Sunday, December 25, 2005

iTunes replacement? seem to be from OSS!! or SONGBIRD to sing iTunes.

They say it is firefox for music according to CNET news site.
If digital-music veteran Rob Lord wanted to court controversy with his new open-source start-up, he probably couldn't have done much better than to compare Apple Computer's iTunes software to Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser.
Apple's iTunes is "like Internet Explorer, if Internet Explorer could only browse," Lord said. "We love Apple, and appreciate and thank them for setting the bar in terms of user experience. But it's inevitable that the market architecture changes as it matures."
An Apple representative declined to comment.
Among the online music giants and players, Microsoft's Media Player accounts for 45 percent of all PC music playing, Apple's iTunes captures 17 percent, and the rest fall off sharply from there, according to U.S. statistics from the NPD Group.

iTunes replacement? seem to be from OSS!! or SONGBIRD to sing iTunes.

They say it is firefox for music according to CNET news site.
If digital-music veteran Rob Lord wanted to court controversy with his new open-source start-up, he probably couldn't have done much better than to compare Apple Computer's iTunes software to Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser.
Apple's iTunes is "like Internet Explorer, if Internet Explorer could only browse," Lord said. "We love Apple, and appreciate and thank them for setting the bar in terms of user experience. But it's inevitable that the market architecture changes as it matures."
An Apple representative declined to comment.
Among the online music giants and players, Microsoft's Media Player accounts for 45 percent of all PC music playing, Apple's iTunes captures 17 percent, and the rest fall off sharply from there, according to U.S. statistics from the NPD Group.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Case Mods and weird Gadgets

If you thought your case mod was great, check these out. I don't think I will have such gadgets for my computers. My mods, gizmos and gadgets go inside the case. All my cases are at least two years old but insides, I got to tell you in another geemodo story. Anyway just say they are top!
The story features 10 most weirdest case mods but if you go through the track backs and comments, you will find more. Some might be self promotion. But if you are reading this then you do have time in hands! So why not see what other case modders do! Happy Holidays!
By the way I thought WMD was cool! Which is the top right corner. But you might think this is cool, below! Which is the number one on the given site.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

ATI All in One 2006 reviewed by Anandtech

If you have ever played with or used ATI All in One video cards, rejoice. The card, X1800 XL A-I-W is the ATI's X1800 XL version of the All-In-Wonder. But instead of reading my harangue, head over to anandtech and read the whole article.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

PSP to Big Screen is here

Although I promised not to publish anything about sony gadgets, I thought I would publish this as it is from another company and many of you have PSP's in your hand.
The Blaze PSP to TV Projector has been available in shops since December 19th. Manufactured by Fire International the gadget will beam the screen on your PSP to almost any TV, LCD, Projector or Plasma screen with AV connections.
This innovation requires no modification to your handheld and clips neatly on top of the PSP.
In a Press Release Managing Director of Fire International, Jason Cooper said:
"The PSP to TV Projector offers users the first opportunity to view their PSP content on the screen of their choice. From the feedback we have received from PSP owners, the ability to use their console via the TV was undoubtedly the No. 1 product on their wish lists. Unique titles such as the PSP only GTA: Liberty Stories is a typical example of an "exclusive to PSP" title that can now be enjoyed on the big screen"
If you want to buy one this is the place to go.
You can see a demo here

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Hand Cranked $100 Laptop enters Manufacturing

Remember the article Geemodo: Hand Cranked Notebook! I wrote a few weeks ago! Now the MIT Media lab has chosen a manufacturer. Horay, Some power chip at INTEL that said these kids "don't need gadgets, (Mind you, this was said to an audience in Sri Lanka, where buying an Intel based laptop would cost somewhere around 120,000 Rupees. The country has (I am getting frustrated by the minute about these corporate baggies who think the world is their two B***s)1.3 million people earning less than $1 a day!
But look at their dedication to education!

IndicatorYearSri LankaSouth & South-East Asia (R-1)WorldSource
Gross primary school enrollment ratio, male (I-43)

1998-2002111102104UNICEF, 2005
Gross primary school enrollment ratio, female (I-43)

1998-20021108897UNICEF, 2005
Gross secondary school enrollment ratio, male (I-43)

1998-2002725166UNICEF, 2005
Gross secondary school enrollment ratio, female (I-43)

1998-2002773961UNICEF, 2005

And here what this guy, a moron, by my personal opinion, has to say;
""Mr. Negroponte has called it a $100 laptop--I think a more realistic title should be 'the $100 gadget'," Barrett was quoted as saying at a news conference in Sri Lanka." Read the specs of the gadget moron!

I am sure these kids will appreciate something, anything that will help them learn. I like to see what Mr. Barrett has for these kids. Xmas Balls? Please not yours, they lack content.
I checked google news about The $100 laptop production being awarded to Taiwanese Quanta. But no one brave enough to actually give a link to MIT Media Lab, May be for the fear of those centerino ads being lost? Or am I paranoid?

Anyway the production will go on and those children will get their gadgets so they can learn well and design chips for Mr.barrett later on.
You want one of these? you have a long wait but until then, you can go here to get info on how to make one!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Hoping Microbots and NASA funding

For the past several years, NASA has been encouraging scientists and engineers to think outside the box, bring out gadgets or gizmos that will help further the advancement of science and to come up with ideas just this side of science fiction. One of the projects that received funding earlier this year was a collaboration between Dr. Penelope Boston and Dr. Steven Dubowsky to develop "hopping microbots" capable of exploring hazardous terrain, including underground caves.
If you want to travel to distant stars, or find life on another world, it takes a bit of planning. That's why NASA has established NIAC.
NIAC provides funding on a competitive basis. Only a handful of the dozens of proposals submitted are funded. Phase I funding is minimal, just enough for researchers to flesh out their idea on paper. If the idea shows merit, it then may get Phase II funding, allowing the research to continue from the pure-concept to the crude-prototype stage.

Read more here or get download a pdf.

You have links to these sites too where you find similar type of gadgetry and more information on sience fiction level science;
Slime Team Website
The Mysterious Lives of Caves
Biomes, Inc.
Cave Slime
Touch-Sensitive Cyborg
Machines That Make-Out
Walking Tall Like a Human
Remote Control Insects
Unstoppable Creepy Crawlers

Friday, December 09, 2005

Sony DRM ROOTKIT, Suncomm, EFF new removal tool, yet the consumer problems don't go away.

After writing about Sony rootkit stuff, here, here, here, and here, the first post, I thought I could forget about writing about it and continue doing my normal stuff. But the gadgets, gizmos and toys have to wait it seems.
After all the court cases, theories of breaking IPOD and Itunes, Sony problems still linger. Now their patches are requiring patches. These products should not have been there in the first place and now consumers have to go on patching their computers, just to get some work done!
By the way Sony has released a rootkit uninstaller, you don't have to use the web based uninstaller they earlier offered. But with the trust I have in Sony, let researchers do their work first before trying to use it.

Well, windows updates, spyware updates, virus updates and now add sony patches update to your list. How about other music publishers? I think these researchers will continue to watch for these rootkits. And I will continue writing about them.
By the way in the form of boycotting Sony, I have guided myself to get an Olympus Digital camera (Review coming soon) instead of a Sony cybershots, HP computer for my friend, instead of Sony PC, Samsung DVR in place of Sony. So Sony, start counting, these small numbers add up.

Skype in a USB stick!

This could be good news for all the Skype fans, Now they can carry the account and contact info on a USB drive. Also it might be able to defeat the Skypekiller; VOIP IP Telephony: How to kill a Skype� / remove Skype� installs from your network!. I have not tested this and have to rely on press information for now. Read more and find links at VOIP IP Telephony Blog.
VOIP IP Telephony: Phone in a USB Stick called PhoneDrive! maybe we can call it Skypedrive!!

