Protest SOPA on your Website (JavaScript)

Join hundreds of thousands in protesting SOPA and PIPA by writing to your congressmen, telling them how you feel about these bills.  To take it a step further and join in the #blackoutSOPA cause, paste this handy javascript into the <head> tags of your webpage or blog.  It will 'blackout' your website for January 18th only, redirecting users to sopastrike.com

<script type="text/javascript"> var a=new Date,b=a.getUTCHours(); if(0==a.getUTCMonth()&&2012==a.getUTCFullYear()&&((18==a.getUTCDate()&&13<=b)||(19==a.getUTCDate()&&0>=b)))window.location="http://sopastrike.com/strike"; </script>

Stop SOPA & PIPA

To my congressman, Jason Chaffetz, representing Utah's Third District, I oppose SOPA and PIPA. Please do not support these misguided proposals for combating online piracy. I am a web developer and mobile app developer and businesses like the one I started will be severely threatened by SOPA and PIPA. This is not freedom and liberty, it is an unjust proposal to a web-related problem. This issue must be reassessed and readdressed with greater sensitivity to freedom of speech, due process of law, and business and technological innovation.

Kyle Clegg

The Palate Whistle

I was wondering how the guy whistles in this youtube video: Home - Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros Acoustic Cover (Jorge & Alexa Narvaez).  He does some crazy no lip whistle.  Googling "whistle without lips" led me to this little bit of info.

How to whistle with your mouth:

  1. This whistle may require some practice and exercise because it takes strength in your tongue, jaw, and other parts of the mouth.
  2. Draw your lips and the corners of your mouth as far back as you can. Your bottom teeth should not be visible, but it is okay if your top teeth show.
  3. Pull the tongue taut and draw it back.
  4. Broaden and flatten the tip of the tongue.
    • Be sure there is a space between your teeth and tongue.
    • Your tongue should float in your mouth more or less at the level of your bottom row of teeth.
  5. Blow air gently out.
  6. Direct your breath downwards towards your lower teeth. You should be able to feel the downward force of the air on your tongue.
    • The sound is created by the tongue working with the upper teeth to force air over the surface of the tongue and into the lower teeth.
  7. Experiment with the position of your tongue, cheek muscles, jaw, and anything else for a wide variety of whistle sounds.

AnyDVD Not Ripping DVDs to English

Working on a video editing project, I've started using AnyDVD to decode and rip DVDs to my machine.  It's been a great tool,  works efficiently and just as I would expect it to, however on a couple of the DVDs I've ripped it's, seemingly randomly, ripping one or two of the video files in French. The problem is that the language settings on AnyDVD have been set to "Automatic" by default.  To fix this, open AnyDVD and select "Language Selection" from the settings bar on the left, and change the language to English (or whichever language you want).

I'd also like to find a painless way to string the outputted VOB files back together, however for this project it's not critical, since I've only ripped these DVDs for the sake of taking two or three 30 second clips from each.  Once I do find an easy tool to string link the VOB files back up into a semi-production level looking file I'll post it here as a comment.

Candy Jar Estimator Launches

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Yesterday Bryce (my business partner) and I launched "Candy Jar Estimator" on the Android Market.  It's designed to help you win candy guessing competitions - it takes your candy, the jar type, any custom jar measurements, and computes the expected number of candies in the jar.  Basically it means automatic WIN if you use it the next time a candy estimating competition rolls around at work, church, holiday festivities, etc.  so... it's pretty awesome.

Anyway we've also entered our app in the BYU mobile app competition.  The competition runs through November 16 and there are several prizes that we could potentially take home, including $6000 grand prize, $3000 judge's prize, and a local company's choice: brand new iPads for all team members.  If you'd like to help our team out here a few things you could do.

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  1. If you have an Android phone, download the app (yes it costs a dollar), l eave a 5 star rating and a SUPER AWESOME comment.
  2. Tell your Android friends to download it and leave some awesome reviews for us.  Say "my brother is entering his android app into BUY's mobile app competition. check...it...OUT! http://bit.ly/tmlitR" (and then make sure they download it and not just look at it)
  3. Even if you don't have an Android, you can help us by +1-ing our app on the Android Market. go here (http://bit.ly/tmlitR) and click the +1 button on the top right of the screen.

