Wednesday, 29-Sep-04 15:00
urgghhh...

Feeling bad. Very bad. I finished yesterday by throwing up three times, and I am having trouble keeping my lunch down right now. My stomach seems to have an autumn cleanup going on.

It feels more like a flu than a hangover to me. One of the signs is that a hangover would be going away about now, and I'm actually getting worse. Perhaps it was the food (which was suspicious, at best).

Update: It's evening and my stomach is still giving me the busy-tone. Eurgh.

Update2: Thursday evening, I'm back, and my stomach is feeling a bit better. I still have to watch what I eat. Must've been a food poisoning of sorts.

Tuesday, 28-Sep-04 20:20
Arg!

More beer. Getting worried now... I see a very drunken blog entry coming up... Thank god T9 corrects most typos :)

Tuesday, 28-Sep-04 19:20
More German beer!?!

Okay. This explains why they insisted that this meeting is here in Stuttgart at this time: it's the time for the Wangen beer festival. So I am listening to German drinking songs while gulping down beer in amounts that makes my bladder cry out in pain just by thinking by it (much like other men, I often think with my digestive/reproduction system).

Oh well. :)

Monday, 27-Sep-04 20:45
Oof...

What did I tell you... Look at the size of that thing!

Monday, 27-Sep-04 20:24
Stuttgart!

German beer, mmm...

It really bugs me that the only food name we were taught in the German class at school was "Würstchen und Kartoffelsalat". As I like neither, I am always completely at loss in German restaurants. It must be a similar feeling to what a technology illiterate person feels when trying to buy a computer. I just nod and follow the recommendations.

What the hell are "Zwiebeln" anyway?

Sunday, 26-Sep-04 13:47
Sweet misery

Just this morning, we were in the shower together, quoting Eddie Izzard to each other and laughing.

Now, a few measly hours later, my love is gone again, going back North, and the house seems so awfully empty. The sun is shining, it is warm outside, like a summer's day, and a lost fly flies frantically about in my apartment, desperately seeking something but only finding a place to die.

I still have packing to do, as I am leaving for Stuttgart in a couple of hours.

I wrote some code yesterday morning, as she was still sleeping, as I did not have the heart to wake her up.

I just miss her so terribly already.

Saturday, 25-Sep-04 10:27
Dumb test, part Billion

Well, of course I am 80% blogaholic: 80 points is in the 51 through 80 precent You are a dedicated weblogger. You post frequently because you enjoy weblogging a lot, yet you still manage to have a social life. You're the best kind of weblogger. Way to go!

(Via Marjut.)

Wednesday, 22-Sep-04 18:48
Oh my

My last tongue-in-cheek rant has gotten a lot of feedback, from the clueless "You just want to have everything for free, think of us starving artists, you filth-eating Kazaa-lover"-crowd to the equally clueless "Go, man!"-people.

Is the art of irony really so lost these days? Or am I just having gland problems again?

Guys and gals - putting serious things in humorous clothes is a time-honored tradition. Everybody likes a good self-ironic pun at the gallows.

But some people have actually taken the time to point out some fallacies in that rant - fine. Fair enough. But... so fucking what? The key point still stands: we actually lied to the content industry, and that is a part of the reason why we are in this mess. We offered solutions to them that would allow the big media companies to get more money by offering less ("you can listen to this song only twice, and then you have to pay more!" "Right..."), and that just does not work. Think about it. The only place where such a draconian control is possible, is a a society which puts 1984 to shame in its all-encompassing iron control over everything you do. And we don't want that, now do we?

DRM does not work, unless we are going to accept someone watching over us every moment of our lives. And I think that's a bit too big a price to pay to the starving artists (who, by the way, would be a lot less starving if the producers and distributors screwed them less).

What we need are sensible solutions which take account the realities of digital life (including the fact that bits can be copied. Period.), and use them to give everyone a better experience. Especially to the creative people, who should be able to make a decent living out of entertaining the rest of us. Is that really so much to ask?

