Should Peer-to-Peer Movie Pirates Be Punished?

Walking the Plank from Wikipedia
With all the hoopla over Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there’s another event happening this week that isn’t getting much attention. It begins today, when AT&T, Time Warner and other broadband providers are going to start enforcing their “Six-Strikes” approach to stopping illegal copies of movies, TV shows and other content from being downloaded from peer networking sites. Haven’t heard about this yet? Read on. My friend and supplier The Movie Pirate is worried. “What can they do to me?”… continue…

What I Learned from a Week in the 19th Century

Posted In Living in Tech
Nothing makes you appreciate technology more than riding out a hurricane. Even though I live some 60 miles from the Atlantic coast, the winds whipping through my corner of Pennsylvania were enough to knock out power to some 850,000 people. It was like a week in the 19th Century — no lights, no running water, no heat, no Internet and no cell service. You don’t really appreciate mobile devices until you can’t call anyone and there’s no weather service to… continue…

Samsung’s New Chromebook: A Low-Performing Bargain

Posted In Living in Tech
Samsung Chromebook
Google’s new Chromebook, manufactured by its trusty hardware partner Samsung, comes with a 11.6-inch, 1366 x 768 display, Samsung Exynos 5 Dual processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage space, VGA webcam, 2 USB ports, one HDMI port and a battery that can last 6.5 hours. The specifications are very decent, but the success of the device will ultimately depend on how many people are willing to spend money on a computer with a browser-based operating system. Although the offline capabilities of Google… continue…

Pandora Stock Dives on Apple Music Service Rumors

Posted In Living in Tech
Reports that Apple is preparing an Internet streaming-radio service fed a plunge in Pandora Media’s stock price Thursday — 9 percent to hit a record low of $7.50 before finishing the day at $8.20. That’s a far cry from the company’s $16 IPO price in June 2011. It might be premature to call 2012 Pandora’s annus horribilus, a lot can change over the next two months and 2013, when Apple’s music streaming service is expected to launch, could prove things… continue…

Crowdsourced Web Dev Help from

Webplatform Logo
What happens when you mix Opera with Adobe, Apple, Facebook, Google, HP, Microsoft, Mozilla and Nokia, then sprinkle a dash of of W3C on top? You get, a free one-stop-shopping site for information about Web development and standards, and is stewarded by leading tech companies and coordinated by W3C. The site is currently in alpha but already has a wiki, forums, chat and a blog. If you sign up now, you can immediately begin to contribute your expertise to… continue…

Storing Web Assets for Performance and Scale

Google App Engine
There are a lot of good cloud platforms out there, and it seems like more are popping up every day. When evaluating them, you need to understand what your real needs are and not simply pick one because it’s a well-known name. For example, if storage of Web assets is critical you should choose a platform that offers the best content delivery network at the best price. If such storage is not your primary concern, and a flexible set of… continue…

Irony: McAfee, Trust Guard Certifications Invite Trouble

These days it’s tough to find an online merchant that doesn’t display either a McAfee Secure or Trust Guard logo somewhere. The marks indicate that the websites undergo vigorous daily security scans. We consumers are then meant to feel safe to shop away in confidence that our credit card details won’t end up in the wrong hands. Now, a pair of security consultants is arguing that the programs may inadvertently place websites at greater risk. Unintended Consequences The problem isn’t… continue…

Love, Sex and C++: The Technology Behind OkCupid

Couple Has Fun in Bed from Bigstockphoto
Our subject today, OkCupid, is known as the dating destination where the cooler, cuter kids hang out. With 3.2 million active users and 7.1 million unique visitors each month, it’s touted for having a proprietary algorithm that results in a more compatible match. Somewhere between 50 and 75 percent of single, active Internet users have tried online dating. Each of the big dating sites like, Plenty of Fish and OkCupid has a distinct reputation, and OKCupid’s happy to be… continue…

Make Your Online Soccer Game More Realistic
Fantasy Football and online soccer management games have been around for years. There’s Soccer Manager, Online Soccer Manager, Trophy Manager and many others. At the heart of most of these games is the match engine software. This can drive everything from simple abstract playing to detailed kick-by-kick simulations. In all cases, the input is each team with individual player stats plus modifiers due to injuries. Now add formations and style of play, such as aggression to win more tackles but… continue…

How to Snare a Job at Level 3 Communications

Posted In Looking in Tech
Level 3 Communications Logo
Level 3 Communications is a multinational telecommunications and Internet service provider whose Tier 1 provides core transport, IP, voice, video and content delivery for most medium to large Internet carriers in the Americas and Europe. The Broomfield, Colo., company is also the largest competitive local exchange carrier in the nation. And it’s hiring. “We’re currently looking to fill about 350 technology-related positions globally. About 250 of those are U.S.-based,” says Laurinda Pang, the company’s chief Human Resources officer. Level 3′s looking… continue…