News & Commentary
Content tagged with PC & Servers posted in July 2007
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I Loved My iPhone But I Had To Return It
Commentary  |  7/31/2007  | 
As you may recall, I finally snagged an iPhone a few weeks ago. At the time, I was less than pleased with my experience. I had problems syncing my iPhone with my PCs. Many of you wrote in with some advice on how to better connect my Jesus-phone with my laptop and desktop. While I appreciated your help, it wasn't enough. After 10 days, I returned my iPhone.
7 Apple Briefs
Commentary  |  7/31/2007  | 
Learn to control iTunes using keyboard shortcuts that work in any app, take decent photos with your iPhone, and make a Wi-Fi hotspot on the fly using just your MacBook and a hard Internet connection. Also: Eminem sues Apple (again), the Adium IM client reviewed, and more.
Automakers Can Learn From Computer Industry's Mistakes
Commentary  |  7/31/2007  | 
Software is bringing cool new things to the auto industry, advancing such features as telematics and safety. Automakers also are trying to collaborate more on software standards, but it may not all be great news.
Terrorism In Second Life? Give Me A Break
Commentary  |  7/31/2007  | 
Here in America, we have our share of stupid journalism, but we have trouble competing in the global market. For evidence, I point you to an article in The Australian about terrorists in Second Life.

Are Printers Hazardous To Your Health?
Commentary  |  7/31/2007  | 
OK, now you have another reason to stay away from the office: According to the Queensland University of Technology, laser printers can be hazardous to your health.
Twitter Turns Drivel To Cash
Commentary  |  7/31/2007  | 
Web 2.0 ventures have discovered a simple formula for success: encourage users' conceit that what they say, do, and think is interesting enough to share with others. This is how Twitter, a hot startup, turns a stream of drivel into cold, hard cash.
Daddy, I Want A Gold iPod!
Commentary  |  7/30/2007  | 
For the geek who has everything: An 18K gold iPod Nano, with accompanying golden docking station, remote control, and earbuds. The vendor, Xexoo, removes the case of the device, and replaces it with one made from 100 g of gold.

Just How Successful Are Google's Mobile Initiatives?
Commentary  |  7/30/2007  | 
Japan's No. 2 carrier, KDDI, today said it plans to offer a new mobile e-mail service powered by Google's Gmail. This is the latest in a long line of Google-related mobile announcements. While Google's mobile onslaught continues, this question remains: Just how successful are the search giant's efforts?
Hacking The Vote
Commentary  |  7/30/2007  | 
Anyone following the controversy over whether voting machines promote or threaten our ability to determine who, exactly, has won a particular election was probably not surprised by the initial results of California's review of voting systems released last week. The question is: will this latest evidence that such machines can be easily manipulated force much-needed changes before the next major election?
Rumors Flying About Potential New Apple Products
Commentary  |  7/30/2007  | 
Rumors are flying about products that Apple might introduce soon including a sixth-generation iPod, possibly as soon as early August. Other possibilities: A redesigned iMac, or ultrathin notebook. The rumors were triggered by two little words at last week's Apple earnings conference call: "Product transition."

'Buy It Now' Lives On - For Now
Commentary  |  7/30/2007  | 
A Federal District Court judge in Virginia on Friday ruled against patent troll MercExchange's request for an injunction that would prohibit eBay from using its "Buy It Now" feature. It's a victory in the ongoing struggle to fix the badly broken patent system, but it doesn't address the real issue: MercExchange should never have gotten a patent for something as simplemindedly obvious as "Buy It Now" in the first place.
If AT&T Ran The Highway System...
Commentary  |  7/27/2007  | 
If AT&T ran the highway system, things would be different. Only AT&T-approved cars would be allowed on the roads, all of which would be toll roads. Drivers would have to prepay their tolls, based on the estimated number of miles they expected to drive. Those who drove fewer miles than estimated would get no refund; those who drove more would be charged for the overage at a higher rate.
The Cleaning Up Of Second Life
Commentary  |  7/27/2007  | 
Once upon a time, virtual environments weren't just places where you went in order to meet people in a more interesting environment than that of a chat room or an online whiteboard. They were places where you could reinvent yourself: slay dragons, look like Marilyn Monroe, be rude to your elders. Now, things are different -- at least, in Second Life.
Tiny Projectors Are A Really Big Idea, Really
Commentary  |  7/27/2007  | 
Motorola's announcement that it will work toward building tiny video projectors into its handhelds seems to have been widely misunderstood - at least by the commenters who have responded to the story. "Bad idea"? Come ON, people, this is huge! Who needs this? Everybody who has a cellphone, starting with me.
8 iPhone Briefs
Commentary  |  7/27/2007  | 
Here are some of the best information, tips, and links about the HarryPotter-phone. Learn how to troubleshoot problems, customize ringtones, use non-Apple headphones with the iPhone, and more.

