Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Digital Earth Blog

I just came across a newish blog called the Digital Earth Blog which deals with all things Google Earth, Google Maps , Virtual Earth and all things in the digital mapping sphere.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Liveblogging the Floods

The Gray Monk

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Simpsonizer

If you want to turn yourself into a Simpsons character then try out the Simpsonizer
(traffic might be heavy, so if you can't get onto it , try again later)

hat tip: Wired blog

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sims Disco Duck

Friday, July 20, 2007


Well, my blog has been approved by payperpost, and this is my first payperpost, which is an way of doing blog marketing. It's an interesting concept - in that you get paid, with full disclosure, for blogposts. A marketplace exists on payperpost where the higher your Alexa and Google rankings , the most likely you can have higher paying payperpost items. I'll see how this one goes as it sounds quite interesting.

The Payperpost marketplace is explained over here, and it goes on to say that

PayPerPost operates the largest sponsored content marketplace in the world. We help bloggers get paid for creating and publishing advertiser sponsored content. We invented the model and have helped Advertisers and Bloggers (known as "Posties" in our marketplace) successfully complete more than one hundred thousand transactions. Our network is comprised of a tens of thousands of bloggers, from leisure bloggers to professionals that make a living on their blog.

Seems pretty cool - if i'm personally interested in say blue widgets, then i'll do a payperpost for a website that sells a wide range of blue widgets - without necessarily endorsing it or going over the top. A description and links would suffice. And it would be a service to readers of my blog that also like blue widgets.

Here's more explanation about the payperpost marketplace:

Advertisers create "Opportunities" for bloggers to write about their products, services and websites. They range from $5 to several thousands of dollars, depending on the criteria set by the advertiser. Bloggers with high amounts of traffic can expect to earn a significant amount of money for each post they create on behalf of an advertiser.

Advertisers will post all sorts of Opportunities, from simple buzz campaigns to product reviews with pictures or videos. It's up to you to pick the Opportunities that best suit you and your blog. If it doesn't feel right, if you don't own the product, or if you can't be honest we ask you to pass on the Opportunity. Dishonest or completely off-topic posts can ultimately hurt your blog's credibility and traffic, dimishing your earning potential through our marketplace. We strongly encourage you to only take opportunities that relate to you and be judicious in your selections.

I also really like the fact that they have a code of ethics page, emphasising full disclosure. They go on to say

Truth-in-advertising is extremely important to us. It is your responsibility to follow our full disclosure policy and inform your readers about your relationship with our advertisers.

I couldn't agree more.

"It Just Works"

A commenter on Slashdot replies to this article , about Microsoft patenting the ability to insert adware and spyware directly into the Windows kernel. (no , i'm not kidding)

cheros writes:

I wonder if Microsoft is busy abandoning the software business.

First we get Vista, with a reported 20+ services phoning home with enough detail to make what Redmond get personally identifiable, not to mention that the Business version in my experience is an absolute dog to run compared to XP or Linux on the same "Vista approved" hardware. So we have instant privacy and security problems that come with the package, and new code which will take another year to become actually safe and usable (cute visuals do not maketh a usable business OS, especially if you have to retrain everyone - might as well take the plunge and retrain them on Macs or Linux).

Then we get the latest Office, which will work in Microsoft's attempt to create an 'Open' file format. That effort has mainly demonstrated that they (a) don't know what Open means, (b) don't see what their customers are asking for and (c) don't care about the previous two aspects, to the point of not understanding that their effort is alienating their increasingly savvy customers.

What's more, the 'Open' documentation has already given rise to the question if their flawed Excel spreadsheet functions (as documented) are new defects, or simply the first documentation of an already existing flawed interpretation of the laws of mathematics - any calculation done on an Excel spreadsheet to report financial results could now be seen as breaking diligence. In other words, using Excel knowingly may even carry a risk of criminal charges (IMHO, IANAL). Which executive would want that risk, especially with lower cost alternatives at hand that support a file format than can be machine processed and has been accepted at EU level?

