Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Google Expands into Businesses Software Market (article)

PC Magazine reports: "Google Inc. is making its most concerted move beyond search and advertising into the business software market, starting with a set of Web programs for e-mail, scheduling and communications, ... The online search leader said it has created a software platform to run basic business activities —based on programs it already offers separately."

This will be in interesting product if Google starts to integrate all of its current services together (like Writely, Google Spreadsheet, Blogger, etc.) and provides a uniform interface and logon. This could provide a very powerful online office suite.

Google has been working to unify its applications experience, but still has a lot of work in front of it. They only recently announced a unified logon for its Blogger site which they have had for several years now.

A Silent PC (article)

PC Magazine reports: "High-performance personal computers are thermal nightmares. As GPUs and CPUs have become more powerful, their heat output has skyrocketed. AMD's top-of-the-line Athlon 64 X2 4800+ is rated at 105W, while Intel's Pentium D 840 runs even higher, at 130W ... The typical way to dissipate all that heat? Throw extra cooling at the system—in other words, add more fans. Pretty soon, you've got more fans in your system than a B-36 bomber had propellers—and your system is as loud, too. You can't control the heat output (without moving to lower-performing components), but you can control the noise. Read on to find out how."

With Personal computers running hoter, its getting harder to keep them cool, and keep them quiet at the same time. The original PC only had fan for the power supply, now a PCs can have fans for the case, CPU, power supply, and video card. Thats a lot of fans and that can create a lot of noise. This article offers some great advice on how to reduce it.

VeriChip Sells First Baby Protection System, in Talks with Military (article)

PC Magazine reports: "VeriChip, the company that makes human-implantable RFID chips, is looking to span its equipment from newborns to the military's enlisted. ... The company announced Aug. 24 that it has made the first sale of its infant protection, wander prevention and staff duress system to the Brampton Civic Hospital in Brampton, Ontario. Separately, the company confirmed a day earlier that it is in talks with the military to test its implantable chips in two branches of the military."

I just have one question, would you 'chip' yourself or your children?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Welcome to the Internet, Now Go Home.

Have you ever stopped to think about what its like for a person to come on the Internet for the first time? Not even knowing what "http://" means. These people are in for an eye opening experience the first time they get hit by a virus. Even people who have been using the Internet for a long time are not safe, they're getting scammed and their machines infected.

With all the spam, malware (i.e.: viruses, worms, spyware, etc.), scams, pornography and other threats that we encounter everyday, it can almost be overwhelming. For example, it now takes about 5-10 minutes after plugging a new unprotected computer into the Internet for it to become infected. That's like getting carjacked in about 5-10 minutes after buying a new car because you forgot to lock your doors.

The good news is that newer Windows systems running SP2 are more secure then they use to be. The firewall are enabled by default so their not getting infected the first time they're plugged into the Internet. Although, if you don't fortify your defenses right away, you will quickly get infected.

