Ming the Mechanic
The NewsLog of Flemming Funch

Wednesday, January 29, 2003day link 

 The Middle East looks peaceful from space
picture The first Israeli astronaut, Ilan Ramon, is having a good time in space. He said Wednesday from shuttle Columbia that he wishes his homeland — in fact, all of the Middle East — were as quiet and peaceful as it looks from space.
"The world looks marvelous from up here, so peaceful, so wonderful and so fragile."
Great. Maybe they should send up Ariel Sharon next time.
[ | 2003-01-29 23:59 | 23 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 US buys up Iraqi oil to stave off crisis
Guardian:
Facing its most chronic shortage in oil stocks for 27 years, the US has this month turned to an unlikely source of help - Iraq.

Weeks before a prospective invasion of Iraq, the oil-rich state has doubled its exports of oil to America, helping US refineries cope with a debilitating strike in Venezuela. ...

The trade, though bizarre given current Pentagon plans to launch around 300 cruise missiles a day on Iraq, is legal under the terms of UN's oil for food programme.
Eh, that's nice of Iraq to help out a bit. But I think bizarre is a bit of a euphemism.
[ | 2003-01-29 23:59 | 4 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Bloggers in Google
Joi Ito (well-connected Japanese techie blogger) gets an e-mail from somebody looking for a Japanese tutor, because his weblog appeared in a search.
"One amazing phenomenon of blogs is that because of all of the linking going on they end up with fairly high google rankings. At Supernova, Cory of Boing Boing talked about how people email him asking about things he blogs because his blog entries show up on the top of Google results. Also at Supernova, Sergey Brin co-founder of Google talked about how important the ranking and results algorythms were for Google. For instance, first result for "suicide" can have a life or death impact on someone depending on whether it is a page to help you decide not to commit suicide or a page about how to commit suicide. I am the second entry for "Japan + Dayton Ohio" and #3 for "Takenaka media" for instance. At Davos, I talked to Larry Page, co-founder of Google about the phenomenon. I explained that I was very excited that my entry about how the media failed to report the public support of Takenaka showed up before the media reports. I mentioned that maybe it was the way blogs created a lot of pages and linked to each other a lot and how this was giving them unfair juice. Larry said he thought that blogs were getting higher rankings because they were becoming a more important part of the Internet and implied that he felt the high rankings were fair. Cool. I was beginning to feel a bit guilty about the high rankings and worried that Google would "figure it out" and start lowering the rankings for blogs. If Larry says they're fair, I'm assuming they're fair and I don't have to worry about a 'correction' in my page ranking."
I'm glad to hear that too. Even though I'm a relatively low profile weblogger, hardly registering in the top 500, Google really likes my weblog, and many things I say here will appear very high, often higher than the news source that I quote. Which sometimes makes me a bit nervous.
[ | 2003-01-29 23:59 | 8 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Live from the Blogosphere
picture Blogging Event February 15th at the Electronic Orphanage in Chinatown, Los Angeles. It's a production of Rhizome.org, and features Doc Searls, Mark Frauenfelder, Heather Havrilesky, Evan Williams, Susannah Breslin, and Tony Pierce. Sounds great, I'll be there.
[ | 2003-01-29 23:59 | 4 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

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