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Thursday, December 30, 2004

Poker Hand Slang

I found this and, since I plan on playing a BUNCH of Texas Hold 'Em durring the next week I figured I would share them.... Ok, it's realy so that I can easily come back here and read them.

 

The project list for the week off is extensive. Finish How to Lose Your Job, Pt. 2... seriously mess around with Photoshop via a fine Xmas gift from the Mom... tidy up my Del.icio.us bookmarks to make some sense... hey, I should clean-up my local bookmarks, as well. NOTE TO SELF.

Oh yeah, I'm going to play some poker, as well. In preparation for a Vegas trip in February, the boys are gathering together to put in some reps in at a local casino. The idea being to get a feel for a professionally run poker game versus the home game where we're drunk, loud, and sloppy. Not that you can't do the same in Vegas, it's just that you'll lose lots of cash to folks who aren't.

I've been putting together a list of slang to describe Texas Hold 'Em hands for a few weeks now. It's a list of common and uncommon names for those two hole cards that I've collected from websites too many to credit here, so I'll just say THANK YOU INTERNET.

22 = Ducks, Quackers, Barely Legal
33 = Crabs
3A = Baskin-Robbins (31 flavors)
44 = Mid-life Crisis, Magnum, Sailboats
45 = Jesse James
55 = Presto, Speed Limit, Nickles
57 = Chevrolet, Heinz
5T = Walgreens
66 = Kicks
69 = Big Lick, Dinner for Two
72 = Beer Hand
76 = Union Oil
77 = Hockey Sticks, Mullets, Sunset Strip
7T = Split
88 = Snowmen, Piano Keys
95 = Dolly Parton
99 = Get Smart, Gretzky
TT = Dimes, Boxcars
J4 = Flat Tire (What's a jack for?)
J5 = Motown (Jackson 5)
JJ = Hooks
JA = Jackass
Q3 = San Francisco Waiter (Queen w/ a tray)
QQ = Hilton Sisters, Siegfried and Roy
K3 = Seafood
K9 = Fido, Canine
KJ = Kojak
KQ = Marriage, Mixed Marriage
KK = Cowboys, Krispy Kreme, Gorillas (King Kong)
AJ = Ajax
A8 = Dead Mans Hand
AQ = Mrs. Slick
AK = Big Slick
AA = Pocket Rockets, American Airlines, Bullets, Alcoholics Anonymous


[Rands In Repose]

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

December Blogstipation

Too many things going on to talk about. I will phill you all in starting in the new year.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Man builds giant robot in backyard

Holy heaps of heavy metal!  I want one! :)  Talk about livening up the commute!!!  Move over or I will squish you!!

neomecha

Alright, this guy is officially our new hero.  He’s building an 18-foot tall robot (or “mecha”) in the backyard of his home in Anchorage, Alaska.   The anime-inspired behemoth is actually a giant exoskeleton that you jump into and ride, letting you take eight-foot strides or, presumably, fight invading aliens.  He hopes to have it finished by next summer and will demonstrate it by demolishing a few cars at the local racetrack.  Somebody, please send us video.

[Thanks, Dana]
[Engadget]

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Automakers Working on Car-to-Car Ad-Hoc Networks

So long as the mechanisms that make the car go forward and backwards are not connected :)  I would hate to have a NOW virus tell all the cars that people were stopping in front of them and cause the cars to stop...

But, if we are ever going to realize the vision like they had in the I Robot movie of fully automated travel I guess we have to start somewhere.

Monday, December 20, 2004

VMWare Releases 5.0 Public Beta

Here is something noteworthy!

VMWare released a public beta of the new version 5 of its virtual desktop software Sunday. As reported earlier, the latest release includes a host of new features ranging from improved collaboration and networking, better performance and security, to enhanced cloning capabilities and Microsoft Virtual PC compatibility.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Add WiFi to your Treo 650! SD WiFi card drivers hacked

This looks cool...

Treo 650 small

Plenty of Treo 650 owners were cheesed off that palmOne released their new smartphone without support for their WiFi SD card (which officially only works with the Tungsten T5, the Tungsten T3, and the Zire 72. They’ve promised to get around to supporting it sooner or later, but you know how impatient those hackers can be, and so hot on the heels of his fine work to uncripple the Bluetooth on Sprint’s version of the Treo 650 so you can use it as a wireless laptop modem, “Shadowmite” has figured out a way to hack the driver for the SD WiFi card so it’ll work with the Treo 650, too (the hacked driver is hosted here). Hugeness, of course.

[Engadget]

Microsoft buys GIANT

Got this in my email today:
Today, Microsoft announced that we have acquired GIANT Company Software Inc., a New York-based company that develops anti-spyware and Internet security products. The goal of this strategic investment is to help our customers keep spyware off of their computers with new solutions that they can use in the near future. It also provides us with a solid foundation for delivering new long-term solutions.

In order to help protect customers as soon as possible, we plan to roll out a beta offering of a new spyware prevention, detection, and removal solution based on Giant's technology within the next month. The solution, which will be available for Windows 2000 and later operating systems, will enable customers to decide whether to block, find and remove spyware and other unwanted software from their PCs. Together with the security technologies in Windows XP Service Pack 2 that improve the security of browsing, this solution will offer a higher level of protection for customers on the Internet.

We are also tackling the spyware issue in other ways, including consumer guidance & engagement, industry collaboration and cooperation with legislators & law enforcement.

This acquisition reflects Microsoft's deep commitment to security. We intend to continue investing in solutions to help protect customers against all types of malicious software, not just spyware.

Details on timing and terms of product availability for our new anti-spyware offerings are yet to be determined. It will be available for Windows 2000 and later operating systems.

Microsoft has posted more information on our efforts to combat spyware
on: http://www.Microsoft.com/spyware

If you have any questions regarding this alert please contact your Technical Account Manager or Application Development Consultant.

Thank you,
Microsoft PSS Security Team

Time Warner Boosts Cable Speeds

More bandwidth. :)

Time Warner has unwrapped a holiday gift for its cable Internet subscribers: faster downloads. The company plans to roll out increased speeds of 5Mbits and 8Mbits per second, a 2Mbit boost for its standard and premium RoadRunner cable offerings. Customers in New York will see the improved download speeds starting next Tuesday, while the rest of the country will reap the benefits come January. Time Warner says it will not increase prices for its 3.7 million broadband users.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

SilverStone LC11 Micro ATX Home Theater PC Case

Oooooh, I want one of these to put my BeyondTV setup into. :)

silverstone_lc11.jpg imageWhite is fine and dandy for consumer electronics until they get into the ol' A/V rack, then you want black or silver (or if I had my druthers, wood grain veneer as far as the eye can see). SilverStone's new LC11 Micro ATX home theater PC case looks like it gets it right, then, with options in either color, as well as a quartet of USB 2.0 ports on the front, as well as audio and FireWire inputs on the side. I'm not sure if the side-mount bit is good or not, but I could see it going both ways. If you're building your own Micro ATX-based home theater PC, the SilverStone is not a bad looking box, and it's only $150. The 240-watt power supply means that it's no good for gaming, though, so don't try.

SilverStone LC11 Micro ATX HTPC Enclosure [eHomeUpgrade]
[Gizmodo]

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

10 Most Bizarre Palm OS Programs

OK so this is funny.  Follow the link and take a look at FakeCall.  I need one of these for the PPC-6601. :)

 

 

bubblewrap_emu.jpg imageCanal PDA's original article about the most bizarre Palm OS applications was so popular that they translated it into my harsh, guttural language for my edification. Then, using a series of hand signals, I was able to communicate that they should probably go ahead and translate it into English, since that's what most of our other, non-binary readers prefer. Thank the random seed they did—who wouldn't want to live in a world where someone programmed a Bubble Wrap Emulator?

What's the weirdest bit of software engineering you've ever seen (or used) on a mobile platform that didn't run Palm OS?

