Keep your browser up to date. Are you using a browser that brings you the best experience? HTML5 has hit the internet and is changing the way websites are experienced, the only difference being that you may not be seeing the difference. Only browsers that support the new HTML5 code will see its content properly if at all. Here is how the browsers stack up:
HTML5 specifies a standard way to include video, with the video element.
Currently, there are 3 supported video formats for the video element:
Ogg = Ogg files with Theora video codec and Vorbis audio codec
MPEG4 = MPEG 4 files with H.264 video codec and AAC audio codec
WebM = WebM files with VP8 video codec and Vorbis audio codec
The audio element can play sound files, or an audio stream.
Currently, there are 3 main formats for the audio element:
As you can see there is only one company doing their homework and doing it to benefit you, and that is Google who produces the Chrome Browser.
The most important thing to remember is to get updates for your browser as soon as you can. Microsoft, Mozilla, Apple and Google are all making changes and updating their browsers to keep up with the new HTML5 code changes, however Google is the only company who sends you the updates automatically and is the only company making you and your browsing experience the priority. The latest version of the Chrome browser as of this posting is 12.0.742.112, however you can always click on the wrench and select About Google Chrome to see your current version.
Did you get your notice that Microsoft Secruity Essentials is now free? Back on Sept 29, 2009 Microsoft released their upgrade to the OneCare virus protection program that you paid a subscription fee to use. The new program boasting the label Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) is Free and you can download it from http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials
The amazing thing I have noticed in discussions in chat rooms and forums is that it seems no one was aware of this and it has now been over a year and a quarter since its release.
Well fear not, just use the link I provided above. Its as good as any other free virus protection coupled with windows defenders firewall service, but there still is no substitute for a fully paid for virus and internet security program such as that of Trend Micro’s Internet Security Suite.
If you are the type of person that believes in using the same brand name for your stereo components or audio/video center matched to the same brand for speakers, then it wouldn’t hurt to install MSE on your windows machine. Sorry it’s only for XP and above, but it has a 32bit and 64bit version.
Now for a fair warning for all those people that have a pirated copy of windows on their machines, “Your PC must run genuine Windows to install Microsoft Security Essentials.”
I’m writing about this referenced article because it is a prime example of why software developers should be supporting and developing software for Unix/Linux/Mac operating systems.
Aside from the fact that Bill Gates and his engineers refuse to develop an OS that properly handles system resources, they still haven’t given proper attention to preventing exploits and security issues before releasing an OS.
Instead, a deadline is set for the release of the next version of windows, and then a mad rush ensues to meet that deadline at the expense of the consumers. The mindset of the Gates’ family is to get the product out first, and then patch the hell out of it later to keep in step with Apple and Linux.
This is a huge message to the public. First and foremost the focus is in the wrong place (on beating the competition) and second there is a reason why they feel they need to stay ahead or beat others to the cutting edge. It is because others are on the cutting edge first with an OS that is not vulnerable to hackers and those others have an OS that properly handles system resources and memory calls that far exceeds what Gates and Microsoft have ever offered…ever.
This is not to say Gates isn’t smart because he does understand that the only way to beat better technology and engineering (machine language architecture) is to beat them to the store shelves. Unfortunately the people that pay the price for this kind of “beating the competition to the line” is the consumer.
So why are software developers giving more attention and focus to Microsoft and their OS? Because they know that a profit is made from being first to the line, not from supporting a better architecture. Developers understand money in the pocket now, not long term investment returns.
What exactly will turn this tide of backward thinking in the software industry? The answer is in the proliferation of incidents like the cyber attack on the nuclear power plant in Iran this year. The more times an incident like this makes the news showing the vulnerability of the OS and network, the more obvious it will become to software developers that they are supporting the wrong system and shift to supporting a system that cant be hacked. Once they recognize they are on the wrong ship (the one sinking every year) they will gladly jump over to the ship they never have to jump off.
Until then, as a consumer who wishes to be rid of the need for anti-virus software and not have to buy a new computer every year that has a system that slows to a snails pace, and doesn’t want to worry about the information on their computers being compromised regularly, they have options like Knoppix, Ubuntu, and other unix/linux/debian based Operating Systems to give them what they need. Eventually consumers and software developers will be profoundly happy to have switched away from the chaos of Microsoft and the Gates family.
