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Low-Cost Interactive Whiteboard Print
Sunday, 16 December 2007 12:38
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Since the Wiimote uses Bluetooth to communicate with the Wii, it can be used with any computer that can receive Bluetooth. Johnny Chung Lee wrote a program for Windows that is a start toward doing what Microsoft’s $10,000 Surface can do.

Vista SP1 RC Improves File Transfer Speed Print
Friday, 14 December 2007 14:11

With the right hardware, Windows Vista is pretty cool. I've been running Vista x64 for almost a year now. The media would have you believe that everyone hates Vista. It is commonly referred to as being buggy and unstable. That is simple not true. Vista has problems, but I've not seen one mainstream news source address one of Vista's "real" issues. One of these real issues for me has been file transfer speed. Some of which has been address in SP1.

I wasn't very happy with Vista when I saw my network performance fall from around 80 MB/sec with XP to around 10 MB/sec with Vista. I've had similar experiences, for instance when I moved from Windows 2000 to Windows XP. During that move I switched from my much beloved SCSI disk interface to the IDE disk interface. XP had serious issues with SCSI systems which resulted in poorer performance than their IDE counterparts.

Over the next few months of running Vista I finally discovered certain application, specifically ones that dealt with audio played a huge role in affecting the speed of file transfer, especially when transferring files over a network. With some of the resent Vista updates, transferring large files became manageable, while still inconvenient. For instant if I were going to move some large files, I might hang up my call on Skype or close any applications where were playing audio. There are some application that greatly affect the file transfer speed that don't appear to be using audio. I noticed the Steam client for Valve games really kills transfer speed. Kill the application while transferring a large file and watch a huge boost in your transfer speed.

Today I installed the service pack one release candidate (SP1 RC) for Vista x64. 

nVidia Announces 3-Way SLI Print
Wednesday, 12 December 2007 19:00

Today NVIDIA announced 3-Way SLI for 680i and 780i motherboards. This technology enables the use of three graphics processing units (GPUs) on a single computer, allowing up to three GeForce® graphics cards to be used in a single machine. NVIDIA’s new 3-way SLI delivers up to a 2.8x performance increase over a single GPU system, giving high-end gamers 60 frames per second at resolutions as high as 2560x1600 and with 8x antialiasing. 3-way SLI technology means you no longer have to dial back the image quality settings on the newest PC games. For example, gamers with 3-way SLI can play Crysis at high resolutions such as 1920x1200 with all the advanced DirectX 10 effects such as motion blur, ambient occlusion, and soft shadows turned on. 

Cracked Netflix Blu-Ray Disc Problem Print
Monday, 24 September 2007 13:13

Cracked NetFlix Blu-Ray DiscI recently started renting high definition movies on Blu-Ray and HD-DVD discs from Netflix. So far I’ve received 7 Blu-Ray discs from which 5 have been defective. All five of them have the exact same small crack at the edge of the disc. The crack is usually a little more than a quarter of an inch long, somewhere along the edge of the disc. Before noticing the crack, I thought I was merely having trouble playing the new discs. New technology, new headaches; I’m used to that. A friend mentioned to look closely around the edge of the disc for a small crack. The crack was so faint and small I hadn’t noticed it. Problem solved I thought. A couple clicks on Netflix’s well designed site and I would have my replacement disc in a mere day. No dice. The next disc was cracked as well.

Team Fortress 2 Print
Wednesday, 15 August 2007 08:33

Team Fortress 2 (TF2) is the sequel to the game that put class-based, multiplayer team warfare on the map. The original Team Fortress was a was developed as a free add-on (mod) for Quake and it is sometimes referred to as Quake Team Fortress or QTF. The concept was sparked from Quake modification to create a sniper rifle. The sniper class was born and the game was born there. It was released on August 24, 1996 as a completely free add-on. When the game was first released the install process wasn’t for the technically faint of heart. Its fast pace first-person-shooter (FPS) action coupled with the strategy elements of its maps instantly raised the bar for multiplayer games. The characters classes Team Fortress brought with it, added that missing something to the multiplayer arena. In my opinion no game to date has been able to replicated its game play. FPS games have offered various weapons, but the weapon was always the only thing that set you apart from everyone else in the game. With TF, choosing from one of the nine characters didn’t just provide you with a different arsenal it also would dictate your tactics and the role you took in the game.

