GeekSpeak for 2008-12-20

Geeky Gifts and Geek News

The geeks share their gift ideas, cover the Week in Geek News, and take your calls.

Fat fingers no problem with 'see-through' touch

Finally, a way of easily operating a touchscreen on very small screens.

Apple pulls out of Macworld

Next month’s Macworld Expo will be the last one that Apple will be involved in, the company announced today, saying it no longer relies on trade shows to reach out to its customers. In addition, the Mac, iPod and iPhone maker said CEO Steve Jobs will not be delivering the keynote address at this year’s show, one of the traditional highlights of the San Francisco event. Instead, Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, will address conference goers on Jan. 6.

Majel Roddenberry dies

(From Slashdot)
If there was ever a sad day for nerds, it’s today, as Majel Barrett-Rodenberry has passed away. The widow of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry is best remembered as the gorgeous Nurse Christine Chapel from the original series, the pesky and officious Lwaxana Troi from The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, and of course the ubiquitous voice of Star Trek computers in movies, TV, and animated films (who hasn’t used her voice as a system sound on their PC?). Majel also attended Star Trek conventions yearly and was a producer of Andromeda. Majel just finished her voice over work for the computers in J.J. Abrams’ latest Trek movie.

RIAA to Stop Suing Music Fans, Cut Them Off Instead

After suing more than 35,000 people for illegally sharing music since 2003, the RIAA has reached agreements with several ISPs to cut off subscribers’ internet connections if they ignore warnings to stop, Wired.com has confirmed.

Facebook’s platform

…Facebook has quickly grown to reach more than 140 million monthly active users worldwide, according to internal statistics published by the company.

Cisco's SPAM Report

This year’s report reveals that online and data security threats continue to increase in number and sophistication.

Microsoft issuing emergency fix for browser flaw

Microsoft Corp. is taking the unusual step of issuing an emergency fix for a security hole in its Internet Explorer software that has exposed millions of users to having their computers taken over by hackers. The “zero-day” vulnerability, which came to light last week, allows criminals to take over victims’ machines simply by steering them to infected Web sites; users don’t have to download anything for their computers to get infected, which makes the flaw in Internet Explorer’s programming code so dangerous.

Death To The Embargo

TechCrunch has announced that they will no longer embargoed news: “We’ve never broken an embargo at TechCrunch. Not once. Today that ends. From now our new policy is to break every embargo. We’ll happily agree to whatever you ask of us, and then we’ll just do whatever we feel like right after that. We may break an embargo by one minute or three days. We’ll choose at random.”

Holes in Earth's Magnetic Cloak Let the Sun In

Quick! Get out the sun tan lotion!

xkcd - A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.

“Warning: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).” – Ben also likes t-shirts from this site for geek gifts.

Prestigious TED gathering to make live webcast debut

TED organizers on Friday unveiled an option of having the event live streamed to the computers of those who pay 995 dollars for year-long “associate memberships” that come with books, DVDs and other perks. Joining the ted.com website is free and conference presentations are eventually made available for viewing online. The theme of the TED conference from February 3 to 7 in Northern California is “The Great Unveiling” because it is to spotlight premiers of inventions, art, and “thrilling discovery.”

First Commercial Spaceport Gets Green Light

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has given the green light for the world’s first commercial spaceport, New Mexico authorities said Thursday. The FAA granted Spaceport America a license for vertical and horizontal space launches following an environmental impact study, according to the New Mexico Space Authority (NMSA).

Lyle's article explaining PGP

I think the reason people do not use PGP is partially because it is hard to understand. Here is my attempt to explain it.


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