Found 24 posts tagged with 'news'

TV Video Resolutions Explained

January 09, 2007 — 0 Comments

Just thought that I would drop a little link in here while I have a second to post. Jeff Croft recently wrote an excellent article on TV video resolutions. This is by far the best explanation of television resolutions I’ve ever seen – bar none.

If you’re still wondering what the difference between 720p, 1080i and 1080p are, you need to visit this site.

Hacking Democracy

November 02, 2006 — 0 Comments

I just finished watching the tail end of HBO’s documentary, Hacking Democracy. Having not watched the beginning of the program, I can’t comment on the entire program but what I can comment on is the end where they show, live on camera, a way to flip an election winner without compromising the total number of votes.

In the documentary, they took a random Diebold voting machine and had 8 people cast a ballot (written – they had to mark yes or no). The ballot asked a simple question, somewhere along the lines of “Do you think that this can be hacked?” 6 people marked that it could not be hacked and 2 people marked that it could be hacked.

The election official put in a card, that was previously hacked by a infosec guru to flip votes, and ran the ballots through. The first thing the machine does is to do a self test to make sure that it can do a zero vote count, which it does properly; 0 for yes and 0 for no.

The official then ran the ballots through and then a piece of paper that signifies the end of voting. The Diebold machine printed out the results. They were no less than astounding. According to the machine, 7 people voted that it could be hacked and 1 person voted that it could not be hacked. 8 total votes, yet completely false information.

The next step was to check the actual record on the card, so they took the card out and fed the information into the tabulating program GEMS. Same result. 7 said that it could be hacked and 1 said that it could not be hacked.

Of course, Diebold has called for HBO to pull the documentary and called and said that the information was inaccurate.

Look, I’ll be honest with all y’all. The documentary seems to have a left-leaning air about it and I don’t believe everything that I see on TV (hell I saw Copperfield make the Statue of Liberty disappear. Ask me if I believe that one.) but this documentary should make everyone stop and think.

After watching the program, a few questions were left in my mind.

Should electronic voting machines be closed source or should it be open source? Closed source meaning that only the manufacturer knows how it works and open source meaning that the guts of the system would be available for all to see so that no one can try to pull a fast one. Of course “all to see” is a bit of a misnomer. Only technically minded people would be able to actually interpret and understand the source code and technical schematics of the hardware, but I’d feel more comfortable if hundreds of thousands of eyes were looking at something like this rather than trusting a company to do it.

Should candidates from any party be able to select which machines are used for any electronic voting or should the company be selected by an independent council?

Should candidates of any party be able to buy stock or support companies that make voting machines?

Newegg Phishing Email

October 10, 2006 — 5 Comments

This morning, I noticed that there was an email in my inbox from info@newegg.com. I’ve ordered stuff from Newegg in the past and that’s always the email address that they use to send out emails.

The email referenced an order ID (37679041) in the subject line. I thought that this was strange, since I hadn’t ordered anything lately from them. The rest of the message was a bit startling.

The message, in its entirety reads:

Dear Customer,

Thank you for ordering from our internet shop.
If you paid with a credit card, the charge on your statement will be from name of our shop.

This email is to confirm the receipt of your order.
Please do not reply as this email was sent from our automated confirmation system.

Date : 08 Oct 2006 – 12:40
Order ID : 37679041

Payment by Credit card

Product : Quantity : Price
WJM-PSP – Sony VAIO SZ370 C2D T7200 : 1 : 2,449.99

Subtotal : 2,449.99
Shipping : 32.88
TOTAL : 2,482.87

Your Order Summary located in the attachment file ( self-extracting archive with “37679041.pdf” file ).

PDF (Portable Document Format) files are created by Adobe Acrobat software and can be viewed with Adobe Acrobat Reader.
If you do not already have this viewer configured on a local drive, you may download it for free from Adobe’s Web site.

We will ship your order from the warehouse nearest to you that has your items in stock (NY, TN, UT & CA). We strive to ship all orders the same day, but please allow 24hrs for processing.

You will receive another email with tracking information soon.

We hope you enjoy your order! Thank you for shopping with us!

I’m sure that the zip file doesn’t contain a PDF, but I never opened it.

