Wednesday, 30-Jun-04 18:04
The strangest of days

Met someone yesterday, a new acquaintance. Someone who had touched my life only in passing previously, like a falling autumn leaf. In less than 24 hours we clocked over eight hours of talk. It's really amazing how some people are just so much in tune with your thoughts, that discussion ceases to be a struggle for supremacy, and it just flows. It's like dance. Or riding (on a good day), for that matter.

This proves to me, more than anything else, that it is important never to stop searching, never to stop learning, never to stop trying.

And I fully realize how much this contradicts my previous story about letting go. They do contradict, and yet they don't. :-). Perhaps I'll write about it some day.

Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Alfred Tennyson: Ulysses

Tuesday, 29-Jun-04 11:01
Bad luck

I seem to be plagued by bad luck now. I'm sitting on the Helsinki Airport (the flights to Oulu have been cancelled due to a combination of fog and broken landing system), waiting for the next available flight. I also got a traffic ticket (from the stolen car that was really moved -episode), which I intend to complain about. I've also slept a total of seven hours during the past two nights, which is making me feel like a drunken koala with a techno fetish, hunkering over a laptop.

But it's funny how sometimes unexpected luck throws interesting and wonderful people your way. So it is difficult to say that something is really bad luck until you really know, and even then you don't quite know until you know, you know? :)

Anyway, I'm off to have a free lunch, courtesy of SAS/Blue1.

Monday, 28-Jun-04 14:24
Bloggers Solve Crimes, News At 10

This one made my day: Haltia (Finnish only, sorry) is following two guys stealing parts off a car, in real time, from her office window. Of course, the police has already been informed, and the pictures go to the blog. It should not take a long time for them to be identified, as they seem to be driving around in their employer's car with clear signs... Besides, apparently the guys keep coming back to steal more stuff!

Of course, this is just the first step on the massive peer control network currently being born around cell phone cameras, mobile weblogging, and "always on, always with, always connected". I am not, however, convinced that it's a bad thing altogether - it is pretty much the same old shit we've always had to put up with from our nosy neighbours and relatives - this time just non-repudiation is a bigger issue than before: "photographs don't lie." At least they don't lie in a massive scale yet.

"Who watches the watchers" is a old, but good question. In a way the recent Iraqi torture scandal is a perfect example of it, and of course the older Rodney King case. I believe that there are also significant positive things to be achieved in giving the people a power to document and publish things. Of course, not all of it will be used for good purposes, but perhaps a significant amount of it will be. We don't know yet.

We will learn to adapt, I am sure. I just don't know how much will be lost, how much will be gained, and eventually, who will win.

In case you have not yet read David Brin's Transparent Society, I heartily recommend it.

Anyway, score +1 for the bloggers, zero to the bad guys. It'll be interesting to see what the final score will be.

Sunday, 27-Jun-04 21:55
Past Midsummer

Ate too much meat, drank too much alcohol, and met an surprisingly large number of interesting people. (Thanks to everyone - especially all the beautiful maidens on Friday - and apologies for being so subdued most of the time. I really did enjoy myself, even if I didn't always look the part. :)

I have the most distressing possible week coming up I can think of (barring accidents). Why is work always so hectic around this time of the year?

Perhaps I need a walkabout. Something in me wants to just go.

I've flown too high on borrowed wings
Beyond the clouds and where the angels sings
In a sky containing no one but me
Up there's all empty and down there's the sea
No one here but me
There's nothing but light
That comes into sight

There's something up here that makes me wince
And I still got the feelings that I've felt ever since
I got to this place arrived at last
In front there's the future right back there's the past
Everything's moving so fast

There's nothing but light that comes into sight
The present like I've never seen it before
Is this the right place to stay
Please my wings fly me away.

-- Lene Marlin: Flown Away

Saturday, 26-Jun-04 22:56
Saying fuck off

OK, so I wait for a taxi on the Tampere railway station for about 20 minutes today - and I am soaking wet, tired, hangoverish, and in general pissed off at a multitude of things. The last thing I want to hear is some misogynous, racist taxi driver start giving me shit how the women drivers are evil, and why all gypsies are all fucked.

The last time I was so offended in a short period of time was a taxi driver in Melbourne, who started our conversation with "You know evolution is wrong, don't you? It just can't work! God must be behind all this!" (Hint: it's not a good line to try on an atheist engineer.)

Sometimes, it's good to talk to people. But I'm starting to think that the generic Finnish habit of not talking to people is actually a really good idea. Saves a lot of grief.

Friday, 25-Jun-04 13:37
Style One

More self-improvement mumbo-jumbo. Whether this is accurate or not... Well. I'll let you be the judges of that :-)

Style One has a chief characteristic of trying to make everything better. When they are healthy, they are morally heroic, making sacrifices for the greater good, balanced in their judgments, uncompromising in their principles. They are concerned about what is right in morals, sometimes in esthetics, and sometimes in other things like literary or movie criticism or even manners. They are objective in their judgments and utterly clear about what is right and wrong. They are prophets and reformers.

