Great Lakes Geek News - Archives
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Current Great Lakes Geek News

The news items and links below are not timely,
but still interesting

Brainshare Cancelled
Geek News

From John Dragoon of Novell (too bad, this was a fun event the few times I attended)

Dear Novell Customers and Partners,

This note is to inform you that Novell will not be holding its annual BrainShare conference in Salt Lake City, Utah that was scheduled for March 2009.

As many of you know, Novell has held BrainShare for more than 20 years, and it is a tradition we are proud of. I also know that our customers and partners always look forward to this conference. Despite this, many of you have indicated that because of the current economic climate, you are under increasing pressure to reduce travel and other controllable expenses and are hesitant to commit to attending our BrainShare 2009 conference. BrainShare exists for only one reason: to educate and enable our customers and partners around our technology. Let me be clear, though: just because we are not holding the in-person BrainShare conference, does not mean that we will not provide the important information and training you are counting on.

Over the coming months, we will continue to focus on building the high-quality training and enablement offerings you have come to expect from us. We will do this through online classes, virtual conferences and local tours. These new approaches will allow everyone to participate in our education and training—without incurring the high cost of travel that, at least for now, is an issue for many of you.

We understand the cost constraints you are facing in the current economic environment and we will continue to commit ourselves to making sure we deliver the information, training and other deliverables you need. We will be providing all this in a way that allows you to avoid the short-term travel expense of the traditional, in-person BrainShare conference in Salt Lake City. We will announce the specific schedule of events and any online, "on-demand" activities in January.

Thank you for your continued support and confidence.

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One Care is dead
Geek News

Microsoft is phasing out this security app. Here's what they announced:

OneCare subscribers currently enjoy the benefits of always-on virus, spyware and malware protection, centralized backup to keep personal information safe, and management features to keep PC’s optimized and running smoothly. But a majority of consumers around the world do not have up-to-date antivirus, antispyware and antimalware protection.

In hopes of getting more consumers protected, this week, Microsoft announced that it will offer a new security solution to consumers at no cost beginning in the second half of calendar year 2009. This new offering will focus on getting the majority of consumers the essential protection they need by providing comprehensive, real-time anti-malware protection, covering such threats as viruses, spyware, rootkits, trojans, and other emerging threats, in a single, focused solution.

In order for us to focus on delivering this new security solution to millions of customers around the world, we have decided to phase out Windows Live OneCare and will discontinue retail sales of Windows Live OneCare subscription service beginning June 30, 2009.

If you are a current OneCare subscriber, there is no action that you need to take at this time.

OneCare will continue to be available online at to new and renewing subscribers at least until the new solution is available, for use on Windows XP and Windows Vista PCs.

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The End of Windows
Geek News

Windows for WorkgroupsWell, Windows for Workgroups 3.11 at least.

According to John Coyne's Embedded Blog: For those that were not aware, we recently announced that effective November 1st, 2008, OEM's will no longer be able to license Windows for Workgroups 3.11 in the embedded channel.

Now we all know that it's been long gone in the standard (retail/OEM) channel, but one of the unique things in the embedded business is that we allow the classic OS products to be sold longer than the other channels.

It's *finally the end of an era!

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Severe Windows Exploit

Take this one seriously.

Microsoft released yesterday (10/23/08) an unscheduled or "out-of-cycle" patch for a highly critical vulnerability that affects all versions of Windows. Security bulletin MS08-067 (patch 958644) was posted to warn of a remote-code attack that could spread wildly across the Internet.

As ThreatExpert Blogger Jeff said, "that's not a script kiddie plan...someone with a mission is writing that one. There's about 4 different layers in that's not a one off attack plan...somebody has already worked those exploits through other testing and it's intended to be a criminal attack"

Microsoft has posted several versions of the patch that apply to different operating systems. Here are a few links:

o Windows 2000 with Service Pack 4 patch download

o Windows XP with Service Pack 2 or 3 patch download

o Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 or 2 patch download

o Windows Vista with or without Service Pack 1 patch download

o Windows Server 2008 32-bit Edition patch download

More information: Please read security bulletin MS08-067.

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ASUG closing after 27 years

The Geek received this message from Andy Gladys - a great user group leader for many years. It's a sign of the times but still sad to see such a group closing up shop.

Here is the message:

Friends, 26 years ago IBM introduced the IBM System 38. With such advanced features and functionality, it was a herald for the great things to come. Applications and functions that are common place today.

Myself and several others came together to understand this new system and see what it was capable of doing. In those early months a meetings consisted of pizza and beer. But with each month more and more people started coming to meetings. The venues got larger and larger until meetings with 120 people were common.

With all of this the user group stayed true to it’s objective to provide a free information exchange to mid-range professionals. Then, IBM saw the value of this group and tapped into it’s resources and as a model for other user groups and a source for innovative ideas. Lotus Notes is an example of an application that has some roots right here with the Application System Users Group.

Like many good thing, the user group is a victim of it’s own success. Our philosophy of education and information exchange has been carried on to the world wide web. User group meeting were replaced with blogs, chat rooms and informational web sites available 24x7 that replaced a month meeting.

Over the years many people have helped sustain and grow the user group – more than I can mention here. Individuals who gave freely of their time and energy to make the group successful. The many presenters that have informed and entertained us. My thanks to all of you.

All good things must end and The Application Systems User Group is no exception. I take comfort in the fact that the user group has met it objectives, and so it ends well.

With all of this having been said, I guess there is only one thing left for the Application Systems User Group .....

pwrdwnsys *immed

God Bless and Good Luck.

Andy Gladys, Jaye Wolfe and Ruth Arbuckle

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Free Books

Microsoft Press books is turning 25 years old so to celebrate they are providing free E-Books of the month.

