GLENN – SHOWNOTES
Star Trek DIY: Fans make their own 'Webisodes'
"Battlestar Galactica" writer/producer: "Webisodes" will spur better TV, films
Web-produced Trek video beats "Battlestar Galactica" for TV Guide award
Fans "hungry for new material," says producer; TV has dropped Trek series
Unofficial Star Trek audio podcast "Continuing Mission" debuts December 25
Are you a 'cyberchondriac'?
When researching a condition online, remember, you're getting just basic info
Have a specific question in mind and give yourself a time limit
If you start feeling afraid or confused, make yourself stop
QuickBooks users report data loss An automatic update to QuickBooks 2006 for Mac has
resulted in significant loss of data for many users.
According to MacFixIt, QuickBooks owners that notified Intuit that the contents of their
desktop folder was destroyed by the flawed update process have received an email
offering to reimburse the cost of a copy of Prosoft's Data Rescue II
The problem stems from recently released updater for QuickBooks which contained
a bug that replaced the Desktop folder with a file called Desktop. In the process
deleted all files stored on the desktop. Intuit soon corrected the problem, but for
many users the damage was already done, -how passed quality assurance testing
New PS3 firmware brings Blu-ray bonus and more Playstation 3 system software
update 2.10 brings support for Blu-ray Profile 1.1 to the console along with additional
Discs using Blu-ray Profile 1.1 will begin to appear in January 2008. The main
difference between 1.0 and 1.1 is that the latter requires secondary audio and
video decoders to support the Picture In Picture feature, also known as Bonus View.
Bonus View allows the playback of supporting content such as storyboards, video
commentary and behind-the-scenes clips at the same time as the main movie.
Also new in system software 2.10 are DivX and VC-1 video codecs.
2.10 also tweaks the PS3's Voice Chat feature with the addition of a voice changer
to alter pitch and tone.
It’s a free PS3 with your TV Sony Australia have announced a Christmas bonus for
those in the marked for a HD TV. Get a free PS3 with your purchase
With any XBR, X and W series BRAVIA 1080p TV Sony sold between December 21
2007 and January 28 2008, will hand out a 40GB PS3 (the only model available in Australia)
This will be done via redemption at http://www.sony.com.au/bonusPS3
FireWire update promises 3.2Gbit/sec A new electrical specification for FireWire
developed by the 1394 Trade Association will quadruple the interface's maximum
speed to 3.2Gbit/sec.
That said, the new specification also provides new options that will allow cable
lengths of 100m or more, even for high-speed use
Although USB 3.0 will offer transfer speeds of 4.8Gbit/sec, it is likely to arrive a
year or two after the first S3200 devices. Furthermore, the efficiency of the 1394
protocols mean that more than 97 percent of the available bandwidth can be used
to carry data.
Apple Fan Site Shuts Down in Settlement
Apple Inc. has settled a lawsuit it brought against a fan site devoted to Apple products,
ThinkSecret.com, but the site will also shut down as part of the agreement.
Apple had sued the site in January 2005 after it disclosed information about an upcoming
bare-bones Mac computer two weeks before it was officially unveiled.
A California judge last year denied Apple's bid to force the identification of people who
had apparently leaked company information to three other Web sites, ruling that
the sites were entitled to the same protections as traditional journalists under a
state law that prevents the forced disclosure of confidential news sources.
BBQ gas bottle explodes
A Queensland Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said the woman was shifting the
barbecue when the blast occurred.
"A little gas cloud had built up near the barbecue and it ignited when she moved it
past the pilot light of her hot water system" the spokesman said.
He said people needed to ensure all barbecue fittings were secured.
A police spokeswoman said the woman's injuries were serious but not life-threatening.
Time to stop talking
Mobile phone jammers are prohibited in Australia under 1998 additions to the
Radiocommunications Act. One suspects that otherwise, there'd be as many of
them as there are mobile phones.
They work by transmitting an overriding signal on the frequencies used by mobile
phone carriers simulating "No Network" conditions within a certain radius of the device
. The range, transmission frequencies, sizes and prices all vary
Despite their illegal status, The New York Times has reported a growing trade in
jammers in the US. And it's not hard to see why. One outlaw commuter described the
feeling of power the first time he reached into his pocket and discreetly activated a
gizmo the size of a cigarette box. "She kept talking into her phone for about 30 seconds
before she realised there was no one listening on the other end," he gloated. His
reaction? "Oh, holy moly! Deliverance."
