Monday, February 28, 2005

Ranking Universities

I always took it for granted that public California universities are great, but how about the University of Washington?

Rankings of the top universities show that U-W Seattle is #17 in the U.S., #20 in the world, just behind famous places like University of Wisconsin and Univ of Michigan.

Note that Brown University is ranked way lower, at #51.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

WORDCOUNT / tracking popularity of words

WORDCOUNT / Tracking the Way We Use Language /

Presents an ordered list of the rank occurrence of the 86000 most frequently-used words in English.

"Richard" is the 1024th most common word. "Stowe" is 27825.
"Mother" is 332, but "Mom" is 16877.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Science experiments you can do with your kids

This is a whole web site full of cool projects, including crystal radios and high-voltage generators. One of my favorites is a chapter on
Biology and how to take digital photos through a microscope. is a site that tracks lots of streaming Internet broadcasts from public radio around the world. You can customize the site in lots of ways, including a setting that will only display WMA streams.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Dial 911 from any cell phone

MOBILE USERS - NUMBER CAN BE DIALED WITHOUT SIM CARD DURING EMERGENCY.The Emergency Number worldwide for GSM Mobile is 112 and not 999.You can dial 112 even without a Sim Card. If you find yourself out of coverage area of your mobile network and there is an emergency, dial 112 and the mobile will search any existing network to establish the emergency number for you.Do share this important info with others too. Hope you'll never need to use it though! and interestingly .. this number 112 can be dialled even while the keypad is locked.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Eilyon: searching for people

Gideon Rosenblatt's Blog suggested looking at eliyon: BusinessPeople search, and indeed it is pretty incredible the kind of information they have about people. It's a search site boasting something like 24 Million biographies of people, all supposedly culled from public Internet records.

It seems to know almost nothing about me, although it finds references to 55 people named "Richard Sprague". That's a relatively common name, which is part of the explanation of course. I'm not sure whether to feel more safe (they don't know about me) or disappointed (they don't know about me).

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Does Microsoft smell of rot?

Slashdot | Microsoft: The Faint Smell of Rot points to an article by MICHAEL S. MALONE printed here that claims Microsoft is on the way out.

This is not a new argument: Wired and many others have talked about this for years, and someday no doubt it will be true. Microsoft's biggest enemy is the Law of Large Numbers: once you reach this level of market dominance, you can't grow faster than the world economy.

Still, it is clearly a different place than it used to be. People don't work nearly as hard, and you can tell in lots of little areas that the place is taking too many things for granted.

College students today

90% of college students own a PC, 77% - a cell phone > Spending > IT Facts: "College students have $122 bln in spending power, of which $24 bln in discretionary spending. Their average annual per capita spending is $13,000. 90% of college students own a computer, 65% of those students have broadband connection. 62% own a stereo, a cell phone (77%), a printer (77%), a television (84%) and a calculator (86%). 74% own a DVD player and 55% own a gaming system. 62% of college students use their cell phone for text messaging and playing games (70%). 41% of students with cell phones can access the Internet through their mobile phone. "

Monday, February 07, 2005

NFL pulled 2nd GoDaddy ad

Generally the mood of this year's Superbowl was pretty sterile, in stark contrast with the risque GoDaddy ad in the first half of the game. Well it turns out that GoDaddy had planned to air a second ad, but the NFL pulled it and substituted a Homer Simpson ad instead.

That's fine by me. Their ad was a shameless appeal to prurience anyway. It got them noticed, but for what?

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Dynamist Blog: The Cost of Blogging

Dynamist Blog: The Cost of Blogging

It's true: blogging sucks up too much time on the ephemeral. Posting my opinion on everything I see is not a good way to develop deeper and thoughtful opinions. You need to step back and think -- but that is not compatible with the always-on aspect of blogging.