The Pink Slip: Your Ticket to a Scam

Today on the way to work I saw a man standing at a high-trafficked portion of the sidewalk handing out little pink slips to the students walking by. Normally I would never want a pink slip, but since so many other people were taking them I figured I would be safe. Printed on the small square was an advertisement for a free medium pizza from Pizza Hut between 3 and 8pm. The fine print said I needed to show my student ID, that I could only get one topping, and that restrictions apply. Assuming that the restriction meant it was limited only to students, I headed down there with three other friends.

We pulled in thinking how great it was that we didn’t have to eat at the cafeteria that night. However, upon entering Pizza Hut it became apparent that there was more to getting a free pizza than just showing one’s student ID. Other students in the restaurant were huddled over small PDAs, busily typing on the tiny keyboards. The Citibank employee at the table told us that all the devices were in use at the moment, but if we would wait just a minute we’d each get one so we could fill out all the forms necessary to apply for a CitiBank Student Credit Card and be on the way to getting our free pizza! I instantly decided trading my contact information – even excluding the social security number they wanted – for a free medium pizza was a poor transaction. The other three with me arrived at the same conclusion and, unhappy about the misleading advertisement, we walked out – off to the cafeteria.

Despite not getting a free pizza, I am still really happy because I am going to Chicago tomorrow to meet my family for the weekend. I am really looking forward to seeing my family, enjoying the city, and eating at Chipotle after 43 days since my last visit.

D3 In-Depth

Digital Photography Review finally has an in-depth preview of the new Nikon D3 which hits the streets in November. I especially love this cut-away image they have on the second page.

It’s pretty hard to look at the D3 and not break the tenth commandment, but maybe one day I’ll be able to justify $5,000 for a camera body. For now I’ll keep shooting with my trusty D70.

Other exciting news: my brother is buying a D40! I’ve only been able to handle a D40 for a few minutes, so I’m looking forward to spending more time with one next time he and I are both home – provided I can pry his hands off it – and seeing the great photos I know he’ll take.

News From the Frontlines of the War for the Web: Firefox Surpasses the 400 Million Mark

In under three years there have been over 400 million copies of Firefox downloaded. As someone who has been along for the ride most of those three years, I am very pleased with this milestone (and its ability to steal market share from Internet Explorer). Help us get to 500 million!

Firefox 2

Be Lazy, Get Creative: How to Control iTunes with Your Creative SoundBlaster Remote Control

When I bought my Creative SoundBlaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro package for a steal of a deal at Fry’s Electronics because it was an open box special, I had been using iTunes for a while and didn’t want to switch to Creative’s MediaSource Player in order to use the remote control. After some poking around I discovered how to use the remote in a limited yet sufficient way with iTunes. So here’s my first tutorial.

After installing all the hardware and software, go to Start > All Programs > Creative > Creative MediaSource > Remote Control & OSD Settings. Then check the “Enable Creative MediaSource Remote Control” box. Near the bottom click the “Windows Application Support…” button. Check “Enable control of other Windows applications” and then choose “Add.” Browse to Program Files > iTunes (or wherever you installed iTunes) and chose “iTunes.exe.” Put “iTunes” for the Application Name and click “ok.” Click “ok” for the remaining open windows.

Next we need to program the remote to work with iTunes. To save you some trouble, you can just download the .key file I created here (right-click, choose save as). Simply drop the file into C:Program FilesCreativeMediaSourceRemoteControlKeyMap (unless you installed the program elsewhere) and you’re good to go. Now hit the “Start” button on your Creative Media Remote and it should pull up an options screen. Choose “Windows Application Support” then “iTunes.” Now you can use the play/pause, next/right, previous/left, up, down, and enter buttons within iTunes!

All I did was make certain buttons on the remote to control correspond with certain keys on the keyboard. The play/pause button corresponds with the space-bar key, which is play/pause in iTunes, etc. Because of this, the remote will only work when iTunes is the current active window on your desktop. If you’re curious about other keyboard commands in iTunes, here is a list of the ones I use the most.

  • Space-bar – play/pause
  • Right – next
  • Left – previous
  • Ctrl+Up/Down – Volume Up/Down
  • Ctrl+L – highlight current track
Copyright © 2007-2014 William Clayton