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iPhone Users List - End of Year Edition

As we are on the verge of a new year, there will be lots of technological innovations to look forward to in 2009. This week's iPhone tips come courtesy of iPhone Buzz and Mashable.

One of the things that could use some improving on most mobile phones is the camera. While the iPhone takes pretty good pictures (for a phone) some additional features, like zoom and flash, would be nice. USB Fever is now selling a variety of magnetic zoom lenses for the iPhone. For $16.99 each, I'd say they are definitely worth checking out.

To have a more productive 2009, Mashable reviews their list of the top 30 productivity apps for 2009.

That's all for now. Happy New Year!


Another Reason Why I like Physical Media

A few weeks ago, I mentioned how I love physical media and didn't think I would buy into digital media. Part of my fear is that someday the service will shut down and I won't be able to play/watch/listen to whatever I bought. This sort of thing happens already.

EA's download service* (through a company called Digital River) charges you an extra $6.99 for the privilege to download your game for up to two years. Two years!? Firstly, I feel it should be for a lifetime considering the amount of money companies save by not printing a manual, box, or discs. It's true they need bandwidth and storage space, but both of those are getting cheaper (especially storage). Generally these companies have a pretty beefy connection that they pay monthly for, regardless of bandwidth used anyway. Secondly, it's depressing to see them charging an extra $7 for only two years! I could almost understand if it was $7 for a lifetime, but still...

I can't tell you how many times I've dug up an old game to play for a bit, especially after two years. Plus, many people will upgrade their computer in the next two years - do you want to have to buy a game or movie again in two years just because you have a new computer? Heck no!

*Not all of EA's games are on Digital River, some are through Steam which does allow you to download your games for an indefinite amount of time. I think this is a must for digital content!



Laptops Outsell Desktops - First Time

Some interesting bit of news for this day after Christmas (aka, the new black friday). Laptops have outsold desktops world wide for the first time in history! Definitely speaks to going more portable since many people can do all they need on a laptop! No need for a big clunky desktop if you are not some hardcore gamer or something.

Hope everyone is having a safe and fun holiday season!

Next stop - New Years !



Inspiring Words for 2009

After a disappointing loss, Tim Tebow promises the Gator Nation that only good things will come out of it, and offers some very inspiring words along with it. Happy Holidays, here's to a great 2009! GO GATORS!


What's 'In-Store' for '09

via CPG Blog by Ashley Hedges on 12/22/08

As we round out 2008 and ring in the new year, here are a couple trends that will be hitting your store shelves in 2009.
1. Manufacturers are going nuts. Expect to see more and more products go 'naked' as they tout nuts and seeds as a main ingredient.
2. Take time to Relax.  First it was all about energy, now it's time to relax.  Get ready to see everyday staples from beverages, coffee and gum infused with ingredients that promise to calm and soothe your senses and deliver a relaxation effect.
3.   Just add water. In 2008 we started seeing companies downsize packaging as a way to cut costs and produce less waste for the environment.  Now they are taking it one step further and asking consumers to add their own water to cut down on the cost of transporting water.    More and more expect to see empty bottles with a liquid or powder concentrate and instructions that say 'Just add water.' 
4. You are what you eat.  A list of new foods and drinks promise a new way to look beautiful. Skin-beautifying antioxidants and nourishing ingredients such as biotin and zinc populate the ingredients list of new products from companies like Nestle and Masterfoods in 2009.   
5. Get Steamy.  Leave the pots and pans in the cabinet.  As we search for more hours in the day, microwave cook-in-bags are becoming a hot commodity.  This was a trend that has picked up 'steam' in the past few years and expect to see more new product launches in 2009.
6. Detox Diets.  After the holiays we'll all probably need a little detox regimen.  Stop in to your local supermarket and look for detox products that use liver-friendly ingredients such as Function Urban's Detox Goji Berry drink or Biore's Detoxify Daily Scrub.  The detox craze is intensifying now that celebrities like Oprah and Beyonce have jumped on the trend.
7. It's a Sweet Alternative. Move over Equal and Splenda and say hello to Stevia, the 'holy grail' of sweetners.  Rooted from a South American Stevia plant, the zero calorie sweetner is on its way to the U.S., pending approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  If approved, get ready to see the flood gates open across many of your favorite 'diet' and 'sugar-free' food items.
8. Are you eco-friendly? Everyone wants to do their part to make the environment safer.  With more product categories incorporating eco-friendly ingredients and processes, it will be easier for all of us to do our part.  Expect to see more eco-friendly products ranging from the baby care to personal care and beauty categories in the next year.
9. Flower Power.  Don't be shocked if your favorite sparkling beverage includes a hint of refreshing hibiscus or your candy bar is infused with lavender-jalapeno flavor.  In the coming year, more and more manufacturers will start infusing floral flavors into new food and drink products.  
10.  Nourish the Brain.  We can always strive to be a little smarter and now getting smarter might be as easy as reading what's on the label.  Look for more manufacturers to tout ingredients that are good for your brain and more mentions of the word brain on product packaging. One example in the U.S. includes Kellogg's Live Bright Brain Health Bar.
Posted by Ashley Hedges, Account Planner - Consumer Packaged Goods



iPhone Users List - Holiday Edition

This week's iPhone Users List has some basic tips and a few apps to enhance your iPhone/Microsoft Exchange 2003 (the email server we use) relationship.

Let's start with a few basic iPhone tricks. One common set of problems are system freezes, sluggish performance, and general bugginess of one form or another. The quickest fix for this is a hard reboot. To perform a hard reboot, simply hold the power and the home button down simultaneously until you see the silver Apple logo appear on the screen. The next tip is an easy way to take a screen shot of whatever you have on your iPhone screen. To take a screen shot, hold down the power button for 2 seconds, then click the home button. Your screen will flash, and you'll hear the camera sound. Whatever you were viewing on your screen will be saved to your photo library.

