Keys to the Kingdom

In this week’s Loose Wire Service column (which runs in print publications, more here), I write about those unsung heroes of productivity: programs that store globs of text for you so you don’t have to keep typing the same thing. Last time I talked about how the keyboard is often a quicker way to launch …

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My Favorite Christmas Present

  My favorite Christmas present    Originally uploaded by Loose Wire. It’s been a quiet but happy Christmas and I must confess I actually bought this for myself, but I love it: a small wind-up radio/torch. There’s not much call for the torch around here, but I love the sound, the feel and the low …

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Tight Angles at 30,000 Feet

I’m sure I’m not the first person to think that economy class seats are getting smaller. This is me trying to do some writing on my ThinkPad when the person in front had her seat in recline mode. Forget about it. It’s impossible to lift the screen any higher than this (it’s a Malaysian Airlines …

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The Power Thieves

Why must those of us trying to find a power outlet feel like thieves? I’m sitting here at KL International Airport at what seems like the only power outlet (found after asking an information officer who clearly had been asked before) in the place, between a vast Samsung TV blaring bad images of Turkey to …

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Breaking Down Resistance

Here’s a piece i missed from the International Herald Tribune by Phyllis Korkki that does a great job of looking at the problems that people increasingly face: technology. Not everyone likes it or understands it, and it’s not easy for them to find out how to do what they need to do. Here are a …

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More on Veronica and Fake Flirting

Courtesy of ABC Australia IT guru Paul Wallbank, the source of my chat with Veronica Sexy may have been discovered: an automated sex talk service called CyberLover.ru. Paul points to this story from Conor Sweeney of Moscow’s Reuters bureau: A Russian website called CyberLover.ru is advertising a software tool that, it says, can simulate flirtatious …

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Meet Veronica, Sexy Skype Spammer

Maybe this is commonplace for others, but I’ve just got my first sex-chat-spam on Skype. It’s from someone called Veronica Sexy, whose profile indicates that it’s unlikely to be someone I’ve met and just forgotten about (as if I would): Just in case you can’t read that last bit, it reads: can’t wait to get …

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Internet Radio in the Bedroom

  I’ve lately been looking for a way to listen to Internet radio away from my computer. This looks like a good, albeit somewhat expensive, answer: the WiFi Radio from Acoustic Energy (about S$600, that’s $415ish). The WiFi Radio connects to your router and stores more than 5,000 radio stations by country, updated each time …

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Phishing For a Scapegoat

It’s somewhat scary that more than 10 employees of a laboratory that works on security issues (including phishing) could fall for a phishing attack. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory, or ORNL, managed for the U.S. Department of Energy by UT-Battelle, works on science and technology involved in energy production and national security. In late October …

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The Inanities of the Visionary

I have a lot of respect for Doris Lessing but her recent remarks about the Internet reveal an ignorance and lack of understanding that is depressing and unbecoming of such a literary giant. Here’s what she said in her acceptance speech for the Nobel prize for literature: We never thought to ask how will our …

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