Entries Tagged as ''

$10 digital camera

Ever seen those disposable digital cameras? Costs a fortune when you calculate in the cost of getting back those picture right? WRONG. If you buy the right kind of camera, you could actually have a $10 reusable camera! And here’s how.
MAKE < ElephantStaircase

Department of Veteran Affairs laptop found

It looks like they’ve finally recovered the data (laptop) and the VA employee that apparently didn’t have permission now indeed did have permission. How the heck do you misplace permission forms for that long? And don’t think the whole mandate for encrypted laptop security and two-factor authentication is going to help any.
In any case, this still doesn’t resolve the fact that there are some serious issues with how the data is managed. Why are the social security numbers not in an actual database? Where you have to authenticate yourself into a government VPN? The employee was a “lead programmer for the Policy Analysis Service”. Shouldn’t he have known better?
There are a lot of issues with the whole network design for securing sensitive data. We wouldn’t be surprised if the Department of Veteran Affairs still scores low next year in the whole security thing after this high profile public affairs issue blows over.
Slashdot < SFGate

OpenOffice 2.0.3 released

OpenOffice version 2.0.3 has been released. Get your latest version! Features include:

  • performance improvements: for example, a 23 percent improvement in certain Calc benchmarks
  • further improvements to file format compatibility with Microsoft Office files
  • new email integration features for users wanting to send emails in Microsoft file formats
  • more control over how exported PDF documents will display when opened in a PDF reader
  • support for more languages and improvements in hyphenation and thesaurus
  • support for Intel architecture for Mac OS X plus improved Mac OS X System integration
  • built-in check for updated versions

Interestingly enough ratchet told me today that there was a request to open a .odt file at work. Amazing but it looks like open-source might actually be slowly reaching into even the depths of the South. It’s a scary thought, but go with it! Go with it!

Security cameras are now illegal in New Hampshire

It’s amazing we’re not a police state yet. A man was charged with two counts of felony eavesdropping and wiretapping due to the fact that he video-taped via his home security camera a detective that came late at night and was rude and would not leave. When the couple tried to file a complaint with public relations, the father was arrested (police report here).

Gannon wanted to lodge a complaint against Karlis, who had come to the family’s house while investigating their sons, Janet Gannon said. She said Karlis showed up late at night, was rude, and refused to leave when they asked him.
“He was just very smart-mouthed. He put his foot in the door, and my husband said, ‘Excuse me, I did not invite you in, please leave,’ and he wouldn’t,” Janet Gannon said. “We did not invite him in, we asked him to leave, and he wouldn’t.”

We won’t spoil any more of the exciting story, but it does beg the question on what exactly as citizens we’re allowed to do when it comes to protecting ourselves. Hopefully the Gannons made a copy of the tape and will be sending it to the ACLU since there wasn’t any reason that the police could go “secure” any property without a warrant and you cannot stick your shoe to stop someone from shutting the door. While none of us are attorneys, that seems like abuse of law enforcement power. Judging from the article, we would definitely be suspicious that there’s something seriously fishy going on at the Nashua Police Department.
Slashdot < TheNashuaTelegraph

Google Checkout

As everyone has speculated, Google Checkout, is finally out.
This is basically a place to store your credit card information, so when you purchase something, you click one button and everything is done instead of storing your CC at the various stores. While I’m not sure about the rest of the staff, I personally would trust Google a lot more than many of the other stores for storing the information although this will turn Google into a huge hacking target based on the financial information stored there.
It does make life a lot easier though as a one place stored click. That means if any happened, Google would be responsible. They use industry standard encryption, which is where I think Google could actually one-up the rest of the guys. There’s nothing that says more isn’t better, and Google certainly has the resources and the smarts to pull it off.
We’ll see if Google makes the necessary changes to make this more unique, but so far we love it.
Via GoogleBlog


This might look like Wine, but it isn’t. The difference? Wine expects a layer to interpret Windows binaries. Alky consists of recompiled binaries that talk directly with the native operating system. Very cool project design since this is basically what you could call “porting” Windows applications directly to Linux.
You know what this reminds us of? The now defunct Loki Games. Ahh… those were the days.
Via Alky

Schools and Open Source

Network World has this great short article on schools and open source. Opening line grabs me silly when I apply the line to Guilford County Schools:

Schools need to save money (know any school districts so rich money doesn’t matter?) and one way to do so is via Open Source Software.

Yeah. Apparently we’re so rich that money doesn’t matter. Really. Don’t believe me?

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New Yahoo! Messenger version for OS X released after 2+ years of waiting!

A glowing review of the vastly improved Mac client with before and after screenshots and a discussion comparing the new release to the popular iChat and Adium chat clients along with a direct download link for the brand new beta. I can’t wait to give this a try and see how it performs – read on here.
Via digg

Why federal agency mandates for laptop security will solve nothing

The White House has come down on federal agencies and mandated that within 45 days, all civilian agencies must comply with two-factor authentication and laptop encryption due to the recent high profile cases of hacking and misplaced information.
Boy. This is another reach by management and public relations types that don’t know how to solve simple issues and running off into left field.

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Skype for Linux 1.3 beta

Took long enough guys. But we’re glad you support it. Skype Linux 1.3 beta is out.
Looks like the list of features include alsa support, X11 API, new graphics and sound (basically the emoticons were changed and support for the flags), and now there’s support for mood messages (we’re guessing this is like that those LiveJournal mood messages that are pretty… well… useless).
We appreciate the Alsa support though! Now, when are we going to get some video conferencing? Come on guys. It’s not like Linux development is THAT bad.
Via Skype