Archive for November, 2010


Awesome T-Shirt of the day: TSA – Don’t Touch My Junk

This tshirt is hilariously awesome and it needed to be shared.  Everyone knows about the debacle that’s going on with TSA’s crotch grabbing practices, so this would be an awesome sign to carry through an airport.  Best part is that it’s dirt cheap over at Tanga.

$5.99 + $2 shipping

Get the shirt here.


Amazon ebooks are now giftable…finally

I’m not sure what took so long, but Amazon today finally announced the ability to gift Kindle ebooks to anyone — just as you would any other product or service from Amazon’s online store.

The company says that the Kindle is “the most gifted item in the history of” but is still mum on specific sales numbers. While this announcement may help Amazon sell even more Kindles, the company stresses that no Kindle is required to enjoy its ebooks. If anything, the feature is a reminder to consumers that they can read Kindle Books on a variety of platforms — including the iPhone, iPad, Android and BlackBerry phones, as well as on Macs and Windows PCs.

To gift a Kindle Book, you simply need to choose the “Give as a Gift” option for any book in the Kindle Store, and then send the gift to anyone with an email address.

It’s unclear what’s kept Amazon from launching this ebook giving feature for so long. The company has sold boatloads of Kindles since it announced cheaper models in July, which makes me think the ebook gifting feature would have been wildly successful had it launched earlier.

For now, the news will serve as a way to remind people that Kindle ebooks (and Kindle devices) make great gifts — and it may deflect attention away from Barnes and Noble’s recently announced Nook Color. Amazon also recently announced that it will be offering 14-day ebook lending to Kindle users.


The Best Web TV Device: Comparison of Google TV, Apple TV, Roku, and Boxee Box

Google officially introduced its Google TV to the general public recently, launching its Google TV website and revealing a little more about apps and content available on the Google TV devices that will go on sale by the end of this month.

The company has struck a number of alliances with cable networks like TNT as well as online services like Twitter and Pandora to make Google TV more attractive and beat the competition from Apple, Roku and Boxee. But with all those choices, it’s easy to get confused by which content is available on which device — so we decided to come up with a handy scorecard that shows you exactly which apps will be available where.

Google TV Apple TV Roku Boxee Box
Netflix X X X X
Amazon VOD X X
iTunes Store X
Hulu Plus X
YouTube X X X X X
NBA Game Time X X X X X
Pandora X X X
Napster X X
Twitter X Third party app
Flickr X X X

Please note: Both Google TV and Boxee come with integrated browsers, and it might be possible to access some of the content or services listed as not available through this browser. Also, Netflix is currently available via the Boxee PC app, and a company spokesperson told me that they’re aiming to have everything currently available through that application also available on the box.

Finally, this is just a list of apps available today, which will substantially change when Google will introduce Android market access for Google TV, as well as Apple launches apps for Apple TV.

More info on the Apple TV

More info on the Boxee Box

More info on Roku




Some Awesome Android Applications That Are Worth a Look

According to Gartner, Android is all set to become one among the most preferred mobile phone OS out there and burgeoning Android Market is a sign of things to come. Already some 100,000 apps and growing. But how many of these applications are open source after all? There are no reliable statistics. Here is a quick list of 12 useful and open source android applications you might be interested in.

12 Awesome Android Apps Worth a Look
There are Android users who don’t have the vaguest idea of what open source is or what it stands for. Then there are those open source evangelists who bought Android phone primarily because of the reason that it is open source and based on Linux. This post is especially meant for those who are included in the second category.


Amazed is a simple yet addictive accelerometer-based marble-guidance game available in the Android Market. In this game, your goal is to guide the white ball through the maze and reach the green end zone. The game may be simple, but it can give you a good feel of how your phones accelerometer works. Please do check out this collection of open source Android apps included in the apps-for-android package.

K-9 Mail

K9 is an open source email client based on the email application shipped with the initial release of Android. K-9 Mail is equipped with features like search, push email, multi-folder sync, flagging, filing, signatures, bcc-self and more. K9 is focused on making it ever more easier to manage large volumes of email in Android. More info here.

Say My Name

SayMyName is a simple application that speaks the name of the person calling. It uses Text-To-Speech Library to call out a name during a phone call. Detailed review here.

