Jun 122007
 

If you’re a Quick Launch hound like I am, then your tiny icons next to your start button never get a rest. I have all my important frequently accessed programs stuffed in there – but sometimes it can be a hassle to swing the cursor over and click on each icon. So here’s a tip for you:

quicklaunch

Keyboard shortcuts for the Quick Launch icons in Vista. You can open any icon in the Quick Launch bar (just to the right of the Start button) by holding down the Windows key and pressing what I’ll call the “rank number” of the icon – the number that corresponds to its position in the list. So, in my desktop here, Windows + 1 opens Outlook, Windows + 2 opens Internet Explorer, Windows + 5 opens the Snipping Tool and so on. This means that you can set a really simple keyboard shortcut to any program you want – just right-click the program in the Start Menu and choose Add To Quick Launch, then drag-and-drop it to assign the number you want.

I used to hate Quick Launch – now I don’t know how I ever existed without it 8)

Jun 122007
 

A team of Japanese researchers has developed a type of rice that can carry a vaccine for cholera, this could one day ease delivery of vaccines in developing countries.

While it’s only the latest of several plants being tested as potential means of producing vaccines, the development is potentially important in medically underserved countries that lack refrigeration to store regular vaccines.

But the work is preliminary, having been tested only in mice.

Read more on this at physorg.com

 Posted by at 8:08 am
Jun 122007
 

J. Striegel recounts his escapades as a celebrity and as a bot:

Some time around March, I started receiving a number of random instant messages from people I’ve never met before. Apparently, my AIM alias had been added to at least two online lists and people all over the world were busy importing me as a buddy.

First Striegel wound up on the supposed ‘Secret buddy list of celebrities”.

sexybumkin123: hey.. so you’re famous right?
jmstriegel: Who me? I’m a movie star.
jmstriegel: Shit, I gotta go.
jmstriegel: My limo just arrived and Paris wants her damned sidekick back.
sexybumkin123: Oh my god. Come back!
sexybumkin123: I love you!!!!

Then he wound up on a list where people thought he was a chat bot. He failed to convince them he was a human, how sad, right?…

jmstriegel: no, really. I’m quite human.
jmstriegel: test me if you want
shymuffin32: ok
shymuffin32: why do you like music?
jmstriegel: hmm. i’ve never really considered that.
jmstriegel: hell, i’m not going to be able to contrive a good answer for that one. ask me something else.
shymuffin32: jeesus, you’re worse than eliza

Not sad, it’s hilarious! 😀

 Posted by at 6:02 am
Jun 122007
 

safari windows

Download the Beta.

Let the holy wars begin anew.

Exhibit A:

The apple font rendering ‘no worky'; Coding Horror shows the comparison of Safari’s font rendering to IE7 w/ Cleartype.

Exhibit B:

Or on digg where it’s ‘A fat browser ain’t a fast browser‘; referring to it’s memory use in a side by side comparison with FF2.

Let’s be honest kids, Safari is in Beta, give it some time and we’ll see.

 Posted by at 12:08 am
Jun 112007
 

I have to admit, Andy’s WIT posted a few days ago gave me a run for my money!  I had to follow the link to see what that thing was 😉  I find the transport of that very interesting.  I mean, Why not just build the darn thing where the rest of it is?  You’d think some pre-planning would be involved there!

So, this week we find ourselves with another picture to cogitate, and fire some synapses considering its relevance to life, the universe and everything.  Scope this out:

wit14

Try not to be shocked!  Comments….

Jun 112007
 

spock

It was the middle of the night when surgeons were preparing to perform emergency surgery in Vancouver, Canada. The man they were going to operate on had developed compartment syndrome in his legs after he fell asleep while kneeling. Compartment syndrome is a dangerous medical condition where pressure builds up in the deep muscle tissues and can cause permanent nerve damage.

However, when the surgical team established an arterial line in the man’s wrist, they were surprised to discover that his blood was dark green instead of bright red. Even though the man is not a Vulcan, it was like something out of Star Trek.

Read the rest of the article from GrrlScientist

 Posted by at 7:14 am
Jun 112007
 

bank_vault

Lee Ann Obringer is a Staff Writer for HowStuffWorks and she has posted a really good introduction to the Swiss Banking system, its advantages, the history of the system, the laws applicable to you as a non-Swiss citizen, a high level explanation of how the accounts are setup and maintained, their privacy and the ease with which you too can set up your own account.

