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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What 007 Wants For Christmas

If you are a car buff or a fan of the James Bond franchise, you'll have no doubt become accustomed to the Aston Martin. Just in time for Mr. Bond's Christmas list is the new Aston Martin Carbon Black Special Editions. According to Uncrate the new finish will be available for several models from the manufacturer and is designed to give different appearances under differing conditions.

Follow the link above to find out that the cars feature "Lightweight seats formed from Carbon Fibre and Kevlar saving 17 kg over the standard seat also feature together with Piano black facia trim, centre stack and centre console, anodised black tread plates and unique sill plaques build on the carbon theme. The Aston Martin 700w Premium Audio System is delivered as standard in the V12 Vantage while the DBS boasts the Bang & Olufsen Beosound DBS audio system as standard."

Friday, December 18, 2009

Twitter Attacked By "Iranian cyber army"

The BBC is reporting that Twitter was attacked by a group of hackers calling themselves the "Iranian cyber army". Visitors to the site last evening were being redirected to a page showing a message declaring it had been hacked.

According to the article the "It showed an image of Arabic text overlaid on a green flag carrying the name of the third Shi'i Imam, Imam Husayn.

It also included a poem in Persian which said: "We shall strike if the leader orders, we shall lose our heads if the leader wishes."

Also included were the words: "Those that wage fight on the path of God win."

For it's part Twitter has admitted that it's Domain Name Server (DNS) records had been "temporarily compromised".


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wired Reboots A Christmas Story

Just yesterday I was explaining to a colleague that my favorite part of Christmas is settling in to a comfy chair and enjoying the greatest Christmas movie of all time! I can relate with Ralphy, there are so many parts of "A Christmas Story" that send my back to my childhood, and I'm pretty sure that his father was modeled after mine.

Imagine my joy this morning when I came across this little update from Wired. Oh, and in case you've never seen 'The Greatest Christmas Movie Of All Time' here's a little snippit to wet your appetite.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Let The Year In Review Countdowns Begin - YouTube

The Official Google Blog is first out of the gate with it's list of top viewed videos in 2009 and much to my surprise there were one or two that I hadn't viewed. Perhaps that is because I'm busy, or that I have a life, or life just got in the way. Regardless, for your viewing pleasure here is the roundup of what you watched in 2009:

Most Watched YouTube videos (Global):
1. Susan Boyle - Britain's Got Talent (120+ million views)
2. David After Dentist (37+ million views)
3. JK Wedding Entrance Dance (33+ million views)
4. New Moon Movie Trailer (31+ million views)
5. Evian Roller Babies (27+ million views)

Most Watched music videos on YouTube (Global)*:
1. Pitbull - I Know You Want Me (82+ million views)
2. Miley Cyrus - The Climb (64+ million views)
3. Miley Cyrus - Party In The U.S.A. (54+ million views)
4. The Lonely Island - I'm On A Boat (48+ million views)
5. Keri Hilson - Knock You Down (35+ million views)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Google Going Mano a Mano With iPhone

There are plenty of reports out there that say that Google is testing it's own branded Android phone that it hopes will go head to head with Apple's iPhone and RIM's Blackberry devices. A new Google branded phone, being dubbed Nexus one by some sites, has apparently been handed out to Google employees around the globe for trials. The Nexus one was produced, according to the Globe and Mail, by HTC the maker of the Dream, Magic, and G1 android phones but will contain no HTC branding and will be sold directly by Google independent of cellphone carriers.

“If subscribers can get a cutting-edge handset from Google, shop for the best plan, and take that handset to another provider as soon as a better service offer comes out, carriers will have to rethink what loyalty means,” Forrester analyst Charles Golvin said in a Web note. “Such disruptions would clearly be good for customers, since few actually want to make a long-term contract commitment and more choice in service will promote competition and more price options.”

I still love my HTC Dream, hopefully the Nexus one will not hit the market here for a year or so when it's getting close to time for an upgrade.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Light Hero

I can only assume that when you are a former special effects guy at Disney Imagineering there are certain expectations placed upon you to prepare a Christmas light show that even the Clark Griswald would be proud of. That can be the only conceivable explanation for what Ric Turner has created with his Christmas light version of Guitar Hero, well that and the totally awesomeness of it!




Thanks to Cnet for pointing us to the Make posting.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Turning Down The Volume On MP3 Players

The European Commission is proposing a volume limit on all MP3 players sold in the European Union (EU). Studies have shown that some players reach maximum volumes of 120 decibels and the commission is suggesting that a limit of 85 decibels be enforced with a user override allowing up to 100 decibels.

According to this BBC News article, Dr Robin Yeoh, an audiology consultant at the Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust, said: "More and more young people are referred to me by their GPs with tinnitus or hearing loss as a direct result to exposure to loud music.

"It's the sort of damage that in the old days would have come from industrial noise.

"The damage is permanent and will often play havoc with their employment opportunities and their personal lives."

Friday, December 11, 2009

I Just Couldn't Resist Posting This,

I want to post it again, and again... I've got stacks and stacks of these videos piled up all over my PC ;)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Developer Banned From iTunes App Store

Apple has expelled Chinese software developer Molinker and it's approximately 1000 applications from the iTunes App Store. Molinker, who's applications where described as mostly knock-offs of other developers apps, is accused of gaming the rating system to entice downloads.

According to Wired "iPhoneography wrote a long letter to Apple's marketing boss, Phil Schiller, and posited that Molinker was giving out promotional codes -- essentially free copies of the applications -- in return for these 5-star reviews."

By all accounts the majority of reviews on Molinker products were 5 star with the remainder in the 1 star range, which probably more accurately reflected the true value of the software.

More commentary in the Wired article here.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Coin Toss Not Completely Random

Researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC) have conducted a study to determine whether or not the toss of a coin results in a completely random outcome, 50% heads or tails. The study involved 13 students who where observed tossing a coin 300 times each and recording of the results of each toss. Prior to starting each participant was given some instruction on coin toss technique and time to practice. The results showed that on average heads came up 57% of the time with one participant achieving a whopping 68%.

I know a few curlers who'd love to get there hands on those instructions! In fact I've heard that former Canadian Champion Colleen Jones was known to have practiced the toss of a coin hundreds of times trying to gain an edge, if ever so slightly. Perhaps she was onto something?

Btw, there was no mention of the denomination of the coins or whether or not the same coin, or same series (year) of coin was used.

