Thursday, March 31, 2011

Memidex - Free online dictionary/thesaurus and more...

Memidex is a free online site offering dictionary/thesaurus services. You can also download a plugin for Chrome and Firefox. I've been using Memidex for 4 months now and I find it very convenient and reliable.

Memidex is here.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mercury As Seen From An Orbiting Satellite

Selection_023

This is the first image of Mercury as seen from the orbiting MESSENGER probe. MESSENGER stands for Mercury Surface Space Environment Geochemistry and Ranging. This probe's mission is to study the chemical composition, geochemistry and the magnetic field of Mercury. It has already surprised scientists with its discovery of water H2O in the exosphere of Mercury. The exosphere is the layer of atmosphere 600 km. from the surface.


The Cloud's First Commandment

This is a reblog of MGSiegler's article on Techcrunch. The biggest news of course is Amazon's Cloud Player. It is the first time that a real player is offering to store your data in its server for free (5 GB). And you can access it in any device you own. IT meaning mostly your music.

The Cloud shall be your Hard Drive, Despite the Record Label's Greed

Bill Murray Will Play FDR

Producers of Hyde Park on Hudson, a radio play adapted for film, announced they have Bill Murray to play Franklin Delano Roosevelt.


The original radio play focuses on FDR's inner circle in the White House.

Mahmood Al-Yousif Arrested

Selection_022

Mahmood Al-Yousif  his last tweet before Bahrain Police arrested him.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Beauty

Reblogged:Beauty from xkcd.com

via xkcd.com on 3/24/11

The best hugs are probably from hagfish, which can extrude microscopic filaments that convert a huge volume of water around them to slime in seconds. Instant cozy blanket!

My Favorite Alicia Keys

The Thing About Love by Alicia Keys Listen on Posterous

Alicia Keys sings this ditty about what holds us together and what saves us.

The Thing About Love from As I Am

Love, love will come find you
Just to remind you of who you are
Love, it will forsake you
Threaten to break you, take what you got

Everybody laughs, everybody cries
Sure it can hurt you, baby
But give it a little try
See that's the thing about love

Friends, sometimes will blind you
Sneak up behind you, you can't give enough
Then life, it will embrace you
Totally amaze you, so you don't give up

Everybody laughs, everybody cries
Sure it can hurt you, baby
But give it a little try
See that's the thing about love

Oh, tell me that I'm not the only one
That's going through it all
Oh, sometimes I feel like I'm the only one
That's going through it all

But it's time, oh it's time
For me to shine, hey
It's about time, oh it's time
For me to shine

It's my time, said it's my time
For me to shine
Said it's about time, it's about time
For me to shine

Everybody laughs, everybody cries
Sure it can hurt you baby
But give it a little try
That's the thing about love

That's the thing about love
That's the thing about
That's the thing about love


The Valkyries

The government of Japan put the number of casualties from the recent earthquake and tsunami at more than 10,000. It has been more than a week and recovery operations around the devastated area goes on. It is quite inspiring to learn of stories of survival amidst the ruins as well as the efforts at saving as many lives as possible in the aftermath.


Valkyrie
A valkyrie is a female Norse mythological figure who decides who will live and who will die in battle. This belief emphasizes the randomness by which events happen.


In 1964 March 27th, the City of Anchorage, Alaska felt the earth move with an intensity 9.2. It will suffer through an 8.2 meter tsunami as well as ground liquefaction and landslides. It was called the Good Friday Earthquake and the valkyries took 131 lives.

It was not all nature's fury when it comes to death. Man can arrange wars and throughout history the valkyries were busy-choosing who to take into the afterlife.

Rudolf Christoph Freiherr von Gersdorff was a high ranking German officer in Hitler's Army. He discovered the mass graves of the Soviet atrocities in Katyn done to Polish officers, 4,000 of them shot by the soviet secret police. He was recruited to assassinate his fuhrer, Adolf Hitler. His own plan calls for a series of explosions including a bomb strapped to his body. He is a suicide bomber and his target is a madman.

He survived the war. He was captured by the Americans. He was one of the few who plotted against Hitler and escaped capture. Most of those who tried to kill Adolf Hitler (there were at least 15 attempts) were made to stand against a wall and shot. No trials. He died at the age of 74 in 1980.

Yes. The valkyries spared this one.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Expert Reviews: Ubuntu Fastest OS

Expert Reviews explain their benchmarking software here.


The benchmark used an iMac with a quad core Intel i5-760 processor and a 128 GB SSD. The 64-bit version of the operating systems were used.


