Lucky dip goodies

Over the last few weeks I have been collecting bits and pieces and I thought I would share them with you this time.

According to a news story I saw recently, it seems that Internet-filtering technology can have unintended consequences. The magazine of Canada’s National History Society is being forced to change its name due to the fact that porn filters in schools and some e-mail systems were blocking access to the magazine.

Established in 1920 by the Hudson Bay Company, the Beaver magazine has been busily documenting Canada’s history for nearly 90 years. Web-surfing schoolboys, and others, were often unable to access the magazine site or receive e-mail updates from it, forcing the publishers to change the name to Canada’s History.

Computers are just tools to me, and I very seldom get the urge to go out and buy one just for the hell of it. When I caught sight of an advert for the Asus ET2002 all-in-one PC, however, I wanted one instantly.

It comes with a 20-inch LCD widescreen and it has all its computer gubbins built into it so that all you have on your desktop is the slim 5 cm thick screen, and a wireless keyboard and mouse. It looks gorgeous and seems to be selling for about $550, but I shudder to think of what it’ll be going for when it finally reaches these shores.

As an added bonus, you get access to the Asus WebStorage facility where you get unlimited online disk space to back up your PC, for a mere $39 a year. The wording on the Taiwanese WebStorage site says it all: " Worry about how much space need to be expanded? ASUS WebStorage provides Luxury space all the time!".

I have mentioned the Lifehacker website (lifehacker.com) before, but I have been spending quite some time there lately. Where else could you find a range of useful articles ranging from how to reuse your Christmas tree as a garden insulator, improve the reception on your 3G modem by using a kitchen pot, or how to determine if a plant is safe to consume.

Packed in amongst all the other interesting articles, are software reviews, computing hints and tips, and plenty of info on how to organise your life and streamline your activities. Talking about software, Microsoft founder Bill Gates has established a new website (gatesnotes.com) where he writes about his activities and experiences working for the charitable foundation that he and his wife Melinda established. Topics include What I’m Thinking About, What I’m Learning, and My Travels.

A final website I found, called Academic Earth (academicearth.org), has a fine collection of free video lectures from some of America’s most famous universities, including Columbia, Princeton and Yale. All sorts of subjects are covered and you will very likely find something there that will interest you.

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