Source: CBC News

Monday, December 7, 2009

Astrology Explained By Bill Nye The Science Guy

When I was younger Bill Nye helped to explain all sorts of geeky sciencey stuff, now through the magic that is YouTube, I can enjoy Bill in all of his geeky glory. Here's the secret to the sign that you were born under, otherwise known as astrology. For the record, I'm a Scorpio but according to Bill I might really be a Libra... huh!


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Trending Topics For 2010

Pete Cashmore the founder and CEO of Mashable has prepared a list of the top ten web/technology trends to look out for in 2010. Real-time, location based, and cloud computing all make the list as well as all things social. It's brief overview but definitely worth a read if you want to stay with the geek talk around the water cooler (or bunch bowl).

Friday, December 4, 2009

Solar Plane Takes Flight

It may have only been a 350 meter flight down the runway at an altitude of just one meter and lasting 28 seconds, but test pilot Markus Scherdel has flown into the history books piloting Solar Impulse. Solar Impulse founder and president Bertrand Piccard says “For over ten years now, I have dreamt of a solar aircraft capable of flying day and night without fuel” he said in a press release. “Today, our plane took off and was airborne for the very first time.”

Spokeswoman Rachel Bros de Puechredon told Wired.com “There will first be longer flights and to higher altitudes. The next step will be the first day-night-day flight, a 36 hour flight next summer.”

It's just too bad they couldn't have accomplished this in 2003 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers flight!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Robotic Hand Successfully Connected To Amputee

European scientists said Wednesday that a six month experiment, where an amputee was fitted with a thought controlled prosthetic hand, has been a success. According to a CBC report, "the scientists say it was the first time a patient has been able to make complex movements using his mind to control a biomechanical hand connected to his nervous system."

Twenty six year old Pierpaolo Petruzziello, who lost his hand and forearm in an automobile accident says "It's a matter of mind, of concentration... When you think of it as your hand and forearm, it all becomes easier."

The scientists believe it is an important next step, however, "The important piece that remains is how long beyond a month we can keep the electrodes in." said Dustin Tyler, a professor at Case Western Reserve University and biomedical engineer at the VA Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

#red Google / Twitter Going Red For World Aids Day

#red Google and other high profile sites such as Twitter are going red for World AIDS day. The Official Google Blog is advocating the following as a means of supporting the fight of AIDS in Africa:

Taking action has never been easier. Our World AIDS Day page offers plenty of options:

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sending The Wrong Message?

This is a timely followup to my last post regarding your brand and social media. WPMI TV in Mobile Alabama thought that an electronic billboard with a live Twitter feed would help to promote their news team. However good the idea may have been, the implementation has put the Station Manager and News Director in hot water after an unfortunate and embarrassing combination of a live post and News Team promotion.


Source: cnn.com

Friday, November 27, 2009

Exploding Or Eroding Your Brand Via Social Networking

Social media savvy can come in handy while trying to market your business, brand, product, or service; however the Globe and Mail has compiled a list of anecdotal evidence and they've spoken with the "experts" who warn that the opposite can also be true. The truth of the matter is that exploiting social media is like a wild fire rather than a controlled burn, and just as you might hope the winds are in your favour, they'll sometimes turn on you and you'll get burned!

"...where potential returns come with risk, summarized in this warning from Della Smith, the principal of Q Workshops: With social media, “you can do a lot of brand damage very easily.”"

Check out Timothy Taylor's "Are Twitter and Facebook evil?" a short, but interesting read.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Jetman Yves Rossy Aborts Africa To Europe Flight

Yves Rossy, also known as Jetman or Fusionman by some, was forced to ditch in the Mediterranean Sea while attempting an intercontinental jetpack flight from Africa to Europe. The 23 mile flight would have been just 1 mile longer than his successful trek across the English Channel to France earlier this year. According to Gizmodo, Rossy will make another attempt sometime around New Years.

Check out this video, now this is a guy who is truly excited about his work!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Facebook Positioning For An IPO?

Facebook announced Tuesday that it was creating two classes of stocks for itself and converting all existing stock into so-called Class B shares with 10 voting units per share. Class A shares which could be sold at an initial public offering would represent 1 vote per share.

“We did introduce a dual-class stock structure because existing shareholders wanted to maintain control over voting on certain issues to help ensure the company can continue to focus on the long term to build a great business,” a Facebook spokesman, Larry Yu, said in an e-mailed statement. “This revision to the stock structure should not be construed as a signal the company is planning to go public.”

What this does is allows the company, via a public offering, to raise cash by selling the Class A shares on the open market while retaining a firm grip on things with it's Class B shares. While they may be denying that an IPO is in the works the signs are pointing in that direction.

Source: New York Times

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Apple Smack Down Ads Continue...

With a plethora of smartphone choices in the marketplace Apple has taken to the air waves again in a show of oneupmanship with the holiday season in full swing. This time however, Apple has not been so bold as to name it's rival, perhaps that's because there are multiple targets? It'll be interesting to see how the competition reacts and who will fire the next volley? Will Google stick to it's "do no evil" motto or will Microsoft see this as an opportunity to shoot back for the I'm a Mac... I'm a PC ads in the wake of the recent iPhone security problems?


Apple iPhone Ad - Did You See My Email? from Arik Hesseldahl on Vimeo.

Monday, November 23, 2009

New iPhone Worm Targets Netherlands Users

A new worm detected that targets the iPhone is specifically directed at users in the Netherlands who use their device to do online banking with Dutch online bank ING Direct according to security company F-Secure.

"It's the second iPhone worm ever and the first that's clearly malicious - there's a clear financial motive behind it," F-Secure research director Mikko Hypponen told the BBC.

"It's fairly isolated and specific to Netherlands but it is capable of spreading."

The worm again attacks iPhones which have been "jail-broken" and have SSH (secure shell), a file-transfer program that enables users to remotely connect to their phones, installed.

I wonder how long it will be before we see Microsoft adds poking fun at iPhone's security? "I'm a Windows Mobile, and I'm a iPhone OS"

Monday, November 16, 2009

NASA Fans Plan Shuttle Launch Tweetup

About 100 NASA fans have converged on Cape Canaveral for today's launch of the shuttle Atlantis, with plans to tweet the event providing a virtual play by play. "I'll be uploading stuff as it happens," promised Steve Wake, 38, a computer programmer who flew in from Denver. "On launch day, who knows? I may be too excited about everything else to even think about doing that stuff. When it's over with, I'm sure I will."

