Jan 12

CodeMash 2013 Dessert Bar

This was definitely one of the highlights.

CodeMash 2013 Desert Bar

Jan 10

CodeMash 2013

Well, I thought the highlight so far was Rob Gillen‘s use of a buffer overflow to get a command prompt with admin privileges in Windows 7. However, I just realized I’m sitting next to Jon Skeet in Evan Hauck’s presentation. Sorry Rob.

Jan 10

Really Good Personal Finance Blog

Brass Knuckle Finance is a refreshingly good blog I stumbled upon after following a link to its article on rap artists who are particularly “Frontin’ Ass.” Now, Frontin’ Ass, here, apparently means projecting an impossible facade of wealth given actual finances – which is a depressingly common behavior in general, and hardly unique to rap artists. Usually, this unrealistic lifestyle is financed through some form of debt. For rap artists, it might be their advance; for everyone else, it’s probably some other form of personal debt – credit cards are popular for instance. The folks over at Brass Knuckle Finance are vehemently opposed to any form of personal debt (especially credit card), and many of their articles espouse the benefits of – and offer advice for – living an altogether debt-free lifestyle.

One piece of advice they have is to simply get rid of your credit cards, but let’s dig into that some more. Similar to the guys above, I’m also against against credit card debt (for the most part); however, I’m very pro credit card. If you can manage to always pay off your statement balance within the grace period, then credit cards can be quite beneficial – particularly those with a reward component of some sort. I’m partial to the cash-back variety. Provided you’re never having to pay finance charges, penalties, or membership fees, you should always come out ahead by using cash-back credit cards.

Credit card debt is an entirely different animal though. Interest rates, often around 20%, are just stupidly exorbitant. So, unless you’re an investment pro – capable of returns in excess of 20% – it makes absolutely no sense to ever carry a balance at those rates. Occasionally though, you’ll encounter the promotional offers with rates of 0% for a period of time. As long as there isn’t a fee to take advantage of it (like there is with balance transfers), and you can pay it off in full before the expiry of the promotion, then you should always come out ahead.

These two caveats require a fair amount of discipline, and it’s for this reason that I believe they aren’t discussed over at Brass Knuckle. But, they can both work very much to your advantage if you can manage it. There’s a lot more I want to discuss about debt too. Debt-free is not necessarily the way to be if you know the spreads are in your favor, but this is a topic for another post. Debt-free is certainly less risky though, and for that reason the advice from Brass Knuckle might be preferred by the majority.

Jan 08

Jackie Chan Bollocks

You’ll find none of it in this class.

Jan 08

prettyPhoto Media

Being new to WordPress, I didn’t realize that Lightbox wasn’t the default for posted images, so I needed to add this support. I went with the prettyPhoto Media plugin to accomplish this for now. I found a few pages promoting the plugin, but they didn’t actually demonstrate how simple it was to use (notable exception).

Just link to the media file when adding your image.

Then, add the rel=”prettyPhoto” markup to the anchor tag it inserts (note that value “prettyPhoto” is actually configurable in this plugin, so it could be different if you changed that setting).

Jan 07

Chris Christmas Rodriguez

A little late on this one, but I don’t want to wait until next December.

The rest of the videos are here, but they’re in QuickTime format. Unfortunately, when this ad campaign was run, he totally did not receive enough votes to replace Santa.

Jan 07

Best Craigslist Roommate Ad Ever!

I’m not sure how long this will remain on Craigslist, so I’ve included a screenshot for perpetuity.

Best Craigslist Roommate Ad

It’s not an ad for disguised weaponry, but it’s still pretty funny.

Dec 31

First of many funny (but potentially offensive) links

This one might offend the religious (Christians in particular); you’ve been warned. What would Jesus do?

Dec 31

Ann Wilson’s Stairway to Heaven cover is Epic

I had never heard Ann Wilson before her cover of Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven, but now I’ve honestly listened to her version more than the original. I’m not the only one who thinks she absolutely killed the song.

Dec 31

You can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in the pocket.

The first post should naturally be the best motivational video I think I’ve ever seen.  When you’re out there partying, horsing around, someone out there at the same time is working hard.  Someone is getting smarter and someone is winning — just remember that.  I’ll come back and update this at some point with nifty timestamps for the memorable parts of the video.  Oh wait, the entire video is memorable.  

A couple of the YouTube commenters mentioned that they listened to it every morning.  Well, with any one of the numerous YouTube-to-mp3 converters, and a simple plugin for the best media player ever, you too can listen to it every morning.

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