The weather is definitely not too bad this morning. It is clear and the sky is just starting to turn pink and orange in the east. It's supposed to be pretty warm (for November) today and I'm hoping that it is sunny for a good portion of the day. My father is going to physical therapy Monday through Friday because of the stroke he had a few weeks back. All the cloudy weather we've been having recently has really been affecting him, it had never really affected him before this stroke. So here's to hoping for clear skies today.
If you get a chance, run over to the One Dad's Life blog and read today's post. I loved it! I'm glad I'm still a few years off from this in my life. :)
Alrighty, just grabbed another cup of coffee and watched the sun slowing climbing. Nice. We received a note a couple weeks ago about a change for trash pickup in St. Charles. We have had trash pickup twice a week, recycling pickup once a week, and yard waste pickup once a week (costs extra). I know that fuel costs had to hurt this year. I really do understand that. They are cutting trash pickup to once a week. But only dropping our trash pickup by 24.5%. So I'm getting, essentially, half the service but they only dropped the cost by a 1/4. And the city council signed a three year contract allowing for a 5% increase in 2010 and 2011. I can probably get by on once a week trash pickup. What I don't like is the fact that over the past 4 months, I have had to call Allied Waste over 6 times to come to my neighborhood because they didn't bother to come through. Or at the very least, the driver skipped my block. Sometimes the recycling gets missed too. They tell me they will give me credits on my next bill, but I've yet to see them. The only "real" positive development is that Bruce Evans, the city community development director, said that under the new plan Allied is going to distribute new recycling carts to replace the smaller recycling bins that we all use now. Residents will have a choice between a 65-gallon or 35-gallon cart. As we tend to frequently fill our bins up, this is good news. With all the wind we have in New Town, this will help prevent recycling stuff from blowing all over and just becoming trash.
And what is up with the collective memory of people here? Apparently since gas has actually dropped below $2 a gallon of gas, SUV and big Truck sales have increased. Folks, do you not understand or remember what is coming with gas prices? OPEC at their last meeting laid the groundwork for a price increase as soon as the economy turns around. And with good reason (not really a good reason for me, but I know why), many of the economies of oil producing countries have become heavily reliant on oil trading at $90+ a barrel. Venezuela (under Chavez) has been going through money like water through a seive. They started really spending when oil prices were high and they need prices to remain high to keep going. Russia has a similar problem, they didn't think they would be affected by the US economic problems. BZZZZZ! Wrong answer. The problem with economies that rely on a single industry, such as the petro-dollar economies, is that it just takes one major problem to bring them down. We're in a global economy now and you can't opt out.
For example, economic worries in the USA prompts people to start cutting back on "luxury" items (big screen TVs, game systems, toys). we import a lot of those items from the far east. A lot of the international harbors in China are quiet, not a whole lot of the transport ships leaving. Dockworkers and other transport systems to get products to the docks sitting idle. Factories are laying off workers or telling them not to come in because they aren't getting the orders. Here in the USA, dockworkers sitting idle. Other transportation systems not filling up because nothing coming in. Retail stores are closing, laying people off, cutting labor because people aren't buying. And the cycle continues.
It's like trying to fight the spaghetti Monster trying to untangle how deeply every cut actually affects everything else. And don't even get me started on the failure that our Automobile industry is facing. A *LOT* of that could have been prevented with adequate planning and actual leadership. The Auto industry has been facing a lot of these problems for the past two decades (if not longer), but have been operating on the principle that they can push problems off to tomorrow rather than deal with them today. Well, the dance is done and now is the time to pay the piper. Of course, the executives will continue to get their multi-millon dollar bonuses while the peons of the system (the people that actually produce real goods) get the shaft. They want a bailout? I would suggest calling and writing your congress critters that there have to be changes. REAL changes. It is time that executive compensation be subject to stockholder approval and that the Board of Directors must end their incestous relationships (sitting on each other's boards and approving everything). Now is the time of responsiblity. And if a board of directors doesn't act responsiblly to protect the shareholder value of a company (short and long term) it is time for them to go. Gah!
Alrighty then. Caffeine levels starting to drop a little, time for another cup and back to documentation. Remember to take it easy out there!
St. Charles County schools still dealing with whooping cough
Many school districts in St. Charles County continue to deal with a pertussis outbreak first reported in September. Pertussis is commonly known as whooping cough.
