Kindle Fire HD, Google Accounts, and 2-Factor Authentication

⊆ 8:42:00 PM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 0 responses »

So, I just got my brand-spanking new Kindle Fire HD (8.9"!) and spent the better part of the afternoon trying to setup my Gmail account.

I have 2-factor authentication enabled, and the Application Specific Password I was trying would not work, no matter what I tried.

I consistently got the error "Unable to sync to the server" because "I do not have permission to sync with this server. Contact the server's administrator."  Well, after working all evening to get it working, I finally did!

The solution that worked for me was:
1) Add a new account, "Other provider" and fill it in using your credentials.  Your username should be
2) Let it sync
3) Add a new account, "Gmail" and fill it in using your credentials, this time with the correct
4) Generate a new Application Specific Password, MAKE NOTE OF THE SPACES.
5) Fill in the password, including the spaces.  This was the key to making it work for me.  I know Google says the spaces are irrelevant, but in my case they WERE VERY RELEVANT!

I hope this helps you all!



New Idea: Mocking Tech Support!

⊆ 8:33:00 AM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 2 responses »

Ticket begins:
" The small copy/fax machine in the * Office has a message that says "No print cartridge" and will not print.  Could you please check to see what it needs.  Thank you. "
Ticket ends.

Initial thoughts: My guess is that it, shockingly, needs a new print cartridge.  Go figure, who would have thought?

End result:

Toner cartridge was ... missing from the printer?  lol wut?  Go figure.  New toner installed weee.


Credit where credit is due, but wouldn't you at least think to check the dang thing?  Ooof.

I will be bringing you the worst of the worst tickets I deal with on a daily basis (slow days during the summer excluded, and sometimes multiple during the day if it's a bad day)



I'm Back!

⊆ 12:33:00 PM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 3 responses »

Ok, so I haven't written a post here in forever. So sue me. I'm back now and I'm going to try and do this thing again.

I'm going to start with some B.S. though, just to get it out of the way. is neat, and apparently:

I write like
Arthur Clarke

I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

(In case you don't know who Arthur Clarke is, I'll just drop 2001: A Space Odyssey as a commonly known book)


Obama Wins The Nobel Peace Prize

⊆ 8:53:00 AM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 2 responses »

Wait. What?

You heard right folks. President Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, official as of this morning.

And all I have to say is... What the hell ass?

All Winners
Look at the list. Really look at it. Look me in the eye and tell me that he has done ANYTHING that compares in the slightest to the works of Red Cross, or Physicists Against Nuclear War. Seriously? He hasn't -done- anything yet. He may have some lofty goals, and some interesting ideas, but he hasn't DONE _ANY_ of it yet. I mean hell, if you are giving out awards for people with grand ambitions now, why wasn't I considered? I have some amazing plans that could really turn this planet around!

Ugh! Political pandering. Attempting to get attention from people who have largely ignored the Nobel Committee. That is ALL that this is.

Let's see.
He has:
- planned for troop removal from Iraq (no action taken)
- closed Guantanamo bay (good move In My Opinion)
- attempted to start legislation to curb greenhouse emissions (stalled in Senate and House)
- attempted to undo damage done to Chinese/America and Russia/America relations (awaiting results)
- Middle East Outreach (largely rejected by countries such as Iran; accepted by places like Egypt)
- Health Care Reform (largely stalled in House and Senate).

Honestly folks. You shouldn't be getting a Nobel Peace Prize for best effort or grand ambitions.

If your works and efforts have been successful, have changed the world for the better, or made a huge impact, then congratulations.

Obama did not deserve this. He has not done anything (yet) to deserve it.

-M, punching out


Random Link

⊆ 2:58:00 PM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 4 responses »


Feeling Guilty

⊆ 11:46:00 PM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 3 responses »

Did a programming project for work, and gave them exactly what they asked for. Gave them a month to test it and request new features before getting it put up live.

Now it's live and they want new, different features. It is the semester and I have almost no time to do any coding except the weekends, my precious little time off.

What should I do? :|

My initial inclination is to say "eff you, I do not have the time right now to add features that you want when you had a month to do testing and did none.".

However, the part of me that strives to be a good employee says "goddamnit fine, I wasn't planning on doing anything this weekend anyways."

