Mozilla To Thunderbird – ‘Take A Hike Pipsqueek’

In a shocking announcement on Firefox CEO Mitchell Baker’s blog, the Mozilla foundation is looking for suitors to take over driving the overall Thunderbird effort or possibly spin off a separate foundation to own it.

But one thing is clear according to Baker, it’s all about the web and the success of Firefox so it just makes sense to do one thing and to do it very well.

He gave no indication of a timetable to make the decision, but if you’re passionate about the project and a contributor to it, you’re encouraged to provide input on its fate.

Likely the real cause of this is simply fallout over the popularity of online mail accounts like Gmail and Live Mail.

Supergirl Lands In Smallville

Supergirl vs. Wonder Woman, who ya got in that mud wrestling match? OK, enough with the fantasies, we’ve got real news here.

Laura Vandervoot is the smoking hot Supergirl in Smallville next season playing ‘Kara’, the Krypton cousin of Clark Kent. She got the call a few weeks ago that she’s joining the Smallville cast and filming has already begun.

You may have to peer a little to tell that this is her costume she’s wearing in the publicity photo, not what she’s wearing to school but what she’s wearing to the bank robbery she needs to stop.

Question: How does she get her nails done at the salon when they’re as strong as steel?

People magazine has the details.

Supergirl

Caller Bot, The Prankster’s Holy Grail?

CallerBot

When I stumbled upon this site I thought it was a joke, but looks like it’s real…

The Caller BOT will call any number in the USA and read the message you want. CallerBot.com has a very simple web form to enter the ‘Number to Call’, the Number to appear on Caller ID, the Name to appear on Caller ID, the voice (male or female with different varieties of each), and lastly the text message to be converted to speech when the system calls the number.

I tried it out by sending a sentence to my mobile phone, the form accepted the entries and said it’d deliver the message within 5 minutes.

15 seconds later my mobile rang, the caller ID showed the number I requested and sure enough, the voice on the other end sounded like your typical synthesized computer text-to-speech program.

Give it a try.

Scratch. Programming For Kids

scratch

Scratch is a new programming language that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art — and share your creations on the web.

Scratch is designed to help young people (ages 8 and up) develop 21st century learning skills. As they create Scratch projects, young people learn important mathematical and computational ideas, while also gaining a deeper understanding of the process of design.

Scratch is available free of charge, go to Download.

Currently available for Mac OSX and Windows (system requirements)

Learn more here.

Hidden Lake Could Be Key To Helping Darfur

Africa

There may be a massive lake beneath Darfur detected by a team using a satellite participating in a search for water from space. The team is led by former NASA Apollo lunar participants, they’re using the satellite equipment to put together pieces of a puzzle that compose a picture of the 12,000 sq. mile mega lake in the western Sudanese province.

Although the lake drained years ago, researchers believe groundwater might still exist. And that just might help to bring a close to the clashes that have left hundreds of thousands dead due to war and strife if they’re successful in digging wells in the correct locations.

Link to Terra Daily with the details.

World’s Smallest Hydrogen Car

H powered mini car

From the Gadgets.Infoniac blog today I learned of some cool toys running on hydrogen that will soon be marketed towards us regular geeks (as opposed to the hard core science geeks that may have already established themselves as masters of tapping into the technology).

Shown here is the ‘H-Racer’, the smallest and coolest hydrogen fuel cell car in the world and it fits in the palm of your hand. It operates on 100% clean fuel produced by a miniature solar powered hydrogen refueling station that converts water to hydrogen using energy captured by the sun.

Although simpler in design, this palm-size fuel cell car contains all the necessary technology to make it run.  It includes an on-board hydrogen storage tank, a fuel cell system connected to the car’s electric motor and a hydrogen refueling valve system that can connect the car’s storage tank to an external hydrogen refueling station.

Get your kit from Carl’s Electronics for just US$99.95 or get it from Amazon for a few cents less.

Car plus solar plus H storage tank

Office Subscription Service Launches in South Africa?

Africa

I’m not sure how I feel about pay as you go software but according to Reuters, that very service has been launched in South Africa. It appears that Microsoft Office software will be available in emerging markets in the future and South Africa is testing it out right now.

For the 199 rand (less than $30) you can get a 3 month subscription to use Office 2007.

It appears that it’s being tested out in Africa first since the pay as you go mobile phone service is very popular in regions that generally can’t afford high up-front costs to services.

Who knows, maybe it’ll be what we’re all doing in the future.

Link to the article on eWeek.

Touring OnStar’s Command Center

OnStar

PodTech goes behind the scenes to tour the OnStar Command Center to get details on how they operate and learn a few interesting tings about the data displayed on the massive screens on the wall.

If you’re not familiar with OnStar, a division of General Motors, OnStar provides motorists with a range of advanced, wireless communications solutions that make driving safer; including road-side assistance and automatic emergency response. Additional available services provide concierge assistance, offer destination directions, and other advanced convenience – all at the touch of a single dashboard-mounted button.

One cool thing I learned is the on board diagnostic data can be relayed via OnStar to your personal e-mail account.

Link to the podcast.

Link to the OnStar site for more information.

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

Questionable

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

From MSNBC:

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
http://youtube.com/watch?v=pxZAAmBK1wA

And Even More Free Books, Tutorials And Lecture Notes

 

classroom

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