Saturday, December 29, 2007

Inside a Modern Malware Distribution System

eWeek reports: "SecureWorks anti-malware guru Joe Stewart is not one to be intimidated by advances in online crime activity. ... But, when he reversed the backend code associated with the Pushdo Trojan downloader, he discovered a modern malware distribution system fitted with complex tracking mechanisms and hiding techniques—another clear sign that virus fighters are up against a clever and sophisticated enemy."

Its almost shocking how sophisticated malware developers are getting. Some of the tracking systems are very complex.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Detroit Auto Show: Mazda Furai, Revealed

Jalopnik reports: "'Furai takes Mazda's unique Nagare (Japanese for 'flow') design language a step further as it is translated into a concept car based on an American Le Mans Series (ALMS) racing car. The car utilizes the Courage C65 chassis the company campaigned in the ALMS series only two seasons ago, and the 450-hp three-rotor rotary engine that distinguishes it from anything else on the track.'"

The Mazda Furai (concept car) is absolutely beautiful.

Detroit Auto Show: Exploding the 2009 Corvette ZR1's Brilliantly Beautiful LS9 Engine

jalopnik reports: "If you'll remember, we were the first to show you the unofficial shots of the new 2009 Chevy Corvette ZR1's beautiful 620 HP LS9 engine. Next we brought you the in-cockpit camera footage of the ZR1 taking a lap at Laguna. Then we had the opportunity to show off all of the pictures and details on the new up-powered Corvette ZR1. Now we're going to go a little bit more in-depth, showing off all the little bits n' pieces of the supercharged small-block V8 engine under the hood of Zee-Really fast One."

If you're a Corvette, then you want to check out this page.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

What song is this?

Starts out very slowly, but worth watching until the end.

Nanosolar’s Breakthrough - Solar Now Cheaper than Coal

Celsias reports: "Their PowerSheet (Nanosolar) cells contrast the current solar technology systems by reducing the cost of production from $3 a watt to a mere 30 cents per watt. This makes, for the first time in history, solar power cheaper than burning coal."

Go solar power...

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Bureau of Communication

Excerpt from the site: "Everyday, there are millions of thoughts that go unspoken. To promote better understanding between the peoples of the world, the Bureau of Communication is pleased to present a selection of fill-in-the-blank stationery for everyday correspondence. Whether you need to communicate a problem, send an invitation to an event, or simply apologize for a transgression, our easy-to-use forms will ensure that your message is clearly conveyed."

Try out some of their forms they are really funny...

Why 2008 Will Be An Awesome Year For Movies reports: "Now that 2007 has nearly come and gone and almost all of those 43 movies have been released, it's time to look ahead at 2008. The last 12 months have played a major part in building the hype for most of the movies mentioned and I can now say that 2008 looks way more appealing at this moment than 2007 did at the same time last year. This could be the year that we see revolutionary new changes in Hollywood, not only as the Writers Strike ends but as we encounter films like Cloverfield, Speed Racer, and The Dark Knight. Let's take look at 54 reasons why 2008 will be an awesome year for movies and an even better year than 2007."

I love movies, but I am not sure I agree with the title of the article. I have read through the list and I am not impressed with everything that I see. Although it seem like there should be a few good ones in there.

Homemade HD Video Projectors: Projectors Made From Trash Deliver HD Video and Stereoscopic Movies

Gizmodo reports: "Projector prices are low now, but it looks like some crazy people like to make their own from scrapped parts: modified 8' LCD screens from cheap DVD players, chunky power converters, circuitry salvaged from dead AV equipment and hundreds of LEDs put together to create powerful lamps. The result are high-definition ghetto machines capable of delivering good images out of, literally, trash."

I really admire those people who make this stuff. One of these days I am going to get around to making one myself.

Scissors is the 'psychological winner' out of rock and paper in playground game, scientists say

The Daily Mail reports: "Most of us know that stone blunts scissors, scissors cut paper and paper covers stone. What is less well-known, however, is how to win the popular playground game. Now stalwart players have come up with a strategy: Start with scissors."

