Thursday, March 31, 2005

Google New Results Prefetching Feature

Google added a new controversial search feature for Firefox and Mozilla users (Sorry, I.E. and other browser users this feature is not supported yet in your browser). It allows your browser to start downloading the top search results before you click on it. This feature allows your destination pages to load faster than before.

There is some debate about the PROs and CONs of this feature. Some people like it, and others worry about what your browser could be downloading without your knowledge.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Gummi bears defeat fingerprint sensors (Article)

The Register reports how easy it is to defeat fingerprint biometric systems, here is an excerpt from the article: "A Japanese cryptographer has demonstrated how fingerprint recognition devices can be fooled using a combination of low cunning, cheap kitchen supplies and a digital camera."

The Ultimate Toilet (Just What You Needed...)

Here is the ultimate toilet, if that is your thing. I don't like posting such weird stuff, but this thing just got my attention.

Here is an excerpt from a brief article on this toilet, "Toto's new 'Intelligence Toilet' system brings health measurements only a bathroom away. For mere thousands of dollars, the Intelligence Toilet system will measure urine sugar, blood pressure, body fat and weight on a daily basis." That's not all, "Sony Online Entertainment has announced the next version of Everquest will interface with this as well, so creating an in-game likeness of yourself is as easy as going to the bathroom."

In my humble opinion this product is just dumb and a waste of money. Who would want to spend a few thousand dollars on a toilet? If you have this much money just burning a hole in your pocket and you want to buy this thing. Go over to your current toilet, open it up put the money in and just flush it. This will save you the trouble of having to install this thing.

Monday, March 28, 2005

World's Smallest Linux Box Fits in RJ-45 Jack

German electronics company Kleinhenz is shipping a network-enabled Linux system built into an RJ-45 Ethernet jack. "Picotux" has a 55MHz ARM processor, 2MB of Flash, 8MB of RAM, a serial port, and five lines of GPIO. It measures 0.75 x 0.75 x 1.4 inches (19 x 19 x 36mm), and weighs 0.64 ounces (18 grams), packaged in a metal housing. A wireless 802.11 version appears to be on the horizon, too.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

French Military Victories (Humor)

You have to see this web page to appreciate it. Also check out the cover this new French miltary magazine.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Free Tax e-Filing

Intuit the maker of TurboTax, is offering a free Tax e-Filing service for people who are going to submit a 1040EZ or standard federal tax form (i.e.: 1040 and 1040A).

Although, if you want more advance services you will have to pay $29.95 for their premier service. See the site for more information about your different options.

Note: State tax eFiling is an additional charge.

Optical Camouflage (Believe It, or Not)

Optical Camouflage technology seems like stuff out of science fiction, but at the same time when you first see it looks somewhat primitive.

When I first saw this technology demonstrated, a little less then a year ago. I thought the idea was pretty cool, but I also saw that it had a long way to advance in its current form. The way this technology works is by projecting a background image on to a 'masked object', and it appears that the object is virtually transparent.

Then I visited this web site today. I am not sure if the technology has advanced significantly since I first saw it or if I have finally seen a decent demonstration of its capabilities. Watch some of the QuickTime movies and judge for yourself.

Segway's Next Big Thingamajig

Popular Science reports Dean Kamen's next generation Segway (if thats really what it is). Its hard to describe exactly what it is without seeing it. When you first look at it, you might think it is an adult four wheel bike. You really need to see the slideshow to get a better appreciation for it.

Engineering a Better Bulb (Popular Science)

This is an interesting article that talks about the inefficiencies of modern lightbulbs, and suggests a new alternative. They estimated that we can save about US$35 billion dollars here in America by changing our production away from the traditional tungsten lightbulbs to a newer zinc oxide type bulb.

Here is an excerpt from the Popular Science article: "The lightbulb has remained virtually unchallenged since Edison invented it more than a century ago, but now scientists believe that zinc oxide-the same chemical that keeps diaper rash at bay-could provide a much-needed alternative to the inefficient lights that dominate our homes."

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Firefox 1.0.2 is Available

Firefox 1.0.2 is now available for download. This update primarily just contains known security fixes. It is advisable that you download and install this update as soon as possible to ensure that your computer remains secure.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Microsoft Shares Longhorn Networking Details

Here is the latest news that I found on Microsoft's next generation operating system code name 'Longhorn'. This article talks about some of the new networking capabilities of the new OS. Although, it only contains limited details

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Phone Phishing, Spoofing and SPIT

Criminals are now using VoIP (Voice over IP) technology to fool caller ID systems by spoofing phone numbers. This could allow fraudsters to impersonate your bank or other financial institutions by spoofing their phone number. Then try to persuade you into revealing your personal information to commit fraud or identity theft.

