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  • #2190786

    Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

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    by Sonja Thompson ·

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    • #3054603

      young criminals… what a cybershame

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      So, it looks like they arrested a couple young men who were suspected of creating both the Mytob and Zotob worms:

      http://techrepublic.com.com/2100-1009_11-5843583.html 

      It’s hard to believe that an 18-yr old (Farid Essebar, a Moroccan national born in Russia) and a 21-yr old (Atilla Ekici, a Turkish resident) could be responsible for such wide-spread destruction. My son is nine, and the only kind of worms he’s interested in are the type you use to bait your hook when you go fishing (yes, that’s fishing with an “f”).

       

      • #3054586

        young criminals… what a cybershame

        by dc guy ·

        In reply to young criminals… what a cybershame

        Vandalism (and that’s what this basically is) is usually perpetrated by boys and young men with too much anger and not enough supervision. Life is really tough in Russia and much of the old Eastern Bloc these days. Poverty, no safety net, leaders without a clue or leaders on the take. It’s easy to see the despair that spawns the anger and the unemployment that provides the aimless free time. I’m not so familiar with Turkey.

        Still, plenty of malicious hackers (most of them?) are the children of reasonably prosperous American or western European families. I’d say lack of supervision is probably the key in those cases.

      • #3046843

        young criminals… what a cybershame

        by Sonja Thompson ·

        In reply to young criminals… what a cybershame

        Indeed, there are opposing sides to the argument, the eternal question of how one should parent – not enough supervision, too much supervision…  both styles can produce negative results.

        I’m very involved in my son’s life, and right now he actually likes that!! I’m sure that the older he gets, the less “cool” it will be to hang out, spend time, and do activities with his mom.  As far as his freedom is concerned, he has to earn it.  The more responsibilities he takes on, the more freedom he gets. We’ll see how effective that continues to be….

        As far as computer privileges, I try to encourage my son to work and play on the computer as much as possible. I truly think that computer knowledge will help him throughout his entire academic years and beyond, regardless of what profession he chooses down the road. However, with all the emphasis we place on computer education, even at an early age, it makes you wonder if we’re raising a generation of potential hackers.

    • #3046835

      Katrina used to be a pretty name

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      …but looking at the pictures on MSNBC this morning (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4999736/), I see how incredibly ugly it can be. 

      Last year, I was in Florida when hurricanes Bonnie and Charlie came through and created their paths of destruction.  At one point, Charlie was headed right for Ft. Myers Beach, where I was vacationing with my sister and her family. After several hours of deliberation, we decided to pack up the cars and travel across the state towards Miami. Even though the eye turned and went further down the coast, we were thankful that we had the ability to leave (vehicles) and seek shelter (money) elsewhere.

      One of the stories I read on CNET’s News.com this morning was about how bloggers are recording the amount of destruction that was caused by Katrina. (Read “Bloggers record Katrina destruction” http://techrepublic.com.com/2100-1035_11-5844419.html)  If you have some time and an interest in keeping up with this storm, you might want to check out some of the blogs that are featured, including:

      http://hurricaneupdate.blogspot.com/

      http://neworleans.metblogs.com/

      http://www.wdsu.com/weather/4913354/detail.html

    • #3055508

      What a humm-dinger

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      The News.com story that caught my eye today was called “GM drives Hummer-branded laptop.” (http://techrepublic.com.com/2100-10877_11-5844920.html)

      General Motors signed a deal with laptop/tablet PC-maker Itronix to create a laptop that reflected the spirit of GM’s Hummer vehicles. Would you buy one for durability, or get it simply because it’s trendy? Despite some sweet selling points, I think it’s a tad too pricey for me.  Check out the image  …  VROOOOOOOM!  (http://news.com.com/2300-1044_3-5845057-1.html)

       

    • #3055834

      Bad boys, bad boys… what you gonna do?

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      According to a News.com story, Microsoft’s Web site will include training, tips, and tools for investigations and information on cybercrime. This new Law Enforcement Portal should be online by November.  Here’s the complete story: “New Microsoft portal will help cops” (http://techrepublic.com.com/2100-1009_11-5845205.html)

      I keep thinking about Microsoft’s ongoing security problems. Who’s going to help them?  

      • #3055221

        Bad boys, bad boys… what you gonna do?

        by lukcad ·

        In reply to Bad boys, bad boys… what you gonna do?

        It is not solving of problem. But the time is to improve situation.

         It is not secret that logo of any web server don’t permit to make fast analyse of countryland of client. It is first mistake of creator WWW from starting all idealogy. Every day new global IP addresses is buying for new host regions and every day the map of country’s ip grow, and for web servers need the www shared database of global ip for clear identification of root host for dynamic provided addresses or static. If it will be implemented like library for web developing of sites and it will spreaded around the world the problem with 50% ciberattacs will solved. It will also the evidence for law representatives. Then Second problem is next: when we would like to have remout access possabilitiess for our computers we forgot that we can’t write logo of our clients and alarm it for owner of computer simalteniously. When the our hard disk seized no any alarm for user or administrator of computer in this moment. We made the “invisible man” and now we are trying to fight him. It is second mistake of creator of NT security system. It is sound like we gave the map of bank for robber and now can’t sleep undisturbedly without of a lot of guards into bank.

        So, may be the new Law Enforcement Portal will help for police but we try to fix our previouse technology errors. I hope that a lot of problem will solved and for mobile market if we permit to write the country and region on display when ring is bell.

        Also, the nodes of inet providers with database about clients can help to solve about 90% unauthorized access of cybercrime if that kind information will served by www consortium.

        Inet is like post-office. I hope that we don’t have a lot of problem connected to letters and parcels via post.

        Sincerely yours,

        LukCAD

         

      • #3054014

        Bad boys, bad boys… what you gonna do?

        by lederhoden ·

        In reply to Bad boys, bad boys… what you gonna do?

        So, to find security holes in their own software, Microsoft could make use of their own tools, etc., which are probably as full of security holes as the software that they’re trying to plug.

    • #3055118

      Let me tell Yahoo what it can do with its extra features

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      One News.com story that really hit home for me today was “Yahoo IM users get more than they bargained for” (http://techrepublic.com.com/2100-1035_11-5845886.html).  According to the article, “By accepting Yahoo’s ‘typical’ installation of YIM with Voice, it will also download Yahoo’s Search Toolbar with anti-spyware and anti-pop-up software, desktop and system tray shortcuts, as well as Yahoo Extras, which will insert Yahoo links into the Internet Explorer browser.”   

      I don’t know about you, but I don’t touch the “customized” installation feature with a 10-foot pole, because that’s usually where all that extra junk lives. Yes, I accepted the “typical” installation, and after a while, I started to notice that there were some strange additions, such as an extra popup blocker and a Y search icon when I highlighted text. However, I wasn’t exactly sure what was going on until after I read this article. Sneaky stuff, Yahoo!!  Just an FYI – I uninstalled the entire thing and reinstalled with the “customized” feature, which allowed me to deselect those unnecessary extras.

      • #3054131

        Let me tell Yahoo what it can do with its extra features

        by lukcad ·

        In reply to Let me tell Yahoo what it can do with its extra features

        MicroStore’s rally!
      • MicroStore  released 4.09.2005
        late last night we removed the old version of MicroStore with old LukCADCommerce engine- it’s now available without puzzles or obfuscation, at MicroStore(although still a “preview”)
         
        primarily driven by your feedback, here are some of the highlights:
        • all info pages can be added or deleted
        • more new controls and more stability they are working
        • more fast updating of changed pages (after adding columns, removing one, adding controls or removing, moving controls)
        • many improvements in Drag&Drop technology:
          • Anchor for new column is more clear working. 99% that you can place now new control on that anchor.
          • Movement of controls is more stable, because js was been improved.
          • 99% after movement your control will added in new place when you mouseclick will up.
          • the trash was been improved for 99% deleting of wishes fo that controls. Early it was 50/50%
        • some short descriptions will added for trial site of MicroStore

        please send us your feedback (comment or email LukCAD) – tells us what you like about start and what you don’t like. share your ideas and suggestions for new startlets, ux, ads, functionality, etc.  we value your input, no feedback is left unread!

        more ?

      • #3064040

        Let me tell Yahoo what it can do with its extra features

        by joe.fusco ·

        In reply to Let me tell Yahoo what it can do with its extra features

        Isn’t it interesting that one of the extras installed is a spyware
        blocker?  Isn’t part of the definition of spyware/adware/malware
        that it installs without consent or knowledge of the user?
        Imagine what would happen if I installed YIM, AIM, MSN Messenger, and
        Google Talk and each of them installed a toolbar, popup blocker,
        spyware/adware blocker, desktop shortcuts and added favorites to my
        list.  I wouldn’t be able to see my wallpaper because of all of
        the icons, there wouldn’t be any room for web content to appear because
        of all of the toolbars, God only knows where the favorites I WANT have
        hidden themselves among all of the added favorites, no web content
        would appear anyway because at least one of the popup blockers would
        block it, and each anti spyware program would be trying to uninstall
        the others, thus crippling my computer.  Where will it end?
        Seriously, I’m tired of having to download and install software I don’t
        want just to get something I do want (i.e. Quicktime now requires that
        you install iTunes – all I want to do is play .moov files).

    • #3064784

      Is work invading your personal time?

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      Here’s a recent news story that I’m sure a lot of people are going to have fun discussing, especially non-Americans:

      “American workers: Lazy or creative?” (http://techrepublic.com.com/2008-10881_11-5847422.html)

      This article discusses the findings of a survey conducted by Salary.com on time wasted at work. For IT professionals, it’s no surprise that Internet surfing was rated the #1 time-wasting activity. According to Bill Coleman, senior vice president of compensation at Salary.com, “Work is invading our personal time and therefore it makes sense that personal activities are invading work time.”

      Coleman talks about the survey results in an informative Q&A. Check it out and share your thoughts. I would discuss how I really feel about this article, but I have to get back to work. 😉

    • #3064553

      Getting caught with your hand in the cookie jar

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      As the editor of TechRepublic’s IT News Digest newsletter, I try my best to steer clear of stories that discuss porn. There’s not a moral issue going on here. For me, it’s all about keeping it clean so that subscribers actually receive the mail, since a lot of spam filters gobble up e-mails that have the word “porn” in the subject line and/or body.

      However, today I made an exception, because the story also deals with security. According to a News.com story, a Trojan horse (dubbed “Yusufali-A”) scans the title bar of an active Web browser window and jumps into action when it sees any one of nine terms, including sex, teen, xxx, and exhibitionism. You can read the story here: “Trojan swaps porn sites for Koran text” (http://techrepublic.com.com/2100-1009_11-5851679.html)

      How embarrassing would that be to report to the network administrator at your organization?  I can almost see the headlines… “Employee attacked by trojan while visiting x-rated Web site”…  Please, stop me now.

       

      • #3062508

        Getting caught with your hand in the cookie jar

        by bfilmfan ·

        In reply to Getting caught with your hand in the cookie jar

        Don’t use the word porn. Use another term and make it appropriately geeky. I like the phrase “Previously Recorded Visual Demonstration of Simulated Mating Techniques of Homo Homo Sapiens and other well known Primates.”

        If you turn on Discovery Channel while you read the email, you could pretend it is even an after-work learning experience. Who knows, you might even get a tax break!

        And were you seeking other potential headlines?

        Local Employee Visually Assaulted by Twisted Verse

        Islamic Terrorists Attack Porn Sites! Local Viewers Incensed!

        Local Boss Interprets Koran for Employees

      • #3062456

        Getting caught with your hand in the cookie jar

        by Sonja Thompson ·

        In reply to Getting caught with your hand in the cookie jar

        Love the headlines and the alternate way to discuss the “p” word, BFilmFan!  I think an acronym would be equally as effective, don’t you? Perhaps “People Online Really Naked” 🙂 

    • #3064218

      Looking for Christmas gifts in September?

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      My initial reaction when I saw the News.com story, “Walking, talking tech toys for the holidays,” wasn’t good. I let out an unusually heavy sigh, swiveled in my chair, and shuffled my feet around until my head stopped spinning. As the mother of a very tech-savvy 9-year-old son, holidays can be extremely expensive. It’s the thought, not the cost of the gift that counts, right? Yeahhhh….

      So, even though I didn’t want to think about holiday shopping in the beginning of September, my curiosity got the best of me. What kind of gadgets and gizmos are they creating now?

      The first toy I came across in the article was “an updated Furby.” Oh, the torture!! The “old” Furby lasted about one week in my house, and then he conveniently fell into a permanent sleep mode (it’s called, REMOVING THE BATTERIES WHEN THE CHILD IS NOT LOOKING). Some time after that, Furby must have ran away – or slept walked out of the house – and never returned. 

      Ok, there are some cool techie toys that were mentioned later in the article, such as mechanical creatures that double for MP3 player speakers.

      Read the story, and find out what other high-tech toys will debut this holiday season: http://techrepublic.com.com/2100-1035_11-5852296.html

    • #3063822

      No such thing as a safe browser?

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      Frankly, I’m sick of writing about vulnerabilities in browsers. It seems like Microsoft releases a patch almost every week for some godforsaken flaw or hole.

      September 9, 2005: “Microsoft to release fixes for Windows flaws” (http://techrepublic.com.com/2100-1009_11-5855588.html)

      September 6, 2005: “eEye: Flaw found in IE, Outlook installation” (http://techrepublic.com.com/2100-1009_11-5851325.html)

      August 30, 2005: “Microsoft investigates another IE flaw report” (http://techrepublic.com.com/2100-1009_11-5844431.html)

      In fact, I started to experience so many weird IE glitches when using TechRepublic’s publishing tool that I downloaded Firefox, which alleviated those problems. I still use IE for “normal” browsing. Yes, I go both ways, but Firefox has become my nitty gritty, get ‘er done browser of choice. However, Firefox has its own security problems, so it certainly can’t act like its ship don’t sink. For example, the top story in today’s IT News Digest:

      “Unpatched Firefox flaw may expose users” (http://techrepublic.com.com/2100-1009_11-5856201.html)

      According to this News.com story, some experts claim that safe browsers don’t exist! If that’s true, what does that mean for the future of the Internet?  

      • #3063705

        No such thing as a safe browser?

        by johnfarnham9 ·

        In reply to No such thing as a safe browser?

        I keep a few browsers aboard just for curiosity’s sake ; possible
        backup.. My IP goes so far as to delete Active-X installation on his
        builds (a renaissance computerman) and restrict IE use to Windows
        Update. I use a hopped-up browser when I feel I must indulge (home
        user). Mozilla Suite has some advantages for ease of use. Just
        don’t open PDF attachments on e-mails (lots of phishing going on) and
        keep up with critical updates. That’s worked for me ; biggest problem
        now is adware/spyware on downloads. Have you updated Adobe ?

      • #3065642

        No such thing as a safe browser?

        by lukcad ·

        In reply to No such thing as a safe browser?

        Hello Sonja!

        No any vulnerabilities indeed because it is simple errors that can be encountered when we execute execCommand for example http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/workshop/author/dhtml/reference/commandids.asp

        I think, we don’t must look for the vaulnerabilities into IE or Firefox. Sometime more impressive the errors in programm execution for access to database or security information about accounts of users. It is not “hole of IE” it is rough error of programmist or thechnology of developing of programm.

        SIncerely, LukCAD

      • #3065844

        No such thing as a safe browser?

        by Sonja Thompson ·

        In reply to No such thing as a safe browser?

        Yes, I did update Adobe… once, twice… ? I know that I’ve received the prompt more than once, and I may have just tried to ignore it the first time around.

        I also like the flexibility of having more than one browser. Nice to have choices!

      • #3065839

        No such thing as a safe browser?

        by Sonja Thompson ·

        In reply to No such thing as a safe browser?

        Greetings, LukCAD!

        Thanks for posting your insight. I am curious, based on what you wrote, if you believe there is a “flawless” technology out there or such a thing as a “perfect” programmer. My guess would be no, there aren’t either of those things, which leads me back to my original question about the future of the Internet. If there is always a possibility for security issues, such as flaws, worms, and identity theft, how long do you think the benefits will continue the outweigh the risks? 

      • #3065390

        No such thing as a safe browser?

        by lukcad ·

        In reply to No such thing as a safe browser?

        Hello Sonja!

        It is difficult to suggest what in some day the worm and theft of identity will out, really. But if we will patch the our IE or Firefox only we will never find that day at all. If we remember of history then we must remember that there was simple windows without any permissions, roles for common users. So may be our internet state for today is like old operational system without clear way to identify every connected user very fast. Internet was been based on trust people each other, but if it was possible to stipulate the security and user identity early it would be another internet and may be another famous firm would be popular for today. My own mind that we can’t to shield our house from thiefs on 100%. When the computer security will higer and we will very calmly overall, then in some day will appear some bad guy who crashes down all security by “common stone” and believe me it will more worst day, then day when somebody stolled 5 dollars from my account. So whishes to have the full security explorer will always in mind of people but it is unreality like “perpetual motion”.

        Sincerely, LukCAD

    • #3065798

      Are IT women appreciated in the United States?

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      A News.com story that I came across today discusses the slow decline in the number of female IT employees in the United Kingdom, “Why women leave IT in the U.K.” (http://techrepublic.com.com/2100-10881_11-5857022.html)

      According to the results of a recent study, the IT industry in the U.K. has experienced a 6% decline in women workers between 1997 and 2005. The reason for this decline is accredited to womens’ perception that they have to “work harder than male colleagues to achieve success and break through the glass ceiling.”

      Already, this decline is viewed as problematic. The director general at Intellect, John Higgins, said that the U.K. won’t stay an IT world-leader “for long if we continue to hemorrhage valuable, skilled women professionals from the sector. We must take action to ensure that we are doing all that we can to recruit, motivate, and retain women within our industry.”

      As a woman who works in the IT field, this topic is fairly sensitive to me. It certainly makes me wonder if similar studies have been conducted in the U.S.

      • #3065735

        Are IT women appreciated in the United States?

        by dc guy ·

        In reply to Are IT women appreciated in the United States?

        I can’t speak for the whole country, but I am a male working in a company with a majority-female workforce–including the walnut offices–and I very much appreciate the advantage of a good balance of masculine and feminine energy. How the company got that way is a long story. Basically its pay scales are a bit under-market but it compensates with family-friendliness and job security reminiscent of the 1950s and that tradeoff seems to attract women as well as a lot of really wise, stable men. We are within a stone’s throw of being the leader in our industry, our customers love us, and outsourcing is not commonly practiced.

        I don’t think things are as bad in America as you say they are on the other side. As a consultant I always saw a fairly reasonable balance of yin and yang at my client firms. Still, I believe that an even better balance is one of the things propelling some of America’s chief competitors into the forefront of the IT industry, not just the raw numbers of good talent draining away to other jobs. If we don’t catch on, we won’t catch up. Men and women working together kick ass.

    • #3059861

      Don’t le-go my lego

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      I’m back at it this morning, having suffered from a virus for the past few days – me, not my computer. I certainly didn’t catch it from an underground group in Russia… instead, it was a form of a “love you” bug, compliments of my son (public schools DO have a cost after all).

      The News.com story that perked me up a bit was about hackers modifying some developer tools at Lego.com: “Hacking’s a snap in Legoland” (http://techrepublic.com.com/2100-1009_11-5865751.html)

      When Lego executives found out that their software was being hacked, they were actually pleased. According to Ronny Scherer, a senior producer in Lego’s interactive experiences group, “We really encourage and embrace” some modifications of our software. “We have a huge adult community, so if we can make our software in a way that will allow our fans to adapt it to their needs,” we’ll support that.

      Hmmmm… the kid in me understands completely, but the “mature adult” in me (I can already hear my TechRepublic coworkers scoffing) wonders if there isn’t a more constructive use of one’s time than playing with Legos. ??? Maybe I’m just jealous that I don’t have time for such shenanigans… 

      • #3059606

        Don’t le-go my lego

        by dawgit ·

        In reply to Don’t le-go my lego

        you should check out some of their software, you’d be supprized at some of the things people up to programing wise, that’s why Lego is not worried (it’s an Open Sorce thing)……………………………………………………….     -d

         

    • #3056593

      Stop trying to finish my sentences!

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      It looks like Yahoo is trying to read people minds with its new Instant Search feature (see the News.com story, “Yahoo debuts beta of Instant Search” – http://techrepublic.com.com/2100-3513_11-5867118.html).

      This feature reminds me of Word’s AutoComplete option, except for Yahoo’s results appear in a “speech bubble” under the search box. Cute. Some people will love it, and others will hate it. I played around with it for a little while, and it didn’t impress me with its inability to detect “techrepublic” (read = loss of brownie points). Quite frankly, I think it could get annoying. If you’ve ever had someone constantly try to finish your sentences, you’ll know what I mean. 

    • #3059374

      A picture lasts forever, even if the people in it don’t

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      Immediately when I saw this news story, it captured my attention: “The ex-wife vanishes and other tales from PDC” (http://techrepublic.com.com/2100-3513_11-5869491.html).  You have to admit that it has a beautiful title, even if you’ve never had an ex-wife who you desperately wanted to disappear. 

      Wait. It gets better. Looks like Microsoft has developed new photo-editing software that can remove images from a photograph. EUREKA!! No more tearing, clipping, or cutting that nasty ex out of a perfectly good picture. Perfect… picture perfect, in fact!

    • #3054308

      Which Homo are you?

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      There’s a really interesting three-part News.com series, and part two appeared in today’s IT News Digest newsletter: “From ape to ‘Homo digitas’?” (http://techrepublic.com.com/2100-3513_11-5873735.html

      Jonathan Zittrain, executive director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School, claims that a new species–called “Homo digitas”–has emerged in recent years. This species, according to Zittrain, “(Is) someone glued to a chair, focused on a screen, interacting as an object, a person whose main identification is as a digital creature, who doesn’t know what to do without a signal.”

      The question that philosophers, technologists, and writers are debating is whether innovations and new technologies make us more intelligent. Are the modern, computer-using Homo digitas is any more intelligent than the good, old-fashioned Homo sapien? Which Homo are you?

      I started a discussion on part-one of this series yesterday. Find out what your fellow IT peers had to say: http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-11195-0.html?forumID=87&threadID=181415

      [FYI: Part-three of this series, which will discuss how technology affects intelligence, is slated to publish tomorrow. I’ll be sure to include the link when the story is live.]

    • #3062518

      Got ADD? Here’s a tech show for you

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      One News.com story today talked about Demofall, a yearly technology conference that originally started in the early 1990s: “At Demo, it’s speed dating for products” (http://techrepublic.com.com/2100-3513_11-5875380.html).