Knowledge is Power
To help protect you, I have listed some of the most common (and some uncommon) threats and scams that everyone on the Internet faces. Then I explain what you need to do to protect yourself.
  • E-mail scams:
    • Don't trust e-mail, because addresses can be spoofed (faked) and it's not a very secure form of communication.
    • Avoiding downloading any e-mail attachments, they can contain malware.
    • Never trust any unsolicited e-mails for products and/or services (AKA spam), they're almost always fake.
    • Beware of authentic looking e-mails from a company that you might do business (such as a financial institution, PayPal, eBay, etc...) asking you to change your password, or revealing any type of private information (such as your credit card or web site account information) for one reason or another. This is known as 'Phishing' scam, these messages will include links to a legitimate looking web site that they will be use to capture your private information .
      • Here is an article about some other types of phishing scams.
    • If someone from a foreign country like Nigeria (and many others) contacts you wanting to give you a lot of money, its a scam. This is often known as 'The Nigerian letter scam', many people have lost their money and lives to these fraudsters.
  • Online scams:
    • Reshipping scams: Have you seen those 'Work at home, handle shipments, make big bucks!' e-mails? This is where an offshore 'company' tries to recruit people inside the U.S. to accept money and goods, who then ship it outside the country. Scammers use stolen credit cards to make online purchases, then have the products shipped to the person who is helping them. After the person receives the package, they then forward these items to the thieves, who resells them. They even use their victims personal bank accounts to launder money through. When the authorities finally catch up with all the illegal activity, the victim is considered an accomplish to the crime for participating in illegal activities, and generally will be the one who takes the fall.
    • Online auction scams: Scammers claim to be selling valuable goods at outrageous discounted prices. The victims generally receive nothing or shoddy knockoffs that aren't worth the asking price.
    • Online job posting sites: Fraudsters are posing as legitimate companies, looking for help. They do this in order to gain access to personal information on their employment applications.
    • Be careful which sites that you trust to download executables, especially screen savers. This is a great way to get viruses, spyware, or other types of malware installed on your computer.
    • Don't install Internet Explorer ActiveX components, or Firefox extensions from web sites that you don't trust. These plug-ins can contain malicious code that will infect your computer or destroy your data.
  • Never trust public computers:
    • Below is a list of things you should never do from the public computers that are available in libraries, airports, etc. You never know when any of these computers might have a keyboard logger installed or other types of malware on them that can grab your private information:
      • Never log into a secure websites that require you to authenticate yourself with a username and password (such as your bank, work, etc.).
      • Never enter private information (such as your social security number, bank account number, credit card number, etc.) from these computers.
Below is a list of suggestions of how to protect yourself online, and advice to make sure that your computer's defenses are strong:
  • Protecting your computer.
    • Make sure your computer's firewall is enabled. This will protect your computer from network based attacks. For more information on this subject checkout this article.
    • Make sure your operating system, applications (including your browser) are patched and/or updated. It is also recommended that if these programs have any automatic notification or update options that you enable it. For more information on this subject checkout this article.
    • Install and run the latest version of an anti-virus and anti-spyware application on your computer, and make sure it has the latest signatures. I would also recommend scheduling daily or weekly scans of your computer, and make sure that you get daily updates of the signature files for these programs.
  • Protecting yourself:
    • You will need some type of e-mail service that has spam filtering, and anti-virus attachments scanning. Most ISPs offer e-mail accounts as part of your Internet service package, but may not offer spam filtering and virus scanning. Although, there are several free e-mail services like Gmail and Yahoo Mail that offer these features.
    • Don't submit your private information (such as: your social security number, credit card number, etc.) to a web site unless you feel that you can trust the merchant. Also make sure that the web site is using an encrypted SSL connection (look for HTTPS:// in the web site's URL, and the lock on your browser's window).
      • Also just because a web site asks for personal or private information, don't give it up unless you're comfortable sending this information over the Internet or giving it to that company.
      • If you're worried about your privacy, and how a web site is going to use your personal information make sure to read its privacy policy. Personally I believe the larger the company, the more I trust what's said in the privacy policy because they know they will get sued if they break it.
    • Create strong passwords for all the web sites that you use a lot. Avoid writing these passwords down, if you can to store them somewhere find a good password manager that you can trust.
    • When making purchases online, use a credit card they offer the best fraud protections. Debit cards and electronic checks don't offer you the same level of fraud protection.
    • Check your credit card statements and credit report online regularly for any unusual activity. If you find some, make sure to report it to your credit card company and credit reporting agency.
    • Backup your computers data regularly. This is going to be your best defense against losing data.
    • Bonus tip: buy a cross-cut paper shredder to destroy personal documents and regular mail that you don't want. This can help protect you against identity thief.
Other resources:
  • Microsoft Security at Home: If you're looking for a site that has easy-to-understand security tips and explanations, this site is one of the better ones that I know about. If you're fairly knowledgeable about computer security you will not find a lot of useful information here that you don't already know.
  • The Different Types of Internet Threats (Part 5): This article contains some more useful information on some of following topics, such as: Staying Up To Date, Testing Your Defenses, and Disinfecting Your Computer.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Check out the Wheelsurfer

Have you ever wanted to drive a wheel? Then check out the Wheelsurfer. Its a gigantic wheel that you can drive, and impress your friends for about five minutes (before they start laughing).

