Sunday, April 30, 2006

Car can travel 157 miles per gallon of gasoline

IfEnergy reports : "Founded in 2000, this new company developed a light-weight passenger car with outstanding aerodynamics. The one, two combination of light weight and tunnel tested aerodynamics allow this car to travel 157 miles per gallon of gasoline or 1.5 l per 100km! "

Friday, April 28, 2006

Democrats lose House vote on Net neutrality (Article)

CNET reports: "By a 34-22 vote, members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee rejected a Democratic-backed Net neutrality amendment that also enjoyed support from Internet and software companies including Microsoft, and Google."

'Net neutrality' as it is being called I believe is a good idea. Basically it prevents ISPs from charging large Internet site providers an extra fee for getting access to customers like you and me.

Also, what I have heard discussed is that some ISPs are not making enough profit from the Internet connectivity that they're sell us. So they want to provide tier service depending on how much information you download off the net. Basically as I understand the more you download, the more you pay.

What I have heard discussed is that some ISPs are not making enough profit from the Internet connectivity that they're sell us, so they want to provided tier service. Which someways they already doing this today, by providing different service plans for different fees.

Wages Climb and Climb for Skilled Tech Workers

eWeek reports: "Hourly wages for highly skilled technology professionals notably increased in the first quarter of 2006, following record levels in the last quarter of 2005, according to the latest Yoh Index of Technology Wages released this morning."

Which Superhero are you? Quiz

Take this quiz to find out which superhero you are. According to the quiz I am the Green Lantern. Just answer the questions about yourself and press the Done button.

Drugs companies 'inventing diseases to boost their profits' - World - Times Online

Times Online reports: "PHARMACEUTICAL companies are systematically creating diseases in order to sell more of their products, turning healthy people into patients and placing many at risk of harm, a special edition of a leading medical journal claims today."

Make sure to read the article to get the whole story...

Another Useless USB Beverage Cooler/Heater

Here is my open letter to all companies that produce USB peripherals that change the temperature of liquids while being powered by the USB port on your computer.

Dear companies,

Please stop selling consumers products that can change the temperature of liquids that are being powered off the USB port. The power that the USB port can supply is very finite, about 5 volts. This power is meant to power keyboard, mice, etc.

I don't think the designers of the USB port ever intended it for heating or cooling beverages. There are much better ways of providing this functionality, such as an external power transformer that can be plugged into the wall.

Thank you for you consideration,

USAirways Parking Brake Set Landing (Pictures)

If you click the link you will see what happens if you have the parking break set during the landing of an airplane. It’s not pretty what happens to the landing gear, but it is believed that everyone on board is safe. Although, you have to give a lot credit to the plane manufacture for being able to design a plane that can survive this type of landing.

I was just hunting UFOs, says Pentagon hacker (Article)

Computerworld reports: "To the U.S., he is a seriously dangerous man who put the nation's security at risk by committing 'the biggest military computer hack of all time.'

But Briton Gary McKinnon says he's just an ordinary computer nerd who wanted to find out whether aliens and UFOs exist."

This is going to be a case worth watching. I doubt if the US government will show him any leniency with a defense like his. I have to admit I find the story very amusing, but I would not like to be in his shoes.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Put a PC in your Car (Video)

A few years ago I would have laughed at the idea of putting any PC into the car for a few reasons. One its a distraction if you try to use it while driving you may get into an accident. Two, technologies change too quickly, so if you buy a system from a car manufacture it will quickly be left behind. Three, there are no standards for hooking up all this equipment or upgrading it, plus everything needs to be retrofitted or customized.

CNET has a video from a car PC manufacture at the Maker Faire that has the first system that I have seen that seems to be going down the right path. In order for this technology to be successful, it has to have the following things:
  • It needs to be useful features that people really want (i.e.: navigation, internet access, playing music and video, etc.).
  • It needs to be affordable, otherwise no one will install one of these devices in their car because they can't justify the cost of it.
  • It needs to be easy to use, otherwise if its too complex it will miss a major market segment that doesn't want overly complex technologies in their vehicles.
  • It needs to be upgradeable and expandable, nobody wants to buy proprietary equipment or something that they can't enhance later.
  • Its needs to have a flexible design to retrofit into cars that weren't designed to have a system like this.

Seagate Ships 750-GB Drives; Standalones Due Next Week

ExtremeTech reports: "Seagate Technology officially brought its perpendicular-recording technology into the desktop drive market, announcing shipments of its first 750-Gbyte Barracuda internal drive Wednesday. A complementary external 750-Gbyte drive will be released this coming Monday."

