The nominees have been announced. May the speculation and backstabbing begin. There can be only one.
(My tournament went badly. Really badly. I couldn't simply be bothered to think properly today, as I was feeling so down. It would've probably been more polite not participate in the tournament, but... Oh well. One conversation led to another, and ended up filling my head with thoughts: none of them very pleasant, but very probably true.)
Went to see Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King again. It is still good, and Eowyn's "I am no man" still sends shivers down my spine. The rohirrim rock!
But I have to say that at one point Mr Shore's musical score was in error: Theoden's death scene does not really feel right, if the background music is a modern hip-hop tune played on a cell phone. It kinda kills the mood, don't you think? At least it should be polyfonic, not the piezo-buzzer. But then again, it wasn't that bad, as the giggling of some three teenage girls in the front row was covering most of the soundtrack anyway. It's mostly a quiet scene (as death scenes of the heroes usually are), and I completely do understand the need to fill it with pointless blather. There was also couple of people who thought that they were somehow invisible while they kept traveling and forth to get more soda and popcorn. Apparently their favourite method of becoming invisible is not through pills and potions, but relying on a cloud of tobacco smell that causes your eyes to water immediately and your nose to turn inward in a vain attempt to recycle the air from your lungs. Didn't really work, though. I mean, I could still feel their presence, strangely enough. Hm. Well, they got plenty of practice, coming in late and choosing their seats farthest from the aisle.
Also, taking your 10-year old kid to the movie theatre is a wonderful idea. Especially to see a 3.5 hour movie, with more violence than the two latest James Bond movies combined, and more monsters than all of the Harry Potter movies will ever have. It's all okay, if you give her a balloon, which she can play with and wave furiously in front of the screen whenever she gets scared or bored. Which tends to happen often.
(Note to self: never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever again go to a matinée.)
Ilo on joskus
Apologies to my foreign readers. It would be worse in English, trust me :-). I just had to put this one in the form of a tanka poem. I have no explanation.
Good thing: to have surge protection on your computer array.
Bad thing: kick accidentally the surge protection thingy so that the wall socket becomes loose, and have a big, catastrophic power failure.
Good thing: to be able to read your blogs while eating breakfast
Bad thing: to drop a bun in your cereal, and have milk splashed all across your laptop
Good thing: iTunes for Windows
Bad thing: Windows
Good thing: actually having sunlight in the mornings.
Bad thing: the mornings.
Good thing: upcoming go -tournament (http://takapotku.suomigo.net - feel free to come by and say hi!) next weekend.
Bad thing: not sleeping enough before the weekend.
I need a smiley which says: "I am feeling sad, lonely and tired; yet I smile inexplicably through my tears."
Let me know if you can think of a good one.
Just to fuel the rumour mill, after about 60% of the votes have been tallied:
- A total of 84 people voted (cool!)
- The last vote was cast on 22.2, 22:21, that is, a full one minute before the deadline. Very nice timing :-)
- Some clear trends are already emerging: e.g. the top-3 in the category of "the most humorous weblog" would need a miracle to be dislodged. Ditto with "best looking blog". People seem to have very common tastes in those areas where, well, taste is the only deciding factor.
- However, some rather interesting developments are occurring in the "Best blog" and "Best confessional weblog" -categories... It is very hard to predict the top-5.
- Certain charming women certainly seem to have a very vocal fan base...
- Surprisingly, some of the Pinseri top-20 blogs have been getting none or very, very few votes.
- Certain individuals have been very clearly voting each other - hmmm... interesting.
- A massive 171 blogs have received votes so far
- Though, about 1/3 of these are in the "best little-known weblog" category.
Personally, counting the votes has been an enlightening experience: I've added a few blogs to my reading list just because people have sent nice reasons why someone should absolutely win a certain prize. Very horizon-expanding stuff.
Thank you everyone who voted - wait for the final list on March 1st!
I've never really been much of a music fan. I was around 19 and on my own, when I first had even the idea that I could actually buy records - which means that I don't really have big collections of music from my teenage years. I vaguely remember many songs, and they are nostalgic, yes, but there's no way to find them anymore. So I lost a big chunk of the soundscape of my youth.
if it weren't for the file sharing networks, that is.