Car gadget for speed freaks!

Otto- driving companion™ reinforces driving focus and provides drivers with an opportunity to drive with extra care, and to potentially save money from speeding fines, crashes, increased insurance premiums, and increased license fees.

Persen Technologies Inc. (PERSENTECH)
announced today that it has added Ottawa to its list of major municipalities where its marquee road safety product, Otto- driving companion™, will operate. Two additional municipalities will be added shortly further extending its geographic market base.

OttoTM is a device designed to promote safe driving by completing existing roadway signage. OttoTM provides a driver of a vehicle with immediate feedback of their driving behaviour on every road within a municipality, principally real-time speeding notification. OttoTM also alerts the driver to the driving environment using voice prompt and visual alerts on approach to potentially hazardous intersections, school zones, Red Light Camera enforced intersections, Pedestrian Crosswalks and Deer Crossings.
Read more and pictures here..

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

VOIP IP Telephony: Cingular HSDPA Phone announced! See and talk at the same time!

#G network os out, get your HSDPA gear out or find out more from the link.
VOIP IP Telephony: Cingular HSDPA Phone announced! See and talk at the same time!

Itunes tunes to NBC

Apple Computer Inc., in a bid to repeat its digital music success in the world of videos, is adding 11 television shows from NBC Universal to its online iTunes Music Store.

NBC Universal is the second major television network to offer its content on Apple's online store. Walt Disney Co. was the first media giant to jump on board when Apple said in October that it would start selling television shows, music videos and short movies from Pixar.

The videos can be viewed on the computer using iTunes software or on the new video iPod.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Ardvark'd, Documentary film on software creation!, is out!!

"Aardvark'd: 12 Weeks with Geeks," has been released!, and after following many a links I even found out about complete cost of the project and projected profits.
Links traveled, the start, the coffee break, oh I remember that, I knew this guy too! [I think about five years ago, I directed some of my customers to this site, to explain why they should use version control in software development! If you are a software gadgeteer, remember to bookmark this link.] and finally the clip.
The Software project,New York-based Fog Creek Software creating a product from scratch to shipping was documented by director Lerone Wilson. It is now done, both the software the interns created and the film. Software is a twist in remote computer support, lets two users connect each other online for tech support. Find about the company and software here. I have glanced at this project on and off during the summer, initially found on this site.
Well if you want to be an intern for summer 2006, better hurry!
The film, Ardvark'd, (see a clip here, if you are unable to see use wmv here) is also shipping, in DVD format. I will get a copy! Just because of the people involved.
Here is a short list;
Intern:..........................Tyler Griffin Hicks-Wright
Intern:..........................Benjamin Pollack
Intern:..........................Yaron Guez
Intern:..........................Michael Lehenbauer
CEO Fog Creek Software:..........................Joel Spolsky I like his style
Creator VisiCalc:..........................Dan BricklinOne of the first software application I used created by this guy!
Founder ViaWeb:..........................Paul Graham
President Fog Creek Software:..........................Michael Pryor
Fog Creek Software:..........................Elizabeth Gordon
Fog Creek Software:..........................Brett Kiefer
Fog Creek Software:..........................Ben Kamens
Fog Creek Software:..........................Dmitri Kalmar
I hope you at least see the clip.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

One of the Best of gadgets you can give that young person you know!

Slashdot article where I got the news, had to say this and it says all!
"Are you a Linux user? Are you a parent? If so there is something that the two have in common. Edubuntu is a newly released fork of the Ubuntu Linux distribution. It is targeted at children from the ages of 5-12 years old. There are lots of games and even kindergarten appropriate activities for children. The developers and supporters of Edubuntu have developed a Manifesto which lays out the intent and objective of this open-source and freely distributed OS development effort. The current stable version is Edubuntu 5.10 'Breezy Badger', the same as Ubuntu 5.10's alias. Edubuntu comes complete with installations for x86 and AMD64 architecture. Edubuntu will be a nice addition to your home-network."

You can dowload the ISO image from here. Select the correct image that you want.If you want to burn the disc image from Ubuntu, right-click on the CD image and click on "Burn to disc". If you're using Nero CD burner in Microsoft Windows, or K3b in KDE, you can select the burn ISO CD image option, and select the edubuntu cd image file.

If you need further information you can goto the Community and Wiki sites.

At the Edubuntu site shows the manifesto;
* Edubuntu will always be free of charge, and there is no extra fee for the "enterprise edition", we make our very best work available to everyone on the same Free terms.
* Edubuntu includes the very best in translations and accessibility infrastructure that the Free Software community has to offer, to make Edubuntu usable by as many people as possible.
* Edubuntu is released regularly and predictably; a new release is made every six months. You can use the current stable release or the current development release. Each release is supported with security updates for at least 18 months.
* Edubuntu is entirely committed to the principles of free and open source software development; we encourage people to use free and open source software, improve it and pass it on.

The current release is;
Edubuntu 5.10: The Breezy Badger

Edubuntu is suitable for both desktop and server use. Edubuntu 5.10 also includes a built-in Linux terminal server. The current Edbuntu release supports Intel x86 (IBM-compatible PC) and AMD64 (Hammer) architectures.

Edubuntu includes more than 16,000 pieces of software, but the core installation fits on a single CD. Edubuntu starts with the Linux kernel version 2.6 and Gnome 2.12, and covers every standard desktop application from word processing and spreadsheet applications, educational software (such as GCompris and the KDE education suite) to internet access applications, web server software, email software, programming languages and tools and of course several games.
© 2005 Canonical. Canonical, Ubuntu, Kubuntu and Edubuntu are registered trademarks of Canonical Ltd.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Tinkers of WRT54G Gadget Be happy, Linux version still alive

Even I bought and returned the (in)famous V5 of WRT54G, because I could not mess around with it. So I got a WRT54GS. That is going to be my plaything, I thanked myself by getting it on Thanksgiving weekend. I will let you know how it goes.
linksys has not killed the Linux version, they are still producing it in lesser quantity, under the name "WRT54GL". So you can still load all those third party software on it, join message boards devoted to it and spend next half century, improving your WI-FI VOIP and any other gadgets and Gizmos that uses wireless technology.
The news was on Slashdot and Linux devices today and I am sure news made many a gadgeteers happy.
According to the articles,
LinkSys's director of product marketing, Mani Dhillon, said LinkSys made the switch because, as a more deeply embedded system, VxWorks allowed the company to halve the amounts of Flash and RAM in the device, while retaining similar functionality. Apparently, reducing memory-related BOM (bill-of-materials) costs more than offset the costs of licensing a proprietary OS, given the WRT54G's extremely high sales volume. "We sell literally hundreds of thousands per month," Dhillon said.

The new, VxWorks-based WRT54G "series 5" models have 2MB of Flash, and 8MB of RAM, compared with 4MB of Flash and 16MB of RAM in the earlier, Linux-based versions. Although the "series 5" devices offer Linux hobbyists less elbow room to load alternative firmware (assuming they could get around the bootloader to install it), it seems likely the hacker community will rise to the challenge.

Linux hackers and hobbyists have long hot-rodded their WRT54Gs, adding features such as Radius authentication, bridge capabilities, VoIP QoS (voice-over-IP quality-of-service), and so on. The L model will continue to offer 4MB of Flash, and 16MB of RAM, in order to support the various freely and commercially available alternative firmware images for the devices that depend on those memory capacities.

This is not a simple hacker toy, Wi-Fi Planet has published a story about turning LinkSys's ubiquitous, Linux-based (versions 1-4) WRT54G into the functional equivalent of a $600 enterprise router, by installing community-developed firmware that adds features such as Radius authentication, WPA2 encryption, VoIP QoS features, and integration with WiFi hotspot management systems.

Crab Nebula, The best Image yet!