With the release of iPhone OS 2.0 in July came Exchange Server/iPhone integration. While I'm really satisfied with the integration, there are lots of ways to make it better. Two of those improvements are Out of Office Assistant, and Tasks, both of which are missing from the iPhone OS 2.0. Luckily both functions have been recreated through 3rd party apps available through the app store. TaskData brings Outlook tasks to the iPhone. It is described as allowing you to "easily add/edit/delete tasks that will synchronize wirelessly over-the-air to your corporate network and Microsoft Outlook!" Before you buy it, keep in mind that it costs $12.99! Check it out and let us know what you think. The next app has a simple but necessary function, turn on and off your Out of Office Assistant. OOFY delivers on it's promise of "allowing you to set your Out-of-Office message through a convenient iPhone application interface." They recently made it Exchange 2003 compatible, and the price is only $.99. Check it out.



Analytics, AdWords, and Big Spenders

A must see for any Google Analytics fan. Track commerece, spending, and adwords effectiveness all through Google Analytics. Learn how in 3 minutes.

via Google Analytics Blog by Sebastian Tonkin on 12/19/08

In the spirit of the holidays, we would like to offer tips on how to increase visibility into your e-commerce performance and your advertising spend using Google Analytics. For many, seasonality influences purchasing decisions and affects business revenues. Analytics can help keep a close eye on your advertising spend and e-commerce trends to run a cost conscious business.
We recommend 3 simple methods captured in the videos below. You can find these videos and more on the new Google Analytics Youtube Channel.
1. Use Google Analytics to track your e-commerce activity. As an e-commerce site, you likely want to know who is visiting your site and the goods they are purchasing. By enabling E-commerce tracking on your site, Google Analytics will provide vital metrics including overall revenue, revenue per product, average transaction amount, and more.

Coupled with our Motion Charts feature, you can easily see how the the products trend over time by various dimensions including: revenue, quantity, and average price.

2. Identify your high spenders to better target your website promotions and ad spend. With additional information on ROI for keywords and spending trends, you can focus your efforts on the traffic you care about the most.

3. Link your AdWords and Analytics accounts to track ROI, Revenue per Click, campaign and keywords performance. Added benefits include drilling down to the ad campaign, ad group, and keyword levels for goals conversions and e-commerce transactions.

And don't forget, even a few minutes a day with Google Analytics can help your website.

Posted by Melissa Hsieh, Google Analytics Team



100Mbps to My House? Yes Please!

There is talk that for $44 billion the US could get internet overhauled to allow for faster internet. Most people that have broadband are on 3-15 Mbps connections, which isn't bad, but we could do even better!

The main issue is that the US is so spread out that upgrading the infrastructure of our network is costly. With Obama soon to take presidency and wanting to create jobs, it wouldn't be a bad idea to fund this project and create new jobs - at least while it's being built. Since it's geared more toward areas that are underserved (meaning not Denver Metro area), it certainly could encourage companies like Comcast or Qwest to upgrade their networks and prvovide a faster, cheaper service to it's customers.

Mircosoft has deemed Blu-Ray and all physical High-Definition content walking zombies - they think that streaming HD content is where the money is at. Right now, it's not feasible because we have too slow of internet overall. To stream a Blu-Ray quality movie, you'd need a pretty beastly connection. 100 Mbps would do the trick I think!

I am all for faster internet, but I also think Blu-Ray will be around for a long time~



iPhone Users List - Early Late Edition

Welcome to another late edition of the the SRG iPhone Users List. This weeks apps come by request. I encourage everyone to post comments, questions, and requests via The SRG InfoTech Blog.

The user list continues to grow this week. We have now reached 35 iPhone users. I expect that number to approach 50 after Christmas. To ease the burden of deploying several iPhones at once, Apple has released the iPhone Configuration Utility. This will allow geeks like me to create a URL where you automatically download and install all the settings for an SRG iPhone configuration.

One of the many flaws in the iPhone is it's inability to use the keyboard in landscape mode while typing emails and text messages. The inability to cut & paste is another. This week I'll talk about apps that solve those problems.

PasteBud is a web based app that allows you to cut & paste on the iPhone. I've tinkered a little bit with this app, and it is essentially worthless. They have taken a basic computing function (cut & paste) and made it so complex that it's not worth doing. I'd only recommend trying this out if your are absolutely desperate to cut & paste on your iPhone.

The request from this week was for an app that allows you to type in landscape mode when composing emails and text messages. Out of the box, the iPhone is not capable of this. Through the magic of third party software this function has been implemented. For whatever reason, there is no single app that enables this in email and text messaging. You need separate apps for each function. For email you have Big Keyboard Email, & TouchType. For text mesaging you have SMS Touch, and SMS Landscape Big Keyboard. Apparently TouchType ($.99) and SMS Touch ($4.99) are the most popular of these apps. The developer claims they were not bundled into one app because it was more costly to develop the SMS version, and he wanted to keep the price down on the email version. I have not tried either of these apps. If you do, please let us know what you think.



PC Power Myths Debunked

In these hard economic times, saving every penny counts. I found this article that debunks five popular myths about PC Power. If you read it over, you may find some useful tips to save some money for yourself and maybe even SRG.

I will admit that I generally leave my PC on at home all day long every day... in fact I don't think I've turned it off in the last 2 months! Think of the cash I could have saved!

From now on I will be making sure to turn off my computer when I am done using it.


