The High-Tech Texan Blog

Friday, June 23, 2006


Found this fun site while putzing around this evening. It's Google's map, but also a wiki, so anyone can write on it.

You can label places for the world to see or make corrections. Extra points if you can quickly find the location of the Clear Channel radio offices in Houston.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

CLICK! A New Video Home Page

Don't be fooled. Adam Sandler actually got the idea from me when he turns his facial hue to green in his new movie, Click.

Anxious to hear your thoughts on our new video home page. The creative team at 917 Media do a great job creating these applets for many Web sites. A real head-turner when it pops on screen.

Based on your previous feedback we added a PAUSE feature so your boss won't get pissed from hearing my voice every time you visit my site.

And get ready for more web changes. The Adcetera gang have much more up their sleeves with a soon-to-launch HTT redesign.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Bring Me Chloraseptic!

After running 10 marathons I thought I couldn't find other ways to punish my body. Tune in Saturday and watch me talk myself into the ground.

My partner in radio crime, Randy Lemmon, host of KPRC's GardenLine, is out of town and he asked me to fill in for him. Not knowing a thing about trees, grass or flowers I wholeheartedly jumped at the opportunity.

I'll be sitting in the main chair from 8a-12p however we will have a few actual gardening experts in studio to answer anything harder than "what color should my grass be?" Once those four hours are in the can I'll then return to my regular programming and do the usual two hours of The HTT Show. By 1pm I totally expect to have an IV of Coke Zero in my left arm.

It may be worth your while to tune in to my show, though. Who wants to win prizes?!!?? The cool folks at ATI sent over some TV Wonder USB 2.0 cards to give away. If that's not a good enough gift for your Dad this weekend I'll also dispense a few SkyTone USB phones. They work great with Skype.

So tune in, join the videoconference and WIN, WIN, WIN! (another shot of chloraseptic, please)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Councilman BlackBERRY

It's always nice to see government in action. The wireless waves were flowing throughout Houston's City Council Chamber Thursday afternoon. COH Chief Technology Officer Richard Lewis was holding court at the Information Technology Committee meeting. I attended to check on the citywide WiFi status.

Councilman Michael Berry presides over this committee (Berry and I are friends and he also hosts a radio show on TalkRadio 950 KPRC) and was getting updates from Lewis' department on the WiFi RFP and timeline. The five bidding companies will soon be reviewed by a special internal committee. An October 2006 launch of the initial network is expected, according to the timeline presented.

Sitting in Mayor White's center spot at the semicircle table Berry looked very mayorly. I noticed him sipping my favorite soft drink, Coke Zero, and sent him a text message requesting one myself. Not 10 minutes later one of his staffers walked into the room with an icy cold bottle. Now THAT is taking care of his constituents. (too bad I didn't vote for him. But maybe one day I'll move inside the city's boundary!)

Here are some very crude cell phone pics from inside the chamber. Two members of the city's EMS team spoke about the usefulness of a WiFi network on their jobs. Another shot shows Lewis and CTO Deputy Director Janis Jefferson presenting facts to the committee.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Next Family Vacation Review

Continuing our series of family vacation destinations, be prepared to experience the high-altitude of Colorado.

C Lazy U Ranch is a family-owned property about 90 miles northwest of Denver. A dude ranch in every sense of the word, it offers a horseback riding vacation on a real cowboy ranch.

You'd think this Texan would be used to riding a horse but I look forward to getting riding lessons and watch the kids learn to be real Texans in the Rocky Mountain state.

Check back soon to learn about C Lazy U and tune in to my live broadcast from the 8,000 acre property on Saturday, July 9.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Flickr's Got A Friend (Or Foe)

Flickr is a very popular photo sharing site. Yahoo bought it last year and it currently serves up millions of personal and professional photos. It lets users upload digital photos from computers and camera phones, put together photo albums, and post photos to blogs, and of course tag them.

And here comes Google. Just this evening the Internet Goliath launched a new feature in its Picasa photo app that will - guess what - let people organize and share photos over the Web.

Picasa Web Album is available to a limited number of Gmail users. I was able to get "invited" on my first attempt so if you hurry you may sneak in before the waiting list. Uploaded albums can be public and available to anyone who knows the Gmail account under which they're listed, or private ("unlisted") and available only by way of a special link Picasa users can send to whomever they wish.

