Here’s An Interesting Idea!

You have all that open highway… and we need alternative power sources. What if we turned those highways into wind farms? Cool!

Proposals would turn highways into wind farms

“Clogged highways and frustratingly waiting while your gas needle plummets to empty usually doesn’t conjure up thoughts of green, but it seems like these very roads could become the source of a lot more energy. Several recent student designs have proposed that major roadways be retrofitted with various forms of wind energy collection devices, ranging from overhead turbines that collect energy from quickly-moving cars below to barrier panels that harness the wind from closely passing vehicles moving in opposite directions. Ideally, the wind energy could then be sent back out to the grid to power nearby communities, light-rail transportation systems, or even intelligent billboards. Of course, most of these ideas are still in the research phase, and even if proven feasible, we can’t imagine the up-front costs (or inconveniences of installing these things) to be minor, but we’re sure that government subsidies should be able to to lend a helping hand.”

The “Precedent Setting Edition” of the Dr. Bill Podcast #86!

Dr. Bill Podcast – 86 – (04/28/07)
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Second try on recording the podcast! Sigh! A slow blogging week… I’ve busy at work. More “greenage” = better equipment! Geek Software of the Week: WordPress Theme Generator. Googlefight. “Longhorn” beta released. Ninja and Mythbusters!

Geek Software of the Week: WordPress Theme Generator

“This online generator creates your own custom unique WordPress Theme. Without any need for HTML, JS, PHP, or CSS knowledge. Change the colors, settings, layout, preview live, click “save” and download your unique WordPress theme zip-file. Extract, upload, set, and you are done!”

WordPress Theme Generator

I don’t usually highlight web based tools as a Geek Software of the Week, but this one struck me as VERY cool! You can design your own WordPress theme right on-line. Neat!

Microsoft “Longhorn” First Public Beta

The next release of Windows Server is code named “Longhorn” and it will replace the current production version of Windows Server 2003 when it is finally released.

Microsoft Releases First Public Beta for ‘Longhorn’

“Microsoft will release the feature-complete, third beta for Windows Server ‘Longhorn’ on April 25, which is also the first public beta of the software. The product remains on track for release to manufacturing in the second half of 2007, and the beta code can be downloaded here. Some 10,000 people in Microsoft’s technical beta program have already tested the product, while thousands more downloaded or received the second beta and the Community Technology Preview that followed through their TechNet and MSDN subscriptions, Helene Love Snell, the senior product manager for Windows Server, told eWEEK. ‘We will be distributing beta 3 as broadly as possible to ensure the maximum number of IT professionals, developers and partners test and evaluate the new features. Our distribution programs will offer this chance to literally hundreds of thousands of people,’ she said.”

Podcast #85 – “The Laptop Love Edition!”

Dr. Bill Podcast – 85 – (04/22/07)
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Ubuntu 7.04 released! Microsoft to resell fuel cells under their own brand. Don’t use Microsoft DNS! Thunderbird V2.0 is out! Geek Software of the Week: DVD Flick! The Gamemaster! A cool geek song from Jonathan Coulton, “A Laptop Like You!”

Geek Software of the Week: DVD Flick

OK, so you have a collection of video files and want to make a DVD out of them. You have a DVD burner in your system, but no DVD burning software. What do you do? Enter free and Open Source, DVD Flick!

DVD Flick

“DVD Flick aims to be a simple but at the same time powerful DVD Authoring tool. It can take a number of video files stored on your computer and turn them into a DVD that will play back on your DVD player, Media Center or Home Cinema Set. You can add additional custom audio tracks as well as subtitles of your choice. Supported file container formats are, amongst others, AVI, MPG, MOV, WMV, ASF, FLV, Matroska and MP4. Supported codecs are amongst others, MPEG-1\2\4 (XVid, DivX, etc.), Windows Media Audio\Video. MP3, OGG Vorbis, H264, and On2 VP5\6. DVD Flick is Open Source, meaning that anyone can download and view or modify the program’s source code. It also means that it is absolutely free of charge. Several external programs are used by DVD Flick to do the dirty work like encoding and combining of video material. All of these programs are free, some are Open Source too.”

This is a neat, and of course, free and Open Source!

Hooray! Mozilla’s Thunderbird E-Mail Client V2.0 is Gold!

Yes, the long beta is over and V2.0 is now gold! I use Thunderbird for my personal e-mail client, and I do love it!

Thunderbird 2.0 email client goes gold

“Mozilla today released the final version of Thunderbird 2, the next generation of the organization’s open-source email client. Key new features include message tagging, message history, and a new function to search for content within messages, among numerous other enhancements.

The major new features, according to a Mozilla spokesperson, are:

* Message tagging — users can organize emails by assigning tags like “From Mom” or “Weekend Projects” to easily track and search for information; users can choose from default tags — such as Important, Personal, To-Do, Later, and Work — or create their own custom tags; users can also add as many tags as they want to a message

* Message history – Thunderbird 2 offers message history navigation similar to Web browsing history navigation; users can move backward and forward through their messages and easily browse through their message history

* Search — the find-as-you-type pane speeds up searches within displayed messages, and a quick search feature starts showing search results as soon as users begin typing search terms; additionally, Thunderbird 2 saves users time by allowing the storing of searches as folders and facilitating the rerun of saved searches by clicking on the saved search folder in the folder pane

* Easy access to Web mail services — Thunderbird 2 lets users integrate and access popular Web mail services simply by entering their user names and passwords

* Customization — users can customize Thunderbird 2 with hundreds of free add-ons that change the look, feel, and functionality of the email client to suit their tastes; users can also create their own message templates to save time.”

Another Reason NOT to Use Microsoft for Your DNS Server

I used to have one (1) out of my four DNS servers that was a Microsoft NT box… but that was a LONG time ago! Now it is all Linux! Anyway, if you do have a Microsoft Windows DNS server… well… you are in for it!

Microsoft DNS Server Attacks Continue

“In an advisory this morning borrowing language used during previous statements about completely different exploits, Microsoft’s Security Response Center team confirmed that it has seen at least one new wave of attacks based on proof-of-concept code impacting its DNS server software in Windows Server-based systems. The concept enables malicious users to run code remotely under the system privileges generally granted to the DNS service itself. Although technically, the exploit does not directly threaten Internet routing the same way as the crafted IPv6 header problem in Cisco routers that also periodically rears its ugly head (or heads its ugly rear), this exploit can impact the routing of e-mail and other IP traffic within an enterprise or limited domain. Yesterday, Microsoft acknowledged that the proof-of-concept code discovered by engineers and reported by BetaNews was responsible for the first rash of attacks. But that acknowledgment was confused by multiple press sources as having been an indication that the code was just released, when in fact, the code may have been publicly disseminated for at least a matter of weeks, if not longer.”

Microsoft also says they are in no big hurry to fix it… so don’t hold your breath!

Don’t Hold Your Breath for a MS DNS Hole Patch

Microsoft says it hopes to patch the hole in its Domain Name System Server—which is now leaving vulnerable PCs open to a worm attack—by “no later” than Patch Tuesday in May. Microsoft teams are working around the world and around the clock to get a fix out for the May 8 security bulletin release, the MSRC’s Christopher Budd wrote in the security center’s blog on Tuesday night. Budd said that Microsoft teams are now developing and testing 133 separate updates, including one in every language for every currently supported version of Windows servers. ‘Each of these has to be tested to ensure they effectively protect against the vulnerability,’ Budd said. ‘Because DNS is a critical part of the networking infrastructure, they also have to be tested to ensure that changes introduced by the updates don’t pose a greater risk than the security issue we’re addressing.'”

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