Friday, October 31, 2008

Blonde or brunette?

I really think that the "Gentlemen may prefer blondes, but they really want a brunette for a wife" research is the usual, stupid, statistic.
As if you could still find a real blonde or a real brunette.
First: where are the red heads?
Second: with all the beautiful and effective hair colours, what if your statistic finds out that the blond in reality is a brunette or vice versa?
What if you found out that you do not care as long as the woman you love is a happy and nice girl?

How to dismantle...

"Pirate Bay co-founders Peter Sunde and Fredrik Neij gave a keynote speech at the Hack In The Box Security Conference 2008, entitled “How to dismantle a billion dollar industry - as a hobby.” The two discuss how The Pirate Bay grew to be the largest BitTorrent site on the Internet, and some of the challenges they face today."
Apparently is not as difficult as it looks.
I could plan something like that.
Give the people something valuable for little or nothing and you're done!
Easy, isn't it?
Tell me: how can a company survive selling at high prices when somebody gives it for free in a much easier way?

How to do something good doing nothing...

Do you want to make a donation for a good cause without actually spending anything?
It looks a little impossible, but IT IS POSSIBLE.
You just download a piece of software and forget about it.
It will do everything for you.
Any time you shop online you will pay the usual price, without any surplus added to your shopping, but the seller will donate a part of your purchase money to, which is the Italian translation if you live in Italy, which means a good cause. is the software owner which will get part of the money you spent and will use it for good purposes like Save the Children, Red Cross, Amnesty International, OXFAM and many others.
So, I think this is a wonderful idea and I will do it at once.
It feels good thinking to be able to change the world a little bit, with no effort!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

"On the screen all softwares are black..."

"In the night all cats are black"
May be taking inspiration from Kant, Microsoft Corp. has adopted a new anti-piracy tactic: when Chinese consumers use illegal software their screen turns black.
"On the screen all software’s are black..."

Useless say that Chinese consumers are very angry.

"The black-screen plan implies that Microsoft can hack all its users, not just the pirates," "That's not fair."
Windows Genuine Advantage is a tool that Microsoft uses to assess, over the Internet, whether a PC has one of the pirated copies of Windows that flourish in developing countries.
As the tool scans for pirated copies of Windows, it logs certain information about computers, notifies users if it detects illegal copies or counterfeits — and urges them to get a legitimate copy.

Users could avoid it by disabling updates, but in this way they miss security.(but they can get illegal updates in the same way...)

On the other hand, it is not sure that people who get illegal software would buy the legal one, just like the ones who buy Gucci's copies.
They would never pay $1000 for a bag or a pair of shoes.
So the estimate of the money loss is, in my opinion, overestimated.
Besides it's possible that the presence of cheap pirated versions benefits Microsoft in some cases, by helping to introduce people to the company's products.

May be the right solution would be having lower prices...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Swindlers List

This is too good for going unmentioned:

Let's create thousands of jobs for people, who will hunt down the bastards, prosecute them, and take all their assets. We'll call the new department: Swindlers List. I'll be the first to sign up -- I'm dying to add "Financial Terrorist Hunter" to my business card.

From Tracy Adams

Will the iPhone replace the Laptop?

First the size.
Mobile workers need something to carry wherever they go.

Second the software.
"The iPhone was the first phone that brought what we used to think of as ‘desktop quality’ software to a handheld platform."

Third connectivity.
The availability of a wireless access point.

So, will or will not?
It depends on what the user wants to do.
If the task you have to fulfil are simple ones like mail or just being entertained while you travel the answer could be yes.

About computer viruses

All viruses are terrible, especially the ones you accidentally get (which happens quite often), but these look the worst ever:

It behaves tempting recipients into opening a document with an e-mail message like "Here is that document you asked for, don't show it to anybody else." Once activated, the virus replicates itself and sends itself out to the top 50 people in the recipient's e-mail address book.

I Love You
Also this one comes as an email like a love letter from a secret admirer.
The attachment is the one that causes all troubles.
(adding new files to the victim's registry keys, replacing several different kinds of files with copies of itself, stealing application that e-mailed secret information to the hacker's e-mail address.)

The Klez Virus
Usual email message, replicating itself and addressing all the people on the recipient's address book.
Later they added the "spoofing" (the e-mail appears to come from one source when it's really coming from somewhere else.)
Used for spamming could clog an inbox.

Code Red and Code Red II
It caused the buffer overflow problem, which means when a machine running on these operating systems receives more information than its buffers can handle, it starts to overwrite adjacent memory.
It initiated a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on the White House. That means all the computers infected with Code Red tried to contact the Web servers at the White House at the same time, overloading the machines.
The worm creates a backdoor into the computer's operating system, allowing a remote user to access and control the machine.
The person behind the virus can access information from the victim's computer or even use the infected computer to commit crimes.

Its primary targets were Internet servers. While it could infect a home PC, its real purpose was to bring Internet traffic to a crawl.
The Nimda worm created a backdoor into the victim's operating system.

SQL Slammer/Sapphire
It caused more than $1 billion in damages before patches and antivirus software caught up to the problem.

SQL Slammer/Sapphire
It is another worm that can create a backdoor in the victim computer's operating system.
It spread through e-mail and peer-to-peer networks. According to the security firm MessageLabs, one in every 12 e-mail messages carried the virus at one time.

Sasser and Netsky
The Sasser worm attacked computers through a Microsoft Windows vulnerability. Unlike other worms, it didn't spread through e-mail. Instead, once the virus infected a computer, it looked for other vulnerable systems. It contacted those systems and instructed them to download the virus.
The Netsky virus moves through e-mails and Windows networks. It spoofs e-mail addresses and propagates through a 22,016-byte file attachment.

Some hackers program viruses to sit dormant on a victim's computer only to unleash an attack on a specific date.

Be prepared for a worst case scenario, because the danger is ALWAYS there.


Jessica Lange has to dispose of her dead husband's ashes and wants to fulfil his will to spread them on the places they were together.
But it is either to bring the ashes to her husband's daughter or to lose the house she lives in.
Thus the trip to Santa Barbara to deliver them to his daughter.
This trip is the chance to see how beautiful America is.
Huge mountains, deserts, lakes, beaches.
You see it all. A new romance begins for her friend and the third one wins a big sum of money in Las Vegas.
She (Jessica Lange) ends up without any more ashes to bring to the daughter and her friend has the idea to collect some embers from the beach they were sleeping the last night before Santa Barbara.
As usual a terrible accident happens: the urn falls and all ashes are scattered on the floor revealing an unexpected beer top...
Arvilla doesn't own a house anymore, but still has a place in her friends' heart and home...
Nice movie, where the feelings are worth more than anything.
Ashes go back to ashes…

Identity theft: a crime on the rise

Outsourced Call Centers Are Costing Millions In Identity Theft.
Outsourced call centers can save money on the side of US employment.
The quality of service is, of course, not as good as it should be, but this is not the point.
The problem is the security issue.
So the question is: is it worth to save?

But I have another question.
May be, "Is the fraud a sale?"
Yes, public opinion and credit card companies can and will force companies that process credit card data to increase their security. However, how about the "acceptable risk" concept that underlies the very security procedures of credit card companies themselves and pervades their relationships with their parties? Do As I Say, Not As I Do?

The dirty little secret of the credit card industry is that they are very happy with 10% of credit card fraud, over the Internet or not.

In fact, if they would reduce fraud to _zero_ today, their revenue would decrease as well as their profits. So, there is really no incentive to reduce fraud. On the contrary, keeping the status quo is just fine.

This is so because of insurance -- up to a certain level, which is well within the operational boundaries of course, a fraudulent transaction does not go unpaid through VISA, American Express or Mastercard servers. The transaction is fully paid, with its insurance cost paid by the merchant and, ultimately, by the customer.

"Acceptable risk" has been for a long time an euphemism for that business model that shifts the burden of fraud to the customer.

Food that helps you

Everybody's dream is to live a healthy life.
Can something help?
What can actually reduce the risk of cancer?

1) Tea. Green Tea.
It proved to have the antioxidant EGCG and also helping the growth of (good)intestinal bacteria. These inhibit the growth of bad ones and since up to 70% of the immune system is located in the digestive tract drinking as much as a few cups a day will help to increase immunity.

2) Chili peppers.
They increase the metabolism, keep the blood thin and are able to release endorphins.

3) Ginger.
Particularly effective to prevent colon cancer.

4) Blueberries.
The colour is a sign.
All purple or dark blue colored vegetables and fruit are very healthy.
They prevent cancer and heart diseases.

5) Cinnamon.
It is rich in antioxidants that inhibit blood clotting and bacterial growth.

6) Sweet potatoes.
They are one of the best food.
They contain glutathione, an antioxidant that can enhance nutrient metabolism and immune-system health.

7) Tomatoes.
Especially the new kind, the purple tomato.

8) Figs.
The fiber in figs can lower insulin and blood-sugar levels, reducing the risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
But if you already have diabetes avoid eating them, since their high content in sugar.

9) Mushrooms.
They reduce the risk of cancer.

Also these can reduce the risk of cancer, thanks to polyphenols called ellagitannins, which give the fruit its color.