Suggestions? =\


What A Day, Hope The Week Is Better!

⊆ 7:45:00 PM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 2 responses »

So. Marvelous stuff abounds.

I went to work this morning, walked back to my car at 2:00pm and found, glory be, a wonderful dent in my wheel well. It's about 3/4 of the length of a dollar, and about the height of a dollar, and about 4 or 5 nickels width's thick. ... Sigh. No note again. No nothing. I really hate people sometimes. =(

Then, on the way back to my apartment afterward, a guy on a crotch-rocket motorcycle tried to take the right turn onto Huntington St. from Easton Ave. too fast (trying to beat the red light) and ended up sliding around the turn, fell off his bike and sliding towards my car. His bike missed my car, thank god, and he slid into my door. No damage nor dents from that thankfully. He got right up, I helped him move his bike to the side of the road, he said he was OK. His bike wouldn't start though. Sucks for him.

Photos to follow:


Thought For Today

⊆ 3:26:00 PM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 2 responses »

Don't you realize, I won't compromise. We never hesitate. Pushing beyond the limits of ourselves. This body is just a cage. We're loosing our minds. And that's just fine.


547:202: Blog 03 (9/21/2009)

⊆ 10:30:00 PM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 2 responses »

Week 3 was a pretty good week in comparison to the first two weeks. I found that the number of examples given on Monday was a little on the lighter side, especially when compared to the number given on Wednesday. To be honest, I would prefer more specific examples and explore-the-code type of things. That is truly how I have learned how to program in the few programming languages that I understand. I will openly admit that the Java Debugger in Eclipse is an amazing tool that I wish they had told us about in 198:111. However, the mentality in 198:111 is that you should never use anything beyond a text editor and a Java compiler to program. I am glad to see that this is not the case in this class. I do not know how much work we are going to be doing with the switch function, but I think I would like to see a real example completed in class (preferably alongside use of the debugger, so we can watch what actually happens). The practice slides at the end of each Power Point are extremely useful. They are simple enough to understand what they are doing and yet still useful because they are concrete examples.

As for things which I did not enjoy for week 3, I do not particularly see a need for “Heroes Of The Day”. I am more than willing to accept the importance of the figures presented, but I do not think dedicating more than a passing 5-10 minutes a class on them is a good idea, given the narrow constraints of time that we have. While I found Wednesday to be the more engaging of the two classes last week (particularly due to the actual programming involved), I wish we had actually had some time to break into our groups and discuss our projects. I have little time outside of class which is available to me to assist on projects, and need the time in class to know where we are heading and what we plan on doing. I am also still waiting to hear back on when the date of the first assignment (the flashcards) will be due. I was glad to get confirmation on the information about space and enter being used to advance the program as opposed to just hitting space.

There are still a few things I am looking forward to hearing about. In particular more information about string manipulation (concatenation, substrings, etc) would be appreciated. Mentioning the .equals() function for strings was very important and I am glad that you touched base about it early on in the class.

I also think that having people who have the program or example up and running is an excellent way to get the class up and moving, while simultaneously allowing students to get to know each other better and freeing yourself up to continue talking or giving out additional information.

My only real question for right now is simply: What will happen with the blog postings? Do they get graded? Or do they merely count towards some sort of participation count? I ask because I have been posting them as asked, but there is really no way to tell if you have noticed that it is up, or commented on it in any way. I just want to make sure that my posts are not getting missed!


On Paperless Billing

⊆ 2:27:00 PM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 4 responses »

I don't know about you, but I am really getting tired of my banks and credit card companies requesting that I switch to paperless billing. I get, on average, 4 emails a month from five separate entities, each saying I should switch to the marvels of paperless billing. I also get a notice in each of their mailings that I could switch to paperless billing and help the environment.

Fess up companies. You do NOT give a shit about the environment. You don't care about the trees you'll save from being cut down. You don't care about the chemicals being saved from the production of ink. You don't even care about the glue used on the stamps. What you do care about, is the money you save.

My average bill contains, at most, $1.50 in consumables, including the cost of postage. I get 12 of those a year, per company. That's a whopping $6 a year they save by not having to send me a paper statement. Conservatively say each company has 10-20 million customers who receive these bills. That is anywhere from $60-$120 million a year they save. That, my friends, is a not insignificant number.

