The Sun Also Surprises

Sun calls its Java Desktop System "the first viable Microsoft Windows alternative," but it’s apparently much more than that. One crew member trying out Sun’s bootable JDS evaluation disc made an intriguing discovery: You can insert the Linux-based disc into any NTFS (NT file system), boot up, and bypass Windows security to gain access to all the files on the hard drive (kids, please don’t try this at home). It’s an open source OS and an anti-Microsoft hacking tool all in one -- what more could a geek want?

Search This, Google: Microsoft Adds Free Toolbar, Pop-Up Add Blocking to IE

Like Netscape before it, tiny Google has awakened a sleeping giant.

Today, Microsoft unveiled a free MSN Toolbar add-on for the dominant Internet Explorer (IE) Web browser. The MSN Toolbar looks almost identical to the Google toolbar, which provides searching, pop-up ad blocking, and other functionality. Even the MSN Toolbar's download page looks almost identical to the Google toolbar download page.

Dilmah Cricket Network

Just got an announcement of the new Dilmah Cricket Network site which is run in partnership with CricInfo. The site seems to have some of the latest news on the Sri Lanka cricket scene, but I guess the same content is available at CricInfo as well.

Family Car

My ex-boarding mate Hareen from MIT sent me this really useful site called The Family Car. I haven’t gone through it completely but the few pages I read explain the inner working and how best to use and look after my car in very clean, simple language for a lay person like me to easily grasp.

Simple tricks for more usable forms

Simon Willison has a really cool article which points out simple things that you can do to make html forms extremely easy to use. This is a must read for any web developer.

My second article for SitePoint has been published: Simple tricks for more usable forms. It examines a whole bunch of CSS and Javascript tricks for improving the usability of web based forms without impairing their accessibility to clients that don't support those technologies. The article has already had some useful feedback on the forums, including the valuable observation that auto-selecting the contents of a form field when it receives the focus can have a negative effect on the usability of Unix browsers, where mouse buttons are frequently used for coping and pasting.

[Simon Willison's Weblog]

Max Jacobs on Bush’s space vision

A different train of thought on Bush’s space vision.

Via Common Sense & Wonder

There is always a reason why not to explore, not to be bold. I'm sure there were people telling the various European exploreres (sic) not to sail across the Atlantic, but thank God they did. Imagine if the discovery of America was delayed a couple of hundred years? The world would be so completely different and I think also would be much worse off. After all there was a very good reason why so many people across the world have risked everything to come here. Just because we don't really see the immediate benefits of exploration doesn't mean that they won't be massive over time.

Yes, I would rather private industry do all this since they would probably be able to do these things more efficiently. But barring a Bill Gates turning his sights away from Malaria and onto space, I wouldn't hold my breath for anything other than Hilton building a hotel in space. At this point, I will take any sort of research in space I can get. If it has to come from NASA, so be it.

[peter's hip pocket]

Guerrilla gardening

Now this is a good idea! 

Guerrilla gardening is the art of using a piece of land which you do not own to grow something. One step removed from actual guerrilla warfare, guerrilla gardening takes land not for the people, but for nature; returning misused or disused land and finding a purpose for it. Guerrilla gardeners come late in the night with watering cans, compost and gardening gloves, and turn rotting sods of grass outside some condemned building into a vegetable patch, a clump of daffodils, or a flowering rosebush.