Friday, October 29, 2004

Google Labs Aptitude Test solved by some people working on Mathematica development.

Study reveals many men talk to Google more than to girlfriends

"Blogs are good for business", Microsoft chairman Bill Gates has said, in a speech to an audience of chief executives in Redmond.
"More than 700 Microsoft employees are already using blogs to keep people up to date with their projects. "
He explains the "advantages over more traditional ways of keeping in touch such as e-mail and websites" as well

About the Bloggin world :
A US airline attendant is fighting for her job after she was suspended over postings on her blog
To visit her blg, search for "Queen of the Sky" in Google, then click o "I'm feeling lucky". Or use the Cache memory of google if the page is inacessible.

Project We Say Tomato: Play Samples

Project We Say Tomato: Play Samples

Different people, different cultures, different accents... here are a variety of English accents, both native and non-native speakers! why don't you add yours?
what do you think of this?


English Reading: Proverbs (

English Reading: Proverbs (

Here are some more proverbs that are well known in English, of course some of them come from other languages. You can click on a link for their meanings.

English Reading: Proverbs (

English Reading: Proverbs (

Here are some more proverbs that are well known in English, of course some of them come from other languages. You can click on a link for their meanings.

Did hobbits really exist ?

Maybe J.R.R. Tolkien was right : "hobbits" skeletons may have been discovered : read this.

Thursday, October 28, 2004 Best Blogs Best Blogs:

"Best Blogs
Arik Hesseldahl, 02.12.04, 3:00 PM ET
NEW YORK - One of the earliest promises about the World Wide Web was that it would put some of the power of the press back in the hands of regular people. The same people who once wrote thoughtful polemics or commentary on handbills and in pamphlets of limited circulation, or through the occasional letter to a newspaper editor, could, at least in theory, reach the entire Internet-connected world with their ideas. Some who embraced the Web early went on to become media barons all their own. "

Do you want to be free in a free world ?

We talked yesterday about P2P, and the risks of downloading copyrighted music illegaly. But did you know that there is music that you can download legally without paying ? Based on the model of free software, free music is protected by a license that allows the user to copy, modify and distribute it. There's many of this license, and not also for music, but also for books (and more generally texts), video, pictures .... You can find more on

Do you want to listen to free music to see what this is like ? I really like

There's a lot of other artists that propose their work with this sort of license, so don't hesitate to search for them.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Cobuild Concordance and Collocations Sampler

Cobuild Concordance and Collocations Sampler: "56 million words of contemporary written and spoken text that you can search... is "softwares" used????"
Hi guys,

Being the only girl of this class, I feel obligated to introduce you to a typical feminine activity : filling tests. Tests are so great, you could learn anything about you thanks to them. For example, have you ever asked yourself which is the flavor that represents you? Or what is your music match? I hear you telling me that this does not interest you.. Wait, you could also discover which of the Star Wars characters you are. So, if you want to know if you could have been Princess Leia, run to : .. After a little trip on this page, you would have no secret for yourself any longer. Enjoy.

Blog Survey: Summary of Findings

Blog Survey: Summary of Findings Expectations of Privacy and Accountability

You're a blog writer... what are your responsibilities and liabilities? Could you lose your job, or your friends, because of your blog???

Interesting study carried out by a graduate student at MIT... (see the link giving background information on the study.

what do you think?

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Computers and design ...

Over the past decades, computers have been keeping reducing. However, it really took a long time to get rid of these ugly beige computer cases. A few years ago, more attractive devices were launched : black computers, TFT monitors .... A few weeks ago, this mouse was released by MicroSoft : it was designed by Philippe Starck, and in my opinion, it's really lovely ! But Apple has always been a pioneer : it has been a long time since Apple computers are nice. That's also why so many people working in the media still prefer Apple notebooks, for example. Have a look at the new G5 desktop : it's powerful AND beautiful, you can proudly set it up in your lounge ...