NASA invited it's Twitter followers to make the trek with 100 slots, and 50 backup positions, filling up in less than 20 minutes on Oct. 16th. The tweeps will represent 21 states, the District of Columbia, and five countries, including Morocco and New Zealand. Each of which are traveling at their own expense.

Weather is expected to be excellent for the launch schedules for 2:28 p.m. local time.

Source: USA Today

Friday, November 13, 2009

Microsoft Bans Modded Consoles From Xbox Live

Microsoft has banned as many as 1 million users consoles from the Xbox Live service for having modified consoles which allow them to play games they have copied. The users themselves have not been banned, only the modified consoles, users can play on the service if they purchase a new unmoded console. "We can assure you that if an Xbox Live member follows the Xbox Live terms of use, purchased a retail copy of Modern Warfare 2 and played the game on an unmodified Xbox 360, no action will be taken," the firm said. I wonder why it's taken them this long to take such actions?

Source: BBC

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bing Adds New Features

Trying to make further gains on the two search leaders Google and Yahoo!, Microsoft's Bing team have announced the inclusion of results from Wolfram Alpha and a few other changes. According to the NYTimes Bits Blog "Over the next few weeks, Bing will also add a handful of other features and revamp existing ones in what Microsoft calls a “rolling update.” They include localized results for weather and events, a revamped shopping section and an updated preview feature, which lets users see a snapshot of a Web page directly on the search results page. A video describing each of the features is available here."

Even so, it will be a hard slog for Microsoft.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Released

The holiday season is officially underway with the release of what is expected to be this years blockbuster game, and maybe the biggest selling game of all time. Tuesday was the launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, the must have game for this holiday season. The fifth game of the console series has been highly anticipated and will likely show up under a lot of Christmas tress, if anyone can wait that long. The game industry however has not been immune to the global economic downturn as many believed it would be and is starting to feel the pain. Game developers are saying that they will be aiming for more spread out release dates in the coming year, rather than focusing solely on the holiday season. Most of us will be glued to the consoles and won't notice a thing, there is nothing like COD on an HDTV with the surround sound cranked!

Source: CBC

Monday, November 9, 2009

iPhone/iPod Touch Owners Rickrolled By ikee Worm

A self-propagating program believed to be the first iPhone worm, that changes an iPhone's (or iPod Touch's) wallpaper to a picture of Rick Astley with the message "ikee is never going to give you up", has been unleashed in Australia. Known as "ikee" the worm only affects devices that have been jail-broken, have had SSH installed (a program that allows users to make changes to the phone's file system), and who's owners have not changed the default root password after installing SSH.

"What's clear is that if you have jail-broken your iPhone or iPod Touch, and installed SSH, then you must always change your root user password to something different than the default, 'alpine'," wrote Graham Cluley of security firm Sophos.

"In fact, it would be a good idea if you didn't use a dictionary word at all."

Source: BBC

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Back To Civilization

I'm back! The people of Rankin Inlet are certainly a tough breed, I would never be able to stand the conditions under which they live. Perhaps I'm just soft from living South of the treeline but wow! Thirty below most of the time I was there and winds to boot. On Friday awoke to blowing snow which had the locals abuzz, they cherish their winter months the way we cherish summer. Had a warm reception at the airport when I arrived, met by two folks representing our client, and the lodge keeper. If you ever find yourself in Rankin, stay at Nanuq Lodge... trust me, it's an experience you'll not forget. Sorry for not posting but the internet connection was slow at best, dare I say less than dialup.

Thanks goes out to Page, Annamarie, Brad, Cindy, Jim, and the folks in the office for making the trip comfortable and productive.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Taking Social Media Rejections To Heart

If you feel the sting of a "defriending" or "unfollowing" you are apparently not alone. In this world of ever expanding online social networks it seems rejection cuts equally as deep as it does in the real world. CNN's Breeanna Hare takes a look at how feelings get hurt in social media circles in this interesting article.

"People tend to think that these relationships are trivial and not very deep, but this is what we're moving towards, having a lot of our communications play out over the Internet," Purdue University social psychologist Kip Williams said. "That's the way it's becoming; this is how we interpret our worth. People care how many [online] friends they have."


To quote Brad Paisley "I'm so much cooler online"

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Traveling Novemeber 2nd to 7th

My day job will be taking me to Rankin Inlet in Nunavut the week of November 2nd to 7th. As a result I may not be posting regularly, this is for several reasons:
  • I will be busy with my clients; and
  • Connectivity is a big question mark at the moment.
As I type this the temperature in Rankin Inlet is -24 degrees Celcius a huge change from the +16 we had here in Charlottetown yesterday, though that was higher than we would expect here on Halloween. I am very much looking forward to capturing a few photographs, hopefully the Northern Lights and perhaps some wildlife, and expect that my host accommodations, the Nanuq Lodge will provide a memorable stay.

Their website leads me to believe that there may be some very interesting coversations/stories from the proprietors:

"Your Hosts.
John Makayak Hickes was born at Pistol Bay, near Whale Cove, and lived near Rankin Inlet, beyond where the Con Shed is located. After years in Churchill and Ottawa, John returned home to share his warmhearted hospitality with guests. John grew up on the land and has a deep understanding of Inuit culture and the history of Kivalliq. A co-owner in Sila Lodge, John has a background in hospitality, training, and natural history interpretation. His special joys are his kennel of sled dogs and teaching youth about dog handling.

Page Burt has worked as staff naturalist with Bathurst Inlet Lodge since 1973, and lived in Yellowknife and Rankin Inlet. A biologist, Page divides her time between Outcrop Ltd., and Nanuq Lodge, looking after projects which include vegetation baseline studies, communications,
tourism consulting and bookings and service to the guests of Nanuq Lodge. Page is a specialist in arctic natural history and author of Barrenland Beauties, a colour field guide to arctic plants."

I'll post what I can, when I can. Perhaps some photos or video and some thoughts on this northern community located on Hudson Bay. Here are some interesting facts:

The local wildlife includes:

Polar Bear – Top of the Northern Food Chain. Largest of all bears. Skilled hunters – mainly hunting marine mammals. Sizes range from: males – 350 to over 650 kg and females from 150 to 250 kg. Colour varies from pure white to creamy yellow.

Wolves – Has a complex social hierarchy. Larger than a sled dog. Usually white colour in this area. But closer to the treeline, the colour varies.