      According to the article, “Companies are given a short period of time–six minutes–in which to make their case to the audience of more than 1,000 people. Later, companies get a second chance to pitch reporters and investors one-to-one on the show floor, where each company has a small booth. If a company’s presentation isn’t compelling, the theory goes, the reporters and VCs won’t visit their booth.”

      If you’re interested in seeing new technologies (more than you would see at multiple other conferences), and you can focus your attention on something for 360 seconds, you might consider attending Demofall next year.  

    • #3056993

      Did I say schmoozeworthy? I meant snoozeworthy

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      The most interesting (clearing throat) story I saw on News.com today was “Bloggers debate what reorg means for Microsoft” (http://techrepublic.com.com/2100-10878_11-5876267.html). 

      In case you haven’t heard, Microsoft’s head of Windows development, Jim Allchin, will retire (yawn) when Vista is released. It looks like a lot of people have different opinions about how this restructuring will affect Microsoft’s future. 

      Do you think Microsoft is worried? (zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz)

       

    • #3061419

      You can’t censor my blog

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      Ok, all you bloggers out there, this News.com story should capture your interest: “Handbook offers tips for cyberdissidents” (http://techrepublic.com.com/2100-1035_11-5876958.html).

      According to this article, “The 87-page booklet, titled The Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents, includes chapters on how to blog anonymously and on technical ways to get around censorship. Released on Thursday, the handbook is available for free online in English, French, Chinese, Arabic and Farsi” (http://www.rsf.org/rubrique.php3?id_rubrique=542).

      Is this sweet, or what?! 

      If you’re thinking about using the handbook to commit Internet crimes, think again. “The handbook is simply to help bloggers encountering opposition because of what they write to maintain their freedom of expression.”

      • #3062030

        You can’t censor my blog

        by lukcad ·

        In reply to You can’t censor my blog

        Hello Sonja!

        I will read one half of that books up to 45 page. Till i will read it i suppose you will end reading and give me advice, should i read it up to end or better your short mind.

        Sincerely, LukCAD

    • #3063447

      Can you bridge the digital divide with a mobile phone?

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      Here’s a News.com story that caught my eye today: “Sun president: PCs are so yesterday” (http://techrepublic.com.com/2100-10877_11-5879292.html).

      Jonathan Schwartz, president of Sun Microsystems, had a few things to say about web services, and how he believes they will become increasingly more important than desktop applications. Furthermore, Schwartz claims that people, particularly in poorer areas of the world, will access the Internet and their desired web services via mobile phones–not PCs.

      When it comes to aiding developing regions’ digital development, Schwartz says, “Our collective generation believes the desktop PC is the most important thing to give to people. I don’t buy that. The most important thing to give is access to the Internet.”

      Excuse me for a moment while I roll my eyes into the back of my head. Is he serious? I’m sure there are more productive ways we can aid developing regions. Do they really need digital development? Has the Internet become a social utility that’s comparable to electricity and railroads, as Schwartz explains? There may be some gains to having information available at their fingertips, such as survival tips, but I don’t think we should push our cultural dependency on mobile phones and the Internet on indigenous people. Sheeesh. 

      I can see it now...

       

       

      • #3063214

        Can you bridge the digital divide with a mobile phone?

        by lukcad ·

        In reply to Can you bridge the digital divide with a mobile phone?

        It is nice picture (about grandmothers around computer)! But problem with mobile internet access is for today everywhere . It is more expensive then dialup or XDSL and for mobile operators i think it is not suitable to provide access. In my area (not poor) there are three mobile operators and 3500000 abonents in their net and mobile traffic is very overloaded sometime (too crowdly). So mobile operators allow access in internet with so high cost for abonents to save their traffic from who wants to use mobile unrestricted access every moment. Inet providers more power by comparison with mobile operators, especially in poor areas.

        So you are right Sonja.

        Sincerely, LukCAD

      • #3169075

        Can you bridge the digital divide with a mobile phone?

        by ecacofonix1 ·

        In reply to Can you bridge the digital divide with a mobile phone?

         

        One can expect a number of .mobi web sites – those that conform with standards for mobile browsing – to be online starting Oct 2006?while opinion is divided whether dotMobi will revolutionise mobile browsing or would be just another flash in the pan, when one considers that there are four mobile phones for every PC on earth, it certainly appears worth trying out a separate TLD

         

        More info on dotMobi can be found at Mobinomy.com – the Dot Mobi Directory, this site also plans to start a dotMobi directory soon

         

        Ec from http://www.eit.in

         

    • #3062871

      It’s not the size of the index, it’s what you can do with it that matters

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      From all the hype Google has received over the past umpteen months, it’s no wonder that the company has such big britches. But is bragging really necessary? Check out this News.com story: “Google to Yahoo: Ours is bigger” (http://techrepublic.com.com/2100-3513-5883345.html)

      According to the story, Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said, “We’re announcing tonight that in terms of unduplicated pages our index is now three times larger than any other search engine.”  Do you think the company is trying to compensate in size what it lacks in other areas?  Do you think Yahoo has index envy?

      On a more serious note, I find both companies useful, but in different ways. For search, Google is my one-stop shop… unless I have an IT question – then I search TechRepublic. *looking around for a brownie point*  For free e-mail, instant messaging, my local TV listings, and an occasional music video, I prefer to use Yahoo. Personally, I think they both need to simma down and continue doing what they do best. Of course, the definition of “best” and which company claims it is still up for debate. 

    • #3062638

      I’ve heard of windup toys, but windup laptops?

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      Hold onto your laps, because this News.com story tops the charts: “The $100 laptop moves closer to reality” (http://techrepublic.com.com/2100-10877_11-5884683.html)

      According to the story, Nicholas Negroponte, the co-founder of the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has detailed specifications for a $100 windup-powered laptop for children in developing nations. Negroponte and his nonprofit group, One Laptop Per Child, are working with five countries–Brazil, China, Thailand, Egypt and South Africa–to distribute up to 15 million test systems to children.

      “Power for the new systems will be provided through either conventional electric current, batteries or by a windup crank attached to the side of the notebooks, since many countries targeted by the plan do not have power in remote areas.”

      Are you having a hard time visualizing this laptop? Check out the photo gallery.

      • #3061110

        I’ve heard of windup toys, but windup laptops?

        by lukcad ·

        In reply to I’ve heard of windup toys, but windup laptops?

        Good news for children, especially if they love to do ink-pictures. I have seen that gallery and seems that every item of laptop has best solution from disigners. For example: the hand of laptop with battareis inside and the belt like cord with power supply.

        Nice toy for children!

        Sincerely, LukCAD

      • #3061708

        I’ve heard of windup toys, but windup laptops?

        by gnunzo ·

        In reply to I’ve heard of windup toys, but windup laptops?

        Wind-up laptops were a popular April Fool’s Day joke back a few
        years.  I don’t know if it started there, but Slashdot ran it for
        an April Fool’s Day joke.

        Yesterday’s joke is today’s hardware?

        Is this a new version of Moore’s Law?

      • #3061684

        I’ve heard of windup toys, but windup laptops?

        by batmang8 ·

        In reply to I’ve heard of windup toys, but windup laptops?

        Wind-up radios have been marketed right along.

        This goes right along with the article/thread about recycling lap-tops.

        With lithium ion batteries so expensive and time between charges dropping to a quarter or less of when they were new, it might well make sense to have a crank and spring driven generator in addition or instead.

        The real killer, though, is the rising storage demand of operating systems and other software. Planned obsolescence takes a hand as you’re dinned to install the latest versions, security problems drive you to them, but the price-points on memory and disk drives, even with increasing capacity, are such to be prohibitive.

        It’s amazing to me to think that car-makers expect us to shell out tens of thousands every few years (for low and dropping quality) and computer manufacturers expect us to shell out thousands every couple years for the latest models. Who can afford that!? Especially as this economic depression stretches on toward the 4th quarter of its 6th year and tech executives continue to blather about “talent shortage” while hundreds of thousands of tech workers remain un-employed and under-employed and millions remain un-employed while over ten million are under-employed in the job market at large.

      • #3072203

        I’ve heard of windup toys, but windup laptops?

        by lukcad ·

        In reply to I’ve heard of windup toys, but windup laptops?

        Hi Gnuzo!
        if it was joke and so colourfull then all our life is seriouse problem.
        ;-)LukCAD

      • #3072141

        I’ve heard of windup toys, but windup laptops?

        by charliespencer ·

        In reply to I’ve heard of windup toys, but windup laptops?

        BatmanG8, the windup radios went over real well with the survivalist
        crowd prior to Y2K.  I was never sure who was going to broadcast
        to them after the end of the world.  Now they’re popular in
        underdeveloped countries with limited power distribution systems.

      • #3072071

        I’ve heard of windup toys, but windup laptops?

        by acsmith ·

        In reply to I’ve heard of windup toys, but windup laptops?

        Wind-up radios and flashlights proved themselves very useful during/after Katrina and Rita.  With adequate thought about connectivity a wind-up notebook might become part of a disaster survival/recovery kit.

         

         

      • #3072067

        I’ve heard of windup toys, but windup laptops?

        by Sonja Thompson ·

        In reply to I’ve heard of windup toys, but windup laptops?

        Hey acsmith, I just posted a discussion about what high-tech gadgets should be included in a disaster survival kit of the future: http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-11189-0.html?forumID=3&threadID=182025&start=0.  You answered this question almost simultaneously!  Thanks for your input! 

    • #3061615

      Can TechRepublic beat the new-cube curse?

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      Here’s a News.com story that many of my colleagues will appreciate: “Can Google beat the new-office curse?”
      (http://techrepublic.com.com/2100-10878_11-5884957.html)

      According to the article’s summary: “Google is following in the high-tech footsteps of many Silicon Valley companies before it by dreaming big and building or leasing large new offices to accommodate a swelling employee roster.” Here’s my take: Back in the day, many IT companies established their headquarters in snazzy (read = expensive) buildings, but when the dot-com boom fizzled and their shizzle was dizzled, the buildings were vacated or leased out to organizations that were still thriving.

      At TechRepublic, we have a different version of this story. We have moved buildings only once in the past 7 years, but ever since we moved into the new building, there’s been a serious cube-moving frenzy that’s way out of control and must be stopped! I have personally moved cubes four times in the past two years, and my manager informed me that I will be moving again before the year’s end. Can TechRepublic beat the new-cube curse?

      • #3072202

        Can TechRepublic beat the new-office curse?

        by lukcad ·

        In reply to Can TechRepublic beat the new-cube curse?

        Hi Sonja!!!

        It is law of constant motion: if we throwed the stone in the air be shure it will drop down on earth. Difference is, and it is how long our stone will fly. 1s or whole life.

    • #3072038

      Yahoo: READ MY LIPS

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      You’d think that Yahoo would be able to find some engineers that weren’t guilty of revealing trade secrets from their previous places of employment. However, this News.com story tells a different story: “Yahoo accused of poaching speech engineers” (http://techrepublic.com.com/2100-10878_11-5885971.html).

      Speech technology company Nuance Communications filed a lawsuit that accuses Yahoo of trying to steal trade secrets. “In court documents, Nuance alleges that Yahoo ‘gutted’ its research and development unit and hired away 13 of its engineers. Nuance also alleges that its former vice president of research and development, Larry Heck, helped Yahoo hire a dozen of his engineering staff.”

      If Yahoo still needs help with speech engineering, READ MY LIPS: hiring eligible engineers is a much better way to spend your money than throwing it away in court costs!!!

    • #3072892

      Oracle is a big bully

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      Here’s an IT news story that bothered me today: “Oracle: Better to ‘crush’ than buy Salesforce.com” (http://techrepublic.com.com/2100-10878_11-5886961.html

      Oracle President Charles Phillips made the following comment at a press briefing concerning the possible acquisition of Salesforce.com: “In this case I think it would be much more fun to crush them… We see a lot of ways to compete with them. We will try that for a while.”

      Now, I really don’t care one way or the other for Oracle or Salesforce.com. However, the “crushing” mentality makes me instantly empathize with the underdog. Where’s a repeat of David and Goliath when you need one?

      • #3073237

        Oracle is a big bully

        by lukcad ·

        In reply to Oracle is a big bully

        Sometime for any leo it is need to show for the rest world that he is still king among jungles!

        Sincerely, LukCAD

    • #3073094

      Dell appeals to my hedonistic tendencies

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      One of today’s IT News stories discusses Dell’s new luxury XPS PCs: “For Dell, will luxury PCs boost profits?” (http://techrepublic.com.com/2100-10877_11-5887465.html

      While Dell’s margin is currently holding up, tech industry author Nicholas Carr claims, “It’s pretty clear that (Dell) needs to go after those high-margin markets if it wants to maintain its profits.”

      How much does Dells’ luxury line of products cost? Prices for the XPS systems start at $1,099. The XPS 600 starts at $1,849. The XPS M170 notebook comes with a 17-inch screen and starts at $2,699. The 50-inch W5001C plasma HDTV and 32-inch W3201C LCD TV are priced at $3,799 and $1,799, respectively. They do look pretty sleek, as you can see in the XPS photo gallery: http://techrepublic.com.com/2300-10877-5884858.html

      I have to admit that I am a little envious when I see coworkers with LCD flat panel display monitors, while I continue to lug my heavy box monitor from cubical to cubical. However, unless TechRepublic foots the bill, the price of “luxury” is a little too steep for my budget.

      • #3073042

        Dell appeals to my hedonistic tendencies

        by lukcad ·

        In reply to Dell appeals to my hedonistic tendencies

        When i bought my first lcd two years ago it was very expensive, now the situation is changed. Every country started the production of it: chine, russia, belarus, germany and so on. So not be so enviouse, now the real cost of lcd 15, 17″ is very small (no more the 200 $) but via some time (especially before new year) the price very fast drop down for only  that range of size(15,17), but for 19 and 21 ” it will not dropping price down, because the demanding of that size models are growing every moment, so there is some disproportion between produced quantity and market possabilities. Old version of ray tube monitors will still produced by some years but indeed it is like old gramophone opposit the modern digital audio center.

        Sincerely, LukCAD

    • #3057763

      Are you too fat to get into your work pants?

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      This News.com story advises people who give excuses like, “I’m too fat to get into my work pants,” that less information is probably more when calling in sick. For people who work outside the United States, there’s no need to worry. It seems that this irresponsible tendency is limited in scope: “More U.S. workers playing hooky” (http://techrepublic.com.com/2100-10881_11-5888522.html). 

      According to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder.com, “Forty-three percent of U.S. workers said they’ve faked illness in order to dodge a day of work at least once in the past year.” That number is up 35% from last year.

      Here are some other interesting facts about the survey results:

      • The number one reason for playing hooky? To relax and catch up on sleep.
      • Most popular day to skip work? Wednesday (because calling in on Mondays and Fridays – for a sweet, extended weekend – might raise bosses’ suspicions)
      • Funniest excuses?  “I’m too fat to get into my work pants” and “I accidentally flushed my keys down the toilet”

      I would love to hear some personally stories about this one, from people who have given off-the-wall excuses and from managers who have heard some doozies. Of course, all of my excuses are legit… *wink*

      • #3057728

        Are you too fat to get into your work pants?

        by lukcad ·

        In reply to Are you too fat to get into your work pants?

        Most popular joke:

        Monday – day after Sunday. Relaxing after guests.

        Tuesday – preparing for job. Reading the protocols and making solvings.

        Wednesday – day for job.

        Thursday – relaxing after job.

        Friday – calculating of effectivity of job was maden during week

        Saturday – preparing to Sunday

        Sunday – real job – reception of guest

         

      • #3069241

        Are you too fat to get into your work pants?

        by jeffersnet ·

        In reply to Are you too fat to get into your work pants?

        Before I started working in IT I was a supervisor at a prison where we had a lot of sick calls and we were always calling people on their day off to come in.  One day I was looking for someone to come in when I called a guy who is kind of strange.  I asked “Jeff” if he could come in to work on his day off and he replied, “yes, I already have my uniform on”   A lot of people who work in prisons are a little strange to begin with but getting dressed in your uniform, on your day off is a little too strange. 

      • #3070078

        Are you too fat to get into your work pants?

        by Sonja Thompson ·

        In reply to Are you too fat to get into your work pants?

        Getting dressed in your uniform on your day off is indeed “out there” – kind of like coming in to work in your pajamas, only different. 🙂  I am thankful every day that the dress code at TechRepublic is so relaxed… not pajama relaxed, but close!  However, that means that I would never be able to get away with the excuse of not being able to fit into my work pants.

      • #3070253

        Are you too fat to get into your work pants?

        by lukcad ·

        In reply to Are you too fat to get into your work pants?

        Hi All!

        All our life is prison. The room for audience is internet. The room for walking is job. The room for art is TV set or theatre. The room for buying is store or market. The room for relaxing is home. The prison cell is a urgent work in off day. And so on… Imagination is unrestricted here.

        Sincerely, LukCAD

         

      • #3116656

        Are you too fat to get into your work pants?

        by ozi eagle ·

        In reply to Are you too fat to get into your work pants?

        Sunburnt feet – true

      • #3116601

        Are you too fat to get into your work pants?

        by Sonja Thompson ·

        In reply to Are you too fat to get into your work pants?

        ozi Eagle…..  OUCH!  However, I can’t help but think that the process must have been mighty nice. This morning, I had to scrape ice of my windshield. Sun strong enough to burn my feet would be welcome right about now.

    • #3069235

      When the ego swells larger than the size of the company

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      Check out the major power play in this News.com story: “Network feud leads to Net blackout” (http://techrepublic.com.com/2100-1009_11-5889592.html).  Level 3 Communications and Cogent Communications had a direct peering connection.  According to the article, “‘Peering’ arrangements are maintained by network companies that agree to connect their networks directly together to exchange traffic more efficiently. When the companies are of roughly equal size, money rarely exchanges hands.”

      Grab your popcorn and swivel your chair in closer, because here’s where the action begins… Level 3 cut off its direct peering connections with Cogent. Why? Level 3 claims that it’s BIGGER, and in order to maintain the connection, Cogent should pay for the traffic exchange. Cogent contested that claim, saying that its network is at least as big as Level 3’s. The absolute best part is that Cogent is offering any Level 3 user who can’t get to Cogent sites free Internet service for a year!

      Now THAT’S entertainment!!

      • #3066142

        When the ego swells larger than the size of the company

        by hutchtech ·

        In reply to When the ego swells larger than the size of the company

        Companies that engage in these kind of p***ing contests may get caught
        with their pants down–watch for someone waiting in the wings to
        outmaneuver both of them…

        – Hutch

      • #3066097

        When the ego swells larger than the size of the company

        by jeffersnet ·

        In reply to When the ego swells larger than the size of the company

        I don’t think anyone should ever have to pay for network routing.  Being part of the Internet community should be more like being a good neighbor who provides a sidewalk.  In many cities it is the law that you need to provide these sidewalks and maybe it is time for a law for routing since some people just never make good neighbors.

         

    • #3069935

      Evidence: Why Internet directions can drive you crazy

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      Let me tell ‘ya, this News.com story really revved up my motor, and I’m sure anyone who’s ever used the Internet to find driving directions and estimated travel time will be equally ignited: “Driving under the influence of Web maps” (http://techrepublic.com.com/2100-3513_11-5890586.html).

      CNET News.com’s Elinor Mills decided to test out the accuracy and timing of the directions that she received from Yahoo, Google, MSN, and AOL’s MapQuest. She chose a random location in San Francisco and plugged in the information. While this test was admittedly non-scientific, the result were indeed interesting.

      • Yahoo took her through the center of the city: “It took 20 minutes to get there and 28 minutes to get back, for a total of 48 minutes, instead of the 27 minutes estimated as total travel time on the Web site.”
      •  MapQuest was the only one that took her on the highway (not advised during rush hour): “The trip took 16 minutes out and 25 minutes back, for a total of 41 minutes, compared with the Web site’s estimated 29 minutes.”
      • MSN: “[These directions] confused the heck out of me, and I’ve lived in San Francisco now for about a decade… [they] suggested I drive from Woodside Avenue onto Merced Avenue, two streets that don’t connect. I discovered, much to my horror, that I would have had to drive over a street divider to follow those directions… [It] took 24 minutes out and 21 minutes back, for a total of 45 minutes, compared with the estimated 24 minutes total travel time. ”
      • Google: “[The directions] took me on a short, circuitous route, with several right turns instead of just one… [It] took 16 minutes to get to [there] and 26 minutes to get back to the office, for a total of 42 minutes, compared with 24 minutes estimated.”

      All of the return directions guided her through the historical (read = lots of street trolleys and tourists) part of the city, even though a wider, less traveled street was a mere two blocks away.

      Mills compared the Internet directions to human knowledge, hiring a taxi to take her to the same location. The $37 roundtrip, which avoided heavy traffic streets, took 23 minutes out and 24 minutes back, for a total of 47 minutes.

      Personally, I use MapQuest when I need to find out how to get from here to there, but I rarely pay much attention to the estimated time of travel. Back in my college days, I used to deliver pizza, so I can usually make it anywhere in 30 minutes or less! 😉 

      • #3070519

        Evidence: Why Internet directions can drive you crazy

        by jeffersnet ·

        In reply to Evidence: Why Internet directions can drive you crazy

        In Nebraska where there are a lot more open roads it usually takes less time than Mapquest estimates.  I use it a lot when going to an address in Omaha and it never takes me longer than what they say it will take. 

      • #3070264

        Evidence: Why Internet directions can drive you crazy

        by lukcad ·

        In reply to Evidence: Why Internet directions can drive you crazy

        In my area this test is  impossible. Only MAPQUEST has my town and my popular road M5 into mapquest sytem map. Niether msn, Neither google can to do it. Msn defines only town and without any roads around, google defines only shape of my country. So, my car with gps system needs more my brain then internet maps. But of course, it is timely situation. I think via one may be maximum two year it will need in my area too, because when i am in big town it is great the information about road tracing from mapquest. MapQuest is oldest programm in area of maps so it is leader, because it covers all countries around the world.

         

      • #3070674

        Evidence: Why Internet directions can drive you crazy

        by thud ·

        In reply to Evidence: Why Internet directions can drive you crazy

        I normally try to use Rand McNalley (http://www.randmcnalley.com) since they’re responsible for creating many existing maps.  However, I have had several instances where directions would state “TAKE EXIT” with no identifiers as to which exit they were referring.  Unfortunately, I wouldn’t discover this issue until I was attempting to take the exit… 🙁

    • #3060323

      Plea to Congress: Simma down now

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      If you enjoy horror and comedy all rolled into one, you’ll love this IT news story: “Get ready for ‘Son of Can-Spam'” (http://techrepublic.com.com/2010-1009_11-5892166.html). 