I like the fact that viewers don't need to sign in or have a Gmail account to see the photos. Photos automatically resize to fit the screen and I have not yet seen ads next to them.

We'll probably see many more similar services from other sites but I expect to take full advantage of all my photos already stored in Picasa.

Monday, June 12, 2006

A Kick In the Grass

The U.S. team is kicking off its World Cup play Monday (11am CST) against the Czech Republic. But Germany will still have a presence on the field, er, pitch.

This year's tourney will feature new technology. Each match will be played with a new Adidas ball called "Teamgeist." It has a 14-panel configuration that forms a perfectly smooth exterior; no more patch work like my son's size 3 regulation ball. Supposedly the new ball construction will give players more accuracy and control. We'll soon see what Mr. Brian Ching thinks.

The Teamgeist ball can be yours for about $130. Talent, of course, is extra.

UPDATE: Apparently the U.S. needed more talent and balls vs. the Czechs. 0-3. Ouch.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Vista Beta 2 Released

Microsoft has just released the first public version of its new OS, Vista. It's called Windows Vista Beta 2 and it's a preview of Windows Vista Ultimate - "the most comprehensive edition of Windows Vista". Ultimate is one of a reported six different versions of Vista that will eventually be released.

The Beta 2 is aimed at developers and here is the download site. Be warned though, these are (obviously) very hefty downloads - around 3 GB. You'll also need a key to run Vista Beta 2.

I have not downloaded yet as I'm still a bit gunshy of from the early reviews I have read. I have seen it run on machines in meetings with Microsoft folks and it looks sharp. I'll just wait to read your opinions below.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Why Play The Games?

And the World Cup trophy goes to… Czech Republic!

Electronic Arts declared the winner of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Using simulated matches in their 2006 FIFA World Cup video game, EA was able to test all 32 teams in the competition and determine that the Czech Republic would come out on top.

So if you are placing any bets on the actual World Cup (June 9 - July 9), here's a tip...according to EA Sports the Czechs beat Brazil 2-1 in the final game. Oh and go ahead put some money on the Texans winning the next Super Bowl.

High-Flying WiFi

Maybe Houston should just charter of a fleet of jets and have them circle the city for WiFi access ...

AirCell and a unit of JetBlue were high bidders in an FCC auction of air-to-ground airwaves that ended last week. The FAA first must approve the WiFi services to ensure they don't disrupt airplane navigation equipment.

The services would let fliers use laptops to e-mail, surf the Web, play games and maybe make cell phone calls and watch movies on domestic flights. (Hope I'm not sitting next to one of those Chatty Cathies!) The companies speculat fees would be around $10 a trip.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Hurricane Tips On Saturday Show

Did you realize hurricane season has officially started? Our local TV stations have just done a horrible job of reminding us!

I'm going to open up the phone lines on my show this Saturday asking for your best tips and tricks for emergency preparedness. If you or your company has a product or service that can help people prep then bring it on.

I'll cover everything from cell phones (buy additional batteries and car-charger adapters, progamming contacts and important numbers), home computer back up advice, waterprooof protection for laptops and other gear and much more.

Get a head start and start dialing at 12 noon. 713-212-KPRC

UPDATE: Good stuff today, peeps. Thanks for keeping the phone lines busy with comments and tips about emergency preparedness. Let's hope we won't have to put these ideas into actual play. Some links to products and services we talked about on the show:

Affordable Scans - local company that scans entires collections of photos, film and docs
PC Pinpoint - remotely analyzes PC problems with 24/7 customer support
Plan Ahead Houston - links to local emergency resources
Batteries Plus - you can NEVER have enough batteries
BackUp Now - software to back up and restore PC
Fuel Finder - app from Verizon Wireless to find gas

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Messiah Masters His Own Domain

Having a kid and hope he wants to blog about his life from Day 1? Grab his domain name - fast! Just like Brangelina.

The same day baby Shiloh was born, Angelina and her lawyers grabbed that easy-to-remember URL of According to the WHOIS directory, the site’s “Administrative/Technical Contact” is Angelina Jolie, c/o Evan Spiegel, Esq. – Lavely & Singer (Attorneys-At-Law).

Go ahead and mark down May 27, 2007. They only registered that domain for one year.

(And for you HTT stalkers out there, I already own my three kids' namesake domains)