Friday, February 15, 2008


My pick of the week's top 5 items of interest:
  1. Bill Gates has given up using Facebook. Apparently he was getting over 8000 friend requests per day. And I thought my wife was popular...

  2. New word for the day: bacn - Email that you've subscribed to that isn't spam because it's not totally unwanted, but it isn't really wanted either. Examples: Facebook friend requests and Amazon recommendations.

  3. Bennett Haselton writes his thoughts on Google's new Knol project and how it is likely that many people will copy over content from Wikipedia into Knols (creating a Wikipedia fork) because of the potential to make some money. Haselton also raises some interesting ideas on how Knols will be incorporated into Google web search.

  4. Every time I get stopped at a traffic light and there are no cars waiting at the intersection, I get furious. Why can't we figure this problem out? I'm happy to see that researchers from Romania and the US are trying to solve this problem. Of course their solution requires wireless communication between cars and traffic lights, something that is unlikely to happen anytime soon.

  5. All Your iFRAMEs Point to Us - an interesting paper from researchers at Google and John Hopkins Univ. From the abstract:
    In this paper, we provide a detailed study of the pervasiveness of so-called drive-by downloads on the Internet. Drive-by downloads are caused by URLs that attempt to exploit their visitors and cause malware to be installed and run automatically. Our analysis of billions of URLs over a 10 month period shows that a non-trivial amount, of over 3 million malicious URLs, initiate drive-by downloads. An even more troubling finding is that approximately 1.3% of the incoming search queries to Google’s search engine returned at least one URL labeled as malicious in the results page.