Geek Stuff category archive
Another brainstorm from the folks who would sell you things you don’t need at prices you can’t afford. From MarketWatch:
How else to explain the announcement from Hammacher Schlemmer, the 165-year-old catalog dedicated to “offering the Best, the Only and the Unexpected,” that it’s now selling an “iPad Commode Caddy”? The $99.95 chrome-steel stand holds both a roll of toilet paper and an Apple iPad, thereby eliminating “the clutter created by magazines and newspapers,” as Hammer Schlemmer general manager Fred Berns explains.
Picture, if you give a damn, at the link.
If this thing catches on, it’s only weeks until some bozo releases a hack for the iWebcam. And a dollar to a doughnut it will be called “iSpy.”
Phishing comes to cell phones.
Like “phishing” scams, which seek personal information over the phone or via e-mail, “SMiShing” uses text messages, technically called “Short Messaging Service,” to fraudulently acquire sensitive personal information.
Sorrell’s office is reminding consumers to be wary of text messages and calls they did not initiate. And consumers should never give out personal information to an unverified source.
All the computer security in the world can’t overcome stupid.
Heh (emphasis added).
Manager of the Space Operations Computing (SpOC) for NASA Keith Chuvala is on the record saying, “We migrated key functions from Windows to Linux because we needed an operating system that was stable and reliable — one that would give us in-house control. So if we needed to patch, adjust, or adapt, we could.”
Since I decreased the comment window for posts to seven days and closed all pages to comments (“Other Stuff” on the sidebar), the amount of comment spam that Akismet catches has decreased significantly, averaging under a dozen spam comments a day.
The amount of overhead in my MySQL database has dropped from three to four megabytes every few days to kilobytes, so much so that I’ve increased the interval between instances of database checks/repairs/optimizations/backups, which involve logging into my hosting provider and almost five minutes of clicking, from every couple of days to every three or four days.
When I get a round tuit, I want to change the comment link to inform visitors that comments are closed after seven days and that, if they have a comment on an older post, they should email me. This will involve mucking about in the CSS and in the theme files and a lot of testing on my test system (the logical place for testing), so it might be a while before I tackle it.
First, I have to record my next podcast for Hacker Public Radio, do a test recording for Librivox, and update my Debian box, which serves as my file and media server, to v. 7.0, Wheezy, which was released last weekend (Debian releases are named after characters from Toy Story), not necessarily in that order.
My local rag reports that area schools are starting to pay attention to their twittering twits’ twittery. (The story notes that one local high school–high school, mind you–player has over 800 “followers.” There’s a whole nother post lurking in that bit of trivia.)
Coaches, teachers, and administrators are concerned, in particular, that athletes might damage their standing and their scholarship pro$pect$. One of them contributed this gem:
Not the following, the fool-lowing.
The most common spam I receive to the email address for this website (see the “contact” link at the top of the page) contains offers to improve my SEO. SEO consultancies are inherently scams and frauds.
I do check my stats from time to time. Yesterday, I had 401 unique visitors and 4714 pageviews. The search terms that brought the most visitors were about “mushrooms, onions, and red wine sauce.” Most users were using WinXP or Win7, but iJunk was next (which I found mildly surprising). Mozilla browsers had the highest rank, outnumbering Windows Internet Destroyer in toto. And so on.
Nevertheless, since I’m not in it for the money, I don’t care that much about my SEO. I’m too lazy even to use tags on posts, even though tags are legit.
If you enjoy visiting this site (or visit it because it infuriates you), I welcome and value you. But I’m not going to use subterfuge to trick someone into thinking I’m something other than what I am: an opinionated nobody shooting his mouth off over the inner webs.
Learn about the wonderful world of free and open source.
What: Monthly TWUUG Meeting.
Who: Everyone in TideWater/Hampton Roads with interest in any/all flavors of Unix/Linux. There are no dues or signup requirements. All are welcome.
Where: Lake Taylor Transitional Care Hospital in Norfolk Training Room. See directions below. (Wireless and wired internet connection available.) Turn right upon entering, then left at the last corridor and look for the open meeting room.
When: 7:30 PM till whenever (usually 9:30ish) on Thursday, May 2.
Lake Taylor Hospital
1309 Kempsville Road
Norfolk, Va. 23502 (Map)
Today, I set up my girlfriend’s Android phone to communicate with her Windows 7 computer.
I just plug my phone into the USB cable, swipe the notification panel, and select “Disc Drive.”
What an ordeal!
I had to download drivers and software and wait and wait and wait while Windows did its thing. It took the better part of half an hour.
I had forgotten what a unmitigated kludge Windows is.
Marty Moss-Coanne discusses digital etiquette with Emily Post’s great-great-grandson. From the website:
It’s probably happened to you – a friend answers a text at dinner or checks their email in the middle of a conversation. Maybe you’re the guilty one. Sometimes it seems like good manners have fallen by the wayside in the age of twitter, cellphones and YouTube. But certainly the rules of polite behavior still apply even with the advent of smartphones and the social media. Today DANIEL POST SENNING, the great-great-grandson of Emily Post, offers some advice on good etiquette for our tech-filled lives. He’s the author of “Emily Post’s Manners in a Digital World: Living Well Online.”
Follow the link to listen or download for later listening on your podplayer.
The San Jose Mercury-News’s Troy Wolverton is not impressed with “Facebook Home,” the newest assimilation tactic from the Zuckerborg.
Detailed review at the link.
At the Guardian, Steven Poole explains how the Faceborg’s “Home” is a glass house.
If Facebook is a home, it’s furnished by Ikea, in calming blue and white: minimalist, reassuringly boring. But it also has no curtains. Modern technology increasingly encourages a peculiar kind of information exhibitionism, defaulting to making you “share” your every digital move, not only with the drone-bots of the corporate cloud but with everyone you know. Some users of the new Blackberry Z10 have been mildly discombobulated on learning that the phone’s video player was alerting their friends that they had been browsing sites such as pornhub.com, which is (or so I understand) very much Not Safe For Work.
Video via Delaware Liberal.