Bizarre PDA (I): the weirdest Palm OS programs [CanalPDA]


[Gizmodo]

Monday, December 13, 2004

Nextel, Sprint Discuss Merger

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

<deep breath>

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAhh.

 

Not another merger!  And I hate that damn Nextel sound.  People who use those phones have no concept of a dang headset!  It is soooo annoying to have to hear that while trying to eat lunch.  And after finding out that all the person has to do is hold it open to their head and it still works like a radio I am even more peeved.

You didn't read it here first, but it's worth noting: Nextel has unique technology that lets them serve businesses who need push-to-talk quite well, but it's a mess of spectrum and their next-generation data plans are all on the drawing board. Sprint needs to be bigger, and wants the business audience, plus they need to roll out PTT. But they have a 3G plan that's committed to. Could be a decent merger of equals or thereabouts in terms of revenue, subscribers, and what they're bringing to the table. If the merger happens, T-Mobile becomes the distant fourth player in the market. Meanwhile, it's also possible Verizon Wireless will buy Nextel. Verizon Wireless is the only other CDMA carrier in the market now that AT&T Wireless customers as part of Cingular are either on GSM or required to move. Om Malik has some of his usual great analysis of the matter, including the merger's impact on Flarion (the next-generation non-standard wireless data technology Nextel was trying out) and Motorola (which sells Nextel quite a few handsets)....

[Wi-Fi Networking News]

Siemens SX66 for Cingular available

Here you go TechnoD.  This is their version of the PPC-6601, which I have had for about 3 weeks.  It is also the reason I have not made many posts as I have been too busy reading and playing jawbreaker...erm, using the bluetooth connection to VPN and work hard all night... yeah, right.... :)

Siemens SX66Cingular Wireless has finally launched the Siemens SX66, the Pocket PC phone with the slide-out QWERTY keyboard, 3.5-inch LCD screen, 400MHz Intel Xscale processor, quad band GSM/GRPS, an SDIO expansion card slot, and built-in Bluetooth and 802.11b WiFi (yes, it’s basically the Blue Angel/XDA III). The SX66 has a talk time of 4 hours and a standby time of 7 days, and can be yours for $550—but only if you sign a two year contract with Cingular.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this one in]
[Engadget]

Biohybrid Limbs

Wow!  After my grandfather had one of his legs amputated I have a new respect for what these folks have to deal with.  This look like a step in the right direction.... Did I just say that?

biohybrid_limb.jpg imageThis little vo-tech called "MIT" is working on a project to develop "biohybrid" limbs that will use not only mechanical assistance to help amputees get around, but also regenerated tissues and implanted sensors to control the prosthetics. It sounds like a project to take much of the various existing prosthetic technology and bundle it into a nervous system-controlled next-gen system: fluids that solidify into paste when in a magnetic field, springs, artificial constricting polymer muscles, implanted rice-sized microchip sensors; it's not that all this is new, so much as it is an effort to bring the best tech together.

'Biohybrid' limbs for amputees [NearNearFuture]

[Gizmodo]

Thursday, December 9, 2004

The Roborior

OK, I know you may have already seen this but it looks neat!  I wish I could have a bunch of these set to follow the kids around at school! :)

But, you should add tasers to it so that if I don't like the kid following my kid I can taze'em!

Roborior

This is such a tease. Sanyo and tmsuk introduce their new blob-shaped Roborior security bot, which is exactly what we’d want to have patrolling around the house (and perhaps also to hunt down and kill Karim Rashid, oh the irony), and of course it’s only for Japan.

Click to see a couple more pics.

[Via Akihabara News]

Roborior
Roborior

[Engadget]

Wednesday, December 8, 2004

ESX Server Management Interface reports "Unexpected Response" errors

I am posting this because I had it happen too many times and have found it very hard to find this information on the VMWare support site. The links that I saved would either become invalid or would not point to the same thing any more.

This came from the VMWare site so if you have doubts about it, please go there and check it out.


Question
When attempting to manage an ESX Server 2.x virtual machine, the Management Interface reports one of the following:

Unexpected response from vmware-authd: 511 Error connecting to /usr/sbin/vmware-ccagent process.

Unexpected response from vmware-authd: 511 Error connecting to /usr/sbin/vmware-serverd process.

When this ESX Server host is managed by VirtualCenter, the VirtualCenter client may also hang or fail to manage the virtual machines running on that ESX Server host. Is it possible to get past these problems?

Answer
Below are the steps you should take to restore connectivity to ESX Server virtual machines without restarting ESX Server itself to resolve the problem.

Check the free disk space on the root filesystem (the / directory).
Log into the Service Console.
Run vdf -h.
If the Use% column is at or near 100%, move any non-essential files, such as .iso files, to another location to make more space available.


Restart vmware-ccagent or vmware-serverd.
If this ESX Server host is listed in VirtualCenter, run:
ps -auwwwx |grep vmware-ccagent
If this ESX Server host is not listed in VirtualCenter, run:
ps -auwwwx |grep vmware-serverd
Find the process ID for vmware-ccagent (or vmware-serverd).
Kill the process using kill -9 nnn, where nnn is the process ID noted in the previous step.


Restart the http daemon. Run /etc/init.d/httpd.vmware restart.

One possible cause for these problems is attempting to use the Management Interface and the VirtualCenter client to simultaneously access ESX Server while the server is managed by VirtualCenter.

Monday, December 6, 2004

Oakley MP3 Sunglasses

$400!?!?!  Egads that's a high price.  But I guess you pay for name brand specs...

SigmaTel, the leader of MP3 audio controller chips within portable MP3 players has announced a new stylish product and a world exclusive. The "performance eyewear" known as Oakley Thump is available now for Christmas at Oakley.com online stores.

The sunglasses come with 128MB of memory ($400) or with 256MB memory ($495). The device has low power consumption and USB 2.0 to ensure fast data transfer to your goggles.

If you want anymore information on the Oakley sunglasses follow the link below.

Screenshot: >> Click here <<
View: Oakey Thump MP3 Sunglasses

Read full story... [Neowin.net]

Friday, December 3, 2004

Sprint Treo 650 Bluetooth Car Link Issues

I know for a fact that there are issues.  Not only with the Treo 650 but also the new PPC-6601.  I hope the are working on a fix that that as well.

treo_cars.jpg imageA week or so ago some Acura owners complained that their newly-purchased Treo 650s weren't working with their cars' Bluetooth Handsfree links. While that was unfortunately, this whole Bluetooth car thing isn't exactly a science yet, so a little slack was given. Now Blueserker is reporting that it's not just a problem with Acura—many different makes and models of cars, from Toyotas to Chryslers, are having problems getting the link to work correctly (or at all). Posters on the PriusChat forums say that Sprint has acknowledged the issue and is working on a fix (presumably in tandem with PalmOne), but beyond the as-yet-unfulfilled promises from Sprint pre-launch to fix the Dial Up Networking portion of the Treo's Bluetooth stack, no official word has been made.

Bad News for Treo 650 Owners
[Blueserker]


[Gizmodo]

Thursday, December 2, 2004

Coming soon: Robots with Guns

More on robots with guns.

talonrobots Unmanned military systems (aka robots) have been used on the ground in Iraq to search buildings and dispose of explosives since the beginning of the war. Now Foster-Miller’s TALON robots are being adapted for a new purpose—to serve as a weapons-firing robot army that can be on the move night and day. Able to carry four 66-mm rockets, or six 40-mm grenades, as well as a M240 or M249 machine gun, the new TALON robots are intended to protect vehicles and patrol rough terrain, firing via remote control. By April 2005, the first batch of armed Talons are scheduled for deployment in Iraq, as part of the Army’s Stryker Brigade.  No doubt they will be amazingly popular with the troups, for whom going out on patrol and accompanying convoys has been a perilous exercise.

