Matt\’s Cuppa

My take on tea, technology, and our environment

Archive for the ‘OMG!’ Category

Some People Just Beg to Be Labeled

Posted by telecommatt on September 23, 2007

I was at the Renaissance Festival today. We were exploring one of the many small shops that line the perimeter of the festival grounds when I spotted this. Later, I had a souring experience with a very rude employee at a particular food vendor. To top it off, the edible we bought, which we look forward to each year, tasted horrible. I was tempted to go back and purchase this as a gift for the offending gentleman.

village_idiot

Posted in Humor, OMG! | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Matt’s Cuppa LinkRoundup for 9-22-07

Posted by telecommatt on September 22, 2007

I’m behind on my news feeds again. And that means it’s time for another Matt’s Cuppa LinkRoundup. Here are a few stories that I thought particularly interesting. Please comment or contact me with your thoughts.

Weekend Web 2.0 roundup for September 22nd

Filed under: , ,

lypp


LyppFree
group calls from a cell phone, mobile device or a desktop computer.
This service uses your existing landline (if you still have one) or
mobile number, but calls are done through IM applications like AIM,
Google Talk, MSN and Yahoo! The service is currently getting ready to
launch in a private beta.

Somewhat skeptical about mass adoption here. I’m wondering who will find value in this. Is this likely to be conference-calling-on-the-cheap or party line 2.0?

Science: How Evolutionary Biology Explains Office Politics

baboons.jpg

There may be ancient evolutionary impulses behind modern-day office politics.
If human nature is shaped by our monkey pasts, and the tens of
thousands of years our species spent as hunter-gatherers, we might want
to use some 100,000 year-old solutions to fights over the printer,
snarky sysadmins, and lateral promotions. In that spirit, Stanford
neuroscientist and author Robert M. Sapolsky offers Lifehacker some lessons from human prehistory to solve modern-day office dilemmas.

Now ask yourself, “Doesn’t that explain a lot?” Makes you think about your boss and coworkers in a whole new way, huh?

Information Addiction: A recent survey shows most Americans are …

A recent survey shows most Americans are uncomfortable going more than a day without the internet; online activity also lessens the amount of time people spend having sex and socializing with friends face-to-face.

No comment…

Office Supplies: Temporarily Pin Documents with Your Stapler

stapler-pinning.jpg

Blogger Jacob Grier discovers what Wikipedia calls “the least known
stapling method”: pinning. If you rotate the plate on the bottom of
your stapler, it will bend staples outward instead of inward to fasten
things temporarily. Easily remove a pinned staple by pulling it along
the plane of the document. Many modern staplers don’t have this feature
any more, so pick up an old-school model to try it out.
The stapler’s secret [Eternal Recurrence]

Ah, the joys of being a cube warrior again! Apparently, everything in my office requires a staple. I’ve seen staple marks on single sheets of paper often enough to no longer be surprised. As for “modern” staplers, a modern stapler in my little cube nation is one that still works! Which means I’ll have plenty of opportunity to try this little trick out.

Windows: Find Out If Your Computer Is Secretly Connecting to the Web

If
you are trying to track down why your computer is running so
slooowwwly, try using this simple DOS command from Digital Inspiration
to uncover a possible problem:

  • Type cmd in your Windows Run box.
  • Type “netstat -b 5 > activity.txt” and press enter.
  • After say 2 minutes, press Ctrl+C.
  • Type “activity.txt” on the command line to open the log file in notepad (or your default text editor)

This .txt file will have a record of everything that has made an
Internet connection in the last couple of minutes; you can then check
your task manager to find out where it is and take care of it.
Is Your Computer Connecting To Websites Without Your Knowledge [Digital Inspiration]

I might pull this out and file it under Tech Tips. It drives me crazy when something suddenly starts using my PC that isn’t me! Most of the time, it’s nothing to be concerned about, but when it gets in the way of what I’m doing, it’s gotta stop. This is especially true if I’ve been running Firefox for a while and it’s started swallowing my RAM whole.

