Dell Battery recall

August 14th, 2006

According to the NY Times, Dell is recalling 4.1 million lithium-ion batteries made by Sony and installed in laptops sold between April 2004 and July 18th 2006.

If you own a Dell (I can think of a whole heck of a lot of people off of the top of my head who could be affected, including my own Mother and certain bloggers), then go to to check if your laptop battery is included in this recall.

Heh. I just checked (at 6:53PM Eastern time on 8/14/2006) and there is nothing about the recall on the Direct 2 Dell blog.

Update1: Oh My. This keeps on getting better. The site is currently unreachable (7:04pm Eastern on 8/14/2006) and the Google cache dated 8/09/2006 for contains an earlier Dell Battery recall program. So, either the NYTimes got the url wrong or Dell is not ready with their Web site yet.

Update2: A visitor from Dell corporate clicked through to this entry from Technorati and surprisingly enough, Dell has responded on their blog. And they even mentioned that the recall Web site will be live after midnight Central Time tonight.

[tags]Dell, Direct 2 Dell, Dell Recall, 4.1 million is sure a lot of batteries [/tags]

Open thread

August 14th, 2006

amuse me this evening as I have some work stuff to do…

[tags]Open thread[/tags]

ninth cleverhack podcast

August 13th, 2006

The ninth cleverhack podcast is now posted for your enjoyment. This podcast covers spam and discusses a recent Wall Street Journal article about empty spam and the concept of greylisting with your MTA. Enjoy.

Update: I have created a new image for the podcast album art…fear my photoshop skills…or not…

cleverhack podcasts

Download Podcast


August 13th, 2006

Another Web 2.0 site built on the theory of “tagging”, tagjag is a blogosphere (and more) metasearch powered by From what I could gather, their big thing is that their search results are outputted in OPML.

The reason why I noticed tagjag this morning is because their results page is requesting a favicon.ico file from a source in their results page. In other words, a page of mine appeared in tagjag results.

Host: [a tagjag user]
Http Code: 200 Date: Aug 13 07:57:24 Http Version: HTTP/1.1 Size in Bytes: 1406
Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; {4E03DC9D-FD53-BB95-8D69-3A0090FB2439}; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727)

I dunno. Why can’t tagjag just cache the favicon file rather than request it every single time? First, it does use my bandwidth (yeah, I know I could fix that via .htaccess) but secondly, I now know who exactly is using tagjag and finding any results that pertain to my blog. Hrm.

UPDATE1: I’ve gotten a few questions about why the favicon.ico request matters. Well, the thing is that yes, other services do pull my favicon.ico file, like for example Google Desktop or My Yahoo. However, those users opted in (for lack of a better term) to use my site, either by subcribing to my feed or by clicking through to a link of mine.

tagjag/ is different in that the users are merely using the service and yet a third party will know what they are searching for, if that third party appears in the results pages. No opt in or clickthrough or subscription to the third party’s site required.

OT: I have to hand it to the enthusiasm of the bluedot folks, ever since I first wrote about them I’ve been getting hits on searches for bluedot from Seattle based users.

[tags],,, favicon.ico, Web 2.0[/tags]

The Magic Garden

August 13th, 2006

File this under: Oh the things you can find on the Internet!

There are a few cultural icons of being a kid in the 1970s in the NY Tri State area - Romper Room on WOR - channel 9, the Bronx Zoo commercial with the Simon and Garfunkel song and, of course The Magic Garden on WPIX - channel 11. This was back in the days when there were only 13 broadcast channels.

The Magic Garden was a show created and hosted by two educators, Carole Demas and Paula Janis. And yes, they still tour together. Hallmarks of the show included the theme song, the chuckle patch and the closing song lyrics.

See ya, see ya,
Glad that you could stay a while, da dum,
Glad that we could say “Good morning” to ya,
Hope you’ll have a shiny day

[tags]1970s TV, 1970s, kid shows, children’s television [/tags]

but the water came out of the ceiling

August 12th, 2006

This article by a Portland, OR based film critic manages to tell us about water that falls out of a hotel room bathroom ceiling on purpose, how real life people are much more interesting than the celebrities who play them in movies and oh, happens to be the reason why the film critic is now banned by Paramount Pictures from attending any of their press junkets.

