|Sunday, 23 December 2007, 11:59 pm
- Pre-recording my radio monologues for next week. I’m cutting out pauses to make myself sound more intelligent. #
- Charlie Wilson’s War was such a disappointment. How can you go wrong with Mike Nichols and Aaron Sorkin? Tom Hanks. #
- I’m so happy. I added dropdown menus to my blog and I only had to stay up to 2am to do it. #
- Recording an interview with Tim Ferriss in half an hour. 4-Hour Work Week? How about 400-Hour Work Week? #
|Wednesday, 22 March 2006, 4:26 pm
Tags: SDA, Windows
I just erased all the WAV files on my main editing system – including two FLOSS episodes ready to roll out the door.
I’m writing this while running ActiveUNDELETE and praying. It all started when a shiny new 2GB mini-SD card arrived for my T-Mobile SDA SmartPhone. My plan: put podcasts on the thing so I could listen just about anywhere. I guess I’m a little spoiled by iTunes and the iPod (despite Apple’s appalling anti-competitive DRM). Getting podcasts on a Windows Media device is just ridiculously complex.
- Step one: install Active Desktop.
- Step two: install podcatcher client that can use Windows Media Player for synching (still trying out different solutions there. Man I miss iPodderX.)
- Step three: configure Windows Media Player for synching media
- Step four: search hard drive for tunes
And here’s where mistake #1 happened – I let WMP check the entire drive for media files. Actually mistake #1 was using my audio editing machine for this. I have, in the past, been careful about keeping stuff off that computer so it’s just Adobe Audition, FTP programs, and podcast files. But I got lazy. So now Windows Media player has everything, but everything, in its playlist.
- Step five: connect phone
Yikes! WMP is trying to copy everything to my phone. I don’t want every copy of TWiT on my phone. So I press stop synch. A bunch of times. It sorta stops. Then starts up again. Windows really really wants to synch all this stuff to my phone. So I delete the playlist in Windows Media Player.
You know that box that says “Delete the entries in the playlist or actually delete the files?” Can you guess which one I clicked? Within seconds 1000s of megabytes of precious podcasts and podcasts as yet unborn disappeared. And they didn’t go into the trash. They disappear entirely. And I didn’t notice until the next day when I sat down to edit.
I admit I acted in haste. But it was way too easy. An operating system should make it easy to do the things you want to do (like copy podcasts to your phone) and hard to do the things you can’t reverse (like entirely delete all audio from your PC). Microsoft has this completely backwards. No wonder Vista isn’t coming out until 2007.
|Tuesday, 19 April 2005, 10:27 pm
Tags: Amber MacArthur, Call For Help, Camera Phone, Photos
|Tuesday, 19 April 2005, 1:39 pm
Tags: Announcements, Camera Phone, Meetups, Podcasters
Don’t forget, the podcast meetup is tonight at the Lone Star Grill in Toronto. Eric Rice, Ray Slakinski from iPodderX, Ross Rader and I will be there. RSVP at Ross’s blog.
|Tuesday, 19 April 2005, 12:40 am
Tags: Alerts, TWiT
It is done. The first ROTSS has been posted. Subscribe to the podcast to get it by midnight every Sunday, press the play button to the left, or download it directly.
It’s a 56kbps MP3Pro file weighing in at around 14MB. Join Patrick Norton, Kevin Rose, Robert Heron, and me for 34 minutes of Skyping fun as we discuss driving in the dust, cell phones, Kevin’s new webcast, systm, and the demise of TechTV. We plan to do this weekly with a rotating cast of characters. Your input is welcome. (Anyone want to design a logo? – Update: Thanks to all of you who sent in logos. The one you see here is by Lori LeBeau-Walsh. G4 has told us that they intend to reserve rights to the name “The Screen Savers” so we’ll be considering other choices.) Theme music this week from Wayne and Wax’s CD “Boston Jerk.”
Incidentally, I’m very happy to report that another Screen Saver alumna, Megan Morrone, delivered twin boys on Friday, Huck and Milo weigh in at over seven pounds each. All are doing well, but don’t expect Megan to make an appearance on ROTSS any time soon!
