Sunday, December 02, 2007

Google's turning JottSpot into "Google Sites"

Your Search Advisor - Google Apps Presentation in Ann Arbor: "Google Sites: Scheduled to be launched sometime next year (2008), Google Sites will expand upon the Google Page Creator already offered within Apps. Based on JotSpot collaboration tools, Sites will allow business to set up intranets, project management tracking, customer extranets, and any number of custom sites based on multi-user collaboration."

Friday, October 26, 2007

All Hail The Google!!!

"MySQL, recently laid out its development road map all the way through 2009, and this includes code specifically contributed by Google, which signed a contributor agreement with MySQL last fall.
working with IBM to promote cloud computing to universities, Google is accomplishing two very important goals. It will first put them in touch with every graduate student doing work Google might find interesting ... seeding the technology in the companies where those students will take their first jobs after graduation.

[Google] is building data centers large and small around the world and populating them with what will ultimately be millions of generic servers. THAT's when things will get really interesting. Imagine a much more user-friendly version of Amazon's EC2 and S3 services, only spread across 10 or more times as many machines. And as with all its services, Google will offer free versions at the bottom for consumers and paid, but still cost-effective versions nearer the top for businesses and education.


[we will all be] totally dependent on Google services in such a way that we'll never, ever, be able to extricate ourselves. We'll be slaves, but happy slaves, and Google will come to dominate all computing for the next generation."

-- I, Cringely . The Pulpit . The Future is Cloudy | PBS:

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Annoying Coalition To End Online Fraud (ACTEOF)

If you can't answer these five questions correctly, you probably shouldn't be using pay pal, you definitely shouldn't be banking online and maybe you should even be using the internet without supervision!

Can you spot Phishing - PayPal

Talk to your family about phishing!
Remember: only YOU can prevent online fraud!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Thank you Mr. Lessig

This is a bit of a long post but I think Mr. Lessig is doing some really really important work.
Supercapitalism == super (Lessig Blog)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Give 1. Get 1.

One Laptop Per Child -- XO Giving: "Starting November 12, One Laptop Per Child will be offering a Give 1 Get 1 Program for a brief window of time in North America. For $399, you will be purchasing two XO laptops—one that will be sent to empower a child to learn in a developing nation, and one that will be sent to your child at home. If you're interested in Give 1 Get 1, we'll be happy to send you a reminder email. Just sign up in the box to the left and you'll receive your reminder prior to the November 12 launch date."

Open standards that will allow avatars to roam from one virtual community to the next.

Free the Avatars - Bits - Technology - New York Times Blog: " I.B.M. and Linden Lab, the creator of Second Life, think it’s time to free the avatars.
I.B.M. also hosted a meeting on Tuesday in San Jose with a group of companies and some university researchers to discuss open standards for virtual worlds and plans for establishing an organization to promote the technologies needed for an interoperable 3D Internet. The companies included Cisco, Google, Linden Lab, Sony, Intel, Multiverse, Microsoft, Motorola, Philips and others."

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


No time to read this in detail -- but you might find it interesting.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Do your webtools suck?

Perhaps I should give zope3 another chance!

zope3 score
catalyst score
cherrypy score
caml score
c++ score
plone score
python score
django score
turbogears score
ruby on rails7.8
ruby on rails score
c score
zope score
perl score
lisp score
pascal score
php score
java score
j2ee score
asp score

Courtesy of

... furthermore, this article [1] (and more persuasively the 60min mov video) also made me wonder about giving zope another whirl...

[1] -

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Noted Linux kernel and Novell developer Greg Kroah-Hartman will be devoting all his time to helping create Linux drivers.

'It turns out that there were two large groups of people who responded to the announcement, companies wanting drivers, and developers wanting to help out,' Kroah-Hartman said. As of this September, 'It turns out that over 100 different developers offered up their services. Clearly this was a huge untapped group of talented people who wanted to help out.' And, 'the number of companies expressing interest in this has exceeded all of my wildest expectations. Already this announcement has caused a number of drivers to end up in the main Linux kernel source tree, with more in the pipeline.'
-- Full speed ahead for Linux drivers

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Tutorial D

Simoens and I had a conversation about Tutorial D. It's a relational language that you folks might find interesting.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Kick Mike! (or Google)

No wonder I haven't been seeing any new posts in google reader! The f'n url changed!

First one to put a Kick Me sign on Mikes back gets $10...

