Links October 2008

Here’s a blog post suggesting that anti-depressant drugs such as Prozac may have helped the US mortgage crisis [1]. Apparently such drugs cause poor impulse control, so it wouldn’t be a good idea to attend a house auction while using them.

Here’s an interesting idea about lecturing, give 20 minute talks with something else (practical work or group discussion) in between [2]. Michael Lee wants to “capture the power of that strict time limit, the intensity of a well-crafted 20 minutes”. While I’m not sure that a strict time limit is such a great idea. Having talks broken up into sections sounds like it has the potential to offer some benefits.

A bible from the 4th century has been found and is being digitised [3]. When the digitisation is complete (next year) it will be published on the net so everyone can see how the bible has changed over the years.

Interesting interview with Jim Gray (of MS Research) about storage [4]. It was conducted in 2003 so technology has moved on, but the concepts remain. His ideas for sharing two terabytes of data by using a courier to deliver an NFS or CIFS file server are interesting, the same thing could be done today with five terabytes for a lower cost.

Techtarget has a white paper sponsored by Intel about the price/performance of data centers in low-density and high-density designs [5]. I don’t think I’ll ever be in a position to design a data center, but the background information in the paper is very useful.

Google has an interesting set of pages describing their efforts to save power in their data centers [6]. They claim to have the most efficient server rooms ever built, and describe how it saves them a lot of money. One of the interesting things that they do is to use evaporative cooling as the primary cooling method. They also have a RE<C (Renewable Energy cheaper than Coal) project [7].

Here’s a Youtube video of an interesting presentation by Andy Thomson (a psychiatrist at the University of Virginia) about male-bonded coalitionary violence [8]. He shows the evidence of it in chimpanzees, humans, and evidence for it being in the common ancestry of chimps and humans (5-6 million years ago). He also shows a link to modern suicide bombing.

It’s widely regarded that Cyrus is the fastest IMAP server. published an article last year comparing Cyrus, UW-IMAP, Dovecot, and Courier and the conclusion is that Courier and Dovecot are the winners [9]. I used Google Translation but the results were not particularly good so I think I missed some of the points that they were trying to make.

1 comment to Links October 2008

  • DiscoStu

    I’m just glad mortgage rates are dropping here in Australia, after the constant rises under the previous conservative government, it’s nice to be paying a little less at last!