer-driven culture is coming under greater public scrutiny. So I’m feeling more comfortable now about releasing these notes… HUGE thanks to the many folks who helped put together this view inside of Facebook! Thanks are also due to folks like epriest and fryfrog who have written up corrections and edits.

788 Setting Up Your Digital Camera For HDR Shooting
You’ve probably heard of High Dynamic Range (HDR) Photography, it’s made quite an entrance into the world of digital photography. If you haven’t, the HDR process is accomplished by taking multiple exposures of a high contrast scene (usually a landscape or cityscape), at different levels of brightness, and then combining the best light from each exposure into one image. The end result is a stunning image that very closely resembles how the human eye views a scene. This process of digital manipulation has caused a bit of controversy and debate in the world of photography, especially with images that are “over-cooked.” One thing is for sure though, HDR is here to stay. When done right, this unique and in depth processing technique can produce beautiful works of art that mimic the way we view and remember a landscape or scene. The above image is an example of what HDR processing can produce. This image, taken from the Big Island of Hawaii, would not be possible without HDR processing. It was taken around noon, the harshest light of the day. The first image is the best image my camera could produce given the situation. While still beautiful, there are obvious problems. Get ready, this article is going to show you how to take your digital camera and turn it into an HDR shooting machine!

767 The 5 types of programmers « Steven Benner's Blog
In my code journeys and programming adventures I’ve encountered many strange foes, and even stranger allies. I’ve identified at least five different kinds of code warriors, some make for wonderful comrades in arms, while others seem to foil my every plan. However they all have their place in the pantheon of software development. Without a healthy mix of these different programming styles you’ll probably find your projects either take too long to complete, are not stable enough or are too perfect for humans to look upon. The duct tape programmer The code may not be pretty, but damnit, it works! This guy is the foundation of your company. When something goes wrong he will fix it fast and in a way that won’t break again. Of course he doesn’t care about how it looks, ease of use, or any of those other trivial concerns, but he will make it happen, without a bunch of talk or time-wasting nonsense. The best way to use this person is to point at a problem and walk away. The OCD perfectionist programmer You want to do what to my code? This guy doesn’t care about your deadlines or budgets, those are insignificant when compared to the art form that is programming. When you do finally receive the finished product you will have no option but submit to the stunning glory and radiant beauty of perfectly formatted, no, perfectly beautiful code, that is so efficient that anything you would want to do to it would do nothing but defame a masterpiece. He is the only one qualified to work on his code. The anti-programming programmer I’m a programmer, damnit. I don’t write code. His world has one simple truth; writing code is bad. If you have to write something then you’re doing it wrong. Someone else has already done the work so just use their code. He will tell you how much faster this development practice is, even though he takes as long or longer than the other programmers. But when you get the project it will only be 20 lines of actual code and will be very easy to read. It may not be very fast, efficient, or forward-compatible, but it will be done with the least effort required. The half-assed programmer What do you want? It works doesn’t it? The guy who couldn’t care less about quality, that’s someone elses job. He accomplishes the tasks that he’s asked to do, quickly. You may not like his work, the other programmers hate it, but management and the clients love it. As much pain as he will cause you in the future, he is single-handedly keeping your deadlines so you can’t scoff at it (no matter how much you want to). The theoretical programmer Well, that’s a possibility, but in practice this might be a better alternative. This guy is more interested the options than what should be done. He will spend 80% of his time staring blankly at his computer thinking up ways to accomplish a task, 15% of his time complaining about unreasonable deadlines, 4% of his time refining the options, and 1% of his time writing code. When you receive the final work it will always be accompanied by the phrase “if I had more time I could have done this the right way”. Where do you fit? Personally, I’d have to classify myself as the perfectionist. So, which type of programmer are you? Or perhaps you know another programming archetype that is missing from my list? Post a comment below and I’ll add it to a new updated list.

