Slashdot's CmdrTaco, Sexy Storage, Open-Source Alternatives

Episode #2614


Top O’ the Show

Alex showed off his industry clout by sharing the fact that he’s already seen Team America: World Police, the new puppet parody of world events by South Park's Trey Parker and Matt Stone. He dubs it “hilarious.” We commoners can visit the Team America: World Police website for more info.

Next, Kevin and Alex voiced skepticism over a new Bluetooth device that promises to replace the “I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up” beeper. It can automatically alert 911 if the wearer falls down, as well as monitor vital signs. (“Does it work if you’ve been drinking?” mused Alex.) But will elderly wearers recall to take it off before going to bed?

“Grandma is not going to remember to turn off her Bluetooth-enabled device,” said Kevin. “Sounds like a bad idea.”

“Tagging the elderly is never good,” concurred Alex.

Finally, the guys were inspired by the Ninja Shirt Folding Technique popularized with this video on the web, and attempted to make the same deadly moves on the air. Sadly, the unsuspecting T-shirt did not survive. “I HATE SHIRTS!” screamed Alex. “That’s why I’m not a ninja.”

Also, Kevin announced the launch of his new weblog, now utilizing pMachine software. See if you can crash it, too: kevinrose.com

TSS Live Calls

Call #1: Ethan from Baltimore confessed to be a lazy college student – too lazy, apparently, to go to the video store. He wanted to know how to get movies online.

Places to rent online:




Places to download online:

movielink.com (“The only problem with Movielink is that it only works with Internet Explorer, so they’re dead to me,” said Kevin.)


Alex, apparently suffering from a sore throat, coughed several times.

Call #2: Trevor of Branchford, New Jersey wanted to know more about Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games. Which ones should he try?

Kevin and Alex recommended:

World of Warcraft 

Star Wars Galaxies: Jump to Lightspeed 

Lineage II 

Secrets of Slashdot with CmdrTaco

Who is the mysterious CmdrTaco? Why, he’s none other than Rob Malda, creator of  the ultimate tech news/discussion site, Slashdot. From its humble origins in 1997 with perhaps a thousand visitors a day, to its current half-million, Slashdot is considered to be the site for tech geeks worldwide. It receives 500 submissions a day, and serves about 3 million pages a day. Turn to our interview with Rob to find out how he started Slashdot and where he wants to take it.

Related Sites:



Hot Storage

Can portable storage drives be sexy? Well, in the world of The Screen Savers, you’re darn tootin’. Here are the drives Kevin and Alex looked at, plus a couple of extras:

Iomega USB Micro Mini Drive 256MB: www.iomega.com

San Disk Cruzer Titanium 512MB Flash Drive: www.sandisk.com

M Systems - DiskOnKey Flash Drive 2GB: www.mystems.com

Wolverine Date Wolverine Portable 2040 40 GB Hard Drive (USB): www.wolverinedata.com

CMS Peripherals CMS ABS 60GB Plus Portable Hard Drive (USB): www.cmsperipheralsinc.com

SimpleTech 80GB Simple Drive Portable Hard Drive (USB): www.simpletech.com

SmartDisk FireFly (20 GB): smartdisk.com

LaCie BigDisk (500 GB)
LaCie BigDisk Extreme (500 GB)

Free Alternatives to Big-Bucks Apps

Not all of us can afford to buy important apps with hefty price tags even if the rest of the world can. So why not try the least expensive alternatives – free ones? Sure, they may not be as stable, and they may be prevalent like those “name” programs, but hey – they’re FREE. Here are Kevin’s favorite shareware/open-source alternatives to the big boys:

Adobe Photoshop – Alternative: The GIMP – http://gimp.org/

MS Office – Alternative: ABI WORD – http://www.abisource.com/

Adobe Illustrator – Alternative: KARBON14 – http://koffice.org/

WinZip – Alternative: IZARC - http://www.izsoft.dir.bg/

Norton AntiVirus – Alternative: AVG – http://www.grisoft.com/us/us_index.php

Free Email = Free Storage

So you just signed up for one of those free e-mail services that give you lots of storage space, like Google’s Gmail. Why just use it for mail when you can make a virtual hard drive accessible anywhere? Kevin and Alex demonstrated two programs that help you to put files onto your free space:


Best Tech Deals for Columbus Day

Get ‘em while they’re hot:

Amazon DVD Box Sets

1GB Compact Flash

Sandisk Cruzer

Dove Face Care Products

Sarah’s Web Tips

Translate other languages at babelfish and find cool hacks you can do yourself at hackaday.

screen savers


Slashdot Cmdr Taco
Ten Minutes with CmdrTaco

Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda talks about Slashdot's past, present, and future.