Saturday, February 24, 2007

"Links from the Gregg Zone!"

1) This week I thought I would start off with a couple of links for those who still read and buy books. The first is my favorite site to buy books, they may not always have what you are looking for but if they do the price is right, and shipping is $3.50 for as many as you buy, one book or a hundred same shipping. I have seen books discounted as much as 90%, they are new books not used. A fairly large selection, for C2C fans, before you consider buying a guests book search here,

2) For on line e-books especially if you do a lot of research on anything, I the best I have found is Questa if you sign up for the news letter they seem to offer extra free trials, if you only have one small project the free trial will get you through, you can browse the new books for free, they have well over a million titles, and a lot of tools to keep your research in order.

3) Looking for something out of print, rare, or if you have a book you think might be worth putting on ebay and you want to check the value try this one, they do price comparisons, so you can see a range of what’s out there.

4) While not book related, this site is pretty good for a how to do anything, I found this one just goofing around but I really liked it. Cruising around the site, small animals caught my eye, top of the list how to trim your Chinchilla’s toe nails; I knew I had found something for me. I don’t have a Chinchilla, but like the fact the site is a little off the wall. There is also a section for how to in computers the drop down offers six categories, I clicked on hardware there were over 670 articles. They are posted by people visiting the site, which is nice due to a lack of product pushing. Although the site does have advertising it is manageable. Here is another similar one by Wikipidia

Another reason to run SETI@HOME

A geek's wife had her laptop stolen and he used SETI to track it down. Who needs laptop tracking now? Just install seti@home and use it to possibly cure cancer, listen for intelligent life, or a multitude of other useful projects that use distributed computing.

One of the computers on which Melin installed SETI @ Home is his wife's laptop, which was stolen from the couple's Minneapolis home Jan. 1.

Annoyed — and alarmed that someone could delete the screenplays and novels that his wife, Melinda Kimberly, was writing — Melin monitored the SETI @ Home database to see if the stolen laptop would "talk" to the Berkeley servers. Indeed, the laptop checked in three times within a week, and Melin sent the IP addresses to the Minneapolis Police Department.

Missing laptop found in ET hunt - Tech News & Reviews -
[h/t Stuffleufagus]

Friday, February 23, 2007

OCZ cools memory with heat pipes

I'm not sure why I find this so remarkable. After all; this is the sort of thing I expect of these folks. Still, the link is to a short blurb at The Inquirer and I urge you to follow the link from there to see the picture OCZ has posted. They even maintain the warranty on this memory when you get enthusiastic about upping the voltage!


Thursday, February 22, 2007

Radio Forgets to Pay the User First

I was sitting here mulling over what I may put in my letter to FCC Chairman Martin to discourage the XM-Sirius merger when I stumbled upon this piece by Tim O'Reilly. I'm still not clear on the satrad and Web 2.0 connection, but I really appreciate his take on "paying the user first".
In a world where you get increasing returns from network effects, putting users second, or third, or fourth, in the hierarchy of your concerns is a losing proposition.

That certainly is a problem I see with many businesses, high tech or not. Like this proposed merger, it is all about creating value for investors and not for creating reasons for customers to pay their hard earned money for a product that is useful. So it is with XM and Sirius. We customers only stand to have less choice, higher prices, and obsolete equipment in the face of this merger.

ESR gives up on Fedora

I thought to post this because a number of Eric S. Raymond's complaints regarding Fedora are mine as well. Not the ideological ones. Just the important ones; those based on function and attitude toward that. Fedora (and indeed all distributions based on the Red Hat RPM package management system) have disappointed me for years. I would rather use Slackware and handle most all of the dependency problems that arise myself, by hand, than entrust them to RPM and have to sort out the mess that system makes of things at times. I do, in fact, do just that at times. The rest of the time I used distros descended from Debian, like Ubuntu, and which use the apt-get package management or it's descendants.

While I am quite sure the ideological arguments are important and I DO read and digest them, function concerns me the most. It is on function that I made the decisions I made and ESR seems to have followed my path, at least in part.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Dell gives desktop Linux its "full attention"

Here's Dell's response to what was mentioned a couple posts down in this blog. Turns out the top 5 requests were for Linux or open source software or, at least, the option of buying a computer without an operating system!