There is an interesting story in the article about Christie's and Sotheby's auction houses being forced to play this game to get a wealthy Japanese client's business.

11 "Don't-Tell-the-Wife" Secrets All Men Keep

WebMD reports: "There comes a time in every man's life when he discovers the value of hiding the grosser parts of his nature. He starts reciting the sweet nothings you long to hear: "No, honey, I play golf for the exercise." "No, honey, I think you're a great driver." "No, honey, I wasn't looking at that coed washing the car in the rain.""

An interesting article about men's relationships with women, it includes some broad generalizations (so it doesn't apply to all men). So you have to take the information with 'a grain of salt'.

New Nanowire Battery Holds 10 Times The Charge Of Existing Ones

ScienceDaily reports: "Stanford researchers have found a way to use silicon nanowires to reinvent the rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that power laptops, iPods, video cameras, cell phones, and countless other devices."

Smaller, better, faster, more affordable, efficient, and reliable portable batteries are one of the single most fundamentally important advances to the future of portable electronics. Although this has to go hand-in-hand with more power efficient components (such as: screens, ICs, storage devices)

Yves Behar talks about the OLPC

Yves Behar talks about the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC). The OLPC is pretty incredible for what it is technologically. I think its designed well for its market. The real question how well will it do over time. We will have to wait 5-10 years to understand the impact that it will have.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Hardware: How to Upgrade a Graphics Card

PC Magazine reports: "Windows Vista is the most graphically intensive operating system ever, and DirectX 10, its multimedia and gaming component, has computer users all over the world considering upgrading their PCs. With its 3D-driven Aero graphical user interface (GUI), Vista requires more graphics-card muscle than XP does. And because DirectX 10 isn't backward-compatible, gamers who are captivated by its powerful specs are being forced to upgrade their hardware in order to enjoy it."

This article explains how to buy a graphic card for your Windows Vista computer to take full advantage of the Areo interface.

The Year's 10 Craziest Ways to Hack the Earth

Wired reports: "Scientists have come up with extreme -- some might say crazy -- schemes to counteract global warming. This year saw the most radical geo-engineering ideas yet: man-made volcanoes, orbiting mirror fleets and ocean re-engineering to cool the planet and absorb carbon dioxide.

Some say the extreme temperatures predicted for the near future call for extreme measures. Others say the solutions could be worse than the problem. In increasing order of unorthodoxy, here are the 10 craziest geo-engineering schemes of 2007."

There are some interesting and scary ideas being proposed to save the planet. The questions is the possible cure worse then the problem?

Top ten evil computers

Crave reports: "Ah, computers. They make our lives so easy... but we should fear them, for they may yet turn on us. We've collected together ten of the most ee-vil computers to not only achieve sentience, but decide that those pesky, squishy hu-mans just have to go."

Some of these machines you may have heard of, and others you may have not. Some of them were even a trip down memory lane for me. For example, I forgot how good '2001 : A Space Odyssey (1868)" was for its time.

New law aims to majorly cut oil dependency reports: "Gas guzzlers could become relics of the past and farmers may rival oil companies in producing motor fuels under a new energy law. Consumers also will save electricity — and money — from more efficient refrigerators, furnaces and dishwashers."

I think this law is taking a lot of steps in the right direction. Although, sometimes what these laws propose to do on the surface, sometimes have alternate agendas or perks for special interests buried in them. We will see what happens.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

That online chat 'assistant' may not be real

CNN Money reports: "Every year, hoards of online shoppers bolt when they're just a click or two away from finishing the checkout process. Maybe it's a security concern, or what if returning the item turns out to be too much of a hassle? Whatever the reason, one study found that as many as 60 percent of online shoppers flee, making shopping cart abandonment a huge and costly problem for any business selling on the Web. The great frustration for online businesses is that a salesperson can't just walk over to you and offer help."

