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MoPo | Geek News


Monday, September 26, 2005

Are you Addicted to the Internet

How do you know if you're already addicted or rapidly tumbling toward trouble?


1. How often do you find that you stay on-line longer than you intended?
2. How often do you neglect household chores to spend more time on-line?
10. How often do you block out disturbing thoughts about your life with soothing thoughts of the Internet?

Ewwwohh....soothing thought about the internet.....

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Yahoo! Goes Hard Gay

Head on over and check it out, apparently " Hard Gay " is the funniest comedian out of Japan.

Here's a 7-minute capture from a Japanese variety program. I thought this seems interesting enough to put online, given that it involves Yahoo!. The story-line of this sketch is as follows: A character called “Hard Gay” (by comedian Masaki Sumitani aka “Lazer Ramon”) thinks that the “Hoo!” in Yahoo! is stolen from his often used exclamation and goes to visit Yahoo! headquarters to try to get a deal.

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McHottie Commercial - Ronalds a Girl

Ronald is a McHottie! In the Japanese TV commercial," notes Britain's Guardian newspaper, "the foxy female version, with shoulder-length straight auburn hair in place of Ronald's frizzy mop, smolders at the camera in a flowing yellow dress, and later a red and white striped bikini with thigh-length leggings and red high heels."



"The customers are calling her the female Ronald but that was not our intention," said campaign creator, Hidekazu Sato, known by his nickname Kazoo, through a translator. "We devised the costume and took the red and white stripes and the yellow, which were recognized and converted them into a stylish dress. "We were assuming that even if we didn't include the McDonald's logo and even if the model was a beautiful Caucasian just those colors of the mnemonic design would wake up people's association with McDonald's. The important point is we didn't change Ronald himself – we played around with his costume."....

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Microsost Plans to Sell Adsense

The Microsoft Corporation will unveil today its own system for selling Web advertising as it struggles to compete with Google and Yahoo in the expanding Web search business. The system, to be used by MSN, is meant to improve on those of Microsoft's rivals by allowing marketers to aim ads on Web search pages to users based on their sex, age or location.

The move is part of Microsoft's broad response to the threat from Google, which is using its powerful advertising sales network to support an expanding range of free software products and Internet services. Last week, Microsoft announced a broad reorganization that placed MSN in the same group as its Windows operating system, indicating that it saw software delivered over the Internet - and possibly paid for through advertising - as central to its future.

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Google Toolbar Download for Firefox

Google has officially taken their toolbar for Firefox into a full verision. If you are a FireFox user, and would like to give it a shot, you can download it here.

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Sunday, September 25, 2005

Legal | Conjecture - Weird Law

Hilary & Haylie Sue to Become Twins - Satire



Deliver Man Slips on Pooh
Law Suit Filed after Student Tased at School
Hong Kong Woman Sues Rolex - Claims Rash
Tyson Sued over Whites only Sign


Extreme Makeover Sued

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MoPo | Forum Video Flash Games

Jump Rope W/Three Girls - Video
Solution for High Gas Prices - Video
Super Flexible Girl - Video
What Do You See? - Picture

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Saturday, September 24, 2005

iPod Nano Leather Thong Case

Call it astonishing. Unbelievable. Impossible, even. Then pick it up and hold it in your hand. Take in the brilliant color display. Run your thumb around the Click Wheel. Put on the earbuds and turn up your music. That’s when everything becomes clear: Dress it up, take her out for dinner and buy her a black leather thong - iPod Nano style. Price $34.95 over at iPod Street.





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Combination Word Lock

Why didn't we think of this earlier? A lock with a password. Much easier to remember. Because there are only 10 letters per ring, you are limited to a mere 1,000 dictionary words and names. I could not program my usual password, or my favorite names, but I did code in a memorable nonsense word, of which many abound. The mechanism has the heft of your standard gym locker lock.

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Thursday, September 22, 2005

Clearing Google Search History Privacy

One of the most common questions I see about Google is “How do I clear my search history from the Google search box?” What’s everybody guilty of :)? If you’re one of the many it seems that have search terms you’d prefer to hide from other users of your computer, this article is for you.

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Google TV is Hiring

Google is beefing up its efforts in the TV business, judging from a job posting for a GoogleTV product manager.

The search giant's TV land efforts have been an evolving process, which has included the debut of a prototype earlier this year to search TV programming. And on Wednesday, Google's TV efforts were a topic of discussion on several blogs that pointed to the job posting on Google's site.

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VirtuSphere Immersive Virtual Reality

O.K. this VirtuSphere Immersive Virtual Reality thingy looks pretty damn cool. But, THIS is my question, if you are running forward and stop, tell me that big steel ball is not going to continue moving forward and slam you face first into the dirt. Think about it.

The device consists of a large hollow sphere which is mounted on a specially designed platform that allows the sphere to rotate freely as the user walks in any direction. The user wears a head-mounted display, which provides the virtual environment. Sensors under the sphere provide subject speed and direction to the computer running the simulation. Users can even interact with objects in virtual space using a special manipulator.

hardocp.com

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Microsoft Celebrates 30th Anniversary

Microsoft – built from the dream of a computer on every desk and in every home – commemorates 30 years at its annual Company Meeting on Friday, Sept. 23 at Safeco Field in Seattle. Over 16,000 Redmond-based employees will attend to take time to reflect on a strong and memorable history and celebrate the company’s future, which promises to be the most incredible period of technological innovation yet. Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates and Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer will congratulate employees for their contributions to date and share their vision for a prosperous future, primed by investments in areas as diverse and vital to the future of technology innovation as graphics, speech recognition, signal processing, facial-expression mapping and quantum computing.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

How To Hack A "Coke" Pepsi Machine

Most modern soda machines have little computers in them. The tiny RED LCD usually displays the data. The computer can be controlled by using certain buttons on the soda machine in different combinations.



This can be used to check the temperature, see the amount of money (load and dump), and dump certain sodas. Will usually only work on newer machines that look like the one on the right. They need to have an LCD and also need to have some type of message on it “ICE COLD SODAS” This tells you it is running something.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Original Mr. T's Book Club

Hey there, folks! Mr. T here, pityin' the fools what don’t read none! My agent done told me, "T, the biggest thing now is celebrities like Oprah tellin' people what books they need to read, or what clothes they need to wear!"


I cannot even begin to express my pity at these fools. Who looks to a fat silly woman for guidance when Mr. T is freely available? What is wrong with people's heads? Here some books I done read for you. You try and catch up if you don’t want me to make a battering ram out of spare parts at your local junkyard and come busting in your fool living room!

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Deleese Williams - Sues Extreme Makeover

A Los Angeles lawsuit claims producers of ABC`s 'Extreme Makeover' dumped a makeover candidate at the last minute and shattered her Texas family. The 31-page lawsuit filed in Los Angeles claims 'Extreme Makeover' promised a 'Cinderella-like fix' for Deleese Williams` deformed jaw, crooked teeth, droopy eyes and small chest that would 'transform her life and destiny,' the New York Daily News reported Sunday.