[Engadget]

Wednesday, December 1, 2004

PPC-6601 notes

well... I have had the new phone for a few days. I have tried to be objective, fair, and balanced. This phone ROCKS!! I?ve had a few bugs with a constant beep but if you factor in the connectivity and expandability it outshines the rest. plus its just damn cool. :)

Money 2005 For Pocket PC Released

'bout frigging time!!!

Microsoft has released Microsoft Money 2005 for Pocket PC for use with their recently released Microsoft Money 2005 desktop personal financial management program. The link above will take you to the 1.4MB download for English devices. It is not yet at the normal Money for Pocket PC site - where you can still download the 2003 and 2004 versions. It requires a...

Talon Robots to Wield Guns in Iraq

Now this is note-worthy.  How would you like to be fighting against one of these?

robot_guns.jpg imageMy nigga Noah Shachtman, who I call 'nigga' because neither of us is black, drops mechanized science in this story for Wired, talking about a new prototype Talon robots that will be hitting the sunny deserts of Iraq—fully-armed. I won't say this is a spectacularly bad idea, because 1) it's awesome, 2) robots are unthinking killing machines, just like people, and 3) it's time to get this dystopian dark overlorded future party started.

I'm sure they've secured the radio control signals and worked out the bugs just fine. Of course, if they haven't, the 'malfunctioning' units only have four rockets or six grenades to dodge, and with all that high-quality body armor our troops are wearing, who cares about some silly, motile machine gun capable of thinking for itself?

More Robot Grunts Ready for Duty [Wired]

[Gizmodo]

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

TROPICAL STORM OTTO Public Advisory Number 1

Otto?!?  I thought the season was over?

Issued 4 PM EST TUE NOV 30 2004
[National Hurricane Center (Atlantic)]

Pocket SharpMT

I just found pocket sharpmt. it lets me post to me blog from the new phone :)
SharpMT

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

First Treo 650 hack: Enable the Bluetooth dial-up networking profile

Hehe, I did the PDA to PPC-6601 yesterday... It was fun.

Treo 650

That was hella fast. The Treo 650 has been in people’s hands for what, like five or six days, and somebody’s already hacked the Bluetooth so you can use it as a wireless modem with your laptop (or if you’re super geeky, another PDA). This is despite Sprint’s best attempts to preempt anyone from doing this by announcing they were going to add the DUN profile to Treo 650 sometime next year, too. Apparently you don’t even need to install PDAnet, anymore either, but just make sure you don’t stream too much audio or video or host your website on your Treo or else you might arouse the interest of Sprint’s bandwidth police (they forced us to stop hosting Engadget on a cluster of Treos several months ago).

[Thanks, David]
[Engadget]

Monday, November 22, 2004

Back online!

One of my favorite sites is back online!  See what Dale has to say... And add this site to your aggregator! :)

OK, I got tired of waiting for my website to get back on-line so in the interim a good friend of mine suggested I just start blogging! 

I am trying to re-point the old DNS to this blog so I am not exactly sure how long it will take. I think it may take up to 48 hours. Let's see who the first is to get on and post a comment? ;)

At least we won't have to look at this any longer...

Our apologies for the unscheduled maintenance that has temporarily taken www.pocketpcpassion.com offline. Due to a monitored drive failure in the RAID system, we have taken the opportunity to not only to replace the affected drive, which normally does not affect website availability, we have also opted to update the operating system to Windows Server 2003 for improved security. A long awaited upgrade.

We apologize for the inconvenience, and appreciate you bearing with us as we strive to improve the quality & security of our Remote Hosting service. Your site should not be affected for long as we swap operating system images and configure.

Please check back later today when the system should be back online. Thank you.

[mobilePASSION]

Is the Treo 650 a Weakling?

Ouch!  I wonder how much usable memory there is in the PPC-6601.. Oh yeah, it's 128Mb.... :)

Treo650.jpgConsumer logic dictates that the Treo 650 should be a country mile better than the Treo 600, right? At least in terms of key specs like memory. But some eagle-eyed users are claiming that PalmOne's playing some serious sleight-of-hand with the 650's storage. Treonauts does the math, and it ain't pretty: "Existing users will have 30 percent less memory to use when compared to the Treo 600, thus bringing the 'true' user-available memory down to only 16MB."

Ouch. I guess there's no smart-phone-storage corollary to Moore's Law, huh?

The Treo 650 Memory Debate [Treonauts]


[Gizmodo]

PowerFilm rollable solar-powered battery charger

Didn't we talk about this, oh, 5 years ago?  It would be nice, but I bet it doesn't catch on..  We are *so* deap-rooted to the notion of bringing stinkin' batteries with us everywhere...

PowerFilm

PowerFilm have created a roll of solar material that allows one to recharge cellphones, cars, and other rechargeable electronics with a rollable solar panel.  They’re made by Iowa Thin Film Technologies and are available in three sizes with varying power outputs.  The largest, at 12 x 73-inches, will put out 1.2 Amps and only weighs 1.9 pounds.  Available connectors include cigarette lighter, battery chargers, and daisy chain connectors.  Prices start at about $150.   MMmmm.  Sun juice.

[Via TRFJ]

[Engadget]

Friday, November 19, 2004

Xcelis unlimited cellphone calling plan

Hey, this looks cool.  It's not available yet for Sprint but when it is I may try it.

Xcelis logoSince many cellphone carriers offer unlimited minutes for calls to users on the same network, Xcelis has capitalized on this and is offering a $10 per month plan that (in addition with your regular cellphone service fees) lets you call anywhere in the US and Canada for as much as you want. After calling one of the Xcelis network phone numbers and entering in the phone number you wish to call, they route the call over the Internet via VoIP or a landline, which is why they claim they’re able to offer unlimited calling for such a low price. It’s all a bit on the dodgy side, (all those cruddy pixelized graphics sure don’t help), but they are offering new users a free 7 day trial, so we’ll leave it up to you guys to be the guinea pigs here. 

[Thanks, Marc]
[Engadget]

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Rumor: T-Mobile and Sprint Launching Ringback Tones

Hehe, I can't wait...  Ringringring, bananaphone!!!!

Everybody is a lot more excited about these ringback tones than I expected. I'm sort of dreading them, myself, as I'll now be forced to endure everyone's humorous or nostalgic choices of music as I try to call them. On the bright side, it gives me an excuse to hang up on them faster, preventing the dreaded voice communication.

But Verizon isn't the only one jumping in with the ringback tones, I've heard. An anonymous source just dropped this bit in my lap and I thought I'd pass it on.

I have been looking into the ringback tones, and word from an analyst is that certain providers will allow you to voice your own messages over the songs you select for your ringback. Word is that the T-Mobile announcement is "immanent" and Sprint is expected in Q1 '05.

Verizon Offers Custom Ringback Tones
[Gizmodo]

Slim Devices' Squeezebox now in four delicious colors

They also came out with 5.4.0 on the server software which is quite nice.  They added better support for other music formats.  They also are offering a deal where you ship them your CDs and they will rip them all onto DVD-ROM for you..

Slim Designs Color Squeezebox

The Squeezebox, Slim Devices’ iTunes-compatible network player is now as colorful as an iPod Mini.  See, it now comes in four delicious colors: Rhapsody in Blue, Tangerine Dream, Purple Haze, and Triple Platinum, dude.  In a bid to create some hype around the Christmas season, the limited edition color players can only be purchased from their website for $209 ($289 for wireless).  They ship next week.

[Thanks, Greg]
[Engadget]

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

mGALSync 1.0.0

Super cool!!!  I am downloading this right now. :)

For you smartphone folks this should come in quite handy.

"Automatically synchronize your Outlook GAL to your Pocket PC!

mGALSync allows you to synchronize your Outlook Global Address List (GAL) to the Contacts folder on your Pocket PC device. Benefits include:

  • Contact details include all standard Microsoft Exchange Server fields, including: Name, Job title, Department, Phone numbers, Email address, Notes and many more.

  • Contact details are stored in your Pocket Contacts database.

  • Email addresses are displayed using SMTP format not X400.

