Creeva’s Shared Items in Google Reader

January 3, 2008

by — Posted in Lifestream Archive

Creeva’s Shared items in Google Reader


Sears: Come see the softer side of spyware

Posted: 02 Jan 2008 05:15 PM CST

When you join an online “community,” are you joining so that you can interact with like-minded users, or so that companies can track your every move on the Internet? Sears is banking on the latter, despite heavy criticism from security researchers.

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Switched On: The 2007 Switchies, Portable Products

Posted: 02 Jan 2008 03:49 PM CST

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Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about technology, multimedia, and digital entertainment.

The consumer technology landscape shifted somewhat in 2007. Companies that were once major forces, including Gateway and Thomson Consumer Electronics, better known to most Americans as RCA, were acquired as their fortunes declined. MVNOs such as Amp’d and Disney Mobile closed their doors as did PC retailer CompUSA. Palm, forced to kill its “third platform” of Foleo, was saved from a similar fate by an influx of capital. Delivering alternative programming into homes proved too challenging for set-top boxes from Akimbo and MovieBeam. And there were changings of the guard at Dell, Sprint, AT&T, Motorola and Logitech, to name a few.

However, amidst all this tumult, a number of products were released that deserve recognition. In many industries, there is a defining award that recognizes excellence. Today, though, these products will have to settle for a Switchie, the third annual Saluting Wares Improving Technology’s Contribution to Humanity award.

The “The Right MultiTouch” and Product of the Year Award goes to the the Apple iPhone. While it was difficult to find news about this obscure device in 2007, the iPhone’s slick user interface, polished applications and appealing interface navigation methods outweighed its EDGE network limitations and touch-screen keyboard compromises. With a sleek design taken for granted in Apple products, the iPhone was noteworthy for straddling the traditionally fragmented worlds of smartphones and fashion phones. The announced arrival of an SDK next year offers tantalizing possibilities.
Continue reading Switched On: The 2007 Switchies, Portable Products


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GeekDads Do Some Post-Holiday Forensics, and Look Ahead

Posted: 02 Jan 2008 02:35 PM CST

The boys indulge in some post-holiday geek-gift comparisons while pondering what tattoos are right for the kids.

‘Conan,’ ‘Pirates,’ ‘Warhammer’: Three New MMOs Challenge ‘World of Warcraft’ in 2008

Posted: 02 Jan 2008 12:00 PM CST

Massively Multiplayer Online games built around battling Cimmerians, sea-faring pirates and classic Order-versus-Destruction factions throw down the gauntlet. A sneak peek at the best new MMOs of 2008.

The War Against Live Blogging

Posted: 02 Jan 2008 12:27 PM CST

Last June, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) ejected a credentialed reporter from a baseball game because he was live blogging the event for his paper’s web site. The reporter was stripped of his press credential and barred from the press box. His lawyer called out the NCAA for its draconian policy prohibiting live blogging, writing, “Once a player hits a home run, that’s a fact. It’s on TV. Everybody sees it. [The NCAA] can’t copyright that fact. The blog wasn’t a simulcast or a recreation of the game. It was an analysis.”

The NCAA responded two weeks ago by releasing a new policy for live blogging of collegiate sporting events (PDF).

The policy provides for limited blogging by credentialed bloggers only. I.e., American football bloggers get a maximum of 3 posts per quarter, and 1 at halftime. For baseball, it’s once per inning, for golf — 10 per day. Bloggers are also required to submit their coverage to the NCAA’s Blog Central directory and to include the NCAA logo and link on their posts.

TechDirt’s Mike Masnick points out that the NCAA’s rules apply only to credentialed reporters — and the NCAA can’t do anything about publications who just buy their reporters a ticket (except maybe make it harder to stay connected and blog at the venue level). Worse, concludes Masnick, is that the NCAA policy is really hurting fans.

