Sunday, December 31, 2006

Free Ferrari's (laptop ;)) and computers from Microsoft (M$) to bloggers, Wants them back now.

But all those bloggers, don't worry about returning them. From what I read, you do not have to return or give away until you finish reviewing Vista. You may finish reviewing it in a few months, (installed Vista is pretty hefty and review might be depending on your ability, a narrowly focused journalist, a fanboy or a real tech geek) any way by the time you finish this, new set of patches will come your way. If you think you are done by this time, you are wrong, service pack one will be released, which will crash your Ferrari and if your had your air bag (Apple notebook) you can then return the thrashed Ferrari to M$.
I am not sour about not getting a computer from M$, I never applied, but I did review Vista, submitted bug reports, and decided not to use it other than for work. And I have a note book that has 160GB raid 1! How many did get that security?

But the issue is did M$ try to buy some good will by sending these computers to Bloggers? what ever the reason they did, M$ is getting enough negative backlash that it is almost laughable, if you are not a M$ fanboy or simply M$.
The best that came out of this Ferrari M$ saga is that EFF is getting some money to fight monopoly's like M$. Long live EFF.

EFF is getting Microsoft money
(Scroll down to bottom to see EFF Letter.
Person who gave this to EFF
What other blogger planing to do with their Ferrari's

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Apple Computer's iPod is the king of consumer electronics

According to released its "Best Of 2006 List" which includes the bestselling, most positively reviewed, most wished-for and favorite gift products as determined by customers in 2006.
Apple iPod came on the lists for the third year. Zune, I did not look for. I have listed below, lists where iPod made the lists.
Apple also made the most popular items, there were 4 Apple computers in top ten today including number one and two spots.

Follow the links below for complete information.

Most Popular Gift Products
# Books: The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream by Barack Obama
# Music: Duets: An American Classic by Tony Bennett
# DVD: Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
# Electronics: Apple 30 GB iPod with Video Playback

Most Wished-For Products

# Books: Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt
# Music: Taking The Long Way by Dixie Chicks
# DVD: Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
# Electronics: Apple 30 GB iPod with Video Playback Black (5th Generation)

Bestselling Products
# Books: Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap ... and Others Don't by Jim Collins
# Music: Taking The Long Way by Dixie Chicks
# DVD: Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
# Software: World of Warcraft
# Electronics: Apple iPods (various)

Amazons best of the best for 2006
Amazons most popular items today

Monday, December 25, 2006

Vista is at your door step but potentially serious flaws are already inside says experts.

Most ridicules statement I read from M$ in a while came out due these experts findings. And when New York Times get in to reporting Vista flaws, wall street might read too. Although I have been writing about Vista for while. I still say go get your happy feet, from penguins. It means Linux if you did not know. Anyway back to the news. The statement is;
“While I know this is a vulnerability that impacts Windows Vista, I still have every confidence that Windows Vista is our most secure platform to date.” said Mike Reavey, operations manager of the Microsoft Security Response Center.
I do not know where to turn with these stupid statements. I thought I could not write but it seems these managers even can't talk. It is like saying "Oh don't worry, buy this car, we have some troubles with the engine but this is the fastest car we ever built! see it even got tires."
I think when M$ means by security, is securing itself. WGA, OGA and Vista EULA is in place and I guess they are working, as far as M$ is concerned. From what I read not the users.
You can read more at the New York Times and my scribbles below.

Vista flaws detected.
Geemodo: Get your Vista Activated In China or M$ moved to China
Geemodo: WGA, OGA, Vista EULA and Happy Feet

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Ta da! play with your Gizmos have a super Holyday season

I hope Santa will come your way and Your holiday will be filled with laughter and Joy. If you pass by an unfortunate person, please try to make him/her smile. Don't forget that all the Kids are the same!

Best Regards!

