Friday, December 24, 2004
Rally champions and the PlayStation
Henning Solberg, the older brother of 2003 World Rally Champion Petter Solberg, will join the Word Rally Championship this year in a Ford. He’s spending an hour a day
playing practicing with a custom steering wheel and gear box on the PlayStation to get used to his new car:
MyAir.com: 10.000 seats at 1 eurocent
Booking from December 21st to 27th with a travel period from December 21st, 2004 to October 29th, 2005 you pay a 0.01 Euro for a one way fare. Some additional charges like airport taxes are not included.
MyAir.com flies to:
Thursday, December 23, 2004
Adobe Acrobat 7.0
It should fix all my problems with DRM protected eBooks on the Pocket PC
I say should as I am stuck with a Windows 98 with dialup until I’m back from vacation and Acrobat 7.0 is only available on Windows 2000 SP2 or Windows XP.
I decided to give Bloglines another chance on my Christmas vacation as I did not bring my PC (it's a vacation after all:-) Bloglines imported my OPML file from SharpReader without problems and organized my blogs like I was used to in a tree view.
As my blogroll has grown I appreciate Bloglines a lot more. It has several great features:
- It is good for reading blogs that has a lot of noise any only have a new items you care about. The alternate background of the blog items works very well so it's fast to skip to the next item.
- I can easily catch up with an entire group of feeds by selecting the parent folder in the treeview. Great for groups of feeds with few posts.
- The "clip/blog" feature is great for keeping track of items I want to blog about or read later. I clipped some items before I left that I'll have a look at during my vacation
- By default it links open in new windows
- It keeps RSS traffic down to bandwidth challenged people like myself. Bloglines checks the feeds once an hour for all users whereas normal RSS clients check each feed individually. Click the 'sub bloglines' icon above to subscribe to this feed with Bloglines.
- It is free
The only drawback is that it only works online. It is not a big problem as most blog entries point to something that I have to be online to read anyway.
Looks like a winter storm is heading my way so I'll have some time to catch up with my feeds (unless the power goes out again).
Thursday, December 16, 2004
Cool Tool: Skweezer optimizes browsing for mobile devices
Skweezer is a web interface for browsing web sites. It optimizes the contents of the source web site so the layout looks better on a PDA. The pages are also smaller than the original page which is great news when you navigate via GPRS or UMTS where you pay per kb. It saved 53kb on the home page of CNN in normal mode and an impressive 169kb in text mode (85 cent saved!).
You can browse in anonymous mode or register for a free account which also allows you to check your POP3 accounts via a light web interface. The free version has an advertising section at the bottom of the page which is removed if you pay $14.99 for the one year subscription.
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Free software for Pocket PC, Windows Mobile, Palm OS, Series 60, SonyEricsson on Handango
Handango gives away one free mobile application per week until January 31st 2005.
Click the “Free app giveaway“ link to get your free software for:
- Palm OS
- Windows Mobile Pocket PC
- Sony Ericsson
- Series 60
- Windows Mobile Smartphone
This weeks free application for the Pocket PC is the Calendar Bar by Omega One Software LLC ($4.99 value)
Via [Windows Mobile Team Blog]
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Monday, December 13, 2004
MobDex: Read eBooks on your mobile phone
I have read several books on my Pocket PCs using Microsoft Reader. Adjusting the back light properly there is no problem reading for 4-5 hours on a train or plane trip. I've got a SD Card full of books from Project Gutenberg although I'm still waiting for Acrobat 7.0 to read DRM protected PDFs on my PPC as well.
MobDex by Russell Beattie goes one step further as it allows you to read free eBooks from Project Gutenberg on you mobile phone. Cool if your employer pays your phone bill or you have a mobile phone plan which allows you to navigate for free.
Via [Read/Write Web]
Christmas gift idea: Lord of whatever
Buy a gift has a lots of cool Christmas gift ideas. What about going for a spin in Silverstone with a Ferrari, flying a Mig 25 or a Top to Toe Day at Champneys Tring. But, what really caught my eye was the Lord or Lady title:
For £29.00 it's a cool gift for anyone: a real Lady, posh friends or pompous assholes
Thursday, December 9, 2004
New blog betas
I'm on vacation for a few days and things happen in the blog community:
- MSN Spaces has been released. Scobleizer points out the shortcomings which convinced me to stick with .text for now. I have reserved my space on Spaces and will continue to play around with it for a while.
- Scott Watermasysk (the guy behind .TEXT) has released Community Server beta 2
I want to spend my Christmas opening cool gadgets, not testing, so the latest blog software will have to wait for next year. The only exception may be Kevin Daly's Pocket Blogger if he updates it during his “vacatation“
Wednesday, December 1, 2004
RyanAir flies to more destinations
RyanAir will start flying from Milano (Bergamo) to Oslo (Torp) in 25th of February 2005. Booking early I should be able to bring my family to Norway and back for 100 euro instead of the 2.000 I have to pay for this Christmas.
Way to go RyanAir!
No Secretary? USB Vibe to the rescue
No Secretary? No problem!
The USB Vibe Personal Massager makes sitting at your computer easier. From long airplane trips to being trapped behind a desk, the USB Vibe vibrates away stress, pain and fatigue. Multi-surface massage head oscillates at 3600 vibrations per minute - 60 vibrations per second.
Note: Not to be confused with the USB VibraExiter
1.6TB external USB 2.0 disk
It costs a small fortune but it should solve your personal data storage problems for a while:
The "HDZ-UE1.6TS" will be made to order at a price of 294,000 yen. Supported operating systems are Windows Me, 2000 and XP. The drive contains four 400GB Maxtor HDDs which are recognised as a single drive. Support interfaces are USB2.0 and IEEE1394.
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Interview with RoboSapien inventor Mark W. Tiden
Get the story behind the Robosapien in the interview with RoboSapien inventor Mark W. Tiden. I didn't know that early test versions could see distant objects when it had infra-red LEDs in his pamls and that they had to reduce the arm strengh so it didn't hurt anyone.
