Friday, December 31, 2004

Danish students launch open source and shareware beer

Copenhagen Capacity reports: "It is described by the students as 'a great tasting energetic beer and it's the world's first open source beer! It is based on classic ale brewing traditions but with added guarana for a natural energy-boost.'"

Fast Guide to IT Humor

SearchWindowsSecurity has a really good web page with a collection of computer humor.

Office Jargon for the 21st Century

Here is an 'The Office Lexicon' containing office jargon for the 21st century.

For example: '404': Someone who's clueless. From the World Wide Web error message "404 Not Found", meaning that the requested document could not be located.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

The BitTorrent Effect

Like also Wired did a great article about Bram Cohen the creator of BitTorrent. If you would like to know about Bram and the history of BitTorrent read the article.

Interesting fact: Analysts from CacheLogic, an Internet-traffic analysis firm in Cambridge, England, reported that: 'BitTorrent traffic accounts for more than one-third of all data sent across the Internet.'

Here is an excerpt from the article: "Bram Cohen is the creator of BitTorrent, one of the most successful peer-to-peer programs ever. BitTorrent lets users quickly upload and download enormous amounts of data, files that are hundreds or thousands of times bigger than a single MP3."

Netcraft Anti-Phishing Toolbar

Netcraft has release a new IE toolbar to help fight against 'phishing' sites. Phishing sites are fake web site designed to look like legitimate site, but they're designed to steal your private information. This toolbar can help you fight back, by blocking access to these phishing sites.

Here is an excerpt from the site: "The Toolbar community is effectively a giant neighbourhood watch scheme, empowering the most alert and most expert members to defend everyone within the community against phishing frauds. Once the first recipients of a phishing mail have reported the target URL, it is blocked for community members as they subsequently access the URL. Widely disseminated attacks (people constructing phishing attacks send literally millions of electronic mails in the expectation that some will reach customers of the bank) simply mean that the phishing attack will be reported and blocked sooner. "

My only question about this toolbar is 'who watches the watchman'. What I mean by that, how do we know that people won't be blocking legitimate sites for fun.

Knopperdisk (USB Drive Linux)

I am big fan of USB drive version of Linux, and Knopperdisk seem like a cool new distro. Note: A floppy is required to boot the system.

Information from the site: "The USB version is more than just a rescue disk. It's based on Gentoo and contains various other programs/utilities such as network related tools (nmap, ettercap). For a full list go to the 'package list' section. "

I found this site today. The site advertises itself as: "website dedicated to helping you protect yourself from clever scams -- online and offline! You'll find lots of great resources on how to avoid the most popular scams, viruses and urban legends making the rounds."

I have read through some of the site and I am a little skeptical of the content. My suggestion is reader beware, I am not sure if the site is a scam itself. There are some questionable articles.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

The Mother of All CPU Charts (Part 1)

Tom's Hardware Guide has truely producted, the 'Mother of All CPU Charts'. This article includes information and benchmarks for AMD and Intel processors (about 111 CPU) from 1995 To 2005, ranging from 100 MHz To 3800 MHz.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Adobe Reader 7.0

Adobe Reader 7.0 is ready for download. If you use the popular document reader and want to have the latest reader here it is.

Some of the new features are:
  • Improved system performance.
  • Allows saving files attached to PDF documents, and open them in their native applications.
  • Markup PDF documents.
  • And more...

2004 Year-End Google Zeitgeist

Like most search engines, Google breaks down the most popular searches for the year and makes them available to you. This information is based on the billions of searches conducted with Google from different users around the world, for 2004.

Also check out the 2004 Interactive Zeitgeist.

2.5" Battery-Powered USB Enclosure

Do you need a battery-powered USB disk enclosure that allows you to offload data from digital camera and MP3 player. This drive enclosure is 2.5", has an aluminum casae, and operates with AA batteries.

Longhorn Developer Center

Want to keep up-to-date with the latest developments and information about Longhorn, then check out the 'Longhorn Developer Center'.