Pretty interesting article if you're interested in chatbot technologies, or for people wanting to find new ways to reach out to their customers from their web site.

2007 Cool Yule Tools: Holiday Gift Guide

Network World reports: "Welcome to the 8th annual technology holiday gift guide, where we do all of the heavy lifting of wading through hundreds of submitted technology products to find the very best holiday gift ideas. With more than 80 products to choose from, we're sure there's something on our list that will make your holiday list."

There is some stuff you would expect in a list like this, and maybe some new things that you have never seen before.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Photos: Art of the printer cartridge refill

TechRepublic reports: "The printer supply business is lucrative: it's estimated that companies that produce hardware, paper, ink, and cartridges make $70 billion in sales each year. Now, what was once a niche segment of the market--printer cartridge refilling--is rapidly becoming an indispensible part of the industry. As businesses and consumers find out about the less expensive and often more environmentally friendly option of getting cartridges refilled by third-party companies instead of going to the printer manufacturer, refillers are gaining ground. Currently they do about $15 billion in business annually."

Watch how an old ink cartridge is brought back to life.

FireWire speeds set to quadruple

ZDNet reports: "The speed of FireWire is set to quadruple next year after the group behind it announced a new specification for the networking interface. FireWire is the best-known brand name for the 1394 standard, which is also known as i.Link. The technology is used as a high-speed data interface for linking devices such as external hard drives and camcorders to PCs."

Its pretty amazing the speeds that they're reaching with the next generation USB and FireWire technologies.

An Amazing New Car Door Design

Sukhoi Su-30 Demo

This looks like an amazing plane...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Surrogate Mothers: Womb for Rent

MSN Reports: "Customer service, tech support...these days we outsource everything to India. So why not pregnancy? Here is a report on the growing number of Indian women willing to carry an American child."

I think this is taking outsourcing to a new extreme (for good or bad its here).

Photos: Autographs via LongPen

CNET reports: "Toronto-based Unotchit has developed a special videoconferencing system that allows authors and celebrities at one location to interact with and send personalized autographs to fans at another. A key feature of the system, called the LongPen Network, is the LongPen kiosk, the video and signature-replication 'autopen' that can be placed at bookstores and other retail locations. An author at home, for example, can write comments and his or her signature on a special touchpad connected to the network; those are then replicated by the autopen."

It seems as the world becomes more advanced, things become less personable. This technology is a prefect example.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Hypersonic Age is Near

Popular Science reports: "Last March, engineers from Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne (PWR) gathered in the control room of a high-temperature tunnel at NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia. After a countdown, a jet of blue flame fueled by methane gas roared down the 12-foot length of the tunnel. A low rumble crept into the control room. It sounded like a rocket firing, which actually wasn't far from the truth."

These are truly amazing engines, with scary future prospects (such as missiles that can hit a target anywhere in the world really, really fast)...

Cracking open the Microsoft Zune (2nd generation)

TechRepublic reports: "The second generation Microsoft Zune media player is that company's answer to the various iPods Apple has put on the market with at least video and MP3 capability. As a general purpose media player, the Zune is more than serviceable. It is not spectacular, but the Zune does just what you expect -- play music and videos, display pictures, and manage your media library. But the question remains -- what the heck is inside. In this TechRepublic Cracking Open Photo Gallery we examine what is actually in a Microsoft Zune."

TechRepublic shows you inside a 2nd generation Zune. There are lots of pictures.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

21 Things You Didn't Know You Can Recycle

Co-op America reports: "Garbage. Americans produce more and more of it every year, when we need to be producing less. Even the most waste-conscious among us can feel overwhelmed by the amount of household waste that goes beyond what municipal recyclers and compost bins can handle. That’s why our editors have spent the summer investigating the state of waste management in our country, and putting together information for you, our Co-op America members, explaining how we can get serious about the three R’s – reducing, reusing, and recycling."