This month (by 10-22):

Windows Server(r) 2008 TCP/IP Protocols and Services by Joseph Davies: This in-depth technical reference delivers must-know information for any IT professional working with TCP/IP in the Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista operating systems.

Download this e-book today!

Programming Microsoft Robotics Studio by Sara Morgan: Visualize, build, and deploy the next innovation in robotic applications with this practical guide to Microsoft Robotics Studio.

Download this e-book today!

Note: You will need to temporarily allow pop-ups in order to download the e-book.

Top of Page 3.0 released
Geek Freebie

The third major update of the leading free productivity suite delivers significant enhancements and advanced, extensible, productivity tools for all users, including Mac users, as now runs natively on the Mac OS X platform. 3.0 spreadsheet

Learn more and download for free

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Happy Birthday Linux
Linux turns 17

Linux Penguin Tux

On October 5, 1991 Linus Torvalds posted the following to comp.os.minix

"Do you pine for the nice days of minix-1.1, when men were men and wrote their own device drivers? Are you without a nice project and just dying to cut your teeth on a OS you can try to modify for your needs? Are you finding it frustrating when everything works on minix? No more all-nighters to get a nifty program working? Then this post might be just for you :-)

As I mentioned a month(?) ago, I'm working on a free version of a minix-lookalike for AT-386 computers. It has finally reached the stage where it's even usable (though may not be depending on what you want), and I am willing to put out the sources for wider distribution. It is just version 0.02 (+1 (very small) patch already), but I've successfully run bash/gcc/gnu-make/gnu-sed/compress etc under it."

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Google Chrome

By now you've been inundated with news about the beta release of the new web browser from Google.

I wonder what the reaction from the Firefox community will be? And did Google time the release to coincide with Internet Explorer 8's feature set release?

Initial reviews have been good (tab-centric interface) and bad (memory pig)

One cool thing is how they announced the release in a comic book.

Check out the comic book here and the beta release here.

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Tim Russert

Some memories of Meet the Press anchor Tim Russert including some stories from a Cleveland appearance.

Memories of Tim Russert

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World Class Robots

The fourth meeting of Adaptive Motion of Animals and Machines (AMAM 2008) took place from June 1-6, 2008 at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

This meeting brought together an equal representation of engineers and biologists who are interested in movement. They are the best in their field in the world.

Dr. Roger Quinn, director of the Biologically Inspired Robotics Lab at Case Western Reserve University explained some of the excitement at a demo at the Great Lakes Science Center.

Check out pictures and video from the demonstration and listen to a podcast (and see more video and pics!) with Dr. Roger Quinn.

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Windows XP Home Reprieve.

Microsoft Corp.'s decision June 3 to allow low-cost desktop makers to install Windows XP Home on their hardware until June 2010 reverses a move it rejected just two months ago.

Computerword reported from the Computex trade show in Taipei that the company said it would allow computer manufacturers to pre-install Windows XP Home on what it called "net-tops" -- which it defined only as "low-cost desktops" -- through June 30, 2010.

This decision follows an early-April change in XP Home availability, when Microsoft postponed the retirement of the seven-year-old operating system by telling OEMs they could slap it on small and lightweight notebooks -- dubbed ULCPCs, for ultra-low-cost PCs -- until the end of June 2010.

But as we reported, Microsoft shuts off most OEMs from selling new PCs with XP and stops shipping the old operating system to retailers on June 30.

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NEOSA Best of Tech Awards 2008.

NEOSA held their annual Best of Tech Awards Thursday May 22,2008 at Corporate College East.

See the winners and some photos of faces in the crowd. Don't miss the link to the Robert X. Cringely podcasts. Cringely was the special keynote speaker at the sold out event.

NEOSA Best of Tech Awards

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Get Windows XP while you can.

Per the Microsoft® Windows Life-Cycle policy, Direct OEM and Retail License Availability for Windows XP will End-Of-Life (EOL) on June 30, 2008.

So some resellers are starting to inform (warn?) customers with statements such as: To meet Microsoft’s June 30 last-day-to-ship OEM Windows XP deadline, June 18 is the last time to purchase a Dell laptop, desktop, or workstation with an OEM Windows XP license.

But don't panic. You can still get Windows XP after June 30th with something called Downgrade Rights.

Windows Vista Business and Windows Vista Ultimate have what Microsoft calls “Downgrade Rights.” Downgrade Rights means that anyone with a Windows Vista Business or Windows Vista Ultimate operating system can downgrade to Windows XP Professional provided they have the media for Windows XP Professional.

You can't use this to have a dual-boot scenario unless you buy an additional license. Note that many PC companies, including Dell, will only support the factory-installed OS.

And Windows Vista Home Basic and Windows Vista Home Premium do not have this option, as they are not capable of downgrading to Windows XP.

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Free Laplink PCMover Software - 1 day only.

If you've been using PCs for awhile, you probably have multi-headed Hydra-like Laplink cables somewhere. Back in the day, you needed Laplink software and those cables (serial or parallel!) to move files from PC to PC.

Laplink has been publishing great software for the last 25 years and May 15th is their 25th anniversary.

So they are giving away the full version of PCmover, the #1 selling product to automatically set up a new PC, for free for one day only.

Here's the scoop:

Founded in 1983 not long after the original IBM-PC was launched, a company called "Traveling Software" forever changed how PCs connect and transfer data. This "LapLink" software (and cables) helped launch an entire category of connectivity software - file transfer, synchronization, remote control, and migration.

Today - after 25 years, millions of customers and billions of files – Laplink is still connecting people and their PCs.

To celebrate this milestone, Laplink is offering a free copy of PCmover on May 15 only, to everyone who visits their web site. No purchase necessary, no strings attached, and no gimmicks.

