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Richmond Police will wake up residents who leave gadgets in their cars

Posted by Andrey Malskiy Categories: Misc. Tech, Transportation, Videos,

We’re not the biggest of fans seeing red and blue flashing lights behind us, as that usually means the fun has just ended. Thanks to a new initiative in Richmond, Virginia, folks will have to worry about early-morning knocks on the door from the boys in blue as well between the hours of midnight and 4:00 a.m if they leave valuable gadgets in their cars.

RPD has started a new initiative, or wake up call service for drivers who leave itesms like smartphones, tablets, and MP3 players in their cars. Night shift officers will be patrolling the streets, peering into curbside vehicles to see if there are any valuables left behind. The motive behind the initiative is to curb vehicle break-ins, which hit a record 20 incidents over the last month. The wake-up call service is way to teach drivers a lesson, RPD says. Though we’re not too sure drivers will be coherent at 4:00 in the morning, we're hopeful that the officers will be able to teach them a little common sense. 

Checkout the video above as WBBC 12 NBC reports on the initiative, and let us know in the comments if you think it’s a smart move on RPD behalf below.

Read More | Autoblog


Yahoo to Close GeoCities

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Google, Internet,

Geocities header

If your first site was on GeoCities, then let’s have a moment of silence as Yahoo has decided to retire the free service by the end of the year and is accepting no new accounts. Existing accounts still have access, but they would rather you upgrade to their paid Web Hosting service with a discount of 50%. GeoCities was bought in 1999 for $287 billion, but ComScore reports that traffic has fallen about 24% in the past year. Contact the help center if you want to close your account or have questions.

Read More | GeoCities

Werd: Service - Part Five

Posted by Patrick Snajder Categories: Editorials, Education,

The Werd

Until a kind benefactor/patron finally purchases the Oxford English Dictionary (complete set, please) for me, I will be using the excellent (free) resource Online Etymology Dictionary for my Friday updates.  Here’s how the latter OED defines the roots of our word, “serve”:

c.1175, “to render habitual obedience to,” from O.Fr. servir “to serve,” from L. servire “to serve,” originally “be a slave,” related to servus “slave,” perhaps from an Etruscan word (cf. Etruscan proper names Servi, Serve). Meaning “to attend to (a customer)” is first recorded 1362; that of “to set food on (a table)” is from c.1386. [Full entry here.]

So we find here that the Latin root for the word “serve” essentially refers to a “slave.”  Though modern usage has updated that interpretation to include a more general implication of noble intent, I think the root still is still relevant.  It also puts

our discussions

my monologue this week in a different context.

Click to continue reading Werd: Service - Part Five

Read More | Online Etymology Dictionary

Werd: Service - Part Four

Posted by Patrick Snajder Categories: Editorials, History,

The Werd

While we may have noticed a mingling of church and state in the past few years, it seems that church and stage are as far apart as ever.  In the modern music scene, most popular musicians of note either move from a religious message towards a more secular message (e.g., Evanescence and Kate Perry) or tone down their religious leanings to offer a message that can be more broadly applied to a larger audience (e.g., U2 and Sufjan Stevens).  Certainly, there are large markets that promote strictly religious music, but you will find their audiences homogeneous in belief.  Similarly, there are allusions to religious belief in all types of popular music, but very few artists promote their religion ahead of their marketable product.

In 1978, spurred by a cross flung on stage during a concert, a road-weary Bob Dylan decided to go against the grain.  Not only would he embrace his born-again religion, but within a year he would transform from the rebellious voice of the hippie generation to a Bible-wielding evangelist gospel singer.  In 1980, after the release of his gospel album Slow Train Coming, Dylan received a Grammy for the single “Gotta Serve Somebody.”

Click to continue reading Werd: Service - Part Four

Werd: Service - Part Three

Posted by Patrick Snajder Categories: Editorials, Media, Site Features,


The general objections[1] I have found against Obama’s proposed America Serves program are:

  1. This unpaid manpower will be used for nefarious means; with the volunteers steered into programs that support Obama’s socialist goals.

  2. The program will cost taxpayers money in subsidizing the college grants and insuring and providing resources for students to complete their service and is another example of government waste without any quantifiable levels of improvement.

  3. These service programs are one step away from the institution of a military draft.

  4. Service to one’s community necessarily derivatives from the American Dream, which is one of individual primacy, not a communal movement.

  5. Giving jobs to unpaid students will debilitate the market for paying jobs and therefore will send us down the road to a complete communist state.

  6. What is suggested as altruistic service often becomes government-subsidized coercion: a violation of an American’s right to serve as they chose to, whether paid or not.

[Sources: The Heritage Foundation blog, The Volokh Conspiracy, this Mises.org forumLew Rockwell editorial, and Bovard’s objections to the AmeriCorps program as outlined in Wikipedia.]

