Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Google over Bing?

"Our goal for this study was to gather users’ general impressions of the Google and Bing search engines, including overall functionality, presentation of content, and overall fit with user expectations and needs. We also wanted to see how much attention users paid to advertising space on the two sites."

(from the report)
"Most users preferred the Bing visual design and thought that it was slightly better in terms of organization and refinement options."

Overall reasons for preferring Google
• Familiarity
• Enhancements in Bing not enough to convert
• Already using other Google apps

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Colbert reports on Goldblums Death

A Great reason not to take Twitter for everything on its Face!

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Jeff Goldblum Will Be Missed
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorJeff Goldblum

Monday, June 29, 2009

"American Nerd: The Story of My People"

From Simon & Schuster I received a copy of "American Nerd: The Story of My People" by Benjamin Nugent, and I will treasure it forever.

In my following review, I'll try to not give too much of the book away because it was very enjoyable to read...


The first chapter establishes two types of nerds:
those who are by choice, behaviour, and/or interests...
and others who are forced into the classification by social labeling and catagorizing.


After describing some basics of nerdiness, Nugent examines various types of nerds:

(page 128)
"...the nerd receives his calling from God or nature...the nerd is incapable of selling out."

Those who appreciate medieval culture...

Fake nerds (and why they would choose to pretend to be)...

(page 142)
Asperger's syndrome may cause behaviour that is deemed nerdiness...
[I have never been diagnosed for this, but from all I've read of it, it would explain a lot of my life. Some of my kids have been diagnosed with (some) autism...]

(An Author's Note states that some names may have been changed to protect privacy.)
There's a chapter (page 111) about a guy Nugent knew in high school, Darren, that proves that some choose nerdum to escape uncomfortableness in their life. (I can relate to Darren.)


An interesting passage to me is found on page 20, in the second paragraph, where Nugent addresses our/nerds preferences for people to "say what you mean, mean what you say". There are times in my life where I've been considered to be too literal: I hate the phrase, "wait a second".

Rather than participate in social gaming, and needing to decipher signals that are being sent, we/nerds prefer obvious communication.

I remember the many "pick-up lines" I've never had...the closest I've ever been able to come to flirting is: "I'm going to bed...you are welcome to join me."

(Page 53)
Nerds tend to be more rational and logical, than emotional; the general populace tends to be more spontanious and seek gratification before considering potential consequences and outcomes.

As stated on page 37, nerds prefer to focus on expertise and can prefer to be (in general) non-confrontational to social engagement.

When we do attempt to engage, where most flirt to show interest (as described on page 106): "...debate is something nerds to in order to meet other nerds they can hit on..."


Historical figures who were probable nerds are proposed, and Nugent used some fictional characters to explain the evolution of "manliness" and its descriptive components.

When he compared "nerds" to "jocks" and referenced Skolnick and Urkel, I waited for Doc Savage (whom I consider to be a nerd and jock) to be mentioned. I was dissappointed...

He explains how the term "sissy" evolved, which should have been obvious, but I never thought about it.


While expounding on nerdy characterizations on television he mentions the television show "Freaks and Geeks", which I have never seen. I waited for a mention of "Square Pegs", which I have seen and thought would be a similar comparison to his descriptions, but it was not. It left me wondering if he was aware of the show, or felt it did not apply...

(This book was written before The Big Bang Theory was on CBS.)


His interpretation of ethnicities pleasantly surprised me. I had never taken into consideration that some traits are due to culture. There is a probable reason those of Jewish decent seemed to read at an early age (page 80), and why nerd culture appreciates Japanese techno-art (page 82).


"American Nerd: The Story of My People" is available as an ebook.


I strongly suggest you buy the book:

Add it to your collection because it's a good read.

If you are a nerd, and/or know or love a nerd.

Maybe you will learn something about yourself and your peers...maybe others will learn about you...maybe there will be more understanding.

Buy the book, highlight the parts you feel appropriate, and (assuming the recipient can read) give the book to someone who doesn't understand you, and you wish they did...or at least would try to understand you.


I miss my slide rule...

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

2009 Xbox Project Natal Announcement

This looks awesome!

No Strings (or Controllers) Attached.Introducing Project Natal, a revolutionary new way to play: no controller required. See a ball? Kick it, hit it, trap it or catch it. If you know how to move your hands, shake your hips or speak you and your friends can jump into the fun -- the only experience needed is life experience.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Ubuntu 9 on Steriods reviewed by Gandalfdjh & Mike-Linux-NL

Ubuntu 9 on Steroids

Super OS - formerly called Super Ubuntu - is a modified version of Ubuntu 9.04.