I can catch a song, playing in the background somewhere, and it reminds me of something. If I can just catch a line or two, I can bang those words into Google (and add "lyrics") and get the title and performer. Then fire up Limewire, and rather probably find what I was looking for. Otherwise, it would be a very, very complicated search through old record stores, or friends' attics.
I also regularly go and find music that my friends tell that they like, because it lets me in their heads for a while. If the music has meaning to someone I care about, I want to hear it. Sharing the same experience helps you to understand each other, and that can never be a bad thing, right? So to hell with the detail that it is illegal - I appreciate my friends more than the pockets of big, greedy music corporations.
The problem with the commercial music stores is that they are interested in making money. And that means that they are not really interested in old, niche music that might have meaning to only some few individuals. In fact, it is possible that they cannot even license that music for online distribution, because nobody can figure out who owns the music, and with the perpetually-expanding copyright it will never fall into public domain.
Long copyrights really mean less music for us, not more. And this is why P2P filesharing is not going to go away.
I was in a book store yesterday (found the 2nd part of Icaro, yay!) and overheard this middle-aged lady telling this age-old joke to her friend:
"You know what? If we can send a man to the Moon - why don't we send all of them there?"
You know what? I would go.
Here are four portraits of the women the machine thinks I like. It ain't a bad result, especially the hottie on the lower left can knock on my door any time (though she might have to take a queuing ticket). What I found somewhat disappointing is that I seem to be in the majority of the men when it comes to choosing beautiful people. Oh well... Can't always be the odd man out, now can I? :-)
Hm... "They [your favourite looks] have very feminine features like thin noses, big eyes, and full lips, conveying a strong, confident look rather than looking delicate or fragile. Even though they look like the "Girl Next Door," they tend to look mature for their age and lack the "cutesy" appearance of more "girlish" women. Although very popular to look at, most men are sort of intimidated by this type, which is probably why only 1 in 3 (31%) say they specifically seek out these women." Darned right. I tend to be more turned on by character and brains, though. What use is a beautiful container if you put nothing in it?
(And what am I still doing here, I wonder? Well, it comes down to a simple, well-known truth: the word "demo" always implies something that nearly works.)
Content analysis details: (23.5 points, 5.0 required) pts rule name description ---- ---------------------- -------------------------------------------------- 5.4 BAYES_99 BODY: Bayesian spam probability is 99 to 100% [score: 1.0000] 1.0 MIME_HTML_ONLY BODY: Message only has text/html MIME parts 1.0 HTML_MESSAGE BODY: HTML included in message 0.3 HTML_FONT_BIG BODY: HTML has a big font 1.2 HTML_90_100 BODY: Message is 90% to 100% HTML 0.1 BIZ_TLD URI: Contains a URL in the BIZ top-level domain 1.2 RCVD_IN_SORBS_MISC RBL: SORBS: sender is open proxy server [220.127.116.11 listed in dnsbl.sorbs.net] 0.1 RCVD_IN_SORBS RBL: SORBS: sender is listed in SORBS [18.104.22.168 listed in dnsbl.sorbs.net] 0.1 RCVD_IN_NJABL RBL: Received via a relay in dnsbl.njabl.org [22.214.171.124 listed in dnsbl.njabl.org] 0.7 RCVD_IN_DSBL RBL: Received via a relay in list.dsbl.org [<http://dsbl.org/listing?ip=126.96.36.199>] 0.5 RCVD_IN_NJABL_PROXY RBL: NJABL: sender is an open proxy [188.8.131.52 listed in dnsbl.njabl.org] 1.5 RCVD_IN_BL_SPAMCOP_NET RBL: Received via a relay in bl.spamcop.net [Blocked - see <http://www.spamcop.net/bl.shtml?184.108.40.206>] 2.6 FORGED_MUA_OUTLOOK Forged mail pretending to be from MS Outlook 4.2 OBFUSCATING_COMMENT HTML comments which obfuscate text 1.6 MISSING_MIMEOLE Message has X-MSMail-Priority, but no X-MimeOLE 1.0 FORGED_OUTLOOK_HTML Outlook can't send HTML message only 1.1 MIME_HTML_ONLY_MULTI Multipart message only has text/html MIME parts
I have found a new hobby. I read spam.
Well, not actually spam, but I look at the headers that SpamAssassin has added to my emails, spam and normals alike. For some reason, I find it very fascinating how SA filters mail - what it decides to be spam, and what not, and especially why it sometimes (though rarely) mistakes a spam for a real message.
