Wonder what to do when you're waiting for Outlook on one computer to move several thousand messages, and another computer is busy copying video demos? Use the third to post your reading list.
In the time that it took me to burn a DVD and delete the old mail from my Outlook archive, I compiled the reading list for the week. Here's a look at a few of the items from my reading pile available online (from April 21 'til May 2), from challenges with PC tech support overseas, to new HDTV devices, (very) hot MacBook Air reports, auditing with SharePoint 2007 and a smattering of customer service melt downs...
...and a new video touting the new Lenovo X300. Enjoy.
Have a good weekend.
Repairs: It Took 10 Emails, 4 Faxes, 40 Phone Calls and 7 Months To Get Acer To Replace Laptop -- Scott in Ireland writes in with proof that it's not just American/Canadian consumers who get screwed by bad customer service. When his new Acer laptop went kaput, it took him over half a year to finally get a working, equivalent replacement...
Flickr: Friday Consumerist Flickr Pool Finds -- Here are five special photos that readers added to The Consumerist Flickr Pool this week, chosen because they're both neat and could possibly be used in a Consumerist post.
Data Breach: Wells Fargo Allows Your Data To Be Breached - Twice (consumerist) -- A consumerist reader's Wells Fargo credit/debit card stopped working unexpectedly... He spoke to a Wells Fargo CSR... and discovered that the data for 125,000 cards, including his, was "compromised" thus deactivating his card.
Popcorn Hour's A-100 HD media streamer available for pre-order -- Not an endorsement, but an FYI thanks to Engadget: As of today, Popcorn Hour's heralded A-100 HD media streamer is finally available for the public at large to pre-order... saved by 247 other people
Safari: Stealth Safari Update for Windows Was Super Effective, Tripled Marketshare -- "Before the update, Safari's marketshare on Windows was a barely detectable 0.07 percent at its peak, with basically flat growth for nearly a year. Then BOOM, there's a huge spike post-update shenanigans."
So long, Canada: Canada-U.S. border policies (Salon News) -- Strict new border policies are turning Canada into a foreign country. Is this any way to treat our neighbors? By Edward McClelland
Clocks: Two Timer Clock Does Dual Time Zones, Handy for Away-From-Home Bloggers -- A personal must-have: a clock with a "second dial gives the Two Timer a melted effect, and if I had one of these, maybe I wouldn't cock up my time stamps on Giz so much. Coming in two sizes and three colors...
R2-D2 Projector in Action Video (Verdict: A Must Have) - Gizmodo reports that they "knew that there was a motorized, fully-articulated R2-D2 projector with built-in DVD, iPod dock, all kinds of digital media inputs, and Millennium Falcon remote control... See also R2D2 complete media player (Gametrailers.com) - Too cool... saved by 65 other people
MacBook Air users still faced with overheating problems? - Engadget -- engadget notes of a "MacBook Air overheating woe, well after an EFI update in April that was meant to address some of those problems. While hot computers are nothing new, the MacBook Air starts shutting down cores and offloading processes when things get hot...
ZeeVee's ZvBox streams your PC to your HDTV over coax -- Engadget reports that "June-bound ZvBox ($499) plugs into one's computer (VGA) and sends on-screen content to every TV in the house over existing coaxial cabling. Put simply, the unit enables users to view any kind of internet media right on their television...
Biotechnology: The man who grew a finger (BBC News Health) -- The BBC reports on a "remarkable" new biotechnology. "Mr Spievak re-grew his finger tip. He used a powder - or pixie dust as he sometimes refers to it while telling his story. Mr Speivak's brother Alan - who was working in the field of regenerative medicine... saved by 260 other people
Comcast: 2nd Insider Says Comcast Indeed Decentralizing Network Operations Centers (consumerist) -- Another Comcast insider says that the cable company is decentralizing its two main network operation centers. He says this is because of Comcast's different regions groups complaining about losing customers due to outages they had no control over.
