The flooding in Thailand which resulted in hard drive shortages last year has undoubtedly been felt by computer enthusiasts and businesses alike.

In June of 2011, I purchased three one-terabyte hard drives for my home NAS. One of those drives has been producing flakey checksums during my weekly ZFS scrub. So, I curiously perused my purchase history on Newegg to remember how much I had paid for them. The three drives totaled just over $200 — not bad.

Wikipedia and some other web services will be going dark tomorrow in protest of SOPA and PIPA. When that happens, and if you find yourself affected, please take the time to read those bills as well as educated legal interpretations of them. Don't take the media's interpretation (in favor or against) for granted. The best thing you can do is make an effort to understand how they may change the Internet, the most powerful platform for the expression of free speech that has ever existed. Please educate yourself.


Ever heard of Grado Labs? Ever seen someone walking around with headphones that made them look like a time traveler from two decades ago? I am not an audiophile by any stretch of the imagination (relatively compared), but I have been searching for a while for the best bang for the buck.

I was tired of listening to songs and knowing that there was a sound here or a subtlety there that I just couldn't hear any longer. No, my hearing wasn't going. Rather, the variety of speakers and headphones that I have used have allowed me to - over time - hear differing slices of music. One set of headphones may have emphasized a part of the song I hadn't noticed before. But, on my car's speakers, I couldn't hear the nuances any longer. Further still, on my earphones, a completely different set of sounds emerged in prominence.

Facebook now supports encrypted web access for most parts of its service. Secure browsing (over HTTPS) ensures that web traffic between your computer and Facebook's servers are encrypted for security. Eavesdropping on secure web traffic is much more difficult than clear text web traffic (which constitues most Internet traffic). This type of security is basic policy for the websites of financial institutions as well as other websites where sensitive information is transferred.