Tuesday, 21-Sep-04 15:46
We lied to you

(Inspired by Cory Doctorow's DRM speech.)

Dear Media Industry:

We lied to you. In the golden 80s and 90s we told you micropayments and content protection would work; that you would be able to charge minuscule amounts of money whenever someone listened to your music or watched your movie. We told you untruths which we well knew would never work - after all, we would've never used them ourselves. Instead, we wrote things like Kazaa and Gnutella, and all other evil P2P applications to get the stuff free.

We told you these things so that you would finance the things we really wanted to build, not the things that you wanted to be built. We knew all along that DRM schemes do not work, and we knew that whatever we create can be broken by us. We don't care anymore, because your money made us bigger than you.

Look at us: every year, we churn out more computer games than your entire industry is worth. You know how we do it? We like our customers. We don't treat them like potential criminals, and try to make our products do less. We invent new things like online role-playing -games, where the money does not come from duplication of bits (which cannot be stopped, regardless of your DRM scheme) but from providing experiences that the people want.

We saw that you were old and weak. So we took advantage of it: told you things that you wanted to hear so we could kick you in the head in twenty years. Some of us told you that the future is going to be interactive - what did you do? You started to think how to make interactive movies (CD-I, anyone?), which is not what it really means, while we wrote games and tried to understand the new mediums, not how to bolt it on onto old things.

We lied to you. And we apologize for that, but it was for the greater good. So we're not the least bit sorry.

Signed: The Computer Industry

Updated: Changed the title - it was pointed out to me that it unfairly pokes at the creative people themselves, and not enough at the large multinational companies.

Update 2: This entry has now been translated into French. Whoa.

Monday, 20-Sep-04 17:14
Happened last night

I remember dreaming that something was lost. I woke in the middle of the night, not knowing what or why I was seeking so desperately. Something was missing, and I could not say what.

Then I found it on the floor, where it had apparently fallen off the bed during the night.

I lifted it and put it back next to my pillow where it belongs, and fell back to a dreamless sleep. With a smile on my face.

I wonder... How long can one shirt keep her scent?

Monday, 20-Sep-04 09:31
A Telegram to USA

Axis of Ævil - an US Citizen living abroad - wants to send a telegram back home:

I dream sometimes about a big, thick, juicy porterhouse steak and cornbread. I crave food, folks and fun but, in spite of whatever the US media crackheads have been smoking to report 'the world being safer' thanks to the US military, out here in reality I'm just not sure that my desire to visit home exceeds my desire to not get in the way of some wackos when tensions are clearly on the rise.

...PLEASE START ASKING QUESTIONS ABOUT SHIT THAT MATTERS LIKE EDUCATION, ECONOMICS AND MAKING NICE WITH THE REST OF THE WORLD NOW THAT EVERYONE HATES US AND MOST OF US LIVING OUTSIDE THE US PRETEND TO BE CANADIANS WHEN ASKED...

Saturday, 18-Sep-04 14:06
Nokia Mediamaster review

I've been an owner of a digital television (DVB-C) box for a while now. My chosen model was the Nokia Mediamaster 260C, which I bought as soon as it got out.

While the idea of a 80 GB hard drive recorder is good, the Navibar UI looks cool, and the box looks nice, that's pretty much the extent of the good things about it. Let me explain:

First of all, this is an expensive box, considering that it only has a single tuner (making it impossible to tape one channel, and watch another). And the fact that it is cable only tends to hamper its moveability (you have to buy a new one if you move to a place with only terrestrial or satellite digital tv). It's really only for first adopters. Also, for an expensive box the construction is rather shabby - the power button on the device itself feels as if it was breaking off. And the remote feels wrong - some of the buttons (like the "opt", which is used for getting a pop-up menu) are located in inconvenient positions for frequent usage. The navigation key doesn't really work, either (my words are failing: what's "tunnoton" in English?) And the fan is LOUD.

A far bigger problem is the unstability. If I leave the box on for a weekend, it has almost certainly crashed when I get back. And you can't download firmware updates, because my cable company does not officially support this box. And the Nokia support site is not helpful either, because you are supposed to download the updates over the digital tv network.