“What’s really idiotic, though, is that this makes no sense. Limiting live blogging only hurts the sport. The people who follow live blogs are the really passionate fans — the ones who love the game the most. They follow the live blogs not as a substitute for watching the game on TV or attending in person — but because they cannot view the games that way and/or they want to feel the camaraderie of discussing the event with other passionate fans. Cutting off the ability of a reporter to feed info to these fans simply makes no sense. It’s hurting your most passionate fans for no good reason whatsoever.” — Mike Masnick, TechDirt

The NCAA policy is also vague, specifying the number of “blogs” that a credentialed reporter can make during a given competition. It doesn’t define what a blog is, however. Does that mean single posts, or updates to posts? This Daily Eastern News blog post from November chronicles live the first quarter of a Southern Illinois University football game. It was sanctioned by the NCAA and I count 12 updates in the single first quarter post. Would that now violate the new NCAA policy? In a quarter of football, where they could easily be 60 or 70 plays, is 3 posts enough to keep readers interested?

Guardian writer Jemina Kiss notes today that the NCAA isn’t the only one getting rough with live bloggers. The International Cricket Council is considering banning sites provide live blog coverage of cricket matches without paying for coverage rights.

To me this feels a lot like the RIAA’s war against music downloading. A stodgy old regulation authority is confronted with a new technology, and because it can’t figure out how to control it or make money from it, it tries desperately to limit its use.

What the NCAA doesn’t seem to realize is how helpful live bloggers are at promoting collegiate athletics to their most passionate fans. As Mike Masnick astutely observed, the people who conduct and read live blogs are generally the people who are most obsessed with a particular team or sport (who else could stand to watch an entire sporting event unfold in a painfully delayed stream of text updates?). Rather than limit these people, the NCAA and ICC and other organizations should work to make it easier for them to live blog — especially since they are promoting the league product free of charge.

Further, like the proliferation of music downloading, there will be no stopping the spread of live news coverage. The NCAA and ICC may be able to stop credentialed reporters from live blogging events, but they can never stop ordinary fans from Twittering game results as they happen (something I am sure we will see people doing more of in 2008). Jemina Kiss predicts, “real-time text coverage is a relatively new format so no doubt it will be a decade before the rights framework catches up.” In that decade, how much unnecessary pain will bloggers have to endure because of institutions that just don’t get it?

Top 10 Obscure Google Search Tricks [Lifehacker Top 10]

Posted: 02 Jan 2008 11:00 AM CST

When it comes to the Google search box, you already know the tricks: like searching for exact phrases in quotes like "so say we all" or searching a single site using gmail. But there are many more oblique, clever, and lesser-known search recipes and operators that work from that unassuming little text box. Dozens of Google search guides detail the tips you already know, but today we’re skipping the obvious and highlighting our favorite obscure Google web search tricks.

10. Get the local time anywhere

goog-whattimeisit.png What time is it in Bangkok right now? Ask Google. Enter simply what time is it to get the local time in big cities around the world, or add the locale at the end of your query, like what time is it hong kong to get the local time there.

9. Track flight status

Enter the airline and flight number into the Google search box and get back the arrival and departure times right inside Google’s search results.

8. Convert currency, metrics, bytes, and more

goog-currencyconvert.png Google’s powerful built-in converter calculator can help you out whether you’re cooking dinner, traveling abroad, or building a PC. Find out how many teaspoons are in a quarter cup (quarter cup in teaspoons) or how many seconds there are in a year (seconds in a year) or how many euros there are to five dollars (5 USD in Euro). For the geekier set, bits in kilobytes (155473 bytes in kilobytes) and numbers in hex or binary (19 in binary) are also pretty useful.

7. Compare items with “better than” and find similar items with “reminds me of”

goog-betterthan.png Reader Adam taps the wisdom of the crowds by searching for like items using key phrases. He writes in:

Simply search for, in quotes: “better than _keyword_”Some example results:

Results 1 – 100 of about 550 English pages for ” better than WinAmp”.

Results 1 – 57 of 57 English pages for ” better than mIRC”.

