tech - hawg
Monday, October 24, 2005
  Easter eggs a no-no in Microsoft products?
I never knew of this DOS 2.0 easter egg but this article brings up some interesting points. Microsoft has forbidden their employees from planting easter eggs in any of their products, stating that it is grounds for immediate dissmissal. Why? I know that (and the article touches on this) as a gamer, I have spent countles hours trying to obtain certain items in a given Final Fantasy game, or searched for days on end for skulls in Halo 2 and the time spent resulted in me spending that much more time with the game and that much more time talking about it. I think throwing in a bug or two here or there is pretty harmless. As long as their not of the "hot coffee" variety.
  iTrip for the iPod Nano is iSeamless

Griffin Technology's iTrip for the recently released iPod Nano feautres what their calling a "sled" design which fits the Nano like an ankle sock, plugging into the iPod Nano's deck and headphone connectors. Now you can fm tune your iPod Nano in sleekness and style.
Sunday, October 23, 2005
  no we're not
sorry about the whole moving thing. I was going to move over to's free service but since I wasn't going to be able to edit the Cascading Style Sheets, I had to pass on it.
  we're moving... a new url

i'll post it soon...
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
  more on Steve Jobs' iPod video unvieling
Engadget has a nice write up on the keynote Jobs gave, I found the last few sentences, which talked about downloading tv shows, pretty cool.
Yes, you can buy current episodes, and you can buy them the day after they are broadcast. They're ad free so you don't need to fast forward through the commercials, 320 x 240 again. An hour show is about the size of five albums. Depending on your speed it's about 10-20 minute to download an episode. What are they going to cost? $1.99 an episode for current season and past seasons. We have free previews on every episode.

Thanks everyone

Cot dang, they are moving pretty quick in to branching into different types of media. Now you can download tv shows, the day afer they air? Commercial free? From ABC that is. Seems like most of the popular shows are on ABC anyway. Now, all I need now is an iPod Nano video. That'd be schweet.
  iPod video
Nevermind, it already was announced.
  iPod video coming very soon
With the new version of iTunes that was recently released, you can purchase and download music videos at $1.99 a pop. The videos take up 20mb of storage and as of right now, you can also purchase and download a few Pixar short films. You can even download tv shows. This is good for me since I would need to download the most recent Lost episodes to watch and least 20-30 times. Now how long until we get an official iPod video announcement. I say really soon, like within the next few days.
  The reason Microsoft and RealNetworks are working together...
...they're gunning for Apple and their hipster-lovin' iPod
  Microsoft settles with RealNetworks
Microsoft agrees to pay RealNetworks $761 million to settle their legal disputes. Both companies also announce that they're going to be working together, integrating RealNetworks Rhapsody service and games with MSN.
Monday, October 10, 2005
  Sony Ericsson officially announces "Hermione"
Sony Ericsson has officially announced the P990 3G-enabled smartphone which was previously known as the "Hermione". The phone will be Wi-Fi enabled (hmm, link to Skype maybe?), will come with a 2MP digital camera and a keyboard underneath the flip-down keypad.
  Chris Prillo releases search service
Chris Prillo released a pretty cool search service in which you include your search query in the URL of the site itself. Further closing the gap between you and your beloved results. The service is called, as in, as in you gada be using this etc... you integrate your query into the serach by typing it in like so: say chunky bacon was your query, you would then visit use this url, a period tells to run the uery as a quoted statement ("chunky bacon") while a - (as in implies the AND operator.
From Chris' blog:
You're going to save time and bandwidth immediately; imagine how long it would take to traverse all those sites just to find the one thing you were looking for!? If you tend to view only the top results for a cursory search, why not just feed you the top results in one easy spot (where you can subsequently subscribe to them)?

