Tuesday, November 29, 2005

I (Don't) Want My MTV

Wouldn't this be a novel idea?

The Federal Communications Commission is expected to suggest that cable companies could best serve their customers by allowing them to subscribe to individual channels instead of packages of several stations."

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Monday, November 28, 2005

Do the AIM!: Take one step forward, four steps back, or AIM Triton Released

The jig is up, our time is out. Life as we know it is more dead than a franchise under the rule of Joel Schumacher. The second sign of the apocalypse is among us (I believe this was the first). Why, you may ask, are we destined to rot in a pit of eternal hellfire? In the cadence of one of the greats:

Triton. AIM Triton.

Ok, maybe I'm over-exaggerating just a tad, but really, this spells bad news for the unknowing, naive youth of the world. AIM Triton is AOL's latest forray into the wild world of Spartian war tactics. It is, I guess, AOL's latest instant messenging service. How sweet.

Guess what else it does! The site exclaims amazing and mystifying features such as we've never seen before! Voice chat, video chat, email integration and - behold - text messaging!

What the site neglects to mention is that it also comes bundled with a sub par (read: completely f-ing worthless and ad-infested) browser and a program for quote-unquote gaming that is known and identified as spyware by every respectable spyware detection software suite (cough WildTangent! cough) known to man (and woman). Oh, and lets not forget these stylish new chat windows:

My guess is that it helps if you just imagine that advertisement as non-intrusive. It may actually become an enjoyable companion of sorts. Like Clippy the paper clip; everyone adores him. How about Abby the AIM AD! Wow I don't know how I think stuff like this up. (AOL, if you use that, I want compensation). Here is my professional artist rendition

Heed the words of an experienced user of AIM:

If you value the safety of your computer, privacy and children, you will avoid upgrading [to Triton] at all costs. Save your children! and pets too, don't forget to save your pets!"

Now would be a phenominal time to switch to a safer AIM alternative. There are many: Trillian, Gaim, iChat, GTalk. Just to name a few. I prefer GTalk. It's clean and simple. It works very well. It provides all the features of Triton (minus video chat - forthcoming). And its completely ad-free. Join the revolution. Save your pets.

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Only 4% of internet users can spot phishing emails accurately.

According to data from e-mail security firm MailFrontier, only 4% of users can spot a phished e-mail 100 percent of the time. That's a very sobering thought as the holiday season is upon us and Americans flock online for their shopping needs.

Are you in this 4%? Do you even know what Phishing is?

This article contains a phishing IQ Test where you can see how good you are at spotting this devious identity-theft tactic. It doesn't take long, and you can learn a lot from it. Knowledge is power people.

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Saturday, November 26, 2005

Firefox 1.5 Review by PC Magazine

The best browser gets even better with improved tab controls, reworked user preferences, a more robust extensions system, faster page loading and better security."

It couldn't be a better time to proactively protect your computer by switching to Firefox.

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R.I.P. Mr. Miyagi

Pat Morita, the Japanese actor who gained fame and an Oscar nomination for his role as Mr. Miyagi in the endless Karate Kid series, died Thursday. Morita, whose first major role was that of Arnold Takahashi on Happy Days, began acting in 1967 (as "Oriental #1" in Thoroughly Modern Millie) and had worked steadily since The Karate Kid was released in 1985.

Mr. Miyagi, we will miss you.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

New version of AVG Free now available!!

The newest version of the popular AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition is available for download. The new version of AVG Free provides increased scanning speed as well as additional improvements which include a new event-history log and added options for filename extension definitions.

This is the antivirus solution that I use. It's free, and I think it works better than the big names out there. It also isn't such a resource hog (ahem, Norton!). Oh, and did I mention, it's free!

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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

New Windows AntiSpyware released - Removes Sony's Rookit

Changes in the new beta are very subtle, with one exception: this release supports the removal of the Sony DRM rootkit.

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Monday, November 21, 2005

20 years of Windows, or Clippy's Big Day

20 years since Windows 1.0 was released. Time for Bill to break out the Windex and put some elbow grease into cleaning up his mess. No doubt the dust bunnies hiding under the desktop are reproducing like mad.