  • Distribution Lists and Custom Recipients are also Sync'ed.

  • GAL Contacts can either by Sync'ed direct to Pocket Contacts on your Pocket PC, or into your Outlook Contacts folder for Sync'ing via ActiveSync.

  • GAL Contacts are added to a new 'GAL' Category, making them easier to manage."

[MS Exchange Blog]

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Windows Mobile passes Palm in PDA sales

This may not be news to some of you but hey, it's early and I wanted to let you folks know I was still out here.

Dell Axim X50 Pocket PC

With PDA sales essentially flat, we’re practically at the point where they’re squabbling over a dead carcass of a market, but Microsoft just swiped the title of most popular PDA operating system away PalmSource. A full 48.1% of all non-smartphone PDAs sold in the third quarter of this year run on some flavor of Windows CE (mainly the Pocket PC operating system), while Palm-powered PDAs accounted for only 29.8% of sales, a pretty significant decline from the same period last year. Windows Mobile and Palm are still dwarfed by Symbian when it comes to the ever more important market for smartphones, but any way you slice it, the Palm OS is hurting, with Sony killing their Palm-powered line of Clie handhelds everywhere except Japan, and former conjoined twin palmOne supposedly flirting with a Windows Mobile version of the Treo.


[Engadget]

Friday, November 12, 2004

Averatec C3500 Windows XP Tablet Edition Notebook Review

This one is for my buddy Noggin who was just asking me about which TabletPC to get....  I haven't used it myself, but it looks good..

"While other second generation convertible Windows XP Tablet PCs are priced at or over $2000, the Averatec C3500 sells for only $1350. What can you expect from a tablet that has such a low price? Quite a lot. The Averatec has an AMD 1.2GHz mobile Athlon XP-M 2200+ processor with a 60GB hard drive, 512MB memory, a bright and contrasty screen with a wide viewing angle, built-in 802.11g wireless and ample ports. It runs Windows XP Tablet Edition and...

Monday, November 8, 2004

Electric Monday

To keep the "current" thread going for today, I figured I would turn you on to the shock jacket. :)  This would be kind of cool.

anti molest jacketBasically reinventing the No Contact Jacket that came out a couple of years ago, some students at the National Institute of Fashion Technology in India have developed a jacket that uses metal embroidery in order to conduct 100 volts of shock to molesters.  A button on the waistband allows wearers to trigger the shock, and insulation protects you from shocking yourself.  It’s not available yet, but if the model version is any indication, it won’t be taking off here any time soon, because, after all, looks trump function any day.  Unless you’re talking about Ugg boots, but that’s another story.
[Engadget]

Electric Shock Treatment?!?

You can darn sure bet I would show marked improvement in verbal skills if you even *thought* about getting near me with electrodes!!!

Volunteers show marked improvement in verbal skills after a research team runs a weak current through their foreheads. The researchers say it could lead to innovative therapies for patients with brain injuries. By Amit Asaravala.

[Wired News]

Friday, November 5, 2004

Burn a DVD in Two Seconds

2 seconds?!?

Just saw this little tidbit from yesterday and thought it was worth mentioning, although there's very little in the way of details. The gist (actually, the whole of the information available) is that Pioneer and TDK are collectively developing a DVD-R capable of burning a disc in two seconds. Two seconds. Mommy?

Movie Pirate Dream Machine: Burn 30 DVD-Rs Per Minute [TheRawFeed]

[Gizmodo]

Keep tabs on your car via cellphone with Directed Electronic's Viper auto tracking system

This was just too cool to not post. :)

directed viperUsing GPS and the already-in-place cellphone network, Direct Electronic’s Viper car tracking system allows users to “call” their car to do anything from warm up the engine to see if it has left a predetermined area.  You can also set it up so it’ll send warnings if it has driven above a particular speed, has left a specific area (like if you want to make sure your wily teenager is only taking the car to school and back). you don’t trust the person driving the car), or you  can just check where the car is and at what speed it is driving.  This paranoia device will set you back $699, and can be coupled with other devices that will allow you to lock doors or shut off the engine if you want to spend a little more.


[Engadget]

A story about malware

Wow, this is a crazy read. See the original here as a person at the SANS Internet Storm Center maps out the path of a single users visit to one website on an unpatched workstation.

Please, if you like having a clean system, at *least* do the following...

1: Install AdAware from Lavasoft
   Run it once a week and update it often.

2. Install Spybot S&D
   Update the definition files, turn on the memory resident portion and dont forget to imunize your system. I can't tell you how many times I go to a page and get a "Doubleclick Detected" pop-up. This keeps sooooo much crap off of your machine.

3. Install an anti-virus program on your computer. I recoment AVG Anti-Virus only because it is free and has updates just as good as the comercial ones. If you use a different one fine, just make sure to update the virus definitions AND engine.

4. Install ZoneAlarm from ZoneLabs. I know it is chatty at first but you can't believe how much safer your system is if you do this. If you don't know what a process it, deny it from accessing your network connection.

5. If you have kids using the computer while you are not around... Install something like NetNanny . this one costs money but it is to protect your kids.

Anyway. Just in case you don't want to follow another link, here is the clip from the SANS ICS about malware... Be afraid. Be VERRY afraid!

Follow The Bouncing Malware, Part III

Note: Most of the links in the following are not "clickable" on purpose. Think of it as a warning...

Before we begin our tumble down the rabbit hole once more, just a few brief words:

For those of you who have been following this little excursion: thank you for your patience. It’s probably difficult to completely understand the amount of time that each of these little essays takes to research and write. While I’ve been working on this particular installment, there were also the distractions of family, job, the daily “stuff” coming in at the SANS ISC, MS04-028, GDIScan, turning the ISC into the GDIScan helpdesk (sorry gang!), windsurfing the halls at NS2004 in Vegas, etc..., etc... You have my sincere apologies for the wait, as well as my fervent hope that it was worth it.

With that out of the way, why don’t we “warm up” by quickly retracing the path we’ve already trod? Perhaps now would be a good time to take a bathroom break and grab a fresh container of your favorite adult beverage, ‘cause once this caravan rolls, we ain’t stoppin’. Go on, I’ll wait...

Ready? Good. Let’s go!

In the beginning, there was Joe Average. And Joe didst buy himself a computer and conneceth it to the Internet. And with his computer, Joe did surfeth, and readeth email, and playeth many games. And Joe looked upon the Internet, and it was Good.

But while Joe did possess knowledge of the Internet Good, he did not understand that Evil too lived on the Internet. And he patcheth not.

Then one day, Joe didst unknowingly go to a Bad Place, and much Evil befell his shiny new computer.

How Evil? Very, VERY Evil:

From Follow The Bouncing Malware, Part I
(http://isc.sans.org/diary.php?date=2004-07-23 ):

1) Joe's homepage had been changed. It is now set to:

http://default-homepage-network.com/start.cgi?new-hkcu

2) Joe’s default search page has been set to:

http://server224.smartbotpro.net/7search/?new-hkcu

3) Search assist has been turned off.

4) "TV Media Display" has been installed on Joe's machine.

5) addictivetechnologies.net had graced Joe's machine with a file identified by AV software as Win32/TrojanDownloader.Rameh.C.

And, from Follow The Bouncing Malware, Part II
(http://isc.sans.org/diary.php?date=2004-08-23 ):

6) Joe’s computer, at the behest of the Addictive Technologies malware, downloaded “instructions” from F1Organizer.com

7) Following those instructions, new “Favorites” were added to Joe’s browser, and two new “gifts” (SplWbr.dll and ezbdlLs.dll) were installed on his computer.

8) The installation of SplWbr.dll dumped an “Ad Destroyer and Virtual Bouncer” from SpyWare Labs, Inc. and “TopRebates.com AutoTrack software” onto Joe’s computer.

