During my sophomore year at Notre Dame I took a course called Networking and Security. One assignment was to present a current event relevant to the class. I chose the topic of network neutrality and wrote a fairly informal paper about the topic. The issue of net neutrality has huge implications for the future of the web and every internet user should be familiar with it. Click here to take a look at my paper.
I’ve been following Ramit Sethi’s I Will Teach You To Be Rich blog for some time now. He has since come out with a book that includes most of his blog material. Ramit targets those aged 20-30 and takes a no-nonsense approach to saving, spending, and investing. The book centers around a 6 week program designed to automate and optimize your finances. Definitely take a look at the blog — I’ve found his strategies to be extremely helpful.
During finals week at school my brother sent me an article along with a YouTube video showing Krampus attacks in Austria. In their culture, the Krampus is a demonic creature employed by St. Nicholas to punish kids who have been naughty during the year. In America, we expect Santa to deliver coal to bad kids. The Krampuses, however, carry switches to whack the misbehaving ones. Although this is surely an extreme example of the tradition, check out the YouTube video above. It starts to get good a few minutes in, and the Krampus costumes are incredibly detailed (and scary).
I’m a believer — I’ve switched to Google Chrome. I had been a loyal Firefox user for some time until recently when the browser began taking ages to start up. Chrome, on the other hand, starts up incredibly fast and provides an attractive, minimalist interface. This goes along with the speedy browsing experience that makes Chrome so popular. The only thing holding me back was the lack of an XMarks client for the Chrome browser. XMarks is an excellent way to sync your bookmarks across different computers, browsers, and platforms. You should definitely check it out if you want a single, unified set of bookmarks/favorites across all your computers and browsers. Happily, the new Chrome Beta features extensions as Firefox has done for some time. Now I can use XMarks along with Chrome — a great combo.
I just finished reading The Search by John Battelle. I enjoyed the book — it not only provided a great history of Google and its roots but also a vision of how search will evolve in the future. Battelle depicts search as an innate human desire: we are always searching for knowledge, whether it be recovery (finding something we’ve seen before) or discovery (finding something new). Internet search is simply the online manifestation of this desire. As more and more information is put online, we will increasingly rely on search to interact with the information we need. Google gained control of search simply because their algorithm worked the best, and there’s no reason to believe that it won’t get better and better as what Battelle calls the Database of Intentions grows larger and larger.