Those I could still live with, being an early adopter and all - you know, first generation problems and so forth.

But what really kills the whole thing for me is the usability. You know, sometimes you just notice that usability studies were done with engineers, and "regular people" have problems with the UI. But this one - I am an engineer, and I have *serious* problems with it. So it makes me wonder, was this thing tested at all before market?

First of all - you cannot go through the program guide and say "record this program". Nope. You just have to scribble the date, time and channel down, and then return back to the top level and go to the programming menu. This box does not support the "SI" data (which allows the program to be recorded even if it was late or changed slots), but then again, neither do the cable channels in Finland (I think). So the UI resembles an old VCR in that sense. You even have to add an extra ten minutes or so, so that you get the whole program.

This, of course, makes the entire "record this program weekly" -feature near-useless. At least in Finland, programs keep shifting schedules weekly (by five-ten minutes), so it is almost impossible to record a particular program correctly for more than a month. And in most cases, the programs I want to record are in the middle of the night, which slot is particularly subject to programming changes. This is, of course, mostly a problem with the networks. But hey, they don't want me to watch the programs, fine.

I have so many usability gripes with this machine (like the fact that the EPG is damn unusable, or that the menus - aside from the Navibar - look so horribly, horribly crappy, as if the designer had only a Commodore-64 - or that the playback stops if you use the menus, and you have to go back to the taped program listing and select the program again if you want to resume watching, so I will concentrate on the two major fuck-ups.

The Timer menu does not show the week day. It does not show it while you're programming, or while you're viewing. This makes it a hard cognitive task to figure out which program is which. Let's say that you want to tape a program next Wednesday (because programs tend to repeat on a weekly basis): You actually have to find out today's date, and then figure out which day is next Wednesday before you can enter it into the timer menu. This is NOT easy to do every single time you record something (I'm an engineer - I'm supposed to be good with numbers. I find this difficult. YMMV.) Especially since the machine is unable to tell you the current date (or time) in any useful manner.

But the super-major-cluster-fuck-up is the "Back" key. One would imagine that when you have a "back" key, and an "ok" key, they would be roughly equivalent of "cancel" and "ok". Five minutes ago, I was going to remove a timer setting from the timer menu. I press "opt", and I get two options "remove", and "remove all". First of all - I don't get why the "remove all" is on that menu - it's too easy to select by accident due to the fact that the "ok" key is right next to the cursor keys. Which I did.

Oops, the TV now shows a "Information - all scheduled recordings will be removed (Ok, Opt, Back)". So, I hit "back", and the machine dutifully removes all of my 8 scheduled recordings.

WHAT THE MOTHER OF ALL IDIOTS?!?

Why is there not a "are you sure you want to remove every single thing you just used an hour of your life to hunt down from the newspaper and painstakingly type it in this dumb box" -confirmation dialog? Especially since you just cannot go through the EPG and say "record this". Especially since it is so easy to accidentally delete all recordings. This is one of those mistakes you easily catch if you do proper usability studies. This is one of those mistakes any designer with half a brain could've told you about in a heuristic evaluation. This is one of those mistakes that makes the box an object of hate more than an object you can't live without and recommend to your friends. This is a classical example why usability matters.

I just simply cannot recommend the Nokia Mediamaster 260 C to anyone. Don't buy it. I'll be getting rid of it myself. If I can still sell it after this rant.

Update: The story does not end here. Check out The Crash.

Saturday, 18-Sep-04 12:22
Why I'd like to understand blogging

People ask me often what is a "blog". It annoys me to no end that I cannot give a simple answer, because it tells me how little I understand of the phenomenon.

A big discussion point in Finland at the moment is that "blogs" have been translated as "internet diaries". There is an danger of confusion here: If I tell you that I play go, and that it is an "old chinese boardgame", you will immediately understand its nature. But if I say that "I blog, and it's like writing a diary on the web", your next question will be "do you really write about your sex life in public?" And that is because the word "diary" has a private connotation. Reading someone else's diary is peeping and wrong. Reading things that someone else published in the hopes that someone would read them and give feedback, is not. Diary = private, blog = public.

