21 December 2007

Out for the Holidays -ns

I wanted to take the time and wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I will be off for the holidays and will return on the 2nd. In the meantime, check out my top rated articles:

Boston Tea Party and Ron Paul?

Will the Internet Help Ron Paul Win in 2008?

EA pulls topless girls from promotion

BBW Nude Appreciation Revisited

BBW Nude Appreciation

Murder by Tylenol

Does your vote count?

Ride the Seattle Slut

Religion and Nudity

Passing of a Generation

Top 10 Reasons I Love Tivo

Air Force SSgt in Playboy

New lights on the subject?

High Speed Rail in America

Enjoy the articles and enjoy the holidays! I will see you all next year!

19 December 2007

Top 10 Geek Movies

10. While this probably isn't a true geek movie, it still had quite a following. Killer Klowns from Outer Space was a hilarious attempt at a horror flick. If you're looking for a horror movie that has the same feel as "Invasion of the Body Snatchers", then this movie is for you.

9. As much as he annoyed us, Pee-wee Herman seemed to fit the bill when it came to nerds. We all seemed to hate him out loud, but deep inside we had a desire to keep watching this movie again and again. So, Pee-wee's Big Adventure comes in at number 9 in my Top 10 Geek Movies list.

8. While these guys were never nerds or geeks, they sure were outcasts, and therefore fall into the same category. Plus, who can fault a bunch of high school guys for trying to get into a strip club? Porky's comes alo
ng with two sequels and a fair amount of female nudity. If you've never seen these classics, take the time to rent these.

7. Of course, this movie is a fan of many. The 40 Year Old Virgin not only has some great comedy, but also some gratuitous nudity. Andy is a geek who hasn't had sex in his entire life. His friends push him towards sex, but he ends up finding romance instead.

6. Summer school was never this exciting when I went, but this group of students makes class exciting. Then again, the teacher had just as much fun. Summer School has a lot of great comedy with
a young Courtney Thorne Smith and Kirstie Alley.

5. The guys from Weird Science really play the role of the geek. Although I can't blame them for using a computer to try and summon out Kelly LeBrock. The one downfall to this m
ovie is that there was plenty of opportunity for nudity, yet none was ever shown. For a movie like this from the 80's I would have expected some, but it was directed by John Hughes.

4. A big cult followed this movie after its release and it became a great hit. Napoleon Dynamite is the ultimate geek. He is able to use his great dance "skills" to become a legend at his school. Filled with a lot of great subtle humor, it is a great movie for all.

3. You can't think of nerds without thinking of this next movie. Revenge of the Nerds really shows the stereotypical nerd of the 80's. Today nerds and geeks can more safely roam the halls of our high school or college...as they know we can fix their computers and gadgets. Not to mention, we usually make a decent amount of money for our knowledge. Filled with great geek humor, and of course boobs, this movie is great 80's fun.

2. This movie really got me interested in computers and what I could do with them. Although it is made in 1983, it is still a great movie even though the technology is dated. This was back in the day when a hacker was a true hacker and not a script kiddie. All in all, this movie made me want to become a nerd. WarGames is an excellent geek movie, which is why is it number two on my list. Matthew Broderick plays a nerd who stumbles upon a government computer with his modem and gets into some highly classified trouble. This is a great movie for all.

1. After watching WarGames and essentially becoming the geek I am today, I stumbled across my number 1 movie. This, I decided, was what I wanted to ultimately do with my skills. I wanted to overcome any obstacle, have plenty of smart nerdy friends, and use the newest technology. While I may have fell a bit short with my goals, this is exactly what goes on in Sneakers. A group of nerds go after a corporation that has technology that could be used for the wrong purposes. In the process they show some great innovation and interesting technology that made me want to follow in their steps.

Well folks, that was my top 10 geek movies. Did I miss one? Let me know if you think there was one that should have been on my list!

16 December 2007

Boston Tea Party and Ron Paul?

On December 16th, 1773, American colonists entered Boston Harbor and climbed aboard British ships. Once aboard, the colonists proceeded to throw all the crates of tea overboard in protest to being taxed without being represented in Parliament. Large amounts of American colonists also began to boycott tea imported by the British government or their companies. Some believe that these actions helped stem the American Revolution a few years later.

