02 May 2004

new layout ..

finally i've got some new format that looks a little bit boring, but at least it works well with all my seperate sites. so now they should be all working except for the history page which i intend to get working when i get back to aust.

otherwise, i'll be resuming my steady stream of updates very soon.

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24 Mar 2004

switching pseudo terms with powerbook

i've finally figured out how to switch pseudo terminals under linux on my powerbook. initially i thought it was just me being stupid and now setting up 2.6 to be braindead.

it turns out that i had to press alt+fn+f1 to f6 to switch because otherwise f1 ain't f1, but brightness control.

also, be careful when you press f6 because if you activate numlock, all hell will break loose! including for some reason, "caps lock"!

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22 Mar 2004

improved orkut graph

here's a better orkut graph plotted using neato from graphviz.

there's also a pdf version where you can zoom in and out till your hearts content. anyway, now i'm in the middle of the graph and you see clusters of people. the top cluster is the Gentoo cluster. you'll see them all interconnected to each other, like rabbits. then on the right hand side is a cluster of people who i don't know except for one single japanese dev (on the cjk gentoo team) who bridges me with these people. then at the 5-o-clock position is the cambridge collective. you'll see the cluster expanding from the anil and dave connection. at the 7-o-clock position is the first part of the australian connection. close to me are the few friends in sydney who i could con to join orkut. then on the left hand side is the CSE-debian massive linked by just matt chapman/hope connection.

its quite interesting to see that the graph separates my groups of "friends". more interestingly, distance from me physically does not denote how far apart the links are. maybe i have to study some graph drawing theory to achieve that. or maybe manipulate the data so that graphviz does the right thing. the other cool thing with the graph is finding loops. for instance there are links from the CSE into the Gentoo orgy. (i had to end this article with a sleazy comment.)

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20 Mar 2004

cool nokia free 7650 apps!

i was trying to search for chinese and utf-8 support on the nokia phones and came across this page chock full of free nokia 7650 software! there's a video recorder for the 7650 and all sorts of games! best of all, its all from nokia proper.

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18 Mar 2004

a little too early?

something tells me that his patent is going to expire before someone actually is able to make use of it.

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18 Mar 2004

orkut analysis

last night i hacked up a python script to leech the network of friends i have on orkut. using 2 levels of friends, eg. counting my friends and their friends, i'm apparently linked to about 294 unique people. so that makes me wonder how orkut can even claim that i'm linked to 140000 people. either they're not all unique on average, those 294 people have 476 unique friends among them. either way, that number on orkut is not to be trusted.

anyway, so using graphviz (pixelglow's graphviz for macosx), i plotted my network of friends and its pretty interesting. among my network, i'm not the one with the most friends. in the picture, there's a weird centre where i'm thinking many people are massively linked to each other. i'm on the outskirts of the graph. if you plot a hierarchical graph, you can see how there are branches of friends which are either related to the geography or socially. for instance, there's a huge group of gentoo developers in one the middle, a bunch of japanese people in another cluster, and some cambridge people in a weak cluster.

the graph takes about a minute to render on my powerbook 1GHz, depending on options. here is a much better PDF graph which you can zoom in on. this is just some toy thing i'm playing with as i'm really interested in visualising social networks. notice that orkut's policy is that you shouldn't be using bots on the site, but i'm doing it for my personal research and not to leach everyone's information, even tho that is pretty easy.

and if someone who admins orkut see this, there's a malformed HTML table in the FriendsList.aspx code.

i'll think about releasing the code once i get a chance to optimise it a bit, right now its just a bunch of hacked up python scripts generating graphviz dot files. i'm thinking of the next thing i can do with this, maybe draw everyone's faces on graphviz (i wonder if that is possible), or index community linkages. doing this makes me think of some cool ways to visualise the data. like if orkut included GPS coordinates or lat/long coordinates, we could plot this on a world map. another would be to be able to see which people are linked to you via communities, instead of just friends. another would be to colour the links depending on how you rank people, or if they've written a testimonial. weighted links is the word i'm looking for. make communities a "friend" so that you can be linked to people via a community. there's heaps of stuff you can do on a social networking site, its quite fun.

i wish orkut would open up their api so that we can all play around with that data rather than having to write my own bot to leech stuff.

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16 Mar 2004

united kingdom of atlantis

thanks to teresa for sending this in to me.

apparently, the poor government of palau (a south pacific island) got conned by some guys from the united kingdom of atlantis. they're amusing website is not only well populated, but contains subtle inconsistancies that make you laugh out loud.

remember to check out their royal family, legal disclaimer and even their passports.

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16 Mar 2004

prime minister's blog.

i say no more .. get up close and personal with the prime minister of australia. hurray for old old spice!

(for those who aren't clued in yet, thats a spoof - don't vote for him in the next election please, we don't need a a gw bush lapdog)

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13 Mar 2004

links galore

well, here's a flushing of the links accumulated today. by the way, the level of intelligence in these links is pretty low.

find out the difference between a male and female orgasm.
oops, the great wall of china is not visible from space. duh!
everquest widows - people who lost their loved ones playing everquest, a massively multiplayer online role playing game. (from boing boing
your favourite swear word? - famous people swearing! yay! (from b3ta)
guess my name!

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