However, MS trying to move into other markets hasn't been quite the success they'd hoped for either. Huge repair bills for Xbox, Zune zonked, and a lot of suppliers opting for a less license encumbered OS in their phones - it's all looking a tad shabby for your average clued up investor. Not a stock I'd keep on my portfolio, and following the progression other companies have made I think death by lawyer (suing your customers) cannot be far away.

And now, new idea, they're trying to move ads beyond your control into the core OS. Oh yes, that really will help drive up productivity in an office. And it'll be a primary risk vector if it gets infected.

Oh, yeah, I forgot, any new MS OS is the safest ever. Shame it still gets hacked before it's even launched. Talk about losing credibility..

Sure, I'm probably just a Mac/Linux fanboy. Isn't it irritating that even the less vocal ones in that category get proven right all the time? I don't choose an OS because of its fanbase, I chose it because it works for my business and I can see through the FUD (and OK, we're not a thousand seat business). I've had one office on OO exclusively now for 6 months, and no client has even noticed the difference - they're now switching to Linux completely. All the other offices are busy being switched to all Open Source based software in the next few months (using the holiday season), with the occasional Mac thrown in for graphics work.

And you know the best news? No virus problems, no daily 'reboot now' updates, no Genuine Advantage, no BSA/FAST worries.

It Just Works.

New York Times review of Harry Potter

Contains spoilers - you can read the review here

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The very last sentence in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

All was well.

YouTubed Brady Bunch

This has to be the oddest thing I've seen in ages.
Nine You Tube videos on a single page , arranged to look like the Brady Bunch intro.
(Via Boing Boing)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

As Boing Boing explains electronic copies of the latest Harry Potter book , not due out until Saturday, have leaked online. They aren't proper e-copies but rather photographs of each page of the book.

Piratebay has the torrents to download.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Facebook is the new AOL according to Kottke. He has a point.
Fake book covers, to hide the fact that you are reading Harry Potter. (NSFW)
Photos of a 7-11 set up as a Kwik E-Mart to promo the new Simpsons Film. (via Kottke
echochrome gameplay demo - escher like weirdness.

Screen tutorial

A Quick Tutorial on screen
Screen power tips

Monday, July 16, 2007

BBC quotes me but doesnt give me a backlink

In this BBC article entitled Prince album set free on the internet, the BBC quotes my blog without giving me a backlink , nor even mentioning my blog's name. The quotes above were taken from my blogpost offering the new Prince album to download.

In spite of that, it is kind of cool seeing your writing on such a megasite as the BBC's.

Tech Talk - Linus Torvalds on git

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Nova - Monster of the Milky Way

Nova's Monster of the Milky Way documentary is about the supermassive black hole at the centre of galaxy. You can watch it online - and it's in seven segments (real, quicktime, win media formats).

Friday, July 13, 2007

clipmarks test 1

just trying out the clipmarks extension for firefox.
Astronomers claim to find the most distant known galaxies
Posted: July 12, 2007

PASADENA, Calif. - Using natural "gravitational lenses," an international team of astronomers claim to have found the first traces of a population of the most distant galaxies yet seen-the light we see from them today left more than 13 billion years ago, when the universe was just 500 million years old.

 blog it

Friday the 13th

A Friday occurring on the 13th day of any month is considered to be a day of bad luck in English, German, Polish and Portuguese-speaking cultures around the globe. Similar superstitions exist in some other traditions. In Greece or Spain, for example, Tuesday the 13th takes the same role.

Via Wikipedia

Thursday, July 12, 2007

When NOT to hyphenate your name - the sequel [PICS]

Following on from the highly popular When not to hyphenate your name, which was Dugg to death, here's the sequel.

The Digg Effect

That's me at no.2

Update #1: checked my Google Analytics stats this morning and this is what I see:

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Streamy - a Digg killer?

