Category Archives: Technology

Review: “I’m a PC” Commercial – Microsoft & Apple

Microsoft just can’t stop robbing Apple. First, it was operating systems, now it’s commercials.

Back in 2006, Microsoft released Vista to a roar of boos. Not only was it slower than XP, but it had software compatibility issues, questionable security features, anti-piracy technology that detected “counterfeit or non-genuine” software on a person’s computer (college kids loved that) and not to mention, it sapped laptop battery life twice as fast as XP, according to tests by CNET and others.

And other folks claimed Vista’s aesthetic and user-controls were eerily similar to Apple’s OSX operating system which suggested copyright violation.

Check out the new 3-D chess game Microsoft built into Vista.

Look a little like Apple’s?

But that’s little stuff. How about bigger stuff? For instance, for years Mac users enjoyed a quick app built into the operating system that had an address locator, a calculator, weather reports, language translations, among other things. Apple calls them “widgets” and it’s a Mac staple. Here’s a picture:

Well, Vista now has a similar application. Microsoft calls them “gadgets” (or “stolen ideas” for short):

Other applications in Vista that look and feel like Mac’s include: Apple’s iPhoto and Finder.

So, is it any surprise Microsoft’s new marketing campaign is again ripping off Apple?

Apple:

Vista:

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Google’s New Web Browser

What doesn’t Google do? 

This week they unveiled “Chrome”, a web browser alternative to the McDonald’s of the web browsing market, Internet Explorer 8.t

  • quick page searches–for instance, type “A: tale of two cities”  in the text box and the browser recognizes it as “search amazon.com for a tale of two cities”. 
  • nine mini-screen opener–run the browser for the first time and nine mini-screens appear, your most visited web pages.
  • the “sandbox” feature–say you have three web pages open and one crashes, well it isolates it to just that one site. The other pages are unharmed and the application stays open.
  • Downloads–downloading appears as a small status bar at the bottom of the page. Once you’re finished, you can open it right there, without having to dig around your files.
  • Incognito–browse like the invisible man. No cookies, passwords or caches are saved. People call it “porn mode”

Not ground-breaking stuff–lots of borrowed features–but Google’s calling it the fastest browser on earth. And so, for no other reason, it’s a compelling alternative.

(But just so you know, nothing beats “omniweb”. Best $15 you’ll ever spend).

More on Video Games: the Wii and Doctorhood

Hey, what do you know? Surgeons play video games too.

“We can always tell the surgeons who are gamers, because they’re naturally better,” admits Dr. Mark Smith of the Banner Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix. “But what we’re finding with the Wii is that the surgeons that use it regularly are achieving results that far outstrip those who have just gamed before.”

Read more at: http://www.citynews.ca/news/news_26117.aspx

Mind-Controlled Video Game System

From the files of “wow, that’s super cool” comes this: a video game system controlled entirely by the user’s thoughts. 

It’s being marketed more as a therapeutic tool at this point–like as a training tool for kids with ADD who have difficulty focusing their minds–but the future of Game is coming…

http://www.macleans.ca/science/health/article.jsp?content=20070903_109068_109068

How to Track Blog Stats for Free — SiteMeter.Com

Tracking hits to your blog is easy—with WordPress.com. You log-in, hit “blog stats” and get a nice little summary. Like this:

Or maybe you want a global scope of your WordPress blog?  Alexa.com will tell you where you rank in the world:

The best-selling blog Margaretandhelen.wordpress.com, which is run by two old ladies with a 60 year-old friendship, for instance, is at spot 246,001 in the world. 

And the equally popular (though not as-of-yet “best-selling”) WordPress blog crowdnoise.wordpress.com is at spot…well, never mind. 

Nonetheless, as a WordPress blogger, I can check my global rank at Alexa.com. Not so for Blogspot folks.

Type in your blogspot web address on the Alexa search engine (such as, http://www.myblog.blogspot.com) and you only get stats for “www.blogspot.com” (ranked 9th).

But there are alternatives for Blogspotters. 

Such as Sitemeter.com, which will track your blog stats for free. After you register, you’ll see a summary of your hits, updated immediately. 

On the left side of your account page (see pic below), click “by detail” and get a look at each individual hit with summary of the visit, which tracks things like “page views” and “length of visit”:

You can also see each hit by its world location with a nifty little globe:

However, sitemeter is not without its flaws. For instance, though you can theoretically track a hit by its “referring URL”, most times the referring URL will be labeled “unknown”:

In fact since Friday, Sitemeter has yet to identify a single referral by its URL. 

Sitemeter will also track your own blog visits, which is another flaw. But that’s easy to fix. To do that, click the “Manager” tab at the top of the screen. Then, click “ignore visits” tab on the left. This will allow you to toggle between tracking or not tracking your own visits, either by IP, browser or cookies. 

Once you register, embed Sitemeter on your blog by clicking “Manager” and then “Overview”. Under “Adding Site Meter to your site”, you’ll see instructions by blog site.

After clicking “to a Blogger.com site”: 

  1. Copy the HTML code (below) onto your clipboard
  2. Login to Blogger
  3. Click on the Layout link on your dashboard
  4. Click on the Add a Page Element link on the page titled Add and Arrange Page Elements 
  5. A window titled Choose a New Page Element page will pop-up
  6. Click on the Add to Blog link 
  7. Paste the Sitemeter HTML code into the Content section
  8. Click Save Changes and you’re done. 

Sitemeter HTML code: <script type=”text/javascript” src=”http://s41.sitemeter.com/js/counter.js?site=s41MyWebSite“>

www.sitemeter.com