Tim and the Tin Titan


Nice Idea
FreeCache from the Internet Archive is a way to have ISPs cache big files, but only ones you expect will be requested alot.

If you have a large file to distribute, you format the link like this http://freecache.org/URL. The URL is the complete link including "http://" and the file name to distribute. This format annonces to FreeCache to chache the file with you local ISP so that all other requests form he same isp will be more "local" than the original.

Seems like a good concept if the ISPs participate.


Not quite spring cleaning
Yeah, as you can tell, I'm cleaning out some backlog of posts... Still have some more but this is all I have time for tonight.

Listening post
Wednesday Music Spotlight archives contains low-fi shockwave version songs from bands you probably never heard before. Not only independant bands but also commercial bands but lesser known songs.

For a great example, check out "Let's War" by The Plastic Constellations, a hilarious song.

Better Image search
You like Google's image search but wish you could directly get the full scale images on one page? The Devilfinder Image Browser Beta is for you. You can tell it how many images to get and it will return the full sized images and a link to the source of the image, all on a seperate page per search.

Another interesting part is that it seems to return only rather big images. This might be very useful for those times I am looking for large images to minipulate. I should also check out their regular search.

I am now noticing the name of the service might also imply some more illicit ssearches than what I had in mind. Hum, another possibility to investigate.

Alt Postcards
A nice album: Eric Etheridge: Sky Hi: Small Signs Photographs that has been published as a book apparently.

SSL is no miracle cure
Netcraft: SSL's Credibility as Phishing Defense Is Tested illustrates how SSL certificates are no guarantee of security.

Phishing is the act of trying to lure a user into giving you their information by pretending to be a legitimate site. There are many such scams going around targeting eBay and PayPal. In this latest variation, the perpetrators are using SSL certificates so that the "lock" icon apprears locked but these can be busted by checking the URL when you accept the certificate. In a even more frightening move, some even set the SSL encryption method to "plain text". This means that the user is not prompted to accept a new certificate (so he/she thinks this is the site they visit all the time) and a central certification authority is not consulted to verify the validity of the certificate since they are not used with this method.

The lesson: type your URL by hand and check those certificate details before giving some personal info.

Check out this ad from the UK's channel 4. [NSFW for speakers, SFW for headphones]

I love the way the guy in the neck brace says it, he puts so much enegy into it. The guys from scrubs is also pretty good, that questioning tone. Also the blonde saying "I like cunt" is gold if taking out of context. Apparently it's part of a series of ads that ask celebrities "What is your favorite...".

I recognise some of the actors (from ER, West Wing, The Osbornes, Scrubs, Without a Trace) but I am missing alot. How many can you get?

Perl/Php Translation is a syntax equivalency guide between two of my favorite programming languages. It makes "translating" between the two much smoother. This would be something usefull to see for many other languages.


(No) Registration Required
BugMeNot.com is a database of logins to most of the sites that require logins, like the NewYork Times. Just put in the URL and they give you a list of human validated login/password combos.

They also have a bookmarklet (a java appelt in a bookmark) you can put on your toolbar to access the site directly when you are faced with a registration.

Full Control
Big String is a company offering "erasable, recallable email". From what I can deduce (since there is no technical information on their site), the body of the message is a reference to an HTML page hosted on their servers. Since this is an external reference, you can change the content of the mail by loggin onto the hosting server and editing your message. I suspect the "deleting" is just wipping out the page to be blank so that the message still exists but contains nothing.

An interesting concept but I would dread doing business with a client who can change what is written in an email at will. "No, if you check the email a sent you last month, I specified this had to be done by the 15th, not the 22nd..."


Worldwide Prices
Pricenoia allows you to compare the prices of the same books, DVDs, Music and games, including shipping, from all the different Amazons around the world.

No so usefull for American or Canadian products but an interesting tool for European goods. Just watch those region encoded DVDs...


Patterns on my way to work, beauty in simplicity:


Music To My Ears
CNET has a section devoted to the review of Full-size and Earbud or Portable Headphones. Maybe I can find a replacement for my old Sony MDR-V400s.

The Danger Zone
PRIPYAT ghost town (1970-1986) is a very interesting story. It's a photo journal, written in broken english by a Ukrainian woman who likes to ride her motocycle fast, real fast. The catch is that the best place she has found to do this is in the city of Pripyat, the ghost town near Chernobyl. In her own words:
"a story about town where one can ride fast, with no stoplights, no police, no danger to hit some cage or some dog.."

It is a very interesting story. The narative is disjointed and the English spotty but you can tell that this is a real passion and quite a bit of effort was put into it. It was also updated very recently. Her father is a nuclear physicist has worked in the zone for 18 years doing research.

It is also facinating to see pictures of inside the "dead zone" taken by average people and not scientists or government officials. Also, many of her pictures are striking and eloquent. A worthwhile read.

Picture Commentary
Check out the picture that accomapies this article: I'd Leave the Country, but My Wife Won't Let Me by Laura Conaway. It's should be entitled something like "The Embrace of Justice and Liberty"

Bug Killer
After finding a good free (but not open source) firewall (ZoneAlarm from ZoneLabs), here come a free (single home user, not open source) anti-virus software: AVG FREE Edition from Grisoft.com. A friend has been using it at home for about a year and she really likes it. Seems to perform just as well as most of the other major providers.

This is a good way for this company to become known to their users who may then have the power to influence the purchase of this product for a whole company.


Mars Music
The article Mars Rocks! on Space.com lists the songs that the engineers and scientists on the Mars Rovers Project start their day with. A very eccentric and event appropriate choice.

Server in a can
The buffy.riseup.net mail howto is a complete documentation on how to set up a fully-featured, complete mail server from open-source software, with step-by-step instructions.


Calvin and Hobbes Extensive Strip Search is a complete (every single strip ever printed) searchable Calvin and Hobbes archive. You can search by description and content, using Boolean search or by date. For each strip, it gives you the original newspaper publishing date and what page in which book it was included. A nice site for true fans and I have to say I admire the dedication of the creators of the site.

Audio Tool box
A couple of months ago, a friend of mine asked if I could record a music stream. It was a cover by a local band, nothing that would ever be put to an actual record. At the time I use a cocktail of shareware/demo tools to pull it off. Two weeks later I found Audacity and haven't looked back. They just announced version 1.2 on Slashdot this morning. It has all the features I could want and more, it is not only an audio recorder but it is also an editor and mixer. Another great tool in my open source tool chest. I am constantly amazed by the quality of these offerings.

By the way, if you want to export to mp3, you will need a LAME encoding DLL, see the previous post.


Not so LAME
If you ever have a software that requires the LAME library compiled for windows, including the sometimes elusive lame_enc.dll, mitiok.free.fr has some good recent compiles, along with lots of links to other LAME related sites.