Tico Byte for July, 2008


Mark your calendars for this Saturday, July 19th, for the monthly meeting of the PC Club of Costa Rica. Although we start the meeting at 9am, you are welcome to come at 8:30am and network with everyone.  Again we will be in the new location; the cafeteria, at the back on the second floor. However, it is accessible to everyone via a ramp at the left front of the building. Bring your list of questions and/or problems to be resolved.  We do a pretty good job of that. Come and participate.

On with the Byte:


Item 1: Read what others say about rebooting their routers


"I've owned a WRT54G, some cheap D-Link home Wi-Fi/firewall/routers, and now an Apple Airport Extreme (100/10 ethernet ports). In the context of the discussion about the worst uses of Windows — installation in places where an embedded device is superior — I've gotten to wondering why it's necessary to reboot these devices so frequently, like every few days. It seems like routers, purpose-built with an embedded OS, should be the most stable devices on my network."





Item 2: Superconducting power grid (Don't we wish.)


"IEEE is running a story about a new superconducting power grid that was energized in April in New York State. The lines operate at 138kV and are cooled to 65-75K to maintain superconductivity. These lines are run underground and can carry 150 times more electricity than copper lines of the same cross section. The project is funded with taxpayer dollars through the Department of Energy."




Item 3: We will probably see these chips here in CR


Intel on Monday launched Centrino 2, its latest mobile platform, which the company claims will increase laptop battery life while delivering speedier performance and faster wireless connectivity.

After four refreshes, the new chipset platform is Intel's first major Centrino upgrade after its predecessor was launched in 2003. Running faster processors, the Centrino 2 platform feature will better multimedia performance while consuming less power, the company said.


Laptops with the Centrino 2 platform include Core 2 Duo processors running between 2.26GHz and 3.06GHz, a graphics chipset capable of handling high-definition graphics and a wireless chipset. Three of the new Core 2 Duo processors run at 25 watts for lower power consumption compared to earlier processors, which ran at 35 watts of higher.





Item 4: What are you doing for the next 30 years or so?


An Australian woman described as the world's oldest Internet blogger has died at the age of 108 after posting a final message about singing "a happy song" in her nursing home.


Olive Riley "passed away peacefully on July 12 and will be mourned by thousands of Internet friends and hundreds of descendants and other relatives," a note on her website said.


Riley had posted more than 70 entries on her blog from Woy Woy on the east coast since February last year, sharing her thoughts on modern life and her experiences living through the entire 20th century.





Item 5: For you Zone Alarm users


Users of Check Point Software's ZoneAlarm personal firewall products can now download a fix that resolves an Internet connectivity glitch created by a Microsoft security patch released earlier this week.


The fix applies to the ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite, Pro, Antivirus, Anti-Spyware and Basic Firewall editions of the product. It can be downloaded directly from Check Point's ZoneAlarm.com Web site.


The problem began on Tuesday when Microsoft sent patch number KB951748 to Windows users. The patch is designed to plug a security vulnerability that leaves computers vulnerable to so-called DNS attacks.





Item 6: Laptop traveling


Whether you're a commuter lugging your laptop to and from the office or a frequent flier who likes to take your tech with you, you know the benefits of a featherweight notebook firsthand. But why settle for a stripped-down system just to save your back a little agony? We've reviewed a number of lightweight laptops that manage to pack in a wide array of useful features to make your travel experience productive, entertaining, and just plain easier while still keeping the weight to a minimum.





Item 7: This might interest us


It could be my advancing years—I seriously doubt that—but every morning I dread turning on my MacBook Pro, fearful of the data deluge it will bring and the daylong struggle to find the information I need to get things done. And I'm not the only one caught in this quicksand-like avalanche of digital data.


According to market research firm comScore (SCOR), in May the total number of Internet searches conducted in the U.S. alone was about 10.7 billion—up nearly 20% from 9.1 billion searches in May 2007. Those numbers make clear that we're all searching for more information. What they don't make clear is that often we don't find what we're looking for, and so we end up trying again and again.

The problem is that there's too much data coming online too quickly, and the traditional method of search that involves first finding and then consuming the information is not going to work for much longer. There just won't be enough time for us to do that and still have a life. It's a problem, and therefore solving it is an opportunity—a very big opportunity.





Item 8: Most informative donuts in the country


Found at The Pan American School on Saturday, at 9am.  Come check them out.