Archive for the “Technology” Category

What an excellent title to a blog, unfortunately it’s not mine but from The Silicon Valley Watcher. The topic of the post was a recent event hosted by Google called Breakthrough Learning in a Digital Age. This two day event brought together 200 of the nation’s top thought leaders in science and technology, informal and formal education, entertainment media, research, philanthropy, and policy to create and act upon a breakthrough strategy for scaling-up effective models of teaching and learning for children. The forum will showcase cutting edge research, proven and promising models to challenge decision-makers in key sectors to help "refresh and reboot" American global leadership in education.

For those who don’t know the history of Google the co-founder Sergey Brin dropped out of Stanford to start Google and is now the 26th richest man in the world. Both of Brin’s parents were well educated with his father being a mathematics professor. Brin followed his fathers interest in mathematics but also was interested in computer science and was in the graduate computer science program before he dropped out. He is quoted from this event as saying:

"It’s important for students to be put in touch with real-world problems," Brin said. "The curriculum should include computer science. Mathematics should include statistics. The curriculums should really adjust."

So far they have not posted a recording of the event but hopefully that will be forthcoming.

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So Mayor Joines has told Dell he expects them to repay some 26.5 Million Dollars in direct payments and expenses linked to bring Dell to North Carolina and in theory it appears Dell has agreed in their reply letter. Of course this does not include any of the cost associated with road projects completed for Dell, wine and dines that surely took place, travel by city and county officials, etc, etc.

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This is pretty sad to see Dell charge two different prices for the same product or service.

On the Dell Business site go select a Dell Inspiron 15 and at a base price of $659 it cost $100 to upgrade to Windows 7 Professional from Windows 7 Home Premium:

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If however you select a Vostro 220 based priced at $419 and want to upgrade from Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 7 Professional it’s $70. imageThe difference is the Vostro runs x86 or a 32 bit OS and the Inpiron x64 or a 64 bit OS for which Microsoft does not charge a difference.image

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These guys have been sending out postal notifications for years and the number of people that have asked me if this is legitimate or if they need to pay this “bill” is probably topping 100. Well I guess those stamps cost to much or they are concerned with Mail Fraud as they now appear to be sending them via email.

Basically this boils down to some outfit using a third party mailbox store in N.Y. is charging nearly 10X the going rate for Domain Renewals for which they say they will also submit your website to the various search engines. The “SCAM” is this clearly looks like a bill and unless you read the fine print your likely to think it is a bill.

By accepting this offer, you agree not to hold DN liable for any part. Note that THIS IS NOT A BILL. This is a solicitation. You are under no obligation to pay the amounts stated unless you accept this offer. The information in this letter contains confidential and/or legally privileged information from the notification processing department of the DN. This information is intended only for the use of the individual(s) named above. There is no pre-existing relationship between DN and the domain mentioned above. This notice is not in any part associated with a continuation of services for domain registration. Search engine submission is an optional service that you can use as a part of your website optimization and alone may not increase the traffic to your site.

Please note the “This is not a bill”, “this is a solicitation” and “your under no obligation to pay” which was taken from the very small print at the bottom of the “Notice”. Folks don’t be fooled with this junk mail if it shows up either in your postal mailbox or your email.

To have a little fun and thanks to Google we can see that 47-47 36th Street, Long Island City, NY is the office of MyUSABox, a questionable re-mailing service. With further thanks to Google here’s the offices of “Domain Services”, NOT! Of course the return email address on this email was an anonymous Hotmail account as well as the unsubscribe email listed. The fax number as well is likely just a service but gives us a great way to see what others are saying about this SCAM, 646-385-7542. It is also likely that the return mail is being forwarded to Canada or other country then being re-mailed again as at one time they operated from Thornhill, ON address which is a UPS store.

