Search For The Titanic Was a Cover For Secret Cold War Sub Missions

Scorpion Submarine

Almost unbelievable, but still, here it is: <snip>

When Bob Ballard led a team that pinpointed the wreckage of the liner in 1985 he had already completed his main task of finding out what happened to USS Thresher and USS Scorpion.

Both of the United States Navy vessels sank during the 1960s, killing more than 200 men and giving rise to fears that at least one of them, Scorpion, had been sunk by the USSR.

Dr Ballard, an oceanographer, has admitted that he located and inspected the wrecks for the US Navy in top secret missions before he was allowed to search for the Titanic.

Times Online has the full story.

BTW, the pic above is the USS Scorpion, it was the sister ship to the first sub I served on. They were part of the Skipjack class of boats and they were pigs, but I say that with love and with fond memories.

Portal Page For Your Mobile

2 mobiles

http://geeknews.net/mobile.htm

I created a portal page for mobile devices, renders pretty quickly on mobiles, is pretty small and links out to other mobile optimized sites. I’ve set this as one of my favorites on my smartphone and it comes in handy quite a lot.

In fact, I ordered the new Stargate Ark of Truth DVD from Amazon via this portal the other day while I was in bed. Apparently Amazon Mobile keeps the ordering process to the barebones, it took just a couple of clicks fewer than it does using the PC.

What’s missing from the categories that you think would be useful to your average geek? Is there a mobile optimized site that you feel should be a must have?

D-Link Introduces Ethernet-to-Coax Kit For Extending The Home Network Using Existing TV Cabling

D-Link DXN-221

D-Link today introduced an easy-to-use Coax Ethernet Adapter Kit that taps into existing coaxial wiring throughout the home, delivering fast and stable connections for extending a network to devices at the entertainment system and to multiple rooms without interrupting cable service.

The D-Link Coax Ethernet Adapter Kit (DXN-221) is ideally suited for adding bandwidth-demanding applications such as high-definition (HD) media streaming, music sharing and online multi-player gaming to the home network. The DXN-221 comes with two adapters, each of which includes an Ethernet port as well as a Coaxial F-type connector for bridging the two adapters together. The adapters may also be purchased individually (DXN-220).

Users can easily connect the D-Link Coax Ethernet Adapter to their existing router and then to an available coaxial outlet in the home, enabling network and Internet access to multiple rooms. A second adapter is added in another room to connect Ethernet-enabled devices like PCs and media players. The DXN-221 may be used in rooms with multiple devices by connecting a switch to the adapter to connect additional devices.

In a typical scenario, a single adapter comes from the home network router via an Ethernet cable and then connects to a nearby coaxial cable. The second adapter can then be placed anywhere in the home where there is another coaxial cable which can then plug into an Ethernet-ready device or network switch for connecting multiple devices. The technology also works as a point-to-multipoint network which enables placing multiple adapters throughout the home for connections in any room with a coaxial outlet.

The Coax Ethernet Adapter Kit is an ideal solution for home networking requiring no new in-home wiring. Pairing the device with existing coaxial cabling in the home can extend the network to the home entertainment center where more devices are now network-capable such as gaming consoles, digital video recorders (DVR), and media players.

The D-Link Coax Ethernet Adapter Kit DXN-221 will be available in Q3, 2008 from retail outlets and will be available from D-Link’s e-tail shops with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $199.99. Individual adapters (DXN-220) are available with a MSRP of $109.99.

Read more about this device:

PC World

DailyTech

BroadbandReports.com

Viacom Ups Ante In YouTube Copyright Spat

Copyright

It appears that this tiresome issue of YouTube hosting copyrighted content may have just taken the next step.

It’s clear to just about everybody that YouTube is hosting content that has been illegally copied or integrated into personal works, but we all look away with a wink wink nudge nudge. And Youtube/GOOG have insinuated all along that they’ll do what it takes to remove offending content but that they’re not directly responsible. In fact YouTube’s website still purports to be a forum for users to share their own original ‘user generated’ video content. In reality, YouTube is rife with infringed copies of everything from SpongeBob SquarePants to Ren & Stimpy to The Colbert Report and much more.

