Google SMS

GoogleGoogle just released a new SMS service. If you send an SMS (text message) from your cell phone to the number 46645 (GOOGL) with a certain syntax, the super smart Google robot will send you a text message back with your results.

Yesterday, I tried one of the examples from Google:
pizza 52242
(the zip code for Iowa City) and received a couple text messages back within a few seconds listing a half dozen pizza places in the area.

Give it a try, it’s pretty slick!

Gmail Drive

GmailFor those of you that have a Gmail account, this little utility is a nice addition. It allows you to use your 1Gb for actual storage. It puts a little drive icon into Windows and transfers files pretty quickly from your local machine to your Gmail storage(I haven’t tried any large files yet). I suppose that Google will eventually crack down on this (so don’t put anything important up there). Otherwise it’s a cool little application.

No More 5 second Rule

A scientist (a high school scientist) from Chicago has recently won the IG Nobel Prize for work done with the 5 second rule. The rule went that if you dropped a piece of food on the floor, it was safe to eat if you got to it within 5 seconds of it hitting the ground. I always thought it was the 3 second rule… I wonder if this changes the outcome. Anyway, this young Chicago scientist proved that bacteria could attach itself to food the instant it hit the ground. It did say that the texture of the food and the texture of the floor made a difference in the amount of bacteria.

Another Chapter in the Shrek’s Cereal Saga

cereal boxI was out buying groceries tonight and decided I needed some yummy Shrek’s cereal, and what did I happen to find on the side of the box? They have added a marshmallow, or rather “mallowbits” key giving the names for all of the different shaped marshmallows err… mallowbits.

I’d like to think that maybe we had something to do with this… they were probably getting bombarded with people writing and phoning and stopping by the General Mills headquarters wondering what on earth that blue mallowbit (got it right that time!) was. Just imagine the money they’re going to save on personnel answering questions.

See the other posts in the shrek cereal saga.

SpaceShipOne Almost to the X Prize!

On Wednesday, SpaceShipOne completed its first of two required flights to win the $10 million X Prize. The X Prize was set up to jump start the space tourism industry and provided a handsome sum to whoever can create a spacecraft that can:

  • Privately finances, builds & launches a spaceship, able to carry 3 people to 100 km (62.5 mi)
  • Returns safely to Earth
  • Repeats the launch with the same ship within 2 weeks

The flight of SpaceShipOne on Wednesday was its first flight in the X Prize race. It lifted of from the Mojave Desert in California and reached an altitude of 337,500 ft. The next flight is tentatively scheduled for this coming Monday Oct. 4th.

You can check out a video of the flight here. There is quite a bit more information about the X Prize and the different teams involved at the X Prize Site. Who knows what’ll happen after someone wins the prize. Maybe we’ll be a step or two closer to taking a quick trip to space… which sounds like fun to me!

New iMac G5 Live In Person

On Friday I was able to see (and touch) one of the new iMac G5 all-in-one computers in person. The Campus rep had one in the computer demo area. I have to say that the pictures don’t do it justice. Just like its predecessor iMac (iLamp) you really don’t get a feel for it until you’ve seen it up close. I think I have to say that I like this iMac better than the previous generation. I never really liked the iLamp model. It just never felt right to me. It just felt awkward with the LCD on an arm.

The new G5 iMac feels much more solid and not as awkward. It’s all in one piece without a weird rounded base. The ports on the back are all in one place and easy to access. You could even hang this one on a wall. The cooling vents are on the top and bottom so there are not issues with hanging it. It uses a standard VESA mount to connect to the included stand, so it should be compatible with any universal VESA arm or stand (Apple sells the adapter kit).

All in all, I think this new generation of iMac is a definite improvement over the previous iLamp version. It just feels more complete.

Toilet Technology

For all of you guys out there (ladies you can tune this post out unless you use one of these) that have issues hitting the bowl at night. There’s now a brilliat new device to help you out… The Jonny Glow!

This dazzlling pice of technology is apparently a ring of (obviously waterproof) glow tape that you put around the bowl of your toilet to give you someting to aim for in the dark. No more peeing on the floor!

A testimonial from Morton Heidbecker St. Louis, MO on their website:

Then, as desperation set in, I spotted in the distance an ethereal, seraphic glow. Then I realized it was an even more heavenly sight — the gentle shine of Jonny Glow beckoning me, as a light house to a storm tossed sailor!

Jonny Glow even has a great theme song.

The iPatch

Arrrrrrrr! If only I had seen this in time for my International Talk Like A Pirate Day festivities! Oh well, I guess there is always next year… Arrrrrr!

iPatch

New Firefox, Thunderbird, and the Suite – Big Day for Mozilla

FirefoxIt was a big day for the Mozilla Foundation with a new release of Thunderbird 0.8, Firefox Preview Release 1.0, and Mozilla Suite 1.7.3.

This preview release of Firefox is the first of probably two before the full 1.0 release in a few month in 4th quarter of 2004. Download it and try it out (find some bugs) so that Firefox can be the best browser it can be.

Also be sure to check out the new Spread Firefox community marketing campaign. If you know anyone still using IE… have them take the 5 day Firefox Challenge.

What’s New:
Thunderbird

  • Global Inbox
  • Comprehensive Data Migration
  • RSS Integration
  • Improved Privacy Controls
  • Improved Quick Search
  • Other New Features…

Firefox

  • Live Bookmarks (RSS Agregator/Reader)
  • Improved Find
  • Managing Annoyances and Protecting Security
  • Better Bookmarks
  • Strong Encryption For Passwords Available
  • Improved Compatibility for IE users
  • Better System Integration for GNOME users
  • A load of bug fixes
  • Many more…

Mozilla Suite

  • Security Fixes

It’s recommended that if you were using any previous versions of this software that you updated to the newest versions not only for all the freat new features/fixes, but the newest version also fixes a recent security vulnerability.