Friday, August 28, 2009

Technological Digest XVI

While writing a post describing my latest adventures in consulting, I ran into some interesting tech related news I wanted to share:
  1. Solve world hunger by upgrading - Microsoft is running a bizarre (to me, at least) program to get people to upgrade to IE8:
    We will continue to help fight hunger by donating 8 meals for every download of Internet Explorer 8 throughout the month of September. September is Hunger Action Month.

    We want to encourage our customers to upgrade to a modern and secure browser – so we are doubling donations for people who switch from Internet Explorer 6 to Internet Explorer 8 through this campaign. If you move from Internet Explorer 6 to Internet Explorer 8, we will donate 16 meals to help fight hunger!

    Stay tuned for the next upgrade scheme: "every time you use Firefox, we'll kill a kitten" campaign. Seriously, is Microsoft that desperate?

    Of course, I can also announce a Traveling Tech Guy End Hunger campaign: every time you hire me for a project, I will donate 3 meals a day to a hungry consultant wink.

    On the other hand, will someone in the crowd help solve world hunger by writing a script that downloads IE8 a billion times smile?

  2. How many vinyl records are you carrying in your pocket? This chart gives you the full breakdown of physical vs. digital storage, down to the last cassette. As storage becomes cheaper and more ubiquitous, I think charts like that should become obsolete. Here's one excerpt:
  3. Kick your torrent addiction - as authorities are clamping down on more Bittorent sites, this article reminds us of an oldie - but goodie, technology that may take BT' place: Usenet. It's full of tips, tricks and recommendations.

    I remember using Usenet to download images as far back as 1992. Funny that it's still around...

  4. We are all marketing people! - so says marketing guru, Seth Godin, in this hour-long talk at the Business of Software convention last year. Worth watching, for his great ideas, funny examples, and basic truths that run through the talk: you can be the best developer in the world - if you can't market what you develop, you might as well quit.

  5. Where's your fingerprint, sir? flying back to the US, I often have problems with getting my fingerprints read at airports: my ridges are not well defined, and I have to frustratingly repeat the process again and again until finally the TSA agent gets a reading.

    I blame this to some degree on the horrible fingerprint readers - no doubt purchased by the government from the lowest bidder. However, this story brings up a new theory.

    A man who was treated with some sort of cancer medication had his fingerprints completely wiped out, raising authorities suspicions and causing him to be detained for hours. Now, I haven't been taking what he has taken, but this makes me think that there might be enough chemicals in medication I did take to erode some of my ridges.

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