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Domain Notification

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Probably not the attention Greensboro or this officer wants but the video is making the rounds on multiple websites that have a very large viewership. Basically it appears a small group was holding a “peaceful assembly” when Officer Miller approached the group accusing them of trespass when he saw a handgun on the videographer that submitted uploaded the video. The office then demands to see a State Issued Drivers License, demands to know the age of the person and so on including threatening to detain him. After it appears he understood he wasn’t going to bully the videographer or because of the camera he walks off and appears to radio somebody. Afterwards he returns the group, explains why he has concerns about the assembly and the gun then leaves without further mention or demand for any identification. Clearly if there was any violation of the law the officer would have acted or is he not enforcing the law because he didn’t want to be on camera?

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I can’t say enough on how technology is turning the average person into a field reporter with the advent of camera phones, the Internet and sites like Posterous, or Qik which allows for live broadcasting direct from the iPhone in real or near real time.

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I’ve had so many people get infected with variations of AntiVirus 2009 and each one has said they never loaded anything or “I don’t visit bad sites.” Well here is a perfect example of why what you think you did and what you actually did are not always the same when it comes to the web.

In this case I pulled up a site I think most would consider “safe”, The Christian Science Monitor. However within that page was a redirect to another server located in Germany owned by a guy in Norway. Of course the infected server I was being redirected to could easily be a legit site which has been hacked or a site setup to specifically try to distribute malware and in this case I suspect the latter as no website actually exist on that server. As to the source of the infection my bet is one of the Flash banners on the primary site was the source of the redirect and just one more reason to disable plug ins whenever possible. Instead of a hacker needing to attack Christian Science Monitor all they have to do is go after the company offering up the advertising banners or even sign up as an advertiser.

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I’ve seen a number of these hitting a less than public email address so that tells me there are probably a large number being sent out. Typical grammar issues abound in the subject and body, the alert came from and was emailed to the same address and of course included something you are suppose to run. Well do run, run away that is, Delete, Delete, Delete.

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In one of the biggest blows to the promise of “Cloud” computing it appears an upgrade to the system has taken out customer data. In a total revelation of the service they state the data loss was caused by a single server failure. Where was the redundancy, the backups or recovery plan?

Sidekick customers, during this service disruption, please DO NOT remove your battery, reset your Sidekick, or allow it to lose power.

Updated: 10/10/2009 12:35 PM PDT

T-MOBILE AND MICROSOFT/DANGER STATUS UPDATE ON SIDEKICK DATA DISRUPTION

Dear valued T-Mobile Sidekick customers:

T-Mobile and the Sidekick data services provider, Danger, a subsidiary of Microsoft, are reaching out to express our apologies regarding the recent Sidekick data service disruption.

We appreciate your patience as Microsoft/Danger continues to work on maintaining platform stability, and restoring all services for our Sidekick customers.

Regrettably, based on Microsoft/Danger’s latest recovery assessment of their systems, we must now inform you that personal information stored on your device – such as contacts, calendar entries, to-do lists or photos – that is no longer on your Sidekick almost certainly has been lost as a result of a server failure at Microsoft/Danger. That said, our teams continue to work around-the-clock in hopes of discovering some way to recover this information. However, the likelihood of a successful outcome is extremely low. As such, we wanted to share this news with you and offer some tips and suggestions to help you rebuild your personal content. You can find these tips in our Sidekick Contacts FAQ. We encourage you to visit the Forums on a regular basis to access the latest updates as well as FAQs regarding this service disruption.

In addition, we plan to communicate with you on Monday (Oct. 12) the status of the remaining issues caused by the service disruption, including the data recovery efforts and the Download Catalog restoration which we are continuing to resolve. We also will communicate any additional tips or suggestions that may help in restoring your content.

We recognize the magnitude of this inconvenience. Our primary efforts have been focused on restoring our customers’ personal content. We also are considering additional measures for those of you who have lost your content to help reinforce how valuable you are as a T-Mobile customer.

We continue to advise customers to NOT reset their device by removing the battery or letting their battery drain completely, as any personal content that currently resides on your device will be lost.

Once again, T-Mobile and Microsoft/Danger regret any and all inconvenience this matter has caused.

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