PCmover automatically moves selected files, folders, settings, and even applications from an old PC to a new one. It's the #1 selling migration product and is widely regarded as the best migration solution available. PCmover is even recommended by the official magazines for Windows XP and Vista.

The regular price for a download of PCmover is $50, but for one day only it's completely free. You might occasionally get a cup of coffee free, but not a $50 piece of software –then again, not every day is Laplink's 25th birthday.

In addition to free copies of PCmover for everyone, many other products are free or nearly free including; free Gateway laptops, free Targus laptop bags, free Microsoft products, free Laplink 2 GB USB sticks, products like Spy Sweeper, RegistryBooster, PerfectDisk, and more. (Visit for a complete list and applicable rules and restrictions.)

If you were using a PC 15 or 20 years ago, you remember the alternative to Laplink for transferring large files was the painful use of "floppies" and "file splitting" software and how happy you were when you discovered Laplink.

Today, Laplink continues to build great software focused on efficient file transfer, synchronization, and remote access technologies. USB 2.0 direct connect cables have replaced serial cables and secure broadband (not dial-up networking) is what we use for Internet connectivity.

But just as in the past, PC users want what Laplink provides: simple, easy to use, and fast software to synchronize multiple PCs, the ability to use your phone to access a PC remotely, and PCmover to automatically move from an old PC to a new one.

"I got to know Traveling Software (Laplink) before they shipped their first file transfer program and have used their products ever since." said Andrew Seybold, President of Andrew Seybold, Inc. "They have always had a remarkable understanding of the problems involved in file transfer and data synchronization and have fielded great solutions. Congratulations to Laplink on their 25th year anniversary."

Join the celebration. Learn more at and get your free stuff. And while you are at it, re-discover Laplink and what Laplink is doing today.

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The Honorable Associate Justice Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr.

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito
Justice Alito spoke on Remember the Story of Italian Americans as part of the Bishop Anthony M. Pilla Program in Italian American Studies at John Carroll University.

He did not stray from the Italian American theme into politics or court cases but the 1,500 in attendance, many of Italian heritage, enjoyed his stories about the old country and how Italians are viewed in Pop Culture.

Read more on our sister site,

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No need to buy full version of Windows Vista

Microsoft customers can install the "upgrade edition" of Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) on any PC without having to purchase a "full" version of Microsoft Vista, according to an article in today's Windows Secrets Newsletter.

Associate editor Scott Dunn says users can take advantage of a trick to upgrade to Windows Vista SP1 regardless of whether any older version of Windows is running on their machines, which can result in cost savings.

"The latest upgrade edition of Windows Vista SP1 allows the upgrade to be installed and activated even if consumers don't currently have any previous version of Windows running," says Dunn. "This is a great cost break, because the Vista SP1 upgrade edition is around $100 cheaper than the full version, depending on your country and what retail version of Vista you buy."

The upgrade "trick" involves installing an unactivated version of Vista from the product DVD. The user then launches setup from within Vista, reinstalls using the operating system's "upgrade" option, and enters the product key.

This procedure was originally published in February 2007 by Windows Secrets editorial director Brian Livingston. He explained then that the earlier, "gold" release of Vista allowed upgrades without requiring an existing version of Windows or even a CD of an older Windows operating system to be present. Fourteen months later, the download trick continues to work with the Vista SP1 upgrade edition.

"The fact that the company has not taken steps to remove the upgrade trick from Vista SP1 leads us to believe that Microsoft executives knowingly support the trick," said Livingston. "I think the feature was deliberately included to make it unnecessary for more advanced and price-sensitive users to ever buy the full version. There is no ethical dilemma with people using a feature that Microsoft has specifically programmed into Vista."

NOTE WELL: The Great Lakes Geek does not support piracy or illegal or unethical maneuverings to defeat legal software licensing schemes. This news item is posted for information only.

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Mmmmm, Pie. Make that Pi

Friday March 14th is Pi Day and the real celebration is at 1:59:26 p.m.

At that time, the numbers will be 31415926 and of course Pi starts off as 3.1415926.

If that's not geeky enough for you, here is how PI starts off so you can memorize and amaze/annoy your fellow geeky friends.

80348253421170679 8214
895493038196 442
41273 72458700660

Wolfram's Pi Page has some great Pi info.

Of course, you can always use the mnemonic sentence tool to memorize the first digits of pi:

How I want a drink, alcoholic of course, after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics!

The number of letters in each word represents successive digits of pi: 3.14159265358979

Europeans might celebrate on July 22 because 22/7 is an often used approximation for Pi.

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Global Optimism

Geek Forecast

CFO Magazine published details of a recent survey of nearly 8,000 privately held companies. Asia accounted for both the most optimistic and most pessimistic outlooks: the Philippines, India, and Vietnam topped the list of most optimistic countries, but Taiwan, Thailand, and Japan were at the bottom. Out of 34 countries, the United States ranked 26th in its level of optimism. Here's the snapshot they published:

Balance of optimism versus pessimism throughout Asia

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Chinese New Year Lion Dance at Asia Plaza
February 9, 2008.

The Kwan Family Lion Dance Team put on a fantastic Lion Dance at Asia Plaza. Happy Year of the Rat!

Read more and see Photos and a Video

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Official Google response to the Microsoft Yahoo deal

Geek News 2-3-08

Yahoo! and the future of the Internet - Posted by David Drummond, Google Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer

The openness of the Internet is what made Google -- and Yahoo! --possible. A good idea that users find useful spreads quickly. Businesses can be created around the idea. Users benefit from constant innovation. It's what makes the Internet such an exciting place.

So Microsoft's hostile bid for Yahoo! raises troubling questions. This is about more than simply a financial transaction, one company taking over another. It's about preserving the underlying principles of the Internet: openness and innovation.

