Warning: Street Tech Email Users

If you get this email:

Dear user, the management of Streettech.com mailing system wants to let you know that,

We warn you about some attacks on your e-mail account. Your computer may contain viruses, in order to keep your computer and e-mail account safe, please, follow the instructions.

Advanced details can be found in attached file.

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***

You SHOULD NOT open the attached PIF file. This a virus implant attempt. There is no “Streettech.com Team.” A posse? Maybe. A smart mob? Probably. A gang? Most assuredly. But no TEAM.

And just look at the punctuation and grammar on that badboy. That’s SO not us!

CeBIT Tidbit: Local High School Robot Competition

We love robots here at ST, and nothing makes us happier than seeing happy hacking high-schoolers pitting their robots against eachother in friendly competition, which is exactly what was going on today at CeBIT. The competition was really more an exhibition, but it was tremendously fun to watch. Each team represents a local high school, and each is given six weeks to build a remotely controlled robot that will compete to complete a specific task, in this case a sort of robot/human basket ball. The basic object is for either human or robot to put purple balls into baskets, or do other tasks like complete a “pull-up” on a bar in the center of the field. It’s amazing what these kids came up with, and it’s certainly an inspiration to anyone considering getting involved in robotics. To learn more about the program, go to New York City FIRST. Pictured is the Brooklyn Tech (go BK!) entrant, which didn’t actually compete at CeBIT. More pics under “read more.”

New Treo?

Gizmodo has got a pic of what could be the replacement for the Treo 610, reportedly called the 660. What’s convincing about the pic is that nothing is changed except the external antenna has been internalized. Other reported improvements are updated OS, better camera and other minor tweaks.

Be Your Own ‘Lectric Achilles!

2004 is the year of the senseless electric vehicle, and here’s another entry into the class: the Easy Glider, which is an electric monowheel that drags the rider (?) behind it, traveling 15-20 miles on a charge. Designed primarily to pull people wearing roller blades or riding a skateboard, it can also be fixed with the “Char” (I’m not kidding), a two-wheeled platform reminiscent of a chariot. Imagine the fun you could have on one of these having races around the parking lot at work — especially if you used office chairs instead of roller blades! Cost is around $1000, with the first units arriving in Europe late this summer, arriving in the US probably never.

via Gizmodo

Ultimate Turnkey X-Box Mod

FriendTech Computer has got an absolutely awesome looking modded Xbox for sale: they open it up and pop in a 1.48 GHz Celeron, add S-Video Out, upgrade to Dobly 5.1 surround sound, throw in some extra RAM and do all the other modifications necessary to turn it into an out-of-the-box media machine. It’ll play back MP3, MPEG, DivX, Ogg and all that, and can do quite a bit more since it’s possible to load third party software on it. The only thing missing is a hard-drive, which can be self-installed up to 120 GB. And with just a flick of the switch the whole unit goes back to being an ordinary Xbox capable of playing ordinary games, with the only downside being that it doesn’t work well on Xbox Live. The upgrade costs $479, or you can just buy one for $579. Other kits are available from $70 up if you’re a DIYer.

Downloading Replaces Democracy?

According to Screensavers.com, there may be a hint of the results of elections to come on the basis of who is downloading what screensaver or wallpaper for their PC:

Date Bush Kerry
May 11-17 55% 45%
May 5-10 47% 53%
April 28-May 4 63% 37%
April 21-27 59% 41%
April 14-20 57% 43%
April 7-13 60% 40%
April 1-6 51% 49%

…or it could be that those who want to see the face of their preferred candidate on their desktop every day are more absorbed in appearences than focused on the issues, and won’t bother to show up at the polls. You choose.

Tablet PCs Doomed

Once hyped through a multi-million dollar ad campaign from Microsoft as the Next Big Thing in mobile computing, Tablet PCs have so far failed to catch on with most computer users. C|Net takes a look at tablet PCs success so far, and finds that the only real movement towards tablets is happening in “vertical” markets like medicine. While the tone of the piece suggests that there is strong growth potential in this area, I’m going to stick to my original position on tablet PCs and say that they are expensive, pointless, and ultimately will lose out to less expensive regular laptops in the consumer market, and lose out to handhelds in the vertical market.

Gmail Hype

One sure way to create a buzz around a new product is scarcity. Another is to violate standards of privacy. Both of these have been used to full advantage by the otherwise unremarkable GMail, the free email service from Google. The latest BS to come out of the ad machine at Google is this Wired piece about how some people are selling their Gmail accounts (or invitations to accounts?) on eBay or trading them on some new service called GmailSwap. It should be noted that all it takes to get “invited” to get an email account from Gmail is to have an active blog with Google subsidiary Blogger. I’m going to try to set up a few dozen accounts right now and see if I can’t raise enough money for next month’s rent, or at least trade some accounts for some chocolate covered cicadas.

Torvalds Admits He Didn’t Write Linux

“OK, I admit it. I was just a front man for the real fathers of Linux: the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. They (for obvious reasons) couldn’t step forward to admit that they had gotten bitten by the computer bug and had been developing a series of operating systems on their own during the off-season.”

So says Linus Torvalds, previously credited with writing a key componant of the GNU/Linux operating system. He was responding to claims that he plagiarized it all by the Alexis de Tocqueville Institute, funded by Microsoft.