The net is rife with companies exporting phone jammers worldwide. Phonejammer.com
is one British company offering devices for mail order ranging in price from $250 to $4500.
Digital TV switchover by 2013
All Australian televisions will have to be digital within five years under the new
federal government's plan.
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy says he has taken the first firm steps
to ensure the switchover to digital TV is completed by the end of 2013.
hlo mum I can't w8 to meet u
LONDON – Mums-to-be in London can now download ultrasound pictures of their unborn
babies on their iPods and mobile phones.
The city's private Portland Hospital has unveiled a new device allowing mums to take
the high-definition scans wherever they go.
The Daily Telegraph newspaper said pregnant women can undergo a 40-minute scan at
the hospital, whose previous patients include Victoria Beckham, and then download
images of their baby using a secure website.
But the 3D and 4D pictures don't come cheap, costing between STG140 ($A325) and
Wii stocks dry up
Australian stores are facing a possible shortage this week of Wii games consoles, as
worldwide supplies dwindle in the lead-up to Christmas.
The popular games console has been tipped to be one of the big sellers this Christmas,
but several stores across the country have run out of stock, leaving many consumers
Several listings on the online auction website eBay have attracted bids between $400
and $500, with one listing as high as $729 – almost double the recommended retail
price of $399.
ABS study shows 43% of all households have broadband An extra 1.2 million homes
had broadband connections in the past 12 months
The ABS' Household Use Of Information Technology study shows broadband
connections jumped over a million to 3.5 million in the past year. All up this comprises
43% of all households.
The total number of Australians in 2006-07 who had home Internet access was 64%.
The proportion of households with dial-up Internet access decreased from 51% to
32% during this twelve-month period.
The Australian Capital Territory has the highest proportion of broadband connections,
at 58% of households. Tasmania (32%) and South Australia (33%) had the lowest connections.
The dominant type of access technology is still Digital Subscriber Line (DSL),
accounting for 70% of households with broadband access. However, the percentage of
households using DSL had decreased by 13 percentage points over the previous survey.
The survey also found that 73% (6 million) of Australian households have access to a
computer, and 5 million of these have Internet access. Additionally, the Internet is used
daily by half (50%) of all Australians over the age of 15, and almost all (91%) use it at
least weekly. These figures are much lower for those with lower levels of education,
people aged 55 years and over, indigenous people and the unemployed.
Microsoft to Release IE 8 Beta 1 in First Half of 2008
Follow Santa's sleigh online
THE plans for Santa's flight across Australia on Christmas Eve will be displayed
on a new website to help parents, pilots and children plan for his journey, authorities say.
This year, Airservices Australia will launch a website, including important safety tips,
ahead of Santa Claus' low-level, high speed journey on December 24.
Designed in conjunction with aviation authorities in the Arctic, the website
– airservicesaustralia.com/santa07 – will be live from 6am (AEDT) on Monday, December 17.
Updated, detailed information on Santa's Christmas plans would then be available
on the website each day in the lead-up to Christmas, Airservices Australia said in a statement.
Google takes on Wikipedia
Google is going head-to-head with the user-generated online encyclopedia Wikipedia
by developing its own repository of knowledge.
The looming battle pits the world's busiest internet site, with 260 million users,
against Wikipedia, which was visited by 107 million people in October.
Dubbed the "knol" project after what Google calls a unit of knowledge, the new
information source will encourage experts on a particular subject to write an
authoritative article about it.
But unlike on Wikipedia, only the author of a "knol" page will be allowed to edit it.
Other authors will have to set up competing pages under their own names.
Tennis Australia unveils broadband TV
TENNIS Australia has taken its racquet and ball and gone online to launch its
own on-demand broadband television channel for next year's Australian Open.
The sport has followed Cricket Australia in attempting to develop its own revenue
stream from internet content, but while cricket retains its internet rights, Tennis
Australia recently signed – two years early – another five-year deal that gives its
local free-to-air broadcast and online rights to the Seven Network.