However, and this is important here, what is the benefit to the consumer? They push pro-environmentalism. I say, give me incentive. You are saving $1.50. Split the difference. Give me $.75 off whatever bill I'm paying. You still make $30-$60 million a year and I get a little something-something too.

This is the way to induce change. T-Mobile (Story Here: ) had it completely backwards. Charging people MORE money (when it is already in the cost of their bill) is going to piss people off.

Time for common sense people. If you want to save your company money, try and find ways to do it that do not annoy the consumer. The last thing you want is a pissed off consumer.

-M, out


2009 MTV VMAs

⊆ 7:30:00 AM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 3 responses »

Ok. I really hate to go into this, and I in fact sat on it for most of the night debating if I wanted to post anything about it. I hate mindlessly reporting on crap that is mostly irrelevant, and let's be realistic here people, the 2009 MTV VMA's are just about as irrelevant to my day-to-day existence as can be. That being said however, who the fuck do you think you are Kanye?

Oh wait, I know exactly who you are. It's all in the name of his website: Kanye Universcity. From last night we can tell this: Kanye lives in his own little world. A world where he is king of the castle and we are all his subjects. And let's be honest now folks. I enjoyed some of his music (specifically Stronger, which made me smile a geek smile). However, most, if not all of it, is auto-tunned crap. Utter, complete, total, crap. But he's got money. And he's a dick. So MTV loves him. Kanye is the poster child for what is wrong with the music industry. No interest in creating any GOOD, NEW material. Instead focused on the cheapest, fastest, easiest way to make money: remixing and dubbing over famous previous tasks. These are new tracks of his own design of course. But he is not doing anything ground breaking here. He is selfish, full of himself, and out for nothing but money. That is in fact what is wrong with Kanye and most of the music industry as it stands.

Last night was a pure example of it. Walking up on stage, and proclaiming that Beyonce's video was the best video of all time may not have been the worst thing to do in another situation. But Taylor Swift is 19 years old. Nineteen. This is her first award ever. She is sitting there, all excited to be around all these people applauding her (even the people she won against) and Kanye comes up and steals the light. To quote Taylor Swift, "I was standing onstage and I was really excited because I had just won an award and then I was really excited because Kanye West was on the stage. And then, um, I wasn't so excited anymore after that." ... Of course not. It was blatant disrespect. But, in a dignified fashion, Taylor Swift held on through the night, and even played a song soon after. Class act.

Speaking of class acts, let's talk about 3 other people. First, I mention of course, Beyonce. Beyonce is a class act to start with. I love her music. She is a truly an amazing artist. But then to offer Taylor Swift a chance to complete her original acceptance speech? It makes me smile. Beyonce is an example of what is good from the music industry. She gets nothing but the best regards.

Next I speak of Pink, whom, sorry folks, I won't be calling classy any time soon. However, Pink was noted as saying "Kanye West is the biggest piece of sh-- on earth. Quote me." on Twitter. Truth. I also hear rumors that she was seen needing to be held away from Kanye later that night. I cannot vouch for the truth of this, as it is just a rumor as far as I know. But even still, power to Pink. Bad ass and awesome at the same time.

Next of course, was Katy Perry. I think she summed it up the best: "F--- u Kanye. It's like you stepped on a kitten." Yeah. I think that about sums it up.

And the response to this, as to why Kanye did it? Apparently he was drinking. Like that makes it all better. Seriously folks. He does this ALL the time. His first year at the VMA's he flipped out, screaming that he was the best new artist of the year and should have won, and this and that. Furthermore, 2 years later he screamed about losing because his video cost a million and had Pamela Anderson in it. Seriously. Get over yourself.

Congratulations to Taylor Swift and everyone else who won a VMA. Kanye, please go disappear and never come back. If I hear your songs on the radio, I will change the station. I deleted your music from my PC. You are a miserable, sad, strange little man.

You have my pity.


547:202 Blog 02 (9/13/2009)

⊆ 7:41:00 PM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 1 responses »

After another week, we’re finally starting to get into some Java programming. We learned about the basics of almost all Java applications, specifically the naming conventions for the class files and the main function, public static void main(String[] args). We also learned about the basics of variables and which ones we would be using primarily throughout the course.