If they become unhealthy, the vision narrows and their concerns diminish. They begin to moralize, they can get picky about little rules and they always go by the book regardless of consequence or circumstance. They develop either/or thinking and pay little attention to anyone's emotions.

Ones you may know: Judge Judy on TV, Laura Schlesinger (Dr. Laura on talk radio), Hilary Clinton, Ross Perot, Ralph Nadar, St Paul, Martin Luther, Harrison Ford, Tom Brokaw, Pope John Paul II, The Lone Ranger, Martha Stewart and Miss Manners.

What is your enneagram?

(Via Marjut.)

Friday, 25-Jun-04 12:13
Never again

What a cosmic hangover.

Friday, 25-Jun-04 03:15
Midsummer

Today, I've met some new people. Including myself.

Oddly enough, it hasn't been all bad.

Perhaps I've learned to let go. Perhaps someone else taught me to do it. Nevertheless, I feel strangely at peace with myself. It's as if something had changed, in a profound manner.

In a sense, I'm free now.

Just the way we are
I guess you've seen it now
A mirror of ourselves sure makes us weird
Falling down
From a mountain of frights
What's there to hold on to?

--Lene Marlin: The Way We are

Thursday, 24-Jun-04 13:37
Hacking matter

I've been reading Wil ~McCarthy's book Hacking Matter, which is a popularized version of the serious study of quantum dots and the ability to build pseudomatter using artificial atoms. How can one not like a book, which contains wonderful sentences such as this one:

Now we can create not only a thin film of goldlike pseudomatter, but a three-dimensional solid with pseudogold dopant atoms on the inside as well. Thus, we can generate a bulk material with the mass of wickered silicon, but the physical, chemical, and electrical properties of an otherwise-impossible gold/silicon alloy.

I mean - even the minuscule thought of it is breathtaking! The wonders of the universe! How could one not love this world, when so many incredible things are about? This could, and would change the face of the world as we know it. You just flick a switch, and you can make a part of the wall transparent - or a light source - or a TV screen - or gold. Whatever pleases you.

As an aside, I also found another very interesting paragraph (among thousands, but this one has an ominous look):

At his insistence, we filed an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and within a few weeks we'd been contacted by the U.S. Air Force about the possibility of maybe licensing it.

Note that even in the US, patents are generally considered secret and proprietary, until a year of the filing date has passed. This is so that the application can be amended, fixed, and just being kept secret from the competitors, who might find a way to redesign around the actual implementation (ideas are not patentable as such). Obviously, the military is ignoring all that and have their own informants within the US patent process... Somehow, that does not surprise me at all.

Thursday, 24-Jun-04 09:39
Linkfarming annoyance

Hum. For the past few weeks jspwiki.org has been constantly (well, every night essentially) been a target for systematic linkfarming. In case you do not know, that is a technique where you place innocent-looking links that really refer to other sites, in order to artificially increase their search engine rating. One other technique is to change single characters like full stops to outside links. These are not visible to people, but are visible to robots. (At least I think it's called linkfarming).

Anyhow, the open nature of Wikis makes them especially vulnerable to this. This is known to happen in weblogs and bulletin boards as well, where you can also write text openly. Some have even been attacked by bots.

This is not good. It is the problem of having an "user writable" internet... This is not the crap I was talking about previously, either; this is pure shit.

I've been thinking of some solutions:

  • Forbid search engines from indexing jspwiki.org (probably does not help, since the linkfarmers wouldn't notice it)
  • Forcibly delete all other linkfarm attempts, except in the JSPWiki:SandBox, then forbid bots from indexing the SandBox This is what we've been doing lately, but deleting everything is very annoying, as there are far more Chinese people than there are us (yes, most of linkfarming comes from China).
  • Add an "external link redirect thingy", i.e. redirect all external link requests through a servlet (this screws up referrers, but it also stops googlejuice from flowing to those people - but it also stops it from good and valid sites)
  • Make jspwiki.org writable only to known people (i.e. enforce a login/password policy, but this may be too damaging to the wiki culture).
  • At least the Main page will be closed down only to known people. There have been too many people who think they are wonderful hackers by writing their own document on the Main page. It takes a certain type of clueless indetermination and stupidity to not realize that hacking a Wiki by replacing the front page is not particularly impressive...

Any more ideas?

Thursday, 24-Jun-04 00:02
More pointless drivel about horses

Today, canter! No falling off. Wonderful feeling. Then trip to forest. Understand now why horses used as form of therapy. Start thinking if getting hooked.

Forgotten all definite and indefinite articles. Cannot formulate full sentences. Being very tired. Had two beers with friend. Feels good. Even if missed corporate summer party. But it would've been boring anyway. Always is...

Thinking of starting new blog to supplement this. Memory prosthesis -type. Need better place to keep notes, but must first solve searching problems with JSPWiki.

Tuesday, 22-Jun-04 21:25
Whoops

Fell of the horse. Hurt like hell.

Except that that is not really the order - I fell off the horse because it got scared of some ghost, jumped, and that suddenly gave me a horrible cramp in my left calf. It is very difficult to stay up there with only one functioning leg, you know - especially since we were doing (or supposed to be doing) a rising trot with no stirrups (which did give me a small moment of satori, but that's a different story and is to be told later). Falling was actually a very pleasant experience compared to the cramp. At least I got on the ground and could stretch myself.

