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Daily Cup of Tech http://www.dailycupoftech.com Bean There, Done Tech Fri, 13 Nov 2009 02:40:11 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.2 en Cool Java Game http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/11/12/cool-java-game/ http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/11/12/cool-java-game/#comments Fri, 13 Nov 2009 02:39:42 +0000 Tim Fehlman http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/11/12/cool-java-game/

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Social Media Counts http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/11/04/social-media-counts/ http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/11/04/social-media-counts/#comments Thu, 05 Nov 2009 04:42:35 +0000 Tim Fehlman http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/11/04/social-media-counts/

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Hulk Mickey Mouse Club http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/09/06/hulk-mickey-mouse-club/ http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/09/06/hulk-mickey-mouse-club/#comments Sun, 06 Sep 2009 15:47:47 +0000 Tim Fehlman http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/09/06/hulk-mickey-mouse-club/

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Augmented Reality Game http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/09/05/augmented-reality-game/ http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/09/05/augmented-reality-game/#comments Sun, 06 Sep 2009 03:42:18 +0000 Tim Fehlman http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/09/05/augmented-reality-game/

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PNG vs JPEG http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/08/31/png-vs-jpeg/ http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/08/31/png-vs-jpeg/#comments Tue, 01 Sep 2009 04:33:22 +0000 Tim Fehlman http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/08/31/png-vs-jpeg/

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Howto Make USB Drive Less Disposable http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/08/14/howto-make-usb-drive-less-disposable/ http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/08/14/howto-make-usb-drive-less-disposable/#comments Fri, 14 Aug 2009 16:41:58 +0000 Tim Fehlman http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/08/14/howto-make-usb-drive-less-disposable/ I have received a lot of attention on the Internet and in print about my Lost USB Drive project.  One of the issues that I have discovered is that the USB drive itself is no longer a novelty.  When I started blogging a number of years ago, a USB drive attracted attention.  It was used as a type of geek bling that would attract attention.

But now, USB drives are everyone and are no longer a conversation piece among the geek set.  In fact, one of the few ways you can get attention regarding a USB drive is if you do not have one!  And if you are concerned about your USB drive getting returned if it is lost, then you want it to attract attention.

One of the things that I have been toying with is a company that makes personalized jump drives.  This seems to work on a psychological level in several different ways:

  1. If you spend a bit of extra money and buy a nice USB drive, you will probably take better care of the drive and reduce the chance that it will get lost.
  2. If it is something that stands out, there is a greater chance that it will be noticed in the event that it is lost.

I’ve picked up a couple of custom USB drives over the past few months and spent the extra money for something unique and I am happy to report that I have not lost them yet, primarily because I never let them out of my site.  I still keep a few of the cheaper flash drives floating around because I want to have a quick and simple way of giving files to friends, etc. without having to worry about them getting the drive back to me.

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Science News Cycle http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/05/20/science-news-cycle/ http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/05/20/science-news-cycle/#comments Wed, 20 May 2009 19:20:37 +0000 Tim Fehlman http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/05/20/science-news-cycle/

[PHD Comics]

Crush All Humans http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/05/12/crush-all-humans/ http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/05/12/crush-all-humans/#comments Tue, 12 May 2009 18:26:49 +0000 Tim Fehlman http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/05/12/crush-all-humans/

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GOM vs VLC: Your Opinion http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/05/12/gom-vs-vlc-your-opinion/ http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/05/12/gom-vs-vlc-your-opinion/#comments Tue, 12 May 2009 14:54:42 +0000 Tim Fehlman http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/05/12/gom-vs-vlc-your-opinion/ I recently read that people are starting to move away from VLC for their default media player to GOM. I plan to do a side by side comparison in the near future but I was hoping to hear from you, the reader, to see which you prefer and why.

Fill up the comments with your pick and convince me that this is the best way to go!
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If Microsoft Sold Office Furniture http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/05/11/if-microsoft-sold-office-furniture/ http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/05/11/if-microsoft-sold-office-furniture/#comments Mon, 11 May 2009 15:27:39 +0000 Tim Fehlman http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/05/11/if-microsoft-sold-office-furniture/
A salesperson walks into your office today and tells you that you have to buy a new, pre-built, expensive desk for every one of your employees. You have to buy a new desk today and replace it every three to five years. Additionally, there are no options for the desk and you may not alter it in any way - one desk is all we make and you have to buy it from us. You see, you don’t really own the desk; you’re simply purchasing a license to use the desk. Chairs are sold separately and we have the corner on the market for chairs that are 100 percent compatible with the desk. The chairs are also very expensive.

Does that sound like a scenario in which you wish to participate? Preposterous, you say? Is it? Now, what if I told you that you do have a choice of desks? In fact, just across the street from your office is an entire mall filled with desks and chairs from which to choose. Here’s the exciting part: The desks in that mall are all free. That’s right, free. Take as many as you want. You want chairs? They’re free too. If you want to customize your desk - or even build one from scratch - you can. What’s stopping you? Go pick up your free desks and chairs.