It was borne out of several frustrations. If you've ever tried to visit a Web site over a mobile device, you know it's a pain in the knuckle. The domain had to be simple to key-in from anywhere. is 4232.2233 on most cell phones and/or PSP. Normally, when you want to find something online, you have to choose a Web site (wait for the page to load) enter the query (wait for the second page to load) then see results from that provider. With "," you insert the query *AS* the subdomain!
  Save your PC bays with this 23 in 1 drive
Cot dang, on this 23-in-one drive from Japanese company Conpane fits a multicard reader, a SATA port, a USB port, a Firewire port, Audio in & Out ports, and a Video in port just to name seven of 23 ways you can inteface with this device. Now if can get two of them, I'd be set...for 6 months or so when some new format comes out and renders have the technology on this board obsolete, gotta love it!
  Sony releases lockable hard drive
Sony releases a $300 portable 80 Gigabyte USB 2 hard drive that will lock itself when you're away, as determined by the wireless keychain dongle. Alternatively, you can use a password other than your child's/wife's/highschool sweatheart's/college roomate's name and pocket the $300 to blow it later on something else you don't need.
  iPod inspired mobile phone
The obviously iPod inspired (not in a bad way) Bird MP300/Bird W1 mobile phone has an iPod like jog dial that you can use to scroll through your music. Bird's MP300 phone is a GSM Triband phone that comes with a .3 mega pixel camer (better off using a real digital camer I'd say) and 128MB of built in memory.
  Why I'm about to leave Firefox to go back to Internet Explorer
I like Firefox and all, and sure, Firefox introduced me to tabbed browsing and greasemonkey, but it also made me realize what Internet Explorer did well and how I miss it.

For starters, on my system (and any other system I've loaded Firefox on and attempted to use) Firefox just "seems" heavy. It takes longer to load, about 15-25 seconds on average. I also had some issues with the memory leaks but they were fixed with more recent builds. I also don't like how the download window take for friggin ever to popup when I attempt to download something. I know it can be turned off, but I liked that window so it would have been nice for it to work without locking up all instances of the Firefox browser I have running. What I think it all basically comes down to is me wanting to have my cake and eat it too. I want the tabbed browsing experience, I like the way downloading files work and the whole password management system. I like the browser itself notifing me of just released uprgades. I also want the application to be as snappy as Internet Explorer is.

Now granted, Internet Explorer is probably more ingrained into the OS (Windows OSs, from XP to Win 2k3 server) than Firefox could hope to be, but when I'm browsing the net I don't want to have to wait to get to where I need to go. Internet Explorer is just quick, consistantly. I open it up and I'm off and running. One thing I don't think is as big an issue as everyone makes it out to be is security. As long as your up to date on hotfixes and patches, ,you'll be ok. I'm not saying that you'll never get hit, it's just that your odds look better if you stay on top of things. Come to think of it, this is something IE does pretty badly. I wouldn't know if there is an IE related hotfix out there unless I had automatic updates turned on and even then, it's the operating system telling me I need all of these other hotfixes too.

There's a reason I titled this article "Why I'm about to leave Firefox..." and not "I'm leaving Firefox...". I still dig the lil go getter of a browser. They're bringing the browser battle to Microsoft and have done so with new, innovative features and way better CSS Standards support. At this point I don't dislike Firefox enough to leave it so I'll stay the course just to keep away from the rigidity and staleness that has come to be Internet Explorer [end rant].
  Netzero gets into VOIP
Seems like releasing your own VoIP serivce is the soup-du-jour as Netzero is getting into the market. For netzero's sake, I hope they can turn this into something valuable for them and their customers. Is this going to be for their dial-up users?
  Bye Bye Blackberry?
Looks like Research in Motion might be forced to cutoff service for most of their US users. Basically they're infringing on a bunch of e-mail patents filed by a company called NTP Inc. NTP charged them with patent infringement and won and just recently, The Us court of appeals rejected Research in Motion's request to rehear their appeal. Ouch.
  Blog searching with Sphere
Om Malik digs the yet to be out of beta blog searching service, Spehere.
  Cell phone market headed for more growth
Nokia's Chief Executive Jorma Ollila is looking forward to 2006. With high speed 3G services to improve upon what's available today, Nokia and Qualcomm are expecting the market to pick up as people go for these newer high-speed phones, either new customer or people upgrading from their older, out-of-date models.
 The buzz that there is in the Middle East, the Gulf and Africa is the same we saw in China seven or eight years ago in the early part of the market cycle, the same we saw a couple of years ago in Latin America
  CReate your own Lego, pinhole camera
Comes with pictures of the Lego-built camera and everything.
  Yahoo hopping into Podcast game
Yahoo is hoping to capitalize on the podcasting craze by unleasahing a service that will make it easier to sift through the thousands (millions?) of podcasts out there already. I hope Odeo can hold it's own, it looks like they should be able to.
Friday, October 07, 2005
  Oh, you're so helpful

