mark castillo
Tuesday, April 30
  Dudu Meah Photo
Dudu Meah, a Bangladeshi snake charmer, holds deadly young cobras near Dhaka on April 30, 2002. Called in to find two serpents in a suburban home near the capital, Meah unearthed over 3,000 cobras and hundreds of eggs.
  Doh! Simpsons Creator Says Series End Is Near
Cowabunga, dude! Could the end be near for cult television cartoon family "The Simpsons?" "I think we are closer to winding it up," the television show's creator, Matt Groening, told the Financial Times in an interview published Tuesday. "Although what happens generally if we win the Emmy for best animation show is that that gives us another couple of years to run it into the ground," he said. - News - In Stores Now And Coming Soon: Quarashi
Does the world need another rap/rock act? The latest band to break into the genre is Quarashi, an Icelandic outfit that could pass for the children of the Beastie Boys and Limp Bizkit, if that were biologically possible. They've already made a name for themselves with their single, "Stick 'Em Up." Their U.S. debut, Jinx, hits stores this week. Hoping not to get jinxed by - Jinx are the Mooney Suzuki, a four-piece garage band (and crowd favorite at this year's South By Southwest) from New York City that derived its name from those of former Can singers Malcolm Mooney and Damo Suzuki. They've just issued their second full-length album, - Electric Sweat.
squishyWARE Productions is devoted to providing the best in software and Internet Applications. Okay, maybe not the best, but pretty dang good. Our goal is User Satisfaction, not the Bottom Line. Our products stress Quality over Market Value. We're not some money hungry corporate monolith; we're just a group of bored developers with extra time on our hands. We listen to our users, giving them exactly what they want. We'll include you in our software development, letting you give us input about the features you want to see. We are squishyWARE. We will conquer.
  How Kids Snap Their World
Think of the project as a kind of "Day in the Life," kids version, with Yoko Ono as honorary chairperson. "The idea of the project is not only to let children present their living circumstances in different places around the world, it's also to start a dialogue (among) these children, through the pictures, because they are universal," Abresch said. "First, they will see the pictures from the other countries and see how other children live, and then they start a concrete dialogue, sending e-mails to each other, and maybe also letters."
  Modern Tales - Professional Webcomics
Modern Tales is a collective of webcartoonists dedicated to presenting the best, most polished, most meaningful, and most interesting webcomics to a small but discriminating -- i.e. paying -- audience. We believe that our project is the first step in creating a viable, albeit low-key, webcomics industry. We're not some crazy dotcom. We're just folks, like you. We want to make a living, or at least a little bit of money, doing what we love. You probably do, too.
  Moxie, or $10 Worth of Chutzpah?
Modern Tales, an online subscription service for professional webcomics, has gotten more than 1,000 paying subscribers in the last 45 days. This initial success will enable the site to run an additional weekly appearance of James Kochalka's Fancy Froglin. Kochalka, perhaps best known for his graphic novel, Monkey vs. Robot, is a fixture in the independent comics scene, having won, or been nominated for, every major award in the field, including the Ignatz and the Eisner. His work has been published by Top Shelf, Alternative Comics, Marvel Comics and others. Fancy Froglin is his first regular series on the Web.
  adaptive path
The members of our team have worked with the Web since the beginning. Now, we unite theory and practice to advance the art of user experience design while helping our clients make better business decisions. From quick expert assessments to full-blown 4-month information architecture overhauls, we tailor our services to the specific needs of each project. Our publications and workshops offer insight into strategy and technique. Only a year since its founding, Adaptive Path has provided custom User Experience services to a range of clients, including Fortune 100 corporations, pure-Web startups, and established not-for-profit organizations.
  Slashdot | "Industry Standard" Paycut
noGarnishMe! asks: "I was just reading about a Chicago-based company that has told all its employees earning over $60K/year that they will have to accept a 50% percent paycut for the month of May. This cut might be necessary in these times but keep in mind that the bozos in senior management just finished buying up several failing companies and paying some large bonuses to themselves. The memo announcing the cut is here. This cut, coming in such large chunk and in May, seems like a draconian shot to boost the 2d quarter financials. True, the annual paycut of 3.8% is modest but it ignores that fact that many folks won't be able to pay their May bills with only half their salary. I know that many of us have been through rough times these past 18 months and so I ask, what has been the approach at your company?" There are graceful and non-graceful ways for a company to handle a lack of cash flow. In the scramble for survival, especially in an economic downturn, many companies are caught off-guard and have to show their shareholders that they are doing something to get the company back on the road to profitability (which seems to be the issue, here). In many of these cases, the group most affected by such changes are the employees. It would be interesting to note how many of you have gone through this before and what you had to do to survive the shortfall.
  Slashdot | Using Google to Calculate Web Decay
scottennis writes: "Google has yet another application: measuring the rate of decay of information on the web. By plotting the number of results at 3,6, and 12 months for a series of phrases, this study claims to have uncovered a corresponding 60-70-80 percent decay rate. Essentially, 60% of the web changes every 3 months." You may be amused by some of the phrases he notes as exceptional, too.
  Slashdot | Jordan Hubbard Resigns from FreeBSD Core
SteelX was one of many readers to cite this story in the Daily Daemon News which reports that "Jordan Hubbard is resigning from the FreeBSD core. Jordan is a founding member of the FreeBSD project." Note: According to this email, Hubbard is definitely not quitting FreeBSD; he's just changing the nature of his involvement with it.
  How would Kermit look in a red hat? - Tech News -
Miss Piggy and Kermit apparently like Linux. Red Hat, the leading seller of the operating system, said Tuesday that Jim Henson's Creature Shop is using its version of Linux to power its design studio and other digital projects. Specifically, Red Hat is powering the company's digital performance studio, which is developing the animatronic performance control system--a technology that will make a digital character perform just like a puppet.
  Slashdot | Solar Sail to be Launched This Year
mad_goldfish writes: "Spaceflight Now is reporting that the Russians are preparing a Solar Sail for launch sometime after September aboard a Cosmos 1 rocket. Apparently most of the components have now been tested and they are getting ready to integrate all the flight components. Just the camera, S-band radio and main computer are yet to be completed."
Monday, April 29
  The Webby Awards: 2002 Nominees
The below list reflect the best 150 Web sites in 30 categories as selected by members of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. These nominees exemplify the very best that the Internet has to offer. What do you think? Cast your vote for the best in the People's Voice Awards, where you decide the most outstanding site in each category.
  Midnight Special Law Collective
The Midnight Special Law Collective is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to providing legal trainings and accessible, relevant, democratic and accountable legal support to a wide range of activists participating in the struggle for social change.
  Tech pay at decade low - Tech News -
Never mind that information technology workers who still have jobs are making a lot less from stock options; their base salaries and bonuses are also falling sharply, a new survey released Monday shows. Information technology managers should see an average 8 percent decline in total compensation this year, while rank-and-file IT workers should expect their pay to fall by 11 percent, according to a study by high-tech trade publication Information Week. The study found that IT managers earn a median base salary of $83,000 a year, while IT staffers make $61,000. The lower salaries many of them are seeing this year represents the first such drop in a decade, according to the magazine, which surveyed more than 10,000 technology employees.
  Quake Response in Two Shakes
In 1989, a 7.1 earthquake shook the San Francisco Bay Area, causing the Bay Bridge to sever, the Nimitz freeway to collapse, and the ground beneath the Marina District to liquefy -- all in just 15 seconds. Scientists predict that there is a 70 percent chance that an earthquake of at least 6.7 magnitude will rock the Bay Area before 2030. With those odds, in a state lined with hotbeds of seismic activity, preparedness is critical. Last week, California Gov. Gray Davis announced a new statewide seismic monitoring network, the California Integrated Seismic Network (CISN). Davis' $2.9 million project will integrate and expand existing regional earthquake monitoring networks, a plan designed to speed emergency response to devastating earthquakes.
  this IS generationrice
1. What is generationrice? generationrice is an online magazine that strives to celebrate the Asian and Asian American experience. A new issue is released every 15th of the month. 2. What is the generationrice mission statement? inform. revolutionize. inspire. generationrice hopes to inform its readers about the issues, the people and the events of the Asian and Asian American communities worldwide while revolutionizing the way the Asian voice is presented by using new media in the hope that all its efforts would inspire readers to act and react and contribute for the betterment of society.
  Think Simple, Inc. is here to stop your cheating ways
Take it from an ex-student who wrote term papers aplenty: Plagiarism is terribly tempting. Rather than sweating and struggling to present complicated ideas in your own words, why not nip and tuck a paragraph from the Encyclopaedia Britannica or from another student's paper? It's so very easy, and until now judicious plagiarists were virtually certain not to get caught. After all, how many teachers have the wherewithal to spend hours investigating a paper that smacks suspiciously of plagiarism? But thanks to services such as, an online service that checks papers for authenticity, plagiarizing students may have finally met their match.'s service provides teachers with a duplicate of the submitted paper, with possibly plagiarized sentences underlined in red. Scores of high schools, universities and other educational institutes are signing on -- and woe to students busted by the company's efficient matching technology.
  Neighborhoods divided over Home Depot plan
Who wants Home Depot in SF? Depends on which neighborhood you go to? In the Bayview, folks are enthusiastic for 200 new jobs. But in Bernal Heights, the anti-chainists rule. Cole Hardware's Rick Karp fears for his small store's survival while others small biz owners disagree with him. The battle over bringing this big box to SF has proven to be one of race, class and aesthetics in the City. - Helpful support on tech endangered list?