Causes of Hard Drive Failures

An article in the Proceedings of the 5th USENIX Conference on File and
Storage Technologies this month offers perhaps the most in-depth study
of hard drive failures to date. Google uses hundreds of thousands of
hard drives to store its data, and a sample of one hundred thousand of
Google's drives was studied for five years to determine common causes of
failure. Since this very interesting article is a little dense to read
in its entirety, I thought you would enjoy reading some highlights.
Going against conventional thought, the study determined that increased
temperature and/or activity had little or no correlation to failure
rate. By extension, it was found that drives spinning up and spinning
down most often had the highest failure rates. This means it's best to
uncheck the "Put the hard disk(s) to sleep when possible" box in Energy
Saver — at least in terms of hard drive health. Some SMART (self
monitoring and reporting technology) parameters are excellent indicators
of impending mechanical failure. Among failed drives, a good chunk gave
no warning by SMART, even though SMART- monitored parameters were to
blame for failure. For this reason, SMART is most useful as a
statistical predictor of failure for a population of drives rather than
on individual devices. With that in mind, if your drive reports SMART
errors you should at the very least immediately perform a full backup.
About 3% of drives failed in the first three months, 1.8% in the first 6
months, 1.7% in the first year. From there, failure rates jump to
approximately 8% in the second year, 9% in the third year, fall to 6% in
the fourth year, and jump back to 7% in the fifth year. The whole
article can be read at: <
disk_failures.pdf> ~ Matt Klein Small Dog Electronics

Andrew Webb
blogging just like everyone else at



Google Blog Directory

As many of you know I'm a big fan of most things Google. On the most general level, I find their vision as a corporate entity simply staggering. Eric Schmidt stated ""It will take, current estimate, 300 years to organize all of the world's information." Google has their hands in just about everything these days. If there is information to be indexed, whether it be words, music, video, data, print, photos, ideas, you name it, Google is indexing it and making it searchable. One of my favorite manifestations of this data collection are the many blogs that Google publishes on a wide range of topics from consumer packaged goods to public policy. Check out Google's Blog Directory.



Free Shipping Day

Maybe this is pushing the boundaries of what this blog is for, but whatever, if it's on the Internet, it at least loosely relates to technology, right?

You know about Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but you might not know about Free Shipping Day. On Thursday, December 18, dozens (46 as of this posting) of retailers are getting together to offer free shipping with guaranteed arrival by Christmas. Many of the stores you'll recognize, many you won't. However you look at it, it beats fighting the crowds to get Grandpa that thing that looks like it's somehow used for golf.

Check out the full list of participating stores at



iPhone Users List - Late Edition

Lots of fun this week in the iPhone users list. A few milestones, some cool apps, some neat tricks, and some generally bizarre iPhone goodness.

The iPhone reached 2 important milestones this week. The first was the App Store selling it's 300,000,000th app. Considering the app store just opened in July, I'd say apps are selling like hotcakes. Couple that with over 10,000 apps for sale via iTunes, and you've got something close to a tech phenomenon. Second and more importantly, Rick Sterling, our own big cheese, took a bite of the Apple. He has joined the rank and file of over 30 iPhone users at SRG. Who's next? Someone else in Business Operations perhaps?

Now on to the apps. Moving forward i'll add a link to the iTunes App Store that you can click on from your iPhone or computer running iTunes. From your iPhone you can download and install the app. From your computer you can download the app to iTunes then install it the next time you sync via cable.

I came across an app that will make accessing AT&T wifi hotspots from your iPhone a lot easier. This is important because two things happened earlier this year. Starbucks switched hotspot service providers from T-Mobile to AT&T and AT&T started letting iPhone users access AT&T hotspots for free. AT&T is also the commercial wifi provider at DIA. For all these reasons and more, this week's first app recommendation is Easy Wi-Fi for AT&T. From "Easy Wi-Fi simplifies using your iPhone at AT&T hotspot locations. To gain access you simply start the Easy Wi-Fi application and you're logged in automatically. No more registering each time with Safari and waiting for SMS codes. Easy W-Fi makes AT&T Wi-Fi and the iPhone even better." Click here to launch the iTunes App Store on your Computer or iPhone.

The next app is pretty popular already. The Google iPhone app. It's nice to see Google continuing to support the iPhone while they are working to get Android, their own mobile platform, off the ground. It's even nicer to see Apple turn a blind eye to legal restrictions placed on the iPhone development community. In any case, the Google iPhone App has lots of cool features that make it worth downloading. The coolest feature is voice activated search. Hit the search button, speak your search terms, and Google search results are returned via the Safari web browser. It also has built in links to all of Google's most popular apps like Google Earth, Picasa, and YouTube, among others. You can also configure it for integration with Google Apps for Your Domain (GAFYD), Google's Enterpise Application Suite that is going toe to toe with the Microsoft Office Suite. We've been testing GAFYD at SRG for the last year or so, and despite some functional gaps, it is one kick butt application suite. Anyway, you can download the Google iPhone App here.

The best part of this week's iPhone apps? They're both free.

Let's wrap up with bizarre manifestations of the iPhone culture. Here's a DIY tip on how to use your iPhone to automate one of life's more mundane tasks, feeding your dog. For the weary traveler, here is a simple tip for turning an air sickness bag into an iPhone stand, just hope you don't get airsick.

That's all for this week.



Quite Possibly the Coolest Thing I've Ever Seen

I just discovered FluidTunes this morning. It's kind of like Minority Report meets iTunes. Using your Mac's built in iSight and a wave of your hand, you can control your iTunes playlist in a coverflow view fashion. Words don't do this justice, so check out the video below.

FluidTunes from Majic Jungle Software on Vimeo.



Txt Messaging - Now Assisting Doctors and Saving Lives

What does a doctor do when he is suppose to operate on someone but isn't sure how to perform the operation? He txt messages another doctor who he knows has performed the same operation, DUH!!

This article explains a situation when just that happened!

A boy had 2-3 days to live and Dr. David Nott was able to save his life after successfully performing an operation he had never done before with just step by step instructions via txt from a colleague.

Truly an amazing story! How many of you would be cool with undergoing surgery if you knew the doctor that was just about to operate on you was following step by step instructions via txt? Ha!



Live TV on your iPhone

As if you weren't spending enough time on your iPhone as it is, Skinkers' Livestation is launching a new application which enables you to view live streaming TV on your iPhone and iPod touch.

CEO Matteo Berlucchi will be online this Thursday, December 4th at 10am MDT in a Livestation chat room taking questions about their iPhone app. The app will initially only work over Wi-Fi.



