Tuesday, February 24, 2009

DiskDigger Recovers Deleted Files [Downloads]


Windows only: If you've just deleted some important media files, DiskDigger is a straightforward file recovery tool geared specifically toward recovering multimedia and document files.

As we noted earlier this month in our feature on properly erasing your physical media, just because Windows says a file is gone doesn't mean it's lost forever. DiskDigger is a standalone application that scans the sectors of your physical media looking for complete or partial media files. Unlike other file recovery tools that look for any files, DiskDigger is focused on the ones that people most commonly accidentally delete and need to recover. In the options menu you can specify what kinds of files you want it to search for, including: images (JPEG, PNG, BMP, TIFF and GIF), documents (DOC and PDF), and multimedia files (MPG, MP3, WMV, MOV and more). DiskDigger has active preview, allowing you to view files as they are discovered in the recovery process. The preview feature is especially helpful when scanning large drives, which can be a lengthy and intensive process. It took nearly two hours to deeply scan a 120GB SATA drive, although for smaller media recovery the process is markedly quicker; it took just 10 minutes to scan and recover files from a 2GB SD card.

One of the more interesting things about the deep scan of a primary drive is the number of images that aren't written over yet, despite their advanced age. In the screenshot above, you can see a photograph of Marilyn Monroe from when my wife and I redecorated a guest room with a 1950s/Marilyn Monroe theme over a year ago. Despite heavy drive activity, the photograph occupied a sector that remained untouched in all that time and was completely recoverable—yet more reinforcement to practice safe data handling and make sure to securely overwrite critical files. If you need to go beyond DiskDigger's media resurrection, make sure to check out our feature on recovering deleted files with free software for a huge assortment of tips and tools for getting your files back. DiskDigger is freeware, Windows only.

Saturday, February 21, 2009



This Is The Place lyrics
this is the place
where all the junkies go
where time gets fast but everything gets slow

can i get some vaseline
step into a modern scene
take a chance on that
which seems to be
the making of a dream

i don't want to do it
like my daddy did
i don't want to give it
to my babys kid

this is my calling

this is the place
where all the devils plead
their case to take from you
what they need
can i isolate your gene
can i kiss your dopamine
i a way i wonder
if she's living in a magazine

i don't want to say it
if it isn't so
i don't want to weigh it
but i've got to know

this is my calling

i saw you out there yesterday
what did you want to say
a perfect piece of DNA,
i caught you out there in the fray,
what did you want to say,
a masterpiece of DNA,
caught in a flashing ray

can i smell your gasoline
can i pet your wolferine
on the way my best friend died
i could not get my copper clean

i don't want to take it up
with little joe
i don't want to fake it
so i've gotta know

this is my calling...

i am a misfit
i'm born with all of it
the fucking ultimate
of love inside the atom split

i'm in a flash ray
a mash of DNA
anothers poppin jay
who thinks he's got
something to say


Thursday, February 19, 2009

EQ Magazine article on the making of Snakes & Arrows


EQ Magazine - www.eqmag.com

Rush and Producer Nick Raskulinecz Reveal How They Recorded Snakes & Arrows

By Will RomanoSometimes dreams do come true – just ask producer Nick Raskulinecz. Or if your memory is as good as ours, think back to a small interview that ran in the May 2006 EQ, where Raskulinecz – who has worked with Foo Fighters, Velvet Revolver, Marilyn Manson, and others – was asked which band he would most like to produce.