Could Microsoft now attempt to exert the same sort of inappropriate and illegal influence over the Internet that it did with the PC? While the Internet rewards competitive innovation, Microsoft has frequently sought to establish proprietary monopolies -- and then leverage its dominance into new, adjacent markets.

Could the acquisition of Yahoo! allow Microsoft -- despite its legacy of serious legal and regulatory offenses -- to extend unfair practices from browsers and operating systems to the Internet? In addition, Microsoft plus Yahoo! equals an overwhelming share of instant messaging and web email accounts. And between them, the two companies operate the two most heavily trafficked portals on the Internet.

Could a combination of the two take advantage of a PC software monopoly to unfairly limit the ability of consumers to freely access competitors' email, IM, and web-based services? Policymakers around the world need to ask these questions -- and consumers deserve satisfying answers.

This hostile bid was announced on Friday, so there is plenty of time for these questions to be thoroughly addressed. We take Internet openness, choice and innovation seriously. They are the core of our culture. We believe that the interests of Internet users come first -- and should come first -- as the merits of this proposed acquisition are examined and alternatives explored.

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Jim Cookinham Retirement Party

Geek Event 1-31-08

NEOSA founder Jim Cookinham retired from COSE/NEOSA and was feted by a group of appreciative techies

See photos and details.

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Greater Cleveland Sports Awards - 2008

Geek News - 1-24-08

Bill Walton and Dan Hanson
The Greater Cleveland Sports Awards honor the best of the area's amateur and professional sports. Each year, Sports Awards brings together more than 60 of the biggest sports stars in Cleveland.

Yes, Bill Walton is sitting down in the photo.

Read more and see photos.

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Black Sports Legends of Ohio - 2008

Geek News - 1-23-08

The Cleveland Cavaliers fourth annual Black Heritage Celebration included honors for Lenny Wilkens, Earl Lloyd, Madeline Manning-Mims, Reggie Rucker and Bill White.

Read more and see photos.

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People's Republic of China Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong

Geek News - 1-18-08

Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong was in Cleveland January 17 and 18, 2008 and the Great Lakes Geek attended his City Club presentation and then was invited to a private media briefing.

Read more and see photos.

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PerceptIS brings jobs back to Cleveland in support of CWRU
Geek News - 1-16-08

In an effort to bring jobs to the region, Cleveland based IT services firm PerceptIS announces that their services at Case Western Reserve University will now be entirely locally based. CWRU is PerceptIS’s largest client in Northeast Ohio. PerceptIS provides call center support, dispatched computer support and several other services to the university.

In 2004 PerceptIS was created with the intent of bringing world-class desktop support services to Case Western Reserve University and other colleges and universities. One element of the vision was to create and retain jobs in Northeast Ohio. At the time it was jointly decided by CWRU and PerceptIS administrators that the best way to implement these services in the desired short time frame was to outsource some of the work to a Nashville, Tennessee firm.

Since then, PerceptIS has grown into a nationally recognized provider of IT support services. With two offices (located in Cleveland and Phoenix, Arizona) supporting over 800,000 end users, PerceptIS now has sufficient infrastructure to bring jobs back to Cleveland.

To make good on their promise, PerceptIS has invested a quarter million dollars to assist in the transition. Starting January 16, all PerceptIS provided support functions for Case Western Reserve University will be provided out of the PerceptIS Cleveland Enterprise Center (located in the Flats) and the two campus satellite locations.

“The transition should be seamless to students, faculty, and staff. The biggest change is that the person assisting them on the other end of the phone will be a Clevelander. We are thrilled to be able to fulfill our commitment to CWRU and Northeast Ohio,” says Bill Bradfield, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of PerceptIS.

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Mac OS buggier than Windows

Though the popular press, and certainly the world-class marketing efforts of Apple will lead you to believe otherwise, Great Lakes Geek contributor Jim Evans says that the Apple OS has more bugs than Windows.

Read for yourself

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The Great Lakes Geek Holiday Jam at Tin Fu

Geek Event

An interesting and diverse group of Clevelanders joined the Geek at Tin Fu for a holiday gathering on December 13th.

Check out photos from the event

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Happy 60th Birthday to Channel 5

Geek Best Wishes - Part 2

OK, it's not just the transistor that just turned 60. WEWS was the first licensed television station in the state of Ohio.

Check out some photos from their 60th anniversary celebration on our sister site

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Happy 60th Birthday to the Transistor

As Jim Evans tells us, it was 60 years ago (12-16-1947)that the work of John Bardeen, Walter Brattain and William Shockley forever changed the world.

Read more

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Above the Fold!
Geek News

Congrats to Great Lakes Geek sponsor Aztek for their front page article and photos in the Plain Dealer.

The article (the lead story on the front page!) tells how Aztek CEO John Hill is moving his growing design and development firm from Westlake to the Warehouse District.

If you haven't heard it yet, listen to John Hill's podcast.

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Walt Slaughter and Power Networking

Tim Zaun was able to grab some time with Walt Slaughter, the former PR Director for Federal Express and Motorola

Tim asks some great questions and Slaughter gives some valuable answers and advice

Read the interview

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Aztek Tenth Anniversary Celebration

Not a shotgun could be seen at this Aztek celebration. The Aztek team celebrated their 10 year anniversary on September 27, 2007 at the swanky Legacy at Sweetbriar Golf Club in Avon Lake.

The Great lakes Geek was on hand to offer congratulations (and eat and drink!) and to snap a few photos.