101 uses for Twitter

Matt and the rest of us (except Rachael probably) are having a hard time figuring out exactly what antimatter is. That's understandable. But this post is about something far more bizarre, perplexing and just plain difficult to wrap your head around - let alone, explain to someone else:


If you use it, you'll likely find this story to be interesting.



Antimatter? Really?

This is heavy. In something that sounds more like the plot from Goldfinger than actual scientific application, scientists are creating antimatter by blasting gold with lasers. I still can't really grasp what antimatter is, other than the opposite of matter, but this article, and this article are a good start at explaining a difficult concept. Yes, I had to refer to CERN's Kid's Corner for an explanation I still didn't really grasp. The article is filled with unbelievable language that sounds a lot like fiction to me:

"A split second later the positrons and electrons annihilate each other on contact in a flash of pure energy, called a gamma ray."

Isn't that how The Incredible Hulk was created? The truth is definitely stranger than fiction.


Awesome SEO Tool

I came across ExactFactor today. It is a quick way to check your search rankings across the major search engines (Google, Yahoo, The best feature are regular email alerts you can setup to receive whenever there is a change in your search engine ranking. As we do more and more SEO for our clients, this could be a good way to keep them in the loop. I say could be because SEO is a mix of science and dark magic, and can be a difficult are to build client expectations around. Either way, ExactFactor is a great tool for internal use. Check it out and let me know what you think.



How to go hands free while driving with your iPhone

Today's iPhone tip explains the easiest way to go hands free in your car. You need 4 things to make this happen: An iPhone, a car with an 1/8" stereo auxiliary input, a Phillips iPhone Microphone Adapter, and a 1/8" to 1/8" audio cable. Plug one end of the audio cable into your car's auxiliary input, plug the other end of the audio cable into the iPhone microphone adapter. Plug the other end of the iPhone microphone adapter into your iPhone. Clip the microphone to your seatbelt chest strap, set your car stereo to the auxiliary source input, and you are ready to go hands free. Select some of your favorite tunes from your iTunes library and it will start playing through your car stereo speakers. When a call comes in, answer the call by pressing the button on the iPhone microphone adapter. The music will automatically be paused, and you will hear you callers voice through your car stereo speakers. You can end the call by again pressing the button on the microphone and the music will automically resume. For $15 in additional parts, and about 3 minutes of time hooking things up, this is an extremely simple and effective way to go hands free while driving with your iPhone. Now you have something to shop for on Black Friday.



Digital Music Sales Surpass Physical CD Sales

Atlantic announced that their US digital sales surpassed their physical CD sales last quarter. And here companies thought that digital sales would never be as big as they are now with piracy running rampant on the interwebs.

As if anyone needed proof that our world is becoming more digital every year...

I wonder if/when digital movie sales will surpass physical sales. I will be one of the last to go digital with movies! I love my hard-copies too much!


Facebook Demographics

Think you're to old for Facebook? Think again. For starters, my 75 year old father who knows enough about computers to be completely dangerous (and a pain the in butt to my tech supporting self) has been a Facebook user for over a year now. A friend over at Room214 sent me this Facebook demographics chart the other day. I was shocked that the core users are no longer college aged. Considering that Facebook started as exclusive to college students, it's amazing how the demographic has aged so quickly! Click on the photo below to see an enlarged view.


Hosting in the Cloud - Rackspace Geekfest

Last night I went to the Denver/Boulder Colorado User Group (DBUG). It was a neat event with a lot of smart folks getting together to discuss Drupal, my favorite open source CMS. I learned a lot very quickly and it proved a very worthwhile use of my time. The event was focused on Ubercart, an incredibly robust shopping cart module for Drupal. Once the Ubercart presentation completed, the floor was opened to general Drupal discussion. This was when the fun began. I was able to get a lot of my most basic questions answered, which was both eye opening and educating. It also forced me to take a look at the infrastructure we have in place to support our client sites. It was reassuring to find out that while we still have work to do, we are certainly on the right path. Mosso, our hosting company, recently made a number of significant acquisitions. The video posted below outlines those acquisitions and what they mean to Rackspace's (Mosso's parent company) cloud service offering. If you're a geek like me, you'll find it truly compelling.

Rackspace Cloud Event from Sparksight on Vimeo.



What Happens to Used Computers?

Here is an interesting article on what happens to computers once they are used and disposed of. With computers being outdated so fast, it's no surprise the the tons of junky computer parts are piling up!

It's also interesting that out of all the PCs being resold, only 44% of those are actually used. The others are trashed, used for their working parts, or used for metals.

On a more depressing note, poor kids who are forced to break down computers for parts in "ghetto" chop-shops, being exposed to toxic chemicals!



iPhone App Store Developer Bribery

While I love the iPhone and associated technologies like the iTunes App Store, I sometimes find flaws (gasp!). For instance, when the iTunes App Store first hit the street, you didn't have to download a given app to write a review for it. Next thing you know, you have punks trashing apps they've never even touched (pun intended). Luckily Apple fixed that and you now have to download an app before being able to review it. My other gripe is that when an app is updated with new features and bug fixes, the reviews should be wiped. This way people you don't have to hear about people griping about issues that have been fixed in the update.

Enough griping. Recently an iTune App Store developer decided to take it upon himself to bribe iPhone users purchasing his app. He offered a 2.00 incentive to leave a positive revies of the app. Someone, somewhere, somehow, caught on to the scam and the app was pulled from the store. Read more on the wired blog.


iPhone 2.2 update available now

For the 30 or so iPhone users in the company - the new iPhone software version 2.2 update is available.

Link below:


Law Suit for Long Bootups

Wow, I probably shouldn't be posting this story. Many larger corporations use login and logout times to clock their employees in and out. If that time against the clock is lost pay, that apparently has opened an avenue for legal action. Read more.