Results 1 – 100 of about 17,500 English pages for ” better than Digg”. (Wow. Poor Digg.)

The results will almost always lead you to discovering alternatives to whatever it is you’re searching for. Using the same concept, you can use this trick to discover new music or movies. For example, ” reminds me of _someband_” or “sounds like _someband_” will pull up artists people have thought sounded similar to the one you typed in. This is also a great way to find good, no-name musicians you’d probably never know of otherwise.


Results 1 – 88 of 88 English pages for ” reminds me of Metallica”.

Results 1 – 36 of 36 English pages for ” similar to Garden State”.

Results 1 – 66 of 66 English pages for ” sounds like The Shins”.

Just get creative and you’ll, without a doubt, find cool new stuff you probably never knew existed.

6. Use Google as a free proxy

goog-cache.png What, your company blocks that hip new web site just because it drops the F bomb occasionally? Use Google’s cache to take a peek even when the originating site’s being blocked, with

5. Remove affiliate links from product searches

When you’re sick of seeing duplicate product search results from the likes of eBay, Bizrate, Pricerunner, and, clear ’em out by stacking up the operator. Alternately, check out Give Me Back My Google (original post), a service that does all that known reseller cleaning up for you when you search for products. Compare this GMBMG search for a Cruzer 1GB flash drive to the regular Google results.

4. Find related terms and documents

Ok, this one’s direct from any straight-up advanced search operator cheat sheet, but it’s still one of the lesser-used tricks in the book. Adding a tilde (~) to a search term will return related terms. For example, Googling ~nutrition returns results with the words nutrition, food, and health in them.

3. Find music and comic books

google-napster.png Using a combination of advanced search operators that specify music files available in an Apache directory listing, you can turn Google into your personal Napster. Go ahead, try this search for Nirvana tracks: -inurl:(htm|html|php) intitle:"index of" +"last modified" +"parent directory" +description +size +(wma|mp3) "Nirvana". (Sub out Nirvana for the band you’re interested in; use this one in conjunction with number 7 to find new music, too.) The same type of search recipe can find comic books as well.

2. ID people, objects, and foreign language words and phrases with Google Image Search

google-img-search.png Google Image search results show you instead of tell you about a word. Don’t know what jicama looks like? Not sure if the person named “Priti” who you’re emailing with is a woman or a man? Spanish rusty and you forgot what “corazon” is? Pop your term into Google Image Search (or type image jicama into the regular search box) to see what your term’s about.

1. Make Google recognize faces

google-face-recogniton_sm.png If you’re doing an image search for Paris Hilton and don’t want any of the French city, a special URL parameter in Google’s Image search will do the trick. Add &imgtype=face to the end of your image search to just get images of faces, without any inanimate objects. Try it out with a search for rose (which returns many photos of flowers) versus rose with the face parameter.What’s your favorite ninja Google search technique? Tell us about it in the comments.

Researchers: Cocaine Vaccine Could Cure the Urge

Posted: 02 Jan 2008 10:30 AM CST

A vaccine now in clinical trials gets the body’s immune system to attack cocaine when it’s introduced, thereby killing the desire for it, say researchers who believe they have found a cure for the addiction.

Hudson kicks off new year with Bomberman tournament

Posted: 02 Jan 2008 11:00 AM CST

Hudson wants you to keep your holiday spirit into the new year with a Bomberman Live tournament that features some pretty substantial prizes.

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MC Hammer — Ring a Bell? — Reemerges as Online Impresario

Posted: 02 Jan 2008 09:55 AM CST

Former rapper wants to give YouTube a run for its money with new social, dance hub.

Skype coming to Sony’s PSP?

Posted: 02 Jan 2008 04:10 PM CST

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Guess what babies? All your wildest dreams are about to come true (provided they don’t get too wild). That’s right, according to new PR for Sony’s upcoming CES showing, Skype is apparently coming to the PSP. Details are scarce at the moment (i.e., nonexistent), but the company makes clear mention of a Skype client for the handheld game system on its CES 2008 promo site, which is pretty official — though we’re gonna hold our breath a little till we see a press release. Obviously, we’ll be hearing a lot more about this when the big show kicks off this month, but until then at least we can all sleep a little better at night knowing the PSP is about to get yet another succulent function. Just hit the read link and click on the controller icon, all you need to know is listed in the sidebar.

