Following MacWorld 08 From Work? Do It Effectively.

11 01 2008

It’s coming. I don’t even own a Mac. Well…kind of. Not the hardware anyway. I’m excited nonetheless. While there’s no live video coverage, you can still follow the dozens of live blogs from everywhere. Here’s a list of like 10. Thing is, I remember following along during the big iPod announcements in September and it was pretty disastrous. Having to manually refresh every few seconds and having to scroll to the bottom only to find you refreshed to soon and there were no updates. And the fact that I was at work, not working, made things worse. I don’t know if the live blogs are going to be any different this year. I was considering signing up through Twitter and getting my MacWorld updates that way. but then I found this.

RSS Popper is a toolbar for Outlook. While Outlook 2007 has an RSS reader, most companies are still using 2003 so this is good news for them (yes, I plan on following along at work again.) It takes a feed and checks it every x amount of seconds. Whatever you configure it to. It then displays them as email messages. While some may think that’s useless, (like I did at first) RSS Popper does a good job of keeping feeds out of your inbox and in their own folders.

Follow me so far? Why do this? Why not Google Reader? Well, like I said before, I didn’t much like being glued to the screen, waiting for updates. At this point we need to make a rule in Outlook. A rule that will notify you when there is an update with an alert window. THIS way, I can actually keep working but still follow along. It’s all about productivity, see?

untitledIn Outlook: Tools | Rules and Alerts | New Rule | Start from a Blank Rule | Check Messages When They Arrive | Next | check “with macworld in the subject or body” | Next | check “Display a Desktop Alert” | Next x 2 | Make sure the rule is on and click Finish

Good to go!

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Well, hope this helps and enjoy the reveal of the 42″ TV with the iPhone OS (my outrageous prediction)

L8z
AleX

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How’s About That 4TB Laptop? 1TB iPod?

17 10 2007

“Bigger is better”. We’ve all heard the slogan. Texans like it big. But where’s the future headed? We want smaller phones, smaller cameras, smaller computers. At some point though, I’d like to think there’s a compromise between size and functionality. The folks at Hitachi seem to have defied the inverse relationship between hard drive size and capacity. Nano technology sounds like something in a science fiction movie when in fact, it’s being studied and developed actively all the time. It just hasn’t really been implemented in the consumer’s market because of cost. Cost or not, it’s exciting know that something like this even exist.

google

Hitachi revealed a new, re-vamped GMR in which they claimed to be able to quadruple storage size. Hitachi has managed to create the worlds smallest disc drive heads, 30-50 nanometers. That’s 2000 times the width of a human hair. While I would have been okay with calling it GMR2.0 *sarcasm* the new technology was actually dubbed, “Current Perpendicular-to-the-Plane Giant Magneto-Resistive” or CPP-GMR head.

To be put into simple terms, the smaller the head, the thiner tracks it lays down on the disc. Thinner tracks mean more room for more tracks. It’s like asking “how many non-overlapping lines can you draw on this 3×5 flash card using this sharpie.” and THEN asking, “How many non-overlapping lines can you draw on a 3×5 flash card using a 0.5mm lead pencil. ” Current drive heads can read and write tracks at 70 nanometers while Hitachi’s CPP-GMR can do 30-50. We will be seeing 4x the storage from drives in desktops starting 2009 and 2011 for notebooks, says Hitachi.

What if you could put these drives in digital cameras or even, iPods. Oh hey, since you mentioned iPods, guess what? Apple CEO, Steve Jobs is up at bat again in this “cat and mouse” as he put it, between the hacker community and his precious multi-touch handhelds. 2 weeks ago, Apple released 1.1.1. An update that erased people’s 3rd party apps and bricked phones that had been unlocked. Unlocking, by the way, is legal according to the DMCA, passed by congress last year. Despite the release being punitive, the hacker community was not demoralized and went to work at reversing and recreating the hack. Last Thursday, the consumer fired back at Apple with another unlock and jailbreak hack. And again on Sunday, with a “one click” application to make it even easier.

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.Rather than start off on another tirade on how greedy, immoral, petty and restrictive Apple is, suffice it to say it feels good to stick it to them. And yes, I can say that on a personal level. Low and behold screenshots of MY new iPod Touch. I still think Apple has a great product. It works, it’s fast and it’s sleek. Although I don’t think that’s reason enough to overcharge for mediocre hardware. The company is a different story. Apple seems to instill this sense of elitism among its fans. And how does Apple repay those elitist sheep fans? By stiffing them 200 bucks in the first 2 months of the iPhone release. I sometimes equate Apple fanboys to Oakland Raider fans. No matter how many disappointments, they remain fanatically glued to those sources of overly-hyped product. Just remember, Apple came from Unix.

L8z,
AleX





More Corporate Crying

3 10 2007

AT&T will cut you off if you hurt their feelings – yah, it’s getting THAT ridiculous

Should Apple take a hint from Microsoft? – Old Zunes can install New Zune’s firmware. Cool concept, inferior product.





Tech Roundup

6 09 2007

Ok so, it’s been a few days, my apologies for the lack of notice but my best friend and brother is leaving for Ramadi (he’s a Marine) and I was spending some time with him. And on a personal level, I also have a new job I’m starting on 11 Sep doing what I do best, tech. Speaking of…let’s get to the tech news.

Looking back, it’s been a VERY eventful week and as it stands with tech (constantly new and updating) so it is with tech news. Because of that, today I’ll just outline what’s been going on. If I leave anything out, let me know, I’ll be happy to add it.

