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It’s only going to get worse… our privacy is almost gone.

June 9th, 2013 | 1 Comment | Posted in Tech Goodies
Understand why it matters…
Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations

The 29-year-old source behind the biggest intelligence leak in the NSA’s history explains his motives, his uncertain future and why he never intended on hiding in the shadows.. here.

It’s worth republishing this old story on how Google and the government become Big Brother.. not so far fetched today.

Scroogled by Cory Doctorow

October 2007 issue of Radar magazine

Greg landed at San Francisco International Airport at 8 p.m., but by the time he’d made it to the front of the customs line, it was after midnight. He’d emerged from first class, brown as a nut, unshaven, and loose-limbed after a month on the beach in Cabo (scuba diving three days a week, seducing French college girls the rest of the time). When he’d left the city a month before, he’d been a stoop-shouldered, potbellied wreck. Now he was a bronze god, drawing admiring glances from the stews at the front of the cabin.

Four hours later in the customs line, he’d slid from god back to man. His slight buzz had worn off, sweat ran down the crack of his ass, and his shoulders and neck were so tense his upper back felt like a tennis racket. The batteries on his iPod had long since died, leaving him with nothing to do except eavesdrop on the middle-age couple ahead of him.

“The marvels of modern technology,” said the woman, shrugging at a nearby sign: Immigration — Powered by Google.

“I thought that didn’t start until next month?” The man was alternately wearing and holding a large sombrero.

Googling at the border. Christ. Greg had vested out of Google six months before, cashing in his options and “taking some me time” — which turned out to be less rewarding than he’d expected. What he mostly did over the five months that followed was fix his friends’ PCs, watch daytime TV, and gain 10 pounds, which he blamed on being at home instead of in the Googleplex, with its well-appointed 24-hour gym. He should have seen it coming, of course. The U.S. government had lavished $15 billion on a program to fingerprint and photograph visitors at the border, and hadn’t caught a single terrorist. Clearly, the public sector was not equipped to Do Search Right.

The DHS officer had bags under his eyes and squinted at his screen, prodding at his keyboard with sausage fingers. No wonder it was taking four hours to get out of the god damned airport.

“Evening,” Greg said, handing the man his sweaty passport. The officer grunted and swiped it, then stared at his screen, tapping. A lot. He had a little bit of dried food at the corner of his mouth and his tongue crept out and licked at it.

“Want to tell me about June 1998?” More »

Someone Finally Has Made a Scooter For Men.

April 14th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted in Tech Goodies

What does a fat woman and a scooter have in common? They are both fun to ride till a friend sees you.

Now BMW has changed it for the better:

Called the the Urban Mobility Vehicle, it beats the Smart Car concept by providing something cool, fun and fast.

First ride story here..

Twitter Is Driving Politicians Crazy

April 13th, 2012 | 3 Comments | Posted in Tech Goodies

From NDP MP Charlie Angus:

“Being on Twitter is like being badgered by a drunk on a 24-hour bus ride,” Angus wrote in his manifesto on the Huffington Post.

“Twitter seems to be morphing into a bully pulpit for trolls. It is a technology that favours the flash mob. In England, the racist takeover of some Twitter feeds has resulted in people going to jail. The digital mob is no different from a street mob. It can be excitable, goodnatured or vicious, but don’t ever mistake the mob for a democracy.”

He joins a growing number of public figures who’ve decided they’ve had enough. Among them is Manchester City soccer player Micah Richards, who is black, and who abandoned Twitter because as a friend of his told a British newspaper: “In recent months, there’s been an increase in racist abuse from a small and depressing minority, and he decided enough was enough.”

The more we can get politicians off of Twitter, the better. Great work trolls.

Whoo Hoo! I Have Hulu

January 9th, 2011 | 5 Comments | Posted in Tech Goodies

One of my great frustrations when I moved from the US to Vancouver was not getting access to US websites as a US resident.

In some cases, like iTunes, I want to be seen as Canadian. (It costs less with the dollar plummeting.)

Being seen as a Canadian resident means losing access sites like to Hulu. Hulu can’t be watched in Canada as it’s network sensitive. The TV powers don’t want us watching it, so they’ve blacked it out.

Hulu has a lot of the top shows and HD programming – all for free. With a HDMI link from my Mac to my flatscreen, I can now watch all the shows I like, when I want. It’s almost like TIVO on demand.