RoboSapiens 2? Top secret. I can say soon no calculator will be safe. Moo ha ha. However, all will be revealed at the New York toy Fair, Feb. 05. Watch the skies, watch the skies.
One of the really great features of the RoboSapien is that you can hack it anyway you want: A single screwdriver takes the RS completely apart, and inside everything is labled, colorcoded, and socketed for convenience. Furthermore, we heartly support any third party additions or modifications, and have supplied all the necessary info through many websites.
Welcome to Wikinews, a free-content news source. We embarked on this journey in November 2004, and have written 94 articles. Our mission is to create a world where citizen journalists report the news on a wide variety of current events.
Anyone can help with Wikinews. If you see a headline linking to an empty story, you can create it. If a story needs to be moved to a new title as events develop, please move it. If you know of a headline story from other sources but don't have time to write a story, don't hesitate to add that headline without a story. Learn how to write a Wikinews article here.
Everything here is under construction, so please give us some time to sort out the policies and procedures before relying on Wikinews as a source.
People have a hard time agreeing on some of the facts in WikiPedia. I will be interesting to see how WikiNews handles political, and other, news that are subjective. A shame it didn't cover the US Presidential election...
Thursday, November 25, 2004
Using DRM protected eBooks with a Pocket PC
My wish came through: another business trip so I could get a chance to read Gods Debris and the Religion wars
I spend most of yesterday night going crazy buying the eBook:
- I went through the purchase process on http://www.Amazon.com/ but in the end it told me that it can't "ship" the eBook outside the US.
- Same result on http://www.Amazon.de/ and http://www.Amazon.co.uk/. They're worse than the US site anyway as they don’t offer Microsoft Reader support and they cost more now that the Euro is very strong
- www.eReader.com requires it's own custom reader :-(
- In the end I found www.eBookMall.com which offers Microsoft Reader as well as Adobe Acrobat formats
- It was getting late so I decided to get the Acrobat as it offers printing if the author allows it and I thought it could be read on the Pocket PC
- Acrobat refused too download the eBooks giving the following error: The 'Updater' plug-in has been removed. Please re-install Acrobat to continue viewing
- Fixed the problem by undoing my previous Adobe Acrobat 6.0 optimization
- Successfully opened both eBooks on my PC. Hurray!!!!! God's Debris can even be printed!
- Can't open the DRM protected eBooks on my Pocket PC. Buuuu!
- Found the Link to DRM Activation with the Adobe Reader 7.0 Beta post in the Adobe forums. Looks like the Pocket PC is supported in Acrobat 7.0. Hurray!!!
Now I'm facing a big dilemma: do I download what should be a beta of Adobe Acrobat 7.0 from a Chinese site and risk loads of trojans or do I wait for the thing to be released?
Flexible solar power
They have loads of adapters and charger packs so you can; charge your Lithium, NiCad, or NiMH batteries (AA, AAA, C, D), power your wireless electronics, and charge or direct power 12V systems.
Via [The Red Ferret Journal]
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Monday, November 22, 2004
Looking for some academic paper or doing some research? Google Scholar is now in beta:
Google Scholar enables you to search specifically for scholarly literature, including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from all broad areas of research. Use Google Scholar to find articles from a wide variety of academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and universities, as well as scholarly articles available across the web.
Sunday, November 21, 2004
The Religion War is available as an e-book
Unless I have more luck with my business trips I'll have plenty of time to finish all his eBooks
Thanks for the tip Scott!
Thursday, November 18, 2004
Finally a program that allows you to share music/pictures/films securely and privately with the people you choose. With Grouper only members of your private group, that you invited, can access your shared resources. All traffic encrypted with AES using a 256 bit key. There is no global network or index so only your friends know what you share. More of a Friend To Friend (F2F) than a Peer To Peer (P2P). It also has a encrypted chat that works in user and group modes.
It should be more politically acceptable than waste as you can stream, but not download, copy protected MP3's an WMAs. Computer savvy users will get around the restriction by sharing zipped versions. You can limit the number of parallel downloads but it does not support bandwidth throttling. I have not tried it, but it should be possible to limit the upload bandwidth using NetLimiter. Http proxies are not supported yet but they are working on it.
A great way to share my resources with friends and family that I only see once a year!
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
MSN Web Messenger beta
The MSN Web Messenger beta looks just like the real thing. Pretty neat for accessing MSN Messenger if you use a public computer or another computer that doesn't have Messenger installed.
Very unstable so far today as I get signed out after a minute or so.
Via [MSDN Student Flash]
Cool Tool: ieSpell
I do my best to write mails, posts and documentation without spelling mistakes. The Microsoft Office spell checker is OK but it does not work where I need it the most: web applications. In particular; Outlook Web Access and my blogging software.
So far I have worked around the problem by writing them as a tasks in Outlook and cutting and pasting without formatting.
ieSpell solves the problem. It is a free spell checker that integrates with Internet Explorer and adds a spell checking button on the toolbar and a “Check Spelling“ option when you right click in a text field. It spell checks all text fields in Internet Explorer.
Note: the ieSpell option does not appear if you right click in a HTML edit window (like the body field in OWA). The workaround is to either use the toolbar button or right click and choose “Check Spelling: in any normal text field. It spell check all text fields, including the HTML editor.
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Cool Tool: PureText
I write a lot of mail and frequently cut and paste text from various programs to Outlook Web Access. OWA accepts whatever formatting the source program used so I frequently end up with ridiculously small fonts and other strange formatting errors. So far I have used notepad as a clip board cleaner; paste the text (Ctrl + v), select the text (Ctrl + a), copy the text again (Ctrl + c). A pain, but not painful enough for me to write a software to fix. Especially since most other programs have a "paste special" option that allows pasting the plain text without formatting junk.
Michale Swanson had the same problem and found PureText after writing his own tool. PureText adds a little PT icon to the task bar that you can click to clean the text or you can use the customizable Windows + V shortcut to paste the cleaned text. Works like a charm, especially for mails and blogs. Added to my Startup menu (which is getting pretty crowded)
Last minute update: Today is a day for celebration. I can finally synchronize my office mail via HTTP using Outlook 2003. It's not great, it's better, it fantastic! I think I'll take a screenshot of OWA, print it and bury it.