My leg still feels like someone exchanged all muscles in it to a clump of concrete and didn't give me any change.

*sigh* Stretching, stretching, stretching. I don't do enough of it these days.

Tuesday, 22-Jun-04 15:30
Homeward exploration

Today, I've mostly been telecommuting. Sometimes it's good to stay at home, listen to good music, and just write. Especially after Powerpoint repeatedly destroys your presentation, you really don't want to be around people.

The good thing about eating home was that I spent half an hour rummaging through my kitchen cupboards, hunting for "food that is just about to expire", which also has the side effect of cleaning the said cupboards half-magically.

There is certain magic in finding a bag of something, which you cannot quite understand what it is, or how to prepare it, as all the texts are in Japanese (except for "The MCC Series will brighten up you dinner table. Each product has been elaborately planned to give you an even more pleasant flavor than before. Please enjoy these refined flavors and colorful variations." and all you remember is that you got it from a Japanese businessman, who shoved it into your hand and said "this is good, I kinda like it".

Turned out that it was pretty ordinary mushroom-and-beef curry. Refined? Well, it was not bad. Colorful? Only, if you count three different shades of brown colorful...

(To tie this to the title - I've been listening to the haunting theme to Homeworld, one of the best games I ever played. Not because it was particularly groundbreaking - but it had an incredibly captivating atmosphere. I remember caring for my little blobs of pixels so much, I tried to save as many as I could. In the end, I was no longer playing to win the game; I was really trying to help the Kiith find their home. It is a rare game that has the ability to suspend your disbelief so completely. Crazy? Perhaps. But the Kiith eventually found their way home.)

Monday, 21-Jun-04 18:27
First private spaceflight

A few minutes ago, SpaceShipOne touched ground, after successfully flying a single test pilot, Mike Melvill to an altitude of 100+ km for a few minutes.

This is a significant moment. I think.

Monday, 21-Jun-04 12:26
Bare feet?

Mindy wonders if anybody would notice if she took her shoes off at work (in Finnish). In the spirit of scientific exploration, I took my shoes and socks off to check what would happen.

So far it's been 15 minutes, and at least one person went by without saying anything (though she did wonder why I did not want to go to lunch yet.) I will keep you updated.

(Oh yeah, and my coworkers reading this weblog: it does not count if you read it from here first. So nyah.)

30 minutes: I'm feeling a slight chill. I'm trying to wiggle my toes to keep them warm.

60 minutes: Close to an hour. My feet are definitely getting cold. I wonder if there's "email yoga"? (By the way - I have about four Gmail invitations left, so if you want to test drive it, drop me some email.)

100 minutes: I'll now attempt to go to the toilet. Wish me luck.'

102 minutes: back. Nothing.

Two hours: No comments yet. But I've found a completely new place to rest my feet underneath the table! There's a small crossbar with a nicely textured surface, that feels just perfect...

2.5 hours: Still nothing, even though I've talked with people. Perhaps they cannot see my feet from under the table? You know, I'm starting to wonder that perhaps nobody else here actually has X-ray vision. That would explain all of the funny underwear people have.

Three hours: Ok, still no comments, though I am sure I'm hearing snickering from the floor above. I think it's time for lunch - but... to wear shoes, or not to wear shoes when going out - that is the question!

Final entry: Stopped. My feet were getting far too cold - I have bad circulation. No comments whatsoever. Disappointed.

So Mindy: They might notice, but in all likelihood - they would not care. So feel free to walk around with bare feet. :-)

Sunday, 20-Jun-04 23:17
The Universe

Axis of Ævil saw my old moblog post of Saturn and produced an English version of the walkabout of the actual scale model of the Solar System that was built 12 years ago in Helsinki. Wonderful! (Did you know that they used to steal Earth every few weeks until they replaced it with something more durable? Or that Pluto had to be relocated due to road construction work? How douglasadamsian can you get with that? :-D )

I can recommend it - I've done the full tour of the Solar System once, and it's a nice bike trip: you get to see some beautiful scenery. Especially finding Uranus among all the bushes is a wonderful experience. And it really does illustrate the scale of the things, when you're traveling at (relatively) 5 times the speed of light and it still takes a bloody hour to get to Pluto :), but just a minute to get to Mars...

(But hfb: why didn't you ask me? I could've told you what it is and where to find it, so you wouldn't have had to harass the ignorant natives ;-).

Update: Just a couple of links added.

Sunday, 20-Jun-04 16:33
Transience

This is Jyväskylä, one of the larger cities of Finland.

It's not very big.

But it is a favourite city of mine.

Note to self: drinking champagne for breakfast is a very good idea, if practiced in moderation.

Saturday, 19-Jun-04 23:13
Which American City Are You?

New York

You're competitive, you like to take it straight to the fight. You gotta have it all or die trying.

Take the quiz: Which American City Are You

(Via Marjut).

Saturday, 19-Jun-04 22:16
Waiting...

Sorry for having been so quiet, but I've been too busy. And now I am too relaxed.