The biggest help will probably be sharing, so if you want to tweet it, Facebook it, or blog it that would be very helpful.  Also - if you have friends that are big blogger's a little spotlight from their blog goes a LONG way.

Available in Android Market

Getting Started Project as a "Web Specialist"

Starting my new job as a web specialist for the BYU Law School this week.  The getting started project is as below... super stoked. Create a page using php, mysql and html where users can login or sign up and fill in forms about themselves (first name, last name, age, email address). Provide a spot for them to upload a document of type pdf, reject other types of uploads. Also, create a field that uses CKeditor to get a quick "user blurb" or description of themselves. After they are logged in, have a page in which all users are listed and linked to their profiles which will appear in a Colorbox when clicked upon. Be sure to style everything using CSS. Things you will need to know to do this:

    • How to create a form and use php post variables
    • How to upload and check uploaded documents
    • Session variables in php
    • How to create and use a correctly structured MYSQL database
    • How to use Colorbox
    • How to use CKeditor
    • How to do CSS styling

Tip: We highly recommeded thoroughly completing Lynda.com's PHP with MySQL Essential Training course to assist in preparing for the training exercise.

 

Dec 2011 update: See my mini content management system - still a work in progress.

So excited I can't sleep

Seriously, I can't sleep.  I'm sitting here in Eclipse messing with these layouts and getting stoked for the BYU Mobile App Competition.  A partner and I are developing a super awesome Android app that is going to be a blast.  Too bad I can't say what it is yet.  But, in about three weeks we should be ready to push it out.  We're under way right now and will be working on it as much as possible to get it ready for the competition. Man, I feel like saying more but I guess I won't for now.  People could be out there snatching up our idea as we speak.  That sucks.  But believe me once it's out there I'll be all about spreading the news.  The cool thing is that this app has never been done before on Android, it's a fresh market!  There's one on the iOS app store, but it's lame.  Maybe we'll try xcode and iphone development if this goes well.

Here's how the BYU mobile app competition works:

  • Teams of 1 to 4, with at least one member a current BYU student
  • Build your app for Android, iOS, WP7, or Blackberry
  • Release it to the Market/App Store November 2-16
  • Cash prizes as follows:
  • Grand Prize: $6,000
  • Analytics 1st Place: $3,000
  • Judged 1st Place: $3,000
  • Analytics 2nd Place: $1,500
  • Judged 2nd Place: $1,500
  • Audience Choice: All team members will be awarded with an iPad 2 (or 3). This award will be based on audience input at the final event
Basically there's a grand prize, a first and second for most popular based off the analytics, and a first and second based off the judge's opinions.  Then there's iPad prizes for audience choice.  So there's a good chance of winning something if you have a good idea, successful implementation of that idea, and a killer marketing strategy.  Assuming we get the product we want we're going to spread the word like wildfire.  I'm talking BYU, UVU, Utah State booths, and spreading the word all across the map... up in Washington, back in Georgia, Michigan, out in Hawaii.   I'm pumped about the whole project.
In other exciting news, Mango's came out yesterday, the $250 Amazon tablet is being announced today, and iPhone 5 is set to come out in less than a week.  This is huge!  I want an Amazon Kindle Fire tablet (or whatever it's going to be called) already.

Do number of installs spike when you publish a new version to the Android Market?

I just published a new release (the first update) of Cow Tipping (http://market.android.com/details?id=com.kyleclegg.cowtipping).  Just in the time since the update 36 hours ago the stats are saying that the number of installs has increased about 50 times it's normal rate.  Seriously... it's averaged like 10 or 20 a day and yesterday there were about 500.  WHY?!?  Are these (a) new downloads or (b) a combination of new downloads and reinstallations of the latest version by existing users?  Seems like an enormous spike. Is there anything that would affect the number of installs around the time you publish a new version?

Don't know the answers to these questions.  Someone out there might.

New Changes

A couple new changes for me.  Things might get crazy.