So I read email headers on a late Friday night (even though I should be somewhere else), and wonder what they mean, and marvel this piece of technology with tired eyes.
- Friday night at the office
Geek stares at the screen
The magic of technology
Everyone and their mother is already probably blogging this, but I don't care - it's too cool:
In case anyone married to, or living with a geek, is reading this entry, I seriously advise you to put a napkin or a towel under your spouse's chin, because there will be drooling once you show them the following link:
I wonder if it runs Linux?
(Link thanks to Matt).
On a slightly separate note: I have been tentatively tallying about half of the votes already cast in the Finnish blog awards, and so far a staggering 130 blogs have been nominated for different prizes. So much for the fear that everybody would just vote for the pinseri top 20... Remember, you have only three days left to vote!
I would like also to say to those who are clearly voting for themselves: you should've at least gotten your mom to send the email for you. It wouldn't look so pathetic.
I'm so thoroughly jet-lagged that I am not finding this funny anymore (though I am pretty sure all my readers are). I woke up at 1 pm today (and I am rather lucky I did not have any meetings in the morning) by not waking up to the alarm clock. Upon closer inspection, it turned out that my alarm clock (and my cell phone) are still living in US time... So they would've woken me up at around 6 pm.
Finally back, after spending about 40 hours in the same set of clothes. Arriving on the airport, I grabbed my bag and walked on with the enthusiasm of a zombie on Prozac, anxiously waiting for a ride home, and a hot shower. However, customs picked me from the queue and made me account for all the stuff that I had with me (in a rather unfriendly manner, I might add, too). Unfortunately, on closer inspection, it turned out that I had made a slight currency conversion error and had gone a bit too overboard with my purchases, and had to pay 35€ of taxes and fines. Oh well, it was still cheaper than buying that stuff from Finland.
On a separate note, here's a cool use of RSS: Pluck in your birthdate, and it will give you a feed, which consists of all the stars that are within your theoretical sphere of influence, i.e. your "light cone". Thanks to Matt for doing this. It really warms the heart of an old astronomy geek :-).
Thanks to Foster (pictured behind the laptop) for giving me a ride around the city. :-)
Answer: The Apple Store. A bunch of us decided to do a pilgrimage to the nearest Apple sales point, and unfortunately nobody got out unharmed. I survived with only some scratches (a couple of games and a TV adapter), but one of the guys who came "just to browse" ended up buying a 15" Powerbook, and a French guy could not resist buying a 23" Cinema Display.
The question is not whether we are still sane, but whether the French guy can fit the display in his carry-on baggage...
ETech is NOT a good place to be if you have ever wondered about buying a Mac, because everyone there is such an Mac überuser. You just cannot help but be sucked in after seeing how cool it is to edit documents with SubEthaEdit and chat with everyone in the same Rendezvous circle.
Using a Mac is not about speed or the latest 3D games. It is about the aesthetic experience of completeness and satisfaction.
Update (the next day): Went back. Big mistake. Now own an iSight.
Under the slugging monk
the waiter asks
"Have you lost your little world?"
The bad stuff first: The wireless connection here sucks. It sucks less today than previously, but it is still bad. The other thing is that there are far too few power strips available, and I've on several occasions had my laptop die on me.
But the cool stuff just continues: Programmable matter and quantum dots by Wil ~McCarthy just blew me (and probably everyone else) away with the visions of windows that move according to sunlight, wires that grow inside the walls as needed, walls that can produce any sort of light at command, quantum wells and artifical atoms, but especially the palm-sized, paper-thin über-PDA, which does *everything*, including cooling your drinks. And it all works on "ambient energy" - harvesting stray photons, sound and movement. When any physical object can have any functionality you desire, you get into some pretty interesting scenarios...
High sci-fi, mindblowing stuff - but the theory says it should work.
He also released Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom under a Creative Commons sharealike-license, which essentially allows others to go and create derivative works (like slash furry fiction) of it - getting a spontaneous round of applause for it.
But the really, really cool thing was the Electric Sheep presentation. An incredible, distributed screen saver system that uses other computers to create artificial life: digital "sheep". And yes, it's a reference to Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. A sort of a presentation of the digital subconsciousness of the idle time of the computers.
Sounds good, but what does it mean?
