Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

I have been having trouble with my internet connection lately. Over the
past couple of weeks internet would come and go on my asus
build windows 7 machine that is my personal computer. It culminated with my
losing internet yesterday for three to four hours. Over the previous
weeks all I had to do was a simple reboot to regain internet. Very
annoying but a simple fix. Yesterday was a totally different matter. I
must have rebooted a dozen times or more trying to reconnect. Thinking
that I might have a hardware issue I went up to a storage building and
carried in a box of network cards. Surely one of these would fix my
problem. After no luck there I decided to try a wireless card and still
will not connect to the internet. It would however connect to the
network. So I then knew it had to be a software issue but where would I
begin to look. I With the wireless card still in place and connected to
the network but no internet I once again ran network diagnostics. This
time it came up with a named error. Now we might just be getting
somewhere. I found out I had a 651 error. We might just be getting
somewhere but where I did not know. It was time to leave that machine
and jump onto my laptop. After some diligent searching and reading I
found some information and a list of  possible culprits.
* The raspppoe.sys file has become
corrupted. RASPPPOE.sys is an acronym for Remote Access Service Point-to-Point
Protocol over Ethernet. This is a windows driver that many broadband
service providers use for authentication when connecting to the
internet through a broadband modem.

* Possible problems with the Local Area
(LAN) card driver.

* There may be a conflict with the modem
driver and
your operating system.

I felt confident the latter two were not the problem. So lets see what
we can do with the raspppoe.sys file. What I then found out was you
need to replace this Windows 7 driver with the same driver but from a
windows Vista machine. Armed with this knowledge I then found the
needed raspppoe.sys file. I am placing a link to it below
so you will not need to do your own search. You will need an unzipping program like
win rar to open the file though. To make this fix you will need to be
in administrator mode (something I strongly urge you not to do for
normal surfing, work and play). You will most likely need to be able to
view hidden files and folders. To do this you will again need to be in
an administrator account. Then:


Open Folder Options
by clicking the
Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel,
clicking Appearance and Personalization, and then clicking Folder


Click the View tab.


Under Advanced
settings, click Show
hidden files, folders, and drives, and then click OK.

Once we have this done we can begin our search for the raspppoe.sys
file. The full path there is C:/Windows/System32/drivers. Once I found
the raspppoe.sys file I attempted to rename it and even with me in
admin mode it refused to allow that so I made a copy of it. and placed
it in a new folder that I named old-raspppoe.sys. I then pasted the
vista version of the raspppoe.sys file  into my drivers folder.
It was at this point I saw that my back up was a mute point as one of my
options was to paste the new file in place and rename the old file
raspppoe (2).sys. No problem there. I backed out of the folder, then
closed all my open pages and rebooted my computer. This time I was all
hooked up. Sweet! I shut her down one more time, removed the wireless
card and pci  NIC, placed the cover back on and booted her up.
Everything was back to normal with only the piles of pulled out hair to
be swept up, LOL. I hope this helps if you run into the same problems with your win 7 machine.

Would you knowingly eat meat that came from cloned animals? In a recent decision by the US Food and Drug Administration not only have they declared it to be safe but they also declared that no warning labels need be used either. The agency decided that no labeling is necessary for meat or milk from cloned cows, pigs, or goats or their offspring. (Ironically the FDA didn’t include cloned sheep in the announcement, claiming a lack of data, though the very first cloned animal was a sheep named Dolly.)
Now, will people buy it? Consumer anxiety about cloning is serious enough that several major food companies, including the big dairy producer Dean Foods Co. and Smithfield Foods Inc., say they aren’t planning to sell products from cloned animals. It is not too likely that we will have actual cloned meat for sale in your local supermarket. At 10 – 20 grand per cloned cow it is highly unlikely that they will be slaughtering these animals. But they will be breeding them and perhaps milking them very soon.
My question to you is – How do you feel about the subject of cloned animals and their products being sold unlabeled? The FDA noted that their focus groups and other public input indicated that about 1/3 of US citizens do not want food from cloned animals under any circumstances; another 1/3 have no objections; and the other 1/3 fall somewhere in between.

When the Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1970 during Richard Nixon‘s administration, its aim was well-defined: protect human health and the environment.

