It’s a gorgeous day and I’m going home… but here’s what I’ve read ;)

Sunshine… 80 degrees… must leave the office….

Here’s the reading list… Have a good weekend.

ITP Spring Show 2008 » BrushBots – Brush Bots are tiny machines that work in tandem with the user in creating generative art. Released on top of a piece of paper, the BrushBots zoom, careen, and spin around the interior of a simple wooden frame in wild and unpredictable patterns.

Sony PS3 publishes on Youtube — Sony Computer Entertainment announced today in Japan that YouTube video uploads could now be integrated into PlayStation 3 games, “a first for home game systems,” according to Nikkei.

Data Portability: It’s The New Walled Garden — A huge battle is underway between Google, MySpace and Facebook around control of user profiles and, therefore, users themselves. And their three new products, Data Availability, Facebook Connect, and Friend Connect, are all designed to further that goal.

Apple dismisses Safari vulnerability | Tech news blog – CNET — Safari users are at risk of littering their desktops with malicious software because the browser does not ask for user permission when downloading files in the way that Firefox and Internet Explorer do…

Comcast: Comcast Blocks BitTorrent Traffic 24 Hours a Day — gizmodo reports a study done by the Max Planck Institute in Germany calls BS on that excuse by pointing out the fact that Comcast blocks torrents 24 hours a day, not just during peak hours. Not only that, they block every single day of the week as well…

Makin’ Music with John Mayer from John Mayer, Judd Apatow, Kristen Bell, GerryBednob, Ian Roberts, and Cohen/O’Brien

Vista Vulnerability Study Puts Microsoft on Defensive (Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine Online) — “The blogosphere was buzzing over a series of denunciations after one company’s claim that the Vista was more vulnerable to exploits than previous OSes” by Jabulani Leffall, May 14, 2008

Windows Vista and Malware: not as vulnerable as some would have you believe (Windows Vista Security blog) — Recently there have been some questions raised about the susceptibility of Windows Vista to malware – specifically, that it’s more susceptible to malware than Windows 2000. Austin Wilson refutes the claim and outlines some of the issues with the report.

Show Us Your Home: Steve Lindsay Edition | Brian Johnson | Channel 10 — Steve Lindsay has an amazing Windows Media Center system that includes support for remote access, Windows Home Server, Xbox 360, and even his home phone.

MCE Home Server Manager Update | Media Center and Home Server Global HotSpot | Channel 10

With utilities bills soaring, some Seattleites turning to solar power (Seattle Times) by Nicole Tsong — With current tax breaks and incentives, it generally takes 20 to 25 years to recoup the solar investment, said Mike Nelson, director of the Northwest Solar Center, an extension program of Washington State University.

Microsoft TouchWall: Surface for the Common Man — gizmodo reports that crunchgear covered Microsoft’s new “alternative to the Surface called the TouchWall—a rear-projection system constructed from just “a few hundred dollars worth of readily available hardware.” And it has a very cool demo… May 15 2008

Question Of The Day: What Gadget Can You Not Live Without, Even for a Day? – According to a survey by IDC and Nortel, for over a third of people, their cellphone is the most important thing in their pocket—they’d even leave their wallet and keys at home if they could only take one thing with them for 24 hours.

Your Chance to Finish a Movie Microsoft Started – New York Times  By STUART ELLIOTT, May 8, 2008 – “CALLING all would-be Judd Apatows, Martin Scorseses and Coen brothers. Your cinematic ambitions may be supported by an unlikely patron, based not in Hollywood but more than a thousand miles to the north in Redmond, Wash.”

Hopes for the future of Office 2007 collaboration (Infoworld) — Of the new Office servers, J. Peter Bruzzese (May 14, 2008) writes “There are, however, missing pieces and unfinished parts to these servers, though it’s possible that the next releases will include more of what we need. On the collaboration side, let’s t

to Office Server opinion Groove … 2 days ago

The ABCs of securing your wireless network (arstechnica) — Tech site Ars Technica runs down the basics of securing your home wireless network with the most secure and up-to-date methods. The main takeaway is that when you enable encryption on your wireless router, use WPA encryption instead of WEP

Rumor: 360 dashboard update to support game installs, ‘motion sensor devices’ – Joystiq has “the “incomplete” list of unconfirmed features [on a reported xbox 360 update including] “Calibration options for motion sensor devices” and “store installation data on Storage Device for faster loading?” Microsoft says: “We don’t comment on rumours…”

Hands-On: Tranquil PC T7-HDx Storage Device | We Got Served – Britain’s Tranquil PC had the distinction of releasing the world’s first Windows Home Server, the T7-HSA, back in September 2007. We Got Served received one of the first units off the production line and gave it a glowing review- we loved its small size…”

Author Archive for Eric Picard on ClickZ – Eric Picard is the director of advertising strategy and emerging media planning at Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions. In his role, he helps set corporate-level strategy for how Microsoft approaches advertising from a business and technology standpoint.