Check out some pictures from the event

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Cleveland Indians beat New York Yankees - Priceless

New York Yankees Cleveland Indians baseball priceless

The text says:

Clutch double-play hitting shortstop: 21.6 million dollars

Steroid-laden part-time first baseman: 23.5 million dollars

Prima-donnna ball-slapping third baseman: 27.7 million dollars

The rest of the roster, including assorted AAA pitchers: 122.5 million dollars

Getting knocked out of the ADLS by a team with a third of your payroll: priceless

There really are some things that money can't buy, George.

Go Tribe!

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Looking for a fresh look at your business? For free?
The Web Association says, "In our continuing effort to connect local students with the business community, we wanted to let you know of a new collaboration opportunity. Cleveland State University's Strategic Online Marketing class is looking for area companies to partner with on student projects this term.

Looking for a fresh look at your business? Past classes have worked with over 35 companies, ranging from one-person start-ups to Sherwin-Williams. There is no charge for the student work, and at the very least each partner company will likely walk away with new insights, relevant questions to be asked, and a few actionable takeaways.

CSU does ask for a time commitment of approximately 5 hours to ensure the project and the student's success. If you are interested in participating, please contact us (see web link above) and we will forward your name to the appropriate parties."

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Scratch and Sniff (I don't make this stuff up)
College students are most likely to characterize smell as the physical quality of books they most love according to the results of a Zogby poll commissioned by CaféScribe, a newly launched web site that sells electronic textbooks.

In a survey of 600 college students 43% identified smell -- either new book smell or old -- as the thing they most love about books as physical objects. A majority (62%) also preferred purchasing used textbooks over new or electronic textbooks, despite the fact that e-textbooks are generally a third less expensive than used textbooks.

In an attempt to win over skeptical college students, Café today announced plans to launch the world's first smelly e-book. Café CEO Bryce Johnson says that beginning in the back-to-school month of September the company will send every e-textbook purchaser a scratch & sniff sticker with a certifiably musty "old book" smell.

"Students who use CaféScribe download our software to read and annotate e-textbooks and other documents on their laptops," explains Johnson. "By placing these stickers on their computers they can give their e-books the same musty book smell they know and love from used textbooks -- without any of the residual DNA you sometimes find stuck to the pages of used textbooks."

3 in 10 of the surveyed students associated "mustiness" with the books they most loved, although 16% -- possibly those most likely to hit the books early in the day -- associated best-loved books with the smell of "freshly-ground coffee."

Other smells mostly failed to bring books to mind, although respondents were more likely to associate pleasant smells (cut grass, freshly baked bread, cookies baking) with books than unpleasant ones (sweat, mildew, grease).

CaféScribe commissioned the survey to understand why consumers continue to prefer paper books to e-books. The poll carries a +/- 4.1 percentage point margin of error and was conducted by Zogby International using an online panel representative of the adult population of the U.S. A total of 591 college students completed the survey between August 15-21. For more detail on the methodology and results, please visit the Café media center.

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What was on the first CD?
It was 25 years ago today

No, it wasn't Sgt. Pepper. 25 years ago on August 17, 1982, the first compact discs (CDs) rolled off an assembly line near Hanover, Germany.

Philips and Sony jointly developed the CDs and they became the standard for distributing music. Now their future is in doubt due to high-speed internet connections and large storage capacity in small footprints.

So what was on those first CDs? They contained Richard Strauss' Alpine Symphony.

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NEOSA Best of Tech Awards
They're baaaaack!

It's been 4 years since NEOSA has recognized local tech companies in this way. 60 nominations were received in the 6 categories and there were a few surprises in the winners.

Check out the finalists, winners and photos from the May 22, 2007 event.

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11th Annual Webby Awards Winners
No, didn't win - guess you have to enter!

Hailed as the "Oscars of the Internet” by the New York Times, The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet, including Web sites, interactive advertising, online film and video, and mobile web sites.

Established in 1996, the 11th Annual Webby Awards received a record 8,000 entries from all 50 states and over 60 countries worldwide. The Webby Awards is presented by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.

Over 400,000 votes were cast by people around the world for their favorite sites, videos, and ads in The Webby People’s Voice Awards presented by Verizon. A full list of both Webby Awards and People’s Voice Awards winners can be found at

Organizers also announced recipients of this year’s Webby Special Achievement awards, including:

  • Webby Lifetime Achievement ­ David Bowie: The rock icon will be honored for a career that has pushed the boundaries of art and technology -- from BowieNet, the seminal Internet service provider he launched in 1998, to UltraStar, his digital media company that creates cutting edge online content for artists like The Rolling Stones, The Police, and Mariah Carey, to BowieArt, an innovative Web site that connects emerging visual artists with collectors worldwide.
  • Webby Lifetime Achievement ­ The eBay Community: eBay President and CEO Meg Whitman will accept the award on behalf of the 233 million registered buyers and sellers who have made eBay a cultural phenomenon and permanently changed the way people connect, discover and interact with each other.
  • Webby People of the Year- YouTube Co-Founders Steve Chen and Chad Hurley: The co-founders of the video-sharing sensation will be saluted for YouTube’s role in transforming the media landscape and reshaping everything from politics to pop culture.
  • Best Actor and Actress ­ “Ninja” from “Ask a Ninja” and Jessica Lee Rose from “lonelygirl15”: “Ninja,” from the breakout online comedy series “Ask a Ninja,” and Jessica Lee Rose, who became an overnight sensation as the enigmatic star of the acclaimed fictional video diary “lonelygirl15,” will be honored at the first-ever Webby Film and Video Awards.

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New Theory of Everything Unites Gravity and Quantum Mechanics
Geek Science

If this is true, everything is going to change.

The unification of gravity and quantum mechanics is considered the holy grail of physics. Einstein's Theory of General Relativity describes celestial orbits and gravitational attraction, but the theory is incompatible with quantum mechanics.

Quantum mechanics is well-verified experimentally, but the theory does not account for, or describe, gravity. Many theories have been offered over the years to unite the two, but all, thus far, have failed.

