Wednesday, 04 October 2006

Rob Bushway over at has posted some pre-announcement specs about the forthcoming ThinkPad X60s Tablet PC, which is highly anticipated as the next big Tablet PC thing from Lenovo (the company that now makes those ThinkPad notebooks we all love).

Supposedly, from what people are saying, the actual announcement is not scheduled until next month, but here's what Rob says he hears we can expect (go to his site for the details). If it all holds true, this looks like a very interesting machine. I have to hope the graphics and DualTouch will support Vista. In fact, one has to wonder when Vista will be the default OS on these things. When you consider RTM is likely to happen early next month for the new OS, the stars do seem to align. Hmmm...

Anyhow - back to the geek-out specs:

  • Intel 945GM chipset

  • Intel Core Solo and Core Duo Processors Low Volt Processors

    • Core Duo ( L2400 (1.66ghz) and L2500 (1.83 ghz)

    • Core Solo (U1400 (1.2 ghz) to announce in January 2007

    • new 2.5" SATA high-speed, standard models with 5400rpm, up to 120gb capacity and optional 100gb 7200 rpm HD available

    • 128mb of Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950

    • Up to 4gb of PC2-5300 DDR2 memory (667 MHz) - 3.2gb available to the operating system

    • 2 memory slots - memory is no longer soldered to the mother board

  • connectivity

    • 802.11 a/b/g

    • Embedded Wireless WWAN

    • Bluetooth options

    • Integrated modem and Gigabit

  • 12.1" XGA Wide angle display ( 170 degrees) comes standard with

    • Anti-glare / anti reflective coating, now with dynamic screen orientation that adapts the screen to how you want to work ( we are assuming this is like the M200 and M400 accelerometer that auto rotates based on the angle you hold the screen)

    • Plus two other new screen options

      • Optional models available with SXGA ( max res of 1400 x 1050)

      • Optional models available with indoor / outdoor viewing capability with touch screen for enhanced ease of use and flexibility

        • MultiTouch screen allows either finger or pen touch to move cursor for ease of use and more natural interaction with tablet

        • MultiView display provides better screen technology for viewing indoors, outdoors, and from wide angles ( 170 degrees )

  • UPDATE: The pen has an eraser on the end of it

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Tablet PC | Tech
Wednesday, 04 October 2006 04:50:42 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Jeremy Zawodny's been looking at options to replace his traditional home backup server with something a little more modern and potentially better from a cost and maintenance perspective. He's looking at Amazon S3 for that purpose.

Not too long ago, Amazon released their Simple Storage Service (or "S3" for short). It provides a hosted storage platform which developers can build all sorts of applications on top of. Smugmug, a popular photo sharing web site, is using it to store and host pictures.

I've been considering using S3 as the backend to an on-line backup, since I'd been beating that for a while (see: Swimming Pools and Hard Disks and Cheap On-Line Storage Coming Soon).

In a few days I'll write about how to do this--I'm only partially through the process right now. But right now I want to lay out the motivation for doing this.

I'll be keeping my eye on this, since I was thinking about trying something similar. The idea of buying yet another piece of hardware, which could sit at home on a slower connection and potentially break on me over time, is less appealing than a sufficiently secure system that I could get to from literally anywhere. And as I work more and more with larger pieces of personal data, the need continues to grow.

Source: Replacing my home backup server with Amazon's S3
Originally published on Wed, 04 Oct 2006 04:51:36 GMT

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Wednesday, 04 October 2006 03:04:59 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Tuesday, 03 October 2006

My job is all about catching bad guys, building great software to help do that, protecting information, and a variety of similar things. the company I work for builds software than somewhere around a third of the country uses in some manner to conduct financial transaction on the Internet, so the topic of security is important to me.

I'm regularly participating these days in interviews with members of the media, and recently one resulting story was published that I thought did a nice job of covering the bases regarding security in financial services and the human elements. What has to be recognized in order to succeed in this fight is that the user is not predictable, accountable or reliable. It's the truth, it's important to know, and it's a fact we have to plan for and design into our security models.

Read the story here: Finance on Windows - "For Your Eyes Only"

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IT Security | Safe Computing | Tech
Tuesday, 03 October 2006 13:05:14 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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From the "Department of You've Got To Be Kidding Me" comes word that BlackBerry users are blaming others for their problems:

"CrackBerry addicts: Why the workers who can't switch off are suing their employers"

... now these discreet handheld gadgets, which provide workaholics with constant email updates, are being blamed for chronic insomnia, relationship break-up, premature burn-out, and even car crashes.

British employers are being warned they could face multi-million-pound legal actions from BlackBerry-addicted staff on a similar scale as class law-suits taken against tobacco companies. Research by the University of Northampton has revealed that one-third of BlackBerry users showed signs of addictive behaviour similar to an alcoholic being unable to pass a pub without a drink.

The report found that some BlackBerry users displayed textbook addictive symptoms - denial, withdrawal and antisocial behaviour - and that time with their families was being taken up with BlackBerry-checking, even at the dinner table.

That's awesome. So what this means, basically, is that I am set for life. I have a guaranteed lawsuit at this rate, I mean you should see me with this thing - I blame the world for my addiction! Who can I sue next?

What ever happened to plain-old, self-assigned-responsibility? Jeez.

And, for your related viewing pleasure (note the video contains some video-blurred nakedness):

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Mobile | Tech
Tuesday, 03 October 2006 10:26:07 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Sunday, 01 October 2006

As I mentioned before. I recently acquired a Nikon D200 camera (new) and along with it a used but immaculate lens - the Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 ED AF-S model. Both the body and the glass are exceptional pieces of equipment. I can't say enough about them. I also added the MB-D200 batter pack and extension to the body, which allows more battery time as well as vertical shooting trigger and wheels (mandatory in my book - I spent too many years with F3's and F4's not to have that capability).

I shot a few pictures out in the yard this afternoon to post here, since people have been asking me to do so. What I didn't realize until I uploaded them was that I had the ISO set to 800, which is ridiculously high for daylight, heh. So the image noise is a bit higher than it should be. But anyhow, they still look pretty good. The pictures below are clickable and will take you to my flickr feed, where you can see them in their full-size glory if you want to.

I highly recommend the D200 - I have not found a single thing I don't like about it yet (well okay it eats batteries for lunch, but hey - what can ya do?)

Japanese Maple leaf, backlit:

Red Maple Leaf

Diogi, my friendly (and spastic) chocolate lab:

Diogi, October 1 2006

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Photography | Random Stuff
Sunday, 01 October 2006 15:12:04 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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So, this is a pretty cool find. I recently acquired a Nikon D200 (which, by the way, is super-sweet and I still need to write about it and the lens and stuff I picked up), which has (or will soon have) a cable that can plus into a GPS device to record your position on the face of the earth in the image EXIF data. I may just make my own cable -we'll see.

Meanwhile, Jelbert has this nifty new thing called GeoTagger:

"The Jelbert GeoTagger connects to a Garmin Geko 301 GPS device and fits into a DSLR's flash shoe. Every time you take a photo the camera triggers the geotagger, which records the precise position and heading of a camera using the GPS device."

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Geek Out | Photography | Tech
Sunday, 01 October 2006 13:26:35 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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