Mac Office sales soar on Apple’s gains | Beyond Binary – A blog by Ina Fried – CNET — “Microsoft’s Mac unit is set to disclose on Tuesday that copies of the new Office for Mac 2008 are flying off the shelves at three times the rate of its predecessor… said the sales are the highest in the 19-year history of the unit.

AppleInsider | Road to Mac Office 2008: PowerPoint ’08 vs Keynote 4.0 — This report goes to great lengths to explore the origins, history, and maturity of Microsoft’s PowerPoint. For those readers with limited time or who are only interested in what’s due in PowerPoint ’08 as part of Office 2008 for Mac, you can skip…

Where the Bugs Are – MSN Health & Fitness – Health Topics — The journal Science says to make note of the places where the bugs lie and swat them before they can do harm. Here’s an updated to-disinfect list for all the surprising places (and people) contagion clings to.

The 50 Greatest Commercial Parodies of All Time – — In this feature, assembled fifty of the best. Unfortunately, many of SNL’s most infamous are no longer available online, due to NBC’s copyright-enforcing blitz a while back.

Fear, but Few Facts, on Hybrid Risk – Hybrid Vehicles and Electromagnetic Fields – New York Times — Jim Motavalli of teh NY Times writes (April 27, 2008) that “ALMOST without exception, scientists and policy makers agree that hybrid vehicles are good for the planet.

MceFM: in Windows Media Center — MceFM is a free Windows Media Center plug-in that integrates music recommendations and streaming services from into Vista Media Center PCs. It also references the music in your Media Center library to determine recommendations…

Laptops: How to Thief-Proof Your Laptop — PC World magazine rounds up eight tips to stop thieves from stealing your laptop, the most obvious-yet-effective of which is simply locking it up.

Combyo: hot deals and bargains aggregator with price comparisons and deal alerts — Got a product you want to find for a steal, but not enough time to run through Fatwallet, Slickdeals, BensBargains, or any other of the deep-discount sites? Deal aggregator Combyo gives you results on any product, filtered by date, source, or category…

Keyboards harbour harmful bacteria — A new UK study shows that keyboards swabbed from an ordinary London office had more harmful bacteria than—you know what’s coming—a toilet seat. Yeeks! The accompanying survey showed that most users clean their keyboard infrequently (if at all)… + YouTube = music tv goodness — Web site + YouTube is a mashup that pulls music videos from YouTube based on artists and music in your profile. To use it, just hand over your username or the name of an artist you like and it starts streaming YouTube music videos.

Microsoft Windows Home Server Community Forums – A place to discuss Windows Home Server software and how it works

MagToo Stitches Panoramas Together Online for Sharing — Looking for an easy way to stitch together a cluster of photos you took of that great vacation scene? MagToo, a free online panorma-sharing service, offers a free online tool to create 360-degree panoramas (or more simple wide-angle stitches)…

Telemarketers: Identify Telemarketers at CallerComplaints — Next time you miss a call from an unknown number, check if it’s a telemarketer on the CallerComplaints web site. CallerComplaints maintains a user-submitted database of telemarketer phone numbers and even rounds up the worst offenders.

Glasnost: Test if your ISP is manipulating BitTorrent traffic 

Those Mac users think they’re so cool (NPR Marketplace) — A new marketing study has found Mac owners tend to think they’re more extraordinary than the average Joe. They’re also more likely than PC users to whiten their teeth, drive hybrids, drink Starbucks coffee and eat organic food. Andrea Gardner reports.

Stolen Laptop Helps Turn Tables on Suspects – New York Times — As noted above, NPR reported that Mac owners “tend to think they’re more extraordinary than the average Joe.” Lisa Foderaro of the NY Times reports that some are also felons, fingered by remote photography.

BitTorrent: Determine If Your ISP is Throttling Your BitTorrent Traffic — Web application Glasnost simulates BitTorrent downloads on your computer to determine whether or not your internet service provider (ISP) is throttling your BitTorrent transfers.

Hive Five: Best Online File Sharing Services — lifehacker asked readers to “share your favorite file-sharing service, and over 200 nominations later, we’ve rounded up the five most popular services. Hit the jump for a look at the top five, and then cast your vote for the ultimate file-sharing service.