Toolbelt for heavy gadget pants
Contains Phillips and flathead screwdrivers, 8, 10 & 11mm wrenches as well as a bottle opener.
Too many gadgets and not enough pockets?
Then the Scoot eVest Hidden Cargo Pants is for you.
- Magnetic closures on front and back pockets
- 12 hidden pockets
- Patent-pending Personal Area Network (PAN) licensed by TEC®
- Casual styling
- Teflon coating
- Internal drawstring
- Pocket in pocket
- Zippered pockets
Monday, November 15, 2004
Palm Tungsten T5
- 256MB flash memory (160MB of them is a flash drive that doesn't loose data even if it runs out of power)
- Transfer files and folders back and forth to your desktop
- Use like a flash drive with another computer2
- Stunning 320x480 display, landscape or portrait mode
- Edit Word and Excel docs, view PowerPoint files
- View photos, videos3 and play MP3s
- Built-in Bluetooth® wireless technology
- Powerful Intel® 416MHz XScale processor
- Palm OS® 5.4
Lots of Robots
The Lots Of Robots DVD volume 2 two is ready:
Something wonderful happened today, I finished the LOR Volume Two DVD. Now I only have to sit back and watch it to make sure all is well. If everything goes according to plan, it should be in your hands by December 1 2004.
The LOR animation is 14 minutes long and the tutorials add up to just over 96 minutes.
You can also watch the video online (Quicktime)
Sunday, November 14, 2004
Cool Service: WatchThatPage
WatchThatPage is a free web based service that watches the URLs you configure. The cool thing is that it sends you a daily summary mail with the changes. Note that it doesn't send you the list of changed URLs, but it sends you the actual paragraphs of new text. You can even configure the delivery time. I get mine delivered in the morning before I synchronize my mail.
I used it a lot before RSS got popular and I still use it for some sites that do not have RSS feeds (like the Konfabulator forum).
Saturday, November 13, 2004
MP3 player with 100h battery life and bluetooth
The XDM-S710BT bluetooth mp3 player by
Sony Aiwa has several cool features:
- It's small: 88.6 x 24.6 x 24.3mm (W x D x H), and it weighs about 37g (60g with battery).
- It is powered by a standard AA battery so there is no problem finding a replacement battery.
- It supports the Bluetooth headset profile of mobile phones so you can receive calls on your MP3 player. Cool Or What?
More info and review on TechJapan
Cool Tool: Crap Cleaner 1.57.078
Get rid of crap like the list of Most Recently Used documents, the Internet Explorer cache etc with Crap Cleaner:
Cleans the following:
- Internet Explorer Cache, History, Cookies, Index.dat.
- Recycle Bin, Temporary files and Log files.
- Recently opened URLs and files.
- Third-party application temp files and recent file lists (MRUs)
Including: Media Player, eMule, Kazaa, Google Toolbar, Netscape, Office XP, Nero, Adobe Acrobat, WinRAR, WinAce, WinZip and more...
- Advanced Registry scanner and cleaner to remove unused and old entries.
Including File Extensions, ActiveX Controls, ClassIDs, ProgIDs, Uninstallers, Shared DLLs, Fonts, Help Files, Application Paths, Icons, Invalid Shortcuts and more...
- Backup for registry clean.
This software is completely Freeware and contains no Spyware or Adware.
Friday, November 12, 2004
Konfabulator for Windows 1.8 released
It is definitely worth the wait. Be sure to visit the Widget Gallery to download the latest and greatest widgets. I tried DesktopX earlier but I didn't like it too much. Konfabulator feels more stable and it looks just great.
Thursday, November 11, 2004
New Microsoft search goes "live"
SEATTLE - Microsoft Corp. finally debuted its own Web search technology on Thursday, hoping to challenge Google Inc.’s long dominance of the field with results tailored to a user’s location and answers from its Encarta encyclopedia.
Google signaled that it is ready for a fight, announcing Wednesday that it would nearly double the amount of Web pages available to search through its site.
The Microsoft search engine, offered in 11 languages, will initially be available on a special “test” site. Gradually, some users visiting Microsoft’s MSN site may find that the existing search bar uses the new search engine, said Adam Sohn, a director with the company’s online division.
But a full rollout, perhaps with new features, isn’t expected until early next year
I guess the “special test site“ is beta.search.msn.com
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
IM Smarter is a neat idea. No software to install on the client; you just point your IM client to the IM Smarter proxy server and it takes care of everything. It proxies your messages to the people you're chatting with and saves the log on the server so you can access them later, no matter which client you used. It also adds a handy reminder feature. Just send "remind me in 10 minutes to do something" or "bug me" and the proxy will set up a reminder:
Even if you sign off and sign on somewhere else, the system will let you know when it's time to remind you. If you're logged off at the time of the reminder (or not logged on through the proxy), the system will hold on to the message and show it to you when you next log on.
We like to call this system "microscheduling", since it's for things you'd never formally schedule or put on your calendar. Think of it like having hundreds of labelled eggtimers without having all the ticking driving you insane. :)
My problem: I already use a http proxy at work to connect to the internet so I can't use the IM Smarter proxy :-(
Thursday, November 4, 2004
Cool tool: Daemon Tools
Daemon Tools for Windows is a great little utility. It allows you to load the majority of ISO images (.iso, .cue, .nrg, …) as a virtual CD/DVD on your PC.
- DVD production. You can load the image file created by your video production software and view it in a DVD player on your computer without burning it first
- Software survival kit. Carrying around loads of CDs which I usually do not need, but it's an emergency when I do, is a pain. So I usually rip the CDs to .iso images and then burn them all on a DVD as files and load the iso with Daemon Tools when I need them. One DVD fits tons of .iso images as very few CDs are completely full.
StarWars III trailer
The teaser trailer for Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith premieres worldwide in the early afternoon today (US time). It will be available for high quality QuickTime to members of Hyperspace.
