Am I an Electric Human?

For quite some years now, I have been having an odd problem. I seem to get charged up with static electricity very frequently. As many of my friends and relatives would testify, they have suffered many painful and shocking handshakes with me. Then there are time periods when this problem becomes especially acute, and touching anything from door curtains to basin knobs to car doors gives me shocks. Sometimes I can even see a blue streak of electricity zapping across my hand to a door handle I am about to touch.

Google Calling my Firefox a Spyware?

WTF? This is from my Firefox 1.0.2 on FC3. UPDATE: Hmm. I read this post and it seems that others have found this problem too couple of months back. This got to do with some anti-virus search filter used in Google to prevent the Santy worm. But I wonder what is triggering this web page for me. I am not searching for anything remotely connected to php or phpbb.

IBM’s Double Face on Patents

IBM recently caused a lot of cheer when it announced that it is lobbying for patent reform. Apart from this, IBM has also pledged 500 U.S. Patents to Open Source recently. This post by Greg Aharonian - a person from the field of patents, calls IBM’s bluff and explains how he thinks it is probably only a well publicized corporate tactic by IBM to make it more difficult for new entrants to get into the patent game.

Net4domains Goes IE-Only

Net4domains control panel on Firefox Today morning when I logged in my net4domains control panel, I was shocked to see the control panel missing. I tried to login using one of my end-user accounts (I am one of net4domains' reseller), I couldn’t see the user control panel either. I use Firefox on Linux. The webdeveloper extension showed that there was a javascript error. So I opened up the Javascript console, and I found it full of errors about an IE-specific javascript extension("document.

Bitkeeper plays spoil-sport. Linux looking for a new SCM

Amidst controversy over work done by Samba developer Andrew Tridgell, Linux is (about time) moving out of Bitkeeper, and looking for a new SCM. The short story is this. Background: For some time, Linux has been using the controversial Bitkeeper SCM tool for managing its source code. This was a completely closed source product, which was trying to bypass FLOSS arguments by offering a free hosted solution. For all this while, the proprietary Bitkeeper hosting the source code of the most popular FLOSS operating system - Linux, has been the biggest ironies of our times.

Poutine - heart attack in a bowl

Ashton’s mini Poutine with regular gravy(Img Credit: Wikipedia) Mocha, the coffee and Sheesha (hookah) shop in GK-I and NOIDA, is great for unusual side dishes. Yesterday me and my bro tried out Poutine - a french canadian dish. The version served by Mocha had a cheese-curd dip and french fries alongside in a separate dish. The serving person did ask whether we want the gravy on the fries itself, but we balked at the idea.

Sony patents a brain manipulation technology

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20050407-4785.html Reuters is reporting that Sony recently got a pie-in-the-sky patent on using ultrasonic waves to beam sensory perceptions, like sights, sounds, and smells, directly into the brain. So in a sense, Sony’s patent is an improvement on The Matrix and the traditional cyperpunk notions of a sensory-enabled network that inspired it, because Sony’s method is non-invasive and doesn’t require you to “jack in.” I suppose you could say it’s “wireless,” to use a current buzz word.

MaxMind donates its city database

The drupal blog mentions that: The company MaxMind.com has agreed to release their cities of the world database under the GPL. The database contains locations by country, city, latitude and longitude. There are over 3,047,000 records in the database. The database seems to be at http://www.maxmind.com/download/worldcities/. The MaxMind site also offers FLOSS software free access to their GeoIP database. As a way of giving back to the Open Source community, we offer a free subscription to GeoIP Country Binary API database updates for use by any widely used Open Source project for the purposes of selecting the closest download mirror.

WIPO Shutting Out Public Interest Organizations

EFF reports: March 07, 2005. Geneva. - Last week, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) announced that it will shut out most public interest organizations at two important meetings devoted to intellectual property and development. As a result, WIPO delegates from 182 nations will discuss these issues without hearing from many of the world’s best-qualified experts. Scheduled for next month, two WIPO “Development Agenda” meetings will focus on the impact of copyright, patent, and other intellectual property rights regimes on the developing world.

Bulimia might have killed Terri Schiavo

Thaths mentions a news article which reveals that Terri Schiavo was suffering from Bulimia, a psychological condition similar to Anorexia. When Terri was 18 years old, she weighed 250 pounds. She developed an eating disorder, lost 100 pounds, got married and trimmed down to a Calvin Klein-acceptable 110. The only problem was, she was killing herself doing it. Her bulimia likely led to a potassium deficiency, which ultimately led to cardiac arrest and severe brain damage.