It’s pretty long but easy to skim to the parts that you’re interested in.

James Bond enters a Swiss bank in Spain and is frisked before he can meet with the banker. In the “Da Vinci Code,” a triangular-shaped key activates a robotic arm that pulls a safety deposit box from the wall in a Swiss bank in Paris to ultimately reveal the secret to Christianity. The funny thing is neither of these scenes would actually happen in a real Swiss bank.

Here’s the link to “How Swiss Bank Accounts Work“.

Further reference:

 Posted by at 6:14 am
Jun 102007
 

cmd_prompt  

I tried using xcopy in Vista for the first time recently and received this in the command window:

NOTE: Xcopy is now deprecated, please use Robocopy.

It appears xcopy.exe is still available for appcompat so that existing batch files aren’t broken on Vista, but it looks like we’re being encouraged to move to Robocopy (‘Robust File Copy for Windows’).

Robocopy has been around for a while, shipped in at least one or two resource kits like the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools.

The biggest benefit appears to be the ability to create full mirror duplicates of two file structures (including all subdirectories and files, if you want) without having to copy unnecessary files. Only files that are new or have been updated in the source location will be copied. Robocopy also enables you to preserve the file information, including date/time stamps, ACLs and more.

And if you’re a GUI person, Technet has a GUI for Robocopy here.

 Posted by at 6:14 pm
Jun 082007
 

Vonage_booth_babes

We started the week with Booth Babe Petra Nemcova showing off that slick model from HP and we end the week with more Booth Babes.

At electronic and gaming shows around the world you will find manufacturers of software and hardware or service providers trying to draw you to their booth.

One classic way of attracting folks is with the use of ‘Booth Babes’. They’re usually attractive young women who have been brought in from a modeling agency to do booth duty for a high tech company. And they’ve had a crash course in that company’s technology so they can at least talk intelligently about the basic features when shy geeks step up to the girl.

Well, I’m not a booth babe and I have had to man the booth my fair share and sometimes it’s just crazy, sometimes it’s pretty boring but it’s always draining even though all you’ve done is stand there all day and yap about your product.

Well, I stumbled across a blog article from ThinkComputers last year that is an interview with one of the Vonage Booth Babes from CES 2006. Here’s the interview ‘What it’s like to be a booth babe’, and below we have some random booth babes strewn across the ‘net. After this maybe you too will want to man the booth and dress in disco attire!

(More BBs below…)

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 9:21 am
Jun 072007
 

Wow – Tesla Motors roar!
Polidics
0 to 60 in 4 seconds, 100% electric, 250 miles per 3.5 hr charge and damn sexy.

Sun CEO Says Apple Shifting to Solaris File System
eWeek
Sun Microsystem’s CEO Jonathan Schwartz causes a stir in the Macintosh community when he said publicly that OpenSolaris ZFS will become “the” file system for the Leopard version of Mac OS X.

Dead Programmer Society
Dead Programmer Society
You have been reading a bit lately about “rockstar” programmers and recruiter ads are proclaiming “Rockstar programmer needed”? This geek would rather be a “jazz musician” programmer.

Pac Man Founder Calls It Quits with New Version
BetaNews
For a video game legend, Wednesday’s release of “Pac Man Championship Edition” for Xbox 360 will mark the end of a nearly three-decade career for one of gaming’s most illustrious developers.

40% efficient solar cells to be used for solar electricity
Physorg
Scientists from Spectrolab, Inc., a subsidiary of Boeing, have recently published their research on the fabrication of solar cells that surpass the 40% efficiency milestone?the highest efficiency achieved for any photovoltaic device.

Business milestones: the Hot Chick Tipping Point
Valleywag
Scientific formula: Business + Hot Chick = Wildly Successful Business
Hot chicks can sell beer that tastes like water and foul-smelling body spray, and even a domain registrar. The male mind is easily sold. But the Hot Chick Tipping Point goes beyond advertising; it could be the one thing a business needs for wild success.

 Posted by at 6:21 am
Jun 062007
 

Monster_Manual

Monster Manual V is the most recent volume in the best-selling Monster Manual line.

It’s a 224-page D&D supplement with a fully illustrated horde of new monsters, as well as ready-to-play variations of previously existing monsters.

