July 30th, 2008
How many pre-approved credit card offers do you get in a month? Don’t know. I’m not surprised. I get several every week. I learned today that these companies submit requests to the credit bureaus for, let’s just say people with a credit score higher than 600. You want to what the credit bureaus do with that request? They fulfill it! That’s right. Your information, my information, your moms information is available for the asking. Then they send you all this crap mail.
It appears that there is a way to Opt-Out of receiving these pre-screened or preapproved credit card, and insurance offers. The web site is: https://www.optoutprescreen.com/ They ask for your name, address, Social Security number and birth date. You are only required to provide your name and address. You do not have to provide your SSN or birth date. They say that they would be used to make sure they opt-out the right person.
Of course I didn’t trust it when I first saw it. So I did a little checking. The main reassuring piece of information that I found was a reference to this web site on the FTC.gov web site. I also found an article written about the service that talked about some of the same concerns that I had. Let me just say that I don’t have in-depth knowledge of this organization and therefore cannot endorse it. I find enough information to make me comfortable enough to submit our information to opt-out. Now the real measure is the see how much less crap mail we get. Maybe we can save a tree or two.
Edit: I forgot to mention the fact that fewer of these preapproved applications could reduce your chance of identity theft. What happens to that application when you throw it in the trash? Anyone could get it and submit it. I’m sure there a place to change the address on there. (hint: shred everything!)
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July 25th, 2008
Why is organic zucchini packaged on a styrofoam tray?
Why do prenatal vitamins have red40 in them?
Why is there color added to my deodorant?
July 24th, 2008
Maybe not president, but how about Secretary of Energy? I need to read up on it more. However, from what I have read and heard the Pickens Plan sounds pretty darn good. Take a look:PickensPlan
I understand that distribution is a problem. Transmitting electricity over long distances is not very efficient. You actually lose power in the process. Some winds farms will shut the turbines down during times of reduced demand. That’s not good! There are ways to “store” electricity. Of course you can use batteries. My favorite is underground air tanks. When the demand is low, use the extra power to run compressors that force air into underground tanks or caverns. When demand is high release the stored air and drive a turbine with it. Viola! Stored electricity.
There are plenty of sources of power available. Many of them are immature, but it we work on them, we can make them happen.
Wind power is pretty mature – I’m not sure about the efficiency
Photovoltaic (typical solar) – Not very efficient yet, but getting better
Solar Thermal – concentrates sunlight on something to make it hot, use that energy. My favorites are the parabolic trough types that heat oil or molten sodium.
More later…. need sleep….
July 21st, 2008
The CherryPal C100 Desktop is available for order. They expect to start shipping at the end of July. This little system is very promising. The specs are below as listed on their website. It looks very straight forward. It has a monitor connectotion, 2 USB ports one 10/100 ethernet port and an audio out. I would liked to have seen 4 total USB ports. Once you connect your keyboard and mouse you’re out of connections. Of course you could use a hub but that’s an extra device to take up deskspace. Using a 400MHz Freescale chip and 256MB of RAM, I’ll be interested to see what kind of performance we can get from this. At $249 it’s a little more expensive than I had hoped. However, if it really runs at 2 watts as claimed, it would eventually pay for itself in energy savings. I expect to start seeing reviews of this unit soon after Aug 1. Good Luck!
Freescale’s MPC5121e mobileGT processor, 800 MIPS (400 MHz) of processing
256 MB of DDR2 DRAM
4GB NAND Flash-based solid state drive
WiFi 802.11b/g Wi-Fi
Two USB 2.0 ports
One 10/100 Ethernet with RJ-45 jack
One VGA DB-15 display out jack
Headphone level stereo audio out 3.5mm jack
9vDC 2.5mm 10 watt AC-DC adapter power supply
Weighs 10 ounces
1.3” high, 5.8” x 4.2” wide
July 10th, 2008
Intel has released a motherboard that has me pretty excited. Not as much as I was when I first heard about it, but still excited. Initially I mistook the report as saying the board only used 4 watts of power. That would be amazing! I have a couple of systems that run over 100 watts. It turns out that the chip (processor) uses 4 watts. The chipset that drives the rest of the board uses another 22 watts. That still leaves the board running at under 30 watts which is still good. I’m considering this board for my next build. Unless something better comes along of course.
July 6th, 2008
Lately, I’ve been looking for an energy efficient PC. I have upgraded to an 80 Plus power supply in my desktop, but it still uses more power than I think is necessary. Now I think a small solid-state system is the way to go. Zonbu came out with one a while ago. I don’t recall the specs, but I’ll track them down and post an update. When they first came out they were selling for $199 (I think), but required a subscription service of ~$20 a month. Not interested! It looks like they are offering the PC without the service now, which is a plus. But they’ve increased the price to $299. Not interested! They do offer the OS as a download. I like that. Unfortunately the hardware is still an issue.
Recently there has been some talk about cherrypal. It’s a similar type of system and looks promising. The last time I checked they were expecting an Aug. 4 release. Hopefully, they’ll be offered at a better price and with no subscription requirement.
Personally, I think if they can sell them for ~$150 they will be available to an entire new demographic. They price would be in reach for many, many more people. There are also those of us who would like several of these low power, silent PCs. I would like to have one in just about every room. That’s not going to happen if the price isn’t right.
July 6th, 2008
Quote – “You didn’t just use antiperspirant did you?”
*note- antiperspirant typically contains aluminum salts that have been shown to be a neurotoxin.
July 6th, 2008
I dug someone else’s coke can out of the trash and recycled it at work
July 4th, 2008
We’ve never considered ourselves hippies and we still don’t really. We just came to the realization one day the we humans waste a lot of stuff. We decided that we didn’t want to do that anymore.