Category Archives: Technology

Ever wonder if that laser printer nearby is poisoning you?

I came across this report recently and found it interesting since I use many of these products.  The International Laboratory for Air Quality and Health, Queensland University of Technology did a study to determine how much particle emission and other matter is emited by laser printers.  Most printers did well, but some printers commonly used in business environments could be making you sick.  Click here to get the article and study.

“Summary of Results for Printer Emission Investigations, Based on the Ratio of Submicrometer Particle Number Concentration Peak Value Emitted by the Printer to the Background Value (measured by P-Trak)”

non-emitter (ratio 1) low level emitter (ratio < 1.1-5) middle level emitter (ratio < 5.1-10) high level emitter (ratio > 10)
HP Color LaserJet 4550DN (1) Canon IRC6800 (1) HP LaserJet 1020 (1) HP Color LaserJet 4650dn (1)
HP Color LaserJet 8500DN (1) HP LaserJet 5M (3) HP LaserJet 4200dtn (1) HP Color LaserJet 5550dtn (1)
HP LaserJet 2200DN (1) HP LaserJet HP Color LaserJet 8550N
HP LaserJet 2300dtn (1) 9000dn (1) (1)
HP LaserJet 4 plus (1) RICOH HP LaserJet 1320N (1)
HP LaserJet 4000N (1) CL3000DN (1) HP LaserJet 1320n (1)
HP LaserJet 4000TN (1) HP LaserJet 2420dn (1)
HP LaserJet 4050N (2) HP LaserJet 4200dtna (1)
HP LaserJet 4050TN (6) HP LaserJet 4250n (old)
HP LaserJet 4si (1) (1)
HP LaserJet 5(b) (1) HP LaserJet 4250n (new)
HP LaserJet 5000n (1) (1)
HP LaserJet 5100tn (2) HP LaserJet 5(a) (1)
HP LaserJet 5N (2) HP LaserJet 8000DNa (1)
HP LaserJet 5si (1) HP LaserJet 8150N (1)
HP LaserJet 5si/NX (1) TOSHIBA Studio 450 (1)
HP LaserJet 8000DN (2)
HP LaserJet 8150DN (3)
Mita DC 4060 (photo copy) (1)
RICOH Aficio 2022 (1)
RICOH Aficio 3045 (1)
RICOH Aficio 3245C (3)
RICOH Aficio CC3000DN (1)
TOSHIBA Studio 350 (1)

Coming Soon: USB 3 and HP Laptops w/ solid state drives.

There’s two new consumer technologies coming soon.  USB 3.0 devices featuring speeds up to 4.8 gbps and HP Laptops with Solid State drives instead of magnetic hard drives.  There’s going to be a $1000 premium for laptops with solid state drives at first.  Prices are expected to drop as sales increase.

Trend Micro: Possible Internet Attack Imminent

An alert just came in from Trend Micro that says they are concerned about a potential Internet attack.  This is vague and I know it sounds like it’s coming from the US Department of “Homeland Security.”  Here it is:

High Probe Traffic Seen on ServerProtect Port 5168

PSP Announcement – 8/23/2007 6:53:13 AM – Proactive Notification: High Probe Traffic Seen on ServerProtect Port 5168 – Dear All:ICS [1] has reported a spike in the probe traffic on port 5168 which is used by ServerProtect. This might be an indication that hackers are preparing to launch an attack against this port. At this point however, we have not received any reports or samples which demonstrate the exploit.Please ensure that your Server Protect Systems have applied security patch 4 to ensure that known vulnerabilities are patched.

Please download the latest Server Protect Patch from the Trend Micro URL:


InfoWorld: Windows Vista, the Wow hasn’t started yet.

This InfoWorld article says that fewer companies are planning to upgrade to Vista in the short term than even a few months ago.  They are basing this on a survey by Patchlink Corp.  I don’t trust Patchlink’s numbers, but I believe the conclusion is correct. 

There is no excitement for Vista.  I don’t know anyone that is upgrading to Vista or has Vista on their radar.  Vista doesn’t really provide anything useful to business customers.  It’s not worth the pain of upgrading.  My sense is that my company can easily run XP for at least 2 more years.  One reason for this is that XP is very stable (in our protected environment).  Another reason is that most apps developed over the next couple years will be XP compatible.  A third is that more apps are being ported to a browser every day.  I don’t need much more than a functional browser.