It will also screen in front of The Incredibles movie starting Friday in US/Canada.
The rest of us will have to wait until Monday, November 8th when it will be posted on StarWars.com for all to enjoy.
Cool Or What?
Monday, November 1, 2004
Friday, October 29, 2004
Cool tool: Photo Story 3 for Windows
Looks like a great free tool from Microsoft; Photo Story 3 for Windows
It creates a WMV video slideshow from your pictures with special effects, titles, captions, soundtracks and voice narration. A lot more interesting than a basic slideshow.
I say looks like as it doesn't install on Win2k3 since it requires a "Genuine Windows Validation". My parents will have to survive with a normal jpeg slideshow of the grandchildren this year as well.
Via [Larry Ostermann's WebLog]
Free .info domains at Dotster
Caution: AutoRenew of the new domains are on by default. Turn it off unless you want to pay automatically for the domains after 1 year.
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Cool tool: Restoration
A college was looking for an undelete tool for Windows. I found several but all were shareware or required installation (a big no-no for undelete utils). Mike came to the rescue and pointed out Restoration. Pretty cool as you can copy the tool to a SD Card or a floppy and run it without installing anything. It restores files in "copy mode" so you can restore the deleted file to a different drive. Works with FAT, NTFS, removable drives like SD cards, digital cameras etc.
It found loads of very old files on my machine that has since been overwritten. Scary that it finds all the old file names even after a complete defrag…
Anyone know of a tool that can delete such 'historical' info on NTFS?
Historic Gaza vote
Sharon wins historic Gaza vote. Great news that hopefully helps end a conflict instead of starting a new one:
Israel's parliament last night voted for the first time in 37 years of occupation to remove Jewish settlements from the Palestinian territories in a historic move that Ariel Sharon said paved the way to the end of the conflict.
Some opponents have accused Mr Sharon of "caving in to terrorism" and of being a traitor because he is considered the godfather of the settlements and oversaw the massive expansion of Israel's West Bank and Gaza colonies during the 70s and 80s.
But the latest opinion poll, in the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, shows overwhelming public support for the withdrawal, with 65% of Israelis in favour and 26% opposed.
iTunes in Italy!!!
iTunes is finally available in Italy and a whole bunch of other countries. It has tons of music, you can burn as many CDs as you want of the songs you buy, including MP3 CDs. Buying the new U2: Vertigo single now and can't wait for the whole album to be released. Cool Or What?
I tried earlier this summer but was very disappointed when I couldn't buy a couple of songs on any of the big stores:
- MSN Music has loads of music but they only sell to the US :-(
- Rhapsody requires a $9 monthly subscription for streaming. It is possible to download an burn songs but you pay an additional + $0.79 for each song. This makes sense if you buy tons of music or can listen to the streaming the whole day. I'm usually stuck behind some http proxy so I can only listen at night :-(
- Wippit has some UK movies but not the big names :-(
Or the iPod Photo edition
Monday, October 25, 2004
Konfabulator for Windows!
I spend my days on the command line prompt or in Visual Studio .NET full screen . Konfabulator looks just gorgeous so I guess I'll have to change my ways and write a command line widget whenever it is released for Windows.
The format for these Widgets is completely open and easy to learn so creating your own Widgets is an extremely easy task.
For the "skinning" crowd, Konfabulator is a dream come true. You can easily change the look, feel, layout, even functionality of a Widget so that it matches your lifestyle, your desktop, or the pants or skirt you have on that day.
Friday, October 22, 2004
Shhh! Even more quiet
When the TV-B-Gone is not enough to satisfy your needs, it is time to get out the heavy arms:
- The cellular jammer by AllProducts.com covers a 30 meter radius
- GlobalGadgetUK has a wide range of mobile jammers. Including jammers disguised as mobile phones
- This WiFi jammer should be a great anti PHB tool. Arrive early, grab the only RJ-45 and all other participants will be stuck without a network connection. Remember to bring the AC adaptor if you suspect a long meeting as the battery only lasts 1.5 hours.
Thursday, October 21, 2004
Finally some peace and quiet
Shhhh! Don't tell my wife about the TV-B-Gone. It promises to turn of thousands of models of TVs with a single click in a few seconds.
I must confess I am the one that leaves the TV on, tuned in to the KISS player, playing a Web Radio station or my MP3 collection. Add the cell phone jammer to your toolkit and you can finally get some peace and quiet wherever you go.
All I -really- want is a mute control for my PHB...
Moto GP 2005 returns to the United States
The Moto GP Schedule 2005 is ready. Moto GP returns to the USA after many years and it will race in China as well:
10th April - Jerez, Spain
17th April - Jacarepagua, Brazil
1st May - Shanghai, China
15th May - Le Mans, France
29th May - Mugello, Italy
5th June - Catalunya, Spain
19th June - Donington Park, Great Britain
25th June - Assen, Netherlands
10th July - Laguna Seca, United States
24th July - Sachsenring, Germany
28th August - Brno, Czech Republic
11th September - Sepang, Malaysia
18th September - Motegi, Japan
1st October - Doha, Qatar
16th October - Phillip Island, Australia
30th October - Estoril, Portugal
6th November - Valencia, Spain
I hope it will be as exciting as this year!
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
A weekend trip to London for 30 euro
A central London bed from £5 a night
easyHotel represents the easyGroup entry into the budget hotel sector and will be found in the centre of international cities. Customers can book their rooms at this website with a credit card on the basis of the earlier you book, the less you pay and periods of high demand will cost more than less popular periods.
Via [Wired Magazine]
Laserpod and other cool lights
Lava Lamp 2:
Using the latest in laser, LED and crystal optics, Laserpod brings science and nature together to create ever-changing organic lightforms of profound beauty.
With the diffuser in place, the Laserpod is a meditative ambient lamp; remove the diffuser and these effects can be projected onto a wall or across an entire room.
Plugg in... Switch on... Tune out.