How to Make Money on the Internet - A Theoretical Approach

A friend forwarded me this this story to day that outlines a simple way to make money on the internet - connect. While the examples presented in blog posting may not have a direct application to what we are doing, the concept definitely does. Read more.



Your Long Lost Relative in Nigeria Needs Money

We've all seen the scam emails asking for money from long lost relatives in Nigeria. They promise to pay you back 20 million, so what do you have to lose? Right? A woman actually fell for it repeatedly and lost $400,000. Wow.



SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Unleashed

It's finally here, the moment we've all been waiting for. Tired of 50mb of photos taking 15 seconds to transfer to your computer from your digital camera? Wait no more! SuperSpeed USB 3.0 had been officially ratified by whoever ratifies USB standards. It should be hitting the shelves in 2009. My only question is, "What are they going to call the next generation of USB, 'Fastest USB Ever 4.0'?" Read more.



How to Speed Up Your PC

Today I found this article on how to speed up your pc. As I see it this idea is essentially a philosophical diferentiation. For years it has been my belief that the fastest way to speed your PC is to purchase one of these.


Airlines May Start Using Phones for Boarding Passses

I came across this article that mentions two airline companies that are testing boarding passes on phones!

It's just being tested in a few markets right now and very limited flights, but if the tests go well we may see it spread across all flights and companies. Think of all the paper we could save be going with a boarding pass on your phone! I am all for being green, especially when it's easy~

I think this is one sweet idea - we got the technology, lets use it!



How 10 Famous Technology Products Got Their Names has an interesting article posted on how 10 famous tech products got their names. Included is the iPod, Blackberry, Firefox, Redhat Linux and more!

Pretty interesting read~


Obama is a Mac User

I knew there was a reason I voted for him. I would imagine the iPhone is next, although I did see a Blackberry on his belt loop. Read more.



Nelson Turns 100,000!

Nelson the printer celebrated a significant milestone today. It has officially printed it's 100,000th print.

Total Pages & Sheets=Pages:100386, Sheets:71824

This milestone is especially significant because it has been reached without a single service call that has required an onsite technician. While we have had a few service calls, they were all addressed on the phone, and repaired using user-serviceable parts. Our hope when we brought Nelson on board was that we could take more ownership of the repair process and be less dependent on service technicians. I'd call it a success. Thanks Nelson, here's to the next 100,000 prints.



Don't Forget to Vote!

The last reminder! Don't forget to vote! Oh and if you go to Starbucks today and tell them you voted or show them your sticker, you can have a free small coffee!

Happy Election Day!



Important Election Day News

In an effort to encourage civic duty, Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shops will be giving out free scoops on election day. The original plan was to give out scoops to those who voted. Unfortunately that is illegal, so free scoops for everyone on election day! Read more here.


A Look at the Windows 7 User Interface

On Monday, Microsoft gave an demo of some things in store for Windows 7 - the Vista successor. I found a great preview of the User Interface for Windows 7 that to me looks like it is shaping up nicely.

-My favorite thing is that you can now totally customize the tray icons, which are probably some of the most annoying icons in Windows (practically all versions!). Everytime you install an application, they seem to think you will want to slap an icon for the program on your tray, even when its a program you may use once every few months. That will be different in Windows 7...

According to the preview, all icons that can be shown in the tray are hidden/invisible. The user can now define which icons are visible. As Borat says, "Very nice! I like!"

-The other cool thing is the whole taskbar/start menu have been reworked, even from Vista. It looks more clean and you have many more options at your disposal, should you right click on an item.

Overall, it looks like it's shaping up nicely. Vista had a rough start, but has really come a long way. Please Microsoft, make Windows 7 an OS that doesn't have a rough start for once. Maybe even make us feel it's come a long way right out the door!



iPhone Gloves for Skiers & Snowboarders

You don't have to freeze your digits off in the nippy weather just to use a touchscreen if you're wearing a pair of DOTS gloves. DOTS are a regular pair of toasty gloves with a twist: a "dot" on the fingertips that let you use your touch device without smudging or scratching it. Sweet. Even better under a pair of these mittens.



Skyfire - Amazing Mobile Phone Browser

I was looking up apps for mobile phones the other day and came across this really amazing free browser for Windows Mobile 5 or 6 and Symbian (Nokia N or E series - 3rd edition). It is essentially a browser that lets you see exactly what you would on your PC, but on your phone! This means flash videos play, you can interact with web pages with embedded videos, slide shows, and more. This truly sounds like a Next-Gen web browser for your phone.

It's only in beta right now, but from what I have been reading, it's really coming along!

Read more and even sign up to try the beta below:

I personally have not tried it out yet, but I plan to very soon!



In-depth Review of the G1 and Andriod

If you are interested in Google's mobile OS Andriod and want to see it in action on the G1 from T-Mobile, check out this very in-depth review here.



Mac Shortcuts

Some useful keyboard shortcuts for all the Mac users (sorry Windows people, Ctrl+Alt+Del is the best shortcut you're going to get).


⌘ + Q = Quit
⌘ + W = Close window
⌘ + O = Open a file in your application
⌘ + P = Print
⌘ + C = Copy
⌘ + V = Paste
⌘ + X = Cut
⌘ + S = Save
⌘ + Z = Undo
⌘ + A = Select All
⌘ + Y or Space = Quicklook (Leopard only)
⌘ + Tab = Cycle through windows