Debt collectors and private investigators are also using this technology to get people to answer their phones. Then there is the threat of SPIT (SPam over Internet Telephony). This is where telemarketers could use VoIP to send a huge numbers of voice messages to consumers.

This just mean that we will have to be that much more careful about giving out any personal information over the telephone or trusting the caller ID displays.

Spyware Writers Play Cat-and-Mouse with Rootkit Detectors (Article)

If viruses, trojan horses, worms, SPAM, spyware, adware, identity theft, and all the other security issues that we need to worry about are not bad enough. Now, it appears that 'Rootkit' attacks may be on the rise. Rootkits are nothing new, and have been around for years.

SecuritySearch.com defines a 'rootkit' as: "a collection of tools (programs) that a hacker uses to mask intrusion and obtain administrator-level access to a computer or computer network. The intruder installs a rootkit on a computer after first obtaining user-level access, either by exploiting a known vulnerability or cracking a password. The rootkit then collects userids and passwords to other machines on the network, thus giving the hacker root or privileged access."

Rootkits are generally hard to detect, they're designed that way. Well now, Rootkits are being designed to be even harder to detect. This article goes into more detail about the subject.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Yahoo Service Combines Blogging, Social Networking

Yahoo, is playing 'keep up with the Jones' with Google, they're beta testing a new community service that lets users share blogs, photos, music and other content. The new service is called Yahoo 360, and its currently in an 'invitation-only' beta test. It is scheduled to be opened to the public on March 29.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Firefox TV Ad

Here is a Firefox TV ad created by Eric Edwards. It is an interesting watch, althought I don't believe it has ever been aired on regular TV. But thank you, Eric Edwards for your hard work.

Microsoft Considering WinFS Support In Windows XP

Microsoft is considering releasing support for key Longhorn technologies in Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. Microsoft plans to have a beta-test version of WinFS available when Longhorn ships. WinFS is built on top of the current NTFS File System in Windows and uses relational engine technology from Microsoft's forthcoming SQL Server 2005 database as well as XML.

Indigo, Avalon Community Technology Previews Released

ENT News reports: "Microsoft on Wednesday released its first Community Technology Preview (CTP) of 'Indigo,' the code-name for the company's new communications subsystem for Windows, and a second CTP of 'Avalon,' a new Windows presentation subsystem." For more information read the rest of the article.

Corzine Unveils Sweeping Identity Theft Bill (Article)

With all the instanstes personal and corporate identity theft, Senator Jon S. Corzine (D-NJ) introduced a new bill called 'Identity Theft Prevention and Victim Recovery Act'. This new bill tries to prevent ID theft incidents and provide consumer protections to victims. One of the more notable points of this legislation is that a company's chief compliance officer (or CEO) would have to attest that security systems are in place to prevent theft of sensitive personal data.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Latest Looks at the 64-Bit Future (Article)

Have you been hearing all the hype about the new 64-bit CPUs and OSes. Are you confused about what this means for you? This article gives you a brief introduction to the technology. Although the article doesn't answer compatibility questions, about: software, drivers, and hardware.

Here is an excerpt from the article: "Though 64-bit computing has been around for some 14 years or so, until recently it has been accessible only to those operating high-end servers running RISC-based processors such as Sun Microsystem Inc.'s SPARC, IBM's Power and Hewlett-Packard Co.'s PA-RISC."

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Google X (Mirror)

It seems that Google's 'Google X' interface is kind of a hot topic on the Net right now. Google created it as a MacOS X like interface for its search engine. Soon after Google released it, they took it down (maybe for legal reasons).

To see what all the controversy is all about, this web site has posted a mirror of the original interface. As you move your cusor over the icons, they will grow larger then smaller as you move off of them.

DNS Cache Poisoning (Technical Article)

SecurityFocus has published an indepth article on the subject of 'DNS Cache Poisoning'. If you want more information and history on this subject, its a pretty good read. This article is very technical, so if you don't understand DNS and TCP/IP, it might be boring.

Here is an excerpt from the article: "The old problem of DNS cache poisoning has again reared its ugly head. While some would argue that the domain name system protocol is inherently vulnerable to this style of attack due to the weakness of 16-bit transaction IDs, we cannot ignore the immediate threat while waiting for something better to come along. There are new attacks, which make DNS cache poisoning trivial to execute against a large number of nameservers running today. The purpose of this article is to shed light on these new attacks and recommend ways to defend against them."