HoTT with 2 T's

Comcast is using Sandvine to manage P2P Connections – Knowing is half the battle. Throttle MY bandwidth will you?

New iPod nano – “Short” Sweet and to the Point (links to video review)

Touch Screen iPod – Basically, I’m dreaming

iPhone (8GB) drops to $399 – 4GB discontinued.

Wal-Mart calls out iTunes (kinda) – WM starts selling DRM free music

Flash now supports H.264 – Good news in the quality-per-bandwitdth struggle

Cop chases criminal on Segway – I couldn’t resist. The suspect must feel pretty dumb.

South Carolina’s Finest – I hope she doesn’t reflect badly on the school system there

———Linux Section———–

AMD to Release ATI Open-Source Drivers – Does this mean that XGL won’t suck anymore? (please, no hate emails) 😀

Motorola RAZR2 V8 Runs Linux – I need a toaster that runs Linux… oh wait

Microsoft plans support for Linux – Microsoft created an alternative for Adobe Flash called Silverlight. Seems they will release the software for Linux?

Beat Comcast and Sandvine using IPTables – Another reason Linux reigns (or should at least)

3 MythTV OS’s Reviewed – KnoppMyth, MythDora and Mythbuntu

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Hope this somewhat catches you up. Don’t forget about my Windows Tip of The Day section up near the top of the page….or, due to the magic of html, HERE TOO!

L8z,
AleX





Still Can’t Buy Me (Beatles) Love on iTunes but…

15 08 2007

UPDATE!!  John Lennon’s music now available on iTunes.
UPDATE!! 2 Soon we will be able to. THANK YOU PAUL!

UPDATE!! 3 PSYCH!! No more Beatles!?

Apple Corps (the record label) and Apple (the computers) haven’t had the easiest time negotiating the bringing of The Beatles full collection over to iTunes. It has, no doubt, been a rough couple of years. Well Beatles fans, the wait just got a little more managable. Lennon’s music, as of 3am yesterday is available for download over the iTunes Music Store. Among the music released were sixteen of Lennon’s solo works, including digital debuts. First Paul McCartney, now John Lennon….Beatles soon to come?

Natali1Well it’s summer and one thing I learned since moving to Northern California is that people take their vacation time very seriously up here. Hopefully I don’t dissapoint my 2 readers by not providing them with the tech news of the day but I will leave you with Natali Del Conti. Oh, Natalie. Pretty girls that know more about tech than me are my weakness. Check out her 3-day a week podshow for even more on the latest tech news. You can find her at http://textra.podshow.com .





“Grandpa?…What was…D…R…M?”

14 08 2007

Apples equivalent of a Blue ScreenNo doubt Apple has taken a huge bite out of music piracy. The selling of their 3 billionth song isn’t absolute proof of that, but still pretty damn impressive considering it took them 2 years and 6 months for their 1st billion, 10 months for their second and a quick 6 months for yet another billion. It’s pretty obvious that more and more people are turning to the convenience of iTunes, especially when combined with the 110 million iPods they claim to have sold. (Yes that includes the replacements for those who know who my little friend to the left is) Most people who still refuse to get their music from the iTunes Music Store do so because of the limits imposed by the DRM-ridden songs. Digital Rights Management won’t allow you to play your purchased song on any portable music player other than your iPod that’s registered to YOUR account of iTunes. So say your brother bought a song under his account, on your computer, and you like it. Wanna put it on your iPod…tough. DRM sometimes pushes would-be honest consumers to attain their digital entertainment by other “questionable” means.

However, the restless Google will soon offer an alternative. Google will soon bring you gBox, while working with Universal Records, to bring DRM free music at up to 256 kbps. iTunes recently launched iTunes+ which allows you to purchase  SOME DRM free music (meaning you can play it on anything, not just your iPod or a burned CD.) Though the audio quality is stunted at an adequate 196 kbps on iTunes+, audiophiles swear that the AAC format is superior to MP3. They offer this at $1.30 per song. I personally like FLAC but that’s neither here nor there. gBox will offer DRM MP3s encoded at 256kbps for only $.99, $.31 cents cheaper than its main competition. Will it take?

I was interested to know how Steve Jobs (Apple CEO) was taking the news of the partnership between Google and Universal especially since Apple and Google have been coming together on many things. For example: the integration of some Google Apps on iWork and iLife, Google CEO Dr. Eric Shmidt being on the Apple Board of Directors, YouTube on the iPhone and Apple TV (Google owns YouTube.) I was also surprised because of Universal’s on and off fueding with Apple. Is Google risking becoming another entry on Fake Steve Job’s “frigtard” list. Not so much, no.  I came to find that Google’s relationship with Universal is one of strictly advertising. When users search for their song or artist, Google will simply facilitate the process of using gBox. They get no cut of the music sales from Universal. (Not that they’d need it, what with AdSense and all.) gBox will be released as beta soon. Good news to come. When? 21 Aug 07 – 31 Jan 08.

On another Apple related story, Leopard, which is scheduled to released in October, now runs on non-Mac hardware. Not officially anyway. This is of course, illegal,  since it violates their End-User License Agreement BUT, you know those cooky developers and/or hackers. I wouldn’t recommend it though. I mean yes because it’s illegal but also because it’s a 46 step process in which you will need extensive console/command prompt knowledge, scripting and patience (aka finger-crossing). For those with more that 10 fingers to cross, here’s something to get you started. (Sorry, no IE users)

L8z,
AleX