Expert Reviews benchmarks concludes that Ubuntu 10.10 is the fastest operating system. They took exception of Ubuntu's performance in multi-tasking.

As an Ubuntu user myself, I can't help but agree with the results of this tests. Ubuntu is an excellent operating system. If Ubuntu or linux for that matter has a weakness, it is the matter of proprietary drivers and in this case I blame the drivers. That's why I am heartened to read about the progress of Nouveau which is the open source project to produce a graphics driver capable of 3D acceleration with performance comparable to its proprietary parallels. What's the status of Nouveau is dependent on the Linux kernel development. So far it shows its potential if you are using the latest, linux-2.6.39 kernel, which is still under development.

Orchids from Tita Connie

We got these orchids from my aunt who moved house. We had to repair and tie some of them to strengthen the hold of the roots.


Friday, March 25, 2011

The Rise of Philippine Football

Philippines (dark green) / ASEAN (dark grey)Image via WikipediaThe Azkals match against the football team of Bangladesh ended 3-nil in favor of the Philippines. Araneta scored first in the first half. Angel Guirado added two goals in the second half. This gives the team a total point goal of 5 behind Palestine with 7 in their group.

The real story with this win is that the Philippines for the first time in AFC history gets to play beyond the qualifying round.
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The Nuclear Dilemma

Screenshot


From Indiana Jones: The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

The Cold War may be over but the dangers of nuclear power is at the forefront. In another Steven Spielberg creation a scientist asked a group: "Do we really have control? Do we really have any idea what we're dealing with here? Control is an illusion."

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Japan's nuclear crisis: Will it end in meltdown? - By William Saletan - Slate Magazine ((tags:japan,nuclear,nuclear power,meltdown))

 Reblog: Man vs. Meltdown   
They are calling them "The Fukushima Fifty" now in twitter. Those heroic workers who remained behind after the company withdrew staff and other workers from the premises of the Fukushima plant are now man's last line of defense against a nuclear disaster.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Top Ten Countries Dependent On Nuclear Power

The exposed vulnerability of nuclear plants to seismic activity is underscored as the Fukushima nuclear reactors struggle to properly shutdown. The plant workers are really in a battle to gain control of that process and doing so without loosing containment. The drama between the lines here is that Japan is the only country to suffer from the use of nuclear weapons during the second world war. Japan relies on nuclear power to generate 30 percent of its electricity. But do you know that Japan is not even in the top ten countries dependent on nuclear power?


1-France(75 percent)
2-Slovakia(55 percent)
3-Belgium(54 percent)
4-Ukraine(48 percent)
5-Sweden(42 percent)
6-South Korea(40 percent)
7-Switzerland(40 percent)
8-Slovenia(40 percent)
9-Armenia(39 percent)
0-Hungary(37 percent)

chernobyl plant

Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant
by: Jezzdk@flickr


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Google Chrome/Chromium 10plus Is Fast, Really Fast

Google Chrome/Chromium browser GC/C was updated to version 10 4 days ago but since release the browser has been patched and improved already ahead of the PWN2own hackers confab. Google is taking the meeting of security researchers seriously that it offers 20,000 dollars to anyone who can hack GC/C with a new vulnerability.


So far the 20,000 is still safe.

I heard that the latest update made speed improvements to the browser. When I updated to Chrome 10, I was skeptical, but I am going to eat my words soon. This version is the fastest I have seen a browser go. I simply enabled prefetching and allow the browser to guess what site it is I am trying to reach. It may not be for everyone. A little annoying at first but I can see this feature as standard in browsers one day. If you allow the browser to remember your browsing history and bookmarks, you might just get that creepy situation when your browser knows and giving you suggestions on sites to go to.

tags: google,chrome,chromium,browser


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Bobby Womack Cover of California Dreamin'

Bobby Womack is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He is the lead vocals for The Valentinos and Sam Cookes's guitarist. He sings jazz and rock and roll. I know that he wrote the Rolling Stones' It's All Over Now. That's how I knew him all this time. I really like his soulful voice.


If you're doing a cover of a very popular song (a cultural icon even) I say, run with it.



Bobby Womack

Friday, March 11, 2011

Japan Sendai Quake and Tsunami: big photo gallery

 
 

Sent to you by danny via Google Reader:

 
 

via Boing Boing by Xeni Jardin on 3/11/11

[Related BB post: "Japan hit by catastrophic 8.9 magnitude quake, massive tsunami sweeps country"]

An office building burns in Tokyo after an earthquake March 11, 2011. A massive 8.9 magnitude quake hit northeast Japan on Friday, causing many injuries, fires and a four-meter (13-foot) tsunami along parts of the country's coastline, NHK television and witnesses reported. There were several strong aftershocks and a warning of a 10-meter (32-foot) tsunami following the quake, which also caused buildings to shake violently in the capital Tokyo. (photos: REUTERS/Kyodo)

People take shelter as a ceiling collapses in a bookstore during an earthquake in Sendai, northeastern Japan March 11, 2011.