A similar site, like the OpenCD Project. This site seems to specialize in showing open source alternatives to commercial Windows software.

Remote-Controlled Digital Picture Frame (Project)

Want to recycle an old laptop, try creating a remote-controlled digital picture frame from it. Check out this project.

I came across this site today. If you're looking for free and clean (no adware or spyware) software, check out: " is a resource to help Windows users find the best free daily-use software, free from nasties: adware, spyware, harmful/intrusive components, and threats to privacy. "

TheOpenCD Project

There are a lot of great open source programs on the Web, and some are definitely better then others. The TheOpenCD Project put together a kind of 'best of the best' open source CD. This is not all inclusive CD, but it is a really good collection of free open source software.

This is an except from the site: "The OpenCD project aims to introduce users of MS-Windows to the benefits of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). We include only the highest quality programs, which have been carefully tested for stability and which we consider appropriate for a broad audience."

Saturday, December 25, 2004

To Clone or Not to Clone? (Article)

Wired News report: "The first cloned-to-order pet sold in the United States is named Little Nicky, a 9-week-old kitten delivered to a Texas woman saddened by the loss of a cat she had owned for 17 years.

The kitten cost its owner $50,000 and was created from DNA from her beloved cat, named Nicky, who died last year."

Friday, December 24, 2004

Google Linux Cluster (Video)

I won't hide the the fact that I am big fan of Google and it's services. I am also fasniated by the infrastructure and technology that runs this search engine titan.

Google Fellow Urs Hölzle explains how the Google search engine is designed, and how it works. Also, If you don't understand Google's Page Rank technology there is a good explaination of the technology during the presentation.

Below are some Google Statististics:
- 100,000 Linux servers (according the to the NY Times)
- 8.5 billion pages indexed
- 150 million queries a day
- Nearly 100% uptime

For more information, check out the following article.

The video has a 58-minute runtime.

EPIC 2014 (Humor)

Watch a future history of the media. It is a real interesting Flash movie about about the future mediascape, which is ruled by Googlezon.

More in this 8-minute video.

Rockstar Classics (Free Downloads)

Rockstar Games is giving away classics versions of GTA (Grand Theft Auto) for FREE, so get them while it's hot. All that is required is that you fill out a form at the bottom of the page.

If you're concern about your privacy, make sure to read Rockstar's privacy policy.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Santa Tracking Sites

Santa is coming soon, and your kids might want to know where he is in the sky on Christmas Eve. So there are a few sites that can help you track Santa's travel:
  • Norad: Tracking Santa is a holiday tradition. There are some nice Christmas MP3s here.
  • Santa Radar: With a radar system on the front page and everything.

Movies in ASCII Format

Watch popular movie clips in ASCII text format. It is interesting site to say the least.

ASCII art was made popular back in the days of text only terminals hooked to large and small multi-user computers. Some amazing works of art have been created of the last few decades.

Portable Firefox 1.0 (USB Drive-Friendly) presents: "Portable Firefox is a fully functional package of Firefox optimized for use on a USB key drive."

For those of you who like your privacy, this seems like a great idea.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

OpenOffice 2.0 Nears Beta Testing (Article)

EWeek reports: "The latest prebeta edition, Snapshot Build 1.9.m65 (680_m65), is feature-complete and reveals an office suite that includes a personal DBMS (database management system) and improved Microsoft Office file compatibility."

Will Linux, OpenOffice, Firefox and ThunderBird kill Microsoft Windows and Windows? Time will tell.

Build Your Own Windows Media Center PC (Article)

There is a great article on ExtremeTech that shows you how to build your own Windows Media Center PC. This is not a cheap system, but if you want to DIY it then here is a good place to start.

$550 Notebook Computer With Wireless Networking from Walmart

Walmart is selling a $550 notebook computer with 802.11b wireless networking and Windows XP Home Edition. This is not a high-end laptop, but it would be good for someone who wants to surf the Internet, and do basic tasks such as word processing, etc. Gamers need not apply for this laptop.