Tennis Australia will offer domestic internet users free match and session highlights
and off-court video coverage on the australianopen.com website.
Led Zeppelin clips may be hard to wipe off YouTube
YouTube's technology to find videos posted without copyright permission may be
useless to find footage from Led Zeppelin's big reunion performance on Monday
YouTube's technology for finding videos posted without the copyright holder's
permission may be useless to identify footage posted to the site from Led Zeppelin's
reunion concert on Monday.
But the technology doesn't work as well with batches of different clips with different
characteristics, even if the clips are all from the same event.
MARK – SHOWNOTES
Schwarzenegger Vows to Sue EPA
Another Court Battle Looms Over Vehicle CO2 Emissions
California has vowed to take the Environmental Protection Agency to court –
for the third time – over its effort to reduce greenhouse emissions from vehicles.
from vehicles, a decision that will keep as many as 17 other states from following
suit. The EPA argued that the increased fuel economy standards approved by
Congress and signed by President Bush are a more cohesive, fair national strategy
for tackling greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles. More than 50% of the U.S.
population, and 45% of new car buyers, would have been affected by California's
law, had it been adopted in California and the other states, according to
California's law, which would require a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
by 2016, was passed in 2003, and it requested the Clean Air Act waiver it needed
from the EPA in 2005. When the EPA rejected that lawsuit, California joined other
states in a case that went to the Supreme Court, leading to a landmark decision
this spring that stated that the EPA has the right and responsibility to regulate
greenhouse gases as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act. Months later, with no
decision forthcoming, California sued again to force the EPA to make its decision
public, which it did Wednesday.
Now, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has vowed to sue again.
"California sued to compel the agency to act on our waiver, and now we will sue
to overturn today's decision and allow Californians to protect our environment," he said.
Using iPod & iPhone Video Out: Background and In-Depth Review
Published: 09:00 AM EST
This year, Apple gave the iPhone and the new Classic, Touch, and Nano models
improved TV out features while harmonizing the AV cables used by its entire
product line. Here's a look at what's what's changed, a review of Apple's
recently released AV Cable kits, why the invented controversy about Apple's
new cables is simply misinformed, and how using an iPod for video output
compares against Apple TV.
Apple formerly sold the headphone-jack iPod AV Cable as a standalone 20
able or as part of the $99 iPod AV Kit that also included a Dock, power
adapter, and remote. Alternatively, third party cables could extract composite
video either from the headphone jack or the Dock Connector. With the removal
of composite video from the headphone jack of all 2007 iPhones and iPods
(a move explained below), Apple now sells two cable packages, both
of which use the iPods' Dock Connector:
- Composite AV Cable
- Component AV Cable
The new cables are longer, and rather than providing three short leads
that split off for stereo audio and video like the old iPod AV Cable (below,
right side), the new cables split in three directions: USB, video, and stereo
audio jacks (below, left side). This is an improvement in that it allows the
cable to be used in applications where the video jack isn't right next to the
audio jacks, such as would be the case if you wanted to plug the video
directly into the TV but route the audio into a stereo receiver more than a
few inches away. This design also results in a longer and more complex cable.
The component version of the new cable kit is identical apart from having three
video plugs rather than just the one on the composite cable pictured below.
Each package includes the audio/video cable with an integrated USB connector
(above) and a wall adapter for powering the connected device while using it
for video output. This is useful because playing video requires enough processing
power to drain the battery rapidly. Because the cable plugs into the Dock
Connector, it is essential to build USB into the cable because otherwise
there'd be no way to charge it while using it for video; the old headphone
cable could optionally be used alongside a USB to Dock Connector cable for power.
Both packages are identically priced at $49.00, which is higher than the old
headphone-style cable by itself, but seems reasonable given that it includes
a power adapter and is a more complex cable. Apple sells an additional package
including a remote and dock, also priced at $49. For users who want video
output but don't need a dock, this new packaging offers more flexibility than
the old package.
By: looseheadprop Thursday December 20, 2007 12:30 pm
Pups, I don't think it is any secret that I, like so many here, am a huge
both of these projects will turn out to be of mammoth importance in
maintaining a usable historical record, not only for impeachment and prosecution
purposes — should we ever fully restore the rule of law — but for the even
more lasting judgment of history.
