Monday, January 31, 2005

Google should buy Flickr!

Today, for the very first time since I've heard about it months ago, I visited just to see what the service looks like. Flickr is a photo organizing/sharing service, kinda like Google's Picasa program, except it's web-based. As I browse through the online tour, I'm starting to see Nathan's point: it would really be a very, very smart move for Google to acquire Flickr (hopefully, this might happen by the end of February). Picasa's Hello component sucks, and I bet replacing Hello with a much more advanced, web-based, and standalone (not to mention nice-looking) photo-sharing service like Flickr would be best both for the company and its customers.

But what do you think?

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Google Video

Google Blog just announced that Google Video is now out in beta. Google Video searches transcripts of TV programs. The service is still quite limited, but like the Google Scholar, I bet we'll see improvements in a few days.

But I wonder: if it's going to be a search engine for TV broadcast, why not call it Google TV?

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Firefox developer now a Noogler

Ben Goodger, one of the lead developers of the Firefox browser has just been hired by Google for unknown reasons. Some say that this is new evidence that Google is working on a Google Browser of sorts (a rumor that started last year). Personally, I don't think Google should be making a web browser. Making extensions and plugins (like the wonderful Google Toolbar) seems to be the most logical path. But I suppose we'll just have to see what Goodger's gonna be doing, haven't we?

Monday, January 24, 2005

Google search limit now 32 words

InsideGoogle reports that Google's previous 10-word limit has now been raised to 32. This is great news for Google's power users (like me) who often use lots of operators for ultra-precise results.

...Most importantly, you can now search for:
Once I made it my mission to reach the end of the Google Search box. It was not a simple mission. It involved many words. In the end, I got it done.

Note: This update is yet to be implemented in Google News, Google Groups, and some localized versions of Google.

Firefox speed-tweak

Here's a tweak you Firefox users could use to make your surfing-experience even faster:

All you've got to do is type "about:config" into your address bar, wait for it to load, then alter the following entries: change "network.http.pipelining" to "true", "network.http.proxy.pipelining" to "true" and lastly "network.http.pipelining.maxrequests" to 30, meaning it will be able to make 30 requests at once.

According to the article, this tweak works best on broadband machines. Unfortunately, I'm one of the "unlucky sods" who still have dial-up at home. Our school does have broadband, though. Let's see if I can persuade a teacher to install Firefox somewhere...

Update: I found the actual source of the tip (it's from Firefox's website), plus a whole, whole lot more.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

The worst day of the year is coming! Aaahhh!!!

In order that I won't be ending this day with the depressing rant post below, I decided to post this amusing piece of non-sense for you to enjoy:

Misery is expected to peak on Monday, as 24 January has been pinpointed as the worst day of the year. January has been long regarded as the darkest of months, but a formula from a part-time tutor at Cardiff University shows it gets even worse this Monday. The formula for the day of misery reads 1/8W+(D-d) 3/8xTQ MxNA. Where W is weather, D is debt - minus the money (d) due on January's pay day - and T is the time since Christmas. Q is the period since the failure to quit a bad habit, M stands for general motivational levels and NA is the need to take action and do something about it.

Read whole article

And according to the article, the fact that the 24th will be a Monday is a complete coincidence. :-P

Report on supposed acceptance of condoms NOT TRUE!

A few days ago, I heard a report on the radio saying that the Spanish clergy has "finally accepted" the use of condoms as a preventive measure against AIDS. Balderdash. I looked for a more authoritative source and found that, alas, the media has misquoted the Church yet again. This is the real story: a Spanish priest was telling reporters about a recent meeting with the country's Health Minister. Here's part of what Fr. Martinez said:

"The use of condoms has its place in the program called the ABC Strategy, which is an integral technical prevention plan against AIDS. This statement should be understood in the sense of the Catholic teaching that maintains that the use of the condom implies immoral conduct. For this reason, the Church collaborates effectively and sensibly in the prevention of AIDS, promoting the education of people in conjugal love that is faithful and open to life, trying in this sense to avoid undue and promiscuous relationships, which lead to so-called 'risky health situations.' Based on these principles, it is not possible to recommend the use of condoms, as it is contrary to the morality of the person. The only thing that is truly recommendable is the responsible exercise of sexuality according to the moral law,"

(Empasis mine.)