Besides being Ubuntu, it also includes:

Ubuntu Tweak
Startup Manager
Better Internet experience with MSN, Opera, Firefox, Google Gears
Portable application available right out of the box - so to speak
Multimedia support - VLC, DVD-playback, MP3 and other codecs - improved
App Runner is included too.
System beep has been disabled
It has its own repository in addition to the official Ubuntu repository
Uses the commonly used KDE and QT libraries for easier deployment of software.
Has a live USB creator - cd2usb - To create a Live USB, just use usb-creator (already included on Super OS itself), or cd2usb (windows program: already included on the DVD)


Latest Version: 9.04
Live DVD and Install DVD (x86 - 32 bits)
ISO MD5 hash: 1aee96a429446c6d1b6337b52d249b33
ISO size: about 990 MB

Upgrading from Ubuntu (+ Kubuntu + Xubuntu) 9.04
  1. Install the Super OS repository
  2. Check for updates (type sudo apt-get update on the terminal)
  3. Install the package super-os (using synaptic or the command line: sudo apt-get install super-os )
  4. Done!
If you need help: FAQ

Download available at:

Mike-Linux-NL had the following to say about Super OS:

I am running Super OS also now, since a week, and I must say, that I really like it! Before switching to Ubuntu/gnome finally, I was using Opensuse 11.0 with kde 3.5 which I also tweaked out, so I had support for almost anything.

But on recommendation of a good friend of mine (wirelesspacket), I finally made the switch. In fact, I had to, since kde 3.5 is not included anymore in any new distro, and they will drop
support for it in a while. And I had worked with ubuntu before, so I knew what I could expect.

However, this Super OS was a good choice for me since a lot of packages were pre installed.
some of those packages were:

- skype
- amsn (msn clone)
- pidgin (multi IM)

and all stuff that is mentioned in Gandalfdjh's post.

Rythmbox allowed me to add online radio stations, and they worked straight away. On my dad's regular ubuntu box it does not work, so this gives an example of the extra features in Super OS.

Also VLC player is very good and supports almost every media file.

For myself, I encountered a few problems, like skype. PulseAudio still does not work right on every pc. but with a little workaround I removed pulse audio, AFTER I switched everything in the sound settings to ALSA only, and disabled system sounds. After a little sudo apt-get remove pulseaudio and a reboot, I had no issues anymore with skype.

For Twitter, I installed Gwibber, which has support twitter,identica, jaiku,rss etc. very good client.

All in all the migration from opensuse kde to ubuntu gnome was not that hard. after some tweaks in themes and wallpapers and other stuff, I ended up, having this desktop, with compiz fusion support, screenlets etc.

Please check out the screen shot of Mike's: Screen 1

Both Mike-Linux-NL and myself hope that you find Super OS an operating system that will meet your needs. We recommend that you try it!

A recommendation: upgrading from plain ubuntu still causes some issues. the best option is a fresh install. Over wubi, it will not install the Super OS packages, we tried it out - so the best solution is a fresh install - its done within 30 mins!

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Harris Interactive Poll says Blu-Ray adotion Lukewarm

While HDTV Resides in More Households, Interest in Blu-ray Remains Lukewarm
Few Likely to Purchase a Blu-ray Player within the Next Year

ROCHESTER, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--While Blu-ray was declared the big “winner” in the high definition format war last year, consumers may be slow to be part of the winning team. In fact, Americans are not jumping on board with any of the high definition DVD players. Just one in ten Americans (11%) own a HD DVD player while 7% own a Blu-ray player. Looking at the other devices for playing HD DVDs, 9% own a Sony PLAYSTATION®3 (which plays Blu-ray ) and 3% have the external HD DVD drive for the Xbox® 360 (which plays HD DVDs).

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,401 U.S. adults surveyed online between April 13 and 21, 2009 by Harris Interactive®.