Foxes – Arctic Fox can change colours with the seasons, from white or bluish-gray during the winter to yellowish- white & brown in the summer. Foxes usually live a nomad life & travel alone. Foxes home range is 16 to 25 sq. km.
Red Fox or Cross Fox – larger than Arctic Foxes. Has started traveling to the Arctic since the 1940s and has increased steadily ever since. Foxes usually live a nomad life & travel alone.

Wolverine – one of the larger species of the weasel family. The wolverine has a muscular body, strong legs & short bushy tail. The wolverine is widely known to stand up to Polar Bears, to raid traps and raid cached food.

Walrus – marine mammal, lives in packs, has 2 long tusks. The male tusks are larger than the female tusks. Males usually weigh up to 800 kg and females up to 500 kg.

Whales – mostly Beluga Whales in this area, occasional Bowhead whales or Narwhales. Beluga whales migrate from Churchill, MB during the summer, and return there in the fall.

Caribou – Have adapted to the cold. Usually travel in herds. Main source of food for Inuit. Available throughout the year. Main diet: lichen, moss & mushrooms.

Birds – Canada Geese, Snow Geese, Bunting, Peregrine Falcon, Gyr Falcon, Raven, Seagull, Owls, Loons, Sandhill Cranes, Swans, Arctic Terns and in recent years Red Robins.

Fish – Arctic Char, Trout, Greyling, and Rock Cod

Siksik – Arctic Ground Squirrel is a social animal that live in colonies. They live in burrows, which have many entrances. These burrows can be hindered by permafrost.

Wish me luck!

NASA Running Tests On Spider Monkeys

For the first time in decades NASA is working with primates as part of the preparation for space missions. This time around spider monkeys are being exposed to radiation similar to that which a human might be exposed to when traveling to Mars.

"We realized there was a need for this kind of work," Jack Bergman, a behavioral pharmacologist at Harvard Medical School's McLean Hospital in Boston, told Discovery News.

"There's a long-standing commitment on the part of NASA to deep space travel and with that commitment comes a need for knowing what kinds of adverse effects deep space travel might have, what are the risks to astronauts," Bergman said. "That's not been well assessed."

The animals will not be destroyed after the experiments but will rather be cared for at a veterinary hospital, with no further experiments to be preformed on them.

Chimpanzees were sent into space prior to the first human attempts in order to test the Mercury capsules.

Source: Discovery News.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Icann Approves non-Latin-script Domain Names

With about one half of current internet users speaking languages with non-Latin scripts, the internet regulator Icann, The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, has approved a move to support domain names in Arabic, Chinese and other scripts.

"Of the 1.6 billion internet users today worldwide, more than half use languages that have scripts that are not Latin-based," said Icann president and CEO Rod Beckstrom earlier this week.

"So this change is very much necessary for not only half the world's internet users today but more than half, probably, of the future users as the internet continues to spread."

The work required to support the change is described as a "fantastically complicated technical feature"

Source: BBC News


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Google Music Search Roll Out - Music Onebox

Finding your favorite tune via Google has just become a whole lot easier with the un-boxing of Music Onebox. Entering the name of a song, an album name, or bands name into a Google search box will now yield results from Lala and MySpace Music. Clicking on either of these links will in most cases, present a pop-up window that enables you to play the song once in it's entirety, for free, and also presents a link to buy the song.

“The intention is not to turn the partners on Google into a free streaming music service. This is about providing a richer experience for users looking for a particular song,” said R.J. Pittman, Google’s director of product management. Music searches often account for two of the top ten searches conducted via Google, within the US.

Source: Bits Blog

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Gizmodo Serves Up Scareware

Hackers posing as advertisers for large corporations have been targeting high volume sites buying ad space and infecting their links with scareware. The latest to be fooled into taking the ads is the popular tech blog gizmodo. In a statement on the site, gizmodo says:

"I'm really sorry but we had some malware running on our site in ad boxes for a little while last week on Suzuki ads. They somehow fooled our ad sales team through an elaborate scam.

"It's taken care of now, and only a few people should have been affected, but this isn't something we take lightly as writers, editors and tech geeks,"

The malicious sites associated with the ads try to convince users that their computer is infected with viruses and trojans, and offer them a download remedy which is actually harmful code that can be used by perpetrators to acquire information on the infected PC such as credit card details.

A similar scam got past the folks at the New York Times last month.

Source: BBC News

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Google Voicemail - A Google Voice Tweek

Google has decided that a hack developed by users of the Google Voice system, who didn't want to change their phone number to a Google Voice number, makes sense. The Official Google blog has an announcement regarding a new feature that allows you to use a lighter version of Google Voice with your existing mobile phone number, the trade off is that you will not get all of the features of a full blown Voice account. Oh yeah, and you need an invite to the system before you can get either the light or the full featured versions working. This video gives a great overview of the new lighter version.



I'm still waiting for my invite but it's also unclear what the catch might be for those of us north of the border...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Twitter Taking Notice Of How Users Interact

Twitter has been sitting up and taking notice of how it's users interact with each other and is rolling out some "new" features based on those observations. Over the next several weeks, Twitter users will see two new features, Lists and Retweets, both of which have spawned from user-generated innovation.

According to this New York Times Article "“Twitter’s smart enough, or lucky enough, to say, ‘Gee, let’s not try to compete with our users in designing this stuff, let’s outsource design to them,’ ” said Eric von Hippel, head of the innovation and entrepreneurship group at the Sloan School of Management at M.I.T. and author of the book “Democratizing Innovation.”"

Innovations such as the referral of other users by the "@" symbol preceding their user name and the "#" tag identifying a topic where also user generated and are very much embedded in the Twitter vernacular.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Geocities Will Cease To Exist After Tomorrow

While this isn't really that big of a story from the standpoint that Geocities hasn't really been relevant for some time now and hence Yahoo!'s decision to pull the plug and delete the entire site, from a purely historical point of view it is interesting. Geocities was one of the first services to offer web users a home for their own sites, and let me tell you many of those sites were real beauties. It may have contributed to this whole self publishing world that we now live in.

According to Computer World Blog "In April 2009, Yahoo announced that GeoCities would cease accepting new registrations in preparation of the service's closing. In June, they clarified: the service would shut down on Oct. 26, 2009. As their FAQ states, GeoCities is not being decommissioned — it's being deleted. That means any data not personally backed up by its owners or readers will not be recoverable, ever."

Rest in peace Geocities and your users' over use of the blink tag, may we never be subjected to those neon colour schemes again.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Impressive Vodafone Commercial - Wows Geeks

Tchaikovsky's 1812 overture was a master piece but Vodafone has taken it to a whole new level that may just give us geeks a little appreciation for classical music, or at least the technology that went into producing this version!







