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Archive for June, 2006

My Third Digg Rave

WHAT a day over at Digg.com! 3 of my story submissions have reached the front page; and the day is not over, yet.

I have recently accumulated some friends in this social networking platform and, to be honest, this sometimes makes me feel like a groupie in a game which is not democratic. People who acquire friends are more likely to have their submissions rapidly popularised. We shall see if Digg version 3, which is due to be released this Monday, will somehow correct for this tendency by deterring excessive mutual ‘digging’.

All my stories, by the way, are posted in defence of GNU/Linux and/or Open Source software. I truthfully do this in the spirit of freedom and openness.

Related items:

Update (8:35 PM): It’s now 4 (stories in the front page), with the possibility of 5 by the end of the day!

UNIX Geeks and Beach Nudity

Palm grows left
When Palm refuses to go right

I could not resist posting this link (yay!). The target page is censored though (boo!). A couple of attractive women took a break from their UNIX-learning ordeal and decided to catch some sun. Notice the book that was lying next to them.

Is it at all surprising that the GNOME project is recruiting women? I am of course being very sarcastic. The Linux sexism myths must die. A misogynist attitude has for long been a deterrent to female computer scientists.

Test of Leadership?

YESTERDAY I found two of them toyish on-line, questionnaire-based tests. I happened to get the same result as that which led me to trying it in the first place. It made me wonder how many leaders actually exist in this ‘pool’. The survey looks rather amateur, I must confess.

Leader
What Famous Leader Are You?
personality tests by similarminds.com

So, I am equated to a scandalous man with some shady past. Well, I guess it could be much worse .

Linux Buys you More

Cheap computer

Not the actual box. Treat as
placeholder for illustrational purposes.

When you see a great deal, you simply know it! 149.95 dollars will buy you:

  • AMD Duron 2.8 GHz Processor with 800 MHz FSB
  • 180 Gigabyte Hard Drive
  • 256 Megabytes of RAM
  • K7MNF-64 nVidia nForce2 Socket A Motherboard
  • nVidia nForce2 chipset

[...]

The machine will of course run GNU/Linux. It seems too good to be true, so I remain skeptic. Having toyed with the cart feature, it seems to be genuine though. The site statistics (Alexa, Netscraft), as well as some other available products, seem to suggest it is real.

Noteworthy: get Windows and double the cost of the worktstation…

Related item: Expensive Developers, Cheap Hardware

The Initiative for Better E-mail

Junk mail

LAST year I got a bit frustrated with the nature of most E-mails that had been reaching my box. I then decided to write a short FAQ (while I was lying by a swimming pool, if I recall correctly). Over time, I found a way of reducing and managing the volume, which often led to unnecessary distractions. I even separated my E-mail into several ‘tiers’, which unlike filters, I find very handy. Some other communication was routed to Wikis.

Over two years ago I came to discover that Knuth had given up on E-mail altogether. I have just come across another nice homepage which expresses the frustration when it comes to badly-formatted E-mails, so I thought I’d share it by quoting:

E-mail is my main form of communication and the best way to reach me is to email howcome@@@opera.@com. I have used email since 1985 and, unlike Donald Knuth, I plan to continue using it in the future. I recommend these rules for writing electronic mail:

  1. Write e-mail messages in plain text (not HTML) with around 70 characters per line.
  2. When quoting other messages, insert your own text underneath the quoted text so that the logical order of the text is preserved
  3. Avoid e-mail attachments: send URLs pointing to your attachments instead.
  4. In particular, never send documents in proprietary formats as e-mail attachments. PDF is acceptable if the formatting of the documentis essential to understanding the document.

If you look at the source of the page (either the original or even this short post), you’ll find a nice trick of obfuscating E-mail addresses, which can prevent mass-harvesting by ratbot, for subsequent spamming.

GNOME is Also Beautiful

Palm Bliss
Palm Bliss: An old product of my interest
in themes and templates

QUITE often I rave about KDE, as I last did a week or so ago. However, I admit that GNOME is beautiful too, so I have collected a few themes and previews which support its beauty.

Lastly, here is a way of making GNOME look more like Mac OS X. I don’t necessarily endorse or praise, but I just love the looks of Apple hardware and software. KDE is able to achieve similar results, I might as well add.

In Fight Against Spammers, Google Drops Pages

Google Cookie

SEVERAL weeks ago I discussed some of the problems which Google are having with their cache. The links therein paint a full picture that comprises many speculations. Genuine pages from various Web sites across the Web are being dropped. After a while, some more evidence has been reaching the surface, e.g.

Something really weird happened when I had the password problem last week — I completely disappeared from Google.

As discussions, which are oddly enough being deleted (Google may be trying to hide the existence and scale of the problem) indicate, something quite major is happening ‘behind the scenes’.I submitted a relevant link to Digg. As the thread indicates, Google is indexing billions of spammy pages and is apparently dropping and neglecting genuine Web sites in the process. It is not deliberate on Google’s part, but the outcome are poorer search results and reduced traffic, if you are among the Webmasters affected.

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