Friday’s Fun for All

It’s tech news time.
Roquefort cheese was created in a cave on this day in 1070. The first hot air balloon was launched in 1783 by the Montgolfier brothers. Henry Ford drove his first auto through the streets of Detroit in 1896. The US Senate passed the 19th amendment, giving women the right to vote, in 1919.

Happy 25th birthday to Visicalc.

  1. There were 959 new viruses introduced last month, the most since December 2001. According to anti-virus vendor Sophos, Sasser was the number one virus in May and there are now 90,000 PC viruses in circulation. A similar worm, Korgo, is “aggressively stealing” credit card numbers and passwords. Both Sasser and Korgo take advantage of a Windows security flaw that was discovered in April. Updated versions of XP are not vulnerable to the exploit.
  2. How low can you go? A new computer virus is targeted at children. Netsky.P has been spreading over file sharing sites by posing as a new Harry Potter game.
  3. Survey says: online porn sites get three times the traffic of Google and other Internet search engines. Or as USA Today puts it, ogle beats Google. Hitwise, a company that monitors web traffic says adult sites receive 18.8% of all web visits, entertainment 8%, business and finance 7.4%, shopping and classifieds 7%, and search engines and directories a mere 5.5%.
  4. The Silicon Valley Toxics coalition says dust from your computer may be making you sick. Electronic components in computers, TVs, hair dryers and other devices are routinely coated with flame retardants known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs. The chemicals cause reproductive and neurological damage in animals.
  5. Intel says it will be releasing eight new Pentium 4 processors this year. Five of the eight will launch this month with Intel’s new Grantsdale and Alderwood chipsets that support PCI Express and DDR2. The other three processors will be announced in Q3 and will incorporate 64-bit extensions to the P4. Top clock speeds for all eight: 3.6 GHz.
  6. The US Patent Office is at it again, awarding a patent to Microsoft for a “time-based hardware button for application launch… in a limited resource computing device.” In English, Microsoft has patented using a double-click to open a program on PDAs.
  7. It’s not your fault. According to Wired News, Windows XP routinely drops Wi-Fi connections for no apparent reason. Microsoft says, “We don’t have data that suggests Windows XP drops wireless connections more than any other system.”
  8. Toshiba will ship a 60 GB version of the tiny hard drive used in Apple’s iPod this fall. The current iPod tops out at 40 GB.
  9. Now we know what Uncle Paul did with Comcast’s money. SpaceShipOne, the world’s first privately funded rocket plane to leave the Earth’s atmosphere takes off later this month. The project is designed to demonstrate the viability of commercial space flight. Fellow billionaires Jeff Bezos of Amazon, and Larry Page and Sergei Brin of Google, are also funding their own private space initiatives.

Tune in tomorrow at 7:40a Eastern for my weekly visit with John Donabie on 1010 CFRB Toronto. And, of course, listen to my show every Saturday and Sunday, noon to 3p Pacific on KFI, Los Angeles.

27 Replies to “Friday’s Fun for All”

  1. I can just see the new Tungstens shipping with a double click counter connected directly to Bill Gates’s bank account…

  2. I would think Uncle Paul could get Rose Garden out of Chapter 11 and put money back into Portland Trail Blazer and Seahawks Org …

  3. Noticed what Uncle Paul needed the money from TechTV for right afer the deal went through! SpaceShipOne helped the demise of our favorite Tech Shows… 🙁
    Bah Humbug!!!!!

  4. Stephen: I double-checked the date for Leo with a little help from my Delorean. And don’t ask about Lottery numbers, the World Series or tomorrow’s Belmont Stakes.

  5. I concluded that Uncle Paul’s space announcement was confirmation that the Comcast check hadn’t bounced!
    Nice Buick in your moblog pics. Is a friends, neighbors, or just rented for a shoot?

