Thursday, July 31, 2008

California to be wiped off Russia’s map

Source: Pravda.Ru

Deputies of Russia’s Nizhni Novgorod region intend to liquidate several settlements in the region, including the village of California.

Vladimir Gryzhin, an official of the Sechenovsky district, where the village is situated, said that the village of California was a deserted settlement, which had absolutely no perspectives for development since there was not even a power line in California.

Another official of the district, Vladimir Osokin, advised Gryzhin should ask the US Senate for help to recreate California.

California’s last residents moved to the village of Lipovka in the beginning of the 1990s. Nevertheless, the village of California was left on the map and still has its zip code, reports.

There are several variants to explain the existence of the settlement with such an unusual name in Russia. One of them says that a local landowner visited the USA in the second half of the 19th century and subsequently renamed one of his villages to California.

How to configure and deploy the iPhone 3G for business

"One of the biggest stories behind the release of the iPhone 3G -- and the iPhone 2.0 firmware update for first-generation iPhones -- was the inclusion of features designed for use in business environments. While many analysts and enterprise users have argued in recent weeks about whether the iPhone can replace Research In Motion's BlackBerry as the prevailing smart phone for business, little has been said about the tools and processes that Apple offers systems administrators to actually deploy and manage iPhones at work."

read more | digg story

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Virginia Tech building supercomputer out of 324 Mac Pros

Virginia Tech's Center for High-End Computing System (CHECS) is famous for building a 1100-node, G5-based supercomputing cluster in 2003 called System X. At the time it was built, it ranked as the third fastest supercomputer in the world with a sustained performance of just over 12 teraflops. The CHECS is building a new cluster, this time using 324 Mac Pro towers, that will have a theoretical computing capacity of 29 teraflops. Varadarajan and his team chose Mac Pros for a few reasons. For one, Xserves are power dense, which requires a lot of cooling to prevent thermal hot spots. And, despite common wisdom to the contrary, the Mac Pros beat other systems on price. "The Mac Pros are highly competitive even against building a white box off the cheapest prices," he added.

read more | digg story

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Electric Cars Are Inevitable ...and Essential

The electrification of the automobile is not only inevitable, advocates and experts say, it is essential because plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles offer our best chance to address global warming, achieve energy security and move us beyond oil. The auto industry is beginning to respond, and most of them are working on plug-in hybrids that could be on the road beginning in 2010. But their success is by no means guaranteed. There are concerns about the reliability and longevity of the lithium-ion batteries they'll use, and the cars will be expensive.

read more | digg story

Friday, July 25, 2008

At $2 Billion Wind Turbine Order Is Largest Ever

Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens has placed an the largest ever order for wind turbines: he ordered 667 wind turbines from GE, each costing $3 million dollars, making the total order $2 billion. Pickens plans to develop the world’s largest wind farm in the panhandle of Texas.

read more | digg story

When anyone invests $300 million dollars into promoting alternative energy sources, the Democrats usually take notice. Mr. Pickens is spending big trying to educate the public that America's war on terror should include foreign oil. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., praised Pickens' plan, calling it a "classically American message of can-do optimism."

A full overview of his plan is at, but here are the sticking points that drive the plan:
US Oil imports nearing 70% at $700 billion per year
The United States uses 25% of the oil in the world
Natural Gas is the 2nd largest natural resource in the country and accounts for 22% of the electricity produced
There are 8,000,000 cars in the world that run on natural gas
Wind can replace the need for natural gas in electric production
The bulk of the plan is this: The central corridor in the United States is ripe for utilizing and harvesting wind for generating electricity. By harnessing this, the 22% of electricity that is currently being produced using natural gas can be completely replaced by wind energy.

If we take the natural gas that was being used for electricity and convert it for use in transportation, the United States' dependency on foreign oil would be reduced by 38%, or $300,000,000,000 per year. Natural gas is cleaner, it's abundant in the United States, and wind is, for all intents and purposes, limitless.