The "ABC" in the ABC Strategy means "Abstain, Be faithful, and use Condoms". Notice that the first two (abstinence and fidelity) are exactly what the Church teaches. That's why Fr. Martinez said "the Church collaborates effectively and sensibly in the prevention of AIDS." Apparently, the mindless drones of the news industry somehow connected that one sentence with "The use of condoms has its place..." and came up with an utterly whacky conclusion that the Church in Spain has finally allowed condom-usage (which, if you read the priest's entire statement, especially the part I emphasized, is quite obviously entirely false).

Now is it a coincidence that most of the young anti-Catholics of today grew up with this overly-sensationalized type of news-reporting? Sad, really, that such blindness has produced another generation of people who know not what they do. Of course, the Spanish bishops have already made a press release clarifying their position on the matter, but I bet I won't be seeing that headlined in the news any time soon, as it might upset the merry-making of the contraceptionist journalists. Blind leading the blind, indeed...

The Quarrel of Science and Religion

"...nineteenth century scientists were just as ready to jump to the conclusion that any guess about nature was an obvious fact, as were seventeenth-century sectarians to jump to the conclusion that any guess about Scripture was the obvious explanation. Thus, private theories about what the Bible ought to mean, and premature theories about what the world ought to mean, have met in loud and widely advertised controversy...and this clumsy collision of two very impatient forms of ignorance was known as the quarrel of Science and Religion." -G.K. Chesterton, from St. Thomas Aquinas

Friday, January 21, 2005

On Reality

"No opinion matters finally; except your own" said the man who thought he was a rabbit.
- G.K. Chesterton, Platitudes Undone

Last night, I heard a rather sophistic argument for philosophical relativism. A friend of mine told me that since people have various opinions on most topics, and since human authority cannot be infallible, reality must be impossible to attain, and thus reality has to be dependent upon the individual (or, in a broader sense, upon the majority). The argument is flawed in various ways. First, it contradicts itself by being both a philosophical argument and an argument against philosophy. In short, it is a claim against all claims, a theory against theory-making. If reality is necessarily subjective, if the search for reality (i.e. philosophy) is thus quite futile, then this very claim "reality is subjective" must also be futile because it must also be subjective. But if the claim "reality is subjective" is subjective, then there must be certain forms of reality that is not subjective. Ergo, a contradiction.

Secondly, the notion that reality cannot be attained by our mind is against reason. We think because we want to find reality. We reason out because we know there is something in reasoning out. To deny the objectivity of reality is to contradict all thought; one might as well stop thinking.

Thirdly, to abandon the idea of objectivity as impossible is utterly useless. What could we possibly benefit from maintaining an agnostic stance on everything? Some might say that relativism will at least lessen quarrels that sometimes turn into wars due to difference in belief, but peace due to mental laziness and mental cowardice is no peace at all; it is a rout, a retreat. More importantly, to define reality as subjective does not in any way equate to promoting peace, as it would excuse the violent as well as the cowardly. Nietzsche might be too timid to fight, but Hitler was Nietzschean.

Fourthly, this agnostic claim is flawed simply because it is plain wrong. The fact that we have senses proves that we at least have the ability to approximate reality. This approximation of reality must itself be real, albeit incomplete, because it already is useful (all the scientific accomplishments we have had is testimony to this). Other than our senses, we also have our reasoning skills as well as our ability to explore and experiment. These allow us to make our approximation of reality even closer to perfection. As long as we utilize these three tools, our reason, our senses and our creativity (not to mention our conscience), there really is no sense in maintaining a relativist point of view.

As usual, my verbosity has made me say too much just to prove a point. Let me just conclude by suggesting a quicker rebuttal, that is, if you're still reading this. If you ever encounter a person who explicitly doubts objective reality (e.g. existentialists, Hindus, "liberal philosophers", self-proclaimed rabbits, etc.), throw something at him, ideally something soft, like a pillow. When he asks why you did it, ask him why he's so sure you did it, if reality is impossible to attain. That ought to bring him back to his senses.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

On ninja wizards and laser-eyed bears

Chris Pirillo has a funny GIF animation spoofing the Lord of the Rings movies. Check it out!