A good amusing read.

[tags]pop culture, movies, movie studios, tasteful sketches above the bed [/tags]

Froogle failure to find fortuitous fortune

August 12th, 2006

I orginally wrote this as a comment on a TechCrunch post, but realized that there were a few more things I wanted to riff about.

If you didn’t realize it, Google removed the Froogle link from their front page and replaced it with Google Video. While some people are making a big deal of it, I really think this move is related to the YouTube phenomenon and also the fact that most product searches start at the search engine and not necessarily at a supposed shopping search engine.

Three points to consider:

1)Froogle listings are still showing up at the top of SERPS. Panasonic Video Camera, Scandinavian Office Chair, and half carat diamond ring. (I have expensive tastes.) I don’t know if this matters, but I was logged into Google when I saw these results.

2)If you’re a retailer and you are listed in Froogle, then you will see referrers from Froogle, as long as your price point is a)reasonable and b)reasonably low. In my experience, despite the Froogle listings, I still have seen many, many more referrers from Google’s natural search than Froogle. As any online retailer knows, competing on price point alone is an [expletive deleted].

3)Natural search still rules product referrers. Wasn’t Battelle who said that 60% of all e-commerce transactions start at the search engine?

Over the past year and half or so, I’ve thought that Google was going to push retailers and such from natural search to paid Froogle inclusion or Google Base or Google AdWords, now with Froogle getting off of the front page links, I’m wondering if this isn’t Google tacitly acknowledging that there’s much more e-commerce traffic in natural search. And if there’s traffic in natural search then shouldn’t Google’s corporate push be towards Google AdWords and Google Base, not to mention Google Checkout?

Also, pertaining to Google products in trouble, is it just me or am I just not seeing result for products in Google Base in Google SERPS?

Who Called Us

August 12th, 2006

Talk about a useful Web 2.0 site, is a site that utilizes user content for something good. In this case, creating a database of “unknown caller” numbers.

What happens is this, you see an “unknown caller” on your cell or Caller ID, and you go to to lookup the number. As of this writing, some of the most egregious “unknown callers” in the nation are listed, but the database can only improve with your help.

So if you can’t find the number who called you, just create a new record with the number and the time and date and any other information about the call. If your number is already in the FTC’s National Do Not Call List, can also report your call as a violation to the FTC.

[tags] user generated content,, unknown caller [/tags]

Mozilla Firebird

August 11th, 2006

Mozilla Firebird is redesign of the Mozilla browser, component similar to Galeon, K-Meleon and Caminoâ„¢, but written using the XUL user interface language and designed to be cross-platform.

Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-US; rv:1.4b) Gecko/20030516 Mozilla Firebird/0.6

[tags]Web, Mozilla, Web browsers, What ever happened to Mosaic?[/tags]


August 10th, 2006

There’s a lazy programmer from Finland who is hitting my site with the following user agent.

Agent: OpenAnything/1.6 +

The reason why I say s/he is lazy is because the user agent is contained within a HTTP GET python script in Mark Pilgrim’s Dive Into Python Book. Said programmer apparently didn’t read the how to change a user agent section.

[tags]Web, lazy programmers, python, dive into python, Is Finland cold in the summer?[/tags]

Weighing the Switch to a Mac

August 10th, 2006

NY Times Weighing the Switch to a Mac. The article discusses the pros and cons of switching to a Mac from Windows. It’s nice to see a “mainstream” newspaper approach a topic like this.

One note: When I switched nearly three years ago this September, it really did take me a good two weeks or so to get used to the OS X interface. Thank goodness I knew someone who knows Macs quite well and who could answer my questions. And this was when I was actively teaching computer classes - including classes about Microsoft Windows.

[tags]Apple, Mac, Switch[/tags]

August 10th, 2006 is a site that offers real-time traffic reports of your metropolitan area. If you register for the service you can even create a customized traffic report and have that report sent to your inbox.

I’ve been receiving the customized reports for my commute home and have found it to be pretty useful since when route 202 is backed up, it’s horribly backed up. Based on the events of the past couple of days, I should create a report for my commute to work.

[tags], useful Web sites [/tags]