Out of the Blue Sort

I don't know exactly what causes IE Favorites sort parts of itself out of the blue, but its driving me nuts.  I usually organize them in the order of my visits.  News aggregator is great, but its doesn't feel like a daily stroll through the neighborhood.  So I start with Scripting News and moving down the list in the order of "must read" to "occasionally interesting".  Except now, its A to Z.  Argh!.  I am this close to pausing all other projects and redoing Favorites the way I like it.

Patriotic Dolphins and Pigeons?

Say hello to K-Dog, an awesome member of American military might.  Unlike some of our troops, he hasn't got a tatoo yet.  The famous chickens of our KFC unit I previously mentioned were decimated before the war unfortunately, but courageous flocks of American pigeons are making up for the loss.   Lets hope they return to our city parks safely after war. <g>


Amazon: a goldmine for ads

Amazon's interest in web-ad patent is not surprising.  After all, they have a goldmine for ads.  When a person buys a book, that person is making a significant investment of his/her time as well as money.  If I buy a book on stock options, you can be sure that I am interested in stocks and likely to respond to stock related ads.  So ad space on some of Amazon webpages are of high value.  Since ad space value can differ across pages, auction model works best.

Improving Google with Topics

Here is an idea for improving Google.  With each search, display a side column of topics related words in the query as well as general topics.  For example, searching for 'ivory' should bring up topics like 'Soap', 'Color', and 'Animal' as well as 'Company', 'Product', 'Geography', 'History', etc.  Clicking on a topic will change the query to filter by topic.  Search result click-through feedback is used to associate links with topics.  A fringe benefit is that adwords can be mixed into with the topic column to grab eyeballs.

Ideas Lost and Found

I finally had a talk with a friend of mine in the security industry about my idea on intrusion detection.  He got the idea immediately which was a good sign.  Sometimes, I have to flap my arms like a bird in flight to communicate ideas to usually smart people.  Unfortunately, he also remembered reading an obscure paper that described a very similar idea.  Disappointing, but I am glad I don't have to grunt through the pain of filing a patent.

It is still amazing to me that an idea like that is just remembered and not widely used.  As everyone say, ideas are cheap and even great ideas are often lost in time, hopefully to be found again.  I am going to implement the idea in a side project of mine.  Until I do, the idea will have to be lost a bit longer.  Sorry, but I don't want to ruin the surprise.  As someone said, surprise is all about timing.

Armor of Civilians

So the Iraqis have learned something from the last war: hiding among civilians, ambushing, faking surrender, and forcing house to house battles.  Only two options at this point.  First, let the Kurds take Baghdad by opening the way for them and giving them weapons.  Second, remove the damn restraint against targets near civilians.  Carpet bomb them after giving them enough warning and time to get out of the way.

You can't rid a ship of rats without sinking the ship.  If you don't want to sink the ship, then get a cat.

Patent Dillema

When a person has a patentable idea that could benefit almost everyone virtually overnight at minimal cost, should that person file and enforce the patent or share the idea with everyone?  When does public gain have precedent over personal gain?


I finally managed to build PGP 8.0 successfully by grafting missing files from old PGP source code and a bit of reshuffling.  Ability to step through PGP source code using debugger is important, particularly since there is no SDK for PGP 8.0 yet.  Now I can home in on the bug that hangs PGP during cleanup.  At this point, I am able to sign and verify PDF documents using PGP.  For simplicity sake, I am using SHA1 for hashing and PGP formats for public key and signature.  Overall, a productive Sunday.