On a side note, Windows costs money, Ubuntu is free as well as Debian, and Knoppix and a host of other Open Source operating systems.
With so many YASNS (yet another social networking site) on the web, a Wiki for feeding your brain (not necessarily with facts), blogs and opinion/editorial sites, what is available for those who feel a higher purpose? Main stream media purports to bring you facts but instead they bring you biased speculations, circumstantial evidence and opinionated viewpoints while rarely producing any facts.
Google has stepped up to the plate to provide a venue for higher knowledge. The Knol. A knol is a way for people (not Google) to put their reputations and facts on the line, unlike a wiki that is viewed as mostly facts, but edited by the general public with or without verifiable facts. The wiki encourages citations and verifiable sources and provides a means to help promote accuracy and policing of the facts, but this is not 100% guaranteed as is stated in the Wiki’s disclaimer.
The Knol’s purpose is not understood by many, such as those that seem to think it is a market place to their wares as depicted by Will Johnson and his knol here.
For a better explanation of the purpose of a knol, take a look at this one. Maybe with a concerted community effort, we can help the Google knol concept flush out the “opportunists” and garage salesmen from its pages. Fortunately knols provide a star rating system, comments section and if the author allows, the ability to edit or collaborate on a knol. What tools are available beyond the star rating really adds to the credibility and reputation of the author.
Google Wave is an incredible web 2.0 development that is revolutionizing the web. Google concentrates on the limitless uses of the internet as its focus for developing new applications and technology to bring information and people closer together.
Google Wave is an online tool for real-time communication and collaboration. A wave can be both a conversation and a document where people can discuss and work together using richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more. Google understands that a computer is as commonplace in our homes as a TV, VCR/DVD player, and microwave. They also understand that 90% of the time spent on a computer at home, is spent surfing the web, instant messaging, playing online games, emailing, and more. Many businesses are also heavily engaged with the internet during the course of the day, video or voice conferencing, collaborating, and a host of other activities.
Google is addressing the amount of internet activity with the wave which is equal parts conversation and document, shared, and live. The wave is a tsunami of productivity that is both needed and required in a cost effective and time managed world as well as a task manager that can be utilized by anyone at home or work.
One aspect of the google wave is to replace the brokenness of email as it is today. In the beginning email was to replace “snail mail” by being cost efficient and reduce delivery time. Email developed into a huge mess of billions of copies of copies and fwd:’s of fwd: fwd:’s with copies of a message stored on your computer and then a copy stored on the recipient’s computer (or on a virtual mail server) and the process is never ending. We wont even go into the junk mail problem. What you have is dead copies of a message all over the world and in millions of computers. The wave revolutionizes and eliminates these electronic piles.
Wave’s Solution: Conversations as Live Documents
Rather than pass back and forth multiple copies of messages, Google Wave hosts a single copy of a conversation that all participants can edit and add to. Wave displays the latest version of the conversation to everyone in the group in real-time, even as it’s changing.
“The goal of Google Wave is to collaborate INSIDE email rather than using email to ARRANGE to collaborate.” —Wave user Marsh Gardiner
The Email Way
The Wave Way
Send or Recipient
Single, hosted conversation
Attachments, Links, HTML
Inline, private threads
This is not the only functionality of the Google wave as it is limitless in is uses. The confusing initial Wave experience may thwart its adoption. Wave’s whiz-bang features are impressive, but may not be practical. Whether Wave actually gets adopted as widely as email or remains relegated to niche use like the Segway remains to be seen. But plenty of people want in on the Wave preview, prepared with plenty of ideas about how they’ll use it.
Caregiver Mike said:
I am looking after an elderly lady named Liz. She is well at the moment but does suffer from spells of confusion and forgetfulness. Liz is a widow but has a large and caring family. Unfortunately they are spread all around the country (none live within a two hours’ drive) and have families and jobs of their own… At the moment I send out a weekly group email detailing what’s happened to Liz over the days of the previous week. The family then replies with any questions or suggestions, etc. Even with Gmail conversations, answering and replying to six responses and further ongoing replies back and forth becomes confusing and very time-consuming. Wave could greatly improve our communications. I would open a new wave at the beginning of each week, inviting all the family to it, and add content on an ongoing current basis. This would mean the family would be far more up to date than they are currently and their responses and queries would be spread out (and inline), far more manageable and more current. Also due to Wave playback, when someone has been away, catch up would be simple.
