Archive for July, 2009

Coming soon to Grooveshark

25 Jul

We’ve been very hard at work here at Grooveshark, working on version 2.0, *and* a new feature that will allow some users to use the site without seeing ads, ever, and the opportunity to try version 2.0 before anyone else.

I can’t say exactly when it will be, but expect more updates soon.


The Old Man of the Woods

10 Jul

Well it’s out of the bag now that I am interested in collecting mushrooms, and so far I haven’t had to venture beyond my own yard to find many interesting specimens!

I am very new to mycology and still learning a lot about identification, and a positive identification is extremely exciting. Fortunately, my most recent mushroom discovery is an easy one to identify: The Old Man of the Woods (also hanging out with the creepy field of spiders). Not only is this one not deadly, but apparently quite edible!
Correctly identifying this mushroom also helped me to identify another one I had recently collected: The Other Old Man Of The Woods.

Don’t worry, though, I have no interest in eating mushrooms of any kind, so even if I am certain I have positively identified something, I am in no danger if I turn out to be wrong.

It’s becoming apparent that I need to get my hands on a decent quality microscope for help with identification of species, and to that end Chris Bates (one of our newest interns, who’s also helping us make Autoplay better) is letting me borrow one, and longer term I am on the lookout for a deal like this.

For anyone else interested in mushroom identification, this Key to Major Groups of Mushrooms — a sort of choose your own adventure guide for mushroom identification — is an amazing resource. As I did with real choose your own adventure books as a kid, I like to cheat and follow multiple paths simultaneously, because I’m not always sure how to answer some of the questions yet and I like to hedge my bets. Some day, I think it would be neat to build an expert system to help newcomers like myself identify mushrooms by providing their observations and then answering questions (accompanied by pictures wherever possible) and assigning a confidence to those answers. I will of course need time, and access to several experts in order to build such a system, and I am in a severe shortage of both (although is aptly named.)


Glimmering spider eyes

06 Jul

This is either creepy, awesome, or a weird combination of the two, but it would appear that I have hundreds of smallish wolf spiders living in my yard.

I occasionally go out at night with a flashlight hunting for mushrooms in my yard (most recent discovery: destroying angel or a close relative). On one such occasion I noticed a strange glimmer reflecting from where I shone my light, almost like a dew drop but different…more colorful. On closer inspection, it turned out to be a small wolf spider. I saw a couple more of those glimmers that evening and every time it was another wolf spider.

Last night I went out, and virtually the entire yard is glimmering in the same way. I looked at quite a few and found wolf spiders every time, so I can only assume that I have hundreds of wolf spiders in my yard right now.

I might be slightly more creeped out by this fact if I didn’t live in Florida, but since I do I know they must be feasting on all the palmetto bugs that have made a happy home of this entire state, so I certainly can’t complain. :)

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Not giving you the password

06 Jul

Raymond Chen’s post about passwords reminded me of a humorous* java exception I frequently experience when trying to do something in the Palm Pre developer section:

java.lang.UnsupportedOperationException: Not giving you the password

“not giving you the password” — not only is this phrase funny as an exception, but it clearly looks like someone is doing it wrong. No, you shouldn’t be requesting the actual password in order to get a “remember me” type token. Of course, they’re doing a lot of other things wrong too, like showing this error to the user, and apparently not alerting themselves to the error, as I’ve been getting it off and on for several weeks at least.

*and, yes, annoying when I’m trying to actually accomplish something