Microsoft to Resell Fuel Cells

Microsoft is branching out! They have plans to resell and market fuel cells under their own brand. So, it may not be long before you will be able to charge up your cell phone with a fuel cell from Microsoft. Is that a good thing?

Supplier: Microsoft to Brand, Sell Consumer Fuel-Cell Chargers

Medis, a startup specializing in fuel cells, began delivery of its first products to Microsoft on Friday. Medis executives said Microsoft will brand the products as its own and sell them as portable recharging stations for consumer devices. How Microsoft will position and sell the devices is unclear. However, Medis describes its ’24/7 Power Pack’ as a ‘handy, mobile and disposable charger with multiple connectors for immediate use of your electronic device.’ According to Medis, the Power Packs are designed for portable devices such as Blackberrys, mobile phones, and digital cameras. Although Microsoft could be backing the technology as a battery backup for all sorts of devices, its only current branded product that falls into that category is the Zune, its media player. The 24/7 Power Pack is a Direct Liquid Fuel Cell, which typically means that the fuel cell uses methanol as a catalyst, combining hydrogen and oxygen atoms together to form water, with electricity produced as a byproduct. Fuel cells have been used to power buses in California, planned GM cars, cell phones, trains, and even a bicycle.”

Ubuntu Version 7.04 Will Be Released on April 19th!

A new Ubuntu Linux will be out in just a few days! I am curious to see what this release will bring us… it just keeps getting better!

Ubuntu 7.04 arrives Thursday

“This new v7.04 release encompasses five versions: Ubuntu Server, Ubuntu Desktop, Edubuntu, Kubuntu, and Xubuntu. Along with the self-explanatory server and desktop versions, Edubuntu is meant for educational uses; Kubuntu is a desktop platform that uses KDE 3.5.6 for its desktop environment instead of Ubuntu’s GNOME 2.18; and Xubuntu is a desktop for lower-end PCs and uses the lightweight Xfce 4.4 desktop manager. The family is built around the new Linux 2.6.20 kernel. As a cutting-edge distribution, Ubuntu’s developers try to bring together the latest and best of open-source software every six months. Users interested in a more settled, stable distribution with full support can turn to Ubuntu 6.06 LTS (Long Term Support).”

Podcast #84: “The GO Edition!”

Dr. Bill Podcast – 84 – (04/15/07)
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Dr. Bill has a new intro by Scott Redmon… he has a new Mac. Geek Culture from “Infinite Solutions!” Tech News of the Week! Geek Software of the Week: Avidemux. Another update to DirCaster! Comment spam test! iTunes subscriptions? Google buys DoubleClick! The Gamemaster segment: GO!

Google Buys DoubleClick!

Wow. Google is buying Doubleclick for $3.1 BILLION… that is with a “B!” Wow!

Google Buys DoubleClick for $3.1 Billion

“Google reached an agreement today to acquire DoubleClick, the online advertising company, from two private equity firms for $3.1 billion in cash, the companies announced, an amount that was almost double the $1.65 billion in stock that Google paid for YouTube late last year. The sale offers Google access to DoubleClick’s advertisement software and, more importantly, its relationships with Web publishers, advertisers and advertising agencies. For months, Google has been trying to expand its foothold in online advertising into display ads, the area where DoubleClick is strongest. Google made its name and still generates most of its revenue from search and contextual text ads. DoubleClick, which was founded in 1996, provides display ads on Web sites like MySpace, The Wall Street Journal and America Online as well as software to help those sites maximize ad revenue. The company also helps ad buyers — advertisers and ad agencies — manage and measure the effectiveness of their rich media, search and other online ads. DoubleClick has also recently introduced a Nasdaq-like exchange for online ads that analysts say could be lucrative for Google.”

What will this mean for the “monetization” process of the web and web sites? I suspect we will see really soon!

Will iTunes Become a Subscription Service?

Say it ain’t so! Well, maybe… we’ll see!

iTunes subscription service expected

“Major record companies are expected to ask Apple iTunes to change their 99c-per-song download model to a subscription-based service, according to industry insiders. At talks to be held next week, Apple will be negotiating with music label Universal and has reportedly already began talks with Sony-BMG, Warner Music and EMI to renew contracts for iTunes content. Amid industry fears that music sales are steadily falling, media labels are said to be looking to negotiate a more lucrative business model with iTunes, where labels would take a share of monthly subscription payments. Although rumors of a subscription service have been circulating for the past few years, insiders say it is far more likely now in light of Apple’s DRM (digital rights management)-free deal with EMI.”

CentOS Version 5.0 is Out!

Well, as you know, CentOS Linux is based on the Open Source code of Red Hat. CentOS is binary compatible in every way with Red Hat Enterprise Linux, so now that RHEL V5.0 is out, CentOS has followed suit.

CentOS Linux Web Site

Notes on upgrading: plan on downloading the CDs and do an upgrade from the CDs to be safe. Also, there are many changes, so read the Release Notes and plan carefully!

Here’s what CentoS says:

“The best and most recommended way to get your existing CentOS-3/CentOS-4 machine running CentOS-5 is to update the machine via the installer. This involves booting the machine with the install media, and running a normal installation path. You will be given an option to upgrade the
machine if an older CentOS install is found on the installable harddrive. You will still need to check for rpm orphans once the machine has booted into CentOS-5. Packages from non-CentOS repositories might need special attention. There is a wiki page starting now at to document the process’s and experiences of people – so as to create a single combined knowledge base about updating to CentOS-5 from CentOS-3/4 as well as from other Distributions. So do join in and contribute.”

Comment Spam Test

Since I have set up the Blog to allow comments even if you don’t create an account an log in, I am now requiring a test to be sure the person sending the comment is not a spambot. So, don;t freak out, just answer the simple question… things like “How do you spell Linux?” Answer= “linux” (See read the question closely… there’s the answer!) I know, I know… dumb… but spambots are dumber!

In case you are interested, the plugin for WordPress I am using is called WP-Gatekeeper. Check it out!


Geek Software of the Week: Avidemux!

This is a nice, Open Source, package! If you want to “play” with video editing, this is a good way to get your foot “in the door” so to speak.

Avidemux Web Site

“Avidemux is a free video editor designed for simple cutting, filtering and encoding tasks. It supports many file types, including AVI, DVD compatible MPEG files, MP4 and ASF, using a variety of codecs. Tasks can be automated using projects, job queue and powerful scripting capabilities. Avidemux is available for Linux, BSD, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows under the GNU GPL license. The program was written from scratch by Mean, but code from other people and projects has been used as well. Patches, translations and even bug reports are always welcome.”

Check it out! It is pretty nice!

Podcast #83 – The “Oops, I Got a Virus Edition!” (Audio)

Dr. Bill Podcast – 83 – (04/07/07)
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Geek Culture with “Mend My PC.” Microsoft releases emergency fix. Geek Software of the Week: Tag&Rename! A DirCaster Update. Dr. Bill gets a computer virus! WEP is dead! long live WPA! YouTube launches “CitizenTube.” Our Gamemaster segment!

Video Netcast Show Notes:
Very cool Geek Culture in the form of “Kiwi!” a video off of YouTube! As promised, here’s the YouTube video code: sdUUx5FdySs Also Dr. Bill grumps and grouses about actually… gulp.. getting a virus at work!

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