Well, Hugh's List has been getting some additional exposure lately and I
wanted to take a moment to celebrate that and spread the word.
Edward Teller put a great post up over at Progressive Alaska about printing out
and displaying the then 60 foot long scroll of Hugh's List. It has great photos
and is just a terrific idea for getting people to pay attention. One very cool bit
of political demonstration. It could be replicated anywhere—and maybe should be?
Of course the list has, ahem, grown a bit since ET did his bit of performance art,
so I'm guessing you will need longer paper. *g*
Now Katymine reports that Hugh's List will be on the radio in the great state of
katymine December 19th, 2007 at 7:54 pm 143
If Hugh is still around, I directed our Phoenix Talk show host on 1480 Progressive
Radio to your list of Bush Scandals and starting the first of the year he will be
addressing one every day next year. He does not have enough business days
for the full list.
Current – Bing Lee chief executive Ken Lee passes away
Bing Lee chief executive Ken Lee passes away
By Chris Nicholls
SYDNEY: New South Wales electrical retailer Bing Lee’s chairman and co-founder
Ken Lee passed away this morning at St. Vincent’s Private Hospital after a short
illness. He was 75.
Born in 1933, Ken Lee took over the business in 1987, following his father’s passing.
He featured regularly in the company’s commercials and became synonymous with the
catchphrase “Come meet my team”.
He was apparently known for his fastidiousness, down to ensuring Bing Lee shop signs
were always kept clean.
Bing Lee celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. Sales also topped a record with close
to $400 million in turnover (excluding GST).
Ken Lee was a long time supporter of the Victor Chang Foundation, and was
elected a life member this year.
Ken Lee leaves his wife, Yenda and two sons, Lionel and Greg, Lionel will take over as
the company’s chief executive.
UK gamers spend £1.5bn on titles
UK gamers have spent a record-breaking £1.52bn on titles in 2007, up 25% on last year and with two weeks of sales yet to be counted.
Sales of video games in the UK are now at an all-time high, with more than 78 million titles sold, buoyed by new hardware and the success of the Wii.
Last week more than £87.9m worth of games were sold, setting a new record.
Paul Jackson, director general of industry body Elspa, said games were now "truly mass market".
"Videogaming is enjoyed by everyone, young and old, male and female," he said.
The games industry has been enjoying critical and commercial success in recent months, with a plethora of titles heralding what has been described as a "golden age" for the industry.
Games like Super Mario Galaxy, Bioshock, Call of Duty 4 and Halo 3 have won numerous awards and received praise from reviewers and gamers alike.
More than 11 million consoles were sold in the third quarter of the year, up 33% on last year as consumers flock to new machines, like the Wii, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Games on consoles now account for 79% of all software sales.
BitTorrent search site loses case
A website which facilitated the online exchange of films, music and TV programmes without permission has lost a US copyright case.
TorrentSpy was taken to court by the Motion Picture Association of America.
A judge made a default ruling in favour of the MPAA after she said the site's operators had tampered with evidence.
The site had ignored an order to retain server logs and the unique online addresses of computers which traded files using the BitTorrent program.
The ruling could have personal privacy implications because the information TorrentSpy had been told to retain was held in Random Access Memory of computers.
Defendants Justin Bunnell, Forrest Parker, Wes Parker and Valence Media originally had argued that its servers were located in the Netherlands and so were protected by Dutch law from having to turn over server logs.
Review: DVICO TVIX 5130
December 16, 2007
Dvico TIVX 5130
DVICO TVIX 5130
It looks like a high-tech home espresso machine but inside this cylindrical
black box is one of the most versatile media players we've tested.
It's an all-in-one multimedia centre that can play just about any type of digital
audio and video file format in existence as well as recording high-definition TV
through a built-in digital tuner. Tapping its full potential, however, is well beyond t
he average user.
As with the present crop of "digital jukeboxes", the TVIX 5130 provides easy access
to digital music, photos and videos libraries. These files can be stored on the
internal 320GB hard drive or streamed from a computer elsewhere on a home
network, although setting up the latter is a complicated process demanding a
solid grasp of configuring network settings.