The most recent (and most popular), Superstring Theory, suffers from just one problem: it doesn't work.

In a paper entitled "Lorentz-contracted space as an origin of gravitational and quantum mechanical effects", presently under peer review by the prestigious journal, Foundations of Physics, Morgan Rosenberg claims to no only provides the linkage between gravity and quantum mechanics, but uncovers the physical origins of both gravitational force and quantum mechanical effects.

Although Einstein's theory mathematically describes the motion of celestial bodies, it does not provide an actual origin or cause for gravitational force. Rosenberg's paper finally describes the physical origins of gravity and the same principle is used to describe the quantum nature of particles.

Einstein's Theory of General Relativity provides a mathematical description for the orbits of celestial bodies. The physical interpretation of the mathematics is that matter causes the space around itself to curve.

However, starting with Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity, Rosenberg has shown that one can equivalently interpret the mathematics of relativity to predict that space is actually compressed, rather than curved, in the presence of matter.

Using this compression model, not only do all of the "classic" predictions of gravity appear (from Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation to the precession of the perihelion of Mercury), but the origin of the gravitational force becomes apparent.

Quantum Mechanics predicts that matter has a fundamental wave nature, but the question has always been "A wave formed in what?" Rosenberg's new theory (which he jokingly refers to as "Yet Another Theory of Everything") describes particles as compression waves in space; i.e., the same compression seen in gravitational fields.

Rosenberg's compression waves are compatible with Schrodinger's equation, predict common principles, such as Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, and are shown to provide the compression seen on the macroscopic scale of gravitational effects. Dark energy, cosmic inflation and much more fall naturally out of this new theory.

The Geek is getting a copy of the paper to peruse - not that he has even a remote chance of undertsanding it.

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$100,000 Reward
Geek Challenge

Data Drive Thru, makers of The Tornado, were feeling dissed by some recent press.

"There is a lot of hype about Belkin's Easy Transfer cable product," says Paul L. Andrus, Founder and CEO of Data Drive Thru. "We believe there is some misperception as to what it actually does and how 'easy' it really is. What better way to prove that The Tornado is the easiest, fastest and most valuable tool for PC users than to offer a public challenge?

We are certainly willing to put our money where our mouth is when it comes to consumer awareness about our products and the claims we make."

So they are offering a $100,000 reward to anyone who can successfully network a Windows XP and Windows Vista machine together and transfer a file from one machine to the other faster and easier than the patented The Tornado file transfer tool. Details on their web page. If you win the 100 large, remember your old pal, the Great Lakes Geek.

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Number Magic
Geek Fun

This is easy to figure out but it may amaze some of your not-so-logical friends.

Guess your Number Game

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Bauer Power
Geek Chic

"Chloe, Patch me through to DoD and set up a perimeter around the location. No one gets in or out unless I say so. I give you my word."

Fans of 24 and Jack Bauer will understand the above message.

True fans will want to pick up this new Nerdy Shirt.

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Math and Baseball

Remember when Tribe rookie Gomer Hodge opened the season going 4 for 4 and exclaimed, "Golly, fellas, I’m hitting 4.000!"

Sadly, Gomer is suffering from ALS and can't speak and is in the final stages of the disease. Fans should send a letter or card to
Gomer Hodge
Autumn Care of Saluda
P.O. Box 488
Saluda, NC 28773

Read Terry Pluto's article about Gomer Hodge

Gomer's 83 at bats are a good example of a Villanova prof's recent study. Using a once-controversial statistical method called Bayesian analysis, a Villanova University professor has determined that a lower batting average can indicate better hitting ability than a higher batting average. Jesse Frey, assistant professor of mathematical sciences at Villanova, recently completed a study that uses Bayesian analysis to determine which batting averages in major league baseball are the best indicators of ability.

Frey's study finds that a .334 average is the best indicator, while higher batting averages -- .800, for example -- can lead to low estimates of a player's ability. This is mainly because, Frey says, they suggest that the player is only a part-time player.

"Playing time is really the key," said Frey, a lifelong baseball fan. "If a high batting average can be achieved in just a few at-bats, then many of the players with that average will be part-timers who had a few lucky at-bats. Since 287 at-bats is the minimum needed to earn a .334 average, players with .334 averages tend to be legitimately good hitters.

"To long-time baseball fans, the finding that a .334 hitter is probably better than a .800 hitter may seem like common sense," Frey said, "but the less experienced fan is inclined to take a player's batting average at face value, as the best indicator of ability. Also, statistics courses taught in colleges and universities nationwide will tell you that the best estimate of a player's ability is their batting average."

Standard statistical methods, however, can be inadequate, according to Frey. Bayesian analysis, a statistical technique for updating known probabilistic information on the basis of new information, has gained increasing acceptance over the past 20 years. In a paper appearing in the May issue of the journal The American Statistician, a publication of the American Statistical Association, Frey describes his method for deciding which batting averages are the best in terms of hitting ability.

For purposes of the article, Frey used at-bat and hit totals for all non-pitchers in the 2003 and 2004 major league baseball seasons. He first developed a statistical model for hitting ability, playing time, and batting average, which produced collections of player statistics that are almost indistinguishable from those that have occurred in recent major league baseball seasons. This model represents a best guess about a major league player's ability, playing time, and batting average given that nothing is known about him. Frey updates the original best guess via Bayesian analysis to take the batting average into account. He then finds an optimal estimate of the hitting ability for a player with a given batting average.

Further support for Frey's conclusions is available from a look at baseball history. Only five players have ever had a .800 season average. Of the five, only four played again after that season, and their combined career average was .250. On the other hand, there have been 40 players who have batted .334 for a season, including Hall-of-Fame inductees Ty Cobb, Ed Delahanty, Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, and Honus Wagner. The 40 players had a combined career average of .309.