Tags: , ,

Friday, December 22, 2006

Sony pays up for rootkit saga, but it is a pittance

Today California / Texas and 39 other states have settled with Sony BMG for including a rootkit with their music CDs. I wrote a lot about this last year, one of the articles;
Geemodo: Sony DRM ROOTKIT, Suncomm, EFF new removal tool, yet the consumer problems don't go away.
The website created to pay the settlement says Sony did not collect any personal information, they only collected CD ID, Track ID and IP ADDRESS! If IP address is not personal information, or that it leads to your personal information, I don't know what it is. I think lawyers should get all the court records on this case. If SONY can say IP Address is not personal information, when MPAA and RIAA comes calling with IP address to point to you in the court, bring out the amo. Courts will not be able to accept the evidence both the ways for music industry. I think I will post on Groklaw about this piece.
Every user whose computer was damaged with the rootkit, will receive upto $175.00 for all the troubles user went through.Most likely it is $7.50! and some songs. Looks like they getting off for a song. I do not know how the court access the damage value for each user but Sony BMG must have really good lawyers.
Some news reports say that you need to have documented report in order get the settlement payment. The documented evidence seems to be using SONY tools to remove the rootkit! HAHA, it did not completely remove the rootkit or it left some information behind, if I recall the saga right.
Anyway you need to visit the special website created to make your claim. Follow the links provided below. To make it difficult as possible the site is a mess. So follow the links as described and may be you will be able to recover your damages.

Notice to class members with a list of CDs.
Go here to file a claim

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Wii get channel updates

Many a Wii started flashing blue yesterday to announce the newly released updates. If your Wii was connected to the internet you could have downloaded the new weather channel and internet channel.
Weather channel goes live to provide current and future weather information. Provided by Weather news, forecasts can be accessed using a text list of cities or by using the Wii Remote to zoom in on a 3-D interactive globe.

Internet Channel, Opera Software announced that a trial version of its Web browser for Wii will be available on December 22, 2006 free of charge from the Wii Shop Channel.

The final version of the Opera browser will be available at the end of March 2007, and will be free for all Wii owners to download through the end of June. After June 2007, the browser will be available for download in the Wii Shop Channel for 500 Wii Points.

Wii home

Monday, December 18, 2006

Google NASA collaboration details anounced, Google will fly you to the Moon and Mars

Google and NASA will work together to to bring wealth of information, weather on Earth, Space travel available on the Internet, NASA said Monday.

Weather visualization and forecasting and tracking that occurs abroad the international space station are part of the projects that are under discussion. The NASA administrator, Michael Griffin, said the agreement with Google would "soon allow every American to experience a virtual flight over the surface of the moon or through the canyons of Mars."
So my guess is some sort of simulator similar to Google Earth, which might be called Google Moon and Google Mars traveler. What ever it is called I think they will be hits. Until now I thought that the was the place for me to explore Mars. But now I am looking forward to see what NASA will cook up with Google.

The Associated Press article regarding the agreement;
"MOFFETT FIELD, Calif.— Google Inc. and NASA Ames Research Center said Monday that they have finalized an agreement to deliver more of the space agency's imagery and information through the Internet's leading search engine.

The collaboration marks another step in a partnership announced 15 months ago when Google unveiled plans to build a 1 million-square-foot campus at the NASA center, located a few miles south of the company's Mountain View headquarters.

Under the arrangement, Ames will feed Google with its weather forecasting information, three-dimensional maps of the moon and Mars, and real-time tracking of the International Space Station and space shuttle flights so the pictures and data are available to anyone with an Internet connection.

"This agreement between NASA and Google will soon allow every American to experience a virtual flight over the surface of the moon or through the canyons of Mars," NASA Administrator Michael Griffin said in a statement.

Google already draws upon some of NASA's imagery to provide Web surfers with interactive tours of Mars as part of a 9-month-old service.

Ames and Google also have vowed to work together to solve complex computing problems, including large-scale data management.

