* Posts by Mikel Kirk

10 posts • joined 16 May 2007

Yahoo! shares! hit! five! year! low!

Mikel Kirk
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@PH

Oh! My! Goodness!

Thanks for the tip, PH. You just saved me a ton of money. I've got a bunch of domain names through Yahoo and hadn't noticed their rate has nearly quadrupled. I am transferring the domains in another browser tab as I post this.

I'm really glad I didn't take the bait on their hosting services as well. That would have been a nuisance.

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Security shocker: 75% of US bank websites have flaws

Mikel Kirk
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Pirate

My bank requires IE

And the bank uses Windows at the tellers. And in the ATMs. It would be cute if it wasn't so horrifying. At least they're liable when something goes wrong. They're a cozy local bank with only a few branches. Their logo is a .gif. I wouldn't bank there but a decade ago they would take my money on deposit when nobody else would. And the tellers are cute.

Much worse is Citibank. With all their billions they can't figure out how to give me access to my multiple accounts through one web account. Have pity on them - please don't hack their site. That would be sad.

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New York threatens Comcast with anti-porn suit

Mikel Kirk
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NY AG moves to shut down a venue for free speech

That's what the headlines should say. Newspapers, tv, magazines and other media, they're coming for you next.

I haven't even opened any Usenet News in many years but I know that the vast majority of the newly blocked content has nothing to do with children. Kiddie porn is abhorrent and it's an issue that needs to be dealt with. Banning a mode of communication is not the way to do it.

This whole campaign is about the videos and images that content providers would like to have blocked. That's transparent, but they can't say that because -- shock! Nobody cares. "Remember too that, when once it ceases to be considered as wrong and discreditable to invade literary property, no person can say where the invasion will stop." - Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1/29/1841.

All of this needs to stop. We need to take away the motivation of the content owners to invade our other rights. The cure may have to be to abolish copyright altogether. It's a bitter pill to lose the exclusive right to control the printing of one's words, but more offensive it is to lose the ability to print them at all.

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Dell offers 'Windows Vista Bonus' to frightened customers

Mikel Kirk
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Paris Hilton

HP has got the Vista religion

Apparently now their workstations come with "Genuine Windows Vista® Business 32 with downgrade to Windows® XP Professional 32 custom installed." Please note that Vista is still not an option. Will it be tomorrow?

Forgive the tinyurl link, but HP has long URLs. It's the real deal, honest: http://tinyurl.com/45uank If you must have the ugly link it's here: http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/sm/WF06b/12454-12454-296719-307907-296721-3432827-3432828-3651658.html

Apparently the new concession to Vista is that although you can't have Vista you get XP "custom installed." Last week it was all that without the "custom installed." That's progress, eh? "HP recommends Windows Vista® Business" indeed. But not enough to actually install it for you.

BTW, this box supports up to 128GB of RAM. "Windows® XP Professional 32" isn't going to use that much RAM even if it's "custom installed." Ubuntu will though:

http://mirrors.us.kernel.org/ubuntu-releases/hardy/ubuntu-8.04-server-amd64.iso

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Gas crunch: Jatropha, kudzu, algae and magic to rescue

Mikel Kirk
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Thumb Down

Algae is a good answer

As is switchgrass. Both convert solar energy to usable fuels and output more energy than they require as input.

Conservation will only do so much. Ultimately this becomes a haves vs have-nots issue.

The only real answer is global population reduction. Unless we get the number of consumers under control we can out-consume any production or economy solution with population growth.

Down because the author lacks an informed viewpoint.

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Intel Atom 230 ultra low-power desktop CPU

Mikel Kirk
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A lot of good uses

This is a good cheap M/B to slide into a surplus PC housing and boot to the network using LTSP. You can use the MythBuntu client chroot environment to create network booted media clients that drive your HDTV. It makes a good thin client. With a decent server you can get equivalent performance to a high end desktop for everyone in the house for a fraction of the price. The watts are decent and the price is certainly right for a thin client or car PC/media center.

Students would do well to play with this thing. The Watts will come down when Intel updates their chipset. In the mean time this will do.

If you want a media server PC for your house buy a server case, this, two SATA expanders, 2GB RAM, a gigabit PCI network card (Optional) and 10 750GB drives. Then install a decent OS, throw it in a closet, share the drives to the network and forget it. You'll never run out of space to store your episodes of House.

Height problems? You can probably replace the MCH cooler with a fan one from an old video card as long as your ambient temps don't rise above 35C.

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Can the Atom help Intel's CEO meet otherworldly demands?

Mikel Kirk
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He gets it

The game has changed. The huge new market isn't desktop, servers or traditional laptops. It's time the PC became Consumer Electronics. The MID is just the right stroke here. It's all about getting the third world on in the minimum watts. It's all about forgetting that it's a computer and making it do stuff we want to do like play media, tell us how to get from where we are to where we want to be, and communicate with the people we want to communicate with in the way we want to.

He's also pushing the innovate-or-die philosophy. It's about time. Intel had rested on its laurels for far too long. Hopefully the Itanic will soon sink from sight. It's not visible even now on the Top500.

My greatest fear is that he's too successful. Intel needs competition to drive it to the peak performance we've come to need.

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Microsoft dropped Vista hardware spec to raise Intel profits

Mikel Kirk
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Jobs Horns

Won't anyone think of the carbon?

For the full Vista experience you need video hardware that really burns the watts. Watts that are 50% or more made with fossil fuels.

Your kilowatt Vista gaming rig burns more carbon than a Hummer. Knock it off fragboy.

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Experience overcomes Microsoft's broken promises

Mikel Kirk
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Happy

Locations to gps coordinates

Expensive method: You buy the overlays for the areas you need from ESRI.com or another vendor. Highly accurate. Not cheap. They're raw text format. Includes elevation data. You will need a math whiz to convert points on the surface of an oblate speroid into an angle and determine the length of the curve. This will be more straightforward than you might think for distances less than 500km and accuracy on the order of three digits.

Cheap method: You use the Google Maps API and build your application around that. It will calculate distances for you. For most uses the data is good enough. Will calculate over-the-road distances. Will plot your datapoints on an arbitrary map. Includes satellite or terrain mapping features. Free. Does not include elevation data.

Free and open method: In the US we have a government Bureau - US Geographic Survey, that provides this data for free. In the UK this information is available at edina.ac.uk but it is not free. Bruce Gittings has some data at http://www.geo.ed.ac.uk/home/ded.html if the server is back up. GIS information in raw text format. Includes elevation data. Perhaps the government in the UK also keeps GIS data and makes it generally available. I should hope so -- it's pretty important. A cursory google search didn't find it though.

The best answer is probably a combination of these. You didn't say how many data points you needed.

Read the terms for your data provider to ensure your use is permitted of course.

Good luck

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Intel to revamp Core 2 Duo processors on 22 July?

Mikel Kirk
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Names? Who cares?

Yeah. I used to care. Now I'm reading $266 for a quad core chip and suddenly I don't care any more if they call it the OMG!!P0N13S chip. It's looking good to me.

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