This vehicle proves that you can buy anything you want on the Internet.

Tiny ion pump sets new standard in cooling hot computer microchips (article)

The University of Washington reports: "researchers have succeeded in building a cooling device tiny enough to fit on a computer chip that could work reliably and efficiently with the smallest microelectronic components. ... The device, which uses an electrical charge to create a cooling air jet right at the surface of the chip, could be critical to advancing computer technology because future chips will be smaller, more tightly packed and are likely to run hotter than today's chips. As a result, tomorrow's computers will need cooling systems far more efficient than the fans and heat sinks that are used today."

As computer chips become more and more powerful, cooling them has become a very HOT topic these days (yes, the pun was intended). Over the years I have seen a lot of COOL technologies to remove heat from these chips, such as:
  • Air Cooling: A fan used in conjunction with a heatsink, is the most popular form of cooling computer chips today. The fans move air through the case to cool the components, the problem with this technology is that its loud. Also as components get hotter and hotter, this technology will lose its ability to adequately cool them.
  • Liquid Cooling: Works really well, and is quiet, the problem is that it's expensive to buy and cumbersome to install. It uses different types of fluids flowing through pipes attached to heatsinks to remove the heat from the chip.
    • IMHO: I think in the not too distant future the higher-end PCs will have liquid cooling as a standard option.
  • Peltier Coolers Works really well, and is quiet, but is very expensive. Basically it's a small thermoelectric refrigerator that sits on top of the chip to cool it. Peltier coolers have other problems, like they're power hogs, can generate condensation, and they produce a lot of heat themselves.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

A modern day Trojan Horse Story

An Australian TV show called Chaser's War on Everything, wanted to find out if anyone had learned anything from the story of the Trojan Horse. They managed to get a huge wooden horse (with people inside) into many different places, such as:
  • Television studio parking lots
  • Sydney Opera House parking lot
  • and more.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Solid-Oxide Fuel Cells Undergo Successful Test (article)

Technoride reports: "The most attractive feature of SOFC (Solid Oxide Fuel Cells) systems are their fuel flexibility. Because they can run on a variety of fuels, or electrolytes, SOFCs eliminate the need to provide hydrogen as a source of fuel. But being able to run on multiple widely available petrochemical fuels also frees American automakers from dependency on any one fuel in case of a shortage. Franklin Fuel Cells believes its improved SOFC technology is key in enabling smooth transition off of fossil fuels, the company has said."

It's an interesting concept engine, I wonder if we will ever see it in production. Although I am still waiting for the time when I can to run my car on water.

Monday, August 21, 2006

This Global Warming Fix Stinks (article)

Wired News reports: "Scientists agree that the planet is getting warmer because excess carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere acts like a pane of glass, trapping heat from solar radiation. Using less electricity and driving less are often recommended by climatologists to reduce carbon emissions. ... Paul Crutzen, a director at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Germany, has a very different idea: He recommends injecting massive amounts of sulfur into the upper atmosphere so less sun will penetrate it."

The news and the weather have made us all to aware that the climate on our planet could be changing because of man made pollution and/or natural circumstances. Although the idea of injecting massive amounts of sulfur into the upper atmosphere, seems like a dangerous idea to me.

I am no expert in the field, but as the old adage goes, what goes up must come down. What type of effect will all that sulfur have on us and the environment.

