Saturday, April 30, 2005

Property viewing

I manged to check out a few properties earlier, but a lot will have to wait until next week as some of them are not available for viewing at the weekend. I've got quite a list to check out, so something should be located shortly that is ideal. For now at least, it's time to go out!

Post ID: 744, posted by jase at 07:45 PM
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Friday, April 29, 2005

Things going wrong

When using older hardware and software that has not been used for a while I sometimes forget certain things that have to be done to get it working, as newer releases of software do a lot of it automatically these days. We forget how easy it is, in comparison to say 10 years ago. After pondering over why I could not get Solaris 2.6 to see some tape drives, I later recalled it was because drvconfifg isn't as good as devfsadm. You have to run the tapes command after if you don't reboot using boot -r to get it to see the connected tape drives.

Not many people we have to deal with still use 2.6 so the old methods are forgotten a lot of the time and although something simple in this case, it could have been anything. It's so much easier when you are aware of the older methods as well as the new ones.

Post ID: 743, posted by jase at 07:06 PM
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Thursday, April 28, 2005

Movable Type v3.16 released

A new version of MT has recently been released which mainly addresses quite a number of issues that had been previously reported. Check out the full list of changes and fixes here and the known issues list here. Check out the official release statement, which provides some more information. I'll be upgrading shortly.

Post ID: 742, posted by jase at 06:42 PM
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Wednesday, April 27, 2005

PSP price in the USA

Of course, being able to get a PSP in the USA works out a lot cheap for us. One of my friends is over in New York at the moment and has got one for roughly 140 which is the price they are going for without import tax added. I should have asked him to get me one rather than order one off the Internet as I would have saved a load of money.

Post ID: 741, posted by jase at 07:39 PM
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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Spread the love

Spread the love, not bugs. I've got a cold at the moment, I'm not feeling that good but as always just get on with it. Hopefully it'll not last too long, as it's really annoying being all blocked up one minute and then not the next. It should start getting warm soon, so it's not all bad. When people are ill though, most don't feel like doing anything. I don't blame them!

Post ID: 740, posted by jase at 03:39 PM
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Monday, April 25, 2005

Firefox

I downloaded and installed Firefox on my desk computer at work today, then proceeded to get a number of extensions. Then I noticed that it crashes every now and again. I'm not sure what is causing it, but first things first, I'll remove or disable the extensions one by one and see if that eliminates the problem. If so, I can then avoid any problem plugins and see if anyone else is having any problems, as it could be a conflict with certain ones I am using.

I've been meaning to give Firefox a proper go for a while but had not got to that task yet, with the news that there may be no support for IE7 on Windows 2000, I'm sure a lot of other people will swap to an alternative browser than IE at some point. Being able to manage bookmarks and having the option of sharing them via a central file stored on a server is a good advantage, as well as being able to browse with tabs.

These features have existed in Firefox for a long time and as we all know IE is lacking in a lot of functionality in comparison with Firefox and a number of other popular browsers such as Opera.

I use Furl and del.icio.us at the moment, but I'll be looking to using them more to store and manage my bookmarks in combination with browser plugins to allow easy access and management from virtually any browser.

We're seeing a lot more services being used over the web which make access to information we want available from any Internet connected computer, by accessing data stored on servers and eradicating the need to be locked down to an individual computer.

Post ID: 739, posted by jase at 12:20 PM
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Sunday, April 24, 2005

Renting property in London

Of course renting property is dead money and I want to do it for as short a time as possible. I'm looking at moveing location, so that I'm in a new property that is closer to central London, which means it's a lot easier to go out all night and get back both during the week and at weekends.

Property prices are usually on the increase and I'll hopefully be able to invest in buying somewhere at some point, but for various reasons at the moment I'll be renting. The selection of properties available is vast but they all have one thing in common and that is the prices!

When people want to be as central as possible and living in a nice property people will be prepared to pay more but even looking at what is available, I've found that in London most of the properties, even the rubbish ones, have high rental charges. Most people have known it for a long time, but in most places property is worth investing in if you have the available funds.

