Lottery Post Journal

Save HD-DVD Petition!

I would urge any person who values watching movies at home to sign the petition linked below!

Warner Brothers is the world's largest movie company, and has to-date been a huge supporter of HD-DVD. Right after Christmas was over, they annouced that in May they would stop supporting HD-DVD, and only support Blu-Ray disc.

Warner pulling out of HD-DVD may just spell the end of the format, unless they can be convinced to change their mind. Stranger things have happened, so it's worth a shot.

For those who don't know, Blu-Ray was created by Sony, and is a competitor to HD-DVD. In my opinion, HD-DVD offers consumers a MUCH BETTER product, in terms of both price and features. The one, single advantage that Blu-Ray offers is slightly larger disc capacity, but the average consumer would never know the difference, because both formats hold PLENTY of space.

HD-DVD offers features like picture-in-picture comentary, web-enabled features (you can download extras right off the web), and is about half the price of Blu-Ray.

What does Blu-Ray offer? Some more disc space (which has very little impact, since both formats have plenty of room on a disc) and ... that's all. Along with that, you get charged twice as much money for it. That's crazy!

Again, if you enjoy watching movie at home Please take one minute and sign the petition. Please provide your real e-mail address, so they can count you as a real vote! E-mail addresses are kept private by them.

Here's the link: http://www.petitiononline.com/SAVEHDD/petition.html

The reason I say "if you enjoy watching movies at home, sign it" is because HD-DVD represents a way for average price-conscience consumers to get a real HD player at home. Do you want to spend a minimum of $300 for a Blu-Ray player, or a minimum of $99 for an HD-DVD player, keeping in mind that both have identical quality on the screen, and HD-DVD offers more interactive features?

Cleaning out junk from an old computer

I sent a Lottery Post member some tips on cleaning out lots of "junk" installed on their computer over the course of a few years.  I thought it maybe useful advice for anyone in the same situation, so I'll post it here too.

It's amazing how much junk accumulates on a PC, especially from someone who downloads a lot of stuff.  After a while all that junk clogs up a PC, making it slower and slower.

I hope this can benefit someone in the same boat.

Cleaning out old junk from a PC

First off, if you really want to clean an old PC, format the hard disk and do a fresh install of Windows.  (Or format the hard disk and use the CDs that came with your computer to restore it to the way you got it.)

However, that's extreme, and requires you to back up all the files you want to keep.  So for the purposes of this discussion, we'll assume you're not going to do a clean install of Windows.

Start by uninstalling programs using the Control Panel Add/Remove Programs.  Don't delete programs/applications by deleting the folder in the Program Files folder, because that will leave tons of junk on there, such as registry entries and files the program stores elsewhere on your hard disk.

After you've deleted as much as you can (and you should really try to strip it bare), you can do a few more things:

  1. Run Windows Update to make sure you have downloaded and installed all the Microsoft updates and security patches. Keep running Windows Update until there are no more updates. (After installing a round of updates, run it again, even if all the options were checked. Sometimes there will be additional updates waiting.)
  2. Delete all temporary files using the Windows Disk Cleaner tool (comes with Windows). If it's a regular desktop computer, delete the hibernation file (if prompted) because it's only used if you put the computer to sleep (typically only laptops). Check most of the other options too, especially temporary files and log files. Be careful about stuff you have no idea about.
  3. Get a good registry cleaner tool. I recommend one called "Registry Clean Expert". You can get it from download.com, but if you're going to go with my recommendation, be sure you find that exact name (there are many). I liked it so much I purchased the real thing (something like 30 bucks.) It is easy to use, and seems to have gotten rid of all the junk in the registry.  A bloated registry is a tremendous resource hog, and will greatly slow down your PC.
  4. After cleaning the registry, do a defrag of your hard disk, using the built-in Windows defrag software.  This re-organizes the way the files are stored on your hard disk to make them more efficient.  It does not free up additional space, but it should make it faster.  Let the defrag software run overnight.

How much do YOU know about global warming?

There is a very good scientific quiz on the Internet designed to test your knowledge about global warming.

