April 20 2009

Apr - 06 2009 | By

Additional notes 

Editor's notes are delimited by < >

Paul is hosting the show. Glenn joins in later by phone.

Web site for optical illusions mentioned. See above link

The earliest effort for cable audio was the Telharmonium. It was designed by Thaddeus Cahill to send music by telephone to subscribers. See the above link.

Paul talked about the Conflicker worm. There are now variants A thru E. It keeps getting modified and always stays ahead of anti-virus programs. See the above link.

The "AutoDrive/AutoRun, Risks and Precentions" link above tells you how to disable the Autorun feature. It was meant to make the appropriate application run when a disk or flash drive is put into the computer: E.g. run Media Player when an audio CD is inserted, but can be used by malware to infect the machine and propagate itself.

Glenn found an iPhone clone from China for around $100. It's not a true clone but does much of the same stuff. It's unlocked and works on the 4 principle cell phone frequencies so you can use it with various providers by using the appropriate SIM card.
It appears to be 2G (EDGE) only.
There's a link above to someone selling the phone on Ebay.

A topic that often comes up is how to boost your cell phone signal.
– Some cell phones have a special connector for an external booster or passive antenna.
– "Booster Stickers for Cell Phones" do not work, never have.
– Active boosters do work but are expensive. They work for both GSM CDMA networks.
See the links above.

Cell phone towers can handle only a finite number of calls and the weakest signals are usually dropped in favor of those most likely to have a satisfactory connection.

Paul observes that though people may be concerned about personal info being harvested by commercial interests, they gladly give away, on sites like Facebook, far more info than they would allow to be taken from them.

Glenn joins in from San Jose in Costa Rica using Skype Out. He talks quite a bit about the environs. He has with him the Idea Pad by Lenovo: an XP machine with a 80Gig hard drive.
Skype Out minutes "expire in 90 days unless you use and then it expires in 90 days from your last use".
So far it's averaging $.021/min.
With OneSuite he couldn't get a local phone number or a toll free number to call out from Costa Rica. He installed something called a 'soft phone' <I think that's what I heard> which he thinks might work if he weren't on a wireless router (it can't authenticate it's proxy). Bottom line, Skype is easier to use and is cheaper: OneSuite charges would amount to about $.08/min, Glenn surmises.

Glenn says he'll post photos from his trip on zen.kvmr.org

Glenn is now using the Picassa software from Google. It's a picture editing & managing program. He tried it before but wasn't happy because it kept re-indexing his photos. Picassa 3 works much better.

Paul mentioned Adobe Photoshop Elements 7. He thinks it's a good program but it can loose track of where your pictures are if you move your folders around.

Paul also suggests Paint Shop Pro
<Learn more about Paint Shop at these sites:
tcc-pub.com/workshop/205/psp.htm
www.youthpastor.com/2000/index.cfm/A/2Kpsp.htm
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paint_Shop_Pro
Paint Shop Pro is now a Corel product but earlier free versions can be found. I got my copy here.>

Paul bought some Irish Stout that comes with a "widget" aka "cat toy". It's a sphere in the can with pressurized nitrogen, which gets released when you open the can, giving the stout a creamy head.

Rich called in. He want's to get involved with digital video. He has an HP Media Center computer but doesn't think it's adequate.
– All versions of XP come with Windows Movie Maker which is pretty effective. Paul's Costa Rica videos at tropicaltributes.blogspot.com were made with Movie Maker.
– < On my PC I have Windows Movie Maker located at:
in the All Programs menu and also in All Programs -> Accessories -> Entertainment>
– Most people, with a PC, use Adobe Premier Adobe Premier Pro. It also comes in a "light" edition.

Mikail called in using the Comcast digital phone plan and a plain old telephone. Paul says the Comcast router has battery back up so the phone should still work for a few hours if the power goes out.

The reason Mikail called is to say the coming new iPhone is rumored to do HD video. He also says the new Apple notebook is rumored to have a 10" touch screen and cost $400 to $600.