Showing posts from 2006

Flash Cookies

I'm sure you know about cookies stored on your computer, and you've heard lots of stories about how evil they are. Well, do you know about the new "flash cookies"? They are much more dangerous because they can be used to store *a lot* of data. The default storage capacity for flash cookies is 100 kB per site (that's a lot of privacy data!), and that it is "on" be default? Here's how you can fix this: Go to Google, then search for "flash settings". It should be the top entry. On the left, click on "Global Privacy Settings Panel". Click on "always deny", then confirm. Click on "Global Storage Settings Panel". Move the slider down to zero, click on "Never Ask Again", and de-select "Allow third-party Flash content to store data on your computer". Click on "Website Privacy Settings Panel". Delete all websites. Do this now...

What's Hot -- Remember the Milk

One of the things I haven't liked about Google Calendar is its lack of to-do list functionaly. Well, that's all fixed now thanks to Google's open concept and a company called Remember the Milk (really!).   Remember the Milk is a "web 2" application specifically designed to handle your to-do list. I looked at it a little while back and thought "That's all I need -- another to-do list." I already have a PDA, a Google Desktop to-do gadget, various pieces of paper, and Google Calendar. But now that Remember the Milk integrates with Google Calendar, well it's time to give it another shot and scrap all the other to-do lists.   Ask me in a month if I still like it...   (I wonder if Google will buy these guys and integrate it directly into the ever-expanding Google Desktop?)

Leo Laporte Hates the Zune!

Twas the night before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas He lived all alone, In a one bedroom house, Made of plaster and stone.   I had come down the chimney, With presents to give, And to see just who, In this home did live.   I looked all about, A strange sight I did see, No tinsel, no presents, Not even a tree.   No stocking by the mantle, Just boots filled with sand, On the wall hung pictures, Of a far distant lands   With medals and badges, Awards of all kinds, A sober thought, Came through my mind   For this house was different, It was dark and dreary, I found the home of a soldier, Once I could see clearly.   The soldier lay sleeping, Silent, alone, Curled up on the floor, In this one bedroom home.   The face was so gentle, The room in such disorder, Not how I pictured, A Canadian soldier.   Was this the hero, Of whom I'd just read?, Curled up on a poncho, The floor for a bed?   I realized the families, That I saw this night, Owed their lives to these soldiers, Who were

Light Emitting Capacitors

We all know about Light Emitting Diodes, but now we have Light Emitting Capacitors!   From : Light emitting capacitor , or LEC , is a term used by CeeLite, a manufacturer of flat panel lighting products. LECs are derived from and similar to electroluminescent panels. The company has put considerable effort into improving electroluminescent (EL) technology, and has come up with this new term to differentiate the improved technology from prior, presumably inferior, EL products. It is not clear if the term is trademarked or otherwise considered private intellectual property. LECs work in largely the same way as conventional capacitors , except that the dielectric between the outside contacts is a chemical that gives off photons when the capacitor is charged. While this is not very useful for containing large amounts of power, other uses are possible. By making the contacts of the element transparent and leaving the

Windows Live Writer Test

This post has been created with Windows Live Writer, available at:

Don't throw out that vinyl!

Check out this crazy sale on eBay!

Bug Report in Google Calendar: Links in Description

Links in the calendar description used to work properly, for instance if you have in the description it would be a functional link. Now, the link is replaced with "<a rel=nofollow href="" class=linkified target=_blank></a>" with no functional link.

Popular Science - Best of What's New 2006

Popular Science has released their "Best of What's New 2006".   Check it out at .

Don't Buy From Ray James Appliances...

A friend of mine bought a dishwasher from Ray James Appliances in Niagara Falls. It was dented. Ordered a replacement. It arrived, also dented (with a forklift!). Ordered a replacement. The wrong one arrived, and the owner and the salesman condescendingly tried to convince my friend that it was the same one she bought, even though the one she bought was a higher end model with buttons ($100 upgrade) and the one that arrived had a dial (they are either idiots or swindlers). They later delivered the correct one. It leaked. It was then fixed, supposedly. (The repair guy told her he found a loose fitting, but told the owner that there was nothing wrong.) It leaked again a few days later. I have called the store on behalf of my friend, as she is too upset about the whole episode to deal with them directly. The owner, Alec, refused to give her a refund. The only way he will give her a refund is to get the service guy to come back to her house and have her run the dishwasher and actually see

Beware of Counterfeit USB Flash Drives on eBay

Millions of buyers have been swindled into buying fake, low quality thumb drives on eBay.   Read eBay's guide about this here .

Eclipse comes out of the shadows

On Nov. 7, 2001, IBM published the source code of its Eclipse development platform. As Eclipse celebrated its fifth anniversary as open-source software this week, it has found a prominent place among the software community.   Read the rest of the article at .

To All the Kids Who Survived the 1930's, 40's, 50's, 60's, and 70's!