If your gadgets and Gizmos include a telescope, Then you would certainly like this. The image was a product of Hubble Space telescope. And it is a composite of several images taken in 1999 and 2000. The time I was so attached, mentally and workwise to the Hubble Telescope. Too bad that it will not be up for very long.

The new image released will help researchers better understand the phenomenon that created the nebula—a supernova explosion. The blast, which signaled the death of a star 6,500 light years from Earth, was seen by Japanese and Chinese astronomers in 1054.
More info and larger images, here and here.

IP enable your Grandfather (Cuckoo Clock!)

Now you can network, IP enable your grandfather, ah clock! Only if it is cuckoo. I learned about this Gadget to make at via MAKE:blog. I think it a great idea. From the website "Cuckoo IP is a voice messaging system. The clock's answer phone can be dialed from mobile or landline. Leave a voice message, select a time for the delivery of it. At that time, the cuckoo will emerge from the clock and broadcast your message."
Picture is from

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

USB VOIP phone With voice recorder (UP-111C-A)

The new phone released by ACTION STAR ENTERPRISE supports Skype, MSN and Yahoo messenger and other IP Telephony applications.
The UP-111 supports PC-to-PC and PC-to-phone operations. The device provides enhanced Internet voice communication with echo cancellation. It features built-in hot keys, screen display and four function keys for volume up/down, mute and record. Also available is the different ring tone capabilities.
Here is a short list from the site;
‧ Support plug & play, USB compatible- no sound card needed.
‧ Instant volume adjust buttons.
‧ Offer several different kinds of ring tones.
Record and save your conversation as “.wav” file to PC. This is neat I thought!
‧ LCD displays time, incoming phone no. and conversation time.
‧ Offer speed dial.
‧ Compatible with Windows 2000, XP and Mac OS X v10.3 or higher without
installing driver.

Sell your gadgets, gizmos on Froogle!

I was reading the google blog today and noticed this article telling you how to buy things online using Froogle. It also gave directions on as how to sell on Froogle.
I thought many gadgeteers and gadgetress who would like to sell online might find this interesting.
Google base also play major part in selling and buying.
Selling and buying is easy, read this to find out about buying and this to find out about selling and bulk upload your items.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

gridtech: First OSS Physics Book that I have seen

How does sentences below sounds to you? Are they geeky enough to be published on a gadget gizmo and toy blog? Find out how these gadgets, gizmos and big boys toys work! read the book!!
gridtech: First OSS Physics Book that I have seen

Battery Free Optical Mouse NB-30 and it is wireless

I have had my share of trouble with mice. Wired mice, wireless mice. But the latest trouble was my logitech wireless mouse. I always forget to put it on the cradle, so battery is always low and I get frustrated when I sit down to work.
But while surfing today for gadgets, toy and gizmos, I found this mouse! Viola, no more battery problems. I have not tested it but I think I will. Only trouble I fore see is that I or my mouse have to live tied to the mouse pad! That is another story. Only pad I liked was / is a old (more than 10 years now!) SUN optical mouse pad. Which was an aluminum and has a blue grid to support the old sun mouse glide!
So without much further grumbling here is the review. Happy mousing.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

DCMA abuse news comes in the heels of SONY DRM / ROOTKIT saga!

Today I followed a trail of articles about DCMA abuse. It is chilling, actually /. Took me to Chilling effects, University of Southern California, a pirates bay (here, I laughed my guts, and turkey out), and I am getting sick of the morons and moronic interpretation of the law that supposed to protect the masses. I think here we need some major cleanup, or I have to take up my childhood dream, live my life out on a boat sailing around the globe. I will add edit more on this article later as I have to join a party soon. That if I don't drink away my Sony blues.

Happy thanks giving to all the gadgets, gizmos, toys and most of all, all the people who use them!

Enjoy the holidays, and find some time to play with your friends, family and pets. Leave the gadget, toys and gizmos alone. Let that turkey go!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Blue Screen of Death comes in Colors, On XBOX 360

reported XBOX 360 crashes,
There are more crash news while driving at XBOXSCENE,it's forum, teamxbox and /. Are we having fun yet?
Got these from chamisool's photos;


This only a part of the 30 page complaint filed by EFF. You can download the PDF and read it or Join the lively conversation going on at the Groklaw. There you can read the complete transcript, if you don't have PDF software. In any case I think it is a wortwhile visit. You can read about the other evil empire, SCO at the same time.

Robert S. Green (State Bar No. 136183)
Jenelle Welling (State Bar No. 209480)
Avin P. Sharma (State Bar No. 233328)
595 Market Street, Suite 2750
San Francisco, CA 94105
Telephone: (415) 477-6700
Facsimile: (415) 477-6710
Cindy Cohn (State Bar No. 145997)
Fred von Lohmann (State Bar No. 192657)
Kurt Opsahl (State Bar No. 191303)
Corynne McSherry (State Bar No. 221504)
454 Shotwell Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
Telephone: (415) 436-9333
Facsimile: (415) 436-9993
Reed R. Kathrein (State Bar No. 139304)
Shana Scarlett (State Bar No. 217895)
100 Pine Street, 26th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111
Telephone: (415) 288-4545
Facsimile: (415) 288-4534
Attorneys for Plaintiffs
EDWIN BONNER, on behalf of themselves
and all others similarly situated

Case No.

Plaintiffs, by and through their attorneys, bring this action on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, and allege against Defendants as follows:
1. By including a flawed and overreaching computer program in over 20 million music CDs sold to the general public, including California residents, Sony BMG has created serious security, privacy and consumer protection problems that have damaged Plaintiffs and thousands of other Californians. At issue are two software technologies –MediaMax and Extended Copy Protection, also known as XCP – which defendant Sony BMG claims to have placed on the music CDs to restrict consumer use of the music on the CDs but which in truth do much more, including monitoring customer listening of the CDs and installing undisclosed and in some cases hidden files on users’ computers that can expose users to malicious attacks by third parties, all without appropriate notice and consent from purchasers. The CDs also condition use of the music on unconscionable licensing terms. These, plus other problems caused by Sony BMG’s inclusion of this software, are in violation of California law and public policy. After a series of embarrassing public revelations about security risks associated with the XCP software, including warnings issued by the United States Government, Microsoft and leading anti-virus companies, defendant Sony BMG has taken some steps to respond to the security risks created by the XCP technology. It has failed, however, to address security concerns raised by the MediaMax software or the consumer privacy and consumer fairness problems created by both technologies.

2. The jurisdiction of this Court arises under Code of Civil Procedure § 410.10 because Defendants conduct business in and sell a substantial number of audio compact discs in the State of California. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this Class and the representative action pursuant to
8. Defendant Sony Corporation of America is the U.S. subsidiary of Sony Corporation, a multinational corporation based in Japan. At all times mentioned herein, Defendant Sony Corporation of America, is and at all relevant times was, a New York corporation, with its principal place of business in New York, New York.
9. Defendant Bertelsmann, Inc. is the U.S. subsidiary of Bertelsmann AG, a multinational corporation based in Germany. At all times mentioned herein, Defendant Bertelsmann, Inc., is a Delaware Corporation with its principal place of business in New York,
New York.

XBOX 360 for $3500? Are these people crazy or what??

I was checking out some junk comments on the site today. I get many comments that are not related to toys, gadgets, and gizmos. But I was checking this out of curiosity.
Yes there was a bid for this Item, May be the owner himself bid on it! Anyway here is the description; No link since I don't want to promote Spam.

This incredible machine is sold out everywhere, and stores are not confident they will have any to sell for the Holidays. Get the best present of the year here, with all the incredible extras!!

Includes all of the following...

* XBOX 360 Console
* 20 GB Hard Drive
* Wireless Controller
* Headset
* Ethernet Connectivity Cable
* Component HD AV Cable
* Bonus Media Remote
* 1 Year free subscription to XBOX Live Silver Membership
* 1 Month free trial membership to XBOX Live Gold


* Play and Charge kit for your wireless controller - rechargable battery for your controller that charges while you play!!
* Bonus Second Wireless Controller!!!

