Monthly Archives: April 2004

Irrational? Transcendental!

Wow! Reading Bambi Francisco’s CBS MarketWatch article, I see that Google chose to raise $2,718,281,828 in their IPO. Why such an irrational (wink, wink) number?
It turns out that 2.718281828… (…and an infinite number of digits after that) is ‘e’, the base of the natural logarithm. Because it can’t be expressed as a [...]

“Pyramid Marketing vs Peer-to-Peer”

Jock Gill has posted a great rant on decentralizing politics and political campaigns at Greater Democracy.
It’s a 20-year vision, I think, but it is starting now.
Democracy at its core is supposed to be about decentralization of power, distributing the decisions to the network of citizens, instead of concentrating it at the top. That’s the [...]

Starting JavaScript

A friend on a Mac asked for some resources to get started programming JavaScript. Here’s what I came up with. Are there any others I should know about?
Here are two good-looking text editors for the Mac:

Tumult HyperEdit

Taco HTML Edit

Web tutorials about JavaScript:

W3Schools Introduction to JavaScript

The JavaScript Primers

A Beginner’s Guide to [...]

The Circumstances That Created Al Qaeda

National Security Advisor Rice says that President Bush believes that the response to 9/11 ought to be to deal with Afghanistan, and to deal with the circumstances in the Middle East that have created Al Qaeda, by implementing a peaceful and stable Iraq.
What created Al Qaeda was Osama bin Laden’s and others’ frustration with (perceived [...]

Spamming From An Internet Cafe

A sysadmin for an Internet cafe in Dublin describes in nice technical detail how he caught an alleged "419" spammer in flagrante delicto. (”419″ refers to a Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud.)
Evidently, a 419er is that stupid. The very next Friday (2nd of April
2004) he turned up again. I was on the bus at the [...]

The World

Family Business magazine has compiled a list of 250 family global businesses with revenues in the billion-dollar-plus range — companies “in which a family seems to exercise a significant presence — whether through ownership or management, but not necessarily both.”
Just like your family, right? ;-)

Web-scale Programming

Rich Skrenta has a good post about “the secret source of Google’s power” — a massively parallel computing platform. He writes about Google’s server architecture,

Google is a company that has built a single very large, custom computer. It’s running their own cluster operating system. They make their big computer even bigger and faster each [...]