To back that up, in March 2007 YouTube themselves identified 150,000 unauthorized clips of copyrighted material that had been watched 1.5 billion times.

What’s new in this discussion though is that in Viacom’s latest amended complaint (pdf), they emphasize that YouTube’s embedded and sharing features as particularly problematic because it *encourages* infringement. Their argument is that YT isn’t just facilitating copyright violations, they’re an infringer. This may hold water.

GOOG’s argument is not changing, it can be boiled down to: ‘we supply the tools, what our users do with them is their business’. That’s just BS. It’s the same argument used by black hat hackers that distribute hacking tools and key crackers and rootkits.

For further reading, check out IP Democracy’s view now that GOOG is firing back with a (in my opinion) pretty weak response.

Is It The Lazy Spammers Giving The Spammer Profession A Bad Name?

Spam

There’s two kinds of spammers that just really chafe my hide –

Inept spammers and lazy spammers.

When I see ineptness within the spammer ranks I usually roll my eyes and chuckle at how they’ve screwed things up in their latest spam run. I’ll provide details on this bucket later, right now though it’s all about the Lazy Spammers.

To make my point as to what constitutes a lazy spammer allow me to provide Exhibit A, a list.

Here’s the full text of 6 recent spam messages Geeknews has filtered out for moderation. Note what these have in common:

  1. dfgdsfg gdfgdsfg gsdfgdsfg dsfgdsf gmobile ring tones
  2. hgfhgf hgfhdfg hgfhfgh gfh v635 ring tone
  3. fgdsfg gdsfgdsf gdfgdsfg sgdsfgdsf free ring tones for samsung verizon wireless prepaid
  4. sfsadf fsdafas fdasf asdf back ring tones verizon wireless
  5. fsdfs fdasfasd fdsafas fdasfas teenies
  6. fdsfdas fdsafas fdasf asdf sex you tube xxx

It should be obvious what they have in common, the gibberish isn’t just gibberish. A majority of the text is generated using one hand on one row of the keyboard typing randomly on the same 3 or 4 keys over and over again like this:

asdfasdfasdf -OR- ;lkjjkl;;lkj -OR- zxvvczxcvzxvvzcx

If you’re going to decide to take on the profession of spammer, act like a professional, try treating your text like art, make a statement with your spam while providing links to  your services. Take the opportunity to show people what you’re capable of for crying out loud.

Is it too much to ask for? For god’s sake have some pride in your work. As it stands today lazy spammer, I delete you with disdain.

Postal Service Wants To Recycle Your Junk Through The Mail

  eWaste 2

Free and green. Those are the goals of a pilot program launched recently by the U.S. Postal Service that allows customers to recycle small electronics and inkjet cartridges by mailing them free of charge.

The “Mail Back” program helps consumers make more environmentally friendly choices, making it easier for customers to discard used or obsolete small electronics in an environmentally responsible way. Customers use free envelopes found in 1,500 Post Offices to mail back inkjet cartridges, PDAs, Blackberries, digital cameras, iPods and MP3 players – without having to pay for postage.

Postage is paid for by Clover Technologies Group, a company that recycles, remanufactures and remarkets inkjet & laser cartridges and small electronics.

If the electronic item or cartridges cannot be refurbished and resold, its component parts are reused to refurbish other items, or the parts are broken down further and the materials are recycled. Clover has a “zero waste to landfill” policy: it does everything it can to avoid contributing any materials to the landfills.

The free, postage-paid Mail Back envelopes can be found on displays in Post Office lobbies. There is no limit to the number of envelopes customers may take.

The pilot is set for 10 areas across the United States, including Washington, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles and San Diego, but could become a national program this fall if the pilot program proves successful.

This is really cool, but I have a couple of questions:

– How can we extend this to other nations?

– Can I get a Mail Back box big enough to hold about a dozen old fluorescent tube lights, 1 broken down old PC and 1 busted 21″ CRT? 🙂

eWaste

 

[via ecolectic]

Witchblade Sharpened For Bigscreen

Witchblade Teaser Poster

Platinum Studios, Top Cow Prods. and Arclight Films will team on a live-action feature adaptation of “Witchblade,” based on the Top Cow comic book franchise (link to the Wikipedia Witchblade page).

