Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Limited time offer: Get a free copy of Opera today

Opera celebrates its 10 years birthday by giving away the full version for free today on the party site.

Download it and give it a try. The full featured version has the best security track of any browser at the market and comes with a lot of cool features like pop-up blocking, tabbed browsing, IRC chat and RSS newsfeed support.

From the press release:

At 15:00 CET / 09:00 AM EST today, Opera launches its online party, specifically designed for its large community following. As a sign of gratitude for the community's continuing support, Opera will give away complimentary registration codes for 24 hours. At the party site, people can also chat with Opera employees (including the CEO and CTO), play games, check out the history of the Opera browser, download music made by employees and send in their greetings. In addition, people can check out what happened at midnight at Opera's anniversary party....

Via jkOnTheRun

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Google Talk

Google announced its instant messaging and voice  program today. Google Talk allows you to talk and send instant messages for free.The user interface minimalist as you would expect from Google, which makes it very efficient and a easy to use.

Google is doing The Right Thing and making an open system that also works with other clients:  

In addition to the Google Talk client, there are many other clients out there that provide a great communications experience. We believe users should have choice in which clients they use to connect to the Google Talk service and we want to encourage the developer community to create new and innovative applications that leverage our service. To enable this, Google Talk uses the standard XMPP protocol for authentication, presence, and messaging.

The great news is that they are planning to do the same for the voice functionality. At the moment they use a custom protocol but they are planning to add support for SIP and federate with other voice providers:

We plan to partner with other willing service providers to enable federation of our services. This means that a user on one service can communicate with users on another service without needing to sign up for, or sign in with, each service.

Cool Or What?
P.S. Sign in with your gmail account. Contact me if you need an invitation.

Sunday, August 21, 2005


MP3 sunglasses

MP3 sunglasses; listen to cool music and look cool at the same time

More than 8 hours of continuous play time from a 2 hour charge is great for such a small package. It supports MP3, WMA and ADPCM.. The sunglasses comes with a storage case, USB cable and an A/C adapter.

Too bad the summer is almost over.

Thursday, August 11, 2005


Shooting stars

The Perseid meteor shower is great to see it if you take the effort to go to a place where ambient light doesn't affect the view. I was really looking forward to it this year as the kids are old enough to enjoy it but the weather in the Milano area these days makes it difficult to watch the shooting stars:

Science @ Nasa has more about what is causing behind the meteor shower and where to see it.

The source of the shower is Comet Swift-Tuttle. Although the comet is nowhere near Earth, the comet's wide tail does intersect Earth's orbit. We glide through it every year in July and August. Tiny bits of comet dust hit Earth's atmosphere traveling 132,000 mph. At that speed, even a tiny smidgen of dust makes a vivid streak of light--a meteor--when it disintegrates. The shower is most intense when Earth is in the dustiest part of the tail.

SpaceWeather has an image gallery from last year and I am sure they will put up one this year as well. It is no substitute for watching the real thing though. Leave town for a few hours and find a dark and quiet place to enjoy the beauty if you can.


The best paper airplane in the world

35 easy to follow steps to build the best paper airplane in the world:

The "DC-3 of paper airplanes" flies like a real airplane. The long tail and the heavy nose gives it great stability, even on windy days.
It certainly looks a lot more like a real airplane than the wedge shaped ones I usually make.

Via [Neat New Stuff]


EzLink NG

EzLink organizes and streams audio, video and images to networked DVD/DivX players like Kiss DVD PlayerEzLink NG is an enormous leap in functionality compared to the previous EzLink version, not to mention the PC-Link software that comes with Kiss DVD players.

The new version is just fantastic and comes with some impressive features:

  • Video re-encoding on the fly! It automatically converts formats like WMV and ASF that are not supported by some DVD players at run time while the movie is streaming.
  • Media Center compatible as well as PC Link compatible
  • Automatic image conversion of formats like BMP and WMF to JPEG
  • It can run as an NT Service
  • KML User Interface using the built in web browser on the dvd player. You can make your own pages using the built in EZK scripting language.
  • Improved browsing of contents. You can customize the name of the files by adding for example the duration of a movie. You can configure “virtual sub folders“ so you can browse by letter, year, artist etc.
  • Custom web radio stations
  • Display RSS feeds on the player

You can download a 30 day evaluation copy of Release Candidate 1 from the EzLink NG web site.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Self portrait by astronaut Steve Robinson

A neat "self portrait" by astronaut Steve Robinson taken during the latest Discovery mission:

Check out the details in the high resolution version.

