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Archive for May, 2005

Firefox FTP Client

UPDATE: More details on FireFTP, an FTP client for Firefox, are available in a new and comprehensive item. Visitors are strongly encouraged to follow this link.

To some this may be no cause for excitement, but many Firefox users would love to integrate FTP capabilities into their browser.

An extension called FireFTP was released two days ago (beta phase) and its value to regular FTP users is high. To discover more Firefox updates, RSS feeds for new themes and extensions exist and are highly recommended.

Get Firefox

Shortening Links

Iron links

Long URL‘s (addresses) break consistencies in mail and news clients, as well as on the Web. A URL exceeding the standard line in length cannot be wrapped as it would cause a conflict; layout is compromised instead. Several sites offer tools that produce short permanent aliases to long addresses.

Traffic Rank

Domains can now be ranked using the criterion of traffic. This gives insight into popularity, without relying on Google PageRank.

  • Go to A9, Amazon’s excellent search engine, which is heavily reliant on Google
  • Type in the full name of the URL, e.g.
  • Hover over the button labelled Site Info to view the figures

A9 logoGoogle, by the way, is only ranked 3rd, MSN at 2nd and Yahoo! at 1st.

These ranks include all registered global domains, as well individual parts of the world, most notably Germany (.de) with around 5.5 million. Italy (.it) at second only has 681,779 registered domains.

Treo Yellow Dot

Yellow dot
Photo from John C. Dvorak

A slowly-expanding dot may often appear on Treo displays. It is a serious problem, which has become a real plague affecting a whole range of Treo models.

It starts as small patches of yellow that gradually grow and eventually destroy the entire screen.

Other people in UseNet have voiced complaints with regards to the stability of the Treo. It apparently cannot endure weeks or months without a reset, unlike other devices from PalmOne. Nonetheless, the vast majority is praising the Treo, describing it as an excellent PDA which successfully integrates telephony with highly-functional computing.

Cited by: PalmAddict

MATLAB Pinnacle

Pause/Resume Demo

Statistics for the month of April have just come out from MATLAB Central. I was ranked 1st world-wide, jointly with Luigi Rosa.

I am nearing 20,000 downloads and this figure should be exceeded later this month. It is rewarding to know that many programs out there have my DNA.

Computers Learn Vision

It has been exactly one month since I started taking 20 photos a day. Although this commitment barely maintains an element of joy, it persists and I would love to see how far it can go. Why am I collecting all of this data? Being in the field of computer vision (my daytime occupation), I estimate that within a few decades we will be able to index visual data and extract rich information from it, including information about one’s daily life.

A computer will have a reliable understanding of image contents — understanding that surpasses the human eye and mind. Want a photo that which a Labrador drinking water from a fountain on a sunny day? Want a descriptive verbal interpretation of a given distorted image? This will probably be practical in the distant future. It is a machine learning/pattern recognition task taken to extremity.

Maths Tower
The Maths Tower on campus (undergoing demolition)

Content Spammers

Junk mailThere appears to be an increase in the number of Web sites with random, incoherent content that is aimed at attracting baffled and errant visitors. Some of these sites make use of public feeds and may have thousands of them. A pattern you might find:


These sites will frequently try to sell something. Strong search engines penalise these sites as the algorithms sense unrelevance in the content. It sometimes seems like the World Wide Web is sinking into a jumble with more and more content spam, referrer spam, and comment spam (not to mention E-mail). This induces redundant traffic and frequent maintenance chores. What impact will high-speed connections have? Probably even higher capacity for the spammers.

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