Update: Thanks to some sleuthing by the crew over at UberGizmo, a perverse and exciting little easter egg has been found in the PSP promo video which accompanies this new info. For literally one frame, Sony all but confirms Skype on the handheld with a nearly-subliminal image that reads “Make calls with Skype.” Check the image after the break and see for yourself.

[Thanks, Jorge H]Continue reading Skype coming to Sony’s PSP?


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Pare Down Your Online Outlets for Better Focus [Online Identity]

Posted: 02 Jan 2008 08:00 AM CST

A few months ago, 43 Folders writer Matt Wood realized he was running five blogs, two Flickr accounts, a page, and a regular stream of Twittr, IM, and email messages. This year, he’s resolved to trim his online “commitments,” and he offers a few tips on how anyone can do the same. Wood recommends casting a hard, cold gaze at your online activities for the sake of prioritizing, one login at a time:

Take baby steps – Chances are there’s one online outlet that you know you just don’t have the heart to maintain anymore, be it a blog, Twitter, Facebook, whatever. Drop one of them, then see if any other candidates fall to the bottom by attrition.

If you were committed to canning one of your online outlets to stay better focused, where would you start? Share your executioners’ tales in the comments. Photo by Kevin.
Re-evaluating Your Online Commitments [43 Folders]

Now You Can Graph Your Twitter Usage

Posted: 02 Jan 2008 06:53 AM CST

Twitter has the potential of breaking into the mainstream this year. A lot of what’s going on around Twitter is not dissimilar to the earlier days of blogging; we’re seeing evangelists, some basic mainstream adoptions, and even some tracking services. Sites like Tweeterboard and Twitterposter are providing basic Twitter statistics in a similar (although far more polished) way to Technorati and Daypop back in 2003.

A new service provided by Brad Kallet of Pantsland fame allows you to track exactly how frequently you are using Twitter.

Twitter Stats offers a key range of (as the name suggests) Twitter statistics based on username. My stats below demonstrate the basics. The service is a little slow at this stage (up to 5 minutes to generate the stats) and the graphics are basic, but for Twitter users looking for some statistics it’s a helpful service.



Loading information about Twitter…

Crunch Network: MobileCrunch Mobile Gadgets and Applications, Delivered Daily.

20+ Mobile Internet Applications

Posted: 02 Jan 2008 03:33 AM CST


    mobile internet

2008 is the year of the mobile internet, right? We hear that every year. Let’s forget about predictions and focus on what’s available right now. We bring you over 20 mobile internet applications that you’ll actually use. (more…)

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A New DNA Test Can ID a Suspect’s Race, But Police Won’t Touch It

Posted: 01 Jan 2008 11:00 PM CST

Tony Frudakis, a molecular biologist, says he can determine a suspect’s race by analyzing his DNA. The test, called DNAWitness, has been used nationally in nearly 200 criminal investigations, but its success hasn’t made the technology popular with law enforcement.

Australian Government Equates Freedom Of Speech To Liking Kiddie Porn

Posted: 01 Jan 2008 10:49 PM CST

rudd.jpgA follow up to our story December 30 on the Australian Government joining China is broadly censoring the internet. Now apparently if you believe in Free Speech you believe in Kiddie Porn, via the SMH:

“Labor makes no apologies to those who argue that any regulation of the internet is like going down the Chinese road,” [Telecommunications Minister Stephen] Conroy said yesterday. “If people equate freedom of speech with watching child pornography, then the Rudd Labor Government is going to disagree.”

No one equates freedom of speech with watching kiddie porn, only the Australian Government does.

