Saturday, April 23, 2011

Earl's Cyber Steals and Deals

ShopHDE has the 2-Port VGA/SVGA USB KVM Switch Box for $20 - $12 off with coupon code benapr3f8jbuv [100 uses] = $8 with free shipping. Allows users to control two computers from one keyboard, one monitor, and one mouse. Shipping is from U.S. and is free for all orders.

Meritline has the Focus Zoom Lens Cree Q3 Flashlight in Silver (also in Black) for $10 with free shipping. Not as clumsy or random as a blaster, it features advanced focus system with a fisheye lens, 200 Lumens of output power from a white LED Cree Q3 bulb, and a black aluminum body.

Newegg has the Patriot Signature 16GB PSF16GMCSDHC43P Class 4 MicroSDHC for $25 - $5 rebate [Exp 4/24] = $20 with free shipping. Includes a full-sized SD card adapter and comes with a 5 year warranty

AMD Athlon II X4 630 Quad Core Processor $75

AMD Phenom X4 9850 Quad Core 2.50 GHz $54 $54

AMD Athlon X2 Dual Core AM3 5200+ CPU $33

AMD Phenom II X4 965 AM3 Processor $140

Newegg has the Corsair XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 Desktop Memory (CMX6GX3M3A1600C9) for $75 - $25 rebate [Exp 4/30] = $50 with free shipping. Features timings of 9-9-9-24 with a CAS latency of 9 at 1.65 volts has the Kingston 32GB Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card - Class 6 - SD6G2/32GB for $65 - $15 rebate [Exp 4/25] = $50 with free shipping. Features storage and speed designed for high definition digital still and video cameras

Today only. Woot! has the refurbished Panasonic DMC-ZS6KCP 12.1MP Camera w/ Leica 12X Optical Zoom and HD Video for $140 + $5 shipping = $145 shipped. 12.1MP, 12x optical image stabilized zoom, 720p HD video w/ HDMI 3" LCD screen, 2GB SD card, 0.3 second AF, Intelligent Auto, Power O.I.S

eBay with Tiger Direct has the ARNOVA by Archos 501732 4GB 10.1" Android 2.1 Tablet for $170 with free shipping. Features built-in 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, 1024x600 10.1" resistive touchscreen, 4GB memory, front VGA camera, G-sensor, USB 2.0 and Android 2.1 Eclair

MWave has the Avexir AVD3U13330902G-1B Budget 2GB 2048MB 240-pin pc3-10600 DDR3 1333mhz DIMM Desktop Memory Module for $15 + $0 shipping = $15 shipped with free "M" Club membership

Through 4/24, FatCow is once again offering unlimited web hosting for $3.67/month. Plan includes unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited domains, Website Builder, Shopping Cart, Script Barn, and a free domain for life. FatCow is powered by 100% Wind Energy.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Why Amazon EC2's Titanic went down

"Thursday's crash happened at Amazon's northern Virginia data center, located in one of its East Coast availability zones. In its status log, Amazon said that a 'networking event' caused a domino effect across other availability zones in that region, in which many of its storage volumes created new backups of themselves. That filled up Amazon's available storage capacity and prevented some sites from accessing their data.

Amazon didn't say what that 'networking event' was."

All I have to say to that is "oopsie", or should that be "giant beyond all comprehension how Amazon could have let that happen oopsie"?

Android phones keep location cache, too, but it's harder to access

Okay, it's harder to get to and there's not as much of it, but it is there. The question is why? We also know from reports this information, at least on the iPhone is not accurate and sometimes places people miles from where they have ever really been. It will be interesting if we get some answers. I know that some in Congress have asked Apple for answers. Now it is time for them to ask Google for those same answers.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Postal Regulatory Commission rules for GameFly: mailing DVDs to be cheaper for all

GameFly has won a dispute with the US Postal service that means that anyone following certain mailing rules will be able to mail DVDs round trip for the same prices that the USPS has been giving Netflix. This was both a fairness and an economic issue for GameFly.

Researcher: Apple iPhone location tracking has been no secret

From the article:
"As reported Wednesday, the two programmers presented details of an iOS 4.0 database file, usually unencrypted, created on the iPhone and then synced to a user’s Mac. This file contains thousands of time-stamped latitude and longitude pairings, apparently based on cell tower triangulation calculations. The data is a very detailed track of where the iPhone (or iPad or iPod touch) has been. The programmers created an open source application, called iPhone Tracker, that plots the data on a map, so the user can see the track of the device's locations."
So far I've been unable to find this file on my Windows 7 computer though I have no doubt that it exists. I'd actually enjoy seeing what is there, but I wouldn't be too happy about anyone else seeing it without my consent.

Microsoft counts down to XP death

Microsoft has made a gadget that will count down the the end of Microsoft Support for Windows XP. The strange thing is that this gadget will only run on Windows Vista and Windows 7. So if you have already migrated to a newer OS you don't need the gadget, and if you haven't migrated the gadget won't run. How convoluted is that? Can anyone say," Catch 22?"