Quotes of the Week

  • "A compromise is the art of dividing a cake in such a way that everyone believes that he has got the biggest piece." - Paul Gauguin
  • "If you love life, don't waste time, because time is what life is made of" - Ben Franklin
  • "Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage." - Niccolo Machiavelli

Infineon Gets Order for US Passport Security Chip (article)

eWeek reports: "German chip maker Infineon said on Monday it had won a contract from the U.S. government to supply security chips for an electronic passport system."

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Blue Oyster Spiral Fractal Zoom

No matter how deep you go, there's always more. This movie took quite a few days to calculate.

Friday, August 18, 2006

My Cubicle (The Music Video)

I am not sure of the name of the original song, but this is a very funny parirdy of it. I know some people whom the words of this song reflects their view of work, it's not mine but I have had days like this.

Federal judge orders halt to NSA spy program

CNET News.com reports: "The warrantless Internet and telephone surveillance program authorized by the Bush administration violates the U.S. Constitution and must cease immediately, a federal judge ruled Thursday."

Nintendo hopes Wii spells wiinner

USAToday reports: "Nintendo's soon-to-be-released Wii video game console is getting raves from reviewers and others who have gotten an early peek. ... The Wii (pronounced wee) sports an innovative controller: To hit a tennis ball, you swing it like a racket; to drive an SUV over treacherous terrain, you twist it like a steering wheel; to shoot a duck, you point it like a pistol."

Nintendo of America's new president and chief operating officer, Reginald Fils-Aime speaks with USAToday reporter Byron Acohido. About why he believes Nintendo, can retake top status in the billion dollar a year game industry.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Where to find the world's hottest startups

Business 2.0 reports: "As Web 2.0 success stories like Flickr and Del.icio.us prove, this kind of technology is dirt-cheap to implement and borrows data freely available from other websites. ... A lot of these global entrepreneurs are simply copying the biggest ideas in America's Web 2.0 canon. For every Digg.com, the popular U.S. site that lets readers nominate and vote on the most important news stories, there's a Yigg.de (the German version of the same)."

Here is an interesting article about Web 2.0 applications from around the world. Some of them are pretty interesting, and others are just duplicates of existing applications offered by other companies.

If you don't know what Web 2.0, Wikipedia defines it as: "a term often applied to a perceived ongoing transition of the World Wide Web from a collection of websites to a full-fledged computing platform serving web applications to end users. Ultimately Web 2.0 services are expected to replace desktop computing applications for many purposes."

Easy Podcasting with GCast

Have you wanted to create a podcast but thought it was too technical, or lacked the hardware and software to do it. There is a free service called GCast that lets you record your podcast just by calling a toll-free telephone number. They will even automatically generate an RSS feed to it.

GCast also offers other podcast services and tools, such as:
  • Free podcast hosting
  • Free Podcast-safe music downloads (from GarageBand.com)
  • Browser-based mixing tools
  • An embeddable podcast player (can be placed into any HTML page)
  • E-mail alerts

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A New Way to Make Ultrasensitive Explosives Detectors (article)

The future of explosives detection lies in the form of nanoparticle research. Hewitt-Packard and University of California at Irving researchers have found a new way to make nanoparticle arrays that could lead to the development of extremely precise chemical sensors able to detect liquid explosives. This technique will make it easier and less expensive to produce the nanoparticles and thus more practical to incorporate this technology into security procedure. While a few more years are needed before this breakthrough will result in new scanning devices, it is reflective of a growing field of research in this volatile time period.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Have You Checked Out Live.com Recently

In November of last year Microsoft released their Live.com site, with a few basic services. Since then they really expanded their offering with several new web applications and services (for example: domain name and web site hosting). The site also offers really nice downloadable applications as well (see the list below).

I really like the consistent interface across most of the applications, and how some of them are integrated together. I hope to continue to see more of this in the future as they release new services.

If you're curious about the difference between Live.com and MSN.com. From my understanding, Live.com will host all the web applications and services, and MSN will continue to be the content, news and information provider.

