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December 2006
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February 2007

January 2007

Inaccessible Desktop

SOMETIMES YOU NEED to take total responsibility for your work practises. That pre-eminent concept can conflict with employer guidelines because when working, you may need to subordinate your personal preferences to what is best for the group. I face that dilemma right now because when I leave work, my electronic workspace is neutered. Everything on my desktop stays in an inaccessible virtual space. All my personally acquired and registered software fails to work. I cannot right-click and save when browsing the web. I cannot save from any program that writes to a local drive. For network admins who read these words, please take on board this absolute fact: some of your clients do not fit inside easily administered plain vanilla profiles. I am one of those people and under the current circumstances, I am effectively chained to my workstation inside my main business premises. The only mobile work I can do is with online office suites. There's a lesson in that and an unexpected experience I am enjoying. The bottom line may be that I finish January 2007 trusting the cloud more than I trust my workplace network services.


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Sony iPod Subwoofer

SONY-BUILT PRODUCTS have outlasted Apple-built products in my home. Sony's CPF-IP001 iPod audio docking station gives me the best of both worlds. I have a three-year old iPod (thanks, Tim!) boosted by a 15W subwoofer bassline that sends its harmonic into a spider mic on my desk. That's an unwanted bit of crossfeed but an interesting way of measuring the effectiveness of this piece of consumer electronics.  The two main speakers deliver 5W each. A remote control and an additional line input make this little number more suited to my home office than the Edirol speakers it replaces. You can get this kit in Irish Sony Centres for less than EUR 230. The iPod connector is compatible with 1st and 2nd Generation Nano, 5th Generation Video, 4th Generation Color, 4th Generation or 1st Generation Mini iPod models.


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Tactics Eddie Hobbs Should Promote

IRISH CONSUMER advocate Eddie Hobbs should analyse these cost-saving tactics that shopkeeps and merchants around the world hate.

  • Buying loss leaders as you float through the aisles and then leaving.
  • Using credit and paying it off on time.
  • Saying NO to the extended warranty.
  • Activating your SIM-free phone without insurance.
  • Seeing products in the shops but buying products online.
  • Buying one item when you can get two of the same for five euro.
  • Opening a store credit card to get a discount, then cutting up the card.
  • Using websites to track 30 day price guarantees.
  • Buying seasonal items at clearance prices for the next year.
  • Buying  "Accessories" on Ebay rather than paying huge mark-ups.

Not all of these tactics are obvious cost-saving ideas. But the motivation behind them--consumer empowerment--is worth nurturing.


The Consumerist -- "Ten Shopping Tricks That Stores Hate"

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Flickr Will Take a Hit

YAHOO SEEMS DETERMINED to impress its log-in services on Flickr by requiring Old Skool members to take a Yahoo! ID before accessing Flickr services after 15 March 2007. This requirement will result in a drop in activity by older members because there's nothing compelling about a Yahoo! identity for most people. Old Skool Flickr users (that would be me too) have not asked for a Yahoo identity. WHY IS FLICKR TRYING TO PISS OFF LOYAL MEMBERS? Yahoo uses its sign-in process and attaches cookies to its IDs to effectively collect demographic information that it exploits for maximum marketing potential. There is no apparent benefit for old skool members on Flickr who do not avail of Yahoo! services. Some distrust Yahoo! and its brand. Here's one reason why:

If you associated your Flickr account with your Yahoo! ID and you delete your Yahoo! account, you won't be able to sign in to your Flickr account. And all your photos will be deleted.

Continue reading "Flickr Will Take a Hit" »


DAVE with my mobile phone

SEAGATE rolled out public demonstrations of its DAVE storage platform, a technology that allows me to store and share my mobile media on one device for easy access. With DAVE, I can combine the audio and video files that I download onto my removeable terabyte with files that I download over the air. DAVE connects via Bluetooth to these different storage devices, giving me a fully customized, personalized mobile experience while underway in Ireland. I simply pair the device to my mobile phone and that lets me play my digital content on my phone's screen.

Continue reading "DAVE with my mobile phone" »


Vista Hack

VISTA'S MULTIMEDIA features help third level students complete projects faster than most standalone multimedia programs. Take Windows Movie Maker, for example. It's in Windows XP Pro already and I consider it to be a very useful piece of software for editing movies and burning them on DVDs. There are some other practical Vista hacks below the break, including tips for the right-click context menu, using the Registry to customize screensavers, hacking Aero's glass borders, and tips for running an elevated command prompt. 


Preston Gralla -- "Six Top Tips for  Hacking Windows Vista."

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Send Ray Your Eircom Problems

FROM OUR THURLES correspondent comes this important news concerning problems people may have with Eircom:

A representative from Eircom told Ray D'Arcy this morning that if customers forward their complaints to the Ray D'Arcy show. He (Eircom) will personally deal with each one on an individual basis. So you can email ray AT todayfm.com or text +353854100102 with the details of your problem. I would suggest you send in your details today (29 Jan 07) if possible. The Ray D'Arcy team will keep a copy of each complaint so they can follow up on them.


Liam Noonan -- "Have an Eircom"
Damien Mulley and eircom.

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Get Your XP Service Pack

YOU CAN GET a more secure operating system for your Windows PC right now by purchasing the "$200 Windows XP service pack called Vista", writes CNET Senior Editor Robert Vamosi. He points out that "most of the touted security enhancements in Windows Vista don't appear in the Home Premium and Basic versions, and what is there, what's not already available within Windows XP, could have fit into a free Windows XP service pack instead of requiring a $200 upgrade." But if you want an operating system that's easier to use with a host of pretty icons, you should consider Vista. As long as you still manage security on your own.


Robert Vamos -- "That $200 Windows XP Service Pack Called Vista"

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