UPDATE: Welcome slashdot readers. By popular demand, I’ve created Vorbis and plain MP3 versions of the show. I had hoped to upload them to OurMedia.com but it’s not working right now. For the time being I’ll host them locally. To defray bandwidth costs, please use the Coral Mirror unless it’s not working for you. I’ll do this for all future episodes. We plan to record again this Sunday and Yoshi will be joining us.
|Friday, 18 February 2005, 7:40 am
Tags: News, Technology
I‘m hopping a plane to Orlando this morning for the PMA conference. I’ll be covering digital photography announcements there for DigitalCameraInfo.com. Watch for my video pieces. Meanwhile, here are today’s top tech stories.
- Microsoft is planning to give away its new anti-spyware program, cleverly named Microsoft AntiSpyware. The beta is free right now, and according to Bill Gates at this week’s RSA security conference in San Francisco, it’s going to stay that way. Unfortunately, it only works for XP and Windows 2000. Gates also announced a new anti-virus product by year end and an update to Internet Explorer for Windows XP SP2. IE7 will go beta this summer with improved phishing protection.
- Meanwhile, Microsoft is recalling 14.1 million Xbox power cords, saying that there’s a fire risk. The recall applies to Xboxes manufactured before Oct. 23, 2003. I’ll live dangerously.
- Former US cybersecurity and counterterrorism advisor, Richard Clarke, also at RSA, when asked his opinion of the new Microsoft security products replied, “Given their record in the security area, I don’t know why anybody would buy from them.”
- Panelists speaking at RSA said that cryptography is good at protecting the content of messages, but can’t be counted on to protect content for very long. , Carter Laren, security architect at Cryptographic Research noted,
“Anyone designing content protection should design for failure and if it fails update it.”
- The next two stories underscore Laren’s point. The SHA-1 hash algorithm, used for digital signatures (I use it to sign all my eamil via PGP), has apparently been cracked.
- According to the LA Times, Apple and Napster are taking potshots at their respective digital rights management technologies. Steve Jobs sent recording company executives an email Tuesday morning pointing out that Napster’s new all-you-can-eat music service, Napster-To-Go had been cracked. Napster CEO Chris Gorog replied with an email Tuesday afternoon that linked to a site offering a crack for the iTunes Music Store’s DRM. Gorog wins this round. All protected music is susceptible to the Napster-To-Go crack – it’s essentially recording the analog output as you listen to the song. iTunes FairPlay has been cracked fair and square by DVD Jon and software to strip out the copy protection is widely available.
- The New York Times is buying About.com for $410 million – that’s 23 time earnings.
- The creators of the TCP/IP protocol that powers the Internet won the computer industry’s Nobel Prize. Vint Cerf and Robert Kahn were given the ACM Turing Award and a $100,000 prize.
- The European Parliament has rejected software patents and called on national parliaments to debate the subject for another year to come up with a better proposal. The EC now decides whether to accept Parliament’s recommendation.
Listen in Friday at 7:45a Pacific for my weekly news commentary on KFI 640 AM in Los Angeles. Tune in Saturday at 7:40a Eastern for my weekly visit with John Donabie on 1010 CFRB Toronto. And, of course, listen to my show live from Orlando this Saturday and Sunday, 11a to 2p Pacific on KFI, Los Angeles.
|Tuesday, 8 February 2005, 7:49 pm
Tags: News, Technology
Finally, I know how to get where I’m going, thanks to the new Google Maps.
Friedleib F. Runge, father of paper chromatography, was born on this day in 1795. Science fiction author Jules Verne was born in Nantes, France, 1828.
- Watch out Intel and AMD. Forget the G5. IBM, Sony and Toshiba unveiled details yesterday of a new microprocessor that contains the equivalent of eight CPU cores around a central coordinating core based on PowerPC. The Cell processor, in development since 2001, starts at over 4 gigahertz, has nearly twice the transistors of the Pentium 4 and can deliver 10 times the performance. Look for it in the new Sony Playstation 3, TVs from Toshiba, and IBM high-end workstation computers coming later this year. Apparently there are several operating systems already running on the Cell in the labs, including Linux. With its PowerPC heritage, it shouldn’t be hard to port OS X to it – now that would be a killer product.