Together, we wait.

Wednesday, 16-Jun-04 23:00
Quickiethought for the next day

I have never, ever seen so many little, hand-drawn hearts concentrated in one place as in the stables. I think they breed there, and then fly off to the world to dot the i's of love letters, once they mature.

Even the horses have their own diaries (dotted with little hears everywhere) - if they were published them on the internet, they'd probably qualify as blogs.

Dave, my mind is going... I can feel it... must... resist... giggling...

Tuesday, 15-Jun-04 17:29
Quickiethought of the day

You know, if I had a big amnesia, and I forgot everything, then this blog and my emails (I store them all) would be the most important way to familiarize me with myself again.

That's scary.

Monday, 14-Jun-04 17:16
Your regularly scheduled social porn

I have no idea why I've been on this "ranting on technology, usability, and social issues" mode for the past few weeks. Perhaps it signifies that I'm getting back up to speed on actually doing something. I've probably churned out more code on JSPWiki in the past few weeks than the first quarter of the year. You might actually see a release some day :)

I also had the privilege of meeting some very charming and beautiful ladies during the weekend, some of them being new and the others old acquaintances, so perhaps that also lifts my spirits. Or vice versa.

It also happened that I managed to break my personal ban on buying new CDs, and I got the new CD from Nightwish, along with a bunch of good, old Finnish pop music.

Oh how I wish for soothing rain
All I wish is to dream again
My loving heart lost in the dark
For hope I´d give my everything

-- Nightwish: Nemo

Etsin ymmärrystä ja kaipaan ystävää, olen tehnyt sitä monta päivää
Mun tapani liikkua kai johtaa harhaan, enkä käsitä alkuunkaan
Nukkuu tai juttelee tai suutelee, se on vain hetken hurmaa
Eikä kukaan voi käsittää kuinka vaikeaa voi olla ymmärtää.

-- Neljä Ruusua: Sun täytyy mennä

(Ok. So perhaps not so positive. But that's Finnish pop music for you :-)

Monday, 14-Jun-04 16:40
Why encrypted emails don't work

Today, I got an encrypted email. Which is fine, as I use PGP and all - but it was sent to my work address using my private key. (Yes, they are separate - they have to be separate.)

After much hassling and back-and-forthing of the email messages and keys, I managed to open the original mail. In which, it said:

"If you can't open this email, it's because I've used your PGP key from the jspwiki.org -site. Do you have a corporate one?"

Well, DUH.

Sending encrypted mail means that the mail cannot be read unless you have the proper key. And it does not help much to ask for the key in the encrypted mail itself - because if I could read it, you wouldn't need to ask, now would you? My public PGP key very clearly also does not include my work address, so one would think I don't want work-related email using it...

Oh well.

Even if simple usability issues such as key management seem to be difficult to fathom, then how on earth are people supposed to understand basic concepts of security - signing, encryption, choosing wise passwords, keeping your PGP secret keys really secret, key revokation, etc.

It's not gonna work. Unless someone figures out a far, far more comprehensible manner of explaining security than currently is used. Security is too abstract. People can't comprehend it. We need a way to make security more concrete, much like having an actual physical lock.

Update: *laugh* The person in question apparently reads this blog. Oops. :-D

Monday, 14-Jun-04 01:03
Modern supermen

See, what the modern supermen of Parkour can do. Try the first video, it impressed the hell out of me at least.

In ancient Japan, ninjas were often described as supermen, able to fly, leap onto the roofs of tall buildings, climb anything... Some colour was of course added by their enemies (who wrote the history) to make them appear more fearsome - and of course, the ninjas did not mind: it made their life a lot easier. Seeing those videos makes me wonder the effect a trained ninja must've had on his enemies, trained to combat on level ground and horseback.

Terror.

(Via Ebu.)

Sunday, 13-Jun-04 15:20
My blogging tools

There are a lot of different blogging tools, but these are mine. We often concentrate too much on technology: debate the merits of publishing platforms, argue on licenses, et cetera. Lately, there has been a lot of debate in the Finnish blogosphere whether the term "blog" somehow implies the use of a particular tool.

No.

These are all the blogging tools you need. These are the hands I use to write; this is the eye I use to filter the world. I tried to get a picture of my brain, but you'll have to settle with my eye, and what is visible beyond.

Everything else is extra - "syntactic sugar", as some people used to describe Object Oriented programming languages. Blogging is confused easily with the underlying technology, but this is not so. Because blogging originated with the technically savvy people, yes, a great many of the more important bloggers in this world these days are technologists, and like to write about technology.

But as with much of the internet (which was the ultimate geek domain for many years until AOL), the geeks are just the frontrunners. They go and build the roads for the others to come, the ones who do not care or understand the technology; people who just want to have their voice heard.

That's how the world is. We build, others follow. You will hear us talk about technology, but do not confuse the basic human need to speak, to be heard, with something as simple as a blogging platform. This is the reason why I care so much about bloggers: blogging gives You and Your voice (and I mean YOU, my dear reader) a possibility to be heard in a far more better and efficient manner than ever before in human history.