Most of the significant weblogs in the world are not diaries. But that's another subject for a later day.

Perhaps I am an elitist, purist and academic. But I would still really, really like to be explain to my grandmother what it is that I care so much about.

Saturday, 18-Sep-04 12:21
Miksi mietin mitä eroa on blogilla ja nettipäiväkirjalla

English summary follows in the next entry.

Toisten mielestä blogit ja verkkopäiväkirjat ovat eri asia. Toisten mielestä taasen erolla ei ole merkitystä, ja on täysin hupsua ja jaarittelua edes puhua koko asiasta. Parempi on vain kirjoittaa.

On totta, että loppujen lopuksi vain sillä, mitä kirjoittaa, on merkitystä. Se, millä nimellä sitä kutsuu on oikeastaan vain pieni merkityksetön sivuseikka, joka sopii vain puristeille ja akateemikoille.

Mutta.

Kun kerron bloggaavani, minulta kysytään liki poikkeuksetta, mikä on blogi. Ja minusta "no se on semmoinen, kun vaan kirjoittaa nettiin jostain, ei sillä ole nyt oikeastaan väliä" ei ole vastaus. Se kertoo, että vastaaja ei oikeastaan välitä aiheesta, ja koska hänkään ei välitä, niin miksi kenenkään muunkaan pitäisi siis välittää, kun "ei sillä ole mitään merkitystä muille kuin puristeille ja akateemikoille."

Jos kertoisin pelaavani jalkapalloa, kukaan ei kysele. Jos kerron pelaavani go:ta, vastaus on "vanha kiinalainen lautapeli, luultavasti maailman vanhimpia ja vaikeimpia" - eikä siitä yleensä herää sen enempää kysymyksiä. Ihmisillä on olemassa jo ennestään käsitys termeistä "jalkapallo" ja "lautapeli".

Mutta jos sanoisin, että blogi on sama asia kuin nettipäiväkirja, ihmisille jäisi väärä kuva siitä, mitä teen, ja mikä blogi voi olla. On totta, että kirjoitan paljon myös omasta elämästäni (ja viimeaikainen romanssihan on ollut sosiaalipornoa parhaimmillaan), mutta en missään nimessä pidä itseäni päiväkirjan kirjoittajana. Blogini on yhtäaikaa päiväkirja, kolumni, suttupaperi, uutispalsta, arvostelupalsta ja huumoripläjäys. Se on paikka, jossa jaan ystävieni (ja ilmeisesti muutaman tuntemattomankin, päätellen 30.000 kuukausittaisesta visiitistä) minua kiinnostavia asioita. Bloggaus on jakamista.

On toki olemassa oikeita nettipäiväkirjojakin, mutta siinäkin termi "päiväkirja" aiheuttaa herkästi tulkintaongelmia. Useimpien ihmisten mielestä päiväkirjaa ei ole tarkoitettu jaettavaksi. Tyttöystäväsi päiväkirjan lukeminen on tirkistelyä ja väärin. Blogiin kirjoitetaan asioita, jotka nimenomaan on tarkoitettu luettavaksi, joten blogin lukeminen ei voi olla tirkistelyä. Jos kuuntelet kaverisi kertomusta päivästään kahvin ääressä, et tirkistele hänen elämäänsä - vaan jaat sitä. Tässä on tavallisen päiväkirjan ja nettipäiväkirjan ero: Nettipäiväkirja on tarkoitettu luettavaksi - päiväkirja ei.

Joten kun hypoteettinen keskustelukumppanini kysyy silmät ymmyrkäisinä, kirjoitanko tosiaan seksielämästäni internettiin (ja tämä kysymys ei valitettavasti ole niin hypoteettinen kuin haluaisin), niin huokaisen syvään ja kiroan sitä päivää, jolloin termi "nettipäiväkirja" tuli yleiseen tietoisuuteen. Seuraavaksi alan selittää, miten bloggaus on "henkilökohtaisen julkaisemisen uusi muoto" ja miten suurin osa maailman merkittävistä blogeista ei itse asiassa ole päiväkirjaa nähnytkään.