Nobody will love a connection 75 percent slower...but this could happen in Australia

Australia has started to filter the Internet, searching for "illegal content".
That has arisen fears among the liberal democracies that in the blacklist could also be included legal content.
"Family First", argues that the porn subject on the Internet has reached epidemic proportions and kids’ education is at risk.
Government will establish a Mandatory Filtering Scheme at the ISP Server Level, acting at two levels.
In the first porn and illegal content will be filtered, at the second level, illegal content will be filtered.
While the first will be optional, the second will be mandatory.
But filters tested proved to be unable to provide an effective solution, filtering also a high percentage of legal content.
In this way the filters can degrade performance from 20 to 75 percent.
Nobody will love a connection 75 percent slower...

Technology is good also for diamonds

If diamonds are a girl's best friends so is technology.
Using chemical vapor deposition, gems can be grown very rapidly.
Diamond, the purest and hardest form of Carbon is used not only for jewels, but also for making scalpel blades, electronic components, and even quantum computers.
Its main quality is its hardness and resistance to chemicals, and for this reason can also be a very difficult material to work with.
A team of scientists at the Carnegie Institution in Washington, D.C. use a method called chemical vapor deposition (CVD) to grow synthetic diamonds.
These diamonds can be grown very rapidly and have relatively few defects.
The new method, detailed in the Oct. 27 issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also lets the researchers grow diamonds bigger.
"The breakthrough will allow us to push to kilocarat diamonds of high optical quality."

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What's the role of a leader?

The role of the teacher is not spreading notions, but teaching how to understand notions.
The role of a leader is to make it possible that people understand what they do.
When they vote, when they invest their work and their savings.
The role of the criminals is to use difficult words that the majority doesn't understand, is making difficult what in reality is easy.

People would like to know: if you invest x at the end you will have x+y-z.
Or, if you borrow x, you will have to pay back x+y.

That is what the whole financial market is and should be explained.
The ones who use difficult words to explain easy transactions are the ones who have EVERY INTEREST that people do not understand what they are doing.

About White Spaces

What we really need is NONEXCLUSIVE licensing of the TV white spaces -- similar to the licensing which has been established for the 3.65 GHz band, but with a mandatory spectrum etiquette that allows the spectrum to be shared among multiple broadband providers and their customers. This would maximize the use of the spectrum and also consumer choice.

What we need the spectrum for is to deliver wireless broadband, on frequencies which are NOT polluted by an untold number of consumer devices.

We should allocate higher unlicensed frequencies -- which have a HARDER time penetrating walls-- so that each user's home is his or her "spectrum castle." If any more spectrum is needed for indoor wireless (though it's not clear that it is), how about liberalizing the rules for the 24 GHz unlicensed "low millimeter wave" band so that it can be used in the home? This would make far more sense than turning consumer devices loose on the TV bands. The "white spaces," in turn, could be reserved for services that deliver wireless broadband right through the walls of these "castles," so as to connect them to the Internet without drilling holes or mounting outdoor antennas.

Shannon's Law dictates that the way to get the greatest utility out of spectrum is not to slice it up into little chunks and license it exclusively, but rather to share large swaths of spectrum, intelligently, using cognitive radio technology. In fact, if we do not do the latter, wireless will never be useful to deliver "ultra- broadband" -- that is, speeds of 100 Mbps and up -- to multiple users from a single transmitter.

Brett Glass

When technology meets old age...

My mother used to be a very strong and active woman.
She also liked to live by herself and didn't like to have, as she said "anybody around".
But when she reached eighty it was clear that living alone wasn't so safe anymore.
Nevertheless she, as stubborn as just an eighty years old can be, insisted on living by herself.
She eventually agreed (just to please me...) to take advantage of some modern Medical Alert.
Now a days they are much better than what they used to be.
It is n0t just a button to press and call for help.
They have something which goes under the name of panic button which has a kind of fall detector.
The System can sense the accident of somebody falling and calls for help without the need for the injured person to press the button.
This is very important, because old people fall without realizing they do and may be are not able to do anything afterwards.
But there are also other gadgets that can be very useful for people with Alzheimer, or just old people who fear to get lost.
It is a GPS tracking bracelet which can be very helpful in the worst situation...
A Medical Alert is like having somebody with you day and night, without actually having anybody!

The money economy is a social invention that doesn't follow physics laws

The money economy is a social invention that doesn't follow physics laws.
The virtual world is a world where everything is possible and you can create and display what you like.
It is a world where eyes and ears live, but where the belly cannot be filled and where the real person is going to die for starvation.
That doesn't mean the virtual world will die.
It is the real life that kills you.
The perfection is a good mix of both and the knowledge that one cannot replace the other.
Dreams are good as long as they stay what they are: dreams.

"The bogus risk-swapping economy must be replaced by a net value-added economy."

"the bogus risk-swapping economy must be replaced by a net value-added economy." .

That means actually making things, growing things, and rebuilding things, and that can only begin to happen if we do not stupidly sucker ourselves into a war with other nations who are liable to be extremely ticked off at us for destroying the global economy, but also competing with us for a dwindling supply of resources that are not equitably distributed around the world.

My guess is that oil and its byproducts will become much more difficult to get in the months ahead -- not just more expensive, but literally not available. The current falling price of oil has little to do with the real supply and demand fundamentals. It's simply a function of the markets being in near-total disarray.

The "less-developed" nations are heading back to the 17th-century level of daily life without electricity. The oil exploration and development projects that were planned for hard-to-get oil netting $100-a-barrel minimum -- in places like the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, Siberia, and Central Asia -- are being shelved, which means the world has less of a chance to offset coming depletions in old fields.

My pet project of restoring the American passenger railroad system might seem pretty minor in the face of all this, but it's at least a place to start that will accomplish several things: allow people and things to get places without cars and trucks; put many thousands of people to work at many levels doing something of direct, practical value; and be a small step in rebuilding confidence that we are a society capable of accomplishing something. JK

In a few words: reality and not virtuality.
It was nice to think virtual life could replace reality.
It was nice to think you could "godlike" create something from nothing or little, it was nice to believe in miracles, it was nice to believe technology could work for us, produce for us, replace us, so that the only thing we had to do was playing games or cruising or having fun.
Besides the fact that having fun is quite boring, everything which has a beginning must have an end.
Very often today's fun is tomorrow's sorrow, and yes, we surely would like to live just today's fun, but we are bound to this life, aren't we?

Democracy "American style"

In certain countries you are openly obliged to vote for one only candidate.
They call the country democratic because people VOTE for their leader...

But in America, the Democracy is something you can see and touch.
You have the choice to vote among more than one candidate.

It looks like there is a huge difference between the two types of countries.

"ES&S iVotronics touch screens have already been observed now in four completely separate States, flipping the votes, in the early voting that has taken place to date. Eye-witness reports of repeated, consistent flipping of votes (from Obama to McCain naturally) has already occurred in the States of: West Virginia, Tennessee, Missouri, and Texas that have had early voting. Missouri, of course, is a key background State in McCain's electoral vote math.

These are not "glitches".
This is also not the result of just "one faulty machine".
How about some straight-talk:

Fact: This is not a "glitch".
Fact: This is not a one machine problem.
Fact: This is not a one State problem.
Fact: This is not a one Election problem.
Fact: This is neither a "theory", nor speculation. It's real.
Fact: The Democratic candidate is getting their (would be) votes systematically stolen."

Democracy "American style"

Scraps from Tom Evslin on free spectrum

Thanks to the foresight of some FCC staffers, a couple of slices of spectrum – little undesirable scraps, really, that no one else wanted – were set aside for UNLICENSED use. Anyone could build a radio to use this spectrum for any legal purpose so long as the radio was certified to follow certain rules including restrictions on signal strength which gave other players a chance to use the space as well. Owners of radios which use this unlicensed spectrum don't require a license.

Anyway, it turns out that unlicensed spectrum gets filled much more efficiently than licensed spectrum AND that the most innovative recent radio products like WiFi and Bluetooth are all squeezed into these scraps of unlicensed spectrum which they have to share with microwaves and garage door openers. Also turns out that consumers often don't have to pay for using this unlicensed spectrum once they buy the proper radios.

We could get much more entertainment from many more sources over unlicensed spectrum than we do over the proprietary spectrum allocated to TV stations – do you think that may be why the National Association of Broadcasters is so adamantly against the use of the so-called "TV white spaces"?

OK. On to the future of the country and our economy.
The newest equipment was developed (but not usually built) here; the newest services were developed AND hosted here; at one point most international Internet traffic passed through the US. None of this is true anymore. We lag much of the developed and some of the developing world in broadband penetration. We pay more for less bandwidth than many of our peers. Innovation happens where the early-adopter markets are. Much innovation which requires broad availability of reasonably priced very fast access is happening in Japan and Korea where that access is much more available than it is here.

It's not only our tech industry that will benefit if the FCC votes the right way on November 4th. All of our industry will be more competitive if we have better access to information and to each other. We can't afford NOT to have the world's best communication infrastructure. We once did; we can again.

I am not American.
I am not here for being on the side of this or that.
I like to approve or disapprove.
This is a wonderful opportunity for US.
This is a bright future for US.
This is a bright future for Internet technology.

My only concern: the moment we will breath every kind of waves from morning to evening it is without any doubt that news (and commercials) will be more wide spread.
Let's hope that for creating a healthy economy we won't create sick users...