In its action last week deflecting state attempts to impose tough greenhouse gas emission standards on motor vehicles, the EPA is acting more like the Polluter Protection Agency, defending the interests of the oil and auto industries rather than those of the public.California, and 15 other states, filed suit on the second of January 2008 against the Environmental Protection Agency for rejecting its plan to limit greenhouse gases on cars, trucks, and SUVs. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said the Bush administration is “ignoring the will of millions” by ruling that Congress’ recent boost in fuel-efficiency standards makes California‘s own emissions law unnecessary. The 1970 Clean Air Act allows states to set their own emission rules if they receive a waiver from the feds; the EPA refused on Dec. 19 to grant California’s request. California Attorney General Jerry Brown called the denial “shocking in its incoherence and utter failure to provide legal justification for the administrator’s unprecedented action”. The EPA has done nothing to curb greenhouse gases despite a Supreme Court ruling that requires them to treat greenhouse gases as a pollutant and therefor a threat to our air.

Twelve other states – Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington – have adopted California’s emissions standards, and others have said they plan to do so. The 12 states, along with Arizona, Delaware and Illinois, said Wednesday that they plan to intervene in support of California.

It was the first time the EPA had fully denied California a waiver under the Clean Air Act . The EPA’s decision was a victory for automakers, who had argued they would be forced to reduce their selection of vehicles and raise prices in states that adopted California’s standards. California’s air board is reviewing other measures it could impose on automobile manufacturers if the lawsuit fails or delays the state’s regulations from taking effect.

There is a new search engine on the block and it?s name is Spock. This search engine is for looking up people. Be it a famous person like an actor or major league ball player or something simple like your high school buddy or sweetheart.

Spock makes use tags for searching. They make up the way you search and how members can add to searches. Tags are simply bits of information about a person. If you wanted to add yourself to Spock then you could add your profession, your blog name, any awards you have, home town, etc. These identifying words are tags.

Another popular way of searching is to search by category. This could be helpful to bloggers looking for work. Try searching for on line advertising. You could also do searches for politicians. Either local or national politicians can be searched for and perhaps turn up things in their past or ways they have voted that will turn you against or for a certain candidate With the price of a vote being so terribly cheap you may want to keep a check on all your local representatives using Spock.

Spock is not a social engineering site like My Space etc they do have some capabilities like messaging. I was astonished to find me come up as the number one entry when I typed my name in the search box. Pretty eerie actually. But pretty cool at the same time. I also tried it out searching for Jessica Simpson and got the results. you see below.

This search engine can be used for many reasons. Yes you can find friends and catch up on the latest news about celebrities and politicians. You can also help yourself by joining, adding yourself and then add your blog, website, anything you may be doing on the internet be it selling, looking for work, etc.

??? A provision in the energy bill that was passed by Congress and signed into law by by President Bush is a law that will bar US stores from selling inefficient?incandescent light bulbs. The light bulb as invented by Thomas Edison has made very few changes since the late 1800′s. Now to say that Edison actually invented the light bulb is wrong he figured out how to make it practical.
Anyhow the new law will force everyone to use more efficient forms of lighting. For all intents and purposes though the?
incandescent bulb is soon to be a thing of the past. After 2012 the selling of inefficient incandescent light bulbs will be against the law in the United States. The European Union? and Australia have already decided to ditch the inefficient bulbs in the not too distant future. Australia is the worlds first to outlaw incandescent light bulbs in favor of the more “fuel-efficient, compact fluorescent bulb. This is a great step for our US government but still not enough. This will help some as the savings on electricity alone will mean that we burn less coal to make electricity as the average compact fluorescent burns only 20% of what the same rated incandescent bulb does. Replacing all of our lighting with bulbs of this efficiency will reduce the need for new power plants or the ones we have running at peak operations.
We need to?
follow Australians example though and commit to reducing greenhouse gases. Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s environment minister says that they intend to “cut Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by four million metric tonnes a year by 2015.” Citing the “climate changes” the world is facing as a “global challenge,” Turnbell also urged other nations to follow suit in making a difference. What a difference between the Aussies and us in our attitude towards global warming. In the US our very own EPA that is charged with protecting the environment is doing nothing to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases?emitted by our power plants and other industry. Even after a court order they still have not acted. A quick look at their website will show you nothing about reducing greenhouse gases for industry but at least they are working on reducing it from vehicles which comprise the increase of vehicles mileage figures to 35 mpg and the use of renewable fuel up to 36 billion gallons. Actually they did nothing but take claim to be doing something because all of this is covered in the new energy law. Right now it is cheaper for the coal burning power plants to take no action to retrofit their plants with clean coal technologies and wait to see if the EPA decides to fine them or not. In the mean time they are belching tons of carbon dioxide every day. And unfortunately I am afraid this will continue until enough of us vote into office, people who really care about the environment and their constituents who are down wind of the plants in question and have to breath their pollution everyday.

