Monday, January 31, 2005

Richard Stallman on patent parasites

In this newsforge article Richard Stallman takes issue with the new CDDL license, under which Open Solaris will be released. Needless to say, he argues that it isn't free (as in freedom). He also takes pot shots at what he calls "patent parasites", mentioning the company ex-Microsoft exec Myhrvold set up,Intellectual Ventures, with the explicit aim of buying up patents for "renting" out.

"Patent parasites don't really produce anything, they only suck the blood of those who do. As regards their choice of victims, they have the scruples of a mosquito, so you're only safe if they don't think you're worth biting."

Linux usage doubles in financial organisations
Support from IBM and Sun has helped.

Inland Revenue (UK) tax site overloaded
If we have a look at the Netcraft entry we can at least begin to understand the source of the problem.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Microsoft claims Linux Security a Myth

In this Vnunet article, Microsoft UK exec Nick McGrath dismisses the reputation of Linux as being more secure than Windows as a "myth".

Funny that - last time I checked there were , what, around 60,000 viruses for the Windows platform? Is this guy actually living in the real world?

Slashdot discussion about this here.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Missigua Locator spambot

Noticed in my logs recently, thousands of hits from the Missigua Locator spambot - it's used to harvest email addresses from websites.

Here's how you can stop it - just create a dot htaccess file in the document root directory of your site - with the content below. This will throw backa 403 access denied error to the bot.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} Missigua [NC,OR]
RewriteRule ^.* - [F,L]

Flickr coincidence

Flickr coincidence
people taking pictures of other people taking pictures.


Google Switches to
New AdWords API
The Google Couch Potato
The Normalised Google Distance


Study: Hydrogen Fuels Yellowstone Microbes (AP)
Scientists Scan Data From Saturn
Gases Could Raise Temperatures 19.8 Degrees -Study (Reuters)
MySQL worm attacks Windows servers
Hacking OpenOffice
EFF Creates Endangered Gizmos List
Arch Linux 0.7 Review
Use a Modern Perl with Kwiki

Plan 9 from Google
Speculation on Google's future direction.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

A9 Block View launched has launched Yellow pages block view - 10 U.S. cities covered, 20 million pictures.

Here an example search result - note how you can walk up and down the street...

The most powerful technology invented for Yellow Pages is “Block View,” which brings the Yellow Pages to life by showing a street view of millions of businesses and their surroundings. Using trucks equipped with digital cameras, global positioning system (GPS) receivers, and proprietary software and hardware, drove tens of thousands of miles capturing images and matching them with businesses and the way they look from the street.

The whole process (except for the driving!) is completely automatic, making it fast and efficient. Block View allows users to see storefronts and virtually walk up and down the streets of currently more than 10 U.S. cities using over 20 million photographs. We are driving and at some point hope to cover the whole country.

BBC - On This Day
1945: Auschwitz death camp liberated
The Red Army liberates the Nazi's biggest concentration camp at Auschwitz in southern Poland.
1967: Three astronauts die in Apollo 1 tragedy
Three American astronauts die when fire sweeps the Saturn rocket on its launch pad at Cape Kennedy.
1944: Leningrad siege ends after 900 days
A successful Soviet offensive drives German troops away from the Leningrad which has been besieged since September 1941.
1980: Exiled Mugabe returns to Rhodesia
Rhodesia opposition leader Robert Mugabe makes a triumphant return to his home country after five years in exile.
1984: Michael Jackson burned in Pepsi ad
Michael Jackson has been rushed to hospital with burn injuries to his head after a stunt for a Pepsi commercial went wrong.
1969: Rebel students take over LSE
Students protesting against the closure of the London School of Economics seize control of another university building.
1995: Cantona banned over attack on fan
Manchester United's Eric Cantona is fined £20,000 and banned from playing football over his kung fu-style attack on a fan.


Real life game of Pacman played out on the streets of New York. Found via Google meme observatory

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Batelle on the 99zeros blogger
Google insider revealed too much for Google's liking?

99zeros on bloglines
life on the inside of Google via bloglines. It's dissapeared from blogspot already.

Silly Adsense ads

Google is serving up some strange and silly adverts...

Adsense spam

Apparently, you can buy an entire elephant on Ebay according to Adsense and even extinct animals.