Monday, October 27, 2008

One purple tomato a day keeps the cancer away

One purple tomato a day keeps the cancer away.
The new produced purple vegetables are rich in an antioxidant pigment called anthocyanin which is thought to have anti-cancer properties.
They were produced by incorporating genes from the snapdragon flower, which is high in anthocyanin.
Mice fed with them live longer.
Tomatoes already contain high levels of beneficial antioxidant compounds, such as lycopene and flavonoids, but adding Anthocyanins which have been found to help significantly slow the growth of colon cancer cells, improves their activity in the cancer's fight.
And it is also the first example of a GMO [genetically modified organism] with a trait that really offers a potential benefit for all consumers.

Carbon dioxide is no more the only one

Carbon dioxide is not the guilty one alone for climate changes.
It has two brothers helping: Methane and Nitrogen Trifluoride.
One comes from ancient plants, the other from flat-panel screen technology.
For now their action is nothing compared to the one produced by the burning of coal, oil and other fossil fuels, but is rising.
Methane produces one third of warming effects of Carbone dioxide and comes from coal mining, animal waste and decaying plants.
The methane produced thousands of years ago by decaying Arctic plants was frozen and trapped in the Ocean, but now, with the warming of the Artic, it will defrost and harm the environment.

Nitrogen Trifluoride levels have quadrupled in the last decade. For now it contributes only 0.04% of the global warming effect, but is thousands of times stronger at trapping heat than carbon dioxide.
So, an increase of Nitrogen Trifluoride levels would certainly cause big harm with the warming of the climate.

No Ice, no Water

Ice on the Moon would have meant a good source of oxygen to breathe and hydrogen to fuel spacecraft for the future Moon Bases.
Even in the parts of Craters on on the poles that are permanently in the shadows, there is no surface ice.
Junichi Haruyama of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and colleagues report that the area is certainly cold enough to harbor ice, but that the reflectance indicates there is only soil on the surface. "If ice does exist there, they say, it is probably mixed in small concentrations with the soil."

Plastic electronics promise a cheap and versatile future

The revolution of the 20th century can be seen as the producing low cost manufacturing.
And one of the way to achieve it was using plastics, a cheap easily moulded material.
However one of their problems was being electrical insulators, so they couldn't replace metals where electrical conduction was required.
But today scientists are able to synthesise plastics that conduct electricity and others that behave as semiconductors like silicon.
The advantage of using plastics in electronic is the same as for all other commodities, THEY are CHEAP.
But that is not all.
Plastic electronics could create new markets, since they can be transparent and flexible.
For example it would allow full flexible screens.
Another quality could be robustness.
The limit of its use is just the limit of imagination.

The cheapst worker you can imagine

A dream that can come true (if you have themoney to buy it of course):
The Automover Solar Hybrid mowing machine.

"Before the Automower can get to work, you will need to simply staple a wire to the perimeter of the lawn. The wire will be overgrown and become invisible within a month. This wire can be sensed by the robotic mower and will ensure that only this area of grass is cut. The Automower will then work irregularly around the lawn – whatever its shape - until all parts have been covered. This gives the lawn an even result and a carpet-like finish. ‘Islands’ can be created by laying the wire around plants and flower beds. And if the mower hits any other obstacle, such as a tree or rock, it just reverses safely and selects a new direction before continuing.

The Automower comes with an automatic charging station. Once placed in a suitable position in the garden, this will keep its maintenance-free battery charged at all times. Besides the low running costs (around 12-25 dollars a year for the electricity consumed, depending on lawn size), the mower is so quiet that it won’t disturb your neighbours. And with no emissions, it is environmentally friendly."

Imagine, just sitting, enjoying the sun and looking at a well done job.
THIS is life!

If you open your world then you need more time to enjoy it

Since I quit working and in theory have nothing to do I am so busy I do not know what to do first.
I had to stop working because there were so many things I liked to do that my spare time was not enough.
And in this time of impatient the minutes are hate most are the ones I have to spend waiting.
For example the minutes my computer takes to start up.
The booting time is the worst of all and it looks everyday longer and longer.
It also looks like I'm not the only one, since the computer industry says it wants to give back some of those precious seconds.
In coming months, the world's major PC makers plan to introduce a new generation of quick-start computers, spotting a marketing opportunity in society that is growing short of time to waste.
Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Lenovo are rolling out machines that give people access to basic functions like e-mail and a Web browser in 30 seconds or less, since most of the time is spent for functions we do not need at once and not everyday.

The fast-boot systems are for a generation information-addicted, time saver, and over busy with multiple daily tasks.
If you open your world then you need more time to enjoy it.
We are addicted to a new globalization, where interests are growing and the daily time we can spend with them is always the same.
From this the need to cut useless waiting’s.

Surfing better than reading?

It looks like the brain is markedly more active when carrying out an internet search than when reading a book.
The activity rises more in the frontal, temporal and cingulated areas, which control visual imagery, decision-making and memory.
Those part of the brain that have to do with the ability of abstraction show no sign of increased activity.
That is explained with the fact that with the increase of technology also the brain evolves.
But of course what is good in small doses can be bad if overused.
Using too much the computer could lead to ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
People grown up in the computer era have more pliant and malleable brain.
Testing people with magnetic resonance imaging scans, it came out that those searching the web generated considerably more brain activity than those reading books.
"Internet searching engages complicated brain activity, which may help exercise and improve brain function."

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Store and use later: the secret of unlimited energy supply

What if we could store ‘unlimited’ solar power?
Just using a way copying plant photosynthesis, splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen gases and re-combining gases in a fuel cell, we can create carbon-free electricity whether the sun is shining or not.
"Now, we can seriously think about solar power as unlimited and soon.”
And, cherry on the cake, the process uses solely natural materials and it is easy to set up.

“This is a major discovery with enormous implications for the future prosperity of humankind. The importance of their discovery cannot be overstated since it opens up the door for developing new technologies for energy production, thus reducing our dependence for fossil fuels and addressing the global climate change problem.” James Barber

The bad news is that it will take 10 years before homes won't use electricity by wire anymore, but they will store solar power during daylight hours and use it at night.

This is a discovery by Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

10 unwritten rules NOT to live by

1) Always ask a woman if she wants to have sex without asking.
There are millions of ways to hear with eyes.

2) For your siblings it is always more important that you have a bad health than a bad health insurance (I would humbly suggest you to invest YOUR money in something else)

3) If you really want to enjoy a poker game with friends play with buttons or peas, then you can bluff as much as you like and show them who the really smart guy is (isn't that the goal for playing?)

4) Learn to read among lines. When somebody is suddenly too friendly he wants something from you...

5) Black is a nice colour, but navy blue is very chic...

6) When someone in your family is going through a divorce, never take a side, you are going to need both.

7) When you want to please , talk about the person yuo are speaking to, involve him in the speech if you want him to listen (remember Joe the plumber)

8) You won't need a stick. Did you ever read the "The sun sand the wind" tale written by Aesop? That is a masterpiece in teaching how to get the best results with the least.

9) It is not important what you CAN do, but what you DO.

10) You do not need a Tattoo to be special.

High speed internet for all

There's a good chance that on November 4th the FCC'll do something really good to improve Internet and mobile phone access in the US: on that day the Commission is planning on voting on regulations to open huge swatches of idle but extremely valuable radio spectrum for open UNLICENSED use. There's also a very good chance that special interests will succeed in delaying and/or killing this long overdue action. Your input to the FCC PRIOR TO TUESDAY'S DEADLINE FOR PUBLIC COMMENT could make a difference (simple way to comment provided by Google here click here if you're already convinced).
The use of TV 'white space' for the provision of rural broadband is an alternative means of accomplishing the Commission's universal service goal of deploying advanced services to all areas of the nation without requiring additional funding mechanisms.

The principal opponent to the use of these frequencies is the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). There ostensible reason for opposition is technical: they're afraid, they say, that use of these frequencies, particularly the open unlicensed use being proposed to the FCC by Chairman Kevin Martin will interfere with adjacent use by TV stations.
Suppose that much of this spectrum was used to deliver low cost, high speed Internet access. Suppose that people used this Internet access to obtain their entertainment on the Internet rather than from said broadcasters.
Traditional carriers are also opposed to having you make unlicensed use of spectrum. They would rather that you get your mobile access and Internet access through their proprietary leased spectrum.

Technology companies like Google and Microsoft are in favour of unlicensed use of the white spaces. Their motives are also commercial – nothing wrong with that. They live by innovation and hope to benefit from the communication opportunities that will open up. Google's Android phone is particularly suited for an open environment.

Tom Evslin

"They live by innovation and hope to benefit.."
That IS the point.
Will it be really on the side of the People, or just passing from one hand to the other? Who is going to benefit?
As for the lower cost and higher speed I have my personal doubts.
Having free spectrum doesn't mean that the user will benefit from it.
Rural zones are called in this way because of the lower number of inhabitants.
When the service is shared by few the whole cost is divided among a small number and so it is much more expensive.
Availability is something else.
In this I agree. More users (customers) on the Internet.
THIS is what matters to the ones who will profit from it.
But, as you say, who cares?
It is anyway a step further and very welcome.

Friday, October 24, 2008

When you should keep your "opinions" private

Imagine you buy a cell phone on eBay for a good price ($155)and when you receive it, you find out it doesn't work.
Besides getting very angry because cheated, the only weapon you have is leaving a negative feedback.
'Item was scratched, chipped and not the model advertised on Mr Jones's eBay account,' the eBayers wrote, assuming it was the end of the matter...
But it was not.
It looks like the case will reach court.
The seller declares his reputation damaged.
It must be said that the buyer received full refund.