IBM lets Millipede storage out for a stroll (Article)

CNET News.com does a great job reporting about IBM's MEMS (Micro-Electrical-Mechanical System) technology. Here is an excerpt from the article: "The MEMS prototype can hold the equivalent of 25 DVDs on an area the size of a postage stamp, IBM said." Also , See the slideshow, to get a better understanding of how MEMS technology actually works.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Pharming Out-Scams Phishing (Article)

Wired News reports: "First came phishing scams, in which con artists hooked unwary internet users one by one into compromising their personal data. Now the latest cyberswindle, pharming, threatens to reel in entire schools of victims."

If you're confused about the difference between a Pharming vs. a Phishing attack This article does a good job of explaining the difference between the two type of attacks that are trying to steal your personal information.

RFIDwasher - Zap RFID tags (Privacy)

Here is an interesting product, it is called RFIDWasher. It is a lightweight, handheld device that allows you to deactivating RFID tags. Thus preventing RFID scanners from being able to read them.

I am not sure if this product is works or not. I think it has great potential if you have privacy concerns about products that you purchased, and you want deactivate RFID tags.

Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0 Details Begin to Leak (Article)

Microsoft Watch reports about the new features to be included in the new version IE (v7.0). Here is excerpt from the article: "IE 7.0 will feature international domain name (IDN) support; transparent Portable Network Graphics (PNG) support, which will allow for the display of overlayed images in the browser; and new functionality that will simplify printing from inside IE 7.0, partner sources said. The new browser also will likely include a built-in news aggregator."

Star Wars in ASCIImation

From the lands down under, now you can see Star Wars in ASCIImation. Its pretty good considering its all done is ASCII characters.

Geekfathers: CyberCrime Mobs Revealed (Article)

Baseline did a great article on hacker mobsters. The article gives you a glimpse into the computer underworld activity. Here is an excerpt from the article: "The amount of goods and services purchased with fraudulently obtained personal identification exceeded $52 billion in 2004, according to a release put out last month by the Federal Trade Commission. Businesses, from banks to online merchants—maybe even your company—bear much of the cost. But the initial, direct loss isn't the greatest threat posed by groups such as the Shadowcrew."

Total Recall: Desktop Search Utility Comparison (Review)

PC Magazine wrote a great article comparing the most popular free desktop search utilities available on the Internet. When you compare these utilities to the desktop search functionality that comes with Windows XP, it is primitive in comparison. The 'Yahoo! Desktop Search' utility got the highest ranking, but I would also check out 'Google Desktop Search' and 'Copernic Desktop Search' utilities.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Microsoft to exchange 32 bit Windows for 64 (Article)

The Inquirer reports: "WE MET a senior Microsoft bloke, a member of the Windows 64 bit group and he told us that within three months customers will be able to replace its existing copy for a brand new Windows 64 bit version."

Support Our Troops (Slide Show)

Whether you're for or against the war in Iraq, that is your own personal preference. Although our troops are over their fighting and dying, whether they believe in the cause or not. Our troops need our support, hopes, prays.

This link is to a slide show, which contains some great pictures of our troops in Iraq.

Institute for Backup Trauma (Video)

This is the most hysterical commercial that I have seen on the web for a real product. The commercial stars John Cleese. It does run a little long, about six minutes but it is worth watching. And whatever you do, do not press the third button at the end of the commercial.

All Your Base Belong to Us (Video)

You may have seen, or heard the quote 'All your base belong to us'. This quote comes from the introduction scene of a game called 'Zero Wing' for the Sega Genesis video game console. It turns out that the video game's creater Toaplan did a very poor job of translating the game's dialog into proper English.

The link above includes a video, showing how this simple quote has spread across the country. It also includes the introduction scene from the video game.

Friday, March 11, 2005

All Longhorn, All the Time (Site Review)

If you want to get the latest information Windows Longhorn, Paul Thurrott's SuperSite provides one of the best sources for information on subject. This site has some great pictures, articles and videos.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

The Legend of Zelda Updated Impressions

If you're a big fan of the Legend of Zelda series, a brand-new trailer for the upcoming game for the GameCube is now available. The visual effects are very impressive, I don't believe that you will be disappointed. Check it out.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

How Fast Can You Type

This is a cool little web page, it provides a typing speed test that shows you how fast can you type. This is not a comprehensive test, but it was fun to take. Although, it does grade you for accuracy.

