Updated: 5/16/2006; 12:41:39 PM.

Ken Novak's Weblog
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daily link  Friday, November 11, 2005


Biodiesel Keeps Home Fire Burning: Home heating fuel is another market for biodiesel.  " the National Biodiesel Board's website now lists 19 companies that supply biodiesel-blended heating oil, known as BioHeat, to residential customers, and the list is growing. Most companies provide BioHeat blends that contain 5 percent, 10 percent or 20 percent of biodiesel."  At today's oil prices, and today's biodiesel volume, it's more expensive than conventional home heating oil.  11:34:43 PM  permalink  

History's Worst Software Bugs: Cool story of software bugs with bad effects.  First, why "bug"?  In 1945, "engineers found a moth in Panel F, Relay #70 of the Harvard Mark II system. The computer was running a test of its multiplier and adder when the engineers noticed something was wrong. The moth was trapped, removed and taped into the computer's logbook with the words: "first actual case of a bug being found."

My favorite story was an intentional bug placed by the CIA in 1982.  The background refs are worth reading.  "Operatives working for the Central Intelligence Agency allegedly (.pdf) plant a bug in a Canadian computer system purchased to control the trans-Siberian gas pipeline. The Soviets had obtained the system as part of a wide-ranging effort to covertly purchase or steal sensitive U.S. technology. The CIA reportedly found out about the program and decided to make it backfire with equipment that would pass Soviet inspection and then fail once in operation. The resulting event is reportedly the largest non-nuclear explosion in the planet's history."

  11:19:26 PM  permalink  

Discover Music - Pandora: Neat service that generates a radio station by picking music that resemble a single artist or song.  Way cool.  An outgrowth of the Music Genome Project: "Over the past 5 years, we've carefully listened to the songs of over 10,000 different artists - ranging from popular to obscure - and analyzed the musical qualities of each song one attribute at a time. This work continues each and every day as we endeavor to include all the great new stuff coming out of studios, clubs and garages around the world."  [Thanks, Scott]  10:57:13 PM  permalink  

cosign: web single sign-on: Open source solution from the University of Michigan.  License resembles BSD.   2:13:04 PM  permalink  

verydodgy.com: Silly fun site, with some useful google hacks (like remote-control webcams), and a perceptive article in FT about it.  11:13:57 AM  permalink  

Anapod Explorer vs. iTunes: 3d party iTunes replacement, supporting alternative file formats, file and playlist management systems, PDA functions, and web and streaming access to iPod contents.  $20-30.  10:59:12 AM  permalink  

NearlyFreeSpeech.NET Web Hosting: Hosting with "long tail" pricing. "no contracts and no commitments .. If you'd like to talk to one of our sales reps to get a quote, you're out of luck. We don't have any. We also don't have any commissions, referral payments, or kickbacks. With NearlyFreeSpeech.NET, your money goes straight to the services you actually use"

  • Data Transfers (Bandwidth):   $1.00 per gigabyte
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  • DNS at $0.02 per registered domain per day, no matter how active your domain gets.
  • Domain registration at $7.45 for a one-year .com and $7.68 for .net or .org.
  10:47:04 AM  permalink  

 

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Copyright 2006 © Ken Novak.
Last update: 5/16/2006; 12:41:39 PM.