This past May on Metafilter, we looked at “Thirty Minutes Behind the Walls”, a wildly popular variety show that was broadcast every Wednesday night in the 1930's and 1940's from the state prison in Huntsville, TX. It featured performances by male and female prisoners. No recordings of the show have ever been found. In the early forties, eight inmates of the Goree State Farm prison unit formed one of the first all-female country and western acts in the country and their performances were broadcast on Thirty Minutes. The Goree All Girl String Band captured the hearts of millions of radio listeners but never cut a record or went on tour and have thus been ignored by music historians. When they were paroled, they nearly all vanished forever. [more inside]
How does a Dell laptop know what kind of power adapter is connected? The adapter tells it. Reverse-engineering: Hacking the Dell laptop power adapter 1, 2, 3, 4.
Dell SecureWorks has discovered that a blackhat used spoofed BGP announcements in order to steal cryptocurrency worth about $83,000 over the course of a few months earlier this year. [more inside]
Mark Ames follows up on The Techtopus (previously) with a new report showing a much larger conspiracy than has been previously reported: [more inside]
BBC: A number of Dell users have complained that their Latitude 6430u Ultrabooks "smell of cat urine" ... Another customer, Hoteca, said: "I thought for sure one of my cats sprayed it, but there was something faulty with it so I had it replaced. The next one had the same exact issue. It's embarrassing taking it to clients because it smells so bad." Other users said they had blamed their cats for the smell. [more inside]
Back in the day, Ken Segall helped create Apple's Think Different campaign and helped name the iMac. More recently he worked on JC Penney's Yours Truly, commercial, before JCP ousted Ron Johnson as its CEO. He writes a sharp, entertaining blog called Ken Segall's Observatory, where he offers opinions on advertising and design geekery. His take on Ron Johnson's failure is interesting, as is this post on what it takes for an advertisement to stand out in a crowd. He calls attention to surprisingly decent ads from Microsoft and Dell, critiques terrible ads (from Microsoft and JC Penney and even Apple, and comments on whether skeuomorphism has its advantages. He's also fond of discussing product names. Give this one a skip if advertising gives you hives, but for those of you who're interested in things like this Segall's blog is especially choice stuff.
A new report, the National Intelligence Estimate, released by the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence "represents the consensus view of the U.S. intelligence community, describes a wide range of sectors that have been the focus of [China-based] hacking over the past five years, including energy, finance, information technology, aerospace and automotive." One face of Chinese state-sponsored hackers profiled by Bloomberg Business Week is Zhang Changhe, an instructor at the People's Liberation Army Information Engineering University in Zhengzhou. [more inside]
Michael Dell, with the help of a $2 billion dollar investment from Microsoft, is taking Dell private. Dell was once a $100 billion company, but has fallen behind HP and Lenovo in marketshare in the post-PC era. This is the largest leveraged buyout since 2007. [more inside]
"A Harvard MBA Pays Down $101K Of Debt." Two years after he graduated from Harvard with an MBA, Joe Mihalic, now manager of strategic alliances and business development at Dell, vowed to do “everything in my power–short of lying, cheating, and stealing–to pay down" his student loan debt, (then totaling 90K,) "in the next ten months.” After applying for a weekend delivery job, he also decided to chronicle the steps he was taking on a blog: "No More Harvard Debt." First page of posts is here. Penultimate post explains his process: "Mission Accomplished." [more inside]
A fine way to remove unwanted hair is to wrench it violently from your scalp. To facilitate this, try reading Dell Hell (Part 2), in which a sad soul descends into madness at the virtual hands of Dell's customer service. It's a companion piece to a 2005 series of Dell Hell deranged scribblings.
The Man Who Makes Your iPhone - Bloomberg Businessweek profiles Terry Gou, the founder and chairman of Foxconn, the controversial manufacturer of consumer electronic devices for Apple, Sony, HP and Dell, among others.
