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So, I decided to move my tech blog onto my own domain. Please visit:


To check out daily tech posts from ThePerspective of ThePete!

Hey, where else are you going to get that? Not from here anymore!

Thanks for stopping by, though!


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Will the High Cost of Oil and Low Value of the Dollar Effect Gadgets?

ipodoil.jpgIf you’ve been paying attention to the news at all, you’ve probably heard about how expensive the cost of a barrel of oil has gotten–topping $94 as I type this. Another thing you may have learned about on the news (though it is less likely) is that the US dollar is at it’s weakest in a very, very long time. In fact, a quick check of the exchange rates (again, as I type this) at shows that the USD is still trailing the Canadian dollar by about five cents. Not a lot, but we’re still weaker than the Canadian dollar!

So, what does this mean for gadgets? It could mean nothing, but then again, gadgets do contain a lot of plastic, which is a petroleum product and gadgets do cost money to buy. What this may mean eventually for us is more expensive gadgets. In fact, it’s a little surprising that we haven’t seen at least small price jumps in the years since oil began it’s astronomical rise and the dollar’s long fall. However, there are certain physical laws when it comes to money and they can’t be ignored forever.

Here’s how price jumps will work when they come (and they will):

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Police Auctions: Gadget Getting on the Cheap

ipod30police.jpgWhile it is kinda creepy, a great way, in theory, to get great deals on gadgets is by seeking out police auctions. Don’t worry–these aren’t hard to find since they are available online. The most popular one, at least according to Google, is (clever!) which also goes by the domain (even more clever!). It has a good variety of items, too–not just gadgets. Just now, I noticed a great selection of older iPods–several 4g models, a few 1g Shuffles, some Nanos and a Mini or two. There are even a couple 30GB video iPods in their original packaging, both going for under $200 a piece.

Other items available include Karaoke machines, headphones, wireless cameras, PDAs, DVD players, and more. All of the items I saw were under $200.

So, where do all of these electronics come from? Well, this is the kinda creepy part. Read the rest of this entry »

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Free-Marketing PC Infiltration Via Botnet

loadscc1.jpgWow, repeat that headline to someone from the 19th century and they’d call an exorcist. What it means, in words Stephen Colbert would find offensive, is that unbridled capitalism is allowing more Windows PCs to get hacked thanks to a for-hire network of little hacking robot programs or “bots.”

According to a article from yesterday at Yahoo News, “Security researchers studying the latest Internet crime trends have discovered a new Eastern European website that uses a large botnet to infect vulnerable PCs. The operators of the botnet and website charge clients for each successful PC infection.

Pretty cold, huh? And it’s much worse than you might think, too.

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Bad Gadget Not Sitting Well With You? Fight Back!

Staring at a faulty, broken or dead gadget in your home? Was that gadget found by you in that state upon opening its packaging for the first time? Sure, it happens to all of us gadget-hounds, but what can you do? A few years ago it took me six months to convince Apple to replace an iBook that had died on me three times. Finally, I got a refund (and then a PowerBook) but the steps were meandering and, at the time, impossible to predict.

Well, have no fear–Cory Doctorow, over at BoingBoing.Net points readers to a huge post at all about how you, the consumer, can fight back when anything you’ve bought is less than what you’ve expected. The Consumerist post is vast and informative. There are lots of tips here–some are obvious (I remember doing a few of them on instinct during my iBook Adventureā„¢) and some are not (the one that teaches you “How To Get Your Problem Solved By Posting It To A Company’s Stock Forums” looks particularly intriguing).

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NBC’s Hulu, Just a Stopgap Without Knowing It

hulu.jpgSo, the Internetz are all abuzz today about NBC/Universal’s new Hulu video site going beta yesterday. Most people lucky (or connected) enough to get invites are saying it’s not nearly as bad as they’d expect a service from a major media corporation to be. Some are actually saying Hulu will seriously threaten sales at Apple’s iTunes Store. Meanwhile, the smart people realize that this is no iTunes killer, nor is it a YouTube killer.

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The XO Laptop, Cynics Hate It [UPDATED]

xo-sad-face.jpgOriginally called “the $100 laptop,” the XO is a computer built by the OLPC non-profit started by MIT-guy Nicholas Negroponte with the intent to provide One Laptop Per Child across the entire planet. Lofty goal? Sure. Impossible? Definitely. Still worth trying? What do you think? The problem is–well, what is always the problem when someone tries to do something good without any apparent ulterior motive? People hate you for it. In this case, everyone is going nuts about how the $100 laptop has “just” had its price hiked to $200.

Just yesterday, Jim Finkle wrote an article for Reuters pointing out, quite cynically how “A computer developed for the world’s poor children, dubbed “the $100 laptop,” has reached a milestone: It is now selling for $200.

The catch is that the XO had it’s price hiked a couple of weeks ago and despite that has already been put in front of handfuls of poor kids in poor countries, runs on a tiny amount of power, is environmentally friendly, has a huge battery life, can do all the basic stuff you expect from computers and has inspired copycats like the eeePC from Asus. So why the hate?

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