First, as you can see, this blog now houses google adsense text ads. Your first response - jerk, sellout, shmuck. Right? Relax. This blog is my testing zone for wp junk so don't have a cow if I do something stupid.  Just consider it as having done the web a favor- one less rookie mistake for the next time around if I screw something up.  I think they look pretty good, actually.

The next new thing is that I am now running Android! Switched from iphone to Motorola Atrix and boy it is sweet. I feel empowered. Take that Jobs. This little guy is now my testing ground for my Cow Tipping app and anything else I get into this summer.

One last thing- posting this from Wordpress for Android. Android fo' lyfe.

Set up your Facebook to Only Access via a HTTP Secure (HTTPS) Connection

So I found out today - from Mark himself - that Facebook has added the ability to access the site via a HTTP Secure (HTTPS) connection (like Twitter already does).  This will drastically increase security for Facebook users.

Basically, HTTPS provides a combination of the HTTP and SSL protocols, which enables encrypted communication between your computer and a web server (THIS IS GOOD).  Without it you’re exposed to significantly more security vulnerabilities, especially if you're using a public Wi-Fi to access Facebook.  If you're at Starbucks hanging out on their public Wi-Fi network, someone using Firesheep can easily get onto your Facebook account and steal your data.  HTTPS makes it a lot harder to do that.  On public Wi-Fi networks you should only enter private information (passwords, phone numbers, credit cards numbers) to sites accessible via HTTPS, if at all.

The feature is available as an option on the "Account Settings" page. Click "Account Security," then check the "Secure Browsing (https)" box.  If you have Twitter, do the same there.

Mark Zuckerberg Visits BYU - Technology Forum

This morning I had the pleasure of attending a technology forum at BYU, hosting special guests Senator Orrin Hatch and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The forum brought about 10,000 people out, being open to BYU students as well as the public. The forum was held in simple fashion with two chairs, a coffee table and a table ornament being the only furniture on-stage. Senator Hatch led the discussion, playing host to present Mark (he asked that we call him just Mark) with a series of questions previously submitted on the BYU Facebook page.

The event was awesome. I was very impressed with both Senator Hatch and Mark Zuckerberg. Mark looked much like depicted in the The Social Network and on Saturday Night Live, in his token jeans and hoodie. He had a low key demeanor and general quietness about him.  He was polite and eloquent and spoke confidently. I mean, he was no rhetorician, but at the same time he definitely didn't sound like your prototypical computer geek. He humbly let everyone know he was a bit nervous, since this was the first time that he had ever talked to a stadium full of people.

Senator Hatch then began to ask Mark Zuckerberg a number of questions previously submitted by on BYU’s Facebook page. Below are the questions and Mark’s answers. I can't type at lightning speed so I couldn't get it all, so some of the answers are verbatim, some are paraphrasing.  They're pretty awesome though. I learned SO much. In my opinion every business major, tech major, sociology major, geography major, art major, open major, don't care major, or facebook major should have taken the opportunity to be there.

Let's put it this way... skipping my CS class to be here might have been the best decision I made all semester.  If you missed it, at least you can read about it here :).  Note: BYU is also going to post some clips on the BYU Facebook page.

Senator Orrin Hatch - "I want to let you know the main reason I invited you here so that you'd finally accept my friend request." (Ha ha ha)

Sen Hatch - "Facebook is moving towards one billion users, all over the world.  It's changed the way we do business, changed the way we interact with one another, changed the way we look at political issues, and changed the ways we date (especially at BYU)."

1. How did Facebook get off the ground?

a. I built it when I was a sophomore at Harvard. Not to build a company, pretty certain that it would never be a company. I wanted the product at Harvard. Within 2-3 weeks 70% of Harvard signed up. Then other universities wanted in... b. At the end of sophomore year I moved to Silicon Valley with the intention to go back at the end of summer. When things were going well I decided to take a term off, then another term off, and eventually I realized I wasn't going back. c. You can build a company like this anywhere in the world. If I were doing it again I probably wouldn't choose Silicon Valley. d. Facebook apps are huge, over a million apps. The "We're Related" app was developed by Family Link here in Provo.