Android SuperGenPass

SuperGenPass is an open source password manager for Android. Instead of randomly generating and storing passwords, SuperGenPass combines a Web site’s domain and your master password to generate a unique password for each web site you visit using a strong cryptographic hash. More info here.


Pedometer counts your steps by using the sensors in the phone. It even calculates your pace (steps per minute) and can help you maintain a desired pace by speaking to you. It will ask you to install the Text-to-Speach library if you enable this option. Pedometer runs as a service, so it keeps counting when the display is off. More info here.


Milege Android application tracks car mileage, gas costs, etc. It even allows importing and exporting of data in various formats and makes it a lot more easier to sync with your existing logs. More info here.

Count Down Alarm

CountDownAlarm is an Android application that provides a basic countdown timer that plays an alarm when it reaches zero – for use with things like cooking, laundry etc. More info here.


Secrets for Android is an application to securely store and manage passwords and secrets on your Android phone. It uses techniques like strong encryption and auto-logout to help ensure that your secrets remain safe. Context-sensitive tips guide you along through its operation, making it easy to use. More info here.


Beem is a feature rich and easy to use Jabber client on Android. Beem is free and contains no ads. Been is an open source software and is licensed under the GNU General Public License Version 3. More details here.


Foursquared is a simple open source Foursquare client for Android. Foursquared is distributed under an Apache 2.0 License. More info here.

Open Sodoku

OpenSudoku is a simple open source sudoku game. It’s designed to be controlled both by finger and keyboard. It’s preloaded with 90 puzzles in 3 difficulty levels, more puzzles can be downloaded from the web and it also allows you to enter your own puzzles. More info here. Thanks to this wiki listing of android applications.


Get a physical keyboard on your iPhone 4 with the Keyboard Buddy case

Apple iPhone 4 owners who have been envious of BlackBerry owners with the integrated thumb keyboard or Droid owners with their sliding keyboard can put an end to all that envy with Boxwave’s newest case, which adds a bit of protection to your smartphone and also provide a thumb keyboard that slides out in landscape mode, mimicking the look and functionality of the Android-powered Motorola Droid and Droid 2 on Verizon Wireless’s network. The Boxwave accessory provides a four-row keyboard with a dedicated row for the number keys; however, the spacebar is squeezed into the last letter row on the bottom as depicted in the picture.

The Boxwave keyboard, called the Keyboard Buddy iPhone 4 Case, provides up to 45 days of use on a single charge and will connect to your iPhone 4 via a Bluetooth connection. The device normally retails for $80, but is currently on sale for $70 through the company’s website.


Review: Sobees – The best Windows Twitter Client

Twitstat, the most popular Twitter clients include applications like Tweetie, TweetDeck, and Seesmic.  Sobees, a free Twitter client for Windows, doesn’t even make the list – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth checking out.

When I’m considering a new Windows Twitter client, there are a few criteria I look for each time: customizability, support for multiple accounts, lists (preferably in columns), native retweet functionality, and all the standard features from the web interface.  Sobees includes all of these features along with great support for Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn.

The Sobees Windows Twitter client is built in .NET so it and works with Windows XP, Vista, and 7.

Customizable Layouts

One of the best features of Sobees is its extremely customizable layout.  After you’ve added your social networks accounts, click the Change Layout button to select from any of 16 different layouts.

You can then assign different portions of the layout to each of your social networks by dragging and dropping them.

View In Columns Or Tabs

Your social networks will be displayed in a tabbed view by default.  This is great if you are working on a small screen, but you can easily change it to a separated column view (like TweetDeck) which is much easier to use.

To switch to the column view, click the Settings button for the particular service you are using then click the View in Columns button.

You will now have a column layout just like TweetDeck, and you can add or remove specific columns by clicking the buttons on the left.

Twitter Lists

Sobees has full support for Twitter lists.  You can select your lists via the dropdown box at the top of the Twitter section.

After selecting a list, it will appear as a new column.

Updating Multiple Services Simultaneously

You can update your social networks individually, but Sobees also includes a unified update button which you can use to update your social networks all at once.  To update your status, click the Update my status on multiple services button then select the networks you would like to post to.

