Morning Cup O' Joe

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Netvibes Widgets Everywhere

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I used to use Netvibes as my internet gateway because of its snazzy presentation (drag & drop), but as the number of RSS feeds I consume grew, I switched to Google Reader.

That being said, one of the big appeals to Netvibes is its “widget” system. You create a homepage and drop in a widget, which is usually dedicated to a particular website’s RSS feed. There were specialized widgets for Gmail, to-do lists, etc., but there were only a handful. Netvibes provided an open API so the general masses were able to create their own specialized widgets. Now there are over 90,000 widgets to choose from.

Netvibes took the next step and now provides an interface that allows these widgets to be used in Windows Vista, iGoogle, Apple Dashboard, etc. Currently, there are about 1,000 cross-platform widgets available (denoted by the white “infinity symbol” in the orange box), but that number is growing.


October 18, 2007 Posted by | Linux, Mac, Software, Windows | Comments Off on Netvibes Widgets Everywhere

Renting vs. Owning Your Home

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Millionaire Mommy Next Door is a blog by a self-made millionaire sharing “her recipe for success, happiness and a million dollars.”

I found an interesting entry (via Lifehacker) where she argues that renting might make more sense financially than owning a home. I know there are a lot of factors at play here, but I thought I’d throw that out to you, gentle readers, and ask your opinion on this matter.

October 18, 2007 Posted by | General, How-To | 2 Comments

Harness Wind Energy Sans Turbine

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Shawn Frayne (p. above), inspired by the video footage of the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in 1940, came up with the idea of the “Windbelt.” The basic concept involves a narrow membrane stretched under high tension between two points that contain magnets. When a small amount of wind is applied to the membrane, it will oscillate in harmonic motion to the wind. The oscillation will jiggle the magnets and create an electric current.

Prototypes have generated 40 milliwatts in 10-mph slivers of wind, making his device 10 to 30 times as efficient as the best microturbines.

Popular Mechanics interviewed Frayne and made a web video. It’s worth checking out.

October 18, 2007 Posted by | Science and Technology | 2 Comments

Unenforced Laws

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Here’s an interesting article at Slate Magazine by Tim Wu concerning unenforced American laws.

This series explores the black spots in American law: areas in which our laws are routinely and regularly broken and where the law enforcement response is … nothing. These are the areas where, for one reason or another, we’ve decided to tolerate lawbreaking and let a law–duly enacted and still on the books–lay fallow or near dead.

Why are there dead zones in U.S. law? The answer goes beyond the simple expense of enforcement but betrays a deeper, underlying logic. Tolerated lawbreaking is almost always a response to a political failure–the inability of our political institutions to adapt to social change or reach a rational compromise that reflects the interests of the nation and all concerned parties. That’s why the American statutes are full of laws that no one wants to see fully enforced–or even enforced at all.

(from BoingBoing)

October 18, 2007 Posted by | General, News, Philosophy | Comments Off on Unenforced Laws

James Randi’s $1m Speaker Cable Challenge Accepted

 Assets Resources 2007 10 Randi Pearcable
Michael Fremer (p. right) has openly accepted James Randi’s (p. left) million dollar speaker cable challenge. Any bets on what the outcome will be?

October 18, 2007 Posted by | Science and Technology | 5 Comments

Okay… how about recycling spent cooking oil?

There are 13,300 McDonald’s Restaurants (2006)

I’m guessing there are two 10 gallon friers in each McDonald’s, and I assume they change the cooking oil everyday.

So that’s about 266,000 gallons of spent cooking oil everyday.

Ohh… don’t forget the oil used to fry processed foods like potato chips. God knows how much oil FritoLay uses everyday.

Collect all that spent cooking oil and do what this guy is doing, but on a bigger scale.

October 18, 2007 Posted by | Science and Technology, Video | 1 Comment

Street Fighter IV Teaser Trailer

Okay, I’m squealing like a little girl over this.  Capcom’s Street Fighter series is as dear to me as Donkey Kong.  It represented a phase in my childhood where I would find excuses to hang out with friends at convenience stores to play a few rounds of Street Fighter II.

The trailer doesn’t show actual gameplay (or so we think), but the animation is breath-taking.  I love the stylization of it.

October 18, 2007 Posted by | Games and Gaming, Video | 2 Comments