I am on both sides, because something similar happened to me.
I bought a fur coat which on the photo looked perfect, but was so badly damaged it was impossible to wear.
I got a complete refund, but I saw the same coat on sale a few weeks later, this time not from a company, but from a private.
In this case that actual unlucky buyer was cheated twice, because the seller was a fake name and he got no refund!

Of course you cannot generalize, but THIS is the risk of buying on eBay.
I admit, I go on buying, but I think I got a little bit smarter and can read between lines, and, Every time I buy something I am perfectly aware that "The catch is around the corner"!
As I always say: on eBay you buy a photo.

Learning made easy

A new 27-inch screen with integrated PC will help children to collaborate with each other, while solving problems and playing educational games with an interactive system.
Leaening will not be just easier, it will also be fun.
This screen, called Smart Table (produced by Smart Technologies) can be used with a teacher's Smart Board (interactive.

No infrastructures no power

The secrecy of energy sufficiency is how intelligently you can use it.
As a proof of this Venezuela, one of the largest producers of oil, is struggling to give a basic electric service.
One of Venezuela's biggest problem is in fact chronic power shortage.
It looks like fighting capitalism depends on basic issues like electricity.
For many years Venezuela failed to invest in electrical infrastructures, leaving a low level of power grid and risking several national power outages.
It is for nothing having energy if you do not have infrastructures to bring it where necessary.

It is better oil prices stay high

A new solution for the production of biofuel comes from the use of algae instead of food.
This besides being an alternative to oil dependence will also reduce automotive and aviation emissions by 2030 (around 80%).
Thre have been already experiments on the past which were abandoned since it was not possible to produce a commercial competition to oil prices.
It will be possible yo produce algae with very high oil content. They can grow very quickly, it just need to be done the job to select among the different algae species the one that can do both.
So, it is ironic to say so, but let's hope oil prices do not get as low as they used to be, because there won't be any need to research and find any alternative to it.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Modern Slot Machines

Money is like cars, it is made for moving.
It was invented as a mean to exchange.
When you needed five and a half eggs to buy one melon and you couldn't actually cut the egg and the other was not willing to accept the melon without a piece.
There came the money.
Then, soon after the invention of money, there came the Bank.
The place to store it.
The place where money made more money.
Just like a Slot Machine.
You put five cents and you CAN get 1000 dollars.
That is what you read all over Las Vegas.

Mary XYZ won $15.000.000 with one.
So that ALL the Mary the dollars, dreaming of winning, and actually in most cases losing.
Because for a perverse road, most of that money, always ends in the pockets of a few, while the mass is still dreaming.
Lately this is the scenario you see not only in Las Vegas, but all over the world, everywhere where a Bank is.
You put your money there, and then, magically disappears...
No money, no interest.
But they are ready to tell you how Mary XYZ made 5.000.000 just investing a few on this or on that.
It is mainly your fault not to win.
Well, you are NOT LUCKY enough, but you can go on dreaming...who knows...tomorrow is a brand new day...

Sons of Vinyl

If you belong to my generation, the boomers generation (a great one) and you still have those nice, good, old, vinyls, but you do not have anymore a good, old player, THIS post is for you.
I tried many times to convert them, to be able to listen to them again, but no way to get a good sound without a small noise in the background.
That was the noise we were used to, and actually didn't hear at that time.
But in today's world, where sound is almost perfect and we have turned to perfectionists too, well that noise ruins everything.
It is like looking at the Gioconda with the wrong glasses.
You lose a lot.
So, there is a wonderful tool, LP saver, USB turntable, which is great.
It turns your old records into digital by converting all of your old records to CDs, iPod, MP3 or any other digital files. All you need to do to record your records to CD is simply plug this one-of-a-kind three-speed (33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM) LP Saver™ USB Turntable right into your PC.
It plugs directly into your computer using the included USB cable. In addition, it comes complete with dustcover, and all cables are included.
Thinking that ALL is included the price of $149.95 is really good!


The land of the rising Hacking

Where would a hunter like to go hunting?
Of course where preys are abundant and (almost) uncontaminated.
The same is for a hackers' hunter like Microsoft.
Easy to predict it was very unwelcomed there.
"Chinese internet users have reacted with fury after Microsoft launched an anti-piracy tool to combat the widespread sale of fake software."
They reacted in the same way people would defend an uncontaminated forest from hunters.
They "flooded blogs and bulletin boards to complain it violates their right to privacy - with one lawyer even reporting the firm to security officials for "hacking".
"The computer is mine!" one angry blogger wrote on the popular Chinese web portal "Microsoft has no right to control my hardware without my agreement."
This is indeed a good argument.
But Microsoft could object that the "software" is mine and you have no right to use it...

"I respect the right of Microsoft to protect its intellectual property, but it is taking on the wrong target with wrong measures. They should target producers and sellers of fake software, not users."

Of course, it is like saying, the fault of illegal hunting is in the weapons. They shouldn't sell them.

Critics said Microsoft was putting their information at risk by accessing their computers.
If that is true, why do they bother to use Microsoft's software?

And the wolf slept near the sheep (but the sheep didn't get much sleep)

"Michael Jackson has upset parents after moving into a mansion opposite an elementary school in Las Vegas."

It looks to me like one of those (many) who struggle to diet and all what they are looking at, is Cooking Books, or TV transmissions about cooking.
Usually images, films and smell are not the same...

How to be thin

Think thin and do not eat.
I am not so sure about the first, but the second is without any doubt the way to.

The natural question is HOW? (not eating)
When (almost) all our life is lived toward that goal?

1) Changing goal.
Easy to say, but not impossible to do.
Do not think about eating and this is successfully reached NOT thinking you should diet.
DIET is something you shouldn't think about.
What you should think about is how nice is to feel light, to prefer natural water to everything else...

2)Forget about scale.
You know exactly your weight and why you should do something about it.
Do not depress yourself with it. Getting thin IS a JOY.

3) Do not exercise.
Make it a rule to do everything you do in the hardest way. At the end of the day you will have consumed more calories than exercising, but without doing anything you dislike.
Remember: loosing weight IS a JOY.

4) Try yourself.
Surround yourself with temptations and have a little bit of them.
Do not avoid food you like, you have to learn to SIP it.
Remember being thin IS a JOY.

5) Eat when you are hungry.
But just as much as to fill a little bit. Leave something for tomorrow. Remember losing way IS a JOY more in tomorrow than in today.

And remember: there is a lot of JOY in eating, but much more in doing something else...
Remember too that life is not just the way you look, but the way you are. Much better a fat happy woman than a sad , perfect one...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Your business cannot be as "allowed" as it looks

You are on a Global Network, nowhere in particular, or at least you think your business is in the place where your Server actually is, but you are wrong.
Online businesses are often forced to adhere to laws in the places where they do business. One iconic example is a ruling by a French court in 2000, where the court said a French law banning the sale of Nazi paraphernalia applied to U.S.-based Web site Yahoo.
Another case is what recently happened in Kentucky, where a judge decided that were illegal gambling Web sites, “virtual keys” that provided access to places where one could play online versions of gambling devices such as slot machines and roulette tables.
The only way out would be implementing technology that would block Kentucky residents from accessing their sites.
“If you’re a business operator, you should be subject to the laws where you do and pursue business, and not have to worry about a state halfway around the world taking away your storefront.”
But for now, the domain names are frozen.
Let's see what will happen in November.

High tech means partial safety

Will this crisis affect the high tech industry?
It looks e have dark days ahead of us, but considering most of the 5000 Web .0 companies are a little more than tiny garage shops, it won't affect too much employed people.
"We never saw the big run-up in tech hiring in 2004 through 2008, so I don't anticipate a significant change"
But there are exceptions.
Google, one of the most powerful companies in tech, has increased a lot its workforce.
Nevertheless there is no danger right now on this front.
Still tech-related unemployment runs about half the national average. Unemployment among those with computer and mathematical occupations ran at 2.6 percent last month, while the national unemployment average stood at 6.1 percent.
But there are signs that the economy will get much worse in the coming months and nobody knows for how long.
But if things go bad, at least tech workers will fare better than their counterparts in other industries.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Where have all the flowers' smells gone?

Spring's bloom may not smell so sweet anymore, as pollutants from power plants and automobiles destroy flowers' aromas, a new study suggests.

The finding could help explain why some pollinators, particularly bees, are declining in certain parts of the world.

Researchers at the University of Virginia created a mathematical model of how the scents of flowers travel with the wind. The scent molecules produced by the flowers readily bond with pollutants such as ozone, which destroys the aromas they produce.

So instead of wafting for long distances with the wind, the flowery scents are chemically altered. Essentially, the flowers no longer smell like flowers.

"The scent molecules produced by flowers in a less polluted environment, such as in the 1800s, could travel for roughly 1,000 to 1,200 meters [3,300 to 4,000 feet]; but in today's polluted environment downwind of major cities, they may travel only 200 to 300 meters [650 to 980 feet]," said study team member Jose D. Fuentes.

With flowers no longer advertising their presence over as large an area, pollinators are forced to search farther and longer to pick up the hint of their scent. They may also have to rely more on their sight than what they smell.

