Friday, November 30, 2007

Amazon Kindle Disassembly and Take-Apart Guide

RapidRepair has completed the new Amazon Kindle disassembly guide. With the slicing and dicing complete, you need only look down to see the internals of the new Kindle from Amazon.

Photos: A brief history of stealth aircraft

TechRepublic reports: "Just a generation ago, it was a hush-hush military project, a futuristic aircraft that fit right into the shadowy cloak-and-dagger atmosphere of the Cold War. Nowadays the F-117A Nighthawk stealth aircraft--the first of its kind--is making a high-profile circuit of the world's air shows, from New Mexico to Dubai, as it heads into retirement. But even today, the plane is still as startling a sight as it was in the late 1980s when the Pentagon first revealed it to the public, all triangles and trapezoids. Those long edges and slopes, along with smaller serrations spread across the airframe, are key elements of how the F-117A hides in plain sight--they scatter and redirect radar signals away from the radar detector that sent them skyward."

See some pictures of some pretty amazing planes. Some of them I have never seen before.

Family Holiday Survival Kit

ATG Javelin - Personal Jet

Excerpt from the Wikipedia: "The Javelin is a small high-speed personal jet being developed by the Aviation Technology Group (ATG). Planned for FAA certification under 14 CFR part 23, the Javelin has a design resembling a fighter aircraft, an unusual concept for civilian jets. The Javelin MK-20 derivative, being developed in cooperation between ATG and Israel Aerospace Industries, is expected to fill the jet trainer role for various air forces. The Javelin is designed to look and perform like a fighter jet. Pre-orders are being sold for approximately US$ 2.995 million in the civil market."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Majority of Internet bandwidth consumed by P2P services reports: "New research from German deep packet inspection gear maker Ipoque shows that P2P traffic consumes anywhere between 49 and 89 percent of all Internet traffic in the day. At night, it can spike up to an astonishing 95 percent. Ipoque gathered over three petabytes of information with the permission of ISPs and universities in Europe, the Middle East, and Australia between August and September this year."

The question is, will P2P kill the Internet? Or, will ISPs learn how to exploit it in some way to their advantage?

Remember: When the life gives you lemons, learn to make lemonade...

The 12 Pains of Christmas (Disney Version)

World Faces 'Cyber Cold War' Threat: Report

PC Magazine: "A 'cyber cold war' waged over the world's computers threatens to become one of the biggest threats to security in the next decade, according to a report published on Thursday. About 120 countries are developing ways to use the Internet as a weapon to target financial markets, government computer systems and utilities, Internet security company McAfee said in an annual report."

Really makes you want to hook up to the Internet...

How to deal with an asteroid threat

MSNBC reports: "When it comes to 22-million-ton asteroids, the small stuff, it turns out, can make a huge difference in a potentially disastrous path toward Earth. Using limited observations and lots of high-end computer modeling, astronomers have gotten a better handle on the limitations of asteroid-track forecasting in a new study of a potentially threatening asteroid called Apophis. In this high-stakes game of Whack-a-Cosmic-Mole, just knowing exactly what it is you don't know can be useful."

We appear to be safe past 2029, the real worry is for now is 2036...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Google’s GDrive may be more than just rumors

TechRepublic reports: "If this sounds familiar it is. Rumors of Gdrive have been around for months. Gdrive went from a dead project in August to being a part of Google Apps in September to losing a key developer to Facebook. Google is serious though since it secured a bunch of name servers."

I just found this blog post of someone else thinks the samething that GDrive is just a few months away.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Getting cash for crashed gadgets

Webware reports: "Tech recycling services traditionally are either free or charge you a fee for trying to keep old gear out of landfills. But as long as you're cleaning out closets to make room for another season of gifts, you could finance some of your holiday shopping by sending tired tech toys to a service that will pay for them."

When you have to get rid of those old gadgets, you should do it responsibly. Here are some great solutions for disposing of them.

