Saturday, April 29, 2006

Ambush TV

The idea is for regular citizens to use their video cameras to keep tabs on politician's and journalist's bad behavior and document it for others.

Yehudi Mercado is set to open up shop at Ambush TV next week. This might be really interesting, though it might also get out of hand pretty quickly. One way or another; it looks like it might be fun to see how it plays out.


Google Launches SketchUp 3D Modeling Software

It's kind of like computer modeling for dummies, except it's not dumbed down at all; just made easy. It's free, though there is a paid version with some more features.

From what I have read and what I can see, this is a whole lot easier to work with than QCAD, which I use and swear by. And you can apparently do all but the most esoteric things QCAD can do. You're not lacking much, if anything even a moderately advanced user might want. NOTHING!



Security tool aims to stop drive-by installs

The folks who produce Pest Patrol (and a lot of their competitors) are producing a new tool to stop unwanted software installations. I've been studying how such software might work and, while I'm not sure I really get it, is a very interesting subject.

I imagine this is the first of a lot of such applications and I welcome them.


Friday, April 28, 2006

AMD tracking down and replacing defective Opterons

This is a minor problem, as you will see when you read the article. AMD probably ought to be commended for expending the effort they are to alleviate any problems.

Intel once had a similar problem with early Pentium processors and it caused them no end of bad publicity. Admittedly, their problem was bigger than AMD's current one it. The risk of bad press is probably why AMD is being so aggressive in tracking down the affected parts and replacing them. Or maybe they are just being honorable. It wouldn't be the first for either.


Dial-up provider loses Net access amid fee dispute - The Boston Globe

I know most people are on broadband, but this could be a major issue for those dialup users still out there.

Most ISPs don't have their own modem banks anymore. They rely on companies such as Global NAPs to provide dialup service to their customers.

Do I agree with this ruling, no. Why should Verizon care if the call is a data call or a phone call?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Airplane Safety Instructional Video (Chris Pirillo)

This is TOOOO funny!! Chris Pirillo, who you either know, or should ;), does THE new airplane safety video. Check it out. I woke the kids up, I was LOLing so early this morning.
Airplane Safety Instructional Video (Chris Pirillo)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

How to handle a data breach correctly

This story in Computer World details a data breach at The University of Texas' Austin campus. It's a big one, possibly affecting 197k people.

The breach was discovered last Friday. They've already announced it. While the forensic stuff is ongoing, they've stated and are acting as if their number one priority is getting the information to those affected.

As much as I hate the idea of patting someone who has not adequately kept such sensitive information well enough, I've got to hand it to them. They are handling this the way it should be handled. There are a lot of institutions and companies who could read this one simple article and learn just how to conduct themselves should something similar happen to them.


Wi-Fi consumers cautioned to wait on new gear

The gist of this is that if one buys wireless equipment that is supposedly built to the 802.11n standard, it is really only built to a draft of that specification and is not necessarily interoperable with other equipment built now or later (to the final specification). As interoperability is the whole point of wireless gear, you can see how self-defeating jumping the standards gun can be.


Monday, April 24, 2006

Save the Internet : FAQ

I'm sure that this was mentioned on the show, yesterday. But just in case you need links or motivation to write your representatives. This is IT! Why the fuss? Check out a brief video of why its important.

From one of the coalition members:
Come On, This Isn't Really Happening: Fine, don't believe me. Ignore the fact that the CEO of AT&T is on record that this is going to happen. You can pretend that this won't affect you, if you want.

Save the Internet : FAQ

HubbleSite - Happy Sweet Sixteen, Hubble Telescope!

Happy Birthday Hubble!

(OK, I admit it, this is just an excuse to post a gorgeous picture, but WAIT! There's MORE! Lots more pics, go check it out, they are all very impressive!)
To celebrate the Hubble Space Telescope's 16 years of success, the two space agencies involved in the project, NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), are releasing this image of the magnificent starburst galaxy, Messier 82 (M82). This mosaic image is the sharpest wide-angle view ever obtained of M82. The galaxy is remarkable for its bright blue disk, webs of shredded clouds, and fiery-looking plumes of glowing hydrogen blasting out of its central regions. The observation was made in March 2006.

HubbleSite - Happy Sweet Sixteen, Hubble Telescope! - 4/24/2006
Courtesy of Wired and BadAstronomerBlog

Sunday, April 23, 2006

OnComputers Radio show Podcast 04-23-06

This is the On Computers Radio show podcast for 04-23-06. If you prefer, you can download the same file here via ftp.

RIAA Sues Family That Doesn't Have a Computer

This came as shocking news to the Walls family, who were notified of the lawsuit Friday afternoon by a newspaper reporter. James Walls, speaking on behalf of his wife and family, said they have not been served with legal papers and were unaware of the lawsuit.

After being shown a copy of the court filing, Walls said he found the whole thing bewildering.

“I don’t understand this,” Walls said. “How can they sue us when we don’t even have a computer?”

Congress readies new digital copyright bill

The draft legislation, created by the Bush administration and backed by Rep. Lamar Smith, already enjoys the support of large copyright holders such as the Recording Industry Association of America. Smith is the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee that oversees intellectual-property law.

Smith's press secretary, Terry Shawn, said Friday that the Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2006 is expected to 'be introduced in the near future.'

N.Y. county mandates wireless security

The law requires each business to install a firewall or change the default SSID, the name that identifies a wireless network, if the personal information stored has not already been encrypted. Penalties would range from a warning on first offense to a $500 fine on third offense.

Norman Jacknis, the county's chief information officer, said that when the law was being considered officials detected 248 wireless networks during a 20-minute drive through downtown White Plains. Nearly half had no visible security.

Boot Camp - Some Mac Resellers Preinstalling Windows XP

For Mac users who don't want to do it themselves, Windows will be preinstalled by the Mac reseller. Of course it comes without support from the reseller or from Apple. However, if you want to buy a machine with BootCamp already configured, this is very nice.

Here's my note.

This weekend, to celebrate Earth Day, we're going to a park this afternoon and doing a trash pickup, As a result, we won't be present for the show today, but I wanted to point out a couple announcements from computer companies as they celebrated Earth Day. Engadget collated the companies in one lovely post here. Apple, Dell, Sprint, Verizon, etc, etc. Go check it out, see how to dispose of your left over dead computers, responsibly. Google also has a scholastic overlay for google earth, in case anybody interested in that. I'd also like to ask everybody to use compact florescents and unplug the surge strips if nothing you are using is powered up by it (a calculator has been setup to figure out how much you can save by making very small adjustments). A virtual march has been setup (which seems like its right up our alleys, being virtual, and requiring a computer, and no exercise ;) ) at Stop Global sign up, its easy and will keep you informed.

Yes, I know Earth Day was yesterday, technically. But, better late than never ;)
Start today to save the only Earth we have!