Still, high-tech might be able to save support. Remote desktop assistance, where a technician can connect to the user's computer and see what the customer sees, could make problem-solving less painful for both sides, provided the Internet connection works. Users also can find help from a third party, such as Ask Dr. Tech, which costs $89 a year but offers live help over the phone or Web 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
  Slashdot | Tech Support Getting Even Worse
ehiris writes: "Came across an article on CNN about tech support falling out of the useful category. The interesting quote: 'In part, the problem can be blamed on tech companies' attempts to cope with shrinking profit margins and a bad business environment.' Bad tech support makes life hard and new technology becomes undesirable to the general public. Which company has the best support? What are they doing well? What would you like to see improve about tech support?"
  Movie sites in box office brouhaha - Tech News -
Movie ticketing site has sued AOL Time Warner's rival service Moviefone, alleging Moviefone interfered with a ticketing deal with the Loews Cineplex theater chain in a way that threatened Fandango's survival as a business. The suit, filed in Los Angeles last week, claims Moviefone negotiated with Loews to abandon the chain's exclusive advanced-ticketing agreement with Fandango for a competing deal with Moviefone.
  Slashdot | Bell-Labs Releases New Version Of Plan 9
F2F writes "Plan 9 from Bell Labs Fourth Release was announced yesterday marking a major overhaul of the entire operating system. VMware images are now supported, together with hoards of new hardware. The operating system now sports a new security model (on top of the old one, which was already quite secure), new network-resident secure storage system and improvements in the thread library, among others. See the release notes here: release4 notes or simply go to the download page at: plan9 download." T. adds: erikdalen sent in these links to critiques of the Plan 9 license from Richard Stallman and Nathan Myers.
  Slashdot | The Ultimate Phone/PDA?
P800guy writes "Psion Place has a review of the SonyEricsson P800 available in Q3, this looks to be the best PDA/phone combined in the world. Running Symbian OS v7.0, 208x320 color touchscreen, triple-band GSM compatible, Multimedia Messaging (MMS), Bluetooth, GPRS always-on internet connection, built-in digital camera, support for HTML, xHTML, Java, iMode, WAP, Word, Excel, PPT. Check out the pictures, open, closed. In the US it'll work on Voicestream, ATT Wireless, and Cingular just don't expect it to be offically supported from day 1 of release." Getting closer- now if it just had a few gigs of memory for MP3s ;)
Sunday, April 28
  Who Was Responsible For Elizabeth Shin?
The day before Elizabeth Shin set herself on fire in her dormitory room at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, her parents and little sister drove up from suburban New Jersey for a quick visit. The Shins did not know that Elizabeth had been threatening suicide or indeed that the very night before she tried and failed to summon the nerve to stick a knife into her chest. They did not know that a school psychiatrist had considered hospitalizing her. And so they saw what they usually saw, or perhaps what they wanted to see: their giggly, harried 19-year-old caught up in her busy, overachieving life.
  Was MIT or her parents to blame for a suicide?
Challenging NYTimes article on the suicide of Elizabeth Shin, an over-acheiving college student. With the increasing focus on student achievement from earlier and earlier ages, it's clear that children can be deeply affected. How do we, as a society, raise children to standards that we expect without pressure-cooking them to damage or worse?
  Slashdot | How Microsoft Tried To Buy Nintendo
An anonymous reader submits: "A new book, Opening the Xbox: Inside Microsoft's Plan to Unleash an Entertainment Revolution discusses Microsoft's plans to buy Nintendo for $25 billion in late 1999. By January 2000 however, talks dissolved and each company went their seperate way. Makes you wonder how the home entertainment industry would be different if they had gone through with it. Stories are at Gamers and Cube Europe." - sparc - Installation sur SPARCstation 20
Thanks VERY MUTCH This is my first uses SPARCstation and I whose knoc Stop-A french Thank you very much, you to save me the setting, it is the first time that I use a pizza pie sun (a rčve which is carried out...) moreover the sun planted bone and it bouttez only in single to use Merci Philippe Original Message From: "Miod Vallat" << Email: PROTECTED >> To: "Philippe Nenert - NEBERLI" << Email: PROTECTED >> DC: << Email: PROTECTED >> Feels: Wednesday, March 07, 2001 12:02 PM Subject: Re: Installation on SPARCstation 20 > > Boot device: 400000/esp@f, 800000/sd@3, 0 Files and args: > > root one > >/iommu@f, e0000000/sbus@f, e00010000/espdma@f, 400000/esp@f, 800000/sd@3, 0:a > > fstype 4.2 > > Boot: vmunix > > /: bad to dir ino 2 At offset 0: mangledentry > What happens here is that you machine sort to boot from disk, and since you > newfs' ED it, it won' T boot. > Press prompt Stop-A to return to the "ok", and enter "boot floppy" have told > in INSTALL.sparc... and have it seems you did before! > > same in French... > > The machine tests rede' marrer on the disc, which comes from e^tre formate ', > therefore c,a does not work. > Make Stop-A to return a` invites it "ok", then "boot floppy", as indique' > in INSTALL.sparc... as you e' conceal parvenu a` to make front, not? > > Miod
Saturday, April 27
  30,000 Games and One Garage
With that in mind, he set out to collect as many software cartridges as he could. Over the next eight years, he scoured local flea markets. He visited old warehouses. He contacted INTV, the company that purchased Intellivision from Mattel when it was being shut down. When he was finished, he had 10,000 video games -- roughly 100 times the number of games Intellivision actually produced -- stacked in his garage, basement, and living room. Basically, anywhere he could fit them. Still, the storage space needed to save these old games extended to the edges of his garage. In 1997, his quest to save classic games would get just a bit larger.
  National Volunteer Week is April 21-27
National Volunteer Week is April 21-27, and this year's theme is "Celebrate the American Spirit - VOLUNTEER!" In communities throughout the country, people are getting ready to join together to make a difference and volunteer locally. Nearly 20,000 nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations use VolunteerMatch to post more than 35,000 volunteer opportunities throughout 27 different categories. In other words, there is something for everyone!
  California official quits in Oracle scandal - Tech News -
A top official in California Gov. Gray Davis' administration has resigned in a growing controversy over a $95 million software contract with Oracle. Barry Keene, director of the state's Department of General Services, quit after a highly critical state audit said the contract--awarded without competitive bids and for software that is little used--could cost taxpayers $41 million. Davis, who announced Keene's resignation, ordered state Attorney General Bill Lockyer to expand an investigation into the contract to determine whether any state laws were broken.
  A Day, and a Toy, for a Daughter
Thursday was Bring Your Daughter to Work Day and Nadine Kahney, daughter of reporter Leander Kahney, came to the Wired News office to review one of the hottest electronic toys on the market: Fisher-Price's Pixter, billed as a Palm for kids. Fisher Price's $45 Pixter is like a cross between a Palm handheld and an electronic Magna-Doodle. It doesn't store phone numbers or receive e-mail, but it does have a touch-sensitive LCD screen that lets kids draw pictures and play games.
  O'Reilly Network: Securing Small Networks With OpenBSD, Part Three
I planned to write about pf log file analysis tools and techniques, but the mail I received after the last installment of Securing Small Networks With OpenBSD made me change my mind, because many readers want to know more about the way pf works. Why are "in" rules used to filter outbound traffic?
  Action figures Photo
Action figures of President George W. Bush and Islamic militant Osama bin Laden are part of a group of new action figure designs by Herobuilders. The Connecticut toy maker is selling 'life-like action figures' based on major figures tied to the Sept. 11 attacks, including Bush, bin Laden, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
  Chaos Erupts At Harrah's
Fighting erupted between motorcycle gangs at a casino early Saturday, and hospital authorities said at least 13 people were shot or stabbed. A radio station reported four people were killed, though police would not immediately confirm that. About 100 people were taken into custody and bridges over the Colorado River were shut to traffic, KGMN-FM in Kingman, Ariz., reported.
  Squirrels Invade Stanford University
The renegade rodents have their supporters. There are those who believe a school is known by the company of squirrels it keeps. Stanford rates an impressive four-plus squirrel heads on Jon's World o' Squirrels Web page. But Cal wins with a full five heads -- perhaps because a U.C. Berkeley pest control manager actually once used CPR to revive a fallen baby squirrel.
  Slashdot | Gamespot Goes to Subscription Model
-PS-Sangloth writes "Gamespot, arguably the best video gaming website will expand in July to a pay service(Gamespot Complete). It seems that while review scores will be free, the actual reviews for new PC games will cease to be available to non-payers 7 days after the review was written. This is a real pity, I suspect many PC Gamers, like me, don't have credit cards(or cash), and Gamespot has good, hard, objective reviews. Read what they said at Gamespot Complete."
Friday, April 26
  At Indy, Kittles Connects When it Counts
Reggie Miller likely never had an easier shot to win a game and likely never missed so badly. Miller made a clutch 3-pointer in the final minute but missed a wide-open jumper at the buzzer as the New Jersey Nets edged the Indiana Pacers, 85-84 to take a 2-1 lead in their first-round playoff series. Miller has built a career out of making huge shots, especially in the playoffs, where defense is often tighter and scoring chances are heavily contested. But he could not give the Pacers the series lead with what may have been the most wide-open jumper of his 15-year career.