Customer Service: How To Correctly Complain About Restaurant Service (consumerist) -- David had a disappointing experience at a local brewpub, and thanks to what he's learned from reading The Consumerist, he was able to get the management to make things right.
Google diving into 3D mapping of oceans | Tech news blog - CNET News.com -- Posted by Elinor Mills, Apr 30, 2008 -- We've got Google Earth and Google Sky. Next up will be a map of the world below sea level--Google Ocean. The company has assembled an advisory group of oceanography experts...
Building B/Sezmi One True Set Top Box Aims to Kill TV as You Know It (gizmodo) -- Gizmodo reports on the latest "demo of the TV godbox we reported on last summer by Building B—now Sezmi. If anything, their claims have actually gotten bolder: They're promising the "first complete TV 2.0 solution" -- see also s e z m i -- AKA www.sezmi.com.
Inkjet Ink Test: Manufacturer Brand vs. Cheapo Store Ink (gizmodo) -- Trusted Reviews has a big investigation on inkjet printers and inkjet ink, and their year-long study comparing fading between more expensive manufacturer brand vs. the cheaper crappy brand shows that you get what you pay for.
Superior Alternatives to Crappy Windows Software -- LifeHacker "takes a walk down the Crapware Hall of Shame, point and laugh at the worst offenders, and highlight some better choices."... saved by 778 other people
Dealzmodo Ahoy: HDTVs Will Get Stupid Cheap in May '08 -- April 30: According to HD Guru, Sony's not content with its less-than-number-one status in flat panels, so it's planning to claw its way back into consumers' hearts with deep price cuts on all of its 2008 models next month.
Elgato HDHomeRun - Reviews by PC Magazine -- This interesting gizmo grabs broadcast HDTV signals, pipes them to your Mac or PC, and comes with the software you need to record, view, and share programming.
Lifehacker, tips and downloads for getting things done -- FLVto is a web app with three buttons, one input box, and one simple-but-great function of converting YouTube and other Flash-based videos to MP3 audio files. We've shared a reader-submitted download-and-convert method, but FLVto makes the process pretty simple... saved by 15,002 other people
How to Downgrade from Vista to XP - Expert Help by PC Magazine -- Fed up with Vista? Here are step-by-step instructions for downgrading back to the warm familiarity of Windows XP, by David A. Karp, April 4, 2008
An Outbreak of Caring: Customer Service by Telecoms (washington post) -- Stung by Complaints, Telecoms Stress Customer Service -- "A smile is reflected in your conversations," says Erwin, who began with Verizon in customer service two decades ago. "You want to always be smiling." (By Kevin Clark -- The Washington Post)
Ask Our Experts: The Best Battery Options - washingtonpost.com -- As a frequent flier, Darren Gladstone of PC World says that he "would snag an internal extended-life battery. They're easier to stow and harder to lose. Plus, new Department of Transportation rules let you carry aboard with you multiple internal notebook batteries...
Best Buy dabbles in self-help technical support - BloggingStocks -- would you believe the retailer wants to get involved with technical support in a social networking sense? FixYa.com, a website that allows customers to help each other with technical issues and owner's manuals from almost any piece of technology...
New Tech-Support Resource: Reviewer's Guides? - Faster Forward -- "As I was making yet another futile attempt to clean the accumulation of paper off my desk earlier this week, I noticed how much of those printed products were the reviewer's guides that tech publicists usually hand out to critics."
A Tech-Support Request: Map Out Phone Trees - Faster Forward -- "I love as much as anybody to complain about tech support -- what else can I do about it most of the time? But for today, I'd like to talk about one way to make it better."
Antec Fusion 430 HTPC Case - Tom's Hardware -- Antec's 900 and Sonata are largely responsible for the firm's solid reputation in the PC case product category. The company creates products that are a very good value for the price. Now, it has set it's eyes on creating an HTPC case for the masses.
