Caution – Don’t Sling and Drive

Recently I wrote a post on how I can watch live TV shows on my Treo 650 Smartphone now by controlling my family room TV and streaming the video and audio using SlingMedia’s Slingbox. After writing the post I remembered writing another post on how dangerous it could become to watch TV on a phone while driving in a car. I called it DUII – Driving Under the Internet Influence. I know it sounds crazy and obvious that you should not do this but I have a feeling that this will become a bigger problem. People have become very accustomed to talking on the phone while driving and now people are beginning to text or sms on there phones more and more (even while driving). New phones have a feature that let you text a response to an incoming caller instead of answering the call. One solution to this problem could be a voice recognition user interface that will allow true hands free operations of any communications device. Using normal language you would just tell your phone what to do and it would do it. You would just say out loud “answer the phone” or “reply with a text message that I am in a meeting”. But this still does not solve the possibility of watching video on your phone while driving. For right now the only solution may be to create laws banning the use of portable devices such as cell phones or PDA’s by a driver unless it is handsfree. Unfortunately this probably will not happen until their are enough car accidents as a result of Driving Under the Internet Influence. Lets pray that does not happen.

The Spanish Computer Joke

I received this email a few days ago and thought you might enjoy it. I certainly did.

The Spanish Computer

A Spanish teacher was explaining to her class that in Spanish, unlike English, nouns are designated as either masculine or feminine.
“House” for instance, is feminine: “la casa.”
“Pencil,” however, is masculine: “el lapiz.”
A student asked, “What gender is ‘computer’?”

Instead of giving the answer, the teacher split the class into two groups, male and female, and asked them to decide for themselves whether “computer” should be a masculine or a feminine noun.

Each group was asked to give four reasons for its recommendation

la computadoraThe men’s group decided that “computer” should definitely be of the feminine gender (“la computadora“), because: 

1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic;
2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else;
3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for possible later retrieval; and 
4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.

(THIS GETS BETTER!)

el computadorThe women’s group, however, concluded that computers should be Masculine (“el computador“), because: 

1. In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on;
2. They have a lot of data but still can’t think for themselves;
3. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they ARE the problem; and 
4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better model.

The women won!

Read more jokes on my Jokes & Humor Page

Glade PlugIn Air Freshener for your Hair?

 
Recently my 4 year old daughter discovered the wonderful scents of the Glade PlugIn Air Freshener at school. Now, I have to tell you that my daughter is obsessed with scents and smells and how she looks. She is very crafty and independent and likes to try different things on for herself. A few weeks ago at school she found a Glade Air Freshener in the bathroom and was taken in with how wonderful the smell was. She wanted to smell the same way as the Air Freshener. So she took the Glade PlugIn off the wall and removed the air freshener from inside and began rubbing it all throughout her hair, face, arms, and clothes. Then she plugged it back in the wall and went back to her seat in the classroom. Immediately the air in the classroom quickly became “fresher”. The teacher’s started looking around to see if anyone spilled something on the floor or if the smell was coming from outside or the air conditioner. Eventually they figured out that the “fresh air” was coming from my daughter. They asked her if she put anything on her body and she emphatically responded “No!” She didn’t want to get in trouble you see. The teacher called my wife to come pick up our daughter so she can get a bath and then return to school. Later that night I could still smell the Glade Air Freshener in her hair when I tucked her in to bed. I have to say, her hair certainly smelled fresh for the next couple of days! This is one of those stories that I will always remember and certainly share with others whenever I smell an air freshener. :-)

Here are some links on caring for your child’s hair: (They came in handy for me)

Do you think a Glade PlugIn Air freshener makes for a good hair product? Share a funny story about your kids in the comments.

Save on the cost of pay-per-view by using the Slingbox?

I purchased the SlingMedia Slingbox just over a year ago and it has already saved me enough money to pay for itself. At first I planned to watch my local sports teams while I was on the road or on vacation from my laptop. Then it happened. My brother called me to let me know he would not be able to come over to watch the pay-per-view fight at my house and would have to pay to watch the fight at his house. Slingbox to the rescue!

Why and How I use my Slingbox?

I use my SlingBox to watch TV (mostly sports and sci-fi) on my laptop in my home office because I have no TV in my office.
I also enjoy watching the local news, or local sports like the Miami Dolphins when I am out of town.
Read my previous post on how I even use my slingbox to watch TV by my Pool and Spa.
How about watching pay-per-view movies on the road or at a friends house. My brother was able to save on the cost of ordering a pay-per-view boxing match by watching the fight via my slingbox on his computer, which is connected to his 50″ TV at his house. How cool is that? (Keep in mind Slingbox only allows one connection at a time) But this idea caught on quickly and I figured that I could pay back the cost of my slingbox after just a few pay-per-view shows by sharing or slinging it with friends and family.
Whenever I want or need to have access to a TV channel around the house or even outside with wireless wifi I can have it setup in seconds with my laptop.
And now that I can sling to my Treo phone I can watch TV anywhere and anytime I want! And it’s pretty great!

I’m not alone!

Kenric saved $54.95 with a slingbox a few weeks ago. Read his other great ideas on saving money with a slingbox.
Read how others are Slinging Around the World.
And don’t miss the Sling Community Forum to learn more about the slingbox.

Join the sling community and buy your very own Slingbox.

