Piaggio MP3 250 - 3 wheel scooter
The Piaggio MP3 250 is a 3-wheeled scooter with 2 front wheels, increasing stability.
- "Piaggio MP3 Three-Wheel Scooter Review," by Jess, Modern Vespa, December 18, 2006
- "Piaggio 3 Wheel MP3 Scooter," by Paul Crowe, The Kneeslider, May 11, 2006
- "Piaggio MP3 Scooters Getting Good Reviews," by Paul Crowe, The Kneeslider, April 30, 2006
- Piaggio MP3 250 mfrs page
- "A three-wheeled extravaganza! Piaggio MP3, VentureOne, KTM X-Bow and Can-Am Spyder," AutoblogGreen, February 23, 2007
- "Piaggio's MP3 Positioned As Practical Scooter For Earth-Lovers," Marketing Daily, January 23, 2007
- "2007 Piaggio MP3: Italian scooter is three-wheeled wonder," by Arv Voss, San Francisco Chronicle, December 1, 2007
Amazon reviewers and Web 2.0
I had imagined Amazon's customer reviews as a refuge from the machinations of the publishing industry: "an intelligent and articulate conversation ... conducted by a group of disinterested, disembodied spirits," as James Marcus, a former editor at the company, wrote in his memoir, Amazonia: Five Years at the Epicenter of the Dot.Com Juggernaut.
Given Amazon's lack of greater transparency, it's hard to judge the merits of the vote-swapping claims. What is clear is the corruptibility of democracy, Web 2.0-style.
. . .
This is not to say that a Top 10 ranking doesn't come with some sub rosa incentives for the reviewer. Free books, first and foremost; in an e-mail, Grady Harp told me he was "inundated with books from new writers and from publishers who know I love to read first works." This fall, when it invited select Top Reviewers to join its Vine program--an initiative, still in beta-testing, to generate content about new and prerelease products--Amazon extended the range of perks. "Vine Voices" like Mitchell and Harp can elect to receive items ranging from electronics to appliances to laundry soap. As long as they keep reviewing the products, Amazon's suppliers will keep sending them.
"Who Is Grady Harp? Amazon's Top Reviewers and the fate of the literary amateur." By Garth Risk Hallberg, Slate, January 22, 2008
- "Frequently Asked Questions about Reviewers" - from Amazon
- Top Reviewers on Amazon
- Top Reviewers on Amazon UK
- "The Fakery Behind Amazon's 'Top 10 Reviewers'," The Consumerist
- "The Write Stuff: Interview with Freelancer, Powerseller and Amazon Reviewer Jane Corn," by John Brougher, FreelanceSwitch, October 19, 2007
- Amazon Vine Voices Begins 8/15 - free books or movies for reviews - Bargain$hare.com
- "The following are excerpts from actual one-star Amazon.com reviews of books from Time’s list of the 100 best novels from 1923 to the present. - from The Morning News, October 21, 2005
- "Customer Reviews Get Hijacked," Varien, August 31, 2006
- "Writing Amazon reviews," Pete the music and horse racing fan, June 28, 2007
"Wi-Fi Users, Beware"
Next time you are sitting in a hotel lobby checking email on your laptop, be careful: The "businessman" in the next lounge chair may be tracking your every move.
Many Wi-Fi users don't know that hackers posted at hot spots can steal personal information out of the air relatively easily. And savvy criminal hackers aren't settling for just access to credit cards, bank accounts and other personal financial information; they love to sneak into your company's network, too.
Whether you're using a Wi-Fi hot spot at a hotel, airport or cafe, "you've got to assume that anything you are doing is being monitored," says Shawn Henry, deputy assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's cybercrimes division.
"Wi-Fi Users, Beware: Hot Spots Are Weak Spots. That Guy Across the Lobby May Be Invading Your Laptop; How to Go Online More Safely," by Joseph de Avila, The Wall Street Journal, January 16, 2008 ($ - subscription required)
Design for the Other 90%
On view in the Arthur Ross Terrace and Garden, this exhibition highlights the growing trend among designers to create affordable and socially responsible objects for the vast majority of the world's population (90 percent) not traditionally serviced by professional designers. Organized by exhibition curator Cynthia E. Smith, along with an eight-member advisory council, the exhibition is divided into sections focusing on water, shelter, health and sanitation, education, energy and transportation and highlights objects developed to empower global populations surviving under the poverty level or recovering from a natural disaster.