  Cyberwar games: Cadets hone their skills - Tech News -
Military schools stage a mock cyberbattle to show students how to protect systems. Systems administrator David Riebrandt's first hint that intruders had hacked the military network came from telltale electronic footprints. From the logs--electronic records of the information passed on the network--it quickly became evident that a server with gate-keeping control over different parts of the system was getting downright chatty with a foreign computer via the Internet. "I didn't know what the information meant," Riebrandt said. "I just knew that someone was talking to (the server). And it was talking back." Arts & Entertainment | One ring to rule them all
From post-"Bridget" fiction to ABC's frightening "The Bachelor," the wedding porn genre mates emasculated Mr. Rights with soulless, life-size Barbies. Call it wedding porn. The popular subset of commercial fiction features romance novels about neutered, neurotic professional girls. Instead of ripped bodices and heaving breasts, wedding porn features broken engagements, squirrelly commitment-phobic men and superembarrassing quarrels in really nice restaurants. Following in the footsteps of "Bridget Jones's Diary" -- which transcended the mediocrity of the genre through originality of voice, over-the-top parody and a plot gently lifted from legendary wedding pornographer Jane Austen -- these books throw together a lovably neurotic but ultimately bland female lead, a straight-talkin' "you go girl!" female sidekick, a devilishly handsome, supersmooth "bad for me!" boy, and place them all in a seemingly endless procession of unfathomably zany situations, until our heroine finally finds that wonderful, pure-hearted, dull at first but ultimately supernice fella who we can immediately picture gracefully maneuvering a minivan through the parking lot of Bed, Bath & Beyond.
  Hotmail at Risk to Cookie Thieves
MSN Hotmail users, guard your cookies. A simple technique for accessing Microsoft's free e-mail service without a password is in the wild and apparently being exploited. The trick involves capturing a copy of the victim's browser cookies file. Once the perpetrator gains two key Hotmail cookies, there's no way to lock him out because at Hotmail, cookies trump even passwords.
  Slashdot | Recommendations for Third Party Security Audits?
palehorse asks: "I am a developer/DBA/etc for a very large State Govt. Agency on the East Coast. We have been subjected to an increasing number of break-ins and website defacements over the past few months. My boss has recently been tasked by our CIO to find a reputable third party (not us or our ISP) to come in and do a complete and independent security assessment/vulnerability analysis for us. Since I'm the guy who usually bugs folks about security, she tasked me to come up w/ a list of firms who could do this for us. and a plan on what to test for and how. I've done the whole Google search/ZD-Net search/etc, which has given me way to many folks who do this kind of stuff, from ISS and IBM on down. Consequently I wanted to get some feedback/suggestions from the Slashdot community on where to go from here."
  eBay's tech chief earned more than CEO - Tech News -
eBay Chief Executive Meg Whitman earned $380,588 between her salary and bonus in 2001, far less than the auction giant's president of technology, Maynard Webb, who brought home $1.1 million last year. But the discrepancy was by design. The company said in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission that salaries for officers hired before the company went public, such as Whitman, were set between $160,000 and $250,000, and salaries for those brought in after the company's 1998 IPO, like Webb, were set between $250,000 and $500,000.
  TLC Lopes Killed in Car crash
Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, a controversial member of chart-topping American R&B trio TLC, was killed in a car crash in Honduras on Thursday, a spokeswoman for her record label said. No other details were supplied by Laura Swanson, a representative of Arista Records in New York. Lopes becomes the second female R&B singer to die tragically in less than a year, following the death last August of rising star Aaliyah in a plane crash in the Bahamas.
  18 Killed in School
An expelled student opened fire inside a school Friday in eastern Germany in a shooting spree that claimed at least 18 lives and wounded at least six others, police said. The 19-year-old former student, who was kicked out of school several weeks ago, was among those killed, who police said were mostly adults but included at least two children. Police commandos conducted a room-to-room search of the building, where at one point during the rampage students were trapped. Technology | Inside the Xbox
On Monday, Seamus Blackley, co-creator and lead evangelist for Microsoft's Xbox video game system, sent a shockwave through the gaming community by resigning from his job. Following close on the heels of slumping Xbox sales reports and overseas price cuts, the departure of the energetic Blackley raised eyebrows. Was Blackley another casualty in the latest round of video game console wars? An intriguing coincidence added spice to the development -- 24 hours after Blackley's resignation was announced, a kiss-and-tell volume offering remarkable insights into Microsoft's often contentious Xbox development process reached book sellers around the globe. The new tome is "Opening the Xbox: Inside Microsoft's Plan to Unleash an Entertainment Revolution."
  Slashdot | Salon Goes Inside the X-Box
Romancer writes "According to this article, Recent X-box "Sales have been disappointing, and the co-creator of Microsoft's game console just quit his job -- a day before a book portraying him as a hero hit the bookstores." " The article itself is allright, but it has a lot of good links.
  Slashdot | IBM Developing Lego-like Storage Brick
AaronW writes "According to this story at EE Times IBM is developing a 32TB storage system built around blocks that can be stacked like Lego bricks. Apparently they will be connected in a 3x3x3 mesh using capacitive coupling and will be water cooled."
Thursday, April 25
  Slashdot | CIA Warns China Might Be Planning Cyber Attack
malibucreek writes "The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the CIA is warning of possible cyber-terrorism against U.S. and Taiwanese computer systems by the Chinese Army. Or, China could just launch a massive denial-of-service attack by sending billions of "GET HERBAL VIAGRA" e-mails from the .cn TLD." The article has a reasonable amount of information and is probably worth a read if you're curious about what could be a real big deal in the future.
  eBay to cancel customer service e-mail - Tech News -
eBay is quietly canceling a much-used e-mail address, which has some members worried. Next month, the online auction giant will close its direct e-mail link to SafeHarbor, its department that responds to questions about suspicious activity on the site or specific fraud complaints. Instead, eBay will direct members to an online form, which categorizes their problems and links to related help pages. The company has not posted a notice about the change on its announcements board; instead it is notifying customers who send e-mail to the address. - 24-hour video game channel set to launch
Getting video game players off their computers is no easy task, but the people behind a new television network are hoping to do just that. G4, an all-video-game TV network, is set to launch Wednesday to capitalize on the country's growing fascination with gaming. The timing seems especially opportune in light of the ongoing three-way battle between Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo for video game console sales. Arts & Entertainment | "Star Wars" merchandise hits stores
If "Star Wars: Episode II -- Attack of the Clones" is about to open in theaters, it must be time for "Star Wars: Attack of the Toys" to begin invading stores. That's just what happened Tuesday, when merchandise tied to the movie materialized at Toys R Us and elsewhere. Only this time the rollout was more subdued, after some of the esoteric fare released for 1999's "The Phantom Menace" languished on shelves for months. "We've scaled it back a lot," said Lucasfilm licensing executive Howard Roffman. "We're going to stick to the basics -- toys, video games ... the things our fans prefer, rather than some of the fringe items."
  Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters
Embedded Geek asks: "There's an interesting opinion piece at Embedded Systems Magazine about [embedded] programming being a dead end job. The author cites burnout ('Pushing ones and zeroes around doesn't sound like a lot of work, but getting each and every one of a hundred million perfect is tremendously difficult.'), prestige, and skill obsolescence as big reasons for programmers to quit or to go 'over to the dark side' and join management or marketing positions. While the piece primarily addresses embedded programmers, the issue is rising for IT workers and other tech workers. When the age issue is combined with the export of jobs offshore, it makes me nervous just to be pushing 35..." Even though the market is going thru a rough patch, and the number of detrimental aspects to programming are increasing (ageism and so forth), I still do not feel that programming is a dead end job. Computers are going nowhere folks, and as long as they are around, programmers will be necessary. People who are in this career for the money or the prestige may not like it after a while, but the people who are in this for something else will tolerate quite a bit before deciding to opt out. The simple measure here: "as long as you love doing it, you'll keep doing it." Isn't this true for any career?
  100 Girls
This sexy, teen-comedy is about a freshman at college who meets his dream girl in a dorm elevator during a blackout. They make love. He never sees her face, but instantly falls in love. In the morning, the power is restored, but the "dream girl" has vanished. All Matthew knows is that she lives in an all-girls dorm. He sets out on a semester-long journey to find his mystery girl amongst a hundred female suspects.
  United Cancer Research Society
Is it time to clean your closets? We also accept donations of useable household items including clothing, shoes, small appliances, furniture, and collectibles. If you'd like to give any of these items to United Cancer Research Society, you can generally take a tax deduction for the current value of the items. Please contact us at 1-800-443-4224 for free pick-up service arrangements available in California and Nevada.
  Slashdot | Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
An Anonymous Coward writes "Out in Oakland, CA a group is taking donated PC's and breathing new life into them with Linux. They turn around and donate the computers to schools, build POVRAY render farms (with MOSIX) and generally promote Linux."
  Successful Site in 12 Months with Google Alone
In another post Google as a Black Box Giacomo proposed that we talk too much theory and not enough application of it. So, lets skip the theory and get to what I know works from time proven methods on Google. I know the following system works 100% of the time with Google to attain rankings across a wide range of keywords. This is what I do with clients to build a successful site and has worked every time. The level of success will depend largely on the subject matter, it's potential audience, and it's level of compitition on the net. The following will build a successful site in 1 years time via Google alone. It can be done faster if you are a real go getter, or everyones favorite a self starter.
  diveintomark/April 24, 2002
I've tried to keep my HTML templates as small as possible. I just made a change to show an abbreviated version of my sidebar on archive pages (just internal links, no blogroll). And another change to move content off my home page more quickly (it now shows the full text of the 15 most recent posts, then just titles of the next 15). My home page is usually around 40K, daily archive pages around 15K. Including graphics.
  Howard's Musings
How to write a better weblog. Forget HTML, CSS, RSS, XML, OPML, Google boxes, and auto-linkbacks. Want a better weblog? Read Strunk and White's The Elements of Style.