Bride-to-be Tiffany said:
I am coordinating my wedding with a dozen or so friends/family and various vendors, from all over the country. I live in Texas, the wedding (and my mother) is in Florida, my maid of honor lives in Massachusetts, you get the idea. Currently, we use the telephone and email to exchange ideas, sometimes Skype if we’re lucky enough to be on at the same time. I also have a notebook where I paste pictures of inspiration, jot down links, sketch ideas that I will hold up to my webcam or snap a photo of the page to show others. Seriously. Wave would improve wedding planning SO MUCH. We can all share ideas and see who has jumped in on what jobs in what order. We can use plug-ins to embed venues, caterers, dresses. I can embed a Wave in my wedding blog, which I link to on theknot.com, a wedding planning site that connects you to all sorts of local and national wedding resources. We can Wave simultaneously, which will save us from typing a long response, only for someone else to send something else faster that changes what we just spent time writing (don’t you hate it when that happens?). You know how the bride, her bridesmaids, and her mother all get when they start brainstorming and delegating. Imagine if we were all in the same room. It would get rowdy. This way, with Google Wave, it will be organized, documented, and editable. It will also be a great way for my fiancee to track our progress and see whose ideas are whose and approve or disapprove at will. It will make the perfect planning tool for the perfect wedding.
The following examples of some things Google Wave can do for you are also in the Google Wave Preview in your wave titled “When to use Google Wave” with project links beneath each idea.
Keep a single copy of ideas, suggested itinerary, menu and RSVPs, rather than using many different tools. Use gadgets to add weather, maps and more to the event.
Prepare a meeting agenda together, share the burden of taking notes and record decisions so you all leave on the same page (we call it being on the same wave). Team members can follow the minutes in real time, or review the history using Playback. The conversation can continue in the wave long after the meeting is over.
Group reports and writing projects
Collaboratively work in real time to draft content, discuss and solicit feedback all in one place rather than sending email attachments and creating multiple copies that get out of sync.
Bring lots of people into a wave to brainstorm – live concurrent editing makes the quantity of ideas grow quickly! It is easy to add rich content like videos, images, URLs or even links to other waves. Discussion ensues. Etiquettes form. Then work together to distill down to the good ideas.
Drag and drop photos from your desktop into a wave. Share with others. Use the slideshow viewer. Everyone on the wave can add their photos, too. It is easy to make a group photo album in Google Wave.
For a short preview of what Google wave can do here is a 10 minute video (for those of you that don’t have the 80 minutes for the full presentation that took place at the May 2009 I/O conference).
If you do have 80 minutes to spend, then here is the full presentation in all its glory.
Now, for those looking for quick references and guides and information on how to use the tools of the Google Wave application, I am including the links below. As the Google Wave is in preview mode, it will be undergoing changes and fixes over the course of time until it is rolled out as a complete application, free of course, as all things google are.
This only begins to scratch the surface of all the things Google Wave can do and its related info, reference material, guides, cheat sheets, etc. Check back here often to find more information in the comments of our users and links posted to help you out in getting the most from Google Wave.
I was really impressed with the simplicity and clean layout of the Google Chrome browser not to mention all of Google’s creations, but this new one really puts a lot of information and education at your fingertips.
lets you add your input to any part of a web page or comment on the entire page.
You don’t have to be an expert contributing expert insight or advice.
Even Soccermom can add her helpful tips or comment on a web site. The information in the SideWiki is not altering the website you are visiting, it merely attaches the relevant information in a database collected from everyone who has visited the website and commented.
SideWiki operates in the sidebar of your browser if you enable it. You can also close the sidebar SideWiki if you don’t wish to view the associated comments or information.
As with any wiki, it is user generated and user edited for content and is not to be construed as fact or verified/validated fact. Although there will be a vast amount of information that is factual, it is up to the user to determine what is relevant and useful.
