Finds of the Week: NASA Television, World Fact Book, 1,000 Lifehacks, Should I Block It?

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Finds of the Week is a list of web sites I've come across that are fun, interesting, or useful, tech related or not. I hope you enjoy them. -Rhiannon

NASA Television
NASA.gov feed  (feed and programming guide)
NASA UStream  (nice resolution, uncrowded page)
NASA TV carries a variety of regularly scheduled, pre-recorded educational and public relations programming 24 hours a day on its various channels. The network also provides an array of live programming, such as 24-hour coverage of Space Shuttle missions, ISS events (spacewalks, media interviews, educational broadcasts), press conferences and rocket launches.

World Fact Book
The World Factbook provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities. The Reference tab includes: maps of the major world regions, as well as Flags of the World, a Physical Map of the World, a Political Map of the World, a World Oceans map, and a Standard Time Zones of the World map. Tons of great information.
Side note: the World Fact Book is created and maintained by the Central Intelligence Agency branch of the US government.

1,000 Lifehacks
UPDATE: Comments from our readers indicate there are several issues with this site. Based on that feedback I'm advising caution using this site.
1,000 Lifehacks is a tumblr style blog that has some interesting lifehacks. Although some of the content is focused on the US, food in particular, there are enough tips that just about anyone can use. Topics include technology, cures, funny, food and drink, health and life tips. Three posts at a time are shown, which makes it easier on those of us with small bandwidth connections. Note: Please use caution and common sense using these tips. A few of the comments posted below are good examples.

Should I Block It?
This useful site helps discover what processes and services are running on your computer. If you've wondered what that oddly named file, service or process is and wonder if it's legitimate or malicious but didn't know where to look, this is a great site to check first. There are many (many!) sites that say they can tell what a process is, but sadly I've found most of them don't contain the information I'm looking for, and some results on some sites are inaccurate. This site has a good search function and a handy list of common processes. This is a sister site to Should I Remove It?,  and is definitely a good site to visit and bookmark.

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Comments

Just tried 1,000 Lifehacks, found a tip: on Google click the "I'm feeling lucky" button with no entry in the search box to see every Google logo. Tried it, the "I'm feeling ..." changes each time you mouse over it. As another commenter said you need to find "doodly" to see the logos.

Appears the hacks aren't well thought out/complete as well as potentially dangerous.

re: World Fact Book - Nice site, thanks for posting. I don't know if I trust the CIA if I browse the site, though. :)

Interesting note: Within the first minute of looking at the home page, I found 3 spelling errors (without even trying). Based on the recent exploits of the CIA, this doesn't surprise me.

I see your point. :) I like the extensive information on the site so I don't mind going there. And typos, I see so many spelling errors on large entity sites that it surprises me. Of course, that doesn't stop me from making some of my own. :)

I dl the Should I Remove It software. It won't run, just get the grey MS panel. This is on two different machines, both Windows 7.

Experienced a similar problem myself. Contacted support but after several emails to and fro the issue still wasn't fixed. In the end, they stopped responding and I gave up on the software.

Huh. I'm not sure what to say. The site has been written up here on Gizmo's a few times. The only thing I can think of is a possible conflict with any security software.

Should I block it never answers the question. If you browse thru some of the search results you will find a very detailed explanation of the origins of the file but never any recommendations as to YES, NO, or MAYBE with an explanation for their answer. Total waste of time. Other sites do much better.

Would you post some of those sites for us? Alternative sites are welcome.

I have to agree with this. The site is called "Should I Block It" - not "Here is some information you might want to consider before allowing or blocking this software".

As usual and IMHO only, ANY advice on the internet requires your own common sense and thinking of your own.

@Rhiannon:
THANK YOU!

Thanks for the support everyone. Every now and then I crater and land face down. Looks like this is one of those times. :)

Please help an old man to understand why you think you "cratered and landed on your face"?

Every now and then I post sites that people have trouble with that generate quite a few comments pointing out problems. When that happens I believe I've made a bad decision posting those sites. :)

I don't think "people have trouble with" is a valid argument. If a majority had problems like "just get the grey MS panel" there would be much more fretting.
I truly do not know how to express that more humbly but my extensive experience with "normal" home computers makes me suspect that there is malware running on computers where people have "the grey MS panel" experience or the like. And that surely is none of your doing!

Point taken and thank you. :)
I tend to agree with eikelein. We get a lot of contacts about security programs along the lines of, "you recommended Xyz and it won't even install". After some conversation we invariably find the user had previously installed umpteen trial versions of other software, clicked on everything in sight multiple times to "get rid of the window that stuck", and then used a registry cleaner because the product website promised to fix it. :) There is no way back for a system in this state unless a competent person is able to sit in front of it and work through the potential remedies in a logical manner. Unfortunately, the type of response I usually encounter when making this suggestion is "why do you offer to help people when you so obviously can't"? :) Suffice to say none of us are immune from making errors or bad judgements, but the volunteers on this site only post content they believe to be useful, and do so in good faith, despite the trolls who are never far away, especially from the Hot Find articles. MC - Site Manager.

@MC and @Rhiannon

Actually I know and I agree.

I admire you guys, our patience with the trolls and the know-nothings who only want ready made instructions instead of thinking for themselves.
I wish there was a way of meeting you guys in person just to be able to extend my hand and say Thank You directly to you.

If I win the lottery, you are on my meeting list. :) So is Rhiannon but I guess the mere thought of that already has her running for the hills! :D MC.
Meetings and lotteries sound excellent. :)

Sweet. ;-)

@eikelein

Yes Thinking Is Good, But the page clearly says:-

What is "Should I Block It?"
"Should I Block It?" is a free service that analyzes all aspects of an 'active' file, process, service or module under the context of which they run and determines if it should be blocked from executing."

Which is to say, the site says it offers advice, which evidently it doesn't.

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@Rhiannon: Thanks for your good work - always enjoy digging through your tips.

Good point. I like the site much because it has accurate information on processes and services. Personally, I do a search on any processes or services I don't recognize - this site puts a name to processes and services, it cuts down on the amount of searches I do. Thanks for the kind words. :)

Am I missing something with Should I Block It?

The link shows a web page with what is surely a demo, many of the processes shown there do not run on my system, but I can't see where to analyse my system, or downlaod a Block It App.

Awaiting my Dope Slap.

Liam

@Lt.Kije:
Sorry, but I can only LOL. Sometimes reading really is helpful.

Well, I can certainly take a dope slap, but would you agree that the little list that builds on the "should I block it?" page that contains the heading

"Real-time file analysis
(Previous 10 minutes of data)"

might lead one to think that some handy bit of code was digging through the list of processes running on my machine?

There are many processes in the real time file analysis that are not on any of my computers - for example iTunes and Real Player.
The problem is that even if the tech hacks work they need provisos or safety tips. E.g. using foil to make an AAA battery replace an AA battery; bouncing batteries on the ground; etc
Thanks Remah, I'll update the entry. :)

That 1000 Lifehacks site doesn't appear to have any editorial control of the tips that are published. I have seen several that are wrong and at least one that is potentially dangerous.

Do you remember where any of those are? I went through several tips in all the categories, it sounds like I missed something. :O

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