Archive for the ‘Tech & Science’ Category

Change is the name of the Game

Posted on November 11th, 2008 in Business & Industry, Tech & Science | No Comments »

While my blog postings tend to avoid anything political, I can not help but to mull over what the next four years of a new administration mean for the tech world.

Throughout the campaigns virtually all the candidates exploited the power and reach of technology, from Ron Paul to Hillary Clinton. Whether via SMS or Web 2.0, there is no doubt that this (finally) was the year that the Internet and mobile devices really played a part in the outcome of a national election.

President Elect Barack Obama’s campaign got this from the start. The web, with its host of social networking sites and viral videos, was a game changer for Obama. Barack Obama and his supporters found a direct and pointed way to connect with our fast paced cyber enabled lifestyles.

Truly remarkable is the way that people opted in for this digital content. Regardless of how you voted, there is an eagerness among citizens nationwide to see if this spirit of transparency, immediacy and connectedness will be a hallmark of the comming administration. Are we witnessing the perfect nexus of technology and politics? Has the Internet matured to the point where it is a reliable, and in some cases the primary from of communication for citizens of the United States of America? (read: reached critical mass of mainstream users.)

An encouraging indicator of this is the newly launched http://www.change.gov/ web site. If there was such a site back during the Clinton to Bush transition, I never saw it. And it’s not a partisan observation to say this has less to do with politics and more to do with evolving technologies and the mainstream adoption, no make that expectation, of web communication vehicles.

I for one am very hopeful that technology initiatives like this and others we saw during the campaigns are the beginning of a more interactive form of government – perhaps one by the people, for the people and of the people.

Podcast Picks Part II

Posted on May 14th, 2008 in Apple, Business & Industry, Gadgets, Internet & Networking, Linux/Unix, Tech & Science, Windows | No Comments »

As promised, I’m back with part two of my personal podcast selections.

Grammar Girl – http://grammar.qdnow.beta.libsynpro.com/rss

If your reading this blog post there is a good chance you are a blogger yourself, in which case this cast is a must for you. But regardless how you use the English language, Grammar Girl has helpful tips for you. Each installment of GG is quick and to the point, focusing on all kinds of grammar usage issues.

Linux Action Show – http://feeds.feedburner.com/TheLinuxActionShow

Begin tired old Cliché: “If you only listen to one Linux Podcast, this should be it!” Chris and Bryan are not only incredibly insightful and up on all the latest happenings surrounding the Open Source community, they put on one darn entertaining Podcast.

And if you want all the casts put on by this resourceful duo (like the afore mentioned CastaBlasta) you can subscribe to the unified Jupiter Broadcasting Feed at – http://www.jupiterbroadcasting.com/?feed=rss2

Linux Basement – http://feeds.feedburner.com/linuxbasement

Great Tutorials, Fantastic close-nit community and as if that is not enough, you get and Open Source Song every episode! Yes, you heard right an OSS “Song” performed by the ever talented Chad Wollenberg, host of the the Linux Basement.

Slashdot Review – http://slashdotreview.com/wp-rss2.php

Don’t have time to sift through all the great content on Reddit, Digg, Slashdot or a myriad of others, no worries, Andrew McCaskey does an amazing job editing and reading them to you. Under 15 minutes and you are up to date with the day’s tech/geek news.

Super Average Podcast – http://feeds.feedburner.com/SuperAveragePodcast

Looking for a great down to earth spiritual talk show? The interestingly named “Super Average Podcast” is a weekly round table of four everyday guys from different walks of life, talking about what faith means to them.

This WEEK in TECH – http://leoville.tv/podcasts/twit.xml

Leo Laporte, nuff said! Ok seriously if you have not ever heard of the “Twit Army” this is the Leo’s flagship podcast – part punditry, part news, part interview show, and plenty of random thoughts, This Week in Tech features a weekly round table (guests change from show to show) discussing the state of all things tech.

This will have to do for now, but you have gobs of stuff to listen to now, so find some new podcasts already.

Podcast Picks Part I

Posted on April 17th, 2008 in Apple, Internet & Networking, Linux/Unix, Tech & Science, Windows | No Comments »

Last week I blogged about the state of the Satellite radio landscape and the many great alternatives to fee based subscription radio. But let’s face it no matter how many MP3s you have at some point you may want to listen to some talk radio style programming.

To that end I have found an assortment of audio podcasts that inform, educate and challenge me on a regular basis. Hopefully you will find something new in this list that sounds interesting (sorry no pun intended.) Note: these are all audio programs, there are some wonderful video casts that warrant consideration – perhaps I’ll save those another post.

CastaBlasta Show – http://www.castablasta.com/?feed=rss2&cat=1

Newer show I’ve started to enjoy that centers around geek/nerd/sci-fi and entertainment culture. Three regular hosts, the same creative team that developed the Linux Action Show, put out this weekly review/recap of the stories ranging from movies to video games, book reviews to toys for the not so grown-up.

CNET’s Buzz Out Loud – http://www.cnet.com/i/pod/cnet_buzz.xml

“Welcome to CNET’s podcast of indeterminate length episode number 5,294,387!” Ok well maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration, but Molly Wood and Tom Merit, should be awarded some kind of medal for consistency and longevity! BOL is a daily, yes DAILY, 30 – 40 minute tech news and commentary show, summarizing the happenings of Silicon Valley, Redmond, and the greater tech world. High production values, methodic consistency and great hosts make this a must listen for every techy.