Her sister, Kellie McGee, 'fell to pieces' over the mean things she said about her sister and killed herself four months later, Cordova said. Williams, 30, and her husband, Mike, are now raising McGee`s two children, along with their own two children. The suit seeks unspecified damages. ABC has declined to comment on the allegations, the Daily News said.

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Monday, September 19, 2005

Mang Films W/ Cheddah Video

New Mang Films W/ Cheddah - Video. While your here check out the whole Mang Films Collection - Exclusive to MoPo.

Comments in the Forum

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Is DMOZ Dead ?

The original concept of DMOZ was excellent for its time. The DMOZ site's About page makes these statements about the concept, and about the reasons for the directory's creation:-

"Automated search engines are increasingly unable to turn up useful results to search queries. The small paid editorial staffs at commercial directory sites can't keep up with submissions, and the quality and comprehensiveness of their directories has suffered. Link rot is setting in and they can't keep pace with the growth of the Internet."

The Open Directory follows in the footsteps of some of the most important editor/contributor projects of the 20th century. Just as the Oxford English Dictionary became the definitive word on words through the efforts of volunteers, the Open Directory follows in its footsteps to become the definitive catalog of the Web."

But things have changed a lot since DMOZ began in the mid 1990s. Since then, Google came along with very relevant search results, and they were kind enough to show the other engines how to produce such relevant results. That caused dramatic improvements, to the extent that top search engines have been able to provide very relevant search results for some time, and they provide a lot more of them than DMOZ is able to do.

The small paid editorial staffs at commercial directory sites still can't keep up with submissions, but their backlogs are small when compared with DMOZ's massive backlog. According to reports, there are over a million site submissions that are waiting to be reviewed, and delays of several years between submitting a site and it being reviewed are not uncommon. The backlog problem is so huge that many editors have redefined the problem so that it no longer exists. To them there is no backlog, because the submitted sites are not there to be reviewed. They are merely a low priority pool of sites that they can dip into if they want to, and some of them prefer to find sites on their own.

Link rot (dead links) has become widespread in DMOZ through the years, and they certainly can't "keep pace with the growth of the Web". There isn't a single reason for the creation of DMOZ that DMOZ itself doesn't nöw suffer from.

So how come such an excellent original concept ended up with a directory that has the same problems that it sought to solve, and on a much larger scale?

Article by Phil Craven of WebWorkShop. Phil is well-known in the world of webmasters and search engine optimization and his views have been sought and published by various online and offline publications.

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Sunday, September 18, 2005

iPod Nano - Flea Mini Review Pictures

iPod Nano - Any Color You Want

Want your nano in Ferrari red? No problem. Cotton Candy pink? Sure. A mixture of both? They’ll do it. Buying a new nano from ‘em will cost you $265 for the 2GB and $315 for the 4GB, and sending your own nano for color work will most likely be around $65. Kinda pricey, but it’ll definitely stand out from the crowd.

iPod Family History- Review

From the humble beginnings of the iPod that began the legacy so many years back, all the way up to the tragic loss of the iPod mini just yesterday, we felt it might be time to take a visit to the iPod family cemetary on this early autumn afternoon.


How mini is the iPod Nano ? - Review

That thing is really, really nano! Photos don't even convey how small and light the iPod nano really is. In fact at first, at 3.5" x 1.6" x 0.27" and 1.5 ounces, it almost seemed too small and too light for me in my hand.

iPod Nano Run Over by a Car ? - Review

We placed the nano in the path of the car and drove over it with both front and rear tires. Driving over the nano produced sickening crunching noises which coincidentally sounded a lot like an LCD being crushed. After the first hit and run, the iPod's display was not cracked but was showing some nasty vertical lines. Shockingly, the nano was still playing music and the controls still operated as expected, as we were still able to skip ahead, go back, pause, and play music!


iPod Nano Special Report - Review

Nevertheless, in its second straight day the iPod nano continues to gain praise and draw gazes. Says the Wall Street Journal's Walter Mossberg, "I have been testing a nano for the past few days, and I am smitten." The Personal Technology columnist claims "the nano has the best combination of beauty and functionality of any music player" he's ever tested. We'd have to concur.


iPod Nano - From the pages at Apple - Review

Take everything you love about iPod and shrink it. Now shrink it again. With 2GB (500 songs) and 4GB (1,000 songs) models starting at $199, the pencil-thin iPod nano packs the entire iPod experience into an impossibly small design. So small, it will take your music places you never dreamed of.


iPod VS Cassette - Review

New iPod Flea Spoof Video - Review

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Oktoberfest Munich - Bavarian


Girls in traditional Bavarian clothes toast with one-litre beer mugs during the opening day of the Oktoberfest in Munich September 17, 2005. Millions of beer drinkers from around the world will come to the Bavarian capital Munich for the world's biggest and most famous beer festival, the Oktoberfest. The 172st Oktoberfest lasts from September 17 until October 3. Some six million people are expected to visit 14 enormous tents, each capable of holding up to 10,000 people at a time, drinking some 5.5 million litres (1.453 million U.S. gallons) of beer in the process. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

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Mitsubishi on Robot Companion's Charm

She may be a bit odd looking, what with a bright yellow face, silver arms and a positioning sensor on her head, but this tiny gal's got charm -- even if it is chip-induced.


Able to recognize up to 10 people and call them by name, the 100 cm (40 inch) tall Wakamaru will approach and greet family members in a gentle, feminine voice when they arrive home and offer to pass on telephone messages or read out any e-mails that may have arrived. In the morning, she'll glide to your bedside to wake you up with the news headlines and weather forecast, remind you of your appointments for the day and may even invite you to join her in some light exercise.

New internet-linked household robot Wakamaru 'chats' with an attendant at Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industry in Tokyo September 15, 2005. A hundred of these 100-cm (40 inches) tall Mitsubishi robots will go on sale in Tokyo at a cost of 1,575,000 yen ($14,260). REUTERS/Toshiyuki Aizawa

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Austrian Seeks 150,000 Euros for Kidney

A 38-year-old unemployed man from Vienna has reportedly offered to sell one of his kidneys for 150,000 euros (183,000 dollars) to fund the purchase of an apartment.

"Special offer. Who needs my kidney? Healthy, non-smoker. Fixed price: 150,000 euros," read the advertisement he posted in the city's underground railway network, Heute newspaper reported.

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Breast-Flashing Video Donated to Katrina Victims

Video makers notorious for filming women flashing their breasts said they will donate revenues from "Girls Gone Wild" episodes tied to Mardi Gras to the Red Cross to help Hurricane Katrina victims.



"Girls Gone Wild" will donate to the Red Cross the online purchase prices of each title or package set "that has anything to do with Mardi Gras," including "the very popular 'Girls Gone Wild Doggy Style'," with rapper Snoop Dogg, Horn said.

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Saturday, September 17, 2005

iPod nano in Any Color You Want

I’m sure you’re all sick of iPod nano this and iPod nano that by now, but we figured this looked cool enough that it merited us talking about it. Colorware, as you all may remember, is that company that custom colours all your favorite Apple products, along with other things like game consoles. Well now they’re going for the iPod nano too.