Free speech. Ain't enough of that in the world yet.

(Thanks to Nea Gustafsson for the image of my hands. Used with permission.)

Saturday, 12-Jun-04 12:30
Creative Commons

Sparked by the copyright discussion raging elsewhere in this blog, I decided to license the content of this weblog under a Creative Commons Attribution - Share Alike license. In essence, what this means:

You are free:

  • to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work
  • to make derivative works
  • to make commercial use of the work

Under the following conditions:

  • Attribution. You must give the original author credit.
  • Share Alike. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one.
  • For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work.

For the full text of the license, click here for the English version, or in Finnish - the Finnish version being the legally valid one, since this blog is physically located in Finland and written by a Finnish citizen.

Note that this license does not affect whatever rights you have under the law - it's still completely okay to quote this blog without relicensing under CC, for example.

Friday, 11-Jun-04 23:05
Blogger meeting blogging

OK, so I am at this blogger meeting. So far the discussion has ranged from sex to tool purses (?). And especially tits. To be specific, the left boob of a particular blogger (who shall remain anonymous until she confesses.) I guess this is fairly typical then :). Well, as long as the beer keeps flowing, and the discussion keeps become more interesting - what do I care?

The turnaround is about 10 bloggers, which is about expected. At least the following blogs are represented: SchizoBlog, Pala maailmaani, MitVit, Shrike's Time Tomblog, Kari Haakana, KatjaW, Nea, Haltia, Luksus, and ButtUgly.

(Well, to be truthful, we've also talked politics, some US politics (a favourite among bloggers all around the world, I'm sure, but mostly about the topical European parliament election and about the forthcoming city council election), some local blog politics, literature... I have to say that I love this crowd: they are as twisted as me.)

Butt Ugly weblog now gives you something new (well, over here anyway): Guestblogging! Over to you!

Ich bin ein hund! Eiku.. Kobaïa's Nea says hi. Suomeksi: Olen koira, Kobaïan Nea sanoo hei. Veikkaisin, että herra bloginpitäjä on humalassa kun antaa vierasblogittaa, mutta ei se minua haittaa. Julius ja Santeri missaavat paljon. MWAHAHAHA.

Well hell. Number one google seach for the beastie boys new song... go to left... doof message there :) With the best and most drunk greetings, the Elf, eli Haltia, future city council candidate... fool... all must pity ;)

Hello Nasty. It's just as good as I thought...

RRRRööööö nothing have I taken. Suck my socks. Also BlueTooth technology is now... resistance is futile! We are assimilated!

Alppimaa ei ole entisensä, tai siis ei ollenkaan. Haluan kiittää Jukka Lehtistä siitä, että ylipäätään muistin tulla tänne. Ja äitiä. Ja manageria. Ja editoria. Ai kiss yyyy oooll! Ai laaav jyyy!

*käkättää kippurassa* (KatjaW)

Terveisiä Trondheimista!! Suoraan kentältä taksilla Toveriin ja eka ykköstuopillinen nyt taulussa. Raisa

Friday, 11-Jun-04 09:01
Which Monty Python character are you?

Time for a dumb test. Yup. That's me :-D



Mean lil fellow, arn't you?

Which Monty Python Character are you?

brought to you by Quizilla

(Via Marjut.)

Thursday, 10-Jun-04 09:49
No voe perhana

(Sorry for the Finnish content; a this is a rant about a very clueless Finnish tabloid magazine article on blogs and how they all are about "revealing intimate details about your life on the internet in a very narcissistic way"):

Jaahas, Se-lehti kertoilee blogeista. Ei saatana. Mä en enää käsitä miten kukaan oikea journalisti voi enää katsoa ketään silmiin tälläisten juttujen jälkeen. Voisi ehkä vähän vaikka haastatella jotakuta, joka asiasta jotain tietäisi. Vaikkapa Schizo-Jannea, jolla sentään on tunnustetusti Suomen paras blogi 2003.

Mutta nykykyttääjien ja -tirkistelijöiden onneksi on olemassa kasvoton joukko narsistisia ihmisiä, jotka levittävät mielellään oman elämänsä muiden eteen kaikkine iloineen ja suruineen, seksiä ja vessakäyntejä myöten. Nämä netissä toimivat bloggaajat kertovat rohkeasti elämästään omilla sivuillaan, omissa weblogeissaan.
Weblog, loki tai blogi on netissä ilmestyvä "päiväkirja", jossa kirjoittaja kertoo avoimesti omasta elämästään, ajatuksistaan tai muista itselleen läheisistä asioista. Blogi poikkeaa kotisivusta siten, että se päivittyy kokoajan, mahdollisimman usein, vähintään päivittäin.

Olen vakaasti sitä mieltä, että termi "verkkopäiväkirja" pitäisi tappaa nyt ja heti, niin ihmiset lakkaisivat yhdistämästä blogia automaattisesti perinteiseen päiväkirjaan. Kysyn vaan, miten jokin Kysyn Vaan kertoo kirjoittajansa elämästä? Tai vaikkapa Avokatsomo? Tai Linko? Tai net.nyt? Tai Fabula? Tai Siiveniskuja? Hemmetin hyviä blogeja kaikki tyynni. Useimmat nettipäiväkirjatkaan eivät ole sen enempää todellinen versio kirjoittajansa elämästä, kuin kenellä tahansa keskivertokirjailijalla, joka ammentaa inspiraatiota omasta elämästään. Esimerkiksi vaikkapa Poikamies, jonka kirjoitukset voisivat mainiosti olla täysin fiktiota.