Now implementing his plan along with HydropowerSolar power plants and nuclear energy could really make a difference for not only energy independence but also for a healthy planet Earth. No natural gas is not an utopian solution. Because really no single source of energy that the USA can make use of can be the total solution to what is a very large problem. A multi pronged aproach using many alternative and standard energy sources  is the only real solution.  We must use what energy sources we have in a responsible way. However its impractical to keep passing the buck for a solution to the next generation before the world runs out of oil.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

'Nanonet' Circuits Closer To Making Flexible Electronics

"Researchers have overcome a major obstacle in producing transistors from networks of carbon nanotubes, a technology that could make it possible to print circuits on plastic sheets for applications including flexible displays and an electronic skin to cover an entire aircraft to monitor crack formation. The so-called "nanonet" technology - circuits made of numerous carbon nanotubes randomly overlapping in a fishnet-like structure - has been plagued by a critical flaw: The network is contaminated with metallic nanotubes that cause short circuits.The discovery solves this problem by cutting the nanonet into strips, preventing short circuits by breaking the path of metallic nanotubes."

read more | digg story

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Russians, Gobble Up Hacked iPhones!

MOSCOW — In the Soviet days, Russians asked their American friends to bring blue jeans, rock records and other Western goods into the country. Today, Russians can buy almost anything they want here, but they are still begging for one item: Apple Inc.'s slick iPhone.

However the iPhone has not been released in Russia officially because Apple is still negotiating with Russian mobile service providers.

Moscow has become an iPhone trader's paradise. Russian Web sites were offering the new 3G iPhone for about $1,200, six times the $199 base price in the U.S. Even Apple's first-edition 8-gigabyte iPhone was going for ($775.00) almost as much at Moscow's Gorbushka electronics market.

However not all Russian and buyers are all paying astronomical prices for their iPhones. Some buy the phones for themselves when abroad on travel or business trips, while others request them from friends traveling in the U.S. or Europe. Then they pay a small fee to have them unlocked and they are ready to use their new iPhone.

Read the full story at Fox News.

Linux is easier to install than XP

"You might think that installing XP in place of Vista would be easier than installing Linux. You'd be wrong. When you buy a new PC today, unless you hunt down a Linux system or you buy a Mac, you’re pretty much stuck with Vista. Sad, but true. We have this illusion, that’s just because Windows works on the systems it comes pre-installed on, that Windows has great built-in driver support. No, it doesn’t. Once you move to installing Windows on a new system, you’ll quickly find that Linux, not Windows, has the better built-in hardware support."

read more | digg story

Looking to run Virtualization software on OS X for free?

Unfortunately more often then not Macintosh users must give in to the dark side of the force and run a Windows XP or Vista only program. So "virtualization continues to be a big topic among Mac users with Intel-powered Macs. Products from Parallels and VMware allow you to easily run many different operating systems on your Mac, each within its own protected virtual environment. Recently, a third player entered the market—Sun, with its VirtualBox product." I recommend you take a look after all its free and even if you don't own a copy of Windows then you can always install OpenSolarisSolaris 10 or  Linux on your VirtualBox software.

Macworld Video: A look at VirtualBox

Monday, July 21, 2008

Apple in no hurry to bring iPhone to Russia

"MOSCOW/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Unauthorised sales of unlocked iPhones in Russia and China are flourishing, but Apple Inc seems in no hurry to make deals with operators to sell the nifty device in these huge markets officially.

Despite the iPhone being set for launch in 49 more countries including Honduras and Guinea-Bissau, China and Russia -- home to almost half the world's mobile users -- are not on the list.

Operators in those countries have proved reluctant to hand over part of their iPhone-related revenues to Apple -- a model Apple succeeded in imposing in early deals it made with carriers in other countries, who got exclusive sales rights in return.

"Right or wrong, Apple needs to show good sales volumes. Russia is extremely profitable for it, all the more so because an iPhone shipped from the U.S. market is not serviced under warranty. That saves Apple around $70 per unit," says analyst Eldar Murtazin at Mobile Research Group in Moscow.

Others say Apple is losing out."

"The total number of iPhones brought into Russia in suitcases or sent by courier is seen rising to 600,000-700,000 units by the end of 2008 from 400,000 by the end of June -- a significant number in the context of worldwide iPhone sales."

"Russia's top three mobile operators -- Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), Vimpelcom and MegaFon -- have not disclosed any substantive talks with the iPhone maker."

Read More

By Maria Kiselyova and Sophie Taylor - analysis

Monday, July 14, 2008

Electric car shootout in London

WhatCar? Britain's Biggest and Best Car Buyer's Guide has a Electric car shootout in London. They review the NICE Mega City, the Smart ed, the Micro-Vett Fiat Doblo, and the Reva G-Wiz together for a group evaluation on the streets of London town to "...decide whether or not they do make a practical alternative to urban transport.".
Now before you start drooling these electric cars can currently be purchased in Europe and hopefully one day a broad spectrum of electric cars will be sold in the USA.

