Of course, walking around first for a day with two heavy backpacks, and then sitting in the train for five hours didn't make it much better. Ten hours of sleep on top of that made it stiff again. Now as I catch up on my email, I have to get up every few minutes to stretch again. Annoying.
Strangely, I used to have these much more often when I was younger, more fit, stretched regularly, and practiced martial arts...
On a more positive note, I believe today is the first straight day I've had since I went to Russia. The beer and vodka was so cheap over there (1 bottle of vodka = three beers = 60 rubles = 2€), not to mention free of the usual "what disease will I get if I drink this" -worry, so that we chugged down a few pints every day to compensate for the dehydration...
Anyhoo, on Monday we went to the summer mansion of Peter the Great in Petrodvorets and then jumped on hydrofoil ships that transport passengers to St Petersburg. The trip takes 30 minutes, and was the most comfortable method of travel on the whole trip. Of course, it was also 20 times more expensive than the bus... But the arrival up the Neva river into the heart of St Petersburg is worth it.
On the whole, the trip was a very positive experience, regardless of the problems we had in registration, migration card thingy, etc... The only thing that really strained my patience was the return trip: When we arrived on the train, and went into the restaurant car to enjoy some beer and a game of go, the train personnel really boiled my blood. The talk went something like this (in Finnish, of course):
"You have to leave." Note the lack of apology.
"We need those tables for people who want to dine."
"Err, but aren't we paying customers too?"
"You should really thought about it before you came in that there will be people dining here, and you are taking up far too much space with your games." Then she added, as if it made things better: "But you can stay here until the diners arrive."
I finished my beer quickly and went back to my compartment, seething. I mean, of course they need the tables for diners, but she still did not have to act as if we were at fault there. A polite apology and an explanation and a request to move elsewhere would've been cool, and we would've moved, but if you start by telling that the customers are idiots who can't think for themselves (even if they are), then that is not the key to customer service.
Fuck them. That must've been the most Soviet thing I saw on the trip, and after Russia, that's saying a lot.
I finally managed to squeeze some wins in the main tournament, and started the weekend tournament with some confidence. I scored two wins out of three games today, yay!
Other than that, I find it hard to believe but the heat is actually getting to me... Well, it's not so much the heat, but the moisture. I drink a lot, but still I feel thirsty all the time.
Went to St Petersburg yesterday by train, and came back with a minibus. Surprisingly, the trip took about the same time, but we got a reminder of the fragility of the human life as the driver of the minibus decided that it's quite okay to drive 100 km/h into a traffic jam, just simply because there was 4 meters of empty space. Just a single mistake from anyone, and someone would've died. Even the locals that were traveling with us looked scared, and they should be pretty jaded.
Went today for an arranged tour of St Petersburg, and had a magnificent lunch in some palace of some Grand Duke or something. The trip was expensive, but the lunch pretty much covered most of the cost: it had probably the best salad I have ever eaten, and the dessert was pretty good too. St Petersburg has also gained a lot of its early splendor, the 1.3 billion USD that they poured into renovation for this year's festivities shows. This is a beautiful city, I need to explore this again in the future. It's kinda like London, one of my favourite cities; except that the roads in St Petersburg are broader, there are more parks and canals, the city is more consistent, and the women are more beautiful.
In other news, my juggling seems to be improving. We had some spare time today (I didn't want to go to the arranged visit to a souvenir shop any longer than was necessary), so I started juggling (some simple tricks with three balls; columns and stuff, nothing really fancy) outside behind the corner.
Some tourist gave me a ruble.
I must look really pathetic.
Russia is everything you ever heard of, and more. The bureaucracy is (still) astounding, organization ... needs some getting used to, student housing over here is dismal (I have pictures but no way to upload them), food is filled with fat and salt, and everything seems to be on the verge of falling apart.
But people are extremely warm and friendly, (some) food is excellent, living is cheap and St Petersburg is very beautiful. Unfortunately we're living in a bunch of student apartments 40 km outside St Petersburg, so so far I've only seen it from the window of a bus.
Oh well. Lost all of my games so far (even the ones I already won). Bloody depressing.
Update: It seems that SSH outwards is blocked, and my webmail server (imp) is far too slow to be of any use - I've been waiting for 15 minutes for my mailbox to open now - so I am currently in complete email blockage. If you need to reach me urgently, drop me an SMS or leave a comment here.
