Sunday, June 29, 2008

Security Matters: I've Seen the Future, and It Has a Kill Switch

"It's comparatively easy to make this work in closed specialized systems -- OnStar, airplane avionics, military hardware -- but much more difficult in open-ended systems. If you think Microsoft's vision could possibly be securely designed, all you have to do is look at the dismal effectiveness of the various copy-protection and digital-rights-management systems we've seen over the years. That's a similar capabilities-enforcement mechanism, albeit simpler than these more general systems."

Friday, June 27, 2008

Popular DJ hits the OC airwaves | | The Daily Times

The radio personality and former cohost of the nationally syndicated Don & Mike Show will return to his record-spinning roots with Ocean City's 98.1 WOCM-FM.

A Leader Lost to Despair -

"As global support mounts for Tsvangirai, even among African leaders long uncertain about him, he is a beaten man in his own country. The hopes of his supporters -- of a Zimbabwe unshackled from the ruinous misrule of Mugabe and his ruthless gang of lieutenants -- have collapsed as well, crushed by a campaign of calculated political brutality not seen here since the Matabeleland massacres two decades ago."

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Intel won't touch Vista - The INQUIRER

"In the end, you have Intel flipping MS the bird, and telling them what they already know, Vista [is] undeployable by anyone with a grain of common sense. The impressive thing is that it just might lead to a waving off of MS entirely, they are the underdog for the next round of upgrades."

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

An epic Bill Gates e-mail rant

"So after more than an hour of craziness and making my programs list garbage and being scared and seeing that is a terrible website I haven't run Moviemaker and I haven't got the plus package.

The lack of attention to usability represented by these experiences blows my mind. I thought we had reached a low with Windows Network places or the messages I get when I try to use 802.11. (don't you just love that root certificate message?)"

Bill: Suggest you try Linux. No need to be scared.

'Bush Lied'? If Only It Were That Simple.

"But the phony 'Bush lied' story line distracts from the biggest prewar failure: the fact that so much of the intelligence upon which Bush and Rockefeller and everyone else relied turned out to be tragically, catastrophically wrong.

And it trivializes a double dilemma that President Bill Clinton faced before Bush and that President Obama or McCain may well face after: when to act on a threat in the inevitable absence of perfect intelligence and how to mobilize popular support for such action, if deemed essential for national security, in a democracy that will always, and rightly, be reluctant."

Coffee may have perks for longer living -

"The results show that as coffee consumption increases, the overall risk of death decreases. The association is explained mostly by a decrease in CVD deaths, Lopez-Garcia says. Women who drank two to three cups of coffee a day, for instance, had a 25% lower risk of dying from heart disease than non-drinkers.

'Coffee has some beneficial effects on inflammation and endothelial function, which are the first stages of CVD development,' Lopez-Garcia says."

My endothelial is feeling better already.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


"Obama’s embrace of the post-’93 approach shows a blindness to the key distinction that has kept us safe since 9/11 - the difference between prosecution and protection.

Pre-9/11, the priority was what it had always been - to identify the guilty, gather evidence to convict and punish them by imprisonment.

Post-9/11, the goal changed - now it’s to identify and frustrate any and all pending terrorist attacks."

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Mundaneum Museum Honors the First Concept of the World Wide Web -

"In 1934, Otlet sketched out plans for a global network of computers (or “electric telescopes,” as he called them) that would allow people to search and browse through millions of interlinked documents, images, audio and video files. He described how people would use the devices to send messages to one another, share files and even congregate in online social networks. He called the whole thing a “rĂ©seau,” which might be translated as “network” — or arguably, “web.”"

Delaying News in the Era of the Internet -

"Long before Mr. Russert’s death was reported on air, however, it was flashing across the Internet via the text-messaging service Twitter and the online encyclopedia Wikipedia."

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Talking Business - A.M.D. and Its War With Intel -

"In recent years, however, two things have happened. First, in 2003, A.M.D. came out with a chip called Opteron, which was far superior to anything Intel had on the market. Indeed, this was one of the few times that Intel was the company stubbing its toe; it took a year before it had a competitive chip. What’s more, the Opteron was aimed at the highly profitable server market, which has long been Intel’s domain. It is fair to say that Intel was none too happy with this state of affairs, and it wasn’t too long before A.M.D. was complaining that Intel was cutting deals to keep computer makers from straying, even though many of them wanted to use the Opteron."

