Digital: Ex Post

December 29, 2004

Summary of Magnatune sales so far - sales by artists and albums

buckman's magnatune blog: Summary of Magnatune sales so far - sales by artists and albums: "1) Magnatune's sales don't follow the 80/20 rule (where 80% of the revenue comes from 20% of the artists) - our sales are more evenly distributed. Maybe because this is because we have no 'star' artists but I like to think it's because all our artists are on an level playing field, with visitors equally able to listen to any artist, and all the music being randomly shuffled in the playlists.

2) We have a 'long tail' -- Wired Magazine's important article The Long Tail argues that there is wealth to be made with a catalog of wide breadth. While our catalog is small in comparison to Amazon's we still see a long-tail effect, with 42% of album sales revenue coming from the bottom 60% in sales rank, and only 20% of sales revenue from our top 10 albums.

3) The top grossing artists are usually those having multiple albums. Notice that in the per-artist chart, revenue is more top-heavy, with the top 10 artists taking 27% of revenue (vs 20% for the top 10 albums).

4) If this data were graphed as a bell curve, the curve should be short and wide. I looked up How to do a bell curve in Excel but it's beyond my skills. If someone feels like crunching the raw numbers and supplying me with additional charges, I'd be much obliged.

5) The data is available in source form here: by album and by artist. Note that to protect my artists' confidentiality, I'm providing percentage-of-total numbers, not absolute dollars."

What if there were a tsunami and nobody knew?

WorldChanging: Another World Is Here: What if there were a tsunami and nobody knew?: "The other explanation is that Myanmar's famously secretive military government hasn't wanted to reveal the extent of the tsunami damage to the outside world... and especially to their own citizens. (As in many represive regimes, it's easier to to get news from outside the country than news from within it.)"

The BitTorrent Effect

Wired 13.01: The BitTorrent Effect: "Movie studios hate it. File-swappers love it. Bram Cohen's blazing-fast P2P software has turned the Internet into a universal TiVo. For free video-on-demand, just click here."

Skype on Mac OS X: A Hands-On Approach Skype on Mac OS X: A Hands-On Approach"My goal today is to introduce you to the wonders of Skype and show you how to integrate it in your routine but also to point out its limits. Indeed, as cool and great as internet telephony is, it still has its share of (unavoidable) drawbacks — plus, you wouldn't want to get the iChat developers all depressed, would you?"

Kalutara, Sri Lanka Satellite Images

DigitalGlobe | Images For The Media: "Kalutara, Sri Lanka"

Satellite Photos before, during and after the tsunami.

Yes, Virginia, There Is Life After Visual Basic

PBS | I, Cringely . Archived Column: "And that's why I like REALBasic, which feels in many ways like a return to a simpler time, except that it also does some things that we could never have done in the good old days, and that we cannot do today with Microsoft products -- like making applications totally cross-platform."

December 28, 2004 Announcement Dec 30th

Untitled Document: "It has been more then a week since went down. We are sorry that we have not updated the site with more recent news, but we have been very busy.

Anyway, we will soon be making an announcement. Announcement will be made on radio on 30th December around 10 PM CET"

Why There's No Escaping the Blog

Technology - Why There's No Escaping the Blog - FORTUNE"Freewheeling bloggers can boost your product—or destroy it. Either way, they've become a force business can't afford to ignore."

From the Jan. 10, 2005 Issue

Hallon , Mac system wide bookmarker

Hallon: " Hallon can create bookmarks in many applications (like iTunes) that usually can't create bookmarks and they are always accessible from a menu whatever you are doing. You can e.g. bookmark your favorite songs, an email that you have to reply to later that day, some documents that you are working on or the contact information of a friend whom you need to call before the end of the week. And you open the song, the email, the document or the contact information just by choosing the bookmark in the Hallon menu." - How Walmart Is Destroying America And The World: And What You Can Do About It - How Walmart Is Destroying America And The World: And What You Can Do About It: " How Walmart Is Destroying America And The World: And What You Can Do About It"

"New Item!

List Price: $10.95
Our Price: $7.55
You Save: $3.40 (31%)"

Too much Irony ... i can't ... jeez

December 27, 2004

Suprnova's eXeem beta review and screenshots

Mitosis Gold: Suprnova's eXeem beta review and screenshots: "Bit torrent websites are doomed. The trackers they offer make them nice, fat targets for the MPAA/RIAA and they're potential single pionts of failure due to hardware and/or bandwidth issues. Can P2P survive? Only if it evolves. "

ccPublisher 1.0

ccPublisher 1.0: "After six busy months, I'm very pleased to announce the release of ccPublisher 1.0. ccPublisher 1.0 is a feature complete, stable tool which allows users (that's you) to easily license your work, and optionally upload it to the Internet Archive for free hosting and cataloging."

One man's retirement math: Social Security wins |

One man's retirement math: Social Security wins | "He recorded all the payroll taxes he paid into the system (including the matching amount from his employer), tracked down the return the Social Security Trust Fund earned for each of the 45 years, and then compared the result with what he would have gotten had he been able to invest the same amount of payroll tax money over the same period in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (including dividends).

To his surprise, the Social Security investment won out: $261,372 versus $255,499, a difference of $5,873."

Arthur C. Clarke is OK, (he lives in Sri Lanka)

The Arthur C. Clarke Foundation "Thank you for your concern about my safety in the wake of Sunday’s devastating tidal wave.

I am enormously relieved that my family and household have escaped the ravages of the sea that suddenly invaded most parts of coastal Sri Lanka, leaving a trail of destruction.

But many others were not so fortunate. For hundreds of thousands of Sri Lankans and an unknown number of foreign tourists, the day after Christmas turned out to be a living nightmare reminiscent of The Day After Tomorrow."

Who is Arthur C. Clark?