9) The installation of ezbdlLs.dll dropped a “Utility for downloading files and upgrading software” from “ABetterInternet”, a utility to “Make Your Internet Browsing Simple, Exciting, and Personal” from the fine folks at “ezULA”, and an affiliate ID hijacker called SAHAgent onto Joe’s PC.

10) Finally, the file hp1.exe was downloaded and executed via a .CHM exploit.

That’s where we stopped last time, with my promise that the file “hp1.exe” was “a real piece of work.”

So... let’s take a look at hp1.exe.

The file hp1.exe contains 49,152 bytes o’ Visual Basic goodness (guffaw). The file’s version information claims that it was created by a company called “df”, with an internal name of “bigs104”. Launching this beastie begins bringing down a veritable rain of malware on a machine. Sit back and try to keep up as we follow the bouncing malware:

First, it contacts "http://mmm.roings.com/bundle.php?aff=bigs104" and downloads 1449 bytes of some sort of data:

388
{}{}{}wrds======ckkcha*gki+waevgl9uxwaevgl*}elkk*gki+waevgl9tx
}elkk*gki+v+w|+.9txv`w*}elkk*gki+9txwaevgl*iwj*gki+vawqhpw*ewt9ux
eqpk*waevgl*iwj*gki+vawqhpw*ewt9uxc*iwj*gki+9ux
ekhwaevgl*gki+ekhgki+waevgl9uqav}xwaevgl*ekh*gki+ekhgki+waevgl9uqav}x
ehhplasaf*gki+waevgl9uxsaf*ewo*gki+saf9uxkravpqva*gki+`+waevgl9Oa}skv`wx
gkjpajp*kravpqva*gki+`+waevgl9Oa}skv`wxiw|ih*mjbkwtega*gki+lkia+`kc9uosx
mjbkwtega*gki+lkia+`kc9uosxwaevgl*japwgeta*gki+jw+waevgl9uqav}x
japwgeta*gki+jw+waevgl9uqav}xehpermwpe*gki+saf+vawqhpw9ux
waevgl*h}gkw*gki+`abeqhp*ewt9uqav}xh}gkw*gki+waevgl*ewt9uqav}x
waevgl*aevplhmjo*jap+pvego9uxwaevgl*hkkowievp*gki+t+waevgl9up
{}{}{}doms======faewp}wtkvpeh*2|*pk9995xxxgavmeh~*gki9996xxx
`vmjoi}*gki9995
{}{}{}ver======17
{}{}{}pay======yes
{}{}{}ip======aa.bbb.cc.dd (note: this was Joe’s machine’s IP address)
{}{}{}phases======`veckjfehh~9995xxxgvegow9996xx
mb$}kq$qwa$plmw$wmpa9995
{}{}{}sewers======wa|$bkv$bvaa9995xxxwa|9996xxxikva$wa|$bkv$ia9995
12
{}{}{}outers======
175
xxxxxi}a|a999lppt>++fmjw6*ia`me)ikpkv*jap+wkbp+hke`w+999i}a|a999999EHHx
JQHHxxxxxerepev999lppt>++sss*erepevvawkqvgaw*gki+`mwp+ewp[0[ii*a|a999ewp[0
[ii*a|a999ewp[0[ii*a|a999QWxAFxEQxGExCFxxxxx
a6cmra999lppt>++fmjw6*ia`me)ikpkv*jap+wkbp+Ia`meIkpkv61*a|a999Ia`meIkpkv61*
a|a999Ia`meIkpkv61*a|a999QWxGExxxxx
qjwpeh999lppt>++qtw*vkmjcw*gki+wkbp+qjwpehh*a|a999qmjwpehhav999999EHHx
JQHH
f
{}{}{}reg======
5c
xxxxxkg|5<999lppt>++fmjw6*ia`me)ikpkv*jap+wkbp+ii64*kg|999ii64*kg|999ii64*kg|
999EHHxQWxGExAF
6
{}{}{}
0
(Note: the data has been reformatted to display better in the Diary.)

Well, what the heck does all of that mean? Hmmm... it’s obviously a “generated on the fly” data file, because the file contained, in plain-text, the IP address of the NAT firewall that Joe’s machine was behind. It also appears to have been “encrypted” in some manner.

Given some time, and several pieces of paper wadded up and thrown at the cat in frustration, your intrepid author cracked the code, and wrote the following program to decrypt the data:


#include

int main(int ac, char **av) {
FILE *in, * out;
char buffer[80], *c, val;
int cont = 1;

if(ac != 2){puts("Usage: df_decrypt filename"); return 1;}
if((in = fopen(av[1], "r")) == NULL){puts("Cannot open input file."); return 2;}
if(!(out = fopen("output.txt", "w"))){puts("Cannot open output file."); return 3;}
while(cont){
if(fgets(buffer, sizeof(buffer), in)){
c = buffer;
while(*c){
if(*c != '\n'){
val = *c & 7;
if(val < 4) *c = *c + 4;
else *c = *c - 4;
}
c++;
}
fputs(buffer, out);
} else cont = 0;
}
fclose(in); fclose(out);
return 0;
}
Filling the decrypted data back into the file alongside any original data that is obviously “keywords” results in the following unencrypted file:

388
{}{}{}wrds======google.com/search=q|search.yahoo.com/search=p|
yahoo.com/r/sx/*=p|rds.yahoo.com/=p|search.msn.com/results.asp=q|
auto.search.msn.com/results.asp=q|g.msn.com/=q|aolsearch.com/aolcom/search=query|
search.aol.com/aolcom/search=query|alltheweb.com/search=q|web.ask.com/web=q|
overture.com/d/search=Keywords|content.overture.com/d/search=Keywords|
msxml.infospace.com/home/dog=qkw|infospace.com/home/dog=qkw|
search.netscape.com/ns/search=query|netscape.com/ns/search=query|
altavista.com/web/results=q|search.lycos.com/default.asp=query|
lycos.com/search.asp=query|search.earthlink.net/track=q|
search.looksmart.com/p/search=qt
{}{}{}doms====== beastysportal.6x.to===1|||cerialz.com===2|||drinkmy.com===1
{}{}{}ver======17
{}{}{}pay======yes
{}{}{}ip======aa.bbb.cc.dd (note: this was Joe’s machine’s IP address)
{}{}{}phases====== dragonballz===1|||cracks===2||if you use this site===1
{}{}{}sewers====== sex for free===1|||sex===2|||more sex for me===1
12
{}{}{}outers======
175
|||||myexe===http://bins2.media-motor.net/soft/loads/
===myexe======ALL|NULL
|||||avatar===http://www.avatarresources.com/dist/ast_4_mm.exe
===ast_4_mm.exe===ast_4_mm.exe===US|EB|AU|CA|GB
|||||e2give===http://bins2.media-motor.net/soft/MediaMotor25.exe
===MediaMotor25.exe===MediaMotor25.exe===US|CA
|||||unstal===http://ups.roings.com/soft/unstall.exe
===uinstaller======ALL|NULL
f
{}{}{}reg======
5c
|||||ocx18===http://bins2.media-motor.net/soft/mm20.ocx
===mm20.ocx===mm20.ocx===ALL|US|CA|EB
6
{}{}{}
0
After downloading this “control data” file, Joe’s computer then contacts "http://www.mastermind.com/a?l=PeAyF1sgrZYw&i=aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd" on TCP port 8010 (where aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd is Joe’s computer’s IP address) and has three lines of data returned: “2”, “US”, “0”.

This ties in with what appear to be “country codes” found within various portions of the unencrypted data file. It appears that the malware will react differently depending on the country where the infected machine is located. The script at www.mastermind.com takes the IP address and returns a country code. The other two codes (“2” and “0”) appear to control different aspects of the malware’s behavior.

Immediately upon receiving the “US” country code from mastermind.com, Joe’s computer contacts "http://bins2.media-motor.net/soft/mm20.ocx" and downloads, installs, and registers this 61,440 byte OCX. Examining this file, it appears to be an OCX version of hp1.exe. It contains many of the same strings, and appears to offer the same functionality. I would assume that it acts as a resident version of hp1.exe.