Friday, June 20, 2008

Fastest-ever flashgun captures image of light wave - tech - 19 June 2008 - New Scientist Tech

"In the future, Goulielmakis hopes to produce light pulses of 24 attoseconds, the atomic unit of time, defined as how long it takes an electron to travel from one side of a hydrogen atom to the other.

But Marangos thinks even shorter pulses are possible. 'There's nothing magical about the atomic unit of time,' he says, saying zeptosecond pulses of trillionths of a billionth of a second might be possible. These would be capable of imaging the movement of nuclear particles like protons, says Marangos."


Google Trends Shows Traffic Stats

"Google Trends no longer displays information about searches, now you can use it to compare the daily unique visitors for two or more sites. To see the actual numbers, you need to log in using a Google account."

Lessons from the Latest Flood Fiasco

"We need to help these flood-ravaged areas rebuild in their time of need, but we should be smart about it. If we don’t want to spend billions more in a few years fixing mistakes we make recovering from this flood, we have to work with communities to make them less vulnerable, because no matter how much we spend, we can’t stop the rain from falling."

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Justice Kennedy: American Idle - HUMAN EVENTS

"The New York Times article on the decision in Boumediene notes that some people 'have asserted that those held at Guantanamo have fewer rights than people accused of crimes under American civilian and military law.'

In the universal language of children: Duh."

IBM Unveils Portable Data Center 'Pods'

"The Blue Pods sport open architecture and industry-standard 19-inch racks and provide multivendor support of up to 1,428 blade servers or 1,178 IBM iDataPlex servers per container, Sams said."

Monday, June 16, 2008

Scientists find bugs that eat waste and excrete petrol - Times Online

To be more precise: the genetic alteration of bugs – very, very small ones – so that when they feed on agricultural waste such as woodchips or wheat straw, they do something extraordinary. They excrete crude oil.

I don't know if this is rehashed old news, or something new. Sounds like more than a pipe dream at this point though.

Windows dual-boots its way onto a Linux stage

"IBM today plans to detail a blade system running 5,376 Intel Xeon quad-core processors; each chip runs at 2.5 GHz and uses 50 watts. The system, which is capable of reaching 46 sustained teraflops (a TFLOPS is a trillion floating-point operations per second), runs a beta version of Windows HPC Server 2008."

Jokes that will no doubt find their way onto Slashdot if it covers the story:

(1) With more than five thousand processors working in parallel, engineers claim to have Windows boot times down below one minute.

(2) Esitimates are that with so many Windows machines running at once no more than ten percent of them will be infected with viruses at any given time.

(3-n) in (2) substiture any of the following for "infected with viruses": "Blue screened", "bogged down with pop-up ads", ""asking user permision to enter admin mode", and so on.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Tux Love: Hidden Linux: Basket case

"Now I have a clean desktop, and all my junk's neatly orgainsed -- and accessible! -- within a single application."

Amazing Teacher Facts -

"On average, high school students taught by TFA corps members performed significantly better on state-required end-of-course exams, especially in math and science, than peers taught by far more experienced instructors. The TFA teachers' effect on student achievement in core classroom subjects was nearly three times the effect of teachers with three or more years of experience." : Who Played It Worse: Microsoft or Yahoo?

"The situation is as depressing at Microsoft. Having spent years grasping for an online strategy, it decided that Yahoo was a key “strategic” asset. Until it didn’t. Or at least not at $33 a share. Or at least after May 3. Or, maybe not."

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Bad science: How being swindled can make you feel better | Comment is free | The Guardian

"Even better is a paper published in January in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Volunteers tasted and rated five wines, each individually priced, although in fact there were only three different wines, and two were tasted twice: once labelled at $90 a bottle, and once at $10. The results were clear: cheap wine really does taste better simply because we are told it's expensive."

