Towse: views from the hill

November 30, 2008

The miracles of modern science – notify a partner of possible STD via e-card

Filed under: app,health,technology — Towse @ 5:58 pm

* Choose one of six e-cards (Figure 1),
* Type in recipients’ e-mail addresses (up to six),
* Select an STD from a pull-down menu,
* Type in own e-mail address or send anonymously,
* Type in an optional personal message.

PLoS article on inSPOT: The First Online STD Partner Notification System Using Electronic Postcards

Ah, the wonders of the Web.

November 18, 2008

PSA – Showcasing Your Life Online? New Software Uses Images of Keys to Make Copies

Filed under: app,news,yikes — Towse @ 9:31 pm

Showcasing Your Life Online? New Software Uses Images of Keys to Make Copies

So the lesson to be learned is not to empty your pockets and take pictures of “what’s in my pockets” with your keys in clear view and then post the pics on your Facebook page or Web site or blog.

New Sneakey software can setup a keymaking machine to reproduce your key(s).

November 2, 2008

Election 2008 – some fun from Peter Seibel @ Gigamonkeys

Filed under: app,election2008,mashup — Towse @ 4:22 pm

Election 2008 – some fun

dashboard periodically fetches the market price of Intrade’s state-by-state election markets, which represent the probability, as assessed by the Intrade traders, that a given candidate will win a given state. From those probabilities I compute the overall probability of various scenarios and color the map appropriate shades of blue and red. I also provide some dials and knobs (sliders) actually, to allow you to play some real-time “what if” games with the results.

[via a tweet from Tim O’Reilly]

September 5, 2008

Another Google Chrome Security Flaw Identified

Filed under: app,internet,webstuff — Towse @ 7:53 pm

Another Google Chrome Security Flaw Identified: “critical buffer-overflow”

For Pete’s sake. We were talking about this just last weekend when the Bixby Creek gang got together at Donner Lake for the long weekend.

The question then was, “Why don’t the software engineers at Microsoft check for buffer overflows when they’re designing their software? Especially now when they should be overly aware that they have an ongoing problem?” Followed by, “Why don’t the QA mavens at Microsoft check to make sure the software engineers have checked for buffer overflows?”

For. Pete’s. Sake. People. Microsoft. Google. Anyone writing code.

This is a known issue with known solutions.


August 22, 2008

Comcast mail and Usenet connections have been refused since yesterday p.m. What changed?

Filed under: app,webstuff — Towse @ 10:21 pm

Those of you spot the tweets over >>> there will notice that I was having problems with e-mail and Usenet connectivity since yesterday.

What changed?

After much poking and what not, here’s what needed changing. I’m putting it here so I can find it again should the situation pop up.

Error msgs indicated that comcast mail connection refused as was Wassup with that?

Being as I send mail to my personal accounts both to and to a gmail account as backup, I could still read my e-mails.

As an aside … turns out =still= that about 10% of mail sent to lands in some sys$null in comcastland. The mail that is picked up from the gmail account is more complete. I check the bin every once in a bit in case someone sent e-mail directly to the account. Usually the only source of mail sent directly to the account is comcast itself.

I use the gmail account when I’m “wandering”. …
When I’m “home,” Tbird grabs the gmail account POP mail and puts it in my local folder.

SOLN: (hours later): for whatever reason thunderbird.exe was no longer on McAfee’s goodguy list. Add thunderbird.exe to the goodguy list maintained by McAfee’s firewall.

That cleared some of the problems, but next up: timed out.

SOLN: the word from gmail. Simply put: Use port 995. Have SSL set.

So what happened ‘twixt then and now? I’m not sure. I suspect the problems with the McAfee firewall are connected with an update they pushed yesterday. I have no idea where the port/SSL problems with gmail came from. Maybe I fiddled things around while I was trying to make things work earlier today and forgot to set things back where they were. Happens.

Update: Outgoing mail wasn’t going out this morning. (You can tell how much e-mail =I= send.) Had to set the port for to 587. blocks the default port: 25.

June 25, 2008

Twitterholic: Who are these people?

Filed under: app,web2.0 — Towse @ 1:16 am

Twitterholic: Who are these people?


June 12, 2008

[URL] Corpus of American English

Filed under: app,resource,wordstuff,writing — Towse @ 12:26 am

Corpus of American English

Brilliant app.

The Corpus of American English (not to be confused with the American National Corpus) is the first large corpus of contemporary American English. It is freely available online, and it is related to other large corpora that we have created.

The corpus contains more than 360 million words of text, including 20 million words each year from 1990-2007, and it is equally divided among spoken, fiction, popular magazines, newspapers, and academic texts (more information). The corpus will also be updated at least twice each year from this point on, and will therefore serve as a unique record of linguistic changes in American English.

The interface allows you to search for exact words or phrases, wildcards, lemmas, part of speech, or any combinations of these. You can search for surrounding words (collocates) within a ten-word window (e.g. all nouns somewhere near chain, all adjectives near woman, or all verbs near key).

The corpus also allows you to easily limit searches by frequency and compare the frequency of words, phrases, and grammatical constructions, in at least two main ways:

* By genre: comparisons between spoken, fiction, popular magazines, newspapers, and academic, or even between sub-genres (or domains), such as movie scripts, sports magazines, newspaper editorial, or scientific journals
* Over time: compare different years from 1990 to the present time

You can also easily carry out semantically-based queries of the corpus. For example, you can contrast and compare the collocates of two related words (little/small, democrats/republicans, men/women), to determine the difference in meaning or use between these words. You can find the frequency and distribution of synonyms for nearly 60,000 words and also compare their frequency in different registers, and also use these word lists as part of other queries. Finally, you can easily create your own lists of semantically-related words, and then use them directly as part of the query.

April 16, 2008

Twitter Saves Man From Egyptian Justice

Filed under: app,web2.0 — Towse @ 9:58 pm

Twitter Saves Man From Egyptian Justice

Way to get publicity for twitter, Ev.

April 10, 2008

Callooh! Callay! Internet Resource for Writers rounds the Big One

Filed under: app,blog — Towse @ 3:47 pm

Internet Resources – Writers Resources – Writing Links & Writers Links for Writers

And, turns out, the count didn’t zero. Rather, added another digit.

I’m *still* going to swop in another free hit counter. Maybe Site Meter. I’m not too fond of how the current hit counter delivers data.

A MILLION HITS! I can’t believe it.

February 2, 2008

101 Best Web Freebies

Filed under: app,webstuff — Towse @ 10:13 pm

101 Best Web Freebies – BusinessWeek’s take on the best free apps and such you can find on the Web.

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