      News.com writer Declan McCullagh discusses the first federal law regulating unsolicited junk e-mail, Can-Spam. According to McCullagh, “The poorly named Can-Spam law probably increased the volume of spam clogging our e-mail clients by zapping state laws such as one in California that had mandated a stricter ‘opt-in’ standard for unsolicited electronic mail.”  Can-Spam sounds like a perfectly appropriate name to me. Can’t-Spam, on the other hand, would have missed the mark.

      Here’s the scary part: “Now politicians are promising to enact new laws against spyware. It might be time to start worrying again.” There are currently five spyware-related bills in Congress, and three of them “would explicitly override state laws, even if the state laws are more consumer-friendly than the federal law.” The hard truth is that many of them are.

      So, what does McCullagh suggest?  “A better solution might sound like a radical one: for Congress to do nothing.” All in favor say “Aye!”

      • #3060268

        Plea to Congress: Simma down now

        by lukcad ·

        In reply to Plea to Congress: Simma down now

        Hello, Sonja!

        First cars was without any rules for movement over road cross also. If we need now some bills that only is acknowledgement that INTERNET is important for our life like car.

        Sincerely, LukCAD

      • #3069849

        Plea to Congress: Simma down now

        by lukcad ·

        In reply to Plea to Congress: Simma down now

        My advice is one: don’t kill the exellent way (internet) to spread the american ideology around the world.

         

         

    • #3069533

      Would you like a retinal scan with that?

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      What price are you willing to pay for security? Would you cough up more than twice the amount that you pay right now for a driver’s license? Well, according to this News.com article, legal citizens of the United States may not have a choice: “Bumpy road for digital drivers’ licenses” (http://techrepublic.com.com/2100-3513_11-5892584.html).

      The Real ID Act, which was passed by Congress last May, specifies that states fulfill several requirements, including the following:

      • States will have to verify all documents presented to support license applications, such as birth certificates, Social Security cards, and utility bills, and will be required to link their license databases so they can all be accessed as a single network. Furthermore, a person’s license and Social Security card must bear the same name, which must be the real name–not a nickname or shortened version.
      • States will be required to verify that a person applying for a license is in the country legally. They will have the option of issuing a separate credential to illegal aliens so that they will still be able to drive.

      Hey, at least states have three years to implement the Real ID Act. Oh wait… the Department of Homeland Security hasn’t issued regulations for implementing the law, such as the type of biometric information that each card must include, and these regulations aren’t expected to be finalized until next summer!

      How will this legislation affect you? If opposition groups aren’t able to derail the act, it looks like you’ll have to pay at least double the current cost of a driver’s license, and you’ll also be required to provide more identification, including various forms of documentation and possibly fingerprint or retinal scans. Of course, the upswing is that “a secure ID system could save millions in Medicare and Medicaid fraud and combat identity theft.” 

      Perhaps we’re getting one step closer to the sci-fi books I read back in high school… a retinal scan before you’re allowed to buy cigarettes and six-pack of beer at the local liquor store?  It could happen!!

      • #3059954

        Would you like a retinal scan with that?

        by lukcad ·

        In reply to Would you like a retinal scan with that?

        Yes, it seems that it is the easier way for restrictions then for permissions. But sometime it is enought to make light rules and it will more productive then write a lot of bills and try to realise them. Our life is very dynamical so one bill for today will old for tommorow. But cost and effectivity of developing of any bill require a lot of millions dollars from budget of any country. Is it need now? I think, that Italian way will have more results then anyone else, they made simple rule for internet cafe: everyone who would like to has session into internet has registration on level of his passport. So a lot of intruders and people who don’t have still passport not have possability for this access.(the internet cafe was first gate for anonymouse access for anyone intruders).

        May be it helps.

        Sincerely, LukCAD

      • #3070549

        Would you like a retinal scan with that?

        by btljooz ·

        In reply to Would you like a retinal scan with that?

        It’s called “The Mark of the Beast“!!!

        And, NO!!!…The Italian way will NOT work here in the States. There are simply way too many people here…many of which have absolutely NO use for a pa$$port!!!!!…myself, among them.

        All we can do is pray to whatever God we each pray to that the lobby groups that are against this travesty to Traditional American life WILL WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • #3068777

        Would you like a retinal scan with that?

        by jeffersnet ·

        In reply to Would you like a retinal scan with that?

        In my case I have a driver’s license with the shortened version of my first name, Jeff, and my SS card has my full first name, Jeffrey.  When I was 16 I didn’t like being called Jeffrey so I insisted that my license just says Jeff but when I tried to correct it later the people who issue the licenses wouldn’t do it. So, I am wondering if I will be the one who is in trouble because my identifations don’t match.  So far it hasn’t caused a problem but I don’t think it used to be against any law. 

      • #3068613

        Would you like a retinal scan with that?

        by Sonja Thompson ·

        In reply to Would you like a retinal scan with that?

        Jeff, according to the article, it looks like you’ll have to pay more money to get your documentation in sync. The licensing bureau won’t be able to deny your full name, but you’ll most likely have to present your birth certificate and social security card (and probably promise to name your first born after the cashier or person who takes your picture)! 😉 

         

         

    • #3068888

      Where’s Waldo? You’ll never guess…

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      Just in case you missed the lead News.com story in today’s IT News Digest newsletter, you gotta check this out: “What’s hiding on your microchip?”  Unfortunately, the link to the photo gallery within the story doesn’t work.  Don’t worry, I got your back: “Photos: Inside these chips, art awaits.”

      According to the story, “More than 10 years ago, Michael Davidson went looking to capture the beauty of microchip circuitry in photographs. In among the transistors and wire traces, he found something unexpected: Waldo.”  Since then, Davidson has discovered more than 300 chips with unusual micrographic imagery.

      Very cool story and photos. I love it when news crosses the line into entertainment.  Enjoy!

    • #3068591

      I have news for my mother – online games are educational!

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      I try to add one new blog post every day, but yesterday I was consumed with meetings and other stuff. However, there was a very interesting News.com story yesterday that I wanted to comment on, so without further adieu…  “Virtual epidemics may hold scientific promise” is about how virtual reality plagues can help us study the spread of infectious diseases and how the public responds to them.

      When a virtual reality outbreak slammed “World of Warcraft,” which is the most successful massively multiplayer online game in U.S. history, many players were instantly affected by the plague, some avoided it by maintaining a distance from the victims, and others used healing spells to help the afflicted recover.

      Even though the plague was the result of a bug in the program and was quickly fixed, some epidemiologists and educators believe that the players’ reactions to the WoW plague were realistic. “Some say virtual online worlds–where players’ economic and social behavior is often a microcosm of their real-world behavior–are a perfect place to compare real-world infectious diseases with those comprised only of digital ones and zeros.”

      Take a look at the images: Deadly virtual outbreak.  Of course, I know my mother would have a clever comeback… perhaps, “Online games might be educational, but eventually, they’ll kill ‘ya!” 😉

      • #3071845

        I have news for my mother – online games are educational!

        by panfish ·

        In reply to I have news for my mother – online games are educational!

        This is Your Mother

        Soni, I found your blog today to be very interesting. What an advantage to be a young person in the technical world today. 90% of my working years there was no computer. Now – in this day of terrorists – the computer may help save us! It boggles my mind! And it excites me! This article convinced me that it’s ok to spend time on computer games!
        Mom

      • #3071544

        I have news for my mother – online games are educational!

        by lukcad ii ·

        In reply to I have news for my mother – online games are educational!

        ____________________________________________________________________________
        Sonija do it up to 18 october!! Sincerely, LukCAD.
    • #3071798

      Inspector Clouseau meets Bond? James Bond

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      Script for a News.com/TechRepublic play

      Authors: News.com editor Dan Ilett and TechRepublic?s Sonja Thompson

      Roles: 007 wannabes

      Run time: Less than two minutes to read the article; more time if you apply

      Music: Theme songs to James Bond and Pink Panther movies

      Style: Comic contemporary whodunnit mystery. One set, location in the U.K.

      Synopsis: It is 2005, and the MI6 Web site, which is officially run by the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), is actively recruiting men and women to help support efforts in combating terrorism. The Web site supposedly attempts to dispel the myth around the glamour of spying. However, it also states the following: “…the certainty of a stimulating and rewarding career which, like [James] Bond’s, will be in the service of their country.”

      Scene 1
      (The door opens and the detective walks in. He approaches the terrorist cautiously. He twists the ends of his moustache, curling them up at the corners. Slowly, he reaches out his hand.)

      007 wannabe: “Does your dog bite?”

      • #3071786

        Inspector Clouseau meets Bond? James Bond

        by joeboy ·

        In reply to Inspector Clouseau meets Bond? James Bond

        terrorist <in old-guy German voice>: “Ehhh?”

      • #3071732

        Inspector Clouseau meets Bond? James Bond

        by wayne m. ·

        In reply to Inspector Clouseau meets Bond? James Bond

        The dog lunges sinking his fangs into the detective’s forearm.  The 007 wannabe continues without reaction.

        OO7 wannabe: “Perhaps one might propound on the propensity of the pooch to impinge on proffered appendages?”

         

      • #3071537

        Inspector Clouseau meets Bond? James Bond

        by lukcad ii ·

        In reply to Inspector Clouseau meets Bond? James Bond

        James Bond (Sean Connery) don’t know about SIS, his life was happy regards of only a big secret, that can be found only in his own home on the Spanish village. Most popular peole to be with extremal life face to face on the stage indeed dreams about happy and  measured life into some beautiful place like village. If you don’t believe it take a part in Madonna’s meeting by Motorola and ICON members.  Just only live meeting:
        ____________________________________________________________________________
         
    • #3072460

      Move over, crayola – I’ve got a blog to type!

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      It looks crayons are a think of the past, as some elementary schools are requiring students to complete daily blogs: “Blogging 101–Web logs go to school.” According to this News.com article, the actual number of classroom blogs is well into the thousands, with elementary, middle, and high schools beginning to jump the blog bandwagon.

      I think it’s fantastic that schools are keeping up with the trends in technology. The more comfortable children are with computers, the more they’ll continue to use them throughout their lives. With the new curriculum – reading, blogging, and ‘rithmetic – schools are molding potential tech professionals of the future. I give these teaching institutions two thumbs up with a circle and a snap!

      • #3072379

        Move over, crayola – I’ve got a blog to type!

        by hutchtech ·

        In reply to Move over, crayola – I’ve got a blog to type!

        As the father of a teenager, I’m surprised they have to encourage
        blogging at all.  Of all the kids on the block, my son is the only
        one who isn’t posting his daily dietary intake and social calendar on a
        moment-by-moment basis.

        The real question is this: Will it help them to become better writers,
        or will it become a way to re-shape language as they fall into lzy hbts
        and txt msg lngo.  IDK.

        – Hutch

      • #3072339

        Move over, crayola – I

        by Sonja Thompson ·

        In reply to Move over, crayola – I’ve got a blog to type!

        IMHO 😉 if blogging is to become a mainstream part of school curriculum, the teachers should be responsible for identifying what are acceptable and not acceptable forms of written speech. It will be interesting to see who determines that… if there will be a standard, or if individual teachers will make those decisions. Computer-talk, where you abbreviate everything into tiny little bits and bytes, is only a thin slice of this linguistic pie. Another issue that has been argued for years is whether students should be taught prescriptive versus descriptive language. The current “standard” is prescriptive, but it is criticized for being the voice of the prestigious and not recognizing diversity. Let’s face it, a lot of people just don’t talk proper!  You feel me, dawg?   

    • #3072359

      What happens when an early bird tries to avoid a worm?

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      Well, according to this News.com story, the outcome isn’t pretty: “Windows patch backfires on the security-minded.”  Here’s the deal… Microsoft released a patch last week to fix serious Windows vulnerabilities that could be exploited for a malicious worm attack. Some security-conscious users, who had previously tightened down their access lists, immediately installed the patch. Unfortunately, their proactivity came back to bite them in the butt.

      “Microsoft has acknowledged that a patch released last week can cause trouble for some users [those who have changed the default permission settings in order to increase the security of their systems]. It could lock them out of their PC, prevent the Windows Firewall from starting, block certain applications from running or installing, and empty the network connections folder, among other things.”

      Johannes Ullrich, the chief research officer at the SANS Institute summed it up perfectly when he said that the flawed update delivered “two strikes against good security… First, you get penalized for running an enhanced security template. Next, you get penalized for patching quickly.”  Microsoft, surprisingly, had no immediate comment. 

      • #3072211

        What happens when an early bird tries to avoid a worm?

        by lukcad ·

        In reply to What happens when an early bird tries to avoid a worm?

        the dramatic situation possible indeed if you like me have all C$…N$ and Admin$ disks closed for access by executing scripts with command to close it  when logon process started. But to have some possability even in this case i have remoute access turned on for my Administrator account to drive computer via remoute access. And it saved me one time from cash down uncorrect copy of permissions or changing roles of users.

        Thank you Soni for your alarm. Interesting to know: Is someone in situation with locked computer after that update? Sincerely, LukCAD

    • #3070883

      1 (800) VOTE4ME!

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      If I’m not mistaken, text voting truly became popular in the United States with the hit reality series “American Idol,” where host Ryan Seacrest encouraged viewers to call in at the end of every show to help their favorite contestant stay in the competition. Cingular customers were able to avoid landline busy signals by text messaging the word “vote” and identifying the contestant’s four-digit number. Well, if text voting is good enough for TV, it’s gotta be good enough for politics: “Want to vote? Text me now.”

      According to this News.com story, “A San Francisco voter-registration campaign [jointly produced by a new nonprofit called Mobile Voter and the city’s Chinese-American Voter Education Committee] is one of the first efforts in the United States to take the surge of political activity that has emerged around e-mail and the Web and move it wholly to cell phones.”

      “Mobile politics” is already a common practice in many foreign countries, because the people spend quite a bit of time sending text messages and surf the Net on their phones. In fact, “Cell-phone text messages are widely given credit for tipping the scales in Spain’s 2004 election, where 40 percent more messages were sent on Election Day than on an ordinary day, and young voters turned out in large numbers to help unseat the government.”

      If you’ve seen the massive number of young teens in the United States who have cell phones attached to their ears, and presidential elections start to recognize text message voting, it might be worth while to change the voting age, to say… 13?

    • #3044578

      spam + blog = splog

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      Today’s lead story in the IT News Digest newsletter was about splogging, which is what you get when you spam somebody’s blog. Check out the story: “Tempted by blogs, spam becomes ‘splog’.”

      Here’s what I wrote in the newsletter, “Google’s Blogger blog-creation tool and BlogSpot hosting service fell victim to the biggest ‘splog’ attack yet–an assault that led to clogged RSS readers, overflowing inboxes, and may have manipulated search engine rankings. The splogger used automated tools to manipulate the service and create thousands of fake blogs with links to specific Web sites.”

      Since I have an genuine interest in blogging, I clicked the heck out of the links in the news story, seeing what other information I could glean from it. One WAY COOL link lead me to a screen shot / web cam with voice over of Chris Pirillo, who demonstrates this nasty splog attack in action. Although the majority of Pirillo video consists of him saying “BlogSpot.com,” (twenty-seven times, to be exact… and yes, I’m sick for actually counting them) it’s a great way to see what’s going on rather than just hear about it. 

      • #3044498

        spam + blog = splog

        by smorty71 ·

        In reply to spam + blog = splog

        Mark Cuban (owner of the Dallas Mavericks, HDNet) blogged about the
        Blogspot splog attack last week in a post titled “Get Your Blogspot
        Sh!t Together Google.” Because Cuban is an investor in search engine
        Ice Rocket, the attack hit close to home (i.e. his wallet).

        http://www.blogmaverick.com/entry/1234000717063627/

      • #3286676

        spam + blog = splog

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to spam + blog = splog

        At my private little exercise in infallibility, I started getting more than my fair share of “splog” lately (though I prefer the term “blam”, really). Luckily, most of it is easily recognized by the spam filter built into the weblog software I use so that it never shows up publicly and I can delete it from the moderation queue without anyone ever noticing it was there. It’s a little annoying to have to delete between one and six advertisement link collections every day, though.

        Somehow, spam has become a multimillion dollar industry. While it’s aimed at getting people to click on things in email, though, I don’t think they really care so much about whether you actually follow the ad links in “splog”. I think these idjits are just hoping their posts will be left in place long enough to affect Google PageRanks.

        It certainly true that nothing I’ve been discussing in my above-linked weblog is going to attract readers likely to click on a Cialis link, at any rate.

      • #3105547

        spam + blog = splog

        by johnfarnham9 ·

        In reply to spam + blog = splog

        Years ago, I remember a Cadbury’s TV ad with pigs grunting tht literally gave you hunger pangs to listen to it.
        That was in the 60’s. Two years ago I was diagnosed with
        diabetes.  I think it’s safe to say my record of not eating one of
        their bars , ever, is safe.
         People respond more aggressively to negative stimula. 
        Cialis is not on my promotions ” to do ” list.  Whodathunk ?

    • #3045386

      She spells “sex sells”

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      A couple years ago, TechRepublic hired a fellow to come in and train the editors here how to write compelling titles that attract the desired target audience – which, in our case, is IT professionals. One of the conclusions we drew from this experience was that sex sells… nothing you didn’t know already, right? But how do you use sex to talk about IT?

      When I got to work this morning, I went through my morning ritual of browsing News.com for stories to compile into the IT News Digest newsletter. My eye immediately landed on this juicy title, “Video iPod gets a little steamier.” However, early this morning, the title contained the word “sexier” instead of “steamier.”  I don’t know about you, but visions of a steamy iPod that plays video are blurred or foggy at best. I’m not very compelled to buy a steamy video iPod. I’d much rather buy a sexy one… wouldn’t you?

      • #3045352

        She spells

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to She spells “sex sells”

        So, aside from bad puns and dirty jokes, how do you use sex to talk about IT?

      • #3045223

        She spells

        by lukcad ·

        In reply to She spells “sex sells”

        Why not? The topic about s. is more interesting sometime … Just for me, i think that author of advertizing title solved to make word “steamier” more sexier for customers then it was earlier. And he started from “sexier” to have fix in everymind that it is “sexier” then sharp turn on left and goal reached . Sometime the words change their first sence to second by “slang” from specialists.

        Have a good weekend! Sonja!

        Sincerely, LukCAD

      • #3043748

        She spells

        by Sonja Thompson ·

        In reply to She spells “sex sells”

        Master3bs is trying to get me in trouble….  I’ll put the question out there for the rest of the TechRepublic members out there in blog-land. How do you use sex to talk about IT (other than bad puns and dirty jokes)?

        I gained a little insight into the title change – from “Video iPod gets a little sexier” to “Video iPod gets a little steamier.”  The word “sexier” may have compelled more people to read the news story, but many spam filters would have blocked a newsletter that contained that title or subject line. As the editor of the IT News Digest newsletter, I can certainly understand that line of reasoning.

      • #3043698

        She spells

        by lukcad ·

        In reply to She spells “sex sells”

        You are quite right! Just it is easy to understand, that the pronuncation so near for advertizing and it is like spam knife for filter. Really, a lot ofg spam message started to be more plausible to go through the anti-spam systems.

        Your mind is higher then some reader thought.

        Sincerely, LukCAD

    • #3045778

      Are independent online reporters (bloggers) second-class citizens?

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      Does my affiliation with CNET TechRepublic make me a first-class citizen? According to this News.com article, it sure does: “So who should you call a journalist?” 

      Some news organizations are embracing blogs as a legitimate form of journalism. However, the Justice Department recently criticized the leading journalist’s shield law proposal for allowing criminals to pose as bloggers.

      Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, offered the following explanation: “The relative anonymity afforded to bloggers, coupled with a certain lack of accountability, as they are not your traditional brick-and-mortar reporters who answer to an editor or publisher, also has the risk of creating a certain irresponsibility when it comes to accurately reporting information.?

      CNET News.com’s Declan McCullagh isn?t worried, since News.com will likely be covered under the final version of a federal shield law. McCullagh recognizes that the current debate has a downside for the average Joe blogger with journalistic tendencies: ?That line of thinking could pose a real threat to people who use the Internet to do journalism. Not only will it make it harder to do the kind of serious reporting that requires confidential sources, but it’s deeply symbolic: Independent online reporters are second-class citizens.?

      I’m curious to know if anyone else is irked by this article. Fellow bloggers, what are your thoughts?

      • #3046327

        Are independent online reporters (bloggers) second-class citizens?

        by tschruefer ·

        In reply to Are independent online reporters (bloggers) second-class citizens?

        traditional brick-and-mortar reporters who answer to an editor or publisher

        like Jayson Blair ???


        traditional brick-and-mortar reporters who answer to an editor or publisher

        Like all the ‘traditional reporters’ who so mis-reported Hurricane
        Katrina?  Just about the only thing they actually got right was that the
        thing hit land.  How many real people suffered from the ‘traditional
        reporters’ reporting of rumors and lies.  Get back to me when you find one
        of those incidents that actually happened, from the murders and rapes that
        didn’t happen to the polluted water that would kill with a touch.

        This ‘shield law’ will only server to silence the peoples voices and protect
        the buggy-whip makers a little longer.


    • #3046316

      Making a case for and against “bigger is better”

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      There are actually two News.com stories that got my attention today – and viewed together, they are the certainly fodder for lively water-cooler conversation: “Ready for a 20-inch laptop?” and “Oracle goes for girth.” 

      Whoa, Nelly! Unless you’re traveling 1st class, don’t expect the 20-inch laptop to fit in an airplane seat. Of course, you may have a very nice stranger beside you who wouldn’t mind raising the seat divider and resting a few inches across his or her lap. Riiiiiiiiiiiight!!  Is this supersize laptop practical? Probably not. However, there are some people (you know the ones… they have to have the newest and the biggest everything) who will put the wide-screen laptop on their holiday shopping list: “to self.” If you hear someone bragging out having 20 inches, now you’ll know what they’re talking about.

      Speaking of girth, Oracle’s going for it!  According to this news article, “Oracle is taking a two-prong approach to battling the competition, focusing on its Fusion Middleware and growing its presence in the niche applications arena that targets specific industries.” Oracle’s revenue growth in the past four years for middleware alone has achieved $853 million. In fact, the last three quarters posted the largest year-over-year gains. Now, THAT’S something to brag about!!

    • #3045567

      de Young engages d’ young

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      My love for both technology and art was satiated today with this News.com story: “Art and technology mingle at S.F. museum.” The newly renovated de Young Museum, in San Francisco, will soon offer podcasts and other high-tech presentation tools to enhance visitors’ experience. According to the article, “perhaps the most cutting-edge tech project at the de Young is a one-of-a-kind, high-tech presentation of the museum’s major collections that lets visitors ‘turn’ pages on a floor-to-ceiling screen.”

      de young engages d' young

    • #3045054

      You go, grrrrrlz!!!

