Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Techno Jeep!


For my daughter (who has a Jeep)... TECHNO JEEPAGE!


Move your money?


When I'm not writing, I work in the online financial services industry. I currently have my money in a large, "Too Big To Fail" national bank. I've been happy with them - their home and remote banking systems are top-notch and I feel safe and secure using their tools. As a security specialist, I think they're contentious and care about keeping me and my money safe.

And yet, I'm thinking about moving ALL my money out of them and into a local Community Bank or Credit Union. Why?

Because I fundamentally disagree with all the greed and deregulation that big banks have imposed on us, their customers. 2008 and 2009's most recent round of huge bailouts and the banks' resulting REDUCTION of lending capital (all while posting record profits, don't forget), has me soured on the Big Banks, even though as a consumer I like many of the positive and forward-looking security and rewards products they've put in place.

Recently on HuffPo, I saw an article on the "Move Your Money" movement and decided that it makes sense. Why keep empowering these large institutions to screw me sans lube? Why not put my money into my local community, where it will make the most impact? Why not?

The link above contains a pretty shmaltzy movie promoting this idea, but I don't hold that against the authors of the plan. There's also a link there for the site, which has a handy community bank locator - just type in your zip code and it will direct you to local banks in your area.

As of this posting Credit Unions are NOT on the list, but the site admins promise to have them added in early 2010. As soon as I do, you can guarantee I'll be shopping for a new bank. Sucks that it's come to this, but getting Rewards Points on my Visa or a spiffy iPhone app that lets me log into my accounts remotely (as cool as they are) aren't worth getting screwed in the bigger ways that matters.

Anyway, check it out and Happy New Year!!


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Geek Alert! How to change a Nook eReader into a Pocket PC!!


Wow... check THIS out. Any bets on how long it will take Barnes and Noble to lock this shit down?

Money quote:

"Before you tut, toss your head and mutter ’so what?’ like some petulant teenager, think about the uses. The Nook is now a computer running a full Android operating system, with a built-in, free cellular connection to the internet. It also has a battery that lasts days, not hours. Now are you getting excited? This could turn into the Roomba of e-readers, only it won’t suck."


Thursday, December 10, 2009

When Robots Attack!


The coolest 5 minutes I spent today... by far. Here's a LINK if the embedded video isn't displaying (sorry Facebook peeps).

Hat tip for the link - my new favorite site io9. Thanks!!


Monday, December 7, 2009

New iPhone App For Poor AT&T Service - FINALLY!


If you have an iPhone (like I do), you're likely very, very used to slow data flow and dropped calls thanks to AT&T's truly craptacular network service. Using the iPhone on AT&T's network is like driving a Ferarri, but instead of rolling along on race compound steel-belted radials, some idiot thought it would be a good idea to bolt on wooden wagon wheels... then said you can never swap wheels! Actually, make that three wooden wagon wheels...

Well, now, there's something you can do about it. According to

AT&T has released a new iPhone app called AT&T Mark the Spot [Free - iTunes link] intended to allow customers to send in real-time, location-specific feedback about dropped calls, coverage gaps, or other network problems, have occurred.

So... if you have an iPhone and are sick to death of the crappy coverage... do something about it! Hope it helps someone - I know I'll be downloading this ASAP.

UPDATE: Downloaded it and it seems to work. It takes the GPS location of wherever you are, and allows you to enter symptoms such as "Dropped Call", "Poor Voice Quality", "Slow Data Connection" and others. Plus you can comment on the frequency and leave notes. After you submit, you get a text confirmation back from AT&T (which I hope they don't charge you for).


Friday, December 4, 2009

Quote of the day...


Andrew Sullivan just put this up as his latest "Poseur Alert"... Not to disagree with Mr. Sullivan, but I see the following as a reasonable (if difficult to find) goal for an adult relationship, one worth striving for.

And not to brag, but I think I've finally found the woman described below. Take it away, Brother West:

"The basic problem with my love relationships with women is that my standards are so high -- and they apply equally to both of us. I seek full-blast mutual intensity, fully fledged mutual acceptance, full-blown mutual flourishing, and fully felt peace and joy with each other. This requires a level of physical attraction, personal adoration, and moral admiration that is hard to find. And it shares a depth of trust and openness for a genuine soul-sharing with a mutual respect for a calling to each other and to others. Does such a woman exist for me? Only God knows and I eagerly await this divine unfolding. Like Heathcliff and Catherine’s relationship in Emily Bronte’s remarkable novel Wuthering Heights or Franz Schubert’s tempestuous piano Sonata No. 21 in B flat (D.960) I will not let life or death stand in the way of this sublime and funky love that I crave!" - Cornell West, in his new memoir.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

How to spot an email scam!


Having spent the weekend reloading my parents' spam-infested PC, I thought that it might be a good time to link to a useful article on how to spot potential email scams. As an internet security professional (of sorts), I see the fallout from these sorts of phishing scams every day, and I hate it when I see some poor bastard getting his checking account cleared out by a hacker.

I'm not saying that my folks actually fell prey to any of these but... (ahem!)

Read it. Learn it. Live it. If you follow these 10 simple rules, you'll be fine.

Hope this helps someone!




It's all over the web by now that the new Bioware game Dragon Age contains a love scene between two men. Well, OK, one man and one elf, anyway. If you don't believe me, here's a vid:

I'm sure that the fundie-pundits will gnash their teeth and bemoan this turn of events. All I can see is a very cliched love scene (complete with suitably stirring choral music) and "artsy" dissolve shots. Really, this sort of montage was already old and hoary when Sarah Conner doinked Kyle Reese in the Terminator.

But I digress... At least this is progress, and I would have loved to have sat in on the development meetings where they debated whether or not to include this option. Good for you, Bioware!

But I gotta ask... what's with the elf's very bad Antonio Bandaras impression??