Want your nano in Ferrari red? No problem. Cotton Candy pink? Sure. A mixture of both? They’ll do it. Buying a new nano from ‘em will cost you $265 for the 2GB and $315 for the 4GB, and sending your own nano for color work will most likely be around $65. Kinda pricey, but it’ll definitely stand out from the crowd.

via Gizmodo


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Bush asks Condoleza for Bathroom Break

Photos of President Bush writing a note asking Condoleeza Rice if it would be possible for him to take a bathroom break, during a Security Council meeting at the 2005 World Summit and 60th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York.




U.S. President George W. Bush writes a note to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during a Security Council meeting at the 2005 World Summit and 60th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York September 14, 2005. World leaders are exploring ways to revitalize the United Nations at a summit on Wednesday but their blueprint falls short of Secretary-General Kofi Annan's vision of freedom from want, persecution and war. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

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Caterina Bonci : Too "Sexy" to Teach

Was it her looks or lifestyle that led the Roman Catholic Church to cause a minor media frenzy by firing an Italian religion teacher this year? Caterina Bonci said Church authorities decided she was just too attractive and dressed too sexy to teach religion after 14 years on the job.


The Church says it sacked the 38-year-old blonde from the central Adriatic city of Fano because she is divorced. No matter who is right, Bonci has been all over the Italian media demanding to go back to her job teaching religion to children in state schools on behalf of the local diocese. She said she has never hidden her 2000 divorce from Church authorities, dresses down when teaching and defended her right to dress how she likes in her private life.

"I don't see what it matters if a teacher is good looking or not as long she is qualified," she told Reuters by telephone. "In school, I dressed normally. In my private life, I have every right to dress any way I want."

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Leisure Suit Larry Bares With Al Lowe

There are few people who can be considered legends in the gaming industry, but Al Lowe is one of them. At various points in his career he has been a game designer, programmer, composer, and developer; through it all he has been, and still remains, a very funny man. Al helped define a memorable era of PC adventure games by conceiving one of the most popular and respected humor games of all time: Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards.




I remember playing Leisure Suit Larry when I was 11 years old - I really duped my parents on that one, when I somehow managed to buy my own copy! While I appreciated all of the imaginative elements that made Leisure Suit Larry such a great game, at 11 years old, I certainly didn't understand all the jokes. For example, I thought Spanish fly was some sort of insect. Oh well.

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Friday, September 16, 2005

Hong Kong Woman Sues Rolex

A Hong Kong woman has sued Rolex, alleging that a watch she bought caused her psychological trauma because she had to wear long sleeves to cover up an itchy, unsightly skin allergy triggered by a label on the underside of the luxury timepiece.

Lee Ka-wai filed her claim in the Small Claims Tribunal, seeking $6,044 in damages, the South China Morning Post said. She purchased the $3,866 Rolex Oyster Perpetual in August 2004, the newspaper said.

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Cameron Diaz Topless Photo Case

A Los Angeles photographer who was convicted of trying to sell topless pictures of actress Cameron Diaz after forging her signature on a contract was sentenced on Thursday to nearly four years in prison.

Cameron Diaz smiles as she arrives at the gala for the movie In Her Shoes at the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto, Wednesday Sept. 14, 2005. (AP Photo/CP, Adrian Wyld)

During her testimony, Diaz acknowledged posing bare-breasted more than a decade ago, when she was a 19-year-old model looking to break into Hollywood, but said she never signed a released and felt betrayed when Rutter tried to sell her the pictures in 2003. The California-born actress, who shot to fame by starring opposite Jim Carrey in the 1994 comedy "The Mask," was not in court for Rutter's sentencing.

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Microsoft Expressions Takes on Adobe

Microsoft has finally unveiled its long awaited strategy for taking on the market leaders in web development, Macromedia and Adobe (not quite yet the same company). At the Microsoft Professional Developer Conference 2005 the company has launched a set of tools known as Microsoft Expression aimed at designers both for the Web and for the upcoming Windows Vista operating system.

Amongst the tools announced are the Acrylic Graphic Designer, a painting, illustration and effects tool for creating graphic designs, the Sparkle Interactive Designer, a user-interface design tool for application development using the Windows Presentation Foundation; and Quartz Web Designer, a layout and design tool for creating Web sites.

Expressions itself is by no means new. The Acrylic graphics tool is based on illustration software known as Expressions that has been available from Microsoft for the PC and Mac for some time. Microsoft acquired this illustrations software when it bought out its owners Creature House in 2003.

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MoPo | Forum Flash Games Video

What are you looking at ? - Flash Game
What is wrong with public restrooms - Flash Video
Hole Ma Beer - Flash Game
Civ 4 Junkie - Quicktime Video
Car VS Bike - WMV Video
Sin City - Flash Game

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Toshiba Demos Fuel Cell MP3 Players

Toshiba today announced that it has developed two prototypes of direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) units for mobile audio players. One features an output power of 100mW for flash memory-based digital audio players and the other offers 300mW for hard disk drive (HDD)-based digital audio players.


The 100mW unit, 23x75x10mm in size, can power flash-based players for approximately 35 hours on a single 3.5ml charge of concentrated methanol, claims Toshiba. The 300mW unit is 60x75x10mm in size and delivers sufficient power to keep an HDD-based audio player running for approximately 60 hours on a single 10ml charge, said the company.

Toshiba's DMFC features a passive fuel supply system that is suited to smaller fuel cells and use with a concentrated methanol solution. Fuel cells usually mix methanol with water in a concentration of less than 30%, a dilution that supports generating efficiency but requires a fuel tank that is too big for portable equipment. Through durability and reliability tests with the new units, Toshiba will accelerate technology enhancements to support integration of DMFC into commercial products, which are expected to hit the market after 2007.

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Thursday, September 15, 2005

Paris Hilton Hacker Tape Get's Jail Time

A Massachusetts teenager who reportedly hacked into Paris Hilton's cell phone account has been sentenced to 11 months in prison at a juvenile facility.


Celebrity phone numbers stored in Hilton's cell phone were posted online when her account was hacked earlier this year. A Washington Post report on Wednesday identified Hilton as a victim of the 17-year-old Massachusetts boy. In January, the teenager hacked into T-Mobile's computer system and looked up account information of the its customers, including Hilton.

Hilton, a hotel chain heiress whose sex tape with an ex-boyfriend became a cyberspace novelty, stars on the Fox TV reality show "The Simple Life."

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Xbox 360 Release Date November 22nd

Microsoft has set an official release date for the Xbox 360 of November 22nd, just in time for the holidays. UK gamers will get it after that and Japanese customers last. It is interesting that Microsoft will not offer the no frills Xbox 360 core system in Japan, instead giving them a $50.00 price break on the deluxe edition.

The company announced Thursday that the Xbox 360 would hit retail shelves Nov. 22 -- two days before the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday -- in North America. European gamers will be able to buy the machine Dec. 2, while Japanese consumers will be able to buy one Dec. 10. This will be the first time a video game console maker has released a system worldwide at essentially the same time.