  Slashdot | Text-Mining Your E-mail
Misha writes "There have been a number of weeks/months in anyone's life that called for a better organization of your Inbox. filtering and folders work, but it'd be nice to have an text-mining tool running in the background that categorized incoming messages by topic as they arrive. It's nice to see that besides NLP research, there are some great algorithmic advances being done, as seen in this paper. Perhaps even one of them Perl monkeys will quickly hack such a background tool." Note: it's a PostScript file.
  U.S. Cardinals Fly Home, Victims Outraged
U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of the Archdiocese of Washington D.C. (L) and Bishop Wilton Gregory, of Belleville, Ill., head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, give a news conference at the Vatican press center April 24, 2002. U.S. Roman Catholic leaders proposed setting up a special process for dismissing pedophile priests but shied away from immediately implementing zero tolerance for first-time sex offenders.
Wednesday, April 24
  Atlanta Cops to Use Segway Scooters
Purse-snatchers beware: Atlanta police are riding shiny new $9,000 scooters — and it will take at least a brisk jog to get away from them. The city's finest unveiled a battalion of Segway Human Transporter vehicles Tuesday. The battery-powered, two-wheeled scooters can top out at 15 mph. Inventor Dean Kamen introduced the gyroscope-stablized scooters last fall after keeping them secret for months under the code names IT and Ginger.
  Slashdot | Vegas: Monorails v. Gridlock
TimeTrip writes "Vegas seems to be taking a little cue from Disney. 'Las Vegas, which never stops thinking big, has just embarked on its most ambitious, costly attempt to solve a problem that once seemed impossible to have in this sprawling desert valley: gridlock. It is building the nation's largest monorail system.'" Or maybe they'll be taking their cue from Lyle Lanly. Frankly this sounds more like a Shelbyville idea.
  Slashdot | XFree86 10 Years Old
ChazeFroy writes "XFree86 is now 10 years old. To quote from the page, 'What makes this particularly eventful is that it is fully backwards compatible; this is a true testament to the spirit of the original X protocol of which XFree86 is its finest implementation.'" Ten years and still binary compatible. Very cool.
  Slashdot | DreamWorks Switches to Linux
tal-home writes "Newsforge has a story about the decision Dreamworks made to port ALL of their front-end servers and workstations to Linux. Their new movie, called 'Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron' which will hit the theaters in late May, was created in a 100% Linux enviroment, unlike older movies like Shrek and Lord of the Rings that used IRIX servers as a rendering farm. It's a good time to mention that this move by DreamWorks also includes porting the artists workstations to Linux, in addition to the servers. Redhat and HP helped out in the switch." Word has it that Adobe may be pursuing unix versions of it's toolset as DreamWorks isn't the only shop switching.
1. A place or state of torment or suffering. 2. The abode of condemned souls; hell.
  Rotten Links Hamper Learning
It's downright annoying to come across a broken link on the Web. And for a professor teaching a distance education course –- or referring "traditional" students to an Internet resource –- it can be a major problem. Two researchers at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln tracked so-called link rot after they discovered that hyperlinks disappeared before they finished developing distance education courses. The study, "Broken links: The ephemeral nature of educational WWW hyperlinks," will be published in the Journal of Science Education and Technology in June.
  Visit of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to the U.S.
By 6 p.m., the President and the delegation went for cocktails at the home of successful Filipino entrepreneur, Loida Nicolas Lewis, at 834 5th Avenue New York. In her off-the-cuff remarks, the President praised Filipino expatriates in the US and cited Nicolas for demonstrating that Filipinos not only have beauty but talent as well. The President said that of our compatriots in the US are earning their keep, making an average of $60,000 a year in the various fields of endeavor. The President also said that Filipino expats should invest in the country and continue to send money back home. (On personal note, Senator Pimentel said he was happy to meet again Mely Nicolas, sister of Loida, who with him was one of the original group campaigning by the side of Cory Aquino against Ferdinand Marcos in the presidential election of 1986.) Senator Hilary Clinton dropped in at the Nicolas bash, thrilling the ladies in the President’s entourage and triggering the usual requests for her to be photographed with them. Senator Legarda-Leviste got upset when her husband, Tony, who was doubling as a photographer, clicked his camera only to find out that it had ran out of film.
Tuesday, April 23
  Slashdot | Apple Deals with Devil, Communists
rschroeder writes "I keep thinking that this article can't be real, but it looks like it. Among the juicier bits: 'The real operating system hiding under the newest version of the Macintosh operating system (Mac OS X) is called... Darwin! That's right, new Macs are based on Darwinism! While they currently don't advertise this fact to consumers, it is well known among the computer elite, who are mostly Atheists and Pagans. Furthermore, the Darwin OS is released under an 'Open Source' license, which is just another name for Communism.'" Yes, of course. And I am still waiting for Jesux to be released.
  Magic Control Most of Game, All of OT at Hive
It's easy to see how Tracy McGrady developed a sore back. He's been carrying the Orlando Magic all season. McGrady had 31 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists and got some help this time as the Magic evened their Eastern Conference first-round series at one game each with a 110-103 victory over the Charlotte Hornets. Just 22 and one of the NBA's brightest stars, McGrady has been bothered by a sore back all season. He hobbled through an 80-79 loss in Game One, scoring 21 points but having the ball stripped from him on the final possession as he was unable to get to the rim with his usual explosiveness.
  some favorite art pieces
(in no particular order) 1. Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat 2. Mont Sainte-Victoire Seen from Les Lauves by Paul Cézanne 3. The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh 4. The Arnolfini Marriage by Jan van Eyck 5. Harvest at La Crau by Vincent van Gogh 6. Autumn Rhythm by Jackson Pollock 7. Mont Sainte-Victoire Seen from Les Lauves by Paul Cézanne 8. The Asian War by Hundertwasser
  Divine Digest - The Complete Guide to All Religions
Bahais are the members of the Bahai faith. This religion was founded in the year 1863 in what is now Iraq. Bahai faith has spread to most parts of the world.

Bahais believe that God sent a series of Prophets to teach eternal moral truth and to reveal new social principles. Their prophets include such religious leaders as the ancient Hebrews, Abraham and Moses, Jesus Christ, and Mohammed. Bahais believed that the latest prophet was a Persian called Bahaullah - "Glory of God" who founded the Bahai faith. Bahaullah declared that all religions honour the same God and the highest form of worship is service to other human beings. He also taught God wants all people to form a united society based on mutual acceptance of one another. Bahaullah opposed discrimination based on age, race, or sex and he favoured a federated system of Government. The "Dirty Bomb" Scenario
TIME Pentagon correspondent Mark Thompson explains: "Dirty nukes are what you may choose to build if you're unable to create a real nuclear bomb, i.e. one whose explosion is based on a nuclear reaction. A dirty bomb is a conventional explosive salted with radioactive isotopes in order to spew out that nuclear material and contaminate a wide area. The military usefulness of such devices have always been in dispute. In fact, the TNT in such a bomb may still be more dangerous than the nuclear material. Its destructive power would really depend on the size of the conventional bomb, and the volume and nature of the nuclear material.
  TIME Magazine: Star Wars Episode II
An inside look at the new Star Wars episode: how the young Darth Vader fell in love and George Lucas rediscovered the heart and soul of his epic series.
  NYC Mayor Wants to Dump Recycling
Michael Bloomberg, faced with a $5 billion budget gap, says temporarily stopping the city's recycling program may be a good first step.
  Modest Needs
Yet, I am incredibly fortunate in that I have family and friends who always have seen to it that my needs were met. In the worst case scenario, there was always someone who was not only willing but happy to put a new battery in my car, or stock my cabinet with food, or pay my electric bill, even if it meant a sacrifice on their part. These are the people who taught me what it is really to care for others, the people who helped me to understand the joy of giving. I will be forever grateful to them for that lesson. It is in honor of these people that I have decided to create and fund Modest Needs, a website dedicated to those people who find themselves faced with unexpected expenses that, though relatively minor, threaten to stretch their budgets to the very limit. Beginning 1 April 2002, I will be distributing 10% of my monthly income to assist people who find themselves in that position.
  Boys and bullying
Clinical psychologist Dr. William Pollack talks to “Today” about why some kids are popular and others aren’t... why some have a great experience in high school while others are miserable and unhappy, and what parents can do to help their kids through these troublesome times.
  Abercrombie & Fitch Still Doesn't Get It
Abercrombie & Fitch's CEO, Michael Jeffries, didn't return my calls. But he should know that A&F's recycling of racist remnants for the youth market is no different than Joe Camel selling cancer to kids. That's the real problem with the company's ploy. Sure, it pulled the shirts. But somehow I get the feeling that A&F still doesn't get it. Emil Guillermo is a radio and TV commentator and the author of "Amok: Essays From an Asian American Perspective," winner of an American Book Award."
  Slashdot | Recycle Fee For Each PC?
"The New York Times (free reg rq'd) has a story about a $25-30 fee to be added to the price of a new PC to cover the cost of recycling it. Sort of like a bottle deposit, but you don't get the money back." What if I just want to buy the case?
Monday, April 22
  A Few Tips on How to Write a Letter of Recommendation
As an employer, coworker, or friend, you may at some point in your career be called upon to write a letter of recommendation. If you are unsure about how to go about it or simply don't know what to say, here are some tips about what to include and how to structure a typical letter of recommendation. This advice may also be useful if you request a letter of recommendation from someone who is not familiar with how to write one.
  email down
it seems the dns for my email changed and i wasn't informed. if you've been trying to email me and haven't gotten a response, i apologize.