Video: Tsunami wave hitting Phuket beach, RealVideo format Links Miniblog: "Video: Tsunami wave hitting Phuket beach, RealVideo format"

Yu-Mex: Mexican music in fifties Yugoslavia

Yu-Mex: Mexican music in fifties Yugoslavia: "In 1948, the Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito (May 7, 1892 - May 4, 1980) broke up with the Soviet leader Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin (Dec. 21, 1879 - March 5, 1953) and Yugoslavia was on the brink of war with the Soviet Union. There were tanks on both sides of the border and Tito's regime imprisoned many Soviet sympathizers (real or just suspected). Russian films were suddenly not so popular anymore.

Yugoslav authorities had to look somewhere else for film entertainment. They found a suitable country in Mexico: it was far away, the chances of Mexican tanks appearing on Yugoslav borders were slight and, best of all, in Mexican films they always talked about revolution in the highest terms. How could an average moviegoer know that it was not the Yugoslav revolution?"

More info, covers and mp3's in the site.

The Revenge of the Nerds is Living Well

Armed and Dangerous � The Revenge of the Nerds is Living Well

"The term ‘geek’ didn’t emerge as a common label, displacing the older and much more sporadically-used ‘nerd’, until around the time of the Internet explosion of 1993-1994. I noticed this development because I didn’t like it; I still prefer to tell people I hang out with hackers (all hackers are geeks, but not all geeks are hackers). Another index of the success of the emerging geek culture is that around that time it stopped being an almost exclusively male phenomenon."

Windows XP Service Pack 2: The Inside Story

Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows: Windows XP Service Pack 2: The Inside Story: "Todd and a virtual team of Microsofties that worked outside of the usually strict hierarchical system at Microsoft delivered Windows XP SP2 to an eager audience. The SP2 product they shipped bore little resemblance to Microsoft's original plans for the release, but was instead a far more secure and stable product that, ultimately, made XP a better operating system." - Free software, no nasties! - Free software, no nasties!: " is a resource to help Windows users find the best free daily-use software, free from nasties: adware, spyware, harmful/intrusive components, and threats to privacy.

Computers do not have to become slow, unreliable and infested with unwelcome software during the natural course of computing. Simply being careful about what software you install on your computer will have a dramatic impact on the quality of your computing experience.

There is a lot of excellent free software available today. Unfortunately, over the past couple years the Internet has become littered with deceptive and borderline dangerous software. Many 'free' programs threaten your privacy; others clutter your computer with intrusive components."

Phuket Tsunami Photo Gallery

Phuket Tsunami Photo Gallery by hellmut issels at "Phuket Tsunami"

Impressive sequence of photos of the tsunami from a Hotel room.

December 26, 2004

Sea surges kill thousands in Asia

BBC NEWS | South Asia | Sea surges kill thousands in Asia: "More than 6,000 people have been killed across southern Asia in massive sea surges triggered by the strongest earthquake in the world for 40 years."


Deep Thoughts #13

Deep Thoughts #13: "# A clean desk is a sign of a cluttered desk drawer.
# Everyone has a photographic memory. Some don't have film.
# Put on your seatbelt..... I wanna try something.
# The Universe is a figment of its own imagination.
# There's no future in time travel.
# Tonight's weather: Dark with continued darkness until dawn.
# Boycott shampoo! Demand the REAL poo!
# If you choke a smurf, what color does it turn?"

Many more senseless quotes like this.

Passage to China, by Amartya Sen

The New York Review of Books: Passage to China: "The intellectual links between China and India, stretching over two thousand years, have had far-reaching effects on the history of both countries, yet they are hardly remembered today. What little notice they get tends to come from writers interested in religious history, particularly the history of Buddhism, which began its spread from India to China in the first century. In China Buddhism became a powerful force until it was largely displaced by Confucianism and Taoism approximately a thousand years later. But religion is only one part of the much bigger story of Sino-Indian connections during the first millennium. A broader understanding of these relations is greatly needed, not only for us to appreciate more fully the history of a third of the world's population, but also because the connections between the two countries are important for political and social issues today."

How To Speed Up Firefox (Helpful Vanity)

How To Speed Up Firefox (Helpful Vanity): "Here's something for broadband people that will really speed Firefox up:

1.Type 'about:config' into the address bar and hit return. Scroll down and look for the following entries:

network.http.pipelining network.http.proxy.pipelining network.http.pipelining.maxrequests

Normally the browser will make one request to a web page at a time. When you enable pipelining it will make several at once, which really speeds up page loading.

2. Alter the entries as follows:

Set 'network.http.pipelining' to 'true'

Set 'network.http.proxy.pipelining' to 'true'

Set 'network.http.pipelining.maxrequests' to some number like 30. This means it will make 30 requests at once.

3. Lastly right-click anywhere and select New-> Integer. Name it 'nglayout.initialpaint.delay' and set its value to '0'. This value is the amount of time the browser waits before it acts on information it recieves.

If you're using a broadband connection you'll load pages MUCH faster now!"

December 24, 2004


Santa Jack asleep
Originally uploaded by dcpiii.
I hope everybody has a nice holiday (3 days in my case), and remember to eat, drink and be merry!. Oh, and sleep too.

December 23, 2004

2004 Year-End Google Zeitgeist

Google Press Center: Zeitgeist: "Search patterns, trends, and surprises.
Based on billions of searches conducted by Google users around the world, the 2004 Year-End Zeitgeist offers a unique perspective on the year's major events and trends. We hope you enjoy this aggregate look at what people wanted to know more about this year."

Tor: An anonymous Internet communication system

Tor: An anonymous Internet communication system: "Tor is a toolset for a wide range of organizations and people that want to improve their safety and security on the Internet. Using Tor can help you anonymize web browsing and publishing, instant messaging, IRC, SSH, and more. Tor also provides a platform on which software developers can build new applications with built-in anonymity, safety, and privacy features."