Below is a brief summary of all the Live.com applications and services:
Downloadable Applications

The software listed below are applications that you download and install on your local computer.
  • Windows Live Writer: This program was just released today, its WYSIWYG blog authoring tool that allows you to compose blog entries for Windows Live Spaces, Blogger, LiveJournal, TypePad, WordPress (and many others).
  • Windows Live Messenger: Microsoft's next generation instant messaging client. Now includes VoIP and video conferencing.
  • Windows Live Toolbar: Search the web, protect yourself against fraud, find files on your local computer.
  • Windows Live OneCare: Microsoft's new anti-malware (virus, spyware, and more.), firewall, tune-up, and more.

Coming Soon to Live.com

Below is a list of applications that Microsoft is getting ready to release.
For the latest information, on new or updated applications and services check out the Windows Live Ideas page. This is where they post all the latest updates to the site.

New Segways Steer Like a Bike (article)

PC Magazine reports: "The maker of the Segway scooter on Monday unveiled the second generation of its self-balancing electric one-person vehicle. ... The redesigned scooter allows the rider to steer by leaning to the right or left, rather than by turning the handlebars. It also features a wireless electric key and alarm system."

This is the next generation Segway scooter, it look similar to the original one but is now easier to use. The people who own these devices generally love them, but personally I would have to find a really good application for one of these before I would own one. They're about US$5,000 to $6,000 depending on how you have it configured.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Science reveals secrets of invisibility

CNN.com reports: "Invisibility has long been a fantastical ability exclusively enjoyed by teenage wizards, super heroes and the ultra-advanced civilisations of science fiction. ... But more pragmatic-minded scientists and engineers now believe that invisibility-enabling technology may be within reach of lesser mortals as well."

Arthur C. Clarke was quoted as saying, 'Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.' If they get this technology to work the way its suppose too, it will almost seem like magic. I don't consider bending light waves around an object to just be an everyday event (at least not yet).

The military and law enforcement applications for this technology are incredible. Although, there will be only one privacy issue, there will be no privacy left. Think about this, someone or something can be planted where you are and you won't know its there unless you happen to bump into it or find it.

Friday, August 11, 2006

How to Reduce Telemarketing Calls

For years telemarketers have been bothering us at all times of the day on our phones trying to sell us their wares. Then a few years ago the FCC finally came to our rescue by creating the 'National Do Not Call List'. It's suppose to help reduce the telemarketing calls that we receive.

If you're getting bother by telemarketers, and want to reduce these calls Junkbusters offers the following suggestions to help reduce this type of annoyance:
  1. Register your phone number(s) in the National Do-Not-Call Registry.
  2. When a telemarketer calls, always say "Put this number on your don't-call-list." (If your Federal Do-Not-Call registration has entered into effect, you may be able to proceed directly to enforcement action against them.)
  3. Use Junkbuster's Anti-telemarketing script, which probes whether the call was made by a telemarketing bureau. It also helps you probe whether the call was illegal under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, and whether you can collect $500-$1500. You can print out copies keep by your phones at home. Like all Junkbusters products and services, it's free.
  4. You can tell the Direct Marketing Association that you don't want calls from any of their member companies, though if you use the Federal registry this is unlikely to be of extra help.
  5. Read Junkbuster's extensive guide on how telemarketers work and how to stop them calling you.
  6. Your state may have a "Do Not Call" list where you can register your phone number. You can check your state in our guide, but most states coordinate with the National registry, so state registries have a similar effect to the National one.
  7. Recording "out-of-service tones" (also known as SIT tones) at the beginning of your answering machine message will fool some telemarketers' computers into not calling your number again. Download the tones here. There are also lots of anti-telemarketing devices you can buy.
    • Side note: For the people out there who would like to know the frequencies of these tone, they are: 985.2Hz, 1370.6Hz, and 1776.7Hz
  8. If you want source documents describing your legal rights, start with Junkbuster's collection of the laws, rules and regulations governing telemarketing.
  9. Junkbusters also maintains an extensive list of links to other sites concerning telemarketing.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Gore isn't quite as green as he's led the world to believe (article)

USATODAY.com reports: "Graciously, Gore tells consumers how to change their lives to curb their carbon-gobbling ways: Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs, use a clothesline, drive a hybrid, use renewable energy, dramatically cut back on consumption. Better still, responsible global citizens can follow Gore's example, because, as he readily points out in his speeches, he lives a "carbon-neutral lifestyle." But if Al Gore is the world's role model for ecology, the planet is doomed."