Also, it appears this supplement features maps of monster lairs, sample encounters, and a tactics sections to help Dungeon Masters run the more complex creatures. And many entries contain information about where monsters are likely to appear in the Forgotten Realms and Eberron campaign settings.

The Amazon price at the time of this writing is about US$23, the release date is going to be next month- July 17 2007.  

 Posted by at 8:02 am
Jun 062007
 

Quote from UCLA Today:

“In a world where people already feel over-connected by cell phones, the Internet, iPods and PDAs, it’s easy to take the power to communicate for granted. But these connections are a lot more fragile than one might imagine.

In the frenzied aftermath of Sept. 11 and hurricane-ravaged New Orleans, communication lifelines were suddenly cut off completely for emergency personnel when infrastructure was destroyed.

That’s one of the primary reasons why public agencies such as the California Department of Transportation are paying close attention to a project led by Computer Science Professor Mario Gerla at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science.”

Link to the rest of the article.

 Posted by at 5:00 am
Jun 062007
 

htc-logo

The other day I gave you a heads up on the impending big announcement from HTC.

Turns out the odds-makers had it right, they did in fact announce a multi-touch phone featuring finger gestures similar to the Apple iPhone. If you want the details, skip on over to SlashGear’s reveal.

They’ve branded the Elf as the ‘HTC Touch’ running Windows Mobile 6, the finger gesturing is handled by HTC’s application TouchFLO. It’s available in the UK today and in the US later this year.

elf_touch

Have fun keeping up with the Joneses.

 Posted by at 12:40 am
Jun 052007
 

dictionary 

I know you’re all busy and I hope this didn’t fall off your calendar, but here’s a friendly reminder that the Dictionary Society of North America has it’s biennial meeting June13-17 in Chicago.

In fact June 16 at 4:30pm- 5:45pm is ‘New Word Open Mic’ , so if you have a new word and want to try it out on the attendees, this is your opportunity to shine. 😀

For the newcomers, in case you’re interested –

The Dictionary Society of North America was formed in 1975 to bring together people interested in dictionary making, study, collection, and use.  The 500 members who live in 42 countries around the world include people working on dictionaries, academics who engage in research and writing about dictionaries, dictionary collectors, librarians, booksellers, translators, linguists, publishers, writers, collectors, journalists, and people with an avocational interest in dictionaries.

The only requirement for membership is an expression of interest in language, in words, dictionaries and lexicography, or any combination of these.

The DSNA was founded by participants in a colloquium entitled “Research on the History of English Dictionaries” held at Indiana State University, in Terre Haute, Indiana, on May 20-21, 1975.

As stated in its handbook:

 “The purpose of the Society is to foster scholarly and professional activities relating to dictionaries” (defined as lists of words or other vocabulary items, with information about their meaning or other linguistic properties).  “The Society shall carry out its stated purpose by promoting the exchange of information and ideas among members through meetings, research projects, publications (such as a newsletter, a journal, bibliographies, directories) and any other means it may deem appropriate.”

Here’s the latest newsletter: DSNA – Spring 2007

Here’s the registration information for the event.

Here’s the schedule of events.

 Posted by at 10:02 pm
Jun 052007
 

When developing or researching many electronic devices, electronics hobbyists frequently need to measure various signal parameters (voltage, frequency, timing, etc.) or view and record inputs and outputs, in order to analyze them and determine if the electronic circuit is operating correctly.

To gather measurement data to analyze digital-to-analog circuits, it’s helpful to use some specific electrical testing equipment, which include an oscilloscope, spectrum analyzer, recorder, and logical analyzer/generator.

As you’ll see HobbyLab has a great tool for your microcontroller projects called the ‘PC USB Oscilloscope’. Simply connect the device to the computer USB port, run the Windows application and you can analyze the UART, SPI, I2C and 1-Wire interface signals.

The USB o’scope provides the following operation modes:

  • 2-channel oscilloscope
  • 2-channel spectrum analyzer
  • 2-channel recorder
  • 16 (8)-channel logic analyzer
  • 8-channel logic generator

For more information on the product technical details or to purchase one, here’s the product page, the cost is only US$169 which is pretty good considering what a true o’scope would cost!

If you’d like to check out the online documentation with many more screenshots, go to the HobbyLab wiki.

usb_oscope

FmOsc

 Posted by at 9:00 am