Post ID: 737, posted by jase at 01:51 PM
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Saturday, April 23, 2005

Hot Import Nights London

I'm heading to HIN UK later today, to check out some nice modified cars and meet up with some nice models. It should be a good event, although smaller in comparison to some of the other modified car shows. It is all inside too so the weather will not cause any problems.

Post ID: 736, posted by jase at 02:18 PM
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Friday, April 22, 2005

Nokia 6310i

The Nokia 6310i that I have been given as a work phone does not work, the signal seems to keep dropping so I arranged for a replacement. The one I received was also faulty, but now have another one that appears to be okay. Those models are not very good so I may just use one of my old phones instead or use my Nokia 6600 when I get my yearly upgrade next month.

I've not had any problems with Nokia models before but the 6610i appears to have a number of problems. It's mainly used as a business phone so companies use them a lot, maybe Nokia don't bother putting as much effort in when working on models that are aimed for business use as lots of people I know who have them have experienced quite a few issues and have had a number of replacements.

Post ID: 735, posted by jase at 04:11 PM
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Thursday, April 21, 2005

Vodafone

I'm still having to use GPRS at the moment because I can't get a 3G signal where I am currently staying and also there is no date for the ADSL being activated. I'm probably going to be moving to another place in the next few months, so I'll be able to sort things out there. For the moment I'll just have to deal with this really slow GPRS connection when I am not at work.

Post ID: 734, posted by jase at 02:07 PM
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Wednesday, April 20, 2005

UK rolls out WiMax on trains

Soon using GPRS or 3G connections on trains will be a thing of the past. On the train, users can now connect via standard 802.11b Wi-Fi and using onboard equipment, a conversion to 802.16d is made. The system does not need to wait until 802.16e is available, so the implementation can be started earlier. Currently the service is free to use but from June T-Mobile will start charging users. I'm sure a lot of people will use this service as it'll mean real broadband speeds are available on trains instead of limited more by using 3G and GPRS.

As all of the base stations along the track are not yet in place, the system switches users over to GPRS when there is no Wi-Fi signal, of course the user may notice the slower speeds but at least the conection will be maintained. I'm sure it won't be long before we'll be playing online games on our PSP consoles over Wi-Fi.

Post ID: 733, posted by jase at 10:59 PM
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Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Google video upload service launched

After the recent announcements regarding a new Google service that allows users to upload videos, it's now available. You can use your existing Google account to login. If you have lots of video and want another distribution platform, then this service could be ideal.

People will be able to search for material and your video matches will show and since a description and other information can be provided you can increase the chances of people viewing your material. Of course, any DMCA violations will be investigated so it's not worth uploading material that you do not have permission to distribute.

It'll be a really good tool for people making videos to share their material via Google which is used by so many people. The fact people can charge others to download their material, is an interesting feature. What will be next, audio uploads?

Post ID: 732, posted by jase at 10:39 AM
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Monday, April 18, 2005

Time to open the achives?

It's been reported before about the BBC opening up the archive, to allow TV and radio shows from the past to be available to download. Some shows on BBC Radio 1 are archived and put online already, by third parties but there is a lot that I would like to get from the past, which although I could have recorded at the time, didn't.

The new Creative Archive License Group is a newly formed group that not only consists of the BBC but a number of other companies and groups. Check out the pilot information which details 4 stages over the next 18 months.

The BBC plans to make available 100 hours of programming in phase one, I'm not sure if this will be TV video footage only or if it will consist of other material too. I hope it includes old shows from the radio, if not I'm sure this will be supported later on.

Post ID: 731, posted by jase at 10:38 AM
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Sunday, April 17, 2005

Downloading with IE

I've always thought that this is a limitation of certain sites, but it seems that the limit on the number of downloads from the same site at any time is not usually limited by the source HTTP server, but rather by IE.

It complies with the RFC 2616 by limiting the amount per site to 2. I find this annoying, as a lot of the time I start more than two and could not automate the downloading of them all without using a 3rd party application. It seems you can change IE so that you can download more and although this would break the RFC, in this instance it's nothing to worry about.