Dan Gillmor asks: Why not just execute filesharers?
Perhaps I should put a BitTorrent server for JSPWiki stuff... It's not like we really need it, though.
David Turner concurs
(Whoa, I was this >< close to being Slashdotted :-)
For some reason, I've been giving a long-overdue cleaning treatment to the whole apartment. Certain places I haven't dared to touch yet, but I did wash the floors, reorganize a book shelf, and spend a few hours scrubbing my mats in the sea. It seems that in Helsinki, all public carpet washing places are by the sea (and thus with salt water), whereas in Espoo and Vantaa they use fresh water. BTW, it's amazing what sort of stuff your kitchen mat can absorb. Or your door mat, for that matter =).
Oh well. At least the weather was good for shifting my tan lines a bit.
Well, we can embed HTML in the RssFeeds, yes? That means that we can also embed links, yes? Well, so far RSS has been a very uni-directional, that is, just a content syndication format. But Eric had a brilliant idea on how the RSS feeds could be amended to become a bi-directional format.
So I've implemented the basic "green card", "red" card thing on this site, but for the RSS feeds ONLY! If you want to vote for an entry, just click on the word "YES"; or if you want to vote against an entry, click on "NO".
You can see the result on the bottom of every actual entry page. Not on the front page, though.
So, ya think this is good? :-)
To echo the statement by Dave: "This sucks".
The problem is: the Lesser Gnu Public License text was designed in a time when languages like Java did not exist, and thus the wording is imprecise with respect to dynamically binding languages.
Of course, there is a certain "rivalry" between different Open Source and Free Software factions, which makes that people tend to read the licenses with extra ... accuracy, but if it is the official position of the FSF that LGPL is viral for Java programs, then I have no choice but to seek a new license for JSPWiki.
I would otherwise go Apache, but I would still like to retain control over my code, so I need a license that would be "LGPL" in spirit, but would also work for Java. There's some discussion already over at Hacking Blog.
But really, I want to hear from a FSF representative or an attorney that LGPL is indeed viral for Java before I actually make a license change.
Please excuse me if this site suddenly started to look strange on your favourite browser. I've been doing some CSS experiments to replace the default look that was done with tables. Unfortunately, it seems that one has to learn a whole new set of problems with the browsers...
I know that if you look at this site with NS4, it looks horrible. But then again, I don't really care about NS4; it's such a broken browser. I'm a bit more worried about Konqueror and Safari... Drop a comment if you spot oddities.
Oh yeah, and this blog should now also be quite readable on mobile phones as well; at least the 7650 and 3650 work...
Yup. Since 2.1.52 the magnificent OSCache has been integrated into JSPWiki. The cool thing is; now the search over 400 pages takes now less than 2 seconds on the same hardware it used to take over a minute =).
We currently just use OSCache to cache the page contents (with the ~CachingProvider), but I'll probably implement a ~CacheManager that gives a proper caching system across the entire application.
On a separate note, I just love this heat wave :-).
No, I am not going to post more pictures, you pervs.
Update: Posting from such an electronics-hostile conditions suddenly makes me realize the power of moblogging against plain weblogging: The ability to instantly publish from locations that simply would be inaccessible to desktops, laptops, or WLAN. By the time the weblogger finds a hotspot for his ~WiFi and types in his thoughts, the mobloggers armed with their cell phones and GPRS (or 3G) have already covered every possible angle... The ability to do blogging with a single hand, as a near-background task, instead of being tethered to a desk is very, very powerful.
Granted; it ain't quick to type, nor is it deep, but moblogging is fast, much faster than traditional weblogging. And that may be the reason why people will put up with the lousy keypads, bad resolution cameras, etc. Moblogging is to weblogging like IM is to email.
Update: You know why it is not a good idea to seek shelter under an elm tree? Because of the goo that will cover you, make your hands stick to the brake handles, and make your hair stand up in fashions that are usually found only in Hirajuku. Yuck.
OK, the camp is over. I managed to sleep 26 hours over the 46 hours that I spent there. No wonder I managed to play only about 8 games or something (I can't actually recall the exact number anymore). With a price of 60€, that the average price for one game to about 7.5€. A normal club night is usually tenth of the price.