Google labs have always impressed me with the amount of information that can be brought to the fingertips with it’s web 2.0 content. I hope you enjoy this new feature as much as I do.
Sidewiki is currently a feature in Google Toolbar (in Internet Explorer and Firefox) and Google Chrome.
In Safari and other browsers you can use the Sidewiki bookmarklet.
That’s right, Google has announced the release of their OS “Chrome” later this year to early 2010.
By John D. Sutter – CNN
(CNN) — Google is jumping into Microsoft Windows territory — and threatening to change the way personal computers work — with its own version of a computer operating system.
The company says the forthcoming Google Chrome OS will revolutionize how computers operate, putting more emphasis on Web functionality, making computers faster and opening them up to helpful tinkering by outside program developers.
“The operating systems that browsers run on were designed in an era where there was no web,” Google said late Tuesday on its official blog. “It’s our attempt to re-think what operating systems should be.”
Chrome OS will be available to consumers in the second half of 2010, Google says.
But why should you care?
A trim and speedy Google operating system, which has been buzzed about online for some time, is interesting for several reasons — even if you think it could flop out of the gate. (…more)
I personally can’t wait. I predicted (Nov, 2007) Google would be doing this and made mention of my prediction in this blog as a sidebar to the free 411 call called 800GOOG411 ...here
I truly love the Google Chrome web browser that just blows Internet Explorer out of the water for speed, sleek, clean functionality. Bring it on Google, lets give Microsoft the wakeup call. It’s time for Microsoft to smell the roses, hell, I am all for Google shoving a rose so far up Microsoft’s butt that they can taste its fragrance.
You may have heard our new fearless leader proclaim that change is what we need and that change must start with fixing America.
Two things come to mind almost immediately with one being that change brings two schools of thought , change for the better, and change for the worse. Change is a great flash word and it was used heavily in President Obama’s campaign, however it is merely a flash word while overstating the obvious that occurs in our lives and our country all the time. Evolution is change. Growth is change. Getting married is change. We have plenty of change already, both good and bad.
The next flashy statement was that America needs to be fixed. Really? I didn’t know America was broken. Congress is broken, yes. The SEC is broken, yes. Government and corporate policies are broken, yes. Our goverment is trying to break its citizens, yes, but America is not broken.
Americans were outraged when the big 3 auto makers flew to Washington D.C. on their expensive corporate jets to extort our government with “give us some bail out money or we will fire 3,000,000 employees” and now we have the President of the United States flying from Andrews AFB to Williamsburgh (155 miles – 12 minute flight) to listen to and speak to the Democtratic Conference.
This is not a cheap flight. When Air Force 1(747) flies, so does the backup 747. The cost of both jets flying 155 miles and then the return trip is huge. The President touts his tech saviness all the time. There is no reason why he couldn’t have video conferenced.
TYLER WHITLEY AND BILL GEROUX TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITERS
Published: February 6, 2009
WILLIAMSBURG — President Barack Obama made a quick trip to Virginia last night…
…Aboard the plane, the president wore a new blue jacket stitched with the words Air Force One in cursive and the presidential seal on his right side and “Barack Obama” on the left side.
“I’ve got my spiffy jacket so I thought I’d come and show it off,” he joked with reporters.
“What do you think about this spiffy ride? It’s not bad.”
I don’t know about anyone else, but I am getting the severe impression that our new President thinks this is fun and games at the tax payers expense.
Happy New Year 2008! I hope everyone had a great holiday season this past Christmas and New Year.
Being that this is the first post of the new year after a lengthy vacation for me, I feel it is important to start off the year with a useful post to just about every PC user out there.
Anyone that has bought a new PC has probably seen a Symantec created Norton product pre-installed on their machine. You didn’t have a choice of having this product, just like you didn’t have a choice of which version of Windows operating system installed on your machine. You got the latest release and get no choice of previous versions instead.
Like myself, many people are annoyed, frustrated, and unhappy with Norton products for various reasons. Some folks will subscribe and others will be automatically subscribed to Norton products when they purchase a machine, and others like myself will not subscribe at all and immediately uninstall (or try) any Norton products.
