This Help Desk

  • Microsoft has released version 2 of their security software.  It’s fast, it’s effective, and it’s free.  I have been using it for about a year now, and can say that it hasn’t been obtrusive or a system resource hog as you may find with other free alternatives.  Windows XP/Vista/7 owners can download their copy now.

  • Merry Holiday 2010

    This week marks one year of This Help Desk weekly comic (that’s 52 comics!).  As the artist of This Help Desk it has been my pleasure to be able to illustrate our ideas and share the adventures the cast have been on.  It has been a great learning experience for Jake and me as this has been our first venture into the realm of web comics.  And, we’re glad that we’ve been able to drag you along.

    Thank you for visiting and reading our site, and I look forward to helping bring another year of This Help Desk antics.  Have a happy and safe holiday.

  • The alternate Android keyboard Swype is now in open beta!

    If you own an Android phone, you must try Swype. Between Swype and voice recognition (especially post-Froyo), the input methods of Android are fantastic. Check out this vid, then head over to Swype’s site to get Swype onto your phone today!

    [via Jake of The Web]

  • I love me some free software.  Lifehacker is a great source for getting tips and reviews on software, especially the free stuff.  They have published their list of most popular, free Windows software of 2010.  If you are a fan of “free”, might I suggest you take a gander.

  • Social Networking Nativity

    This would seem to be an accurate portrayal of how the Nativity might take place in this age.

  • Portal Speedrun

    Valve should hire this guy as a tester to help in finding possible bugs or glitches.  I love the game Portal.  It is fun and interesting to see it completed through a series of bug exploits.

  • Christmas iBand

    Say what you want about about the music apps on iPhone and iPad, this is pretty cool. The North Point Community Church puts on a pretty good Christmas show.

  • Kinect Hacks

    Kinect was launched in North America on November 4, 2010.  In a very short amount of time there seems to have been a number of hacks done to the Kinect, not the malicious kind of hacks as Hollywood would portray, but some really neat tweaks that demonstrate some of the potential of Microsoft’s newest Xbox peripheral.  Though the term “hack” would bring a negative connotation, MS has stated they will not sue the modders.

    Here some videos listed in order of the date they were posted demonstrating some of the hacks.  It is interesting to see the different approaches and progression these folks have taken to manipulate the Kinect.

    November 11, 2010, Minority Report style multi-touch

    November 14, 2010, 3D video capture

    November 18, 2010, Kinect puppeteer

    November 19, 2010, Real time lightsaber

    November 22, 2010, Kinect robot controls

    November 25, 2010, Kinect-controlled web surfing

    November 28, 2010, 3D video capture, part 2

    December 5, 2010, Creating art

    December 5, 2010, Self-controlled quadrotor

  • By Way Of Explanation

    GOOG-411 was, in my opinion, the last great innovation of the phone age. Back before I had a phone with a data plan, there was no better way to find out information while on the go.

    JC’s “Brewvies” experience is directly taken from an experience my brother had. In a car full of chatting people, he tried to find what I consider the trickiest business name on the planet. I don’t know if he actually ever found it or not…

    I was initially surprised when Google announced they were discontinuing GOOG-411.  I considered it quite a success, but I suspect two reasons for Google axing GOOG-411. First, people were probably using it less as the popularity of smartphones was replacing GOOG-411’s function. Second, was that Google only created their 411 service in the first place to create a large amount of data with which they could improve speech recognition and text to speech abilities.  Google Voice, with their automated voicemail transcription, has provided what I suspect to be a much larger and certainly more diverse pool to draw from.

    Despite any cynicism about how well it worked at times, I look back with fondness at the days of GOOG-411’s heyday.