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from swerve of shore to bend of bay

links for 2010-04-09

  • California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica), California
  • On the outside, Microsoft's massive new data center resembles the other buildings in the industrial area.

    Even the inside of the building doesn't look like that much. The ground floor looks like a large indoor parking lot filled with a few parked trailers.

    It's what's inside those trailers, though, that is the key to Microsoft's cloud-computing efforts. Each of the shipping containers in the Chicago data center houses anywhere from 1,800 to 2,500 servers, each of which can be serving up e-mail, managing instant messages, or running applications for Microsoft's soon-to-be-launched cloud-based operating system–Windows Azure.

    Upstairs, Microsoft has four traditional raised floor server rooms, each roughly 12,000 square feet and consuming, on average, 3 megawatts of power. It's all part of a data center that will eventually occupy 700,000 square feet, making it one of the world's largest.

  • These elements of countless tech presentations have been thrown into the blender of geek culture and emerged as an unlikely new form of entertainment and sport for the tech set.

    This past week, I saw the perfect illustration of this when I dropped by an Ignite event at the Santa Clara Convention Center. For the uninitiated, the Ignite concept works like this: Each speaker has five minutes to deliver a talk with 20 PowerPoint slides that automatically advance every 15 seconds.

    "If you don't really like the topic, you can go get a drink," explained emcee and Ignite creator Brady Forrest as the event kicked off. "It'll be over before you get back."

    (tags: speaking geeks)
  • When starting a new web design project, it’s always a good idea to begin with a wireframe. The purpose of a wireframe is to communicate the layout of a page without getting caught up in color and design elements. Wireframes can be a big time saver as they help all parties involved come to an agreement on placement of major page elements such as headers, content areas, navigation menus, and footers. The key is to get the layout nailed down so major layout changes won’t take place once detailed design elements are in place.

    There are several different routes that a designer can take for creating wireframes, and there are even applications designed specifically for this. For this article, we’ve rounded up 10 excellent tools for creating wireframes.

  • We are a repository hosting company run by and for developers. Our easy to use control panel will get you up and running with Git, Subversion, and Mercurial quickly and provide you with a free project management tools, Trac and Redmine.
  • Black & Veatch communicator Jonathan Mast explains why the C-suite should blog, and the role his firm's CEO blog has on employee engagement.
  • Scientists hope to harness the organisms' immune-regulating effects. As blossoming spring trees spew pollen, many allergy sufferers would be grateful for a more effective way to alleviate their itchy misery. How about swallowing a batch of pig whipworm eggs, or deliberately infecting oneself with the fecal-dwelling hookworm? Yucky as these options sound, mounting evidence in both humans and animals suggests that infection with these parasitic worms seems to protect against a number of inflammatory diseases, including asthma and allergy, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, and type 1 diabetes.
    Because parasitic infection is unappealing to even the most severe allergy sufferer, some scientists hope to decipher how these organisms control the immune systems of their human hosts and to develop new therapies that replicate the parasites' beneficial effect.
    (tags: health immune)
  • Takeaways:
    1. Why diversity in your tech teams will make your nonprofits communications, fundraising and organizing stronger.
    2. How nonprofits can recruit diverse tech and online communications staff.
    3. Tools and strategies for nonprofits looking to broaden their appeal to a more diverse audience of supporters.
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