This site has some great idea for recycling that stuff that you want to get rid of.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Unboxing Rock Band | TechRepublic Photo Gallery

TechRepublic has a photo gallery of the unboxing of the very popular 'Rock Band' game. This gallery allows you to see all the equipment comes with the game.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Body Odor Called Key Romantic Attraction

WCVB Boston reports: "A new dating service that says it's the first to use DNA matching to find that 'perfect someone' is scheduled to launch in Boston Tuesday. promises its technology will use DNA to find a date with 'a natural odor you'll love, with whom you'd have healthier children and a more satisfying sex life.'"

IMHO: Personally I will take my chances with less scientific methods.

Site of the Week: Pageflakes

PC Magazine reports: "This incredibly versatile Web start-page builder takes personal portals up a notch. Pageflakes even surpasses the new My Yahoo!, Windows Live personal page, and iGoogle, which it resembles. Pageflakes is all about the widgets, which it calls 'flakes.' And though there aren't as many different ones as there are actual snowflakes, there are already nearly 240,000 of them! Flakes let you add just about any Web content you can think of—video, picture, news feeds, e-mail, maps, online storage—or you can create your own custom flakes. Once you've chosen (via the slick interface) which flakes to add to your start page, a fluid, breathtakingly intuitive AJAX interface lets you customize to your heart's content. If you like the idea of a personal portal, you'll wonder how you ever got along without it. If you've never tried building one, it's time."

Best (and Worst) of 2007

PC Magazine reports: "In a year dominated by hype, it's nice when products can live up to it. You'll come across a couple of well-publicized items in the following pages, plus some gems that may have escaped your attention. Luckily, they didn't get by our crack crew of analysts. We'll even point you in the direction of the full reviews at"

If you're still looking for the perfect gift for yourself or someone else, here is an article that can give you some more ideas.

Monday, December 10, 2007

New Batman and Joker Images

The Movie Blog: "Nothing really special, but here ya go. AICN got their hands on new Batman and Joker images. Personally, I’m starting to dislike the new Batman look. The design of the suit is fine… but Bale IS SO MUCH SKINNIER in this one than he was in the last one. I figure he’s about 20-25 pounds lighter and I do NOT like the look. I don’t hate it or anything… it’s just that the more I see of the thinner Batman, the less I like it."

IMHO: The characters don't look as good as the original Batman (Keaton) and the Joker (Nicholas). I know Adam West was the original movie Batman, but Keaton was the best.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Star Wars actors then and now - after 30 years

Are you curious what the favorite Star Wars character looks like 30 years later? Check out this page, I am not sure but I think some of them might already be dead.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Photos: Coal addiction

CNET reports: "Who uses coal? You do, close to half of the time. This pie chart from the Energy Information Administration breaks down where our power comes from. Actual consumption varies by state---California, for instance, doesn't use a lot of coal."

Find out where your energy is coming from you might be surprised.

Champion cardstacker builds capitol with 22,000 cards

Using 22,000 cards over 3 days, record-holding card stacker Bryan Berg builds the Rhode Island State House, home of Brotherhood, Sundays at 10PM ET/PT only on Showtime. Visit for more about Brotherhood.

Sanity check: The 10 biggest technology belly flops of 2007 reports: "While 2007 gave us some fantastic technological innovations, it also brought the usual spate of bungles, miscues, and faux pas. Since I believe that you learn more from your mistakes than your successes, it’s important to look at some of the most glaring errors that were made manifest in the business technology sector during 2007. There were a lot of opportunities for learning this year. "

I find this article mildly interesting, but you might want to read it.

Wachovia Bank Tells Man He Owes $211 Trillion

WSB Atlanta reports: "Martins said he recently closed an account at Wachovia Bank and made good on an outstanding check. He just got a letter about the closure and his negative balance -- $211,010,028,257,303.00. That’s $211 trillion."

That is one amazing error...