Was it worth it? I don't know. If I had enjoyed myself, sure. But now...
I have this nagging feeling I was snappy and impolite most of the weekend. Apologies to all insulted. Can't remember details, though.
(Where? Päivölä school. Not a good place to spend a weekend. Could be that the weather and my mood are contributing to this, but this place ain't exactly cheering me up either... It looks just like the barracks where I "enjoyed" most of my military service.)
Slept 14 hours last night. Still tired, gotta sleep some more. I am missing out on a lot, but it doesn't feel that bad. Better to prepare properly for the European go congress next week.
Besides, playing really tires me now... I must've been more tired than I thought.
Can't say I like this place too much either.
Three weeks of glorious vacation!
I need it. Badly. Let's hope it's enough.
Could be that I blog a bit less during this time. Could be that I moblog more. Could be this, could be that; I am not making any commitments for the next couple of weeks. Though I'll be going to the European Go Congress next week in St Petersburg... Unfortunately, my operator has no GRPS roaming in Russia, so moblogging will be a bit more difficult. :-/
Couldn't make it to the Supernova, so I tried to follow the coverage through IRC and the few random weblogs here and there. Unfortunately, a lot of the coverage is really useful only if you're there AND understand the context. I've always found it very difficult to read through someone else's conference notes, they are invariably too long and would need a lot of context to understand what they talk about.
But Kevin Marks nails it with his limerick coverage of Supernova.
Mozilla just crashed on me, as I was writing a longish post, and of course all of my deep, insightful text disappeared into the oblivion. That's the downside of having a "browser-editable" web page.
I don't think I'm going to rewrite that post. It is not worth rewriting.
This sort of gives a first-order metric of a weblog post, which one should probably consider every time before clicking on "Save".
- If your browser crashed as you were writing the final dot, would you rewrite the whole thing again?
If the answer is "yes", then your thoughts matter to you enough so that they might matter to others.
(Would I rewrite this entry? Yeah. But only because it's shorter than my previous post. And I also took a copy of it to the clipboard =).
MSNBC has a short introduction to wikis. Cool, though a bit short.
But in my experience, it is the mid-sized wikis that become unmanageable messes; small ones (such as this one here) are fine, and the really big ones seem to manage okay. But I've noticed that for example the JSPWiki site is harder and harder to keep in order: people write stuff at random places, and very few people (me and Ebu mostly) seem to bother to move them around to any sane order. On my other site there are signs of disorganization, but the larger amount of active users seems to keep it in order better.
I heard somewhere that when a wiki has between 10-100 contributors, it is then when it becomes most messy. However, I can't seem to be able to find the reference anywhere. It would be interesting to study this: What is the amount of people after which wikis start to self-organize instead of self-disorganize?
(Link through Corante.)
Strange. I must've accidentally partly shaved my legs. Or I have started balding from the bottom up. Or something really sneaky is afoot.
But the outer sides of my legs are now smooth as soap, and I have no idea how it happened. That... that would be scary if it wasn't so darned interesting.
...and the virtual communities are not dead, Tom Coates reminds us.
Yup. The value of the Internet is not in e-commerce, or web services, or ubiquitous computing, but in the simple fact that we all need to belong. Before, you could only be a part of the community that was physically around you, and if you weren't accepted in that, well, there wasn't much you could do about it.
Now, at least theoretically, anyone can find a group to belong to.
(Is this the reason why people have clustered up in big cities? Not only to seek shelter, but also because it is easier to find a community?)
Well, the question did turn up in a late-night conversation. Is blogging a fading fad?
I think the question is moot now, with the upcoming AOL Journals. (Another review by Jeff Jarvis.) AOL seems to be pulling all the right strings: they support RSS out of the box, have direct IM blogging, photoblogging, etc, but something worries me:
Yeah, I remember the onslaught of people who came over to the Finnish USENET newsgroups and started screaming because we were not writing in English. They all thought it was a part of AOL. Which was scary. And it transformed USENET. The question is now, how much power does AOL have to transform the blogosphere?
By the end of this year, blogging will be mainstream. But will it be blogging anymore? And will the blogosphere survive?
I nearly missed it, but JSPWiki is now officially two years old. Woo-hoo!
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana. --Groucho Marx
Well, it turns out the "Now Playing" -thingy was pretty easy to do in Winamp as well - I just needed to write a custom JSP page to accept submit URLs from the DoSomething plugin.