Richard Chycki

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Beatles - I'm Only Sleeping


When I wake up early in the morning,
Lift my head, I'm still yawning
When I'm in the middle of a dream
Stay in bed, float up stream

Please don't wake me, no
don't shake me
Leave me where I am
I'm only sleeping

Everybody seems to think I'm lazy
I don't mind, I think they're crazy
Running everywhere at such a speed
Till they find, there's no need

Please don't spoil my day
I'm miles away
And after all
I'm only sleeping

Keeping an eye on the world going by my window
Taking my time

Lying there and staring at the ceiling
Waiting for a sleepy feeling

Please don't spoil my day
I'm miles away
And after all
I'm only sleeping

Keeping an eye on the world going by my window
Taking my time
When I wake up early in the morning,
Lift my head, I'm still yawning

When I'm in the middle of a dream
Stay in bed, float up stream

Please don't wake me, no
don't shake me
Leave me where I am
I'm only sleeping

YourFonts Turns Your Handwriting Into a Personlized Font [DIY]

YourFonts is a web-based service that turns your handwriting into a TrueType font for free. If you have a printer and scanner, nothing can stand between you and the awesomeness of your own script.

We've covered a similar service before, but the handwriting-to-font process at Fontifier costs $9 per font you create. YourFonts has a software package for making personalized fonts that runs $49, but the web-based tool is entirely free. The process is straightforward: download the provided PDF template, print it out, and fill in each number and letter blank with your own hand writing. When you're done you upload the template back to YourFonts, preview it to make sure it looks like your own calligraphic gift to the world, and then download it as a monitor-friendly font. Additionally you can use the service without actually printing the PDF out and using a scanner—if you've ever wanted to create your own set of crazy wingdings, you can load up the PDF in an editing application like Adobe Illustrator and fill in the font-grid with anything you wish—hand writing or otherwise.

bitRipper is a Dead Simple Solution for DVD Ripping [Downloads]

Windows only: If all you want is computer-playable video off your DVDs, bitRipper is the most simple, click-one-button-and-you're-rolling solution we've seen. You can change your rip's audio and video parameters, but you don't have to.

Note: Many apologies for the duplicate post, but hopefully we provided you with a bit more detail this time 'round.

The screenshot above might be the only thing you ever see from bitRipper, if you're not the type to fiddle with video codecs, aspect ratios, normalizing, and bitrates. After installing bitRipper and starting it, you can change the output file name if you want, but loading a disc and hitting "Start" starts the ripping process and puts an .avi file in your My Documents->My DVD Backups folder. Even our own one-click DVD Rip requires a tiny bit more configuration on the front end, though it's equally capable and simple in a general sense.

If you were the type to fiddle, well, here's what you can get to with the Settings button:

And here's the list of video and audio codecs you can rip any DVD track to (UPDATE: Turns out the list is dependent on what codecs you have installed, usually put there by other ripping programs. This is the basic list on a relatively untouched Windows 7 system):

There's little else to say, except that it seems to work—I'm currently backing up a DVD from the default settings, and it claims it will finish at 8:30 a.m. (EST) or so, having started at 7:50 a.m. Speed demons can debate whether that's my drive or a standard run time, but everyone else can appreciate bitRipper's no-nonsense utility. It's free to download for Windows systems only.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Iran claims first launch of its own satellite - Yahoo! News

Iran claims first launch of its own satellite

By NASSER KARIMI and JASON KEYSER, Associated Press Writers Nasser Karimi And Jason Keyser, Associated Press Writers Tue Feb 3, 4:24 pm ET

Raw Video: Iran launches its first satellite Play Video AP  – Raw Video: Iran launches its first satellite

TEHRAN, Iran – Iran sent its first domestically made satellite into orbit, the president announced Tuesday, a key step for an ambitious space program that worries the U.S. and other world powers because the same rocket technology used to launch satellites can also deliver warheads.

For nearly a decade, Iran has sought to develop a national space program, creating unease among international leaders already concerned about its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

The telecommunications satellite — called Omid, or hope, in Farsi — was launched late Monday after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave the order to proceed, according to a report on state radio. State television showed footage of what it said was the nighttime liftoff of the rocket carrying the satellite at an unidentified location in Iran.

