Saturday, 17-Nov-07 13:24
A sick graph

According to these people, the cost of the Iraq war would've bought enough solar power plants to cover 2/3 of the US energy demands.

Even if that graph were off by an order of ten, it would still mindboggling.

Saturday, 17-Nov-07 10:12
Warner: oops

Edgar Bronfman from Warner Music finally says it: "By standing still or moving at a glacial pace, we inadvertently went to war with consumers by denying them what they wanted and could otherwise find and as a result of course, consumers won."

Then he continues to warn the operators about doing the same mistake.

Yes, Edgar, you got it. That's what the consumers have been telling you for the past five years. I applaud the fact that you finally get it, and even more that you're telling the operators this. But still, the damage you've caused with your cheap rhetorics will take years to repair.

(Via Slashdot.)

Tuesday, 13-Nov-07 13:12
Management vocabulary for newbies

Being a manager often means sitting in long meetings. This meeting culture obviously gives birth to new language. Here are some words I've heard being tossed around recently:

  • biobreak, n - A ten-minute break at two hour intervals to attend to the necessary biological functions that resources inconveniently have.
  • do email, v - Browse the web.
  • facebooks, n - A general word for any social networking website where you waste time.
  • lunch, n - A 45 minute period during which you consume food while continuing the meeting. Usually followed by a biobreak.
  • business casual, a - When a geek tries to appear business-like
  • "I have a slide!", i - Short for "I have been quiet very long in this meeting but I want to make sure you don't forget me, so therefore I have these slides from 1999 that I wish to make a lasting impression to you with."
  • meeting, n - a derogatory word used by software engineers to indicate a waste of time.
  • face-to-face, n - A meeting where more than half of the invited people are present physically.
  • telco, n - A meeting where less than half of the invited people are present physically.
  • information sharing, n - A meeting where less than half of the people are present mentally.
  • lids down, a - A meeting where using laptops is not allowed. Tends to be short, and seems, on the surface, highly efficient. However, it also disappears from people's memory once it is finished.
  • chairman, n - A mythical creature rumoured to be living in the Canadian forests. Believed to be extinct since 1971. Is attributed with the amazing power to keep discussion on topic.

Have you heard of any other ones?

Sunday, 11-Nov-07 20:27
Bouncy bouncy

HEL->HAM->BRU->BIO->LHR->HEL. In three days.

I feel like a rubber ball.

(But on a more positive note, the flu seems to be gone. Just had a nice 8 km walk in a park, hunting for geocaches, finding none.)

Thursday, 08-Nov-07 14:45
Question... long do you think it's going to take the news media to find the people who've joined the Jokela highschool shooting sympathizers group on Facebook, and crucify their asses in public? Assuming they are real people, of course.

Because, you see, there are assholes in this world who think that this shooting was a good thing. Like these morons. Yeah, I know, they can say whatever they want - freedom of speech and all that. But then again, I get to call their opinions utterly shitheaded. So we're even.

It's also amazing how people have managed to already find their soapboxes and tell everyone that this was the fault of the government, the Democratic party, the National Coalition party, the Green party, heavy metal music, tv, videogames, USA, the Nazis, the parents, the school system, the internet, the media, bullies at school, lack of funding to public healthcare, too much public healthcare, and whatever happens to be your pet peeve.

This is the time to grieve and comfort and ground yourselves. It is not the time to scream vengeance, find a scapegoat, or give into mob justice. And most of all, it's not the time to try to advance fuck-faced agendas with scare tactics. We know all the end result when that happens.

Sunday, 04-Nov-07 23:06
Free cars?

Makes sense to me. Why couldn't you sell cars just like you sell cell phones - item is free but you pay premium for the use.

Sunday, 04-Nov-07 15:39
Piracy, yet again

The past couple of days have seen some interesting discussion on the ever-popular subject of piracy (no, not the kind where armed men kill civilians on boats and rob all their money and sail to sunset shouting "Yarr!", but the other kind, where nobody dies and even the money robbing is under debate, so I don't think it's quite correct to use this vile word to portray the downloaders). See these at Uusi Suomi, Tietoja koneesta and Piraattiliitto, though unfortunately they are in Finnish only. Especially the last article is very useful to show that the current copyright does not always help the artists in the way it is supposed to help.

By one count, there are 120,000 of these "pirates" in Finland alone - i.e. about 2.5% of the nation's population. (My guess is that this number is too low, anyway.) My educated guess is that these are the smart and the bright of the population. Much is said about the relative simplicity of downloading stuff from the Internet, but it's not really that easy - unless you already know what you are doing. It's still a lot simpler to go to your neighbourhood supermarket and buy the DVD box than it is to play around with codecs and subtitle files, and whatnot.

So, these "pirates" are the people who will in ten-twenty years be in the positions of wealth and power.

Considering that the police in this country has at most maybe a few dozen people who are trained for this kind of job, how exactly could this thing be stopped? To me it sounds like a 1000:1 advantage in numbers to the media sharers - where the among the crooks are the brightest and smartest people, who live and breathe the Internet, and can do international collaboration much better and faster than any official. Where a thousand bright people create a DRM solution, a million equally bright people will crack it.

Just by looking at this thing by numbers and not thinking at all about what is legal and what is morally right, it's really hard to see how the end result could be anything else but the complete transformation of how we think about intellectual property rights. It'll take twenty years or so, but it will happen once the bright minds of today will have their first sips of real power in the society. It will be too hard to outlaw stuff they have lived for the past thirty years with.

Update: Larry Lessig's speech at TED. Good talk - he's right that there must be a middle ground. Extermism gets extremism.

Sunday, 04-Nov-07 11:08

I've lately started to think that Finland really has five seasons instead of the usual four: The light green and energy of spring; the bright green, strong, vibrant and short summer; the autumn, full of gold and red; the dark, black wetness of marras, or what the Tolkien elves called quellë, or "fading"; and the pale blue and white cold of winter.

This "dead" season really is what I hate the most about Finland. It's a miserable period of time - and especially in Southern Finland it seems to go on for ages, maybe ending just right before Christmas.

That's why it was wonderful to see the first snow yesterday. It brings in the promise of winter, a season when you can feel alive then. And now the sun is shining, so things aren't all that bad.

Private comments? Drop me an email. Or complain in a nearby pub - that'll help.

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