⌘ + ⇧+ 3 = Take fullscreen picture
⌘ + ⇧ + 4 = Take selected area screenshot
⌘ + ⇧ + 4 + Space = Take screenshot of window or menu
⌥ + ⌘ + Escape = Bring up Force Quit window
⌘ + Space = Spotlight search
⌘ + ` (back tick) = Cycle through applications windows
⌘ + . = Cancel operation
⌘ + ⇧ + ? = Open help
⌘ + I = Get Info
⌘ + [ = Go backwards in history in Finder
⌘ + ] = Go forwards in history in Finder
⌘ + Up Arrow = Go to previous folder in hierarchy
⌘ + Down Arrow = Open folder of file in Finder
⌘ + ⌥ + T = Show hide Finder’s toolbar
⌘ + Delete = Move item to Trash
⌘ + ⇧ + Delete = Empty Trash
⌘ + E = Eject disk
⌘ + F = Find
⌘ + G = Next result in Find option
⌘ + H = Hide application
⌘ + M = Minimize
⌘ + N = New window
⌘ + ⌥ + W = Close all windows
⌘ + ⇧ + Z = Redo
⌘ + ⇧ + H = Go to Home folder
⌘ + ⇧ + D = Go to Desktop
⌘ + ⇧ + C = Go to Computer
⌘ + ⇧ + K = Go to Network
⌘ + ⇧ + I = Go to iDisk
⌘ + ⇧ + A = Go to Application
⌘ + ⇧ + U = Go to Utilities
⌘ + ⇧ + G = Go to folder
⇧ + ⌘ + Q = Log out
⇧ + ⌘ + ⌥ + Q = Log out immediately.
⌘ + D = Duplicate in Finder
⌘ + ⌥ + 8 = Turn on Voice Over
⌘ + ⌥ + + = Zoom in (if turned on)
⌘ + ⌥ + - =Zoom Out
⌘ + ⌥ + D = Show/Hide Dock
^ + Eject = Show shutdown dialog
^ + ⌘ + Eject = Close all and restart
⌥ + ⌘ + Eject = Sleep
⌘ + Shift + F = Find file by name
⌘ + R = Refresh widget



15 Tools for Monitoring a Website’s Popularity

This article was forwarded to me by a colleague. Check it out.



Firefox 3: Tips/Tricks

PC Magazine has recently come out with a list of a few helpful tips and tricks to make your experience with Firefox just that much more enjoyable. Customize your Firefox window, change the default email client used by Firefox and several other options that are sure to make browsing the internet a little more user friendly. 

You can find them all here: Full article


UBS Turns Sour on Advertising, Even Online

I found this article on GigaOM this morning, written by Om himself. Nothing surprising in this story, but still extremely relevant to SRG. Making it more relevant is the fact that the author is commenting on the analysis of a UBS Internet Analyst. UBS is a former client of SRG. The one statement the caught my attention, but was not clearly justified was:

"We think that the continuing shift to online will be somewhat accelerated by the macro weakness."

What do you think? Read more.



10 Best Online Coloring Tools

I crossed upon a post at downloadsquad that has come up with the top 10 best websites for coloring tool.

From the site:
"If you're tackling some graphic design project or maybe even your wall decor, getting color hints from ready made color templates from professional designers can be useful. Below are 10 of the better sites to help you out on your design challenge."

Each site has a little info piece on the tools available and what you can do with them.

Check them all out here.

Also, check out the comments at the bottom of the page. A couple of users have recommend other sites that they use/prefer.



Share Music Between iPods - MiShare

One of the big drawbacks of the iPod is it's inability to share music between iPods easily. MiShare is the answer we've been waiting for. Just connect an iPod to each end of the MiShare, choose which type of media (audio, video, photo), and press the button. The last song or video played will transfer, or the folder you defined. You can also have it transfer an entire playlist. MiShare works with any 30-pin dock connector iPod (sorry iPod Shuffle), formatted for either Mac or Windows, and can transfer between cross platform iPods.


Google's Got Your Back!

How many of you have been up late at night either too tired to think straight or perhaps just under the influence and you decide to send that e-mail. You know... that e-mail. Maybe it's to that special someone in your life, or worse its to that special someone and you send it to your entire address book. Whoops!

Well fear not! Google's got your back!

Introducing Mail Goggles! Click send and a window will come up asking you an answer a few simple math questions. If you get the correct answers in the allotted time, you can confirm that you are sure you want to send that e-mail or realize you really are in no state of mind to be sending e-mails and cancel.

You can activate Mail Goggles under Settings in your Gmail account and then click the Labs tab. You will find it in the list of addons. By default it only activates during the night 10pm-4am-ish, but you can set it to your own hours.

Gotta love Google's sense of humor, though maybe this will actually come in handy for some! =)

Now if only they could invent something like this on cellphones to prevent those often hilarious-at-the-time txt messages...



Insurance Breaks for Playing Games

Allstate has set up a trial program for ages 50-75, where the person plays a special car-driving game aimed at improving visual awareness. The drivers control and awareness will be scored and compared to a group that won't play any game. If the game-playing group does well, we could see insurance breaks for older drivers and the program could potentially spread all across the US. If you are not into playing games right now, its never too late to start! If/when EMT sets up another Game Night, you will have to come to brush up on those skillz!

Now if only this article game out when I was like 6! I would have been more able to argue with my mom to let me play for one more hour...

Check out the full article here.



Obama iPhone App

I'm always impressed with how technology manifests itself, especially in the sociopolitical context. Barack Obama has been lauded for his effective use of technology to get out the vote. The Obama iPhone app is a perfect example of this. The app scans your contacts for people who live in key battleground states so you can call them and encourage them to vote (in this case for Obama). Check it out.



Fix 5002 Error When Updating iPhone Apps

Fix 5002 Error When Updating iPhone Apps

For the last week or so, some percentage of iPhone/iPod touch users have been experiencing an annoying App Store error when updating their apps in iTunes 8. The error message reads:

"We could not complete your iTunes Store request. An unknown error occurred. (5002)"

Whether the problem lies with iTunes 8, with the iPhone Software 2.1, or the App Store itself remains unclear, but users on Apple'sdiscussion boards have discovered several fixes for the problem. They include:

  1. The most popular fix is to look through your collection of apps in iTunes 8 for generic black-and-white icons and delete them. (iTunes prompts to make sure you want to remove the app from your library, and then to see if you want to delete the actual files - click Move to Trash to do that.) Next, "repurchase" the apps from the App Store to download them again - Apple won't charge you. (You will see a dialog asking if you want to buy the app, but a subsequent one confirms that you can download for free.) After clearing and redownloading apps with generic icons, updating should work properly.