Incredibly beautiful moving pictures, that had the utterly ADD-oriented crowd stop their constant typing and just stare at the screen and drool.
Go. Now. http://www.electricsheep.org/. The coolest screen saver you will ever find.
I've missed most of the morning's presentations and spent the time either hugging a pillow or the porcelaine thing in the toilet, you know, the one where you put things and they disappear with a "whoosh". It can't be a hangover - I had two glasses of wine and a beer yesterday - so I'm wagering on some sort of a food poisoning. I almost threw up during Pertti Korhonen's presentation in the morning - that would've certainly created some excitement. :-)
I dared to have a bit of rather excellent tomato-basil soup for lunch, but I feel that we are still negotiating whether the soup should have rights to a bit of fresh air every now and then.
The crappy thing about these conferences is that if you are not in 100%, you suddenly feel like an outsider real fast. Everybody's talking about "the great presentation" from the morning, or talking about the slide... And you are completely out of it. Not to mention the precious moments you could've used to talk to the wonderful minds that have been collected here.
- In any project, for any given number of opinions of the technical questions, there is a larger number of opinions on how the project should be named – or on the process how name should be chosen.
It's so true.
There was also a highly interesting discussion afterwards about Wiki visualization and navigation, which in my opinion are the questions we should focus on, rather than thinking about issues with WikiMarkup transferability. Wikis would allow wonderful navigational tools - I know JSPWiki instances where the CSS for the site is available as a WikiPage, allowing anyone to change the visual look of the site. But why not also extend the same concept to the physical HTML layout of the site?
Of course, you might want to limit it to only certain people, as recovering from WikiTrolls would be nigh impossible, but still... The power of the Wikis lies in the separation of content and presentation: in fact, the JSPWiki internals are looking more and more like a database engine day by day, and some people are seriously suggesting a SQL-like query language embeddedable in the pages. So, we can do all this wonderful stuff with the content - but we still have to resort to editing HTML if we want to change the presentation. Why?
I'm just listening to Helen Greiner's presentation of Roomba. She actually has one that she is running on the table, and the #etech -channel is filled with geeks declaring their instant love at the tiny little home robot.
Can't say I'm much different.
I seriously, seriously want one. Like now.
Update: Joi snapped a photo of me, relaxing outside :-)
Update2: I'm now a bit less enthusiastic. IRobot does in addition build the PackBot, which is a military bot. We were shown a cool video in which the ~PackBot is thrown in through a window to a building, drives off the roof, and drives directly into a river; surviving all this stuff. It was apparently used during the Afghan war as well. It's just a matter of time before they strap it with guns. And yes, she is talking seriously about "autonomous fighting robots" and "unmanned ground vehicles", with the enthusiastic glee of Susan Calvin.
Relevant quote from IRC:
20:31 < Tantek> this is perhaps the scariest presentation i have ever seen
The obvious question from the audience was: "What are the ethical constraints?" - and she really has no answer. She explained in a roundabout way about "this being the answer to the suicide bombers that don't care about being killed", and then skipped the issue with "but the conference must go on, so thank you for the questions."
What utter fucking bollocks.
How do you know you are at a geek conference? People get introduced to you by their IRC nicks, and you don't actually realize until the next morning that you still don't know their real names, despite having met them in real life.
(Oh yeah, and I *do* love bagels. I only wish we could get some decent ones back home. I may have to carry a few back...)
(Pardon my Finnish): Kuukkeleilla on nyt oikea koti - http://blogit.fi/kuukkeli/. Kaikki päivitykset tulevat tästä eteenpäin sinne.
For the second tutorial of the day, AT&T kindly gave us Sony Ericsson T616 phones, so that we could try some hands-on hacking. I promptly found that the screen on these babies is abysmally bad at direct, 25 degrees Californian sunlight... *grin* But Russell Beattie's cool to listen to - he's certainly the archetype for us NADD people. At the moment he's hacking at his home server using SSH on a big screen... Then he showed us accidentally his password to a web service :-)
However, I don't believe that these tutorials are really of too much value - for me anyway. Most of the stuff I am already familiar with, or could learn quickly otherwise; or it is too detailed to get me excited. *shrug* Should've gone to the Digital Democracy thing.