Next, hp1.exe contacts "http://bins2.media-motor.net/soft/loads/8-24.exe" and downloads a 40,960 byte executable. The “8-24” name is derived from the date at the time of the download (August 24th).

Based upon the “marching orders” within the unencrypted datafile, Joe’s computer now contacts "http://www.avatarresources.com/dist/ast_4_mm.exe" and downloads a 129,152 byte executable. It then contacts "http://bins2.media-motor.net/soft/MediaMotor25.exe" and downloads a 9,056 byte executable.

Both of these files are launched, and MediaMotor25.exe immediately initiates a download from "http://64.7.220.98/downloads/IeBHOs.dll" which is a 129,536 byte long BHO (Browser Helper Object) that is installed into (duh) IE (Internet Explorer). IeBHOs.dll is a known component of adware from “e2give.” Because it is installed into IE and becomes, essentially, part of the browser, it is in the perfect position to monitor the URLs being “surfed” and to change Joe's browser's requests when going to specific sites in order to “direct” affiliate commissions to e2give. According to the e2give.com website, “e2give will donate a portion of each qualifying purchase to the e2give charities network.” This, of course, makes it perfectly fine for them to install their software onto Joe’s machine without his permission. (Yes, that was sarcasm.)

The ast_4_mm.exe file from avatarresources.com is a Wise installation executable. As it installs, it phones home to let the fine folks at avatarresources know that it has found a new place to live:

"http://www.avatarresources.com/count/count.php?&mm2_us&mm2_new_nocpr"

The Wise installation has it’s own downloading engine which contacts the interestingly named “www.wenksdisdkjeilsow.com” and accesses the URL “http:// www.wenksdisdkjeilsow.com/config/?v=5&n=mm2&i=” which, despite the fact that it generates errors, sends back more configuration information (sheesh guys, if you’re going to go through all the trouble to set this stuff up, at least set the permissions correctly on your scripts...)


566

Warning: SAFE MODE Restriction in effect.
The script whose uid is 500 is not allowed to access
/usr/local/psa/home/vhosts/wenksdisdkjeilsow.com/httpdocs
/config/log owned by uid 10011 in/usr/local/psa/home
/vhosts/wenksdisdkjeilsow.com/httpdocs/config/index.php
on line 24

Warning: fopen("/usr/local/psa/home/vhosts
/wenksdisdkjeilsow.com/httpdocs/config/log", "a") -
Inappropriate ioctl for device in /usr/local/psa
/home/vhosts/wenksdisdkjeilsow.com/httpdocs
/config/index.php on line 24

Warning: fputs(): supplied argument is not a
valid File-Handle resource in /usr/local/psa
/home/vhosts/wenksdisdkjeilsow.com/httpdocs/config/index.php
on line 25

Warning: fclose(): supplied argument is not a
valid File-Handle resource in /usr/local/psa
/home/vhosts/wenksdisdkjeilsow.com/httpdocs/config/index.php
on line 26
[URLS]
2,http://tt2.avres.net/tt/remove_spyware.exe
2,http://tt2.avres.net/tt/curgsi.exe
3,http://searchlocate.com/toolbar/searchlocate.exe

[VERSION]
5

[PROGRAM URL]
http://www.wenksdisdkjeilsow.com/files/ast_5_main.exe

[ID]
ArKJ9t9HzRnbf0GineJhq

[PRIORITY]
1,http://tt2.avres.net/tt/cpr_mm2.exe
2,http://tt2.avres.net/tt/ab1.exe
3,http://tt2.avres.net/tt/tvm_bundle.exe
4,http://tt2.avres.net/tt/cpr_mm2.exe

0
That’s just really BAD programming: you MUST check that those handles returned are valid when you open a file... dang... that’s Programming 101 Stuff. But I digress...

Hey! Look there! I see more URLs pointing to executable files. Gee, I wonder what’ll happen...?

Anyway... we now manage to round out the list of files that was in our original encrypted configuration data, and Joe’s machine goes out and grabs a file from "http://ups.roings.com/soft/unstall.exe." This actually does appear to be some sort of uninstall program, written in Visual Basic, and weighing in at 45,056 bytes. It only seems targeted at the files directly installed by the hp1.exe file, though.

But, lest we forget, we still have a Wise install running in the background. And, you guessed it, in “PRIORITY” order, it downloads:

"http://tt2.avres.net/tt/cpr_mm2.exe" (270,415 bytes)
"http://tt2.avres.net/tt/ab1.exe" (500,869 bytes)
"http://tt2.avres.net/tt/tvm_bundle.exe" (53,738 bytes)
"http://tt2.avres.net/tt/cpr_mm2.exe" (270,415 bytes - ????????)

Yes, you read that correctly. It DID download the exact same file twice. (It must be a personality trait of the morally bankrupt that they can be both clever and inane at the same time. The authors of these programs really do pull off some amazing stuff... but then they follow that up almost immediately by doing some amazingly STUPID stuff. Consistency guys, consistency...)

While all of that is happening, hp1.exe (Remember that file? It’s the one we started this installment with...) phones home to tell the folks at roing.com that all is well in malware-land, that it has done everything it was supposed to do, and that it deserves a big ol’ digital pat on the back:

"http:// logs.roings.com/log3.php?c={D358D17F-0D1A-4A98-A98D-810B01216183} &what=newinstall&aff=bigs104&country=US&ocx18=1&myexe=1&avatar=1&e2give=1"

“See! Look what I did! I installed ‘ocx18’ (mm20.ocx), ‘myexe’ (8-24.exe), ‘avatar’ (ast_4_mm.exe), and ‘e2give’ (MediaMotor25.exe) on this poor schmoe’s computer! Aren’t you proud of me?”

Not to be outdone, our Wise installer needs to phone home and let everyone know what a good job it did too:

"http://www.avatarresources.com/count/count.php?&mm2cpr_new"

So where does this leave us?

Well, Joe’s computer now has had so many fun and exciting “additions” installed I’m beginning to lose track. Let’s see: Joe’s computer now has two “affiliate buck” redirectors (SAHAgent and e2give), it’s had stuff from avatarresources.com installed, as well as all of those files from tt2.avres.net. And there’s more... trust me, there’s more.

Remember: this is all the result of visiting a SINGLE website with an unpatched machine.

If you ever need to explain to someone the pitfalls involved in not patching, all you need to do is point them to this listing:

The score card thus far (and I’m only counting executable content):

hp2.exe (16,384 bytes)
tvmupdater4bp5.exe (195,072 bytes)
AtPartners.dll (96,256 bytes)
SplWbr.dll (454,656 bytes – expands out to 3 files making up 892,288 bytes)
ezbdlLs.dll (151,040 bytes – expands out to 4 files making up 314,880 bytes)
hp1.exe (49,152 bytes)
mm20.ocx (61,440 bytes)
8-24.exe (40,960 bytes)
MediaMotor25.exe (9,056 bytes)
ast_4_mm.exe (129,152 bytes)
IeBHOs.dll (129,536 bytes)
cpr_mm2.exe (270,415 bytes)
ab1.exe (500,869 bytes)
tvm_bundle.exe (53,738 bytes)
and of course cpr_mm2.exe (270,415 bytes) again...

The shameful total (thus far... there’s more to come):
15 files – 2,428,141 bytes downloaded
20 files – 3,029,613 bytes on disk

And, no doubt, I missed a few...
I started Part II of “Bouncing Malware” by saying that Joe’s PC was no longer his own. With over 2 MB of software downloaded, installed, and executed without his permission, I would say that there is little doubt that Joe ISN’T the guy running the show. But who is?

In the next installment, I want to finish up looking at some of the software installed on Joe’s PC and then turn my sights to finding out a little more about the folks responsible for the deluge of spyware and adware that assault our machines and networks on a daily basis. Stay tuned... it’s gonna be fun.
From [SANS ICS]

vig






vig, originally uploaded by Phil Morrison.



