Saturday, December 10, 2005

The winners for this week!

5-packs of Digital Vinyl CDR media from Verbatim
William Raymond
Palmer, AK

BackupNOW! Deluxe Suite from NTI
Rick Schrieve
El Dorado Hills, CA

WinDVD7 player software from Interviedo
Alphonse Kuntzler
Atlanta, GA

Remember you must listen to win!

Pioneer Blu-ray Disc Drive - Gizmodo

Looks like Pioneer will be the first to bring a PC-based Blu-ray disc drive to market with its BD1.5. We don’t have much more information than the fact that it will be internal and shipping sometime next year.

BIOS: The Quality Tech Guide: "Pioneer's BD1.5 is billed as the industry's first PC-based Blu-ray Disc drive. Actually, the first Blu-ray recorder was unveiled by Sony on March 3, 2003, and was introduced to the Japanese market in April that year."


Friday, December 09, 2005

Windows Live Local is live!

Check out Birds eye view. Its limited availability, currently but the resolution is magnificent. I saw this yesterday, and amazingly Lexingotn, KY is included in the initial list, which is my hometown. :)

Major Nelson posted a link to Xbox HQ

Some links to Vegas bird's eye view are here.
I found them intriguing cause I stayed at the MGM Grand and the Stratosphere before. I scrolled all the way to the bellagio. Looks to me like the pictures are about a year old, based on Wynn(sp?)'s hotel, which is now open.

scouring for you :)

Way beyond the MSConfig utility.

I found this very interesting, looks like a good tool, plus its freeware, and from sysinternals. Where do you recall that name, you ask? They discovered Sony's rootkit install.

This utility has the most comprehensive knowledge of auto-starting locations of any startup monitor. You'll probably be surprised at how many executables are launched automatically. It shows you what programs are configured to run during system bootup or login, and shows you the entries in the order Windows processes them, and it's by Sysinternals!


read more | digg story

Also from Digg:
Picture from Hubble looks like Firefox logo.

8GB Stick of RAM Good comment, how much? Anybody have any guesses?
$225 Million Dollar typo!

The top 10 weirdest USB drives ever

The holiday season is typically short of genuine news and rich with things like this.

Now all we have to do is figure out which one we're going to give our own MissM for Christmas.


Thursday, December 08, 2005

Fixes coming for Windows flaws | Tech News on ZDNet

"As part of its monthly patching cycle, Microsoft plans to release on Tuesday two security bulletins with fixes for flaws in Windows. " Remember this coming Tuesday is Windows Updates Tuesday! Do your windows updtaes!

Unpatched Firefox 1.5 exploit made public | CNET

"Exploit code for the latest version of open-source browser Firefox was published Wednesday, potentially putting users at risk of a denial-of-service attack. "
This came to me from Curtis this morning.

Schneier on Security: 30,000 People Mistakenly Put on Terrorist Watch List

According to the article linked above: 'Nearly 30,000 airline passengers discovered in the past year that they were mistakenly placed on federal "terrorist" watch lists, a transportation security official said Tuesday.'

Mr. Schneier comments: "When are we finally going to admit that the DHS is incompetent at this?"


Microsoft Hit With $32 Million South Korea Fine

Microsoft has previously said they would leave South Korea if the commission's ruling went against them, though they've said now they will not.

MS has the option of appealing the decision in court and will do so. The unbundling of IM and Media Player from Windows would have to last 10 years. After 5 years, MS can ask for a yearly review of the action to account for changed market decisions.


Wednesday, December 07, 2005

New Sony CD security risk found | CNET

"The danger is associated with copy-protection software included on some Sony discs created by a company called SunnComm Technologies. The vulnerability could allow malicious programmers to gain control of computers that have run the software, which is typically installed automatically when a disc is put in a computer's CD drive.

Following those revelations, the EFF asked computer security company iSec Partners to study the SunnComm copy protection technology, which Sony said has been distributed with 27 of its CDs in the United States. iSec found the hole announced Tuesday and notified Sony, but news of the risk was not released until SunnComm had created a patch.

