Want free business long distance?

This is how old business models die

By Stephen Pate, Charlottetown, PEI, Canada, February 3, 2009

Would you like free long distance directory assistance from a cell or land phone? Of course you would.

Just dial 1-800-goog411. a.k.a. 1-800-466-4411

It’s a new free service from Google. It asks you in sequence for the city, province, business name, multiple locations if applicable and if you want to connect. It works. I tried it.

Thanks to PEI’s best dobro guitarist Guy Cormier who sent me this. The sweetest sound this side of Nashville. Someday if you’re real lucky you can play with him, usually at a bluegrass jam. Or just sit there and listen to that sweet guitar.

Fannie Mae employee tried to sabotage computer

By Stephen Pate, NJN Network, Charlottetown, PEI, Canada, January 31, 2009
from a story in ComputerWorld

A computer programmer working for US Federal mortgage lender Fannie Mae was suspected of planting a software time bomb to destroy records of his employer. ComputerWorld reports |”Rajendrasinh Babubhai Makwana, 35, was indicted Tuesday by a federal court on a single charge of computer intrusion, according to documents released yesterday.” No damage occurred as another employee noticed the malicious script and deleted it. Continue reading Fannie Mae employee tried to sabotage computer

Seagate fesses up, offers fix

Seagate has admitted the unusually high number of problems with its Barracuda 1 TB drives, Barracuda 1 TB 72000.11 drive failures on Jaunuary 16th, 2009. The word got out and back to Seagate at warp speed. After initially ignoring the problem, they promised a firmware fix and data recovery services according The Register, who first reported the story. “The company will provide a free firmware upgrade for those affected by the problem, and if you’ve lost data thanks to this firmware issue, it will provide free data recover services as well.” Link to Seagate to see if your hard drive is affected or read the Register story here. All’s well that ends well.

When is Windows 7 coming?

And should you care?

By Stephen Pate
January 18, 2009
with reports from ZDNet and PC World

Of course you should care. We all like something new and Windows 7 promises to be new. The release date is rumoured to be late 2009 but Microsoft is officially saying 2010.

There are Windows 7 Beta’s flying around and some people say it’s faster than XP and Vista. How much faster? Twice as fast but then speed isn’t everything.

Other people hate the changes since they like the old interface, even before Windows XP.

Love it or hate it, faster or slower – Windows 7 will dominate operating systems and our computing lives from 2010 onward. That is until Windows 8.

Bluetooth bye-bye and none too soon

By Stephen Pate

A new tech standard endorsed at CES (PC World) promises to replace Bluetooth which has been too long promising and too little doing it. Yahoo Tech reports

“TransferJet wireless capability is getting closer to reality. The technology, which is being developed by major camera makers Sony, Olympus, Canon, Kodak, Nikon, is intended to make it easier for to transfer your images between devices wirelessly. Now Toshiba is getting behind the wireless standard showing off a laptop here at CES that uses the technology.”

Continue reading Bluetooth bye-bye and none too soon

DRM is alive and well at Apple

By Stephen Pate
January 11, 2009
with story suggestion by Tech Dirt

While DRM is moving off iTunes music, Apple is still protecting video and proprietary systems like iPod with DRM. DRM or digital rights management makes it harder to download music and ruins CD’s even if you’ve paid full price.

You hate it. I hate it. Everyone hates it except the big labels, content providers and Apple.

Continue reading DRM is alive and well at Apple

Saving emails, is it the law?

A post on Dan James’ CEO Blues got me thinking – is it the law to save your emails?

The answer is yes, if you get sued.

It is a requirement of civil law to retain all documents including electronic docs like email. A Canadian authority on this, with some US links, is Alan Gahtan. He has an interesting blog and encyclopedia of cyberlaw. Makes good reading on long winter nights. Gahtan also has a book published by Carswell called “Electronic Evidence” which makes scintillating reading anytime.

Continue reading Saving emails, is it the law?

I cannot believe how dumb I am

A couple of weeks ago I downloaded the Internet Explorer Beta 8. My life on line has been a disaster until this very moment when I re-installed Firefox.

I know it’s 8 Beta, I just like the sound of Beta 8.

Beta 8 was really slow and buggy. Sometimes closing a window would start the sequentially opening of dozens of new tabs. Only re-booting fixed the problem.

So I uninstalled it and went back to IE 7. Not a chance. Two days of struggle got my computer back, except I could not change my IE Options. Try updating some plug-ins. It was hopeless and my computer started falling apart.

We did registry edits with all known patches. Nothing. Nada.

So I re-installed IE Beta 8 which is again slow and buggy. The coup de gras came this morning when WordPress wouldn’t let me post another story.

That was it. I have to blog 3 to 10 articles a day or I die! Enough.

Dun dee dee dun dee dee dun Bonaza….Firefox to the rescue.

Wow this is nice code. Will and James Pate have been bugging me for a decade to move to Firefox. Why did I resist?

Now I can get back to editing This Hour Has Five and a Half Minutes.

I thought I knew her

I got this email from a nice sounding gal named Nancy Roman. She is one of the dozen or so people who know me even though I don’t know them.

I get excited when I see their mail in my in box and then disappointed.

She doesn’t want me: she just wants my money. What’s wrong with this world when people can’t email each other just to be friends? Why is money always an issue?

If I meet Ms. Roman some day I will ask her that question.

I wonder what she looks like?

—–Original Message—–
From: Nancy Roman [mailto:tvo@leejun.co.kr]
Sent: September 29, 2006 3:02
To: stephen_pate@hotmail.com
Subject: weed centralize