Public Moblog: Have You Seen This Scarf?

If you haven’t got a moblog yet, you’re way behind the times. And you’re not alone. I only just got around to starting my own moblog on TextAmerica. It’s pure silliness: I’ve set it up as a sort of scavenger hunt, with this month’s target being pictures of Burberry scarves or other accessories that seem to be all over Washington D.C. these days. For some reason they started to annoy me, so I thought it would be a good topic for a public moblog. You can see the pics at, and you can submit your own pics directly to weatherman.cirrus(at)

The Looming Menace of Robotic Vandals

Hektor is a robot that quite cleverly spraypaints huge facsimiles of the images or text that you feed it onto any flat surface that you put in front of it. Sorry, it’s not available for retail sale just yet, if ever, but the site’s text, images, and video are just fascinating for aspiring robot geeks. Via Gizmodo.

What The Web Looks Like For The Colorblind

I knew this color blind guy once — he wore a pink shirt, and I made light of it, since it was the kind of pink that one can only get by including a red t-shirt in with the whites. I felt terrible when he told me that he didn’t even know he was wearing a pink shirt because he was colorblind.

Well, if you want to know what living like him was like, or you want to tailor your website so it’s not completely unreadable by the colorblind, check out this handy color blindness compatibiltiy chart that lets you pick the color you want to use and then see what it looks like to those with Tritanopy or Deuteranomoly. Incidently, about 10% of all men are color blind in some way.

Disposable Email Addresses: Shouldn’t We Recycle?

Yahoo has introduced a new feature to their paid email services: disposable email addresses. Using your primary Yahoo account, you can create up to 500 one-time-use email addresses that will work until you shut them down. In other words, if you don’t like giving your real Yahoo ID or email address out because you’re worried about spam, you can create a new one that will forward messages to your real acount until you decide to pull the plug.

I suppose it’s a handy tool, but since it’s only available with Yahoo’s paid service it has little impact on most users who, like me, don’t pay for Yahoo and instead suffer more than 100 spams a day.

Control Robots With Your BT Phone

Check out this cool little app called BlueControl that allows you to configure different programs on your PC to be controlled from a Bluetooth enabled phone such as the Sony Ericsson T68 or T610. It’s so flexible it can actually be set up to use the joystick on one of these phones as a joystick for the PC, including for controlling Lego Mindstorms creations.

Dedicated TiVo Hard Drives

Our pals at (Hey Michael, Hey Jeff) now carry the Maxtor QuickView hard drives for TiVo upgrading. Previously, these drives were only available to makers of DVRs (they’re in 70% of all DVRs on the market), but now Weaknees is selling them directly to you. These drives are optimized for use in digital video recorders. They’re cooler and quieter than regular desktop drives, and have been engineered with A/V streaming in mind.

Weaknees upgrade kits are awesome because they come fully-prepped for your model TiVo. No need to mess with drive formatting, partitioning, etc. Just slam these babies in and you’re good to go. Schweet.

Lilliputian Hard Drives

Toshiba showed off (if you got really, REALLY close) a fingertip-size HD at this year’s CES. The disk drive measures only 5 x 24 x 32 mm and weighs 10 g. It runs at 3600 rpm. The drive will first be available in 2GB and 4GB sizes and will be targeted at the phone and handheld markets. No word on whether it makes teeny-tiny spin-up/spin-down sounds.

Early Adopters Portal

Are other people here aware of the Early Adopter pages on Amazon? I wasn’t until Kevin Kelly pointed them out in his Cool Tools mailing list last year. Now I love keeping track of what pops up here. This main page links to pages for Electronics, PDAs, Tools, Cameras, Computers, and more.

Confusion in the Marketplace? Not From MikeRoweSoft

Not that you really need another reason to think that Microsoft is a mean, giant, rich corporate bully, but the point is only proven by Microsoft’s recent campaign to force 17 year-old Michael Rowe to give up his website (where he does web design and other “soft” sort of things) which he calls MikeRoweSoft. Microsoft has sent young Mr. Rowe several letters demanding that he give up the name because people might be confused (a central argument for trademark violations) between his web design services and Microsoft’s Front Page web authoring tool. Microsoft initially offered to settle with Mr. Rowe for $10, but when he refused that offer since it wouldn’t even cover the domain registration fee, the MS Meanies sent him a 25 page letter suggesting that he intended to blackurl them all along, which would give them some leverage in court.

Michael Rowe is now fighting them, and collecting donations from his website to fund his “legal defence [sic: he’s canadian].”