Could Facebook Become The Next Microsoft?

TechCrunch has a good article on the subject of Facebook and its continuing popularity especially when your favorite applications show up on the site to become the #1 stop for content and interaction.A few months ago they released the ‘Facebook platform’ and in short order thousands of applications have been delivered against that platform.

Link to the debate over Facebook as your future Web OS, the comments to the article are just as good.

China To Limit Teens’ Online Gaming In Favor Of Exercise


The Chinese government has launched a campaign to limit the number of hours teenagers spend online playing games.


Under new rules that took effect Monday, Chinese Internet gaming companies must install a program that requires users to enter their ID card numbers. After three hours, players under 18 are prompted to stop and “do suitable physical exercise.

If they continue, the software slashes by half any points earned in the game. All points are wiped out if players stay on more than five hours.

Immortalize Your IT Guy

IT Crowd Site

I received all of this from Nicole P., but good golly, if you do nothing else on this page, go watch the clips from the British show ‘IT Crowd” she forwarded at the bottom, they’re farking hilarious 🙂

I will definitely be watching out for this when it’s available in the US.

She basically passed along a bit of info on the British sitcom the “IT Crowd” that is being released here on DVD in September (NBC is airing the American version this Fall).  The series (created by Ricky Gervais….the brain behind “The Office”) follows the hilarious day to day lives of two IT guys (Roy and Moss) and their flighty boss Jenn.

Below are some clips to give you more of an idea about the show.  They are also running a contest via the IT Crowd Blog to ‘Immortalize Your IT Guy.’ They are receiving picture submissions of IT Guys from all over and featuring the best ones every week until early September. At the end of the contest the winner will get their pictures featured in the Photo gallery of the next IT Crowd DVD release!

Clip – The IT Crowd: All Women Just Want Bastards

[youtube bw-oCHZKS4g]

And here’s another good one, I won’t bore you with embedding a second video, just clicky.

Clip – The IT Crowd: Jen’s Dead

And Even More Free Books, Tutorials And Lecture Notes



Get your geek studies in at FreeComputerBooks, it’s chock full of links to free online books. Here’s a sampling.

Math Books, IT References, Web books from PHP to AJAX to CSS.

Check out the Networking category for everything from  Telecom to TCP/IP.

Special Topics cover subjects like Neural Networks , LDAP, Version Control.

Computer Science  has got the largest inventory it appears from the Compiler, OOD/OOP, Artificial Intelligence, Computer Architecture and much more.

Languages  covers everything from BASIC, COBOL, Ruby, C#, etc…

Other subject categories cover Java/J2EE,  Databases , Microsoft

You’re Joe IT, The IT Guy has an interactive game for you IT folks to let your frustrations out on a few Project Managers and Sales Execs.

You’re presented with a few video scenarios where you’re confonted by an irate manager, choose from various interesting weapons at your disposal to get even. You get nice artillerly like the Pizza Gun, Masochistic Mosquito, Giant Boxing Glove.

You’re undervalued around the office and overworked, expected to deliver miracles at 3PM on Friday. This is your chance to get even!

Tip – When you’re in the office map view, try mousing over all the worker bees in the cubes. Don’t forget the guy in the bathroom!


Get Your MIT Education Online, Free

Classroom icon

You know what? Sometimes I’m so lazy.

How lazy? Indulge me while I explain. 

We’ve probably all seen this deal before in that you can download the MIT courseware for free from what appears to be all departments. From Aeronautics and Astronautics to Linguistics and Philosophy to Electrical Engineering and Computer Science to Writing and Humanistic Studies and many more between!

This subject of the availability of the courses came up on Digg today, ah those loveable yet hate-filled bastards, what would we do with you? 🙂

But as sometimes happens when you have a bunch of latecomers jumping on the bandwagon of geekdom, they missed out on this topic that the geeks first learned of 5 years ago when it was discussed on Slashdot.

