If you got a new Windows computer from a major manufacturer over the last few years, you may be aware of the sheer amount of additional software they usually cram onto your new toy. It's presented as a value add, but most of it can be charitably called "crapware". It's not "bad", but there is usually so much of it that it simply ends up confusing you and slowing down your computer. There has arisen something of a cottage industry around removing crapware, and allowing your machine to regain some of it's "oomph" again. John D has a good article to help us out:
Trust the good folks at Lifehacker to come up with a) a good idea, and b) how to make that good idea come to fruition. The Nook Touch is currently available for $99, and with an adventurous spirit and a bit of luck, you could end up with a very usable Android tablet for cheap. Bear in mind, you *could* also end up with a $99 paperweight is things go awry, so keep that in mind.
Windows 8 "Consumer Preview" is being made available for public download today. I'm not even going to try to download it today; I am pragmatic enough to know that anytime there is something "big" available on the web, speeds slow to a hiccuping crawl. Maybe in a week or so I'll take a look. I actually have a computer laying around I can probably devote to loading Windows 8 on it, rather that using a VM. It's considered that this version will be pretty close to what will actually end up in the stores towards the end of the year.
Big Brother is alive and well, and residing comfortably in the halls of Homeland Security. While we understand the dangers that agency is trying to protect us from, the fact that they do the things they do is also a danger to the kind of America those old dead white guys fought so hard to create. Tough stuff, with no easy answers. I've probably used a few of "the words" here already, so I'll be watching for the black helicopters over the next few days...
Sometimes people do wacky stuff for no discernible reason other than "they can". Sometimes these aspirations pay off, sometimes they crash and burn. I think this one works, and (unusually) it's a pretty practical result.