Isn't he an artist.. :)

Fat People Cost Airlines Big Time

Wow.  I can remember when people used to cringe when I got on the plane.  You could almost see them saying "please don't sit next to me, please don't sit next to me, please don't sit next to me" as you got closer.  I used to have some fun and pass my seat by two or three rows and then come back.  The look of relief turning to horror was almost worth the 2 to 3 hours of discomfort at being squished into a seat.

Since the surgery though things are much better.  I can actually fit in a row with two other folks.  It is still snug, but at least I fit without an extension and can have the arm rails down... :)

And you thought the biggest problem with overweight people on airplanes was that one might sit next to you and overcrowd your tiny seat. Turns out a much bigger issue for the airline industry may be that fat people are a drag... literally. The growing obesity problem in the US means that planes fly heavier, and that's costing big bucks in fuel. In fact, a new report suggests that this... um... weighty issue meant 350 million extra gallons of fuel in the year 2000 (it took them this long to get these stats?!?) costing approximately $275 million. No wonder the airlines are going bankrupt. Maybe some of these newer airlines need to set up exercise rooms in the airlines, rather than comfier seats. Get people out of the seats and moving around... It's for the good of the industry.

Thursday, November 4, 2004

New Jersey Smart Guns Move Forward

This looks neat.  I would want to make sure that it was 100% full proof.  They could even have something that tests the blood-alcohol levels. :)

njit_smart_gun.jpg imageNew Jersey Institute of Technology just got another $1.1 million to continue testing their 'smart gun,' a handgrip system for firearms that prevents non-authorized users from using the weapons. By using a series of sensors along the grip, the gun can determine who is holding it and can even support multiple users.

However you feel about 'smart guns,' in general, the technology is worth keeping an eye on, as touch-based biometrics look to start showing up all over the place, including the steering wheels of cars and the pommels of swords and stuff.

NJIT's smart gun moves closer to completion with $1.1 million grant [Eurekalert]

[Gizmodo]

StarWars Episode 3 Trailer

Full.mov

Grabbed this from somewhere..... I need to get the whole thing on DVD 1,2,4,5 and 6 and do a marathon weekend or something.

Am I the only one who becomes instantly 10 again when you hear the theme music and Darth Vador's breathing? Lunch box, action figures, the whole 9... Ahh the good old days.

Round-Up Ready Coca Plants

I found this a very interesting read.  Not because I know anyone at any of the companies mentioned, or that I used to kind of work with/for such companies, but that the farmers were able to selectively breed the plants to be resistant to Round-Up.  That dude who go sued by Monsanto should have claimed selective breeding...  But then, I guess his plant would have had the signature of manipulation in it..  Anyway, a good read if you are into gene manipulation

Closing comments on old entries

Thank you Technodaddy for posting this on your linkblog!!

David Raynes has a script that will close old comments. Go get it here..

Wednesday, November 3, 2004

5th grade math?!?

Here is one for you...

A collection of goats and ducks have a total of 99 heads and legs between them. There are twice as many ducks as there are goats. How many of each is there?


Don't google it! That's cheating...

Took me a while but I figured it out... Answer tomorrow! That is, unless someone else answers it first. :)

Winner gets a big ole kiss this year at the Howard Hootenanny!

Bush won!!!!

You probably already know this but I just figured I would sout it out!

BREAKING NEWS Sen. John Kerry calls President Bush to concede presidential election,

iPod Altoids battery pack

This looks cool.  I know a few folks who have an iPod so maybe they will get a use out of this.

iPod Altoids battery pack

Ok, we should note that you could probably turn just about anything that’s the right shape and size into a DIY external battery pack for the iPod (like that one made out of a deck of playing cards), but the latest to pop up is a pack that’s been squeezed into an Altoids tin and’ll give you an extra ten hours of precious playing time.

[Via hackaday]

[Engadget]

Tuesday, November 2, 2004

palmOne to make Microsoft Windows Mobile Treo?

Ooooooh, this could be cool.  But I am still holding out for a PPC6601!

windows treo

First that team wins that thing, now this—palmOne (PalmSource’s biggest customer and maker of the Treo 650) appears it really might be planning to use Microsoft’s Windows Mobile OS in its Treo line of smartphones (they’d keep making Palm-powered Treos). No comment from Microsoft on this yet, when it’ll be out, carrier, specs or even which flavor of Windows Mobile it will be, but we’re guessing Pocket PC Phone Edition if it’s going to be in a Treo form factor. A few weeks ago palmOne hooked up with Microsoft to better provide Microsoft exchange support, we mentioned there might be something bigger coming.

[Thanks, Jacek]

[Engadget]

Monday, November 1, 2004

MSN Remote Record lets you program your Media Center PC to record TV from anywhere

This is cool.  BeyondTV has this already but it is good to see that MS is doing it too.

Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005

It’s a feature that’s already found in several other digital video recording software packages, but Microsoft says they’re going to add a new service called MSN Remote Record that’ll let you use any browser to remotely schedule a PC running Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 to record shows (useful if you’re on vacation or are at work and think of a show you’d like to have waiting for you when you return home). If you can’t wait, there’s a plug-in that’s already available called AllMiMedia that let’s you do this with Media Center PCs (and that even works on smartphone browsers).

[Via Digital Media Thoughts]

[Engadget]

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Saturday, October 30, 2004

SanDisk's budget 2GB Secure Digital card

Woohoo!!!

SanDisk 2GB Secure Digital cardLet’s ponder something for a minute here. When SanDisk rolled out their 1GB SD memory card at the beginning of the year, it was priced at a full $500. Now, not only are they introducing their new 2GB Ultra II SD card (which has faster than average read/write speeds) at the low cost of $240, they’re going to sell their regular speed 2GB SD memory card (which should be available next month) at the even cheaper price of just $200. And that $500 1GB SD card? You can now pick that up for around 65 bucks. Progress, etc.
[Engadget]

Delphi's new SkyFi 2 adds pause rewind

Way cool!

delphi skyfi 2We knew Delphi was planning something, but they surprised us all with the release of SkyFi 2, a new Satellite Radio receiver.  While it features a new scroll wheel and better display, the most interesting new feature is the addition of a 30-minute buffer that allows pausing and rewind.  While 30 minutes isn’t a huge buffer time, it does allow some basic rewind and pause functions for when you get that annoying phone call and simply must hear the rest of that Simple Minds track.  It will retail for $129.99, and install kits for home and vehicle are $69.99.

[Thanks, Michael]


[Engadget]

Friday, October 29, 2004

Sore Elbow

Well, I found out what happens when I do yard work... Tendonitis sucks! Now I have to have a sling on my arm, arm band and pain meds. At least it is not crutches. :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

XM MyFi by Delphi

Ooooooh, I like.  Not sure how it will work in the office though.  I went out and added XM-Online to my account so I can jam out at my desk.  As soon as I can figure out how to get it into Beyond Media I will have one happy wife. :)  She keeps taking my radio so she can listen to it in the house.

xmmyfi.jpg imageThat portable XM radio is here: the Delphi XM MyFi, a $350 portable designed to be used when either out and about or in your car. Notable features include an entirely-internal antenna, a "Memory Mode" than can store up to 5 hours of content right on the device (flash or hard drive, I'm not sure; I think flash), tons of accessories including a desktop dock and car kit, and remote. Look hot, but very expensive for just a radio. We'll have more in a minute, but I have to track something else down that is exploding.

Press Release [XMRadio]
Product Page [XMRadio]

[Gizmodo]

Monday, October 25, 2004

MT3.12

Well, I did it.