Sorry, Don McLean, but the music didn’t die - Music- msnbc.com


Sorry, Don McLean, but the music didn’t die

50 years later, Buddy Holly’s songs still alive in tunes we hear today

Image: Buddy Holly

AP file

Buddy Holly was the James Dean of his generation. But whereas Dean — who died at 24 in a car crash in California — was celebrated for his brooding screen presence, it was Holly’s earnestness that defined him. At another time in history, he would have been called a nerd.

By Michael Ventre

msnbc.com contributor

updated 2:06 p.m. ET, Mon., Feb. 2, 2009

The wreckage of a single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza was scattered across a small area of snow-covered cornfield outside of Clear Lake, Iowa. The plane crashed into the ground suddenly, so most of the smoldering rubble was concentrated in one area. Three passengers — Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. Richardson, a.k.a. “The Big Bopper” — were ejected from the plane and died on impact, as did the pilot, 21-year-old Roger Peterson.

That happened on Feb. 3, 1959, exactly 50 years ago this Tuesday.

It was the most infamous plane crash in rock and roll history, aided somewhat in that distinction by Don McLean’s wistful ballad, “American Pie,” in which he referred to the event as “the day the music died.”

Sorry, Don McLean, but the music didn’t die - Music- msnbc.com

Monday, February 2, 2009

Brew the Best Possible Coffee Without Breaking the Bank [Coffee]

Whether you're the kind of coffee drinker that slugs back
the swill in the break-room coffee pot at work or savors exotic coffee on sleepy
Sundays, there is always room for enhancing your java.

Photo by visualpanic.

Consider yourself forewarned however, once you begin brewing better coffee it
becomes increasingly difficult to go back to enjoying crappy coffee. Raised in a
family of non-coffee drinkers I simply accepted that the coffee I intermittently
experienced in diners and donut shops across America was the entirety of the
coffee experience—scalding hot, bitter in taste, and certainly not as pleasant a
caffeine delivery system as Mountain Dew. All of that changed when I started
drinking more coffee to survive life on the graveyard shift and decided that
there had to be a way to make coffee taste good without adding so much sugar
into it that I may as well have kept drinking soda.

You won't always be able to use all of the following tricks to brew a great
cup of coffee—not all of us have access a local coffee roaster or the a well
stocked local market—but applying even a few of them to your coffee routine will
boost the quality of your coffee drinking experience.

Know Your Varieties

Nearly all the coffee in the world comes from two types of
coffee plants: Arabica and Robusta. Arabica has roughly half the amount of
caffeine and a more mellow taste. Robusta has more caffeine and higher acidic
content which creates a significantly more bitter flavor. Many people experience
mild stomach aches from the combination of higher caffeine and acidic content of
Robusta beans, certainly many a potential future coffee-drinker has sworn off
the stuff because of such an experience with cheap Robusta beans. It often isn't
all that much more to buy Arabica over Robusta and with careful label reading
you can often get Arabica coffee for the same price as Robusta based blends.
Photo by SDCDeaCerte.

Buy Whole Beans

When you smell coffee—whether you're smelling whole beans
or already ground coffee—you're essentially breathing in some of the flavor. The
oils and chemical compounds that give coffee its distinct flavoring are in
constant flight from the bean. The more you can do to preserve the integrity of
the beans and the delightful flavor inside right up until the moment of brewing,
the better the coffee will be. Keeping the beans intact for as long as possible
helps immensely. If possible where you live, try to buy locally roasted beans to
benefit from the freshness. Barring that, buying whole bean coffee is vastly
superior to buying pre-ground coffee. Photo by FreeWine.

