All Things Gibbs

* Gearhead: File transfers and a little GPS * Backspin: DRM, consumers and the God chip * Gibbsblog: The past 7 days

Gearhead: File transfers and a little GPS

We've been doing some Web site work recently and all of the uploading and downloading stuff was starting to get pretty tedious. We've been using an outstanding utility called FileZilla, a free open source FTP client. FileZilla is so good that it will be nominated for the Gearhead Awards.

To read this week's Gearhead in its entirety, click here.

Backspin: DRM, consumers and the God chip

I just had a stimulating conversation with Howard Silverman, secretary of the Secure Video Processor Alliance, and Broadband Communication Group's Brian Sprague, vice president of marketing for Set-Top Boxes and DTV, whose company is a founding member of the alliance.

To read this week's Backspin in its entirety, click here.

Gibbsblog: The past 7 days

More OS X problems

I complained a few days ago about how OS X isn't as stable as some people claim and I've just had yet another experience that confirms my opinion: I spent about 90 minutes sorting photos under iPhoto. I create so new albums, dragged my photos from shoots into the albums, and then started removing all of the shots I didn't like.

Suddenly and for no obvious reason OS X crashed. When I restarted every album that I'd created had vanished. 90 minutes wasted. I have now submitted more than half a dozen crash reports and I'm wondering why I'm doing so, what's the payback for bothering? Sure doesn't seem like OS X is getting more stable.

I think I'm going to have another shot at sorting my photos this time with Lightroom, we'll see what happens ...

Amazon's Lousy Performance?

Anyone got an idea why Amazon's performance is so bad this evening? It is 21:54 Pacific Coast time and loading Amazon's home page keeps trickling in with a really slow transfer time of over 150 seconds or more or it simply fails. Weird.

Playaway: Solid Sate Audio Books

When is an audiobook not your mother's audiobook? When it is a solid state, battery-powered, audio player with static content called a Playaway from Findawayworld, LLC..

The Playaway is a tapered box with a content label on one side and player controls on the reverse. On one side is a mini audio jack while the battery bay on the adjacent wide bottom edge. When you get the device you pull the tab that allows the battery to connect, plug in the provided headphones, and you're off! No player device or anything else needed. Instant satisfaction.

AppLogic: A New Grid Operating System from 3Tera

Virtualization is big and it seems like the whole enterprise world is adopting virtualized systems. But there's a big difference between virtualized servers and virtualized infrastructure.

A virtualized server is manageable only as a "lump." This means that if you want to manage a Web service or a database on that server you have to use different management tools than those that you use for managing the virtualized server itself.

Virtualized infrastructure is different: It makes all the components of complete Web application systems visible and manageable through a single tool and makes the host operating systems that these components run on invisible -- the infrastructure is a space populated by interconnected appliances. This is what a new grid operating system called AppLogic from 3Tera provides.

Lessig: "Free Culture: What we need from you"

In this video of a talk by Lawrence Lessig, Professor of Law, Stanford Law School, given at the recent LinuxWorld conference he describes "the Free Culture movement and the support it needs from Free Software. The struggles and the threats are largely parallel. The solutions need to be parallel as well."

An excellent and entertaining lecture that, curiously, relates to next week's Backspin on Digital Rights Mangling, er, Management ... highly recommended.

UK Security Contractor Asks Chertoff To Release Vital Technology

I just received an interesting press release from London-based XASystems Ltd. regarding a letter they sent to U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff regarding some Homeland Security technology that has been 'trapped' inside Sandia National Laboratories for several years which XASystems claims "could have played a significant role in preventing the London bombings of July last year, and other planned terrorist attacks such as the recently-foiled transatlantic airline bombing plot."


According to Swarmteams their name means '"completely connected groups'" ... er. OK. I guess. But they then go on to say that they provide "the new way to instantly share time critical information or urgent requests between the members of any dispersed or on-the-move group." Now I'm interested ...

More Inflammatory Laptops

This time its a ThinkPad T43 at the United Terminal at LAX.

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