Score 2 for Science

Just popping back in to tell you about a really cool scientific discovery. Some paleontologists discovered a new genus and species in Germany that is described as the “missing link” between humans and early mammals. The skeleton, dubbed Ida (or Darwinius masillae if you prefer), is an early mammal similar to a lemur that has opposable thumbs and forward-facing eyes. Score 1 for science and Darwin! Even better, their work was published in PLoS ONE, an open-access journal. Therefore, despite the fact that this revolutionary article was just published two days ago, anyone in the world can view the full text and high resolution images for free. Plus, you can print, reuse, redistribute, or even modify the images and text as long as you give the original authors credit. Score 2 for science! (hat tip: Jamey)

Monetizing Twitter

It seems like everyone knows what Twitter is these days. News shows on CNN usually make me cringe when they start showing tweets on air. But there has been a lot of discussion lately on how to start making money off of Twitter. It seems like the first step has already begun. It’s funny, but Identi.ca, an open source microblogging service very similar to Twitter, has a much more sustainable idea of how to make money in this industry. They also have a number of technical advantages, just not the number of users. It’ll be interesting to see where they both are next year.

Now Optimized for Linux Viewing

When I first designed this site, I was using Windows and MS Word full-time. The fonts I chose were Windows-centric. Since I had ubuntu-restricted-extras installed, which includes many Windows fonts, I didn’t notice any differences on Linux. However, after re-installing Ubuntu on my desktop, I decided to steer clear of ubuntu-restricted-extras and just installed Adobe Flash by itself. Therefore, I have recently updated my website to give preference to free Linux fonts if you have them installed. I’m not sure how many of them come standard with OpenOffice.org, but you may only need that installed to see the new fonts. If you’re not a Linux user, you’ll continue getting the same fonts as before. I’m not quite sure what Mac users see. I should look into that… Anyway, they’re not much different, but overall improved. I especially like the comments’ font.

Linux for Clinics

I ran across a new linux distro today that I thought was pretty cool. It’s called Linux for Clinics. It’s an Ubuntu-based linux distribution geared toward running an entire medical office. It utilizes a few project I’ve heard of before, like GNUmed, but this is pushing to be a full-fledged medical clinic OS. Development seems slow, but I’m hopeful that it continues because it could be a strong contender for clinics, especially ones with little funding. One critique I have in the development (which I of course know nothing about) is that they seem to be a vanilla Ubuntu install with a few different/altered packages. I wonder if this might be better accomplished using a Launchpad PPA as opposed to a full re-spin. It seems like this would make upkeep much more efficient between major Ubuntu releases every 6 months. I just don’t know if that’s feasible… If I have more time in the future, I may try to get involved in this.

Ryan’s Smashing Life

After reading a post on Ars this morning, I got turned on to a new music blog called Ryan’s Smashing Life. I’m really liking it so far. In the past few years, I’ve become a bit disgusted with modern music, but I’ve perked up these past few months. Maybe I was just sick of the music that makes its way to mainstream radio. Or maybe the music industry is finally turning around and picking good artists. Or maybe the market is correcting itself in spite of the industry. Or maybe I’m just an idiot who didn’t know that there’s a lot of good music out there that doesn’t make it to the airwaves and the Interwebs is a good place to find it. Either way, RSL has got some decent stuff on it. He’s also got a really nice, unobtrusive streaming music player on there. I recommend listening to “Peace and Hate” by The Submarines.

Proliferation

I was going to get coffee at ABP at school last week, and I overheard a random guy with his laptop in the hospital lobby chatting with the guy sitting next to him and saying that he uses Linux. As I walked past, I glanced over my shoulder to see Ubuntu 8.10 loaded.

Last weekend, Sadie and I were at her aunt and uncle’s house for her Grandma’s birthday. Her uncle is a programmer for a garage door company (I think) in Geneva. I noticed they had a new computer on the counter in their kitchen. When I asked about it, he said it was an old family computer that he had reformatted with Linux. It was Ubuntu.

Change has come to WhiteHouse.gov

“One significant addition to WhiteHouse.gov reflects a campaign promise from the President: we will publish all non-emergency legislation to the website for five days, and allow the public to review and comment before the President signs it.”

via EOP – Blog Post – Change has come to WhiteHouse.gov.

Now that’s something I didn’t expect.  Sounds like a very interesting idea!  You can subscribe to the Whitehouse.gov Blog for more info on what’s going on in the new Obama Administration.