Monday, November 29, 2004


An interesting new e-commerce concept, its called 'Woot!' They will post a product on their site for 24 hour exactly, at what seems to be pretty good prices. Check it out for yourself.

Now, the question is it real, or a scam... Remember: Buyer beware, I don't know anything about this company.

Free 411 via SMS

If you hate to calling 411 because it cost you $1.25 per call, you now have a free alternative. You can now lookup a phone number and address for free using your cell phone and SMS (Short Message Service). All you have to do is send a query via SMS, and you will receive a text reply with the information requested.

Google SMS offers the most extensive SMS 411 service, it provides phone numbers and addresses. All you have to do is send a query like 'gas 34562' to '46645' (which 'GOOGL' on most phones). Google SMS will reply with all the phone and address information for gas stations in that ZIP code.

There is also another service called Synfonic that offers for phone and address information, and much more. All you have to do is send an SMS query to 650-430-7183, and you'll receive a reply within a few seconds. For more information goto to Synfonic web site.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Anti-Spyware Test (Guide)

Most adware/spyware detection and removal tools today, are failing to detect and remove these parasites. These parasitic programs are growing in number, complexity, and sophisitication everyday.

Researcher Eric Howes a graduate student at the University of Illinois has recently issued failing grades on all anti-spyware scanners he tested during a two-week stretch in October. Eric Howes found that the best-performing anti-spyware scanner failed to detect about 25 percent of the "critical" files and registry entries installed by these malicious programs.

In my own unscientific test Last night, I scaned my wife's mother computer with (Pest Patrol owns the web site). It found 80 parasites, it first used Spybot Search and Destroy which found some ad tracking cookies. Then I used the freeware version of Adaware, and it found some more cookies and some parasites. Then I reran, and I still found problems.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Piece of PI (Humor)

Check out this URL if you have not noticed it's Pi. If you load the web page it will display an infinite page full of numbers.

RFC 3514 - The Security Flag in the IPv4 Header (Humor)

RFC 3514 - Talks about the 'Security Flag' in the IPv4 Header, known as the 'evil bit'. This RFC is very funny if you understand the TCP/IP protocol, it really is an April Fools joke posted in April of 2003. Save this for next April 1st, and give it to your company's Network administrator, and see if they fall for it.

GPL 3 to Take on IP, Patents

EWeek reports "With a relatively hostile environment that has pitted proprietary software against open source as a backdrop, the Free Software Foundation, the steward of the GNU General Public License, is working on the first revamp to the license in 13 years."

Sunday, November 21, 2004

America Supports You

The Defense Department has launched a new web site called 'America Supports You', it allows Americans to express their support for the men and women of the armed forces.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Microsoft Windows Update Services Evaluation

Microsoft has create a website for people to evaluate the new Windows Update Services (WUS). You have to complete the registration process to receive the files needed to install the product. The download is approximately 78.4 MB in size.

Note: WUS requires Background Intelligent Transfer Services (BITS) 2.0 beta to be installed. BITS enables the download of updates in the background using available network bandwidth. - Gates world's most spammed person reports that Bill Gates is the world's most spammed person. He receives 4 million emails per day, most of it spam.

Internet Porn: Worse than Crack?

Wired News reports: "Internet pornography is the new crack cocaine, leading to addiction, misogyny, pedophilia, boob jobs and erectile dysfunction, according to clinicians and researchers testifying before a Senate committee Thursday."

Wi-Fi Antenna

If you have a Wi-Fi network (802.11a/b/g), then you need to understand the importance of your Wireless Access Point's (WAP) antenna. The better your antenna, the better the transmissions signal will be for sending and receiving data.

Like most people you're probably using the standard antennas that came with your WAP. These antennas provide you with a few hundred feet of signal transmission strength, as long as it is not impeded by walls or other type of interference (such as microwaves, other Wi-Fi networks, etc..). By using a better antenna, the farther your signal will go and the better it will be received.

The needs of your Wi-Fi network, will determine the type of antenna you need. For example, there are several different types of antennas, like: unidirectional, omnidirectional, etc.. Each type of antenna, does something different, the omnidirectional antenna send the signal out in all directions, and unidirectional only sends the signal in one direction.

Wi-Fi Antenna Resources:

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Google Scholar

Google Scholar allow you to search scholarly literature, including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from all broad areas of research. Use Google Scholar to find articles from a wide variety of academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and universities, as well as scholarly articles available across the web.

Scratch Resistant DVD

CNET reports: "Researchers at electronics giant TDK have developed a tough new coating that promises to make scratched DVDs a thing of the past"

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Ontrack Data Recovery Announces 2004 Top 10 List Of Data Disasters (Humor)

"Ontrack Data Recovery has unveiled its annual Top Ten list of the strangest and funniest computer mishaps."

IBM Creates Grid to Unraveling Disease

I.B.M. plans to create Grid project that harness unused computing power from millions of personal computers on the Internet to help unlock the genetic mysteries of illnesses like AIDS, Alzheimer's disease, malaria and cancer. The project, called the World Community Grid, was developed in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health, the World Health Organization, the United Nations and other organizations. The goal is to combine computer resources and the shared knowledge of researchers to accelerate the pace of scientific discovery.