  6. AD 1000 is medevil – but not stone age. They had these things called books – that monks wrote in. Old style analog technology.
    A quote from one of these books –
    “During the Middle Ages, monks became innovators and developers and it
    is to them we owe many of the classic varieties of cheese marketed
    today.” Cheese has been known for over 4000 years. Romans were ardent
    cheesemakers, and carried the food and the craft throughout early
    Europe via its army legions.
    Cheeses eaten in the early Middle Ages included: Gorgonzola (879 CE),
    Cottage, Emmenthal, Farmers, Ruayn (autumn cheese), Recocta, Romano,
    and Roquefort.
    CheeseNet – History of Cheese
    http://www.cheesenet.info/cheesenet/library.asp?action=read&ID=2

  7. Have you read David Pogue’s “A Lamentation for TechTV?” dated today and distributed via New York Times Online? Leo’s Name is mentioned in a good light, as well as most of the TechTV team.

  8. Leo wrote – SpaceShipOne, the world’s first privately funded rocket plane to leave the Earth’s atmosphere takes off later this month.
    You would think Paul would have saved his $$$$¢¢¢¢ for the complete set of The ThunderBirds instead of “selling out” TechTV.
    Ken
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    G4 = G$

  9. Since we are talking about the wonderful job that Comcast has done with a great Television Network, an old tagline from a Satellite TV company seems really appropriate right now.
    “Dear Comcast:
    There is a reason the Cable for your Cable Television Network is buried.
    It’s already dead….”
    We miss you Leo!!!!

  10. Thank you “BR DK” for the heads-up on the story in the Old York Times (as Micheal Savage calls it). I enjoyed seeing a “real” media-type writing the same things we have been saying here {(only more eloquently)(at least than my slather).
    Anyway, I don’t know if a direct link will work because free registration is required, but here is the link to the story: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/03/technology/circuits/03POGUE-EMAIL.html .
    If that doesn’t work, go to http://www.newyorktimes.com and do a search for “A Lamentation for TechTV,” without the quotes.
    It would seem the author is of the same opinion as many… if G4 doesn’t get Leo back (in a prominent and meaningful way), and FAST, their network will be a part of history.
    Gamer Lamer. TechTV without Leo is like Matrix without Neo (it ain’t nuthin’).

  11. G4 has no intention of getting him back in their “good” graces.
    The truth is that they wanted to push their own programming instead
    of the new defunct TechTV. Being reduced to doing 90 second segments
    will tell you otherwise.
    I suspect that most if all of the remaining TTV shows will be gone
    by July.

  12. Steven,
    Maybe so, but a writer from a major media source says G4 is engaged in negotiations with Leo. (Reference, the article cited above).
    It still may not be true, but it also could be true, since real writers source their stories.

  13. I’m sure Mr. Laporte has read it by now. Pogue’s commentary echoes my own sentiments. I already own two of his Mac books, so doubly appreciated his lamentation for – what was – a great network. I didn’t care for every show and every show member at TechTV (doh!), but there was enough youthful enthusiasm and old-timer wisdom for most of the audience to latch onto. It worked in a quirky sort of way. What was funny on CFH, was when Leo would verbalize a memory only someone of accelerated years could recall, and Cat would have this dumbfounded “git wit it” look in response. Daring and crazy, maybe. Appealing and addicting, absolutely.
    With the (ahem) new and improved G4TTV, it appears to have become a twisted version of Logan’s Run meets technology reporting, gone amuck. The elders are exiled along with their knowledge, wit and wisdom, while the fresh faced youth are placed in the vicarious position of holding together a brittle piece of a technology reporting network, in the same space dominated and ruled by gaming. It isn’t impossible to do, but the next few months will be a tightrope walk of balancing two distinct television networks and combining them into one that is watchable and profitable. What allowed TechTV to work was it offered something for everyone.
    Comcast wanted viewers and they got increased viewership with the merger. It’s up to Comcast to keep this boat balanced for easy sailing, or sink it because they wrongly believed former TechTV viewers wouldn’t remember what they had missed.

  14. Sorry Tim but it doesn’t wash with me. It’s a lie to pacify the TechTV fans. And for those who haven’t heard yet. Yoshi is leaving The Screen Savers because the negoiations with G4 broke down.