On my own I rediscovered one of the banes of my original Java programming endeavors, the dreaded String class and the ways to make comparisons. I spent a good 30 minutes trying to get a simple application to work, basically a loop until certain input is received. Basically it was a do-while loop that kept asking for (and repeating back) input until it receives /x. Basically, I set a BOOL variable, exit to false. While exit is false, keep getting input, checking if the input is /x, and then outputting the input if it was not /x. When it becomes /x, exit gets set to true, and the program exits out. The difficulty came from forgetting that if you have a string a (that you defined), and a string b (which is input), and want to check if they are equivalent, you cannot simply do a == b. This will always return false, since a and b are not the same object nor do they reference the same location in memory. You must reference the String class function equals, by either doing a.equals(b) or b.equals(a). This will return true if a and b are equivalent. This was very frustrating because in every other language I program in (Python and PHP primarily) you can simply do a == b to check equivalence for everything.

As for next week, I am hoping to see some slightly more complex Java applications and learn how they work and how to write them. I know we won’t be getting into things as complex as arrays, pointers, and things of that nature just yet, but I am kind of excited to get there sooner rather than later.

I also had a brief thought about the assignment we’re doing in our groups. Does the professor want us to make it wait for space as input and then proceed to the next group of text for the flash card program? I do not know how (or even if Java is capable of doing this) to make a Java program wait for a keypress, unless the keypress is specifically enter. The Scanner class always waits for enter before continuing forward, so I will have to ask about this on Monday.


Thought of the moment

⊆ 11:30:00 PM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 0 responses »

"The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." -Bertrand Russell

Simplicity. The first step is knowing where you are going.


547:202 Blog 01 (9/6/2009)

⊆ 6:36:00 PM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 0 responses »

Required Blog Posting for 547:202:

Before coming to the first lecture on Wednesday I was definitely nervous about taking this course on the sole basis of the fact that I have not worked with Java in any extent since my 198:111 class in Fall of 2002. However, after speaking with Professor Marshall about it, he seemed to indicate that I would be ahead of the game due to having some exposure to Java and having done some Python and PHP programming. This was a great relief as not taking this class this semester would cause my entire class schedule to get severely discombobulated. This is my 2nd degree at Rutgers and I am following a very guided and planned out class schedule and 547:202 is a major pre-requisite for several classes in the ITI department. The professor and teaching assistant (aid? I don’t think we ever finally pinned down her exact designation come to think of it) both seem very laid-back and easy to work with. However, even though they seem laid-back I think that the class will be very thorough and in-depth on the basis of the scope of the material. Even though Professor Marshall indicated that we wouldn’t be doing many (if any) particularly lengthy code projects or assignments I still expect a level of complexity - that is just how computer programming can get.

The exercise to create directions to get from the X in the center of the room to one of the doorways was very eye-opening in light of the fact that one of my recent code projects for Rutgers University Campus Computing Facilities was released on the very same day and people were finding very random ways to break it that I had never thought about. Needless to say, that brief lesson has already proven to be very useful.

I am looking forward to learning more about Object Oriented Programming because Python (the language which I am currently using and trying to get very familiar with because it is becoming more widespread) seems to be very customizable and very modifiable. I am sure using Objects instead of repeating segments of code would be a far more efficient and less cycle-heavy.

As for the books, if I had to sum them up in one word it would be this: expensive. If I had to sum them up in a quick phrase it would be this: expensive but probably useful. I have read books similar to these for ASP, Python, and PHP and they have proven invaluable to the point of earning a permanent place on my bookshelf at home. While the up-front cost was tremendously high, I can see using these books for a long time so I will consider it an investment for now.

As for what I would like to see in the coming weeks, it is very simple. I would like to (and in fact need to) see a refresher on Java programming. I have downloaded and installed Eclipse on my laptop and gotten it up and running – I have written a few programs and it is slow going because I keep forgetting that types need to be assigned to variables in Java (they do not in PHP or Python). I am also trying to force myself to remember some of the standard commands from Java (System.out.println(variable) for example - which is difficult again coming from Python [where it is print(variable)] and PHP [where it is echo(variable)]).

-M, out