Recently in Tech/Software Category

Google Analytics

August 17, 2006

Data have been pressing on my mind quite a bit lately (yes, "have" not "has"), as I have become immersed in data at work for much of this year. I recently had a dream in which I saw my garage in smithereens on the ground and remarked, "that will take a lot of SQL statements to rebuild." (SQL is the language used to write database code). But a more fun example of data obsession is looking at the map produced by Google Analytics.


Google Analytics is a new service that web masters can install on their website to get advanced tracking and data about the use of their sites. The data has always been there, but Google has made it extremely easy to use and see. I installed this software just last week, and have been simply amazed at their map of the cities in which my site is being visited. The most amazing part is this: Karachi, Pakistan, has been home to more viewers than any other city in the world. In the past week, you can also see visitors from all over Europe; from Turkey, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates; from China, Japan, Phillipines, and Singapore; from Australia and New Zealand; from Chile, Argentina, and Mexico; and of course the U.S. and Canada. I'm a little surprised there's no one from Africa. Click on the image above to open a larger version.

A Challenge: Creating a Global, Virtual Meeting Space

September 14, 2005

The challenge: what is the best, least costly method for connecting people from all continents, with Internet connections ranging from broadband to slow dial-up or none at all, with the intention of allowing significant discussion on diverse matters? What if there were 100 people present? 300? 600? Can this challenge be met with a single technology, will it require a hodge-podge of media, protocols, and devices, or is it simply impossible? The United Religions Initiative is looking to do this very thing by the end of the year.

Intel + Apple = Microsoft Killer?

June 10, 2005

PBS's Robert X. Cringeley thinks Intel is poised to buy Apple, saying "Apple's Decision to Use Intel Processors Is Nothing Less Than an Attempt to Dethrone Microsoft. Really." What is a fan of upstart competitors to do when his favorite upstart (Apple) might merge with one of the upstarted (Intel as opposed to AMD)? Course its sheer speculation at this point, but Cringley makes fascinating observations. Since a friend mentioned two days ago not wanting to replace his broken Powerbook, as it would be obsolete in a year or two, I've wondered why Apple would make such a big announcement and risk major sales losses. Hm...


May 26, 2005

214— that's the maximum number of files in a folder on the Windows operating system. If you fill this up, you don't get any more (unless you move a few files to another directory). In layman's terms, that 16,384 files. Just thought you should know.

The Present Future

August 28, 2004

As a child I watched Elroy Jetson with a certain bemusement, flitting about in his jet pack, popping food pills, and relying on Rosy the Robot to keep his room clean. Likewise in Disney World's Tomorrowland I gazed in amazement at what was once envisione d for our future. Monorails and jet packs were just the optimistic incarnations of that Cold war futurism — but in science fiction particularly we find the more sinister predictions. Luminaries such as Bradbury, Roddenberry, and Gibson penned tales of continuing exploitation of all that humanity might invent. While their tales were scoffed at or ignored by the masses, especially when the Cold War ended with fall-out-free winters, the days of past present may be returning to the present future.

Fork Problem with Cygwin

December 18, 2003

I've been enjoying the use of OpenSSH in Windows lately but ran into a small problem today: "fork: Permission denied".

Securing & Optimizing Linux, pt. 1: Services

November 13, 2003

I find that Red Hat Linux (now defunct) is fairly secure by default, but could use a bit of tweaking. This is the first of a series of notes on optimizing and improving security in Linux. Some items may be specific to Red Hat, but most of these notes will be applicable to all systems. In part 1, we look at runlevel services.

Configuring RP-PPPOE in Red Hat Linux 9

November 9, 2003

I finally got DSL again a few months ago, after 2 years of dial-up. Worked like a charm on my iBook, but not so on the Linux box. Actually, it wasn't so bad at first, but the DNS lookups were taking forever. Then it started dropping carrier. Often. To the point where, after a few minutes of using the computer, it was dropping every few seconds. Here's how I fixed it.

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