Note: This deal is only available online.

- 1.1 GHz Mobile AMD Athlon 4 processor
- 14.1" XGA TFT LCD screen
- 40 GB hard drive
- 128 MB RAM
- DVD-ROM drive
- Integrated 802.11b wireless networking
- Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition

If you do by this laptop the first thing you need to do is upugrade the RAM. The computer sets aside part of the main system memory for video. So, you will only have access to 112MB of RAM or less for the OS and your applications.

This seems like a great computer for that college student of yours. I have never used one, I would recommend checking it out.

New IE Exploit Spoofs Web Sites (Security)

eWeek reports: "Security researchers have uncovered a spoofing flaw in Internet Explorer that could allow a scammer to display a fake Web site with all of the attributes of a genuine, secure site."

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Happy Chrismahanukwanzakah

I don't care for political correctness, but like everything it has its time and place. I also know everyone doesn't believe in Jesus Christ, or celebrate Christmas. So for those people who get easily offended, "Happy Chrismahanukwanzakah".

For those who have a sense of humor, check out these site:

IBM researchers eye 100TB tape drive

ComputerWorld reports: "ALMADEN, Calif. -- IBM has begun work on new technologies designed to boost the capacity of tape storage devices by 250 times. Using "nanopatterning" techniques derived from the company's microprocessor division, researchers say they expect to one day build cartridges that can store as much as 100TB of data."

"Hacker" version of Google!

Google has a 'Google in your Language' feature, which allows you to search the Internet using any language. Google now provides their search engine in a language called 'Leet', which is a cipher created by hackers.

Slate Posts's Customer Service Number

I hate when companies hide customer service numbers from their own customers. I could tell about a few companies that forced me search for their customer service numbers, and I had to find them in a very round about way. So if you're looking customer service number, it is: 1-800-201-7575.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Ready for ZigBee?

Do you know what ZigBee is? A quote for the linked ExtremeEech says, "ZigBee is poised to become the leading wireless technology for a myriad of uses ranging from building automation to industrial and residential applications."

It looks like an interesting technology, lets see what happens...

Microsoft Makes 'Giant' Anti-Spyware Acquisition

EWeek reports, "Microsoft Corp. has bought into the anti-spyware business. Just two months after Chairman Bill Gates dropped a strong hint that Microsoft planned to do something about the spyware scourge, the Redmond, Wash., company announced the acquisition of Giant Company Software, a New York-based startup with a highly rated anti-spyware application."

Microsoft also recently bought an anti-virus software company.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

MoleSter - The Smallest File-Sharing Application

Matthew Skala created 'MoleSter', the smallest P2P file-sharing application composed of only 9 lines of Perl code. The competition began when Dr. Edward Felten posted a P2P program that was written with Python that was 15 lines.

Personal note: I don't promote the use of trading copyright material over any medium, but I will promote innovation.

Intel's Execute Disable Bit and Windows XP Service Pack 2

Intel provides the following Flash demo that talks about the Execute Disable Bit (NX) in their Pentium processors. This demo is all market propaganda, but if you don't understand the propaganda technology it might help explain the it for you.

I generally don't like to post links like this, but I thought the demo was pretty good.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Ecobot Eats Dead Flies for Fuel

Wired News reports: "Researchers at the University of the West of England, Bristol, are working on creating autonomous robots that power themselves using substances found in the environment. Professors Chris Melhuish and John Greenman plan to give robots their very own guts -- artificial digestive systems and the corresponding metabolisms that will allow robots to digest food."

This is an interesting article about robots with a digestion system.

Taking Advantage Of Technology

I just found this site today, its called ''. This site is not about computer hacking, it is about consumer hardware hacking. Below is the site description from the home page:

"Electronics are everywhere, and technology drives pretty much everything we do in today's world. We show you how to take advantage of these electronics to make them faster, give them added features, or to do things they were never intended to do.