OK, back on topic now. I’m lazy, the last time I learned of the courseware I didn’t bookmark it, now I won’t have to worry about that ‘interesting training’ that I lost the link to again because I can just search the Geeknews archives. 😛

With a domain name like that you’d think ‘why bother telling us about it, of course it’s just another anti-iPhone site you dork’.

And then you’d be wrong.

In fact developer on the site *loves* the iPhone, but wants to bring the cool UI pieces to Windows Mobile.

Here’s a snippet from the About page:

I personally have been using the Sprint PPC6700 for almost a year now and have grown to love and hate it… lets just put it this way… you can certainly tell that there is some version of Windows on this thing… lets just leave it at that.

I recently upgraded to Adobe’s Flash CS3, and to my surprise I stumbled upon Flash development for mobile devices…When I opened up a new project for a Windows Moblie device in [Adobe’s Flash] CS3 and started digging around it became clear to me… THIS WOULD BE A FANTASTIC DEVELOPMENT ENVIRONMENT TO BUILD A NEW COOL INTERFACE FOR A WINDOWS MOBILE PHONE!

The goals are to develop the interface piece by piece:

  • A new launcher (see screenshot below)
  • A new locking screen
  • A weather application / widget
  • Possible future piece: contact manager

Here’s the homepage, the gallery of screens, About page with lots of info and lastly the Forums.



Microsoft’s Future Kitchen

No, this isn’t yet another story about a Starbucks machine on every floor of every building on MS’ campus.

This is about Microsoft focusing more efforts towards getting consumer friendly devices into every room of every home. Remember the Microsoft motto in the 90’s used to be ‘A PC on every desk’?

For the most part, with the exception of developing regions, you can consider that mission accomplished.

BBC has the story and goes behind the scenes of the research into MS’ next wave of features and projects you can expect to see in the coming decade.

Stumble Of The Day: Zombie Infection Simulation

Here’s a slick Zombie Infection Sim with an overhead view of a sim city (of sorts) populated with humans, a single zombie and rules on the expected behavior of both beings when they come in contact with each other. Do they fight or flight, if humans shoot at the zombie do they get a kill shot, what direction to run, etc…?

In my sim below, the green dots are zombies, pink are human. Watching the infection spread is good for about 3-4 minutes of fun.


Zombie Infection Sim

Word Of The Day: Octothorp



Octothorp, weird yet interesting word isn’t it?

Maybe you’ve seen it in any of these other traditional spellings: octalthorpe / octothorp / octothorpe / octatherp

It’s just one word used to represent that symbol at top, you’re probably most familiar with it as part of the telephone number pad. In most regions of the US and Canada it’s more often called the ‘pound sign’ or the ‘number sign’.

Little is known about this word, but two things we do know. One is that this is truly an obscure word, to the point where most dictionaries don’t even list it, including the Oxford English Dictionary. Second thing known for sure is that the etymology of this word is definitely obscure.

There are a lot of stories that try to explain how it got its name and the experts can’t really agree on the true story. The first part of the name is not in question, ‘Octo-‘, which is Latin for eight because of the eight points on the symbol. But the second half of the name ‘thorp’ is in doubt, if you’d like to read the various stories of explanation then you should check out the article here on and this explanation by Octothorp Press on their ‘About the Octothorp‘ page.

Further reference:

PRC Cuts Skeletons From Local Version Of WoW


The operators of “World of Warcraft” in China have replaced skeletons with healthy human bodies in the local version of the online game. This is due to a recent government campaign to clean up Internet content. The PRC gov’t says this supposedly promotes a ‘healthy online culture” to protect the government’s stability.

WTF? Hacking and slashing players and other monsters is OK, but rendering some skeletons on screen is bad? Sheesh!

Link to the AP article on Wired.


Who doesn’t like getting free crap swag when visiting with a partner or customer or attending a convention and stopping by a booth you otherwise might have bypassed had the booth babe not been handing out t-shirts?

Here’s someone who obviously has collected his fair share of swag t-shirts. Seeing some of these shirts really takes me down memory lane.