Theres a serious danger here of google ads becoming increasingly irrelevant.

Google Video launch

Google Video
Google has launched a TV search option - more info here

Google hires lead Firefox engineer

Monday, January 24, 2005


Poland blocks software patents again
Simply Computers suffers big redundancies
Sun Chief Calls Out IBM, Demands Compatibility
A Countdown To Global Catastrophe?
Meet The Co-Creator of Firefox
Google To Release AdWords API
Google Plans Free VoIP In the UK
Missing the point of the Mac Mini
Dual Booting Linux on a Mac
What is your favourite flickr group?
Tracking Overture Campaigns with Google AdWords

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Ishkur's guide to electronic music

Iskur's guide to electronic music
Packed full of samples , it covers just about every conceivable variant of electronic music. Be prepared to waste a good few hours on this site..

Friday, January 21, 2005

xargs rm

find . ! -mtime - | /usr/bin/xargs rm -rf

Finds and removes files in the current directory older than specified

Friday Linkdump


Europe goes mad for broadband
Satellite snaps huge, penguin-killing iceberg
European Software Patents Not Dead Yet
Monday, January 24th to be Worst Day of the Year
Escape from the Universe
Installing Debian From Scratch
Linux MIDI: A Brief Survey, Part 4
Dear Bloggers, Get Over Yourselves!

Thursday, January 20, 2005

BBC - On This Day
1961: John F Kennedy sworn in as US president
The Democrat John F Kennedy is sworn in as the youngest ever elected president of the United States.
2002: Camp X-Ray pictures spark outrage
Photographs showing al-Qaeda and Taleban suspects shackled and masked are published by the United States military.
1958: Explorers meet at South Pole
Members of the team attempting the first surface crossing of the Antarctic have joined up at the South Pole.
1972: UK unemployment tops one million
The number of people out of work and claiming benefit rises above one million, causing uproar in the House of Commons.
1987: Police crack down on soccer hooligans
Police carry out a series of dawn raids and make 26 arrests in their biggest operation so far against violence in and around football stadiums.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Map search Switzerland
Awesome dynamic map of Switzerland. thanks to Simon Willison

Google clamps down on comment spam

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Linux getting harder to crack
Honeypot tests reveal that newer Linux systems take 3 months to crack on average.Windows takes a few hours to minutes to be comprimised.

Monday, January 17, 2005

SchoolLinux OS
Unexpected interest in a 50mb Linux OS aimed at schools takes Linux company by surprise.


Scientists Floored by Photos From Titan (AP)
FBI blew $170m on doomed IT upgrade
Linux Live Gaming Project
EA Considering Sims TV Show
Mini-Howto for User Mode Linux:
Optimize Debian packages for your system
KMail In Depth

Saturday, January 15, 2005

The sounds of Titan

ESA have released some mp3's of the sound of Titan, recorded as the Huygen's probe descended through Titan's athmosphere.
Full story here

MP3 files:
Titan winds during descent
Radar echos during Titan descent


"This composite was produced from images returned January 14 by ESA's Huygens probe during its successful descent to land on Titan. It shows the boundary between the lighter-coloured uplifted terrain, marked with what appear to be drainage channels, and darker lower areas. These images were taken from an altitude of about 8 kilometres with a resolution of about 20 metres per pixel. Credits: ESA/NASA/University of Arizona "

Titan in color

ESA have released another set of Titan pictures after a long overnight session of data analysis.
SpaceflightNow report

Other images have also been released:
Size of surface features
Overhead view of terrain
Mosaic of many images

Friday, January 14, 2005

Floating down through Titan

image sequence from

Titan - 8km up

ESA report
This is one of the first raw images returned by the ESA Huygens probe during its successful descent.It was taken at an altitude of 8 kilometres with a resolution of 20 metres per pixel. It shows what could be the landing site, with shorelines and boundaries between raised ground and flooded plains.

Titan - from 16km up

Titan - the first image

Huygens is ok - sending back data

Huygens has landed
Official ESA press release.

Huygens - data is being received!

ESA control room has erupted with cheers...

Huygens lands ok

Huygens has landed. Scientists await transmissions of data via Cassini in around 20 minutes.

SpaceFlightNow has a constantly updating series of status reports here

Huygens has landed
Still alive. Sending beeping signal from surface.

