[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Monday, 2016-03-28

Playing music into a Google Hangout

Filed under: Music,Podcast,Software,The Internet,Windows — bblackmoor @ 11:04

Here is how I play music (MP3 files) into a Google Hangout.




  1. Install Virtual Audio Cable. Don’t mess with the settings. Just install it.
  2. Run “Audio repeater (MME)”, which was installed by Virtual Audio Cable.
    1. Set “Wave in” to your headset microphone.
    2. Set “Wave out” to Line 1 (Virtual Audio cable).
    3. Set “Total buffer (ms)” to 100.
    4. Click “Start”.
  3. In the task icon area of the taskbar, right-click the speaker, and select “Recording Devices”.
    1. Right-click the headset microphone, and select “Set as Default Device”.
    2. Double-click Line 1. On the Listen tab, select “Listen to this device”.
    3. Also on the Listen tab, set “Playback through this device” to the headset.
  4. Run Chrome.
  5. In Chrome, go to Google Hangouts, and click “Video Call”.
  6. When the Hangouts window opens, click the gear icon in the upper right corner. On the General tab…
    1. Select the webcam for the “Video”.
    2. Select Line 1 for the “Microphone”.
    3. Select the headset for the “Speakers”.
  7. Open VLC Media Player.
    1. Add songs to the playlist.
    2. In the Audio menu, select Audio >> Audio Device >> Line 1 (Virtual Audio Cable).
  8. Invite people to join the hangout.
  9. Play songs in VLC. Other people in the Hangout will hear them. To avoid drowning myself out, I set the VLC output level to about 90%.


Here are the settings I used to record in Flashback Express.

  1. In the Tools >> Options menu, look in the Sound section.
  2. Under Sound Source, select “PC Speakers (what you hear)”.
  3. In the drop-down under “PC Speakers (what you hear)”, select the headset.
  4. Now, when recording in Flashback Express, check “Record Sound”.
  5. Still in Flashback Express, for “Source” select “PC Speakers (what you hear)”.

When done with the hangout

  1. Close the Hangout window.
  2. Click “Stop” in Audio Repeater, and close it.
  3. In the Windows “Sound” dialog, select “Recording Devices”.
    1. Double-click Line 1. On the Listen tab, un-select “Listen to this device”.
    2. Click “Okay”.
  4. Close VLC Media Player.

Wednesday, 2014-05-28

Facebook vs. Google+: a comparison of conversations about gaming

Filed under: General — bblackmoor @ 10:18

I recently posted the following question/comment to both a Facebook RPG group and a Google+ RPG group, to see if there would be any substantial difference in the quantity and quality of the resulting conversation. This was not a “troll” post, in so far as 1) the post accurately described my opinion, and 2) I was careful not to denigrate the games or the people who wrote them (in fact, I complimented the games, and those compliments are sincere). However, I did choose this topic because I hoped that it would spark a conversation, and I did deliberately phrase my initial post in a manner intended to elicit a polarized response. So take that for what it’s worth.

So… transhumanist games. On the one hand, Eclipse Phase and Nova Praxis look like well-made games with interesting settings. The skill and the creativity of the authors are admirable. On the other hand, a core premise of these games is that people will willingly — even routinely — commit suicide in the process of having some sort of copy of themselves made. I just can’t fathom any sane person ever doing that.

Even if you could have a duplicate of yourself made, why would the real you bother killing yourself? I can’t think of anyone other than a “suicide bomber” — someone willing to die for a cause — who would be willing to undertake such a thing. It’s madness. The closest comparison I can think of is Paranoia, but as crazy as Paranoia is, it doesn’t feature people routinely dying on purpose in order to activate their next clone.

As the conversations progressed, I kept my contributions to each conversation as similar as possible, in order to keep the experiment as unbiased as possible.

The Google+ post received 10 responses (excluding mine), from 4 people. The first response began with the sentence, “This is a lack of imagination on your part.” That generally sums up the tone of the responses on Google+: adversarial, and not focused on gaming at all.

The Facebook post received 41 responses (excluding mine), from 16 people. The first response began with the sentence, “People aren’t always logical.” This generally sums up the tone of the responses on Facebook: conversational, and focused on the characters in the setting. The Facebook conversation also branched out into the themes and genres of the games I referred to in my initial post, particularly Eclipse Phase, which I was reminded was a horror game.

Draw your own conclusions.

P.S. As a result of the conversation on Facebook, my own attitude toward playing these “transhumanist” games (particularly Eclipse Phase) has definitely changed. I can see myself actually playing in them now.

Tuesday, 2012-12-11

Backing up Google documents

Filed under: Software,The Internet,Work — bblackmoor @ 12:39

I just had a panic moment when I thought that a Google document I’d spent the better part of a week writing had vanished. This is what I plan to do from now on, once a week, until I forget about it and stop doing it.