  Slashdot | Why Use Free/Open Source Software?
"I came across Why Use Open Source / Free Software? at Linux Today. As the author says in his intro: "This paper provides quantitative data that, in many cases, using Open Source / Free Source software is a reasonable or even superior approach to using their proprietary competition according to various measures." Good to see stuff we've known / suspected for some time backed up by real data...."
  Wired 10.03: Monster in a Box
One autumn day in 1769, a 35-year-old civil servant was summoned to the imperial court in Vienna to witness a magic show. Wolfgang von Kempelen - well versed in physics, mechanics, and hydraulics - was a trusted servant of Maria Theresa, the empress of Austria-Hungary. She had invited him in order to see what a scientific man would make of the magician's tricks. The event was to change the course of Kempelen's life.
  Slashdot | 1770 Mechanical Chess Player Inspired Babbage
"A new book tells the extraordinary true story of a clock-work chess-playing "machine" named The Turk that wowed Europe and the US in the 18th and 19th century, beating Benjamin Franklin and Napoleon, among others. Although it turned out to be a cleverly designed trick, the device is credited with inspiring Charles Babbage (the father of the computer), who played and lost to the automaton in 1820, with the idea that a mechanical engine could be programed to perform tasks... and the rest is computing history, right up to IBM's Deep Blue. There's an article by the author at Wired, and the preface and first chapter of the book The Mechanical Turk available online."
  37signals: Contingency Design White Paper

What is contingency design?
Contingency design is design for when things go wrong. It's the error messaging, graphic design, instructive text, information architecture, backend system, and customer service that helps visitors get back on track after a problem occurs.

Why should I care about contingency design?
Contingency design must be a top priority for any site interested in providing successful customer experiences. Web sites that invest in contingency design will increase customer loyalty and significantly improve the rate at which site visitors purchase, subscribe and register.

Sunday, April 21
  Everything you wanted to know about "Mulholland Drive"
Everything you wanted to know about "Mulholland Drive" The scary cowboy! The mysterious box! All that sex! We answer all your questions about David Lynch's latest outrage -- the weirdest movie of the year.
Saturday, April 20
  Slashdot | Japan Builds World's Fastest Computer
"The New York Times reports that Japan has built the world's most powerful supercomputer from "640 specialized nodes that are in turn composed of 5,104" NEC processors. The machine boasts the computing power equivalent to the 20 fastest American supercomputers combined, and with a top speed of 35.6 teraflops, outpaces the next fastest machine, the ASCI White Pacific, by more than factor of five. Applications include climate modeling, global warming prediction, and other non-weapons research."
  Yaaahooo yodeler cries foul
Wylie Gustafson, noted yodeler, singer and leader of the band Wylie & the Wild West, has had a successful career in country music, recording for Rounder Records and making 40 appearances on the Grand Ole Opry. He received a one-time, nonunion scale payment of $590, and, he said, was not advised that his yodel would be used by Yahoo in any other commercials. He said there was no contract between him and Yahoo. He says that Yahoo's continued use without compensation of his yodel violates his registered copyright. He adds that on Feb. 7 he obtained a certificate of registration of the copyright of "Wylie's Yahoo Yodel."
A RYE COALITION Biography. If there’s one thing that’s interesting about New Jersey’s Rye Coalition, it’s that they’re a dysfunctional family, a tight fitting cable-knit sweater of emotions. Rye Coalition comes from their daddy. They live only for the beat, inhaling smoke, contracting fever, and continually producing quality albums. Who would’ve guessed that seven years after their inception RC would be opening for legends The Fall at the Knitting Factory?
  Down to Earth
You value a natural style and love that which is uncomplicated. People admire you because you have both feet planted firmly on the ground and they can depend on you. You give those who are close to you security and space. You are perceived as being warm and human. You reject everything that is garish and trite. You tend to be skeptical toward the whims of fashion trends. For you, clothing has to be practical and unobtrusively elegant.
Friday, April 19
  Extremadura Measures: Linux
The poorest region of Spain has adopted Linux as the official operating system of public schools and offices, in hopes of improving the area's vast technological and economic lag. The move by the Autonomous Community of Extremadura, a rural zone that borders Portugal, will mark the first time a European public school system has switched to open source, said Luis Millán Vázquez de Miguel, the community's minister of education, science and technology. The government has burned 80,000 CDs with the Debian Linux operating system and software ranging from text editors to an Internet browser. The disks will be sent to the area's 670 schools and distributed to the public through newspaper inserts.
  TechTV | Meet Yoshi's Boxx
"It's a videogame console. No, wait. It's a work of art." Some may say it's both. With Yoshi's Boxx, we bridged the divide between form and function. The Boxx provides a single physical portal for videogames, a customized case representing the emerging cyberart form known as case modifications or "case modding." Case modding is a growing art form among geeks. Case mods are judged on the artistic beauty, technical difficulty, and uniqueness of the system. Like hot-rodders tricking out their cars, depth of complexity and brilliance of flash determines who is king of the strip. Case mods can range from simple tower detailing with airbrushed designs to wildly extravagant cases with enough lights and sounds to rival a slot machine.
  Slashdot | The PC, Xbox, PS2, GameCube and 2600, Together at Last
The Screen Savers have a story on their website about the building of a single box 2600/PS2/GameCube/Xbox/PC/ NES player. But this is not a mame? box. The builder, Yoshi, dismantled, cut,chopped and belt-sanded the consoles to make them all fit in the same Lian-76 case. I can only imagine how hot this case might get. There is a photo album here. It looks like you'd still need a video switcher to take advantage of this completely. A cool mod for this would be to pack in a wintv card for each console or something.
  Google Answers
Live Researchers answer your questions on any topic for a fee.
  Google gives some advice...for a price - Tech News -
In yet another test of new services, Google is quietly wading into the expert-advice market, a lackluster business that proved too taxing for some former Net highfliers. The Mountain View, Calif.-based search site launched the beta site Google Answers, where "live researchers answer your questions on any topic for a fee," according to the site. The service was introduced Thursday to family and friends of Google staff members, according to a company representative. It plans to slowly present the site to visitors via e-mail in the upcoming week. "We developed Google Answers to provide extra assistance to our users and help them find the information they're looking for," said Google spokeswoman Eileen Rodriguez.
  New tool helps hackers evade detection - Tech News -
A new tool for manipulating packets of data that travel over the Internet could allow attackers to camouflage malicious programs just enough to bypass many intrusion-detection systems and firewalls. The tool, called Fragroute, performs several techniques to fool the signature-based recognition systems used by many intrusion-detection systems and firewalls. Many of these duping techniques were outlined in a research paper published four years ago. Arbor Networks security researcher Dug Song posted the tool to his Web site this week. Arbor is a network protection company.
  Slashdot | U.S. Considers Microsoft Passport as National ID
"Ladies and gents, the endtimes have begun. The Seattle Times is reporting that Mark Forman, associate director of information technology at the White House (or 'America's CIO', as he bills himself) has said the feds are considering the use of Microsoft's Passport technology to ID every citizen and every business seeking access to government services online. This is about as scary as it gets." To be fair, it looks very preliminary. Read the article. So many companies have tried to assist the government in providing services over the Net... but I guess if your lobbyists are good enough, you can be heard at the top.
Thursday, April 18
  Microsoft lowers Xbox sales forecast - Tech News -
Microsoft on Thursday lowered sales forecasts for its Xbox video game console, blaming weak sales in Japan and a slow start in Europe. John Connors, chief financial officer for Microsoft, said in a conference call after the company's announcement of third-quarter earnings that Microsoft now expects to sell 3.5 million to 4 million units for its 2002 fiscal year, which ends June 30. Previous forecasts called for sales of 4.5 million to 6 million units during the period.
Wednesday, April 17
  Slashdot | Web-Surfing Indian Slum Kids Ask: "What's a Computer"
"An experiment in minimally directed self-learning has been going fairly well, from the article: To test his ideas, Sugata Mitra launched something 13 months ago he calls "the hole in the wall experiment." He took a PC connected to a high-speed data connection and imbedded it in a concrete wall next to NIIT's headquarters in the south end of New Delhi. The wall separates the company's grounds from a garbage-strewn empty lot used by the poor as a public bathroom. Mitra simply left the computer on, connected to the Internet, and allowed any passerby to play with it...he discovered was that the most avid users of the machine were ghetto kids aged 6 to 12, most of whom have only the most rudimentary education and little knowledge of English. Yet within days, the kids had taught themselves to draw on the computer and to browse the Net." Update: 04/17 22:23 GMT by M: Mitra has a website about his experiments.
  Yahoo! News - Big Game Drawing Yields 3 Winners
Three lucky people are holding winning tickets purchased for the $325 million Big Game jackpot, lottery officials announced Wednesday. Georgia Lottery Corp. spokesman J. B. Landroche said a winning ticket came from Dacula, Ga., a small town 32 miles northeast of Atlanta. In Illinois, state lottery director Lori Montana said another winning ticket was sold in Bridgeview, a suburb southwest of Chicago.New Jersey sold the other Big Game ticket that matched all five numbers and the Big Money ball. The city where the ticket was sold was not immediately known. Each winning ticket is worth $108,333,333.
  Another Big MS Browser Hole Found
Internet Explorer users who click their browser's back button open the Windows operating system to a malicious hack attack. When users hit the back button on Explorer's toolbar, the browser's security settings for the "Internet" zone can be bypassed, and the browser will automatically execute malicious code embedded into a site's URL. The problem is caused by what can politely be described as a design flaw in Explorer. When a Web page fails to load, Explorer displays a standard error message. This message is set to operate in the "Local Computer Zone" security setting, which by default allows scripting to run automatically. Any code inserted in the original URL is handled as if it comes from the same security zone as the last URL viewed. So a URL containing malicious JavaScript that might be blocked by default if a user visits the site directly, will be automatically triggered when the user presses the back button.
