DuckDuckGo - Is Google Playing Fair?
I started working at The Duck Corporation (duck.com) in 1996, a few years before it went public as On2 Technologies/The Duck Corporation (on2.com and duck.com), and was working with Google/Duck/On2 until a year and a few months after the acquisition in 2010. At Duck/On2, I was responsibile for everything related to building our networks and maintaining all the hardware, software, servers, domains, networks and a ton of other stuff, you know the typical system administrator job.
Prior to the acquisition, but after going public as On2, we likely didn't sell duck.com because that was still my primary email address and I and a few others still actively used it, and we still kept up a basic website for information about our old and basically no longer supported software; and it was just one of those things still tied to the company with a lot of history as The Duck Corporation, so we decided to keep it. Feel free to blame me, since I always requested that we keep it when we saw the many offers for the domain over the years, mostly in the hundreds to couple of thousand dollar range; and because of my history with the company, I am sure I was a big part of that decision to not sell it.
When Google bought us, I knew I was still going to be there for a while to make sure all our company data, and some specific services that had to stay up, was migrated into their servers. Since we hosted all our own servers with our own hardware and software and they had to ulimately be shut down, I had to get things moved over and still needed to get my duck.com email.
So at that point, since I was still getting a lot of duck.com emails and had my duck.com email address for literally many hundreds of websites, publications, mailing lists, business contacts and other things, since I mainly used duck.com for well over a decade, I wanted to make sure Google's DNS and email was configured to still get duck.com emails. I actually had started trying to switch all my duck.com to google.com, but it was an overwhelming process. I still wonder how much email is still going to my duck.com email address.
I took it upon myself to learn the Google way of configuring their public DNS, email and a bunch of other things because I was nosey and wanted to learn and did learn some really cool and interesting stuff about them while I was there. I made sure the MX record for duck.com was still configured to deliver my email (and a few other email addresses) to my Google email account. Since it was decided to no longer keep the website up, I can't give you a real explanation, but I ended up configuring duck.com websites to point to the google.com main page instead of nothing. So you can go ahead and blame me, but no one at Google specifically told me to point duck.com to their site.
What Is the Future of Firewalls?
fwbuilder also does a great job of managing multiple firewalls even if they are different platforms and will even manage your home router if it has openwrt installed. It will manage everything over ssh, so its definitely secure for remote firewall management over public ip addresses. I have been alpha/beta testing version 4.0 for many months now and there have been a lot of great improvements including cluster support.
Easing the Job of Family Tech Support?
You can subscribe them to the monthly newsletter. It is meant to help non technical users understand these issues.
Being in the IT Department, I have been forwarding these emails every month to all employees for years.
Google Street View Wants You to Direct New Tricycle Imager
how about a mule rig with all the cameras climbing down (or up) the grand canyon.
New Jersey Outshines Most Others In Solar Energy
If you look at my previous post above about my solar system that NJ paid for almost 65% of the cost, I was only able to get that rebate by having my system connected to the grid which means anything that is generated that I am not using at that moment goes directly into the grid to all my neighbors. Since I keep detailed stats on everything, I can tell you, depending on the month, I put roughly anywhere from 25%-60% of the electricity I generate back into the grid. June through August are the months i put little back into the grid because of air conditioning and the pool pump. If you want to look at my yearly totals, in 2007 I generated about 9590kW and put 3670kW back into the grid which is about 39% to my neighbors. For 2008 I generated about 9596kW and put 4010kW back into the grid which is about 42%. You will notice that I had a 3% increase back to the grid due to me starting to become more energy conscience. I know I probably use more electricity than I should, but I have been trying to make more of an effort to reduce my carbon footprint and not just with electricity. While its not 50% (or 65% in my case), I am still putting a decent amount back into the grid. So anyone claiming that its rare a house generates more than it consumes is probably false. You have to remember that its only the electricity the house uses during the day that will come from the electricity generated by the panels. Anything used at night comes from the grid. Most people are not home during the day which means less electricity is used during the day because tv's, stereos, appliances, possibly computers and whatever else that someone would use while home that consumes electricity are turned off, which means more electricity back into the grid. Lights which are also another electricity hog (unless you are using compact florescent) are mostly used at night so none of that comes directly from the panels.
New Jersey Outshines Most Others In Solar Energy
I live in NJ and have a 7.8kW solar system on my roof. I purchased it through Home Dept/BP Solar. The state rebate covered about 65% of the cost. I only had to pay the other 35% of the cost up front. I applied for the system in 2005 and about 6 months later in April 2006 I had a working system on my roof. I have been extremely happy with its performance especially since my roof faces pretty much directly south. Not only do I save in electricity, I also get Solar Renewable Energy Credits that I can sell to help pay for my cost of the system. An SREC is received for every 1000kWH of electricity generated. My system generates about 9 SREC's per solar year. The solar year begins in June and ends in May. After it was installed I immediately purchased RS485 communcation boards for the two inverters and an RS232 to RS485 converter for a PC and runs the SunnyData software that continuously monitors the system. It reads various data every 8 seconds and I use ssh/rsync to push it to a linux server every minute where I wrote some scripts to parse the data and create almost real time graphs of its performance. For anyone interested, I setup my own domain mysolarenergysystem.com where you can view all the details about the system. I also had the electric company replace my meter with a net meter, so each month on my bill I can see my exact in and out usage. The net meter has what looks like a phone jack that can be used for remote monitoring. I asked them about it because I wanted to connect it to my computer, but unfortunately they didn't give me much of an answer except that its not used, but would have been nice to monitor and graph daily statistics for that as well.
Unusual Physics Engine Game Ported To Linux
I just bought the linux version and started playing it and have not had any problems with performance so far. I am running kubuntu 9.04 x86_64 with an Intel core2quad 2.83G with 8G DDR1066 and dual Radeon HD 4550 in crossfirex mode using the latest ati catalyst 9.6 fglrx driver. The movement is very smooth without any hiccups with all the video options at their highest settings. I can't give you a comparison to the windows version since I have no intention on getting it, but I can tell you that it works great on my linux system.
Google's Chiller-Less Data Center
Geothermal heat transfer is a great way to do cooling (and heating if needed). The initial investment will be high, but the savings will also be high in the long run (and not just in $). Add solar panels and/or wind turbines that can power the heat pump and some of the data center equipment. I had a solar system installed on the roof of my house a few years ago. I received major incentive rebates from the state, I can sell my SREC's and I get "free" electricity; and in a few more years time the cost of the system will have paid for itself. It has been a good investment. I researched geothermal for the house earlier this year and plan to invest in that within in the next few years. I have already reduced my carbon footprint by more than 30% in the last few years and plan to reduce it further. Just think how much more they could be reducing their carbon footprint.
US Postal Service Moves To GNU/Linux
They started using it 12 years ago for scanning destination addresses with OCR software.
I already know someone is going to say something about that is why their mail got lost, got redirected to /dev/null, etc...