Huygens signal detected
Parachute deployed, probe is alive.

No more internet for them
Windows malware and spyware prompt mass turn off.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Huygens to land on Titan tommorow

Nasa info page
Full schedule from ESA

It lands on Titan at 13:34 Central European Time - that'll be 12:34 in the afternoon Irish/UK time.

BBC - On This Day
1964: Riots in Calcutta leave more than 100 dead
Hindu-Muslim rioting breaks out in the Indian city of Calcutta resulting in the deaths of more than 100 people.
2001: Earthquake devastates Salvador
More than 1,000 people are feared dead after an earthquake strikes the Central American city of San Salvador.
1993: Allies bomb Iraq
American, British and French fighter jets carry out a series of bombing raids over southern Iraq.
2004: Serial killer Shipman found hanged
Harold Shipman, who is believed to have killed more than 200 patients, is found hanged in his prison cell.
1991: Soviet army moves into Lithuania
Around 13 people are killed and at least 140 injured in violent clashes in the capital of Lithuania.
1972: Ghana PM ousted in bloodless coup
An army commander seizes control of Ghana while the prime minister is in London for medical treatment.
1997: Shots heard at besieged embassy in Peru
Peruvian left-wing guerrillas holding 72 hostages open fire on police outside the Japanese Embassy in Lima.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Spy Blog
Watching them watching us

Ubuntu Traffic
New Ubuntu newsletter is out.


Rats Can Tell Human Languages Apart, Study Shows (Reuters)
Iapetus has a bulge
Google - Usenet 20 year timeline
Bob Cringely's 2005 predictions
World's Smallest secure web server
Yahoo Travel is Hiring!
Parking Lot Indicatr Photo Group on Flickr
Tapping into Tags
I'm Joining the Majority in 2005

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Webcams found via google

In light of the recent webcam Google hacks , i'll be posting a list of interesting cams here.
The google searches are this, this, and this.

Blavand Torv
Street scene - somewhere in Scandinavia or Denmark?
Model trainset
Stockholm, Sweden
Building a boat(?) somewhere
A recepton hall
Internet Cafe , Helsinki , Finland

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Google Gum

Google Gum 03
Originally uploaded by dirson.
the flavour you've been searching for!

Friday, January 07, 2005

Wired 2004 Vapourware awards

Wired magazine has posted the 2004 Vapourware awards. Alienware, Microsoft, Tivo mentioned. 3D Realms gets a "lifetime acheivement award" for Duke Nukem Forever.

Using your digital camera with Linux
gphoto2, fbi and digikam covered.

Unsecured webcams
Google search.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

BBC - On This Day
1994: Mystery assailant attacks top US skater
American figure-skater Nancy Kerrigan is attacked by a man brandishing a metal crowbar.
1977: EMI fires Sex Pistols
The music publisher EMI ends its contract with the notorious punk rock groupafter reports of abusive behaviour at Heathrow Airport.
2000: Flu outbreak stretches NHS resources
Hospitals around the UK are feeling the strain of the current flu outbreak even though it has not been classed as an epidemic.
1992: US halts breast implants
The US Government recommends doctors suspend the use of silicone breast implants as fears grow they could leak and affect the health of those using them.
1983: Danes raid British fishing grounds
The Royal Navy arrests Captain Kent Kirk at sea for trespassing in British fishing territory.

Gates: Open source = communism

Boing Boing mentions a interview with Bill Gates where he says "There are fewer communists in the world today than there were. There are some new modern-day sort of communists who want to get rid of the incentive for musicians and moviemakers and software makers under various guises."

Tuesday, January 04, 2005


Run from Sun ahead of Q2 - analyst
BitTorrent hub ready to rumble with Hollywood
More Linux Portable Media Players On The Way
Justin Frankel Reveals Life After Winamp
Graphical Scripting with Kommander
Useful Things You Can Do with FVWM
Denial and Television 2.0: Quotes from The BitTorrent Effect

Monday, January 03, 2005

Phuket missing persons forum

well organised and very active. hope this helps somebody.

Defining Google

CBS 60 Minutes on Google

Sunday, January 02, 2005

The Shadow Internet

Fascinating Wired article about the super secret pirate internet that distributes movies before their official release.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Seismic activity

IRIS seismic monitor
European Seismic Centre

Happy New Year 2005!