While slow to catch on, ownership of all these high definition disc players is up from May 2008. Interestingly, while Blu-ray was the clear “format war” winner over HD DVD, sales of HD DVD players (11% in 2009 vs. 6% in 2008) are up over 2008 by about the same margin as Blu-ray players (7% in 2009 vs. 4% in 2008). Both were rivaled by the Sony PLAYSTATION®3 (9% vs. 5%). However, only 3% purchased the external HD DVD drive for the Xbox® 360, up from 1% in 2008. There is no expected surge of interest pending -- only 7% of non-Blu-ray player owners report a likely purchase of a Blu-ray disc player within the next year, down from 9% in May 2008

Ownership of HDTVs

Looking at high definition television sets, almost half of consumers now report owning a high definition television (47%), up decidedly from May of 2008 (35%). HDTV ownership rises dramatically with household income (27% for those with less than $35K vs. 62% among those with more than $75K).

Are Blu-ray Player Owners Switching from Standard DVDs to Blu-ray Discs?
On average, consumers purchased approximately 6 Standard Format DVD’s in the last six months compared with 1 in HD format (HD DVD .7 vs. Blu-ray .5). However, plans to purchase Standard Format DVD’s is down by half compared to past six month purchases, while interest in HD DVD’s (.6) and Blu-ray (.7) are holding their own. Notably, HD DVD format purchases reflect the continued sales of the HD DVD players within the past year.

When Blu-ray player or PS3™ owners are asked specifically about standard versus Blu-ray format purchases, the results suggest a mixed bag of behaviors with some price sensitivity indicated:

Only one quarter plan to switch to Blu-ray completely (25%), while one third of Blu-ray or PS3 owners claim that most of their movie purchases are now on Blu-ray format (32%);

Two in five are waiting for Blu-ray format prices to come down before they buy more (43%) – and a quarter buy Blu-ray regardless of price (25%); and, Only 1 in 5 appear to be replacing or duplicating their existing standard format DVD library with Blu-ray format (21%), and over a third say they only buy movies on Blu-ray format that they currently do not own on standard definition (37%).

So What?

In addition to financial issues that may be slowing consumer adoption, Milton Ellis, Vice President and Senior Consultant, Harris Interactive Technology, Media, and Telecom Practice added, “Blu-ray also faces competition from alternative technologies such as cable, satellite, and the Internet. Consumers today can easily watch high definition TV channels or use the Internet or video-on-demand to access high definition movies. In the near future, access to high definition movies may be a download or streaming delivery of one’s favorite movies to a home media server that eliminates the need for a Blu-ray player and Blu-ray disc. One thing is for sure, the market will be highly competitive and consumers will have a wide variety of choices for their entertainment experience.”

The Harris Poll® #63, June 18, 2009By Joan Barten Kline, VP, Research, Business and Industry Sector, Harris Interactive Methodology

This Harris Poll® was conducted online within the United States between April 13 and 21, 2009, among 2,401 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. Full data tables and methodology are available at www.harrisinteractive.com.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

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Symantec Center Advises on Twitter Invite Worm

The good folks over at Symantec have posted an interesting article on a Mass Mailing Worm in a Fake Twitter Account Invite that is catching some - Take a look at this good posting at the Symnatec Blog



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USB digital TV receiver

During the Tech Tuesday segment on KOLD News 13 Live This Morning, Andy showed: a personalized coffee mug from RocketLife.Com, a World of Warcraft Battle Chest, Pinnacle Studio 12 for Video Editing and Creation, and an Encore Electronics USB DTV Tuner...

The Encore Electronics ENUTV-DAT USB ATSC Digital TV Tuner is powered by the USB port. An infrared remote control, and antenna, is included.

The HDTV resolution goes to 1920 x 1080i. You can schedule for a program to be recorded. And time-shifting allows for the recording, and playback, of live television broadcasts...at the same time! Files are recorded in iPOD, PSP MPEG-4, and Windows CE-WMV formats. Images can be captured in JPEG and BMP formats...


Encore sent the unit to us months ago, and I tried it, but decided to withhold posting a review because of all of the changes in the final date for digital conversion.

A CD is included that has the software needed for the unit. When I inserted the CD into my computer, the Drivers & Utilities Installation menu appeared. The first item on the menu is Setup Utility...the second item is Setup Driver. The handbook states to install the driver, then the utility...

After doing so, I connected the device and an error message appeared: "The device cannot be detected or is not supported." After restarting the computer, and connecting the device, it was recongized.

When I tested it I was in the northwest area of Tucson (Marana), inside of a coffee shop. The signals from the stations could not be expected to be very strong. One of the reasons I was trying to wait as long as possible about posting this review is because some will be increasing their power, but I don't know when that will be and if there are stations in my area that will be.