Minä haluan vain tietää, mitä on tämä juttu mitä teen. Jalkapalloilijoilla ja go:n pelaajilla juttu on jo hanskassa, koska ihmiset tietävät noin suurinpiirtein mitä termit "nurmikenttä" ja "lautapeli" pitävät sisällään. Termi "nettipäiväkirja" sisältää jo väärinkäsityksen siemenen itsessään.

Ehkä minä sitten olen elitisti, puristi ja akateemikko. Mutta minua häiritsee se, etten osaa selittää isoäidilleni yksinkertaisesti, mitä tarkoittaa että olen bloggaaja. Ja onhan se nyt hemmetin outoa, ettei osaa selittää harrastusta josta sentään oikeasti välittää.

Seuraavassa osassa: mikä se blogi sitten minun mielestäni on. Sitä seuraavassa osassa analyysi Suomen blogitilanteesta. Pysykää kanavalla (ja kiillottakaa kepit ja peskää ruoskat jo valmiiksi.)

Wednesday, 15-Sep-04 22:21
Witchcraft repackaged

Here's a review of Harry Potter... Witchcraft Repackaged: Making Evil Look Innocent in the Wave Magazine. Some choice quotes:

If Harry Potter was fake, witches all over the world would be complaining about how fake it was. And since they’re not, the spells in Harry Potter are all real.
Of course, as the video warns, if you say witchcraft has no power, you have two problems in your line of reasoning. One: you’re ignoring all the people that do have magic powers, and two: you’re saying that God’s warning in the Bible against sorcery is actually worthless.

Oh, the inescapable logic...

(Thanks to Syksy for the link.)

Wednesday, 15-Sep-04 12:12
Oooooooops

Apparently, you can open a supposedly unbreakable Kryptonite bike lock in two seconds using a ball-point pen. How's that for a security fuck-up?

(The original thread is at bikeforums.net, which has more info about which lock models are vulnerable. Via J-Walk.)

Tuesday, 14-Sep-04 14:25
RSS - slowly, surely, everywhere

RSS - Really Simple Syndication (or Rich Site Summary, depending on who you talk to) seems to be making new interesting conquests: First, Apple tells that the next version of Safari has a built-in RSS reader. Today, Mozilla Foundation releases Mozilla Firebird 1.0PR, which also includes a built-in RSS and Atom reader.

And through Kauppalehti, we learn that Ortikon Interactive has developed an RSS browser for digital TV. Now you can read many news sources and almost all weblogs in the world from the comfort of your own couch... Isn't the next logical application of this to combine this kind of a service with BitTorrent, and get something like Torrentocracy - and abolish TV channels completely?

This is by the way the reason why I think that Atom should be considered primarily as a content-delivery channel, and not a "standard for publishing weblogs". People know how bad I am at predicting, but my guess is that measured by volume, in two years most content transported through syndication standards (like RSS and Atom) will be non-weblog. While blogging is important, it cannot match the sheer volume of corporate-created content services. There's money to be made in syndication - go get it, folks!

Tuesday, 14-Sep-04 01:37
Dressmann -people

This older story (in Finnish) reminds me of discussion (and - in retrospect - an identity crisis of sorts) I had with a friend some time ago. The following may sound slightly elitist and derogatory. Boo-hoo.

(For the Finnish-impaired, that story is about how people from different countries gathered together, and all the men happened to be wearing the same outfit. Simply because they all had been shopping at Dressmann's. Yes, that multi-national clothes chain.)

Especially in the IT industry you see a lot of these people, which have been dubbed "Dressmann -people". They all wear the same type of attractively priced, yet good-looking clothes: shirt, straight pants; sometimes a jacket. They look clean, efficient, good, businesslike, no-nonsense, though youthful and relaxed. Some of them can even do the walk, or the cool swirl. They all look similar.

