Arrow

Posts on this site are never sponsored.

Countdown until: you can switch cell phone carriers in Canada and keep your number!

Local number portability / wireless portability / porting — whatever it’s called — it’s coming to Canada. Soon you’ll be able to switch from crummy provider to crummy provider without having to get a new cell phone number! Be truly mobile (or something)!

The USA has already had this for a while. Originally we were slated to have it on September 12th, 2007, but the major carriers are now “allowing” it starting from March 14th, 2007.

print "

“;
$days_until=ceil((mktime(0,0,0,3,14,2007) – (time() – 3 * 3600)) / 86400);
switch ($days_until) {
case $days_until > 1: print “$days_until days until number portability!”; break;
case $days_until > 0: print “$days_until day until number portability!”; break;
default: print “Number portability has arrived!”; break;
}
print “

\n”;
?>

I’m out of luck — I have a pager, not a cell phone. Pagers aren’t included under this decision. Why not!?!?!?!

Earn rewards for using your credit card without paying an annual fee

Derek was surprised to hear that there are no-fee credit cards that give you points / rewards. He thought that the greatest reward you could get when using a credit card was to have servers say “hey, nice Canucks card!” Unfortunately, sports-themed credit cards usually don’t give you anything aside from the odd free gift upon sign-up.

Here are a few no-fee, reward credit cards (note: these are all for Canadians):

President’s Choice Financial MasterCard: Earn the equivalent of 1% of all purchases made with this credit card to spend at Superstore. I figure, you’re going to have to spend money on groceries, so this is better than getting points towards things you don’t actually need.

RBC Starbucks Duetto Visa: If you’re a coffee drinker, this might be the card for you. Earn the equivalent of 1% of all purchases made with this credit card to spend at Starbucks. If you set up auto-reload on this card, earn a bonus 3% of the reload amount for use at Starbucks. Every once in a while I also get a coupon for a free Starbucks drink or food item (and I rarely use this card!). There are sign-up promotions sometimes as well — at the time of this posting, they’re giving out a $10 Starbucks bonus.

Cash rebate credit cards: I had an eBay credit card that got discontinued, but they automatically switched it to a 1% MBNA cash-back card (no fees either). However, when I look for this cash-back card online, it says there’s an annual fee of $29, so it looks like I lucked out. Not to worry — there’s a Capital One No Hassle Rewards Cash Back Platinum Mastercard (what a mouthful) that offers pretty much the same thing: 1% of all your purchases back to you in cash.

Waste all of your time watching television episodes online for free

I don’t know what’s going on with copyright issues and such, but with sites such as Youtube, Daily Motion, and Ouou streaming out video after video, it was only a matter of time before all of your favourite TV shows ended up available online.

Someone decided to make a directory of what’s available.

Arrested Development, Desperate Housewives, Seinfeld, South Park, Prison Break, Lost, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air… they’ve got it all.

Links to TV shows on video sites

I’d say who sent this link to me, but I’m under a gag order to not discuss it…

October 26th, 2006: the old site (http://tvlinks.50webs.com/index.html) got taken down! But they’re back at a new address.

November 29th, 2006: they keep getting bounced around, and http://tvlinks.voodeedoo.org seems to be dead. Are they back… here?

October 21st, 2007 update: The TV links site has been shut down.

Looking for other similar sites? Check out ovguide.com and www3.alluc.org/alluc/.

Generate electronic flashcards (in Excel)

Simran, whose blog has introduced me to some cool scripts (such as Gallery and Nice titles), has devised a really handy Excel Flashcard Quizzer. All you need to do is fill in the word and definition columns on any subject, and poof, it’ll generate on-screen flash cards that you can navigate through.

Screenshot of Simran's Excel Quiz

He touts this as being useful when learning any language… really though, it could be useful when learning anything that has definitions (well, anything that you might have made flash cards for).