Monday, October 18, 2004
BrainGate: Mind over matter
Cool but scary:
An pill-sized brain chip has allowed a quadriplegic man to check e-mail and play computer games using his thoughts. The device can tap into a hundred neurons at a time, and is the most sophisticated such implant tested in humans so far
The BrainGate allowed the patient to control a computer or television using his mind, even when doing other things at the same time. Researchers report for example that he could control his television while talking and moving his head.
Not for me. My PHB would have fired me a loooong time ago if I wrote what I think. Better to let mails with flames cool down in the Drafts folder before I send them.
Valentino Rossi MotoGP champion 2004
Yamaha is turning 50 next year and got its first Moto GP title in 12 years when Valentino Rossi won yesterday. Valentino came from Honda last year and was the first rider ever to win back to back races on machines from two different manufacturers this spring. The president of Yamaha, Toru Hasegawa, has put even higher goals for the next year;
As Yamaha Motor Company prepares to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its founding next year, we dedicate ourselves to continuing the challenge of achieving even higher goals - such as winning the MotoGP World Manufacturers Championship title. By doing so, we hope that we can continue to bring you all that special blend of excitement and deep felt satisfaction that we at Yamaha call "Kando", while helping to promote the awareness and popularity of motorcycling worldwide.
Should be feasible as Colin Edwards will replace Carlos Checa in the Yamaha Factory Racing team in 2005. Yamaha and Honda are very close this year with Valentino winning most of the points by himself (one race remaining):
1 Honda 335
2 Yamaha 303
3 Ducati 153
A lot of the honor goes to Jeremy Burgess which mangaged to put together such a great bike in no time. Let's hope Ducati gets their stuff together earlier next season so Capirossi has a chance to fight for the title as well.
Thursday, October 14, 2004
Google Desktop Search (beta)
The Google Desktop Search beta is out:
Google Desktop Search is how our brains would work if we had photographic memories. It's a desktop search application that provides full text search over your email, computer files, chats, and the web pages you've viewed. By making your computer searchable, Google Desktop Search puts your information easily within your reach and frees you from having to manually organize your files, emails, and bookmarks.
Via [Google Labs]
I can't wait for the first release of Make magazine, scheduled for early 2005. I'm a great fan of the O'Reilly books and I hope the magazine keeps up to the standard.
Make brings the do-it-yourself mindset to all the technology in your life. Make is loaded with exciting projects that help you make the most of your technology at home and away from home. This is a magazine that celebrates your right to tweak, hack, and bend any technology to your own will.
Coming early in 2005, Make is a hybrid magazine/book (known as a mook in Japan). Make comes from O'Reilly, the Publisher of Record for geeks and tech enthusiasts everywhere. It follows in line with the Hacks books and Hardware Hacking Projects, but it takes a highly visual and personal approach.
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
New Cool & Quiet Laptop Harddrives from Western Digital
Western Digital has launched the Scorpio line of mobile hard disks. They come in the standard versions of 40gb, 60gb and 80gb with 5,400 rpm. The good news is that they claim to have fixed noise, heat, power consumtion and shock problems:
To keep sound levels low, Western Digital teams its SoftSeek algorithms (which quiet the clicking typical in drive seeks) with its WhisperDrive technology (which includes fluid dynamic bearings and a specially dampened top cover). The company claims that models in the Scorpio line are the quietest mobile hard drives on the market. Heat won't be a problem either, according to spokesman Darrin Bulik. "Scorpio has run cooler in our tests than the competing 4,200-rpm and 5,400-rpm models we've compared it to," he said.
Aside from heat issues, power consumption is perhaps the biggest concern for notebook computer users. Western Digital reported that Scorpio drives should be very miserly in their use of energy, taking roughly the same amount of power as 4,200-rpm drives while running far faster.
The Scorpios should be hard to squash as well. Each drive comes with a strengthened cover that stands up better to top-down pressure (as might happen if someone were to lean heavily against the notebook's palm rest). Mobile hard-drive shock resistance has generally improved in recent years, and Scorpio drives are rated to withstand 250 Gs while operating and 900 Gs of nonoperating shock. The company expects its DuraStep Ramp technology to enable the drive to perform at least 600,000 load/unload cycles without contaminating the drive's clean internal atmosphere.
A real world MacGyver
An engineer who is uninterested in advancing technologies is, to put it mildly, a rarity. So rare, in fact, that the MacArthur Foundation awarded one such engineer $500,000.
Mechanical engineer Amy Smith, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology instructor, joined the MacArthur fellowship fold last week, receiving the so-called "genius award" and a colossal cash prize. Her award-winning feat? Using old technology in fresh ways to improve the lives of entire communities.
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
These little vehicles are silver in appearance and have real tracks, not silly rolling wheels like other remote control tanks, so they look authentically rugged. Which is important when you're going into a war zone. At the front of the tank there's a firing arm for punishing your opponent. Each tank has 6 lights running across the top of it, which light up to indicate the number of lives that the players have. All you have to do is pop the tanks on the ground facing each other and press the reset button on the tops of the tanks to get going
DUH? Dilbert's house
Dilbert's House is online. It has been designed buy thousands of Dilbert fans with features only a nerd can think of.
First, let me give you some background. As you probably know, most of the people who design houses hate your guts. For example, they know you'll never use the formal living room, yet they include it so you'll have to pay extra. They tease you with a fancy-schmancy dining room, making you fantasize about hosting important dinners for heads of state, despite the reality that you eat your meals directly from the refrigerator.
Wonder if it is too late to make some more suggestions:
- Japanese style toilet with auto wash and auto dry so you're free to use your PDA/laptop at all times. A voice controlled one would be cool but I guess it could cause problems with foreigners on visit or people who swear a lot?
- RFID tag everything, including the guests. Make sure they don't get lost or run of with your latest and greatest gadgets
Friday, October 8, 2004
Free copy of Microsoft Creature House Expression™ 3.3
Microsoft released the free Microsoft Creature House Expression™ 3 download a few months ago. I guess I'm not the only one that missed the announcement of the Expressions 3.3 preview.