- The FCC released a list of web sites that send cell phone spam on Monday. The sites have 30 days to stop or face fines of $11,000 per violation.
- The Superbowl spurred the sales of 1.4 million TVs according to the TV Retail Advertising and Marketing Association, many of them high-end flat screens.
- Microsoft will release 13 patches for Windows XP today, including nine critical updates. Make sure to run Windows Update.
- But don’t believe an email claiming to be from Microsoft with an attached “security” program. It’s spyware from Romania, one of many scams circulating the net right now taking advantage of Microsoft’s announced “Windows Genuine Advantage” program. Microsoft says it never sends out updates via email.
- The record industry has hit a new low. They’re suing a dead woman. According to her daughter, the 83-year-old West Virginia woman hated computers. According to the RIAA, she traded 700 pop, rap, and rock songs online under the screen name smittenedkitten. The RIAA says they’ll drop the case.
- University of Calgary students will be learning how to create spam and spyware. The university already has a course on virus creation. Now why didn’t they teach that kind of stuff when I was in school. Oh, yeah. Because you can’t create spam with a slide rule.
|Tuesday, 4 January 2005, 2:09 pm
Happy anniversary Spirit, the Mars rover that was expected to last three months is still going strong. Four-wheel roller skates were patented on this day in 1863. Elvis records his first demo in Nashville in 1954. The Beatles last recording session was in 1970.
- The big Consumer Electronics Show opens Thursday in Las Vegas. If I were going here are some of the things I’d be looking for. Sony is expected to show their PSP, and announce details on price and availability. SBC will announce a new web enabled set-top box. The first Blu-Ray players and recorders will debut, including a CD/DVD/Blu-Ray burner from Philips. Sony will show an LCOS based projection TV. Samsung will unveil a 21-inch OLED prototype. Listen to the radio show for complete CES coverage this weekend.
- Tivo2Go is finally here, allowing owners of standalone Tivo Series 2 units to copy recordings to their Windows PCs and eventually to burn them to DVD. DirecTV Tivos are not supported, nor are the Tivos with built-in DVD burners, yet. Details on the Tivo web site.
- The tech industry is stepping up to help with tsunami relief efforts. Microsoft and its employees will be donating around $3.5 millon. Michael Dell and his wife are donating $3 million.
- The city of Los Angeles is suing travel sites Expedia, Orbitz, Priceline, and Travelocity over hotel taxes. The city claims the sites pay taxes based on the wholesale rates negotiated with hotels, but charge customers tax based on the marked up retail price. The sites not only pocket the markup on the room rate, but the extra tax. Orbitz says the lawsuit has no merit and will aggressively defend itself.
- More news on our Internet habits from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. According to the study, eight million American adults say they have created blogs and readership is up 58%. 27% of Internet users say they read blogs regularly, 12% say they have posted comments, but 62% of Internet users do not know what a blog is.
- The Washington Post has a look at the Federal CAN-SPAM act one year after it was enacted. In short: it’s not working.
|Tuesday, 14 December 2004, 12:21 am
Tags: News, Technology
I‘m off to Vancouver BC for the Vicki Gabereau Show, but before I go… the news!
Those iPod ads are good, but home made iPod ads are better.
Dickens’ A Christmas Carol was first published on this day in 1843. The clip-on tie was released in 1928. The Susan B Anthony dollar was released in 1978. Saddam Hussein was captured in his spider hole one year ago today.
- Oracle has successfully concluded its long-delayed takeover of PeopleSoft, heading off what could have been a bitter fight. Oracle shareholders will get $26.50/share – more than $10 more than Oracle’s first offer. PeopleSoft’s employees will get Larry Ellison as a boss. Doesn’t seem fair somehow.
- Microsoft has released desktop search software – wait doesn’t Windows do that already? – to compete with Google and Yahoo. The free software comes with the new MSN Toolbar Suite and works with Windows XP and 2000 only.
- Sony’s PSP shipped in Japan yesterday and promptly sold out. The first 200,000 units were gone in hours. Sony plans to ship three million by March. The portable gaming device sports console quality graphics and can also play movies and DVDs. It’s selling in Japan for 19,800 yen – about $188 US dollars. 21 games will be ready before the end of this year. Sony will offer the PSP in North America sometime next spring.