"Partnering with NASA made perfect sense for Google, as it has a wealth of technical expertise and data that will be of great use to Google as we look to tackle many computing issues on behalf of our users," Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said in a statement."

Explore Mars Now
Google current Mars site
Mars Image Library

Blu-Ray for your PC or Notebook

May be so far you have been thinking of Blu-Ray as one of the best High Definition (HD) video player. But Blu-Ray is capable of much more than that. ZDNet has an article by Marty Gordon Vice President, Philips Hollywood office, about PC manufacturers adding Blu-Ray to their products or in the process of doing so. The list includes Pioneer, Sony, Samsung, BenQ, Panasonic and Philips and DELL being one of the first to add Blu-Ray to product line.
I think a 50GB or so writable media will be a great benefit to many a people including me. I have 240GB drive capacity on my dual hard drive notebook. But only 120GB is at my disposal. Why? because I have raided my drives for protection. I do most of my work on my notebook and any given time there could be 1-5 active projects and 1-10 projects on hold and 1-5 completed projects ready to be archived to devices on the home network or at work. These runs to about 50GB due to the nature of my work. A Blu-Ray disk will take all these data and keep it safe and at hand.
This particular notebook could be booted in to 6 different OS's, Windows, Linux, BSD, and Solaris x86. If I could make a bootable Blu-Ray disk, there will be no worries about failing hard drives. All my OS's allow me to load it in to the memory, ( I have 2GB of memory) except windows. But I have an live boot CD that is concocted using windows and open source technologies.
Yes I like what Blu-Ray is doing to video, I just got a 1080P Sony Barvia. But I am looking forward to see how Blu-Ray and HDDVD perform on this baby. But I like to have a Blu-ray for my computer first!.

Blu-Ray Buzz on ZDnet

Sunday, December 17, 2006

MPAA continue to show it's stupidity and make us laugh

MPAA and RIAA has been laughable in many occasions for their pathetic lawsuits and attempts to curb piracy. Tech Reads helped me to get my latest laugh at their expense.
I thought they were incapable of doing something right, because with their money and other resources, could have come out with solutions like iTunes a years ago, when they started wagging sticks at likes of MP3.COM. They failed then and according to their ad campaign looks like they fail now.
Thanks RIAA, the only music I listen now is via the radio.
Tech News high lights;
"Notice the obvious grammar error in their quote? Conclusive proof the MPAA is a gang of morons? I think so.

Pirated movies are cheaper than the ones we sell:

Even if you are hoping to get your favorite movie titles at a discount, new or used, the extremely low prices offered on some Web sites might indicate pirated product.

Pirated copies, unlike ours contain no DRM and are region free:

In addition, if anywhere on the package it reads that the disc is an “All-Region,” “0-Region,” or “No Region” product, it’s highly likely that the DVD is pirated.

Is pirating your movies starting to sound better and better? Would you like to learn more? Excellent, the MPAA kindly gives you a list of applications you can use to download free movies. As a courtesy they’ve also said that these programs can be used to download that $600 Adobe product you’ve always wanted, or that South Park episode you missed.

A peer-to-peer service is a network that enables computers to connect directly to each other in order to distribute and copy files. Software programs utilize these networks to search for and trade every kind of file. Examples of P2P services include eDonkey, KazaA, Limewire and DirectConnect.

Careful kids, because as well all know downloading music is FAR more damaging and worse than stealing a used pair of shoes.

It is no different from stealing another person’s shoes or stereo, except sometimes it can be a lot more damaging.

I’m convinced, are you?"

Read more of juicy stuff and comments at given link.

Tech News "MPAA is helping their users.."

Thursday, December 14, 2006

2007 International CES® in Vegas January 8-11

The world’s largest consumer technology tradeshow, 2007 International CES® will be held from January 8-11 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Multitude of companies will be exhibiting at the show and These companies represent more than 30 consumer technology categories, including electronic accessories, broadband, digital imaging, electronic gaming, high-performance audio, home theater, mobile electronics, robotics, VoIP and wireless communications.
The organizers inform that The 2007 International CES promises to be the largest and most successful in the show's 40-year history, with 2,700 exhibitors debuting the latest innovations in consumer technology to an expected 140,000 industry buyers, distributors, engineers, installers, financial analysts, top-level executives, media and industry professionals.