We are not a 'cracking' site, we are hackers. Our inquisitive nature leads us to find ways of making technology work for us. We do not support unauthorized access into systems, breaking into email systems, or anything of that nature. Please do not email me asking me how to do this type of stuff.

Please enjoy your stay, check out the articles, and submit some of your own. As a community we can share our tips/tricks/and hacks with each other. The's 'Most Wanted' are articles that we are currently looking for articles to be written about."

Blockbuster plans to end late fees in 2005

Associated Press reports, "Blockbuster Inc., the nation's biggest movie rental company, plans to eliminate late fees on games and movies as of Jan. 1."

Now if Blockbuster can do something about their high prices...

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

The 48 Hour Film Project - 2004

I learned about the 'The 48 Hour Film Project' last year on TechTV. It looks like something that would be fun to do if you have few creative friends, some digital film/editing equipment, and 48 hours.

If you don't know about the 'The 48 Hour Film Project', this is a brief description of what it is from their site: "The 48 Hour Film Project-an international film making competition where teams have just two days to make a short film from scratch-is back and bigger than ever."

Xandros Desktop OS 3 Deluxe Edition (Review)

ExtremeTech reports: "We frequently get the same question from our readers in the ExtremeTech forum: I want to get rid of Windows, so which Linux distribution should I try? Now we have a definite answer: Get Xandros. With the release of version 3, the Xandros folks have finally come up with a full-blown replacement for Windows on the desktop. New stuff in this release includes a VPN wizard, a firewall wizard, encrypted home folders, DVD burning, and a number of other goodies. "

Google to Scan Books From Big Libraries

eWeek reports: "Google Inc. is trying to establish an online reading room for five major libraries by scanning stacks of hard-to-find books into its widely used Internet search engine."

Visual Studio: Order Your Free Partner Product DVD

I don't know if this will be of interest to anyone, but you can get a free DVD from Microsoft filled with Visual Studio evaluation products.

Here is an excerpt from Microsoft's site "Order this free DVD and receive over 65 tools, components and languages from Visual Studio Industry Partners. These full version and evaluation products can help save you time and money building applications for Microsoft Windows, mobile devices, the Web, and Web services."

Monday, December 13, 2004

Computer Advertising Terms Defined (Humor)

Have you ever read those marketing terms in technogoly advertisements and wondered what they actually meant. When this list reveals the truth about what these terms really mean:
  • NEW: Different color from previous design.
  • ALL NEW: Parts are not interchangeable with previous design.
  • EXCLUSIVE: Imported product.
  • UNMATCHED: Almost as good as the competition.
  • FOOLPROOF OPERATION: No provision for adjustments.
  • ADVANCED DESIGN: The advertising agency doesn't understand it.
  • IT'S HERE AT LAST: Rush job. Nobody knew it was coming.
  • FIELD TESTED: Manufacturer lacks test equipment.
  • HIGH ACCURACY: Unit on which all parts fit.
  • FUTURISTIC: No other reason why it looks the way it does.
  • REDESIGNED: Previous flaws fixed: we hope.
  • DIRECT SALES ONLY: Factory had a big argument with distributor.
  • YEARS OF DEVELOPMENT: We finally got one to work.
  • BREAKTHROUGH: We finally figured out a use for it.
  • MAINTENANCE FREE: Impossible to fix.
  • MEETS ALL STANDARDS: Ours, not yours.
  • SOLID-STATE: Heavy as anything!
  • HIGH RELIABILITY: We made it work long enough to ship it.

HP Digital Entertainment Center z545 (Review)

PC Magazine reviews: "The HP Digital Entertainment Center z545 provides everything you'd want in a Media Center PC for the living room. One box replaces the DVD player, CD changer, FM tuner, and DVR. Finally: a PC your significant other won't toss out of the living room! Just don't misplace the remote. "

This is probably the best media center PC I have seen to date. The only things it is lacking for me so far is satellite or digital cable and HDTV support.