You like our family has probably been hit pretty hard by the gas prices at the pump nowadays. Sadly to say there is no relief in sight and gas prices are expected to go up higher as the price of oil approaches $100 a barrel. The price now is about $80 per barrel but no one expects those prices to go any lower any time soon.
There may not be any relief at the pump but there may be a relief in the cars we drive and their ability to squeeze out every drop of gasoline into our miles per gallon.
Last month California based Apetra let out word of its allegedly super fuel-efficient (and cheap) Typ-1 electric vehicle. A video test drive and gee-whiz specs breakdown at the Popular Mechanics site proves that this thing is for real. The plan is to have a vehicle that goes 120 miles on a single lithium-phosphate pack charge for 2008, with a 300-mpg model to follow by 2009. Aptera is also mentioned in Wired’s new cover story as one of several early front-runners for the Automotive X Prize.”
The vehicle three wheeled with one wheel in the back and two up front. and weighs in at approximately 1480 pounds. This model is a two seater but there are plans in the works to start building a 5 seat car with 4 wheels. The Typ-1 is constructed from advanced composite materials, with steel reinforcements in critical areas. Being able to go 120 miles on a single charge of the vehicles battery or get 300 miles to the gallon is great and is enhanced by the vehicles way cool space age design.
I remember back in the 80′s when Mother Earth News headquarters were right outside of Hendersonville North Carolina and visiting their site and viewing the 3 wheeler they made that if I recall correctly was getting about 120 miles to the gallon. They also had a hybrid car they had made themselves from an old Renault I think it was. My biggest question to the big auto makers is if they had done it back then and got those types of mileage figures, Why can’t the big auto makers, and why are we still stuck with mileage figures so low. I don’t know if it is collusion between them and the oil companies or not. Maybe some of the top executives hold oil stock.
Anyway this is great news that someone is finally putting out a vehicle that can get tremendous mileage figures like the Apetra is claiming. The big auto makers don’t sell anything that is remotely close to those figures. Hopefully startups like this will put pressure on them to try harder. Even with the hybrids they are selling the best figure I have seen was about 60 mpg and that is about half of what was obtained by basically garage tinkerers in the 80′s. It is high time they caught up.

This is pretty cool. Nothing like this was going on when I was in the army. The US Army has set up a project office just for building video games. The military has been training troops for decades now with video games. But this is the first wing of the armed forces dedicated exclusively for gaming. One of the first projects: a tool kit that would let soldiers “build and customize their own training scenarios ? just like the Marines’ did, adapting “Armed Assault” for military purposes. The marines pioneered this concept with its “Virtual Battlespace 2” or its “Marine Doom“.

The army is not about to start handing out copies of doom or unreal tournament to the troops. ?I haven?t seen a game built for the entertainment industry that fills a training gap,? said Col. Jack Millar, director of the service?s Training and Doctrine Command?s (TRADOC) Project Office for Gaming, or TPO Gaming. Instead, the new office — part of the Army’s Kansas-based National Simulation Center — will focus on using video game graphics to make those dull military simulations more realistic, and better-looking.

TPO Gaming, the ones who handled the army’s first foray into the field,”America’s Army” that was heavily used to recruit potential soldiers, Will also be starting work on a tool kit that will let soldiers build and customize their own training scenarios without waiting for a contractor to do it for them. The Americas Army” game proved so popular it became a military training tool. The Army has also poured millions into the Institute for Creative Technologies at the University of Southern California, to use Hollywood know-how to develop next-gen sims. But while some military offices encourage video game development, others are looking to crack down on the games troops play. We’ll have to see how this one plays out in the future. It looks as if tomorrows soldier will be a high tech one.

I may have to do a follow up to this one with the Marines approach to simulations.

In an article by PC World they report that hackers have gained access to computers at two of the most important science laboratory in the US. The two labs involved are the famous labs of Los Alamos and the Oak Ridge facility. The Oak Ridge facility had a data base of visitors, including social security numbers accessed. The data base went back to 1990 – 2004. With annual visitors running around 3,000 scientists this is potentially a huge mistake.