Can baking soda curb global warming?

CNET reports: "Some scientists have proposed compressing carbon dioxide and sticking it in underground caves as a way to cut down on greenhouse gases. Joe David Jones wants to make baking soda out of it. Jones, the founder and CEO of Skyonic, has come up with an industrial process called SkyMine that captures 90 percent of the carbon dioxide coming out of smoke stacks and mixes it with sodium hydroxide to make sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda. The energy required for the reaction to turn the chemicals into baking soda comes from the waste heat from the factory."

This sounds like a great idea, but I would be uncomfortable using the baking soda extracted from the process.

Google to Offer Personal Storage?

"NEW YORK (Reuters)—Google Inc is preparing a service that would enable users to store data from their personal hard drives on its computers, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday in its online edition."

Could this be the 'G-Drive', that was being talked about a long time ago (okay, it may might have been several months at the very most)?

Our 56 Top Holiday Picks - Holiday Gift Guide by PC Magazine

PC Magazine reports: "Ready, set, shop! Yes, the holiday shopping season has begun, and there's no time to waste. That's OK, though, because we're here to save you tons of time. Don't bother making lists or doing research (unless you do it here); we've polled our expert analysts and asked them for their gift recommendations in each of the major categories. So, take a deep breath and get that credit card ready."

Looking for something special for that special person for a special occasion, then check out this special article. ;-)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Nvidia Commercial (Overclocking)

U.K. government reveals its 'biggest privacy disaster'

ZDNet reports: "Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs has admitted to losing the details of 25 million individuals, with 7.25 million U.K. families potentially affected. In a speech to Parliament on Tuesday, the chancellor of the exchequer, Alistair Darling, told of the loss of two discs containing the details of everybody in the U.K. who claims and receives child benefits."

Intel Considering Portable Data Centers

Data Center Knowledge reports: "The cost of building a new data center is extremely high — between $40 million and $60 million. As an alternative, we are considering placing high-density servers on racks in a container similar to those you see on container ships and trucks. We estimate that the same server capacity in this container solution will reduce facility costs by 30 percent to 50 percent versus a brick-and-mortar installation. Because it’s a small, contained environment, cooling costs are far less than for traditional data centers. Even if we build a warehouse-like structure to house the containers (thus addressing security and environmental concerns), the cost is dramatically less per square foot. In fact, the difference is so great that with this solution, brick-and-mortar data centers may become a thing of the past."

I have been following this technology for a few years, when on November 17, 2005 Robert X. Cringely reported: "in one of Google's underground parking garages in Mountain View. There, in a secret area off-limits even to regular GoogleFolk, is a shipping container. But it isn't just any shipping container. This shipping container is a prototype data center."

I got even more excited about the technology when Sun introduced 'Project Blackbox', because they really showed the potential of this technology. Check out the site for more information.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Quote of the day...

"People buy solutions to a problem, they don't buy technology" --Unknown

Google Testing Own Wireless Network

Google Watch reports: "Google is testing its own wireless network to prepare for the Federal Communication Commission's 700 MHz spectrum auction in January, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter. Using a test license from the FCC, the search company is running mobile phones with its Android software on the network. The idea is that if the company bids on and secures wireless spectrum, it will have an idea of how to use it."

Friday, November 23, 2007

Seagate Launches Data Recovery Service at Staples

eWeek reports: "Seagate Technolovery Service at Staplesgy's Recovery Services division is offering a new set of data recovery services for consumers and businesses at 1,400 Staples stores in North America and Hawaii. Staples, the world's largest office products company, is fronting the services through its in-store EasyTech services staff. The chain began offering the services Nov. 20."

It looks like Seagate and Staples are commoditizing data recovery services. Repairs will run anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.

So backup your data now. You can save yourself a lot of money in the long run just in case you lose your hard drive.