727 How To Create an Antique Mirror Effect | Apartment Therapy DC
How To Create an Antique Mirror Effect Mclain Wiesand, a Baltimore-based custom furniture company, has made a name for itself by producing handcrafted pieces that capture the feel of real antiques. One of the techniques they use for aging mirror is wonderfully simple and serves as the inspiration for this how to. Creating an antique mirror effect is an inexpensive way to revamp a flea market find, or add a new layer of interest and depth to an ordinary wall mirror. Almost any type of mirror can be aged using this technique, including mirrored plexiglass. Supplies • Mirrored glass or plexiglass. Due to the type of paint applied to the reflective coating, inexpensive, craft-store mirror works wonderfully. • Latex or other gloves for hand protection. • Paint stripper. Most types work fine. For a less toxic product, Citristrip works well. • Plastic putty spreader or putty knife. • Modern Masters Metal Effects Black Patina. This patina solution is essentially an acid that eats at the reflective surface of the mirror. There are probably other products that work similarly, but Modern Masters products work well and can be found online or in most art supply stores or specialty paint stores. • 1” chip brush (or similar brush). • Silver paint of choice. Steps Step 1: (Image 2, above) Wearing gloves, place mirror face down on cardboard or other protected surface in a well-ventilated area. Apply stripper generously to back of mirror and allow to sit for a few hours, or until paint can be easily removed with plastic scraper. It is not necessary for all of the paint to be removed; generally speaking, 80-90% should suffice. When paint has been stripped, wash mirror with soap and water and allow to dry. Step 2: (Images 3 & 4) Place stripped mirror face down on clean cardboard or other protected surface. Dip chip brush in Modern Masters Metal Patina Solution and gradually apply it to the raw reflective surface of the mirror. As mirror tends to age from the edges inward, it is best to apply patina solution in heavier amounts around the edges of the mirror. In a matter of minutes (or less), the patina solution will begin to eat away at the reflective surface. Other application techniques that produce nice effects are spattering and light directional brushing of patina solution. Continue applying solution until desired level of ageing is achieved. Rinse with water to neutralize the reaction and allow to dry. Step 3: (photos 5 & 6) This next step involves reapplying paint to the back of the mirror. The color paint you choose will be visible through the spots created by the patina solution. The dark areas of aged antique mirrors tend to be a dark silver-grey but depending on the silvering technique used, can range from gold to pale silver to black. One method that produced nice results is a combination of dark and light silver paints, applied randomly (per images). Apply paint until the reflective surface is completely covered.

602 Free Music Friday – Circuit Ben « GetLoFi – Circuit Bending Synth DIY
Circuit Ben is Killing Music Album now is free to download. Enjoy great catchy tunes and top notch production. This is a very good example melodic composition with circuit bent toys. Circuit_Ben_is_Killing_Music Download Background Info: Bent Stuff used: Casio sk1, Casio sk5, Casio sk100, Casio pt-20, Casio ks-03, Yamaha pss-11, Yamaha pss460, Hing Hon EK-001, Cheburashka!, Jim Bowen/Al Pacino dub siren, Super ultra mega, Fun-box (orgasm toy), Toy Koran (Quran), Cheap Chinese phone toys, Kung Fu toy, Captain Scarlet’s car, “Pound Shop” keyboard (cost £1 new.), Dragonball Z keyrings, Barbie keyboard, Fisher-price tape recorder (now dirty,dirty guitar amp.), George W Bush and probably about fifty circuits with a soldered output that were bent/killed while recording – auto-destruct! Non Bent Stuff: Mini Kaoss pad, Gameboy with Nanoloop, Melodica, 5-litre oil can guitar, Acoustic bass, Casio kx-101, Stylophone, Voice Ben Says that in general songs are as vague as possible and about nothing – that’s the story he is sticking to The Lyrics for “Allen” are from “Cocaine Blues” by Allen Ginsberg. All this was written and performed by Circuit Ben and produced by Lee Gregory – www.myspace.com/randomleeaudio

565 Inside Alesis A6 Andromeda | Ibsendesign blog
Inside Alesis A6 Andromeda Here are some pics I’ve shot during the reconnaissance inside my A6 (taking some measures before pimping it with some custom made wooden cheeks). It’s quite surprising that its guts are not that complicated as it may seem looking at it’s interface. Very clean layout and good engineering (with tons of silicone glue, WTF?). The only con is that in order to remove those original cheeks I have to disassemble all the PCB’s attached to the front panel – and probably all the pots! Teh drama.

551 The Top Idea in Your Mind
I realized recently that what one thinks about in the shower in the morning is more important than I'd thought. I knew it was a good time to have ideas. Now I'd go further: now I'd say it's hard to do a really good job on anything you don't think about in the shower. Everyone who's worked on difficult problems is probably familiar with the phenomenon of working hard to figure something out, failing, and then suddenly seeing the answer a bit later while doing something else. There's a kind of thinking you do without trying to. I'm increasingly convinced this type of thinking is not merely helpful in solving hard problems, but necessary. The tricky part is, you can only control it indirectly. [1] I think most people have one top idea in their mind at any given time. That's the idea their thoughts will drift toward when they're allowed to drift freely. And this idea will thus tend to get all the benefit of that type of thinking, while others are starved of it. Which means it's a disaster to let the wrong idea become the top one in your mind. What made this clear to me was having an idea I didn't want as the top one in my mind for two long stretches.