Microsoft (Research) did not announce which games will be available at the system's launch, nor mention how many titles would be available. The company has previously indicated it would have between 15 and 25 games available when the system launched. Analysts now believe that number has shrunk to between 12 and 15.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

iPod Family History & Cemetery

We’re hard pressed to say the iPod family’s fallen on particularly hard times, but being under such excruciating public scrutiny can take its toll on any dynasty; especially in a year like 2005, the family shaken to its core by so many tragic deaths. From the humble beginnings of the iPod that began the legacy so many years back, all the way up to the tragic loss of the iPod mini just yesterday, we felt it might be time to take a visit to the iPod family cemetary on this early autumn afternoon.



A homely child of more meager means than its descendants and the first born in the New World, the iPod had only 5GB of storage to its name—though unprecedented at the time, it was immediately rebuked for its price of $399. It had with it a mere monochrome 160 x 128 LCD, 32MB of RAM and 32MB ROM, but included two things then widely unheard of, a 1.8-inch hard drive, and the mechanical scroll wheel. Alas, the iPod didn’t know how to work with Windows, was FireWire-only at first, and only sold 125,000 units in its first two months. In March of 2002 the iPod went to 10GB, but passed on peacefully in July of 2002.

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Intel Chips Cost $40 to Make

There’s an old urban legend that basically says there’s about $500 worth of metal in a car and the rest is pure profit. Not sure that’s true, but you can be damn sure that Intel chips cost $40 to make.

It's not hard to see how Intel makes its money. According to market watcher In-Stat, the chip giant's average cost per die is a mere $40 - significantly less than it the prices it attaches to its processors. That figure, the researcher calculates, has remained consistent over the past two years and will continue through 2005. This despite rising fab and materials costs.

In part, Intel has been able to maintain the cost per die by moving to 300mm wafers and by aggressively adopting new, smaller fabrication processes. According to In-Stat, Intel leads the market in manufacturing process development and fab capacity. It noted the chip giant will have four 65nm fabs ramping up output volumes next year. By contrast, AMD has a single 65nm fab, currently in development. The Dresden, Germany plant is its only facility capable of handling 300mm wafers.

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Google Sued Over Gmail Name

Independent II Research, a provider of investment research, has been using the "G-Mail" name for its Pronet subsidiary's Web-based e-mail product since May 2002, Smith said. That was two years before Google launched its Gmail Web-based e-mail service in April 2004.

The "G" in Independent II Research's product name stands for "Graphiti," an integrated text and graphics feature, he said. A court temporarily ordered Google to change the name of its Gmail product in Germany, after Google was sued by Giersch Ventures. Now the product is called "Google Mail" in Germany, pending the outcome of that trial.

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Google Blog Search

Google Blog Search is out. Google has a new search tool, this time putting their vast searching capabilities towards scouring blogs.





Blog Search is Google search technology focused on blogs. Google is a strong believer in the self-publishing phenomenon represented by blogging, and we hope Blog Search will help our users to explore the blogging universe more effectively, and perhaps inspire many to join the revolution themselves. Whether you're looking for Harry Potter reviews, political commentary, summer salad recipes or anything else, Blog Search enables you to find out what people are saying on any subject of your choice.

Your results include all blogs, not just those published through Blogger; our blog index is continually updated, so you'll always get the most accurate and up-to-date results; and you can search not just for blogs written in English, but in French, Italian, German, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese and other languages as well.

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Monday, September 12, 2005

How Small is the iPod Nano ?

It's when you take the iPod nano out of the box that the true experience begins. That thing is really, really nano! Photos don't even convey how small and light the iPod nano really is. In fact at first, at 3.5" x 1.6" x 0.27" and 1.5 ounces, it almost seemed too small and too light for me in my hand. The thinness is marvelous from an aesthetic and engineering standpoint, but my first thought upon holding it was don't break it.


The iPod nano is so thin that it slips effortlessly into the coin pocket on a pair of women's jeans, with room to spare. It certainly makes the "thousand songs right in your pocket" example a reality, especially to women who have very little pocket space and are much more adverse to carrying bulkier electronics in those pockets than men. The iPod nano barely shows a profile in the pocket and it's easy to forget about its presence after carrying it around for awhile.

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Download PC Games Free

Wild Metal Country

If you've never heard of Rockstar's 1999 tank shooter, you're not alone. It lacks the notoriety of the company's Grand Theft Auto series, and the game's reviews were hardly stellar, with GameSpot awarding the Dreamcast version a mere 3.7. But when you're not paying for it--Rockstar made it gratis in 2004--it's a bit easier to see the Wild Metal glass as half full. Unlike many of the multiplayer-only and graphically intensive games presented here, Wild Metal offers a decent single-player experience, and its Windows 98-era system requirements mean it'll run well on many current laptops and business desktops. But the lack of a hot coffee mod means those looking for some tank-on-tank action will have to point their turrets elsewhere. Like Rockstar's GTA freebies, you'll need to register for their newsletter before downloading this one.

Download full game (170MB) from Rockstar's Web site (registration required): Free download

Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory

Enemy Territory began life as an expansion pack for 2001's Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Activision ended up canceling the game, but it released the multiplayer component of the game as a free standalone download in 2003. The result was a game that--two years later--holds its own against such heavyweights as America's Army (above), Call of Duty, and Unreal Tournament 2004 as one of the most played online multiplayer shooters out there. The game's legacy will live on in the form of Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, a multiplayer spin-off of the upcoming Quake 4.




Download complete Windows game (264MB) from CNET Download.com: Free download


Hidden & Dangerous Deluxe

When Hidden & Dangerous was released in 1999, setting games against the background of World War II was still a fairly fresh phenomenon; Medal of Honor: Allied Assault was still three years away. Czech developer Illusion Softworks crafted an impressive squad-oriented third-person game that focused more on tension-filled stealth missions behind enemy lines than run-and-gun action. Despite a laundry list of bugs, glitches, and stability problems, the game built a core of enthusiastic fans. To promote the release of the 2003 sequel, publisher Gathering of Developers released the original game as a freebie. The Deluxe version incorporates a host of bug fixes, though some system configurations, apparently, still have issues, and the Devil's Bridge expansion pack into one convenient download.



Download complete Windows game (270MB) from 3dgamers.com: Free download

Grand Theft Auto & Grand Theft Auto 2

When the original Grand Theft Auto first hit the PC in 1998, the game was already courting controversy: its brazenly amoral gameplay actually rewarded the player for wanton criminal conduct. But competing titles such as Carmageddon--a Death Race 2000-inspired car combat racer that awarded points for mowing down as many pedestrians as possible--were an easier lightning rod for critics. By comparison, GTA's cartoonish, top-down 2D point-of-view seemed like little more than an amped-up Hot Wheels. Grand Theft Auto 2 refined the gameplay of the original title the following year, but Rockstar wouldn't perfect the formula until taking the mayhem 3D in 2001 with Grand Theft Auto III. For gamers familiar with only such 21st-century GTA landscapes of Vice City and San Andreas, the company has subsequently released the original two games--reoptimized for current PCs and Windows versions--as free downloads. The price of a taste of GTA history? You'll need to sign up for Rockstar's mailing list before you can pull down the files.