As you can tell, the email is worded quite well and mimics an order receipt closely. I’ve contacted newegg.com and they are aware of the issue.

9/11 A Graphic Adaptation

September 08, 2006 — 0 Comments

Slate is offering Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colon’s book, The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation, for free on the eve of the 5 year anniversary of 9/11.

This graphic novel distills the 568 page 9/11 Commission Report down to 128 pages and as one Amazon reviewer so succinctly put it, “…Will help you understand the 9/11 Report more clearly than the text alone.”

Every American should understand the details of what happened 9/11 and the events leading up to it. Go read Slate’s release of the adaptation.

Political Musings

August 31, 2006 — 0 Comments

A couple of political links have caught my eye recently.

The first is a commentary by Keith Olbermann which was sparked by a speech given by Donald Rumsfeld to the American Legion. It’s a good watch.

The second is a long look at the misinformation and faulty intelligence about the Iraq war. Whether or not all of the information is correct, if only 1% of it is true, then I believe that there should be a commission to find out the truth about the material similiar to the 9/11 Commission. It’s a very long read (as it covers about 13 years of information) but I think it’s worth reading.

The New Animals

February 08, 2006 — 4 Comments

Some of you may have read that a team of scientists found hundreds of new species of animals in a remote area of New Guinea.

According to most of the articles all of the animals were completely unafraid of humans suggesting that they have never had contact with us…yet. Check out the close up photo of the kangaroo. Is it me or are its feet bound?

New Kangaroo

It’s cool that we get into a new area and immediately start tying up the animals. I wonder how long it’ll take the animals to wisen up and figure out that they should probably run we are around.

Anyway, some more photos of the animals are here.

The BlackBerry Lawsuit

January 29, 2006 — 0 Comments

I think that everyone has heard mention of the lawsuit for patent infringement filed against the BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) by NTP.

Even if you have heard of it, you might not know the exact details of the case (I know that I didn’t).

This article, breaks it down bit by bit and exposes the details of the case.

Web 2.0 is Driving Me Crazy

October 14, 2005 — 0 Comments

I’ve been doing a lot of blog reading lately about Web 2.0 projects and companies. It seems like they are springing up everywhere.

Most of the projects that are deemed Web 2.0, use AJAX technologies,
which if you read any type of technical articles you’ll know that this
is the hot new buzzword.

Anyway, I’ve jumped on the bandwagon and started going to some of these
sites and checking them out. I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Here are
some of the ones that I’ve checked out recently:

  • del.icio.us (Online Social
    Bookmark Manager – yeah I was late on this one, but I don’t like the
    idea of all my bookmarks being available to the public. I’m just now
    starting to get the hang of it.)

  • Previewseek (Search Engine that allows you to preview pages – must see, this is shit hot)

  • Basecamp (Online Project Management Software – I’ve already started one project (free) to test it out)

  • Ta-Da Lists (Online To do lists – from the people that brought you Basecamp)

  • Memeorandum (Let’s you see what’s the most popular subjects being blogged about – there is a political site and a tech site)

  • Flock (Next generation web browser – they are still in pre-beta so you won’t find much on their site…yet)

  • Rollyo (Create personal search criteria…I really haven’t gotten the purpose of this yet)

  • Zimbra (From their website,
    Zimbra is an open source server and client technology for
    next-generation enterprise messaging and collaboration.
    Tell me that isn’t a mouthful of mumbo jumbo. Think online version of Outlook.)
  • Orangoo (Simple online RSS reader – hopefully better that Google’s RSS reader suckiness)

  • Remember The Milk (Another online to do list – this can send you reminders via IM clients – neato)
Notice something about some of these projects? We’ve stopped using
real words and started making up stuff (Zimbra, Orangoo, there are
others I just didn’t list them). I blame Google.

That’s it for now.

The Mouse is Sooo 1980s

October 07, 2005 — 0 Comments

I found this on digg.com, but I figured that I would repost it here. It a demo of the Tactiva TactaPad which is a great new user interface and it could be the interface of the future.

I was pretty impressed with the demo myself. It really reminded me of
the way Tom Cruise’s character interfaces with the computers in The Minority Report.

It’s gonna be interesting to see where this goes.

