Monthly Archive: July 2009

Geeks from the Rear View 1

Geeks from the Rear View

Last week I decided to put a call out to have people take a shot of their rear-view or side-view mirror and send to me. It all started simply because a friend of mine – Sean Kelley – inspired me to find out what is in people’s rear-view windows. I also asked them what they used to take the picture, which interestingly enough is not as many camera phones as I would think. I decided to put this into a Gallery of Rear View moments. These are the result – I hope you like it.

Apple Security Vulnerability Reported 0

Apple Security Vulnerability Reported

(Disclaimer: As Rob Rosenberger reminds us, this is the time of year for computer security hysteria in the media, so media reports must be taken with several pounds of salt. Both the Black Hat and DEFCON conferences are going on.) Reuters reports that a security researcher demonstrated a serious vulnerability in Mac computers. This one would allow an intruder to retrieve encrypted data. The story is here. The existence of a vulnerability does not, of course, mean that Mac users are actually vulnerable. A vulnerability doesn’t become a threat until someone actually tries to exploit it. Proof of concept viruses targeting cellphones have been tested, but, by and large, cellphones aren’t targets in the wild. The “smartphone” is still a small percentage of the market (though the cachet of the iPhone might be changing that); even a smartphone can’t be reliably integrated into a botnet; and cellphones, except...

Wireless Wednesday 0

Wireless Wednesday

A long time ago, while helping someone set up a component stereo system (remember them?), I remarked that modern life is living with wires. And it still comes down to wires, whether they are made of metal or silicone. Wednesday, I was wireless. In fact, my whole street was. A garbage truck tore down the main lines feeding the street, as well as one of the poles they were attached to. It took out the electricity, the landline, and the cable, and it emphasized how wound up with wires our lives have become.

Geekazine Podcast Ep 97 – 7-29-09 – More Codes in SOP Contest 0

Geekazine Podcast Ep 97 – 7-29-09 – More Codes in SOP Contest

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSChallenge to Notebook / Netbook Makers. The Podcast Machine back up and running… – Final Days – Summer of Podcasts & announcement on Podcast Carnivale – Three more to Show 100 (August 19th). Thoughts out to Andy McCaskey. Looking for some supplemental income. Take the Geekazine Podcast Survey Try GoToAssist free for 30 days – No CC needed: GoToAssist.com/techpodcasts. Put Your Financials into order – Edward Jones Save 15% on all orders at Eastbay with code AFZINE15 & 20% on orders $75 or more at Eastbay with code AFZINE20 All Show Notes are also on Delicious Hotline – 608-205-4378 – geekazine (at) gmail.com Download the show Subscribe: Zune – iTunes – TechPodcasts – Blubrry – Stitcher I – S.U.N. (Straight Up News) FreeyourID is Free Sex Offender iPhone Booyah! Changes in Blip.tv China Bans Mafia Wars Intel Halts SSD – The fastest...

Geekazine Stance on “Rumor Mills” 0

Geekazine Stance on “Rumor Mills”

I might be shooting myself in the foot, but you know, I am not a big fan of the Rumor mill. Especially when it comes to Apple products. In the last 6 months, we have seen and heard about products that don’t materialize. The Apple Mini iPhone and Netbooks come to mind. While I DO believe that Apple is making a Tablet, I don’t want to get caught up in the hype. That way we won’t have to turn around and say it didn’t happen. We’ll leave the rumor mill to TechCrunch who will tell you about the $800 Netbook and Touchscreen trackpad. Even Patents cannot tell a whole story. Remember the rumor about an iPhone Flip? The iPod was suppose to get a facelift with buttons all around the device. Personally, I feel stunts like this are no different than “Pump and Dump” scams. From now on,...

Tabble? 0

Tabble?

The Guardian reports that the Financial Times (subscription required) reports that Apple is working on a tablet computer. The story is here. And here is a report from AppleInsider. I remember once, when I was going from Philadelphia to Washington, DC, on the choo-choo, sitting next to a guy who had an tablet computer–I think it was an Intel. It was interesting, but it pretty much left me cold. Nice gadget, not for me. He was using extensively one feature that a regular laptop does not lend itself to: handwriting recognition. He wrote a lot of notes directly on the screen and saved them to a file.

