Thursday, August 30, 2007

Tech Pulse 20070823: Monster.com Hacked, 700 MHz and Google, Open Letter to Palm, and more!

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Josh talks about Monster.com user data being stolen, Google preparing to bid on the 700 MHz spectrum, Engadget's open letter to Palm: get with the times, full screen mode in QuickTime Player without 7.2 or Pro, and the Mac browser Camino!

Notes and links related to this episode:

Tech News
Tech Tips
Josh's
  • How to get QuickTime to display movies in full-screen without QuickTime 7.2 (or buying the Pro version)
    • tell application "QuickTime Player"
      present front movie scale screen
      end tell


      Save the above script as an application (you can do this with either Script Editor or Automator). The next time you open a video file in QuickTime Player, just run the AppleScript, and violĂ ! Full-screen mode.

    • useful for systems that can't upgrade to 7.2, or when using restricted accounts without installation privileges
Software/Hardware/Site etc. Picks
Josh's
  • Camino browser for Mac OS X
    • uses the same engine as Firefox (Gecko)
    • built-in ad blocking and Flash blocking options (which are two of my favorite Add-ons for Firefox anyway)
    • built using Apple's Cocoa API rather than Carbon (i.e. it's a more modern-style Mac app under the hood)
    • seems to be more stable than Firefox in my very limited testing (more stable, at least, than Firefox with a few third-party Add-ons installed such as Adblock and Flashblock)
    • cons: not as extensible as Firefox, and fewer choices in Preferences
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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Tech Pulse 20070809: Netflix Hacked, Uninterruptible Power, Sweet Firefox Add-ons, and more!

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Josh talks about Apple's new iMac and other product upgrades, Netflix getting hacked, future huge-capacity notebook drives, the safety of using an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), Firefox add-ons to block ads and increase Internet safety, and more!

Notes and links related to this episode:

Tech News
  • Apple's Tuesday event stuff:
    • New iMac, redesigned to look more like the iPhone with a glass screen, and a new, much flatter keyboard
    • iLife '08 with new automatic "Events" in iPhoto, redesigned iMovie, and more
    • iWork '08, now with Numbers (Apple's answer to Microsoft Excel), simpler word processing with Pages, and more
    • .Mac now has 10x the storage and bandwidth (increased to 10 GB storage and 100 GB/month bandwidth)
  • Netflix's streaming movie service (which relies on Microsoft DRM) has been hacked
  • Fujitsu developing 1.2 TB notebook HDs
Tech Tips
Josh's
  • Hacking Safari 3.0.3 Beta to work on Mac OS X 10.3.9
    • Josh couldn't get it to work. =(
  • Consider getting an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for your desktop PC
    • What should you plug into the battery backup outlets? (Anything that might cause data loss if power is lost unexpectedly)
      • Desktop PC
      • External hard drives, NAS
      • Networking equipment (router, modem, and/or switch)
    • What only needs surge protection?
      • Monitor (would suck a lot of power from the UPS, and you can set up your PC to shut down automatically when UPS power is running low)
      • Printer
      • Speakers
      • Laptop (has its own battery backup!)
Software/Hardware/Site etc. Picks
Josh's
  • Favorite Firefox Add-ons (aka extensions):
    • Make the Web enjoyable
  • Add-ons that are useful to install and train people to use after cleaning up spyware infections:
    • McAfee SiteAdvisor
      • *FAR* from foolproof, but can be useful to identify many harmful sites
      • Shows its ratings next to sites in search results
    • Netcraft Anti-Phishing Toolbar
      • The same people who get a lot of spyware are often likely to click on phishing links as well. Firefox and Internet Explorer 7 have anti-phishing features built in, but it doesn't hurt to add another layer of protection
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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Tech Pulse 20070802: Google Galore, Apple Profits and Patches, USB vs. FireWire, IPv6, and more!

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Josh, Anthony, and Kyle chat about Apple news, Google Phone rumors, Google apps, securing VNC, multi-service IM clients, USB vs. FireWire, Intel Core 2 Quad price drops, IPv6, the annoyance of required reboots, and more!