Yet... few of them are interesting. Even fewer are truly creative. They are more interested in getting to work early, then working eight hours, then going home to their families. And this is fine and great, because that work has to be done. And I'm all for family and breeding and that sort of stuff.

But it is not really interesting.

Interesting in the sense that changes the world. Creates new, wonderful things. Makes us laugh, or weep, or feel a sense of wonder. Convince us of a cause, or make us hate passionately something. These people... they're ... sensible.

Many people don't have that world-changing ability. Which is probably a good thing; a world where everybody would be strongly a creative individual could not, and would not work.

Monday, 13-Sep-04 00:08
Songs of love

Most couples I know have a song they can call "our song". It's the romantic song from that movie on the first date, or the one you played throughout the first night you spent together, or it can be somewhat really beautiful you both just happened to like. Or it can be something wholesomely silly, which makes everybody look at you like you just sprouted an extra pair of legs and move backwards slightly.

Our song is O-Zone's Dragostea din Tei. You know, the one that starts "Mai-a hii, Mai-a huu, Mai-a hoo, Mai-a ha-haa".

(Don't step back too much, you might fall off the cliff. Thank you. No, I just borrowed these legs from a transvestite. An action transvestite, mind you, not one of those weird ones.[1])

But anyway.

It just happened. We have no explanation. Perhaps it's because we're both fans of the 80s pop music. Perhaps it's because that's what we played and laughed at on our first night together. But it happened, and so we're stuck now with a song that is not destined to be an evergreen. So we'll never hear it accidentally in a bar twenty years from now, and think back to the halcyon days of fresh love. Unless, of course, it is a Romanian turn-of-the-century retro bar. I wonder if it's still too late to return it back to the shop and ask for a new one?

After this long-winded introduction, I come to the real reason behind this blog entry: The Lego version, presented by LegO-Zone. I just love Lego, and the way they titillate the imagination of creative people. Which makes the rest of us laugh.

(Makes me wonder, though, what kinds of songs other people have chosen - or what songs chose them. If you feel up to revealing it, drop a comment here.)

[#1] I know at least four of my readers know exactly what I'm talking about, and the rest of you are missing out on so much... Do you like bread? *poof*
Friday, 10-Sep-04 18:30
Why I haven't blogged about by trip to Iceland

Simple. No connection. I tried keeping a paper blog on my trip to Iceland. But it didn't really work out. Frankly, it was mostly crap.

Then again, when I read my older entries, 90% of them are crap, too. (Which is normal, according to Sturgeon's Law).

When you write a blog entry, you just write it and fire. You don't go back and re-edit. Once you publish it, there's no taking it back. It's there in the Google cache, and in the Internet Archive forever. And if it was important to someone, it will be dug up. There's surprisingly little entropy in the Internet.

But that's actually cool. You see, this kind of a writing style forces you to write better the next time. You just can't go back and tinker with your text until you're happy with it. You have to learn to let go of your creation, so that you don't just keep doing the same old stuff all over again. So you learn.

The internet allows us to produce more crap than ever before. But at least we'll be better at doing it. :)

Thursday, 09-Sep-04 23:15
It wasn't funny

Saw Shrek 2. Disappointed.

I think it wasn't as funny as the first one, because it laughed at Hollywood. And you just can't laugh at Hollywood, because that place is so crazy already. Poking the fairy tales and Disneyland in the first part worked, because it was new, and they take themselves so seriously. Populating Hollywood with magical creatures is so unsuprising, you almost go "where are all the pixie versions of the crack whores?" And everybody laughs at the movie industry every day for being what they are - they're better parodies of themselves than what anyone can do.

Shrek 2 felt just like a big US movie industry injoke, something you could sort of see was meant to be funny, but couldn't quite work out because of lacking background knowledge.

Okay, I laughed a few times. But I was hoping for better.

Thursday, 09-Sep-04 11:49
Diaries are bad for you, mmmkay?