Meebo Update

September 22, 2005 — 2 Comments

A friend of mine recently asked if Meebo

, the AJAX Web based IM product (which allows you to chat on AIM, MSN, Yahoo! and Jabber of GoogleTalk in one interface), was finally encrypting their passwords.

At the time that I wrote about meebo, they had made two colossal blunders. One was not encrypting passwords and the other was not having a privacy policy defined. Well, they’ve fixed both.

The privacy policy has been defined and according to their main page they are encrypting passwords with 1024-bit RSA keys.

Just to make sure that the passwords were not being transmitted in clear text, I opened up Ethereal and started a packet capture. Indeed the passwords are being encrypted when they are sent.

Week in Technology

September 15, 2005 — 0 Comments

It’s been an interesting week in technology (and it’s not over yet).
First of all, for those that don’t know, the PDC (Microsoft
Professional Developers Conference) has been underway since Monday and
they’ve been unleashing new stuff left and right.

Some of those include:

  • A PDC Build of Microsoft Vista (User Interface Video, Exploring and Using Vista Video)

  • A PDC Build of Microsoft Office 12 which showcases the dramatic new Office User Interface – a must see (Diving into the New Office Video). Probably the most popular video with 60,000 views already!

  • Microsoft Workflow Foundation. I’m still unsure of what the hell
    this really does and how it fits in with their other products (when I
    have time, I’ll check out the video).

  • New version of Sharepoint (Video)

  • LINQ, which stands for Language INtegrated Query. From the
    channel9 website, LINQ “makes query and set operations, like SQL
    statements first class citizens in .NET languages like C# and VB.” I’ve
    just scratched the surface of this, but it looks pretty cool so far. I
    guess it’s time to watch the video. When you are done with that, head over to this site for some more LINQ resources.

  • Information about the ATLAS project which brings AJAX technologies to ASP.NET.

  • Microsoft Expression
    which includes Graphic Designer (sorta like Adobe Illustrator and
    Photoshop(?)), Interactive Designer (think Macromedia Flash) and Web
    Designer. Being a web dude myself, I think Web Designer (code named
    Quartz) is probably the thing that I’m most excited about that’s been
    shown at the PDC so far. I want to get my hands on this software in the
    worst possible way.

  • There’s more but I’ll let you mosey on over to Scoble’s for the rest…so far, tomorrow is another day after all.

In non-Microsoft tech news, meebo has been released to the public. If you ignored all that Microsoft stuff, listen to this.

Meebo, is an AJAX (web application by virtue of using AJAX) IM client
that allows you to chat on AIM, MSN, Yahoo!, and ICQ. Google Talk,
schmoogle talk. This is hot!

It’s still a beta alpha so don’t expect things to work
perfectly. I’ve tested the login but at the time that I logged in all
my buddies were sleeping, so I’ll test the actual chat portion tomorrow.

Before anyone uses this service seriously, they need to put up their
privacy policy and use SSL. I’m not sure how they missed that when they
went live, but according to their blog they know about it and they are going to fix it.

Oh yeah, and Google released a blog search which only searches blogs. Technorati and Icerocket and others must be sweating it.

Link Dropping

August 30, 2005 — 0 Comments

I email myself links all the time to remind myself to blog about stuff.
I’ve been lazy. So you’ll excuse me if I link drop
for a bit.

Annoyed by those pop-ups in that happen even while using Firefox? Try this configuration change.

Brat sent me this blog link. Her friends biked from Portland, Oregon to San Francisco and took photos all along the way.

How to run IE 7 Beta 1 alongside IE 6.
I don’t know if this really works. I haven’t verified it myself but my
friend Jon said he was having some trouble getting it to work. Jon, did
you get it to work?

Wanna know where those cell towers are at? This Google Maps implementation will let you know.

Getskinned.org has some really nice stuff to help you modify the look of your apps. Including Visual Styles for Windows XP – check out LunaQQ.

That’s all for now.

Digging For Information

August 12, 2005 — 0 Comments

I think most people that read my site know about Slashdot. It’s probably one of the most popular technology and science news aggregators out there. Then came Digg.
According to their site, Digg is “…a technology news website that
combines social bookmarking, blogging, RSS, and non-hierarchical
editorial control. With digg, users submit stories for review, but
rather than allowing an editor to decide which stories go on the
homepage, the users do.”