Whilst no one would disagree with the notion that kidde porn is abhorrent, it should be noted that the Australian Government’s censorship regime is going to be much broader than sites that show activities that are already illegal to distribute and watch across the world. Further still, as local civil libertarians have pointed out, it will not only take all of two minutes to bypass the great firewall of Australia, and worse still it will actually provide a false sense of security to parents who will wrongly believe that the internet is now a safe place for their children, when it still isn’t.

At least they’ve now admitted to taking lessons from China, not that this is something to be proud of, although the Australian Government seems to think that it is.

Crunch Network: CrunchBoard because it’s time for you to find a new Job2.0

Wiimote weapon kit takes uselessness to dangerous new levels

Posted: 01 Jan 2008 08:52 PM CST

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Wiimote add-ons of all sorts have been flooding in virtually since the console’s debut, but when it comes to sheer uselessness and dangerousness, it’s tough to beat this latest bundle from the folks at Dragon Electronics, which offers no less than eight ways to accessorize your Wiimote and nunchuck. That includes a pair of daggers, an axe, and a pistol to name a few, which the company says should provide “amazing, exciting, fantastic and training body reaction.” If that sounds like the added depth of realism you’ve been waiting for, you can grab a set of your own right now for just under $30.

[Via Wii Fanboy]


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Mod your 4G iPod with internal Bluetooth

Posted: 01 Jan 2008 07:26 PM CST


For the extreme tinkerer and iPod aficionado, we present to you what appears to be the first ever internal-Bluetooth enabled iPod. Using a flash-memory-modded 20GB 4G iPod, a Jabra A120S Bluetooth music adapter, some clever wiring, a little drilling, and some good old-fashioned elbow grease, one modder has taken things inside his DAP to dizzying heights which can only be referred to as “the next level.” The mod has its catches of course — first you’ll have to kick the hard drive to the curb in favor of the more space-conscious flash memory, and you’ll need to be pretty handy with a soldering iron and voltmeter, but if you’ve got the mettle (and this how-to guide), you should be rocking the new Mortiis album wirelessly very, very soon. Check the read link for all the step-by-step goodness.


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20+ Resources For Homebrew Games

Posted: 01 Jan 2008 03:49 PM CST



Homebrewing is the tradition of video game enthusiasts trying to crack their various gaming platforms and getting them to do things the designers did not originally intend. For the really adventurous out there, you can also start to learn about making your own games for the various platforms.

Related: 90+ Social Games, AJAX Games and Mashups

Microsoft Homebrew

    free60 – Has a guide to various tricks you can attempt on your 360 such as adding an external hard drive. – A project to get Linux on to Microsoft’s Xbox 360. – A guide to getting Linux onto the original Microsoft Xbox. – More activity in the forums than on the site itself, but people are still giving it a go.

Nintendo Homebrew – A development community for the Wonderswan, Super Nintendo, GameBoy Advance and the DS. – A project concentrating on getting Linux on to the DS. – A site dedicated to the GameBoy Advance homebrew scene. – A homebrew project to wedge… yes… Linux onto the GameCube.

Nintendo DS Homebrew – A guide to doing homebrew on your DS and where to find downloads. – A group of teenage developers working on games for the DS homebrew community.

Sony Homebrew – Maker of numerous homebrew firmware updates that allow you to get all the other goodies out there working. – A companion site to the book of the same name, included edition updates that came out after th book was published. – Has a support forum and downloads for things such as a firmware downgrader, development tools and more. – A community devoted to homebrew for all of the Sony gaming platforms since Playstation 2. – A community devoted to everything Playstation 3 and includes numerous saved game files. – A guide to the homebrew community including a FAQ explaining all of the jargon one might encounter in the community. – All sorts of news about the PSP including homebrewing developments. – Downloads of game saves,firmwares, homebrews and more. – Videos, files, articles and more related to the PSP and homebrew.

Miscellaneous Homebrew

    qj – A forum for all forms of homebrew talk of all the current console game systems. – News and information on just about every gaming homebrew community you can think of.

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