Design, Programming, Music and Life

Monday, July 23, 2012

Idea of the day: Crowd funding government projects

2:35 PM Posted by Jon West , , , , , , No comments
I posted a simple question on Facebook this week, and it developed into a possible solution to the current economy in the US. I see many people expressing their opinions on taxes, and city/state projects that are only wanted by a few, and not the majority. This has always been an issue for us, for as long as I can remember at least. So why has this not been fixed yet. Yes, many of these ideas get voted in, and bundled with other ideas to be voted in, then we are taxed for it. But we need more power into the peoples hands for this, and less power in major corporations who can afford large sums for supporting a project.

The idea I was toying with would be cutting almost all taxes except for sales and a couple others, and then move funding for all of the government projects to an open and croud funded platform. Give the ability for Individuals to donate up to a certain amount, and disallow companies or corporations to donate, keep it on the individual level. Once a project reaches its goal for funding, all individuals who donated to get it there become shareholders, and have a say in how the company progresses. Doing this changes a couple things that I feel we need to change, it forces all public government projects to be completely transparent, and it also tips the scale of power towards the people, the individuals that actually do the work.

This solution also allows the public to get back what they put in potentially, here is an example. Let's say that Martha donates $100 towards a project for the city zoo, that project has a total of 550 donations made, and their donation amount varied up to $5000 and the total project goal was $500,000. So the shares are then split according to % donation amount. After the project is finished and starts to generate profit, the shareholders start receiving checks for their % of the shares. You see how this will go, it is a benefit for all involved.

With our current state of technology and communications, there is no real reason not to continue evolving how we fund and run government. We started off being a self governed nation, and we can get back to that state with just a little bit of work.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Weekend Project - Android x86 on Q550 & W500

10:43 AM Posted by Jon West , , , , , , , , 1 comment

I know that when a normal person comes up with a weekend project, it is usually just one thing, like weatherproofing the deck, or fixing the steps. Not me, I tend to do things a bit differently, no only am I only taking one day of the weekend, but I am doubling up my work, by performing similar mods to two Windows 7 Tablets. This means that I am starting my Sunday off all Geek like and adding the ability to dual-boot into android or Windows 8(Which I already have on both devices).
So I spent most of Sunday working on two tablets. My Fujitsu Q550 & my Acer W500. What I had set out to do is put Android on both of them, and thanks to the Android x86 project, that process went by very smoothly.

The Fujitsu Q550 - Windows 7 Tablet

For the Q550, I started off by going to the Android x86 homepage at Then go to the download page, and notice that Huang updated the downloads to RC2.  I downloaded the Tegra2 iso , it is the only one compatible with the Q559 currently. While I was waiting for that to finish, I downloaded Linux Live USB Creator, and once it was finished downloading, I used it to write the ISO to a spare USB drive I had. Then once it was done, I powered down the tablet, plugged in a USB hub, with a keyboard, mouse, and the USB drive I just made, and powered the tablet back on.

On the first screen, I selected install, and then selected the third partition of four on the Q550 (I had Win 8 on it too), then after the initial wright, I made the storage disk at 1gb. Then waited for that to finish.
Once it was all done, I was pleased to find that mostly everything works on it already. No HW acceleration, rotation, and Sleep is a little funky, but other than that, the device is far more usable than it was with Windows 7 or Windows 8. So I'm pleased. There was another issue, where it does not support the full range of WPA2 wifi encryption, so I did have to change my routers settings to connect to the internet. ARM emulation also is enabled in this build, so yipee! Here are some more pics of the Q550 in action.

On the Acer IconiaTab W500 - Windows 7 Tab.

The process was just the same, except for two things, i had to use the AMD-Brazos version of Android x86, and this device has half the storage space of my other tablet. So I had to erase an older version of Android x86 from it to make room for the new release. Once the initial install was done, I got it all set up and downloaded a few apps to test it out. I have to admit that Android is quite speedy on this machine. Its almost fast enough to allow me to type at full speed, and my using my ADHD as an enabler for faster typing, that's a good thing for a tablet. After testing out a couple games, it seems as though ARM emulation is not enabled on this build, some games keep on crashing. It could be something else, I'll have to look into the log files to make sure.

On this device, video seems to work fine, as long as I disable HD video first. So there is one sign HW accell is nit enabled. And any 3D game or app I load crashes, so that's my other sign. On the bright side, the Blogger app works great on the W500, so I think I found my new blogging format for now. The Crackle app loads, but video doesn't play, but the app works well, so I can at least veg out a little with this device. I'm sure there will be many improvements to come, but for now, I'm quite happy with Android on both of these tablets.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Obamacare meme

6:16 PM Posted by Jon West No comments
I have made it my personal mission today to find a good quality source for memes on the web. To my dismay, I was not able to find much that wasn't a regurgitation of something else, or anything with a partial quality to it. So I decided to donate this small attempt at meme work.

This is a statement regarding our present situation with Obamacare.

Monday, July 2, 2012

One down, three to go! site design and update

The site I have been poring my hard work into lately is finally finished. And by the time this post goes live, the site will be live as well hopefully. The biggest part of this project was taking all the old info and updating it for newer devices and services. I implemented a payment portal, HTML5 slideshow, a kick butt content editor, and a couple easy ways to incorporate videos and slideshows easily. So let's start with a small before and after of the website. 

Home page

Here is the old homepage layout for 

And here is the new layout. We have minimized the focus on the page to the opening article, and replaced all the various banners and text info with a few dynamic modules that will automatically adjust to the article size. 

Limo-bus 25 page

Here is a sample of one of the pages on the old This page is about one of their limo-buses. The actual info did not start until you scrolled down a couple pages worth. 

This was fixed with the new design. All of the slides/pictures are contained in a basic slider that scrolls by its self every few seconds. 

Wedding Services Page

With this page, it was the same as all the others, laid out for one screen size, Gallery and videos took up most of the page, and the content was taking up a small part of it. 

With the slideshow implemented, and the modules around the content, we can see a good portion of the content right off the bat. This is a good thing here. 

Other Examples

Here are a few more examples for how the site looks now with a large resolution screen. This is how it would appear on 60% of the computers viewing it.

Mobile Phone Layout

Here are a few screens for how the site layout adjusts for mobile devices. These are what the view on a basic iPhone will look like. The only thing I'm not happy with on this view is that the pictures are still using a 650 width. If I use 100%, I get a slideshow the width of one row/module. So it is one or the other here :)

Mobile Tablet Layouts

When you view the site from a tablet, the format also shifts and you get a couple different content sizes depending on if the site is viewed in landscape or portrait mode.