Discount Electronics Site Called a Scam

PC Magazine reports: "Would you be suspicious of an American e-commerce site that required a $500 minimum purchase, didn't accept credit cards, and asked you to send a money order to an address in Italy? Jeff Garstecki, a PC Magazine reader, was. But the design of was sophisticated, well-organized, and offered prices low enough to come up on the Google Products shopping page—too good to be true, Garstecki believed. His suspicions and those of others were borne out when Garstecki and others started checking out the site using conventional methods, such as a call to the police, as well as newer tools like Google Street View, which can be used to assist citizen sleuths."

Unboxing Amazon's Kindle

If you wanted a Amazon Kindle, but were not able to get your hands on one. TechRepublic unboxes one so you can see what you would would have gotten if you were able to get your hands on one. I can image that one of these devices would a commuter's best friend if you got to take public transit to work everyday.

What is the big deal about 802.11n? reports: "802.11n is being touted as the networking standard that will unwire the network world. Most people are not convinced, yet curious to see how one defends such a claim. The 802.11n standard has two top-level mandates (unwiring the world not being one of them): Achieve higher data rates and retain backward compatibility with legacy 802.11a/b/g devices. The significance of requiring backward compatibility shouldn’t be taken lightly since it complicates the development process exponentially. Yet the 802.11n group has come up with a soon-to-be-ratified standard that meets both objectives."

This is probably the best article that I have read to date on the 802.11n standard. It appears to be most complex and featured pack of all the 802.11 specifications released so far.

10 Things You Should Know About 802.11n - Dual-Band

eWeek reports: "Now that a few enterprise-class wireless LAN vendors are selling devices based on Draft 2.0 of the 802.11n WLAN specification, enterprise wireless implementers should keep the following in mind as they consider the technology."

If you don't know a lot about 802.11n, you might want to check out this technical slide show.

The Grinches of Online Holiday Shopping

eWeek reports: "The Grinch was right when he thought, "Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store." More than 30 percent of it will actually come from online retail this year, according to the National Retail Federation. Retail Editor Evan Schuman and Security Editor Lisa Vaas scope out some of the Grinches you may encounter while shopping online - and offer some tips on avoiding them."

Here is some great advice on how to protect yourself online.

10 Great Snake-Oil Gadgets reports: "Some gadgets change the world. Others don't. These ones, however, are very effective at one thing in particular: teleporting money out of customers' pockets."

All this stuff is obliviously fake, or useless but people still buy it.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

USB 3.0 -- 10 Times Faster -- In the Works for 2009

Yahoo! Tech reports: "USB, that little rectangular plug that can be found on just about every computer peripheral cable you come across, is one of the biggest success stories in the history of computing. Ditching the slow serial and parallel cables of yore and replacing them with a fast, universal standard that could draw power and allowed connecting of dozens of peripherals without rebooting... well, it was genius. When USB 2.0 arrived, with much faster performance, it got even better. It's not hyperbole to say that USB, despite its humble status as a mere connector, is one of the most important computer technologies to ever be invented."

I want it now, 2009 is too far away...

Finding Nintendo Wiis

Finding Nintendo Wiis can be a very difficult thing to buy these days. It's the only device that I can think of that has stayed in short supply for such a long time. There are units available to buy, but they sell out very fast.

One piece of advice for finding a Wii, is to check with your local retailer who sells them and find out when they receive their weekly shipments. Call or show up at the store on those days and see if they have received any new units.

Sometimes Wiis that are sold in a bundle package of games and accessories tend to have better availability because of there higher cost, then the console only systems. If you like the stuff that is included in the bundle then this might be a good deal, otherwise you're just buying stuff that you don't need.