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes. Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking. As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat. We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this. We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank koolade made with sugar, but we weren't overweight because . WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING! We would leave home in the morning and

Firefox 2 Transition

Firefox 2 is supposed to be released today (October 25). I thought I would create this document to report any problems I have with the transition. I installed Firefox 2 into a different folder on my home computer. It still pulled in all the extensions, and told me that my RoboForm extension was not compatible. All other extensions seemed to work. I googled "RoboForm Firefox" and quickly found an updated extension. Within 2 minutes I was working again. On my next installation, I'll go ahead and do the installation to the default folder and overwrite Firefox 1.5. Update: On my next computer, I went ahead and installed it over top of the old version. Other than the RoboForm problem mentioned above, there were no troubles. I'd strongly recommend everyone give FireFox 2 a try. Update: I've now read that Firefox handles Ajax sites like Gmail and Writely (Google Documents) faster than Internet Explorer. Since my students spend so much time at these sites doing and submit

What does aging look like?

For eight years this man snapped daily self-portraits. See what happens when they're played back.

Mother's Voice May Be Better Than Smoke Alarms For Kids

This is wild.... A video study of sleeping children showed that they did not wake up to the sound of a very loud smoke alarm. But if the smoke alarm included an audio recording of their mom telling them to get out of bed, they did!   Read more at .   Googlel News Search

Turbine Chip

Imagine a turbine powering your computer! That's just what may happen in the near future... MIT developing an "engine on a chip" to beat the battery

iPod Sales in Decline -- Good!

It seems iPod sales are in decline. I'm personally glad about that, as I went through 3 of them within a year. The first one constantly rebooted. The second was shipped with the wrong hard drive (too small). And the third just died on me with a defective click wheel. I've replaced my iPod with a cheap SanDisk Sansa with an SD Card slot. It may not be as slick as my iPod, but it has no moving parts and always seems to work.

Breast Cancer Donations

SunChips® brand is donating $1.00 to The Weekend to End Breast Cancer™ for every person who signs up online to show their support, up to $100,000. It’s free to you, and a simple way to make a difference.

Number of Planets Reduced to Eight

Pluto is apparently no longer a planet. Its status has been reduced to "dwarf planet" because its orbit is not round enough and occasionally crosses Neptune's. What's also interesting is that Pluto is not even the largest dwarf planet -- it's Xena. I guess we'll have to rewrite a lot of textbooks! Read more here .

Google Suggests

We all know about Google, but do you know about Google Suggest ? It's a great new way to use Google -- As you type, Google will offer suggestions. Just use the arrow keys to navigate the results. If you're running Firefox, there's an extension available that lets you use Suggest from a toolbar. See for details. Google Suggest is available at .

Sudoku Portable

Last semester I was getting the class to play Sudoku to help them with problem solving. I've finally found a good Sudoku program that is freeware. And it's a "portable app" to boot, which makes it even better (run it from your thumb drive or iPod). It's called Sudoku Portable (what else?) and is available at .

From the Daughter of a Soldier

From the daughter of a Soldier: Last week I was in Trenton, Ontario. Attending a conference. While I was in the airport, returning home, I heard several people behind me beginning to clap and cheer. I immediately turned around and witnessed one of the greatest act's of patriotism I have ever seen. Moving thru the terminal was a group of soldiers in their camo's, as they began heading to their gate everyone (well almost everyone) was abruptly to their feet with their hands waving and cheering. When I saw the soldiers, probably 30-40 of them, being applauded and cheered for it hit me. I'm not alone. I'm not the only red blooded Canadian who still loves this country and supports our troops and their families. Of course I immediately stopped and began clapping for these young unsung heroes who are putting their lives on the line everyday for us so we can go to school, work and home without fear or reprisal. Just when I thought I could not be more proud of my country or of

Lean that Bike!

Doesn't the guy in this video know how to drive??? Even more outrageous is the response from the idiots in the car. Why would they think the "bikers" would "beat their asses"? I ride with many of these "bikers" as a member of the Southern Cruisers Riding Club, and I don't know one of them who would even consider hurting the idiots in the car. It's a shame that people on motorcycles have such a bad reputation. It's undeserved, and only due to a very small minority of bikers (jeez, I hate that term) who choose to behave like idiots. The ones I know are not in this minority. SCC#238305

Test Document from

This is cool! An online word processor that multiple users can access! This is a test document to test the new Writely online word processor. Google bought the Writely company and will soon be integrating it into the Google accounts. I used my Gmail account to register to hopefully make the transition easier. Column 1 Column 2 test test you can insert rows by hitting tab in the last cell How do you merge two cells? Butteted list in a table This is a test to see if it wraps correctly. This is a test to see if it wraps correctly. This is a test to see if it wraps correctly. It does! This is a numbered list in a table Does it wrap

Early experiences with Blu-ray disappointing

The consensus seems to be: unless you need it now, you're better off waiting [for a Blu-ray player] a year. Prices will be down, quality will be up, and features will be multiplied. You'll also have a lot more content to watch on your shiny new device.   Read why at .