There is an old saying that goes "Don't talk the talk if you can't walk the walk." I have to admit I am not personally living a 'carbon-neutral lifestyle', but at the same time I try not to waste energy or other resources. The problem with energy saving technologies is that they have only recently started becoming available at a reasonable price.

Personally I believe that the government should mandate guidelines that appliance and other manufactures must meet for their products. They should attack the biggest energy wasters first, then start with other products. Some people are against government mandates like this, but think of how many things would not have happened if the government didn't mandate it (i.e.: clean water, environmental policies, etc.).

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Psst, Your Car is Watching You (article)

Time reports: "Few Americans realize that their cars can tattle on them. But among those in the know--civil libertarians, law enforcement agents and consumer advocates--a debate is surging over the black boxes technically called event-data recorders (EDRs). While some welcome them as a safety measure, others fear them as an Orwellian intrusion. Nearly one-third of vehicles on the road today--and 64% of this year's models--contain the little-noticed chips and sensors. Unlike flight recorders on airplanes, these microcomputers don't capture voices, but they can retain up to 20 seconds of data on speed, braking and acceleration in the lead-up to a crash. For virtually all Ford and General Motors cars, and for a few models from other automakers, accident investigators can buy a modem-like device to plug laptops into EDRs and download the information."

I read about this technology a few years back, but it now seems that it's going main stream. The technology was designed as a blackbox type of device for monitoring what happens in a crash just before the airbags were deployed. These devices have been used as evidence in several cases involving crashes to prove innocence and guilt.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Why "Nice Guys" are often such LOSERS (article)

I don't remember where I found this, but I though it would help whom consider themselves a "nice guy". It's not technology related, but the article has some worthwhile advice that is straight forward.

Here is an except from the article: "What's wrong with Nice Guys? The biggest problem is that most Nice Guys (tm) are hideously insecure. They are so anxious to be liked and loved that they do things for other people to gain acceptance and attention, rather than for the simply pleasure of giving. You never know if a Nice Guy really likes you for who you are, or if he has glommed onto you out of desperation because you actually paid some kind of attention to him."

Monday, August 07, 2006

Google warns on 'unsafe' websites (article)

BBC News reports: "Google has started warning users if they are about to visit a webpage that could harm their computer. ... The warning will pop up if users click on a link to a page known to host spyware or other malicious programs."

In May 2006 a research report showed that on average 4-6% of the search results returned in search engines contained sites that had harmful content on them. Below is a list of the most dangerous seach keywords that can contain spyware:
  • Free screensavers
  • Bearshare
  • Screensavers
  • Winmx
  • Limewire
  • Download Yahoo messenger
  • Lime wire
  • Free ringtones

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Bottled Water: Is it Really Better? (article)

WebMD reports: "Once upon a time, most of us could walk across a parking lot or push a stroller down the street without a bottle of water in our hands. It doesn’t seem that way anymore." ... "most municipal systems and most bottled water sources are fairly equal in terms of contaminants and other health and safety issues."

Baiters Teach Scammers a Lesson (article)

Wired News: "They pilfer nearly $200 million from Americans annually and drive some of their victims to suicide, but Nigeria's notorious e-mail scam artists may finally have met their match -- and the results can be hilarious. ... British online vigilante "Shiver Metimbers" is leading tens of thousands of "scambaiters" in a crusade to shut down advance-fee fraudsters, grifters who spam unwitting victims with elaborate, e-mailed sob stories promising a share of nonexistent fortunes in return for upfront payments."