Even "Beautiful beaches and a perfect climate are not enough for the citizens of the South Pacific islands of Fiji. Apparently, they desire cars that are quiet and don't emit pollution as well. If the Korean electric vehicle maker, CT and T, gets its way, that desire will be fulfilled."

Mitsubishi plans to sell iMiEV electric car from 2010 to mid 2009 in Japan about 4 million yen or US $37,496. Sadly currently there are no plans to sell the car in the USA.

A very interesting looking car is the Opel Flextreme and the upcoming Volt will be badged as a Chevrolet or an Opel across "the pond has been decided. The first Euro-bound EV's from the General will be Opels, though we are not sure how much in common the vehicle will share with the Flextreme concept."

In an amusing statement Rick Wagoner, head of General Motors, at a recent conference in Dallas, Texas in response to why GM didn't begin offering hybrid cars earlier is because nobody wanted them. So next time you wonder why the American auto industry is doing poorly look no further then their upper management. Kudos' to Toyota on the foresight to build hybrid cars earlier. In frustration Hank and Joe built their own electric car rather then waiting on the big automakers. While these guys have actually made a working product there are no end of retarded gas saving devices for sale on the Internet that will not save any gas at all.
Last but not least BMW is planning sell 500 electric Minis coming to California.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Russians listed among world’s cleanest nations

"Russian citizens take the third place in the world among clean and neat nations, following the Hindus and the Americans. Ecologists say that a habit of daily showers and baths may lead to an ecological disaster, since the planet runs out of its fresh water reserves very quickly. One should keep in mind the fact that a regular shower requires about 50 liters of water, whereas a bath needs 120 liters. Such a habit looks insane against the background of a serious shortage of fresh water in the world. Unlike Europeans, Russians do not even try to economize water." It's way better to be clean then stinky!

read more | digg story

Friday, July 11, 2008

Apple's new 3G iPhone is selling like hot cakes!

The process all started July 10 when you could obtain iPhone Software v2.0 early. I did and I must admit I spent a fair amount of time trying out some of the new features like the Apple iPhone Application Store. However it appears that when everyone started to update their phones firmware from 1.x to 2.x Apples servers were overloaded (iPocalypse) because unlike updates in the past this update requires you to reactivate your iPhone. Even InformationWeek called the new software upgrade really sweet!

I have to say one of my favorite new Applications in the America online instant messenger (a.k.a AIM chat). Because I must admit I am not a fan of SMS texting at all.

Apple fans have been flocking to Apple stores all over the world snapping up the new 3G iPhones. The New York Apple store had over 150 people lined up this morning as early as 5:00 AM.  Buyers have been storming stores in Asia and queues forming in European cities. In New Zealand people queued in freezing temperatures for around 60 hours to be the world's first to buy the iPhone at a minute past midnight on Friday. "Guards in kevlar vests and helmets brandished shotguns and stood guard over 500 devices on sale in Hong Kong, a city that has seen its share of unruly crowds at major product launches." "Softbank Corp, which sells the iPhone in Japan, said over 1,500 people lined up outside its flagship Tokyo store. " 

There is good news from the business front as well because O2 said there's been a lot of interest in the iPhone now that it supports Microsoft Exchange. Yet there are always the iPhone haters and Windows fan boys with us who would complain about any success that Apple might have. The hackers have been rather busy so there are already reports that the iPhone OS 2.0 has been unlocked!

.Mac has also transitioned to MobileMe but not without serious downtime and many users were fuming mad at having the service unusable for over 12 hours.

Updated: Apple Sells One Million iPhone 3Gs in First Weekend" ["'iPhone 3G had a stunning opening weekend,' said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. 'It took 74 days to sell the first one million original iPhones, so the new iPhone 3G is clearly off to a great start around the world.'"

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Apple's Secret Tax Revealed: It's all about the chip baby!

