Geeky stuff

Google's favicon - ugh

What on earth do they think they've done?! When doing the usual lazy 100-tabs-in-one-browser surfing session, the Poorhouse was befuddled to see that there seemed to be no Google-icon-clad tab open in the browser despite the fact that at least 10 different resource-sapping results pages should surely be open.

It turned out that no, it was not some magic anti-Google fairy closing things, but rather that Google have changed their "favicon" – that little image that sits in your Favourites and tab corners. Below, courtesy of Google Operating System, is what the old one looked like compared to the new one. Poorhouse verdict on the change? Lame.

Stop Virgin (twice, slightly NSFW)

Now we live in a world where high-speed Internet access is almost as essential to modern rich-guy life as say water, net neutrality is a potential hot topic. Net neutrality refers to the historic practice of your ISP granting (kind of) equal access to the internet, no matter what you do with that access – subject to legality au naturelle. From Google's – who of course have a vested interest in this – guide:

Network neutrality is the principle that Internet users should be in control of what content they view and what applications they use on the Internet…the broadband carriers should not be permitted to use their market power to discriminate against competing applications or content.

Fab free web services for you to use and abuse - and

Having had no time or inspiration to come up with exciting new innovations himself, the Poorhouse resorts to jibbering about other people's fancy stuff.

Official(ish): most Facebook applications are nonsense

After eons of no's more no-news. Flowing Data, a blog which just loves statistics, numbers and the like, have come out with radical new study of no less an institution than Facebook applications.

They took what must have been one of the most painful datasets known to humanity - 23160 different Facebook applications, and analysed by category. The shock revelation?

Hack your heart

Wireless networking is clearly a basic requisite for any electrical device these days, now we all live in the future. The Nintendo Wii, for instance, would almost be worth the extra £180 even if it was exactly the same as a NES, but had wireless controllers and the ability to upload your shamefully bad racing times to the world. However, inevitably, the more devices that are on networks, the more security issues crop up; and the more devices that are on wireless networks, well, you don't even have to touch them to destroy them.

It's bad enough that people's computer networks are relatively easy to illegally access, even when certain common forms of encryption are used to prevent it. Generally, this isn't a matter of life or death. When it's hacking into someone's pacemaker though, obviously it is.

Sorry about the absence, have some pi

No, the Poorhouse is neither dead or so poor he can't pay the hosting bill. So many sorries for lack of updates, I know I shouldn't take those micropennies of google ad income for granted. However the situation (extreme busyness, lack of internet freedom) is in no danger of resolving itself anytime soon.

So, in the mean time, baffle yourself with this apparent fact.

If you divide the length of a river from source to mouth across a gently sloping plane by its direct length "as the crow flies", you'll find pi.

Software to backup your Flickr account, and more

Recently, a strange and magical event (slip of the finger, some would allege) mean that the Poorhouse had cause to attempt to download all of the inane pictures that constitute his Flickr account.

The (or rather 'a') great beauty of Flickr, as opposed to the evils of Facebook et al, is that it does preserve your original photos - but it is a mission and a half if you want to download them all back to your computer en masse. It is significantly less hard however if you use FlickrEdit.

The mathematics of waiting for a bus

We all use math (sic) everyday! - so says the intro to the geek fantasy that is Numb3rs, the US maths/FBI/unrequited love show. Apparently we should, according to Chen et al., when experiencing the irksome decision of "shall I wait for a bus or just walk there?".

For those of you who find this a challenging decision to make, there's an easy answer. Simple solve this funtastic equation:

Microsofty tidbits for work and pleasure

What could be more interesting on a weekend than an article about Microsoft Office? I know...a story about the most common aspects of it that everyone knows about anyway.

Those of you with recentish incarnations such as Office 2003 may be aware that unless you tell it not to, Office monitors (parts of) what you're doing and reports back to big bad Microsoft which collates this information, hopefully to inform their designers and developers rather than another step towards world domination. So guessy guess time: what were the most used commands in Word based on this data (circa 2006 anyway)?

Converting AVI, WMV and other video files into a normal DVD

Now we're all tied to our computers 24/7 downloading megabuckets of online, advert-free audio visual entertainment it sometimes seems like the simple pleasures of life, such as watching a bit of TV from the comfort of your sofa are long gone. However, it doesn't have to be like this, as it is easy enough to convert many types of video playable on a computer - for instance .avi or .wmv files that you may have downloaded from who knows where - to a format suitable for putting on a real life physical DVD no less.

If you remember your last 20th / early 21st century technology well you may recall you can then put this silver disk into the machine under your TV and off you go, custom TV and films from the comfort of ones' living room setup.

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