Can Your Team Pass The Elevator Test?

This is a snip from coding horror;

Can Your Team Pass The Elevator Test?

Software developers do love to code. But very few of them, in my experience, can explain why they're coding. Try this exercise on one of your teammates if you don't believe me. Ask them what they're doing. Then ask them why they're doing it, and keep asking until you get to a reason your customers would understand.

What are you working on?
I'm fixing the sort order on this datagrid.

Why are you working on that?
Because it's on the bug list.

Why is it on the bug list?
Because one of the testers reported it as a bug.

Why was it reported as a bug?
The tester thinks this field should sort in numeric order instead of alphanumeric order.

Why does the tester think that?
Evidently the users are having trouble finding things when item 2 is sorted under item 19.

If this conversation seems strange to you, you probably haven't worked with many software developers. Like the number of licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop, it might surprise you just how many times you have to ask "why" until you get to something-- anything-- your customers would actually care about.

It's a big disconnect.

Dismissing the Myths

Python: Myths about Indentation

If you "just don't like it", that's perfectly OK, but other than personal preference gripes, quit yer bitchin' !!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The fine line between abstraction and obfuscation

Most of the books out there that teach OO design talk about Abstraction, but they don’t warn about Obfuscation at all. Its a shame.

PacketGarden - Grow a garden from network traffic

I know that Mike S. has always wanted the terrain in games to have a stronger correspondance to the network/hardware that's running them. Seems like this is very similar:

New Name

Since the clu6 doesn't ever meet for 3reakfast anymore... I decided to change the name of our blog. Hope you all like it!

One of the Blessed,

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Read online

This may be old news, but I just discovered that The Internet Archive has real online books, including texts hundreds of years old.

Found this out by following a link from reCAPTCHA.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Feed From The Frink?

... and on the 8th day The Frink said "Let there be RSS" and so there was. It came to pass, and the people saw it and said "It is good". They spake truthfully for indeed it was good and so say we all!

Chad's Open Journal

... and then, on the 9th day they said to The Frink "Yeah, and let too your favorite quotes be of RSS" and The Frink said "Hold now, what do you think? Do you think I can just extend the hours in the day?! I am not magic damn it!" and so the people bowed their heads and prayed "Maybe if we ask really really nicely?" and The Frink said "well maybe... I've been very busy... but perhaps I'll get bored on the 13th day, after I spend the 10th and 11th day fsking my drives..." and the people knew not of what he said, but nodded their heads anyways.

So say we all.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Well put Mr. Percival, well put!

Think before you code: "In a recent article about Y Combinator, Paul Graham pointed to the fact that two people had written 40,000 lines of code in three months as a sign that they were doing something right; he went on to point out that 'you never see that in a big company'. To me this number is, if anything, a sign that things are going horribly wrong: Anyone who is consistenly writing more than 5,000 lines of code per month is either (a) not working on a problem which is difficult enough to be interesting (any half-competent programmer can write binary searches, quicksorts, and depth-first graph traversals at a rate of thousands of lines of code per day); (b) utterly incompetent (we've all seen people who can replace ten lines of working code with a thousand lines of buggy code); or (c) going to have to throw out and rewrite most of their code once they realize that it doesn't solve the problem which they needed to solve -- with this realization most likely coming after their first release.
"Write code" is definitely important. "Release early", too. But more important than either of those is "Understand the problem you're trying to solve"; and most important of all: "Do it right".

Thursday, August 23, 2007

In most organizations, it's almost as if they were deliberately trying to do things wrong.

Holding a Program in One's Head: "... Good programmers manage to get a lot done anyway. But often it requires practically an act of rebellion against the organizations that employ them. Perhaps it will help to understand that the way programmers behave is driven by the demands of the work they do. It's not because they're irresponsible that they work in long binges during which they blow off all other obligations, plunge straight into programming instead of writing specs first, and rewrite code that already works. It's not because they're unfriendly that they prefer to work alone, or growl at people who pop their head in the door to say hello. This apparently random collection of annoying habits has a single explanation: the power of holding a program in one's head."

Friday, August 17, 2007

Electricity from body heat

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft Research News 8-2007-Topic 1: "Making calls from a cell phone with no battery, using just the warmth of your hand? Perhaps that’s no more than a pipe dream right now. But new circuits are already making it possible to harness body heat for generating electricity."