And, the grande finale...

ALL 17 LAUNCH TITLES, Sealed, Never Played!!!

* NBA 2K6
* PERFECT DARK ZERO - COLLECTORS EDITION with bonus dvd, limited edition glyph, comic and collectors case
* NHL 06 - not pictured, but ready to ship.

Many of these games are already sold out all over the place...I had to run all around town to get all of them.

(Don't be fooled by other sellers, Dead or Alive is not available yet!)

As you can see in the picture, everything is in hand and ready to ship today!! If you buy it by 4:00 Mountain Standard Time, I will be able to ship it overnight, and you will have it by the following day!!

Trust a seller with 100% positive feedback

Holidays, toys and hazards! Beware!!

North Carolina Public Interest Research Group (NCPIRG) has put out a timely report.
The report titled "Trouble In Toyland" is warning us to remain vigilant about often hidden hazards posed by toys on store shelves. You can download the complete report here!(PDF)
The report says that "Toys are safer than ever before, thanks to decades of work by product safety advocates and parents and the leadership of Congress, state legislatures and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Nevertheless, as parents venture into crowded malls and browse for the perfect toy on the Internet this holiday season, they should remain vigilant about often hidden hazards posed by toys on store shelves."
The hazards listed in the report includes;

Toy manufacturers are over-labeling toys by placing choke hazard warnings on items that do not contain small parts. This could dilute the meaning of the warning labels, making them less useful to parents. CPSC should push manufacturers to apply the choke hazard warning only when necessary.

Mattel, a large toy manufacturer, now includes a non-statutory and vague warning on some of its toys, saying "“Small parts may be generated."If a toy contains small parts or can break easily into small parts that pose a choking hazard, the company should use the statutory warning. Toys without small parts should not include this confusing label.

PIRG researchers found that the popular yo-yo water ball poses particular hazards to young children, including strangulation and other injury to the eyes, neck and face. New versions of the toy contain batteries to make the toy flash; these batteries can tear through the toy easily, posing a choking hazard if swallowed.

In June 2005, Illinois became the first state to ban this toy. At the federal level, the CPSC should ban all sales of yo-yo water balls and similar toys in the United States.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that prolonged exposure to sounds at 85 decibels or higher can result in hearing damage. PIRG researchers found:

• Several toys currently on toy store shelves may not meet the ASTM standards for appropriately loud toys.

Several toys currently on toy store shelves exceed 100 decibels when measured at close range.

• Manufacturers are selling play cosmetic sets that include nail polish containing toxic chemicals, such as toluene and xylene. Since children often put their hands in their mouths, nail polish applied to fingernails offers a direct route of exposure.

Even though the European Union has banned or imposed wide restrictions on the use of six phthalates in toys and childcare products, some manufacturers of childrenÂ’s products continue to use phthalates in toys for the U.S. market. Phthalates, a class of chemicals used to "“plasticize" or soften otherwise hard PVC plastic material, have been linked to reproductive defects and other health problems.

In response to consumer concern about phthalates, some manufacturers are labeling their products as "“phthalate-free."” The U.S. government, however, does not regulate the "phthalate-free"” label or ensure that products labeled "“phthalate-free" actually do not contain phthalates. To test the reliability of the "“phthalate-free"” label, PIRG commissioned laboratory tests of eight soft plastic toys labeled as not containing phthalates. Of the eight toys tested, six contained detectable levels of phthalates.

Many toys are approved for use by young children but require additional safety precautions as well as adult supervision. Non-motorized scooters and other riding toys, for example, cause more toy-related injuries every year than any other category of toy. Electric toy minimotorcycles and gasoline-powered mini-motorcycles (“pocket bikes”) are likely to be popular purchases this shopping season. Children are vulnerable to a wide range of injuries when using both motorized and non-motorized riding toys; parents should supervise their children closely when they use these toys and outfit them with the proper safety equipment.
The report explains further on PURCHASING TOYS ON THE INTERNET
Increasingly, parents are turning to the Internet as a convenient way to shop for toys, especially during the busy holiday shopping season. The CPSC, however, has yet to require online retailers to include choke hazard warnings on their websites. PIRG conducted its fifth annual survey of online toy retailers, finding that some online toy retailers are voluntarily displaying some sort of choke hazard warning for at least some of their toys—although mandatory requirements are still necessary. We found:

• One-third (35%) of the 37 online retailers surveyed display some sort of choke hazard warning next to toys that otherwise require such labeling on their packaging or point of sale, although most retailers do not display these warnings consistently on their websites.

Of the retailers surveyed, just over half (20) allow consumers to shop for toys by age group. Of these 20 websites, four post or direct parents to toys that are not age-appropriate.

• Nine of the retailers provided no manufacturer age recommendations for the toys we surveyed.

CPSC should require online toy retailers to display on their websites the safety warnings otherwise required by law to appear on toy packaging. Toy manufacturers should take the initiative and use statutory choke hazard warnings on retail toy websites.

Be vigilant this holiday season and remember:

The CPSC does not test all toys, and not all toys on store shelves meet CPSC standards.

• Online toy retailers do not have to provide the same safety warnings that otherwise are legally required on the packaging of toys sold in stores.

PIRG'’s report includes only a sampling of potentially hazardous toys. Always examine toys carefully for potential dangers before you make a purchase.

Report unsafe toys or toy-related bewares to the CPSC. holidays beaware and enjoy the holodays.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Root of Sony rootkit revelation!

Mark Russinovich is shown in his office with his Van Zandt CD from Sony BMG Music Entertainment, in which he discovered that the company had added a copy protection technology called XCP to his computer that this gadget blog has spoken so much about (one of the articles), Friday, Nov. 18, 2005, in Austin, Texas. Russinovich posted his findings to his blog which generated serious attention, and eventually forced Sony BMG to recall 50 different discs this week. Some 4.7 million had been made and 2.1 million sold (Photo and data from AP)My first article was published on 7th November.

Sony get your Blues Music and start playing, Dark Clouds are Circling you!

If computer security researcher Dan Kaminsky, is right and assuming all the cases are here in USA, Texas has about 7.6% of the US population And Dan's number is 560000 cases. So at $100000 a case sony might have to pay about 4 billion dollars. This is in addition to the lawyer and court fees. Add that to California, New York and EFF cases.
Well Sony, and other RIAA members and RIAA, don't feel bad, you make about $10 per CD, after paying the artists! So if you can go after grandmothers with $3000 stick, I will be laughing when sentence is delivered. Don't worry about me either, I don't download your music. In fact I buy my music, currently I have over 250 CDs. The music I buy is what I love. But lately I don't love music. I hope you,RIAA, understand what you are doing to music industry. I will stick to my gadgets and Gizmos. And I will listen to my old CDs. I have not bought a new CD in about two years now. I get my music now in second hand store, if I have to have a CD.

"Sony has engaged in a technological version of cloak and dagger deceit against consumers by hiding secret files on their computers," says Greg Abbott, the attorney general for Texas, and he is following through with a law suite, alleging that its controversial (and now recalled) "XCP" anti-piracy software violates the state's anti-spyware and consumer protection laws. You can read the press release here.Abbott's suit seeks civil penalties of $100,000 for each violation of the law, attorneys'’ fees and investigative costs.
Brian Kerbs at Security Fix has spoken to Abbott, today and has records about EFF and possible Massachusetts case. Read about better estimates on the fines on his site.
My other hero over at Freedom to Tinker is explaining about the copyright violations that Sony has done while trying to protect it's Digital Rights. Sony has used open source software to construct parts of this software. Read Matti Nikkiaccountt that explains thedissectionn of root kit. I don'tbelievee Sony when it say it is innocent, According to Matti, The project has been developed in a directory called "XCP Player Code\Sony ActiveX Player\XCPPlayerControl\". Sebastian Porst has also uncovered another bunch of violations. I am getting really sick of you Sony!
Please read Ed Felten's article to fully understand the extend of violations. He nicely mentions how mainstream media do not see this to be part of the case. Mainstream media did not see any beforeuntill they could not ignore.Forbess, do you still think blogs are junk factories?

