Thanks to everyone who wrote - my last entry got a very satisfying number of responses!
While I do find Scientology fascinating, the main reason I'm interested in it now is that they have a very strong track record of using media in innovative ways to further their goals. Thus, if a metadata system claims to be "attack-resistant", then its ability to deliver both pro- and anti-Scientology link is a very good test of that claim.
Of course, it's hard to evaluate a search engine based on "scientology" results alone. For one, it's likely that the operators of the search engine will either bias the results the way they feel about Scientology, or to counteract a bias they percieve. Different search engines will approach this differently. Altavista, which is basically a pure keyword engine, reports about 48 pro links before you get to the first anti. MSN's search does quite well: 4 of the top ten links (5-8) are high-quality anti sites. Based on various innuendo I had heard, I expected Earthlink to do fairly badly. However, they just rebrand Google, so the results are identical.
My attack resistance result on PageRank doesn't say anything about the rank (more familiarily known as "googlejuice") of a particular page. Rather, it bounds the total googlejuice that can be captured by a determined attacker. I haven't figured out the implications of this yet.
I didn't get as much time as I would have liked today to write - there are always other things that come up. I'm trying my best to ignore my email and tell everyone else to bugger off, but it's not easy.
One mystery I haven't been able to resolve: why is it that anti-Scientology websites have such atrocious HTML layout?
speaking of search engines...
...I notice that they're becoming quite a bit richer in the document languages they search. It used to be just HTML, now all good search engines seem to be able to handle a dozen or two of the most popular formats. I am, of course, professionally interested in their PostScript interpretation capabilities. That link itself isn't all that interesting. What will be more so is to see how various search engines handle it.
Nearly Headless Nick
Nick is the recycled old laptop now functioning as an 802.11b access point in my studio. By now, I feel I would have been far better off buying an Airport, or one of the Linksys or D-Link jobbies. However, it was kind of fun to get 802.11b running. In the past, it's been kind of flaky, especially in Master/Managed mode, so I just ran it in Ad-hoc. But after an apt-get upgrade toasted the PCMCIA on the system, I upgraded the kernel and & lt; a href="http://people.ssh.com/jkm/Prism2/">prism2</ a> driver to their latest stable versions, I find that it generally works quite well.
One trick was to change the cardmgr options to "-f", so that the init scripts would wait for the cards to initialize before starting named and dhcpd. Otherwise, they'd start up without the IP address being configured, which obviously wasn't happy.
I played around with the power-saving modes, but couldn't detect an actual effect on battery life. The card (a DWL-650) seems to run pretty cool, and I expect that even at full power, it sucks down a lot less juice than a 900MHz P3, big nice LCD, and hard drive. Selecting power modes did cause interesting log messages on the AP, including what looked like a reference count mismatch.
Nick is also a handy backup nameserver (after having gotten burned a few times, I now pride myself on running the one of the best amateur DNS services around). At some point, if I can find a worthwhile P2P network that can run with minimal resources, I'll host that on there as well. New hardware is amazing, but old can be fun too.