Additional Social Networks

Sobees is more than just a Windows Twitter client; it also supports Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn.  Facebook support includes full access to your news feed, inbox, friends list, profile, and events.

Best of all, you can filter items in your news feed by using the buttons on the left side of the Facebook section.

Languages & Themes

Sobees can be customized to use English, German, French, Spanish, and Italian and also includes 5 different visual themes.  To access these settings, click the Gear icon in the top right of Sobees.


Sobees is a great Twitter client that includes all of the features applications like TweetDeck and Seesmic offer but in a much more customizable package.  Sobees is still in a beta version so don’t be surprised if you find a few bugs, but the development team seems to be very active.  This is definitely one of the best Twitter applications I have ever used, and I hope it grows in popularity in the future.

If you’ve enjoyed the Sobees desktop application, you might also want to check out their web-based application, Sobees Web.


Your Android phone will replace your credit card

Google Goggles now sends you to ads when you snap pics of certain products, Apple brings the Beatles catalog to iTunes, and Android’s Gingerbread update wants to help you replace your credit card.

[via Lifehacker]


Say Avast like a pirate, arrrgh

Welcome aboard, me hearties:

This year, switch avast! to “Pirate English” to keep yer ship safe from treacherous malware and you in a good pirate mood. There’s more to Talk Like a Pirate Day than sayin’ arrr! and putting the Black Spot on a scurvy sea dog. Just click here.

Why talk like a pirate?

“Talking like a pirate is fun,” write Talk Like a Pirate Day founders at “It adds a zest, a swagger, to your everyday conversation. Do you need another reason?”
At AVAST Software, that’s reason enough for us. And since Blackbeard was not looking for booty on his laptop, we’ve kept the pirate element in avast! to a fun level. We’re not going to maroon you on a distant isle.

What’s avast got to do with pirates?

Avast means “stop” or “stand still” in sailor-talk. It has been used since the 17th century and was likely derived from houd vast in Dutch.
We’ve been stopping malware with our avast program for over twenty years. Starting out as an acronym for “Anti-virus – Advanced Set”, the first avast program went to market in 1989. Today’s avast! 5.0 now has 130 million registered users on the high seas, sailing everywhere between the Pitcairn Islands to Norway’s Svalbard archipelago.

Bringing “Pirate English” aboard your ship is simple.
If you don’t have avast! Installed:
Click here to get the latest version.

Get it on deck!

If you have avast! and want to get your computer speakin’ proper “Pirate English”, update your avast! Application with the following steps:

1. Open the avast! application.

2. Go to Maintenance tab and click on Program Update.

click to enlarge

3. Go to settings menu on the top right corner. Chose language, click on Pirate Talk and wait for installation.

click to enlarge

4. Well done. Your avast! is ready to Speak Like a Pirate.


What would you pay for Hulu Plus?

So, Hulu Plus is coming out of beta today. The Internet TV viewing subscription service will be $7.99 a month down from the $9.99 monthly charge during the beta period. With many saying that cable cutting services like Hulu being the wave of the future, they will all come with a price tag of some sort. That’s not a problem, in my view, unless you think of adding them on top of your existing cable monthly bill and then things start to add up.

I know of several cable cutting pioneers who are willing to just make the snip away from cable and some already have. But I’m guessing the folks at Hulu (and others) are trying to find a price point that allows those not so willing to pull the plug to add their streaming service on top of existing coverage and not feel the hit at first.

These services are making it onto all sorts of new boxes and we’ll see more of this once the content providers figure out how to deal with the disruption. Apps are proliferating across mobile platforms and Hulu promises its Apps will be updated very soon.

While the services are the disrupters, so are you, dear consumer. So, here’s a couple of questions. Are you in the mind frame of cutting your cable TV tether? If so, what’s the monthly freight you’re comfortable paying for these type of services? Are you moving towards Roku, Apple TV, Google TV? Or is it too early to tell where this is going?

Let us know in comments.


Speed up Ubuntu software installations with apt-fast

apt-get is an often used Ubuntu Linux command for installing and updating new software in terminal, but it downloads the files with a single connection. Here’s a replacement for apt-get named apt-fast. apt-fast is a fully open-source script by Matt Parnell, it does almost the same thing as apt-get does, except the downloading part.

