Saturday, March 05, 2005

Is Apple the new Microsoft?

This article poses the question, and it's a valid question. All I can tell you is, in my experiences recently - they aren't the company they used to be.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Big Brother is watching...

Tadayoshi Kohno, a doctoral candidate at the University of California San Diego has authored a research paper outlining a way to 'fingerprint' a computer remotely, allowing someone to track it no matter where it connects to the internet. Here's a link to an article on ZDNet Australia that summarizes his findings. Application of his technique could be used to "help track laptops as they move, perhaps as part of a Carnivore-like project" or "obtain information about whether two devices on the Internet, possibly shifted in time or IP addresses, are actually the same physical device." He also states that "For all our methods, we stress that the fingerprinter does not require any modification to or cooperation from the fingerprintee." Kohno and his team tested their techniques on many operating systems, including Windows XP and 2000, Mac OS X Panther, Red Hat and Debian Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD and even Windows for Pocket PCs 2002. Whoa. A little disturbing to think of the possible ways this could be used against people by government agencies, or evil hackers though. The 'fingerprint' technique can even sniff out PC's that are behind a NAT (Network Address Translation) device like a router, so there's no way to hide from it, apparently. Maybe nothing to worry about, but it's like I always say - Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that people aren't out to get you.

Online Gallery from the New York Public Library

The New York Public Library is creating a new online gallery of over 275,000 images digitized from it's collection. It contains illuminated manuscripts and vintage posters, rare prints, photographs and historical maps, plus illustrated books and much more. It's being optimized to handle the likely very high traffic to the site, but it'll be available here once it's ready. You can read more about it here. This looks like it will be very deeply cool once it's up and running.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Star Wars Episode III trailer news

In case you haven't heard yet, the 'full release' trailer (with over 2 minutes of footage from the movie) for Episode III will premiere during the March 10th episode of The OC. Then it'll be shown in theatres starting March 11th before Robots. It'll also be available at right after The OC, but only if you're a Hyperspace member. It'll start showing on for non-members of the 14th.

Oh, this sounds like a bad, bad idea

A new product showcased at Microsoft's TechFest on Wednesday was a robot teddy bear prototype, designed to help parents monitor their children. It would incorporate a wireless internet connection and a camera to allow a parent to observe their child online, while the bear's head swivels around to keep an eye on the child thanks to a facial recognition program. Scary idea, if you ask me. I don't think I'd be keen to trust my kid to a Microsoft product - but a lot of these things at the TechFest never really make it to final market products, so who knows if this will ever be available on store shelves near you. I kinda think the idea of a robot child monitoring system itself is a bad idea, my parents didn't have to much trouble monitoring me when I was a child, and they did it the old fashioned way. You know, actually being there - in the same house. Heck, even in the same room sometimes! I know, that's just crazy talk, isn't it?

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The Amazing Race season 7 premiere

Wow, it's very cool to have another Amazing Race so soon after season 6 ended, and the new seventh season kicked off with a overall pretty cool 2 hour episode last night. I'm still not remembering specifics about every team (that takes a few weeks), and I'm not as annoyed at Rob and Amber as I thought I would be (but I'm still not a fan of the stunt casting on TAR). I kinda liked Ryan and Chuck (my wife and I nicknamed them 'Boomhauer', cause they've got that same accent and fast speech pattern), the first team eliminated - which is a depressing parallel to last season, when I thought Avi and Joe could be fun Racers and then they were the first team eliminated. We'll see how the next few weeks go, I'm hoping that this season ends better than last. In a disturbing development, they had an ad soliciting Racers for next season, and they're looking for families of four. Not sure how I feel about a Family Edition of TAR...