Groklaw, the site covering the SCO/IBM and other items such as patents, have started a section devoted to Sony DRM/rootkit saga. All the legal documents will be filed and preserved!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

OK! Wrap up your Sony CDs, You can send them Back!

VICTORY! As Mark said, Sony and it's music arm Sony-BMG has posted that customers could send their CD's back.
These are the CD's with now famous SONY DRM SAGA, We reported this here as soon as Mark polished his report. I got most of my information from Marks site and Brian Krebs site.
Brian was reporting when other mainstream media were hesitating.
Anyway the News is out as it was intended to be and I hope Sony learned a lesson at the same time teaching a lesson to other similar minded evil empires.
Back to Sony CD retturns, Sony BMG’s site now includes a prominent link on its front page, “INFORMATION ON XCP CONTENT PROTECTION,” that takes visitors to a page with a statement from Sony that declares its concern over the security issues raised by its software. The first paragraph points out that Sony licensed the software from First 4 Internet, which while true, does not hold Sony any less responsible for its use of the software or the contents of the End User License Agreement (EULA).
Both Mark and Brian's sites have Descriptive reports and I am directing you over to those sites rather than rewriting the same thing.
My first post, geemodo: No Sony Gadgets, Gizmo's or anything related to Sony on this site!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Get BEYOND your lame TV, Beyond TV 4 is out!

This one gadget all the guys and Girls with a multimedia PC and a receiver card need to look into. It a Gizmo to have, a part of anyone's gadget collection. And something you will enjoy, from Snapstream past products. I promise it not to be myth, TV. You will get much more than that in your familiar windows platform. I myself is a Linux fan but I will give credit where credit is due.
With all the goodies of beyond TV get ready for Three new big ticket items with Beyond TV 4, FM Radio support, DivX support, and HDTV! This is what they have to say about HDTV portion of the product,ItÂ’s six times the picture quality, two and a half times the audio channels with Dolby surround sound, and countless new camera angles.
A select group of beta users have already started putting HD support through the paces at home and have really helped us create an HD PVR product that everyone can use. So a shout out to them and a big thanks for all of their early feedback. In my opinion, the coolest thing is that with Beyond TVÂ’s built-in multiple tuner and multiple lineup support, I can simply add a digital tuner to my existing setup. I will still get all my analog content and be able to surf through all of my digital and analog stations in one seamlessly integrated program guide.
The product has been tested with free to Air cards such as;
VBox DTA 151 and USB-A 3560
Fusion HDTV 3
Learn more at their site, follow these links
* Beyond TV 4, coming to a website near you
* New HDTV PVR products bundled with Beyond TV
* Everything about HD - Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Now Sony story is getting Lame!

Now Sony story is getting Lame!COPY-PROTECTION software used by Sony Seem to have violated some others copyrights!
"Multiple software components on the CD have references to the LAME open source MP3 code," Finnish software developer Matti Nikki said.
"We can confirm that at least 5 functions in the XCP software are identical to functions in LAME," said Thomas Dullien of German security software firm Saber Security, which specialises in the analysis of complex software.
open source reference in the copy-protection software is never mentioned anywhere and they supposed to under LGPL licence which LAME player is released.
"That's the flipside of open source: If you don't respect the open source rules, the old regime of copy protection comes back in full force," Dutch lawyer and internet specialist Christiaan Alberdingk Thijm said.
"We can confirm the existence of significant amounts of code from FAAC (which is LGPL) in the executable ... These functions are part of ECDPlayerControl.ocx, thus directly integrated into the executable," Mr Dullien said.
These are some bits from varous publishers, I will post more once I get a story together.
Darkside may be powerfull, Sony this is no Godzilla!

Today;s Sony related advise, How to get a rootkit array!

Lame Sony (more on the lame matter later!) Has a way for you to distribute 200 rootkits at once!
Vaio, I used to like the, and as I said before, I gave my Sony Vaio away! I explained the situation, got the latest drivers for the notebook, without visiting sony site, Pointed to timbaktu, My firewall blocks all known sony sites, out going!
Anyway I have a Brand new Toshiba notebook and a Brand New Compaq notebook all under $1400. But they are good, one a 64 bit AMD with 1.2GB memory and a 60GB drive, CD/DVD burner. The other is a mobile Pentium 4 with 764MB memory and 80GB Drive also with a CD/DVD burner. Both have Bright screen 15.4 inch screens. I love this country! Where else would you get deals like this, Both from Compusa!
This is from a guy, always had sony notebook! Eat this Sony! I will harp to everyone that I know, about what you did.
I work in the computer field, I already turned away two possible Sony sales to other vendors. Apology from you will be accepted, if made in pulic to every one you hurt.

Back to headline, Sony has a gadget that can burn 200 disks at once! No not industrial, it is a consumer device. It comes with a dual layer capable 200 DVD/CD burner, If you want a life time of rootkits, go find this one and some sony CD's!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

2006 The International Consumer Electronics Show CES

If you are into gadgets and gizmos, then there is a place you must visit every year, How about combining your passion with Vegas! Show during the day and party all night.
Past experiences of CES for me was TOP!
This year they have a dating Service, No not with Vegas Sweeties, But this is a sort of putting attendees together with exhibitors. Believe me you need to plan for this show, Otherwise you will miss a lot. Now there is a MYCES at CES site. Info is here.
Get ready, register and have fun!

Some highlights, from their website;
2006 International CES News Highlights



This year's Industry Insider speakers include industry leaders Ivan Seidenberg, CEO, Verizon Communications; Kevin Martin, chairman, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Antonio M. Perez, president and CEO, Eastman Kodak Company. The series also will feature a Retail Power Panel with Brad Anderson, vice chairman and CEO, Best Buy; David Edmondson, president and CEO, RadioShack; Alan McCollough, chairman and CEO, Circuit City and Larry Mondry, CEO, CompUSA.

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) announced today that Terry Semel, chairman and CEO of Yahoo! Inc. will deliver a keynote address at the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) announced today that Sir Howard Stringer, chairman and CEO of ***** ****(evil Empire). will deliver a keynote address at the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) announced today that top Microsoft and Intel executives will deliver keynote addresses at the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) today announced that it is partnering with Robotics Trends to feature robotics technology at the 2006 International CES, the world's largest tradeshow for consumer technology.

Jumpstart your CES coverage at the annual New York Press Preview. This must-attend event is designed to give the press a preview of what to expect at the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and an exclusive peek at the new products in store for the year ahead.

Hot product debuts and cool new technologies from 80 leading consumer technology companies will be on display at the second annual CES Unveiled: The Official Press Event of CES on January 3, 2006.

The 2005 China International Consumer Electronics Show (SINOCES), China's largest consumer electronics event, opens today in Qingdao. Sponsored by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the producer of the International CES, the fourth annual SINOCES runs today through July 4 at the Qingdao International Convention Center.

The 2006 International CES will be held Thursday - Sunday, January 5-8 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The 2004 International CES, the annual tradeshow for consumer technology, topped the Tradeshow Week 200 list, making it the largest tradeshow in the United States and Canada as ranked by Tradeshow Week magazine.

Emerging technologies, digital imaging exhibitors and a number of vertical market TechZones will take center stage as the International CES expands to the Sands Expo and Convention Center in 2006.