Kudos to Engadget for this find.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Google To Include Tweets

The Official Google Blog has a post announcing a deal struck between the search giant and Twitter to have Twitter posts (tweets), that are deemed relevant, included in search results as a way of providing up-to-the-minute data. "Given this new type of information and its value to search, we are very excited to announce that we have reached an agreement with Twitter to include their updates in our search results. We believe that our search results and user experience will greatly benefit from the inclusion of this up-to-the-minute data, and we look forward to having a product that showcases how tweets can make search better in the coming months."

I guess if you can't buy them join them?


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

GE Brings Ultra Mobile Untrasound To Life

Jeff Immelt, CEO of General Electric, announced at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, a device called the Vscan billed as a low-cost and very portable ultrasound scanner. "It's about the same size as a BlackBerry," Immelt said while holding the device that resembles an oversize flip-phone. No price was apparently provided but Immelt said "This could be the stethoscope of the 21st century."




Source: CNet / Rafe Needleman

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Growing Opposition Over Government Inaction On Broadband

After a number of reports on the state of broadband around the world have each given Canada low grades for it's high-speed internet service, government opposition parties are beginning to take shots at Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his ruling Conservative Party. “The Harper Conservatives have no vision for a digital future. The United States is enshrining net neutrality principles as a fundamental principle for economic restructuring. The Europeans are setting benchmarks for open access to high speed. Meanwhile, the Conservatives are giving the cable giants a free pass to gouge consumers.” read a statement from Charlie Angus, NDP MP for Timmins-James Bay, on his party's website Monday.

I'm sure the Conservatives will counter with the usual, we're a large country with a dispersed population... will this become an election issue?

Source: CBC.ca

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Wired Look At Fitbit - Getting Healthy By The Numbers

Today Wired takes a look at Fitbit, a $99 pedometer on steroids that will not only help track your activity and sleep efficiency but along with it's website stores your data, over time, and allows you to input other information such as meals eaten during the day for comparison with calories burned by activity.

"WIRED A true boon for data-loving geeks who want to track their workout progress. Nicely designed, minimalist hardware. Doesn't just focus on exercise: Diet and sleep are also tracked. Easily clips to just about anything. Nerd-tastic amounts of data can be had for a single C-note.

TIRED More prone to loss than the Detroit Lions. May be a bit hard for non-native speakers of the tech language to immediately master. Other running trackers work a tad more accurately. Come on Fitbit, spill your guts about the flower."

Sunday, October 18, 2009

TV To Your Mobile Device

It seams as though television is not about to roll over and concede defeat to the internet just yet. On Thursday a group called the Open Mobile Video Coalition announced that it had created a standard for carving out a piece of the digital broadband frequencies to allow local television stations to broadcast live to mobile devices. The standard allows both free and for fee broadcasts and has the interest of several electronics makers, including Samsung, LG and Dell, who have all produced prototype devices.

I sure hope that the battery manufacturers and optometrists are ready...

Source: NY Times

Friday, October 16, 2009

Uruguay First Country To Truly Deliver One Laptop Per Child

Uruguay has taken the One Laptop Per Child project seriously and executed Plan Ceibal (Education Connect) to arm all children in primary schools around the country with a laptop. "This is not simply the handing out of laptops or an education programme. It is a programme which seeks to reduce the gap between the digital world and the world of knowledge," explained Miguel Brechner, director of the Technological Laboratory of Uruguay and in charge of Plan Ceibal. The feat makes Uruguay the first country to achieve the goal but as Brechner says "Its a culture shock scenario - many countries are simply too scared to put it into practice"

BBC News has more here.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

New Wi-Fi Standard Allows Devices To Interact Directly

A Texas-based standards group, The Wi-Fi Alliance, who's members include Intel, Cisco and Apple, announced on Wednesday the introduction of a new technology standard, called Wi-Fi Direct. Wi-Fi Direct will allow devices that have been certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance to connect with each other without having to first go through a "hotspot," much like Bluetooth only with a longer range and faster connection speeds.

"The impact is that Wi-Fi will become even more pervasive and useful for consumers and across the enterprise," said The Wi-Fi Alliance's executive director Edgar Figueroa in a statement.

Devices using Wi-Fi Direct are expected to hit the shelves in mid 2010.

Source: CBC News

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sweden's Top Level Domain Dissapears Due To Typo

A small but rather far reaching error caused the entire top level domain of Sweden to go missing on Monday, according to Networkworld.com.

"The .SE registry used an incorrectly configured script to update the .se zone, which introduced an error to every single .se domain name," says web monitoring company Pingdom. "We have spoken to a number of industry insiders and what happened is that when updating the data, the script did not add a terminating '.' to the DNS records in the .se zone. That trailing dot is necessary in the settings for DNS to understand that '.se" is the top-level domain. It is a seemingly small detail, but without it, the whole DNS lookup chain broke down."

Sweden's Internet Infrastructure Foundation, which administers the .se domain, issued a statement saying "The cause was an incorrect software update, which, despite our testing procedures were not detected. Thanks to well-functioning surveillance system .SE discovered the error immediately and a new file with the DNS data (zone file) was produced and distributed within one hour. ... The false information that was sent out affected accessibility to all .se domains for a short time. However, there may still be some name servers that have not changed out of misinformation against the real."

The foundation then quickly but quietly posted a help wanted add on Monster.com ;)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Employer Blocking Social Networking Sites? There's Always A Way...

A recent survey conducted of 270 Chief Information Officers in companies across Canada showed that fifty-eight percent of them blocked access to social networking sites. This is not being looked kindly upon by young employees who have grown up with the sites and don't view them as time wasters. These employees are resourceful though, and using their mobile devices or connecting through proxy servers they are finding their ways to update their online status.

The Globe and Mail has the cat and mouse story here.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Moon Strike Not The Big Show Everyone Expected

I was glued to my monitor as the LCROSS mission unfolded and the camera refreshed as the Centaur rocket motor approached the surface of the moon, refreshing ever few seconds to bring an even tighter shot of the surface... and then...meh. I guess I was like many others around the globe who bought into the hype and expected a flare of impact and a huge dust plume! I truly hope that NASA was able to capture something of value, otherwise we're just polluting the moons surface with more space junk.

Discovery Channel:

"It's hard to tell what we saw there," said Michael Bicay, science director at NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif.