A 1 Terabyte (TB) drive is right around the corner. The one bad thing about hitting the TB mark, is any drives that come after it will probably be produced is much smaller increments, such as 1.1TB, 1.5TB, 2.0TB, etc. Although the jump from 1TB to 2TB is huge, and any incremental change after that.

If you're part of the crowd that is wondering what you would do with 1TB of storage. Thing of things like a media center, large hard drives are a godsend. If you run a system multiple OSs, large hard drives are a godsend. If you have a large database with tons of data, large hard drives are... (you should get the idea).

One thing I want to point out is that this drive uses perpendicular recording to store its data. Hard drives for the last 50 years have used longitudinal recording, this is where the magnetic grains that are used to store data are laid flat along the disk platter. This consumes a huge amount of surface space on the disk. Perpendicular recording, works on the skyscrapers principle, which means that more bits can be stored closer together by standing the magnetic grains vertically.

For more information on perpendicular recording, see the following article.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Top 10 Geek Comedies of All Time

As promised, here is the second list which includes my top 10 geek comedies of all time. Like my previous list, it was really hard to select what I considered the best comedies.

I know that there were some good ones that I left out, but that was only because I tried to keep the list down to 10 movies.
  • Airplane
  • Animal House
  • Blazing Saddles
  • Blue Brothers
  • Dark Star
  • Galaxy Quest
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  • Office Space
  • Space Balls
  • Young Frankenstien
Like always, if you want to post your own list, addition, or comment, just click the link below to give your feedback...

Monday, April 24, 2006

Top 10 Geek Films of All Time

I hate to admit this, but I am a major movie fan. So I decided to create my own top 10 list of geek films of all-time. These are movies that just about every geek would love.

It was hard to narrow the list down to just 10 movies, there were several good choices that I had to omit. Whenever you create a list like this, some people will totally disagree with your choices, while others may totally agree with you.

I specifically chose not to put the movies into a numeric list because I could not decide which was the best and which was the worst. So I sorted them alphabetically instead.
  • Fifth Element
  • Indiana Jones (series)
  • Kill Bill (series)
  • Lord of The Rings (series)
  • Matrix (series)
  • Minority Report
  • Star Wars (series)
  • Terminator
  • Tron
  • War Games
You may have noticed that some comedies are missing from this list. This is because tomorrow I will publish my top 10 list of geek comedy films of all-time.

if you want to post your own list, addition, or comment, just click the link below to give your feedback...

Friday, April 21, 2006

High-Tech Employment Shows Promise (Article) reports: "U.S. high-tech employment increased 1 percent in 2005, bringing the nationwide total to 5.6 million, with the greatest gains in the electronic manufacturing, software, and engineering and tech services segments, according to the Cyberstates 2006 report released April 18 by the American Electronics Association, a nationwide trade association representing the technology industry."

The more high tech jobs that there are the better. I say bring them on...

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Horizontal Cooler Showdown (review)

If you build your own computers then you know that you have several types of CPU cooling options available. The most affordable and therefore the most common CPU cooling technology is the heatsinks and the fan. Although there are also some more exotic options available, such as liquid, and Peltier ('active') coolers.

ExtremeTech has done a great article on horizontal coolers. These are basically heatsinks and fans taken to its next logical level. Here is an except from the article that explains more, "Most factory CPU coolers blow downwards directly onto the CPU or heat spreader. Horizontal coolers elevate the heatsink radiator fins away from the base, directing airflow either toward the chassis exhaust point or channeled to help cool other motherboard components like the northbridge chipset, memory, or voltage regulators. Also, many of these coolers can be used without a fan. If you don't have a scorching hot CPU and don't plan to do much overclocking, some horizontal coolers can easily transform into silent passively-cooled solutions."

Anthology Solutions Yellow Machine P400T (review)

I am a big fan of network attached devices, such as NAS (Network Attach Storage), network attached printers, etc.. PC Magazine's just reviewed one of the coolest network devices I have ever seen. Its from a company called 'Anthology Solutions', and the device is called 'Yellow Machine P400T'.

What makes this device so cool is the that fact that it has so many great features. Although, some of the features may already be handled by other devices on your network (such as your broadband router).