New Scientist says that diaries are bad for you:

Keeping a diary is bad for your health, say UK psychologists. They found that regular diarists were more likely than non-diarists to suffer from headaches, sleeplessness, digestive problems and social awkwardness.

The UK researchers speculate that this is due to the fact that diarists are likely to mull over trauma more than those who do not keep a record of their failings. Sort of makes sense, even though I'm sure there is some relief in penning down your feelings.

But this is actually one of the reasons blogs are not just net diaries. Unlike diaries, which are usually protected by locks and cupboards, and guarded with fierce flames of privacy, blogs are for sharing things. Blogs thrive with readership, which makes them somewhat akin to peer support groups. Blogs encourage discussion and hopefully, responses from people. And even if nobody replied or commented, there is some relief that somewhere, someone reads your blog. Somebody finds it interesting enough to keep subscribing, regardless of the angst you pour out.

And that is a comforting thought.

(Via synapsi.net)

Wednesday, 08-Sep-04 13:29
Internet TV - but only if you risk it

A major Finnish TV channel: MTV3 has launched a new "Netti-TV" service, which "allows you to watch the programs whenever you want".

Nope. Apparently, I'm not a part of the "you". (And neither are others)

You see, they require Windows Media Player 9+, Internet Explorer, and Windows. I can understand the requirement for WMP (you gotta choose a codec), but IE? The buggiest and shittiest of all the current browsers? The official answer is "everybody uses Windows and IE, therefore we only support Windows and IE". Hell, I have IE and WMP 9 installed on my Mac. I have WMV codecs on my Linux box. Why am I excluded?

This is just so completely stupid. In this day and age, there is NO reason whatsoever to make a web site that is IE only. There are three possible explanations to this, none of them actually too flattering to MTV3:

  1. There is a secret deal between MS and MTV3 that alternative operating systems may not be supported (unlikely, but fun theory)
  2. A bunch of sorry, no-good, lazy, crappy coders working for a shady garage firm somewhere have managed to convince a completely clueless management that this is the only way. Any coder worth his paycheck should be able to produce standards-compliant web pages and streamed video. (likely)
  3. A designer created something that the coders found impossible to implement in a given schedule, except via resorting to hacks. They were too spineless to suggest another alternative, or were overruled by a clueless management. (happens all the time)

Come on - it's just a simple web site that contains program listings and then you click on them to get streamed video. IT'S NOT REALLY THAT HARD TO DO RIGHT!

OK, so the majority uses still Windows and IE. Fine. But does it not mean a shit to anyone that the most prominent and technically savvy people who actually do know what they're doing are switching en masse? And it's not only a geek thing: twenty per cent (20%) of the people reading this weblog are already using Firefox. And there are people switching who actually do matter. Even some people within Microsoft don't use IE. The geeks are not using IE because they know better. Others are using it because Firefox is just so nice. Nobody wants their machines to be infested with spyware and other crap.

And frankly, no web site I've ever seen that required the use of IE and Windows was really any good. Cluelessness shows.

*sigh*

Tuesday, 07-Sep-04 19:20
Out of the box

A young girl enters the tram, hugging a large pile of books, obviously borrowed from the library. A familiar title catches my eye, and I try to see the rest without appearing to be staring at her breasts.

It's the [Advanced Dungeons & Dragons] Dragonlance saga by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, which I remember eagerly reading about 20 years ago for the first time. And the only time, I think, because its literary values were somewhat doubtful. But it was good food for the developing imagination.

Now I make a living thinking of problems and solutions to them, before most people are even aware of the issues. I have been accused of thinking "out-of-the-box" many times (which I guess is a good thing). In retrospect, nothing else in my studies gave me as much preparation to this job than training my imagination via books and incessant role playing.

Role playing gave me my grasp of English, the ability to imagine myself in other people's place, my ability to explain things fast in a concise manner, and the craft of thinking outside the box -solutions to obscure problems. All of which are necessary, even vital now.