The comic book introduced the Witchblade mythology, which centers on an ornate jewel-encrusted gauntlet that gives extraordinary powers to the wearer, a specially chosen female from each generation.

From Wikipedia on Witchblade:

The Witchblade is an intelligent, ancient, and conscious weapon with extraterrestrial origins. It is one of thirteen weapons of this type. It is the offspring of the universe’s opposing aspects, the Darkness and the Angelus (the dark and the light). The Witchblade is a male aspect created to act as a balance, which must have a female as a host.

The comic book franchise has sold more than 100 million copies worldwide since debuting in 1995 and spawned a 2000 telepic that turned into a weekly series that ran for two seasons on TNT. “Witchblade” has been published in more than 21 languages and 55 countries, with merchandise widely sold. The most recent incarnation was an anime TV show in Japan by Gonzo Digimation in 2006.

The companies are already eyeing a location shoot in Australia.

Platinum Studios is involved in screen transformations of several titles from its comics library, including “Atlantis Rising,” a DreamWorks drama being produced by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, and “Cowboys and Aliens,” another DreamWorks title that Kurtzman and Orci are producing with Imagine Entertainment. Platinum Studios has a Disney deal for “Unique” and is partnered with Hyde Park Entertainment on “Dead of Night,” based on the Italian comicbook series “Dylan Dog.”

Flintstones Arrested!

Flintstones Arrested

Fred and Wilma Flintstone attempted to deliver a simple message (on a stone tablet) to the European Parliament recently, after winding their way through the streets of Brussels in a ‘Flintstone car’.

Their message was simple: Stop listening to the stone-age bilge of the car lobby, and start standing up for the climate.

What they got for their efforts was to be arrested and hauled off in a paddywagon.

Read the blow by blow account at Greenpeace’s blog. Go to the blog to see more photos, I love the beard the guys have donned.

Tag Galaxy: Coolest Flickr App I’ve Seen Yet

Tag Galaxy is a new Flickr-based visualization web app from Germany. I gotta tell you that I find this utility simply mesmerizing.

This is how it works.

From Tag Galaxy you enter a tag to search Flickr for, it returns what looks like a star in the middle of your screen with one or many planets revolving around it. Your ‘star’ is actually a representation of the tag you searched and you’ll see the number of photo’s represented by it that used your tag.

Tag Galaxy

The ‘planets’ are other popular tags (second tags) that are associated with your tag. For instance, I searched for the tag of my town’s name. The planets that showed up were things like ‘sunset’, ‘lake’, ‘park’, etc… Clicking on one of the planets zooms in and you see a new representation of the star/planet configuration again. Though each of these new planets are a third tag associated with the two tags being represented in the middle.

You can continue to hone in on more specific photos using an every growing list of tags, or click on the star in the middle at anytime.

When you click the star, it turns into a spherical object that contains up to 200+ photo thumbnails that comprise the tag list you’ve drilled down to.

Tag Galaxy 2

You can click on any of the photos and they’ll expand to a larger version to view, you can click through to the Flickr page from here if you like. You can scroll this planet in any direction as you scan the thumbnails looking for the photo of interest.

Enjoy!

Temporary Reminder Tatts

To Do Tattoo

To Do Tattoos, get them at Amazon for under US $4. I send myself SMS notes with a to do list or reminders of other activities I need to accomplish, but if you’re one of those folks like Bill Gates that still writes notes on his/her hands (or other creative locations on your body) then this little novelty is for you.

The kit includes 12 graphic “To Do” forms that you can apply to your body wherever it’s most convenient (or creative) and a skin-safe, washable-ink gel pen. You’ll never again have to make lame excuses for missing bowling night or your mom’s birthay.

[via boingboing]

Phoenix Lands on Mars!

Phoenix Lands

Watch the NASA broadcasts of the event and upcoming mission briefings at NASA-TV.

Follow the status live on the Phoenix blogs hosted by NASA.

Phoenix has landed on the Red Planet, and mission controllers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory are waiting for confirmation that the solar arrays have deployed. The first images could come later tonight. And word just came in as I was typing this that the platform is resting at a quarter degree angle which means it’s almost perfectly flat.

