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Please Visit TheTech.ThePete.Com

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

TheTech.ThePete.Com

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 XE.com 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 PropertyRoom.com (clever!) which also goes by the domain StealItBack.com (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 PCWorld.com 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 Consumerist.com 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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Biggest Gadget in Space has Power Supply Issues

iss20070819.jpgWhat’s the worst thing that could happen aboard a space station? Try running out of power. OK, that’s maybe not the worst thing, but it’s pretty damn bad. While the power hasn’t cut out entirely on the International Space Station, NYTimes.com is reporting that the station’s power system has been damaged.

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Electromagnetic Pulse Technology Promises Fun, Human-Safe Bombing

Have you ever seen a movie where a nuclear bomb is dropped and just before everything gets blowed up to hell all electronics cease functioning? Well, this is based on a real deal with nukes where they emit a massive EMP, or ElectroMagnetic Pulse, that shuts down anything electronic faster than a Dick Cheney at a hot dog eating contest. Now, an October 28, 2007 piece at TheRegister.Co.UK is reporting that EMP Bombs are right around the corner–well, if you consider 2012 “around the corner,” that is.

See, the really cool thing about EMPs is that they don’t harm people. Despite the fact that the tiny little cells that make up our body, no one’s saying anything about EMPs hurting humans. This is a plus–especially for an enemy of America. This is because of three reasons:

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