RePet a reality

Genetic Savings and Clone - the leading provider of pet gene banking and pet cloning services.: "For the first time, GSC can now offer commercial cat cloning with a very high standard of health and physical resemblance between genetic donor and clones, thanks to our new chromatin transfer (CT) technology. We've just produced the first two cloned kittens by CT, both of which are healthy and normal after being born June 10 and 12. "

iPod Acc Sale

PowerBook Central: "Use coupon code TWTRGIFT during checkout to save 15% on numerous iPod accessories at Tweeter through January 2, 2005."

Making poverty history | | Poverty: "In 2005, poverty reduction is scheduled to dominate the global policymaking agenda as never before."


Commentary: Why "There are some very good reasons to use instead of Microsoft Office, and the best reasons have nothing to do with cost of the software."

MUERTOS INCOMODOS, a peculiar co-author novel

MUERTOS INCOMODOS | Metafilter: "Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, the mysterious, offbeat leader of the Zapatistas, and Paco Ignacio Taibo II, a Mexican crime novelist, are coauthoring a mystery novel live--alternating chapters each week--in the pages of the Mexican newspaper, La Jornada. So far, they have finished chapters one, two and three (pdf) of Muertos Incomodos, (The Awkward Dead)."

via metafilter

Grinching and Altruism

The Econoclast: Grinching and Altruism: "Having just returned from a hour wasted selecting gifts at a bookstore, I more than share the frustration at the inefficiency of gift-giving. Yet, we are forced by social norms to do it. Inefficient as the norm may be in terms of immediate utility, however, it may be efficient as a signal.
When someone gets me a gift that I really enjoy receiving, it shows that this person has (a) understood my utility function; and (b) managed to produce an item that increases it. I think these are two very important pieces of information for peer relationships. It may be one of the few true signals about who is really your friend."

Track New Patents in the US Patent Applications Updated Each Week, RSS, Keyword Monitoring: " the latest published US patent applications each week BEFORE the USPTO decision to grant/deny"

December 22, 2004

Are science and religion converging? No.

Snake Oil and Holy Water : "modern theists might acknowledge that, when it comes to Baal and the golden calf, Thor and Wotan, Poseidon and Apollo, Mithras and Ammon Ra, they are actually atheists. We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further. "

Amazon: Giving Away the Store

Welcome to Technology Review Amazon Light, created by former Amazon programmer Alan Taylor and hosted on his personal website,, is one of thousands of independent sites incorporating the product data and programming tools that Amazon has been sharing freely since July 16, 2002. That’s the day Amazon celebrated its seventh anniversary—and unveiled a startling new project, called Amazon Web Services, that promises to change, once again, the way retailers of all stripes think about reaching their customers.

NeoOffice/J Home

NeoOffice/J Home: "NeoOffice/J is a reasonably stable version of the office suite that has been engineered to run natively on Mac OS X. It is open source software released under the GNU General Public License (GPL) and is available for free from the NeoOffice/J download page."

The Mac Graphing Calculator Story

The Graphing Calculator Story: "I used to be a contractor for Apple, working on a secret project. Unfortunately, the computer we were building never saw the light of day. The project was so plagued by politics and ego that when the engineers requested technical oversight, our manager hired a psychologist instead. In August 1993, the project was canceled. A year of my work evaporated, my contract ended, and I was unemployed.

I was frustrated by all the wasted effort, so I decided to uncancel my small part of the project. I had been paid to do a job, and I wanted to finish it. My electronic badge still opened Apple's doors, so I just kept showing up."

Best Blogs of 2004 Feeding On Itself: "Best Blogs of 2004" Feeding On Itself: "
A Small Selection of Blogs that I Read, As a compendium to the 2004 Blogs of the Year" :: home of fine hypertext products: "My favorite weblogs of 2004"

Great way to get to know new Blogs.

December 21, 2004

Hacking Coke Machines

[NLhiphop] Hacking Coke Machines: "Coke vending machines are everywhere. They're getting more and more like regular computers with LEDs that show little 'ICE COLD' messages and whatnot. Well, there's a lot more to those little built-in computers than you may think. Included in the low-level operating system that these babies run on is an actual debug menu that gives you access to all sorts of machine information and possibly gives you free cokes in older machines."

Prodigem Torrent Hosting Service

Prodigem Hosting Service: "Prodigem is a content hosting service. It uses Bit Torrent peer to peer (p2p) filesharing to enable you to distribute extraordinarily large media files at an extraordinarily low cost. In fact, the service is currently free (but probably will not be forever). Prodigem is currently in a limited testers phase and will be opened to wider availability shortly. "

The Evolution of Manufacturing

PeopleSoft: The Evolution of Manufacturing: "This archive combines a series of New York Times archival articles outlining the evolution of manufacturing with an overview of Peoplesoft's role in continuing progress in the manufacturing field.

These New York Times articles were specifically chosen to chronologically outline the manufacturing innovations man has made through time. You will be taken back to the time of Henry Ford and the Industrial Revolution to the leaders of today's Fortune 500."

Internet Explorer: The Girlfriend from Hell

Internet Explorer: The Girlfriend from Hell - Virtuelvis: "Imagine, for a while that your girlfriend is Internet Explorer:"

Free eBooks for your PDA - Free eBooks for your PDA: "This site contains more than 10,000 eBooks formatted for reading on your Palm, PocketPC, Zaurus, Rocketbook, eBookWise-1150, or Symbian cellphone. When eBooks are added to the site they're listed on the Recent Additions page."

Free MP3 Music - Peoplesound

Free MP3 Music - Peoplesound: " Welcome to Peoplesound, showcasing the best new artists alongside the latest digital and mobile music from established names. Choose from thousands of artists offering free MP3's to download. Search our database for your favourite music across the musical spectrum."

