The reason for this poll is because one day, in the future, it would be my wish to come home and start a Microbrewery. There are many road blocks to this dream. The main one being that Liberty County is currently 1 or 5 remaining “Dry Counties” in the state of Florida. Why the county does allow beer to be bought, it has a Alcohol by Volume limit of 6.4%. That is fine for all the Budweiser and Coors drinkers, but leaves little room for craft beer which is normally between 6% to 9% ABV. Any way this is just a cheap way to get the pulse of a few people from the county.

click link below
Click to for Poll

Advertisements

I wanted to take a few minutes to write a quick review for one of my favorite podcast. If you have not heard of This Week in Startups (thisweekinstartups.com) you really should check it out. Not only does it give good insight to the fast paced world of Web 2.0 startups it also gives you a glimpse in to the mind of Mahalo (mahalo.com) founder Jason Calacanis (calacanis.com). Jason is accompanied on the show with is right hand Man Tyler and long time Mahalo employee Lon Harris (@Lons).

This Week in Startups has a basic, but entertaining format. The show is broken down in to 4 parts.

1. Ask Jason: Jason and studio answers questions from callers about common issues that someone trying to break in to business with the next big startup might come across. It is cool to hear ground floor advice from knowledgeable individuals who have already succeed in launching numerous startups.

2. The Shark Tank: While a scary name it is probably the best information you will find on how to pitch your idea’s to potential investors. Jason rates pitches on a 1-10 scale with input on what he thinks will help the prospective entrepreneurs. Sometime praise and sometime a reality check Jason give the callers honest information that could help their venture take off. Also, an added bonus is the useful “insights from Tyer” (you will know when they are coming because Tyer has his own intro music. )

3. Studio Guest: Not only do you get Jason and his staff’s informative opinion, but TWiST’s guest are also well know entrepreneurs, Angel investors, and all around internet superstars. Every episode This Week in Startups has top notch guest that help contribute to the show. Some of the more interesting guests IMO are Gary Vee and poker star Annie Duke.

4. In The News (with Lon Harris): To wrap up the show Jason brings out Lon Harris to read current news happenings. With ever headline read aloud Jason, studio guest, and Twist Crew give their personal commentary. While maybe not as informative in the other three segments, this is usually the funniest part of the podcast. This is normal where Jason’s New York cynicism comes out in full force. All it takes is one “idiot” or “idiotic” story to make national news and the TWiST crew will BBQ them! (Yes, Carol Bartz is asleep at the wheel! ep:33)

All in all this is very amusing and educational podcast that can be seen live through uStream (ustream.tv) or downloaded through iTunes (both video and audio only). To can also send question for the show by using the #TWiST hash tag on twitter.

The show is sponsored by:
Bing.com
DNAmail.com
UStream.tv
Powervps.com
Webspy.com
As of this writing the podcast is on its 33rd episode and getting better with every show

Translator APP

Posted: September 25, 2009 in Internet, Technology
Tags: , , ,

So I have this idea that I will probably never make, but I would like to share it.

With all the new technology that is coming out in portable devices I would like to see a Translator app. My idea is to be able to use the cameras on cell phones and OCR technology to translate on the fly. I am not sure how the tech this would be accomplished. The current thinking is that you would need to an internet connection and up load the image to a server for the translation. This would be a good work around until Cell Phone processing power is increased enough to handle it.

He is what I envision; take a picture of something like a menu in a restaurant. The picture gets uploaded to a server and optical recognition software strips the words out and then overlays them back on the image.

Original Picture:

app1

Picture After OCR:

app2

All recognized words are highlighted yellow and words that were not recognized are highlighted blue. From here you can translate the words to various languages.

Translated words:

app3

The translated words pop up over their highlighted counterpart. In this scenario I translated English to Spanish, but the done in reverse. Imagine being in Mexico and your phone was an on the translator. I know there are plenty of apps that translate typed text to you. There are also apps that use OCR technology to pictures of text into editable text. I have not seen one that combines the two technologies together.

Tell me what you think. Is there app out there that already does this? Do you think this is a good idea?

Swine Flu Info

Posted: April 29, 2009 in List

 

Just like everyone else I going do a quick talk about Swine flu officially the Swine influenza A (H1N1) virus. Basically I want to let people know where they can find information.

