Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Book of Mozilla

And so at last the beast fell and the unbelievers rejoiced. But all was not lost, for from the ash rose a great bird. The bird gazed down upon the unbelievers and cast fire and thunder upon them. For the beast had been reborn with its strength renewed, and the followers of Mammon cowered in horror.

from The Book of Mozilla, 7:15

Type about:mozila into your Firefox address bar and you will get this "easter egg". Of course, Mammon refers to MS IE. For the interpretation of the above "holy text", please refer to Wikipedia.

Some other tricks in Firefox:
about:config, about:buildconfig, about:cache, about:plugins, about:credits, about:mozilla

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Long Tail

When humour complements the reality, you know that the term "the long tail" has hit the mainstream. The last time we mentioned something like that, it was regarding the Cathedral and the Bazaar.

"The long tail" was coined by Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of the Wired magazine in 2004. Today, the long tail stretches all the way from Packard's garage in Silicon Valley to Bangalore to China - because the world is flat.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Ajax & Web 2.0 Updates

It has been a long time since the last Ajax updates, so we will start off by looking at frameworks.

Ajaxian.com just did a survey regarding the popularity of ajax frameworks and ajax platforms, and of course, the results are within expectations.

Note that PHP remains by far the most popular. Speaking of PHP, here is a comparison of 10 PHP frameworks.

If you don't need heavy-weight ajax functions, I will recommend moo.fx. For a quick demo of moo.fx, click on the "Archives" or "Subscribe" title on the right hand column of the main page. Moo.fx is relatively light - moo.fx.js, moo.jx.pack.js and prototype.lite.js weights a total of only 12.9 kb, as compared to 56 kb for prototype.js and scriptaculous.js combined.

Currently, with so much going on in the Ajax community, we also have people going COWS over Ajax.

At the Web 2.0 webfront, Israeli startup Dapper has been raising lots of eyebrows. It allows you to "create an API for any website", with some 2000 new data sources that anyone can mix and mash from sites around the web. (Check out the demo to get a better idea.)

Instead of solely creating services for the general audience, we are starting to see these type of "for developers by developers" sites. Another previous such example will be Ning.com.

Update: Over at HP, Dunn has finally resigned.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Dining Philosophers Problem

Five philosophers spend their time eating and thinking. The college where they live has a dining table with a large bowl of spaghetti in the center of the table. There are five plates at the table and five forks set between the plates.

Eating the spaghetti requires the use of two forks (often, the problem is explained with chopsticks instead of forks, because it is easier to understand requiring two chopsticks to eat spaghetti than two forks) which the philosophers pick up one at a time. The philosophers never speak to each other which creates a dangerous possibility of deadlock in which every philosopher holds a left fork and waits perpetually for a right fork (or vice versa).

So how do we write out a procedure such that this procedure applies to each and every philosopher, and so that the philisophers can eat using two forks when they are hungry and not starve?

This is the dining philosophers problem, originally proposed by none other than EW Dijkstra in 1971. It is perhaps one the most famous example of a common computing problem in concurrency.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Create your own webDNA! They actually run a business creating and selling DNA art!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Windows Live Dashboard

Windows Live Dashboard, which is part of Windows Live Essentials. Its nothing more than a small program that displays what you have installed. And Microsoft invited me to download this program.

Apple updates: the news about iTV and the iPod Nano remastered is all over the web. But don't forget to check out the presentation itself.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The HP Way

Hewlett once said that the HP Way was "a core ideology . . . [that] includes a deep respect for the individual, a dedication to affordable quality and reliability, a commitment to community responsibility, and a view that the company exists to make technical contributions for the advancement and welfare of humanity."

Well... after the take over of Compaq, things don't seem to be going very well for HP. The unethical spy scandal at HP has certainly created a huge furor in the blogosphere. To recap the posts by Robert Scoble...
If the HP way is to be preserved, someone has to go.

Update: Dunn has resigned.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


According to Kirk McKusick at BSDCon 1999:
The way it was characterized politically, you had copyright, which is what the big companies use to lock everything up; you had copyleft, which is free software's way of making sure they can't lock it up; and then Berkeley had what we called ‘copycenter’, which is ‘take it down to the copy center and make as many copies as you want.

Besides the more well-known Creative Commons License and the GNU GPL, there is also the BSD License.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Agassi: The End of an Era

"The scoreboard said I lost today, but what the scoreboard doesn't say is what it is I have found. And over the last 21 years, I have found loyalty. You have pulled for me on the court and also in life. I've found inspiration. You have willed me to succeed, sometimes even in my lowest moments. And I've found generosity. You have given me your shoulders to stand on to reach for my dreams, dreams I could have never reached without you. Over the last 21 years, I have found you. And I will take you and the memory of you with me for the rest of my life."
-- Andre Agassi

23,000 people at Arthur Ashe Stadium - they came from near and far to see his last match - the last of his 21-year career. And they gave him a tribute that lasted four minutes. Eyes filled with tears, Agassi rose from his armchair and moved to the center of the court for a second round of bows and kisses to the four sides of the arena, gingerly bending his bad back.

When asked if he would do it all again, Agassi shook his head no and laughed when someone pressed, "Why not?"
"Because I did it. I did it," Agassi said.
And this: "I'm at peace." (Source)

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