529 SynthesisWorkshops
synth modular Sound synthesis and sound design Music has brought pleasure and entertainment to mankind throughout the whole of history. Each person is by nature equipped with one of the most elaborate and emotional musical instruments; the human voice. Whenever people feel good music seems to fit the occasion, and it is considered quite natural to hum or sing a song. Musical instruments have brought their own moods to music and at the current moment in human evolution there is an enormous variety of musical instruments available. The twentieth century has seen the development of a range of new and exciting electronic musical instruments. These electronic instruments are very flexible, they can produce a wide range of timbres and can be amplified to whatever loudness level sounds best for the occasion. Most of these electronic instruments are played by a keyboard, but in essence the keyboard can be replaced by any electromechanical device that is able to transform a movement caused by a human interaction into an electrical signal that can drive the sound generating core of the electronic instrument. All sorts of technical and scientific developments have helped to create electronic instruments and the human interface to play them. Still, music is an art and not really a hard science, although music and sound have for a long time been subject to various scientific research. An important realization is that science can not really explain why much music is such a pleasure to listen to and such a joy to make. Which is not a bad thing, as probably no one is waiting for science to take the fun out of music by applying formalized rules and templates on what is also subject to ‘feel’. So, although this book covers techniques that lean heavily on scientific research, the application of these techniques will in general be aimed at creating fun. There are a lot of professionals working with sound and even more people that make music for their personal enjoyment. Mastery of sound synthesis is valuable to all of them. Still, it won’t be easy to please everyone with one single book, as some people will be more interested in how things work and others might want practical examples that just work. The aim of this book is that it can at least be used as a practical guide in workshops and courses in electronic music, covering some essential basics that are needed to operate the equipment used in sound synthesis in a way that makes some sense. Additionally it can be used to explore techniques to find out how they can help in the development of one’s own musical style. Sound synthesis is the art of creating sounds by using suitable electronic means, using either analog or digital electronic devices. Sound design is the art of creating particular sounds using sound synthesis techniques. The definition of sound design as used here might be confusing to some, as the name sound design is also used in the discipline in industrial design that occupies itself with how mass produced objects should sound. Examples are how the sound of cars or ladyshaves are ‘designed’ to sound pleasing while in use. Which of course has nothing to do at all with music or sound synthesizers. This book puts the emphasis on the various synthesis techniques for musical purposes and how to setup sound synthesizers to create a large range of characteristic musical sounds. The art of musical sound design is left to the artist.

481 50 Powerful Time-Savers For Web Designers - Smashing Magazine
Being a web designer is not easy. Not only do we need to have a good understanding about visual design, typography, information architecture, psychology and a plethora of other disciplines; in our work, we need to take care of so many details, so that our job becomes more and more time-consuming, requiring dozens of tools, attention span and an effective workflow for beautiful, timely and functional results. And this is where small time-savers become handy. Be it a handy checklist, batch installer, dummy image generator or converter from Excel spreadsheet to HTML — all these things can save us a couple of minutes every day, making our work easier and more efficient. And this is why we keep collecting them for Smashing Magazine’s readers. Whether you like lists or not: this one will probably help you find those little nuggets out there that will help you avoid headaches and stress. Below we present useful time-savers for web designers.

464 Ksplice » Attack of the Cosmic Rays! - System administration and software blog
It’s a well-documented fact that RAM in modern computers is susceptible to occasional random bit flips due to various sources of noise, most commonly high-energy cosmic rays. By some estimates, you can even expect error rates as high as one error per 4GB of RAM per day! Many servers these days have ECC RAM, which uses extra bits to store error-correcting codes that let them correct most bit errors, but ECC RAM is still fairly rare in desktops, and unheard-of in laptops. For me, bitflips due to cosmic rays are one of those problems I always assumed happen to “other people”. I also assumed that even if I saw random cosmic-ray bitflips, my computer would probably just crash, and I’d never really be able to tell the difference from some random kernel bug. A few weeks ago, though, I encountered some bizarre behavior on my desktop, that honestly just didn’t make sense. I spent about half an hour digging to discover what had gone wrong, and eventually determined, conclusively, that my problem was a single undetected flipped bit in RAM. I can’t prove whether the problem was due to cosmic rays, bad RAM, or something else, but in any case, I hope you find this story interesting and informative.