A building burns after an earthquake in the Odaiba district of Tokyo.

Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan reacts he he feels an earthquake as he attends a committee meeting in the upper house of parliament in Tokyo (REUTERS / Toru Hanai)

Rescue workers hurry to a building following reports of injuries in Tokyo's financial district after an earthquake off the coast of northern Japan (REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon)

Woman wears hard hat and talks on phone after evacuating building in Tokyo's financial district, after earthquake off the coast of northern Japan. (REUTERS/Kim Kyung Hoon)



People stand outside after evacuating buildings in Tokyo's financial district in Tokyo after an earthquake off the coast of northern Japan. (REUTERS/Toru Hanai)




 
 

Things you can do from here:

 
 

Japan hit by catastrophic 8.9 magnitude quake, massive tsunami sweeps country

 
 

Sent to you by danny via Google Reader:

 
 

via Boing Boing by Xeni Jardin on 3/11/11

A catastrophic earthquake has struck Northern Japan, 150 miles off the coast. The quake hit on Friday, March 11, 2011 at 06:25:51 UTC, with a magnitude of 8.9. Frequent aftershocks at the time of this blog post. This is one one of the highest earthquakes ever recorded on earth. The quake is being described as roughly 1,000 times the size of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, in terms of total energy released. The USGS reports that this is the 5th strongest earthquake in the world since 1900.

The Pacific Tsunami Center has issued a warning not only for Japan, where a 10-meter (33 foot) high tsunami is already sweeping the country, but for the coast of Russia, Marcus Island, Guam, Taiwan, the Philippines, Marshall Island, Midway Island, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea.

Live coverage on CNN International, Al Jazeera, and NHK, is showing massive tsunami waves of debris, mud, and flame wiping out massive sections of coastline. We are watching people dying, swept up in these massive waves of mud and debris.

Here's a Reddit thread with relevant links. There is already a Wikipedia page: 2011 Sendai Earthquake and Tsunami. The Google Person Finder is available to help connect with missing loved ones. YouTube's Citizentube is curating raw videos from eyewitnesses.















 
 

Things you can do from here:

 
 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

NPR CEO Resigns

Following the sting video of a conservative group showing the NPR executive Ron Schiller making remarks about the Tea Party, the Chief Executive Officer of NPR, Vivian Schiller resigned her post. This also follows the firing of Juan Williams as commentator in NPR for comments he made about muslims. This is about keeping NPR above the fray so that it can continue with its grassroots journalism. It's CEO is not going to let the conservatives use this to punish the organization.

Let me see Fox News submit themselves to the same standards of objectivity and fairness to all.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Chrome Browser 10 Released

Google releases Chrome Browser 10 with 25 security vulnerability patches with the new version. Fifteen out of the 25 are rated as High in the security tagging system employed by Google. Google's browser is looking good going into next week's PWN2OWN hackers' confab. It's traditional to demonstrate the vulnerabilities of different browsers in this hackers' conference happening in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Dropping Autoposts

Blogging owes, in my opinion, its resurgence to blogging sites offering the ease of automatic posting to bloggers. Automatic posting or autoposting is an opt-in feature to forward my post to my other blogs (or to twitter and facebook). Obviously if this feature is enabled over your network of blogs, a hacker can take over your entire network by hacking one blog site. Don't make it easy for them to do that. So I'm dropping autopost in Amplify and Posterous.

The contrary opinion comes from those espousing ease of use, convenience and the speed by which you can disseminate your words out there. Certainly, this argument is most logical and strong in light of the use of social media in the Tunisian and Egyptian models. Even as I consider my blogs among the masses, I'm not about to drop security in favor of ease of use. That would be a foolish trade.

In any case, I am watching current improvements in security in blog sites and in browsing in general.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

a lot more people are aware of linux not to mention the concept of operating systems now. linux? is that like windows or mac osx? ye, something like that. http://amplify.com/u/bt2b8

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Linux Security vs. Microsoft/Windows

"Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow."-Linus' Law



Open source code is transparent. Anyone who knows what they are looking for can examine it. The community of users are volunteers testing applications that are properly tagged as alpha or beta. That community benefits from free software. Software that can be modified without legal impediments.



