Dan had a bad customer-service experience with a router for his computer, which resulted in a kernel panic, or the Mac equivalent of a Windows Blue Screen of Death. A "kernel panic" sounds a lot like WHO's old Barn Dance Frolic.
Dan is Twittering. So is Brian. Same for Ross.
Want to control your Gmail better? Try using the "+" symbol to create new e-mail addresses without adding new accounts.
Dan was very proud of himself for having found one of those free "star registries" online this week and "naming" a star after the show. They're not actually giving you any property rights. All they're doing is putting your name in a book that doesn't really have any legal standing whatsoever. So why pay for it? We could start our own "Wise Guys Star Registry" and no one could stop us.
If you really care about space and the stars, read some stuff from the International Astronomical Union or join one of the local astronomy clubs. Who knows? If you take a kid along, you could turn him or her into a rocket scientist.
Meanwhile, Ross found a bunch of sites offering to sell you land on the Moon, and on other planets. We're not even going to bother providing you a link because they're crooks. Besides, even if you could buy property on other planets -- which you can't -- you can't really build anything on Venus, nor drill for oil on Mars.
Speaking of energy, our Federal energy regulators may be finally getting underway with a long-overdue review of the reliability of our nation's electrical grid.
Is Google thinking about buying the New York Times? Google CEO Eric Schmidt says no, but the writing is on the wall: Google needs to find new lines of business if it wants to continue growing quickly. But Microsoft's history with MSNBC and Yahoo's trouble with subscription-music services tells us that sometimes it's best to have someone else dealing with the content.
That brings to mind the question of whether portal sites like Google should merge with social-networking sites like Facebook -- or whether either of them should merge with online stores like Amazon.com.
Mark Cuban says newspapers shouldn't have "bloggers." He makes a very strong case that the notion of a weblog is antithetical to a news organization having a serious editorial role, so those newspapers ought to have lots of real-time reporting, but definitely not bloggers.
Listener e-mail question of the week:
Brian, enjoy listening to your shows when I am able. Wonder if you could help me out with this. I turned on my Palm Life Drive (PalmOne). I've had absolutely no difficulty with it until yesterday. It seems frozen on the PalmOne screen and will not recharge. I have soft reset to no avail. I understand that if I hard reset it that I will lose all data. It has much on it that has not been hot synced to my computer. I have never been able to hot sync to the Palm desktop on my computer. I have not entered day to day stuff on my computer, just entered it on the PDA. And of course not backed the Palm or synced to anything. My understanding is that I cannot, due to having the HP Media Center PC. I am at my wits end. Any ideas?Best to answer this one via bullet points:
- I don't know why having an HP Media Center PC would prevent you from synchronizing your Palm computer. I have been able to synchronize my Palm Pilot to an HP Media Center laptop for years. It's possible that I'm missing something about your question, but there's nothing on the surface at least that indicates that you should have any trouble with your Palm computer just because your computer is an HP.
- That being said, you are correct that a hard reset of your Palm computer will delete everything that you had stored on it. The instructions for a LifeDrive are a little bit different than for most other Palm computers, but the effect is still the same.
- Is it possible to recover data on a Palm computer after a hard reset? The answer is "sort of." As with most hard drives on most computers, deleting a file isn't really the same as erasing it forever. Most often, when you delete a file, it's like you're breaking the chain that leads the computer to be able to find the file, which in turn tells the computer that it's perfectly OK to write over the deleted files. When you wipe a file instead, you actually write over the parts of the hard drive where your data is stored. All of that being said, recovering deleted files from a Palm computer isn't the kind of thing I'd ever try on my own. In fact, I don't even know where I'd start. You'd probably need to hire someone with a background in computer forensics to recover that lost data. And there's no guarantee they'd be able to recover it all.
- One solution that has worked for me in the past when a Palm computer has locked up has been to run down the battery, then recharge. If you haven't tried this yet (or if the battery hasn't gone out on its own), it may be an option. Normally, your best bet is a soft reset, like you described, so if that hasn't been working, the battery run-down option might be an act of desperation that could work.
- Unfortunately, Palm computers have always seemed a little susceptible to lock-ups, and you may have no other choice but to bite the bullet and go for a hard reset, acknowledging that you're going to lose the data that you haven't otherwise backed up. Depending on how valuable that data is, you may wish to find computer data-recovery expert to try to help, but that could get expensive in a hurry.
Keywords in this show: Amazon.com • astronomy • backups • Barn Dance Frolic • Cuban, Mark • customer service • electrical grid • e-mail • energy • Facebook • file recovery • Gmail • Google • journalism • kernel panic • Microsoft • MSNBC • newspapers • New York Times • Palm Life Drive • portal sites • reporting • scams • science • space • star registries • subscription music services • weblogs • Yahoo