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Vipassana meditation.
www.dhamma.org
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• Who: Eric Case FOAF
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« March 2004 | Main | May 2004 »

April 29, 2004

It Was A Good Day

Happy Form S-1 Day!

For some light reading, CNet is kindly hosting the file (~780k pdf). I suggest reading through at least the first 11 pages, which are Larry & Sergey's Owner's Manual for Google's Shareholders (excerpted at AlwaysOn). As you'll see, this is not an ordinary company.

Cheers!

[Great coverage from: Wired & CNet]

Posted at 21:00 | TrackBacks (0)

April 28, 2004

I Wonder Too

Craigslist: "I can get Google stock -- date me!"

EvHead: "Hmmm... I wonder if this'll work..."

As one of the few remaining single dudes on the Blogger team, I'll admit to have found myself wondering the same thing...

Scary.

Posted at 21:52 | TrackBacks (0)

April 25, 2004

Weekend

Saturday:

Sunday:

Posted at 22:30 | TrackBacks (0)

Hybrid Cars

Wow, check out the hybrid stats over at Green Car Congress: "California is Hybrid Heaven, with 11,425, or 26%, of the total, followed by Virginia with 3,376, or 8%... Now, the bad news. Hybrids accounted for 0.03% of the 2003 car market."

Posted at 21:51 | TrackBacks (0)

Sudan

Passion of the Present has tons of info about the genocide going on in Sudan. Try to find 15 minutes to watch this video from Human Rights Watch, a recently-created documentary about the situation there.

Then donate to Human Rights Watch to help:

"Your money will go for cell phones, Internet satellite connections, digital cameras, for medical and food supplies, and to support volunteers moving personally into the genocide zone."

Posted at 18:35 | TrackBacks (0)

We Don't Need No...

Salon recently posted a great interview with Neal Stephenson, on his latest book(s), The Baroque Cycle. Here's a quote to which I can definitely relate:

"I'm in this history book club, which is not all geeks but it's definitely got some serious geeks in it. It's been going for four or five years maybe. We're all consistently dumbfounded by how interesting history is when you read it yourself compared to how dull it was when they made you study it in school. We can't figure out why there's that gap. I think they try to cover too broad a sweep at once so you never get down to the individual people and their stories. It's all generalities."

Posted at 17:45 | TrackBacks (0)

Chicago From Above

Here's a photo I snapped from my flight into Chicago, back in 11/2002.

Browsing through Pushkar's site (one of my Gmail invitees), I came across a strikingly similar photo. Nice.

Posted at 12:41 | TrackBacks (1)

Rad

APoD: "Deinococcus radiodurans (D. rad) survive extreme levels of radiation, extreme temperatures, dehydration, and exposure to genotoxic chemicals. Amazingly, they even have the ability to repair their own DNA, usually with 48 hours. A recent map of D. rad's DNA might allow biologists to augment their survival skills with the ability to produce medicine, clean water, and oxygen. Already they have been genetically engineered to help clean up spills of toxic mercury. Likely one of the oldest surviving life forms, D. rad was discovered by accident in the 1950s when scientists investigating food preservation techniques could not easily kill it."

Wicked.

Posted at 11:28 | TrackBacks (0)

April 23, 2004

Get Your Gmail (round 5)

Like Nelson, SteveJ, Shellen & Biz, I've got a few extra Gmail invites left.

If you'd like to try it out, send a good, quick story, your blog's URL, and how you got here to eric.caseATgmail.com.

Be creative!

Note that I'm not making you work nearly as hard as Mr. Sutter, who's asking for haikus or somesuch.

Update: invites are all used up, folks.

Posted at 11:57 | TrackBacks (0)

Sittin' in a Tree

Gmail now works in Safari.

Thanks, Señor Wetherdeal!

Posted at 10:54 | TrackBacks (0)

April 22, 2004

Gmail... Sensibly

Brad Templeton, Chairman of the EFF, just posted an excellent writeup on Gmail and its associated concerns (among other things). I'm glad to see it pointed out that the EFF did not join the reactive coalition against Gmail.

Do read it, as it's an informative, sensible piece.

Posted at 09:21 | TrackBacks (0)

April 20, 2004

Troia

Phluzein this morning has news of recent goings-on at Troy, in present-day Turkey (south of Çanakkale in my map). I had the good fortune to visit Troy 2/2000; here are my photos from the trip and here's my pre-trip blog post. Good times!

Posted at 08:34 | TrackBacks (0)

April 17, 2004

Fish

Ottmar's got the right idea.

Posted at 19:44 | TrackBacks (0)

Consolidation

Just a quick note for folks who read this blog in an aggregator - the feed is now located at http://vedana.net/index.xml, so update your subscriptions accordingly... Thanks.