Full Article

Out of Budget?

If your actual insurance is out of your budget, why not trying Budget Insurance?
They assure to deliver great value at a great price.
Either you are looking for a Car insurance, or a home insurance, you can easily find out if what they say is true.
Go on their website and easily get a quote online.
See what they offer for your money and I am sure (and they are sure too, otherwise they wouldn't offer you the online quote) that among a panel of leading UK insurers you will find what suits your needs.
And if you are looking for a Van Insurance?
Trust Budget and let them find the best for you.
You should anyway bookmark their website, because they offer a very useful tool: the route finder.
That could be just what you need when you plan a trip.
No more maps consulting or wondering which is the best way to reach this or the other location.
Write where you start and where you want to go.
Let the computer search for you.
Besides this you will find other important and useful aids, like the Self-Service centre, where you can manage your policies online, or suggestions if you are going to buy a new car, or a reminder email service.
Whatever the reason, it pays to pay a visit.

Today's tsunami

"To switch metaphors, let's say that we are witnessing the two stages of a tsunami."
"And then what? The societies of the world will be faced with the task of rebuilding systems of fruitful activity, i.e., real economies based on productive behavior rather than the smoke-and-mirrors of Frankenstein-finance con games." JK

Once again, Mr. Kunstler, if I could vote your oratory skills I would give you five stars.
You are very good indeed in explaining reality, but I cannot share your catastrophism.
And not because I am such an optimistic person, on the contrary, I tend to be quite realistic.
And reality shows that we are on this planet for whatever reason we don’t know, but we are here to stay.
The survival instinct will make us face whatever future is there for us.
What I see is a change on WHO is going to be there.
Wars, natural catastrophes, financial turmoil’s, all are there too and were always there.
It is the survival of the strong and the death of the weak.
Let's see reality as it is.
Europe, America, they have ruled for long, may be too long, so long that they have overruled themselves.
We are like very old people who do not see death approaching, because we do not want to.
There is a smell of death all over, which we cover with the best perfumes, there are signs that we are unable to recognize.
Earth doesn't need us anymore; we are used to work less, to think less, to enjoy more.
Life prefers people who have enthusiasm for the future, who have new ideas and good muscles to build them.
Future is built on the past, but with the new generations.
May be Europe and America are the past, may be the new is somebody else.

Botnets: not happy to meet you

An automated program lurking on the Internet has remotely taken over the PC and turned it into a “zombie.” That computer and other zombie machines are then assembled into systems called “botnets” — home and business PCs that are hooked together into a vast chain of cyber- robots that do the bidding of automated programs to send the majority of e-mail spam, to illegally seek financial information and to install malicious software on still more PCs.

Botnets remain an Internet scourge. Active zombie networks created by a growing criminal underground peaked last month at more than half a million computers, according to, an organization that tracks botnets. Even though security experts have diminished the botnets to about 300,000 computers, that is still twice the number detected a year ago.

“The mean time to infection is less than five minutes,” said Richie Lai, who is part of Microsoft’s Internet Safety Enforcement Team, a group of about 20 researchers and investigators. The team is tackling a menace that in the last five years has grown from a computer hacker pastime to a dark business that is threatening the commercial viability of the Internet.

Any computer connected to the Internet can be vulnerable. Computer security executives recommend that PC owners run a variety of commercial malware detection programs, like Microsoft’s Malicious Software Removal Tool, to find infections of their computers. They should also protect the PCs behind a firewall and install security patches for operating systems and applications.

Botnet attacks now come with their own antivirus software, permitting the programs to take over a computer and then effectively remove other malware competitors. Mr. Campana said the Microsoft investigators were amazed recently to find a botnet that turned on the Microsoft Windows Update feature after taking over a computer, to defend its host from an invasion of competing infections.

Botnets have evolved quickly to make detection more difficult. During the last year botnets began using a technique called fast-flux, which involved generating a rapidly changing set of Internet addresses to make the botnet more difficult to locate and disrupt.

Full Article

How to buy glasses that look expensive, but come cheap

What are you usually looking for when you decide to buy new frames for your eyes?
If you are someone like me (and I proudly declare myself as the average customer) you first look for quality, second for design, third you try to find something that includes both, but that is as cheap as possible.
Usually quality doesn't really go with cheap, unless it is either out of fashion or something nobody wants to buy ( and if nobody wants it, there must be a reason...)
Zenni eyeglasses are good quality, modern design, and are actually very cheap.
As cheap as $8!
I know what many would think: if they are cheap in price, they are also "cheap".
I think this time you are wrong.
The main reason why they are cheap is because there is no middleman involved, they come directly from the factory.
And the way to get them is the Internet, which is at no cost for both.
No shop, no seller, no display.
But a huge selection at the right price.
And you do not need to tell anybody that they are just $8!
I myself use this kind of glasses, and I never tell their price.
I let the "others" believe they are expensive ones, bought in a fancy shop.
But where is the catch?
Surely there is no service.
Wrong also in this.
The saving is ON THE PRICE, not ON THE SERVICE.
Do you want to see what I wear?

They are nice and comfortable and look much more than the $19 I paid!

The unfair game against users

Hollywood is going after the Pirate Bay’s users, and they do so on a large scale.
"Pirate Bay is well aware of these pirate tracking outfits, and does what it can to give them a hard time. Reporting fake peers is one of the tricks they use."

The fight works this way:
When you download (illegally) from BitTorrent, the legal content owners are informed about the connection which would allow them to track you down.
To avoid this The Pirate Bay changes your IP identity by reporting them a fake IP address.
"Pirate Bay co-founder TiAMO told TorrentFreak that he has several criteria on which he can pick out the suspicious users that might be collecting IP-addresses. He also said that he’s working on a automated warning system which will operate as a sniffer on a monitor port. That project is far from complete, but has the potential to detect suspicious behaviour more easily.

Nevertheless, it is impossible (as the name might give away) to keep the prying eyes of Hollywood off public trackers. Even private trackers are far from secure, as most anti-piracy companies have accounts at the larger communities."
Well: do it as you like, but be aware that you are not 100% safe as you would like to be.
Risk is the spice of life (as long as you are not caught)

The pilot of the future could be no pilot. Travelling of the future could be no travelling.

For now it is just radical new ideas, but they could be developed in future airports.
The future pilots could fly without the use of their hands, without a place in the plane, in their own home, using brain-machine interfaces, in which the human brain actually exchanges electronic signals with a computer.
Also the airports could be virtually driven, people being able to check in from wherever, just using a computer or a cell phone.
This second development looks to me much easier and faster done than the one before. I go as far as to envisage a future in which EVERYTHING is going to be virtual, including travelling.
What about travelling without pilots and airports?
In the comfort of your own home?
The brain is the one who sees, listens, smells.
Trick the brain and you're done

Do you want to be a father? Don't use a portable phone

It looks like lovers of cell phones have less chances to faher a child.
After an experiment of exposure to radiation similar to the output of a mobile phone (16 hours), they found a DNA damage in the semen.
"After 16 hours exposure, there was clear evidence of DNA damage," Prof Aitken said.
It does really raise concerns, especially for the ones who, in spite of that, are still able to father a child.
If there are DNA damages, how will the child be?
And I guess the DNA damages won't just be on semen.

Too big to fail

"The financial crisis is forcing regulators to encourage the creation of bigger, more interconnected institutions. In the short term, this may serve a useful purpose by allowing healthier, well-capitalized banks like Wells Fargo, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase to shore up weaker ones.
"But it also presents a serious threat to the financial system by fostering financial behemoths that are, to use Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke's euphemism, 'systemically critical.' Policy makers need to start thinking about how to downsize institutions that are becoming 'too big to fail' before the situation comes to that."
The point is not too big to fail, the point is too big for a democratic country.
Democratic means that the power IS NOT in one or a few, the power belongs to all.
But the economy needs big groups, because big means more power, more opportunity.
The BIG of a really democratic country is FEDERALISM.
Many small that make a big.
If one of them fails the system won't fail.
And it is a system easy to regulate, because it regulates itself.
One looks at the others.
Do you remember: Divide et Impera.
That is the best way to rule a huge Empire.
But the same rules apply also to a modern society.
Where nobody is too big, and everybody can be big.
Balance is the secret of peace and of a healthy economy.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Censorship comes with a software

The USPTO has granted the patent for real-time censoring of audio streams to Microsoft.
If for any chance you would like to yell random insults at strangers on the Internet or a TV network would like to broadcast live without fear of exposing the sheltered ears of their audience to a (possibly life altering) outburst or expletive, Microsoft will provide real-time (or batch) analysis of an audio stream that could recognize inappropriate language based on phonemes, and then overwrite objectionable words with bleeps, other noises, or silence.
And I wouldn't see any negative effect in this, but it could also have a sinister consequence in the hands of an authoritarian regime when applied for example to digital telephony.
China already controls web content and could go as far as stopping phones from antigovernment conversations.

UFO: what language do they speak?

Languages can explain how intelligent the speaker is.
A database is being made containing the syntaxes of 60 human tongues.
Comparing the unknown language to this it could be possible to decipher a message from out of space or, at least, to understand the structure of their language.

Have your opinion on UFO

Almost 200 files concerning UFO will be available at the MoD in the next four years.
Documents reporting unexplained encounters and sightings between 1986 and 1992.
They include a request of MoD not to take photographs of crop circles "because of concerns about undermining the official line that the military did not investigate unexplained phenomena".
Will they shade a new light on UFO?
At least now everybody can make up his mind based on real documents

Will this crisis affect luxury products?