Careless driver fined for killing good Samaritan in St. Charles County
A Wentzville woman again apologized tearfully Wednesday for inattentive driving that killed a St. Charles man. A judge then gave her the maximum fine of $1,000.
AT&T Missouri opts Out of PSC Oversight
AT&T Missouri No Longer Subject To Certain Quality Of Service And Billing Standards
What's the buzz? "Jesus Christ Superstar"
While almost everyone else is gearing up to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, Flood Stage Productions is looking back to his death.
The St. Charles-based theater group presents "Jesus Christ Superstar" this weekend and next in the auditorium of St. Charles High School, 725 N. Kingshighway.
Nursing skills on video at SCC
Nurses looking to refresh their skills and stay current on the latest medical practices can find new resources at St. Charles Community College.
New Firefoxen and Seamonkey out
New versions of FIrefox 2 & 3 were released this evening. Firefox 18.104.22.168 fixes 11 security vulnerabilities 6 of them critical including 2 remote code executions. Firefox 3.0.4 fixes 9 security vulnerabilities, 4 of them critical including remote code execution. As we've mentioned before, the Mozilla folks recommend that folks still running FF2 upgrade to FF3 as soon as possible. Also, they have released Seamonkey 1.1.13 which fixes the same 11 security vulnerabilities as FF 22.214.171.124.
Major spam sender closed down
A web hosting firm that apparently sent out more than 75 per cent of worldwide spam has been knocked offline.
Industry welcomes Microsoft's latest patching
Microsoft has been praised for releasing one critical and one important patch for its November patch Tuesday.
Kaspersky warns of hackers committing large attacks
Kaspersky Lab has warned of a hackers planting malicious code on around 10,000 servers.
VoIP tools, attacks could increase threat
Tools are available to automate VoIP attacks, but the threat remains low until VoIP communications is more pervasive in the workplace.
Joomla update eliminates vulnerabilities
Google Soups Up Site Search With On-demand Indexing
Google Site Search gets a speed boost to help enterprises put the freshest search engine results in front of the visitors and customers. The move is designed to give Google an edge in the highly-competitive enterprise search market, where Microsoft Fast, Autonomy, Endeca, Vivisimo and others compete.
AMD`s ‘Shanghai` Processor Will Emphasize Virtualization, Energy Efficiency
When Advanced Micro Devices officially releases its 45-nm “Shanghai” processor on Nov. 13, the chip maker will emphasize the microprocessor’s ability to handle virtualization as well as the chip’s energy-efficiency traits.
Intel Cuts Q4 Processor Sales, Revenue Forecasts
Intel, citing reduced demand for desktop and notebook processors, cuts its fourth-quarter financial forecast. Intel, the world's largest producer of x86 processors, now believes that its fourth-quarter revenue will only reach about $9 billion, rather than the $10.1 billion to $10.9 billion the company predicted just a few weeks ago. Intel says demand for processors is weak across the globe and PC makers are tightening their supply chain inventories.
IDC Slashes 2009 IT Spending Forecast, Citing Financial Crisis, Consumer Spending
Research company IDC cuts its IT spending forecast for 2009 as the financial crisis continues to grow and consumers spend less on technology and other goods and services.
Carriers Want More Wireless User Data
While insight into customer behavior influences mobile operators' growth and investment strategies, mobile operators and proprietors of Internet portals say there is simply not enough existing subscriber data to analyze, according to research by Nokia Siemens Networks.
Seagate, McAfee, Dell Hook Up for Self-encrypting Notebooks
New HDDs, with centrally managed securityware provided by McAfee, are now shipping to Seagate's worldwide channels in 160GB and 320GB capacities, with half-terabyte versions coming soon. Dell is now offering them as an option in several of its new enterprise-grade notebooks.
AMD Graphics Fights Back, Steals GPU Share
The graphics card market rebounded during the third quarter, with both AMD and Nvidia seeing positive signs. AMD, however, seems to have been the winner, according to an analyst.
Distrust means cop databases suffer arrested development
Police data sharing across the Atlantic and within European is being stymied by technical hurdles and caution over privacy and operational security.