YouTube: TimeTube Takes You Back in Video Time — lifehacker notes that “YouTube search webapp TimeTube creates a timeline of video clips for a certain search. Search for something (like “American Idol”) and you’ll get back a timeline (or “tubeline”) of video clips. Pan, zoom and watch the clips right on

Featured Windows Download: DExposE2 Like Mac Expose but Better — Windows only: Freeware application DExposE2 is a clone of Mac OS X’s Expose feature for Windows XP and Vista. Aside from the basic Expose features, which we’ve seen from a lot of clones in the past, DExpose2 features a handful of extra features like inter

Cappuccino PC main site — Cappuccino designs, integrates and manufactures small form factor PCs. “Our feature products are mini pc, small pc, book pc and cube pc that fit into all environment and applications like kiosk, POS, vehicle , medical and more.”

Windows Vista Help: Connect to another computer using Remote Desktop Connection

vmcNetFlix to manage your NetFlix subscription — Gizmodo notes that “By installing the vmcNetflix plug-in to a Vista Premium Media Center computer, you can watch streamed Netflix content on an Xbox 360. It’s buggy, but it’s a lot better than watching Netflix on a laptop screen.”

Inside Microsoft’s war against Google (BusinessWeek) — With Yahoo off the table, Microsoft to challenge Web juggernaut alone, By Jay Greene, May. 9, 2008

How To Install uTorrent on Windows Home Server « MS Windows Home Server

“Back to My Mac” saves a stolen laptop – tuaw – An Apple Store employee had a party and then her place was burglarized, and her new Mac was taken. When a friend sees she’s online and tells the owner, so the owner remotely accessed the PC and snapped a photo of the suspect with Photo Booth. Case closed.

Microsoft’s XP for low-cost PCs defines some boundaries – Engadget reports that “Microsoft is setting the limits for ULPCs at 10.2-inch screens, 80GB of storage, 1GB of RAM, 1GHz processors (with some exceptions) and no touchscreens. ”

Swtched On: Green Plug tries to replace the worry warts (Part 1) – Engadget — GreenPlug is taking on one of gadetry’s holy grails – a universal connector that can work on practically any portable electronics device. GreenPlug would turn the frequently forgotten and mismatched AC adapter into an accessory ecosystem.

Windows Home Server Add-ins | We Got Served – The Windows Home Server Site

WebGuide – Streaming TV, Remote Scheduling and Media Sharing for Windows Vista and Media Center — WebGuide allows you to remotely view live and recorded TV programs and to remotely schedule and manage your recorded television programs, music, pictures and videos on your Media Center or Windows Vista PC.

Microsoft and free software? I don’t think so… — Terry Hancock writes on freesoftwaremagazine that “Some have suggested that Microsoft might embrace free software and thus resolve the present conflict. That actually would be a terrific strategy for them, but I don’t think that Microsoft is smart enough…”

How to get full YouTube working on your Windows Mobile Phone — Windows Mobile phones have a way to stream YouTube videos from the real, full YouTube site.

Interview with Kurt Denke, the man who shut “Monster Cable” up — Kurt Denke is the owner of Blue Jeans Cable; Monster Cable attacked Blue Jeans Cable on the basis of “Intellectual Property violations”. You should read Kurd Denke’s response. It’s a very enjoyable read

Guitar Hero: On Tour to land in Nintendo DS bundle this June – Engadget — My son will be thrilled: “Activision CEO Mike Griffith <said> that the company’s upcoming Guitar Hero: On Tour game / controller combo will not only be released on its own this June, but in a new Nintendo DS bundle as well.”

Zune headquarters mini-tour – Engadget “recently got a chance to peek around the cube farm and spend some time with employees in the laid-back Zune lounge…”

Today’s graphics cards: the value angle – The Tech Report has “taken another crack at quantifying value, this time by looking at what sort of GPU power you get for your dollar. The results are interesting, if nothing else. Read on to see what we found.”

Microsoft increases focus on Fone+ cellphone project for the poor – Engadget reports that Craig Mundie, of Microsoft’s Unlimited Potential Group, is reportedly leading the charge to increase the focus on the project aimed at bringing cellphones to the poor.

UK researcher finds Bluetooth more of a privacy threat than RFID – Engadget says that one University of Bath researcher has a little data to back that up. Vassilis Kostakos placed four Bluetooth receivers in the city’s center for four months, during which he and his team tracked over 10,000 BT-enabled mobiles.

Zune Insider : Just So No One Gets the Wrong Idea. . . — There’s been some talk that Zune may or may not put content filtering features directly into the Zune family of devices in future releases. Cesar says that “we have no plans or commitments to implement any new type of content filtering in the Zune device…”

Hardware Analyst Breaks Down Cost Of Xbox 360’s 120GB Hard Drive — MTV Multiplayer contacted iSuppli, a company with a long history of examining consumer gizmos to discover their real cost. “We had them look at Microsoft’s 120GB hard drive and estimate whether — or how much — the company’s marking it up.”

