Thursday, June 10, 2004

Google News Alerts

Did you know that Google will deliver up emails to you with alerts to any news topic you might be wishing to keep an eye on? Yep, works quite well. You can tell Google how often you would like to receive these alerts. Check it out at this Google site . This is not a new Google tool, in fact, I've used it for over a year now, but I suspect many are not aware of it.

More on the "Roady"
Yesterday I mentioned XM Radio's new "Roady" version. There are some good reviews of it at the Epinions site. Speaking of Epinions, it is an excellent source for indepth reviews of many things, so before you buy something, you might want to scan the Epinions site to get a few user opinions. Update! Well, I sprung for the Roady - pretty slick. Slap tiny antenna on the roof (strong magnet) , route the antenna wire into the car - plug in cigarette lighter adapter to receiver along with a cassette adapter and you're good to go. Simply call or go through the Net to XM Radio's site and activate the unit and in about 20 minutes, your unit has some 100+ channels on it. Reception was excellent on top of our mountain - will be giving it a good test tomorrow when I drive up towards the Chicago area.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

D70 Picks up another positive Review

Ken Rockwell writes a long and very positive review of the Nikon D70. If you're looking for a digital SLR with an outstanding kit lens, this may be the one to look at (for the moment, that is, until Canon comes out with their reply!). I had some concerns with the focus issues, which Rockwell explains here - still would be good to check that issue out before camera gets out of warranty. Incidentally, you might want to check the fine print on your credit card, as often they add 1 year warranty to the basic warranty. Another reason I always use a credit card that offers this advantage.

Safer Shopping
Although you wouldn't expect it from Doc Mercola (since he writes mostly health articles), he is a gadget freak and in this article points out a few ways to shop safer online - worth a look.

Had a chance to try out my Dell 600m laptop in Roanoke in the downtown Market Square the other day. Free for 2 hours of use at a time - was a good way to download my audio books which are often 25mb and up in size. Unfortunately, signal was a bit low and got only 1mb/sec download speeds (still better than 56k dialup by a long shot!). Normally, would get 5-10mb/sec downloads. Even lost the signal a few times, but couldn't complain for free. Will be glad when wireless takes off everywhere. If businesses are smart, they won't charge - brings in business to coffee shops, etc that they might not otherwise get. I can certainly see the advantage of a PDA though - beats lugging around big laptop, especially if you're just going to check email,etc. Will be interested to see what kind of a wireless solution I can come up with for the Tungsten T3 that will hopefully be arriving soon in my mailbox. The Bluetooth cell phone option is nice, but too expensive and the speeds are more in the 56K world and who needs that?

XM Radio
Getting interested in XM Radio at the moment - noticed that they now have an XM "Roady" available for $119 and if you act soon, you get a free Home kit (which enables you to plug into your home stereo) and a free wireless FM transmitter kit for the car, which enables you to transmit the signal into an empty FM station on your car radio and thus play it through your car speakers (in the event that you don't have a cassette player in your car - the kit comes with a cassette adapter, if you do). It plugs into your cigarette lighter and doesn't require hard wiring, so you can transfer it over to your other car and use it there, or take it into the house and use the Home Kit to plug it into your AC outlet and then plug the RCA cables into your home stereo system. Check out the options at the XM web site! . For a list of some of the programming and to hear some samples, click here . You can pick these things up at your local Walmart.

2 Gigs of Free Email!
It didn't take long for folks to challenge the Google email system. Check out AventureMail

Bill Clinton was front and center again this week, kicking off his "My Life" book tour . Put June 20th on your calendar for his 60 Minutes appearance, just a few days before his book is released. He'll also be on Oprah a few days after. If you want to listen to Clinton and talk to the BookExpo America folks, then you can listen for free at this Audible site . I listed a few days ago and it was typical Clinton - always interesting, amusing - quite refreshing to hear someone who is so good at getting up in public and speaking, something I miss in a President. I think we'll see Kerry do well, once he gets past the campaign and starts talking like a human being again, but nobody can match Clinton.

Quote of the Day
Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field.
Dwight D. Eisenhower