Week in Tech History – 7-27-09 – Yahoo Shareholders Meeting 0

Week in Tech History – 7-27-09 – Yahoo Shareholders Meeting

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSBrought to you by GotoAssist Express – Get a free 30 day trial It was the best of times, it was the worst of times – for Yahoo, anyway. It was the botched 6 month drama between them and Microsoft that made things so stressful. With Carl Icahn nipping at the heels for a takeover – then subsequent seat offering as a settlement – Yahoo had to create a great first impression to their stockholders so they could move on. It was a long meeting. There was some debate on who should stay on the board and who should exit. There was even concern over the new seats and who would occupy them. By the end of the day of August 1st, the meeting had resulted in a switch of power, ultimately leading to Jerry Yangs’ step down as CEO. By the...

Wireless Charging on the Horizon? 0

Wireless Charging on the Horizon?

When I travel, I routinely three extra USB cables: The proprietary cable for my cell phone, the proprietary cable for my podplayer, and the proprietary cable for my digital camera. For the camera and the podplayer, the cables serve for transferring files. For the phone and the podplayer, the cables also charge the batteries (the camera uses AAs). And I know other persons who are tangled in cables that they use primarily for charging the batteries of their USB devices. Now comes a company called Witricity, which is working on a wireless charging system using, if I remember my high school physics correctly, electromagnetic induction to charge a device without a cable.

Morning Coffee: Then and Now – Bitstrips 0

Morning Coffee: Then and Now – Bitstrips

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted a Bitstrips. Today I was inspired. Me and my brother really enjoy going to breakfast every now and then. What was better – there was a restaurant that actually had Wi-Fi access. Therefore, we both would take our laptops and surf while eating. That was two weeks ago. Now we have smartphones that have wireless access. Of course, I have the iPhone 3GS and he has the Blackberry 8330. So why do we need the Notebooks? Heck – we can go to any place that serves breakfast because the Wi-Fi access selling point is null. The only thing we cannot do is run any program that requires Flash. That means no Bitstripping while at breakfast with the phone. So we still need the computers and access at one point. That is, until we get netbooks with 3G access….

“But, Igor, It Needs a Brain . . .” 0

“But, Igor, It Needs a Brain . . .”

The Guardian reports on efforts to build a working model of the neo-cortex of the brain. The full story is here. An excerpt: The neo-cortex, found only in mammals, developed to deal with parenthood and complex social interactions, (Henry) Markram said. The number of neurons has increased by so much that the brain has actually outgrown the space in the human skull. It began to fold back on itself, leading to the grooved and wrinkled surface of our brains. The folds increased the surface area available for the billions of neurons in the human neo-cortex. Markram is working to develop a model of the human brain because it is a key step to our understanding of the neo-cortex, and scientists cannot continue doing animal experimentation forever. It is key to understanding diseases and disorders, including Alzheimer’s and autism. (snip) To simulate a single neuron takes the computing power...

Geekazine Podcast Ep 96 – The Late, Late Edition; Apple, Yahoo Q2 Results 0

Geekazine Podcast Ep 96 – The Late, Late Edition; Apple, Yahoo Q2 Results

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSOK, the website had some issues, THEN the Podcast computer acted up. OYE!… – Week 4 Summer of Podcasts & need people to talk to August 9th at the Podcast Carnivale – I hosted TPN Weekly this week – I did not participate on Podcampcity Online. This is why. – Show 100 is August 19th. Take the Geekazine Podcast Survey Try GoToAssist free for 30 days – No CC needed: GoToAssist.com/techpodcasts. Put Your Financials into order – Edward Jones Save 15% on all orders at Eastbay with code AFZINE15 & 20% on orders $75 or more at Eastbay with code AFZINE20 All Show Notes are also on Delicious Hotline – 608-205-4378 – geekazine (at) gmail.com Download the show Subscribe: Zune – iTunes – TechPodcasts – Blubrry – Stitcher I – S.U.N. (Straight Up News) Intel SSD Faster – Also Cheaper Medical iPhonejuana–...

Is AT&T Really to Blame for Spotty 3G Coverage? 0

Is AT&T Really to Blame for Spotty 3G Coverage?

I have been hearing this a lot – people start complaining because their 3G is shotty. Now in some cases, it’s true. I’ve been out in the middle of nowhere, and the signal is almost down to nothing. With the iPhone, I see E instead of G. Nonetheless, is this something that is AT&T’s fault, or yours? I am going to show you 3 pictures: This was taken from my iPhone using the ookla Speedtest iPhone application. The first test shows 52 kbps down and 128 up. The second shows 230 down and 443 up. Finally, the third is at 1.8 down and 228 up. These tests were done in the same location at a relavantly close time to each other. Now you might say the signal was spotty, therefore you will get this difference. But I ran these tests a few times and got the same results....