Jotkut käyttävät blogiaan siihen, että kertovat kavereilleen missä mennään. Toiset purkavat sinne pahaa oloaan. Toisille se vain on kanava ilmaista itseään. Toisille se on jokin IRCin ja sähköpostin välimuoto, jonne pannaan hassuja linkkejä. Toiset järjestävät sillä omaa elämäänsä. Monelle se on tätä kaikkea. Kovin montaa täysin puhdasta "päiväkirjaa" ei tässä maassa top-listoilla näy, loppujen lopuksi: laskin hyvin nopealla arviolla niitä kahdeksan kappaletta Pinserin tämän hetken top-50 -listasta. Se on noin kuudesosa.

Käytetään sitä termiä "verkkoloki" tai ihan vaan reilusti "blogi", eikä sanota sanaakaan päiväkirjasta. Paitsi ehkä jos haluaa kertoa, että "verkkopäiväkirjat ovat pieni osa blogi-ilmiötä". Ok? Bloggaaminen on isompi ilmiö - paljon isompi - kuin pelkkä narsistinen itsensäpaljastelu: bloggaaminen on henkilökohtaista julkaisemista. Bloggaaminen on keino tuoda oma ääni julkisuuteen, teoriassa samanarvoisena (käytännössä ei, mutta ei aleta nyt puhua siitä) kuin kaikilla muillakin. Ja on ihan sen ihmisen oma asia, mitä se haluaa sanoa. Moni meistä puhuu kavereilleenkin omasta elämästään, mutta suurimman osan ajasta kuitenkin jostain muusta. Ihan samasta asiasta on kysymys myös bloggaamisessa: jokainen puhuu kasvottomalle internetille eri lailla. Luonnollisesti omasta elämästä on helppo ammentaa, ja myönnetään - on niitä narsistis-ekshibitionistejakin eksynyt joukoon (vähänkö teki mieli laittaa linkki tuohon, mutta olkoot). Mutta jälleen kerran: katsokaa vaikka Technoratin suosittujen blogien listaa, joka on laskettu noin 2.4 miljoonasta blogista, ja laskekaa sieltä "päiväkirjat".

Bloggaamisen käsittäminen pelkäksi päiväkirjapaljasteluksi on niin käsittämättömän rajoittavaa, että suorastaan raivostuttaa.

(Kiitos Katjalle, jota myös artikkelissa lainataan.)

Thursday, 10-Jun-04 01:36
Geeking out

Just added an Lucene-enabled search to JSPWiki. Speeds things up by what, 40 times? (Kudos to Mahlen Morris for the implementation). It's in the CVS, but I think I broke something - some tests are no longer running. Also, I had to break API compatibility to the page provider interface. Sorry. (And I know only about 20% of people reading this understood anything. For the rest of you: yeah, I talk like this usually all day. I'm very boring in real life.)

Spent also some time laughing at new entries at http://www.engrish.com/.

My thighs hurt.

And I am up far too late, but as the old saying goes: "Sleep, when tired. Eat, when hungry. Write code, when the time is right."

G'nite and toodle-loo to everyone.

Tuesday, 08-Jun-04 17:56
NOT COOL!!!

Some fucking misbrain of a spammer, not worthy to rot on a skewer in the deepest pits of Hell has faked my email address as the return address, and now I'm getting about a billion of "We cannot deliver your mail" -messages from mailer daemons. Problem being, ~SpamAssassin does not pick them up since they appear as legit bounce messages. So my inbox is full of spam. This ain't the crap I was speaking of!

Wonderful double effect: if the spam goes through, then the recipient sees it; if it is bounced, then I see it.

You know, I have this wonderful blunt katana I could use to slowly rip the guts off every spammer, then whirl them around my head before tossing them over the fence for the pigs to eat. Then I would watch these gutless (literally!) illegitimate sons of bastards fall over, and kick them in the head just before they hit the ground, so their brains would burst out of their ears, and they would bounce back up before the final collapse to a mindless heap of goo.

ANGER! RAGE! KILL! MAIM! INJURE!

(Quiet: I'm okay now.)

Tuesday, 08-Jun-04 15:31
On Software Commoditization

Here are some of my thoughts on the subject of Software Commoditization. It's somewhat long, so it's on a separate Wiki page. I know some of you don't really care, but the more geekishly inclined might find this interesting. Click on the "More" below to find, well, more.

Software commoditization

Sun to Open Source Solaris? There are not that many UNIXes out there any more. All of the low-and mid-end operating systems (except for Windows) have been killed by Linux (and to some extent, BSD variants - and yes, I'm counting Mac OS X as one of these). Only in high end, some UNIX variants still exist for specialized purposes (like IRIX or AIX), but for the most part, even they are dying away.

