Jeremy mentions a blog entry that suggests Google will buy Flickr. I could certainly see this as a possibility, though I agree with Jeremy, I’m not sure that this would be a good thing. As much as most of us would like to see smaller companies like Flickr do well by themselves, at some point be purchased by someone else becomes a serious question. So you’ve got to ask yourself, if it were to be inventible that Flickr gets purchased, which company would people trust the most not to screw it up? Looking at it from that light I think that Google would do ok, but perhaps Apple would be another possibility. Perhaps an iPhoto + Flickr (iFlickr?).
An Apple and Flickr marriage would work even better if iPhoto ran on Windows and Mac (ala iTunes). Perhaps Apple would start making specific, strategic applications cross platform.
If anyone were to buy Flickr it seems like Microsoft and Google would be the two most likely candidates. Perhaps I should be hoping that Goolge buys Flickr.
My sister got a letter from Delta Blood Bank, one of their computers was stolen. Apparently her info (name, address, ssn, etc) was on it (along with a ton of other people). The good news is that they recovered the computer, but who knows if the sensitive information was copied or not. Time to check those credit reports again.
The FreeBSD Foundation has been pretty quiet for most of its life, just doing what needs to get done. Now they are asking for your help in keeping their charitable status. From what I gather, they need more donations from a broader group of people. You can donate via check, money order, credit card or PayPal. My check is going in the mail today.
UPDATE 27 Dec 2004 @ 11:25pm: In less than a week The FreeBSD Foundation has met and exceeded their donation needs to keep their public charity status.
Safety Dance in code: This requires some knowledge of programming and familiarity with a certain 80s tune (via Jeremy).
PostgreSQL recovery story: Joe Conway recounts the steps he used in recovering a PostgreSQL db after the system it was running on freaked out.
PostgreSQL new website: Major face lift for the PostgreSQL website.
The folks over at PubSub have refined their LinkRank calculations. They now support some of the large hosting sites (MSN Spaces, LiveJournal, etc) to that LinkRank is calculated for the specific blog instead of the domain. Not surprisingly this has moved some people up and some down, by large margins in some cases. For instance, Bob Wyman lost more than 30,000 points.
Hey Bob, you think that is a big number, my LinkRank was 940,586 yesterday. Today, after your changes, my LinkRank is 90,821. I shot up more than 800,000 points. We’ll see how long that lasts
asleap: Recover Cisco LEAP and PPTP passwords.
tinc: VPN daemon.
Cross-Column Pull-Outs: How to do a multi-column layout with newspaper like boxed out areas between columns.
Spam is an unpleasant problem. It has managed to sink its claws into usenet and email to the point where I’ve more than once wondered why I still bother. In the last couple of years spam has entered into the world of blogs. One of the nice things about blogs is the increased interconnectivity (trackback, pingback, comments, feeds, etc), but it is these very same features that spammers are using to “advertise” their wares. Now that we’ve been through this fight a few times (and pretty much lost every time) there has been a lot of discussion about how to solve this problem before our blogs suffer the same fate as usenet.
Jeremy feels that comment spam could be fixed by search engines. The idea being that spammers hit blog comments in an effort to make themselves more visible to search engines and higher up in the results. I suppose on one level this is true, I’m sure that they would be thrilled if this result because it puts more eyeballs on their “advertisements”. Just like the fact that filtering spam won’t stop it from being sent to you, fixing pagerank and other search engine calculations won’t stop spammers from hitting blogs and hitting them hard.
Email spam has already proven this to be true. It wouldn’t matter that if 75% of all email accounts filtered spam with 100% accuracy (which they don’t by the way), spam would still be sent out to everyone (including those who filter it). All of these things bring us back to asking why. I suppose there are many answers to this question, but in the end I believe the simplest answer is: because they can. As long as the ability to spam email accounts exists, there will be those who are willing to do so. I believe the same will hold true for comment spam, as long as it can be done it will be, even if it doesn’t help their standings in search engines.
In the world of blogs though, comment spam is only one portion of the problem. I subscribe to a PubSub search for PostgreSQL. For the most part this is nice because when PostgreSQL gets mentioned in a feed that PubSub tracks it shows up in my subscription feed. This service suffers feed spam because PubSub can’t tell the difference between a feed entry written by a person who is really writing about PostgreSQL (or at least uses that word in the entry) and a bot (or person) who writes a spam entry and just happens to throw the term PostgreSQL in there so that it will show it places like my PubSub search. It’s hard for me to really blame PubSub since they are doing exactly what I asked of them, but it is annoying none the less.
Following down this path, if everything above is true, then how to we stop blog spam (either in comments, feeds, trackbacks, etc)? For now I believe there are ways in which we can try to maneuver around it, but as long as it is still possible it will continue. So if you are looking for techniques to fight blog spam, go for methods that prevent the spam from ever successfully entering your blog, otherwise you will still have to deal with the stuff.
eAccelerator: Another compiler cache for PHP, this is reports itself to be better than all the rest and support PHP5.
Creating Cross Tab Queries in SQL Server: That’s it, I’ve got to sit down finish my post on a cross tab query example for PostgreSQL.
Google Suggest Dissected: More thoughts on Googles use of client and server side techniques for user interfaces.
Lego Thriller: Remember, if you are ever surrounded by killer zombies, whip out a few dance moves, they will instantly make you their leader (via Jeremy).
Postgresql Database Recovery: Outline of what one person (who should have been making more frequent backups) went through to restore his PostgreSQL database.
I like Bloglines, use all the time to keep up with 70+ feeds. As just a plain regular user on the outside I do have one concern, how does Bloglines make money? I certainly enjoy being able to use the service for free, but they are a business, so they have to make money some how. The presumption is advertising of course, hopefully in a way that wouldn’t be too distributive. Eric Peterson asked this same question of Mark Fletcher (CEO of Bloglines) and posted about Mark’s response, basically highly targeted advertising. If nothing else Bloglines knows a lot about my reading habits (at least for sites that have feeds), so they should be able to target ads pretty well.
To give credit, I found this via Jeremy, who linked to Greg who quoted some of Eric’s post.
All Booked Up: Google has a project to scan in books to make them searchable.
Sprint to buy Nextel: More wireless carriers trying to be bigger.
Windows Server Hacks: AutoProf Policy Maker: More tips on policies in Windows server.
WordPress 1.2.2: New version of WP is out, with minor fixes and updates.
A Gentle Introduction To SQL: An intro to SQL (covering MS SQL, Oracle, DB2, Access and PostgreSQL) along with some useful references for database specific issues, like metadata (via Hosting @ Your Computer).
FreeSBIE 1.1: A live CD project, this release is based on FreeBSD 5.3.
Firefox Ad: Ad for Firefox 1.0 in the New York Times.
Building and Configuring Slony: Another article on Slony, a replication app for PostgreSQL.
Get Ready To Call ITunes: Forbes article about Motorola and Apple working together. Looks like Russell may have been right on the money.
asRep: Program for tracking Google Adsense accounts.