It is not commonly understood or known that Norton products severely degrade a Windows operating systems performance, however it is visible to a great many people how slow their systems become after a short time. This is due to a number of reasons most especially because Microsoft Windows still does not handle system resources properly after all these years of being on the market, and also because of utilities (like Norton) that bog down your system resources while trying to perform its tasks in the background. Other reasons are not defragmenting your hard drives with a reputable defragmentation program or at the very least the Windows defrag program, as well as a cluttered system registry (which Windows lacks the ability to keep clean and in top condition on it’s own) and an improperly sized virtual memory or page file.
With a Norton product installed and an expired subscription, you will get annoying reminders to renew your subscription because you are at risk if you don’t. If you have performed an “add/remove” of a Norton product, you may think that all is said and done. However, certain portions of those programs continue to run in the background,use system resources and load at start up even after being uninstalled because a Norton product is never fully uninstalled until you get the Norton Removal Tool. The soul point of todays post is to provide you with the link to remove any Norton product from your machine so that you can once again enjoy better performance from your machine. To do so, *clicky* this link: Symantec Home & Home Office Support to choose the Norton product you want to remove and download the tool.
After you have freed your system from the bonds of sluggish performance of a Norton product, you may be wondering what you can use for protection. I like Trend Micro for their Internet Security and PC protection. If you would like to use their free computer scanning system over the internet, visit Trend Micro Home and Home Office HouseCall. They also have a page with four of their best free programs for security of your computer and internet use called Trend Secure (here). This page also includes the HouseCall scanner.
Never use or have active, more than one virus protection program at a time. You can have more than one program installed, just don’t activate or use them at the same time.
Never have more than one spyware/malware/greyware program running at the same time.
Since no one program for virus protection and spyware/malware protection is ever going to be 100% accurate or the “endall” of protection, I recommend having and using different kinds independently of each other, periodically.
Keep your system registry and your system as a whole tuned up frequently with some utility such as PCPitsop’s PC Optimize or similar program.
PC Pitstop is another what I call “can’t live without” pc resource for maintaining an absolutely top notch computer. You can perform a free scan of your system (even anonymously if you wish), read extremely valuable information about spyware and malware and you can download programs to install and maintain your own system. PC Pitstop “scores” you against their database of visitors and their machines so that you know how you rank compared to your friends machines.
If you have any questions at all or would like to relate your experience at PC Pitstop, or discuss any other items in this post, please leave a comment here. The only truly stupid questions are the ones never asked so please ask. I guarantee at least one other personal will learn something from the information, but was afraid to ask.
Email has been a part of our lives for many years now. In the beginning of the Internet we [geeks] used email to inform the person running their server or BBS (bulletin board service) that we were looking for certain programs or files, and in turn we would also let them know what files we had to share. Email was simple and it was safe.
Email has come a long way since those days and many types of email programs have shown up since then. With the growth of the Internet and email services also came the growth of users on the Internet. Growth in numbers yes, but not the growth of responsible computer geeks using the services. Today, with the simplicity of the Graphical Interface built into our computers, anyone with zero experience using a computer can surf the web and email their friends and family. Even a 10 year old can use a computer to surf the web.
Here-in lies the problem of today’s discussion. Persons of ill repute conduct “data mining” by preying on the inexperienced users of the Internet to mine their data from and use that data to spread viruses and spam advertise. Security holes are exploited very easily but most importantly, the number of people freely and innocently disclosing private email addresses due to basic computer inexperience, is out of control in epidemic proportions.
Here is an example of how it happens:
Sally Smith has had a computer for about 6 months and though she hasn’t had it very long has managed to make use of it to accommodate her need of being in touch with her friends and family. Sally uses a messenger like MSN Messenger and Yahoo Messenger and she emails all her friends and family quite frequently. When Sally first got her computer, her emails resembled an actual letter to a friend or family member depicting how her day went and how frustrating the organization of the PTA meetings have become and so on. It is now 6 months later and Sally has hundreds of email addresses of friends and family, and her emails have declined to a majority of forwarding chain letters, spreading urban legends (unintentionally of course because she doesn’t know how to verify the validity of urban legend emails she receives before forwarding them on), forwarding cool web sites she has visited, and sending photos of the family pet and the new quilt she just made. Sally’s emails look like this:
From: Sally Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Joe Public <email@example.com>, Jane Doe <firstname.lastname@example.org>, (insert 74 more friends and family members)
Subject: <fwd><fwd><fwd>Mickey and Minnie Mouse are brother and sister, not boyfriend and girlfriend.