Debris from the impact could have flown horizontally, or perhaps didn't clear the crater's rim, lead mission scientist Anthony Colaprete told reporters.

"Some luck has to come to get the ejecta to fly in the direction you want it to fly," he said.

"I'm not convinced we haven't seen the ejecta," Colaprete added. "We just have to go back with a finer tooth comb."

Friday, October 9, 2009

Bombing The Moon In Search Of Water

NASA will begin an assault on the moon this morning in the hopes of identifying water and other resources that may help to sustain a lengthy human visit or colonization, no joke! "The principle purpose is to identify if resources are there and if they are accessible," said lead scientist Anthony Colaprete, with NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif. "It's to pave the way for making decisions about where to go down the line."

The mission involves hurling a 50,817-pound empty rocket body at a crater on the moons South pole. The impact should kick up about 300,000 to 350,000 tons of material from the crater floor, of which about five tons is expected to soar past the crater's rim and into sunlight.

The entire operation will be viewed by amateur and professional astronomers and orbiting observatories, such as the Hubble Space Telescope. The best premier view will come via the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, known as LCROSS, designed and deployed for this it's only mission.

Source: Discovery Channel

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Google Street View Goes Live In Canada

It appears as though Google has appeased the Canadian Privacy czar and this week made Street View available with maps of much of the Greater Toronto Area, Vancouver and the surrounding area, north to Whistler and east to Chilliwack, B.C., Hamilton, Kitchener, Waterloo, Ottawa and Windsor in Ontario, as well as Calgary, Canmore, Banff and Lake Louise in Alberta, Montreal and Quebec City in Quebec and Halifax, Nova Scotia. According to the CBC "Google has tried to address the privacy concerns of Street View brought up by Canada's privacy commissioner. The company has added privacy features to the service, including the automatic blurring of faces and licence plates to avoid identifying people and cars and an easy method for asking that images be removed."

Word from the company is that its cars have been filming in Saint John, N.B., Edmonton, Saskatoon and Winnipeg, no mention of Charlottetown but we've seen the cars around!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Skype Calls on iPhone Now Permitted By AT&T

On Tuesday AT&T reversed its position on voice over IP (voip) calls via it's cellular data network. Now iPhone users will be able to use their devices along with services such as Skype to make calls over the internet. “IPhone is an innovative device that dramatically changed the game in wireless when it was introduced just two years ago,” Ralph de la Vega, chief executive of AT&T’s consumer and wireless unit, said in a statement. “Today’s decision was made after evaluating our customers’ expectations and use of the device compared to dozens of others we offer.” What about Google Voice?

Source: NYTimes

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

US Bloggers Threatened With Fines Over Full Disclosure

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is stepping up it's policing of the blogoshpere by threatening fines of up to $11,000 per post for bloggers who fail to advise their readers of "material connections" — or "connections that consumers would not expect" — with the subjects they write about. "The post of a blogger who receives cash or in-kind payment to review a product is considered an endorsement. Thus, bloggers who make an endorsement must disclose the material connections they share with the seller of the product or service," the FTC said in a statement on its website. There are no similar plans in Canada as of yet, however the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is trying to decide whether or not there should be Canadian content rules governing content created in Canada for the internet similar to those found in television and radio content produced here. No fears GBG readers, no payola headed my way...

Source: CBC

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Composition Of The Worlds Favorite Caffinated Beverage

I've never given much thought about what's in the morning cup of joe, other than the obvious hot water and... well... coffee! But what's inside the bean that makes it taste so darn good? Wired takes a look at what comes out of the bean to make the coffee kick us in the pants and get us going, and it's not all beanie goodness when you break it down.

Check out Wired's What's Inside a Cup of Coffee?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

iPhone And Android Operating Systems See Solid Growth

Sales of smartphones using the iPhone operating system jumped from 33% market share to 40% from February to August according to a report released Wednesday by AdMob. The only other real winner during that time was the Android operating system which jumped by 5% to a 7% total market share. Symbian OS, Windows Mobile, Palm OS, and RIM OS all saw losses during the period. As for the top selling phones world wide:

Looks like my HTC Dream is making some headway ;)

Source: AdMob

Friday, October 2, 2009

Serving Up Some Justice On Fake Twitterers... Tweeters!

A British judge has agreed to allow a blogger, who's identity was spoofed on Twitter, to serve legal notice via Twitter itself in the form of tweets. Blogger Donal Blaney (Blaney's Blarney), who happens to own a law firm, has apparently been victimized by a phony who has assumed his persona on Twitter by posting a photo of Blaney in the profile of blaneysblarney account and tweeting as if to be Blaney himself, without any notification to the contrary. Twitter does allow for parody type accounts but has policy against impersonating high-profile celebrities in a nonparody way, the question I guess might be whether or not Blaney falls into the category of high-profile celebrity (from a Twitter perspective)?

It will be interesting to see if the cease and desist order delivered 140 characters at a time will be effective... of course blaneysblarney could always just block Blaney's lawers Twitter account and then would never be served. Huh!

Source: Arstechnica

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Cirque du Soleil Founder First Clown In Space

Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte along with crew members American astronaut Jeffrey Williams and Russian cosmonaut Maxim Surayev successfully reached orbit yesterday en-route to the International Space Station. The space tourist and crew of the Russian made Soyuz TMA-16 craft are expected to rendezvous with the ISS on Friday.

"Laliberte, an experienced stilt-walker and fire-breather dubbed the first clown in space, had donned a bulbous red nose and blew kisses to supporters before the launch. He has paid $35 million for the trip he plans to use to publicize the world's growing shortage of clean water."

Source: The Discovery Channel / AP

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Google Opens To Limited Public Trial

Google Wave, which combines IM, email, and wiki-style editing goes on public trial today with 100,000 invitees, each of whom can nominate five more people to "join the Wave".

"It struck us that e-mail is still the main communication tool on the web, which seemed remarkable given that it is 20-year-old technology," said Lars Rasmussen, who, alongside his brother Jens, was the brains behind Google Maps. "We found we could build a flexible tool with a surprising amount of functionality," Mr Rasmussen told BBC News.

Watch the looooong video you'll understand why I'm so excited about Wave.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

3-D Coming To Your Living Room

It came roaring back into the theatre! Nary a week goes by that does not have a title on the marquee, and now companies are hoping to bring 3-D viewing to your home. The upgrade is possible, Panasonic has unveiled it's 3-D TV and much time and effort has been spent by the industry to make it happen. The big question is, are consumers ready to make the leap so soon after jumping on the HD bandwagon? I don't think I'm ready to make the investment... However, “This is what people want,” said Luc Duchaine, a senior brand manager at game company Ubisoft who's hedging their bets on 3-D. “These things will happen very fast, we believe.”

