Navy Battles Pirates: Navy 4, Pirates 0

3 ‘phenomenal shots’ ended pirate hostage crisis –

“The on-scene commander saw that one of the pirates still held that AK-47, was very, very concerned for the captain’s life — and he ordered the shots to be taken,” Gortney told CNN on Monday.Even with the small boat “moving up and down a couple of feet,” the SEALs hit their targets. “Remarkable marksmanship,” Gortney said.

I really hate to feel good about anyone dying, but I will admit to being a bit happy upon hearing that the three remaining pirates holding an American hostage were gunned down. I find myself wondering though – what does this tell the pirates.

Hopefully it tells them to stay away from boats flying under the American flag, which I would probably do if I were a pirate. After all, other countries seem content with paying ransoms while you wait it out. The actions taken by the SEALs should help dissuade pirates from going after Americans, but probably won’t dissuade them from going after anyone else.

In any event, it makes me proud to have two grandfathers who served in the Navy (making me an actual Son of a Son of a Sailor). And I remain proud to have two brother-in-laws serving in the Army (As you can imagine, I have tough decisions to make when cheering on a team during early December’s Army-Navy game!).

Windows Mobile Phone Looks Neat, Intimidating, and Odd at the Same Time!…fe-looks-scary/

“Edinburgh’s own The Medical Phone is just about set to unleash the mobile for the true argonaut in the iCEphone. The Windows Mobile-powered “Swiss Army knife of mobiles” is dubbed a micro-notebook by its manufacturer, and while we’re hesitant to go along with that, we can’t deny the utility here. Sporting a Jacob’s Ladder-style hinge and a full QWERTY keyboard, the unit features three independent panels, a 3-inch 400 x 240 resolution touchscreen, a mouse / tracker pad, dual SIM card slots, HSDPA support, quad-band GSM connectivity, GPS, a 3.1-megapixel camera, WiFi and a 532MHz Freescale iMX31 CPU. We’re told that the phone is just weeks / months away from a release in Thailand, and it should be hitting the UK sometime in the March – April time frame for around $1,000.”

You can’t say this isn’t an original form factor, I rarely see something this big and somewhat intimidating with Windows Mobile on it (Well, perhaps the Rugged devices are intimidating somewhat). Anyone think they want to sport one of these next year?

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Take The Internet With You When You Go!

About a year ago, I switched from Direcway Broadband Satellite internet to a Sprint EVDO Rev A card for my home internet service. The choice was easy – the Sprint card was cheaper and had better speeds overall than the satellite. For awhile, I put my broadband card into a spare computer and had it share the connection via Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) in Windows XP. Then I found a router online (The WRT54G3G-ST) that would let me pop the card right into my router and avoid the ICS hassle. The best part about using a broadband card for your internet service is that when you leave, you can simply take the internet with you when you go. However unless you want to install the broadband card drivers on every laptop in the family, there is no easy way to share (Unless you think setting up an adhoc network in Vista and sharing the internet – reliably – is easy!). My Solution? A cheap and easy rig that will let you pack “The Internet” with you when you go!

Step 1 – Parts

You’ll probably want the following (At least my rig is set up like this). My rig allows for the internet to be powered through AC or DC, depending on if you’re in a car or hotel room. Here are the parts:

  • Broadband card (Duh…)
  • Broadband Router (The WRT45G3G-ST in my case)
  • Short power strip (Optional, I suppose)
  • Some sort of Power Inverter (DC to AC). Mine is 400W, however you may be able to get away with less!
  • Box (Either an actual project box from somewhere like Radio Snack, or in my case, two Avon box lids)


Step 2 – Construction

You’ll probably want to plan out your rig before actually constructing it. I did mine visually, however for the sake of easy explaining, I’ll do up a small diagram (Click on it to see it a bit clearer!):

Next you’ll probably want to cut holes for vents, ports for cords, the hole for the antenna to stick out, and the power strip access. I used a simple swiss army knife as it cuts through cardboard quite nicely (What doesn’t…) and used masking tape to secure each item to the base of the box (I do want to disassemble this when I get home to put everything back where it normally goes). Feel free to improvise here – you may want to add more power ports, etc..