Monday, July 02, 2007

Joel On Wiki

A part of Joel on Software, and a companion the Business of Software discussion group.

The "Business of Software" Wiki: "The point of this wiki is to bring under one roof as much high quality, useful information as possible about the business of software, whether it's microISVs selling desktop software, Web 2.0 sites or even the big enterprise kind of outfits."

Friday, June 29, 2007

Ten Golden Rules of Communication

Recent inter-office miss-communications drove a coworker of mine to dig up these Ten Golden Rules of Communication. Good read.

Friday, June 22, 2007

I, Cringely . The Pulpit . The Google Connection | PBS

I, Cringely . The Pulpit . The Google Connection | PBS: "There is a text-input technology called ForWord Input that could be easily used on the iPhone to allow users with almost no training to input text with their index finger at 50 words per minute, which I have to admit is faster than I can type on a QWERTY keyboard. ForWord Input uses a finger, not a stylus (nothing to lose), is patented, and comes from developers who already have other applications running in 500 MILLION mobile phones.

If I could type 50 words per minute on my iPhone, I wouldn't need a computer, which defines both the opportunity and the problem facing Apple."

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

hmm.... where have i seen these?

Classic Mistakes Updated - 10x Software Development: "New Classic Mistakes

After founding Construx, a decade of work with hundreds of companies has enabled us to identify several new classic mistakes. Here are the additional classic mistakes we've identified:

* Confusing estimates with targets
* Excessive multi-tasking
* Assuming global development has a negligible impact on total effort
* Unclear project vision
* Trusting the map more than the terrain
* Outsourcing to reduce cost
* Letting a team go dark (replaces the previous 'lack of management controls')


The 36 Original Classic Mistakes

For the record, the table below lists the original classic mistakes from Rapid Development. And here is a link to the full text of the original Classic Mistakes chapter from Rapid Development)."

I may have a non-gay crush on Guido van Rossum! Guido van Rossum, you're my hero!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Gamasutra - How Killing People With My Dad Improved Our Relationship

Gamasutra - How Killing People With My Dad Improved Our Relationship: "My dad is 54 and I am 34. Three years after that first night of gaming, he has a game rig that rivals mine, complete with joystick and headphones with mic. He even has the special gaming keypad. These days he probably spends more time playing games online than I do. In fact, half of the time I go online to play, he’s already there, often in a game and squaded up with some of my friends, kicking ass, and taking names - literally now that Battlefield 2142 has added the dog tag feature. There is nothing quite so humiliating in a game as being knifed by your dad."

Monday, June 11, 2007

If you can get past the hype, this is pretty cool...

Brightcove - Popular Mechanics - Microsoft Surface: Hands-on First Look


I, Cringely . The Pulpit . Whistlebox | PBS: "Look into your webcam and say what you have to say. Click another button to review your post or even to edit it. Once you are happy with the way your video looks, Whistlebox automatically compresses and uploads your response.


If you are wondering why you've never heard of Whistlebox, that would probably be because to my knowledge nobody has written about it before.


Let's think of some ways Whistlebox, or a Whistlebox equivalent, might be used beyond YouTube-like video responses.

Given that the Whistlebox boys come from an ad agency background, it isn't surprising that their product has a lot of potential ad-related uses. Dating sites can use it to post video introductions. Okay, that's a no-brainer, but why not use the same technology to advertise babysitting services, allowing parents to have a good look at that babysitter even before making the call? There are many services where it would be a great help to see and hear the potential service provider before making a commitment."

Thursday, June 07, 2007

10 Reasons You Should Never Get a Job

Ahh...he articulates my office environment to a tee...

10. Becoming a coward.

Have you noticed that employed people have an almost endless capacity to whine about problems at their companies? But they don’t really want solutions – they just want to vent and make excuses why it’s all someone else’s fault. It’s as if getting a job somehow drains all the free will out of people and turns them into spineless cowards. If you can’t call your boss a jerk now and then without fear of getting fired, you’re no longer free. You’ve become your master’s property.

Is this guy serious?

Hello everyone,

My name is Allan Hart - I'm a friend of Mike's who was invited to join this blog. This morning while I was perusing my daily comics I came across one that I thought at least Mike would find amusing, and hopefully the rest of you too. I'm amused by Calvin's notion that being happy is having the power to crush the opposition. Mostly I just like his facial expression.

