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Benjamin Oakes

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Hi, I'm Ben Oakes and this is my geek blog. Currently, I'm a Ruby/JavaScript Developer at Liaison. Previously, I was a Developer at Continuity and Hedgeye, a Research Assistant in the Early Social Cognition Lab at Yale University and a student at the University of Iowa. I also organize TechCorridor.io, ICRuby, OpenHack Iowa City, and previously organized NewHaven.rb. I have an amazing wife named Danielle Oakes.

Filtering for the month July, 2015. Clear

Cable TV box rental fees cost average household $232 a year

by Ben

99 percent of customers rent set-top boxes from TV providers, survey found.

Source: Cable TV box rental fees cost average household $232 a year

US sees residential solar surge past commercial-scale installs

by Ben

At the end of last year, houses held 3.3 Gigawatts of capacity.

Source: US sees residential solar surge past commercial-scale installs

Filmmakers fighting “Happy Birthday” copyright find their “smoking gun”

by Ben

A 1927 kids’ songbook proves “conclusively the song is in the public domain.”

Source: Filmmakers fighting “Happy Birthday” copyright find their “smoking gun”

If they’ve been collecting millions of dollars a year for 80 years based on an invalid copyright (especially if they knew it was invalid), this is about to get interesting.

 

 

Save the world using your PC or phone

by Ben

By joining your machine to others around the world, you could help eradicate diseases or find alien life.

Source: Save the world using your PC or phone – CNET

BOINC’s Android app is particularly amazing to me. If you already plug your phone in overnight, you should consider installing it. Unfortunately there isn’t an iOS counterpart.

How Can I Clean Recyclables Without Wasting Water?

by Ben

Clean recyclables or water conservation? You don’t have to pick one over the other!

[…]

Bottles containing liquids can be emptied and air-dried before being tossed in the bin, without needing an ounce of water. Wide-mouth containers with stickier foodstuff should be scraped or wiped out by hand using a fork, spatula, or dirty napkin, again avoiding the sink altogether.

If “dry cleaning” doesn’t get the job done and you need to use water, we recommend using graywater (lightly used water). Washing fruits/vegetables or dishes in a large bowl or tub will leave you with graywater perfectly suited for cleaning recyclables before going down the drain. Water can also be collected using a drain plug. Moisten a sponge with graywater for wiping out the muck; bottles with smaller openings that are tougher to wipe out can be filled with graywater, closed, and shaken until clean.

Source: Because You Asked: How Can I Clean Recyclables Without Wasting Water?

Don’t feel like you need to rinse right away.  I tend to leave containers open and in the kitchen sink so that when we wash our hands, etc., they collect the water that was used.

Iowa school district asks principals to wear body cams

by Ben

Safety advocate says kids may not report abuse if they know they’re being watched.

Source: Iowa school district asks principals to wear body cams – Ars Technica