I’m feeling your reluctance to load up on those free desks and chairs. What’s the problem? Do you believe that there’s something wrong with those desks because they’re free? The free desks and chairs are just as good as the expensive one, plus they’re customizable down to the most minute detail.

If you’re like most, you’ll opt for the “one size fits none” expensive desk. Having choices, even if the other choices are free, often doesn’t make it any easier to choose. Sometimes it’s a “follow the crowd” mentality. For example, if your insurance company, family physician, elementary school and engineering company all bought the expensive desks, who are you to go in some other direction? A mind of your own is a terrible thing to waste.

Who cares if, while using your expensive desk, you occasionally have to open all the drawers and reclose them for the desk to work properly. Again, it’s what everyone else bought and it’s good enough for him or her, so why should you go to the trouble of learning how a new desk works or messing about with some new-fangled chair? After all, if something goes terribly wrong with the desk, you only have to call the manufacturer and someone will fix it, right?


The desk manufacturer assumes no responsibility for the workmanship or the maintenance of your desk. That’s left to independent businesses or individuals who’ll charge you to fix the desk. The manufacturer releases semi-annual patch kits to fix any anomalies you find with your desk. However, there are numerous manufacturer freebies: Cute drawer handles, holographic arm rest decals and fun paperweights to make your desk-using experience more enjoyable.

One word of caution: You should make nightly copies of all your desk’s contents and store them in a larger, more expensive desk that no one uses. Yes, you have to buy a chair with that desk too. Don’t become too attached to your current desk (now that you have it arranged just as you want) - you have to upgrade to a newer, heavier and better version in a couple of years. Not to worry, if the new one is so cumbersome and unstable that your productivity slows to a crawl, the manufacturer will have a better version in a couple of years for you to buy. You’ll buy it and again you’ll be just like everyone else.

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New Star Trek Movie Bashed By Fans http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/05/10/new-star-trek-movie-bashed-by-fans/ http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/05/10/new-star-trek-movie-bashed-by-fans/#comments Sun, 10 May 2009 19:47:40 +0000 Tim Fehlman http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/05/10/new-star-trek-movie-bashed-by-fans/

Trekkies Bash New Star Trek Film As ‘Fun, Watchable’

Rock Star Geeks http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/05/08/rock-star-geeks/ http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/05/08/rock-star-geeks/#comments Fri, 08 May 2009 14:35:36 +0000 Tim Fehlman http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/05/08/rock-star-geeks/

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Even Though Perception Is Reality, Reality Can Bite Back http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/05/07/even-though-perception-is-reality-reality-can-bite-back/ http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/05/07/even-though-perception-is-reality-reality-can-bite-back/#comments Thu, 07 May 2009 14:59:49 +0000 Tim Fehlman http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/05/07/even-though-perception-is-reality-reality-can-bite-back/ My daughter was quite distraught this morning.  She had found a penny yesterday and she had put it in her room to before she went to bed last night.  When she woke up this morning, she could not remember where she had put the penny and was in a panic to find it.  We looked everywhere in her bedroom without any success.

I stepped out of the room for a couple of minutes and then returned to the search.  “Miraculously”, only a few seconds after rejoining the search, I “found” the absent penny!

Anyone who has had children knows exactly what I did.  I went into our change jar, dug out a different penny and then planted it in my daughter’s room where it was found and solved the problem.

The reason that this works because for people, perception is reality.  My daughter perceived that I had found her lost penny so, in her mind, I did find her lost penny.  The fact that he penny she has now is not the same penny that she lost is irrelevant.  In her mind, this is her penny.

This same principle holds just as true for managers and employers as it does for five year old girls with lost pennies.  It can be very easy for IT personnel to give the people that they answer to the perception that they are busy working on projects when, in reality, they are doing other things.

For example, it is quite difficult for your boss to know the difference between you researching for the new mail server upgrade project and researching your hobby.  Or writing a post on your blog looks an awful lot like working on that server documentation.

Here’s the thing.  You may get away with this for a while.  In fact, you might get away with it for years!  But, in the end, it will come back to bite you on the backside.  Here’s why.

  1. Reality always trumps perception.  In the end, your knowledge of the mail server upgrade will be deficient or the server documentation does not get done one time.  People notice these patterns over time and this will negatively affect your reputation.
  2. Hard, diligent work always pays off long term. There is something to be said for hard work.  It teaches you to focus, to complete projects and to be responsible.  None of these things can be learned through deception.
  3. The risk isn’t worth it.  So, what do you think your boss will say when (not if) s/he discovers that they have been paying you to surf the Internet?  Best case scenario, you will get a reprimand.  Worst case scenario, you are looking for a new job without a good letter of reference.

I know the temptation to pull the wool over your employer’s eyes is strong.  It is so easy to do.  But the long term damage that you could be doing to your career just does not justify it.  RESIST!

Star Wars Yoga http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/05/06/star-wars-yoga/ http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/05/06/star-wars-yoga/#comments Wed, 06 May 2009 13:03:00 +0000 Tim Fehlman http://www.dailycupoftech.com/2009/05/06/star-wars