One of the exhibitors, Fijutsu Computer Products of America plans to introduce many technologies that goes beyond consumer electronics. "Fujitsu has supported CES for many years and it has become an important venue to help us introduce new products and meet with business leaders from around the world," said Joel Hagberg, vice president, marketing and business development, Fujitsu Computer Products of America Inc. "This year we are excited to showcase leading-edge technology that will promote biometric security, high-performance storage, 10Gb Ethernet switching, Internet acceleration and high-security data disposal. An important part of the consumer electronics industry involves securing, moving, storing and eliminating data and we are excited to discuss how our technology can serve this market."

The 2007 International CES will host more than 20 market-specific TechZones. Half of these TechZones will be housed at Innovations Plus at the Sands Expo and Convention Center/Venetian which also is home to the award-winning Innovations Showcase. These TechZones will highlight the latest innovations, technologies and trends in consumer electronics including Blu-ray, Bluetooth, IPTV, consumer VoIP, connected home entertainment and gaming.

For more news on CES before, during and after the show, including keynote speeches, individual conference sessions and TechZones, visit, the interactive source for CES information.

The news Source, CEA via Business wire
2007 International CES®

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Why M$ Live is dead and other views

After reading Ravenii's post; VOIP IP Telephony: M$ drops Live and adds VOIP to Communication server 2007 and wondering why Microsoft is dropping "LIVE" from products, I set out to look for reasons.
I did not have to go far, the attention blog directed me to New York Times article.
One paragraph from the interview was enough for me and I came back to The attention.

"“I don’t know if Live is the right name,” he said, saying he had not decided what to do about it. But before he gets around to deciding whether to change the brand, he wants to make Microsoft’s search engine itself more appealing to consumers.", This is from Steve Berkowitz who runs microsofts online services unit.

The Attention has put together some of the revelations by M$ online head honcho into understandable sections. I am sure you will understand some of the M$'s problems and hope M$ listen to it's own people. Looks like live is dead.
The best of The Attention got me laughing.
"However, Berkowitz does hit upon the key challenge for Microsoft at the end of the interview.

“You don’t win in the first 90 percent; it just gets you in the game,” [Berkowitz] said. “What matters to people is emotional attachment. And I think that’s the last 10 percent.”"

Only emotion I got about M$ was when crappy windows crash on me when I for get about WGA. So you know what it is.

My own WGA feelingsGeemodo: WGA, OGA, Vista EULA and Happy Feet

The Attention's Losing customer
New York Times Article

Google Toolbar 3.0 beta, for Firefox is ready

All the features that recent IE Google Toolbar had is now ready for Firefox. The Google Toolbar 3.0 Beta, lets you access your bookmarks from any computer, add custom buttons to your Toolbar, and share web pages via Blogger, Gmail, and SMS.
In addition to the above, just for Firefox users. When you surf the web, you may want to read *.DOC and *.xls right in your browser. Most of the time, you had to download those files and view them with a separate application. Now with the aid of Google Docs & Spreadsheets, you will be able to read those files right in Firefox.
So if you are trying to get away from proprietary formats and yet be able to communicate with rest of the world that equates computers to M$, this tool bar may ease some of your tasks.

Google Blog, Toolbar upgrade for Firefox
Google Toolbar 3.0 Beta
Google Docs & Spreadsheets

Beta from Blogger beta will be removed soon!

Blogger buzz reports that;
"Just before the weekend we added the final piece to the transition from old Blogger to the new Blogger in beta: members of team blogs can now switch to the new Blogger. This is the last step before we take the new Blogger out of beta."
I have blogs in both older blogger and new beta. I have not moved from older to new yet. There are differences even if you change them right now. Blogger has a special help file explaining the differences.
I think I will hold to what I have for the moment. But I think new blogger will have a swell time soon new Blogger!

