headphones on television with no jack?

Help me Obi Wan Lazyweb. You’re our only hope. We have a Magnavox television (19pr14 c122) with no headphone jack or RCA outputs. All it has is a connection for cable on the back. Is there any way to listen to the television using headphones so that the sound from the speaker cannot be heard by those who are not watching?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

“Using a New Language in Africa to Save Dying Ones”

A fascinating article in today’s New York Times by Marc Lacey:

Across the continent, linguists are working with experts in information technology to make computers more accessible to Africans who happen not to know English, French or the other major languages that have been programmed into the world’s desktops.

There are hundreds of languages in Africa – some spoken only by a few dozen elders – and they are dying out at an alarming rate. The continent’s linguists see the computer as one important way of saving them. Unesco estimates that 90 percent of the world’s 6,000 languages are not represented on the Internet, and that one language is disappearing somewhere around the world every two weeks.

“Technology can overrun these languages and entrench Anglophone imperialism,” said Tunde Adegbola, a Nigerian computer scientist and linguist who is working to preserve Yoruba, a West African language spoken by millions of people in western Nigeria as well as in Cameroon and Niger. “But if we act, we can use technology to preserve these so-called minority languages.”

Language geeks, and computer geeks, and progressives unite!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

learning to use mediawiki

As I learn to use MediaWiki, I’m realizing that while the software is great, the User’s Guide sucks. It often tells you what you can do without fully explaining how to do it. There are many simple things I can’t figure out:

  • how to change the default appearance
  • how to link to other sites
  • how to use categories
  • how to automatically link a book listing to library catalogue (is this possible? you can automatically link to online bookstores, which is cool)
  • how to lock/unlock pages
  • how to limit who does or does not get to edit pages
  • how to revert to a previous version of page in case of vandalism
  • how to list all articles automatically on a master page somewhere
  • how to create headings and subheadings for each page.

I’m sure I’ll learn how to do these things, but it’s taking me longer than it should.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

if you thought microsoft was evil before

Lawrence Lessig draws our attention to a lawsuit that Microsoft has filed against a Brazilian government official, Sergio Amadeu, for daring to criticize them. Lessig writes, “Microsoft characterizes AmadeuĂ­s statements as ‘beyond being absurd and criminal’ and as evincing an ‘excess in freedom of speech and freedom of thought.'”

Yes, if there’s anything America stands for, it’s freedom of speech and freedom of thought within the proper boundaries as defined by coporate America. Pop quiz: Which is worse for Microsoft’s image?

  1. Someone who publicly criticizes Microsoft.
  2. Microsoft filing a criminal defamation action against someone who publicly criticizes them.

In conclusion, if there’s anyone still wondering why I’ve switched to Apple…

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

openoffice on the mac

Yes, I love my PowerBook. But I have a directory full of OpenOffice Writer files (currently transferring wirelessly from my Win2k machine) that I want to be able to read and edit on my new machine. However, I can’t get the program to run yet. *sigh*

There are a bunch of pages out there on the web dealing with this issue, but I can’t seem to resolve it. My next step is to see if it’s possible to batch-process all the files into something like *.rtf or *.doc.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email