Free Online Games Daily

Little Fluffy Industries: Free Online Games Daily: "Free Online Games Daily"

Beatles Christmas Records

Sci-Fi Hi-Fi: Beatles Christmas Records: "If you were fortunate enough to have been a member of the official Beatles fan club between 1963 and 1969, then you likely have heard one or more of these records. The Beatles recorded them and sent them out to their adoring fans every year, finally collecting them all on one album for the 1970 edition. Now rare and quite pricey to obtain, these seldom heard recordings offer a rare glimpse of the fabs at their funniest."

Torvalds: A Solaris skeptic | CNET

Torvalds: A Solaris skeptic | Newsmakers | CNET "When Linus Torvalds successfully harnessed the talent of thousands of programmers to create Linux, the operating system that arguably suffered most was Sun Microsystems' Solaris.

Now Torvalds and his allies face a new side of that old competitor. Sun has turned Solaris into an open-source project. "

The Unofficial Closure FAQ

The Unofficial Closure FAQ by SilentDragz - Last updated 21/12/04 5:50:14am GMT: "1. Has really closed?
Yes, it has."

December 20, 2004

Tastes Like Chicken

Tastes Like Chicken: "The field of culinary evolution faces one great dilemma: why do most cooked, exotic meats taste like cooked Gallus gallus, the domestic chicken?

It is curious that so many animals have a similar taste. Did each species evolve this trait independently or did they all inherit it from a common ancestor? That is the burning question."

Inside the Mac Revolution

Wired News: Inside the Mac Revolution: "In 1978, a young Andy Hertzfeld spent every penny to his name on an Apple II. Hertzfeld was nervous about the purchase at the time, but it turned out to be the best investment he ever made.

Hertzfeld went on to join Apple Computer as an engineer, and eventually became a key member of the Macintosh development team -- a motley crew of pirate programmers whose maverick project has defined personal computing."

December 19, 2004 // podcasting made easy // podcasting made easy: "We provide a home for you to store your media, and a simple but powerful interface that syndicates your podcast to a limitless audience.
We don't want you to be penalized if your show gets popular. That is why we do not charge for bandwidth usage, or for hosting a static amount of web storage. Instead, our price model is based on how much space you need a month. At the end of every month, your Podcasts are archived for as long as you are a LibSyn customer, and your hosting space is refreshed."

Organize PDF Files in iTunes (Updated)

Kirkville - Organize PDF Files in iTunes (Updated): "One of the 'hidden' features in iTunes 4.7 is the ability to managed and organize PDF files. As I mentioned in this article about 'digital booklets' available with the new U2 album, Apple is providing liner notes with some albums. In order to do this, iTunes has to be able to manage PDF files; in fact, when you download the latest U2 album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb or the Complete U2, you also download a PDF file containing these liner notes. "

The BitTorrent P2P file-sharing system | The Register

The BitTorrent P2P file-sharing system | The Register: "Even though many P2P file-sharing systems have been proposed and implemented, only very few have stood the test of intensive daily use by a very large user community. The BitTorrent file-sharing system is one of these systems. Measurements on Internet backbones indicate that BitTorrent has evolved into one of the most popular networks [8]. In fact, BitTorrent traffic made up 53 per cent of all P2P traffic in June 2004 [12]. As BitTorrent is only a file-download protocol, it relies on other (global) components, such as websites, for finding files. The most popular website for this purpose is

There are different aspects that are important for the acceptance of a P2P system by a large user community. First, such a system should have a high availability. Secondly, users should (almost) always receive a good version of the content they request (no fake files) [10]. Thirdly, the system should be able to deal with flashcrowds. Finally, users should obtain a relatively high download speed.

In this paper we present a detailed measurement study of the combination of BitTorrent and Suprnova."

December 17, 2004

More Free Legal MP3 Music | 3hive

3hive: "3hive is a growing jukebox of MP3s we like. You won't find excerpts, streams (except for, or any format other than the good, old-fashioned MP3. And because we link directly to the official label and artist websites where we found these links, you won't have to worry about the RIAA breathing down your neck."

Michael Crichton on Global Warming

Caltech Michelin Lecture: "Aliens Cause Global Warming

A lecture by Michael Crichton
Caltech Michelin Lecture
January 17, 2003"

Safe Personal Computing

Schneier on Security: Safe Personal Computing: "I am regularly asked what average Internet users can do to ensure their security. My first answer is usually, 'Nothing--you're screwed.'

But that's not true, and the reality is more complicated. You're screwed if you do nothing to protect yourself, but there are many things you can do to increase your security on the Internet."

Camels and Rubber Duckies | Joel on Software

Joel on Software - Camels and Rubber Duckies: "'How much should I charge for my software?' When you ask the experts they don't seem to know. Pricing is a deep, dark mystery, they tell you.
The answer is really complicated. I'm going to start with a little economic theory, then I'm going to tear the theory to bits, and when I'm finished, you'll know a lot more about pricing and you still won't know how much to charge for your software, but that's just the nature of pricing. If you can't be bothered to read this, just charge $0.05 for your software, unless it does bug tracking, in which case charge $30,000,000 for it.

Now. Where was I."

December 16, 2004 Project Info - Gregarius Project Info - Gregarius: "A web-based RSS/RDF/ATOM news aggregator featuring OPML import/export and XHTML/CSS output"

Get Ready To Call iTunes Get Ready To Call ITunes: "Apple Computer and Motorola could soon show us the mobile phone they are developing to play music purchased from Apple's iTunes online music store. "

Most interesting quote for me:
"It has to be a phone in the middle-tier of the market, not a $500-tier phone. It has to be very seamless to use. And we're very happy with the results."

Hooking Up: Protective Pairing for Punks

SPR: "this advice article was written for incarcerated heterosexual male survivors of prisoner rape, but provides a good description of a unique form of sexual relationship which is an important part of the culture of confinement."

Wow. Interesting. A "just in case" read.

What is EPIC 2014?

