Archive for September, 2005

Nancy Drew for your computer and the Internet and used books

I have to admit that I’ve never read any Nancy Drew books. However, considering that Nancy has been around since 1930 I have to give her mad props because people still read her mysteries and she is as popular as ever. USA Today reports that Her Interactive has released another Nancy Drew Mystery entertainment software package. The article indicates that the program is appropriate for kids as young as 10 and that it would be a great program for kids and parents to play together.

A study released Wednesday confirms that the Internet is a huge venue for selling used books reports the L.A. Times. According to the Book Industry Study Group sales of used books on the Internet topped 2.2 billion in 2004. That is an 11% increase over the previous year. The lower prices are the biggest factor in purchasing used books over the Internet.


Old rivals collaborate, the butler didn’t do it and the next generation of DVDs

The Washington Post announced that former rivals Palm, Inc. and Microsoft have introduced a new wireless phone (TREO?) that uses Microsoft software and has a high-speed Internet connection. The phone, which will not be available until next year, should attract more business users who use their phones outside of the office.

If you know any Ask Jeeves users you will have to break some news to them: the butler is out of here! USA Today reports that the new owners of Ask Jeeves just don’t feel that the butler conveys the image they wish to project. The name may also change to Ask or

Today, Microsoft Corp. and Intel Corp. announced that they are backing HD DVD as the next generation of DVD. Sony Corp. backs the Blu-ray format of DVD. Both formats offer crisper pictures and both formats are heading to market yet they are, unfortunately, incompatible. Since neither side is conceding, get ready for another VHS/Betamax war!

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Google plans wi-fi service and keystrokes reveal passwords to researchers

Google may be planning to launch its own wireless Internet service. The company declines to comment yet some folks have come across information right on the Google website. The site refers to a product called Google Secure Access designed to “establish a more secure connection while using Google WiFi.”

In scary news… researchers have figured out how to eavesdrop on your computer by listening to the “clicks and clacks of the keyboard.” Scientists took those noises, processed them through a computer and we were able to translate them with up to 96% accuracy. So, your double-secret password may not be a double-secret to some! How James Bond of them!

Digital movies and high-tech parking meters

WALT DISNEY CO. will be the first movie studio to help finance the digital distribution of its movies. They want to bring movie theaters into the electronic age and phase out traditional film. Why? Because digital pictures are sharp and will not scratch, fade or degrade like film.

Disney’s Buena Vista Pictures Distribution plans for “150 new digital movie screens to be up by year’s end and as many as 4,000 by the end of 2007”

HIGH-TECH PARKING METERS are appearing in parts of southern California. The new meters are being tried out in West Hollywood and will take credit or ATM cards.

There are approximately 5 million traditional meters in the United States. The new meters will allow you to swipe your credit or ATM card in a slot to pay for parking and will then give you a receipt indicating where you are parked, how much you paid and when the meter will expire. There is also a phone number you may call to pay for more parking.

Wifi in Central Park and IPTV!

This October, Wi-Fi Salon will launch 8 wifi access points in NYC’s Central Park thus offering free Internet access to the public. Wi-Fi Salon is using sponsorships and partnerships to fund the project.

Also, in the news… IPTV (Internet protocol TV). The BBC reports that a company has studied IPTV and predicts that within a decade it will be common to deliver TV shows over the Internet. Million of shows will be available for download… and I can’t keep up with the shows I tape now!

PS – Good news. My iBook was at my front door when I went home for lunch. Apple provided excellent customer service. DHL picked up my iBook at about 3:30 Monday afternoon and I’ve already got it back! It was the logic board.

Personal data on hard drives and memory cards and more…

The BBC reports that people are selling hard drives and memory cards on eBay without removing personal data. A forensics firm purchased 100 hard drives and 50 memory cards and found letters, resumes, spreadsheets, email addresses, logins and passwords. Experts found that some people had not even made cursory attempts to remove personal data.

In other news, my iBook died last Wednesday. I guess it’s my turn because in the last few months both my sister and my niece have had to have their PC laptops repaired. Anyway, at first, I could not get the iBook to turn on and that’s always a bad sign. After trying for a long time I got it to start up but then the screen started acting funny. Lines waved through the blue wallpaper and then it went dark blue so that I could not read anything on the desktop. I called Applecare and, with Kyle’s help, got the computer up and running again. However, a few hours later it, once again, would not start up.

I called Applecare for the second time that day and I was told that they would send a box to me so that I could send the iBook in for repair. The box did not arrive the next day so I called AGAIN and I was told that, at that point, I would not get it until Monday. This is all just delaying the sending in and repair of my computer. So, I’m hoping that today, when I go home for lunch, there will be a box at my door so that I can get the show on the road!

New Apple Products

Apple recently made some new product announcements. First of all, for all you Harry Potter fans Apple has added all six books books to iTunes for your downloading pleasure. But, why have the HP books on just any iPod when you can own an official Apple Hogwarts iPod!

Also new from Apple the iTunes Motorola ROKR cell phone. This new cell phone holds up to 100 songs.

What is an Apple announcement without a new iPod? It looks like the iPod Mini will be replaced by the new iPod nano. The nano comes in 2GB (500 songs) and 4GB (1000 songs) and starts at $199. The nano is, literally, pencil thin!

Apple always has exciting news.

My book is now available!

September 2005
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