I found a work-around called Hide My Ass. Hulu hasn’t blocked this proxy yet.

Happy Hulu’ing. Get it and then check out my favourite show (Not available in Canada):

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Paddy's Pub: The Worst Bar in Philadelphia (season 4, episode 8)

The Modern Day Christmas Story

December 22nd, 2010 | No Comments | Posted in Tech Goodies

If Jesus was born today.

Just for Techies

August 6th, 2010 | 1 Comment | Posted in Tech Goodies

Another funny German meme…

What Happens When You Have Way Too Much Time On Your Hands

May 16th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted in Tech Goodies

At the same time, I’d like one of these.

Smoke ’em If You Got ’em

May 14th, 2010 | 21 Comments | Posted in Tech Goodies

e-cigarette e-smoke

Great inventions and a way to beat the taxman:

In a US ruling, a judge ruled the Food and Drug Administration may not block the importation of “electronic cigarettes,” battery-powered versions of conventional smokes.

If yu are a smoker and haven’t heard of this yet, check out this site…

After your initial investment, it costs about $5-10 per equivalent carton of smokes.. leaving the taxman with nothing.

As the e-cigarette is essentially a nicotine patch, with the joyous mechanics of smoking, this is the way it should be.

Watch for Ottawa to make a move once this catches on. Canadians paying $10-a-pack will love this. Plus you can smoke in bars and planes again without annoying anyone.

A blurb from the esmoker mag:

Electronic Cigarettes (a.k.a E-Cigarettes or E-Cigs) are quite literally the next wave of recreational smoking. While tobacco cigarettes deliver a whole host of carcinogens as they are burned and inhaled, toxicological studies on e-cigs show it to be a much safer means of delivering nicotine while still resembling typical smoking behavior.

E-Cigarettes do not produce tar so your lungs are not polluted, your teeth and fingers will not stain, your clothes and skin will not stink while those around you will not be offended.

Whereas in most developed countries a smoker is required to step outside for a smoke, e-cig smokers can smoke anywhere because the ’second-hand smoke’ contains nothing dangerous to those around you. Being an electronic smoker means not having to leave your friends and loved ones for a smoke, it means you get to enjoy a smoke like you normally would but in a more comfortable location. Not only will you not harm those around you, your walls will not turn yellow and your room or car will not stink.

Imagine having an electronic cigarette and relaxing while traveling on a plane or at the bar without having to leave your seat or your drink. Circumstances like this can be frustrating to the modern tobacco smoker but the e-cig smoker experiences none of these difficulties. The modern tobacco smoker faces a whole host of health problems related to smoking while the e-cig smoker enjoys a much more measured, controlled and safer smoking experience.

Electronic cigarettes are the future of smoking and it is time for all smokers to evolve and leave tobacco with all its dangers and annoyances behind. Electronic cigarettes are the new, safer and more enjoyable way to smoke.

He Forgot To Say Flash Sucks

April 29th, 2010 | 3 Comments | Posted in Tech Goodies

Steve Jobs released a great article on why Apple doesn’t allow flash to play on its iPhone, Ipod and iPads.I have long disliked flash on the web, not only because it does nothing to help your website get found, but also because it is so proprietary. As a Mac user from the beginning, I couldn’t agree with him more.

Thanks Steve for clearing the air:

Thoughts On Flash

Apple has a long relationship with Adobe. In fact, we met Adobe’s founders when they were in their proverbial garage. Apple was their first big customer, adopting their Postscript language for our new Laserwriter printer. Apple invested in Adobe and owned around 20% of the company for many years. The two companies worked closely together to pioneer desktop publishing and there were many good times. Since that golden era, the companies have grown apart. Apple went through its near death experience, and Adobe was drawn to the corporate market with their Acrobat products. Today the two companies still work together to serve their joint creative customers–Mac users buy around half of Adobe’s Creative Suite products–but beyond that there are few joint interests.

I wanted to jot down some of our thoughts on Adobe’s Flash products so that customers and critics may better understand why we do not allow Flash on iPhones, iPods and iPads. Adobe has characterized our decision as being primarily business driven–they say we want to protect our App Store–but in reality it is based on technology issues. Adobe claims that we are a closed system, and that Flash is open, but in fact the opposite is true. Let me explain. More »