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Cingular to be branded as AT&T

NEW YORK -- SBC, which closed its merger with AT&T on Friday, plans to sell Cingular Wireless under the fabled AT&T name, Ed Whitacre, the chairman and CEO of the combined company, has confirmed to USA TODAY.

Whatever happened to the value of a brandname? Let's spend a year promoting the hell out of one name only to pull the old switcheroo on consumers. Who cares if naming conventions confuse the people who are buying our products: it seems to be working for Intel.

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Here's is a video I found on digg of what looks like 4 college students covering every Mario theme ever on a marimba. Highly entertaining.

Joystiq also went and rounded up other great Mario covers on the web.

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Black Friday 2005 Complete List

Check out this huge list of Black Friday sales

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Saturday, November 19, 2005

Persistence of Google Memories

I've stumbled across this vast catalog of Google logos from over the years representing a wide variety of nations and holdiays. This one is my favorite. If any one gets the reference between this logo and the title of this entry, leave me a comment and you can have a cookie.

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Friday, November 18, 2005

AIM, MSN, Yahoo peddle spyware, adware and excess fat

This is why I will not be installing AIM on my next computer. The following article explains how popular companies such as Yahoo and AOL are bundling superfluous software and often installing it behind our backs. Here's a choice quote from the article. A victory quote if you will:

But of the four instant messaging programs we tested, only Google Talk didn't attempt to install anything else."

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Vatican Official Refutes Intelligent Design

This is a good article about a religious man who understands the difference between science and faith. Now if only the state of Kansas could figure it out...

The Vatican's chief astronomer said Friday that "intelligent design" isn't science and doesn't belong in science classrooms, the latest high-ranking Roman Catholic official to enter the evolution debate in the United States."

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Google Maps Adds Details

Google maps added a detail tab in the popup window. When doing a local search you'll see on the map's popup window payment information, product information, reviews, vitrual tours and links to related sites with relevant information.

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Three Liger Cubs Born in Russian Zoo

Now the question: were liger's being bred before that stupid Napoleon Dynamite movie?

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Top Ten Movie Robots

I wanted to identify the ten best robots in movie history: robots who were revolutionary, who carried thematic weight, who were lovable (or frightening), or who were just ultra-cool."

I think its quite obvious who should hold the top spots (Although, I find it slightly odd that they were paired up, as if they are some homogenous entity. Perhaps they are.)

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Friday, November 11, 2005

Sony halts production of 'rootkit' CDs

Sony BMG Music Entertainment said Friday that it will suspend production of CDs with copy-protection technology that has been exploited by virus writers to try to hide their malicious code on PCs."

I'm not sure how many of you have been following this, but, in the event that you are unawares, here it is -- shall we say -- in a very small nutshell.

It was recently discovered that Sony/BMG has been releasing compact discs featuring a cryptic type of digital rights management (DRM) that employs rootkit technology. For a good explanation on rootkits, Leo Laporte and Steve Gibson in their Security Now! podcast, covered them quite thoroughly. Wikipedia defines them thusly:

A rootkit is a set of software tools frequently used by a third-party (usually an intruder) after gaining access to a computer system. These tools are intended to conceal running processes, files or system data, which helps an intruder maintain access to a system for purposes unbeknownst to the user."

So Sony/BMG has been installing hidden software on users computers to watch them. That in and of itself screams lawsuit, but the fact that writers of malware like trojans and viruses have began to exploiting it is cause for outright consumer mutiny.

By the way, did I mention this little nugget of wisdom? From the mouth of Sony/BMG's President:

Most people, I think, don't even know what a rootkit is, so why should they care about it?"

That's like asking "Why should you care if I put a camera in your bathroom and record you doing whatever you do in there, as long as you don't know about it?" Personally, I think we should all boycott Sony/BMG and begin looking over our shoulders when we wipe.

So it appears Sony/BMG has ceased production in fear of more impending suits. I do not doubt that, in the meantime, they have their thinktank hard at work on an even more clandestine DRM technique. Like a proctologist in the night, it seems Sony/BMG is on a mission to surreptitiously invade our privacy to the very core. I am positive that their journey will not end here.