PC makers find ways to extend XP's life (Beyond Binary - A blog by Ina Fried) -- "Facing a June 30 deadline to stop selling PCs with Windows XP, the world's largest computer makers are getting creative. Taking advantage of the "downgrade rights" offered as part of the Windows Vista license agreement, Hewlett-Packard and Dell both...
Microsoft Delays Windows XP Service Pack 3 - Security Fix -- "Microsoft is delaying the release of Service Pack 3 for Windows XP users due to a "compatibility issue" with the bundle of updates and a supply-chain solution the company markets to small- and medium-sized businesses."
Interop: Microsoft Goes Green With Efficient Code, Employee Bus Line (InformationWeek) -- "Microsoft plans to work more closely with independent software developers to help them build applications that don't draw CPU cycles unnecessarily. By Paul McDougall, InformationWeek, April 28, 2008 02:29 PM"
Microsoft Explains HealthVault Strategy By Sharon Linsenbach, 2008-04-24 -- With comparisons to both its Xbox platform and the PayPal online payment platform, Microsoft aims to correct common misperceptions about its HealthVault platform.
Video of Microsoft COFEE on KING5 News (Seattle) -- Microsoft has developed a small plug-in device, the COFEE (which stands for Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor), a USB "thumb drive" that investigators can use to quickly extract forensic data from computers that may have been used in crimes. Also see Microsoft device helps police pluck evidence from cyberscene of crime (Seattle Times) -- Benjamin J. Romano, Seattle Times tech reporter, covers the The COFEE, which stands for Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor, a USB "thumb drive" that investigators can use to quickly extract forensic data from computers... saved by 120 other people
Microsoft Calls on Global Public-Private Partnerships to Help in the Fight Against Cybercrime: Q&A: Tim Cranton, Associate General Counsel for Microsoft, discusses the role of the Internet Safety Enforcement Team -- Q&A: Tim Cranton, Associate General Counsel for Microsoft, discusses the role of the Internet Safety Enforcement Team as part of Microsoft’s larger security strategy and calls on global public-private partnerships to help prevent online crime...
What Software Can Create the Wall Street Journal Hedcut Effect on a Photo? -- "I have not found a software technique that can generate results as strikingly detailed as the hedcut stipple drawings used in The Wall Street Journal, though some attempts have been made."
Around The World In 15 Ways - Entrepreneur.com "Attention, road warriors! Tips to tackle your next overseas trip" How do you keep your head when you're on the road? Here are 15 tips from Christopher Elliott in Entrepreneur Magazine (August 1999)
How to stay safe and sane on vacation (Seattle Times) -- Christopher Elliott outlines some "things you should heed when you're traveling, courtesy of this column's readers and the lessons current events have taught us..."
Link between Employee Engagement and Customer Satisfaction in Local Government Revealed -- ORC International has completed a detailed study of over 50 local authorities in the UK which shows the positive impact of having an engaged workforce on resident and customer satisfaction - the first evidence of this kind within the public sector.
Auditing in MOSS 2007 (dailycode blog) -- Office SharePoint Server 2007 makes it possible to generate Excel workbooks that contain the information about audit events within the Windows SharePoint Services audit log. So MOSS makes it easy for us to track and report usage of documents and lists.
Item-Level Auditing with SharePoint Server 2007 -- Learn about the auditing support built into Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, and how to extend this support with the custom Item-Level Auditing solution. (29 printed pages)
Records Management Feature in SharePoint: Auditing (Microsoft Records Management Team Blog) -- Records Management features of Office SharePoint Server 2007. In this post, we're going to examine a critical capability for both records management and regulatory compliance -- Auditing.
Productivity: Prioritize GE-Style by Writing the Purpose of Calendar Items -- An editor at Harvard Business Review sat in on a GE training session and walked away with a few practical tips on prioritization.
Top 10 Amazon Power Shopper Tools -- Several advanced Amazon features and third party apps and add-ons can help you get the best deals and the stuff you want delivered to your door right on time. After the jump, add our favorite 10 Amazon power-shopper tools to your cart.