Tell me, has the US Visa Waiver form (the green one, I-94W) changed in the past couple of years? Or perhaps I have changed and seeing things with new eyes. It is as if some of the things weren’t there previously.
One of the questions on the backside says: "...or are you seeking entry to engage in criminal or immoral activities?" Immoral – defined by whom? The Bush government? The Bible? If I were gay who was into BDSM, and had a boyfriend waiting for me in San Diego, should I tick "yes"?
The concept of what is immoral and what is not is an eerily vague one, and it is easy to pass judgement unto others. It is so easy to assume moral superiority – and I know that I am guilty of the same thing, saying this. Intolerance should not be tolerated: it is the dilemma of our world.
The other thing that stopped me is the one that says "You may not represent the foreign information media during your visit".
That not only sounds suspicious, but it also begs the question: what about blogging? If I tell truthfully to the world what I see and hear, am I a part of this "foreign information media" or not?
It is now too late to suggest categories for the Finnish Blog Awards. We will now mull them over, and you will be able to start sending in your votes on Tuesday (evening, Pacific Standard Time - I'll be at O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, which seriously impacts my ability to do anything.)
In the mean time, I would like to remind you of this geek koan. What is the sound of your head against the keyboard?
...waddling on a swamp with leaky boots at night, without a map, a compass, or a light, while mosquitoes are trying to grab a piece of you. Since there's no way to know which way you should go, the actual choice of your direction does not matter.
All you can hope for is a bit drier ground or a path.
Feel like a bee. In more ways than one. Yesterday my flights were late both going and coming, so my bad luck with travel continues. Cannot form complete sentences. Too much information flowing through head.
Kultainen Kuukkeli 2003-päivitys: Raati alkaa olla kasassa ja kategoriat muotoutumassa. Päivät tulevat hieman elämään matkojen takia: odottakaa kategorioita vasta noin maanantaina. Viralliset sivutkin ovat valmistumassa uhkaavasti blogit.fi:n alle, samaten hienot palkinnot ovat jo uunissa. :-) Itse asiassa voisi järjestää blogimiitin jossa nuo palkinnot voisi jakaa - löytyykö vapaaehtoisia tapaamisen järjestäjiä?
Got my hands on Icaro from Moebius and Jiro Taniguchi. It was just something that I bought off a shop on a whim, but now I am extremely glad that I did. I can't wait to get my hands on the 2nd book...
All I can really say is that I concur with the review above: "Something this beautiful should be seen by all."
In a surprise move, the US Patent Office has granted a patent which patents the patent office itself!
Hehe. Actually, the patent is meant to patent the concept of "digital ownership", i.e. the idea that you can "own" things in online multiplayer games. The patent is just so broad that it covers pretty much any database, including the patent database.
This is another example on how the USPTO has just thrown its hands up in the air and basically says "accept them all and let courts sort them out." This is an example on so many countless things that have gone wrong with the system I can't even be bothered to enumerate them anymore... Let me just begin with the notion that the idea of ownership could be patented at all, and end up with how big companies can use this to trounce upon the smaller ones, and you can imagine the rant between those yourself.
So, Henri snapped a couple of pictures of me (thanks, mate!), one of which is now available on my page. So if you absolutely, positively have to see what my hair looks like - go forth and be scared. You can't miss it: If you scroll down the page, it's the last thing you see before you're struck blind.
(Just things about the Golden Siberian Jays - the First Finnish Blog Awards, nothing to worry about, move along... English update coming Real Soon Now.)
Kiitos Myrsky-Jannelle käsittämättömän nerokkaasta logosta! Samaten Kultaisille Kuukkeleille on avattu oma sähköpostiosoite: firstname.lastname@example.org, jonne sopii lähetellä spämmiä, err... mainoksia, err... kuukkeliasiaa.
Niin, sponsoroituja palkintojakin on jo yksi kirja, jonka Kasablogin Jussi on luvannut Uusi Blogi-kategorian voittajalle. Jos joku muukin haluaa lahjoittaa voimavarojaan yleisen hyvän puolesta, se olisi erinomaisen påp. Esimerkiksi jos osaat rakentaa hienon plakaatin tai kaivertaa puusta kuukkelin, laitapa meiliä :-).
Private comments? Drop me an email. Or complain in a nearby pub - that'll help.
|"Main" last changed on 10-Aug-2015 21:44:03 EEST by JanneJalkanen.|