When I read about Google Gears (Beta) this morning, it really didn’t click with me until I read LifeHacker’s article explaining how to use it to read you Google Reader RSS feeds off-line. LifeHacker also mentions off line support is possibly in the works for GMail and Google Docs as well.

If Google wants to compete with Microsoft, I would say this is a much needed step. The key integration with Gmail and Google Docs will, of course, be synchronization with online content. Being able to allow users to work on documents and compose email, then upload/send those file when online access is available again is a pretty outstanding feature, if it’s done seamlessly. In order for users to select Google over Microsoft (or even Open Office) there needs to be a compelling reason, and online / off-line access could easily be the best one yet.

Version 4.5.2 of DotNetNuke was released on May 29, 2007. Since I’m still heavily developing the site redesign for work in DotNetNuke, I downloaded the upgrade and installed it. It was a simple enough upgrade and worked flawlessly (as far as I can tell).

One thing did bug me. The SEARCH feature added two radio buttons next to the text area for the search, allowing users to search the site or the web. The web search uses Google (of course) and it even comes pre-filled with the DotNetNuke Google AdSense Client ID. This “feature” wasn’t in any of the preview releases, so it’s definitely like they tried to sneak that one in.

To disable the web/site search feature, you have to edit your skin file (it really should be an admin configurable feature). Just add the following, bold code to your search call:

< dnn:SEARCH runat="server" id="dnnSEARCH" showWeb=”False” showSite=”False” />

If you want to use your own Google ID, just locate the file at: admin/skins/App_LocalResources/Search.ascx.resx and change the client=pub-9770992166002654 to your own Google AdSense ID.

Quite a few good finds in today’s Digg and RSS feeds, but none quite worthy of a full post, so it’s a list of links today:

Why is Gas so Expensive is not only a good explanation what goes into gas production, it actually explained several terms I hear around the office quite a bit. Definitely worth a read if you want to learn a little bit more about where all the money goes when you fill your gas tank.

TubeWad looks back at MTV’s The Maxx and reminisces about the days when MTV wasn’t a teen, reality-tv network. The Maxx was based on the Sam Keith comic from Image comics and faithfully translated the story to the screen with animation that was groundbreaking for TV. I remember watching The Maxx and the follow-up show, The Head.

Instructables: not sure how I’ve missed this site for as long as I have. Lots of good ideas to look into further when we get moved into the new house.

retroCRUSH offers their selection of the 100 Scariest Movie Scenes and I’ll have to disagree with many of them, especially on the ranking. Many of the scenes from JAWS would be higher up, as would The Exorcist, if I made the list. However, I didn’t and they did, so they get big props for taking time to compose the list.

Image of the Silver Surfer Quarter released by 20th Century Fox and the Franklin Mint

It looks like 20th Century Fox should have done a little more research before releasing 40,000 Silver Surfer themed quarters into circulation over the Memorial Day weekend. Created by the Franklin Mint, the quarter violates federal law and the U.S. Mint isn’t happy.

The U.S. Mint said in a news release Friday that it learned of the promotional quarter this week and advised the studio and The Franklin Mint they were breaking the law. It is illegal to turn a coin into an advertising vehicle, and violators can face a fine.

“The promotion is in no way approved, authorized, endorsed, or sponsored by the United States Mint, nor is it in any way associated or affiliated with the United States Mint,” according to the release. The federal mint did not say whether the studio or the private Franklin Mint would face a penalty.

The altered coins are quarters honoring the state of California that entered circulation in 2005. They feature George Washington on the front, as usual, but a colorized version of the character on the back. All 40,000 are slated to be in circulation throughout the country by the end of Memorial Day weekend, and about 800 were released in each state.

In all likelihood, the studio knew exactly what they were doing, as did the Franklin Mint. What started out as a unique promotion is now national news. Since there’s no such thing as bad publicity, just add this law-breaking tactic to the list of promotions used by 20th Century Fox to increase visibility for Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.

If you’d like a Sliver Surfer quarter of your own, they are (of course) currently all over ebay.

About 2 weeks ago I made a post about the redesign of Wizard Magazine’s web presence. WizardWorld.com seems to show slightly out of date content, but all links connect to the WizardUniverse.com domain. Many other sites and forums echoed my opinions. It looked like the world wide web universe generally agreed.

I guess Wizard agreed as well, since the only place to see that redesign is at an IP address – It’s pretty bad when to launch an poorly designed and built website, but I’d have to say, it’s even worse to admit you did and revert back to your old design less than 2 weeks later.