Tuesday, April 29, 2008
This is the coolest unicycle ever...
Monday, April 28, 2008
After all, why take a car? CNN filmed people paying for gas yesterday like it was news!
So, without further ado here are the five best places for you to be shacked up on this planet if you want to have somebody else take you from place to place."
It was good to see that U.S. has two of the best mass transit systems according to the article. The U.S. has fallen behind in a lot of areas these days, especially mass transportation.
I need to finally give up my use plastic bags and water bottles. I think I will finally breakdown and buy my own reusable shopping bags. Read the article if you want to feel guilty...
Saturday, April 26, 2008
This video gives a good introduction to how inefficient modern cars are and suggest how they can be made more efficient.
Friday, April 25, 2008
With the high cost of gas, the weak dollar, and the economy going into recession we need to learn how to save more money. This article shows you how to clip coupons electronically.
I have been pretty disappointed with the movies I have seen so far this year, but summer looks very exciting.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Saturday, April 19, 2008
I wrote the original article a few years back, and its turned out to be one of the most popular articles on my site. I don't like to rehash old content, and I should have released this on April fool's day, but no use crying over spilt milk. A lot of the text below is from the original article, but I have added new content and updated some of the older content.
I have to admit I love to play a good practical joke on my friends as long as its harmless. The problem is, how do you make sure that you don't hurt the victim, computer, or its data.
Below are a few suggestions for some computer practical jokes. If you have any other suggestions, please post them in the comments:
Notes: Perform these practical jokes at your own risk, I am not responsible for the results. I would never recommend using any of these tricks then leaving the victim to their own devices. You should stay close, hopefully laugh with them, then help them to undo what you did.
Keyboards and Mice:
- Remove the ball from the computer's mouse on the older mechanical mouse. If its the newer optical mouse, stick a small piece of tape over the optical sensor.
- Unplug the mouse and/or keyboard from the back of the computer. If its a wireless keyboard or mouse remove the batteries from the device.
- If several people in your office use wireless keyboards and mice and they are in close proximity to each other, you can reprogram the wireless receivers, to pickup the other user's keyboard and/or mouse.
- This trick is just mean, and can be a little tricky to reverse. Remap the computer keyboard to Dovark layout.
- From the Start menu open the Control Panel folder
- Open the 'Regional and Language Options' applet
- Click the 'Keyboards and Languages' tab, then press the 'Change Keyboards...' button
- Press the 'Add' button
- Check 'United States-Dvorak' then press the OK button.
- Under 'Default input language' section at the top of the 'Text Services and Input Languages' dialog, select the 'United States-Dvorak' option
- Press the OK button
- Almost every computer is a rat's nest of cables, removing or unpluging the right cable (power, network, keyboard, etc.) can cause frustration for the computer user.
- Any good computer user will have a surge suppressor power strip where their computer is plugged into. Some of these power strips have a breaker, sometimes they manually allow you to blow the breaker. This will basically make the power strip a useless piece of junk until the breaker is reset. (Warning: make sure that all the equipment is off before you blow the breaker)
- This is a cool little trick, its called the 'Broken LCD Screen'. All you have to do is replace the background of your victims desktop, and it looks like they have a broken LCD screen.
- Open up MS Paint (under Start menu | All Programs | Accessories)
- From the File menu select Open. Then paste the following URL into the file name field: http://img216.imageshack.us/img216/3028/crackedscreen1920x12802mj.jpg
- From the File menu, select 'Save As Background (Stretched)'
- This trick will drive the end-user mad, they will try to click on the desktop and believe the computer is frozen when nothing works. I have seen people reboot their computer several times before they figured out what is wrong. Use with caution, save all the user's work before using this trick.
- Take a screen shot of the computer's desktop (press PrtSc screen button). You might want to try taking the screen shot with open application windows, it might add to the realism.
- Then open a graphics program like MS Paint (under Start menu | All Programs | Accessories) and Paste the image into the application. Save the file into the C:\WINDOWS\ directory as a bitmap file (.BMP) and set it as the desktop background. (Note: if you're using MS Paint there is a command under the File menu to do this.)
- Then remove the icons from the users desktop, put them in a another folder under the user's 'My Document' folder. Or, you can right-click an empty space on the user's desktop, and uncheck 'Arrange Icons By > Show Desktop Icons' (Note: you may have to cycle through [press Alt-Tab] an application that fills the screen to force the desktop to refresh it self)
- For extra realism, you can hide the taskbar at bottom of the screen. (Hover the mouse over the top edge of the bar until you see the up/down arrow, then click and drag the taskbar to the bottom of the screen)
- Turn the speaker volume up real loud on their computer and walk away.