2. How do you handle management in the company?

a. People was the biggest predictor of success. b. The success of Facebook is all about the team we built. I think in any company that's true. c. One of the things we focused on in Facebook is keeping it small. Only 2000 employees. Make sure that every person that you add to your company is really great.

Sen Hatch - I'm impressed that you're so successful, worth 13.5 billion dollars.

3. What classes were of most benefit for you? For folks who want to get into the same area as you?

a. "I wasn't in school that long" (crowd applauses) b. Most people don’t know this, but I was a double major at Harvard: Computer science and Psychology. c. It's as much psychology and sociology as it is technology. d. CS Classes have 2 categories

i. Theoretical - very interesting ii. Practical - awesome. Operating systems and other hardware classes enabled me to build the early system.

4. What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

a. "I think you have to really love and believe in what you're doing. I think that's the most important thing." b. If you don't, it actually becomes the rational thing to stop when it comes to challenges.

5. Mark to Sen. Hatch - "I started off as an Engineer, but one thing that is new to me is how the government sees technology. What can government do to promote budding engineers?"

a. Stay out of the way. (Applause.) It's my opinion that one reason we have so much technology and innovation is because of the freedom of companies and the internet that we have here in America.

6. Facebook sees third party developers as important. What is Facebook trying to do to help the developer environment?

a. We're trying to set it up so that we're not the only ones building innovative apps using the Facebook service. b. "A good independent entrepreneurial developer should always be able to do something on their own better than the entire company." (Find your niche!). "We want build a developer’s platform to enable entrepreneurs across the word to build something they want." Biggest industry thus far: gaming. c. "We don't want to build the apps, we want to enable independent entrepreneurs to do this."

7. The internet is powerful and a great utility. Some people think there could be a dark side out there as well. How do we maximize good?

a. Extremely robust privacy controls. People love sharing, but a lot of our job is to protect these people too. We're really focused on safety, particularly children. "We try to build a safe environment. I think that's going to be key."

Sen Hatch chimes in: "I'm crushed because we didn't win last night. But I am so proud of the basketball team. So proud of Jimmer Fredette".

8. What steps is facebook taking to help protect users from 'bad actors'?

a. Besides the normal privacy controls Facebook is one of the first products that allow people to completely go over https. b. Use your social connections to provide extra security.

i. Ask you questions only you would know ii. Show you pictures and ask you to identify friends

9. Using Facebook for education

a. My girlfriend graduated as a teacher, so we've talked about this a lot. b. Gift to Newark education system (100 million) c. Senator Hatch - "Remember BYU next time…" Mark: "Sure. Not sure how to answer that." Ha ha ha

Mark - "It really is humbling to be here, and to see such an audience". (Awww)

10. What do you see as the role of social technology in addressing global issues?

a. At Harvard, we always believed something like this would happen, but we never thought it would be us that built the company to do it. b. The bottom-up effect - It starts with giving people the ability to connect. You now have the ability to stay in touch with people in a much more passive way. c. The internet gives everyone a voice. People have a way to get things out there that just wasn't there 20 years ago. Check out peace.facebook.com - shows relationships between people and countries that were once troubled. In the long-term this will create more understanding between companies, more empathy.

Time winding down… Someone shouts "Ask about the church" Someone else shouts "Ask about Jimmer"

11. What does facebook look for in potential employees, what do byu students need to do to get on Facebook's radar?

a. We look for people that are passionate about something. In a way, it doesn't matter what you're compassionate about. b. If you're an engineer, did you just go through classes or do you build tools on the side? c. If you're into management, what types of management opportunities have you created for yourself? d. We don't want people to join facebook for what it already is. We want people to join facebook because they think it's so broken they want to improve it and help get it somewhere better. People that take initiative to do something, whatever it is they're passionate about.

12. Last question: Are you worried that advertisements take away from Facebook's coolness?

a. Well, everyone wants Facebook for free b. At the least, ad are a way that let you use the service for free c. No information is sold - ads are targeted by Facebook based off of the advertiser’s description, not by you giving your information before-hand. d. On good days, we hope ads are creating valuable, relevant content.