Some U.S. voters did not agree with the results of the last election. So one individual took it upon himself to setup a website to apologize to the world. The web site is known as '', and was launched the day after the election. The site features a picture of, James Zetlen (the site's creator), holding a 'Sorry World' sign. This web site has gotten million of hits, and has received hundred of images from people around the world.

In response, President Bush supporters have launched other websites, like

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

New Version of Acrobat, and Yahoo Doubles its Free Storage

Wired reports: "Adobe has upgraded its flagship desktop publishing products, giving powerful new features to not only the authors of electronic documents but also their recipients."

Wired reports: "Yahoo is more than doubling its limits on free e-mail storage in its latest move to combat two of its biggest rivals, Google and Microsoft. E-mail accountholders will get up to 250 MB of free storage, up from 100 MB previously offered by Yahoo (YHOO)."

Wired News: Sun to Roll Out Free Solaris OS

Wired reports "After investing roughly $500 million and spending years of development time on its next-generation operating system, Sun Microsystems on Monday will announce an aggressive price for the software -- free."

Trial Shows How Spammers Operate

Excerpt from EWeek article: "As one of the world's most prolific spammers, Jeremy Jaynes pumped out at least 10 million e-mails a day with the help of 16 high-speed lines, the kind of Internet capacity a 1,000-employee company would need."

Monday, November 15, 2004

Check Your Phishing IQ? (v2.0)

Due to the popularity of their first their Phishing IQ Test, MailFrontier has released version 2.0. This test will show you how much you know and don't know about phishing scam, and how to spot them.

There are 10 new phishing scams that have been added to the test, and all them were actually received by real people. When you're finished taking the test you will be taken to a page where you can download a white paper, entitled 'Ten Tips for Finding a Fish.' You will also be offered a trial version of their MailFrontier Desktop and MailFrontier Gateway.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Is Encryption Doomed?

Technology Review reports: "Our entire information society rests on a fragile foundation that mathematicians are racing to dismantle."

Article: Spacecrafts powered by thunder news service reports: "Thunderous sound waves could one day propel spacecraft to the edge of the solar system, say engineers who have developed a new type of acoustic engine."

Favorite Quote from the Internet

"May the fleas of a thousand camels infest the crotch of the RealPlayer developer who decided to stick icons in my system tray, Startup menu, and desktop, and may his arms be too short to scratch."
-Snarfed from Internet, author unknown.

MSN Search (Preview)

Microsoft has released a preview of their new MSN Search technology. Microsoft's is trying to challenge Google and Yahoo for the search engine king's crown. Which IMHO belongs to Google (side note: Google announced a few days ago that they have indexed 8 billion pages on the Internet).

New features in the preview are:
- Ways to adjust results by such measures as popularity and timeliness by moving sliding gauges on a secondary page.
- Ways fine-tune the results by limiting them to a local region.
- Answers to questions posed in natural language. For example, asking "What is the 10 times 2?". This feature is kind of cool, but it only can answer certain questions.

Free Virus Protection

If you're looking for free anti-virus software for your computer, below are some sites that offer this software:

- AVG Anti-Virus
- avast! 4 Home Edition

If you need scan or clean your system without downloading and installing a whole software application, check out these sites.

- BitDefender
- Trend Micro Housecall

Thursday, November 11, 2004 2.0 (Snapshot)

The (OOo) project has published a preview release of their OOo v2.0 application suite. For more information about the new feature, see the following article: 2.0 Office Suite - Guide to New Features.

Photo Story 3

Microsoft has released Photo Story 3 for Windows XP, the newest version of the digital photo slideshow application that was previously part of the Plus! Digital Media Edition add-on pack for Windows XP. The software is available free for download to anyone with a 'genuine copy' of Windows XP.

The application has a easy interface for turning your photos into animated videos, which can include music, voice-over narration, text, and visual effects. Some new functionality includes:
  • Fundamental photo editing tools for color correction, red-eye retouching, and image rotating and cropping.
  • You can create more nuanced effects such as rendering a photograph as a watercolor, as a negative, or in sepia tone.
  • Templates that can be sent by e-mail to compatible devices that support these formats, such as Microsoft Portable Media Centers, Pocket PCs, and Windows-based Smartphones.
  • And much more.

Check out the Photo Story 3 web site for examples, details, and tips.

Note: This software requires Windows XP, DirectX 9.0c, and Windows Media Player 10 to be able to use it.

Gigaset M34 USB

Siemens Information and Communication Mobile (AKA Siemens Mobile) has released a new device called Gigaset M34 USB adapter, it provides internet telephony (VoIP) and messaging (such as: instant messaging, emails, etc.) solutions for cordless phone device. This device was developed in partnership with Skype, and their SkypeOut service.

The way the Gigaset M34 USB adapter works is that it plugs in your computer USB port, then plugs in your cordless phone. When you make long distance or international calls it uses the SkypeOut service to perform VoIP communications. The device also offer an open interface to enable third party developers to integrate their phones and applications into the device.

