Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Yahoo! My Web 2.0

On Yahoo! Next, users can try out My Web 2.0 which is something like social bookmarking and search. More details can be found from the search team's blog, and people can also visit here for a comparision of it to

Google Earth

Google released a beta their new desktop application for navigating geographical information in 3D. The clients can be downloaded from

In addition to it being a desktop application as opposed to a web application, what is interesting is that even though it is in beta Google has a subscription pricing scheme already defined.

Monday, June 27, 2005

MGM vs Grokster

Someone has to explain to me the recent decisions by the Supreme Court. The highest court in the land is where we turn to for clarification when there is ambiguity in the law but instead the court has recently issued decisions that does exactly the opposite. The court's recent decision on MGM vs. Grokster not only seems to confuse the issue but also puts a legal warning against innovation. Anyone is welcomed to innovate but they won't know whether they have actually broken the law until someone sues them and the law pretty much says that anyone can and should sue. How can the justices claim their ruling was meant to protect innovations through a test that doesn't even clearly define what passes and what doesn't other then to go through a trial?

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Playboy Lama

The BBC had this article about the 6th Dalai Lama who happened to enjoyed getting drunk and visiting brothel. Obviously, it didn't please the order to see their spiritual leader out womanizing and indulging in earthly pleasures and the dalai lama died under mysterious circumstances.

What I'm wondering is that wouldn't something like this just make people question their religion?

Monday, June 20, 2005


Dang, this guy cracks me up!

The lighter side of Japanese culture.

Fair skin vs pale skin

My old college buddy (who always kicked my butt in Magic) pointed out this post about how many asian women in CA wear some soft of mask to block the sun. I personally haven't seen anybody wearing anything that is being described (then again I don't get out much -.- ).

One distinction I want to point out is that that the Asian community does consider light or fair skin to be attractive but this is different then pale skin which looks sickly. I repeat: fair skin good, zombie skin bad! It all boils down to health. In western culture, a tanned skin gives off a sense of good health. It is the same in eastern culture where light fair skin gives off the same feeling. In both cases when it goes beyond healthy looking, it becomes unattractive.

Woz says Apple and Microsoft don't care about quality.

Steve Wozniak, one of the founders of Apple, makes a comment about modern software quality and says that companies like Apple and Microsoft are no longer as concerned about quality as much as quantity.

Yahoo vs Google

Given my situation, one might think that I would have more insight into the culture of Google vs the culture of Yahoo, but truth be told I really don't. Instead, here is an article from CNnet that talks about the differences between the two companies from a corporate culture point-of-view: Google vs. Yahoo: Clash of Cultures.

I can't comment on the Google side of things, but I don't think that the portrayal of the the Yahoo side is completely accurate. The technical and intellectual culture inside Yahoo is actually very vibrant although maybe not as much in the academic research form of way (although Yahoo! Research Labs might be different) .

The culture of Google and Yahoo IS different and the type of people each company attracts are different. The focus of the two company is also different but both companies are built on technology and it is the technology that keeps both company fresh and relevant.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Y! Subscription Search

This isn't too interesting from a technical standpoint. It is more a step forward on the business front for searching that Yahoo released a beta of its subscription search service. The idea is that if a user have subscriptions to different websites, they can perform a single search for information. The example they use is like the library where there might be hundred of sources but you don't need to repeat your search a hundred times against each source.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


This is pretty amazing even if one only considers it as a prove-of-concept. These guys implemented an UNIX shell in javascript that runs inside the web browser. While it doesn't seem like it has any persistence, it is still pretty cool and even has VI.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Fedora Core 4?

So this morning I see that Fedora Core 4 has been released. I have been running FC3 for a couple of months now and it seems to be working pretty well and I've not completely gotten away from the early adopter mode so i thought I'd to check out what's new. Not having been following FC4's development, I wasn't sure what is new about it and lo-and-behold... the web site doesn't tell me either! I do hope that the new Fedora Foundation will make a better effort to promote the distribution.

Update: Here are the release notes

Thursday, June 9, 2005

When nerds rules the world...