 Somebody should let me know when the Wow is going to start.

Our backup admin quit

Our backup administrator has left the company.  I never realized how mismanaged the backup system was until he left.  He was keeping the system barely above water with many failed jobs.  We have since gotten a temporary backup admin who is making it all look easy.  Jobs are completing.  The system isn’t running out of tapes.  The consultant is making it work and that’s encouraging.  BTW, we are using Backup Exec 11d with a Quantum m2500 robotic tape library.

Microsoft Surface Demo in NYC (Review, Pics, and Info)

I went to the Microsoft Surface Demo at the Sheraton in NYC.  I was first in line at 9:30am.  It was a neat event.  There were three MS Surfaces on hand for some extremely controlled tire kicking.  There were no (positive) surprises about features and functionality.  The good news is that the Surface was able to do everything that was shown in the Launch videos.  The bad news is that it couldn’t do much more than that, and there were a few gotcha’s.  I’ve got all the dirt below.

 The Microsoft Surface Demo Event at the Sheraton was scheduled for 10AM.  NYPD barricades were set up wrapping around the side of the building on 53rd St.  I was first in line at 9:30.  A few others joined the line by 10AM, but the throngs of geeks didn’t show up.  There were no more than 50 people watching the demo, and many were hotel guests.  The main demo was conducted by Jeff Gattis of Microsoft.  (Jeff can be seen in this Popular Mechanics demo of the Surface.)  Jeff went through the different features such as Pictures, Puzzle, Music, drink ordering (Concierge?), and Paint.  I’m proud to say that I was the first person I know to crash the Surface.

Jeff from Microsoft launched the Puzzle feature that uses the clear tiles.  This feature basically illuminates the surface under the location of each of the tiles to create a puzzle effect.  I took a picture with flash and the whole thing locked up.  Jeff did something to the screen that reset it.  The Surface software ran slowly after that.

I also uncovered some of Microsoft’s smoke and mirrors.  Microsoft’s launch video show’s that you can place a Zune on the Surface which will automatically interact with the Surface and other Zunes.  This feature DID NOT work as advertised.  I borrowed a Zune from a friend to test this feature.  Jeff launched the Music app and placed his Zune on the Surface.  He copied music to the Zune.  I whipped out my Zune and placed it on the Surface and nothing happened.  This is when I was told that it’s not going to work because I didn’t have an ID tag on my Zune.  (BTW, Jeff was “very impressed” that I had a Zune.)  It turns out that every Zune, cell phone, glass, credit card, and comp card used for the demo had a special tag affixed to it.  I got a picture of the tag which you can see here: 

Surface Tag

 There was also another incident where a Surface bug was exposed.  The Surface seems to have a problem with drastic direct changes of lighting.  Someone was using the Paint program.  They began drawing on the screen.  Someone else took a picture with flash.  The corner of the screen that was hit by the flash lit up solid green as if someone had “painted” it.  Thankfully the unit didn’t lock up this time.

The only other item of interest from the demo was a quick Q&A between Jeff from Microsoft and one of the attendees.  The attendee asked Jeff if he was familiar with Jeff Han’s work.  Jeff from MS said that he was and that he’s “very impressed” by it.  He said that a few guys at MS Research know Jeff Han, but that Jeff Han isn’t working on the Surface project. 

The ultimate question is whether it was worth waking up at 7AM on a Saturday to see the Surface in action.  I’d say yes.  Microsoft’s Surface is an early example of the more interactive computer interfaces that we’ll see in the future.  The Surface is barely capable of performing its demonstrated functions.  The greatest disappointment is that Zune’s and camera’s need to be tagged before they could interact with the Surface.  Jeff from MS claims that this will be fixed and seamless interaction is down the road.  I hope he’s right.

Check out the pictures and let me know what you think!

Surface Tagged GlassSurface Tagged GlassSurface Tagged Glass Notice the tag on the bottom of the glass.  Kids paint on Surface Kids Painting.  Surface Tiles Puzzle Tiles.  Surface Puzzle Solved Puzzle Solved.