Globe and Mail story here.

Monday, September 28, 2009

DARPA Looking For Ideas To Clean Up Space Junk

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) last week issued a request for ideas to clean up orbital debris. The space junk problem has intensified since 2007 when China intentionally blew up a defunct satellite as part of a weapons test and since earlier this year when two communications spacecraft collided.

"Since January 2007 we have experienced a nearly 50 percent increase in the number of cataloged debris objects," DARPA wrote in its solicitation.

The request has attracted interest from aerospace contractor Boeing, NASA's Space Science and Technology Center at Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama, and several small firms, even though DARPA has not promised anything more than considering the options presented.

Source: Discovery Channel

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Scientists On Path To Reading Your Mind With Brain Scans

Scientist at the University of California, Berkeley have made strides toward being able to read a human's mind. They Have successfully modeled how images are represented in the brain, and can now translate recorded patterns of a subjects neural activity into pictures of what the subject had seen.

The research could conceivably lead to dream-readers and thought-controlled computers according to a Wired article. "It's what you would actually use if you were going to build a functional brain-reading device," said Jack Gallant a neuroscientist working on the project.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Twitter Valued At $1 Billion

With over 50 million users Twitter is poised to close another round of financing this time for $100 million placing the value of the 3 1/2 year old startup at $1 Billion. Have a listen to this NYTimes piece on the state of Twitter and the valuation.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Canadian Businesses Not Using Webs Marketing Potential To It's Fullest

When it comes to online advertising Canadian businesses are lagging their counterparts in the developed world according to Google's number 4 man. "It's not as competitive a business market, which basically suggests that there's not as many businesses online because they're not competing for more share amongst each other or there are not enough businesses competing in certain areas," said Nikesh Arora, Google's president of global sales operations and business development. Arora added "Based on the technological savvy of the market, [Canada] should be in the top quartile." He's probably right, but then again Google is in the online advertising business and, according to his title, Mr. Arora is getting paid to sell us on the virtues of online advertising.

Source: CBC

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Yahoo! Gets A Face Lift - Nobody Seems To Care?

It's a slow news day when the biggest story seems to be Pee-wee Herman's press conference featuring his first tweet... so it surprised me to see that only one of the feeds I regularly check, BBC.co.uk, was reporting on the refresh of the Yahoo! portal and a $100 million global ad campaign to support it. Has Yahoo! fallen so far out of the public's attention that it can't even attract a little link love from the blogoshpere? Good luck with that ad campaign Yahoo!

BBC story here.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Roddenberry's Apple Macintosh Plus Up For Auction

The first Apple Macintosh Plus to roll off the assembly table, serial number F4200NUM0001, was apparently given as a gift to Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. While no one knows whether or not he used the little mac to create any of his works, the machine is being offered for auction on October 8th and 9th. The auctioneer, Profiles in History, is expecting to fetch between $800 and $1200 but if the buzz is any indication I'd expect to see it go much higher.

cnet's Technically Incorrect blog

Monday, September 21, 2009

Viewing The Worlds Glaciers - From Space

The good folks at Wired's Wired Science blog have compiled a collection of images, captured from space by astronauts and satellites, of some of the worlds most impressive glaciers. "To a geologist, glaciers are among the most exciting features on Earth. Though they seem to creep along at impossibly slow speeds, in geologic time glaciers are relatively fast, powerful landscape artists that can carve out valleys and fjords in just a few thousand years."

Here is one from the collection. "Covering nearly 1,400 square miles, the vast Heiltskuk Ice Field lies in the southern Coast Mountains of British Columbia. Taken by an astronaut on the International Space Station, this photo captures the snow-covered mountain slopes as well as several of the ice field’s valley glaciers, which are wide swaths of slowly flowing ice and debris."

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Google docs To Be Spidered, If Published By Owner

A recent post in the Google docs help forum states "In about two weeks we will be launching a change for published docs. The change will allow published docs that are linked to from a public website to be crawled and indexed, which means they can appear in search results you see on Google.com and other search engines." This has a few users concerned about the security of their online docs to which Google says "Please note that this only applies to docs which you explicitly publish using the 'Publish as web page' or 'Publish/embed' option, and which are linked to from a publicly crawled webpage. This doesn't apply if it's only set to 'Allow anyone with the link to view (no sign-in required)'."

The following steps can ensure that your docs are safe from the spiders, if that is what you intend:

-Go to the 'Share tab'
-For documents and spreadsheets, choose 'Publish as web page'. For presentations choose 'Publish/embed'
-Click on the button that says 'Stop publishing'

This will have to be done for each document, though if you had set a document to be published then one would assume that your intent was to have people view it anyway, and having the search engines spider it's content may provide you with greater exposure to your works.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

Joules The Robotic Cyclist

If you've followed the blog for a while you'll know that I have a thing for robots, and I'm a pretty big Google fanboy but that's another story. Thanks to Gizmodo for bringing my attention to Joules. According to Greyhair100's Youtube page "Joules the Robot sits on the back of a tandem bicycle and does the pedaling for both of us"




Did you recognize the song in the background? Robots and Daisy... perhaps Joules is a descendant of Hal 9000 or vice versa?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

This Resonates With Me Like A Good Dilbert Cartoon

Thanks to Geeks are Sexy for this find! It sort of speaks to me the way Scott Adams does with his Dilbert character. I'm not sure why...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

MIT Students Capture Photos From Space - Budget $160.00

Three MIT students, Oliver Yeh, Justin Lee and Eric Newton, used common consumer electronics and a weather balloon to snap pictures from space. Dubbed Project Icarus the three who specialize in taking low-cost aerial photographs that they display and sell through a website called 1337arts, captured the photograph below from 28 kilometres up.



"The camera used in the project was a 7.1-megapixel Canon Powershot the students bought used on Amazon.com. They installed an open-source firmware add-on to the camera that would allow them to program it to take a picture every five seconds.

To track the location of the balloon, they used a $50 pre-paid Motorola cellphone with GPS capabilities and installed a free program that would report the phone's location at regular intervals. A USB phone charger powered by AA lithium batteries kept the phone running during the five-hour voyage. They also installed an external antenna to boost the phone's signal"

Perhaps NASA should hire a few more MIT grads!