I suppose this is a peculiar way to introduce oneself, but one thing you'll quickly learn is that I'll often dare to be different. Apparently I may know some of you from university, if not by name then at least by appearance. Thanks for the invite, Mike. Hope to meet you all at your next breakfast meeting. Mike mentioned Thursday evenings at around 5:00. If that's the case I'll hope to see you later on today!

- Allan

Apparently it's a need to know basis ...

Stock Tips: News From Photo Agencies: "In the next four months Getty Images plans to launch new a new consumer business and a music licensing service.

Some rare hints about upcoming products came during a presentation last Wednesday by Getty CEO Jonathan Klein at an Internet conference organized by Goldman Sachs.

'We plan to launch a consumer business in the next 90 to 120 days,' Klein said, without revealing what the business is. He mentioned this in connection with Getty's new strategy of operating multiple Web sites for different customers – including, and new acquisition PunchStock.

Klein also expressed hope that the text-only search ads sold through Google will eventually incorporate multimedia content, like photos and video, both of which Getty provides. On that note, he added, 'We will be providing music to our customers within 90 days.'"

All I can say is that that is more information then I would have been able to tell you.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Pretty Pictures

TED | Talks | Blaise Aguera y Arcas: Photosynth demo (video): "Using photos of oft-snapped subjects (like Notre Dame) scraped from around the Web, Photosynth creates breathtaking multidimensional spaces with zoom and navigation features that outstrip all expectation"

BZR sounds pretty cool...

Mark Shuttleworth » Blog Archive » Renaming is the killer app of distributed version control

Friday, June 01, 2007

Be Breif

Pimp My Code, Part 14: Be Inflexible!: "You've probably seen some variant of this, but I'll show you my version. In coding, you have many dimensions in which you can rate code:

- Brevity of code
- Featurefulness
- Speed of execution
- Time spent coding
- Robustness
- Flexibility

Now, remember, these dimensions are all in opposition to one another. You can spend a three days writing a routine which is really beautiful AND fast, so you've gotten two of your dimensions up, but you've spent THREE DAYS, so the 'time spent coding' dimension is WAY down.

So, when is this worth it? How do we make these decisions?

The answer turns out to be very sane, very simple, and also the one nobody, ever, listens to:

'START WITH BREVITY. Increase the other dimensions AS REQUIRED BY TESTING.'"

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Code reviews are important

ChipLog » Blog Archive » Review Board: "We built a code review system called Review Board. Like most projects, it started out simple, but grew to be pretty powerful and useful quickly. It was designed to automate and simplify the process of creating review requests and actually reviewing code."
Good idea! I, however, have not yet checked out if it's a good execution.

Friday, May 18, 2007

What's your number?

12 Breeds of Client and How to Work with Them

Why web 2.0 sucks

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Friday, May 11, 2007

I wanna make games!!!

If you've ever wondered why i want to make games you need to read this article... Features - Where Game Meets Web, Raph Koster Speaks Out
then we'll talk...


Photoshop FTW Nobody is perfect, I am Nobody

Anyone wanna try out Joost?

invite all your friends to Joost: "invite as many
friends as you want to try out Joost.

To access your invites, log onto Joost, go to My Joost and fill in your
friends' details in the Invite Friends widget box."

Apparently i can invite as many people as a want... i haven't actually tried it out myself cuz i haven't bother to boot into windows since they announced the beta. I believe there is a Mac version too. Anyone want an invite?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Sucked into the swirling vortex

Acquisition!!!: "Evolvs, was purchased by Getty Images this last week."

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Them's Fightn' Words!

avatraxiom: The Problems of Perl: The Future of Bugzilla: "Perl would not be my first choice for writing or maintaining a large project, such as Bugzilla. The same flexibility that makes Perl so powerful makes it very difficult to enforce code quality standards or to implement modern object-oriented designs"

I'm not sure i necessarily agree, but ...

Monday, May 07, 2007

Mystery revealed: Poppy quarter led to U.S. spy warnings

An odd-looking Canadian coin with a bright red flower was the culprit behind the U.S. Defence Department's false espionage warning earlier this year.

Monday, April 30, 2007

I don't know what is more surprising ...

I don't know what is more surprising, the fact that there is a US Presidential candidate who uses MySpace, Google Groups, Cafepress, and Meetup, or the fact that his MySpace page is one of the first I've ever seen that is decently assembled and isn't totally unusable!!!