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      I finally get to blog about one of my favorite subjects… GIRL POWER!!  This News.com story talks about the Women’s Game Conference in Austin, Texas: Getting girls in the game.” Sadly enough, 88.5 percent of video game makers are male, and so this conference presents an opportunity for people to talk about ways to close the massive gender gap.

      “Attendees see the women’s game conference playing a key role in overcoming some of the historical hurdles to gender diversity in the industry.” However, the article closes by saying, “…despite the optimism at the conference, there is undoubtedly still a sense that women have a long way to go before they’re on equal footing in an industry which, rightly or wrongly, is often perceived as a boys’ club.”

      I’m not a hard-core feminist, but I get a little fired-up when I read about stuff like this. I work and I play just as hard as any of my male family members, friends, and coworkers. Are video games just for guys? Don’t make me laugh. My son would be the first one to vouch that I got game, baby. I may not know how to design a video game, but I can sure play the heck out of one. Grrrrrrrrrrrr… *raising my lip, furling my brow, and bending my opposable thumbs*

    • #3115718

      Watch out LL Cool J, you’re about to get your “Headsprung”

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      My mornings here at TechRepublic are spent looking at News.com stories and compiling the most relevant ones into the IT News Digest newsletter. My selections are based on what I think is important to IT professionals, or what I think you guys and gals want to read about. After I send the newsletter, I go through each of the stories and click the links to make sure they work and go to the right locations. If I find an error, I contact a News.com editor via Yahoo Messenger, and they make the fix. It’s a beautifully orchestrated process.

      However, there are times (like today) when I click a link, and it goes to the right location – BUT, I truly can’t believe what I’m seeing (you’ll understand my capitalization shortly… think “big but” – only another “t” to the [rear] end).

      Here’s the News.com article: “Goodbye songs, hello videos.” The gist of the article can be summarized in the intro paragraph: “Music and video are currently undergoing another unholy intermingling, once again in the form of the music video: iTunes and the iPod now support music videos, with the rest of the industry likely to follow suit. But this time, rather than extending music onto the television screen, the music/video hybrid could cause a fundamental shift in what ‘recording artists’ are recording and what music fans are consuming. In other words, the endpoint of all of this video/music intermingling could be that neither continues to exist in its current form, and we end up with something new.”

      WARNING, a link in this story may not be suitable to click at work. In the third paragraph, look for the word “video.” User discretion is advised!!  Ok, I’m all about immediate gratification, so click here to view the wmv file. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!!

    • #3116024

      Here, kitty kitty!!

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      I’m going to try out something a little different today. Click on my video link below and see what I have to say. Let me know which format you prefer. If no one comments (LukCAD, you don’t count), then I’ll crawl back under my shell. Yeah, that was a joke. 😉

      how about some fancy feast?

      Click here to see the video. If you use IE, be sure to Save it when prompted.

      Here’s the photo gallery link that I promised you: “VHS lives on–just barely.”

      Oh, what the heck… pet lovers, you better check out this photo gallery as well: “PC pets deliver loyal tech support.”

      • #3114423

        Here, kitty kitty!!

        by lukcad ·

        In reply to Here, kitty kitty!!

        It is perfect in wmv format and it will more preferable with next size: 160X120 , 320 X 240 but not with  the 640 X 480. Last format is too large for site implementation and it will load your server additionally.

        Not bad, not bad idea to transfer your video. You have emphases by this way to way of blogging and do you want to implement it live video into your blog’s message. If you will implement some object you will get power video blog system, but be afraid, then i will sathe a big video song there ;-).

        First video issue was started for today and i must to remember this day for future.

        Congratulations, LukCAD

        Example of wmv player 

      • #3115095

        Here, kitty kitty!!

        by lukcad ·

        In reply to Here, kitty kitty!!

         

        Look at the my implementation of video into Microstore. Try to enter by predefined accounds and add new video by yourself. If you need i can write lesson about HOW YOU CAN DO IT. Press here

        Sincerely, LUkCAD

      • #3114971

        Here, kitty kitty!!

        by jaqui ·

        In reply to Here, kitty kitty!!

        LukCAD was right, the 640 by 480 is a bit large.. the image is slightly grainy for me.
        webcam capture?
        a zipped video is a great way to send it.
        though, if i didn’t have a system I just finished getting running, I wouldn’t have been able to view the wmv format.
        it is ms specific format.

    • #3114826

      Working while on the road has a whole new meaning

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      I just came across another image gallery that made me green with envy. I drive a Ford pickup truck, but this bad boy has some serious interior toys… the only toys in my truck are from a kid’s Happy Meal at McDonalds. Check out this gallery: “Photos: Mobile office ‘built Ford tough’.”

      According to the photo summary, this General Contractor F-250 Super Duty pickup trucks contains a touch-screen computer, printer, wireless broadband access, and Global Positioning System. I certainly wouldn’t turn down one of these babies, but I have to wonder… Isn’t this a driving hazard?

      talk about a setup!

    • #3116327

      Telecommuting may cost you in the [rear] end

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      This morning, after I approved the IT News Digest newsletter for delivery, I unplugged my computer, emptied my desk, and moved everything over to a new cubicle. For anyone who’s been following my blog posts, this move should come as no surprise.

      Speaking of moving, I read a News.com story today that will appeal to telecommuters who are employed by a company outside their home state: “Telecommuters: Beware the tax man.” 

      According to the article, “The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal of a Tennessee computer programmer who claimed that New York was violating his constitutional rights by forcing him to pay taxes on income he earned in his home state while telecommuting… Telecommuters employed by a company outside their home state may be at risk of having to pay extra taxes unless Congress adopts a bill protecting them.”

      This issue doesn’t effect me, since I don’t telecommute (I just move cubes), plus I live and work in the same state. However, there are a couple people – my manager and a coworker within the TechRepublic content group – who might find this information disturbing. Is telecommuting worth the extra cost? If Congress doesn’t adopt a bill to protect telecommuters from having to pay extra taxes, I wonder how many people will relocate their home residence to the state where they’re employed. I’d be interested to hear what other people think about this issue. Thoughts?

      • #3136484

        Telecommuting may cost you in the [rear] end

        by lukcad ·

        In reply to Telecommuting may cost you in the [rear] end

        i suppose then closer to New Yourk then less taxes. 😉 It is strange position to get more taxes by telecomputing employees. Problem of telecomputing is the big cost of security and high speed communication devices. It is not secret that it is produced in US, so why so many thoughts about additional taxes. This is yet, it is into of cost every telecommunication adapter or device.

        Sincerely, LukCAD

    • #3116978

      Republicans and Democrats actually agree about something!

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      There was one News.com story that I came across today that I thought would create some hoopla in the TechRepublic community: “If you believe in broadband, free IPTV.”  It doesn’t matter if you’ve never heard about IPTV, because the article’s opening sentence alone is enough to start a fight: “There is very little on which Democrats and Republicans agree these days.” Personally, I try to stay clear of political talk. I choose to speak passionately about other topics, like my son’s new PlayStation 2 controllers that are designed with NFL team logos (awww yeah…. he has two of them – Steelers and Broncos) – but that is an entirely different blog.

      ANYWAY, let me tell you about IPTV and why it’s a big deal. According to the article, “IPTV networks are about more than television-viewing options. They also can improve health care in rural and urban America; as educational resources for grade school students and their parents; and as lower-cost broadband capacity for small and midsize businesses, which increasingly are dependent on electronic networks.”  This seems like a no-brainer, right? Why aren’t we deploying the heck out of IPTV?

      “It is not technological, with the best and brightest engineers solving those issues. And it is not market-created, with investors ready to deploy the new networks. Rather, the challenge to more rapid IPTV deployment is governmental.”

      Some state, local, and federal policy makers are demanding that “IPTV providers negotiate franchise agreements separately and individually with more than 33,000 municipal governments for the right to send content over the Internet. Not surprisingly, industry analysts and objective observers identify this regulatory burden as the single biggest barrier to more rapid IPTV deployment and thus accelerated broadband adoptions and investments.” 

      However, some Republican and Democrat members of the House and Senate have “identified the need for minimal regulation and simplified franchising processes.” Hats off for the parties coming together on this one!

      The authors of this article, Bruce Mehlman and Larry Irving, sum it up quite nicely – “Our message to policy leaders is simple: Hands off IPTV! The new content and services needed to accelerate broadband adoption and encourage investment in next-generation networks, especially IPTV, are ready, willing, and able to deploy–that is, if government gets out of the way.” 

    • #3136236

      It’s almost time the iPod raided “X”

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      Imagine this… you buy an Xbox 360 when they go on sale later this month, you pop in a game, connect your iPod, and then you can use tunes straight off your iPod as an alternative to the game’s sound track!  How awesome is THAT?!  However, according to this News.com story, “Xbox 360 and iPod interoperability? Sort of,” Apple might create a stink when the new console launches, so it’s unclear how long consumers will be able to use this feature.  

      Xbox digital-entertainment executive producer Jeff Henshaw told CNET News.com that the Xbox 360 would be able to stream any standard MP3 file or AAC file from an iPod, but not protected songs purchased through the iTunes Music Store. Those songs, he said, will appear grayed out in menus on the Xbox.

      I don’t own an Xbox or an iPod, but I am very excited about the possibilities here… like listening to Nine Inch Nails while playing God Of War. *ohmygoshthatwouldbesoincredible*  If Apple isn’t a party pooper, I may have to seriously consider adding an “X” and an “i” to my list of things I don’t really need but would love to have.  

      • #3136004

        It’s almost time the iPod raided

        by katy kat ·

        In reply to It’s almost time the iPod raided “X”

        WOW!  Reading this information is almost catching my interest for video games again.  I’m not sure anything can beat playing Super Mario Brothers 2 and listening to Nitzer Ebb however. 

        I’m still a die hard Super Nintendo fan.  Give me the more simple good ol’ games (especially after being out at a beer bust all night!) of Duck Hunt, Donkey Kong….you get the picture. 

        -may the x & i be with you

      • #3136480

        It’s almost time the iPod raided

        by lukcad ·

        In reply to It’s almost time the iPod raided “X”

        No, not for me. i use my free time for computer to write, to read, to learn but not play with music by iPod. Really, big, heavy box and lite, tiny but stylish iPod are two things so difference, like elephant and mice. No, better good audio systen with power dynamics then iPod for audio supporting of effects from any game of any video.

        But iPod is like hand’s oclok – everysecond with you, and every second can be used to find something intresting from net when you really have time till waiting for something. 

        I can’t image how many hours you can use xbox and a long-played games with weak sound from ipod. Do you need it?

        Elephant turned back and looked at the tiny spot (it was mice), and thought: “ohhh, really good luxoriouse for my tail, but where my thin fingers to cath it?… “

        Sincerely, LukCAD

      • #3136459

        It’s almost time the iPod raided

        by lukcad ·

        In reply to It’s almost time the iPod raided “X”

        Apple iPod Video Converter (Movie) is the easiest-to-use movie/ video converter software for Apple iPod Movie and iPod Video. It can convert almost all video format, e.g. DivX, XviD, MOV, RM, rmvb, MPEG, VOB, DVD, WMV, AVI to iPod Movie / iPod Video format.

        Look at the iPod video convertet here

        Convert dvd to ipod video software(ipod movie dvd to ipod converter,vob to ipod / mov to ipod convertor) - click to enlarge
      • #3137188

        It’s almost time the iPod raided

        by Sonja Thompson ·

        In reply to It’s almost time the iPod raided “X”

        Pisces, our stars must be aligned…. The visual that I had of playing Super Mario Brothers 2 and listening to Nitzer Ebb made me feel like I was right there with you!

    • #3136582

      Is my finger pointing in the right direction?

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      In the beginning of October, I blogged about the faults of online map services: “Evidence: Why Internet directions can drive you crazy.” Whose fault is it? According to a News.com story that I read today, “Don’t blame the online mappers.”

      Tele Atlas, one of the two main mapping data collectors, capture up-to-date navigation information by driving around cities with videos, computers, and navigation equipment. Michael Mitsock, Tele Atlas chief marketing officer, believes that the inaccuracy of online maps is due to the delay between when the updated information is gathered and when it actually appears on the map sites. “We might change the database tonight, but it might take some time to ripple out to the consumer,” he said. “Less often is it an error than a freshness issue.”

      So, once again, I have to wonder… who is responsible for refreshing the data – if it is, indeed, a “freshness” issue? Mitsock claims that “Online mapping applications typically refresh the data under their maps every 90 days or so.” I don’t claim to be a database expert, but I suspect that it’s possible to decrease the amount of time between data refreshing – or to develop an online mapping application that can. I’m not typically a big finger pointer, but when someone points me in the wrong direction, you better believe I’ll give them the finger…

    • #3137580

      Yes, work can be fun and games!

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      On November 3, 2005, I blogged about how the government needs to simma down with regulations and franchise processes regarding IPTV: “Republican and Democrats actually agree about something!”  Here is a snippet of that blog post: “Personally, I try to stay clear of political talk. I choose to speak passionately about other topics, like my son’s new PlayStation 2 controllers that are designed with NFL team logos (awww yeah…. he has two of them – Steelers and Broncos) – but that is an entirely different blog.”  

      Well, here’s the entirely different blog I was talking about!  I purchased these PlayStation 2 controllers for my son as Christmas gifts, but they came out of the box on the day they arrived. He knew they were on the way – in fact, he looked online with me and picked out the ones he wanted. How could either of us resist? 🙂

      I created a photo gallery so that you can see these beauties up close. After pizza and games on Saturday night, I had to wipe them off a bit before taking the photos. Aren’t they SHINY? Ok, now that I’ve had way too much fun at work for one day, I better actually get some work done around here. Hope you enjoy the photos! Oh, and if you’re interested in checking out the other NFL controllers for PS2 and Xbox, visit MadCatzStore.com.

      Click here to view the photo gallery.

      PlayStation 2 controllers

    • #3136978

      If I wanted to know what you think, I’d ask you!

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      Last week, I recorded a little video segment and posted it in my blog, hoping that members would let me know if they liked the video format or preferred reading my rants: “Here, kitty kitty!!”  Thanks to LukCAD and Jaqui for giving me some feedback… and as for the rest of you, I’ll give you another chance to chime in before I scratch the video idea completely.

      There are a couple differences that you’ll quickly notice in this video – that is, if you viewed the previous one (once again, I provided the link above). I’m using a new web cam, so it’s a better quality picture. Plus, I’m in my new cubicle, which is in a corner with two windows. LET THERE BE LIGHT!  

      Ok, so I’m asking… again. Let me know what you think of the new web cam, the new cube space, the video format vs. plain text, or anything else that happens to be on your mind. Seriously, my inquiring mind wants to know!

      inquiring mind

      Click here to unzip and view the video. If you use IE, be sure to Save it when prompted.

      • #3118890

        If I wanted to know what you think, I’d ask you!

        by aaron a baker ·

        In reply to If I wanted to know what you think, I’d ask you!

        Dear Sonja;

        Well I must admit that I haven’t seen the “Other” Video, I must also admit that I don’t miss much when written by you. So how this one got by me, I don’t know.However, I found this video a very easy on to watch, no more re-loads, no vibration, the picture came through crystal clear and you were easily visible. Although I think I know where this is going, i.e. video casts, I have found that the “written” word get’s in much deeper than sitting back and watching a movie withthe ususal dettachement one feels. We never really feel like we in part of a video or movie wheras when you are “Reading” the same thing, it becomes a little more personal and the inforamtion seems to always get in better. I’m not sure if I’m alone feeling this way, but I’m sure you now what I mean. Your articles are excellent and right on the button and although video is  more fun, I would hate to see the quality of your articles demeaned “However well inteneded” by the slow switch to Video.

        Thank y for asking our opinion. I find your writtings stimulating and entertaining, let’s hope that his doesn’t lead us down the wrong trail just because we don’t feel like or are too lazy to read. That wouldbe sad indeed.

        I close in wishing yo luck in yuor new venture, may it turn out the way you want it to.

        Whatever you do, don’t stop writting.

        On your side 🙂

        Aaron

         

         

      • #3118426

        If I wanted to know what you think, I’d ask you!

        by Sonja Thompson ·

        In reply to If I wanted to know what you think, I’d ask you!

        Aaron,

        Thank you so much for giving me your honest opinion. Since I posted this particular blog, I had been listening to crickets chirp… and no news (feedback) isn’t necessarily good news!  I also have mixed emotions about writing vs. producing video clips. It’s actually easier for me to write – and I love writing (that certainly is a plus). The introduction of video clips was never meant to replace my written blog posts. The “ideal” situation was to occasionally mix it up a little bit and provide a different form factor. However, if people don’t like them, I’m not going to painstakingly produce them… and yes, they are painful – I even joked with a coworker about posting all my “takes.” This last video, which is only about 15 seconds long, took me about twenty tries before my tongue didn’t trip over my words and my eyes didn’t wander from the camera.  

        So, good to know. Unless I hear otherwise, I will stick to the written word.

    • #3136939

      Is the U.S. falling behind in technological innovations?

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      Here’s a News.com article that might raise a few eyebrows: “Research money crunch in the U.S.” 

      According to the article, “An outspoken group of information and communications technology innovators is worried that the United States is falling behind the rest of the world in technological innovation because fewer dollars are being allocated to long-term research…. Many in the research community also believe that the research being conducted today is too focused on short-term, market-oriented results.” The article also states that, in the past several decades, “the high-tech industry has become increasingly dependent on government-funded research partnerships with academic institutions to spur innovations.”  

      Hmmm…  no wonder “innovation” has become such a major focus in almost every company pep talk. It will be interesting to see [“if” or “the extent that”] other countries outperform the U.S. in technological innovations during the upcoming years.

      • #3120471

        Is the U.S. falling behind in technological innovations?

        by lukcad ·

        In reply to Is the U.S. falling behind in technological innovations?

        I suppose that no any another country that can outperform the U.S. in TechIn during this years. Because the problems for the rest world is a  survival in the constant racing for achievement success in levels that was taken before by the U.S. So far the U.S. is a designer in economic life of the all world so far this question about supremacy of usa among the rest wold will continue. But why it is so important for the our a very tiny planet, who must be a leader or who must have the best technologies? 

        Why the hitech people love to photo of African’s nature? Why we love mountains? wind? and so on…

        Because we have our planet with fresh air and warm sun. Don’t forget it

    • #3119101

      You can monitor your public image… and that’s no scuttlebutt

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      Do you spend your mornings looking at IT News stories? If you do, you may have experienced a “snapping” point – where a title all-of-a-sudden becomes hysterically funny. It’s not really funny, but you can’t seem to stop chuckling under your breath… and your coworkers are starting to wonder about you. Well, that’s exactly how I felt today after reading this particular News.com story: “IBM to analyze digital scuttlebutt.” 

      I think it’s the word “scuttlebutt” that threw me over the edge, that and the chocolate chip cookies I had for lunch. When I think “scuttlebutt,” I imagine a bunch of people hurrying across a busy intersection during lunch hour – or worse yet, a dog dragging his bottom across the floor. No, it’s not a pretty image.

      Being the critical thinker that I am, I looked up “scuttlebutt” in the dictionary. According to http://dictionary.reference.com/, “scuttlebutt” is slang for “gossip; rumor.” That’s not near as interesting as my interpretation, but it did help me put the title in a more appropriate context.  

      What does it mean that IBM is analyzing digital scuttlebutt? IBM is developing an application, called the Public Image Monitoring Solution, to analyze how discussions on blogs and Web sites are affecting a given corporation’s image. This solution searches through reams of blogs, news stories, and other material to gauge consumer feelings. “The Web-based program could cull results on the topic of fuel efficiency from various sources and generate reports by categorizing the information. If many consumers or news stories are making negative comments about a product, for example, a marketing person would know and could react.”

      This actually sounds like a fairly useful service. But for some reason, thinking about a Public Image Monitoring Solution makes me feel very self-conscious. I better scuttle my butt back to business!

      • #3119025

        You can monitor your public image… and that’s no scuttlebutt

        by beth blakely ·

        In reply to You can monitor your public image… and that’s no scuttlebutt

        I think it’s so cool that blogs could start having an impact on the products and services of companies who’re smart enough to listen. Check out BlogPulse to see some of this in action. You can search using a URL or a keyword to see what folks around the blogosphere are saying about a particular post or product. For example, a search on our Wacky Laptop Tricks photo gallery link shows that a few bloggers cared enough to spread the word. Cool stuff.

    • #3119353

      Blogs are cutting off print circulation

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      Today’s IT News Digest newsletter featured a News.com story that I think will appeal to the blogging community: “All the news that’s fit to blog.” Author Rob Conant provides shocking statistics about the decrease in newspaper circulation over the previous six months, ending in September (it’s more of a drop than in any comparable six-month period since 1991). Of course, most people in the print business are quick to point their ink-stained fingers warily at blogging – even “some of the most respected print journalists around still treat blogs as if they were lab specimens.”  

      According to Conant, “The mainstream media can look down its nose at the blogosphere, but the numbers tell a different story. More people than ever are reading blogs because of shared affinities and it’s coming at the expense of print newspapers.”

      Personally, I am a blog-o-rama mama. If you hand me a newspaper, I’ll flip right to the comics and then discard it. Whatever news I don’t get every morning from News.com, I’ll eventually read about in someone’s blog…. or not. No offense to dedicated print subscibers, but save a tree already. 

      • #3119346

        Blogs are cutting off print circulation

        by steven warren ·

        In reply to Blogs are cutting off print circulation

        I have to honestly admit that I love USA Today. It is a great newspaper to read. They will always have their place but I am feeling your vibe.

         

      • #3119308

        Blogs are cutting off print circulation

        by illilli ·

        In reply to Blogs are cutting off print circulation

        I’m afraid I am totally with you blog-o-rama mama; save the trees and read on-line news.  I don’t know if there is any evidence that could be used to scientifically tie the drop in newspaper circulation with blogging, but I think it’s more than plausible.  It is so strange how a trend will just BURST all of a sudden.  I remember that time I got my hair cut real, real short.  BOOM! Suddenly, everyone else seemed to have their hair cut short too.  I just starting blogging THIS month, so maybe I am a product of the trend again.  Someday, I will be the first one to do something, I swear!  (I just hope it isn’t something incredibly stupid that gets me killed…or with my luck, I lose an index finger, right eye, and third toe from the left on my right foot.)

        Seriously, I am excited about the change in the mainstream media.  The world is changing right under our noses and I don’t think we really understand that change.  There is so much information and I’m tired of a few mediums (ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox, All Newpapers and Magazines) telling me what THEY want to tell me out of all that is available.  They miss so much important information that the blog communities could potentially fill in. 