Here is an except from the article, "Why buy and support a NAS device, router, firewall, switch, and Web server when your small business can get the same features in one toaster-size package -the Anthology Solutions Yellow Machine P400T? It supports RAID 0, 0+1, and 5 (the default), builds in 8 Ethernet ports, offers network services like DHCP, HTTP, and FTP, and is preloaded with excellent backup software- Retrospect Professional. I tested a P400T that came with four 250MB drives."

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Free Old Time Radio Shows

Before video games, shopping malls, MTV, and the Internet, families used to sit in their living room each night to listen to radio shows such as Abbott and Costello, Superman, Groucho Marx, The Avenger, Gunsmoke, Sherlock Homes, and many others. offers hundreds of vintage radio shows for you to listen in MP3 format, all for free.

Download these shows an place them on your MP3 player, or rip them to CD for your grandparents. If you're really feeling nostalgic, copy them to a cassette, then give them to someone.

America's Secret Plan to Invade Canada (Article)

There is a site called 'Damn Interesting', that has posted an article called 'America's Secret Plan to Invade Canada'. Here is an excerpt from the article "At a length of 5,522 miles (8,891 kilometers), Canada and the United States share the longest non-militarized border in the world. Today we think of the two nations as the friendliest of neighbors, but at one time both nations had somewhat detailed plans for attacking one another... just in case."

I was not sure if this story was true, but I did some research, and several sources confirmed the authenticity of it. Below is a reference to another source confirming the story.

Raiding the Icebox
Behind Its Warm Front, the United States Made Cold Calculations to Subdue Canada
By Peter Carlson, Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 30, 2005; Page C01

Monday, April 17, 2006

Force Field Against RPGs (Video)

The Army has a new defense against RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades) and tank rounds for its ground based vehicles. The technology is called 'Trophy' and works by detonating the explosive part of a projectile before it can damage the vehicle. The technology was developed by an Israeli company called Rafael.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Kanguru 64GB Flash Drive

Kanguru is now offering a 64GB USB 2.0 flash drive. The drive comes in a rugged aluminum housing that can withstand the rigors of transporting it around. Its slightly larger than a stick of gum, and it works under Windows, Mac and Linux OS without any additional device drivers.

The drive also comes with KanguruShield security software (currently only works under Windows) allows users to password protect their data. The software also allows users to resize and format the flash drive space into public and private partitions.

There IS a problem with global warming... it stopped in 1998 (Article)

The Telegraph reported "For many years now, human-caused climate change has been viewed as a large and urgent problem. In truth, however, the biggest part of the problem is neither environmental nor scientific, but a self-created political fiasco. Consider the simple fact, drawn from the official temperature records of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, that for the years 1998-2005 global average temperature did not increase (there was actually a slight decrease, though not at a rate that differs significantly from zero)."

I believe the concept of 'Global Warming' is often used by certain groups and individual to promote some type of political agenda. I will be the first to agree that the weather seemed unusually bazaar over the last few years. I will also agree that we should reduce or eliminate the use of any form of pollution.

The real truth could be that our world is going through a standard shift in its climate. There are also natural forces that can cause climate changes, such as erupting volcanoes (i.e.: the Tambora volcano in 1815 in Indonesia), large asteroids hitting the earth (i.e.: the 1908 Siberia Explosion), etc.

All I am trying to say, is that sometimes we have to think different and be different. There are times we need to be the sheep and go with the crowd, and there are times we need to be the dog herding the sheep.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Prius hits 113mpg (Article)

Auto Express reports: "The firm's (Toyota) next Prius will be so efficient it will be the first production car capable of returning more than 110mpg."

Finally a Prius, that I would consider buying. The first generation of this car, only got mediocre gas mileage. In fact there were a few gasoline only engines that had gas mileage that was comparable.

One of the major points that you need to consider when buying one of these vehicles, is they get their best mileage when driving in slow and stop and go traffic. On the open road where you're able to drive at a faster speed, the car uses the gasoline engine more to power the vehicle.

The current Prius owners have car hacks (i.e. modifications) available to them to extend the MPG of their vehicles. Some of these modification include plugging the car into your house power at night, others include firmware upgrades to the car. See the following Google result set for more information.

Researchers Find Average Desk Harbors 400 Times More Bacteria Than Average Toilet Seat

Market Wire News posted the following story (here is an excerpt): "Working late again? You’re not alone, according to a new study by University of Arizona germ guru Dr. Charles Gerba. You have plenty of bacteria keeping you company.

The study, the first of its kind to measure normal bacterial levels inside offices across America, found paper isn’t all that’s piling up on desks. In fact, the average desk harbors 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat."

