Study of Life Expectancy of Home Components

The National Association of Home Builders in cooperation with Bank of America Home Equity has published a Study of Life Expectancy of Home Components.  Given both the environmental and financial impact of the purchase decisions we make, this might be well worth reading.


How to disable the “Search Suggestions” in Firefox 2.x

I am sure I am not the only on who gets annoyed by these pesky search suggestions, not to mention the transmission of almost every individual key stroke typed into the search box when Google is selected as the preferred search engine.

If you would like to see what’s going on under the hood URL-wise, feel free to install Privoxy, which at the same time will help you to get rid of a lot of annoying ads and tracking cookies.  Its log/console window is quite entertaining to observe.

FlyingPenguin points out that it is sufficient to right-click at the search box and uncheck “Show Suggestions”.


Behives might be abandoned because of Neonicotinoides

From an article in the St. Pete Times, published April 4, 2007:

“David Hackenberg and many of his fellow beekeepers think they know what is killing their bees: an increasingly prevalent class of insecticide called neonicotinoids that they suspect for the following reasons:

  • Neonicotinoids have been strictly limited in France since the 1990s, when they were implicated in a similar mass die-off.
  • The use of neonicotinoids has spread rapidly in recent years as the hives began collapsing.
  • Neonicotinoids are artificial forms of nicotine that act as neurotoxins to insects, entomologists say. That may account for worker bees neglecting to provide food for eggs and larvae, and for a breakdown of the bees’ navigational abilities.”

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ZoomIt – Screen Zoom and Annotation Tool from SysInternals

ZoomIt, by Mark Russinovich, is a screen zoom and annotation tool useful for presentations and remote support sessions where it might come in handy to point out certain information.

ZoomIt runs unobtrusively in the tray and can be activated via customizable hotkeys to zoom in on an area of the screen, to move around while zoomed, and to draw on the zoomed image.

Screenshot of ZoomIt configuration menu

Screen Marker

Screen Marker is a simple little Windows utility by Joseph Cox that lets you draw freehand on the current screen.

Screen Marker screen shot

Can come in handy when being logged in remotely to another computer for troubleshooting, maintenance or remote assistance, so that you can highlight existing or provide further information to the user(s); serves the same function in a training environment where the presenter’s screen is multiplexed onto any number of desktops.Found on [lifehacker]


Exalead, a Search Engine Featuring a Lot of Minute Details Missing from Google’s Interface

Exalead, a search engine developed in France, provide a lot of little details that can make searches more fun, providing a pretty intuitive interface.

For instance, a thumbnail preview of web pages found is displayed next to the search results, dynamically generated corresponding terms and categories are presented so that the user can fine-tune the search, and options to narrow results down by language and/or file type are offered.  While these options are available in Google‘s search engine, too, you will have to select the “Advanced Search” to take advantage of them.

Exalead logo

Online Edition of “Meyers Taschenlexikon”

At its scope of approx. 150 000 entries, the online edition of Meyers Taschenlexikon might not be as much of a heavyweight as the German branch of Wikipedia, but it can help in ascertaining the correctness of Wikipedia entries you might not be sure are correct.  Access to this encyclopedia is free; discussion of articles is possible upon free registration.


Q&A Communities

To find answers to some questions you never dared to ask anybody else, or to find an answer to something that is on your mind, check out any one or all of the following sites:


Frontpage Successor: Microsoft Expression Web

Microsoft’s new WYSIWYG web editor, Expression Web, has very little in common with the old Frontpage. Its progamming logic is based on the development environment Visual Studio.

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Officer Blue, by Berger-Münch Project Management AG

With the help of a tray icon featuring different colors, the free Officer Blue utility signals the trustworthiness of a URL to the user, and also warns via pop-ups of problematic web pages. Queries to the Officer Blue database are performed in real-time, independent of the browser. The URL database is built as a community project and already encompasses millions of URLs.

Screenshot of Officer Blue