Two more options after the jump.



31 Useful Resources on the Web for Designers

I came across a great site that has 31 Best of the Web resources for the month of September, geared toward designers.

You can find everything from Photoshop tutorials to design examples for ideas. All of the tutorials I checked out had great step by step instructions. So, even if you aren't a designer, but are just interested in learning how to use one of the most powerful and popular graphic apps around, this site may be a good place to check out.

With as much information available, you will be sure to find something you can learn, use, or be inspired by!

Check out the full list here.


Are More Bars Better?

A geeky-but-interesting explanation of the relationship between Service Bars and actual Service. At arstechnica.



All things Google Mac

I cam across this blog today. It's the Official Google Mac Blog. Keep track of the latest updates on Google Gears for Safari or the progress on Chromium the open source alternative for Chrome, Google browser. Check it out!



Thirteen Greatest Error Messages of All Time

This is a really amusing list that may make some of you cringe with flashbacks of your computer crashing, but for the most part you will probably laugh at how silly some of these error messages are!

My favorite is 8, "lp0 on fire". This was an error that big high-speed printers would get when they stopped working for any reason. It didn't know what the problem was, so it simply told users that the printer was on fire! Hahah! Imagine yourself printing some last minute documents for a client coming into the office and you received the message that the printer was on fire! LOL Oh man... now those would be good times.

You can read the rest of these hilarious and somewhat horrific* error messages here:

*I am not responsible for stress caused by flashbacks if you happen to have any! ;)



Cha-Cha Free Answers to your Questions via Text Message

I recently discovered a really cool free (normal text rates apply) service called ChaCha. ChaCha is a service that will answer questions via text message. Simply send your question to 242242 and you will get a reply within 5 minutes or so. For example I recently texted the question "Which US President had the most vetoes?" Within about 5 minutes I was texted back "Franklin D Roosevelt." Check it out!



11 ways Android will kick the iPhone's ass

So Android has arrived with the announcement of the T-Mobile G1. The HTC-manufactured phone certainly has a few nice touches, despite its lack of multi-touch (and with T-Mobile's particular variant, no accelerometer).

But while this particular handset might not be the technology king to beat the iPhone, the potential's there. And the OS looks super-hot. Here's why Android can make its presence felt and could really threaten the iPhone.



Adobe CS4 Releases in October

According to this site, Adobe's CS4 is being released next month and looks to have quite a few new features.

Here are some of the features you all may be interested in, pulled from that site:

Photoshop CS4

  • GPU-based drawing of documents onscreen
  • 64-bit for Windows
  • Expanded 3-D paint, lighting and rendering tools

Illustrator CS4

  • Multipage documents with different sizes
  • Indesign-style separations preview
  • Many updated tools like gradient and blob brush

Indesign CS4

  • Live Preflighting
  • Easy Flash document creation
  • Smart guides and spacing tools
You can check out a full list of features at Adobe's site:

Anyone currently using Adobe's Creative Suite looking forward to CS4? Any features in particular? Does it look like a worthy upgrade? Give us your thoughts by leaving a comment!


Facebook Phishing Attack

From this website:

An trojan-laden phish disguised as a message from the popular social networking website Facebook is making the rounds.

In an alert Monday, web security company Websense said that the email appeared to be sent by the domain with a subject line that reads "An old friend added you as a friend of facebook." The email contains an attachment called "" that is actually a trojan.

The body of the email contained a view of Facebook's login page with a notification that says an old classmate has requested to be your friend and, "To see her picture please check your attachment." is an official domain that Facebook commonly uses to notify its users of friend requests and events, the Websense alert said. It is unclear how the attackers spoofed the address.



Mac Users - Tips & Tricks

This post goes out to all you Mac users out there that could use a few tricks to make using your computer a little easier and faster. I'm sure several of these shortcuts you may already known about, but I bet there is at least one that surprises you!

1.       Command-w [ w] closes a Finder window and Command-Option-w [ w] closes all Finder windows at once.

2.       Clicking the minimize button in the center top left corner of an open window or document makes it vanish from the desktop and hide in the Dock. You can do the same thing by typing Command-M.

3.       Want to quickly make iTunes, iChat, Safari, and your mahjong game disappear while leaving that budget spreadsheet open? Hide every open program except the one that’s currently selected (in this case, make sure it’s the spreadsheet app) by typing Command-Option-H.

4.   When you want to add a letter with a symbol in just about any Mac OS X application, hold down the Option key and press the appropriate symbol key. Release the keys and type the letter you want to receive the symbol. Take café — you type c, a, f, then press Option-E (to get the right-leaning acute accent), then e. Same for résumé, fiancée, or blasé.

5.       Okay, you probably already know the ol’ Command-Shift-3 shortcut for taking a screen capture of your entire screen, and you may even know about Command-Shift-4, which gives you a crosshair cursor so you can choose which area of the screen you want to capture. But perhaps the coolest, most-secret hidden capture shortcut is Control-Command-Shift-3 (or 4), which, instead of creating a file on your desktop, copies the capture into your Clipboard memory, so you can paste it where you want.

A big thanks goes out to Apple for supplying the Tips & Tricks this week!



Google Update

We've had some ups and down with the Google Beta Test for SRG. Luckily we are in an upswing and have several volunteers are actively engaged in testing the system. With the release of Chrome last week, a step towards my vision of driving all of our business functions through the web browser has taken a step closer. I was reading The Official Gmail Blog and came across this incredible new feature:

>>The first one I worked on was something we had been experimenting with a few years ago here inside Google but had never launched -- a Forgotten Attachment Detector. Many of us have experienced the embarrassment of having sent a message without attaching the file we said we were going to attach. Turn on the Forgotten Attachment Detector in Labs, and you'll get an alert if you mention attaching a file but forget to do so.>>

It amazes me the functionality that Google is implementing, and more importantly the broader vision for computing that they are executing on.