Sling Media’s Slingbox can be purchased at most major electronics stores such as: Circuit City, Best Buy, CompUSA, Amazon.com, SlingMedia.com, Walmart, Target, Office Depot, etc…

Slingbox Reviews:

Take the Poll and leave a Comment.
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What do you think about controlling your TV from anywhere in the world?

I can watch live TV shows on my Treo 650 Smartphone now!

It was just over one year ago when I bought my Slingmedia Slingbox and started streaming my TV shows in my house and over the Internet. However, it wasn’t until just last week that I was able to stream that same video to my phone. Yep, I can watch live TV shows on my phone. And since I have a ReplayTV unit (just like TIVO but better in my opinion) I can watch my prerecorded shows on my Treo also. The best part is I don’t have to pay for a monthly service like MobiTV. Once you own the slingbox and the slingplayer watching TV is free on your phone (minus the data service charges – I recommend the unlimited data plan)

Here are the steps to get the SlingPlayer Mobile for Palm OS to work on your Treo650 Smartphone:

  1. Download the SlingPlayer Mobile for Palm on to your Treo650
  2. Purchase and install the Kinoma Player 4 EX – This version comes with the Treo 700+, but not the Treo 650
    (The Kinoma Player contains the kinomaVideoMPEG4Lib.prc and the kinomaAACLib.prc codecs that are required by slingplayer to work)
  3. Turn off Bluetooth on the Treo650 – This prevents the Treo 650 from locking up (VERY IMPORTANT – hopefully this will be corrected in future releases)
  4. Launch the SlingPlayerMobile and add your slingbox to your directory and connect to it

Thats it!
Thanks to the SlingCommunity for the tips to get this working on the Treo 650.

The reception and clarity is obviously not as good as the newer phones which take advantage of the higher speed networks but it still does work great. Just read the posts on the SlingCommunity forum and see what others are saying. It has been a year in the making but I am finally happy that I can sling my TV to my phone anywhere at anytime.

[poll id="9"]

What about you? Do you sling to your phone? Let me know by leaving a comment.

 

How to spot a Hoax, Scam, or Urban Legend?

Picture of Glade PlugIn Air Freshener

I just received an email from a relative regarding a warning about House Fires caused by Glade PlugIns brand air fresheners. At first I was worried because I do use several plugin products such as night lights, and air fresheners, but then it dawned on me that this could be a hoax. So I did some searching on the Internet and sure enough it is a hoax. This email has been circulating the Internet since 2004 and the actual problem dates back to the early 1990s. You can read about it here.

(ô¿ô) Look for the following clues to spot a Hoax, Scam, or Urban Legend:

  1. The message urges you to forward it to everyone you know or everyone in your address book. This is your number one clue!
  2. The message appeals to your emotions instead of just informing you. Look for lots of Exclamations!!! and **punctuations** and CAPITAL LETTERS.
  3. The message sounds too good to be true. Don’t fall for the “You won our Lottery” scam or help me claim a large sum of money scam. This is also done over the phone.
  4. The message is very urgent, but you never heard about it in other venues such as TV, Radio, or Newspaper. IE: Electrical Hazards or House Fires caused by plugin air fresheners.
  5. The message offers you something for FREE. There is always a catch.
  6. Look for the phrases “This is not a hoax.” or “This is not an urban legend” or “There is no catch”.
  7. The message claims something bad will happen to you if you do not forward or act on the message. And vice versa, if you do act on the message something great will happen. This is typical in chain letters. Just delete them. Nothing bad will happen.
  8. The message claims to fix an issue; be it computer related or even medical related. This one is popular with Virus hoaxes.
  9. Do not click on any links in the message! Verify the message with the sender or online via google or at a Hoax website (see links below).
  10. Some of these messages will look and sound very authentic. They will try everything they can to convince you the message is real. Be skeptical.

Search Snopes.com for hoaxes, urban legends, old wives’ tales, common fallacies, misinformation, strange news, rumors, and even celebrity gossip.

How Stuff Works – Urban Legends
Urban Legends and Folklore at About.com

Top 25 Urban Legends

How to avoid an email Hoax?

List of Fake Give Aways and Other Riches


Now forward this post to everyone you know or in the next 24 hours something very terrible will happen… I might not get any readers…

Tracking Santa Claus 2006 – The High Tech Way at NORAD

Here is a great site to share with your kids this Christmas Eve. How would you like to know precisely where Santa Claus is at any given moment this Christmas Eve? Well, using NORAD’s high tech radar system called the North Warning System you can do just that. Actually NORAD uses 4 different high tech systems to track Santa – radar, satellites, Santa Cams, and Jet Fighter Aircrafts. Check out NoradSanta.com this Christmas Eve to track Santa as he makes his journey to deliver gifts for millions of children all around the world. Complete with videos throughout the night of Santa flying in his sleigh with his reindeer over cities across the globe.

NORAD BadgeOther things you can do at NoradSanta.com:

  • Send Santa an Email
  • Find out how many cookies Santa eats during his trip around the world
  • Play a Santa Puzzle Game
  • Listen to Christmas music performed by the United States Air Force Academy Band
  • Download a 12 page Santa Coloring Book
  • Watch a promotional Norad Santa Tracking video
  • and more…

Now you have a way of knowing when Santa is close to visiting your home.

Last year, I could have sworn I heard jingle bells over my house just as Norad was tracking Santa in my area.

Have a Merry Christmas!