Surface T-Mobile Buying a phone from T-Mobile.

Bill Gates and Steve Jobs interviewed together at All Things Digital

This is a spectacular video of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs being interviewed together at the All Things Digital conference a couple weeks ago.  They talk about themselves, their history, technology, and the future.  I was extremely impressed with how engaging, down to earth, and obviously brilliant Bill Gates was.

 Make sure you watch all videos in order.  They are posted backwards on the site.  Start here:

Safari 3 Beta for Windows was released today, and I’m wondering why I should care.

Apple released Safari 3 Beta for Windows today and the link got over 8000 Diggs.  I just can’t understand why.  Who cares if there is another browser for Windows?  Is it just BS Apple fanboy hype?  Is it Windows users that are excited to have another alternative?  Windows only users have no idea what Safari is.  I can’t imagine that they’d be so excited about it. 

I’m also wondering what this means for Apple, Windows, potential future browser wars. 

Apple must have learned that there is more money to be made where 90%+ of internet users reside rather than with their 5%.  I find it interesting that Apple created Safari for Windows.  It’s the first time that I remember (please correct me if I’m wrong) Apple creating an app for Windows that wasn’t either coupled with hardware (iPod) or required for compatability purposes (Quicktime).  Apple seams to be spreading out from their little closed world of Macs, iPods, etc.

And does Windows need another browser?  Maybe.  IE has been badly neglected by Microsoft.  IE7 is working fine for the sheeple, corporate environments, and MS fans.  Other than that, it’s lacking in innovation.  Firefox has been developed relentlesy and it has paid off (33.7% browser share in May).  Apple is a much bigger name than Firefox and they might be able to steal some browser share (currently at 1.5%).

So is this the first shot in the new browser war?  That’s up to Microsoft.  Do they want to develop IE anymore?  It doesn’t seem that way.  Is IE still important to Microsoft’s success?  I don’t think so unless Firefox and Safari intentionally don’t work with MS technologies.

Microsoft Surface looks AWESOME! (Pics and Info)

 Microsoft released information on a new product tonight and it looks amazing.  It’s a 30″ tabletop screen with touch screen abilities.  It works similar to the holographic screens in the movie Minority Report, though it’s much more primitive.

 Microsoft has posted a fact sheet and FAQ’s, but I can’t link to anything other than the site because it’s all Flash based.  Microsoft describes Surface as:

“A 30″ display in a table like form that’s easy for individuals or small groups to interact with in a way that feels familiar just like the real world.  Surface can simultaneously recognize dozens and dozens of movements such as touch, gestures, and will be able to recognize actual unique objects that have identification tags similar to bar codes.”

“Surface will ship to partners with a portfolio of basic applications, including photos, videos, virtual concierge, and games, which can be customized to provide their customers with unique experiences.”

Here’s what I take from this announcement:

  • Surface runs on Vista. 
  • Microsoft appears to be the HW manufacturer on this.   I doubt that they could have kept this secret if they relied on others for HW.
  • Surface is Windows Tablet Edition on steroids.
  • The announcement says that Surface will be available for some businesses at the end of the year.

I am very excited about this announcement.  It didn’t seem like anyone could deliver a product like Surface in the near future, and it appears that Microsoft will.  This is an important step in the death of the mouse.  I wonder what the price on this will be.  It will probably be expensive if MS is targeting businesses.  I’d put it in the $3,500 to $5,000 range for businesses.  It’s probably in the area of $1,500 for consumers.  Gizmodo claims that the price is $10,000 with an expectation of a huge price drop over 3 years.  Of course, this is all assuming that MS can deliver on it’s promises.  I’ve got pictures posted after fold.  Microsoft Surface

Update: An excellent video presentation of Microsoft Surface.

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2007 Web 2.0 Awards by SEOmoz

This popped up on Digg today and I found it interesting.  Some company named SEOmoz handed out the “2007 Web 2.0 Awards.”  I have no idea who SEOmoz is, but I found their lists very useful.  They listed “over 200 sites in 41 categories.”  Enjoy