“The Democracy Player” is Now “Miro!”

I have recommended “The Democracy Player” before… I use it, and it does rock for watching shows like “DL.TV,” “Ask a Ninja,” and, of course “Dr. Bill.TV!” Now, in order to reach more folks, they have released a new version, and changed the name! It is Open Source, free, and, as I mentioned, awesome!

Miro Web Site

The folks at “Participatory Culture” that wrote “Miro” say of their new release:

“I am very excited to announce Miro, the new name of Democracy Player. We’re still the same non-profit organization, the same people working on the project, the same open-source code. But we have a new name and a new logo that I think will reduce a lot of confusion (lots of folks thought ‘Democracy’ was only for political video) and will help us reach more people.”

So, if you haven’t tried it yet, do so… if you have, download the new version! Enjoy!

The “We Finally Got the Audio Right” Edition of Podcast #96

Dr. Bill Podcast – 96 – (07/17/07)
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Dr. Bill’s gets the Gamemaster segment audio right! (After how many tries?) Sigh! Anyway, check it out! Also, Geek Software of the Week (EasyCleaner,) the Tech News, Microsoft’s Evil Adware System Patent, and much more!

Microsoft Patents the Most Thorough Adware System!

That’s right! Microsoft wants to analyze your hard drive and then deliver targeted advertising to you! Isn’t that great!? NO? I don’t think so either!

Microsoft patents the mother of all adware systems

“It’s such a tremendously bad idea that it’s almost bound to succeed. Microsoft has filed another patent, this one for an ‘advertising framework’ that uses ‘context data’ from your hard drive to show you advertisements and ‘apportion and credit advertising revenue’ to ad suppliers in real time. Yes, Redmond wants to own the patent on the mother of all adware. The application, filed in 2006, describes a multi-faceted, robust ad-delivering system that lives on a ‘user computer, whether it’s part of the OS, an application or integrated within applications.’ ‘Applications, tools, or utilities may use an application program interface to report context data tags such as key words or other information that may be used to target advertisements,’ says the filing. ‘The advertising framework may host several components for receiving and processing the context data, refining the data, requesting advertisements from an advertising supplier, for receiving and forwarding advertisements to a display client for presentation, and for providing data back to the advertising supplier.’ The adware framework would leave almost no data untouched in its quest to sell you stuff. It would inspect ‘user document files, user e-mail files, user music files, downloaded podcasts, computer settings, computer status messages (e.g., a low memory status or low printer ink),’ and more. How could we have been so blind as to not see the marketing value in computer status messages?”

Geek Software of the Week: EasyCleaner

I have used a lot of registry cleaners… and they seem to come and go. My old favorite was changed from freeware to a “regular” paid product, and a the same time it got way hard to use! So, forget that! How about one that is simple, free and safe? How about “EasyCleaner?”

EasyCleaner Registry Cleaner

EasyCleaner cleans you registry, but it does a LOT more as well. Check out these options:

– Clean Registry
– Add/Remove Programs
– Find File Duplicates on disk
– Remove unnecessary files
– Clean Shortcuts
– Display Space Usage on disk
– Display what is starting at PC Startup
– Clear files, cookies, and history in IE
– And, lot’s MORE!

Viruses Are 25 Years Old

Happy Birthday virii. Right. May they die a horrible death. Bleh! Evil.

The computer virus turns 25

“The computer virus turns 25 years old this year. It’s been a rocky quarter-century, but according to Richard Ford and Eugene Spafford, two computer scientists writing in this week’s issue of the journal Science, viruses can look forward to a long, fruitful life. The researchers say that in today’s hyper-connected world, when everything’s got a chip in it and is running software, stopping malware is basically an impossible task. (Their article is not online.) The computer virus conception story begins in 1981, when a tech-savvy 9th grader named Richard Skrenta got an Apple II for Christmas. Over the following few months he began cooking up ways to trick his friends using the machine. ‘I had been playing jokes on schoolmates by altering copies of pirated games to self-destruct after a number of plays,’ Skrenta once told the tech news site Security Focus. ‘I’d give out a new game, they’d get hooked, but then the game would stop working with a snickering comment from me on the screen.’ When his friends realized his tricky ways, they banned Skrenta from their machines. And that’s when he had an epiphany: He could put his code on the school’s computer, and rig it to copy itself onto floppy disks that students used on the system. Thus was born Elk Cloner, the world’s first computer virus to spread in the wild. The virus didn’t do much damage; it infected the Apple II’s OS and copied itself to other floppies, and every so often would display a tittering message on the screen:

Elk Cloner: The program with a personality

It will get on all your disks
It will infiltrate your chips
Yes it’s Cloner!

It will stick to you like glue
It will modify RAM too
Send in the Cloner!

Ford and Spafford note that in the years since, as viruses spread to other computer platforms and throughout the world, wreaking billions in damages, there has been little progress in fighting them. There is a scientific reason for this: ‘Building a computer program that can tell with absolute certainty whether any other program contains a virus is equivalent to a famous computer science conundrum called the ‘halting problem,” they write. The halting problem concerns the difficulty of spotting whether a program will terminate or continue to run forever. ‘It has no solution in the general case and has no approximate solution for our current computing environments without also generating too many false results,’ they write.”

Sys Admin Day is Coming… Show You Local Geek Some Love!

They how ultimate power over your computer life and data… so be kind to them! And, we get so little love throughout the year… so celebrate Sys Admin Day this year! July 27th… send a geek a card!

Official Sys Admin Day Page

“Friday, July 27th, 2007, is the 8th annual System Administrator Appreciation Day. On this special international day, give your System Administrator something that shows that you truly appreciate their hard work and dedication. Let’s face it, System Administrators get no respect 364 days a year. This is the day that all fellow System Administrators across the globe, will be showered with expensive sports cars and large piles of cash in appreciation of their diligent work. But seriously, we are asking for a nice token gift and some public acknowledgment. It’s the least you could do. Consider all the daunting tasks and long hours (weekends too.) Let’s be honest, sometimes we don’t know our System Administrators as well as they know us. Remember this is one day to recognize your System Administrator for their workplace contributions and to promote professional excellence. Thank them for all the things they do for you and your business.”

The “Cosmic 07/07/07 Edition” of the Dr. Bill Podcast #95

Dr. Bill Podcast – 95 – (07/07/07)
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Dr. Bill talks tech! The Gamemaster segment gets a mixer! Ben reviews Megaman, uh, Rockman! I want my MP3! The cosmic of 07/07/07! And, a Geek Software of the Week that truly rocks!

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