I told you that to tell you this. The attacks were via phishing type emails with attachments. I want to remind each and everyone of you to never ever under any circumstances open an attachment from someone you do not know. And even if it is from your best friend in the world do not open the attachment if you were not expecting it. They could have accidentally picked up a virus and be spreading it unknowingly. I do not even open unsolicited emails from people I do not know. Some emails can have trackers coded into them that lets the sender know that the address is indeed a active account and therefor marketable. Getting you even more spam. Never ever answer any spam. I tried chasing down the routes email was sent to me and requesting I be removed from their lists with no real success. Mostly I only verified my email account was active and being used so they could send me even more spam. If you do open any of these emails don’t click the links. Especially if you are using Internet Explorer. It still has vulnerabilities and can be attacked by malicious code. Now that doesn’t mean that it is perfectly safe to visit these sites with Firefox as there may be an unaddressed vulnerabilities in it that no one but the hackers know of yet. Nothing is fool proof for a sufficiently talented fool.

If you ebay I would also advise you to have separate accounts for your ebay and paypal emails to come into. Accounts that you do not give out the address. Use an address specifically for them and a separate account to receive your regular mail in. If you have a separate account for your ebay and paypal address, then anything that comes into your main account claiming to be from ebay or paypal you know is a phishing scheme. Even if the email comes to your ebay or paypal email account be dubious of any mails that arrive there claiming to be from them. Never ever click on any links in emails like that. Type the URL into the address bar or use a link from your bookmarks (favorites if you use IE) And If you feel you absolutely must fill out the so called contests or other marketing plows that are asking for your email address then you should have a third account for that that you can throw away once the volume of mail becomes unwieldy.

I don’t know if you have heard of it or not but there is an organization formed to bring technology to all the children in the world. It is called One Laptop Per Child (OLPC). They had a target price of 100 dollars per laptop but this was not feasible. They have managed to put them out for $200 though. Still well below the typical $500 or more for a conventional laptop. They are currently running a special through their website. Give one get one. What this does is to get you a laptop and give one to a child in a third world country. This offer is only good in the US and Canada. And runs until December 31. You get a laptop and a tax deduction of 200 dollars. And at the same time help out a needy child. These are rugged, waterproof laptops designed for children, and run a version of Linux that is easy to navigate. Children pick up on it very fast.

Mayor Larry Langford of Birmingham Alabama, announced Monday, that city schools will be the first in the nation to get these laptops for all students between grades one and eight. “We live in a digital age, so it is important that all our children have equal access to technology and are able to integrate it into all aspects of their lives,” Langford said. “We are proud that Birmingham is on its way to eliminating the so-called `digital divide’ and to ensuring that our children have state-of-the-art tools for education. The city is buying 15,000 of these XO laptops. “Our students will have access to global thinking now,” said Birmingham schools Superintendent Stan Mims. “It becomes a tipping point in the digital divide.”

Mayor Langford brought back two demo computers from Boston and said a 3-year-old went up to him at a restaurant and began teaching him to use the computer. “Every child in this restaurant came up to me and within minutes, they were on Google surfing the Web,” he said.” These don’t run windows as most of us are used to but are supposed to be very user friendly as the stories of children picking up on them right away suggest. I think Birmingham has made an excellent decision here in getting these laptops. Hopefully we will begin seeing schools across the nation adopting them.

Those of you who know me, know that I am a advocate of free open source software and a big fan of Mozilla’s Firefox web browser. There is a new security update that you should download and install as soon as possible. Check your version. It should now be If you do not know how to check your version simply go to help on the Firefox tool bar and at the bottom of the drop down menu is “about”. That will tell you the current version you are running. If you don’t run Firefox consider changing from IE. The extra features that can be added with extensions will make you glad you did. Plus you will be safer on the web to boot.

Also Mozilla has rolled out a beta version of its Firefox 3.0 browser. The new version boasts added security and a host of new features – all of which it wants user feedback on while it’s in beta, before the final release. The way Firefox manages browsing history has also been revamped, and memory leakage issues are said to have been fixed.That has been my only gripe I have ever had with Firefox. When left open over several days it will use up a ton of resources. Mozilla hopes to have the final version ready sometime in 2008 – by which time they expect up to a half a million people to be testing the software. It may not be the time for everyone to jump onto the bandwagon as it is in beta still but as I understand it, it seems to be pretty much bug free. I have not made up my mind as to whether I will try out the beta or wait for the final release but if you are interested in trying it the download link is here.