Fast forward 234 years and you will find a tea party of another kind. Ron Paul, a Republican candidate popular on the Internet, has organized a fund raising campaign. The goal is to gather donations from citizens around the country interested in changing how America operates.

Ron Paul is on record for wanting to pull the troops out of foreign wars (i.e. Iraq and Afghanistan), tighten our borders and above all, reduce government involvement in our lives. He feels the government places too many restrictions on our daily lives and looks to the Constitution as his reference.

At the time of this writing, Ron Paul's “tea party” has raised over $1.4 MILLION dollars. These donations come from average citizens looking to change America to begin a new trend of defending our own borders with our own military, remove troops from other countries, reduce government involvement, and protect our environment.

If you feel like these are policies that affect you and are important to you, then you should consider contributing to Ron Paul's campaign to protect the American way of life and our liberties.

14 December 2007

Will the Internet Help Ron Paul Win In 2008?

The Internet seems to be a great predictor of many outcomes, but will it allow Ron Paul to ride to the Presidency? Recent research compiled by Compete indicates that Ron Paul is getting almost double the traffic than his closest competitor, Mike Huckabee.

Forbes also shows that if the race for the Presidency were to take place online, Ron Paul would overtake Hillary Clinton. They show that Ron Paul is the most Googled candidate, even though in the news media he is a relative unknown.

Others have pointed out that the Internet has become the ultimate equalizer. News media still controls which candidates they favor, and if you aren't on the list, chances are you are going to get the votes at the poll.

I'm very excited to see that other candidates can use the Internet to their advantage and overcome this media obstacle. Hopefully this will encourage the media to be more open in fair in their debates and coverage. Ron Paul could be paving the way for other great non-traditional candidates to be heard. Imagine a Presidential race that has an independent third party candidate in the lead!

I'm also on the Ron Paul bandwagon as he preaches against the corruption in Congress, the bloating, and the negative issues that stem from there that others seem to ignore. He also stems from a libertarian background, believing that less governmental control is better.

I hope that Google, Compete and Forbes are correct and Ron Paul can pull into the Presidency and reclaim this Country.

13 December 2007

How To Buy a Digital Camera

Whether finding a replacement camera or shopping for a gift, choosing digital camera can be a difficult decision. Today we are going to go over the different features of a digital camera so that so can make a more informed decision when shopping for a camera.

Zoom is one of the most confusing features of a digital camera. Usually there are two zoom numbers listed; one number is optical zoom and the other is digital zoom. Optical zoom is the camera's ability to move the lens towards the subject to enlarge the image. With optical zoom, there is no loss in quality because the lens is optically enlarging the subject. Digital zoom uses technology to enlarge the image. It can cause the image to become blurry or grainy because it uses the digital processor to manipulate the image. I usually ignore the number indicated by the digital zoom because I don't feel this is a true zoom. Of course, the more optical zoom a camera has, the bigger the lens has to be and therefore the bigger the camera.

The size of the camera can also be a determining factor. Many customers prefer a slim camera for casual use and than can fit in a purse or pocket. When choosing cameras of this size you usually limit the amount of optical zoom to about a 3x. If you go without the restriction on size there is essentially no limit to the amount of optical zoom you can achieve, but typically your standard point and shoot will go no higher than 12x to 15x.

When also handling a camera, some like to have a big LCD screen on the back of the camera to take pictures or to review pictures that have already been taken. Others see the LCD screen as a burden or a battery killer. Personal preference reigns on this decision as it is up to each person what they like. The screen can drain your battery when in use, so take note of how much you use it.

There are two different battery types in use on digital cameras today. Proprietary and standard alkaline are the two choices you are left with to ponder. Proprietary batteries come with their own charger or charging cable and cost around $20 to $50 to replace. Their advantage is that you do not have to pay to recharge them when they are depleted. Standard alkaline batteries are easily found and purchased (usually standard AA or AAA) and can be replaced easily when they are finished. The down side to alkaline is the cost involved to replace them. Of course, you can always tried rechargeable lithium-ion AA or AAA batteries, but these typically don't hold a charge long.

