Thursday, August 31, 2006

Microsoft vs. Google: Things Get Uglier

Intermedia is a Microsoft company.

That is why this "press release", which seems to praise Google, is really the business world equivalent of "my dad could kick your dad's butt".

Read on and see if you can see the hidden insults.

Thanks to Soprano Sue for the link!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Computer Power Consumption Costs Rising

It's funny, but as a home user, I suppose you don't see the cost of a computer, and how it being on can affect your bills.

However, imagine running a computer operations center with 225+ servers in it. How much would you guess it costs?

Well, the head of such a center said that two years ago, his costs were around $10,000 a month, and at this point, it is up to around $35,000 a month!

With recent local developments such as the New York blackout last month, one has to wonder how much of a role computers are playing in it, and if the next frontier is not faster computers, but more energy efficient ones.

Article from the Toronto Star

Thursday, August 24, 2006


How many planets are in the solar system?

Well, everyone knows the answer to that, right? Nine.

Well, we're wrong.

Under new guidelines, Pluto is no longer a planet. In the words of Donald Trump (or Vince McMahon), Pluto, you're fired!

I guess the mnemonic device we used to remember planets has to be changed:
I was always taught to remember the planet order with the sentence:
My Very Eager Mother Just Served Us New Peas
(representing the order of the planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto)

I wonder if some smart company will get in on sponsorship of this:
My Very Eager Mother Just Served Us Nabisco!
My Very Eager Mother Just Served Us Nestea!
My Very Eager Mother Just Served Us Nestle!

Brand recognition at it's finest! Companies pay to sponsor stadiums, why not mnemonic devices!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Free Stuff: Access to College Rankings through US News and World Report

US News and World Report typically charges for access to their extensive college rankings. However, Chrysler has teamed up with US News and World Report to offer it FREE for one year, if you sign up through the link below. This is an excellent tool that you can use especially if you are planning on transferring!

It's going to ask you to pick which of the three cars at the top is the Chrysler Aspen. It will give you hints if you mouse over the cars. Not hard.

EDIT: Due to popular demand, they've changed it to a contest. Still worth entering, especially if you have a junk email account.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Interesting Article: Celebs divorce taken public on MySpace

Yet another example of how the Internet is growing.

Travis Barker (of Blink 182) has filed for divorce from his wife, model Shanna Moakler. They both have blogged their sides of the story on their respective sites, taking the divorce to the public forum and basically embarassing no one except themselves.

Amazon is Down!

It looks like the site has been down for at least 10 minutes now. This is something I have seen out of many web sites, but never out of Amazon.

Any time I see something like this, I start to wonder if they've been hacked. The interesting part is that a 10 minute downtime can cost that company literally thousands of dollars of revenue!

We're sorry!
An error occurred when we tried to process your request. Rest assured, we're already working on the problem and expect to resolve it shortly.
If you were trying to make a purchase, please check Your Account to confirm that the order was placed.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

Update: about 15 minutes of downtime, and it's back up, albeit slow and still reporting errors when you search for some things.

Can you make a living from sweepstakes?

This man did. On a Japanese reality show.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Interesting Article: Security Checkpoints to include Biometrics?

The US is testing some sort of device for possibly combatting terrorism at security checkpoints. They have a device that measures things like blood pressure, pulse, and sweat levels (which sounds a lot like a sort of lie detector).

Article at the Wall Street Journal

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Free Stuff: Electronic Gaming Monthly

Again, an Electronic Gaming Monthy magazine subscription is free. I've signed up only using free offers over the last year and I have a subscription that runs through 2016!

Here's the latest link:

Interesting Link: Free Copy of Windows Vista Beta 2

Microsoft's new version of Windows, Vista, is still in Beta (testing). You can get a free copy by answering a short quiz on the Vista features. It's a basic quiz. I guessed my way through and got all 8 questions correct.

If you are interested in it and have at least 512 MB of memory to install it, I would encourage you to get a copy.

As one of my Wanaque students once said, "If it's free, it's for me."

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

More Scholarships

As I've stated before, scholarships are a great thing to apply for. At worst, they say no, and at best, you pick up a little extra cash to help pay for school. This came across the email the other day. Keep in mind there are things for both CIS and non-CIS majors!

STRAIGHT FORWARD MEDIA SCHOLARSHIPS offers 22 different scholarships to students every year. Unless otherwise noted, all scholarships awards are $500 and students can apply four times per year. Each scholarship program is open to U.S. citizens and International Students attending community colleges and four-year colleges.

