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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Madfrogman lucky recipient of new iPod Shuffle

Thanks to all who participated in the iPod give away! There were a number of you who really did a great job getting the word out, and answering the bonus questions, I wish I had more than one iPod to give away. The lucky recipient is madfrogman (that's a great handle), a reader from Charlottetown. I'm already considering another give away, and I'll work out the details and let you know how to get involved in a future post. Thanks for reading!


PS. I'm planning a little vacation for the new year and have some thoughts about how I'll can keep the posts coming and perhaps include you in my plans. You will soon be seeing posts from a guest blogger who's going to help me while I'm on my trip and hopefully, if I can convince him, post here on a regular basis. This means more stories coming more often, and you'll continue to get posts even while I'm off, though I will be carrying my tech toys and will definitely be posting. It's a ways off yet, just I thought I'd prepare you for the changes.


Engadget reviews the iPod Touch

Engadget has written a lengthy review of the new iPod Touch and while I'm envious that they've been able to get their hands on one, I'm left a little disappointed in the approach that they chose for their review. It seems to me that they liked the device but criticize it for not being an iPhone, it is after all a portable media device and not a personal organizer and that seems to be Engadget's biggest criticism. I wonder what they might have written if they had not had the chance to use the iPhone prior to using the Touch? I think we'll see Apple release some of these capabilities at a later date when it makes sense to from a business stand point, after all the iPhone just barely beat it to market. If Apple were to release the iTouch with all of the features of the iPhone, minus the phone, it would most likely impact iPhone sales. Just my 2 cents. I'm not saying Engadget is off base completely, just think they chose the wrong Apples to compare (pun completely intended).

Google to lay cable under the Pacific?

The CBC is citing an Australian media report saying that Google is interested in laying a "Unity" cable under the Pacific Ocean. The report says "Google is leading a consortium of telecommunications companies and would own a majority of the cable, which would be used to connect internet and phone services across the ocean," Google is neither confirming nor denying the speculations. The move would give Google an edge on competitors such as Microsoft and Yahoo! by reducing it's costs of moving data.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Software as a Service - SAP first biggie to throw hat in the ring

The Globe and Mail is reporting that SAP has unveiled a line of business management programs to be delivered via the Web. Ovum researcher David Mitchell is quoted as having written the following about the service “A1S takes SAP much closer to a more purist model of software as a service than it has previously attempted, and is likely to become a very significant part of the SAP portfolio in the years ahead,”. According to The Globe and Mail, SAP is the widely regarded as the world's top developer of "business software, which helps companies manage accounting, inventory control, shipping, sales and marketing."

Last chance for the iPod give away

Don't wait! You only have one day before the big give away... no more entries after midnight AST.

How indie bands make it big online

Wired Magazine's Geekipedia (with a name like that you know I had to post from it!) has a list of Indie bands gone big, with a little help from the Web! It's brief, but it goes to show you that don't need to sign with a big record label to promote your talents, and you are probably a lot better off in the end! hmm, is there a lesson to be learned here for bloggers? ;-)

Flaw found in Adobe PDF file format that could be exploited, hacker says

Security researcher, Petko Petkov, says he's discovered a flaw in the Adobe PDF file format that could allow a Windows PC to be "Completely!!! Invisibly and unwillingly!!!," compromised. Petkov, who also recently discovered a vulnerability in QuickTime that affected the Firefox browser says " All it takes is to open a PDF document or stumble across a page which embeds one." He has stated that he would not release code that shows how this attack works until Adobe addresses the problem. InfoWorld has the story here.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Google takes AdSense to the mobile device

Google announced this week the availability of AdSense™ for Mobile. The Google press release says "AdSense for Mobile is intended for AdSense partners who have created websites specifically for mobile browsers, and who want to monetize their mobile content via contextual advertising. Like Google's other AdSense products, mobile text ads run on an auction model. The system automatically reviews the content of publishers’ mobile websites and delivers text ads that are relevant to the websites’ audience and content. Publishers earn money whenever mobile users click on the ads."

With more mobile devices world wide than televisions and personal computer combined, the small screen is the next obvious target for advertisers, and Google intends to take full advantage of it's knowledge in matching ads with content.

Digital camera reunited with owner through e-mail campaign

When Michelle Montgomery found a digital camera outside of Ohio Stadium she didn't turn it in to lost and found. Instead she downloaded an image from the camera and started an e-mail campaign to find it's owner. The original message went out to 14 friends and within 48 hours a match was made. "Think of the way we could use it if we wanted to do something meaningful and powerful in the world," Montgomery is quoted as saying. CNN has the story.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

NBC to offer shows for free download... with ads

After having removed it's content from Apple's iTunes store over a difference in opinion regarding the rates they should be receiving for their downloads, NBC has announced that it will be making it's content available for free, sort of.

A new service, called NBC Direct, will begin in October that will allow users to download shows to be watched for up to a week after they air on the network. Their is a proprietary viewer that must be downloaded and installed, which currently only works on Windows PCs. The catch is the content will contain advertisements as opposed to the ad free download and pay model used in iTunes. Interestingly the service is only available to PC users at the moment, coincidence?