So, young girl: read the books and make your mind fly! No matter what anyone else says, at least for me the time wasted killing monsters was not really wasted at all. :-D

Monday, 06-Sep-04 01:59
Weekend fun

This weekend, I've mostly been driving. With a rental car, I bravely ventured to the mysterious East. It's not the reason, but the trip that I wish to tell you about.

I have never, ever seen so reckless driving. People would overtake others, even though there was someone on the opposite lane, overtaking someone else at that very moment, coming towards at a relative 200 km/h. And that was not the only incidence, I saw several. At one point, I was overtaken within a roadwork area, that actually had a "no passing" -sign and a speed limit of 30 km/h, and I would estimate the overtaker's speed being at about 80 km/h.

What happened while I was not looking? I mean - it was night, so visibility was crap, and also now is pretty much the time the moose[1] are on the move. What is this, the suicide weeks? The "crush your car into a raisin and see if you can survive the implosion" -theme days? Grand Theft Auto Live Role Playing Game?

*sigh*

Oh well. I returned home, eyes tired, bum asleep, and feeling generally down. I fire up IM and talk to my love for a few minutes - and she mentions a shirt she left here. I gallop around the house, find it on my pillow, and sniff her perfume on it.

And everything is suddenly all right again.

[#1] Moose? I mean "one goose" -> "many geese" - why not "one moose" -> "many meese"? Or at least "mooses"! What a dumb language... :)

Friday, 03-Sep-04 12:47
The internet is strange

This guy complains that his dog's blog gets more hits than his own blog.

Well, the dog blog is written in dog. And on the internet, nobody knows you're a dog... So obviously, there must be a lot of dogs about. More than you might think.

Ruff, ruff ruff ruff ruff. Ruff ruff ruff ruff, ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff.

Ja sama suomeksi: hau, vuh vuh vuh vuh. Vuh hau, grrr vuh vuh.

Thursday, 02-Sep-04 13:45
Why blogs are better (funnier) than email

I know, I know... There are hundreds of reasons why, and a lot of people would completely disagree with that statement.

But today I realized one big reason: choice.

Many people send funny jokes and pictures around the office and friends. You know - a long joke, or a funny picture, or in the extreme cases, a 3.5 Megabyte Powerpoint (with pictures) or a Quicktime movie file.

I hate it. On some of my email accounts, I have a mail quota - and I hit it really fast if I'm away a week. If I printed and burned all the Powerpoint slideshows I get, I could comfortably warm my house through the winter. I also read my mail quite often through GPRS (40 kbps or less), and I really, really don't like it when a "fun" movie clogs the connection for several minutes.

On the other hand, I have no problems whatsoever with people who post fun things on their blogs. The difference? Choice.

I get to choose whether I want to see that "fun" thing or not. Sometimes I don't have the time, or I don't have the equipment, or I just can't be bothered. With email it just comes to your inbox, and you cannot do a damned thing about it. Anyone can send me email, even the people with a bad sense of humour. (Not that I know any) You have to react to email, even if it's just deleting the message without reading. If someone, however, posts a link to their blog, I can read the description, bookmark it and come back to the message later on. Bloglines allows me to save blog entries easily for later viewing - which is highly useful and does not clutter my Bookmarks bar.

Blogs are a far better way of spreading memes than email, because they reach fertile ground quicker. Email depends too much on people forwarding your "funny" thing to others - blogs are visible to all people (and Google). Therefore, blogs will eventually surpass email as the preferred communication medium for non-personal items. I think :)

Wednesday, 01-Sep-04 22:59
In Finnish, for a change.

Sain tänään ihanan sähköpostin, joka sanoi kaiken oleellisen:

Sinä puuhaat keittiössä. Laitat paikkoja kuntoon.
Minä kuuntelen sitä, rakastan sinua
ja kaikki on sitä myöten selvää.

- Pentti Saarikoski -

(<idlewonder>Lieneekö yhden runon lainaaminen tekijänoikeusrikkomus? Sehän on itsenäinen teos, ja pikkaisesta runosta on aika vaikea lainata pelkkää osaa tekijänoikeuslain 22§:n tarkoittamalla tavalla. Hum.</idlewonder>)


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