Saturday, September 15, 2007


My pick of the week's top 5 items of interest:
  1. This morning one of our senior computer science students did their senior seminar on Silverlight, a new web technology developed by Microsoft to enable .NET client-side programming on the Web. Like the Flash player, Silverlight first requires the engine to be downloaded and installed. I got it to work just fine with Firefox (although I hate restarting my browser, especially when I have 20 different pages open). This technology looks promising, especially if Microsoft really pushes hard for adoption. I wonder why they don't include it along with Flash in Vista? Maybe they're afraid of another bundling lawsuit.

  2. One of the examples used in the Silverlight presentation was Microsoft's new search engine, Tafiti. Tafiti is powered by Live Search, but it uses Silverlight for it's interface. Tafiti is a perfect example of how a pretty interface does not necessarily make your application any more usable (see the tree of search results below for "Harding University").

    P.S. I noticed today (3 days after this post) that the Tafiti tree view screen was eating 25% of my CPU cycles! I opened another tree view window to view different results, and 50% of my CPU cycles were being used! So not only is the screen useless, it will also cause your computer to waste time and energy. Booo.

  3. Google has recently improved their date range functionality on the advanced search. These improvements allow you to do things like, find the pages Google crawled from my blog within the past week.

  4. And Google is offering $30 million to the first team able to send a robotic rover to the moon that is capable of roaming the surface and sending readings back to Earth. Of course accomplishing such a feat is going to cost much more than $30 million, but it's a nice gesture.

  5. And just for fun: Sidesplitting tech comics.