Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Yahoo's Open Approach to Search

An Open Approach to Search

Because the platform is open it gives all Web site owners -- big or small -- an opportunity to present more useful information on the Yahoo! Search page as compared to what is presented on other search engines. Site owners will be able to provide all types of additional information about their site directly to Yahoo! Search. So instead of a simple title, abstract and URL, for the first time users will see rich results that incorporate the massive amount of data buried in websites -- ratings and reviews, images, deep links, and all kinds of other useful data -- directly on the Yahoo! Search results page.

via: Yahoo Wants to Redefine SERPs, Adapts “Open” Approach

Related: Viewing Unpersonalized Google Search Results - Yahoo Tops Customer Satisfaction Results? - Improved Web Search (Jan 2006) - Improve Google

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Proof People are Crazy

This is proof people are crazy. This is an enjoyable read but I think anyone that actual does this is asking to die. There are plenty of places to get great views without risking your lives. See Curious Cat travels for some examples: North Cascades National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, Costa Rica...

You are about to view pictures of what has to be the most dangerous Tourist Hiking Trail in the world. After you see the pictures, I have little doubt you will agree.
The only reason we were here was because we didn't know any better. I was incredulous that something this deadly was open to the public. Sure there were warning signs down below, but nothing had been said that could possibly let us know how much trouble we were getting into.
The only reason we continued was those Chinese college kids. Laura and I watched them cross. It looked like they were dancing... step apart, step together, step apart, step together... they walked sideways across the cliff! And they were laughing!

I swear to God if it wasn't for those kids, Laura and I would have turned around a long time ago. Left to ourselves, we would have given into our panic, but to see those crazy kids fearlessly move across the cliff made us think we could do it too.
I shook my head in disgust. One mistake would kill you instantly. This area was so dangerous it required proper mountain gear: climbing boots, carabineers, belay devices, bolts, and ropes. But all we had was our bare hands

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Charity Abuse

Getting repeated calls over and over again every day from 201-535-3618 (follow the link for people bothered by this telemarketer). You can thank the people that the Secretary of State in the state of Washington says employee, and have employed, these people, Outreach Associates, Inc:

Children's Defense Fund
Common Cause
Environmental Defense, Inc.
Habitat For Humanity International, Inc.
Jane Goodall Institute For Wildlife Research, Education & Conservation
League Of Women Voters Of The United States
Phillips Collection, The
Public Citizen, Inc.
Sierra Club
Southern Poverty Law Center, Inc.
and many more

They will claim they are a charity exemption from the do not call list. So perhaps they are to breaking the law, who knows. But tarnishing their clients with the extremely bad practice of calling people over and over and not leaving a message tells you what they value - and it certainly isn't you. I suggest telling any charity you support that you will not support them supporting a company that intentionally bothers you. If they do not make a public statement condemning such practices and publicly state they will not work with any contractor that behaves this way don't give them your money.

Any of the charities listed are welcome to add a comment linking to your response that you will not do business with such companies and specifically what you have done about this company.

Related: Make $500 for Every Illegal Telemarketer Call to You - Charity Telemarketers are Bad - Make the World Better - Microfinancing Entrepreneurs (Kiva doesn't support bothering you like those above do)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Identifying the Flaws of the FISA Legislation

Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin) is one of those politicians that seems to actually be honest. You can disagree with his positions but it is refreshing to have someone that puts integrity and what he believes is right for the country first when compared to the much more common political hacks trying to hide what they do. Here he mentions some of the problems with current attempts to grant immunity to companies that illegally aided spying on citizens of the USA - Identifying the Flaws of the FISA Legislation

The bill includes unjustified retroactive immunity for those alleged to have cooperated with the Administration’s illegal warrantless wiretapping program. The administration is effectively asking most members of Congress to grant immunity without knowing what they are granting immunity for.

Current law already grants immunity to companies that cooperate with the government pursuant to a court order or Attorney General certification. Granting additional, retroactive immunity sets a bad precedent by sending the message that breaking the law is permissible and that companies that are supposed to safeguard our personal communications do not have to follow the privacy protections in law.

Related: The First Amendment - Tired of Incompetent Government Harassment - Voting Machine Failures

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Ubuntu: Closing a Program That Won't Respond

Ubuntu tip - to close a program that won't respond:

  1. open terminal, type:

  2. top

  3. get the PID (process ID) of the unresponsive program (for this example say it is 6764), type

  4. CTRL-C (to exit top, then type)

  5. sudo kill 6764

Type in your password when prompted and the program should then close.