Ancient Rome rises on Google Earth
Google Earth has hooked up with the University of Virginia to produce a 3D rendition of Rome in the year 320AD featuring 250 "highly detailed" and 5000+ other buildings:
Texas cop tasers himself
This is short and sweet - big time law enforcement fail in Texas, courtesy of FAIL Blog
Apple bans iPhone app for changing version number
Apple has banned version 1.3 of return7's CastCatcher internet radio service from the iPhone App Store, complaining that it's "transferring excessive volumes of data over the cellular network."
MS dreams big as IE 6 for Windows Mobile nears
Microsoft is prepping developers for the latest version of Internet Explorer on Windows Mobile, while trying to lock America's biggest wireless carrier into an internet search deal.
LCD makers to pay $585m for price-fixing conspiracy
Three Asian electronics manufactures on Wednesday agreed to pay a combined $585m after admitting they conspired to drive up the prices of liquid crystal display monitors that were bought by Dell, Apple, Motorola, and others.
Batman sues Batman over Batman
The mayor of Batman, Turkey, is suing Warner Bros. and The Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan for using the Cape Crusader's name without the city's permission.
Cassini Finds New Mysterious Infrared Aurora
An infrared camera aboard NASA's Cassini spacecraft has discovered a unique aurora lighting up Saturn's polar cap. The mysterious new aurora is unlike any other known in our solar system.
Is Apple Building A Search Engine?
We’ve received multiple (if thin) reports that Apple is working on a search engine of some sort.
This Christmas, OfficeMax’s ElfYourself.com Will Get a JibJab Twist
A year ago, one of the surprise holiday breakout hits on the Web was ElfYourself.com. It was a promotional viral video site created by OfficeMax that let people upload their pictures and create dancing elves that they could then send as e-cards to family and friends. ElfYourself turned out to be the fastest growing site last December, peaking at 39 million unique visitors in the U.S. (and attracting a total of 100 million unique visitors worldwide throughout the campaign).
Microsoft to take on Steam in battle of the digital distribution systems
Once again, Microsoft is jealous of another company’s success in a sector adjacent to their own, and is setting their crosshairs accordingly. Unfortunately this is one company that can’t be bought or properly imitated
VoiceCon: IT Will Revolutionize Health Care
During a keynote at VoiceCon, Kaiser Permanente's CIO said IT will play critical role in making health care more efficient, effective, and economical.
Best Buy Slammed By Drop In Consumer Spending
The consumer electronics retailer said the economic turmoil will cause same-store sales to fall up to 8% for the fiscal year, rather than the 2% to 3% growth it predicted.
SMB Exploit Took 7 Years To Fix, Security Pros Say
It has taken years and a few concept findings by hackers for Microsoft to finally patch its Server Message Block (SMB) vulnerability, but the point is that it's finally done, security experts say.
Growing waistline poses weighty risk to health
A major study confirms that a large waistline is strongly linked to an increased risk of premature death
DNA strands become fibre optic cables
Future computers that use light, not electricity, could be wired with modified DNA
Anti-virus vendors in scrap over flaws
Security company ISS has publicly blasted rival Trend Micro for not patching reported bugs in its enterprise-grade, server-side anti-virus software.
Microsoft upgrades software for small businesses
Microsoft has released an updated bundle of infrastructure servers for small business and its first-ever offering tailored to mid-sized businesses
Sony Xperia X1 Hitting Stores In November
The powerful Windows Mobile smartphone has Wi-Fi, 3G connectivity, and GPS, and will be sold unlocked for $799.
Microsoft's exploit predictions are right less than half the time
Microsoft Corp. today called its first month of predicting whether hackers will create exploit code for its bugs a success -- even though the company got its forecast right less than half the time.
F-Secure touts cloud-based security
Combining local and hosted solutions only way to tackle malware explosion
Apple may launch most aggressive Black Friday sale yet
With Black Friday sale information from rival PC vendors beginning to leak online, experts at Barclays Capital say they expect Apple to counter the promotions with a more aggressive than usual one-day sale, offering deep discounts on a number of Mac models.
sLife for Windows is Available
As you may recall sLife is a free application that you can use to monitor which applications you use on a regular basis, and then graph the usage on a pretty chart. Previously sLife 2.0 application was only available for Mac users, but after four months the Windows version has also been released.
