You’re better off drinking the toilet water

This is rather disturbing, especially as I rarely order anything other than water when eating out. The title of the article is “Student finds toilet water cleaner than ice at fast food restaurants.”

Jasmine Roberts, 7th-grade student:
“My hypothesis was that the fast food restaurants’ ice would contain more bacteria that the fast food restaurants’ toilet water.”

I’ll jump to the punch line for you. Roberts was right. Ow.

EDIT: The Consumerist has a brief write-up showing what a moron I was for posting this story and commenting the way I did.  Humor included.

[tags]Fast food, water, bacteria[/tags]

I heart Cory Doctorow pt. 2

Another excellent write-up by Cory.  This one questions Google’s serving up video in a way more favorable to Hollywood instead of Google users.  I haven’t finished reading this one, but I will when I get a little quiet time to focus on it.

With the introduction of its new copy-restriction video service, Google has diverged from its corporate ethos. For the first time in the company’s history, it has released a product that is designed to fill the needs of someone other than Google’s users.

Google Video is a new video-search and video-sales tool, through which users can download videos that have been uploaded by their creators or by others who have the rights to them, either because the videos are in the public domain, or because they are used in a way that satisfies the “fair use” defense in US copyright law.

[tags]Google video, Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing[/tags]

I heart Cory Doctorow

His writing is always excellent (to my easily impressed eyes, at least).  Recently on boing boing, Cory wrote a lengthy piece on why book publishers should be eager to hop in to bed with Google over the book scanning project instead of suing to stop it.

Here’s how GBS works: Google works with libraries to scan in millions of books, most (more than 75 percent) of them out-of-print, some out-of-copyright and some in-print/in-copyright. Google scans these books, converts the scanned images of the pages into text, and indexes the text.

This index will be exposed to the public, who will be able to search the full text of tens of millions of books — eventually this index could comprise the majority of books ever published — and get results back reporting on which books contain their search-terms.

For public domain books, the search-results will contain a link to the whole text of the book. These out-of-copyright works are our collective human property — or no one’s property at all — and Google is perfectly within its rights to distribute copies of any public-domain book that matches a search-request. As an author, I would love to be able to get the full-text of books that matched my search-queries.

For other books — the books that are in copyright — Google will show a brief excerpt: a single sentence with one or two sentences from either side of the the match. In some cases, publishers or other copyright holders have granted Google permission to show more than this — a couple pages — and Google will show you this, too.

The full article is about 20 times longer.

[tags]Cory Doctorow, Google Book Scanning project, Google, Boing Boing[/tags]

Latest version of OSx86 installable on PCs

Apple put additional security in to the latest version of OS X for Intel.  And someone has already broken that and come up with a patch allowing for an installable version.  This is the challenge of securing a digital product.  With the Internet, only one person has to break the security to make a digital product available to everyone.

What this means is that Apple’s best attempts to secure their OS have, ultimately, failed. For its best efforts, the company is unable to lock OS X to their hardware.  Without doubt, this will have profound impacts on the company’s future as running OSx86 on a PC becomes less a hacker’s trick and more mainstream.  When all it requires is the downloading of a DVD, that’s certainly the future we’re looking at.

[tags]Apple, OS X[/tags]

Ubisoft signs Shaun White for snowboarding game

I’ve been watching snowboarding in the Olympics.  I enjoy it more than most other events.  Otherwise, I wouldn’t post this, because I’m probably the only person reading this site who cares about this.

In order to accurately recreate Shaun White’s world-famous snowboarding style and differentiate from rival titles such as EA’s SSX series and Microsoft’s Amp’d games, Ubisoft’s forthcoming snowboarding game will focus heavily on the half-pipe, as opposed to the traditional downhill slopestyle.

[tags]Shaun White, snowboarding, Ubisoft[/tags]

Interview with VMWare’s Raghu Raghuram

Here is a very cool writeup from an interview with Raghu Raghuram, vice president of datacenter and desktop products for VMWare.  The discussion covers the company’s releasing GSX server and VMWare player as free software, plans for server virtualization management, future software updates, and competing products (We’re mainly looking at you, Xen).

The future looks bright for VMware. On tap for this year are the vendor’s VirtualCenter 2 and ESX Server 3 products. New features will include the long-awaited support for 4 CPUs in a box and up to 16 Gbytes of memory rather than the current 2 CPUs and 4 GBytes per VM. ESX 2.x will add support for IP-based storage, including NAS and iSCSI, in addition to traditional SANs.

[tags]VMWare, virtualization, Xen[/tags]

The upside to ADD in the tech-world

I’ve never been formally diagnosed with ADD, but I think anyone who knows me will tell you it’s a safe bet to assume I have it. This article on the benefits of ADD in terms of working as a techie sounds about right to me.

7. Stimulus Seeking Brain.

A perfect match for the wired world, an under stimulated brain and an over stimulated virtual environment. Being an info junkie can be a good thing. Well, not always:)

[tags]ADD, techie[/tags]

Microsoft loses big name Linux developer

News from ZDNet is Daniel Robbins has left Microsoft after only 8 months. Robbins felt he was not able to work to his full potential, so he left.

“I didn’t make the decision to leave Microsoft due to concerns about the company as a whole — Microsoft has just had a string of very successful product launches and I anticipate that it will continue to enjoy great success,” he said.

“The reason I decided to leave had to do with my specific experiences working in Microsoft’s Linux Lab. Although I believe that the concept behind Microsoft’s Linux Lab is a good one, I wasn’t able to work at my full level of technical ability and I found this frustrating,” he said.

[tags]Microsoft, Linux, Gentoo, Open Source, Daniel Robbins[/tags]