Frozen chip shatters silicon speed record

Researchers from IBM Corp. and the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta have developed the first silicon-based chip capable of operating at frequencies above 500 GHz -- 500 billion cycles per second -- by cryogenically freezing the chip to 451 degrees below zero Fahrenheit (4.5 Kelvins).   Read more at .

WMA, WMV, Now WMP...

Microsoft Corp. unveiled a new photo format it claims will provide better quality at half the size of a JPEG image. Windows Media Photo (WMP) will be built into the next-generation of Windows.   Read more at .

10 Hot Technologies to Watch For...

This year, the list of technologies that are worth keeping an eye on is particularly wide ranging -- but all of the picks are ready to have a big impact on business, medicine, or culture.

AutoCAD....Look Out? (Google SketchUp)

Google has just released a simple-to-use 3D drawing program. Check it out at .

How to Park a Dirt Bike

Don't do this at home:

Cyberstalker sentenced to one year

A man in Alberta who used the internet to turn his ex-girlfriend's life upside down was convicted on Thursday of criminal harassment and sentenced to a year in jail.   Read more at .

Blogging book competition hots up (sic)

The first short-list for a literary prize that rewards bloggers turned bookwriters has been announced. Dubbed the Blooker Prize, the contest is for those bloggers who have turned their episodic journals into something more substantial.   Read more at .

Raids close file-sharing server

Joint raids by police in Belgium and Switzerland have shut down a popular file-sharing server. The Razorback2 server was part of the Edonkey file-sharing network and was used by a third of the system's users.   Read more at .    

Google's image search set back

A judge's ruling could require the Web giant to exclude a publisher's copyrighted photos.   Search giant Google Inc. lost a court fight Tuesday in a copyright case that highlights the challenge of building a business on the frontier of technology and the law.   Read more at,1,4065474.story

Privacy Watchdog: Beware Google Desktop

THE ONLINE PRIVACY ADVOCACY GROUP Electronic Frontier Foundation Thursday blasted a new feature on Google's Desktop Search product, which allows users to search their home computers from any computer. The group said that Google's caching of users' hard drives renders them vulnerable to subpoenas.   Read more at .

Fossett gets record for longest flight in history

Steve Fossett, the American adventurer, completed the longest non-stop solo flight in history when he landed in Britain last night 77 hours after taking off from the United States.   Read more at .

SpyCatcher Express

SpyCatcher Express provides powerful, immediate protection from known & unknown spyware as well as rootkits. And, because Tenebril believes everyone has the right to surf safely at home or at work, SpyCatcher Express is absolutely free! Available at .

Patent office to re-examine JPEG patent

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will re-examine the validity of the so-called JPEG patent held by Forgent Networks, an action that could deprive the company of its multimillion-dollar revenue stream.   Read more at .

Hitachi says it has developed world's smallest IC chip

Hitachi said it has developed the world's smallest and thinnest integrated circuit (IC) chip, which can be embedded in paper to track down parcels or prove the authenticity of a document.   The IC chip is as small as a speck of dust, being just 0.15 mm by 0.15 mm square by 7.5 micrometers thick, Hitachi said. One micrometer is one-thousandth of a millimeter.   Read more at .

Loud Music in Headphones Damages Hearing!

Duh! It's common sense that listening to loud music, particularly with headphones, will damage your hearing. Well, if you won't listen to me, listen to Pete Townshend. (If you don't know who that is, you have no right to listen to any modern music!) Some more links related to loud music and hearing loss:

Spelling is NOT Important!

An email from a mail list I'm on...   I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid Aoccdrnig to rscheearch taem at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Such a cdonition is arppoiately cllaed Typoglycemia :)- Amzanig huh? Yaeh and yuo awlyas thought slpeling was ipmorantt

V-Strom Owners Map Project

I've started a new project which is turning out to be much more successful than I had hoped. It's called the V-Strom Owners Map Project and it's located at . [ direct link to map ] Basically, anyone that owns a V-Strom sends me their location (city is okay, postal/zip code is better) and I plot it on a map. To assure everyone's privacy, I have a strict policy where I state that I will never release any personal information that has been disclosed to me to anyone. The problem is, some V-Strom owners want to be able to use the map to hook up with other V-Strom owners. (Actually, this isn't a problem, this is great!) So, here's my solution. If you are willing to share your personal information (anything you want: name, address, phone #, email address, anything...), then add a comment to this blog entry, with the number that you are on the map. Thank you to everyone for the kind feedback for this project, and I hope the blog part of t

Green Plants Contribute to Global Warming!

Evil plants!   "Grasses and other green growth may produce 10 to 30 percent of Earth's annual methane output, a new study reports, making plants a surprising—and potentially significant—contributor to global warming."   Read the rest of the article at .