Design for the Other 90% is an exhibition at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.
"The real stars of the show, though, are the stories behind the designs." microscopiq, May 17, 2007
They don't need a handout. What they need is an opportunity.
. . .
A poor person actually only cares about one thing: making more money. If they have more money, they can get ahead, take their family out of poverty.
-- Martin Fischer, Kickstart International
The introductory video also provided an opportunity to explore an additional range of themes that may not be as apparent, running through the exhibition and this area of design: open source options, leapfrog technology, economic impacts, community building, testing and end-user research, low-cost innovations, social enterprise, humanitarian entrepreneurship, improved democracies and multiple calls to action.
"In Their Own Words," Design for the Other 90% blog, May 14, 2007
Design for the Other 90% (web site), an exhibition at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum through September 23, 2007. Cooper-Hewitt, web site, 2 East 91st Street, New York, NY, M-Th 10 am - 5 pm, F 10 am - 9 pm, Sat 10 am - 6 pm, Sun Noon - 6 pm. $ Admission fee.
- "Design for the other 90%: A review of the Cooper-Hewitt exhibition," by Natalia Allen, Core77, May 2007
- Design for the Other 90%, FastCompany, May 10, 2007
- "Alice Rawsthorn on design for the unwealthiest 90 percent," The International Herald Tribune, April 29, 2007
eBay buyers beware
There is a new scam on eBay. Analagous to phishing scams, except these are on eBay itself.
We have seen 2 listings that when clicked, took us off eBay and to an eBay sign in page that looked identical to the eBay sign in. Except the sign in page was hosted on a non-eBay site.
So beware: before signing in to your eBay account after clicking on a listing on eBay itself, check the URL in your browser address line to make sure it is www.ebay.com. Plus, a genuine eBay listing does NOT require that you sign in again to view the listing.
Bottom line: be careful when looking at listings on eBay and be sure you only sign in to eBay on the eBay web site.
Google's most expensive words
CyberWyre used Google's Keyword Tool to find the most expensive words in the Google program. Looking at the entire list of the top 300, it's dominated by personal injury lawyers, auto insurance agents, and lasik centers.
Here are the top 25. The figures are in Canadian dollars.
$78.30 chicago personal injury lawyer
$73.01 chicago personal injury attorney
$69.17 lasik new york city
$64.27 new york personal injury lawyer
$64.17 new jersey car insurance
$63.10 new york personal injury attorney
$61.64 chicago personal injury lawyers
$61.17 mesothelioma lawyers
$60.74 atlanta personal injury lawyer
$60.29 new york personal injury lawyers
$59.00 lasik dallas
$58.68 new york personal injury lawyers
$58.38 miami personal injury attorney
$58.25 what is mesothelioma
$58.08 best equity loan
$57.95 lasik new york
$56.88 whole life insurance quote
$56.75 new york car insurance
$56.55 the lasik vision institute
$56.40 what is mesothelioma
$55.98 mesothelioma attorneys
$55.39 peritoneal mesothelioma
$54.81 new york personal injury attorney
$53.74 lasik nyc
$53.46 whole life insurance quotes
Yankee Fog has put together some poems and limericks using the words. We like "A Song Parody On The Theme of 'Lasik New York City'"
Hat tip to BoingBoing
Back up your data ....
When Linda Cerniglia went back to school, it took her almost seven years to get through all the prerequisites, the labs, the research. And it took a thief just moments to grab her purse, with the only copy of her master's thesis stored on a tiny jump drive inside.
For anyone who's ever obsessed about a project but forgotten to back up the data, watched a computer screen fizzle just before a deadline or left crucial documents in a cab -- here is a story about backing up, and moving forward.
It's about how Cerniglia almost went crazy, then took a deep breath and thought like a crook, acted like a cop and ended up in a big trash bin -- all in pursuit of her master's degree.