Click to continue reading Werd: Service - Part Three

Werd: Service - Part Two

Posted by Patrick Snajder Categories: Editorials, Education,


President-Elect Obama has, in his life and in his campaign, continually stressed the importance of an American public that commits to community service.  Unlike the Bush version of sacrifice, which stressed spending money, Obama’s version implies real, hard work: a toil that requires sweat and elbow grease committed by members of the American public in order to improve our society.  It is a philosophy demonstrated by his post-law school job as a community organizer and made concrete in his America Serves policy ( as given here on his change.gov website).  The text is as follows:

The Obama Administration will call on Americans to serve in order to meet the nation’s challenges. President-Elect Obama will expand national service programs like AmeriCorps and Peace Corps and will create a new Classroom Corps to help teachers in underserved schools, as well as a new Health Corps, Clean Energy Corps, and Veterans Corps. Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by setting a goal that all middle school and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year and by developing a plan so that all college students who conduct 100 hours of community service receive a universal and fully refundable tax credit ensuring that the first $4,000 of their college education is completely free. Obama will encourage retiring Americans to serve by improving programs available for individuals over age 55, while at the same time promoting youth programs such as Youth Build and Head Start.

Is this a good plan for America?

Click to continue reading Werd: Service - Part Two

Read More | Change.gov

Werd: Service - Part One

Posted by Patrick Snajder Categories: Editorials, Media,


Charlie Rose interviewed Tom Brokaw on October 30th.  Some of the conversation included a discussion about Brokaw’s general philosophy that is it our duty as Americans and as humans to perform some sort of service for the benefit of our community.  Brokaw noted that, in all of his speeches to various organizations, the call for service is the most significant part of his message.  Rose, at the 48:20 mark of this conversation, turned the tables, asking: “With all the talk you have made and your experience … [and] all the talk you have evoked at this table about service: suppose two people come to you and say, ‘It’s now time for Tom to make a contribution to the country.’  What are you going to say?”

Brokaw answered by noting his aforementioned lectures, implying that his particular type of service was performed by the message of service he delivered to students and other members of his audience.  But Rose pressed him, asking for Brokaw to name something specific, some particular service, that Brokaw would perform when asked.  Brokaw, sadly, lamentably, answered only that he was getting old and wanted to spend the rest of his days exploring new rivers to fish in.  At the end of the interview, Brokaw admitted that he needed to find a better answer to Rose’s challenge.

Such is service: incredibly easy to hold aloft with words, terribly heavy when placed upon our own shoulders.

Service - Part One
Service - Part Two
Service - Part Three
Service - Part Four
Service - Part Five

Patrick Snajder publishes A World of Logical Consequences and is currently pursuing his dream to become a professional in the animal husbandry industry.

Read More | CharlieRose.com

Nero Liquid TV - TiVo Your PC

Liquid TVTiVo and Nero have teamed to make Liquid TV software. It includes the simple TiVo interface to watch and record TV shows and movies in HD and Standard formats on your TV or PC. Liquid TV has the ability to burn to DVD or hard drive, pause, export to PMP or iPod, and schedule recordings in the U.S. and Canada. The package includes TiVo’s Season Pass, WishList, and a 12 month subscription to the service, and comes with tuner for your PC and remote. All in all, this is a fine deal for $199.00 that will be out October 15. If you already have a tuner, Nero is offering the software separately for $99.00, TiVo subscription included.

Read More | Nero

Security Bots Double as Domestics

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Household, Misc. Tech, Science,


In an effort to make a few extra holiday bucks, Mobile Robots has decided that its surveillance bots can do double duty. Jeeves will greet your friends at the door with “Welcome to our home” and a tray of drinks, but we are assuming that you have to open the door yourself. Brewskibot is capable of carrying 2 6-packs in its fridge and can patrol your home or office in its spare time. Agent 007 will also serve as security with its built-in camera but can scare your buds by yelling, “Police, freeze!”

The real point that they are making here is that you can make your robot a part of the family, rather than just a service object. Now if they could just offer them cheaply enough for us to bring one home. The bots will set you back $30,995.00, $31,995.00, and $34,995.00 respectively.


Read More | Mobile Robots

Xbox Live Free For Three Days During Halo Launch

Posted by Paul Hamilton Categories: Xbox 360, Xbox Live,

Xbox LiveIn the midst of all the hype about the Halo 3 launch, one thing that is often overlooked is that not everyone who has a 360 is necessarily equipped to play the game in its entirety. Whether you’re staunchly against paying for an online service like Xbox Live or you just can’t afford it, for a few days at least it won’t matter.

Best Buy is sponsoring a three-day free-for-all granting all Xbox 360 users access to the Gold Service starting on September 25th and ending on the 27th. That means that Silver members get to experience Halo’s online multiplayer without charge for at least a handful of days after they pick up their copy of the game. Even if you’re not into the whole Halo thing, that doesn’t exclude you from taking advantage: Best Buy’s “the first hit is free” style promotion extends to all parts of the service so those without full access to Live could use the time to play some Gears of War online, check out the Call of Duty 4 beta (if it’s still up and running) or just use the time to play some free Uno.

Read More | Bungie.net