Welcome to MacBeth Synthesizers! LATEST NEWS: 20/07/09 please scroll down for infoOver the last year and half or so, more products have been developed. Work has gone into the design of a new modular synthesizer system shared by two formats- the 3U format and the 5U format. The designs are relatively new but still retain the inherant qualities of the M3X, M5 and M5N synthesizers. The system is called the X-Series Modular Synthesizer after the popular M3X and its protégé keyboard synthesizer the X-Factor. This fully analogue keyboard is still under serious development and there will be more information to follow on that one. As a refreshing change from making the large scale semi modular M5 and M5N, I am now delving into the production of smaller, free for all systems that will probably grow large! I'm taking into it all my experience of designing both large and small analogue synthesizers as well as a few new ideas too. Please take the time to look around this website. In each catagory there is product information, sounds, tracks and links to other related media on the internet. Currently the 3U X-Series Dual Oscillator and 'Backend' Filter Combo are in production. I expect delivery of the Dual Oscillator within the next two weeks- shortly after that the 'Backend' Filter Combo will roll out of production. Please contact any of the Distributers listed to get your modules. I intend to produce a short run of the 5U modules soon, so once again- stay tuned for that... ...anyway! I have uploaded quite a few demo sounds on here- maybe not to everyones taste- but at least they make you think of what these modules could do in the right hands, i.e. you! - after all- I'm an engineer, not a muscian as such!...Well you decide! All MacBeth Products are built to exacting standards- from materials selection to the physical build. The PCBs and Sheet Metalwork are fabricated by Zot Engineering from Musselburgh, Scotland http://www.zot.co.uk and final assembly is performed by Diatron Assembly Systems from Norwich, England http://www.diatron.co.uk Both companies also manufacture equipment for the medical, military and aerospace sectors of industrial engineering

340 7-things-to-stop-doing-now-on-facebook: Personal Finance News from Yahoo! Finance
Using a Weak Password Avoid simple names or words you can find in a dictionary, even with numbers tacked on the end. Instead, mix upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols. A password should have at least eight characters. One good technique is to insert numbers or symbols in the middle of a word, such as this variant on the word "houses": hO27usEs! Leaving Your Full Birth Date in Your Profile More from ConsumerReports.org: • Millions of Users Exposing Personal Information • Tested: 119 Laptops, Desktops, Netbooks and iPad • Electronics Reviews It's an ideal target for identity thieves, who could use it to obtain more information about you and potentially gain access to your bank or credit card account. If you've already entered a birth date, go to your profile page and click on the Info tab, then on Edit Information. Under the Basic Information section, choose to show only the month and day or no birthday at all. Overlooking Useful Privacy Controls For almost everything in your Facebook profile, you can limit access to only your friends, friends of friends, or yourself. Restrict access to photos, birth date, religious views, and family information, among other things. You can give only certain people or groups access to items such as photos, or block particular people from seeing them. Consider leaving out contact info, such as phone number and address, since you probably don't want anyone to have access to that information anyway. Popular Stories on Yahoo!: • 20 Best Cities to Ride Out the Recession • Wealth Ranking: You're Richer Than You Think • 7 Expenses You Can Ditch in Retirement More from Yahoo! Finance Posting Your Child's Name in a Caption Don't use a child's name in photo tags or captions. If someone else does, delete it by clicking on Remove Tag. If your child isn't on Facebook and someone includes his or her name in a caption, ask that person to remove the name. Mentioning That You'll Be Away From Home That's like putting a "no one's home" sign on your door. Wait until you get home to tell everyone how awesome your vacation was and be vague about the date of any trip. Letting Search Engines Find You To help prevent strangers from accessing your page, go to the Search section of Facebook's privacy controls and select Only Friends for Facebook search results. Be sure the box for public search results isn't checked. Permitting Youngsters to Use Facebook Unsupervised Facebook limits its members to ages 13 and over, but children younger than that do use it. If you have a young child or teenager on Facebook, the best way to provide oversight is to become one of their online friends. Use your e-mail address as the contact for their account so that you receive their notifications and monitor their activities. "What they think is nothing can actually be pretty serious," says Charles Pavelites, a supervisory special agent at the Internet Crime Complaint Center. For example, a child who posts the comment "Mom will be home soon, I need to do the dishes" every day at the same time is revealing too much about the parents' regular comings and goings.

323 F.lux: software to make your life better
Ever notice how people texting at night have that eerie blue glow? Or wake up ready to write down the Next Great Idea, and get blinded by your computer screen? During the day, computer screens look good—they're designed to look like the sun. But, at 9PM, 10PM, or 3AM, you probably shouldn't be looking at the sun. f.lux F.lux fixes this: it makes the color of your computer's display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day. It's even possible that you're staying up too late because of your computer. You could use f.lux because it makes you sleep better, or you could just use it just because it makes your computer look better.

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