This article is a good read...

Friday, August 04, 2006

Best Free Online Storage Sites (1GB and More)

There are literally hundreds of storage sites out on the Internet that offer capacities that range from a few megabytes to a few gigabytes. I have visited a lot of them, and created a list of the best sites.

Only sites that offered 1GB or more of storage were listed, anything less was too small. If you need more storage (and fewer restrictions) many of these sites offer premium plans for a fee.

The sites are placed into two categories based on the type of storage they offer:

Temporary Hosting Sites
Are you looking for a place to temporarily hold a large file so that you can email it, or to host content (such as media) for your web site or blog. Then check out the list of sites below, they allow you to quickly upload just about any file where it can be access by people whom you make its link available to. The file you upload will generally automatically be deleted after a specific amount of time has passed.
Note: The amount of storage, and how long the file can be stored will vary, check the site's storage policy for specific details.
Online File Storage
Are you looking for a site that specializes in online file storage, and won't automatically delete your files if you have not used them in a while. These sites are great for holding backups of your files, or acting as a transfer point for moving data from one computer to another computer (such as from home to work and back).
Note: Most of these sites have some type of transfer limits (i.e.: how much you can upload or download) which vary from site to site.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Chad Vader - Day Shift Manager (Episode 2)

The continuing story of Chad Vader. Chad is Darth Vader's less-talented, less-charismatic younger brother, who is the day shift manager at a local a grocery store.

Get Your Car Stolen, And Not Get Paid By Your Insurance Company

Is your car equipped with a transponder anti-theft system? This is where the ignition key is embedded with a tiny computer chip that transmits a unique radio signal to the vehicle's on-board computer. Without this radio signal, your car won't start.

If your car is equipped with a transponder anti-theft system, and your car get stolen your insurance company may not pay your claim if this system was not damaged. Your insurance might assume that this is some type of fraud, because this system is suppose to prevent this type of theft.

Read the article it has a lot of good information in it. Also check out the following post.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Chad Vader - Day Shift Manager (Episode 1)

Chad Vader is Darth Vader's less-talented, less-charismatic younger brother and is the day shift manager at a local a grocery store.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

BABYLON 5 Returns!!

Ain't It Cool News reports: "During last weekend's San Diego Comic Con...at a panel that (evidently) didn't enjoy the "in your face" notoriety of, say, TRANSFORMERS or SPIDERMAN 3... producer/writer/director J. Michael Straczynski (JMS, or "Joe") made an announcement regarding the future of this little concept he has called BABYLON 5. ... The thrust of the news is this: straight-to-video BABYLON 5 adventures...involving B5 characters in an anthology format...should arrive late next year. Written and directed by JMS."

I would love to see the B5 series return, it is probably one of the best sci-fi series of all-times. So far 'Ain't It Cool News' is the best source of information that is available about new series.

Popularity Dialer

Have you ever been in a situation where you wished your cell phone would ring? Maybe you wanted to look extra important or popular on that hot date. Or maybe you just needed an excuse to escape from an unpleasant meeting.

With 'The Popularity Dialer', you can plan ahead. Via a web interface, you can choose to have your phone called at a particular time (or several times). At the elected time, your phone will be dialed and you will hear a prerecorded message that's one half of a conversation. Thus, you will be prompted to have a fake conversation and will easily fool those around you.

Microsoft's TouchLight makes 3D hands-on (video)

Cnet reports: "TouchLight technology, slated to be released by the end of the year, lets users move and manipulate three-dimensional images with their hands. CNET News.com's Neha Tiwari talks with David Harnett, Microsoft's senior director of IP ventures, about how the technology works and what practical uses it will have."

In the movie "Minority Report" (2002), do you remember the scene where Tom Cruise who played Chief John Anderton would manipulate data on the computer screen by moving his hands around in mid-air. This technology from the movie is here today, its pretty impressive and it should only get better. Watch the video to see more.