When I first encountered it, my skepticism is like how can anything work? Since joining a community (even without programming skills) I have seen things work from the inside. It's amazing that I give so little time (free time) and get an operating system and all the software that I need to do my job. I also get excellent support when I meet challenges.

Amplify’d from www.zdnet.com
Windows is, yes even now, built on a single-user working on a solo machine model. In addition, Windows was designed to make it very easy for programs to trade data and instructions with each other. That’s why it’s so easy to move data from say Word to Excel and back again. The bad news is that these IPCs (interprocess communications), procedures that were never designed with security in mind.
Read more at www.zdnet.com
 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Two Emancipators: Adam Goodheart's The Other Emancipation Proclamation

Abraham Lincoln with a presidential proclamation liberated the negro slaves and ended slave trade in the United States. Czar Alexander II of Russia also freed russian slaves called serfs from their bondage. In fact he did it a year earlier than Abraham Lincoln who had to govern over a civil war and fight to keep the Union.

Back then it was the Russian monarchy who was calling the western states socialists, which highlights how far from the mainstream Czar Alexander II was in his decision to emancipate slaves. He was advised that there will be a revolution by the aristocrats who owned the slaves. He provided land for the freed slaves and payment for the slave owners.

Abraham Lincoln tried to prevent a civil war. At first he called on negroes who wish to be free to fight for their freedom on the side of the Union.  He freed the slaves but did not provide a means for them to be accepted in the society. Former slaves lived in huts and in poor economic conditions. Their lot in life would continue in Mississippi in the 1960s.

Abraham Lincoln and the Czar Alexander II both died from assassins.

Reaction to the New York Times Article by Adam Goodheart
Adam Goodheart: 1861 Civil War Awakening and other Amazon books.
Wikipedia Article on Czar Alexander II


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Hillary Clinton Spells It Out

The US is sending two warships and Marines into the Suez. If Marines get in the game and the current situation remains, we might be seeing something like the US action In Panama to capture Noriega. The Marines will be facing mercenaries swimming in weapons provided by Gaddafi. The Libyan freedom fighters are surrounding Tripoli and consolidating their gains. From what we know of Gaddafi, he isn't going anywhere.

Amplify’d from www.alarabiya.net
"In the years ahead, Libya could become a peaceful democracy, or it could face protracted civil war, or it could descend into chaos," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the House Foreign Affairs Committee.



"The stakes are high."
Read more at www.alarabiya.net
 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Inspiring manifesto from China's Jasmine revolution

Chinese manifesto asks why industrialization in China led to the widest gap in rich minority and the poor majority in China's history.

via Boing Boing by Cory Doctorow on 2/27/11

As Bruce Sterling notes, this manifesto of the Chinese Jasmine revolution (translated by Human Rights in China), "sounds almost identical to the gripes that the impoverished American populace might make to their own leaders. There's nothing specifically Chinese about these demands."
Every good and honest Chinese person, please think: So much public housing has been sold to individuals, so many state-owned enterprises and so much land have been sold, and nearly all state-owned property has been sold off. But where has all the money from these sales gone? It goes without saying that state-owned property belongs to the entire people. But what did the people get? Led by an authoritarian regime, the opaque process of privatization has made a small number of people rich, but what did the vast number of ordinary people get? Every good and honest Chinese person, please think: When Japan, Korea, and Taiwan were in the process of industrializing, they were able to make the overwhelming majority of their people prosperous. Why is it that during China's industrialization the ordinary people are becoming poorer? Why is it that in just the last few decades China has gone from being a country with the smallest gap between the rich and the poor to one with the largest? It is because the unfair system has made a small number of people incredibly wealthy, and the vast majority of people remain poor.
Chinese Jasmine Rallies: Beijing to Wuhan, since Feb. 20, 2011 (via Beyond the Beyond)

(Image: The square in front of the McDonald's restaurant during the peak of the rally, Voice of America/Wikimedia Commons)

GNOME Shell vs. Ubuntu Unity: Which desktop wins? | TechRepublic

It's important that we innovate and move the concepts about Desktops. I understand what Canonical and Gnome are trying to do each with their own way of improving the current Linux desktop. I think new Linux users will find both interesting and usable. The power users will point each other to alternatives. I for one am looking at Bodhi and Mint. Both are Ubuntu (and Debian) based so I wont be flying too far from my "old" favorite.


Update Chromium From 61 -->> 62

Browser updates are very important to web security. Don't miss it. If there's a piece of software that you really have to get right,...