Friday, February 29, 2008

Favorite Web2.0 services. [weekly link post]

According to Wikipedia, web 2.0 is a trend in web technology which aim to facilitate creativity, collaboration and sharing among users. Blog itself is a part of web 2.0 movements.

I like the web 2.0 workplace entry on UADDit (They visited web 2.0 companies and show pictures of companies' insides). I heavily use most of the web 2.0 companies' services they visited. These services are very famous, but in case you have not used them, I put links to the web 2.0 services (I am personally using following services) . Check them out.









Wednesday, February 27, 2008

How to increase your blog traffic?

I wrote that I will open comments again when the blog traffic becomes more than 100 accesses per a day.

However, I found that getting 100 unique accesses per a day is very difficult. At this point, I usually get around 30 accesses per a day. The map is showing from where people accessed this blog yesterday (actually last 50 accesses).

I am thinking how I can increase the traffic. I do not have the answer yet but I will come back to the principle of this blog (Write things that no one else knows as everyone else can easily understand) and think more.

Security issues on the net.

I wrote that keep changing passwords does not increase network securities. The real security issue we must face at this point is that private companies such as Facebook, Apple or Google accumulated too much of our private information.

For instance, Gmail becomes my main mail-server. However as you already know, Gmail scans all messages I send or receive and adds most suitable advertisement on the side of each message. This means that Google knows almost all of my private life, including with who I am hanging out, with whom I am conflicting, where I will go next week and so on (I also believe that Google knows my bank accounts, my credit card numbers and my social security number).

Indeed, I use google documents to compose my professional scientific papers. I believe that my unpublished data deposited there are safe but who knows? In the near future, my competitors would scope our work from the unpublished google documents. They will pay a lot of money for these kinds of information.....

The point of this story is that we have to trust private companies too much at this point. The primary purpose of the private companies is to make more profit and we are not paying to most of them (Are you paying to Google or Facebook?). Therefore, they might find out the way to sell our privacies to make more money out of it. I think we need new laws and morals to face an upcoming network era.

Picture of the day.

Yellowstone National Park.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Changing passwords for security is a myth.

Today, my mail account at work was suspended because my password was expired. This is very ridiculous and not making sense that the system administrator of my work demands us to change the password every 6 months.

Look at the new password rules they defined.

*Must contain at least 7 characters.

*Must contain characters from at least three of the following four categories:
English uppercase characters (A through Z);
English lowercase characters (a through z);
Base 10 digits (0 through 9);
Symbol characters (!, $, #, %).

*Changes will be required every 180 days.
You must wait for 8 password cycles to pass before re-using a password.

Do you think we can remember the password with these different characters? It will be changed every 6 months! This is the way too much. According to the Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS) website, it has been demonstrated that
"Forcing periodic password changes given today's resources is unlikely to significantly reduce the overall threat - unless the password is immediately changed after each use."
The system administrator at my work is inhibiting our work with no good reasons. Of course, network security is a very important issue, however changing login passwords every 6 months does not increase the security at all. They should do better work on this.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Favorite minor web page. 43 Things.

43 Things has been famous among particular people, but I did not know about this service until last month. I am now using this service for a month, and I really like it.

In the 43 Things, you will share your personal 43 goals (See my goals if you are interested). You will share all process toward the goals in the site with others. Then people will inspire you to encourage achieving the goals.

I like this service because the community is so kind and supportive. As 43 Things is getting more popular, the community could change in the near future (growth can attract evil people too). However, at this moment, most of people in the 43 Things are very heartwarming. You can try this service by yourself.

43 Things;

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Vegan -Vitasoy Original-

Recently, I got a lot of accesses to vegan entries of this blog. Therefore, I will talk about my vegan life little bit more.

I would not have become a vegan if I had not known this Vitasoy original soy milk. This is the best soy milk I have ever drunk, and I am drinking Vitasoy original at least one pack a day. This drink is a dominant protein source of my current body. You can buy this soy milk in many shops in San Francisco, including Safeway and Whole Foods, so try this out (and make sure it is "original", other derivatives are not as good as original, I think).

Sunday, February 17, 2008

New media, new artists.

YouTube is a relatively new media with which you can easily broadcast your own video clips.