Notice the "Now playing" -ticker on the right-hand bar. It comes from the XMMS player, and is directly written on the NowPlaying page. No changes to JSPWiki are necessary - here's the relevant shell script that does the hard stuff, and is called by the XMMS Song Change -plugin every time the song changes:
#!/bin/sh FILE=/tmp/NowPlaying.txt DEST=grey:/p/web/www-data/butt-ugly/ echo $1 > $FILE scp $FILE $DEST
You, of course, need to setup SSH so that you don't have to input a password. JSPWiki will notice that the page has been externally changed and will reload it.
Update: The question is, how do I do this for Winamp as well?
Thank you Henri. Thank you so much for loaning that CD.
For the past few days, I've had this extraordinarily contagious song run in my head. It keeps repeating, and repeating, and repeating, and it simply does not make any sense. No sense at all. And I can't get rid of it! Help me out here:
- Olet ainoo jonka antaa uskallan/käden laittaa taskuuni mun/sillä tiedät tempun tosi taitavan/josta aina mä innostun.
- Sä osaat sillälailla peppua vemputtaa/astua tahdon onnen laivaan/huulillas kutsuvilla ahmit sä suudelmaan/on kuin aukeisi portit taivaan.
In English (rough translation by yours truly):
- You are the only I can really, really let/put your hand in a pocket of mine/because you know a trick so wonderful/it always makes me go wild.
- You know how to tickle and wiggle my bum/wanna step in the happy boat/your lips call me to kiss and gloat/it's like gates of heaven.
That is so completely and utterly inane, it needs a new word. Wiggle someone's bum? (The Finnish word transcends my translational abilities) Why? And what does the happy boat do here? AGH! Explain! My rational mind implodes!
The song, logically, continues with "flabbergasted ducklings" and "rowing to ecstacy", and goes downhill from there.
I've tried to steel myself with the witty and deep songwriting of Kylie Minogue, ~RuPaul, and a bunch of 80s artists, but this, this, this...
For more wonderful Finnish music (this time with video), see the streaming Quicktime Kesänaru music video. In case you have ever wondered why you almost never hear of Finnish rock bands, or a Finnish Eurovision song contest winner, check it out. It should be a joke, but you can never be sure with Finnish music.
And no, I am not going to translate the words.
OK, so I enabled comments on this site. This is a relatively new feature for JSPWiki, so expect some odd breakages.
Unfortunately, the event for which I wrote the comment functionality has been cancelled. So no more fear and tears. Too bad, it might've been something interesting.
Today is the Fourth of July - the independence day of the United States of America.
Much like Christmas, it's true and original purpose has been forgotten by most people, replaced with commercialism, cynicism and nationalism. And in the current world, we are again faced with the two age-old questions: "Does absolute power corrupt absolutely", and "Who watches the watchers"?
Thanks to Syksy for the link.
No, Hakkis, I am not uneasy. Sorry, Finnish only.
Out of curiosity, I decided to enable OSCache on this web server. For some strange reason, I cannot use their ~CacheFilter, which cuts off everything after 16384 bytes... But we're now both caching the main page, as well as the RSS feed.
Let's see if it helps in page load times and server load.
Update: Yap, everything seems to be snappier, but I can't be certain until I try some serious load later on today...
Update2: OK, apparently it works. I managed to overload my 1.4 GHz Athlon at home when trying to overload this server, but the load here got never over 2, and it still served happily 80+ JSP pages/minute. Hooray for OSCache! I'm definitely going to integrate it into JSPWiki.
Since I am going to be loading this server really heavily next week, I thought it would be a good idea to run some performance and profiling tests on the current code base.
Well... I never realized RCSFileProvider is so incredibly slow! OK, we do have a slight problem with getPageInfo() being called far more than is really necessary, and that is something that is very slow with RCS.
I changed this weblog to use VersioningFileProvider on the theory that I don't edit pages a lot anyway. The server can now serve four times the RSS feeds/minute it has done before, and about the web log main page should be about 3 times faster...
Yup. If you use JSPWiki for weblogging, use VersioningFileProvider.
- Average page views for the past two months: 11,000/month, total of 47,000 (126,000 requests).
