How to tAME the cAPS-Lock key

Caps-lockDon’t you think the Caps Lock key is a pain in the brass razoo.  I certainly do, so much so, for several months, I pryed the key cap off and put it aside.  I never once missed it.  The key still worked but needed extra poking to activate it.

Another solution is supplied by the Four-Eyed Journal in an article How to Tame the Caps Lock key  This highlighted an existing feature in Windows XP (and probably Vista) which makes a beep whenever the Caps-lock, Num-lock or Scroll-lock keys are accidentally hit, which is twice in every hour.  It is setup under Control Panel | Accessibility Options and it is the Toggle Keys setting on the Keyboard tab.  To activate/deactivate it, hold Num-Lock down for 5 seconds.

Can I put my Caps Lock key back now.  Note that earlier keyboards had a led to show it is active.  Personally I would like to see it moved to some other part of the keyboard.  Like QWERTY, which was designed to slow the keyboard operator down to stop the levers becoming crossed up in a typewriter, this too is an old vestage of a bygone era.

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Click to Activate and use this Control

Click to activate EolasIn April 2006, Microsoft were forced to make a change on how Internet Explorer and Firefox handled embedded controls used on some web pages. Most sites required users to “click to activate” before they could interact with the control.  In November 2007, Microsoft licensed the technologies from Eolas, removing  the “click to activate” requirement in Internet Explorer. Because of this, Microsoft were able to remove the “click to activate” behavior from Internet Explorer!

It was decided that this process would take place during April 2008 during one of its weekly Hotfix’s.  See the Microsoft IEBlog page for further technical discussion.  So for two years whenever anyone wanted to view a Flash presentation or a YouTube Video, you always had to click twice, once to obtain focus to the control, and once to actually open it.  For 23 months of that time, I like the other billion users simply got used to it, but I became a little bitter in the last few weeks, then all of a sudden it’s not there anymore.  Yeah Bliss… We now only need to single click to open a video.  And all because one company Eolas licenced technology which meant we needed to do this goddamn useless double-click.  That’s right inconvenience 80% of the Internet community (a billion people) simply to honour a company patent.  Normally Microsoft would have just purchased the company.  The story covered here highlights the problem quite succinctly.  This could well be the most ridiculous fiasco that has occurred with Microsoft on the Internet.  It’s enough to make anyone…SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEM!!!

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Two of a Kind twins

Have you seen or heard anything like it?This is an amazing and incredible story.  Two identical twins from Queensland, Paula and Bridgette Powers with perfectly identical personalities and NEVER leave each others side. These twins think and speak exactly in unison with each other.  Each knows what the other is saying and finishes each others sentences precisely and in sync.  They take care of wounded Marine Animals through their Rescue Service.  They appeared on A Current Affair in October 2007 and now in Jenny Brockie’s Insight Program on SBS with the Video at SBS Video and the story at SBS Story.

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Facebook security loophole warning

Facebook Social NetworkingFacebook is designed by Mark Zuckerburg and has always had mud slung at it from users who considered that their privacy issues may be compromised.  It is quite easy to see that anyone can setup an account and access personal information about users.  In fact with new advances in Web tools, one could easily search on user information for “identity theft” and “cyber-stalking“.  So, it is extremely important especially for young users (Facebook demographic is predominantly 16 year old girls) take care to ensure their private information is not posted in user profiles.  It is possible for example to link birthdate details and names and search electoral rolls database on the internet for other information and build up a profile of either yourself, friend or relative, then open a bank account from that data.

Sydney Morning Herald press release explains the problem and what steps to take to minimise the problem.  At last Mark Zuckerburg and his team have recently made much needed privacy enhancements which should ensure a marked improvement.  IF ONLY users would check the new Privacy dialog in their accounts.  Facebook has now in excess of 60 million users and growing rapidly, soon overtaking MySpace.

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Nuclear dump: family seeks answers on deaths

Radiation logoAt least five deaths have been attributed to an old watch factory site at Hunters Hill, Sydney.  Thirty years ago, the factory was dismantled and houses were build next to the site (not on the site itself which has been allowed to overgrow with vegitation) and any radioactive waste was buried on the site.  This has been known by authorities all this time, yet authorities have continued to say the level of radiation to be below the health safety requirements.