- Try playing with the computer settings, such as the monitor, cursor, mouse and keyboard configuration in the Control Panels.
- Change the startup or other event sounds (such as changing the new mail sound, to something like the sound of someone passing gas [you know what I mean])
- Embed the following link into an email, and send it to your friends (http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/891/3dtetris8yi.swf). I promise they will hate you after you send it.
- Phantom Keystroker: Attach this evil prank device to your victim's computer and it makes random mouse movements and types out odd garbage text and phrases.
- Annoy-a-tron: A little device designed to annoy people with a nearly undetectable intermittent beep. This device has a magnet attached, so it can be placed on any metal surface.
Several of these technologies listed in this presentation given by Gartner may sound new and cool, but many of them are older then you think. For example, augmented reality is probably the grand father of these concepts (roughly about 20+ years). Then you have concepts like Ubiquitous Computing, and virtualization (both roughly about 10+ years).
Friday, April 18, 2008
Law professor Yochai Benkler explains how collaborative projects like Wikipedia and Linux represent the next stage of human organization. By disrupting traditional economic production, copyright law and established competition, they're paving the way for a new set of economic laws, where empowered individuals are put on a level playing field with industry giants.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
The problem with battery technologies is that advances in this area are painfully slow.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Google is providing a web infrastructure for application developers to host their apps. If you're a Python web developer, you may want to check this out (this offer is limited to the first 10000 people who sign up).
Monday, April 07, 2008
Learn about an open-source program called Asterisk that is making waves in the telecommunications industry.
Several humorous paraodies of the last supper.
Sunday, April 06, 2008
Microsoft first said a year ago that it was considering the idea, and now the concept is coming to fruition, Michael Manos, Microsoft's senior director of Data Center Services, said April 1 in a keynote address at the AFCOM Data Center World conference here."
I have heard of companies playing with the idea of container-based data centers for the last few years. Its nice to see them finally using them.
Saturday, April 05, 2008
Clifford Stoll could talk about the atmosphere of Jupiter. Or hunting KGB hackers. Or Klein bottles, computers in classrooms, the future. But he's not going to. Which is fine, because it would be criminal to confine a man with interests as multifarious as Stoll's to give a talk on any one topic. Instead, he simply captivates his audience with a wildly energetic sprinkling of anecdotes, observations, asides -- and even a science experiment. After all, by his own definition, he's a scientist: "Once I do something, I want to do something else."
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data centers use about 2 percent of U.S. energy consumption. That may sound small, but that is a lot of power being used. Personally I work with servers all day, so I get to see these technologies in action.
The nonprofit Epilepsy Foundation, which runs the forum, briefly closed the site Sunday to purge the offending messages and to boost security."
There is no defense against an attack like this unless you turn off all scripting and other browser technologies like Flash. Although by doing this you will disable most or all the functionality of popular web sites.
Check out the slideshow, the concept of the artwork is interesting. Although, the article does reads like an April Fool's Joke.
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
The Gears-enabled version of Google Docs will roll out to users over the next few weeks, starting Monday. If you don't have access to the feature, just keep trying, Google Docs product manager Ken Norton told me. You'll know you have the feature when you see a little 'offline' menu item in the upper right of your document window in Google Docs."
This technology has the potential to start a whole new standards war in the near future if it takes off the way a few companies are betting it will...
(2007) Google: TiSP (Toilet ISP): Google's new free in-home wireless broadband service.
(2007) Google: About Gmail Paper (New Feature): Gmail, you can request a physical copy of any message with the click of a button, and we'll send it to you in the mail.
(2006) Google Romance: "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 DateTM, 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."
(2005) Google Gulp (BETA) with Auto-Drink: A line of "smart drinks" designed to maximize your surfing efficiency by making you more intelligent, and less thirsty.
(2004) Google Copernicus Center: Google is interviewing candidates for engineering positions at our lunar hosting and research center, opening late in the spring of 2007. This unique opportunity is available only to highly-qualified individuals who are willing to relocate for an extended period of time, are in top physical condition and are capable of surviving with limited access to such modern conveniences as soy low-fat lattes, The Sopranos and a steady supply of oxygen.
(2004) GMail was announced on April 1, 2004 and people thought it is another hoax!
(2002) PigeonRank: The heart of Google's search technology is PigeonRank, a system for ranking web pages developed by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin at Stanford University.
(2000) Google MentalPlex: Search technology that read user's mind to determine what the user wanted to search for. No need to actually type in the search query.
Other April Fool's sites: