December 16, 2004

More Random Stuff 

Quality world-wide weather situation and forecast at Weather.com; also a cool meteo website for northern Italy: ARPA-SIM (Italian).

For your WHOIS searches and all IP and DNS things, DNSStuff.

Globalspec, the engineering search engine, and a wide range of scientific journals available on-line at ScienceDirect (it works from my college's network; private users may not be able to enjoy the full functionality).

These are the tools I use for my entertainment/knowledge, and even work. I think someone of you might find them interesting as well.

Update 29/1/2005: The first part of this post really sucks. Feel free to ignore it if it sounds too stupid.

On the news front, Italian Environment minister Matteoli says the obvious: after the first phase of the Kyoto Protocol, ending by 2012, it will make no sense to go on without USA, India an China (the two latter countries are rapidly going to be the biggest producers of CO2). These countries are not willing to join a binding agreeement like Kyoto, but are willing to sign voluntary agreements and engage in commercial partnership.
The Kyoto Protocol will also be basically ineffective in producing any relevant cut of carbon dioxide emissions - while it will pose a considerable burden on industrialized countries. If Italy will keep out of this sort of scam, it will be better. Not because I like pollution - absolutely not - but because the Kyoto Protocol is not an effective way to tackle the problem, and it is also another manifestation of internationalism and attempt to force an "international law" that has only weak and confused popular support (how many people have a sufficient knowledge of the climate dynamics and of the real pros and cons of the Kyoto Protocol?) and only none to slim chances of being effectively enforced. Of course the environmentalists are already howling in dismay, and guess who they blame and consider the arch-enemy of everything ecologic?
Yes, George W. Bush. It wasn't a very difficult question, was it?

Finally, the interesting blog Silent Running launches SIMTERROR'05, a simulation via weblog in which (Islamic) terrorists will try to stage an attack in Australia at the beginning of 2005. It sounds like an interesting experiment: how will bloggers react? Will they add a constructive voice to the chorus? Will it mark the birth (and ephemeral existence) of a superhuman intelligence? Or will it degenerate in a farce? Probably not, but that's a risk.
Will the blogs be able to rise to the level of serious competitors of the more traditional information media? Someone needs to experiment, to know.


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