  New Klez worm squirms across Internet - Tech News -
A new variant of the Klez worm managed to squirm into computers in some parts of Asia on Tuesday and appeared to be spreading in the United States as of Wednesday. Alternately known as Klez.g, Klez.h and Klez.k, depending on the security advisory that's referring to it, the worm has its own e-mail engine to mass mail itself to potential victims, and it also attempts to deactivate some antivirus products. The worm can also spread to shared drives connected to PCs via local area networks or LANs.
  HP fires worker who allegedly leaked info - Tech News -
Hewlett-Packard said in an e-mail to employees Wednesday that it has fired a worker who admitted to forwarding two company memos to the press. The company did not provide details on the worker, the contents of the memos or how it determined the employee's identity. In March, HP's shares slipped after a report that the head of HP's services unit sent staffers a memo discussing possible problems with the division. Meanwhile, the company added Wednesday that it is still trying to find out who leaked a controversial voice mail message that CEO Carly Fiorina left for another top HP executive. In Wednesday's e-mail, Fiorina said that HP's investigation of the voice mail issue "indicates the message was intercepted from Bob Wayman's home or cell phone, or through unauthorized access to and use of Bob's voice mail password." HP said it has concluded that no one broke into the company's voice mail infrastructure.
Tuesday, April 16
  Slashdot | VoIP for the Masses!
"Vonage has begun offering Voice-over-IP(VoIP) service to residential broadband users. I've had the service since Friday and the quality is indistinguishable from a regular phone line. It's only $20/month for 500 minutes or $40/month for unlimited service. They include Cisco equipment, Call Waiting, Call Forwarding, Caller ID and Voicemail (which you can check online) in the service price. You can read more about it in this article in Time. It works fine through my Linux NAT firewall/router and my monthly phone budget has now dropped from $60 to $20." On the Internet, Talk Is Cheap
I signed up for a new Internet phone service called Vonage, which costs $40 a month for unlimited local and long-distance calling (plus a one-time $25 setup fee). The average American phone bill is $55, so that's a pretty good deal, even factoring in the cost of a broadband Internet connection, which is required. You sign up online at, and they send you a sinister-looking box the size of a large ashtray. Hook your cable modem or DSL line up to one end of the box, plug any ordinary phone into the other end, and you're ready to go. No PC required. (If you want to share your connection with a PC, as most people will, you'll need to run it through a router. Vonage will sell you one for $25; the setup is a little more involved, but it's still not brain surgery.)
  Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep is Dick's most well known novel (and rightfully so in my opinion), due to the fact that the movie Blade Runner was based on this story. It is the futuristic story of Rick Deckard, Blade Runner. He is a special police officer assigned to terminate human replicants who live unnoticed in the San Francisco of 2021. The replicants are perfect reproductions of humans who are manufactured to do hard physical labor in the colonization of distant planets. They also provide company to human settlers in space. When a group of replicants go on a murder spree, hijack a ship and return to Earth, it is Deckard's job to search and destroy these villianous androids.
  O'Reilly Network: Securing Small Networks With OpenBSD, Part 2 [Apr. 11, 2002]
You asked many interesting questions that prompted me to write another article in which I'll try to answer questions regarding the new packet filter, pf, introduced in OpenBSD 3.0. How do I use pf?
  NetAid | OV of the Year
Ten people are receiving the first annual NetAid/UN Volunteers Award for their outstanding performance as online volunteers and the exemplary support they have given to development organizations throughout the world. The 2002 Awards go to: Adedoyin Onasanya (Nigeria), Angelica Hasbun (Costa Rica), Cynthia Holland (Canada), Javier Wilson (Nicaragua), Joanne K.Morse (USA), Laurie Moy (USA), Natalya Korobeynyk (Ukraine), Paula Santos Vizcaino (Uruguay), Terry Rosenlund (USA), and Yvonne Swain (USA)
  Softer, gentler Incubus in San Jose
For a band usually filed under neo-metal, Incubus is full of softer, gentler surprises. Halfway through its set at San Jose State University's Event Center on Sunday night, the latest entry into hard rock's platinum fraternity unplugged the bombast, brought out a stand-up lamp and settled into a couch and easy chair for acoustic renditions of "Mexico" and the hit "Pardon Me."
Monday, April 15
  BBC News | UK | Step-by-step bomb guide 'made public'
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) says it is "checking" claims that one of its documents - detailing a step-by-step guide on how to build an atomic bomb - has been put in a public office for all to see. The file is said to be in the archives at the Public Record Office, which can be accessed by anyone, including terrorists, and gives measurements, diagrams and precise details on bomb-building, the Daily Telegraph reported.
  PayPal mum on possible eBay deal - Tech News -
PayPal, the popular Internet payment service, declined comment Monday on reports that the online auction site eBay may consider buying it. News of the rumored deal was reported Monday on the financial cable television station CNBC, although PayPal has long been identified as a likely acquisition target by eBay. PayPal, which went public in a celebrated initial public offering earlier this year, offers a service for transferring money over the Internet and many of its customers are the same people to buy and sell over eBay. Its cash-transfer system is considered by many to be superior to eBay's own online payment service, called Billpoint.
  Nanny-Cam May Leave a Home Exposed
A laptop computer equipped to intercept wireless signals displayed images sent by a camera used as a baby monitor in Chatham, N.J. A hacker captured the image of a woman in a New Jersey home.
  When games stop being fun - Tech News -
Dennis Bennett was failing his college classes, his marriage was in trouble, and he wasn't being much of a father to his 1-year-old son. But he had progressed to Level 58 as Madrid, the Great Shaman of the North, his character in the online role-playing game "EverQuest," and that was all that mattered at the time. Bennett, whose family life and grades in school have recovered nicely since he stopped playing the game about a year ago, considers himself a recovered "EverQuest" addict, now able to control his desire to immerse himself in the game's rich fantasy world. "The game almost ruined my life," said the network engineer in southern Indiana. "It was my life. I ceased being me; I became Madrid, the Great Shaman of the North. Thinking of it now, I almost cringe; it's so sad."
Sunday, April 14
  Yahoo! Sports: PGA - Tiger claims another green jacket
The Masters went from a monsoon to a natural disaster, with Tiger Woods left as its lone survivor. Woods added another chapter to his legend Sunday by surviving four days of rain to claim his third Masters triumph and $1,008,000. With an elite field collapsing at a soggy Augusta National, Woods stayed afloat with a final-round 71. On the way to his second straight green jacket, Woods blew open a tight leaderboard and left his would-be foes in his muddy tracks. The final round started with five golfers separated by four shots, but Woods cruised home with no one pulling within two strokes over the final 15 holes.
Saturday, April 13
  Star Wars: Episode II - Come join us for the SF premiere screening!
San Francisco Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones premiere to benefit the California Mentor Foundation ( Join George Lucas and Carrie Fisher for the San Francisco screening of Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones at 4:00 pm on May 12, 2002 at the Galaxy Theatre, 1285 Sutter Street, and the post-gala event at The Regency Building, 1300 Van Ness Ave. Tickets are available on a limited basis at $500.00 a piece which includes both admission to the exclusive screening and the post-gala benefit. All ticket sales are tax-deductible and 100% of the proceeds will benefit the California Mentor Foundation (CMF), whose goal is to insure that 1,000,000 at risk youth have a caring adult, a mentor, in their life by 2005 and 2,000,000 by 2010. Help us grow America one child at a time while celebrating the nationwide premiere in the city by the bay!
  BSD Today: OpenBSD local root compromise found and fixed
The 2.9 and 3.0 versions of OpenBSD had an issue with mail(1) that could be locally exploited to gain root privileges. The problem was announced to a few security forums with ideas for implementing an exploit. The -current version was fixed a few days ago, and OpenBSD provided patches for 2.9 and 3.0 yesterday.
  Human Nature (2002): Tim Robbins, Patricia Arquette, Rhys Ifans, Michel Gondry
A philosophical burlesque, Human Nature follows the ups and downs of an obsessive scientist, a female naturalist, and the man they discover, born and raised in the wild. As scientist Nathan (Robbins) trains the wild man (Ifans) in the ways of the world -- starting with table manners -- Nathan's lover Lila (Arquette) fights to preserve the man's simian past, which represents a freedom enviable to most.
  Capn Design \\ [Insert snappy tagline here] was born about a year ago while I was looking for a name that could double as a blogging space and a (possibly) web design business. The business part is certainly not going to happen any time soon, but the blogging is going on nonstop. I have been blogging since September 1999 before I even knew there was such a thing. At the time it was just an online journal.
  Slashdot | Sunken City Found Off Of India
"A city only known from old myths about seven pagodas and thought by Western scientists not have existed, was found off the coast of India. The myths speak of six temples submerged beneath the waves with the seventh temple still standing on the seashore. The myths also state that a large city once stood here which was so beautiful the gods became jealous and sent a flood that swallowed it up entirely in a single day. " With the purported discovery of a city off of Cuba, as well as the the finding of Herakleion underwater archaeology is doing well.
Friday, April 12
  CEO out at Ellison's Net-device firm - Tech News -
New Internet Computer Co. CEO Gina Smith is leaving the Larry Ellison-backed Web-surfing gadget company she helped launch, CNET has learned. Ellison's NIC Co. is one of the last players in the once-promising market for low-cost alternatives to the PC. The category attracted large names such as Sony, 3Com and Gateway, as well as start-ups such as Netpliance, all of which have stopped selling the devices in the past two years.