Vista's 11 Pillars of Failure (John Dvorak in PC Magazine) -- "From poor marketing to missing components, here are my reasons why Vista will forever fail," by John C. Dvorak, April 21, 2008
Comcast's big push to repair its image (Philadelphia Inquirer) -- Eyes on blogs, more ears on phones to help gripers. By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer, 04/20/2008
[PreviewConfig] Utility to register file types for Explorer Preview Pane in Windows Vista -- Windows Vista introduces a Preview pane in folder view, using which you can preview image and text files, and play multimedia files from the Preview pane. This article explains how to use the PreviewConfig utility to register a custom file type...
Feature: Tweak Microsoft Outlook to Empty Your Inbox Faster -- Lifehacker lists "install-free ways to customize Outlook, add keyboard shortcuts, and get your inbox down to zero messages painlessly with a few tweaks your setup." I need this, as it appears so do others. ;)... saved by 226 other people
Ten typographic mistakes everyone makes | Life, Tutorials | Receding Hairline -- Mac user Christopher Phin, "a newly-wed, Palnackie-born twenty-something journalist living in Bath," lists "ten mistakes that everyone makes, an explanation of why each is wrong, and details on how to fix them." At least, on a Mac... saved by 1103 other people
New Pro-AVCHD Cameras (David Sayed's Microsoft Blog) -- One of the reasons I still like DV tape-based video cameras is that the DV codec is well supported in video editing programmes. And as much as I considered to move to a hard drive based video camera, battery life as well as the AVCHD format kept me away:
A Simple Employee Incentive (businessweek) -- Taking the time to give people your undivided attention can do more for retention and engagement than gift cards and other goodies, by Carmine Gallo, April 2008
Pure Digital Flips the Script (businessweek) -- How the Flip—a bare-bones digital camcorder—grew from a simple idea to a contender among giants like Sony
Xbox 360 audio sounds for ringtones : JefTek.com -- Here is a list of audio sounds from the Xbox 360 system and games for the Xbox 360 that you might find useful for ring tones for your phone or IM client.
Use v1 Zune A/V Dock with v2 Zunes : JefTek.com -- Here is a photo guide to using the Zune80 in the v1 Dock. Since the v2 dock came out which supports the Zune30/80/8/4 via removable face plates, the v1 dock has been on clearance (Originally $99, now $25!) at places like buy.com.
10 Questions for NPR's Car Talk Guys on Fuel-Efficient Tech - Popular Mechanics -- The hosts of NPR’s most popular program, Car Talk, want their new ride to be fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly and just as fun to drive as Tom’s beloved British classic. Their quest is the subject of next Tuesday’s hour-long NOVA special...
20 (Rare) Questions for Google Search Guru Udi Manber - Popular Mechanics -- Manber gives PM a glimpse into how Google's dominant engine helps you find what you want, how you can help it find you and how search is constantly evolving with the pace of technology. —Glenn Derene... saved by 125 other people
United States Infrastructure Investigation - Rebuilding America - Minnesota Bridge Collapse - Popular Mechanics -- American infrastructure is in trouble, from collapsed bridges to leaking dams. In a yearlong investigation, Popular Mechanics uncovered the fresh ideas, smart engineering and new technology we need to fix it. Here’s the plan. By Erik Sofge...
How Social Networking Could Kill Web Search as We Know It - Faceboogle - Google vs. Facebook - Popular Mechanics -- By Glenn Derene, April 16, 2008 -- "Search is dead. Or at least that’s the opinion of one VC." Google owns search for now, but as PM's senior tech editor explains in his biweekly column, the evolving nature of how we use the Internet... saved by 216 other people
A new reason to hate Comcast (Scripting News) -- April 16, 2008 by Dave Winer. "As long as I've been a customer of Comcast I've been writing how much I wish they'd sell their Internet business to a company that doesn't hate its customers so much."
