fighting the lack of good ideas

driving into the cloud?

From a news story I saw today on RIM acquiring QNX, this quote jumped-out at me: “RIM’s acquisition of QNX could open the door for tighter integration between Blackberry devices and car computers, a capability that could be important as cars begin to drive into the cloud.”

I wonder what folks would think if car manufacturers put more-powerful computing components in their cars, and while the vehicles were driving around, they contributed to something like Folding@Home? When the vehicles were within range of either an open hotspot, or if they used some “catch-all” cell internet service like the Kindle does, they could be checking-in their work frequently.

Ignoring the obvious privacy invasions this will add-to (if your cell phone is on, it’s trackable already – so having your car on means squat), this could be an interesting revenue stream for auto manufacturers: sell the vehicles to consumers for less money, but then rent time on their computers to folks who need massive computing resources. Of course, the buyer would have to agree, and there needs to be a way to opt-in/-out. But it’s still an interesting idea, I think.


I’ve not yet been impressed by any of the e-book readers I’ve seen – with Amazon’s Kindle and Sony’s Reader being the apparent “market leaders” in the segment.

However, Barnes & Noble’s new Nook may change my mind. From the early reviews, it appears to have a better screen, longer battery life, and more natural navigation than either the Sony or Amazon offerings.

My previous experience with eBooks has not been overly positive, with proprietary software and awkward navigation on my PC. However, with the multi-format-capable Nook – I may be ready to give eBooks a try again.

end6 must die

Have any of you seen

Apparently some web sites choose to redirect their viewers to rather than render in IE6.

Yes – IE6 is old. Very old. But hundreds of thousands of us are stuck using it while at work due to bad IT policies, or upgrade paranoia.

Taking me to end6 instead of your content doesn’t make me ever want to go see it at another time … say when I get home and can use a modern browser.

I’m all for pushing folks to get rid of IE6 in favor of, well, pretty much anything else. But telling me to get rid of IE6 when I have no control over it doesn’t inspire confidence in the service or content that is being offered.

And as for the site? Why is not promoting Google’s Chrome along with Firefox, Opera, Safari, and IE8?

nasa searching for new challenges

I saw this in /. earlier in the week.

Apparently NASA is turning to the American public for new challenge/contest ideas.

I don’t know whether to be impressed that they’re trying to get new perspective.. or scared that they can’t come up with it on their own.

There’s lots and lots of smart people at NASA. I hope it works 🙂

almost drr…

With the new iPod nano from Apple, it looks like someone is starting to implement a digital radio recorder.

It’d be nice if it wasn’t just the “skip” or “pause” protection, but it’s a start.

avoiding the voicemail prompts

I just found this article from David Pogue that indicates how to avoid the voicemail prompts and greetings:

It turns out that each carrier offers a “bypass the instructions” keystroke that takes you directly to the beep. (It bypasses both the person’s own recorded greeting and the 15-second carrier nonsense.)

To be as evil as possible, the carriers do not promote or tell you about the existence of this keystroke. Furthermore, the key to press is different with each company:

* for Verizon

1 for Sprint

# for AT&T

# for T-Mobile

more help from stackoverflow

I realize I asked this question a while back, but in reviewing some of my history, I was reminded of how helpful the site has been for a variety of issues.

And I’m sure that questions like this one regarding VMware and VPNs is something “I should have known” – but not knowing where to look for appropriate data is what makes sites like these so helpful.

I do still wonder, though, how we remember what we know, and whether out-sourcing our collective minds is still a Good Idea™…