Thank yous… Gift from the students: One sweatshirt for each university in Utah (Weber State, Snow College, UVU, BYU, U of U, USU, etc… there’s like ten). My guess is he won’t wear them because they don't have a zip…

BYU Student Fired for Swearing

On March 16, 2011 a BYU student was fired from his job for swearing when a delivery cart slipped and hit his shin (see Deseret News story). There were other factors that came into play, but clearly this was the event that led to his termination.  Now... I'm a BYU student and I agree to live the honor code.  I know what it is and I willingly try to live by it, same as I do with other principles and teachings of the church.  But I'm not perfect, and I don't expect myself or anyone else to be. To me, this event showcases (1) a terrifically terrible act of judgment on the behalf of the management that decided to fire the student, (2) a poor act of judgment on behalf of the student that felt the need to report the behavior to management and (3) another poor act of judgment on behalf of the student who let out the expletive.  It doesn't appear to me that this is an issue over the practicality of the Honor Code, as it probably does from the outside looking in.  The Honor Code is a set of governing rules that encourage students to live smart, study smart, and improve themselves.  The Honor Code is great.  It helps students who try and live by it.  As I'm sure this student was.

But when other students, student employees and faculty members mistake the BYU Honor Code for a code of perfection by which all must measure up to, that's when it gets ugly. The student probably shouldn't have sworn,  but at the same time the co-worker probably could have avoided a huge debacle if he or she had had the judgment to approach him and say "hey, I don't like that, can you watch it next time?"  If it was me (and this situation could've easily happened to me or about half of BYU campus) I would listen to a co-worker's request to watch my mouth, and I'd do better next time.  And I certainly feel that the management that heard this complaint and immediately fired the student the same day just doesn't get it.  They don't understand the point of the Honor Code, if that was their reasoning for firing the student.  I mean how could you do that?  I really don't understand why a manager would feel justified for letting someone go based off of a swear word let out as a by-product of pain.  It just isn't justified in the least.  I feel bad for the kid.

That's why I hope that this situation, along with the Brandon Davies situation, can help all of us at BYU to use the Honor Code constructively, and not as a bar of perfection that all persons must keep without exception, oneself included.  BYU students agree to live a higher standard that most.  But that does not make one person that steps onto BYU campus any better than any other kid on any college campus in the world, whether they're living by the Honor Code or not.

Letter: Fired for swearing

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 21:26
The other day I was working on campus and I hit my shin pretty hard. As a reflex, I let out an expletive. Oops. Later that day my boss spoke with me and let me know someone had heard me and was so upset that they called in to complain, and as a result I was fired. Now I’m stuck with no job, rent to pay, food to buy, a car windshield to replace and other expenses tallying up. Why? Should I have cussed? Heck no. Should I have gotten fired for it? Ehh. Should someone have been so upset that they called my supervisor to complain about it instead of approaching me and perhaps just letting me know they didn’t appreciate me popping the bubble for half a second? Absolutely not. Look BYU, I’m not perfect, I know that, but neither are you. Every day I read letters in here where someone is condemning another person because they wore running shorts or because they like basketball. Can we all just please calm down and stop accusing each other? Are you going to go to the football field or basketball court and tally every time someone cusses? More so, would you say one of them deserves to be kicked off for swearing? If you heard me swear, you could have spoken with me. I would have listened. All I know is where one little mistake could have been remedied very easily, I instead lost my job and have the burden of figuring out how to make ends meet, which is hard enough as it is. I know we want to uphold the right atmosphere here, but does that really mean casting the stone at someone every time they mess up, or hit their shin?Brian Devine Olympia, Wash.

 

Indexing on FamilySearch.com

Giving indexing a shot for the first time.  It looks pretty simple and a good way to volunteer some time to a good cause.  Simple setup, too many menus and getting started options though.  They should have 1 super simple getting started path that you follow.  As is, you can "get started", watch some YouTube videos, check out the FAQ, tutorial, quick start, or just jump straight into it.  I mean, it's all good information, but it's a bit of an overload to me.  I just want to index, I mean COME ON!

Give it a shot: FamilySearch Indexing