Microsoft Gives First Key Details on New Xbox (Article)

Reuters reports: Microsoft gave out some key details on the next generation Xbox video game console. The new system will include an emphasis on high-definition content, an integrated media browser and "microtransactions" for in-game purchases.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Computer Rage

Computer rage is becoming a big problem in our world today. Men and women are taking out their frustrations on the computer; and unfortunately, sometimes misdirecting it to other people. In the work place and at the home, more and more people are smashing their computer screens, beating on the keyboard, and throwing the computer out the window.

This site is devoted to methods of venting on the primary target of all of our frustration: the computer.

WinFS To Be Available on Windows XP

Microsoft Watch reports: "Microsoft is back-porting its WinFS file-system technology to Windows XP, the same way that it is doing with its Windows presentation and communications subsystems, according to company officials."

Monday, March 07, 2005

Matrox Graphics Card Supports up to for Four Displays.

Matrox introduced a PCI Express graphics card that can support up to for four displays at one time. It supports a maximum resolution of 1600×1200 per display.

Microsoft Interview Questions

This page contains actual questions from actual interviews conducted by Microsoft employees on the main campus. The questions tend to follow some basic themes: Riddles, Algorithms, Applications, Thinkers.

So, if you're going for a interview at Microsoft, you might want to read up on this page.

Virtual Rubik's Cube (Fun)

This is a cool page, it has a virtual Rubik's Cube that you can play with, or you can choose for the cube to be solved. Enjoy.

Buy RIAA Toilet Paper (Its Real)

JINX.com is selling RIAA toilet paper. You can decide for yourself on how you want to use it. :-) Unfortunately, JINX.com currently out of stock on the product.

Real Online Hunting (Extreme Laziness)

Now you can shot animals from the comfort of your own browser. Never worry again, having to setting up camp, clean your kill, getting cold, etc. You can kill all the animals you want from the comfort of your coach with a laptop and a wireless connection.

Come on people, this is extreme lazyiness. Goto the site for more information and prices.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Tracking PCs anywhere on the Net (Article)

CNet reports: "A University of California researcher says he has found a way to identify computer hardware remotely, a technique that could potentially unmask anonymous Web surfers by bypassing some common security techniques."

An interesting article about tracking users on the Internet by using a new type computer fingerprinting technology called 'clock skew'.

TiVo for beginners: choosing the right DVR (Article)

Buying a new Digital Video Recorder (DVR), such as a Tivo or any of the other manufactures can be just as confusing buy a new HDTV. There are several important considerations to make, such do you want to record just regular TV, or do you want to record HDTV. Do you want to want to be able to archive your programs off to DVD?

Check out the article for more information about the different types of DVR technology and available options.

CNET's quick guide to TV types (Tutorial)

Do you want to buy a new HDTV, and confussed by all your options (tube, flat-panels, rear-projections, or front-projection TVs). If the displays options are not confussing enough, the new HDTV terminology can be fussing.

CNet provides a great article with a good explaination of the technology and terminology that you will need to understand before you buy a new HDTV. It also includes the Pros and Cons of each type of technology.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Peeking Into Google (Article)

I have to admit that I am one of those IT geeks. Google probably has some of the most legendary IT infrastructures. This article gives you a great peek inside Google infrastructure.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The Couch Potato Tormentor (Joke)

Couch Potato Tormentor interferes with the operation of different components, by performing random functions on it. For example, it can turn the device off, mute it, or change the channel.

It looks like a great partical joke.

The DVD Rewinder (Humor)

Never pay another DVD rewind fee again. You can own your own DVD Rewinder, for only $21.99. The product is real, but does it really work, check out the video at the bottom of the home page.

The next video game consoles (Article)

For the latest and the best information that I have seen from any source on the next video game consoles (Sony PlayStation 3, Microsoft's Xbox 2 and Nintendo's next generation GameCube). Read this article.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Patient Assistance Forms (Updated)

I can not stand to see anyone being taken advantage of. Recently I saw an ad on TV, that promised free pharmaceutical drugs. Well it turns out, the ways the program works is that you send them a certain amount of money, and they will send you patient assistance forms from different pharmaceutical companies.

You can save yourself money, and download these patient assistance forms yourself for free. Just visit www.needymeds.com. You might also want to check out, Medicare.gov's 'Prescription Drug and Other Assistance Programs' (Including Medicare-Approved Drug Discount Cards) web page.

Also make sure to check out www.TogetherRxAccess.com or by calling 1-800-444-4106.