EPIC 2014

"In the year 2014, The New York Times has gone offline.
The Fourth Estate's fortunes have waned.
What happened to the news?
And what is EPIC?"

you have to watch this. Flash. About 8min.

How to Podcast with Blogger and SmartCast |

FORRET.COM Blog: How to Podcast with Blogger and SmartCast: "This is a step-by-step manual on how to create your own Podcast feed with Blogger and Feedburner SmartCast."

Why niche markets are the future to growth

ChangeThis Newsletter: 10.01 The Long Tail - why niche markets are the future to growth: "Editor-in-Chief of Wired, CHRIS ANDERSON says that the future belongs to those that serve the millions of untapped niche markets as well as they serve the masses. In fact, the most successful companies are already doing it."

Short Copyright Documentaries

Finalists: "We are happy to announce the finalists in our Arts Project Moving Image Contest. The contest asked entrants to create short films demonstrating some of the tensions between art and intellectual property law, and the intellectual property issues artists face, focusing on either music or documentary film."

December 15, 2004

The Economic Theory of Illegal Goods: The Case of Drugs

The Economic Theory of Illegal Goods: The Case of Drugs: "We show that a monetary tax on a legal good could cause a greater reduction in output and increase in price than would optimal enforcement, even recognizing that producers may want to go underground to try to avoid a monetary tax. This means that fighting a war on drugs by legalizing drug use and taxing consumption may be more effective than continuing to prohibit the legal use of drugs."

from: Gary S. Becker, Kevin M. Murphy, Michael Grossman

Homer Simpson uses tabbed browsing

redemption in a blog - Homer Simpson uses tabbed browsing: "Homer Simpson uses tabbed browsing"

Probably Firefox!

Paying for Kidneys | Marginal Revolution

Marginal Revolution: Paying for Kidneys: "Paying for Kidneys

In a new paper, Gary Becker and graduate student Julio Elias estimate that for a price of $15,000 the shortage of kidneys could be eliminated from live donors. The risk of death to a live donor is no more than 1 in a 1000. Combine this with a value of life estimate of $3 million and add in some costs for time off work and so forth and you get the Becker/Elias figure of $15,000."

You can find the paper here.

Another interesting quote "iIn fact, dollars would be saved also because transplants are cheaper than dialysis."

December 14, 2004

Men Prefer Subordinate Women For Long Term Relationships

U of M News Service: "Men are more likely to want to marry women who are their assistants at work rather than their colleagues or bosses, a University of Michigan study finds."

No shit.

"Given that female infidelity is a severe reproductive threat to males only when investment is high, a preference for subordinate partners may provide adaptive benefits to males in the context of only long-term, investing relationships---not one-night stands."

Free Music for Your iPod

iPodlounge | All Things iPod: "Interested in free, legal music for your iPod? Visit the new iPodlounge Free Music section of our site, featuring daily updated links to great indie and major artist releases available for immediate download!"

Lot's of links for free legal Music.

What's Next for Dan Gillmor?

OhmyNews International: "Dan Gillmor's announcement that he will leave the San Jose Mercury News next month in order to start a citizen-journalism venture has left many insiders scratching their heads. Why is the much respected tech writer leaving what he described as 'greatest gig in the world' for the perilous journey of developing an entrepreneurial idea in citizen-journalism?"

Ask Jeeves Introduces Desktop Search Application

Search Engine News :: Search Engine Lowdown: Exclusive - First Look at Ask Jeeves Desktop Search: "Ask Jeeves will launch their new Ask Jeeves Desktop Search (AJDS) application on Wednesday, but we caught-up with Senior Vice President, Jim Lanzone, and have some exclusive details of the newest entry to the desktop search race."

Blockbuster waves goodbye to late fees

Blockbuster waves goodbye to late fees: "The largest video rental chain has announced that customers will no longer have to pay late fees on rentals of movies and videogames. Instead of imposing a late fee on unreturned rentals, Blockbuster will charge customers for the 'full price' of the tardy movie or game after a one-week grace period expires."

December 13, 2004

PubSub LinkRanks

PubSub LinkRanks: "LinkRanks are a measure of how many pages link to each particular site, with more weight given to fresher links and to links from a wider variety of pages"

The Alpha Bloggers | MSNBC

MSNBC - The Alpha Bloggers: "Meet the highly evolved community of 'A-listers' with growing influence over the tech agenda. They show how radically power can shift in the age of the Internet."

The Dead Grandmother/Exam Syndrome

DeadGrandmother: "The basic problem can be stated very simply: A student's grandmother is far more likely to die suddenly just before the student takes an exam, than at any other time of year.

The FDR (family death rate per 100 students) is climbing at an accelerating rate. Extrapolation of this curve suggests that 100 years from now the FDR will stand at 644/100 students/exam. At that rate only the largest families would survive even the first semester of a student's college career. Clearly something will have to be done to reverse this trend before the entire country is depopulated. Three possible solutions come to mind:
1. Stop giving exams.
2. Allow only orphans to enrol in universities.
3. Make students lie to their families - don't tell family members about upcoming exams, and maybe they'll stop worrying themselves to death."

Yahoo! gives! away! free! desktop! search! | The Register

Yahoo! gives! away! free! desktop! search! | The Register: "Yahoo! has licensed the X1 search software for Windows from tech incubator Idealab, in an attempt to compete both with Google's browser-based desktop search download, and the current leader Copernic"

December 12, 2004

Locked out? No Worries With Knock-In-Key

Smarter Life and Leisure - Locked out? No Worries With Knock-In-Key: "
Knock-In-Key is the World's First Back-up Entry Key for your car that requires no external devices, keys or RF signal emitters. Made in Germany and very secure, all you need to do is KNOCK ON THE WINDOW or panel with your own code to unlock your vehicle. Designed for when you lock your keys inside the car or lose them altogether."