Thank goodness for They've always been so helpful, like in todays c*ckring tip. Woke me right up this morning.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
  Web 2.0 services mashups
Digg on some mashups of the most popular web 2.0 companies
  HBO vs BitTorrent
Looks like HBO has something grand riding on the success of their new show "Rome". So much so that they've taking to poisoning torrent downloads by offering up fake clients.
In addition to an older tactic of offering bogus downloads that never complete, HBO is now obstructing the downloads offered by other people. BitTorrent downloads are peer-to-peer, but the peers are introduced to each other by a tracker ("you're looking for Rome Season 1 Episode 2, talk to"). HBO runs peers that tell the tracker they have all the chunks of the show, but then send garbage data when a downloader requests a chunk. The downloading client can detect that it's garbage and will try another peer for the chunk, but the end result is that it takes much much longer to download shows.

The sad thing is, this tactic is pretty effective and damn annoying (not that I've ever downloaded anything of questionable legal content...ever). The "good" thing is that torrent tracker software will most likely be able to detect these spam clients and the bad data they send out, making the system that much more effective. In a way you could kind of thank HBO for forcing that next step in innovation.
  Dell goes open source

Got an open source hankerin and need a good, cheap PC quick? Dell thought you would and in their grand foresight, they have decided to release the Dimension n Series E510 machines that give you the ability to install the OS of your choice.
  Eminem files suit against ringtone companies
Eminem is going after Colorado-based Cellus USA, Georgia-based FanMobile, New York-based, New Jersey-based MyPhoneFiles and New Jersey-based MatrixM LLC for selling his music as cell phone ringtones without his authorization. Since ringtones are now big business, you gotta be sure to get your cut.
  A picture of the Kong

Awsome one-sheet teaser picture for Peter Jackson's (can he be any cooler now?) upcoming King Kong flick. Not really tech related but just flat out geek cool.
  Google directly gunning for Microsoft
Google is going right for the Microsoft jugular with this new deal they have with Sun. Apparently no one had really come up and specifically stated their plans but Austrailian Sun spokesman Paul O'Connor he confirmed that Google will be launching free spreadsheet and word processing web services, directly gunning for Microsoft's bread and butter (or at least a big chunk of it).
O'Connor states:
At the moment most people are used to having to pay for software packages, but at the end of the day, the value is in the content and services – not in the software itself...
Ouch, looks like Google is going to out-Microsoft Microsoft.

  Oh schanp! Weblogs (Endgadget, Joystiq etc..) sells to AOL
Woah, didn't see this one coming. Jason Calacanis has sold his Weblogs Inc. empire to AOL for around $20-$35 million. He didn't comment on this recent development yesterday, but we should be getting more details today. 
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
  The return of Marc Andreessen
Mr Netscape himself, Marc Andreessen, has unvield his latest project. It's called Ning and it's not a product as much as it is a framework that is supposed to make building social apps easier. From the site's FAQ:
Ning is a free online service (or, as we like to call it, a Playground) for people to build and run social applications. Social "apps" are web applications that enable anyone to match, transact, and communicate with other people.

Our goal with Ning is to see what happens when you open things up and make it easy to create, share, and discover new social apps. These might include for any city, your own take on Craigslist...for any passion, your own take on any interest, your own take on Zagat...for any event, your own take on Flickr...for any school, your own take on the Facebook...for any topic, your own take on any mammal, your own take on Hot or Not or Kitten War.

You choose the app, decide for whom it's most relevant, create the categories, define the features, choose the language - or just clone an app that's already up and running on Ning - and be on your way.
I must say that this came out of left field for me but even though I didn't really see it coming, I must say it's look dang spiffy.

Monday, October 03, 2005
37Signals latest project, Writeboard, allows you to create a web-based document and share it with anyone you want. Allowing you to compare the many versions you're document will most likely go through as it gets edited by the people you collaborate with. Check out their tour and the reviews already beginning to seep their way into the blogsphere for more info.
Cell phones, Gadgets, DVRs and DAPs. All around Tech-coolery....


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