Major Media Companies Found Hacking The Pirate Bayfrom Mashable! by Kristen Nicole

Some leaked emails at the MediaDefender-Defenders has granted The Pirate Bay
the proof it needed to file charges against several media companies.
These emails prove that some major record labels and film production
and distribution companies have hired professional hackers and
saboteurs to destroy The Pirate Bay’s trackers.

Okay, that’s just sad!

Beware of PDF Files! Adobe Security Vulnerability Found.

Don’t open any PDF files anytime soon. Better yet, don’t
even go to any websites where PDF files may be embedded. According to
hacker Petko Petkov, there’s a vulnerability in Adobe Acrobat/Reader
that lets malware into your Windows box with no prompts of any sort.
All you need to do is open a PDF file or open a URL that has a PDF file
embedded.
Petkov says that this has been confirmed for Adobe Reader 8.1 on
Windows XP, though a comprehensive list of other affected versions has
not been compiled or published. It’s important to note that this
vulnerability has not been confirmed by any third parties or Adobe as
of yet. A similar vulnerability for Quicktime on Firefox had been found by Petkov as well, and has been addressed with Firefox’s latest release 2.0.0.7.
[via wired]

Wow! Major setback for Adobe! Not to mention the entire corporate world… In the meantime, I highly recommend Foxit. It’s free, it’s fast, and it’s not Adobe.

Help Find Memory Leaks in Firefox

firefox logo

If you’re a Firefox enthusiast, the Mozilla community is
currently looking for additional volunteers to help reduce memory usage
and fix any memory leaks in the browser. If you’re not a
programmer, Firefox programmer Jesse Ruderman says you can still help:

“If you’re a Firefox user, an easy way to help is to browse
with a trunk nightly build wrapped in a script that calls leak-gauge.pl
when Firefox exits. If it reports that documents or windows leaked, try
to figure out how to reproduce the leak and then file a bug
report.”

The goal of the project is to reduce the memory usage in Firefox 3.
On his blog, Ruderman details a number of leaks that have already been
identified and fixed.
For more info on Firefox 3, check out the project’s wiki page at Mozilla.

Count me in! I very often will find that I have to do silly things like eat and sleep when I’m in the middle of a project or writing assignment. I prefer to leave Firefox running so I know exactly where I left off when I come back. And it’s not uncommon for me to find that Firefox is consuming a whopping 350+MB’s of memory. A portion of this is due to memory intensive Firefox extensions, but the majority is due to a known memory leak in Firefox itself. So, if you’re a Firefox user, roll up your sleeves and lets tackle this memory thing!

Your Very Own Podcasts–The Easy Way

So
you want to be a star? You don’t actually have to want to be a
star to begin recording and distributing your very own podcasts.
Increasingly, businesses and web sites of all stripes are turning to
podcasting for everything from online marketing to tutorials. Also,
many commuters and travelers now get business information from
podcasts. Web workers of numerous kinds can benefit from learning to
produce them, whether they are for audio blogs, remote presentations,
tutorials intended for a workgroup, or other purposes.

The good news is, the equipment you need to do very professional
material is either inexpensive or free, and there are multiple ways to
distribute your content to audiences that can grow in size if you
engage them. In this post, I’ll delve into some of the best
choices for your podcasting effort.

I’ve posted about podcasts and podcasting before, and I can’t stress enough the value a quality podcast can create for any business. It doesn’t matter if you’re a SOHO working in the basement or a marketing exec in a 500+ employee company, a quality podcast proves that you are the expert in what you do. After all, why does Emeril have a product line that sells successfully? Because he has a show that proves to people he’s the expert, with a personality that people come back for, and that people walk away from having learned something that’s important to them. (Just a note, podcasts don’t have to be audio-only. Vodcasting, with video, adds an entirely new dimension with which to engage your audience.) Do you know more than your competition? Prove it! Podcast it!