Sony said another security company, NGS Software, has tested the patch and certified that it addresses the vulnerability.

The patch can be downloaded from Sony's site. A list of the CDs affected in the United States, and a slightly different list in Canada, is also posted on the site.

Sony said it will notify customers though a banner advertisement directly in the SunnComm software, as well as through an Internet advertising campaign. "

Last I heard, Sony could do this with affected rootkit CDs, have they??

The reasons to be mad at Sony increase.


� Netgear guilty of 'misleading' Wi-Fi claims | George Ou |

"Netgear claimed that their products will reach speeds of 240 mbps when in fact it might reach 58 mbps under the best possible conditions for short bursts of time. "

Rat Brains Fly Planes

And here I thought it took great skill and years of training.

Sorry, I couldn't resist posting this even if it was mostly for that catchy headline.

Wikipedia Tightens the Reins

From the article: "The website hopes that the registration requirement will limit the number of stories being created, Wales said.

'What we're hopeful to see is that by slowing that down to 1,500 a day from several thousand, the people who are monitoring this will have more ability to improve the quality,' Wales said Monday. 'In many cases the types of things we see going on are impulse vandalism.'

Wikipedia visitors will still be able to edit content already posted without registering. It takes 15 to 20 seconds to create an account on the website, and an e-mail address is not required."

Wikipedia is a wonderful thing, but I'm wondering if they are tightening the reins far enough? Some entries seem very good, but looks may be deceiving. It is hard for a Wikipedia reader to sort out the bad, the mediocre, and the good.

I love free speech, but without reviewing someone's curriculum vitae before allowing someone to post, can quality be assured? Editing should allow for misinformation or disinformation to be weeded out but obviously it isn't working all that well.

So, take what you read and find on Wikipedia with a grain of salt. I would not use it as an authoritative source, especially for that term paper that was due yesterday. With its ability to have speed and flexibility it also has the liability of being written by folks who may not be properly qualified to do the job -- we have no way of knowing if they are or are not. For that assurance you need a less flexible, and most importantly, a critically reviewed encyclopedia.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Static builds in radio's future-advertisers

From the article: "The radio industry could find itself at the kids' table in the media banquet hall, as new technology threatens the business, advertising executives said this week at the Reuters Media and Advertising Summit.

Satellite radio, digital music players and the Internet are slowly encroaching on traditional radio's stronghold on local entertainment and advertising. Plus, radio ads themselves are less memorable and creative, these executives said."

No kidding. In many parts of the country, the offerings on ad supported radio versus subscription supported satellite radio isn't even close. My own part of the country is a case in point. There is a much wider variety available in urban centers and a less compelling reason to go to satellite radio, especially if you can get similar content via broadband. But you can't (yet) drive from point A to B and maintain a wireless connection suitable for streaming media, though it will come.

Some new car audio components are coming with "Ipod" ports. So are some new home radio/cd players. They give you a line-in so you can easily hook up your MP3 player and use the speakers.

We can all see where this is going. Broadcast, ad supported radio has some real competition. Maybe they will have to stop running their stations on autopilot and provide more true local programming and talent. I know that even during an emergency, our own local station will go to bed and play syndicated programming after the office closes. That's been one of the local broadcaster's plea: that we support them so they will be there in case of emergency. That means that they really will have to be there, and a lot of them aren't.

If you have comments good or bad about local broadcast radio, satellite radio, podcasts or streaming media, feel free to leave them here.

Gizmodo - several neat things

Plextor Dual-Layer USB DVD Recorder

Panasonic Starts 50GB Blu-ray Production

Printer Phone Coming Soon??

I saved, what I bet all the dear readers would consider, the best for last :)

For those of you wanting to convert your albums to a digital format.... USB Turntable (More Vinyl to CD Goodness)


One city's move to open source | Tech News on ZDNet

In Mannheim, a preference for "open" standards--not cost--is driving the German city's shift to Linux. Did Jack see this?