The International Consumer Electronics Show 2006 will come together in Las Vegas this January. The dates are,

2006 International CES: Jan. 5-8, 2006
Thursday, Jan. 5, 2006 10 a.m.* - 6 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 6, 2006 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 7, 2006 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 8, 2006 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Future show dates
2007 International CES: Jan. 8-11, 2007
2008 International CES: Jan. 7-10, 2008
2009 International CES: Jan. 8-11, 2009
2010 International CES: Jan 7-10, 2010
*LVCC South Hall opens 9 a.m. Opening Day.
Innovations Plus at the Sands opens 8 a.m. each day and closes at 3 p.m. Sunday.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

VOIP IP Telephony: We all need to know about gadget patents, Now we have a place to go

VOIP IP Telephony: We all need to know about patents, Now we have a place to go

A train of Sony Flaws and an Owl Hoots!

Hello World, I just let Sony stuff pass for a day and Boom. So much news! I just finished reading Brian Krebs' writings and man, he is a busy one. So is "Freedom to Tinker" There are a bunch of must read articles. Brian is a google news featured guy! Thanks Brian. Then there is an Owl who muttered about me! Thanks Owlish!
now to Sony Saga, there seems to be a bunch of security flaws introduced by This bad bad rootkit. I see them Here,here here here...
What ever you do the Sony Uninstaller Hole seem to Stay Open.
According to Felten (whose research was informed by a discovery from a Finnish researcher known as "Muzzy"), "the root of the problem is a serious design flaw in SonyÂ’s web-based uninstaller. When you first fill out Sony'’s form to request a copy of the uninstaller, the request form downloads and installs a program -- an ActiveX control created by the [digital rights management software] vendor, First4Internet -- called CodeSupport.

"CodeSupport remains on your system after you leave SonyÂ’s site, and it is marked as safe for scripting, so any Web page can ask CodeSupport to do things. One thing CodeSupport can be told to do is download and install code from an Internet site.

"Unfortunately, CodeSupport doesnÂ’t verify that the downloaded code actually came from Sony or First4Internet. This means any web page can make CodeSupport download and install code from any URL without asking the userÂ’s permission."

Another researcher, Kaminsky has done more work, Kaminsky said he's not sure yet how many individual computers inside of those 560,000 networks actually have the Sony software installed on them, but noted that "at the end of the day, it only takes an average of two machines per network and we are easily talking about millions of machines here."
His simple explanation on his Plotting is;
Sony has a rootkit.

The rootkit phones home.

Phoning home requires a DNS query.

DNS queries are cached.

Caches are externally testable

Viola! A Map.

Kaminsky tied the addresses to geographic locations by using his access to a commercial geolocation database. He has since posted a software tool on his site that renders a very cool three-dimensional look at where the largest concentrations of installs are located
I could go on, But I think you have a bunch to read for now.
Have a good day!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Hand Cranked Notebook!

Although this is not that new news! I was reading, "One Laptop Per Child - a Preview of the Hundred Dollar Laptop" by Ethan Zuckerman made me revisit the path I visited a few months ago.

We may look into the aesthetics, weight, battery life and CPU power when we want a new notebook, The audience that these computers are targeted, just want a computer so they can compute. Computer has become, to us (most of us!), a device that we have to have. We send /read our emails, run grid applications, or solve a simple financial or mathematical problem. We no longer grab a notebook(paper) and pencil, volumes of encyclopedias when we have to do some research.
We open browser to google, open up our Word processor and cut and paste our paper.
Now I am going to cut and paste some things from Ethan's site but I urge you to read the article. It gives you an in depth view in to this gadget, OLPC, One Computer Per Child. A spark of thinking by Nicholas Negroponte. Ethen personally knows Nicholas and so the article and the chain of connected articles, gives you a heart warming but in depth technical information.
Thanks Ethan, Thanks Nicholas! This trip down the Al Gore's road made me think and concider Geekcorps!!

List of Original Xbox Games Playable on 360!

Microsoft has released a list of over 200 original Xbox games that will be playable on the Xbox 360 upon launch, with a promise that more games will be supported through software updates in the future.
But hold your horses, Since an emulation software is needed to run the games, the version of the console with a hard drive will be required. Quality on older games will be improved as well, with the Xbox 360 upscaling the graphics to 780p or 1080i high-definition. Future compatibility updates will be delivered free of charge.
Here is the link and a partial list;

The folks at Xbox® are working hard to add more of your favorite games to this list, so check back often for the latest updates.

Note: A software emulator is required for each original Xbox game you play on your Xbox 360™ console. Please check back for more details as we approach the launch date.

* AirForce Delta Storm
* Alias™
* Aliens versus Predator™ Extinction
* All-Star Baseball™ 2003
* Amped®: Freestyle Snowboarding
* Army Men®: Sarge's War™
* Atari® Anthology™
* ATV: Quad Power Racing 2™
* Baldur's Gate™: Dark Alliance™ II

Sony-BMG EULA! Laugh, Cry and Thrash!

Another installment on Sony DRM saga!
If you thought XCP "rootkit" copy-protection on Sony-BMG CDs was bad, perhaps you'd better read the 3,000 word (!) end-user license agreement (aka "EULA") that comes with all these CDs.
If you are unable to find it read the tasty bits EFF site.
Now the Legalese Rootkit: Sony-BMG's EULA
Yuo will see things like;
# If your house gets burgled, you have to delete all your music from your laptop when you get home. That's because the EULA says that your rights to any copies terminate as soon as you no longer possess the original CD.

# You can't keep your music on any computers at work. The EULA only gives you the right to put copies on a "personal home computer system owned by you."

# If you move out of the country, you have to delete all your music. The EULA specifically forbids "export" outside the country where you reside.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Get your Hard-fi (MP3 gadget) here and not worry about Sony DRM

Cambridge University physics graduate, Martin Brennan, founder of , has developed and now marketing a hard-FI gizmo in this HI-FI world of today.

What is Hard-Fi?

Hard-Fi is a Hi-fi with a hard disk that talks to your Phone, iPod or MP3 player. 3GA put the power of a PC into a stereo to create a product that breathes life into your MP3 phone, Ringtones and iPods.

There are 1.3 billion mobile telephone subscribers. By 2008 there will be 350 million MP3 handsets made each year. Far more people own and will own more handsets than computers. The MP3 player market is $6.9 billion. The ringtone business is $3 billion. music business is another place that I don't want to go. With all the Sony DRM stuff I have written,
geemodo: No Sony Gadgets, Gizmo's or anything related to Sony on this site!
geemodo: SonyÂ’s Rootkit Saga Continues! And Sony/First4 claim innocence!!
geemodo: Californians (lawyers) Hit back Sony!
geemodo: Wahington Cast eyes on Sony like DRM practices.
May be this is the Solution, But how long before Martin joins big boys and practice their trade?
The Other thing is if your MP3 player is in the loo, geemodo: MP3 Set LOOs you cannot take loo to the computer so Hard-Fi to your rescue.
Hard-Fi is quite simply the easiest way to get music into a phone or mp3 player.
Features of Hard-Fi gadget, if you call it that;
With Hard-Fi you can:
All this in box that i’s as easy to use as your car radio.
The power of a PC with the simplicity of a stereo.
* Store all your music
* Find tracks instantly
* Mix like a DJ
* Plug in your MP3 player or phone, press a button and the track that is playing is sent to the player or phone - done!
* Segue mode blends one track seamlessly into the next. Its like hearing your music for the first time. YouÂ’ll never want to go back.
* IDE hard disk stores 700 albums on 40Gb.
* Rapid 15x copy from CD to hard disk means you can load your CD collection very quickly and its simple - put the CD in the drawer and press OK.
* Built-in upgradeable database with 1.7million albums labels CD tracks as they are loaded.
* Instant track search on a key by key basis finds matching tracks in seconds - as simple as sending a txt message.
* Burn audio CDs from playlists.
* Background MP3 compression hidden from user.
* Reverberation, pitch shifting, tone control and other effects.
* Microphone & line in, loudspeaker & line out.
* Low cost DSP - flexible & just five ICs. Already in manufacture. New products possible in months.
* Suitable for all audio formats including micro-system, in-car, boombox, hi-fi separate even clock-radio.
His reasons for the Hard-Fi; And why he developed HaFE-FI.
MP3 compresses music by a factor of ten, and Hard disks of 20Gb - were big enough for an entire music collection. Low cost DSPs had 100 million instructions per second - enough for MP3.
Of course you could do all this on a PC but Martin knew that to be a mass market successor to the gramophone, the wireless, the record player, the transistor radio and the CD player the product needed spontaneity and simplicity. Not what comes to mind when you think of a PC.
Martin said "We have developed a successor to the home stereo but the most rewarding thing about the project is that when I hear my music on Hard-Fi - it surprises me - its like hearing it for the first time."
If you are technically interest in the gadgets inards, here is a block diagram of the system;

More info at Hardfi site.

