November 20, 2005

The Search Engine Experiment: Who Really Has The Best Results?

A public experiment discovering which of the top three search engines (Google, Yahoo, or MSN) really offers the best results. By taking the test you also find out which engine you personally prefer (and it's a blind test, so prejudice won't effect the outcome).

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November 16, 2005

CableCARDs for PC's in '06

The real question is how long is it going to be before the DRM is hacked out of this thing? Press release as follows...

REDMOND, Wash. and LOUISVILLE, Colo., Nov. 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Microsoft Corp. and Cable Television Laboratories Inc. (CableLabs(R)) today announced they have reached an agreement that will allow Microsoft and PC manufacturers to bring to market digital-cable-ready Windows(R) Media Center-based PCs in the holiday 2006 time frame.

These Media Center PCs, capable of supporting a CableCARD(TM) module, will allow consumers to enjoy one-way cable programming, including premium high-definition cable content, on their personal computer and throughout the home on compliant network-connected devices, such as Xbox 360(TM), while protecting cable operators' investments in high-value content in a digital environment. Microsoft is working closely with CableLabs to document final approval of Windows Media(R) Digital Rights Management (DRM) as a content protection technology for OpenCable(TM) products that receive one-way cable content under the terms of this agreement.

"This agreement is an important milestone for our customers who want access to high-definition digital cable content on their PCs and a major step toward enabling a solution for the delivery of that content," said Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president of the Windows eHome Division at Microsoft.

"The cable industry is very interested in having the PC serve as another means to allow consumers to enjoy cable programming," said Richard R. Green, president and CEO of CableLabs. "By working with Microsoft and the IT industry, we have come up with a solution to enable consumers to enjoy the wide range of entertainment options they want."

"This agreement carefully balances the need to preserve the flexibility of the personal computer for consumers with the need for cable operators to be confident that the hardware and software shipped with compliant Media Center PCs will function like a CableCARD-enabled digital television," said Glenn Britt, chairman of CableLabs and chairman and CEO of Time Warner Cable.

The agreement is the culmination of more than two years of extensive evaluation and technical reviews performed by the two entities under the CableLabs OpenCable process to develop specifications and test suites for the new solution.

The specified OpenCable architecture allows for multiple DRM systems to be used in the device and ensures content providers of protected delivery of content to the PC. Microsoft(R) Windows Media Digital Rights Management is the first major DRM system to complete the due diligence necessary for approval by CableLabs.

The OpenCable project will continue to play an important role as the new agreement moves forward, allowing the cable industry to work closely with the consumer electronics and IT industries to innovate rapidly on the new specifications developed by Microsoft and CableLabs.

CableLabs will host interoperability events to enable vendors working on products based on these specifications to test products in CableLabs facilities and conduct more formalized certification testing. More information about the OpenCable project is available at http://www.opencable.com .

Media Center PCs deliver advanced computing and easy-to-use integrated digital entertainment experiences. To date, Microsoft has sold more than 4 million Windows XP Media Center Edition licenses, and more than 130 PC manufacturers are offering Media Center PCs around the world. The cable industry supports more than 370 models of digital televisions manufactured by 22 companies that display one-way cable content via CableCARDs.

About CableLabs

Founded in 1988 by members of the cable television industry, Cable Television Laboratories Inc. (CableLabs) is a non-profit research and development consortium that is dedicated to pursuing new cable telecommunications technologies and to helping its cable operator members integrate those technical advancements into their business objectives.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

November 14, 2005

Night of the Nixie (clock) - Attack Of The Case

You know. These case has turned out to be the toughest part. I almost gave up.

If you seach Ebay and Google long enough, you can find all product ever made.

BEHOLD, the Nixie Case:

http://store.djhardwares.com/odklkrcaho701.html

My name is Klaus. I am the BossMaster. All your concept are belong to me.

Google Analytics now live

Google is offering Urchin website analysis tool for free now.

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November 13, 2005

If you're happy and you know it, WATCH THREADS!

A bit dated perhaps (ColdWar Doomsday Era), but still effectively chilling in its delivery of the ultimate nuclear holocaust.

I stumbled across this movie while looking for the 80's TV Show The Day After. Someone made a comment that Threads made The Day After look weak, so I had to check it out. I don't want to give anything away, but this movie is awesome. I don't think there is a threat of total world destruction like this, but a global pandemic or biological attack could probably do the same.