Laser Printer Particle Emissions Print
Thursday, 02 August 2007 08:27

Laser Printer Paper PathA study that will appear in Environmental Science & Technology has spurred news headlines of the dangers of particle emissions from office laser printers. Congroug He, Lidia Morawska, and Len Taplin set out to explore the relationship between office and outdoor air in terms of fine-scale particulates, the sort that tends to penetrate deep into the lungs. Must to their dismay, there wasn’t any relationship. They did discover that particulates in the office were lower during off hours but rapidly increased 500% while the office was occupied. After eliminating the microwave and photocopier they ultimately fingered the office laser printer as the culprit. The discovery led them to test the 62 laser printers available to them and rank them into four category based on particle emissions. I noticed the age of the toner had an influence on both amounts of particulates produced and their average size. Page coverage played an important role as well, as the jump between a print that covered five percent of a page to one that covered fifty percent roughly doubled emissions. In laymen’s terms, it’s much worse if you print graphics.

Open Source Mobile Phone Print
Monday, 09 July 2007 14:58
Neo 1973 Mobile Phone

OpenMoko went live today allowing developers to purchase a $300 developers kit or a $450 advanced developers kit. The final product is slated for release in October.

The Neo 1973 mobile phone is a GNU / Linux based open software development platform. Besides running a fully fledged Linux kernel and availability in 2 colors it features:

  • 2.8" VGA TFT color display- Touchscreen, usable with stylus or fingers
  • 266MHz Samsung System on a Chip (SOC)
  • USB 1.1, switchable between Client and Host (unpowered)
  • Integrated AGPS
  • 2.5G GSM - quad band, voice, CSD, GPRS
  • Bluetooth 2.0
  • Micro SD slot
  • High Quality audio codec
Gadgets and Lingerie Print
Sunday, 17 June 2007 20:30

T3 Girl 

Do gadgets and lingerie go together? T3 wants to help you decide... 

Student Denied Teaching Credentials Over MySpace Photo Print
Sunday, 17 June 2007 17:29

MySpace Druken Pirate PhotoStacy Snyder, an aspiring teacher who is now 27 years old, was set to graduate last year from Millersville's School of Education. But just days before commencement, campus officials discovered Ms. Snyder's MySpace page -- which featured a photograph of the student wearing a pirate hat and sipping from a plastic cup.

The picture's caption: "Drunken Pirate."

Although Ms. Snyder was of legal drinking age when the photo was taken, Millersville administrators deemed the image "unprofessional," and they refused to award her an education degree and the teaching certificate that came along with it. (Instead they issued her a degree in English.)

Now Ms. Snyder has filed a federal lawsuit asking Millersville to issue her education degree and teaching certificate. The former student also seeks $75,000 in compensatory damages from the university, according to the Intelligencer Journal of Lancaster, Pa. Millersville officials declined to comment, the newspaper said.

$26,000 Dollar Cell Phone Bill Print
Sunday, 17 June 2007 16:51

Stealing PhoneWendy Nguyen's cellphone was stolen shortly before she left on an overseas vacation. When she returned she was shocked to discover she had a $26,000 cell phone bill. She called Cingular to dispute the charges, but even though she was able to prove she was out of the country when the calls were made from San Francisco, Cingular suggested she file for bankruptcy to pay the bill. From Yahoo!:

If you dig through all the fine print in your cell phone contract, you'll most likely discover a statement that reads something like this: "Should your cell phone be lost or stolen you are responsible for any costs incurred for unauthorized calls made prior to reporting the cell phone missing."

Unlike a credit card, cellular contracts are not required to limit liability for fraudulent charges. But it's also important to realize that the extent of your liability as stated in your contract is your provider's policy -- it's not a law.

The Yahoo! article gives some helpful tips for cellphone security, the most important of which is to call your provider immediately if you phone is lost or stolen. As for Wendy? They dropped the charges - only after she told her story to KPIX-TV in San Francisco.

Ten Steps to Cell Phone Security [Yahoo! Finance]


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