  1. In Google Docs, go down to the far left bottom menu item, and select “More V” and then “All Items”.
  2. Click the select box at the top of the screen next to “TITLE” to select all items.
  3. Click the “More V” button at the top middle of the screen, next to the eyeball (“Preview”) icon, and select “Download”.
  4. Select “Change all formats to… OpenOffice”, and click the “Download” button.
  5. Wait a couple of minutes and then download the file somewhere.

Wednesday, 2012-11-28

Pasting spaces into Google Docs

Filed under: Software,The Internet,Writing — bblackmoor @ 16:19

I just spent too much time pulling my hair out trying to figure out how to get Google Docs to paste spaces and keep them spaces, rather than turning the spaces into tabs. I couldn’t find a way to prevent it, so here is what I did.

  1. Paste my text into a text editor, such as Notepad++.
  2. In the text editor, find & replace every instance of a space ” ” with a character that does not already exist in the text, nor in the document you intend to paste that text into. In my case, I used a tilde “~”.
  3. Copy this modified text, and paste it into Google Docs.
  4. In Google Docs, find & replace every instance of the placeholder character with a space ” “.

Is it ridiculous that you need to do this to keep Google Docs from corrupting what you are pasting? Yes. Yes, it is.

Tuesday, 2011-09-06

Why the Google Profiles (or any) “Real Name” Policy is Important to Me

Filed under: Privacy,The Internet — bblackmoor @ 16:15
Google+ protest image

A brave soul by the name of Todd Vierling has posted a compelling opinion piece explaining why, in his words,

… those of you who think that using real names will make people more open and social are horrifyingly deluded. Your idealistic vision of “real” interaction through real names isn’t just nonsense; it’s making online socialization more dangerous for everyone by putting them at risk of real-world prejudicial action.

(from Why the Google Profiles (or any) “Real Name” Policy is Important to Me , duh.org)

It’s worth reading. I suggest that you do.

Monday, 2011-08-15

Google+ protest image

Filed under: Art,Privacy,The Internet — bblackmoor @ 12:47
Google+ protest image

This is a quick and dirty attempt at an avatar to use in protest of the Google+ “government names only” policy. The image to the right links to the full-size image. The image below is the avatar-sized image. I wanted to put the word “PRIVACY” in there somewhere, but it’d be too small to read in the avatar version. Feel free to share, critique, whatever.

Google+ protest image

Tuesday, 2006-12-12

Google Web Toolkit goes 100% open source

Filed under: The Internet — bblackmoor @ 19:30

You’ve heard the Ivory soap slogan, “99 44/100 percent pure“. Until today you could say much the same about the Google Web Toolkit (GWT).Google Web Toolkit While most of GWT was open source, a few important pieces were binary-only. Today that all changed as Google made the entire GWT 1.3 Release Candidate available, with source, under the Apache 2.0 license.

GWT was introduced 7 months ago as a radical new way to develop Ajax applications using an old familiar language – Java. It enables developers to use all their great Java tools and expertise to create “no-compromise” web applications.

(from ZDNet, Google Web Toolkit goes 100% open source)

Thursday, 2006-09-07

Judge Orders Google to Disclose Users’ Data

Filed under: Society — bblackmoor @ 09:27

Federal judge Jose Lunardelli ruled late on Aug. 31 that Google be given 15 days to disclose the information, including the Internet Protocol addresses that can uniquely identify a specific computer on a network.

The judge set a daily fine of 50,000 reais ($23,255) for each individual case if Google refuses to reveal the data.

Brazilians account for 65 percent of Orkut’s nearly 27 million users and public prosecutors have recently been investigating Orkut communities set up by Brazilians and dedicated to such subjects as racism, homophobia and pedophilia.

Google officials in Brazil have said all clients’ data is stored on a server in the United States and is subject to U.S. laws, which makes it impossible for them to reveal the data in Brazil. They also said the local affiliate only deals in marketing and sales and has nothing to do with Orkut.

(eWeek, Judge Orders Google to Disclose Users’ Data)

It will be interesting to see how that works out.

Wednesday, 2006-07-05

Google ready to fight for “net neutrality”

Filed under: Technology — bblackmoor @ 17:15

Google says bill could spark antitrust fight

Wednesday, 2006-06-14

Google Earth 4.0

Filed under: Software — bblackmoor @ 21:18

Google unveiled on Monday a new version of its Google Earth application, which features greater coverage and higher resolution, even showing people walking in some locations–detail you get with aerial photography and not usually satellites.

The downloadable Google Earth 4.0 runs on PCs, Macs and Linux-based machines and is available in localized versions in French, Italian, German and Spanish, according to Michael Jones, chief technology officer of Google Earth. Jones, speaking here at Google Geo Developer Day, said the improvements will eventually show up in the Web-based Google Maps site.

(from ZDNet, Google Earth zooms in)

While you are over there, check out Google Sketchup.

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