Check out the article to change the value to a higher one, pointed out on the IE Blog. Another interesting tip is to always ensure you put a trailing "/" at the end of a URL as a URL without one will result in a 301 being sent to the URL with a "/" at the end anyway.

Post ID: 730, posted by jase at 02:29 PM
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Saturday, April 16, 2005

No support for IE7 on Windows 2000?

I'm sure a lot of people are looking forward to the release of IE7, mainly because of a large number of features that have been lacking from IE, such as the ability to use tabs when browsing instead of having to open a lot of Internet Explorer windows, which of course uses a lot more resources.

All is well if you use XP with service pack 2 or later. What about if you don't have SP2 or use Windows 2000? At the moment, it's not looking good. After reading this post about it, Windows 2000 users may well be left in the dark and forced to upgrade. Maybe it's really another marketing idea. There will be design issues to consider, especially if IE7 will really be such a great application as it being described.

Most people running Windows 2000 on desktop systems could upgrade to XP, but we all know how much trouble it can be to do an upgrade or migration and a lot of the time we put it off unless it is required. I've been looking for an excuse to wipe my Windows 2000 based system and then run XP on it, maybe to get IE7 support I'll have to do just that.

Post ID: 729, posted by jase at 09:50 AM
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Friday, April 15, 2005

Xbox 360 and PS3 launch

It's being reported that May 12th is going to be the first public showing of both of these up and coming consoles from Microsoft and Sony. Microsoft has the advantage of launching the Xbox 360 over the entire MTV network, it'll be showing at 8pm in the UK. I'm sure they will be well worth the wait!

Post ID: 728, posted by jase at 12:32 PM
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Thursday, April 14, 2005

Take a guess

I just thought, I wonder when Gmail will hit 2600 megabytes per account? Place your bets! Try guessing without calculating it by using the current rate at what it is increasing to help you.

I'm going to guess at the 25th of August. I might be way off, especially if the size starts to increase faster or more slowly than the current rate but that is what having a guess is all about. I did a quick rough calculation but that involved figures that were very rough, in my head. Have a guess and don't cheat. If you feel the desire, post your guess.

Post ID: 727, posted by jase at 11:45 PM
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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

My PSP has arrived, but...

I've got my PSP, in fact I got it last weekend. The only problem is, I don't currently have any games for it. I thought you at least got one included with the value pack, but that is not the case. At least not for the Japanese release that I imported.

I've ordered a few games now, USA versions, which will play fine on my PSP as there are no region limits on the games but there are for the UMD films that are starting to come through. I'm sure it won't be long before that slight problem is rectified anyway.

Luckily I've not got any dead pixels on my display, which is good considering most people have stated they have some. Until the games arrive though, it's just going to have to sit there!

Post ID: 726, posted by jase at 10:38 PM
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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Only using 10% of our brain capacity?

I've not heard anybody ever say this, but it seems that it is quite a long running thing, proven to be a myth. Multiple forms of scientific evidence are available to show that we do indeed use different parts of our brains spread out of the entire geographic area covered inside our skulls.

Various people have claimed that we don't use most of our brain capacity because most of the physical area is not used. Not used all at once maybe, but generally speaking through an average day all of the different parts are used as we do and experience different things.

As discussed in an article I have just read, which explains why the "10% rule" is fundamentally flawed, you can see that because of how news speads, when people talk about things that they generally don't understand, they can't form a proper calculated opinion based on fact, even if those facts are present because their understanding of the subject is missing.

Due to this, when people discuss topics that they don't understand, they will be more inclined to believe something when they are told it, even if not proven to be fact. In the case of the "10% myth" because so many people are talking about the topic and don't understand it and have not looked at proven scientific evidence, the wrong information spreads. Even though incorrect, because more people are saying the same thing, more people believe it. Unless of course they have looked at the evidence and done their own research to find out the truth.