I’ve got my share of shirts as well, half haven’t even been worn, maybe I should use some as prizes here on geeknews. Hmm.

[via has_many:questions]



Driving While Texting, Faster Route To The Grave

Weeks ago, five high school cheerleaders died in an automobile accident when their car crossed the center lane into on-coming traffic and collided with a big rig.

The police are now saying that it’s likely due to the driver texting on her mobile at the time of the accident:

Cell phone records show a text message was sent from the phone belonging to the driver, Bailey Goodman, at 10:05:52. A reply was sent to her phone at 10:06:29. Thirty-eight seconds later, someone called 911 to report the accident that killed Bailey and her friends. [ABC News]

This was a horrible accident, yet it’s common sense that you can’t text while driving safely, I think geeks and non-geeks alike instinctively know this. But Teens aren’t the only ones most at risk here of trying to multitask on their mobile, there is another group of people just as dangerous to fellow motorists on the road with them and that would be the obsessive compulsive workaholic.

You know what I’m talking about, someone that has to check their mail constantly via their smartphone, refreshing the stock page on their mobile browser, etc…someone like me! We are a danger to society, should be identified and restricted from owning a mobile newer than this:

Old School Mobile

Only then will society be saved from those obsessive compulsive workaholic threats on the road. It takes a lot of willpower at times when I hear the little chirp that a new work e-mail has arrived in my inbox and hold off from taking a peek until I stop at the next red light.

What Is That? 7-17-07

Here’s an artifact from the 1950’s, it’s a publicity photo. Leave your guesses in the comments and earn the fame and attention of geeks galore if you think you know what this device is that the woman is so happy over.

No, it’s not from inside the spaceship from the cult classic ‘The Day The Earth Stood Still‘, though if you thought that, then I’d say you’re a really hardcore sci-fi geek. 🙂

This is also not a giant electric razor, nor is it some randy woman playing with a vacuum hopper!

If you want one last hint, here it is:[The manufacturer of this device also made electric razors until they spun off that razor division around 1979].

With all the hints given in this WIT article I’ve practically given it away, you should be able to research the answer through Live or Google without much difficulty.

What is that?

Swedish Woman Gets World’s Fastest Net Connection

SigbrittSigbritt, 75, has world’s fastest internet connection

A 75 year young woman from Karlstad in central Sweden has been thrust into the IT history books – with the world’s fastest internet connection. Fast enough to pull down HD-DVDs in 2 seconds or view 1500 HDTV channels simultaneously.

Sigbritt L?thberg’s home has been setup with a smoking hot 40 Gbps connection, that’s thousands of times faster than what you and I get at home.

Rank hath its privileges, or in this case age has its privileges? Nope, it’s the old story of “it’s who you know in high places” that’s applicable here. You see, until this connection was hooked up Sigbritt didn’t even own a computer, but her son Peter L?thberg is Sweden’s internet pioneer and he collaborated with the local networking council to setup his mom’s home as a demonstration of what’s possible for the rest of humanity if you invest in the right infrastructure.

Link to the article from

via Ministry of Tech

Time: ’25 Sites We Can’t Live Without’

Time magazine lists the 25 web properties we can’t live without – Link.

Here’s the list. I’m agreement with most of them, but clearly their priorities are a little different than my own. For me, I need the properties such as MSDN or their support sites.

What about you, what are some of your ‘must haves’ not on the list?

I’m In Heaven – Watch Gadgets Galore And More

I’ve learned of a new favorite tech site at ‘Gadgets Reviews‘ with a nice clean blog theme, tons of gadget reviews and best of all for me, lots of cool gadget watches like the one below with compass and temp gauges.

My favorite watch from the site just recently posted is the ‘Veiled Watch‘ so that the display and crystal blend with the bracelet to the point where you can barely tell its even a watch, very stealthy.

But watches are the tip of the iceberg, check out the site. Looks like I have another gadget feed to follow! 🙂