Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Health & Environment: Tapped

If you like movies like Fahrenheit 9/11, Capitalism: A Love Story, The Yes Men Fix the World , you definitely should see the movie Tapped. This movie raises the issues of clean drinking water, health, pollution and describes how the major soft drink companies started carelessly harvesting water to earn money on something that anyone should have access for. My personal belief is that it is ridiculous that we got used to buy water and as the main force that creates demand, should stop buying bottled water to protect the environment and our pockets and our health. Here are some points that the movie is trying to make:

1. access to water is basic human right and should be free
2. the regions that the water is taken from turn into deserts
3. the bottles that are used to store the water are:
        a) polluting the environment
        b) have chemicals that might harm your health
4. the bottled water companies do not have to pass any regulations, unlike companies that supply tapped water
5. and you are not guaranteed to get clean water.
6. bottled water is often filtered tapped water.

The situation with the tapped water is different from country to country. It's close to perfect in Sweden and close to disaster in the post USSR area. So, buying bottled water is the need sometimes. This however does not mean that the bottled water is clean event if you buy it from the store. Meanwhile if you want to buy or carry some water in the bottles or want to buy soft drinks, it is much safer for your health to get it in a glass bottle or aluminum can. And watch the movie if you get a chance, if you care ... well ... about the environment and your own health.


Monday, September 06, 2010

Freeware: Webcam Login & Fast and Simple File Sharing

There are 2 pieces of freeware that I have recently found recently and found interesting. First, this is Luxand Blink! that allows you to login with your webcam. The setup will ask the user to turn the head and will remember the face. On login it will start the webcam and if your face is still the same, it will login for you. You can still login with your usual text password. Both x86 and x64 versions for Windows Vista/7 are available.

The second program is a web browser Opera. Actually it is an addon for Opera that I want to mention and allows file sharing. One person specifies the folder to share and gets a link to send to another user. Another user gets the link and can download any file from the first user's shared folder. The second user can use any web browser to download the files. Nothing new here but it works fast without port forwarding or any additional setup or hardware.

I tried this file sharing with files over 1Gb in size and it works great. One thing that is not so good is that the one who shares the files cannot see the progress of how much of the total file size has been downloaded but only which files have been requested and are in progress. I believe this is one of the best ways to share the files when you do not need it on a daily basis but only now and then.