DRM and You!

There has been some drama the past few weeks in the gaming world thanks to a game called Spore, which uses DRM (Digital Rights Management) as a security measure on the software. Many of you may be too familiar with DRM on your iTunes music that you have purchased. You must authorize use of a song when playing on a different computer, you must have an MP3player that supports iTunes format, it's not easy changing the format to something you may like more (like MP3), etc. In Spore, you can only install the game three times based on your computers specs. If you upgrade too many components in your computer (maybe because you want to see the game with better graphics and running smoother), you may be forced to purchase another copy of the game.

When does protection become too much? I know my girlfriend purchased a Foo Fighters album a few years ago and because of the DRM on it, it wouldn't even play in her computer. When she contacted the publishing company on what to do, she was told she needed a computer that met certain specs in order to play the audio CD. Ouch!

I've struggled with how DRM is good for anyone. People who download music and games illegally don't have to deal with DRM. They can install a game as many times as they want. They can listen to their music on any computer and any MP3player they want. In a way, DRM seems to only punish the loyal customers of a product.

DRM is definitely something you will be hearing more about in the coming months and years.



Sending Documents to a Network Folder

We have added a new feature to all of our high volume black & white printers (Bart, Lisa, Maggie, & Homer): scan to network folder. The scan to email function has proven so popular, we decided to improve upon it. The scan to network folder function works just like the scan to email function, but instead of emailing you the PDF, it automatically saves the PDF to the \\files\pdfs network share. The email function is still an option as well. Directions for scan to network folder are below.

 Step 1

Load your originals face down in the Automatic Document Feeder or face down on the glass.

Touch the Folder icon.

Step 2

Select PDF FOLDER in the list of folders; this is the folder you will save your documents in.

Step 3

Select File name and input your file name using the screen keyboard. Use a filename that you will easily recognize.  

Touch OK.

Step 4

Touch Start to send your documents to the network folder.

Step 5

Touch No to exit and not save current settings.

Step 6

Your file will be automatically sent to this folder on the network: \\files\pdfs and will have the filename you gave it.


Ninja Says - Net Neutrality is Bad

Andrew Webb sent me a link to the Ask a Ninja website. While the Ninja is completely absurd, in the video below he is referring to a pretty serious subject, net neutrality. What is net neutrality? You can find Google's definition here. Or a wikipedia definition here. One of the things that makes the inter so great is it's ability to empower people to share whatever information they want with whoever they want. Imagine if you could only see the channels of content that Comcast or Qwest would let you subscribe to. No bueno. At the end of the day I'll never explain the topic as eloquently as the wise ninja.



This is Crazy!

Every morning I get a daily sale update via email from I'm flipping through the latest deals, and I see the OCZ Neural Impulse Actuator. Huh? Say what? has very little information on the product they have on sale, which made me really intrigued, so I went to the manufacturers website. The product was a little difficult to find on the web site. This is because I didn't really know what it was so I didn't really know where to look for it. I finally found it here. They say yo can use it for gaming, but it's not really clear how, other than being able to fire a weapon with the blink of an eye. I quote "Predefined profiles included with the software allow the gamer to develop their own nia—memory to launch the desired behavior of their character and shoot with the “blink of an eye”, without lifting a finger." Interesting, or as my friends in Miami say, muy interesante.

Maybe this explains it a little better:

Or maybe this:

Somehow the whole thing is kind of creepy.



Cool Ads

Found this on this morning. These are a number of highly effective ads that play on the environment they are placed in. Check it out.



Google Video - Corporate Edition

I got a feature update today regarding Google Video. A corporate video service has been rolled into the Google Apps for Your Domain service (this is the same service we are beta testing). We have been talking about a server to house our digital assets. This Google solution could easily supplant the need for a physical server. Our videos would be completely private (as opposed to a publicly searchable archive a la youtube). Anyone within the company could search for a video, then send the video to anyone vie hyperlink. Pretty easy. Check it out.



Google Service Overview



Mushroom Update

If you get a chance, go check out the Mushroom and the newly installed LCD TV, Mac Mini and wireless keyboard and mouse.

Is there a time wasting activity at work that's better than surfing the internet on a 42" HD monitor?

I don't think so!


Where do emails really come from?

This website has a great explanation of where emails come from and how to accurate make this determination. Most people think that it is the from line in your email, but this is easily faked. Read more.



Improved security for your Gmail account

From The Consumerist:

Gmail recently rolled out a change to its settings, where you can permanently turn on SSL encryption. Do it now...because some guy is planning on releasing a hacking tool to the public
Good advice.



Shut down!

Everyone please shutdown your computers when you leave for the day. I know a lot of you like to leave your computer running and ready for the following morning but this small step would really help out our system.

Your servers thank you!



Make A Picture Look Old

Check this out.



Don't forget to vote!

The Colorado Primary is on Tuesday. Get your ballot in the mail today! Ballots must be received by August 12 to qualify. You can also drop-off your ballot, and save a stamp.



Need Your Help! (Seriously!)

I have applied to be a speaker at the 2009 SXSW Interactive Festival. Speakers are selected through a voting process on the 2009 SXSW Panel Picker. Please help me out by registering and voting for my lecture at this website. Thanks!



12 iPhone tricks you might not have known

Because Matt shouldn't be the only person blogging about the iPhone.



Awesome iPhone Tutorials Site

Apple now has an extensive tutorial page for the iPhone. It covers everything you can possibly do with the iPhone from managing your inbox to customizing your home screen, and all points in between. This is a must visit for all iPhone users. Check it out.



How Big? - SRG InfoTech's 300th Post!

Have you ever wondered how big the web actually is? Well, Google (of course) has taken a speculative stab at figuring it out. Read more.



Remember the old cut out with a hole where the face is? You stick your face through while your friend snaps a photo. The virtual version of this age old classic is now here. Check out