To help in your search for the game console, I have included the links below to Wii Trackers. These sites can help you find a system of your very own.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Opinion: Why Amazon's Kindle is revolutionary

Mike Elgan reports: "Last April, I wrote a column titled, 'Why e-books are bound to fail.' My reasons: cost, the availability of better alternatives and, most importantly, book lovers love paper books. I was wrong. This week, I set out this week to deflate the hype about Amazon's new Kindle e-book reader and to tell you why it will fail. But while researching this column, I became convinced of the opposite: Kindle is revolutionary and will succeed in the market. Some percentage of book lovers, including me, will buy one to replace their beloved paper books, magazines and newspapers."

I agree with Mike Elgan on a lot of his opinions in this article. It is a pretty amazing device. Although, what makes it really amazing is its wireless connection, it opens up a whole new worlds of content and features for the reader.

Hats off to Amazon for making a great ebook device.

Finding the Best Deal on Travel

Are you looking for some easy ways to save money on your travel. Well in my experience it takes work and luck to save any real money. There is no magic web site, phone number to call, or person to talk to. Its all the above, and its all about research.

General advice for getting the best discounts
  • Reserve your ticket as earlier as you can (about 4-6 weeks) to get the best price and seat availability.
  • Indirect flights are generally cheaper then direct flights, but varies from destination to destination.
  • Be flexible about the dates you travel, traveling during the week can be cheaper then the weekend. Also being willing to stay over on a Saturday night might help reduce the cost.
  • If you're older then 55 or have a child under 12, check for senior or child discounts.
  • If you fly a lot leverage your frequent flyer miles when you purchase your tickets.
  • Sometimes choosing a different airport depending on the destination can save you some money.
Below are sites that you can use for finding the best deals related to air travel:
  • Farecast: General airline price comparison site.
  • Kayak: General airline price comparison site.
  • Mobissimo: General airline price comparison site.
  • Wegolo: Airline price comparison site for low-cost European carriers.
  • Priceline: Bid on your tickets and hotel. (General rules of advice for using this site, bid close to the date that you want to go to your destination. Also search the lowest price and then bid 30%-40% below that.)
Below are some additional travel related sites that may help you to prepare to get to your destination:

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

10 Best Black Friday Sites

PC Magazine: "Each year, shoppers brave the frigid temperatures and feisty crowds, racing through stores in the wee hours of one particular morning to shop for the season's most-coveted gifts. Yes, folks Black Friday is almost here—that crazy day after Thanksgiving when the holiday shopping season unofficially begins."

Let the shopping begin... Personally, I find it too much trouble to try to go these sales to try to save a few dollars on something.

'Geoengineering': Space mirror over Greenland?

CNET repots: "Scientists are starting to consider planet-scale engineering projects to slow the pace of climate change--anything from causing massive plankton growth in the ocean to putting a giant mirror in space above Greenland to stop ice from melting. These ideas to alter the earth's environment at large scale, called 'geoengineering,' are increasingly being articulated and seriously evaluated even though they are likely to be controversial."

Some of the ideas proposed in this article sound scarier then the problem itself. The best idea is still just to reduce the emissions we are creating...

Monday, November 19, 2007

Cover Your Tracks Online

PC Magazine reports: "When, in August 2006, a vendor for AOL released search records on 657,000 AOL users, it was easy to look at the queries associated with specific users and determine what kinds of people they were and ultimately who they were. Your online activities could —do—end up in a database somewhere. Read the privacy policy of your favorite search engine, and you'll see what methods it employs to collect valuable data about its users. Then consider how many times you've read about security breaches that result in data leaks."

The article's title is deceptive, but it does contain useful information. It tells you how to erase your search history stored at Google created from your everyday searches. Some people are concerned about this information being analyzed, and being used against them some how.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Scottish Star Trek

WikipediaVision (Watch Wikipedia Updates as they Happen)

WikipediaVision allows you to see the locations of the people updating the Wikipedia on a global map in semi-real-time. The creator of this site got the idea for it from projects like flickervision and twittervision, both created by David Troy.

