Showing posts with label computer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label computer. Show all posts

October 19, 2011

Internet Trends 2011 — Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers

There is a brilliant presentation on Internet Trends 2011 by Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers. most of this did not come as a surprise to me. Audio will be the next big thing on the internet. We'll talk to computers, control them by voice, will listen to what we like anywhere and anytime but without carrying the mp3 with us and maybe we'll even video talk. Finally, after 20 years in the making. Facetime may have started this revolution already.

And finally, where web 1.0 was content, web 2.0 was personalization, web 3.0 will be localization of all the information available to us. Not "What's relevant to me?" but "What's relevant to me here and now?".
Couple that with mobile commerce and NFC payments or mobile wallets in your smartphone and you'll a totally new boosted E-commerce experience. Maybe we'll start buying things using small charges, ie. micro payments. Instead of buying a whole CD in the 90s, we now buy single songs and apps on iTunes for 0,79-0,99. But if you bought the song, the album gets cheaper, the concert ticket is discounted and you can pre-order the streaming HD recording of that concert at a bargain price. Maybe you'll get the app for free too!

July 13, 2011

Organizing your team

Lately, there seem to be a lot of web-based todo list managers, task trackers and simply project management tools available. All integrate with your smartphone, so they're REALLY useful if you find one you like to use and you can get your team on board too.


I've used BaseCamp extensively and like a lot. Mobile site is awesome. I've mostly used for myself, to track tasks and projects and record progress and issues.
Because these tools use Email to send updates, you don't need to use the website. You can simply use your mail client to respond to messages from others, but the website records and chronologically orders all responses. And you get notified when there is a deadline or milestone approaching. Because I do Management by Priority, this usually adjust my focus and improve concentration. :)

I'd love to hear if anyone has good or bad experiences with one or another tool and why.

July 12, 2011

Chrome extensions for G+

ComPixels has a bunch of articles on linking G+ to FaceBook, Twitter, cross-post from G+ to Twitter/FaceBook, and so on. Haven't figured out most of them myself, but I'm tagging various useful extensions here and will let you know.

Update: you may want to move your pictures over from FaceBook to G+ and take advantage of using Picasa.
Update2: Chrome extension that changes G+ CSS slightly to make it better readable.
Update3: 5 Chrome extensions for G+
Update4: Whole bunch of add-ons apps for G+

storify.com

An interesting Social Media aggregator that you can use to create a story a subject, and combine content from various sources.

Check Frequently Asked Questions - storify.com. Using the plug-in you can embed stories on your blog, tumbler, blogger, wordpress and more.

June 1, 2011

Choose better passwords or "GPU Password Cracking"

GPU Password Cracking on your graphics card it mind-bogglingly easy. Your average ATI Radeon card can accomplish brute-force cracks of most common password in minutes, hours of your get "crazy" and add in symbols (such as &,#,%, etc.) If you don't do that, please change your passwords now!

Also, try not to use things such as "Freddy1946Mercury" and think it's safe. Nor "FreddyMercury1946" or similar. They know that too and checking for it first, to see if you can skip brute-force attack is easily done. Instead consider "Fr3dd7M3rcur71946$". Almost the same, but (almost) infinitely harder to crack and still easy to remember. Even better, if you start with a symbol or put it in the middle of the name or date. But they're still names and variations thereof. Best is to use something like the Mozilla Secure Password guide. You can also solely use generated passwords in combination with a tool such as LastPass or KeyPass.

May 9, 2011

SmugVault: Safe Backup

I just rescued 30 GB of important documents and pictures off of a friend's USB disk. I just want to point out that a USB disk is not a backup medium. It is not an archive. It is merely a spare copy of a (set of) files. A USB disk only stores what you put on it. If you don't refresh or update the USB disk regularly, it is outdated. And if your USB disk crashes, burns in a fire or get flooded with rain, coffee or water, you will loose every single file that's on it.

That being said, there are a number of ways to help yourself using USB disk to make copies but it will never be a true backup or archive without rigorous discipline and additional measures. So, please, store important documents in a trusted place online. If want to be sure, create a ZIP archive locally that compresses the files and encrypt the ZIP with a strong, secure password. Then, copy them to any number of places: DropBox, Google Docs, MobileMe or whatever. That way, when disaster strikes, you can access these media from your new computer or a friend's laptop and have all your important files back.

