Digital ads are a disaster. While ads themselves are a legitimate and often necessary source of income for service providers, the way they’re delivered to users can be downright malicious. On mobile devices, ads have been shown to drain battery life and surreptitiously deliver malware, without the content providers even being aware of it. Until content providers can get their act together, it’s up to users to protect themselves.
In this post, I’ll present a convenient, root-free way of blocking ads on Android devices using free and open source tools.
This past week saw the release of PixelMaestro 2.0, and with it, a bunch of fixes to device communication and control. You can now plug in any Arduino-compatible board with an attached LED strip or matrix and start controlling it in a matter of minutes. Not only can you send commands to it in real-time, but you can upload complete configurations and store them in EEPROM for long-term storage, even across reboots. This was possible in previous versions of PixelMaestro, but now it’s even easier.
This post demonstrates some of PixelMaestro’s new device integration features and example sketches.
About a year ago, I started looking into ways to cross-compile Windows applications from within Linux. This brought me to a cool project called MXE (short for M Cross Environment). With MXE, you can use your Linux machine to generate Windows binaries without having to install any virtual machines or compatibility layers. In this post, I’ll walk you through the process of setting up MXE and turning your source code into a Windows program.
While working on the next release of PixelMaestro, I came across a problem of storing long-term data on an Arduino. I have a system in place where configuration changes are sent to an Arduino over USB as byte arrays, and as the Arduino reads the array it applies the changes. The problem is those changes disappear as soon as you restart the device. How, then, does one store persistent data without having to add an SD card or extra memory? Enter EEPROM.
In an earlier post, I explored the idea of productivity gamification and how it can help increase your motivation. I’ve been testing this over the past few weeks by using an Android app called LifeRPG to track my habits, tasks, and important milestones I wanted to reach. In this post, I’ll go into detail about my LifeRPG setup and how it’s helped me stay focused in my everyday life.
In my never-ending (and often misguided) quest to bridge the world of writing and programming, I decided to take a crucial tool from the software world and use it to manage my documents. The result: a powerful (if convoluted) system for drafting and revising documents.
Far below the Web we all know and love, behind the friendly faces of our favorite websites there lies a lurking giant. Many of us know the Web by it’s biggest names – Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. But what many of us don’t know is that there’s another component to the Web, one that willingly places itself away from the public consciousness. It’s given rise to a platform where people around the world can speak freely without fear of retribution, but it’s also given rise to a platform where people can engage in incredible atrocities outside of the public eye. This mysterious hidden network is known as the Dark Web.