The Personal Computer Radio Show  WBAI-FM 99.5
New York City



November 2007 Show Summaries
November 28, 2007  November 21, 2007  November 14, 2007  November 7, 2007 
November 28, 2007 Show

The One Laptop Per Child is being sued for patent infringement - specifically because some functions require pressing four keys at the same time. A company called Lancor has a technology they call Shift2 that has been used to create region-specific keyboards called Konyin Multilingual Keyboards. Lancor's lawsuit alleges that OLPC purchased two Konyin keyboards and used them to reverse-engineer the source codes for use in OLPC's XO Laptops. The suit was brought in Nigeria.

The FCC and the 70-70 rule for cable TV. Another online office software suite launches. See Microsoft's Hotmail founder goes for the (wrong) Office jugular with Live Documents from CNET. Verizon Wireless will open up their network starting in 2009, meaning that their customers can use any CDMA cellphone.

Joe reviews an expensive and very unusual mouse for people with hand problems or injuries that make it hard to move their fingers (such as carpel tunnel). It's called the AirO2bic Mouse, costs just over $100 and has optional software for $50 that makes it clickless. See aerobicmouse.com.

Hank just got an Asus EEE laptop, we were all impressed with the machine (except Alfred who wasn't in the studio and thus couldn't see it). It is very small, but still usable, perhaps right on the line of the smallest possible machine that can still be reasonably useful. It has a 7 inch screen, 512MB of ram, a camera, big speakers (relative to its size), runs Linux and comes with 4 gigabytes of flash ram storage instead of hard disk. Hank bought the first available model, which was $400. A newer model just came out that is $350 without the camera, less storage, less RAM and a shorter warranty.

Listener questions. On the show were Joe King, Hank Kee, Alfred Poor and Michael Horowitz.

 

November 21, 2007 Show

Black Friday web sites and deals. The site mentioned on the show was www.bfads.net/adscans.

Cheap Linux PCs seem to be catching on. The Asus EEE is very popular, The OLPC XO is also Linux based. Walmart could not keep the $199 Everex machine in stock. It runs the gOS version of Linux which Hank tried out - he was very impressed with it.

Patenting selling gift cards online. Bug fixes for Macs. New version of Firefox fixes a 9 month old bug. CBS and the MTA are teaming up to offer free WiFi in a small stretch of midtown Manhattan. The Wii continues to be popular.

Alfred explained Displayport, a new type of connector for flat panel screens. It is the latest type of connector, and may replace DVI and HDMI because it's cheaper.

Listener questions. On the show were Joe King, Hank Kee, Alfred Poor and Michael Horowitz.

 

November 14, 2007 Show

It's that time of the month, time to apply bug fixes to Windows. eBay lost the records of some of their users and then denied there was a problem.

The $200 Linux computer being sold by Walmart (and made by Everex) uses a new Linux variation called gOS which is simple and oriented towards Google applications. Like all Linux distributions (nerd talk for "version") you can download gOS for free. And people are, apparently liking either the simple interface or the fact that it works on old computers.

Maye this shouldn't be considered news, but RAM prices are falling, flash ram prices are falling and hard disk prices are falling. What are we going to do with huge amounts of storage on cheap USB flash drives?

Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) is coming sooner than normal this year. Telephones are the new computer being use for convergence. Alfred blows the whistle on the contrast ratios cited for LCD screens. While contrast ratio is a very important aspect of any screen, the way it is calculated and reported makes the number cited in the specs for an LCD screen useless.

Listener questions. On the show were Joe King, Hank Kee, Alfred Poor, Michael Horowitz and Danny Burstein.

 

November 7, 2007 Show

Back to normal - the membership drive and pre-emptions are over.

The new Mac Leopard version of OS X is very buggy. Consumer Reports just observed that LCD and Plasma TVs are highly reliable, much moreso that rear-projection TVs. Alfred said those in the know knew this already. Wal-Mart just started selling a Linux based computer for $199 (without a monitor). And they offered a Toshiba HD DVD player for $98, the lowest price ever. The Regcure registry cleaner is a come-on.

Three ways to move programs and data from an old computer to a new one. Using internal SATA hard disks externally with a hot-swappable docking station that connects to the computer via USB. This can provide cheap, portable, rotatable backups. See Plug-and-Play SATA HDD Rack and GeekStuff4u. The pictures show a hard disk with exposed circuitry which can be dangerous both the you and the hard disk. After the show Hank reported that Samsung SATA hard disks have exposed circuitry but Western Digital do not. The Tornado plugs into a USB port on each of two computers and enables simple file transfers between the two machines without installing any software.

Listener questions. On the show were Joe King, Hank Kee, Alfred Poor, Michael Horowitz and Danny Burstein.

 

 
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