From the Expression product page:
Creature House Expression™ 3 is an innovative vector-based illustration and graphics tool that provides exciting creative capabilities for designers working in print, web, video, and interactive mediums
Microsoft acquired the Creature House technology and development team in 2003. As a service to the many loyal users of Expression, a free download version is available to existing users of the product for either Microsoft Windows or Mac OS.
I'm no graphics expert so I leave the judgement to the Expression 3 review on Critical Depth:
I found Expression 3 to be a great program and fun to use. After using this product steadily over the past three months, I believe it could give the industry “standards” a run for their money -- for a lot less money. The program is stable, and only crashed a couple of times. One nice feature: Expression has an auto save feature on crashes to keep your loss to a minimum. The system I used to test this product is running Windows XP with 512MB of RAM.
Trust USB 2.0 harddisk case
I have an old USB 1.0 external HD from from DataFab but I have not found any drivers that work on Win2k3 or Win98. In the end I gave up and bought a small, thin and great looking USB2 HD case from Trust
* External hard disk case for compact 2.5" size harddisk
* USB 2.0 interface (40 x faster than USB 1.1)
* Downwards compatible with USB 1.1
* Speeds supported: 480Mbps, 12Mbps and 1.5 Mbps
* Easy to assemble, strong, durable and light aluminium housing
* Power provided to hard disk via USB cable
* Suitable for Macintosh and Windows (Plug & Play)
* Product size (HxWxD in mm): 135 x 77 x 13 mm
It works like a charm on all the computers I have tried it on so far; Win98 desktop, XP desktop, Win2k3 laptop and a Win2k laptop. I was worried that it would overheat but I have not had any problems so far, not even during a full defrag of the disk.
Thursday, October 7, 2004
Hellacious inbox: 100GB available space
Got a mail this morning from Hellacious Riders this morning explaining that they had a huge backlog and they asked me to resubmit the request for the mailbox. A couple of minutes later I had a brand new mailbox with 107374182.4 Mb (~102GB) available space:
The only thing I don't like is the port of the web mail, 8383, as my proxy server at work doesn't support it :-(
I hope I can convince their technical support to use a standard port like 80 or 8080
Wednesday, October 6, 2004
The Dilbert Newsletter 57.0: "A Little Ray of Bitter Sunshine" arrived a week ago and I usually drop everything to read it ASAP. This time I decided to save it for a plane trip to London so I had something to keep me happy during long waits. Good thing I did because flying in/out of Italy was an adventure today. A great read like as usual and a must for any Dilbert fan.
Enter your e-mail address on the Dilbert site to subscribe to the newsletter: http://www.comics.com/comics/dilbert/dnrc/subscribe
Tuesday, October 5, 2004
SpaceShipOne did it again
Cool Or What? They did it again. The same space ship went to space twice in less than a week. It is just fantastic that we have gone from the moon landing to a private space launches with live web casts in half a life time.
Last weeks space launch was exiting with the unexpected roll while SpaceShipOne went to space. It shows the dedication, and balls, of the test pilot when he decided to continued burning the rocket until he was sure he would break the 100km mark even if ground control suggested aborting the mission earlier. Stuff you only see in the movies.
I'm really glad I found the time to watch the web casts live. I realize it's not sputnik or the moon landing but I still think it was a great moment. I don't expect to take a private shuttle trip around the earth anytime soon but I can at least dream.
The launches shows several things I believe in firmly:
- You can if you want: 62 (going on 63) when you fly(?) the first private space ship to space
- KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). Same cockpit and very similar flying behavior between SpaceShipOne and White Knight. Pure genius if you ask me.
As a 'space nut' I think it was a very nice touch of Burt Rutan to schedule the price winning flight for the 4th of October: the anniversary of the Sputnik I flight.
Monday, October 4, 2004
Adobe Acrobat 2.0 for Pocket PC
Adobe Acrobat 2.0 for Pocket PC is available in available in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish and adds some new features:
- Mobile data entry: Submit form data using handheld devices over a wireless connection. If you are working offline, the data is temporarily stored, then submitted once a connection is established. Send forms by e-mail or directly to the destination server using a cradle or cable.
- Wireless printing: Print directly from a handheld device to a remote printer
- Slide show viewing: Easily share Adobe PDF slide shows generated by Adobe Photoshop® Album software on handheld devices in portrait or landscape mode.
- Downloading digital editions: Download digital editions of your favorite books in PDF format to handheld devices and read them anywhere.
One nice thing about the Pocket PC version is that you disable plugins you don't need without modifying the Acrobat plugins by hand. It loads quickly and you can read documents that are displayed in "reflow mode" without problems. Documents with tables etc are best displayed in landscape mode so you don't have to scroll right/left so much. Click and hold the document to get the popup menu that let's you choose "Full Screen view" so you can see even more of the document.
The GUI looks unfamiliar as they don't use normal menus but use small toolbar buttons for everything. It leaves more space for displaying the document but it's unusual to press the ^ button to get the menu. All toolbar buttons can be customized using the "Customize toolbar" option on the main menu.
I still prefer Microsoft Reader for reading eBooks but Acrobat is handy for watching reference documents, schedules etc that I have saved on SD cards.
Via The Unofficial Microsoft Weblog
Friday, October 1, 2004
55 Gb/s in the London Underground
I read the numbers, did a quick calculation and read them again. London is currently the hottest hub of them all, passing 55 Gigabit per second
Improving Adobe Acrobat 6.0 load time
I noticed the Get Acrobat Reader to open up faster post a while back but I didn't try it before today. It works like a charm and Adobe Acrobat loads -a lot- faster.
The splash page that lists the impressive list of patents hardly displays anymore.
Thursday, September 30, 2004
Hellacious mailbox: 100GB!
Wow! Hellacious Riders offer 100GB of mailbox storage with a reasonable :-) 500MB attachment limit. Not only that; be the first one to fill it up with mail and you get 1TB of space on a dedicated server….
The cost? It's free!