That's the problem with a lot of things these days. People have their opinions that are biased and not based on fact but rather what they believe to be fact or what they have been tolod by someone who they think knows what they are talking about. Really, it boils down to ignorance. What is the solution?

Education is the solution. People in the know, should correct people they hear misinforming other people about any subject for which they know about or know enough about the facts. Uninformed opinions are biased and unfounded. People should know the facts or keep quiet. There is no excuse for ignorance.

One day something that is a myth, really will be just that instead of turned from a myth to something that appears to be the truth because of too many people spreading false information around.

Post ID: 725, posted by jase at 08:25 PM
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Monday, April 11, 2005

Mapping Google News

BuzzTracker has been busy mapping Google News for quite some time now. If you're interested in certain news topic, you can easily find a lot of different news stories in relation to that topic or search via a certain geographic area. It's a tool which I'm sure will be used quite a lot, give it a try.

Post ID: 724, posted by jase at 11:35 PM
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Sunday, April 10, 2005

No more BitKeeper for Linux kernel use

Linus has decided to no longer use BitKeeper for the management of the Linux kernel deveopment because of recent changes that will mean the freer version will be limited and will not meet the requirements of many Linux kernel programmers.

It's been in use since 2002 and has done the job it was implemented for very well but it is time to change. There are alternatives that are being looked at and the change should not have much of an impact once people are used to using the new system.

Post ID: 723, posted by jase at 03:59 PM
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Saturday, April 9, 2005

More PSP stuff

In what is the first of a kind, a PSP portal has been setup to allow you to easily browse to various sites on your PSP. You can access the Internet via the browser in Wipeout Pure and by changing some DNS information you can visit any site.

If you want to read a comic on your PSP you can also do that already. There will be a lot more on the way, no doubt.

Post ID: 722, posted by jase at 04:46 PM
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Friday, April 8, 2005

Google Q&A service

Google has launched a new feature which will save us time when looking for answers. Certain queries will now produce the exact information you require as part of the search results. The link from which the information was gathered is also displayed so the site will get some publicity from that.

I've tried it and it did not appear to work for the examples listed in the article I read or for a number of other search criteria that I tried. It's in the early stages of development implementation, so maybe it's not working at the moment but when it starts helping out with more answers to questions, it'll be great.

Post ID: 721, posted by jase at 12:20 PM
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Thursday, April 7, 2005

How to blog safely

I've just read an article which provides some information about how to blog and not get fired as well as how to write a blog and keep your identity anonymous. The number of people being fired for their blog content is rising so of course being sensible is a must. There are various actions you can take, such as excluding your blog from the search engine indexes for example, if you desire. The article only touches the surface of the issues but it's a nice guide for people that are interested.

Post ID: 720, posted by jase at 02:14 PM
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Wednesday, April 6, 2005

WEP is even easier to crack than we thought

A proof of concept demonstration by the FBI, using some tools available in the public domain, showed that it is possible to break the security that is provided by WEP in three minutes. Previously it took a while longer because so many packets had to be captured to run a full analysis on them. The new tools use statistical techniques that focus on semi random 24 bit (IV) numbers that are captured and then a dictionary attack completes the method used to obtain the key in such a short period of time.

Considering that a lot of wireless access points are not even using WEP, one one think that it's not too much of a problem as most are wise open anyway. Although totally true, it's just as bad having no security as thinking you are safe when really you're not. In fact, it could pose more of a problem when a false sense of security is in place. For example, if someone knew their network was wide open they would be less likely to store sensitive information. It's not always the case, but would be most of the time.

If they thought their network was secure and locked down, they'd impose less restrictions on storing sensitive information so have have a false sense of security is asking for trouble. Security through obscurity doesn't always work, but it can help. Although it should not be the only line of defence, in regards to wireless there are some easy things you can do.

Using certain tools, you can create thousands of fake access points, which protects your real one to a certain degree. Using this approach along with WPA instead of WEP greatly reduces the chances of your network being penetrated via a wireless access point. There are firmware upgrades for most wireless devices now which will allow you to use WPA instead of WEP. Of course, all of this does not apply if your access point is wise open and most are, a lot of them are not even rogue!