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

ACLU: Michigan cops stealing drivers' phone data

Speaking of valid legal processes there is something about Michigan State Police using a device from a company called Cellebrite to extract data from cell phones during routine traffic stops that seems neither valid nor legal. The ACLU wants to find out what is really going on, but the MSP is demanding half a million dollars to give forth the information under the Freedom of Information Act. So it seems what goes in doesn't come out without large amounts of money flowing into MSP coffers. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds.

If you have something to hide from the government, don't use Dropbox

Can anyone give me a big Homer Simpson, "Doh!"? You mean you thought stuff you stored in the cloud was private?

According to the article:

With the new terms of service, Dropbox now says that it will “United States law enforcement when it receives valid legal process” and may, if necessary, decrypt the files in private Dropbox folders, allowing them to be read by government investigators.
Actually Dropbox has merely aligned its terms of service with reality. If you have your stuff in a safe deposit box, law enforcement can go in there to with a "valid legal process". Or they can take your hard drive with a "valid legal process". Law enforcement can also dig up your back yard with a "valid legal process". As for me, I don't have any state secrets stored in my Dropbox. Anything stored in the cloud is vulnerable not only to "valid legal process", but to anyone who finds a way to hack into and decrypt any data you store in the cloud. That's a good thing to remember.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Opening a can of worms

So far I've had one request to change the font on the blog. I thought the request was to change it to Arial, which when I checked is the current font for the text. So I guess the request is to change it from Arial. I'm not sure to what. Of course then problem is that when you change something for one person, it affects others. However, for the sake of readability, I'm willing to look into it. So what do you think? Do you find the Arial (that I did enlarge from the Blogger default) readable, or do you need something else?

As an aside, remember most browsers allow you to override the font of the web page with your own font selection. So for those with particular vision problems, I suggest setting your own default text font that will appear in place of that already selected by the web page. Also, most browsers allow you to zoom at will. I know that my mouse has a button that when pressed turns the scroll wheel into a zoom wheel. But if you don't have that try something like Control+<+> and Control+<->.  That is what I do (use the zoom) on web sites that seem to think reading micro-mini type enhances the user experience.

Anyway, let me (and all of us for that matter) know your thoughts about it.

Oracle gives up on OpenOffice after community forks the project

"In a statement issued on Friday, Oracle announced that it intends to discontinue commercial development of the (OOo) office suite. The move comes several months after key members of the OOo community and a number of major corporate contributors forked OOo to create a vendor-neutral alternative."

First it was Star Office, then it was Open Office and now it is LibreOffice. So if you are a user and haven't already, it is time to download and install LibreOffice.

That Oracle is discontinuing commercial development should come as no shock. It really was bound to happen and in the light of Open Office's successor, LibreOffice, I see this as a good thing.

Today's App Corner

This week I should call it yesterday's app corner. I was on the road an didn't get a chance to post. So maybe we should leave it as this week's app which is Stitcher.

For a change this app is available on many platforms, not just iOS and Android, but Blackberry, and Palm as well. Stitcher is a comprehensive aggregator of live and on demand audio feeds. It includes streaming versions of many of the top podcasts and radio shows out there. It is well laid out and hasn't crashed yet. You can save your favorites, which is a good thing since the listings are so comprehensive, it may be difficult to find something again through the menus. Of course you can always do a search.

This app does what is does very well. Oh and I almost forgot, but if you subscribe to a premium podcast that you want to hear through Stitcher, it will allow you to input your username and password for that, too. In my opinion you have everything to gain and little to lose by setting up a free Stitcher account and trying it out.

You can find it here:

Sunday, April 17, 2011

OnComputers Radio show Podcast 04-17-11

This is the On Computers Radio show podcast for 04-17-11. You can listen live every Sunday from 11AM to 12PM Pacific that's 2PM to 3PM Eastern. Join us for the live show and chat.

Links from the Gregg Zone

1) I first saw interest in this idea a couple of years ago. I was glad to see that it is still coming along; the idea here is to use a building’s windows to generate solar power. If I remember correctly the last time I referred to this idea it involved tinting the windows color, this is transparent, that looks like an improvement to me.

2) I saw several stories on this, so there must be something to it. The idea of quantum anything seems to be almost beyond my comprehension, now add teleportation to the mix, reality is becoming science fact at an alarming rate. If this continues I may still be here to announce warp drive in a month or two.

3) If you had any desire to visit the very room where the internet was born, this is your virtual opportunity to check it out.

4) Sometimes the scale that mother-nature operates on just blows my mind, seems they have found a relationship between weather and tectonic plate movement. Granted it is on a geologic time scale still something about the idea caught me off guard.

5) As usual the geek link is something just outside of my easy reading world, my understanding of the whole virus thing is superficial at best, but I thought this might prove interesting to some.