Grand Theft Auto: Download complete Windows game (336MB) from Rockstar's Web site (registration required): Free download

Grand Theft Auto 2: Download complete Windows game (353MB) from Rockstar's Web site (registration required): Free download

Starsiege: Tribes

Sierra's Starsiege series made a successful transition from strategy to action with 1998's Starsiege: Tribes. Released a year before Quake 3 Arena and Unreal Tournament, Tribes' online multiplayer-only gameplay was a revolutionary step forward in the way games were marketed. The inclusion of player-controlled vehicles--years before Halo, Battlefield 1942, and Unreal Tournament 2004--was similarly visionary. The original game was given away free as a promotion for the 2004 release of the updated sequel Tribes Vengeance. It's not as popular as America's Army and Enemy Territory--the once vibrant online community has largely moved on--but those with older PCs will appreciate the easygoing system requirements.


Download complete Windows game (139MB) from Sierra/Vivendi's FTP site: Free download

America's Army: Special Forces

The original version of America's Army, released in 2002, was a better-than-average online multiplayer shooter. But what set it apart from the legion of other Counter-Strike clones were its impressive visuals (powered by the Unreal graphics engine) and its price--or lack thereof. Unlike all the other games on this list that began as commercial ventures, America's Army was always intended as a giveaway. That's because it's an unapologetic recruiting tool for the real U.S. Army, which paid for its development. While it's unclear how many people the game has converted into real-life soldiers, the game itself continues to rank among the top 10 online shooters, thanks in part to frequent updates; it's currently up to version 2.4. Just make sure your rig meets the somewhat formidable system requirements before you download the nearly 900MB installation file.


Download complete Windows game (2.4) from CNET Download.com (856MB): Free download

Download complete Mac game (2.3) from CNET Download.com (729MB): Free download

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eBay To Buy Skype

Company executives said Monday that eBay plans to pay $1.3 billion in cash and $1.3 billion in stock to the global communications company. It has agreed to hand over up to an extra $1.5 billion, for a total payout of more than $4 billion, if Skype meets certain financial targets by 2008, according to a presentation to investors on Monday morning.

The move, expected to be complete by the end of the fourth quarter, marks the biggest acquisition in eBay's 10-year history. In another big-time merger, eBay acquired online payments company PayPal in 2002 for about $1.5 billion. It more recently picked up Shopping.com for $620 million in cash.

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iPod Nano Dropped Run Over Review

The iPod nano is the cool new music player to have and all that but how tough really is the iPod Nano? The guys at Ars Technica wanted to know. They threw the nano from a car at 30, 40, and 50mph. Ran it over, dropped it and then ran it over again.

As we all know, Apple's iPod has dominated the digital music player scene since its launch in 2001, much like an aardvark busting through a termite mound. As hard-drive-based players have gotten smaller and the price of flash-based players has dropped.



At this point we were astounded that the iPod nano was still working properly, albeit with a broken display. Because we had honestly expected the iPod nano to break by this time, we were forced to depart from our planned schedule of destruction and try and run over it with the car. Surely, we thought, it could never withstand the crushing power of German automotive engineering.



We placed the nano in the path of the car and drove over it with both front and rear tires. Driving over the nano produced sickening crunching noises which coincidentally sounded a lot like an LCD being crushed. After the first hit and run, the iPod's display was not cracked but was showing some nasty vertical lines. Shockingly, the nano was still playing music and the controls still operated as expected, as we were still able to skip ahead, go back, pause, and play music!

What were we to do now? Baffled, we did the only thing we could think of at the time: we ran over the nano again! This time the screen went totally blank, but the band played on.

In a final act of desperation, we decided to expose the iPod to a catastrophic event that would certainly destroy it. Lacking a really high place to drop the nano from, we decided the throw the nano as high as we could, say 40 feet into the air, and let it land—hard—on the concrete.

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Sunday, September 11, 2005

iPod Shuffle Relaxing Vacation

Welcome to a life less orderly. As official soundtrack to the random revolution, the iPod Shuffle Songs setting takes you on a unique journey through your music collection — you never know what’s around the next tune. Meet your new ride. More roadster than Rolls, iPod shuffle rejects routine by serving up your favorite songs in a different order every time.




Just plug iPod shuffle into your computer’s USB port, let iTunes Autofill it with up to 240 songs(2) and get a new experience with every connection. The trail you run every day looks different with an iPod shuffle. Daily gridlock feels less mundane when you don’t know what song will play next. iPod shuffle adds musical spontaneity to your life. Lose control. Love it.

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N.Y. Fashion Week 2006


A model strikes a he-man pose as she waits to get her make-up applied for the Rosa Cha show during Fashion week, Saturday, Sept. 10, 2005 in New York. (AP Photo by Stephen Chernin)

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Mozart Baby's Ears Helps Ease Birth Trauma

On their little heads, the newborns in the maternity ward are wearing stereo headphones and their tiny hands seem to move to the rhythm of the music.

From the first hours of their lives, the babies are tuned into Mozart at the Kosica-Saca hospital in eastern Slovakia. This is no experiment in producing a generation of musical geniuses. The infants are listening to the classical composer to stimulate their mental and physical functions thanks to the benefits of music therapy.




One and Two-day-old newborn babies listen to music with headphones at the 1st Private Hospital in Kosice-Saca. The experimental program that started approximetly two years ago, is based on using musical therapy in improving the quality of carring for the newborns shortly after birth.(AFP/Joe Klamar)

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Japan to Move Clocks by One Second

Japan will head one second into the future on January 1, 2006 when it adjusts the high-precision atomic clock, which keeps Japan Standard Time using advanced physics. The "leap-second" is being added onto the clock in line with a global effort to make official time in synch with the Earth's orbit, the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology said Thursday.


The institute said that standard time should not be 0.9 of a second faster or slower than the actual astronomic time. The last time the atomic clock had a second added on was seven years ago.

Japan is not used to adjusting clocks, being the only major industrialized nation that does not practice daylight savings.

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Saturday, September 10, 2005

iPod Nano Special Report

Nevertheless, in its second straight day the iPod nano continues to gain praise and draw gazes. Says the Wall Street Journal's Walter Mossberg, "I have been testing a nano for the past few days, and I am smitten." The Personal Technology columnist claims "the nano has the best combination of beauty and functionality of any music player" he's ever tested. We'd have to concur.



By utilizing flash memory instead of miniature hard disk drives, Apple was able to design the nano to be nearly two-thirds the size of its predecessor, the iPod mini. The new players are so thin and compact that they're aesthetically stunning; but these great looks and new form factor may be costing Apple a pretty penny. According to PiperJaffray analyst Gene Munster, Apple's switch to flash memory in the iPod nano may have raised the company's component costs by as much as 50%. If true, this would mean that Apple is making far less off of each nano than it did with the mini.

Market intelligence firms Semico and iSuppli believe 1GB of flash memory in the volume market presently costs about $45. Thus, the 2GB iPod Nano, which sells for $199, potentially contains around $90 worth of flash memory, while the $249 4GB version would require approximately $180 worth of flash memory, a Semico's analyst said.