The ball is in Dell's court, now. I wonder if anyone in Redmond is paying attention? And wouldn't you like to know what the response from Microsoft is? I would.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Vista users get the 64-bit blues

This article comes from Australia, but except for the mailing cost appears to apply to the US as well.

The good news is that 64 bit Vista is not for the faint-hearted. If you want a lot of frustration, order up a copy. Otherwise stick with the 32- bit version.

On a another subject, but one that didn't deserve it's own post, have you seen the Vista "Wow" campaign? The consensus seems to be that the ads are pretty lame and unbelievable. I saw a great tag-line based on it the other day:

Vista: we put the "ow" in "Wow".

Vista security overhaul questioned

Yeah; I know the last thing this blog needs is yet another article that trashes Vista security posted. Yet I thought this one had merit because it puts most of the problems known to exist in one short and succinct article. Plus, it relies in large part on Joanna Rutkowska and Mark Russinovich for sources. Those two are among the greatest experts on Windows security.

They don't agree. Russinovich takes the position that Vista's User Account Control (UAC) is a big step in the right direction. There is no real detail in the article, but at least most of the objections and their counters are in one place.


Top 10 things Dell customers want from the company

Dell has a site where you can actually vote on stuff like this. The ones I like the best are the "no extra software" option, pre-installed Linux and Mac OS X, changes to the Dell sales pages and letting buyers design their own laptops. That last is the least likely, after the licensing of the Mac OS X.

Interesting and quick read.


Monday, February 19, 2007

D-Wave demonstrates quantum computer... or a black box in a fridge

We've been hearing about quantum computers for a long, long time. This is the first one demonstrated. While not having the optimum configuration, it is still light-years ahead of what we have now.

Encryption of any sort will not be safe from these machines, unless we encrypt on quantum computers and even then the safety of encryption is not clear at all. So, while I am wowed by the "gee-whiz" factor, I am also afraid of devices like this in the hands of governments and other uncool types. That will happen, too.


Google should make a Linux

Okay; I know this is goofy. But it is true that Linux is the only viable desktop competitor to Microsoft's operating systems. Apple keeps the Mac far too locked down to sell to the majority of the populace, who want to use almost any software they can get to run on their computer and all sorts of weird peripheral devices. (Vibrating sex toys that respond to events in chat? They exist, powered by the USB port.) I'd be happy with being able to run any printer or scanner, but others are not.

Linux, on the other hand, supports all sorts of stuff, has an absolutely huge range of free software available and will handle Java very well, which is of paramount importance. So if Google got behind it, it might sell well. I do not really care about whether or not Windows dominance is lost. All I want to see is enough competition to stop MS or Apple or anyone else dictating to me what I have to see on and do with my computer.

C'mon Google!!


Sunday, February 18, 2007

OnComputers Radio show Podcast 02-18-07

This is the On Computers Radio show podcast for 02-18-07. You can listen live every Sunday from 10AM to 1PM Pacific thats 1PM to 4PM Eastern. If you prefer, you can download the same MP3 file here via ftp.

"Links from the Gregg Zone!"

To start off the week I thought I would offer a couple of those over the top sites I talked about.
1) How about some people, who do not eat, I mean anything, for years, like up to fifty years, no food, some cases no water for years. Living on sunlight, and air, this diet is defiantly not for me. I ran across this article in a news paper from India about “The Buddha Boy” there are a lot of stories about him here is a link to one from the B.B.C.

it made me curious so I started looking for more info. Here are a couple more I found on the subject:

2) Here is one not for the squeamish, this guy is going to go for a power boat speed boat record using human fat for fuel, ass fat to be specific, ass fat, that’s right fat from his ass.

3) On a little milder note I’m sure most of you know about Craigslist, but if you don’t you need to check it out,

if it is in your city make sure you scan the free ads. Here is a link to the movie trailer about the new movie out about the Craigslist company and founder

Netflix has the full movie, I just ordered it, I’ll try to remember to let you know more about how it was next week.