  Google tests search tools for developers - Tech News -
Google is quietly testing a new service that lets Web developers perform automated searches of its vast Internet database and publish the results on their own sites. The service, launched Thursday, is called Google Web APIs, for application programming interfaces. The tools let noncommercial software developers "query more than 2 billion Web documents directly from their own computer programs," according to Google's Web site. For now, the service is free. After registering with Google and downloading an instruction kit, developers are allowed to conduct up to 1,000 automated queries a day--a practice that is forbidden on the site otherwise. Google used the SOAP and WSDL standards to create the APIs. SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) lets businesses connect their computing systems over the Internet; WSDL (Web Services Description Language) aims to improve messaging-interoperability technology.
Thursday, April 11
  Smurf's Communist Leanings
First of all, you must put aside all the media-programmed, propaganda-driven thoughts or irrational fears you might already have about communists. Forget all that big bad Russian stuff that the 80's taught us, that doesn't exist anymore. Think of communism as just a way of life, a social order, an economic standpoint, a lifestyle choice. Take all the visions of sickles and hammers and tanks out of your head for awhile, and then you will be able to see it clearly. First of all, the Smurfs shared everything. The food in the Smurf village was stored away in those mushrooms the minute it was harvested and then equally distributed to all the Smurfs throughout the year. No one "farmer Smurf" sold his crop to a "consumer Smurf," or saw his labor exploited by another. It was understood that the crop was for the entire Smurf population, not for the sale or profit of one Smurf alone.
  CamWorld: Thinking Outside the Box, A Weblog
Apparently, the Smurfs were communists.
  JetBlue Sky-high IPO
Known for its plush planes and low fares, JetBlue Airways prepares to go public. JetBlue of Kew Gardens, N.Y., has rapidly made its mark since its introduction in 2000 by providing low-cost service on swanky airplanes, mostly serving secondary airports in and around major metropolitan areas -- including Long Beach; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; and Oakland. Based at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, the carrier has 18 daily flights between JFK and the western United States. The offering could raise as much as $148 million for the company, which it will in part use to finance the expansion of its fleet, entirely comprised of new Airbus A320s, with all-leather seats and satellite televisions in every seat back.
  Bad times for BART
Service cutbacks, layoffs, fees for parking all eyed to offset big deficits. Facing a steep and continuing drop in ridership and sales tax revenue, BART is considering layoffs, service cuts and parking charges to make up a projected $56 million to $61 million deficit in the fiscal year starting in July. While BART's board of directors have not ruled out raising fares, there did not seem to be sufficient support for a hike at this morning's BART board meeting in Oakland. The board is studying ways to improve the agency's financial condition, but no decisions are expected until May.
  Which storybook character are you?

which children's storybook character are you?
this quiz was made by colleen
Wednesday, April 10
  Voluntary Simplicity & Simple Living Resource Guide - Overview & Philosophy
  Aaron's Media Empire
Hi, I'm Aaron Swartz and I have a passion for sharing information on the Web. Here's an entry-way into my myriad sites and disorganized sets of information. Enjoy!
  The Slackware Linux Project
Slackware Linux doesn't require an extremely powerful system to run (though having one is quite nice :). It will run on systems as far back as the 386. Below is a list of minimum system requirements needed to install and run Slackware. 386 processor 16MB RAM 50 megabytes of hard disk space 3.5" floppy drive Additional hardware may be needed if you want to run the X Window System at a usable speed or if you want network capabilities.
Slashdot ran a feature today called A Walk Through the Gentoo Linux Install Process. The article itself isn't that well written, but it did pique my interest in Gentoo Linux (pronounced jen-two). It appears to have an installation system similar to FreeBSD's Ports system. Plus they claim to have nVidia driver support. An easy dependency-calculating installation system and decent driver support in one Linux distro?
  Slashdot | PS2 Vs. X-Box: Winner Emerging?
"This article on MSNBC says XBox's sales are slowing and are not expected to meet Microsoft's expectations. MSNBC previously reported that sales have been weak in Japan. The strongest and most interesting assertion in the article is that "In its regular global video game survey last week, Goldman Sachs said U.S. retailers showed a 'surprisingly clear' preference for Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 2 over the Xbox."" X-Box isn't dead yet - not by a long shot.
Tuesday, April 9
  Slashdot | A DSL Co-op in Your Neighborhood?
"In reading on Slashdot about the increasing cost of cable broadband (and DSL is no cheaper), I ran across this article about a neighborhood that put together a co-op for DSL broadband. From a DSLAM housed in a barn to microwave relays, a frame relay T-1, and problems with Qwest, the whole deal."
  Slashdot | DoS Attacks Persisting, On The Rise
"One of the most basic "hacks" (to use the media's bastardization of the term) is a Denial of Service attack. While not getting you any access to data on a machine, DoS attacks effectively shut down machines by making them inaccessable to others. CNN is carrying and story about how DoS attacks are still one of the leading threats on the Internet, and are actually on the rise as the sophistication of the attacks increases." We get them constantly- some intentional, some not. It's really a pain.
  Slashdot | Google to Offer API
"From the ruby-talk archives here's a little interesting snippet from a post you have to check out: "Here at Google, we're about to start offering an API to our search-engine, so that people can programmatically use Google through a clean and clearly defined interface, rather than have to resort to parsing HTML." It goes on talking about SOAP and I think this is utterly cool."
  Everybody Gets Hacked But You
Home users worried about the results of a recent study indicating that cybercrime is flourishing can relax, even though their computers are probably vulnerable to all sorts of hack attacks. The study, a joint project of the Computer Security Institute and the FBI's San Francisco computer crime squad, painted a dire picture. Ninety percent of the 540 respondents surveyed detected computer security breaches in the past year, and the 44 percent who were willing or able to name a dollar figure claimed a total loss of $455.8 million dollars to hack attacks.
Monday, April 8
  Web surfers brace for pop-up downloads - Tech News -
Web surfers who thought online advertisements were becoming increasingly obtrusive may be dismayed by a new tactic: pop-up downloads. In recent weeks, some software makers have enlisted Web site operators to entice their visitors to download software rather than simply to view some advertising. For example, when visiting a site a person may receive a pop-up box that appears as a security warning with the message: "Do you accept this download?" If the consumer clicks "Yes," an application is automatically installed.
  "EverQuest" coming to PlayStation 2 - Tech News -
Sony will announce on Tuesday the release of a PlayStation 2 version of its popular online PC game "EverQuest," as it tries to build an audience for an upcoming online add-on for the video game console. Sony Computer Entertainment of America announced last month that by August it would start selling a PS2 network adapter with an Ethernet port for broadband Internet connections and a modem for dial-up access. Sony executives said there was widespread support among game developers planning to add online components to their PS2 game, but it offered no specifics.
Sunday, April 7
  Slashdot | Review: Panic Room
Hey, guess what? Technology can't keep us safe from the bad guys. They always find a way to get in, especially when the people responsible for security are as incompetent as the people who built the panic room in Panic Room. Technological hubris is the timely and all too accurate message of Panic Room, the mega-hit thriller starring Jodie Foster as a yuppie Mom trapped in a hi-tech hideaway in her New York City townhouse. The room is designed to shield her from bad guys. Lo and behold, on her first night living there, three evildoers bust into her home and come after her and her precocious kid. The technology unravels almost as quickly as the plot. There are some good things about this movie, but the plot will drive nitpicking techheads and nerds nuts with its implausibility.
  Toolbox PC - Pics inside!
I finally finished my machine in a toolbox last Monday, and I made a site for it - four pages of excruciating detail. The machine is mostly a spare parts box, built for my daughter's room. She's only 19 months old, so she doesn't exactly have demanding needs when it comes to a computer. The machine has a Biostar M7VKQ motherboard with integrated sound, video and LAN, and a Duron 750 is the CPU. an ATI video card + TV tuner card will be added later. The whole thing took about a month or so. A few choice pics:
  Slashdot | Tool Box PC
"A resident geek at Ars Technica has turned his toolbox into a nice little computer. Looks more portable than most LAN party designs I've seen." His webpage has a few more pictures.
Saturday, April 6
  Slashdot | Is Realism Destroying Video Games?
"An interesting article at the NYTimes looks at two poles in video game development: the quest for the real (think flight simulators and things like a boxing game's "facial damage engine") vs. the quest for the unreal, "elaborate world with its own regulations and peculiarities". The included PlayStation screenshot of Britney Spears may alone tip the balance in favor of the fantasy folks. It also mentions that RIT has a master's program in video game development."
  Development Diary
A few words on the web server. The code behind the TCP module is a bit flakey. This means you may encounter any number of problems. The web server depends on an external 'tick' in order to process time dependant events. This 'tick' is provided by the echo request function of the Linux PPP module. If this 'tick' isn't present, then the TCP module will lock up eventual (sooner rather than later). Also, serving large files can take a loooong time, but as long as the GBA is able to start sending, it will eventually finish. Apart from the above mentioned bugs, the GBA Web Server is quite reliable. I've had it running for the last 24 hours without any major problems. If the TCP module does get stuck, it takes about a minute (providing the GBA receives its 'tick') to sort itself out and then everything should be back to normal. As I mentioned, this is a preview release. It is alpha code.
