Thursday, July 28, 2005
. . . Windows Genuine Advantage has been cracked according this digg, which links through to this post on Boing Boing and was originally sourced from this article on The Inquirer. Here’s the basic way to get around it (the Java code below bypasses the key check):
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Just got a smoking deal on this camera at Circuit City — open box price of $350 with a $100 mail-in rebate for a net price of $250. Many people do not like the AV100 as compared with MiniDV because of the straight digital recording, and I would tend to agree, but I’m not trying to produce motion pictures, rather I’m trying to capture small movies with a camera that has an extremely small form factor (there’s no MiniDV camera out there that can touch the AV100 and the JVC Everio at $1000 was not an option).
One of the main quirks with the AV100 is that out of the box it will only allow MPEG2 recording on Panasonic-branded SD cards. Luckily, there is a fix for this. If you download this firmware update, you will be able to use all brands of SD cards that meet the speed requirements for MPEG2 recording. Here’s how I got the firmware to work:
- Format the SD card in the camera. My camera did not come with a Panasonic SD card, so I simply formatted a SanDisk 512MB card.
- Attach the camera to a PC with the USB cable. Windows was able to find all of the drivers for the camera online through Windows Update.
- Open the camera through My Computer and delete all of the folders.
- Drag the firmware upgrade into the camera.
- Eject the camera and turn it off.
- Turn the camera on and it should prompt for whether or not you want to do the firmware update. Select “Yes.”
- Once the firmware update is done, the camera will ask you to power cycle. When the camera reboots, it will tell you that the firmware update has already been applied and will ask if you want to format the SD card; select “Yes” and you will be ready to go.
There are more instructions on how to load the firmware on the link above. Some people in the forum did not have quite as easy a time as I did, so a lot of this depends on your system and configuration. Note that you will not really be able to do this on a Mac.
The other quirk in this camera is that there are no Mac drivers to address the camera directly through USB. This is a small problem and easily overcome by getting a USB card reader that is Mac-compatible. One small note that applies to both Mac and Windows is that the videos files on the card are stored as .MOD and really need to be .MPG to allow editing. This program does the job of renaming on a Mac and this program will do it for Windows. Other users have reported the MPEG Streamclip is a much better program on the Mac, but have yet to have a chance to try it.
I’ll continue to post my experiences with this camera and am happy to help try to answer any questions from all of you.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Monday, July 25, 2005
Friday, July 22, 2005
An interesting story about Seth’s experience at a Starbuck’s. Think about this quote from Tom Peters: “The Customer Comes Second. That is — and this, dear Watson, is elementary — if you genuinely want to put customers first, you must put employees more first.”
A quick story about car seats. If you think that car seats are as effective as seatbelts for children over 2, you should probably read this article on Freakonomics (actually, you should probably read the whole book, but this is a good start). From Seth’s post:
It goes to stories. It feels like you're doing something smart and thoughtful and caring for your child. The effort gives the parent peace of mind and joy. The government gets to pass a law that seems cheap and caring. Everyone conspires to do the wasteful thing because of the story it allows us to tell ourselves.
- Humans tend to work on a problem until they get a good enough solution, instead of a solution that's right.
- The marketplace often rewards solutions that are cheaper and good enough, instead of investing in the solution that promises to lead to the right answer.
The Power of 4. From the post:
"...If merely four people of out of a hundred can make gridlock go away by choosing not to use their car, imagine the other changes that can be wrought just by four of us out of a hundred. Take a hundred musicians in a depressed port city in Northern England, choose John, Paul, George and Ringo and you have "Hey Jude."
Seth wonders why we can’t treat people like they’re smart. The common seduction seems to be to reduce everything to the dumbest denominator to ensure that “everyone” can understand. Hey, I’m smart; stop treating me like I’m dumb (or asleep, depending on the semantics you choose).
The new big is really small. This post describes exactly why small is the new big:
- Small is the new big because small gives you the flexibility to change the business model when your competition changes theirs.
- Small means you can tell the truth on your blog.
- Small means that you can answer email from your customers.
Thursday, July 21, 2005
Well, it seems to be an integrated virus, spyware, and update service. Currently the beta is live and they are accepting applicants for the beta test. Ok maybe there’s a little more to it, from the overview page:
- Antivirus, two-way firewall, and antispyware help protect your computer from viruses, worms, Trojan horses, hackers, spyware threats, and other unwanted software.
- A monthly tune-up takes care of routine maintenance to help improve your computer’s performance.
- Full and incremental CD and DVD backups make it easy to help protect your important data from loss or corruption from things such as accidental deletion or viruses.
I just finished the new Harry Potter book last night and it’s really good. However, I will have to admit that I probably should have gone back and read the previous book because I definitely did not remember some of the stuff.