For pictures, being up to 10-20 MB each these days when you shoot in RAW, I recommend using SmugVault: Safe Backup. You can't use Flickr or Picasa because they don't store your original files (not without paying extra) and even then don't always accept your RAW files. Only PNG, GIF or JPG versions. That maybe sufficient, but make sure!

As I said, I just rescued 11 GB of photos off of a USB disk. Making a secure, trusted, online, archive of these on SmugVault would have cost my friend:
* 11 GB x $0.22 = $2.42 for the storage each month
* 11 GB x x$0.30 = $3.30 for the initial first upload of the whole batch
* $1.00 overhead charges each month

So having a reliable online and secure archival copy of all the pictures would have cost my friend $6.72 for the first month and $3.42 for each consecutive month. In case of the disaster (dropped USB disk), to download the archive again to a new USB disk would have cost: 11 GB x $0.50 = $5.61 as well as a few hours depending on download speed. But the peace of mind my friend would have had and no stress about losing all those pics would... have been priceless. Indeed.

May 5, 2011

3ERD - 3D photography

3ERD is a nice example of 3D photography. He takes two pictures using a 3D lens and combines these in Photoshop. Then he creates an animated GIF to create a kinda cool, hypnotizing effect.

March 24, 2011

Greplin - a personal search engine

Greplin is one of those things we didn't need in the past. At least, only maybe a select few. But today you really need it.

Greplin is a search engine that indexes your sources of important information. Currently it indexes Google services and Google Apps, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Dropbox and more sources of personally relevant information. If your company has Google Apps, it can index that too. Great for all your work information!

Some serivices are premium (SalesForce, Basecamp, Highrise), so you'll have to pay a fee to use them, but I believe that it is worth it. Gmail already made it impossible to loose an Email, now Greplin makes it impossible to loose the rest too!

February 18, 2011

A Sequence of Lines Traced by Five Hundred Individuals

What happens when you create an online tool where you can only draw a line, create one original and then ask 500 people to retrace the trace of their immediate predecessor?

Sounds simple, right? Well check A Sequence of Lines Traced by Five Hundred Individuals on Vimeo and prepare to be shocked, stunned and amazed!?!

February 17, 2011

Duty Calls

You may know that I love first person shooter games (FPS) such as Quake, Killzone, Call of Duty, etc. However awesome these games are, the story-line is basically always the same: the world is at threat, bad guys are powerful, they have massive weapons and are about to take over the world. It's all upon your shoulders now... Then they give you a gun and drop you in the game where the puzzle begins and the story unravels...

Duty Calls is a great, brilliant, creative parody on this type of games. Hilarious! 4 mins... check it you!

January 28, 2011

Rooting the Nexus S

Today I rooted my new Nexus S Android phone. It's great. The Galaxy S hardware from Samsung is a dream compared to my old trusty Acer Liquid's Quallcomm Snapdragon. Sure, the Nexus S runs on 1 GHz compared to 768 MHz for the Snapdragon. But newer is better in this case. It also helps that Gingerbread (android 2.3) is optimized for the newer hardware.

However, I need root. I want root. I hate running into something cool and nifty, only to be stopped by a pop-up screen saying "Unable to XYZ, your devices must be rooted". So I did. Mainly to install the battery saving JuiceDefender and UltimateJuice. They make my smartphone last 2-3 days instead of just one measly day. Really!

So I tried my Windows XP laptop from work, but it wouldn't recognize the Nexus S. It found it, but then failed to find drivers. Turns out, the Android SDK supplies these. But that also needs the Java SDK (78 MB). A bit much for just drivers. So I tried my Mac Mini running Snow Leopard (10.6.6) and the Nexus S appeared just fine.


Now it took just a quick visit to ModaCo's Nexus S forum and I was done. Here is exactly what I did:
  1. Connect phone to computer (OSX for me)
  2. Download Paul's Superboot tool, unzip and have it ready
  3. Power off phone
  4. Boot to Recovery Mode (press Volume Up and Power simultaneously and hold)
  5. Unlock the bootloader (as Paul suggests, Recovery Mode says "Lock state: Locked") first: ./fastboot-mac oem unlock
  6. Phone reboots.
  7. When back in Recovery Mode, bootloader now unlocked (in red), run Paul's root script: ./install-superboot-mac.sh
  8. Upon reboot, the phone is rooted automatically. Note the large unlocked padlock at the bottom of the boot screen!
  9. Done!

