HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns

October 9, 2006, Herald Journal

Some bits and bites for you


Instead of devoting an entire column to just one topic, this week, I thought you might like reading a couple stories that were in the news recently, plus a couple fun things, too.

This one’s a scream

There is a cell phone company in Tunbridge Wells, England called Synchronica that has developed software which will enable your cell phone to “scream” when stolen.

This is an attempt to help reduce the more than 10,000 reported thefts each month of cell phones, according to the Metropolitan Police there.

When a person’s cell phone is stolen, the owner contacts Synchronica. They, in turn, will activate the cell phones phone management software they installed. This will lock and wipe all of the owner’s data from the cell phone.

The part I like is, they will then turn on the “Synchronica Scream Feature,” which causes a high- pitched wail to be emitted from the phone.

I do not know how this will help get the owner’s phone back, but I found amusing the comments from the CEO of Synchronica: “Using our service, crime victims can be reassured that their information is immediately removed from the stolen phone, along with the satisfaction of annoying the thief with a screaming handset.”

You can visit them at www.synchronica.com and click the Mobile Management Data Sheet to see the features.

Google’s garage purchased

Eight years ago, co-founders Larry Page and Sergery Brin, both just 25 years old, were renting out a garage for $1,700 per month in Menlo Park, Calif.

This is where they set up shop for working on a new type of Internet search engine that would forever change how we look for information over the Internet.

The price Google paid to purchased this garage and the house it is attached to was not disclosed.

Today, Google has a much larger building which it acquired earlier this year, for $319 million, with more than one million square feet of space no less.

Yes, another one of those “I started this out of my garage” success stories.

When Page and Brin first moved into the garage, Google had just been incorporated with $1 million from a small group of investors. Today, Google has about $10 billion in cash, a market value of $125 billion, and 8,000 employees.

The garage has taken on star quality, as bus loads of people show up there to take pictures of it. It seems that this place may end up being a historic landmark someday.

Google fun

While we are speaking of Google, I found this fun web link that you might like.

Most of us are familiar with those colorful letters in that distinctive font. You know, the classic Google logo.

You can now rename that logo with your own name!

Do not worry; I am not going to have you “hacking” into the site, as you will see this appears only on your computer. This does not affect anyone else’s computer and is only for fun and to show off to your friends when they are near your computer. You can let them see that you have your own search engine.

Visit http://speaker219.6te.net/customgoogle/ and type in your own name or title you want to see in the space under where it says “Custom Google.” I typed in “Master of The Universe.”

You can type any words that you want to see displayed in that famous Google banner and click “Go!”

The words you typed are displayed instead of “Google,” but in the same colors and font, which looks very cool.

It will operate just like regular Google (which it is), and you can perform any search queries.

It gives “Googling” a whole new meaning, and is much more fun.

There is one Google tool I do use when I want to find some definitions for a word and see the sources that provided it. If I wanted to find the definition of the term “VoIP,” I would type: “define: voip” into the web search bar.

This will bring back some good source definitions of Voice over Internet Protocol. Many of the definitions come from industry glossaries that provide detailed explanations. I find this useful for looking up terms or abbreviations used in the telecommunications and IT industry. It may be helpful for your occupation or even your hobby when you want to get a quick definition and description of a term. Give it try.