Sunday, September 25, 2005

Grammer Resource

Lynch's Guide to Grammar and Style

This is not an area of real interest to me, but even I find this guide useful.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

What I Did at Google's Summer of Code

What I Did at Google's Summer of Code by Sean Michael Kerner:

About 9,000 people applied to Google for the paid opportunity to participate in Google's Summer of Code program, an open source development project aimed at producing new and established open source programs.

The program was originally set up to accept 200 participants but that number doubled to 410 projects that were spread across 41 different sponsoring organizations, including Google.

One of the reasons Google's honeymoon is lasting so long is they keep doing so many things right.

Nestled among the 410 projects that Google funded this past summer are 13 that were directly sponsored by Google for Google.
Working for "free" is one thing; getting paid to work on Free and Open Source software is quite another. Google's funding of the various projects didn't raise notable problems, though it may have raised expectations for the future.

"One minor issue for us it that the reward offer is quite sizable, and was, in most cases, larger than what the bounty would have fetched in the usual Bounty system employed within Ubuntu," Ubuntu's Weideman said.

Google Summer of Code

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Cell Phone Ban Urged for Teen Drivers

Cell phone ban urged for teen drivers:

The National Transportation Safety Board put the proposed restriction on its "most wanted" list of safety improvements for the upcoming year, which also includes older appeals for more states to impose limits on teens' night driving and carrying of passengers.

Good idea, previous posts on Driving While Impaired and Record Low Highway Fatality Rate.

Free Opera Browser

The Opera browser is now free.

The Opera browser is excellent. I still prefer firefox but Opera is a good second browser. Freeware provides some great software options. See more on Curious Cat Cool Direcorty - Freeware.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Google and Comment Spam

I restrict my blogs to just allow posts from registered blogger accounts. Still every post on our Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog gets spam posts within minutes of being posted (for some reason that blog gets more than 75% of all the spam comments - the others only occasionally get spam). I can't believe Google can't block most of these bozos. I also can't believe they don't give us the option to only have comments posted once we approve the comment.

Google really needs to upgrade blogger in several obvious ways. I can't believe how slow upgrades to blogger have been. When I decided to go with blogger for my blogs I figured, ok there are some really lame things (like not being able to categorize posts) but Google just bought blogger so I am sure within a few months these obvious shortfalls will be fixed. I am still waiting. Overall Google is doing great things but I really think they should be doing a better job of improving blogger and of providing less spamy search results.

They don't even make it obvious that they pay attention to the comments I delete (maybe they are doing some analysis of what all us bloggers are deleting but I don't know...). They should have a button that says deleted because this is a spam comment. Then they could use the collection of such decisions by bloggers to deal better with spam.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Google: Gates, Blog Search, Stock

Gates on Google: What, me worry? by Mike Ricciuti and Martin LaMonica

Gates: Yeah. You do me-too Google Talk, and it's a big deal. But we had our honeymoon phase, and it was fun from maybe 1985 to 1995. And we've had lots of competitors in their honeymoon phase. But I'd say, in some ways, this is the biggest honeymoon I've ever seen.

I would agree it is the biggest honeymoon phase I have seen (which points out his estimate of Microsoft's is exaggerated).

Google launches Blog Search

But more importantly, the advanced search offers powerful functionality such as searching by date ranges and limiting to individual blog authors, in addition to features like searching for words in a blog post title or by language, which have been deployed in the past on other services.

So far I think the Google Blog Search is fine but nothing incredible. I agree the advanced page seems to be where the value is. I figure Google will improve this quite a bit, right now the quality of the results in not great in my opinion.

My comment on Battelle' Searchblog, Is this normal?: "That is normal. The secondary offering is always priced below the market price. Oversimplified market way of thinking about it: the market is balanced with buyers and sellers at the current price. You are then adding $4 billion to the sell side of the market. It would make sense the price would have to decline to bring in buyers. Oversimplified cynical way of thinking about it, those inside wall street folks don't have to pay what us regular folks have to pay. Well I missed out on the original offering, but did pick some up earlier this year way below the $295 price: I am happy with that purchase."

Google continues to get the positive press. It is really amazing how well they are doing.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Cerf Going to Google

Vint Cerf, a Founding Father of the Internet, Joins Google as Chief Internet Evangelist

"Vint Cerf is clearly one of the great technology leaders of our time," said Google CEO Eric Schmidt of Cerf, who co-designed the TCP/IP protocols that were used to develop the Internet's underlying architecture. "His vision for technology helped create entire industries that have transformed many parts of our lives. We are honored to welcome him to Google."

Google keeps the positive news stories flowing.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

The Pending Problem With Patents

The Pending Problem With Patents

It's just way too easy to get a patent these days (by one estimate, more than 85 percent of all applications are ultimately approved) and way too difficult to challenge a frivolous one.

The whole point of the patent system is to encourage invention. That's why the government grants a temporary monopoly on original ideas. The problem is that many of the ideas that are awarded patents these days are not original at all. And more often than not, companies apply for patents as a legal defense against litigation rather than to unleash some amazing new product on the world.

Friday, September 02, 2005

The Public Domain

The Public Domain by Lawrence Lessig

This public domain has always lived alongside a private domain...

Traditionally, the law has kept these two domains in balance. The term of copyright was relatively short, and its reach was essentially commercial. But a fundamental change in the scope and nature of copyright law, inspired by a radical change in technology, now threatens this balance.