Search Your Google Reader Feeds with Launchy

21 12 2007

Mice are cool, but sometimes the keyboard is faster. Enter Launchy … everyone’s favorite text application launcher. For those that don’t know, with Launchy, you can pretty much eliminate searching through the Start menu, Control Panel, Bookmarks and even search your entire music/video library. Have you ever installed a new program and then gone to launch it, only to find it’s under some company name you’ve never heard of before? The list of uses for Launchy is immense and the hacks are beyond the scope of this article, but for those who subscribe to feeds using the Google Reader, here’s a quick way open/search your feeds from the desktop with Launchy.

First … Install Launchy or upgrade to Launchy 2.0

Then activate Launchy (Alt-Space) and click on the gear on the top right. (preferences)

Head over to the Plugins tab | Weby | Add
– Name: Reader
– URL:
– Quer: %s
Click OK

Now activate Launchy again: Type ‘reader’ | press Tab | enter your search!

If you just want your Reader homepage, press enter after you type “reader” Enjoy.
Searching your Gmail is similar but replace the URL with:

Update: You can search Google maps too. Replace the URL field with:



Terminator-like Fighter Pilot Helmets

11 11 2007

Technology is definatley not limited to computers and video games. Sometimes I forget that and when stories like this pop up, I’m always delighted. One of the most overlooked types of technology is military technology. And let me tell you what, being IN the military doesn’t make it any easier to keep track of it. I’ve never seen any of the latest gadgetry, but thats probably because I’m only an E-4. The most advanced thing I’ve seen is a pair of night vision goggles I used for night-owl duty.


Anyway, with my job in the military, I strap on the occasional fighter pilot helmet and I gotta tell you, it…feels…good. You can control the 30MM cannon as well as the TADS (Target Acquisition/Designation System) with the turning of your head. Essentially you can aim by looking at your target through the over-the-eye reticle known as the HDU (Helmet Display Unit) Believe it or not, as cool as it sounds, this is 70’s technology for the military. So, I’d just like to point something out. When the military says that they’ve got a new toy, you better believe it kicks ass.

While Apache’s are cool, F-35’s are cooler. They’re cooler, newer and more advanced. It’s the first plane in a long, long time to go without a mounted HUD.

“The helmet is designed to provide pilots with binocular-wide field-of-view, give night vision abilities and scare enemy pilots at first sight.” -Jesus Diaz of Engadget

This helmet does all of the above mentioned, provides the aircraft symbology, and get this, it can also impose infra-red through the floor of the fuselage so the pilot can scout out the earth below in pitch black night. Cool, huh. Feel free to enlist now, make sure you give them my name. 😀




I Know It’s Not Tech, But It Must Be Said…

10 11 2007

Movie: Lions for Lambs

Regardless of your opinion on the country’s actions or policies, it’s your country, right? It is your prerogative, neigh, responsibility to have an informed opinion on what’s going on. By informed, I do not mean that you watch the news. I used to have a quote saying “Watch the news and tell me you don’t get mad. We’re losing our country, not to war, but to ourselves. I for one will do something about it.” And I did. I joined the Army. Is that to say that I made a difference? Absolutely not. What I didn’t do is go around bitching about “unsupportive hippies” and ranting that we *needed* to be in Iraq. That wouldn’t have solved anything either. But I DID do SOMETHING.

This is one of the most intelligent, certainly deepest, most thought provoking movies I’ve seen all year; Presenting both sides of the politics behind the war (pro and con), the apathy or fanaticism in college students of today, and of course our soldiers, on why they do what they do.

Every character is convincingly passionate on their own stance, and some stick by them to the end. I loved this movie so much because it puts into words (and images) what I never could. Please, Please, PLEASE go see this movie. Not only will it open your mind if you, until now, have blindly followed one end of this 6 year debate, but it will also force you to seriously consider or at least respect the views of the other side. Unless you’re an ignorant stubborn jack-ass whose hell bent on unfoundedly ranting their opinions because they’re too scared of appearing foolish because they can’t/won’t understand what’s actually happening </end-rant>

Also, I recommend it because I’d like to talk about it with someone else whose seen it. L8z

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.


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.


.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.


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.

Apple Playing The Prison’s Jailor

26 09 2007

With the recent release of the iPhone, new iMacs, the iPod nano, the iPod Touch and rumors of new brushed aluminum notebooks, Apple has been in the ‘spotlight’ (pun intended) pretty much anywhere you look. As a matter fact AAPL stock closed at $153.00 yesterday; a 52 week high. Performing at 74.8%, it’s quite possible we may see $200. As it stands, it’s almost 2.5 times Dell’s market cap. Michael Dell is eating his words. In 1997, Dell was asked what could be done to fix Apple, a then deeply financially troubled company. He said “What would I do?” In front of several thousand IT managers. “I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.”

Aside the fact that Apple is a growing company, as an open source/Free Software Foundation supporter, I’ve really come to hate this company. There’s no denying that they do export a superior product but God help me because it’s so infuriating when a company feels the need to discourage “curious consumers” from exploring the full capabilities of their hardware by threatening to break their half-thousand dollar machines.

Before the official release, a couple of iPod Touch units have been circulating. A “curious consumer” named “Martyn” was on the verge of being able to gain more functionality from his unit. He had no intention of posting the means to do so online, but on a private secure section of his site. Apple caught wind and sent a Takedown Notice to his ISP which in turn prevented “Martyn” from obtaining the help he needed to continue development of releasing the shackles on the iPod Touch.

What is Apple hiding? Apple is releasing another Newton, this time with multi-touch technology. */rant-start* If they think they’re going to sell us the same hardware with virtually the same specs, put software on it that restricts/adds functionality and then lower/raise price accordingly and not expect people to try to squeeze more functionality out of their overpriced hardware, they must be crazy.*/rant-end* My wild-ass guess is once this thing is unlocked you’ll be able to “upgrade” your 300 dollar iPod into an 800 dollar Newton (Price speculated…randomly) and THAT’S what Apple is scared of.

I’ve heard arguments that Apple is simply worried about its intellectual property. Company secrets and competition is the capitalist/American way. That’s fine. But if you can’t protect it, you don’t deserve it remaining a secret. How can you not expect this to happen when you intentionally remove the ability to add calendar entries to the Touch unless it’s docked to a computer, when it’s very possible with the iPhone. “They run the same damn binaries.” And that came from inside Apple.

Why Apple decided to disallow Calendar modifications and remove the email client for no apparent reason is beyond me. The only thing I can think of is….

Alex’s “Jerks That Hate Freedom” List
1. Apple (+1)
2. Michael Moore (-1)
3. Verizon


PS. Apple… I hate you…but will begrudgingly buy your product and be a “curious consumer”


Quick PSP Slim Update

7 09 2007

PSP Slim’s firmware is already dumped. Who gets the credit? The one (well, 2) and only Mathieulh and Dark_Alex, he’s not back though, he claims he just did it for personal use. *cough* C.Y.A. *cough* Good Job, we look forward to your *NOT* releasing the hack. Thanks bro. *wink*


PS. PSP Slim isn’t even out yet.