Third-party manufacturers speak out in big investigation: Hush-hush deal for exclusive chips and licensing fees of up to 10 percent per gadget is making basic products like iPhone video cable cost up to 10 times more! “If we didn’t have to pay Apple for the dock and auth chip, we could have made a much better speaker the same price,” says a source.

read more | digg story

Monday, July 7, 2008

10 Tips for Securing Linux Desktops

Out of the box, a Linux desktop is far more secure than most others.However, this level of security is not necessarily attained through typical security-focused software or techniques. Sometimes, the easiest means to security are those that are the easiest to forget. You might find these suggestions to be pure common sense, but maybe you'll see a means of security you never thought of before. If you're a new Linux user, these tips are a great place to start to ensure that your Linux experience is a good one.Here are 10 steps you can take to secure a Linux desktop.

read more | digg story

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Chronicles of George

Recently I was introduced to a web site called the Chronicles of George. The Chronicles of George web site that contains collection of helpdesk tickets gleaned from the Remedy support database. I don't want to spoil your fun by saying too much here in this blog. However even if your not a computer person I am sure you will find this site very amusing.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

AT&T Announces iPhone 3G pricing plans

Finally, a piece of news we can actually do something with. AT&T today announced its pricing structure for the next iteration of Apple's iPhone -- which you can plunk down money for come 8 am, July 11th. There's not much that's surprising here -- new customers and those eligible for an upgrade will be able to nab the phone for $199 (8GB) or $299 (16GB), while "early upgraders" will have to fork over $399 or $499, all with a two year contract and $18 upgrade fee, of course. The telco says a no-commitment version of the phone will be available for $599 and $699, though it looks like that will come after the initial launch. AT&T appears to be leaning pretty heavily towards the all-in unlimited plans, but there are options if you don't want to go that route. We've sorted out the basics after the break, and included AT&T's "iReady" video -- certainly good for a few chuckles.

read more | digg story

Firefox Users Most Secure on Internet, Study Reveals

"Mozilla Firefox fans might rest a little easier these days after a study released Tuesday revealed that its users are most secure on the Internet. Altogether, the study found that less than 60 percent (59.1) of people use up-to-date, fully patched Web browsers. Failure update browsers exponentially increases the chance for remote attacks executed by hackers, the study found. Firefox users were far and away the most likely to use the latest version, with an overwhelming 83.3 percent running an updated browser on any given day. However, despite Firefox's single click integrate auto-update functionality, 16.7 percent of Firefox users still continue access the Web with an outdated version of the browser, researchers said.The study also revealed that the majority of Safari users (65.3) percent were likely to use the latest version of the browser between December 2007 and June 2008, after Safari version 3 became available. Meanwhile, Microsoft (NSDQ:MSFT)'s Internet Explorer users ranked last in terms of safe browsing. Between January 2007 and June 2008, less than half of IE users -- 47.6 percent -- were running the most secure browser version during the same time period. Opera ranked slightly higher than IE, with about 56 percent of users who said that they have applied the latest version of the browser to their computer. Of the four browsers surveyed, Opera ranked last in popularity, with a just 11 million users that comprise .8 percent of the marketshare."

read more | digg story

Friday, July 4, 2008

Japan's Prototype and Might As Well Be be a Coffin?

Recently there have been a number of mini cars announced.  While I am sure they offer excellent gas milage how well do they do in the safety area? If someone hits you with their bicycle will both you and your car be totaled?

[DMS] Topia Prototypes 150kg One-seater Electric Vehicle
Jun 27, 2008 18:42
Chikara Nakayama, Nikkei Monozukuri

"Topia Corp, a company engaged in designing and prototyping automobiles, prototyped a single-seater electric vehicle "HUVO," which weighs only about 150kg (330 lb). The HUVO was developed by using Topia's proprietary design and production technologies, the company said. The body frame is made of high-tensile steel plate, the doors on both sides and the back panel are made of aluminum alloy, the roof is made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP), the windshield is made of polycarbonate, and the interior parts and the wheel covers are made of ABS resin."

New Fuel Cell System 'Generates Electricity with Only Water, Air'
Jun 13, 2008 19:30
Kouji Kariatsumari, Nikkei Electronics

Genepax Co Ltd explained the technologies used in its new fuel cell system "Water Energy System (WES)," which uses water as a fuel and does not emit CO2.

The system can generate power just by supplying water and air to the fuel and air electrodes, respectively, the company said at the press conference, which took place June 12, 2008, at the Osaka Assembly Hall.

The basic power generation mechanism of the new system is similar to that of a normal fuel cell, which uses hydrogen as a fuel. According to Genepax, the main feature of the new system is that it uses the company's membrane electrode assembly (MEA), which contains a material capable of breaking down water into hydrogen and oxygen through a chemical reaction.