It seems I can't stop writing about this Sony DRM Saga!

I thought, I could go look for gadgets and gizmos to replace all the Sony stuff I have, and may be share the comparisons that I make available on this site. But now I have to write about this DRM again.
Again as many a experts warned, virus writes and mulware writers have their gadgets out and riding on the Sony protection. Read more about it here.
Remember the article geemodo: Sony rootkit survival kit, What? Here I go again., yes the same source, Freedom to tinker, has another article, describing another version of similar DRM protection from Sony.
This time it is from company called Suncomm. Apparently FTT (freedom to tinker) has been writing about this in 2003.
So if you have Any Sony CD's throw them away. Get yours from other source. Check the label before you buy.
As I said I am replacing My Sony Stuff. I don't play music on my computer because I prefer the big sound from a proper sound source. For portable music, I will use IPOD.
My Advice is to have a good firewall, I use Zonealarm. And a network firewall, I have one too since I have a few computers here.
Anyway these morons are relying on ignorance of people to do these type of work. I think we should thank all these people like mark, ftt and many others who brought this to light. Today if you look, you will see major media carrying the news, I will write about my first Sony replacement soon.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Sometimes Answers comes as soon as you ask them! Microsoft responds to Sony rootkit.

My post geemodo: Sony Stops production of rootkit CD's, I asked what Microsoft is doing about this.
Well I read this article, Microsoft Zapping Sony DRM 'Rootkit' which brought answer to my questions.
Microsoft Corp. will start deleting the rootkit component of the controversial DRM scheme used by Sony BMG Music Entertainment.
The software giant's Windows AntiSpyware application will be updated to add a detection and removal signature for the rootkit features used in the XCP digital rights management technology.

According to Jason Garms, group product manager in Microsoft's Anti-Malware Technology Team, the rootkit removal signature will be pushed out at Windows users through the anti-spyware application's weekly signature update process.

Detection and removal of the XCP rootkit will also appear in Windows Defender, the next version of Windows AntiSpyware when that makeover ships.

Get your wireless gadgets ready, If you are in Mountain View, California USA.

AFP news via Yahoo!
Google is offering free wifi internet access to all 70,000 residents of its headquarter's hometown, Mountain View, CA.
Google's proposal to "unwire the city" will be considered by the Mountain View city council on Tuesday, according to Ellis Berns, manager of economic development in the town where Google has its headquarters.

"Right now, we can't see a downside," Berns told AFP. "It seems like a pretty positive deal for the city."

Berns said his staff studied Google's offer and will recommend it be accepted by city council members. If the deal is accepted, Google will turn all of Mountain View into an Internet "hot spot" by June 2006, Ellis said.
"It is kind of a test for Google," Berns said. "It gives them a chance to check it out, test the market, and it gives the city free wireless."

Under the terms of the deal, the basic wireless internet access would be free, but Google could charge users fees for premium services.

For its part, Mountain View can make similar deals with other companies interested in providing wireless services.

If Google decides to stop providing the service, the contract gives Mountain View the option of buying the system and running it themselves, Berns said.

National Toy Hall of Fame 2005 Inductees Announced!

There are three new toys inducted to the National Toy Hall of Fame!
Candy Land®

Candy Land, a board game decorated with a sweet-treats trail and destinations such as Gumdrop Mountain, was created in the 1940s by a San Diego polio victim, Eleanor Abbott, who wanted a pastime for children recuperating from illness.

Jack in the Box

Jack-in-the-Box, the jester who bursts open his box lid when a compressed spring is released, appears to have originated in the 16th century. The toy is loosely based on Punch, the dynamic puppet in the "Punch and Judy" show.

A cardboard box?

The corrugated cardboard box, which quickly came to dominate the shipping industry in North America, was invented by a Brooklyn printer, Robert Gair, in 1890.

Yes Toys are fun and it is proven now that the cardboard box that it comes in too is fun filled!

The National Toy Hall of Fame® at Strong Museum recognizes toys that have engaged and delighted multiple generations, inspiring them to learn, create, and discover through play. Criteria for induction include: Icon-status (the toy is widely recognized, respected, and remembered); Longevity (the toy is more than a passing fad and has enjoyed popularity over multiple generations); Discovery (the toy fosters learning, creativity, or discovery through play); and Innovation (the toy profoundly changed play or toy design). In addition, inducted toys must be generally accepted as safe for those for whom they are designed or who fall within the manufacturer's recommended ages.

To date, the following 34 toys have made it into the National Toy Hall of Fame®: Alphabet Blocks, Barbie®, Bicycle, Candy Land®, Cardboard Box, Checkers, Crayola® Crayons, Duncan® Yo-Yo, Erector® Set, Etch A Sketch®, Frisbee®, G.I. Joe, Hula Hoop®, Jack in the Box, Jacks, Jigsaw Puzzle, Jump Rope, LEGO®, Lincoln Logs®, Marbles, Monopoly®, Mr. Potato Head®, Play-Doh®, Radio Flyer® Wagon, Raggedy Anna, Rocking Horse, Roller Skates, SCRABBLE®, Silly Putty®, Slinky®, Teddy Bear, Tinkertoy®, Tonka® Trucks, and View-Master®.

Final Fantasy XII Retail Demo

Dragon Quest VIII coming out next week will bring you a pleasant surprise, that is if you are a fan of Final Fantasy Game.

The playable demo of Final Fantasy XII, the extremely long-in-development, joining Square Enix's other revered RPG series. Though the content of this demo is the same as that featured at the Square Enix party in Japan last July,I think role playing game fans will enjoy the taste.

To see larger images and to read the full review, head over to gamespot's site.

Sony Stops production of rootkit CD's

"As a precautionary measure, Sony BMG is temporarily suspending the manufacture of CDs containing XCP technology," it said in a statement.
But this is after, denying, ignoring, and even president of Sony BMG saying, "Most people I think don't even know what a rootkit is, so why should they care about it? The software is designed to protect our CDs from unauthorized copying and ripping,"
Well scores of security experts, Windows System experts and even the government officials, bringing out the facts may have lead Sony to stop production.
I have read many a article regarding this issues. But yet to see the best Windows experts, Microsoft, doing or saying anything about this.
But virus makers, bot makers are happy to issue their versions of software that piggyback on sony's rootkit.
Visit Brian Krebs site, he covers this better than I do.
Sophos, which is based in the United Kingdom, said it would issue a tool later today to detect the existence of Sony's DRM copy-protection on Windows computers, disable it, and prevent it from re-installing

Friday, November 11, 2005

Sony rootkit survival kit, What? Here I go again.

A fellow blogger Ed Felten of Freedom to Tinker has published an article giving you enough information to survive and listen to your music. If have not bought any of the 20 odd CD's, stay clear, Don't buy Sony!
He starts with "HereÂ’s a handy bag of tricks for people whose computers are (or might be) infected by the SonyBMG/First4Internet rootkit DRM. The instructions here draw heavily from research by Alex Halderman and Mark Russinovich.". Go read.

