Digital SLR You Can Actually Afford

Canon has got a new digital SLR camera coming out in October that absolutely blows away the competition. The EOS Digital Rebel is an SLR camera capable of using a wide variety of lenses and producing extremely high quality images with its 6.3 megapixel CMOS, making it an ideal choice for the “pro-sumer.” And at a price-point of just $900 for the body ($100 more with basic lens) it is about half the price of competing digital SLRs.

Online Gaming for the Late Adopter

I hesitate to post this for fear of tarnishing our bleeding-edge image, but…

I’ve never done much online gaming, mostly because my interests are in other areas and my home machine is a 600 mhz Celeron with a 56k modem. That said, I just came across, which appears to be a largely abandoned online battlezone-style multiplayer tanks game. It wouldn’t load using win2k, but windows 98 is fine. When you’ve got 4-5 human players it’s pretty addictive. Would any Streettechnoristas like to get together at 9PM Pacific and mix it up? Also, are there any other low-bandwidth, free combat games out there that you like?

Virus Alert: It’s Not My Fault

Yet another virus alert from the ST Early Warning System. The SoBig.F worm, which is the latest iteration of a worm that has been circulating for some time in forms .A through .E to this point, has hit pretty hard. In particular, Yahoo seems to be getting the brunt of it, since I’ve gotten nearly two dozen messages through that service today.

The virus is easily identifyable from the re: line, which usually reads “wicked Screensaver” “your details” “your application” or “that movie” with a .pif attachement of varying size between 99k and 101k. It’s a malicious worm, so don’t open any attachement of these sorts. It should be noted that the virus sender may not be the person in the “from” line — this virus alters that information before propagating itslef. So whoever it was at the Dept. of Treasury that got some email with the virus attached… It wasn’t ME!

Yes, we’re still here.

We’ve had some difficulties over the weekend with our web hosting service, and the site’s been available. Sorry about that. Looks like things are back to normal now.

[edit: make that unavailable.]

Get A Virus For Your “Special Someone”

I couldn’t help but think this is kinda cute, especially if you’ve got a med-student or doctor in your life: Giant Microbes sells stuffed toys inspired by such maladies as Helicobacter, Streptococcus, and the lovable Rhinovirus (pictured, right). They even have a new addition to the family based on some speculation on what a Martian bacteria might look like according to fair and balanced scientific findings (pictured, left). All of these cute little diseases can be had for around $6 apiece. I’ve just ordered a set of microbes (4 for $20) because what’s better than having your special someone say “oh yeah, he got me Shigella for my birthday….”

Linux: The Free OS That Just Cost You $700…?

In a direct challenge to the core of the open source movement, the SCO Group has challenged the code of Linux 2.4 and 2.5 kernels as being built on proprietary Unix System V code. But instead of filing a lawsuit just yet, the SCO Group is offering an opportunity to Linux users to avoid being brought to court: admit your wrong-doing and pony-up just $700 to make good. That offer is only good until Oct. 14th though, and goes up to $1400 thereafter. RedHat has filed a suit for declaratory judgement on behalf of their own business and Linux users generally, and they’ve set up a fund for that purpose. Read the full story from Internet Week.

In my opinion this is the worst possible form of IP blackmail. If SCO Group’s got merit to the claim, let the court sort it out. If they win, they can charge whatever they want, and the open source community will just come up with alternative code. But charging before they’ve convinced a court that they actually own the code, and making it a “pay less now on the off-chance we’re right” system is blackmail. We’re lucky that someone like RedHat has found a way to make money out of Linux, since otherwise they wouldn’t be able to put up the cash for this lawsuit. Three cheers for RedHat for operating in such a fair and balanced manner!

Home Theater PC Does EZ DVD

Tom’s Hardware has a review of the MSI MEGA 651. The MSI is a barebones system we previewed earlier that is now available for about $275. It is designed specifically for home entertainment use, with simple controls and a nice LCD that displays EQ and other functions. Its most innovative features are the integrated radio receiver and ability to play CDs and DVDs without turning the PC on, so it operates as a simple home stereo when you don’t need to do anything fancy. Boot it up and it’ll do DIVX and rip MP3s with the best of them, though Tom does point out that the unit is so tightly packed it has a tendency to overheat.

Ultra Tiny HD MP3

Rio, maker of MP3 players since before you were a rocker, has come out with a slew of new units. Included in the selection of flash-based and hard-drive-based MP3 players is the new Nitrus, pictured left. The tiny little player is just 3″ x 2.4″ x 0.6″ (about the size of a stack of business cards) and weighs about 2 oz. but packs an astonishing 1.5 gigs of music in MP3 or WMA format. It has a 16-hour battery life, and transfers songs over the fast USB 2.0 cable. Unfortunately the cable does not charge the unit. The E.A.T. on this one is high, since you’re paying for the small size and unique form: $300, which makes it even less of a bargain than buying a New Beatle just to get an iPod.

Linux GUI For PDAs

OPIE (Open Palmtop Integrated Environment) has announced version 1.0 is available of their GNU/Linux based graphical user interface. The distribution builds on open-source linux distributions for iPaqs or Zaurus PDAs, and adds a slick look as well as a suite of applications such as browser, image viewer, word processor, ebook reader (Palm DOC compatible), PDF viewer, media player, and of course PIM functions. Plans are in the works to combine OPIE with OpenSimpad GNU/Linux distributions that work on tablet-style WinCE devices. Compatibility with the below-mentioned ConvgergenTech device is unknown.