Investors worry that consumers and companies won't be able anymore to afford expensive products.
Most of the growth in the technology market is at the super-low-price end, and many companies still don't play there.
But in my opinion it would be a terrible mistake to try to compete on prices.
Many products on the market today benefit of the magical halo of quality and consumers well understand that quality has its price.
It is true that it will be more and more challenging to maintain growth and margins moving out of a small, passionate high-end market and into the mass market, but it looks like the mass market and consumers are sick of cheap products that do not work and do not last.
Besides, if history is a teacher, we do not see companies like BMW or Mercedes out of business every time the economy weakens.
So, what will happen?
If a company has no debts, high margins and fast growth rate in the industry, has not so much to fear.
Let the stock market crazily go up and down at the end mathematics will win.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The importance of reading

A culture begins when we hear the first words and try to repeat them, that is how we learn how to speak.
Then we learn how to read and write and that is the second way of communication: a long distance (in space and time) communication.
All is about communication and sharing of ideas.
All is about the men’s need to overcome their loneliness.
If you want to learn how to communicate you HAVE to learn to speak and to READ.
Reading opens doors and spaces, helps you to have a much better life, opening your mind.
A person who doesn’t read is usually a limited one, and doesn’t understand what he misses of life.
Understanding Music, Literature, Art, is living more intensively.

A different vision of PayPerPost

A honest answer to PayPerPost Is Now Officially Absurd

I confess: I take money for sponsoring products or whatever.
And I go as far as to say I do not feel ashamed or guilty or anything else.
My question is: Is there still somebody so naive as to think that there are honest and genuine reviews? (I mean not sponsored)
The only discrimination could eventually be the fact of saying: I didn't like it, I didn't use it, I will never do.
But that also doesn't mean that somebody couldn't like and use it.
A dummy proof software is not good for a technology guru, like a sophisticated one for as good as it can be is certainly NOT what a normal Internet user would choose.
What is a honest review?
I try to explain what the product is and also to whom it could be a good bargain.
Every product that comes on the market is targeted for a certain part of consumers.
I talk to them and tell the others, if you do not belong to this group, don't bother.
I do not believe in Homeopathy, but there are millions who do and it actually heals them.
Not in the ordinary and rational way, but it does.
And I welcome blogs like PayPerPost and bloggers who do this job because very often they offer a different point of view and I admit it, some people are very good in writing and so much more genuine than the usual commercial way, that I see it as a good breath of fresh air in a stagnant business.

And to the one who leaves when he sees the "Disclosure Policy": well, sometimes you miss a lot!

PS I didn't know about the $10 for the disclosure policy, thanks for the information, I will enquire. Ten dollars is always ten dollars.

Misinformation is vital when making the correct decision

Being uninformed is one thing that shouldn't have big consequences in everyday life, but having a population that's actively misinformed presents problems when it comes to participating in the national debate, or the democratic process or in the choice of the next President.
Disinformation won't help people to make a rational decision, and surely it is clear that there's little point in arguing with someone who holds an opposing belief.
Nevertheless the point and main question is: are the informed ones really informed on EVERYTHING?
Either they are not, or they ignore it (which in the end produces the same results).
We daily see interest groups with vested interests in challenging accepted facts.
In simple words: it is easy to believe what is convenient to you and act consequentially.
How many would really believe and promote something which is ACTUALLY against their interest?

Smile and be careful: you are on China' s database

If you use TOM online (Skype's operating partner in China) be very careful.
Full chat text messages from TOM-Skype users were found on insecure, publicly-accessible web servers along with the encryption key required to decrypt the data.

This—along with "millions of records containing personal information" such as IP address, usernames, and landline phone numbers—were stored along with additional data detailing Skype users outside of China who have communicated with TOM-Skype users in China.
"The captured messages contain specific keywords relating to sensitive political topics such as Taiwan independence, the Falun Gong, and political opposition to the Communist Party of China," reads the report. Villeneuve explains that the surveillance doesn't stop there, either. According to the groups' analysis, many of the captured messages contain content that falls outside of typically-censored words or topics, "suggesting that there may be criteria, such as specific usernames, that determine whether messages are captured by the system."
So, in case you happen to be someone who regularly talks about unapproved topics on Skype, you may be flagged for further monitoring of everything you say.

How to find ALWAYS green lights

No, the trick IS NOT turning the red into green, but something JUST a German could invent.
I say so because I married a German and he is a peculiar one, just like the rest (of Germans).
German car-maker has invented a device that allows you to find always green lights when you arrive.
The in-car gadget tells drivers how fast to go in order to sail through a junction by ‘speaking’ to special transmitters fitted inside a traffic signal that can be up to 300 yards away.
It calculates (and you can be sure, very precisely, since it is a German device, made in Germany)the car’s position and approach route, then tells the driver the optimun speed.
It will also have a second advantage: the environment will benefit by the cutting of exhaust emissions, since fewer cars will be stationary at lights (may be italian cars) and it will improve fuel economy by ending stop-start inefficiency.
But it has limits: will not benefit the driver if the roads are particularly clogged.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Freedom from oil: a revolutionary business plan

Imagine the cars' infrastructure run as a Telephony network.
The operator sells the cars (electric) at a good price (or even gives it for free, just like a telephone).
They could because the profit wouldn't come from the car, but from selling electricity, may be by minutes.
The country would be covered by a network of "smart" charge spots. Drivers could plug in anywhere, anytime, and would subscribe to a specific plan—unlimited miles, a maximum number of miles each month, or pay as you go—all for less than the equivalent cost for gas.
Of course you could have plugs in homes, offices, shopping malls.
Or the car driver would just have to exchange the exhausted battery with a fresh one.
Also this hardware would be free, you just pay the consume.
This doesn't only work on paper, it is potentially profitable, too.
Behind this idea there is Shai Agassi's Audacious Plan to Put Electric Cars on the Road and Project Better Place, the world's first global electric-car grid operator.
This is an interesting plan and catching too.
But I see a big difference with the Telephone network.
In this case, once you build the network the consume is at zero cost for the Operator, while the Cars' network will consume electricity which still has to be produced someway.
The second thought is that it wouldn't be cheaper than the existing oil .
We shouldn't forget that the big winner in the oil business is mainly the State.
How would they suck the same money?
They would certainly have a big part on this electricity, bringing either the profit to a minimum or the cost to the same level as oil.
The only winner would be the air, and that is not irrelevant

Things you don't know (but you should) about your Bank

Finally you got that money, it is a check and you hurry to deposit it on your account.
You do the right thing hurrying, because it will take three days before it is posted on your account.
And that is done on purpose, of course in the Bank's interest.
Why not having more than one account?
Also this IS in the Bank's interest.
Another thing your Bank likes very much is the fact that you keep a much higher balance than necessary.
You should really ALWAYS check the interest rate they pay you.
They usually (it is an euphemism for never) don't give you the highest interest rate.
Of course they have ALL the rights (and you mostly duties).
Your Bank has the right to pay itself back out of your next deposit for any fees or overdraft loans that you owe.

Once at least for Christmas you got small gifts like Art Books or nice calendars.
Do not expect ANYTHING anymore.
The times in which the Banks did the interest of the customer and treated him like one are definitely gone.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Future of our Nation IS our Future

"If you do get the opportunity to live for a while with no mortgage payment, don't make the tragic mistake of using your extra cash to pay down your credit cards. As the growing level of credit card defaults will soon push credit card companies into bankruptcy, we can expect a similar bailout plan for American Express and Discover Financial. When that happens, expect massive balance reductions for Americans who can demonstrate the inability to pay. The bigger your balance, the greater the benefit."

In a few words I see the end of a Nation.
One could just say: Think of yourself, just as many did, do and will do.
You will have a house for free, a new TV set, your debts wiped out.
But you will lose your job, your future and condemn yourself to somebody with no future in a nation with no future.
The money you are spending is also YOUR money.
Certainly not Mr. Bush's money.
One of the first things they taught me in the elementary school was that wasting the country's money is wasting MY money.
Wasting the country's future is wasting MY future.
The future of a Nation is provided by its citizens.

Why Bankruptcy, not bailout, is the wrong answer

"The obvious alternative to a bailout is letting troubled financial institutions declare bankruptcy. Bankruptcy means that shareholders typically get wiped out and the creditors own the company.

Bankruptcy does not mean the company disappears; it is just owned by someone new (as has occurred with several airlines). Bankruptcy punishes those who took excessive risks while preserving those aspects of a businesses that remain profitable."

"The current mess would never have occurred in the absence of ill-conceived federal policies. The federal government chartered Fannie Mae in 1938 and Freddie Mac in 1970; these two mortgage lending institutions are at the centre of the crisis. The government implicitly promised these institutions that it would make good on their debts, so Fannie and Freddie took on huge amounts of excessive risk."

"In contrast, a bailout transfers enormous wealth from taxpayers to those who knowingly engaged in risky subprime lending. Thus, the bailout encourages companies to take large, imprudent risks and count on getting bailed out by government. This "moral hazard" generates enormous distortions in an economy's allocation of its financial resources."