Wired Test, Free PDF Download

index.gif: "



December 10, 2004

Google Suggest

Google: "
As you type, Google will offer suggestions. Use the arrow keys to navigate the results"

From the FAQ:
" As you type into the search box, Google Suggest guesses what you're typing and offers suggestions in real time. This is similar to Google's "Did you mean?" feature that offers alternative spellings for your query after you search, except that it works in real time. For example, if you type "bass," Google Suggest might offer a list of refinements that include "bass fishing" or "bass guitar." Similarly, if you type in only part of a word, like "progr," Google Suggest might offer you refinements like "programming," "programming languages," "progesterone," or "progressive." You can choose one by scrolling up or down the list with the arrow keys or mouse."

December 09, 2004


Seashore - About: "Seashore is an open source image editor for Cocoa. It features gradients, textures and anti-aliasing for both text and brush strokes. It supports multiple layers and individual channel editing. It is based around the GIMP's technology and uses the same native file format."

Roads Gone Wild

Wired 12.12: Roads Gone Wild: "No street signs. No crosswalks. No accidents. Surprise: Making driving seem more dangerous could make it safer."

Anarchy, it's what for dinner.

History of Camino - : /pipermail/camino/2004-December/002805: "In the beginning, there was Mozilla. The widget and graphics layers were written with Quickdraw using all of the old Mac OS API calls. The app ran on OS8 and OS9."

Technical Jiggery Pokery: Thunderbird's Extreme Mac-over

Technical Jiggery Pokery: Thunderbird's Extreme Mac-over: "After the Pinstripe theme landed in Firebird, Stephen Horlander and I dove in to a companion Thunderbird theme. We started in early November 2003 and finally hit the 'let's stop fiddling with it and get it out there' phase in March of 2004. I've gone through the messages that Stephen and I exchanged during that time and pulled out a few examples of design decisions."


The New Yorker: "Mammography, air power, and the limits of looking."

Ten Most Wanted Design Bugs

Ten Most Wanted Design Bugs
"These bugs aren't necessarily fatal. The are all at minimum highly irritating, and they have all survived for a minimum of five years or five product release cycles, whichever came first.

In some cases, the bugs have outlasted the original developers, persisting so long that their successors may not even realize they are bugs—they seem the result of "natural laws." In other cases, the developers know these bugs full well, but refuse to address them. These all need to be addressed, and that address should be far out of town."

Sleep and obesity | Bristol University

Bristol University - Sleep and obesity: "The recent rise in obesity may be partly due to the reduced amount of time we spend asleep, according to new research from the University of Bristol, UK."

English 'world language' forecast | BBC NEWS

BBC NEWS | UK | Education | English 'world language' forecast: "A third of people on the planet will be learning English in the next decade, says a report."

December 08, 2004

Smash-Up Derby - world's only mash-up rock band

Smash-Up Derby - world's only mash-up rock band: "Okay, look, we know how most of these band bios start. It usually goes something like this: Imagine a band that mixes [insert well-known indie band here] with [insert famous pop artist here] sprinkled with a dash of [for intrigue, insert descriptive noun here]. And of course, it's usually complete bullshit. Unless, that is, you're talking about SMASH-UP DERBY.

Info Aggregator

Info Aggregator - Home: "nfo Aggregator is an RSS-to-IMAP service. It lets you receive and read RSS feeds in your favourite mail client. It delivers all the latest news and blog posts directly to your mailbox. "

Essential Mac Applications | Mac Specialist:

Mac Specialist: Essential Mac Applications

China's Lenovo to buy IBM's PC business | InfoWorld

InfoWorld: China's Lenovo to buy IBM's PC business: December 07, 2004: By : HARDWARE: "China's Lenovo Group signed a definitive agreement on Wednesday to acquire IBM's personal computing division. Lenovo will pay $1.25 billion in cash for the business, which is expected to transform it into the world's number three PC maker, the companies announced."

PalmSource announces Linux support | NewsForge

NewsForge | PalmSource announces Linux support: "An open letter from PalmSource to the Linux community"

BBC Documentaries - Jonathan Miller's Brief History of Disbelief

Jonathan Miller's Brief History of Disbelief: "In this first ever television history of disbelief, Jonathan Miller leads viewers on a personal journey exploring the origins of his own lack of belief and uncovering the hidden story of atheism."

What's wrong with RSS is also what's right with it | Tech News on ZDNet

What's wrong with RSS is also what's right with it "The variety of Web syndication techniques is one of those proverbial situations where the greatest thing about standards is that there are so many of them. It would require thesis-level research to make real sense of RSS 1.0, RSS 2.0 (which is not the successor to RSS 1.0, but rather version 0.94), Atom, and the gaggle of tangentially connected Internet syndication technologies. If there are problems at the specification level and they can't get worked out (my sense is that some conflicts have been overblown by the press), can we expect it to get any easier in the trenches? This story is about us users just trying to get something to work."

December 07, 2004

Is IBM looking to take a bite out of Apple?

Is IBM looking to take a bite out of Apple?: "As IBM apparently intends to sell its PC (and laptop) business, some are speculating that the apparent divestiture of its PC business is the precursor of a bid by Big Blue for Apple. The theory is that the combination of IBM enterprise credibility and Apple's hardware and operating system would make such a partnership profitable. Apple's servers, desktops, and laptops would be given a foot in the door of the business world and -- along with Mac OS X -- would give IBM a complete, end-to-end solution to counter Microsoft. IBM would also get an instant winner in the consumer electronics market, as they would own the iPod as well as Apple's digital rights management solution, FairPlay."

The 6 Myths Of Creativity | Fast Company |

Fast Company | The 6 Myths Of Creativity: "These days, there's hardly a mission statement that doesn't herald it, or a CEO who doesn't laud it. And yet despite all of the attention that business creativity has won over the past few years, maddeningly little is known about day-to-day innovation in the workplace. Where do breakthrough ideas come from? What kind of work environment allows them to flourish? What can leaders do to sustain the stimulants to creativity -- and break through the barriers?"