The download part of apt-fast is handled by axel download accelerator, which is a simple,short process, but everything else is extremely straight forward. It’s roughly 26x faster than apt-get, according to Matt Parnell.

Install axel and setup apt-fast

First, install axel with this command:

sudo apt-get install axel

Then, download apt-fast script from :

Finally, move just downloaded file to /usr/bin, and give it executable privilege:

sudo mv ~/Downloads/ /usr/bin/apt-fast
sudo chmod +x /usr/bin/apt-fast

Now,just use it like apt-get. Such as apt-fast update,apt-fast install packagename,apt-fast dist-upgrade. Should your download stall for any number of reasons, you’ll need to do an apt-fast clean.


NETGEAR ReadyNAS Duo 2-Bay (Diskless) Desktop Network Attached Storage RND2000 Reviews

NETGEAR ReadyNAS Duo 2-Bay (Diskless) Desktop Network Attached Storage RND2000

  • Diskless Network Attached Storage
  • Compact, quiet, and very low-power-consuming
  • Lets your network users share all your files, including music and video, easily and securely
  • Duo has two storage bays and supports RAID for secure storage with great performance
  • ReadyNAS Duo is compatible out of the box with computers running Windows, Mac OS, or Linux

With powerful embedded software, the ReadyNAS Duo makes storing and accessing your personal digital photo collection a snap. Simply connect any USB-enabled digital camera (cameras produced since 2005) to the front-mounted USB port on the ReadyNAS Duo. Then set the camera to automatically copy your digital pictures into the ReadyNAS. The ReadyNAS Duo RND2000 is shipped without disk drive. Just select a hard drive from the ReadyNAS Hardware compatibility List to build the network storage. Add an

List Price: $ 220.99

Price: Too low to display

Western Digital My Book World Edition 1 TB Network Attached Storage WDH1NC10000N (White)

  • Automatic and continuous backup for all the computers on your network
  • Centralize all your family’s digital content
  • Best-in-class performance cutting-edge technologies to deliver high performance read and write speeds ideal for the most demanding users.
  • Built-in media server for streaming music, photos and movies to any DLNA certified multimedia device
  • iTunes server support Centralize your music collection and stream to a Mac or Windows PC using iTunes software

Simplified set up and best-in-class performance make My Bookq World Edition Home Network Storage the easy choice for centralizing data and backing up your home computers. Connect the drive to your network router and you¿re up and running in minutes. Use the included back up software to protect your family¿s PCs with automatic and continuous backup plans. Store all your digital media in one central location so everyone in the family can have access to it. Compatible with both Mac and Windows fi

List Price: $ 199.99

Price: $ 131.49


Dan Kaminsky Releases ‘Phreebird’ For Easy DNSSEC

Renowned researcher Dan Kaminsky at Black Hat Abu Dhabi today will release a free toolkit that lets organizations test-drive DNSSEC deployment and also demonstrates his claims that the protocol is simple to implement.

Download Phreebird from Black Hat here:

“I’ve been making a lot of claims and promises about what DNSSEC is capable of and why the security industry should care. This is the argument I’ve been putting forth, in code form. This is for real,” says Kaminsky, who will make the Phreebird Suite 1.0 kit available today on the Black Hat website. Kaminsky gave a sneak peek demonstration of Phreebird at Black Hat USA in July.

Phreebird Suite 1.0 is a real-time DNSSEC proxy that sits in front of a DNS server and digitally signs its responses. “This is a collection of technologies [that show how] DNSSEC can be very easily deployed on the server side and trivially on client side,” he says. The code is not for operational use, he says, but for testing out the technology.

Read the rest of this entry »


Mozy vs. Backblaze – The fight of the home online backup

By now everyone knows that backing up is a very important thing to do. Everyone has had your gut sink to your toes after doing something on your computer and realizing you have no way to undo it. Some times its not your fault the OS just ate your file, or the hard drive just died. No matter what you have on your computer most likely you do not want to take the weeks that it would take to recreate everything on you hard drives. And that is why backup has been a hot topic for the last many years. The first thing to come along was the external hard drive backup, which at first was very flaky, but now with things like Time Machine it as become a turn on and forget about it system.