Perhaps the biggest thing going for the TVIX 5130 is the veritable alphabet soup
of multimedia formats it supports. It effortlessly played everything we threw at it,
from decidedly obscure formats to the latest H.264 and MKV video compression
formats that are becoming increasingly popular as internet downloads.
Loading media onto the TVIX 5130 is as easy as connecting it to a computer by
USB, then dropping and dragging content into the appropriate folder on the device.
There's also the facility to copy files over a network using a file transfer program
but the complex set up and poor documentation will leave less savvy users
throwing up their hands in despair.
Dell Vostro Notebooks
SYDNEY, Dec. 19, 2007-–Dell today announced the
Vostro 1200, a thin and light 12 inch notebook computer designed specifically to
meet the mobility needs of small and medium businesses.
With a starting weight of 1.9 kilograms the Vostro 1200 is the lightest model
in Dell's Vostro range but still boasts Intel Core2 Duo processors, internal optical
drive and road-ready construction for its $1,199 starting price. Options include an
integrated 2MP camera with dual digital microphones, fingerprint reader and 802.11n
Dell is Australia’s number one commercial notebook brand and its Vostro (Latin
for “yours”) product family is designed to help reduce the cost, time and
complexity of managing information technology for small and medium business
Developed in direct response to customer feedback, Vostro branded products
have no trialware and offer simple to use tools that address top-of-mind problems
such as data back-up, PC performance and health, plus specialised networking
support for customers without dedicated IT staff.
“Vostro changes the game for small business owners by letting them to choose
the exact IT solutions they need to be successful,” said Robert Vinokurov, Dell's
Marketing Director for Vostro Product Solutions in Asia-Pacific and Japan.
“This new notebook offers mainstream performance in a form factor that will
appeal to business travellers for whom size and weight are key decision-making criteria.”
Importantly, the Vostro 1200 is available with either Windows Vista or XP
factory installed. Nearly twelve months after the release of Vista, Dell continues t
o give customers the choice opting for Windows XP on 31 different models — more
than three quarters of its total range — including all of its business notebook and
The Vostro 1200, like all Vostro, Inspiron and XPS models, can be recycled free
of charge by Dell at the end of the product's life.
Record breaking heist rocks Eve Online guild to the tune of
$16,500 USD in virtual goods
This was published in September's issue of PC Gamer UK, a popular video game
article magazine. It is a detailed account of what has to be one of most beautifully
executed in-game scams in a MMORPG ever pulled. It breaks all previous world
records for 'virtual crime'.
The game in question is Eve Online, an open ended sci-fi mmorpg with a heavy
emphasis on roleplaying, where developers try to give their players as much freedom
as possible, and where corporate espionage and political intrigue have become an
integral part of the game.
The perpetrator of the heist was the Guiding Hand Social Club (GHSC) corporation
(a corporation being similar to a clan in Eve); a freelance mercenary outfit that offers
their services (which usually involves corp infiltration, theft and assassination) to the
highest bidder. Over a year in planning, the GHSC infilitrated their target's corp with
their own members and gained their trust, as well as access to the corp hangers, with
time. It all concluded in a perfectly timed climax, with a massive theft in multiple
corp hangars synchronized with the in-game killing of the corporation's CEO, the
primary target of the contract.
What's most interesting and impressive about this operation is that it was entirely 'legal'
and within the game's own rules, and the mastermind and his agents pulled it off
together flawlessly, all the while staying in character. The estimated real-life value
of the items stolen is, according to PC Gamer, $16,500 US. The in-game value of
course is much, much higher as the things stolen would take years and years to aquire.
And now, the PC Gamer scans. I hope you'll find it as entertaining a read as I have.
Fran Foo | December 20, 2007
STATE and territory governments have scrambled to boost the Rudd Labor
Government's plan to provide senior school students with computers.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (second from left) with state and territory leaders at the
Council of Australian Governments meeting. Picture: David Crosling
All states and territories have agreed to conduct an audit of computing infrastructure
at schools immediately.
The audit is expected to be completed mid-February in time to meet the federal
Government’s plan to start allocating funds to schools by March next year.