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Picasa 2.0 launches

Google's Picasa photo-organizer's just had an upgrade. Version 2.0 is now also a video-organizer, as well as a basic image editor. You may find more info and the download link here.

Thanks for InsideGoogle for the heads-up. I still think Google ought to change Picasa's interface a bit, make it more Googley. Oh well, it's amazing as it is, anyway.

Update: Google now has a post in their official blog about the new Picasa. Check it out.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

I've got Trackback!!!

At long last, I now have the ability to monitor who's blogging about my posts using the Trackback system offered by Haloscan. I'll have to fix a few minor things in my template, though, and then I'll check if it works.

Update: It works! w00t!!!

Update: I've found a flaw. All the comments that I've had previously are now gone, as the comment system is now replaced by HaloScan. I'll see what I can do.

Update: There. Fixed it. I removed the Haloscan comment feature and replaced it with Blogger's. Now the old comments are back. Yes, Blogger's comment system is currently limited, but it doesn't really matter, and I trust the Google guys to improve it soon, anyway.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Avalon now in "Community Technology Preview" stage

Download Avalon here (I got this via InsideMicrosoft)

Avalon is Microsoft's new Windows user-interface (well, it's a bit more than that; just go to the above link to find out). It's supposed to be part of the next version of Windows (codenamed "Longhorn"), but they decided to release it for Windows XP this year because of the numerous delays in the Longhorn project, which will hopefully be released by mid-2006.

The download's a whopping 261450 KB (about 250 Megs), BTW, just to warn the dial-up people out there (yes, I feel the pain, too).

On a side-note, happy 5th anniversary to Steve Balmer as CEO of the most powerful software company in the world. Keep up the good work. :-)

Friday, January 14, 2005

On Condoms and STDs

I just attended an AIDS symposium hosted by our school, and it's had me thinking about a important yet somewhat tricky ethical question (at least, for the orthodox): Are condoms necessary? According to pro-contraceptive "liberals", we can't just expect people to have enough self-control not to have sex, ergo, condoms. But I've run this argument through my mind, and I've realized that a pierced condom would hold more water.

First question: What are the reasons a person would use a condom? Apparently, it's because he is aware of the risks, and is afraid of them. Thus, condom-usage could only logically be attributed to those aware of the dangers of STD. That's why no amount of condom-selling would help decrease STDs among the ignorant (or, as may be the case, the intoxicated; or the suicidal). Okay, now if someone may get killed by doing something, and that someone isn't ignorant (or intoxicated; or suicidal), then why the devil should we doubt his self-control?

Now you (assuming that you support condom-use; though I hope you don't) might say that a person filled with too much lust can't be trusted to remember dangers. Well then, if he's that impassioned, then he can't be trusted to use condoms neither, can he?

In other words, condoms are redundant when it comes to preventing STDs. People who are aware enough and sober enough to use condoms are aware enough and sober enough to abstain. Ergo, the only reason to use condoms is for contraceptive purposes. This notion of using condoms to prevent disease is therefore just a clever alibi used to condone both the malthusian and the sexual frenzies of our age. That's what they ought to be admitting, and that's what I'll be tackling in another post.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

30% JPEG Compression Algorithm

From Slashdot:

The makers of the (classic) compression package Stuffit have written a program that can compress JPGs by roughly 30%. This isn't the raw image to JPG compression, this is lossless compression applied to the JPG file. Typical compression rates for JPGs are 2% to -1%.

Malicious Software Removal Tool

I was really impressed by the antispyware tool released by Microsoft last week. Not only did it perform better than Spybot and Adaware, it also had a much more advanced and feature-rich user interface. Now, to complement the antispyware tool, Microsoft has released a Malicious Software Removal Tool. You might call it an antivirus program, but it's currently limited to detecting a small number of specific viruses (though it does get updated on a monthly basis through Windows Update) so you'll still need your current antivirus application.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

On Suffering

I've just found out that one of my high-school friends had a batchmate who died in the recent tidal wave disaster in Asia. May her soul find peace in God's beatific vision. I promised myself that I won't post about the tsunami, because it already has so much coverage from the blogosphere and I thought I'd just be redundant. But I changed my mind. Here's what I have to say about the matter.

