Archive for August, 2006

Google Apps for Your Domain – Offer Gmail, Chat, Calendar and Web Pages for free to your users Aug 28 2006

Very interesting move here by Google. We’re pretty tempted to check this out and see what we could do with it. I would like to know what the pricing will be eventually, and what their projected timeline for the free beta program will be.

Google Apps screenshot

Google Apps for Your Domain lets you offer our communication and collaboration tools to your entire organization — customizable with your branding, color scheme and content through the administrative control panel, and with no hardware or software to install or maintain.

To get started, click the “Sign up now” button below and tell us about your organization. After your domain is approved, you’ll be able to access the Google Apps for Your Domain control panel. First you’ll tell us which users should have accounts with your domain (you can add, remove, suspend or delete users at any time). Next you’ll decide which services you’d like to activate (you can pick any combination of the services listed on the right, and add or remove any of them at any time). After you choose your services, we’ll help you activate them, which usually involves adjusting some of your domain settings.

That’s it — there’s no complicated hardware or software to worry about. Your users can just go online to start using these hosted services.

Google Apps for Your Domain

Bandwidth speed test comparing DSL, Palm Treo 700p Sprint EVDO over USB and Bluetooth on a G4 Powerbook running OS X Tiger 10.4.7 Aug 27 2006

After upgrading to the latest version of USB Modem (Version 1.5 that now adds support for connection via Bluetooth for Treo 700p), I decided to do a speed test using my regular DSL connection and the two available connection methods for the Treo 700p – Bluetooth and USB. I’ve been using the USB modem connection method and wanted to see if there would be a noticible connection speed difference using Bluetooth instead of USB as the connection method.

These tests were run using a G4 Powerbook running OS X Tiger 10.4.7 and the Palm Treo 700p and USB Modem software version 1.5 connected to Sprint’s EVDO network in St. Louis, Missouri.

Using DSL:

Speedtest.net results

8/27/2006 11:27 PM GMT 2487 kb/s 350 kb/s 138 ms Dallas, TX ~ 550 mi

Using Treo 700p as a USB Modem:

Speedtest.net results

8/27/2006 11:52 PM GMT 1161 kb/s 95 kb/s 262 ms Dallas, TX ~ 550 mi

EVDO speeds are pretty fast, especially compared to an old-school dialup connection. About half as fast as my DSL line.

Using Treo 700p as a Bluetooth Modem:

Speedtest.net results

8/27/2006 11:55 PM GMT 478 kb/s 84 kb/s 280 ms Dallas, TX ~ 550 mi

Using Bluetooth was significantly slower than using USB cable. Nice to be able to connect without any wires though, and still basically fast enough to use. Warning: Nasty Bluetooth Reboot Required Bug When using Bluetooth as the connection method, when the connection gets disconnected or interrupted, you may get a Disconnecting... message that never stops. Apparently this is a known bug for which there is no good solution. After getting this message the only solution seems to be to reboot your computer, which pretty much stinks. This is NOT the fault of the USB Modem software, I found tons of references to this bug dating back to regular dial-up days.

Conclusion

You can now use Bluetooth along with USB Modem software, and it works, but the OS X bug that requires a reboot to connect again when you use Bluetooth makes it significantly less attractive to use this feature.

I plan to continue using the USB cable connection method since it is significantly faster and does not suffer from the Bluetooth bug above. It also has the bonus feature of charging the phone at the same time.

If anyone has a suggestion for a solution to the Bluetooth disconnecting message bug other than this Applescript (didn’t seem to work for me), please let me know via the comments.

Schneier on Security: What the Terrorists Want Aug 24 2006

I’d like everyone to take a deep breath and listen for a minute.

The point of terrorism is to cause terror, sometimes to further a political goal and sometimes out of sheer hatred. The people terrorists kill are not the targets; they are collateral damage. And blowing up planes, trains, markets or buses is not the goal; those are just tactics. The real targets of terrorism are the rest of us: the billions of us who are not killed but are terrorized because of the killing. The real point of terrorism is not the act itself, but our reaction to the act.

And we’re doing exactly what the terrorists want.