Some scholarships that are available are:

Dale E. Fridell Memorial Scholarship - Awarded twice per year, in the amount of $500.
Get Out of Debt Scholarship - Write a short essay about why you are in debt and why the scholarship will help you attend college.
Nursing School Scholarship - for future nurses.
Teacher Scholarship - for students planning to be a teacher -- of any kind at any level.
Engineering Scholarship - for students pursuing a engineering degree.
Law Enforcement Scholarship - for students studying to be in any facet of law enforcement, including police officers and correctional officers.
Law School Scholarship - for future attorneys, prosecutors and judges.
Media & Communications Scholarship - for the mass communications/media majors.
Medical Professions Scholarship - for those majoring in medical professions.
Minority Scholarship - for college students who are members of racial and ethnic minority groups.
Science Scholarship - for students pursuing a degree in a science-related field.

For additional information and/or the application process, students can go to their website at:

Friday, August 11, 2006

Is it that time already?

I suppose it's time to start looking for books. If you are planning on buying your books online, NOW is the time to do it so you have the books before the first day of classes!

Interesting note: Amazon's Textbooks section has decent prices, and if you enter the coupon code TEXTBK06 when checking out, you get $15 off any order of $150 or more. Also, they typically offer free shipping on orders over $25.

Now, you may ask, how does one get the names of the books for the classes they are taking in the Fall?

Simple. Go to the school bookstore web site, select the course (for example, for CIS 152 E1, you would first select CIS as the department, click next, select 152, click next, and select ALL for the section and click next. You would then get this information:

Used $28.00 New $37.25
Author: LENGEL Edition: N/A

Used $58.25 New $77.50
Author: SCHNEIDER Edition: 7TH

Plugging that information in to Amazon, you would see the the Electronic Commerce text can be purchased for $60 in "Like New" condition. However, the Web Wizard text can be purchased for as little as $4.98.

Also keep in mind the bookstore typically "bundles" these, so that you can only buy all the books or none at all.

Also remember - if you are not sure about something (if the author or text name doesn't sound right, if it says "Special Edition" or something like that), ask a professor in that department!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Interesting Link: Scholarships

Scholarships (in other words, free money for school) are often times available for students. As I was the first person in my family to go to college, my parents hadn't really saved money for it, and as such, I didn't have a lot of money for school. Two scholarships, one from the State of NJ (Blounstein Scholarship) and another from Hackensack Hospital, helped me to pay for school.

Two scholarships recently came across my email. If you are interested in applying, read on. If either of these require a letter of recommendation, feel free to ask any of your professors (including me) for one. These two are specifically for students of Hispanic heritage, from the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.

College Scholarship Program - (Award amounts range from $1,000 to $3,000)

Eligibility Requirements

  • Be a U.S. CITIZEN or a LEGAL PERMANENT RESIDENT with permanent resident card or passport stamped I-551 (not expired).
  • Be an undergraduate enrolled FULL-TIME in a degree seeking program in an accredited U.S. College.
  • Have earned at least 12 UNDERGRADUATE CREDITS in an accredited U.S. College.
  • Have a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale.
  • Have applied for FEDERAL FINANCIAL AID.

    Students can access an application at Application deadline is OCTOBER 15, 2006.

    Community College Transfer Scholarship Program - (Award amounts range from $1,000 to $2,500)

    Eligibility Requirements

  • Be a U.S. CITIZEN or a LEGAL PERMANENT RESIDENT with permanent resident card or passport stamped I-551 (not expired).
  • Be enrolled part-time or full-time at a community college
  • Have plans to transfer and enroll FULL-TIME in a degree seeking program at a four-year accredited U.S. college.
  • Have a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale.
  • Have applied for FEDERAL FINANCIAL AID.

    Student can access an application at Application deadline is FEBRUARY 1, 2007.
  • Interesting Article: AOL: We Charge Dead People

    AOL's previous policy did not allow people to close accounts without the answer to a security question. So, what happens when the person who owns that account (and knows the answer to that question) dies? Apparently, it leads to a year long fight, for one woman.

    Maxine Gauthier doesn't own a computer. She doesn't know the first thing about Web browsing or sending e-mail. She's not even sure where to find a computer's "on" button, as she describes it. Yet for the past nine months, she has been fighting one of the most persistent and some say irritating institutions in cyberspace: AOL, formerly known as America Online.

    Tuesday, August 08, 2006

    Interesting Article: Music Pirate Political Party!

    In Sweden, a group has established a political party called the Pirate Party. The interesting part is that this is becoming a party that is big enough to put themselves in a position to win some elections! Its target voters are "one million active file-sharers who are tired of being called criminals."

    Interesting Site: Get Human

    Someone has put together a list of hard to find phone numbers for companies, as well as a way to get a human on the line. I am sure we have all had the frustrating experience of having to deal with automated menus. My main complaint is when they have you enter something to the automated system, and then when you connect to a human, you have to give them the information again! But I digress. is a nice little site to bookmark.

    Thursday, August 03, 2006

    Interesting News: AOL goes free??

    AOL has decided to offer their services for free, if you have a broadband (DSL/Cable) connection. An interesting move for a company that was at one point almost a synonym for the word "Internet" among newcomers.