Just a few days ago, I read about someone who, apparently moved by the horrific loss of so many lives, asked the question: "How could God let this happen?" I understand the pain of such people. I know how difficult it is to think that a God of love and mercy would let so much suffering exist. I remember reading about Someone who felt this pain, too. Nailed to a piece of wood in front of a mocking crowd, blood dripping from every inch of his body, this Someone uttered the words:

My God, My God, why has thou forsaken me?

Of course, Jesus was not really doubting God. He was quoting the very first verse of the 22nd chapter of the Book of Psalms, and that chapter actually glorifies God. The lesson here is that through the cross, God showed us that self-sacrifice has a sanctifying effect. Suffering can save souls. This does not mean, of course, that suffering is inherently good, or that God likes suffering. Many kinds of suffering are effects of evil, and it is our Christian duty to help lessen such suffering in the world. What this only means is that our God is so great that He can create good out of evil, and that He allows us to participate in His own sacrifice by letting us offer our own pain for the salvation of sinners.

We must also remember, and this is something that many people tend to forget, that this world is not our home. The fact that God took so many people's lives does not mean anything except that so many people have finally gone to where they truly belong. Feeling sad for the victims of the tsunami is not bad, of course, because it only shows our compassion. But in our sadness we could always find comfort in the hope that our loved-ones are already experiencing eternal bliss. That heavenly hope ought to make us least, eventually.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Want some more Papist propaganda? :-)

Browsing through the Catholic Answers website made me feel very inspired today, and since there seems to have been a shortage of interesting things in the Tech world today (unless you'd like to read Bill Gate's entertaining keynote address, featuring Conan O’Brien), I might as well share some more Catholic blabberings:

X Marks the Spot. One of the major arguments of pro-abortion people is that there is a substantial difference between a fetus and an infant that makes a fetus unworthy of human rights. This article systematically destroys this argument by showing how this "substantial difference" (which he calls "X") is completely non-existent. Read this to any "Pro-Choice" activist and watch their confidence steadily fade.

Flaw of Blood. This is a very good analysis of the movie "The Passion of the Christ". Very objective and theologically rich. I especially liked the last paragraph:

When Roger Ebert commented that The Passion was the "most violent film I have ever seen," perhaps he was, despite himself, making a theological statement. The fact is that when we look at any depiction of the sacrifice of Christ—no matter how mild or graphic—man killing God is the most violent thing we will ever see.

The Paradoxes of Christianity

This is part of a chapter from G.K. Chesterton's book Orthodoxy, one of the best works of Catholic apologetics out there. Enjoy.

...This odd effect of the great agnostics in arousing doubts deeper than their own might be illustrated in many ways. I take only one. As I read and re-read all the non-Christian or anti-Christian accounts of the faith, from Huxley to Bradlaugh, a slow and awful impression grew gradually but graphically upon my mind -- the impression that Christianity must be a most extraordinary thing. For not only (as I understood) had Christianity the most flaming vices, but it had apparently a mystical talent for combining vices which seemed inconsistent with each other. It was attacked on all sides and for all contradictory reasons. No sooner had one rationalist demonstrated that it was too far to the east than another demonstrated with equal clearness that it was much too far to the west. No sooner had my indignation died down at its angular and aggressive squareness than I was called up again to notice and condemn its enervating and sensual roundness. In case any reader has not come across the thing I mean, I will give such instances as I remember at random of this self-contradiction in the sceptical attack. I give four or five of them; there are fifty more.

