Sunday, November 30, 2008

Encryption for Laptops

Here's one of the many interesting articles to be found on TechLife Post, a new online magazine.

"Having your laptop stolen can ruin your whole week. Hopefully, by now, you’re backing it up regularly and you know that there’s software available that can dramatically improve the odds of getting your computer back. But perhaps the creepiest aspect of having your laptop stolen is that someone might be going through the information you have on it: Email, contact lists, web browsing history, passwords, financial information, family photos and, if you use the computer for work, potentially sensitive business information....

There are a lot of different encryption products available to protect data on your laptop. But, sadly, many of them dive quickly into technical details and scare most people off. So, while I’d be happy to answer your technical or security questions , I’m going to avoid all that and just tell you what you need: Full disk encryption software or FDE, for short."

Click the title bar to read the entire article on 'TechLife Post'.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Nov. 20, 1820: One Whale Exacts His Revenge

1820: The whaling ship Essex is rammed and sunk by a sperm whale 2,000 miles off the west coast of South America. The ordeal of the crew inspires Herman Melville's classic, Moby Dick.

Click the title to read the entire story

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mickey Mouse turns 80

November 18th was Mickey's 80th birthday I'm told. Here's the film that brought him to national attention (although not the first one in which he appeard)-- Steamboat Willie, from 1928.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Top 5 Science Conspiracies, Theories and Hoaxes

The title is self-explanatory, but the video is followed by the first YouTube commercial that I've seen. A sign of things to come, no doubt.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

'Buddha Boy' returns

From the Independent:

"They asked not where he had been or what he had been doing. Instead thousands of jubilant devotees simply trudged to the remote jungle spot in south-east Nepal where a teenage "Buddha Boy" reappeared to preach to villagers, more than a year after he went missing.

Ram Bahadur Bamjon became famous three years ago when tens of thousands of people flocked to watch him sitting cross-legged under a tree for almost ten months. His followers - who say he is the reincarnation of Buddha - claimed that during this time he neither ate nor drank.

Then, last spring, his supporters said that the teenager was planning to go away and meditate for three years in an underground bunker. He was last seen in August 2007, preaching to crowds in Nepal’s Hallori jungle, around 100 miles south of Kathmandu.

Whatever encouraged Mr Bamjon to re-emerge is unclear, but police said that on Monday he appeared, long-haired, dressed in white and looking in good health, and preached to villagers for around 45 minutes. Local officials said he plans to speak to people for an hour a day for another week.

"Hundreds of devotees, including many from neighbouring India are trekking the five kilometres to see him," said one police officer, Prakash Sen. "He spoke to the devotees standing near a temple in the forest. He had shoulder-length hair and had his body wrapped in a white cloth. Since many people are walking to see him, I think he has some of the qualities Lord Buddha had."

When Mr Bamjon first became famous reporters filmed him eating, even though his supporters said he could go without food or drink for days. He was also spotted sleeping when his followers said he was meditating in private. However, a number of witnesses spoke of the young man’s ability to sit fixed in one spot for hours on end

There has been no formal declaration by Buddhist authorities on whether they consider the teenager to be the reincarnation of Siddhartha Gautama, who was born in south-western Nepal in 500 BC and later became revered as the Buddha, or "Enlightened One". Buddhist priests have been divided on the issue, despite the claims of his followers. Meanwhile local volunteers have collected thousands of dollars from people who have visited the young man, prompting accusations that he is merely at the centre of a clever and enlightened money-making scam."

Search on 'buddha boy'in search box at top left to find previous blog entries

Monday, November 03, 2008

Marty Reisman, table tennis great

Speaking of table tennis...

If you don't recognize him, this is the great Marty #3 in
the world. I took my very first TT lesson from him at age 16, some 36 years ago now.

Here he is in his late 70's, demonstrating his accuracy by smashing cigarettes in half.

He hasn't lost too much!:

Don't believe the closeness of the score. When he published his autobiography, The Money Player: The confessions of America's greatest table tennis champion and hustler, he had an exhibition at Macy's department store in the 70's to launch his book.

My father Alan and I were very friendly with Marty at that time, being regulars at his club on 96th Street in Manhattan. In fact, he let us read the manuscript prior to publication and gave us an autographed copy upon its publication. Anyway, at Macy's he took on all comers -- spotting them points -- and would give a free book to anyone who could beat him in a game (he only gave away one).

I remember that he and I played an abbreviated game to 15, which he *won* by only two points (I don't recall now how many points he spotted me...probably 8...but somehow, he always seemed to win by only 2 points), and finished me off with the drop shot you see on the last shot in the video above.

My father, who competed late in the exhibition, was up by a point when Marty used his infamous drop shot. Having seen it all afternoon, my father was prepared and ran to the side of the table, smashed the ball with all of his might, and ended up standing next to Marty on his side of the table....having won the point and the game.

I won't say that Marty was upset exactly, but one could tell he wasn't very pleased. And so, you now know why I have two copies of The Money Player!

Greatest table tennis match

Perhaps the greatest table tennis match of all time