Blogger help article explaining the old blogs in new blogger
Blogger Buzz article

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Dashnote is getting better, yes they tweaked!

If you recall my previous article about Dashnote and fleck a while ago;
Geemodo: Is Fleck flaking? No Dashnote needs tweaking! I said Dashnote needs tweaking. Looks like Ranjit and the group has done some work.
Among the improvements are the followings;
Public Topics: Registered Users can create their own Topics (customized bookmarks) and enable others to contribute and view notes.
Notes Management: Users can manage their notes and snapshots and do not have to register to use this functionality.
Annotation Viewer: The UI for viewing notes has been substantially streamlined.

Also a new demo where you could see different attributes of dashnotes. The idea is very good as I said before but the bones are getting in and begining to show the shape to come.
I wish all the luck for the group!

Dashnote site
Dashnote Soft release 2 Post
Dashnot demo

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Dual Mode portable PC / Game machine / VOIP phone

Always resourceful Aving site reports of, M*free', its new wireless IP-based hybrid portable device equipped with dual OS, dubbed 'HDPC (Hybrid Dual Portable Computer)'. As the name 'HDPC' signifies, its built-in module offers various functions of multiple devices such as digital camera/web camera, MP3P, portable storage, and USB connectivity presented by MIU at 'Seoul International Invention Fair 2006'

HDPC at Aving

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Snapstream releases Beyond TV 4.5 with DVD burning plugin

I have mentioned before about Snapstrem and Beyond TV before in my blog and I am truely happy with the application.
The Beyond TV 4.5 is a free update for registered users and comes with a bunch of enhansements and bug fixes.Notable fixes are the library issue with more than 100 recordings and the community contributed and improved WebAdmin.
Another notable addition is the optional plugin for DVD Burning. You can burn saved TV shows to DVD for later viewing or to free up your hard drive.
If you do not have Beyond TV yet, Snapstream has made it easier for you to join, A package with Beyond TV 4.5 and Hauppauge PVR-150MCE for sale at 99.99 which is usually sold for 139.99. Right now shipping is free!
The PVR-150MCE's on-board hardware MPEG-2 encoder does all the work so your PC continues to run at full speed while you record your favorite shows. Also includes an FM radio tuner (supported in Beyond TV 4).

Follow the links and find a way to build a PC-DVR, for about $100.00 without any subscription fees.

Beyond-TV Release
Beyond-TV Bundle

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Drupal, Venture Skills, let you get Dugg like Digg while Pligg getting older

I ran in to a article by venture skills site, a site I visit for tech info on various subjects.
I have been interested in site like Digg, just because of; it's popularity, neatness, value and you can add what ever you want here. There are many a solutions to create a Digg site since many followers has come up with clever ideas. Pligg comes to my mind but there are many more.
By the way Pligg is having its Birthday soon Dec 17, and site promises gift galore on that day. So paying a visit might pay off.
But VS article is the first I notices targeting Drupal, a product that I have been playing, installing and maintaining for a few years.
VS takes you through simple steps of installing Drupal, and adding modules to complete the required task to get dugged.
At the end of instructions, you will have a simple Digg like site but VS promises a second article that will add more modules and interface mods.
So if you want to get digged, dugged, follow the links.

Venture Skills Drupal digg article
Pligg digg like

Monday, December 04, 2006

Free Geek using land fills to fill the digital divide

First of all what is Free Geek;
"FREE GEEK is a 501(c)(3) not for profit community organization that recycles used technology to provide computers, education, internet access and job skills training to those in need in exchange for community service."
Free Geek was founded in February 2000 to recycle computer technology and provide low and no-cost computing to individuals and not-for-profit and social change organizations in the community and throughout the world. Since its formation, Free Geek has recycled over 360 tons of electronic scrap and refurbished over 3,000 computer systems that are now in use by individuals and organizations in the community.

