Archive for May, 2006

No Such Thing as Free Gas Online

In the latest blog post from SiteAdvisor, they look at the search term “free gas cards”, as gas prices increase, these type of search terms will be used more and more.

Many people turn to the Web for help and find plenty of sites offering “free gas cards” for $500, $1000, even $1,500. But it’s a search that could leave you with computer indigestion. In fact, search Google for “free gas” and your screen will be inundated with unsafe results. Six out of twenty first page results link to red sites for this recent search for “free gas.” And five of the top eight sponsored links go to red rated sites.

First, many free product sites use the allure of the “free offer” to encourage unsuspecting consumers to divulge their e-mail addresses. Once submitted, the address is provided to advertisers who inundate users’ inboxes with solicitations. We know because we’ve signed up at each of these sites with unique, one-time-use e-mail addresses, then tracked the results.

Some consumers might accept an inbox full of spammy e-mail in exchange for $500 or $1000 in gas coupons. But the unfortunate truth is that the vast majority of consumers will never successfully complete the requirements to collect the gas card. Source: Fill’er up with Spammy Email

In the example they use, the website shopherefree.net, never actually lets you get to the point where you can claim your free gas card. They jumped through all of the hoops they could, and still did not get to the point where they could get their gas card, what happened you ask? When they clicked “Click Here (to) complete the sponsor’s requirement”, the website forwarded them to Everyfreegift.com and an affiliate offer where, you guessed it, you have to fill in your email address and complete some more “offers” where you have to jump through hoops to get a gas card. One site, brandsurveypanel.com, spammed the email address they signed up with, with 361 emails a week!

No thanks, I think I’ll stick to actually paying for my gas, even though my Dodge Ram loves it, I think I’ll be happier this way.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - May 25, 2006 at 2:17 pm

Categories: Security, Tech News   Tags:

Printing Mailbox and Presto Services

Do you have family members who live far away but want to see your pictures, and they can’t or don’t know how to get online? Presto Services Inc and HP are looking to fix that problem for you this fall. All you need is the Printing Mailbox inkjet printer from HP and a phone line to plug into it. The printer doesn’t actually need an internet connection, but it does need to download email, email you send to it with the pictures you want to send them.

Are you hooked on e-mail but your parents aren’t? Do they want to see photos of their grandchildren but aren’t up to using a computer much?

Presto Services Inc., a Mountain View-based startup, plans to announce details Tuesday of a service that allows baby boomers and their parents to stay digitally connected without both needing a computer.

Instead, the less-tech savvy recipient would only need a special inkjet printer designed to receive and print out the sender’s e-mails of text or photos ? similar to a fax machine. The printer would have to be hooked up to a phone line but wouldn’t need a special Internet connection. It only receives e-mail and cannot send anything back. Source: Yahoo.com

The only thing that could cause problems is when they run out of ink, or refilling the paper. They are aiming for a pretty simple setup, where you plug a phone line into it, and the more tech savvy person would actually setup the account. You can send pictures or regular text emails, much like a fax machine. No pricing information has been released, but that will be the big sticking point, if you only send a few emails to them a year, say around the holidays, you certainly wont want to pay a monthly fee.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - May 23, 2006 at 3:30 pm

Categories: Tech News   Tags:

Repairing Windows XP with Six Simple Commands

okay, just realized I had dugg an article earlier that had the same information from Information weeks Fred Langa, here. Changing links in the blog to point to that article instead.

Article describing how to repair Windows XP when your PC is inaccessible from the standard boot procedures, and you have to use the recovery console as your last resort!

Nice rundown of what to do when you experience some of these Windows boot errors. Uses the BOOTCFG /Rebuild to rebuild the boot.ini and the Fixboot command to write the new boot sector. Written by a guy who worked at Bestbuy and saw many of these Windows errors and wanted a better way to fix them than doing a system restore.

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt.

Windows NT could not start because the below file is missing or corrupt: C:\WINNT\System32\Ntoskrnl.exe

Windows NT could not start because the below file is missing or corrupt: C:\WINNT\System32\HAL.dll

NTLDR is Missing
Press any key to restart

Invalid boot.ini
Press any key to restart

In short the commands are
Boot from your XP Setup CD and enter the Recovery Console
attrib -H -R -S boot.ini
del boot.ini
bootcfg /Rebuild
chkdsk /R /F
fixboot

And these are all run at the c prompt c:\>
read more

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - at 12:20 pm

Categories: Windows XP   Tags:

Everyone Seeing X-Men This Weekend

Over at ign.com they are saying to stay in your seats when the credits are rolling, as there is a 30 second scene you will miss if you don’t. They say it’s something you won’t expect and it will be one of the more talked about scenes in the movie.

I say it’s a scene about Wolverine and possibly a preview of him in his own flick. But, that’s just me hoping. :)

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - at 10:13 am

Categories: Ramblings   Tags:

Top Tech News

Here are the top tech news articles from Topix.net.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - at 9:33 am

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Top News Stories

Here are the top news stories from Topix.net, a news website listing links to newspapers, ap, and other news sources. This listing may be up to six hours old.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - at 9:28 am

Categories: Ramblings, Tech News   Tags:

Microsoft, Lenovo Launch ‘Pay As You Go’ Computer

Microsoft Corp. and Chinese-based computer maker Lenovo said Monday they will launch market trials for pay-as-you-go purchases of computers in China and India. Consumers will be able to purchase a Lenovo PC for about half its retail price and pay off the balance over time by purchasing pre-paid cards from Lenovo.

Much like the pre paid phones of today, with the exception that the pc’s will eventually be paid off and the pre paid cards will no longer need to be purchased. This is a fantastic idea, and will hopefully help people who really can’t afford it to get a computer and get online.

read more | digg story

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - at 8:41 am

Categories: Microsoft News, Tech News   Tags:

Web Development Cheat Sheets and More

A nice assortment of cheat sheets for web developers/designers, including CSS, PHP, MySQL, Ruby on Rails, and more! This is a nice list, includes things like mod rewrite, html code and more.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - at 8:39 am

Categories: MySQL   Tags:

Mirror Your Web Site With rsync

This tutorial shows how you can mirror your web site from your main web server to a backup server that can take over if the main server fails. We use the tool rsync for this, and we make it run through a cron job that checks every x minutes if there is something to update on the mirror.
Sorry, post for me, didn’t want to forget to check this out.
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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - May 22, 2006 at 3:08 pm

Categories: Ramblings   Tags:

MySQL Cheat Sheet

A fantastic quick reference sheet for when you are working with MySQL from the command line.

Not a huge list of commands, but enough to get me started breaking stuff.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - May 18, 2006 at 12:52 pm

Categories: MySQL   Tags:

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