What Market really needs is MORALITY.
Market and business are not driven by emotions and religion, but need ethic rules, otherwise the total deregulation brings to the point we just reached: nobody believes in it.
It is true, Bankruptcy JUST means that shareholders typically get wiped out.
And shareholders are the ones who had no part in the cheating, who didn't know how their money was spent, the ones who trusted the companies and lent them their money.
If you wipe out the share holders you cut the economy at its roots.
No share holders, no money.
Where do you begin the new financial era?

If you want to rebuild first you have to rebuild trust.
And you rebuild trust showing that the shareholders' money is safe.

"The right view of the financial mess is that an enormous fraction of subprime lending should never have occurred in the first place. Someone has to pay for that."
Yes: the ones who made it happen.
Politicians, managers.

"That someone should not be, and does not need to be, the U.S. taxpayer."
The taxpayer has no choice.
Either you destroy the economy or you sacrifice what is left.
It is the main interest of the taxpayer to save the economy.
It is not a mere matter of this or that company going bankruptcy, it is a matter of the roots of our society going bust.
The "capitalistic society" is based on the capital.
If there is no capital there is no capitalistic society and the capital is the saving and the investing of the millions of tax payers, of workers that make a capitalistic nation.

The need of God and Religion

"Do you see death as the end of your identity or as the doorway to another life?"
Or, better, what's the purpose of life?

This could partially explain the need of God and Religion most men feel.
It is the rationally unanswered question that finds an irrational answer.
We cannot know, but God knows.
If we believe death to be the end of our identity, the purpose of our life becomes making this life satisfactory.
If we see death as the doorway to another life we have to decide if next life is going to be better or worse.
This leads to the question of justice. There have to be standards to meet to reach a better life after death.
Life, which is mostly hard and painful, must be lived in terms of the next.

So, the need of God and Religion is the way to stand life, uncertainties and difficulties in the view of a better one, the "eternal life".

America's new meal: Humble pie

America's decline began long ago.
George W. Bush, the face of America has grown old and erratic in the eight years of his presidency. Little remains of his combativeness or his enthusiasm for physical fitness.
No more arrogance while the banking crisis is ending the American dominance of the financial markets and world politics.
It is the sunset of the turbo-capitalism era and the end of US militarism.
A French woman defined Bush as "yesterday's man".
And America is certainly getting the face of "Yesterday power".


Enemies. America surely has never had as many enemies as today.
Arrogance, incompetence, the view of their nation as something above the standard level, the blessings of deregulated markets and establishing rules "that only apply to others".
Now the Others include America too.
Is the fall of America, the fall of the system of the Western-style market economy?

Angela Merkel, who had always come down on the side of the United States, makes it clear who she considers the true culprit behind the current plight.
Criticizing the United States she enjoys the wholehearted support of her coalition government partner, the center-left Social Democrats (SPD).
The banking crisis in the United States has shaken the affection for America and the respect the rest of the world once had for the US as an economic and political superpower.
Besides the disaster has also turned into one of the biggest criminal investigations in American history.
Economists go as far as defining what began two years ago with falling prices in the American real estate market as the biggest economic disaster since the world economic crisis of the 1930s.
This is no longer the arrogant power the world knows, the superpower that sets the rules for everyone else and that considers its way of thinking and doing business to be the only road to success.
May be the Americans begin to pay the price of their arrogant behaviour.
America looks more and more like the "bubbles" it creates.

Blog Action Day

Blogging will definitely reign in the near future of the Web.
Because it is mostly deep and focused, because it is actual and because it is fun.
And mostly because it is innovative and spreading ideas helps to create new ideas and new ideas create a better world.
A good example is the power behind Blog Action Day, which took place this Wednesday, October 15th, 2008. It’s a day when bloggers draw attention to a single issue and (hopefully) inspire action. This year’s topic was poverty. And given the current financial crisis, it would seem many bloggers have gotten a head start.

Good news on the Spamming front

Which is one of the biggest spamming gang?
It uses several names, but is known as HerbalKing, and usually sends billions of unsolicited messages to Internet users (the ones for example promoting replica watches, weight loss miracles and so on).
Well, against them the Federal Trade Commission won a preliminary legal victory.
Modern spam accounts for 90 percent of all e-mail sent over the Internet.
To reach its goals HerbalKing group used a botnet, a global network of computers infected with malicious software, without the knowledge of their owners.
Just like a virus which tells his host cell what to do, how to spread malware,they could control up to 35,000 computers and could send 10 billion e-mail messages a day.
But spam email was nothing compare to financial damages: F.T.C. investigators said they monitored the group’s finances closely and that it cleared $400,000 in Visa charges in one month alone.
While the commission has brought more than 100 cases against spammers and spyware vendors over the past decade, spam operation was perhaps the most extensive they had ever encountered, with ties to Australia, New Zealand, India, China and the United States.
The government is also filing criminal charges against the group.
One of the activities of the gang was shipping drugs like Propecia, Lipitor, Celebrex and Zoloft out of India. The Food and Drug Administration tested the “herbal” pills from the group and found in them a certain amount of the ingredient of Viagra, a substance risky for people with weak heart conditions.
Even though all this will send a strong message to spammers, it is not clear if spam volumes will decrease and certainly we won't see any difference in our mail box in the near future.

The Visitor

This is one of the movies I like.
It actually draws the side effects of what happens in today's society.
"In a world of six billion people it only takes one to change your life".
In an era which they define as "communication era" people were never so loneley.
And loneliness can be overcome in many ways.
One of them could be playing the African drum with a Syrian man.
This leads a teacher who has lost his passion for teaching, working, living, to an unexpected situation and love.
But once again life divides what bounded: he is an American, not welcome in Syria.
She is Syrian not welcome in America.
And most important she is a mother who has to rescue her son and HAS to be with him in Syria.
In a global world, you are not allowed to be where you heart would bring you.
Life is mostly this: a long series of Good byes to the dead ones and to the living ones.

There was never a better time to invest in Real Estate

In the search of a Home the most annoying thing is actually the search.
Because it means spending a lot of time visiting, inspecting, long hours to check and many times spent for nothing.
But of course, especially in times like these it is of the outmost importance to see ALL what is on the market, because NEVER like today, if you can choose the right one, you can make real bargains.
And, besides whatever they can think and say, I am positively sure THIS is the right time for buying and not for selling.
Thus it is important to search.
So, companies like Austin Real Estate are very much welcome and useful, because they offer aerial photographs, slide shows and virtual tours for thousands of Dallas and Austin area homes, condominiums, town homes and lots, regardless of who the listing agent is.
Something like Round rock tx homes for sale for example.
That means you can search and inspect and check and whatever, comfortably sitting in front of your computer, whenever you want and you can.
Then, when you made your choice, just contact their Customer Service Team that will put you in contact with a HomeCity Realtor®, who is an experienced and knowledgeable local Real Estate expert!
Easy, isn't it?


If you still do not know how a "bubble" works, you will learn it, just looking at this movie.
LandShark well represents all the artificially created bubbles of our time. It could have many other names, but as in mathematics, you can change the addends, the result is the same.
You create a company, give it credit and potential.
Make a success out of nothing, sell its shares and later just forget it ever existed.
Who cares about losers?
They are just dreamers, naive, and gullible people.
The smart ones are the ones who earn selling dreams and illusions.
This is the elegant way to call crooks and cheated people. That is life and it ain't gonna change, at least for now.
But predators will die the moment their preys, their food will be scarce and hard to get, and that moment is closer than everybody believes.

How to get high PR for your website

How can you get among the first ten on Google in a search?
Many people really have no idea what SEO (search engine optimization) is about.
They would of course like to be on that first listing in the natural results, but they don't have the minimal clue HOW to actually get there.
Besides the internet world is largely unregulated and still being figured out that everyone has his own way and definitions of things like SEO.
It is mostly a kind of "do it yourself", many times a waste of time and money.
Why not relying to a Search Engine Optimization Consulting?
A place where your time will be exclusively spent in the business you are good in and your money is safe because they are quicker and at a lower cost than 98% of their competition?
Which among all Search Engine Optimization Companies can offer your website to reach the position you always dreamed?
But how do their Search Engine Optimization Services work to help you to achieve your goal?
First the creative web design creates your company image and focus in Web Site Marketing Strategies.
In full respect of your website's nature, being it for presenting information, collecting opinions, gathering leads, or serving as a pre-sales information source or whatever your business may require, they have the right solution for all purposes.
Second, reaching your audience with the right message and layout, the website ranking will automatically rise very quickly.
Third their web programmers are very skilled at creating or modifying web applications that can help your business: Custom applications, Content Management Systems, Inventory Tracking, Directories, Online testing and surveys.
Fourth they do not forget one important aspect of the whole process, which is providing a reliable web hosting with 99.90% Network Uptime and of course offered at excellent prices!
So, everything put together in the right way, you will reach high rankings in no time in the major Search Engines.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Beware of clickjacking

All browsers are vulnerable to clickjacking By Stuart J. Johnston

The latest Internet threat cloaks Web links so a wayward click can download malware to your PC without your knowledge.

What's worse, all browsers and other Web software are susceptible to clickjacking, but you can take steps to reduce the risk.

Clickjacking allows an attacker to use one or more of several new attack scenarios to literally steal your mouse clicks. When you think you're clicking on a simple button - for example, to see the next page of an article - you may actually be giving the bad guys permission to do something entirely different, such as log on to your online checking account.