Thus, for instance, I was much moved by the eloquent attack on Christianity as a thing of inhuman gloom; for I thought (and still think) sincere pessimism the unpardonable sin. Insincere pessimism is a social accomplishment, rather agreeable than otherwise; and fortunately nearly all pessimism is insincere. But if Christianity was, as these people said, a thing purely pessimistic and opposed to life, then I was quite prepared to blow up St. Paul's Cathedral. But the extraordinary thing is this. They did prove to me in Chapter I. (to my complete satisfaction) that Christianity was too pessimistic; and then, in Chapter II., they began to prove to me that it was a great deal too optimistic. One accusation against Christianity was that it prevented men, by morbid tears and terrors, from seeking joy and liberty in the bosom of Nature. But another accusation was that it comforted men with a fictitious providence, and put them in a pink-and-white nursery. One great agnostic asked why Nature was not beautiful enough, and why it was hard to be free. Another great agnostic objected that Christian optimism, "the garment of make-believe woven by pious hands," hid from us the fact that Nature was ugly, and that it was impossible to be free. One rationalist had hardly done calling Christianity a nightmare before another began to call it a fool's paradise. This puzzled me; the charges seemed inconsistent. Christianity could not at once be the black mask on a white world, and also the white mask on a black world. The state of the Christian could not be at once so comfortable that he was a coward to cling to it, and so uncomfortable that he was a fool to stand it. If it falsified human vision it must falsify it one way or another; it could not wear both green and rose-coloured spectacles. I rolled on my tongue with a terrible joy, as did all young men of that time, the taunts which Swinburne hurled at the dreariness of the creed --

"Thou hast conquered, O pale Galilean, the world has grown gray with Thy breath."

But when I read the same poet's accounts of paganism (as in "Atalanta"), I gathered that the world was, if possible, more gray before the Galilean breathed on it than afterwards. The poet maintained, indeed, in the abstract, that life itself was pitch dark. And yet, somehow, Christianity had darkened it. The very man who denounced Christianity for pessimism was himself a pessimist. I thought there must be something wrong. And it did for one wild moment cross my mind that, perhaps, those might not be the very best judges of the relation of religion to happiness who, by their own account, had neither one nor the other.

Here is another case of the same kind. I felt that a strong case against Christianity lay in the charge that there is something timid, monkish, and unmanly about all that is called "Christian," especially in its attitude towards resistance and fighting. The great sceptics of the nineteenth century were largely virile. Bradlaugh in an expansive way, Huxley, in a reticent way, were decidedly men. In comparison, it did seem tenable that there was something weak and over patient about Christian counsels. The Gospel paradox about the other cheek, the fact that priests never fought, a hundred things made plausible the accusation that Christianity was an attempt to make a man too like a sheep. I read it and believed it, and if I had read nothing different, I should have gone on believing it. But I read something very different. I turned the next page in my agnostic manual, and my brain turned up-side down. Now I found that I was to hate Christianity not for fighting too little, but for fighting too much. Christianity, it seemed, was the mother of wars. Christianity had deluged the world with blood. I had got thoroughly angry with the Christian, because he never was angry. And now I was told to be angry with him because his anger had been the most huge and horrible thing in human history; because his anger had soaked the earth and smoked to the sun. The very people who reproached Christianity with the meekness and non-resistance of the monasteries were the very people who reproached it also with the violence and valour of the Crusades. It was the fault of poor old Christianity (somehow or other) both that Edward the Confessor did not fight and that Richard Coeur de Leon did. The Quakers (we were told) were the only characteristic Christians; and yet the massacres of Cromwell and Alva were characteristic Christian crimes. What could it all mean? What was this Christianity which always forbade war and always produced wars? What could be the nature of the thing which one could abuse first because it would not fight, and second because it was always fighting? In what world of riddles was born this monstrous murder and this monstrous meekness? The shape of Christianity grew a queerer shape every instant.