"Student Finds a Stolen Thesis by Thinking Like a Thief," by Susan Kinzie, The Washington Post, December 22, 2005
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Cool Tool - 6GB Creative Zen Micro
The Long Tail explains why he picked a 6GB Creative Zen Micro instead of an iPod Nano ... the Creative Zen Micro has ... removable mini-disk ... a removable and rechargeable lithium-ion battery that gives 12 hours of play per charge ... FM radio ... built-in voice recorder ... personal organizer that synchs with Outlook ... random shuffle ... for under $200 ... Rhapsody to Go is a music service (like iTunes) that works with the Creative Zen Micro ... for $15 per month ...
- Zen Micro product page from Creative
- "Zen Micro & Rhapsody The Perfect Match," Audio GoGo, June 26, 2005
- c|net review
- "I Bought A Creative Zen Micro After Evaluating the Apple iPod Nano Closely," by RetroSight
- "RealNetworks Rhapsody Music Service," Time, April 27, 2005
- "Creative Zen Micro Photo to get storage bump, price cut," engadget, August 13, 2005
- "RealNetworks Unveils Rhapsody to Go," by Ryan Naraine, eWeek, April 26, 2005
- Napster is $15 / month
Cool Tool - Egg & Muffin 2-Slice Toaster and Egg Poacher
[T]he idea of being able to have perfect egg mcmuffins (without meat) at home was enticing. After making a couple, I'm hooked. The product does exactly what it's supposed to do, making sure both the egg and the muffins are perfectly done at the same time (it waits a while to toast).
Toaster, egg cooker, and meat warmer--this innovative unit combines all three functions into one easy-to-use appliance. The unit can be used solely as a full functioning toaster, or it can simultaneously toast bread, poach or steam-scramble an egg, and warm a pre-cooked slice of meat--or any combination of these three functions--to make the ultimate breakfast sandwich at home in just four minutes.
Free Flight Tracking - FlightAware
FlightAware is "A free and powerful flight tracker that will change how you think about flight status, tracking, and analysis."
Check out this very cool movie ... "Animation of all flight movements tracked by FlightAware during a 24-hour period in September, 2005"
Live Flight Tracking: "View schedule and track activity for any private (IFR) or commercial flight. See scheduled, enroute, and recent flight activity for any airport."
... and we all know someone who could benefit from having a few hundred of these around ...
Times Square web cams
- Live from the TGI Fridays at 47th
- from the 45th floor of DoubleTree Guest Suites at 1568 Broadway
- from Charley O's at 49th and Broadway
- the sights and sounds of Times Square from a streaming web cam at EarthCam Studios at 7th Avenue and 46th Street
- interactive robotic earthcam
- watch the ball drop on New Year's Eve
also check out the 24 hour time lapse view ...
"Walts" - new unit of measurement from Stay Free!
Stay Free! proposes a new unit of measurement ... the Walt ... "the Walt Scale of Crass Commercialization." .. we'll just call it Walts, as in "Disney World is 100 Walts, Isle Royale National Park is 0 Walts" ...
Missed this ... Internet bingo
mister snitch! says Internet bingo is "The inevitable result of the convergence of online gaming and an aging demographic." ... links in his post ...
Free wi-fi coming to Central Park ... other parks have had it for years ...
Working with other sponsoring organizations such as the Alliance for Downtown New York and the Union Square Partnership, local businesses, and residents, NYCwireless has helped bring Wi-Fi to Bryant Park, Union Square Park, City Hall Park, Tomkins Square Park, the South Street Seaport, and Bowling Green Park, among others. NYCwireless also works with other non-profits, such as Community Access, to bring free Wi-Fi to underserved and underprivileged city residents in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx.
These Wi-Fi hotspots have been in use by many New Yorkers and visitors to the city for the past 3-4 years, and have been featured in numerous newspaper and magazine articles.
Bryant Park has had free wi-fi since 2002 ...
The Telecrapper 2000
engadget has a great post on the Telecrapper 2000, which "identifies incoming telemarketer calls and using caller ID (or more specifically, their lack thereof), and is programmed to ensnare the caller in a software-driven conversation in order to keep them on the line as long as possible."