On the contrary, many young PC users are now tuning addicts, an other way to own a "nice" computer. Say good bye to elegance and purity, you now enter the kingdom of pink neons, flashing fans and multi-usage LCD displays. Those who own these strange computers say these purple aquariums are desirable ... Make your own opinion here, here, or here ... Quite "original" ...

And to conclude, a last link which may be useful if, like many other people, you are an Ikea addict .... (And don't forget that selling furniture can also lead you to fortune ...)
A geek test : Which File Extension Are You?

A flying lawn mower [via]

What about a new layout for the Netclass Blog? When you're writing a new post, click on the tab "Template", then "Pick new". You may vote for the one you prefer in the comments of this post.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Report on Internet Software : to be continued...

Report on Internet Software : to be continued...

As James asked us, there is a little summary of the first part of our report about Internet Software we did last Wednesday, to make you wait patiently for the following on next course :

Introduction :
The software we use to browse the websites, read our mail, or chat with friends, may influence the "way we live the Internet". The choice is quite large, as we will show. So, what is the best software ? On what criteria to decide ? We notice a huge representation of Microsoft software on the market. However, we will see they suffer many criticisms ; so, what does MS crush the competition ?

1) Web browsers :
- MS Internet Explorer "killed" Netscape
- strange Linux browsers for geeks : Lynx, Elynks, etc. Very fast and secure, but only readable textually.
- details of Opera, Safari, and Mozilla Firefox
- study of the graphical differences
- Internet Explorer : its domination of the market, but also its security failures, lack of evolution, and no respect of the W3C recommendations --> soon challenged by Firefox.

2) Email software :
- different classes : non graphical interfaces, same render engine as the browser or not
- details of Sylpheed and Thunderbird
- some killer features your email client must have
- MS Outlook Express criticisms

The third part of this report, dedicated to the instant messaging software, will stand on next Wednesday ; see you there !


Sunday, October 24, 2004

Bad link...

Ooops, I made a mistake with the link.
Copy/Paste is not that easy ;o)

The right link is here.

Nico H.

Microsoft IE is not the only browser to have flaws...

Do not trust completely web browsers like Firefox or Opera, they can have flaws too, you can understand why here.
Of course they are much better than IE but not perfect.

Nicolas H.

May Apple be with you

As a great Star Wars freak, I felt obliged to post that link. I may even consider usig a Mac if Saint George does (of course I'm kidding, I am allergic to Macs...) ;op


To continue the topic of or, which we used last time, I invite you visite the website Webopedia, which is quite like Whatis, but entirely dedicated to the definitions of terms connected to the internet and computer science.


Tuesday, October 19, 2004


The name Google comes from the name of the number represented by 1 followed by 100 zeros.
Some links about the most efficient search engine today :

Google is not only a simple search engine in text mode : some options currently working here, and soon you'll be able to try that.

Google is now able to search through your personal files, on your hard drive.

You want to work at the Googleplex in Mountain View, California? Here's the Google Labs Aptitude Test : score high enough and Google will contact you!
(Extracted from the Google Blog)

And for fans...

Spread Firefox

You may know Firefox, an alternative and free web browser. Its main particularity is to be open source : anybody might modify Firefox source code to adapt it to a special use. On November 9th, Firefox 1.0, the first official version, will be released. However, the community who contributed to Firefox developpment wants this date to be remembered : today, a great campaign was launched to raise funds, in order to buy a full-page advertisement in the New York Times, featuring the name of each contributor. They aim at gathering 2500 signatures ... In fact, the ad is to be understood as "a declaration of independence from a monopolized and stagnant web". Obviously, Microsoft Internet Explorer, which is arbitrarily shipped with Microsoft Windows, is the main target ...



robots anyone?

Tuesday, October 12, 2004


Hi. The famous website wants to explain "how everything works". This is probably excessive but there is a lot of interesting info there! If you wanna know how washing machines, GPS receivers or hard drives work or why you sweat or even how to pick a lock you might have an answer there. Explanations are simple but surprisingly precise (most of the authors have a Md): unlike many publications of this kind it does really explain things. The articles have many pages and try to be comprehensive.
But be careful the website has many commercials and it is sometimes easy to mistake a link to an ad for a link to an article!

See you!

Till death do us part ...

Here is a site which will please the web addicts among you ... Indeed, many people (I feel affected ...) can't do without the Internet and particularly e-mails. It can't be denied that mails are a very convenient way to communicate with your friends or family. However, an unexpected event may prevent you from telling everything you would like to to your boss or to your girlfriend. Fortunately, an article from The Guardian made me aware of a marvelous site : The Last EMail. This site, which is owned by a Spanish company managed by M. Iriarte, allows you to prepare e-mails to be sent after your death. Thanks to modern technology, even death can't keep you from being online ...

The site is really serious, and its creator claims that his company will last long enough to achieve the mission you entrusted them with. At least, I guess that their customers will hardly complain about the service ...

And last but not least, don't forget to carefully read their homepage : the poetic quality of the style is absolutely edifying ("
you can bring comfort and strength to those you leave behind by sending them a message of love as you say goodbye", or "You only die once" ...)

Have fun ;) ...

Didier De Nadaï

Monday, October 11, 2004

We are not alone !

We now all know that the weirdos who claimed we were not alone were right. But our visitors aren't exactly the aliens they claimed they had met.

Most of the cells in your body are not your own, nor are they even human. They are bacterial. From the invisible strands of fungi waiting to sprout between our toes, to the kilogram of bacterial matter in our guts, we are best viewed as walking "superorganisms," highly complex conglomerations of human, fungal, bacterial and viral cells.

That's the view of scientists at Imperial College London who published a paper in Nature Biotechnology Oct. 6 describing how these microbes interact with the body. Understanding the workings of the superorganism, they say, is crucial to the development of personalized medicine and health care in the future because individuals can have very different responses to drugs, depending on their microbial fauna.
The scientists concentrated on bacteria. More than 500 different species of bacteria exist in our bodies, making up more than 100 trillion cells. Because our bodies are made of only some several trillion human cells, we are somewhat outnumbered by the aliens. It follows that most of the genes in our bodies are from bacteria, too.

Luckily for us, the bacteria are on the whole commensal, sharing our food but doing no real harm. (The word derives from the Latin meaning to share a table for dinner.) In fact, they are often beneficial: Our commensal bacteria protect us from potentially dangerous infections. They do this through close interaction with our immune systems.

"We have known for some time that many diseases are influenced by a variety of factors, including both genetics and environment, but the concept of this superorganism could have a huge impact on our understanding of disease processes," said Jeremy Nicholson, a professor of biological chemistry at Imperial College and leader of the study. He believes the approach could apply to research on insulin-resistance, heart disease, some cancers and perhaps even some neurological diseases.

Following the sequencing of the human genome, scientists quickly saw that the next step would be to show how human genes interact with environmental factors to influence the risk of developing disease, the aging process and drug action. But because environmental factors include the gene products of trillions of bacteria in the gut, they get very complex indeed. The information in the human genome itself, 3 billion base pairs long, does not help reduce the complexity.

"The human genome provides only scant information. The discovery of how microbes in the gut can influence the body's responses to disease means that we now need more research into this area," said Nicholson. "Understanding these interactions will extend human biology and medicine well beyond the human genome and help elucidate novel types of gene-environment interactions, with this knowledge ultimately leading to new approaches to the treatment of disease."

Nicholson's colleague, professor Ian Wilson from Astra Zeneca, believes the "human super-organism" concept "could have a huge impact on how we develop drugs, as individuals can have very different responses to drug metabolism and toxicity."

"The microbes can influence things such as the pH levels in the gut and the immune response, all of which can have effects on the effectiveness of drugs," Wilson said.

The Imperial College research demonstrates what many -- from X Files stalwarts to UFO fanatics -- have long claimed: We are not alone. Specifically, the human genome does not carry enough information on its own to determine key elements of our own biology.

Original text here.

Improve your English online :o)

Here is a useful and entertaining web site :
This site can help you improve your English knowledge. It offers you more than 250 free exercises to train yourself. You have the choice to learn some grammar or vocabulary and many other things. But don't worry, it is oriented like little games, each time you answer badly, your score sinks.
One other interesting point is that if you want to prepare your TOEIC or your TOEFL, simply entertain yourself on this site with all the exercises and you will learn some typical English expressions.
There is even a section called Jokes and it is not the easier, believe me !
One last funny thing, the section called"Hangman", it is the game you played a long time ago when you had to guess a word using a limited number of questions about the letters in it.

Have a good time surfing !

Nicolas H.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Apply to a big paneuropean event, for free !

Hi everybody!

If you are willing to speak english with 350 students from 40 european countries, about a very interesting topic : How big is YOUR Europe? Explore its dimensions , feel free to apply to this great event. It is free, you will be given a place to sleep and typical dutch food, and there are dutch parties every night...
From April 10th to April 15th, in Eindhoven, NL. Feel free to ask question either to the organizers, to me, or to one of the members of Cercle Europe.
You will be asked for a motivation letter, because places are limited , and of course the number of applications is huge. I can give you tips for your motivation letter. Deadline is January 1st. Tell your friends about this great event!!

European Week Eindhoven

Friday, October 08, 2004

Wiki & Publishing

To comment on the two latest posts, I would like to add that the Stevenson's dynamic website is a technology called Wiki, which enables anyone to modify any page. It started in march 1995, and its name come from the hawaiian word "Wikiwiki", which means "quick" or "super fast".

Today, the most famous wiki website is certainly Wikipedia, a free-content encyclopedia in many languages counting more than 1 million articles.

Free-content philosophy is beginning to spred to the publishing world.
Some science fiction authors, like Stevenson, are very interested in new technologies. For example, Cory Doctorow (who regularly posts here, one of the most famous blog) decided to write his book with the help of net surfers. He released the chapters he wrote on his website, waiting for the comments of readers, and then modifies his book. When the book was published, it was possible to download it simultaneously. Thus, there was a big buzz around the book, and the sells rised.

Dan Gillmor did it for We, the Media and Howard Rheingold for Smart Mobs (Source :

Antoine Dutertre

Why software should not have owners ...

I think this text is very interesting :

I know it's famous, but I think it's really important. In fact, there's a lot of very interesting texts on, but this one is certainly the first you should read if you don't know anything about free software.

And if you think that free software means software that you don't pay, you should really read it.


Visit the "metaweb"

Hello everyone, here is my first post here to invite you visit the website
Basically, this site is mainly dedicated to a trilogy recently written by the science-fiction author Neal Stephenson, which began with the novel Quicksilver one year ago (a prequel for the best-seller book Cryptonomicon). But this is much more than just a description of his work. Indeed, Stephenson created a dynamic HTML site where everyone can change the material of the pages and add his own stuff ; hence the name metaweb. Thus, since its creation in september 2003, the site received many contributions of every kind, so that now it has gone far beyond Stephenson's work. You can find many issues about science and in particular cryptography (the main topic in Stephenson's book), and also about works by other authors ! Finally, I find that this concept is an interesting option compared with communication ways such as the blogs, newsgroups and others. The most interesting point is that the archive system of the metaweb is really well done, and you can find how it developped ; in fact, the only criticism is that the graphic appearance of the site is not very attractive...


Wednesday, October 06, 2004

BBC World Home Page

BBC World Home Page: "phished"

have a look at this great resource... clickonline!

SL_lists: Student Forums

SL_lists: Student Forums here are some subject areas...

Student List Project

Student List Project
hummm an interesting project for our class.... who is out there? what can you discuss with them? what can you do with them?