      • #3118783

        Blogs are cutting off print circulation

        by lukcad ·

        In reply to Blogs are cutting off print circulation

        Phenomenon of it of course will studied and a lot of people will write about that they started it so long years ago and they was first on this way. But indeed the popularity of blogs are more incredible then we can image it for yourself. At first it is new life stile: the new generation of people who has the computer’s literacy from their “diapers” and their way to have conversation was chat, forum and then blog. At second it is changing mind about the world life: early we can had the possability to say about our mind by voice to our friends about our own deals only without taking in account the mind of our collegues . This was local information world and we all were into our local domains (everyone was in his own district). The events in our dictrict was more main for our life and we didn’t have to know the news from another domains. But time is changed. And you can note now that your local news is result of some global events too. And here we can find the Phenomenon of blog system, because it is now more fastets way to know about events that has attention to result of our job, our wishes from real people without the journalistic’s prism. Now everyone found that information into blog is less dependent from knowledges of journalist about the topic like it was before. And for real people is better to read the real thougts from their idol, then read about it retyped into cnn, bbc or aol front pages with a lot of commentaries that can be sometime more hard for clear understanding of situation.

      • #3131337

        Blogs are cutting off print circulation

        by charliespencer ·

        In reply to Blogs are cutting off print circulation

        But a printed newspaper is so much more convenient! I can read it
        plopped in the recliner with the cat on my lap. I can prop it up
        behind my cereal bowl in the morning. I can rearrange the Jumble
        letters in the margins. The batteries never run out. I can
        take it to the “Throne Room”.  I don’t have to keep scrolling up and down.  It weighs less than a laptop so it’s
        easier to carry on the bus or train. Two people can read
        different sections of it at the same time. And after I’m done, I
        can let the cat shred it and then use it as mulch for my roses.

      • #3130765

        Blogs are cutting off print circulation

        by jmgarvin ·

        In reply to Blogs are cutting off print circulation

        The the media is they either:
        A) Over hype an event (eg: Rita)
        B) Hype minor stories as major issues (eg: shark attacks, bear attacks, isolated incidents of crazy)
        C) Re-transmit the same information is a slightly different format over and over and over and over.
        D) The news anchors always look a little too happy during a horrible tragedy.
        E) Way to biased politically. No, they aren’t just biased to the left, but they are biased to the right as well.
        F) The media doesn’t care about the truth, just want makes a bigger story

        The American public is getting tired of all the mess. Not only are we fed up with the stupidity of the media (not knowing details they should know), but the total lack of any real reporting.

        It is a sad commentary that the Daily Show and Fark have better news than the “main stream” media.

    • #3119930

      Fantasy role-playing online scores a D&D

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      Real geekophiles will appreciate this News.com story: “‘Dungeons & Dragons’ goes virtual.” According to the article, more than 4,600,000 people still play this paper-based role-playing game in the United States alone. Turbine Games is taking advantage of D&D’s popularity by creating an online alternative called “Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach,” which will be released early next year.   

      “There are no guarantees, of course, that old D&D fans will glom onto the virtual version. For many 20- and 30-somethings, D&D brings up memories of years of regular long evenings spent with friends rolling 20-sided dice, eating bad takeout food, and trying to slay the oddest of fantasy beasts.”

      I’d be interested to hear what hard-core D&D players think. Will you check out the online game, or will you stick with the 20-sided dice?

      D&D online

      Click here to check out the entire photo gallery.

      • #3118081

        Fantasy role-playing online scores a D&D

        by jmgarvin ·

        In reply to Fantasy role-playing online scores a D&D

        While in theory is sounds great, I think it will be like SW: Galaxies…all glitter and no meat…

      • #3132156

        Fantasy role-playing online scores a D&D

        by kwyckoff ·

        In reply to Fantasy role-playing online scores a D&D

        Absolutely I will try it out! I lived on DnD as a kid in the 80’s. In fact I still play games though not dnd. Hopefully they can make it as enjoyable as WoW is.

    • #3131420

      When the phone is smarter than the person

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      This News.com story reveals the results of the annual Mobile Usage Survey from security software firm Pointsec: “Vital data often stored on unsecured devices.” As you can tell from the title, quite a few people are careless with the private information that they enter in their smart phones and mobile computers. In fact, “Three out of 10 of these sloppy, handheld-happy users store their PIN numbers, passwords, and other corporate information on them.”

      Guess what? The more people who purchase mobile devices (a total of 13 million smart mobile devices were sold in the third quarter alone), the more people who LOSE them! Of the people who were interviewed for the survey, 16% said they lost their mobile devices in 2004  – and 22% said they lost their mobile devices (so far) in 2005. Can you see the trend? Want to hear something even more disturbing? “Of those who lost their smart phone or handheld computer, 81 percent had not encrypted the information on it.” 

      These interviewees are only the ones who “admitted” that they lost their mobile device and hadn’t encrypted their personal info. Would I admit to such a big blunder? Ok, I probably would… but hey, there are some people who might have lied so that they didn’t look like an idiot. Here are a few ways the interviewees claimed to have lost their handhelds: “Traveling with a mobile device was the most likely way to lose it, with the majority not being stolen, but rather forgotten in the back of a taxi, left in an airport, or on the train. Only 40 percent of losses were reported to the police.” A-HA! My point exactly! 😉  

      • #3131338

        When the phone is smarter than the person

        by lukcad ·

        In reply to When the phone is smarter than the person

        I am not agree with that: “and 22% said they lost their mobile devices (so far) in 2005”, because it is result among people who use internet and love to take part into survey only. What about the rest of world? People who use mobiles, but can’t use internet everytime?

      • #3131332

        When the phone is smarter than the person

        by Sonja Thompson ·

        In reply to When the phone is smarter than the person

        First, just to clarify – the 22% is the percentage of people who took the survey, not the total number of people who own mobile devices.

        In the “ideal” world, everyone would be completely honest when they complete a survey – in person, on the phone, online… but my hunch is that some people want to preserve a certain (positive) image of themselves and so they leave out or deny potentially negative traits or actions. In fact, some people go so far as to block the negative occurrence out of their minds, conveniently forgetting that it even happened in the first place!  Did I lose my smart phone? What smart phone? LOL 

      • #3130706

        When the phone is smarter than the person

        by illilli ·

        In reply to When the phone is smarter than the person

        Well, I lost my cell phone this year; recovered it; and did NOT participate in a survey about it.  I don’t store account personal information in it, but it does have the names and phone numbers of my entire family.  Regarding the validity of the survey:  it’s too bad that some surveyers have stopped quantifying their results by telling you how many were surveyed and what market they were surveyed from.  It makes the numbers less impressive because you have to wonder if they surveyed 20 people, 200 people or 2000 people.  This goes back to another shortcoming of the media.  Let me get out my media-disappointment log and add yet another entry.

    • #3131933

      I could become a cell phone snob

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      I have a confession. I’m one of those people who is seriously attached to my cell phone. Unlike some people who spend all their time and money on their cell phones, I don’t use mine a lot – for talking anyway. However, I have to know that it’s on me, and if I accidently forget it at home in the morning, I truly feel naked.

      My cell phone isn’t that special. I upgraded about a year ago to the Samsung SCH-A650. Some of you are laughing, I’m sure, because you have more advanced models with fancier features. That’s ok. Go ahead and laugh. I am perfectly happy with my cell phone’s ability to tell the time and its “snapshot-on-the-go” capability, which are the two things I use it for the most.

      Well, I was satisfied until I saw this News.com story: “A movie projector in a cell phone?” According to the article, “A few years from now, you might be able to carry a home theater system in your pocket.”  Can you imagine the possibilities?!

      Upstream's photon vacuum projectors

       

      • #3117166

        I could become a cell phone snob

        by stargazerr ·

        In reply to I could become a cell phone snob

        Welcome to the club mate….I feel exactly the same here….I once
        poked and prodded my cousin and made him go back half way across the
        town to get my cell phone…which I had forgotten at home..:D

    • #3130995

      Maps and snapshots with an attitude

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      There were a couple stories on News.com today that I thought were pretty interesting. “Mapping a revolution with ‘mashups’” was one of them. Granted, we’ve seen a bunch of stories in the news recently about online map capabilities, and I’ve even ranted here about a couple of them. What makes this news story any different from the others? Wellll, let me tell ya….

      Today’s mapping article provides more links than you can shake a stick at – ok, maybe not that many, but it’s the quality that counts, not the quantity… right? According to the article, “Already, hundreds of mashups overlay maps with everything from such practical information as gas station prices, hurricane movements, hot springs sites and crime statistics to the more entertaining if not frivolous, including photos of urinals, UFO sightings, New York movie locations, taco trucks in Seattle and Hot People by ZIP Code, a mashup of Google Maps and the HotorNot.com Web site

      I was way too intrigued by the photos of urinals and Hot People by Zip Code to pass them up. Who creates these maps? Who takes the pictures of these urinals? Who decides who’s hot and who’s not? I had to click and click and click and click. It was addicting! People could literally spend hours looking at these maps… not that I spent that much time at work checking them out… *a-hem*…. moving right along….

      The other story that I thought was extremely cool was about audio being attached to print photographs.  “High-tech photos give new meaning to ‘talking pictures’.” According to this article, “The Milan, Italy-based company is preparing a new photo printer, called Speekysmart, that imprints a magnetic strip to the side of a piece of paper or photograph. The recordable tape, which the company named Speakpaper, can capture a few seconds of conversation or music recorded at the moment the photo was taken.” How amazing is that?

      The company is trying to promote the experience of “your voice on the photo,” and “the only printer to allow the combination of photos with verbal comments,” and “more emotions in your memories.” However, you’d have to get really good at timing and make sure you didn’t mess up, pass gas, or have the telephone ringing in the background. If the paper is as expensive as I think it will be, it would be pretty costly to get the audio just right. Just think, there’s going to be so much more meaning to the phrase, “A picture is worth a thousand words… (but since we don’t have that much time, let’s make it ten).”  

      Images: meshing maps with ufos, housing           Adding sound to pictures

    • #3122344

      What’s all the buzz about?

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      Or I should say the lack of buzz, according to this News.com article: “Wi-Fi mosquito killer coming to a porch near you.” Wireless technology has been created to keep things “in” a certain area, such as electronic dog fence systems. So, it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that new developments are in the works to keep things “out” of a specified parameter. That’s exactly what American Biophysics is doing with its “smart” mosquito net.

      “By the first quarter of 2006, AmBio executives hope to have finalized sophisticated software to control a network of magnets–forming a kind of wide-scale fence–which will be able to communicate with a central network through wireless 802.11b technology. That way, the system will be able to efficiently ward off bugs from golf courses and resorts, or even help mitigate cases of malaria in third world countries.”

      I’m originally from Minnesota, and so this news is BIG!!! I visit home at least once a year, and of course it’s in the summertime when the mosquitoes are so thick that they can practically carry small children and animals away. A couple years ago, I even bought my best friend (who still lives there) one of those bug zappers that looks like a tennis racket for self defense.

      Want to know how it works? “The main device is basically a vacuum cleaner that sucks insects in and dehydrates them until they die ‘a horrible death.'” BWAAAAHAHAHAHA!!!!  The company’s CEO, Devin Hosea claims, “‘So far we don’t know of any mosquito rights group, so it’s totally PC to kill as many as you want.’ (Non-bloodsucking bugs, such as butterflies and beetles, are not attracted.)”

    • #3123647

      Amazon competes with search services

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      According to this News.com story, Amazon is making it very easy to search for the information you need without having to fight the traffic, lines, and other holiday stressors: “Buy the book, get the search service.”  

      One of the new services, Amazon Pages, is a pay-per-page model, which allows you to search and pay for only the pages that you want. The other service, Amazon Upgrade, allows you to buy a (paper) book from Amazon, which is shipped to you, and then Amazon sells you the right to search that book online.

      “…for an independent bookseller–and maybe even the chains–this is likely putting a man on Mars. There is no way to ‘extend’ ordinary offline selling of books to this. The only possibility for that is if Google Print, or another service like it, provides this as a back-end service to the offline booksellers.”

      Personally, I think Amazon is right on the money with these new services. My bookshelves is packed, which leaves me the following options: (1) buy a bigger house so that I have room for more bookshelves, (2) sell or give away some of my books to make room for newer ones, or (3) use Amazon Pages to get just the pages I really want to read instead of the entire book. With my editorial salary, and the fondness I have for my preexisting books, Amazon Print wins hands-down.

    • #3114036

      Yes, even you could become an energy-sucking chair potato

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      The implications of these two News.com stories are pretty frightening: “Tech firms focus on TV” and “Energy hogs in your living room.” As the latter story explains, “TVs are the biggest energy beasts of the high-tech gadget world.” According to the National Resources Defense Council, “Alone, they [TVs] account for 4 percent of the nation’s annual residential electricity consumption.” 

      The statistics might raise an eyebrow or two, but do you think it will prevent or at least limit TV viewing across the United States? It’s not likely. In fact, according to the first News.com story mentioned above, the high-tech industry is spending considerable time and money focusing on how to connect the PC and TV so that people can conveniently consume EVEN MORE electricity.

      “Focusing on the TV as the cornerstone to a home entertainment strategy seems like a no-brainer for technology companies, considering nearly 99 percent of all households in America have a TV set, and most often more than one. On average, American households spend between three and seven hours per day watching television.”

      Does your family gather around the PC to watch your favorite TV program? Or perhaps you stream video from your computer onto the TV? If so, please keep this little factoid in mind: “…reducing active-mode energy consumption in TVs by 25 percent could save the U.S. more than 10 billion kilowatt hours a year, enough energy to power the state of Delaware for a year.” I don’t know about you, but I have a sudden urge to read a book!!

      • #3113781

        Yes, even you could become an energy-sucking chair potato

        by jamesrl ·

        In reply to Yes, even you could become an energy-sucking chair potato

        I will admit I don’t do it, but I do know people who use a power bar off switch to not power their TV and PC monitors in an active wait/instant on state.  Thats energy wasted for no good purpose other than saving a few seconds.  LCDs do use much less electricity than CRTs. And the new LED christmas lights use a small fraction of the power of conventional lights.

         

        So there is hope.

         

        James 

      • #3043989

        Yes, even you could become an energy-sucking chair potato

        by lukcad ·

        In reply to Yes, even you could become an energy-sucking chair potato

        The digital communications are more economical then power relay stations with big water coller for positrones and power feeders. But for spreading videosignal it is enough one power station on 400 square kilometers. And how about energy was spent on production a lot of wires Category of 5 and abot a lot of fiber-optic cabels? How about a lot of SERVERS with thery power system of air-condition and a lot of hubs? Did you forget about this equipment? Ohhhh…. don’t be so naive. The law of saving of energy is still now working, and i love of this law.

        BUT nice thing is that the quality and speed of internet broadcasting every year grow up and i believe that TV by internet will more profit someday then usual way by TVset.

        Sincerely yours, LukCAD

        “Lo щnico permanente es el cambio…”
         
    • #3122967

      Cool gift ideas for the holidays

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      Holiday shopping. Whether you purchase your gifts online or brave the traffic and check-out lines, it’s something that most people wait until the day after Thanksgiving to do. Each year, I try to talk myself into being more proactive instead of waiting until the last minute to shop, but I’ve found that I truly do my best work (including shopping) when I’m under pressure. My shopping is split between online and in-store purchases. Sometimes browsing the aisles will spark a gift idea, which is why I especially liked this News.com story that featured gift ideas for the tech and wired kids (wired as in electronics, not hyperactive): “Hot tech gifts for the holidays.” 

      Within this story, there are two different links to photo galleries, which is kind of like browsing the aisles in a store, except the galleries only feature what’s hot – not those other random gifts that you have to sift through to get to the goods. Here are the links for your gallery viewing/shopping convenience: “Photos: Top tech holiday gifts” and “Photos: Gifts for wired kids.”

      Fortunately, my shopping list is fairly small. My 9-year old son has requested a cell phone this year, which has “prepaid calling card” written all over it. However, some other things have captured his eye, such as the cool electronics we saw at Radio Shack on the day after Thanksgiving. Yes, I ventured out on this crazy shopping day, but only for cable wire and a splicer. Anyway, we saw this robotic dinosaur, called the RoboRaptor, that was truly amazing. We shared the controller and had him battle another remote controlled robot. Have you come across any cool gift ideas that aren’t in the photo galleries?

      RoboRaptor

    • #3123427

      Listen to the beat of another drummer: high-tech DJs

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      Electronic music has received more than its fair share of criticism over the past decade. Some people argue that “real” music requires band members and musical instruments, not just a synthesizer and a DJ. Personally, I’ve played the guitar since I was 8 yrs old, and so I can appreciate good, old-fashion music. However, I’ve also danced until sunrise at numerous raves and all-night dance parties… it’s been a few years (in fact, my friends gave me grief that I didn’t make it past 1:30 A.M. at the last one I attended), but I still really enjoy listening to wacked-out, synthesized music. The sound possibilities are endless!

      This News.com story talks about how DJs are composing music with computers: “Hard-disk jockey turns electricity into music.” Lorin Ashton, aka Bassnectar, discusses what type of software he uses to create electonic music, plus there are video and gallery samples of him at work. “Though he doesn’t create his music live in performances as some musicians do, Lorin works live with customized songs and mixes them in a fluid way for a spontaneous show that some feel is much more involved and engaging than what typical DJs do.”

      Even if you’re not into synthesized music, and you think it just sounds like a bunch of noise, you have to appreciate the tech know-how that these DJs have achieved to master their music software.  

    • #3128995

      Can I buy you a cup of coffee?

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      Yesterday, I asked the TR community to guess when they thought Vista Beta 2 and Longhorn Server would officially be released. In fact, I promised to buy the winner(s) a cup of coffee. Check out the discussion and place your bets before my cut-off deadline, which is December 7th, 2005. For all you non-coffee drinkers out there, I will happily send you cocoa or tea instead… if you guess the correct launch date, that is.

       

      • #3128813

        Can I buy you a cup of coffee?

        by kliff007 ·

        In reply to Can I buy you a cup of coffee?

        Insert comment text here I think the release will be on Christmas day next year.

    • #3129113

      Are you ready to SNARF up social sorting software?

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      The lead story in today’s IT News Digest newsletter discusses a new technology developed by Microsoft researchers called SNARF, which stands for Social Network And Relationship Finder: “SNARFing your way through e-mail.” The gist of SNARF technology is that it allows you to organize your incoming e-mail based on “social sorting.”

      “In SNARF’s case, the software looks at how often people correspond with particular content in the body of a message and how often they reply to one another’s correspondence, among other things.”  Take a look at the images: Microsoft’s SNARF e-mail sorter (the main image appears below).  I don’t know about you, but I’m not convinced SNARF software would be more useful than the build-in filtering capabilities that already appear in Outlook and other e-mail services.  

      SNARF

      • #3127902

        Are you ready to SNARF up social sorting software?

        by lukcad ·

        In reply to Are you ready to SNARF up social sorting software?

        Hello SONJA!

        I need to say my note:

        – early people don’t use for conversation the keyboard or some else and they can have their conversation only by their familiars (so it was difficult to image the conversation of king with his slave), and principe was not only for proud or for hubris, problem was with time.

        SO, if our parents had a problem with time without additional media for conversation, then you can image how it is difficult will for our children. Can you image situation: mobile, computer, usuall phone, fax and books simaltenously???

        No, that it is case of that programm. Sometime we lost a lot of time to clear spamer’s letter and don’t see that our important client or friend are waiting for our answer.

        I have a lot of situation with my collegues who asked for me to answer on their email after week as i did it. They didn’t noted my fast answer, some people never waiting for that i can reply instantly.

        This programm need to return back the responsiblity from some people to others. Because i hear a lot of last time reply, like that: ohh sorry me sir, i didn’t noted your letter i had a lot of ….

        Sincerely, LukCAD

    • #3128215

      Sometimes juggling technology is a circus act

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      One of the IT News stories that I highlighted today in the IT News Digest newsletter was about the computers behind the scenes at the new Cirque du Soleil show, “Corteo”: “The tech inside Cirque’s big tent.” I’ve always loved the circus, even after I had a child and they became a huge money-siphoning event. In fact, up until this article, I’ve managed to view the circus with kid’s eyes… daring trapeze artists, dancing elephants, ridiculous clowns, and acrobatic lions – plus snow cones, cotton candy, popcorn, and glow in the dark swords. Well, now that’s all ruined for me, but it was probably time I grew up and noticed the thick cable wires plastered around the floor of the 3 rings, the lights hanging precariously from the ceiling, and the technology behind the scenes that truly helps make the enchanted circus experience.

      Michael Wilder, the technical director on “Corteo,” claims that “What makes ‘Corteo’ the most advanced (show) is that we’ve taken pieces of technology from this show and that show and put it together in one show.” Perhaps more difficult than simultaneously riding a unicycle and juggling, these shows have to keep pace with the constant advances in technology: “As the technology used in ‘Corteo’ and other Cirque show gets more advanced, and more is implemented, Wilder and his crew, as well as their colleagues in other shows, must continually confront a learning curve as they strive to stay as advanced as possible.”  

      Take a look at the fairy dust behind the circus scenes in this photo gallery: “Backstage at Cirque du Soleil.”

    • #3126693

      Two all beef patties, special sauce… and a McDownload

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      There’s a McDonalds about four blocks away from the office, and I have been known to drive through for my favorite two items on the dollar menu – medium fries and a double cheeseburger – during my lunch break. While I know that McDonalds isn’t good to eat all the time (If you’ve watched the show “Supersize Me,” you might have already cut back on your number of visits), the proximity and low cost are almost as appetizing as the food! 

      According to this news story from NewScientist.com (“Invention: The McDownload“), Walt Disney has filed patents to offer entertainment installments instead of a child’s toy with the Happy Meal. These McDownloads would be viewable in a portable player, such as a cell phone. “When the owner buys a meal they get an electronic code that authorises a partial download. If the file is in five parts there is a strong incentive to come back for four more meals.”

      Statistic show that today’s youth are consuming more television, videos, and movies than ever before. I have to give McDonalds props for this one. Talk about clever McMarketing!!!!

    • #3130145

      What do you think HP really stands for?

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      If there’s one thing about acronyms, it’s that people can make up some pretty interesting variations on what they stand for. For example, check out this News.com story: “Greenpeace: HP stands for ‘harmful products’.” 

      According to the story, Greenpeace protestors are handing out leaflets in front of HP’s headquarters. “The demonstration is part of Greenpeace’s efforts to get electronics makers to cease using brominated flame retardants. Scientists suspect some of those materials of being carcinogens.”

      Even though “the U.S. Environment Protection Agency has found that the most common brominated retardant, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs, do not pose an unreasonable risk to the environment or human health,” research last year reported that “traces of brominated fire retardants turned up in chemical residue found in dust samples swiped from computers and other electronics devices. The problem with PBDEs is that they are similar in chemical makeup to polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, which have been found to promote cancer in lab animals.”