The thing that local external hard drive backups does not solve is the times when you loose both your computer and external hard drives. Fire in your house, robbed, flood, and many other things that can happen to your prized electronics. So what do you do? You backup off-site, somewhere outside of the location where your computer lives most of its life. To help solve this problem for personal use many different services have popped up to give you an online backup. The two I have tried ate Mozy and Backblaze.

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SSD HDD Speed test: Kingston SSD vs. WD Scorpio black HDD

Two identical machines.

One with a KingstonV+ 128GB SSD.

One with a Western Digital scorpio Black 250 GB HDD.

Which one will win the race to install Windows 7 first?  (as if you couldn’t guess).   The race is from the drive configuration screen to the “create a username” screen.

SSD on the left, HDD on the right.  Ready, set, GO

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Review: Easy Media Script

I needed a media gallery script that I could rely on as an image host as the one I’ve been accustomed to using has become dated.  There are a lot of them out there, and some users prefer to use wordpress for all of their website needs, but I wanted something different….and by different I meant better.

What I came up with was Easy Media Script.  Although the script is still new and constantly in development, there are a wide selection of functions and features which allow you to upload large numbers of images and embedded videos, and import them into galleries to exhibit to the rest of the world.  There is a user account system which allows users the ability to comment on their favorite media content.  This also supports the use of OpenID and Jainrain so that users can log in with their facebook or twitter accounts — a very useful feature that increases sign up rates.

The Easy Media Script is also packed with a powerful RSS import tool that is capable of importing content along with titles, descriptions, and tags.  These features are also useful if you want to use the script as an aggregator — it can be set up to work like an auto-poster run by a cron job that automatically posts the site’s content using your accounts.

It has social media plugins already built in so that users can share your content with Reddit, Facebook, Stumble Upon, etc., without having to fool with finding the right plugin to do the job.  I found Easy Media Script when I was looking for something to host a simple site with some funny pictures I wanted to be able to share and post on various forums, etc.  So I tried it out on a silly domain I have,  I was literally able to get the site set up within 5 minutes.  It’s a simple install with just a few clicks, so this script is definitely worth a look.

It’s free, customizable (even has a built in smarty template editor), and best of all it can be a time saver.  Download it from here:  Easy Media Script


New zero-day vulnerability affecting Microsoft Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8

Today Microsoft released Security Advisory 2458511 to warn Internet Explorer users of a new zero-day attack that Microsoft has seen in the wild. It affects versions 6, 7, and 8, although Microsoft says that the default installations of IE8 make that version of the browser harder to exploit.

UPDATED: Security researchers at Symantec reported the attack to Microsoft and earlier today posted details.  I’ll summarize. Attackers figured out specific exploits for older versions of IE, 6 and 7 specifically. They hacked otherwise innocent Web servers and added a page with malware. They sent e-mails to specific individuals within various organizations. When those individuals visited the page, the malware told them which version of IE they were using. If it was not IE 6 or 7, the victim saw a blank Web page. If it was, the nasty page downloaded a Trojan that allowed the hacker to install commands disguised as .gif files. The victim need do nothing but visit the Web page. The owners of identified Web sites hosting the malware pages have been contacted and the files removed, but there’s no telling how many more are still out there.

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Blast from the past: Steve Balmer promotes Windows 1.0


Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 – RC released to the web

Improve the efficiency and availability of IT resources and applications with the new virtualization innovations provided in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 RC. Dynamic Memory and Microsoft RemoteFXTM, to help businesses further optimize their datacenter and desktops.

  • Dynamic Memory lets Hyper-V administrators pool available memory on a physical host and dynamically distribute it to any virtual machine(s) running on that host.
  • RemoteFX lets Windows Server 2008 R2 administrators provide a rich end user desktop virtualization experience by delivering vivid content, independent of any graphics stack, to server-hosted virtual and session-based desktops.

Businesses can take advantage of these innovations to help deliver new capabilities such as private cloud and VDI. To learn more about Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 RC and the benefits it provides, read the documents, feature overview and FAQs below.

For full details and the download links, head on over to or  Want to skip the guided experience?  Head directly to the download center at