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Computers & Internet

  • Apple should license OS X for use on intel PCs.
    • They have the opportunity to become the first real competitor to Windows
    • They have already ported the OS to intel.
    • Why are they afraid of losing the hardware sales? Computer hardware is a crappy business to be in anyways.
    • Do it before Microsoft releases the next Windows.

  • Outlook should develop a "vote based" spam filtering system
    • At the very least, the number of users who receive the same email should affect whether outlook filters it
    • But even better, incorporate a "vote" system.
      • If outlook misses a spam email from "John Doe", causing it not to be filtered, and 100 people mark it as spam, outlook should learn and filter that email from the rest of the inboxes.
  • Since spam's unique characteristic is that it's sent to a massive number of recipients, this would work very well.

  • Use Peer to Peer technology in new ways
    • What about P2P file hosting?
    • P2P database?
    • P2P PHP server?
    • We know distributed computing is possible... what about a distributed P2P LAMP server on thousands of home PCs?
    • If the software can react to demand, this would be the end to bandwidth costs / DOS attacks.
    • Servers will become increasingly obsolete.

  • Use Wiki technology in new ways
    • Interoffice collaberation
    • Web publishing (bluwiki)
    • Online collaberative notes (eg UVA Notes)
    • To do list

Robotics & Automation

  • Driving needs to be automated
    • In 20 years, no one will drive themselves. It will be considered dangerous, and a waste of time.
    • They average person spends a full workweek each year in traffic. And it's only going to get worse
    • Assuming they could spend that time working, that is an opportunity cost of $225 Billion USD every year (this is given a GDP of 11.75 Trillion USD).


  • Brake lights should flash on cars when ABS activates or there is heavy braking
    • When a car today is traveling 60 MPH, a break light ahead could mean the car in front is going form 60 > 50 MPH or from 60 > 0 MPH. Obviously, there is a big difference.

Ideas I'm not sure about

  • I used to think that email clients should download links in emails
    • This will cause servers hosting sites whose links have been spammed to millions of users to go offline.
    • However, I believe it would be too easy to abuse this (use it as a DoS tool)
      • I read today that Paul Graham suggests only blacklisted sites be downloaded, but this presents a number of problems
        • There are a ton of URL forwarding options out there. Forward a domain for $8.88 @ namecheap.com or use tinyurl.com for free. These sites would not be sent offline.
        • You can get a new non-blacklisted host and URL for $15... even if it only lasts a few days (AKA few million emails) until it makes the black list, it still would seem worth it for the spammer.
        • I think even with the blacklist requirement, it would be too easy for crackers to exploit this. I'm sure the brillent crackers out there could come up with a way to use this for DoS attacks. All the cracker has to do is trick the client into downloading content from the "good" server.

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This page was last modified on 18 November 2010, at 09:57.
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