Window to Dell Decline: The "Dell Model" became synonymous with efficiency, outsourcing and tight inventories, and was taught at the Harvard Business School and other top-notch management schools as a paragon of business smarts and outthinking the competition. For the last seven years, the company has been plagued by serious problems, including misreading the desires of its customers, poor customer service, suspect product quality and improper accounting. Documents recently unsealed in a three-year-old lawsuit And Reported In The NYTimes show Dell employees went out of their way to conceal serious hardware problems. "They were fixing bad computers with bad computers and were misleading customers at the same time..."
Silicon Sweatshops is a five-part investigation of the supply chains that produce many of the world’s most popular technology products, from Apple iPhones, to Nokia cell phones, Dell keyboards and more. The series examines the scope of the problem, including its effects on workers from the Philippines, Taiwan and China. It also looks at a novel factory program that may be a blueprint for solving this perennial industry problem.
Dell have recently opened a new sub-site called "Della" aimed at women in the most offensive way possible. Bereft of any technical information about their hardware, or indeed any information at all, the site instead includes "Tech Tips" about keeping track of your weight... [more inside]
Devolution: Nature's U-Turn is a new music video concept by rock band KoRn for their single Evolution. The premise? Mankind isn't evolving, it's devolving... getting dumber by the day. Wait. Haven't we seen this before? We have, and Devo's Gerald V. Casale isn't happy. "We denounce this as impostors playing with fire." he says of Korn on the Club Devo website. He elaborates in a new interview with Rolling Stone, including a possibility of their first new record in 20 years. Devo's also put out a new song, "Watch Us Work It", which appears in a commercial for Dell laptops [youtube link], with a official music video and single release to come.
Google turning to the dark side? From the article: In short, Google and Dell have teamed up to install some software on Dell computers that borders on being spyware. I say spyware because it’s hard to figure out what it is and is even harder to remove. It also breaks all kinds of OpenDNS functionality. At the end, I’ll tell you what we’re doing about it.
Dell to sell machines with Ubuntu Feisty preinstalled. A major step forward for those who want to see Linux on the desktop. As mentioned on Slashdot and BoingBoing.
Due to recent fires, Dell is recalling over four million laptop batteries manufactured by Sony and sold worldwide in the past two years. Pictures of computers on fire (as well as their charred remains) circulated widely online, not allowing the company to easily dismiss the problem as an isolated incident. Other companies claim their products aren't affected by the same issues, but the nightmare might not be limited to Dell. The future of laptops on airplanes is not looking so good.
Dell dismisses "one-product wonder" iPod as a "fad". Also says cheerleader who rebuffed him in high school "not that pretty, had a big butt and I think she was gay anyway."
A collective "I told you so" from all the layed-off American tech workers. Dell to Stop Using Indian Call Center for Corporate Customers. Apparently, there was a high volume of complaints about thick accents and scripted responses. You don't say? You mean explaining complex technical issues to end users over a phone are further complicated by mixing in large dialect and enunciation differences?
Dude, You're Under Arrest Ben "Dell Dude" Curtis, was arrested in New York last night on charges of criminal possession of marijuana. Thanks to The Smoking Gun we now have something to make us laugh on a Monday.
Steven. Steven. Steven. I can't get enough of this incredibly-cute-but-I-don't-normally-go-for-such-obvious-twinkiness pitchperson for Dell Computers. Apparently, neither can anyone else, as Steven (or more properly, actor Ben Curtis) has been Dell's most successful advertising, uh, tool ever. Why do we love him? His Bill'n'Ted vocabulary? His toothy grin? Whatever the reason, at least now I no longer have to glue myself to the television to watch his latest commercial overandoverandoverand Dude, I'll get a Dell if you deliver it to me personally. So to speak. Is it wrong to love a fictional character so much? Is there a support group? Any other MeFites have a strange attraction going on here? I can't be the only one, can I?
Dell takes a survey out on AMD processors. Finally, the only thing that keeps me from buying a Dell is their lack of Athlon and Duron machines. Sounds like the negative reviews of the P4 has Dell running towards the competition.
Unisys, Microsoft, Dell to Create New Voting System The system will integrate election processes from voter registration to counting results, Unisys said. Let the Microsoft jokes begin . . .