Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Smaller is now more expensive

Mac mini with Intel Core now $100 more with 64 MB integrated graphics (that does support Core Graphics) and front row. Google announces slower growth. Apple also releases a nice big iPod accessory called iPod Hifi equipped with the universal dock, integrated power supply and battery operation for $349.

SOURCE: Macrumors.com

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Thanks, number 14

I lost a bunch of stuff today. Here's what I didn't lose that wouldn't have been nice: iPod, key generator, phone, bluetooth headset, napsack with laptop, pocket pc, um... paycheck. Yes, I couldn't resist an opportunity to do that pretty weird enumeration. Think of it as crude materialistic thanksgiving.

Someone found it near a class building and had a friend call me up letting me know where I could pick it up. Since I heard our past realtor getting mugged and forced to divulge pin numbers, etc, I asked my roommate to come along and he generously did. When we did arrive, I gave a holler as instructed (no doorbell) and a girl opened the door. I got to meet the person who found the wallet as well as the guy who called me up. They refused the 20 my roommate offered them as finders compensation and asked that I do the same for someone else. I gladly accepted the condition and went back home. I treated my roommate to a milkshake for his time and patience, ate my favorite turkey and pepperoni sub and have been procrastinating ever since!

Here's what I still lost: souvenir from Bloomberg interview visit (my keychain/lanyard), computer case key, two sets of keys = 4, a totally unimportant slashcard, and um... 60 bucks for replacing one set. No, that would not be the first time in the past 4 months I've lost my keys.

BTW, the #14 refers to the good samaritan's house number on unnamed street. The actual number was changed to preserve the anonymity of its residents.

SOURCE: I could've made this up but it'd just be sad.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Google, China, and Censorship

The Google side of the Google.cn story has more than you think. Plus, older Communist party members take the moral high ground when speaking out against censorship, namely against the shutdown of a news magazine for an article criticizing the way textbooks portray the government as infallible:
History demonstrates that only a totalitarian system needs news censorship, out of the delusion that it can keep the public locked in ignorance
I learned a lot of things I didn't know from Google's testimony before Congress. For example, the Chinese government[, through individual ISPs, ]has been filtering Google.com for years, making the site slow and unusable and driving users to search engines that are self-censoring, or redirecting it to these sites which doubtlessly had indexed less information.

Also, I saw proof of what my Students for a Free Tibet friend first told me--that in the least, Google.cn (which complements the sporadically available Google.com) makes an effort to inform its users that what they're getting isn't the complete picture--that results have been filtered. The following is displayed at the bottom of every page of censored results:
It translates into, "In accordance with local laws, regulations, and policies, portions of these search results have not been shown." This is not trivial, as it's not displayed for normal queries like "cats". They still With Google, as opposed to other major search engines, people might at least be heartened to see at least a shadow of the truth with hope that at least it is out there. That, in addition to all the other content available in the internet.

SOURCE: Googleblog and digg

Monday, February 13, 2006

A funny thing happened on the way to the dining hall

I'll admit that I don't always use my bluetooth headset as makes me somewhat self-conscious. However, due to it's 3-meter range, it's very convenient to use when roaming about the apartment doing things. Asides from it's intended purpose, the bluetooth connect also acts as an invisible tether or homing device if you will.

On the way to the dining hall [yesterday], in an attempt to slip it into my coat pocket, I dropped it straight through and apparently into the snow. When I turned on my headset and got no response, however, I realized that I no longer had my phone on me. I retraced my steps and when I was back in range, was able to voice dial my dad and ask him to call back and make my phone ring so I could locate it.

Now, I didn't actually hear it ring, but after a few more steps, I saw it peaking out of the snow. Now, it would've worked if I'd shut off the headset and avoid the ring from being bypassed to my headset, but that's a lesson learned for another day.

Revised and formerly titled: "On the virtues of..." bluetooth headsets

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Lets step on a few more toes

Now, even Google has beat Microsoft to the release of widgets.
Google Desktop 3 Here's a similar heap of Yahoo! Widgets:
Yahoo! Widgets

Friday, February 10, 2006

No point in trying to do anything

My Gmail server sucks. I tried both tips (only one was possibly helpful).

UPDATE 11:42 PM EST 2/15/06: This situation has been resolved. I still have no invitations, though.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

"That volume can't be good for your ears"

That's exactly what I said to one of the guys on the bus unknowingly sharing his music with the everyone else. From personal experience, listening to music using the out of the box headphones just doesn't work when you're competing with the noise from the bus's engine. And, what did the guy say in response after maintaining eye contact for the entire length of my statement? Nothing.

Although that certainly wasn't the first time someone's ignored me, it was the first time I witnessed the "I know you're talking to me but I can't hear you so I'll just ignore you" phenomenon.

SOURCE: Commuting between campuses

Now we're talking

So, wondering how Google was going to make money on Google Talk? They can now put Google Ads unobtrusively next to your chat history as they've added a Chats view in Gmail so you can search and revisit your old conversations from anywhere (except China?). What easier way to capitalize on IM than this. Now, if they just recorded the voice chats as well...

What if you don't want to save your conversation? Go off the record. Don't want to (or can't) download Google Talk? Chat right in Gmail! Ok... that was all very excessive, especially for something that would become immediately apparent to anyone who uses Gmail. Just to reiterate, the point of this blog post was to point out how Google was going to finally make money from Google Talk. Also, here's a new logo with talk tucked in right under Gmail.



Sunday, February 05, 2006

The beauty of Akamai

Students at my school are limited to a small number of GBs of external bandwidth. Luckily, we have an Akamai cache server on our network that stores, among countless other data, Vongo video content. That means, I can download any number of videos via my subscription service at very high speeds and not worry about blowing my limit. Moral of the story? Not sure... maybe I'm just bragging.

Friday, February 03, 2006

I'm in

Ok, so since Google missed expectations by about 12%, I bought a single share at about 12 percent less of Wednesday's starting price, about 300 dollars above it's initial price... Here's to growth! I'll sell at 361.

UPDATE 2/13/06 12:40 PM EST: So my foresight to just sell wasn't enough. I was tempted to buy it back afterwards, but forgot that since I only had one share, the eventual 33 in commissions didn't justify selling at 361 and buying back at even a slightly lower price, much less selling again : / So I'm holding one share with no profits in sight.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Count your deductions

Ever wonder why you never got that Tax Statement for donating through the Amazon Honor System? Well, if you said yes, you won't get get it because it's not really meant for charitable giving. Not that there isn't a reason to donate, even if there are other avenues. First, it's easy. Just log in and boom. Second, you can unpay within 7 days. You just might want that tax credit is all. Just FYI.