10 Black Friday Secrets Retailers Don't Want You To Know

Mike Elgan reports: "They don't call the day after Thanksgiving 'Black Friday' for nothing. It's all about launching the megastores “into the black” – into profitability. They profit not by offering goods at a loss, but by using ultra-low prices to lure you into their stores, where they can employ dirty tricks to make money."

There is some really great advice in this article if you want to take advantage of those 'Black Friday' sales here in the US.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Star Trek TNG Episode Guide Song

An hilarious video naming all 178 episodes from Star Trek: The Next Generation (ST:TNG) in one song.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Cartesian Diver (home science experiment)

Here is another great experiment for kids that you can do with stuff around the house. In this video you will learn how to create a Cartesian diver. This will help you to explore why things float.

The Charge of the Ultra - Capacitors

IEEE Spectrum reports: "Because no chemical reaction is involved, ultracapacitors—also known as supercapacitors and double-layer capacitors—are much more effective at rapid, regenerative energy storage than chemical batteries are. What's more, rechargeable batteries usually degrade within a few thousand charge-discharge cycles. In a given year, a light-rail vehicle might go through as many as 300 000 charging cycles, which is far more than a battery can handle. (Although flywheel energy-storage systems can be used to get around that difficulty, a heavy and complicated transmission system is needed to transfer the energy.)"

Every year I expect better battery technology to be developed for all the new electronics. And every year I am pretty consistently disappointed. The ultra-capacitors are where I would be putting my money, rather then on the older chemical based battery technologies.

Steampunk’s Twist on Tech reports: "If you've ever owned a laptop for more than a couple of years, you've probably marveled at how ancient and clunky it looks next to the latest models. That once-sleek Dell Latitude LM, boasting a Pentium processor, is the size of a VCR, feels as if it weighs 20 pounds and seems about as cutting edge as a Betamax. But its antiquated feel has got nothing on Richard Nagy's Hewlett Packard."

Some of these are really cool computer caase mods if you like the Steampunk style. Check it out...

Zune (second generation, 80GB, black) MP3 player reviews

CNET reports: "The 80GB Microsoft Zune MP3 player features a 3.2-inch glass LCD; a user-friendly interface; exceptional navigation control; audio and video podcast support; a superlative FM radio with RBDS information; wireless syncing and sharing; high-quality earphones; revamped Zune Marketplace PC software; Zune Pass subscription music support; good audio quality; and a built-in composite-video output."

Check out the video review of the new Zune. It makes me want to go out and get one...

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Quantum Mechanics in 90 Seconds

Wikipedia states: "In physics, quantum mechanics is the study of the relationship between energy quanta (radiation) and matter, in particular that between valence shell electrons and photons. Quantum mechanics is a fundamental branch of physics with wide applications in both experimental and theoretical physics. The effects of quantum mechanics are typically not observable on macroscopic scales, but become evident at the atomic and subatomic level. Quantum theory generalizes all classical theories, including mechanics and electromagnetism (except general relativity), and provides accurate descriptions for many previously unexplained phenomena such as black body radiation and stable electron orbits. Confused, watched the video more information.

Open Handset Alliance

You might of heard all the rumors about Google's Gphone. Almost everyone thought it was going to be a real phone. Although it turned out to be an open source development platform for mobile phones based on Linux and Java, and its called 'Android'. Google also announced the formation of the Open Handset Alliance a consortium of 34 software, hardware, and telecoms companies devoted to supporting this platform.

Guinness's 'Tipping Point' Commercial

Guinness's 'Tipping Point' commercial from what I read this is the most expensive TV commercial ever produced, with a production cost of £10 million. Its really pretty incredible to watch.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

PCs Losing Their Relevance in Japan

Yahoo! Finance reports: "The PC's role in Japanese homes is diminishing, as its once-awesome monopoly on processing power is encroached by gadgets such as smart phones that act like pocket-size computers, advanced Internet-connected game consoles, and digital video recorders with terabytes of memory."