Meet Like Minds | Gravel 2008

I usually try really hard to stay out of US politics, and politics in general but I have to admit that this guy has a nice website and I like what he's saying on it. All he needs now in a facebook account!


Get to the point Paul!

The Hacker's Guide to Investors:
"Investors greatly prefer it if you don't need them. What excites them, both consciously and unconsciously, is the sort of startup that approaches them saying 'the train's leaving the station; are you in or out?' not the one saying 'please can we have some money to start a company?'"

This is yet another long winded, wisdom laden essay from Mr. Graham. It's definitely worth skimming.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Python vs. Ruby

Python up, Ruby down: If that runtime don't work, then its bound to drizzown: "I am not making any claims of Python having greater productivity than Ruby in the development cycle. I am claiming two things, though:

1. Python was very productive, despite having never used it before, and
2. The end result actually fucking worked

That last one is kind of big with me."

Google enhances the manageability and reliability of MySQL

Google Code - Updates: Google releases patches that enhance the manageability and reliability of MySQL: "We would love for the some of these changes to be merged with the official MySQL release, but until then we felt strongly that anyone should have access to them, thus we have released the changes with a GPL license for the MySQL community to use and review.


Microsoft's Channel 9 sounds like propaganda and it probably is!

Wired 15.04: Operation Channel 9:

"What Pryor had done to set off this uproar was outfit a team of five people, himself included, with camcorders and turn them loose on the company to interview engineers about their jobs and their products. Then he posted the clips - unvetted and largely unedited - to a Web site that anyone, inside or outside the company, could see and comment on.


Microsoft urgently wants the world to know about Channel 9, and the company has been actively peddling the tale of how big, bad, mean Microsoft let bottom-up communications recast its image.

But its efforts to be transparent go only so far. Someone at Microsoft unintentionally emailed me the confidential dossier the company keeps on reporters writing stories about it (presumably a common practice among big corporations). My file ran to 5,500 words and included all the angles I had been pursuing (along with suggested responses to my questions), the people outside the company they thought I had talked to, detailed background on Wired and how it has covered Microsoft, and notes on me and my interviewing style. "We need to reinforce with Fred that these efforts [Channels 9 and 10] are a natural extension of the company's DNA," the file reads. "Microsoft has been using a wide variety of communications mechanisms to reach out to developers since the days of yore (to read entire memo click here). This is simply the latest manifestation of those efforts." The irony is thick. While working with me on a story about its newfound openness, Microsoft and its PR agency were furiously scurrying behind the scenes to control the message. One thing about transparency is clear: It's harder than it looks."

Monday, April 23, 2007

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Canonical Launches Latest Ubuntu Desktop 7.04 | Ubuntu

Canonical Launches Latest Ubuntu Desktop 7.04 | Ubuntu

About Ubuntu 7.04 Desktop Edition

The latest version of Ubuntu includes the following new features:

Windows migration tool: The new migration tool recognizes Internet Explorer bookmarks, Firefox favorites, desktop wallpaper, AOL IM and Yahoo IM contacts, and imports them all into Ubuntu during installation. This offers easier and faster migration for new users of Ubuntu and individuals wanting to run a dual-boot system.

Simpler multimedia: A new guided wizard for automatically installing multimedia codecs not shipped with Ubuntu gives users a safe and easy way to view music and videos.

Plug and play network sharing with Avahi: This new feature allows users to automatically discover and join a wireless network to share music, find printers and more.

Best of the open source world: Ubuntu 7.04 supports the Linux 2.6.20 kernel, the recent GNOME 2.18 desktop environment, and thousands of additional applications.

Ubuntu's already outstanding support for thin clients is further enhanced with advanced sound support from PulseAudio sound server and Jetpipe, a printing architecture for thin clients.

Ubuntu continues to impress me as a desktop distribution.

Name that tune?!

midomi: "Search with your Voice

Search for music by singing or humming part of a song. All you need is a microphone."

This is too cool! i wish I'd thought of it!

The future of Internet radio is in immediate danger. The Copyright Royalty Board in Washington, DC has more than tripled the royalty rates for webcasters and left unchanged they will kill Internet radio. These exorbitant rates go into effect on May 15 (retroactive to Jan 1, 2006!). Without Congressional action the majority of webcasters will go bankrupt and silent on this date.