Second Life Geek Meet With Voice
Commentary  |  7/27/2007  | 
Our first Geek Meet using the native Second Life voice technology exceeded expectations two-fold: Keystone Bouchard gave a fascinating presentation on architecture in virtual worlds. And the voice technology worked like gangbusters.

Smartphone Plus Projector Equals Road Warrior Heaven
Commentary  |  7/25/2007  | 
Imagine you're on the final legs of a never-ending road trip. You arrive at the 100th client meeting that week to deliver the PowerPoint you slaved over for weeks. Just as you set up, the projector in the room goes dead. What do you do? Why not use the projector on your smartphone?
AT&T's iPhone Sales Disappoint Stockholders -- EVERYBODY PANIC!
Commentary  |  7/25/2007  | 
AT&T yesterday reported robust early sales for the iPhone -- but not robust enough. Investors expected more, and the price of Apple stock dropped as a result. But the figures represent a single datapoint, with no bearing on the long-term outlook for the iPhone.

Make Your Own iPhone From Paper Or Sand
Commentary  |  7/25/2007  | 
Like to have an iPhone of your own, but think they're too expensive? You can wait until the price comes down. (We'll call this the "less desirable" or "not crazy") option. Or you can do as these hobbyists have done and make your own, from paper or from sand.

Where Is 'Above The Fold' In A Web 2.0 World?
Commentary  |  7/24/2007  | 
Blogger Milissa Tarquini at Boxes and Arrows questions the nature of the so-called "fold" in a Web 2.0 world. Tarquini asks a really great question: Where is the fold?
Americans Use The Mobile Web For Weather While Europeans Prefer Sports Scores
Commentary  |  7/24/2007  | 
When it comes to using the mobile Web, Americans prefer to use their smartphones to check the weather while Europeans opt to keep up with sports scores. That's according to the latest mobile Web data from researcher M:Metrics.
YouTube's Reign of Terror
Commentary  |  7/24/2007  | 
The next leader of the free world may have stood on stage at The Citadel last night, but the real power in the room was YouTube. Politicians are terrified of the video sharing site. How else to explain their participation in a 90-minute YouTube infomercial masquerading as a debate?
Join Us In Second Life For A Geek Meet Presentation On Virtual Architecture
Commentary  |  7/23/2007  | 
Tuesday morning's Geek Meet in Second Life will be special for two reasons: First, the subject: Keystone Bouchard will speak on virtual architecture -- how design principles in the virtual world will evolve to be be different from real-world architecture.

25 Days With An iPhone
Commentary  |  7/23/2007  | 
Like our reviewer John Welch, I've been living with the iPhone since it first came out, so I was very eager to read his in-depth review of the device "Review: Two Weeks With An iPhone," which was a follow-up to my earlier iPhone review, written after living with the device for just one weekend.