- Firefox use rose 34% in the US last month according to WebSideStory. Internet Explorer still has 90% market share web wide, although it’s now below 50% on this site.
- The US Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether P2P file sharing services like Kazaa and Grokster are liable for aiding copyright infringement. The court agreed to hear the music industry’s appeal of a Ninth Circuit court decision that Grokster and Streamcast were not liable because they didn’t exercise control over the music swapped using their service. This is gonna be the big one.
- A Manhattan housing court judge has been offered for sale on eBay, with free worldwide shipping included. The posting, from a disgruntled former litigant, was quickly pulled, but not before 21 bidders raised the judge’s price to $127.50.
- Robbers in Texas were scared off from a home invasion by sounds from Grand Theft Auto. “The police in the game were staying, ‘Stop, we have you surrounded. This is the police.’ The burglar, unknowingly, thought this was the actual police and panicked,” according to the Galveston DA.
Listen in Tuesday at 6:45a Pacific for my weekly news commentary on KGO 810 AM in San Francisco.
Friday midday I’ll be on The Vicki Gabereau Show on CTV in Canada. (We only tape on Tuesday.)
|Thursday, 13 May 2004, 6:52 pm
Tags: News, Technology
All the week’s news in one convenient package – cuz I’ve been too lazy to do the news all week.
It’s Towel Day. Douglas Adams passed away on this day three years ago.
- eEye is at it again. April 19 the firm discovered four serious flaws that occur in almost all Symantec security products. Symantec is offering a comprehensive patch and strongly encouraging its customers to update immediately (in most cases running Live Update is sufficient). It typically takes less than a day for worm authors to capitalize on such holes once publicized. The holes, which occur in the symdns driver, allow ring 0 access to code, even when all firewall ports are filtered and all intrusion rules are set (thanks to a separate bug there).
- Google’sAdSense will offer banner ads for those that want them. I’m sticking with the plain old text version. Still no graphics on the main Google site, however. The company has also launched the second beta of its Google Groups site.
- There have been five more Sasser arrests this week, but the German police say it’s not a gang, just a loosely knit collection of teens and 20-somethings who share code with each other. Meanwhile they’re calling the original suspect, 18-year-old Sven J., a “bottom-feeding hacker” who is responsible for all 28 strains of Sasser and Netsky. In his confession Sven said he originally intended to create an anti-virus worm but something went wrong.
- The US House of Representatives is considering modifications to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) but the movie industry is crying foul. Republican Representative John Doolittle waved his iPod around and said he didn’t understand when he sponsored the DMCA that it would limit what he could do with his music. “We went way overboard,” he said. “It needs to be corrected.”
- The House Judiciary Committee approved a bill Wednesday that would outlaw “upskirt” pictures. The Video Voyeurism Prevention Act would prohibit taking covert pictures in any place where people had a reasonable expectation of privacy. The Senate passed the bill last year.
- A Salinas, California High School has banned camera phones from classes after catching a student using one to cheat on a math exam. Last year, six University of Maryland students admitted to cheating on an accounting exam by using SMS messaging to get the answers from their friends.
- Wi-Fi is susceptible to a denial-of-service attack according to AUSCERT at the University of Queensland in Australia. A vulnerability in the 802.11 spec could allow someone with a PDA to disrupt an entire wireless network. No patch is possible because the problem lies in the fundamental spec for 802.11.
- Spammer OptInRealBig won a temporary injunction Monday against SpamCop, prohibiting the spam fighting site from reporting spammers to ISPs. The judgement was issued ex parte because SpamCop had not yet files a response. Once the court heard from SpamCop’s parent IronPort it rescinded the order.
- Intel released the 90 nanometer version of the Pentium M this week, code named Dothan, a year late. The small die should further improve the M’s already excellent power usage. Its 2 meg L2 cache should speed it up condsiderably. Reviews available at Tom’s Hardware and elsewhere.
Listen in tomorrow at 6:45a Pacific for my weekly news commentary on KGO 810 AM in San Francisco.