I was able to get KVOA (Channel 4), and KHRR (Channel 40)...and our local PBS affliate, KUAT. KUAT impressed me the most:

"271" (channel 27.1)

KUAT 6-Kids-HD.
"272" (channel 27.2)

"273" (channel 27.3)

If you look at their website, there appear to be at least two more channels available.

Andy and I have tried other digital television receivers, and feel that...based on our experiences...outdoor amplified antennae should seriously be considered when at all possible.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Update: Added Video Segment from Schlage

We added a segment from KOLD TV 13 on the Schlage LiNK system. This Home Security Keypad Lock and Bridge to your network gives you more control over your Networked Home

system. Check out the Video at http://www.techtalkradio.com/koldtv/koldtv.htm

Scroll to the Segment from 5/5/2009

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Swooosh Gone from TechtalkRadio

We have finally removed the Swoosh Sound from the TechtalkRadio Page after it loads. I had some of those with Screen Readers complain it was a bit annoying when it would pop in every 45 secs..Keep the Suggestions coming!

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Review Posted of the DXG U579V

We took a look at the DXG U579V High Definition Digital Video Camera with 720p capabilities (30Fps) 1280 x 720. The bundled Camera and Waterproof housing offers a great solution to those that enjoy the great outdoors and maybe even getting wet! Check out our review and video from KOLD TV CBS
The picture to the left was taken while getting ready for the Tech Tuesday Segment while Jenny and Scott were delivering the Morning News. We give the Camera a few stars in its operations although we weren't entirely overwhelmed with the Battery Life at a little over an hour with 4 AAA Batteries. The ability to take some fun video though gets us past having to carry an extra set of batteries.

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Interview with Eviant VP Andy Frankel Posted

We talked with Andy Frankel of Eviant on the Companies Portable Digital Televisions in both 4.3-Inch and 7-inch models. A wide range of colors and other great features go along with these Portable Televisions that will work after the Digital Conversion June 12th, 2009.

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Monday, June 8, 2009

Apple, WWDC, new iPhones, new Macs

I watched some of the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference live via the internet...I won't tell you how because I'm under the impression it violated some agreement between Apple and the attendee. (I will say that they had over 23,000 viewers at times...)


There are new MacBooks, there is a new operating system (Snow Leopard), and new iPhones.

(Notice that there are links on their webpage for "Special Deals", "Refurbished Macs", "Refurbished iPods", and "Clearance" products...)


The conference began with a video featuring John Hodgman of the "I'm a Mac/I'm a PC" commecial campaign: he wished attendees a week with "some innovation, but not too much please."


In September, the Snow Leopard (10.6) operating system will be priced at $29 for the upgrade version (from Leopard 10.5), and a family pack will be available for $49. I was confused when they seem to be making a big deal that it will be a 64-bit operating system, until after I read the following from http://www.apple.com/macosx/technology/#sixtyfourbit:

"...Although Mac OS X is already 64-bit capable in many ways, Snow Leopard takes the next big step by rewriting nearly all system applications in 64-bit code..."

Snow Leopard will allow support for up to 16 terabytes of RAM.


The iPhone 3.0 operating system will be available June 17: free for iPhone owners, $9.95 for iPod touch owners.

It is to have 100 new features. (I've never owned an iPhone and iPod Touch, and am shocked some of them weren't previously available...)

Cut, Copy & Paste

Landscape Keyboard

Send MMS messages and include video, photos, audio, and contact info...
(Multimedia Messaging Service, or MMS, allows the sending of sending messages that include multimedia objects and allows for longer messages.)
MMS requires support by the carrier; AT&T is expected to support MMS late this summer.

Voice Memos

Sync Notes to your Mac or PC.

Parental Controls for music, videos, and applications...


Effective today, the 8GB iPhone 3G costs $99.


The iPhone 3GS will be available June 19: 16GB for $199, 32GB for $299.

Built-in video camera with editing
3 megapixels
Tap to focus
Video recording, VGA up to 30fps with audio
Photo and video geotagging

UMTS/HSDPA (850, 1900, 2100 MHz)
GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
Wi-Fi (802.11b/g)
Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR

Audio formats supported: AAC, Protected AAC, MP3, MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, and 4), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV

3.5-mm stereo headphone minijack


Mobile Me customers will be able to use Find My iPhone to bring up a Google Map that shows where your iPhone is (as long as it’s turned on). You will be able to send a message to the phone, and it will display a message and sound an alarm (even if it is in silent mode). Using Remote Wipe, you will be able to delete all your data; if you later find your missing phone, you can plug it into iTunes and restore it.

