Friday, March 27, 2009

Ha.... a linux worm.

Notably, the worm doesn't seem to be using vulnerabilities in the software itself - just good old stupid passwords. If your router's root password is "password" you're going to get owned.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My agent iz in ur brain.... controlling u.

Something that has always fascinated me. Brain parasites which control their hosts, turning them into real world zombies. There is worm which can control cricket into jumping in water; there is rabies virus which makes mammals rabid (rabid fox loses fear of humans or other predators and instead gets attracted to them; rabid dog on other hand bites humans; quite curious change in behaviours), there's a fungus that control ants, and Leucochloridium paradoxum which controls snails and even paints "eat me" target.

You may by now be wondering what lolcats have to do with parasites.
Toxoplasma gondii makes mouse get attracted to cats, so that mouse gets eaten and parasite can sexually reproduce in the cat; the infection is harmless to cats. You can even say that parasite is effectively a symbiont to cats, feeding cats with mice!
Toxoplasma gondii can also infect humans, where it similarly infects brain and muscle tissue, and has effect on neutransmitters in brain, in particular dopamine. Its massive. Half of adult humans worldwide have that thing in brain!
For all we know, it may trying to expand into new medium by forcing humans to post lolcats on internet :-)

Okay, okay, I'm just joking, but still, that is quite fascinating.

Friday, March 13, 2009

String theory of antigravity.

In light of news that string theory made a prediction, I just came to realization that string theory is correct.
It usually provides correct explanation of antigravity - levitating objects are often suspended on strings.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Linux better than pirated Windows

I think that must be repeated more.

Pirated Windows is a second most popular desktop operating system according to Ballmer (and in many regions, the most popular desktop operating system at home and even office).

And it really is a horrible OS. Illegal, immoral, unpatched, full of trojans and malware (often coming with viruses as part of the install), or of third party antivirus and firewall software which slow the system down to total crawl. No support whatsoever. Frequent reinstalls are required. Microsoft's "genuine advantage" gets in the way, and so on and so forth.

But people still pirate windows. Supposedly because they see pirated $250 windows for $0 to have higher value than free Linux for $0

You can argue all day long if genuine Windows is worth $250 or not. Maybe it is, maybe it is not, i guess that depends to what you're doing.
But pirated windows is certainly not worth even $0 .

(that's just my opinion, anyway)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Ad nonsense

I was curious how often people really click on ads. The experiment ran on my website for several days. 1050 views with 0 clicks. I did already suspect that the legitimate ad click rate is very low, and that majority of users don't even register ads consciously (nor subconsciously).
I'll keep experiment running on this blog.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Some random thought on multiverse hypothesis, isotropy of space, and anthropic principle

If there is a lot of universes with varying physics laws, would we be likely to find ourselves in an universe where physics laws are slightly non-isotropic? (like, for example, if ratio of proton and electron mass is larger on one side of universe than another).
If our physics laws are is more isotropic than we could expect, then this may show multiple universes hypothesis and/or anthropic principle to be wrong or unusable for reasoning about properties of universe.

(some basics of what I'm talking about)
The multiple-universe hypothesis (along with anthropic principle) is a proposed explanation why physics laws appear to be well tweaked for some form of intelligent life to exist, and why we got some very specific physics laws at all. Hypothesis goes as following, what if a lot of universes with different physics laws exists, some inhabited some not. Certainly, we could only find ourselves in universe with physics laws that allow intelligent life. But would such universe also have "sensible" physics laws, same everywhere and so on?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Linux works out of the box.

One of good things said about OS X is that OS X works out of the box. But it doesn't work out of the box on any hardware - it works out of the box, on mac hardware.

I believe same can be just as well said about Linux: It works out of the box... on mac-level hardware :-)

Or, to be exact, Linux generally works out of the box on quality hardware.
If you stay away from obscure cheap crap (or expensive crap), and get distro that is not too fundamentalist about open source and includes closed source drivers (such as mandriva), everything works "out of the box" (as in you put livecd, boot, and voila).
For example, my relatively cheap pc with gigabyte motherboard (Intel p45 chipset), Intel q9300 cpu, NVidia 9800 gt, and Seagate 750gb hard drive worked absolutely perfectly "out of the box". I honestly never had to press reset button (or otherwise force reboot) in 5 months since buying it. (edit: actually I had to press reset once. When hot-disconnecting dvd drive, I pulled at cable and video card crashed. that was scary.)

You wont get that experience with windows. You'll have to google for and install every driver by hand, which feels almost like making your own bloody Linux-from-scratch.
On other hand, of course, if you have obscure motherboard chipset, and a lot of other obscure, crappy hardware, Linux could even fail to boot.

But you may say, what's about all the post-install headache such as entering commands on terminal, editing /etc/wt.f/awful.conf by hand, and so on? If you don't want to do that, just don't! You can live without it, like you would on windows or os x, where you generally do not have well documented, human editable config files. All the important configuration can be done with GUI.