You see, I believe in software commoditization. Much like electricity, or cell phones, you can buy electronic parts from different suppliers, and different manufacturers, have them all co-operate with one another, and build a fully functional computer from them. For some parts, you have a lot of choice (like motherboards); for some, you have less (CPU). But this all is good for the consumer, because he does not have to rely on a single supplier, or a single product. If it's faulty, he can reclaim his money and take his money elsewhere.

This is not true for operating systems. You run Windows, or you don't run anything at all.

If Windows was a standard, this would be okay. ...

More...

Monday, 07-Jun-04 12:53
Why IRC is crap, yet useless

After several (well, since 1989 anyway) years of experience on IRC, I still probably can count the useful hours I've spent there using one hand only. (Then again, I can count in binary.)

But the reason why IRC is interesting is that it functions as a collective subconscious. On some channels certain things pop up constantly, even though nobody really cares about them. For example, on #go.fi people talk about EGF rating points. These have no significance for any player whatsoever, unless you are a very strong. But they are a slightly-better-than-randomized way of evaluating performance. So everybody has some interest. On #joiito, most of the discussion is completely incomprehensible, yet those people feel a strange connection, and gather together at conventions.

IRC is like a common subconscious, where thoughts come and go, tucking in different directions, yet never converging. Most of the discussion on any channel is bullshit. Pure and honest crap. Nothing but the equivalent of waving your lips in the wind in the faint hope a meaningful sentence will appear, if you keep producing syllables just long enough.

But it's common crap. That crap which binds us together, and builds communities. Some people have this odd notion that "social activity" is the same as sitting in a pub, drinking beer and talking horseshit. Fine. The important thing is "crap".

All of social software is mostly about crap. This is what the CSCW folks never realized - they thought it was important to increase productivity and get more achieved through computer-assisted work. The social software phenomenon (weblogs, Orkut, LinkedIn, IRC, chats, bulletin boards, ...) is built on the notion that people wish to talk crap. They enable you to use your time idly, do nothing, because conscious thoughts (and the inevitable good ideas) rise from the subconscious soup of crap. I think that's why Wikis haven't really flown is that they are not that good places for crap: the community deletes anything that is not considered to be in line of the other contents of the wiki. They don't allow the subconscious simmer of thought in the same way as IRC. It remains to be seen how much crap will surface on Orkut or Friendster, and whether that amount is enough to allow them to survive. (I've noticed I don't use Orkut anymore, even though I am listed. There's just so little point.)

The Finnish IRC service IRC-galleria, is really a place for IRC regulars to post their picture and have comments appended to it. However, there are now many young people, who put their pictures on the IRC gallery, and then "go ircing" on it - meaning posting comments on other peoples pages on the IRC gallery, creating large amounts of anger among those who know what IRC really is. I think this is a wonderful example of "crap in action" - if you build a way for people to discuss, they will come.

The societies are built on crap. The internet is built on crap.

Crap is good. Keep talking bullshit, and while the world may not be better, at least it will be a far more interesting place. :-D

Monday, 07-Jun-04 09:44
Technical difficulties

Lately, Blogspot has been highly unstable. I tend to get random 404:s when trying to access blogs hosted on the site, random redirections, etc. Even the Pinseri list got confused, showing ghost updates even though the blogs had not been updated. Samik changed the bot to read the Atom feeds of the blogspot blogs, which was an excellent idea. That was the final straw for many to turn on their Atom feeds, which makes life so much easier for me: I can now read most of my favourite blogs through Bloglines. Yay! You can see my current subscription list on the right-hand menu (if you have Javascript enabled, that is) - it grew significantly this morning.

A few still remain, though... ;-)

In other news - what on Earth is wrong with Technorati? They seem to be down more than up these days... Which is sad, because the service is really nice and useful.

Saturday, 05-Jun-04 15:12
Love songs

This is an odd meme, which I discarded immediately as I came upon it. But it stayed somewhere in the back of my mind; nibbling at my conscious bits. Later, it came back to haunt me, and I could not shake it off a second time. So here goes, a list of Five Top Love Songs. With a small twist.

If you find the list a bit strange, it's probably for three reasons:
1) It has seven songs.
2) Love is a relative concept.
3) Some of these are not really my favourite songs at all. But all of them have some connection to my life, either directly, or through friends trying to cope. I also had to leave out a bunch of really good ones, for unexplicable reasons.

There's a story here. It's not my story, but you are free to interpret it in any way you want. Some persons might find more truth here than others; some might even know the reason why a particular song was picked. But they are all connected to love - love expected, love experienced, love lost.

