Sunday, May 20, 2007

Lazy Day Linkpost

A WWII Rolex Story

Every now and then I come across some bit of historical trivia that amazes me.

The kind of stuff that you'd expect to learn about on The History or Discovery channel; but too unimportant even for notice there.

Vintage fansite Retro Thing posted an intriguing article Rolex Oyster P.O.W. Watch On Auction.

Who knew that during WWII, Swiss master timepiece maker Rolex actually was allowed to market Rolex timepieces directly to British officers in German POW camps during the war? What's more, the sales were extended under credit and the POW purchaser wasn't required to pay until the war reached its conclusion. The offer was only (with Clive Nutting as an exception) extended to British officers in that "...their word was their bond."

The material comes from an expansive and wondrous article by Alan Downing on the owner Nutting's story of capture, life as a WWII POW, and the general history of timepieces and POWs during WWII. It's a fascinating account made even more so by the wealth of detailed photographs and images that accompany the article.

POW Rolex Parts 1 & 2 - A “POW Rolex” Recalls the Great Escape - Via

Amazing story of the role of technology under horrible circumstances.

Vista Kibbles

TechBlog maven Dwight Silverman has been hard at work taking down names and facts and investigating the truth of portable notebook battery life under the harsh and punishing Microsoft Vista demands of its Aero theme.

TechBlog: Vista, Aero, battery life . . . and Doom

TechBlog: Followup: More on Vista's Aero and battery life

In the end, Dwight leaves us with a few points of wisdom; that Vista's battery management options are very configurable, that battery life testing probably falls nicely into the realm of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, and that turning off the Aero theme may result in just a 1-4% increase in battery life.

If however, you really want to squeeze those last drops of juice from your Vista citrus, consider dropping into this post Instead of complaining, fix the Vista Battery problem. - Via monkey see, monkey build... blog.

I'm not sure it is "perfect" but it is a free-code solution to turn Windows Vista Aero off when running on battery.

Also of note, Ryan over at CyberNet News blog chimes in on the Vista/Aero/battery debate by pointing out the following information:

...but [Microsoft] planned ahead and implemented something to reduce the battery consumption in Vista. If you put your laptop into Power Saver [Balanced] mode (left-click on the battery icon in the System Tray), and then unplug the computer you’ll notice that Vista automatically disabled the transparency feature. All of the other Aero features still remain in tact, such as the Flip 3D and Taskbar previews, but some of the eye candy has been removed. It might not be much but this does indeed save battery power.

Good work gentlemen!. That's part of the fun to me of seeing a new OS rolled out. Everyone is enthusiastic about picking it apart. Kinda reminds me of taking apart the lawnmower and radio to see how they worked as a kid. Only (in theory) less expensive.

Greg Duncan shows us how to add the Speedfan Meter gadget to the Vista Sidebar.

Speedfan Vista Sidebar Gadget - Speedfan Meter


Finally, ITsVista Tip 52 illustrates how to Map a Drive to an FTP site in Vista.

There are a handful of Mozilla FTP sites I keep an eye on for new nightly build releases so this is a handy tip.


Paper Pilot is a fun Flash-based game that lets you pick from one of three paper airplane models, and do some adjustments. Then you can practice tossing it to see how far it goes. Nothing earth shattering but kinda relaxing and fun, anyway. -via download squad.

I've used the note taking software EverNote off and on for some time. Overall I really like and recommend it for folks looking for a freeware note-taking/managing application replacement for OneNote.

I learned about another polished freeware note-management program, SEO Note. It has tabbed note pages (nice), supports several note formats, allows embedded objects, has Blowfish encryption, supports tables, and can link to local files directly. It has some misses as well such as note tagging and reminder alarms.

It an alternative worth looking into for note management...and it's free.

A brief review of SEO Note exists over at

FreeCommander - This freeware file manager is my absolute favorite Windows Explorer replacement. And it has been updated to version 2007.05. This version has gotten some polish applied and looks a bit sharper than previous versions.

If you are installing over an existing version, I'd recommend first making a copy of your fcStart.ini and freeCommander.ini files located in the program folder. Then after installation, close freeCommander and copy them back to preserve your custom settings.


Here are some interesting anime-related posts for the fans.

The Sci-Fi channel recently announced it would begin airing some anime titles.

One of the first movies it will show is no-less than Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - Solid State Society. (ANN announcement)

Air date is June 11th at 10 p.m CST. Get your TiVo's, DVR's, and VCR's ready!

Bandai won't be releasing the DVD until July 3rd so this will be a real treat.

DannyChoo has some great teaser screen capture shots for GITS: SSS.

He also mentions a new anime movie out in Japan: Tokikake. (more screen caps at the link)

It has an intriguing story line. I hope to see a US release some day.

The animation looks pretty nice as well.

Japanese Baby Hatches vs. Texas Baby Moses Law

Earlier this month, a hospital in Kumamoto, Japan opened up a "konotori no yurikago" (stork cradle) hatch with great controversy.

Calls flood Kumamoto hospital as it opens first baby hatch - via The Japan Times Online

The idea here is that instead of a parent abandoning their newborn in an unsafe environment, the baby can be placed in this "incubated" hatch at the hospital and left in the safe care of hospital staff. It has spurred debate again on whether this will lead to a flood of child-abandonment cases or saved lives. Police will still investigate and prosecute parents of children left in an abused or debilitated condition.

In the first test of the baby hatch and police response, it's first recipient was a 3 - 4 year old pre-schooler left by his father: Father leaves preschooler in baby hatch - via The Japan Times Online

Texas has an established law known as "Baby Moses Cases"

Link to Texas DFPS - Child Protective Services (CPS) Handbook Section on Baby Moses Case Policy.

To meet the criteria, the abandoned child must (basically) be 60 days old or younger, not been harmed, been delivered to a DEIC (designated emergency infant care) provider, and delivered with the express intent of the parent to not return.

Texas DEIC providers would be an EMS provider (say the fire department), a hospital, or a licensed DFPS child-placing agency that staffs a registered nurse or EMS provider.

For some additional policy background on this issue:

UPDATE: More States Decriminalize Safe Baby Abandonment - via

Statute-at-a-Glance: Infant Safe Haven Laws - via Child Welfare Information Gateway.

A child is a terrible thing to waste.


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