Post ID: 719, posted by jase at 01:58 PM
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Tuesday, April 5, 2005

The bionic eye

Things are moving along in the quest to design a device that acts in the same way as the human eye, allowing someone who is blind or has limited vision to make objects out. Work has been going on in this area for a long time, but more progress has been made recently. Although it will be a while longer before people will be able to get this technology, tests will be carried out in the future.

It's a great step forward for people that have no vision at all and for people that are born blind or loose their sight very quickly, it will definately change their lives. Thirty or fourty years ago people would not have said that creating an eye out of components and putting it inside the skull then using it to stimulate the appropriate cells to send signals to the brain would be possible.

At the speed that technology moves forward, things we think are never going to happen now, will probably be just another problem solved in the years to come. Read all about the bionic eye here.

Post ID: 718, posted by jase at 01:50 PM
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Monday, April 4, 2005

Amaztype

Amaztype is pretty smart for searching for books. At the moment only the main Amazon site is supported but it's going to expand. It allows you to search for books and not only are the covers displayed, they are displayed taking the form of the letters of your provided search criteria, mine was Linux.

Details are provided on each book and you can then be taken to the appropriate Amazon listing if required. It provides a new look to searching Amazon and keeps things nice and simple as well as providing just the information you want.

Post ID: 717, posted by jase at 01:52 PM
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Sunday, April 3, 2005

IRC on the PSP

You can now chat on IRC as well as browse the Internet on your PSP. Not a bad start, there will be more to come. It'll be good if Sony actually releases updates that provide applications to do these things properly as what is available so far is a bit limited but does the job. Mine should be arriving at home today, but I'll have to wait until next weekend to collect it. It'll be worth the wait though.

Post ID: 716, posted by jase at 11:40 PM
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Saturday, April 2, 2005

Gmail storage is still growing

Gmail has increased the amount of space available to accounts to over 2GB and although the increase rate has slowed down, it's still going. I'm sure we'll see increased space being provided by other providers shortly if previous examples are followed.

I'm more than happy with 1GB so anything else is a bonus. If the size of attachments are increased on Gmail people will use it to store a lot more files.

Post ID: 715, posted by jase at 11:40 PM
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Friday, April 1, 2005

Gmail 1st birthday, more space for every account!

If you visit the Gmail page today you'll see the counter gradually going up and up. Each account will have 2GB by the end of today and with plans for this to increase even more in due course, the other providers have got something to think about. It's the Gmail 1st birthday, so Gmail are dishing out more space as a present.

You may have also noticed Google Gulp. An interesting read, but of course in case you have not yet been informed, it's the 1st of April which means it's the biggest day for pranks and jokes of the year so Google Gulp is probably a joke, but we said that about Gmail. Maybe Google are expanding and taking on the drinks industry. Who knows, you could be asking for a pint of Google in no time!

Post ID: 714, posted by jase at 11:57 AM
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RFID chip on passports

I don't think the idea of putting RFID chips on passports is a good idea. Especially since they are not going to even contain any encryption. We all know the most systems are usually cracked in no time at all, so why increase the risk to pople having information stplen from them without them knowing, by wanting to use an up and coming technology for a purpose that it is not really designed for?

With changes made to the current plans, it could work. But there is no real need for RFID to be used. There are advantages, but I don't think they measure up when compared to the potential security risks associated with transmissing personal data via a wireless system that contains no real security.

There are plenty of other alternatives that could be used to increase productivity when checking passport or other identification without increasing the risk of this information being available to anyone with freely available equipment. There are enough cases of identity theft taking place, there's no reason to increase this number.

Visit RFID Kills to post your comments about the topic of including RFID chips in all new American passports. Of course, once one country does it the race will be on for all the sheep to follow, which in this case certainly wouldn't be a good thing unless security is improved. Also check out the comments on Slashdot.

Post ID: 713, posted by jase at 11:38 AM
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