By taking advantage of any of a growing number of recently discovered vulnerabilities in Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Mozilla's Firefox, Apple's Safari, and all other Web browsers, criminals can hijack your system by intercepting clicks of what appear to be legitimate links.

The problem doesn't stop there, however. At least some of the flaws that make clickjacking possible also show up in such popular Web tools as Adobe's Flash player and Microsoft's Silverlight streaming-media plug-in.

"If they can control where your clicks are going, they may be able to get a user to reconfigure the system so they disable security," Ed Skoudis, a security instructor for the SANS Institute, told Windows Secrets. Skoudis is also co-founder of the security firm InGuardians.

Disguised links lurk behind clickable buttons

In clickjacking, surreptitious buttons are "floated" behind the actual buttons that you see on a Web site. When you click the button, you're not triggering the function that you expected. Instead, the click is routed to the bad guy's substitute link.

Robert Hansen, CEO of SecTheory, and Jeremiah Grossman, chief technology officer of WhiteHat Security, are the bug sleuths who discovered this latest generation of potential security glitches.

They point out that even users who watch their systems like a hawk can be victimized.

"There's really no way to know if what you're looking at is real," Hansen told Windows Secrets.

In fact, Hansen and Grossman found so many new ways to attack your PC- and your Mac - that they categorize these threats as a "new class" of exploits. While this class includes scripting attacks, it also affects scriptable plug-ins such as Microsoft ActiveX controls, Skoudis said.

Clickjacking isn't new. In fact, it dates back to at least 2002, Hansen said. What's new is the range of browser vulnerabilities that make clickjacking possible.

Hansen's blog posting describes the scope most clearly:

"There are multiple variants of clickjacking. Some of it requires cross domain access, some doesn't. Some overlay entire pages over a page, some use iFrames to get you to click on one spot. Some require JavaScript, some don't. Some variants use CSRF [Cross-Site Request Forging] to pre-load data in forms, some don't. Clickjacking does not cover any one of these use cases, but rather all of them."

This doesn't mean there are no protections, however. In fact, one of the most important steps that users can take to protect themselves is to enable JavaScript only for approved sites.

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Henry Poole (was) is here

The message of the movie: if you really believe, then you get it.
If you like positive, unrealistic movies, this is for you.
I am too sceptical, probably I do not believe enough, or I am too negative, but I never got it.
At least not in the easy way.
I always had to fight to get what I got, and sometimes I fought hard for nothing.
I am of the opinion that movies like this do not help.
It is the wrong message.
First, because you can believe as much as you like, but if you do not work, you won't get anything.
Second because the real goal, the real result, is not in getting, but in fighting for it.
All life is about struggling, hope and dream.
The successful reality never brings what you think it should.
Once you learn this lesson, life will be much more interesting, not for what it offers, but for what you can do.

Productivity: the right balance among speed, quantity and qality

Speed is important, but focus can allow a better kind of productivity, the one where quality matters, where everything is done with and for passion and satisfaction.
Planning is important, but improving as you go along is better.
Paperwork is definetely finished and since everything (or almost) is going digital, technology helps you to process everything faster.
No more photocopying, scanning, faxing, filing, collating, hole punching, printing, or any of the many other office tasks that are associated with paper.
Instead of multi tasking, go for multi project and single tasking.
Freedom from organization and hierarchies.
Work less hours, but produce important work.
Besides, behind any well done job, there is a happy worker.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It's better spending a little time to enquire than regretting later

Are you looking for webhosting?
From as little as $3.96 to $8.96 per month, depending on the kind you are looking for, you can have unlimited space and traffic hosting.
But to better decide and see what really suits your needs, you can easily compare and decide looking on a website where all the best web hostings are rated and described.
Their rating system is based on customer satisfaction, affordability, reliability, uptime and technical support.
They list almost all the web hosting providers, their plans, eventual discount coupons, and, of course, reviews written by REAL customers.
I find very interesting to read the articles explaining in a clear and easy way all what you should need to know when you decide to have a website.
I personally quote and like a neutral opinion which can help me to decide, giving me all the required information’s and explanations about what I am looking for.
Since I had a few bad experiences, because I tend to decide impulsively, now, every time I have to decide on important matters, ( and web hosting IS an important matter, since it can mean the success or the failure of your website) I read and inform myself about what I am looking for, and I also look for reviews or people who can tell me their experiences, in order to avoid mistakes.
In a few words, it's better spending a little time to enquire than regretting later.

If it is not a fault to be naive, it can be a big sin to take advantage of naives.

A capitalistic society began as something where some people saved money, lent it to a bank which collecting it from many made a big sum that was borrowed by somebody who invested it and created new jobs which allowed people to have a better lifestyle, spending and saving part of it to build the "capital" and so on...

Today what is left of it is the fact that people who work do not save to make the "capital" but borrow and spend more than what they earn.
The capital doesn't exist anymore, it is something opposite.
A mass of debts, money spent before producing it, a future based on nobody knows what and the certainty that nothing will change unless the society changes.

Whose fault is it?
Of course it is the fault of the ones who knew, who understood, who used the ones who didn't know and didn't understand.
If it is not a fault to be naive, it can be a big sin to take advantage of naives.

"In my narrative, the fate of industrial nations really depends on energy resources".
Of course when you want to produce more and consume more you need more energy.
But to produce a healthy economy you really do not need to increase every year the production to increase the consuming to increase the economy.
Find the right balance and a healthy economy will follow.

May be all this is not for nothing.
May be we will realize on one side that we can live with much less and on the other side that we can have much more for surviving.
The principle of the communicating vases applies to communicating societies.
Peace and economic balance is reached when the water (power, richness,) is in balance.
This is the lesson we have to learn.

A hard day's night

Is it a "Hard day's night"?
Or a stressing period, or just the need of relaxing and feeling good?
What you need is the right massage.
Imagine, just closing your eyes and feeling your muscles relax, your skin smoothing and your body reborn.
And certainly what you need is an expert therapist like the ones you find at San Diego Massage center.
You can have the right and tailored massage, just where and how you need it.
What they call "Unique signature Massage".
They do it using different styles of massage, in order to get the best results.
Or may be you will have the chance to meet Dona, who is a gifted therapist and knows all kinds of massages, from Swedish and deep tissue to lomi-lomi and Thai.
If you want to try the Hot Stone, or have a Trauma Relief Therapy, Betsy Heintz will provide you with the best Massage Therapy.
No wonder she is a H.H.P. (Holistic Health Provider).
Whatever you choose, you won't regret.

Technology and VoIP: an aid to the way out of poverty

"…Information technology will ultimately be integrated into the mainstream of overseas development aid …today every G-7 and European Union government is reconsidering its aid strategy and they are all very receptive to increasing the use of technology not as a replacement for traditional aid but as a vital and complementary tool."

The needs of the developing countries are the same as of the developed ones, the goal to achieve is the same, the means are different.
Historical evidence within countries and cross-countries shows that improved communications leads to more than a one-time lifts in income for the poor.
Better communication can encourage isolated producers to adopt better practices and technologies to improve their productivity.
African governments must either embrace this coming reality - i.e., embrace IP - or condemn their countries to fall further and further behind the developed world.
"In the Information Age, there will be little economic development without affordable, reliable communications".
Services (voice, data, TV, etc.) will no longer depend on specific facilities (copper, radio, coax, satellite).
All services will be available over all communications facilities.
So: Regulators should allow all infrastructures to compete in an open market to offer the cheapest, highest-quality services.
But the African Governments have an interest in maximizing the value of state-owned telco: to get the most money from privatization, that means vulnerability to pressure from (privatized) telecom. Example: War on VOIP services.

VOIP is not another form of telephony

Traditional telephone service is a network-level function, VOIP is an Internet application, just like any other. To the Internet, packets are packets and VOIP follows users anywhere, over any network.

VoIP services allow a customer to:

" Use a VoIP box to connect his/her ordinary telephone into any broadband Internet connection (keeping the same phone number)
" Make very inexpensive national & international long distance
" Take the VoIP box anywhere in the world (except where illegal!), plug it in to a decent Internet connection, and make and receive calls as though at home.
" Retrieve voicemail via the web.
" Also available: Full business VoIP systems; VoIP over WiFi; computer-to-computer VoIP ; computer-to-phone VoIP

Why should Africans alone - of all people - be deprived of the least expensive, most reliable communications platform in the world?


How to improve productivity and save

How can you improve productivity and actually save a lot of money, without keeping paper files, accessing all your information and documents online, so that you can work from anywhere, from any computer?
Without losing time on organizing and archiving instead of filing?
No drawers for filing or papers. No desktop tower or fax machine or scanner or anything.
Is that your dream?
If that is the case you are in the right place.
Because Atlantic Global developed a business management software that will help organizations to improve in operational efficiency and effectiveness.

Simply using a Timesheet software interface you and your employees will reduce the time of collecting data entry and its cost.
The important information will be visible, accessible and available in real time to all interested in your company.
It also allowes the planning of Projects and the Resource scheduling, even linking to a third party application such as Microsoft Project.
You can store all your projects in a central repository, allowing its access quickly and efficiently via the web.
The program Corporate Vision will allow you to decide which projects programmes and initiatives to fund, what to go for and what to dismiss, in order to fulfil your strategic objectives.
You will be able to integrate data from all your business and make it available to everybody.