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Computers, Technology, and the Internet
Friday, 30 March 2007
Car Insurance for the Boys
Looking for car insurance can be quite depressing - especially if you're a guy under the age of twenty-five. This category seems to be where all the premiums focus on, and we can't really blame them. After all, accidents do tend to be higher for young male drivers. Here are some ways to try to get the best deals you can:

1. Be a secondary driver as opposed to the primary driver.
2. Estimate your average annual distance traveled to be a bit lower.
3. Live and work in less trafficked areas.
4. Drive a four-door sedan as opposed to a two-door sports car.
5. Don't get into accidents!

And always remember to shop around. There are many car insurance companies out there, and they are fighting for your business. Going into their office and talking with an agent in person might help in giving you a better deal too.

Posted by admin at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 17 April 2007 4:26 AM EDT
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Thursday, 15 March 2007
Can You Drive A Stick?
Topic: Technology
On the face of it, this Sandisk Memory Stick Pro 512MB deal looks pretty sweet: more than a gigabyte of portable memory in two bite-sized portions for twenty-three bucks postpaid. But there's one wee problem, one minor catch - or, if you'll allow us a painful pun, one "sticking point": you pretty much need to own a Sony device to get much use out of them.

Don't blame us. Blame der Sony Kommissars. In their infinite wisdom, they've maintained an iron jackboot on the throat of the Memory Stick format. A few printers and card-readers can read them, but what are they reading? Only files from a digital camera, digital camcorder, PDA, Vaio PC, or other digital device manufactured by the Nipponese electronics behemoth. If you've got a Sony digital camera and an HP printer with a card reader, this is an awesome deal. If you've got an HP camera and an HP printer, you have no use for these except as ad hoc poker chips.

The Sony-friendly among you will enjoy two memorable sticks of 512MB apiece for use in your Sony gadgets. Their 15Mbps data-transfer rate lets you copy DVD-quality video in real-quality time, and Sony's MagicGate system lets you use copyright-protected media. And your non-Sony pals can't! Nyah-nyah! Think of it as a reward for your devotion to the cause. The benevolent leaders of Sony haven't forgotten how you, for one, welcomed your new Sony overlords. You could be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar caves.

Posted by admin at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 19 March 2007 8:49 PM EDT
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Thursday, 1 March 2007
Ideas for Football (a.k.a. Soccer)
Topic: Sports
Soccer is an actual sport; there are two teams, a ball, two nets, and involves dribbling, passing, shooting and some pretty neat tricks (just like basketball). One of the best qualities of soccer, which isn't always present, is the sportsmanship displayed between the two teams. They help each other up, chat it up, and really remind viewers that in the end, it is just a game.

Despite being around for ages, soccer is still behind in development and isn't adapting quickly enough to the changing times. Here are a few suggestions to improve the game.

  • Time accurately:
  • Technology today has given us the amazing power to accurately time. So when the game isn't actually being played - stop the damn game clock. This way you won't have to estimate how much time was lost while the referee was scribbling down penalties, substitutions were made, injured players were rolling in the grass or being taken off the field. By stopping and starting the game clock, everyone (players, coaches, referees, spectators) can know how much time is actually left in a half, instead of trying to guess how much time will be added.

  • Count down:
  • People are actually interested in how much time is LEFT in a half, or in a game. The main reason anyone would want to know how much time has passed, is to figure out how much time is left!

  • Quarters, not halves:
  • Break the game up into quarters instead of halves - even if it's a little 2 minute break in between 1st and 2nd, and 3rd and 4th quarters. This would create a large amount of advertising revenue for the game, as well as greatly promote it. More importantly though, people don't want to wait 45 minutes to get a drink or some food, nor would they want to hold it in for that long ;).

Posted by admin at 12:01 AM EST
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Thursday, 15 February 2007
Almost A Name You Can Trust
Topic: Technology
Years from now, electronics-marketing historians will debate which of Matsunichi’s accomplishments was greater. Some might say it was creating this compact, 6 GB portable drive. We think their true high point was coming up with a company name that sounds just like either Mitsubishi, Nakamichi, or Matsushita, depending on how much half-chewed Pocky is in your mouth when you say it.

But don’t cry for the victims of this most honorable subterfuge – they may not be getting the brand name they were looking for, but they will take home six fresh, wholesome gigabytes of data-storage capacity. That plug-and-play USB 2.0 connector delivers data transfer rates up to 480Mbps when you need it to, and folds away out of sight when you don’t. Will the Matsunichi 6GB Portable Drive take up too much precious space when you’re staying in one of those closet-like Tokyo hotel rooms? Possibly – it is, like, half the size of a deck of cards, after all.

Matsunichi claims to have been in business for 14 years and to employ 3,000 people, so either they're really good at fooling the gullible or they make decent-quality stuff. Even more remarkably, they managed to devise such a Japanese-sounding name despite being based in Hong Kong! That's globalization for you. Looks like Aladdin and Jasmine were right: it really is a whole new world.

The next time your crossword puzzle asks you to fill in M_TSU_I_HI to make a ten-letter word for “Far Eastern manufacturing company,” you tell ‘em: Matsunichi! It’ll certainly be the wrong answer for your crossword – but the right answer for your portable data-storage needs.

Posted by admin at 12:01 AM EST
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Thursday, 1 February 2007
The Long Ranger
Topic: Technology
Living in this mansion isn't all cups and cakes, let me assure you. It's not easy to find a maid who can reliably clean all 27 rooms. The hike from the billiard hall in the east wing to the wet bar in the western annex does grow tedious. I tend to forget in which bedroom I have left Chunkums, and without my beloved teddy bear I simply cannot sleep. And although the manor is equipped with a wireless network, its reach is far too feeble to reliably cover the manse's ample domain.

Fortunately, a mere crumb of my vast wealth sufficed to acquire the Linksys WRE54G Wireless 802.11G Network Range Expander. It integrates seamlessly with my existing 802.11g router - or do I have an 802.11b? I can never be troubled to remember, since the WRE54G is compatible with both standards. In any case, this marvelous Linksys expander simply bounces along my network signal, greatly extending the network's reach without the fuss of a lot of uncouth wires. And for a person of my lucrative and sensitive interests, the 128-bit WEP encyrption comes in rather handy. (Yes, WPA would've been better, but not even I can have everything.)

For a time, I feared I should never be able to lounge in the solarium and browse the web on my laptop. The firm that made my router was no help: the Hindu gentleman who answered their phone seemed like an amiable sort, but his advice never quite did the trick. The Linksys WRE54G Wireless 802.11G Network Range Expander proves that, indeed, you can find good help these days.

Posted by admin at 12:01 AM EST
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