Monday, February 12, 2007

Transmeta - from bad to worse

Transmeta, once a darling hardware company, is shifting to an intellectual property portfolio company.

Why is this interesting? Because a fellow by the name of Linus Torvalds used to be a big cog in Transmeta's CPU development. That very same Linux Torvalds is the father of the Linux operating system. Which just happens to the foundation of the Free Software movement, which opposes the licensing of intellectual property in the form of software patents.

An interesting circle, n'est-ce pas?

Friday, February 09, 2007

Tech blogs

Everyone and their proverbial dog has a blog these days, and likely 50% of all of them are blogging tech. That's okay though, most of the cool stuff I hear about comes to me this way. Here are the blogs I like to read:

Engadget HD
Wil Wheaton dot Net
Ars Technica
Boing Boing
Download Squad
The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) -- I don't own a Mac, BTW

All cool places to put in your RSS feeder (along with the 3 O'clock blog!)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Take it with you

Imagine you're staying over at Grandma's house for the weekend. She's just had a kicking T1 broadband connection installed (hey, who doesn't have a Grandma with a T1? What? Seriously, just me?). You're fired up to download some Linux torrents, or an all night FPS frag-fest. But you cannot for the life of you remember what the stupid URL is for the site. Googling for it doesn't help either, as you can't remember the weird spelling of that site. And was it .com, or .net? AUGH!

Enter Foxmarks. This cool site/utility/Firefox extension lets you keep and maintain one unified set of bookmarks, across any number of computers. And even if your Grandma's never heard of the Fox, you can still log into your Foxmarks account on via any browser and you can access your bookmark list.

I use multiple computers in multiple locations, so foxmarks is tailor made for me. On any new system, I just install the Firefox plugin, enter my account info, and boom -- 5 seconds later, all my stored bookmarks are available through the Bookmarks menu, or Alt+B (for you mouse haters). I've been using it for ages, and I love it!

Foxmarks -
Foxmarks Firefox extension -

Monday, February 05, 2007

Superbowl tech

Does this thing ever live up to the hype?

Even in Canada (where an NFL franchise is only a pipe-dream for some Torontonians) many people gather around the TV in late January/early Feb to watch large men try to gain 10 yards in 4 downs (as opposed to the Grey Cup, where we gather around the tube in late November to watch large men try to gain 10 yards in 3 downs).

Typically though, Canadians are also made to suffer from the pain of "simulcasting" or "sim-subbing" where Global Television, the TV conglomerate that holds the Canadian broadcast rights to the Superbowl, takes the original US broadcast and rips out all the "good" ads and resells the airtime to Canadian companies. If the viewer is lucky, the original advertiser also sells to Canadians, and buys the same airtime to show the "good" ad to Canadian. has a good rundown of the whole evil business here.

Luckily for the guests at my Superbowl party, for whatever reason, the CBS high definition signal wasn't replaced, so we got to see all the original ads. Unfortunately, this year's crop was not the best. A few chuckles, and everyone broke out a hanky for GMC's assembly line ad (which I think is just a ripoff of the great Spike Jonze IKEA commercial from a few years ago), but nothing really that I will remember next week.

The HDTV pictures were great -- pouring rain never looked so good -- and the super-slo motion replays really showed off how talented the players are, able to keep one foot barely in bounds to make a catch, or punch an opponent at just the right spot to knock a football loose. But aside from that, I don't think CBS made the greatest use of the new technologies, partly because the rain kept blurring pictures, or in the case of the overhead field cam, obliterated it entirely.

And the game on the field wasn't that great, either.