Dark Linings In Those Municipal Wi-Fi Clouds
Commentary  |  7/23/2007  | 
More news that the already controversial municipal Wi-Fi projects are getting bogged down by technical, administrative, and political challenges came in the form of reports that the Wireless Silicon Valley project is in big trouble.
VideoJug: Video With Veracity
Commentary  |  7/23/2007  | 
It's a lot of fun to catch the latest user videos on YouTube, but you can never be certain about the verisimilitude of the information you're getting. A new site called VideoJug is determined to become the expert version of YouTube -- a place where you can find how-to videos from various experts for everything from etiquette to eBay to earthquake survival.
Is Your E-Mail Program Too Boring? Why Not Combine E-Mail With Video Gaming?
Commentary  |  7/19/2007  | 
The guys at TechCrunch pointed out what has to be the silliest looking application ever: 3D Mailbox. 3D Mailbox combines e-mail with 3-D graphics. Think of it as Outlook meets
Why I Really Need A Mac To Enjoy My iPhone
Commentary  |  7/19/2007  | 
After weeks of waiting, I finally got my hands on my very own iPhone. Playing with my iPhone has been so much more satisfying than using my neighbor's iPhone. I have one big problem with my new toy, though. It doesn't sync very well with my personal PC.
Video: Van Gogh's 'Starry Night' Re-Created In 3-D In Second Life
Commentary  |  7/19/2007  | 
This hauntingly beautiful video shows construction of a 3-D re-creation of the famous painting by Vincent Van Gogh. The soundtrack is the lovely "Starry, Starry Night," by Don McLean. I think everybody will like this video, but you can appreciate it a little more if you've actually done some building in Second Life.

Needleworkers Knit iPhone, Nintendo, And Sew Full-Sized Ferrari
Commentary  |  7/19/2007  | 
Why shell out big bucks for a real iPhone, Nintendo, or Ferrari, when a homemade replica that you knit or sew is just as good in every way? Except of course, for the minor point of being completely useless?

Book Review: IT Manager Battles The Undead In The Atrocity Archive
Commentary  |  7/17/2007  | 
You don't have many IT-manager action heroes in science fiction. Sure, you have a lot of hackers, breaking into networks and subverting authority. But not a lot of science-fiction heroes save the universe in between staff meetings, working the help desk, and rebooting the file server.

Shocker: Mark Cuban Is Right, YouTube Is Doomed
Commentary  |  7/17/2007  | 
It's not often you see something about Mark Cuban where you're inspired to read more, but that was the case today when I saw this just-posted IEEE Spectrum interview with the maverick Mavericks owner.
Why Do You Need Third-Party Software Just To Turn Off Your iMac Display?
Commentary  |  7/16/2007  | 
Turning down or off the display isn't just a matter of saving energy for Mother Earth. It is also necessary to produce a condition known to interior designers as "darkness." And the iMac, for some reason, lacks that most simple of hardware amenities: An on-off switch that controls just the display.

Overseas Cell Phone Users: More Numerous--And More Courteous
Commentary  |  7/16/2007  | 
Sitting in a London theatre last week waiting for the curtain to rise, we were startled to hear the loudest cell phone ringtone we'd ever heard broadcast over the theatre's loudspeaker--quickly followed by another, then another, then another until there was a virtual cacophony of conflicting bells, whistles, snippets of Europop and Beethoven echoing through the hall.
Twitter As Business Tool
Commentary  |  7/16/2007  | 
It was only a matter of time until bloggers and technologists began touting Twitter as a business tool. I can hear you already: How on earth can a blogging tool that restricts users to only 140 characters be useful for business? The answer is easy: Twitter is a communications tool. If your business needs to communicate, then it needs to Twitter.
View Today's Internet Using Vintage Browsers
Commentary  |  7/13/2007  | 
The Deja Vu Browser Emulator has emulators that clone early 90s browsers such as NCSA Mosaic, Netscape Navigator, Lynx, Internet Explorer and more. View modern Web sites through 13-year-old lenses. For enhanced effect, wear grunge clothes and listen to Nirvana on the cassette deck.

Join Us For Our Friday Geek Meet To Talk About Second Life Stock Exchanges
Commentary  |  7/13/2007  | 
Just as in real life, stock exchanges in Second Life bring investors and entrepreneurs together. Today, we'll hear from several SL stock exchanges in a panel discussion moderated by a Cornell University professor.

Video: This Is What The Web Looked Like In 1994
Commentary  |  7/12/2007  | 
Holy cow, this three-minute promotional video from Digital Equipment Corp. sure takes me back. I was online news editor for InformationWeek around then, we produced a flat Web site much like the ones shown here.