  15. G4 is staffing hosts classic SoCal style. When was the last time you saw a, “normal”, person on a nationally distributed TV show unless they were being made fun of? Do you have an idea of how many young, beautiful, buffed, tooth-capped, and surgically adjusted people are hanging out in LA? Most of these people with dreams of fame will work for nothing for national TV exposure. You may not be able to produce a live tech show with these hosts, but you can get by with a half dozen takes to tape and 6 hours of editing. I suspect they’ll drop the live show format anyway. It’s easier and cheaper in the long run to tape. You’ve got to keep remembering, G4 doesn’t want most the old TechTV audience. They just want to tap into the gaming revenue. Did you know they’re rolling out a new online broadband gaming package in many markets?

  16. SO Yosh is leaving, too? So what are they going to do on the show….. tape people playing games on the “LAN Party,” for the duration of the show?
    Seems like Patrick has just been aimlessly rambling (more than usual) on a couple of the most recent shows, just to fill time.
    I FF through the LAN Party stuff already (PVR). It is worthless fill.
    The SS may not remain viable. I still watch, and skip the parts I am not interested in by the magic of technology, but increasingly, there is little content of interest.

  17. SO Yosh is leaving, too? So what are they going to do on the show….. tape people playing games on the “LAN Party,” for the duration of the show?
    Seems like Patrick has just been aimlessly rambling (more than usual) on a couple of the most recent shows, just to fill time.
    I FF through the LAN Party stuff already (PVR). It is worthless fill.
    The SS may not remain viable. I still watch, and skip the parts I am not interested in by the magic of technology, but increasingly, there is little content of interest.

  18. SO Yosh is leaving, too? So what are they going to do on the show….. tape people playing games on the “LAN Party,” for the duration of the show?
    Seems like Patrick has just been aimlessly rambling (more than usual) on a couple of the most recent shows, just to fill time.
    I FF through the LAN Party stuff already (PVR). It is worthless fill.
    The SS may not remain viable. I still watch, and skip the parts I am not interested in by the magic of technology, but increasingly, there is little content of interest.

  19. Will go here http://leo.typepad.com/radio/ the last few weeks are still blanked out but scroll down to May 9th and download and enjoy.
    Leo I always enjoy your blog entries such a mix of facts and fun! Where else can I find an alert about a virus targeting kids through their love of Harry Potter (low isn’t the word BTW) to warn library patrons with kids about and also be sent researching Roquefort cheese because of a passing reference.

  20. I think that the patent orginization seriously needs to getr a reality check. At this rate, Microsoft will have a patent that restricts breathing. It is ridiculous and goes against the fundamental aspects of capitalism. We need to either get a new system, or reform the system that we already have.

  21. Hey Leo!!!!
    My hubby and I enjoy The Screensavers, and watch it most nights. We surf the web pages of Teck TV and I for one have solved many little issues reading the screensavers transcripts online.
    I have started my own blog, teaching my self HTML code, and with some hesitation some java script. My hubby has also started a blog, and I would love for you to pay his a visit. He spends a lot of time putting together his daily posts. They are very informative, and some will truely get the ‘grey’ cells working for a period afterwards.
    On your page, I fell upon the Beatles links. Can I just say….”oh my gawd”!!! Thankx for such a neat tribute to a truely great band!
    I will venture back here, and keep an eye on your posts. Thanks for bringing the world of ‘teck’ to a fun and enjoyable light.

  22. Hi Leo,
    I wanted to write and offer my very belated comiserations to you and to everyone else who enjoyed TSS on TechTV. I only discovered your channel a couple of years ago (about 6 months before the big studio redesign) but I was immediately hooked. You and Patrick had an amazing on-air chemistry as well as the rest of the supporting cast. I was consistently entertained and educated by your program.
    I have had an insanely hectic schedule for the last 2 months with no time to watch TV. Needless to say when I was able to finally turn on TSS I was very perplexed as to why you weren’t on the show except for the prerecorded tips – and why G4 had merged with TechTV. After some frantic Googling (Googleing?) I have found out most of the story (thanks for the link to the NYT article. I know the likelyhood of you and Patrick teaming up again in a TSS type show is slight – but I am a terminal optimist(I’m also a lifetime Cubs fan).
    Anyway, thanks for entertaining and informing me for the last couple of years – and here’s hoping we’ll see you back on the small screen(savers?) soon.
    Geoff Epperson

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