As Larry Lessing discussed, new technology always brings new legal conflictions that people have never thought of. We should keep discussing about the copyright issues. How to share profits that one creator generated with others is always a political issue in our history.

More interesting thing about this new technology is that we can appreciate how flexible human beings are. Some people have already adjusted themselves to this new media, YouTube, and started to broadcast amazing homemade video clips. Since these videos are created by individuals, they are not like TV shows, however I usually enjoy these clips more than boring current TV shows.

My favorite video creators on YouTube:
Kev Jumba

Happy Slip (Christine)

Magi (Magibon)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Become a powerful public speaker.

I am a member of the Toastmaster International. This club is helping people practice the public speaking, communicating and leader ship skills. For me, public speaking in English is a big challenge, and attending the club has been a good practice.

I know my English still has a lot of problems. However, I believe that if I could recognize these problems properly, I would be able to fix it soon. The toastmaster club is, at this point, helping me to recognize my English imperfection.

If you are in the Bay Area and want to practice the public speaking skill, you can visit our club on Wednesday.

The San Francisco Renaissance Toastmaster Club
When: Every Wednesday, 6:15-7:30 pm
Where: The Embarcadero YMCA Board Room
(169 Steuart St., between Mission and Howard)
Guests are always welcomed.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Picture of the day.

Photoshop is amazing, isn't it.
The picture is from Vertus Fluid mask.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Favorite minor web page. Name the U.S. States (game).

I found this game is very useful to remember names of the U.S. states. I missed Arkansas, Delaware and Nebraska. Try this out by yourself!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Larry Lessig's excellent talk.

Larry Lessing is talking about current legal issues related to copyright and internet technology. I am very impressed by this talk and it has changed my understanding of the current copyright problems that we are facing on the Internet.

Saturday, February 9, 2008


I wrote that I was having a problem with Firefox to download pdf files.

Several readers of this blog kindly send me some advices (Thank you very much for your support). From these advices, I learned that there is a software called Fasterfox that accelerate the operating speed of the Firefox.

I actually tried this software today. Then I found that this software improved the pdf download problems. Downloading pdf files by the Firefox with Fasterfox upgrade completed much faster than by original Firefox. If you also have any problem with Firefox to deal with pdf files, I recommend you to try the Fasterfox.


Thursday, February 7, 2008

Chinese New Year

Today is Chinese New Year. Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Taiwanese people celebrated new year last night. Most of my Asian colleagues were also celebrating new year at work today.

But Japanese people do not celebrate Chinese new year.

I personally have never cerebrated Chinese new year, but I know we (Japanese) used to celebrate this day. Until the 1950's, Japanese people used to celebrate new year twice, on January first and on Chinese new year day. However, during the 1960s, Japanese economy advanced very rapidly and people noticed that they could not afford to celebrate new year twice (They were getting too busy at work). People then decided to focus on January first and forget about Chinese calender.

I was born in the middle of 1970's. Therefore, I do not know anything about the Chinese calender. Today, Asian friends blamed me that we (Japanese people) are forgetting important traditions. But friends, it is totally not my fault because I was not born yet when Japanese people changed it.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Chelsea Clinton is a natural bone leader?

Yesterday, I listened to Chelsea Clinton's speech to support her mother's campaign. I was very impressed that she was very good at it. During this campaign, she tried to keep silent therefore I did not know that she is a good speaker until yesterday. I am getting to like her now.

Chelsea has both Bill Clinton's charm and Hillary Clinton's strength. I think she will be a natural bone leader of this country.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Google responds to Yahoo! bid.

Microsoft proposed $44.6 billion to takeover Yahoo!

Today Google responds to the proposal (See the entire entry).

Could Microsoft now attempt to exert the same sort of inappropriate and illegal influence over the Internet that it did with the PC? While the Internet rewards competitive innovation, Microsoft has frequently sought to establish proprietary monopolies -- and then leverage its dominance into new, adjacent markets.
We all agree that Microsoft was evil and used the illegal influence to make profit. But I think that now Microsoft is trying to buy Yahoo! due to Google. Google becomes too strong for them to compete and they need help from Yahoo! Therefore, I do not know whether it is fair for Google to complain about this proposal. Google itself is the source of high pressure for these two companies to work together.