Teaching Trending Tech Topics since 1996!

Chris Pirillo is here to help his Gnomies learn with a daily podcast! To get full access to The LockerGnome Daily Report, you can quickly become one of the Super Gnomies! If you have a question, contact us!

Other Products Suspected in the Salmonella Outbreak

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not identified tomatoes as the definite source of the salmonella problem. Other products are being investigated as the source of the outbreak:

“…Raw jalapeños, serranos and cilantro, key ingredients in Mexican cooking, are now being linked along with tomatoes to the outbreak of salmonella that has sickened more than 1,000 people nationwide and forced grocers to pull produce from their shelves.

On Wednesday, experts with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned seniors and people with compromised immune systems – the most at risk – to avoid eating the raw peppers and cilantro.”

link: Health warning widens to peppers

This has been an ongoing problem since April and no definitive answer has been found yet. One comment about this salmonella problem is that this impacts only a small per centage of the American population. Only a small number, in relation to the general population, has become ill.

So far there has been one salmonella related death. The point is that even if a small segment of the population is impacted, the problem is serious. The illnesses and the time to identify the source of the problem show that the government agencies are not funded adequately nor staffed appropriately to provide the necessary security to the national food supply.

The number of people who have become ill now exceeds a thousand, even with warnings issued. The industry sector producing and shipping the tomatoes estimates that the damage has exceeded a hundred million dollars. The progress is that more products are added to a warning list. The question to the commenter would be ‘at what point do you consider this product safety concern as a serious issue?’.

Catherine Forsythe

How to make polls

If you saw the poll results you might be wondering how you can make your own poll. You can ad it is easy. All you have to do is go to Poll Daddy. This will allow you to make your own polls without having any knowledge to HTML. All you have to do is make your own poll is create an account. Then you just login and click create new poll. Next you just add the question and select the settings. Next select your style and paste the code of your choice into your website. If you have any comments I would like to hear them. Also I am always looking for new topics so if you have any ideas I would like to hear them.

Apple Servers Went Kerplunk!

As I thought and mentioned in my last post, call volume this morning was very light at the call center.  I went in for overtime to help with the “Busy” time and sat at my desk for 1 hour before I got my first call.  In 4 hours I might have gotten a total of 10 calls, most of which had nothing to do with the iPhone.

At about 9AM Central, Apple’s servers crashed and the stores coould no longer activate the phones.  They were forced to send people home with non-working phones to wait for the issues to be resolved and have them activate their own devices.

As I thought, Apple and AT&T grossly over exagerated the effect the “new” iPhone would have.  With all the negative publicity the first one got, I’m suprised this one is as popular as as it is.

Time will tell if Apple can pick themselves up from their stumble.  Apple is known for flawless activations and software.  In my opinion they bit off more than they could chew in this whole iPhone thing.

Jordan Hasay Advances in Bydgoszcz

After running in the U.S. Olympic Trials, Jordan Hasay is in Poland competing in the World Junior Championship. She is running the 1,500 meters.

The news off the wire services is that that Ms Hasay did advance and will run in Sunday’s final. Her time was 4:20:82 which, for her, is a slow qualifying time. Her recent national high school record is 4:14:50.

For this high school student, it is an intense amount of running in a short time spam. From the Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon to the World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland is a tough schedule.

So, Jordan, how did you send the summer holidays…

Catherine Forsythe

A Reader Needs Your Help With Windows Vista

As many of you know, I also write computer articles for a newspaper in California. This morning I received this message from a reader in response to an article I had done about upgrading to Windows Vista. After reading the email, I thought this would be something I could share with my readers here at LG and also seek any advice I could give Ed. He states:

Hi Ron, just read your article about Windows Vista.  I have had nothing but problems with this software since I purchased a new computer for Christmas 08.  I thought my problems with outdated computer, software, hard drives, not enough memory, etc. etc.  would be over.   I wish I had my old computer back with Windows ME on it.  


Microsoft should provide more help to correct these issues.   One of my friends took their computer back and returned it because of the problems.  Another friend is more patient that I am and she accepts the fact that she can’t open many programs. 


To compound our problems, we have a dial up network and speed is around 44Kbps.    If you try and download an update, it takes forever.  Most of the updates do not work anyway.


Here are some error messages. 

1.   Unable to open the project. The file may be corrupted.   I just typed it and stored it to my desktop.

2.  Adobe Reader could not open.  It is either not a supported file type or the file has been damaged.  (For example, it was sent as an e-mail attachment and wasn’t correctly decoded.)    I get this frequently from e-mails with an attachment.  How do I or the sender know how to DECODE???????  This is low profile e-mails, not a government project.  

3.  I also get phone calls from my friends who can not open a file that I have sent them as an attachment.   I have to type the whole message within my e-mail message.   Never had this problem before with ME program.


I researched the internet, Microsoft has a Service Pack to update Vista, BUT, there is a warning that some programs may be lost or damaged.    Service Pack would take about 6 hrs. to download.  I contacted someone in Microsoft, they can not send it to me on a disc.  No help.  

Not sure what you are looking for in your articles, but this is some problems that I am having.  I look forward to reading your future articles. 


Thanks again.



