Rewinding the clock… back to “Stupidamouse”

July 28, 2011

UPDATE 10/26/16:
So I guess Chris Condon’s site is now down.  Luckily, I still have the stuff that was posted there.  So here you go:

image

ORIGINAL POST FROM JULY 11, 2011:
Holy crap.  I thought this was a joke but I guess not.

Apparently, Business Insider is reporting that Apple has filed for a patent on a “keyless keyboard”.

The moment I read this I thought to myself… haven’t I heard of this before?  And then it dawned on me.

A guy named Chris Condon created a series of ‘datasheets’ back in 1998 that were parodies of ads and such that people released back in the day.  One of them featured a series of devices without buttons called the “Stupidamouse” and a companion device called the “Stupidakeyboard”.

As luck would have it, I’m a packrat for these sort of creations.  Since Chris’ site has long since disappeared, here’s the full PDF.

Oops!  I just discovered Chris Condon’s site is STILL UP after all these years!  YAY!

DATASHEET:  “Stupidamouse & Stupidakeyboard”
http://www.dumbentia.com/pdflib/stupida.pdf

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Googleopoly. The case against the company with an anti-competitive stranglehold on Internet advertising.

July 28, 2011

imageWow.  This is one heck of a web site:  http://www.googleopoly.net

If you’ve been watching the government’s case against Google, you might want to take a look at this site as it appears to be a summary of all the other sites that have been published on the topic of Google and their agenda on the Internet business… and other industries.

This think tank appears to have left no stone unturned in creating this compendium of information about Google’s business practices and the Google-Yahoo! Anti-Competitive Case. 

They’ve put together a book entitled “Search & Destroy:  Why You Can’t Trust Google Inc.” which I picked up in Kindle form.  So far, they appear to have made some excellent points – especially around the subject that I believe is the most dangerous:  “Privacy”.  Of all people, Scott Cleland, the author gets a rather familiar name to comment on this recent publication:

“Scott Cleland’s new book explains what getting ‘Googled’ really means — having your private information exploited, your personal security compromised, your market choices eliminated, and your naive trust in the company’s public pronouncements betrayed. Cleland’s perspective will resonate most with conservatives and libertarians, but, in truth, every computer user needs to read this book before clicking on the Google site again.”
Gary Reback, author of Free The Market! and the antitrust lawyer who spearheaded the Federal Government’s case against Microsoft in the 1990s

The web site specifically includes a 17-page whitepaper entitled, “Googleopoly VIII* The FTC’s Antitrust Investigation of How Google’s Deceptive & Predatory Search Practices Harm Consumers” as well as a briefer presentation entitled “FTC-Google Antitrust Primer:  Top Ten Q&A”.


Ooooooh… please… PRETTY PLEASE… Sony Vaio Z!

July 27, 2011

imageI think I won a laptop.

I’m not really sure because everyone I know got a notification that we won a contest and we all got a new “ultra-cool laptop” as a result. 

Then only some of us got the 2nd notification that clarified the contest’s prize.  The 2nd notification said that the laptop we were getting was a Sony Vaio

And that’s the contention point, y’see.  The “ultra-cool laptop” in the Sony Vaio line is this one – the Z series:  http://store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&categoryId=8198552921644570897

According to this article from CNET, the stats on this thing are disgusting.

13.3-inch Vaio Z:

  • Chassis: 0.66 inches thick, 2.6 pounds, carbon fiber
  • Graphics: Internal Intel Sandy Bridge, external AMD 6650M GPU
  • Processor: Sandy Bridge Core i5, i7 standard voltage
  • Storage: solid-state drive only, up to 512GB
  • Connector: Light Peak, aka Thunderbolt, and USB 3.0 on dock
  • Broadband: option for wireless WAN (wide-area network)
  • Display: 13.3-inch, up to 1600×900 resolution
  • Battery: internal battery rated at 7 hours
  • OS:Windows 7
  • Price: As announced in Europe, standard configuration starts at over $3,000.

In short – it kicks my gen 1 Samsung Series 9’s butt.  Core i7 QUAD CORE, 512GB SSD, 1600×900 display, external discrete AMD/ATI 6650M GPU, with optional sheet battery for 14hrs of life?!?

Also, it comes with a TRUE VGA port without a dongle & a full size HDMI port, full size Gigabit Ethernet port, a full size SD Flash slot (and a MemoryStick slot if you care about that) and 8GB RAM max?!?