Many people think that the more mega-pixels that they have the better. Which in the overall view is correct, but in most cases anything over six mega-pixels is overkill. Unless you edit your photos on the computer (by cropping or digitally altering) then you probably won't need a high mega-pixel camera. That's not to say that if you find a great deal that you shouldn't go for it, I'm just admitting that it shouldn't be a high selling point (unless you are editing).

Of course your camera has to have some way to store the digital pictures, and this is where the memory comes in. Some cameras offer memory in the camera, but it is usually a small amount; enough memory to hold only a dozen pictures. Most all cameras require a memory card to be inserted into the camera to store the pictures. Different manufactures have different requirements, so make sure you get the correct type of memory. Unless you have a lot of other devices that use a particular kind of memory (or have a specific type of memory card reader), I don't see this being a high selling point.

These are the main points to buying a digital camera. You should prioritize which features you would like to have and then narrow down your camera selections. I suggest you look online for reviews of the cameras that you have selected and use them as a starting point. Of course, nothing beats checking the cameras out in person and seeing what you like as well. Sometimes what looks good on paper doesn't feel great in the hands.

Overall, use your newfound knowledge of the digital camera and find the camera that suits you or its recipient. Taking your time researching can pay off in the long run, so make sure you don't rush. Enjoy shopping for your new digital camera!

12 December 2007

Free Anti-Virus Software

Most people who buy new computers don't realize that their brand new machine does not come with virus protection. (link to wikipedia) Some computers come with a short trial of McAfee or Norton AV, but then you are required to pay to keep the service. Personally, I believe both programs are bloated and slow your system down. Today I'm going to talk about three free alternatives that will give you the same great protections, but at no cost to you.

AVG has been around for a while and provides great anti-virus protection. The do not provide support for their free software, but they do provide regular updates to keep you on the front line of defense. AVG also received a 5 star rating from the editors of C|net.

avast! adds a few features that are not covered in AVG. As well as providing anti-virus protection for your files, avast! also protects files coming through your network and through instant messenger. This application also updates on a regular basis to keep you protected.

ClamWin is another great freeware anti-virus scanner. It provides regular updates to keep you protected, and a scheduler so you can schedule regular anti-virus checks. Unlike AVG and avast!, ClamWin does not provide resident protection. This means that you have to initiate a virus scan or have one scheduled on a regular basis to have your files checked. This can be pro or a con depending on what you are looking for in your anti-virus program.

Based off the descriptions above, you can choose the virus protection that is right for you. All are free to use for personal use and provide regular updates. Each have their own advantages and disadvantages depending on what you seek.

Of course these are not the only freeware anti-virus scanners out there, these are just the most popular of the bunch. Feel free to examine each one or research other possibilities. If you feel that I've left out your favorite anti-virus application, leave a comment so that others can read and learn about it.

11 December 2007

How to buy a Computer

I was thinking about this Christmas season and how I don't have a second job selling computer this year. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the extra money, but explaining the ins and outs of computers got old pretty quick...as did the people just looking to get the cheapest thing, even though it may not do what they wanted.

Since I'm not selling computers this year, I figured that I would write to tell you how to buy a computer, so that you may be the hero of your household. There are a few things that you must know before buying a computer, but don't worry, I'll walk you through it all.

The first thing you need to know is what you are going to be using the computer for? Is it going to be for just internet and email, games, school work, or video or image editing? Most people will know what they will be doing with the computer. Don't look too deep into the question...I mean do you plan on doing any of those tasks in depth.

Most all computers can do simple image/video editing for personal use; most can play simple games as well (although you get what you pay for here), and all can do internet and email now days.

So, once you have figured out what you plan to use your computer for, I will tell you what you will be looking for. Also, one thing to note is that most boxed computers from the store do not come with a monitor, so watch for that added expense.

Internet and Email - Many people out there just need a dependable computer out there that will just allow them to keep in touch with friends and family through the internet and email. This is easily done as most new computer will be able to handle this task with little problem.