  Slashdot | GameBoy Web Server
"Adrian O'Grady has successfully gotten TCP/IP and PPP working on his handheld Gameboy Advance for a web server. Pictures of the server running and a telnet session to it can be found at"
  Report: MS Foes Bribed Attorneys
Microsoft's foes bribed state attorneys general to continue with the antitrust suit, columnist Robert Novak claimed this week. In his column, which appears in the Washington Post, Novak pointed out that the attorneys general who have refused to settle the case have received tens of thousands of dollars -- each, in some cases -- from Microsoft enemies including Oracle and Sun Microsystems.
  Yahoo! News - Photo
One of the at least five new species of insect discovered in Southern California is displayed during a briefing on biodiversity at the University of California, San Diego, Thursday, April 4, 2002. The new insects, still unnamed scientifically, are for the most part varieties of Jerusalem cricket, a six-legged, wingless bug marked by its heft. Some specimens of the newly found insect reach lengths of three and more inches and resemble bloated ants.
  Game Boy: Atari Anniversary Advance
Namco, Konami, and Midway have all jumped in with compilations of classic arcade games for the Game Boy Advance, and now Infogrames is leaping in with a stack of portable classics as of its own. Though the company no longer exists anymore, Atari Corp. produced a ton of extremely innovative and historically significant titles in its two decade lifespan...and Infogrames, the current rights-holder of Atari Corp. games (Midway retains the licenses for Atari Games), put Digital Eclipse to the task of reproducing six of Atari's arcade titles that shipped back in the late 70s and early 80s. As accurately as these games are represented on the Game Boy Advance (they are near-perfect versions), they're not quite as faithful in gameplay since many of these games utilized specialized controllers in their original designs. If you're willing to overlook the GBA's control shortcomings, though, you've got another six great classic games to toy around with on the handheld.
Friday, April 5
  The 5K : 2002
There will be a 2002 5k competition. This year the HTML/CSS-only category and the "anything goes" (dhtml/javascript/flash/java) category will run as separate competitions.
  design answers is the website of craig kroeger. The purpose behind miniml is to encourage functional and beautiful design by providing inspiration and resources.
Thursday, April 4
  Slashdot | Sony Intentionally Crashes Customers' Computers
According to Yahoo!, Celine Dion's latest CD will not play in computer drives. In fact: 'Should the consumer try to play Dion's CD on a PC or Macintosh, the computer likely will crash.' How is this legal?" Since Sony admits that their product is designed to cause damage to your computer system, almost anyone would likely have a good lawsuit against them. Attention Celine Dion and all musicians: crashing your fans' computers is not a good business practice. No matter what your agent says.
  Jordan to Miss the Rest of NBA Season
Washington Wizards guard Michael Jordan will miss the remainder of the season due to inflammation in his right knee, the team announced Wednesday. The six-time NBA most valuable player was placed on the injured list after scoring a career-low two points during the Wizards' 113-93 drubbing by the Los Angeles Lakers Tuesday night.
  Asteroid Could Hit in 878 Years
A new look at an asteroid orbiting the sun shows it could possibly smash into the Earth with the explosive force of millions of tons of TNT. But experts say the potential impact is still 878 years away, time enough for the speeding space rock to alter its course. Named 1950 DA, the asteroid — six-tenths of a mile wide — is the most threatening to the Earth of all of the known large asteroids, but the odds are only about one in 300 that it would impact the planet, researchers said Thursday in the journal Science.
  NetBSD on Microsoft X-BOX
Yes, this was an april fool joke. I never ported NetBSD to the X-BOX, heck, I don't even own one. :) To all the people who visited and actually bought this hoax: APRIL FOOL! If you saw through it right away, well, clever :) I hope you liked it. I certainly did my best to fool you guys :) I'll just leave this here for you to enjoy. Oh, note that the download links don't work anymore. 180 MB's of /dev/zero output is a kind of pointless thing to have on a webserver :)
  Microsoft expected to stay with Mac - Tech News -
When Bill Gates appeared by satellite at the Macworld Expo five years ago to announce a pact with archrival Apple Computer, it was one of the most dramatic moments in Mac history. Gates' image on screen towered over Steve Jobs, who was on a Boston stage, as the two announced a deal in which Microsoft would invest $150 million in Apple. Microsoft also agreed to continue developing Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer for the Mac for five years. With that deal coming to an end this summer, there has been some apprehension among Mac fans as to whether Microsoft might drop its Mac support at some point in the future. A Microsoft event next Wednesday in Mountain View, Calif., should put those fears to rest.
  Is your e-mail watching you? - Tech News -
Watch out--the spam choking your e-mail in-box may be loaded with software that lets marketers track your moves online, and you may not even be aware that you've been bugged. Web sites have long planted bits of code called "cookies" on consumers' hard drives to tailor Internet pages for returning visitors and better target ads. Now, enhanced messages that share the look and feel of Web pages are being used to deliver the same bits of code through e-mail, in many cases without regard for safeguards that have been developed to protect consumer privacy on the Web. "All of the security and privacy issues on the Web now relate to e-mail," said Adam Shostack, director of technology at Zero-Knowledge Systems, a Montreal-based privacy and security company. "The shame about this behavior is that it's going on surreptitiously and people are not given an obvious way to opt out."
Wednesday, April 3
  PeopleSoft warns of lower sales
Technology investors were jarred yesterday when Pleasanton's PeopleSoft warned of slumping license sales for its corporate software. PeopleSoft's stock fell more than 32 percent after the company said that license revenue for the first quarter of 2002 would be $130 million to $135 million instead of the $160 million Wall Street expected. PeopleSoft's shares plummeted $12.21 to close at $25.16.
  Fantastic Fixer
A young San Francisco designer chanced upon a $90,000 bungalow - and took a decade to create a charming place called home. San Francisco interior designer Louis Schump says he will never regret dashing out to look at a house for sale in the Bayview district one sunny Saturday afternoon in 1988. "I was 28, and impatient to buy a house of my own and this one sounded really good," he recalled. Schump is the director of interiors for the San Francisco design firm, NBBJ.
  Did Game Play Role in Suicide?
EverQuest players often joke about the addictive nature of the game -- often referring to it as "EverCrack" -- but for 21-year-old Shawn Woolley the game became deadly serious, and his mother is preparing to sue Sony Online Entertainment over his suicide. The Wisconsin man fatally shot himself on Thanksgiving morning last year, and his mother, Elizabeth Woolley, had the misfortune of finding him. He was sitting at his computer in his apartment, and the place was strewn with notes related to the game. But none of them offered any clues as to what drove him to such an end.
  Sun Launching High-End Server
Network computer maker Sun Microsystems Inc. is set to announce a new server next week that will tap the market just below its highest-end multimillion dollar machines, sources close to the company said on Tuesday. Code-named "Starkitty", the new machine is based on the "Starcat" Sun Fire 15K, Sun's top of the line server which holds up to 106 processors. It is expected to debut on April 9.
Tuesday, April 2
  eBay closes password option to plug hole - Tech News -
eBay disabled a password function on its site Tuesday to close a "very serious" security hole that could allow hackers access to users' accounts, a spokesman said. eBay disabled the "Change Your Password" function in an effort to close the vulnerability, eBay spokesman Kevin Pursglove said Tuesday. That feature will remain disabled until eBay can put a fix in place, he said. "We don't see (the vulnerability) existing in other features," and no customers have complained, Pursglove said. "From what we can tell right now, we have not seen anybody's account compromised in any way."
  O'Reilly Network: iBooks Love Linux [Mar. 29, 2002]
An iBook turned out to be a great choice for running Debian GNU/Linux. Edd Dumbill explains why, and walks us through the installation process.
  Yahoo's 'Opt-Out' Angers Users
Internet portal Yahoo may want to think about changing its advertising slogan from "Do You Yahoo?" to "You DO Yahoo." In e-mail messages that began going out last week, Yahoo advised its users that their account preferences had been changed, by Yahoo, to indicate that they wanted to receive advertising solicitations through spam, snail mail and telephone.
  A Collection of
It was one thing to have your embarrassing love letter read aloud to the class in elementary school. It's a far different situation when it's published on the Internet without your knowledge or consent. Yet that is the premise of a growing number of online "found object" websites, whose amateur curators are mining the world's gutters for intriguing scraps of paper and strange discarded photographs. Their discoveries are posted online, sometimes with commentary; other times, simply bagged like evidence and labeled "artifact."
Monday, April 1
  Google Technology
PigeonRank's success relies primarily on the superior trainability of the domestic pigeon (Columba livia) and its unique capacity to recognize objects regardless of spatial orientation. The common gray pigeon can easily distinguish among items displaying only the minutest differences, an ability that enables it to select relevant web sites from among thousands of similar pages.
  Slashdot | Google's Pageranking Explained
"Google has a new page up about some of their proprietary search technology. Looks like Teoma's bid to outdo Google may be harder than they initially thought." It's an interesting technique, and definitely a lot harder for competitors to duplicate than I would have originally thought.
  Waterlogged Camera Turns Magic
Want to teach old technology new tricks? Pray for a random disaster. Farrell Eaves' camera was a perfectly ordinary Nikon CoolPix 990 until he accidentally knocked it into a pond last summer. Now it's a magic camera.
  High-profile anti-Unix site runs Unix
A Web site sponsored by Microsoft and Unisys as a way to steer big companies away from the Unix operating system is itself powered by Unix software. The site, dubbed "We have the way out," runs on Web servers powered by FreeBSD, an open-source version of Unix, along with the Unix-based Web server Apache, according to Netcraft, which tracks Web site information. Both pieces of software compete with Microsoft's Windows operating system. The Microsoft/Unisys site solicits names and contact information in exchange for research reports on data center trends.
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