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Wacom Cintiq 21ux -- simply awesome!

The Wacom CINTIQ 21UX (DTK2100) 21-Inch Pen Display is just awesome. I'm thinking of ordering one soon.

Seems like many online vendors are backordered one to two weeks. Is this due to popularity or is there a production issue that's preventing shops from restocking?

Download AT&T Samsung Impression A877 drivers and manuals - no manuals, no drivers included with product.

My daughter bought a Samsung Impression A877 AT&T cell phone the other day. It's an interesting phone, and it looks like a high-quality mobile device (at least so far.)

She decided to connect it to her computer. She inserted the CD-ROM in the computer's CD-ROM drive and was greeted with a nice Flash-based menu which included links to install USB drivers and the 'friendly' PC Studio application. She clicked the link to install the software -- and was rewarded with a web browser opening up to visit the Samsung website in order to download the requested software. Same with the USB driver and documentation -- each resulted in a web browser directed to a Samsung web page to download the requested items.

Living without antivirus software

[adsense:728x15:5447199818]Ok, I'll admit it. I've been living dangerously for the last several years.

To be blunt: I refused to install any kind of antivirus or personal firewall software on most of my computers (but see Update 1/1/2012, below.) This included a Windows XP Home system that was used by my children as a web surfing / email / game system. I suffered zero infections during this time. (The only time I ever suffered a malware infection was before, when I did rely on Norton Antivirus to protect the kids' computer.)

Why do I refuse to use these massively popular widely-used products? Simple. I am convinced that in my case, they may cause more harm than good, and that they foster a false sense of security - leading some users to engage in riskier behavior.

Further, antivirus software is almost always behind the curve - by definition, the antivirus people are playing catch-up with the malware writers. It's a good living for them, but I choose not to contribute to it.

As a software developer, I cannot afford any downtime due to buggy software, and yes - antivirus software has bugs. Not long ago, one major antivirus package ran amok, causing widespread damage by deleting harmless user data and programs.

Is Google Evil?

In a Reuters article, Eric Schmidt talks about their stated philosophy - "Don't be evil" - and how this translates into practice, and what it means to the company.

In an on-stage interview with writer Ken Auletta of the New Yorker magazine, Schmidt said "Don't be evil" is meant to provoke internal debate over what constitutes ethical corporate behavior, rather than representing an absolute moral position.

Ringtone downloads - Ringtones, Ringtones, and More Ringtones...

Ringtone Downloads - what's all the fuss about?

Ringtones. Seems like everybody's searching for them and downloading them. Ringtone download sites are all over the 'net, and ringtone download advertising is pretty big business, if the number of ringtone download site ads visible on the average web site is any indication.

Ringtones For You, Ringtones For Me, Ringtones As Far As The Eye Can See...

I've never spent much time paying attention to ringtone download sites. I always figured that they were aimed at a younger audience, and, I have always been satisfied with the ringtones that were built in to my cell phones. Who's visiting the ringtone sites?

2007-2008 Times Square Ball features bright, efficient L.E.D.s

Times Square Ball 2008

Today's announcement of the L.E.D.-lit 100th Anniversary Times Square Ball on Good Morning, America was interesting - from what I've seen, the new ball is a major technological leap forward and will be a real stunner, and more energy efficient too! It's over twice as bright as previous ones, and yet uses half as much power. It can even play videos and animated sequences. You can even buy a Waterford ornament modeled after the real thing.

It's built on an aluminum frame, and will be covered with Waterford crystals.

The last gasp for pathetic email spammers

I saw this in my inbox today:

Subject: Ado6e Acro8at 8 79 $, 5ave 599.95
Body: Vlsi+ cheapxp4pc .com ln 1nternet Exp1orer.

This is so truly pathetic. Yes, it managed to get past gmail's spam filter. So what? It's so blatantly obvious that this is spam that one can just delete it without reading it. Out of the hundreds or thousands of spam messages that end up in my gmail spam box, this is the only kind of message that makes it through of late, and it's only rarely (one or two out of thousands!)

Stop Driving!

I'm hearing a growing chorus of people calling for government intervention to halt the increase in gasoline prices. My response to such calls is this: If you want the price to drop, change your travel habits. Kick the habit. Get off the juice. The price is increasing due to two very real reasons, neither of which are under the control of 'greedy oil barons'.

Never Paint Your House With a Flamethrower

Blocking Firefox is a Bad Idea

A friend of mine forwarded me a link to (no, I won't link to them, because I won't feed this particular bit of link bait.) He asked: what are these people smoking?

My initial response probably makes him wonder what I've been smoking!

AdBlock Plus Is Not The Problem

In a nutshell, at least one webmaster has (and perhaps others have) decided to try to block site visitors who are using Firefox, because of the existence of a popular extension called AdBlock Plus, which has the ability to allow one to visit web sites and never see any ads.

I've been reading up on the issue, and it seems that Firefox-blocking webmasters' position is may be summarized as:

  • Firefox users with AdBlock installed are engaging in "theft" (their words, not mine) because they are visiting sites that depend on commercial advertising revenues to support the site, and
  • AdBlock developers have taken steps to circumvent webmaster attempts to detect and defeat AdBlock use by site visitors.

(There are other, non-essential and even more inflammatory arguments made about some Firefox users and promoters, but I won't bother with them here because they have nothing to do with the matter at hand.)

Making a list, checking it twice

If you dig lists and list-making, here are a couple of quick, fun finds I want to share with you all.

Simple Checklists

Want to keep a list of things for your private consumption, or to share with others? Need reminders?? Try ZingLists.

"My Dog is Better than Your Dog" lists

Want to make a list and share it with the world? Want to rank things by popularity? Want to see how others rank the items on your list? Try UnSpun by Amazon.

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