PS3 outsells Xbox 360 in May, Wii still on top | PS3 News |

"Sony eeks out another win over Microsoft's Xbox 360 console in the month of May, while Nintendo reigns supreme with Wii and DS sales."

baldilocks: Black Conservatives: Don't Fall For It

"With 90+ percent of black Americans voting Democrat regardless of who the candidate is, it will be bad enough as it is. But I, for one, expect you, black conservative Republican men to have enough balls to stand on principle, not on your emotions. You've shown your testicular fortitude by being publicly conservative against a tide of Identity Politics. Don't start behaving like castrati now."

Friday, June 13, 2008

Official Google Docs Blog: Upload your PDFs!

I'm very pleased to confirm that you can now upload, preview and share PDFs in Google Docs. (While you can't edit them yet, you can copy & paste text.) We eagerly await your feedback on this highly requested feature.

To get started, click the Upload button in the Docs home toolbar, select a PDF file from your computer and off you go!

Earmark Spending Makes a Comeback -

"The issue of earmarks is not going to go away anytime soon. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill), the presumptive Democratic nominee for the White House, disclosed in March that he had sought $740 million in earmarks over the past three years, about a third of which received funding. He has also proposed legislation requiring better disclosure of earmarks before they are approved. GOP rival Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), one of the sharpest earmark critics in Congress, has made it a point to buck the trend and avoid asking for earmarks."

ABC News: Earth 2100: This Century Our Last?

"Are we living in the last century of our civilization?"

Well, hopefully ABC News is anyway.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Official Google Blog: Our agreement to provide ad technology to Yahoo!

"Today, we announced a non-exclusive advertising agreement that will provide Yahoo! with access to our AdSense for search and AdSense for content advertising programs on their U.S. and Canadian web properties. In addition, we will work to enable interoperability between our respective instant messaging services allowing users better, broader communication online."

The New Kennedy isn’t Nearly so Demanding as the Old One - HUMAN EVENTS

"In the age of no-responsibility, the new mantra is, 'Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what your country can do for you.' Yeah, that’s right, for me. Isn’t that what it’s all about these days?"

The monobloc plastic chair

"utilizing an intact wooden chair as an exoskeleton for the remains of an aged monobloc, in maputo, mozambique (image"

Yahoo Ends Talks With Microsoft, Nears Search-Ad Deal with Google -

"Microsoft Corp. has definitively abandoned its pursuit of a deal with Yahoo Inc., opening the way for Yahoo to complete a search advertising pact with rival Google Inc."

As the world turns.

Weiner Will Leave Yahoo, but Might Not Be Replaced | Kara Swisher | BoomTown | AllThingsD

"But, despite a lot of speculation on the subject by sites like TechCrunch (whose curiously petulant lifting of actual reporting done by others–in this case, BoomTown–without any attribution is fast approaching pathetic), let’s try some more actual reporting:

Sources at the company said that Weiner will not likely be replaced as Network division head by one of his four direct reports."


Will you read Microsoft's obit here?

"Certainly not much in Microsoft's efforts to extend its business beyond the core of operating systems and software. The effort to buy Yahoo to accomplish what it couldn't on its own speaks volumes about how successful Microsoft has been at dominating Internet content, delivery channels and ad sales (although to be fair, it did squash Netscape like a bug)."

Chemical Law Has Global Impact -

"Europe this month rolled out new restrictions on makers of chemicals linked to cancer and other health problems, changes that are forcing U.S. industries to find new ways to produce a wide range of everyday products."

MSFTextrememakeover: Eight Years of Wrongness

"So with that, I announce the end of my MSFTextrememakeover blogging career. The timing seems right as this is my 100th post. Good luck to all those who continue to hold MSFT."

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Google Docs to Add PDF Storage

"After allowing people to collaborate on documents, spreadsheets and presentations, Google Docs will support a new file type: PDF. Judging from Google's code, PDFs will have a distinct section and won't be imported as Google Docs documents."

Google Result Offers You to "Skip Intro"

Fair Tax Videos by a former employer of mine

Will Masses Embrace Apple's $199 Handset? -

"The moves are an acknowledgment by the Cupertino, Calif., company that the original iPhone was too pricey for the mass audience, especially in a weakening economy. Apple said it will halve the entry price for the new iPhone 3G to $199 in the U.S. and abroad, compared with the $399 starting price for the current iPhone. In an interview, Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said the iPhone could even be free to consumers in some countries outside the U.S. if they commit to richer wireless plans with carriers."