Declaration of Annexation of The United Kingdom as Part of the USA

This a very funny web post about the "Declaration of Annexation of The United Kingdom as Part of the USA", which is really a counter response to another web post called "Home Office (London, UK) to the People of America".

Operation Codename Generator (Humor)

The Network Computing site offers a special service on their site called the "Operation Codename Generator". It kind of an interesting application, and you might want to check it out.

This is a description this application from Network Computing's web site: "You've heard all those great military code names for various missions, names like Enduring Freedom, Operation Desert Storm, Golden Pheasant. Well now you can use our interactive Codename Generator for your own IT operations. Don't settle for boring names like 'Verity Upgrade.' Try 'Infinite Justice' on for size and impress your coworkers with a name more fitting to your herculean task. "

Longhorn Supports IPv6 By Default

Microsoft’s new Longhorn OS will have IPv6 and IPv4 enabled by default. Also if users want they can turn IPv4, and run IPv6 only.

To read the story go to Government Computer News.

Windows 2003 Server SP1

A few days ago I reported that Microsoft has released Windows 2003 Server SP1 Release Cannidate 1. What I didn't tell you about was some of the new security enhancements that come as part of this service pack:

  • A new Windows Firewall, that protects the server and works around client and server connecting to it on your network.
  • Post-Setup Security Updates (PSSU) and Security Config Wizard (SCW), which lock down the computer to help prevent it being hacked.
  • IE includes updates to prevent unintentional downloads of malicious code.
  • A new HotPatching feature allows you to apply updates to drivers, APIs or any non-kernel level component to the system without rebooting.
  • Stronger defaults and privilege reduction on services such as RPC and DCOM;
  • Support for Intel and AMD processors that have the NX (Non-eXecute) instruction to prevents malicious code attacks that try to use stack overflows.

For a technical overview, see the following web page.

Put Your Cell Phone On 'The Do Not Call List'

In a few weeks, cell phone numbers are going to be released to telemarketing companies and you could start to receive sales calls.

If you don't have your cell phone number on the National 'Do Not Call List', I would suggest that you do it now! If you don't know about this site, this list will tells telemarketers not to call phone numbers you register for 5 years.

You have been warned...

Saturday, December 11, 2004

New Google Suggest

Try out Google's new Suggest feature. The way it works is, as you type Google will offer suggestions. Then you can use the arrow keys to navigate the results.

Intel updates 2005 CPU plans

Ars Technica Reports: "...Intel has done an about-face and now plans to release 64-bit desktop CPUs beginning in 2005. The change in plans was triggered by the success rival chipmaker AMD has seen with its Athlon 64 line, along with the arrival of Windows XP 64-bit Professional x64 Edition (that's a mouthful) during the first half of 2005..."

Friday, December 10, 2004

More PI, Please

Want to see PI to its 4,400 place. If that's not enough PI, then there is a link that points to zip file you can download that contains another file displays PI to its 10 million digit.

Free Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 E-Learning

Microsoft is offering free E-Learning Clinics on Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2). These clinics provide the technical information and training you need for:

  • Deploying and Administering Windows XP SP2
  • Developing and Maintaining Applications on Windows XP SP2

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 Release Candidate

Microsoft announced the immediate availability of the release candidate of
Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1). SP1 is a security-oriented update, similar to some of the security updates Service Pack 2 for Windows XP.

This is a 'release candidate' which means that Microsoft believe it is almost ready for release, but it is suitable for testing purposes. Make sure to read the release notes for all the latest news, update, work arounds, etc.

The final version of the service pack is expected to be released in the first half of 2005. See the Windows Server Product Roadmap, for the most up-to-date product release information.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Dual Standard HD-DVD Disks

Toshiba and Memory-Tech claimed to have developed a new dual-layer DVD disk that can be use regular DVD disk, or as a new High-Definition (HD) DVD disk (which can store 15 GB of data). This allows the disks to be played in the current generation of DVD players, as well as the next generation HD-DVD players.