Special Guest Podcaster on TPN Weekly Ep. 14 0

Special Guest Podcaster on TPN Weekly Ep. 14

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSSponsor: Try GotoMeeting free for 30 days! For this special offer visit www.gotomeeting.com/techpodcasts This week I take my Podcast talents over to the TPN Weekly Podcast for episode 14. I take the Podcast in a slightly different direction, as I talk a little bit about me and growing up in technology. I throw out some of the computers I used to work with, like the Commodore Vic20, Atari and Apple Macintosh, then my rise into an IT role. I also talk a bit about the future of technology and where we are going as New Media Specialists. It was a fun show to do simply because I went off the cuff and didn’t talk about present tech news. If anything, it was more of an audio blog. I also put some Podcast-safe background music into it. It was provided by Kalliopi, and...

Week In Tech History – 7-20-09 – Google Knol Debuts 0

Week In Tech History – 7-20-09 – Google Knol Debuts

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSBrought to you by GotoAssist Express – Get a 30 Day free trial It was the system that would rival the Wiki world. Google launched a Beta of their online knowledge system called “Knol”. It was a lot like Wikipedia, except this system would have online advertising. The advantage (at least that some would call): contributors had an opportunity to actually make money off their knowlegde. Knol stands for “A unit of Knowledge”. It was in Beta until January 2009 Other items in Tech History this week: IBM Goes Open Source – Sort of. Google and Digg were rumored to be in talks Carl Icahn joins Yahoo’s Board of Directors Trans Atlantic TV Broadcast with host Walter Cronkite.

Why I Was Swearing Late Last Night 0

Why I Was Swearing Late Last Night

Two words: Internet Explorer. I have been working on a website for a friend. It’s not quite ready for primetime, but It’s come a long way in 20 billable hours. So, after a nap because my brain was tired, I decided to test it in Internet Explorer. It didn’t render properly, either in regular mode of “compatibility mode” (It is to laugh). It worked in every other browser I had (Opera, for both Windows and Linux, Firefox, Konqueror, just to name a few) but not in IE. It took me about 25 minutes and lots of creative language to find the tag that was causing IE to malform the page.

Lingerie in Space 1

Lingerie in Space

U. S. space suits come from Delaware. So do I. I’ve actually driven by the factory a few times. It’s a small building on a back road surrounded by farmland. Space suits are descended from ladies’ underwear. Who knew? An excerpt (emphasis added): When astronauts return to the moon, and maybe beyond, they will stay for far longer than the two-and-a-half hours that Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin spent exploring the moon’s surface. Frederica-based ILC hopes to play a role in keeping the astronauts sheltered — the company is working to develop an inflatable habitat that could be used on the moon. For NASA’s first trip to the moon, the high-tech suits worn by Apollo 11 astronauts Armstrong, Aldrin and Michael Collins had their roots in bras and girdles. ILC Dover began as part of International Latex Corp. — later known as Playtex — when the company spun off...

Lesson One in Tech Support:  Make Sure It’s Plugged In 0

Lesson One in Tech Support: Make Sure It’s Plugged In

Back when I did tech support, I realized that we often overlook simple fixes while looking for complicated ones. In my part of the world, there has been a minor uproar over prostate care at a local VA hospital. Lots of patients receiving radiation therapy did not get the proper amount of radiation “seeds” implanted in them. Some got too many; most got too few. Reports blamed a “computer interface problem.” There was a problem all right. The computer that would have been used to verify proper insertion of the “seeds” had been unplugged. Read the story here. A nugget:

Ramblings 7-18-09 – Hi, I’m a Facebook Addict 0

Ramblings 7-18-09 – Hi, I’m a Facebook Addict

Wait. I have to check my Facebook. No Messages? OK. Here I go. iPhone Week 2 I sat down with a friend last night who also got one of the new 3GS Models. We went back and forth on what we liked and didn’t. He had a lot of paid apps, while I haven’t purchased a single one. I am taking my time and make sure that I am not paying 99 cents for something I am going to delete tomorrow. I did play with a great little app from Master Card. It was quick and easy to use and worked phenomenally on the phone. But I think that it all is shadowed from the other functionality of the phone. Facebook and Twitter – As well as email – seems to be consuming the time. Don’t get me wrong. I still believe a phone is made for calling...