You have to suffer through the usual adds on the web site and the monthly "newsletter" though. Hotmail starts charging for downloading mails to Outlook Express but Hellacious Riders gives free POP3 access. Cool Or What? Not that I plan to use POP3. The hard disk on my laptop is too small and the whole point with an online mailbox is that I can access my mail from any place with any client.
So we decided to offer a 3 GByte email account to users. But it is easy for others to increase that to 5 GByte. We wanted to do something 'hellacious' and came up with the idea to offer 100 GByte and allow users to send attachments in sizes up to 500 MByte."
For the coming week he plans to launch a fee based email service with capacities ranging from one Gigabyte to one TByte. An ad-free 100 GByte email account will be priced at $150 per year.
Screenshots and review of the beast coming as soon as my mailbox is active (it takes up to 72 hours to activate it after registration).
Wednesday, September 29, 2004
SpaceShipOne; one down, one to go
For those who didn't watch it live; SpaceShipOne successfully completed the first of two flights to100km within two weeks. The streaming video service worked like a charm. It was exiting to watch when it started to spin (aparently) out of control on the way up, and a great relief when Melvill got it under control on the way down again.
SpaceShipOne, VirginGalactic and other space adventures
SpaceShipOne should launch their first, of two, scheduled flights to win the x-price today. Hope they do as well as they did on their first test run. Virgin believes in them as well and just and announced VirginGalactic:
Over five years Virgin expects to create around 3000 astronauts and the price per seat on each flight, which will include at least three days of pre-flight training, are expected to start at around £115,000 ($190,000). Virgin will reinvest the proceeds in developing a new generation of vehicles for further space ventures. To date the cheapest space tourism experiences in government built and taxpayer funded spaceships cost over $15,000,000 per seat.
More info on the VirginGalactic and SpaceShipOne deal:
Update: Watch SpaceShipOne Live
Friday, September 24, 2004
Some red wine with the fish?
I know that a bit of red wine is good for you but not that it had such drastic effects:
''We found that men who consumed four or more glasses of red wine per week reduced their risk of prostate cancer by 50 percent,'' Stanford said. ''Among men who consumed four or more 4-ounce glasses of red wine per week, we saw about a 60 percent lower incidence of the more aggressive types of prostate cancer,'' said Stanford, senior author of the study. ''The more clinically aggressive prostate cancer is where the strongest reduction in risk was observed.''
The list of "benefits" continues:
- As an antioxidant, it helps sweep dangerous, cancer-causing free radicals from the body.
- As a potent anti-inflammatory agent, it blocks certain enzymes that promote tumor development.
- The compound also reduces cell proliferation, curtailing the number of cell divisions that could lead to cancer or the continued growth of cancer cells.
- It also enhances apoptosis, or programmed cell death, which helps rid the body of cancerous cells.
- It may act as an estrogen, reducing levels of circulating male hormones such as testosterone that fuel the growth of prostate cancer.
Although I'm not sure if what effects a lowered testosterone level will have. I guess I should be comforted by the fact that Italians drink plenty of red wine and there seems to be nothing wrong with their testosterone level..
White wine and beer doesn't seem to have any effect which is a shame as red wine doesn't really go well with Salmon and other healthy fish.
Saturday, September 11, 2004
Ah, time for a well deserved(?), short, vacation.
Hulk thinks stupid big party can stop now and go home. Hulk saw part of it on TV box and SAW GOVERNOR CONAN BUT HE "SOLD OUT" AND CUT HIS HAIR! Hulk very upset at this because if HULK can go green and stay green SO CAN GOVERNOR CONAN! He didn't even have a sword or anything.
Thursday, September 9, 2004
Ferrari, IT at >300km/h
There are a some companies I would really love to IT for; Ferrari, JPL and Valentino Rossi's Moto GP team. What can I say; I'm a speed loving space nut!
The interview with Dieter Gundel, the head of racetrack electronics at Ferrari on news.com is interesting. Some of the stuff I already assumed; the core stuff is written in c/assembler. It is great that they agree with my coding philosophy: choose the tool/language for developmed in the language that makes most sense depending on the probleml C++, Delphi, VB, … (as well as C#, Java, Perl, if you ask me)
It's scary that a Ferrari F1 can "crash" even though it is temporarily.
As the function of the car fully depends on software, this software can go wrong. A crash will be only temporarily because as usual in embedded software, there are plenty of watchdogs in the control software that will reboot the controller after a short period of inactivity
Accomplishing high security over WiFi: don't use it
We are not using wireless networking at the circuit and at the factory yet because we are not satisfied with the security. All our laptops that leave the factory with critical data have encrypted hard disks. Our telemetry traffic from the car to the garage is encrypted as well.
Lessons I have learned the "hard way" way as well.
The keyword for us is redundancy and fallback solutions. We practice a fallback of our operation down to the level of data transport between machines using USB sticks, just to be prepared for the worst. The other point is one of the main principles of (Formula 1) operation: Never make the same mistake twice. We therefore respond to all problems with a fix, either by improving components or the structure or by stepping back to a less performance-focused but safe scenario.
Wednesday, September 8, 2004
Stay smart longer; eat more Omega-3 rich food
Science Blog covers the recent discovery by UCLA neuroscientists that a diet high in the omega-3 fatty acid DHA helps protect the brain against the memory loss and cell damage caused by Alzheimer's disease
UCLA neuroscientists have shown for the first time that a diet high in the Omega-3 fatty acid DHA helps protect the brain against the memory loss and cell damage caused by Alzheimer's disease. The new research suggests that a DHA-rich diet may lower one's risk of Alzheimer's disease and help slow progression of the disorder in its later stages. '
I don't have relatives with Alzheimer's but this section really caught my eye:
The human brain absorbs DHA rapidly, making a constant supply critical for proper cognitive function, eye development and mental tasks. DHA helps keep the brain membrane fluid, moves proteins and helps to convert signals from other parts of the body into action.
Guess it's time to start eating more fat fish. Anybody know any good recipes for Norwegian Salmon?