Disclaimer: I haven't bothered reading into this too much, but I cannot understand how this is a reasonable move!? As users of the 'net, we all need to work hard to protect our freedoms. This include online Radio.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Virginia vs. Iraq vs. The World

The "Virginia Tech Massacre" just highlights the problem of American (and Canadian) media.

Monday, April 16, 2007


as seen on i like computers better than chicks cuz they will willingly accept my 3.5" floppy

Straight out of Neuromancer

Discovery Channel :: News - Technology :: Newton, Einstein Go Digital: "We want to preserve more than a person's factual knowledge. We want to preserve their mannerisms and personality so you feel that you are talking with a real person,"

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Sometimes, Wired is weird...

Wired 15.04: Mixed Feelings: "See with your tongue. Navigate with your skin. Fly by the seat of your pants (literally). How researchers can tap the plasticity of the brain to hack our 5 senses — and build a few new ones."

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Blue collar work in a White collar job

Flip a Web Site Fixer-upper

One of my favorite cable television networks has a show called "Flip that House." The concept is as simple as the work is hard. You buy a house that needs work, do the work, and sell it for a profit. We can do the same thing with web sites, without getting our hands dirty, or risking as much of our precious capital resources.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Recommended Add-ons :: Firefox Add-ons

I've already been using a lot of these for a while and I really like them. I want to try out a few more of them.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Linked list - Google Patents

Linked list - Google Patents

A computerized list is provided with auxiliary pointers for traversing the list in different sequences. One or more auxiliary pointers enable a fast, sequential traversal of the list with a minimum of computational time. Such lists may be used in any application where lists may be reordered for various purposes.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


The Science Creative Quarterly » MSG: MORE THAN MEETS THE TONGUE: "In spite of the detrimental effects of MSG, the FDA approves of MSG in our food products based on its “naturally occurring” ingredient. Because glutamate is also found in nature, MSG is a safe food additive. Many manufacturers rename the monosodium glutamate ingredient to euphemistic terms such as, malt extract, corn syrup, cornstarch, or hydrolyzed “anything”.

So why do food companies and restaurants add MSG to foods in spite of the problems it causes? MSG fools your brain into believing you are consuming nutritious and tasty food, stimulates appetite, and reduces costs for the food processors."

"Hillary 1984" Video Creator Steps Forward

Many experts feel that the Hillary 1984 video marked a change in political campaigning. Now that voters have the ability to produce their own ads in support of their favorite candidate - or against politicians they oppose - many will.

Mr. de Vellis commented "This ad was not the first citizen ad, and it will not be the last. The game has changed."

Friday, March 16, 2007

JSON is not as safe as people think it is - Joe Walker's Blog

JSON is not as safe as people think it is - Joe Walker's Blog

Interesting post. As we move more and more towards web based applications I suspect that this will have to be fixed. I wonder why each javascript session isn't completely sandboxed? IE - why isn't there a different instance of the javascript interpreter with no shared memory for each web page's session?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

In an effort to reduce my monthly phone bill, I went searching for an alternative long distance provider for cell phones. I found It gives cell phones a 3.5 cents per minute long distance rate with no monthly fees.

Does anyone know of anything better?

Even if I pre-pay for 300 minutes of long distance with Fido, it still costs me 8c per minute! I'm also switching to the "family plan" with me and Anita. It gets unlimited incoming calls, unlimited between members of the family and unlimited weekends and evenings. It only comes with 300 outgoing weekday minutes, but (to be honest) I don't need my phone much during work hours, except to answer incoming calls.

An interesting option is to add other people for only 15$ a month. I think they must share the 300 weekday minutes. I wonder if groups of friends can sign up?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Two steps closer to The Singularity?

Jeff Hawkins (inventer of the Palm Pilot and the Treo) has turned to work on neuroscience full-time and has published On Intelligence describing his memory-prediction framework theory of the brain.

In a recent interview with Wired Magazine, Hakwins, claims to have something quite significant to contribute to the study of artificial intelligence. The Numenta Platform for Intelligent Computing.

Wired 15.03: The Thinking Machine: "Hawkins joins a long line of thinkers claiming to have unlocked the secrets of the mind and coded them into machines. So thoroughly have such efforts failed that AI researchers have largely given up the quest for the kind of general, humanlike intelligence that Hawkins describes. “There have been all those others,” he acknowledges, “the Decade of the Brain, the 5th Generation Computing Project in Japan, fuzzy logic, neural networks, all flavors of AI. Is this just another shot in the dark?” He lets the question hang for a moment. “No,” he says. “It’s quite different, and I can explain why.”

