What Is That??

Wooohoo!  Summer is officially here folks.  I’m jazzed about all the stuff I have planned to do with my family, and of course with you 😉  My son, bless (or curse) his 12yr old heart, is on his last day of school today, which marks the end of having any peace during the day for the next few months.  Maybe I’ll do the same thing my parents did when I was his age, feed him breakfast, and then shove him out the door and tell him not to come back until it gets dark!  Hehe.  Well, it doesn’t work for everyone….

On to the matter at hand here.  Congrats to xavier for guessing that last weeks WIT was a braille device!  (insert applause here)  Maybe I was too easy on you!  Here’s a snappy of something you don’t see everyday.  Try this one on for size…


So onward into verbal battle we go, my fellow geeks.  Show no mercy and defeat the mighty mystery at hand!  Sharpen your wit, and submit your comments…

UFOs Among The Top Queries Of The CIA Docs

The CIA’s web site has a Freedom Of Information section to search declassified documents from the spy agency. In the last 2 months here are the top 5 search keywords people have entered into their site:

May, 2007:
 ufo: 1782
 0001156395: 1625
 bay of pigs: 950
 cuba: 634
 vietnam: 547

April, 2007:
 bay of pigs: 1124
 ufo: 1064
 iran: 682
 vietnam: 588
 soviet: 412

As you can see (unless you’re color blind), i’ve highlighted ‘UFO’. Are people so daft as to think that they’re going to post the ‘good stuff’ online? Gimme a break 😀

From spot checking the UFO reports myself (looks like ‘Flying Saucer’ was more popular back in the 50’s), they all pretty much run along the lines of this one from 1952:


I’ve found some really cool stuff though, completely unrelated to UFOs, will report here later. Some of it is stuff that was formerly Soviet Top Secret which was translated, shared within the US intelligence community and is now declassified under our own rules! How cool is that!

iPhone Wireless Plans Announced


All iPhone monthly service plans are available for individuals and families and are based on a new two-year service agreement with AT&T.

Individual plans are priced at $59.99 for 450 minutes, $79.99 for 900 minutes and $99.99 for 1,350 minutes. All plans include unlimited data (email and web), Visual Voicemail, 200 SMS text messages, roll over minutes and unlimited mobile-to-mobile and a one-time activation fee of $36.

Linux gains real-time networking stack

An Austrian vendor of real-time networking stacks for automotive, off-highway, and aeronautics use has pledged to port its flagship technology to Wind River Linux.

TTTech claims its “Time-Triggered Architecture” (TTA) offers better safety, cost, and developer productivity, compared to event-driven architectures such as the CAN (controller-area network) fieldbus.

Read the rest of the details at LinuxDevices

Software Pirate Looking At 10 Years In The Brig


Hew Raymond Griffiths is a 44 year old Brit living in Bateau Bay Australia. Or rather was living in Australia; he was extradited to the United States earlier this year to face piracy charges from his time leading the group known as DrinkOrDie which was part of a giant piracy operation. That’s their warez logo up there.

Monday, a US District Court judge sentenced the infamous cracker to 51 months in prison.

Back in the day, his operation covered the UK, Australia, Sweden, Norway and Finland but was founded in Russia in 1993.

DrinkOrDie’s specialty was producing cracks for MS, Adobe, AutoDesk, Novell and Symantec, and of course there were likely many hundreds of other applications or OS’ that were cracked and hosted on their private network to hide it all from law enforcement.

In all it’s estimated DrinkOrDie benefited in over $51 Million dollars of pirated software, one of their claims to fame was releasing a pirated copy of Win95 2 weeks before the product shipped.

To date, the US effort known as “Operation Buccaneer” has resulted in more than 30 felony convictions in the United States and 11 convictions of foreign nationals overseas.

Bubble Wrap Love

I love popping the little bubbles in bubble wrap, or even better is putting it on the floor and rolling the wheels of my office chair over the wrap, it sorta makes a machine gun sound. 😀

The downside is the once you’ve popped the bubbles the fun is over.

But no more! Now the fun can last until the tears flow.

Follow this link on over to zedomax.com to learn about the new handheld gadget that has the look and feel and sound of bubble wrap for hours of bubble wrap delight!


Petra Nemcova Pt2

As promised a few weeks ago, that deal with HP and Petra Nemcova’s photo shoot with that new Tablet PC was not the first time she’s been caught playing with our toys.

Here’s a snapshot from a compilation video on ryoni.com of your new favorite geek girl. Alright maybe she’s not your favorite, perhaps we can make her an ‘Honorary Geek Girl’?

If you missed the first pics of Petra and her photo shoot, head on over now.



Google Reader Goes Dark


It appears that Google Reader went offline for about 8 hours when it was daytime in Europe, Asia & Middle East, it was back online early morning today in the US Pacific about 6AM.

Google Reader’s news group was all abuzz with activity and reports of the outage and geeks complaining mightily about the need for their feed fix.

Mihai Parparita (from Google Reader team), here and elsewhere, apologized for the outages, saying feeds should be refreshing again. And they are.

But strangely enough the google reader blog is silent on the subject as is the main google blog.