You will be able to get by with a computer that is under $500. If at all possible find a computer with at least 1 Gigabyte (GB) of computer memory, or RAM. This will allow the computer to keep up and is an inexpensive way to speed up your computer.

Games - This category can be much trickier as there are a lot more options to look at. Some stores sell some "gaming computers", but these are for the hardcore gamers and wouldn't effect most who are shopping over the Christmas season.

The main thing when looking for a computer that you would like to play games on is the amount of RAM (computer memory) in the computer and the type and speed of the processor. For RAM, you want a minimum of 1 GB (Gigabytes), but 2 GB is recommended. As for the processor you will want to try and stick with the Intel Core 2 Duo series of processor.

If you follow these guidelines you will be able to run most games out there today without breaking your budget. If you want to make sure you get a good gaming experience, I also suggest you invest in a decent ($150) video card as well. Most places such as Circuit City and Best Buy can install these for you. Be prepared to spend $650 to $1,000.

Schoolwork - This type of computer is along the same lines of a internet/email computer, with a few additions. You can still get by with a minimum of 1 GB (Gigabyte) of computer memory (RAM), and minimum processor depending of what type of schoolwork is required.

For grade school through high school an internet/email computer (sub $600) computer should do just fine. Depending on the needs of your student, you may need to splurge for Microsoft Office to allow them to complete certain assignments. Otherwise a free substitute (very compatible and similar in features) is OpenOffice.

For college students, I recommend getting a more advanced computer as the requirements for certain classes can be demanding. I would at recommend 2 GB (Gigabytes) of RAM, although you should be able to get by with 1 GB in most cases. Hard drives are going to need to be above 100 GB as well and I would stick to a Intel Core 2 Duo series processor.

- These are just the quick basics of buying a computer. Remember to ask plenty of questions when buying a computer. Most sales members at box stores around the holidays may have trouble answering your questions as they are hired for the holidays only. If at all possible, try to bring a tech savvy friend or relative with you.

Just try to remember these few things:

- 1GB RAM (memory) is plenty for most computer users, but if you can find a good deal with a computer that has 2 GB it will help performance.

- As long as your computer comes with at least 80GB of hard-drive space you should also be fine, but obviously the more space available the better. Shop around.

- Sales people at box stores are required to try and sell you extras. Some can be worth it, such as Microsoft Office (if needed). They are also able to install the software for you, which can be worth it if it is a gift, but if you feel you or the person can do it for themselves it will save you money.

- All computers need anti-virus protection. New computers do not come with this, and if they do, it is usually just a short trial. Circuit City and Best Buy both offer services to install anti-virus protection for you. Be prepared to add and additional $75 to $100 for this. The two alternatives are to buy the software yourself and install it, or to download free anti-virus software and install it. Your options depend on time and how proficient you are with computers.

If you have any questions or would like to see more articles on certain topics, please let me know and I will try to help out in any way that I can. I enjoyed selling computers for the two years that I did so, but did not like the pressure of having to push the extras.

Enjoy your Christmas and New Year!

10 December 2007

5 Easy Ways to Help the Environment

I will have to begin this to say that I'm not a treehugger, but I have thought about a lot of common practices in our American lifestyle that are wasteful. Some of this is out of convenience; some of it is out of ignorance. Below I am going to list five easy ways that you can adjust your lifestyle, or make simple changes to help the environment.

1. Adjust your thermostats
Try lowering your home thermostat to 68º Fahrenheit (20º Celsius) in the Winter or 78º F (26º C) in the Summer. Also adjust your water heater to 140º F (60º C) or lower. You will be surprised on how little you will notice the difference. My house is an older house with some single pane windows, therefore I keep my thermostat a bit higher at about 72º F.

2. Switch your regular incandescent light bulbs to Compact Florescent Light bulbs (CFL).
CFL's are more efficient than standard light bulbs as they convert more of the energy supplied to actually producing light. I blogged about CFL's in April and I have switched to them in my house as well. They create a nice light and work just as well as regular lights. I have seen my electric bill drop quite a bit because of this change.

3. Turn off lights and appliances
You would be amazed on the amount of money you can save by just making sure that lights are turned off in rooms that are not occupied. Appliances can also be a big drain on your electric bill as well; keep appliances on standby if you have to.