It's expected to be available for the iPhone, and iPod touch.


Some of my resources during, and after, the conference:







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Friday, June 5, 2009

MacHEADS: The Movie

(According to a presskit...)

"MacHEADS:  The Movie is a feature-length documentary about fanaticism and unconditional devotion to the corporate brand Apple inc. Through a series of interviews with the Mac's most dedicated followers and fanboys, it takes an in-depth look at the cult of Mac and the people who charted  the machine’s rise to popularity, posing the ultimate question, is Apple losing faith as a community and becoming just a brand."

There are two DVDs:  one the movie, and the other a "Special Features" DVD that is supposed to have over two hours of extras (I haven't had time to watch it)...

The movie is over 54 minutes long.


When I inserted the DVD, a song began to play:
"Once you get a mac...
there’s never going back...
it’s all you ever want to own...
puts your mind in the zone..."

Well...I guess I've been told.  I wondered if this might be one of those in-yer-face, nyah-nyah presentations where they are all right and good...and everyone else is evil and going to hell.  (See a conversation in our forum "TechtalkRadio User Group » General Category » General Discussion » Why are hardcore Mac users so bitter?"...)


One of the first people I recognized was Violet Blue...who said she never knowingly slept with a Windows user.  I expected this to set the tone for the rest of the DVD, so (as a user of Windows) I began to dress into my emotional armor...

The first day of shooting for the movie began with Macworld conference in January 2007, and it's what the movie opens with.

I've noticed that the production in this film has managed to get me excited for what's ahead in the movie.  I'm very much looking forward to all of the (general) nerdiness and geekiness to come.

Galen Brandt is profiled, a hippie-looking chick who's husband (Bruce Damer) is the curator of the Digibarn Computer Museum.

I think it's a very good documentary.  And I don't want to call it a documentary...more like an evangelic promotional piece.  It's showing how very emotional those being shown are.  And, I find myself sensitive to their feelings...

Half-way through the movie, the tough times for Apple in the 1990s are covered.  Followed by the expressions by some of what the return of Steve Jobs meant to them, the company, and the legacy of Apple.

There is an examination, and some opinions, as to where feelings may currently stand regarding passion for:
the platform...
the products...
enthusiasm for the Mac brand by the company...
and relationships between Apple with the faithful (user groups and such).

Changing demographics, and their changing relationships, are examined.  As has been experienced in other areas of technology, youth is not personally networking and building relationships around computing via user groups.  (Studies show that wireless telephones are mostly what is used by today's teens.)  A young guy that I imagine is about 20 years old expressed what others said:  there's no reason for a (Mac) community to exist.

Towards the end of the movie, it segues into...as it should...the introduction of the iPhone.  There's a gospel chorus song underneath (Hezekiah Walker & The Love Fellowship Choir - "I Need You To Survive")...which made it a little creepy, but I get the point the movie is making.

Fears are expressed that Apple won't be as interested in the Mac (as the MacHEADS are...which brought into focus for the the title of the movie).  To quote one passionate of the camaraderie:  "...don't love Apple, love the community..."

As the movie ends, there are people in line for the iPhone.  Some have never owned a Mac...some own an iPod.  Which highlights how products and marketing has changed, and may continue to, for Apple (and others).

And a reminder that eating an apple caused humans to be removed from the garden of Eden.


Regardless of your preference of operating systems, buy this movie.  If you are a fan of technology and/or computing, add this DVD to your collection.



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Grab-it Pack

We were sent two products from Grab-it Pack to try...

Jenny Anchondo of KOLD demonstrated it on the Tech Tuesday segment.

It's VERY quick and easy to snap-on, and unbuckle.

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Manpower's Annual 10 Hardest Jobs To Fill Survey Finds Four Years of Similar Data Points to Gaps in the U.S. Workforce

Manpower Inc. :: Manpowers Annual 10 Hardest Jobs To Fill Survey Finds Four Years of Similar Data Points to Gaps in the U.S. Workforce

# Engineers
# Nurses
# Skilled/Manual Trades
# Teachers
# Sales Representatives
# Technicians
# Drivers
# IT Staff
# Laborers
# Machinist/Machine Operators

Shared via AddThis

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

How to Clear Search History from Google Toolbar

Slick posted a comment on Facebook on How to Delete Search history from Google Toolbar, this video should give you an idea on how to make it happen. I also love the way the guy say Button..


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