Cyber detective links up crimes New Scientist

Article: Cyber detective links up crimes| New Scientist: "Many more crimes might be solved if detectives were able to compare the records for cases with all the files on past crimes. Now an artificial intelligence system has been designed to do precisely that. Working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it could look for telltale similarities in crime records and alert detectives when it finds them."

China's Biggest Computer Maker Confirms Acquisition Talks

Technology Review: China's Biggest Computer Maker Confirms Acquisition Talks: "China's biggest computer maker said Tuesday it is in acquisition talks with a major international technology company, a disclosure which comes amid reports it might buy IBM Corp.'s personal computer business."

December 06, 2004

The Broadband Daily > Seeds of change: Nicholas Reville on Downhill Battles Blog Torrent initiative

Nicholas Reville on Downhill Battles Blog Torrent initiative: "As a couple of recent developments have suggested, 2005 should be the year when Big Media attempts to come to grips with P2P in a meaningful way, with a view to co-opting or monetizing it. Watching this unfold should be something akin to viewing a car crash in slow motion - horrible, but strangely mesmerizing."

The Cuban Biotech Revolution | Wired 12.12

Wired 12.12: The Cuban Biotech Revolution: "Embargo or no, Castro's socialist paradise has quietly become a pharmaceutical powerhouse. (They're still working on the capitalism thing.)"

Technology Review: Woot, Here It Is

Technology Review: Woot, Here It Is: "With strong word of mouth, low prices, and a hopping RSS feed, continues to grow and is on track to record almost $10 million in sales in less than five months."

Woody Allen puts Mickey Mouse on the witness stand | The New Yorker.

The New Yorker: Shouts and Murmurs
Counsel: Will the witness please state his name.

Witness: Mickey Mouse.

C: Please tell the court your occupation.

W: Animated rodent.

C: Were you friendly with Michael Eisner?

W: I wouldn’t say friendly—we had dinner together a number of times. Once he and his wife had Minnie and me to their house.

continued ...

Gated Content Now Drives 50% of Salon's Revenues -- How it's Working : Practical News & Case Studies on Internet Advertising, Marketing & PR: "At an estimated $2 million per year in subscription sales plus an additional estimated half a million in Day Pass ad sales, that 20% of gated content is now contributing roughly half of Salon's total income."

December 05, 2004

The Becker-Posner Blog

The Becker-Posner Blog: "Coming Soon

So you've found this... a little early. Coming soon."

A blog by Gary Becker and Richard Posner. How f**king cool.

December 03, 2004

Statistics for

Statistics for "1.182.402 visitors last month. wow."

Have a nice weekend

Originally uploaded by Danny_Boy.
Relax. Eat, drink and be merry, 'cause monday it starts all over again.

Yale Students Perform Prank of the Century > Juicee News Daily

Yale Students Perform Prank on Harvard: "
In a rivalry that is in its 121st year, students at Yale University successfully pulled off the most impressive prank in the history of rival pranks. The students faked being members of the 'Harvard Pep
Squad,' passing out pieces of paper to the Harvard side of the

These Harvard fans were told that the pieces of paper would join together to spell 'GO HARVARD.' Little did they know, when held up at just the right moment, the piecesactually spelled 'WE SUCK.'"

Economists Are Getting Religion - Business Week

Economists Are Getting Religion: "The economics of religion is founded on the belief that people are just as rational in their choices about religion as they are about, say, buying a car. 'Producers' of religion -- churches, synagogues, and mosques -- compete for 'customers' by seeking converts, drawing members from other congregations, or combating the pull of secular society. Some strains are 'cheap' in the sense that they place modest demands on adherents, while others are costly but presumably offer bigger rewards."

More academic info on the the Association for the Study of Religion, Economics, and Culture website.


Apple showing off a cellphone prototype? - Engadget

Apple showing off a cellphone prototype? - Engadget - "Rumors say Apple has indeed been showing off a prototype for an iPhone (or whatever you want to call it), and that Motorola is one of the potential manufacturing partners."

Why would an Apple Cellphone be great? David Galbraith really hits the spot (and without fanatical reasons)"

"1. All cellphone OS's suck.

2. Most non PDA cellphone hardware design seems to have stayed the same, apart from the addition of a camera lens, for the last 2 years.

3. Unlike computers, for most people, cellphones are a luxury device where good hardware design is a premium.

4. Apple proved that people would pay for their software and hardware design value-add, in a luxury market, with the iPod.

5. Cellphones & MP3 players make sense and may converge, making a hedge against this a good move for the iPod.

6. The market for cellphone hardware is big but the incumbents are stumbling.

7. Even buying ringtones on cellphones is a $3 billion market (much bigger than the current music download market).

8. The form factor of the iPod mini is the same as a phone, and Apple pretty well invented the PDA (but just got the form factor wrong with the Newton).

9. Apple is particularly good at media apps. Wireless cellular iTunes, iCal and iPhoto would be very nice, thank you.

Why can't I have a nice, shiny, white iPhone from Apple?"

December 02, 2004

Gross National Happiness (GNH): The new GNP

Gross National Happiness (GNH): Practicing the Philosophy-dZinchong Rigphel: Led by its young king, King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the kingdom of Bhutan is the only country in the world to measure its wellbeing by Gross National Happiness (GNH) instead of Gross National Product (GNP). This unorthodox approach is a serious attempt to question the values of unbridled economic progress, and foreground the importance of maintaining a balance between tradition and modernisation. Bhutan has followed a cautious path of development since the 1960s, with the intention of preserving its heritage and culture and protecting its environment.

Long Story: On the Centre for Bhutan Studies website you can read 10 papers on the subject.

Short Story: A great post on the Hammerland blog with the quick and dirty story.