Charge your cell phone with a single AA battery
gizmodo has a post about a cell phone charger that works on a single AA battery ... $24.95 "Includes assortment of connectors to fit virtually all popular cell phone models" ...
Bloggers - GuestMap
Please add your blog to our GuestMap.
downloadsquad has a Google Talk Review ... "Basic IM capabilities, high-quality and easy to use VoIP, complete integration with Gmail" ... "Google tells us that SIP support is coming soon and are in talks with Skype, AOL, and Yahoo! concerning interoperability. Another big feature they're working on is 'joint search,' which would allow two or more Google Talk buddies using Google and surfing the web together." ... sounds interesting ... but we wonder about security ...
Phishing, Pharming, and 419 scams
A roundup of information about phishing, pharming, and 419 scams.
"Phishing (also known as carding and spoofing) is the act of attempting to fraudulently acquire sensitive information, such as passwords and credit card details, by masquerading as a trustworthy person or business with a real need for such information in a seemingly official electronic notification or message (most often an email, or an instant message). It is a form of social engineering attack." -- from Wikipedia
"Pharming the exploitation of a vulnerability in the DNS server software that allows a hacker to acquire the Domain Name for a site, and to redirect that website's traffic to another web site." -- from Wikipedia
Advance fee frauds are also called 419 scams:
"Advance fee fraud, often also known as the Nigerian money transfer fraud, Nigerian scam or 419 scam after the relevant section of the Nigerian Criminal Code  that it violates, is a fraudulent scheme to extract money from investors living in rich countries in Europe, Australia, or North America. This type of scam, originally known as the "Spanish Prisoner Letter" , has been carried out since at least the 16th century via ordinary postal mail. They have come to be associated in the public mind with Nigeria due to the massive proliferation of such confidence tricks from that country since the mid-eighties, although they are often also carried out in other African nations, and increasingly from European cities with large Nigerian populations, notably London and Amsterdam." -- from Wikipedia
"To protect yourself, beware of messages that ask you to click a link to verify your personal information. Don't e-mail personal or financial information. Review your bank and credit card statements for unauthorized charges, as soon as you receive them. Always use firewall, anti-virus and spyware software. Update these programs at least weekly.
"Be cautious of opening or downloading attachments in e-mails, regardless of who appears to have sent them. And if in doubt, call your bank or merchant. You can also report suspicious activity to the Federal Trade Commission by forwarding it to email@example.com or by filing a complaint at www.ftc.gov."
From "Phishing and pharming: Is your personal identity being harvested?" by Mike Klein, Wisconsin Technology Network, February 21, 2005
Resources and more information
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- ID Theft Home - from the FTC
- "MAJOR INTERNET FRAUDS - Phishing," from FraudWatch Inernational
- Pharming - from Green Armor
- Phishing - from Green Armor
- "Pharming Out-Scams Phishing," by Michelle Delio, Wired News, March 14, 2005
- "Alarm over 'pharming' attacks," by Robert Vamosi, ZDNet UK, February 21, 2005
- "The economy of phishing: A survey of the operations of the phishing market," by Christopher Abad, First Monday, September, 2005
- Anti-Phishing Working Group
- "How Not to Get Hooked by a 'Phishing' Scam," from the FTC
- "How To Protect Yourself from Phishing and Pharming," by Michael Brown, Maximum PC, July 8, 2005
And for a little about 419 scams
Blog from MS Word
If your blog is hosted on Blogger, you can now publish to your blog directly from MS Word using the new "Blogger for Word toolbar." ... sure makes spell-checking easier ...
Subway maps on your iPod Photo
If you have an iPod Photo and want to download the NYC subway map to it, see William Bright's site, iPodSubwayMaps ...
site also has maps for Washington, Boston, London, Hong Kong, San Francisco, and more ...
hat tip, lifehacker
Catblogging - Purr Detector
If you're hard of hearing and can't hear your cat purr, engadget has a post about a collar that lights up when your cat purrs. "Detect when your cat purrs with the Purr Detector," August 12, 2005.
Or even if you're not hard of hearing but just love gadgets and want your cat to share the love ...