The Gigaset M34 USB adapter is suppose to be available in Europe as of September
2004. More information about the Gigaset is available on Siemens web site.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004


FlightTracker is one of these really cool Internet resources, IMHO. It allows you to graphically track almost any flight in the air. Be forewarned the site appears to be busy, so it might not always be available.

To see how it works, press the 'Track Flight' button under the section 'Track a Sample Flight' towards the top.

The 1-Box, with 10-1 Computing

Since modern computers sit mostly idle even when you're using them. A company called Userful has released a computer called '1-Box' that allows one PC to support up to ten workstations. Each user only requires a standard monitor, USB keyboard and mouse.

Review: Ten Extensions Enhance FireFox

It seems like everyone is talking about FireFox the stripped down browser from Since Firefox is designed a minimalist's browser, this article provides a brief introduction to some the extensions that are available for it. An extension is simply an add-on that extends the browser functionality.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Internet Video Links

I might have posted some of these videos before, but if you have none seen them then you may want to watch them. All of these movies are Windows Media Player format, and some of them contain semi-adult content (ie: language, but no nudity).

New PS2 for the Holidays

Sony recently repackaged its older PlayStation 2 (PS/2) into a new smaller form factor. The newer system is now about the size of hardcover book. In fact, the older system now looks huge next to its newer sibling.

The new PS/2 system is slated to go on sale in November. The new system is designed to be more portable, and is now about half the weight of the orginal system.

There is rumor that the PS/3 (if that is what they call it), might come out at next year's E3 show in May. It is suppose to support the new Blu-Ray discs (which have 54GB of storage).

Hacking: Fight Back - How A Criminal Might Infiltrate Your Network

This article does not show you how to hack into someone system, but it show how attackers can take advantage of your mistakes to break into your system. This article also shows you how to avoid the common pitfalls that attackers can exploit.

Brief quote from article: "One of the great mysteries in security management is the modus operandi of criminal hackers. If you don't know how they can attack you, how can you protect yourself from them?"

Monday, November 08, 2004

Damn Small Linux

Check out Damn Small Linux, it is a great Linux distribution for USB flash drives and older computers. It doesn't require a lot of RAM or storage space. It can be run USB flash drive, CD, or off the hard drive.

Below is a quote from the site about the applications it includes:

Damn Small Linux has a nearly complete desktop, including XMMS (MP3, and MPEG), FTP client, Dillo web browser, links-hacked web browser, spreadsheet, Sylpheed email, spellcheck (US English), a word-processor (Ted-GTK), four editors (SciTe, nVi, Zile [emacs clone], and Nano [Pico clone]), graphics editing and viewing (Xpaint, and xzgv), Xpdf, emelFM (file manager), Naim (AIM, ICQ, IRC), VNCviwer, Rdesktop, SSH/SCP server and client, DHCP client, PPP, PPPoE (ADSL), a web server, calculator, generic and GhostScript printer support, NFS, Fluxbox window manager, games, system monitoring apps, a host of command line tools, USB support, and pcmcia support, some wireless support. For more information check out the applications pages.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Microsoft Security Bulletin Advanced Notification Program

Microsoft announced that they will soon be making their 'Early Notification Program' opened to everyone. This program used to be only available to certain Microsoft customers, but now they're opening it to everyone. The formal name of this program will be 'Microsoft Security Bulletin Advanced Notification Program'.

The program will start in November, and consist of a public web page and an email notification list. Each email notifications will include a brief amount of information about each of the upcoming security bulletins three business days before the regular monthly release date. No specific information about the vulnerabilities will be released in this notification. The notification will include information about number of security bulletins being released, their expected severity rating, and a list of affected products.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Mounting ISO Images as Virtual CD-ROM Drive

Have you ever wanted to be able to mount a ISO image on the desktop so you didn't have to burn it to a CD. Other time, you may need to access the files in an ISO image, and you don't want to waste a CD to do it.

Check out these utilities, they allow you to mount ISO image or burn them to CDs if you like:

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Learning HTML and CSS

Have you wanted to learn HTML and CSS. There are several web sites out there that offer help.

The sites listed below are a great places to start:

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Digital Negative (DNG)

Adobe has released its Digital Negative (DNG) software, that converts digital camera Raw file formats that are generally proprietary
into a common format that can be read by Adobe products, and any other product that supports the format. The DNG software is free for you to download, and supports 60+ digital raw file formats.

Epson Fabricated World's First Ultra-Thin Multilayer Circuit Board With Inkjet Technology

Epson has created world's first ultra-thin multilayer circuit board using inkjet technology. The board was 20 layers thick, and was created with conductive and non-conductive inks.

Interesting Web Sites

Here are some interesting links that I have not posted yet:
  • Listen to live Air Traffic Controller audio feed over the Internet. This is for those unique individuals that enjoy this stuff.
  • Check out Maukie the Cat, it cute but useless.
  • For those followers of the Darwin award check out the nominees.
  • Greasecar vegetable Fuel Systems allow mechanically injected diesel vehicles to run on straight, filtered vegetable oil.