I upgraded to MT 3.12. Let's see if it stays this way for more than 3 days... :)

Delphi Roady adapter will deliver portable XM satellite radio

Way cool!!!  I might just have to get one..  But will it work indoors?

delphi roady 2Portable XM satellite radio will become a reality when Dephi releases its new Roady portable adapter.  The unit will sport the usual XM radio controls such as category, display, memory, and favorites buttons.  It will use the headphones as an antenna, which is a cool use of space, but might also make using headphones of one’s own choice a bit difficult. We don’t know much else about it except that it is supposed to have a hard drive inside for recording, but supposedly the big announcement should be tomorrow.

[Thanks, Chris]
[Engadget]

Get XM Radio Online free for 3 days

OK, I will definitely get this one for the house.  This will keep Robin from taking my radio. :)

free xm

XM has a free 3 day trial for trying out their service on your PC (no Mac support, it appears), XM Radio Online. Seems like a good idea; we have XM and love it, they should let all current subscribers use this for free to 30 days, they’d sell a lot more net and sat set ups.

We’re trying this out now and trying to figure out if we can fool it so we get another 3 days, and another 3 days… oh wait, that was our “inside voice”.


[Engadget]

the iDebate rages on

OK.  This is too funny! :)

iDebate

You know, even with more pressing issues at hand but two weeks from the big election, there are still a lot of rumors and hubbub going around about what might have happened during the debates, what with G.W. Bush’s mystery-bulge-in-the-suit. We’re so glad someone finally set the record straight.

[Via Joi Ito]
[Engadget]

The Audiovox PPC-6601 and PPC-6600: Sprint's new Pocket PC Phones

Woohoo!!!  This is the one I have been waiting for.

Sprint Audiovox PPC-6601

There have been rumors since April that Sprint would carry the CU928, Daxian’s sweet new Pocket PC Phone (and yes, the XDA III/MDA III is the GSM/GPRS version of this), but now it’s official. The only thing is that you should waste your time calling up Sprint asking for the Daxian CU928 since it’s now known as the Audiovox PPC-6601 (it’s like Audiovox has become the brand name of last resort for wireless carriers who feel like they gotta slap something vaguely recognizable on there). Anyway, we more or less already knew the specs on this one, but here’s the recap: 128MB of memory, 400MHz processor, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, Bluetooth (which we’re sure will be crippled because it’s Sprint), and an SDIO expansion card slot (but no built-in 802.11b WiFi like with the XDA III). There will also be a version called the PPC-6600 that comes with a built-in VGA quality digital camera. Retail price is $629.99.

[Engadget]

Thursday, October 21, 2004

PPC-6600 delayed!

Seems that a software problem with the Business Connect software is keeping the PPC-6600 phone off the shelves for a little while.  This is the new device that is a PPC and a phone and has a slide down keyboard...

XM probably to release MyFI portable sat-rad next Tuesday

Hey, this looks cool!

xm

Well, no one can say for sure yet, but financial analyst Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. have a document outing (or trying to, anyway) XM on their expected MyFI/wearable portable satellite radio next week. Tuesday, to be exact, near Engadget HQ in New York. We’ll keep you posted on the deets, so don’t say we didn’t warn you early.

[Thanks, Candlebougie]

[Engadget]

XM Radio and Major League Baseball sign $650 million deal

Major coolness.  Did you guys watch the Red Sox's kick butt last night?

xmIn the wake of Sirius’ Howard Stern $500 million exclusivity announcement, XM Radio turned around and won a bidding war for the rights to broadcast Major League Baseball over their satellite radio network. XM plans to add an entire baseball channel and broadcast not only live games, but also classic games, special shows, and games in multiple languages. While the deal isn’t worth as much (non-monetarily, we mean) as the Howard Stern deal, it is a big victory for XM and satellite radio. The people at XM hope that this will not only improve consumer sales, but also OEM sales to auto manufacturers, which is becoming a tight battleground for satellite radio providers. XM picked a perfect time to announce this deal with the craziness going on in the playoffs, as people have baseball on the brain in a big way right now.
[Engadget]

'ExchMbx' Mailbox Manipulation Tool

Boy, this would have been neat to have a few years ago... Right Bill? :)

Summary
"Command line tool for doing various Exchange tasks such as mail enabling/disabling users, contacts, groups. Mailbox enabling/disabling users. Moving mailboxes." (via bink)

[MS Exchange Blog]

Sprint Begins Testing Phonecell SX5T

This looks cool.  They are testing a device that bridges regular analog phone devices to their data network...  Kind of like a cellular version of Vonnage's ATA device....  Neat.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

CyberKinetics' BrainGate enables thought-control

WOW!  Talk about plugged in!  Frequent readers may recall I have longed for this kind of "connectivity" for years. :) Ever since I read my first CyberPunk novel.  I wonder what William Gibson thinks of this?

cyberkinetics braingateKing of brings new meaning to “What will they think of next?” now that CyberKinetics have developed BrainGate, a device that allows people to control computers entirely by their thoughts.  Using a small chip with 100 neuron sensors, BrainGate has allowed a 24 year-old quadriplegic man to check email and play videogames using his thoughts. With a little chip that goes in one’s noggin, the device can read brain activity at the neuron level, a first of its kind. Because of this level of interaction, the “installed” individual can control an electronic device while doing something else at the same time. So the next time you see a quadriplegic complaining about being asked to do too much, point out the multitasking 24-year old with BrainGate, so he had better get off his lazy paralyzed ass.
[Engadget]

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

TV-B-Gone says goodbye to your TV, like it or not

This sounds cool. :)  Reminds me of when we were turning off the TV in Applebee's and freaking out the waitress. :)

TV-B-Gone

It does nothing but turn TVs off. Seriously, that’s all it does, is just universally, completely, truly attempts to shut down just about every TV around (and it’s rarely unsuccessful). We’ve had nightmares about this sort of thing, but we imagine a significant other armed with one of these might be what we’d need to finally kick our bad Ali G habit. And while we imagine the TV-free are all having a blast irritating everyone else to no extent, maybe there’s a lesson to be learned here. When we figure it out, we’ll tell you. No doubt, respek.

[Via Wired News]
[Engadget]

Thanks Bill

I had seen the stories going around about Google Desktop but ignored them. At Bill's request/comment I installed it and played around with it. It is way cool. I always just go to Google.com when I want to search for something and now that I have installed Google Desktop my regular google.com searches include results found on Google Desktop. And it's FAST. I mean super FAST!!!


Anyway, thanks Bill for pointing this out. :)

If you are interested, it is here.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

ReplyToAttendees Outlook Add-In

Ooooo. Way cool!

found this during my daily browse.

In Outlook if you try and send an e-mail from an Outlook meeting request, it sends it to everyone in the request, including those that have declined the request.

This add-in from David Gardiner lets you send mail only to those that have accepted

[Adam's Mindspace]

GnomeDog

GnomeDog

Ruf!

Ms. Gnomedex

Ms. Gnomedex

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Bill should have a Podcast

OK, I have resigned myself to the fact that Bill “Blogless One” Odom will not have a blog….  Put he should get a PodCast going eh?  What do you say Bill? 

iMate PDA2k EVDO for Verizon? Device soon to be on CDMA as well.

7 days and counting till we can get this on the Sprint network. J 

iMate PDA2k EVDOWe’ve seen this before as the CU928 from Daxian and even listed on the FCC’s website with a Verizon logo on it, and now it’s turned up again as the iMate PDA2k EV-DO Pocket PC cellphone. In case you haven’t been following along too closely (not that we expect you to, since that’s our job), a similar GSM/GPRS version is already available in Europe (as the MDA III and XDA III, among other names) and will probably come out here in the States sooner or later.

The bad news/frustration is that while iMate PDA2k has most of the same  features as the GSM version, like a 400Mhz CPU, slide-out keyboard, 128MB RAM, Bluetooth, 240x320 QVGA screen, 640x480 VGA camera, and a 3.5-inch LCD screen.  Missing, however, are the WiFi capabilities of the GSM version, which is a bit of a major disappointment. We’re not sure why they skimped on this, but WiFi should be an added feature, not a subtracted feature.


[Engadget]