My design was specifically made to allow for AC or DC powering, and it works like this. When using AC, the power strip’s cord runs straight out the port to the right of it, and into a wall outlet. When on DC, it loops around the inverter (and plugs into the outlets at the bottom of the inverter. The Inverter’s cord then comes out the port to the right of the power strip, and into a car cigarette lighter. I’m planning on bringing an extension cord for the DC cord, as it is shorter than the power strip’s.

Step 3 – Complete & Accessorize

Here are some pictures of my completed rig. Note the snazzy title I gave mine (The Internet, complete edition, in color!). Accessorize to your heart’s content, just don’t block the vents!

(Edited to remove SSID – I’m paranoid…)

That’s all folks. Feel free to register and post your comments or suggestions!

Jon Westfall is a research psychologist and confirmed techno-geek. He’s a contributing editor for Pocket PC Thoughts, as well as a Microsoft MVP for Windows Mobile. This blog is where most of his longer articles reside, however also has other goodies and more than you want to know about him.

Men’s Purses

Women carry a purse, men do not.  This is fairly obvious from any social interaction that I’ve ever witnessed.  A man carrying any bag resembling a purse sticks out, unless their is a woman by his side (Now if she’s carrying a purse as well, he goes back to sticking out).  But where does this social oddity originate?
My best guess is that in the past, men have needed to carry less junk than women.  For the first 16 or so years of my life, this was how I was.  I carried my keys and my wallet.  Simple, end of story.  Then I inherited my dad’s pager – still no problem, drop it in the pocket with the keys.  Then I started carrying a cell phone.  This wasn’t bad, just drop the cell phone in the pocket formerly occupied by the keys & pager, and put the keys in the other pocket.  I’m still successfully needing only pants.
Then the PDA came along, and the constant laptop, and all the stuff that goes with those two devices (Chargers, sync cables, batteries, memory cards, etc…).  Then a job came along whe
re I carry around 8 or so keys (too many for my regular keychain).  Now I’m up to a lot of junk – what to do? use a computer bag or a briefcase, or a backpack.
But here is the problem – now that I have what is really to put it bluntly, a man’s purse, which man purse to chose! Many of you who know me know that I own about 9 different cases that I cycle through fairly regularly (Here is the short list: Targus Matrix backpack, Targus briefcase, Targus vinyl computer case (Flip open), Targus Koskin (imitation leather) zippered computer case (top loading), Kensington Saddlebag / backpack, Swiss Army briefcase, 2 other briefcases, and a small silver slim briefcase that resembles a bomb).  However, with the matrix backpack being the only thing CLOSE to ever becoming “The” bag, I’m a wreck bag-wise. I know how women feel – I can’t find the right “purse”!
Other men seem to have this problem, especially geeks.  Check out This thread or This thread at Pocket PC thoughts on the subject.  As the second one is titled “From the suspiciously close to a purse department”…
So tomorrow I start out with a new
‘purse’, a nice inexpensive stetson leather bag I found at Walmart.  I like this one because it is small, professional looking, small, and small. (Small tends to be what I’m always searching for, and “Large” is what I tend to be always going back to.)  My goal is to use the stetson briefcase for the week, and then my larger matrix bag in addition whenever I need to go back to Parma.  Carrying 2 bags back to Parma is fine with me – 3 or more and I flatly refuse.  In case you’re wondering – when I fly I don’t check bagage – I don’t want to take the risk my socks will end up in Jersey.
Anyone else out there with a revolving purse / bag habit? I have mine undercontrol now (used to be much worse – the Stetson is the first bag since October, and October’s previous purchase was in March or so, so I’m going about a new bag every 5 months). At least I rotate mine regularly, so I guess they don’t go to waste.
One day I’ll be able to replace the keys, wallet, cell phone / pda, tablet, chargers, etc.. all into my pockets again, I’m sure.  The future is probably some sort of PDA Cell Phone that had a retractable slim USB cord for charging, but until then, its the man purse game!