I take a third case; the strangest of all, because it involves the one real objection to the faith. The one real objection to the Christian religion is simply that it is one religion. The world is a big place, full of very different kinds of people. Christianity (it may reasonably be said) is one thing confined to one kind of people; it began in Palestine, it has practically stopped with Europe. I was duly impressed with this argument in my youth, and I was much drawn towards the doctrine often preached in Ethical Societies -- I mean the doctrine that there is one great unconscious church of all humanity rounded on the omnipresence of the human conscience. Creeds, it was said, divided men; but at least morals united them. The soul might seek the strangest and most remote lands and ages and still find essential ethical common sense. It might find Confucius under Eastern trees, and he would be writing "Thou shalt not steal." It might decipher the darkest hieroglyphic on the most primeval desert, and the meaning when deciphered would be "Little boys should tell the truth." I believed this doctrine of the brotherhood of all men in the possession of a moral sense, and I believe it still -- with other things. And I was thoroughly annoyed with Christianity for suggesting (as I supposed) that whole ages and empires of men had utterly escaped this light of justice and reason. But then I found an astonishing thing. I found that the very people who said that mankind was one church from Plato to Emerson were the very people who said that morality had changed altogether, and that what was right in one age was wrong in another. If I asked, say, for an altar, I was told that we needed none, for men our brothers gave us clear oracles and one creed in their universal customs and ideals. But if I mildly pointed out that one of men's universal customs was to have an altar, then my agnostic teachers turned clean round and told me that men had always been in darkness and the superstitions of savages. I found it was their daily taunt against Christianity that it was the light of one people and had left all others to die in the dark. But I also found that it was their special boast for themselves that science and progress were the discovery of one people, and that all other peoples had died in the dark. Their chief insult to Christianity was actually their chief compliment to themselves, and there seemed to be a strange unfairness about all their relative insistence on the two things. When considering some pagan or agnostic, we were to remember that all men had one religion; when considering some mystic or spiritualist, we were only to consider what absurd religions some men had. We could trust the ethics of Epictetus, because ethics had never changed. We must not trust the ethics of Bossuet, because ethics had changed. They changed in two hundred years, but not in two thousand.

This began to be alarming. It looked not so much as if Christianity was bad enough to include any vices, but rather as if any stick was good enough to beat Christianity with. What again could this astonishing thing be like which people were so anxious to contradict, that in doing so they did not mind contradicting themselves? I saw the same thing on every side. I can give no further space to this discussion of it in detail; but lest any one supposes that I have unfairly selected three accidental cases I will run briefly through a few others. Thus, certain sceptics wrote that the great crime of Christianity had been its attack on the family; it had dragged women to the loneliness and contemplation of the cloister, away from their homes and their children. But, then, other sceptics (slightly more advanced) said that the great crime of Christianity was forcing the family and marriage upon us; that it doomed women to the drudgery of their homes and children, and forbade them loneliness and contemplation. The charge was actually reversed. Or, again, certain phrases in the Epistles or the marriage service, were said by the anti-Christians to show contempt for woman's intellect. But I found that the anti-Christians themselves had a contempt for woman's intellect; for it was their great sneer at the Church on the Continent that "only women" went to it. Or again, Christianity was reproached with its naked and hungry habits; with its sackcloth and dried peas. But the next minute Christianity was being reproached with its pomp and its ritualism; its shrines of porphyry and its robes of gold. It was abused for being too plain and for being too coloured. Again Christianity had always been accused of restraining sexuality too much, when Bradlaugh the Malthusian discovered that it restrained it too little. It is often accused in the same breath of prim respectability and of religious extravagance. Between the covers of the same atheistic pamphlet I have found the faith rebuked for its disunion, "One thinks one thing, and one another," and rebuked also for its union, "It is difference of opinion that prevents the world from going to the dogs." In the same conversation a free-thinker, a friend of mine, blamed Christianity for despising Jews, and then despised it himself for being Jewish.

I wished to be quite fair then, and I wish to be quite fair now; and I did not conclude that the attack on Christianity was all wrong. I only concluded that if Christianity was wrong, it was very wrong indeed. Such hostile horrors might be combined in one thing, but that thing must be very strange and solitary. There are men who are misers, and also spendthrifts; but they are rare. There are men sensual and also ascetic; but they are rare. But if this mass of mad contradictions really existed, quakerish and bloodthirsty, too gorgeous and too thread-bare, austere, yet pandering preposterously to the lust of the eye, the enemy of women and their foolish refuge, a solemn pessimist and a silly optimist, if this evil existed, then there was in this evil something quite supreme and unique. For I found in my rationalist teachers no explanation of such exceptional corruption. Christianity (theoretically speaking) was in their eyes only one of the ordinary myths and errors of mortals. They gave me no key to this twisted and unnatural badness. Such a paradox of evil rose to the stature of the supernatural. It was, indeed, almost as supernatural as the infallibility of the Pope. An historic institution, which never went right, is really quite as much of a miracle as an institution that cannot go wrong. The only explanation which immediately occurred to my mind was that Christianity did not come from heaven, but from hell. Really, if Jesus of Nazareth was not Christ, He must have been Antichrist.