This study is going to make a few people very nervous, especially the hypochondriacs of the world. I have a problem with studies like these, in the fact they create fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD).

Over the last few months I have read a few more stores like this, such as:
The fact is bacteria is part of our everyday lives, and most of its harmless or beneficial. Don't get me wrong, there is harmful bacteria out there, but thank God it doesn't exist in the same quantities as the other forms.

In never hurts to be clean, but the key is not to become a fanatic about it. There are some basic things that you can do to help reduce your exposure to bacteria and help protect you.

The main one is wash your hands after certain activities (such as handling raw meat, using the restroom, etc.). Another thing you can do is once a week clean your desk and other work surfaces with antibacterial wipes or similar product.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

MIT group develops 'mind-reading' device (Article)

CNet reports: "Three researchers at the MIT Media Lab have developed a device that 'reads minds' and alerts wearer's to the emotional state of the person they're conversing with."

The device is known as a Emotional Social Intelligence Prosthetic (ESIP), is based on an OQO handheld, a tiny wearable video camera, an earphone, and a small vibrating apparatus. The device doesn't read minds, but it does read and analyze the facial expressions and nonverbal cues of other people. The researchers are hoping their ESIP will help people with autism with their social interactions, because they'll be better able to interpret social cues.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Affordable In-Home LASIK Surgery You Can Do Yourself!

"In the past, LASIK surgery was an expensive procedure that could only be performed by skilled professionals in a doctor's office or eye clinic. Often costing upwards of $1000 per eye and almost never covered by insurance, Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) was beyond the reach of most Americans.

Now the revolutionary LASIK@Home system makes clear vision affordable for everyone."

If you have not already figured it out, this is a joke. I hope you enjoyed it.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Port25 - Microsoft Open Source Software Lab

Microsoft has launched a new site called 'Port 25', this site is designed to allow you to have a view into its 'Open Source Software Lab'. The name of the site comes from the TCP/IP port used to send SMTP mail (translation: its the network connection used to send e-mail)

The site was created to promote dialog between Microsoft engineers and the open source projects community. It primarily consists of blogs from the Microsoft staff, but it also allows visitors to post questions about MS and its open source interoperability.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Top 20 Strangest Gadgets and Accessories (Article)

TechEBlog has an article called, the 'Top 20 Strangest Gadgets and Accessories'. After reading it, I will have to admit the article seems appropriately named.

Here is a brief example of some of the items that are available:

20. The Talking Lips
19. Portable Cardboard Speakers
18. Talking Japanese Watches
17. The Baller Cheating Pen

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Apple Boot Camp: Welcome, Windows XP Recruits

InformationWeek reports: "But while Apple is making it possible to run Windows XP on the Mac, it will be up to users to buy and install the Microsoft operating system themselves. ... Apple is making it possible to run a copy of Windows XP on an Intel-based Apple Macintosh. But most home and business users will have to buy more copies of Windows XP in order to do so."

My question like always, what does this mean for the future. The Macintosh is now the only computer I can think of that can run three OSes: the Mac OS X, Windows XP, and Linux.

Security Watch: Theft of trust - CNET reviews

CNET reports: "Botnets, the latest cyber-based criminal threat, are not just about stealing our identities or credit, some are after something even more precious: our online trust."

First we had viruses, worms, trojans, then spyware, identity thief, and then phishing. Now we have rootkits and botnets, oh what fun it is to surf the Internet. If you don't know what a botnet, check out the following article.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Wikipedia: List of the April Fools Jokes for 2006

Wikipedia has a big list of all of the popular April Fools jokes that have happened today. This list is constantly growing, so you might want to check it out a few times throughout the day.

Google Romance

Google Romance is a place where you can post all types of romantic information and, using our Soulmate Search™, get back search results that could, in theory, include the love of your life. Then we'll send you both on a Contextual Date™, which we'll pay for while delivering to you relevant ads that we and our advertising partners think will help produce the dating results you're looking for.

(If you have not yet figured it out, this is an April's fools joke...)

Swiss Spaghetti Harvest (Video)

Today we are going to set the way back machine to April 1, 1957, when the BBC broadcasted a report about a bumper spaghetti harvest in southern Switzerland (which was really an April's Fools joke if you have not guessed yet). After the show ran, the inquisitive public flooded the station with calls requesting tips on how to grow a spaghetti tree.

The video is definitely 1957 vintage, it is also small and hard to see but you will get the idea. This video also requires the RealPlayer to be installed to view it. I tried to find a higher quality source in another format but this is the best that I can find.