Saturday, 29 April 2006

I saw United 93 last night with a friend. Watching the film and knowing it was more documentary than drama, re-living the events that happened on September 11th, 2001 from the viewpoints of people in the air traffic control centers, on the planes, and having to make hard, nearly impossible decisions... Well, it was powerful.

View the trailer here. And then go see this film. Don't expect any fancy special effects, cliche character development or high-drama storyline. Do expect to be taken back and to live a little of what others were experiencing while you were in your kitchen, office, bedroom, car - or wherever you were when airliners hit the trade center and the Pentagon. And, of course, that field in Pennsylvania.

Powerful. Upsetting. Respectful. Well-done. Important.



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Movies
Saturday, 29 April 2006 09:30:28 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Thursday, 27 April 2006

Sona Mobile has announced they will release a media player for newer model Blackberry devices that enable users to partake of wirelessly updated "BerryCasts" and wireless streaming media.

Sona Mobile Holdings, Corp is launching a BlackBerry Media Player software application, designed to offer multimedia applications on the latest generation of RIM devices. The new application will offer near TV quality playback of synchronized video and audio files, and will bee showcased at the Wireless Enterprise Symposium May 16-18.

"We are thrilled to be first to market with a media player for BlackBerry devices. For the very first time, BlackBerry users can receive either BerryCast (PodCasts wirelessly updated) or streaming video on their mobile devices," said John Bush, CEO and president of Sona Mobile. "And being able to announce CanWest MediaWorks as our first customer who will supply news content daily for a Sona Mobile BerryCast, lets RIM customers take advantage of a download-and-play method of delivering multimedia files to BlackBerry devices. We believe that this application will be well-received in the marketplace."

Should be interesting!



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Mobile | Tablet PC
Thursday, 27 April 2006 20:34:42 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Wednesday, 26 April 2006

LiveIDsignonWhat rolls out on day-one with more than 300 million users and nearly a BILLION authentications per day?

The new Windows Live ID, that's what. And that's exactly what happened, while you were using it and going about your daily business.

Microsoft's completed the roll-out of Windows LiveID to replace its Passport network infrastructure. It was all happening behind the scenes recently, and the next steps are for Microsoft and its partners to start rolling out some of the new technologies - some of which you can see and some of which is under the covers - to show off and leverage the new service.

"You'll start to see the new sign-in experience and all the goodness within a few weeks when we light up some partners," said Trevin Chow, Lead Program Manager on the Windows LiveID team.

So, what exactly is LiveID?

Well, you can read a whitepaper that was recently published to get all the salient details, but basically it's a new component in the Identity Metasystem that replaces Passport. It will eventually support both self-issued and third-party managed/issued InfoCards as credentials, and a SDK will be available.

What this all means is that Passport has grown up, and control of personal information will be more and more in the hands of the end users. In the future, Live ID will leverage InfoCards, which means more individual control of the claims used to identify users to online apps. Participation in the Identity Metasystem and following it's governing standards - the Laws of Identity - mean end users can leverage a centralized service but still maintain control over - and make decisions about - what specific information is sent to what services.

It's good news. Check out http://login.live.com - you'll notice the new footer on the signin section.



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IT Security | Tech
Wednesday, 26 April 2006 21:34:08 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Sunday, 23 April 2006

I've used Mike Singer's little SysSense tool to keep an eye on my Google AdSense for quite a while now. He keeps it up to date whenever Google changes their AdSense system, and I really appreciate that. Since I was over at his site upgrading the tool today to a new version he just released, I looked around at some of the other software he has built.

I downloaded one of the apps, called Weather Watcher, because it looks very cool and seems to be a great little app that displays things is a very usable and concise manner. Turns out it's really very cool, very configurable, and very free. Use it and if you like it, make a donation.

Weather Watcher from Singer's Creations



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Random Stuff
Sunday, 23 April 2006 21:08:49 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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KPC650 EVDO air cardVictor Garza over at the InfoWorld Zero Day Security weblog wrote a bit about his experience with his Verizon EVDO card. He recently switched over to the Kyocera KPC650 PC card (which is the one I have) after complaining to Verizon about the performance of his older card, which had an integrated antenna, and says he has seen some real improvements.

What really caught my eye in his blog entry, though was this:

"I've also heard that several speed improvements are coming to Verizon's EVDO marketplace. Requiring only a firmware update to existing EVDO cards this update will kick speeds up to the megabit range..."

Hmmm - anyone heard about this? If this happens - and I sure hope it does - I will be one very happy Internet addict. Looks like the reference is to EVDO Rel. A, which promises upgraded speeds of up to 3.1mbps downstream and 1.8mbps downstream - much faster than today's EVDO networks speeds. Fingers crossed here that a firmware upgrade will be available, and we don't all have to buy new cards!

Also, you can read a bit more about the history and future of EVDO here.



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Mobile | Tech
Sunday, 23 April 2006 20:36:58 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Saturday, 22 April 2006

If you have a Blackberry and want to make custom wallpapers for your device (for example, I have the 8700 and wanted to make my own backgrounds with a few image files I have on my computer), check out the Blackberry Wallpaper Generator on the Blackberry Cool web site.

Just upload an image, and the site will let you send the pic link in email to your BB device. Click on the link to view the image on the handheld, then save it and - if you like - make it your wallpaper.

Nothing too complicated, but this is a quick and easy way to get it done.



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Mobile | Tech
Saturday, 22 April 2006 19:42:13 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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