Source: CBC

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Google Throws News Sites A Life Line

The Official Google Blog has announced the latest creation from Google Labs called Fast Flip. "Like a print magazine, Fast Flip lets you browse sequentially through bundles of recent news, headlines and popular topics, as well as feeds from individual top publishers. As the name suggests, flipping through content is very fast, so you can quickly look through a lot of pages until you find something interesting." My limited trial of the service leads me to believe that it is delivering on this promise, the page loads quickly allowing you to peruse the articles and then drill down on the ones you want to read. There is also a mobile version for Android-powered devices and iPhones.

At the moment Google has partnered with "three dozen top publishers, including the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Washington Post, Salon, Fast Company, ProPublica and Newsweek." The number would seem like a lot but you can flip through these articles in a hurry so it will be nice to see who else comes on board down the road. All in all I think I'll be giving Fast Flip a go, it will definitely be on my list of sources to check each morning.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Segway Inventor Wants To Cleanup The Worlds Drinking Water

Dean Kamen the inventor most famous for bringing us the Segway has created a new device called the Slingshot which turns contaminated water into pure drinking water. The device is smaller and more energy efficient than other purifiers and can produce about 200 gallons per day. Kamen hopes to find funding partners and distributors to help keep the cost of distribution down and see his device in wide use. "In your lifetime, my lifetime, we will see water be a really scarce, valuable commodity," Kamen says.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Posthumous Apology For Alan Turing

Alan Turing was a mathematical genius and some would consider him a war hero for his cracking of the German Enigma machines in World War II, allowing the allies to decipher encrypted messages sent by the enemy. Turing also made significant contributions to the advancement of artificial intelligence and is well known in the field of AI for the test he envisioned would determine whether or not a machine was intelligent, The Turing Test. Unfortunately for Turing, he was also a gay man in a time when there was no acceptance for the sexual preference. Turing was imprisoned for his sexual orientation and would later take his own life.

Yesterday British Prime Minister Gordon Brown apologized for his country's treatment of Turing saying "While Mr Turing was dealt with under the law of the time and we can't put the clock back, his treatment was of course utterly unfair and I am pleased to have the chance to say how deeply sorry I and we all are for what happened to him."

The apology came after an online campaign, the idea of computer scientist John Graham-Cumming and backed by Ian McEwan, scientist Richard Dawkins and gay-rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.

Source: BBC

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Jobs Returns To The Stage At Apple

“I’m vertical, I’m back at Apple and I’m loving every day of it,” said Steve Jobs after a standing ovation by the crowd gathered at the Apple news conference held yesterday. “I feel great. I probably need to gain about 30 pounds, but I feel really good,” said Jobs in a post event interview “I’m eating like crazy. A lot of ice cream.”

During the conference Apple announced a new version of iTunes and a line of iPod Nanos that have a video camera, microphone, speaker, FM radio tuner and pedometer built in and will have a starting price of $149 US. The new features are meant to rejuvenate the slumping sales of iPods and take a bite out of the market for small video devices such as the Flip Video. The new Nano is compared in size to a package of gum while the Flip is roughly the size of a deck of playing cards.

Source: New York Times

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Twitter User Celebrates 104th Birthday

Ivy Bean of Bradford, near Leeds, is an active twitter user with 27,000 followers. She tweets about the highs and lows of her life like many of the rest of us, only Ivy is 104 years old and is believed to be the oldest active Twitter user. Ms Bean tweets from the care home where she lives, Hillside Manor, "We're trying to do something different than knitting or crochet," says Pat Wright, the home's manager.

Before Twitter, Ivy was an active Facebook user, where she had maxed out her 5,000-friend limit.


Source: CNN

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

9-9-09 Preview Beatles: Rock Band

In this G4 tv's XPlay video Blair Herter talks to John Drake from Harmonix about the upcoming 'Beatles: Rock Band,' On sale tomorrow 09-09-09! Can't wait...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Space Junk Explained

With the recent near miss, within a mile, of the International Space Station (ISS) by a large piece of space junk I decided to do a little searching regarding how much junk is out there and how dangerous it is to orbiting craft. The Science Channel produced a short video of the subject that does a good job of explaining. Check it out here: http://science.discovery.com/videos/spaced-out-space-junk.html

Saturday, September 5, 2009

HTC Hero - Android Coming Of Age?

The Telegraph.co.uk asks if the time is now for Android enabled devices. It seems as though Europe is getting on board...

Friday, September 4, 2009

Microsoft Given Stay On Word Injunction - Can Sell Product During Busy Back To School Season

On August 12th a court in Texas ruled that Microsoft had infringed upon the patent of I4i, a small Toronto company, and ordered the software giant to pay $290m in damages and to stop sales of the relevant versions of Word. Microsoft then quickly filed a request to stay the injunction and asked that the courts put the appeal on a fast track so it could be heard quickly. The US court has agreed that Microsoft had met the conditions needed to grant the stay.

"We are happy with the result and look forward to presenting our arguments on the main issues on September 23," said Kevin Kutz, a Microsoft spokesman, in a statement.

Source: BBC

Thursday, September 3, 2009

NASA Tracks Bungalow Sized Space Junk Approaching ISS

NASA does not believe that a 19 square metre piece of a European Ariane 5 rocket, debris from a three year old mission, will not cause the International Space Station and space shuttle Discovery to make evasive maneuvers.

The shuttle is docked with the space station and together are currently circling the Earth at a height of 354 kilometres. The debris is easily tracked because of its size and is expected to get within three kilometres from the station, 8 kilometres closer than previously estimated. If a maneuver is required, a decision will be made during the last hour of a space walk planned for today.

Source: CBC

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Gmail Outage Caused By Miscalculation

For several hours yesterday many of Gmail's 150 million users were unable to send or receive email via the service and the online community was all a twitter (couldn't resist).

"We know how many people rely on Gmail for personal and professional communications, and we take it very seriously when there's a problem with the service," said the firm's Ben Treynor in a blog post.

"Thus, right up front, I'd like to apologise to all of you - today's outage was a big deal, and we're treating it as such."

Treynor blamed the outage on a miscalculation by system engineers who had taken some of the services servers offline for maintenance, routing the traffic to other servers which caved under the increased flow of traffic.

If you were like me, the first sign of trouble arrived in the flood of tweets about the incident on Twitter. It was bigger news than a celebrity death! At least amongst those of whom I follow.

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