... Hierarchical Temporal Memory, or HTM ...

An HTM consists of a pyramid of nodes, each encoded with a set of statistical formulas. The whole HTM is pointed at a data set, and the nodes create representations of the world the data describes — whether a series of pictures or the temperature fluctuations of a river. The temporal label reflects the fact that in order to learn, an HTM has to be fed information with a time component — say, pictures moving across a screen or temperatures rising and falling over a week. Just as with the brain, the easiest way for an HTM to learn to identify an object is by recognizing that its elements — the four legs of a dog, the lines of a letter in the alphabet — are consistently found in similar arrangements. Other than that, an HTM is agnostic; it can form a model of just about any set of data it’s exposed to. And, just as your cortex can combine sound with vision to confirm that you are seeing a dog instead of a fox, HTMs can also be hooked together. Most important, Hawkins says, an HTM can do what humans start doing from birth but that computers never have: not just learn, but generalize."

The article didn't go on to explain HTM's to my full satisfaction but Numenta's Community Wiki did a much better job.

... but wait, there's more! ...

In another, entirely separate Wired Magazine interview, Douglas R. Hofstadter (Author of Gödel, Escher, Bach and I Am a Strange Loop), makes some interesting points about self awareness.

Wired 15.03: PLAY: "WIRED: How is your new book different from Gödel, which touched on physics, genetics, mathematics, and computer science?

HOFSTADTER: This time I’m only trying to figure out “What am I?”

Well, given the book’s title, you seem to have found out. But what is a strange loop?

One good prototype is the Escher drawing of two hands sketching each other. A more abstract one is the sentence I am lying. Such loops are, I think anyone would agree, strange. They seem paradoxical and even strike some people as dangerous. I argue that such a strange loop, paradoxical or not, is at the core of each human being. It is an abstract pattern that gives each of us an “I,” or, if you don’t mind the term, a soul."

I realize this is a stretch, but my imagination immediately jumps to pictures of the vast information of Wikipedia, and the Internet in general, all wrapped up with a friendly personality. Then make it self aware and, BOOM, One strange looped Singularity coming right up! I think they should name it "Singleton". It has a nice ring to it. "Thanks for explaining the meaning of life to me, Singleton, your a pal!".

Friday, March 09, 2007

Hello, My name is Mike. I saw LittleBigPlanet and i liked it...

Penny Arcade! - Karma Sucks: "in place of a six hundred dollar game, I will accept a six hundred dollar idea."

Clips: LittleBigPlanet - Kotaku: "This is the biggest thing to come out of GDC07. Hyperbole? Yes, probably. Is the game worth it? Yes, probably"

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Picasa Web Albums Is Getting Really Cool

Picasa Web Albums: "What's New on Picasa Web Albums?

Some on my favorite features so far include:
  • The free storage quota has been upped to 1GB (and counting).
  • Photos uploaded through Blogger appear in My Photos.
  • You can upload videos using Picasa.
  • Order prints and photo products
  • Email notifications and RSS feeds
  • Easy Upload from Google Picassa or from iPhoto

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Ink-less Printers?!

Since Ink Costs More Than Human Blood, I'm pretty excited about this Zero ink printer from Zero Ink Printer from ZINK!

It won't be available until late 2007 (and I'll believe it when i see it) but it would be really cool to have printers that don't require ink! How much would you pay for an ink-less printer? $300? $1,000?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Ballmer Repeats Threats Against Linux

...and open source will have to respect the intellectual property rights of others just as any other competitor will.

But maybe they should take care of their own code before worrying about the code of others.

M$ Hit by $1.5 Billion patent award.

Funny Funny

xkcd - A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language - By Randall Munroe: "Open Source"

A Wall Between the U.S. and Mexico?!

Schneier on Security: CYA Security: "we're seeing CYA security on the national level, from our politicians. We might be better off as a nation funding intelligence gathering and Arabic translators, but it's a better re-election strategy to fund something visible but ineffective, like a national ID card or a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

Securing our nation from threats that are weird, threats that either happened before or captured the media's imagination, and overly specific threats are all examples of CYA security. It happens not because the authorities involved -- the Boston police, the TSA, and so on -- are not competent, or not doing their job. It happens because there isn't sufficient national oversight, planning, and coordination.