Why does everything suck?: The Stats Are In. YouTube Really Is A Turd -- "I have said it before. Commenters over at CenterNetworks said I was crazy. They extolled the virtues of the market leading YouTube. But the numbers don't lie."
GIGABYTE GA-MA78GM-S2H HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard at NewEgg -- A good motherboard for Media Center PCs
ASUS P5E-VM Motherboards (for Media Center PCs) at NewEgg -- ASUS P5E-VM DO LGA 775 Intel Q35 Micro ATX Intel
The Total Customer Experience - on the record -- An orchestral institution must examine every single aspect of the customer experience and raise it to the highest possible level.
Videotron Adopts iPerceptions' Continuous Listening Solution -- iPerceptions Inc. (TSX-V: IPE) announced today that Quebec's largest integrated communications company, Videotron Ltd., has adopted the iPerceptions webValidator Continuous Listening Solution and the iPerceptions Satisfaction Index (iPSI) technology...
The charmed dot-com life of Jeff Bezos (money) -- Common wisdom once pegged Amazon and Bezos as goners. But guess what? They're thriving. By Josh Quittner, executive editor, Apr. 15, 2008
The Rage to Engage - TIME -- It's natural to want your employees to be happy. When people come to work with a spring in their step, chances are they do their jobs with more gusto, stick around an hour longer, go that proverbial extra mile--all of which boosts productivity...
BetaNews | Re-org at Microsoft relocates UC head to its emerging markets unit -- By Scott M. Fulton, III, BetaNews -- April 15, 2008 -- Last year at a conference in Los Angeles, Microsoft introduced spectators to its new efforts to reach emerging markets and build innovative new form factors...to somewhat mixed results.
BetaNews | Microsoft adds one more news aggregator to the mix -- By Ed Oswald, BetaNews, April 16, 2008, 12:03 PM -- Looking to take on Google News, the Redmond company on Tuesday silently launched its own news aggregator. While Live Search News looks much more basic than what Google currently offers, it's a start.
BetaNews | Privilege escalation vulnerability affects Windows Vista SP1, XP -- By Scott M. Fulton, III, BetaNews, April 18, 2008 -- It is the type of vulnerability that Microsoft wanted to head off as long as possible, especially since Windows Vista's new kernel was designed to thwart this possibility.
Father of chaos theory dies at 90 - Science- msnbc.com -- By Seth Borenstein - updated 3:19 p.m. PT, Wed., April. 16, 2008 - WASHINGTON - Edward Lorenz, the father of chaos theory, died at his home in Cambridge, Mass., Wednesday. He was 90.
Photoshop's Little Online Brother (businessweek) -- With Adobe's new Web 2.0 offering, you can easily smarten up pictures for Internet display by Stephen H. Wildstrom
Stocks: The Kings of Cash (BusinessWeek) -- April 18, 2008 -- S&P tracks down the blue chip names with the biggest cash stockpiles - 21 in all - and the top ratings from its equity analysts, by Beth Piskora, Standard & Poor's Equity Research
Bezos On Innovation (businessweek) -- April 17, 2008 -- Amazon.com's founder discusses his approach to innovation—both how to do it and how to stay focused when critics question high-risk projects
The World's Most Innovative Companies (businessweek) -- April 17, 2008. Smart ideas for tough times: The 50 companies that make up our annual ranking nurture cultures that value creative people in good times and bad, by Jena McGregor
Symposium to Educate Employers: Employees on the Autism Spectrum -- April 8, 2006 – Wentworth Institute of Technology is hosting the Symposium to Educate Employers: How to Hire and Work with Employees on the Autism Spectrum on April 20, 2006. This conference is made possible by a grant from the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation...
How to Speed Up Windows Vista -- Scott Dunn of PC World says that "Windows Vista's Service Pack 1 may not give your system much more power, but there are ways to speed Windows Vista up."