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Posted in Betas (as in not-the-fish), Firefox, Free/Open Source, Freelancing, LinkRoundup, Mobile, OMG!, Podcasts/Podcasting, Tech Tips | 2 Comments »

Mashable, Blog Action Day, and the Earth Herself

Posted by telecommatt on August 28, 2007

I was very disappointed when I read the Mashable post about Blog Action Day. Peter Cashmore’s sarcastic response to an event that nearly 3000 bloggers have decided to become personally involved in shows that he clearly missed the point. More than that, he seems to have forgotten the point of grassroots social activism.

So apparently October 15th is Blog Action Day,
a day when bloggers will unite to blog about the environment (video
above). Thank goodness the top politicians who have the power to divert
resources to this stuff are experts on blogs and the Internet;
otherwise this one would be a complete waste of time. It’s also
great to see bloggers taking real action, instead of just sitting
around blogging all day.

What saddens me the most is that if Mr.Cashmore, using the credibility and reach of Mashable.com, has convinced even one person that there is no point in participating in Blog Action Day, then he has dealt a blow to the entire environmental cause, and even to the earth herself.

It’s true that the political heavyweights will probably not read my blog on October 15th. That is not why I’m participating. I’m participating because one person who reads my blog might decide to do something or tell someone else. If Mr.President reads my blog on October 15th, that’s great! What I hope is that he personally decides to change one habit to help heal the earth. And if my next door neighbor reads my blog and changes one habit, that’s just as great!

I’ve written time after time that we can reverse the damage we’ve done to the environment one person at a time. Each decision you and I make, and each time we tell someone else what we are doing and why, that is a success story. But if just one person decides that Blog Action Day is a pointless exercise because people like Mr.Cashmore misuse the credibility and reach of podiums like Mashable, that is one success story that has been stolen from us, and that’s one more injury to our fragile environment.

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Posted in Blogging, Environment, OMG! | 1 Comment »

More On Unlocking Your Car Without Your Keys

Posted by telecommatt on August 2, 2007

Reader Shoshi point this story out. I’ve done a little reading on the whole RFID debate. Will it be something that makes our lives easier, or will governments and corporations use it to track everything we do? Honestly, I’m not sure which side I fall on, so, I will quote CNET’s Molly Wood, and stand firmly on the fence on this issue. For now, using a large needle to shoot something the size of a grain of rice under my skin does not appeal. Yes, a grain of rice is very small, but when you have to inject a grain of rice into your body, suddenly it seems very big. I am perfectly happy carrying my keys with me instead.

High Tech, Under the Skin – New York Times

By inserting the chip, a radio frequency identification device, Mr. Donelson would literally have at his fingertips the same magic that makes security gates swing open with a swipe of a card, and bridge and tunnel traffic flow smoothly with an E-ZPass. With a wave of his hand he planned to log on to his computer, open doors and unlock his car.

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Posted in OMG!, Our World | 2 Comments »

Unlock Your Car Door With Your Cell Phone

Posted by telecommatt on July 31, 2007

This sounds too cool to be true! I found this on the website of a reader here and I can’t decide if it’s straight out of Star Trek or a Monty Python skit. I totally need someone to debunk this! I like the idea though. If someone can come up with the science behind this, the please please send it my way!

Mobile Secrets – Nokia, Sony, SamSung, Lg Cell Phone Secrets

Subject: Have you locked your keys in the car? Does your car have remote keys?
This may come in handy someday. Good reason to own a cell phone: If you lock your keys in the car and the spare keys are at home, call Someone at home on their cell phone from your cell phone. Hold your cell phone about a foot from your car door and have the person at your.
home press the unlock button, holding it near the mobile phone on their end. Your car will unlock. Saves someone from having to drive your keys to you. Distance is no object. You could be hundreds of miles away, and if you can reach someone who has the other “remote” for your car, you can unlock the doors (or the trunk).

Editor’s Note: It works fine! We tried it out and it unlocked our car over a cell phone!”