Want to check if it's rooted? Try an app such as setCPU, or simply open the app drawer and you should find an app called superuser...

January 10, 2011

Minecraft

Minecraft is a game, ifyou will, where you build content - gardens, houses, castles, ocean ships, rockets - and other people can walk through it. I believe the object is staying alive, as you may die and other people steal something. Sounds a bit like RPG games, role playing, but different. Reminds me a lot of Alphaworld way back in 1995, Second Life, not too long ago, World of Warcraft but friendlier and Fallout.

But some people take constructing very seriously: There is a guy who built the Star Trek Enterprise on a 1:1 scale, a working (!) 8 bit computer and Planet Earth itself. Still haven't figured out if I like it or not, I am just glad the graphics are so simple that anyone can play it 24 hrs a day, because it will run easily on modern smartphones :)

January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

Happy new year everyone!

As a resolution for this year, I am gonna do more blogging again and less Twittering. Or at least, I'll blog and then twitter about it. Because the other way around just does not work. I've often thought to quickly twitter something and then come back later to blog about it, but it simply is impossible. Twittering already relieves me from the urge to write and even though 140 chars is not a lot, it is writing and my urge is satisfied. Hmm that just sounded way more kinky than I had imagined! :)

November 12, 2010

4D projection aka Video Mapping or Skinning

Was just pointed to a cool 4D promo for Ralph Lauren on their building in NY. But it reminded me of a celebration for Histor paints on the building of the Lloyd hotel in Amsterdam, which in turn reminded of a snow flake projection on the Amstel hotel in Amsterdam.

It seems this is a cool new trend now. "Urban projections" of video mapping or skinning. There actually at least 3 Dutch companies involved: ACS AV and Climat Control AV, as well Livetime.

November 11, 2010

Life-size computer-animated hologram

In Japan they had a sold-out crowd to see a performance of a life-size computer animated hologram. A typical anime girl danced and moved to music by a live band. And the crowd went wild...

October 29, 2010

Livescribe Pulse Smartpen

Here is a cool idea and invention I could have put to great use about 15 years ago: the Livescribe Pulse Smartpen. Never miss a word. Great! Now they tell me!

Basically it is a normal pen full with high-tech electronics to record what you right with an IR camera and what you say (or those around you) with a sensitive mic. You can download what it filmed and recorded later to your computer and create a so-called "pencast". Brilliant! If only I still used a pen to actually write things down. I rarely use pens. I typ waay faster than I can write and holding a ballpen now cramps my hands.

Anyway, the pen is for sale everywhere. I found it cheapest to get in Germany, through amazon.de. Only €120 for the 2 GB version.

October 15, 2010

How to Change User Profiles Location in Windows 7

I've been reinstalling a few Windows computers recently, as well as my own OSX, and it still amazes me why these modern OSes still do not offer the user a choice of putting his/her files onto a separate partition. Linux has been making it easy for years and so much hassle could easily be avoided - when your computer breaks down or gets mangled by a virus - by simply not installing OS and your data on the same partition... *sigh*

So here is a really simple way by LifeHacker to make that happen in Windows 7/Vista: How to Change User Profile Default Location in Windows 7: "Open Registry Editor by type regedit from command line, and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList". You can create two separate partitions in win7/vista upon installation using the GUI. Simply create a 64GB partition for the OS and use the rest in a second partition. When asked to create your first user in Windows, create a 'sys'op or 'admin' user with full administration rights. Next, format the second partition and assign it a drive letter, i.e. D:. Then use the tip above to relocate all user profiles over to D: instead of %systemdrive%. Not trivially easy, but not hard to do either.

August 5, 2010

Clean Install Windows 7 with Upgrade Media

I'm gonna fix Romano's PC and laptops soon. He's got Vista licenses on all of them so I thought I'd switch him over to win7 at the same time using Upgrade licenses. Better yet, there is a Family Pack for up to 3 PCs for about €150 vs €360 using regular licenses. But normally you can't do a clean install with these DVDs... Thankfully, there is always a way: Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows has a howto for doing a "Clean Install Windows 7 with Upgrade Media".

June 10, 2010

Dell's SNMP MIB

Through the Dell PowerEdge mailing list, I came across a great site that hosts various MIBs for use with SNMP. They have an annotated Dell SNMP MIB that you can also download. Hope this helps.