Xmarks dies a .com death

image

Some of the companies that died during the .com crash added nothing and died quietly among the carnage but then there were some really cool services too that really didn’t have a chance at an economic model … these ones were missed but everyone knew they probably couldn’t have lasted. Then there was the cool idea with some semblance of a business plan … Foxmarks (later renamed to Xmarks) was one of those ideas. I loved the ability to sync all my bookmarks … not just with one browser platform but all … and with their announcement from a few days ago I must say I am very sad to say goodbye to their service. Admittedly they were not officially in the dot.com era (they started in 2006) but they lived a dot.com existence and now it seems will be resigned to a dot.com death. So sad. I’ll miss you foxmarks/xmarks.

MiFi

Typically when I have a long weekend that translates into more free time. When I have more free time that typically translates into me looking at new gadgets and the all too common outcome of me purchasing at least something new and cool. Well last weekend was a “bank holiday weekend” in the UK so I exercised my gadget rights and looked for a solution to my mobile 3G needs and came up with a gem: the Huawei E5830.

 image

The Huawei E5830 – categorized as a “MiFi” device – is sold in the UK by the “3 Network” mobile operator as an alternative to the now standard “USB 3G Card”. What does it do? It receives cellular data services (HSDPA, 3G, GPRS) and then broadcasts this data channel over WiFi. Why is this cool? Well now you can have one 3G contract that services all your devices (laptop, PC, phone, ipad, etc.). I know you’re probably already thinking “Ken, thanks for sharing your fucking genius with me, I need to get one of these and improve my data-dependant life”. Well you’re welcome but it gets better. When you buy this device from the 3 Network you’re going to be tied into their network and their service plans. That might not be bad for some of you but if you’re already on a plan or – and this is key – if you travel to different countries regularly, you can unlock this device quite easily and get SIM cards for every geo you travel to. Ok, that’s all. I’ll stop so you can run out to the store and get yourself one of these little puppies.

Identity fraud

image

You read about identity fraud more and more these days but somehow you never expect it to effect you until it does. I guess its no different than other calamities but I write about it because I was the target of identity theft recently. My domain — KEN.NET — has been under my supervision for years (I believe I’m the only person who has ever had it) and these days having a three letter domain is rare to find and I suppose correspondingly a valuable target for identity theft. In any event — and without going through the specifics — a person named Ken Mohammad working under the business name KBM Holdings tried to execute a hostile takeover of my domain and almost succeeded. Literally 5 minutes after he’d booted me out as the “primary contact” he was asking me to pay him $200 a month for keeping the domain he just stole! Bloody bastard. I really wonder how these people sleep at night. In any event, be careful out there on that crazy information super-highway; there are dangers in the shadows.

Walk Jog Run

image

Interested in mapping a good walking or running route? Check out this very cool mash-up of google maps:

Introduction to Walk Jog Run

Not only can you save your maps and lookup other people’s route (you can make yours private if you so desire) but it also highlights mile markers, estimates caloric burn, and visually shows you how much vertical incline/decline there is in your route.