A Google Maps mashup tracking confirmed cases, suspect cases, deaths and false alarms worldwide.

googlemap

 

More Information:

  1. The CDC’s official page on Swine Flu
  2. WebMD’s Swine Flu FAQ, which includes more details about symptoms
  3. A Q&A on CNN including history of previous Swine Flu outbreaks
  4. The World Health Organization’s Swine Flu homepage, which is updated
  5. 2009 Swine Flu Outbreak Wikipedia page, which may be updated before news organizations
  6. See all posts on Twitter tagged “#swineflu”
  7. Google.org’s Flu Trends page Must give credit were credit is due. Most of the links were put together by ZDNET blog

 

Google Samuel Morse logo

Google Samuel Morse logo

 

 

Google celebrates Samuel Morse’s birthday. How cool is that? Samuel F.B. Morse was born on April 27, 1791 in Charlestown, Massachusetts. He was a professional artist, inventor of the electric telegraph, and originator of Morse Code.

Finding time to write.

Posted: April 24, 2009 in Random

I am trying to get back into the swing of things with my blog and my website http://www.TheStateWorker.com , but I am finding it hard to get into the groove. I often see something I find interesting and think to myself, “I should write a blog post about that!”, but I never seem to get around to it.

Now that we have had Declan, our brand new baby boy, I think it is going to be much harder for me to find time get around town. It is the tradeoff of having a child and I will take that tradeoff every time. Since I will not be going out as much I am hoping that I we will have some time at the computer to spew my rubbish over the interwebs.  I hoping to bring back some of the thing I use to do in the past like List Wednesdays and Interview a Podcaster

So I am going to try to write about as much as I can, even if it is super short.

If you have been anywhere near a TV, Radio, or Internet news site you have probably heard the word ConFlicker. I’m not here to talk about this internet terror itself, but I am here to talk about the actions that people are taking. As the title of this post says, the state is scrambling to fix an issue that cannot be fixed. What I mean bythat statement is that although ConFlicker can be stopped technically, it was built to thrive on societal ineptitude of internet culture by means of social engineering. 

The infections scheme is based on Social Engineering concepts. A time honored tradition of thieves, rouges, and conartists. Social engineering has the power to make people accept totally believable, yet factious, stories which gain information and confidence of victims to further the personal greed of criminals. I would like to say that this rare, but with AIG, Madoff, Enron, and Katrina scandals in the news I believe it is more common place now than ever before. Here in America, our society is built on the fact that you’re innocent until proven guilty. I believe that is the correct way to view the world, but this leads us to trust the good in people and hinders our skepticism. This innate idea to trust sometimes blinds us to the reality that there are harmful people, whose only intentions are to steal our identities and money.
Enter Conflicker, a computer worm that infects your unpatched computer through visiting bogus websites setup by hackers. Most people who visit these malicious websites are steered there through cleverly disguised social engineering techniques such as spam emails, hacked accounts social network accounts, and variety of other unassuming methods. 60 Minutes recently did an episode that showed how a hacked Facebook account was used to direct friends of that account to infect websites. As soon as I saw that computer generated Facebook message from the hacked account it sent warning signals off to me, but probably 90% of people would have clicked the link. This type deception is the true danger of Conflicker and other virus like it. The major way the virus is effective is if your unpatched computer is tricked in to visiting an infected site.  
You might be wondering what all this has to do with government. As much as the government tries to patch all their machines and cut internet usage to their workers this will not be enough. Conflicker, while nasty, is not the issue, it’s the methods that spread Conflicker that need to me addressed. Until we start teaching internet users to be savvier or law enforcement can eliminate the threats at the source, Conflicker is just the means of this attack and not the solution for stopping the problem.

So what are we to do about this threat???  It is a two pronged solution, education and punishment. I will not go into punishment here, but I’ll only say that most of these cyber attacks come from Russia and China which we have few options for recourse even if we know who is the criminal. Education, Conflicker is not a technical issue; it is a computer/internet education issue. Patched computers with updated antivirus software are at little to no risk. The systems that are at risk are the ones that do not patch the OS or the Anti Virus protection is outdated. This is why we need to better instruct people why they need to keep their Antivirus up to date. We need to show computers users how to keep their operating systems patched. We need to educate people on what to be suspicious of when they receive emails, IM’s, text messages, tweets, etc…. The power these hacker are given is because overall society of internet users are oblivious to simple, but crucial steps to deter criminals. This is not saying that by teaching the mass how to be safer on the internet will end all problems. There have been and will always be people that prey on the uneducated, the less fortunate, and trusting. 
For> more information on Conflicker or a means of scanning your computer to see if you are infected 
For more information on Conflicker or a means of scanning your computer to see if you are infected read Adrian Kingsley-Hughes – “The ‘no bull’ guide to Conficker