Archive for June, 2006

Net Neutrality: Death Of Net

| June 30th, 2006
Death Of Net

I’ve been toying around with Google Spreadsheets for quite sometime. It has a lot of useful features (sharing etc) that go way beyond the desktop office but it lacks on a very crucial feature, a query interface – a wrapper to query saved sheets. Google has done an excellent job in porting a part of the office to the web. But the web is all about networks and connections between applications. Wouldn’t it be great if I could use Google Spreadsheets as my online database. I can’t help but imagine the mashups I could create if this feature was available.

  • Blogger + Google Spreadsheets = Dynamism as in WordPress
  • Google Maps + Google Spreadsheets = a whole multitude of data retaining maps
  • Gmail + Google Spreadsheets = a powerful tagging system for Gmail
  • Google Search + Google Spreadsheets = a search engine for my textual data (probably having a query syntax like: ‘anand insheet:sheet1 incolumn:name
  • Google Analytics + Google Spreadsheets = custom analytic views based on what I want to track

As far as storage is concerned, which could be a bottleneck as databases continue to grow, GSpreadsheets could be linked up with Gmail to utilize the free space from the virtually unlimited mail box size.

Dabble DB is trying to do something similar but they don’t have an SQL-like query interface yet. Hopefully Google would be willing to venture out in this idea first.

Damn The Copy Control

| June 22nd, 2006

Being an Iron Maiden fan I bought their ‘Dance of Death’ album only to realize that it won’t play on Linux. Flipping the cd over I saw this:

Computer disk drives are more intelligent than the normal audio disk drives and can detect irregularities in the data thus making the disk unreadable. Copy Control aims to exploit this by putting errorenous tracks onto the disk and hence curb piracy.

As you can see Linux is not listed in the compatible systems. Does that mean I’ll have to look out for cds compatible with my OS before I buy them? Or else will I have to succumb to Windows?

Not this time. Paranoia comes to the rescue. Even though after mounting the cd you’ll have trouble finding the audio files on it (this is due to the multisession layer – another approach to curb piracy by hiding the audio files), Paranoia will crack the Copy Control.

[anand@semanticvoid /]$ cdparanoia -B

Thats all needed to break the damn Copy Control.

Having tried out other mail notification extensions (which had dependencies with other libraries and often didn’t work for me) I decided to write one myself. This extension is not dependent on any other libraries. All you need is the good ol’ Thunderbird (-; (you ought to have that for sure). So all you Linux fanatics who have missed the notification thingy in Thunderbird on Linux here is a preview for ye all:

Thunderbolt : New Mail Notification

Go ahead and download it: here

[UPDATE] This extension works if you have only one account in thunderbird. I’m yet to working on supporting multiple accounts.