How To: Find Out if Your Username is Taken… Everywhere!

Thursday, July 16th, 2009 | SMASH HowTo!, SMASH Technology with No Comments »

NameCheck

Namechk is a useful site that allows its users to find out if their favorite username or vanity url has been taken on just about every social networking site known to man (80+).

How it works: Go to the site, type your standard Internet moniker, and Namechk will quickly search and find if your “johnnyfortran8″ is available to use on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Vox and many others.

On the flip side, if you’re in the final stages of erasing your name and presence from the Internet in an attempt to Become Web Dead, you can use the service as a means to verify that you’ve actually wiped clean all of your accounts — even the obligatory services you signed up for in an attempt to get that one piece of information you couldn’t live without. Give it a shot. Read the rest of this entry »

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Surf Censored: Download The China Channel Firefox Plugin

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008 | SMASH Pop Culture, SMASH Technology with No Comments »

Ever wonder what it would be like to have your entire online world babysat, censored and ultimately severed by the biggest brother you could possibly imagine?

And no, I’m not referring to the brazen site blocking efforts put forth by our friends at Panera Bread

It should come as no surprise at the mention of the extreme and unrelenting efforts the Chinese government have gone through to make sure that its population remain “untainted” and live lifestyles that are “good for the national interest”.  No outside politics, no unfettered human rights declarations, and.. no religion too.

But as menacing and severe as this seems, Read the rest of this entry »

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Americans Prefer Texting to Phoning: So KMA

Sunday, September 28th, 2008 | SMASH Pop Culture with No Comments »

Text Message Slang

Sry 2 Say

According to Nielsen Mobile, Americans have become little more than touch-typing androids:  sending 1’s and 0’s to one another as a means of communication.
Text Messages Vs. Calling
As of the fourth quarter of 2007, it turns out that US cell subscribers sent text messages more than they phoned - for the first time ever. And since then, the averages subscriber’s # of text messages has increased 64 percent as the # of actual calls (what are those?) has dropped slightly.

According to the folks at Nielsen, this is all attributed to spread of the new QWERTY-style kepads on cellphones. QWERTY owners send 54 percent MORE text messages than folks with ordinary keypads.

Additionally, companies are now offering larger text messaging plans (unlimited in many cases) where it actually makes more financial sense to send a few lines of text than to engage in a full-on conversation that could potentially put you over your monthly minute threshold.

By far, the most prolific texters are teenagers ages 13-17, who pump out 1,742 messages a month, according to Nielsen Mobile. Read the rest of this entry »

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DIEBOLD Admits e-Voting Machines Have Lost Votes for 10 Years

Sunday, August 24th, 2008 | SMASH Politics, SMASH Pop Culture with No Comments »

Defective Diebold Machine

Your DIEBOLD Vote Hasn’t Counted For a Decade

Are you a lucky lotto winner? I hope so.  With the recent announcement from the e-Voting champions themselves stating that their e-machines are inherently flawed and that they have been dropping votes for years, the chances of getting your vote through and making it count are as slim as they’ve ever been - but for a change, you’re now painfully aware.

Rabbit's Foot

The logic error is present in both types of voting machines made by the company: touchscreens and optical scan systems. These machines are used in 34 states (1,750 jurisdictions). For example, in Ohio’s March primaries, it is known that the machines temporarily lost 1,000 ballots.

The e-Voting machines “contain a critical programming error that can cause votes to be dropped while being electronically transferred from memory cards to a central tallying point”.

Clearly the most shameful element of this scandal and recent admission is that Diebold (ahem… now Premier Voting Solutions) has previously denied any malfunction or impropriety in their e-machines, and they have continued to Read the rest of this entry »

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Become Web Dead: Erase Your Online Identity in 10 Steps:

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008 | SMASH HowTo!, SMASH Pop Culture, SMASH Technology with 65 Comments

Become Web Dead

The Scenario

So you went a little nuts on your MySpace profile - you posted your age, your interests, some of your funniest home movies and the secret spots you like to frequent on Saturday following your morning dog walk. It felt freeing and liberating to tout your spot in this world and advertise your status to your online “friends”.

And it exploded from there: you started posting in public forums without hesitating to include your full, given name (so you can get credit for your impassioned responses), then proceeded to open numerous accounts on the Facebooks, Friendsters, LinkedIns and Meebos of the world. You even dropped your digits at one point on Craigslist, where they remain cached to this day on Yahoo!. There’s no question about it: you’re now officially “out there”.

But as your friends began to accumulate and as your forum posts became popular (and distributed), your online presence began to balloon to uncontrollable (and uncomfortable) proportions. Personal commentary, asides and intimate information usually reserved for loved ones was now on public display - an inadvertent consequence of your own making.

And with the recent advent of employers checking potential job candidates online before making their hiring decisions, it might be wise for the current job-seeker to Read the rest of this entry »

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Spies In The Sky Say Pay As You Drive

Sunday, August 17th, 2008 | SMASH Pop Culture, SMASH Technology with No Comments »

Pay As You Drive

The Telegraph has disclosed that the British government is pushing ahead with plans for a national road-pricing scheme, including testing “spy in the sky” technology.

Imagine:  having to think about some chilling, omniscient force in the sky tracking (and calculating costs of) your journey to pick up a six pack of Heineken from your market of choice.  Then, imagine having to consider such big-brother monitoring in an environment where you’re already paying some of the highest taxes on the planet, living amongst thousands of always-on CCTV cameras, and being sent letters of disapproval if you use bandwidth-hogging applications on your own PC.

It’s true:  British motorists already pay some of the highest taxes in the world and with government finances under severe pressure, the “pay-as-you-drive” scheme could provide a Read the rest of this entry »

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Comcast Not So Comcastic Anymore

Sunday, July 27th, 2008 | SMASH Pop Culture with No Comments »

Comcast

In a recent SMASHgods post we discussed the recent (trial) law in the UK where folks downloading files illegally are going to be sent nasty notes regarding their behavior with full support from many of the country’s major ISPs.

Every time we get these bits of news, it’s alarming to say the least, as it represents blatant censorship and behavior monitoring on a grand scale, conjuring scenes from Minority Report or Enemy of the State, where all of our electronic activity is monitored and tracked.

Today’s news hits a bit closer to home since it involves Read the rest of this entry »

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