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Lexmark Patents Single Use Cartridges

Lexmark, one of the largest makers of laser printers, is a believer in the "give away the razors, but charge them for the blades" tactic, counting on the fact that consumers routinely underestimate "life cyle costs" for products like printers. In other words, if you low-ball your customers on the price for the printer, you can gouge them later for ink.



Until now, those kinds of business practices have been held in check by secondary markets that restrain a manufacturer's ability to overcharge for "consumables." That's where cartridge remanufacturers come in -- they refill Lexmark cartridges and sell them for less than new cartridges sold by Lexmark.

Now Lexmark (which already unsuccessfully tried to use the DMCA to wipe out the refills market) has turned to patent law to prop up its effort to keep its customers in bondage. According to Lexmark, the "single use only" label on the boxes of their "Prebate" printer cartridges creates an enforceable contract between Lexmark and consumers. By opening the box, you're agreed to the contract.

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Friday, September 09, 2005

UFO Evidence UFO Phenomenon

Welcome! UFO Evidence is one of the Internet's largest sources of quality research and information on the UFO phenomenon, with over 2,000 articles, documents and resources.


"The evidence that the earth is being visited by at least one extraterrestrial civilization is extensive both in scope and detail. In its totality, it comprises a body of evidence which at the very least supports the general assessment that extraterrestrial life has been detected, and that a vigorous program of research and serious diplomatic initiatives is warranted." -- Dr. Steven Greer, Director of CSETI (Center for the Study of Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence)

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World Naked Gardening Day

Get ready for the inaugural World Naked Gardening Day (WNGD)! People across the globe are encouraged, on September 10, 2005, to tend their portion of the world's garden clothed as nature intended.



Gardening has a timeless quality, and anyone can do it: young and old, singles or groups, the fit and infirm, urban and rural. An elderly lady in a Manhattan apartment can plant new annuals in her window box. Families can rake leaves in their back yard. Freehikers can pull invasive weeds along their favorite stretch of trail. More daring groups can make rapid clothes-free sorties into public parks to do community-friendly stealth cleanups.

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Honda Motorcycle Airbag

Incredible. I just can't imagine how this Honda airbag would really help. Now maybe if an airbag enveloped the rider so he could harmlessly bounce along like this Mars rover landing, that might work! Take a look at the Rover Air Bag and imagine the motorcylist inside.

Rover Air Bag



Honda's new motorcycle airbag system, unveiled Sept. 8, 2005, includes crash sensors that monitor acceleration changes and an electronic control unit that calculates when a collision is occuring. The system will be installed in Honda's new Gold Wing motorcycles and is scheduled for release in the U.S. in the late spring of 2006.

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Thursday, September 08, 2005

iPod Nano Review Released

Apple has rolled out yet another version of their famed iPod. Introducing the iPod nano. The only thing that is big is the price. Damn thing is only 3.5” x 1.6” x .27” and weighs only 1.5 ounces. It has a color display and the battery is said to last up to 14 hours. Impressive.



Take everything you love about iPod and shrink it. Now shrink it again. With 2GB (500 songs) and 4GB (1,000 songs) models starting at $199, the pencil-thin iPod nano packs the entire iPod experience into an impossibly small design. So small, it will take your music places you never dreamed of.

iPod nano’s Click Wheel puts music under your thumb. Click to fast-forward, rewind, play, pause or access menus. Use the touch-sensitive surface to control volume or browse music. You can do it all without looking. But with an iPod this beautiful, who’d want to?


Pictures of the Small the iPod Nano is

Can Your iPod Nano survive getting run over by a car ?

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New Trojan Hijacks Koran

A new Trojan horse program circulating around the Internet this week appears to be on a moral mission to stamp out adult Web sites, according to security research firm Sophos PLC.


Instead of snooping for sensitive financial information or secretly taking control of an infected computer, the Trojan, called Yusufali-A, monitors Web surfing habits. When it spots an objectionable term such as "Nudity" or "exhibition," in the browser's title bar, it hides the Web site and instead pops up a message taken from the Koran, said Gregg Mastoras, a senior security analyst with Sophos.

"Allah knows how ye move about and how ye dwell in your homes," reads part of the message, Mastoras said. If the user does not quit the offending Web site, the Trojan will eventually displays a message reading "Oh! NO i'm in the Cage" and force the computer to log-out. Trojan horse programs are similar to viruses in that both contain malicious software that is installed on the user's computer. But Trojans, unlike viruses, do not try to spread to other computers once installed.

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iTunes 5.0 Download

All you iPod users need to head on over to Apple’s website and grab the new iTunes 5.0. There are a handful of new features and the download weighs in at just over 32MB. Grab it if you need it.

New Features. Enjoy a streamlined look, find stuff faster with the new Search Bar, control kids’ access with Parental Controls and hear more of what you love with Smart Shuffle.

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Video Headstones Tombstone

Video screens have shown up all over in recent years — cell phones, bathrooms, car head rests, subway cars, even elevators. Next up: a solar-powered video panel embedded in a tombstone that plays a clip reminiscent of "This Is Your Life."


Sergio Aguirre, founder of Vidstone LLC, poses with his product featuring a solar-powered video panel embedded in a tombstone in his Miami office Thursday, Aug. 25, 2005. The video serenity panel plays a five- to seven-minute multimedia video featuring the best moments from someone's life. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Future Shop Dorm Room Challenge

In Futureshop's Dorm Room, 6 strangers in seven cities across Canada are challenged to stay for 5 days in glassed-in boxes outfitted with the latest in technology without being able to leave and one of them will go home winning all the toys.


We’ve been having a lot of fun during our ultimate dorm room challenge. In case you haven’t been able to make it down to the locations in person, we wanted to show you what you've been missing!! We update these pictures at 10:00 AM (PST) so be sure to check back everyday during the event and don’t forget to visit Future Shop and FutureShop.ca for all your back to school gear.

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Logitech QuickCam Orbit MP, Pro 5000 Webcams

Just when you think webcams are dead, Logitech keeps putting them out, thus showing there’s probably still a market for these low-res cousins of the digicam. (We’re guessing for things like video conferencing and naughty NSFW websites.)



Logitech just dropped three of ‘em: a redesigned QuickCam for Notebooks Pro, the QuickCam Orbit MP, and the QuickCam Pro 5000. All three come packaged with Logitech’s innovative RightLight Technology (which improves image quality in low light), RightSound Technology (reduces echo), and Logitech’s Video Effects software, which allows you to turn your image into a three-dimensional animated character (for freaking out your friends on IM). - Gizmodo

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Logitech® Z-5450 Digital 5.1 Speaker System

Whether in an office, a home theater or a gaming environment, one of the most frustrating aspects of a 5.1 speaker system installation is running the speaker cables for the rear satellites not anymore. The Logitech Z-5450 Digital system´s two rear speakers each feature their own built-in wireless receiver and power amplifier. All each rear speaker needs is a power outlet. Other wireless systems on the market use a single wireless receiver for the back of the room with speaker cable running out to each of the two rear speakers — creating more clutter than Logitech´s design. Its breakthrough design allows the Z-5450 Digital speaker system to be installed quickly and easily in virtually any room configuration.