Don't worry, it's only 10 questions.

How well will YOU score?

http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/GlobWarmTest/start.html

I just took the quiz, and I scored 100% correct.  No joke, I know a lot about global warming.  Can you match my score?

Peter Jackson cleared to create two "Hobbit" movies!

After the smashing success of the three Lord of the Rings movies, all the talk of Hollywood was that Peter Jackson (who directed the three movies) would go on to make one or two movies based on The Hobbit.  (The events in The Hobbit take place before the Lord of the Rings trilogy.)

The talk was that because of the length of the story, it would be necessary to break the movie into two parts.  Plus they could make much more money that way.  ;-)

However, a dispute soon broke out between Peter Jackson and the studio, and the Hobbit movie(s) were put on hold indefinitely.  Then at some point Peter Jackson made a statement that he would not be making the movies, and that the studio would be looking for someone else to make the movies.

Boy was I disappointed when I hear that!  As a huge fan of the three Lord of the Rings movies, I was really looking forward to seeing The Hobbit get the same premier treatment.

(After seeing the huge spider scene in Return of the King, can you imagine how cool the scene in The Hobbit would be with a whole army of giant spiders?!)

Well, today I just read a news story stating that New Line Cinema and Peter Jackson have come to terms on their past dispute, and that Peter Jackson will be creating the two Hobbit movies after all!  (As Executive Producer.)

The first film will come out in 2010, and the second in 2011.  If they hold the same pattern as the Lord of the Rings movies, the films will come out in December of each year.

That's still a long way off, but truly good news!

Source: http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/questex/hom123007/index.php?startpage=9

Microsoft officially beats Netscape in browser wars

The Netscape web browser will officially die on February 1, 2008.

In the Microsoft vs. Netscape browser wars, that makes Microsoft the official victor.

Not that many people are even aware of Netscape's existence at this point, since it currently commands a mere 0.6% of the browser market.

For me, it's neither here nor there, since Netscape pretty much works if Lottery Post functions well with Firefox, because Netscape is basically just a re-branded version of Firefox at this point.

Checking the Lottery Post active users page, one can usually find one or two Netscape users surfing the site at any one point, so I'm sure some of you will be upset about this announcement.

Here is the source article, for all the details:

A Sad Milestone: AOL To Discontinue Netscape Browser Development

Please observe a moment of silence for the Netscape browser. Netscape Navigator, the browser that launched the commercial Internet in October 1994, will die on February 1, 2008. AOL, which acquired Netscape in November 1998 for $4.2 billion, will announce today that they will discontinue development of the browser, currently on version 9.

In an email exchange yesterday with Tom Drapeau, Director of AOL/Netscape development, he said that only a handful of AOL engineers are still tasked with keeping the browser updated. Most of their efforts have been aimed at creating a Netscape-skinned version of Firefox with the Netscape look and feel.

The team has been unable to gain any significant market share against Microsoft Internet Explorer. In fact, recent surveys suggest that Netscape currently has only 0.6% market share among browsers, compared to IE's 77.35% and Firefox's 16.01%. This, of course, is the same browser that once claimed more than 90 percent of the market, sparking the browser wars of the 1990s and the subsequent Microsoft antitrust trial.

Drapeau says AOL's transition into an ad-supported web business leaves little room for any real effort at maintaining and evolving the Netscape Browser.

He also points to the success of the non-profit Mozilla foundation, which spun off of Netscape in February 1998 with $2 million in funding from Netscape and an additional $300,000 from Mitch Kapor. Firefox, which is part of Mozilla, brought in nearly $70 million in 2006 revenues, mostly from a search deal with Google. In a sense, Netscape lives on through the open-source efforts of Mozilla and Firefox.

Support for existing versions of Netscape Navigator will cease on February 1, 2008. After that, users can visit the UFAQ and the Netscape Community Forum for support.

AOL is also setting up a Netscape Archive where users will be able to download old versions of Netscape, without any support.

I sadly place the first browser I ever used into the TechCrunch DeadPool.

Source: http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/12/28/a-sad-milestone-aol-to-discontinue-netscape-browser-development/