What would you advise for Ed to do? Should he upgrade to Service Pack #1 or would this compound his problems? I was going to recommend that he find a friend or family member with a broadband connection and burn the full version of SP1 to disk and give it a try. This is just another example in the assumption by companies such as Microsoft that the entire world has a broadband connection and that they do not need to provide a disk to people like Ed, who are stuck with dial up. :-(

Comments welcome.

zebra, zipper, zany, zip, zulu, zebra,

Comcast – FCC Says Shame, Shame

The FCC chairman wants to punish Comcast for blocking certain traffic which the cable company says eats up bandwidth. What has come to light is that Comast is not the only one practicing the  blocking of Internet traffic. It is just that Comcast got caught at it. The FCC chairman may recommend that Comcast be punished for their deeds. Though exactly what that punishment might be is unknown. According to the New York Times:

Such an action would be the first time that regulators have slapped an Internet provider for violating F.C.C. open-access rules. Those rules are designed to prevent providers from favoring some services over others — for example, by accelerating the transfer of video from their own movie service or slowing down transfers from competitors.

That will surely please “net neutrality” advocates like Free Press, which brought the original complaint. The group issued a statement Thursday night saying: “The F.C.C. now appears ready to take action on behalf of consumers. This is an historic test for whether the law will protect the open Internet. If the commission decisively rules against Comcast, it will be a remarkable victory for organized people over organized money.”

Comcast’s blocking efforts ignited a wildfire of criticism last fall, after the A.P. tested Comcast’s network and reported that the cable company was manipulating Internet protocols to intermittently block file transfers made by customers using a popular program called BitTorrent.

Comcast, the nation’s largest cable provider, admitted that it was slowing down certain traffic but claimed it was legitimately managing its network so that a few bandwidth hogs didn’t bog things down for everyone else.

I use a cable connection for Internet access, since DSL is not available where I live. I’m paying $43 a month with taxes just for the luxury of connecting and downloading files using a faster speed than what dial up would provide. Because of this premium I pay, I expect my service to be as fast as possible. No matter what I choose to download, I do not believe that any cable company has the right to throttle back or block any connection.

What do you think? Should Comcast be made an example of and be prohibited from blocking any Internet traffic?

Comments welcome.


Today is iPhone day

Most of you know today is the release of the 3G iPhone.  Reports at work say that people have been waiting in line since yeasterday morning at some stores.  AT&T has offered overtime for us in the call center because they are expecting a large number of calls because of the new device.

I’m not so sure that the hype is all that AT&T and Apple wants it to be.  When the first iPhone was released that’s all you heard about on TV, radio, news papers, etc.  this time, I think I saw one commercial.  I really don’t think people are as excited about this device as Apple and AT&T would like to believe.  When you think about it the device really only offers 2 things that the original does not.  Integrated GPS and use of the 3G data network.  Much of the US has not yet gotten 3G access and the GPS, from what I understand, isn’t turn by turn capable.  I will be looking for the overtime to be cancelled by tomorrow.

I do plan on getting one but not untill a few weeks after today, largely because AT&T does not want employees to purchase one until customers have had a chance to get theirs.  Why I am not sure.  We cannot use the iPhone on our Employee Plans, have to have a contract and pay the $199 just like everyone else.  All other devices we get a 30% discount on and can use it on our 2 employee rate plans .  AT&T is rather stingy with the iPhone.  When the first one was released every employee of Apple got an iPhone free of charge.  As an AT&T rep, I got a 12oz bottle of Apple juice. However, I do want one, if anything just for the “prestige” of having the latest and the greatest.

How many of you are getting the 3G iPhone?  If you have the original what is drawing you to spend another $199 for it?  Leve me a comment and let me know.

The Cylons Are Toast!

I enjoy SciFi shows like Dr. Who, Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica.  I found this item for sale on www.scifi.com.  At $65 it’s a toaster that will toast the image of a cylon on your bread, pop tart, whatever.

This very Limited-Edition Battlestar Galactica Toaster is a San Diego Comic-Con Exclusive and one-of-a-kind.



Whether we like it or not, we all have to make time to do things, and sometimes that’s not very easy to do. Each additional person that gets involved in your plans makes those plans more complicated because you may have to make adjustments in order to work with their schedule. I’ve had so many meetings lately that I feel like I’m starting to lose track of them all. So far I’ve been able to keep all of the meeting time details in my memory, but it’s the process of trying to set those times up with other people that really wears me out. With Presdo, making time to do things with other people doesn’t have to be so complicated.

When you first arrive at the Presdo home page, you’re going to think that it’s a search engine, but don’t worry, it’s not. All you have to do is type in the initial details about what you want to make time to do, and once you’ve done that, you can then fill in the rest of the details and invite others. If the time that you’ve suggested isn’t good for your guests, they have the ability to suggest other times, and you’ll be able to use that information to make a final decision.

Surf Canyon for Firefox v1.1

Ever wonder if there is anything useful past page one of your search results? When your search returns thousands, sometimes millions, of results, there has to be something good out there. There is, and Surf Canyon will go and get it for you. It is a tiny browser extension that helps you find relevant information buried in the search results on Google, Yahoo!, MSN Live Search, or craigslist.

[20.23K] [WinXP/Vista + Firefox] [FREE]