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Monday, January 30, 2006

drawball.com 

drawball.com

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Hello World 

My first audio post from my cellphone.
this is an audio post - click to play

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Sunday, January 29, 2006

Benford's Law 

Very interesting article about using the frequency of the first digit of each number in a set of numbers to determine if the data is authentic or contrived. According to Benford's Law the first digit in any number in the set of data will be the number 1 in ~30% of the numbers, not ~10% as one would guess intuitively.

Benford's Law

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Friday, January 27, 2006

Flickr 

This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Google Folds for Chinese Origami 


I just read on Slashdot that Google has acquiesced to China's "request" that they censor web results in Google search within China. The discussion for the /. post covered topics regarding Google's morality, China's human rights record and even Microsoft got dragged through the mud.

But what was not mentioned is the fact that this could be used as a precedent for anti-pr0n crusader's in this country to petition the U.S. government to "finally do something about this damn pr0n." If that starts it's possible for it to spread to other objectionable material. Where would it stop ? In the current climate in America it could affect quite a number of things. It would be a crime for the political views of China to affect free speech everywhere.

Google responds 1/27/2006

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

I can't drive Vifty-Viiv 


Intel is marketing a new technology for Media Center PC's called Viiv(rhymes with something that ends in ive). It still remains to be seen if it is a good idea or not but it does look promising with regard to what it gives to the customer. The technical aspects aside, what the hell are they thinking ? They are going to Prince themselves with this name. Everywhere I read about Viiv the text always reminds the reader that Viiv rhymes with five. Remember what happened to Prince when he changed his to name to an unpronounceable symbol. He became known as The Artist Formerly Known As Prince, and then it was shortened to just The Artist and then finally he changed his name back to Prince. Only time will tell if Intel has indeed created another winner as they had with Centrino and Pentium.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Vanderpool, where are you ? 


After my discovery of the variety of application-specific Linuxes available I imagined a few other things. I could boot several OS sessions at the same time or one at a time. I could maybe even boot the same OS multiple times( M$ and Apple will probably want a separate license for each concurrent session though) Nonetheless, there is a need for several versions of the same OS beyond the different application-specific versions as in Linux today. The same OS could be "installed" several times with different sets of drivers, registries, startups, etc. This should be possible due to the nature of the fact that mutliple OS's will have to co-exist in a system. Be they on the same disk or be they on mutliple drives, they will have to share the same resources concurrently, and therefore must tolerate multiple OS installations. Several installations of the same OS would therefore follow. Whether or not M$ nor Apple like it, someone will try it and someone will eventually succeed and publish their method, and so on and so forth...

Another thing I imagined is a feeling of confidence that I can install the latest, possibly beta, video driver into my game session without worrying that if there is a conflict with something else, Media Player for example, it won't bring the system to it's knees. I can just boot my always handy, always works utility session. In this case, if I don't use Media Player in the game session anyway, I'm not losing anything. Also, I can install one version of drivers into an Everquest session and another set into a Call of Duty session if one finds a problem with the beta drivers in one game and not the other. Furthermore, I suspect that game developers can optimize the drivers to match their game's engine.

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Sunday, January 15, 2006

Vanderpool, HTPC and Me 


Recently, I returned to experimenting with a Home Theater PC (HTPC). One of the things I changed is the OS. I have Win98SE but wanted to try some flavor of Linux. LiveCD distro's look appealing for a try-before-buy so that's where I started. I found a list of LiveCD distro's at Frozen Tech. One of the first things I noticed is that you can sort the list according to several criteria, one of which is "Primary Function". There happens to be a "Home Entertainment" category so I chose that subset. It yielded a list of 11 Linux distro's that are stripped down to just the packages that are needed to run a HTPC. This reminded me of the last post Vanderpool, OSX and Jobs. Already there is a ecosystem of OS's that are targeted at specific functions and don't bring the baggage of a general-purpose distro. If I had a machine running virtual machines ala Vanderpool et al. then I could run the HTPC software much more reliably, which is a must-have for any consumer electronic functions.

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Thursday, January 12, 2006

Vanderpool, OSX and Jobs 


It is possible that with Intel's new Vanderpool Technology, the Operating System(OS) as we know it, is doomed. Any software vendor with the capital and/or the expertise could use their own custom OS. One that boots alongside any other OS at any time, day or night. Has Steve Jobs recognized the potential impact of a paradigm shift in the nature of OS's circa 2005. The affect on Apple's, and everyone else's, OS could be dramatic ? Yesterday, Apple announced that Mac's have started shipping with Intel processors. Prior to this there was plenty of speculation, and justifiable IMHO, that Jobs is concerned that the Mac OS luster would be tarnished if it was spread around on cheap PC hardware by the grabastic PC horde's. Jobs has always been very protective of every Mac OS. What may have changed his mind to make him decide that the risk of Apple's prized OSX being pilfered to run on cheap Intel-based PC's is less than the risk of every OS' value decrease after Vanderpool and similar technologies. Some vendors will be able to afford to brew their own special blend of OS components while others will not have the capital nor the expertise to roll their own. There will be third-parties that will provide every level of service available for anyone looking to 'boot' their own OS instead of using Win/Linux/OSX, u-name-it. A custom OS can provide many advantages ranging from speed to reliability to look-and-feel. Not only will there be 3rd-party developers-for-hire there will of course be myriad, open source projects. Apple's OSX is actually very open source-like. If the multi-OS ecosystem ever achieves anything similar to that described in this paragraph then it is possible for the value of OSX to diminish regardless of the pilfering by the PC rabble. "Better to lead than follow" my Granpappy used to always say. Take the sting out of the fundamental changes in the OS by getting cozy with Intel and influencing the future direction of computing in a broad-sense. And it makes sense that Apple could benefit greatly in the digital lifestyle if they can create an iPod-like love affair with Mac-centric media creation/storage/playback. If Apple and Intel start selling as many home media centers as the iPod then they could both enjoy very nice sales growth.

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