Schneier on Security: What the Terrorists Want

(Via reddit).

Video: Shocking election-theft testimony by a programmer asked to hide fraudulent code for a Republican lobbyist Aug 23 2006

Now, not that a Democrat couldn’t have also hired a programmer to write code to fix elections, just that maybe you should think about who has won in elections that featured electronic voting machines where exit polls didn’t match the final outcome.

This video is of a programmer, under oath, before the Federal Judiciary in Ohio, testifying about the software he was asked to write to enable vote-rigging. He was hired by a Republican.

A partial transcript:

Are there computer programs that can be used to secretly fix elections?

Yes.

How do you know that to be the case?

Because in October of 2000, I wrote a prototype for Congressman Tom Feeney [R-FL]…It would rig an election… It would flip the vote, 51-49. Whoever you wanted it to go to and whichever race you wanted to win.

And would that program that you designed, be something that elections officials… could detect?

They’d never see it.

Watch the video now. AlterNet: Blogs: Video: Shocking election-theft testimony

(Via reddit)

Update: Apparently, around April 13, 2006, the investigator at FDOT who had found a trail of corruption that ran all the way to the top of the government was found dead in Georgia, an “apparent suicide“. Shady, shady, shady.

Video clips of the stream that runs through Estes Park, Colorado Aug 19 2006

These are clips of the stream that runs through Estes Park, Colorado where we’re staying tonight before we leave to come back to St. Louis. All videos were taken using my Treo 700p.

Also, I’ve updated the Flickr picture set of our entire Colorado trip with new pics. Check it out.

Kristin displaying her artwork at the Letters to Mozart show in Steamboat Springs

Kristin selling her books at the Letters to Mozart show.

Pictures from our hike to Rabbit Ears Aug 3 2006

Check out some pictures taken using my Treo 700p Palm cameraphone on the hike we took today to Rabbit Ears near Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Steamboat Springs from Mt. Werner Aug 2 2006



Steamboat Springs from Mt. Werner, originally uploaded by gserafini.

This is the view we had today from the top of a ski run on Mt. Werner in Steamboat Springs, CO.

Check out more pics from the trip: Steamboat Springs photo set taken with my Treo 700p cameraphpone.

Cocoa XML-RPC Client Aug 1 2006

Pretty slick tool for testing an XML-RPC server for OS X.

Cocoa XML-RPC Client

XML-RPC Client is a free Cocoa-based developer tool for Mac OS X Tiger that allows you to access and debug XML-RPC web services from the comfort of your desktop.

Fix for PHP PEAR on OS X 100% CPU problem Aug 1 2006

I was rebuilding PHP 5.1.4 for my G4 PowerBook to use with Apache 2.2.2 and MySQL 5.* when I ran into this problem using PEAR:

When I would run a command like:

pear install Log

PEAR would download the package, indicate that it was done, and then hang, consuming 100% of the CPU and never do anything more.

I finally tracked down that this seems to be a problem with PHP uncompressing the file (a .tgz). I’m not entirely sure WHY PHP is having this problem, but I did find a workaround solution:

Instead of this:

pear install Log

Run this:

pear install -Z Log

This requests just the .tar version of the file, which is larger, but doesn’t require the .tgz uncompression. Once I used that command, PEAR worked like it used to (just fine, super quick, actually works, etc…)

P.S. This is the ./configure command that I used to compile PHP:

./configure –with-apxs2=/usr/local/apache2/bin/apxs –with-mysql –with-gd –with-libjpeg=/sw –with-libtiff=/sw –with-mysql=/usr/local/mysql –with-mcrypt –enable-soap –with-curl –enable-trans-sid –enable-ftp –with-ldap –enable-exif –with-mhash –with-openssl –with-zlib –with-ttf –enable-gd-native-ttf –with-zlib-dir=/usr/local/lib/ –with-png-dir=/usr/local/lib/ –with-bz2

I’m not sure if this is an issue with how I compiled PHP, or OS X Tiger, or zlib, or what. I’m glad to have a working PEAR again though even if it isn’t quite as efficient as it would be otherwise.



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