No more running cables or tripping over speaker wires. Logitech (SWX: LOGN) (NASDAQ: LOGI), a leading manufacturer of multimedia PC speakers, today announced the world´s first THX-certified 5.1 speaker system with digital wireless dual rear speakers. The new Logitech® Z-5450 Digital speakers, ideal for use with the living room entertainment center or the office PC, provide flexibility in setting up an instant surround-sound system. Each of the independent rear speakers can be placed anywhere within 8.5 meters (28 feet) of the speaker system control center, requiring only a power outlet; no unsightly speaker wires running around the room, yet no compromise on quality. With THX-certification and 315 watts of power, these speakers help create a theater-quality movie watching experience and provide enough thump to help people feel like they´re inside the game.

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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Sony's PSP Breaks Sales Records

The Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) has broken records to become the fastest-selling games console of all time in the UK, according to figures.

More than 185,000 were sold in its first four days in UK shops, say official Chart-Track figures.
Rival handheld, the Nintendo DS, sold 87,000 in its launch week in March. The PSP sales account for about £33m.

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Reasons I'm Keeping My Obsolete Computer

Top 11 Reasons you might want to keep your old computer.


9. My plans to open a computer museum, might just get venture capital someday.
8. Three more and I can host a LAN party.
7. The command line will make a comeback, and I want to be ready.
6. Maybe the burglars will steal the old one instead of the new one.
5. When you get a new friend, do you get rid of the old ones?
4. Where else could you get a space heater that also runs Seti@home.
3. It's not obsolete, it's previously functional.
2. So I can complain about how slow the new Microsoft operating system runs on it.
1. You never know when your first three computers go down and you need a fourth back up.

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Steve Jobs Cancels Apple Expo Paris

Steve Jobs canceled his keynote speech at the Apple Expo in Paris, so there will be no keynote speech. Instead, there will be a Q&A with misc. Apple execs. The strange thing is that Jobs is actually going to be at the expo.


Oddly, Jobs will attend the conference however. "Yes, Steve will be at Apple Expo with other members of Apple's executive team," said a company spokesman. Last year, Jobs missed Paris Expo after surgery for pancreatic cancer surgery, leaving his number two Phil Schiller to launch the iMac G5. The conference will come just days after Apple's expected first iTunes phones and the company is expected to announce a wider rejig of its whole iPod line. Apple Expo Paris will starts Tuesday 20 September.

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Podcasting How-To

Today must be the day for “Podcasting How-Tos”. First up, the crew at Designtechnica have posted a guide to making your own Podcast. There is also a short explanation of Podcasting posted at PC Review today as well. Here is a quote from the Designtechnica article:

Podcasts are the latest developments in digital audio broadcasting. Some shows are professionally created by media outlets, such as Disney and ABC News, and others are produced by creative individuals with a microphone and a smidge of know-how. You can listen to anything from the latest sports news from ESPN to a group of random women dishing about pop culture on their girls' night in.

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Monday, September 05, 2005

Levi's Automatic Fitting Machine

Levi's announced dates for its "Levi's Fit Experience". You step inside, and its computers scans every bulge, flab, cottage cheese, etc., and in 10 seconds comes out with the perfect size jeans and style.



After success in a limited market test last spring, the "Fit Experience" is going nationwide in a tour of shopping malls this Fall. With so many styles of jeans, and so many confusing advertising campaigns, you simply don't know what you like anymore. So now they're having a tube tell you.

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Australian Court Rules Against File Sharing

The Australian courts ruled against Sharman saying that the company knows that its software is used for piracy therefore they are “authorizing” copyright infringement. I am amazed that their lawyers didn’t ask the courts if Ford is “authorizing” drunk driving because they know that their automobiles will be misused by drunk drivers but continue to sell them anyway. So much for Sharman having smart lawyers.



Australia's major record companies sued Australian owners and developers, Sharman Networks, claiming the company had cost them millions of dollars in lost sales. The music industry told the court that Sharman Network licensed users to access a network it knew was being used for piracy and hence it was authorising people to infringe copyright.

[H] - Files

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Sunday, September 04, 2005

Ban Comic Sans Anti-Comic Sans Propaganda

In 1995 Microsoft released the font Comic Sans originally designed for comic book style talk bubbles containing informational help text. Since that time the typeface has been used in countless contexts from restaurant signage to college exams to medical information. These widespread abuses of printed type threaten to erode the very foundations upon which centuries of typographic history are built.


While we recognize the font may be appropriate in a few specific instances, our position is that the only effective means of ending this epidemic of abuse is to completely ban Comic Sans.

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Need for Speed Stopped in Germany at 272 kmh

Police said the participants had each paid around 1,500 euros (1,830 dollars) to take part in the race. The drivers were accompanied by three cameramen and three women models. The group had left London in the middle of last week on a trip which had included a night in Amsterdam and a tour of the Ferrari headquarters in Modena, Italy, before reaching Austria.


The front of a Lamborghini. A group of British sportscar drivers were arrested by German police after clocking up speeds of up to 272 kilometres per hour (169 miles per hour) in an illegal race across Europe(AFP/File/Roslan Rahman)

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Robot Dog Keeps Over-Eaters on Tight Leash

The pooch gets its information from a pedometer, bathroom scales and personal digital assistant on which the owner is supposed to (truthfully) record his or her food intake. The data from these electronic devices is sent to the dog by Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.


Sony's Robot dog, Aibo. The British weekly New Scientist's next Saturday issue reports that a US scientist has designed a robot dog -- a souped-up version of Aibo -- that monitors your daily food intake and pleads with you to curb over-indulgence by exhibiting four different behaviours, representing lethargy, energy and two stages in-between(AFP/File/Yoshikazu Tsuno)

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Friday, September 02, 2005

Britain's Naked Hikers Arrested

He was arrested 14 times and served two jail terms during the trip. The former Royal Marine walked the 874-mile (1,363-kilometre) length of Britain from Land's End in southwest England to John O'Groats on the northeast tip of Scotland in 2003-2004.


So-called 'Naked Rambler' Stephen Gough(R) and his girlfriend Melanie Roberts(L), seen here in June 2005 while attempting to walk the length of Britain in the nude, were due to appear in court after being grabbed by police south of Edinburgh following a complaint by a member of the public(AFP/File)

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New Orleans: Death, Menace, Fear, Rape - Anarchy

New Orleans descended into anarchy as corpses lay abandoned in the streets, fights and fires broke out, police officers turned in their badges and the governor declared war on looters who have made the city a menacing landscape of disorder and fear.


“They have M-16s and they’re locked and loaded,” Gov. Kathleen Blanco said yesterday of 300 National Guard troops who landed in New Orleans fresh from duty in Iraq. “These troops know how to shoot and kill, and they are more than willing to do so, and I expect they will.” Four days after Hurricane Katrina roared in with a devastating blow that inflicted potentially thousands of deaths, the fear, anger and violence mounted yesterday.“I’m not sure I’m going to get out of here alive,” said Canadian tourist Larry Mitzel, who handed a reporter his business card in case he goes missing. “I’m scared of riots. I’m scared of the locals. We might get caught in the crossfire.”