Monday, December 05, 2005

Sony closes in on new program to cleanse PCs

Most of the article is a rehash of what we have already rehashed. One thing we speculated about but didn't know for sure was the impact on artists. Due to secret and creative accounting in the record industry we do not know how much this has hurt the artists financially, but it certainly has hurt their record sales. It is a shame that artists of this caliber have had their reputations tarnished in this way.

From the article: "In the interim, many of the artists with XCP CDs have seen their sales tumble.

Neil Diamond, whose widely praised 12 Songs opened at No. 4 on Billboard's Top 200 chart just two weeks ago, has fallen to No. 52 in the most recent chart. Bette Midler's Peggy Lee Songbook fell to No. 157 from No. 51, while Chris Botti's To Love Again:The Duets tumbled to No. 172 from No. 74."

Oh yes, I know, we know the difference between Sony and these artists, but let's face it, it is their names on the CD's and it is their CD's that are not selling.

My husband loves Neil Diamond, but guess what he is not getting for Christmas. Then again, you could call one of these CD's the gift that keeps on giving. (or is that taking?)

180solutions sues Zone Labs for being called 'spyware'

I remember that Gator/Claria tried this. The result was a that a lot of antispyware Web sites had to mince their words. But ya know what? I think more people learned about the evils of GAIN (Claria's ad delievery network) and learned how to avoid it due to Gator/Claria's actions, than would have known without the publicity.

I sincerely hope that 180solutions is as successful as Claria was at improving their image (which is not at all).

No matter what pretty names they call themselves, I know I don't want 180solutions software on my computer and I know you don't want it on your computer either.

IE flaw lets intruders into Google Desktop

What a grand way to start my week! It's 02:21 Monday morning and what pops up on my radar but another set of potential damages brought to us by Internet Explorer.

This time, the flaw is in the way IE handles Cascading Style Sheets. I'm convinced this particular flaw is due to the fact that Microsoft's implementation of CSS is not quite standard, as anyone who has done complex styles can attest. This is at least a fairly high-risk flaw and I'm pretty certain MS will have a patch for it soon. Perhaps even before the 13th of this month; patch Tuesday.



"Hacks" is used here in the older, more benevolent sense as some solution to a problem which is elegant and not obvious.

O'Reilly has a series of books of clever hacks for Linux, Mac OS X, Palm OS and even Microsoft Access. They're worth checking out, themselves. But by clicking the link above you will go to a page from which you can find many of these hacks listed. Check it out for fun or as a source of solutions.


Sunday, December 04, 2005

This weekends winners are!

Congratulation to:

Rick Schrieve
El Dorado Hills, CA
BackupNOW! Deluxe Suite from NTI


Alphonse Kuntzler
Atlanta, GA
WinDVD7 player software from Interviedo

Remember you have to listen to win!

OnComputers Radio show Podcast 12-04-05

This is the On Computers Radio show podcast for 12-04-05. If you prefer, you can download the same file here via ftp.

Remember you have to listen to win!

Saving the Net: How to Keep the Carriers from Flushing the Net Down the Tubes

Controversial it appears, but I feel the source is reputable, and this topic should concern us all... as we are about to be regulated into a corner by "big business" and "politicians" ... or are you ready to pay the big carriers to tell you where you can go and what you can do online?

Autopackage; A better Linux installer?

The last time I installed Abiword, it was on my bedside computer, running Ubuntu GNU-Linux. It came as an "Autopackage". I hadn't seen or used one before and must admit I was a bit skeptical. The installation went well, albeit slowly. I used the application launcher to make a menubar icon in Gnome and haven't looked back. Since then, I've used several of these installers and I must say that I like them as well as I like the Debian package management scheme, apt-get.

The only catch is finding the executable to link to when you put menu entries in. The help files have been great in pointing them out, so far. And you can always type in "whereis [package]" to find it.

I have encountered one small problem which needs mentioning. One need not reboot after an autopackage is used to install an application. However, the application is likely to crash on first starting it unless you have logged off and back on. No reboot. Just log off and back on to give the desktop a chance to make the necessary changes, which it will do when it redraws itself upon logging in a user. That is all, and it is NOT a frequently encountered problem, though it does come up.