Um… wow.  Crossing fingers!


COOL. Retro Handset headset for your Cell Phone.

July 8, 2011

UPDATE: 8/29/11
Here’s the problem with this device that you might not notice.  It has a 2.5mm adapter which is fine if you have an old Motorola feature phone with those super-thin headset jacks.  But if you have a modern smartphone like a Windows Phone 7 device, you likely have a 3.5mm adapter.

So not a big deal right?  Just get an adapter and be done with it, right?  Not so much.  This is more than just a headset:  It’s a headset with a microphone.  So you need to get an adapter with microphone connectivity specifically for cellphones.  Trust me – this is a little harder to find than you might think.  Radio Shack doesn’t sell them near as I can tell for example, much less Best Buy.

imageFortunately, I found a place that sells this and bought one… and yes, it works – I’ve tested it. 

Here it is, but be aware:  It’s $9 + $3.95 shipping = $12.95.

http://www.factorydirectcellular.
com/home/universal/hf-adapter.htm

(CAREFUL!  You can easily select the wrong adapter.  Look for Universal 2.5mm and 3.5mm then select the 3.5mm Male to 2.5mm Female Stereo Adapter which should be about 4 items down)

—————-

imageYeah, this is awesome.  Bought this immediately.  Didn’t even think twice.

Old.  School.  Handset.  For.  Cell.  Phone.

  • 2.5mm jack will work with most phones (Motorola, LG, Samsung)
  • Small button built-in to handset for answer/end
  • Connection can also be made using a “hands free” type of adapter kit (not included)
  • No batteries required
  • Includes: handset and classic curly phone cord with connector
  • Works with Blackberry (except Curve and some newer models with 3.5mm connectors)
  • Does not work with RAZR or Nokia phones
  • Works with iPhone (using Apple iPhone TTY Adapter, available from Apple)
  • Now available in RED color

LINK:  Retro Handset for Cell phone:
https://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/cellphone/7830/


INFO: Top Eleven Features of Sugarsync Cloud Storage that I love

July 4, 2011

imageI know I should be ballyhooing Windows Live Mesh.  And yes, Mesh is AWESOME.  However I’ve been using Sugarsync as my cloud storage/ backup/ synchronization service for years now and it’s a great service.  My subscription is paid into the future and thus “sunk costs” so I don’t really see a need to switch to Mesh any time soon.

However, with the recent “Dropbox debacle” (Stop & go do some research if you don’t know what I’m talking about) I thought I’d write a bit about some of the great features of Sugarsync that people should take into consideration if they are planning on moving from Dropbox.