      I think that Greenpeace has its hands full if it plans to fight the environmentally friendly fight against all of the consumer products that contain brominated flame retardants. It is curious why they decided to focus on HP…. what a Helluva Position.

    • #3197257

      My ex put naked photos of me on the Web…

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      News.com started a series in July called “Police blotter,” which intersects technology and the law. If you’re easily sucked into the TV show “Cops,” then you’ll find this series even more addicting because it targets the inner geek that’s in most IT pros. When I read the installment that was released this past Friday, I laughed my pants off…. ok, not literally, but you’ll soon understand my choice of words: “Police blotter: Nude ‘profile’ yields Yahoo suit.”

      Here’s the dirt: A woman named Cecilia Barnes tried to sue Yahoo after her ex-boyfriend, Randolph Russell, posted a personal profile with nude photos of her and her work contact information. Russell also went to chat rooms and enticed men to view the profile, which resulted in unwelcome suitors showing up at her workplace.

      Barnes’ attempt to claim $3 million in damages from Yahoo was denied. The judge ruled that a string of precedents immunized Yahoo from such lawsuits. There has to be a moral to this story, and I’d love to hear other people’s suggestions. Here are a few of mine:

      (1) When breaking up, always try your very best to part on good terms.
      (2) Before breaking up, destroy all incriminating evidence.
      (3) Even if your relationship is wonderful, start stocking up on ammunition you can use against the other person.

      • #3127397

        My ex put naked photos of me on the Web…

        by beth blakely ·

        In reply to My ex put naked photos of me on the Web…

        1. Don’t create evidence.
        2. Don’t create evidence.
        3. If you accidentally create evidence, destroy it immediately.

      • #3127382

        My ex put naked photos of me on the Web…

        by steven warren ·

        In reply to My ex put naked photos of me on the Web…

        You would be amazed what you can do with a picture and Photoshop these days. Imagine.

      • #3125783

        My ex put naked photos of me on the Web…

        by kirancherian ·

        In reply to My ex put naked photos of me on the Web…

        The safest path to be taken is to make sure that there IS NO EVIDENCE!!!! Don’t give him a chance to get one on ya.

        Yes. Always try to be on good terms. Try to make him/her feel good… even though its a breakup.(???) interesting way of putting it.

      • #3125465

        My ex put naked photos of me on the Web…

        by aaron a baker ·

        In reply to My ex put naked photos of me on the Web…

        I would be so ashamed and embarrassed. 

        I must admit that I’m more than a little surprised that a person would do such a thing. But somewhere in there, there has to be legal recourse. I can’t imagine such an invasion of  privacy being flaunted on Yahoo and Yahoo is absolved? Something is very wrong here indeed. Then the creep who went about doing such a depraved thing, why is he not facing a jail term.? If you say anything detrimental or otherwise do anything to besmirch someone ‘s character, you can be held liable and there are consequences. Why not here?. I must admit to being at a loss to understand how a person could do such an underhanded, depraved and disgusting thing and then on top of than throw in her work info and still not be held liable?. This is the greatest form of slander that I’ve ever heard of. Maybe it’s time for the complacent Judges and lawyers to enact laws that are effectual and that can do to this cretin exactly what he deserves, punitive damages and jail . I can’t think of a more revolting case of misbehavior that I’ve read in a long time. This isn’t consentuous Porn, it’s the personal life of a human being and it was splattered all over the place. I can’t believe there is no law to deal with this situation and more important, this scum. { Pardon my Language} As for getting ready and arming yourself “In case” it should sour and you need evidence, I understand the emotion however may I suggest that if you get a gut feeling {Intuition} that this is needed , don’t get involved at all. If you have to bring a lawyer to a wedding, for God’s sake stay Single.

        Warmest Regards

        Aaron

      • #3125296

        My ex put naked photos of me on the Web…

        by mmarble ·

        In reply to My ex put naked photos of me on the Web…

        This is one of those situations where I know I’d probably end up in jail…and that would be fine by me.  Real or fake photos, it wouldn’t matter.  If someone did this to me, I’d probably initiate a surprise introduction to my baseball bat (or golf club, metal pipe or some other bludgeoning weapon).  I’d want the damage to their body to be as long lasting as the damage to my reputation.  That would communicate my displeasure with their actions much better than a lawsuit.  Yes, I believe that sometimes, violence is the answer.  Frankly, I’m surprised I haven’t heard of some guy getting shot for something like this yet.  It wouldn’t be the first time online activity has resulted in someone’s death.

      • #3124116

        My ex put naked photos of me on the Web…

        by pctechnician ·

        In reply to My ex put naked photos of me on the Web…

        I was raised by my grandmother so I am a little old fashion.  As I have grown older, I have always adviced women that I  talk to not to do this unless you trust the person that you are with.   Although most of the time that has gone out of one ear to the next, I have one piece of advice.  Don’t produce any type of media that you don’t want your parents to see.  Although I do have pictures of my exgirlfriends, I have the integrity to not show them to my friends or post them on the internet.

        Will

    • #3127427

      This blog will self-destruct in 5, 4, 3, 2…

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      The most interesting story that I came across on News.com this morning was about the development of self-destructing messages: “This text will self-destruct in 40 seconds.” Seriously, how many times have you joked around with a coworker or friend that a particular message or e-mail would self-destruct in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1? Personally, I remember playing that little imaginary game when I was a kid… and now it’s finally coming true.

      “Staellium UK said its StealthText service will allow business executives dealing with sensitive information to send texts that will delete themselves from the recipient’s mobile phone soon after the person has read them. Once a message has been sent, the recipient receives a text notification showing the sender’s name and providing a link to the message. Once opened, the message will disappear after about 40 seconds.”

      So, what kind of super secret business would need such a service? Maybe your network admin could use it to send you your forgotten password. Or perhaps the HR person in your IT organization could text you stock, benefits, or 401K information. Or, if you’re as playful as I am, you can text someone on your team a combobulated message that requires careful deciphering. *tick tock tick tock….*  Oh yes, this is very cool indeed.

    • #3121330

      Practical tips for shopping online

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      There no easier way to buy gifts than online, right? Well, according to this News.com story, if you don?t take prudent steps while eshopping, bad things could happen: “Holiday shoppers, beware.”

      Check out what the CEO of home networking company Sereniti offers as practical tips for shopping online:

      ? Print copies of all online receipts so that they can be checked against credit card bills.
      ? Print copies of all guarantees and warranties.
      ? Do not respond to e-mails asking customers for personal information. Businesses and financial institutions rarely reach out on their own seeking such information. It is better to contact a business directly on your own.
      ? Online retailers that display Truste and Better Business Bureau seals likely are to be trusted to safeguard personal information.
      ? Note whether Web sites begin with “https” instead of “http” in the browser area and whether they display a padlock icon in the lower right-hand border of the browser window, as this indicates secure encryption to protect customer identities.
      ? If possible, avoid providing Social Security numbers online.
      ? Make sure that online retailers have solid privacy polices that make clear their customers’ information will not be sold or transferred after a transaction occurs.

      Please take a moment to post your own suggestions for securing the online shopping experience. You can either post your suggestions as a comment to this blog or to the article’s discussion thread.

    • #3126096

      Can you play the Xbox at 60 mph?

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      I understand the Xbox craze… really, I do. While I’m not the type of person who will stand in line for very long – not for concert tickets, gaming systems, or anything else for that matter – I have a certain fascination for hardcore fans who will camp out overnight despite extreme weather conditions.

      If you’re one of these loyal, slightly obsessive-compulsive gamers, then you really better start saving up your pennies so that you can take the ride of your life. According to this News.com photo, “Nissan plans to rev up a new sports car at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in early 2006. The 6-speed manual, rear-wheel drive Urge Concept features a driver-integrated cockpit and a built-in Xbox gaming system.”

      You know, I was a little concerned when portable DVD players started showing up in automobiles. I think most people know how incredibly easy it is to get sucked into a movie. When your eyes are suppose to be on the road, who can afford the distraction? Xbox in an automobile….. PULease….Nissan with xbox

    • #3125297

      You’ve got mail, and maybe gonorrhea

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      According to this News.com story, Web sites launched in Los Angeles and San Francisco will send your casual sex partner(s) an e-mail, telling them that they might have gonorrhea, HIV, or another sexually transmitted disease: “You’ve got mail, and maybe gonorrhea.”

      Karen Mall, the director of prevention and testing at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, explains, “This is another opportunity for people to disclose STD exposure to partners because sometimes people don’t always have that face-to-face opportunity, or that level of relationship.”

      Here is an example of one of the e-cards that features a picture of a bare-chested man: “It’s not what you brought to the party, it’s what you left with. I left with an STD. You might have one, too. Get checked out soon.” I don’t know about you, but I would be completely appalled if I received an e-mail or e-card that said I may have an SDT. While I understand that “partner disclosure is the opportunity to break the chain of HIV (or other STD) infection,” I’d much rather receive a virus over the Internet, any day of the week!

      • #3135430

        You’ve got mail, and maybe gonorrhea

        by faradhi ·

        In reply to You’ve got mail, and maybe gonorrhea

        That has gotta be like breaking up with someone on their answering machine. 

        Aside from the fact that some would probably disregard the email as spam.  If you can get close enough with an individual to give them the disease, you should be able to tell them.  

        On a lighter note, what would the e-card actually have on it.  Maybe a doctor sticking a needle in someones rear end.  How about a Johnny Dangerously like video.  

         

      • #3082575

        You’ve got mail, and maybe gonorrhea

        by eric …kla/kl/cpgw+b/ss/cd from canada ·

        In reply to You’ve got mail, and maybe gonorrhea

        I find your Blogs on the average :  without good taste and sparse in flavour and interesting Subjects … as if you were shooting in all directions to attempt to draw interest in your corner … I would detest the though of being sitting down at the same table as you ,  in ANY event .

        1. Eric Michel Daoust , CD
        2. emdaoust@msn.com ; emdpages@hotmail.com
        3. So long and thank’s for all the Fish
      • #3082574

        You’ve got mail, and maybe gonorrhea

        by eric …kla/kl/cpgw+b/ss/cd from canada ·

        In reply to You’ve got mail, and maybe gonorrhea

        I find your Blogs on the average :  without good taste and sparse in flavour and interesting Subjects … as if you were shooting in all directions to attempt to draw interest in your corner … I would detest the though of being sitting down at the same table as you ,  in ANY event .

        1. Eric Michel Daoust , CD
        2. emdaoust@msn.com ; emdpages@hotmail.com
        3. So long and thank’s for all the Fish
    • #3198815

      One of Santa?s reindeers gone bad?

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      A few days ago, I saw a News.com story that really put me in the spirit of Christmas: ?Dasher worm gallops onto the Net.?

      Dasher.B is a Windows-targeted worm that drops spying software on vulnerable PCs, and it?s spreading across the Internet. According to the story, ?The Dasher.B worm exploits a flaw in Microsoft Windows Distributed Transaction Coordinator, or MDTC.? The infected systems are prompted to connect to a remote computer for instructions, and then the worm downloads a malicious program that tracks keystrokes.

      Do you think the name of this worm, considering it?s almost Christmas, is a coincidence? I think not! What about the ?I love you? worm that plagued people?s Inboxes suspiciously close to Valentine?s Day? If I were you, I?d keep my eyes open for the following worms: Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and Rudolph!

    • #3094487

      Blogs: A modern replacement for focus group reports

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      One of the News.com stories that I highlighted in today’s IT News Digest newsletter is about how companies can keep a pulse on consumers’ thoughts and opinions about various products by monitoring blogs and other online discussion forums: “Why companies monitor blogs.” 

      BuzzMetrics and Intelliseek are two businesses that help companies track online discussions. “The premise behind services like these, as well as companies’ own internal Internet-monitoring programs, is that online discussions–be it in forums, on blogs or elsewhere–are a modern replacement for customer satisfaction surveys or focus group reports, which can take months to compile and analyze.”

      According to the article, contracts with BuzzMetrics and Intelliseek can be pricey, but “there are a number of free and low-cost tools that companies can use to gain insight into how their brand is being talked about online. Among them are Technorati, Google Blog Search, Hubsub and Icerocket.”

      In TechRepublic’s Discussion Center, I posted the following question: “Does your IT business track blogs and online discussion groups?” However, I think the better question is: “Can your IT business afford NOT to track blogs and online discussion groups?” I’m curious to know if anyone has worked with BuzzMetrics, Intelliseek, or the other free/low-cost tools mentioned above. Your input about this topic is indeed welcome.

      • #3078880

        Blogs: A modern replacement for focus group reports

        by darinhamer ·

        In reply to Blogs: A modern replacement for focus group reports

        I haven’t worked with any of the software you’ve talked about, but I would say that reading blogs needs to be done with caution. It’s a good idea and I would encourage it, but I wouldn’t suggest using it exclusively, replacing more reliable sources of data. Information posted on blogs is anecdotal and it is limited to a certain consumer base that chooses to post on blogs. I would hate to see a company make wide-scale product decisions based just on this anecdotal feedback. They may alienate the majority of the consumers who do not post on blogs by making changes to their products that most people didn’t want. Consumer surveys tend to put anecdotal information in a more realistic context.

        Just a thought.

      • #3077534

        Blogs: A modern replacement for focus group reports

        by rburrasca ·

        In reply to Blogs: A modern replacement for focus group reports

        I couldn’t agree more with darinhammer.  Over emphasizing the importance of blogs does a disservice to the vast majority of qualified service providers and product companies out there who provide a genuinely valuable service or produce a genuinely useful product.   Real service providers and manufacturing companies don’t require over-zealous self-promotion in order to get a gig or sell their product.  It’s been my experience that it’s the service providers and companies that don’t provide genuine value that need to resort to blogging in order to drum up enough interest in what they have to offer to attract customers.

        rbell

    • #3096034

      Keep up to date with your calendar options

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      Calendars are a great Christmas gift, but unless you really know the person who you’re shopping for, all of the calendar options can be a bit overwhelming. For the past two years, I’ve completely avoided the confusion of which calendar I should buy for my son – and for myself – by creating custom calendars with the help of Microsoft Office Word’s Calendar Wizard.

      Here are the directions to create your own customized calendar, according to the Microsoft Office Word Help menu:

      1. Open Microsoft Office Word.
      2. On the File menu, click New.
      3. In the New Document task pane, under Templates, click On my computer.
      4. Click the Other Documents tab.
      5. Double-click Calendar Wizard. (If you do not see this wizard in the Templates dialog box, you might need to install it.)
      6. Follow the steps in the wizard.

      The great thing about creating your own calendar is that you can include all the important dates instead of having to pencil them in, such as birthdays, anniversaries, and other dates that have a personal significance to you. In addition, you can copy and paste in clip art or photographs, making the final creation as fancy or as plain as you like. With the Calendar Wizard, you really don’t need skills to customize your own calendar. However, you will need a little time.

      For those of you who frequently read my blog, you may wonder what’s up with this vanilla posting. Better yet, what’s this topic have to do with IT news? Well, I thought I’d begin by sharing some information that might actually be useful before I totally go off the deep end with this News.com story that I came across right before the holidays. Yes, you can sort through various calendar themes at your local mall or create your own calendar through Microsoft Office Word… but some IT professional men may want to check out the Geek Gorgeous 2006 wall calendar, sold by http://www.geekgorgeous.com/.

      According to this photo gallery, originally posted by News.com, the Geek Gorgeous 2006 wall calendar features 12 women who work in the high-tech industry. “March” is serving up a platter of iPods at a fast-food restaurant while “October” is wearing a halter-top made of computer cables. For all you fellow IT women out there, I apologize in advance. I’m not condoning the subjectification of women, but this is absolutely too funny not to share with the rest of the TR community!

      The picture below shows Lilac Mohr, 26, of Denver, holding a Dreamcast video game gun. “All proceeds will go to a college scholarship fund she’s starting for young women interested in computer science careers.”

      Lilac mohr of the geek gorgeous 2006 wall calendar

    • #3094722

      Get a visual representation of CES 2006

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      This week, IT news has been flooded with coverage of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2006. News.com has a nice roundup of all the events, or you can browse these items on TechRepublic with the help of the Links feature and the tag CES2006. 

      All you need to do is take a quick look at the embedded URLs above to realize that there’s a lot of reading to catch up on if you truly want to be in the “CES 2006 know”… or you can take a break from all the text and wrap your mind around the following image galleries.

      Tom hanks at ces 2006

      Personally, I prefer text with images. Who said that picture books are just for kids? I think they definitely could have a nitch in the IT sector.

    • #3078889

      Get excited about RFID and Viagra

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      If you are a subscriber of the IT News Digest newsletter, and you also frequent News.com, you may wonder what method of madness I use for selecting stories to include in the newsletter. After all, there are numerous stories on News.com that don’t make it into the newsletter. I truly try to put myself into your shoes, and the other TechRepublic members who subscribe to the IT News Digest newsletter. Almost all major headlines get included, as well as big mergers and acquisitions, trade shows, product releases, security alerts, etc. However, there are always a few I stay far away from, such as non-IT related stories and content that some people may find inappropriate or offensive. Disturbing is ok, but inappropriate and offensive don’t make my boss happy. 

      Today I decided to be a little risky (or is it risqu??) and blog about one of the News.com stories that I intentionally DID NOT include in the IT News Digest newsletter: “Pfizer fights fake Viagra with RFID.” Already your interest is peaked, isn’t it? What exactly could radio frequency identification and libido-enhancing drugs have to do with one another?

      According to the article, “Viagra may help many couples heat up the bedroom, but it has also helped fuel a huge counterfeit market. Pfizer, the maker of the world-famous love drug, is now fighting back with technology. The company began on Dec. 15 to affix electronic identification devices known as RFID tags to all U.S. shipments of Viagra in an effort detect counterfeit pills, 5 million of which were seized by authorities last year.

      “Each tag contains a microchip that stores a unique serial code, known as an Electronic Product Code, and an antenna for transmitting the code wirelessly. Pharmacists and drug distributors can retrieve the codes with a special reader and verify their authenticity by checking a Pfizer database via the Web.”

      RFID devices have several advantages over barcodes: “They are harder and more expensive to duplicate. Reading them is also easier, because many tags can be scanned simultaneously without much handling.” However, they also have drawbacks: the technology is prone to failure and it’s expensive. Are you excited about the possibility of avoiding counterfeit drugs with RFID? If you take Viagra, you should be.

      • #3258088

        Get excited about RFID and Viagra

        by tez ·

        In reply to Get excited about RFID and Viagra

        “Already your interest is peaked, isn’t it? What exactly could radio frequency identification and libido-enhancing drugs have to do with one another?”

        I think piqued is the correct word in this instance.

      • #3257992

        Get excited about RFID and Viagra

        by Sonja Thompson ·

        In reply to Get excited about RFID and Viagra

        Piqued it is! Thanks for pointing that out!

    • #3079355

      And the worst-dressed gadget award goes to…

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      Not all high-tech gadgets are able to boast bling bling. Take a look at who won the “worst-dressed gadgets” award at this year’s Consumer Electronic’s Show (CES2006): “Blu-ray, HD DVD players: Clunky, unimpressive.”

      According to News.com editor Daniel Terdiman, “All kidding aside, it was shocking how entirely un-high-tech most of the Blu-ray and HD DVD players on display looked. Each of the formats was represented by machines from many of the leading consumer electronics manufacturers–Toshiba, Hewlett-Packard, Sony, RCA, Mitsubishi and so on–yet one would have walked away from perusing each of the exhibits with a sense that the companies had neglected line items for design in their budgets.”

      Personally, I wasn’t convinced until I saw the photo gallery. Take a look for yourself. Do you think they resemble 1980s-era VCRs?

      Blu-ray and hd dvds

    • #3080130

      I RFID dead people

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      I came across another story on News.com this morning about radio frequency identification (RFID) technology – but this one is a tad morbid: “RF-IDing the dead.”

      RFID technology is already used in hospitals to keep track of live patients. However, after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, RFID chips are now being placed in cadavers. According to the story, Mississippi coroner Gary Hargrove says the chips help “identify and return storm victims to their families without mix-ups. The county also injected the chips into bodies dislodged from graves during flooding.”

      VeriChip, the Florida-based company who supplies the RFID chips, have faced some controversy concerning human implantation. “Some critics worry about potential civil liberties violations. Others oppose it on religious grounds.” Despite the controversy, you can’t argue with the benefits of RFID technology… after all, they last a lot longer than paper toe tags and eliminate human error.

      • #3097441

        I RFID dead people

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to I RFID dead people

        Is it possible to eliminate human error?

      • #3099374

        I RFID dead people

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to I RFID dead people

        “Is it possible to eliminate human error?”

        In short: no. This may very well reduce its frequency, though.

        I worry about civil liberties violations as well. Tracking technology should not be used on a person without his or her express permission, period.

      • #3099298

        I RFID dead people

        by Sonja Thompson ·

        In reply to I RFID dead people

        Whenever a human is involved – even when simply reading RFID chips – there’s some potential for error. “Eliminate” was a bad word choice on my part… “reduce” is much better. Thanks to master3bs for pointing out my own human error. 🙂

      • #3099256

        I RFID dead people

        by ed.porter ·

        In reply to I RFID dead people

        Up until the RFID chip, the toe tag was the “tracking technology”.  I am sure the cadavers didn’t give their permission for the toe tag.

        Ed

      • #3098417

        I RFID dead people

        by martyl ·

        In reply to I RFID dead people

        Whenever a new technology is introduced to an extant process, there is a period of adjustment during which human error is not eliminated but decreased in frequency.  Human error being what it is, however, increased amplitude generally makes up for decreased frequency.

    • #3099085

      First impressions in the blink of an eye

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      Sure, first impressions are important, but how fast do people really make judgments online? With the astronomic number of Web sites available on the Internet, it’s impossible for any one person to spend enough time to thoroughly investigating each site in order to make a sound conclusion about its contents. According to this News.com article: “Internet users judge Web sites in less than a blink.”

      A study by Canadian researchers of the Behavior and Information Technology journal confirm these findings. “In just one-twentieth of a second–less than half the time it takes to blink–people make aesthetic judgments that influence the rest of their experience with an Internet site.”

      Think about the implications this study has for the field of Web site design. Author Gitte Lindgaard explains, “It really is just a physiological response, so Web designers have to make sure they’re not offending users visually.” Personally, some of my biggest visual Web site turn-offs are pop-up ads and obnoxious flash files. What is the biggest aesthetic faux pas you’ve come across while searching the Web?

      • #3098276

        First impressions in the blink of an eye

        by impulse ·

        In reply to First impressions in the blink of an eye

           Well I have to agree completely.   I’ve been doing some webdesign for the past few years, and market them as ‘First Impression Designs’..  