- 51% of my readers come from .fi -domain
- The most popular referrer is the pinseri bloglist, with raible designs around half the amount.
- The most popular search words to this site are (in order), put together in phrases: "butt ugly people" and "buttugly pictures of kylie minogue" (Sorry, Kylie)
- And obviously, my most popular page is HowToMinceAHamburger, which has twice the amount of accesses of any other individual page :-).
Draw whatever conclusions you will, but to me it really seems that most people are really only interested in sex (and if Kylie's butt ain't sexy, I don't know what is) and food.
Hooray for the Internet, which allows us to gain these incredible insights into human psyche.
Shall I continue blogging? Of course. This has really taught me so much, and it seems that I am learning at an geometric rate (I might even become self-aware in a while), not to mention all the cool, interesting, wacky, annoying, despicable, wonderful and new people I have met.
Besides, it's a good egobooster and a conversation subject these days :-).
Well well well, this is turning out to be a busy day in the blogosphere:
Evan Williams, the developer of the original Blogger XML-RPC API for weblogs pledges massive support on Echo:
- We will continue to support the Blogger API 1.0.
- We will not be implementing or supporting the Blogger API 2.0.
- We are moving away from XML-RPC.
- The syndication format and API format will be unified.
There is currently a big debate in Finland about Japanese manga (comics) which have been labeled as child pornography. The discussion has been going back and forth - mostly forth - with the Christian Party calling for a ban of pornographic material targeted at underaged. You see, over here comics and animation are seen as something that is only applicable to children, so if it's drawn, it always automatically gets lumped with Donald Duck's and Pokemons.
The discussion centers on the first manga published in Finnish, the relatively crappy Dragonball Z. In one episode there are a couple of references to tits and panties, which was quite enough to send a bunch of people - who have NO idea whatsoever about what manga really is - into rage and mouth-foaming convulsions. The discussion was fueled with a major newspaper columnist blaming the whole enjo kosai -phenomenon on comics, and claiming that "millions schoolgirls engage in prostitution in Japan every year". Of course, this is a totally absurd statement - it is easy to calculate that the revenue generated by millions of schoolgirls selling themselves would easily rival the entire national defense budget of Japan - but so far it has been relatively uncontested. I don't know what the Japanese ambassador thinks of all this...
Anyway, I am writing this to explain to my English readers why I am linking to an Finnish-only story about the whole matter. It is an excellent (though rather sarcastic) viewpoint to the whole debacle from someone who really knows what the good Japanese comics can really, really be about.
So, if you can read Finnish, enjoy Dragonballin nousu ja tuho by Jari Lehtinen.
[#1] - schoolgirls selling themselves to get more money to spend on clothes, etc.
European software patents 'a done deal' says this article on ZDNet, and continues:
- The European Commission and European Parliament are determined to introduce software patents in Europe despite widespread opposition from European companies and software developers, according to a UK open-source software lobbying group.
"Blog" is now a registered trademark in Japan, says Joi Ito.
Yup. Made the commit a few minutes ago. We now have a fully functional, though buggy and limited AAA (Authorization, Authentication and Access Control) service for JSPWiki.
I'll try to roll it to this site shortly to see if it really holds up =).
In another news, I have promised to participate in something really strange. I feel deep fear.
You should, too.
Corante has an excellent post about how Wiki can function as depersonalizing place for standards development:
- But there is a second reason, under the surface but possibly more important -- wikis denature personality. Echo exists not because there are things wrong with the RSS markup -- there are, but they could be easily fixed. Echo exists because there are things wrong with the RSS process. RSS is having not a technological crisis but a constitutional one, where who decides what concerning RSS is not clear, and will never be clear, because the people doing the deciding don't even see themselves as being part of a decision making body.
There is no technological problem here. All RSS readers worth their name can read all three prevalent formats, with little trouble. "Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you output" - an old truth is valid also here.
The question now is - what should be done with respect to the Wiki XML-RPC API, which already encodes stuff in Base64?
Should we issue a new version which breaks compatibility with older versions? What?
<mumble> ...if you could have a dreamwiki where people could go when they fell asleep and had their dreams available and editable by anyone, so that we could have these communal dreams... </mumble>
Private comments? Drop me an email. Or complain in a nearby pub - that'll help.
|"Main" last changed on 06-Mar-2012 10:13:04 EET by JanneJalkanen.|