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Posted in Mobile, OMG! | 28 Comments »

Microsoft, Facebook, and the iPhone in a Blender

Posted by telecommatt on July 20, 2007

 

Actually, someone already did the iPhone in a blender thing. Pretty cool stuff! Anyone else getting tired of Facebook-this and Facebook-that? And rumor has it (Per episode 519 from dear old Buzz Out Loud) that Apple will be releasing something in September. My prediction:

The iFacebookphone!!!

Could Facebook Become The Next Microsoft?

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Posted in Geekstuff, OMG! | Leave a Comment »

Bandits and Brigands of the Internet

Posted by telecommatt on July 20, 2007

I don’t know about you, but this makes my blood run cold. Stuff like this reminds me of the days of The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes. Not that I’m romanticizing the <insert own expletive here> people who do this sort of crap. More like, haven’t we come any further than the same bandits and brigands on the roads waiting to relieve unwary travelers of their fortunes? Despite the fact that swords have been out of favor in most places for a century or more, and no one robs us on our highways anymore because we’re moving at 65 miles an hour, we still have to worry about being robbed while we’re on the “information superhighway”. (I hate that phrase!) And perhaps the stakes now are even greater. Such threats follow us home and onto our computer hard drives. Where are King George’s men when you need them?? So, now we have bandits and brigands amongst our data taking what they will and holding the rest for ransom. So much for the noble highwayman nowdays!

Some days I feel like I should be running my entire machine using VMWare or Sandboxie.

New trojan says, “Your money or your data” – Download Squad

Trojan horses are a nasty breed. They infect and hide, usually not letting on their presence to the user. One particularly nasty new Trojan is making its unwelcome presence known, and in a rather creative and underhanded way.

Both Sinowal.FY and Gpcode.ai encrypt a user’s data, leaving in place a text file demanding $300 for a tool to decrypt your precious files. No word on what happens when you contact the culprits, but we can only imagine it’s not a cash and carry sort of deal. Oh brother.

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Posted in OMG! | Leave a Comment »

Yes, This Really Is The Most Terrifying Video You Will Ever See

Posted by telecommatt on June 11, 2007

This guy is my new hero. Seriously! If you’ve read my blog, you know that I’ve said over and over that it doesn’t matter if climate change is our fault. It doesn’t matter if nothing in Gore’s Inconvenient Truth is ever going to happen. It could be all bunk. But it doesn’t matter. What matters is that right now we have the chance to clean up the undeniable mess we’ve made on this planet. And if we use this time and make our planet a better place to live, what’s the worst that could come of it?

On the other hand, this guy does a really good job of explaining what the worst that could come of not acting is. And he does it all with a white board and a dry erase marker. To “wanderingmind42” if you ever read this post, thank you for taking this simple message and putting it into terms that no one seeing it will ever forget!

As the man says, please pass this on to your friends. And your enemies. And their friends and enemies…

YouTube – The Most Terrifying Video You’ll Ever See

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Posted in Environment, OMG! | 5 Comments »

Have you seen any nuclear material?

Posted by telecommatt on May 12, 2007

news @ nature.com – Have you seen any nuclear material? – Pakistan places advertisements regarding ‘misplaced’ isotopes.

A Pakistani public information campaign about what to do if you stumble across stray radioactive material is raising hairs on the necks of Western arms control experts.

Anyone else find this disturbing? I can’t decide whether this is an OMG or a WTF. I suppose that it’s better someone knows what to do with nuclear material when they find it rather than find it and not know what to do with it?

And for those who read the entire article, I can honestly say it never occurred to me that you can sell yellowcake to a pawnshop!

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Posted in OMG!, WTF?! | 2 Comments »

So Much for Reality

Posted by telecommatt on April 25, 2007

According to today’s Buzz Out Loud podcast, physicists has determined that there is no way no prove that the world actually exists when we can’t see it. Does that worry anyone else???

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Posted in Consciousness, OMG! | Leave a Comment »