4. Recycle
Recycle all your paper waste as well as cans and bottles. Most communities have curb-side pickup available, but if they don't there are usually convenient drop off points for your recyclables.

5. Transportation
Try to eliminate unnecessary travel by planning out your route and make it as efficient as possible. If possible try to use alternative forms of transportation such as bicycle or public transportation. Even one day a week can make a difference.

Hopefully those of you reading this will take the time to use these tips and help preserve our planet a little bit longer. Most of these tips don't take much to implement, so try them out and you'll be surprised on how you will readjust quickly.

Global Stewards
Practical Environmentalist
Development Crossing

08 December 2007

Car Disabling Device Could End Chases

A new device created by Eureka Aerospace could end car chases as we know them. In work since 2003, the High-Power Electromagnetic System (HPEMS) uses microwave energy to disrupt a car's electrical system, causing it to shut down.

The military could also be interested in this technology as it could help with vehicles charging checkpoints. This device would enable the soldier to disable the vehicle without harming the occupants.

Currently the prototype is 5 feet long, 3 feet wide and a foot thick; it also weighs a hefty 200 pounds. The max range is around 50 feet, but the developers are looking to increase the range to 600 feet as well as reduce the size to something that resembles a plasma TV.

Mounted in either a police vehicle or helicopter, the HPEMS device could really save lives and stop criminals before they get too out of hand. Sometimes car chases are fun to see on the news, but many lives are at stake and held in the balance of the one who is driving. This device will give the authorities a safe alternative to bumping the car to stop it, keeping everyone safe.

Eureka Aerospace is also developing a perimeter defense system that will disable vehicles up to 5 kilometers away. This could be used in many applications that require vehicles to remain at distance. Base security, refueling operations, and stealth operations.

07 December 2007

A Day Which Will Live In Infamy

December 7th, 1941. On this day the United States was attacked by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Most of the Pacific naval fleet was wiped out, but a few ships were able to be salvaged and returned to duty. Some ships, such as the U.S.S. Arizona were not so lucky.

Fortunately, for the U.S., none of our aircraft carriers were in harbor at the time. That could have spelled disaster for the United States in the Pacific theater.

I would like to take the time to pay my respects to all who served in World War II, specifically those who lost their lives in Pearl Harbor. I respect any person who has the courage to serve their country, and I especially respect and honor those who give their life for this country.

God Bless all the service men and women out there as they continue the tradition of our volunteer armed forces.

05 December 2007

EA pulls topless girls from promotion

EA Sports figured that sex sells and decided to use the Sun's Page 3 girls, Becky and Amii to promote their new game, Need For Speed Pro Street. These ads were only released in the UK where it is a bit more acceptable for topless women to be in advertisements.

Since the internet makes everything so accessible, the ad did not stay within the United Kingdom. As word got out about the advertisement for an ESRB "E" rated game, EA began to do damage control and pull the ads from circulation.

After some digging, I was able to find a video of the photo shoot, which is embeded below (NSFW). I also have a picture collage of the photos (NSFW via the ROFLMAO.com) that were in the ad, but I was unable to find individual pictures.

Personally I feel that EA did the right thing in pulling the ad. You usually won't hear me say things like this that involve boobs, but in this case I think it was the right thing to do since it was an "E" rated game. Promoting it like they were was only going to give the game a bad image.

Becky and Amii for Need for Speed - Watch more free videos

03 December 2007

Missouri Football Gets Rejected

The day after losing the Big 12 Championship game to Oklahoma, Missouri awaited the BCS Bowl selections to see how they faired. Missouri finished at 6th in the BCS standings, after being number 1. When the BCS Bowl selections were released, Missouri was surprised to find that they were not listed.

It turns out that the Orange bowl committee decided that Kansas would be a better team to have in the bowl. The same Kansas team that Mizzou beat the week earlier and finished higher in the rankings. Kansas finished 8th in the BCS rankings, two spots behind Missouri, yet they got the BCS bowl over Missouri.