Free Geek does most of this work with volunteers (at any given time, about 200 are active). The volunteers disassemble the donated equipment and test the components, which are either recycled as electronic scrap or recycled into refurbished systems. These refurbished computers are then loaded with Open Source Software, such as GNU/Linux, Open Office, and other Free Software.

One way to say Hasta La Vista.

"People who have never even turned on a computer can come here, and in a few hours, they feel a lot better about their relationship with technology," Sano says. "Maybe it's just that they take a computer apart and learn that it's mostly made of air."
Free Geek's approach has made it a cherished hub of Portland's non-profit and social-services community. Besides providing systems to individual volunteers, the organization outfits other nonprofits and provides them with tech support. Free Geek's cooperative structure -- it governs itself through regular, democratic meetings open to all volunteers -- and relentless focus on getting computers and training to those most in need also win lots of plaudits.

"Not all of our volunteers are low-income, but many are," says Shawn Furst, Free Geek's volunteer coordinator. "By getting them computers and skills, we're helping them take a big step up in the job world. If they go through our entire computer-building program -- where they're actually doing every step of the process -- all of a sudden they're up about seven steps."

"There are other places where you can learn the same things you can learn at Free Geek," chimes in Kermit Jensen, a corporate high-tech veteran who's become an indefatigable Free Geek volunteer in retirement. "But they would charge you up to $1500 a week."

Half a decade after it started in a Portland living room, Free Geek can now back up its mission with some impressive statistics. It processes about 100 donated systems a day, and builds between 20 and 30 computers a week. All those systems go out the door -- either free to volunteers, or for as little as $25 at the organization's jumbled shop. Free Geek's in-house server, a Rube Goldberg-like contraption assembled over the years from donated equipment, has an estimated worth of over $200,000.

Free Geek
News Source

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Get your Vista Activated In China or M$ moved to China

Josh's Window weblog reports that, even though the Business Edition of Vista was just released, a rogue Key Management Service (KMS) has already surfaced on the net, deep within China. Once activated your illegal copy of Windows Vista will be good for 180 days before it needs to talk to the KMS server again.
Key Management Service is aimed to protect Windows Vista and Longhorn Server from piracy through Volume Activation 2.0 scheme. According to Microsoft,

Key Management Service
Your organization can host the Key Management Service (KMS) internally to automatically activate computers running Windows Vista. To use the KMS, you must have a minimum of 25 computers running Windows Vista that are connected together. Computers that have been activated through KMS will be required to reactivate by connecting to your organization's network at least every six months.

Currently the KMS software runs on a local computer running Windows Vista or the Microsoft Windows Server Code Name "Longhorn" operating system. In the future, it will run on the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 operating system.

Looks like the Chinese outfit is running this service on the internet, which Microsoft does not allow.
Anyway the server or the domain was not available today. Even if it did, do not go there with your Vista copy, they are the same domain that released, Ginwui malware. So you might get more than activation. In any case if you were interested in Vista, you may have got the Beta or pre release version and you can run it till June or July 2007 and will receive all updates etc.
The question is how many other holes are there in Vista and Vista protection Scheme?

The pirate site is not listed because I do not support piracy. I do not like M$ practices, but like software I write, and the rights I have, M$ has it's own rights.
If you don't like M$ go get your happy feet

Josh's Window weblog
Geemodo: WGA, OGA, Vista EULA and Happy Feet

Friday, December 01, 2006

Get your copy if free Vista today!

MIA, (Microsoft is Awesome) [what?*&!}
Is giving away some copies of Vista. I do not know how true it is and then again it could be true. It is your judgment and I am just a messenger. So don't spent your time here go to the link below!, and be ready to write a haiku, I did!!

Microsoft Is Awesome: Microsoft Truely Is Awesome