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Hitachi Offers 1-inch Bling Drives

Hitachi introduced the new drive, dubbed “Mikey,” short for the Hitachi Microdrive 3K8, along with a companion known as “Slim,” short for the Travelstar C4K60 Slim. Slim is a 1.8-inch hard drive that will be available in capacities of 30 GB and 60 GB (requiring a pair of disks) that can store up to 30,000 songs.


Hitachi hopes the Mikey and Slim drives will catch on among young people and will be used in portable consumer devices that can be worn like “bling” on the streets, and has introduced a new video on the Internet to promote the drives.

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iPod Phone Launch Details

Secret plans for the launch of an iPod phone have been leaked in advance of the official Apple launch, it is believed by an industry analyst. Speculation over the anticipated release began when Apple issued invitations for a press conference. The invitations hinted that Apple was about to launch a product that would cause as much of an impact as the iPod.


Apple is expected to announce today a partnership with Motorola, the handset company, and Cingular Wireless, the mobile service provider, to market a mobile telephone that doubles as a digital music player. The famously secretive Apple usually never discloses details about unreleased products, but did, on this occasion, let slip that the featured gadget was "music related".

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RIAA VS Mother of Five

Read the transcript of this court appearance by a mother of 5 being sued by the RIAA. Is it just me or do you get the feeling the judge is solidly in the mother’s corner? The judge shut down the RIAA at every turn and then said this:

THE COURT: Okay. Well, I think it would be a really good idea for you to get a lawyer, because I would love to see a mom fighting one of these.

THE COURT: I'm in no hurry to see this case resolved. So far, Mrs. Santangelo has raised enough issues, including the use of a screen name or an account name -- not hers, but some other person's -- that suggests that she might have some really interesting defenses to this. And there are defenses that maybe even ought to be litigated.


-[H] files

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DVD Jon Hacks Media Player File Encryption

Johansen achieved notoriety when he was tried and re-tried in a Norwegian court for creating a utility that enabled him to play DVDs on his Linux PC. Prosecutors, acting in the interests of the beloved US Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), argued he had acted illegally by distributing his DeCSS tool to others via the internet. This, the prosecution, claimed, made it easier to pirate DVDs.

Norway's best known IT export, DVD Jon, has hacked encryption coding in Microsoft's Windows Media Player, opening up content broadcast for the multimedia player to alternative devices on multiple platforms.

Jon Lech Johansen has reverse engineered a proprietary algorithm, which is used to wrap Media Player NSC files and ostensibly protect them from hackers sniffing for the media's source IP address, port or stream format. He has also made a decoder available.

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Microsoft Launches Internet Crime Portal

Analysts say the move should resonate with the law enforcement community as a valuable crime-fighting tool. The announcement comes on the heels of the FBI's Microsoft-aided investigation into the origins of the ZoTob worm, which crippled business across the U.S. last month.

"Over the past months, cybercrime has gone from casual to malicious to criminal," said Joe Wilcox, a senior analyst at Jupiter Research.

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Thursday, September 01, 2005

Hamster Powered Cell Phone

Peter Ash, of Lawford, Somerset, attached a generator to his hamster's exercise wheel and connected it to his phone charger.

Elvis does the legwork while Peter charges his phone in an economically and environmentally friendly way. He came up with the idea after his sister Sarah complained that Elvis was keeping her awake at night by playing for hours on his exercise wheel. "I thought the wheel could be made to do something useful so I connected a system of gears and a turbine," he said. "Every two minutes Elvis spends on his wheel gives me about thirty minutes talk time on my phone." The teenage inventor was given a C for his project and has been awarded a D overall for the course.

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Spanish Tomatina Fight

Tens of thousands of people armed with 100 tonnes of plum tomatoes took part in the Tomatina on Wednesday, joyously splattering each other in the Spanish town of Bunol.


Revellers enjoy during the annual 'tomatina' tomato fight fiesta in the village of Bunol, near Valencia, Spain, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2005. Some 36,000 people took part in this year's Tomato fight using up to 100 tons of ripe tomatoes. The tomato fiesta was started in Bunol in 1944 and is held annually. (AP Photo/Fernando Bustamante)

The origin of the tomato fight is disputed -- everyone in Bunol seems to have a favorite story -- but most agree it started around 1940, in the early years of the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco. Like the weeklong celebrations held throughout Spain in the summer, the Tomatina encourages all-night public revelry and behavior that's frowned on for the rest of the year.

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New Meaning to "Cat Burglar"

German police called to a break-in at an apartment in the northern town of Itzstedt found the intruder still on the premises and hiding under a kitchen cabinet.

The "cat burglar" had somehow crawled into the ground-floor of the apartment, broken window blinds, torn down drapes and trashed furniture. Police also found fish and fish remains from a broken aquarium scattered around the apartment, said Julika Reinhardt, spokesman for the police in the town north of Hamburg. Two officers finally found the offender, a cat, hiding under a kitchen cabinet but the heavyweight male resisted arrest, biting one officer in the thumb before they both managed to overpower it. Reinhardt said the cat, wearing a name tag, was returned to its owner who would have to pay for the damage.

"No one knows how the cat broke in," she said. "But the damage was considerable."

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Even Dead People Cannot Cancel Their AOL Accounts

I actually tried to cancel my AOL account and it took three hours only to find out that I had a free account from my days at CNET. The woman on the phone said “now why would you want to cancel something that’s free?” She had a point and so I still have my account. (How much do you want to bet the goons at AOL will yank it now - oh the irony!) Here’s an interesting piece from the NY Times on how even the dead cannot cancel their accounts:

‘”THREE years ago my brother died (officially missing, presumed dead - no death certificate),” wrote an anonymous contributor last week at gripe2ed.com, a consumer complaint Web log. “At that time I was able to cancel his credit card, gas, insurance - everything except his AOL account.”

“It seems that America Online, not entirely irrationally, needed a screen name and other account information to properly cancel the subscription - something this consumer, under the circumstances, did not have handy. Collection notices for payments past due soon followed. The consumer was not amused. “Maybe other people have resorted to faking death in order to get out of their AOL accounts?”‘

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MSN Buys VoIP Company

Microsoft’s online portal buys Teleo as the software behemoth tries to one-up search giant Google.

Microsoft’s online portal MSN said Tuesday it has acquired Teleo, a San Francisco-based VoIP provider, for an undisclosed sum. The financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. Company representatives said MSN had made a significant investment in VoIP so that consumers down the road will have another option to stay connected. Portals MSN and Yahoo, and search engine Google have been adding communications services and other offerings to build their brands and encourage users to spend more time on their sites. On August 24, Google launched an instant messaging service called Google Talk as it sought to catch up with its competitors.

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RIAA Suing 754 People

The RIAA is suing again. 754 lucky candidates have been chosen to participate in this round of “we’re making an example out of you”. Hopefully your name is not on that list.


The recording industry on Wednesday filed its latest round of copyright infringement lawsuits, targeting 754 people it claims used online file-sharing networks to illegally trade in songs. The lawsuits were filed in federal district courts across the country, including California, Colorado, Georgia, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C. The world's major record labels, represented by the Recording Industry Association of America, have filed more than 14,000 such lawsuits since September 2003.

-[H] files

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