It's unclear whether or not the service will be available outside of the U.S.

The New York Times, Bits column has the details.

Yahoo and AOL Instant Messenger services exploited

c|net's News Blog is reporting that non-vendor disclosed vulnerabilities are targeting the Instant Messenger services of Yahoo! and AOL. There are no fixes from either vendor yet. The complete details are available from ZDNet blogger Ryan Naraine.

iPod give away bonus # 4

You might have to dig deep for this one... I've become a ______ fan boy!

Only a couple of days until the give away, great work so far, keep the entries coming!

Talk like a pirate day!

September 19th is International Talk Like a Pirate Day and in honor of this the folks a meebo have a special treat for all of you would be pirates! Simply log in to your favorite IM service using meebo and type "pirateon", your IMs will get translated into pirate speak! Ye be having some fun with this maties! Yar!

600 Peruvians sick after 'meteorite' impact

This sounds likes it's straight from the comic books, or a bad Hollywood movie... officials in Peru say that as many as 600 people have sought medical attention after visiting the site of a believed meteorite impact. A fiery ball apparently crashed to the earth near the Bolivian border leaving a crater 30 metres wide and 6 metres deep. "That is why we are asking for an analysis, because we are worried for our people. They are afraid. A bull is dead and some other animals are already sick," said Heber Mamani a local resident. The CBC has more details.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Warthog... road kill

A group of programmers at Bungie had the good fortune of getting a test drive in a very realistic looking Warthog, complete with gun turret, created for the Halo 3 trailers. The good fortune ends when they drive into a building... not much damage to the building and none seen on the warthog, but all caught on tape. Only a week until the release!

RealNetworks pays bloggers to create buzz for Big Brother

Wired has an interesting story about RealNetworks and its stealth bloggers. RealNetworks serves up the live feeds from CBS's Big Brother House and apparently pays bloggers to write about what they see. According to the Wired article, Real pays 3 independent bloggers to write about the antics seen on the pay only feed and has an in house blogger. Lori, the author of Silly Hamsters blog, said Real "pay(s) me a certain amount of money to cover the live feeds, and I can write what I want to write. I'm not told what to write; my opinion is my opinion only,". She was approached by RealNetworks after having posted a series of posts on her personal blog. I find the practice a little deceptive if the bloggers aren't disclosing their association openly on their blog, even if they were open in response to the wired questions.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Pluto goes ballistic!

Thanks to boingboing for this interesting YouTube video of an out of control Pluto, chasing a small child around Main Street USA! My family and I are in the process of planning our own trip to Disney... I sure hope that Pluto gets a few obedience lessons before then, or the lady who puts him in his place is hired by Walt's team! Then again, the boys and I know Taekwondo so bring it on Pluto!

Microsoft offers Office Ultimate 2007 on a students budget

Calling it "The Ultimate Steal", Microsoft has announced student pricing for the Office Ultimate 2007 edition. According to a Microsoft release, "Students who are actively enrolled at eligible educational institutions will be able to acquire Office Ultimate 2007 via the Web at the low student price of US$59.95." The offer is extended to students in the US, Canada, and the UK, now and will be offered to those in Spain, Italy and France as of September 20th. A one-year subscription license will also be offered for £12.95/€ 18.00/C$22.00 outside of the US.

iPod Giveaway - Bonus Question #3

Okay, we've only got a few days left before I give an iPod! You can earn bonus entries by sending the link to 7 new friends, so get busy!

Here is bonus question number 3:

What wine did I recommend in an earlier post?

Blogger lauches slideshow site - Blogger Play

If you are a blogger who uses Blogger, you will undoubtedly have noticed the Blogger Buzz page today. The folks at Blogger (how many times can I type this in one post?) have launched a new page, called "Play", that presents photos that are being uploaded by users in a slide show format, its a kinda blogger mashup of sorts with pictures from all across the user base. It's interesting but be warned it may not be entirely safe for work as the filters might not catch all of the "questionable" content.

Microsoft loses European anti-trust appeal

A European appeals court has upheld an a 2004 ruling against Microsoft, saying in a statement "The Court of First Instance essentially upholds the Commission's decision finding that Microsoft abused its dominant position,". There was a small victory for Microsoft when the court declined to force them to undergo supervision of an independent monitoring trustee. The ruling awards the commission 80% of it's court costs and would levy fines against Microsoft in the hundreds of millions. The company has 2 months to appeal the decision.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Guitar Hero times four = Rock Band

Wired magazine has a thorough look at the new Rock Band game soon to be released on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles. The game allows you to take on the role of lead guitarist, bass guitarist, drummer or vocalist. The review includes the video trailer and I'm not sure if it makes me want to play the game more or less, it looks like a little busy... at $200 its a bit pricey too, but it includes all of the peripherals!

Googlelizing the Australian election

There is an election coming down under and the Australian offices of Google have been busy bundling Google tools into a comprehensive and extremely useful portal site. They've incorporated YouTube, Google Earth, and gadgets into a one stop shop for the undecided or the party faithful. Included below is a promo video that does a great job of explaining the features of the site, I hope this is something that Google plans to roll out to other countries! Well done.

Official Google blog post.