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Thursday, November 16, 2006

The World's Greenest Company (or a Nobel Prize for Bill)?

It is estimated there are 660 million computers in use worldwide, the majority of which run some iteration of a Microsoft operating system. Generating the electricity needed to power those computers requires hundreds of power plants that produce billions of tons of CO2 emissions. Many of those machines sit idle for 12 to 16 hours per day, burning electricity, but not doing any work, because businesses habitually leave their computers running overnight.
Microsoft has already announced that they will integrate aggressive energy-saving technology into their operating systems. They should issue a software upgrade to every computer running Microsoft Windows worldwide. The upgrade would adjust the machine's energy-saving settings for maximum efficiency. Of course, this upgrade would have to allow critical systems to opt out. Nobody wants air traffic control computers to suddenly go into deep hibernation. But correcting for critical systems should be very simple for a company that churns out millions of lines of code every year.
Microsoft estimates that it costs $55 to $70 per year for an average business to allow one computer to sit idle. Multiply that times 100 million computers and you realize that the world spends $5 to $7 billion* dollars every year powering inactive computers. Shifting 100 million computers into low-power sleep mode for 12 hours per day could easily cut worldwide C02 production by 45 million tons per year.
Read the whole story here...
This was seized 4 u at ForeignPolicy
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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

10 Reasons Why You Should Never Get a Job

It’s funny that when people reach a certain age, such as after graduating college, they assume it’s time to go out and get a job. But like many things the masses do, just because everyone does it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. In fact, if you’re reasonably intelligent, getting a job is one of the worst things you can do to support yourself. There are far better ways to make a living than selling yourself into indentured servitude.
Here are some reasons why you should do everything in your power to avoid getting a job:

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Free Online File Conversion With Zamzar

Zamzar is a free web-based file conversion tool that can convert your video, audio, images, and documents from nearly any format to nearly any format you like. (See the full list here.)
For example, if you've never felt that you could quite figure out how to convert that video you took on your camera-phone to a format you can play on your iPod, Zamzar can do it for you.
Zamzar has a nice, clean & easy to use interface and it can handle files up to 100MB. Also,
Zamzar lets you convert more than one file at a time, provided you are doing the same type of conversion for each file.
I have tried Zamzar with several file types - bigger video conversions, pdf to doc conversion etc. and Zamzar did work perfect for me.
Thumbs Up & a clear recommendation!

Some of the words was seized 4 u at Lifehacker
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Monday, November 06, 2006

Solved: the perfect way to cut a cake

The art of cake-cutting requires great care and skill to ensure no party is left feeling cheated or envious. Now, however, parents and party hosts can approach the task with a little more confidence – mathematicians claim to have found the perfect way to cut a cake and keep everyone happy. “The problem of fair division is one of the oldest existing problems. The cake is a metaphor for any divisible object where people value different parts differently,” explains Christian Klamler, at the University of Graz, Austria, who solved the problem with fellow mathematicians Steven Brams and Michael Jones.
According to Klamler, for any division to be acceptable, it must ideally be equal among all parties, envy-free so that no one prefers another’s share and equitable, where each places the same subjective value on their share. Traditional methods, such as the "you cut, I choose" method, where one person halves the cake and the other chooses a piece, are flawed because though both get equal shares and neither is envious, the division is not equitable - one piece may have more icing or fruit on it than another, for example.

Enter the “Surplus Procedure” (SP) for cake-sharing between two people, and the "Equitability Procedure" (EP) for sharing between three or more. Both involve asking guests to tell the cake-cutter how they value different parts of the cake. For example, one guest may prefer chocolate, another may prefer marzipan. Under SP, the two parties first receive just half of the cake portion that they subjectively valued the most. Then the "surplus" left over is divided proportionally according to the value they gave it. EP works in a similar way: the guests first get an equal proportion of the part of the cake they each value the highest – a third each if they are three; a quarter each if they are four, etc – and then the remainder is again divided along the lines of subjective value.
The result is everyone is left feeling happy, Klamler says. Two people, for example, may feel they are each getting 65% of what they want rather than just half. “These procedures are new and have never been tried out in real-world applications,” says Brams. “But where there is a divisible good like land or water, which players value differently, the procedure could be used to allocate more-than-proportional shares, making everybody as happy as possible.”
Intriguingly, the procedures are "tamper-proof" – people cannot manipulate the process and must be truthful with the referee, or else they could end up with less than makes them happy.
This was seized 4 u at American Mathematical Society via New Scientist
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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Google Reader within Gmail (and other features)

I'm one of these Google power users...
My two key applications / websites are Gmail and Google Reader. In opposition to a lot of people I find the "new" Google Reader superior to the rest of the pack.
A lot of people have remarked on the similarities between the new Reader interface and Gmail's. With this in mind, Mihai at created a simple Greasemonkey script that adds a "Feeds" in Gmail. I've got my two top websites reduced into one - simply perfect for my needs.
Their is a lot more of this around for us Firefox users. If you want to find or build your own tweaks install Greasemonkey and check out & ...

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