People and organizations respond to incentives. We can't expect the Boston police, the TSA, the guy who runs security for the Oscars, or local public officials to balance their own security needs against the security of the nation. They're all going to respond to the particular incentives imposed from above. What we need is a coherent antiterrorism policy at the national level: one based on real threat assessments, instead of fear-mongering, re-election strategies, or pork-barrel politics.

Sadly, though, there might not be a solution. All the money is in fear-mongering, re-election strategies, and pork-barrel politics. And, like so many things, security follows the money."

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Get to the Point Paul

This essay is too long to read but too good to skim!

Is It Worth Being Wise?: "I think it's important to understand the relationship between intelligence and wisdom, and particularly what seems to be the growing gap between them. That way we can avoid applying rules and standards to intelligence that are really meant for wisdom. These two senses of 'knowing what to do' are more different than most people realize. The path to wisdom is through discipline, and the path to intelligence through carefully selected self-indulgence. Wisdom is universal, and intelligence idiosyncratic. And while wisdom yields calmness, intelligence much of the time leads to discontentment.

That's particularly worth remembering. A physicist friend recently told me half his department was on Prozac. Perhaps if we acknowledge that some amount of frustration is inevitable in certain kinds of work, we can mitigate its effects. Perhaps we can box it up and put it away some of the time, instead of letting it flow together with everyday sadness to produce what seems an alarmingly large pool. At the very least, we can avoid being discontented about being discontented.

If you feel exhausted, it's not necessarily because there's something wrong with you. Maybe you're just running fast."

All Aboard The Ubuntu Train! You Too ESR!

Goodbye, Fedora: "This afternoon, I installed Edgy Eft on my main development machine -- from one CD, not five. In less than three hours' work I was able to recreate the key features of my day-to-day toolkit. The after-installation mass upgrade to current packages, always a frightening prospect under Fedora, went off without a hitch. I'm not expecting Ubuntu to be perfect, but I am now certain it will be enough better to compensate me for the fact that I need to learn a new set of administration tools. Fedora, you had every advantage, and you had my loyalty, and you blew it. And that is a damn, dirty shame. -- Eric S. Raymond"

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Vista's Peach Wreck Cognition vistas speech recognition of king rocks delete of king rocks capitalize f asterisk see kay eye inn gee sucks exclamation point ...

YouTube - Windows Vista Speech Recognition Tested - Perl Scripting

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Life Is Hard

I use Google cuz it makes my life easier. I run Ubuntu cuz it makes my life easier. I prefer to program in Python and use Django for web developement cuz they make my life easier... and now the Django cheat sheet (Mercurytide) makes my life easier still!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

I *HEART* Nintendo, I Hate Fox News & Penny Arcade is my Hero

MyFox Milwaukee | Nintendo Hand-Held Child Molester Target: "Nintendo Hand-Held Child Molester Target"

Penny Arcade! - The Most Recent Catastrophe:
"While driving on the highway, a child molester who is also driving might look into the back seat of your car and see your child using their DS back there. According to this terrifying report, the child molester can then - while driving their car - produce a DS of their own and utilize it to divine your home address. You will recall that he is driving on the highway at speeds approaching sixty miles an hour. One hand is on the wheel and the other is managing the gearbox. Thus, there can be no question... He is entering these messages into the DS with his erect phallus."

B.C. firm to show off quantum computer

B.C. firm to show off quantum computer: "D-Wave Systems Inc. of Burnaby, B.C. plans to show off its commercial quantum computers at the Computer History Museum on Feb. 13 and at the Telus World of Science museum in Vancouver on Feb. 15."

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Not All Traffic Is Created Equal

Not All Traffic Is Created Equal » Publishing 2.0: "mounting evidence suggests that Digg traffic in particular is less like networking with like-minded individuals at a social event and more like getting attacked by a pack of wild dogs, who leave nothing of value in their wake, other than lessons learned on closing comments and crashed servers"

Thursday, January 18, 2007

open-source segway

I've often thought that it would be fun for some of us to get together some summer's weekend to build something cool, like the open source segway. Any other suggestions of what to build?

Friday, January 05, 2007

Adobe's PDF Software Flawed

Dunham gave this hypothetical scenario: an attacker finds a PDF file on a banking Web site. The attacker creates a hostile Web site that links to the bank's PDF file. Included is malicious JavaScript code that will run on the unsuspecting user's computer once the link is clicked.