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I Made Joystiq!

So I rolled into work this morning and checked some of my daily news, and low and behold, the first entry at Joystiq was about my silly Playstaion 3 Demotivation poster I made 3 days ago. Could not believe it. I just wanted to share my excitement with the world. You can read the entry here.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

I Heart ...

So, I haven't really updated in a week or so. This is partially due to the fact that I was at a conference last week -- and therefore my downtime was spent recuperating. This is something I've been wanting to do for a while, just to get it off my chest. Here is an ode to some of the girls that have found a soft spot in my heart of late.
First up is Dr. Allison Cameron from Fox's House. Dr. Cameron manages to be the intelligent girl next door while being the headstrong moral compass to her unfortunate employer. I will never understand why House didn't date her when he had the chance. She pretty much spends her days disagreeing with him now, just to prove that she is capable of an opinion, and her nights ... well ... I've pretty much decided she is the girl I'm going to marry.

I doubt many, if any of you at all (unless you are a geek from up North or from Down Under), know this little gem of a cutie. Amber MacArthur (or AmberMac for short) is a co-host of G4's Call For Help as well as a videocast named commandN. She is also a big Mac geek (hence her monniker). When she's not in front of a camera, she's often at the keyboard as a web developer or usability connoisseur. I heart AmberMac for sure.

Here we have the adorable Kaylee, the eccentric and -- uh -- lonely mechanic from the short-lived television series Firefly and its follow-up film Serenity. Kaylee loves absolutely anything that is "shiny" and can pretty much guess how something works just by looking at it. She makes me want to break things just so she'll come fix it.

Some say that Lana Lang is the female star of Smallville. They are wrong. Don't get me wrong, I love Kristin Kreuk, but Chloe Sullivan is more up my alley. She's got a big smile, a big heart, and is a truly loyal friend. Not to mention that she is quite eloquent and is absolutely adorable.

On the subject of Smallville, Lois Lane, how do I love thee, let me count the ways. This military brat who "hates writing" and has "no future in journalism" could certainly have a future with me. She recently "stripped" in an episode. The dancing left a lot to be desired, but the view most certainly did not.

Finally, I have to make mention of Calleigh Duquesne, the "gun girl" from CSI:Miami. Not only is her name beautiful, but she certainly is too. And does she know her guns. She can tell the make and model of a firearm from just hearing the hammer cock. There were far too many unintended sexual references in that sentence for me to even attempt to reword it.

Finally I have to make mention of these two real women, that I actually know. I hardly talk to this first one since she moved away to go to school. She has a new life now of which I'm not really a part (not that I was huge part of her old one), but that doesn't stop me from missing her a lot. She has this innate ability to make you feel like you've known her for years, and I look forward to the hugs I know she's bringing me for Thanksgiving.

And then there's this one. She's been a mere acquaintance -- a friend of a friend -- for a little more than a year, but recently this sweet little individual has become a very good friend and poker buddy, and I find myself more and more counting the time in between her smiles.

To these women, I heart you.

Google among companies paying workers to drive hybrids

Would you drive a more fuel efficient vehicle if the company you work for paid you thousands to do it? Hyperion Solutions offered employees $5000 to buy a car with an EPA rating of 45mpg or higher. Google offers $1,500 if you buy a hybrid, $2500 if you lease one."

I hope my company starts doing the same. That would be awesome for me!

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Jack Thompson has been removed from "the GTA case" in Alabama.

"Anti-game crusader, Jack Thompson has been removed from "the GTA case" in Alabama."

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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

65 million year old pr0n

Animal fossil found in copulation : HindustanTimes.com:
Scientists in Lucknow have unearthed a 65-million-year-old fossil, showing two tiniest members of the animal family in sexual union."

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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Broadcast Flag v. 2.0: Now on Steroids

So, while we were all out getting candy on Halloween, the MPAA was drawing up even more Broadcast Flag legislation. This time, however, it is even more completely bass-ackwards anal retentive crap. They are attempting to fill something that they refer to as the Analog Hole, and in doing so, will plug the collective analog holes of each and every one of us. Read on, but be forwarned, this is even scarier then Jack Thompson on a bender.

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