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Tech Sector Looks Promising in 2007

The latest (released March 21) quarterly report from Forrester Research and Information Technology Association of America, said that the tech sector will have continued slow but steady gains in 2007.

They use baseline data from 2002 (score of 100) and measure 11 supply and demand indices. 7 of the 11 indices were up in the 4th quarter of 2006. The biggest gain came from the financial performance of vendors as stock prices rose at the end of 2006.

The report concludes that the health of the technology industry in the US is at its highest level in more than 5 years.

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Ohio's bioscience organization changes name

Omeris, Ohio’s bioscience membership and development organization, announced it will change its name to BioOhio. A new logo with a stylized shape of the State of Ohio also was publicly launched today. The changes become effective immediately.

BioOhio President & CEO Tony Dennis said the name BioOhio will build more effective branding outside of Ohio for the statewide organization responsible for attracting out-of-state company relocations and capital investment for emerging entrepreneurial companies. BioOhio recently received a three-year, $1.5 million grant from Ohio’s Third Frontier Commission to recruit cutting-edge bioscience companies from around the world.

“The bioscience industry in Ohio is growing very rapidly and maturing into a significant portion of the GDP of the state. The increasing numbers and success of Ohio’s bioscience companies and research institutions have captured the attention of the global bioscience industry,” Dennis said.

“Ohio has become a destination for bioscience business and innovation. Since we’ve contributed to this progress, we feel it’s time for our organization’s identity to embody our product, bioscience in the State of Ohio.”

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Bill Gates Live

One of the good things about being a Microsoft MVP is the annual MVP Summit in Seattle. On Tuesday March 13, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates gave the keynote address to about 1700 MVPs from about 90 countries. (The Koreans gave a wild martial arts demo Monday night and the Canadians all wore hockey jerseys and would burst into chants of CAN-A-DA! at the mention of anything Canadian.)

I can't relate items from the speech because I am under non-disclosure but here are a few general snippets of interest from the Q&A. When a Computer Science teacher asked about the future, BillG said there were some contradictory trends. On one hand, high school kids have more and better computers and use them much more. On the other hand, there is less teaching of computer science, math and engineering. He mentioned the missed economic opportunities and the resulting shortages of talent that US companies face and will face.

When asked about his charitable foundation he mentioned that success brings with it responsibility. Most philanthropy starts in the local community, usually with a very local, very specific need. Then if the resources are available it can grow.

Just like the Microsoft dream that software can help people accomplish great things, the Gates Foundation believes that smart doctors and researchers, for example, can do great things for the world.

Microsoft Bob logoWhen an audience member said he had brought his copy of Microsoft Bob for Bill to sign, the audience laughed. Bill responded, "I'm glad people know enough to laugh."

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Greater Cleveland Sports Awards

Robin Roberts of Good Morning America

The Greater Cleveland Sports Awards banquet was held Monday evening, January 29th at the Renaissance Hotel.

Good Morning America Anchor Robin Roberts emceed the event which honors the best in local amateur and professional sports.

Check out some photos of the athletes and others at the event.

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10 Fun Facts about the 2007 International CES

1. The International CES is the world's largest consumer technology tradeshow.

2. The exhibit space of this years 40th anniversary show is 11 times greater than that of the first CES, totaling more than 1.66 million net square feet - equivalent to 35 football fields.

3. The 2007 International CES features 2,700 exhibitors, and is the global meeting place for top international government officials and technology executives from 130 countries. Exhibitor numbers are 25 times greater than those of the first CES which housed 110 exhibitors.

4. GES puts in nearly 192,000 hours of work to put on CES - it would take over 23,000 people to produce it in one day, or almost 66 years if one person had to do it alone.

5. There are 25,000 international attendees - the same number of people who ran in the 2006 Los Angeles Marathon.

6. gets an average of 70,000 visitors per day during the week of CES - almost double the average number of daily visitors to Disneyland.

7. Last year nearly 100,000 cups of Starbucks coffee were sold at the show (9,000 gallons) - enough liquid to fill a tanker truck.

8. The number of slot machines in Las Vegas' Clark County is equal to the number of CES attendees.

9. A person walking the full 65 miles of carpet laid on the show floor would burn 6,500 calories.

10. The average U.S. household has 26 consumer electronic products in it and U.S. consumer electronics industry sales should exceed $135 billion in 2006.

Photos and podcasts from the show.

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The Mysterious Tin Fu Club Meets Again

Tin Fu to You

The Tin Fu Club had a Holiday Gathering on Thursday, December 14th and a very diverse group met and enjoyed a Chinese Buffet. Check out some of the faces in the crowd.

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Jack Welch and the OSU-Michigan Game

Former GE CEO Jack WelchFormer GE CEO Jack Welch spoke at Tri-C Corporate College this AM (11-17-06) about quality and innovation. Throughout the day there will be classes on lean manufacturing, Six Sigma and other processes.

Welch began his presentation with an announcement of a special Six Sigma presentation to be held the next day (Saturday) at 3:30 PM that will go for about 3 hours (during the Ohio State-Michigan game).

Moderator Les Vinney, CEO of Steris, countered that "Hopefully by halftime we'll be able to attend."

Welch said he didn't know who would win the big game. "I went to Illinois - we can't beat anyone."

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Cleveland Rock and Roll Memories Launch Party

A group of music industry veterans mingled with fans and local media at the launch party of the new Gray & Co. book by Carlo Wolff titled Cleveland Rock and Roll Memories.

The subtitle syas it all: "True and Tall Tales of the Glory Days told by Musicians, DJs, Promoters and Fans who made the scene in the '60s, '70s and '80s.