Podcast Carnivale Set for August 9th 0

Podcast Carnivale Set for August 9th

On August 9th from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM CST, we will have the live event called “Podcast Carnivale“. During this event, we will talk to tech podcasters about different items. At 3 PM CST – Andy, Todd and Techpodcasts Network will hold a special TPN Roundtable. Finally, at 6 PM CST – we will be giving away all the prizes in the Summer of Podcasts contest. If you would like to participate, all you have to do is let me know and I will sign you up. geekazine at gmail dot com. Event: Podcast Carnivale Why: Event to talk with Tech Podcasters, giveaways and more. When: August 9th from 12:00 to 18:00 (6 PM) CST Who: All that entered in the Summer of Podcasts Contest Special: TPN Roundtable at 3 PM CST Special: Drawing for “Summer of Podcasts” Contest at 6 PM CST

Podcast Ep 95 – 7-15-09 – The Kittens Take Over. 0

Podcast Ep 95 – 7-15-09 – The Kittens Take Over.

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS New iPhone – Week 3 Summer of Podcasts – Should the bitrate be 64 or 96? – Should the podcast contain music? – Show Transcript? – My Interview Take the Geekazine Podcast Survey Try GoToAssist free for 30 days – No CC needed: GoToAssist.com/techpodcasts. Put Your Financials into order – Edward Jones Save 15% on all orders at Eastbay with code AFZINE15 & 20% on orders $75 or more at Eastbay with code AFZINE20 All Show Notes are also on Delicious Hotline – 608-205-4378 – geekazine (at) gmail.com Download the show Subscribe: Zune – iTunes – TechPodcasts – Blubrry – Stitcher I – S.U.N. (Straight Up News) Bullish Windows 7 – Testers Wanted Older WinMo Can Use App Store – Windows Mobile 6.0 and 6.1 HBO, Cinemax on Comcast – TVoE is coming… –CBS is Joining – Hulu Hurting? Netbooks to...

Microsoft Office Targeted by Malware 0

Microsoft Office Targeted by Malware

Not that that is anything new. Reuters reports that Microsoft has announced that baddies are using vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office for Windows to recruit computers into botnets. The full story is here. An excerpt, including a link for help: Hackers take advantage of the Office vulnerability by booby-trapping websites with malicious code that loads onto computers running Office software. Infected PCs are commandeered into a botnet, a network of hijacked computers. They are used for identity theft, spamming and other cybercrimes. Microsoft did not say how many machines were attacked. Users can prevent attacks by disabling functions within the Office software that allow it to work over the Web. Microsoft has posted a tool for doing that on its website — here. Me, I use OpenOffice.

Bing!  Bang!  Bust! in a Cloudy Office 0

Bing! Bang! Bust! in a Cloudy Office

Last week, I mused about Google’s plans to release the Chrome OS. Today the big tech industry news is that MS plans to challenge Google Docs in the cloud. So today’s question is, does it matter that these companies are trying to encroach on each other’s turf?

No WITH this Week 0

No WITH this Week

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSHad some technical difficulties with the Podcast rig. Something that I will have to work on tomorrow. For now, WITH will have to hold off until next week. In the meantime – here is the last years’ WITH.

Facebook in Power (dot com) Struggle 0

Facebook in Power (dot com) Struggle

Power dot com, an agregator for social networking sites, has sued Facebook over issues of access. The suit, however, is framed in terms of “Who owns users’ data?” The Reuters story (full story here) is short of details of what exactly Power dot com wants to do with the data, but I’m guessing it’s an issue of access. I went to the Power dot com site; it asked me to log into Twitter, LinkedIn, orkut, MySpace, or hi5 with my site password (not a separate Power dot com password). It also offered me the chance to create an account at Twitter, orkut, or hi5 through the Power dot com portal (that function did not display in Opera and did display in Firefox, leading me to conclude that their pop-up script is non-standards-compliant). Facebook was absent from the list.

Day 2 – the iPhone 0

Day 2 – the iPhone

What a difference a day makes…. Apps Well, not really. I am still happy with my purchase. Last night I spent some time working out some of the settings. I also have been getting apps for the phone. The Bug Spray app was not that great. Was really razzing people with the iHandgun app. Drum Kit Lite to rock out and of course Pandora for music.  Can’t forget Stitcher for downloading podcasts (BTW – PODCASTERS – you need to make sure you are on Stitcher). Oh yeah – Peanut Butter Jelly Time. Just so you know, I haven’t paid for any apps yet. I want to get a handle on the store before I started getting the Beer app. Batterrrrrrryyyy….. In 6 hours, I pretty much had to put it back on the charger. I haven’t found a car charger yet – I want a retractable cord charger....

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