Message: (insert urban legend)
The problem with Sally’s email is that emails are typically passed along to hundreds of more friends that Sally doesn’t know, and that hundred or so friends each pass it along to hundreds of their friends, and so on. Now literally thousands of people Sally will never know, have her email address, AND all the email addresses of her friends AND family. Why? Because Sally is not experienced in the basic use of the Internet and not educated on maintaining privacy and securing the privacy of her friends and family members over the Internet.
The very first order of business is to obtain a free “virtual email” address such as hotmail, or yahoo, or any one of a large list of other virtual email providers. A virtual email address is your security door on the Internet. Sally provided her ISP assigned email address giving data miners her general physical location. Using the virtual email address protects the privacy of your ISP assigned email address. From the Virtual email you can view your mail on the web, keep it stored on the web or download it into your favorite email program on your computer (commonly called POP mail forwarding).
The second and most important order of business, is protecting your friends and family’s privacy by using BCC (blind carbon copy) to send or forward email to. Sally publicly sent all those email addresses over the web which will get sent all over the world. When sending an e-mail to multiple recipients, you can hide their e-mail addresses from each other. This is a sensible anti-spam precaution because it avoids making a long list of e-mail addresses available to all the recipients.
Here is how you use BCC:
To set up Blind Carbon Copy in Outlook 2000, select “Bcc Field” from the “View” menu, as shown below. This will cause the “Bcc:” field to be displayed from this moment on.
To use Blind Carbon Copy in Outlook Express, choose “All headers” from the “View” menu. This will cause the “Bcc:” field to be displayed from this moment on.
Now for actually using BCC in your emails. I have found the most effective way to send email and protect your privacy, your friend’s privacy and that of your family, is to use a dummy virtual email. I created a free email account called e(dot)dump@**********(dot)com. [For this post I used the word (dot) instead of the actual punctuation mark to prevent email harvesting.] Every single email I send anywhere is addressed to this virtual email address. Every single email that goes to this email address gets deleted/trashed without question. Then the actual people I want the email to go to besides the e.dump address gets put in the BCC: field, and the message is filled in accordingly.
If you are forwarding a message, do not use “forward” or “forward message.” Take the extra time to copy the portion of the email you want to forward, then create a new message to yourself (or a dummy email address like I created), paste the message into the message field, then add the addresses of the people you want to receive the email, into the BCC: field.
Your email should look like this (click image for full size view):
When your email is received, it should look something like this:
You will notice that all the important information is left out of the email, such as ALL email addresses, yours, your friend’s, and your family’s.
Now you can go to your dummy email account at the end of the day or week and delete everything in it, unless you want to save it all as your sent emails.
The most important thing you want to remember is, an email is like a phone number. If you are in the habit of keeping your phone number and other phone numbers private, so should you be in the habit of doing the same with email addresses.
If this information was helpful, please leave a comment saying so, and if you have any suggestions or care to add something, please do that as well.
Tired of getting charged by your cell service provider or home phone company for calling information? I am. Now they can take their ancillary fee and stick it where the sun don’t shine. Why? Because using the Google 411 is FREE and it works great!
Would ya like to see how it works? Click the play button on the video below.
I should get paid by Google for doing their advertising. But I so love their open source applications and free software, and I am confident Google will overtake Microsoft very shortly, hopefully with a nice operating system bundled with Google’s applications and software.
For all the Google stuff, click this image —>
And for the rest of Google’s great stuff Click This
I’m a pretty big fan of all things space and space-science, so naturally I follow the schedule of the shuttle and enjoy, immensely, watching the launches, landings and all the events during shuttle time in space. Here is the link to watch NASALiveTV(quicktime)
I’m not streaming the Show here because of bandwidth limitations on my blog server (since it is a live TV stream). I hope you understand. However, you can view the album of snapshots at my Rocket Website from which you can play as a slide show, view individually, or download any that you like. In the near future I may consider allowing folks to upload photos as well. Here is the link directly to my Video/Photo Gallery