Use Your iPhone As External Storage
Commentary  |  7/12/2007  | 
Smartphones are the multi-tools of electronic gadgetry. I used to use my Palm Treo as a memo pad, storage device for my electronic passwords, shopping list, and of course an Internet access device and PDA. That kind of versatility is the iPhone's big lack. It's great at what it does, but you can't even transfer memos from the iPhone to your desktop.

Will EDGE Kill The iPhone In Europe?
Commentary  |  7/12/2007  | 
Prior to the launch of the iPhone in the U.S., there was speculation that the slow data speeds of AT&T's EDGE network could impact sales of the iPhone. Obviously, that didn't happen. Now it's seems
Will Steve Jobs Launch The iPhone In Europe Next Week?
Commentary  |  7/12/2007  | 
Earlier this week my colleague Richard Martin blogged about a possible iPhone launch in Europe. His post was triggered in part by a set of rumors that claim Steve Jobs has been hanging around London, especially in the Apple store. What's Steve up to?
Why Are Ad Click-Throughs On Facebook So Bad?
Commentary  |  7/12/2007  | 
Facebook may be the hottest thing without the name iPhone, but ads on the social networking site are not. According to a post on the "Welcome to Reach Students Blog," ad click-throughs on Facebook are pretty low, even with precise targeting. Why are ads on Facebook flopping?
Merriam-Webster's Validates DVR, RPG To Lexicon
Commentary  |  7/11/2007  | 
It's the "perfect storm" of technology and "gray literature." So much so, that "Bollywood" should produce a "ginormous" movie spectacular about the changes to this year's dictionary.
A Tale Of Two Browsers
Commentary  |  7/11/2007  | 
Internet Explorer and Firefox are sitting on a bench, enjoying the warm summer sun. Suddenly, Firefox sneezes, reaches for its handkerchief, grabs its cell phone, and calls its doctor. "I think I'm coming down with something," it says. "Is there something I can do to get rid of this problem?" Then IE sneezes. What does it do?
Introducing The "Apple Unvarnished" Blog
Commentary  |  7/11/2007  | 
Apple is white-hot. Mac sales are outstripping Windows at a time when rival Microsoft is stumbling with Vista. iTunes has roared into the marketplace to become the third-largest music retailer in the U.S. And then there's this thing called the "iPhone" -- perhaps you've heard of it?<
No Skype on iPhone? Not So!
Commentary  |  7/11/2007  | 
This just in to our All-iPhone-All-The-Time Desk: If you were bummed because you couldn't run Skype on your iPhone, weep no more. There's a work-around-around. You can install and run SoonR Talk, an AJAX app that works on the Opera Mobile browser version 8.6 (which you presumably also have to install and run) on your iPhone. At least that's Tom Keating's story in his VoIP & Gadgets Blog entry on TMCne
Second Life Usage Declines In June
Commentary  |  7/11/2007  | 
Second Life's population growth didn't just slow in June -- it declined in one key metric. The number of active users -- people who have spent more than an hour per month in-world -- declined 2.5 percent to 495,000 in June, and the growth in total user hours slowed to the lowest rate in six months, Reuters reported.

Being Mobile Doesn't Necessarily Make You Work Smarter
Commentary  |  7/11/2007  | 
While I never question the value of being connected 24/7, I do wonder if it makes me work smarter. Almost everyone is familiar with the notion that we should "work smarter, not harder," but how many of us actually work smarter because of our smartphones and wireless laptops?
Forget MySpace, Facebook Is A Bigger Threat To LinkedIn
Commentary  |  7/11/2007  | 
When it comes to social networking, it seems everyone is obsessed with Facebook. The big meme du jour is that Facebook will soon surpass MySpace as the biggest social networking site on the Web. Frankly, I don't think this is an interesting question. Regardless of who wins this race, both sites have amazing growth numbers and don't seem poised for a downturn anytime soon. The more interesting
Paying Too Much For Long Distance (I.E., More Than Zero) ?
Commentary  |  7/11/2007  | 
When I wrote about a gaggle of new VoIP services recently (see Review: 6 Skype Alternatives Offer New Services I stumbled into one of those subcultures that proliferate around the Web. You know, like The People Who Collect Old Coffee Cans and so on. This one was The People Who Make Free International
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