Seems that when these things happen to Microsoft, the MSDN blogs are very active on the problem, even for Beta products, what’s the deal google? Please be more open with your users. 😀

Ultimate Style Steel MP4 Player Watch – 1.8 Inch Screen

Full Color 1.8 Inch Screen and made completely from steel for the ultimate in style and coolness. Its high pixels and frames per second are practically guaranteed to make viewing a joy. Plus it has a built in voice recorder, multiple languages, the ability to speed up or slow down the music playing, and so much more.

The device supports these languages: Japanese, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Chinese, Italian, French.

Go to GeekStuff4u for the details, the cost is just US$164 and available memory options include upgrading from the default 2GB module to 4GB.


watch metal

CD Art And Having Fun With The Hole

There’s some really neat CD art out there you can print and affix to your CDs to jazz them up a bit. And then there are some that make practical use out of the CD’s physical attritubtes such as the hole in the middle. What can you do with that empty space?

Check out IAmBored.com for some cool examples of what you can do with that hole like this one example below.

CD Hole Art

French Gov’t Fears Blackberry Snooping By U.S.

(AP) PARIS – BlackBerry handhelds have been called addictive, invasive, wonderful – and now, a threat to French state secrets.

That, at least, is the fear of French government defense experts, who have advised against their use by officials in France’s corridors of power, reportedly to avoid snooping by U.S. intelligence agencies.

“It’s not a question of trust,” French lawmaker Pierre Lasbordes told The Associated Press. “We are friends with the Americans, the Anglo-Saxons, but it’s economic war.”

Le Monde newspaper, which broke the story, described BlackBerry withdrawal among those who have given them up. “We feel that we are wasting huge amounts of time, having to relearn how to work in the old way,” the daily quoted a ministry office director as saying.

E-mails sent from “Le BlackBerry” pass through servers in the United States and Britain, and France fears that makes the system vulnerable to snooping by the U.S. National Security Agency, Le Monde reported. The company that makes BlackBerrys, however, denies such spying is possible.

Lasbordes, who was commissioned in 2005 by then-Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin to look into such issues, said he alerted the government to this “weakness” months ago. He said he met with BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. to discuss the problem in the course of preparing his report on the security of French information systems.

The Canadian company “admitted that there was a certain fragility in the protection of information when you use the e-mail system” and promised it would be resolved, said Lasbordes, adding: “That was more than a year ago.”

BlackBerrys pose “a problem with the protection of information” and “the risks of interception are real,” Alain Juillet, in charge of economic intelligence for the government, told Le Monde.

Research In Motion insisted that BlackBerry e-mails cannot be read by the NSA or other organizations. The e-mails are more heavily encrypted than online banking Web sites, Research In Motion said in a statement.

Link to full article on DefenseTech

Opera Unleashes Updated Mini Browser for Mobile Phones


I’m installing this tonight, I will use Opera 4 beta on my WM5 smartphone exclusively (instead of the default IE) for the next week and report back the good and bad.

Opera has released the public beta of its new Opera Mini 4 mobile Web browser for download recently. This is likely the best browser available to surfing the web.

A few of the benefits to using this browser:

  • This browser uses a remote server to pre-process web pages before sending them to your phone so web content is compressed, creating fast browsing at low cost.
  • It dynamically changes text size and images to make it convenient to read without a lot of scrolling.
  • It has a virtual mouse to scroll in any direction, also has power scrolling. Mini works on most Java-enabled phones.

dl-1g Quick download of Opera Mini 4 beta

dl-2g Point your phone browser to mini.opera.com/beta

dl-3g Click “Download Opera Mini

Follow the simple setup steps on your phone.

Optionally, you may download the Opera Mini 4 beta for Palm or Blackberry devices for a manual installation.

Opera Mini 4 beta installs beside your current Opera Mini version without overwriting any of your existing files or settings.

[Found via phonescoop]

DIY: A Tin Can Waveguide WiFi Antenna

From Turnpoint.net, a dummies guide to building your own tin can antenna.

Got no dough for a commercial WiFi antenna? Looking for an inexpensive way to increase the range of your wireless network? A tin can waveguide antenna, or ‘Cantenna’, may be just the ticket. This design can be built for under $5 U.S. and reuses a food, juice, or other tin can.

Go from this:


To this:

insidepringles nalleyscantennabig

What Is That? 6-22-07

[Update: The device revealed]

What is this thing?

Full reveal to be posted if no one can guess it correctly in the comments. The hints are in font color white, drag your mouse to reveal the 2 hints. I have no idea if this hint method will work in the feed <crossing fingers>

Hint#1:[ it’s not for making coffee but is for ‘making something’.]

Hint #2:[ it’s about 100 years old.]

New iPhone Specs From The Onion

In light of the recent goofiness this week with Apple having to update the specs and claims about the iPhone’s capabilities versus its competitors we have this update revealed by the Onion, so you know this is laughing out loud funny, eh?

Here’s two of the specs but you need to go read the whole thing:

  • nanotechnology enables it to reassemble itself when thrown against a wall
  • exclusive link to ‘google street view’ so you can watch yourself using your iPhone at all times.