Representatives of each government agreed to the plan at the Council of Australian Governments
(COAG) meeting in Melbourne today.
The $1 billion National Secondary School Computer Fund is set to benefit around
one million secondary students nationwide each year with schools identified has
having the most urgent needs given priority.
"World-class ICT in schools will make a real and sustainable change in the way
teaching and learning are delivered in classrooms across Australia," Deputy Prime
Minister and federal Education Minister Julia Gillard recently said.
"The Rudd Government will work with the school systems in every state and territory
to identify schools that have the highest priority in terms of need, and assist them
in making applications to the fund. Over four years, all secondary schools will have
access to the fund," she said.
The secondary school fund complements computing tax rebates that will kick-in from
July 1, 2008.
The federal Government has introduced means-tested rebates for parents, of up to
$375 a year, for primary school students and $750 a year for those in secondary school.
Georgina Prodhan in Frankfurt | December 20, 2007
ADVERTISEMENTS placed by Google in web pages are being hijacked by so-called
trojan software that replaces the intended text with ads from a different provider,
Romanian antivirus company BitDefender says.
The trojan redirects queries meant to be sent to Google servers to a rogue server,
which displays ads from a third party instead of ads from Google, BitDefender said in
Google said: "We have cancelled customer accounts that display ads redirecting users
to malicious sites or that advertise a product violating our software principles."
"We actively work to detect and remove sites that serve malware in both our ad network
and in our search results. We have manual and automated processes in place to
detect and enforce these policies."
The trojan, named after the mythic Trojan Horse because of its ability to enter computer
systems undetected, attacks Google's AdSense service, which targets advertisements
to match web page content.
"This is a serious situation that damages users and webmasters alike," said BitDefender
virus analyst Attila Balazs.
"Users are affected because the advertisements and/or the linked sites may
contain malicious code," he said. "Webmasters are affected because the
trojan takes away viewers and thus a possible money source from their websites."
BitDefender describes the trojan, which it identifies as Trojan.Qhost.WU
as spreading at a "low" level and causing "medium" damage.
Apple fan site ThinkSecret shuts down
Seth Sutel in New York | December 21, 2007
APPLE has settled a lawsuit it brought against a fan site devoted to
Apple products, ThinkSecret.com, but the site will also shut down as
part of the agreement.
Apple had sued the site in January 2005 after it disclosed information
about an upcoming bare-bones Mac computer two weeks before it was
Under the terms of the settlement, which was announced Thursday on
ThinkSecret.com, the identity of the people who leaked the information
will not be revealed.
The site's publisher, Harvard student Nick Ciarelli, said in a statement that
he was "pleased to have reached this amicable settlement, and will now be
able to move forward with my college studies and broader journalistic pursuits."
A California judge last year denied Apple's bid to force the identification of
people who had apparently leaked company information to three other websites,
ruling that the sites were entitled to the same protections as traditional
journalists under a state law that prevents the forced disclosure of
confidential news sources.
Telstra loses NAB deal to IBM
Fran Foo | December 21, 2007
NATIONAL Australia Bank has awarded IBM Australia a three-year
contract to manage its 30,000-odd desktop computers.
Telstra has lost a contract to supply desktop services to National
Australia Bank in a two-horse race
National Australia Bank CEO John Stewart is determined to trim technology
costs. Picture: Jeremy Piper
Confirming a report published yesterday in The Australian, NAB spokeswoman
Megan Lane said incumbent supplier Telstra had lost the deal in a two-horse race.
But she declined to reveal the value of the agreement – speculated to be about
$100 million a year – which was sealed yesterday.
"The value of the contract is commercial in confidence," she said. "We're leveraging
the scale and expertise that IBM has in desktop services.
"After the three years, there's an option to extend the contract for a further two."
Rumblings of discontent between the bank and Telstra can be traced back to
2005 from an anonymous letter circulating on the internet.
It alleged that NAB would slowly but surely decrease its dependence on Telstra.
But Ms Lane reaffirmed the bank's ties with the telco.
"We continue to have a very strong and strategic partnership with Telstra and
in fact with IBM.
"Telstra has our voice and data contract and desktop management is only a
very small percentage of the value of that relationship," she said.