The article makes one good point that recent computer advances are only evolutionary and not revolutionary. So business and people don't need the latest and greatest PCs they can buy. Their old computers are working for them just fine for right now.

IMHO: Personally I believe this will be a short term trend, but that is only based on my own speculation. Surfing the web from a phone no matter how advanced is a pretty awful experience when compared to a PC.

Images: NASA builds Orion mock-up

CNET "Researchers at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in Southern California have built the first stage of the Orion manned spacecraft--a full-scale model. The mock-up craft, which looks like a flying saucer from a 1950s sci-fi movie, is part of a test of the launch abort system."

The technology doesn't look that different from what was used in the original Apollo program. Still interesting enough to check out.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Beam me up: Just how close are we to teleportation? reports: "Admit it -- at one point or another we've all dreamed of being able to teleport. How much easier and less stressful life would be if, at the flick of a switch, we could whisk ourselves direct from home to work without the intervening two hours crushed onto public transport, face wedged into the armpit of a man with a sweat gland problem."

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Tomy I-SOBOT Robot

The new i-SOBOT humanoid robot from TOMY will go on sale in the US and Japan this October. Below is a list of some of its features:
  • Robot packed with over 200 words and phrases, and 200 pre-programmed movements
  • Operates with remote control, programmable memory, and voice activation
  • 17 custom designed actuators and gyro-sensor for balance and freely moving joints
  • Includes remote control, hexagon wrench, action chart, operation manual and 3 AAA batteries
  • Recommended for ages 10 and up

Simple Magnet Motor

This seems like a cool project to do with you kids to teach them the fundamental principals of electric motors.

Ninja Parade Slips Through Town Unnoticed Once Again

Ninja Parade Slips Through Town Unnoticed Once Again

Modesto, CA residents turned out for the city's annual Ninja Parade, where no ninjas were seen for the 30th year in a row.

Breaking News: All Online Data Lost After Internet Crash

Breaking News: All Online Data Lost After Internet Crash

Officials confirm that all online data has been lost after the Internet crashed and was forced to restart.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Batman vs. Alien vs. Predator

I was expecting this to be a comedy before I watched it. Although the production value is really good when compared to a lot of the stuff that is available on the Internet.

Genetically Engineered Super Mice

This new breed of genetically engineered super mice can run four miles (six kilometers) at a speed of 20 yards (meters) per minute for up to six hours without stopping.

New Daylight Saving Time Standard

As you probably know the move from Daylight Saving Time (DST) back to Standard Time generally happens on the last Sunday in October. Although, from now on it will be the first Sunday in November.

Your computer and older electronics that are designed to automatically handle DST using the older standard might have already set themselves back and an hour last Sunday morning. This means you will have to reset them twice.

This is all part of the Energy Conservation Act of 2005, which is designed to save energy (there is an estimated savings of about 1% because of the change). Its also worth noting that the 'spring forward' part of the DST also gets changed next year to March 9th.

To find out how your Microsoft operating system or applications might be effected by the new DST, go to the following web site. There is a web based questionnaire, that will direct you right updates for your software.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Deep-Sixing CAPTCHA

PC Magazine reports: "Recently, RMG Technologies made big news when a judge barred the company from producing and distributing software that, apparently, enables ticket brokers to buy tons of tickets for resale. The software uses 'bots' to find and purchase ticket blocks at sites like Ticketmaster, despite the fact that the site uses varied online safeguards designed to block this kind of activity. The judges took action after parents across the U.S. started complaining that they were getting boxed out of coveted Hannah Montana tickets."

Wikipedia explains a CAPTCHA as "a type of challenge-response test used in computing to determine whether the user is human. "CAPTCHA" is a contrived acronym for "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart".

If you still don't know what a CAPTCHA is. Have you ever been asked to transcribe distorted letters and numbers from a graphic on web site? Well that's it. According to the article, they now have a program that can read that mess displayed in the graphic.