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August 29, 2008

A microbrewed fruity beer in a can?

I am by no means qualified to be a food or wine critic.  Throughout the 90's and most of this decade it has been a foregone conclusion that craft brewed beer should be sold in 12 or 22 ounce brown glass bottles.  When a brewer such as 21st Amendment puts beer in cans, people start to listen.  When they made a Watermelon Wheat beer, people look at each other in confusion and give it a try. When I read an article on the stuff in the local paper, I knew I had to track some of this stuff down.  From the description alone I can imagine it as something sold next to a self warming can of squid juice in a Tokyo train station vending machine.


After several weeks of looking I found a six pack for sale at the local Beverages & More location.  Simply amazing.  Not too sweet like some other fruity wheat beers on the market.  Just enough to balance the flavor and make it refreshing in the summer heat.  If you are camping, take some Watermelon Wheat along with some canned hamburgers, or not.. ;)



August 27, 2008

ASCII Art as the new SPAM

Just when you thought that your SPAM filter was up to spec, there is a new form of unsolicited e-mails on the horizon.  Using ASCII art based SPAM, it is possible to make graphical images, like the one below and embed them in an e-mail message.  You can block inline images in the email or HTML attachments, but this poses a bigger problem. 


August 26, 2008

Electronic Childhood Regression

Recently I was reading an article in Computerworld about Richard Stallman and his zeal for open source computing, and happened across RMS's disgust towards the OLPC project making it possible for Microsoft Windows XP to run on that platform.  Operating system and tools preferences as a political statement is interesting, but not the point of this posting.  The fact that Stallman was using the XO-1 laptop as his portable of choice at one point was most interesting factor to me.   

I spent some time surfing through the XO Wiki to find out more information and ran across a full Livebackup ISO file that I could load onto my current laptop to try out the user interface.  After about half an hour I was sold.  I was already in the market for a smaller laptop for travel, so it was off to eBay to see what was available.  After a few days of bidding and losing, I found a nice XO-1 in Washington D.C. for about $200.  I know, I know, for $300 I could get a brand new ASUS EEE PC with twice the memory, twice the flash and I could run Windows on it.  That's not the point.


(Courtesy of Irregular Shed on Flickr)

So, I get this unit in the mail yesterday.  Right out of the box it is on my home Wi-Fi.  It has the feeling of the fun I had the first time I got my hands on an Apple ][.  I'll follow up with my experiences.


August 19, 2008

Gmail insecurities

For those of you who use Gmail or have Google accounts that allow you to access Google Analytics or Adsense, you might want to take note.  In a few days an exploit will be released that will allow people to access your account by using trivial and easily sniffed information.  (Article Here)  The fix is pretty easy... turn SSL on. 

Step 1. Go to http://mail.google.com/mail/?shva=1#settings to access your Gmail settings.

Step 2. Select the Radio Button to enable SSL.


Step 3. Profit?!?!



August 13, 2008

Clean and clear water

Over the past few years we have been drinking either bottled water or filtered water at home.  Recently there was a big media blitz about how great tap water is and that you are wasting money on bottled water.  A few weeks ago I changed out the carbon filter on my under sink water purifier.  The unit is rated at 750 gallons, of which I put much less than that through it. While our water is most likely clear of pathogens and stuff that will give me the runs, do I really need all of this sediment in my water?

Does this make you thirsty for tap water?


The filter on the left is new and the filter on the right is seven months old.

August 11, 2008

Blogs used for propaganda/PsyOPS

After blogging for a few months, I have gotten used to the automatic content spamming robots that try to fill the comments section and individual postings with trackbacks.  While most of these posts include links to sites that have drive-by malware or send you to sites that sell drugs, I encountered something completely new today.  The trackback was sending a link for the "Real Situation" in the ware between Georgia and Russia.  No malware.  No v1agra.  No Rep1ica.  Just a link to Youtube with a video of some scared to death guy talking about his situation in Georgia with the sounds of bombs and machines guns going off in the background.  Is this the new overt technonological front line for how war will be fought in the future?