  1. Single Instance Storage
    Imagine uploading the .ISO of “Windows 7 w/ SP1 slipstreamed” to your cloud drive.  That’s a LARGE file so that’s gonna take a while right?  So you start the process and seconds later… BOOM.  It’s done.  No, really.  It’s done.  Someone else using Sugarsync already uploaded the same .ISO file and so YOU DON’T NEED TO.  The file is already there so you don’t need to spend hours uploading it from your network connection – you just get a pointer to the identical .ISO file that’s already been placed up there.  Same goes for .MP3s, MPEG4 videos, EXEs, PDFs, etc.
  2. Byte-level Differencing
    So you decided that you want to sync your 2GB Archive .PST file to your cloud storage.  It takes forever but whatever.  Then you make a modification to the .PST – say, you add a few messages to it.  Do you have to upload the entire 2GB .PST again?  NO.  Only the changes are needed to be replicated up to the cloud.  The sync takes less than a few seconds to complete and you’re now backed up again.
  3. Sync/Backup.  Any file.  Any folder.  Anywhere on your system.
    You’ve got a \DOCUMENTS, \PICTURES, \MUSIC, \VIDEOS, & \FAVORITES folder and they’re all in your Profile directory you want them all backed up.  But what if you also have a C:\CONFIDENTIAL directory and a D:\EXTRA\PHOTOS directory that you want synced?  No problem:  Sugarsync will synchronize ANY file, in ANY folder, ANYwhere on your system and you’re not confined to one lousy folder structure.
  4. Custom Replication Fabric.
    I don’t just want my WORK computer to be backed up to the cloud:  I want it stored in the cloud…
    …and I want my \FAVORITES to be synced to my HOME computer and my LAPTOP.
    …and I also want my \DOCUMENTS to be synced to my LAPTOP computer but not my home computer. 
    …and I want my \PICTURES to be synced between my WORK computer and my HOME computer but not my LAPTOP. 
    …and I want my \MUSIC to be synced between my HOME computer and my LAPTOP but not my WORK computer.
    No problem.  Complex replication fabrics are easy to configure and setup.
  5. Free Storage for Hooking Up Others.
    For every friend you refer to SugarSync, Sugarsync will give you both 500 MB of bonus space. If your friend joins a paid plan, you each get 10 GB storage EXTRA.  It’s totally win-win.  If you appreciated the work I did writing this up and want 10GB of extra storage, (for both of us!) please use the following referral link: 
    https://www.sugarsync.com/referral?rf=dg5i020wn9qp4 
  6. Web File Sharing… made easy.
    There are two scenarios in which you might want to share a file or set of files:
    1) Synced File:  The file is already synced to the cloud and you just want to give someone the ability to download it.  No problem – use the Sugarsync File Manager utility to right-mouse button click on the file and get a “public link”.  It’ll copy to your clipboard and that’s all there is to it.  Paste that link in email or IM to someone and they can download the file no problem.
    2) New file:  The file needs to be uploaded and shared.  No problem – there’s a special place called the “Web Archive” in the Sugarsync File Manager in which you can just upload content into your cloud storage (and NOT synchronize it) just for one-off- sharing.  Then again, right mouse click on the file and get a “public link”.  DONE.
  7. Secured File/Directory Sharing.
    ”But I don’t wanna have a public link that anyone can download from!”  Fine fine fine.  Just take the file or directory you want to share and click “Share”.  This will allow you to share a directory or file to a specific email address.  The user will need to register to Sugarsync and verify that they are the owner of that email address by receiving an email from the service but this has a nice consequence of introducing the person to the service and potentially getting you 500MB-10GB of free storage if they join up for either the free Sugarsync storage offer or a paid subscription.
  8. No limits.
    At least none that I can see.  There’s no network utilization limits.  (Although I’ve seen d/l bandwidth throttled to 3Mbps)  No file size limits.  (4GB .ISOs for example work for paid accounts)  No file count limits in directories.  No directory structure limits.  Again, as far as I can see, there’s no real limits to what you can do.  That’s cool.
  9. Manageable Upload/Download Speed.
    GAH!  I don’t want Sugarsync to consume all my upstream bandwidth when I have a lot to backup to the cloud… I have work to do!  No problem.  Sugarsync’s agent has a throttle on it to ensure that you can actually do things on the network OTHER than backup your files to the cloud.  It will leave bandwidth available for other things like email, surfing, etc.  Y’know:  Getting real work done.
  10. Windows Mobile Support. (And iPhone & Blackberry)
    This one’s for me:  I still have a Verizon HTC TouchPro 2 Windows Phone 6.5 device and Sugarsync has a CLIENT for WP6.5 that makes it easy to pull down any file necessary from the cloud.
  11. Past Versions.
    Holy crap.  I just overwrote my mission critical Powerpoint with crap and I don’t have a “Previous Versions” copy on my hard drive.  Hyperventilating… must… get… a… grip… 
    Wait.  I have Sugarsync.  There’s previous versions of my files already stored in the cloud.  Sugarsync keeps track of the last 5 versions for me so I don’t have to worry about local versioning.

And I don’t consider this a FEATURE so I’m not going to list it as such, but something else I love?

Price.
Get 60GB of storage online for $99/year.  Never have to worry about posting files to web servers to share with people… or worrying about backing up your data.  Too pricey?  Shuttle down to the 30GB plan.  Get 30GB of storage for $49/year.  Flat rate.  No bandwidth charges, no nothing.  Annual cloud storage & “piece of mind for your data” for the meager price of a business lunch.  Wary?  Try the FREE plan:
Get 5GB of storage for FREE.  That’s right.  Totally free.  They’re so sure you’re gonna upgrade (they got me) that they’re giving away 5GB to start out with for no charge.  No credit card required.

So, that’s my piece.  I’m a reasonably technical guy that has some reasonable technical requirements and if you’re like me, I’ll bet you have the same general needs.  Check it out:  5GB of storage is FREE.