links for 2007-05-01

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links for 2007-04-30

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Google says I have a virus or spyware

Today I was trying some advanced google queries to see if the recent changes to this blog had made their way into the google search results. Some of the queries involved advanced search operators, as described in this url. Simple stuff really, a few inurl: mixed with a few keywords, coupled with 100 results (the maximum available from google at a time). Lo and behold, I was presented with the following error message:


We’re sorry…

… but your query looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus or spyware application. To protect our users, we can’t process your request right now.

We’ll restore your access as quickly as possible, so try again soon. In the meantime, if you suspect that your computer or network has been infected, you might want to run a virus checker or spyware remover to make sure that your systems are free of viruses and other spurious software.

We apologize for the inconvenience, and hope we’ll see you again on Google.

Granted, the queries I was performing were probably pretty rare, and perhaps a tiny bit more cpu intensive on their servers, compared to regular queries. But I never expected to be given a download link for an antivirus. I am running Firefox, have current anti virus and regularly scan my system for viruses. Not to mention that the few queries I was doing were manual and not some bot doing repetitive queries. I am curious if anyone else has come across such error messages from Google.

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One thing Search has that Google doesnt

Ever want to know what website was on a certain ip address or websites (in the case of shared hosting)?

The following search operator is very useful as it returns websites running on the same ip address.

This is definately one feature provided my Microsoft Live Search that Google does not provide.

It is simply ip: where is the ip where you want to find other websites being hosted.

Here is a query (ip: run on the ip address for, you can see over 1000 other sites on the same ip address.

More servicesGoogle


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Switching from Windows to Linux Web Hosting and Linux Web Hosting to Windows

A great Essay written by Tomas Jon Pfister covering some of the factors involved when switching between webhosting operating systems.

Some of the categories covered include :

a) labour costs: possible changes in time required for maintenance as a result of more/less stable software, complexer/simpler systems, ease/difficulty of administration, more/less documentation, better/worse commercial or free support, and more/less freedom to modify the software according to the needs of the company;

b) licence fees: more/less licence fees required not only for the operating system, but other
commercial software necessary to satisfy the customers’ diversified software support needs;

c) life span of the servers and software: constant need of expensive, time-consuming upgrades of
both hardware and software in order to keep the systems secure and the quality of service high;

d) customer happiness: does the use of a specific operating system enhance the quality of service,
including uptime and usability.

Entire Essay (PDF )

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Flash Drives for Dell Latitude Notebooks

Dell Offering SanDisk Flash DrivesDell Offering SanDisk Flash Drives

Dell said that the Latitude notebooks with the Flash drives offer twice the shock tolerance of those fitted with a mechanical hard drive. Regular hard drives are designed to survive a 30-in drop, whereas the solid state version can absorb a 60-in drop. The Flash drives are supplied by SanDisk, which unveiled the units in January.

Dell has introduced a 32-GB Flash memory based solid state hard drive for two of its notebook computers.Buyers will have the option of replacing the mechanical hard drive with a $549 Flash unit for the Latitude D420 ultra-mobile and Latitude ATG D620 semi-rugged notebooks.The disks are currently available in the US and are scheduled for availability in Europe and Asia within a few weeks.

Because the Flash drive lacks any moving parts, the device improves data integrity, system reliability and power consumption, and reduces the notebook’s noise.

Flash memory also offers faster data transfer rates, so the notebook reduces system boot times by 34 percent and overall system performance by 23 percent.

Dell said that the notebooks offer twice the shock tolerance of those fitted with a mechanical hard drive. Regular hard drives are designed to survive a 30-in drop, whereas the solid state version can absorb a 60-in drop.

The drives are supplied by SanDisk, which unveiled the units in January. The device is designed to fit into the slot for a regular 1.8-in mobile hard drive inside a notebook computer.

Flash-based storage has already been deployed in computers designed to operate in harsh environments for the military, aerospace and telecoms industries. The new Dell laptops make the technology available for mainstream applications.

Intel unveiled its first solid state hard drives last month. But the chip maker is targeting its Flash drives at low cost computers with limited storage capacities of up to 8 GB rather than mainstream notebook computers.

This is great news. Now its only a matter of time before the prices come down to help wider adoption.

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50-monitor 12800×5120 display developed at Virginia Tech Gigapixel Lab

50-Monitor Display

Here are some images of the new 50-monitor display
prototype that was developed at the Gigapixel Lab at Virginia Tech.
Since I graduated, I won’t be able to play with it, but I wanted to
keep everyone updated with the work going on there. The display is
comprised of 21″ touch-screen monitors (thats why they are shiney)
and–like the previous display–is driven by a cluster. This time (to
save space) we are using 25 shuttle PCs as can be seen in the images
below. The whole setup has a resolution of at least 12800×5120
(65,536,000 pixels). Since I’m not around anymore, I’m not sure if
we’ll get any gaming up and running on this monster, but I’ll see what
I can do. As usual, you can reach me at if you have any
questions or comments. Enjoy the images!

50-monitor setup running at a resolution of 12800×5120.
Continue reading

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