The best present ever: the OpenX plastic Package opener – There are packages that are a dream to open (as I wrote recently about my zune OOBE), and then there are packages that double as medieval torture devices. IMHO, the OpenX is awesome.

In the Air: Who says big ideas are rare? Malcolm Gladwell (smart guy, puffy hair) has a feature in this week’s The New Yorker about the history of simultaneous invention, the best example being Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray both patenting the telephone on the same day.

YouTube – IRON MAN VS. THE DARK KNIGHT – gotta love this comparison

Question of the Day: Which Company Has The Worst Computer Tech Support? — gizmodo asks “which of the following computer companies has the worst tech support? Feel free to recount your experiences in the comments—and check out who Consumer Reports ranked as #1 this year.”

vTap – Windows Mobile Download based on Models — Also see for a mobile version as well.

CrunchGear » Archive » Solar-powered hearing aids help poor deaf folk – Howard Weinstein designed an affordable hearing aid for the world’s poor. Crunchgear says that “he helped develop a hearing aid that’s powered by the sun, eliminating the battery problem altogether… and able to put the very same deaf people to work.

Quiet Computers – End PC Noise Home of Silent PCs, and the best quiet PC components including quiet cases, quiet computer cooling, quiet power supplies, quiet hard drives, and quiet CPU fans.

VIA Pico-ITX Mainboard Form Factor: 10cm x 7.2cm – VIA Technologies, Inc. — Looking for quiet PCs for use as a Media Center? Here are Via’s pico-itx based PCs – some are passively cooled, others have very quiet fans. They are tiny, yet pretty powerful.

jeff’s WebLog : why doesn’t the favicon for my site appear in IE7? — a mini-FAQ on Favicons.

Microsoft Introduces Popfly For Games (In Silverlight) — Last week, the POpFly team introduced the Popfly Game Creator. “Microsoft launched Popfly last year as an easy way to create widgets and mashups using Silverlight. With Popfly Game Creator, it is adding a simple Web-based authoring environment.  See also PopFly Game Creator video on MSN Video — A video demo of PopFly Game Creator.

Camera Hacks: Turn Your Point-and-Shoot into a Super-Camera — lifehacker notes that some Canon digital cameras can be software modded to “support advanced features way beyond what shipped in the box. With the help of a free, open source project called CHDK, you can get features like RAW shooting mode and more.

Home Entertainment: Is It Right That the U.S. Government Spends More on the Digital TV Switch Than Literacy Education? Gizmodo notes that the US government “has allocated $1.5 billion to inform 17 million citizens about the digital TV transition…[and] surprised to hear that the total proposed budged for literacy education in 2009 stands at a paltry $574.6 million.”

Red Ring: How To Repair Your Xbox 360 In 4 Easy Steps – 1. Call 1-800-4-MY-XBOX 2. Demand your reference number ASAP. 3. Call escalated support at 866-506-3826. 4. Speak to someone who can actually help.

Zune 2.5 update brings TV downloads, Zune Card sharing – Engadget reports that the Zune version 2.5 software update has “Zune Card integration and the addition of TV show downloads on Zune Marketplace, but much-requested features like gapless playback, improved syncing controls, meta data editing, auto playlist…

Beta Beat: Xobni Beta Now Open to the Public – Windows only: “Previously mentioned Outlook plug-in Xobni is now available to the public for immediate download. Previously in invite-only beta, Xobni adds email analytics, better contact cards, fast search, threaded conversations, and more to Outlook

Featured Windows Download: Harmony Downloads Album Art for Fullscreen Coverflow – Windows only: Freeware application Harmony integrates with your iTunes library to provide an attractive, Coverflow-like interface of your albums.

Eyebeam demonstrating Cubit DIY multitouch table – Engadget — Engineering and design firm Eyebeam has spent the weekend demonstrating a kit (Cubit) that enables folks to build their own multitouch tables, and all individuals will need to provide in order to enjoy their very own is an “inexpensive” video camera …

Sweet nothings: Wrigley deal puts spotlight on secretive Mars family | Business | The Guardian — Interesting coverage of the secretive Mars family. Andrew Clark of The Guardian (May 3 2008) notes that Mars “lobbied Congress to change the end of daylight saving time to get an extra hour’s evening light on Halloween – a crucial day for selling confection.

Lenovo IdeaPad U110 overview and video – Engadget says “It handled basic tasks within Vista Home Premium (web browsing, Office work, dialing up a direct link to the International Space Station, etc.) with ease, though we won’t say we didn’t grow frustrated by the multi-second wait times as Word opened…”

Tags: misc, articles, what I read.

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