NY Daily News has an article about the growing popularity of "nerds" among women. I'm not sure I'd consider some of the people they listed as being really nerds or geeks, but still gives us hope I guess.

Wednesday, June 8, 2005

(Rumor) iTunes Japan

This article seems to say that iTunes is going to be launched in Japan but there is no official confirmation from any parties and I don't read Japanese...

IBM Keyboard Lover

I love the clicky model-m keyboards from IBM, but this guy is a true fan.

Calculaters can do math?!?

Why is this even news?

Boy Genius Discover Calculators Can Do Math

Binding your own books

I found this picture journal on how to bind your own books to be interesting.

Microsoft Shell

Officially, it is called Monad Shell (MSH) but I first thought it meant Microsoft Shell. Tomshardware has an article about how Microsoft will overhaul the Windows command shell and go with MSH. Isn't it facinating how after all these years that we're moving back towards the old UNIX way of things?

Tuesday, June 7, 2005

perl -pi -e 's/\r//g'

Converting DOS/MAC text files to UNIX format:

perl -pi -e 's/\r//g' [filename]

Microsoft Anti-spyware

I thought I wrote about this before, but I cant find it it anymore. I've been trying out Microsoft Antispyware Beta and it looks like a pretty decent product.

Monday, June 6, 2005

Apple switching to x86

After 10 years (wow, has it been that long?), Apple confirmed the rumor mills and annouced that they have decided to switch over to Intel's x86 processors from IBM's PowerPC for its future computers. The first machines to use the Intel processors will be available in 2006.

After all these years, it feels kinda strange to think that Macs will be using an Intel processor. The move doesn't seem like it will affect IBM as much given the market size of Macs vs IBM's marketshare in video game consoles (all three next gen consoles uses some form of IBM PowerPC processors) and other embedded devices. What would be interesting is the effect it will have on Microsoft since OSX has really been winning the hearts of many computer geeks and developers with it's UNIX core and at the same time offering the Apple GUI.

It seems like the line between so many traditional competitors are disappearing these days. When will we be seeing VIEMACS?

Update: Well, Apple says they will not let OSX run on anything other then an Apple/Intel box so they pretty much shot themselves in the foot again.

AOL email

AOL released their web-based email system today. I think they'll have a tough fight ahead of them to break into the market place dominated by Yahoo!, Google and Hotmail.

Friday, June 3, 2005

EMACS, VI, Slickedit

It is always nice to work in an UNIX environment. The variety of tools and utilities is incredible and many have been refined over decades to be fast and efficient. I'm a big fan of the Slickedit editor (as evident by the fact that I have a forum for it on my site), but alas Slickedit discontinued the version that runs on the platform I use at work so it is no longer an option. The two heavy weights of editors are EMACS and VI, but I'm not going to go in to a holy war about which one is better. I've always been more of an EMACS guy, so I picked it up again and started to get my proficiency back (not that I was very proficient to start with). I think it's good to also know more VI so I'll probably try to spend some time with it also, but for now I'm using EMACS. As powerful as EMACS is, I sometimes miss the ease of Slickedit.

I got "Learning GNU Emacs 3rd Edition" and "Learning the vi Editor 6th Edition" (both published by O'Reilley) and I would recommend the EMACS book if you're just starting out. It is clearly written, very practical and has good real-life examples. The VI book is only so-so. I got the basics of VI from it but really didn't feel I learned any new "tricks".

Fedora Foundation

Found this on InformationWeek talking about how Red Hat is creating the Fedora Foundation and transfering the IP over to the new organization to handle the future development of Fedora.

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

DSL for $15

SBC announced a new $15 price for their lower speed DSL package (dynamic IP, 386Kbps-1.5Mbps download, 128-384Kbps upload). This puts the cost of DSL at the same price as a dial-up connection and considering SBC comes with dial-up as part of the DSL package it looks a great deal for those who wants a taste of broadband.

It's also good to see how broadband has matured as can be seen by how companies are simplifying the types of packages they offer. Instead of the 1001 different packages that usually happens when businesses play with different pricing and services most offer just a couple and for lower price then in the past. SBC itself now has only two packages: express vs pro.