And then in a quiet hour a strange thought struck me like a still thunderbolt. There had suddenly come into my mind another explanation. Suppose we heard an unknown man spoken of by many men. Suppose we were puzzled to hear that some men said he was too tall and some too short; some objected to his fatness, some lamented his leanness; some thought him too dark, and some too fair. One explanation (as has been already admitted) would be that he might be an odd shape. But there is another explanation. He might be the right shape...

Read the whole chapter
Read the whole book

The Friday 13th Bug

This is an interesting find.

The year 2038 bug

The first 2038 problems are already here. Many 32-bit programs calculate time averages using (t1 + t2)/2. It should be quite obvious that this calculation fails when the time values pass 30 bits. In other words, on the 10th of January 2004 the occasional system will perform an incorrect time calculation until its code is corrected. The precise date of this occurrence is Tue Jan 19 03:14:07 2038. At this time, a machine prone to this bug will show the time Fri Dec 13 20:45:52 1901, hence it is possible that the media will call this The Friday 13th Bug.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Microsoft AntiSpyware

As you might have heard, Microsoft acquired the company Giant Software last month, for the purpose of creating their own spyware-removal tool based on Giant's AntiSpyware product. Microsoft was supposed to have released a beta version of the new Microsoft AntiSpyware today, but it seemed to be unavailable at the time of this writing. If you want to check out if it's back, try these links:

Thanks to InsideMicrosoft for the links.

Update: The links work now. Enjoy. :-)

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

What Search Engines Do Search Engine Companies Use?

Inside Google has an interesting post regarding the company information on various search engine companies, as compiled by VisitorVille® Intelligence.

So, what search engine do Google employees use? Not surprisinly, 100% of them use Google. 68% of Googlers use Internet Explorer, with 21% using a Mozilla-based browser, while 84% of Google has Windows XP, compared with 5% for Linux...Interestingly, 62.5% of Google uses extreme resolutions of 1280x1024 or higher, with the plurality of 37.5% using 1600x1200. (No one uses 640x480.) They must have good monitors at the Googleplex.

While MSN does better at Microsoft than elsewhere (19.6% compared to 10.23% among the general public), Google is still tops, at 66.31% (Yahoo falls to 10%). 98.75% of Microsoft employees use Internet Explorer, while the .6% who use Firefox are just awaiting their severance checks :-). The top 5 OSs at MS are all Windows, with them being, in order: WinXP, 79.21%; WinME, 8.32%; Win98, 7.30%; WinNET, 2.63%; and Win2000, 2.13%. The only other OS? MacOSX, with 0.09%, probably on a single system installed inside Bill Gates’ personal toilet bowl.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

World's Longest Email Domain Name

Do you want an email address that's so long it actually *scares* spammers away? Do you want an email address that looks like it was created by some fifty-year-old retard who just learned how to type the alphabet? Do you want an email address that's perfectly useless for most kinds of online forms (or any kind of form, for that matter) as well as for most client-based email?

If so, then this is the perfect email service for you!

Hehe, pretty ridiculous, huh? Only a weirdo with too much time on his hands would sign up to this kind of thing. Yep.

*looks around*

*goes off to sign up*

Dare I say it? A fast Acrobat Reader is here!

Adobe has finally come up with an Adobe Acrobat Reader that doesn't take ages to load. The new Adobe Reader 7.0 "Provides better overall performance for faster launch times and real-time zooming and panning." That's probably reason enough for you to download it right now!

Happy New Year, BTW. :-)