Via BoingBoing

Tuesday, August 9, 2005


Watch the Shuttle landing live on the internet

You can watch the shuttle landing live on the internet with NASA Television

They canceled the first landing opportunity in the Kennedy Space Center this morning due to bad weather and they will take the decision about the second landing opportunity in the next minutes.

You can get the latest news from the Virtual Launch Control Center

Friday, August 5, 2005


Make - Digital Edition

I got the mail from Make announcing Make - Digital Edition while I was on vacation but didn't read it until now:

MAKE Digital edition is a vivid replica of the print edition of MAKE, it offers an experience very much like the print magazine plus many additional benefits, such as online searching, embedded multimedia and printing. Please note that MAKE Digital Edition can be viewed from any web browser (i.e. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari etc.) and requires NO DOWNLOADING of software - giving you instant access to your entire MAKE collection!

Great news for someone who lives in Italy where mail comes and goes when it wants. The best news of them all; it is FREE for Make subscribers. I took peek at the 3rd edition that is online already. Wonder if I manage to wait for the print edition or if I will read it all online…

Thursday, August 4, 2005


Inflatable Beer Bucket

Avoid warm beer during the vacation with the inflatable beer bucket:

Inflate and fill it with something cold to keep your beverages fresh while you relax on the beach or on a picnic. Holds up to 24 large cans, 30 regular cans, or 8 bottles of wine.


Apple Mighty Mouse

Not only does the Apple Mighty Mouse look good:

it also packs a lot of features in what looks, at first glance, like a single button mice:

Via cuzZle

Monday, August 1, 2005


Valentino Rossi signs with Yamaha for 2006

Valentino Rossi has had a great second season with Yamaha in their 50 year anniversary. The worst result so far this season is a 3rd place in Laguna Seca. I am happy to see that the adventure will continue next year as well:

Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing, Lin Jarvis, stated, "Since we announced the signing of Valentino Rossi at the end of 2003 we had an astonishing first year with him, and are now enjoying great success again in 2005. This year is the 50th anniversary for Yamaha and is therefore a very special year for us.
We hope our MotoGP efforts will culminate in a second world title for Valentino with Yamaha. We are obviously very happy to have Valentino with us for another year and to keep him with MotoGP in 2006. The partnership with Valentino is the key point that will now allow us to proceed with our total MotoGP strategy for 2006."

"I am so happy to be able to announce the continuation of my relationship with Yamaha" commented Rossi. "Last year was magic, to win my first race with Yamaha, and then to win the championship. I have a fantastic relationship with this factory and my team crew, who have worked so hard to make the M1 as competitive as it is now, and it just made sense to stay with Yamaha for another year."

(more Valentino Rossi pictures)


Google Earth

I passed around the link to Google Earth in the office on last week and it was an immediate hit. I didn't post about earlier as my site seems an advertisement for Google lately considering all the cool stuff they are releasing...

I couldn't resist though; Google Earth is just too impressive. I spend 20% of my time working on the real time routing/distance calculation of GIS system and it just makes me more impressed with what Google has done. Try the "Colorado River View" in the places menu to get an idea:
Use the zoom and tilt controls to enjoy a 3D view of the Grand Canyon

Right click on any placemark and choose "Email..." to send a shortcut via e-mail. The mail contains instructions for how to install and use the placemark. You can also search the Keyhole BBS for links to famous places like Mount Everest or enable the “Keyhole Community BBS“ Layer to see placemarkers inserted by other people.

I am "lucky" enough to live in an area with high definition imaging and I must admit it is weird to be able see the trees in my garden from a sattelite...


A fresh bed for hot dogs

The Canine Cooler is a cool idea:

It is built from a non-toxic plastic that is virtually puncture-proof and easy to clean. Just the right thing to keep the dog fresh when it gets too warm :

The Canine Cooler is easy to use: just add water. The foam inside will absorb the water, which stays cooler than gels. Ticks and fleas can't make their homes inside the Canine Cooler the way they can with other beds, and since it shapes comfortably to crates, it can travel with you easily, wherever you and your pet may go.