Thursday, June 16, 2005

JiWire SpotLock

Tried out the JiWire Spotlock that I had mentioned the other day (see below), while I was sipping on a cup of tea at a Panera Bread store. Installed easily and was easy to set up. There's a free trial of this service through June 17th and then it's $5/month or $50/year. Puts your laptop behind a VPN (virtual private network), so you are then completely safe from hackers. Had a problem with getting it to run while Zone Alarm was running, despite configuring Zone Alarm the way they suggested. (I don't think Zone Alarm is necessary while this is running, so probably not a big deal). I sent JiWire a note asking them about this and I'll follow up once they reply. Was reassuring to know that someone couldn't steal your computer info and the price sure beats the hell out of Boingo's offering. Nothing wrong with Boingo, in fact I liked their service, but the cost differential is substantial. So if you're using your laptop at a coffeeshop, you should check this out. JiWire Spotlock Security

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Photoshop Widow?

Photoshop is like a powerful vacuum - it just sucks you in and after about 20 years spits you out looking very much like a large white mole, as this widow will attest. Fortunately, I have not succumbed yet to this monster. Actually, I think you have to be intelligent in order to be hooked into this, so I have a built-in escape route. A good article for digital camera junkies.

Hot Outside? - Home Brew your own AC
Now ya gotta check this out. As my ol' buddie Loren used to say - "where there's a will, there's a way". Home Brewed AC

Web Site of the Day

Yub Nub - A (social) command line for the web . (a great plugin for Firefox users - can also be used alone - once you figure it out, enter "ath" w/o the quotes. :) After that has exhausted you , try entering "pon" Enjoy!

Monday, June 13, 2005

A serious challenge to wild Salmon

I was reading David Suzuki's web site today and thought I'm bring your attention to this serious issue involving wild salmon. A new study is confirming the dangers of open net salmon farming in British Columbia. The results - A definitive new study confirming that a B.C. fish farm is responsible for an overwhelming increase in sea lice on wild fish should prompt the government to immediately remove salmon farms from B.C. waters, say members of the Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform (CAAR).

The results show transmission of lice from farmed salmon to migrating wild salmon peaked at an intensity of 70 times greater than natural near the farm and continued to exceed natural levels for 30km along the migration route. This amounts to a total contribution of lice from the farm that was 30,000 times higher than natural.

Environmental groups and other concerned community members continue to advocate for the immediate removal of open net pens and a shift to more sustainable forms of fish farming. Closed-tank systems address most of the disease and pollution concerns posed by open net cages.

“We have a small window of opportunity to reverse this damage – by removing open netcages and investing in sustainable, closed-tank technology,” says Ritchlin. “But this window is getting smaller and smaller.”

Makes you think about that next delicious looking grilled salmon dinner you're consuming in your neighborhood restaurant, doesn't it? Do yourself a favor - order wild Alaskan salmon from Vital Choice . You can't get a better source and you can cook it a heck of a lot better than any restaurant is going to cook it. I cook mine on a simple electric grill I picked up from Walmart for $25 - delicious and very healthy stuff.

Time for "Medicare for All"?

Paul Krugman comes out in favor of "single payer" or as Ted Kennedy put it - "Medicare for all" where the government provides universal health insurance for everyone. How is this affordable? Medicare has much lower administrative costs than private insurance. The reason is that single-payer systems don't devote large resources to screening out high-risk clients or charging them higher fees. The savings from a single-payer system would probably exceed $200 billion a year, far more than the cost of covering all of those now uninsured.

We need to do this one right. If reform fails again, we'll be on the way to a radically unequal society, in which all but the most affluent Americans face the constant risk of financial ruin and even premature death because they can't pay their medical bills.

We'll be on the way?? Heck, I thought we were there already! Who's gonna be the brave one to face up to the insurance lobbies though? That's the real crux of this matter. Check out Krugman's column for the whole story. I know from my own perspective that 20% yearly increases in my premiums are rapidly making health insurance unaffordable for myself, so this is an issue that hits close to home. Don't know if it really helps to write one's congressman/woman, but if there was ever a time, this is it.

Web site of the Day

What You'll Wish You'd Known

Wifi Security for your laptop

JiWire is now offering an inexpensive solution for those of you who are out and about and want to use coffee shops to connect to the Internet or send email. Most folks use these places with no security in place on their laptops (Zone Alarm and an anti-virus program are not good enough). For $5/month or $50/year, you can now connect through their secure network. That's a great deal, as Boingo costs $21.95/month. So check out JiWire's Security Solution !

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Power - what Power?

Geez, looking at the stats from my UPS (uninterrupted power supply) for my computer, I notice that we have had 11 blackouts in the last week alone and some 40+ in the last 4 weeks. Gotta love that AEP (American Electric Power). Thank God I bought this UPS or my computer would have been toast long ago. I don't know what it is about living in the mountains, but the slightest bit of wind or rain will knock us out every time .

Well Danica found out what it was like to run with the big boys last night at the Texas Speedway. To her credit, she lasted the race but finished 13th. Think she is quickly finding out how mind boggling it is to be racing at 210 mph side by side to somene in a high banked curve. The slightest twitch on that steering wheel and away you go - maybe even to your death. She was wise to back off and find some cushion and get a bit more practice before involving herself in some of those hair-raising moments. It was an exciting race - with some very close calls, but overall no major wrecks and a pretty clean race.

Afleet Alex
Afleet Alex proved he was the horse of the year in the Belmont. Wow and then some! As they came around the final turn with Giacomo (the Derby winner) leading or close to it, Afleet Alex suddenly just shifted into overdrive and blew the field away to win by 7 lengths. It was amazing to see this horse just put it into a gear that obviously no other horse had -awesome display of strength and speed. Shame he didn't win the Derby as he is a Triple Crown horse for sure.

Web Site of the Day