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Archive for October, 2008

PostHeaderIcon Cool Things You Should Know About

Time magazine has released their 50 Best Inventions of the Year list for 2008. Want the video version instead? Find it here.

Among my personal favorites are

#3 – the LRO. What can I say, I’m the child of an astronomy buff who has followed the space program practically forever…

#5 – the LHC. The astronomy buff mentioned above also taught HS physics for 20years, so I’m a natural fan of this one.

#10 – Roadrunner. Not the cable service. I think I liked this one because (a) fast is good and (b)”petaflop” is a fun word. Say it, you’ll see what I mean.

#11 – Algae Oil. A potential carbon neutral alternative fuel source that doesn’t impact the world food supply. What’s not to love?

#15 – Singing Supervillain. A blow for life w/o the big studios as well as a darn entertaining lil flick.

#18 – the MSL. Just in time. The Mars Phoenix lander/lab will be going offline any day now due to the Martian winter. This tough little buggy, launching in Feb. 2009, will pick up where Phoenix left off, but more durably.

#25 – Thin Film Solar. Cheap(er) solar, what’s not to love?

#33 – Portable Power. Take a walk and charge your ipod/crackberry/cell phone without an extension cord. Sweet.

#37 – Clean Building. Concrete that cleans the air!

#42 Disemvoweling. It’s not actually that cool, I just love the made-up word used to describe the process.

#47 – Offshore Internet. We liked this one so much we already blogged about it last month.

Go, check out the list, then come back & tell us ~your~ favorites.

PS – those are Dy’s faves above, not OA at large 🙂

PostHeaderIcon @ Geek :-)

This week’s Tech Republic newsletter had a geekalicious article I just have to share. Why? Because I am both a low level tech geek (I’d probably be wearing a red shirt, lol) and a writer-type, and this article has a bit of typographic history, too.

What do you call ” @ ” ? Does it have a name, like the ampersand (&) or what? Did you know the ” @ ” has hundreds of names, depending on the language used? Or that it pre-dates email by over 50 years? Learn all this and more Where the action is @ !

PostHeaderIcon Treasure Hunting

We all know times are lean, the news and the government won’t let us forget. Which begs the question, how do you keep growing your business in tough times?

Erica Stritch at has some great ideas in her article, “Forgotten Leads: How to Find a Treasure Trove of Leads Hidden Within Your Firm.”

People need to see/hear your name between 7 and 11 times before they remember you. Even if you are busting your tail to make ends meet, make sure you take the time to keep in touch. You never know when your efforts will be rewarded, but if you never try, they never will.

PostHeaderIcon Is Your Business Linux-Ready?

Tech Republic blogger Jack Wallen is in favor of migrating to Linux, but urges caution. Yesterday he gave a 10-point list of things to think about before making the move.

I confess, he gave me a few things to think about, but, as someone who is considering making the switch personally, it doesn’t come close to answering all my questions.

  • I use Open Office, and it’s okay, but it is U-G-L-Y and, frankly, as a longtime MS user, kind of a PITA to navigate. If they would just put a little more effort into making super common functions easier to locate, that would rock. Plus, I just spent a ton of cash upgrading to Office 2007 5 months ago–is there a way to make the kids play nice so I can still use it?
  • I am an iTunes junkie. How does this work with something like Ubuntu? Does it?
  • Still haven’t found an open source equivalent to MS Publisher. I know, I know, it’s desktop publishing for dummies, but it’s what I know how to use and I can make it sing when I’m in the groove.

I’m sure there’s more, but those are just what kind to mind immediately. Think you (or your business) are ready to go The Way of the Penguin? Check out the article above and let us know what you think.

PostHeaderIcon Need a Break?

Working from home is hard work. Employees who work 8 to 5 are usually given an hour for lunch and two 20-minute breaks throughout the workday. Why should VAs be any different?

Not sure what to do with those 20 minutes?

Check out this spiffy list of 50 websites to waste some time, courtesy of Time Magazine. The article is a couple years old, but the info is still good.

Now, go Goof Off! You’ll feel better for it, I promise!

PostHeaderIcon Digits and Debt

There are not enough digits to express how far into debt we are as a nation. It’s true!

In 1989, less than 20 years ago, a Manhattan real estate developer put up the National Debt Clock to call attention to what was then a $2.4 trillion debt.

Sadly, he obviously never thought he’d need more digits. The current national debt is up to 10.2 trillion dollars. The dollar sign on the clock was temporarily converted to a “1” to allow for the higher number and the organization that maintains the clock plans to add slots for 2 more digits some time nexty year.

Then the will be able to show us our national debt up to a quadrillion* dollars. Yay. I think it’s safe to say that if it gets that high, we probably won’t be worrying about whether or not the clock is accurate, eh?

Shamelessly re-written from’s article on the same topic

*Who else thinks this sounds like a made-up number?

PostHeaderIcon We Will, We Will, Click You!

Eh? What do I mean?

I’m talking about clickjacking, a nasty little browser expolit that, according to Jeremiah Grossman, of WhiteHat Security, “…gives an attacker the ability to trick a user into clicking on something only barely or momentarily noticeable. Therefore, if a user clicks on a Web page, they may actually be clicking on content from another page.”

And, no, Firefox and Mac users are NOT safe from this one, it apparently affects ALL browsers. Read more at the Linux Journal blog.

PostHeaderIcon Extending XP… Again.

Microsoft confirmed on Friday that they will continue shipping Windows XP media through July 2009. Read all about it in this ComputerWorld article.

Yea, Vista is a BIG hit…lol.

PostHeaderIcon Smart Phone Mania!

Time for some ~real~ fun stuff!

Check out CNN’s list of 10 nifty apps for your phone here.

Even more interesting are reports of a shortage of developers for phone applications. So, if you know how to write software for smartphones, even this economy could be good for you. Especially you open source folks 🙂

PostHeaderIcon Buy a Dollhouse, Get a Real One Free!

Yep, times are hard.

Gerry and Cindy Mann of Michigan were having such a hard time selling their home they decided to try a brand new gimmick. When their children were young, Cindy’s father created a scale replica of the family home, to scale (1ft to 1in) and all handmade. The dollhouse is worth a couple thousand dollars, but if you pay $169k for it you can have the full-size version, too.

This story broke about a month ago and I haven’t been able to find an update anywhere on the web, including in the local Michigan paper. If you know anything about this, please let us know in the comments and we’ll do a follow-up.