It’s pretty inventive and as one person
called it, “addictive.” One thing worries me though. I wonder how long
it will take the spammers and morons on the Internet to promote their
pr0n sites and adware crap sites right to the top? Until that time, I’m
adding it to my daily reading list.

CNN.com's Extreme News

August 03, 2005 — 0 Comments

I was reading CNN.com today and came across the headline outlined in red:

Notice the “Watch” button after the link? I know what
they meant, but it sounds really, really bad. Almost sounds like one of
those websites where you can see all sorts of sick and twisted stuff.

'Nuff Said

March 22, 2005 — 8 Comments

I read CNN.com every morning. Today, the most important news story was the continuation of the Schiavo case/thing…whatever it is. The headline this morning read “Schiavo parents take case to next level.” I thought to myself, “Great googly moogly! What could possibly be the next level?” Considering that this case/thing…whatever it is has taken up the time of The Senate, The House of Representatives, and the President, I couldn’t fathom what the next level was..then I figured it out. No longer content with dealing with mere mortals they’ve decided to bring it before…the almighty Galactus! Yes that’s right, Galactus the Devourer of Worlds will be taking time out of his schedule of eating planets to deal with this case/thing…whatever it is.

Beam Me Up

October 30, 2004 — 3 Comments

I was catching up on my blog reading and I found this interesting study (in PDF format) on teleportation. I can’t really vouch for it’s authenticity, but according to the paper, it was commissioned by the US Air Force. The thing that really caught my attention is that the author of a paper, Eric Davis, lives right around the corner from my mom’s house in Las Vegas.

A Few Tidbits

October 17, 2004 — 0 Comments
  • Ever wanted to know what is encoded on that barcode on the back of your license? Now you can with the SWIPE toolkit.
  • View the trailer for the extended edition of The Return of the King (requires quicktime).
  • View the E3 trailers for The Battle of Middle Earth RTS video game (requies quicktme).
  • View The Ring 2 movie trailer (requires quicktime).
  • Want to keep up on the latest gadgets, check out Gizmodo and Engadget (they both have RSS feeds).
  • Jar-Jar funniness.
  • The video of Jon Stewart on Crossfire is tearing up the blogosphere. See what the hype is about. Look for links here.

Money Can Buy Happiness

August 18, 2004 — 0 Comments

According to this article, money can buy you happiness if you know what to spend it on. I should note that the article that I linked is lengthy but a worthwhile read especially in the consumerist society that we live in. People with long commutes (like myself) are in for an interesting read too…

Gas Relief

May 12, 2004 — 1 Comment

Unless you have shunned your car and now use the Ankle Express as your mode of transportation, you most certainly know that gas prices are a bit high. A friend of mine sent me a link to Gasbuddy.com the other day. You can choose from anywhere in the United States and Canada as well. When you pick your state (or province) you can have a list of gas stations that have the highest and lowest gas prices. Have fun. Oh and if you thought this post was about the other type of gas, I suggest Gas-X.


April 14, 2004 — 0 Comments

Ok, I’m sure everyone is aware that Amazon.com has just released their beta search engine that competes directly with google.com (obviously), although interestingly enough it says that web search results are provided by Google. If you want to know what is cool/different about their site go here. They also have a built in toolbar and a pop-up block in their toolbar.


April 04, 2004 — 0 Comments

I’m sure everyone knows who William Hung is by now. The laughable guy from the American Idol auditions is laughing all the way to the bank. He is appearing left and right on TV and now his “re-make” of She Bangs is in the top 10 on iTunes! Now why didn’t I think to do something like that…

RealNetworks Can Kiss My Ass

December 19, 2003 — 0 Comments

RealNetworks is apparently suing Microsoft to the tune of 1 billion(!) dollars because they used Windows Media Player to gain an unfair advantage in the digital media market. Here is what I have to say; fuck you RealNetworks! They lost the advantage in the digital media market because their product sucked. For years I refused to install or use the invasive program on my Windows machine and it wasn’t because I was using Windows Media Player. I stopped using it because it was a terrible software program that always started no matter how many times you removed the damned thing out of the registry. It’s hard to argue this point when the majority of the online community hates your product and your company. I hope that the judge throws your case out because you tortured his computing experience.