Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Free hosting for facebook apps

I recently stumbled upon free hosting for facebook apps. [1] One has to wonder what motivates companies to provide services such as these. It could be sheer benevolence, but I suspect there are some statistics and information mining that must be the driving factor. In any case it's something to be aware of.

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Ever wished you had taken that college course?

A physics professor at the age of 71 has become an internet web star, because of his freely available physics lectures. [2]

From the website:
OCW shares free lecture notes, exams, and other resources from more than 1800 courses spanning MIT's entire curriculum. [1]

Wow. I may have found my new years resolution.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Crowd Sourced Cloud Computing?

Projects like seti@home [1] have been around for awhile, I'm not sure how long. There are a few others that I can't seem to find right now. The articles about Google's cloud computing [2] got me to thinking, why isn't there a crowd-sourced general purpose version of these networks?

Some company creates the libraries and test facilities for writing MapReduce [3] programs. Then they provide a free program that people can download and run, like in [1]. Companies would pay to have their programs run on the network, and the profits would be passed on to the individuals who's computers ran some of the processing ...

I know there are a lot of tiny details to get right, security, validation of results (IE, rogue machines purposely calculating invalid results quickly to game the system), but it feels like it could be insanely profitable.

Someone has to have thought of this already. If someone out there knows of this, please let me know.

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Google's Algorithms

A friend of mine sent me this article [1] which isn't bad, but is kinda long for what it's trying to say.

Mostly it drew my attention to the types of algorithms that google uses for it's large scale processing. They're based on MapReduce [2] which is fascinating in and of itself, but also of Hadoop [3] which is google's open source java implementation of a MapReduce. Eventually I made it to [4] which looks like it's a fascinating read. I almost got stuck in a wikipedia feedback loop [5] but managed to escape by realizing that I should print and read the research paper instead of continuing.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

python-ogre Linux package

Congratulations are in order to Andy Miller for taking python-ogre so far, and specifically for producing an excellent linux build.

It's now much easier to just download the bindings and start hacking. Included in the build are 3D rendering libraries, GUI libraries, Physics Libraries and some other surprises, like support for Caelum. This gives me much motivation to try to get involved again.