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Friday, March 03, 2006

Another remote IRC "exploit" courtesy of Symantec

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Here's another piece of evidence that installing Symantec products, aka Norton stuff may cause more problems than they solve. Some person posted that certain keywords when typed will cause people running affected Norton products to disconnect from IRC without warning. Apparently these keywords are used by a keylogger so Norton simply kicks you off without telling the reason in order to protect you from a program that may not even exist on your computer. What a smart idea.

Funny Tech


Blogmad has some serious bugs

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I have found several (what I think to be) serious bugs with Blogmad related to credit issues and some other minor bugs. These bugs are easy to exploit, ie nearly anyone can do it. I've tested them quite a bit and believe that others should have discovered them by now. Since the bugs will affect Blogmad in quite a big way, I have not listed them here or anywhere. I've requested the admin to contact me by email for more info.

Update: I did a quick check and the bugs have been fixed.



Blogmad launches public beta, get an invite here!

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Blogmad has gone into public beta, but it's invite only, which is a lot like Google's services. What is Blogmad? In short, it's a blog promoter. My previous post on Blogmad tells you more.

If you want an invite, just leave a comment with your email and name.



Week 2 of Microsoft's Origami up and Intel pops a surprise

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Week 2 of the teaser is up and it hints at the Origami being a mobile PC that doesn't get in your way with more info on Mar 9 2006. The HTML source also has "Origami Project: the Mobile PC running Windows XP" added to it. And it gets more exciting. Engadget tells us that Intel has its own surprise with the ultra mobile PC, which sounds very similar. Intel's teaser says Mar 7 2006 is the date to look out for. It just keeps getting more and more interesting or frustrating depending on how you look at it.

Update: Good news: The NYT states that UMPC devices could cost less than US$1000 depending on options. They will run the tablet version of Windows, so at least there's quite a bit of functionality. Specialised versions will target certain groups of consumers such as gamers, etc. While I hope for this to be good news, I suspect that it is likely that these will cost a premium for upgraded graphics capabilities, ram, etc.

Bad news: "They will be hefty, at about two pounds, and have a limited battery life of three hours or so between charges, the Microsoft consultant said. A new generation of low-power chips, extending battery life to six hours, will come next year. Later models, he added, will come with screens of four inches or so." Intel will be supplying the chips so we can forget about low prices.

Cool Tech


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Lesson: Don't lie on the internet

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A few days ago or so, I read about a story from digg on some dude giving away free Ubuntu cds at his local MacDonalds. So this sounds like your typical Ubuntu/Linux evangelist spreading the love around. He has since deleted his forum posts, but he claimed that the cds were well received and the manager was using Ubuntu on his 4 month old laptop the very next day. Couple of screenshots here:
Bigger version
Bigger version

It turns out that diggers did some digging and found out everything was a big fat lie except for the part about leaving some Ubuntu cds at Mac's. And while he appears to be a pretty nice guy in his forum posts, his ugly side rears its head in his agitated responses to the original story submitter. The best part is he claimed that everything was ok till digg went to screw it up and he intends to change his name, details, etc. Presumably, his original intent of posting his "story" was to encourage people to distribute the cds (ok, maybe it wasn't). What digg did was to spread this great "story" around and perhaps encouraged a couple others to do the same. Blaming digg, the story submitter and changing your particulars aren't going to help you if your story is simply fabricated.

Lesson to be learnt? Just because you're on the internet and you think no one is looking doesn't mean that you can just make up stories. Don't lie on the internet, for we are watching you (imagine Robert DeNiro doing the hand action to Ben Stiller in Meet the Parents/Fockers).



Video: Vista's speech recognition feature

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A new feature from Windows Vista is speech recognition. This video shows you more about it.

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Engadget's live coverage of Apple's Feb 28 event

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Just a quick link for those who want to know everything and anything as it happens from the Apple event.

Apple Tech


Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Video: Sticking to the speed limit

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An amusing video showing you just what happens when everyone follows the speed limit. The sound level could do with some normalization but overall it's a good video to show to law makers.

Funny Videos


Video: Ipod, a Microsoft product

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Watch how the Ipod transforms into a typical Microsoft package. Note: Ipod not included.
Music: Breakfast Machine by Danny Elfman from Pee Wee's Big Adventure. Sample: (realaudio file)

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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Video of Microsoft's Origami in action

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To watch the video, go here, then navigate the flash site: Enter > Work > BrandTheatre > Microsoft Origami. The direct link for download is here in .flv and here in .mpg. You will need a player capable of playing .flv files, such as flv player or mplayer.

Or watch it here:

This video reveals a LOT about the Origami. The slogan appears to be "You are FREE". People who have watched this video have compared it OQO, PDAs and tablet PCs. While there are many similarities, there are a few differences. From the video, I gather that the Origami has the following functions/accessories:

  • Stylus

  • Short range wireless capability such as Bluetooth

  • Quick email/note sending

  • Sketching/Drawing/Doodling

  • GPS navigation

  • MP3 player

  • Touchscreen

  • Docking station

  • Dynamic photo frame

  • Wireless media controller for your Windows PC

  • Stream audio from your PC to it?

  • Long range wireless capability such as wifi

  • Gaming console with integrated controller buttons

  • Optional external keyboard with case

Obviously, it has functions that no available device in the market (that I know of) has. With regards to its size, judging by the video, it looks about the size of a personal organiser (one of those that you write in with a real pen). These are my estimate of its dimensions - length: 20cm, width: 35cm and height: 3cm.

So with the size out of the way, it's time for more important things like the OS. This is truly guesswork as the video doesn't really show much of it. It probably runs Windows XP, possibly the full version of it or the tablet version. That's nice, I just hope it can run other OSes. I'm not gonna try to guess things like the processor, harddisk, graphics accelerator or memory as that would be as useful as plucking figures from the air.

What I would like to know however, is where the optical drive is hidden or if there's even one. Or is it another external accessory? I guess they didn't include that since they figured many people don't use optical media while on the go. I know I don't.

Another critical point is the battery life. Considering that it has many things to zap battery life (wifi, color screen, playing mp3s), it had better have some outstanding, long-lasting battery. Sure a laptop/tablet/PDA/OQO probably has about the same number of power hungry components, but I expect the Origami to be an all-in-one device that I can use while travelling (since it seems to be marketed in the ad as one). I'm not sure about you, but I sure don't power up my laptop while on a bus. Even if it were a PDA/OQO, I wouldn't waste battery life unnecessarily. For the Origami however, I want to listen to mp3s while playing halo on the bus and after all that, still have enough juice to work on documents. I'm hoping for a conservative 2 hours of fun and 4 - 5 hours for dull work, which is about or a bit longer than the life of normal laptops with souped up batteries. Of course I would love longer playing/working times, but comparing with similar devices leads me to believe this is the max it can last w/o charging.

And that rounds up my take on the Origami. Btw, the website from the video points a filler site at the moment. Also, the origami reminds me of the one hundred dollar laptop, just that it's a more expensive version.

Update: The original link has been taken down. And Microsoft says that the video is a year old and more changes could be in store for us. Sadly, over at Scobleizer, it is revealed that only details of the Origami will be released on March 2, 2006.

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The IT Crowd — The complete first season!

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All 6 episodes of the IT crowd can be found here! Hosted on youtube for viewing and if you want to download them, torrent links are also available.

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