Well done, and it’s good to know that we can rely on the rockets to land objects on other planets which means we can start sending heavier payloads like the science lab and larger ‘bots.

Elbows Home To Bacteria Tribes

Medical

In the ‘I think I was better off not knowing Dept.’, researchers inform us that the patch of skin for the human elbow contains 6 tribes of bacteria and that you should be thankful for the value they bring.

The research is coming from a paper published a few days ago out of the National Human Genome Research Institute, part of the human microbiome project. The project is a government-financed endeavor to catalog the typical bacterial colonies that inhabit each niche in the human ecosystem.

Read the elbow article at Seattle Times.

If you don’t know anything about the Human Genome Project, here’s an overview. Most educated geeks should know at least a little something about it, it’s pretty important to the future of our species and our understanding of how to solve some of the more difficult medical diseases and genetic unknowns of homo sapiens.

Carbon Nanotubes Are Now Ubiquitous and Eerily Similar to Asbestos. Here Comes the Cancer.

carbon nantubes

Carbon Nanotechnology is a billion dollar business, the nanotubes are in everything from facial creams to tiny nanoradios to iPods to tennis rackets and the particles come in a wide variety of ‘flavors’ with different electrical properties. Researchers, experimenting with mice exposed to these different type of nanotubes, are finding that the technology has a lot of characteristics in common with Asbestos…including causing cancer.

Like Asbestos, some carbon nanotubes are thin and multi walled, and, as is the case for people exposed to asbestos, the cancer takes a while to manifest itself (30-40 years).

Wonderful.

Here’s additional sources on this story if you’re interested in more: Washington PostInformationWeekCRNComputerworld

Apple Sued Over Mighty Mouse

Let me boil it down for you.

1. CBS owns the rights to the 1940 cartoon show ‘Mighty Mouse’.

2. Apple licenses that name ‘Mighty Mouse’ from CBS and affixes said name to their mouse and markets this pimple of a peripheral in 2005, see exhibit A:

Exhibit A: Apple’s Might Mouse
Apples MandM

 

3. Unbeknownst to Apple, another computer HW manufacturer (Man & Machine) produced its own industrial grade mouse called ‘Might Mouse’ and has been selling it since 2004, exhibit B.

Exhibit B: Man & Machine’s Mighty Mouse
MandM

4. Lawsuit ensues. Man & Machine claims infringement of trademark by Apple.

Question: Who is in the right and the wrong here? We’ll have to wait and see, if you’re interested in more, check the Reg. In this layman’s opinion if M&M is not already infringing on CBS’ trademark for the just the name itself, then clearly the big bad bully Apple must pay.

Wii Fit Day!

Wii Fit

Wednesday was the day the Wii Fit was made available in stores everywhere (at least in the Pacific Northwest). I asked the wife the other day if she would throw herself into the fray, the pack of wolves that would surely descend upon Circuit City’s and Best Buys everywhere to snap up these peripherals.

She did indeed show up 30 minutes before the Circuit City opened today, lined up early in front of the door and was #4 to purchase one (in all 20 people were waiting for the door to open).

I haven’t even put batteries in it yet and I’m feeling fitter already, man Nintendo is good!

So we’re clear, that’s not me above. 🙂

ISS Sighting Opportunities

If you’ve never seen the International Space Station flying 220 miles overhead, this is the week to do so. The station will be in almost constant sunlight from Wednesday through Friday, offering an incredible view to sky gazers across the country.

In order to find out when the station will be visible over your city, visit the NASA Sightings site.

Backstage Passes At Star Trek Las Vegas Convention 2008

ST Convention

Jeez Louise, bidding has begun on official backstage passes for all 5 days at the Star Trek convention this August in Vegas. Looks like the starting price is $1200, which may not be too bad when you consider getting an opportunity to rub elbows with Spock, Data and Captain Janeway. 🙂

Keeping up with fashionable sun glasses is very important. Not all sunglasses come up to the mark, only a few like fendi sunglasses, the revo sunglasses and the serengeti sunglasses are good enough.

However, I’ll pass on the pass, thank you.