People can become quite agitated about radioactivity and rightly so as Uranium-238 has a half life of 23 billion years, essentially meaning it will never breakdown.  However governments and councils have been able to pull the wool over people’s eyes by saying that radioactive waste radiation from the plot of land was well below “safe levels”.  However independent tests made by scientists, sponsored by the Daily Telegraph newspaper show the levels to be 20 times over the limit.  This is especially the case when taking samples several centimetres into the top soil.  Deaths were likely caused by eating vegetables grown near the site.

American scientists performed tests at ground zero in Hiroshima and Nagasaki immediately after the atmospheric Atomic bomb explosions in 1945, and apart from the people caught up in the initial blast up to 300 metres from the hyoercentre, there was little evidence of radiation sickness from ground contamination (heard that lately).  Though Cancer patients were plentiful up to 1950, increasing the death toll to double.  Radioactive dust was swept into the atmosphere where it remained for some years, just like Chernobyl, Woomera and Three Mile Island.

Further information about Cover-ups are at the Anti-Nuclear website.  If asked about radiation, STALL!  Will we EVER reach a point in civilisation where there are are no more cover-ups.  It seems highly unlikely!  Erin Brockovich where are you?

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New Spam webpages found every 3 seconds

You have mailSophos experts note that the rate at which new spam-related webpages are being created is particularly worrying for businesses, and all organisations must ensure that their spam filters are up to date and able to defend against the latest threats. By inserting weblinks into their messages, spammers are hoping to avoid less sophisticated filters and trick unwary computer users into visiting the webpage and subsequently infecting their PCs.

The top eight spam-relaying countries are as follows:
United States 15%
Russia 7%
Turkey 5%
China 5%
Brazil 4%
South Korea 4%
Poland 4%
Italy 4%
Others 52%

Spam emails now take up 93% of all email sent.  However there is no figure for the amount actually received in the Inbox as some companies do in fact filter a lot of this out, but nowhere near enough!

Kate Carruthers has an interesing post regarding the security risk of email.

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Japanese Whalers obtain only half their quota

Activists from Greenpeace Japan meet the whaling factory ship Nisshin Maru with a banner saying FAILEDJapanese Institute of Cetacean Research are annoyed that they only killed half their quota in Minke whales (551) due to interference from two protest boats “Steve Irwin” from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and the “Esperanza” from Greenpeace International.  As well the Oceanic Viking sent by the Australian Government took video and photographic evidence of the whale slaughter, during which time the whaling ships had to curtail their activity.  Naturally this would annoy the Japanese Government who fund the whale cull each year between January and April in the Australian Southern Atlantic Territory and potentially risk trade alliances between Australia and Japan.

On the 13th March, there was an exchange of projectiles when Steve Irwin made a port side pass of the Nisshin Maru. From their own video, it is clear that Coast Watch crew fired off a lobby of flare projectiles over the bridge of Steve Irwin. Then some of the Steve Irwin crew threw bottle grenades at the decks of Nisshin Maru, containing rancid butter, designed  to slow whaling activity.  The Japanese crew said that this was Butyric Acid which hit three crew members, which at the very least give an upset tummy, but this is open to debate as no crew member on either ship apparently required hospitalisation.  Paul Watson and some other crew from Sea Shepherd had air rifle pellets removed from their coats, one of which superficially cut into Paul’s skin.

It is interesting to note the language used on the Cetacean Research website – “Escalation of Violent Attacks by Terrorists”,  “Greenpeace risk lives doing dangerous publicity stunts”. Piracy Attacks.  Whoa such strong language and quite blown out of proportion.

The whale debate now moves to Santiago, Chile where the International Whaling Commission has its annual meeting in June 2008.  There is one new country which will definitely be supporting the anti-whaling lobby, and should help swing the vote AGAINST Japan continuing its whale cull for unnecessary research.  However it remains to be seen if Japan continue to defy I.W.C directives, as they have done for years.

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