Posted at 19:17 | TrackBacks (0)

April 15, 2004

Tidbits

A few things:

Posted at 22:01 | TrackBacks (0)

Battelle's on fi-ya!

Today at lunch a few of us were chatting about John Battelle's SearchBlog, and we concluded that it's one of the finest examples of tech blogging on the web- it's got more-than-current news, brilliant commentary, insightful interviews and exciting vision. It's probably the site I most look forward to reading each morning- keep up the great work, John!

Posted at 21:57 | TrackBacks (0)

April 13, 2004

Gmail*

First, Brandon articulates how many of us feel:

"In any case, I would think that most of these issues come down to trust: do you trust Google or not? Has Google ever done anything that made you not trust them? Do you believe the Google "do no evil"? As someone on the inside who's seen the code and heard the open discussions amoung the employees, I do. But don't take my word for it, look at our record and make your own decision."
Then, Owen from the Business 2.0 blog proposes something startling:
"Alarmed by the privacy implications of having ads automatically served up by software programs alongside your email? Here's a wild idea: Don't use it."
I would add, "until you've given it a test drive first." Owen was responding to this article from The Telegraph which has quite a few gems, like:
"Gmail users who discuss their ailments, for instance, may find themselves bombarded with promotions from drug manufacturers. Google makes revenue from the advertisers."
Take a look at this screenshot from my Gmail inbox, from the latest 12-inch Powerbook digest:
Gmail
I'm certainly not feeling bombarded by those subtle, clearly-marked, relevant ads along the right, are you? And what about the Yahoo Groups ads embedded in the actual email? Yuck!

While copying and pasting from this Telegraph article, I happened to mouse over the ugly, irrelevant banner ad at the top when I was bombarded by this monstrosity:

ugly banner ad
I had no idea this would happen, the ad is now taking up more than half my screen, and it's entirely unrelated to the content on the page. It's trying to deceive me into clicking, but I just want it to go away! Let's continue:
"California senator Liz Figueroa, who was behind the successful Do Not Call legislation that hampered telephone marketers, called Gmail 'an invasion of privacy.' She is drawing up a law that could block the scheme or force Google to overhaul its offering. 'We are asking them to rethink the whole product. It's like having a massive billboard in the middle of your home,' she said.
I don't know about you, but the Sponsored Links in my screenshot don't look like a massive billboard to me. In fact, they're actually helpful. The hideous, unexpected ad on the Telegraph's site, on the other hand, is most definitely a billboard: big, obnoxious and distracting. Yahoo's sites and Microsoft's Hotmail are (mostly) billboards, imho. Your television is a massive billboard. AdWords are not. We continue:
"Michael Allison, of the Internet Crimes Group in New Jersey, said: 'Google could create a potential monster - people with wicked ways could use it for everything from extortion to harassment.'"
Isn't this true of just about everything ever invented? Well, maybe not Q-tips, but you get my point. More:
"Internet aficionados seem split between those who compare Gmail to the postman opening up private mail and those who think individuals should be left to choose whether to sign up or not."
Email in Google's Gmail isn't read by humans- it's read by software algorithms, just like spam filters and spellcheckers. And unless email is encrypted, it's essentially like sending postcards.

My advice: Read about Gmail from people who've actually used it, including those who (rightfully) criticize it. Try it out once it's been released, then make an educated decision based on your own knowledge and experience. I've been using it for a long time, and I think it's one of the most revolutionary email applications ever created. And it's still in beta!

Further reading:

* Standard disclaimers apply: all this is my own personal opinion, yadda yadda

Posted at 21:44 | TrackBacks (1)

April 12, 2004

Microloans Rock!

New York Times:

"Microfinance is a long way from the world of venture capital where Mr. Khosla, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, a venture capital business, and a co-founder of Sun Microsystems, has earned a formidable reputation as the man with the Midas touch..."

"His favorite story is that of Sivamma, a 35-year-old woman from the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh who goes by one name. Four years ago, she took a loan of 2,000 rupees ($45) from Spandana, a microfinance initiative based there and built a successful business by employing 250 women to collect human hair. When the women travel to the nearby villages with the small toys that she buys for them, small children greet them and exchange handfuls of hair for the toys."

"The hair is collected and sold to a leading Indian hair exporter in Madras, from where it eventually finds its way to the United States and other Western countries to be used for wigs and hairpieces. Sivamma's return on investment has been more than a hundredfold."

"Sivamma's pride is the $3,000 home she built from the profits, the $700 motorbike she bought for her husband and her $1,000 savings."

