Tune out co-workers, or take a nap.

by Admin 8. August 2008

When I first started to work for 1st Mariner over three years ago I was right in the middle of a cubicle farm where fellow coworkers loved to congregate. After several weeks of knowing everything there is about Survivor, I finally came to the conclusion that I had two options: either tell them to go away or drown them out with music from my iPod. I chose the latter and unfortunately there was little relief. I have never been able to fully concentrate when music or a TV is on. However, I found a solution!

I found this via Delicious. SimplyNoise is a white noise generator that runs directly in your browser. This is a great service to aid in concentrating at work, or getting in the zone for a nap when the boss is gone. With SimplyNoise, you can dial in how much noise you want with a simple volume slider that’s independent of your system volume.

If you find having the browser window open in the background annoying, there’s also a standalone player over on Download.com.



Secure email with Gmail.

by Admin 6. August 2008

For those of you that use Gmail as your primary email address, you can now set the web based email service provider to encrypt your communications as a default. While this will make it harder for third parties to snoop your email, it could also make email delivery slower too.

"Your computer has to do extra work to decrypt all that data, and encrypted data doesn't travel across the Internet as efficiently as unencrypted data," Gmail engineer Ariel Rideout said in a blog post. This is why they have left the choice up to the user.

The encryption is possible through HTTPS - Hypertext Transfer Protocol over Secure Socket Layer -, a secure version of the HTTP protocol that allows us to click on links, view pages, request information from servers and generally makes the web possible. The encryption is only between the browser and Gmail servers which is unlike other encryption software that encrypts email all the way from source to destination.

To encrypt your email, simply log in to your Gmail account and go to your account settings. You will find a section labeled Browser connection: where you will see two radio buttons. Select the option labeled Always us https to set as your default.


Elvis is alive… on MySpace

by Admin 30. July 2008

Did I get the attention of all of the Canton Hons?! That's right; Elvis is going to be performing on MySpace! Ok, well not the real Elvis. Just hundreds of impersonators who will be competing in the Elvis karaoke contest on MySpace. No joke. I am not sure if this is a marketing ploy to introduce Elvis to a younger generation or MySpace to an older one, or if it is just for kicks.

The well known social network owned by News Corp. is better known for attracting a demographic for which the King has always been dead, announced that it will be hosting an official Elvis karaoke competition for “Elvis Week 2008,” running from August 9th to the 17th. This is through a partnership with Elvis Presley Enterprises. Members can enter starting August 4th by submitting videos of Elvis song performances to MySpace’s karaoke site. Elvis Presley Enterprises has also launched an official MySpace page too.

The winner will perform live onstage at Elvis’ historic Graceland home with other entertainers who actually performed with Elvis himself. Ten second-place winners get a DVD of Viva Las Vegas as well a MP3 player loaded with Elvis songs. Twenty third-place winners will receive a one-year membership to the “Official Elvis Insiders” club.

Note: The contest is one of singing, not impersonating. Although I am sure we will see many lip-curled, cape wearing entrants.


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