Link: Streamy - invite only at the moment

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Monitoring changes to a directory tree in Linux

If you are managing a multi-user Linux box , as a sysadmin you'd like to be informed of changes in certain directory trees. Inotify is often suggested as a solution. But that might be overkill if you aren't concerned about file changes and just want to monitor a directory tree - have any dirs been updated, any created, or have any dirs been deleted.

The solution is surprisingly simple. It's rsync. But rsync with a twist.

The steps involved are

1. rsync JUST the directory tree - no files - to another area.
2. pipe the output into a mail to yourself
3. cronjob it.

This is how i rsync the dir tree of a dir that i want to monitor

> pico monitortree

rsync -av --delete --include '*/' --exclude '*' /websites/ /home/jflavin/sitetree/ | mail -s "directory tree report" justinf@gmail.com

my websites folder is rsync'ed across to /home/jflavin/sitetree - but only the directory tree. no files are rsync'ed. its a bash script, so you'll need to chmod it to make it executable.

here's the cronjob entry:

> crontab -e

15 * * * * /cronscripts/monitortree

so my monitoring script kicks off every hour at 15 minutes past. and the output is mailed to me.
note the rsync statement above - it only rsyncs the directory tree. NOT the files. so its very fast. also, if somebody adds a file to a dir, the dir time stamp changes - and that'll be rsync'ed , thus alerting you to a file change - without the file being rsync'ed itself.

When not to hyphenate your name

update: Hello Reddit!. Thanks for upmodding this.

update 2: Hello Diggers. Over 1,500 diggs and rising. Thanks!

The 11 mile wide web page

It's incredible just how much empty space exists in an atom.

The Hydrogen atom

"as you can see here, (atoms) contain so little actual material that they can barely be said to exist.
We are all phantoms. "

absolutely mind boggling.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Bourne Ultimatum trailer

And here's one of the best car chases ever , from "Bourne Supremacy":

Sunday, July 08, 2007

List directories only in Linux

the command

ls -d */

will output only the directories below your current position in the filesystem.

So, if you are currently in /home/linus , and below that are three directories called images, docs, and code , the output will look like this

images/ docs/ code/

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Live Earth concert

Live Earth concert times:
Sydney - 0110 BST (1110 local)
Tokyo - 0400 BST (1200 local)
Johannesburg - 1100 BST (1200 local)
Shanghai - 1130 BST (1830 local)
Hamburg - 1300 BST (1400 local)
London - 1330 BST
Washington - 1530 BST (1030 local)
New Jersey - 1930 BST (1430 local)
Rio de Janeiro - 2000 BST (1600 local)

London line up (start 1.30pm local)
New York line up, 2.30pm EDT

More info/news:
Live Earth wiki page
Google News search

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Compiz Fusion

Here's a video showing off the development version of Compiz Fusion. This is the future of the Linux desktop, and it will blow you away.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Does Microsoft have nowhere to run?

"merc" on Free Software Daily writes:

The more I think about Microsoft, the more I realise that they are, possibly for the first time, seriously cornered (or surrounded, depending on how you want to see it). A little history will clarify why I think so - and why I think that this might really be the beginning of the end for Microsoft.

Read it all here

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Buy a pint for John Smeaton

Somebody has gone ahead and set up a John Smeaton tribute site. Who's he? Well he's the one-man Glaswegian baggage handler anti-terrorist unit. Scotland's answer to Chuck Norris.

And you can buy a pint for him over here
from the site:
"The country needs to see 1,000 pints lined up, on the bar at the Glasgow Airport Holiday Inn, with John Smeaton’s name on them. JohnSmeaton.com will not rest til 1,000 pints are paid for and foaming on that counter."

As John Smeaton himself said : "Glasgow does not accept this. We will set aboot ye."

The "we'll set aboot ye" clip:

and here's more

Monday, July 02, 2007

Auctionads first payment

Since putting AuctionAds on my blog about a month ago, i've been very pleased with its performance. Today I received a payment of $62, which isnt too bad.
By contrast, Chitika hasn't earned me a cent yet, so I'll be replacing the Chitika advert below with and AuctionAd one.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Where the hell is Matt?