- Norwegian Salmon Association
- Buy Norwegian Salmon on Amazon.com
- Buy Omega-3 supplements on Amazon.com
Tuesday, September 7, 2004
Belkin iPAQ kit
I just bought a HP iPAQ kit from Belkin ~25 euro at the local IT shop, Media World. The guys must have made a mistake in their pricing:
- The Belkin iPAQ flip case by itself costs ~20 euro
- The 20 Belkin iPAQ screen protectors cost worth another 15 euro
- 4 pack stylus costs ~8
- USB Synch Charger (charges via USB and car lighter, synchronizes) costs ~15
The pack only mentions the h1900, h5450 and h5550 but all the accessories (haven't tried the styli yet) works like a charm on the 4150.
Cool Or What?
Thursday, September 2, 2004
Systems Engineers on the road with WiFi
WiFi can be a real savior at certain times. Especially at 5a m when you're in front of the office, have to make an important change to a production system, and the security guard decided it was better to stay in bed than to go to work.
The pictures shows how one of my colleagues saved the
morning day by connecting to the 3rd floor WiFi from the street below the office. Way to go SLL!
I guess this could be a new way to save money in the US. Who needs cubicles anymore? Any -real- American car has air conditioning, a huge cup holder and enough room for supplies for a few days of work. Employees can buy food at drive-ins on the way to work or order take away food tvia inernet hat fits through the car window. Place a Porta-Potty or two in the parking lot and you're OK. The office spaces can be left clean and tidy, available for client tours and marketing department parties.
Wednesday, September 1, 2004
Bittorrent search engine
The legal stuff regarding P2P is always a pain so he is adding filters to prevent searches for Microsoft software etc.
I hope the Norwegians have the same open mind regarding Bittorrent searches as they had in the DVD Jon DVD decrypting cases.
Tuesday, August 31, 2004
Hush ATX Media Center Edition 2005
This one is just coolissimo: Hush ATX Media Center Edition 2005
Some of the specs:
Storage up to 400GB
ATI Radeon Series with DVI+CRT+TV out, Fanless
Analog or Digital Terrestrial TV/FM Tuner Card
6 channel Audio Output for 5.1 Sound with SPDIF out (Optical/RCA)
Back Panel I/O Connectors: 4x USB 2.0, 2x IEEE 1394 FireWire, RS232, parallel, mouse & Keyboard Port, DVI, VGA, S-VHS, FBAS, 5.1 Audio, Optical/RCA S/PDIF (AC3)
Front panel I/O Connectors: 2x USB 2.0 / 2x IEEE 1394 FireWire, 1 x Phone, 1 x Mic
10/100/1000 LAN Ethernet
Wireless LAN or Bluetooth optional
Hush® ATX Aluminium Antivibration Chassis, Fanless
Hush® 240 Watt Audio Power Supply, Fanless
Infrared Remote Control
And I thought I had a cool gadget with the Kiss DP-1500...
Monday, August 30, 2004
Orion Multisystems "PCs"
The Orion DT-12 is a neat little desktop that has 12 nodes, 36Gflops peak processing performance, 24GB ram and 1TB internal disk storage.
The Orion DS-96 tower model specs are just impressive:
It has up to 96 nodes, 300 Gflops peak processing performance (150 gigaflops sustained*), 192 gigabytes of DDR SDRAM memory, and 9.6 terabytes of internal disk storage. It plugs into a standard 15A wall-socket, consumes a peak of 1500 watts, and fits unobtrusively beneath a desk.
Cool Or What?
Pricing is not available yet, but it should be possible to buy the Orion Cluster Systems online from 22 September
Sunday, August 29, 2004
Saturday, August 28, 2004
Microsoft KB writers must have some fun as well
I just loved these:
- Q303969: How to Work with More Than 64,000 Children Per Parent
- Q189826: PowerPoint Centimeters Different from Actual Centimeters Q209354: HOW TO: RTFM
- Q276304: Error Message: Your Password Must Be at Least 18770 Characters and Cannot Repeat Any of Your Previous 30689 Passwords
- Q131109: Earth Rotates in Wrong Direction
Friday, August 27, 2004
Create Self-Booting Movie CDs
This is a pretty neat idea; Convert your own DVDs to self-booting Linux CDs. The idea is simple; take your DVDs and make a "who cares if it get's destroyed" copy on a CD that you can watch in any PC that can boot from a CD. The CD contains a mini version of Linux and a media player that can play just about anything.
Personally I don't need it at the moment as I bought the Kiss DP-1500earlier this year. I plays my entire CD (ripped to MP3) and DVD (converted to DivX) collection via LAN. Still working on the VHS collection though. The MovieBox Deluxe USB looks neat (let me know what you think).
Way to go söta bror
Being a Norwegian I don't really have a lot of lot love for the Swedes (our “sweet brother“ to the east), but this time they really impressed me. The reply from the Swedish BitTorren site to Dreamworks is just unforgettable:
As you may or may not be aware, Sweden is not a state in the United States of America. Sweden is a country in northern Europe. Unless you figured it out by now, US law does not apply here. For your information, no Swedish law is being violated.
Please be assured that any further contact with us, regardless of medium, will result in
a) a suit being filed for harassment
b) a formal complaint lodged with the bar of your legal counsel, forsending frivolous legal threats.
It is the opinion of us and our lawyers that you are fucking morons, and that you should please go sodomize yourself with retractable batons.
Thursday, August 26, 2004
Cool tools; sysinternals
Just this afternoon I was getting upset with Microsoft ActiveSync which had problems synching with my iPAQ 4150. It has successfully synchronized for several months on COM5 (Bluetooth) but this week it suddenly decided it liked COM1 better. I enabled/disabled/rebooted and tried all tricks in the book but no way; after a reboot Microsoft ActiveSync defaults to COM1.
Instead of hunting for random registry keys I fired up RegMon (no installation required) and opened ActiveSync. A quick search in the recorded results and I found the offending registry key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows CE Services\SerialPort
I changed the value to COM5 and it works like a charm!
Most of the utilities come full source and I don't know what I would do without them.