Masses? No. But being available in 70 something countries they'll sell a lot of phones. As many have figured out the important price number is the $1600 or so cost of ownership over the two year contract. I don't personally make enough cell phone calls to make it more valuable than other things I could spend that amount of money on (and have around for many years to enjoy), but for a lot of people who aren't worried about brain cancer these will be irresistible toys.

Google LatLong: Street View turns 1, keeps on growing

Along with showing you some great metropolitan areas, I'm especially excited that we're also bringing you 10 new parks and recreational areas:

# Everglades National Park (Florida)
# Florida Keys
# Grand Teton National Park (Wyoming)
# Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming/Montana)
# Rocky Mountain National Park (Colorado)
# Joshua Tree National Park (California)
# Death Valley National Park (California)
# Lassen Volcanic National Park (California)
# Sequoia National Park (California)
# Lake Tahoe (California/Nevada)

View Larger Map

Linux captures the 'green' flag, beats Windows 2008 power-saving measures - Network World

Monday, June 09, 2008

John Batchelor Show - Home

"In 'War and Peace,' Tolstoy told the tale of Bonaparte and Alexander's meeting from the cool remove of the ambitions of the two emperors. Both wanted confirmation of their regal status. Nether wanted more war. Lev Nikolaievich leaned hard on making Bonaparte impudent, bold, vulgar, fresh, dynamic, unpredictable. The Tsar remained majestic. Mrs. Clinton makes a Petersburg darling. You can imagine her at the Winter Palace, in long furs, drinking green tea, writing, writing, writing. Obama as Bonaparte? Directing the letter 'O' on the flatware, the parquet floor, the horse blankets, the bear skin hats of the Imperial Guard? Sure. Certain. Start Puccini. JB."

John Batchelor has a radio show again. Has had for a while, but only recently has it been easy to get to (for me anyway). Daily would be nice, weekly will do. Two hours after all would be a lot of work five times a week at the level it was going before (cram packed).

There is also a web page again, finally!

Welcome back John Batchelor.

I, Cringely . The Pulpit . It's the Platform, Stupid | PBS

"The FAA is already testing SwiftFuel with the goal of approving it for use without modification in all aircraft, leaving the platform unchanged while improving its impact on almost any scale. Hopefully by the 2010 cutoff for tetraethyl lead SwiftFuel will replace the 1.8 million gallons of 100LL aviation fuel used every day.

'But what about cars?' I asked Mary Rusek. 'We don't say much about that,' she replied. 'The aviation fuel market is tiny and has a real need we can fulfill so everyone wants us to succeed. Cars are different and we don't want to make any enemies.'"

EMI grabs Second Life creator - Entertainment News, International News, Media - Variety

"As co-founder of Linden Lab, Ondrejka led the development of Second Life and his new employer is hoping he will draw from past experience to build the digital strategy for EMI Music, drive innovation around new revenue opportunities and build an engineering team for the company."

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Intel NOT Inside: Military Supercomputer Surpasses Petaflop Milestone -

"The Roadrunner is based on a radical design that includes 12,960 chips that are an improved version of an I.B.M. Cell microprocessor, a parallel processing chip originally created for Sony’s PlayStation 3 video-game machine. The Sony chips are used as accelerators, or turbochargers, for portions of calculations.

The Roadrunner also includes a smaller number of more conventional Opteron processors, made by Advanced Micro Devices, which are already widely used in corporate servers."

What do you do when the downolator is down?

502 Server Error:

Google Error

Server Error
The server encountered a temporary error and could not complete your request.

Please try again in 30 seconds."

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Your U.N. at Work – IV -

"Speaking after his election, Father d'Escoto called for greater 'democracy' at the U.N. – an odd remark coming from a former servant of a communist dictatorship. He also called for the U.N. to take a stand against 'acts of aggression, such as those occurring in Iraq and Afghanistan.' That would be American aggression, not the Taliban's, the Mahdi Army's or al Qaeda's.