Wahington Cast eyes on Sony like DRM practices.

The Sony DRM saga continues.geemodo: Californians (lawyers) Hit back Sony!
Brian Krebs has published another article related to Sony DRM Saga. Now officials in Washington seems to understand the impact of this type od DRM issues.
To quote
"I wanted to raise one point of caution as we go forward, because we are also responsible for maintaining the security of the information infrastructure of the United States and making sure peoples' [and] businesses' computers are secure. ... There's been a lot of publicity recently about tactics used in pursuing protection for music and DVD CDs in which questions have been raised about whether the protection measures install hidden files on peoples' computers that even the system administrators can’t find."
Visit his site to read the complete article.

Outfit Used Unsuspecting Bloggers to Spread its Malicious Code and FTC comes to your rescue!

FTC Shuts Down Spyware Operation!
Well this is not a gadget nor a gizmo! But I thought it is important to let the Bloggers know about it.

If you had free music, ring tones etc related to your blog, please read. I any of the following words are familiar to you please visit the FTC site by clicking on the header, and read the full article.
"Search Miracle,"” "“Miracle Search,"” "“EM Toolbar,"” "“EliteBar,"” and "“Elite Toolbar."”
If you got spy ware FTC also has a site that helps you. Here it is!

Well sometimes you get to thank Microsoft!
This case was brought with the invaluable assistance of the Microsoft Corporation, Webroot Software, Inc., and Google Incorporated.

An operation that uses the lure of free lyric files, browser upgrades, and ring tones to download spyware and adware on consumersÂ’ computers has been ordered to halt its illegal downloads by a U.S. District Court at the request of the Federal Trade Commission. The court also halted the deceptive downloads of an affiliate who helped spread the malicious software by offering blogs free background music. The music code downloaded by the blogs was bundled with a program that flashed warnings to consumers who visited the blog sites about the security of their computer systems. Consumers who opted to upgrade by clicking, downloaded the spyware onto their computers. The court has frozen the organizationÂ’s assets pending a further hearing. The FTC will seek to bar the deceptive and unfair practices permanently and require the operators to give up their ill-gotten gains.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

MP3 Set LOOs

n : a toilet in England
You got MP3's in your computer to listen while working!!!, in your IPOD to listen on the go. On CD's to play in the car. But did you have them in your LOO!
Now you can!
A japanese company Toto has released one Last week, Toto introduced their "N5A," the latest addition to their "Apricot" line of toilet seatswith integrated "bidets." A bit of a cultural note here --"washlet" is actually a brand name of Toto's, which began with their "Washlet G Series" in 1980. A "washlet" is a toilet seat with an integrated bidet. For those of you who have never had exposure to such a device, a bidet is a small nozzle that squirts water to "where it needs to be," for cleaning purposes after you've gone about your business on the toilet.

That brings us to the N5A, which is Toto's latest and the greatest. Packaged with the seat + washlet unit is the "Sound Rimocon," a wall-mounted remote control that offers various buttons for controlling all of the N5A's functions. Toto has integrated an SD card slot in the Sound Rimocon, and it supports the playback of the MP3 format. If that doesn't float your boat, there are 16 classical/healing tracks pre-loaded on the Sound Rimocon,including four original tracks by Toto.

New sort of gadgets, if you got the money!

Virtual property market booming!

An Island about $26,500.00 real money

Space Station about $100,000.00 real money
The guy who spent money on the island, The 23-year-old gamer known as Deathifier made the money back in under a year.
The virtual Treasure Island he bought existed within the online role-playing game Project Entropia.
He made money by selling land to build virtual homes as well as taxing other gamers to hunt or mine on the island.
Project Entropia offers gamers the chance to buy and sell virtual items using real cash, a trend which is gaining popularity as the boundaries between the virtual and real worlds continue to blur.
Last month, another of Entropia's virtual properties - a virtual space station - sold at auction for about $$100,000.00.
Game itself is free but items online are not. Playrs can spend real money playing the game.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Be cool as James Bond and have FBI in your pocket

News Source Businesswire

US Modular Announces Stainless Steel Look for All Mini Hard Drives; A New Clean and Sleek Look Gives Monstor and Dragon Drives a Makeover. Wired Magazine's Gadget Lab reviewed the FBiDrive.

US Modular (, a designer and manufacturer of personal memory and storage products, today announced a new look for the company's award-winning line of mini drives. All of the Monstor and Dragon Drives, with storage space ranging from two to 120 gigs of storage, will now ship in the high-tech sleek look of stainless steel.

The FBiDrive is a portable security product manufactured by Newport Scientific Research, LLC of Newport Beach, CA.The review by Nicole Lee, written in the column's traditional tongue and cheek fashion, highlights the product's secured storage, web password manager, and advanced biometric fingerprint sensor which she prefers "to one that can be fooled by Gummy Bear copies of my prints."

The FBiDrive sensor is not susceptible to being fooled by copies of fingerprint images or gels such as "Gummy Bears" which have consistently defeated other sensor technologies such as the less expensive optical scanners.

Lee comments about the FBiDrive unit reviewed, "With a name like FBi, I expected this 2-Gbyte USB flash drive to be as secure as Fort Knox. It comes close." The portable storage on the USB 2.0 unit varies with models ranging from 128 Megabytes to 4 Gigabytes.

"As a bonus, it held my web logins and passwords," commented Lee regarding the FBiDrive's onboard software featuring an encrypted password storage and bookmark utility which makes logging into web sites as easy as a click and a fingerprint.

Californians (lawyers) Hit back Sony!

Sorry about skipping on gadgets and continuing on the Sony DRM Saga.(previous posts Sony Saga1, Sony Saga 2). I just read here that California class action lawsuit has been filled on behalf of the California consumers. A second, lawsuit is expected to be filed against Sony in a New York court on Wednesday.
This is regarding the rootkit installed by some 20 odd Music CD's released by SONY/BMG.
CA Lawsuit requests to prohibit any further sales of CD's with rootkit and of course monitory damages. Thank you Sony, another lawyer get rich (if he wins), at consumers expense.
Scott Kamber, an attorney in New York, aims to file the new York suit today.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Sony’s Rootkit Saga Continues! And Sony/First4 claim innocence!!

Mark has got response from SONY/First4 and does not look as if they understand nor admits what they have done.
excerpt from Mark's Blog;
An email address is required in order to send the consumer the uninstall utility. The wording on the web site is the standard Sony BMG corporate privacy policy that is put on all Sony web sites. Sony BMG does nothing with the customer service data (email addresses) other than use them to respond to the consumer.

The Sony privacy policy the comment refers to clearly states that Sony may add a user’s email address to their marketing lists:

Except on sites devoted to particular recording artists, we may share the information we collect from you with our affiliates or send you e-mail promotions and special offers from reputable third parties in whose products and services we think you may have an interest. We may also share your information with reputable third-parties who may contact you directly.

Again, the fact is that most users of Sony’s DRM won’t realize that they even have software that can be uninstalled. Also, the comment does not explain why Sony won’t simply make the uninstaller available as a freely accessible download like they do the patch, nor why users have to submit two requests for the uninstaller and then wait for further instructions to be emailed (I still have not received the uninstaller). The only motivation I can see for this is that Sony hopes you’ll give up somewhere in the process and leave their DRM software on your system. I’ve seen similar strategies used by adware programs that make it difficult, but not impossible, for you to remove them.

Instead of admitting fault for installing a rootkit and installing it without proper disclosure, both Sony and First 4 Internet claim innocence. By not coming clean they are making clear to any potential customers that they are a not only technically incompetent, but also dishonest.

Well I wonder if these software come pre installed on sony computers?