Friday, May 23, 2008

Monday Links

MS Server 2008 as an OS: Amusingly enough, for all the hatred generated for Windows Vista, a product with supposedly a virtually identical code base is whooping up on it as far as performance goes. Some folks in the comments have suggested this might be because Server 2008 doesn't have the more intrusive DRM that currently is the biggest reason I have no interest in upgrading ("Oh, so I get a performance hit, maybe two useful new features total, and one day you can just take over my computer to prevent me from copying stuff I bought legitimately? SIGN ME UP"). Server 2008 with some minor modifications can do just about everything that Vista can do (music, movies, games, file management) and still move faster. If this forces updates like Vista does and gets at all popular, I expect Microsoft will toss in the DRM stuff. They can't seem to help themselves, they really really want control over your computer and all the software on it. There is a lot of money in it, so I can see the motivation. Brain Rules: John Medina is entertaining in this authors@google video, explaining his new book on some of the things you can do to aid cognitive function, help in relationships, and live longer without dementia. Strange Maps: Exactly what it sounds like. Want a cheese map of Canada or a 1942 map of the "new world order" (a vision of a post war world from the very depths of the war)? This is the place to find it. Gas Prices relative to income: Who is getting hit hardest by gas prices (which is to say, what percentage of your income is being eaten up by it)? I am curious if this map takes into account the average (or median, as one might prefer) gasoline consumption of the areas. It doesn't appear to, but I will attempt to recreate it when I have time to see. Map of School Vaccinations: These are the areas to point fingers to when we see a resurgence of childhood diseases. Normally I would be live and let live about this kind of bottomless stupidity, but a population that will sustain a stable habitat for such diseases will allow said diseases to adapt and render the vaccines ineffective. Also, children should not be responsible to the mass idiocy of their parents. I believe one day I will make a density map of stupidity and this will certainly be one of the variables. Top Five Programming Languages to Learn: Just like learning a foreign language but probably worth far more money if you are really good at speaking it. C# tops the list and I would agree. You can use it to add on to anything having to do with Windows, use it for web applications, Silverlight (a .NET version of the ubiquitous Flash player) and understanding the libraries will come in handy even in an open source/Linux environment with Mono.

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