Notes and links related to this episode:

Tech News
Tech Tips
Josh's
  • Follow-up on the previous VNC tip: How to do it securely via SSL
    • VNC is not secure by default; entering passwords and transmitting data insecurely over an open wireless network, or any untrusted network for that matter, is unsafe and can potentially leave your passwords and data exposed to hackers, identity thieves, etc.
    • How-to for Mac OS X
      • easy instructions can be found here
      • no third-party software required; Mac OS X has SSH server and client functionality built in
    • How-to for Windows
      • SSH server software: OpenSSH via Cygwin (instructions can be found here)
    • Again, I recommend configuring your router to accept SSH connections through an IANA Unassigned port, since hackers may potentially look for open SSH ports (TCP port 22) to try to break into systems
Kyle's
  • (Waiting for iWork '08 before doing his tip.)
Anthony's
  • Things you didn't know Google could offer you
    • Google Docs & Spreadsheets
    • 1-800-GOOG-411
      • Josh mentioned another phone-based service (not from Google): TellMe (1-800-555-TELL) which has news (including tech news), sports, driving directions, movie descriptions and tickets, blackjack, and more—all for free
    • Google Notebook - make notes and Web clippings while browsing in Firefox
    • Google SketchUp - 3D modeling/CAD-type software
    • Kyle recommends avoiding Google Web Accelerator because it can cause problems with some sites (not to mention the privacy issues)
Software/Hardware/Site etc. Picks
Josh's
  • Adium - multi-service IM client for Mac
    • There is some disagreement even within the Adium development team on how Adium should be pronounced, although it's pronounced like the word "stadium" in the videos on the official site
    • Adium supports numerous services (AIM, Yahoo!, MSN/Live Chat, Google Talk, Jabber, ICQ, Gadu Gadu, and many more), is highly customizable and very Mac-like, with an intelligent Dock icon, Growl integration, and much more
  • Trillian - multi-service IM client for Windows
    • doesn't support as many IM services as Adium and Pidgin, but has a nice interface and has video support
    • also: Pidgin (formerly known as Gaim) - for Windows and Linux, uses the same engine that powers Adium
Anthony's
  • USB 2.0 vs Firewire 400 hard drives enclosures: Which one should I get? Which is faster?
    • FireWire 400, according to tests—in spite of the fact that the USB 2.0 specification of 480 Mbps indicates that USB should be faster
Kyle's
  • Best deal for speedsters: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600, 2.4 GHz, 2x 4 MB cache, LGA775 socket, recently priced at $289 on zipzoomfly
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E6600, 2.4 GHz, 4 MB shared cache, LGA775, recently $223 on zipzoomfly
  • AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ Windsor, 3.0 GHz, 2x 1 MB cache, AM2 socket, recently $169 on mwave
  • Intel Pentium Dual Core E2160, 1.8 GHz, 1 MB cache, LGA775, recently $96 on newegg
  • AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Windsor, 2.0 GHz, 2x 512 KB, AM2, recently $68 on zipzoomfly
Listener Questions
What is IPv6, and how does it differ from IPv4?
  • IPv6 is the next version of the Internet Protocol, and is already supported by major operating systems
  • One of the main advantages over IPv4 is the huge number of addresses IPv6 supports: an estimated 5,000 IP addresses per square micrometer of Earth's surface (far more than necessary for the foreseeable future, thus providing a lot of room for growth)
  • IPv4 addresses are much shorter and much easier to memorize, so it's much more practical to use it for LANs
  • See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IP_address and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPv6 for more information
Log Out
Is there any way to disable the annoying nag message in Windows XP that incessantly prompts the user to restart after installing critical updates?
  • Yes, although of course it's recommended to restart since the security provided by the updates may not take full effect until after rebooting
  • If you want to disable it anyway, you can try Auto Reboot Remover from IntelliAdmin or these manual instructions
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Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Join Us LIVE on Thursday Nights!

Starting this week, our regular recording schedule will be Thursday nights at 8 PM Pacific / 11 PM Eastern. There will likely be some weeks when we do not record an episode, and our schedule may change again; the best way to keep track of our recording schedule is to let us know that you're interested, and we'll e-mail you to let you know whenever there's an upcoming episode.

To listen live, go to talkshoe.com while we're recording and look for Tech Pulse. If you don't see us on the main page during our recording time, try the "SEE MORE" link next to "Live Now and Featured Podcasts."