Here are a few photos from the party held at Jac's on West 6th and St. Clair in the Warehouse District.

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Windows Media Player 11

The final version of Media Player for Windows XP has been released. Just like with Internet Explorer 7, Windows Media Player will be part of the upcoming Windows Vista (though more robust, feature-rich versions). In the meantime though, you can start using Media Player 11. Download it here.

Media Player 11 is best for really large music libraries (hey, you have ripped all your old CDs into mp3's right?) and has other nice features too.

You can get Internet Explorer 7 here.

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Diskeeper 10

If you think defrag utilities are just for servers and not for your desktop or notebook, get with the times. With huge drives and large files (video, audio, etc) you need defragging on all your systems.

Read more and enter to win a free copy of Diskeeper 10 Professional Premier Edition.

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COSE Business Show

COSE held a Small Business Conference at the IX Center October 12 and 13 with the mission to "Discover - Connect and Succeed."

Check out some images from the event and listen to a VOIP primer from the show floor.

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Windows Vista Coupons

Want to buy some new PCs but you hate to buy them now and then have them be obsolete when Windows Vista comes out? Microsoft feels your pain - not to mention the pain of system builders and retailers who want to sell systems for the holidays.

So from October 26, 2006 through March 15, 2007 you can buy a new PC with Windows XP and get a coupon for Windows Vista when it ships. There is some fine print. You get a free upgrade if you are a business user and buy one of the Windows XP Pro versions. If a consumer buys a system with XP Home they may get a coupon for a $49 or $79 upgrade. Details are still coming out.

So you don't have to hold off your new PC purchases till Vista ships. Just make sure your new PC has the hardware required for Vista when it ships (plenty of RAM on system board and video card)

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Aztek Technology - Guns and Websites

Aztek Technology hosted a business presentation on current and emerging technologies such as, Cascading Style Sheets, RSS and social software on September 28th.

One cool part was the venue (Beaver Creek Club) and the after-meeting activities )shooting at the club) See More.

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Online Media 2.0 - Digital Advertising & Affiliate Marketing Trends

Team Geek correspondent Mark Geyman attended the Web Association luncheon on 9-19-06 featuring Mike Maleski;, Lori Gatto; Things Remembered, and Jim Kukral of ReveNews. Read Mark's review of the meeting and learn what's hot and not in online advertising in the Web 2.0 era.

See More.

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Wi-Fi Mesh launched in University Circle

OneCommunity, CWRU, Cisco Systems and more than 50 community organizations and partners demonstrated the new wi-fi mesh over University Circle at Case Community Day 9-13-06. See More.

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Guy Kawasaki Tech Synch keynote

Apple Fellow and Garage Inc. VC Guy Kawasaki spoke to a who's who of the local tech scene at the State Theater on Wednesday eveing September 6th. Check out some highlights of the speech and faces in the crowd.

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Cleveland National Air Show - Labor Day Weekend 2006

Ever wonder what it looks like inside that nice, neat engine under the wings when you fly? Take a peek inside. No, it's not the Geek's wiring closet.

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Patricia Kennedy Scott at SBN Live 8-10-06

Kaiser Permanente's Patricia Kennedy Scott didn't pull any punches at the SmartBusinessLive luncheon on August 10th. "Our health care system, in my view, is fundamentally broken." Check out the alarming details and pictures

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ASMGi VIP Party - 8-2-06

ASMGi held their annual VIP Party at the Cleveland Athletic Club and brought in some heavy hitters from Switch and Data Check out more and some pics from the event.

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Young Pros in the City - 7-21-06

The Botancial Gardens was the perfect venue for several hundred young (and not so young) professionals to schmooze, network and have an extended Q&A with Mayor Frank Jackson. Check out some pics from the event.

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Ahoy Brewed Fresh Daily!

Pirates are hot and so is George Nemeth's blog. So it's natural for them to come together.

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Home Wi-Fi at GCPCUG 7-8-06

Home wi-fi setup is easy. Making it secure is another issue. Here are some tips and pictures from the meeting

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Firefox inventor at City Club 6-14-06

Blake Ross, inventor of the popular browser, turned 21 this week. He told a City Club audience how Firefox was born and what the future holds. Details and pictures

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Cleveland CTO at GCPCUG 6-10-06

Dr. Melodie Mayberry-Stewart gave an update on the progress made since her 2002 visit to the user group. Details and pictures

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John DiJulius at SBN Live 6-8-06

Complaining that margins are low because of commodization? What if your product was haircuts? How could you not only compete but thrive with high margins and loyal customers? John DiJulius gave some insight at the SBN Live series. Check out the details and pictures

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Build Your Own PC Day 5-20-2006

Hot motherboards. Cool cases. Dual Core Processors. Lots of Mods. Check out the details and pictures and see the specs of one of the hottest new systems.

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Grand Opening of the eTech Hatchery 5-11-2006

Sure it rained - this is springtime in Cleveland. But the Grand Opening of the Hatch went on. Check out the details and pictures.

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Neosa Networking 5-10-2006

Neosa held their first networking event in over a year and it was a winner. Check out some thoughts from the event and see some images of faces in the crowd.

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The "Father" of the Internet

Vinton Cerf

Dr. Vinton Cerf at the City Club of Cleveland May 5, 2006

This review includes some highlights of the presentation, link to the podcast and links to more information on Cerf and the beginning of the Internet.

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Tech City 5-9-2006

The Great Lakes Geek attended the Tech City event at Landerhaven on May 9, 2006. Check out some thoughts from the event and see some images of faces in the crowd.

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Dan Hanson, the Great Lakes Geek

Aztek Technology

Hahn Loeser + Parks

Best Group

BEST Group Management Consultants, Inc.

“Simply the BEST at delighting our customers.”

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