As of late, I have had a knack for selecting movies with abnormal endings, and this one fits the bill. Set in Sheffield, England, the movie follows a few characters through the trials and tribulations of GLOBAL THERMAL NUCLEAR WAR. It is, without a doubt, one of the most depressing films I have ever seen. The Science Film-type narrations add to the effect.

Like I said, I don't want to give anything away, but if you watch the movie, pay attention to the manner in which the media is controlled and handles the whole crises.

Cheers!

-K

November 11, 2005

Download fonts | dafont.com

Download fonts | dafont.com

BBC Spooks

Just caught the final episode of Season 4. Unbelievable. Spooks has to be the only show that kills off every character without wrecking the whole lot. If you haven't seen it, you should. It's even chick-friendly.

-K

Night of The Nixie (clock) - Part 1

So you want to make a cool Nixie clock but you have no skills? Me too, me neither.

Here is what I have some up with so far....

The best logic board/processor is from http://www.tubehobby.com. They sell it in both kit and assembled form. Since I have no solder skills to speak of, the assembled kit will do.

Now most GEEKOIDS will disagree (because they have yet to reach my level), but THERE IS NO GLORY IN THE BACK OFFICE. Maybe I will explain this in some future post, but the important thing to remember here is that 90% of the time/energy on this project should be making it LOOK COOL. No one really wants a PCB with some wires hanging off of it sitting on their desk. On with the show....

We need a case: http://www.hammondmfg.com/dwg16Steel.htm. There. I just saved you 4 hours of Googling. By they way, the technical term for these cases are Project Boxes. Duh! Why didn't that immediately come to my mind??

How about a power supply. No big deal, right? Wrong! http://www.rpelectronics.com/

What about that GPS Receiver with the RS-232 interface. Well, it turns out that the RS-232 units are not nearly as prevalent as the PS/2 or USB models. They best I found is a Globasat BR-304. http://www.globalsat.com.tw/English/products_detail.php?main_id=21&p_id=83. All others seem to require a cable kit which adds $$$$. Avoid Garmin.

Ok, so the core is done. Cut out the case to fit the boards in, etc. You will need to extend the 40pin plugs with a cable. These IDE Extension cables are expensive. You should make your own to save money, but here it is:
http://www.stonewallcable.com/product.asp?dept%5Fid=122&pf%5Fid=IDEMM+++++++++++++++

To add some flare to the project, some old school meter will due to trick. Try this search: http://search.ebay.com/search/search.dll?MfcISAPICommand=GetResult&ht=1&shortcut=0&from=R41&query=dc+volt+meter&category0=
Look for the old looking ones (round). Pay attention to the scale of the gauge. You don't want to hook up a 1-300 volt gauge on 12 volts. That would be boring. Attaching a 1-200 volt dc voltmeter to the last seconds digit will yield a pendulum effect. Add another measuring the input voltage (12) and maybe the amperage (1).

Some cool switches are required. Check ebay. For the buttons one and two, they need to me Momentary Switches.

Ok, so all of the gauges and such are on. You need some cool graphics. http://www.papilio.com/inkjet%20waterslide%20decal%20transfer%20paper%20media.html
Print some stuff and the put the decals on.

Well. That is as far as this project plan has gone. Should have some pics and such in the next 2 weeks.

-K

DVP 642 Divx Fix

Ok, if you are watching some 'homemade' videos on your Phillips DVP 642 that are encoded in Divx and the video is all choppy and pixelated, hit the system menu on the remote and then exit. The video should be fine.

This was originally discovered by Dr. K, but I am posting in his lazy absence.

-K

November 10, 2005

New Linksys Wireless-G IP phone

"A new Linksys Wireless-G IP phone WIP300 has appeared to the public on the FCC pages. It will allow you to make phone calls using your braodband connection whether your at home, in the office or a public hotspot."

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November 9, 2005

AJAX PHPMyAdmin Database Manager Alternative

A single-page solution for exploring and editing databases from a browser. Edit data just like you would in a desktop application, without submit buttons or page refreshes.

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November 7, 2005

Only 37 out of 836099 gamers have 2 GB RAM or more

Valve Hardware survey results page. 47.77% AMD, 52.22% Intel Processors. 41.31% of gamers have under 512MB RAM. Kinda interesting to see how many low end "gaming" systems out there being used to play the Half Life family of games.

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November 4, 2005

My Myspace

I've been playing with this for a couple days. It's kind of fun. Add me as a friend!



Check me out!