          An ‘Up-to-date’ content rich website with an ugly, or undeveloped design, are usually thought of ‘Old = obsolete’ content by the visitor..  Numerous times I’ve passed the information I was looking for, just assuming the website was developed before my software in question..

          Now a great design does not mean plenty of Flash, lots of bandwith heavy images.. .   Just eye appeling, and content relivent in the first ‘glance’ of the visit.

      • #3258447

        First impressions in the blink of an eye

        by ricardo.silva ·

        In reply to First impressions in the blink of an eye

        Usability guru Jakob Nielsen posted some interesting remarks about that canadian study in his Alertbox newsletter.
        Note that the text below is not available in his site http://www.useit.com (as of 25 January 2006).

        NOTE: The original text doesn’t contain any formatting. Formatting in the text below was inserted by the poster of this comment, to enhance conclusions and for easier/faster reading.

        Additional news about the study: Reuters / Yahoo! News
        Author of the study: Dr. Gitte Lindgaard

        ———- Forwarded message ———-
        From: Jakob Nielsen
        Date: 23/01/2006 15:10
        Subject: Alertbox: Ten Best Intranets of 2006
        To: Alertbox Announcement List

        (…) Several readers have asked me to comment on a recent research study showing that people are capable of rendering judgment on the design of a Web page after having seen it for only 50 ms.

        While it’s probably a demonstrable effect in the laboratory, I don’t believe that it transfers to the real world because of the vast differences in context.

        In the lab, users are primed to watch a short flash of a picture of a random website and know that they have to render an opinion. Apparently, they can do this. So what. That’s not how people use websites.

        Some key differences in real life:

        First, a web page doesn’t appear fully-rendered all at once. Instead, it downloads slowly and renders a bit at a time. Even with a fast server and a broadband connection, most pages take a second or two. And with a slow server, a bloated page design, or a dial-up connection, a page may take ten seconds or more, with each element filling in one at a time.

        Second, users scan Web pages, using eye movements that are fairly slow (on the order of 100-200 ms). Just taking the eyes away from the last place they looked on the previous page to the first thing they want to look at on the new page takes about 300 ms. People don’t sit staring out in space, waiting to take in a snapshot of a site as a gestalt. They look for specific elements on the page. Thus, they are going to need multiple fixations before they have seen the general appearance of a page.

        Third, users don’t see random Web pages. Instead, they arrive at a website with a purpose that they have some reason to believe that the site will be able to satisfy. Usually, the user has just clicked a search result or followed a link from another website or an email newsletter. In all cases, users acted on a recommendation that the site will solve, or address, their current problem. This means that users are primed to look for the part of the page that is pertinent to their current problem and to judge whether the site will be useful for this purpose. This is another reason we see them scan the page and look around the parts that seem most relevant before making a judgment about the page.

        Fourth, it takes 1,200 ms to execute the mental operation to begin leaving, followed by about 1,100 ms to move the cursor to the back button (depending on the distance), followed by 100 ms to click it. This doesn’t count the time to ponder whether to leave, just the “M” operator for the mental time to fire up the leaving steps. Humans are slow creatures, so it takes us more than two seconds to leave a Web page, once we have finished the even slower work of evaluating it. We know from our current eyetracking studies that the eyes flitter all over the page during these two seconds and that the user continues looking *after* clicking until the next page starts rendering. During these additional fixations, users sometimes decide to stay and terminate their “leave” operation.

        Empirically, users spend half a minute on average on the first page they visit on a website – six hundred times as much as 50 ms. Certainly, some times I see users reject a site in 10 seconds, if it’s truly bad, and sometimes it takes people a minute to decide whether leave or to click into the site. But in any case, we are talking multiple seconds. This is not very much time, and designers are well-advised to remember that users only have a few seconds to read the text and understand the navigation on their first visit. But people do have multiple seconds to decide on how they feel about websites.

        (All of this is no excuse to design confusing pages – you still only have a few seconds to talk to your prospective new customer. But you do have seconds, not mere milliseconds.)

        [end of newsletter message]

    • #3097959

      It’s my million dollars, baby!

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      According to this News.com article, a Web site created by a 21-year-old British student was subjected to extortion-based DoS attacks: “Blackmailers try to black out Million Dollar Homepage.”

      Alex Tew, the clever creator of MillionDollarHomepage.com, successfully raised $1 million by selling ad space for $1 per pixel. His unique approach to online advertising obviously caught the attention of attackers who wanted to cash in. InfoRelay, the company that operates the site, claims that “The blackmailers have demanded a ransom of $50,000.” Currently, Tew and InfoRelay are working with the FBI on the case.

      It truly is unreal that extortionists will go to such great lengths to try to capitalize on someone else’s successes. You’d think that having a million dollar idea would be the most difficult thing, not trying to keep people from stealing your money once you’ve earned it! Oy vey….

      Take a look at the notorious Web site, MillionDollarHomepage.com:

      MillionDollarHomepage.com

    • #3107347

      When the fractal-minded meet the fashion-minded

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      I love it when technology appears in areas where you don?t normally see it, such as the fashion industry. My fashion sense is truly equivalent to nonsense, but 22-year-old designer Diana Eng successfully blends fashion with math, science, and technology: ?Geek designer wears tech well.?

      According to this News.com article, ?Her portfolio features, among other tech-influenced designs, garments designed using biomimetics, the science of applying the laws of nature to technology; a hoodie with a wireless heart monitor and an embedded camera that snaps pictures as a wearer’s heart rate increases; and the gown, fitted with a hacked hand vacuum and a series of valves, that inflates and deflates according to the desired silhouette.? 

      Eng wants geeks to embrace fashion as an outlet for self-expression, to make ?the fashion-minded more interested in technology and the fractal-minded more interested in fashion.? However, Eng?s tech-inspired garments are currently only prototypes. The challenge that she and other designers face is creating items that both look good and feel comfortable.

      Another passion of Eng?s is turning girls on to gadgets, since gadget creators don?t seem to be aware of girls? needs. “I think they’re trying to be, but their solution seems to be just making things pink. There’s the pink Razr and the pink iPod…that doesn’t necessarily make it more girl-friendly.”

      Geek designer wears tech well

    • #3094118

      This girl’s got game

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      I came across a News.com story today that pushed one of my buttons. I’m still a little irritated, and so I decided to blog about it: “Sexy ‘booth babes’ banned at game show.” 

      According to the article summary: “The video game industry’s 2006 E3Expo trade show in Los Angeles is getting a makeover–banned are the swarms of sexy, semi-clad ‘booth babes’ that in years past took the unveiling of new games and technology to titillating new levels.”

      If you don’t know me, you might think that – as a woman in IT – I’m appalled at the subjectification of women at predominantly male-centered tech events. Or you might think that I am opposed to the new rules – after all, why shouldn’t women be able to wear as little clothing as they want and to manipulate men in buying things?  

      Well, to tell you the truth, I’m not upset for either of those reasons. What really burns me is that this “booth babe” (ok, it’s really a cubicle) is fierce at video games – fierce, I tell you – but yet I haven’t been able to break through the male-inclusive game room here at work. Bitter? A tad, yes. What does a girl have to do to get a little game around here?

      • #3258227

        This girl’s got game

        by jaqui ·

        In reply to This girl’s got game

        Have you tried wearing a skimpy thong bikini to work yet? 😉

      • #3258148

        This girl’s got game

        by jasonhiner ·

        In reply to This girl’s got game

        I didn’t know you were a gamer. Dang — I guess that proves the point. 😉

        Jason

      • #3258094

        This girl

        by Sonja Thompson ·

        In reply to This girl’s got game

        I seriously don’t think anyone here would like to see me in a skimpy thong bikini – but if so, I really don’t want to know about it. By the way, I also am a pretty good at ping pong. Anyone up for the challenge? Bring it!

      • #3110252

        This girl’s got game

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to This girl’s got game

        I love ping pong.  I would have finished college two years earlier if they didn’t have tables there.

      • #3108463

        This girl’s got game

        by majorghn ·

        In reply to This girl’s got game

        Do the gamers know you are a girl? Since gamers use “handles” in chat rooms they don’t usually know the gender of the other gamers for sure unless they know them personally. Just use a non-gender handle and game or chat away. As far as the “booth babes” thing, hardcore gamers are stereotyped as always “young geeks” who never can get laid because their always in their rooms playing video games and get googlie eyed when they see a pretty scantily dressed girls….whoever has the hottest “booth babe” gets the most and quickest attention by the “geek” gamers as it goes. I am a new gamer and hardly young or a geek…..as it goes.

        game handle is

        “Big Dog”

      • #3108267

        This girl’s got game

        by Sonja Thompson ·

        In reply to This girl’s got game

        I should certainly hope that my coworkers know that I’m a girl! HA! I haven’t participated in any online games… except for this one time when I played backgammon online through Yahoo Messenger. I don’t think that counts. 😉

      • #3134596

        This girl

        by jamesrl ·

        In reply to This girl’s got game

        So many comments…..

        I do remember working computer trade shows in the 80s for Corel, and though we never had any booth babes, some booths clearly did. They didn’t know anything about computers but would chat you up to get your business card for some free draw, and then you would be on a mailing list forever.

        I still go to car shows, and there are some “presenters” who fullfill the same role. I’ve seen pics of the “babes” at the European shows, and they are certainly less inhibited than here.

        I play online first person shooters. When I started playing Call of Duty, there were few women. Now I am a Battlefield 2 player, and either there are more women or guys are using feminine names. I’d say its probably one in 10, but in a 64 player game that means quite a few.  They don’t use the Voip features though…..so do I really know?

        You got game? Bring it on. In Battlefield you are rewarded for playing co-operatively – working together in teams, rather than everyone for themselves.

        James

      • #3133399

        This girl’s got game

        by koks ·

        In reply to This girl’s got game

        There must be a super-best-gamer at your workplace. So all you need to do is chalenge him. Call him a chicken, tell him he have no guts or whatever in front of his colegues… He (I assume this gamer is male) WILL have to accept your challenge or his reputation will suffer. If you lose, well you lose nothing, but if you win they will look at you diffrerently.
        But, I’m not sure I would like to spend my time with people who judge other person before they actualy know that person little better.

      • #3107853

        This girl’s got game

        by mr. hardware ·

        In reply to This girl’s got game

        Listen, I know you said; “I seriously don’t think anyone here would like to see me in a skimpy thong bikini – but if so, I really don’t want to know about it.” But, the first time I saw you pic, I was like, “cute face”. Never mentioned it, because of the typical ‘sexually deprived internet, computer type” lable. Maybe youre a distration, and they want to get there game on.

      • #3107769

        This girl’s got game

        by Sonja Thompson ·

        In reply to This girl’s got game

        mvn_hayes, you are my new best friend! I don’t have an issue with receiving compliments, so thank you. As far as your theory goes, I just asked three of my closest cube mates – all of whom are male – and they said no, I don’t distract them.

        What I find the MOST interesting since I started this blog post is that only my female coworkers at TechRepublic have even acknowledged it – except for my manager, Jason Hiner. I may have to follow Koks’ advice and challenge someone here who claims to be all that and a bag of chips. However, I better get some time in practicing XBox 360 first, which is what we have here, since my mad skillz are honed on PlayStation 2.

      • #3134976

        This girl’s got game

        by aaron a baker ·

        In reply to This girl’s got game

        I fail to understand why anyone at your work, “If I understood correctly, would deny you the right to enter any of the rooms or areas  that your Male colleagues can. Bathrooms excepted of course.

        I’m a little surprise to read that in this time period, i.e.2006, we still have this Neanderthal way of thinking. There should  be no such thing as a “Man” Room thereby making anybody else who isn’t a man, almost a second class citizen. I had thought we put that one to bed years ago. Apparently not.

        One would think that with the purported Intellectual Acumen of such Organizations and people, we would have moved far beyond the “Me TARZAN / You JANE ” routine.

        I would fight Sonja and fight hard. You are a fully qualified working professional, doing your job right along side the rest of them and certainly have every right to enter and participate in the this “Little Boy’s” Room. Make it a Games room, no gender definition is needed.

        Don’t le them win.

        Above all, know this, There are many people out there who like myself are quite capable of allowing due credit where it is deserved. I have many friends that are in fact Women, and it’s funny, but the “He / She” subject never rears it’s ugly head. I respect them for who they are and the same is given unto me. I could shoot pool with these ladies and some of them would wipe me out, but the gender part, remains outside in the corridor, where it belongs. In here, we’ re just people having a good time and that’s it.

        SO My heart is definitely with you on this. I’ve never understood the mentality where is says that a man is somehow better than a woman and the man must by definition Rule etc whereas the Woman must accept whatever is relegated to her as she is an inferior to Man. It’s a philosophy that I feel is warped and distorted. So now we don’t talk about it, we just go ahead and use body and sign language to get the message across and I think it’s wrong. Woman is most certainly equal to any man I’ve met and to cheapen them this way doesn’t make man any more endearing.

        Fight the good Fight Sonja and Thank you for bring this before us.

        And as yuo go on, please Know that We” At least I ” are with you.

        Regards

        Aaron

      • #3093567

        This girl’s got game

        by smorty71 ·

        In reply to This girl’s got game

        Sorry, I didn’t respond earlier; however, I missed this post when it was new.

        The game room is open to everyone. Most days, the door is wide open
        from 8a to 5:30p. The key is available at the receptionist’s desk if
        the door is locked.

        So, to answer your question, all you have to do to get a little game is
        go in the game room and pick up a controller. 🙂 We have a couple of
        games in the room now (COD2 and Perfect Dark Zero). We will have more
        as better 360 titles are launched.

    • #3110229

      Kama Sutra isn’t just for sex anymore

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      According to this News.com article, Kama Sutra isn’t just for sex anymore: “Kama Sutra worm set to bite next week.”

      This tricky little e-mail worm spreads under the guise of pornographic content. It uses a variety of subject lines, such as “School girl fantasies gone bad.” The text includes references to the Kama Sutra, the ancient Sanskrit book with pictures and explanations about different sexual positions. When the user opens the attachment, the worm executes and gets ya!

      “The virus, dubbed Nyxem.E among other names, was first reported on Jan. 16. It is thought to have infected more than half a million PCs. Security vendor IronPort warned Thursday that these machines are now hard-coded to propagate the virus on Feb. 3.” Fortunately, companies that have up-to-date antivirus software will most likely not be directly affected.

      Word of advice… if you are interested in learning about Kama Sutra, search the Internet, visit your local library, or stop by a book store. Resist the temptation to open provocative e-mails, or you may end up getting more than you bargained for! 

    • #3109022

      What’s the modder with hue? Personalize your laptop!

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      You’ve all heard the old saying about pets resembling their owners, right? Well, with modifications being the new craze, we may start to notice more and more similarities between techies and their hardware, peripherals, and gadgets. Check out this New.com article: “Yearning for color on laptops.”

      According to the article, “Laptops can be personalized with accessories like stick-on covers or more elaborate makeovers offered by ‘case modding’ specialists, who create custom designs for notebook cases. Even some major computer makers have begun taking advantage of the trend by offering color overlays and other design embellishments.” If you’re interested in seeing some examples, check out this photo gallery: Modded laptops.

      I don’t have a laptop, but it’s kind of fun to think about how I would modify one if I did. The solid colors are kind of cool, but I’d want to do something a little more original than that. Perhaps I could pierce it, add a little bling bling, and set it to say “WASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSUP?!” when it opens.

      And as far as a few of my coworkers here at TechRepublic, I think I’d be able to identify their laptops in a crowd:
      * Shawn Morton’s would resemble a toilet seat (don’t tell me that you missed his iWipe photo gallery).
      * Mark Kaelin’s would be decked out with his favorite avatar (he has a few to choose from in his parade of MMORPG avatars photo gallery).
      * Erik Eckel would fancy a big Apple (have you checked out all of his blog postings about Apple?)
      * Jay Garmon would have to sport a pocket protector with some pencils hanging out of it, and of course a little duct tape to hold it all together… in true Trivia Geek form.

      Have you personalized your laptop? Send us a photo of it and we’ll compile the submissions in a photo gallery.

    • #3108062

      If you think craigslist is popular, you should see sonjaslist

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      Unless you are a mindless worker bee, you’re constantly thinking about how you can contribute to the success of your IT business or organization. How can you help the membership base grow? What steps can you take that will increase revenue? Well, when I read this News.com story today, I was reminded that the popularity of some Web sites isn’t the result of the “how much more you can do” approach: “Craigslist’s laid-back approach to success.”

      Within the past 11 years, Craigslist has grown incredibly. The site operates in 190 cities and “generates roughly 3 billion page views from about 10 million unique users every month, making it the seventh most popular site on the Internet in terms of page views.” Despite the site’s growing popularity, it still “employs only 19 people, half of whom are technical staff.” 

      According to Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster, “Larger companies tend to be focused on maximizing revenue, so they need big sales teams and business development… We don’t try to do that, so we don’t really need all those people. If you focus exclusively on meeting users’ needs and blot out everything else, that’s the best strategy.”

      That last sentence is perhaps the best business advice I’ve heard yet. Instead of worrying about numbers and revenue, maybe it’s time to just focus on meeting users’ needs. Now, I just need to find out what TechRepublic members want! This is the perfect place to start sonjaslist. I’m all ears…

      • #3107957

        If you think craigslist is popular, you should see sonjaslist

        by zlitocook ·

        In reply to If you think craigslist is popular, you should see sonjaslist

        Oh boy are you asking for alot! I would like to see all the old nonselling stuff from Techrepubic/Techpro put up for auction, clean out those closets and cabnets. I do not know how much you can do but how about a place to post free, barter or to buy things from other Techrepublic members?

        And I would like a 62 inch plasma HD TV!

      • #3134012

        If you think craigslist is popular, you should see sonjaslist

        by meganha ·

        In reply to If you think craigslist is popular, you should see sonjaslist

        zlito: perhaps you haven’t noticed the clearance center located in the TechRepublic catalog where you can find bargains for $10 and $20. http://techrepublic.com.com/1394-6242-97-747555578-1446024380.html My personal favorite is TechRepublic’s 2001 IT Resource Tool Kit, http://techrepublic.com.com/1395-6242-97-747555578-1446024380-C002.html&nbsp; an oldie but goodie. This cd is available for $10 and is packed with tools that everyone in the IT dept would benefit from.  Also check out the under $10 category where you can find downloads and cd’s  – another great resource for value priced product. http://techrepublic.com.com/1394-6242-97-747555578-1689530206.html  I hope this helps! 

      • #3133912

        If you think craigslist is popular, you should see sonjaslist

        by leee ·

        In reply to If you think craigslist is popular, you should see sonjaslist

        Imagine visiting a new city, anywhere in the world, and being met at the airport by a fellow TR member who can show you a good time in his or her town AND understand what you’re babbling about!

        We may be Tech, but we’re also Republic. How about a place for networking – and by networking, I mean human? A job shop (even though I’m quite happy where I am, thank you), a real-time Friday Geekend-themed lounge chat for techies about anything on their minds, from technical to the last episode of “Lost” or whatever they’re watching these days, even a matchmaking service for like-minded people to hook up in a laid-back, flame-free environment, for anything from freelance tech work to extracurricular activities (volunteering, social/political campaigning, dating)? Local bulletin boards can also be set up, a la Craig’s List, for area-specific services – for example, here in Louisville, information about Derby activities and even in-home lodging for visiting TR members.

        Of course this is very pie-in-the-sky, but the idea of an online utopia for techies sounds like something that would have mass appeal. But then, I think you and I are more on the extrovert side…

    • #3106899

      On which side of the track are you?

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      If you subscribe to the IT News Digest (for those of you who don’t, click here to automatically subscribe), then you saw my selection for today’s top news story: “Using cell phones to track employees.”

      Here is the summary that I posted in the newsletter: “Advances in mobile phone tracking technology turn British firms into cyber sleuths as they keep a virtual eye on their staff. These firms are able to determine whether workers have been “held up” in the pub rather than in a traffic jam. Not everybody is happy about being monitored, and civil rights group Liberty says the growth of tracking raises data privacy concerns. How would you feel about being tracked on the job?

      The link directly above will lead you to TechRepublic’s Discussion Center, and you’ll be able to see what your IT peers have to say about this subject. A large majority of respondents agreed that they don’t advocate mobile phone tracking technology, and a few even said they would refuse to work for a company that insisted on knowing their whereabouts (that’s the polite version). Others said that they didn’t think it was a big deal, as long as the tracking was solely during work hours. Personally, I don’t think that it would be a big deal – but I might have a completely different opinion if I spent more of my day out of the office. Most of my time is spent right here, sitting at my desk. Other than that, there’s the kitchen and the bathroom. Pretty exciting stuff, let me tell ‘ya!

      Have I mentioned that we have a game room here, where a few of my male colleagues spend some of their time? As far as how much time, I’d certainly be interested in tracking THAT activity! 😉

    • #3092422

      Are there toolbar utilities that tickle your fancy?

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      The lead story that I selected for today’s IT News Digest newsletter discusses how some Internet companies (such as Google, AOL, MSN, and Yahoo) are battling for space on the browsers of new PCs: “Forget browser wars, prepare for toolbar wars.”

      Roger Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies Associates, believes that the browser – not the desktop – has become the most sought-after piece of real estate on a new PC. According to Kay, just about every PC user who’s connected to the Internet uses the browser at least once a day, and browser toolbars that contain useful utilities (such as Google’s search engine) will grab a user’s attention.

      “Google already has partnerships with PC makers such as Hewlett-Packard, Sony, Apple Computer, and Toshiba to distribute the Google Toolbar… [and] Google rivals such as AOL, Yahoo, and MSN are likely perusing similar deals or negotiating for their own unique space on a new PC.”

      I was very curious to know what the TechRepublic community thought about this issue, so I posted the following question: “Which browser toolbar do you use on a regular basis?” The majority of respondents gave a big thumbs down to browser toolbars, yet I did spot at least one fan of the Google Toolbar. I also am a Google Toolbar fan, even though I only use the search box. For me, that one little feature is worth the other miscellaneous items that I’ll most likely never use. Call me quirky, but it makes me happy. Is there a toolbar utility out there that makes you happy – or at least that makes your life a little easier?  

      • #3092257

        Are there toolbar utilities that tickle your fancy?

        by frip ·

        In reply to Are there toolbar utilities that tickle your fancy?

        I use the Firefox Web Developer’s Toolbar. This offers some cool and useful tools for viewing and manipulating web pages.

      • #3093832

        Are there toolbar utilities that tickle your fancy?

        by bigjellosheriff ·

        In reply to Are there toolbar utilities that tickle your fancy?

        I am not a fan of toolbars but I do use the Google toolbar.  I turn of all the buttons except the search box.

        When Yahoo came out with their anti-spy program, I started using and recommending the Yahoo toolbar.  It was able to clean up a couple of brower hijacker programs nothing else detected.  I soon found it caused all kinds of other trouble so I now strongly discourage its use.