Grind Your Own

You've got whole bean coffee, now what? There are two
principle types of coffee grinders on the market. A basic blade grinder costs
less than $15 at any kitchen store or big box grocer and looks a lot like a tall
and narrow food processor. There is a flat blade at the bottom of the chamber
you put your coffee in that spins and grinds up the beans. The other kind of
grinder is a burr grinder and prices for a quality model start at $200 and rise
rapidly. Burr models use two interlocking metal burns to create extremely
uniform coffee grounds—imagine if you will two cone shaped gears that fit
together like nesting dolls. Coffee aficionados will balk at my suggestion that
a blade grinder is adequate, but it's better to have irregularly but freshly
ground coffee than it is to have no coffee at all because you blew $500 on a
premium coffee grinder! Grind the coffee as closely to the time it will be used
as possible, ideally right before you use it. Photo by Collin


The refrigerator is the mortal enemy of your coffee. Taking
coffee in and out of the fridge is a sure way to suck the flavor right out of
it. Coffee that will be used frequently and immediately—whole bean or ground— is
ideally stored in an air tight, opaque,and glass or otherwise inert container.
Coffee that will not be consumed immediately but needs to be preserved for
near-future use can be safely stored in the freezer assuming it is stored in a
dry and air tight container. Storing an unsealed container of grounds or beans
in the cold temperatures of either the fridge or freezer is a sure way to
accelerate the its journey from delicious flavor to stale bitterness. Photo
by Michelodeon.

Press It

Most people would assume if they had less than $50 to
spend on coffee brewing equipment that there would be no way they could get a
premium cup of coffee out of the supplies they could afford. Fortunately one of
the best methods of brewing coffee is the cheapest. You can pick up a Bodum
Chambord French Press
, the original and classic design, for $25 or less just
about everywhere. Using a French press is one of the simplest methods of brewing
a fantastic cup of coffee. A French press is a glass cylinder that has a lid
with a piston style rod attached to a circular screen. Grind your coffee, put a
few heaping scoops in the bottom, pour nearly boiling water over the grounds,
wait about four minutes, press the plunger down to push the grounds down and
enjoy some delicious coffee. One of the primary benefits of making coffee in a
French press over a standard drip pot is that more of the coffee oils end up in
your cup instead of in the machine's filter. More oils means better taste! As a
bonus, a carefully cleaned French press can also double as an excellent pot for
loose leaf tea. If you already have a drip pot and want to keep on using it, use
a tip we've previously highlighted as a way to get
better coffee out of drip coffee makers
: run a pot of water through it
before putting the actual coffee through to pre-heat the unit and help get it
closer to optimum brewing temperature.Photo by Maggiejumps.

Use Pure(r) Water

While it might not be practical to install
a reverse osmosis filter under your sink
, the more pure the water you use
for your coffee the better it will taste. A gallon of locally distilled water
costs less than a dollar in most places and many supermarkets have cheap refills
available—my local market has a machine that will refill a gallon jug for 35
cents. Even if you—for environmental or financial reasons—don't want to spend
money on filtered or bottled water for your coffee you can still tweak your
water. Fill up a pitcher of water the night before and set it out on the
counter. While it's not the same as being filtered through the stony depths of a
mountain aquifer it will allow some chemicals in the water like chlorine to
dissipate. Anything that makes your cup of joe taste less like the pool at the
YMCA is welcome. Photo by gilles

The variety of coffees and methods of preparation ensure that the above list
just barely scratches the surface of tips and tricks to be shared on the
subject. If you have a great tip for making a better cup of coffee, share it in
the comments below and help your fellow readers make 2009 the year their coffee
stops being bitter enough to kill an old cowboy.

Online Coloring Book TheColor Sports Web 2.0 Features [Kids]


If you have a kid on your hands who loves to color, TheColor is an online coloring book archive with some novel features.

You can browse coloring pages by categories covering everything from animals to seasons. Kids can rank images by popularity and add their votes to the mix (My First Digg, without the "fail" comments?). Each coloring page can be printed or colored with a virtual palette and saved to a personal or public gallery.

There's even an option to share pages by email if your budding designer wants to show Grandma how awesome a squirrel can look with red eyes and a purple tail. If you're looking for more personalized images to color, look back at how to turn your photographs into coloring pages and make sure to keep all your crayon nubs to make recycled crayons with cool shapes. If you have some great and free resources for entertaining kids, color or monochrome, share them in the comments below.

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