Floating Screen

PC Magazine reports: "Mitsubishi has announced plans to introduce the Scopo next year. This headset with an eye-sized, eye-level LCD creates the illusion that a 10-inch display is in front of the viewer. The display is not positioned directly on the user's face, so external surroundings remain visible."

This is a cool concept, I will be excited to see all the applications.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Mozilla Releases Thunderbird 1.0

Mozilla’s released Thunderbird 1.0 email client today. So, if you’re still using Outlook or Outlook Express, you should consider upgrading to Thunderbird. Thunderbird has some great features, like SPAM filtering, and an integrated RSS reader.

The best news is that it is all free.

Cybersecurity for the Homeland report

Kevin Rose from The ScreenSavers on G4TechTV has posted a copy of the US Congress's “Cybersecurity for the Homeland” report on his web site The Broken. This report is set to be released on Monday, so here is your chance to see it before it is release.

This report is in a PDF format and it is 41 pages long. The image quality of the document is pretty mediocre but very readable, you call tell that all the pages were scanned form a paper document.

Sign Up to Try Windows Update Services

Test Windows Update Services (WUS), the next version of the update management solution currently known as Software Update Services (SUS).

Monday, December 06, 2004

Internet2 Speed Record: Four Times As Fast

Extremetech Reports: "A sustained transfer of 101 gigabits per second between Pittsburgh and Los Angeles over Internet2. That's the speed hit by an international team lead by Caltech last week, the second year in a row the 'High Energy Physics' team has won the Supercomputer Bandwidth Challenge."

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Gift Idea - TV Watch

For the geek that likes to watch a lot of T.V., check out this product. It a fully functional watch, with a 1.5-inch TFT LCD monitor. It includes Sony PLL synthesized micro TV tuner, and
allows you to view channels: VHF 1-12, UHF 13-62.

Weather Data for the Masses

Wired News reports: "The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration this week began providing weather data in an open-access XML format, alleviating concerns that commercial providers would continue to play a dominant role in how weather data gets to the public. "

This is good news if your an amateur meteorologist...

Friday, December 03, 2004

Unprotected PCs can be hijacked in minutes reports: "Simply connecting to the Internet - and doing nothing else - exposes your PC to non-stop, automated break-in attempts by intruders looking to take control of your machine surreptitiously."

Go to the site for the rest of the story...

- Install a firewall
- Patch your system and applications
- Use an current antivirus software, with up-to-date definitions

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Hate annoying Flash ads, try FlashBang...

"FlashBang is a very simple application. Upon installation it adds an icon to your standard toolbar in Internet Explorer." Check out the site for more information.

Free online credit reports begin Wednesday

CNET reports: "Consumers in 13 Western states will be able to grab free online copies of their credit reports starting Wednesday, as a new federal law is phased in."

Prevent Identy Thief and check your credit report.

Sun's IE Java Plug-In Could Bug You (Security)

PC Magazine reports: "The Java Plug-In is software from Sun Microsystems that ties the Java Virtual Machine to web browsers. It includes a facility for allowing Javascript in web pages to make calls in to the Java VM. Flaws in this interface allow an attacker to execute Java code outside of the protective Java sandbox, which normally prevents Java programs from misbehaving. "

Go to their site to get all the details and the work around.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Lycos Offers Windows Screensaver Which Allows You to DDOS Spammers

Lockergnome .com reports: "Lycos Europe is offering a controversial new screen saver to Windows users (and Mac, as well). Marketing it under the 'Make Love, Not Spam' banner, the screensaver is designed to send requests to view a known spam source's website. The idea is that when a large number of users are all running the screensaver,that during those user's downtime (i.e. when the screensaver is active), it will effectively clog the spam server's resources."