Sunday, November 23, 2008

Chrome is now my Default

I've now made Google Chrome the default browser on the two Windows systems that I regularly use at home, one of which is my main desktop system.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Internal IT Departments

I enjoyed this line quote from an industry analyst by Jerry Pournelle in his Chaos Manor Reviews regarding cloud computing.

…with business groups doing end-runs around their Soviet-style lethargic, inefficient, overpriced internal IT departments in order to get things done quickly and more cheaply.

Star Trek Trailers

Here is a trailer on YouTube for the new Star Trek movie.

While looking for it, I also found this trailer for new remastering of the original series.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ice Age

Jerry Pournelle comments on the ice age.

We are back to ice: there is now serious but not conclusive evidence, convincing to some, that the only thing preventing a new ice age is CO2; and we are busily removing CO2. Now admittedly the serious studies anticipate this happening over a fairly long time period. On the other hand, all the historical evidence is that ice ages happen fast. England went from deciduous trees to frost plains to ice in well under a hundred years, and to kilometers of ice in another hundred. There is similar evidence from lakes in Belgium. When the ice comes, it comes fast.

Note that climate changes are odd. A few miles south of the ice wall average temperatures were not all that much colder than they are now. The ice didn't extinguish life; but it sure made large parts of Europe and North America uninhabitable. Ice is a [far] greater threat than a few degrees of temperature rise between [now] and the end of the century. Prudence demands that we continue to look at the CO2 rise. Prudence also demands that we not wreck the global economy in order to play carbon restriction games that, according to even the most optimistic models, will have only a tiny effect on the average temperature of the Earth in 2090.

Spam Host Cut Off

The Washington Post reports on the disconnection of one of the key spam sites.

E-mail security firm IronPort said spam levels fell by roughly 66 percent as of Tuesday evening., another spam watch dog, found a similar decline, from about 40 spam e-mails per second to around 10 per second.


Multiple security researchers have recently published data naming McColo as the host for all of the top robot networks or "botnets," which are vast collections of hacked computers that are networked together to blast out spam or attack others online. These include SecureWorks, FireEye and ThreatExpert.

Reports by Joe Stewart, director of malware research for Atlanta-based SecureWorks, said that these known botnets: Mega-D, Srizbi, Pushdo, Rustock and Warezov, "have their master servers hosted at McColo.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Beautiful Shooting Star

Look at this video from a lecture on the space station, which provides nice food for thought the next time you see an impressive meteor…

Unicode Planet Symbols

I found the planets in unicode UTF-8.

They are around u+263F: See this table.

☿ ♀ ♁ ♂ ♃ ♄ ♅ ♆ ♇ and of course ☽ and ☉

Also ♗ symbols.

Toshiba Time Sculpture Commercial

This is Toshiba's time sculpture commercial.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The 30 Hottest Toys for Babies, Kids and Teens

From Yahoo Shopping, this year's Thirty Hottest Toys for Babies, Kids and Teens.


I think I understand most of the ideas and advantages of functional programming, which I've been exposed to a lot lately. I have this feeling of not being completely sold and I find a programming system with, ideally, no inputs and outputs extremely annoying. A pure functional program is a black box that nothing goes into and nothing comes out of. That's something only a mathematician could love.

Yet, here I am reading and working through Real World Haskell by O'Sullivan, Stewart, and Goerzen, which is a complete, on-line version of a book that is yet to be published by O'Reilly. The book is complete though a little slow in the sense that the presentation tries to be as thorough and clear as possible, almost to a fault.

The authors have done an interesting thing in putting this copy on-line. It is an interactive copy that allows anyone to post comments about any section of the book which means suggestions for improvements, corrections to errors and such. Fascinating! Thus the book is extremely well reviewed though, in fact, it may be a little overdone. But maybe not. Functional programming starts off simple and easy then rapidly gets weird, so maybe this is exactly what's needed.

See Also:

Tim O'Reilly Radar

Evince in Ubuntu Does OCR

Wow! I did it without thinking then suddenly realized I had selected and copied text from a scanned document PDF, that I was viewing, and pasted the text into an email message!

The document viewer is Evince. You'd never know that's its name without looking, but it's the program you run if you open a PDF file on Ubuntu. It does OCR of text on the fly if you cut and paste it. I had no idea!

I wonder if the Adobe Acrobat viewer does the same thing? I'll have to check.

As usual, the OCR wasn't perfect. It interpreted a decimal point as a comma, or maybe it was just converting to European…