Kent: Kärleken väntar

 Brinn pengar brinn 
 Jag vet att du är värd någonting 
 Du är hoppet i ett IQ-fritt land 
 Du är drömmarna jag drömmer ibland 

 Visst känns det som att kärleken väntar 
 Visst känns det som att kärleken väntar 

Bonnie Tyler: Total Eclipse of the Heart

 And I need you now tonight 
 And I need you more than ever 
 And if you'll only hold me tight 
 We'll be holding on forever 
 And we'll only be making it right 
 Cause we'll never be wrong together 
 We can take it to the end of the line 

U2: With or without you

 My hands are tied
 My body bruised, she’s got me with
 Nothing to win and
 Nothing left to lose

 And you give yourself away
 And you give yourself away
 And you give
 And you give
 And you give yourself away

 With or without you
 With or without you
 I can’t live
 With or without you

Olavi Virta: Hopeinen Kuu

 Kaipaus vastaa sydämen ääneen
 Onneni tiedän mä nyt taas niin yksin jääneen
 Toinen nyt kuuta kanssais katsoo
 Toinen vienyt sinut lie nyt
 Hopeinen kuu luo merelle siltaa

Roxette: Listen to your Heart

 Listen to your heart when he's calling for you.
 Listen to your heart there's nothing else you can do.
 I don't know where you're going and I don't know why,
 but listen to your heart before you tell him goodbye.

Lene Marlin: One year ago

 She’s walking there alone, 
 No one by her side
 She manages to fight the tears, but
 The pain inside
 She can’t hide 
 And all the tears she’s cried
 The moment she closes her eyes, she starts
 Thinking of you
 The dreams that she had one time
 Have gone away
 Will they ever come true? 
 All she needs is - all she needs is you

Junnu Vainio: Vanhoja poikia viiksekkäitä

 Saimaan saaressa pikkuinen torppa,
 istuu portailla Nestori Miikkulainen.
 Lepokivellään iäkäs norppa,
 katsoo ystävää ymmärtäen.
 Suuri Saimaa, mut' naista sen rannoilta vaan
 ei näin tuuliseen saareen saa asettumaan.
 Kuten norpan, on määrä myös Miikkulaisen,
 olla sukunsa viimeinen.
Friday, 04-Jun-04 17:05
Ganbatte, ne?

This small little article details in a very painful manner why it is difficult to be a Westerner in Japan. Many people have asked me: "If you do like Japan so much, why don't you move there?"

That's why.

The above story is not criticism. It's simply a statement of fact. It is difficult to know which battles to fight, and I completely agree with the author here. I've had too much gaman in my life as well. Some of it good, some of it bad. Most of it unnecessary.

(Via Heli.)

Thursday, 03-Jun-04 23:32
Tiredness.

Physical exhaustion. Riding is hard. My hands are actually shaking.

And not only that, I've been driving to work every day on bike. Perhaps I should tomorrow have a rest day from biking; just do the riding part. Too much exercise on one week, I think. To quote Sledge Hammer: "I have pains in places I didn't know I had places." Except that it's not quite true - I am in fact very well versed in the different places where a human body can feel pain. Don't ask.

Thank goodness there's sauna, one of the best inventions ever. It has a wonderfully relaxing effect on the beaten body.

G'nite.

Thursday, 03-Jun-04 00:14
Miscallaneous out-of-context quotes of the day

"I didn't want to pass the child making time. It was kinda fun - in a necrophile sort of way". -- Mr. Tactful after telling his wife he raped her while she was passed out to cover for the fact that in fact, it was really Satan who raped her.

"What does that mean?" -- A coworker after seeing my new hair.

"I do the same kind of work as him - except that I'm worse." -- During an introductory round in a meeting.

"NO!" -- Several times today.

"Lower your arms!" -- Also, several times today. (I seem to have a problem with that one.)

"You must drink Olvi! Fucking shithead! Perkele!" -- When I reached for a Pepsi bottle in a store. Huh?

"My boyfriend came yesterday in secret, hid in the bushes and took pictures of me!" -- A worryingly happy girl.

"Are you feeling pain, too?" -- Two minutes earlier. Different girl.

"Your personality comes through well." -- A colleague after reading my travel log. (See, Matt, not all of my traumas come from you!)

Tuesday, 01-Jun-04 23:41
More horse talk

Well, well. It seems that we are joining the bunch of girly horse blogs :). Second lesson today. Went "Around the world" - essentially turning 360 degrees in the saddle, did trot without stirrups (scary at first), and nearly fell off a couple of times, while trying to grab by left foot with my right hand. Heh. Fun exercises, even though I think I sprained something.

It feels good to be learning something new again (plenty of new words at least :). And the horses are actually quite cute - though I'm pretty sure I'd be scared shitless if they were angry at me. 500 kilos of angry meat is dangerous - herbivore or no herbivore. But perhaps I'll learn to "talk horse" some day.

Tuesday, 01-Jun-04 00:16
Experiences of the day

Bugger. Missed Misu. But, on the other hand, I had my first official riding lesson today, and got even a couple of compliments during the day. One from the riding instructor ("You sit really well"), and one from a colleague at work:

"Everything is always complex with you."

That kinda surprised me. I don't know. Is it?

Today, I came home, completely drenched (it rained throughout the entire lesson). I hung my wet clothes to dry, slipped into some comfortable clothes, pulled on some thick woollen socks, and made myself a couple of sandwiches (from wonderful, fresh rye bread) and a large cup of cocoa. Then I curled on the sofa and watched two episodes from the fourth season of Babylon 5 from a freshly opened package.

I'm not that complex. Really.


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



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