More Story: Very complete article by

The new Wired deadtree edition has an article on GNH, but from an US economy perspective.

WorldChanging: Carbon Markets Underway

WorldChanging: Another World Is Here: Carbon Markets Underway: "One of the elements of the Kyoto treaty is the use of carbon markets. This lets those countries either producing under the treaty limits of CO2 or not currently bound by the treaty (for now, mostly developing nations) sell carbon emission rights to treaty-bound over-producers. While this may seem like a way for over-producing countries to just keep spewing excess CO2, it's actually a very good idea: few countries are close to making the Kyoto limits without buying credits, so there's considerable demand; even as more countries get their emissions in order, the emissions allowed will gradually decline over time, making the remaining credits inevitably more expensive; countries will therefore have an economic incentive to be net carbon credit producers instead of consumers. It's definitely an incentive for developing countries to adopt cleaner technologies sooner, so as to continue being sellers and not buyers as they continue to grow. We're now starting to see how these markets will play out."

MSN Spaces

MSN Spaces: "With MSN Spaces, you can easily create and manage your blog from your computer or your mobile phone. It's a great way to share information and photos with your friends and family. And best of all, it's free!"

Competition is always nice. Right Bill?

Introducing Inkscape 0.4 -

Introducing Inkscape 0.4 - "The Inkscape Team is pleased to deliver its newest version, 0.40. The development cycle has been particularly long and intense this time, but we feel it's our best release yet."

From their website "Inkscape is an open source SVG editor with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, Visio, etc. Supported SVG features include basic shapes, paths, text, alpha blending, transforms, gradients, node editing, svg-to-png export, grouping, and more."

Here comes FLOSS, this looks like an usable alternative to CorelDraw, etc

December 01, 2004

BBC NEWS | Health | Brazil to break Aids drug patents

BBC NEWS | Health | Brazil to break Aids drug patents: "The head of Brazil's Aids programme, Pedro Chequer, told the BBC it was the only way it could afford to keep up its anti-Aids strategy.

Mr Chequer said Brazil would make copies of up to five drugs next year.

Correspondents say Brazil has often threatened to produce drugs without the permission of the company holding the patent, but now looks set to do so.

Under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, a nation can break drug patents if there is a national emergency.

Brazil currently makes eight of the 15 drugs it offers in its anti-Aids cocktail, which is free to those with the disease."


Slyck News - SuprNova Moves Towards Decentralization

Slyck News - SuprNova Moves Towards Decentralization: "
Exeem is a new file-sharing application being developed by the folks at Exeem is a decentralized BitTorrent network that basically makes everyone a Tracker. Individuals will share Torrents, and seed shared files to the network. At this time, details and the full potential of this project are being kept very quiet. However it appears this P2P application will completely replace; no more web mirrors, no more bottle necks and no more slow downs.

Exeem will marry the best features of a decentralized network, the easy searchability of an indexing server and the swarming powers of the BitTorrent network into one program. Currently, the network is in beta testing and already has 5,000 users (the beta testing is closed.) Once this program goes public, its potential is enormous."

View's cryptic news

FoxyTunes - Control any media player from Firefox and more...

FoxyTunes - Control any media player from Firefox and more...: "# FoxyTunes is an Extension for Mozilla Firefox.
It also supports the Mozilla Suite and Mozilla Thunderbird.
# It allows you to control your favorite media player without leaving the browser.
# The controls are positioned on the status bar or one of the toolbars, so no extra space is wasted.
# FoxyTunes has several nice features. You can control the playback, adjust the volume, see what's playing and more."

Magnatune: MP3 files and music licensing (royalty free music and license music).

Magnatune: MP3 files and music licensing (royalty free music and license music).: "We're a record label. But we're not evil.
We call it 'try before you buy.' It's the shareware model applied to music. Listen to 326 complete MP3 albums we've picked (not 30 second snippets).

We let the music sell itself, because we think that's the best way to get you excited by it.

Our selection is intentionally small: we never waste your time with mediocre music.

If you like what you hear, download an album for as little as $5 (you pick the price), or buy a real CD, or license our music for commercial use.

Artists keep half of every purchase. And unlike most record labels, our artists keep all the rights to their music."

E-Mail Icon Generator

E-Mail Icon Generator: "E-Mail Icon Generator
For GMail, Hotmail, MSN, Yahoo!, AOL and many more!"

Who Is Ken Jennings?

ABC News: Who Is Ken Jennings?: "For two weeks of his run as the longest-reigning 'Jeopardy!' champion, Ken Jennings lived a double life. The shows had not yet aired, and no one was allowed to know where he was when he took off time from work."

Steer Madness - The Video Game

Steer Madness is a fully-featured 3D action-adventure game for home computer. You play as Bryce the Steer who narrowly escaped the slaughterhouse. Now liberated, you are on a mission to save your animal friends!

RSS Readers (RSS Info)

RSS Readers (RSS Info): "RSS and Atom files provide news updates from a website in a simple form for your computer. You read these files in a program called an aggregator, which collects news from various websites and provides it to you in a simple form."

Long story.

Explicación y Programas en Español.

This is the platform for the hottest things in the web right now.

Alternatives to traditional burials

WorldChanging: Another World Is Here: Alternatives to traditional burials: "Swedish ecologist Susanne Wiigh-Masak has developed Promessa, a method for recycling human corpses into fertilizer.

While cremation burns fossil fuels and releases pollutants, burials require that the corpse be filled with embalming fluids which can pollute the groundwater as the body decays.

Wiigh-Masak's solution has bodies immersed in liquid nitrogen to remove water, causing them to crumble into fine organic dust. This is then placed in a container that biodegrades within six months."

Visit the Promessa Website


Paper airplane - The best paper airplane in the world!

Paper airplane - The best paper airplane in the world!: "Build the best paper airplane in the world! How to build it, how to fly it."