Cranky Geeks – http://feeds.ziffdavis.com/ziffdavis/crankygeekspodcast

“Arg – visit my blog @ www.dvorak.org/blog/” Love him or hate him Dvorak is a fixture in the computer journalism world, if you look up tech pundit in the dictionary, you’ll the host of the Cranky Geeks there. If there was any doubt in your mind, the show name it truth in advertising, each week John assembles a panel of feisty technology specialists for thirty minutes of banter (ala his old Tech TV show – Silicon Spin.)

Daily Audio Bible – http://feeds.feedburner.com/dailyaudiobible

Less is more, and in the case of bible study Brian Hardin provides daily readings from the scriptures with heart felt passion, high production values and minimal commentary. Refreshing and simple Brian has been reading various translations every day for three years now. Regardless of your spiritual position, incorporating 15 minutes of the Bible into your day is always positive.

FLOSS Weekly – http://leoville.tv/podcasts/floss.xml

Open Source Software is changing the way we use technology in our everyday life; whether you know it or not you are most likely already working with OSS. To this end Randal Schwartz and Leo Laporte host this weekly show that focuses each episode on an Open Source technology, usually via an interview with the inventor or author.

Fresh Ubuntu Podcast – http://feeds.feedburner.com/freshubuntu

If you “Heart” Ubuntu – this is the show for you! Don’t me wrong, other Linux Distros are welcome, but Harlem and Peter’s first love is for Ubuntu. This weekly Linux round-up features news and helpful tips along with a health dose of whatever is irking the hosts all in fast passing hour long show.

Next post I’ll continue this list with six more great podcasts, till then – happy listening!

2008 Please be Tech Friendly – Please!

Posted on January 2nd, 2008 in Business & Industry, News & Updates, Tech & Science | No Comments »

 

Happy New Year, and I do truly mean that as January 1st rings in all kinds of wonderful possibilities. Besides the always obvious opportunities for improved diet, fitness and finances I’m praying for a better year in Tech.

 

2007 proved to be an epicly disappointing year when you consider the lack of technical innovation. Don’t go confusing technology “hype” for real advancement. In fact 2007 might actually be one of the more over hyped years I can recall – iPhone or FaceBook ring a bell?

 

But on to better things! 2008 holds much promise for all things good and geeky; to this end I’ll be investigating all that CES has to offer next week, look for some updates on the blog and my picks for devices that are must haves. So cheers, a new year of Tech, I’ll drink to that!

 

Long live Old people and their Email

Posted on November 19th, 2007 in Internet & Networking, Tech & Science | No Comments »

Recently it has been reported that Email is just a relic soon to be replaced by Facebook and other social networks. Proponents of this viewpoint go on to argue that only older people – like over 20 – use email.

 

Good Lord, I can’t believe I’m about to defend email but here goes… As broken, SPAM infested, and exploitable email is, it’s still the foundation of communications on the internet. Maybe I’m just one of these “old People” who just doesn’t get the social networking obsession, but as a 20 year IT vet who uses IM communications on a daily basis for work, I just don’t see it supplanting email; and don’t even get me starting about how ridiculous it is to think of MySpace as a professional communications platform.

Please – Hack my Ride

Posted on January 12th, 2007 in Tech & Science | 2 Comments »

CES was not the only industry show this week. Over in Detroit the world’s largest automotive show has been in progress, and while I thought the weather in Vegas would be preferable to that of the Motor City, I could not pass up the opportunity to blog about the fusion of both Cars and Gadgets – so enjoy! 

2007 Nissan Altima

Every Holiday Season it happens; and no, I’m not talking about a pandemic of passed out relatives after hitting the eggnog a little to hard, I’m thinking of the “December to remember sales event at your local {insert name of luxury vehicle here} dealer.”  You know the advertisements, right? Elated holiday revelers wake up to find a new car in the drive with a big red bow affixed to the top.

Now aside from the pure, unadulterated, jealousy that these ads evoke, as I’ve yet to wake Christmas morning to such a display of affection and extravagance, I have to ask, “Who really gets/gives a new car as a holiday present?”  Well, this year I can bear witness first hand to just such an event. My mother-in-law was the gleeful recipient of a new Nissan Altima, a very fine present indeed. But what makes this event noteworthy was what happened next, as Donell entered her car for the first time and prepared to rev its engine to life she made a shocking discovery, there was no ignition key. It was then that her husband handed her a small stick of buttons and explained that this device was the “key” and that as long as it was within a couple of feet of the steering wheel the car would start with push of a switch!

Nissan Key FOB

So how does this work? What is the magic of this transmitter, can I now jack cars left and right with a Bluetooth headset?

Nissan Describes this marvelous break-thru as: Intelligent Key with Push-button Ignition“You won’t find this on other cars in the class: Intelligent Key with keyless push-button ignition, which comes standard on every Altima. All you have to do is push the button on the dash, which signals the standard Intelligent Key in your pocket or purse to start the car, and you’re off.”

But what is my neighbor, or more likely a gang of 15 year old geeks decide they are tired of jacking WiFi hotspots and want to move up to GTA: Key FOB City instead? Apparently there is not much to stop them as reported by leftlanenews in their story, “Gone in 20 Minutes: using laptops to steal cars” or as documented on the J-Walk Blog’s, “Keyless Entry HackKind of makes you long for an old hand crank to start your ride! Happy Friday everyone!