      • #3133528

        Are there toolbar utilities that tickle your fancy?

        by jskaarup ·

        In reply to Are there toolbar utilities that tickle your fancy?

        Not a toolbar fan at all. 

        Google is my homepage though……  All bow to the pretty graphics 🙂

    • #3091818

      Are your underwear clean? Check your chip

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      There was one News.com story today that creeped me out way above and beyond the rest: “Wireless to organize, or even save lives.” Will wireless technology reach a point where chip sensors tell you when your elderly parent is having trouble breathing? According to this news article, perhaps – and it may even be able to do a whole lot more.

      James Canton, president of Institute for Global Futures, a consultancy that advises on trends, says sensor chips may one day even be embedded into underwear to send laundry-related text or voice alerts to cell phones. “It will tell you when it needs to get cleaned,” he said and suggested a potential prompt: “Stop using that bleach on me because it’s shrinking me and if I shrink any more, you’re not going to be able to wear me.”

      I can’t speak for anyone else, but I don’t want a sensor chip anywhere near my underwear. Can you image the magnitude of irate women who are completely ticked off because their chip told them that their underwear is shrinking? Oh yeah, that’s about as close to “You need to lose weight” as you can get, technically speaking that is. Junk in the trunk? I think trash-talking chips could possibly create a niche in the market, but that’s a different news story entirely. Check out what other TechRepublic members had to say about this article in the Discussion Center.

      • #3091788

        Are your underwear clean? Check your chip

        by sara morgan rea ·

        In reply to Are your underwear clean? Check your chip

        I think these kinds of chips will be invaluable when it comes to the care of our elderly population. In the coming years, elderly care is not just going to become an issue, it is slowly becoming a national/world crisis. Multiple sensors will need to be placed all over an elderly/handicapped persons home and then we will need intelligent software that interprets the data from the sensors and deploys the approriates resources.

      • #3254546

        Are your underwear clean? Check your chip

        by bfilmfan ·

        In reply to Are your underwear clean? Check your chip

        I am sitting here laughing out loud at the thought of you prancing past a chip reader that loudly announces, “And today Sonja is Pretty In Pink.”

        And no man in his right mind would ever say that a woman needed a larger pair of panties….

         

    • #3253072

      Gold medal coverage of the Olympic Games

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      I knew it would only be a matter of time before News.com covered the Olympic Games and how technology plays a part in how the world receives information about it: “Video, podcasts, and blogs track Olympic Games.”

      According to the article, “This year, podcasts, blogs, video, animation, and satellite images of the event locations all will give viewers a more intimate look at the events and athletes’ lives than they’ve ever had. It’s also one of the biggest online events of the year for companies like ESPN, Yahoo, and NBC Universal, which has the exclusive broadcast rights in the United States.”

      I also prompted TechRepublic members to tell me what technology format they preferred when watching, listening to, or reading about the Winter Games. Call me old fashioned, but I really enjoy sitting in front of the TV and watching the events – from skiing to skating to the luge. Of course, that’s if I have time to sit leisurely in front of the TV. There are also times when I want to get online and check out the highlights and to see how many gold medals have been won by the United States. If you’ve been looking for some great links that provide comprehensive coverage of the Olympic Games, I highly suggest that you check out this article. You won’t be disappointed.

    • #3253501

      Is there a purpose behind your online activity?

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      Today I came across a News.com story that I thought was extremely interesting: “Poll finds 30 percent use Net just for fun.” Pew Internet & American Life Project surveyed 1,931 Internet users in November and December of 2005, and 30 percent of the respondents said that they went online “for no particular reason” on the previous day. This is a sharp increase from the year before – only 21 percent responded with a similar answer in a November 2004 survey.

      According to Deborah Fallows of Pew, “This tells us the Internet is another place where people increasingly go to while away their time or just to hang out.” So, what else are people doing on the Internet? “When it comes to other online pursuits, Pew said that sending or receiving e-mail ranked highest with 52 percent of Internet users saying they did this on a typical day. Using a search engine ranked second with 38 percent, while reading news online was third with 31 percent.”

      I spend my day doing all of the online activities mentioned above, but if I were to break it down into percentages, reading news online would take up the biggest part of my pie. What online activity (or non-activity) takes up the majority of your time when you’re online?

      • #3253413

        Is there a purpose behind your online activity?

        by bfilmfan ·

        In reply to Is there a purpose behind your online activity?

        Researching technical issues 10%

        Answering questions on TR 15%

        Reading and participataing in TR Discussion Forums 10%

        Reading about the latest movie news 10%

        Reading about comics 10%

        Email 10%

        Online games 25%

        Weird News 5%

        Reading TR blogs 4%

        Leaving intelligent comments in your blog 1% 🙂

      • #3091485

        Is there a purpose behind your online activity?

        by vaspersthegrate ·

        In reply to Is there a purpose behind your online activity?

        I spend no time at all in “fun surfing”. No porn, no games, no shopping. I spend 50% reading and 50% writing blog posts and comments at other blogs. I also have geek neck pain. Will be the first blogger in histroy to blog until his head falls off.

      • #3090687

        Is there a purpose behind your online activity?

        by lukcad ·

        In reply to Is there a purpose behind your online activity?

        Hello Sonja!!!

        100% activity-internet-life, and it is consist of:

        – programming 99%

        – reading news 0,01%

        – reading blogs 0,01%

        – reading quantity of emails and deleting 0,01%

        – reading message to me 0,01%

        – answering on message 0,01 %

        – reading of weather.com 0,01 %

        – reading of sport life news 0,01 %

        – reading of msn news 0,01 %

        – reading of msdn news 0,01 %

        – rummaging in google suggest 0,01%

        Have a GREAT Weekend!!!!!

        Sincerely, LukCAD

      • #3101228

        Is there a purpose behind your online activity?

        by mess483 ·

        In reply to Is there a purpose behind your online activity?

        Reading about the latest movie news 10%.

        Is a small percent

        htto://www.referate10.com

      • #3102704

        Is there a purpose behind your online activity?

        by rayw ·

        In reply to Is there a purpose behind your online activity?

        At present, we have a policy which allows all managers and executives unfettered access to the Internet on the basis that they understand the issues (not merely because they can walk on water!) – legal, governance related, security and productivity issues particularly. Increasing pressure is being applied to allow all staff access to the Internet. Included in the number are a majority of individuals who are ignorant of the issues and the clamour for them to have access is generally being supported by managers who are either ignorant of the issues or who have the “do-not-care” attitude that can drive you nuts. Few individuals can actually explain why they want subordinates to have access and equally few can explain how the individuals access to the Internet will contribute positively to the bottom line.

        What do most businesses do in terms of allowing all personnel access?

        What would you understand by reasonable access?

        Is the management effort necessary?

        What controls, rules etc would you insist on having in place?

        I would value your comments

        Ray Williams

         

      • #3102439

        Is there a purpose behind your online activity?

        by Sonja Thompson ·

        In reply to Is there a purpose behind your online activity?

        “Leaving intelligent comments in your blog 1%” ???? BFilmFan, you can do better than that! 😉

    • #3102427

      ARGs may put a code in your collar

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      I have kept my finger on the pulse of IT News for several months now, and I am continually surprised when I see clothing intersect into the technology domain. I’ve blogged about this phenomenon before, and when I browsed News.com today, I came across another one that deserves mentioning: “Wearable game weaves clues into cloth.”

      According to the story, “If you find yourself wearing clothes from a new company called Edoc Laundry, beware: Strangers may walk up to you on the street to examine the intricacies of your shirt’s patterns.” This is because Edoc Laundry “literally weaves an episodic, multimedia game into the fabric of the garments.”

      “The idea is an extension of so-called alternate-reality games, or ARGs, in which people try to solve puzzles that are propagated online but require players to team up to find clues in the real world. Usually, the games are promotional vehicles for other products, including video games and movies.”

      If you’d like to see what I’m talking about, check out the accompanying photo gallery: Garments with game.

      When I first read this story, I thought the idea was completely off the wall – but then I realized that it’s just because I personally would not be interested in participation. However, with the enthusiasm that young people today are getting involved in games, mysteries, and puzzles (just look at how popular the televised series Lost has become), this ARG that incorporates a line of clothing to figure out clues is no less than genius!! The person who brainstormed Edoc Laundry definitely deserves a raise. 

    • #3101767

      How much poop is needed to load Windows?

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      Energy consumption – it’s a big deal this days, and several news stories over the past year have touched on the affect it has on our environment and pocket books. Is the solution to use less energy? Should we all buy technology equipment and other products that require less energy to run? Or maybe we should use dog poop to power up our PC. According to this News.com story, the latter option may actually be a viable alternative: “Dog poop–the next alternative energy source?

      San Francisco’s garbage company, Norcal Waste Systems, is starting a pilot program to recycling the droppings of the city’s estimated 120,000 dogs. “Dog feces could be scooped into a methane digester, a device that uses bugs and microorganisms to gobble up the material and emit methane, which would be trapped and burned to power a turbine to make electricity or to heat homes.”

      If you’re a dog owner, this may not seem like a bad deal. With the rising cost of gas, I imagine that dog poop will eventually have a price tag. I’d like to see the specifications here – like how much poop would be needed to load Windows? How many minutes could I browse News.com? Would I still have time to blog? Hmmmm….

      • #3100905

        How much poop is needed to load Windows?

        by Selena Frye ·

        In reply to How much poop is needed to load Windows?

        Pretty soon, not only will dog owners have to pick up after their dogs, they’ll also have to schlep it home and put it in their own methane digesters! Just when I thought I might get a dog of my own!

      • #3272492

        How much poop is needed to load Windows?

        by drivenn ·

        In reply to How much poop is needed to load Windows?

        Not only would you live longer (it’s proven that pet owners live longer/happier lives…) you’d be warmer/cooler too on the cheap!

      • #3272917

        How much poop is needed to load Windows?

        by bschmidt ·

        In reply to How much poop is needed to load Windows?

        I could make countless jokes about Windows, being the poop that it is, would in effect be self sufficient, but I won’t…

        Doesn’t this sound a lot like the DeLorean on Back to the Future?  Wasn’t it run off methane produced from garbage?  Look out 80s here I come!

      • #3088202

        How much poop is needed to load Windows?

        by bfilmfan ·

        In reply to How much poop is needed to load Windows?

        No, it was supposedly run off a “M. Fusion” unit with the intake on the trunk. It was obvious that the writers didn’t know that what they actually showed in the movie looked like some kind of anti-matter technology that merely needed mass for a reaction.

    • #3272317

      No more TV time? Better blame Bob

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      Yesterday was an unusually long day here at TechRepublic, but the time still got away from me and I had to leave before I was able to blog about a particular news story that really hit home. So, excuse me as I digress … this isn’t the news, but it sure is recent: “New tech aims to get kids off the couch.”  

      According to this story, a company called Hopscotch Technology has created a new time monitor device called Bob “that let parents control how much time their children spend watching television, playing video games, or using the computer. Bob consists of a timer and a reporter box. A device’s plug is locked into Bob, which is then plugged into a wall outlet. Parents assign their children a certain amount of time on the device by day or week, and when it’s up, Bob cuts the current.”

      As a parent, I am very well aware of the television/PlayStation battle. In fact, my son is overweight and should spend more time outdoors or doing some sort of physical activity. There are interactive PS2 games now that trick kids into exercising, such as EyeToy by Kinetic. However, I don’t think my kiddo would fall for it. A couple years ago for Christmas, I got him the EA Madden Football Plug-n-Play TV Game that has the foot pad where you run vigorously in place when your TV counterpart has the football. We returned it because the accompanying football didn’t work properly. I asked if he wanted a replacement, but he elected to get a sit-down-and-zone-out video game instead. 

      Right now, my son and I have a system worked out for TV time using poker chips. He has to earn the chips first by doing well in school and/or chores around the house. Then he can cash them in for half hour TV increments. The system is working pretty well so far, but it would be nice if I could get a little help from Bob. I could set the timer for a half hour or hour, depending on how many chips my son has earned and wants to cash in. I might have to investigate this technology once it’s on the shelves. In the meantime, it’s back to watching the clock. If anyone else has a system that they use with their kids (or husbands/wives) – one that works, I’d be interested in hearing about it.

      Sonja and son

      • #3272961

        No more TV time? Better blame Bob

        by bfilmfan ·

        In reply to No more TV time? Better blame Bob

        For shame! Captain Blood was on Turner Classic Movies yesterday too!

        Ahoy matey!

         

    • #3088824

      High-speed salute to the Geekcorps!

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      The chances are pretty good that you’ve heard of the Peace Corps, but have you heard of Geekcorps? This News.com article explains: “Geekcorps: A Peace Corps for techies.”

      According to the article, “Geekcorps can essentially be thought of as a Peace Corps with a focus on PCs. The organization recruits technical experts to conceive ideas for integrating technology into local economies in a self-sustaining way.” This “U.S.-based not-for-profit organization is dedicated to cultivating high-tech skills and businesses in the world’s emerging nations.”

      After looking at the photo gallery, I have to say that I was moved by what these volunteers are doing. It’s easy to take technology for granted when you always have it right at your fingertips. Kudos to the Geekcorps from this geeky girl!  

      Way to go, geekcorps!

    • #3088223

      The federal government: Your privates ‘n its breaches

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      I don’t think there are many people, in the United States or elsewhere, who trust the federal government when it comes to privacy and the handling of personal information. This News.com article discusses the results of a 2006 Privacy Trust Study of the United States Government by Ponemon Institute, which reaffirms my belief: “In federal e-security we trust? Not a chance.”

      According to the article, “The report ranks public perception of the privacy protection practices of federal agencies, based on responses to various survey questions. More than 70 agencies were evaluated, and each was assigned a privacy trust score by factoring together positive and negative survey responses.”

      Curious to know the results? Here are some of the most-trusted federal agencies:

      • U.S. Postal Service – #1 for the second year in a row (privacy test score of 82%)
      • Federal Trade Commission
      • Internal Revenue Service
      • Bureau of Consumer Protection
      • Department of Veteran Affairs
      • Census Bureau
      • Social Security Administration
      • National Institutes of Health
      • Federal Court System

      Here are some of the least-trusted federal agencies:

      • Department of Homeland Security (privacy test score of 17%)
      • Transport Security Administration (privacy test score of 19%)
      • CIA (privacy test score of 21%)
      • Department of Justice
      • Office of the Attorney General
      • National Security Agency
      • Bureau of Citizenship & Immigration
      • Federal Bureau of Prisons

      Does anyone else find these results almost humorous? Some of the federal agencies in the least-trusted list should have the primary goal of making us feel MORE secure. Go figure….   

      • #3088208

        The federal government: Your privates ‘n its breaches

        by bfilmfan ·

        In reply to The federal government: Your privates ‘n its breaches

        Considering that the CIO of Homeland Security was a paper-mill diploma holder, it doesn’t suprise me in the least.

      • #3085359

        The federal government: Your privates ‘n its breaches

        by alle20039 ·

        In reply to The federal government: Your privates ‘n its breaches

        “Some of the federal agencies in the least-trusted list should have the primary goal of making us feel MORE secure.”

        I would think that “making us feel MORE secure” would be a non issue.
        That sounds like a political viewpoint rather then a real world
        viewpoint.  Politicians want you to feel certain ways about them
        and their projects. I would think that the primary goal of those
        federal agencies would rather be to MAKE us MORE Secure, rather than make us FEEL more secure.

      • #3086909

        The federal government: Your privates ‘n its breaches

        by Sonja Thompson ·

        In reply to The federal government: Your privates ‘n its breaches

        People who truly know me are aware of how non-political I am. However, I have been working very hard on “I feel…” messages. SUCCESS!!

      • #3086731

        The federal government: Your privates ‘n its breaches

        by alle20039 ·

        In reply to The federal government: Your privates ‘n its breaches

        My comments were not about, your having a political viewpoint, but how federal agencies
        should set or see their primary goals. I do hope they do not just try to make us feel more
        secure, but try their best to insure that we are made more secure. That
        is, of course, without taking away any of our God given rights.

      • #3086666

        The federal government: Your privates ‘n its breaches

        by alle20039 ·

        In reply to The federal government: Your privates ‘n its breaches

        I see that Federal agencies on the least trusted list include such
        agencies as NSA and CIA, which are very secretive. They are for our
        security and are completely about our security. Therefore, I trust them
        more than other agencies. Because these two agencies are so secretive,
        most of those surveyed likely do not know much about either agency,
        thus they are less trusted and are therefore numbered amoung those
        least trusted.

    • #3087534

      Microsoft is green with engine envy

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      I came across a News.com story this morning that elicited a pretty big laugh. My coworkers, who probably hear quite a sounds coming from my open cube, may have thought that I was reading a cartoon or a joke, but this story was far funnier than either of those: “Microsoft: Our engine to be better than Google soon.”

      According to Neil Holloway, Microsoft’s president for Europe, Middle East, and Africa, “What we’re saying is that in six months’ time we’ll be more relevant in the U.S. market place than Google… The quality of our search and the relevance of our search from a solution perspective to the consumer will be more relevant.”

      I’ve gotta give props for Microsoft for being the little engine that thought it could, but as the article also points out, “…being good is not enough to win the hearts and minds of consumers already dedicated to another standard.” That standard, like it or not, has Google written all over it. So, try as it might, I don’t think that Microsoft will be successful in its endeavor. Does anyone else have thoughts about Microsoft’s engine envy?    

      • #3090060

        Microsoft is green with engine envy

        by jaqui ·

        In reply to Microsoft is green with engine envy

        Ahh, the here today gone tomorrow syndrome. I’ve seen a lot of different search engines in the position Google is in now. Enough to say that I don’t know that Google will still be THE Brand for searches in another 3-4 years.

        It wasn’t that long ago that Yahoo was THE Brand for searches.
        Before them is was Excite. go back 11-12 years and it was Web-Crawler.

        If MS actually comes up with a search engine that isn’t as MS centric they might get the branding for searches in the future.

      • #3089286

        Microsoft is green with engine envy

        by bergy ·

        In reply to Microsoft is green with engine envy

        Here is a chart analyzing the various search engines according to this website:

        http://www.infopeople.org/search/chart.html

        This is what they say are the best tools for search:

        http://www.infopeople.org/search/tools.html

        I wonder what Neil Holloway’s language of origin is.  He needs a new word for relevant, I think. 

    • #3084548

      More than one way to skin an Origami mascot

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      Ok, so last week I started a discussion on a News.com story about Microsoft’s Origami. The Origami devices are mini-tablet PCs that run on Windows and cost as little as $600. Several TechRepublic members posted their thoughts about Origami, and then the entire topic just kinda slipped from my mind… until today. When I initially saw this photo gallery, I was confused – “Photos: Origami folding at MIT.” What did Microsoft’s Origami Project have anything to do with a beaver, and why were MIT students creating Origami mascots??

      A quick Google search clued me in.  “Definitions of origami on the Web: The art of paper-folding Square pieces of colored paper are folded into birds, animals, and other shapes. www8.plala.or.jp/y-naka/jiten-o.html

      A-ha! The photo gallery certainly makes more sense now. However, I have a bunch of other questions that are plaguing me as a result, such as:

      • Is there a paper-folding secret encrypted in Microsoft’s Origami devices?
      • Will Microsoft’s Origami devices come in the shape of birds or other animals?
      • If not the beaver, what would be the most appropriate Microsoft Origami mascot?

      Origami mascot
       Does the beaver get your Origami mascot vote?

      Origami versus a mini tablet pc
       Or should it be Origami versus a mini tablet PC?

    • #3086646

      Attention seeker? Meet multitasker

      by Sonja Thompson ·

      In reply to Newsworthy schmoozeworthy

      Is high-speed Internet access creating a society that has the collective attention span of a flea? Several News.com stories in the past have touched on this concern, such as “At Demo, it’s speed dating for products” and “Internet users judge Web sites in less than a blink.” Hurry up, get that information, moving right along… after all, everyone has places to go, people to see, projects to complete, etc.

      What does this mean for your organization? For starters, you don’t have much time to capture the attention of your customers. What’s even more important is that once you’ve got their attention, there has to be some sort of plan in place to keep it! According to this recent news story, there’s a tech conference in San Diego–O’Reilly’s ETech Emerging Technology Conference–that concentrates on tackling this particular issue: “Techies ponder how to cut through info overload.”

      “Focusing on what the confab has labeled ‘The Attention Economy,’ speakers on Tuesday repeatedly called on Internet executives and technologists to figure out what it now takes to draw consumers’ focus. Sounding a bit like academics, tech executives offered deep thoughts on–and new business approaches to–overstimulated consumers… There’s even a name for the attention deficit disorder some fret the tech industry has created. ‘Continuous partial attention,’ as they’re calling it, is an adaptive behavior pattern many consumers have adopted to cope with the need to multitask and boost productivity in the digital age.”

      Multitask… boost productivity… both of those are $$$ words on a resume, aren’t they? In fact, being able to multitask and be productive are valued in just about every area of life, not just your occupation. So, how do you stop and smell the roses (or get sucked into someone’s marketing plan) after such vigorous conditioning? I’d be extremely interested in hearing what kinds of ideas were presented at the O’Reilly’s ETech Emerging Technology Conference. I have a vision of clowns juggling while riding unicycles, but I think public schools have already tried to capture kids’ attention with that one (unsuccessfully, I might add).   

      How does your organization maintain customers? attention in today’s gadget-jammed, sensory-overloaded culture?

      • #3266663

        Attention seeker? Meet multitasker

        by vaspersthegrate ·

        In reply to Attention seeker? Meet multitasker

        Jakob Nielsen has been saying for many years now: users are almost always rushed, distracted, impatient, skimming rapidly, foraging for fast, easy to understand information, or easy to perform tasks.
         
        One way I get attention from hurried, multi-tasking users is by having a unique blog voice, choice of topics, style of writing, and usage of imagery.
         
        B.J.Fogg of Stanford Persuasive Tech Lab states that users judge a web site in the first few seconds, based primarily on appropriate design, prestige atmosphere, and professional tone. If a site, at first glance, looks amateur, sleazy, silly, fanatical, or too sales-hypey, users will move on.
         
        Content that is rich, relevant, rare, of practical value in immediate application, and authoritative will fare better than unfocused, tangential, excessively trivial, or poorly researched.
         
        When the web site or blog has an appropriate, prestigious appearance, is optimized and promoted in multiple venues, and maintains frequent, valuable content updates, with desired functionalities, “attention” is not a worry. Correct positioning and effective online marketing will cause the associated attention spans to arrive.
         
        Intention of site operator, a focus and devotion, a voice and a passion, reign supreme over the secondary concern of generating and loyalizing attention.
    • #3084167

      When defecation leads to defamation