International Linguistic Magic

Arthur C. Clarke formulated three “laws” of prediction.  My favorite is:

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

This video for a new translation app for iPhone/iPod Touch is magic.  It seems too good to be true I am shocked that this technology exists,  let alone can fit in a $200 hand held.  Oh and it is a free app.

Check out Word Lens on iTunes.

“Please Vote For Me”

“Please Vote For Me”

Hood To Coast Video

This August my friends and I ran the Hood to Coast Relay race.  I put together a video of our experience.

An MP4 version. (High Resolution; 64mbs)

And a shorter version I made on my iPhone on the way back to Portland. (High Resolution; 106mbs)

Styling ReCaptcha in WordPress

reCAPTCHA is an effective service for eliminating spam on your site. It is based on Captcha, “a type of challenge-response test used in computing to ensure that the response is not generated by a computer” acting as a spambot.

reCAPTCHA can be used to protect any web-based form spam. This post explains how to customize the appearance of the ReCaptch section. Instructions for installing reCAPTCHA on a WordPress blog are available on reCAPTCHA’s site.

Once the plugin is installed and activated, the appearance can easily be styled. reCAPTCHA offers four predefined styles called “themes”:

reCAPTCHA-red.pngred (default theme)




reCAPTCHA also offers a fourth option allowing complete custom styling of the reCAPTCHA form. This post doesn’t cover complete custom styling but detailed API Documentation is available directly from reCAPTCHA.

The theme is set in the reCAPTCHA plugin code. The code can be edited by clicking the Edit link next to the plugin in WordPress. See illustration.


In the Plugin Editor look for the following code block:

/* Embeds the reCAPTCHA widget into the comment form.
function recaptcha_comment_form() {
//modify the comment form for the reCAPTCHA widget
$recaptcha_js_opts = <<<OPTS
<script type='text/javascript'>
var RecaptchaOptions = { theme : 'red', tabindex : 5 };

The code that reads theme : 'red' is the code that controls the theme of the ReCapthcha. The possible values are: ‘red’ , ‘white’ , ‘blackglass’ , ‘clean’, or ‘custom’.

Set the theme to ‘red’ , ‘white’ , ‘blackglass’ or ‘clean’ and save click Update File. The new style will now appear on instead of the default ‘red’ theme.

If the theme is set to ‘custom’ no reCAPTCHA will appear on the comment form until certain HTML elements are added to display the CAPTCHA to the user. Custom theming is beyond the scope of this post.

Good luck.

Very Cool Ball Girl

This ball girl makes an amazing catch then sits down and play it cool.

Ball Girl Makes Incredible Catch – Watch more free videos

Update:  I have since learned this is a staged video used for promotional purposes.  Too bad.

Did Verizon influence this iPhone review?

This review focusing on the shortcomings of the iPhone looks like a boon to Verizon who is running three ads against it.


Interesting stats on how much a good president costs…

Or at least how much elections cost Americans. It is not at all clear that American’s get what they pay for. At the time of this writing more than

Or at least how much elections cost Americans. It is not at all clear that American’s get what they pay for. At the time of this writing more than $300 million was spent by just the top three candidates in the the primaries.