Sunday, January 28, 2007

CBS Innertube - Good, Free TV

I you didn't know already, the major television networks put their latest shows online for free, streaming viewing. This applies to ABC, NBC, CBS, CW, and Fox (I believe).

Since we don't subscribe to cable and don't even have a regular TV antenna, I decided to check out these online TV viewers. Of the three biggest ones, CBS is far and away the winner.

First, CBS has shows that I actually like to watch. I'm definitely a CSI fan, and now I'm hooked on Jericho as well. Numb3rs is OK, but it is a bit of a stretch when the math genius always explains everything via some mathematical algorithm or law.

Second, CBS's "innertube" runs the quickest for me. We have cable internet, but we only subscribe the slowest version. Thus, our internet connection is moderately fast by today's standards. NBC and ABC's players run choppy, stopping every couple minutes to buffer the video. Plus, the quality I've experienced on NBC (even when it runs fast) is just pretty poor. For me, innertube hardly ever stops to buffer, and the quality is pretty darn good.

Third, CBS has several episodes of each show online. Most of the popular shows (at least the ones I watch) have several of the latest episodes online. This means you don't have to watch every week to keep up and not miss an episode. You can usually go back and catch up if you had a busy week or just didn't think about online TV.

Do you have an online TV preference? Let us know your thoughts!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Absolute Alibis - Fact or Fiction?

I was just watching an episode of CSI: NY, and they showed a company that specialized in creating alibis for people. Is there something like this in the real world?

Essentially you would give out a special phone number to people for your "yoga salon" or whatever the company was posing to be. The alibi company then has operators who answer the phone, posing to be the fictitious company. Of course, the operator knows when to say that you were there, etc. They would even generate fake receipts to have "proof" that you used their "services."

This got me to thinking... I wonder if anything like this really exists. Sadly, I imagine there are a ton of people who could utilize something of this nature. It could actually be kind-of funny to play a prank of friends or something, but people might also use it to have a sick day from work (the alibi company would pretend to be your doctor).

Don't get me wrong: I'm not advocating this. I'm just wondering.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Laptop Bag ... Continued

I just wrote about the awesomeness of my new Dell laptop bag. I'm still loving it, and I still highly recommend it. However, I have two caveats to add.

First, the style of the main compartment is going to take some getting used to. My old Targus bag was clam-shell style. The top zipped open on three sides. Thus, you could keep the machine sitting in the bag and use the computer (just zip the top off, flip it back, and open your screen). However, the Dell bag just zips open on the upper side of the bag. You slide the machine in and out. It's much better protection for the laptop, but a bit less inconvenient on the bus (like right now).

Second, the strap doesn't like to stay on my shoulder. I carry a backpack at school, and I used to put my laptop strap on my left shoulder. The Targus bag worked great like that. But this Dell bag slid off a couple times. I didn't drop the machine, but it was annoying. I'll probably have to put the strap over my should and head to prevent that.

Just wanted to keep you updated.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Dell Laptop Bag Rocks

My Dell Inspiron E1405 came with the standard Dell laptop bag. I thought about upgrading it, but I decided to give it a try.

I'm glad I did!

This bag is awesome. It has plenty of room (and padding) for my laptop in the main compartment. Plus, I was able to put my travel documents and maps in the back zipper pouch. The front compartment actually held my jacket, ski cap, and gloves. That's pretty handy. If I had needed it, my laptop cord probably would've fit as well.

The bag seems very well built, which means it should last a good while. Also, the strap has a nice thick pad for your shoulder. That helps when it's loaded down for a long walk somewhere.

If you're getting a new Dell (or just need a new bag), don't overlook this one.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Logitech V270 - A Nice Mouse

I've now been using my new Logitech V270 for about a week. My impressions are great so far. It's one nice mouse.

First things first - It's got a nice size and weight. The track wheel works well (although a little hard to depress). The optical sensor keeps the mouse on track right nicely.

The coolest part of this mouse is that it's run via bluetooth. Look, no wires! Since my new laptop came with an integrated bluetooth card, I don't even have to plugin a receiver of any kind.

Finally, the mouse comes with a handy neoprene case for traveling. This will definitely be a nice tool for future mobility.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Dell Inspiron E1405 - Initial Impressions

My new laptop arrived two days ago! It's a shiny, silvery, brand new Dell Inspiron E1405. To give some background, my old machine is a Sony VAIO PCG-K35.

Side-by-side, the Dell looks like a miniature toy, compared to the Sony. However, it is definitely a power machine. It's got dual processors and 2 GB of RAM. It flies!

Even though it is much smaller than the Sony, it's not quite as lightweight as I was hoping. It's definitely lighter than the 7.5 pound behemoth, but it's not a feather either.

One blessing is that it's fan is almost whisper quiet. Compared to the "jet engine," "leaf blower" of a fan in my Sony, I can't even tell that the Dell is running.

All-in-all, initial impressions are two happy thumbs up. I'm loving this machine and my 9-cell batteries!