Saturday, April 19, 2008

iJustine's "4 Minute Download"

iJustine puts on a great tech-oriented parody of the Madonna video "4 Minutes" featuring Justin Timberlake. Of course, it's much funnier if you're a tech geek and you've seen the original video.

Watching iJustine writhe and pose for the camera, I can't help but wonder if she's parodying Madonna or T-Lake.

[via FakeSteve]


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Our Ecosystem Rocks!

You might have seen this video already, since everyone and their brother linked to it yesterday, but it's still worth posting here just in case you haven't seen it yet and, well, because I just can't pass up commenting on it.

Gruber calls it an "embarrassingly bad internal Microsoft video extolling the virtues of Vista in the enterprise..." that "epitomizes Microsoft’s culture and institutional bad taste."

Boy, that just scratches the surface. This video offends on so many levels, it's difficult to name them all. Let's start with the slaughtering of a Bruce Springsteen classic. Actually, the lyrics by themselves are dismal enough to offend.

And the portrayal of the customers? Mindless pawns easily swayed by slogans and acronyms? Doltish, big-headed boss? Glassy-eyed, star-struck female? Does Microsoft really see its customers like this? Or want its enterprise sales team to see them like this? Now, I know this video wasn't intended for external audiences, and especially not for customers, but how can anyone buy with confidence from a company that values it's customers in this way?


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Download YouTube Videos as MP4 Files

I don't think I've ever had a reason to do this, but if I ever did, I'm sure I'd much rather have an MP4 file than crappy Flash video.

An interesting side-effect of YouTube's recent push for higher quality videos is that most videos can be downloaded as MP4 files directly from YouTube. Until now, you could only get FLV files from your browser's cache or using one of the many websites that let you download YouTube videos.
Why would I prefer MP4 files over FLV? That's easy.
YouTube's MP4 files have a higher resolution, stereo sound and can be played with applications like VLC, MPlayer, iTunes, QuickTime. Not all YouTube videos can be downloaded as MP4 files and the fallback format is FLV.
Jump get the properly formed URL, bookmarklet, and/or Greasemonkey script.


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

View "iCal Events" on Dashboard

Gruber likes it, so it must be good, right?

Free Dashboard widget by Ben Kazez, shows you a list of events from iCal for the next few days (as opposed to Leopard’s default iCal widget, which only shows events from today).
I'm trying it out now and so far I'm favorably impressed. The widget is resizable, let's you see up to two weeks of upcoming events without having to open iCal, and pops up event details when you mouseover them. Also, it appears to load quickly on Leopard which is a big concern for me as I truly dislike having to wait for fresh content to load when I drop into Dashboard.


Monday, April 7, 2008

Cell phoning from home pits WiFi against femtocells

"What the eff is a femtocell?" you might be asking yourself. Short answer: another mystery box to add to your home network, but this one let's you make mobile phone calls over your broadband Internet connection.

"Why would I want to do that?" Two reasons: 1) unlimited free calls from home; 2) better coverage inside your house (or office).

"Couldn't I do the same thing with a WiFi-enabled mobile phone?" Why, yes, yes you could. If you can find one.

From the network's perspective, femtocells accomplish the same thing as an IP-enabled cell phone, in that they shift call traffic off the cell network and onto the user's broadband connection.
Jump for a quick summary of the current situation.


Gmail being throttled, blocked by some anti-spam vendors

If you send email from Gmail, be forewarned: your messages may be delayed or outright rejected.

Over the past month, major anti-spam vendors have had to apply scrutiny to Gmail in a way they haven't had to before, and the result is reduced delivery performance and sometimes outright blocking of Gmail. Some messaging hosts are being instructed to reject SMTP connections from Google.

It all began when Google's bot-busting CAPTCHA for Gmail was defeated sometime in February. According to sources around the anti-spam industry, the result has been a marked increase in spam originating from Gmail SMTP servers. Some say the spam increase started even earlier, but all are in agreement on one thing: this is a serious problem.


Saturday, April 5, 2008

Firefox 3 vs. Safari 3

After a few weeks in the arms of Firefox 3 betas, I’ve returned to Safari as my daily browser. Unsurprisingly, it’s the interface that drove me back.
Gruber ticks off the design advantages that Safari holds over Firefox—in function as well as user interface—as well as a few spots where Firefox outdoes the Apple browser. Gruber's priorities might not be the same as yours, but his analysis is illuminating and may alter the way you assess browsers.