Archive for September, 2005


September 29th, 2005, 2:28pm by Jake

Some more disaster news for everyone. This one hits some of us a little closer to home, as large parts of Los Angeles & Ventura county are on fire and under evacuation orders. I found a site that shows real-time fire maps, so keep an eye on them if you have a fire nearby. Lance, if you have any free time (unlikely!), do you think you could use the fire data & Google Maps to make a hack showing where the fires are using our favorite mapping application? I know you have experience with this stuff!

The Ol’ Ballgame

September 27th, 2005, 8:48pm by Mike

What better way to celebrate Johnny Pesky’s 86th birthday than to take in a game at Fenway? Though we’ve got a bit of an obstructed view, it’s still great to be at the park.

Everybody loves IPTV

September 26th, 2005, 4:04pm by Kelvin

Don’t know a whole lot about this new Google video viewer, but Paramount has given Google the pilot episode of ìEverybody Hates Chris.” Watch it here, if you are reading this post on a computer. I haven’t seen the show (it’s on at the same time as OC, Joey, and Alias), but I heard it’s funny. Anyway, if nothing else, it’s a bold step for TV studios and it would be helluva lot easier than slogging through the murky waters of Bit Torrent to find missed TV shows. Wish the video player would go full screen though.

Since nobody else wants to do it…

September 23rd, 2005, 9:03am by Mike

Engadget has their mitts on the new Treo 700w, the Windows version of the new Treo. They speculate that the “W” is for “Windows Mobile,” and that a “P” version with the Palm OS will be announced sometime in the near future. So, some discussion points:
— the new look: square buttons, new button configuration under the screen
— the rotatable screen, which is square (what’s the point of that?)
— decreased resolution compared with the 650 (240×240, compared to 320×320)
— built-in support for WiFi cards — is that useful?
— EVDO, 64 MB memory, Bluetooth. To paraphrase Jake, this is what most people were hoping the 650 would be.

Time to Update Firefox

September 22nd, 2005, 6:57pm by Jake

News is out today that there’s a new exploit released that takes advantage of a recently announced Firefox flaw. Some doofus decided to write, release & promote a bit of proof-of-concept because he wasn’t satisfied with the speed of Netscape/Mozilla’s response. Guess that’s par for the course. So for those of you who haven’t taken some advice given here to avoid Internet Explorer due to spyware & viruses, and have enjoyed using Firefox (and modding it), now is the time to upgrade. This isn’t the first time that Firefox has been bitten by a security bug, and it won’t be the last. The upgrade process is promised to be much more streamlined on the soon-to-be-released Firefox 1.5. The moral of the story is that any widely used net software needs to be updated regularly to avoid these sorts of problems.
Once again, upgrade Firefox here.

News Overload

September 22nd, 2005, 2:40pm by Mike

Last night as we were cooking dinner, my Dad called to alert me to the fact that CNN was showing live footage of a JetBlue plane circling over Los Angeles, with a broken nose landing gear and an emergency landing about to happen any minute. When I turned on CNN, they had a split screen going, showing three things:
— The airplane flying around: pictures from a helicopter in the air
— A weather radar showing a tornado that had just touched down in Minneapolis
— Another weather radar showing the now-category 5 Hurricane Rita
As my dad put it, “Paula Zahn is about to wet herself she’s so excited.” Of course, I did what any of you would have done — I called Jake and told him to look out the window and see if he could see the plane. While he couldn’t see the plane itself, he did say that he saw three news helicopters hovering over the airport.
So I’m sitting and watching on TV at home — but what’s weirder is that since it was JetBlue, with their inflight DirecTV service, passengers onboard watched the drama unfold as the plane was circling, and could hear CNN’s experts assess their situation in real time. Weird.

Forget podcasting

September 22nd, 2005, 12:02pm by Mike

So we all know that I like podcasts — they’re really helping me get through the commute. But I was just made aware today of what may be a nice augmentation to that . Griffin Technology, who has made a name for themselves with iPod accessories like the iTrip, iTalk, and iFM, also make the radio SHARK, which is the antenna + USB interface + software that allows you to timeshift broadcast radio and save as MP3 files. Seems they also have a standalone program called iFill that basically automates this process, but for streaming radio stations on the net. You tell it the station, and how much you want to record, and it dumps it straight to your iPod — doesn’t even need iTunes. Read on for a little more.


Not So Lovely

September 21st, 2005, 6:23pm by Jake

Hurricane Rita is now a monster storm comparable to Rita, Ivan and the other great hurricanes in US history. The storm is now passing well north of Cancun (where my mom is travelling this week… that was close!) as it cruises the Gulf of Mexico. Texas looks to be on the hit list this time, as the entire coastal region is now evacuating. Keep an eye on the National Hurricane Center for developments, or check out some of the weather blogs over at Weather Underground. If you want to know what cities it may hit (look out Crawford!), check out this Google Maps hack. Looks like Texas’ recent hurricane luck is about to wear out.

10 Down, Less Than 10 to Go

September 16th, 2005, 12:12pm by Jake

It was about 3.5 months ago that I vowed, “I’ve decided I’m not running another marathon until I get down to 160 pounds, which was approximately my weight when I ran my first RnR in 1999.” Well, after weighing in at 178.5 (morning weight) 3 days after the marathon, I knew I had my work cut out. Following a steady regime of lots of aerobic activity (biking, running, rollerblading, elliptical training, sand dune climbing, kayaking, swimming and walking), regular weight training and no more snacking, I’ve managed to drop my first 10 pounds. That’s right, this morning I weighed in at 168.5 pounds. I’m barely halfway there and the remaining pounds are sure to be tougher, but it is feeling like a more realistic goal every day. It’s a little discouraging sometimes because the weight loss is so maddeningly slow, but the results are undeniable. I figure if I keep this up, I have a chance to get to 160 by the end of the year. Here’s a scientific look at my progress.

5 blades

September 15th, 2005, 3:51pm by Mike

Who would have thought that The Onion had it right about 18 months ago, when they posted this awesome “letter from the CEO of Gillette” — it was only a matter of time until it came true, I guess. Here’s a Reuters summary, if the Gillette site is slow.
Note: The Onion article is much better than the real thing… which is why this post is in “Humor” and not “Home Tech.”

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