Update: I’ve also been sent a link to another free flash card program: http://www.add-ins.com/flash-card-assistant.htm

Make your own Family Feud Flash game

Being a Flash idiot, coming up with a Family Feud Flash game for a student club I was involved with was quite the ordeal. I couldn’t find any pre-made Flash stuff! Back on October 14, 2006, I posted my version of this. Since then, several talented people have come along with improved versions with more features! This page now hosts all contributions to the whole “create your own Family Feud Flash game” idea!

Matt’s awesome Family Feud creation

Matt from Fusion7 Designs developed the most popular version. Warren from inkJet Oasis has built upon Matt’s version to create an even better version, including a Fast Money round. Download it here.

Click here to see a demo of Matt’s version here.

End users

Download the package. (For Matt’s original version, click here.) Unzip the file to a folder on your computer.

Editing the questions

Therefore, in order to change the questions, open the questions.xml file in any text editor (note: do not use Microsoft Word, as it really messes up formatting) and change the fields on the questions that are already there. You can have as many or as few questions, as well as as many or as few answers per question. To add a new question, your best bet is to copy and paste a question section and then modify it.

Here are some questions transcribed from actual shows of the game, graciously donated by dwayne:
regular rounds
bonus rounds

Trevor Tubbs has created a question and cheat sheet generator for Windows.

Question manager

Generated cheat sheet

Download the question and cheat sheet generator

Running the game

After downloading and unzipping the package, and editing the questions as specified above, open one of index.html in your browser; ff.exe; or ff.swf.

Note: You will need the latest Flash player to view it, and I’m sure there is some kind of copyright stuff for the logo and sounds, so if you are interested in using, make sure that it is just local fun.

Controls

You can change the team name directly by clicking on it. You can load the question by clicking on the number along the bottom. Numbers 1-9 reveal the corresponding answers, the left and right buttons determine which team has control, and the spacebar commits the current points on the board to the team that has control. “x” will activate the strikes, and it will know how many there are. It basically reads the question from an easy to change/update xml file.

Other end user notes

Make sure you are familiar with the controls (in other words, practise!) before you play it live, as there are a few oddities. For example, if you press ‘x’ before the other ‘x’ has disappeared, the previous ‘x’ will remain stuck on the display. Also, if you use the mouse to click on an area anywhere but the question tabs at the bottom during a game, all controls are rendered inactive. To re-active the controls, move your mouse below the Family Feud logo until the arrow turns to a cursor (looks like a vertical line). Then click.

Need help? Visit the Family Feud forum.

Got an Android phone? Here’s a cool, free buzzer app (to see who hit the button first) developed by Sean. On your Android device, search for “feud buzzer” in the Android Market.

Developers

Download the developer package, which has the .fla, .swf, questions.xml, and required sounds. (For Matt’s original version, click here.)

The .fla file was created with Flash CS3, thus if you do not have the latest version of Flash, you will not be able to open and edit the source. You can download a trial version or buy the latest version of Flash at
adobe.com.

Need help? Visit the Family Feud forum.

————————————————-

Peter’s and Mitchell’s versions

Peter’s Family Feud Mitchell’s Family Feud
Flash file
Text file
Flash file
Text file
You can edit either text file to put in your own answers. If you have less than eight answers on a given board, just make “answernumber5″ through to “answernumber8″ equal to zero in the text file.
Instructions: Click somewhere on the board to “activate” the game. Press the numbers 1 through 8 on your keyboard to reveal the answers. Press “z”, “x”, and “c” to reveal the three x’s for wrong answers. Instructions: Same features as the other board, but with more options! Click any of the numbers 1 through 8 to reveal the answers. Press “a” to start the theme song music and “s” to stop all music. Also, click the title or press “q” to reveal the question.
Custom Family Feud Flash game generator
Video tutorial on how to use the generator
Custom Family Feud Flash game generator

Troubleshooting
First, follow the video tutorial. If that doesn’t help you, the most common problem is that you are using a Windows installation that hides file extensions. In that case, “questions.xml” is actually “questions.xml.xml”. Try simply naming it “questions”.

Still need help? Visit the Family Feud forum.

Kudos
Thanks to this guy for coming up with a model from which I stole the sounds and to this guy for having a tutorial on how to link text fields to a text file.