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Internet Explorer 7 Beta 3 – first look

Microsoft is releasing public betas by the dozen, it’s actually quite amazing, and they no longer require too much of a registration process or non-disclosure agreements, but I’m sure that it helps that I have a Windows Live user id, the thing that used to be called Microsoft Passport or .NET log-in services. So I registered and begun downloading betas from the Microsoft site. First in line was Internet Explorer 7.

So why did I, who publicly questioned the need for Internet Explorer, become a beta tester for IE7? Well it started with a post on (surprise)… is a Mac related site, but yesterday an article on the availability of Internet Explorer 7 Beta 3 surfaced, and that started an in-fight. Did this article really belong on a Mac site? Probably not!

But then I remembered my poor old Windows box that was gathering dust, and the main reason I have it is to have a testbed, it’s running Windows Server 2003, with basically everything under the sun installed on it, and it still has lots of room for more stuff, and when somebody actually asked if anybody had tested Internet Explorer 7, I went ahead and downloaded it, and that was very easy to do.

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NASA – STS-121 NASA’s Starbangled 4th

Shuttle Mission STS-121Phew…The Shuttle has returned to space, and for the first time a Shuttle Launch on the 4th of July.

It’s always nervewrecking to watch a Shuttle launch, and it’s great to have live coverage by NASA TV that is streaming over the Internet from this address:

NASA – NASA TV Landing Page

Congratulations to NASA with the fitting celebration of Independence Day.

The Shuttle program is nearing it’s end, it’s the end of an era and a too complex program, that so far (touch wood) has resulted in the loss of 2 orbiters and 14 lives.

NASA is now looking back to the Saturn V program for inspiration, and a couple of new launch vehicles will be introduced, ending with the return to the moon by the end of the next decade.

Everytime the Shuttle program seemed to be running smoothly, we encountered a major disaster, making for a rude awakening to the dangers of space exploration.

The space program is the greatest project humanity is currently involved in, and it’s a great inspiration, and space is finally opening up due to the X-Prize and SpaceShipOne.

We’re once again taking baby steps into the final frontier, following the lead of the Apollo pioneers. Earth is too dangerous a place to stay.

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I’ve become a FONero

Join the FON movement!After responding to a post on (surprise), I decided to become a FONero.

So what’s a FONero, well FON is a Wi-Fi community where the members, called FONeros, share their Internet connections by opening their WiFi Hotspots.

How does it work?

Well using special software installed on the router, people are presented with a log-in screen when they’re accessing your Hotspot, FON will handle the transaction.

FON operates with three levels of users:

  • Aliens are users who pay for access, and don’t share their connection
  • Linuses are users who share their connection in order to get free access to all other FON networks
  • Bills are people who share their connection for a 50% cut of the revenue

Here’s a quote from the FON web-site:

FON is the largest WiFi community in the world, open to anyone who wishes to unite and connect to the Internet for free from any corner of the world without cables. It all started as a simple idea: enjoy WiFi technology everywhere across a WiFi infrastructure built by same members of the FON Community. Joining us is just as easy. All you need is to register for free, have broadband connection and to download our software onto your router. This converts your router into a FON Social Router. If you do not have a router that is compatible with FON’s software, you can purchase one of our subsidized FON Social Routers at our online store.

It turned out that my router wasn’t FON enabled, so I ordered one using the offer on the FON web-site, it cost me €5 plus shipping and VAT for a grand total of €17.40, not exactly breaking the bank. The catch, I’ll have to start sharing my connection within 30 days, or it’ll cost me €45 extra.

FON is a brilliant idea, and it’ll hopefully help the spread of affordable Internet access. What will the Internet providers think of this idea? Very good question, I suspect that they most likely will not like it very much.