Posted at 20:27 | TrackBacks (0)

April 11, 2004

Grokking Gmail

Matt Haughey:

"I can say that after using gmail for a few days I finally get what everyone is raving about. On first glance there's nothing impressive there. To see what it is capable of doing well, you have to use it: get a few email discussions going with folks and the more you use it the more obvious the benefits become."
Yup.

Posted at 15:15 | TrackBacks (0)

IndiaBlogging

Om Malik is blogging up a storm on his trip to India:

"In the Old Delhi section where mangly dogs, rickshaws compete for space on the road with sky-high piles of television and fancy Mercedes Benz cars, Lajpat Rai market, is the unofficial training ground for all geeks. As a kid I would go there to buy cheap components to build an amplifier and a speaker system that used earthen pots for acoustics. (Please don’t ask what I was thinking!) It is like the Akihabara electronics district in Tokyo, or Techno-mart in Seoul."

Posted at 09:14 | TrackBacks (0)

April 10, 2004

Californians: Sign This Petition!

"Assemblywoman Shirley Horton (R. San Diego) introduced California Assembly BILL A.B.2899 in February of 2004. This bill seeks to level the playing field in California by removing restrictions on the sale of biodiesel enacted by the Department of Weights and Measures... The bill would specify standards for the sale biodiesel and biodiesel blends and establish a program of voluntary CO2 content labeling program."

Sign Here!

[via Tales from the Cauldron, also posted to the Biodiesel Blog]

Update: Berkeley Daily Planet: "Despite efforts by both the Engine Manufacturers Association and ChevronTexaco Corporation to put roadblocks in the bio-diesel fuel regulation process, the California Department of Weights and Measures has opted only to regulate the fuel more thoroughly, not ban it outright."

Posted at 22:22 | TrackBacks (0)

Rwanda

Brian of Black Star Journal is doing a ten-part piece on the Rwandan genocide:

  1. Rwanda: Ten Years Later
  2. Pre-Genocide History
  3. How the Genocide Unfolded
  4. Myths and Realities, Part I
  5. Myths and Realities, Part II
  6. Genocide's Orphans
  7. more to come...
[via the excellent AfricaPundit]

Posted at 10:21 | TrackBacks (0)

April 9, 2004

Drogas Y Muerte

Apparently ~5000 Americans die each year from illegal drug use, while ~100,000 die from taking legal drugs that don't groove with their physicality- painkillers, antidepressants, diet pills. And apparently the technology exists to alleviate this, through genetic-based "personalized medicine."

The trouble is, it doesn't seem to be in the interests of biotech companies to pursue widely-available personalized medicine, because it would greatly reduce the market for their current drug offerings.

Yay capitalism!

AlwaysOn has the details, including an excellent comparison to the plight of the music industry.

Posted at 09:41 | TrackBacks (0)

April 5, 2004

Just Because

Read GoogleWatch?

Don't miss GoogleWatchWatch.

Posted at 19:22 | TrackBacks (0)

April 3, 2004

Slam!

Google Blogoscoped:

"For someone to invade something, there must be mutual disagreement of this invasion taking place. If you sign up with Google Inc's Gmail, you fully agree you give up your privacy. You did so when you choose Hotmail, Yahoo, or any other free webmailer. This is not to say anybody can sell your privacy to third parties. And Google does not; all an advertiser will see is that his "wine" or "beer" or "coke" product campaign got N hits. The advertiser will neither know what is in your email, nor do they have any interest in that information. It's simply not commercial."

"Now would you be creeped out too by Gmail? Think about it. Ads are all around you in free email services. But now one thing, only one thing changed; those ads will become relevant. This means they change from being noise, to being something that might actually help you. I often find the AdSense ads I display on my sites add to the overall information, instead of subtracting from it, or annoying my visitors. And if all fails, you still have the chance to ignore the ads presented to you. No one is forcing you to click on them."

Couldn't have said it better myself, emphasis mine.

[via Jay]

Update: The first Gmail review: "In fact, the system is so straightforward that there isn't really a great deal to comment on. The adverts are very similar to their usual Google search counterparts, but they don't get displayed all the time... At least, unlike certain providers, Google won't automatically spam you as soon as you've signed up."

Posted at 08:11 | TrackBacks (1)

April 1, 2004

Surf's Up!

Google Goes Pacific!

"Google, the famous search engine, is set to buy the Island of GoGooroa early next month... The search engine company, which is currently headquartered in Mountain View (California), is looking forward to this new site in the Pacific Ocean, on this island which will be officially renamed Googland in a few weeks."

Nice! I sure hope there's broadband...

In other Google/April 1st news... Gmail's been announced!

Posted at 09:12 | TrackBacks (1)