BPL gets new lease on life as rural broadband solution
Rural broadband over powerline service might thrive, even as a footnote to urban and suburban wireline broadband. IBEC aims to spend $70 million to find out.
First impressions: Windows Live Home tries social networking
Microsoft has announced a revamp to Windows Live Home, and has outlined its strategy for tackling social networking. Ars played with an early beta of the update scheduled to be rolled out by year's end.
IEA's annual report paints grim picture of our energy future
Rising costs, shifting reserves, and bad policy are all going to make our energy future a rough one, according to the International Energy Agency.
iPhone Tethering Plan Could Cost $30 Per Month
Some iPhone owners were lucky enough to have grabbed NetShare from the iTunes Store before Apple buried it under a hill of bluster and lame excuses. The application let you share the iPhone's 3G connection with other devices via Wi-Fi
Barack Obama Uses a Mac
Here's an interesting factoid you probably didn't know about our tech-savvy president-elect: He's a Mac user, according to Telegraph, who compiled a list of 50 facts you might not know about Barack Obama. He's not an iPhone user, though.
Royal Navy Kills Two Pirates in First 'Fatal Shoot-Out in Living Memory'
For years, Somali pirates have terrorized the waters of East Africa, with only the occasional spasm of opposition. But now, NATO has begun to patrol the area in force. And the pirates are starting to get smacked back.
Google Predicts the Flu
If there's one Silicon Valley firm that's wildly creative it's Google. Sure Microsoft might make all encompassing OS's and miss few details, Nintendo may make intuitive gaming devices, and Apple may make the most chic portable electronics, but these companies fall short of Google in terms of sheer zaniness of some of their ideas.
BlackBerry Storm hits Verizon November 21st
Verizon early on Thursday finally committed to a final release date and price for its version of the BlackBerry Storm. Initially announced over a month ago, the first touchscreen phone from RIM will be available on November 21st through the carrier and is conspicuously priced at the same $200 contract price as Apple's iPhone from rival AT&T after factoring in a $50 rebate. The cost difference is effectively a trade-off as the device drops the 8GB of storage and full multi-touch display in favor of a 3.2-megapixel camera with video capture, a dual-format CDMA and GSM radio, microSDHC storage and a touchscreen that "clicks" to produce physical feedback.
DRAM output to shrink further in 1Q09
DRAM makers have been cutting back their production since September 2008, and a new round of major reduction in their output is expected to kick off at the beginning of next year, according to industry sources
WiFi security vendors buttress products against WPA crack
The three leading makers of WiFi intrusion-protection software—designed to detect when bad things are happening to good wireless LANs—say their software can or will detect the attack outlined by researchers Eric Tews and Martin Beck. (See "Battered, but not broken: understanding the WPA crack.")
How to tell if your cat is plotting to kill you
Banks Boost Customer Fees to Record Highs
Banks are responding to the troubled economy by jacking up fees on their checking accounts to record amounts.
Treating Cancer With Nanoparticles
Journalists sometimes joke that the ideal headline for a science story would be something like “Black holes cure cancer”. Sadly, it will never happen. “Nanotechnology cures cancer”, though, is a pretty good runner-up, and that might just turn out to be tru
Hard Times, But Big Wall Street Bonuses
It's no secret that investment bankers are well-compensated, mostly through year-end bonuses, especially during bull markets. But can they still count on those big bonuses this year, in the midst of the financial crisis and market freefall?
Doctors say marrow transplant may have cured AIDS
An American man who suffered from AIDS appears to have been cured of the disease 20 months after receiving a targeted bone marrow transplant normally used to fight leukemia, his doctors said Wednesday.
Wal-Mart’s 3Q Profit Rises 10 Percent
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. reported a 10 percent increase in third-quarter profit as the world's largest retailer's renewed focus on low prices is attracting financially squeezed shoppers around the world.
Oil hits 22-month low below $55, demand sinks
Oil dropped to a 22-month low under $55 on Thursday as evidence piled up global recession would have a deep impact on demand and news OPEC might take more emergency action did only a little to halt the sell-off.
Korean geniuses invent lithium batteries with eight times the juice
Professor Cho Jae-Phil and his team at Hanyang University have replaced the graphite in lithium batteries with a certain kind of silicon, which we're told can store eight times the power.