A former Lenin Prize winner as General Assembly president and cruel Burma as vice president – another sick joke from the U.N."

Friday, June 06, 2008

heise online - Asus presents 4 new Eee's

What Newspapers Still Don’t Understand About The Web - Publishing 2.0

Intel Faces Antitrust Probe by FTC -

"The Federal Trade Commission has opened a formal antitrust investigation of Intel Corp.'s business practices in the microprocessor market, a move long sought by smaller rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc."

Win4Lin overhauls Linux desktop virtualization - Network World

"The new version supports Fedora, OpenSuse, Mandriva and other Linux distributions.

The company also released Win4Solaris 5, based on the same code."

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Do Macs Last Longer Than Windows PCs? | Walt Mossberg | Mossberg's Mailbox | AllThingsD

Quoting myself:

"All notebooks are made by third party Pacific Rim countries. There is no particular reason for them to make a better machine for Apple than HP, or the other way around."

Mozilla Firefox 3.0 Is the Best Browser for Web — For Now | Walt Mossberg | Personal Technology | AllThingsD

My verdict is that Firefox 3.0 is the best Web browser out there right now, and that it tops the current versions of both IE and Safari in features, speed and security. It is easy to install and easy to use, even for a mainstream, non-technical user. It can be downloaded, free, at by clicking on “Firefox 3 Sneak Peek.”

A Slap In The Facebook

Google LatLong: A virtual visit to where dreams come true

"If you've used Google Earth to explore possible family vacation destinations, then we have a treat for you: Disney has introduced a new layer for Google Earth that allows you to explore the company's popular Orlando attractions including Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. The new layer can be accessed in either the 'Preview' or 'Gallery' folders of Google Earth, or by selecting one of the 3D buildings in the resort."

George F. Will - The Gas Prices We Deserve -

"So Schumer, according to Schumer, is complicit in taking $10 away from every American who buys 20 gallons of gasoline. 'Democracy,' said H.L. Mencken, 'is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.' The common people of New York want Schumer to be their senator, so they should pipe down about gasoline prices, which are a predictable consequence of their political choice."

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Google Open Source Blog: Google Gadgets for Linux

"Come see the results yourself at our project site, where you can check out the source code to the entire product. For Gadgets for Linux, we don't just want to simply release the final offering, but we also want to give everyone a chance to tinker with the code powering the gadgets. For this project, fostering a transparent and lively developer community is just as important as serving our users."


Jonathan Martin's Blog: Bob Dole unloads on McClellan -

"'There are miserable creatures like you in every administration who don’t have the guts to speak up or quit if there are disagreements with the boss or colleagues,' Dole wrote in a message sent yesterday morning. 'No, your type soaks up the benefits of power, revels in the limelight for years, then quits and, spurred on by greed, cashes in with a scathing critique.'"

Official Google Docs Blog: Luddite leapfrogs with Docs

"So finally, when I convinced Cici that she should start sharing her papers on Google Docs, she got the picture. She saw that by using the most ordinary Docs feature, the ability to collaborate, I could edit her writing and she could see it happening in real-time.

Finally, I was able to say to her: 'Google Docs is how we need to do this ... you need to stop sending me those .doc files ... you need to catch up with the rest of the world.'"

Monday, June 02, 2008

Bill Clinton hints at end to wife's campaign

"'I want to say also that this may be the last day I'm ever involved in a campaign of this kind,' the former president told Clinton supporters in South Dakota, ABC and NBC reported on their news websites."

Promises, Promises, Promises!

MicroHoo: A Deal Must Be Done | Kara Swisher | BoomTown | AllThingsD

Their sincerity and love of Yahoo and its products and people was clear and even touching, making it clear that companies are a true reflection of its leaders.

Official Google Blog: At long last, real-time stock quotes are here

"Either buried behind subscription walls or brokerage sites, consumers typically had to live with 15 or 20 minute price delays. In the world of finance, time is indeed money, and it's critical to have timely and accurate data."

Sunday, June 01, 2008

The Comeback Id: Politics & Power:

"It is Clinton’s invariable insistence that his problems are someone else’s fault, and that questions or criticisms of him, his methods, motives, or means are invariably unfair, that is his unforgivable flaw."