For those that have not read the book, I will not ruin anything, but I will say that it is quite obvious that Rowland has teed herself up to write at least 5 more books.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
I have also added AdSense for Feeds to my FeedBurner RSS feed. Here are the quick directions for this:
- Log into your FeedBurner account.
- Select the Burned Feed that you want to add AdSense for Feeds to by clicking “Edit”.
- Scroll down to “Commerce Services”.
- Check the box next to “Google AdSense”.
- Log into Google AdSense.
- Click the “AdSense for Content” tab.
- Under “Ad Type” check the radio box next to “AdSense for feeds unit”.
- Scroll down to the AdSense Code box and look at the last line of code.
- You are searching for the number preceded by “pub-”.
- Copy the number out of AdSense and paste it into the “Your AdSense Client Identifier” box in FeedBurner.
- Input your “Channel” from AdSense if applicable.
- Scroll to the bottom of the FeedBurner page and click “Save Feed Settings”.
For anyone that’s trying to add Google AdSense for Feeds to their Blogger site:
- Log into Blogger.com.
- At your Dashboard, select the blog to which you are trying to add the AdSense for Feeds.
- Click the “Settings” tab.
- Click the “Site Feed” sub-tab.
- Copy the AdSense for Feeds code out of your Google AdSense site (note that you must be signed up for AdSense and have received activation of AdSense for Feeds in order to access this code).
- Paste the AdSense for Feeds code into the “Article Footer” box.
- Click “Save Settings.”
- Click “Re-Publish Index” once it says your settings have been saved.
- Do a test post and view it through a feedreader like Bloglines to ensure that everything worked correctly.
Note that unless you paste the AdSense for Feeds code into your Blogger template, the ads will not be visible on the HTML version of your site.
This digg describes how a company is trying to distribute PDFs through iTunes — the best part is that it is working, I tried it myself. Now it would be really cool if Apple put some of the Spotlight features into iTunes so that you could search inside PDFs from within iTunes (Windows or Mac).
This digg describes how you can use a program called Handbrake to extract DVDs and organize them in iTunes. Handbrake only work on Mac, but my guess would be that you could find a Windows program that does the same thing and organize your video files in iTunes for Windows.
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Monday, July 18, 2005
Yes, it’s more than 1 year old, but there is a fascinating post on the Topix.net Weblog about Google. From the post:
Google is a company that has built a single very large, custom computer. It's running their own cluster operating system. They make their big computer even bigger and faster each month, while lowering the cost of CPU cycles. It's looking more like a general purpose platform than a cluster optimized for a single application.
While competitors are targeting the individual applications Google has deployed, Google is building a massive, general purpose computing platform for web-scale programming.
This computer is running the world's top search engine, a social networking service, a shopping price comparison engine, a new email service, and a local search/yellow pages engine. What will they do next with the world's biggest computer and most advanced operating system?
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Monday, July 11, 2005
And you can have it! According to this post on BBHub, Papa John’s is giving away a free Blackberry 7100g with any online pizza order. Here’s the fine print from the post:
Of course you'll have to commit to a two-year voice and data service agreement at $74.98 a month. The Cingular Wireless contract consists of an email data plan at $34.99 a month plus a $39.99 a month voice plan.
The voice plan offers 450 anytime minutes, plus 5000 night and weekend minutes and mobile to mobile unlimited calling.
You pay $150 up front and you'll get a $150.00 Mail-In Rebate when your Blackberry 7100g arrives.
Full details from the Papa John’s site here and note that you have to order your base pizza, a Papa John’s side item, and 2 20oz beverages (Coke product, of course) to get the offer; still cheaper than the $349 bas price of the 7100.
Thursday, July 07, 2005
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
The Bowflex Revolution is a radically designed home gym from the people you expect to see selling radically designed home gyms. The machine uses the same kind of technology that is used by astronauts to work out in the space station. The interesting thing about this Bowflex is that it seems configurable into a full upper body workout machine that can easily convert into a rowing machine.
The Revolution is available for pre-order now and should be available by the holidays at a cost of $2,399. Get ready for the Treadclimber and Bowflex Extreme ads and infomercials to be replaced with the Revolution.
I’m sure I’m not the first person to come up with this, but yesterday I came up with a pretty tasty desert treat. Here are the simple instructions:
- Cook some chocolate chip cookies; it’s better if they are softer.
- Toast marshmallows to desired temperature.
- Put cooked marshmallow on top of cooled cookie.
- Eat and enjoy.
The nice part is that there’s not nearly as much mess involved as normal s’mores and the cookie is not nearly as prone to breaking as a graham cracker.