Though the company did not reveal the details, it "succeeded in adopting a well-known process to produce hydrogen from water to the MEA," said Hirasawa Kiyoshi, the company's president.

Fuji Heavy Develops Electric Car Based on K-car 'Stella'
Jun 30, 2008 19:23
Saeko Kushitani, Nikkei Automotive Technology

Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd announced that it had developed "Plug-in Stella Concept," an electric vehicle (EV) based on its "Stella" K-car.

The Plug-in Stella Concept employs the EV system used in the "R1e," which is under feasibility test as an industrial electric vehicle. The company is considering commercializing an electric vehicle based on the Plug-in Stella Concept.

Study claims Windows usage market share could fall below 90%

A new study released by Net Applications indicates that a decreasing percentage of the Internet population is using Windows as their operating system. It appears that Mac OS X could soon be listed in the double digit-range, while Windows could fall below the 90% mark.

read more | digg story

Thursday, July 3, 2008

4 Quick Ways To Download YouTube Videos Off The Net

YouTube, the most popular video sharing site on the internet, allows its users to upload and share videos easily but doesn’t provide any way to download them. So if you are a YouTube fan and would love to download some of the videos to your computer so that you may watch them again, without the need to visit the site again, then here are 4 quick ways to do that.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Mini-Laptops look like the Next Big Electronics Change

"While computer makers have pushed to build faster, more powerful laptops in recent years, the executives at Taiwan's Asustek Computer decided to try something different. They thought some people wanted a simpler computer. And they were right. Since its introduction last October, Asustek's Eee PC—a mini-laptop that retails for as little as $300—has become a huge hit around the world. The company expects to sell 5 million units this year. "We changed the concept," says Chief Executive Officer Jerry Shen. The Eee PC is a significant innovation in the PC industry," Huang wrote in a report last month, but "its success is unlikely to be sustained"

read more | digg story

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Starcraft II info explosion!

"you may have missed hearing about the StarCraft II developer panel helmed by Blizzard's Rob Pardo at this weekend's Worldwide Invitational in Paris. Joystiq was there to catch all the details on the latest build of the game. See what team Blizzard had to say about the newfound power of the Zerg Queen, the upgraded Protoss Mothership and the reason behind de-emphasizing heroic classes. All this after the jump."
read more | digg story

Apple releases Leopard 10.5.4 combo update

Apple has just released the newest update to Leopard 10.5.4 and I recommend that all 10.5 users if your planning on updating use the combo update rather then the delta.

Apple said the Mac OS X 10.5.4 Update is recommended for Mac OS X 10.5, 10.5.1, 10.5.2, and 10.5.3 Leopard. It includes general operating system improvements that enhance the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac.

The Mac OS X 10.5.4 Update is recommended for all versions of Mac OS X 10.5 through 10.5.3.

• The combo update lets you update from Mac OS X 10.5, 10.5.1, 10.5.2, or 10.5.3 to 10.5.4

• Includes recent Apple security updates.
• Resolves an issue with saving and reopening Adobe Creative Suite 3 files on a remote server.
• Includes additional RAW image support for several cameras.
• Addresses an issue that may result in a partially installed X11 application.
• Improves L2TP VPN client reliability.

• Addresses AirPort reliability issues with 5GHz networks.
• Addresses AirPort issues that may result in slower performance in Logic Studio or MainStage.

• Improves overall iCal reliability for meeting requests, cancellation notices, delegation, and syncing with iPhone.
• Resolves an issue that prevents deleting an iCal event without notifying the creator.
• Addresses an issue in which events in all calendars affect availability. A checkbox now enables information-only calendars to be transparent from free/busy lookups.
• Resolves a UI issue preventing delegated calendars from showing up as a separate window.
• Addresses an issue with copying and pasting attendees from one event to another.
• Resolves an issue in which iCal may not delete events after a specified time interval, even when set to do so in iCal preferences.
• Addresses an issue in which To Dos cannot be marked private.

• Addresses a potential performance issue when loading secure web pages.
• Resolves issues that may be encountered when accessing secure web pages with client certificates that reside on a smart card.

Spaces and Exposé
• Addresses an issue in which switching from a space with a Finder window keeps the Finder as the active application instead of the application residing in the destination space.
• Fixes an issue in which dragging an application from the list of application assignments in Spaces System Preferences does not assign the application to the desired space.
• Resolves an Exposé issue that may result in only a subset of windows being shown.