The Jayhawks do not deserve the Orange bowl. They lost that bid when they lost to the Tigers. It is a shame that nothing more can be done about this because the Tigers deserve better than this. After being ranked first in the country a week ago, they do not get a bowl game. West Virginia, who lost this week as well as the number 2 ranked team, still has a BCS bowl game even though they lost to an unranked opponent.

Now I will be rooting for Virginia Tech to crush Kansas in the Orange Bowl and do so decisively. Good luck to Missouri in the Cotton Bowl versus Arkansas...you're going to need it. What a crazy year in College Football.

01 December 2007

Mizzou loses Big 12 Title Game

As a fan of the Missouri Tigers, I have to tip my hat to the Big 12 Champion Oklahoma Sooners. They played a great game and beat a difficult adversary. I only wish the outcome had been different. The Tigers weren't the best team in the Nation, it just happened upon that rank due to LSU losing last week. Not to say that the Tigers weren't a great team...they were.

Their defense stuck in there until the fourth quarter. The game is sixty minutes long and you can't stop playing a minute too soon, and after the only turnover in the game, Mizzou seemed to lose steam and give up.

I'm so angry I could throw something through my T.V. at the moment, but I hesitate because I know the damage it would cause. Mizzou has not beat Oklahoma in five years and they couldn't stop the trend tonight. What started out as a great defensive game between both teams opened into a great offensive second half by the Sooners.

It seemed that Mizzou lost the agressiveness that they had playing Kansas and decided to play it safe against this tough OU defense. Instead they were predictable and played right into the hands of Oklahoma.

I wish the best to the teams of Missouri and Oklahoma. I won't hold a grudge, yet I will be ready for Missouri to finally crush Oklahoma. I don't like my team being dominated by another (as I'm sure any other fan feels the same way), so I will keep rooting for my Missouri Tigers and hoping that they still are offered a BCS bowl.

Good luck to the Sooners, may you do well in your bowl. To the Tigers, have peace that you did well in your conference and that you will perform to a higher level next year.

Legal Hemp in North Dakota?

First, for the uninitiated, the hemp plant is different than marijuana. Although both are derived from variations of the Cannabis sativa plant, the subspecies indica is the one that is referred to as marijuana. Hemp (Cannabis sativa subsp. sativa) contains no or very little THC, the compound that gives marijuana is psychotropic properties. The plant differences don't stop there; the hemp plant is taller and easily made into a variety of different products, while the marijuana plant is very short and bushy.

North Dakota is the first and only state to allow commercial hemp production in the country. Hemp production is a growing industry all over the world, while the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) does not allow the production of hemp as it deems all Cannabis sativa as marijuana, despite the distinct differences.

Dave Monson and Wayne Hauge are two farmers from North Dakota who decided to make a good business out of selling industrial hemp. They met all the state's criteria for being a hemp producer such as, unannounced inspections of their fields; provide geo-positioning coordinates to their fields; ensure that they use seed that contains less than .3% THC and pass a background check. The DEA does not seem concerned that was is being cultivated is hemp. To them, it is nothing more than marijuana and a violation of United States Federal law.

According to the DEA, Federal law prohibits the cultivation of the Cannabis sativa plant in all its variations, to include hemp. To them, they are enforcing the law as written, even if the laws were misguided. At the moment, a judge has promised the farmers a decision within the month regarding the situation.

To me, the situation is another gaff by the United States government and their attempt to control and protect the innocent. In their infinite wisdom, they decided that marijuana was a dangerous drug and banned it, but in doing so banned the entire plant species Cannabis sativa, not just the subspecies indica. In doing so, they crippled the hemp industry and it died out giving way to plastics, cotton, burlap, and tree pulp. Now it is going to take Congress to change the law to allow production of this very versatile plant.

I won't list all the uses that it can be good for, but the list contains insulation, paper, hair conditioner and food products. The crop is also very good for farmers as a rotational crop to replenish the ground with nutrients. To read more about hemp and its uses, go to Wikipedia.

I don't see how we cannot begin to cultivate this plant in the United States, as it has tremendous uses and properties. It is old thinking and clouded minds that keep this plant from seeing its true potential in the U.S. Already manufactures here are importing hemp and using it in various products. When is our government going to see that we a losing out?