Friday, June 29, 2007

The iPhone arrives...

After months of hype, Apple releases the iPhone today. It's a cell phone with camera and Web browser...that also includes a music and video player. Talk about "all-in-one" devices! People were apparently lined up as early as Monday (!!!) to buy it. All for "only" $500 to $600 with a two year contract!

More here:
iPhone story on CNN

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


As you may know, fireworks (not the software program) are illegal in NJ, but can be purchased legally in Pennsylvania.

NJ is planning to ask PA "to be a good neighbor" and not to sell fireworks to NJ residents. They've also removed fireworks related advertising on Routes 78 and 80.

This isn't at the top of Pennsylvania's "to do" list at this point.

Link to story

Chris Benoit

Wrestler Chris Benoit murdered his wife and child, and then hung himself.

It's a scary thing, because I used to watch wrestling, and Benoit wasn't one of the typical huge, lumbering wrestlers that you might think of. As a matter of fact, it's quite the opposite. His matches were interesting to watch because he wasn't just a kick and punch wrestler. He knew a variety of legitimate martial arts type holds, and he managed to make it all look real. Eventually, he overcame his lack of size to become one of the shortest champions in WWE history.

I was a fan.

And then you hear something like this. I just can't believe it happened, and it disgusts me. It just shows you never really know someone, be it an athlete or even someone you work with. Many of the wrestlers are stunned by this news, too.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Harry Potter ending, revealed a month early?

So, someone claims to have hacked in to the offices of the publishers of the successful Harry Potter series of books and found the ending to the book. The publishers of course deny it is the ending. has an interesting article - discussing how this demonstrates how vulnerable people really are.

The hacker has also posted a "spoiler" with what he/she claims is the ending to the series.

Link to Wired.Com story

Harry Potter ending, possibly revealed over a month early

I'm back

I'm back and catching up on email after "roughing it" for 10 days without using a computer! (A GameBoy Advance doesn't count, right?)

I have a few things to post, which I will do over the weekend.

Monday, June 11, 2007

AFK: Away from Keyboard

Hi folks!

I will be AFK for the next 10 days or so. I have a trip to the Dominican Republic planned, and I am looking forward to a little vacation. Will I actually avoid cyber cafes? We shall see.

For your reading pleasure, here is a list of common chat acronyms. Ever wonder what people mean when they say lol (laughing out loud)? Or ttyl (talk to you later)? How about roflpmp? Well, that one you'll just have to look up on the site below.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Free Schick Intuition Razor

iVillage is giving out a free Schick Intuition Plus razor (typically, a woman's razor) for free if you enter their sweepstakes by signing up on the Web site below:

Make sure you check off the box labeled "Yes. Please send me a free Schick® Intuition® Plus® razor."

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Microphones, wiretaps, oh my!

I attended the NJ Infragard meeting last week. One of the speakers was a guy who runs a company called Murray Associates. That non-descript name hides what they really do - they are a group that will do an internal security audit for things like wiretaps, microphones, and other such devices. The demonstration was very impressive. Some of the equipment they had were able to pick up any electronic devices. It was kind of amazing to see what they could do in counter-spying.

Murray Associatesweb site

The speaker has an interesting blog up on his Web site, detailing some security topics and spy things that show up in the news, I've bookmarked him!

Kevin Murray's Blog

Free workshop tomorrow

I am giving a workshop to our lab staff tomorrow at noon. The topic is the software tool Fireworks (an image editing tool).

I figured that if anyone was interested in coming by, you could feel free to sit in. We'll be in the Hamilton building somewhere, probably in H306 or H311.

Come on by!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Download old versions of applications

When dealing with software upgrades as a network manager(or even as a home user), sometimes you will find that a new version of a program is too "buggy" or causes problems with your system. The only problem is you cannot find the old version of the software to download!

This Web site archives old versions of software packages just for this purpose:

Monday, June 04, 2007

Credit Card Theft hits close to home

I tried to log on to my credit card account today, and it refused to let me log in, saying I had to call the 1-800 number. When I spoke with the customer service rep, she told me that my credit card number was among those exposed by a vendor.

The vendor? TJX, the parent company to Marshall's, TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, and Bob's Stores.

I had heard about the initial issue - they had been hacked in December 2006 - it's been called "the world's largest data breach". I assumed that since I hadn't heard anything, that I wasn't affected. (Read their February press release here)

Well, it turns out that even that wasn't a complete listing. They've found even more accounts that were at risk, and mine was apparently included.

The 1-800 number for TJX doesn't seem equipped to answer questions about this, either, or really, provide any help. I called, got poor customer service, and askedc for a supervisor. The answer was "they're on break for an hour or two". When I said "this seems like a bad day to take a two hour lunch break" they responded "Well, they are a supervisor, they can do that".

Way to make the customer feel unimportant!

They've lost me as a customer, regardless of how they fix this in the future.

For the record, MasterCard handled this properly, issuing me a new card as soon as they found out my card had been exposed.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Site Updates

I removed the "Search My Blog" from the right hand side. Google added their own version at the top of the page, so use that from now on.

I also organized the links a little differently.

Free After Rebate at Office Depot 6/3 - 6/9

Office Depot has the following items FREE after mail-in rebate this week:

Targus CityLite 15" Notebook Case
OD Item ID# 578016
$15 in-store cost, free after rebate

Uni-Ball Vision Elite Pens 8-pack
OD Item ID# 718128
$16.99 in-store cost, free after rebate

Swingline Stapler
OD Item ID# 527721
$7.39 in-store cost, free after rebate

Post-It Notes
OD Item ID# 321529
$2.99 in-store cost, free after rebate

Link to Ad (free stuff is on page 12)

As with all rebates, read the forms carefully. Some require the original UPC to be cut from the packaging.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Graduate Writing Exam: Summer Dates

If you are a student who has passed EN 102 and completed 30 college level credits, it may be time to take the Graduate Writing Exam. All students seeking a degree must complete this before they graduate. Waiting until your last semester is not a good practice.

PCCC is offering this over the summer. As far as I know, this is the first time the school has done this.

You can find more information on the summer dates (and the exam in general) here:

If you're not taking summer classes, it might not be a bad time to get this over with.